Archive: February 2008

Rams, Needing Kicker, Get J. Brown

The St. Louis Rams needed a kicker after Jeff Wilkins retired earlier today. They've got one. The Rams and free agent kicker Josh Brown, formerly of the Seattle Seahawks, agreed to a five-year, $14.2 million contract that includes a $4 million signing bonus. Also: The trade of defensive tackle...

By Mark Maske | February 29, 2008; 10:55 PM ET | Comments (0)

I. Bruce Rejoins Martz With Niners

Wide receiver Isaac Bruce, cut by the St. Louis Rams, agreed to a two-year, $6 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers. He rejoins former Rams coach Mike Martz, now the offensive coordinator in San Francisco. In other late developments: The proposed trade of defensive tackle Shaun Rogers from...

By Mark Maske | February 29, 2008; 10:22 PM ET | Comments (0)

Faneca Said to be Negotiating $8 Million-Per-Season Deal With Jets

A source said that free agent guard Alan Faneca has not completed a deal with the New York Jets, at least not quite yet. ESPN reported that Faneca, formerly of the Pittsburgh Steelers, will sign a four-year, $32 million contract with the Jets that includes $23 million in guaranteed...

By Mark Maske | February 29, 2008; 7:49 PM ET | Comments (0)

Giants Lose G. Wilson to Raiders

The New York Giants have lost another defensive player. Safety Gibril Wilson, an unrestricted free agent, has agreed to a six-year, $39 million contract with the Oakland Raiders that includes $16 million in guaranteed money. The Super Bowl champions lost free agent linebackers Kawika Mitchell and Reggie Torbor earlier...

By Mark Maske | February 29, 2008; 7:45 PM ET | Comments (141)

A. Samuel Deal Done

The Philadelphia Eagles got their man and finished a six-year contract with free agent cornerback Asante Samuel worth $57 million, including $20 million in guaranteed money. Samuel didn't get the $10 million per season he was thought to be seeking. But he got close. The Eagles made a big...

By Mark Maske | February 29, 2008; 7:43 PM ET | Comments (240)

Busy Dolphins Add L. McCown

The Miami Dolphins are keeping busy. They agreed to a two-year contract with free agent quarterback Josh McCown worth $6.25 million. McCown was a part-time starter in Oakland this past season. He could be the Dolphins' best starting option entering next season....

By Mark Maske | February 29, 2008; 7:41 PM ET | Comments (96)

Lions Trade S. Rogers to Bengals

The Detroit Lions traded defensive tackle Shaun Rogers to the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals sent third- and fifth-round draft picks to the Lions for Rogers. The Bengals also re-signed free agent linebacker Dhani Jones. The moves keep coming: The Miami Dolphins have agreed to free agent deals with wide...

By Mark Maske | February 29, 2008; 4:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

A. Samuel, Eagles Nearly Have A Deal

One of the most coveted free agents is all but off the market. Cornerback Asante Samuel and the Philadelphia Eagles are close to an agreement on a five-year contract worth slightly more than $47 million, an NFL source said. The two sides are attempting to apply the finishing touches...

By Mark Maske | February 29, 2008; 2:54 PM ET | Comments (0)

J. Porter to Jaguars

Wide receiver Jerry Porter agreed to a six-year, $30 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars that includes $10 million in guaranteed money. The unrestricted free agent leaves the Oakland Raiders. Porter had 284 catches in eight seasons with the Raiders, including a high of 76 in 2005. He clashed...

By Mark Maske | February 29, 2008; 1:45 PM ET | Comments (0)

Vikings Land M. Williams, Plus Other Developments

Safety Madieu Williams, an unrestricted free agent, agreed to a six-year, $34 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings. He leaves the Cincinnati Bengals. The Vikings also signed running back Thomas Tapeh, formerly of Philadelphia. In other deals: The Denver Broncos re-signed reserve tight end Nate Jackson. Linebacker Kawika Mitchell...

By Mark Maske | February 29, 2008; 1:32 PM ET | Comments (0)

Jaguars, Rejected By T. Collins, Land C. Lemon Instead

Quarterback Cleo Lemon agreed to a three-year, $8.1 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars got a backup for David Garrard after being rebuffed in their bid to pry Todd Collins from the Washington Redskins. Lemon was a part-time starter this past season in Miami. The deal includes...

By Mark Maske | February 29, 2008; 1:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

Eagles to Make Push to Sign A. Samuel Today

The Philadelphia Eagles plan to make a push to sign cornerback Asante Samuel today, an NFL source said. Samuel, one of the most accomplished players available on the unrestricted free agent market, is scheduled to visit the Eagles today. He apparently is seeking a deal worth about $10 million...

By Mark Maske | February 29, 2008; 11:28 AM ET | Comments (0)

C. Redman Stays in Atlanta

The Atlanta Falcons are keeping quarterback Chris Redman. The free agent agreed to a two-year deal to remain with the Falcons. Redman was a part-time starter this past season, taking over after the failures of Joey Harrington and Byron Leftwich. He could be in the running to be the...

By Mark Maske | February 29, 2008; 10:41 AM ET | Comments (0)

New Contract For C. Williams

Defensive tackle Corey Williams is getting a new contract as part of the trade sending him from the Green Bay Packers to the Cleveland Browns. The longterm deal apparently will include about $18 million in guaranteed money for Williams, who'd been given the franchise player tag in Green Bay....

