Archive: August 2006

Volek Bound for Chargers or Browns?

There is talk around the league that Tennessee Titans quarterback Billy Volek could be traded to the San Diego Chargers or Cleveland Browns. The Titans drafted Vince Young in April and just signed veteran Kerry Collins. Volek is the starter, for now, but Collins might take over as soon...

By Mark Maske | August 31, 2006; 2:59 PM ET | Comments (5)

Final Hours on Job for Tagliabue

It's down to the final hours in office for outgoing NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Today is Tagliabue's last day on the job. Elected successor Roger Goodell officially takes over at 6 a.m. Friday....

By Mark Maske | August 31, 2006; 12:08 PM ET | Comments (1)

C. Rogers, M. Williams on Roster Bubble in Detroit

The final roster cuts for NFL teams are looming this weekend, and wide receivers Charles Rogers and Mike Williams could be in some trouble in Detroit. The two former first-round draft picks don't seem to have impressed new Lions coach Rod Marinelli or offensive coordinator Mike Martz, and there...

By Mark Maske | August 31, 2006; 12:03 PM ET | Comments (8)

Palmer to Play in Bengals' Preseason Finale

Carson Palmer's surgically repaired knee is said to have responded well in the aftermath of the quarterback making his exhibition-season debut Monday night. Palmer is scheduled to play in the Cincinnati Bengals' preseason finale Friday at Indianapolis and is on course to be in the lineup for the regular...

By Mark Maske | August 31, 2006; 12:01 PM ET | Comments (0)

Chargers RT Olivea Gets Extension

The San Diego Chargers signed right tackle Shane Olivea to a contract extension running through the 2011 season. The deal will pay Olivea, a starter in each of his two NFL seasons, about $20 million over six years, including approximately $7.5 million in bonus money. He would have been...

By Mark Maske | August 31, 2006; 10:54 AM ET | Comments (0)

T.O. Could Play if He Chooses

Wide receiver Terrell Owens practiced for a second day in a row Wednesday. He could be in uniform for the Dallas Cowboys' preseason finale tonight against the Minnesota Vikings, and Coach Bill Parcells said it's possible that Owens could play in the game if the wideout wants to do...

By Mark Maske | August 31, 2006; 10:51 AM ET | Comments (0)

Steelers Sign W. Parker to Extension

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed Willie Parker, the former undrafted free agent who became their starting tailback last year in their Super Bowl-winning season, to a four-year contract extension Wednesday. The deal is worth about $13.5 million, including a signing bonus of $3.75 million, and keeps Parker from being a...

By Mark Maske | August 31, 2006; 10:48 AM ET | Comments (0)

Fiedler Released But Could Return to Bucs When He's Healthy

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released quarterback Jay Fiedler on Wednesday. The former Miami Dolphins starter is working his way back from shoulder surgery but has been unable to practice. Fiedler signed with the Buccaneers in June after being released by the New York Jets in February. He missed most...

By Mark Maske | August 31, 2006; 10:47 AM ET | Comments (0)

Vanderjagt Scheduled to Kick Tonight

The Dallas Cowboys are hopeful that Mike Vanderjagt will handle at least some of the kicking duties in tonight's preseason finale against the Minnesota Vikings. Vanderjagt has been sidelined by a sore groin muscle, which has caused Coach Bill Parcells almost as much consternation as wide receiver Terrell Owens's...

By Mark Maske | August 31, 2006; 10:44 AM ET | Comments (0)

Texans to Open Season with Rookie RB

When the Houston Texans passed over USC tailback Reggie Bush to take North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams with the top overall selection in the NFL draft in April, they figured they'd have Domanick Davis to line up as their starting tailback this season. But Davis is sidelined...

By Mark Maske | August 30, 2006; 2:25 PM ET | Comments (1)

Eagles Cut Pinkston and Detmer, Sign Feeley

The Philadelphia Eagles today released wide receiver Todd Pinkston and signed one reserve quarterback, A.J. Feeley, to replace another, Koy Detmer. Pinkston was released on the heels of the Eagles' acquisition of wideout Donte Stallworth in a trade with the New Orleans Saints. The former starter is trying to...

By Mark Maske | August 30, 2006; 12:15 PM ET | Comments (11)

Navies Cut Because of Bengals' Abundance of Young LBs

The Cincinnati Bengals went with youth at linebacker and released veteran Hannibal Navies. The Bengals drafted rookies A.J. Nicholson and Ahmad Brooks to join Landon Johnson and Caleb Miller as reserves behind starting linebackers David Pollack, Odell Thurman and Brian Simmons. That created a logjam at the position and...

By Mark Maske | August 30, 2006; 9:39 AM ET | Comments (0)

Bloom Placed on IR

The world's most famous fifth-round draft choice will spend his rookie season on the injured reserve list. Jeremy Bloom, the two-time Olympic skier who was trying to make the Philadelphia Eagles' roster as a wide receiver and kick returner, was plagued by hamstring problems throughout training camp and the...

By Mark Maske | August 30, 2006; 8:37 AM ET | Comments (0)

Owens Practices

For the first time in 10 days, wide receiver Terrell Owens practiced. He participated in the Dallas Cowboys' afternoon practice Tuesday. Owens has been sidelined for much of the preseason by a sore hamstring muscle. He has missed all three of the team's exhibition games. It still seems to...

By Mark Maske | August 30, 2006; 8:31 AM ET | Comments (0)

Losman Gets Starting Nod in Buffalo

Dick Jauron, the Buffalo Bills' first-year coach, named J.P. Losman the club's starting quarterback Tuesday. Jauron chose Losman over Kelly Holcomb and free-agent addition Craig Nall. Losman, a former first-round draft choice, entered last season as the Bills' starter as a second-year pro. Former coach Mike Mularkey and former...

By Mark Maske | August 30, 2006; 8:04 AM ET | Comments (0)

Falcons LB Hartwell Might Be Sidelined Early in Season

The Atlanta Falcons could be without linebacker Ed Hartwell at the outset of the regular season. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on both knees Monday and is to be sidelined two to four weeks....

By Mark Maske | August 29, 2006; 1:45 PM ET | Comments (0)

Pennington Named Jets' Starter

New York Jets Coach Eric Mangini today named Chad Pennington the team's starting quarterback. It had been clear for weeks that Pennington was leading the club's starting-quarterback derby, but Mangini declined to officially name a starter for the regular season until today's announcement. Pennington is coming off a second...

By Mark Maske | August 29, 2006; 1:32 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cutting Feeley Leaves Chargers with Rookie Backing Up Rivers

The San Diego Chargers released quarterback A.J. Feeley on Monday. That left rookie Charlie Whitehurst as the backup to Philip Rivers, the third-year pro who never has started an NFL game but is taking over for the departed Drew Brees. It's possible that Feeley could land in Minnesota, where...

By Mark Maske | August 29, 2006; 10:56 AM ET | Comments (0)

So Far, So Good for Palmer, Bengals

Things couldn't possibly have gone much better for Carson Palmer and the Cincinnati Bengals than they did Monday night. The quarterback, in his first appearance of this exhibition season, threw for three touchdowns and 140 yards in the first half as the Bengals built a 34-7 halftime lead over...

By Mark Maske | August 29, 2006; 10:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

Jags Lose RB Jones for Season

The Jacksonville Jaguars lost their starting fullback and backup tailback when they learned Sunday that Greg Jones would need season-ending surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Jones got hurt during a preseason game Saturday but the Jaguars had hoped initially that the injury wasn't...

By Mark Maske | August 29, 2006; 9:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

J. George Resurfaces in Oakland

Jeff George? JEFF GEORGE? Those words undoubtedly were repeated in front offices around the league Monday after the Oakland Raiders signed the journeyman quarterback with the golden arm but team-wrecking reputation. George last threw a regular-season pass in the NFL in 2001 for the Washington Redskins but has had...

By Mark Maske | August 29, 2006; 9:30 AM ET | Comments (3)

P. Holmes Placed on Chiefs' PUP List

Tailback Priest Holmes's football future became even more uncertain Monday when the Kansas City Chiefs placed him on their physically unable to perform list. That means that Holmes must miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season, after which the Chiefs will have a three-week window...

By Mark Maske | August 29, 2006; 9:11 AM ET | Comments (0)

Roster Deadlines Looming

NFL teams must reduce their rosters to 75 players apiece by 4 p.m. today. Clubs will have to be down to 53 players each by Saturday....

By Mark Maske | August 29, 2006; 8:48 AM ET | Comments (0)

D. Branch Seems Likely to Stay Put

There doesn't appear to be much of a market for Deion Branch, the wide receiver who's holding out and has been granted permission by the New England Patriots to seek a trade until Friday. Interested teams seem convinced that the Patriots have little or no intention of actually dealing...

By Mark Maske | August 29, 2006; 8:32 AM ET | Comments (0)

Collins's Arrival Could Be Beginning of End for Volek in Tennessee

The signing of quarterback Kerry Collins by the Tennessee Titans probably doesn't bode well for the team's current starter, Billy Volek. Collins has been a starter throughout his NFL career and it's unlikely that he would have agreed to sign with the Titans to serve as Volek's backup while...

By Mark Maske | August 29, 2006; 8:16 AM ET | Comments (0)

Eagles Finally Bolster WR Corps

Ever since the Philadelphia Eagles released Terrell Owens in March, people inside as well as outside the league wondered when they'd add a prominent wide receiver. They were connected to offseason trade talks involving Eric Moulds and Javon Walker, and to more recent discussions concerning Ashley Lelie and Deion...

By Mark Maske | August 29, 2006; 7:51 AM ET | Comments (0)

All T.O., All the Time

Terrell Owens says he gets it. "Anything I do is going to attract attention," the wide receiver told reporters Monday in Irving, Tex., "and you guys are going to blow it out of proportion. I don't really worry about it. I get it. I know who I am. I...

By Mark Maske | August 29, 2006; 7:22 AM ET | Comments (0)

Collins, Titans Agree

Quarterback Kerry Collins and the Tennessee Titans have reached a tentative contract agreement, an NFL source said. If Collins passes a physical, the source said, he will join the club alongside starter Billy Volek and rookie Vince Young. The Titans will be Collins's fifth NFL team. He has started...

By Mark Maske | August 28, 2006; 4:19 PM ET | Comments (2)

Titans Close to Signing K. Collins

An NFL source this morning confirmed reports that the Tennessee Titans are close to signing free agent quarterback Kerry Collins. The Titans have had on-and-off conversations with Collins, who was released by the Oakland Raiders in the offseason. He likely will sign with the club within the next few...

By Mark Maske | August 28, 2006; 11:52 AM ET | Comments (1)

Another Embarrassment for Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings had yet another embarrassing incident involving one of their players when safety Dwight Smith received a misdemeanor citation from police early Saturday for alleged indecent conduct with a 24-year-old woman in a stairwell near a downtown Minneapolis nightclub. Smith participated in the Vikings' practice today. First-year...

