Tillman Next Up?
The Chicago Bears recently signed CB Nathan Vasher to a long-term deal and they may get their other starting cornerback signed to a multi-year deal as well. A league source with knowledge of the situation told Scout.com that a decision on a contract extension for Charles Tillman should conclude by the end of this week. Vasher signed a five-year extension which is the same length the club is looking at with Vasher.
The final decision will rest on how much money the Bears offer Tillman, which we hear will be quite substantial. Even if it is a big number, Tillman has a decision to make. Does he agree to sign the contract and get paid now or play out the season and enter next year's free agent market as one of the top cornerbacks available?
Jets Keeping an Eye on Cornerback; Bowens Fitting In
Undrafted free agent CB DeAndre Jackson of Iowa State University recently passed a physical administered by the New York Jets. A highly rated cornerback coming into his senior season, Jackson suffered a major knee injury mid-way through the campaign which required surgery to repair. The team plans to have Jackson workout some time next week to see what kind of physical shape he's in. Needing depth at the cornerback position, the Jets would like to sign Jackson but may have some competition as at least two others teams have expressed interest in him.
OLB David Bowens is becoming more comfortable with the Jets and is starting to fit in. After a little awkwardness at the start, several teammates and University of Michigan alumni with the franchise threw Bowens a surprise birthday party on July 3rd. The team has liked what they've seen thus far from the pass rushing linebacker.
Jacksonville Making Desperation Move at Quarterback?
Much has been made about the Jacksonville Jaguars attempt to possibly acquire veteran QB Daunte Culpepper from the Miami Dolphins. As one league source framed it, Jacksonville has "colossally mismanaged" the quarterback situation.
Starter Byron Leftwich is considered a lame duck some question whether the injury prone signal caller should have returned for his final season with the team. Backup David Garrard has never shown any long-term consistency to his game. As the source put it, the rumored acquisition of Culpepper could be a sign of desperation.
It's likely the Jaguars will have fifth-round pick DT Derek Landri signed by the end of the week. The team likes his intensity and feels he could nicely fit in to give the starters a breather on occasion.
Are OTAs Really Voluntary?
As first noted a few weeks ago, various teams are including workout language in rookie contracts. A league source notes 11 teams (roughly a third of all teams) have escalator clauses tied to players participating in off-season workouts.
The source lists Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, and Washington Redskins as the teams having workout language in their rookie deals. And some of those deals have so-called "de-escalator" provisions which stipulates if the player doesn't participate in a certain percentage of OTAs (usually at least 75%), the player could lose anywhere from $75,000-$100,000 in each season where the workout attendance isn't met.
As one veteran agent framed it, "it makes you wonder why every team isn't trying to get their rookies to do this. It's not like every team doesn't have access to the same information."
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Tillman Next Up?