In the wide wake of the NFL week
--- CB Sammy Davis was traded from the Chargers to the 49ers for WR Rashaun Woods. Davis (6-foot, 195 pounds) started 26 games his first two seasons in the league with the Chargers, but Drayton Florence beat him out for the starting job last season at right cornerback. While with the Chargers, Davis started 30 of the 44 games in which he played, recording three interceptions. Davis will compete with Mike Rumph and Harris for playing time in the 49ers' secondary. Second-year player Shawntae Spencer looks as if he will be one of the starting cornerbacks, but the other spot is up for grabs. --- In acquiring Woods, the Chargers gets a pass-catcher who spent most of 2005 on San Francisco's injured reserve list with a thumb injury. But he'll get a look from the Chargers, a team desperate to upgrade their depth. Woods will have to battle second-year pro Vincent Jackson and Kassim Osgood, who's more noted for his special teams play, to play behind Keenan McCardell and Eric Parker. Woods has caught one touchdown pass in his two NFL seasons. --- P Jeff Feagles just turned 40 last month, and the other day he announced that he would return to the Giants for his 19th NFL season. He had reportedly told Giants officials after last season that he would retire, but has changed his mind. Feagles has played in an NFL-record 288 consecutive games. He is first in NFL history with 1,437 punts and 456 downed inside the 20-yard line. He is second in punting yardage with 59,830 - just 878 shy of the record holder, former Giants punter Sean Landeta. Last season he punted 73 times with a 42.1 gross average and a net of 37.0. --- QB Donovan McNabb appears to have made a complete recovery from November surgery to repair a sports hernia. He's been participating in the Eagles' off-season voluntary workout program and even threw down a dunk in a celebrity basketball game last week. --- S Sean Taylor's trial on assault and battery charges from an incident last June 1 was pushed back again. On April 12, lead prosecutor Michael Grieco stepped aside after defense lawyers charged him with professional misconduct. Grieco, the assistant state attorney for Miami-Dade County, asked to be replaced because "he sees himself becoming the courtroom focus, rather than the individual charged with the criminal offense," said a statement from Grieco's supervisor, Katherine Fernandez Rundle. So Taylor's trial on three aggravated assault charges and one misdemeanor battery charge was moved from April 17 to May 8 by Circuit Judge Mary Barzee after Taylor's attorney, Richard Sharpstein, said he would seek dismissal of the charges because of "inappropriate and unethical" actions by Grieco. Sharpstein said the prosecutor had posted news articles about the Taylor case on a Web site that promotes his business as a Miami-area disc jockey. Taylor faces a minimum of three years and a maximum of 15 years in prison on each of the three aggravated assault charges and one year in prison for the misdemeanor after allegedly pointing a gun at three persons in an attempt to reclaim stolen all-terrain vehicles. Taylor has refused a deal in which he would receive a sentence of probation in return for a guilty felony plea. --- WR Peerles Price, 29, has rejoined the Bills, signing a four-year contract that will pay him an average of $2.57 million. That's a far cry from the deal he got with Atlanta in 2003 that included a $10 million signing bonus alone. Price, a second-round pick of the Bills in 1999, had a breakout season in 2002 with 94 catches for 1,251 yards and nine touchdowns as the deep threat in a wide-open attack featuring quarterback Drew Bledsoe and wide receiver Eric Moulds. An unrestricted free agent, he was able to force a trade for a first-round pick to the Falcons after Buffalo slapped the franchise tag on him. The Bills used that pick to select running back Willis McGahee. Unfortunately for Price and the Falcons, he was never able to live up to expectations playing in a run-oriented attack with a run-first quarterback in Michael Vick. In his two seasons in Atlanta, Price caught 109 passes for 1,413 yards and six touchdowns but eventually lost his starting job and was cut. He signed with Dallas last September but even a reunion with Bledsoe couldn't revive things. He appeared in just seven games, catching six balls. --- RB Willis McGahee's off-season commitment to the Bills' new coaching staff didn't last long. After attending the first 10 days of the club's off-season workout program, McGahee skipped last week's voluntary three-day minicamp for veterans. Instead, he was back home in Miami. "We love Willis," coach Dick Jauron said. "We'd just love him a little more if he had been here." --- CB Nate Clements, who has been given the franchise tag, is still negotiating with the Bills, but a deal isn't close. That was evident when Clements skipped the team's voluntary mini-camp for veterans