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Old 02-11-2009, 08:38 AM   #526
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The unexpected rise of Matt Cassel and the Patriots' need to place the franchise tag on him may be having unintended consequences for the team's plans for the future and for prospective 2010 free agents seeking new deals such as Vince Wilfork.

Wilfork, one of the top nose tackles in the game and a pivotal piece of the Patriots' 3-4 defense, is entering the final year of the six-year deal he signed as a rookie in 2004, when the Patriots took him with the 21st overall pick. That deal averages $1.5 million per season.

He is due for a hefty raise, considering that 3-4 nose tackles Casey Hampton of the Steelers and Kris Jenkins of the Jets both made more than $5 million last season.

But whether it's because of the Patriots being consumed by the Cassel situation, or coach Bill Belichick dealing with turnover in the front office and coaching staff, or just a simple lack of interest in doing a deal, the team has not contacted Wilfork about an extension.

"Last year at this same time - that was the last time I heard from them," said Wilfork yesterday from Florida.

The 27-year-old Wilfork, who made the Pro Bowl in 2007 and this past season, wasn't making like Ty Law and accusing his coach of dishonesty or bemoaning an inability to feed his family.

He merely was being blunt about the lack of progress on a new contract that in an offseason without the Cassel saga probably would rank as one of the team's top priorities.

"The ball is not in my court right now," said Wilfork, who will carry an $800,000 base salary and a $1.44 million cap charge in 2009. "Nothing has happened. No progress has been made.

"I thought maybe there would be some sort of move forward, but everything is at a standstill. I'm sure they'll do whatever they have to do. I have that last year, and I'm preparing to play and play well. It's not going to change me. But they know the longer it takes the more it costs."

With $14.65 million dedicated to Cassel via his franchise tender and nearly a quarter of the $123 million salary cap ($29.27 million) currently devoted to two quarterbacks (Cassel and Tom Brady), the Patriots are not in an ideal position to negotiate with any of the 22 players who will be free agents after the 2009 season.

That is a group that includes Wilfork, guards Logan Mankins and Stephen Neal, defensive ends Richard Seymour and Jarvis Green, tight ends Benjamin Watson and David Thomas, linebackers Tedy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel, running back Kevin Faulk, placekicker Stephen Gostkowski, and cornerback Ellis Hobbs.
Take the quarterbacks' combined cap hit and throw in wide receiver Randy Moss's $10.5 million charge, Seymour's $9.79 million, and the $6.4 million that linebacker Adalius Thomas is slated to count and you potentially have nearly $56 million - or 45 percent of the cap - tied up in just five players.


Although none of the team's current free agents - a group headlined by safety James Sanders and wide receiver Jabar Gaffney - figures to break the bank, it might take a trade of Cassel or Brady to free up the money to do new deals with the would-be free agents.

"I hope whatever they have going on gets cleared up sooner rather than later," Wilfork said. "I'm looking forward to a new deal, and I'm looking forward to the 2009 season. We have unfinished business as a team, and myself, I have unfinished business as an individual.

"But you know me, I'm going to play hard regardless of the situation. One thing they don't have to worry about is me preparing hard, working hard and playing my tail off, with or without a contract."

Wilfork also made it clear that he didn't begrudge Cassel for cashing in while he could.

"I'm happy for Cass," said Wilfork. "He proved a lot of critics wrong. He raised expectations throughout the year, and he deserved everything he got. I don't look at him no different. He's one of my teammates, and I'm happy for him.

"I'm very happy for a guy like that, a guy that a lot of people wrote off in the preseason. He put up numbers that a lot of the so-called 'good quarterbacks' didn't. It was a steppingstone season for him. He deserved everything he got."

Now the question is, when will Wilfork get what he deserves, and will it be from the Patriots? Or will he be the next Asante Samuel and end up in a contentious stalemate with the team and eventually play somewhere else?
For now, Wilfork will sit tight and prepare to play out the final year of his contract.

