Archive: March 2008

More Ominous Signs on Labor Front

PALM BEACH, Fla.--Roger Goodell said nothing today to debunk the notion that the owners are headed toward a labor confrontation with the players' union. The NFL commissioner stopped short of saying the owners plan to exercise a reopener clause in the labor deal by the Nov. 8 deadline. But...

By Mark Maske | March 31, 2008; 11:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

Kraft On SpyGate

PALM BEACH, Fla.--The videotaping scandal involving the New England Patriots is what prompted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to propose measures cracking down on cheating. Yet Patriots owner Robert Kraft said today he's supportive of Goodell's proposals. "I think everything he's proposing is fine and good," Kraft said. "Everyone wants...

By Mark Maske | March 31, 2008; 7:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

No Change in Timetable for Consideration of Jones's Reinstatement

PALM BEACH, Fla.--Commissioner Roger Goodell said there's been no change in his timetable for ruling on the eligibility of suspended Tennessee Titans cornerback Adam (Pacman) Jones. He will rule on Jones's possible reinstatement by training camp, Goodell said. The Dallas Cowboys and other teams have been linked to trade...

By Mark Maske | March 31, 2008; 6:59 PM ET | Comments (0)

Hair Proposal Might Be Shelved

PALM BEACH, Fla.--It's possible that the Kansas City Chiefs' proposal about players' hair length won't be voted on at this meeting and instead will be shelved until a future owners' meeting. That would allow more time for the players' union and other interested parties to weigh in on the...

By Mark Maske | March 31, 2008; 6:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

Huizenga Will Make Call About When Ross Takes Over as Dolphins' Controlling Owner

PALM BEACH, Fla.--New York real estate developer Stephen Ross became the half-owner of the Miami Dolphins today. The sale of 50 percent of the franchise from Wayne Huizenga to Ross was approved unanimously by the owners. Huizenga remains the Dolphins' controlling owner for now but Ross is to take...

By Mark Maske | March 31, 2008; 6:46 PM ET | Comments (0)

Someone Buy Bill Polian A Satellite Dish

PALM BEACH, Fla.--NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said today that the league remains committed to its television channel, the NFL Network, despite its ongoing distribution disputes with several cable carriers. But the best line of the day came from Indianapolis Colts President Bill Polian when he was asked about the...

By Mark Maske | March 31, 2008; 6:45 PM ET | Comments (0)

Redskins Awarded Third-Round Pick

PALM BEACH, Fla.--The Washington Redskins were awarded three additional picks in the NFL draft in April, including a third-rounder, today. The league announced the compensatory draft choices awarded based on a formula balancing players lost and added in free agency. The Redskins were awarded the highest of the compensatory...

By Mark Maske | March 31, 2008; 3:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

Goodell Says Measures In Cheating Crackdown Will Be Enacted

PALM BEACH, Fla.--Commissioner Roger Goodell said today that he will implement the measures in his proposed crackdown on cheating whether they're supported by the NFL's franchise owners or not. Goodell said the proposals have been well-received by the league's competition committee and the owners. But Goodell is empowered to...

By Mark Maske | March 31, 2008; 2:55 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bears-Colts Is Opening Sunday Night Game

PALM BEACH, Fla.--The NFL announced its slate of featured games on the opening weekend of next season. The Chicago Bears will play at Indianapolis on Sept. 7 at 8:15 p.m. on NBC in the first Sunday night game of the season. It will be the first regular season game...

By Mark Maske | March 31, 2008; 2:48 PM ET | Comments (0)

Support for Goodell's Proposals

PALM BEACH, Fla.--Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay says he supports NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's proposed crackdown on cheating. "You have to compete within the rules as vigorously as you can," Irsay said during a break in today's meeting. "You know the rules. You compete vigorously within them." Many of...

By Mark Maske | March 31, 2008; 11:28 AM ET | Comments (0)

Dolphins Sale Approved

PALM BEACH, Fla.--The owners today approved the sale of 50 percent of the Miami Dolphins to New York real estate developer Stephen Ross. The move required ratification of at least 24 of the 32 teams. Wayne Huizenga retains 50 percent of the franchise and remains the Dolphins' controlling owner...

By Mark Maske | March 31, 2008; 11:21 AM ET | Comments (0)

And You Are...?

PALM BEACH, Fla.--New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick arrived for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's address this morning to begin the annual league meeting. One problem: Belichick wasn't wearing his credential and, according to people who witnessed the scene, the security guard stationed outside the meeting room at the Breakers...

By Mark Maske | March 31, 2008; 10:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

League Meeting Under Way

PALM BEACH, Fla.--The annual league meeting is under way. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's address to the franchise owners and other representatives of the 32 teams has begun at the Breakers resort. Goodell is scheduled to participate in a news conference later today, and the focus undoubtedly will be his...

By Mark Maske | March 31, 2008; 9:15 AM ET | Comments (0)

Labor Talk

From Mark on vacation: In addition to Commissioner Roger Goodell's proposed crackdown on cheating and other prospective rule changes, the other main topic of conversation at the annual league meeting next week in Palm Beach, Fla., will be the potential labor confrontation between the franchise owners and the players'...

