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Buzz: Latest from NFL training camps

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August 7 News and Notes

Seahawks, LB Bowen agree to deal — 6:18 p.m.

The Seattle Seahawks have agreed to terms on a contract with free-agent LB Alvin Bowen, a source told FOXSports.com. Seattle’s interest in Bowen grew after LB Anthony Heygood, who suffered a torn Achilles' tendon just a day after re-signing with the team, was lost for the season.

Bowen, who was originally selected in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, also recently worked out for the Panthers and Eagles.

The undersized linebacker, who weighed in at less than 225 pounds during recent free-agent visits, is known in scouting circles for his speed. He fits in at WLB or SLB for Seattle’s 4-3 defensive scheme.

Camp observations: New York Giants — 2:41 p.m.

Under blue skies at the University at Albany-SUNY, the New York Giants began their seventh day of training camp practice on Saturday morning.

Here's an overview of the offense:

Eli makes great throw; so does Sorgi: It probably wasn't noticed by most fans, but starting QB Eli Manning made a big-time throw during a red zone drill. Manning did a great job of looking off the safety and drilled a 10-yard pass through several defenders into the waiting hands of his intended receiver for the touchdown. While it might have looked like an innocuous throw to some, this is the kind of pass that Manning would rarely complete, let alone attempt a few years ago. This is yet another part of his maturation process at the quarterback position for the right-handed signal caller.

No. 2 QB Jim Sorgi made his best throw of training camp when he hit UDFA WR Victor Cruz about 45 yards down field on the right sideline in stride over defenders. Sorgi is not known for having a good arm, but that throw was about as good as it gets and it had very good touch on it to boot.

No sign of issues with Bradshaw; versatility apparent: Fourth-year RB Ahmad Bradshaw had two surgeries on both of his feet and on his right ankle, according to the Newark-Star Ledger. But you wouldn’t have known it watching him practice.

Bradshaw, who observers said has taken a majority of first-team reps so far in training camp, looked as fast as ever. In fact, he made one of his famous cut-on-a-dime runs during the morning session. While it’s too early to say how the coaches will split the carries this season between Bradshaw and fifth-year RB Brandon Jacobs, Bradshaw’s versatility might have given him the early edge on the bruising back.

During their third-down package, Bradshaw was lined in the slot, which will cause a clear mismatch for the offense. It’s doubtful that Jacobs would ever be lined up out of the backfield.

With injury comes opportunity at receiver: With WRs Hakeem Nicks (knee, toe) and Steve Smith (groin) not practicing Saturday morning, that gave second-year WR Ramses Barden an opportunity to see more practice time with the first-team offense.

Looking back at Senior Bowl practices of 2009, Barden had a lot of trouble getting off press coverage. That’s one of the reasons why despite posting lofty statistics in college, he fell down to the third round of last year’s draft.

Barden looks noticeably leaner and he’s moving much better in space. He carries such a large frame (6-6) that smaller defensive backs will have trouble covering him over the middle. If he learns how to use that frame correctly, he should be able help the team in their red zone or goal-line offense.

While he’s probably a long-shot to make the 53-man roster coming out of the preseason, diminutive UDFA WR Tim Brown made a few nice catches during today’s early practice. Teams like to use smaller receivers to practice on the scout team to emulate slot receivers during regular season practices, so Brown could find his way to the practice squad this fall.

Beckum's speed needed: One of the most noticeable problems the Giants have on offense is at tight end. There simply seems to be a lack of speed at the position with second-year pro Travis Beckum down with a hamstring injury since Tuesday.

Beckum hardly played last season. He saw roughly six percent (63 plays) of the offensive snaps as a rookie, but much more is expected of him. A source said it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him get at least 30 percent of the snaps at the position this season if he’s healthy.

Beckum was drafted last year with the belief he could be the team’s vertical threat at the position. Teams around the NFL have gone toward faster and athletic tight ends in recent years that are capable of winning matchups against linebackers— Beckum fits that role quite well. But for him to do so, he’ll have to get on the field.

Seubert's injury complicates left tackle position: When training camp began, the left tackle job was up for grabs between the incumbent starter David Diehl and 2009 second-round pick Will Beatty. The loser of that job is expected to be moved to left guard to compete against Rich Seubert. Complicating the competition is that Seubert suffered a broken left hand during Thursday evening’s practice, forcing Diehl to move back inside.

Give Diehl credit for being able handle playing left tackle in recent seasons after starting his career at guard. While he lacks the kind of ideal athleticism you want in a blind-side protector for a right-handed quarterback, Diehl makes up for it with grit and toughness. Beatty, on the other hand, has better athleticism, but whether he possesses the run-blocking prowess of Diehl remains to be seen.

Haynesworth finally passes conditioning test — 9:03 a.m.

Well, it finally happened. The man paid $21 million by the Washington Redskins on April 1 finally is allowed to practice after passing the team's conditioning test Saturday morning.

Veteran DT Albert Haynesworth passed the test, which consists of two 300-yard runs. The first run  must be completed in less than 70 seconds, the second in less than 73 seconds. He'd been bothered by knee soreness recently, but that didn't prevent him from finally taking care of business to end an ordeal that began with the start of camp July 29.

Haynesworth had complained in the offseason about having to play at nose tackle in Washington's 3-4 defense this season after playing in the 4-3 during his first season with the team. But personnel evaluators believe new defensive coordinator Jim Haslett will move Haynesworth around to create mismatches. Haslett is known in league circles for calling an aggressive defense featuring a high number of blitzes.

— Adam Caplan

Dolphins bring back tight end — 7:57 a.m.

The Miami Dolphins re-signed veteran TE David Martin late this week. While Miami already had four tight ends on their 80-man roster, it shouldn't be much of a surprise that Martin is back for a second tour of duty with the team.

Martin, who was released off injured reserve last December by Miami, gives the team badly needed athleticism at the position.

Martin, 28, was selected in the sixth round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. Martin played receiver in college at the University of Tennessee, but was moved to receiver during his rookie season with Green Bay.

— Adam Caplan

Veteran DT will miss season — 7:55 a.m.

The St. Louis Rams signed veteran DT Chris Hovan back in June with the with the hope he could provide some badly needed depth for the interior of their defensive line. Unfortunately, he'll never get a chance to accomplish that. The Rams placed Hovan (back) on injured reserve.

Hovan, 32, was selected in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings.

The Rams also made two other moves late this week. G Mark Lewis was waived/injured and the team signed UDFA C Tim Druy.

— Adam Caplan

Ravens lose another cornerback — 7:55 a.m.

The Baltimore Ravens at one point had four cornerbacks on their 80-man roster who either were coming back from an ACL or suffered the injury during training camp. They’re now down to three of those players on the roster.

Veteran CB Walt Harris (knee/Achilles' tendon) had been unable to practice during training camp after signing last month, so the Ravens placed the defensive back on injured reserve. To take his place on the roster, the team signed UDFA CB Chris Hawkins.

Hawkins, as first reported by FOXSports.com, agreed to a deal after working out for the team Thursday morning.

Hawkins, who has good size, will compete for a roster spot as the team's fifth cornerback.

— Adam Caplan

August 6 News and Notes

Niners LB undergoes knee surgery — 4:13 p.m.

San Francisco linebacker Scott McKillop has undergone surgery on his left knee to repair a torn patellar tendon and torn anterior cruciate ligament.

McKillop, a backup inside linebacker who was hurt in Wednesday afternoon's practice, underwent surgery Friday morning at nearby Stanford Medical Center.

The 49ers provided no timetable for his return, if he comes back this season at all. He most likely will be placed on the season-ending injured reserve list considering the severity and healing time for the injury. Recovery for both injuries is typically six to nine months.

McKillop, a fifth-round draft pick last year out of Pittsburgh, played all 16 games as a rookie in 2009, primarily on special teams.

— The Associated Press

New NFL rules designed to limit head injuries — 3:38 p.m.

NFL referees will take on more responsibility this season to protect players from helmet-first hits to their heads and necks.

The league has expanded its rules for protecting ''defenseless'' players from taking shots above their shoulders. Groups of officials are meeting with teams to go over the rule changes. Referee Walt Anderson, also the head of officiating for the Big 12 conference, led a meeting with the Texans on Friday.

The reworded rules prohibit a player from launching himself and using his helmet to strike a defenseless player in the head or neck. The old rule only applied to receivers getting hit, but now it will apply to everyone.

Also new this season, when a player loses his helmet, the play is immediately whistled dead.

Anderson says the league will monitor how the new rules worked at season's end and then evaluate if they were effective in limiting injuries.

— The Associated Press

DE Schobel no sure thing to return —2:58 p.m.