By Mark Maske | February 29, 2008; 10:37 AM ET | Comments (223)

Browns Reportedly Have Deal to Keep D. Anderson

The Cleveland Browns reportedly have agreed to a deal to retain quarterback Derek Anderson, a restricted free agent. The Associated Press reported that Anderson agreed to a multi-year contract to remain in Cleveland. The two sides had been discussing a three-year deal worth about $20 million. Anderson threw for...

By Mark Maske | February 29, 2008; 10:31 AM ET | Comments (0)

Vilma Headed to Saints

The New York Jets have an agreement to trade linebacker Jonathan Vilma to the New Orleans Saints for a conditional draft pick in 2009. Vilma is a former first-round choice who fell into disfavor with the Jets. The Detroit Lions also were among the bidders for him. The Saints...

By Mark Maske | February 29, 2008; 10:19 AM ET | Comments (0)

C. Killings to Retire

Houston Texans defensive tackle Cedric Killings has decided to retire. Killings suffered a fractured vertebra in his neck during a game against the Indianapolis Colts this past season. He regained the ability to walk the next day but was told by doctors he would be at an increased risk...

By Mark Maske | February 29, 2008; 10:08 AM ET | Comments (0)

Early Signings

Free agency is well under way and here are some early moves: The New Orleans Saints have agreements to re-sign linebacker Mark Simoneau and defensive tackle Brian Young. Center Jeff Faine, formerly of the Saints, agreed to a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Cleveland Browns re-signed safety...

By Mark Maske | February 29, 2008; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (0)

K. Jenkins Traded to Jets

The Carolina Panthers traded defensive tackle Kris Jenkins to the New York Jets for two draft choices. The Panthers will receive third- and fifth-rounders from the Jets. The Jets have been shopping their own defensive tackle, Dewayne Robertson, in trade talks....

By Mark Maske | February 29, 2008; 9:25 AM ET | Comments (98)

Bruschi Stays With Patriots

Linebacker Tedy Bruschi has decided against retirement and testing free agency. Bruschi has agreed to a contract to remain with the New England Patriots, an NFL source said. Bruschi's return means that the Patriots can pair him with fellow holdovers Mike Vrabel and Adalius Thomas at linebacker. The Patriots...

By Mark Maske | February 28, 2008; 8:31 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cowboys Keep F. Adams

The Dallas Cowboys kept left tackle Flozell Adams off the unrestricted free agent market later tonight by agreeing to a six-year contract with him. Adams would have been one of the most coveted players on the free agent market. The Cowboys had contemplated using their franchise player tag on...

By Mark Maske | February 28, 2008; 7:33 PM ET | Comments (0)

Free Agent Checklist

The top unrestricted free agents, by position: Quarterback 1. Daunte Culpepper, Raiders 2. Byron Leftwich, cut by Falcons 3. Trent Green, cut by Dolphins 4. Todd Collins, Redskins 5. Josh McCown, Raiders 6. Billy Volek, Chargers 7. Cleo Lemon, Dolphins 8. Gus Frerotte, cut by Rams 9. Quinn Gray,...

By Mark Maske | February 28, 2008; 6:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

I. Bruce, G. Frerotte Among Late Cuts

More last-second maneuvering before free agency: The St. Louis Rams released veteran wide receiver Isaac Bruce and backup quarterback Gus Frerotte. The San Diego Chargers released fullback Lorenzo Neal, safety Marlon McCree and offensive tackle Shane Olivea. The Baltimore Ravens released center Mike Flynn. The Houston Texans re-signed wide...

By Mark Maske | February 28, 2008; 6:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

Raiders Re-Sign T. Kelly

The Oakland Raiders signed defensive tackle Tommy Kelly to a seven-year contract extension to keep him off the unrestricted free agent market tonight. The deal is worth about $50 million, including slightly more than $18 million in guaranteed money....

By Mark Maske | February 28, 2008; 3:57 PM ET | Comments (1)

Eagles Release Kearse

The Philadelphia Eagles released defensive end Jevon Kearse, who had only 3-1/2 sacks this past season. The Eagles signed Kearse as a free agent before the 2004 season and he helped them reach the Super Bowl that season, with 7-1/2 sacks. He matched that total in his second season...

By Mark Maske | February 28, 2008; 3:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

Colts Cut Two on Defense

More cuts: The Indianapolis Colts released defensive tackle Anthony McFarland and linebacker Rob Morris. The Tennessee Titans cut wide receiver David Givens. The New Orleans Saints released kicker Olindo Mare. It should be a busy day as teams made their final pre-free agency moves....

By Mark Maske | February 28, 2008; 10:10 AM ET | Comments (2)

Free Agency Opens Tonight

Free agency opens tonight just after midnight. Quickly, here are my top five unrestricted free agents: 1. Randy Moss, WR, Patriots 2. Asante Samuel, CB, Patriots 3. Lance Briggs, LB, Bears 4. Alan Faneca, G, Steelers 5. Michael Turner, RB, Chargers Most people in the league don't seem to...

By Mark Maske | February 28, 2008; 9:56 AM ET | Comments (4)

D. Carr, K. Holcomb, T. Law Among Those Released Today

Catching up on today's comings and goings: The players released included Carolina Panthers quarterback David Carr, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kelly Holcomb, Baltimore Ravens tailback Mike Anderson, Buffalo Bills running back Anthony Thomas, defensive ends Kevin Carter and Greg Spires of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs cornerback...

