Archive: February 2007

Bengals Release B. Simmons

The Cincinnati Bengals released linebacker Brian Simmons. The former first-round draft choice had two seasons remaining on his contract for salaries totaling $7 million. He'd spent his entire nine-year NFL career in Cincinnati....

By Mark Maske | February 28, 2007; 10:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

Lions Cut Verba

The Detroit Lions released veteran offensive lineman Ross Verba. He spent one season with the Lions after being out of the league in 2005....

By Mark Maske | February 28, 2007; 10:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Texans Release Three, Including E. Moulds

The Houston Texans released wide receiver Eric Moulds. He spent one season with Houston after being obtained in a trade with Buffalo. The Texans also released defensive tackle Seth Payne and guard Zach Weigert....

By Mark Maske | February 28, 2007; 9:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Niners Promote Hostler to Offensive Coordinator

The San Francisco 49ers promoted quarterbacks coach Jim Hostler to offensive coordinator. He replaces Norv Turner, who was hired as head coach of the San Diego Chargers....

By Mark Maske | February 28, 2007; 9:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

Vikings Release B. Johnson

The Minnesota Vikings released quarterback Brad Johnson. He'd lost the starting job to rookie Tarvaris Jackson at the end of the season....

By Mark Maske | February 28, 2007; 9:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cowboys Make McBriar Highest-Paid Punter

The Dallas Cowboys made Pro Bowler Mat McBriar the league's highest-paid punter by signing him to a five-year, $8.5 million contract. The deal keeps him from being a restricted free agent....

By Mark Maske | February 28, 2007; 8:13 PM ET | Comments (0)

Physician Resigns as Head of Concussion Committee

Physician Elliot Pellman has resigned as the head of the NFL's concussion committee. His work on the committee had been criticized by some medical experts in the wake of a series of reports about teams' handling of players with concussions. Pellman is to continue serving on the committee, however....

By Mark Maske | February 28, 2007; 8:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

Teams Have Cap Room to Spend Big When Market Opens

The NFL free agent market that's about to open is lacking in star-caliber players but that probably won't stop teams, spurred by their abundant salary cap space that was provided by the league's labor settlement last spring, from doing some fast and furious spending. The salary cap is jumping...

By Mark Maske | February 28, 2007; 8:11 PM ET | Comments (0)

T. Green on Way Out of Kansas City?

The re-signing of Damon Huard by the Kansas City Chiefs perhaps could lead to fellow quarterback Trent Green being traded or released. The Chiefs now have Huard and youngster Brodie Croyle to vie for the starting job if Green exits. Green is 37 and has a $7.2 million salary...

By Mark Maske | February 28, 2007; 11:55 AM ET | Comments (0)

J. Harrington Likely to be Looking for Work

Quarterback Joey Harrington probably will be looking for a job again soon. The former first-round draft selection by the Detroit Lions spent this past season with the Miami Dolphins but probably will be released so the club can avoid paying him a $1 million roster bonus. That would leave...

By Mark Maske | February 28, 2007; 11:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

Jets Reportedly Set to Release Ramsey if They Can't Trade Him First

The New York Jets reportedly are poised to release quarterback Patrick Ramsey. The New York Daily News reported the Jets plan to trade or release Ramsey before having to pay him a $1.4 million roster bonus Saturday. The former first-round draft pick spent this past season as the Jets'...

By Mark Maske | February 28, 2007; 10:06 AM ET | Comments (0)

Niners Keeping B. Young

Veteran defensive end Bryant Young is sticking around for another season with the San Francisco 49ers. Young and the team have worked out a one-year contract worth around $4 million....

By Mark Maske | February 28, 2007; 10:05 AM ET | Comments (0)

A. Smith Agrees to Extension With Steelers

Defensive end Aaron Smith agreed to a four-year contract extension with the Pittsburgh Steelers that runs through the 2011 season. The deal includes a signing bonus of approximately $8 million and with the one remaining season on his existing contract is worth about $25 million over five years....

By Mark Maske | February 28, 2007; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (0)

Chiefs Keep Huard

The Kansas City Chiefs and quarterback Damon Huard agreed to a three-year contract extension today, keeping him off the unrestricted free agent market. Huard began this past season as the Chiefs' backup to Trent Green but thrived as the starter when Green was sidelined by a concussion. He was...

By Mark Maske | February 27, 2007; 9:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

Favre Undergoes Ankle Surgery

Brett Favre underwent ankle surgery Monday. The Green Bay Packers quarterback had been putting off the procedure for several years and playing with discomfort but finally had bone spurs removed from his left ankle. The Packers expect him to be recovered by a mid-May minicamp....

By Mark Maske | February 27, 2007; 9:36 AM ET | Comments (3)

Saints Keep H. Thomas to Anchor Run Defense

The New Orleans Saints retained a player who had a significant role in their run to the NFC title game this past season by agreeing to a four-year, $12 million contract with defensive tackle Hollis Thomas. Thomas would have been an unrestricted free agent later this week. The Saints...