By Emilio Garcia-Ruiz | March 28, 2008; 11:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

Reseeding Proposal Would Affect Wild Cards

The reseeding proposal by the competition committee would enable wild card playoff qualifiers to compete for the third and fourth seeds in each conference. Currently, the four division winners in each conference get the top four seeds. The proposal would reserve the top two playoff seeds for division winners,...

By Cindy Boren | March 27, 2008; 2:13 PM ET | Comments (2)

Hair Proposal Isn't Likely to Take Root

The Kansas City Chiefs' proposal to limit the hair length of players comes without the endorsement of the competition committee, at least at this point. Under the proposal, a player's hair could not cover his name or number on his jersey. It would have to be ratified by at...

By Cindy Boren | March 27, 2008; 1:27 PM ET | Comments (4)

Competition Committee Backs Goodell's Proposals

More from the "vacationing" Mark Maske: Commissioner Roger Goodell's proposed crackdown on cheating has the backing of the NFL competition committee, as expected. The committee has endorsed the measures proposed by Goodell in a memo sent earlier this month to committee members. The measures next will be presented to...

By Cindy Boren | March 27, 2008; 1:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

This Time, Defensive Proposal Seems Likely to Pass

Some people send postcards from vacation; Maske sends blog items: Expect the proposal to link one defensive player to a coach on the sidelines via wireless device to be approved at the league meeting next week in Palm Beach, Fla. The proposal has the backing of Commissioner Roger Goodell and...

By Cindy Boren | March 27, 2008; 1:01 PM ET | Comments (2)

How to Fix the Tampering Problem

Maske interrupts his vacation: THE BEACH, March 27 -- The competition committee's recommendation on the tampering issue is a common sense solution to a widespread problem. Under the proposal, there would be a five- to seven-day window before the opening of free agency annually in which agents for prospective free...

By Cindy Boren | March 27, 2008; 12:36 PM ET | Comments (0)

Thursday Opener May Start Earlier

Maske continues to chill (if you're on a beach and the guy on the blanket next to you asks if you have any snacks, that's him!) and I thought I'd share this little bit of news from the AP: The NFL is considering starting its Thursday night season opener...

By Cindy Boren | March 26, 2008; 2:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

Pressure Shifts from Goodell to Owners

Never has a little thing like vacation stopped Maske from blogging. He files this from an undisclosed yet secure location: Roger Goodell showed that he's serious about his crackdown on cheating. Actions are louder than words, and particularly louder than memos. So when Goodell followed up his recent memo to...

By Cindy Boren | March 25, 2008; 5:34 PM ET | Comments (2)

Colts Reportedly Allowing Utecht to Leave for Bengals

The Indianapolis Colts reportedly have declined to match an offer sheet to reserve tight end Ben Utecht, allowing him to go to the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals had signed Utecht, a restricted free agent, to a three-year, $9 million offer sheet, and the Colts had until Friday to decide...

By Mark Maske | March 22, 2008; 9:53 AM ET | Comments (16)

Kicker J. Elam Leaves Broncos for Falcons

Kicker Jason Elam left the Denver Broncos by agreeing to a four-year, approximately $9 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons as a free agent. The Broncos tried to re-sign Elam, their kicker for 15 seasons. Instead, Elam decided to return to his home town....

By Mark Maske | March 21, 2008; 10:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Rules Allow Titans to Trade Jones to Cowboys... Or Anyone Else

There are reports that the Dallas Cowboys are talking to the Tennessee Titans about a possible trade for suspended cornerback Adam (Pacman) Jones. Jones also has been linked to other possible new teams, including the New England Patriots and Detroit Lions, in media speculation about prospective trades. Which leads...

By Mark Maske | March 21, 2008; 12:59 PM ET | Comments (0)

Eli Manning on Fitness and More

Pardon the interruption ... washingtonpost.com sports editor Jon DeNunzio here, just making sure the NFL Insider nation saw this interview that The Post's "Lean Plate Club" columnist, Sally Squires, did with Eli Manning yesterday. Manning was in D.C. promoting the Presidents' Fitness Challenge, and while this is not your standard...

By washingtonpost.com Sports Editor | March 21, 2008; 11:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

J. Gross Signs Franchise Tender

Offensive tackle Jordan Gross signed his one-year franchise player contract with the Carolina Panthers. He'll have a salary of $7.455 million next season under the deal. Four of the 12 players league-wide given the franchise player tags by their teams last month now have signed contracts....

By Mark Maske | March 21, 2008; 9:55 AM ET | Comments (0)

Falcons-Raiders Trade Announced

The DeAngelo Hall trade is official. The Atlanta Falcons announced that they've traded the cornerback to the Oakland Raiders for a second-round draft pick this year and a fifth-rounder next year. Hall agreed to a seven-year, approximately $70 million contract with the Raiders earlier....

By Mark Maske | March 20, 2008; 10:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

D. Hall Agrees to $70 Million Contract With Raiders, Trade to Follow

The trade of cornerback DeAngelo Hall from the Atlanta Falcons to the Oakland Raiders apparently is all but complete. According to an NFL source, Hall has agreed to a seven-year, $70 million contract with the Raiders that includes about $24 million in guaranteed money. That will enable the two...

