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Rumors and News Around The AFCN

Here's a smattering of Hot News items mostly from the past 24-48 hrs, taken from the AFCN Insider sites - Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Cleveland. Hot News appears at the top of each page on TheInsiders' network and is comprised of news reports, rumors and tips that we receive on a daily basis. Hot News is a feature accessible by holders of a <A HREF="http://ravens.theinsiders.com/3/tapInfo.html">Total Access Pass.</A> Please consider supporting this site with a subscription.

TE Jerame Tuman TE Signs New 3 Year Deal 02/28/03
12:54pm ET

TE Jerame Tuman has signed a 3 year deal to stay with the Steelers.

NT Kendrick Clancy DL Gets Tender 02/27/03
10:52am ET

Kendrick Clancy has been tendered by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

OLB Clark Haggans Gets Tender Offer 02/27/03
10:49am ET

Clark Haggans has been tendered by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

QB Kordell Stewart Ravens Reverse Decision, Consider Stewart 02/26/03
11:39pm ET

Baltimore Ravens are now reported to be interested in Kordell Stewart. Ravens believe that Kordell would be a good fit for the Ravens. Earlier reports from the Ravens disputed claims by SteelCitySports that in fact they would be interested in Stewart. Ravens insisted they would not pursue Stewart, but now seem to be 1 of 3 that Stewart feels he may have a chance to start and win.

Chicago Bears and the Carolina Panthers are also reported to be high on the Kordell band wagon, 6 teams are reported to have contacted Stewarts agent.

FB Lorenzo Neal Offers Exchanged 02/26/03
4:29pm ET

Mark Curnutte of the Cincinnati Inquirer reports the Cincinnati Bengals have contacted Jim Steiner, the agent of Pro Bowl FB Lorenzo Neal. According to the report, Marvin Lewis says that the two sides have exchanged offers and are trying to 'meet in the middle'. The ten-year veteran started this year in Pro Bowl and was the Bengals only representative.
WR Ron Dugans Has tender, but will he return? 02/26/03
12:23am ET

WR Ron Dugans was one of six fourth-year players the Bengals made one-year tender offers of an estimated $600,000 to. Dugans will become a restricted free agent Feb. 28. The designation allows the Bengals the right to match any offer sheets the player might receive from another team. Then if the Bengals decide not to match the offer, and if the player in question was originally a Bengals draft choice, the new team signing the player would be required to compensate the Bengals with a draft choice in the same round in which the player was drafted.

DE Carl Powell Team in talks; Bengals waiting in wings? 02/23/03
5:02pm ET

Other than Daryl Gardener, the only other free agent with whom the Redskins have spoken is defensive lineman Carl Powell, a valuable end/tackle reserve in 2002. There has been decreasing optimism for a deal in recent days. Powell is likely to attract strong interest from Cincinnati, because Bengals coach and former Redskins defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis is a big fan of Powell's.

ILB Earl Holmes Leading tackler today, gone tomorrow 02/27/03
9:37pm ET

LB Earl Holmes, the team's leading tackler in his only season with the Browns, was released Thursday as the team tries to clear salary cap room. Holmes was due a $1 million roster bonus.
OLB Jamir Miller No surprise ... he's cut 02/27/03
9:35pm ET

Due a $14 million roster bonus, LB Jamir Miller and everyone else knew he'd be cut. It became officially when the team released him Thursday.

DE Orpheus Roye Team pays roster bonus 02/27/03
12:16pm ET

As reported yesterday on Bernie's Insiders, the Browns have elected to pay Orpheus Roye the roster bonus he is owed on March 1, ensuring the DT a place on the team's 2003 roster.

Roye's play improved dramatically in 2002, as he was allowed to focus on playing defensive tackle. Roye accepted a renegotiated contract prior to the 2002 season, and responded with his best year in a Browns uniform. Playing alongside disappointing high draft choices Courtney Brown and Gerard Warren, Roye was a pleasant surprise in 2002.

C Dave Wohlabaugh Released 02/27/03
12:24am ET

Center Dave Wohlabaugh was one of three Browns released Wednesday as the team attempts to clear salary cap room.

CB Corey Fuller It's official ... he's gone 02/27/03
12:23am ET

As the Browns desperately try to pare room under the salary cap, CB Corey Fuller was released Wednesday.

OT Orlando Brown Vikings will be final visit 02/28/03
9:57pm ET

The offensive line situation could be upgraded when Orlando Brown makes the final stop Monday in a free agency tour that took him to at least five teams. If Brown doesn't work out, they'll try to find a free agent offensive lineman.

