Newsbreakers Recap

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May 17, 2005 4:00 PM ET
Redskins: Kashetta released
The News
The Redskins released rookie tight end David Kashetta on Tuesday, according to the ESPN website. Kashetta, who attended Boston College, had signed as an undrafted free agent last month.
Our View
The Redskins needed to find a roster spot for recently signed linebacker Warrick Holdman. They did so by releasing Kashetta, who had been considered a long shot to make the roster.

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May 17, 2005 2:47 PM ET
Broncos: Carswell to try tackle again
The News
The Broncos have switched Dwayne Carswell back to tackle, the position they tried him at last year in training camp before abandoning the experiment.
Our View
With Jeb Putzier under contract and Stephen Alexander in camp (and, for the moment, healthy), the Broncos can afford to shift Carswell inside; he's grown into that position, anyway. Carswell has just one touchdown each of the past three seasons, so he hasn't exactly been a fantasy notable. In fact, if the Broncos run a tackle-eligible play at the goal line, Dwayne could easily match his fantasy value.

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May 17, 2005 2:10 PM ET
Vikings: Chavous a no-show
The News
Vikings' strong safety Corey Chavous did not attend the team's minicamp workout on Monday. The seven-year veteran is rumored to have skipped the workout in protest of his current contract, which will pay him a $1.9 million base salary this season, according to the Star Tribune. Chavous finished last season with 80 tackles and one interception.
Our View
The rumors that Chavous will be released after June 1 are beginning to swirl again. He admitted to the coaching staff that he didn't play well last season after accumulating eight interceptions in 2003. If the Vikings elect to release Chavous, he would likely be replaced in the starting lineup by three-year veteran Willie Offord, who is currently listed as the primary backup to starting safeties Chavous and Darren Sharper.

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May 17, 2005 1:43 PM ET
Browns: Droughns shows up
The News
Running back Reuben Droughns, who skipped out on the Browns' offseason conditioning program in April while seeking a new contract, has returned to the team. "Right now, I'm not worrying about the business side of it," Droughns told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "All I'm concerned about is learning the system and getting in shape for the season." Droughns added that he intends to be around for both the quarterback school later this month and the June minicamp; however, he said he was "not ready to comment on that" when asked if he would be willing to play under the terms of his current contract. That deal calls for $950,000 this season and $1.15 million in 2006.
Our View
You may be stunned to learn that Droughns' agent is Drew Rosenhaus, who appears to be going after NFL history by holding out every single one of the players he represents. Droughns certainly didn't make any friends amongst the Browns' new administration with his little stunt, but perhaps he has returned in time to limit the damage. Given the offseason shenanigans, Droughs will likely enter training camp behind Lee Suggs on the depth chart.

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May 17, 2005 1:29 PM ET
Ravens: Moore sprains neck
The News
Wide receiver Clarence Moore, slated to be the Ravens' No. 3 wideout this season, suffered a sprained neck on the first day of the team's voluntary passing camp. He is considered day-to-day.
Our View
With Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton likely clamping down the starting spots, Moore will have to contend with Randy Hymes, Devard Darling, and Patrick Johnson for playing time. He shouldn't be out long enough to lose significant ground in that battle.

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May 17, 2005 1:15 PM ET
Titans: Schulters won't participate in minicamp
The News
Safety Lance Schulters won't participate in the Titans' minicamp this week, in part because he isn't fully recovered from the foot injury he suffered last season. Schulters is also potentially a June 1 salary cap casualty, as he is scheduled to be a $4.2 million hit against the Titans' cap this season. "We are going to hold him out until his fate is decided one way or another," Schulter's agent told The Tennessean. "I don't think it is in anyone's better interest for him to partake in the activities."
Our View
The two sides are hoping to renegotiate Schulters' deal, but the Titans have Lamont Thompson waiting in the wings if Schulters is released. However, fellow safety Tank Williams isn't all the way back from a knee injury, and his status for training camp is up in the air, and the Titans lost both starting cornerbacks as well, so Schulters' veteran presence would certainly be welcome in the Tennessee secondary.

