NFL Roundup: Manning, Flynn, Wimbley...

It seems like the NFL is waiting for Peyton Manning to decide where he's going so the rest of the dominoes can fall. Update on Manning, Matt Flynn, Kamerion Wimbley and many more...

NFL Roundup: Manning met with 49ers; Cards, 'Fins eliminated

Even as Peyton Manning worked out for the Denver Broncos at Duke University on Friday, reports surfaced that he already worked out Tuesday night for a new team in the hunt -- the San Francisco 49ers -- and that the Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals were out of the picture.
That left the fast-rising Tennessee Titans, whose owner offered Manning a life-time job, the Broncos, who were reportedly ready to offer a $90 million, five-year deal, and the 49ers as the only known contenders in the Manning drama.
This all impacted Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb, who remained with the Cardinals as his $7 million roster bonus kicked in Friday and the team officially dropped out of the race for Manning. It also affected former Green Bay quarterback Matt Flynn, who was reportedly close to signing in Seattle, but then scheduled a flight to meet with the Dolphins.
Citing league sources, ESPN reported that San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman flew to North Carolina and watched Manning throw passes Tuesday night at Duke, where Manning has been working out.
They were apparently impressed with what they saw. The 49ers sent a team doctor to Durham, N.C., the next day to have Manning undergo a physical, ESPN reported.
A source also dubbed the workout "very impressive," according to ESPN.
San Francisco had not emerged as a candidate for Manning's services beyond speculation through much of the process. But the Sacramento Bee's Matt Barrows pointed out in a blog that Manning's agent, Tom Condon, also represents the 49ers' free-agent quarterback, Alex Smith.
That may explain why Smith, who led the 49ers to the NFC Championship game last year and said he is fine with the three-year offer, has not yet signed and probably will not sign until Manning does.
Meantime, the Cardinals and Dolphins were apparently told not to count on signing Manning, according to reports on ESPN and NFL Network, which is why they began exploring their backup plans.
Manning met with the Broncos at Duke University's indoor facility Friday afternoon, and worked out for them there. Denver will offer him a five-year deal worth $90 million, according to the Denver Post. The paper cited an NFL source in saying "all involved teams" were prepared to compete in that ballpark financially.
"We enjoyed visiting with Peyton today in N.C.," Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway said, via Twitter. "He threw the ball great and looked very comfortable out there.
"Watching him throw today was the next step in this important process for our team and Peyton. It was a productive visit and went well."
Manning has been working out at Duke with David Cutcliffe, his former offensive coordinator at the University of Tennessee, who now coaches at Duke.
He threw for about two hours and 50 to 60 throws, reported ESPN, which also said he would soon have a similar workout for the Titans.
The Broncos' evaluation of the workout could be crucial as the added competition from the 49ers, and Titans owner Bud Adams' aggressive pursuit and reported goal to make Manning a Titan "for life" have likely raised the price.
With the numbers going up, teams will have to weigh Manning's risk/reward factor with the future Hall of Famer coming off multiple neck surgeries last season.
The Titans, meanwhile, signed guard Steve Hutchinson -- a perennial Pro Bowler who became friendly with Manning during their Pro Bowl trips -- to help their case.
For his part, Manning is making significant on-field progress.
"It's incredible how much progress he's made in throwing the football," Cutcliffe told the Tennessean. "He's gotten his arm strength back and his accuracy is there. I'm not an NFL coach, of course, but I think I know what it takes to complete passes in the NFL, and it's clear that Peyton can make all those throws."
The Dolphins didn't waste time heading down a different path. They contacted Flynn, who was reportedly visiting the Seattle Seahawks. Flynn has a relationship with Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin, the former offensive coordinator in Green Bay.


