Combine News and Rumors

The Oakland Raiders have placed the exclusive franchise tag on cornerback Charles Woodson. In placing the exclusive tag on the veteran cornerback, Woodson can only negotiate with the Raiders.

  • In other Raiders news, the team has been coy about their interest in players, which will be available in free agency, but have shown a considerable amount of interest in wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. The Raiders are also believed to be interested in a running back, either through free agency, trade, or through the draft to provide a power-running game element back to the Bay.

  • The Arizona Cardinals have discussed at length the parameters of a deal for Cleveland running back Jamel White. The Cardinals are believed to be willing to part with a mid-round draft selection.

  • Talks regarding quarterback Drew Henson has slowed. Of the numerous teams that showed an interest in the former Michigan quarterback, many have backed away from the table as getting the player under a contract by April 23rd is becoming questionable.

  • Two teams had spoken with the Philadelphia Eagles regarding backup quarterback A.J. Feeley. Late Saturday night, one team, the Miami Dolphins appeared on the verge of acquiring the signal-caller from Oregon.

  • Coming away from talks on Saturday, the Washington Redskins are rumored to be seriously considering dealing cornerback Champ Bailey for the sixth-pick and a late round selection in the 2004 NFL Draft, to the Detroit Lions.

  • Following the workout of offensive lineman Robert Gallery of Iowa, two NFL team personnel evaluators believe Gallery is good enough to be the first player selected in the draft, for a team seeking a left offensive tackle.

  • New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick stated again that Miami Hurricanes safety Sean Taylor is the best player he has seen of the players heading into the draft.

  • Representatives from the Chicago Bears are scouting tight-end Jason Peters as an offensive tackle at the combine.

  • One NFC team scout stated that USC wide receiver Mike Williams has the talent to be a top-ten selection in the upcoming draft.

  • With all the attention being focused on quarterbacks Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, North Carolina State's Phillip Rivers is being considered the most ready to play at the next level by numerous team evaluators. As one AFC team representative noted, "Rivers will be the most productive of the guys coming out this year at the quarterback position from the onset. Don't worry about how he throws the ball, he is mature, has a great sense for the game, and has had to improvise to get the job done. This kid will go in the first-round."

  • The Carolina Panthers are rumored to be close to an agreement on a contract extension with restricted free agent wide receiver Steve Smith.

  • The Baltimore Ravens are rumored to be close to a contract extension with wide receiver Marcus Robertson.

  • The increase of an additional two-million dollars to the salary cap for the 2004 season may be the boost needed for the Green Bay Packers to retain the services of starting offensive left tackle Chad Clifton, according to sources in Indianapolis.

  • The Indianapolis Colts are close to having the salary cap room necessary to sign free agent quarterback Peyton Manning.

  • Denver Broncos running Clinton Portis remains unhappy that the team has not been willing to give him a new contract. Stopping short of stating Portis would become a problem, those close to the standout running back say the player is strong in his convictions.

  • If the San Francisco 49ers are unable to come of an agreement on a contract restructuring with quarterback Jeff Garcia, there is a serious market for the player. According to news in Indianapolis, the 49ers signal-caller would be on the hot-list for approximately three teams, including the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, and Arizona Cardinals.

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