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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Around the League 5-25-05

    Newsbreakers Recap

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    May 24, 2005 6:40 PM ET
    Vikings: Edinger staying in the division
    The News
    The Vikings signed kicker Paul Edinger on Tuesday afternoon, two days after the five-year veteran was cut by the Bears. ESPN's Len Pasquarelli is reporting that he inked a one-year deal, but financial terms of the package were not disclosed. Edinger signed an offer sheet with the Vikings as a restricted free agent following the 2003 season, but the Bears matched it and keep his services.
    Our View
    It took two years, but the Vikings finally got the kicker they coveted. Dinger wore out his welcome in the Windy City by putting together a pair of sub-par seasons and would have been owed a base salary of over $1 million in each of the next three years. The Vikings are hoping that a fresh start and indoor home will do the trick and allow him to turn his career around. He'll compete with Aaron Elling for the starting job in training camp, but expect the gig to be his come September and Elling to be the kickoff specialist or commencing his yearly quest for a job with another team.

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    May 24, 2005 2:49 PM ET
    Browns: Jim Brown trying to help Winslow fix image
    The News
    Browns Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown, who has taken on an official role with the team, is working with tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. to help him repair the damage to his image after Winslow injured himself in a motorcycle accident earlier this month. Brown's plan for Winslow will start with a statement to the media sometime around the first weekend of June. "The purpose is to really have Kellen Jr. really state to the fans and the organization his remorse about the mistake he made—and there's no question that a mistake was made," Brown told the Akron Beacon Journal. "We in turn want to support him in his recovery and not beat him up when he's down."
    Our View
    Though the Winslow family has not allowed any medical information to be released, it is believed that K2 suffered a torn ACL and will miss the entire 2005 season. The situation has been particularly tough for the new Browns' regime, who had hoped to start with a clean slate after getting rid of former coach Butch Davis but whose hands have been tied by the Winslows' right to privacy. More than a small faction of Browns' fans have called for the club to flat-out release Winslow, so some sort of public statement would be a step in the right direction towards getting the Chosen One back in the Dawg Pound's good graces. Of course, a little on-field time would be a bigger step, but we won't likely see that until 2006.

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    May 24, 2005 2:30 PM ET
    Dolphins: Traylor pulls into Miami
    The News
    The Dolphins signed Keith Traylor to a two-year deal on Monday, according to the Miami Herald. The defensive tackle was recently let go by the Patriots, and the Dolphins may lose current starting defensive lineman Tim Bowens to retirement due to a chronically bad back.
    Our View
    Traylor is a space-filler and run-stuffer, just like Bowens was when healthy. He should solidify the Dolphins' defensive line, but has no fantasy value in IDP leagues.

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    May 24, 2005 1:29 PM ET
    Buccaneers: Howell wants to stay
    The News
    The Seahawks have offered free agent safety John Howell a contract. However, due to salary cap issues, Howell isn't allowed to sign the deal until after June 1. In the meantime, he is giving the Buccaneers, for whom he has played the last for years, a chance to match the offer. "I would love to stay here in Tampa because my family loves it here and we've made a home here," Howell told the Tampa Tribune on Monday. "But I've always known that (moving on) was part of the business." Howell has appeared in 58 games for the Bucs over the last four seasons.
    Our View
    The big question is whether the Bucs have enough salary cap space to re-sign the four-year veteran. Team officials have indicated that they would like to keep Howell in the fold, but even they admit that the cap could prevent that from happening. Howell has also received interest from the Bills, *****, Cowboys, and Browns, but he appears to have narrowed his choices down to Seattle or Tampa Bay.

