Ralph Cindrich, Saturday's agent, has had preliminary discussions with Colts officials on a new contract. He has informed them of Pro Bowl center's desire to remain in Indianapolis, and the team said the feeling is mutual.
"You always want to know what your future holds, but I'm sure they have thoughts about what they're going to do," Saturday said.
Team owner Jim Irsay dismissed the possibility the team would sign Saturday to an extension before his contract expires, or at least until late in the 2008 season.
"I don't see an extension," Irsay said, "but I do see him being a guy that we certainly have to be aware of going into next year that we would want to re-sign. You don't know what road it will go down. You may franchise-tag him.
"We all know how important Jeff is to our team. We're all hopeful Jeff's here in 2009."
New Orleans Saints
"It's something that we take very seriously and certainly our condolences go out to the family," Payton said Wednesday during a scheduled news conference following an Organized Team Activity (OTA).
TE Kellen Winslow is working out in San Diego rather than with the team at Browns' training complex in Berea. Fans are anxious because Winslow wants a new contract. Three years remain on his current deal.
Drew Rosenhaus, Winslow's agent said on a Youtube video Winslow will report when he it is required.
"These are voluntary activities," Rosenhaus said. "They are not mandatory, and a player has a right to train on his own. Kellen is coming off an off-season knee injury and he is doing his rehabilitation and his training with a very fine trainer in his hometown of San Diego.
"He will be at the mandatory minicamp and at the mandatory training camp. What's the big to-do? There shouldn't be so much scrutiny on players who choose to work out on their own. Kellen's going to be ready to go and everything should be just fine with him."
"It takes a couple of hours to get your head around the fact that we're probably going to be looking for another corner, if we weren't already doing so," Savage said. "We've got a few options out there."
WR Lee Evans received a contract offer from the Bills, but a contract extension is not imminent.
"I don't really want to speak on it now," Evans said after practice as Buffalo began a series of voluntary organized team activities. "There was an offer put out there but that's as much as I'll speak on it now."
Evans' contract expires after this season. Whether an extension is consummated before September or he gets a new deal next year, he's in line for a huge pay raise.
The Bills set a precedent for making the contract pecking order right last season when they re-worked DE Aaron Schobel's deal to make sure he made more than Chris Kelsay. They will have little leverage dealing with Peters, who has outperformed his contract and is one of the NFL's rising young stars at age 26. Just last month, Tennessee gave its version of Peters, Michael Roos, a deal averaging $7.1 million.
New York Giants
TE Jeremy Shockey is not likely to be traded at this point but could be back on the market after the 2008 season. Shockey will remain with the team as offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride tinkers with new formations to utilize two TEs (Shockey and last year's surprisingly good rookie, Kevin Boss).
Green Bay Packers
He isn't participating in the team's offseason workouts this spring for the second straight year. Harrell suffered an injury to a disk in his back lifting weights in April and subsequently underwent surgery.
"We're just taking it slow (with Harrell's recovery)," head coach Mike McCarthy said.
Harrell isn't expected to be cleared by the medical staff for on-field work until the start of training camp in late July.
He missed all offseason workouts as a rookie last year because of a torn biceps muscle he sustained in the early part of his senior season of college at Tennessee. In turn, Harrell wasn't physically ready for the start of the regular season and was deactivated for the first four games. He later was sidelined five games because of a midseason ankle injury.
Having Harrell healthy this offseason to expedite his development was paramount because he stands to have a significant role on the defensive line next season. The Packers deemed former starter Corey Williams expendable, trading him to Cleveland for a second-round draft pick this year, as they looked to count on a quartet of Johnny Jolly, hybrid lineman Cullen Jenkins, Colin Cole and Harrell to complement nose tackle Ryan Pickett.
Green Bay, however, was considerably thin in the interior when its organized team activities began May 19. Jolly also will be out until training camp as he recovers from a shoulder injury he suffered late last year.
"It's better than going back and forth every other play. It's nice to come out and say, 'Hey, this is my day with the first team, I'm going to go out and work with these guys.' It's better for continuity if you ask me." McCown said.