While speculation continues on the future of veteran DE Aaron Schobel, who was released by the Buffalo Bills earlier this week, a source said he’s “far from a lock” to return for his 10th season of play. Various reports had him definitely coming back, but that does not appear to be the case. Rather, Schobel is considering all of his options while he spends time with his family.

Additionally, the source notes despite speculation to the contrary, Schobel has no problem playing in a 3-4 defensive scheme. He played in the 4-3 for the first nine years of his career, but has the athleticism to be able to drop into coverage.

— Adam Caplan

Cardinals sign CB Ford, release CB Barksdale — 2:29 p.m.

The Arizona Cardinals have signed cornerback Trevor Ford and released cornerback Rashad Barksdale.

Ford, signed as an undrafted free agent out of Troy by Green Bay in 2008, appeared in three games for the Packers last season after being signed from their practice squad Nov. 24.

Barksdale, a sixth-round pick of Philadelphia in 2007, played in six games for Kansas City that year. He was on the New York Giants practice squad in 2008 and the Cardinals practice squad last season.

— The Associated Press

Denver LB Moss breaks hand in practice — 2:10 p.m.

The injury-ravaged Denver Broncos suffered yet another blow Friday when outside linebacker Jarvis Moss broke a bone in his right hand during the team's morning workout.

Moss will need surgery to fix the break and will likely miss two weeks of practice.

Moss had been running with the first-team base defense for the second day in place of Elvis Dumervil, whose season is in jeopardy after tearing a chest muscle Wednesday night.

Also, LenDale White, who was signed after tailbacks Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter went down with injuries, walked off with a trainer before the end of practice and didn't return.

And right guard Chris Kuper left practice during a running drill with what appeared to be a sprained right ankle. He limped to the training room and was replaced by Stanley Daniels.

White, signed Wednesday night to add depth at the position, was enjoying an increased workload before he got hurt Friday. It's unclear what was bothering the one-time top draft pick for the Tennessee Titans. He showed no outward signs as an assistant trainer escorted him to the locker room.

During a team drill midway through practice, Moss came off the field to have his hand examined by head trainer Steve Antonopulos. The pair departed shortly afterward for the locker room. An X-ray and examination off-site revealed the extent of the damage.

Moss should be able to participate in games wearing a protective cast once the affected area is allowed time to fuse properly. Broncos safety Brian Dawkins went through a similar scenario last season, fracturing his right hand during the first week of August. Dawkins was back practicing in about two weeks and played in the regular-season opener with a large club-like cast.

Moss joins a growing list of Broncos who have been knocked out of training camp. Safety Josh Barrett (shoulder) and wide receiver Kenny McKinley (knee) already have landed on injured reserve and are gone for the season.

Also, All-Pro left tackle Ryan Clady is recovering from major knee surgery after getting hurt this offseason in a pickup basketball game, and outside linebacker Darrell Reid had offseason knee surgery and is on the physically unable to perform list.

Linebacker D.J. Williams has missed all but the opening practice of camp and a walkthrough for unspecified reasons.

— The Associated Press
 

Seahawks, OT Okung agree on deal — 1:41 p.m.

The Seattle Seahawks and first-round pick OT Russell Okung (6-5, 307, Oklahoma St., 6th overall) have agreed to terms on a six-year deal, a source confirmed. Last year’s sixth selection overall, OT Andre Smith (Cincinnati Bengals), signed a six-year deal worth a maximum of $50 million with $25.75 million guaranteed. A source said the final two years of Smith’s deal could void if he meets minimum playing time requirements in just one season, he’s on the roster three days after the 2012 Super Bowl, and the second option on his contract is not exercised.

While Okung missed over a week of practices, he’ll be plugged in right away as the team’s starting left tackle. He takes over for long-term starter Walter Jones, who announced his retirement earlier this year. Sean Locklear, who had started at left tackle last year for Jones, will move back to right tackle. Seattle still needs to find stability on the interior of their offensive line, but both tackle spots are set for many years to come.

The only draft pick from the 2010 NFL Draft still unsigned is Baltimore Ravens second-rounder OLB Sergio Kindle, who suffered a fractured skull after falling down a few flight of stairs a few weeks ago.

At this point last year, there were still nine first-round picks unsigned.

— Adam Caplan

Giants G Seubert breaks bone in left hand — 1:23 p.m.

New York Giants starting guard Rich Seubert will be sidelined with a broken bone in his left hand.

The Giants didn't say how long Seubert will be out. The team also didn't say on Friday whether Seubert broke the bone in the first full pads workout on Thursday night.

Seubert wore a splint on his left wrist and arm when he arrived at lunch at the team's training camp at the University at Albany. He refused to comment about the injury.

Giants surgeon Russ Warren will examine the 31-year-old Seubert on Saturday.

— The Associated Press

Saints add WR Mark Bradley — 1:23 p.m.

The New Orleans Saints have agreed to contract terms with free agent wide receiver Mark Bradley.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis, who announced the move on Friday, says the club has a one-year deal with the five-year veteran and has waived receiver Matt Simon to make room on the roster.

Bradley has played for Chicago, Kansas City and Tampa Bay. The 6-foot-1, 201-pound former Oklahoma standout has played in 57 career regular season games with 18 starts. He has 92 career receptions for 1,283 yards and nine touchdowns.

Last season he played in 13 games with six starts for the Chiefs and had 24 receptions for 320 yards with two touchdowns, then spent the last two games of the season with the Buccaneers, but did not play.

— The Associated Press

Commissioner Goodell addresses a number of topics — 11:15 a.m.

Yesterday on SIRIUS NFL Radio, hosts Tim Ryan and Pat Kirwan spoke with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about a number of current NFL topics.

On a rookie wage scale:

Commissioner Goodell: “I just think it’s time for us to modify the system. It’s out of whack. We need to find a better solution to this. I think the money should be going to the guys who have performed on the field, on an NFL field. And that’s something that I hear from our veterans, I hear from our fans. It’s something that we think is a good opportunity to make a change in our current system.”

On providing assistance to NFL retirees:

Commissioner Goodell: “It’s a huge issue for us. I think there’s more that we can do, should do and want to do. It is a high priority for the owners and, I believe, the Players Association also. I think the union legitimately wants to address that issue and we’ve got to figure out some solutions for that.”

On an 18-game schedule:

Commissioner Goodell: “There’s a lot of momentum behind it because I think we’ve done a lot of careful analysis on it. We haven’t jumped into this and just say, ‘Ok, you can flip two preseason games into regular season games.’ We’ve really looked at it in a comprehensive way. What are the ramifications from a player health and safety standpoint? What changes could we make in the offseason or in training camp that would reduce the wear and tear on our players so that they have the kind of ability to play an 18-game season? But I have heard very clearly from fans, they do not want the preseason games. They’re not seeing the players they want. They’re not seeing the kind of quality that they expect from the NFL. And they are meaningless games. So the opportunity here to turn that into two meaningful games is something we think makes sense within that 20-game framework. Because, once again, in the current CBA they negotiated that we can go to 22 games. We don’t think that’s right. That’s not the right balance. We think improving what we have is the right step.”

On the decision to shift the umpire position to the offensive backfield:

Commissioner Goodell: “It came down to really a core issue, which is the safety of the umpires. As you know, they are in a position that is very exposed. We had a number of contacts last year that concerned me about their safety. So we’ve finally made the determination to move them. We’re going to stay with that but I was talking with our officials on the field today. What are the changes that come about because of this? Spotting the ball, particularly in a hurry-up offense, is going to be a challenge that we’ve got to look at. So, we’ll continue to monitor it - we’re talking with our officials, we’ll talk with the coaches – and make sure we can do it in a way that’s going to keep that quality of the game.”

On the league’s proposal for an HGH test:

Commissioner Goodell: “We made a proposal because we think it’s important to the health and safety of our players but also the integrity of the game. People need to know that our players aren’t taking anything that’s going to affect their performance in any way. It’s something that we’ve got to do and the only way to detect that right now is in a blood test. So we’ve proposed it. We think it’s smart to do it. We’ll continue to work on other testing methods but we think this is the only way to ensure a program that has the integrity and the confidence of everybody, including the general public.”

FoxSports.com

Bills finally sign Spiller — 11:15 a.m.

The Buffalo Bills and first-round pick RB C.J. Spiller have agreed to terms on a five-year, $37 million maximum contract that includes $20.8 million guaranteed. The base deal is $25 million.

Last year’s No. 9 player selected overall, DT B.J. Raji (Green Bay Packers), signed a six-year, $28.5 million maximum contract with $17.71 million guaranteed. However, the sixth season can void, a source said, if he meets minimum playing time requirements in just one season and is on the roster five days after the 2013 Super Bowl.