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    May 24, 2005 1:18 PM ET
    Broncos: Sauerbrun pleads guilty
    The News
    Broncos punter Todd Sauerbrun, acquired in a trade from the Panthers last week, pleaded guilty to DUI charges Monday. Sauerbrun was given a year of unsupervised probation and fined $100. Other charges, including speeding and driving with a revoked license, were dismissed, though the judge ordered Sauerbrun not to drive in North Carolina for 30 days.
    Our View
    Fanball could not confirm rumors that the judge also slapped Sauerbrun on the wrist and made him say he was really, really sorry. The trade to Denver should make it easier for Sauerbrun not to drive in the Tar Heel State, but that unsupervised probation could cause some headaches. As for the $100 fine, we'll see if there's an address you can forward your donations to.

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    May 24, 2005 1:13 PM ET
    Broncos: Rice contemplating offer
    The News
    Wide receiver Jerry Rice is considering an offer to join the Denver Broncos for his 21st NFL season. "Jerry is flying back from Mississippi today and he's thinking about his options," Rice's agent, Jim Steiner, told the Denver Post Monday. "I expect him to make a decision soon."
    Our View
    The greatest wide receiver in NFL history is not guaranteed a roster spot and would likely be the Broncos' second or third receiver at best. While his contributions as a mentor to the likes of Ashley Lelie, Darius Watts, and Nate Jackson would be priceless, the 42-year-old Rice could also siphon valuable looks from Lelie and Rod Smith, taking a bit out of their fantasy value.

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    May 24, 2005 1:11 PM ET
    Steelers: Roethlisberger's reins loosened
    The News
    After running the ball on 61 percent of their offensive snaps last season with a rookie quarterback at the helm for much of the year, the Steelers plan to take to the air more frequently in 2005. "Certainly, we want to run the football, that's our identity," Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "But I think we'll be able to do a few more things throwing the football this year, especially on first and second down, and I think that will even help us run the ball better."
    Our View
    With nearly a full NFL season of experience, quarterback Ben Roethslisberger will be asked to do more than simply not lose games this season. Big Ben has been working out at the Steelers' training facility since February, a big change over last season when he spent training camp and the first three weeks as the team's No. 3 signal-caller. Whisenhunt noted that Roethlisberger is more comfortable going through his progressions and his reads, which will help him combat the array of zone defenses he struggled against at the end of last season.

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    May 24, 2005 12:58 PM ET
    Browns: Boulware interested in Cleveland
    The News
    Free agent linebacker Peter Boulware told the Cleveland Plain Dealer Monday he would be interested in playing for the Browns this season. "I'd love to be reunited with (Browns GM] Phil [Savage]," Boulware told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "Phil was great for us in Baltimore and he'll be a great general manager for the Browns."
    Our View
    The Browns have yet to schedule a visit for Boulware, who claims to have drawn interest from nearly half the league. In addition to the Browns, the Texans, Seahawks, and Bengals are believed to be the front-runner for the former Raven's services.

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    May 24, 2005 12:45 PM ET
    Texans: Offense adjusted to keep Carr upright
    The News
    Texans quarterback David Carr has been sacked 140 times in three NFL seasons, and he let it be known at the end of last season that enough is enough. To that end, the Texans have adjusted their offense to help keep Carr from absorbing such a beating. Last week's minicamp unveiled more quick throws and timing routes as well as new pass-blocking schemes—especially on downfield routes, where they plan to keep an extra man in to block. In addition, Texans coach Dom Capers has installed a buzzer at practice to help remind Carr how quickly he needs to get rid of the football. Depending on the route, Carr has 2.6-to-3 seconds to release the ball.
    Our View
    If Carr is focusing on getting rid of the ball more quickly, Domanick Davis could see an uptick in his already productive pass-catching numbers. More time on the deep routes could also help Andre Johnson and whomever emerges as the Texans' long-ball threat between Corey Bradford and rookie Jerome Mathis. The new approach should also allow Carr to stay healthy, which in turn should lead to more productivity.

