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Old 06-07-2005, 02:15 PM   #31
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AP reports the NFL has suspended Minnesota Vikings RB Onterrio Smith for the entire 2005 season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. The announcement had been expected for several weeks, ever since Vikings HC Mike Tice suspended Smith indefinitely following an embarrassing run-in at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Smith was stopped April 21 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after his bag set off a screening device. A search found several vials of dried urine and "The Original Whizzinator,'' which is marketed as a way to beat drug tests. Smith told police the gear was for his cousin. He wasn't charged by police, and the NFL has said possession of the device alone isn't enough to violate league drug policies. The NFL's news release did not give a specific reason for Smith's suspension. Smith was expected to battle for the starting running back job with RB Michael Bennett and RB Mewelde Moore after leading the team in rushing in 2004. Smith missed four games last season for violating the league's drug policy, and had two strikes against him before the latest violation. The third strike in the program comes with an automatic one-year suspension.


AP reports according to police, Redskins FS Sean Taylor fired no shots in Wednesday night's incident in southern Dade County, a crucial fact given Florida's stiff mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes. The fact Taylor didn't fire any shots could be crucial because of Florida's "10-20-Life" law. By not discharging the weapon, Taylor could face a mandatory minimum sentence of just three years rather than 20. The "10-20-Life" law was instituted in 1999 as part of Gov. Jeb Bush's effort to get tough on crime. The law set minimum sentences of 10 years if a gun is present when certain crimes are committed, 20 years if the gun is fired and 25 years to life if someone is shot. Taylor is subject to the "10" level, but aggravated assault is one of three crimes that qualifies for just a three-year minimum sentence. The loophole closes at the "20" level, meaning he could have faced 17 more years in jail if he had fired the gun, even if the shots went nowhere near the victims. Meanwhile, two sources familiar with the investigation said there is a second phase of the case in which Taylor is the apparent victim. In the first phase, according to police, Taylor pointed a gun at two victims and physically assaulted one. Subsequently, sources said, there was a retaliation in which shots were fired at Taylor. Detective Mary Walters of the Miami-Dade County Police Department, who confirmed Taylor did not fire his gun, declined comment on the second phase of the case. It was unclear when police might release information in connection to the shooting. The two pieces of information uncovered yesterday helped clear up some of the uncertainties that lingered in the wake of Taylor's arrest Saturday night on two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, a third-degree felony, and one count of simple battery, a first-degree misdemeanor. Taylor is scheduled to be arraigned June 24, five days after the Redskins conclude minicamp, the final element of their offseason workout program. HC Joe Gibbs said Taylor has been excused for the remainder of the workout program. The move was somewhat superficial, considering Taylor hadn't shown up for the program or even talked to Gibbs this offseason, but the team seemingly wanted to make clear that Taylor has no Redskins commitments for the foreseeable future.


AP reports the Jacksonville Jaguars have quietly discussed a trade with the Seattle Seahawks for RB Shaun Alexander. The return price for Alexander is a third-round draft pick. The strange part, according to Schefter, is the Jaguars are the ones balking at the deal. Right now, they're not willing to pay the Seahawks or Alexander. The Jaguars, if they made the trade, would get themselves valuable insurance for RB Fred Taylor. His health status still remains cloudy.


AP reports Washington Redskins S Sean Taylor has put his bonus in serious question for questionable behavior off the field. Taylor has $10.475 million worth of signing and option bonus payments, including a $3.32 million bonus payment not yet paid and due in April 2006. There is a chance that bonus could be withheld given his arrest this weekend. Taylor's contract has specific default language that could wind up costing him. If he is convicted, and unable to report to the Redskins, he would be in a position where he could lost even more money.


AP reports Dolphins HC Nick Saban and new GM Randy Mueller were not available for questions Monday but issued statements through the team. ''I am looking forward to my responsibilities with the Dolphins,'' Mueller said. ``This is one of the great franchises in the NFL with an unmatched tradition of success, and it's going to be special for me to be a part of that legacy. Beginning with Wayne Huizenga, the organization is well-known for being first class in every respect, and I know everyone here is committed to working together for the long-term success of the franchise.'' Said Saban: ``He is respected throughout the league and has a strong background in player personnel. He will help us in our continuing efforts to build a team that will not only achieve success, but sustain it on a long-term basis.'' Mueller agreed to a three-year deal worth approximately $750,000 annually. Unlike when he was in New Orleans, Mueller will not have final say on personnel issues with the Dolphins. That power lies with Saban.


