Buzz: Latest from NFL training camps
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July 31 News and Notes
Report: Jets reach 5-year deal with first-rounder Kyle Wilson — 12:12 a.m.
A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press that the Jets have signed cornerback Kyle Wilson, the team's first-round draft pick, to a five-year contract worth $13 million.
The person spoke Saturday night on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced the agreement.
The deal, which includes about $7 million guaranteed, means all four of the Jets' draft picks are under contract before the team reports for training camp in Cortland on Sunday.
Wilson, considered by many to be the top cornerback in the draft, slipped to the Jets at 29th overall. Coach Rex Ryan immediately said he would have a key role in a defense that ranked No. 1 in the league last season.
Giants sign top two draft picks — 11:12 p.m.
The New York Giants are going to training camp with all their draft picks signed.
The Giants announced late Saturday night that first-round choice Jason Pierre-Paul signed a multi-year contract just hours after second-round choice Linval Joseph signed his contract.
The deals came less than 24 hours before the Giants reported to training camp at the University at Albany. Full story.
Vikings' Harvin limited by injured ankle; Henderson returns — 10:48 p.m.
Viking Update ublisher Tim Yotter checked in again and said WR Percy Harvin was a little bit limited in the second practice by the sprained ankle he suffered during the first practice. Harvin said after the final practice that he had some swelling in the injured ankle. He was also able to return punts before the second practice began.
One of the biggest surprises of Minnesota’s training camp has to be the return of starting MLB E.J. Henderson. The veteran defender is coming back from a fractured femur which he suffered last December. Initially, it was thought that it would take at least nine months for him to get back on the practice field. Henderson has been practicing the last few days and all indications are that he’ll be able to play in the season opener against the New Orleans Saints. But whether he’ll be ready to take over the job full-time soon remains to be seen. Second-year MLB Jasper Brinkley has been getting his fair share of practice reps thus far during the early portion of training camp.
— Adam Caplan
Titans reach deal with 16th overall pick — 10:12 p.m.
The Tennessee Titans have agreed to terms on a deal with first-round draft pick Derrick Morgan out of Georgia Tech.
The defensive end tweeted Saturday night that he was in a break room in the team's headquarters waiting to sign reportedly a five-year deal. Terms were not immediately available.
''And this is what they got on the table knowin I got to weigh in 2moro,'' Morgan wrote, tweeting a picture of boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts. Full story ...
No sign of problems for Harvin — 9:10 p.m.
Viking Update publisher Tim Yotter told FOXSports.com that Minnesota Vikings second-year WR Percy Harvin, who returned from this afternoon’s injury scare, looks fine during the Saturday evening practice.
Meanwhile, QB Brett Favre remains on the reserve/did not report list. By being on that list, Favre won’t count against Minnesota’s 80-man roster.
— Adam Caplan
Rookie signings well ahead of the pace this year — 9:10 p.m.
Through July 31 of last year, 18 first-round picks remained unsigned. As of this evening, only 11 first-round picks remain without a deal.
At the beginning of this week, it certainly didn’t look like there was a chance that many of the first-rounders would sign, but Thursday and Friday’s rash of deals have given hope that most of the remaining unsigned players could have deals by the middle of next week.
— Adam Caplan
Harvin back on field for Vikings — 8:35 p.m.
After giving the team a scare earlier in the day, Minnesota Vikings second-year WR Percy Harvin returned for the team’s second practice on Saturday. Harvin was carted off the field during the first practice with an undisclosed injury.
— Adam Caplan
Eagles continue to reshape roster — 8:35 p.m.
As first reported by FOXSports.com on Saturday, the Philadelphia Eagles agreed to terms on a one-year deal with free-agent WR Kelley Washington. To make room for him on their 80-man roster, the team waived rookie WR Jared Perry, who signed with the team just two days ago.
Later in the day, the team resigned LB Tracy White, who was one of their better special team players last season. White participated in a team-high 328 special teams plays. To make room for White, the team waived RB Martell Mallett.
— Adam Caplan
Pair of top receivers go down with injuries — 4:25 p.m.
On Saturday two big-time wide receivers went down in separate training camp practices.
At Philadelphia Eagles training camp, star wideout DeSean Jackson was helped off the field at Lehigh University.
Jackson fell awkwardly after making a great catch on a pass 15 yards downfield from new Eagles starting QB Kevin Kolb. After being down for a few minutes, he was assisted to the locker room.
His injury status is undisclosed currently, although it seemed to be a back injury judging from how he fell.
Meanwhile in Mankato, Minn., Vikings second-year WR Percy Harvin was carted off the field with an uncertain injury.
— Adam Caplan
Broncos reach terms with 1st-round pick Thomas — 6:59 p.m.
First-round draft pick Demaryius Thomas has agreed to terms with the Denver Broncos, avoiding a holdout on the eve of training camp.
- Associated Press
Falcons think they have what it takes — 2:39 p.m.
Here is a little known NFC fact, compliments of Panthers PR director Charlie Dayton. Since the league’s divisions were realigned in 2002, the South — not the mighty East — has had the most NFC participants in the Super Bowl. Two of those teams won, the Bucs in 2002 and then the Saints last year. Plus, five times in that eight-year span there’s been a South team in the NFC Championship Game.
Basically, it’s a battle-tested division that never should be overlooked.
That being said, look out for the Atlanta Falcons, the lone South team not to make the Super Bowl in the last decade.
“For the first time since I’ve been here the final cut to 53 (players) is going to be extremely tough,” head coach Mike Smith said. “I think we have an excellent mixture of young players with some proven veterans.”
One of those vets, tight end Tony Gonzalez, believes the Falcons really have a chance.
“The key will be whether or not some of our guys finally understand and truly get what it takes to be consistently great,” Gonzalez told me. “Take our quarterback Matt Ryan. He’s going to be as good as any of top five quarterbacks in the league. It’s not an 'if' thing, it’s 'when is it going to happen'? Our defense has three young guys (LB Curtis Lofton, FS Thomas DeCoud and CB Brent Grimes) that have Pro Bowl talent. They have to figure out how good they are and continue to make that upward climb.”
Gonzalez, now in his 14th season, is still playing because he wants to leave the game with a Super Bowl ring. If he was still a Chief, he’d probably be retired.
Asked if this was his last season, Gonzalez replied, “Well, this is definitely my last training camp. If I play next season, I’m pulling a Brett Favre and showing up real late.”
There was a note out of Dallas that the Falcons led the league in two-a-days this summer with at least 14. Well, that number isn’t really accurate. Mike Smith said his team will be in pads only eight times this summer and every fifth practice is for special teams only. In fact, with the heat in Atlanta right now, the Falcons opened camp with three consecutive days without pads. Also, in certain walk-through drills, Smith’s players are allowed to take their helmets off.
Remember, last season Ryan and running back Michael Turner missed one New Orleans game because of injury. Ryan had a horrible turf toe injury.
“Nike made a special shoe for me that really allowed me to play by the end of the season, but if I was a runner or a receiver I still wouldn’t have been able to play,” Ryan said.
Turner, who was bothered by a high ankle sprain, has lost 15 pounds from last season, determined to be quicker and faster this season while hoping to repeat his 2008 season when he rushed for 1,699 yards and 17 touchdowns. In 11 games last season, Turner had 871 yards.
— John Czarnecki
Eagles pick up free-agent receiver — 8:58 a.m.
The Philadelphia Eagles and free-agent WR Kelley Washington (6-3, 218, Tennessee) have agreed to terms on a one-year deal, a source told FOXSports.com. While details of the contract weren’t immediately available, it’s believed Washington agreed to the veteran minimum for his years of service.
Washington, who’s known in scouting circles as an excellent special teams player, is capable of handling a role as an inside or outside receiver. Philadelphia worked out the veteran wideout on Thursday.
Washington was selected in the 2003 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals and has also played for the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens. With Baltimore last season, he saw a lot of time as the team’s third receiver.
— Adam Caplan
July 30 News and Notes
No. 1 pick Bradford agrees to record deal — 11:00 p.m.
As first reported by FOXSports.com’s Jay Glazer, the St. Louis Rams and first-round pick QB Sam Bradford agreed to terms on a six-year, $86 million maximum deal with $50 million guaranteed. The guaranteed portion of the deal is the highest in NFL history.
Bradford’s deal eclipses last year’s No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford’s six-year, $78 million maximum deal with $41.7 million guaranteed. With this deal in the books, it sets the new standard for top money in a quarterback contract. You can bet veteran quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady will want at least that or more considering they are proven players and Bradford has yet to throw a pass in an NFL game. And with the likelihood of a new rookie wage scale in the next collective bargaining agreement, we may never see anywhere close to this kind of money in a rookie contract.
When Bradford checked out medically before the draft, he became the easy first pick overall. When you decide that you’re going to give a rookie the most guaranteed money ever in a contract, you’re essentially saying he will be the cornerstone of your franchise.
The quarterback position, as GM Billy Devaney knows from his years from working with the San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons, is where it starts with a football team. When you have your “franchise” quarterback, you are set for the next 8-10 years. While it’s hard to fathom how Bradford could possibly be worth that kind of money, ask the Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions and many other teams what it’s like to go from quarterback to quarterback.
Now the clock starts for Bradford. He comes out of an offense that is completely different than the one he’ll deal with in St. Louis, which is West Coast based. It would make sense to have veteran QB A.J. Feeley as the starter until Bradford is totally comfortable. Many personnel evaluators have said that Bradford’s learning curve, despite his high intelligence, will be pretty high. Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, who was with the Philadelphia Eagles when the team drafted Donovan McNabb in 1999, is familiar with the best way to bring along a young quarterback — only put him in when he’s ready to go.
