Newsbreakers Recap

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May 4, 2005 3:44 PM ET
Browns: Winslow's status officially unchanged, but not good
The News
Published reports quoting Browns and NFL sources have indicated that the injuries suffered by tight end Kellen Winslow in a motorcycle accident are indeed serious and include a sprained ACL, a separated shoulder, broken ribs and a bruised lung. However, the Browns remain extremely guarded with information regarding Winslow, and a team source told Fanball.com Wednesday afternoon that the official report from the team remains unchanged: internal injuries, stable condition, with swelling in the right shoulder and right knee.
Our View
Obviously, given all the rumors circulating around the situation and the Browns' decision to remain tight-lipped on Winslow's status, it's difficult to discern what impact the accident will have on Winslow's 2005 season—if there even is one. Right now, however, it's not looking too good for Winslow.

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May 4, 2005 11:40 AM ET
Cowboys: Three players released
The News
The Cowboys released tight end Landon Trusty, safety Steve Cargile, and defensive tackle Tron LaFavor on Tuesday, according to the Dallas Morning News. None of those players appeared in a game for the Cowboys last season.
Our View
Trusty, Cargile, and LaFavor spent time on the Cowboys' practice squad last season. Apparently, the Lone Stars have decided to save the practice squad roster spots for other players.

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May 4, 2005 11:39 AM ET
Titans: George returns… for a visit
The News
Running back Eddie George was back in Nashville to meet with GM Floyd Reese about possibly returning to the Titans, though The Tennessean reports that no agreement is in place. "It was basically just a meeting between a player and a general manager where they wanted to talk and find out if our perceptions of what we want to do are the same," George's agent told The Tennessean. "They have things they need to consider and we have things we need to consider and we'll kind of know more in time."
Our View
George was released last offseason after refusing to rework his contract, then landed in Dallas where he eventually lost his job to Julius Jones. The Titans currently have nothing of note on the depth chart behind Chris Brown, who has missed 10 games in his two NFL seasons, so adding a veteran like George as insurance makes plenty of sense.

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May 4, 2005 11:39 AM ET
Panthers: Witherspoon signs one-year deal
The News
Restricted free agent linebacker Will Witherspoon signed a one-year contract tender with the Panthers. Tuesday's Rock Hill Herald reported that the deal is worth $1.43 million. Witherspoon logged 110 tackles last season.
Our View
Panthers' general manager Marty Hurney has his work cut out for him when it comes to negotiating new deals with his top linebackers. Mark Fields is expected to sign the three-year contract offer the team made back in March, but Witherspoon and Dan Morgan are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents after this season.

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May 4, 2005 11:21 AM ET
Cowboys: Lee released
The News
The Cowboys released running back ReShard Lee on Tuesday, according to the Dallas Morning News. Lee, who served as a backup rusher for starter Julius Jones last season, led the team in kickoff returns last season. Lee finished the year with 27 carries for 128 yards, and also posted a 23.5-yard return average.
Our View
Lee became expendable due to the additions of running backs Marion Barber and Anthony Thomas. Barber joined the team as a fourth-round pick in last month's draft, and Thomas signed as a free agent earlier this week.

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May 4, 2005 11:20 AM ET
Texans: Brown gets paid
The News
Kicker Kris Brown signed a five-year contract extension believed to be worth $8 million, according to the Houston Chronicle. The deal includes a $2 million signing bonus.
Our View
Brown struggled over the second half of last season, but he believes a pelvic injury contributed to his inconsistency. He hasn't seen triple-digit point production since leaving Pittsburgh, but as the Texans' offense improves so will his scoring opportunities.