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May 17, 2005 12:34 PM ET
Jaguars: Jones will sit out minicamp
The News
Rookie wide receiver Matt Jones will sit out the Jaguars' three-day passing camp to rest the strained hamstring he suffered during the April minicamp. Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio told the Florida Times-Union that the team doesn't want to rush their top pick back.
Our View
While it would be nice for Jones to start getting some reps at his new position, the Jags are obviously erring on the side of caution. The team will work out three days a week for four of the next five weeks, so once Jones is ready he'll have ample opportunity to get acquainted with his teammates and his new position.

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May 17, 2005 12:24 PM ET
Colts: James skips summer school
The News
Running back Edgerrin James was a no-show when the Colts opened their four-week voluntary summer school, but no one seemed particularly surprised or worried. "I know Edgerrin's down in Miami, probably one of the most physically-fit athletes in the National Football League," teammate Peyton Manning told the Indianapolis Star. Colts coach Tony Dungy added that while he has not spoken to James recently, he expects him to be on hand for the three-day mandatory minicamp which starts Friday.
Our View
James is under contract for the 2005 season after signing the franchise tender in March. He historically does his offseason work in Florida, venturing north only for mandatory workouts, so there's no reason to start worrying about a holdout just yet. Then again, his agent is Drew Rosenhaus…

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May 17, 2005 12:05 PM ET
Vikings: Williams skips minicamp
The News
Vikings' cornerback Brian Williams did not attend the team's minicamp on Monday. He is upset that the team demoted him to the nickel back role after giving his starting job to free agent signee Fred Smoot. Williams' agent Jordan Feagan conceded that his client chose not to attend, but assured the Star Tribune that the three-year veteran "will be ready for training camp." Williams logged 74 tackles and two interceptions last season.
Our View
After performing well as a starter during his sophomore season, Williams took a step back last year. He's still young enough that he could become a very good cornerback, but his demotion to the nickel back role will likely prevent him from making a big fantasy impact this season in leagues that award points for individual defensive players.

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May 17, 2005 11:57 AM ET
Texans: Joppru could miss third straight season
The News
Texans hard-luck tight end Bennie Joppru suffered what appears to be a torn ACL during Monday's workout, which could mean a third straight season on injured reserve. Joppru was injured attempting to make a cut during an on-field coaching session and had to be helped from the field. An MRI is scheduled for today.
Our View
The Texans' second-round pick in 2003 has missed each of his first two NFL seasons with a lingering groin injury. He was expected to contend for a starting job during training camp, as the former Michigan Wolverine offers a blocking-pass catching combo unmatched by the Texans' other tight ends.

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May 17, 2005 11:52 AM ET
Vikings: Smith returns to practice
The News
Vikings' running back Onterrio Smith practiced with the team on Monday for the first time since airport police discovered a kit used to circumvent drug tests in his luggage. "The decision about Onterrio's (eligibility) is going to be made in offices a lot bigger than mine," Vikings' offensive coordinator Steve Loney told the Star Tribune. "The league will do what it's going to do. My job is to coach the guys who are in the room. If they're in the room, I'm going to put them out on the field." Smith did not speak with the media on Monday.
Our View
The league is still investigating the Original Whizzinator incident and has yet to decide whether it will count as Smith's third violation of the substance abuse policy. It appears doubtful the league will actually suspend Onterrio over this incident, as he did not use the kit during an actual test. However, Smith is clearly in the doghouse of Vikings' head coach Mike Tice following his latest incident, and he's only one more violation away from being suspended for an entire season.

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May 17, 2005 11:41 AM ET
Packers: Coston signs rookie deal
The News
The Packers signed fifth-round draft pick Junius Coston on Monday. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Coston's agent is claiming that his client signed a five-year deal. Financial terms of the former North Carolina A&T offensive lineman's deal have not been disclosed. Coston is the cousin of Packers' tight end David Martin.
Our View
Coston became the second member of the 2005 draft class to sign a rookie contract, behind only Rams' defensive back Jerome Carter. The Packers are light on guards after losing free agents Marco Rivera and Mike Wahle during the offseason, so Coston should make the roster in training camp.