"I'm not surprised. Just knowing how hungry Ricky is to get at this thing. I love his attitude," Sparano said. "I love everything about what he's doing out there right now.... I'm excited for the guy."
Brown is on the field and ahead of schedule, but he's not taking part in full workouts.
"He's out there and he's getting a little bit of work," said coach Tony Sparano. "We're going to take it easy with him and see where it goes."
"It's ahead of what I thought," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "I was told he could not actually work out until a month before training camp."
Marshall wouldn't elaborate much on his latest progress, but did say that his rehabilitation is going well.
"Real good," Marshall said.
Marshall's presence in the offense is huge for the Broncos because he's their top playmaker, coming off a 100-catch season. The Broncos brought in three veteran wideouts, Keary Colbert, Darrell Jackson and Samie Parker, but they were expected to compete for the No. 2 job.
"I think in six years this might be the first time when I don't know to tell you," Del Rio told the media. "I don't know what to tell you. I'm just hoping it's not anything bad. You always worry about a guy running into a wall somewhere. You worry about a lot of things."
St. Louis Rams
"The real story is that I have this year and next year (on my contract) and hopefully I can finish those years out. Then I will see where I am at. I will see where I am at physically and emotionally and financially. Then, if they would like to do something here I will consider it. If not, then I will have the option to go and explore and give my services somewhere else.
"If that happens, Carolina will definitely be my first choice. There is no question about it. I have 2008 and 2009 left to play and that is what I plan on doing."
Holt wasn't around much during the early part of the offseason, partly to try and put the 2007 season behind him, and also because he wasn't pleased with the way the team treated fellow wide receiver Isaac Bruce, who was released in late February.
"From a mental standpoint, I just wanted to relax and get away from the building and get away from football for a while so I can come back with a fresh mind and give the guys and my teammates what it is they need to go out there and try to win some more games this year and try to get our first playoff berth in a while," he said.
Kansas City Chiefs
San Diego Chargers
"He really couldn't practice a whole lot last year," coach Norv Turner said of the Chargers' third-round pick in 2007. "He never was 100 percent. But he did a great job with all the opposition's stuff (on scout team) during the season. And he has had a great offseason."
With Stephen Cooper suspended for the first four games, Waters could get a heavy workload.
"We've had our mandatory workouts. When we open up (training) camp we anticipate Joe will be here."
The 36-year-old wide receiver, who started most of last season after signing a four-year, $19 million contract that guarantees him $7.5 million, feels he is not in the rebuilding team's plans. Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff have said that is not the case.
New Orleans Saints
Morgan, who signed a one-year contract with the Saints on March 11, announced his retirement last Monday. The 29-year-old Morgan played seven seasons in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers, but had participated in just four games over the last two seasons because of head and leg injuries.
Morgan missed the final 13 games of the 2007 season because of a partially-torn Achilles' tendon, an injury which played a major factor in the former Pro Bowler's decision to retire.
"When we signed Dan, he was committed to making a fresh start, and he was making every effort to rehabilitate the leg injury that he suffered last year," said Saints coach Sean Payton. "But it wasn't responding as well as he had hoped it would. We wish him well in his continued recovery, and he will be remembered for the excellent player he was during his career."
"He played with the first group to start with (at minicamp), and I thought he handled it very well," Fox said. "He adapted well. It didn't look like it was too big for him. He fit in well. Our players liked him. Maybe one of the good (things) was Steve Smith said, 'Man, that (number) 30 is pretty good.' Smitty doesn't give out a lot of compliments."
"Truth be known, if Jonathan hadn't had the toe situation, he probably never would've gotten to us (with the 13th pick)," Fox said. "We were fortunate that we were familiar with it. One of our team doctors did the actual surgery, so we had a pretty good feel of timing (of his return). At one point, he was not going to have the surgery, which would have affected maybe what we did, too. The fact that he got the surgery done and we knew about what his comeback time would be made us feel much more comfortable. He's a powerful guy with a thick lower body, excellent balance, great feet, so he breaks a lot of tackles and gets yards after the first contact, which is something we look for."
