Notebook: Top WRs, CBs lead free-agent news

Free agency doesn't start for more than three weeks, but teams are attempting to negotiate with their most valued players. In some cases, that isn't going well and could lead to solid talent hitting the open market. From Brandon Carr to Carl Nicks to Wes Welker to Mike Wallace, free agency is becoming a priority.

Cornerback Brandon Carr remains in the Chiefs' plans despite the team signing Stanford Routt to a three-year contract Monday.

General manager Scott Pioli told 810-AM radio in Kansas City that the team still wants to keep Carr, who can become a free agent March 13.

"The signing of Stanford Routt does not impact where we're at with Brandon Carr," Pioli said, per Arrowheadpride.com. "As a matter of fact, Romeo (Crennel) and I both reached out to Brandon yesterday as this was unfolding and talked to him. I spoke personally with Brandon, and without getting into the details of that conversation, but he knows, and he's known before, he's someone we want to keep here, and he's still someone we want to keep a Chief."

Carr is considered one of the better young cornerbacks in the AFC, although the Chiefs also have Brandon Flowers, and bringing in Routt makes it hard to believe the Chiefs will designate Carr as their franchise player.

Pioli also said the team hopes to re-sign wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, who is slated to become a free agent March 13.

Saints OG Nicks wants to top Evans' deal

Saints guard Carl Nicks is scheduled to become a free agent unless the Saints can re-sign quarterback Drew Brees and place their franchise tag on Nicks.

And the two-time All-Pro has sights set on a very lucrative new contract.

Teammate Jahri Evans, a fellow Pro Bowl guard, signed a seven-year, $56.7 million deal in 2010. Nicks told SiriusXM NFL radio that Evans' deal was signed two years ago and he expects to receive a bigger contract.

The Saints have a busy free agent slate ahead of them, with wide receiver Marques Colston and cornerback Tracy Porter also scheduled to hit the open market.

Welker, Patriots at contract stalemate

The Patriots and wide receiver Wes Welker have made little progress toward a long-term contract according to the Boston Herald.

Fear not, Boston sports fans, the team's No. 1 receiver remains unlikely to get away. The Patriots are almost certain to use the franchise designation to retain Welker if they can't reach a contract extension.

Both sides said after Super Bowl XLVI that they expected Welker to remain with the Patriots. Monday was the first day use of the franchise tag was permitted, beginning a two-week window in which teams can use the prohibitive designation.

Welker made $2.15 million in 2011 and if tagged by March 5 would earn approximately $9.5 million under the terms of the one-year tender. However, Welker and the Patriots could negotiate toward a long-term deal even if the franchise designation is assigned

Steelers could lose WR Wallace; Colon restructures

The Steelers are scrambling to get underneath the salary cap before the March 13 start of free agency, and are concerned they could lose wide receiver Mike Wallace.

General manager Kevin Colbert admitted the team has serious salary cap issues, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported the team remains $10 million over the cap despite offensive tackle Willie Colon becoming the latest player to restructure his contract.

Wallace is scheduled to become a restricted free agent, and the Steelers have until March 5 to place their franchise tag on him.

Colon had $3.8 million of his $4.5 million salary converted into a bonus that was prorated over the next four years of his contract. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and linebacker James Harrison told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that they'd be open to restructuring their deals as well.

Colon has finished the past two seasons on injured reserve, but the Steelers are counting on him to return, and plan to move Marcus Gilbert to left tackle.

Colon, whose 2011 season ended after one game because of a torn triceps, missed all of 2010 with a torn Achilles

Griffin will run, likely not throw at Combine

Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III said he expects to run the 40-yard dash and take part in other drills at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis later this week, but doesn't expect to throw in front of pro scouts until his March 21 pro day.

"I don't think so," Griffin told the Dan Patrick Show. "It's still up in the air but I'm probably not going to throw."

Griffin is a former track star who has run the 40 in under 4.4 seconds in the past.

Many top quarterback prospects choose to wait until their personal pro days, when they can work out on their home turf and with their own receivers.

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck has not said whether he intends to throw at the Combine or not.


Viking Update Top Stories

\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"Cornerback Brandon Carr remains in the Chiefs' plans despite the team signing Stanford Routt to a three-year contract Monday. General manager Scott Pioli told 810-AM radio in Kansas City that the team still wants to keep Carr, who can become a free agent March 13. \"The signing of Stanford Routt does not impact where we're at with Brandon Carr,\" Pioli said, per Arrowheadpride.com. \"As a matter of fact, Romeo (Crennel) and I both reached out to Brandon yesterday as this was unfolding and talked to him. I spoke personally with Brandon, and without getting into the details of that conversation, but he knows, and he's known before, he's someone we want to keep here, and he's still someone we want to keep a Chief.\" Carr is considered one of the better young cornerbacks in the AFC, although the Chiefs also have Brandon Flowers, and bringing in Routt makes it hard to believe the Chiefs will designate Carr as their franchise player. Pioli also said the team hopes to re-sign wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, who is slated to become a free agent March 13. Saints guard Carl Nicks is scheduled to become a free agent unless the Saints can re-sign quarterback Drew Brees and place their franchise tag on Nicks. And the two-time All-Pro has sights set on a very lucrative new contract. Teammate Jahri Evans, a fellow Pro Bowl guard, signed a seven-year, $56.7 million deal in 2010. Nicks told SiriusXM NFL radio that Evans' deal was signed two years ago and he expects to receive a bigger contract. The Saints have a busy free agent slate ahead of them, with wide receiver Marques Colston and cornerback Tracy Porter also scheduled to hit the open market. The Patriots and wide receiver Wes Welker have made little progress toward a long-term contract according to the Boston Herald. Fear not, Boston sports fans, the team's No. 1 receiver remains unlikely to get away. The Patriots are almost certain to use the franchise designation to retain Welker if they can't reach a contract extension. Both sides said after Super Bowl XLVI that they expected Welker to remain with the Patriots. Monday was the first day use of the franchise tag was permitted, beginning a two-week window in which teams can use the prohibitive designation. Welker made $2.15 million in 2011 and if tagged by March 5 would earn approximately $9.5 million under the terms of the one-year tender. However, Welker and the Patriots could negotiate toward a long-term deal even if the franchise designation is assigned The Steelers are scrambling to get underneath the salary cap before the March 13 start of free agency, and are concerned they could lose wide receiver Mike Wallace. General manager Kevin Colbert admitted the team has serious salary cap issues, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported the team remains $10 million over the cap despite offensive tackle Willie Colon becoming the latest player to restructure his contract. Wallace is scheduled to become a restricted free agent, and the Steelers have until March 5 to place their franchise tag on him. Colon had $3.8 million of his $4.5 million salary converted into a bonus that was prorated over the next four years of his contract. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and linebacker James Harrison told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that they'd be open to restructuring their deals as well. Colon has finished the past two seasons on injured reserve, but the Steelers are counting on him to return, and plan to move Marcus Gilbert to left tackle. Colon, whose 2011 season ended after one game because of a torn triceps, missed all of 2010 with a torn Achilles Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III said he expects to run the 40-yard dash and take part in other drills at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis later this week, but doesn't expect to throw in front of pro scouts until his March 21 pro day. \"I don't think so,\" Griffin told the Dan Patrick Show. \"It's still up in the air but I'm probably not going to throw.\" Griffin is a former track star who has run the 40 in under 4.4 seconds in the past. Many top quarterback prospects choose to wait until their personal pro days, when they can work out on their home turf and with their own receivers. Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck has not said whether he intends to throw at the Combine or not. 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