Newsbreakers Recap

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June 28, 2005 12:22 PM ET
Raiders: Jasper added to defensive line
The News
The Raiders signed free agent defensive tackle Ed Jasper on Tuesday to help bolster a unit that ranked 31st in the league in points allowed (27.6 points per game). Jasper started 12 regular season games and two playoff games for the Falcons last season.
Our View
Most of the moves Oakland made this offseason were on the offensive side of the ball, but their defense was also wretched a year ago. Jasper provides depth on a defensive line that also features Warren Sapp and Ted Washington.

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June 28, 2005 11:47 AM ET
Chiefs: Ambrose, Law on radar screen
The News
The Chiefs remain in the market for a cornerback, and veteran free agents Ashley Ambrose and Ty Law remain possibilities, the Kansas City Star reports. Kansas City lost Julian Battle to a torn Achilles' in minicamps last week, and Battle was filling in for starter Eric Warfield, who is likely to miss a portion of the season due to an NFL suspension.
Our View
Ambrose is more likely because he's recently worked out for the Chiefs, while Law continues to be a mystery with his foot injury and unrealistic contract expectations. The Chiefs have already reinvented themselves on defense, and adding another experienced defensive back can't hurt.

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June 28, 2005 11:35 AM ET
Jets: Lewis, Jones to retire in green
The News
The Jets re-signed linebackers Mo Lewis and Marvin Jones on Monday to allow two of their franchise cornerstones to retire as members of the New York Jets, according to the New York Post. Both are expected to announce their retirement on Tuesday.
Our View
Rumors of a Gang Green group hug could not be confirmed.

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June 28, 2005 11:21 AM ET
Dolphins: Law unlikely to sign on
The News
Former Pro Bowl cornerback Ty Law's free agency tour continues, but the Miami Herald is reporting that a deal with the Dolphins is unlikely. "Now Miami wants me to come back and visit," he told Sports Illustrated's Peter King. "But if you can't afford Patrick Surtain, how can you afford me?" Law is visiting several teams and working out to prove that he is recovered from a Lisfranc fracture that cost him two months last season.
Our View
The Dolphins had hoped Law would take a short-term, relatively inexpensive contract near his home in Plantation, Florida, but Ty hasn't exactly looked at his skills and/or health objectively in recent seasons. Case in point: he's two years older than Surtain, who appeared in 15 games last season. Law is scheduled to work out in Jacksonville on Thursday.

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June 28, 2005 11:14 AM ET
Rams: Curtis earns odd distinction
The News
Rams' wide receiver Kevin Curtis earned unique praise from Falcons' defensive back DeAngelo Hall. "I don't mean to be (politically) incorrect or anything, but (Curtis) has to be the fastest white guy in the league," Hall told the ESPN website. "That cat can really run. You put him in an offense like St. Louis has, along with (Torry) Holt and (Isaac) Bruce, and it's like, 'Okay, pick your poison.'" Curtis finished last season 32 receptions for 421 yards and two touchdowns.
Our View
Curtis is coming off his best season as a pro. Although 10 touchdowns and 1,077 yards is probably a stretch, he could turn out to be the Lite version of Colts' No. 3 receiver Brandon Stokley, who produced those big numbers last season. Holt and Bruce will get most of the looks from quarterback Marc Bulger, so Curtis is a deep sleeper at best.

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June 28, 2005 10:30 AM ET
Titans: Thompson, Hartwig working on long-term deals
The News
Titans general manager Floyd Reese told the Tennessean that he is working on long-term deals with safety Lamont Thompson and center Justin Hartwig. Reese received a proposal from Thompson's agent on Monday, and Hartwig's agent sent in proposal "recently." Both players are under contract for just one more year.
Our View
We've grown used to seeing the cash-strapped Titans kicking people out the door, and it's nice to see them actually working to retain a couple players. We'll let you know if and when Thompson and Hartwig agree to terms.

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June 28, 2005 10:26 AM ET
News: Gramatica has surgery
The News
Free agent kicker Martin Gramatica underwent surgery last week to repair tears in his lower adductor. "It's been a problem for him for about two-and-a-half years," Gramatica's brother Bill told the Tampa Tribune on Tuesday. "But you've never heard Martin complain, and he never used it as an excuse. People knew he was hurt, though." Martin was cut by the Buccaneers last year and later caught on with the Colts.
Our View
We can't help but wonder whether Martin suffered this injury while dancing after a successful field goal conversion. Come to think of it, it's probably been about two-and-a-half years since he made a field goal. Okay, that might be pushing it, but Gramatica has been struggling for the better part of two seasons, which makes us wonder why he waited so long to have surgery.

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June 28, 2005 10:20 AM ET
Panthers: Fields wins Halas Award
The News
Panthers' running back Mark Fields has been named the winner of the Halas Award, which is presented annually to the player or coach who performs with abandon despite injury or personal problems off the field, according to Tuesday's Rock Hill Herald. Fields returned last season after sitting out the 2003 campaign while battling Hodgkin's disease.
Our View
Fields will be sidelined again in 2005 while he receives chemotherapy treatments. He has already established the 2006 season as his target return date. Given the tenacity he showed while working toward making a return last season, no one should rule out another successful comeback for Fields.

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June 28, 2005 9:59 AM ET
Bengals: Takavitz signs two-year deal
The News
The Bengals signed free agent rookie offensive lineman Kyle Takavitz to a two-year deal on Monday. Terms were not disclosed. Takavitz, a two-time captain at the University of Cincinnati and two-time first-team All-Conference USA players, started 38 games over the past three seasons, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. Takavitz ranged from left tackle to right guard to left guard over his college career, the team's official web site reported.
Our View
The Bengals lost backup Alex Sulfsted to retirement last month, and the team hopes Takavitz can replace that depth. Plus, it's always a good PR move to hire the local kids