Around The NFL: News, Notes & Rumors
Gaither,Jared (Baltimore Ravens)
OT Jared Gaither's back is "total healed," according to a tweet by agent Drew Rosenhaus. "He's had a great offseason and will have a bounce back yr. He's back to fll strength & ready to go," Rosenhaus wrote. Gaither missed all of last season with an upper-back injury. Gaither, who lost the starting left tackle job to Michael Oher last year and was slated to move to the right side, could become an unrestricted free agent depending on the rules of a new collective bargaining agreement.
Analysis: When free agency eventually begins, top options like Gaither will be in high demand. Look for Gaither to cash in with a big contract if he becomes an unrestricted free agent once the lockout ends.
Romo,Tony (Dallas Cowboys)
QB Tony Romo got married to Candice Crawford, Miss Missouri USA in 2008, at Arlington Hall in Dallas on Saturday. Crawford, 31, hosts a fashion show in Dallas and has worked as a news reporter in Texas. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones got special permission to attend the wedding during the lockout, when players cannot have contact with their teams, according to ESPN.
Analysis: Romo getting married? This latest relationship seemed very under the radar after failed bouts with celebrities Jessica Simpson and Carrie Underwood. Congratulations, Tony.
Kaepernick,Colin (San Francisco 49ers)
QB Colin Kaepernick joined teammates for player-only workouts in the San Jose area last week, according to The Sacramento Bee. Kaepernick arrived Wednesday and took part in Friday's throwing session. Kaepernick is expected to be groomed in 2011 behind Alex Smith, who will be a free agent when the lockout ends but is expected to re-sign with the team. Kaepernick received a copy of the playbook shortly after the draft, but hasn't been able to have any communication with the coaching staff since.
Analysis: Kaepernick is a raw prospect who'll need ample time to adjust at the NFL level. The impeding lockout is hurting his development and he'll more than likely be relegated to the sidelines in 2011.
Crabtree,Michael (San Francisco 49ers)
WR Michael Crabtree has not attended player-only workouts in the San Jose area, including sessions last week, according to The Sacramento Bee.
Analysis: Given his already speckled past in the Bay Area, Crabtree's absence from player-only workouts isn't surprising. Crabtree should be getting as much work in as possible to help realize his full potential.
Kolb,Kevin (Philadelphia Eagles)
QB Kevin Kolb was on hand as the Philadelphia Eagles began player-organized workouts Thursday, even though the team is expected to attempt to trade him once the lockout ends.
"It's pretty tough," he told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "But, you all have known me for a long time, and the way I handle things is I keep my mind and keep the things out of my life. So I don't pay too much attention to it. It's hard when it has to do with my life. But I keep a positive attitude and keep moving forward and whatever happens I'll be ready to roll."
The Eagles were believed to have already received an offer of a first-round pick from an unknown team shortly before the lockout began. Among the teams seeking a veteran quarterback are the Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and the Tennessee Titans.
Mike Kafka, who would become Michael Vick's primary backup if Kolb is dealt, was also at the workouts in Evesham, N.J. on Thursday.
Analysis: Kolb wants a new home and the lockout is the only thing standing in his way. It's refreshing, however, to see Kolb continuing to work with his fellow teammates in Philadelphia amidst the uncertainly. Kolb's positive attitude should make for a quick and easy transition with a new team.
Talib,Aqib (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
CB Aqib Talib was indicted Friday by a grand jury in Texas on an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge.
Talib, 25, is accused of firing shots at his sister's boyfriend on March 21. Talib turned himself in to police in Garland, Texas nine days later and was released on $25,000 bail. The police report says Talib pointed a gun at Billings and swung it at him. The gun slipped out of his hands and hit a fence.
His mother, Okolo Talib, is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and being a felon in possession of a firearm from the same incident. According to the police report, she tried to fight Billings, who had picked up the inoperable gun.
The incident allegedly began when Billings got into a physical argument with Saran Talib, and took the phone and broke it when she tried to call 911.
Talib faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
Analysis: Some guys will never learn. Off-field issues continue to plague Talib as this isn't his first run-in with the law. It's sad considering how much talent he displays on the field and it's unknown if Talib will see action this year for Tampa Bay.
Haynesworth,Albert (Washington Redskins)
DL Albert Haynesworth had his road-rage assault trial postponed in Fairfax, Va. to give him time to work on a settlement with the alleged victim. The trial, set for Thursday, is now scheduled for next Tuesday.
Haynesworth is accused of punching a man during a traffic altercation in February.
He also has a July 11 trial date stemming from a misdemeanor charge of sexual abuse. A deal was rejected earlier this month in which Haynesworth would have pleaded guilty to simple assault with the sexual abuse charge being dropped. Attorney A. Scott Bolden said the offer from the prosecutors wasn't accepted because Haynesworth is innocent.
The alleged incident occurred on Feb. 12 when a cocktail waitress accused Haynesworth. Bolden claims the woman fabricated the story and said, "It's about money."
Analysis: See above: Aqib Talib. When will Haynesworth learn to stop drawing attention to himself? Haynesworth, the NFL's most feared defender just a short time ago, has become a laughingstock of the league.
White,Roddy (Atlanta Falcons)
WR Roddy White was upset with local media when it was accurately reported this week that his cousin, Ali White, was arrested on robbery charges. White essentially brought his cousin to live with him four years ago and has done some admirable work with at-risk youngsters in general in the community. But it should also be noted that before Falcons officials signed White to a six-year, $50 million contract extension in 2009, they demanded he cut ties with some old friends and hangers-on they felt were a negative influence on him.
