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  • PFW: Whispers from around the NFL.

    Whispers from around the NFLPro Football Weekly


    • Don't be surprised to see Bears Pro Bowl RS Devin Hester on offense in 2007. "That's something that I think our coaches are going to talk about at length. It wouldn't surprise me," Chicago GM Jerry Angelo said at the scouting combine.

    • Vikings DE Erasmus James' recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament has not gone swimmingly. Head coach Brad Childress revealed that while James is starting make strides now, the same could not be said previously. He also said that James, who sustained the injury in Week 2, had a follow-up procedure done in Denver recently and is not expected to be ready until training camp, although perhaps not at full speed.

    • When asked what position groups seemed particularly deep in April's draft, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak mentioned offensive tackle and wide receiver. Perhaps it was a coincidence, but both positions are regarded as Texans needs.

    • Word from New England is that the team is very concerned that the torn ACL injury that WR Chad Jackson suffered in the AFC Championship Game will be a major setback to his development as an NFL receiver. Jackson's rookie season was a disappointment, largely due to the fact that he missed much of training camp with a hamstring injury, then missed a few games with an injured groin. We hear he may be put on the physically unable to perform list, giving the team a chance to evaluate him later in the 2007 season.

    • Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio expects more consistency out of WR Matt Jones next season, his third year playing receiver. "He went from a quarterback who handled the ball [in college at Arkansas], and there's a little bit of a transformation there that's taken place," Del Rio said at the combine, "and he'll take another step this year for us."

    • We hear that LB Takeo Spikes' future with the Bills may be in doubt following GM Marv Levy's comments that Spikes' 2006 season was not on a par with what he had done in the past, despite the fact that Spikes was coming back from a torn Achilles and was hampered by a hamstring injury. Word is the team isn't sure if Spikes can be the kind of attacking linebacker that he once was, and that is the best fit for him in the team's Cover 2 defensive scheme.

    While the Jets re-signed CB Hank Poteat because he's a trusted veteran, we hear that they are not sold on him as a starter. Word is if the Jets go into training camp with Poteat as a starter opposite Andre Dyson, they will be disappointed. Thats why I keep saying that they need a CB in rd 1.

    • Word from New England is that RB Corey Dillon has asked for his release from the team. However, we hear it's still to be determined what Dillon's next move would be after that. He is continuing to tell people that he is ready to retire, but his agent, Steve Feldman, is telling people that Dillon wants a better opportunity elsewhere.

    Despite the fact they don't have a lot of pressing needs, don't expect the Broncos to stand pat this offseason. In fact, we're told to anticipate them making some serious noise, whether it be through trades or free agency.

    • Although ideally they'd like to keep him, the Broncos aren't expected to be distraught if G Cooper Carlisle walks in free agency. The team believes Chris Kuper will be ready to step into the starting lineup in his second year if need be.

    • Look for Denver to be looking for an upgrade at defensive tackle whether it re-signs unrestricted free agent Michael Myers or not. The name that is popping up most in NFL circles is Saints run stuffer Hollis Thomas, who could better protect MLB Al Wilson from blockers.
    (We can't get Hollis, he got resigned)

    • With Ronnie Cruz, the only fullback on the roster, coming off ACL surgery, the Chiefs are toying with the idea of shifting backup LB Boomer Grigsby to fullback. Insiders say Grigsby certainly has the mentality to be a full-time blocker.

    • Sources say that Norv Turner would have much preferred Ron Rivera as his defensive coordinator in San Diego, but Ted Cottrell has a long history with Chargers GM A.J. Smith from their days together in Buffalo and ended up getting the job after sitting out of coaching in 2006. Rivera was hired as the Chargers' LB coach and figures to be in line for a promotion elsewhere next year.