By Mark Maske | August 27, 2006; 9:54 PM ET | Comments (0)

Grievance Seems Possible in K. Robinson Case

The Koren Robinson case seemingly could be headed to a grievance procedure. The Minnesota Vikings released the wide receiver over the weekend on the heels of Robinson being arrested on drunk-driving and fleeing-from-police charges during training camp. Under the terms of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, however, players can...

By Mark Maske | August 27, 2006; 9:33 PM ET | Comments (0)

Seahawks, Patriots Reportedly Will Be Participants in Preseason Game in China

The Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots reportedly will be the participants in the preseason game that the NFL plans to play in China next year. The Tacoma News Tribune reported today that league officials are discussing plans to have the Patriots spend a week in Seattle, perhaps even...

By Mark Maske | August 27, 2006; 9:30 PM ET | Comments (2)

This Is Owens's Best Behavior?

Dallas Cowboys Coach Bill Parcells has said regularly in recent weeks that if there was going to be a controversy involving his new wide receiver, Terrell Owens, it wasn't going to start with him. Parcells has done all he could, at least publicly, to strike an open-minded, conciliatory tone...

By Mark Maske | August 27, 2006; 9:16 PM ET | Comments (0)

Here A Manning, There A Manning

The Mannings are everywhere these days. The Sept. 10 meeting between Peyton Manning's Indianapolis Colts and younger brother Eli's New York Giants in the first Sunday night game of the regular season isn't the only family football gathering in the coming weeks. When the Colts face the New Orleans...

By Mark Maske | August 25, 2006; 3:50 PM ET | Comments (0)

Patriots Grant Branch Permission to Seek Trade

The New England Patriots announced today that they'd given holdout wide receiver Deion Branch permission to seek a trade and negotiate with other teams until Sept. 1. Branch has one season remaining on a contract that pays him a salary of just more than $1 million this season. He...

By Mark Maske | August 25, 2006; 3:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Titans CB Jones Arrested

Tennessee Titans cornerback Adam (Pacman) Jones was arrested early today outside a Murfreesboro, Tenn., nightclub and charged with disorderly conduct and public intoxication. The Associated Press, citing a police report, reported that officers encountered Jones arguing with a woman outside a club where a rap concert had been held,...

By Mark Maske | August 25, 2006; 12:13 PM ET | Comments (2)

Eagles' Buckhalter, Pinkston Under Close Scrutiny Tonight

Correll Buckhalter is scheduled to start at tailback for the Philadelphia Eagles in tonight's exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Buckhalter is attempting to work his way back from a series of serious knee injuries and had a 48-yard catch and run in the club's last preseason game. His...

By Mark Maske | August 25, 2006; 10:03 AM ET | Comments (0)

Some in League Would Be Surprised if Gumbel is Fired

Several executives with NFL teams said in recent days they would be surprised if the league dismisses veteran broadcaster Bryant Gumbel. Gumbel is scheduled to handle the play-by-play duties in the eight games to be carried by the league-owned NFL Network this season. But outgoing commissioner Paul Tagliabue said...

By Mark Maske | August 25, 2006; 9:53 AM ET | Comments (2)

Panthers LB Diggs to Undergo MRI on Injured-Again Right Knee

Carolina Panthers linebacker Na'il Diggs is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam today on his right knee, which he hurt during Thursday night's preseason game against the Miami Dolphins. Diggs was hurt on a special-teams play. He had an injury to the same knee last season while with the...

By Mark Maske | August 25, 2006; 9:35 AM ET | Comments (0)

Bucs Are Latest to Take Look at L. Kennedy

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers became the latest team to host a workout by Lincoln Kennedy as the former Oakland Raiders offensive tackle attempts to revive his playing career. Kennedy retired after the 2003 season but has had a string of workouts with clubs in recent weeks. Buccaneers Coach Jon...

By Mark Maske | August 24, 2006; 10:55 PM ET | Comments (0)

V. Young Practices

Rookie quarterback Vince Young participated in the Tennessee Titans' practice today and is expected to play in Saturday's exhibition game against the Atlanta Falcons. Young injured his right hand during a practice Wednesday but X-rays showed no fractures....

By Mark Maske | August 24, 2006; 10:48 PM ET | Comments (0)

Chargers Rookie Tackle McNeill Has Surgery for Broken Hand

Rookie Marcus McNeill had worked his way into the San Diego Chargers' starting lineup at left tackle but will miss Saturday's preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks after undergoing surgery today on his broken left hand. The Chargers expect McNeill to be able to resume practicing next week....

By Mark Maske | August 24, 2006; 10:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Henson Cut

The Dallas Cowboys released quarterback Drew Henson today. Coach Bill Parcells had announced Wednesday that Henson wouldn't be on the club's roster this season....

By Mark Maske | August 24, 2006; 10:38 PM ET | Comments (0)

Grove's Injury Not As Bad As Feared

Oakland Raiders center Jake Grove was told by doctors today that his shoulder injury was only a strained muscle and he should be able to play within four weeks. Grove and the Raiders had feared that the injury would require surgery and months of rehabilitation. He was hurt during...

By Mark Maske | August 24, 2006; 10:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

Rice Retires As 49er

Jerry Rice signed a one-day contract with the San Francisco 49ers and retired today as a member of the team with which he played 16 of his 20 NFL seasons. He hasn't played since the 2004 season. The 49ers also plan to honor the league's career receiving leader during...

By Mark Maske | August 24, 2006; 4:32 PM ET | Comments (2)

Good Help (at Center) Is Hard to Find, But Browns Keep Trying

The Cleveland Browns keep trying to find help at center. Today they traded a conditional draft choice next year to the Chicago Bears for Lennie Friedman. Friedman has made 32 starts at center or guard in seven seasons for the Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins and Bears. The Browns lost...

By Mark Maske | August 24, 2006; 4:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

T. Jones Looks Like Front-Runner in Bears' RB Derby

Thomas Jones seems to have pulled ahead of Cedric Benson is the competition for the Chicago Bears' starting tailback job. Jones is back from a hamstring injury and is scheduled to start Friday's exhibition game against the Arizona Cardinals, while Benson remains sidelined by an ailing shoulder. Benson also...

By Mark Maske | August 24, 2006; 1:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

Edwards Could Make Return to Browns' Lineup Saturday

It's possible that wide receiver Braylon Edwards will get his first playing time of this exhibition season when the Cleveland Browns play Saturday at Buffalo. Edwards is working his way back from the torn knee ligament that cut short his rookie season last year....

By Mark Maske | August 24, 2006; 1:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

Grove's Shoulder Injury Puts Further Strain on Raiders' O-Line

The Oakland Raiders are awaiting the results of a second MRI exam performed on the injured left shoulder of starting center Jake Grove. Grove was hurt during Tuesday's practice, and the initial indications were that the injury would require surgery before it was announced that a second MRI would...

By Mark Maske | August 24, 2006; 1:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

No Preseason Games for T.O.?

Terrell Owens's latest setback with his ailing hamstring muscle raises the distinct possibility that the wide receiver won't play in a game for the Dallas Cowboys until their Sept. 10 regular season opener at Jacksonville. Owens has missed the Cowboys' first two exhibition games and is highly unlikely to...

By Mark Maske | August 24, 2006; 10:13 AM ET | Comments (0)

V. Young's Hand Injury Not Serious

The Tennessee Titans got a scare during a practice Wednesday. Prized rookie quarterback Vince Young hurt his right (throwing) hand when it struck defensive end Adam Roberts's helmet on Young's follow-through after a pass. But X-rays showed no breaks and Young was said to be feeling well enough to...

By Mark Maske | August 24, 2006; 10:04 AM ET | Comments (0)

Niners Place Newberry on IR

The San Francisco 49ers placed center Jeremy Newberry on the injured reserve list Wednesday. The former Pro Bowler's persistent knee problems could force him into retirement....

By Mark Maske | August 24, 2006; 9:57 AM ET | Comments (0)

Gramatica Should Find Work

Don't be surprised if Martin Gramatica resurfaces soon with a team dissatisfied with its place-kicking situation. The former Pro Bowler for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was released by the New England Patriots on Wednesday, losing that club's kicking competition to rookie Stephen Gostkowski. But Gramatica performed well. His problem...

By Mark Maske | August 24, 2006; 9:51 AM ET | Comments (0)

Vinatieri Should Be Canton-Bound

Just a thought in the aftermath of the New England Patriots choosing rookie Stephen Gostkowski as their kicker and the Hall of Fame seniors committee settling on its 2007 nominees... There's only one player in the Pro Football Hall of Fame solely for his kicking exploits--Jan Stenerud. But five...

By Mark Maske | August 24, 2006; 9:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

Seniors Committee Nominees for Hall of Fame Chosen

The Hall of Fame's seniors committee selected former Detroit Lions tight end Charlie Sanders and former Cleveland Browns guard Gene Hickerson as its nominees for induction next year. Sanders was selected to seven Pro Bowls in a 10-year career between 1968 and '77. He was the Lions' career leader...

By Mark Maske | August 24, 2006; 9:37 AM ET | Comments (0)

Rams Bidding for S. Davis

The St. Louis Rams made a contract offer to free agent tailback Stephen Davis when he visited the team Wednesday, an NFL source said. But Davis left town without signing with the club. The Rams were the second team visited by Davis this week as the former Pro Bowler...

By Mark Maske | August 24, 2006; 9:14 AM ET | Comments (0)

Pats Release Gramatica

The New England Patriots released Martin Gramatica, the former Pro Bowl kicker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who was attempting to revive his career. Unless the Patriots add a kicker before the season, their kicking job will go to rookie Stephen Gostkowski. The fourth-round draft pick out of Memphis...

By Mark Maske | August 23, 2006; 5:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

Barlow Apologizes to Nolan

New York Jets Coach Eric Mangini told reporters that tailback Kevan Barlow had called Mike Nolan to apologize for comments he made about the San Francisco 49ers coach in today's Contra Costa Times. Barlow, traded from the 49ers to the Jets over the weekend, was sharply critical of Nolan...

By Mark Maske | August 23, 2006; 4:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

T.O. Back On Shelf

Wide receiver Terrell Owens was not scheduled to participate in the Dallas Cowboys' practice this afternoon. He told reporters in Irving, Tex., that he aggravated his ailing left hamstring muscle when he practiced last week. Owens has not played in either of the Cowboys' two preseason games and probably...

By Mark Maske | August 23, 2006; 4:48 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cowboys Won't Keep Henson

Coach Bill Parcells announced today that quarterback Drew Henson will not be on the Dallas Cowboys' roster this season. The team has not yet made a roster move involving Henson, however. Henson once was a promising prospect who might have been a top overall draft choice out of the...

By Mark Maske | August 23, 2006; 4:30 PM ET | Comments (2)

Falcons Sign Veteran DT

The Atlanta Falcons signed free agent defensive tackle Grady Jackson. The nine-year NFL veteran played the last three seasons for the Green Bay Packers. The New York Giants also had expressed recent interest in him....