By Mark Maske | March 20, 2008; 7:32 PM ET | Comments (0)

Patriots Add F. Bryant

The New England Patriots continue to remake their secondary by agreeing to a contract today with free agent cornerback Fernando Bryant, cut by the Detroit Lions. In free agency, the Patriots have added cornerbacks Bryant, Jason Webster and Lewis Sanders, along with safety Tank Williams. They've lost cornerbacks Asante...

By Mark Maske | March 20, 2008; 4:56 PM ET | Comments (0)

G. Dorsey Says Knee Is All Right

There continues to be speculation about the health of LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey as the draft approaches. The latest report is that Dorsey underwent an undisclosed knee surgery in recent months. Dorsey denied that, just as he denied speculation at the scouting combine that he had a stress...

By Mark Maske | March 20, 2008; 1:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Free Agency Winners and Losers

With the free agent market basically picked-over at this point, here are some quick thoughts on the league's winners and losers since Feb. 29: Winners: The Players... With next season's salary cap set at $116 million, the teams had to spend money. There is, after all, a payroll minimum...

By Mark Maske | March 20, 2008; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Mawae's Election as Union President Announced

The NFL Players Association made it official today and announced the election of Kevin Mawae as its president. The Tennessee Titans center succeeds Troy Vincent, whose term expired. Mawae is to serve a two-year term. "It is an honor to be elected president of the NFLPA by the board...

By Mark Maske | March 19, 2008; 9:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bengals Sign Franchise Player S. Andrews

The Cincinnati Bengals signed offensive lineman Stacy Andrews to a one-year contract. Andrews was designated the Bengals' franchise player last month. He signed a contract with the salary designated to him as the franchise player--$7.455 million. The Bengals indicated that they will continue to pursue a longterm deal with...

By Mark Maske | March 19, 2008; 3:09 PM ET | Comments (0)

Culpepper, Leftwich Still Looking For Work

The backup quarterback slots around the league are being filled rapidly but two relatively prominent former NFL starters, Daunte Culpepper and Byron Leftwich, remain available on the free agent market. Leftwich was released by the Atlanta Falcons after the season on the heels of being released by the Jacksonville...

By Mark Maske | March 19, 2008; 10:39 AM ET | Comments (0)

M. Ryan's Pro Day Performance Was Well Received

Two people who attended the pro day workout of Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan on Tuesday said that Ryan's crisp passing performance boosted his draft stock. The outing reinforced the notion that Ryan will be the first quarterback drafted next month and likely will be a top 10 selection....

By Mark Maske | March 19, 2008; 10:32 AM ET | Comments (0)

K. Mawae Succeeds T. Vincent as Union President

Tennessee Titans center Kevin Mawae is the new president of the NFL Players Association, according to a union official. Mawae succeeds Troy Vincent, whose term expired. The union currently is conducting its annual meeting in Hawaii....

By Mark Maske | March 18, 2008; 10:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

M. Ryan Has Pro Day Workout

Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan had his pro day workout for NFL scouts today. According to the Associated Press, Ryan completed 48 of the 52 passes that he threw and had three others dropped. The Kansas City Chiefs, who have the fifth overall selection in the draft, were represented...

By Mark Maske | March 18, 2008; 6:37 PM ET | Comments (2)

Union Announces End of T. Vincent's Term as President

Troy Vincent's term as president of the NFL Players Association has expired, the union announced on its Web site. It's not clear whether the former NFL defensive back will remain with the union in another capacity. He is viewed by many within the league as a possible successor to...

By Mark Maske | March 18, 2008; 4:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

D. Hall Reportedly Headed to Raiders as New Contract Gets Worked Out to Facilitate Trade

Cornerback DeAngelo Hall told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today that he plans to fly to Oakland on Wednesday and sign a contract with the Raiders by Thursday morning. That would complete a proposed trade of Hall from the Atlanta Falcons to the Raiders. "There is just some tweaking of the...

By Mark Maske | March 18, 2008; 3:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bowlen Says He Urged Shanahan to Make Changes

Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen told the Denver Post that he continues to support his coach, Mike Shanahan, and urged Shanahan to make changes after the team went 7-9 this past season. One of those changes was last week's ouster of Ted Sundquist as the club's general manager. "There...

By Mark Maske | March 18, 2008; 3:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

D. Hall Still Negotiating With Raiders

Cornerback DeAngelo Hall continues to negotiate a contract with the Oakland Raiders as a precursor to a proposed trade with the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have been shopping Hall since the NFL scouting combine and apparently have agreed to a prospective trade with the Raiders, reportedly for second- and...

By Mark Maske | March 18, 2008; 9:42 AM ET | Comments (0)

K. Carter Agrees to Return to Bucs

Defensive end Kevin Carter agreed to re-sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Carter had been released by the Buccaneers but agreed to return for a lesser deal. He also received a contract offer from the Oakland Raiders....

