Archive: April 2008

Thoughts on Ryan and Vick

It is being widely speculated that the Atlanta Falcons' decision to select quarterback Matt Ryan of Boston College with the third overall pick in the NFL draft Saturday means that the organization has, in effect, severed its ties with suspended and imprisoned quarterback Michael Vick. True? Well, maybe. Or...

By Mark Maske | April 30, 2008; 4:23 PM ET | Comments (0)

Jaguars Add Prioleau

Free agent safety Pierson Prioleau agreed to a contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He'd spent the last three seasons with the Washington Redskins. The move reunites Prioleau with new Jaguars defensive boss Gregg Williams, for whom he previously had played in Buffalo and D.C....

By Mark Maske | April 30, 2008; 4:22 PM ET | Comments (0)

Parcells, J. Taylor Reportedly Having Trouble Co-Existing in Miami

The Miami Dolphins didn't trade defensive end Jason Taylor during draft weekend, and General Manager Jeff Ireland told reporters he hopes the organization's relationship with the former NFL defensive player of the year is good. But there are indications otherwise. Taylor has been missing the Dolphins' offseason conditioning workouts...

By Mark Maske | April 30, 2008; 9:46 AM ET | Comments (0)

Eagles Sue T. Owens For Unreturned Bonus Money

The Philadelphia Eagles are suing wide receiver Terrell Owens for bonus money not repaid to them, according to several reports. Owens, now with the Dallas Cowboys, lost an arbitration ruling requiring him to repay the Eagles $1.7 million in bonus money based on his actions in 2005, when the...

By Mark Maske | April 29, 2008; 11:07 AM ET | Comments (0)

Jaguars Reportedly In Running for Eagles' Sheppard

The Jacksonville Jaguars are pursuing a possible trade with the Philadelphia Eagles for cornerback Lito Sheppard, the Philadelphia Daily News reports. The Jaguars reportedly are attempting to obtain Sheppard for a package of draft choices next April. The Eagles apparently were interested in trading Sheppard last weekend but couldn't...

By Mark Maske | April 29, 2008; 10:40 AM ET | Comments (0)

Terps' Henderson Joins Brother With Vikings

Former University of Maryland linebacker Erin Henderson agreed to a contract with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent. The move makes him a teammate of his older brother, Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson. Erin Henderson bypassed his final season of collegiate eligibility at Maryland and was projected as...

By Mark Maske | April 28, 2008; 8:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Raiders Release D. Rhodes

The Oakland Raiders released tailback Dominic Rhodes, a former Super Bowl standout for the Indianapolis Colts. The move comes in the aftermath of an NFL draft in which the Raiders used the fourth overall selection Saturday on Arkansas tailback Darren McFadden. The Raiders still have tailbacks Justin Fargas, LaMont...

By Mark Maske | April 28, 2008; 7:45 PM ET | Comments (0)

Panthers Add D. Walker to Defensive Line

Free agent defensive tackle Darwin Walker agreed to a contract with the Carolina Panthers. He spent last season with the Chicago Bears and was with the Philadelphia Eagles prior to that. The Panthers traded defensive tackle Kris Jenkins earlier in the offseason and didn't select a defensive lineman until...

By Mark Maske | April 28, 2008; 4:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

Upshaw Says Union Won't Agree to Rookie Wage Scale

Executives from NFL teams again have raised the idea in recent weeks of imposing a rookie wage scale, so that less money is directed to players just entering the league and more is given to established veterans under the salary cap system. But Gene Upshaw, the executive director of...

By Mark Maske | April 28, 2008; 4:32 PM ET | Comments (0)

Winners and Losers

Three teams' drafts that I really liked: Chiefs: What's not to like? They had six picks in the first three rounds and made the most of all of them. They got two of the draft's best linemen, in Glenn Dorsey and Branden Albert, in the opening round. They got...

By Mark Maske | April 28, 2008; 12:22 PM ET | Comments (13)

Jones Trade Offers Protections For Both Cowboys, Titans

The terms of the Adam (Pacman) Jones trade, finalized over the weekend, provide protections for both the team getting the suspended cornerback, the Dallas Cowboys, and the club getting rid of him, the Tennessee Titans. The Cowboys sent a fourth-round draft pick Sunday to the Titans for Jones, who...

By Mark Maske | April 28, 2008; 10:56 AM ET | Comments (1)

Flurry of Post-Draft Roster Moves Likely to Come Now

Get ready for a little post-draft flurry of roster moves around the league over the next few days. Teams that fortified certain positions during the draft might release veteran players. Clubs that failed to address particular needs might sign veterans. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the players thought...

By Mark Maske | April 28, 2008; 10:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

Chiefs Are Thriving

The Kansas City Chiefs should be having a great draft, with all the picks they got in the Jared Allen trade with the Minnesota Vikings. And they are. Each of their first six selections were solid. In the first round, they got LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey with the...

