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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
    RamWraith is offline Registered User
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    Around the League 5-24-05

    Newsbreakers Recap

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    May 23, 2005 1:30 PM ET
    Bears: Clark sidelined by ankle injury
    The News
    Bears' tight end Desmond Clark wore a walking boot on his right ankle while sitting out of the team's minicamp workouts over the weekend. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the six-year veteran, who suffered the injury last week, should be ready to return in time for training camp. Clark finished last season with 24 receptions for 282 yards and one touchdown.
    Our View
    Desmond's numbers suffered due to the absence of quarterback Rex Grossman, who missed all but three games last season. Clark is not currently listed in our offseason rankings of the top-15 fantasy tight ends.

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    May 23, 2005 12:59 PM ET
    Vikings: No interest expressed in Edinger
    The News
    The Vikings were expected to be among the teams that would attempt to sign free agent kicker Paul Edinger, who was released by the Bears on Sunday. However, Edinger's agent claims that team officials have not returned his calls. "When the Bears gave us permission to talk to other teams a couple of weeks ago, I put calls in to five to seven teams that I thought had some level of interest," agent Ken Harris told the Star Tribune. "The Vikings never called back. I don't know where their interest is now." In 2003, the Vikings signed Edinger to a five-year, $7 million contract tender, which was matched by the Bears.
    Our View
    Although one phone call to Edinger's agent could change everything, it appears the Vikings are once again banking on kicker Aaron Elling. The Vikings actually released Elling after he got off to a bad start last year, but team officials have been impressed with the improvement he's shown during the offseason workouts.

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    May 23, 2005 12:48 PM ET
    Packers: Favre working with a personal trainer
    The News
    Packers' quarterback Brett Favre might not be attending the team's offseason workouts, but that doesn't mean he's not working out. The 14-year veteran has been working with a personal trainer for the past month. "I told him I wanted to have more endurance in games," Favre told the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "I don't want to run a play or scramble around say it's a play that takes longer than normal and I exhaust more energy and not be ready to go on the next play." Favre finished last season with 4,088 passing yards and 30 touchdown passes.
    Our View
    Favre's fantasy owners will be happy to know that he also conceded that he hopes the workout sessions will prolong his career. In other words, anyone who considers it a lock that Brett will retire after this season should think again. That said, it's a good thing that Favre is working to increase his stamina, as he might do more running than usual now that the team has lost both starting guards from last season. Brett currently ranks as the No. 5 quarterback in our offseason rankings.

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    May 23, 2005 12:26 PM ET
    Bears: Jones mum on Benson
    The News
    Bears' running back Thomas Jones refused to speak with the media at the team's minicamp workout this weekend. In fact, he has been silent ever since the Bears selected Cedric Benson with the No. 4 overall pick in April's draft. "As would be the case with anybody, when they draft a guy at your position in the first round, it's a difficult thing at first," running backs coach Tim Spencer told the Chicago Sun-Times on Sunday. "Thomas has been professional. He said he's going to work hard and he's not going to go out there and lie down." Jones rushed for 948 yards and seven touchdowns last season.
    Our View
    We're not surprised to learn that Jones is unhappy the Bears elected to select Benson in the first round of last month's draft. After all, he signed a four-year, $10 million contract with the team prior to last season, and then produced solid numbers during his first season with the team. Jones is expected to enter training camp listed as the No. 1 running back on the depth chart, but it's hard to believe that the Bears intend to leave the No. 4 overall pick on the bench this season.

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    May 23, 2005 11:42 AM ET
    Eagles: Lewis wants to return
    The News
    Free agent tight end Chad Lewis wants to continue his playing career with the Eagles. However, the 33 year-old tight end is still recovering from surgery on his right foot. "It has been a long process, and everything is going real well," Lewis told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "The whole rehab has gone well. I've worked extremely hard this offseason. I had two goals and they were to spend as much time as I possibly could with my family and to get my body 100 percent healthy." Lewis logged 29 receptions for 267 yards and three touchdowns last season.
    Our View
    Eagles' officials are said to be interested in re-signing Lewis, but they will wait to see how his foot heals before offering him a contract. L.J. Smith is expected to be the Eagles' starting tight end regardless of whether the team re-signs Lewis.

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    May 23, 2005 11:14 AM ET
    Browns: Winslow caught on tape
    The News
    Surveillance video captured Browns tight end Kellen Winslow performing wheelies and "endos" in a parking lot and led police to charge him with operating his motorcycle in willful or wanton disregard of safety, a minor misdemeanor. "He was caught on tape attempting this dangerous stunts, so it was clear to us that this was more than just negligence or failure to maintain control of his vehicle," Westlake Police Lt. Ray Arcuri told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "We definitely felt he was being reckless." The accident in which Winslow crashed his cycle and apparently tore his right ACL was not caught on tape.
    Our View
    Winslow stands to lose between $5.7 and $10 million because he violated the terms of his contract with the Browns and they could seek to recoup money already paid. And while neither he nor the Browns have made it official, several published sources have indicated his torn ACL will force him to miss the 2005 season. But hey, that endo was really cool; if Super Dave Osborne ever needs a stand-in, he knows who to turn to.