"I'm going to have to be cool with playing out the year," he said. "It seems [a new contract] hasn't happened yet. I see a lot of guys getting deals in my position. There are guys in my draft class in the last year or two who got a deal. If I don't, I'll play out the contract and see what happens."
There are some players I would not mind seeing in a Broncos uniform, particularly Gostkowski, Wilfork and possibly Faulk (depending on what our RB corps looks like this offseason).
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:57 PM   #527
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ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - The Oakland Raiders claimed quarterback Bruce Gradkowski off waivers from the Cleveland Browns. Gradkowski spent his first two NFL seasons with Tampa Bay, starting 10 games as a rookie in 2006. He briefly played for St. Louis last year before joining the Browns, appearing in two games and starting the season finale against Pittsburgh.
Andrew Walter and Marques Tuiasosopo were the Raiders' backups for former No. 1 draft pick JaMarcus Russell last season.
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:58 PM   #528
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PITTSBURGH (AP) - Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward underwent minor shoulder surgery this week but apparently will not need an operation to repair the right knee he injured during the AFC championship game. Ward sprained his knee against Baltimore on Jan. 18, but recovered to make two catches for 43 yards as the Steelers beat Arizona 27-23 in the Super Bowl on Feb. 1.

After the Steelers won their second NFL title in four seasons, Ward said he might need knee surgery.
The shoulder operation was a routine procedure that should not disrupt Ward's preparation for next season. He made 81 catches for 1,043 yards, his best season statistically in five years.
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:59 PM   #529
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The Houston Texans made some cost cutting moves on Tuesday by jettisoning RB Ahman Green and WLB Morlon Greenwood.
A league source said Green was due a $500,000 roster bonus coming up soon and had a cap value of around $6.5 million. Green was signed through 2010.
Greenwood, who lost his starting job to rookie Xavier Adibi, was due $4.768 million in base salary along with a $100,000 workout bonus. The former Miami Dolphins third-round pick out of the 2001 draft had a cap number of just over $6.2 million which included $1.4 million left from signing bonus proration.

With both moves completed, the team should save around $6.5 million on this year's salary cap.

Another veteran back, Chris Brown, also could be in danger of being released since the source noted he's due a $400,000 roster bonus soon.

The team is believed to be interested in signing a veteran back with size and could
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Old 02-11-2009, 01:00 PM   #530
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - The New York Jets released defensive back David Barrett on Tuesday after five seasons with the team.


He was the first player cut by new coach Rex Ryan, hired last month to replace the fired Eric Mangini. Barrett was entering the final year of his contract and saves the Jets just over $5 million on the salary cap.
Barrett started 37 games, mostly at cornerback, in 69 appearances with the Jets. He played in only 11 games last season as a backup and his biggest highlight came when he returned an interception for a touchdown in a loss at San Diego in Week 3. Barrett signed with the Jets as an unrestricted free agent in 2004 after four seasons with Arizona, which drafted him in the fourth round in 2000.
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Old 02-11-2009, 01:01 PM   #531
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Ex-Eagles WR Freddie Mitchell in trouble for marijuana package?



Ex-Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell is under investigation after accepting a package allegedly containing about 7 pounds of marijuana. According to a story in Florida's Lakeland Ledger, Mitchell was handcuffed, but not arrested, last Thursday after signing for the package at his restaurant, Brothers Bar-B-Q in Lakeland. Police said the package was first delivered to the home of Mitchell's 90-year-old grandmother, who Mitchell said "takes memory pills." She allegedly told the FedEx driver the package wasn't hers and that it was probably for Mitchell. The driver left a phone number for her to give to her grandson. Mitchell, who said he thought it might be supplies, called and had the package forwarded to his restaurant. Lakeland police haven't said what was in the package. But other law enforcement officials told the Ledger that it contained pot, which had been sniffed out by a trained narcotics dog. Police also have not revealed whose name was on the package. But Mitchell's lawyer, John Liguori, said logic dictates that it wasn't addressed to his client. "If Freddie's name were on it," Liguori said, "he'd be sitting in jail." -- Philadelphia Daily News
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Old 02-11-2009, 01:01 PM   #532
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Signing Dunta Robinson priority for Texans

If the Texans are unable to re-sign cornerback Dunta Robinson, it will change their philosophy entering the draft. Rather than pursuing a defensive end who can provide a pass rush opposite Mario Williams with their first-round pick, general manager Rick Smith would have to look for a cornerback to replace Robinson. Ohio State's Malcolm Jenkins, the best cornerback in the draft, will be gone before the Texans make a pick. To acquire him would require moving up and sacrificing a valuable draft choice, possibly even a second-round selection. Although the Indianapolis scouting combine pro days and private workouts remain in the evaluation process, as it stands now, no other cornerback is worth the 15th pick. That's why re-signing Robinson is imperative. Robinson, who turns 27 in April, wants to re-sign with the Texans. The Texans want him back. Robinson and his agent, Jason Chayut, have a figure they believe he's worth. The Texans have a figure they believe Robinson is worth. Smith and Chayut are negotiating on a new deal. Both sides have been tight-lipped about the negotiations. -- Houston Chronicle
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Old 02-11-2009, 01:02 PM   #533
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Michael Clayton open to Bucs return?