    • Word out of San Diego is that OLB Steve Foley's playing days are all but over. Foley, at 31, is still recovering from gunshot wounds he suffered last September in an incident with an off-duty police officer. Foley was shot in the leg, hip and hand and still suffers from significant nerve damage, which has hindered his ability to walk without help. "It's gonna be tough throughout this whole rehab process, and something I'm gonna have to prepare myself for -- if I'm not able to play again, which is really a good likelihood," Foley said recently.

    • Saints general manager Mickey Loomis has a decision looming on WR Joe Horn, despite his evasive answer when asked about Horn's contract status: "He's under contract to our team," Loomis told PFW at the combine. "That's what his status is." Horn is scheduled to make $4.45 million next season and is due a $1 million roster bonus in March. That is quite a payday for a 35-year-old receiver who appears to have lost a step and has missed 11 games (including both playoff games in 2006) because of injury in the past two seasons. If the Saints don't release Horn this year or restructure his contract, they are just delaying the inevitable because Horn's salary will continue to rise for the final three years of his deal.

    • Jaguars VP of player personnel James Harris told the media contingent at the combine that the team has begun contract talks with RB Fred Taylor. "We've had some talks, but it hasn't been done yet," Harris said. "There's been ongoing discussions." Taylor, whose contract expires after the 2007 season, is scheduled to make $2.55 million in the final year of his deal, but the 31-year-old tailback wants an extension worth approximately $5 million per year in place before next season.

    • Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino wants DE Patrick Kerney, who voided the final two years of his contract to become a free agent, to return to Atlanta next season even though his rehab from a torn pectoral muscle may keep him out of action until the summer. "We certainly would love to have Patrick back," Petrino said at the combine. "I'm not sure if he will be ready to go at the first mini-camp, but I think he will be ready to work in late May or early June."

    • Panthers general manager Marty Hurney told the Charlotte Observer that injured DE Mike Rucker is "definitely in our plans. Mike Rucker typifies what we want in both a player and a person." There has been speculation that the 32-year-old Rucker, who is coming off major knee surgery and is scheduled to cost $6.9 million against the salary cap in 2007, would be released in the offseason.

    • We hear that, for the time being, there are no ongoing negotiations between the Bears and Pro Bowl LB Lance Briggs, who received the franchise tag recently.

    • Lions offensive coordinator Mike Martz told PFW that Kevin Jones' latest prognosis indicates that Detroit's leading rusher will be available at the beginning of the season, although head coach Rod Marinelli did confirm that they will be looking at running backs this offseason for insurance.

    • After securing next season's interior line with UT Cory Redding (with the franchise tag) and NT Shaun Rogers, Lions head coach Rod Marinelli has set his sights on maximizing DE Kalimba Edwards' potential. The former DL specialist has taken on the responsibility for turning the sixth-year pro into a double-digit sack artist in 2007. "I'm going to smother him with coaching," Marinelli said. "I'm going to take all the air out of him." In other Lions news, Marinelli told PFW that the four veterans whom the Lions have granted permission to seek a trade -- CB Dre' Bly, G Ross Verba, DE James Hall and DT Marcus Bell -- will likely not return in 2007 if they do not find a suitor.

    • Recovering LB Chad Greenway, the Vikings' first-round pick in 2006, is expected to be ready for the team's first minicamp of the offseason. Head coach Brad Childress said that, if anything, the team has had to hold him back from ramping up too aggressively. Greenway sustained a season-ending knee injury in the preseason opener.

    • While reiterating that he wants unrestricted free-agent RB Ahman Green back, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy indicated that he believed Green was still capable of 20-22 carries per game at this stage of his career.

    • GM Ted Thompson confirmed that the Packers have begun discussions with MLB Nick Barnett on a contract extension. Barnett is set to become a free agent after next season.

    • After ranking dead last in the special-teams rankings compiled by the Dallas Morning News for a second straight season, Packers GM Ted Thompson indicated that the third phase will be a priority this offseason.