"We felt good about Jake (Delhomme) the whole time," coach John Fox said. "I can tell everyone that Jake looks outstanding. He's bigger, stronger. He's worked out very, very strong. His arm is looking fantastic, maybe stronger than ever. So that was number one. Then we felt really good about Matt Moore. We held off on playing him on purpose. He came in and won two out of his last three games as a starter. We feel good about where he's at in his development at this stage."
"D-line, it's the same fundamentals whether you're on the inside or the outside," Brayton said. "But when you go out to linebacker, that's a whole new world. As long as I'm playing on the D-line somewhere, I'm good."
Signed early this offseason as a free agent, the Raiders drafted Brayton to play defensive end, but soon afterward owner Al Davis and some others got it in their head that Brayton could be the next Ted Hendricks, a tall outside linebacker who could rush the passer and cover backs coming out of backfield. Three position switches later, he left as a free agent.
"He's a guy that came into the league as a high draft pick and played at a variety of positions," coach John Fox said. "He's played outside linebacker; he's played defensive end; he's played some defensive tackle in pass-rush situations. He's a guy that we thought had a lot to prove and he's worked that way. Hopefully, he'll get some good snaps for us."
"No, I wasn't upset at all," Williams said of the team's decision to draft Stewart. "This is the National Football League and every year there will be always be another back, another quarterback, another wide receiver or another offensive lineman. They just reload in this league."
Williams figures there are plenty of carries to go around, especially with the team's focus supposedly being on running the football this season. Last year, Foster carried 247 times; Williams 144. Williams would like that number to grow this year, but said he can't be worried about the numbers.
"I still have the same mindset whether I'm the starter or not the starter," Williams said. "Everybody is going to the two-back system, so whether he starts the game off or I start the game off, we'll both get the same amount of carries give or take a few. Having the opportunity to play the game period is important to him and me."
"It's unfortunate for them, but it's just that short-term misery. I'm sure they'll be prepared to catch up," Tomlin said.
"We can move Santonio around, which we started doing a lot last year because he plays in the slot very well," offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said. "Limas can play in the slot, no problem. Hines can obviously play everywhere. Nate can play everywhere -- he's had to play every position on the team the last two years."
"It's a victory in the sense that I'm here," Clark said after another spring practice in Pittsburgh. "That's the victory. The rest, as they say in Louisiana, is laying you up ... it's extra."
"If you know Ryan, you do not count him out of anything," head coach Mike Tomlin said. "He has a great spirit, he is a great competitor, he has passion and he loves to play the game of football. He is in the process of marching back. We probably will not know until we go out and play football. We like where he is now and I am sure that he is happy to be back out there with his teammates; his teammates are glad to have him. He is a great leader for this team and we are just taking it day by day."
"It's been a few years, but he's showing that maybe he's picking it up a little bit better this time around because he's able to make some plays," Coach Romeo Crennel said. "I don't think you ever close the book on a player unless you absolutely have to. Sometimes it takes guys different amounts of time to get where they need to be to help your team."
Brown suffered a season-ending torn ACL in last year's season opener and has missed 43 of 64 games the past four seasons after playing in 64 straight, and starting 63, in his first four seasons.
Brown's base salary for this season was scheduled to be $2.44 million in the final year of the five-year, $17 million extension he signed in July 2003. Brown now has a base salary of $950,000 for 2008. The $1.49 million difference can be made up with unlikely-to-be-earned incentives based on playing time. If Brown is injured before the season starts and released, he would be paid $320,000.
QB J.P. Losman was in attendance early in the week before leaving for scheduled commitments. He did not speak with reporters. WR Lee Evans, his closest friend on the team and his biggest supporter, said Losman is OK with having to play backup to second-year man Trent Edwards despite voicing a desire (through his agent) to be traded.