By Mark Maske | February 27, 2008; 11:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

SpyGate Comes Up During Steroid Hearing

While testifying before the House subcommittee on commerce, trade and consumer protection today, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about "SpyGate" by Rep. Vito J. Fossella (R-N.Y.). Because the subject of the hearing was the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports, Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.), the chairman of...

By Mark Maske | February 27, 2008; 10:00 PM ET | Comments (2)

Goodell, Upshaw Testify Before Congressional Subcommittee

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Players Association chief Gene Upshaw testified today before a congressional subcommittee examining the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports. Also testifying were the commissioners and players' union executive directors of the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball. Former Senate majority leader George Mitchell, the...

By Mark Maske | February 27, 2008; 5:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

More Cuts

Some more cuts from around the league: The Kansas City Chiefs released wide receiver Eddie Kennison. He spent seven seasons in Kansas City but had only 13 catches this past season. The New York Jets cut wideout Justin McCareins, cornerback Andre Dyson and guard Adrien Clarke. Clarke made 14...

By Mark Maske | February 26, 2008; 7:33 PM ET | Comments (1)

Patriots Reportedly Releasing R. Colvin

The New England Patriots will have to remake their linebacking corps. The Boston Globe is reporting on its Web site that the team is expected to release linebacker Rosevelt Colvin today. The move will save the Patriots $5.5 million in salary cap room, the Globe reports. With Tedy Bruschi...

By Mark Maske | February 26, 2008; 4:59 PM ET | Comments (0)

T. Williamson Reportedly Headed to Jacksonville

Wide receiver Troy Williamson reportedly is headed to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Newspaper reports in the Twin Cities say the Minnesota Vikings have agreed to trade the former first-round draft pick to the Jaguars for a sixth-round selection in April. Trades can be agreed to but cannot be officially completed...

By Mark Maske | February 26, 2008; 11:53 AM ET | Comments (1)

K. Orton Gets One-Year Extension From Bears

The Chicago Bears agreed to a one-year contract extension with quarterback Kyle Orton, whose deal now runs through the 2009 season. The extension seems to be an indication that the Bears plan to retain Orton to go with Rex Grossman, who just was re-signed to a one-year deal. It...

By Mark Maske | February 26, 2008; 9:28 AM ET | Comments (1)

Lions Release F. Bryant

The Detroit Lions released cornerback Fernando Bryant today. He was a starter this past season but was to have a salary of $3.35 million next season if he'd remained with the Lions....

By Mark Maske | February 25, 2008; 4:55 PM ET | Comments (1)

D. Smith to Chargers

Linebacker Derek Smith agreed Sunday to a two-year contract with the San Diego Chargers. Smith, who was released by the San Francisco 49ers, rejoins Chargers Coach Norv Turner, for whom Smith once played with the Washington Redskins....

By Mark Maske | February 25, 2008; 1:24 PM ET | Comments (1)

Polian Suggests Rookie Wage Scale to Spur More Upper First-Round Trades

INDIANAPOLIS--How tough is it to trade a high first-round draft pick these days? Just ask Indianapolis Colts President Bill Polian. "Trades are really a unique thing in the first round any more," Polian said Sunday, "because of the cost [of rookie players' contracts] in the top 10.... Now you're...

By Mark Maske | February 25, 2008; 11:58 AM ET | Comments (0)

McFadden Dazzles

INDIANAPOLIS--The buzz of the scouting combine Sunday was the time of 4.27 seconds that Arkansas tailback Darren McFadden posted, by one clocking, in his first 40-yard dash run. He was timed at 4.33 seconds in his second attempt. If anyone doubted that McFadden was a candidate to be the...

By Mark Maske | February 25, 2008; 11:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

Dorsey Denies He Has Injury Issue

INDIANAPOLIS--There are injury questions about LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, who's regarded as a likely top-five selection--and possible top overall choice--in April's NFL draft. Some teams reportedly have concerns about a hairline fracture of his right tibia that Dorsey suffered in 2006. Dorsey said Sunday he doesn't think he...

By Mark Maske | February 25, 2008; 11:42 AM ET | Comments (1)

Grossman Stays in Chicago

INDIANAPOLIS--Quarterback Rex Grossman passed up a chance to be an unrestricted free agent and agreed to a one-year contract today to remain with the Chicago Bears. Grossman was benched by Coach Lovie Smith during the just-completed season but regained the starting job before suffering a season-ending knee injury against...

By Mark Maske | February 23, 2008; 1:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

Z. Thomas Agrees to Deal With Cowboys

INDIANAPOLIS--Zach Thomas agreed to a one-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys today. The deal could pay him as much as $3 million, including incentives. The veteran linebacker visited the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints after being released by the Miami Dolphins. But Thomas, who grew up in...

By Mark Maske | February 23, 2008; 1:30 PM ET | Comments (101)

Huizenga Sells 50 Percent Stake in Dolphins

INDIANAPOLIS--The Miami Dolphins announced that owner Wayne Huizenga has sold half the franchise to real estate developer Stephen Ross. "I have always said that I wanted to bring in a partner, and I can't think of anyone more appropriate than Steve," Huizenga said in a written statement released by...

