NFL Rumor Mill: Impacting 2006

Lane Adkins looks at some rumors floating around NFL circles which will impact the 2006 season. Included are looks at an available free agent, a sudden retirement, and a player (again) making headlines with off-field trouble.

Rookie running back Joseph Addai continues to impress the Indianapolis Colts coaching staff with his ability to pick-up the offense. The Colts' coaching staff is impressed with the burst the back possesses and his ability to slide out of the backfield in the passing game. One area of Addai's game being watched closely is his ability to protect in the passing game. Thus far, Addai is beginning to understand the terminology, but the staff is holding their thoughts until the pads go on in training camp.

With the signing of defensive end Robert Mathis to a contract extension completed, the Colts now are believed to be kick-starting negotiations with All-Pro defensive end Dwight Freeney. Freeney, one of the best pass rushing players in the game will command a contract which should easily surpass the five-year, 30-million dollar deal for Mathis. According to a member of the Indianapolis front office, nothing of substance is occurring at the present time, however, and negotiations with the defensive end are expected to be lengthy………

 

When wide receiver / return specialist Antwan Randle-El departed in free agency to Washington, the Pittsburgh Steelers were already planning to fill the gaps left behind. To the surprise of the team, Ohio State's Santonio Holmes was available and the Steelers quickly moved up to secure the services of the receiver on draft-day.

Much to the chagrin of the Pittsburgh organization, Holmes has been either charged or arrested on two occasions this off-season and the Pittsburgh front office is extremely worried. The latest on Holmes is a domestic violence arrest. Calls to the Steelers regarding Holmes have not been returned.

With the retirement of Jerome Bettis, it was thought the Steelers would become more of a passing team in the red zone in the 2006 season. Not so quick, though... we've been told the Steelers believe Willie Parker has the ability to be effective in the red-zone. Also look for tight-end Heath Miller to be a major contributor in the 2006 season. Healthy and athletic, Miller is a perfect match for the Pittsburgh offense, especially if the Steelers open up the passing game…………………

 

Free agent All-Pro cornerback Ty Law could agree to a contract with a team in the next couple weeks. Speculation has been the New England Patriots and, lately, the Arizona Cardinals are the front-runners to secure the services of the standout defensive back. The Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns sniffed around Law, but the rumored price tag of 8-to-10 million dollars a season has scared more than a few teams away.

Lying low - or that has been the belief - are the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City has clamored to secure Law's services for the past two years and now appear on the door-step. Representatives for Law would not comment, while the Chiefs only acknowledge to Scout.com that they have had discussions regarding the player.

We've been told by those in league circles that Law is leaning toward Kansas City, but until the ink is on the paper, don't discount anything.

Rookie quarterback Brodie Croyle has impressed in mini-camp passing drills and could be the future starter for the team. One knock on Croyle coming out of Kansas City is that he needs to improve his overall strength. He is now on a dedicated workout program.

With the recent announcement by John Welbourn he was retiring, some around the game wonder if he again violated the league's substance abuse policy. Welbourn served a four-game suspension at the start of the 2005 season for violating the policy, but we have been told Welbourn is clean and the league's policy has nothing to do with his decision to hang-up the cleats.


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