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    May 24, 2005 12:33 PM ET
    Titans: Troupe injures left foot
    The News
    Titans tight end Ben Troupe suffered a left foot injury during Monday's workout session. He was scheduled for X-rays, but the team has not yet made those results available. Titans coach Jeff Fisher told The Tennessean he didn't think the injury was serious, but Troupe did not return to practice and was wearing a walking boot to protect the injured foot.
    Our View
    Troupe struggled to catch on to the Titans system early last season but finished strong, ranking second to the Redskins' Chris Cooley in receptions among rookie tight ends. He'll battle Erron Kinney for playing time, but Troupe's ability will make him the better pass-catching (and thus fantasy) option of the pair so long as he's healthy.

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    May 24, 2005 12:26 PM ET
    Seahawks: Taylor might be released
    The News
    The Seahawks are considering the possibility of releasing cornerback Bobby Taylor after June 1, according to the Seattle Times. Taylor, who signed with the team as a free agent last season, played sparingly due to a chronically sore right knee. By waiting until after June 1 to release Taylor, the Hawks will lessen the hit they will take to the 2005 salary cap.
    Our View
    Taylor was considered one of the team's key free agent signings last season, but he missed playing time and was outperformed by cornerback Ken Lucas, who signed with the Panthers as a free agent back in March. By releasing Taylor, the Hawks would have enough cap space to sign free agent safety John Howell, assuming the Bucs don't match the offer made by Seattle before June 1.

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    May 24, 2005 11:58 AM ET
    Titans: Calico charged with public indecency
    The News
    Titans wide receiver Tyrone Calico will make a court appearance Thursday stemming from a May 12 incident in which he was cited for public indecency. Calico received the misdemeanor citation after a police officer spotted him unclothed in the back seat of his parked Cadillac Escalade with an 18-year-old female. The police officer was looking into the vehicle because the license plate had expired.
    Our View
    In addition to keeping those plates current, Calico needs to look into getting the tinted window package for his vehicle. We'd like to assume that the flexibility required to pull off the feat Calico was apparently engaged in means his surgically repaired knee is fine, but Escalades are pretty roomy—so we'll wait until Calico returns to the field to make that assessment. Other than that, the girl was a consenting adult and no drugs, alcohol or firearms were involved, so it's all good—except, of course, for the public indecency thing.

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    May 24, 2005 11:50 AM ET
    Redskins: Morton still sidelined
    The News
    Redskins' kick return specialist Chad Morton, who underwent surgery on his ACL last year, has not been cleared to return to practice. The Washington Post reports that the 28 year-old veteran recently visited the surgeon who performed the procedure in hopes of being cleared to return for the team's upcoming offseason workouts.
    Our View
    There is some speculation that the Skins will release Morton after June 1, which would result in $540,000 in salary cap savings this season. Chad still has three-years remaining on his current contract, and his agent is claiming that team officials have given him no indication that a release is in the works. When healthy, Morton is one of the top return men in the game. However, he does not contribute enough offensively to warrant consideration in most fantasy leagues.

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    May 24, 2005 11:49 AM ET
    Vikings: Birk scheduled for another surgery
    The News
    Vikings' center Matt Birk is scheduled to undergo his fourth surgery in nine months. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Birk will have surgery next week to repair a torn labrum in his right hip. "I've had good luck for a long time, so this is just a little bump in the road," Birk told the Pioneer Press. The 28 year-old veteran has undergone three hernia surgeries within the past nine months.
    Our View
    Birk is expected to recover in time for training camp. However, Vikings' officials have to be concerned with the durability of their top offensive lineman and team leader. We will continue to keep you posted on Birk's status throughout the summer.

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    May 24, 2005 11:48 AM ET
    Bears: Shelton to visit
    The News
    The Bears will play host to free agent offensive lineman L.J. Shelton on Tuesday. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Bears would like to move Shelton from offensive tackle to guard, where he would battle Terrence Metcalf and Roberto Garza for playing time. The Bears had engaged in trade talks for Shelton before he was released by the Cardinals earlier this month.
    Our View
    Shelton also has visits scheduled with the Chiefs, Jaguars, and Texans, so he is not a lock to sign with Chi-Town. The Bears' request that he move to guard and compete for playing time might have some effect on his decision, particularly if another team is willing to guarantee him a starting job at offensive tackle.