— Adam Caplan
Eagles get RB Arrington from Broncos — 10:43 p.m.
The Philadelphia Eagles have traded backup linebacker Joe Mays to the Denver Broncos in exchange for running J.J. Arrington or a 2012 conditional draft pick, a team source confirmed.
This means if Arrington doesn’t make the 53-man roster, the Eagles will get a 2012 pick back.
Mays was given a shot at the starting middle linebacker job with Philadelphia last season after starter Stewart Bradley suffered a season-ending knee injury. However, he quickly fell down the depth chart. In fact, things got so bad that veteran Jeremiah Trotter, who hadn’t played in almost two seasons, was signed and became the starter.
With Denver, Mays will get a chance to challenge for the fourth inside linebacker job for its 3-4 scheme.
— Adam Caplan
Cowboy's first-round pick Bryant injured at camp — 9:46 p.m.
Cowboys rookie receiver Dez Bryant could miss the rest of training camp after the first-round draft pick suffered a high right ankle sprain near the end of practice Friday. The team said he will be out four to six weeks.
Bryant became entangled with cornerback Orlando Scandrick while trying to catch a pass that was thrown behind him on the next-to-last play of the day. It quickly became apparent that something was wrong.
Bryant didn't immediately get up, and when he finally did get to his feet while taking his helmet off, he took only a step before falling back to the turf. Bryant was reaching for his ankle and grimacing in pain. Two trainers who checked on him helped him off the field.
Though the Cowboys have an extended camp with five preseason games because of their game in Canton, Ohio, next weekend, the injury could keep Bryant from playing until the regular season.
— Associated Press
Half of the first round already in the fold — 7:17 p.m.
It certainly didn't look promising earlier this week, but as of early Friday evening, half of the players selected in the first round have agreed to contracts.
Speaking to several player agents on Friday, it became apparent that once the selections that were within range (usually no farther than 2-3 picks away) of the players they represented had agreed to a deal, it became easier to get a deal done.
It's possible that once the St. Louis Rams sign QB Sam Bradford, the next two selections, Namukong Suh (Detroit Lions) and Gerald McCoy (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), agree to deals. It makes it easier to negotiate from a pick higher once the ceiling is set.
Just two second-round picks, OLB Sergio Kindle (Baltimore Ravens) and DT Linval Joseph (New York Giants), are without a contract.
-- Adam Caplan
Jets curiously sign Coles to one-year deal — 7:11 p.m.
When the New York Jets signed veteran WR Laveranues Coles to a one-year deal on Friday, some team observers felt the move was needed because some of the younger receivers on the 80-man roster haven't been developed yet. But, as a personnel source noted after watching Coles play last season for the Cincinnati Bengals, the veteran wideout has slowed down considerably. Coles, who was once known in league circles as being one of the fastest receivers in the NFL, looks to be on his last legs.
-- Adam Caplan
Veteran end should fit right in with the Dolphins — 7:01 p.m.
Veteran defensive end Charles Grant played his entire eight-year career with the New Orleans Saints in the 3-4 defense. While some may question whether he'll be a good fit with the Miami Dolphins -- the team he signed with on Friday -- consider that he played left end in New Orleans' scheme. Left end is generally considered to be the lesser pass rusher; the right end is usually the player who rushes the passer the best.
Grant, who is listed at 285, has been recognized in scouting circles as one of the better run defenders from the end position, so he should fit right in with the Dolphins. 3-4 ends are primarily run stoppers. The outside linebackers usually are the ones who generate the pass rush.
— Adam Caplan
Tweet just in: Berry signs with KC — 1:34 p.m.
The Kansas City Chiefs and first-round pick S Eric Berry (6-0, 211, Tennessee, 5th overall) have agreed to terms on a contract, Berry announced via his Twitter account. According to a source, the deal is for six years and a maximum of $60 million ($34 million guaranteed), comparing favorably to last year’s fifth pick overall, Mark Sanchez (New York Jets), who signed a six-year, $60 million maximum contract with $28 million guaranteed.
Berry is now the highest-paid safety in the NFL, based on an average per year basis, guaranteed money and max value.
Berry was probably the most unique defensive back available for the 2010 NFL Draft. Personnel sources said Berry is capable of playing not just safety, but outside or slot cornerback. Known for his aggressive nature and athleticism, Berry should come right in and provide an immediate impact on the Kansas City defense.
With Berry in the fold, Kansas City has gotten all of their draft class under contract.
— Adam Caplan
Ravens need CBs ASAP — 12:45 p.m.
With the news that Baltimore Ravens starting CB Domonique Foxworth suffered a torn ACL during a walk-through practice on Thursday, which will cause him to miss the entire 2010 season, the team is even thinner at the position.
Baltimore's other top two cornerbacks, Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb, are also coming back from ACL injuries suffered last season. At this point, No. 4 CB Chris Carr and journeyman CB Travis Fisher will work with the starting defense.
So what can the Ravens do for depth purposes at cornerback?
Here's a look at the best available players at that position with their age noted:
- Ken Lucas (31) – He worked out for the team recently and has started 38 games over the past three seasons. Fits in best as a nickel back. Deshea Townsend (turns 35 in September) – Like Lucas, the veteran defensive back probably is best utilized in a nickel role at this point in his career.
- Nick Harper (turns 36 in September) – He dealt with injury problems over the past few years with the Tennessee Titans, but the savvy veteran could fill a nickel role.
- Ty Law (35) – He’s another one of those smart veteran players who can come off the street and play right away—but in a reserve role.
- Anthony Henry (turns 34 in November) – Some personnel evaluators believe he’ll need to move to free safety if he wants to continue his career.
- Frank Walker (28) – The youngest player listed here probably is best used in a dime role.
-- Adam Caplan
Washington offensive line much improved — 10:59 a.m.
When the offseason started for the Washington Redskins, it appeared they would have one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines. They ended last season with undrafted free agent Edwin Williams starting at right guard and Levi Jones starting at left tackle. Jones is now unsigned and Williams is back to being a backup. The good news is the new front office has taken an aggressive approach to improving the starting five.
The team recently acquired OT Jammal Brown from the New Orleans Saints, who is slated to play right tackle, a position which many personnel evaluators felt he would be better off playing at the NFL level. The Saints played him at left tackle since he was selected in the first round in 2005. Washington selected Trent Williams with their first-round pick and got him signed Friday morning. So the bookends are set. They re-signed starting C Casey Rabach for three years, re-signed LG Derrick Dockery, who spent a year with the Buffalo Bills, and added veteran OL Artis Hicks, who figures to compete for the starting right guard job.
The bottom line is Washington has significantly upgraded their offensive line — something that should be music to the ears of new starting QB Donovan McNabb.
-- Adam Caplan
Redskins reach agreement with No. 4 overall pick — 8:37 a.m.
The Washington Redskins have reached an agreement with No. 4 overall pick Trent Williams on a six-year, $60 million contract. Williams plans to take part in Friday's practice at training camp. — AP
July 29 News and Notes
Jets forced to put McKnight, Ainge on shelf — 11:30 p.m.
Jets rookie running back Joe McKnight failed his conditioning run Thursday and was placed on the active non-football injury list.
The Jets also placed backup quarterback Erik Ainge on the reserve-non football injury list with an undisclosed illness. He won't count against the team's 80-player roster limit for training camp.
McKnight, the team's fourth-round pick out of Southern California, struggled with his conditioning during rookie minicamp in May, sitting out a few plays while vomiting on the field. He vowed to get in better shape and appeared to be fine in minicamp last month.
He is still part of the 80-man roster but can't practice with the team until he passes the conditioning test.
New York traded two picks to Carolina to move up to take McKnight. His presence made Leon Washington expendable, and the Jets dealt the former Pro Bowl kick returner to Seattle.
Ainge is competing with Kellen Clemens, Mark Brunell and Kevin O'Connell for a backup spot behind starter Mark Sanchez. A preseason standout the last two summers, Ainge has had his share of issues since being drafted in the fifth round out of Tennessee two years ago.
His rookie season was a wash after he hurt his right foot and was placed on injured reserve midway through the year. Then came a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on steroids and related substances.
Ainge also missed part of the team's voluntary workouts last year for personal reasons. It's uncertain when Ainge might return to the team.
The Jets also signed safety Emanuel Cook, who was with the team last summer before being cut and later signed to Tampa Bay's practice squad. New York also waived linebacker Ezra Butler. — AP
Saints agree with first-round draft pick — 11:22 p.m.
The New Orleans Saints and first-round pick CB Patrick Robinson (5-11, 190, Florida St., 32nd overall) have agreed to terms on a five-year contract, the team announced late Thursday. Details of the contract weren’t disclosed, but last year’s 32nd player selected overall, DT Ziggy Hood (Pittsburgh Steelers), signed a five-year deal worth a maximum of $11.3 million with just over $6.1 million guaranteed.
Robinson is known in scouting circles for his athleticism and physical play, but he tends to make occasional mental errors. Because of that, personnel sources said he was unlikely to get selected any higher in the first round.
With the Saints, Robinson may have a hard time winning a significant role this season because the team is already deep at cornerback. However, the Saints have dealt with numerous injuries at the position the past few seasons. Down the line, Robinson should compete for the nickel back role. For him to eventually start, he would have to beat out Tracy Porter or Jabari Greer.
Two key players absent from Patriots training camp — 10:15 p.m.
As expected, New England Patriots starting LG Logan Mankins has not shown up to training camp. He has not signed his one-year restricted free agent tender, so he’s not required to practice. RT Nick Kaczur filled in for him during Thursday’s first full squad practice.