By Mark Maske | April 27, 2008; 2:19 PM ET | Comments (0)

Third Round Thoughts

Some picks of interest in today's third round: * Tailback Jamaal Charles of Texas went 73rd overall to the Chiefs. Kansas City gets a complementary runner to go with Larry Johnson. * Penn State linebacker Dan Connor goes 74th to the Panthers. Great third-round value for Carolina. * Wide...

By Mark Maske | April 27, 2008; 1:50 PM ET | Comments (0)

Big Trades Lacking, At Least So Far

Another surprising development Saturday was the lack of trades of players already in the league. Cornerback Lito Sheppard is still in Philadelphia. Defensive end Jason Taylor is still in Miami. Tight end Jeremy Shockey is still with the New York Giants. Wide receivers Chad Johnson of Cincinnati, Roy Williams...

By Mark Maske | April 27, 2008; 9:35 AM ET | Comments (2)

Thoughts on Second-Round Quarterbacks

The draft's third and fourth quarterbacks came off the board late in the second round. Louisville's Brian Brohm went 56th overall to the Green Bay Packers, and Michigan's Chad Henne went to the Miami Dolphins on the following choice. A few issues arising from those selections: * So is...

By Mark Maske | April 27, 2008; 9:27 AM ET | Comments (0)

Receivers Rebound in Second Round

The shutout of receivers in the first round of the NFL draft Saturday led to a second-round bounce-back. Nine wideouts were selected in the second round. The surprise developments were that the first wide receiver taken was Donnie Avery of Houston, 33rd overall by the St. Louis Rams, and...

By Mark Maske | April 27, 2008; 9:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

A Timely First Round

NEW YORK--The first round was completed in 3 hours 30 minutes, making it the shortest first round since 1990. The NFL's speed-up effort worked after last year's 6-hour, 8-minute first round. "I take that as a sign of improvement," Commissioner Roger Goodell said at the podium. The first-round picks...

By Cindy Boren | April 26, 2008; 6:42 PM ET | Comments (0)

Ravens Make a Panic Move

NEW YORK--I didn't particularly like what the Ravens did, trading back up (after trading down earlier) to take Delaware quarterback Joe Flacco with the 18th pick. Fellow quarterbacks Brian Brohm of Louisville and Chad Henne of Michigan were still available. The Ravens could have stayed put at 26th and...

By Cindy Boren | April 26, 2008; 5:50 PM ET | Comments (5)

Dissecting the Redskins' Trade

NEW YORK--The Redskins' trade, to me, means they're going to take a wide receiver. No wideouts have been taken yet and the Redskins should have a shot at two or three guys from among Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly, Limas Sweed and DeSean Jackson. I'm a little surprised they didn't...

By Cindy Boren | April 26, 2008; 5:49 PM ET | Comments (1)

Few Surprises So Far

NEW YORK--Not too many huge surprises so far, other than the Ravens taking Joe Flacco 18th. USC offensive tackle Sam Baker probably wasn't worthy of the 21st overall pick. But the offensive tackles were flying off the board, and the Falcons felt they couldn't wait. Seven of the draft's...

By washingtonpost.com Sports Editor | April 26, 2008; 4:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

Crowd Likes Gholston Pick

NEW YORK--The Jets just took Vernon Gholston, the Ohio State defensive end, sixth. That pick got big cheers from the Jets fans in the crowd. Not only do they get one of the draft's best pass rushers, but they keep Gholston away from the Patriots on the seventh pick....

By Mark Maske | April 26, 2008; 3:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

Greetings From New York, Looking Like Chris Long Second

NEW YORK--I've made it to New York and Radio City Music Hall, an ornate but odd setting for the draft. Pre-draft organ music just doesn't seem quite right. The Dolphins already signed Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long to be the top overall pick. It looks like the Rams are...

By Mark Maske | April 26, 2008; 2:00 PM ET | Comments (2)

DraftCast Reminder

Don't forget -- during the first round of the NFL draft, washingtonpost.com will stream a live Web cast with reporting and analysis from Post reporters (including Mark Maske), editors and an additional cast of thousands (give or take) from inside and outside the Post. We'll talk about the draft as...

By Jon DeNunzio | April 26, 2008; 11:37 AM ET | Comments (0)

Mock Draft

The toughest question remains: Will the Falcons take Matt Ryan third? I know a lot of people think they'll pass but I just keep wondering: How can they possibly go into next season with Chris Redman and Joey Harrington as their main options at quarterback? 1. Dolphins... Jake Long,...

By Mark Maske | April 25, 2008; 10:56 AM ET | Comments (10)

Bucs Reportedly in L. Sheppard Chase

According to reports out of media outlets in Philadelphia and Florida, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have emerged as a potential bidder for Eagles cornerback Lito Sheppard. The Eagles are thought to be interested in trading Sheppard after signing cornerback Asante Samuel in free agency. The Buccaneers have a need...