Spiller’s signing will be welcome news for a mundane Buffalo offense which had trouble scoring points consistently last season. With the Bills, Spiller figures to be much more than a running back. In fact, he figures to be split out wide as a receiver quite often as Buffalo tries to exploit his top-end speed against opposing defenses. Spiller and Fred Jackson should be able to form a solid tandem of power and speed.

Spiller could also make his mark as a kickoff returner. Personnel sources said he could be the most explosive returner to come out of the collegiate ranks in a long time.

Selected ninth overall out of Clemson, Spiller was scheduled to arrive at training camp in Rochester later in the day. Through Friday morning, he'd missed 11 practices since camp opened July 29.

With Spiller in the fold, the Bills could look to move fourth-year RB Marshawn Lynch, who has three years left on his rookie deal. However, the final year could since he already met minimum playing time requirements earlier in his career.

Adam Caplan and The Associated Press

Saints sign veteran receiver — 8:38 a.m.

The New Orleans Saints have experienced injury issues at the wide receiver position during the early part of training camp, prompting them to sign veteran WR Mark Bradley on Thursday.

Bradley burst on the scene as a rookie for the Chicago Bears back in 2005 and looked to have a chance to be a significant part of their offense. Unfortunately, he suffered an ACL injury midway through that season and never was the same. Bradley only caught 38 passes in three-plus seasons with Chicago and has bounced around in recent seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

With New Orleans, Bradley will have a tough time making the final roster coming out of the preseason assuming the injured receivers are back to 100 percent.

Adam Caplan

More on Patrick’s injury — 7:18 a.m.

As first noted by FOXSports.com, the MRI results on Arizona Cardinals TE Ben Patrick showed that he didn’t suffer any major ligament damage to his left knee after suffering an injury during a Wednesday evening training camp practice.

However, the knee cap sublexed (moved out of position). The injury will keep Patrick out from two to six weeks, a source said.

Patrick signed his one-year $1.684 million restricted free-agent tender back in March. He was selected by Arizona in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft.

Adam Caplan

Rookie QB shows surprising arm strength — 7:06 a.m.

One of the bigger surprises of Thursday evening’s practice for the Philadelphia Eagles was the performance of rookie QB Mike Kafka.

Kafka has put together a solid training camp thus far, but his arm strength could be questioned. However, Kafka showed surprisingly good arm strength on a few down field throws during the “Flight Night” practice at Lincoln Financial Field. During pre-draft evaluations, personnel sources around the NFL questioned his ability to drive the ball down field, but that issue might have been alleviated by recent practice performances.

— Adam Caplan
 

August 5 News and Notes

 

Ravens find replacement for Foxworth at corner — 8:22 p.m.

The Baltimore Ravens have been looking for depth at cornerback after the loss of starter Domonique Foxworth (knee) for the entire 2010 season.

On Thursday, the team agreed to terms on a contract with undrafted free agent CB Chris Hawkins, his agent, Darin Morgan, confirmed.

Hawkins, who spent time with the Jaguars a few months back, worked out for the Ravens on Thursday.

The Ravens are still low on cornerbacks because second-year pro Lardarius Webb, who the team's very high on, is still rehabbing his ACL injury from last season. He remains on the Reserve-PUP list.

— Adam Caplan

DeAngelo Hall calls visit from commissioner a "waste of time" — 8:11 p.m.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's been making the training camp rounds this past week, but players don't seem all that thrilled with it. Count Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall and linebacker London Fletcher amonst that crowd.

When Goodell met with the Washington players after practice, in an effort to answer questions they may have, this is what we got, courtesy of Gregg Rosenthal of ProFootballTalk.com:

Hall on Goodell's visit: "He's walking around kissing babies, you know, shaking hands, and he just wants to say that the owners are over here, the players are over here and I'm in the middle, I'm for the game. But to ask him a question about anything (important), he couldn't answer. He couldn't answer this, go check with this, go ask these people. I don't really know. It was a waste of time. We sat there and shot questions at him for 45 minutes, and pushed meetings back, so we had to be here longer for nothing. A total waste of time."

Fletcher: "We had [Goodell] here, and he opened up the ability for us to ask him questions. If you open up that ability, then you have to be prepared to answer our questions. Certain things, he said, were part of the (players vs. NFL) negotiations. But again, he was the one who opened up the possibility for us to ask him questions. When he did that, and guys had some real questions that we wanted hard answers to - not the typical questions - he didn't real answers. He didn't give us sound answers on a lot of the issues."

— FOXSports.com
 

Niners LB tears ACL and Patella — 6:59 p.m.

The San Francisco 49ers have announced that an MRI today revealed a torn patellar tendon and torn anterior cruciate ligament in the left knee of second-year LB Scott McKillop suffered during yesterday’s afternoon practice. The injury will almost assuredly end his season early.

A promising prospect, McKillop led the team in special teams tackles last year as a rookie and was taking reps as the backup to Takeo Spikes in camp. The fifth-round pick out of Pittsburgh was an All-American during his senior season in 2008.

— FOXSports.com

Former Redskins great John Riggins wants Haynesworth gone — 6:02 p.m.

Hall of Fame Redskins running back John Riggins said on his Sirius XM Radio show this morning that Albert Haynesworth is "an infection" and that the team needs to "get him the hell out of camp."

Courtesy of the Washington Post's Dan Steinberg, Riggins was quoted as saying, "(Haynesworth) plays when he wants to play, and he takes plays off when you need him out on the field ... "I've never been around a coach that thinks for a second that that's the kind of player that's going to help you win a championship. So my advice, not that anybody's asking it, is to fire the guy. Get him the hell out of camp. The guy's an infection. Why do you want him down in the locker room?"

And Haynesworth wasn't the only one Riggins ripped into, as he continued, saying about Donovan McNabb: "I think he'll come closer to winning the election then he will becoming a Super Bowl winning quarterback."

And on Brett Favre: "If you see this man call the local authorities," Riggins said of Favre. "Do not try to apprehend him by yourself. He's nuts."

— FOXSports.com

Andre Johnson talks about signing new deal with Texans — 5:31 p.m.

Texans All-Pro receiver Andre Johnson had five years left on his original contract, but that didn't stop the franchise from inking him to a new long-term deal on Thursday.

Johnson held a press conference today to thank the owner and his teammates for being behind him, as well as showing his appreciation for being able to play for one team his entire career.

The seven-year pro out of the University of Miami is a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro first-teamer. He's led the NFL in receptions twice and in receiving yards the last two seasons, which was the motivation behind the team's recent offer.

Johnson's now the NFL's top-paid receiver with his new deal lasting through the 2016 season.

— FOXSports.com

Regional Roundup — 4:51 p.m.

Cards TE Patrick has MRI on knee — 2:16 p.m.

Arizona Cardinals TE Ben Patrick had an MRI test taken on his injured knee Thursday morning which showed no damage to the major ligaments (ACL, PCL, or MCL), a source told FOXSports.com.

Patrick suffered a left knee injury during Wednesday evening’s training camp practice.

Patrick was originally selected by Arizona in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

– Adam Caplan

Denver loses key defender — 12:58 p.m.

According to the Denver Post, Denver Broncos starting OLB Elvis Dumervil suffered a torn pectoral muscle during Wednesday evening’s practice and isn’t expected to return to the practice field until sometime in November.

With Dumervil out of action, former first-round pick Jarvis Moss should see extended playing time in his place.

No returning player on Denver’s 80-man roster other than Dumervil posted more than four sacks last season, so his absence is potentially devastating for their defense.

– Adam Caplan

Seattle signs out of work defensive lineman — 12:58 p.m.

The Seattle Seahawks have signed free-agent DT Quinn Pitcock, according to Nationalfootballpost.com. The team waived WR Mike Hass to make room for Pitcock, the Seattle Times reports.

Pitcock, who was selected in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts, suddenly retired in July of 2008.

He decided to restart his career recently and was waived by the Colts last week off the Reserve/Retired list.

With Seattle, Pitcock will likely compete for a roster spot as the team’s No. 4 interior defensive lineman.

– Adam Caplan

Journeyman QB hooks on with UFL — 10:04 a.m.

Quarterback Josh McCown, a veteran of eight NFL seasons, has joined the UFL's Hartford Colonials.

McCown has played with the Arizona Cardinals (2002-05), Detroit Lions (2006), Oakland Raiders (2007) and Carolina Panthers (2008-09). He also was in training camp with the Miami Dolphins, who traded him to Carolina on Aug. 29, 2008.