By Mark Maske | August 23, 2006; 1:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

Benson Sanctioned for Leaving Bears' Sideline

Chicago Bears Coach Lovie Smith told reporters that he disciplined tailback Cedric Benson for leaving the team's sideline during Friday's exhibition game against the San Diego Chargers. Smith did not reveal the details of the punishment. Benson, who was not playing in the game because of a shoulder injury,...

By Mark Maske | August 23, 2006; 1:19 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cowboys Trade LB Shanle to Saints

The Dallas Cowboys today traded linebacker Scott Shanle to the New Orleans Saints for a 2007 draft choice. Shanle spent the last three seasons with the Cowboys....

By Mark Maske | August 23, 2006; 1:11 PM ET | Comments (0)

Holdout Branch Hopeful of Resolution With Pats

Holdout wide receiver Deion Branch told a Boston television station that he expects to patch things up with the New England Patriots. "I'm pretty sure everything's going to work out," Branch said in an interview with WBZ-TV. "Yeah, everything's going to work out." Branch has one season remaining on...

By Mark Maske | August 23, 2006; 1:06 PM ET | Comments (0)

Traded RB Says Nolan Doesn't Know What He's Doing

Tailback Kevan Barlow, who was traded from the San Francisco 49ers to the New York Jets over the weekend, assailed 49ers Coach Mike Nolan in a telephone interview with the Contra Costa Times. "Nolan just doesn't know what he's doing," Barlow told the newspaper. "He's a first-time head coach...

By Mark Maske | August 23, 2006; 12:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

Big Spenders Might Have to Change Their Ways... At Least Slightly

The Washington Redskins and some of the NFL's other free-spending teams might have to change the way they operate now that the sport's new labor deal is in effect. One mostly overlooked aspect of the deal that was ratified in March by the league's franchise owners following negotiations with...

By Mark Maske | August 23, 2006; 11:56 AM ET | Comments (0)

Colts Reportedly Lose Mungro For Season

The Indianapolis Colts reportedly have lost reserve running back James Mungro for the entire season because of a knee injury. The Indianapolis Star reported that Mungro suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a preseason game over the weekend. Mungro was to provide depth behind...

By Mark Maske | August 23, 2006; 11:15 AM ET | Comments (0)

Packers Cut WR Boerigter

The Green Bay Packers released wide receiver Marc Boerigter on Tuesday after he had only one catch in two preseason games. The Packers signed Boerigter as a free agent in the offseason after he totaled 39 receptions in four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs....

By Mark Maske | August 23, 2006; 11:06 AM ET | Comments (0)

Eagles, Bears, Niners, Titans Also Were Lelie Bidders

According to an NFL source, the other bidders for Denver Broncos wide receiver Ashley Lelie--traded Tuesday to the Atlanta Falcons in a three-way deal involving the Washington Redskins, who got Atlanta tailback T.J. Duckett--were the Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans. It was thought in...

By Mark Maske | August 23, 2006; 10:01 AM ET | Comments (0)

Holdout Could Cost Lelie $1 Million

Just-traded wide receiver Ashley Lelie is to have a $600,000 salary this year with his new team, the Atlanta Falcons. But he could owe his former team, the Denver Broncos, about $1 million from the fines that he accumulated for missing minicamp and training-camp practices, plus a portion of...

By Mark Maske | August 23, 2006; 9:40 AM ET | Comments (0)

Lelie Could Make A Difference In Atlanta's Offense

The team that may have benefited the most from Tuesday's three-way trade involving the Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos is the Falcons. Yes, the Redskins addressed a short-term need, getting T.J. Duckett to fill in at tailback if Clinton Portis's partially dislocated shoulder keeps him sidelined in...

By Mark Maske | August 23, 2006; 9:19 AM ET | Comments (0)

Goodell Might Meet With Players

NEW YORK--One of Roger Goodell's first acts as commissioner might be to conduct a series of meetings with NFL players. Paul Tagliabue met with players from the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers soon after becoming commissioner in 1989. He said Monday that he and his successor,...

By Mark Maske | August 22, 2006; 3:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Tagliabue Still Defending Decision on Holmgren

NEW YORK--Paul Tagliabue continues to defend his decision not to fine Mike Holmgren for the Seattle Seahawks coach's criticism of the officiating during his team's Super Bowl loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tagliabue first said at the annual league meeting in March in Orlando, Fla., that he'd had a...

By Mark Maske | August 22, 2006; 3:22 PM ET | Comments (0)

Excuses, Excuses

Cornerback Champ Bailey and linebacker Al Wilson said they overslept at their homes--they weren't together--when they missed the 11:15 p.m. deadline for the Denver Broncos' players to report to their team hotel in Denver on Friday. Both were suspended by Coach Mike Shanahan from Saturday's exhibition game. Buffalo Bills...

By Mark Maske | August 22, 2006; 2:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

Arrington Still Having Knee Problems

Linebacker LaVar Arrington left a New York Giants' practice early Monday because of swelling in his knee. Arrington's surgically repaired right knee has continued to plague him at times this preseason....

By Mark Maske | August 22, 2006; 2:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

S. Davis Visits Eagles But Doesn't Immediately Sign

Free agent tailback Stephen Davis visited the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday but didn't immediately sign with the club. The former Washington Redskins and Carolina Panthers running back still is interested in playing after being released by the Panthers during the offseason....

By Mark Maske | August 22, 2006; 1:55 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bledsoe Quiets Talk of Romo Becoming Starter

Drew Bledsoe probably has quieted the talk of Tony Romo winning the Dallas Cowboys' starting-quarterback job. Speculation was rampant over the last week or so that Coach Bill Parcells perhaps could make Romo the Cowboys' starter. But Bledsoe made his first appearance of the exhibition season Monday night in...

By Mark Maske | August 22, 2006; 1:51 PM ET | Comments (0)

Upshaw Dismisses Gumbel Remarks

NFL Players Association chief Gene Upshaw says he won't be drawn into a public dispute with broadcaster Bryant Gumbel. Upshaw was asked for his reaction to Gumbel's highly critical comments last week on his HBO show. Said Upshaw: "I am not willing to discuss the irresponsible comments of Bryant...

By Mark Maske | August 22, 2006; 1:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

Saints' Future "Still An Open Question"

NEW YORK--The Saints are back in New Orleans this season in the year after being displaced from their home city by Hurricane Katrina. Outgoing NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue has been a strong advocate of giving New Orleans every chance possible to demonstrate that it can support its football team...

By Mark Maske | August 22, 2006; 10:19 AM ET | Comments (0)

Gumbel Could Be Replaced on NFL Network

NEW YORK--League officials are discussing the possibility of replacing Bryant Gumbel as an announcer on the NFL Network because of critical comments that the veteran broadcaster made on HBO, outgoing commissioner Paul Tagliabue said here today. Tagliabue said that he, incoming commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Network President Steve...

By Mark Maske | August 21, 2006; 1:43 PM ET | Comments (0)

Tagliabue Says He'll "Disappear" After Sept. 1 Changeover

NEW YORK--Outgoing NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue said here today that he plans "to disappear" from league operations after being succeeded by Roger Goodell on Sept. 1. Tagliabue, who's winding up a nearly 17-year reign as commissioner, is to remain a senior adviser to the league under the terms of...

By Mark Maske | August 21, 2006; 1:19 PM ET | Comments (0)

Tagliabue to Speak With Reporters Today

NEW YORK--Outgoing NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue is scheduled to meet with a group of reporters here this morning for an informal question-and-answer session as he prepares to leave office. The remarks that Tagliabue makes today probably will be among his final public comments before officially giving way to Roger...

By Mark Maske | August 21, 2006; 7:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

Davis Reportedly to Meet Today With Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles reportedly are scheduled to meet today with free agent running back Stephen Davis. Davis, 32, has rushed for more than 7,800 yards in 10 seasons with the Washington Redskins and Carolina Panthers. A Philadelphia television station first reported that Davis could work out for the Eagles...

By Mark Maske | August 21, 2006; 7:39 AM ET | Comments (0)

Shanahan Sits Bailey, A. Wilson for Curfew Violation

Cornerback Champ Bailey and linebacker Al Wilson are among the Denver Broncos' team captains, but Coach Mike Shanahan suspended them for Saturday night's preseason triumph over the Tennessee Titans in Denver for missing the club's curfew Friday. Bailey and Wilson weren't in uniform and weren't allowed on the sideline...

By Mark Maske | August 21, 2006; 7:18 AM ET | Comments (0)

Palmer On Course to Play Next Monday Night

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer told reporters Sunday that he plans to play next Monday night against the Green Bay Packers. That would be Palmer's first appearance of this exhibition season as he works his way back from the severe knee injury that he suffered during last season's playoffs....

By Mark Maske | August 21, 2006; 7:11 AM ET | Comments (0)

Giants Wondering About O'Hara, Emmons

The New York Giants aren't certain that center Shaun O'Hara will be available for their regular season opener. O'Hara suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee during Thursday's preseason triumph over the Kansas City Chiefs. The Giants also are unsure about the status of linebacker Carlos...

By Mark Maske | August 21, 2006; 6:55 AM ET | Comments (0)

Bledsoe Makes First Start While Some Clamor for Romo

Quarterback Drew Bledsoe is scheduled to make his first appearance of the exhibition season for the Dallas Cowboys tonight in Shreveport, La. Bledsoe is to start the Cowboys' game against the New Orleans Saints and perhaps play as much as an entire half. The start for Bledsoe comes amid...

By Mark Maske | August 21, 2006; 6:39 AM ET | Comments (0)

No QB Controversy in Chicago... At Least Not Yet

There are whispers about a quarterback controversy in Chicago, with Brian Griese having led three touchdown drives in the Bears' two preseason games while Rex Grossman has led none. But Bears Coach Lovie Smith is saying that Grossman remains his starter. The club signed Griese as a free agent...

By Mark Maske | August 20, 2006; 9:44 PM ET | Comments (0)

No T.O. for Cowboys Monday Night

Wide receiver Terrell Owens is not scheduled to play for the Dallas Cowboys in Monday night's exhibition game against the New Orleans Saints in Shreveport, La. Owens resumed practicing last week after missing 14 straight practices because of a sore hamstring muscle, but Coach Bill Parcells decided not to...

By Mark Maske | August 20, 2006; 9:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

Price Absent from Bills' Practice

Wide receiver Peerless Price, who doesn't have a catch in the Buffalo Bills' two preseason games, did not attend the team's practice today. The team described Price as absent, without further clarification. Price signed with the Bills as a free agent in the offseason. His career has been on...

By Mark Maske | August 20, 2006; 9:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Jets Trade for Niners' Barlow

The New York Jets today made their second attempt to complete a much-needed trade for a tailback. They sent a draft pick next year to the San Francisco 49ers for Kevan Barlow. Last week, the Jets traded for Cleveland's Lee Suggs but the deal was voided when Suggs failed...