last weekend. Clements is guaranteed to earn the average of the top five corners in the league next season, a whopping $7.2 million, but he wants a long-term contract. Coach Dick Jauron was disappointed Clements did not show good faith by attending camp to at least take part in classroom work, learning new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell's system. --- DL Richard Seymour signed a lucrative four-year contract extension with the Patriots on April 12. While terms of the deal where not disclosed, it reportedly includes more than $24 million in bonuses and carries an annual average value of nearly $8 million per season. The contract includes a signing bonus of $5.34 million and the bulk of the money will come as an $18.66 million option bonus due before the 2007 season. Seymour will also get workout bonuses totaling more than $400,000 over the life of the deal, which includes yearly salaries of $585,000, $600,000, $730,000 and $3.85 million. --- RB Ahman Green Green has filed for divorce from wife Heather for the second time in less than a year. Green, 29, filed a divorce petition in Brown County (Wis.) Circuit Court on April 11. The couple was thought to have reconciled after Green initially filed for divorce following his arrest last April for a disorderly-conduct charge in a domestic dispute with his wife. Green rescinded the divorce petition in December. In turn, Brown County prosecutors dropped the charge against Green in March, citing changing testimony and a lack of physical evidence. --- RB Ricky Williams presented his appeal of a fourth positive drug test during a seven-hour hearing with league officials in New York City last Monday. Miami coach Nick Saban spoke via telephone on Williams' behalf. The positive test was Williams' fourth under the NFL's substance-abuse policy. If it stands, he faces a one-year suspension. --- OL Trey Teague, a free agent from Buffalo, signed with the Jets. He started every game last season, and has experience at tackle and center and could help fill the void left by Kevin Mawae. "Trey is a physical, tough, smart and determined veteran who provides our offensive line with flexibility and experience," Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said in a release. "He is a consistent player with a physical presence and we look forward to integrating him into our program." --- WR Az zahir-Hakim has met with Arizona officials and is interested in signing with the team, but the Cardinals might hold off on such a move until after the April 29-30 draft. --- RB Warrick Dunn saved the Falcons nearly $3 million against this year's salary cap by agreeing to restructure his contract. The agreement includes a one-year extension through 2008, and $2.5 million in future earnings were transformed into a signing bonus, which is prorated over the life of the contract. He will earn $2.7 million in 2006 and is scheduled to make $12.45 million over the next three years. --- LB Keith Brooking restructured his contract, saving the team about $2 million against the 2005 salary cap. The deal turns $2.7 million of his base salary into a signing bonus. He will make $1.6 million in base salary this season and is scheduled to earn $19.6 million through 2009. --- LB LaVar Arrington is still a free agent as the Giants appear to have removed themselves from the bidding for the former Redskins Pro Bowler. His financial demands were too high and already turned off Cincinnati, Cleveland and Miami. The Giants made an offer, which he refused and which they recently took off the table. Arrington was negotiating with Green Bay most recently, but the underlying suspicion is that he'll sign with the Giants when his demands and the Giants' offer get a lot closer. --- RB Correll Buckhalter, who has missed three of the last four seasons with major knee injuries - including the last two with a torn patellar tendon - is hopeful of making a comeback next season. The 6-0, 222-pounder is only 27. He averaged 4.3 yards per carry and had eight rushing touchdowns in 2003 when he rotated with Duce Staley and Brian Westbrook. --- CB Ricky Manning Jr., a restricted free agent from Carolina, hopped an early flight Wednesday morning, visited Chicago in the afternoon and dined with Bears coaches at night. The three-year veteran passed a physical Thursday, and now the Bears have until April 21 to present an offer sheet to the 5-foot-8, 185-pound former third-round pick out of UCLA. Because Manning was offered the lowest tender offer of $721,600 by the Panthers, the Bears would only owe his former team a third-round pick if they make him an offer and Carolina declines to match it in the subsequent seven days. A Panthers source said the team will not match any offer, and the Bears are expected to make one by early next week. --- DT Dan Wilkinson was one of three regulars who missed the Lions' voluntary three-day minicamp, leading to speculation that