August 2011 - Football Wiretap
Bears Offer Forte $15M Guaranteed?
Talks between the Bears and Matt Forte have escalated to the point where the team has extended a contract offer worth in the neighborhood of up to $15M guaranteed, sources indicated to ESPNChicago.com. Given recent statements by GM Jerry Angelo, and the fact the regular season is less than two weeks away, it appears negotiations are likely coming to a close whether or not Forte agrees to the deal, in which the total value and length weren't disclosed.
Jets Visit World Trade Center Site
Rex Ryan and the Jets visited the World Trade Center site and met surprised construction workers there a little less than two weeks before the 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Several team members viewed the site for about a half-hour Wednesday after attending the Jets' annual kickoff luncheon at Cipriani's Wall Street.
Steelers GM Denies Pryor 'Wonderlic' Report
Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor had a higher Wonderlic score than the seven that was reported earlier Wednesday, according to Steelers GM Kevin Colbert, who administered the tests. According to Colbert, Pryor took two tests on back-to-back days in preparation for the supplemental draft. League sources told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Wednesday that Pryor answered 48 out of 50 questions on his first test, but only seven of his answers were correct.
Portis To Visit Seahawks
Clinton Portis will visit the Seahawks this week, according to an NFL.com report. Portis has played in just 13 games in the previous two seasons combined.
Foster Posts Photo Of MRI On Twitter
Arian Foster on Wednesday posted a picture of an MRI of his hamstring on Twitter, prompting questions about the severity of his injury and his openness about it. "This is an MRI of my hamstring, The white stuff surrounding the muscle is known in the medical world as anti-awesomeness," he wrote, providing a link to a picture of the MRI image.
Johnson: 'Fake Titan Fans' Should Shut Up
Chris Johnson seems to be finding out about the downside of Twitter during his contract holdout. Johnson tweeted Wednesday that "fake Titan fans" should shut up. Fans are calling him greedy and saying his contract demands are too high.
Rams, Mark Clayton Agree To One-Year Deal
The Rams are bringing back Mark Clayton after the veteran receiver recovered sufficiently from knee surgery. A source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that Clayton agreed to a one-year deal.
Alex Brown Talks To Bears, 2 Other Teams
Defensive end Alex Brown said Wednesday that he's heard from three teams since being released from the Saints on Tuesday, and he said one of those teams is the team that drafted him, the Bears, according to an ESPN.com report.
32-Team NFL Scoop, Final Week Of Preseason Edition
The AFC The Buddy Nix Bucky Gleason of The Buffalo News: "Kraig Urbik wasn't sure exactly what transpired because it happened in a flash. One day he was a second-year guard trying to find his way with the Steelers, and the next he was trying to find a job… The Bills gave him the opportunity of a lifetime when he appeared in his first NFL game, and now they want him to settle into place as their starting right guard leading into the season opener." The Jeff Ireland Jeff Darlington of The Miami Herald: 'Repeat it as much as necessary: Reggie Bush is the Dolphins' featured running back. Because of disbelief or precedent — or both — Miami's decision to anoint Bush as its every-down back has yet to penetrate the minds of many — locally and nationally — as the regular season nears." The Jonathan Kraft Karen Guregian of The Boston Herald: "Chad Ochocinco has been with Tom Brady a little more than a month. He's had the playbook in his hands and has watched countless game films to get a better idea of how the offense operates. He's worked his tail off. And yet, it still doesn't seem like he's getting it when you've watched him during preseason games. He's not comfortable doing the one thing he does best: running routes. He's tense and tight, a crippling description for any receiver." The Mike Tannenbaum Mark Cannizzaro of The New York Post: "Rex Ryan's pride in his aggressive, attacking defensive style is probably second only to his family in the pecking order of importance. To suggest "bend but don't break" to Ryan is the highest order of insult. So, almost as soon as those words were uttered, you could sense the hair on the back of Ryan's neck raising and his stomach churning." The Ozzie Newsome Edward Lee of The Baltimore Sun: "Ravens coach John Harbaugh devoted a small portion of his media session on Saturday defending rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith, telling critics, "Just lay off the kid and let him develop and become the player that he's going to be." Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron took a similar approach, disputing the notion that the second-round pick's confidence had been shaken by dropping two passes in Thursday night's 34-31 win against the Washington Redskins." The Mike Brown Joe Reedy of The Cincinnati Enquirer: "After Bengals play-by-play announcer Dan Hoard called Andy Dalton the "Red Rifle" during last Thursday's game against Carolina, Dalton said he doesn't mind having the nickname. "I'll take it. I guess everyone is trying to find something and the red hair helps," Dalton said." The Tom Heckert Tony Grossi of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer: "Now that the Browns have secured left tackle Joe Thomas with a new contract for seven years, next up for a long-term deal could be running back Peyton Hillis. A league source said the wheels have begun turning for talks about a new contract for Hillis." The Kevin Colbert Gerry Dulac of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Usually, not many Steelers players, if any, are in better shape than James Harrison, their four-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker. Especially this time of year. But these have not been usual times for Harrison, which he has quickly -- and somewhat agonizingly – discovered." The Rick Smith Jeffrey Martin of The Houston Chronicle: "It's still the preseason, but it's already clear the Texans' defense is different. Need proof? The Texans are ranked No. 1 in total defense this preseason, which is particularly impressive considering coordinator Wade Phillips hasn't utilized the complete playbook just yet. The scheme - a 3-4 alignment that has been an adjustment for former defensive ends Mario Williams and Barwin, who are now linebackers - has gotten most of the attention, but according to Phillips, that's not the reason (thus far) for the success." The Chris Polian Mike Chappell of The Indianapolis Star: "It's possible Anthony Gonzalez's most recent injury could be the one that ends his association with the Colts. Rosters must be trimmed from 80 to 53 on Saturday, and there's no assurance the team's 2007 first-round draft pick will be spared." The Gene Smith Vito Stellino of The Florida Times-Union: "The Jaguars have been close at times with nine quarterback hits against New England and a solid rush against Atlanta, but they're the only team in the league not to have a sack in its first three preseason games. And the Jaguars have given up 95 points in the preseason, the most in the league, after giving up a franchise record 419 points last year." The Mike Reinfeldt Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean: "While public opinion seems split on which side is more to blame in the complicated stalemate between Tennessee Titans General Manager Mike Reinfeldt and holdout running back Chris Johnson, former front-office executives contacted by The Tennessean leaned, perhaps not surprisingly, toward the team's stance. All agreed Johnson should be paid — and paid well — but said the Titans have to draw a line with a player who wants elite-player money, not just best running back money." The Brian Xanders Jeff Legwold of The Denver Post: "Here are seven letters representing a trade from the Josh McDaniels era that worked in the Broncos' favor: Joe Mays. "You have to have faith in yourself," said Mays, now Denver's starting middle linebacker. "I worked harder than I've ever worked before in an offseason. I have coaches who have faith in me, and it's paid off. They believe in me to go out there and lead the defense." For all the personnel moves, all the draft picks that were traded, all the players who came and went in the past two years while not panning out for the Broncos, there is Mays. He came to Denver last August when McDaniels, the Broncos' coach at the time, traded tailback J.J. Arrington to the Eagles for Mays and a draft pick." The Scott Pioli Kent Babb of The Kansas City Star: "For most of his three-plus seasons in Kansas City, cornerback Brandon Flowers has been seen as a defender with elite skills, always on the verge of a breakout season. Now, as Flowers begins his fourth year — and final season of his rookie contract — he said he believes he already has shown that he's one of the NFL's best corners." The Al Davis Jerry McDonald of The Oakland Tribune: "It's looking as if rookie Stefen Wisniewski, anointed the starting center on draft day when he was the only one on the roster, will instead be the Raiders' starting left guard. While coach Hue Jackson wouldn't come out and say it Monday in a conference call with local media, Wisniewski probably will be the replacement for free-agent departure Robert Gallery when Oakland opens the regular season Sept. 12 against the Denver