But veteran OLB Derrick Burgess didn’t show up for Wednesday’s reporting date or for Thursday’s practice, so the team placed him on the reserve/did not report list. Burgess, who re-signed with the team in May for one season, could be contemplating retirement since he hasn’t shown up.
— Adam Caplan
Four Saints unable to practice — 10:14 p.m.
The New Orleans Saints placed four players on the reserve PUP list Thursday.
WRs Marques Colston (knee surgery) and Robert Meachem (toe surgery), LB Clint Ingram (knee), and S Darren Sharper (knee surgery) will rehab and attend meetings, but cannot practice until they are taken off the list.
All four players are expected to start practicing within two weeks or so.
The Saints also made two roster moves Thursday. They released veteran FB Jason McKie, who recently signed with the team. They also waived DT Earl Heyman.
— Adam Caplan
Eagles sign two players — 10:13 p.m.
The Philadelphia Eagles made a bunch of minor roster moves Thursday. They signed free agent S Antoine Harris and waived undrafted free agent S Brett Johnson with an injury settlement.
Harris (5-10, 202) spent the past three seasons (2007-09) with the Atlanta Falcons, playing in 35 games and recording 10 tackles and 11 special-teams tackles. In 2009, he played in 10 games and tallied three special-teams tackles before being placed on injured reserve Dec. 22 with a knee injury.
The 28-year-old Harris was originally signed as a rookie free agent out of the University Louisville by the Tennessee Titans following the 2005 draft, and spent the next two seasons (2005-06) on the team’s practice squad.
Harris will get a chance to challenge for the fourth safety spot in training camp — that’s if the team decides to keep four. Second-year DB Macho Harris is capable of playing safety or cornerback.
The team also signed undrafted free agent rookie WR Jared Perry to a three-year deal. Perry worked out for the team Thursday morning along with veteran WR Kelley Washington. The team also waived undrafted free agent WR Kevin Jurovich with an injury settlement.
— Adam Caplan
Veteran cornerback retires — 10:12 p.m.
As expected, veteran CB Aaron Glenn was placed on the reserve/retired list of the Houston Texans on Thursday. Glenn signed a ceremonial one-day contract with the team Wednesday.
It’s a bit surprising that he decided to retire as a Texan considering the Texans didn’t draft him, and he played more than half his career with the New York Jets.
— Adam Caplan
Colts reel in two more draft picks — 9:24 p.m.
The Colts don’t open training camp until Sunday, but they now have two more players signed from their draft class.
Seventh-round pick DT Ricardo Mathews (6-3, 294, Cincinnati, 238th overall) and second-round pick MLB Pat Angerer (6-0, 235, Iowa, 63rd overall) both agreed to four-year deals, a source confirmed.
Angerer was one of the best inside linebackers available in this year’s draft. Scouts noted his tremendous leadership skills and willingness to never give up on a play as his best attributes. The one negative that’s been mentioned has been his coverage skills, which is why he’s been projected as a two-down linebacker. His selection by the Colts was surprising since the team re-signed starting MLB Gary Brackett to a five-year, $33 million deal earlier this year.
Mathews was only a first-year starter last season, but his game tape was good enough to get him drafted. He’s more of a candidate for the practice squad because the Colts are fairly deep at defensive tackle, but he has enough upside to eventually be a fourth tackle.
Elsewhere, the team waived OT Gerald Cadogan and placed rookie K Brett Swenson on IR after he passed through waivers.
— Adam Caplan
Giants re-sign Super Bowl hero … but only for one day — 9:24 p.m.
The New York Giants have re-signed veteran WR David Tyree to a ceremonial one-day contract, sources have confirmed. Tyree, who recently made it known he was leaning toward retirement, will immediate;y go on the reserve/retired list on Friday.
Tyree will forever be known for his unbelievable catch during Super Bowl XLII over SS Rodney Harrison of the New England Patriots.
— Adam Caplan
Giants claim Hall — 8:38 p.m.
The New York Giants have claimed DE/OLB Alex Hall off waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles, a source confirmed. Hall was waived by the Eagles on Wednesday.
Hall never seemed comfortable in Philadelphia’s 4-3 defensive scheme, so it’s interesting that the Giants were still interested. Hall, who was originally selected in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, played fairly well for the Browns in limited playing time as a rookie. However, he fell out of favor with the new coaching staff last season and hardly played.
Two other teams that put in a claim for him, the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots, run a 3-4 scheme.
Elsewhere, the Giants waived third-round pick S Chad Jones, who suffered serious injuries in a recent car accident. Assuming he passes through waivers, he’ll head to the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list and will miss the rest of the season.
— Adam Caplan
Schobel does not report — 8:29 p.m.
In no great surprise, Buffalo Bills DE/OLB Aaron Schobel was placed on the Reserve/Did Not Report list. Schobel, who missed all of the team’s offseason workouts, is contemplating retirement. With Schobel out of the mix, Reggie Torbor and Aaron Maybin are filling in.
Tebow agrees to deal with Broncos — 7:34 p.m.
The Denver Broncos agreed to contract terms with first-round pick QB Tim Tebow (6-3, 245, Florida, 25th overall). Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Tebow was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy for three consecutive seasons (won the award in 2007) and was part of two national championship teams (2006, 2008) as he compiled a 35-6 record as a starter for the Gators.
He set Southeastern Conference career records for total offense (12,232 yards) and rushing touchdowns (57) while setting an NCAA standard with a 170.8 career passing efficiency (661-995, 9,285 yards, 88 TDs, 16 INTs).
While being one of the most successful quarterbacks in college football history, Tebow's drawn criticism from personnel evaluators who said his throwing mechanics need major work. However, former NFL QB Scott Brunner, who worked with QBs Joe Flacco and Levi Brown prior to the two players getting drafted, said Tebow’s release point isn’t the real issue. His footwork's the real problem. Tebow has a long stride when he’s in the process of throwing the ball. This causes him to take too long to throw the football. Others have pointed to his elongated release point as the issue.
Tebow likely won’t start a game this season because he needs to work on his throwing mechanics, but he’ll likely see time as a Wildcat quarterback, meaning the athletic lefty will line up behind center, likely in shotgun formation, and will have the option of throwing or running.
— Adam Caplan
Lewis not all that jazzed to have Owens around? — 7:04 p.m.
The Cincinnati Bengals have certainly had their fair share of problem players in the past. Marvin Lewis has shown us he's not afraid to stick up for some of those players when they're being criticized by the media, as evidenced by how quick he was to come to the defense of Cedric Benson, who's arrested about once a year on average.
While we've yet to hear much from the Bengals coach publicly about the signing of Terrell Owens, sources close to the situation are saying he doesn't seem thrilled about owner Mike Brown's decision to bring him aboard. Bob Glauber of Newsday is reporting that Lewis has “reservations” about the T.O. signing — although he may not be showing it — and that he's not entirely in favor of the move. Here's what Glauber wrote about Lewis’ opinion on the pairing of Owens and Ochocinco, courtesy of Pro Football Talk: — More ...
— Yardbarker/Larry Brown Sports
Chiefs' TE Cottam to miss first six weeks of season — 6:15 p.m.
After clearing waivers on Thursday, the Kansas City Chiefs placed third-year TE Brad Cottam (neck) on the Reserve/PUP list, the team announced. That means he must miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season. FOXSports.com first reported Cottam was waived/injured on Wednesday.
Because Cottam is now on the Reserve/PUP list, he does not count against Kansas City’s 80-man roster.
— Adam Caplan
Vikings sign second-rounder to four-year deal — 6:08 p.m.
The Minnesota Vikings didn't have a first-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, but had two second-rounders. The first of those two-second-rounders, CB Chris Cook (6-2, 212, Virginia, 34th overall) has signed a contract, the team announced. According to a source, Cook agreed to a four-year deal worth a maximum of $5.37 million. While the full guaranteed portion details weren’t’ available, Cook received a signing bonus worth $2.3 million. Last year's 34th player selected overall, S Patrick Chung (New England Patriots), signed a four-year deal worth a maximum of $5 million with just over $3.3 million guaranteed.
Cornerbacks who play in the Cover-2 defense generally play in a press position, so that should fit Cook's physical style quite well. He really boosted his draft stock after solid performances during Senior Bowl week and the NFL Combine.
He figures to challenge for a role in Minnesota’s dime defense, but could push much bigger role in year two. He also could see time at safety down the road because of his size.
— Adam Caplan
Bryant impresses with his kick return skills — 4:57 p.m.
Rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant had another eventful day at Cowboys training camp.
Bryant appeared as a kickoff returner as the Cowboys trotted out the unit for the first time during afternoon practice at the Alamodome. Special teams coach Joe DeCamillis was immediately taken with the possibilities.
"He's special with the ball in his hands, and we're going to try to help him as much as we can," DeCamillis said. "He's got a chance to be exceptional." — More ...
— FOX Sports Southwest
Cowboys sign track star with no college football experience — 4:45 p.m.
It's been five years since Teddy Williams last played football, but that didn't stop the Cowboys from signing him on Thursday.
Williams was a track star at Texas-San Antonio, but hasn't worn a helmet since playing wide receiver for John Tyler High School in Tyler, Texas. His football career went on hiatus following a broken ankle suffered in the fourth game of his senior season. — More ...
— Hunter Ansley, FOX Sports Southwest
Seattle Reaches Deal With Veteran Lineman — 4:10 p.m.
Pitts, 31, started all 114 games played for the Houston Texans after being drafted in the second round (50th overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft until being sidelined last season after two games. Pitts suffered a severe knee injury which some teams questioned would be able to heal in enough time for him to be 100 percent by the start of the regular season.