    • With veteran RG Chris Gray on his last legs and the Seahawks not quite fully convinced that Rob Sims is the answer at left guard, rumors persist that the team could make a strong bid for the free-agent services of Chargers G Kris Dielman, who is widely considered the best player available at his position.

    • The new four-year, $3.5 million deal signed by Giants LB Chase Blackburn likely means he'll be given a crack at one of the open LB spots next season. Whatever happens, it's clear that he's viewed positively by new GM Jerry Reese, who has made several salary-slashing moves since taking the job in January.

  • #2
    • One of Eagles SS Sean Considine's goals this offseason is putting on weight. Listed at 212 pounds, team sources indicated that he probably finished last season at 195 pounds. Considine acknowledged after the loss to the Saints that he will need to add bulk to withstand the pounding of being a 16-game starter.

    • Don't be surprised if Eagles LB Omar Gaither, who did a fine job after replacing Matt McCoy at weakside linebacker last season, ends up replacing Jeremiah Trotter in the middle at some point soon. Trotter has said he needs to play lighter in '07, but the Eagles plan to cut back his snaps no matter what after watching how much he struggled in pass coverage last season.

    • It's looking more and more as if TE Erron Kinney will not be returning to the Titans in 2007, and his career could be in jeopardy. Sources indicate that Kinney, who underwent microfracture surgery last year, will attempt to come back from the injury but that the team might part ways with him before then.

    • There is speculation about Steelers OLB Joey Porter's future in Pittsburgh. Porter is entering the final season of his contract, and Pittsburgh's defense could become a unit in transition with head coach Mike Tomlin taking over. At the combine, Tomlin indicated the team had not approached Porter about his salary-cap figure for 2007. Porter is scheduled to make $4 million in salary next season.

    • Suspended Bengals MLB Odell Thurman can apply for reinstatement with the NFL on June 11, head coach Marvin Lewis said at the combine.

    • At the combine, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome indicated he's looking for a quarterback for the 2008 and '09 seasons because he's not sure how long starter Steve McNair will play. Also, backup QB Kyle Boller is an unrestricted free agent after next season.

    • Browns head coach Romeo Crennel reiterated that QB Charlie Frye will enter training camp as the starter, but backup Derek Anderson will compete with Frye. Crennel reported that Frye (wrist) and Anderson (shoulders) are healing well after suffering those injuries late in the season.

    • Despite the fact he was the most consistent member of the Colts' secondary last season, team sources believe that free agent Nick Harper could be considered expendable because of all of the team's promising young CB talent. That includes the likes of former first-round pick Marlin Jackson, Super Bowl hero Kelvin Hayden, and Tim Jennings, a No. 2 pick last year who hardly played.

    • Cardinals VP of football operations Rod Graves said at the combine that the "door remains open" for free-agent OLT Leonard Davis to possibly return next season. "Leonard has stated that he wants to return and is excited about the prospect of playing under Russ [new O-line coach Russ Grimm] and Ken [new head coach Ken Whisenhunt]," Graves said. "The important thing we must do is sit down with his agents [Ryan Tollner and Bruce Tollner] and talk about re-establishing a dialogue."

    • There are whispers in the desert that the Cardinals might be considering moving LB Karlos Dansby from the strong side to the weak side, which was considered a weak link in last year's defense with Orlando Huff manning the position.

    • After really struggling last season and losing his starting position to Nick Leckey, Cardinals C Alex Stepanovich might be on his way out, we hear.

    Comment


    • #3
      re-post (hard to read)

      PFW: Whispers from around the NFL.

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Whispers from around the NFLPro Football Weekly


      • Don't be surprised to see Bears Pro Bowl RS Devin Hester on offense in 2007. "That's something that I think our coaches are going to talk about at length. It wouldn't surprise me," Chicago GM Jerry Angelo said at the scouting combine.

      • Vikings DE Erasmus James' recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament has not gone swimmingly. Head coach Brad Childress revealed that while James is starting make strides now, the same could not be said previously. He also said that James, who sustained the injury in Week 2, had a follow-up procedure done in Denver recently and is not expected to be ready until training camp, although perhaps not at full speed.