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    May 24, 2005 11:24 AM ET
    Redskins: Hall close to signing
    The News
    Some reports have indicated that free agent safety Cory Hall signed a one-year deal with the Redskins on Monday. However, the Washington Post reports that an agreement has not been reached, although Hall is scheduled for a workout and physical, which will likely result in the team offering him a contract. The Falcons released Hall back in April.
    Our View
    Hall actually agreed to re-sign with the Falcons, but he no-showed a minicamp workout and claimed that the team had mistakenly negotiated a deal with his former agent rather than person who currently represents him. It appears that his meeting with the team is merely a formality that will result in a contract agreement, assuming the Redskins have been talking with the right agent.

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    May 24, 2005 11:02 AM ET
    Vikings: Edinger being considered
    The News
    One day after the agent for free agent kicker Paul Edinger claimed that the Vikings had not returned his phone calls, team officials said they might have interest in signing the five-year veteran. "All I can say is we're investigating it," Vikings' president of football operations Rob Brzezinski told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "There is some interest." Brzezinski also indicated that the team has been in contact with Edinger's agent. Aaron Elling is currently the leading candidate to assume the kicking duties for the Vikings.
    Our View
    The Vikings signed Edinger to a five-year, $7 million contract tender when he was a restricted free agent back in 2003. The Bears matched that offer, but released Edinger on Sunday after settling in on Doug Brien as their new kicker. Edinger has struggled over the last two years, but he would be an upgrade over the inconsistent Elling. The Titans are also rumored to be in pursuit of Edinger.

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    May 24, 2005 10:41 AM ET
    Bears: McQuarters released
    The News
    The Bears released cornerback R.W. McQuarters on Monday. The news does not come as a surprise, as team officials had been attempting to trade the seven-year veteran due to the $6.5 million salary he was scheduled to earn over the next two years. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Bears will save $1.95 million in salary cap space this season by releasing McQuarters.
    Our View
    Bears' head coach Lovie Smith felt comfortable enough in starting cornerbacks Jerry Azumah and Charles Tillman to unload McQuarters. R.W. should have no problem finding a new home, assuming his salary demands don't exceed his actual value. Wide receiver Bernard Berrian is the leading candidate to take over McQuarters' kick return duties.

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    May 24, 2005 9:38 AM ET
    Dolphins: Ricky's agent sure he'll be in training camp
    The News
    Ricky Williams' agent, Leigh Steinberg, is now saying the running back will "definitely" be in training camp in July, according to the Miami Herald. "He's planning on playing for the Dolphins," Steinberg said. "The details and the process are in [the Dolphins'] court. But let me say that I am optimistic about the process. He's planning on returning." Dolphins camp opens on July 24, but Ricky wouldn't report until the 28th, since the 27th marks the one-year anniversary of his retirement.
    Our View
    By coming back over a year later, Ricky would avoid a mandatory one-year suspension. He will face a fine and a four-game suspension for previous failed drug tests once he returns, plus the Dolphins must work out a way to fit him under the salary cap and to fit him into a backfield that now includes No. 2 overall draft choice Ronnie Brown. Don't go too crazy moving Williams up your fantasy draft boards until more concrete information is known. At best, assuming he stays with the Dolphins, Williams would play only 12 games and share the load with Brown.


  2. #2
    HUbison's Avatar
    HUbison is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Around the League 5-25-05

    Browns: Boulware interested in Cleveland
    I find this one interesting. Seahawk fans already have him penciled in the starting lineup. It'll be worth watching to see where he goes. The Seahawk pass rush is relying on Wistrom and Fisher, and since they are both now without Little on the other side, it's easy to see why the Hawks would be looking for an upgrade at pass rush DE.
    "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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