Pitts moved to left guard in 2006 after beginning his career at left tackle, and re-joins former Houston line coach Alex Gibbs in Seattle. Pitts attended San Diego State University, where he walked-on to the football team in 1998.
If healthy, Pitts could wind up challenging for the starting right guard job currently being filled by veteran Ben Hamilton.
The team also waived DE Robert Henderson and LB Anthony Heygood.
Seattle traded G Rob Sims and a 2010 seventh-round pick to Detroit for Henderson and a 2010 fifth-round pick on April 5. Heygood joined Seattle's practice squad on October 28, 2009.
— Adam Caplan
Buccaneers Sign Late-Rounder — 4:08 p.m.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed seventh-round pick S Cody Grimm (5-11, 203, Virginia Tech, 210th overall), the team announced. A source said Grimm’s four-year deal is worth just under $1.86 million. To make room for him on the 80-man roster, the team waived undrafted free agent S Dennis Rogan.
Grimm played in 54 games with 15 starts during his career, amassing 214 tackles, 26.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, nine forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions. He tied a NCAA FBS single-game record by forcing three fumbles against N.C. State.
In his senior season, Grimm was named third-team All-American by the Associated Press as well as first-team All-ACC linebacker after starting all 13 games and leading the Hokies with 106 tackles and tying for the lead with 12.5 tackles for loss to go along with 4.0 sacks. He was also awarded the Dudley Award, given to the state of Virginia's top Division I player, named ACC Defensive Back of the Week twice and named Defensive MVP of the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Grimm is the son of Cardinals Assistant Head Coach and former Washington Redskins G Russ Grimm.
Grimm figures to compete for a job in training camp as the team’s fourth safety.
First-round pick DT Gerald McCoy remains as the Tampa Bay’s lone draft selection to have not agreed to terms on a contract. Tampa Bay rookies and veterans report to training camp on Friday.
— Adam Caplan
T.O. debut at Bengals camp delayed — 9:43 a.m.
The popcorn will have to sit in the hopper for just a bit longer.
New Cincinnati Bengals WR Terrell Owens’ arrival at training camp has been delayed, the team said.
Owens missed his overnight flight from the West Coast and had to take a later one on Thursday, delaying his debut at training camp.
When he finally makes it to town -- a little late -- he'll be wearing his familiar 81.
The Bengals had planned on him arriving early in the day, taking his physical and signing his one-year contract while the rest of the team held its first workout.
Owens’ arrival at camp -- at Georgetown (Ky.) College -- is anticipated for this afternoon, and his media availability will be after tonight’s practice, which is scheduled for 7-9 p.m.
The veterans reported on Wednesday and the first full-squad practice is taking place this morning.
— Adam Caplan and The Associated Press
Chiefs sign third-round pick Asamoah — 9:42 a.m.
The Kansas City Chiefs are down to just one more player from their 2010 NFL Draft class to sign. The latest to sign a contract is G Jon Asamoah (6-4, 305, Illinois, 68th overall), the team announced.
Asamoah (6-4, 305) played in 42 games (37 starts), opening every contest during his final three seasons. He was a second-team All-Big Ten selection as a senior and also received the 2010 Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor for his achievements on the football field and in the classroom.
Asamoah was a two-time first-team All-South Inter-Athletic Association Conference selection at Rich East High School in Park Forest, Illinois, earning all-state honors as a senior from the Chicago Sun-Times.
Asamoah is known in scouting circles for being a solid blocker, but he lacks the kind of ideal athleticism that would have pushed him up into the first two rounds. However, he was likely drafted with the belief that he’ll eventually take over for starting RG Brian Waters, who is signed through 2011.
First-round pick S Eric Berry remains as the lone player from Kansas City’s 2010 draft class who has yet to sign a deal.
— Adam Caplan
Raiders sign first-round pick McClain — 8:33 a.m.
The Oakland Raiders finished signing their 2010 NFL Draft class early Thursday morning by reeling in first-round pick LB Rolando McClain (6-3, 255, Alabama, 8th overall). The team announced the move, but terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Last year’s 8th selection overall, OT Eugene Monroe (Jacksonville Jaguars), signed a six-year deal worth a maximum of $35.4 million with just over $19 million guaranteed. The sixth year of that deal can void based on minimum playing time requirements.
McClain, widely recognized as college football’s top linebacker last season, was a unanimous first team All-American selection and anchored the Crimson Tide defense that ranked fourth nationally in total defense last year. McClain started 37 of 41 games in three collegiate seasons, totaling 275 tackles, eight sacks, five interceptions and 31.5 tackles for a loss during his collegiate career.
Known as an outstanding run defender, McClain is widely recognized by personnel evaluators as an impact player. The Raiders felt so good about drafting McClain that they traded starting MLB Kirk Morrison on draft weekend.
The only knock on McClain from scouts is his coverage skills are lacking, so some felt he might only be a two-down defender at the NFL level.
— Adam Caplan
July 28 News and Notes
Six players not practicing for Panthers — 10:48 p.m.
The Carolina Panthers began training camp on Wednesday and several key players weren’t able to practice.
Starting OT Jeff Otah (knee surgery), third-year RB Jonathan Stewart (ankle surgery), starting WLB Thomas Davis (knee-ACL), and DT Louis Leonard (knee) were placed on the Active/PUP (Physically Unable to perform) list. Davis will likely miss the entire 2010 season while he rehabs his second serious injury to the same knee.
G Duke Robinson (knee) and starting WR
All of those players cannot practice while they are on those lists and they count against Carolina’s 80-man roster.
Elsewhere, the team waived undrafted free agent LB Brett Warren.
— Adam Caplan
A few key players not practicing yet for Denver — 10:42 p.m.
As expected, the Denver Broncos placed starting OLT Ryan Clady (knee) on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list on Wednesday. Clady suffered a serious knee injury while playing a pickup basketball game earlier this year. Clady is expected to be able to play this season, but backup OT Tyler Polumbus will fill in for him in the interim.
All three players cannot practice while on these lists and they count against Denver’s 80-man roster.
— Adam Caplan
Crable failed team physical — 10:36 p.m.
When the New England Patriots released OLB Shawn Crable on Wednesday afternoon, the team did not mention why he was let go. According to a league source, the third-year linebacker was actually waived/failed physical.
Crable, who never played a single snap in his first two seasons as a professional, seemed to be over his injury problems from years past during the team’s OTA practices. He missed all of last season with a groin injury.
— Adam Caplan
Cowboys offensive coordinator: Bryant still has lot to learn — 9:21 p.m.
Since his first minicamp practice, everyone has been raving about the natural ability, speed, quickness and ball skills of rookie receiver Dez Bryant. Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett put a slight halt to the praise-fest at training camp in San Antonio.
“Hey, everybody has to understand he’s had only seven practices,” Garrett said after Wednesday’s afternoon practice. “Do I think he has a chance to be very good? Yes. But he has a lot to learn, and we are throwing a lot of the playbook at him now.”
“Well, Randy is the best,” Garrett said. “So that’s high praise. But I have seen him running a 9 route, going hard, and then casually veer off to the left to snag a pass that is off line or underthrown.”
• It will be interesting what the Rams think, but the Cowboys love the swap that sent them left tackle Alex Barron in exchange to linebacker Bobby Carpenter. The trade was pegged as two teams dumping underperforming first-round draft picks.
In fact, the Cowboys said they aren’t worried one bit about their left tackle situation now with Barron backing up former right tackle Doug Free, who is replacing Flozell Adams. I got the same spiel from three coaches and one club executive. Maybe it’s a change in scenery or the fact that there’s no real pressure on him, but Barron is the Cowboys’ best backup on the offensive line.
• There wasn’t a more fun coach than Bum Phillips, who always got the best out of his teams in Houston and New Orleans. And while Bum never saw a cold beer he didn’t like, his son, Wade, has steered clear of alcohol. “As an athlete, I just thought I was better off not drinking,” Wade said. “I tried it, but never got a taste for it.”
Head coach Wade Phillips said his daughter Tracy, who is a dancer-actress, bought a home in a Los Angeles neighborhood. And apparently it is right across the street from where Eagles coach Andy Reid grew up. Small world, right?
Tracy has a role in the movie Water for Elephants, which is filming now, starring Reese Witherspoon. She also did the choregraphy for the latest Sugarland music video.
— John Czarnecki
Chargers extend Gates through 2015 — 9:12 p.m.
The San Diego Chargers announced that six-time Pro Bowl TE Antonio Gates has agreed to terms on a new contract through the 2015 season. Gates was on the final year of his contract and carried a base salary of $3.625 million. According to the San Diego Times Union, Gates received $20.4 million guaranteed in his extension and has become the highest-paid tight end in the NFL at an average per year of $7.235 million.
“Antonio is a special player and person. He is everything we are looking for in a Chargers player,” general manager A.J. Smith said. “His talent and contributions to our team speak for themselves. His work ethic and desire to be the best are unmatched. He has been a major part of the success we have had over the past several years, and we are thrilled he will continue to be with us for years to come.”
The only current Charger named to the NFL’s All-Decade Teamâ€ˆ(2000-09) and one of the Chargers’ 50 Greatest Players of All-Time, Gates is one of the most highly decorated tight ends to ever play the game. He had a memorable season in 2009, leading the team with 79 catches, racking up a career-best 1,157 yards and scoring eight touchdowns. His 14.6 yards per catch was the highest in the NFL among all tight ends.
"I’ve been blessed my whole career to be with one team," Gates said. "It’s always good to get (the contract) out of the way. The goal is to win a championship. We all are human, and it becomes a distraction even though you might not want it to be. It’s always great to be able to go ahead and do what you need to do and get it out of the way."