By Mark Maske | February 22, 2008; 5:06 PM ET | Comments (0)

Dungy's Draft Rule: Listen to Polian

INDIANAPOLIS--As he evaluates players at the NFL scouting combine, Indianapolis Colts Coach Tony Dungy keeps one thing in mind: If Colts President Bill Polian has an inkling about a player, pay attention. "When he says he's got a feeling on a guy," Dungy said today, "he tends to be...

By Mark Maske | February 22, 2008; 1:53 PM ET | Comments (0)

Vilma Reportedly Given Permission to Seek Trade

INDIANAPOLIS--The New York Jets reportedly have given linebacker Jonathan Vilma permission to seek a trade. The New York Daily News reported that the New Orleans Saints and Jacksonville Jaguars could be among the teams interested. The former first-round draft choice has one season remaining on his contract....

By Mark Maske | February 22, 2008; 10:56 AM ET | Comments (0)

Patriots Hire Capers

INDIANAPOLIS--The New England Patriots added Dom Capers to their coaching staff. The Patriots announced that they'd hired Capers, most recently the Miami Dolphins' defensive coordinator, as a special assistant working with their secondary. Capers is the former head coach of the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans. The Patriots also...

By Mark Maske | February 22, 2008; 10:43 AM ET | Comments (102)

Seahawks Retain Locklear

INDIANAPOLIS--The Seattle Seahawks kept offensive tackle Sean Locklear off the free agent market by agreeing to a five-year contract extension with him. The deal includes $12 million in bonus money....

By Mark Maske | February 22, 2008; 10:32 AM ET | Comments (0)

Usually Luckless Falcons Win Coin Flip for Draft's Third Pick

INDIANAPOLIS--It was a season full of bad fortune for the Atlanta Falcons, from quarterback Michael Vick's legal troubles to the abrupt departure of rookie head coach Bobby Petrino after only 13 games. But their luck changed a little bit here this morning, as they won a coin flip with...

By Mark Maske | February 22, 2008; 8:41 AM ET | Comments (0)

Union Accuses Owners of Collusion

INDIANAPOLIS--The NFL Players Association filed a grievance against the league's team owners accusing them of improper collusion for reducing each franchise's debt ceiling by 20 percent. The case is to be heard by Stephen Burbank, the University of Pennsylvania law professor who serves as the NFL's special master, putting...

By Mark Maske | February 21, 2008; 5:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

R. Moss Untagged

INDIANAPOLIS--The New England Patriots did not use their franchise player tag on wide receiver Randy Moss, leaving him eligible for unrestricted free agency on Feb. 29. The Patriots still can re-sign Moss but are restricted from doing so before Feb. 29. Moss agreed to a reworked contract to be...

By Mark Maske | February 21, 2008; 4:53 PM ET | Comments (0)

J. Lewis Agrees to Deal With Browns

INDIANAPOLIS--Tailback Jamal Lewis agreed to a contract to remain with the Cleveland Browns. Lewis ran for 1,304 yards for the Browns this past season, his first in Cleveland after seven years with the Baltimore Ravens....

By Mark Maske | February 21, 2008; 4:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cowboys Tag Hamlin

INDIANAPOLIS--The Dallas Cowboys placed their franchise player tag on safety Ken Hamlin. The Cowboys apparently had been deciding between Hamlin and offensive tackle Flozell Adams. Hamlin receives a salary of $4.396 million next season if he remains the franchise player. Next up is a decision by the New England...

By Mark Maske | February 21, 2008; 3:46 PM ET | Comments (0)

Mara Says Coughlin Deal Will Be Completed Soon

INDIANAPOLIS--The New York Giants haven't yet completed a contract extension with Coach Tom Coughlin. But owner John Mara said today that the deal will be done soon. "Not yet," said Mara, a member of the league's competition committee. "The primary reason is I've been out here all week in...

By Mark Maske | February 21, 2008; 3:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

Competition Committee Discussing Re-Seeding Proposal

INDIANAPOLIS--Members of the league's competition committee have begun discussions about a proposal to change the way the NFL seeds teams for the playoffs. The league is attempting to reduce the number of games at the end of the regular season that have no bearing on playoff seedings. One proposal...

By Mark Maske | February 21, 2008; 3:31 PM ET | Comments (0)

Goodell Briefs Competition Committee on SpyGate

INDIANAPOLIS--Commissioner Roger Goodell and league attorney Jeff Pash briefed members of the NFL's competition committee here today on the SpyGate investigation. Goodell and Pash explained the league's investigation of the videotaping incident involving the New England Patriots in the opening week of the just-completed season. They told committee members...

By Mark Maske | February 21, 2008; 3:09 PM ET | Comments (0)

Steelers Use Transition Tag on M. Starks

The Pittsburgh Steelers used their transition player tag on offensive tackle Max Starks. The move gives the Steelers the right to retain Starks by matching any contract offer that he receives from another team in free agency. But they don't receive any draft pick compensation if Starks leaves, as...

By Mark Maske | February 20, 2008; 9:19 PM ET | Comments (0)

Franchise Tag Roundup

There have been 11 players league-wide given their teams' franchise tags this offseason. One of them, Indianapolis Colts tight end Dallas Clark, already has signed a new six-year contract to replace his one-year franchise player deal. Here are the other 10 (with their positions, teams and 2008 salaries if...