"I spoke with him numerous times here in the offseason and he has to sit back and wait for an opportunity and that's his mindset," Evans said. "He'll prepare himself to be as good as he can and if he gets a chance to step in and gets that opportunity, then he'll be ready. Me knowing him and people who know him around here know he'll be accountable when he steps up and gets a chance."
"A woman came outside and believed something else was happening and it wasn't," Hardy said. "That's why my father didn't know what was going on and honestly I didn't know what was going on until later that evening. I called and let coach (Dick Jauron) know and everybody know what definitely happened."
Hardy said he regretted getting his NFL career off to a negative start in the media but vowed to put the incident behind him.
"It's something I felt I couldn't control at the time," Hardy said. "The only thing is I shouldn't have been there. It sort of feels like every time I go home something negative (happens and) I'm always on the end of it.
"Now I'm in Buffalo and this is the best thing to happen to me since the birth of my son and I just want to get on the right track in Buffalo. This is something that will never happen again and nothing will ever be blown out of proportion again because I will never be in this situation."
New York Giants
RG Chris Snee, son-in-law of head coach Tom Coughlin, currently has a contract scheduled to expire at the end of the season and while there are no on-going negotiations he insists he is not concerned. "I want to play my entire career with the Giants," he says, "and I feel confident that I will." Two other members of the starting O-line, LT David Diehl and LG Rich Seubert, have recently received new contracts.
"He showed some flashes," said Coughlin. "He was still confused about all the work we piled on him, and all the rest of them, but he did show the stuff we wanted to see. He has a lot of tools."
Green Bay Packers
CB Charles Woodson, as per usual, is a no-show at the Packers' offseason workouts. He and Al Harris, the Packers' other starting corner, could make an appearance or two before the end of team OTAs on June 12.
"Charles has been in and out of town. I talked to Al probably about a week to 10 days ago," McCarthy said May 21. "In their particular case and where they are in the years, their work during the OTAs will be limited, but we'll definitely hit our targets with them."
Grant is willing to be a spectator at practice until the situation is resolved. He's confident that team management will reward him after his breakthrough second half of last season by the time training camp starts July 28.
"I just felt like it was in my best (interest) to handle it this way, and I think both sides feel like I'm going about it in the correct way," Grant said. "It's not a matter of unhappiness. There's no hard feelings or anything like that. It's the business aspect."
I know the pressure I'm under. I know who I'm following," Rodgers said. "I know that it's a tough situation and a lot of people are expecting me to fail outside of this locker room. I'm just trying to get the guys we've got here now to believe in me."
No longer the prominent backup as Green Bay's first-round draft pick in 2005, Rodgers has been selling himself as a leader to the guys around him. Several of them are buying what Rodgers has had to offer, judging by how upward of 30 players a week have been taking him up on his weekly invitation this spring to come hang out at his home for team get-togethers. Their wives and girlfriends have been welcomed with open arms, too.
"I think I've always been a guy who wants to be involved not only in working together but be involved in the lives of these guys," Rodgers said. "I want us to be a connected team, on and off the field."
New England Patriots
S Brandon Meriweather is looking to make a bigger impact in his second NFL season. The safety played in all 19 games as a rookie a year ago but really saw his time increase to the point that he was a fixture in "sub" packages down the stretch and in the playoffs.
The versatile defensive back believes the year of experience will pay huge dividends in the form of a Year 2 jump that so many players have enjoyed under Bill Belichick in the past.
"There really isn't any comparison," Meriweather said. "Last year I was a rookie coming in not knowing what to expect and this year I'm a second-year player coming in knowing exactly what I have to do. I feel like it's going much better. I'm a little more comfortable in the system and I'm learning a lot from my coaches. I'm a year older now and I'm not a rookie."
"It's an important year for me. This is what they drafted me for. So I'm going to come out here and show the coaches what I can do and show the fans what I can do and help out this team any way I can," Jackson said following a morning passing camp workout at Gillette Stadium.
"It feels good to be out here with the guys finally. Last year I was going through the injury and stuff and this year is more of a control year and a settle down year for me. Everything is coming along easier for me right now and all I'm doing right now is concentrating on getting the plays down and getting on the same page with the quarterbacks and the coaches."
