November 2007 - Football Wiretap
Sources: LSU Defensive Coordinator Pelini To Nebraska
Barring any last-minute snags, LSU Defensive Coordinator Bo Pelini will be introduced as the new Head Coach at Nebraska early next week, multiple sources confirmed Friday. Pelini will coach the Tigers' defense Saturday in the SEC championship game against Tennessee and, according to a source close to the situation, will be in Lincoln for an announcement Monday. Pelini and Buffalo Coach Turner Gill were believed to be Tom Osborne's final two choices to replace fired Bill Callahan. Both have Nebraska ties -- Gill as a former player under Osborne and coach under Frank Solich and Pelini as a former defensive coordinator under Solich.
Bucs' Garcia Returns To Practice, Could Play
Just two days after suggesting his bruised back was still so sore that he could barely bend over and could not throw a football, Tampa Bay Buccaneers' quarterback Jeff Garcia returned to practice on a limited basis Friday, providing the team some hope that he might be able to play in Sunday's game at New Orleans. "I feel a lot better than I thought I would," Garcia told local reporters after practice. Because reporters cannot watch the "team" segments of practice, it remains unclear exactly how much Garcia participated in the workout. But the mere fact he was on the field was a sign of progress after several days of treatment. Garcia, 37, has started all 11 games for the first-place Bucs this season. He was injured on the first play of last Sunday's victory over the Washington Redskins. Garcia sat out most of the game and returned briefly in the fourth quarter but was ineffective.
Kansas City's Croyle Out Against Chargers
Quarterback Brodie Croyle will miss the Chiefs' game Sunday against the Chargers with a "deep, deep bruise" in his lower back, and veteran Damon Huard will start in his place. Croyle wasn't able to practice at all this week, Coach Herm Edwards said Friday. "He threw a little bit but just can't move," he said. Croyle will not suit up but could be ready next week, Edwards said. The second-year pro had started the last two games and is designated as Kansas City's quarterback of the future.
Bills' RB Lynch Out Against Washington
Buffalo Bills' rookie running back Marshawn Lynch and starting defensive end Chris Kelsay won't play Sunday at the Washington Redskins. Lynch will miss his third straight game because of a severely sprained left ankle. Kelsay is out after hurting his left ankle in Buffalo's loss to Jacksonville on Sunday. Lynch practiced Friday on a limited basis, and Coach Dick Jauron hoped he would be available next week against Miami. With backup running back Anthony Thomas out indefinitely because of a torn calf muscle, the Bills will use two inexperienced backs against the Redskins: Fred Jackson and Dwayne Wright.
NFLPA Argues Vick Should Not Lose Bonus
Michael Vick should be allowed to keep nearly $20 million in bonus money even though his NFL career is on hold because of his role in a dogfighting operation, a lawyer for the players' union argued Friday. The NFL Players Association asked a federal judge to overturn a special master's decision that Vick should forfeit the bonus money because of his guilty plea. The former Atlanta Falcons' star faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 10. Dogfighting wasn't the issue at Friday's hearing. Instead, the arguments turned on interpretations of the NFL collective bargaining agreement. Union attorney Jeffrey Kessler argued that Vick's "roster bonus" should be treated the same as a "performance bonus," which can't be forfeited under the collective bargaining agreement. "A roster bonus is a performance bonus," Kessler said, explaining that Vick earned it simply by being on the Falcons' roster in 2005 and 2006 and that the money a player earns can't be taken back under the contract.
Report: Pitt To Extend Wannstedt Despite Another Losing Season
Despite a third straight non-winning season, Dave Wannstedt's future at Pittsburgh appears safe. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported Friday that the university will announce a contract extension for Wannstedt, possibly as early as Saturday.
Is The Season Over For 49ers QB Smith?
Still experiencing pain in his right shoulder, San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback Alex Smith might be close to resolving the issue of how best to treat the injury, and that could include the possibility of not playing again in 2007. Smith told Bay Area reporters on Thursday that, even after nearly two weeks of rest, he still can't raise his right arm above his shoulder without discomfort. He will visit early next week with an orthopedist, and surgery remains a viable option for the top overall selection from the 2005 draft.
Report: Police Detain Three For Questioning In Taylor Shooting
Police have detained at least three people in the Fort Myers area for questioning in the death of Redskins' star Sean Taylor, a newspaper reported Friday. The Miami Herald said on its Web site that investigators believe the suspects learned of Taylor's house through someone who unwittingly set up the burglary by bragging about his wealth. The suspects include a teenager and two men in their 20s from the Fort Myers area, the paper reported.
Benson's Injury Could Cost Him $4 Million
Cedric Benson, who underwent surgery Thursday to repair the fractured leg, could miss out on nearly $4 million in bonuses and escalators in his contract. Had he been more productive earlier in the season, or had he been injured a week later, he likely would have earned a sizable windfall. But by finishing the season with 674 rushing yards, Benson fell 27 shy of triggering a conditional roster bonus worth $1.73 million. While some already have labeled the No. 4 overall pick in 2005 a bust, the king's ransom he has received has been exaggerated. Even if he returns healthy in 2008 and jump-starts a career that looked to be stalling before he was hurt, Benson never will approach the $29.96 million maximum value of his five-year rookie contract. Through this season, Benson will have pocketed almost $13.8 million, a fortune of McCaskey dollars for 1,593 career rushing yards and 10 touchdowns but far less than the amounts that have been published.
Asante To Get Nate Clements-Type Money?
Unable to reach an agreement on a lucrative long-term deal with the Patriots after they slapped the franchise tag on him during the offseason, Asante Samuel missed a month of training camp, balking at signing his $7.79 million tender. When he finally signed, he got the Patriots to add provisions that prohibit them from franchising him again if he plays 60 percent of the defensive snaps or the team wins 12 games. New England is 11-0 heading into its Monday night matchup with the Baltimore Ravens, and Samuel, who is tied for the NFL lead in interceptions with six, is one win from cashing in on his status as one of the game's best cornerbacks. "I knew what he was capable of and we needed to make sure he was protected," said Alonzo Shavers, Samuel's agent. "We knew Asante was going to be in this situation. We did know what he was capable of, and we knew if he played to his capabilities, he would be in a situation similar to this. We just wanted to put Asante in the best situation for him." If the Patriots want Samuel to remain here, it could mean having to offer him a Nate Clements-type deal. Clements, who played out a franchise year with the Bills last season, was rewarded by the 49ers during the offseason with an eight-year, $80 million contract that included $22 million in bonuses and guarantees. Key to Clements's deal is that in the first three years of the contract he is slated to earn $28.9 million.
Russell May Finally Play On Sunday?
"I'm ready for whatever," said JaMarcus Russell on Thursday.
Dallas KO's Favre, Packers 37-27
QB Tony Romo led the Cowboys past the Packers 37-27 on Thursday night, and into the lead for home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
Packers' Favre Leaves Cowboys Game With Elbow Injury
Packers QB Brett Favre was injured with 10:11 left in the second quarter and his return was listed as questionable.
Testaverde Likely To Start For Panthers
It appears QB Vinny Testaverde will start for the Panthers against the 49ers on Sunday.
RealGM Breakdown: A Classic NFC Showdown
If history is a predictor, then the key to the Green Bay versus Dallas game just might be to lose. This match-up is similar to a 1990 matchup between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers.