|03-22-2006, 08:52 AM||#1|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: May 2003
Location: The Ville
Nfl Report 3-22-06
Tank Carter, older brother of Pittsburgh Steeler Tyrone Carter, wanted to watch his brother play in the Big Game so much that he ultimately gave up five years of freedom to do just that. And he has no regrets, according to the MIAMI HERALD.
''Even knowing what I know now, I would do it again,'' said Tank Carter, who grew up with his younger brother in Pompano Beach. ``It was the greatest game in my life.''
Tank, who watched the Feb. 5 game from the 50-yard line and afterward partied with Snoop Dogg, is now in a North Broward jail after he failed to show up as promised Jan. 6 to begin a six-month jail sentence. As a result of angering his trial judge, he must now serve a five-year prison sentence -- for driving with a revoked license.
Tank Carter was eligible for such a harsh punishment because he was a habitual offender, having had at least two prior convictions for driving on a suspended or revoked license.
And it didn't help that he provoked the ire of a judge whose nickname is ``the hanging judge.''
Keyshawn Johnson placed a call to Kansas City president/general manager Carl Peterson last week. Johnson had just been released by Dallas to make room for Owens. And as usual, he was very direct. “I’d really like to be a Chief,” Johnson told Peterson. Peterson said Tuesday that he appreciates the interest, but the Chiefs have told Johnson to wait a couple of weeks until the franchise addresses some needs on defense.
Ironically, Mike Vanderjagt — also an unrestricted free agent who was not offered a contract by the Colts after the 2005 season — has now become a prime candidate to become New England’s new kicker, along with former Chicago Bears kicking specialist Paul Edinger.
The Dolphins remained fixated on two other names who remain possibilities — quarterback Tommy Maddox and linebacker LaVar Arrington — although neither have reached agreements. The Dolphins were scheduled to meet with Maddox on Tuesday, and a source said the team's interest in Arrington also has increased as a result of Peterson's decision to sign with the Seattle Seahawks.
Four possible landing places for Lions quarterback Joey Harrington:
Kansas City Chiefs: Harrington's name pops up frequently here. There was speculation the Chiefs wanted to draft him in 2002, but the Lions took him first. Chiefs starter Trent Green is 36, and the No. 1 backup is Damon Huard, 32, who has thrown one pass in the last five years and 289 for his career.
Cincinnati Bengals: A temporary starter is needed as insurance for Carson Palmer, who probably won't be ready for the start of the season because of a knee injury. Harrington has a connection in Cincinnati: Scouting consultant Bill Tobin was the Lions' personnel director when Harrington was drafted in 2002. Tobin pushed hard to draft Harrington and remains a supporter. Tobin's son, Duke, is Cincy's director of personnel.
Seattle Seahawks: Coach Mike Holmgren is set with Pro Bowl starter Matt Hasselbeck, but Holmgren has said he is intrigued by Harrington's ability. Harrington might be receptive to playing a season in Seattle, up the coast from his home in Portland. One downer: Seattle runs the West Coast offense.
Oakland Raiders: The Raiders released starter Kerry Collins, leaving Marques Tuiasosopo as their top option. The Detroit crowd was rough on Harrington, but nothing like Raider Nation in the "Black Hole."
Running back Najeh Davenport (Green Bay), guard Stephen Neal (New England), and defensive tackles Ron Edwards (Buffalo) and Lional Dalton (Kansas City) took free-agent visits Monday and Tuesday with the Dolphins. Davenport, who played at the University of Miami, is a candidate to back up starting tailback Ronnie Brown if Ricky Williams is forced to serve a year-long drug suspension he is currently appealing.
Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver said he believes veterans Fred Taylor and Jimmy Smith will remain part of the offense. "As far as I'm concerned, on opening day, both of those players will be on the roster,'' Weaver said. ''I don't always make those final decisions. We think Fred and Jimmy both have plenty of football left and we're excited to have them as a part of our roster.''
New England had former Minnesota Vikings kicker Paul Edinger in yesterday for a visit. Edinger is one of the few remaining veteran free agent kickers available, other than the mercurial Vanderjagt. Last year, Edinger converted 73.5 percent of his kicks (25 of 34) but he was only 14 of 23 beyond 29 yards, which is hardly what they have grown used to in Foxborough over the past decade.