By Mark Maske | February 20, 2008; 7:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

Colts Sign D. Clark to Six-Year Deal One Day After Giving Him Franchise Tag

The Indianapolis Colts signed tight end Dallas Clark to a six-year contract, one day after placing their franchise player tag on him. The new deal replaces the one-year, $4.522 million contract that Clark would have had as the franchise player. The Colts also signed guard Ryan Lilja to a...

By Mark Maske | February 20, 2008; 7:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

Vikings Release D. Smith

The Minnesota Vikings released veteran safety Dwight Smith. Smith spent two seasons with the Vikings after four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and one with the New Orleans Saints....

By Mark Maske | February 20, 2008; 7:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

C. Williams Gets Packers' Franchise Tag

Now it's 11. The Green Bay Packers have used their franchise player tag on defensive tackle Corey Williams, who would have a salary of $6.363 million next season if he retains the franchise designation. The Packers also released veteran tight end Bubba Franks....

By Mark Maske | February 20, 2008; 6:51 PM ET | Comments (0)

Seahawks' Trufant Becomes 10th Player in League to Get Franchise Tag

It's up to 10 players league-wide with the franchise player tag. The Seattle Seahawks have used their tag on cornerback Marcus Trufant. He would have a salary of $9.465 million next season if he remains the club's franchise player. The NFL deadline for applying the tag is Thursday. The...

By Mark Maske | February 20, 2008; 6:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

Titans Put Franchise Tag on Haynesworth

The Tennessee Titans placed their franchise player tag on defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth today. The move had been expected. The Titans had indicated to Haynesworth's representatives that they would use the tag on Haynesworth to keep from losing him on the free agent market if the two sides were...

By Mark Maske | February 20, 2008; 4:50 PM ET | Comments (0)

Raiders Tag Cornerback

The Oakland Raiders have applied their franchise player tag to cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. The former first-round draft pick would have a salary of $9.465 million next season if he remains the Raiders' franchise player. Eight players league-wide now have been given their teams' franchise designations. The deadline for clubs...

By Mark Maske | February 20, 2008; 4:22 PM ET | Comments (0)

Browns Expressing Optimism That New Deal With D. Anderson Will Get Done

Cleveland Browns General Manager Phil Savage is expressing confidence that the team will sign quarterback Derek Anderson to a new contract before he becomes a restricted free agent in nine days. "I have reason to think it will get done," Savage told WKYC-TV in Cleveland. Savage expressed similar sentiments...

By Mark Maske | February 20, 2008; 9:59 AM ET | Comments (1)

Panthers to Tag J. Gross

The Carolina Panthers plan to place their franchise tag on offensive tackle Jordan Gross today. Gross would be paid $7.455 million for next season as the Panthers' franchise player. The Panthers will retain both their starting offensive tackles after recently signing Travelle Wharton to a six-year, approximately $36 million...

By Mark Maske | February 20, 2008; 9:32 AM ET | Comments (0)

D. Clark Given Colts' Franchise Player Tag

The Indianapolis Colts applied their franchise player tag to tight end Dallas Clark. The Colts' recent signing of safety Bob Sanders to a longterm contract extension meant that team officials could keep both Sanders and Clark, both of whom had been eligible for unrestricted free agency, without having to...

By Mark Maske | February 19, 2008; 8:03 PM ET | Comments (103)

Niners Release Former Redskin D. Smith

The San Francisco 49ers released veteran linebacker Derek Smith. Smith spent seven seasons with the team after being signed as a free agent from the Washington Redskins. "Decisions like this are a difficult part of a great business," 49ers Coach Mike Nolan said in a written statement released by...

By Mark Maske | February 19, 2008; 4:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

Steelers Sign T. Kirschke to Two-Year Deal

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed veteran defensive end Travis Kirschke to a two-year contract. He started the final four games of last season after Aaron Smith was hurt....

By Mark Maske | February 19, 2008; 4:06 PM ET | Comments (1)

Ravens Tag T. Suggs

The Baltimore Ravens placed their franchise player tag on Terrell Suggs. The move gives the Ravens the right to retain Suggs, who had been eligible for unrestricted free agency later this month, by matching any contract offer he might receive from another team. It also gives the Ravens the...

By Mark Maske | February 19, 2008; 1:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

Giants, Coughlin Closing In on New Deal

An NFL source this morning confirmed reports in New York media outlets that the Giants are close to completing a contract extension with Coach Tom Coughlin. The four-year extension likely will be worth about $20 million, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because negotiations are...

By Mark Maske | February 19, 2008; 10:49 AM ET | Comments (1)

Z. Thomas Visits Patriots But Doesn't Sign, With Saints and Perhaps Cowboys Up Next

Free agent linebacker Zach Thomas, just cut by the Miami Dolphins, visited the New England Patriots on Monday and received a contract offer. It wasn't enough, however, to convince Thomas to sign the deal and end his free agent tour. He's scheduled to visit the New Orleans Saints today...

By Mark Maske | February 19, 2008; 10:43 AM ET | Comments (0)

Chiefs Tag Sack Leader J. Allen

The Kansas City Chiefs placed their franchise player tag on defensive end Jared Allen. The move all but keeps Allen off the unrestricted free agent market and gives him a salary of $8.879 million next season if he remains the franchise player. Another team would have to surrender two...

By Mark Maske | February 18, 2008; 11:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bears Release M. Muhammad

The Chicago Bears released wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad and declined an option in the contract of defensive tackle Darwin Walker, making him a free agent. Muhammad had 40 catches for 570 yards and three touchdowns this past season. That was down from 60 catches for 863 yards and five...

