P Mitch Berger had a tryout with the Patriots this past week. New England has three punters currently on the roster, but the team looks to be in the market for a starter to replace incumbent Josh Miller. Miller is returning from a shoulder injury suffered during the 2006 season. New England also had first right of refusal on P Todd Sauerbrun, which the team executed when the Denver Broncos signed Sauerbrun. A special arbitrator ruled against New England and Sauerbrun was declared a free agent. He immediately signed with Denver. The attention that the front office has given the position is a clear indication that the team is looking for an upgrade.
Former Patriots Watch:
Former second round draft pick OT Adrian Klemm signed with the Oakland Raiders on August 1, 2007, was released by the team just a few days later. The former New England offensive lineman was the the Packers in 2006 before injuring his Achilles and being placed on IR.
TE Jake Nordin signed a contract with the Washington Redskins on July 30, 2007. The 6-foot-3, 262-pound Northern Illinois product was originally signed by the New England Patriots as an undrafted rookie free agent in May. He participated in the team's minicamps and OTAs. The Patriots released Nordin on July 20th.
Current NFL Watch:
DE Simeon Rice visited with the Titans and took a physical on Friday. He was in New York on Tuesday and Wednesday meeting with Giants officials. He would seem to be a better fit for the Titans, where he could play right end opposite left end Kyle Vanden Bosch, who faced almost constant double-teaming on passing downs last season. Currently, the Titans have unproven Travis LaBoy and journeyman DeQuincy Scott competing for the starting right end position.
WR Plaxico Burress, who had surgery on his left ankle during the offseason, sprained his right ankle on Thursday and sat out Friday's session. "I dont know if he will be back tomorrow but within a couple of days he should be back," coach Tom Coughlin said.
TE L.J. Smith continues his recovery from a sports hernia. "Hes not able to do a lot of work yet, but were easing him back into it," coach Andy Reid said. "Its important that we do that, and we dont rush it and do something stupid with him. Hes making progress every day and catching the football well when he has opportunities.
"We try to give him a little bit more every day to see how he does. He had a little soreness a couple days ago, so we backed up and started again. It looked like he did alright today."
WR Eric Parker could miss up to 10 weeks following surgery on a cracked bone near his right big toe. Parker originally suffered the injury during a June minicamp and had not participated yet in training camp. Already a bit thin at the receiver position, the Chargers picked former Notre Dame WR Rhema McKnight up off of waivers from New Orleans. Parker, one of the team's few established receivers, was slated to start opposite Vincent Jackson this season, but the team now must hope someone steps -- most likely Malcom Floyd or rookie Craig Davis.
CB Jason Webster, whose once very promising career has been sidetracked by numerous injuries, is still favored to win a starting job opposite Terrence McGee despite a tight left hamstring that has kept him from practicing for four days.
LB Warrick Holdman was released from the hospital on Friday, a day after suffering a spinal cord concussion during a hit in a training camp practice. There isn't a timetable for his return to the team yet.
DT Corey Simon (failed physical) had his contract terminated by the Colts.
S Mike Minter said he might retire before the start of the season due to continuing knee pain. Minter already said 2007 would be his final season, but now is trying to determine if he can go through the rigors of another full season.
LB Greg Ellis still isn't happy with his contract, but said he will play another season for the Cowboys rather than retire.
LT David Diehl, attempting to slide over from guard to fill in for departed Luke Petitgout, was beaten several times by DE Osi Umenyiora during the first week of practice. "Dont forget Osi runs by a lot of people, hes been doing that for a few years now, and he has continued to do that as well," coach Tom Coughlin said. "So there isnt any scheming going on, we dont have anybody chipping people and we're not neccsarily putting the tight end over there. In training camp, you're going to have some good ones and you're going to have some bad ones. That goes for everybody. But David is really solid and that group up there has great pride and definitely he has improved in a week's time. There are some things that he has to adjust to seeing that he sees daily, but hes doing better."
OLB Mathias Kiwanuka has been playing end in nickel packages in practice, but coach Tom Coughlin said that was planned from the start and is not in response to DE Michael Strahan's holdout.
LB Derek Rehage was released by Pittsburgh. Rehage (6-0, 242), who had missed all of training camp with an injured thumb, signed with the team in January and was allocated to NFL Europa. He registered 34 tackles and 3.5 sacks for the Rhein Fire in 2007. He did not play in 2006 after a college career at Miami (Ohio).
LB Matt King signed with Pittsburgh. King (6-3, 245) originally singed with the New York Jets as an undrafted rookie free agent from Maine this past spring, but was released prior to training camp. He recorded 11.5 sacks as a senior, the second-highest total in team history, and was named a finalist for the 2006 Buck Buchanan Award given to the nations best Division I-AA defensive player.
OLB Marcello Church was released by the Steelers.
CB David Irons needs to develop quickly to provide needed depth in the Falcons' secondary. "He should be a very good player for us on special teams," coach Bobby Petrino said. "He has to get use to the NFL rules in terms of the five yard area and when your hands can be on a receiver. Once he does that, hell have great recovery speed. Also, I think his competitiveness and his ability to catch up will really help him to be a player."
P Ryan Dougherty signed with Green Bay. Dougherty was a three-time All-Conference USA selection, with a career average of 42.7 yards per punt. The four-year standout had 68 punts inside the 20, playing in 47 career games.
TE Tory Humphrey was placed on injured reserve (ankle).
WR Calvin Johnson's six-year contract is reportedly worth up o $64 million, with just under $27.2 million in guaranteed money.
TE Erik Jensen (released by Cowboys 8/23) signed with the Bengals.
LB Eddie Moore (from reserve/injured, injury settlement) was waived by Denver.
DE Noland Burchette (released by Falcons 7/23) signed with the Colts.
LB Mark Zalewski (left squad) was waived by the Jets.
TE Randal Williams was waived by Oakland.
DE J.J. Milan was waived by Oakland.
RB Reggie Merriweather was waived by San Diego.
WR Rhema McKnight was assigned to San Diego on waivers from the Saints.
DT Lauvale Sape (released failed physical by Raiders 7/30) signed with Tennessee.
DT Quartez Vickerson (Berlin-NFLE '07) signed with Tennessee.
OG Timothy Downing was waived by Arizona.
CB Dion Byrum was waived by Carolina.
RB Reshard Lee was placed on injured reserve.
DB Israel Route (injured) was placed on waivers by Detroit.
DE Jonathan Hamm (from reserve/injured, injury settlement) was waived by New Orleans.
Rookie TE Kevin Boss has impressed with his athleticism, but still needs to improve his blocking. "Kevin is a young guy who caught our eye in spring with his catching ability," coach Tom Coughlin said. "We are working hard to bring him along as a blocker. He shows positive signs on a daily basis, but others. He certainly needs work in that direction, but he an outstanding young prospect."