AP reports Rams OT Kyle Turley has failed a physical exam administered in Arizona, where he had been rehabbing the back injury that cost him the entire 2004 season, and has been released. Officially, Turley was designated as "waived - failed physical," which means the Rams owe him $250,000 but that the effect on the salary cap is the same as if he simply had been released. The "hit" is $1.82 million this year and $5.47 million in 2006.


AP reports the Washington Redskins have signed free agent WR Kevin Dyson (Chargers) to an undisclosed contract.


AP reports for the City Paper that Tennessee Titans GM Floyd Reese has downplayed the seriousness of the Titans? pursuit of RB Travis Henry, but with RB Chris Brown out with a broken hand and fifth-round pick RB Damien Nash missing time after arthroscopic knee surgery, the lack of depth at running back continues to be a major concern for Tennessee. When the Titans concluded their May organized team activities, undrafted rookies RB Walter Reyes and RB Terry Jackson were running atop the depth chart. QB Steve McNair is one who would welcome the addition of Henry, if the Titans were to land him in a deal with the Bills. ?I feel like he would be a good addition to the team and take a little bit of the pressure off of Chris,? McNair said. ?But if not, Chris can handle the load. As an offense, we?ve just got to stay healthy and stay within our right frame of mind. If [the trade] happens, great. But if not, life goes on and we have to continue to get better and improve this offense some kind of way.? Various reports have had the Bills seeking at least a third-round pick for Henry, something the Titans would be reluctant to do without at least a contract extension, as Henry is in the final year of his contract.


AP reports DE Bryce Fisher and CB Andre Dyson, free-agent additions, practiced with the Seahawks for the first time Monday. Fisher missed the post-draft mini-camp because of foot surgery, while Dyson was on his honeymoon. Dyson worked at left corner with the No. 1 defense. Fisher was at left end with the No. 2 defense. The Seattle Times adds QB Seneca Wallace (illness) was absent Monday, as was OT Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack, who is dealing with a family matter in his native Mississippi but should be back when it is resolved. RB Shaun Alexander is not attending the Seahawks current mini-camp. He has not participated in team functions since being given a $6.32 million tender when named the franchise player in February. "He has to sign the tender before we can negotiate a long-term deal. He wants a long-term deal, but won't sign the tender," said HC Mike Holmgren, who talked to Alexander last Friday. "It's like 'Catch-22.' "


AP reports for the City Paper that Tennessee Titans GM Floyd Reese has downplayed the seriousness of the Titans? pursuit of RB Travis Henry, but with RB Chris Brown out with a broken hand and fifth-round pick RB Damien Nash missing time after arthroscopic knee surgery, the lack of depth at running back continues to be a major concern for Tennessee. When the Titans concluded their May organized team activities, undrafted rookies RB Walter Reyes and RB Terry Jackson were running atop the depth chart. QB Steve McNair is one who would welcome the addition of Henry, if the Titans were to land him in a deal with the Bills. ?I feel like he would be a good addition to the team and take a little bit of the pressure off of Chris,? McNair said. ?But if not, Chris can handle the load. As an offense, we?ve just got to stay healthy and stay within our right frame of mind. If the trade happens, great. But if not, life goes on and we have to continue to get better and improve this offense some kind of way.? Various reports have had the Bills seeking at least a third-round pick for Henry, something the Titans would be reluctant to do without at least a contract extension, as Henry is in the final year of his contract.
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Old 06-07-2005, 02:17 PM   #32
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AP reports Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, CB David Macklin and CB Antrel Rolle worked together for about 30 minutes after Monday's practice. Fitzgerald said the three gave each other tips on what to look for in opponents' route-running and pass-coverage tendencies. "Anything I can do to help them and what they can do to help me, we're all going to be up for it," Fitzgerald said. "We all got to be ready for Sept. 11 (the Cardinals' first regular-season game)."


AP reports Steelers RB Jerome Bettis believes he's building momentum toward what likely will be his 13th and final season in the NFL. "I feel OK," Bettis said after practice yesterday. "I mean, I know I'm older now, I feel it more, but I feel good." Bettis, 33, announced in March that he would return to play this season after contemplating retirement for a month. He issued a qualifier, though, that he would play only if there were no "setbacks" this spring. To help guard against any, he did not participate in the May 6-8 mini-camp that kicked off spring drills. But he joined teammates in practice May 24 and has experienced no problems since then. "I'm where I thought I'd be," Bettis said. "I knew where it would be I wasn't going to play like a spring chicken. I knew that was the price I would have to pay, so I'm comfortable with that." Bettis concedes the starting halfback job to RB Duce Staley, who opened last season as the starting tailback and rushed for 707 yards after seven games before a hamstring injury ruined the second half of his season.