The 31-year-old McCown saw little action the last two years with the Panthers. Last season, he was placed on injured reserve after Week 1 with a left knee injury

In 49 NFL games, McCown has completed 610 of 1,058 of passes (57.7 percent) for 6,584 yards and 35 touchdowns. He has thrown 33 touchdown passes in 31 starts.

– AP

Chargers claim linebacker off waivers — 8:17 a.m.

The San Diego Chargers have claimed LB Ali Highsmith off waivers from the Arizona Cardinals, a source confirmed. Highsmith, waived by the Cardinals on Tuesday, takes the place of UDFA LB Brandon Lang on San Diego’s 80-man roster. Lang left the Chargers for unknown reasons this week.

The Chargers are thin on depth at linebacker minus third-round pick Donald Butler, who was lost for the season to an Achilles' tendon injury, and with Lang not with the team.

Highsmith, who was signed by the Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 2008, was one of Arizona’s best special teams players last season. He participated in roughly 57 percent of the special teams plays, which was second on the team.

– Adam Caplan

Lions juggle roster  — 8:17 a.m.

The Detroit Lions have juggled the bottom portion of their 80-man roster in recent weeks. They’ve done it again with the release of veteran S Marquand Manuel. Manuel’s release is somewhat of a surprise considering starters Ko Simpson and Louis Delmas are currently on the Reserve/PUP list.

The team signed UDFA S Randy Phillips, who worked out for the Lions recently. They also waived DT Leger Douzable, who was claimed off waivers from the St. Louis Rams on July 1.

– Adam Caplan

Dolphins lose linebacker and running back — 8:14 a.m.

The Miami Dolphins, who lost fourth-round pick LB A.J. Edds for the season earlier this week due to a torn ACL, placed the rookie on IR. Edds’ absence leaves Miami a little short at inside linebacker. Edds was working with the second-team defense during the early stages of training camp.

Miami also waived/injured RB Kory Sheets, who was lost for the season due to a torn Achilles'  tendon. Sheets will go on IR later today if he’s not claimed off waivers. The team also placed CB A.J. Wallace on the Exempt/Left Squad list, so Wallace will not count against Miami’s 80-man roster.

– Adam Caplan

Houston fullback will miss upcoming season — 8:14 a.m.

The Houston Texans lost veteran FB Justin Grffith for the season after he suffered a concussion and spinal cord contusion during practice this week. Griffith was placed on IR, so the team re-signed UDFA Jack Corcoran, who was waived by Houston in June.

With the addition of Corcoran, the Texans still have two fullbacks on their 80-man roster.

– Adam Caplan

Cards TE injures knee — 3:32 a.m.

Arizona Cardinals tight end Ben Patrick injured his left knee during an often-intense practice Wednesday night.

Cornerback Greg Toler jumped on Patrick from behind just as the tight end caught a short pass over the middle. Patrick had to be helped off the field but later was able to put some weight on the knee as he limped along the sideline.

General Manager Rod Graves said the injury might not be as serious as it first appeared but that wouldn't be determined until further examination. — AP

August 4 News and Notes

Regional roundup – 10:30 p.m.

Broncos sign suspended running back – 7:20 p.m.

Despite being suspended for the first four regular season games, the Broncos signed free-agent RB LenDale White, the team announced. Profootballtalk.com reports White signed a two-year deal with the club. To make room for him on the 80-man roster, the team waived RB Kolby Smith.

White, who was acquired by the Seahawks on NFL Draft weekend, was subsequently cut by Seattle in May and suspended four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

White (6-foot-1, 235 pounds) spent his first four NFL seasons with Tennessee, where he played 58 games (18 starts) and rushed for 2,349 yards on 628 carries with 24 touchdowns. He also compiled 42 receptions for 204 yards. In two career postseason games, he totaled 34 carries for 114 yards and five receptions for 32 yards. He was drafted by the Titans in the second round (45th overall) of the 2006 draft from the University of Southern California.

White's signing is curious since he's going to miss four games, but at his best, he's a supreme power back. He led all AFC backs with 15 rushing touchdowns during the 2008 season.

With Denver's top-two backs, Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter , out with injuries, depth at the position had become critical. The team traded J.J. Arrington to the Eagles last week.

– Adam Caplan

Baltimore to work out cornerback – 7:20 p.m.

The Ravens are expected to work out undrafted free agent CB Chris Hawkins (6-0, 187, LSU), a source told FOXSports.com. Hawkins signed with the Jaguars after this year's draft, but was waived in early July.

Hawkins, who had a decent combine workout back in February, had a low draftable grade from various teams.

– Adam Caplan

Chargers rookie LB to miss season — 3:34 p.m.

As FOXSports.com first noted Wednesday morning, player sources feared that San Diego rookie ILB Donald Butler could miss the entire 2010 season due to injury.

The team announced Wednesday afternoon that the third-round pick will indeed miss the entire year due to an Achilles' tendon injury he suffered during Tuesday morning’s practice.

With Butler out for the season, the team's down one of their top-four inside linebackers, so they could look to the free agent market to replace him. Butler had been working with the second-team defense so far in training camp.

— Adam Caplan

Achilles' injury No. 1 — 3:09 p.m.

Second-year running back Kory Sheets of the Dolphins suffered a torn Achilles' during Miami's Wednesday morning practice.

Sheets is a second-year pro out of Purdue who spent the early part of last season on San Francisco's practice squad, but was then signed by the Dolphins, where he had one rush for five yards in 2009. He was a standout in college for the Boilermakers, with 48 rushing TDs in four years, and was battling for a backup role with Miami during training camp before today's injury.

From Jeff Darlington's (Miami Herald) Twitter account: "Bad news for another young prospect: Kory Sheets believes he suffered a torn Achilles in this morning's practice, sources tell the Herald."

— FOXSports.com

More contracts disapproved — 12:11 p.m.

In a growing recent trend, the NFL’s management council initially disapproved more rookie contracts. According to a source, Sam Bradford, Kyle Wilson, and Gerald McCoy all had their contracts initially disapproved only to have them approved a short time later.

It’s not known why the contracts were disapproved in the first place, but the issues weren’t limited to first-round contracts. The St. Louis Rams had eight of their other rookie draftees' deals initially disapproved.

— Adam Caplan

Patriots sign offensive lineman — 11:57 a.m.

As first reported by FOXSports.com, the New England Patriots worked out free-agent C Eric Ghiaciuc (GUY-check) on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the team announced they signed him. To make room for Ghiaciuc on their 80-man roster, the team waived UDFA OL John Wise.

Ghiaciuc, 6-4, 303 pounds, is a veteran of five NFL seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals (2005-08) and San Diego Chargers (2009). He originally joined Cincinnati as a fourth-round draft pick in the 2005 NFL Draft out of Central Michigan University.

Ghiaciuc signed with Kansas City as an unrestricted free agent in the 2009 offseason but was waived prior to the start of the regular season. He signed with San Diego on Dec. 22, 2009 and was inactive for the final two regular-season games and the postseason. Ghiaciuc signed with Cleveland on April 8, 2010 but was waived on June 15. He has started 42 of 48 games during his NFL career.

With the Patriots, Ghiaciuc will provide veteran depth behind starting C Dan Koppen.

— Adam Caplan

Source: Bills will release DE Schobel — 9:42 a.m.

The Buffalo Bills have informed veteran DE/OLB Aaron Schobel that he will be released today, a source confirmed. General manager Buddy Nix indicated this week that the team would be moving on without him, so Nix informed Schobel just a short time ago of the pending move. Schobel is currently on the Reserve/Did Not Report list.

Schobel, who hails from Columbus, Texas, has been linked to having interest in the Houston Texans because of the close proximity to his home and because of his relationship with assistant head coach/defensive line Bill Kollar. Kollar spent three seasons coaching Buffalo’s offensive line (2006-08).

— Adam Caplan

Players fear Chargers rookie lost for season — 8:40 a.m.

San Diego Chargers rookie ILB Donald Butler suffered what appeared to be an ankle injury during Tuesday’s training camp practice.

Butler, a third-round pick, was carted off the field and player sources believe the injury was severe enough to keep him out of action for several weeks, perhaps even for the entire season.

Butler's injury was being attended to Tuesday night and will be reevaluated on Wednesday.

Butler and Brandon Siler have been running with the second-team defense in training camp behind starters Stephen Cooper and Kevin Burnett.

— Adam Caplan

Eagles get several injured players back on field — 8:38 a.m.

In a surprise, the Philadelphia Eagles got four of their injured players back on the practice field Wednesday morning.