      • When asked what position groups seemed particularly deep in April's draft, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak mentioned offensive tackle and wide receiver. Perhaps it was a coincidence, but both positions are regarded as Texans needs.

      • Word from New England is that the team is very concerned that the torn ACL injury that WR Chad Jackson suffered in the AFC Championship Game will be a major setback to his development as an NFL receiver. Jackson's rookie season was a disappointment, largely due to the fact that he missed much of training camp with a hamstring injury, then missed a few games with an injured groin. We hear he may be put on the physically unable to perform list, giving the team a chance to evaluate him later in the 2007 season.

      • Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio expects more consistency out of WR Matt Jones next season, his third year playing receiver. "He went from a quarterback who handled the ball [in college at Arkansas], and there's a little bit of a transformation there that's taken place," Del Rio said at the combine, "and he'll take another step this year for us."

      • We hear that LB Takeo Spikes' future with the Bills may be in doubt following GM Marv Levy's comments that Spikes' 2006 season was not on a par with what he had done in the past, despite the fact that Spikes was coming back from a torn Achilles and was hampered by a hamstring injury. Word is the team isn't sure if Spikes can be the kind of attacking linebacker that he once was, and that is the best fit for him in the team's Cover 2 defensive scheme.

      • While the Jets re-signed CB Hank Poteat because he's a trusted veteran, we hear that they are not sold on him as a starter. Word is if the Jets go into training camp with Poteat as a starter opposite Andre Dyson, they will be disappointed. Thats why I keep saying that they need a CB in rd 1.

      • Word from New England is that RB Corey Dillon has asked for his release from the team. However, we hear it's still to be determined what Dillon's next move would be after that. He is continuing to tell people that he is ready to retire, but his agent, Steve Feldman, is telling people that Dillon wants a better opportunity elsewhere.

      • Despite the fact they don't have a lot of pressing needs, don't expect the Broncos to stand pat this offseason. In fact, we're told to anticipate them making some serious noise, whether it be through trades or free agency.

      • Although ideally they'd like to keep him, the Broncos aren't expected to be distraught if G Cooper Carlisle walks in free agency. The team believes Chris Kuper will be ready to step into the starting lineup in his second year if need be.

      • Look for Denver to be looking for an upgrade at defensive tackle whether it re-signs unrestricted free agent Michael Myers or not. The name that is popping up most in NFL circles is Saints run stuffer Hollis Thomas, who could better protect MLB Al Wilson from blockers. (We can't get Hollis, he got resigned)


      • With Ronnie Cruz, the only fullback on the roster, coming off ACL surgery, the Chiefs are toying with the idea of shifting backup LB Boomer Grigsby to fullback. Insiders say Grigsby certainly has the mentality to be a full-time blocker.

      • Sources say that Norv Turner would have much preferred Ron Rivera as his defensive coordinator in San Diego, but Ted Cottrell has a long history with Chargers GM A.J. Smith from their days together in Buffalo and ended up getting the job after sitting out of coaching in 2006. Rivera was hired as the Chargers' LB coach and figures to be in line for a promotion elsewhere next year.

      • Word out of San Diego is that OLB Steve Foley's playing days are all but over. Foley, at 31, is still recovering from gunshot wounds he suffered last September in an incident with an off-duty police officer. Foley was shot in the leg, hip and hand and still suffers from significant nerve damage, which has hindered his ability to walk without help. "It's gonna be tough throughout this whole rehab process, and something I'm gonna have to prepare myself for -- if I'm not able to play again, which is really a good likelihood," Foley said recently.