AP reports the holdup with CB Deion Sanders is more of a logistical problem than a medical one. His physical at the Ravens' training complex could not be completed because the surgeon who performed minor work on a toe on Sanders' left foot this offseason is not in the area. The results of Sanders' magnetic resonance imaging test were sent overnight to his doctor, who will discuss them this morning with Leigh Ann Curl, the team's chief orthopedic surgeon. The Ravens are likely taking a cautious approach with the 37-year-old cornerback, and a team official said this snag is not any cause for concern. Once the Ravens have medically cleared Sanders, the seven-time Pro Bowl defender will sign a one-year, $1.5 million contract that could balloon to $4 million with playing-time incentives. Sanders left the Ravens' complex yesterday without comment.


AP reports Giants secondary coach Ron Milus said the three-way competition between S Brent Alexander, S Shaun Williams and S Gibril Wilson for the two starting safety spots will be settled in training camp. "We started minicamp with Brent and Gibril as our two primaries, knowing full well Shaun is capable of playing both positions," Milus said. "It's still a long process." Also four days after TE Jeremy Shockey called on the Giants to make greater use of him as a downfield receiver, he received an endorsement from a somewhat surprising source: the coaching staff. While defending the use of Shockey as a blocker last season, OC John Hufnagel said Monday that a priority for this season was developing more schemes to use Shockey as a vertical weapon. "We need to get Shock more into the game," Hufnagel said at an annual spring news conference for assistant coaches. "To be a playmaker for us consistently, game in, game out. I know he's looking forward to that challenge. He wants it so bad, we just have to make sure we're doing everything we can offensively to help him."

Giants Quarterbacks coach Kevin Gilbride said the improvement QB Eli Manning made between his first four starts last year and his final three can be traced to a train ride back from the 37-14 loss to Baltimore on Dec. 12. Gilbride told Manning to provide more feedback for the coaching staff. "If there was something that was causing him undue duress, we needed to know about it," Gilbride said. Later that week Manning spoke to HC Tom Coughlin and Hufnagel about which plays he was comfortable running. A few days later he compiled his highest passer rating of the season -- 103.9 against Pittsburgh.


AP reports Kansas City Chiefs OG Will Shields (knees) attended the team's practice session Monday, June 6, but did not work out. Shields has been given time off to rest his arthritic knees and to contemplate his NFL future. When asked if he'd made an official decision about returning this season, Shields said, "I am just going to come out here and do the things I have been doing in and out. I am not really worried about everything else. I am just going to come out and do what I have to do and move on. Coach (Vermeil) knows where I am going and how it's going to work and we will go from there."


AP reports agent Drew Rosenhaus said on an interview Sunday, June 5, on WSVN-TV that it's likely that Miami Dolphins DT Tim Bowens will retire because of back problems very soon.


AP reports Green Bay Packers TE Bubba Franks was still a no-show Monday, June 6, as the team started its second week of minicamp. Franks, the team's transition free agent, wants a long-term deal from the Packers.
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Old 06-07-2005, 04:29 PM   #33
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looking forward to ratbird sanders coming back. Mr. I can`t tackle. Would love to see Heath Miller catch a pass in his flat and turn it up field , one on one.
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Old 06-07-2005, 10:10 PM   #34
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And to see Mr. Ward take Mr. Sanders' head off w/ a devestating block down field!
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Old 06-08-2005, 01:35 PM   #35
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Good call Blitz, that would be sweet.
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Old 06-08-2005, 03:31 PM   #36
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AP reports the following aspects about the Rams recent mini-camp stood out: The level of competition was considerably higher than last summer. "Absolutely. You can see it out there," third-year LB Pisa Tinoisamoa said. "Whether it's the first or the second team, guys are flying around, even the third-team guys when they get out there. They're ready to compete." The quality of the depth at several positions runs deeper. "That's the one thing on every squad that you try to have," HC Mike Martz said. "If you're strong at the bottom of your roster with young players, then it's going to put a lot of pressure on the stars that you have. That makes you better." The defense, which a year ago was getting its first exposure to new DC Larry Marmie, was perhaps the most impressive unit during minicamp, even though at least five new faces were manning first-team spots. "Everybody looked real good; there's a lot of competition," defensive end Leonard Little said. Martz was particularly enthused about the play of the cornerbacks, even though first-teamer CB Travis Fisher missed the last two practices because of a hip injury. "It was outstanding," Martz said. "We had the corners make more plays in these practices than we've had since all the time I've been here in practice. So that showed up real big, in my opinion."