By Mark Maske | April 25, 2008; 8:10 AM ET | Comments (2)

DraftCast -- Live on washingtonpost.com Saturday

NFL Insider readers: Wanted to give you a heads-up that during the first round of the NFL draft, washingtonpost.com will stream a live Web cast with reporting and analysis from Post reporters (including Mark Maske), editors and many others from inside and outside the Post. Our primary concentration will be...

By Jon DeNunzio | April 25, 2008; 1:15 AM ET | Comments (0)

Goodell Says He's Prepared to Act if Further Violations By Patriots Are Substantiated

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke to a gathering of sports editors today in New York. There was no major news, but there were a few tidbits. According to Post football editor Cindy Boren, who was on hand, Goodell said he's prepared to punish the New England Patriots severely if...

By Mark Maske | April 24, 2008; 6:43 PM ET | Comments (2)

Jets Trade D. Robertson to Broncos

The New York Jets have traded defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson to the Denver Broncos. The Jets receive a conditional 2009 draft pick in return. They'd been shopping Robertson all offseason. They agreed to trade him to the Cincinnati Bengals in March for fourth- and fifth-round choices in this year's...

By Mark Maske | April 24, 2008; 6:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

New Mock Top 10

I'll get an entire first round posted soon but here, quickly, is my current thinking on the top 10 so that there's something here for everyone to ridicule. I'm pretty sure I can at least get the top pick right... 1. Dolphins... Jake Long, T, Michigan 2. Rams... Glenn...

By Mark Maske | April 24, 2008; 12:42 PM ET | Comments (2)

Assessing the Major Trade Possibilities

Jared Allen and Adam (Pacman) Jones have been traded in recent days. Other significant deals could be in the works. Here's one assessment of the biggest potential (or rumored) draft-weekend trades, by player... Lito Sheppard... The Eagles perhaps have to take what they can get for the cornerback after...

By Mark Maske | April 24, 2008; 10:01 AM ET | Comments (0)

Packers Consider Culpepper

Free agent quarterback Daunte Culpepper visited the Green Bay Packers on Wednesday and could be signed in the coming days as a veteran backup to new starter Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers ascended to the starting job when Brett Favre retired. Culpepper spent last season with the Oakland Raiders. He's had...

By Mark Maske | April 24, 2008; 9:43 AM ET | Comments (0)

Titans Agree to Trade Pacman Jones to Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys and Tennessee Titans have agreed to a trade involving suspended cornerback Adam (Pacman) Jones, a source familiar with the discussions confirmed. The Titans have agreed to trade Jones to the Cowboys for a draft pick, according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity...

By Mark Maske | April 23, 2008; 7:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

Patriots Statement

The New England Patriots have issued a written statement about Matt Walsh's agreement to be interviewed by the league about the "SpyGate" scandal. It says: "The New England Patriots are pleased to learn that Matt Walsh is finally willing to come forward to meet with the NFL. We are...

By Mark Maske | April 23, 2008; 5:07 PM ET | Comments (0)

Rams Can't Sign Their Pick Before Draft

I was asked here after the Miami Dolphins signed offensive tackle Jake Long on Tuesday to be Saturday's top pick in the draft whether the St. Louis Rams, who have the No. 2 choice, now are permitted to sign the player they're going to select. It took a little...

By Mark Maske | April 23, 2008; 3:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

NFL Completes Deal With Former Patriots Video Assistant

The NFL has completed an agreement with former New England Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh. The deal provides legal protection for Walsh. In return, Walsh is to turn over materials to the league by May 8 and is to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on May 13 in...

By Mark Maske | April 23, 2008; 12:37 PM ET | Comments (0)

League, M. Walsh Nearing Deal

Lawyers for the NFL and former New England Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh are close to completing an agreement that would provide legal protection for Walsh so that he could be interviewed by league officials about the videotaping scandal involving the Patriots. Indications are that the deal could be...

By Mark Maske | April 23, 2008; 11:42 AM ET | Comments (0)

J. Allen Headed to Vikings

The Kansas City Chiefs have agreed to trade defensive end Jared Allen, last season's NFL sacks leader, to the Minnesota Vikings for three draft picks this weekend, including a first-rounder. The Chiefs also receive a pair of third-round selections. According to a source, Allen agreed to a six-year, approximately...

By Mark Maske | April 23, 2008; 2:45 AM ET | Comments (0)

Seahawks Appear On Verge of Releasing S. Alexander

The Seattle Seahawks apparently are on the verge of releasing tailback Shaun Alexander, a former league most valuable player. An announcement could come later today or Wednesday, a person close to the situation said. The move has been expected for some time. The Seahawks signed tailbacks Julius Jones and...

By Mark Maske | April 22, 2008; 5:54 PM ET | Comments (0)

Progress in M. Walsh Negotiations?

Lawyers for the league and former New England Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh continue to negotiate an agreement that would provide legal protection for Walsh if he is interviewed by NFL officials about the videotaping scandal involving the Patriots. There are hopes that a deal perhaps could be completed...