Since his rookie season of 2003, Gates leads all tight ends in touchdown catches (59). He ranks second in yards (6,223) and third in catches (479). Gates has led the Chargers in catches each of the last six seasons (2004-09).
Gates, who is widely recognized as the best tight end in the NFL, was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2003. He did not play football at Kent State University, but was an outstanding basketball player for the school.
With Gates’ extension completed, the team could turn their attention to OT Marcus McNeill, who has refused to sign his one-year restricted free agent tender.
— Adam Caplan
Chiefs Make a Flurry of Moves — 8:46pm
The Kansas City Chiefs open training camp on Thursday, but the day before they made a series of roster moves.
A source said the team waived/failed physical TE Brad Cottam (neck). The team hasn't announced the move, but did announce three other moves. Cottam was selected in the third round by the Chiefs.
Second-round pick RB/WR Dexter McCluster (5-8, 170, Mississippi, 36th overall), second-round pick CB Javier Arenas (5-9, 197, Alabama, 50th overall) and undrafted free agent TE Leroy Banks all signed contracts.
McCluster (5-8, 170), who according to a source signed a four-year deal, appeared in 40 games (28 starts) at Mississippi, catching 130 passes for 1,703 yards with seven TDs, while rushing 304 times for 1,955 yards with 15 TDs. He also returned 19 kickoffs for 374 yards and eight punts for 57 yards. He compiled 1,717 all-purpose yards as a senior, the second-highest seasonal total in school history. He was a Class 5A first-team All-State selection as a senior at Largo High School in Largo, Florida.
McCluster put together a phenomenal string of practices together during Senior Bowl week in January. He dazzled scouts and personnel evaluators with his speed, quickness and elusiveness. He didn't run well, but anyone who's seen his game tape or watched him up close during Senior Bowl practices understands how talented the diminutive back is. In scouting terms, he plays bigger than his listed size.
Expect offensive coordinator Charlie Weis to use him in a variety of ways — as a receiver, running back and perhaps even a Wildcat quarterback. Player sources told FOXSports.com after the team’s final OTA practices that McCluster had the “wow” factor — meaning he was very explosive on the field.
Last year’s 36th player selected overall, WR Brian Robiskie (Browns), signed a four-year $4.91 million maximum contract with $2.93 million guaranteed before his rookie season.
Arenas (5-9, 197), who signed a four-year deal, played in 52 games (28 starts) at Alabama, registering 154 tackles (104 solo), 17.5 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks (-74 yards), six INTs with one touchdown, 14 passes defensed and nine QB pressures. He also returned 125 punts for 1,752 yards with seven TDs and 90 kickoffs for 2,166 yards. He ranks second in NCAA history with eight career return TDs (seven punt returns, one INT). Arenas scored 16 total TDs as a senior at Robinson High School in Tampa where he earned all-conference honors in football and also competed on the track team.
Arenas, because he was an outstanding special teams returner in college, could challenge for that role in training camp. He figures to challenge for a nickel role down the line as his long-term position.
Last year’s 50th player selected overall, WR Mohamed Massaquoi (also of the Browns), signed a four-year deal worth a maximum of roughly $3.636 million with $1.863 million guaranteed before last season.
Banks (6-3, 243, Southern Mississippi) was signed as an undrafted free agent with the Falcons before being awarded to Kansas City via a waiver claim in May. He was then waived by the Chiefs in June. He played 23 games in two seasons at Southern Mississippi, catching 34 passes for 462 yards with four TDs. He began his collegiate career at Coahoma Community College in Clarksdale, Mississippi, where he recorded 62 receptions for 1,098 yards with six TDs. He prepped at Whitehaven High School in Memphis.
— Adam Caplan
Jets sign veteran quarterback — 6:42 p.m.
The New York Jets, now unhampered by the NFL’s “final four” rule that restricts the final four teams from last year’s playoffs from signing free agents, have signed free agent QB Mark Brunell, the team announced.
The “final four” teams were not able to negotiate or sign any unrestricted free agents to a contract unless they were released from a team. Those teams were able to trade for players. That restriction ended earlier this week.
The Jets now have five quarterbacks on their 80-man roster, but that could change when the veterans have to report Saturday. Speculation is that either Kellen Clemens or Erik Ainge will be released.
— Adam Caplan
Colts reel in fourth-rounder, claim offensive lineman — 6:41 p.m.
The Indianapolis Colts have reached a four-year, $2.23 million deal with fourth-round pick G Jacques McClendon (6-3, 325, Tennessee), a league source confirmed. His deal includes a signing bonus worth $435,000. Like almost all rookie deals, his escalator is tied to participating in a high number of offseason workouts.
The interior lineman should get a chance to compete for the team’s fourth guard spot in training camp. McClendon is seen as a departure from previous drafts for the Colts. For years, Indianapolis has drafted smaller offensive lineman (usually weighing in the 290-plus range).
Also of note, the team claimed undrafted free agent OT Chris Marinelli (6-7, 300, Stanford) off waivers from the Denver Broncos, a league source told FOXSports.com.
Marinelli was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Broncos in late April.
Elsewhere, the Colts waived injured undrafted free agent K Brett Swenson. Veteran Adam Vinatieri and undrafted free agent Garrett Lindholm are the remaining kickers on Indianapolis’ 80-man roster.
— Adam Caplan
Three veterans not practicing for Philadelphia — 6:40 p.m.
While the veterans for the Philadelphia Eagles don’t have to report to training camp until Thursday, selected veterans and injured players reported with the rookies on Monday.
Three players, starting LG Todd Herremans (foot), fourth-year DE Victor Abiamiri (knee), and starting C Jamaal Jackson (knee) were placed on the active PUP (physically unable to perform list) on Tuesday.
The team is taking it easy with Herremans, who missed five games last season because of a broken foot. He could return to practice at any time. As noted recently by FOXSports.com, Philadelphia has been looking for depth for the interior of their offensive line. They put in a waiver claim for G Paul Fanaika, who was claimed last month by the Cleveland Browns. Philadelphia selected him in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft.
Jackson suffered a torn ACL late last season but is making enough progress that the team may not place him on the reserve PUP list to begin the regular season. Veteran G/C Nick Cole has the inside track to begin the season as the starter, but third-year OL Mike McGlynn will challenge him.
Abiamiri, who has dealt with injury problems for most his career, is coming off microfracture knee surgery, which was completed in March. There’s considerable doubt whether he’ll be on the team’s 53-man roster this season at any time.
— Adam Caplan
Vikings snag another late-rounder — 6:39 p.m.
The Minnesota Vikings have been busy negotiating contracts this week. The latest to agree to a contract is fifth-round pick G Chris DeGeare (6-4, 325, Wake Forest, 161st overall), a source confirmed. DeGeare agreed to a four-year deal worth roughly $1.95 million with a signing bonus worth roughly $195,000. Like all of their draft selections who have agreed to a deal, DeGeare’s escalators are tied to participating in 90 percent of offseason workouts.
Minnesota is very light on depth on their offensive line, especially inside. So DeGeare could easily make the 53-man roster this fall if he has a strong training camp.
— Adam Caplan
Bengals ink deals with two draft picks — 4:49 p.m.
As noted previously, the Cincinnati Bengals agreed to a four-year, $2.55 million deal with third-round pick WR Jordan Shipley. On Wednesday, the team announced he signed his contract.
The team also announced second-round pick DE Carlos Dunlap (6-6, 277, Florida, 54th overall) signed a contract. A source said Dunlap signed a four-year deal. Last year’s 54th selection overall, OT Phil Loadholt (Minnesota Vikings), signed a four-year, $3.43 million maximum deal with $1.675 million guaranteed.
Dunlap posted 18.5 sacks and 24 tackles for loss over 2008-09 and had four blocked kicks in his three-year career. He was named Defensive MVP in the 2008 BCS national championship game, when Florida beat Oklahoma.
Dunlap fell out of the first round because scouts say he didn’t give a consistent effort each game. When he is at his best, he’s a good edge rusher, but that didn’t happen enough.
The Bengals have signed eight of their nine draft picks. Still unsigned is first-round pick TE Jermaine Gresham.
— Adam Caplan
Patriots waive former third-round pick — 4:48 p.m.
The New England Patriots had to clear roster space for first-round pick CB Devin McCourty, who signed his five-year deal worth just over $13.2 million with just over $7.8 million guaranteed on Wednesday morning. They did so by waiving former third-round pick OLB Shawn Crable, the team announced.
Crable, who was selected in the 2008 NFL Draft, did not appear in a single regular season game in his two seasons of play, and was placed on the active PUP list to begin training camp. He was inactive for the first eight games of the 2008 season before finishing the year on injured reserve. He was injured during the preseason last year and spent the season on injured reserve.
— Adam Caplan
Saints agree to deal with third-rounder, sign quarterback — 4:14 p.m.
With veteran TE Jeremy Shockey suffering through a spate of nagging injuries over the years, his effectiveness has been regressing a bit in the eyes of personnel evaluators. With that in mind, the team selected TE Jimmy Graham (6-6, 260, Miami-Fla., 95th overall) in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft. The team announced he agreed to a four-year deal.
Graham caught the eyes of NFL scouts during Senior Bowl week practices because of his outstanding athleticism and ability to beat linebackers in coverage. Because of that, he moved well up on draft boards as the weeks progressed toward April’s annual selection weekend. Graham only played one season of football at Miami, however.
The native of Goldsboro, N.C., played in 13 games for the Hurricanes with one start and caught 17 passes for 213 yards and five touchdowns after taking up football at the conclusion of a successful college basketball career. Graham played in 120 games for Miami on the hardwood, starting 39 games, and scored 509 points, grabbed 502 rebounds with 104 blocked shots.