AP reports Jaguars top pick WR Matt Jones picked up Tuesday where he had tentatively left off two weeks ago. Jones, the former Arkansas quarterback trying to convert to wide receiver in the NFL, participated in several non-contact pass drills as the Jaguars resumed organized team activities at the Alltel Stadium practice fields. It was Jones' most significant work since straining his left hamstring April 29 in just his second practice as a pro. Jones took part in some drills May 26, but not to the extent he did Tuesday. "I was able to do everything, so it went well,'' Jones said. "I'm healthy." The Jaguars weren't yet ready to declare Jones at full strength, but he is expected to practice again today and Thursday, and when OTAs continue each of the next two weeks. Training camp opens July 29. "It's good to be out there and be able to go everything and not have to hold up and wait for a while before you can go do the other things," Jones said, referring to his hamstring-related stint on the sidelines last month. The Jaguars scoffed at a report by The NFL Network that they had discussed a trade with Seattle for disgruntled RB Shaun Alexander but had balked at the Seahawks' demand for a third-round pick. "It's a bunch of nonsense,'' Jaguars pro personnel director Charlie Bailey said. "Where do these things get started?'' Jaguars' battle at right cornerback continues this week with veteran addition CB Kenny Wright getting most of the repetitions with the starting defense. Wright, a former starter signed away from AFC South rival Houston, is considered the leading candidate to open the season as the starter, but played behind second-year pros CB David Richardson and CB Chris Thompson last month. New secondary coach Dave Campo is rotating several players in with the No.1 defense in offseason passing camps.
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Old 06-08-2005, 03:32 PM   #37
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AP reports CB Deion Sanders has passed his physical and joined the Baltimore Ravens as they continue with their mini-camp. Ravens TE Todd Heap, who had offseason surgery on his ankle and shoulder, has begun lifting weights and running. The two-time Pro Bowl tight end said he wants to be able to run routes by training camp but doesn't know how much he'll participate in the early practices. WR Mark Clayton, the Ravens' first-round draft pick, made two touchdown catches despite double coverage. LB Ray Lewis declined to talk to the media and S Ed Reed was not made available to comment. Both are attending their first off-season camp.


AP reports Broncos WR Nate Jackson has bulked up to 235 pounds in order to try out at tight end. Jackson believes that his foot speed has been relatively unaffected by the 18 additional pounds -- and if it is, it'll be offset by going up against linebackers and safeties as opposed to cornerbacks. "(Jackson is) kind of a hybrid tight end like Jeb [Putzier] was a couple of years ago," QB Jake Plummer said. "We're counting on Jeb now to be more of an every-down tight end, but Nate's looking good out there.


AP reports Rams WR Isaac Bruce was cleared to resume football activities Tuesday after further examinations for an abnormality in his heart. Bruce missed all of the team?s veteran mini-camp over the weekend because of, what was called an abnormality in his heart. Dr. Douglas Pogue said there was indeed an abnormality, but it wasn?t enough of a concern after Dr. Steven Pieper evaluated it to hold Bruce out any longer.


AP reports Carolina Panthers DT Brentson Buckner is not planning to retire yet. "I still have something left in the tank," Buckner said this week as the Panthers went through offseason coaching sessions. "I don't want to retire and leave it in the tank. I want the tank to be empty before I get out." Even though Buckner can pretty much write his post-football ticket with potential jobs in broadcasting or coaching, he took six weeks to ponder his options. Buckner said his body feels well enough to keep playing. Buckner, who played in the 315- to 320-pound range earlier in his career, weighs about 308 now and the plan is to drop even lower before the start of the season. He's talking about playing at less than last season's 305 pounds. Buckner isn't likely to play as much as he did last year when injuries forced him to stay on the field for more than 80 percent of the defensive snaps.
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Old 06-09-2005, 06:08 PM   #38
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AP reports while Miami-Dade County police have completed their criminal investigation into Washington Redskins FS Sean Taylor, they are continuing to investigate other events that occurred last Wednesday night in conjunction with Taylor's arrest on felony assault charges. A police source said yesterday that no more arrests are anticipated at this time. Taylor is not a subject in this ongoing investigation. Also if Redskins FS Sean Taylor is found guilty of any of the criminal charges he faces, and thus violate the NFL's personal conduct policy, the team could reclaim a significant portion of the bonuses that make up the bulk of his six-year contract -- worth a maximum of $40 million. If Taylor were to default on his contract by missing any mandatory practices or games due to his legal problems -- a scenario likely only if he was convicted -- he would "relinquish his right to future bonuses," according to a source with direct access to his full contract. Taylor is scheduled to receive $13.045 million in bonuses over the first three years of the contract, which was signed last year. If he were to default on his contract in 2005, the Redskins would be eligible to reclaim $6 million of his $7.2 million signing bonus, according to the source. The same contractual language applies to Taylor's option bonuses, worth a total of $4.475 million ($3.3 million of which is payable next April). So, if Taylor's arrest were to cause him to miss mandatory work, and the Redskins opted to take this course of action -- which is hardly assured and something the team would not likely consider until after the legal process was complete -- he could end up having to return more than $10 million in 2005. -- Police Complete Taylor Investigation -- Thu Jun 9, 2005 --from FFMastermind.com