By Mark Maske | April 22, 2008; 5:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

Dolphins Have Deal With Jake Long

The Miami Dolphins have completed a contract agreement with Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long, a source familiar with the negotiations said. The deal will be a precursor to the Dolphins using the top overall selection in the NFL draft Saturday on Long. Long agreed to a five-year contract worth...

By Mark Maske | April 22, 2008; 1:44 PM ET | Comments (0)

Chiefs' Peterson Plays Down Link Between Possible J. Allen Trade, Plans for Fifth Pick

The Kansas City Chiefs have the fifth overall choice in the NFL draft Saturday and could add another first-round pick if they trade defensive end Jared Allen, the league's leader in sacks last season. The Minnesota Vikings, who have the 17th overall selection, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who...

By Mark Maske | April 22, 2008; 10:34 AM ET | Comments (0)

Lions Dismissing R. Williams Trade Rumors

Detroit Lions officials continue to dismiss reports that they're considering trading wide receiver Roy Williams. The latest media speculation out of Philadelphia has Williams being traded this week to the Eagles, Dallas Cowboys or Washington Redskins. The talk has arisen because Williams is entering the final season of his...

By Mark Maske | April 22, 2008; 10:01 AM ET | Comments (0)

Dolphins' Talks With J. Long Are Said to be Serious

The Miami Dolphins are engaged in what one source said today are "serious" contract negotiations with the agent for offensive tackle Jake Long. The Dolphins reportedly have been focusing on the Michigan product as the prospective top overall selection in the NFL draft Saturday and are attempting to complete...

By Mark Maske | April 21, 2008; 5:19 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bengals' Thurman Reinstated

The NFL has reinstated Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Odell Thurman, the team announced today. Thurman missed the last two seasons for violations of the league's substance abuse policy. "Odell has met the NFL's conditions for reinstatement and has been added to our offseason roster," Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis said in...

By Mark Maske | April 21, 2008; 4:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Get Ready for the New and Improved NFL Draft

With the NFL draft only six days away, it's worth reminding everyone of the changes that the league has made to the format to try to speed things along. Clubs will have 10 minutes each to make their first-round picks Saturday, down from the previous limit of 15 minutes....

By Mark Maske | April 21, 2008; 10:04 AM ET | Comments (0)

Could Rumored Trade of J. Taylor Push C. Long or Gholston Ahead of J. Long on Dolphins' List?

There continue to be rumblings that the Miami Dolphins might trade defensive end Jason Taylor before the draft, although front office chief Bill Parcells previously has said that Taylor will play in Miami next season if he plays at all. The question is: If the Dolphins indeed do trade...

By Mark Maske | April 19, 2008; 4:21 PM ET | Comments (0)

J. Allen Situation Still Unresolved

Defensive end Jared Allen, last season's NFL sacks leader, visited the Minnesota Vikings on Friday. The Vikings now face a multi-part task: They must negotiate a new contract with Allen and they must work out a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs, who gave Allen their franchise player tag...

By Mark Maske | April 19, 2008; 4:16 PM ET | Comments (0)

Shockey Reportedly Would Welcome Trade to Saints

New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey reportedly has told friends that he would welcome a trade to the New Orleans Saints. The New York Daily News reported today that Shockey isn't lobbying the Giants to trade him but he wouldn't be upset to be dealt. The Saints reportedly...

By Mark Maske | April 18, 2008; 10:43 AM ET | Comments (17)

Walsh Still on League's Radar Screen

The NFL hasn't forgotten about Matt Walsh, the former New England Patriots video assistant who has hinted to media organizations that he has further information about the "SpyGate" scandal. Commissioner Roger Goodell reportedly said during an appearance in the Dallas area Wednesday that he hopes to meet with Walsh...

By Mark Maske | April 18, 2008; 10:21 AM ET | Comments (0)

Vikings Up First On J. Allen Tour

Defensive end Jared Allen, last season's NFL sacks leader who was given the Kansas City Chiefs' franchise player tag in February, is scheduled to visit the Minnesota Vikings in the coming days. He also could visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers early next week as a possible precursor to being...

By Mark Maske | April 18, 2008; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

Slip of Tongue By Dolphins' GM?

A telling slip of the tongue or a pre-draft smokescreen? At this time of the year, it can be impossible to tell. Miami Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland said at a news conference today that the team hopes the player it selects with the top overall choice in the...

By Mark Maske | April 17, 2008; 2:10 PM ET | Comments (1)

Chiefs Shopping J. Allen to Vikings, Bucs

People around the league say the Kansas City Chiefs are shopping defensive end Jared Allen, the league's sack leader last season. The Chiefs placed their franchise player tag on Allen in February but that doesn't mean they can't trade him. The Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are said...

