With minicamps being conducted at various NFL locations, several big names in the league are making headlines, from new roles to surgeries to depth chart analysis. We go around the league in the last few days with this update.
WR Todd Pinkston, recovering from an Achilles' injury, participated in roughly half of Monday's practice with the Eagles. "You're at the point now where you go off of his feel on things and see where he's at, and if there's any inflammation back there," coach Andy Reid said. "Right now he felt good today with the limited work that he did. We'll just have to see how he feels tomorrow after pushing it here a little bit. He's been up here the whole time working and going full speed through the workouts, but it is a little different when you get the juices going and you're out there catching the football with the rest of the guys."
QB Donovan McNabb's rehab from sports hernia surgery continues on schedule with minicamp this week. "I would like to say at 100 percent, but you never know until you put the pads on and get back into a scrimmage situation or a possible game situation.," McNabb said. "With the whole training regiment that I've had all off season, I feel like I've been getting stronger and with the flexibility trainer I've been working with, as well I'm getting looser. It's kind of hard to tell right now but throughout these mini camps and these days of practicing. I've felt great and will continue to take strides until I feel 100 percent."
QB Steve McNair has finally landed in Baltimore, pending a physical. The on again, off again rumor finally came to fruition when the Titans agreed to trade McNair to Baltimore in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick next year.
As recently as Tuesday, Titans coach Jeff Fisher said he hoped the team and McNair would still be able to resolve their financial disagreement so the 11-year veteran could stay with the franchise. But McNair was unwilling to renegotiate his salary to reduce his $9 million cap charge next year, forcing the Titans' hand.
McNair's contract with Baltimore is reported for five years and includes an $11 million signing bonus to go with a $1 million salary next season.
DE Mario Williams is sitting out practices this week following surgery to remove the nails on both of his big toes. He had problems with infections in the nails, leading to Monday's procedure. "They were bothering him throughout the camp," said coach Gary Kubiak. "So instead of trying to fight it, they removed them. We're giving him a few days off to make sure it heals properly." Kubiak said Williams might return to practice by Friday.
WR Jamaar Taylor, who battled various injuries during his two-year career, filed his retirement papers with the Giants. "We respect Jamaar's decision, but we are really sorry to see this," general manager Ernie Accorsi said. "I thought he was an outstanding prospect and played very well for us when he was healthy. We are placing him on reserve/retired and retaining our rights in case, at some point in the future, he changes his mind."
Taylor, a sixth-round draft choice in 2004, played in 13 games in his two seasons with the Giants. But several knee injuries, including one that limited him to five games in the 2005 season, led to his decision to retire.
Philadelphia RB Correll Buckhalter is not practicing with the team yet as he rehabs from a second major knee surgery. "He's probably a little bit ahead of schedule from where he was from the time before," coach Andy Reid said. "He's moving around pretty good. He does the conditioning part of the workouts here at the offseason program and he looks like he's getting better and better every time I see him out there doing that. So, we'll see. We'll see how he does. It's a big hurdle to overcome, but he's a little bit ahead of schedule."
Eagles DE Jerome McDougle's recovery from a gunshot wound last year appears to be going smoothly. "We can't do any one-on-ones yet, or live action yet, so time will tell down the road on that," coach Andy Reid said. "But, he's doing everything full speed and he looks great out there, very quick and explosive. We feel very good about him."
WR Bethel Johnson was traded to New Orleans by New England in exchange for DL Johnathan Sullivan. Both players were 2003 draft picks, Sullivan a bust so far as the sixth overall pick, while Johnson has just 30 catches since being the 45th overall pick.
TE Tim Euhus was acquired by New Orleans from Buffalo in exchange for Courtney Watson, who the Saints previously tried to trade to Miami.
CB Joselio Hanson signed a two-year contract with Philadelphia. The 24-year-old Hanson played with the World Bowl champion Frankfurt Galaxy in NFL Europe in 2006, registering 15 tackles and seven passes defensed. After signing as a rookie free agent with San Francisco in 2003, Hanson (5-9, 170) spent his rookie season as a member of the 49ers practice squad. In 2004, he played in 13 games (3 starts) for the 49ers and recorded 20 tackles and one sack. He was released by San Francisco prior to the start of the 2005 season. A native of Inglewood, CA, Hanson played two seasons at Texas Tech after transferring from El Camino Junior College.
Philadelphia RB Thomas Tapeh's versatility allows him to play fullback or halfback. "You have the luxury with him that he has played both and he's played both for us," coach Andy Reid said. "So, we're having him concentrate at that fullback spot right now and then once he has a full grasp of that, then we move him from there. But, right now we'd like him to master that fullback position"
RB Decori Birmingham was added to the Giants' roster. Birmingham, 5-10 and 210 pounds, was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by New England on April 29, 2005 and waived by the Patriots on July 22. He was signed by the Jets on Aug. 9 and waived on Aug. 27. Birmingham was signed by the San Francisco 49ers on Jan. 5, 2006 and waived on March 24.
OG Kevin McAlmont was added to the Giants' roster. McAlmont, 6-1 and 320, played in 37 games with 29 starts at Western Carolina. He started his career as a defensive tackle before moving to the offensive line two games into his sophomore year. McAlmont started 29 of his last 30 games at left guard. As a senior in 2005, he started all eight games in which he played and was named second team All-Southern Conference by the league's coaches. McAlmont started all 11 games as a junior and nine of 12 as a sophomore.
Philadelphia FS Brian Dawkins will play this season in the final year of his contract unless a new deal with the team is worked out. "I am going to go out and play ball," he said. "Whether it's a contract year, whether it's the first year after a contract, whether it's the third year on a four year deal, I am going to try my best to give everything that I have regardless of the situation."
Former Vikings DT Jason Fisk signed a one-year deal with St. Louis. The 11-year veteran had 50 tackles for Cleveland last year.
CB Kevin Timonthee signed with St. Louis. Timothee spent the 2005 preseason with the Titans as an undrafted rookie out of Florida International. He played this spring for the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe.
K Remy Hamilton signed a one-year contract with St. Louis. Hamilton played in one game for the Lions last year after spending the 2005 preseason with the Rams.
Denver TE Landon Trusty was placed on the reserve/injured list and will miss the 2006 season with a torn ligament in his right knee.