Buffalo Bills: Not as Many Needs This Time Around
At this time last year, the Buffalo Bills had a ton of needs to fill at various positions. The good news for Bills' fans is they addressed a lot of them during the draft (especially defensively) and those players turned out to be solid players.
The plan defensively, according to a team source, is to move weakside LB Angelo Crowell inside to MLB in place of London Fletcher-Baker who is set to become an unrestricted free agent next Friday. The interesting move that the team is expected to make is to move second-year LB Keith Ellison, who started six games during his rookie season, in as the starting WLB. The team is very high on Ellison and they believe he'll be able to continue his solid play on a full time basis.
Cleveland Browns: Wimbley Voids Final Year
Not only did Cleveland Browns first-round pick OLB Kamerion Wimbley have a solid rookie season, he lead the team in sacks (11). By doing so and meeting minimum play time requirements in his contract, a league source pointed out to scout.com and theobr.com that he was able to void the final year of his six-year deal. So Wimbley now has four years left on his contract. Wimbley also received a $100,000 bonus for high sack total.
Dallas Cowboys: Why the Wait?
It had been rumored for weeks that Jason Garrett would become the Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator when the team signed him to a contract for an undisclosed coaching position in late January. Those rumors were confirmed when the team made it official this week naming him offensive coordinator.
But team insiders question why the move took so long to become official. While it's still unknown why owner Jerry Jones took so long to make the move official, a team source told scout.com and the theranchreport.com that when Garrett signed the agreement last month, it included language that stipulated that he would become the offensive coordinator. It's believed that Garrett would not have signed the contract unless he got the OC job.
3:50 P.M. Update
Kansas City Chiefs: Shields Retirement Far from a Done Deal
While many fans and some of the local media have been speculating that Kansas City Chiefs guard Will Shields will retire after 14 seasons of play, a source close to Shields told scout.com and Warpaint Illustrated that it's far from a done deal that he's going to stop playing.
The source puts Shields playing status for the 2007 season at around 25
percent but adds the situation is no different from last season. One of the big
reasons why Shields decided to come back was because he was able to take it easy
during the offseason and in training camp and head coach Herman Edwards took it
easy on him during practices. That will be taken into consideration with his
pending decision. Despite reports to the contrary, the source indicates that
Shields doesn't have a timetable for making his decision although a decision
could come at any time.
Tennessee Titans: Needs Are Clear
The Tennessee Titans made rapid progress last season, perhaps faster than most expected. Because of this, their needs aren't as great.
A team source indicates their needs going into free agency are wide receiver, defensive end, and cornerback.
Because of the troubling situation with CB Adam "Pacman" Jones, the team's No.1 priority is now cornerback.
Wide receiver is also an issue. Drew Bennett is an unrestricted free agent and the source adds that both sides have quite a lot of distance to make up in order to get a deal done before the start of free agency on March 2. Because of the dearth of quality receivers in free agency, it's believed that Bennett's side believes that his market value should be quite high. In fact, two league sources that scout.com talked to at the Combine believe he's one of the two best receivers that are currently set to hit free agency.
With defensive end, the team is looking to get Kyle Vanden Bosch help on the
other side. Former second-round picks ('04) Antwan Odom and Travis LaBoy haven't
provided enough help yet.
Alleman a Popular Player
One player that clearly has been moving up draft boards since the college season ended is University of Akron G Andy Alleman.
Scout.com has confirmed that he's already met with or will be meeting with 10 teams.
League sources believe Alleman is now considered to be one of the top-three guards for the 2007 draft. To solidify a selection on the first day, Alleman will have to have a solid combine workout on Saturday.6:05 P.M. Update
Denver Broncos: Graham Could be Targeted
The Denver Broncos, sources say, are looking to continue to use a lot of two-tight end sets in their offense and could target New England Patriots TE Daniel Graham in free agency.
The team is looking for a veteran who can team with second-year TE Tony Schleffler.
Graham, sources say, is looking for an increased role and wants to be more than a blocking tight end, which has been essentially his role for the last few years with New England.
Graham, a former first-round pick, was thought to be a very good receiving tight end but injuries have curtailed his career. He hasn't played in more than 14 games in any of his five seasons. The team spent another first-round pick two years later on Ben Watson, which resulted in Graham's role changing to the blocking side.
New Orleans Saints: Fincher on the Spot
When the New Orleans Saints selected University of Connecticut LB Alfred Fincher in the third round of the 2005 draft, there was some belief inside the team that he would compete for a starting job quickly based on his solid Senior Bowl week performance.
Unfortunately, Fincher hasn't developed as much or as rapidly as some would have hoped. He's hardly played in his two seasons as a pro and was only active for six games in 2006.
Fincher was a deep backup at WLB and MLB last season but will compete for playing time inside against veteran MLB Mark Simoneau. This could be Fincher's last chance to compete for serious playing time as he's on the final year of his rookie contract.
Check back throughout the day for more NFL news and rumors Adam Caplan, live from the NFL Combine!