By Mark Maske | April 17, 2008; 1:56 PM ET | Comments (1)

S. McNair Retiring

Quarterback Steve McNair is retiring. The Baltimore Ravens have scheduled a 1 p.m. news conference at which McNair, they said, will make his retirement announcement. McNair, 35, played in 13 NFL seasons, the last two of them with the Ravens after 11 with the franchise called the Houston Oilers,...

By Mark Maske | April 17, 2008; 10:55 AM ET | Comments (5)

L.A. Talk

I remember thinking at one point while I was at the annual league meeting a few weeks ago in Palm Beach, Fla., that it was remarkable how there was no talk whatsoever about the NFL returning to Los Angeles. It was the first time I could recall being at...

By Mark Maske | April 17, 2008; 10:26 AM ET | Comments (3)

Broncos Add D. Jackson

Veteran wide receiver Darrell Jackson, an unrestricted free agent after being released by the San Francisco 49ers, agreed to a one-year contract with the Denver Broncos today. It's the second wideout added by the Broncos this week. They also agreed to a one-year deal with Samie Parker. Jackson had...

By Mark Maske | April 16, 2008; 7:26 PM ET | Comments (0)

C. Johnson STILL Wants Out of Cincy

You have to give this much to wide receiver Chad Johnson: He isn't giving up when it comes to trying to get the Cincinnati Bengals to trade him. In comments attributed to Johnson by ESPN, he said today that he wants to be traded before the NFL draft if...

By Mark Maske | April 16, 2008; 3:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Pacman Jones Delays Petitioning For Reinstatement, Hoping to be Traded to Cowboys First

Suspended Tennessee Titans cornerback Adam (Pacman) Jones and his representatives have held off on making their latest bid for reinstatement by the NFL, hoping that Jones first will be traded to the Dallas Cowboys in the coming days. The two teams have been negotiating for several weeks and the...

By Mark Maske | April 16, 2008; 10:27 AM ET | Comments (0)

Patriots to Take 23-Game Regular Season Winning Streak Into October Game in San Diego?

The New England Patriots will take a 19-game regular season winning streak into next season. It's difficult to envision them not extending it to 23 games in a row. Their first four games are against the Chiefs, Jets, Dolphins and 49ers (with a Week 4 bye thrown in for...

By Mark Maske | April 15, 2008; 7:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

Trio of Road Games, Then Trio of Home Games For Bears

It's rare for an NFL team to have a three-game road trip or a three-game home stand. The Chicago Bears will have both next season. They play at Green Bay on Nov. 16, at St. Louis on Nov. 23 and at Minnesota on Nov. 30. They follow that by...

By Mark Maske | April 15, 2008; 7:33 PM ET | Comments (0)

Tough Going For Steelers

Wow. That's all you can say after looking at the Pittsburgh Steelers' schedule. It's tough. The Steelers play the two Super Bowl teams, the Giants and Patriots. They play the team that lost the AFC title game, the Chargers. They play the Colts, Jaguars, Titans, Cowboys and Redskins. That...

By Mark Maske | April 15, 2008; 7:29 PM ET | Comments (0)

Browns Get Five Prime Time Games

The Cleveland Browns went 10-6 and just missed the AFC playoffs last season. They re-signed quarterback Derek Anderson this offseason. The NFL schedule-makers apparently expect the Browns to be good--and entertaining--next season. The Browns have five prime time games, including three Monday nighters. They're also scheduled to play a...

By Mark Maske | April 15, 2008; 7:21 PM ET | Comments (0)

Seven of Eight NFL Network Games Are On Thursday Nights

The league obviously prefers Thursday night games to Saturday night games on the NFL Network. The eight-game package for the league-owned television channel includes seven Thursday night games and only one Saturday nighter. The Thursday night games begin on Nov. 6, three weeks before Thanksgiving, with Denver at Cleveland....

By Mark Maske | April 15, 2008; 6:44 PM ET | Comments (0)

Notable Games

After a quick once-over of the schedule, here are some notable games: Week 1: Redskins at Giants... The Redskins' rookie head coach, Jim Zorn, must visit the defending Super Bowl champions in his debut in the league's season opener. Jets at Dolphins... New Dolphins front office czar Bill Parcells...

By Mark Maske | April 15, 2008; 3:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

Redskins, Zorn Will Be Tested Early

The Washington Redskins had better be very good, very early under first-year coach Jim Zorn. Their schedule demands it. The Redskins will play three NFC East road games in their first five games of the season. After the NFL's season opener against the Giants, the defending Super Bowl champions,...

By Mark Maske | April 15, 2008; 2:23 PM ET | Comments (0)

Full Schedule Released

Next season's full schedule has been released by the NFL. The New England Patriots, coming off a Super Bowl defeat to the New York Giants on the heels of the first 16-0 regular season in league history, open the 2008 season at home against the Kansas City Chiefs at...

By Mark Maske | April 15, 2008; 2:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

Mock Draft

It's a tough-to-figure draft, beginning with no one in the league having much of an idea what the Dolphins are going to do with the top pick. The Top 10: 1. Dolphins... Jake Long, T, Michigan... Bill Parcells is keeping everyone guessing but at this point, Jake Long would...