By Mark Maske | February 27, 2007; 9:26 AM ET | Comments (4)

McGahee to Giants?

The Buffalo Bills are said to be listening to trade offers for tailback Willis McGahee. The former first-round draft pick has one season remaining on his contract and the Bills might look to trade him this offseason and get something in return for him rather than lose him as...

By Mark Maske | February 26, 2007; 9:00 PM ET | Comments (2)

Bills Re-Sign Kelsay

The Buffalo Bills signed Chris Kelsay to a four-year contract extension today. He would after been eligible for unrestricted free agency. Kelsay ranked third on the team with his 5-1/2 sacks this past season....

By Mark Maske | February 26, 2007; 8:54 PM ET | Comments (2)

Packers Keep C. Jenkins Off Restricted Free Agent Market With Four-Year Extension

The Green Bay Packers signed defensive end Cullen Jenkins to a four-year, $16 million contract extension. The deal includes a $6 million signing bonus and keeps Jenkins from being a restricted free agent. Jenkins, the younger brother of Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, originally entered the league as...

By Mark Maske | February 26, 2007; 8:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Rams Releasing Timmerman to Get Younger on Offensive Line

The St. Louis Rams informed former Pro Bowl guard Adam Timmerman he was being released. The Rams plan for Richie Incognito to take over for Timmerman as the starter at right guard....

By Mark Maske | February 26, 2007; 8:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

Feeley Deal A Sign Garcia Is Leaving Philly?

It's looking increasingly unlikely that quarterback Jeff Garcia will re-sign with the Philadelphia Eagles. Garcia, the former Pro Bowler for the San Francisco 49ers, led the Eagles to the playoffs this past season after taking over for the injured Donovan McNabb. But Coach Andy Reid has said that McNabb...

By Mark Maske | February 26, 2007; 8:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

Owens to Have Second Surgery on Injured Finger

Terrell Owens is scheduled to have a second surgery Thursday on his injured right ring finger and is not expected to be able to participate in pass-catching drills with the Dallas Cowboys before training camp. Owens suffered a torn tendon in the finger just before Thanksgiving but the wide...

By Mark Maske | February 26, 2007; 3:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cowboys Reportedly Hiring Chargers Secondary Coach as Defensive Coordinator

The Dallas Cowboys reportedly are hiring San Diego Chargers defensive backs coach Brian Stewart as their defensive coordinator. The Dallas Morning News reported the move could be announced as soon as today. Stewart would be reunited with the Cowboys' newly hired head coach, Wade Phillips, formerly the defensive coordinator...

By Mark Maske | February 26, 2007; 1:04 PM ET | Comments (2)

Broncos Mourning Another Player's Death

It has been an offseason of unspeakable anguish for the Denver Broncos. Team officials spent Sunday attempting to help and support the family of Damien Nash, a reserve running back who collapsed and died Saturday evening after hosting a charity basketball game at his former high school in a...

By Mark Maske | February 26, 2007; 9:52 AM ET | Comments (1)

Goodell, Upshaw Meet with Players About Off-Field Behavior Issues

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Players Association chief Gene Upshaw met with players this week in Indianapolis at the scouting combine to discuss the off-field misbehavior of players this past season, as they'd promised at the Super Bowl they would do. Goodell said at the Super Bowl it was...

By Mark Maske | February 23, 2007; 3:10 PM ET | Comments (2)

L. Smith Says He Expects to Complete Extension with Bears

Chicago Bears Coach Lovie Smith told reporters today in Indianapolis he expects to complete a contract extension with the team before his current deal expires after next season. Smith just led the Bears to the Super Bowl in a season in which he was the lowest-paid head coach in...

By Mark Maske | February 23, 2007; 3:00 PM ET | Comments (5)

Browns Win Coin Flip for Third Pick in Draft

Who says the Cleveland Browns have only bad luck? The Browns won a coin toss with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today for the third overall selection in the NFL draft in April. The Buccaneers will pick fourth. The two clubs had identical 4-12 records and their opponents had the...

By Mark Maske | February 23, 2007; 2:53 PM ET | Comments (0)

C. Dillon Tells Newspaper He's Retiring

New England Patriots tailback Corey Dillon told the Boston Globe he plans to retire. Dillon, 32, ran for 812 yards this past season and ranks 14th on the NFL's career rushing list with 11,241 rushing yards....

By Mark Maske | February 23, 2007; 7:29 AM ET | Comments (1)

Winslow's Knee Surgery More Extensive Than Originally Thought

The knee surgery that Cleveland Browns tight end Kellen Winslow underwent on Jan. 30 apparently was more extensive than was believed at the time. According to several reports, Winslow underwent microfracture surgery on his knee. Initially, it was thought he merely was having damaged cartilage repaired and scar tissue...

By Mark Maske | February 23, 2007; 7:25 AM ET | Comments (28)

Jaguars Reportedly Going Back to Leftwich as Starter

Jacksonville Jaguars Coach Jack Del Rio told the Florida Times-Union that Byron Leftwich, not David Garrard, will be the team's starting quarterback entering next season. Leftwich was slowed by an ankle injury this past season and ended up on the injured reserve list. Garrard took over as the starter...