By Mark Maske | August 20, 2006; 9:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

Pats Sign Seau

The New England Patriots, as expected, signed linebacker Junior Seau today. Seau's retirement lasted four days. He announced Monday in San Diego that he was retiring, but now joins a Patriots team needing help at linebacker because of a series of injuries....

By Mark Maske | August 18, 2006; 8:07 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cowboys' Trade for WR Adams Voided

The Dallas Cowboys' trade for wide receiver Charlie Adams was voided when Adams failed the Cowboys' physical today. He will be returned to the Denver Broncos. The Cowboys had sent a sixth-round draft pick to the Broncos for Adams on Thursday....

By Mark Maske | August 18, 2006; 8:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Buckhalter Comeback Gets Boost Against Ravens

Tailback Correll Buckhalter gave the Philadelphia Eagles a reason to be optimistic about his potential return during Thursday night's exhibition loss in Baltimore. Buckhalter, who has missed three of the past four seasons because of serious knee injuries, played two series with the Eagles' offensive starters and set up...

By Mark Maske | August 18, 2006; 10:17 AM ET | Comments (0)

L. White To Debut for Titans

Rookie tailback LenDale White is scheduled to make his exhibition-season debut for the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night in Denver, his hometown. The USC product was withheld from the Titans' preseason opener after starting a fight during a training-camp practice by allegedly spitting at a teammate, safety Donnie Nickey....

By Mark Maske | August 18, 2006; 10:09 AM ET | Comments (0)

Packers Cut Kicker Cundiff

The Green Bay Packers, in an unexpected move, released kicker Billy Cundiff on Thursday. That leaves Dave Rayner as the only kicker on the team's roster, at least for now. They Packers worked out Paul Edinger earlier in training camp but didn't sign him. Rayner had a stint last...

By Mark Maske | August 18, 2006; 9:53 AM ET | Comments (0)

Shell Throws His Players Out of Practice... All of Them

Art Shell remains an old-school coach in his second go-around with the Oakland Raiders. Shell ended a practice about 50 minutes early Thursday, lecturing his players and then sending them to the locker room because he was disgusted with how the session was going. "You've got to work when...

By Mark Maske | August 18, 2006; 9:37 AM ET | Comments (0)

Stevens To Miss Six Weeks After Knee Surgery Today

Seattle Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens is scheduled to undergo surgery today on his left knee, which he re-injured during a practice Thursday. An MRI exam showed a tear of the meniscus, and Stevens is to be sidelined about six weeks. Stevens underwent surgery on the same knee in...

By Mark Maske | August 18, 2006; 9:19 AM ET | Comments (0)

Kluwe Keeps Vikings' Punting Job

The Minnesota Vikings are confident that punter Chris Kluwe is healthy after he had his rookie season ended by a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. They waived Kluwe's only training-camp competition, fellow punter John Torp, today. Kluwe averaged 44.1 yards per punt, sixth-best in the league,...

By Mark Maske | August 17, 2006; 10:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cowboys Trade for Broncos WR Adams

The Dallas Cowboys today traded a late-round draft pick next year to the Denver Broncos for wide receiver Charlie Adams. Adams had 21 catches for Denver last season as a third-year pro. He gives the Cowboys a bit more depth at a position at which Terrell Owens, Terry Glenn...

By Mark Maske | August 17, 2006; 10:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

Retirement? What Retirement? Seau Could Sign With Pats

Linebacker Junior Seau announced his retirement Monday in San Diego. But tonight he apparently is on the verge of signing with the New England Patriots. The San Diego Chargers, Seau's original NFL team who hosted his retirement announcement, issued a written statement saying that Seau informed team president Dean...

By Mark Maske | August 17, 2006; 10:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

Brady Says He Never Worked Out With Bonds's Trainer

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady told reporters today that he never worked out with Barry Bonds's personal trainer, Greg Anderson. Anderson reportedly told prosecutors in the Bonds case that he had one brief telephone conversation with Brady regarding a potential workout but the two never met or spoke...

By Mark Maske | August 17, 2006; 9:42 PM ET | Comments (1)

Seahawks TE Stevens Hurts Knee In Practice

Seattle Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens hurt his left knee during a practice today. Stevens left the field on a cart and was to undergo an MRI exam later today. He underwent surgery on the same knee in April....

By Mark Maske | August 17, 2006; 4:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

NFL Gets B+ In Racial Diversity Report

The NFL received a grade of B+ in an annual report on racial diversity in sports. Richard Lapchick, who authors the annual study for the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, raised the NFL's grade from the B that it received last year. The...

By Mark Maske | August 17, 2006; 2:13 PM ET | Comments (0)

Pennington Excused From Jets' Practice

Quarterback Chad Pennington missed the New York Jets' practice today, being excused because of what the team called a family illness. It was not clear whether Pennington would rejoin the Jets for Saturday's exhibition game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Pennington appears to be the front-runner in...

By Mark Maske | August 17, 2006; 2:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cowher Says Roethlisberger's Thumb Injury Not Serious

Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Bill Cowher said today that the thumb injury suffered Wednesday by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger isn't serious. Cowher called the injury a ligament strain and said during his news briefing that he will determine Friday whether Roethlisberger will play in the Steelers' exhibition game Saturday against the...

By Mark Maske | August 17, 2006; 1:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bonds's Trainer Reportedly Cites Single Conversation With Brady

The name of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has come up in the Barry Bonds investigation. Bonds's personal trainer, Greg Anderson, reportedly talked about a conversation that he had with the three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback in a June statement that federal prosecutors submitted to a court. The Associated...

By Mark Maske | August 17, 2006; 1:37 PM ET | Comments (0)

Robinson's Arrest Is Another Embarrassment for Vikings

The arrest of wide receiver Koren Robinson on Tuesday night on drunk-driving and felony fleeing from police charges was another embarrassment for the Minnesota Vikings as the franchise attempts to restore its tarnished image in the aftermath of last fall's infamous boat cruise that produced allegations of lewd behavior...

By Mark Maske | August 17, 2006; 1:14 PM ET | Comments (0)

Romo Impressing Many Around League

Early in training camp, Dallas Cowboys Coach Bill Parcells said he would play backup quarterback Tony Romo plenty during the exhibition season. Parcells said he had to get a feel for where Romo was as a player, and he warned reporters not to read anything into his preseason approach...

By Mark Maske | August 17, 2006; 12:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bears Get Back T. Jones But Not Benson

The Chicago Bears have back one of their top tailbacks but remain without the other. Thomas Jones practiced Wednesday after being sidelined since the beginning of training camp by a strained hamstring muscle. Cedric Benson remains on the shelf because of a shoulder injury suffered early in camp....

By Mark Maske | August 17, 2006; 12:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Brooks Doesn't Look Like He's the Answer for the Raiders

Quarterback Aaron Brooks has looked terrible in the Oakland Raiders' first two preseason games, completing only two of nine passes for 28 yards. The Raiders, after releasing Kerry Collins, signed Brooks in the offseason after the former New Orleans starter was cut by the Saints. But Raiders Coach Art...

By Mark Maske | August 17, 2006; 12:38 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bush To Comply With Logo Rule

Reggie Bush's representatives say that the rookie tailback will wear all-black Adidas cleats with no visible logos during future New Orleans Saints games. That will put Bush back in compliance with NFL rules after he was fined a reported $10,000 for wearing Adidas cleats with visible logos during the...

By Mark Maske | August 17, 2006; 12:09 PM ET | Comments (0)

Mascot-Inflicted Injury Worse Than Originally Thought

The initial indication when New Orleans Saints reserve quarterback Adrian McPherson was hurt in a freak halftime collision last weekend in Tennessee was that McPherson would return to practice this week. Instead, McPherson's bruised knee could keep him sidelined as long as two weeks. McPherson was hurt when he...

By Mark Maske | August 17, 2006; 11:57 AM ET | Comments (0)

Baskett Is Unlikely Starter for Eagles

With Todd Pinkston still sidelined by soreness in his Achilles' tendons, the Philadelphia Eagles have been going with an undrafted rookie, Hank Baskett, as their starter at the wide receiver spot opposite Reggie Brown. Baskett was signed by the Minnesota Vikings after the draft but was traded to the...

By Mark Maske | August 17, 2006; 11:51 AM ET | Comments (0)

Former Olympian Bloom Set for Eagles Debut

The world's most famous fifth-round draft pick, Jeremy Bloom, likely will make his debut for the Philadelphia Eagles during tonight's exhibition game at Baltimore. Bloom probably will handle some kick-return duties against the Ravens. He's been sidelined by a hamstring injury, frustrating the former two-time Olympic skier as he...

By Mark Maske | August 17, 2006; 10:06 AM ET | Comments (0)

C. Palmer Won't Play Friday

The Cincinnati Bengals have decided for quarterback Carson Palmer to sit out their second preseason game Friday night at Buffalo. It's possible that Palmer, who's returning from a serious knee injury suffered during last season's playoffs, could play in the club's third exhibition game against the Green Bay Packers...

By Mark Maske | August 17, 2006; 9:55 AM ET | Comments (1)

Jets Remain in RB Market

The New York Jets apparently remain interested in trading for a tailback. Their trade for Cleveland's Lee Suggs fell through when Suggs failed their physical, and Curtis Martin's uncertain football future all but necessitates that General Manager Mike Tannenbaum make another move to fortify the position. One intriguing possibility...

By Mark Maske | August 17, 2006; 8:48 AM ET | Comments (0)

Giants Still Looking for DT Help

The New York Giants have felt uncomfortable about their defensive tackle situation ever since losing Kendrick Clancy to the Arizona Cardinals in free agency. Now they're back to looking for free-agent help, studying the possibility of signing either Grady Jackson or Brentson Buckner. Jackson, a nine-year NFL veteran who...

By Mark Maske | August 17, 2006; 8:36 AM ET | Comments (0)

Leinart Scheduled to Play At Least A Quarter This Weekend

Rookie quarterback Matt Leinart only agreed to a contract with the Arizona Cardinals on Monday and joined the team Tuesday, but Coach Dennis Green announced today that Leinart is scheduled to play at least a quarter in Saturday's exhibition game against the New England Patriots. Starter Kurt Warner is...

By Mark Maske | August 16, 2006; 10:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

Roethlisberger Hurts Thumb

Throughout the Pittsburgh Steelers' training camp and in their first exhibition game, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has seemed unaffected by the injuries that he suffered in a motorcycle accident in June. But the Steelers had a new injury concern about their Super Bowl-winning quarterback today when Roethlisberger left a practice...

By Mark Maske | August 16, 2006; 9:26 PM ET | Comments (0)

T.O. Practices

Wide receiver Terrell Owens participated in the Dallas Cowboys' practice today in Oxnard, Calif. Owens had missed the Cowboys' previous 14 practices because of a sore hamstring muscle....

