|02-10-2006, 05:08 PM||#1|
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Join Date: May 2003
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Nfl Report Friday
NFL Most Valuable Player Shaun Alexander said Thursday he hopes to sign a new contract with Seattle, but the Carolina Panthers would be a strong backup plan. "I tell everybody I don't think Seattle's going to let it get to that. But, if it does get to that, Carolina would definitely be a good place," he said.
The Texans exercised the three-year, $8 million option bonus on quarterback David Carr's contract this week. Although Carr's extension has been widely reported since November, when owner Bob McNair first said he would give the quarterback the $8 million before the last game of the season — Sunday's Pro Bowl — it wasn't official until this week. An announcement is expected today. Not only does the extension give Carr the $8 million bonus, but he receives base salaries of $5.25 million in 2006, $5.5 million in 2007 and $6 million in 2008.
Falcons tailback Warrick Dunn is due to count for just more than $8 million against the team's salary cap next season, a figure that could limit the team's financial flexibility unless it is reworked. However, according to Falcons coach Jim Mora, Dunn will remain a Falcon. "Warrick Dunn isn't going anywhere," Mora said in an e-mail Thursday. "Warrick epitomizes what we believe an Atlanta Falcon should be both on and off the field. He has been one of most productive players over the past two seasons and is a great fit for this offense. I'm excited to see him out on the field helping us win games again in 2006."
The Chargers have made their initial offer for a long-term contract to quarterback Drew Brees' agent, General Manager A.J. Smith confirmed yesterday. The team has yet to hear back from Tom Condon regarding the proposal, which was sent Monday. “I have no idea where it goes from here,” Smith said. Condon declined comment. While no hard deadline is imminent, the Chargers and Brees likely have just a week's window remaining to reach a deal.
Don't rule out Kansas City as the next team for troubled and talented Terrell Owens, despite the Chiefs' long-standing reputation for disdaining high-maintenance, big-bucks players. General manager Carl Peterson believes new coach Herman Edwards, having dealt with big egos Warren Sapp and Ty Law, could handle Owens. The Chiefs' terrific offense has stars at running back, quarterback, tight end and across the line. Only receiver has been lacking.
The Raiders leading candidate -- if not the only candidate -- is now former Raiders head coach Art Shell, whom the Raiders fired after the 1994 season but who now is expected to arrive in Oakland this weekend to resume talks that started last weekend. With no other candidates on Oakland's radar, it's hard to envision a scenario in which anybody but Shell would get the job.
Rod Marinelli will be Joey Harrington's third head coach and Mike Martz will be his fourth offensive coordinator in five seasons -- if, of course, he remains a Lion.They can't have a backup quarterback counting nearly $10 million against the salary cap next year, but that's the predicament they face should Harrington decide not to rework his contract to make it more cap-friendly. Harrington is scheduled to make $4.5 million in salary next season. He's due a $4-million roster bonus come June. And when you consider the prorated portion of his rookie signing bonus, Harrington alone could devour more than 12% of the Lions' salary allotment next season. Yet nobody can guarantee him the starter's job.
Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers has switched agents. He recently fired Marvin Demoff, one of the more prominent agents in NFL circles, and hired Carl Carey, his former academic advisor at North Carolina. Carey has worked for Peppers in various consulting roles throughout his NFL career. Carey recently was certified as an agent by the NFL's Players Association. One of Carey's first duties is likely to involve changes to Peppers' contract or perhaps a new deal. Peppers remains under contract for three more seasons, but has a cap figure of just under $15 million for 2006. The Panthers likely will try to knock that number down by restructuring the deal to convert base salary into bonus money.
The Texans are expected to hire Mike Sherman, the former Green Bay coach who is on a family vacation. Although nothing is official because they haven't negotiated a contract, the Texans expect Sherman to report for work Monday. Hiring Sherman, an assistant coach at Green Bay and Seattle under Mike Holmgren before he returned to the Packers as head coach, is a coup for Kubiak.
The football guy in Bill Kuharich saw bigger things and explored job possibilities in Minnesota and a handful of other NFL cities. The family guy in Kuharich wanted his three young daughters to stay in Kansas City. He can have both now. The Chiefs have promoted Kuharich to vice president of player personnel, adding to his duties as VP of pro personnel. When he came to Kansas City in 2000, some wondered whether Kuharich was overqualified. In New Orleans, he served as president, general manager and chief operating officer. Kuharich, who helped the Saints sign eventual 11-time Pro Bowl tackle Willie Roaf, Carolina Pro Bowl quarterback Jake Delhomme and running back Ricky Williams, will oversee the team’s college and pro scouting efforts.
Another candidate could be former Giants head coach Jim Fassel, who is the Ravens' offensive coordinator. Fassel is also a Raiders retread, having coached quarterbacks in 1995.
While the Raiders were offering Ken Whisenhunt good money to become their coach -- more than $2 million annually -- they declined to give him the kind of control over the football operations he felt he needed.