Broncos." The Dean Spanos Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune: "The Chargers are moving on from perfection. "He's like the Michael Jordan of long snapping," Chargers kicker Nate Kaeding said Tuesday in regards to David Binn, his longtime teammate, friend and mentor. "I don't know if there has ever been anyone better than him in the league." On Tuesday, the man teammates occasionally referred to as Uncle Dave was released." The NFC The Stephen Jones Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning-News: "Rebuilding team or playoff contender — which will the Cowboys be this season? The leading passer in franchise history said he thinks it will be the latter. However, Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman added that if there isn't success this season, it might be time for the team to go in another direction." The Jerry Reese Bart Hubbuch of The New York Post: "Tom Coughlin said he is considering sitting all 22 starters in tomorrow night's preseason finale at New England because of the incredibly short turnaround from Mondays loss to the Jets, which was delayed two days by Irene over the weekend." The Howie Roseman Les Bowen of The Philadelphia Daily-News: "There will be at least one starter playing for the Eagles tomorrow night, when they visit the New York Jets for their final preseason game. Right guard Danny Watkins confirmed yesterday that he will be in the lineup. "I asked for it," Watkins said, as he hurried to the team's annual meeting with NFL security, where players are warned to stay away from gamblers and the like." The Bruce Allen Mike Jones of The Washington Post: "When the Redskins released kicker Clint Stitser on Tuesday, second-year pro Graham Gano officially locked up the place kicking duties for the team after a so-far perfect preseason. Gano has hit all seven field goal attempts, with a long of 48 yards, and nailed all six of his extra point attempts." The Jerry Angelo Brad Biggs of The Chicago Tribune: "Then there is the possibility the Bears could shake things up and use some tackles on the outside, an option that comes with no guarantees of production. One familiar name became available Tuesday when the Saints released veteran Alex Brown after one season." The Martin Mayhew The Detroit Free-Press: "Lions coach Jim Schwartz said running back Jahvid Best will play in Thursday's exhibition finale at Buffalo. Best hasn't played since suffering a concussion after a helmet-to-helmet hit from Browns cornerback Joe Haden during the Lions' first offensive snap in the second exhibition at Cleveland." The Mark Murphy The Green Bay Press-Gazette Staff: "The Green Bay Packers will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at 11 a.m. Thursday to kick off a project to add 6,600 seats to Lambeau Field. The additional seats will increase capacity to 79,000. The event will take place in the southwest corner of the Lambeau Field parking lot, near the corner of Ridge and Valley View roads." The Mark Wilf Kent Youngblood of The Star-Tribune: "In Minnesota's preseason finale, there will be a lot of opportunity for a few running backs hoping to grab a final roster spot. One of those is Alexander Robinson. A Twin Cities native, Robinson went to at De La Salle High School before a productive career at Iowa State. Signed as a free agent, he has only seven carries over the first three preseason games." The Thomas Dimitroff Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "For someone so quiet, Jonathan Babineaux makes a lot of noise. The tackle has grown into a disruptive force in the middle of the Falcons' defensive line. Ends John Abraham and free-agent signee Ray Edwards grab much of the attention, but Babineaux might be the unsung hero of the unit." The Marty Hurney Ron Green Jr. of The Charlotte Observer: "Cam Newton must be getting comfortable in his new home. He invoked a racing reference when asked what he's learned since the preseason loss at Cincinnati last Thursday night. "Just keep making that left turn like in NASCAR, try to come around that curve, the learning curve," Newton said." The Mickey Loomis Jimmy Smith of The Times-Picayune: "Already adhering to a regular-season policy of limiting information about injuries, New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton on Tuesday declined to expound upon place kicker Garrett Hartley's apparent hip injury while announcing the team had signed a veteran replacement -- and long-time New Orleans nemesis -- John Kasay. Kasay, who spent the bulk of his two-decade career with the Carolina Panthers and on several occasions broke the Saints' hearts with winning kicks as time expired, was cut at July's end by the Panthers, and replaced by former Saints kicker Olindo Mare." The Mark Dominik Roy Cummings of The Tampa