M.Flynn
Packers' QB Flynn almost managed to beat the Patriots, but fell a few yards and few seconds short ( Dec 19, 2010)
Dolphins, Seahawks vying for Flynn
With Peyton Manning eliminating the Miami Dolphins, the team's next focus is quarterback Matt Flynn, according to reports.
But the Dolphins will have to battle the Seattle Seahawks for the free agent's services, and The Miami Herald reported there's a chance Flynn could sign with the Seahawks before even visiting the Dolphins.
Manning told the Dolphins they were out of the running, according to the NFL Network's Jeff Darlington and a Dolphins source told the Herald the team did not expect to sign him.
The idea of Flynn signing with the Seahawks before he visits Miami cannot be eliminated as a possibility the Herald reported, citing "an associate of Flynn."
But a big advantage for the Dolphins is the presence of coach Joe Philbin, who was the offensive coordinator the last four years for the Green Bay Packers, when Flynn was the backup quarterback to Aaron Rodgers there.
The Seahawks have some connection to Flynn as well, though. Seattle general manager John Schneider was in Green Bay's front office when the team drafted Flynn in 2008.
Flynn, 26, hasn't had much opportunity to play behind the two-time Pro Bowler Rodgers.
But he's made the most of his opportunities, getting to start the last game of last season when the Packers had their division locked up. He provided an impressive showcase, going 31 of 44 for 480 yards with six touchdowns and an interception in a 45-41 win over the Detroit Lions.
He was also 24 of 37 for 251 yards with three touchdowns and an interception in a 2010 loss to the New England Patriots.
For his career, Flynn is 82 of 132 (62.1 percent) for 1,015 yards with nine touchdowns and five interceptions.
Both teams run the West Coast offense, which the Herald reported, would be appealing to Flynn. Miami would have to get creative and create some cap room as the Dolphins only have $4-5 million available, while the Seahawks have $30 million freed up, according to the Herald.


Raiders release Wimbley
The Oakland Raiders released linebacker Kamerion Wimbley on Friday, one day before the team would have had to guarantee him $17.5 million, according to reports.
The pending release was reported by the NFL Network's Mike Lombardi. The Raiders will still pay $6.5 million of Wimbley's $11 million salary, but would have faced a much bigger commitment on March 17, according to profootballtalk.com.
On that date, a clause in Wimbley's contract would have kicked in, guaranteeing the other $4.5 million the Raiders will now save against the cap, as well as $11 million in 2013 and $2 million in 2014, profootballtalk.com reported, citing a "source with knowledge of the Wimbley contract."
With Mario Williams signed by the Buffalo Bills, 33-year-old defensive end John Abraham had become the top pass-rusher on the market. But now Wimbley, 28, could enter the fray.
Wimbley had seven sacks and 64 tackles last season. In his six-year career, he's had 42 1/2 sacks and 362 tackles.



J.Abraham
Patriots Tom Brady felt constant pressure from Falcons John Abraham (Aug 19, 2010)
Falcons reportedly sign Abraham to 3-year deal
With the Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos in pursuit, the Atlanta Falcons re-signed defensive end John Abraham, according to reports.
The Falcons brought the free agent back on a three-year deal, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Abraham, 33, had 9 1/2 sacks and four forced fumbles for Atlanta last year and 13 sacks the previous seasons.
In six years with the Falcons and six with the New York Jets, Abraham has 112 sacks.
Abraham was considered the top pass-rushing lineman left on the market after Mario Williams signed his mega-deal with the Buffalo Bills on Thursday, but Abraham wasn't out there for long.
A report indicated there would soon be another pass-rushing specialist available, as the NFL Network reported the Oakland Raiders would release linebacker Kamerion Wimbley on Friday.
Wimbley had seven sacks last season and has 42 1/2 in his six-year career.


