NFL Notebook: Bulger still competitive

Free-agent QB Marc Bulger may still want to compete for a starting job, according to those close to him. See what else they had to say about his situation, along with notes from other NFL fronts.

Pending free-agent quarterback Marc Bulger has been consistent during the offseason in not addressing rumors about where he might play in 2011, and even remained mum recently when Kurt Warner suggested that, at this point in his career, the 11-year veteran might be content to simply be a backup.

But people close to the 34-year-old Bulger, whose father was an old high school classmate of yours truly, took some umbrage at Warner's remarks.

"He still has the fire to play," said one member of the Bulger camp. "Last year, when he didn't get off the bench [in Baltimore], it wasn't like he got completely cozy with being the No. 2 guy. The situation, though, will have to be the right one."

The last part of the equation – identifying a spot where Bulger would be able to compete for a starting job – might be the hardest. The dearth of quality quarterbacks in the NFL aside, there simply aren't a ton of starting jobs available. We reported two months ago that Arizona would be Bulger's most logical landing spot – and cited some reports that a few NFL officials actually felt there might be an "understanding" between the two parties – but other media reports have linked the Cardinals to a trade for Philadelphia backup Kevin Kolb.

Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt recently suggested that he preferred to get a younger veteran quarterback, so he might not be in the market for an older guy like Bulger. But people close to Bulger continue to insist that he still retains a competitive streak and has not just settled in to a No. 2 quarterback mentality.

Musical chairs: The agent-jumping in the 2011 rookie class continues. New York Jets third-round defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis has left Howard Shatsky for Brian Levy. A former Hampton star, and one of only four players from historically black schools to be selected this year, Ellis still faces a July trial on felony assault charges for an incident at Hampton (maximum penalty: 20 years) in which he allegedly broke a man's jaw in an altercation. Ellis was previously dismissed from the South Carolina squad for non-divulged violations of team rules believed to have involved positive marijuana tests.

The epidemic of changing agents apparently is not limited, either, to only rookies. Second-year Baltimore defensive tackle Terrence Cody, a second-round choice in 2010 who Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome recently suggested will be the club's most improved player in '11, reportedly has left Alvin Keels and joined the Athletes First (David Dunn, Joby Branion, primary agents) lengthy client list.

NOTES

  • Although Tennessee first-year offensive coordinator Chris Palmer emphasized this week that first-round quarterback Jake Locker will start if he is "the best guy," the Titans still plan to add a veteran to the mix, and have included former starter Kerry Collins in the mix of possibilities.

  • Four-year veteran Marshal Yanda performed admirably for Baltimore at right tackle in 2010, but some coaches still believe that guard is his best position. The Ravens would like to move Michael Oher, who struggled at left tackle at times in '10, back to right tackle and bump Yanda inside to guard. The problem is, the Ravens don't have a real quality left tackle candidate right now.

  • When it was mentioned to a Detroit operative that some people scoffed when it was noted in this space that the Lions considered it a priority to extend the contract of left tackle Jeff Backus, who will be 34 in September, the club official replied: "Two words. Chad Clifton." The 11-year veteran Clifton, 35, was thought to be on his way out in Green Bay before the start of the '10 season, but played well for the Super Bowl-champion Packers.

  • There is only one Nnamdi Asomugha and, in lieu of pursuing the former Oakland star, teams might be inclined to target Pittsburgh's Ike Taylor in what is perceived as a weak free-agent cornerback market. Include Johnathan Joseph of the Bengals as a corner apt to get a lot of play as well, personnel directors say. The big problem for Joseph has always been his health, but the consensus is that someone will overpay for the former first-rounder.

    *The last word: "How can marriage be marriage for thousands of years and now, all of a sudden, because a minority, an influential minority, has a push or an agenda, and totally reshapes something that was not founded in our country? It's something that's holy and sacred and I think there's nothing more honorable than fighting for it. If (the New York state legislature) passes this bill ... what I know will happen if this comes forth is, this will be the beginning of our country sliding toward, it's a strong word, but anarchy. That will be the moment when our country in itself loses its grip with what's right. I do believe that there is right and wrong. I do believe there is good and evil. … (But) marriage is one of those things that is the backbone of society. So, if you redefine it, that changes the way we educate our children, it changes the perception of what is good, what is right, what is just." – Former New York Giants wide receiver David Tyree, on same-sex marriages