By Mark Maske | February 22, 2007; 9:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

Seahawks Tag Kicker J. Brown

The Seattle Seahawks placed their franchise player tag on kicker Josh Brown today. Brown, if he retains the franchise tag, will play next season on a one-year contract worth $2.078 million. He tied a single-season NFL record with four game-winning field goals in the final minute of regulation this...

By Mark Maske | February 22, 2007; 9:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

Raiders Let A. Brooks Go

The Oakland Raiders announced today they are declining to pick up an option in the contract of quarterback Aaron Brooks, making him a free agent. The move reportedly keeps the team from having to pay Brooks a $5 million bonus. The Raiders went winless in Brooks's eight starts this...

By Mark Maske | February 22, 2007; 5:07 PM ET | Comments (0)

Lions Tag Redding as Franchise Deadline Looms

Today is the final day for NFL teams to apply the franchise tag to players. The Detroit Lions put their franchise player tag on defensive tackle Cory Redding on Wednesday. He'll have a salary of $6.775 million next season if he plays under the franchise designation. Redding was the...

By Mark Maske | February 22, 2007; 9:40 AM ET | Comments (0)

Eagles' Contingent in Indy Is Minus Reid

Philadelphia Eagles officials, like those from other NFL teams, are in Indianapolis for the scouting combine. But the Eagles' contingent is minus Coach Andy Reid, who's on a leave of absence to take care of family issues. That's particularly problematic for the Eagles since Reid has the final say...

By Mark Maske | February 22, 2007; 9:36 AM ET | Comments (0)

Dolphins Re-Sign V. Holliday

The Miami Dolphins re-signed defensive tackle Vonnie Holliday to a four-year contract. The deal is worth $20 million, including $10 million in bonuses, and keeps Holliday from being an unrestricted free agent....

By Mark Maske | February 21, 2007; 10:13 PM ET | Comments (0)

P. Manning Reportedly Restructuring Contract to Help Colts Create Salary Cap Space

Super Bowl most valuable player Peyton Manning reportedly is reworking his contract to clear salary cap space for the Indianapolis Colts. According to the Associated Press, Manning and the team have agreed to convert a $10 million roster bonus into a signing bonus in a maneuver that creates nearly...

By Mark Maske | February 21, 2007; 1:51 PM ET | Comments (0)

Chairman of Diversity Group Says He's Satisfied with Hiring Cycle

The hiring cycle for NFL head coaches presumably is over at last. Seven new head coaches have been hired league-wide this offseason. Only one, the Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Tomlin, is a minority. That makes three minority coaches hired among 17 head coaching vacancies in the league the past two...

By Mark Maske | February 21, 2007; 9:56 AM ET | Comments (1)

L. Bentley Facing Another Surgery for Career-Threatening Knee Injury

Center LeCharles Bentley was one of the most coveted players on the NFL's unrestricted free agent market last offseason. He left the New Orleans Saints and signed a six-year, $36 million contract with the Cleveland Browns. But he still hasn't played for the Browns and it's possible his career...

By Mark Maske | February 20, 2007; 9:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Saints Inform C. Grant He's Being Tagged

The New Orleans Saints have informed defensive end Charles Grant they're giving him the team's franchise player tag. Grant would have a salary of $8.644 million next season if he retains the franchise designation. He is the fifth player league-wide to be named franchise player this offseason. The deadline...

By Mark Maske | February 20, 2007; 9:32 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bears Promote Babich to Defensive Coordinator

The Chicago Bears elevated Bob Babich from linebackers coach to defensive coordinator. The move comes a day after the team announced it would not be renewing the contract of defensive coordinator Ron Rivera. Rivera took a job in San Diego as the Chargers' linebackers coach....

By Mark Maske | February 20, 2007; 9:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cowboys Officially Give Garrett Offensive Coordinator Title

The Dallas Cowboys officially named Jason Garrett their offensive coordinator today. Owner Jerry Jones had hired Garrett before he hired Wade Phillips as the club's head coach. Jones also considered Garrett as a head coach candidate....

By Mark Maske | February 20, 2007; 9:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

Chargers Keep S. Phillips Off Restricted Free Agent Market

The San Diego Chargers signed linebacker Shaun Phillips to a six-year contract today. He would have been a restricted free agent. Phillips had 11-1/2 sacks this past season. He was elevated to the starting lineup because Steve Foley missed the season after being shot by an off-duty police officer...

By Mark Maske | February 20, 2007; 9:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cowboys Re-Sign Gurode

The Dallas Cowboys signed center Andre Gurode to a six-year contract extension today. The deal keeps Gurode from being an unrestricted free agent next month. Gurode was the starter at center on an improved Cowboys' offensive line this past season but received the most attention when he was kicked...

By Mark Maske | February 20, 2007; 9:11 PM ET | Comments (0)

Chargers, Bears Show How Crazy Things Are for NFL Coaches

So, let's get this straight: A team that went 14-2 during the regular season, the San Diego Chargers, has changed head coaches. A team that reached the Super Bowl on the strength of its defense, the Chicago Bears, is changing defensive coordinators. There are good livings to be made...