Tribune: "Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris was lying on the beach during the lockout watching highlights of rookies Mason Foster, Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers on his iPad when a thought occurred to him. "I wonder if we could put our entire playbook on these things?'' Morris said. Morris tossed around the idea with Jay Kaiser, his assistant, as he envisioned giving his entire team a portable film room. Instead of just handing guys a paper playbook, Morris thought iPads could become Tampa Bay's video playbook." The Rod Graves Bob McManaman of The Arizona Republic: "So far, it's been slow coming for Patrick Peterson, a player most scouting services called the best overall talent in the 2011 draft. As soon as he reported to training camp for practices, Peterson discovered he wouldn't be running with the first-team defense. That's been a familiar trait of head coach Ken Whisenhunt, who promises nothing and expects rookies to sweat it out." The Billy Devaney Jim Thomas of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "Steven Jackson's trademark dreadlocks were nowhere to be found during the Rams' 14-10 Governor's Cup victory over the Chiefs. In fact, you had to look closely to find any hair at all sticking out from Jackson's helmet. "I can't believe we're talking about this," Jackson chuckled. "But the person that helps maintain my hair, she just had a baby. So I needed to tie it down to buy her some time to get back." Once "maternity leave" is over, Jackson said his usual look will return." The Trent Baalke Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle: "Michael Crabtree was activated from the physically unable to perform list Tuesday. If his first practice is any indication, however, the Niners wide receiver is not yet able to perform at anything approximating full speed." The John Schneider Danny O'Neil of The Seattle Times: "John Carlson caught more passes in his first two years as a Seahawk than any other tight end in franchise history. Now he can't catch a break. Carlson is out for the year because of a shoulder injury, coach Pete Carroll said."
Laurence Maroney Acquitted Of Marijuana Charge
Veteran running back Laurence Maroney is hoping to catch on with another team after his acquittal of a misdemeanor marijuana charge in St. Louis, his attorney said Wednesday.
Brees' Agent, Saints In Talks
Drew Brees said his agent and the team have been talking about a contract extension.
Cedric Benson Serving 20-Day Jail Sentence
Bengals running back Cedric Benson was booked late Tuesday and has begun serving a 2-day jail term to settle two assault cases.
Source: James Sanders Joins Falcons
Safety James Sanders and the Falcons agreed to terms on a one-year contract Tuesday.
Rex Lauds Jets Defense
Jets coach Rex Ryan believes his defensive unit can be pretty special.
Source: Gore Agrees To Extension With 49ers
The new three-year extension, worth $21M, contains $13.5M guaranteed.
'No Doubt' Foster Will Be Ready For Opener
Arian Foster isn't concerned about the hamstring strain he suffered on Saturday against San Francisco.
Titans, Johnson Continue To Discuss Deal
The two sides are working toward an agreement that would end Chris Johnson's holdout in time for him to play in Week 1 of the season.
Rodgers Ranks First In Jersey Sales
Aaron Rodgers' was the most popular jersey purchased on the NFL's website over a recent four-month period.
Andre Gurode Visits Seahawks
Andre Gurode, a five-time Pro Bowl center, was cut by Dallas on Monday.
Alex Brown Tweets Saints Have Cut Him
Alex Brown has worked with the first team during training camp and the preseason.
49ers Activate Crabtree From PUP List
Michael Crabtree hurt his foot during workouts led by quarterback Alex Smith in June during the lockout.
Browns Lose Steinbach For Season
Browns starting offensive guard Eric Steinbach is out for the season with a back injury.
Maclin Ready For 'Week 1'
Jeremy Maclin hadn't practiced until Sunday due to a cancer scare.
Grossman Glad Gruden Isn't His Coach
Jon Gruden said last week that John Beck should be Washington's starting quarterback.
Texans Sign Bryant Johnson
Houston has added veteran receiver Bryant Johnson into the mix.
Shockey Saved Teammate's Life
Panthers tight end Ben Hartsock says teammate Jeremy Shockey saved his life on Monday.
49ers Report PUP 'Oversight' With Crabtree
Michael Crabtree caught a couple dozen passes during warm-ups recently, despite the fact that he's still on the physically unable to perform list.
Vick Becomes First NFL Player To Sign Two $100M Contracts
Michael Vick signed a $130 million deal with Atlanta in 2004.
Staley 'Disgusted' By San Francisco's O-Line
Joe Staley wasn't happy with the team's play on the offensive line against the Texans this past weekend.