Bucs WR Michael Clayton, once adamant about leaving the Bucs, seems a lot more interested in returning now that new head coach Raheem Morris and general manager Mark Dominik are in charge. Clayton says he still plans to test the free agent market but it sounds as if the Bucs will get the best chance to re-sign him. "I feel great about the direction of the Bucs and would love to be a part of things there,'' Clayton said. "I hope it all works out.'' -- Tampa Tribune
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Old 02-11-2009, 01:26 PM   #534
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ESPN reported the Jags cut Jerry Porter.
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:32 AM   #535
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MORE TROUBLE FOR HAYNESWORTH

Posted by Mike Florio on February 12, 2009, 1:05 p.m. EST

When it comes to the presumed status of Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth as the king of the 2009 free-agent class, one phrase continues to echo in our brain.

“Caveat emptor.”

Though some might think it’s a magic spell intended to make someone’s fillings fall out, it’s actually for Latin.

“Buyer beware.”

Haynesworth has a history of antisocial behavior. Though he hasn’t stepped on anyone’s forehead lately while wearing cleats, it’s now coming to light that Haynesworth got in trouble a couple of months ago.

Per the Tennesseean, authorities cited Haynesworth for careless driving after a December 13 incident involving the star defensive tackle and his 2008 Ferrari.

A witness, Kelly Dean, said that she was driving her car at a clip of 79 miles per hour, and that Haynesworth passed her at a ”high rate of speed.” Haynesworth then attempted to pass another car, and the driver of the other car eventually lost control and crashed.

Though the careless driving charge was dismissed on Thursday, Maria Giordano of the Tennessean explains that prosecutors could claim that Haynesworth’s actions constituted a violation of a probation order imposed against him only four days earlier.

Let’s think about that for a second. On December 9, Haynesworth was fined $1,000 and placed on 30 days’ probation for driving in excess of 100 miles per hour in March 2008. Only four days later, Haynesworth was playing real-life Need For Speed all over again.

This time around, he caused an accident while doing so.

Regardless of whether Haynesworth avoids any significant consquences for his most recent actions, we’re going to be prepared to point our fingers and laugh our asses off when Haynesworth does something illegal or stupid or both after some team gives him that $100 million-plus contract he thinks he’s going to get.

Our money is on the Lions being the ones to blow their money — unless they convince him to take a bunch of shares of Ford stock instead.
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Old 02-12-2009, 01:56 PM   #536
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ESPN reported the Jags cut Jerry Porter.
Yep....and he walks away with $10 million in guarantees for a year's worth of 'work'....all of 11 catches.
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Old 02-12-2009, 01:58 PM   #537
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http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/...agent-centers/

Notes From Lombardi: Free Agent Centers
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Old 02-12-2009, 03:05 PM   #538
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Notes From Lombardi: Free Agent Guards
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:07 AM   #539
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CANTY, PARCELLS REUNION COMING?
Posted by Mike Florio on February 13, 2009, 9:24 a.m.
With rumors circulating in late 2007 of a potential return to the NFL by former Cowboys coach Bill Parcells, Jerry Jones moved quickly to lock up one of Parcells’ guys, receiver Patrick Crayton.

Crayton had been scheduled to become a free agent last March.

This time around, the Cowboys have yet to re-sign one of Parcells’ draft picks from his time in Dallas — defensive end Chris Canty.

And, as our own Tim MacMahon of the Dallas Morning News recently pointed out in a blurb we eyeballed in Friday’s Sporting News Today, Canty could be reuniting with Parcells in Miami.

MacMahon points out that Canty recently addressed the possibility of joining Parcells with the Dolphins in an appearance on Sirius NFL Radio.

“He did draft me,” Canty said. “You know, I like Bill, and I’ve always said there’s a part of me that’s always going to be a Parcells’ guy. I’ve played under Al Groh in college and then coming in as a rookie under Bill. What they instill in the brand of football that they play, it’s been with me so that would be a good fit. But you know we have to wait and see.”

