Newsbreakers Recap

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May 5, 2005 8:59 PM ET
Saints: Horn signs a six-year extension
The News
Wide receiver Joe Horn signed a six-year contract extension with the Saints on Thursday afternoon that will pay him $42 million, including a $7 million signing bonus. A press conference will be held on Friday to announce the deal. "I'm glad it's finally over," Horn told ESPN's John Clayton on Thursday. "There has been a lot of prayer waiting for this. There has been a lot of work and dedication to get this done. I'm happy and thankful." Last season, Horn finished second in the league with 1,399 receiving yards and caught 11 touchdown passes.
Our View
Now Horn will finally be able to afford some more daytime minutes on his cell phone plan, so he won't need to call people during prime-time games. He is coming off his best fantasy season ever and we expect another set of good numbers year from him this year, despite the fact he has to catch passes from Aaron Brooks.

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May 5, 2005 8:32 PM ET
Titans: White coming to Music City
The News
The Titans signed 2003 Heisman Trophy winner Jason White to a contract on Thursday. He had tried out for a spot on the Chiefs' roster during a minicamp last week but wasn't offered a contract. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
Our View
White will spend his summer learning from Steve McNair and Billy Volek. He may see some action during the preseason, but he has no fantasy value.

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May 5, 2005 8:25 PM ET
Panthers: Fields will miss the entire season
The News
The Panthers will be without Mark Fields in 2005 because the linebacker is experiencing a recurrence of his Hodgkin's disease. He was first diagnosed with the disease in 2003 and missed the entire season, but returned last year to earn a Pro Bowl birth. "Mark is obviously disappointed that he will be unable to play next year, but he has every confidence that this course of chemotherapy will be successful," his agent, Jim Steiner, told the Associated Press. "Mark would like everyone to know that he considers this 'blip' in his recovery a minor setback and that his expectations are to return to the field for the 2006 season."
Our View
Fields and teammates Sam Mills both battled cancer during the 2003 season and were inspirations for a team that made it all the way to the Super Bowl. Fields won't have Mills by his side this time, but we're sure that he will again be a source of strength for the Panthers' players. Carolina's front office added linebackers Chris Graffe via free agency and Tom Davis through the draft in anticipation that Fields wouldn't be able to play this year. Davis is the favorite to win the starting job, but Graffe will challenge him for it during training camp.

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May 5, 2005 4:56 PM ET
Buccaneers: Heller signs one-year deal
The News
The Buccaneers re-signed restricted free agent tight end Will Heller to a one-year contract tender on Wednesday. The deal is worth $380,000, the minimum for a third-year player, according to the St. Petersburg Times. The 24 year-old logged 12 receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown last season.
Our View
Heller will compete for playing time during training camp with Anthony Becht, Dave Moore, and third-round draft pick Alex Smith. Becht is expected to win the starting job, and Smith should also get some playing time, which means Heller faces an uphill battle for playing time.

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May 5, 2005 1:55 PM ET
Seahawks: Jackson skips minicamp
The News
Seahawks' wide receiver Darrell Jackson is not taking part in the team's voluntary minicamp this week. Jackson's agent told the Tacoma News-Tribune that his client is traveling on personal business this week, and added that Jackson remains fully committed to the team.
Our View
Jackson signed a six-year, $25 million contract with the Seahawks prior to last season. Unless he's pulling a Terrell Owens, it's hard to imagine him sitting out in protest of a deal he signed just last year. Remember, Jackson has only missed voluntary workouts thus far. We'll continue to update his status as more information becomes available.

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May 5, 2005 1:08 PM ET
Packers: Sharper rips Favre
The News
Vikings' safety Darren Sharper had harsh words for former teammate Brett Favre on Wednesday. Upon learning that the Packers' quarterback criticized teammate Javon Walker for not attending a recent minicamp, Sharper took his turn on the soapbox. "What's going on with the minicamps and whether or not Javon's there Brett wasn't at minicamp so it really doesn't make a difference who is there," Sharper told Sirius Radio. "He wasn't there, so he shouldn't have anything to say about Javon not being there." Sharper and Favre were teammates for eight seasons in Green Bay.
Our View
It's hard to argue with Shaper's statement, as Favre was criticizing a teammate for not attending a workout that he didn't even attend. That being said, Favre's primary concern seemed to be that Walker's holdout would extend into training camp, which is a possibility since the wideout is one of several clients that agent Drew Rosenhaus is encouraging to hold out for better contracts.

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May 5, 2005 12:43 PM ET
Seahawks: Mili skips minicamp
The News
Seahawks' tight end Itula Mili is not taking part in the team's voluntary minicamp this week. "It's totally bogus what Itula did to those guys and if he was here to see it, I think he would handle things differently," Seahawks' quarterback Matt Hasselbeck told the Tacoma News-Tribune on Wednesday.
Our View
Mili signed a four-year, $6 million contract extension last month, so his absence from the team workouts is puzzling. He is expected to split playing time with Jerramy Stevens this season, which limits his fantasy potential.

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May 5, 2005 12:35 PM ET
Redskins: Hasselbeck released
The News
The Redskins released veteran quarterback Tim Hasselbeck on Wednesday. "As an organization, we think the world of Tim," Redskins' head coach Joe Gibbs told the ESPN website. "We love what he did for us while he was here." Hasselbeck appeared in seven games over the last two seasons.
Our View
Hasselbeck must have been a great clipboard holder, because he never took a snap during a regular season game once Gibbs came to town. Matt's brother became the odd man out in Washington once the team selected Jason Campbell with the No. 25 overall pick in the first round of last month's draft. Campbell is expected to assume Hasselbeck's former role as the No. 3 signal caller behind starter Patrick Ramsey and overpaid veteran bum Mark Brunell.