By Mark Maske | April 15, 2008; 9:53 AM ET | Comments (0)

Reworked Contract Keeps D. McAllister With Saints

Tailback Deuce McAllister agreed to a restructured contract with the New Orleans Saints to keep him with the team. McAllister had been due to receive a $1 million roster bonus this week. He is coming off his second significant knee injury in a three-year span, having had his 2007...

By Mark Maske | April 15, 2008; 9:37 AM ET | Comments (0)

Broncos Reportedly Considering Vanderjagt

Kicker Mike Vanderjagt was scheduled to work out for the Denver Broncos today. The Broncos are looking for a replacement for Jason Elam, who left for Atlanta via free agency. Vanderjagt is the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history but was out of the league this past...

By Mark Maske | April 14, 2008; 4:33 PM ET | Comments (0)

Schedule to be Announced Tuesday Afternoon

Next season's full NFL schedule is to be announced Tuesday at 2 p.m. The featured games during the season's opening weekend, including the season opener between the Washington Redskins and New York Giants on Sept. 4, already have been announced by the league....

By Mark Maske | April 14, 2008; 2:29 PM ET | Comments (0)

Shockey-to-Saints Deal Still A Possibility?

There are ongoing whispers that the New York Giants could trade tight end Jeremy Shockey before or during the NFL draft, probably to the New Orleans Saints. The Giants made their Super Bowl run with rookie Kevin Boss filling in for an injured Shockey, and playing well. Some observers...

By Mark Maske | April 14, 2008; 12:39 PM ET | Comments (15)

Jones-to-Cowboys Trade Could Be On Again

There are rumblings that the proposed trade of suspended cornerback Adam (Pacman) Jones from the Tennessee Titans to the Dallas Cowboys perhaps could be completed in the coming days. The trade discussions had stalled at the recent league meeting but apparently have been re-started. It's unclear what the compensation...

By Mark Maske | April 14, 2008; 8:44 AM ET | Comments (0)

Gumbel Leaving NFL Network

Bryant Gumbel is leaving the NFL Network, the league-owned television channel announced today. The veteran broadcaster had served as the play-by-play announcer on the channel's eight-game package of regular season games the past two seasons. "I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to call NFL Network games the past two years,...

By Mark Maske | April 11, 2008; 5:17 PM ET | Comments (7)

M. Ryan Among Six Players Invited to Draft

The six players scheduled to be on hand at the draft in New York on April 26 are, according to the NFL Network, Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan, Virginia defensive end Chris Long, Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long, Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey and...

By Mark Maske | April 11, 2008; 10:54 AM ET | Comments (3)

Dolphins Reportedly Also in Contract Talks With Gholston

Add Vernon Gholston to the list of players whose representatives reportedly are negotiating with the Miami Dolphins, who have the top overall selection in this month's NFL draft. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that the Dolphins are negotiating with the Ohio State defensive end as well as the agent...

By Mark Maske | April 10, 2008; 2:43 PM ET | Comments (2)

Players' Advisory Committee to Discuss Chiefs' Hair Proposal With Goodell

A group of players will meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell soon to discuss the Kansas City Chiefs' proposal to restrict players' hair length during games. NFL Players Association chief Gene Upshaw said the members of the players' advisory committee will meet with Goodell to talk about the issue....

By Mark Maske | April 10, 2008; 9:56 AM ET | Comments (0)

Stover Reportedly Seeking to "Clarify" Position in Letter to ESPN

ESPN has published a letter on its website that it says it received today from Baltimore Ravens kicker Matt Stover. In it, Stover writes that he wants to "clarify" his e-mail sent to fellow players in recent days, outlining a plan to replace Gene Upshaw as executive director of...

By Mark Maske | April 9, 2008; 10:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Dolphins Reportedly Negotiating With J. Long

The Miami Dolphins reportedly are negotiating a contract with the representative for Jake Long as a possible precursor to making the Michigan offensive tackle the top overall selection in this month's NFL draft. The Miami Herald reported that agent Tom Condon negotiated with Dolphins officials this week in South...

By Mark Maske | April 9, 2008; 7:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Upshaw Says He's Staying Put Through Negotiations

Gene Upshaw said today that he intends to keep his job as executive director of the NFL Players Association through the upcoming set of labor negotiations with the sport's franchise owners, but he already has informed the players that they should be prepared to choose his successor after that....

By Mark Maske | April 9, 2008; 11:05 AM ET | Comments (0)

Favre: Happily Retired, But...

Quarterback Brett Favre told the Biloxi Sun-Herald that he's not reconsidering his decision to retire, at least not at this point. But he said he would be tempted to return to the Green Bay Packers next season if his successor, Aaron Rodgers, gets hurt and the team calls, needing...