By Mark Maske | February 20, 2007; 3:51 PM ET | Comments (0)

Saints Prepared to Put Franchise Tag on C. Grant

The New Orleans Saints probably will use their franchise player tag on defensive end Charles Grant to keep him off the unrestricted free agent market. Grant will become the third defensive end league-wide to get the franchise tag following Justin Smith in Cincinnati and Dwight Freeney in Indianapolis....

By Mark Maske | February 20, 2007; 3:48 PM ET | Comments (0)

Strange Happenings in Chicago

What, exactly, are the Chicago Bears doing? Do the people running the show inside Halas Hall realize the team just reached the Super Bowl and, if not for the erratic play of quarterback Rex Grossman, might have won it? This is a time for stability. Instead, the team's upper...

By Mark Maske | February 20, 2007; 9:37 AM ET | Comments (9)

Dungy Reiterates He's Staying

Indianapolis Colts Coach Tony Dungy reiterated to reporters Monday that he will remain with the team next season. Dungy first said on the day after the Super Bowl that he would return. Last year, he took some time after the Colts' season-ending defeat in the AFC playoffs before deciding...

By Mark Maske | February 20, 2007; 9:26 AM ET | Comments (0)

Panthers Release Wallace

The Carolina Panthers released reserve defensive end Al Wallace to clear salary cap space Monday. The move saves the Panthers about $1 million in salary cap room....

By Mark Maske | February 20, 2007; 9:22 AM ET | Comments (0)

Rivera Headed to Chargers as Linebackers Coach

Ron Rivera is headed to the San Diego Chargers as their linebackers coach, an NFL source said tonight. Rivera was told by the Chicago Bears they weren't renewing his contract as defensive coordinator. Now he'll work for Chargers Coach Norv Turner and defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, who were hired...

By Mark Maske | February 19, 2007; 10:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

Colts Tag Freeney

The Indianapolis Colts placed their franchise player tag on defensive end Dwight Freeney today. The Colts all but eliminate the chance of losing Freeney as a free agent and will have to pay him a salary of $8.644 million next season if he retains the franchise designation. Freeney is...

By Mark Maske | February 19, 2007; 10:09 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bears Dump Rivera

The Chicago Bears announced today they won't retain Ron Rivera as their defensive coordinator. Rivera interviewed for six of the seven head coaching vacancies in the league this offseason but now, stunningly, is out of a job in Chicago. "I don't see it as a firing or anything like...

By Mark Maske | February 19, 2007; 10:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

Turner Hiring Announced by Chargers

Continuity was the buzzword as the San Diego Chargers introduced Norv Turner as their new coach during an afternoon news conference at their headquarters. Hiring Turner as the replacement for fired coach Marty Schottenheimer and bringing Ted Cottrell aboard to replace departed defensive coordinator Wade Phillips means the Chargers...

By Mark Maske | February 19, 2007; 5:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Turner Hiring in San Diego Almost Done

Norv Turner's hiring in San Diego is all but done. An NFL source said the Chargers have settled on Turner and the move will become official as long as there are no snags in contract negotiations. Turner will succeed Marty Schottenheimer as the team's head coach and the Chargers...

By Mark Maske | February 19, 2007; 11:32 AM ET | Comments (0)

Chargers Said to be Focusing on Turner

The San Diego Chargers seem to be focusing on San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Norv Turner as their next head coach, an NFL source said. Turner has had failed head coaching stints with the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders. But he nearly got the Dallas Cowboys' job before being...

By Mark Maske | February 19, 2007; 10:34 AM ET | Comments (0)

Chargers' Coaching Choice Near?

New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs interviewed Sunday for the San Diego Chargers' head coaching job. Gibbs was the sixth candidate to interview for the job in a five-day span beginning Wednesday. The Chargers also interviewed San Francisco 49ers linebackers coach Mike Singletary, Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex...

By Mark Maske | February 19, 2007; 10:05 AM ET | Comments (0)

Parcells Reportedly Headed to ESPN

Recently retired Dallas Cowboys coach Bill Parcells reportedly will work for ESPN as an NFL analyst next season. ESPN is not renewing the contract of former Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin....

By Mark Maske | February 19, 2007; 10:01 AM ET | Comments (0)

R. Bush Sprains Ankle Playing Basketball

The offseason has been unkind so far to the New Orleans Saints' star players. Tailback Reggie Bush suffered a sprained ankle playing in the celebrity game Friday at the NBA's all-star weekend. That comes after quarterback Drew Brees hurt his non-throwing elbow during the Pro Bowl....

By Mark Maske | February 17, 2007; 10:42 PM ET | Comments (0)

Chargers Interview Rivera

Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera interviewed for the San Diego Chargers' head coaching job Friday. He was the fourth candidate to interview for the job following San Francisco 49ers linebackers coach Mike Singletary, Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan and 49ers offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Singletary was interviewed...