By Mark Maske | August 16, 2006; 6:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

K. Robinson Charged With One Felony, Several Misdemeanors

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Koren Robinson was charged today in Nicollet County (Minn.) District Court with fleeing from police, a felony, along with two driving while intoxicated charges and three other misdemeanors. A criminal complaint said that Robinson's blood alcohol level was measured at 0.11 percent in a field...

By Mark Maske | August 16, 2006; 5:04 PM ET | Comments (2)

To Play or Not To Play?

Tailback Clinton Portis's complaint about playing in the Washington Redskins' exhibition opener, in which he suffered a partially dislocated shoulder, renewed the debate about the value of the NFL's preseason. Portis thought that he, as an established player, shouldn't have been on the field, being exposed to the risk...

By Mark Maske | August 16, 2006; 1:10 PM ET | Comments (21)

Colts Unsure if They'll Have Stokley at Start of Regular Season

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Brandon Stokley is nursing a sprained ankle and the team is uncertain if he'll be able to return for the Sept. 10 regular season opener in Giants Stadium against the New York Giants. The Colts also have some injury concerns about defensive tackle Corey Simon,...

By Mark Maske | August 16, 2006; 12:51 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cardinals' Offer, Not Green's Tirade, Got Leinart to Camp

There has been some speculation in the aftermath of the Arizona Cardinals' signing of Matt Leinart that Coach Dennis Green's public rebuke of the rookie quarterback and his representatives Monday might have prompted Leinart to agree to his six-year deal that night. Please. Leinart's agent, Tom Condon, is as...

By Mark Maske | August 16, 2006; 12:38 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bears Rookie Getting Look at Safety

An injury to veteran Mike Brown has moved rookie Danieal Manning into the Chicago Bears' starting lineup, at least temporarily, at safety. With Brown sidelined because of an ailing left Achilles' tendon, the Bears have moved Chris Harris from free safety to strong safety and Manning is taking over...

By Mark Maske | August 16, 2006; 12:29 PM ET | Comments (0)

Timetable for Palmer's Return Remains Unclear

Cincinnati Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis said during his news conference Tuesday that he would leave it up to quarterback Carson Palmer to decide when to play in a game as Palmer works his way back from the severe knee injury that he suffered during last season's playoffs. Later Tuesday,...

By Mark Maske | August 16, 2006; 9:41 AM ET | Comments (0)

K. Robinson Reportedly Arrested

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Koren Robinson was arrested Tuesday night for driving while impaired, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported today. Robinson was arrested while returning to the Vikings' training camp in Mankato, Minn., on the day after a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders, the newspaper reported. Robinson...

By Mark Maske | August 16, 2006; 8:56 AM ET | Comments (3)

Browns' Center Woes Worsen

If anyone can figure out a way to field an offense without a center, notify the Cleveland Browns. They probably would consider it at this point. The position wasn't supposed to be a headache for Coach Romeo Crennel after the Browns signed free agent LeCharles Bentley in March to...

By Mark Maske | August 16, 2006; 8:38 AM ET | Comments (0)

Giants Rookie Moss Falling Behind

The New York Giants were ecstatic when they were able to get University of Miami wide receiver Sinorice Moss in the second round of the NFL draft in April. They thought that Moss, the younger brother of Washington Redskins wideout Santana Moss, would bring some much-needed speed and shiftiness...

By Mark Maske | August 16, 2006; 8:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

Leinart Joins Cards, Set To Debut Saturday

Just-signed rookie quarterback Matt Leinart joined the Arizona Cardinals today. He is to make his exhibition-season debut Saturday against the New England Patriots. Leinart agreed to a six-year contract Monday worth as much as $51 million, becoming the final player drafted in April to agree to a deal....

By Mark Maske | August 15, 2006; 10:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Chargers Kick Returner Sproles Out For Season

The San Diego Chargers lost reserve running back and kick returner Darren Sproles for the entire season because of a broken fibula suffered during Saturday's preseason win over the Green Bay Packers. Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson was hospitalized because of a bruised chest suffered during the game but...

By Mark Maske | August 15, 2006; 10:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

Vikings Lose Rookie LB Greenway For Season

The Minnesota Vikings, as they'd feared, lost rookie linebacker Chad Greenway for the entire season because of the knee injury that he suffered during Monday night's exhibition game against the Oakland Raiders. Greenway hurt his left knee during a first-quarter kickoff Monday night and underwent an MRI exam today....

By Mark Maske | August 15, 2006; 5:56 PM ET | Comments (0)

R. Moss Has Upsetting Evening

NFL coaches can't win when it comes to the preseason. Tailback Clinton Portis questioned why he was playing a preseason game when he hurt his shoulder during the Washington Redskins' exhibition opener. Wide receiver Randy Moss, by contrast, threw a sideline tantrum when he was pulled from the Oakland...

By Mark Maske | August 15, 2006; 1:56 PM ET | Comments (4)

Bush Fined for Shoe Brand

New Orleans Saints rookie tailback Reggie Bush was fined by the league for wearing an unauthorized brand of cleats with visible logos during the team's preseason opener. Bush wore Adidas cleats. NFL players are allowed to wear only Nike, Reebok or Under Armour cleats with visible logos during games...

By Mark Maske | August 15, 2006; 1:45 PM ET | Comments (8)

Cowboys Shorthanded at WR

The Dallas Cowboys practiced Monday without their top three wide receivers. Terrell Owens remains sidelined by a sore hamstring muscle. Terry Glenn was on the shelf because of blisters on his feet, and Patrick Crayton has a sprained ankle. Coach Bill Parcells continues to take a low-key approach with...

By Mark Maske | August 15, 2006; 1:45 PM ET | Comments (1)

Losman Leads Bills' QB Derby

J.P. Losman has pulled ahead of Kelly Holcomb and Craig Nall in the Buffalo Bills' starting-quarterback competition. Coach Dick Jauron told reporters late Monday that Losman had the lead based on his play in the club's opening preseason game....

By Mark Maske | August 15, 2006; 1:38 PM ET | Comments (0)

Jets' Trade For Suggs Voided

The trade sending tailback Lee Suggs from the Cleveland Browns to the New York Jets was voided today when Suggs failed his physical with the Jets. The Browns had dealt Suggs to the Jets for safety Derrick Strait on Monday. Strait is to be returned to the Jets. The...

By Mark Maske | August 15, 2006; 1:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

Panthers' Smith Returns to Practice

Wide receiver Steve Smith resumed practicing with the Carolina Panthers today. He'd been sidelined for 2-1/2 weeks by a strained hamstring muscle....

By Mark Maske | August 15, 2006; 1:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

Steelers, Cowher Put Extension Negotiations On Hold

The Pittsburgh Steelers have placed their negotiations with their coach, Bill Cowher, about a contract extension on hold until after the upcoming season, the team announced today. "I remain optimistic and hopeful that we will be able to conclude a contract extension which will keep Bill coaching the Pittsburgh...

By Mark Maske | August 15, 2006; 1:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bengals Release DT Askew

The Cincinnati Bengals released defensive tackle Matthias Askew today. He was one of five Bengals players to be arrested since December. Police reportedly used a stun gun to subdue him last month after he was approached about a parking ticket. He was charged with obstruction and resisting arrest. Askew...

By Mark Maske | August 15, 2006; 12:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

Greenway Could Be Done for Season

The rookie season of Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway, a first-round draft pick in April, might be over before it even started. Greenway is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam today after injuring his left knee during the Vikings' exhibition game Monday night against the Oakland Raiders. It's feared...

By Mark Maske | August 15, 2006; 8:49 AM ET | Comments (0)

Cards, Leinart Agree

The Arizona Cardinals agreed late Monday night to a six-year contract with quarterback Matt Leinart, the 10th overall choice in the NFL draft in April. The deal has a maximum overall value of just less than $51 million, including incentives and escalators, and contains about $14 million in guaranteed...

By Mark Maske | August 15, 2006; 12:15 AM ET | Comments (0)

D. Green Impatient With Leinart Negotiations

Arizona Cardinals Coach Dennis Green sounded off today about rookie quarterback Matt Leinart's absence from training camp because of a contract dispute. "It would be a shame if Matt Leinart is still sitting out there as the only player in the National Football League who is not in the...

By Mark Maske | August 14, 2006; 9:59 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cowher Says Bettis Off Base

Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Bill Cowher said today he spoke to Jerome Bettis about the comments that the former Steelers tailback made during halftime of an NBC broadcast Sunday night. Bettis said he thought this would be Cowher's final season with the Steelers. Cowher said during his news briefing today...

By Mark Maske | August 14, 2006; 9:49 PM ET | Comments (0)

McNabb Calls Eagles "A Super Bowl Team"

BETHLEHEM, Pa.--The Philadelphia Eagles, according to quarterback Donovan McNabb, are back to being one of the NFC's top teams. With wide receiver Terrell Owens gone, McNabb said today he's getting a feeling that the Eagles have returned to being the same sort of balanced, cohesive club that they were...

By Mark Maske | August 14, 2006; 9:33 PM ET | Comments (0)

Eagles' Westbrook Might Sit for Remainder of Preseason

BETHLEHEM, Pa.--Philadelphia Eagles tailback Brian Westbrook might miss the remainder of the exhibition season because of a sprained foot, Coach Andy Reid said today. Westbrook played in the Hall of Fame game to open the preseason but missed the second of the Eagles' five exhibition games. He definitely will...

By Mark Maske | August 14, 2006; 5:22 PM ET | Comments (1)

Casserly Lands With CBS

Charley Casserly, the former general manager of the Houston Texans and Washington Redskins, has joined the CBS studio pregame show. Casserly resigned as the Texans' GM after the NFL draft. He was passed over last week for a job in the league office that went to Atlanta Falcons executive...

By Mark Maske | August 14, 2006; 5:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Jets Trade For Browns' Suggs

The tailback-needy New York Jets obtained Lee Suggs in a trade today with the Cleveland Browns. The Jets sent safety Derrick Strait to the Browns for Suggs, a fourth-year pro out of Virginia Tech. Suggs rushed for 1,048 yards in three seasons in Cleveland, 744 of them in his...

By Mark Maske | August 14, 2006; 4:54 PM ET | Comments (0)

Dolphins Sign Wilkinson

The Miami Dolphins signed defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson to a three-year contract today. Wilkinson, 33, was released by the Detroit Lions in May. Negotiations with the Dolphins intensified in recent days after the sides had spoken, off and on, for months. Wilkinson was the top overall selection in the...

By Mark Maske | August 14, 2006; 4:46 PM ET | Comments (0)

Leinart, Cards Nearing Deal?

The Arizona Cardinals and agent Tom Condon are negotiating again about rookie quarterback Matt Leinart, hoping to complete a deal within the next day or two. Leinart is the last unsigned first-round draft pick league-wide....

By Mark Maske | August 14, 2006; 8:25 AM ET | Comments (4)

Bettis Is Latest to Speculate It's One More and Done For Cowher

Former Pittsburgh Steelers tailback Jerome Bettis added to the conjecture about the future of his former coach when he said during halftime of NBC's broadcast of the Redskins-Bengals game Sunday night that he thinks this will be Bill Cowher's final season with the Steelers. Bettis is not the first...