Emotional Marshall discusses alleged incident, mental illness
At his introductory press conference Friday, an emotional Brandon Marshall expressed optimism about his future, recognized the need for questions about his past, and said he had "no fear at all" about a possible suspension over a recent alleged assault.
The new Chicago Bears receiver also offered some personal, passionate comments on his battle with borderline personality disorder and said he aimed to be a positive example for those who suffered from the mental illness.
Marshall was acquired from the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday, a day before a woman publicly accused him of punching her in the face outside a New York City night club on Sunday night. He has not been charged with a crime and said Friday he had faith the true story would clear him of wrongdoing.
"In due time, the truth will be out, and we're excited about that," Marshall said at the press conference at Halas Hall. "Given my history, I definitely understand the concern and the questions."
Marshall, 27, has had a long list of off-the-field and legal issues, but his lawyer, Harvey Steinberg, has said he was not involved in the fight, and said Marshall's wife was struck by a thrown bottle after the couple was at the club following a charity event. Marshall said Friday his wife was "fine."
The allged victim, Christin Myles, told the New York Daily News she wants Marshall "held criminally accountable for what he did to me."
Myles, 24, who was shown in a picture sporting a black eye, filed a police report, as she first told the New York Post. Her lawyer told the Daily News that Marshall was swinging at anyone within reach outside the club during the melee.
The NFL is expected to investigate, but when asked if he was worried about a possible suspension, Marshall said, "Absolutely not. No fear at all. Once it has taken its course, I think you will see things totally different, and we're excited about the process. ? understand and I get the perception out there. Those are the seeds that I've planted early on in my career up until last year."
The three-time Pro Bowler, acquired for a pair of third-round draft picks, has excelled on the field, and said he was excited about his reunion with former Denver Broncos teammate, quarterback Jay Cutler.
But the seeds he discussed planting early in his career include several legal issues. Bears general manager Phil Emery also said this week the Bears were aware of the latest accusation.
Marshall has had a long list of off-the-field issues, from arrests for domestic violence to drunk driving.
Marshall's wife was also arrested nearly a year ago following a domestic dispute when he was stabbed in the stomach with a kitchen knife, though charges were eventually dropped.

 
Cutler spoke up for his ex-teammate at the press conference.
"I know him as a person. I know him off the field, and I know what kind of guy he is and what he brings to the table not only on the field but as a person in the locker room," Cutler said. "He's a special guy.
"He knows what he's done wrong in the past. Any support I can give him, I'm there for him."
Marshall offered a personal examination of his diagnosis with borderline personality disorder, and promised to do his best to serve as an example for others who face the issue. He has started a foundation, Project Borderline, to provide education on the mental illness and said therapy has helped him stay out of trouble.
"We look forward to being an asset to this organization and most importantly the community," said an emotional Marshall, who said his goal was to win the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, given by the league for charity work. "Hopefully this isn't a pit stop. Hopefully this is where I can end my career.
"A lot of people are afraid to talk about (borderline personality disorder), it's taboo in our communities," Marshall said. "But I'm willing to use myself, make myself and my family vulnerable to break the stigmas.  For me to go through the treatment that I went through the last offseason, and to see the changes in myself, and have that feeling of 'Wow, now I can live a healthy and effective life ' It was an amazing experience."
Marshall said he anticipated his time in Chicago being another life-affecting experience and was eager to get started.
"I couldn't have asked for a better situation," he said. "Being a Chicago Bear, this journey is going to be amazing, it's going to be fun."


Ravens sign Birk to 3-year deal
The Baltimore Ravens re-signed center Matt Birk, pending a physical, the team announced Friday.
The Ravens signed Birk to a three-year deal and general manager Ozzie Newsome described the lineman as a big part of the offense.
"One of the things we said earlier this offseason is that we were going to focus attention on the offensive line and getting Matt Birk back is key for us," Newsome said in a statement released by the team. "He is a top player, his intelligence is obvious, and he is a leader on and off the field."
The 13-year veteran has played the last three years for the Ravens, after spending the rest of his career with the Minnesota Vikings.
Birk, 35, has started 96 straight games, the second-longest streak among centers. He has played in 194 games for his career, and been named to the Pro Bowl six times.
Birk was part of a line that helped running back Ray Rice rush for a career-best 1,364 yards and score a team-record 15 touchdowns.
Birk was named the 2011 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year for his charity work.