RB Mike Bell (hamstring), G Stacy Andrews (shoulder), C Nick Cole (knee), and WR DeSean Jackson (lower back) were on the practice field, and while they may do only limited work as they ease their way back, Philadelphia has to feel good about seeing them back on the field earlier than expected.

— Adam Caplan

August 3 News and Notes

Eagles get good news on Maclin — 11:04 p.m.

As noted earlier, the Philadelphia Eagles were optimistic the MRI results of starting WR Jeremy Maclin's left knee were going to turn out well.

A source confirmed the MRI showed a bone bruise. A bone bruise in a knee can take from one to three weeks to heal depending on the amount of blood and soreness that has built up.

With Maclin and fellow starting WR DeSean Jackson (back) not expected to participate in Thursday evening’s practice at Lincoln Financial Field, veteran WRs Jason Avant, Hank Baskett and Kelley Washington should see a lot of time on the field. Washington has been impressive since signing with the team last Saturday.

Elsewhere, a source said veteran RB Mike Bell (left hamstring) started doing some straight-ahead running on Tuesday. He could return to at least limited practicing next week if he has no setbacks.

Adam Caplan

Jags third-rounder could miss season — 9:45 p.m.

Jacksonville rookie D'Anthony Smith has an Achilles' tendon injury that'll require surgery and could force him to miss the season.

Smith, a 6-foot-2, 298-pound defensive tackle and third-round draft pick from Louisiana Tech, pulled up lame during drills Monday night.

Tests on Tuesday revealed the seriousness of the injury.

Jaguars officials say he'll be out indefinitely.

If he does end up on injured reserve, it would be a setback for a team trying to revamp a defense that finished last in the league with a franchise-low 14 sacks last season.

Making matters worse, defensive end Aaron Kampman (knee) has missed consecutive practices and defensive tackle Terrance Knighton continues to battle weight problems.

— Associated Press

Suh in the fold, should fit in well — 7:14 p.m.

As reported by FOXSports.com’s Jay Glazer, the Detroit Lions and their first-round pick, DT Ndamukong Suh (6-4, 307, Nebraska, second overall), agreed to a five-year deal worth a maximum of $68 million with $40 million guaranteed. The base of the deal is worth $60 million.

Last year’s second overall pick, OT Jason Smith (St. Louis Rams), signed a six-year, $61.75 million deal with $33 million guaranteed. That deal can void to five years provided Smith meets minimum time requirements (probably 35 percent) in one season and is on the roster 20 days before the start of the new league year in 2014, a source said.

The Lions reported to camp Friday, so Suh hasn’t missed a lot of time, but he has a lot to still learn. But one thing is for certain, much is expected of him, even as a rookie.

Suh was one of college football’s most dominant defensive linemen last season. He’s known in scouting circles for his strength and hands to go along with a great motor. A personnel source said he’s even capable of moving to defensive end if the team uses a 3-4 look. The only issue for personnel evaluators around the league was whether he would be a better fit for a 3-4 scheme as opposed to the 4-3 that the Lions use.

Detroit, which has had its share of problems on the interior defensive line, should be much improved in that area. The Lions have added Suh and veteran DT Corey Williams in recent months, and both should play a big role in 2010 and beyond.

Adam Caplan

Brennan unlikely fit in Minnesota — 6:58 p.m.

A reader asked:

Hey Adam, what about Colt Brennan? I know he doesn't have any starts, but he excelled in the West Coast Offense at Hawaii. At least he can sling the ball. Would be better than some guys who don't know the West Coast offense.

I don't see it happening.

For one, Brennan doesn't have the discipline to play in a timing and rhythm-based passing game like the West Coast scheme. He played in the spread offense in college, which is completely different.

Honestly, he would be better off playing in the arena league where the speed of the game fits his style of play

— Adam Caplan

No suspension coming for Vick — 6:41 p.m.

The NFL announced Tuesday that commissioner Roger Goodell informed Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick today at Eagles camp that there will be no disciplinary action as a result of the incident in Virginia, based on his current understanding of the facts.

Commissioner Goodell spoke several weeks ago by phone with Vick, former Indanapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy and Eagles Coach Andy Reid. All were in agreement on the need for additional support measures to be added to Vick’s plan to enhance his opportunity to succeed in life and football. These additional steps will remain confidential, but they will require Vick to meet even higher standards.

It was widely expected that Vick would not be suspended as a result of the June 25 incident after his 30th birthday party. In fact, team sources said they were satisfied with Vick’s explanation of the events that occurred afterhours and would leave it up to the league to handle the situation.

— Adam Caplan

Jets have a CB spot open ... for now — 6:13 p.m.

As day two of the Darrelle Revis contract hold-out comes to a close, the Jets finally seem prepared to move into the realm of life without their All-Pro cornerback … almost.

It wasn't supposed to be like this. During the offseason, the Jets traded a draft pick to snag San Diego’s Antonio Cromartie, a highly talented cornerback with plenty of baggage. Cromartie was supposed to start opposite Revis and provide the Jets’ 3-4 defense with lockdowns at both corner positions, enabling the league’s top defense to become even more blitz crazy. Now, with the holdout, those plans are on hold.

“Right now, it's just Cromartie,” defensive backs coach Dennis Thurman said Tuesday morning — More ...

— Kristian Dyer, Scout.com

Maclin update – 5:29 p.m.

A source told FOXSports.com there’s strong optimism the left knee injury Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin suffered during Tuesday’s afternoon practice isn’t serious. However, he’s still having further evaluation done on the knee, an injury originally diagnosed as a hyperextension.

— Adam Caplan

Patriots work out three players — 5:08 p.m.

According to a source, the New England Patriots worked out three free-agent offensive linemen on Tuesday — C Eric Ghiaciuc, G Darnell Stapleton and OT Mark Ortmann.

Ghiaciuc was signed by the Cleveland Browns in April, but was released in June. Ghiaciuc, who was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft, started 42 games over his first four seasons of play with the Bengals.

Stapleton was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Steelers and wound up starting 12 games during the 2008 season. He was selected in the UFL player draft recently by the Florida Tuskers, but did not sign a contract.

Ortmann, an undrafted free agent this year, was signed by the Carolina Panthers in late April, but was waived in June.

New England’s depth on the interior of their offensive line has been tested with starting G Logan Mankins not in training camp because he has not signed his one-year restricted free-agent tender.

— Adam Caplan

Maclin injured during second practice — 4:31 p.m.

Philadelphia Eagles starting WR Jeremy Maclin suffered a left knee injury toward the end of the afternoon practice. Shortly after being carted off, the team told reporters that Maclin suffered a hyperextended left knee, but is still being evaluated.

Maclin told reporters after the morning practice that he had some cramping in his left leg, so it’s not out of the question that the injury is related to that. But hyperextension generally occurs when excessive pressure forces a knee past its normal straightened position and bends the knee backwards.

Knee hyperextension injuries can keep a player out for just a few days or as much as a few weeks.

The team was already without starting WR DeSean Jackson (back) for the second straight day.

— Adam Caplan

Not many options left for Vikings — 1:57 p.m.

If Brett Favre holds true to his decision to retire, the Minnesota Vikings will turn to fifth-year pro Tarvaris Jackson to start at quarterback. But as FOXSports.com’s Jay Glazer reported earlier Tuesday, the team won’t give up on the chance that Favre will change his mind. But for now, it’s Jackson’s job to lose.

League sources said the coaching staff believes that while it’s taken him some time to get acclimated for the intricate West Coast system, Jackson started to “get it” over the past year, and they believe he'll be ready to take over when needed.

What if Jackson struggles?

Veteran Sage Rosenfels would take over. Rosenfels, who has decent athleticism for the position, is probably a decent stopgap for three to four games, but he’s not the long-term answer for the majority of the season.

Are there any other options?

None that are very viable for Minnesota’s West Coast scheme, but here’s a list of the best remaining free-agent quarterbacks and how they'd fit in:

Josh McCown: The 31-year-old gunslinger is known in scouting circles for his athleticism and above average arm. However, he hasn’t played in the West Offense in his eight years in the NFL, and a personnel source said he makes too many mental mistakes to be a starter over the course of an entire season. It should be noted he signed with the UFL’s Hartford Colonials, so unless they'd release him, he can’t play in the NFL until the UFL season's over.

Jeff Garcia: The 40-year-old signal caller has played almost his entire 11-year NFL career in the West Coast scheme. However, he’s best used in a backup or emergency situation at this point.

JaMarcus Russell: He had brief exposure to the West Coast scheme with the Raiders under former head coach Lane Kiffin, but Russell's far from being ready to play football again after his recent off-the-field issue.