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May 5, 2005 11:55 AM ET
Steelers: Ward won't hold out while negotiating extension
The News
Last year at this time, Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward was contemplating a hold out as he sought a reworking of his contract, which expires after the 2005 season. This year, Ward is leaving the negotiations to his agent while focusing on playing football. "There's nothing I can do," Ward told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "It's out of my control. I still have to go out and perform. I'll let my agent and the Steelers talk about my contract."
Our View
Steelers president Art Rooney has vowed to make a contract extension for Ward a priority as the receiver approaches most of the franchise receiving records, and Ward has stated he wants to retire a Steeler. Now if they can just agree that Ward is worthy of the Marvin Harrison-type contract he's seeking, this deal will get done quickly.

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May 5, 2005 11:48 AM ET
Giants: Whitfield signs one-year deal
The News
The Giants signed free agent offensive tackle Bob Whitfield on Wednesday. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, although it is believed that the 13-year veteran signed a one-year contract worth the veteran minimum. "Left tackles are just not easy to find at any level," Giants' general manager Ernie Accorsi told the New York Post. "He's just a smart professional who protects us at that position." Whitfield spent 12 seasons with the Falcons before joining the Jaguars last year.
Our View
Whitfield will enter training camp as the backup for starter Luke Petitgout, who struggled last season and has battled lower back problems throughout his career. Bob might not have much gas left in the tank, but he is still a serviceable backup player who might even steal some playing time from Petitgout.

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May 5, 2005 11:40 AM ET
Titans: Reyes added to backfield mix
The News
The Titans signed undrafted free agent running back Walter Reyes, who will compete for the potentially lucrative fantasy job of backing up oft-injured starter Chris Brown.
Our View
Reyes was a stud as Syracuse underclassman, rushing for 2,482 yards and 37 touchdowns in his sophomore and junior years. Injuries kept his numbers down as a senior, but he was hardly a secret, as he fielded free agent offers from five other teams in addition to the Titans. He'll join a backfield mix that currently includes fifth-round pick Damien Nash from Missouri, fellow undrafted rookie free agents Charles Anthony from Tennessee State and Terry Jackson from Southern Illinois, and NFL Europe participants Jarrett Payton and Joe Smith.

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May 5, 2005 11:19 AM ET
Redskins: Moss agrees to six-year extension
The News
The Redskins followed through on their promise to offer wide receiver Santana Moss a contract extension. The ESPN website reports that Moss agreed to a six-year, $31 million contract with his new team on Wednesday. Santana was scheduled to play for $540,000 this season under the terms of his old contract. The 25 year-old receiver was traded by the Jets to the Redskins in exchange for Laveranues Coles back in March.
Our View
One down and many to go for agent Drew Rosenhaus, who represents Moss and several other wide receivers who are currently holding out in hopes of securing better deals. Now that Moss has signed, he is expected to begin working out with his new teammates on Thursday.

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May 5, 2005 11:04 AM ET
Cowboys: Vollers signs tender
The News
The Buccaneers' re-signed offensive tackle Kurt Vollers to a one-year contract tender on Wednesday, according to the Dallas Morning News. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Vollers started three games at right tackle for the Cowboys last season.
Our View
Vollers is a flexible player who has experience at both tackle positions. He is currently penciled in as the starting right tackle, but Kurt needs to have a good training camp to maintain that status during the regular season.

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May 5, 2005 10:55 AM ET
Buccaneers: Gruden likes Ike
The News
The Buccaneers' search for a veteran wide receiver is expected to come to an end on Thursday when Ike Hilliard signs a one-year contract. "We're 99.9 percent of the way there," Hilliard's agent Neil Schwartz told the Tampa Tribune. "It'll be 100 percent by Thursday. We think it's a great opportunity for Ike to play for a coach like Jon Gruden who loves to throw the ball." In eight years with the Giants, Hilliard logged 368 receptions for 4,630 yards and 27 touchdowns.
Our View
Once he signs, Ike will assume the role of No. 3 receiver behind starters Michael Clayton and Joey Galloway. The 29 year-old wideout is coming off his least productive season since his rookie year in 1997. However, some of his struggles can be attributed to lackluster play of the Giants' quarterbacks.

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May 5, 2005 10:23 AM ET
Patriots: Traylor unhitched
The News
Keith Traylor was released by the Patriots on Wednesday, according to the Boston Globe. The 35-year-old nose tackle started 10 games for the Pats a year ago, recording 33 tackles.
Our View
The veteran became expendable with the emergence of last year's first-round pick, Vince Wilfork, in the middle of the Patriots' defensive line. As primarily a run-stuffer and space-filler under tackle, neither Traylor nor Wilfork had any fantasy value in IDP leagues.

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May 5, 2005 10:15 AM ET
Dolphins: McMichael won't hold out
The News
Despite the fact that he has openly griped about wanting a contract extension, Randy McMichael told the Miami Herald he won't hold out if his demands aren't met. The tight end, who is represented by agent Drew Rosenhaus, will be in the final year of his contract this season and has reportedly had contract discussions with the Dolphins. "Why would I want to hold out? What does that prove? What is that going to prove to anybody, by holding out? I love playing this game. I don't want to be away from it. That's not even in the back of my mind at all," McMichael told the Herald.
Our View
Considering that McMichael is represented by Rosenhaus and that receivers like Terrell Owens and Javon Walker are threatening holdouts, this is a good sign. Don't expect McMichael's contract situation to be a distraction this season