Agent Leigh Steinberg said Ben Roethlisberger's popularity did not dip with his passer rating in the Super Bowl, which was an all-time low 22.6 for a winning quarterback. "No, no, his popularity is based on who he is as a person, I think,'' Steinberg said. "People like him. It wasn't a pretty game, no two ways about that, but people like him for who he is, those Midwestern values, chauffeuring his sister to the prom, giving to tsunami relief." "If he doesn't make the tackle in Indianapolis, they're not there. If he doesn't play the way he did against Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Denver, they're not there. He's a man's man, he'll take the blame when he doesn't play well. There's no pretense. Ultimately, when it counted, he came through in the Super Bowl. And Ben will learn from that game.''
Shaun Alexander said Thursday that the Seahawks contacted his agent earlier this week to discuss the league MVP’s future with the team. Alexander will become one of the league’s most coveted free agents if he doesn’t re-sign with the Seahawks before March 3. The Seattle running back said the Seahawks contacted his agent Tuesday, just as he boarded a plane for Honolulu. “When I get back from Hawaii then I’ll sit down with my agent and we’ll all have a good conversation,” Alexander said. “There’s really no need to have conversations until we’re ready to talk serious. “To me, I’m not one of those guys that do things just for the fun of it. If we’re going to date – there’s a potential for marriage. And that’s how I am.”
Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher expects to begin compiling a list of candidates to be the team’s new tight ends coach as early as next week. Fisher said he has not yet contacted any candidates to replace tight ends coach and assistant head coach George Henshaw, who was let go earlier this week, but between next week and at the NFL Combine hopes to talk to several prospects to fill the opening.
Back in the running for the Bears job is Gill Byrd, the former Pro Bowl defensive back who worked with Lovie Smith in St. Louis in 2003. Byrd interviewed for the job Jan. 31. A team source said Smith is expected to meet with at least one more candidate. The Sun-Times reported last week that Smith had interest in Washington Huskies secondary coach Steven Wilks, who previously was on Ty Willingham's staff at Notre Dame. Wilks is believed to be slated to come in for an interview.
Players on both the NFC and AFC squads receive $20,000 apiece for playing. Winners of the Pro Bowl receive an additional $20,000.
The decision to extend David Carr's deal was a formality and has no bearing on what the Texans will do in the April draft. Unless they receive an offer for the first pick that is too good to pass up, which is highly unlikely, the Texans will select Texas quarterback Vince Young or Southern California running back Reggie Bush. If Kubiak decides Carr is the quarterback to take the Texans to the Super Bowl, they'll draft Bush, considered one of the top prospects in draft history. If Kubiak decides Young is such a special quarterback prospect that he's too good to pass up, Carr could be traded. Another veteran quarterback could be signed to play until Kubiak believes Young is ready. Kubiak also could decide to keep Carr and draft Young.
Don Davis becomes the first of many important Patriot free agents the team will need to make a decision on before March. David Givens, Adam Vinatieri, Stephen Neal, Tom Ashworth and Troy Brown are some other key players that will hit the open market if the team doesn’t re-sign them before the free agency period begins.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is taking part in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament. Brady will be teamed with pro golfer Frank Lickliter and will participate in a foursome with his father – Tom Brady, Sr. – and Rocco Mediate. The foursome teed off Thursday morning at Poppy Hills. Former NFL stars Emmitt Smith and Harris Barton are also taking part in the event.
With their Super Bowl XL victory in Detroit, the Steelers already have accomplished the goal of winning one for the thumb. Now it becomes a matter of designing the ring to put on the thumb. Actually, the process has begun, if the office doodlings of team chairman Dan Rooney matter -- and they do. "And I'm going to get some of the players involved, like Jerome [Bettis], for sure," Rooney said. The Steelers might not feature their other four Super Bowl championships as part of the ring design, preferring to let the 2005 team and its accomplishments stand as the beginning of a new era.
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, who earned a salary of $655,500 in 2005, more than tripled his football take by earning another $2 million from those incentive bonuses.
Don't blame Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin for another awful season in Arizona. Fitzgerald (103 catches, 1,409 yards) and Boldin (102, 1,402) joined Herman Moore and Brett Perriman of the 1995 Lions and Rod Smith and Ed McCaffrey of the 2000 Broncos as the only teammates to both catch 100 balls in the same season.
Bob Wallace, Rams executive vice president, acknowledged that boosting prices after a 6-10 season "is tougher, obviously. But the cost of doing business goes up every year. And our ticket prices are in the middle" among the 32 NFL teams. After keeping ticket prices steady over its first five years in St. Louis, the team has hiked them after each of the subsequent six seasons. "Three-quarters of (NFL) teams raise ticket prices," Wallace said. "In fact, it's news when they don't raise ticket prices."
Lincoln Kennedy has been dumped by NFL Network, according to NFL TV moles.Kennedy, the larger than life former Raiders tackle, was told by NFL Network suites that his services would no longer be needed. He co-hosted "Total Access" with Rich Eisen, Terrell Davis, Rod Woodson and Emmitt Smith for the past few years. Emmitt also was dismissed.The league owned network recently announced they'll carry eight regular season NFL games starting this seaso
|02-10-2006, 07:35 PM||#3|
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Join Date: Dec 2002