With Shockey signed just through 2011, Graham could be the long-term starter in 2012 and beyond. First, he’ll have to improve as a route runner and improve his blocking skills. Once that happens, he’ll have an increased role.
First-round pick CB Patrick Robinson is the lone Saints’ 2010 draft pick that remains unsigned.
Also of note Wednesday, the team signed free-agent QB Patrick Ramsey.
Ramsey (6-2, 225) enters his ninth NFL season. He is a former first-round selection of the Washington Redskins in 2002. A native of Ruston, La., and one of the top quarterbacks in Tulane University history, Ramsey has played in 37 career games with 24 starts in stints with Washington (2002-05), the New York Jets (2006), Denver Broncos (2007-08), Tennessee Titans (2009) and Detroit Lions (2009). He has completed 511 of 913 career pass attempts for 5,930 yards with 35 touchdowns and 30 interceptions for a passer rating of 74.9.
Ramsey’s passing accuracy and pocket awareness has been questioned by personnel evaluators for many years, which is why he has bounced around so much. He’ll be the primary backup to starting QB Drew Brees.
— Adam Caplan
Buffalo corrals second-rounder — 3:20 p.m.
The Buffalo Bills have reached a four-year deal worth a maximum $4.54 million with second-round pick DL Torell Troup (6-3, 314, Central Florida, 41st overall), FOXSports.com has confirmed. The deal includes roughly $2.61 million guaranteed, a source said. Last year’s 41st selection overall, CB Darius Butler (New England Patriots), signed a four-year deal worth a maximum $4.33 million with just under $2.4 million guaranteed.
As interior defensive linemen are concerned, Troup is known in scouting circles for being pretty athletic. In fact, it’s possible that he’ll see some time at end in Buffalo’s new 3-4 defensive scheme. He’ll likely compete for playing time in back of projected starting NT
First-round pick RB C.J. Spiller is the only player left from Buffalo’s 2010 NFL Draft class who remains unsigned.
— Adam Caplan
Texans sign tight end — 2:44 p.m.
The Houston Texans suffered a bunch of injuries at the tight end position last season, so they addressed that issue by selecting Garrett Graham (6-3, 241, Wisconsin, 118th overall) in the fourth round in this year’s NFL Draft.
On Wednesday, Graham signed a contract, the team announced. According to Nationalfootballpost.com, Graham signed a four-year deal worth $2.27 million that maxes out at $3.11 million.
Graham set a school record for tight ends with 16 career touchdown receptions to go along with 121 catches and 1,492 yards. He started 33 of 40 games played for Wisconsin and earned first-team All-Big Ten Conference selections as a junior and senior. He started 13 games as a senior in 2009 and set career highs with 51 receptions for 624 yards (12.2 average).
Graham is known in scouting circles for his solid hands and good route running.
Houston now has six tight ends under contract, but three of them are coming off of injuries.
— Adam Caplan
Rams get second-round pick in the fold — 1:59 p.m.
The St. Louis Rams have agreed to terms on a four-year deal with second-round pick OT Rodger Saffold (6-5, 315, Indiana, 33rd overall), a source confirmed. Saffold’s four-year deal is worth a maximum $6.3 million with nearly $3.9 million guaranteed. Last year’s 33rd player selected overall, S Louis Delmas (Detroit Lions), signed a four-year deal worth a maximum $5.7 million with roughly $3.58 guaranteed.
Saffold, who is highly regarded in scouting circles for his athleticism and intelligence, wowed personnel evaluators during East-West Shrine week practices. It was those set of performances, along with a solid workout during the NFL Combine, which catapulted him to the top of the second round.
Saffold, who played left tackle in college, is scheduled to play right tackle with the Rams, with second-year pro Jason Smith settling in on the left side. There is a chance Saffold sees time at right guard if the coaches don’t believe he’s ready to step in at right tackle right away.
In an interesting side note, a source said eight of St. Louis’ nine selections from rounds three through seven had their contracts, which were completed earlier this month, disapproved by the league late last week, but were approved not much later.
Elsewhere, the team waived OT Brandon Joyce.
— Adam Caplan
Vikings Reel in Several Draft Selections — 1:25 p.m.
The Minnesota Vikings have reached contract agreements with several of their 2010 NFL Draft selections.
Fourth-round pick DE Everson Griffen (6-3, 273, USC, 100th overall) signed a four-year deal worth just over $2.33 million, sources confirmed. Griffen received a signing bonus worth $540,000. Also included in the deal is typical fourth-year escalator and workout language.
Griffen will compete for the fourth defensive end job in training camp. However, with starting DE Ray Edwards set to play on a one-year contract, Griffen could have a bigger role in year two.
Sixth-round pick QB/WR Joe Webb (640, 220, UAB, 199th overall) signed a four-year deal worth just over $2.71 million.
Webb gained notice after wowing scouts during Senior Bowl week, not as a quarterback, but as a receiver. Webb made several outstanding catches during the three days worth of practices.
During Minnesota’s OTA practices, Webb was moved back to quarterback, and he got snaps in place of veteran QB Sage Rosenfels. Webb is known in scouting circles for possessing a strong arm, but has some issues with his throwing mechanics which some evaluators feel need to be adjusted.
Seventh-round pick TE Mickey Shuler (6-4, 247, Penn St., 214th overall) signed his four-year deal worth just over $1.85 million earlier this week.
Shuler, whose father Mickey played in the NFL for the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles, will compete for job at the end of the tight end depth chart.
In other team news, Minnesota waived WR Aaron Rhea from injured reserve.
Second-Rounder Signs With Seattle — 1:25 p.m.
The Seattle Seahawks had nine selections in the 2010 NFL Draft. They’re now down to just two more to sign.
The latest to sign a deal is second-round pick WR Golden Tate (5-10, 199, Notre Dame, 60th overall). A source said the speedy wideout agreed to a four-year deal worth maximum of just over $3.2 million with just over $1.47 million guaranteed. Last year’s 60th player selected overall, OT William Beatty (New York Giants), signed a four-year, $3.1 million maximum deal with just over $1.38 million guaranteed.
Tate, some personnel evaluators thought, would get selected in the first round. However, because he needs to prove on his route running and other areas of his game, he fell near the end of the second round. Still, he has very good long speed and was thought to be one of the top receivers available for this year’s draft.
With Seattle, he should be in the top-four of the receiver rotation right away. And with veteran WR Deion Branch possibly on shaky ground due to a high base salary of $5.47 million for this season, Tate could be in store for a larger role than first thought.
Highly Touted Receiver Works Out — 12:48 p.m.
Former University of Missouri WR Danario Alexander worked out for NFL scouts in Houston Wednesday, a source said.
Alexander, who weighed in at 218 (he weighed 215 and measured over 6-4 at the NFL Combine), posted a very solid 4.46 40-yard dash time (on field turf). Any posted time of better than 4.5 for a player of his size is considered to be very good in scouting circles. Alexander also posted a 4.12 in the short shuttle. This drill is used to determine short area quickness. To get an idea of how good his time was, former University of California RB Jahvid Best posted times of 4.17 and 4.18 during the NFL Combine. Alexander also posted an outstanding 41 ½ -inch vertical jump. A vertical jump demonstrates lower body explosion. It also shows he was able to push off his surgically repaired left knee. Alexander had multiple surgeries on the knee since 2007.
Alexander’s workout for NFL teams has to be considered pretty remarkable when you consider he just got cleared to work out just two weeks ago. He had as high as a second-round grade from some teams, so it will be interesting to see which of the 32 NFL clubs bring him in for a workout over the next few weeks.
Player Acquired in Sheldon Brown Trade Jettisoned — 12:48 p.m.
When the Philadelphia Eagles traded CB Sheldon Brown and OLB Chris Gocong to the Cleveland Browns in early April, they received DE/OLB Alex Hall and 2010 fourth-and-fifth-round picks in return.
After officially signing second-round pick S Nate Allen on Wednesday morning to a four-year deal, the team needed to make room for the defensive back on their 80-man roster. To do so, they waived Hall, who never seemed comfortable in Philadelphia’s 4-3 defensive scheme during OTA practices.
Hall, who flashed some talent as a rookie for Cleveland during the 2008 season, probably needs to latch on with a team that utilizes a 3-4 scheme.
Ravens' Cody passes conditioning test — 10:10 a.m.
Baltimore Ravens second-round pick Terrence Cody signed his four-year deal on Monday and then was placed on the Active/Non-Football Injury list on Tuesday for conditioning reasons. On Wednesday morning, Cody was removed from that list after passing the team’s conditioning test. After passing the conditioning test, undrafted free agent rookie CB Prince Miller was also removed from the list.
Several players were added to the Active-Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list on Tuesday: C Matt Birk (knee), FS Ed Reed (hip), CBs Fabian Washington (knee) and Lardarius Webb (knee), LB Brendon Ayanbadejo (quadriceps), RB Matthew Lawrence (knee).
OT Oneil Cousins (throat) was placed on the Active/Non-Football Illness list.
All of those players on each list are eligible to come off at any time. They will still count against the team’s 80-man roster whether they are on that list or not.
Patriots finish off their draft class — 9:40 a.m.
The New England Patriots have agreed to terms on a contract with first-round pick CB Devin McCourty (5-11, 193, Rutgers, 27th overall), his agent, Andy Simms, announced via Twitter.
A source confirmed McCourty will sign a five-year deal. Additional terms weren’t available, but the 27th player selected overall in last year’s draft, RB Donald Brown (Indianapolis Colts), signed a five-year, $12.835 million maximum deal with just under $7 million guaranteed, a source said.
New England now has all of its 2010 NFL Draft class under contract.