F.Davis
Washington holds onto Davis
Redskins sign CB Griffin; Davis signs tender
The Washington Redskins signed free-agent cornerback Cedric Griffin, and tight end Fred Davis signed his franchise tender, the team announced Friday.
Griffin started 14 of the 16 games he played last year for the Minnesota Vikings, for whom he's played in all six of his NFL seasons.
He picked off one pass, had 11 passes defensed, 81 tackles and three forced fumbles last season.
For his career, he's started 70 of the 80 regular-season games in which he's played. He has eight interceptions, 58 passes defensed, 383 tackles, 14 forced fumbles, and two forced fumbles in that span.
Davis, 26, had a career-high 59 receptions and 796 receiving yards and three touchdowns last season for the Redskins. The yardage marked the fourth-most in a season for Washington.
Davis has caught 131 passes for 1,648 yards and 12 touchdowns in his four-year career, all for the Redskins.
Griffin was recognized by his teammates with the Vikings, who honored him as their Ed Block Courage Award winner in 2010, when he returned from a torn ACL sustained in the previous year's NFC Championship game.
Griffin had a career-high four interceptions in 2009, and topped his career tackles mark with 100 in 2008.



Cardinals keep Kolb, out of Manning hunt
Kevin Kolb will get his roster bonus, which means the Arizona Cardinals will not get Peyton Manning.
The Cardinals officially ended their pursuit of the future Hall of Fame quarterback Friday, when they had a 4 p.m. ET deadline before Kolb's $7 million roster bonus would kick in.
The Cardinals had already been informed by Manning's camp that it would be better for them to plan on not acquiring him, according to ESPN.
Manning had visited the team's facility Sunday, but was reported to have narrowed his choices to the Denver Broncos, Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers.
"Regarding today's developments and our quarterback position, acquiring Peyton Manning is no longer an option for us," Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said in a statement released by the team. "Since the end of last season we made it very clear that our plan was to head into 2012 with Kevin Kolb and John Skelton, let the process play out and -- like at every position -- go with the quarterback who gives us the best chance to win."
Kolb started nine games for the Cardinals last year, going 3-6 and completing 57.7 percent of his passes while throwing for 1,955 yards with nine touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Skelton was 5-2, completed 54.9 percent of his passes, for 1,913 yards, with 11 touchdowns and 14 picks.


Agent: Colts haven't signed S Zbikowski
The Indianapolis Colts reportedly signed free agent safety Tom Zbikowski to help fill a vacancy and provide depth, but agent Ralph Cindrich called the South Bend Tribune report untrue.
According to the paper, Zbikowski was to sign a three-year contract.
He spent his first four years with the Baltimore Ravens and played under current head coach Chuck Pagano, who had been Baltimore's defensive coordinator.
Zbikowski played in 14 games for the Ravens last season, starting four. He was featured as a kick and punt returner and played on special teams, averaging 23.2 yards per kick return.
In his four years with Baltimore, Zbikowski has played in 53 games and started 14, with 75 tackles and two interceptions.
The Colts released safety Melvin Bullitt this offseason.
Bullitt started both games he played in last year for the Colts and picked up an interception and a pass defensed


Raiders release LB Kamerion Wimbley

The Oakland Raiders released linebacker Kamerion Wimbley on Friday, one day before the team would have had to guarantee him $17.5 million, according to reports.
The Raiders will still pay $6.5 million of Wimbley's $11 million salary, but would have faced a much bigger commitment on March 17, according to profootballtalk.com.
On that date, a clause in Wimbley's contract would have kicked in, guaranteeing the other $4.5 million the Raiders will now save against the cap, as well as $11 million in 2013 and $2 million in 2014, profootballtalk.com reported, citing a "source with knowledge of the Wimbley contract."
With Mario Williams signed by the Buffalo Bills, 33-year-old defensive end John Abraham had become the top pass-rusher on the market. But now Wimbley, 28, could enter the fray.
Wimbley had seven sacks and 64 tackles last season. In his six-year career, he's had 42 1/2 sacks and 362 tackles.


Jets sign wide receiver Schilens

Wide receiver Chaz Schilens has signed with the New York Jets, according to reports.
Schilens, 26, caught 72 career passes for 902 yards with seven touchdowns in 43 career games. He made 19 starts during four seasons with the Oakland Raiders.
He was a part-time player for the Raiders last season, when he caught 23 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns.
Numerous injuries slowed the speedy Schilens during his time in Oakland

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