Canty reportedly wants a contract that pays Tommy Kelly money (i.e., $18 million guaranteed, $50.5 million total).

“It’d have to start somewhere around there, if not higher,” Canty’s agent, Brad Blank, said last month. “We talked very briefly last summer at that level, and [the Cowboys] didn’t seem very interested.”

Canty was a second-round pick in 2005. He played in 2008 under the first-round restricted free agent tender of $2.01 million.

UPDATE: Thanks to all the commenters who pointed out that Canty was a fourth-round pick. We misread the roster in the 2008 NFL Record & Fact Book. Canty appears below Kevin Burnett in the alphabetical roster, who was the second-round pick in 2005.


http://www.profootballtalk.com/2009/...eunion-coming/
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:11 AM   #540
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Some interesting insight into the new economic realities of the NFL.

Economy playing big role in Colts' offseason moves
By Michael Marot / Associated Press
Posted: February 13,
INDIANAPOLIS -- Colts president Bill Polian is working on his usual offseason to-do list.
He's negotiating with agents to keep players, preparing for the draft and dealing with NFL salary cap rules. But things are much tougher this year.

Polian said Thursday the economy and the NFL's revised cap rules have put the Colts in a financial pinch that is forcing the team to look at options, including a possible change of site for training camp.

"Like everyone else in the country, expenses are an issue for us," Polian said. "So we're looking at everything we do, be it travel costs or training camp or whatever. One glaring area is training camp, so we have to make a decision about where to go, and we have not made it."

The Colts have held camp in Terre Haute since 1999, but their contract with host Rose-Hulman has expired and they're now considering a return to Anderson, which was their preseason home from 1984-98 and is closer to Indianapolis.

Former coach Tony Dungy often said he enjoyed the time in Terre Haute, but new coach Jim Caldwell has not stated a preference. Polian said no decision has been made.

Training camp isn't the only money issue for Indianapolis.

The Colts recently announced they were cutting 25 jobs in the front office, and now they're trying to re-sign three prominent free agents -- Pro Bowl center Jeff Saturday, cornerback Kelvin Hayden and running back Dominic Rhodes.

Polian would like to re-sign all three, but he considers Hayden, who won the starting job two years ago, the top priority.

Polian would not say how much Hayden wants, but he said negotiations with agent Fletcher Smith are not going well. That could force Polian to use the franchise tag, something he will consider.

Smith did not answer his cell phone and it was not accepting messages on Thursday.

To clear some room under the cap, Polian has already agreed to convert Dallas Clark's roster bonus into a signing bonus, spreading the money out over more years. And he may do the same with Bob Sanders. Still, Hayden's deal may determine how much money is left to keep other players and could force the team to cut other veterans.

The cuts come with a hefty price, too.

Because this is the last year of the salary cap, there are new rules.

If players with expensive bonus clauses are cut this year, teams will have to take the full value of the remaining bonus money. In the past, that money has been prorated over the life of a contract. So if a player received a $10 million bonus on a five-year deal, teams were charged $2 million per year. Now, if that player is cut with two years left on the contract, that team would take a $4 million cap hit in 2009.

Plus, Polian isn't even sure if the projected $123 million cap will stand. It could go up.

"We've never had a cap problem in 11 years, and this year, we will," Polian said. "It depends a lot on what happens, and we just don't know that yet."


http://www.indystar.com/article/2009.../1058/SPORTS03
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:14 AM   #541
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FWIW...

TEAM-BY-TEAM FRANCHISE TAG POSSIBILITIES
Posted by Mike Florio on February 13, 2009, 10:40 a.m. EST
Here’s a look at the most likely free agent to be slapped with the franchise tag between now and 4:00 p.m. EST on February 26.

Arizona Cardinals: Linebacker Karlos Dansby. (Another possibility is quarterback Kurt Warner.)

Atlanta Falcons: Punter Michael Koenen. (Already done.)

Buffalo Bills: None.

Baltimore Ravens: Linebacker/defensive end Terrell Suggs.

Chicago Bears: None.

Cleveland Browns: Safety Sean Jones.

Cincinnati Bengals: Receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh. (Another possibility is running back Cedric Benson.)

Carolina Panthers: Defensive end Julius Peppers. (Another possibility is tackle Jordan Gross.)

