Wednesday's NFL Blog: P.M. Edition

February 14, 2007 ... They're here! They're here! ... NFC North CBs on different paths ... Offensive guard free agent analysis ... The inside scoop on the Giants' moves ... Is Corey Dillon finished in New England? ... Re-sign or Release? ... Can the Bears hold on to Lance Briggs ... and more in today's NFL Blog!

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They're here! They're here!  The NFL Draft Rankings from Scout.com have hit the network and already have college and pro football fans buzzing. Scout.com NFL Expert Tom Marino, a 35-year veteran in the player personnel field, put together this year's Scout.com Draft Board that has over 1,000 NFL prospects ranked. Check it out and then access this great information anytime you want it by clicking the NFL Draft link in the banner at the top of the page at your favorite team's site.

The rest of the story... 
Okay, so you heard that the Giants released LBs LaVar Arrington and Carlos Emmons as well as starting LT Luke Petitgout. But Ken Palmer at our Giants site fills you in on what you need to know about the moves and what the team's likely to do next with three big holes in their lineup. Scout.com subscribers can check it out here.

Rotten luck: 
At our Chiefs site, Nick Athan takes a look at former Chiefs head coach Marty Schottenheimer who was just fired by the Chargers after a 14-2 finish in 2006. "Each of Marty's playoff losses had a similar feel but regardless of the media perception that it was Marty's fault - it wasn't," he says. Don't miss this feature that includes an interesting perspective from the late Lamar Hunt in a conversation he had a few years ago with GM Carl Peterson. 

Rumor Mill: 
Is Corey Dillon finished in New England? Jon Scott at our Patriots site fills you in on the future of the veteran back at our Patriots site after conflicting reports have emerged about his status with the team. Scout.com subscribers can learn more at our New England site.

Chicago's Lance Briggs (Getty Images/Gregory Shamus)
Tag 'em:  At our Bears site, John Crist points out that while MLB Brian Urlacher gets the majority of the LB hype in Chicago, Lance Briggs led the team in solo tackles this year. And the bad news for Bears fans is that Briggs is an unrestricted free agent. "Lance Briggs is going to be a rich man very soon. The only question remaining is whether or not it will be the Chicago Bears picking up the tab," he says. Scout.com subscribers can get Crist's take on whether or not Chicago will franchise their star LB anymore.

Line 'em up:  Just when current NFL head coaches thought their coordinators would be returning for the '07 season, San Diego creates some late chaos with the firing of Marty Schottenheimer. And so far seven coaching candidates have been identified and will be competing for the job. Find out if anyone from your favorite team is on the docket so far from Michael Lombardo at our Chargers site. 

Today's Birthday Bunch:
  Cowboys QB Drew Bledsoe (35),  Broncos DE Courtney Brown (29), Jaguars QB David Garrard (29), Texans DB Von Hutchins (26), Giants QB Jared Lorenzen (26), Ravens QB Steve McNair (34), Jets CB Justin Miller (23), Rams WR Willie Ponder (27), Jets QB Patrick Ramsey (28),  Giants RB James Sims (24), Bengals QB Anthony Wright (31)

Re-sign or release? 
Alain Poupart at our Miami site answers that question in regards to free agent RB and special teams star Sammy Morris. "Morris is very similar to Travis Minor, in that both are solid backup running backs who also excel on special teams," he says. "Minor might be a tad better on special teams, but there's no question that Morris is the more accomplished running back. He proved a very good No. 2 last year, with a yards-per-carry average (4.3) that was better than that of starter Ronnie Brown (4.2)." Scout.com subscribers can find out if the versatile Morris is likely to change uniforms or stay with Miami in this feature at our Dolphins site.

Creative contract solution:
  According to Steve Lawrence at our Green Bay site, both the Packers and cornerback Al Harris came out winners in his recent contract renegotiations. Lawrence explains how the impasse could have made for a bad situation all around. "At 32 — he'll turn 33 on Dec. 7 — Harris is getting close to the age in which an elite cornerback's skills can fall dramatically and without much warning," he said. "That's the future, though, and it's the great unknown. What is known is that Harris is one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, and he wasn't being paid as such." Learn more about how they reached a creative solution that might be copied by other teams at our Packers site.

Detroit's Dre' Bly (Getty Images/Ronald Martinez)
Greener pastures:  Lions CB Dre' Bly wants to play for a team that he feels has Super Bowl potential -- and that obviously isn't the Detroit Lions in his opinion. Nate Caminata tells you why a parting of the ways with Bly may also benefit the Lions in this Scout.com subscribers feature.

Keep or kick to the curb:  Dale Lolley at our Pittsburgh site continues his review of the team's free agents with a look at wide receiver Sean Morey. "There's no arguing that if Morey is playing a role in your passing offense, your team's in trouble," he says. "Though he is listed as a receiver – and that's the position he played in college – Morey's value is measured as a special teams player." Scout.com subscribers can find out if he's likely to return to the Steel City of if he'll be available for your favorite team to add to their special teams unit.

The nickel package:  John Keim at our Washington site shares his thoughts on five hot topics related to the Redskins such as LaVar Arrington's release, Marty Schottenheimer getting fired again and Shawn Springs' contract, which he believes the 'Skins want to redo in an effort to cut his pay. "If that's the case, Springs likely has played his last game here," he says. Scout.com subscribers can find out more on these topics at our Washington site. 

Need a guard?  Tim Yotter at our Vikings site runs down through the top available talent at offensive guard since that's a trouble spot for Minnesota. And he points out that those available range from up-and-coming youngsters to wily old veterans. One of the top players he reviews is San Diego's Kris Dielman. "With 29 starts in the last two years and his time entering the market as an unrestricted free agent, there should be strong interest in him. It's time to warm up the fax machine for the offers and open up a tax-friendly account," he says. Scout.com subscribers can see who else will be available for their favorite team to pursue when free agency opens on March 2nd.

As time goes by.... Craig Massei at our 49ers site provides his insight on veteran tight end Eric Johnson who will be a free agent in March. "While Johnson is smoother and more reliable pass-catcher than [Vernon] Davis at this point, Davis is the future at tight end for the 49ers, and in fact already has become the team's present at the position," he says. So what's in store for Johnson? Will he stay or will he go? Massei fills Scout.com subscribers in with his analysis at our San Francisco site.

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