By Mark Maske | February 18, 2008; 8:30 PM ET | Comments (229)

Bengals Use Franchise Tag on S. Andrews

The Cincinnati Bengals placed their franchise player tag on offensive lineman Stacy Andrews even though he's only made 17 NFL starts. Andrews filled in for injured veteran right tackle Willie Anderson this past season and could see playing time at guard next season. Andrews would receive a salary of...

By Mark Maske | February 18, 2008; 8:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Broncos Place R. Smith on Retired List

The Denver Broncos placed wide receiver Rod Smith on their reserve-retired list. Smith's agent, Tom Mills, told the Associated Press that the move was made with Smith's approval but it didn't necessarily mean that Smith planned to retire. Smith, 37, missed all of the just-completed season after undergoing hip...

By Mark Maske | February 15, 2008; 1:43 PM ET | Comments (91)

Bucs Re-Sign M. Bennett

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced that they'd re-signed tailback Michael Bennett. The former Pro Bowler for the Minnesota Vikings was obtained by the Buccaneers this past season in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs....

By Mark Maske | February 15, 2008; 1:38 PM ET | Comments (162)

Leftwich, Crumpler Among Seven Cut By Falcons

Quarterback Byron Leftwich and tight end Alge Crumpler were among seven players released by the Atlanta Falcons today, the team announced. The Falcons began remaking their roster under their new general manager, Tom Dimitroff, and just-hired coach, Mike Smith. "This is a difficult day for the entire organization," Dimitroff...

By Mark Maske | February 15, 2008; 1:29 PM ET | Comments (1)

Busy Panthers Sign Three Players

The Carolina Panthers were busy Thursday, signing three players to contracts. The Panthers signed left tackle Travelle Wharton to a six-year deal. They signed safety Chris Harris to a four-year, approximately $12 million contract extension running through the 2012 season. They also signed defensive tackle Damione Lewis to the...

By Mark Maske | February 14, 2008; 8:42 PM ET | Comments (0)

Wahle Signs With Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks signed guard Mike Wahle. He'd been released Monday by the Carolina Panthers. The move reunites Wahle with Seahawks Coach Mike Holmgren, for whom he formerly played in Green Bay....

By Mark Maske | February 14, 2008; 8:33 PM ET | Comments (1)

Cardinals Tag Dansby

The Arizona Cardinals placed their franchise player tag on linebacker Karlos Dansby. He would have a salary of $8.065 million next season if he remains the Cardinals' franchise player. He is the second player league-wide to receive the franchise player tag this offseason, following Philadelphia Eagles tight end L.J....

By Mark Maske | February 14, 2008; 8:30 PM ET | Comments (92)

League Appeals Latest Ruling in Vick Bonus Case

The NFL appealed the latest ruling in the Michael Vick bonus money case by U.S. District Judge David Doty. Doty ruled that the Atlanta Falcons were not entitled to force Vick to return $16.22 million in bonus money in the quarterback's 10-year, $130 million contract with the team. That...

By Mark Maske | February 14, 2008; 8:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

M. Lewis Says Bengals Won't Trade C. Johnson

The Cincinnati Bengals are saying they won't trade wide receiver Chad Johnson. Johnson has voiced his displeasure with the organization in recent weeks and has indicated he might like to play elsewhere next season, and the Washington Redskins reportedly are interested in trading for him. But the Bengals would...

By Mark Maske | February 14, 2008; 2:22 PM ET | Comments (4)

Dolphins Releasing Z. Thomas

The Miami Dolphins informed seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker Zach Thomas that he's being released, an NFL source said. Thomas, 34, has spent 12 seasons with the Dolphins. But the franchise's new decision-making team of front office chief Bill Parcells, General Manager Jeff Ireland and Coach Tony Sparano is remaking...

By Mark Maske | February 14, 2008; 1:45 PM ET | Comments (1)

Goodell Making Rounds on Capitol Hill, Meets With Schumer About Bills

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met today with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) Goodell is to participate with Schumer in an upcoming meeting with Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson about keeping the franchise in Buffalo. The league recently approved a plan for the team to play a limited number of home...

By Mark Maske | February 13, 2008; 3:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Goodell's Meeting With Specter Scheduled for Wednesday

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is scheduled to meet Wednesday on Capitol Hill with Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.). Specter has been critical in recent weeks of Goodell's handling of the spying scandal involving the New England Patriots, and has threatened to call for hearings on the matter. Wednesday's meeting is...

By Mark Maske | February 12, 2008; 6:11 PM ET | Comments (0)

Push Coming to Amend Interviewing Rules for Assistant Coaches

There could be a push this offseason to amend the league's tampering rules when it comes to the ability of assistant coaches to interview for jobs with other teams. Currently, a team must grant a request by another club to interview an assistant for a head coaching job. However,...

By Mark Maske | February 12, 2008; 9:28 AM ET | Comments (0)

Panthers Release D. Morgan, M. Wahle

The Carolina Panthers released linebacker Dan Morgan and guard Mike Wahle. Morgan missed most of the last two seasons because of a concussion and an Achilles' tendon injury. The former first-round draft choice is the third-leading tackler in franchise history. Wahle played three seasons for the Panthers after being...