Denver Broncos: None.

Dallas Cowboys: Defensive end Chris Canty.

Detroit Lions: Kicker Jason Hanson.

Green Bay Packers: None.

Houston Texans: Cornerback Dunta Robinson.

Indianapolis Colts: Cornerback Kelvin Hayden. (Another possibility is center Jeff Saturday.)

Jacksonville Jaguars: None.

Kansas City Chiefs: None.

Miami Dolphins: Safety Yeremiah Bell.

Minnesota Vikings: None.

New England Patriots: Matt Cassel. (Done deal.)

New Orleans Saints: Linebacker Jonathan Vilma.

New York Giants: Running back Brandon Jacobs.

New York Jets: Kicker Mike Nugent.

Oakland Raiders: Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.

Philadelphia Eagles: None.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Guard Chris Kemoeatu.

San Diego Chargers: Running back Darren Sproles.

San Francisco 49ers: None.

St. Louis Rams: Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe.

Seattle Seahawks: Linebacker Leroy Hill.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Receiver Antonio Bryant.

Tennessee Titans: Kicker Rob Bironas.

Washington Redskins: None.

http://www.profootballtalk.com/2009/...possibilities/
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:16 AM   #542
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyR View Post
FWIW...

TEAM-BY-TEAM FRANCHISE TAG POSSIBILITIES
Posted by Mike Florio on February 13, 2009, 10:40 a.m. EST
Here’s a look at the most likely free agent to be slapped with the franchise tag between now and 4:00 p.m. EST on February 26.

Arizona Cardinals: Linebacker Karlos Dansby. (Another possibility is quarterback Kurt Warner.)

Atlanta Falcons: Punter Michael Koenen. (Already done.)

Buffalo Bills: None.

Baltimore Ravens: Linebacker/defensive end Terrell Suggs.

Chicago Bears: None.

Cleveland Browns: Safety Sean Jones.

Cincinnati Bengals: Receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh. (Another possibility is running back Cedric Benson.)

Carolina Panthers: Defensive end Julius Peppers. (Another possibility is tackle Jordan Gross.)

Denver Broncos: None.

Dallas Cowboys: Defensive end Chris Canty.

Detroit Lions: Kicker Jason Hanson.

Green Bay Packers: None.

Houston Texans: Cornerback Dunta Robinson.

Indianapolis Colts: Cornerback Kelvin Hayden. (Another possibility is center Jeff Saturday.)

Jacksonville Jaguars: None.

Kansas City Chiefs: None.

Miami Dolphins: Safety Yeremiah Bell.

Minnesota Vikings: None.

New England Patriots: Matt Cassel. (Done deal.)

New Orleans Saints: Linebacker Jonathan Vilma.

New York Giants: Running back Brandon Jacobs.

New York Jets: Kicker Mike Nugent.

Oakland Raiders: Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.

Philadelphia Eagles: None.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Guard Chris Kemoeatu.

San Diego Chargers: Running back Darren Sproles.

San Francisco 49ers: None.

St. Louis Rams: Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe.

Seattle Seahawks: Linebacker Leroy Hill.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Receiver Antonio Bryant.

Tennessee Titans: Kicker Rob Bironas.

Washington Redskins: None.

http://www.profootballtalk.com/2009/...possibilities/
Go Figure
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:29 AM   #543
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Go Figure
I've always like that we didn't use it. I think we used it once on Elam, but that's it. And it was the other one. Not the franchise tag.
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:30 AM   #544
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It would be nice to have players that would warrant using it on though
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:17 AM   #545
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It would be nice to have players that would warrant using it on though
Denver may end up using it in the next few years as some of our younger player's contracts expire.
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:31 AM   #546
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St. Louis Rams: Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe.

6 more days....6 more days.......

my pipe dream
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:38 AM   #547
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Wilfork and Seymour would be nice.......
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:45 AM   #548
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Wilfork and Seymour would be nice.......
AMEN
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:24 PM   #549
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ESPN reports the Giants slapped the franchise tag on Brandon Jacobs. Also, Chicago cut Marty Booker.

Last edited by montrose; 02-13-2009 at 01:36 PM..
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Old 02-13-2009, 03:46 PM   #550
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http://www.rockymountainnews.com/new...-michael-vick/

Falcons seeking to trade rights to Michael Vick
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