By Mark Maske | February 17, 2007; 12:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

Bears' Briggs, Patriots' Samuel Get Franchise Player Tags

Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs and New England Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel were given franchise player tags by their teams Friday. Briggs, if he remains the Bears' franchise player, would have a salary of $7.206 million next season. Samuel would have a $7.79 million salary if he remains the...

By Mark Maske | February 17, 2007; 12:46 AM ET | Comments (0)

Broncos Reportedly Exercise Option in J. Walker's Contract

The Denver Broncos reportedly have exercised an option in Javon Walker's contract to retain the wide receiver for the next five seasons. The team exercised the option in recent days, the Denver Post reported, and owes Walker $10.7 million. The option bonus was written into the six-year, $43 million...

By Mark Maske | February 16, 2007; 9:49 AM ET | Comments (0)

Lions, Rogers Scheduled for May 11 Arbitration

The Detroit Lions and their former wide receiver, Charles Rogers, have been scheduled to appear before an arbitrator on May 11. The Lions are attempting to force Rogers to return $10.1 million of a $14.4 million signing bonus because he violated the NFL's substance abuse policy. The club released...

By Mark Maske | February 16, 2007; 9:36 AM ET | Comments (0)

Bengals Name J. Smith Franchise Player

The Cincinnati Bengals placed their franchise player tag on defensive end Justin Smith to limit his mobility on the unrestricted free agent market next month. Any team signing Smith would owe the Bengals two first-round draft picks as compensation. If Smith plays for the Bengals under the franchise player...

By Mark Maske | February 15, 2007; 9:01 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cowher Joins CBS as Studio Analyst

Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher has joined CBS as an NFL studio analyst. Cowher resigned from the Steelers last month after 15 seasons as their coach. He's not ruling out a future return to coaching and his TV work will enable him to keep tabs on what's happening...

By Mark Maske | February 15, 2007; 4:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

Chargers on One-Per-Day Interviewing Schedule

The San Diego Chargers have their interviewing lineup set for the next few days. After Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan interviews today, it's Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera on Friday and San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Norv Turner on Saturday. After that comes Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator...

By Mark Maske | February 15, 2007; 8:58 AM ET | Comments (8)

Raiders Reach Deals With Two Key Defenders

The Oakland Raiders reached contract agreements with linebacker Robert Thomas and defensive tackle Terdell Sands to keep them from being unrestricted free agents next month. According to several reports, Thomas's deal is worth $6 million over three years and includes a $1.5 million signing bonus and Sands's contract is...

By Mark Maske | February 15, 2007; 8:55 AM ET | Comments (0)

Singletary Interviews With Chargers

San Francisco 49ers linebackers coach Mike Singletary interviewed for the San Diego Chargers' head coaching job today. He became the first candidate interviewed by the Chargers since they fired Marty Schottenheimer on Monday. It was Singletary's third head coaching interview of this hiring cycle. He was passed over in...

By Mark Maske | February 14, 2007; 9:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

Texans Listening to Trade Offers for Carr

Texans General Manager Rick Smith told the Houston Chronicle that the club has received trade inquiries from other teams regarding quarterback David Carr. Smith told the newspaper he would not rule out trading any player if the move would improve the team. The former top overall draft pick has...

By Mark Maske | February 14, 2007; 9:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Lions' Bly Has Permission to Seek Trade

The Detroit Lions have granted cornerback Dre Bly and his agent, Kennard McGuire, permission to seek a trade. The former Pro Bowl selection is to count more than $5 million against the Lions' salary cap next season and is ill-suited to the defensive system the team installed last season...

By Mark Maske | February 14, 2007; 8:57 PM ET | Comments (0)

Carroll Keeping Quiet on Chargers' Search

USC Coach Pete Carroll is staying mum about his possible involvement in the San Diego Chargers' head coaching search. Carroll issued a statement through the school Tuesday indicating he had nothing to say on the subject and declined to comment when reporters approached him on campus. Carroll has rejected...

By Mark Maske | February 14, 2007; 12:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

Singletary Up First In Chargers' Interviews

San Francisco 49ers linebackers coach Mike Singletary is to be the first candidate to interview for the San Diego Chargers' head coaching job. He's scheduled to meet with Chargers officials early today. Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera also is to be in San Diego today to interview for...

By Mark Maske | February 14, 2007; 9:05 AM ET | Comments (0)

Rivera, Turner, Mora to Interview with Chargers

The San Diego Chargers are lining up candidates as possible replacements for fired coach Marty Schottenheimer. According to an NFL source, the Chargers plan to interview Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Norv Turner and Seattle Seahawks defensive backs coach Jim Mora in the...

By Mark Maske | February 13, 2007; 9:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

Giants Place Barber on Retired List, Cut Morton

The New York Giants placed tailback Tiki Barber on their reserve-retired list today. Barber filed his official retirement papers with the league Monday. The Giants also released kick returner Chad Morton today, the fourth player they'd cut in a two-day span. They released left tackle Luke Petitgout and linebackers...