By Mark Maske | August 14, 2006; 8:19 AM ET | Comments (3)

Bucs Could Be Back in QB Market

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers might be in the market for another quarterback to back up starter Chris Simms. Coach Jon Gruden has experienced reserves Tim Rattay, Luke McCown and Jay Fiedler on the roster but did not rule out the possibility of adding a quarterback when the subject came...

By Mark Maske | August 13, 2006; 9:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

V. Young Has Sprained Ankle

The preseason debut of Tennessee's prized rookie quarterback, Vince Young, was marred by a sprained ankle suffered in the fourth quarter Saturday. Young completed only four of 11 passes and was outshone by New Orleans Saints rookie tailback Reggie Bush, who broke free for a 44-yard run on his...

By Mark Maske | August 13, 2006; 9:31 PM ET | Comments (0)

Saints' Backup QB Loses Collision With Titans' Mascot

Second-year quarterback Adrian McPherson is scheduled to participate in the New Orleans Saints' practice Monday after suffering a minor knee injury in a collision with the Tennessee Titans' mascot on the field during halftime of the teams' exhibition game Saturday night in Nashville. The mascot, T-Rac, was driving a...

By Mark Maske | August 13, 2006; 9:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

C. Palmer's Status for Start of Regular Season Unclear

One of the biggest training-camp storylines league-wide is the significant number of prominent quarterbacks making comebacks from serious injuries. After the first round of exhibition games, it appears that the quarterback most in danger of missing the regular season opener from among that group is Cincinnati's Carson Palmer. Daunte...

By Mark Maske | August 13, 2006; 9:01 PM ET | Comments (1)

Seau Retirement Announcement Set

Linebacker Junior Seau is to announce his retirement Monday at the San Diego Chargers' training facility. Seau, 37, spent three seasons with the Miami Dolphins after 13 seasons with the Chargers. He finished each of the past two seasons on the injured reserve list but might have played again...

By Mark Maske | August 13, 2006; 8:50 PM ET | Comments (0)

C. Brown, Titans At Odds Over Contract

There has been talk in recent days that tailback Chris Brown perhaps could walk out of the Tennessee Titans' training camp to try to spur the team to negotiate a contract extension with him. He's entering the final season of his existing contract, and one of his representatives visited...

By Mark Maske | August 11, 2006; 4:31 PM ET | Comments (0)

Palmer Won't Play for Bengals Against Redskins

Quarterback Carson Palmer is not scheduled to play for the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night against the Washington Redskins. Palmer is working his way back from the severe knee injury that he suffered during last season's playoffs. He has made what the Bengals have called steady progress but there...

By Mark Maske | August 11, 2006; 3:56 PM ET | Comments (0)

Colts Runners Off to Slow Start

It's certainly no time to panic for the Indianapolis Colts, one game into the preseason of what they hope is a Super Bowl season. But the early returns were not promising in their bid to replace departed tailback Edgerrin James with former backup Dominic Rhodes and first-round draft pick...

By Mark Maske | August 11, 2006; 9:52 AM ET | Comments (3)

Winslow Makes Return

How eager was Kellen Winslow for the preseason to get started? The Cleveland Browns' third-year tight end walked to midfield in full uniform two hours before kickoff Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field, while other players were dressed in warmup gear. Winslow had two catches in the Browns' loss...

By Mark Maske | August 11, 2006; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (2)

Browns Losing Another Center With Hallen Retiring

Cleveland Browns center Bob Hallen has decided to retire, an NFL source said this morning. An announcement likely will be made today. Hallen abruptly left the team this week because of what Coach Romeo Crennel said were medical and personal issues. He had been plagued by back problems in...

By Mark Maske | August 11, 2006; 8:17 AM ET | Comments (0)

Chiefs Sign QB Smoker

The Kansas City Chiefs, shorthanded at quarterback because of injuries to Damon Huard and rookie Brodie Croyle, signed Jeff Smoker today. The former Michigan State quarterback has had NFL stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and St. Louis Rams....

By Mark Maske | August 10, 2006; 11:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

Saints Being Cautious With McAllister, Conwell

New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton plans to withhold tailback Deuce McAllister and tight end Ernie Conwell from Saturday night's preseason opener at Tennessee. Both are coming back from knee injuries....

By Mark Maske | August 10, 2006; 11:13 PM ET | Comments (0)

Dolphins' McKinney Has Surgery For Neck Injury

Miami guard Seth McKinney underwent surgery today to have a disk in his neck repaired. He is to be sidelined two to three months....

By Mark Maske | August 10, 2006; 11:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

Holcomb Gets Starting Nod for Bills' Preseason Opener

Coach Dick Jauron named Kelly Holcomb to start the Buffalo Bills' opening exhibition game over J.P. Losman. But Jauron indicated that, with the quarterbacks competing for the starting job, the decision was based on Holcomb's seniority and Losman probably will start the second preseason game. The third competitor in...

By Mark Maske | August 10, 2006; 11:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

Saban Won't Accommodate Wright's Request to be Released or Traded

Second-year defensive tackle Manuel Wright left the Miami Dolphins last week and has asked the team to release or trade him. But Coach Nick Saban indicated that the team has no intention of accommodating that request. Wright reportedly has taken medication for depression and has struggled with weight problems,...

By Mark Maske | August 10, 2006; 10:57 PM ET | Comments (0)

Romo Could Start Exhibition Opener at QB For Cowboys

Coach Bill Parcells indicated today that he might start Tony Romo at quarterback in the Dallas Cowboys' exhibition-season opener Saturday at Seattle. Parcells said earlier in training camp that he would give Romo plenty of playing time during the preseason to evaluate him. Romo is the club's No. 2...

By Mark Maske | August 10, 2006; 10:51 PM ET | Comments (0)

Rookie White Not Making Friends With Titans Defenders

Rookie tailback LenDale White sparked a fracas during the Tennessee Titans' practice today. White got into a confrontation with safety Donnie Nickey after a play and reportedly spit at Nickey. A few plays later, White and Nickey clashed again. Nickey shoved White out of bounds after an incompletion. White...

By Mark Maske | August 10, 2006; 10:45 PM ET | Comments (0)

Surgery For Bruschi

Linebacker Tedy Bruschi underwent surgery Wednesday on the broken wrist that he suffered earlier in the New England Patriots' training camp. Bruschi is the miss the entire preseason but he and the Patriots apparently are hopeful that he can be ready for the start of the regular season....

By Mark Maske | August 10, 2006; 10:21 PM ET | Comments (0)

Courtney Brown Hurt? Hard to Believe

Defensive end Courtney Brown underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and is to miss the Denver Broncos' entire preseason. But club officials are hopeful he'll be back in the lineup for the start of the regular season. The injury-plagued former top overall draft pick played in 14 games for the Broncos...

By Mark Maske | August 10, 2006; 4:37 PM ET | Comments (0)

Culpepper To Play This Weekend

Daunte Culpepper is scheduled to play in the Miami Dolphins' first preseason game Saturday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Culpepper is working his way back from the knee injury that ended his 2005 season, when he was with the Minnesota Vikings. The Dolphins traded for the quarterback during the offseason,...

By Mark Maske | August 10, 2006; 3:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

Roethlisberger To Play in Preseason Opener

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is scheduled to start the Pittsburgh Steelers' exhibition opener Saturday at Arizona. Roethlisberger was injured in a motorcycle accident in June, undergoing seven hours of surgery for facial fractures. He is slated to play one or two series against the Cardinals....

By Mark Maske | August 10, 2006; 3:07 PM ET | Comments (0)

Leinart Contract Talks in Overtime

A person familiar with the contract negotiations between the Arizona Cardinals and rookie quarterback Matt Leinart said this morning that there has been an ongoing dialogue between the two sides and a deal perhaps could be struck by early next week. Leinart, the draft's 10th overall selection in April,...

By Mark Maske | August 10, 2006; 10:35 AM ET | Comments (0)

Bartell Getting Look at Safety

The St. Louis Rams have moved former Howard University standout Ronald Bartell to safety for his second pro season. Bartell, a second-round draft choice last year, played cornerback last season as a rookie. But the Rams now have a logjam at the postion, with first-round draft pick Tye Hill...

By Mark Maske | August 10, 2006; 10:09 AM ET | Comments (0)

L. Stephens Back in League With Bucs

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed tight end Leonard Stephens, a Howard University product who was with the Washington Redskins in 2002, after a morning workout today. Stephens was released by the Detroit Lions in training camp last summer and didn't play in the NFL last season....

By Mark Maske | August 9, 2006; 9:55 PM ET | Comments (0)

Colts to Sit Freeney, Five Other Defensive Starters

The Indianapolis Colts plan to withhold six defensive starters, including end Dwight Freeney, from their preseason opener Thursday night at St. Louis. Freeney has been plagued by a sore shoulder. The Colts also plan to keep defensive tackles Corey Simon and Montae Reagor, cornerback Jason David and safeties Mike...

By Mark Maske | August 9, 2006; 9:49 PM ET | Comments (0)

Owens Doesn't Practice But Works Out

Wide receiver Terrell Owens missed two more Dallas Cowboys' practices today but tested his sore hamstring muscle with a post-practice workout. Owens hasn't practiced since last week and is to miss the Cowboys' preseason opener....

By Mark Maske | August 9, 2006; 9:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

C. Martin Hoping To Play

New York Jets tailback Curtis Martin spoke to reporters today and said he hopes to play this season. But he did not exactly deny reports that he might have to retire. Martin is recovering from knee surgery and has not practiced during training camp. "I'm trying to do my...

By Mark Maske | August 9, 2006; 9:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

Knee Bothering Arrington

Linebacker LaVar Arrington is experiencing soreness in his surgically repaired right knee, leading the New York Giants to curtail his activities. Several of the teams that were interested in Arrington when he was a free agent during the offseason were wary of the condition of his knee. The Giants...

By Mark Maske | August 9, 2006; 9:09 PM ET | Comments (0)

Upshaw Praises Owners' Choice

The smooth working relationship between outgoing commissioner Paul Tagliabue and NFL Players Association chief Gene Upshaw contributed heavily to the game's long-standing labor peace. But Tagliabue's retirement doesn't mean that labor strife is on the horizon. Newly elected commissioner Roger Goodell also gets along well with Upshaw, who praised...

By Mark Maske | August 9, 2006; 4:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bruschi To Miss Preseason with Broken Wrist

The New England Patriots confirmed Tuesday night that linebacker Tedy Bruschi has a broken wrist and will miss all of the team's preseason games. But they left open the possibility of Bruschi being ready to play at the outset of the regular season....

By Mark Maske | August 9, 2006; 1:53 PM ET | Comments (0)

Chargers, Jammer Agree to Extension

Cornerback Quentin Jammer and the San Diego Chargers agreed to a five-year, $30 million contract extension that could keep him with the team through the 2012 season. The deal includes $13.5 million in bonuses. Jammer had two seasons remaining on his existing contract....

