Player Wire: 7/17/2008

Player news and notes from around the league. Player releases, rookie updates, and more. What's the story with Peyton Manning?

Miami Dolphins
QB Josh McCown needed six stitches after cutting the index finger on his throwing hand, but is expected to be fine in time for training camp. McCown suffered the injury while working with a chain saw at his home in Jacksonville, Texas, and said he'll stay away from chains saws going forward.

New York Jets
CB Dwight Lowery, 6-0, 200, San Jose State (4/113) signed with the Jets. Terms were not disclosed. With a need at cornerback, Lowery probably was the best still available in the fourth round. He had 13 interceptions over the past two seasons at San Jose State, including nine as a junior. That is his strength. He has good ball skills and the ability to make picks, and thus make plays. His speed is questionable and he could struggle against fast NFL wideouts and needs to improve in run support. He also can play safety but probably projects as a corner for the Jets.

Jacksonville Jaguars
CB Trae Williams, 5-9, 193, South Florida (5/159) signed a four-year deal with the Jaguars that includes a signing bonus around $170,000, according to the Florida Times-Union. He will earn base salaries of $295,000, $385,000, $470,000 and $555,000 . He was overshadowed by teammate Mike Jenkins who went in the first round to Dallas. Williams ranks second in the school's all-time list for career interceptions with 16 including 219 return yards and four TDs on those thefts. In his junior season Williams was named the team's defensive player of the year and was named to the All-Big East second-team. The Jaguars like his athletic ability and will look to him for depth in their secondary and to play a key role on special teams.

Indianapolis Colts
QB Peyton Manning is recuperating at home following surgery Monday to remove a bursa sac from his left knee. He is expected to need four to six weeks of rehab time, but the team expects him to be ready for the Sept. 7 season opener. Manning has started all 160 games to begin his career, an NFL record.

DE Dwight Freeney said he is recovering well from Lisfranc surgery on his left foot and that he is able to do everything he could before the injury that kept him out of the final eight games last season. He expects to be ready for the Sept. 7 season opener.

Tennessee Titans
CB Cary Williams, 6-1, 185, Washburn (7/229) should sign a four-year deal by the end of the week, his agent told The Tennessean. If the Titans were mining deep on previous picks from non-BCS and Division I-AA schools, they really beat the bushes in the final round, grabbing Division II Williams, who had his pro day at the University of Kansas. The Titans like his height and ability to run, which gives him a chance to succeed, despite his lack of college pedigree.

Denver Broncos
WR Brandon Marshall had his arraignment for a June 12 traffic ticket postponed to Aug. 12, according to the Denver Post. Marshall is in danger of losing his driver's license after he was cited June 12 for straying from his lane and driving without a valid license or proof of insurance. Marshall allegedly was driving his black Hummer and using the shoulder on I-25 to pass cars.

In Colorado, a license can be suspended for 12 violation points in a 12-month span or 18 in 24 months. According to the Rocky Mountain News, Marshall could rack up to 10 points for the latest traffic violation, and could be hit with 18 more pending the outcome of an October, 2007 arrest for drunken driving.

On the positive side, Marshall is expected to be medically cleared to participate in training camp after recovering from a gash to his right forearm in March.

FB Peyton Hillis, 6-1, 240, Arkansas (7/227) signed with the Broncos. Terms were not disclosed, but the Denver Post reported the deal is for four years and includes a signing bonus around $49,800. Hillis is a good receiver out of the backfield, which the Broncos covet in their fullbacks. Denver isn't very deep at the position so he'll have a chance to make the roster.

CB Karl Paymah was found guilty by a jury of driving under the influence and careless driving following a May 26, 2006 arrest. He is scheduled for sentencing Sept.16, and faces up to a year in jail.

Kansas City Chiefs
WR/KR Kevin Robinson, 5-11, 196, Utah State (6/182) signed a three-year deal with the Chiefs. Financial terms were not disclosed. Finished four-year career as NCAA career leader in all-purpose yardage, averaging 16.2 yards on every touch to break Troy Edwards' record. Scored eight times on kick returns and set NCAA single-season record with 1,260 kickoff return yards in 2007.QB David Greene was waived by Kansas City.

OG Chris McDuffie was waived by Kansas City.

DE Brian Johnston, 6-4, 269, Gardner-Webb (7/210) agreed to a three-year deal with the Chiefs. Financial terms were not disclosed. Finalist for Buck Buchanan Award as the outstanding defender in Division 1-A, had 21 sacks in four Big South seasons.

Oakland Raiders
RB Tony Jackson was waived by Oakland.

CB/S Tyvon Branch, CB-S, 6-0, 204, Connecticut (4/100) signed with the Raiders. Terms were not disclosed. The Raiders were shoddy tacklers in the secondary and were inconsistent on special teams. Branch was a sure tackler at UConn who should contribute immediately on special teams, both in coverage and as a kickoff return man. He will also get a serious look at safety, where the projected starters are Michael Huff and Gibril Wilson.