By Mark Maske | February 13, 2007; 9:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

Schottenheimer Wanted to Interview Brother as Defensive Coordinator Candidate

The thing that convinced San Diego Chargers President Dean Spanos to fire Marty Schottenheimer as the team's coach Monday was Schottenheimer's desire to interview his brother Kurt to be the club's defensive coordinator, an NFL source said today. According to the source, Spanos already was upset that Marty Schottenheimer...

By Mark Maske | February 13, 2007; 9:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

More Than Ever, Coaches Are Hired to be Fired

Who would've thought that one year after 10 NFL teams changed head coaches, seven more would do so this offseason? It's not that, individually, any of this offseason's coaching moves was so surprising. Arizona's Dennis Green clearly was in danger of being fired after the way the Cardinals played...

By Mark Maske | February 13, 2007; 11:45 AM ET | Comments (0)

Spanos Had Better Have a Coaching Ace Up His Sleeve

It wasn't so much that the firing of Marty Schottenheimer by the San Diego Chargers on Monday night was shocking. Yes, he coached them to a 14-2 record this past regular season. But they lost in the second round of the AFC playoffs. That dropped Schottenheimer's career playoff record...

By Mark Maske | February 13, 2007; 10:17 AM ET | Comments (0)

Schottenheimer Says He Respects Spanos's Decision

Marty Schottenheimer told the San Diego Union-Tribune he was "doing fine" after being fired Monday night by Chargers President Dean Spanos. Spanos cited the "dysfunctional situation" created by a rift between Schottenheimer and the team's general manager, A.J. Smith. "I think it's hard enough in our business when everybody...

By Mark Maske | February 13, 2007; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Chargers to Try to Hire Carroll?

Some executives around the league are saying late tonight they're convinced that the San Diego Chargers, after firing Marty Schottenheimer as their coach, will make a serious run at USC Coach Pete Carroll. Carroll has resisted all NFL overtures in recent years. But he did interview with the Miami...

By Mark Maske | February 12, 2007; 11:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

Chargers Fire Schottenheimer

The San Diego Chargers fired Marty Schottenheimer as their coach tonight, only weeks after losing in the second round of the AFC playoffs but then announcing that they would retain Schottenheimer. Club president Dean Spanos announced the decision and cited the ongoing feud between Schottenheimer and General Manager A.J....

By Mark Maske | February 12, 2007; 9:59 PM ET | Comments (0)

Reid to Remain Active in Eagles' Decisions, Just Not in Person

Eagles President Joe Banner said during a news conference today in Philadelphia that Coach Andy Reid will continue to have the final say over the team's player-related decisions even while he's on a leave of absence for approximately a month. Reid is taking the leave to take care of...

By Mark Maske | February 12, 2007; 9:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

T. Barber Reportedly Accepting NBC Offer

Retiring New York Giants tailback Tiki Barber reportedly has decided to accept a job at NBC. The network is to announce the move Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. Barber had been weighing competing offers from NBC and ABC-ESPN. At NBC, he reportedly will have roles on the "Today" show...

By Mark Maske | February 12, 2007; 8:55 PM ET | Comments (0)

Injuries, Salaries Key Considerations as Giants Release Arrington, Emmons and Petitgout

Injuries and money were key factors in the New York Giants' decisions to release linebackers LaVar Arrington and Carlos Emmons and left tackle Luke Petitgout today. All three players were hurt this past season. Arrington had his season cut short by a torn Achilles' tendon. Emmons had an injured...

By Mark Maske | February 12, 2007; 8:50 PM ET | Comments (0)

Titans Hire Seahawks' Reinfeldt as GM

The Tennessee Titans hired Seattle Seahawks executive Mike Reinfeldt today as their general manager. He replaces Floyd Reese, who resigned last month. Reinfeldt is a former player for the Houston Oilers and his salary cap and contract-negotiating expertise played a key role in the construction of the Seahawks team...

By Mark Maske | February 12, 2007; 5:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Eagles' Reid Taking Approximately One-Month Leave of Absence

The Philadelphia Eagles announced today that Coach Andy Reid is taking a leave of absence to take care of family matters. The leave is to last until around mid-March, according to the Eagles. Two of Reid's adult sons have had legal issues in recent weeks that have included weapons...

By Mark Maske | February 12, 2007; 11:58 AM ET | Comments (0)

Teams Mulling Franchise Player Decisions

Teams have until Feb. 22 to use their franchise or transition player tags on players to limit their mobility on the free agent market, which is scheduled to open on March 2. Among the players who are candidates for franchise tags are New England Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel, Chicago...

By Mark Maske | February 12, 2007; 8:25 AM ET | Comments (2)

Players Should Say Thanks But No Thanks to Pro Bowl Invitations

Why, exactly, is the Pro Bowl played? The game is useless and senseless. No one cares. What matters is being selected to the Pro Bowl, not playing in it. And when someone actually gets hurt in the game--as New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees did Saturday, suffering a dislocated...