Daunte Culpepper: Like with Josh McCown, Culpepper signed with an UFL team, so he’s not really an option at this point.

Todd Collins: Collins, who turns 39 in November, hasn’t started a game since 2007, so he’s really nothing but a backup. He also hasn’t had much experience in the West Coast scheme.

Brian St. Pierre: Despite never starting a game in his seven seasons in the NFL, St. Pierre's drawn a lot of respect in scouting circles for his play in the preseason over the years. The problem is he’s never started a game and has no experience in the West Coast scheme.

Trade Options

Troy Smith (Baltimore Ravens): He wants a larger role, but he won’t be anything more than the No. 3 with Baltimore. He has no experience in the West Coast scheme and has only started two regular season games in his three years of play.

Brian Brohm (Buffalo Bills): Brohm was thought to be a great fit for the West Coast scheme based on his accuracy coming out of college, but he struggled mightily with the Packers during his one-season-plus with the team. While he does have the experience in the West Coast offense, he hasn’t shown he’s capable of playing in a regular season game, let alone starting one.

Tyler Thigpen (Miami Dolphins): Minnesota selected him in the seventh round in 2007, so they're aware of what he brings to the table. He played pretty well two years ago for the Chiefs, but that was mostly out of the shotgun formation.

Chris Simms (Tennessee Titans): He does have plenty of experience playing in the West Coast scheme back when he was a member of the Buccaneers. However, Simms has only started one game since the 2006 season. He’s only set to make $755,000 in base salary for 2010.

— Adam Caplan

Panthers moving on at QB — 11:17 a.m.

There was no NFL coach or general manager more loyal to a starting quarterback than Carolina Coach John Fox and GM Marty Hurney were to Jake Delhomme. They loved the guy even though most football fanatics wouldn't have placed him in their top 10 quarterbacks during the last decade.

"We came in together here and Jake was a close friend of mine; our families became really close," said Panthers left tackle Jordan Gross. “There isn't a better guy, a more competitive guy in all of football than Jake. When I told my son that Jake was going to Cleveland this season, he cried. But I know that Jake felt it was time to move on and also time here to allow Matt (Moore) to have a chance to be the guy. It's a move that was best for Jake and also for our team. Jake needed a new start and Matt (Moore) is ready to play.”

“Unless you were here, you don't know how tough the fans … I mean, everyone got down on Jake last season,” Hurney said. “The more he pressed, the rougher it got for him. It got progressively worse from (five interceptions in the playoff loss in 2008 to the four interception to Philadelphia in) the first game of the season.”

“You could just see him losing his confidence,” Fox said. “No matter what we tried or what he did, it was just one big struggle for Jake. And despite all that, with a quarterback with a 59 rating, we finished 8-8 last season.”

No one knows what to expect from the Julius Peppers-less Panthers this season, but Hurney loaded up on speedy receivers and quarterbacks in the draft – he loves Notre Dame’s Jimmy Claussen – and with no Steve Smith practicing in camp all the young receivers, like LSU rookie Brandon LaFell and David Gettis, are showing their stuff, along with Kenny Moore, a third-year free agent from Wake Forest. LaFell's caught everyone’s attention. Smith may be ready to practice by the third preseason game and he told me he’s definitely playing in the opener after suffering a broken arm during a flag football game.

Finally, one last comment from Gross: “This is a totally different camp for me. Not only was I close to Jake, but for seven years I was going against Peppers every day in practice. And all these quarterbacks we have (four on roster) all their personalities together don’t equal one Jake.”  

— John Czarnecki

Owners gathering ammo for a new CBA? — 11:17 a.m.

The Rams giving first-round pick Sam Bradford $50 million in guaranteed money, almost a 20 percent bump from last season, is the perfect example of why the NFL owners won’t do a new collective bargaining deal without a hard rookie salary cap. Whether it is as stringent as the NBA’s structure, nobody knows. But from any agent’s view, the easy money days of representing top five to ten players may be over.

"I think a lot of veterans would be fine with a NBA-like rookie salary scale," said Vikings Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson, the Vikings’ player representative. "But we would have to see some of that $50 million spread around to veterans on play-time incentives, something like that. Also, putting some of those huge first-round rookie bonuses towards the oldtimers' fund would be a very good move, too. Who knows, though, if the owners would even do that?"

When talking to club officials on the road, the consensus is that nothing constructive is going to happen during CBA negotiations this season. But the collective bargaining talks should heat up early next year before the March deadline when the NFL calendar year ends and then starts anew. If nothing gets done, teams won't know what to do in regards to signing unrestricted players for the 2011 season. If you listen to NFL people, the 2011 lockout is more than just talk.

"You'd like to think that cooler heads will prevail before there’s a chance of missing training camp and preseason games next summer," one head coach told me. "This is such a great game and the sport is so popular, why risk turning off any of our fans? I tell you, many of our fans could turn to college football, which is a cheaper form of entertainment and also a very exciting game to watch."

The last strike in the NFL was during the 1987 season in which the league used non-union players to stage three-regular season "scab" games. Then, individual players on many teams crossed their union picket lines and the season resumed without any financial benefit to the players.

—John Czarnecki

Saints WR Moore getting healthy at the right time — 10:43 a.m.

With New Orleans Saints wide receivers Marques Colston and Robert Meachem on the active physically unable to perform list, Lance Moore has gotten ample opportunity to show he is healthy again at the start of the team’s preseason training camp.

More ...

Dez Bryant catching passes while wearing protective boot — 8:51 a.m.

Dez Bryant is still catching a few balls despite that bulky protective boot on his right foot. Owner Jerry Jones hopes Bryant can be catching without the boot soon.

Jones is hoping because of Bryant's youth that the wideout will miss closer to the four weeks than six. Bryant will be in a protective boot for the next two weeks to reduce swelling and stress on the area.

More ...

WR Colston coming off the PUP list — 7:01 a.m.

The Saints "active physically unable to perform" list will get a little lighter on Tuesday when Marques Colston returns to action. He’s been on the PUP list since training camp opened after having knee surgery following the Saints' summer activities.

More ...

Garrard misses Monday evening practice — 6:43 a.m.

There was a buzz in the air at Jacksonville Jaguars practice Monday night as fans and media alike were wondering why starting quarterback David Garrard was wearing a baseball cap instead of his shoulder pads and helmet. According to the Jaguars quarterback, he was told to take a night off due to what was deemed as a tired arm.

More ...

Lions K Hanson to have knee surgery — 6:30 a.m.

For the second straight year, Lions kicker Jason Hanson will have knee surgery that will cause him to miss part of training camp. Coach Jim Schwartz made the announcement Tuesday morning, before the Lions practiced in full pads for the first time in this camp. Hanson was scheduled for surgery Tuesday after undergoing a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) examination on Monday that revealed cartilage damage.

More ...

August 2 News and Notes

Seattle waives seventh-rounder — 10:55 p.m.

The Seattle Seahawks have waived/injured seventh-round pick TE/WR Jameson Konz (hip), a source confirmed. Konz will go directly to IR if he passes through waivers unclaimed on Tuesday by 4:00 PM ET.

Konz is an interesting player. The coaches moved him to tight end during OTA practices because they thought he had good athleticism for the position. However, he probably had his best chance at making the team at receiver because Seattle is light on depth at the position.

With the open roster spot, the team claimed undrafted free agent G Gregg Peat off waivers from the Indianapolis Colts. A source said no other teams put in a waiver claim for Peat.

Colts waive Tight End — 10:49 p.m.

The Indianapolis Colts signed first-round pick DE Jerry Hughes on Monday. To make room for him, the team waived/injured TE Tom Santi.

Even with Santi gone from their 80-man roster, the Colts still have five tight ends.

Panthers add a back — 10:46 p.m.

The Carolina Panthers, needing depth at running back because of injuries to Mike Goodson (ankle), Tyrell Sutton (calf) and Jonathan Stewart (foot surgery), signed free-agent Dantrell Savage. To make room for Savage, the team waived/injured CB Marcus Walker.

Savage (5-8, 182) is known in scouting circles for his speed and fits in as a change of pace back. He also is capable of returning kicks.

Steelers claim Fullback — 10:44 p.m.

The Pittsburgh Steelers claimed FB/RB Dwayne Wright (6-0, 234) off waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles. Wright was waived by Philadelphia on Sunday. A source said no other teams put in a claim for Wright.

Wright (6-0, 234) signed with Philadelphia as a free agent in January 2010, after originally being drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the fourth round (111th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Fresno State. He appeared in 15 games with the Bills during his rookie season and gained 94 yards on 29 carries.

The Bills released Wright prior to the start of the 2008 season. He spent the 2009 training camp with the New York Giants, but was released during the final preseason roster cuts.