AP reports Jets QB Chad Pennington still is on schedule to test his surgically repaired shoulder by the end of the month, but he missed his last chance yesterday to throw in an official practice before training camp. The Jets wrapped up their offseason program, which included three weeks of practices, and Pennington didn't participate in any of the sessions, according to a team spokesman. The practices were closed to the media. That Pennington didn't throw isn't necessarily a setback. Even though HC Herm Edwards indicated at the post-draft mini-camp in late April that there was a possibility of Pennington throwing in the June OTAs (organized team activities), the coach never gave a specific return date, saying it would be "some time in June." Edwards still has three weeks to be proved right. Through a team spokesman, he confirmed that he expects his $64 million quarterback to start throwing before July 1. With the team scattered until training camp, which opens July 29, Pennington will have to resume throwing in informal workouts at Hofstra, not organized drills.


AP reports persistent back problems led DT Tim Bowens, 32, to call it quits after a quietly stellar 11-year career. Bowens, who tried to deal with the pain by taking an epidural two weeks ago, was technically waived/injured by the Dolphins after failing a physical. But he had indicated to HC Nick Saban that he planned to retire. ''Tim talked to me and said he wanted to retire as a Dolphin,'' Saban said in a release. "We wanted to accommodate his request. Today's transaction is a procedural method to allow him to do that.'' Bowens was not available for questions. Agent Drew Rosenhaus said Bowens had returned to his native Mississippi and didn't want to talk. However, Bowens expressed his gratitude to the team in the release. ''I am grateful to the Dolphins for all the years I have been able to play in Miami,'' Bowens said. "I appreciate all of the support I have received throughout my career from the fans, from my teammates and coaches and from the rest of the Dolphins organization.''


AP reports Green Bay Packers first-round draft pick QB Aaron Rodgers appears to be doing everything right off it so far. "He's not rubbing anyone wrong, like some guys do - like that (expletive) over there," veteran C Mike Flanagan said, motioning to the empty locker of CB Ahmad Carroll, the Packers' No. 1 pick last year. "Compared to some of the No. 1's we've had in the past, he's trying to learn as much as he can, rather than talking (trash) and that stuff. I think it'll benefit him in the long run." After his eighth day of minicamp practices - three at the post-draft minicamp, and five during the organized team activity camp that ends Thursday - Rodgers admitted Tuesday he hasn't come close to showing his on-field abilities yet. But he's smart enough to know winning the respect of his teammates is about more than just how he plays. It likely won't be until 2006 or 2007 that Rodgers takes over the Packers' offense. Starting QB Brett Favre said he might play beyond this season, and Rodgers said he is fine with that.


AP reports OT Ross Verba will be released by the Cleveland Browns once he repays a $465,000 roster bonus. Verba and the Browns have agreed to the amicable split rather than drag out a contract dispute that began when the eight-year veteran said the club reneged on a promise to redo his current deal, which will pay him $2.9 million in 2005 and 2006. Repaying the bonus he received in March was one of two options the Browns gave Verba and his agent, Tom Condon. The other was to give Verba permission to seek a trade. A club spokesman said Verba has not yet returned the bonus, but once he does he will likely be released.


AP reports when asked if he'll practice today at mini-camp, Ravens CB Deion Sanders said, "Hopefully they'll allow me to do so. I feel good and I look good. If women weren't present, I would take off my shirt and show you how good I look." The seven-time Pro Bowl defender estimated that he'll be able to cut "soon." "They're being cautious and they want to take it slow because they want me 110 percent the first [regular-season] game instead of 110 percent the first preseason game," Sanders said. Sanders attempted to practice yesterday, coming out of the locker room wearing a white No. 2 jersey and holding his helmet. But team officials told him that his surgeon and Ravens doctors hadn't talked yet, meaning he had to wait a couple more hours before being medically cleared. There is a concern about rushing Sanders back, especially after toe and hamstring injuries forced him to miss seven games last season and fail to finish two others. HC Brian Billick said the team might pace Sanders and put him on the "Todd Heap plan." Heap, who is recovering from offseason ankle and shoulder surgery, is scheduled to miss most of training camp and possibly half of the preseason games.