      • Saints general manager Mickey Loomis has a decision looming on WR Joe Horn, despite his evasive answer when asked about Horn's contract status: "He's under contract to our team," Loomis told PFW at the combine. "That's what his status is." Horn is scheduled to make $4.45 million next season and is due a $1 million roster bonus in March. That is quite a payday for a 35-year-old receiver who appears to have lost a step and has missed 11 games (including both playoff games in 2006) because of injury in the past two seasons. If the Saints don't release Horn this year or restructure his contract, they are just delaying the inevitable because Horn's salary will continue to rise for the final three years of his deal.

      • Jaguars VP of player personnel James Harris told the media contingent at the combine that the team has begun contract talks with RB Fred Taylor. "We've had some talks, but it hasn't been done yet," Harris said. "There's been ongoing discussions." Taylor, whose contract expires after the 2007 season, is scheduled to make $2.55 million in the final year of his deal, but the 31-year-old tailback wants an extension worth approximately $5 million per year in place before next season.

      • Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino wants DE Patrick Kerney, who voided the final two years of his contract to become a free agent, to return to Atlanta next season even though his rehab from a torn pectoral muscle may keep him out of action until the summer. "We certainly would love to have Patrick back," Petrino said at the combine. "I'm not sure if he will be ready to go at the first mini-camp, but I think he will be ready to work in late May or early June."

      • Panthers general manager Marty Hurney told the Charlotte Observer that injured DE Mike Rucker is "definitely in our plans. Mike Rucker typifies what we want in both a player and a person." There has been speculation that the 32-year-old Rucker, who is coming off major knee surgery and is scheduled to cost $6.9 million against the salary cap in 2007, would be released in the offseason.

      • We hear that, for the time being, there are no ongoing negotiations between the Bears and Pro Bowl LB Lance Briggs, who received the franchise tag recently.

      • Lions offensive coordinator Mike Martz told PFW that Kevin Jones' latest prognosis indicates that Detroit's leading rusher will be available at the beginning of the season, although head coach Rod Marinelli did confirm that they will be looking at running backs this offseason for insurance.

      • After securing next season's interior line with UT Cory Redding (with the franchise tag) and NT Shaun Rogers, Lions head coach Rod Marinelli has set his sights on maximizing DE Kalimba Edwards' potential. The former DL specialist has taken on the responsibility for turning the sixth-year pro into a double-digit sack artist in 2007. "I'm going to smother him with coaching," Marinelli said. "I'm going to take all the air out of him." In other Lions news, Marinelli told PFW that the four veterans whom the Lions have granted permission to seek a trade -- CB Dre' Bly, G Ross Verba, DE James Hall and DT Marcus Bell -- will likely not return in 2007 if they do not find a suitor.

      • Recovering LB Chad Greenway, the Vikings' first-round pick in 2006, is expected to be ready for the team's first minicamp of the offseason. Head coach Brad Childress said that, if anything, the team has had to hold him back from ramping up too aggressively. Greenway sustained a season-ending knee injury in the preseason opener.

      • While reiterating that he wants unrestricted free-agent RB Ahman Green back, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy indicated that he believed Green was still capable of 20-22 carries per game at this stage of his career.

      • GM Ted Thompson confirmed that the Packers have begun discussions with MLB Nick Barnett on a contract extension. Barnett is set to become a free agent after next season.

      • After ranking dead last in the special-teams rankings compiled by the Dallas Morning News for a second straight season, Packers GM Ted Thompson indicated that the third phase will be a priority this offseason.

      • With veteran RG Chris Gray on his last legs and the Seahawks not quite fully convinced that Rob Sims is the answer at left guard, rumors persist that the team could make a strong bid for the free-agent services of Chargers G Kris Dielman, who is widely considered the best player available at his position.

      • The new four-year, $3.5 million deal signed by Giants LB Chase Blackburn likely means he'll be given a crack at one of the open LB spots next season. Whatever happens, it's clear that he's viewed positively by new GM Jerry Reese, who has made several salary-slashing moves since taking the job in January.
      Last edited by Nick; 02-27-2007, 04:05 PM.

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