Combine Rumors, News and Notes

The NFL Combines in Indianapolis provides General Manager's, coaches, players and agents the close format to often discuss potential deals. Much like let us make a deal, the frenzy can start with the slightest slip of the tongue.<br><br>Only a couple days into the combine event and rumors are circulating about possible player movement and some very early draft discussions.<br>

At every turn, the opportunity to catch a team representative presents itself, but you had better be quick and know how to make a point very quickly. These team representatives do not expound much time on small talk, they are too busy getting onto the next player and obtaining crucial reports on any specific player.

However, where there are these team representatives, there is sure to be some talk. Gossip abounds in Indianapolis today, some of which may be too far-fetched for belief; other tales just pave the way for future discussion.

One aspect of the NFL combine achieves is, every team will leave Indianapolis with something to ponder, whether it is about a college player or a move in free agency, the NFL combine is a brewing pot for the off-season activities for an NFL team.

The RCA Dome is a busy place.

It did not take long for whispers to be heard in Indianapolis. It is rumor season and this is some of what has been making the rounds at the NFL combine.
  • Representatives for the Miami Dolphins are inquiring into the availability and parameters of a deal for quarterback Drew Henson of the Houston Texans.
  • The Washington Redskins have stated they will not trade quarterback Patrick Ramsey, but league sources gathered in Indianapolis insist the Redskins are quietly stirring the trade-pot to generate additional interest in the two-year veteran. We have heard the Dolphins, Browns, Packers, and Chargers all have inquired about Ramsey or Washington cornerback Champ Bailey.
  • The Cleveland Browns have conducted some briefs discussions with the Redskins. Bailey has been discussed, but we are hearing the Browns have also shown an interest in Ramsey.
  • Matt Millen of the Detroit Lions has stated while in Indianapolis that the Lions will not be a dealing partner with the Washington Redskins for Bailey until the Redskins lower their asking price of one first and one second-round in the upcoming draft for Bailey.
  • The Dallas Cowboys, looking for a running back to replace Troy Hambrick have spent a good portion of the combine watching and talking to the draft eligible backs. In addition, rumors are prevalent that the Cowboys have shown an interest in Cleveland running back William Green and Cincinnati's Corey Dillon.
  • The Denver Broncos are rumored to be the front-runner to sign Canadian Football League standout, quarterback Ricky Ray.
  • With the Indianapolis Colts reducing their salary cap number by restructuring contracts, in their quest to sign free agent quarterback Peyton Manning to a new, long-term deal, the Colts may be willing to listen to offers for running back Edgerrin James.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers quietly have been in continuous contact with the Houston Texans about Drew Henson. Lurking in the background, the Steelers may become a serious player.
  • Arizona Cardinals are looking for a veteran QB to compete for the starting spot. Contrary to speculation coming from reports in Cleveland, the Cardinals have not discussed a deal with the Browns for quarterback Tim Couch.
  • The Carolina Panthers are working hard to resign restricted free agent wide receiver Steve Smith prior to the free agency signing period. According to a team source in Indianapolis, talks with representatives are ongoing and both sides appear poised that a deal will be struck.
  • Team representatives, including assistant coaches for the Dallas Cowboys are spending a significant amount of time scouting/talking with offensive line prospects. The Dallas contingents appeared to lock-on to Vernon Carey, Sean Locklear, and Jacob Rogers.
  • Representatives for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, and Kansas City Chiefs are poised to have lengthy discussions with North Carolina State quarterback Phillip Rivers. The Steelers and Dolphins expressed a significant amount of interest in the signal-caller at the Senior Bowl in January.
  • The Washington Redskins are believed to be heading into discussions with the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday regarding the status of Bengals running back Corey Dillon.
  • The Oakland Raiders have opened up contract talks with free agent cornerback Charles Woodson. The Raiders would like to retain Woodson.
  • Buffalo Bills cornerback Antoine Winfield will enter the free agent player signing period with both barrels loaded. Winfield, longing for a promised long-term deal from the Bills is ready to experience free agency, as the Bills have not seriously discussed a long-term plan to keep him in Buffalo. The free agent market at the cornerback position is exceptional this off-season, and Winfield ranks close to the top of the list.
  • Rueben Brown, the long-time starting guard of the Bills will not be with the team in 2004, according to league sources at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. According to the source, the Bills front office is of the belief Brown is highly overrated and compensated, while not bringing a positive influence to the organization.
  • Wide receiver Roy Williams from the University of Texas has impressed many NFL team personnel evaluators with his tremendous receiving skills, route running ability, and speed/quickness for a man his size. Williams, was considered the number-one wide receiver prospect for the upcoming draft until Pittsburgh's Larry Fitzgerald declared recently. Seven teams have already spoken with Williams at the combine, including representatives from the Dallas Cowboys, Green Packers, Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, and Washington Redskins.
  • The Detroit Lions are expected to bring in San Francisco free agent wide receiver Tai Streets and Darren Jackson of the Seattle Seahawks shortly after the free agent signing period begins on March 3rd.

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