San Francisco 49ers
OG David Baas expects to be in the 49ers' starting lineup for the first game of the regular season. But after sustaining a torn pectoral tendon while lifting weights last month, Baas is not expected to be cleared for practice until some point deep into training camp.
"I think I'll touch the ball more in the passing game," Gore said. "I just want to show that I can do it all, that I'm a complete running back."
Faulk has gone out of his way to help Gore, too. Faulk and Gore have spoken over the phone. Faulk has volunteered to travel to meet with Gore to help him with the offense. After all, no running back knows about the Martz offense like Faulk. And running backs have to know everything about the offense.
"This is going to be fun," Gore said. "I know I won't be facing eight and nine guys in the box anymore."
DE-OLB Andy Studebaker from defensive end to strong-side linebacker. Studebaker played at Division III Wheaton (Ill.) College. Two years ago, they did the same thing with third-round pick Chris Gocong, who played at Division 1-AA Cal Poly. Gocong started all 16 games last year at strong-side linebacker. "I think physically he can do it," general manager Tom Heckert said. "We drafted him because of his ability as a pass-rusher (he had 17.5 sacks as a junior before missing half of his senior season with a foot injury). If (SAM) is a place where he can get more reps, that's fine. On third down, we'll get to see him more at defensive end."
"They're two different guys," he said. "Tony's the big, pounder guy (6-1, 230). Lorenzo's a different kind of a guy (5-10, 191), who we can move around and stuff. Really, they're not the same type of guy at all."
The Eagles admitted that Booker was the guy they had really wanted in the third round of the '07 draft (the Dolphins took him with the 71st overall pick; Hunt went 90th), which raised some questions about Hunt's future with the team.
"I don't know that he worked as hard as he could have (at Cal) because he's a very natural player," Tedford said. "Now that he's in the NFL, and he has to compete with guys who are all as good as he is, he'll figure out he needs to work.
"He got away with doing things on natural ability a lot at this level, that he probably won't be able to do at that level. I don't think he's opposed to it, but he'd probably even admit he can work harder."
"It just throws a few different dynamics in there that you have to think about moving forward," Speck told The Tennessean. "But I don't think it changes things at all. It certainly doesn't change the fact Albert wants to remain a Titan and would like to execute a long-term contract."
The Titans declined to discuss the matter.
"I think it's a positive, it gives you that extra motivation to go back out and play even harder and not take a day for granted," said Hope, the ringleader of grueling offseason workouts among the defensive backs that often span a seven-hour day. "It put another fire up under my feet that I never had before.
"Everything I went through, I count it as a blessing. ... I look forward to it as a new opportunity to become a new player, and a better player."
CB Adam Jones has moved to Dallas. He passed his physical to make the trade from Tennessee to Dallas official, and he has already begun bonding with his teammates. The final step is being allowed to practice with the team and then being reinstated to the league by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
"I think the commissioner will, at some point, evaluate where this thing has gone with Adam over the last several months and we'll see where that goes from there," owner Jerry Jones said.
"It's his (Goodell) decision-making but I'm not going to speculate there. I wouldn't comment about my conversations with the league about Adam. Obviously, we've been in communication with the league because we've had to work through contracts. We've had to do several things. Now, he has done his medical, his physical, he cleared that with flying colors, so any of that factor relative to the trade with Tennessee is no longer a factor."
"It's not an issue," Owens said. "For me, I'm going to go out and let my play do the talking. Jerry (Jones) is aware of my ability."
RB Travis Henry missed the first week of Broncos camp with a hamstring injury suffered during a workout. The team figures he will be able to participate in the second week of the camp.
MLB Lofa Tatupu, arrested recently for a DUI, still has not been charged by the Prosecutor's Office. There is some question about Tatupu's case because the arresting officer failed to immediately read Tatupu his Miranda Rights, pulling over to the side of the road en route to the station to do so.
