UPDATE TUESDAY 3:23 PM EST
Updating some college player visits and workouts, Scout.com has confirmed Boise St. University CB Orlando Scandrick worked out for the Cleveland Browns last week.
Scandrick already had a visit with the Baltimore Ravens and has visits coming up with the Tampa Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Scandrick is projected to go off the board in rounds 3-4.
University of Louisville WR Mario Urrutia had a personal workout for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Friday. He's scheduled to visit the Cleveland Browns on Thursday and will work out for the Atlanta Falcons this weekend.
UPDATE TUESDAY 2:14 PM EST
During his yearly meeting with the media, NFL vice president of officiating, Mike Pereira outlined several of the proposed rule changes for 2008.
Among the highlights:
- The proposed "hair rule" has been tabled until next month's owners meeting in Atlanta because the league needs to do more research and have more discussions on the issue.
Pereira said player safety was something that came up in discussion in this week's meeting in addition to emphasis of hair length.
Pereira also noted that fans and the media often don't understand that hair is part of the play. He used an example of when Jacksonville CB Rashean Mathis made an interception, his hair was touching the out of bounds marker so he was out of bounds thus nullifying the play. Hair is considered an extension of the body.
- The force out rule will be voted during Wednesday's competition committee meeting.
According to Pereira, there close to 33,000 plays run in the NFL last season and only 16 were force out calls.
The league adjusted the rule in the final year of NFL Europe last year to use the college rule where there is no force out. Players must have two feet in bounds for the play to result in a completed pass.
- The revision of the field goal rule will also be voted on.
The example of this issue is from last season's Cleveland Browns-Baltimore Ravens game where it was very difficult for the officials to judge whether or not K Phil Dawson's FG attempt was good or not. The proposal is for instant replay to be used on all field goal attempts.
- Minor rule tweaks on mishandled snaps, illegal forward pass or illegal handoffs, and coin toss options are also expected to be dealt with in Wednesday's meeting.
- Rule points of emphasis will be dealt with this season as noted below. Each season the league and officials discuss issues that come up year to year which need to be reemphasized.
- Chin strap safety resulting in fines.
- Mutual respect. These are when players taunt one another or have shouting matches with officials. Pereira noted that players against players and player against official behavior was a problem last season and both sides will be working to keep these situations under control. Behavior which will not be tolerated and reemphasized according to Pereira are racial slurs, general taunting, standing over a player and taunting, or throwing the ball at a player.
- Sportsmanship. This area is in regard to using props, taking helmet off on the field or going off the field and throwing it which would be a player safety issue.
- Reemphasis of holding penalties. According to Pereira, there was a drop-off off 200 in holding penalties from 2006 (800) to 2007 (600). These were primarily from the left tackles and right defensive end positions. Pereira discussed making sure officials are positioned correctly to make sure they are seeing everything correctly and not missing anything.
UPDATE TUESDAY 1:39 PM EST
As Scout.com first noted a few weeks ago, Green Bay Packers QB Brett Favre, who announced his retirement last month, has still not filed his retirement papers through Monday's close of NFL business.
Green Bay will gain over $11 million in cap space once the move is made official by league standards.
Since the team has over $17 million in space currently and will have over $28 million once the move is completed officially, they don't seem in a hurry to get Favre to make the move considering there isn't any talent left of note in free agency.
For those wondering if the team will use their surplus of cap space on an extension for second-year WR James Jones who is coming off of an excellent rookie campaign, a source notes a player must complete two years of service before an extension can be completed.
UPDATE TUESDAY 10:56 AM EST
Despite showing up to recent workouts in better shape than he ended last season, Tennessee Titans WR Mike Williams is less than a 50-50 shot to make the final roster, a league source told Scout.com.
The source notes Williams has two issues going against him.
His former offensive coordinator, Norm Chow, was fired earlier this year and Chow was the biggest proponent of the team signing Williams last season because he coached him in college at USC and felt the big-bodied receiver could help the team.
New offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger likes receivers that can run and get down field to stretch defenses--something Williams isn't good at doing.
UPDATE MONDAY 5:13 PM EST
Updating some draft information, Scout.com has confirmed University of Houston WR Donnie Avery has pre-draft visits set up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4/7-4/8) and Tennessee Titans (4/6-4/7) coming up.
University of Nebraska CB Zack Bowman has visits scheduled with the Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots.
UPDATE MONDAY 5:03 PM EST
Another player issue is where Philadelphia Eagles CB Lito Sheppard winds up playing for the final three years of his contract.
A league source notes Sheppard still wants a new contract (not an extension) so the team that agrees to a trade with Philadelphia will also have to agree to a new deal with the former University of Florida defensive back. Talks should heat up as we get closer to the draft.
UPDATE MONDAY 4:06 PM EST
While free agency has slowed down to a halt, there are still a few player issues being discussed here this week.
One of burning questions is what will the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings do for their No. 2 quarterback role?
The two quarterbacks that continue to come up in discussions are J.P. Losman (Buffalo Bills) and Sage Rosenfels (Houston Texans).
A league source notes Buffalo will want at least a third-round pick in compensation for their former first-round pick from the 2004 draft who is signed through 2008.
Houston already turned down a third-round pick from Minnesota for Rosenfels who is signed through 2009. But with the Texans signing free agent QB Quinn Gray, Rosenfels probably has become expendable. So it's reasonable to assume he's going to be dealt and the leverage that Houston had previously with Minnesota might be gone since it's obvious they don't need both quarterbacks.
Player agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed to Scout.com that Gray, while he made free agent visits to Green Bay and Oakland, signed with Houston because that was the one team out of the three to offer him a deal. So Green Bay probably is still targeting a veteran quarterback to back up new starting QB Aaron Rodgers and Minnesota clearly is looking for veteran signal caller who could be an upgrade from Brooks Bollinger.
UPDATE MONDAY 11:59 AM EST
While there has been some local speculation that the New England Patriots could wind up selecting a linebacker with their first-round pick, a league source here at the owners' meetings notes there's history that shows that may not happen.
Since Bill Belichick took over as the team's head coach in 2000, the team has only selected four linebackers and none higher than the fifth round.
The source notes Belichick likes veteran linebackers playing significant roles since his defense is too complex for rookies or younger players to play right away.
UPDATE MONDAY 11:23 AM EST
The NFL's annual league meeting began this morning.
While the focus of the discussions will be on rule changes and the integrity of the game, there are other topics being discussed in the hallways of the Breakers Hotel.
Scout.com had a chance to talk to NFL analyst Ron Jaworski about this year's draft--specifically about the quarterback position.
"Matt Ryan is clearly the best quarterback. Make no mistake about it. I think you can talk about him in the class of Carson (Palmer). I think he's the most ready of the quarterbacks," he said.
Jaworski is still trying to decide who the next signal caller who should go off the board.
"I like (Joe) Flacco and (Brian) Brohm. Brohm is a very polished quarterback. What Flacco has is very obvious. The arm strength, you can clearly see it with him."
Jaworski, who played 15 years with 3 teams, adds the team that will looking at both quarterbacks has a decision to make.
"Do you want the upside with Flacco or the guy who more ready to play (Brohm)?"
Scout.com will talk to Jaworski again as we get closer to NFL draft weekend about players at several positions from both sides of the football.