  • Viking Update Top Stories

    \r\n\r\n","mobileBody":" Pending free-agent quarterback Marc Bulger has been consistent during the offseason in not addressing rumors about where he might play in 2011, and even remained mum recently when Kurt Warner suggested that, at this point in his career, the 11-year veteran might be content to simply be a backup. But people close to the 34-year-old Bulger, whose father was an old high school classmate of yours truly, took some umbrage at Warner's remarks. \"He still has the fire to play,\" said one member of the Bulger camp. \"Last year, when he didn't get off the bench [in Baltimore], it wasn't like he got completely cozy with being the No. 2 guy. The situation, though, will have to be the right one.\" The last part of the equation – identifying a spot where Bulger would be able to compete for a starting job – might be the hardest. The dearth of quality quarterbacks in the NFL aside, there simply aren't a ton of starting jobs available. We reported two months ago that Arizona would be Bulger's most logical landing spot – and cited some reports that a few NFL officials actually felt there might be an \"understanding\" between the two parties – but other media reports have linked the Cardinals to a trade for Philadelphia backup Kevin Kolb. Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt recently suggested that he preferred to get a younger veteran quarterback, so he might not be in the market for an older guy like Bulger. But people close to Bulger continue to insist that he still retains a competitive streak and has not just settled in to a No. 2 quarterback mentality. The agent-jumping in the 2011 rookie class continues. New York Jets third-round defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis has left Howard Shatsky for Brian Levy. A former Hampton star, and one of only four players from historically black schools to be selected this year, Ellis still faces a July trial on felony assault charges for an incident at Hampton (maximum penalty: 20 years) in which he allegedly broke a man's jaw in an altercation. Ellis was previously dismissed from the South Carolina squad for non-divulged violations of team rules believed to have involved positive marijuana tests. The epidemic of changing agents apparently is not limited, either, to only rookies. Second-year Baltimore defensive tackle Terrence Cody, a second-round choice in 2010 who Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome recently suggested will be the club's most improved player in '11, reportedly has left Alvin Keels and joined the Athletes First (David Dunn, Joby Branion, primary agents) lengthy client list.
  • Although Tennessee first-year offensive coordinator Chris Palmer emphasized this week that first-round quarterback Jake Locker will start if he is \"the best guy,\" the Titans still plan to add a veteran to the mix, and have included former starter Kerry Collins in the mix of possibilities.
  • Four-year veteran Marshal Yanda performed admirably for Baltimore at right tackle in 2010, but some coaches still believe that guard is his best position. The Ravens would like to move Michael Oher, who struggled at left tackle at times in '10, back to right tackle and bump Yanda inside to guard. The problem is, the Ravens don't have a real quality left tackle candidate right now.
  • When it was mentioned to a Detroit operative that some people scoffed when it was noted in this space that the Lions considered it a priority to extend the contract of left tackle Jeff Backus, who will be 34 in September, the club official replied: \"Two words. Chad Clifton.\" The 11-year veteran Clifton, 35, was thought to be on his way out in Green Bay before the start of the '10 season, but played well for the Super Bowl-champion Packers.
  • There is only one Nnamdi Asomugha and, in lieu of pursuing the former Oakland star, teams might be inclined to target Pittsburgh's Ike Taylor in what is perceived as a weak free-agent cornerback market. Include Johnathan Joseph of the Bengals as a corner apt to get a lot of play as well, personnel directors say. The big problem for Joseph has always been his health, but the consensus is that someone will overpay for the former first-rounder. *The last word: \"How can marriage be marriage for thousands of years and now, all of a sudden, because a minority, an influential minority, has a push or an agenda, and totally reshapes something that was not founded in our country? It's something that's holy and sacred and I think there's nothing more honorable than fighting for it. If (the New York state legislature) passes this bill ... what I know will happen if this comes forth is, this will be the beginning of our country sliding toward, it's a strong word, but anarchy. That will be the moment when our country in itself loses its grip with what's right. I do believe that there is right and wrong. I do believe there is good and evil. … (But) marriage is one of those things that is the backbone of society. So, if you redefine it, that changes the way we educate our children, it changes the perception of what is good, what is right, what is just.\" – Former New York Giants wide receiver David Tyree, on same-sex marriages
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