"You always think about retirement," Gray said. "You just have to make sure you are ready to come back in and give it all the work and effort that goes into the whole season. It is not something you take lightly. You have to put in the work, and it is tough both mentally and physically. I just felt like I have a little bit left. I am not quite ready to hang it up."
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
"The reps I did get, it went pretty good," Talib said. "But this is a lot faster (than rookie minicamp). There were a lot more players thrown at you here. Plus you got (guys in) motion so you've got to know exactly what to check, exactly what to do. It was kind of overwhelming, but a couple more practices and I should be in tune with the situation."
"I just think it's finally time to put it all together," Smith said. "You hate to take so long and still feel like you need to establish yourself. But for whatever reason, it still hasn't happened yet. It's just really like do-or-die right now as far as I'm concerned."
"The guys definitely know now that there is no question. We signed our big deal in the offseason and so they know I'm not going anywhere and the team knows that I'm here as the starting quarterback," Garrard said. "They approach me as the same person but knowing that we don't have any doubts on our minds that if we have any questions, we can come to Dave and ask him anything about what's going on, on the field or whatever."
"It's benefited me the last two years. My first eight years I would always work out here but I wasn't on a food program, no dieting," he said. "After we were done with workouts, I would just go and eat and do whatever I wanted to do.
"When I'm home, I know if I don't get that nap in after I've had a hard workout, then my boys are going to come home and cause all types of hell. I'm not going to be able to get the rest if they beat me home before I get my nap in."
RB Chris Taylor heard whispers that he may be moved to fullback since there is so much talent at tailback. But coach Gary Kubiak said they aren't planning to move Taylor at this point.
"I think you need a player that you think can maybe play a little bit of both spots when you go to game day because it helps you just suit so many players, but at this point we've got enough guys, so we'll leave him where he's at," Kubiak said.
"I wish I'd have played him the last few games and got him some experience, all those snaps as a starter, but that is what it is, so it's time to we've made the decision now to move forward," coach Gary Kubiak said. "It's kind of like one of those deals, we're not waiting. It's yours; go prove to us that you belong there. He's got a tough gig ahead of him here, but we've got a lot of confidence in him."
"We went back and forth with the knee throughout the offseason," coach Gary Kubiak said. "It wasn't feeling the way (Johnson) wanted it to feel. So we tried to do some things, some rest and those types of things, to get it better.
"He wasn't really comfortable coming out of (mini-)camp, so we said, 'Hey, let's go scope it and see if there are any issues. We want you to feel comfortable.' Everything was fine. They cleaned it up. Now he feels good about it. He's not going to be hurt by missing some of these reps, so we'll just get him back to 100 percent and get him ready to go."
Johnson, who originally injured the knee during the second game of last season, said it started bothering him when he returned to the field last season. When he joined his teammates for the offseason conditioning program, the pain returned when he was running.
"It bothered me in the inside of my knee," said Johnson, who had his knee covered with a white sleeve Monday. "It was just something that just got real aggravating."
St. Louis Rams
"I knew that was the route I was going to have to take," Bassey said. "You want to make an impact on special teams, which I felt I did, and then get your shot on defense."
With depth needed at safety and being 6-1, 200, that's where Bassey will get a chance this summer.
He said, "With my size, it may be a better fit for me. Hopefully I can run around and make some plays, ball-hawk a little bit."
Kansas City Chiefs
"We want to try him at the position now and make a decision before we go to camp,'' coach Herm Edwards said of the decision to make two players (Albert and McIntosh) learn new positions instead of just one.
"We're putting him in a hard position right now, and that's good. You try a guy at something new, and if it doesn't shake out, you can always move him."
"Like a lot of players, you don't like to change positions from something you've been doing for a long time," McIntosh said. "But at the same time, I look at it as a new challenge."
"From this time last year, I feel 100 percent better," Russell said. "I feel a lot better and am able to move a lot better."
Coach Lane Kiffin termed the difference in Russell "like night and day," and sees progress in all areas.
"The confidence factor, the way he feels about his body, he's been around these guys this whole time working out, running with them," Kiffin said. "He looks completely different."