By Mark Maske | February 11, 2007; 8:34 PM ET | Comments (9)

Saints Keep Shanle Off Free Agent Market

The New Orleans Saints kept linebacker Scott Shanle off the unrestricted free agent market next month by agreeing to a four-year contract extension with him Friday. The Saints obtained Shanle in a trade with the Dallas Cowboys last summer and he was one of the team's many pleasant surprises...

By Mark Maske | February 11, 2007; 8:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

Schottenheimer Losing Assistants Left and Right

The San Diego Chargers failed to win a playoff game after their 14-2 regular season, but they had quite a coaching staff. Since the Chargers' season ended, Coach Marty Schottenheimer has lost both his coordinators to head coaching jobs and two of his position coaches to coordinator jobs. Defensive...

By Mark Maske | February 9, 2007; 9:12 AM ET | Comments (0)

T. Johnson Pleads Guilty to Probation Violation

Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tank Johnson pleaded guilty Thursday to violating his probation on a gun charge. Johnson was left on home confinement until his mid-March sentencing but was told he's allowed to attend Bears' practices. He'd been placed on that confinement after being arrested in December on gun...

By Mark Maske | February 9, 2007; 9:04 AM ET | Comments (0)

Colts' Frazier Replaces Tomlin as Vikings' Defensive Boss

The Minnesota Vikings hired Indianapolis Colts defensive backs coach Leslie Frazier as their defensive coordinator. Frazier replaces Mike Tomlin, who left the Vikings to become the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers....

By Mark Maske | February 9, 2007; 8:54 AM ET | Comments (0)

Phillips Vows to Work With Jones, Owens as Cowboys' Coach

Wade Phillips said all the right things about Jerry Jones and Terrell Owens in his introductory news conference this evening in Irving, Tex. Phillips, after being selected by Jones to be the Dallas Cowboys' head coach, said he will work with Jones to assemble his staff. That's a good...

By Mark Maske | February 8, 2007; 9:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cowboys Select Phillips as Coach

The Dallas Cowboys have selected San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator Wade Phillips as their head coach, an NFL source said this morning. Phillips's selection could be announced today, the source said. He would replace Bill Parcells, who announced his retirement from coaching after four seasons with the Cowboys in...

By Mark Maske | February 8, 2007; 8:39 AM ET | Comments (28)

Kiel Pleads Guilty to Drug Charges

San Diego Chargers safety Terrence Kiel pleaded guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor and felony drug charges as part of a deal with prosecutors. Kiel was ordered to undergo counseling for gambling, which prosecutors maintained caused his financial problems, and perform volunteer work. The felony will be dismissed and he likely...

By Mark Maske | February 8, 2007; 8:18 AM ET | Comments (0)

Tomlinson, Belichick Co-Existing Peacefully at Pro Bowl

San Diego Chargers tailback LaDainian Tomlinson and New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick are said to be interacting peacefully this week at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. Tomlinson criticized the on-field celebration by some Patriots players after they beat the Chargers in an AFC semifinal last month, saying that...

By Mark Maske | February 8, 2007; 1:57 AM ET | Comments (0)

Cowboys' Coaching Choice Should Come Soon

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones apparently completed the interviewing process for his team's head coaching vacancy by interviewing Jim Caldwell, the Indianapolis Colts' assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach, on Wednesday in Irving, Tex. Caldwell became the 10th candidate interviewed by the Cowboys and Jones likely will hire a...

By Mark Maske | February 8, 2007; 1:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

Rivera Makes It to Cowboys Interview

Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera interviewed, as scheduled, for the Dallas Cowboys' head coaching vacancy Tuesday. Rivera was delayed in Chicago by bad weather but made it to Irving, Tex., and met with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for about six hours. Jones is to interview Indianapolis Colts assistant...

By Mark Maske | February 7, 2007; 7:50 AM ET | Comments (7)

Bengals Re-Sign D. Johnson

The Cincinnati Bengals re-signed backup quarterback Doug Johnson to a one-year contract. The former Atlanta starter joined the Bengals before this past season....

By Mark Maske | February 7, 2007; 7:49 AM ET | Comments (0)

Cowboys Likely to Interview Rivera Today, Caldwell Wednesday

It appears that Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera will interview for the Dallas Cowboys' head coaching job today. The Cowboys probably will interview Indianapolis Colts assistant head coach Jim Caldwell on Wednesday, so the team's coaching search isn't likely to conclude before late this week. The front-runner appears...

By Mark Maske | February 6, 2007; 10:29 AM ET | Comments (0)

Dungy Says He Intends to Coach Colts Next Season

MIAMI--Tony Dungy apparently went through his annual evaluation about whether he wants to coach another season rapidly this time around and said today he intends to return to the Indianapolis Colts. "I do look forward to helping these guys defend the title," Dungy said at a morning news conference...

By Mark Maske | February 5, 2007; 11:38 PM ET | Comments (0)

Manning Gets His Super Bowl

MIAMI--Peyton Manning got his Super Bowl triumph. That is what will be remembered about this rain-soaked night in Miami--that Manning cemented his place among the sport's greatest-ever quarterbacks as his Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears, 29-17. Both quarterbacks played about as expected. Manning completed 25 of 38 passes...