QB Jeff Blake Team would like deal to happen quickly 02/28/03
11:09am ET

The Ravens are entering free agency cautiously but would like to wrap up a new deal with quarterback Jeff Blake quickly. When free agency began Friday, the Ravens and Blake were reportedly $3 million apart on the first-year payout of a long-term contract. It is believed that the team is offering a deal worth about $2 million (which includes a $1 million signing bonus) this season while Blake is seeking a contract that pays closer to $5 million if incentives are met. While there is a big difference in the numbers, the Ravens are continuing to press forward in re-signing Blake and don't plan to talk with any other free-agent quarterback at this point. "Right now, the priority is to sign Jeff,'' Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said. "If that falls through, then we'll take our time to try to find someone else to come in and play with Chris [Redman]. And that doesn't alleviate the draft.'' The sides are close on the average numbers over the length of the contract. It is believed that Blake wants an average of $2 million per year (not including incentives) while the Ravens are offering an average around $1.5 million. The biggest problem is Blake's desire for an incentives package -- which typically is based on yardage, playing time and team victories -- that could tack on nearly $3 million to the first year of the contract. Blake wants assurance that he will be the starting quarterback. But the Ravens are wary of overbidding in what should be a buyers' market. "They are not presenting a starter-type contract,'' said Blake's agent, Ralph Cindrich. "There may be some way to get it done with more risk to the player. What was important for me was when I left the [scouting] combine is that they made it clear that they want Jeff back. Still, you have to have the want there.'' On Thursday, Ravens coach Brian Billick was having lunch with Blake in Florida to reiterate his role and help speed up the negotiations. "That [meeting] is showing our commitment that we want to bring him back as the quarterback on this team,'' Newsome said. Besides Blake, the team will not be an active player in the first weekend of free agency and won't have any free-agent visits until next week.

OLB Cornell Brown Wants to stay 02/28/03
10:25am ET

Of the 10 Ravens who hit the free agent market on Friday, the one likely to attract the most attention is outside linebacker Cornell Brown. Brown was one of the best success stories in 2002 for the Ravens. He was out of football in 2001 after being released by the Ravens just prior to season's start, but came back in 2002 and started 14 games for the Ravens, proving to be an effective performer, especially against the run in the Ravens 3-4 defense. Two former Ravens defensive assistants, Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati) and Jack Del Rio (Jacksonville) are now head coaches and both may show an interest in reuniting with Brown. Despite the attention he's likely to garner, the 27 year old's preference is stay right where he is. "This is my home, Brown told The Baltimore Sun. "This is where I feel the most comfortable. That's the best fit."

WR Brandon Stokley Will test the market, but wants to return to Baltimore 02/28/03
10:15am ET

Although Brandon Stokley will test the free agent market, the wide receiver told the Baltimore Sun that his preference is still to remain in Baltimore. The Ravens have offered Stokley a 1 year deal worth the league minimum ($530,000). That offer is leading Stokley to check out the market to see if there are any better deals out there for him. "I'm just seeing if I'll get any better offers than I've gotten here," Stokley, who is recovering from surgery on his foot that cut his 2002 season short, told The Sun, "I'm not in the best position with a hurt foot. But I think I can do better than what is going on now. [But] I've said all along that I want to be here and that's what I hope."
Although Brandon Stokley will test the free agent market, the wide receiver told the Baltimore Sun that his preference is still to remain in Baltimore. The Ravens have offered Stokley a 1 year deal worth the league minimum ($530,000). That offer is leading Stokley to check out the market to see if there are any better deals out there for him. "I'm just seeing if I'll get any better offers than I've gotten here," Stokley, who is recovering from surgery on his foot that cut his 2002 season short, told The Sun, "I'm not in the best position with a hurt foot. But I think I can do better than what is going on now. [But] I've said all along that I want to be here and that's what I hope."

QB Jeff Blake Incentives the biggest stumbling block to a new deal 02/28/03
10:08am ET

The Ravens and the agent for Jeff Blake are reportedly $3 million apart in the potential first year payout of a new multiyear deal. The Ravens are believed to be offering a deal with a $2 million first year payout (including a $1 million bonus), while Blake is apparently seeking a deal that could pay him $5 million in the first year if incentives are met. The two sides appear close in regards to the overall average of the deal, before incentives kick in, with Blake seeking $2 million per year, and the Ravens offering $1.5 million per. Despite the gap on incentives, Ozzie Newsome will continue to talk to Blake's agent, Ralph Cindrich, in hopes that a deal can be reached. "Right now, the priority is to sign Jeff," Newsome said. "If that falls through, then we'll take our time to try to find someone else to come in and play with Chris [Redman]. And that doesn't alleviate the draft."

QB Chris Redman Did he get the $1.3 million tender? 02/28/03
12:39am ET

Chris Redman was likely given a $1.3 million tender by the Ravens, the Baltimore Sun reported on Thursday. That tender all but assures that the 25 year old quarterback, a restricted free agent, will remain with the Ravens at least one more year as the compensation for signing Redman to an offer sheet that the Ravens fail to match is a steep one....a first round pick.

DE Adalius Thomas Tendered by the Ravens 02/28/03
12:32am ET

The Baltimore Sun reported on Thursday that it was likely restricted free agent defensive end Adalius Thomas received a $1.3 million tender from the Ravens. If a team signed the 25 year old Thomas to an offer sheet that the Ravens failed to match, that team would in turn would have to give the Ravens their 1st round pick as compensation for signing Thomas. Because of that high price, it's unlikely any other team will make a major push to sign Thomas.


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