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May 4, 2005 11:05 AM ET
Seahawks: Alexander deal won't happen until July
The News
Per league rules regarding franchise players, Seahawks' officials will not be able to negotiate a long-term contract with running back Shaun Alexander until July 15. However, Alexander has been dropping hints that he plans to re-sign with the Hawks. "I'm asking him to come in," running backs coach Stump Mitchell told the Seattle Times on Tuesday. "We got 1,700 (rushing) yards last year, we can probably get 2,000 this year. But he just laughs at that and says he thinks we're going to get something done in early July and be there for training camp." Alexander has yet to signed the one-year, $6.32 million contract tender offered by the team.
Our View
Alexander seems to have maintained a good relationship with the Seahawks' coaching staff despite his temporary fallout with head coach Mike Holmgren during week 17 last year. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, July 15 is the soonest he and team officials can resume negotiations, which means there is no guarantee that Alexander will re-sign before training camp opens.

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May 4, 2005 10:55 AM ET
Saints: Brown visits
The News
The Saints played host to free agent linebacker Chad Brown earlier this week, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. However, Brown is said to be leaning toward signing with the Steelers, Patriots, or Broncos. The 35 year-old has missed 19 starts over the last three seasons due to various injuries.
Our View
Brown wants to close out his career with a legitimate Super Bowl contender, which all but eliminates the Saints from the mix of teams that the 12-year veteran is considering.

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May 4, 2005 10:32 AM ET
Panthers: Fields to make decision later this week
The News
Free agent linebacker Mark Fields is expected to announce later this week whether he'll return to the Panthers. Unlike most free agents, Fields isn't mulling over his options as far as which team he'll play for, but rather whether he will return to play another season. The 11-year veteran told team officials that he wanted to run through a series of medical tests before signing the three-year contract the team offered him in March. "I think we'll have some information on that by the end of the week," Fields' agent Jim Steiner told the Charlotte Observer. Fields missed the entire 2003 season while battling Hodgkin's disease.
Our View
Red flags went up when the Panthers selected Thomas Davis in the first-round of the draft last month. Although Davis played safety in college, there was talk that he would move to linebacker at the pro level, and some observers assumed that he was going to be taking over for Fields. However, Davis spent the first minicamp playing safety, so it appears the Panthers are saving a starting job for Fields.

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May 4, 2005 10:28 AM ET
Jets: Pennington could throw by June
The News
Chad Pennington hasn't thrown a football since undergoing offseason surgery to repair a torn right rotator cuff. He stood and watched at the Jest minicamp last weekend, and his timetable for a return to the practice field is unknown. "My goal is to be ready by September," Pennington told Newsday. "My goal is not to be ready in April." Although neither Pennington nor head coach Herm Edwards would discuss Chad's recovery schedule, Edwards said he should be ready to throw "sometime in June. I think June is the key. How he feels, how his arm feels, and we'll go from there."
Our View
Pennington's goal is to be completely healthy by training camp, so we wouldn't be surprised if his rehab is brought along slowly. While he is missing valuable time growing accustomed to new offensive coordinator Mike Hiemerdinger's offense, he played in a similar system (shotgun formations, audibles) in college at Marshall, so it is expected that he'll be able to pick things up quickly. Unlike former coordinator Paul Hackett's conservative system, Hiemerdinger is known for opening up the passing game and allowing his quarterback to take more shots downfield. If that remains the case in New York this season, a healthy Pennington could take a giant leap up the fantasy quarterback rankings.

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May 4, 2005 10:24 AM ET
Falcons: Hall leaves team
The News
Days after he verbally agreed to rejoin the Falcons, safety Cory Hall was a no-show at the team's minicamp. "Cory Hall will not play for the Atlanta Falcons," head coach Jim Mora told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Falcons released Hall in March for salary cap reasons. Team officials through Hall had agreed to a new deal last week, but the deal is off now that Hall missed minicamp.
Our View
This is a confusing situation, as two different agents were claiming to represent Hall last week. Apparently, the Falcons struck a deal with the agent who does not actually work for the six-year veteran. Hall had been penciled in as the starting free safety. Former 49er Ronnie Heard is currently listed as Hall's replacement in the starting lineup.