By Mark Maske | February 11, 2008; 5:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

Dolphins Release T. Green, Eight Others

Veteran quarterback Trent Green was among nine players released today by the Miami Dolphins. Green, 37, could be headed to retirement after suffering his second concussion in two seasons and ending the season on the injured reserve list. The Dolphins also released wide receiver Marty Booker, defensive tackle Keith...

By Mark Maske | February 11, 2008; 4:26 PM ET | Comments (0)

For First Time Since Rooney Rule Enacted, No Minority Head Coach Hired

Unless there's a late head coaching switch somewhere in the league (Oakland?), this season's hiring cycle will mark the first time in six years since the Rooney Rule was enacted that no minority head coach was hired league-wide. The rule requires each NFL team with a head coaching vacancy...

By Mark Maske | February 11, 2008; 2:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

New Class of Head Coaches Lacks Star Power

The four head coaches hired by NFL teams this offseason were Tony Sparano, John Harbaugh, Mike Smith and Jim Zorn. That perhaps qualifies this year's class of new head coaches as the least celebrated in recent memory. When the just-completed season began, all were NFL assistant coaches but none...

By Mark Maske | February 11, 2008; 10:31 AM ET | Comments (1)

Crowded Front Office in St. Louis

Things are getting a bit crowded in the St. Louis Rams' front office. Over the weekend, the team hired Billy Devaney as its executive vice president of player personnel. Devaney is a veteran NFL executive who most recently had served as the assistant general manager of the Atlanta Falcons....

By Mark Maske | February 11, 2008; 9:43 AM ET | Comments (0)

C. Johnson Situation Escalating

The Chad Johnson situation seems to be escalating. The wide receiver has been lobbying for a few weeks to leave the Cincinnati Bengals and play elsewhere next season. He went to Phoenix during Super Bowl week and mentioned several possible alternative destinations. Now he has moved on to the...

By Mark Maske | February 8, 2008; 9:54 AM ET | Comments (7)

Eagles Tag L.J. Smith

The Philadelphia Eagles have placed their franchise player tag on tight end L.J. Smith. The move in effect takes Smith off the unrestricted free agent market in three weeks. The Eagles have the right to retain Smith by matching any contract offer that he receives from another team, and...

By Mark Maske | February 7, 2008; 6:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

Franchise Tags Can Be Applied Beginning Today

Today is the first day on which an NFL team can apply its franchise player tag to one of its players eligible for unrestricted free agency. The period lasts from Feb. 7-21. Most clubs likely will wait until much closer to the deadline to take such an action, however....

By Mark Maske | February 7, 2008; 8:38 AM ET | Comments (103)

Seahawks Name Mora as Holmgren's Successor in 2009

The Seattle Seahawks made it official today and announced that they'd designated Jim Mora as their head coach for the 2009 season. He will succeed Mike Holmgren, who previously announced that next season would be his last as the team's coach. Mora is the former head coach of the...

By Mark Maske | February 6, 2008; 4:38 PM ET | Comments (0)

S. Hill Staying With Niners to Compete for Starting Job

Quarterback Shaun Hill agreed to a three-year contract extension with the San Francisco 49ers. The deal reportedly is worth about $6 million, including a $2 million signing bonus. It also includes an additional $5.5 million in possible incentives. The University of Maryland product began this past season as the...

By Mark Maske | February 6, 2008; 9:21 AM ET | Comments (0)

Mora Reportedly to be Designated Holmgren's Successor

According to several reports, the Seattle Seahawks will designate secondary coach Jim Mora as their successor to exiting head coach Mike Holmgren. Holmgren has said that next season will be his final one as the team's coach. Mora is the former head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. He withdrew...

By Mark Maske | February 6, 2008; 8:51 AM ET | Comments (0)

Belichick Defends Early Exit, Says He's Moving On to Preparations for Next Season

New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick defended his decision to leave the field with a second to play in Sunday's Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants. During a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Belichick cited the confusion at the moment, in which people from both sidelines ran...

By Mark Maske | February 6, 2008; 8:43 AM ET | Comments (0)

Judge's Ruling Does Allow Falcons to Try to Get Back $3.75 Million From Vick

The ruling Monday by U.S. District Judge David S. Doty in the Michael Vick contract case does allow the Atlanta Falcons to try to force Vick to return $3.75 million in bonus money. The Falcons had been seeking to force Vick, their quarterback who's serving a 23-month federal prison...

By Mark Maske | February 5, 2008; 2:45 PM ET | Comments (0)

Former Patriots Video Assistant Now Is Central Figure In "SpyGate" Investigation

PHOENIX--Members of the NFL's security department are attempting to arrange a meeting with former New England Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh, who has hinted to several news organizations that he has information pertinent to the "SpyGate" case. Walsh now lives in Hawaii but it's unclear if NFL Commissioner Roger...

By Mark Maske | February 4, 2008; 8:00 PM ET | Comments (2)

Falcons Express Disappointment With Ruling in Vick Case

PHOENIX--The Atlanta Falcons issued a statement expressing disappointment with U.S. District Judge David S. Doty's decision today in the Michael Vick case. "While we are disappointed by Judge Doty's decision, this ruling does not affect our salary cap management for the 2008 season," team president Rich McKay said in...

By Mark Maske | February 4, 2008; 5:57 PM ET | Comments (0)

Super Bowl Is Second-Most-Watched TV Program in History

PHOENIX--The New York Giants' upset of the New England Patriots in Sunday's Super Bowl was the second-most-watched television program in history. The game drew an average of 97.5 million U.S. viewers. It's the most-watched Super Bowl ever and among all TV programs, ranks only behind the final episode of...

