NFL Report Sat. (Ricky W. considering comeback)
The latest developments in the saga of retired Dolphins running back Ricky Williams is that he stopped avoiding the calls of coach Nick Saban by speaking to Saban last week, and said he stopped smoking marijuana more than a month ago. Williams also is expected to end his legal battle with the Dolphins about an $8.6 million judgment the team has against him for breach of contract.Whether that means Williams is considering a comeback is speculative at best, but it made several people close to him believe that might be the case. Williams, who continues to take classes at a school for holistic medicine in Northern California, was in India this week. Williams, who has lost approximately 30 pounds since retiring, made the statement he had quit using marijuana in front of several people during a meeting regarding his paternity suit involving former South Florida resident Cherie Clark. Williams said he quit using the substance because it wasn't healthy for his ''Astro-body.'' While such statements are in keeping with Williams' alternative thought patterns, his reasons have often turned out to be more transparent with time.
Heav's take! Ricky quit the weed! Ya sure...............
The Washington Redskins offered a contract to defensive end Courtney Brown during his visit to Redskins Park on Thursday, according to two sources familiar with the situation. Brown is mulling the offer over the weekend before making a decision. The Redskins have competition from the Denver Broncos, where Brown made his first visit Tuesday as an unrestricted free agent. And according to two sources who requested anonymity, the 6-foot-4, 290-pounder will decide by Monday between Washington and Denver.
While former receiver Joe Jurevicius remained in Seattle Friday as the Seahawks made a push to sign the seven-year veteran. Jurevicius, who has an offer from the Bucs on the table and a desire to remain in Tampa, visited with the Seahawks on Thursday and Friday. Agent Neil Cornrich has said Jurevicius' preference is to re-sign with the Bucs. But he also said his client is looking at all options.
The 49ers apparently won't commit to signing former Dolphins receiver David Boston until meeting with him next week. "David can certainly bring a lot to the table for us, but I need to make sure it's the right thing for the 49ers," 49ers coach Mike Nolan told the Contra Costa Times.
The Falcons are competing with the Seattle Seahawks to land linebacker Edgerton Hartwell of the Baltimore Ravens, considered by many to be the best linebacker in the free agency market. "We're in negotiating stages with two teams," said Hartwell's agent, Harold Lewis. "I hope something gets resolved very, very quickly. I know where he wants to go and would like to play." Hartwell visited the Falcons earlier this month and recently completed a visit with the Seattle Seahawks. Hartwell also visited the Arizona Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs, but they have signed other linebackers. Upgrading the defense has been a priority for the Falcons in free agency. Hartwell, a physical run-stuffer who has started for the Ravens for the past three seasons, would likely be the team's biggest purchase in a mostly quiet free agency period.
The NFL received a powerful — if predictable — endorsement Friday in favor of putting a team back in Los Angeles. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger gave a thumbs up to the idea after meeting in Sacramento for an hour with NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who stopped in on his way to Hawaii for the annual league meetings. "A Los Angeles NFL team means good jobs, increased tourism and economic growth for California," the governor said in a written statement. "As you know, I love action and I want to bring NFL action back to Los Angeles." A Schwarzenegger spokesman clarified that the governor was backing the concept of a team in the L.A. area, not a specific stadium site, meaning he wasn't ruling out a team at the Rose Bowl, Carson or Anaheim.
The issue of adding a veteran quarterback remains unresolved, but Bears coach Lovie Smith seemed to take exception to the focus it has been given "I want to address that a little bit,'' he said. "I feel like we have two good quarterbacks in Rex and Chad Hutchinson. We really like what we were able to find out about Chad at the end of the year. We brought in [three] guys. They looked at who we had and they chose to go somewhere else. I don't think [they] necessarily wanted to compete with the guys we have. "We're just on a high right now, we really feel good about the direction of our program.''
Marvel Smith's agent on Friday characterized the restructuring of the Steelers offensive tackle's contract as good for both parties. "It's a win-win for everyone," Ken Zuckerman said. "It guarantees the salary for the player and while the total is basically the same for the team, it gives them the ability to prorate the bonus over the remaining years of the deal and lessen the (salary) cap figure."
Charlie Batch the Steelers quarterback has no offer from the Steelers. He said three or four other teams have expressed some degree of interest, but he's in no position to act. "I still have to get healthy. The surgery requires a year to recover fully," he said. "Teams call, but I know they'd want me to go to their doctor and go to a workout and that's something I can't physically do right now. I'd probably pass the (physical), but jumping into a program in the next two or three weeks is something I probably could not do."
Last week, Joe Gibbs said that the Redskins had reached an agreement to re-sign offensive lineman Ray Brown. However, the 42-year-old still hasn't officially signed.