|02-05-2006, 12:57 PM||#1|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: May 2003
Location: The Ville
NFL Report (Super Sunday edition)
There appeared to be only a remote chance that the Eagles would be able to trade receiver Terrell Owens, especially with teams knowing that they were on the hook for $7 million in bonus money payable to Owens starting March 9. But with multiple teams showing interest in Owens, the likelihood of Philly making a deal has increased. Here's one stumbling block, though. Even though Miami, Denver, Kansas City and Tampa Bay have expressed interest in trading for the 32-year-old receiver, the Cowboys' interest might trump the rest. But the Eagles certainly won't be willing to trade Owens to a division rival. So what would prevent the Eagles from trading Owens to another suitor? Well, Owens essentially controls where he goes, because he won't be willing to report to any team unless he gets a suitable contract offer.
Indianapolis Colts team president Bill Polian has finally acknowledged what has been suspected for the past several months — wide receiver Reggie Wayne will be remaining with the team for the foreseeable future. If Wayne were to be franchised, the Colts would have to pay him the average of the five top receivers in the NFL or 120 percent of his 2005 salary, whichever sum is greater.
Brian Schottenheimer looks like a solid choice as Jets offensive coordinator. Schottenheimer coached the Chargers' offense, one of football's best, while outgoing Mike Heimerdinger coached one of the worst. The Chargers probably will do what they can to hold on to Drew Brees. But I can't help but wonder whether Schottenheimer's appointment will give the Jets a chance.
Kurt Warner, who spent one year babysitting Eli Manning with the Giants, then signed a one-year $4 million deal with the Cardinals, says he anticipates signing a multiyear deal with Arizona and finishing his career there. He was 2-8 starting this season.
As expected, the Raiders will be the last team to hire a coach. One reason is owner Al Davis is waiting for the Super Bowl to end so he can interview Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt. Another reason: Davis is unwilling to spend huge dollars on a head coach. Yet another reason: Davis is said to want to gauge Whisenhunt's interest in quarterback Kerry Collins, whose contract must be restructured during the offseason because of salary-cap concerns. If Whisenhunt doesn't believe in Collins, it's conceivable Davis will consider former Giants coach Jim Fassel, who has told friends he believes Collins still can be an effective quarterback.
If you're a little puzzled by the ongoing Mike Martz saga, you're not alone. Members of the Detroit Lions front office have spent the last week wondering what the colorful coach was going to come up with next -- and they didn't always find his shenanigans amusing. The latest "news" is that Martz, the former St. Louis Rams head coach and acknowledged offensive wizard, is reconsidering the Detroit Lions' offer to become their offensive coordinator. It has been reported that the Lions, after being rebuffed by Martz on Thursday, contacted him on Friday and asked him to re-think the situation.
If the Vikings try to trade embattled quarterback Daunte Culpepper, conversations with Dennis Green's Arizona Cardinals would be expected to include Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson and a conditional draft pick, dependent on the condition of Culpepper's right knee. It still appears Culpepper could be traded to the highest bidder, and that could be Baltimore or Oakland.
Washington had reportedly shown some interest in disgruntled Philadelphia Eagles receiver Terrell Owens, Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antwaan Randle-El and Minnesota Vikings receiver Koren Robinson. Redskins officials, however, have denied any interest or contact with Owens or his agent Drew Rosenhaus.
The Bills eventually settled on former Bears DBs coach Perry Fewell to be their defensive coordinator, mostly because former Packers DC Jim Bates priced himself out of their range. Bates could have had the Bills job for $850,000, but wanted more money, even though that figure would have been a raise from what he was getting in Green Bay. Bates saw the $2 million salary Al Saunders received to be the Redskins' offensive coordinator and wanted money in that ballpark.
A little birdie says Vikings owner Zygi Wilf sent restricted free agent Koren Robinson a half-dozen handwritten notes this season saying how impressed he was with the way the Pro Bowl wide receiver had made a comeback from alcohol abuse, and that is expected to favorably influence Robinson's decision to remain in Minnesota.
Dolphins CB Sam Madison (linked to K.C., Atlanta and San Diego) reiterated to friends he won't take a pay cut from Miami.
Saints running back Deuce McAllister is doing well in his rehab from knee surgery and expects to be ready for training camp. The Saints need to know how effective McAllister can be, especially because they have the second overall draft pick.
In 2005 Harry Carson said he was not interested in whether he was selected and would refuse to show up in Canton if he did make it. When asked why he wouldn't attend the ceremony, he said: "Because the Hall of Fame means nothing to me. I have never been upset, angry or frustrated [at not getting in]. I've always taken it in stride. Every time the vote happens, I've never lost sleep the night before and never lost sleep the night after. It's a nice honor, but it means nothing to me."
Dolphins coach Nick Saban associates say he wants to make a major signing on the O-line (New Orleans C LeCharles Bentley and Seattle G Steve Hutchinson are potential targets). Saban, by the way, commended Vernon Carey for making ''very nice progress'' at right tackle, though he was assured of nothing in a season-ending meeting.
If the Vikings decided to trade Daunte Culpepper, informed football general managers, coaches and such in Detroit were unanimous in saying no team was going to give up a lot for a quarterback whose knee injury was so serious that there is a big question how effective he will be in the future. And Culpepper's visit to Winter Park last week was strictly to have a heart-to-heart talk with new coach Brad Childress about the future. It was the first time they had met face-to-face for any length of time after talking on the phone. There wasn't any discussion about adding to the $8 million Culpepper will earn this season.
Paul Tagliabue is willing to consider a second Super Bowl for the Twin Cities if the great governor, Tim Pawlenty, and his do-nothings in the Legislature will help new Vikings owner Zygi Wilf build his stadium and assorted other toys in Blaine. Tagliabue plans to visit here in the near future and see what he can do to help the Vikings make some progress on a stadium.