AP reports that veteran S Scott McGarrahan, who spent two years in Tennessee as a valuable special teams player and sub-packages performer, is still on the market, as is LB Justin Ena, who contributed both on special teams and at outside linebacker after being claimed off waivers. McGarrahan's agent Brett Tessler said his client is "on the list" for several clubs right now, though nothing is imminent. Likewise, Ena's agent Ethan Lock said several clubs have voiced an interest in the former Brigham Young linebacker. The Titans apparently have not had any recent contact with either player, though McGarrahan, who was a special teams captain and a favorite of HC Jeff Fisher's, could help the Titans' thin safety situation, where S Tank Williams is recovering from knee surgery, and S Lance Schulters is expected to be a cap cut any day now. PK Gary Anderson also remains unsigned, but is likely to retire back to fly fishing in Canada.


AP reports that free agent QB Doug Johnson, who spent last season as the Tennessee Titans' third-teamer, recently worked out for the Cleveland Browns and apparently made a decent impression. "I believe they may have some interest in him," Johnson's agent, Mark Rodgers, said. Apparently that is more than the Titans now have in Johnson, as Rodgers said his telephone calls have gone unanswered for several months now in Tennessee. "They told us they'd get back with us when I talked to them awhile back, but they haven't returned our calls," Rodgers said. "It's a business, and that's fine. That's their prerogative." Johnson, a former University of Florida star, saw limited action in the season's final two games after injuries to both starter QB Steve McNair and second-stringer QB Billy Volek. He completed 6 of 12 passes for 68 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.


AP reports HC Dick Vermeil commented on the team's wideout situation. Does he anticipate a new receiver coming in from the ones you visited with this week? ?I don?t know," Vermeil said. "I think both receivers that were here really enjoyed their stay. I think we?ll make a move, or try to make a move on one of them and see what happens. I had a nice visit with WR Az (Hakim). When you?ve been as close to a player and gone through the experience that we did together in St. Louis there?s a bond. You?re excited to see him, whether he ends up here or not depends. He?s got other teams that are interested in him and we don?t have any money. But there?s always that possibility.? Is that the guy he wants over WR Freddie Mitchell? ?There?ll be more than one guy involved in that decision-making process. We?re debating those kinds of things right now.?


AP reports DE Jay Williams' second tour of duty with the Rams ended Wednesday, when he was released. Williams, 33, was signed to a three-year, $2.65 million contract in March as a free agent after being released by Miami. Williams has played five of 10 NFL seasons with the Rams. He left St. Louis after the 1999 season for Carolina as a free agent. The Panthers traded him to the Dolphins in 2002.
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Old 06-09-2005, 06:10 PM   #39
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AP reports having already bobbled a snap during his debut against Seattle, Bucs QB Chris Simms' inability to secure several more during the finale against Arizona convinced the Bucs they had a problem on their hands. As it turns out, the problem was with Simms' hands. For as long as he has played quarterback, the left-handed throwing Simms has taken snaps with his left hand on top of his right. Now the Bucs have changed the way Simms takes his snaps, putting his right hand on top. So far, the results are encouraging. Simms said he bobbled a snap on the first day of voluntary practices April 5, but has not had any trouble since and believes the problem has been corrected. ``The first month I felt real awkward coming out from center and grabbing the ball with my right hand on top,'' Simms said. ``And then I bobbled one that first day and I'm thinking, `Oh man, they're going to think I'll never get this.' ``But now, it's second nature. I don't even notice it. The whole thing is a lot smoother. I just feel like I'm getting the ball a lot cleaner now. It's hitting hard there every time. ``When I was doing it the other way, with my left hand on top, even the snaps I was getting, I would get it here [in the back of the palm] a lot and a lot of times I was just catching it. That's not happening anymore.''


AP reports Jets CB Donnie Abraham, once thought to be leaning toward retirement, participated in the three-week session. The club expects Abraham to play in 2005, but it's still not a guarantee. The Jets have expressed interest in veteran ORT Scott Gragg, cut recently by the 49ers, but they're in no rush to make a move. They're still hopeful that OT Adrian Jones can nail down the starting job in training camp.


AP reports Buffalo Bills first-year starting QB J.P. Losman is winning over many veterans in the locker room. They believe Losman's strong arm and athleticism will give the offense a jolt, and they are even more impressed with his work ethic and leadership skills.