he might be ready for retirement - or possibly a new team - after 13 NFL seasons. Coach Rod Marinelli was tight-lipped regarding the situation, saying only that Wilkinson, 33, was "at home" and - along with tackle Jeff Backus and linebacker Boss Bailey - was excused from the week's activities. Backus is unsigned and could not participate. Bailey Bailey's absence went unexplained. Henderson indicated he was attending to personal matters but others indicated there were other reasons for his absence. --- DE Kenechi Udeze took part in all drills during the April 7-9 minicamp, despite having a microfracture procedure to repair damaged cartilage in his left knee only six months earlier. Udeze had been expected to sit out until training camp but instead was with the first team at left end. --- OLB Keith Adams, a free agent who played last season for the Philadelphia Eagles, signed a two-year contract with the Carolina Panthers. Terms were not disclosed. A former star at Clemson, Adams is the son of former New England Patriots defensive end Julius Adams. Adams, 27, has primarily been a special teams standout for the Eagles, but saw increased playing time on defense during Philadelphia's run to the Super Bowl two years ago. That earned him a starting job at weakside linebacker last season. Although he started all 16 games there in 2005 and had 101 tackles, he struggled at times as an every-down player and the Eagles didn't attempt to re-sign him. --- T Jammal Brown moved from right to left tackle at last week's Saints mini-camp, a move new coach Sean Payton said is permanent. Brown, the Saints' first-round draft pick last spring, was handed his new assignment when Wayne Gandy was traded to the Atlanta Falcons on the eve of the minicamp. --- S Keith Davis, a restricted free agent, signed an offer sheet with the Saints last week. The deal includes a $1.2 million signing bonus.The Cowboys have until April 18 to match the two-year offer to Davis, a 5-foot-11, 207-pounder. If they don't match, the Saints would not owe them compensation because Davis was undrafted out of college. Davis, 27, started 15 games at free safety for the Cowboys last season but is considered to be a natural strong safety. He's also earned a reputation on special teams, where he excelled on kick coverage units. --- WR/KR Michael Lewis, one of the Saints' more popular players, to a three-year contract before the final practice of their three-day minicamp last week. Lewis, who became an unrestricted free agent last month, signed the new contract and then watched the workout in street clothes as he continues to recover from a knee injury that limited him to two games last season. A New Orleans native and fan favorite since earning a roster spot as a free agent in 2001, the speedy Lewis is the club's all-time leader in punt and kickoff return yards with 1,371 and 4,989 yards, respectively. --- DE Will Smith, the Saints' sack leader last season, did not participate in the minicamp after undergoing an arthroscopic procedure on his shoulder. --- T Torrin Tucker officially joined the Buccaneers when Dallas failed to match an offer sheet signed by the restricted free agent. The Bucs signed Tucker to a two-year offer sheet that paid him a $100,000 signing bonus and a base salary of $1.2 million in 2006. In 2007, he will receive a $200,000 roster bonus and $1.1 million base salary. Tampa Bay did not owe the Cowboys any compensation because Tucker was undrafted. --- DL Tyoka Jackson, the Rams' defensive captain the last three seasons, will not be re-signed. Jackson became an unrestricted free agent in March. Jackson learned he probably wasn't in the team's plans when the contents of his locker were boxed up and sent to his home. --- CB Randall Gay, an exclusive right free agent, re-signed with the Patriots on April 11. The third-year veteran and former undrafted rookie free agent out of LSU played in just five games a year ago before going on injured reserve on Nov. 5 with an ankle injury. In two seasons with the Patriots Gay appeared in 20 games with 11 starts, totaling 49 tackles, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. He's expected to once again compete for extensive playing time in the New England secondary in 2006. --- OL Trey Teague, who has played center for Buffalo for the past four seasons, signed with the Jets. He didn't miss a start in those years. Teague began his career with the Broncos, where he mostly played left tackle from 1998 through 2001. So it is possible, though not probable, that he could fill the Jets' void at left tackle should they not draft Virginia's D'Brickashaw Ferguson with the fourth overall pick. --- FB Jeremi Johnson signed a one-year contract Thursday to return to the Bengals, giving them all 11 starters from 2005 under contract. It's believed that Johnson, a three-year starter, signed the one-year tender for $721,600. As a restricted free agent, Johnson could have