By Mark Maske | August 9, 2006; 1:37 PM ET | Comments (1)

Commissioner Vote Was Close

Roger Goodell's election as NFL commissioner never was in serious peril Tuesday, but several people familiar with the owners' voting said late Tuesday night and today that the race was close. According to several sources, Goodell got 15 votes on the first ballot that the owners took Tuesday in...

By Mark Maske | August 9, 2006; 1:19 PM ET | Comments (0)

Parcells Irked at T.O.-Related Questions, Not at T.O.

Dallas Cowboys Coach Bill Parcells got testy during his daily meeting with reporters today in Oxnard, Calif., when he was questioned about wide receiver Terrell Owens's sore hamstring muscle. Owens has been sitting out practices since last week and has declared himself likely out of this weekend's preseason opener....

By Mark Maske | August 8, 2006; 11:57 PM ET | Comments (15)

Browns Have Center Issues

The Cleveland Browns are down to their third center after placing Bob Hallen on their exempt-left squad list today. Coach Romeo Crennel told reporters that Hallen had left the team for personal and medical reasons and might retire. Cleveland lost its starting center, LeCharles Bentley, to a season-ending knee...

By Mark Maske | August 8, 2006; 11:53 PM ET | Comments (0)

Chiefs Still Hoping that Roaf Will Play

The Kansas City Chiefs still haven't placed left tackle Willie Roaf on their reserve-retired list and continue to hold out some hope that he will play this season. Roaf announced just before training camp that he was retiring after saying during the offseason that he would play another season....

By Mark Maske | August 8, 2006; 11:38 PM ET | Comments (0)

Levy Finished Second

NORTHBROOK, Ill.--Washington attorney Gregg Levy, the NFL's chief outside counsel, finished second in the commissioner race. The owners had agreed Monday to keep all five finalists under consideration for at least the first three ballots. After that, outgoing commissioner Paul Tagliabue and his eight-owner search committee had the authority...

By Mark Maske | August 8, 2006; 11:31 PM ET | Comments (0)

Goodell Gets Five-Year Deal

NORTHBROOK, Ill.--Newly elected NFL commissioner Roger Goodell agreed this evening to a five-year contract, a league official said. The official said he did not know the financial terms of the deal. But when the owners discussed contract terms with the finalists earlier this week, they said the new commissioner...

By Mark Maske | August 8, 2006; 11:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Goodell Likely to Take Over Officially Around Sept. 1

NORTHBROOK, Ill.--The exact date on which Roger Goodell will succeed Paul Tagliabue as the NFL commissioner had not been determined as of this evening. The league's 32 franchise owners elected Goodell, the NFL's chief operating officer, to succeed the retiring Tagliabue here today. Goodell said during an evening news...

By Mark Maske | August 8, 2006; 11:29 PM ET | Comments (0)

Voting Under Way

NORTHBROOK, Ill.--The owners have begun voting on a new NFL commissioner. According to a league spokesman, the owners have been through more than one ballot without electing any of the five finalists. Under the voting procedures established by the owners Monday, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and the search committee can...

By Mark Maske | August 8, 2006; 5:56 PM ET | Comments (0)

First Commissioner Vote Should Be Soon

NORTHBROOK, Ill.--The owners have completed their question-and-answer sessions with the five finalists for the NFL commissioner's job. The owners are scheduled to reconvene soon with hopes of taking their first vote on a successor to the retiring Paul Tagliabue....

By Mark Maske | August 8, 2006; 2:55 PM ET | Comments (0)

C. Martin's Football Future Uncertain

There is a growing suspicion around the league that tailback Curtis Martin won't be able to play for the New York Jets for much or all of this season. He is recovering from knee surgery and hasn't been practicing at the Jets' training camp. It's possible that the Jets...

By Mark Maske | August 8, 2006; 12:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

Pats' Harrison Practices

Safety Rodney Harrison participated in the New England Patriots' practice Monday. It was Harrison's first on-field activity since suffering the knee injury that ended his 2005 season. Harrison wore a brace on his left knee. Harrison, defensive end Richard Seymour, defensive tackle Johnathan Sullivan, cornerback Randall Gay and center...

By Mark Maske | August 8, 2006; 8:58 AM ET | Comments (0)

First Commissioner Vote Set for This Afternoon

NORTHBROOK, Ill.--The NFL's 32 team owners will resume the commissioner-selection process this morning. They're scheduled to reconvene at 9 a.m. Eastern time at a hotel in this Chicago suburb. They're to be split into four groups of eight owners each, and the five commissioner finalists will rotate among the...

By Mark Maske | August 8, 2006; 8:28 AM ET | Comments (0)

T.O. Still On Shelf

Wide receiver Terrell Owens remains sidelined by a sore hamstring muscle and likely will miss the Dallas Cowboys' opening preseason game. He also is in the process of having his own medical advisors join him at the Cowboys' training camp in Oxnard, Calif. Owens had a doctor from Atlanta...

By Mark Maske | August 8, 2006; 8:11 AM ET | Comments (0)

Agreement Between Dolphins, Allen Leaves Leinart as Only Unsigned First-Rounder

The Miami Dolphins agreed to a six-year contract Monday with safety Jason Allen, the 16th overall selection in the NFL draft in April. Allen likely will practice with the Dolphins today. The agreement will leave Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart as the only still-unsigned first-round pick league-wide. Negotiations between...

By Mark Maske | August 8, 2006; 7:58 AM ET | Comments (0)

Owners Done with Commish Candidates... For Now

NORTHBROOK, Ill.--The five finalists for the NFL commissioner's job completed their presentations to the 32 team owners here today. The owners reconvened to go over some procedural issues with retiring commissioner Paul Tagliabue, then planned to break for the evening. The candidates are to meet with smaller groups of...

By Mark Maske | August 7, 2006; 5:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Broncos List Rookie as Top RB

The Denver Broncos have promoted Mike Bell, an undrafted rookie from Arizona, to the top of their depth chart at tailback entering the exhibition season. That's a major surprise, with holdovers Ron Dayne and Tatum Bell on the roster. One of them had been projected to ascend to the...

By Mark Maske | August 7, 2006; 4:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

Owners' Meeting Under Way

NORTHBROOK, Ill.--The owners' meeting is under way here, with each of the five finalists for the commissioner's job being given about 45 minutes to address the group. No vote is expected to be taken today. "We're just listening to people," Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis said during a break...

By Mark Maske | August 7, 2006; 4:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

League Hires Anderson Over Casserly

The league announced today that it had hired former Atlanta Falcons executive Ray Anderson as its senior vice president of football operations. He replaces Art Shell, who returned to coaching when he was re-hired by the Oakland Raiders during the offseason. Anderson's responsibilities will include overseeing officiating and NFL...

By Mark Maske | August 7, 2006; 2:51 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bills Release Former Starting LB

Buffalo released linebacker Jeff Posey today. Posey was a starter for the Bills the past three seasons but had lost his spot in the lineup to Angelo Crowell this summer....

By Mark Maske | August 7, 2006; 2:32 PM ET | Comments (0)

F. Mitchell Works Out for Cowboys

Former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell worked out for the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday but wasn't signed. Mitchell was out of the league last season. The former first-round draft choice essentially talked his way out of Philadelphia, angering the Eagles' management with his verbal sparring with the New...

By Mark Maske | August 7, 2006; 2:32 PM ET | Comments (1)

Owners Set to Begin Commissioner-Selection Meeting

NORTHBROOK, Ill.--The NFL's team owners were gathering here today, preparing to begin a set of meetings this afternoon at which they're pledging to select a new commissioner. The five finalists for the job are scheduled to address the owners during a meeting that is to begin around 2 p.m....

By Mark Maske | August 7, 2006; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

Shockey Practices

Tight end Jeremy Shockey resumed practicing with the New York Giants today in Albany, N.Y. He hadn't practiced since suffering a concussion on a hit by safety Will Demps last Monday....

By Mark Maske | August 6, 2006; 9:44 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bears Suddenly Hurting at RB

When training camp began, it looked like the Chicago Bears had too many tailbacks. Now it suddenly appears they don't have enough, with Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson both hurt. Jones has been on the shelf throughout training camp because of a strained hamstring muscle. Benson hurt his shoulder...

By Mark Maske | August 6, 2006; 9:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

Vikings Lose Safety for Season

The Minnesota Vikings lost safety Tank Williams for the entire season because of a fractured kneecap that he suffered during a practice Saturday. He will undergo season-ending surgery. Williams, formerly of the Tennessee Titans, was signed as a free agent in March and was slated to replace the departed...

By Mark Maske | August 6, 2006; 9:19 PM ET | Comments (0)

Dawkins, Eagles Agree to Extension

The Philadelphia Eagles and safety Brian Dawkins agreed to a two-year contract extension today, keeping him from being an unrestricted free agent next spring. Dawkins, 32, is entering his 11th season with the Eagles. He is a five-time Pro Bowl selection....

By Mark Maske | August 6, 2006; 8:59 PM ET | Comments (0)

Did Someone Steal Andy Reid's Headset?

It was only one drive in the opening preseason game. But is it possible that the Philadelphia Eagles' pass-happy coach, Andy Reid, actually is telling the truth this time with his pledges to run the ball more often? Reid has said similar things in the past without following through...

By Mark Maske | August 6, 2006; 8:48 PM ET | Comments (0)

Tackle Woes Still Giving Parcells Headaches

Offensive tackle continues to be a problem position for Dallas Cowboys Coach Bill Parcells. Last season, the Dallas offense suffered because a knee injury to left tackle Flozell Adams forced Torrin Tucker into the lineup as a fill-in starter, and rookie Rob Petitti was the starter by necessity at...

By Mark Maske | August 6, 2006; 8:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

MRI Shows No Serious Damage to Owens's Hamstring

Terrell Owens's sore hamstring muscle was sufficiently worrisome to the Dallas Cowboys that the wide receiver underwent an MRI exam Saturday. The test reportedly showed no serious damage. Owens missed practices Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The Cowboys were off today and are scheduled to resume practicing Monday....

By Mark Maske | August 6, 2006; 8:16 PM ET | Comments (0)

Whitner Signing Leaves Only Two First-Rounders Still Negotiating

Only two first-round draft picks league-wide were left still unsigned when safety Donte Whitner signed with the Buffalo Bills on Saturday. He was the draft's eighth overall selection in April. Whitner joined the Bills on Saturday. The team had today off. He's scheduled to practice Monday. The Bills had...

By Mark Maske | August 6, 2006; 8:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

Eagles, First-Rounder Bunkley Agree

The Philadelphia Eagles reached a contract agreement today with defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley, their first-round draft choice. The Eagles selected Bunkley with the 14th overall pick in April. He agreed to a six-year contract with the Eagles after he and his agent, Gary Wichard, had been attempting to limit...