By Mark Maske | April 9, 2008; 9:46 AM ET | Comments (0)

Frerotte Rejoins Vikings

Free agent quarterback Gus Frerotte completed a two-year, $3.75 million contract to return to the Minnesota Vikings. Frerotte is to back up Tarvaris Jackson. He also was with the Vikings in 2003 and 2004....

By Mark Maske | April 9, 2008; 9:41 AM ET | Comments (0)

P. Daniels on Upshaw

Jason Reid has gotten these comments from Washington Redskins defensive lineman Phillip Daniels on Matt Stover's effort to overthrow Gene Upshaw as executive director of the NFL Players Association: "You know, I really don't understand this. I really don't understand what Matt is doing. I saw the letter pop...

By Mark Maske | April 8, 2008; 8:53 PM ET | Comments (0)

Several Players in Union Leadership Express Support for Upshaw

Tennessee Titans center Kevin Mawae, the newly elected president of the union, has issued a written statement saying that Matt Stover's effort to remove Gene Upshaw as executive director of the NFL Players Association is not a widespread movement. "Matt Stover's letter does not reflect the view of the...

By Mark Maske | April 8, 2008; 6:32 PM ET | Comments (0)

Stover Outlines Plan to Replace Upshaw as Union Chief

Baltimore Ravens kicker Matt Stover sent an e-mail in recent days to fellow player representatives in the NFL Players Association outlining a plan to select a new union executive director by next spring to replace Gene Upshaw. Reached by telephone today, Stover confirmed that he sent the message but...

By Mark Maske | April 8, 2008; 2:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

Blank's Account of Vick Playing Football in Prison Is Disputed

There is some confusion about whether suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick is playing football while serving a 23-month federal prison sentence in Leavenworth, Kan., for his role in a dogfighting operation in Virginia. Falcons owner Arthur Blank told the New York Daily News, in a story published Sunday,...

By Mark Maske | April 8, 2008; 12:21 PM ET | Comments (0)

Most Free Agents Now Out of Luck Until After Draft

The unrestricted free agent market has slowed to a crawl as teams look to the NFL draft, now less than three weeks away, to fill their needs. Most agents for still-available veteran players have all but given up trying to negotiate contracts and find jobs for their clients until...

By Mark Maske | April 8, 2008; 10:24 AM ET | Comments (0)

Owners Reportedly Suspend Debt-Reduction Plan

The NFL's team owners reportedly decided at the annual league meeting last week in Palm Beach, Fla., to suspend the league's plan to reduce its debt limit by 20 percent per franchise. The Sports Business Journal reported that the owners agreed to give the players' union 45 days notice...

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

Garrard Gets New Deal From Jaguars

Quarterback David Garrard has agreed to a contract extension with the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to reports by several media outlets. Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver had said last week that the deal was close to being completed. Garrard had one season remaining on his previous contract. He's coming off a...

By Mark Maske | April 7, 2008; 11:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

Delhomme's Recovery Program Reportedly About to Include Throwing

Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme reportedly is scheduled to begin throwing footballs today as he works his way back from elbow surgery. The Gaston Gazette reported that Delhomme's recovery is on schedule and Panthers trainer Ryan Vermillion is to monitor the quarterback's throwing program. The Panthers are counting on...

By Mark Maske | April 7, 2008; 8:55 AM ET | Comments (0)

Urlacher Reportedly Skipping Bears' First Voluntary Workout

Linebacker Brian Urlacher is skipping the Chicago Bears' first voluntary workout of the offseason scheduled for today, the Chicago Tribune reported. The newspaper reported that Urlacher is leaving open the possibility of missing all of the team's voluntary offseason workouts and practices. Urlacher is seeking a contract extension, according...

By Mark Maske | April 7, 2008; 8:48 AM ET | Comments (0)

A Quick Thought On Favre's Denial of Reported Comeback Consideration

Brett Favre has denied the first report that he might be mulling a comeback. The Los Angeles Times reported this week that the quarterback's agent, Bus Cook, was quietly contacting teams, asking if they might be interested in trading for Favre. The story was denied by Favre, Cook and...

By Mark Maske | April 5, 2008; 11:41 AM ET | Comments (41)

Playoff Reseeding Issue Might Be Revisited In Future

There weren't very many supporters for the proposal made by the competition committee at this week's league meeting in Palm Beach, Fla., to revise the formula for seeding playoff teams. The proposal didn't even make it to a formal vote of the owners when it became clear that the...

By Mark Maske | April 4, 2008; 9:59 AM ET | Comments (1)

Del Rio Gets Contract Extension From Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed their coach, Jack Del Rio, to a contract extension. The deal runs through the 2012 season. The Jaguars went 11-5 during the regular season and won a first-round AFC playoff game in Pittsburgh before losing a conference semifinal at New England. Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver...

By Mark Maske | April 3, 2008; 2:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bengals Release C. Henry

The Cincinnati Bengals released wide receiver Chris Henry today. Henry surrendered to authorities Wednesday, according to police, after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was charged with misdemeanor assault and criminal damaging. According to court documents, Henry was alleged to have hit an 18-year-old man in the...