By Mark Maske | March 18, 2008; 7:45 AM ET | Comments (0)

League Probing Tampering Allegation Against Niners Over Bears' Briggs

NFL officials said the league conducted a hearing today regarding an allegation that the San Francisco 49ers improperly tampered with Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs. The 49ers apparently could be in jeopardy of being penalized by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell if they're found to have had improper contact with...

By Mark Maske | March 17, 2008; 6:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

Still-Busy Jets Add B. Franks

The New York Jets are staying busy. They agreed to a contract with free agent tight end Bubba Franks, released by the Green Bay Packers. Franks is, by unofficial count, the eighth free agent added by the Jets this offseason. That group includes guard Alan Faneca and linebacker Calvin...

By Mark Maske | March 17, 2008; 8:29 AM ET | Comments (1)

D. Hall to Oakland?

Oakland could be the landing spot for Atlanta Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall. An NFL source confirmed reports that the Raiders and Falcons are discussing a prospective trade that would send Hall from Atlanta to Oakland. The Falcons have been shopping Hall since the NFL scouting combine and apparently have...

By Mark Maske | March 15, 2008; 11:01 PM ET | Comments (0)

Mock Draft, First Attempt

The Top 10: 1. Dolphins... Chris Long, DE, Virginia... Bill Parcells inherited a team with plenty of needs but a pass-rusher isn't a bad place to start. 2. Rams... Jake Long, T, Michigan... Maybe the safest pick in the draft. 3. Falcons... Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College... If you...

By Mark Maske | March 14, 2008; 3:34 PM ET | Comments (8)

Vick's State Trial Postponed

Michael Vick's trial on state dogfighting charges reportedly has been postponed indefinitely. The trial, originally scheduled to begin April 2, is to be rescheduled March 25, the Associated Press reported. Vick already is serving a 23-month federal prison sentence for his role in a dogfighting operation. The Atlanta Falcons...

By Mark Maske | March 14, 2008; 1:26 PM ET | Comments (0)

Lions Cut K. Jones, K. Edwards

The Detroit Lions released tailback Kevin Jones and defensive end Kalimba Edwards. Edwards had three sacks in eight games this past season and 26 sacks in six seasons with the Lions. Jones, a former first-round draft choice out of Virginia Tech, ran for 3,067 yards in four seasons in...

By Mark Maske | March 13, 2008; 7:25 PM ET | Comments (2)

Niners Release Dilfer

The San Francisco 49ers released veteran quarterback Trent Dilfer. Dilfer made six starts for the 49ers this past season when Alex Smith was hurt. But former third-stringer Shaun Hill played well at the end of the season when he got his starting chance. The 49ers re-signed Hill to compete...

By Mark Maske | March 13, 2008; 6:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

Giants Add Linebacker

Free agent linebacker Danny Clark agreed to a two-year, $4 million contract with the New York Giants. He leaves the Houston Texans. The Super Bowl champions make the move to fortify the position after losing linebackers Kawika Mitchell and Reggie Torbor earlier in free agency....

By Mark Maske | March 13, 2008; 12:12 PM ET | Comments (94)

Was Fired GM Really to Blame for Broncos' Drought?

The Denver Broncos went 7-9 this past season. They have one playoff victory since quarterback John Elway retired following the franchise's second straight Super Bowl triumph at the conclusion of the 1998 season. They've made a string of questionable personnel moves in recent years, including the highly ill-advised use...

By Mark Maske | March 13, 2008; 11:58 AM ET | Comments (1)

D. Carr Agrees to Deal With Giants to Back Up Manning

Quarterback David Carr agreed to a one-year, $1 million contract with the New York Giants to back up their Super Bowl-winning starter, Eli Manning. The deal means that the Giants will have one former top overall selection in the NFL draft backing up another. Carr rejoins Giants quarterbacks coach...

By Mark Maske | March 12, 2008; 9:19 PM ET | Comments (0)

Extension Coming for Savage in Cleveland

The Cleveland Browns already have given Coach Romeo Crennel a contract extension on the heels of their 10-6 season. Up next is General Manager Phil Savage. Owner Randy Lerner said Tuesday, according to the Associated Press, that an extension with Savage should be completed soon. Crennel signed a two-year...

By Mark Maske | March 12, 2008; 9:38 AM ET | Comments (0)

No Resolution Yet to S. Alexander's Status in Seattle

Seattle Seahawks officials met with tailback Shaun Alexander but told reporters Tuesday that the former league MVP's status with the team had not been resolved. It has been widely speculated after the Seahawks signed free agent tailbacks Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett that Alexander, who shared playing time this...

By Mark Maske | March 12, 2008; 9:33 AM ET | Comments (0)

J. Harrington Back With Falcons

Quarterback Joey Harrington has returned to the Atlanta Falcons. He agreed to a two-year contract with the team Tuesday after being released last week. The new deal gives the Falcons additional salary cap room and throws Harrington back into a quarterback mix that also includes Chris Redman and D.J....

By Mark Maske | March 12, 2008; 9:22 AM ET | Comments (0)

L. Fitzgerald Agrees to New Contract to Remain in Arizona

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has agreed to a new four-year, $40 million contract that will keep him with the Arizona Cardinals and free salary cap space for the team. Fitzgerald announced the agreement on his Web site and indicated that the deal contains $30 million in guaranteed money. Escalator...