By Mark Maske | February 5, 2007; 12:02 AM ET | Comments (10)

Super Bowl Pick

Super Bowl Colts vs. Bears If this was a seven-game series, it probably would go six or seven games and the Colts would prevail. The Bears do have a chance. They need to control the game with their running backs and their defense. But the odds are that Peyton...

By Mark Maske | February 4, 2007; 5:19 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cowboys Probably Will Interview Caldwell As Well As Rivera

MIAMI--Two assistant coaches about to participate in today's Super Bowl likely will interview for the Dallas Cowboys' head coaching job within the next day or two. The Cowboys appear intent upon interviewing Indianapolis Colts assistant head coach Jim Caldwell and Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, a source familiar...

By Mark Maske | February 4, 2007; 5:09 PM ET | Comments (0)

League, Union Likely to Prohibit Pro Bowl Participation By Any Player Who Tests Positive for a Performance-Enhancing Drug

MIAMI--The league and the NFL Players Association apparently will enact a measure beginning next season that would ban a player from participating in the Pro Bowl if he is suspended for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug that season. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and union chief Gene Upshaw said...

By Mark Maske | February 4, 2007; 5:07 PM ET | Comments (1)

Favre Returning Next Season

MIAMI--Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre ended the annual speculation about whether he'd retire by announcing that he plans to return for a 17th season. The 37-year-old quarterback threw for 3,885 yards, with 18 touchdown passes and 18 interceptions, this season as the Packers went 8-8 and barely missed...

By Mark Maske | February 2, 2007; 2:17 PM ET | Comments (8)

C. Johnson Cooperating with Miami Police

MIAMI--Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson was cooperating with the Miami police department in its investigation into the shooting death of a man last week. According to the Bengals, Johnson is not a suspect or even a person of interest in the case. Johnson, a Miami native, reportedly met...

By Mark Maske | February 2, 2007; 2:16 PM ET | Comments (0)

Giants-Dolphins Set for Oct. 28 at Wembley Stadium

MIAMI--The NFL announced that the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins will play on Oct. 28 at Wembley Stadium in London. The Dolphins will be listed as the home team in the second regular season game in league history to be played in a foreign country. The league's team...

By Mark Maske | February 2, 2007; 2:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

Dungy Says Colts Won't Know Cornerback Situation Until Sunday

MIAMI--The Indianapolis Colts probably won't know until shortly before game time Sunday whether cornerback Nick Harper will be available to play in the Super Bowl against the Chicago Bears, Coach Tony Dungy said today. Harper suffered a sprained ankle in the AFC title game and didn't participate in the...

By Mark Maske | February 2, 2007; 2:14 PM ET | Comments (1)

Goodell, Upshaw to Work Together on Player Conduct Issues

MIAMI--Gene Upshaw said at his annual Super Bowl news conference that he's highly concerned about the number of NFL players to have been arrested in recent months and he intends to work with Commissioner Roger Goodell to try to rectify the problem. Upshaw, the executive director of the NFL...

By Mark Maske | February 1, 2007; 6:48 PM ET | Comments (1)

Upshaw Defends Pension Plan

MIAMI--NFL Players Association officials defended the league's pension plan for retired players today after a group of former players attacked the plan as insufficient. "What we're hearing is, "It's not enough. We should give more. It should be the same for the active players and the retired players,' "...

By Mark Maske | February 1, 2007; 6:47 PM ET | Comments (2)

Diversity Group Seeking Minority Interviewing Rule in College Football

MIAMI--Cyrus Mehri, the Washington attorney who serves as counsel to the Fritz Pollard Alliance, said today he'd been contacted by NCAA President Myles Brand to discuss the possibility of a minority interviewing rule, like the one the NFL has for its coaches, being implemented in college football. The NFL...

By Mark Maske | February 1, 2007; 6:46 PM ET | Comments (1)

Foley Sues Officer, City

MIAMI--San Diego Chargers linebacker Steve Foley has sued the city of Coronado, Calif., and the police officer who shot him last fall. Foley's lawsuit accuses the officer, Aaron Mansker, of negligence and using excessive force and seeks unspecified damages. Foley was shot near his home on Sept. 3 after...

By Mark Maske | February 1, 2007; 10:28 AM ET | Comments (0)

Rivera Might Get His Chance, After All

MIAMI--It appeared a few days ago that Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera had been shut out of the head coaching mix during this hiring cycle. The only team with a head coaching vacancy was the Dallas Cowboys and they seemed likely to hire their coach before owner Jerry...

By Mark Maske | February 1, 2007; 10:19 AM ET | Comments (0)

Harper Not Expected to Practice Before Friday at Earliest

MIAMI--Cornerback Nick Harper said Wednesday he planned to be in the Indianapolis Colts' lineup for the Super Bowl on Sunday even after suffering a sprained ankle in the AFC title game. But he perhaps is being overly optimistic. Harper didn't participate in the Colts' practice later Wednesday and, according...

By Mark Maske | February 1, 2007; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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