signed an offer sheet with another team, and if the Bengals chose not to match it, the Bengals would have received a draft pick as compensation. Johnson's tender called for a draft-status pick, meaning the Bengals would have received a fourth-round pick for losing him. --- WR Chris Henry of the Bengals faces a May 30 trial date on a single charge of carrying a concealed firearm in Orange County, Fla. A pre-trial conference is set for May 16. The case is expected to be settled before it goes to trial. Henry is likely to receive probation. Henry is rehabbing a sprained knee suffered in the playoff loss to Pittsburgh. --- LB James Harrison signed a four-year, $5.5 million contract with a $1.375 million signing bonus as the Steelers' No. 1 backup to starters Clark Haggans and Joey Porter. --- LB Rocky Calmus is not expected to return to the Colts. Calmus spent the 2005 season on the injured reserve list after suffering a torn hamstring during one of his first practices with the team. He was obtained in an early September, 2005 trade with the Tennessee Titans in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick. --- RB Fred Taylor opened the offseason program by telling Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio he was going to work out on his own and then sounded off in an interview with a Florida Times-Union reporter. "It's an unloyal business," he said. "If they say something, it doesn't necessarily mean you mean it a week later. It's all hot air until it happens." Taylor, 30, decided to work out his own in the off-season with a firm called Perfect Competition, though he'll show up for mini-camp and the organized team activities. --- DE Lance Johnstone was reacquired by the Raiders. Johnstone's signing gives Oakland a bookend situational pass rusher to go along with Derrick Burgess, the free-agent prize of 2005 who led the NFL in sacks with 16. Johnstone, 32, was drafted by the Raiders out of Temple in the second round in 1996. Johnstone has 70 career sacks in 10 NFL seasons with the Raiders and Vikings. --- C Jeremy Newberry of the 49ers is pain-free for the first time in a while after undergoing microfracture surgery on his right knee late last season. Newberry is hoping to be cleared to begin on-field work for the start of training camp. --- WR/KR Wes Welker recently underwent surgery to remove loose bodies from his left ankle. Welker is expected back on the field later in the offseason. --- CB Will Poole is participating in offseason workouts after missing all of last season because of a knee injury. Asked to describe his physical condition, Poole said, "I'm back." --- OL Dwayne Carswell's recovery from a serious car accident last season is coming along slowly, but that was expected. Carswell, an offensive lineman for the Denver Broncos, suffered a ruptured spleen, a ruptured diaphragm, multiple fractured ribs and a contusion of his entire left internal cavity in a car accident last Oct. 27. His season was finished, and it was February before he got clearance from his doctors to start working out. Carswell ran on a treadmill on April 13, which was the first time he had run since his accident. Carswell will have a tough time getting ready for training camp in July. He hasn't started lifting heavy weights yet, only working on his core muscles with the training staff. --- QB Joey Harrington has drawn the interest of the Broncos and will likely visit Denver at some point. The Broncos have Jake Plummer but he will turn 32 this year. Plummer's backup, Bradlee Van Pelt, is an exceptional athlete but he has very little experience and is raw. --- LT Roman Oben is hopeful of being fit by training camp. It's obvious he won't be at full speed at the minicamps as he rebounds from two foot surgeries. --- WR Terrell Owens, after saying he knew what was expected of him and even promising owner Jerry Jones, "I won't let you down," at his signing press conference March 18, is already raising red flags about his supposed selfish behavior. He has not been 100 percent compliant with coach Bill Parcells' off-season conditioning program. The Cowboys understood when Owens missed the first few workouts after signing his three-year, $25 million contract. He had prior commitments. But Owens has not been a regular participant at all, showing up at only a handful of workouts. Players are asked to work out four times a week and get in 40 total workouts in the voluntary off-season program. Parcells, who believes the off-season program is about building team chemistry as much as it about getting his players conditioned, wants all his players present. --- P Jason Baker re-signed with Carolina for a two-year, $1.8 million contract that includes a $400,000 signing bonus. --- TE Tony Stewart, a restricted free agent, re-signed with Cincinnati. --- RB Jason Anderson, an exclusive rights free agent, re-signed with Houston. --- S Vernon Fox, an unrestricted free agent, re-signed