By Mark Maske | March 11, 2008; 1:48 PM ET | Comments (0)

Interest in Brunell, Carr on Backup Quarterback Market

Trent Green landed in St. Louis on Monday, but the quarterback carousel continues to spin for veterans in search of jobs as backups. Mark Brunell is scheduled to visit the New Orleans Saints today, and David Carr is to visit the New York Giants. Brunell had his contract voided...

By Mark Maske | March 11, 2008; 10:17 AM ET | Comments (35)

W. Dunn Returns to Tampa

Tailback Warrick Dunn, released by the Atlanta Falcons, has returned to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers have announced that they've re-signed Dunn, who spent the first five seasons of his NFL career in Tampa. He still ranks third on the franchise's career rushing list. Dunn spent the past...

By Mark Maske | March 10, 2008; 8:31 PM ET | Comments (0)

No Deal Yet Between Walsh, NFL

People familiar with the discussions between the NFL and former New England Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh say an agreement between the two sides remains close but is not completed yet. Both sides released statements Sunday evening saying they expected an agreement to be completed soon. They have been...

By Mark Maske | March 10, 2008; 6:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

T. Green Agrees to Deal With Rams to Back Up M. Bulger

Quarterback Trent Green, a free agent after being released by the Miami Dolphins, has agreed to a contract with the St. Louis Rams. Green, 37, is to back up Marc Bulger in St. Louis. He also had drawn interest from the New Orleans Saints as a prospective backup for...

By Mark Maske | March 10, 2008; 5:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

Free Agency Slowing Down

The pace of free agency is slowing way, way down now. Most, if not all, of the big deals are done now, and it has reached the point at which many of the players still looking for work had better find jobs and get contracts soon or all of...

By Mark Maske | March 10, 2008; 1:36 PM ET | Comments (0)

League Close to Deal to Interview Walsh About "SpyGate"

The NFL is close to an agreement to interview former New England Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh, possibly a key figure in the "SpyGate" investigation. Attorneys for Walsh and the league have been negotiating an agreement to indemnify Walsh against possible legal problems arising from what he might tell...

By Mark Maske | March 9, 2008; 8:30 PM ET | Comments (1)

L. Fitzgerald Reportedly Could Be Eagles' Latest Target

The Philadelphia Eagles, on the heels of paying big money to add free agent cornerback Asante Samuel, tried but failed to lure Randy Moss from the New England Patriots. The free agent wideout re-signed with the Patriots after reportedly being offered more money by the Eagles. Now the Eagles'...

By Mark Maske | March 8, 2008; 1:44 PM ET | Comments (4)

Does J. Jones's Signing In Seattle Signal S. Alexander's Exit?

Julius Jones's arrival in Seattle is prompting questions about whether fellow tailback Shaun Alexander might be departing soon. Jones left the Dallas Cowboys via free agency Friday by agreeing to a contract with the Seahawks. He becomes the second free agent tailback signed by the Seahawks, following T.J. Duckett....

By Mark Maske | March 8, 2008; 1:04 PM ET | Comments (109)

Coughlin's Contract Extension Completed

The New York Giants and Tom Coughlin completed the coach's four-year, $21 million contract extension Friday. The deal is to be announced today. Both sides had said since the Giants' Super Bowl triumph over the New England Patriots that an extension was in the works....

By Mark Maske | March 8, 2008; 12:59 PM ET | Comments (115)

L. Johnson Leaves Bengals for Panthers

Free agent linebacker Landon Johnson agreed to a deal with the Carolina Panthers. He leaves the Cincinnati Bengals, who had been interested in re-signing him. The Cincinnati defense already had lost two key free agents, safety Madieu Williams and end Justin Smith....

By Mark Maske | March 7, 2008; 1:31 PM ET | Comments (2)

More on Goodell's Memo to the Competition Committee

Don't miss our story in today's print edition about the memo that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent Thursday to the league's competition committee, detailing his proposals for preserving the competitive integrity of the game and maintaining the public's confidence in the sport in the wake of the "SpyGate" scandal....

By Mark Maske | March 7, 2008; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (21)

Thoughts on Favre's Presser

Sorry, I got sidetracked on another story and didn't get a chance to post anything earlier on Brett Favre's retirement press conference this afternoon. If you missed it, let me sum it up for you: It was great, great theater. Favre was honest. He was genuine. He was himself....

By Mark Maske | March 6, 2008; 10:27 PM ET | Comments (1)

Kearse Returns to Titans, and the Day's Other Moves

Defensive end Jevon Kearse is back with the Tennessee Titans. Kearse, cut by the Philadelphia Eagles, agreed to a deal with the Titans today. He left Tennessee as a free agent before the 2004 season to sign with the Eagles. Now he's back. In other moves: Free agent linebacker...

By Mark Maske | March 6, 2008; 9:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

Brunell Reportedly on Packers' List of Possible Backups

Mark Brunell apparently is on the Green Bay Packers' list as a potential backup quarterback for new starter Aaron Rodgers. The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported that the Packers have contacted the veteran quarterback's agent to express interest in Brunell, who's a free agent after having his contract voided by...