Wright was once highly thought of by Buffalo during his rookie season, but he never materialized as the team’s short-yardage back — a role in which he was drafted for.

Philadelphia tried him at fullback, but a source said he wasn’t comfortable enough in that role. With

Pittsburgh, he’s expected to get another chance to play fullback.

The Steelers made room for Wright on their roster by waiving UDFA FB Demetrius Taylor.

Lions and Suh still negotiating — 6:47 p.m.

Based on the history of contract talks between the Lions and rookie defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh’s agents, a swift resolution is not in sight.

Suh missed a third straight day of training camp Monday, much to the chagrin of Coach Jim Schwartz.

Schwartz did not express any anger toward Suh in comments made to reporters after practice, but he pointed out that a player never makes up practices missed in camp.

More ...

Tampa expects big things from rookie DTs — 6:45 p.m.

The Bucs are expecting an immediate impact from the two defensive tackles that Tampa Bay spent first- and second-round draft picks on in April, and it took just one day for both Gerald McCoy and Brian Price to make a good impression.

According to head coach Raheem Morris, Price, a rookie nose tackle from UCLA, “almost wrecked practice” with his penetration in the team’s first session.

As for McCoy, the third overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft from Oklahoma, he made his debut in Saturday’s afternoon practice after signing his lucrative, five-year deal worth a reported $63 million, and did not disappoint.

More ...

Alexander To Visit Seattle Next — 6:40p.m.

After visiting the St. Louis Rams, undrafted free agent WR Danario Alexander is scheduled to visit the Seattle Seahawks sometime on Tuesday, a source confirmed.

During free agent visits, players usually will be asked to take a physical and work out with a positional coach while the pro personnel staff looks on.

Alexander was cleared to play earlier this month, so he should be able to contribute to a team this season.

—Adam Caplan

Bengals Agree With Gresham; Three First-Rounders Left to Sign — 6:31 p.m.

Last year, the Cincinnati Bengals didn’t get first-round pick Andre Smith to agree to a deal until August 30. This time around, they got first-round pick TE Jermaine Gresham to agree to terms on contract much earlier—on August 2nd.

A source confirmed Gresham agreed to terms on a five-year contract on Monday afternoon. Gresham is expected to join the team in enough time to participate in at least one of Tuesday’s practices.

For the first time in many years, the Bengals may actually use the tight end in their passing game with Gresham in the fold. Usually, the tight ends for Cincinnati are used mostly as blockers.

With Gresham agreeing to a deal, only three first-round picks remain without a contract. Through August 2nd last year, 12 first-round picks remained without a deal.

—Adam Caplan

Redskins Down to Four Quarterbacks – 3:09 p.m.

No team can really handle having five quarterbacks in training camp, so the Redskins officially removed one from their 80-man roster Monday afternoon. The team waived third-year QB Colt Brennan after acquiring John Beck in a trade with Baltimore earlier in the day. Beck will compete for the No. 3 role against Tarleton State product Richard Bartel.

– Adam Caplan

Redskins Acquire Quarterback – 1:13 p.m.

The Washington Redskins, perhaps looking to get more competition for their No. 3 quarterback job, acquired John Beck from the Ravens in exchange for CB Doug Dutch.

Beck (6-2, 215) was thought to be highly regarded coming out of the 2007 Draft, but his lack of arm strength was apparent right from the start with Miami, who selected him in the second round.

It was thought he’d be a much better fit for a timing and rhythm-based offensive scheme like the West Coast, and that’s what the Redskins will run under new head coach Mike Shanahan.

Beck was fourth on the depth chart for the Ravens, so trading him wasn’t a surprise. The Redskins, however, now have five quarterbacks on their 80-man roster.

Baltimore has the need for depth at cornerback after losing starter Domonique Foxworth for the season last week due to a torn ACL.

– Adam Caplan

Alualu Deal With Jags Now Complete – 12:58 p.m.

As expected, Jaguars first-round pick DT Tyson Alualu has agreed to a five-year contract worth $28 million, with $17.5 million guaranteed. Alualu informed the team Monday morning he agreed to the deal. He’s expected to report to the team in enough time to practice on Tuesday.

– Adam Caplan

Bills closing book on Schobel — 10:39 a.m.

Today’s announcement that the Bills have decided to move on without OLB/DE Aaron Schobel should be a precursor to the team eventually releasing him. A source with knowledge of the situation told FOXSports.com that Buffalo’s announcement is a way to say they’re releasing him without really doing so yet.

Schobel, who has four years left on the contract extension he signed in August 2007, could be difficult to trade because of how much money he’s due in each of the remaining seasons. However, if Buffalo releases him as expected, he should find many suitors based on his pass-rushing skills.

“Aaron has been contemplating retirement for the past seven months, but we are at the point where we are moving forward and have informed his agent of our plans,” general manager Buddy Nix said Monday morning.

“Aaron has been a very good player for the Bills and we wish him and his family the best, but there comes a point where we have to move forward and that point is today. We are focusing on the team’s best interests,” Nix added.

Schobel told the Associated Press in a phone interview that he learned Monday morning he would have been released even if had reported to camp. The linebacker said he isn't upset or surprised by the move.

"I understand. I would have done the same thing if I were in their shoes," Schobel said. "I understand it 100 percent. I'm sort of relieved.

"I have no regrets and I appreciate the organization, Buffalo, their fans and (Bills owner) Ralph (Wilson) for putting me in this position where I was able to play for nine years. I'm not going to say anything bad about them and I wish them the best."

Schobel said he isn't planning to retire, but will take two weeks before making a decision. He did say if he does play, this would be his last NFL season.

Schobel's been contemplating retirement the past seven months. He's spent his nine NFL seasons in Buffalo, and his 78 sacks rank second on the team's career list behind Hall of Famer Bruce Smith.

He broached the prospect of retirement at the end of last season, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.

Schobel, who is signed through 2013, is currently on the Reserve/Did Not Report list. Schobel had a $2 million roster bonus due five days after the start of free agency, but he could only get it by taking a team physical, a source said. His base salary for 2010 is $6.025 million with $4 million of it guaranteed.

— Adam Caplan and the Associated Press

Jags close to signing first-rounder — 9:23 a.m.

Although negotiations seemed to be going nowhere a few days ago between the Jacksonville Jaguars and first-round pick DT Tyson Alualu, things picked up over the last 24 hours. In fact, Alualu has told his agent, Ken Zuckerman, that he just wanted to “sleep on it” before making his final decision.

Barring anything unforeseen, Alualu will sign a deal worth a maximum of $28 million with $17.5 million guaranteed, a source said. Other deals of the contract weren’t immediately known, but the 10th player selected overall in the first round of last year’s draft, WR Michael Crabtree (San Francisco 49ers), signed a six-year deal worth a maximum of $32 million with $17 million guaranteed. The last year of that deal can void provided Crabtree meets minimum playing time requirements in one season and meets other parameters.

— Adam Caplan

Pats ready to move on without LB Burgess – 9:11 a.m.

As each day goes by and Derrick Burgess remains AWOL, the New England Patriots are starting to adjust to life without one of their starting outside linebackers.

Coach Bill Belichick said Monday he doesn't know where things stand with Burgess, who signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal in the offseason, but reportedly has been considering retirement.

''I don't think he knows for sure,'' Belichick said.

There are five outside linebackers in camp: incumbent starter Tully Banta-Cain, the eighth-year pro who was the most pleasant surprise on defense last year with 10 sacks; Rob Ninkovich, in his fifth year, signed as a free agent last August; Pierre Woods, also in his fifth year, who's seen most of his action on special teams; former New York Jet Marques Murrell, signed as a free agent; and rookie Jermaine Cunningham, who was a defensive end at Florida.

''All five of those players have done some good things ,'' Belichick said. ''Tully's really picked up where he left off last year. He gained a lot of experience and done a good job. He's having a good camp and taken over a little bit of a leadership role as well in terms of his experience. He has a lot of confidence and that carries over to Pierre (Woods) and Rob (Ninkovich), and they're definitely ahead of where they were last year.''

Belichick said Cunningham and Murrell, a fourth-year player, have been picking up things very well.

''Definitely, you can see him (Cunningham) each day getting better and more confident,'' Belichick said.

Banta-Cain, a situational player until blossoming last season, bristled when asked if outside linebacker was the ''thinnest'' position on the team.

''If everyone does their job, there's no thin anywhere,'' he said. ''That's what it comes down to - everyone doing their job. We have the guys who are doing it and capable of doing the job. It's just a matter of execution.''