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    May 23, 2005 11:12 AM ET
    Patriots: Brown back in town
    The News
    Troy Brown has agreed to a one-year deal and will return to the Patriots for the 2005 season. According to the Boston Herald, Brown turned down a more lucrative offer from the Saints, who would have made him their No. 3 receiver, to stay with the Pats for just under $1 million. The Patriots released Brown in February to avoid having to pay him a $2.5 million bonus.
    Our View
    Brown has missed 10 games over the last three years due to injury and has gradually seen his role in the offense diminished. In fact, a year ago he made more noise playing defensive back in a banged-up Patriots' secondary than he did catching passes from Tom Brady. He still has talent and could re-claim the slot receiver job, but he'll have to battle Bethel Johnson for that honor and, regardless, will still be well behind Deion Branch and David Givens in the pecking order. Barring injury to Branch or Givens, Brown has very little fantasy value.

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    May 23, 2005 11:11 AM ET
    Seahawks: Howell close to signing
    The News
    The Seahawks appear to be on the verge of signing free agent safety John Howell, according to the Tampa Tribune. The four-year veteran has spent his entire career with the Buccaneers. Howell logged 25 tackles in 16 games last season.
    Our View
    The Hawks seem to have a thing for former Buccaneers, as Howell would be the third free agent to leave Tampa for Seattle during the offseason. The Bucs have interest in re-signing Howell, but their salary cap issues will probably prevent them from making a strong counteroffer. If Howell joins the Hawks, he would likely serve as a backup for starting safeties Michael Boulware and Ken Hamlin.

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    May 23, 2005 10:58 AM ET
    *****: Peterson on the mend
    The News
    *****' linebacker Julian Peterson's recovery from an Achilles tendon tear is going well enough that he might be cleared to practice without restrictions before training camp opens in July. "I can do pretty much all the cuts right now, and I'm running and working on my endurance," Peterson told the Contra Costa Times. "There's no paid and no stress on it." Peterson started five games last season before suffering the injury.
    Our View
    Before the injury, Peterson was considered a top-10 linebacker in fantasy leagues that award points for individual players. However, fantasy owners should pay close attention to him during the preseason. In addition to the injury concern, he will also be playing in a 3-4 defensive alignment for the first time in his career, and it remains to be seen what effect the switch might have on his numbers.

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    May 23, 2005 10:58 AM ET
    Bengals: Demers cut
    The News
    The Bengals released rookie fullback Rich Demers over the weekend.
    Our View
    Demers, an undrafted rookie free agent from Massachusetts, spent almost three weeks on the Bengals' roster.

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    May 23, 2005 10:51 AM ET
    Ravens: Suggs trial set for June 13
    The News
    Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs will go to trial June 13 on two counts of aggravated assault. The charges stem from a fight in a Phoenix parking lot following a basketball tournament in March 2003. The trial will force Suggs to miss the Ravens' minicamp that begins that week.
    Our View
    Suggs had contemplated changing his "not guilty" plea, but opted to go to trial instead. His potential absence from a June minicamp shouldn't impact his availability for the start of the season.

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    May 23, 2005 10:49 AM ET
    *****: Lloyd launches rap career
    The News
    *****' wide receiver Brandon Lloyd has recorded a rap album. "I'm trying to show people what it is to be in my shoes, who I am, what I do," Lloyd told the Mercury News of his second career. The third-year receiver admits that his main profession eliminates some of the material other rappers use. "I can't talk about drugs and shooting people," he said. "That's not what I'm doing. So I rap about my experiences and traveling and just hanging out." Lloyd will release the material under the name B.Lloyd.
    Our View
    Fantasy owners are hopeful that Lloyd will have more to rap about next offseason after he finishes his third season. Brandon is not listed in our top-40 offseason wide receiver rankings, nor do we expect his album to crack the top-40 charts.

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    May 23, 2005 10:45 AM ET
    Colts: Hagler out
    The News
    Colts rookie linebacker Tyjuan Hagler will miss at least the next three months after undergoing hernia surgery. Hagler participated in the rookie minicamp and had hoped to postpone surgery, but further examination revealed a muscle tear. "They told me I wouldn't even make it through the preseason," Hagler told the Indianapolis Star.
    Our View
    Hagler was expected to compete for the backup middle linebacker job behind Gary Brackett. His absence depletes the Colts' already thin linebacking corps and could necessitate the resigning of Rob Morris, a four-year Colts starter who was not re-signed this offseason. Strong-side linebacker Kendyll Pope and rookie free agent Dominique Sims took reps at the middle spot for Indy during their most recent minicamp.

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    May 23, 2005 10:33 AM ET
    Buccaneers: Martin arrested
    The News
    Buccaneers' offensive tackle Matt Martin was arrested on Sunday morning in Tampa. The Tampa Tribune reports that the 25 year-old veteran received a misdemeanor charge of obstructing or opposing an officer without violence. He was released later in the day after posting $500 bond. Martin signed a one-year contract with the Bucs last month after spending three seasons with the Titans.
    Our View
    Martin was hardly considered a lock to make the team, and his legal troubles won't help his cause. He has only appeared in one game during his three-year career, and he missed last season with a shoulder injury. In other words, he is a fringe player who can't afford to make these types of mistake off the field if he hopes to continue playing.


  2. #2
    HUbison's Avatar
    HUbison is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Around the League 5-24-05

    Let's see here. Your team finished dead last this past season. Your offense was decimated and will be looking to a rookie to lead the rebirth. Your running game is far from impressive, so your passing game will have to be dominant. Your FO has improved your O-line to help the aforementioned rookie QB. Your TE is busting his butt and playing way above his talent level to try and make this team better. And knowing all of this how do you spend your offseason to prepare yourself to be the team's go-to receiver?
    *****' wide receiver Brandon Lloyd has recorded a rap album.
    Un-freakin'-believable!
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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