Baltimore Ravens
QB Joe Flacco has agreed toa five-year deal that could be worth up to $30 million and includes $8.75 million in guaranteed money. The 6-foo-6 quarterback out of Delaware will compete with Kyle Boller and Troy Smith for the starting job. The Ravens targeted Flacco after the Atlanta Falcons took Matt Ryan with the No. 3 pick. After trading down from No. 8 to No. 26, the Ravens then moved back to No. 18 because they heard the New York Jets were thinking of jumping ahead to take Flacco. Flacco has a big frame and even bigger arm. The biggest knock on him is he comes from a small school. He is the first Division I-AA quarterback to be taken in the first round since Steve McNair in 1995.

Philadelphia Eagles
CB Lito Sheppard, unhappy with his contract, fired agent Lamont Smith and hired Drew Rosenhaus, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The team was believed to be shopping Sheppard after signing Asante Samuel earlier in the offseason, but those rumors died down after the draft. The Inquirer cited a source who said Sheppard plans on reporting to training camp.

Green Bay Packers
QB Brett Favre's situation with the Packers continues to unfold, and now the team has reportedly filed a tampering charge with the league against division rival Minnesota. According to multiple reports, the Packers provided evidence of improper contact by the Vikings, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel cited a source that said Green Bay believes it has a strong case.
Favre is reportedly preparing to petition Commissioner Roger Goodell for reinstatement to the Packers' roster. At that point, the team would need to allow Favre to come to training camp or trade or release him. The Packers have said they won't release him, and Favre said he has no interest in being Aaron Rodgers' backup, although he hinted in an interview with Fox News this week that he might show up to training camp to call the team's "bluff." Green Bay's training camp begins July 28.

Minnesota Vikings
QB Tarvaris Jackson shouldn't be sweating speculation that Brett Favre could land in the Twin Cities, at least not according to coach Brad Childress, who said Jackson is his starter.

"I think I've always said that," Childress said of Jackson being his starter. "I just think he's right where he needs to be in terms of being a third-year quarterback. Would I like to have seen him play 16 games last year? Absolutely I would have.

"But I think he's in a natural evolution. He understands what it means to play an NFL season as a starter with all eyes on him, dissecting everything. Understanding what it's like to go through some injury during the middle of the season. Get yourself back on the field. Understands what it's like to play awful in the (first) Detroit game. To lead your team to wins."

Jackson will be entering his third NFL season and his second as a starter. Childress noted that Jackson has worked very hard this offseason and has built "equity" with his coaches and teammates.

Detroit Lions
DT Shaun Cody needs to have a big year to earn another contract next year -- and perhaps a big camp just to earn a roster spot this year. The Lions have a hole to fill at defensive tackle. They parted with Shaun Rogers in an offseason swap with the Cleveland Browns. The Lions would like Cody to fill at least part of that hole. He was a second-round pick in 2005. But while he has plugged his gaps against the run fairly well, he has not gotten upfield against the pass. He badly needs to learn to penetrate, get to the quarterback and produce more. He has only 1.5 sacks in three seasons -- none since his rookie year.

QB Drew Stanton has gone back to his old mechanics for the most part now and has worked closely with new quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler. Still, he struggled in offseason workouts as he got back into the flow of football.

MLB Jordon Dizon wants to win the middle linebacker job, but first he needs to beat out veteran Paris Lenon. The Lions failed to upgrade the position with a veteran early in the offseason, trying to trade for Jonathan Vilma, looking into free agents Al Wilson and Dan Morgan. They wanted to take Tennessee's Jerod Mayo in the draft, but New England nabbed him first. So they settled for Dizon, a short-but-speedy tackling machine in college. Marinelli has said middle linebacker is a tough position for a rookie to play because of all the responsibility involved. How will Dizon do? If he wins the job, Lenon would likely move to the strong side.

DE Cliff Avril, a third-round pick, signed a three-year deal.

Carolina Panthers
DE Anthony Harris was waived by Carolina.

RB Breyone Evans was waived by Carolina.

DB Cortney Grixby was waived by Carolina.

WR Damon Morton was waived by Carolina.

New Orleans Saints
WR Ryan Titus was waived by New Orleans.

Washington Redskins
DE Dorian Smith was waived by Washington.

San Francisco 49ers
OG Chilo Rachal, 6-4, 315, Southern California (2/39) signed with the 49ers. Terms were not disclosed. Rachal is a mauler in the Larry Allen mold. Although he might eventually prove he can move to right tackle, the 49ers envision him as a guard. He can be used on either side. With the injury to David Baas, he has a chance to win a starting job as a rookie on the right side.

St. Louis Rams
WR Keenan Burton, one of the team's two fourth-round picks, reached agreement on a three-year contract with the team July 3 and finally signed the deal July 16.

Seattle Seahawks
FB Owen Schmitt, 6-2, 247, West Virginia (5/163) signed with Seattle. Terms were not disclosed. The Seahawks didn't really have a need here, but Schmitt was too talented not to take in the Seahawks' opinion. The Seahawks continue to address their running situation, signing two backs in free agency and adding Schmitt, the best lead blocker in the draft. He also can play special teams.

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