Belichick and others point to Banta-Cain a leader.

''I'm in my eighth year and I've been around this team for a while,'' Banta-Cain. ''I'm familiar with the system and everything.''

Ninkovich also was a bit of a surprise last season after being released by the Saints and signed as a free agent. He played in 15 games.

''Any time you're released on the first day of training camp by a team, you're always going to be an underdog,'' he said. ''Coming into a team, you have to prove yourself. You're little a bit behind in your playbook. So, last year my mentality was to come in here and make a difference.''

The Patriots filled two roster spots by signing a pair of free agents who practiced Monday: tight end Carson Butler and wide receiver Rod Owens. Butler (6-4, 260) is a Michigan product and veteran of several NFL training camps. He brings the number of tight ends in camp to five. Owens caught 61 passes for Florida State last fall. He signed with the Rams as an undrafted free agent in April and was released in May ... Before practice Monday morning, veterans subjected rookies and some second-year players to the ''pig drill,'' which involved players sliding through mud as water cascaded on them.

– Associated Press

WR to visit Rams — 9:10 a.m.

Former University of Missouri WR Danario Alexander is on his way to visit the St. Louis Rams, a source confirmed. The Rams showed interest in veteran WR Terrell Owens recently, so their interest in the athletic Alexander shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

— Adam Caplan

 

August 1 News and Notes

Eagles defensive training camp overview —10:28 p.m.

End depth -- This team really had problems with depth at this position last year, but that’s not the case this time around. They are actually a legit five-deep and have depth on both sides. Any time you can have your first-round pick (Brandon Graham) and veteran Darryl Tapp running with the second-team defense, you’re probably going to be able to have a very deep rotation. And that was the problem last year, Philadelphia’s starting ends, Juqua Parker and Trent Cole, looked to wear down as the season progressed.

Graham is bigger than expected (278 lbs) and is as advertised. He’s a relentless player with very strong hands. His ability to keep his pad level low makes it very difficult for taller offensive tackles who can’t move quickly enough and to get their hands on him. The one issue, and you could see this during Saturday’s practice, is he tends to get caught up in the wash against the run because of his less than ideal arm length. This was something that personnel sources said to watch out for when looking at Graham’s progress. Still, you can see why they are so high on him. He’s probably a lot stronger than first thought and has a variety of pass rush moves.

The interior of the defensive line is solid with starters Mike Patterson and Brodrick Bunkley, but the top backup jobs are up for grabs. Third-year DT Trevor Laws, who has been a disappointment in his first two seasons, has gotten off to a good start. He looks noticeably faster. Third-round pick DE/DT Daniel Te’o-Nesheim looks to have a good chance to handle the inside track on the nickel pass-rushing role. His quickness is quite evident. More ...

— Adam Caplan

Eagles feel the pain in practice — 4:14 p.m.

The Philadelphia Eagles were missing two injured starters for Sunday’s morning practice (WR DeSean Jackson and MLB Stewart Bradley). They now have many others sidelined.

RB Mike Bell appeared to grab his hamstring during a pass route during the second practice. Starting CB Asante Samuel was carted off, but walked off the cart under his own power. G Max Jean-Gilles, who was filling in for starting LG Todd Herremans (Active-PUP), left with an injury.

Adam Caplan

Revis skips run, appears ready to hold out — 3:30 p.m.

Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, locked in a contract dispute with the team, skipped a conditioning test hours before players were to report to training camp Sunday.

The All-Pro is not considered a holdout unless he misses the afternoon team meeting that opens camp in Cortland, N.Y. The Jets confirmed Revis' absence.

Revis is to make $1 million in the fourth year of his six-year rookie deal, but he wants to be the league's highest-paid cornerback. Oakland's Nnamdi Asomugha holds that distinction, signing a three-year, $45.3 million extension last offseason.

AP

Moreno carted off field with leg injury — 12:59 p.m.

Denver Broncos second-year RB Knowshon Moreno was carted off during Sunday’s morning practice after suffering a right hamstring injury. The team wants to expand his role, so he needs to get in as much practice time as possible. He missed the first week of training camp last year and also missed time due to a grade-2 MCL sprain.

Veteran RB Correll Buckhalter, who dealt with various ankle injuries last season, injured his back during the early practice today. The injury caused temporary numbness, but that issue has subsided. Denver is down to Kolby Smith, who missed a lot of time last year due to an ankle injury, and three other untested backs.

Adam Caplan

Jackson, Bradley held out of Eagles' practice  — 12:59 p.m.

The Philadelphia Eagles received an injury scare during Saturday’s afternoon practice when starting WR DeSean Jackson went down. But as it turned out, he has a minor lower back strain, and his status is day-to-day. Jackson, who was held out of Sunday’s morning practice, is probably one of the toughest players on the team despite his wiry build.

Starting MLB Stewart Bradley (hamstring) also didn’t practice Sunday, but his injury is considered minor. LB Omar Gaither filled in.

Adam Caplan

Seahawks set to sign one first-rounder, but not the other — 11:17 a.m.

Seahawks draft choice Earl Thomas has agreed to a five-year contract with $12.32 million guaranteed and a maximum value of $21.1 million, Thomas' agent told The Associated Press late Saturday night.

But not everything was perfect on Pete Carroll's first day running Seattle's preseason: Sixth-overall pick Russell Okung remained unsigned.

Peter Schaffer, Okung's agent, had been hopeful Seattle's replacement for retired left tackle Walter Jones would be on the field Saturday. Schaffer said if it didn't happen, ''it won't be for a lack of effort on our part.'' Full story.

The Associated Press

MORE CAMP BUZZ: August 22-31

MORE CAMP BUZZ: August 15-21

MORE CAMP BUZZ: August 8-14

MORE CAMP BUZZ: July

Tagged: Falcons, Alvin Bowen, Danario Alexander, Bills, Bears, Bengals, Browns, Cowboys, Broncos, Lions, Packers, Titans, Colts, Raiders, Rams, Dolphins, Vikings, Patriots, Saints, Giants, Jets, Eagles, 49ers, Seahawks, Buccaneers, Redskins, Panthers, Jaguars, Ravens, Cardinals, Steelers, Chargers, Texans, Michael Vick, Aaron Schobel, Jason Hanson, David Martin, Brett Favre, Todd Collins, Chris Hovan, Jake Delhomme, Derrick Burgess, Correll Buckhalter, Brian Dawkins, Terrell Owens, Walter Jones, Steve Hutchinson, Steve Smith Sr., Albert Haynesworth, Aaron Kampman, David Garrard, Josh McCown, Rich Seubert, Kelley Washington, Chris Simms, Andre Johnson, Tully Banta-Cain, David Diehl, Brian St. Pierre, Dan Koppen, Tony Romo, DeAngelo Hall, Sean Locklear, Eli Manning, Derrick Ward, Jim Sorgi, Mike Patterson, Mark Bradley, Domonique Foxworth, Brandon Jacobs, Eric Ghiaciuc, Darrell Reid, Lance Moore, Tarvaris Jackson, Anthony Smith, Antonio Cromartie, LenDale White, Marques Colston, Chris Kuper, Omar Gaither, Mike Hass, Max Jean-Gilles, Ko Simpson, Jason Avant, Elvis Dumervil, Rob Ninkovich, Mike Bell, Nick Cole, Pierre Woods, Fred Jackson, Brandon Siler, Ahmad Bradshaw, Troy Smith, Rashad Barksdale, Ben Patrick, Steve Smith, Stewart Bradley, Quinn Pitcock, Dwayne Wright, JaMarcus Russell, Darrelle Revis, Jarvis Moss, Anthony Spencer, John Beck, Matt Moore, Marques Murrell, Ryan Clady, Jonathan Stewart, DeSean Jackson, Brian Brohm, Tom Santi, Josh Barrett, Colt Brennan, Dantrell Savage, Ramses Barden, Travis Beckum, Mike Goodson, Greg Toler, Scott McKillop, Jason Smith, Andre Smith, Michael Crabtree, Knowshon Moreno, Jeremy Maclin, Louis Delmas, Trevor Ford, Carson Butler, Kory Sheets, Dez Bryant, Brian Price, Earl Thomas, A.J. Edds, Brandon Graham, Mike Kafka, Jameson Konz, David Gettis, Ndamukong Suh, Brandon LaFell, Jerry Hughes, Donald Butler, Tyson Alualu, Jermaine Cunningham, C.J. Spiller, Sam Bradford, Jermaine Gresham, Gerald McCoy, Russell Okung, D'Anthony Smith, Brandon Lang, Gregg Peat, Chris Hawkins, Rod Owens, Tim Brown, Jack Corcoran

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