with Detroit. --- C Brock Gutierrez, an unrestricted free agent, re-signed with Detroit. --- LB Nate Wayne, an unrestricted free agent, re-signed with Detroit. --- OG Tyrone Hopson (released by Lions 9/3, 11/16) was added to Detroit's roster. --- TE T.J. Cottrell was cut by Minnesota. --- P Tom Rouen, an unrestricted free agent, re-signed with Seattle. --- S Oliver Celestin signed a one-year, $425,000 contract with Seattle. --- WR Jonathan Smith, an exclusive rights free agent, re-signed with Buffalo. --- CB Kevin Thomas (failed physical/knee) was cut by Buffalo. --- QB Marcus Randall, an exclusive rights free agent, re-signed with Tennessee. --- S Terrence Holt, a restricted free agent, re-signed with Detroit. --- DT Kenderick Allen, a restricted free agent, had his rights terminated by the Giants. --- OG Reggie Wells' five-year contract calls for him to receive a salary of $750,000 in 2006, followed by salaries ranging from $1 million in 2007 to $2.4 million in 2010. A $5 million bonus this season is also reportedly part of the deal. --- FB Cory Schlesinger, an 11-year NFL veteran and the Lions starting fullback since 1999, is waiting to see if he has a role in the team's new offense under coordinator Mike Martz. If he does, it was not easily detected in the Lions' just-completed three-day voluntary minicamp at their Allen Park training headquarters. In the three-day minicamp, Schlesinger's role did not seem to be defined, leaving him to wonder if his role and his position on the team might be phased out. --- LB Boss Bailey missed the Lions' three-day mini-camp. He was excused by the team from the week's activities. Bailey's absence was unexplained. Defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson indicated Bailey was attending to personal matters but others indicated there were other reasons for his absence. --- P Chris Kluwe, who underwent surgery Jan. 31 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, did not punt in the team's recent three-day minicamp but is making progress. --- FS Darren Sharper said that in the Vikings' new defensive scheme he actually will be lining up as the strong safety. --- DB Dustin Fox, the Vikings' third-round pick in 2005, said he has been moved from safety to cornerback. He worked at both spots during the team's recent mini-camp. --- RB Roger Robinson's tear through NFL Europe continued with his third 100-yard rushing performance in four games (he had 95 yards in the other). His 128 yards in Week 4 kept him atop the league rushing list. --- S Robert Griffith, who would go into his 13th season if he stumps the experts who believed he was about to retire, was among the first through the door when the Cardinals opened their 14-week off-season program at their Tempe, Ariz., training facility. --- WR/KR Brad Pyatt, who became a free agent in March when the Colts declined to tender him as a restricted free agent, signed with the Rams. He averaged 26.7 yards on 29 kickoffs in 2003 and 2004 with the Colts. He missed the entire 2005 season after being placed on injured reserve in the final cutdown because of a shoulder injury. Pyatt signed a one-year contract worth $32,500 that includes a $7,500 signing bonus. --- TE Kevin Everett, who tore his ACL in his first mini-camp last spring, missed Buffalo's first voluntary camp with a pulled groin. --- WR Hines Ward will be one of nine celebrity judges to pick the next Miss USA at the pageant April 21 in Baltimore. --- WR Chad Lucas set an NFL Europe record with four touchdown catches in Amsterdam's 38-31 win over Berlin on April 8. Lucas' last scoring catch covered 50 yards on a pass from Seattle prospect Gibran Hamdan. Lucas finished with six catches for 120 yards. Lucas leads the league through the first four weeks with six TD receptions and ranks second with an average of 18.6 yards per catch. All but five of his receptions have resulted in touchdowns. --- FB Lousaka Polite has signed a one-year contract to return to the Cowboys. He will get $425,000 in 2006. The Cowboys have now re-signed all of their exclusive rights free agents for 2006. --- P Leo Araguz, 36, signed a one-year, $585,000 contract with the Ravens. He has played sparingly over the past six seasons. The Ravens were faced with replacing punter Dave Zastudil, who last month signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Cleveland Browns. Araguz, 5-11, 190 pounds, entered the NFL in 1996 as a free agent from Stephen F. Austin with the Oakland Raiders. He has only punted 42 times since 2000. Araguz played most recently with the Seattle Seahawks at the beginning of last season. After Araguz won a training camp duel with Chris Klue for the punting job, his numbers slid steadily over the first four regular-season games. His average dropped from 46 yards in the opener to 33 in the game before he was waived. He was replaced by veteran Tom Rouen.
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