In the meantime, the Raiders free agent acquisitions Javon Walker and Drew Carter were running with the first team, with Carter looking farther along than Walker, who had knee surgery last year.
"It wasn't an injury to be concerned about," Walker said. "It felt good to be out here, running around, learning the new offense. My ability is the same."
"As long as I add weight and keep my speed I'll be fine," Huff said. "I think free safety will be natural. The main thing is working on my open field tackling, which you can't do much of now (in OTAs) but I think will be the toughest part about the position .
Tuiasosopo returns to an offense much more conducive to his skills than when he left. Under Norv Turner and Shell, the Raiders utilized play-action and drop back passing.
Coach Monte Kiffin favors rollouts and moving pockets, which plays to Tuiasosopo's strength as a runner.
San Diego Chargers
"I'm doing a lot of different things but it something that I cant to handle," he said. "The coaches are putting their trust in me to learn it all. So I can't to get in the playbook and learn it all."
Hester will be asked to contribute quickly -- especially with veteran fullback Lorenzo Neal no longer part of the squad.
"As a guy who has been in the league for 14 now going on 15 years and being around other veteran guys, for a young guy to get paid that kind of money and never steps foot on an NFL football field, it's a little disheartening to think of," Mawae said. "It makes it tough for a guy who's proven himself to say 'I want that kind of money' when the owners, all they're going to say is, 'well, you weren't a first-round pick.
"I know there is sentiment around the league amongst the players like, 'Let's do something to control these salaries and control these signing bonuses' and things like that.'"
Ryan said he was aware of the backlash and didn't feel any of it was directed at him but more likely at the system.
"I have a lot of respect for the guys who've put in a lot of time in this league," Ryan said. "They've worked hard and they are the backbone of this league. For me, the situation I was in, it's the nature of being a rookie at this time and where I was picked and the position I play.
New York Jets
"It's different," Jenkins admitted after a voluntary practice. "My whole career, except for my rookie year, I have always played a single-gap defense -- just go up the field and disrupt. Now it's fun. I love the challenge; now I have to basically be a stud. You have two gaps, you can't let anybody block you. Double teams, whams, everything -- you have to take it head on.
"It's different," he added, "but I think it's something that lets me express myself. In a 4-3 defense you are basically restricted to that one gap. In the 3-4 defense I get to express myself a little bit more and show what I'm capable of doing. As camp goes, I'll get more familiar with it and can pick the speed up a little bit."
Jenkins' new five-year, $30.3 million contract has weight-clause incentives, according to sources. But Jenkins says his immediate family of fiancee Tashia and three children, Kris Jr., Marcus and 6-month-old daughter Jesse, provided him with all the motivation he needed to shed 30 pounds between the end of the 2007 season and the beginning of spring practices.
Baker has said the Jets promised to revisit his contract if he had a productive 2007 campaign. He finished the season with a career-high 41 receptions. When asked about Baker's contention, Mangini said, "Everyone has a difference of opinions and I respect the difference of opinions."
Mangini indicated last week that he has been in contact with Baker to send him new playbook information and keep him up to date with the offense, but said during the second week of camp he hadn't talked to him in about a week.
"I'll give him a call here shortly and see where he is with the information and see what he needs and try to catch up," Mangini said. "Chris is a part of this team and Chris is a conscientious guy. He wants to know what's going on and what we're doing and all those different things."
Mangini also was asked about the fact that the Jets have renegotiated contracts with right guard Brandon Moore and wide receiver Laveranues Coles. "I don't talk about the specifics of anybody's contract and I hope you guys can respect that," Mangini said. "I will say each one that comes up, or anything that comes up, you have to deal with in a way that's right for that and the way that is specific to that."
"We're still working through things," Mangini said, "and when you move from the weight room stuff to the on-the-field stuff you want to take it slow and err on the side of caution. We will just keep progressing him along and the movements and things and make sure that each step is right."
Mangini added that he expects Miller to be at 100 percent for training camp in July.