By Mark Maske | August 4, 2006; 3:00 PM ET | Comments (2)

Chargers Liking What They're Seeing from Rivers

San Diego Chargers officials are praising the training-camp performance of Philip Rivers, saying that the team's new starting quarterback is ahead of where they thought he would be at this point. Rivers inherited the starting job when the Chargers allowed Drew Brees to leave in the offseason via free...

By Mark Maske | August 4, 2006; 8:49 AM ET | Comments (10)

Saints LB Simmons Retires

New Orleans Saints linebacker Anthony Simmons retired. Simmons signed with the Saints in March after sitting out last season because of a wrist injury. But he didn't report to the Saints' training camp because of a personal matter, and the team has placed him on its reserve-retired list. Tommy...

By Mark Maske | August 4, 2006; 8:21 AM ET | Comments (0)

Roethlisberger Ready For Exhibition Opener?

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger indicated today that he believes he'll be able to participate in the Pittsburgh Steelers' opening preseason game. "Everything feels pretty good," he said, according to the Associated Press. "My arm feels good. I feel like it's coming along well. It's better than it has been in...

By Mark Maske | August 3, 2006; 10:56 PM ET | Comments (0)

R. Woods Fails Broncos' Physical

Wide receiver Rashaun Woods won't be joining the Denver Broncos, after all. The former first-round draft choice failed his physical for the team today. The Broncos had claimed Woods off waivers after he'd been released by the San Diego Chargers. He'd been plagued recently by a sore hamstring muscle....

By Mark Maske | August 3, 2006; 10:54 PM ET | Comments (0)

Seahawks Expect to Have D. Jackson Back for Third Preseason Game

Seattle Seahawks Coach Mike Holmgren told reporters today that the team is targeting its third preseason game for the return of wide receiver Darrell Jackson. Jackson missed 10 games last season after undergoing October surgery to have torn cartilage in his right knee repaired, then underwent a second operation...

By Mark Maske | August 3, 2006; 10:52 PM ET | Comments (1)

Branch's Holdout, Injuries on Defense Marring Pats' Camp

Wide receiver Deion Branch remains absent from the New England Patriots' training camp, holding out for a new contract that would pay him more than the $1.045 million he's scheduled to make this year in the final season of a five-year deal. The Patriots' bigger training-camp issues, though, have...

By Mark Maske | August 3, 2006; 10:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

Sore Hamstring Gives T.O. Day Off

Wide receiver Terrell Owens sat out the Dallas Cowboys' practice today because of a sore hamstring muscle. Owens has had recurring groin problems during his career but hasn't had hamstring issues previously. But the injury was not considered serious and it was thought that Owens might return to practice...

By Mark Maske | August 3, 2006; 10:50 PM ET | Comments (0)

Toe Problems Continue to Plague Top Draft Pick

Defensive end Mario Williams, the top overall selection in the NFL draft in April, continues to be plagued by toe problems in his early days with the Houston Texans. Williams missed practice time this week because of an infection in a toe. This problem apparently was not related to...

By Mark Maske | August 3, 2006; 4:16 PM ET | Comments (2)

Cardinals Make Forced Change at RT

The Arizona Cardinals likely will have Fred Wakefield take over at right tackle for the injured Oliver Ross. Ross hurt his right knee during a practice Wednesday and probably will be sidelined at least three weeks because of a possible torn meniscus....

By Mark Maske | August 3, 2006; 4:13 PM ET | Comments (0)

Charge Against S. Holmes Dropped

A disorderly-conduct charge against Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver Santonio Holmes was dropped today in Miami. Holmes was arrested over the Memorial Day weekend in Miami Beach for allegedly blocking traffic and refusing to obey a police officer's order....

By Mark Maske | August 3, 2006; 1:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

Falcons Considering Proehl

The Atlanta Falcons have contacted the representative for veteran wide receiver Ricky Proehl. The Falcons need receiver help after losing Brian Finneran for the entire season because of a knee injury. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall is getting some practice-field work at wideout....

By Mark Maske | August 3, 2006; 12:59 PM ET | Comments (0)

Receiver-Needy Broncos Claim R. Woods off Waivers

The Denver Broncos became the latest NFL team to take a chance on wide receiver Rashaun Woods when they claimed the former first-round draft choice off waivers Wednesday. Woods was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2004, then traded to the San Diego Chargers after two unproductive seasons....

By Mark Maske | August 3, 2006; 12:57 PM ET | Comments (1)

Eagles, Dawkins Talking Extension

The Philadelphia Eagles are discussing a possible contract extension with safety Brian Dawkins, who is entering the final season of his current deal. The Eagles are known for signing their top players to extensions before they reach free agency. But they've been upstaged in that area in recent weeks...

By Mark Maske | August 3, 2006; 12:36 PM ET | Comments (0)

Giants Players Still Taking Their Digs at Coughlin

When the New York Giants' training camp began, tailback Tiki Barber said he thought the team's players and Coach Tom Coughlin were drawing together and taking steps toward having a closer relationship. But if that's true, it hasn't been backed up by recent comments made by tight end Jeremy...

By Mark Maske | August 3, 2006; 10:07 AM ET | Comments (11)

Vikings, Foley Reportedly Settle Grievance

The Minnesota Vikings have reached a settlement with former front-office chief Fran Foley, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. The Vikings hired Foley as their vice president of player personnel in January but fired him in early May, apparently upset with his gruff interactions with others in the organization and...

By Mark Maske | August 3, 2006; 9:39 AM ET | Comments (0)

Mangini Maintains Jets' QB Job Still Up for Grabs

New York Jets Coach Eric Mangini denied a report Wednesday that he already had chosen Chad Pennington to be the club's starting quarterback entering the season. Mangini said the team's starting job remained up for grabs. Still, it appears that Pennington is the clear front-runner. What's not clear is...

By Mark Maske | August 3, 2006; 9:35 AM ET | Comments (0)

Chiefs Haven't Given Up On Return By Roaf

The Kansas City Chiefs continue to have a dialogue with Willie Roaf's agent, Peter Schaffer, hoping that the left tackle will change his mind about retiring. Roaf said during the offseason that he would play another season but reversed course just before training camp and retired. The Chiefs have...

By Mark Maske | August 3, 2006; 8:57 AM ET | Comments (0)

Bucs Extend R. Barber

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed cornerback Ronde Barber to a five-year contract extension worth as much as $24 million. The deal probably ensures that Barber, 31, will finish his career with the team. He was entering the final season of his previous contract. He reached his third career Pro...

By Mark Maske | August 3, 2006; 8:51 AM ET | Comments (0)

Rams Add M. Williams

The St. Louis Rams signed running back Moe Williams, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings. Williams was one of four Vikings players charged with misdemeanors for their conduct during last year's infamous boat cruise that produced allegations of lewd behavior by several players. He was convicted of disorderly conduct in...

By Mark Maske | August 2, 2006; 3:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cowboys Sign R. Williams to Extension

The Dallas Cowboys signed safety Roy Williams to a four-year contract extension running through the 2010 season, keeping him from being an unrestricted free agent next spring. The deal is worth about $24 million, including approximately $11 million in bonus money. That means that Williams, who had one year...

By Mark Maske | August 2, 2006; 3:32 PM ET | Comments (0)

Hali Gets U.S. Citizenship

Kansas City Chiefs rookie defensive end Tamba Hali, a first-round draft choice in April from Penn State, became a U.S. citizen this week. Hali missed Monday's practices to travel to New Jersey, where he took--and passed--his citizenship test. Hali fled his civil-war-torn home country, Liberia, when he was 10...

By Mark Maske | August 2, 2006; 1:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

A. Davis Says He's Healthy

Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis said during a hour-long news conference Tuesday that reports that he is in failing health are inaccurate. Davis said he's "very healthy" despite a quadriceps injury that has left him wearing a brace and using a walker. Davis said the Raiders would listen to...

By Mark Maske | August 2, 2006; 1:01 PM ET | Comments (0)

Chargers, Too, Give Up on Former First-Rounder Woods

A second NFL team has decided that wide receiver Rashaun Woods, a first-round draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 2004 out of Oklahoma State, simply can't play. The San Diego Chargers waived Woods on Tuesday. The Chargers had obtained Woods in a trade with the 49ers in...

By Mark Maske | August 2, 2006; 1:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Jets Set To Go With Pennington as Starter?

According to a published report, the New York Jets already have decided to go with Chad Pennington as their starter at quarterback. The Newark Star-Ledger reported that first-year coach Eric Mangini isn't ready to announce the choice but has picked Pennington, who is working his way back from a...

By Mark Maske | August 2, 2006; 10:06 AM ET | Comments (20)

Chiefs Trade For M. Bennett

Tailback Michael Bennett has landed in another potentially crowded backfield. The Kansas City Chiefs announced this morning that they'd acquired Bennett in a trade with the New Orleans Saints for an undisclosed choice in next year's draft. Bennett, a former Pro Bowler for the Minnesota Vikings, signed with the...

By Mark Maske | August 2, 2006; 10:05 AM ET | Comments (1)

Bruschi Reportedly Could Have Broken Wrist

New England Patriots middle linebacker Tedy Bruschi reportedly might have a broken wrist. The Boston Herald reported that Bruschi will be sidelined at least a week. He will wear a cast or a splint for a week, the Herald reported, then doctors will make a determination about the severity...

By Mark Maske | August 2, 2006; 10:05 AM ET | Comments (0)

Cowboys Talk to L. Kennedy But Don't Sign Him

The Dallas Cowboys apparently still aren't feeling too secure about the state of their offensive line. They brought in retired offensive tackle Lincoln Kennedy for a visit on Tuesday at their training camp in Oxnard, Calif., although they decided against signing him. The Cowboys have the potential to have...

By Mark Maske | August 2, 2006; 10:04 AM ET | Comments (0)

Shockey Has Concussion

New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey suffered a mild concussion during a practice Monday, according to the team. He was hurt on a hit by safety Will Demps....

By Mark Maske | August 1, 2006; 1:59 PM ET | Comments (0)

Brady Back For Pats

Quarterback Tom Brady rejoined the New England Patriots on the practice field today. He'd missed practices Sunday and Monday, without an explanation by the team....

By Mark Maske | August 1, 2006; 1:57 PM ET | Comments (0)

J. Jones Says L.A. a Top Priority for New Commish

OXNARD, Calif. -- During a lengthy conversation as he watched his team's practice here Sunday, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the NFL remains on course toward putting a franchise back in Los Angeles within the next few years. The issue has been put on the back burner while the...

By Mark Maske | August 1, 2006; 1:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

T.O. Drawing Adoring Fans at Cowboys' Camp

OXNARD, Calif. -- Terrell Owens's tenure with the Dallas Cowboys is beginning much like his two-year stay with the Philadelphia Eagles began. He's drawing large, adoring crowds to training camp. When Owens joined the Eagles in 2004, thousands of fans made the approximately hour-long drive from Philadelphia to the team's...

By Mark Maske | August 1, 2006; 7:43 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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