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May 17, 2005 11:37 AM ET
Rams: Williams to backup Manumaleuna
The News
When the Rams signed free agent Roland Williams in March, they did so with the intention of using him as the No. 2 tight end behind starter Brandon Manumaleuna. Head coach Mike Martz believes Williams could be a key contributor in the ground game. "Roland was a terrific point-of-attack tight end for us," Martz told Tuesday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch of Williams, who rejoined the team on March 9. Martz added that Williams presence "makes us bigger and stronger in the running game."
Our View
Roland hasn't caught a pass since the 2002 season, so fantasy owners should ignore him on draft day. However, he could be a key blocker for Steven Jackson, who has been named the starting running back over Marshall Faulk.

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May 17, 2005 11:18 AM ET
Saints: Brown misses coaching session
The News
Saints' cornerback Fakhir Brown did not attend the team's first coaching session workout on Monday. "I don't know where he is," Saints' head coach Jim Haslett told the New Orleans Times-Picayune of Brown. "His agent doesn't know where he is. We haven't been able to find him. I don't know what the problem is, if there is one." Brown logged 54 tackles and two interceptions last season.
Our View
The Saints haven't ruled out the possibility that Brown simply forgot that the coaching sessions were scheduled to begin. The fact that Brown's agent isn't sure where his client was during the session is a good indication that his absence has nothing to do with a contract problem. Fakhir is penciled in as one of the team's starting cornerbacks, so we will continue to keep you posted on his whereabouts as more information is released.

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May 17, 2005 11:08 AM ET
Buccaneers: Lewis earns contract
The News
The Buccaneers signed former North Carolina running back Jacque Lewis on Tuesday. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed. The team's official website reports that Lewis won over the coaches with his performance during the team's recent rookie and first-year minicamp, for which he had been signed to a tryout contract. Lewis rushed for 7.5 yards per carry last season for the Tar Heels.
Our View
Lewis will have a tough time earning a spot on the roster given the presence of starter Carnell Williams, and backups Michael Pittman and Charlie Garner. Even if he does make the team, we do not expect Lewis to have any fantasy value this season.

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May 17, 2005 11:00 AM ET
Panthers: Sauerbrun deal still being discussed
The News
The agent of Panthers' punter Todd Sauerbrun said he still expects his client to be traded to the Broncos despite recent reports that suggested the deal was dead. "I absolutely think it's going to get done," agent David Canter told the Rock Hill Herald on Monday. "I think it's going to get done, because it's in the best interest of the Denver Broncos, it's in the best interest of the Carolina Panthers, and it's in the best interest of Todd Sauerbrun." The Broncos have offered a seventh-round pick in exchange for the veteran punter.
Our View
Rumors surfaced late last week that the deal was off because Sauerbrun asked the Broncos to renegotiate his contract and pay him bonus money. Canter has countered by saying that he simply wants to convert the balance of his client's deal into a signing bonus, which could actually save Denver some salary cap space. The Panthers have no interest in keeping Sauerbrun, who has been identified as one of three current and former players who obtained illegal muscle enhancing drugs from a South Carolina physician, and will most likely release him on June 2 if they can't trade him before then.

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May 17, 2005 9:48 AM ET
Bills: Jaguars a possibility for Henry?
The News
A report in the Buffalo News indicates the Jacksonville Jaguars may have an interest in acquiring Bills' backup running back Travis Henry. A paragraph buried in an "Inside the NFL" column in Sunday's edition of the newspaper indicated that the Jags are very concerned about Fred Taylor's knee injury. The report states further that Jaguars offensive coordinator Carl Smith has raised the possibility that Fred may not play at all this year. Taylor had arthroscopic surgery on his knee in January, and the team has already said he will be out of action through June, at least.
Our View
While this report is pure speculation, it raises some interesting questions. First, this is the first we've heard about the possibility of Taylor missing the season, which seems odd since it was reported in a Buffalo newspaper, rather than by anyone covering the Jags full-time. Additionally, Jags head coach Jack Del Rio has previously stated that he expects Taylor to be 100 percent for training camp. Second, if Taylor is out the Jags probably need a proven runner, rather than going to battle with a mediocre supporting cast of LaBrandon Toefiled, Greg Jones, and Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala. There is some question about whether the Bills would feel comfortable sending Henry to an AFC playoff competitor as well. The only obvious conclusion we can draw is that the Bills are still trying to jettison the unhappy Henry before the season.