The Texans have the first pick in the draft, and they'll be well-represented today when the Texas Longhorns' draft-eligible prospects work out for general managers, coaches, scouts, media and a few owners. The Texans are expected to take Southern California running back Reggie Bush, but they continue to insist they haven't made that decision because the scouting process is ongoing. That's why so many important members of the organization, including owner Bob McNair, will watch Vince Young work out today. McNair also will attend USC's pro day April 2.
Agent Brian Levy said Dolphins free safety Lance Schulters will take a free-agent visit Wednesday to Seattle, which is seeking to replace recently departed starter Marquand Manuel (Packers).
Nose tackle Grady Jackson will make his first visit of free agency Thursday when he meets with the Atlanta Falcons. If he signs with Atlanta, he would be reunited with defensive coordinator Ed Donatell. Jackson said other teams in the running included Cincinnati, St. Louis and the New York Giants. He said the Rams might have him in for a visit if he doesn't sign with the Falcons. "I wish I could play somewhere in the division," Jackson said. "I just want to play against the Packers. You have that revenge type thing."
The Seahawks could be facing the prospect of losing their backup quarterback, Seneca Wallace, a restricted free agent. Wallace is scheduled to visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on March 22, and if Tampa Bay signs him to an offer sheet, the Seahawks would have seven days to match. If they opted not to match, they would get the Buccaneers' fourth-round pick.
From his throwing motion to his ability to take snaps under center, the Ravens will be seeking answers when they attend Vince Young's Pro Day workout today in Austin, Texas. Depending on the results, the next question regarding the University of Texas quarterback could come in next month's NFL draft. If Young surprisingly falls to the 13th overall pick, will the Ravens take him? At this point, the Ravens will only say they are intrigued. "He's not as clean a prospect as some other quarterbacks that have come out over the years, but his upside and ceiling are tremendous," said Eric DeCosta, the Ravens' director of college scouting. "If you hit on him, you could have a trendsetter in the NFL."
There are five candidates, up to the next NFL commissioner, being discussed in league circles.
1. Roger Goodell, NFL executive VP/chief operating officer -- Has worked closely with Paul Tagliabue. Many teams already view Goodell as the favorite.
2. Rich McKay, Falcons president/GM -- Has been linked as a potential successor to Tagliabue for seemingly as long as he has been around football.
3. Dick Cass, Ravens president -- Already has publicly stated he has the job he wants and will not be leaving Baltimore.
4. Eric Grubman, NFL executive VP -- Knows finance the way Bill Belichick knows coaching. He has spent two years in the NFL after working for Goldman Sachs, where he spearheaded the sales of the Jets and Browns.
5. Jeff Pash, NFL executive VP -- Before he took over as commissioner, Tagliabue was the NFL's Washington counsel. Now, Pash is the league's lead attorney, bringing some of the same credentials Tagliabue once did.
The Dolphins have not contacted agent Brian Mackler about his client, Mike McMahon, who will instead visit the Minnesota Vikings today and the Denver Broncos on Thursday.
The Bears agreed to terms Tuesday with veteran quarterback Brian Griese on a five-year deal. Acquiring Griese, an eight-year veteran, will provide backup experience for the injury-plagued Rex Grossman and possibly eliminate one albatross that rightly or wrongly has colored general manager Jerry Angelo's tenure.
Speculation has centered on the Jets' moving into the No. 2 spot, occupied by the New Orleans Saints, perhaps to select quarterback Matt Leinart. The Saints recently signed quarterback Drew Brees, taking them out of the hunt for a college quarterback. Despite trading for Patrick Ramsey last week, the Jets are believed to be interested in one of the top quarterbacks in this year's draft as a future franchise quarterback. They are expected to visit with Leinart, who has expressed an interest in playing in New York, next month.
Jon Runyan drove up to Long Island yesterday afternoon to meet with Jets officials and have dinner with new head coach Eric Mangini and veteran offensive line coach Tony Wise. Yesterday was Runyan's first free-agent visit. The veteran tackle, who did not miss a start for the Eagles in the six years he played for them, spent the first two weeks of free agency on vacation. First, he traveled to Daytona, Fla. for "Bike Week" as the free agency deadline was pushed back. Then, he took a family vacation to Cayman Islands. He got back this weekend and decided to maybe get back to deciding his future.