By Mark Maske | March 6, 2008; 9:54 AM ET | Comments (5)

T. Suggs, Ravens Headed To Arbitration Over Position Dispute

Terrell Suggs has filed a grievance against the Baltimore Ravens. At dispute is his official position--and $814,000 When the Ravens used their franchise player tag on Suggs last month, they designated him a linebacker. That gives Suggs a salary of $8.065 million next season if he remains the franchise...

By Mark Maske | March 6, 2008; 9:23 AM ET | Comments (0)

Patriots Add Safety

Free agent safety Tank Williams agreed to a one-year deal with the New England Patriots. Williams leaves the Minnesota Vikings. He could be a possible replacement in New England for Eugene Wilson, a free agent safety who is drawing interest from several teams....

By Mark Maske | March 6, 2008; 7:30 AM ET | Comments (116)

Contract Reworking Keeps D. Rhodes With Raiders

Tailback Dominic Rhodes agreed to a restructuring of his contract in recent days to keep him with the Oakland Raiders. The former Super Bowl standout for the Indianapolis Colts reportedly had been scheduled to receive a $2 million roster bonus this week, putting him in jeopardy of being released...

By Mark Maske | March 6, 2008; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

Activity on Restricted Free Agent Market

The restricted free agent market has gotten its first activity. The Detroit Lions signed Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Kalvin Pearson to a three-year, $3.5 million offer sheet. The deal includes a $1.1 million signing bonus. The Buccaneers have a week to decide whether to match the offer to retain...

By Mark Maske | March 5, 2008; 9:11 PM ET | Comments (0)

Favre to Speak Thursday

Brett Favre is scheduled to speak Thursday. The Green Bay Packers have scheduled a noon news conference for the quarterback, who told team officials this week that he's retiring....

By Mark Maske | March 5, 2008; 7:31 PM ET | Comments (2)

S. Rogers Gets New Contract to Go With New Team

Defensive tackle Shaun Rogers agreed to a six-year, $42 million contract with the Cleveland Browns that includes $20 million in guaranteed money. The Browns obtained Rogers in a trade with the Detroit Lions on Friday after the Lions' near-deal to send the defensive tackle to the Cincinnati Bengals unraveled....

By Mark Maske | March 5, 2008; 3:24 PM ET | Comments (2)

Falcons Release J. Harrington

The Atlanta Falcons have released quarterback Joey Harrington, perhaps reinforcing the notion that they will use the third overall selection in the NFL draft in April on Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan. Harrington inherited the Falcons' starting job this past season from the suspended Michael Vick but couldn't keep...

By Mark Maske | March 5, 2008; 2:05 PM ET | Comments (2)

Packers Now Turn to A. Rodgers

During the Green Bay Packers' news conference Tuesday, General Manager Ted Thompson and Coach Mike McCarthy declined to answer questions about whether the club would try to add a veteran quarterback to go with Aaron Rodgers now that Brett Favre has told team officials he's retiring. It would make...

By Mark Maske | March 5, 2008; 11:20 AM ET | Comments (3)

T. Green Drawing Free Agent Interest

It was thought that quarterback Trent Green likely was headed to retirement when he suffered his second serious concussion in two seasons this past season while with the Miami Dolphins. But Green has received medical clearance to resume his career and, after being released by the Dolphins, is drawing...

By Mark Maske | March 5, 2008; 10:08 AM ET | Comments (0)

Patriots Retain J. Gaffney

Free agent wide receiver Jabar Gaffney agreed to a one-year, $2 million contract Tuesday night to remain with the New England Patriots. The Patriots are doing what they can to keep quarterback Tom Brady's receiver corps intact, losing Donte' Stallworth but re-signing Randy Moss and Gaffney to go with...

By Mark Maske | March 5, 2008; 9:53 AM ET | Comments (0)

J. Walker to Raiders, M. Booker Returning to Bears

There are some significant moves tonight involving recently released wide receivers. Javon Walker, cut by the Denver Broncos, has agreed to a huge deal with the Oakland Raiders. His six-year, $55 million contract includes $16 million in guaranteed money. Marty Booker, released by the Miami Dolphins, has agreed to...

By Mark Maske | March 4, 2008; 11:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cornerback-Needy Patriots Sign J. Webster

The New England Patriots signed free agent cornerback Jason Webster. Webster was with the Buffalo Bills this past season but played only one game before being placed on the injured reserve list. He previously had stints with the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots needed help at...

By Mark Maske | March 4, 2008; 10:36 PM ET | Comments (49)

Goodell on Favre

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has issued a statement on Brett Favre's retirement. It says: "Brett Favre will always be remembered as one of the greatest players and fiercest competitors in NFL history. His long list of accomplishments both on and off the field is remarkable. Brett's talent, enthusiasm and...

By Mark Maske | March 4, 2008; 7:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

McCarthy, Thompson Say Packers Were Surprised By Favre's Decision

Green Bay Packers Coach Mike McCarthy said he spoke to Brett Favre twice by telephone Monday night and was told of the quarterback's decision to retire. "He informed me that it was time for him to hang up the cleats, as he referred to it," McCarthy said at a...