AP reports the Indianapolis Colts have not discussed a contract extension with PK Mike Vanderjagt, even though he's entering the final year of his deal. The team likely is waiting to see how he performs early this season before committing to him further.


AP reports Bengals CB Rashad Bauman (Achilles) returned this week for his first practices of the spring. ROLB Khalid Abdullah (ankle) said he?ll back for the mandatory camp. Second-year RB Chris Perry (sports hernia) hopes he be back for the July 29 start of training camp. HC Marvin Lewis called MLB Landon Johnson (shoulder) and WR Peter Warrick (knee) questionable for next weekend. OLB Caleb Miller (ankle) is also questionable for next weekend. CB Keiwan Ratliff is likely to participate in mandatory minicamp even though he sat out Wednesday with what looked to be muscle soreness. Bengals HC Marvin Lewis said that incumbent starting LDE Duane Clemons, a no-show for all the voluntary practices, is expected for next weekend?s mandatory minicamp, but that he is running behind starting ends Justin Smith and Robert Geathers. HC Marvin Lewis said first round draft pick LOLB David Pollack and second round draft pick MLB Odell Thurman are headed to the starting lineup. Second-year MLB Landon Johnsn is still rehabbing an injured shoulder. "Both guys came out very well coached at Georgia, so it's an easy transition just like it was last year with Robert Geathers," said Lewis of the defensive end the Bengals took out of Georgia in the fourth round. "It would surprise me if both are not first day starters. Nobody is ahead of (Thurman) right now. Everybody else is losing ground." WR Chad Johnson reiterated Wednesday that he won?t hold out even though agent Drew Rosenhaus has gone on record saying he thinks his client is ?sorely underpaid.? ?My agent doesn?t run me, I run myself. He works for me,? said Johnson after the voluntary practice. ?If there was ever any type of holdout going on, it would be going on right now with all the others going on ... (No.) 85 ain?t going nowhere." Johnson, who got a $26 million extension through 2009 during the 2003 season, is second in yards and third in catches in the NFL the past two seasons.
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Old 06-13-2005, 01:13 AM   #40
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Default Re: News Around the NFL

AP reports the NFL will hold this year's supplemental draft on July 14. The final players who have applied include USC DT Manuel Wright, Kentucky LB Chad Anderson and Clemson WR Roscoe Crosby according to Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson. Anderson had his most productive year in 2003, when he had 125 in tackles, but he struggled last year and eventually had his time with the Wildcats curtailed by academic problems. Crosby was a freshman All-American at Clemson before he left the school to play baseball for the Kansas City Royals. None of the three players is expected to go higher than the fourth round of the supplemental draft.


AP reports Patriots S Rodney Harrison said after yesterday morning's mini-camp practice that he was contemplating sitting out the rest of the weekend because he -- like AWOL DE Richard Seymour -- is irked at his contract situation. Harrison made the comment after speaking at length with a group of media members about Seymour's holdout and the often blurred line between off-field business and on-field play. Harrison, 32, ultimately practiced in the afternoon. Still, he left no doubt he feels the Patriots are doing him wrong. "I've always heard, 'You get back what you put into it,' " he said yesterday morning. "You can look at that a number of ways. You can look at that financially, you can look at that from victories or tackles or accolades. I can look in the mirror and say I've done everything I can to help this team and this organization and been respectful of the fans. I'm not one of the highest-paid safeties. I'm not even in the top 10. Would I like to be? Yes, I would like to be. But what do you do? You just keep working hard, keep fighting and keep doing the best you can do." DE Richard Seymour missed his second straight day of the New England Patriots' mandatory mini-camp Friday.


AP reports OG Toniu Fonoti missed the opening day of the San Diego Chargers' mini-camp Friday, and nobody knew where he was. "I don't know what to say," GM A.J. Smith said. "We are surprised based on the information we had." Smith said Fonoti's agent, Steve Feldman, told the Chargers the player was coming to camp. "I was informed yesterday that he would be here," HC Marty Schottenheimer said. The coach said he was surprised, "particularly in light of the fact we were told without reservation he would be here." Agent Steve Feldman wouldn't say why Fonoti was absent. "At this point all I'm going to tell you is he'll be there first thing in the morning," Feldman said. "It just doesn't serve any useful purpose to say anything else. Whether it was a mixup or some kind of unnecessary concern, he'll be there first thing in the morning." First-round draft pick LB Shawne Merriman continued to stay away from the Chargers' offseason workouts on the advice of his agent, Kevin Poston. Poston wants the Chargers to change the language that protects unsigned players in case of injury, and the Chargers have refused.