Mike Martz, the former Gophers assistant under Joe Salem who had a successful stint as Rams coach, is reconsidering the Lions offensive coordinator job after initally turning it down because he didn't believe he got the salary he thought he deserved.
The word in Detroit was that Mike Tice signed a two-year contract as assistant head coach with Jacksonville for $1.1 million per season, or $100,000 more each year than he made as Vikings head coach. Jets officials reported Tice made a great impression in his interview for their coaching job.
Troy Aikman and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones are hopeful that Michael Irvin, the team's all-time leader in catches and receiving yards, will earn a spot in the Hall of Fame one day. "When you do things great for so long and make things look so easy, people tend to forget how great you are," said Irvin, who will probably be a finalist again next year. "That's what Troy did."
The Los Angeles Times revealed last week that the NFL will use a new football on every play in the first half of today's Super Bowl, each marked to prevent counterfeiters from trying to sell phony ''game used" balls. But could the plan, which has been in effect the last few Super Bowls, affect the game, changing a team's fortunes or a man's career? Certainly most NFL quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers would tell you that changing the ball on every play easily could lead to more turnovers because the slickness factor. A year ago, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady privately grumbled about the new balls and the difficulty he had gripping them, saying they were far more slippery than normal. When Steelers receiver Antwaan Randle El was asked about the situation, he was at first shocked and then seemingly not amused. ''Every play?" Randle El said. ''That's not good. It's slick and slippery. Even when you go to tuck it, the ball's prone to come out a little more often than normal." This is not done during the regular season, when the ball becomes tackier and softer and easier to grip as the game progresses. But for today's game, 10 dozen balls will be rubbed down by a machine and then marked with a drop of DNA that will glow green when exposed to a laser frequency. According to the Times, the chance of replicating the DNA sequence is one in 33 trillion, which is good for stopping bogus collectors.
It appears as if Niners owner John York is planning to make good on his promise to coach Mike Nolan. When Nolan took over before the 2005 season, York assured he'd hire an extra "football guy" in the front office to help Nolan and VP of Player Personnel Scott McCloughan. The exact title of the "team president" post has yet to be determined, but Nolan and York already have interviewed Seahawks VP/football administration Mike Reinfeldt and Falcons executive VP/chief administrative officer Ray Anderson for the vacancy.
One NFC scout took a few stabs at which players would be good fits for the Giants with the 25th-overall pick in April's draft. Needless to say, all candidates are defensive backs.
Clemson cornerback Tye Hill: Did very well at the Senior Bowl. Great cover guy. Might be a little short (5-9), but can play.
Georgia cornerback DeMario Minter: Has only decent speed, but is a good hitter.
Texas cornerback Cedric Griffin: In a word, a playmaker.
Penn State cornerback Alan Zemaitis: Has good size (6-2, 201) and ball skills.
Tennessee safety Jason Allen: Had a hip injury, which forced him to miss some time last season. Might be a diamond in the rough.
State officials say the Superdome restoration could cost as much as $182 million because of the inflated construction market. They expect insurance and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay about 90 percent of those costs. The remaining gap and an estimated $42 million in proposed stadium enhancements, such as new electronics systems and scoreboards and upgraded club rooms and luxury suites, will be funded by the NFL investment and revenue created by an ambitious refinancing plan. State officials hope to refinance $196 million in bond debt and $52 million in "new money" to create an extra $35 million annually to cover operating expenses and stadium improvements.
The NY Post reports that fallen former Jet Mark Gastineau - better known these days as father and ex-husband of "Gastineau Girls" Brittny and Lisa - will somehow host simultaneous Super Bowl parties at Scores East Side and Scores West Side.
Vikings center Matt Birk could become one of the top NFL TV analysts after his playing career, Sports Illustrated projects. The Harvard graduate also would be a perfect choice to head the NFL Players Association.
Those associated with the New Orleans Saints expect ex-Vikings QB Todd Bouman to get a good shot at starting.
NFL folks at the Senior Bowl say coach Nick Saban was enamored with Jay Cutler and told a team official that Miami would be in great shape if it could acquire the Vanderbilt QB.
Paul Tagliabue must think no one's paying attention if he truly believes the Rooney Rule is "working." The Rooney Rule has done nothing for minorities in football, same as the man it was named for. The rule only guarantees token interviews, which explains how minorities went an absurd 0-for-26 this interview season.
Carolina Panthers representatives say they would like to keep St. Paul native Chris Weinke as their No. 2 quarterback, but he is a free agent and wants to go someplace he can start.
This query comes from a perplexed member of the 49ers organization: How in the world did Mike McCarthy land the head-coaching job in Green Bay after his only 49ers offense finished a distant 32nd in the league last season while producing the fifth-fewest total yards (3,587) since the league expanded to a 16-game schedule in 1978?
Seattle receiver Bobby Engram considers Pittsburgh home. He and his wife, Deanna, a Penn Hills native, have been returning there the past 10 years while this Penn State product played for Chicago and Seattle. In that time, especially the three years they have lived in Murrysville, he hasn't quite converted Steelers fans into Seahawks fans. Yet, when his Seahawks confront the hometown Steelers tonight, he'll have at least a few in-laws and friends from Pittsburgh sporting Seattle colors in the Ford Field stands.
There are a few perks that come with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's job. But could the good seats she snagged for today's game be a sign that she's looking ahead to her next possible gig: as NFL commissioner? Rice will sit with Paul Tagliabue today. Also attending will be NFL executive Gene Washington, who often escorts Rice, who is single, to social events. Rice has said, half-jokingly, that as a lifelong fan she aspires to run the NFL one day.