By Mark Maske | April 3, 2008; 12:04 PM ET | Comments (1)

Obscure Rule Changes

During a game this past season in Philadelphia between the Eagles and Chicago Bears, an odd play happened. With the Bears on offense, a snap with the quarterback directly under center went straight through the quarterback's legs untouched. The Eagles recovered the loose ball and made a lengthy return...

By Mark Maske | April 3, 2008; 10:48 AM ET | Comments (2)

L.J. Smith Signs Franchise Player Deal With Eagles

Tight end L.J. Smith signed his one-year franchise player contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. He'll have a salary of $4.522 million next season....

By Mark Maske | April 3, 2008; 10:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

Cowboys Balking at Titans' Asking Price for Suspended Cornerback

Dallas Cowboys Coach Wade Phillips declined to comment during the league meeting this week in Palm Beach, Fla., about his team's trade discussions with the Tennessee Titans regarding suspended cornerback Adam (Pacman) Jones. According to a source familiar with the discussions, the Titans are asking for two draft choices...

By Mark Maske | April 3, 2008; 10:17 AM ET | Comments (0)

Owners Endorse Goodell's Cheating Crackdown, Reject Reseeding Proposal

PALM BEACH, Fla.--The owners passed a resolution endorsing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's measures for cracking down on cheating within the league. The measures didn't need the owners' approval but the owners offered their support anyway. Goodell said that the measures--which include unannounced inspections by league officials of teams' locker...

By Mark Maske | April 2, 2008; 11:42 AM ET | Comments (2)

Zorn at the League Meeting

PALM BEACH, Fla.--Jim Zorn just finished speaking for more than an hour at the NFC coaches' media breakfast at the annual league meeting at a Palm Beach resort. Among the things that the Redskins coach said was that he and other team officials, including owner Daniel Snyder, toasted late...

By Mark Maske | April 2, 2008; 9:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

Votes on Other Proposed Rule Changes to Come Wednesday

PALM BEACH, Fla.--The annual league meeting concludes Wednesday. Before it does, the owners will vote on a series of proposed rule changes. Among them is a proposal to change the formula for seeding playoff teams. The competition committee's proposal would make wild card clubs eligible for the third through...

By Mark Maske | April 1, 2008; 7:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Kraft, Belichick Addressed Other Owners and Coaches Behind Closed Doors Today

PALM BEACH, Fla.--New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Coach Bill Belichick addressed the league's other owners and head coaches during a meeting today. According to people familiar with the speeches, Kraft gave a heart-felt address in which he expressed regret over the videotaping scandal involving his franchise and...

By Mark Maske | April 1, 2008; 5:19 PM ET | Comments (0)

"Mutual Respect" Between Players and Officials Among Officiating Points of Emphasis for Next Season

PALM BEACH, Fla.--One of the officiating points of emphasis for next season includes an enforcement of "mutual respect" guidelines in the interaction between players and officials. The issue is being stressed after a couple high-profile on-field meltdowns by players this past season, including a verbal confrontation between Baltimore Ravens...

By Mark Maske | April 1, 2008; 2:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Redskins Among No Votes on Coach-to-Defense Rule

PALM BEACH, Fla.--The Washington Redskins were one of the seven teams to vote against the coach-to-defense proposal that was ratified today. The other six no votes came from the Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. All seven teams have...

By Mark Maske | April 1, 2008; 2:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

Coach-to-Defense Proposal Is Approved By Owners

PALM BEACH, Fla.--The NFL's team owners today approved a proposal to connect one defensive player per team to a coach on the sideline via a wireless communication device during games. The proposal was ratified by a vote of 25-7. It needed at least 24 votes to be enacted. It...

By Mark Maske | April 1, 2008; 12:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

Belichick Had Followup "SpyGate" Interview With League After Super Bowl

PALM BEACH, Fla.--NFL officials interviewed New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick for a second time after the Super Bowl about the "SpyGate" scandal. The interview was revealed by Belichick at the AFC coaches' media breakfast here today at the league meeting, and confirmed by NFL officials. The interview came...

By Mark Maske | April 1, 2008; 8:37 AM ET | Comments (0)

Vote on Coach-to-Defense Proposal Possible Today

PALM BEACH, Fla.--Votes on most of the proposed rule changes will take place Wednesday. But it's possible that the coach-to-defense proposal could be voted on today. That proposal would put a wireless communication device in the helmet of one defensive player per team, connecting him to a coach on...

By Mark Maske | April 1, 2008; 8:25 AM ET | Comments (0)

Opposition to Reseeding Proposal

PALM BEACH, Fla.--It seems like a long shot that the competition committee's reseeding proposal will be ratified by the owners at this league meeting. Under the proposal, wild card playoff teams would be eligible for the third through sixth postseason seeds in each conference, instead of merely the fifth...

By Mark Maske | April 1, 2008; 5:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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