Known for his high character and intelligence, McCourty moved up draft boards after a solid set of practices during Senior Bowl week in January and an outstanding NFL Combine workout in February. But McCourty is also known in scouting circles for his special teams play. With the recent release of veteran CB Shawn Springs, McCourty should wind up being in the top-three spot on the depth chart at the position. It’s also possible he challenges for a starting job right away.
Panthers finish draft negotiations — 9:39 a.m.
After releasing veteran QB Jake Delhomme earlier this year, the Carolina Panthers have been looking to toward the future at the position. While Matt Moore is slated to start this season, he’s only signed through 2010. With that in mind, the team selected QB Jimmy Clausen (6-3, 222, Notre Dame, 48th overall) in the second round. Clausen wound up being the highest player selected out of Carolina’s 10 selections in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Carolina has agreed to a four-year, $6.3 million deal with Clausen. The deal includes $2.533 guaranteed. Last year’s 48th player selected overall, S Darcel McBath (Denver Broncos), signed a four-year deal worth a maximum of $3.76 million with $2.01 million guaranteed, a source said. Quarterbacks typically will have a significant increase in a maximum contract because that position is recognized as the most important on the football team.
While many fans thought Clausen would wind up being selected in the first round, sources said many teams had a second-round grade for the right-handed thrower. While Clausen has a strong arm, he has a hitch in his release which may have to be slightly adjusted.
Elsewhere, WR Keith Eloi is another confirmed player that worked out for the Panthers earlier this week. Eloi, who went undrafted in 2009, spent time on the practice squad of the Washington Redskins last season. As noted previously, free-agent LB Alvin Bowen was another one of the many players that worked out for Carolina.
July 27 News and Notes
Cardinals sign fourth-rounder Schofield — 10:19 p.m.
The Arizona Cardinals are down to just two more players to sign from their 2010 NFL Draft class. The latest to sign a four-year deal is OLB O’Brien Schofield (6-3, 231, Wisconsin), the team announced.
The talented pass rusher suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during a Senior Bowl week practice back in January. Schofield was injured in a one-on-one pass-rushing drill against former University of Massachusetts OL Vladimir Ducasse.
Schofield will likely start off training camp on the Active-PUP list, but is considered a long-shot to be able to play this season because of the injury.
He had a second-round grade from many teams before suffering his injury, sources said.
To clear on their 80-man roster for Schofield, the Cardinals waived undrafted free agent OT Devin Tyler.
Panthers hold tryouts — 10:15 p.m.
Teams typically put together emergency player personnel lists right before training camp in order to be prepared in case one of their own players suffers an injury.
The Carolina Panthers worked out several players earlier this week, sources said. One of the players who worked out for the team was free-agent LB Alvin Bowen, FOXSports.com has confirmed. As FOXSports.com noted last week, Bowen also worked out for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Bowen, who weighed between 220-225 pounds during his physical last week for Philadelphia, is known in scouting circles for his speed and versatility.
Broncos sign second-round lineman Beadles — 9:03 p.m.
The Denver Broncos had a big need for depth on their offensive line coming into this year’s NFL Draft, so they addressed the issue by selecting three linemen through the first six rounds.
On Tuesday, second-round pick Zane Beadles (6-4, 305, Utah, 45th overall) signed a contract, the team announced. According to Nationalfootballpost.com, Beadles signed a four-year deal worth a maximum value of roughly $4.2 million. Last year’s 45th selection overall, LB Clint Sintim (New York Giants) signed a four-year deal worth a maximum of roughly $3.98 million with just over $2.2 million guaranteed. That deal included a signing bonus worth roughly $1.61 million, a source said.
Beadles, who started 38 games at left tackle and another 12 at left guard at Utah, is expected to compete for the starting left guard job in training camp.
Bryant to bag at least $6.7 million — 8:44 p.m.
No matter what happens with Cincinnati Bengals WR Antonio Bryant from here on out, a source told FOXSports.com that he’ll bag at least $6.7 million this season.
Bryant already received a $3.1 million signing bonus to a go along with a roster bonus which was paid sometime in March, according to the source. His base salary is $1.55 million for this season. So if he’s on the opening day 53-man roster, he’ll earn at least $8.25 million.
Eagles reel in new starting safety — 8:22 p.m.
The Philadelphia Eagles have been searching for a new starting free safety since long-time starter Brian Dawkins signed with the Denver Broncos in March of 2009.
In the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the team selected South Florida University S Nate Allen (6-1, 210, 37th overall) to become Dawkins’ successor.
The Eagles announced Tuesday, Allen agreed to a four-year deal. While additional terms weren’t disclosed, last year’s 37th selection overall, CB Alphonso Smith (Denver Broncos) signed a four-year deal worth a maximum of $4.83 million. That deal included a signing bonus worth $2.15 million.
Allen is known in scouting circles for his intelligence and athleticism. However, personnel sources said that the reason why he wasn’t selected in the first round is because he’s an inconsistent tackler.
Pats ink Spikes, make roster moves — 4:37 p.m.
New England Patriots second-round pick LB Brandon Spikes (6-2, 250, Florida, 62nd overall) is known in scouting circles for his physical play. On Tuesday, he’ll start his journey as a professional after signing his rookie contract, the team announced.
According to a source, he signed a four-year deal worth a maximum of just over $3.2 million with $1.41 million guaranteed. Last year’s 62nd player overall, DT Sen’Derrick Marks (Tennessee Titans), signed a four-year deal worth a maximum of $3.12 million with roughly $1.36 million guaranteed. Marks’ deal included a signing bonus worth $940,000 while Spikes’ deal included a signing bonus worth $960,000.
A personnel source said Spikes projects to only be a two-down linebacker at the NFL level because he’s not strong in coverage. However, Spikes is known for being one of the most instinctive linebackers to come out of the college ranks in a long time.
The only draft selection who remains unsigned is first-round pick CB Devin McCourty.
The team also placed undrafted free agents WR Darnell Jenkins and CB Terrence Johnson on the Non-Football Injury List (NFI). Both players count against New England’s 80-man roster.
— Adam Caplan
Tampa Bay finalizes deal with Illinois standout — 4:30 p.m.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a strong effort to improve their receiver situation this season by selecting two receivers within the first four rounds of April’s NFL Draft. On Tuesday, they got another one of them under contract.
According to a source, second-round pick Arrelious Benn (6-1, 219, Illinois, 39th overall) agreed to a four-year deal with a maximum value of $4.84 million with around $2.85 million guaranteed. Last year’s 39th player selected overall, OT Eben Britton (Jacksonville Jaguars), signed a four-year deal worth a maximum of $4.6 million.
Benn is known in scouting circles for possession: he has good hands and he’s a solid route runner. Because he possesses less than ideal speed, he fell to the second round. However, he should challenge for a significant role right away based on the lack of talent the team currently has on their 80-man roster.
— Adam Caplan
Bengals sign Shipley, linebacker — 4:24 p.m.
Jordan Shipley (5-11, 193, Texas) is known in scouting circles for being a terrific slot receiver. He’ll get to show off that talent when the Cincinnati Bengals open training camp for rookies and veterans on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, he agreed to a four-year deal worth roughly $2.55 million with a signing bonus worth close to $757,000, according to a source.
The third-round pick, who works well in space, ran two less than ideal 40-yard dash times during February’s NFL Combine, so he fell out of the second round as a result.
Shipley is expected to compete for Cincinnati’s slot receiver role against third-year WR Andre Caldwell.
Also on Tuesday, the team agreed to a four-year deal worth just over $2.21 million with fourth-round pick LB Roddrick Muckelroy (6-2, 246, Texas), a source said. The deal includes a signing bonus worth roughly $425,000.
Muckelroy, a Senior Bowl and NFL Combine invitee, has excellent size and is capable of playing weak-side or middle linebacker in Cincinnati’s 4-3 defensive scheme.
— Adam Caplan
Denver signs third-rounder — 4:19 p.m.
The Denver Broncos sought to improve their offense in the 2010 NFL Draft by selecting two receivers within the first three rounds. On Tuesday, third-round pick Eric Decker (6-3, 220, Minnesota) agreed to a deal, the team announced. A source said he signed a four-year deal worth just over $2.52 million.
Decker, who is coming back from a broken foot, is known in scouting circles for possessing quite possibly the best hands of any receiver selected in this year’s draft. He’s also known for being a solid route runner. Once his foot is totally healed, he should challenge for a spot this season as one of the team’s top-four receivers.
In other news, the team waived OLB Bruce Davis and undrafted free agent OL Chris Marinelli.
Denver still has three unsigned players from their draft class: first-rounders WR Demaryius Thomas and QB Tim Tebow and second-rounder OL Zane Beadles.
Denver rookies are scheduled to report on Wednesday with the veterans reporting on Saturday.
— Adam Caplan
Cowboys coach Phillips seems like a new man — 10:40 a.m.
Three quick thoughts from my weekend visit to Dallas Cowboys training camp in San Antonio:
• I’ve known Wade Phillips for 13 years and have never seen him as relaxed or insightful in a news conference setting as he was during Sunday’s session. In recent years, Phillips was so self-defensive that I would skip his postgame pressers and went straight into the locker room because team owner Jerry Jones was far more candid.
I’m told by those around the team on a daily basis that Phillips received a huge personal boost of confidence by having his contract extended during the offseason. For the first time during his three different non-interim NFL head coaching stints, Phillips was given a fourth season to run a team. While I like Phillips personally, I was admittedly skeptical whether he was the right fit for the Cowboys. With the success Dallas enjoyed last season getting over the playoff hump, I’m starting to think Jones may have made the correct decision by sticking by Phillips despite prior scores of media criticism calling for a change.
