March 2007 - Football Wiretap
Ricky Begins Reinstatement Process
Ricky Williams, who was exiled for the entire 2006 season because of a fourth violation of the NFL substance abuse policy, has triggered the process that could end his one-year suspension and lead to his reinstatement by the league. Williams was suspended by the NFL last April 25 and spent last fall playing for the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. Williams' agent, Leigh Steinberg, told the Herald that his client is working on a book and wants to return to the league. "Ricky is in the best shape of his life," Steinberg said. "He's passed all of his drug tests and he's at a place where he's ready to come back to the Dolphins."
Bucs' Player Accused Of Assualting Pregnant Woman
Lionel Theron Gates, 25, was charged with assault on a pregnant woman, burglary of an occupied dwelling, and criminal mischief of $1,000 or more ? all felonies. Deputies say Gates broke into the woman?s apartment 11:30 p.m. Thursday. Gates, a running back, was signed to the Bucs? practice squad in December.
Fraud Lawsuit Against NFL, Union To Continue
A lawsuit filed by six current and former players against the NFL and its union seeking to recoup $20 million they lost in an alleged fraud scheme is moving forward. A judge denied a motion to dismiss, meaning the case in federal court in Atlanta can proceed. No trial date has been set. The NFL and the NFL Players Association contended the lawsuit filed last June should be thrown out partly because under the league's collective bargaining agreement, players are solely responsible for their own finances. They also argued that the agreement requires arbitration, not litigation, of disputes such as the ones raised in the lawsuit. But U.S. District Judge Julie E. Carnes said in an order dated March 29 that the league and union also have duties to the players under state law and there is nothing in the record at this point to suggest the labor agreement pre-empts that. "Because the court cannot determine at this time whether the union agreed to expand the rights and duties it owed to plaintiffs under the collective bargaining agreement, the court will not dismiss plaintiffs' allegations at this stage," Carnes wrote.
Teammates Show Support For Briggs
With the Lance Briggs saga unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, he is getting support from his teammates. ''Players are for players,'' guard Roberto Garza said. ''We've got to stick together and have each other's backs. But it's a tough situation for everybody. He's a great player and we want him back. It's tough.'' 'Why shouldn't he be selfish?'' asked guard Ruben Brown. ''The team's going to go on whether Lance is on the field or not. I'm sure the team wants Lance on the field and will welcome him back with open arms, but I don't think they're going to cancel any games because Lance isn't out there on the field. ''I don't think he should feel guilty for trying to optimize his earning capability. Everybody does that. Every stockbroker, businessman, you name it. You're in the business of making money; you've got to make as much as you can. Why not?''
Trade Rumors Buzzing Around Michael Turner
Despite the high price tag, San Diego Chargers running back Michael Turner -- the backup to league MVP LaDainian Tomlinson -- could be a hot commodity in the weeks leading up to the NFL draft. General manager A.J. Smith said he fielded several inquiries about Turner, a restricted free agent, during the league meetings earlier this week in Phoenix. "It is a buzz," Smith said. "I'd say it picked up speed as we left Wednesday night."
Indy Going For 2011 Super Bowl
Super Bowl committee officials are putting the finishing touches on the biggest sweepstakes in Indianapolis history. The hard part is making sure they hold the winning ticket. Bid committee spokesman Bob Schultz said March 30 the group will spend this weekend finalizing details and ensuring that NFL requirements are met when the three-binder proposal is delivered to the league office. "It will be hand-delivered Monday," Schultz said. Details of the proposal for the 2011 game were being kept quiet to prevent other cities from getting a competitive advantage, Deputy Mayor Steve Campbell said.
Belichick: Brown Part Of Pats' Plans
In a report on NBCSports.com, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said that receiver Troy Brown is ?part of the plan for next season.? Brown told The Associated Press on Wednesday night that he plans to play in 2007 and would like to stay in New England.
Carroll Gone After 2007?
USC does not play Stanford until October, but new Cardinal Coach Jim Harbaugh has already stoked flames with Pete Carroll, albeit inadvertently. Earlier this week, Dennis Dodd of CBS SportsLine.com quoted Harbaugh as saying Carroll would be gone after next season. "Perhaps the reason it's been up and down here [at Stanford] is that no one has stayed here 20 years," Harbaugh told Dodd. "? Charlie Weis is going to do that at Notre Dame. [Jim] Tressel at Ohio State. Pete's doing it. He's only got one more year, though. He'll be there one more year. That's what I've heard. I heard it inside the staff." Reached by phone Thursday, Harbaugh said he was quoted accurately. Asked if his source was new USC receivers coach John Morton, who worked with Harbaugh at the University of San Diego, Harbaugh said no. "I've heard it from multiple people secondhand, from people that have talked to people on the SC staff," Harbaugh said.
Panthers Talking To Carr And Harrington
The Panthers are talking with representatives of both David Carr and Joey Harrington as they attempt to find a backup to starter Jake Delhomme for next season. Coach John Fox has said he prefers a young quarterback with NFL experience and upside, and agents of both players will tell you their man qualifies in all areas.
Raiders' Kiffin Stresses New Beginning This Season
When Lane Kiffin took over as Raiders' head coach, one of the first things he told his new players was that he didn't want to dwell on what went wrong last season. For the players who suffered through a 2-14 campaign that led to the Raiders being the butt of jokes on late-night comedy shows and coach Art Shell being fired, that was a welcome tact.
Gruden Wants To Move Up For Johnson?
Jon Gruden, like everyone else, was blown away by Calvin Johnson's pro day workout.
Agent: Jets Reach Agreement With DE Bowens
The Jets agreed to terms on a three-year deal with free-agent DE David Bowens.
Bly Signs Five-Year Deal Worth $33 Million
The Broncos signed Dre' Bly to a contract on Wednesday, which should end any speculation Bly wouldn't report to Denver.
Kiffin: Moss Not Going Anywhere
According to Lane Kiffin, Randy Moss hasn't been discussed in talks with the Packers or Patriots.
Gore Cashes In
Frank Gore will receive an initial signing bonus of $6.5 million and total guarantees of nearly $14 million.