By Mark Maske | March 4, 2008; 6:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

Ron Wolf Reacts

Former Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf said he'd heard about Brett Favre's retirement from a neighbor in Florida. "I was surprised when I heard it," Wolf said in a telephone interview. "But when I thought about it and heard what was said, it made perfect sense. Brett...

By Mark Maske | March 4, 2008; 6:32 PM ET | Comments (0)

Some Reaction to Favre's Retirement

Former San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions coach Steve Mariucci, once a Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach, issued a statement on Brett Favre's retirement. "Throughout his 17 years, he never lost that feeling of playing the game for the first time," Mariucci said. "That's what makes Brett Favre unlike...

By Mark Maske | March 4, 2008; 6:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

Where Does Favre Rank?

So the question as Brett Favre retires is: Where does he rank among the sport's all-time greatest quarterbacks? Top 10? Top five? The greatest ever? The answer here is that he definitely makes the top 10, but he doesn't quite crack the top five. It says here that the...

By Mark Maske | March 4, 2008; 1:40 PM ET | Comments (17)

Packers Confirm Favre's Retirement

The Green Bay Packers have confirmed that quarterback Brett Favre has told them he is retiring. The team has released a statement from General Manager Ted Thompson that says: "Brett Favre has informed us of his intention to retire from the Green Bay Packers and the NFL. He has...

By Mark Maske | March 4, 2008; 11:41 AM ET | Comments (1)

Favre Retiring

Quarterback Brett Favre has decided to retire. An NFL source confirmed reports that Favre informed Green Bay Packers Coach Mike McCarthy on Monday night that he has decided to call it a career. The Biloxi Sun Herald reported that Favre's brother Scott confirmed Brett's decision. Favre, 38, has contemplated...

By Mark Maske | March 4, 2008; 10:29 AM ET | Comments (0)

Another Would-Be Bengals' Trade For A Defensive Tackle Unravels

The Cincinnati Bengals are oh for two in trying to trade for defensive tackles. A near-deal with the New York Jets for Dewayne Robertson unraveled Monday when the Bengals and Robertson couldn't agree on a reworked contract. Earlier, the Bengals nearly traded for Detroit's Shaun Rogers but that deal,...

By Mark Maske | March 4, 2008; 9:59 AM ET | Comments (0)

Titans Lose Three

The Tennessee Titans lost three free agents, including defensive ends Antwan Odom and Travis LaBoy. Odom agreed to a five-year, $29.5 million contract with the Cincinnati Bengals that includes $11.5 million in guaranteed money. LaBoy agreed to a five-year, $22 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals that includes $7.5...

By Mark Maske | March 3, 2008; 10:14 PM ET | Comments (0)

Eagles Made Bid for R. Moss

The Philadelphia Eagles made a run at signing wide receiver Randy Moss before he re-signed today with the New England Patriots. The Eagles had a bitter parting with another receiving diva, Terrell Owens. But they did reach a Super Bowl with Owens on their roster, and NFL sources said...

By Mark Maske | March 3, 2008; 10:09 PM ET | Comments (218)

Patriots Announce Moss Re-Signing

Wide receiver Randy Moss's deal with the New England Patriots is official. The three-year, $27 million contract includes $15 million in guaranteed money, most of that in a $12 million signing bonus. It certainly looks like Moss gave the Patriots a discount, given that a less productive wideout like...

By Mark Maske | March 3, 2008; 7:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

Giants Make First Addition

After doing nothing but losing free agents on defense, the New York Giants finally have added one. The Super Bowl champions completed a deal today with safety Sammy Knight, most recently of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He could replace Gibril Wilson, who left the Giants to sign with the Oakland...

By Mark Maske | March 3, 2008; 5:07 PM ET | Comments (0)

Still-Busy Jets Add C. Pace, D. Woody

The New York Jets are on a free agent frenzy. The Jets have agreed to deals with linebacker Calvin Pace, formerly of the Arizona Cardinals, and offensive lineman Damien Woody, formerly of the Detroit Lions. Pace agreed to a six-year, $42 million contract that includes $22 million in guaranteed...

By Mark Maske | March 3, 2008; 4:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

Steelers Lock Up Roethlisberger With $102 Million Extension

The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to an eight-year, $102 million contract extension that runs through the 2015 season. The deal includes about $36 million in guaranteed money. "Ben has been an outstanding leader on the field for the Steelers since his rookie year and we are...

By Mark Maske | March 3, 2008; 2:44 PM ET | Comments (0)

R. Moss, Patriots Have Tentative Deal

The NFL's top free agent is off the market. Wide receiver Randy Moss has tentatively agreed to a three-year, $27 million contract to remain with the New England Patriots, an NFL source said. The two sides are working out the final details of the contract and, barring any last-second...

By Mark Maske | March 3, 2008; 2:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

Patriots, R. Moss Said to be Close to Deal

NFL sources say the New England Patriots are close to re-signing wide receiver Randy Moss. Moss set a single-season league record with 23 touchdown catches this past season after being traded from the Oakland Raiders to the Patriots. He agreed to a restructured contract with a reduced salary as...

By Mark Maske | March 3, 2008; 2:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

W. Dunn Released By Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons have released veteran tailback Warrick Dunn. The move comes a day after the team signed Michael Turner, an unrestricted free agent from the San Diego Chargers who is expected to take over as the Falcons' starting tailback. Dunn spent six seasons in Atlanta and is the...

By Mark Maske | March 3, 2008; 1:59 PM ET | Comments (0)

A. Crumpler Close to Deal With Titans

Tight end Alge Crumpler, released by the Atlanta Falcons, is close to a contract agreement with the Tennessee Titans. The deal, barring any last-second snags, should be completed later tonight or Monday. Crumpler perhaps could serve as a security-blanket receiver for Titans quarterback Vince Young the way he once...

By Mark Maske | March 2, 2008; 7:42 PM ET | Comments (0)

Falcons Add M. Turner

The Atlanta Falcons just announced that they've agreed to a contract with tailback Michael Turner, an unrestricted free agent. Turner served as LaDainian Tomlinson's backup in San Diego but is believed by many league talent evaluators to be capable of being a top-tier runner as a starter. He'll get...

By Mark Maske | March 2, 2008; 3:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

R. Gay to Saints as Patriots Lose Another Cornerback

The New England Patriots have lost another cornerback. Two days after Asante Samuel left for the Philadelphia Eagles, fellow unrestricted free agent Randall Gay has agreed to a four-year, $17.8 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. The contract includes $6.9 million in guaranteed money. It's a homecoming for...

By Mark Maske | March 2, 2008; 3:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

Leftovers

Some Saturday night leftovers: The Denver Broncos, looking for a complementary receiver after releasing Javon Walker, signed wideout Keary Colbert to a three-year deal. Colbert formerly was with the Carolina Panthers. The New Orleans Saints re-signed tailback Aaron Stecker as well as wide receiver Devery Henderson, and released linebacker...

By Mark Maske | March 2, 2008; 1:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Briggs Staying in Chicago

Last offseason, linebacker Lance Briggs tried desperately to get away from the Chicago Bears. The team used its franchise player tag to keep him off the free agent market but Briggs and agent Drew Rosenhaus went to the annual league meeting to attempt to generate trade interest, and got...

By Mark Maske | March 2, 2008; 12:33 AM ET | Comments (0)

Devery Henderson Staying With Saints

The New Orleans Saints re-signed wide receiver Devery Henderson to a one-year, $2 million contract. It had been thought by many in the league that the speedy Henderson would leave New Orleans via free agency. In other early-evening free agent news: Cornerback Jacques Reeves, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys,...

By Mark Maske | March 1, 2008; 7:43 PM ET | Comments (0)

D. Stallworth to Browns, B. Berrian to Vikings

Randy Moss remains unsigned but other wide receivers, including former New England Patriots teammate Donte' Stallworth, are finding teams. Stallworth has agreed to a deal with the Cleveland Browns. The Patriots made him a free agent by declining to pick up an option in his contract. Wideout Bernard Berrian,...

By Mark Maske | March 1, 2008; 7:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

Faneca Gets $40 Million Over Five Seasons From Jets

Guard Alan Faneca agreed to a five-year, $40 million deal with the New York Jets. The unrestricted free agent's contract includes $21 million in guaranteed money. A year ago, several guards received $7 million-a-year contracts in free agency. Now Faneca, formerly of the Pittsburgh Steelers, has pushed the going...

By Mark Maske | March 1, 2008; 7:16 PM ET | Comments (0)

M. Stroud Traded to Bills

The Jacksonville Jaguars have traded defensive tackle Marcus Stroud to the Buffalo Bills for third- and fifth-round draft choices. The trade market continues to be dominated by defensive tackles. The Green Bay Packers traded Corey Williams to the Cleveland Browns for a second-round pick. The Carolina Panthers traded Kris...

By Mark Maske | March 1, 2008; 5:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

D. Florence to Jags, Plus Other Early Afternoon Moves

Free agent cornerback Drayton Florence agreed to a contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars that includes approximately $12 million in guaranteed money. He leaves the San Diego Chargers. Florence lost his starting job with the Chargers this past season but was regarded as one of the better cornerbacks available in...

By Mark Maske | March 1, 2008; 3:56 PM ET | Comments (0)

Niners Have Deal With J. Smith

The San Francisco 49ers have reached a contract agreement with defensive end Justin Smith. The six-year deal apparently includes about $20 million in guaranteed money and is worth more than $7 million per season overall. Smith, an unrestricted free agent formerly with the Cincinnati Bengals, had only two sacks...

By Mark Maske | March 1, 2008; 9:55 AM ET | Comments (0)

No Resolution Yet on R. Moss

The first day of free agency came and went without any resolution of Randy Moss's status. Many in the league thought that when the New England Patriots didn't use their franchise player tag on Moss, it was a sign that the team had worked out a deal to retain...

By Mark Maske | March 1, 2008; 8:26 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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