• Phillips’ 40-pound weight loss this offseason was nothing compared to that of former Cowboys offensive lineman Nate Newton. The player once nicknamed The Kitchen is barely the size of a mini-fridge. Newton has shed more than 130 pounds after undergoing a weight-loss surgery in April. Now around 260, he was unrecognizable when surrounded by media after Sunday morning’s practice.
— Alex Marvez
Raiders sign second-rounder from Texas — 10:24 a.m.
The Oakland Raiders are down to just one player from their 2010 NFL Draft class to sign. The latest to sign a deal is second-round pick DL Lamarr Houston (6-3, 305, Texas, 44th overall), the team announced. A source said Houston signed a four-year deal. Last year’s 44th selection, Pat White/QB/Miami Dolphins, signed a four-year deal worth a maximum of $4.475 million, a source said.
Interestingly, Houston had been given a low draft grade coming into his senior season. But Houston wowed scouts with his ability to be a disruptive force against opposing offenses.
Houston, known for his intensity and high-motor, is expected to play end not tackle in Oakland’s 3-4 defensive scheme. Houston figures to play left end based on his size. It’s possible that he moves inside in pass-rushing situations, however.
— Adam Caplan
Patriots place three on PUP — 10:23 a.m.
The New England Patriots have placed three players on their active-PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list: WR Wes Welker (knee), DT Kade Weston, and OLB Shawn Crable, a source confirmed.
All three players count against New England’s 80-man roster, but cannot practice. Players on the active-PUP list can rehab injuries and can attend meetings. They’re also eligible to come off that list at any time. Should they remain on that list when the team finalizes their 53-man roster to start the regular season, they would move to the Reserve-PUP list, and would miss the first six weeks of the season.
— Adam Caplan
Busy day for Browns — 10:20 a.m.
The Cleveland Browns started training camp with their rookies last Friday and now have just one more of them to sign. The latest to sign a four-year deal is S T.J. Ward (5-10, 211, Oregon, 38th overall), sources said. Ward’s four-year deal is worth a maximum of over $5 million with just over $3 million guaranteed. Last year’s 38th player selected overall, Rey Maualuga/LB/Cincinnati Bengals, signed a four-year deal worth a maximum of $4.66 million, which included a signing bonus worth $2.04 million.
Ward is well-thought of in scouting circles because of his size and aggressiveness. He figures to compete for playing time at free safety.
First-round pick CB Joe Haden remains as Cleveland’s remaining rookie to sign. The veterans report on Friday.
Elsewhere, the Browns placed three players on their active-PUP list: DT Shaun Rogers, DE C.J. Mosley, and CB Coye Francies, a source confirmed. All three players count against Cleveland’s 80-man roster, but can’t practice.
— Adam Caplan
July 26 News and Notes
Packers Sign Second-Rounder— 8:34 p.m.
The Green Bay Packers are down to one more player to sign from their 2010 NFL Draft class. The latest to sign is second-round pick DE Mike Neal (6-3, 294, Purdue, 56th overall), the team announced. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but a source said Neal signed a four-year deal. The 56th player selected overall last year, Fili Moala/DT/Indianapolis Colts, signed a four-year deal worth a maximum $3.3 million with $1.55 million guaranteed. That deal included a signing bonus worth $1.14 million, a source said.
Neal went off the board a bit earlier than expected. However, personnel sources said he’s a decent fit for Green Bay’s 3-4 defensive scheme because of his size and quick first step. Most 3-4 ends are thought of as run-stoppers, but Neal offers more than that because of his athleticism. With DE Johnny Jolly suspended for this season, Neal has a pretty good chance to get into the rotation right away.
The only player left to sign for Green Bay to sign is first-round pick OT Bryan Bulaga. Green Bay rookies and veterans are to report to training camp on Friday.
— Adam Caplan
Saints Ink Second-Rounder— 8:34 p.m.
The New Orleans Saints had six selections in this year’s NFL Draft, and are now down to just two more to sign. The latest to sign a four-year deal is second-round pick OT Charles Brown (6-5, 297, USC, 64th overall), the team announced. Further details of Brown’s deal weren’t disclosed, but the 64th player selected overall in last year’s draft, Richard Quinn/TE/Denver Broncos, signed a four-year, $2.99 maximum deal with $1.24 million guaranteed. That deal included a signing bonus worth $930,000, a source said.
While Brown is slated to back up LT Jermon Bushrod, a personnel source said Brown has much better athleticism and could take the starting job from Bushrod as early as year two.
— Adam Caplan
Colts Reel in Three Late-Rounders— 8:31 p.m.
The Indianapolis Colts got started on getting the eight players from their 2010 NFL Draft class under contract.
The team announced seventh-rounders LB Kavell Conner (6-0, 242, Clemson) and CB Ray Fisher (5-9, 185, Indiana) have signed contracts. The team also agreed to a contract with TE Brody Eldridge (6-5, 261, Oklahoma), a source said.
Eldridge, who signed a four-year deal worth just over $1.95 million, was known in league circles as the best blocking tight end available for this draft. In fact, some personnel evaluators believe it’s possible that he could add more weight and move to guard or tackle.
Conner, who signed a four-year deal worth roughly $1.84 million, figures to compete for a roster spot in training camp at strong-side linebacker.
Fisher, who spent the first three years at Indiana as a receiver, signed a four-year deal worth just over $1.83 million. The Colts are suddenly thin on depth at cornerback due to the knee injury suffered by third-round pick Kevin Thomas during a post-draft OTA practice. So Fisher’s chances of making the 53-man roster probably are a little better than first thought. He may be given a chance to make the team as a kickoff returner as well.
— Adam Caplan
Rams confident about getting No. 1 pick to camp — 4:58 p.m.
The St. Louis Rams won’t be pursuing free-agent wide receiver Terrell Owens, but another big-name player should soon be under contract.
Rams general manager Billy Devaney told FOXSports.com there is a “really good chance” that a deal will be completed with rookie quarterback Sam Bradford by the time training camp opens Thursday at team headquarters.
Unlike the past two players chosen with the No. 1 overall pick, St. Louis didn’t have a pre-draft contract agreement in place before selecting Bradford. But Rams executive Kevin Demoff and Bradford’s agents Tom Condon and Ben Dogra have worked extensively on a multiyear deal that should pay Bradford in the range of $45 million to $50 million in guaranteed money. Full story ...
— Alex Marvez
Bears still searching for backup QB — 4:02 p.m.
The Chicago Bears, looking for competition for their backup quarterback job, signed free-agent QB Mike Teel to a two-year deal, the team announced. Teel, who was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the sixth round (178th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft, spent the entire 2009 season on the Seahawks active roster but did not appear in a regular season game. Teel was claimed off of waivers by the New England Patriots in May of 2010, but released three weeks later. Teel was highly thought of in some scouting circles because of his leadership and passing accuracy, but he fell in last year’s draft because of less than ideal arm strength. The Bears are looking to sure up the No. 2 job. Currently, third-year pro Caleb Hanie is handling that role. The team selected Dan LeFevour in the sixth-round of April’s draft to hopefully challenge Hanie.
— Adam Caplan
Potential Browns starting RB inks deal — 3:15 p.m.
When the Cleveland Browns selected University of Tennessee RB Montario Hardesty (6-0, 225) in the second round (59th overall) of April’s NFL Draft, some were surprised by the selection considering he only was a full-time starter in college for one season. But his game tape was impressive enough over the years to make Cleveland’s new front office believe the big back could carry the rushing load at the next level.
Cleveland’s rookies reported to training camp last Friday, but the veterans don’t report until late this week. So Hardesty, who the team announced signed a multi-year deal on Monday, will have plenty of time this week to show what he can do before the rest of the squad arrives.
While exact figures weren’t immediately available, a source said Hardesty signed a four-year deal worth over $3 million. Last year’s 59th overall selection (S Sherrod Martin Carolina Panthers) signed a four-year deal worth a maximum value of $3.2255 million with $1.4755 million guaranteed. Martin’s deal included a signing bonus worth $944,000, a source said.
Hardesty, who NFL Films’ Greg Cosell called the second best feature back available for this year’s draft, will compete for playing time this season against veteran Jerome Harrison and second-year pros James Davis.
— Adam Caplan
Sorry, T.O.: Rams say no — 3:12 p.m.
Cross off the St. Louis Rams for those interested in Terrell Owens.
According to league sources, the Rams have decided to take a pass in their pursuit of the free agent wide receiver, FOXSports.com has learned.
Reports over the weekend suggested that the team had intensified its efforts for Owens and that the team could make an offer as early as Monday. However, that was premature as team brass met Monday morning on the matter and decided to go in a different direction. More ...
— Jay Glazer
Ravens ink second-round pick — 1:59 p.m.
According to the Country Carroll Times, Baltimore Ravens second-round pick (25th overall in the round) DT Terrence Cody (6-4, 355, Alabama), agreed to a four-year deal worth a maximum value of $3.385 million with $1.595 million guaranteed. The total guaranteed portion is a 6.3 percent increase over the same slot as last year.
A source told FOXSports.com that last year’s 25th selection in the second round (OLB Paul Kruger/Baltimore) signed a four-year deal worth a maximum value of $3.25 million with $1.5 million guaranteed. Kruger received a $1 million signing bonus to go along with a $500,000 one-time incentive.
The mammoth interior defensive lineman is expected to compete for playing time in back of starting NT Kelly Gregg. Gregg, who had his contract adjusted last October, is signed through 2012. Gregg, who turns 34 in November, is schedule to earn $3 million in base salary in 2010.
Baltimore has just one player left unsigned from this year’s rookie class, second-round pick OLB Sergio Kindle.
— Adam Caplan