Analysis: White is a nice example of what can go right in the NFL. Despite the mix-up with his cousin, White and the Falcons should be commended for their work in the community and for putting the appropriate support system in place.
Colston,Marques (New Orleans Saints)
WR Marques Colston is working out twice a day and demonstrating no ill effects from the microfracture knee surgery he underwent on his right knee this spring. The twice-daily workouts apparently include days on which the Saints do not convene for their unsupervised practices.
A recovery is key for Colston, who will be entering the final year of his contract in 2011, provided there is a season, at a base salary of $3 million. Going into his sixth season, Colston will be an unrestricted free agent next spring, as long as there is any kind of season that allows games to be played.
Although Colston posted the worst yards-per-catch average of his career (12.2 yards), he still had 84 receptions for 1,023 yards and seven touchdowns. In five years, Colston, who turns 28 next month, has averaged 73.8 catches, 1,019.4 yards, and eight scores. He also had microfracture surgery last spring, on his left, knee, and nonetheless appeared in 15 games in 2010, with 11 starts.
Analysis: Few players are more anxious to get back on the field than Colston, who'll be playing for a new contract in 2011. Colston has loads of talent and could be due for a huge year in the Saints' explosive offensive attack.
Coffee,Glen (Free Agent)
RB Glen Coffee is back in football -- as a semipro linebacker -- and hasn't ruled out playing in the NFL again at some point. Coffee, who said his commitment to Christianity pushed him away from the NFL, called the league money-focused and said it "ruins a lot of lives" in an interview with NFL.com.
"A lot of players get that money," he said. "And they chase that money, man, and I feel that they're really missing the true meaning of life. So I'm constantly afraid for the NFL and the players, because kids growing up nowadays, they see that as the end all, be all. And that's just not the case."
Analysis: Coffee appears to be playing in the semipro ranks strictly for the love of the game. That said, if Coffee wanted back in the NFL, how would the league and its players respond given his critical comments?
Griffen,Everson (Minnesota Vikings)
DE Everson Griffen got some much-needed advice from coach Leslie Frazier four months ago.
Griffen had been arrested twice in a week for alleged public intoxication and resisting arrest, and was planning a party in Las Vegas that was being promoted on Facebook.
That's when Griffen heard from Frazier. Said Griffen, "He said, ‘know what you're here for.' I'm here to play football. I'm here to represent the Minnesota Vikings, and I want to represent them in a good way, not a bad way."
With that, the party was canceled, and Griffen left Los Angeles for Minnesota to be closer to and work out with teammates.
Said Griffen, "I had a little rough stretch. Coaches want me back, and that's the place for me to be. That's not me at all. I'm just trying to make changes. I've got big years coming up. I'm just trying to show the Minnesota Vikings I'm here for good."
Analysis: Although it's unfortunate that the party in Las Vegas got axed, this is another example of what can happen when NFL players and coaches collaborate. Nice work, Everson and Leslie.
Burress,Plaxico (Free Agent)
WR Plaxico Burress deserves a second chance in football, according for former teammate, Giants LT David Diehl, but it might not be with the Giants. Burress, 33, is scheduled to be released from prison June 6.
"He's had a lot of success for us as a player," Diehl told NFL Network. "But, if I were Plaxico, I would say no. With everything that happened (pleading guilty in 2009 to attempted criminal possession of a weapon), Plaxico has taken a lot of heat, not only through the media. I think about Michael Vick's situation. He went into a new situation, a new city, where he could almost start fresh with new teammates and go back to basics."
Analysis: Burress certainly deserves a second chance in the league, considering the other players who have been given a shot a redemption. Am I the only one who thinks Burress' jail term seemed obscenely long?
Tebow,Tim (Denver Broncos)
QB Tim Tebow participated in voluntary workouts organized by safety Brian Dawkins on Thursday. Tebow had been training on his own in Florida but returned in the name of camaraderie. He's expected to compete with Kyle Orton, assuming one of the quarterbacks isn't traded by the Broncos, for the starting job in 2011.
Analysis: Even the lockout can't stop Tebow from making a move up the depth chart. By the beginning of the season, expect Tebow to leap Orton for the starting job, with Orton likely headed elsewhere.
Grossman,Rex (Washington Redskins)
QB Rex Grossman notched his first victory in four seasons last year with the Redskins. He doesn't believe it was his last.
Responding to public comments by John Beck that he considers himself the team's starting quarterback, Grossman, who isn't under contract for 2011, said he will be the starter in Washington. Donovan McNabb, likely to be traded or released, is under contract with the Redskins.
"I definitely feel like I'm the starter, but I'm not even signed yet, so I'm assuming a lot of things here," Grossman said in a radio interview on 106.7 The Fan. "The coaches have to set the playing field and let us know what the situation is. I feel I'm coming into the prime of my experience and I know exactly what I can do well and what my weaknesses and strengths are, and how it relates to this offense. I've been in crucial situations. I've played in the Super Bowl. I feel I'm so much better than I was then that I'd like to have the opportunity to have a full season with this offense and have a whole season to feel like this is my team. That's my goal. That's what I want to happen."
Analysis: The Redskins' quarterback situation is a mess. While other teams have been open about finding new options under center, things have been quiet in Washington. Is coach Mike Shanahan content with Grossman and Beck? Lets hope not, for the Redskins' sake.
Information from The Sports Xchange was used in this report
Questions or comments? Contact Brad Wilbricht at firstname.lastname@example.org
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