John Abraham joins free agent Pro Bowl safety Lawyer Milloy and three-year veteran safety Chris Crocker — the Falcons traded their upcoming fourth-round draft pick to Cleveland for Crocker — as acquisitions that addressed the team's most needy areas. With last season's big free-agent pick up, middle linebacker Ed Hartwell, expected back from season-ending Achilles' tendon surgery, the Falcons figure to be significantly better on defense, especially against the run, where they ranked 26th in the NFL last season.
Paul Tagliabue can retire knowing he was the $52 billion man. In television deals made during his time as the National Football League commissioner, ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, TNT and ESPN have signed contracts worth a combined $46.4 billion, while the satellite operator DirecTV will end up paying $6.1 billion by the time its new five-year deal is over. In that same 16-year span, Major League Baseball's network deals have totaled nearly $11 billion, and those with the National Basketball Association have come to $9.2 billion. Real good, but not Tagliabue money.
NY Giants DE Michael Strahan, guest host of the "Best Damn Sports Show Period," on the possibility of Keyshawn Johnson joining the Giants: "He may be the offense we need to take it to the next level...He loves to play and he's a professional. I'd welcome him with open arms."
The Raiders spent Tuesday talking with former Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks, the second free-agent passer to visit the team's Alameda facility in less than a week. Although Brooks left town, an NFL source said discussions are continuing between the 11th-year veteran and the Raiders, who are looking for an experienced quarterback to replace Kerry Collins.
Buffalo has given wide receive Eric Moulds permission to seek a trade. While the Eagles could use a veteran receiver such as Moulds, it's doubtful the team would part with too much.
Marc Boerigter, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound wide receiver who has spent all of his four NFL seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, was at Seahawks headquarters in Kirkland for a visit Monday.
We hear Eric Moulds, who wants out of Buffalo and might be cut -- would love to play in Miami, but it's not likely, considering his problems last year with then-Bills coach Mike Mularkey, now the Fins' offensive coordinator.
According to sources close to Adam Vinatieri, he was not willing to risk playing in New England again without a guaranteed signing bonus after seeing what had happened to Drew Bledsoe, Lawyer Milloy, Ty Law, and several other veterans.
Adam Vinatieri agreed to a multi-year deal that reportedly comes with a $3.5 million signing bonus and is worth $2.5 million a season over the first three years of the deal. When all the numbers are factored in, Vinatieri’s average annual cap value will fall in the $3 million range. The NFL salary cap will be $102 million in 2006 and $109 million in 2007. The Pats currently enjoy around $19 million in cap space. Kraft brings in over $250 million in revenue a year. We could run Vinatieri’s percentages for you, but you get the point.
Keyshawn Johnson is not yet willing to lower his salary demands. He told SI.com last week that the Giants and Seahawks were two of the teams he hoped to play for. The Broncos and Chiefs are also interested, according to the person close to the situation.
A person from the league with knowledge of the situation said the Giants, who are reportedly $4 million under this season's $102-million salary cap, could not afford both WR Keyshawn Johnson and linebacker LaVar Arrington, whose asking price is still too high for them.
Linebacker Jamie Winborn will visit the Texans today. The six-year veteran spent last season with Jacksonville after a four-year stint with the San Francisco 49ers. Stephen Neal will also visit the Texans. He spent the past five seasons as a defensive tackle with the New England Patriots.
In free agency Tuesday, former Miami center Seth McKinney visited with Texans officials. If a deal is struck, he would be reunited with his brother, Steve, the Texans' starting left guard. Seth is an unrestricted free agent after spending four years with the Dolphins.
The Saints have slowed down their recruiting pace after signing five free agents last week. The only player the team is known to have brought in for a visit this week is defensive end Demetric Evans, a 26-year-old backup with the Washington Redskins who is from Haynesville.
Wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson came back to town for two days. The only question is whether he'll be returning soon for a much longer stay. As reported in yesterday's Star-Ledger, the 33-year-old former Jet visited the Giants, who made a big push to sign him before he left Giants Stadium. Three people with knowledge of the offer said it was a multiyear deal, paying Johnson between $3 million and 4 million in the first year. All of the people spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiations could continue at a later date. Though Johnson departed yesterday without a deal, the Giants remain viable contenders for his services. Johnson will mull over his visit with the Giants and might meet with more teams in the coming days.