By Mark Maske | February 4, 2008; 5:26 PM ET | Comments (1)

Giants' Performance Gives Spagnuolo Options

PHOENIX--So the next question about Steve Spagnuolo is: Will the New York Giants' defensive coordinator want the Washington Redskins' head coaching job now that he's the hottest thing going? Spagnuolo's stock is soaring after the Giants shut down the highest-scoring offense in NFL history to beat the New England...

By Mark Maske | February 4, 2008; 5:08 PM ET | Comments (3)

Coughlin Says Extension Coming Soon

PHOENIX--New York Giants Coach Tom Coughlin said today he expects to complete a contract extension with the team soon. Coughlin's current deal expires after next season but he and the Giants are expected to negotiate a four-year extension. On the day after his club's 17-14 triumph over the New...

By Mark Maske | February 4, 2008; 4:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Falcons Not Entitled to Vick's Bonus Money, Federal Judge Rules

PHOENIX--A federal judge ruled today that the Atlanta Falcons are not entitled to recoup nearly $20 million in bonus money from suspended quarterback Michael Vick. U.S. District Judge David S. Doty overturned an earlier ruling that the Falcons were entitled to pursue the money through arbitration. The Falcons had...

By Mark Maske | February 4, 2008; 12:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

Quick Halftime Thoughts

GLENDALE, Ariz.--The Giants certainly have their chance. They're getting to Tom Brady. They're shutting down Randy Moss. The Patriots simply can't block Justin Tuck. But when you're facing the Patriots, you have to turn your opportunities into points. The Giants have had their chances and only have three points...

By Mark Maske | February 3, 2008; 8:16 PM ET | Comments (96)

Pope on Giants' Inactive List

GLENDALE, Ariz.--Defensive back Geoffrey Pope, formerly of Howard University, is on the New York Giants' inactive list for the game. As recently as midweek, he'd been hoping to be on the active list for the game. Veteran wide receiver Troy Brown is on the New England Patriots' inactive list....

By Mark Maske | February 3, 2008; 5:32 PM ET | Comments (0)

Roof Closed

GLENDALE, Ariz.--With rain in the forecast, officials closed the roof at the University of Phoenix Stadium long before kickoff. That ensures there won't be a repeat of last year's rainy Super Bowl in Miami in which the Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears....

By Mark Maske | February 3, 2008; 4:55 PM ET | Comments (142)

Contract Extension for Coughlin Coming

GLENDALE, Ariz.--The New York Giants' postseason run promises to earn a lucrative contract extension for their coach, Tom Coughlin. People familiar with the situation said today that formal negotiations have not begun yet but the two sides likely will agree to a new four-year deal in the coming weeks....

By Mark Maske | February 3, 2008; 4:54 PM ET | Comments (1)

SpyGate Won't Go Away

GLENDALE, Ariz.--Even in the final hours before the New England Patriots play the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, "SpyGate" won't go away. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said he would speak to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as soon as Monday about concerns over the league's handling of the...

By Mark Maske | February 3, 2008; 4:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

Green, Monk Elected to Hall of Fame

PHOENIX--Former Washington Redskins teammates Darrell Green and Art Monk were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame today. Green and Monk were elected as part of a six-member class that also includes Andre Tippett, Gary Zimmerman, Fred Dean and Emmitt Thomas. Former Redskins guard Russ Grimm was not...

By Cindy Boren | February 2, 2008; 4:16 PM ET | Comments (5)

Hall of Fame Selection Meeting Under Way

PHOENIX--The Hall of Fame selection meeting began early this morning at the convention center in downtown Phoenix that's serving as the Super Bowl media center. As always, the voting will take place in several stages. In between votes, the debate among the selectors about various candidates sometimes can be...

By Mark Maske | February 2, 2008; 12:13 PM ET | Comments (0)

Super Bowl Pick

Yes, the Giants do have the elements necessary to remain competitive and perhaps even pull off the upset. They have the pass rushers to bother Tom Brady. They have an offense than can score 35 points against the Patriots. They've already demonstrated that in the regular season finale. But...

By Mark Maske | February 2, 2008; 12:04 PM ET | Comments (2)

Seeding System for Playoffs Could Change

PHOENIX--The NFL will explore the possibility of using a different formula to seed teams for the playoffs to try to eliminate meaningless games at the end of the regular season, Commissioner Roger Goodell said today. Goodell was asked during his news conference about teams resting key players in games...

By Mark Maske | February 1, 2008; 5:03 PM ET | Comments (2)

Goodell Defends Decision to Destroy SpyGate Tapes

PHOENIX--NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell today defended his decision to have the league destroy six videotapes handed over by the New England Patriots after the team's spying scandal in September. "I think it was the appropriate thing to do," Goodell said at the commissioner's annual state of the league news...

By Mark Maske | February 1, 2008; 4:54 PM ET | Comments (6)

Burress Misses Another Practice, This Time Because of Sore Knee

PHOENIX--Wide receiver Plaxico Burress missed the New York Giants' practice Thursday for a second straight day, this time because of a sore left knee. Burress missed Wednesday's practice because of the ailing right ankle that plagued him all season. For the New England Patriots, quarterback Tom Brady participated in...

By Mark Maske | February 1, 2008; 10:22 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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