AP reports OT Ross Verba, 31, is the top offensive tackle on the open market and is free to sign with anyone. He said his agent, Tom Condon, told him that 10 teams have already called to express interest. He wouldn't reveal which ones, but did name a few he'd like to play for. "I'm interested mostly in the teams that need tackles," he said. "I'd like to play for San Diego, Houston, Buffalo, Chicago, Kansas City, San Francisco, someone like that." He said he'll start making visits next week. But those with little cash to spare need not apply. "I'm telling teams, 'If you're not willing to give me a big multiyear contract, don't even bring me in," he said. How big? "$35 million," said Verba. "If I don't get what I want, I'll walk away from the game and hold my head up high."


AP reports the Detroit Lions have reached a contract agreement with former Bears CB/KR R.W. McQuarters on a one-year, $1.6 million deal. The Lions edged out the Vikings, Giants, Redskins and Dolphins for McQuarters. The move by the Lions to sign McQuarters could end their bid to get former Patriots CB Ty Law, who visited the team last month. Prior to the draft, the Lions identified cornerback as a need.


AP reports free-agent WR Az-Zahir Hakim has reached an oral agreement with the Chiefs, a source close to the situation said Friday night. Hakim is expected to be in Kansas City for next weekend?s mini-camp.




AP reports in windy and rainy conditions, Dolphins players were slowed during drills. After the morning practice, HC Nick Saban said the weather wasn't an issue, but the Dolphins ended the afternoon session approximately 30 minutes early, as the rain became heavier. With players such as WR David Boston and S Chris Akins recovering from knee surgery and already limited, the possibility of re-injury or simply another injury was too risky. Beyond that, QB Gus Frerotte, QB A.J. Feeley and QB Sage Rosenfels were progressively less effective throwing the wet ball as it got heavier. The Dolphins' offensive players already are learning to adjust to new OC Scott Linehan. WR David Boston was wearing a red jersey at mini-camp Friday, signifying hands off to the defense. Surprisingly, the organization didn't apply a hands-off approach to Boston when it re-signed the oft-troubled receiver after a nightmarish 2004 season, which included two knee surgeries, an arrest and a four-game suspension for violating the league drug policy. "I want a fresh start," Boston said in his first interview since re-upping with the Dolphins on May 18. "I want to come out here and compete every day and help the team out any way I can, and that's where my mind-set is. "That's the most important thing going on right now in my head when I come to the Dolphins' facility," added Boston, 26. "Also, I just had a daughter Alaia five weeks ago and my life has changed a lot. I'm just ready to go out there and get better." Rookie CB Travis Daniels worked with the first-team defense Friday in the first full-squad Dolphins minicamp practice made open to the public this offseason. Although HC Nick Saban said the Dolphins are far from finalizing their starting lineups, the fact Daniels received the nod ahead of veterans CB Reggie Howard and CB Mario Edwards indicates he has a legitimate shot at becoming the replacement for the departed CB Patrick Surtain (Kansas City) at left cornerback. S Chris Akins said he has undergone four knee surgeries since suffering a severe injury last August in a scrimmage against Houston. Akins hopes to regain the form that made him one of the NFL's better special teams players before his injury. "I was never worried I probably wouldn't come back," said Akins, who resumed limited on-field work last Monday. "I just was hoping the timeframe on my rehab to this point would allow me to participate in the drills. I'm just starting on a lot of that stuff." WR David Boston, DT Larry Chester, LB Eddie Moore and CB Shirdonya Mitchell were either limited or didn't practice as they recover from knee injuries. DE Jason Taylor missed the morning practice due to illness but returned for the afternoon session. FB Ben Moa is expected to miss the entire 2005 season after tearing his Achilles' tendon while playing in NFL Europe.


AP reports at some point before the start of the regular season, Buffalo Bills RB Travis Henry will be traded. There remain multiple teams interested in securing Henry, still a quality back despite losing his starting job to RB Willis McGahee last year, and a guy who has a couple 1,000-yard campaigns on his r?sum?. Sooner or later (probably later), some team is going to meet the Bills' asking price, believed to be a third-round draft choice, and pull the trigger on a deal. That team probably won't be Houston, which continues to consider upgrading the No. 2 spot behind RB Domanick Davis, but doesn't appear as interested in Henry as a few other teams. That's notable because a report indicated this week that the Texans are the only club still talking with Buffalo about a Henry deal. Not true. A league source tells us Tennessee and Jacksonville are still in the mix for Henry and there have been "extensive" discussions between Titans officials and Henry's agent. In the Henry matter, Seattle is still a dark-horse landing spot, should the Seahawks ever find someone to take unhappy RB Shaun Alexander off their hands.
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