General manager Ozzie Newsome said the Ravens have no free-agent visits scheduled, but that doesn't mean the team is finished in free agency. "There are still some positions that we are still looking at," he said. "We're waiting for the market to settle a little bit." The Ravens have needs at quarterback, safety and punter.
The dismantling of the Green Bay Packers' linebacking corps continued Tuesday when unrestricted free agent Paris Lenon signed with the Detroit Lions. Lenon, a 12-game starter last season, visited Detroit and Buffalo last week before he returned to Detroit on Tuesday and decided to join the Lions. The Lions made no announcement of the transaction but a National Football League source close to the situation said the deal, which contained a signing bonus in the range of $1 million, was finished.
What exactly the Packers do from here is unclear. They could still go the veteran free agent route and pursue former Colt Mike Vanderjagt, the most accurate field-goal kicker in NFL history, or journeyman Paul Edinger. They could also try to steal restricted free agent Josh Brown from the Seattle Seahawks, but given Seattle's excellent salary cap situation they can expect any deal they offer to be matched. Among some of the kickers the Packers will be keeping their eyes on this summer are Tampa Bay’s Billy Cundiff, Cleveland’s Jeff Chandler, Arizona’s Nick Novak and Baltimore’s Aaron Elling, who are all likely to lose kicking battles with established veterans.
Although the New York Jets would not confirm it late Tuesday night, the team reportedly signed veteran New England Patriots wide receiver/kick returner Tim Dwight yesterday.
Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden badly wanted to re-sign Brian Griese, who also visited Cincinnati and fielded late interest from Miami, Baltimore and Oakland.
Brian Griese's arrival could mean retirement for Jeff Blake a 14-year veteran. He said on numerous occasions last season that he would do so if he didn't re-sign with the Bears.
A Minneapolis judge will decide today whether to dismiss three misdemeanor charges filed against Daunte Culpepper and former Vikings teammate Moe Williams in October for their alleged participation in a sexually charged boat tour. Culpepper, who was traded to the Dolphins last week, is expected to appear in Hennepin County District Court for the hearing.
It's not that Larry Allen isn't a good player – he has played in the last two Pro Bowls – but today's NFL is about value, and the Cowboys no longer wanted to pay Allen as if he were one of the game's elite players.
Falcons president and general manager Rich McKay joked last week that he's heard he's the NFL commissioner-in-waiting since he was 5 years old. Now, the son of a legendary coach and a respected front office official could be on the doorstep of holding the job some felt he was destined for. NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced Monday that he would be stepping down after 17 years, effective this July. Along with Roger Goodell, the league's chief operating officer, and Baltimore Ravens president Dick Cass, McKay is viewed as an early favorite for pro football's most powerful post. "We're losing a giant and we've got to find a giant to replace him," Falcons owner Arthur Blank said of Tagliabue. "From our perspective, we want to have Rich stay in Atlanta," Blank said. "He's a superlative president and GM. I love working with him. He's a critical part of our organization. If Rich decided this was the right thing to do for himself and the other owners felt they wanted Rich, I would be supportive of it."
Tim Dwight, an unrestricted free agent who played last season with the New England Patriots, visited the Steelers' practice facility in the afternoon, then hurried to catch a flight to Seattle, where he is expected to talk today with the NFC champion Seahawks. The New York Jets, however, are interested in signing Dwight as their No. 3 receiver, and a deal could be reached before he even visits the Seahawks. The Steelers do not have any plans to bring in more free-agent players before coaches leave Friday for a week's vacation.
PinnacleSports.com has created individual odds on 15 candidates replacing the retiring Tagliabue. The early odds favor the owners appointing a successor from within the league offices as current NFL COO Roger Goodell is an overwhelming 1/2 favorite to be named the next commissioner. Atlanta Falcons' President and General Manager Rich McKay, who co-chairs the NFL competition committee, has the second-best odds at 3/1 followed closely by Baltimore Ravens' President Dick Cass at 5/1. PinnacleSports.com lists NFL Executive Vice President Jeff Pash at 10/1 to be promoted to the commissioner's office, while television executives Steve Bornstein and Sean McManus are both listed at 20/1. Although she expressed interest in the position in the past, current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a 100/1 long shot to become the first female commissioner of a major sports league.