NFL player notes and quotes from around the league, from signings to retirements to conditioning reports.
DE Darrion Scott, a restricted free agent, said he doesn't plan to sign his tender until the April 20 deadline and admitted he was disappointed the Vikings elected to place the lowest of the NFL's four tenders ($850,000) on him. If another team signed Scott, it would need to give up a third-round pick to the Vikings. Scott led the Vikings in sacks last season.
DE Erasmus James, whose 2006 season ended early because of an ACL injury, could start training camp on the physically unable to perform list. James had a second procedure performed this winter to remove scar tissue.
RB LaBrandon Toefield signed a one-year, $800,000 deal to remain a Jaguar. Toefield was an unrestricted free agent who shopped himself around the league looking for the top spot or at least a co-No. 1 role with some team. But the four teams that expressed the strongest interest in Toefield told him that it would be as a backup. Thus his best option was to resign with the Jaguars for one year where he can repeat the process next year with the hope that he'll have an opportunity in 2007 to showcase his skills and talent, more than what he got in '06.
LG Toniu Fonoti, signed as a free agent, has looked very good in offseason conditioning workouts, Petrino said. That could be a good sign since the Falcons would really like Fonoti to be their starter. Injuries and weight issues have sabotaged Fonoti's promising career and this could be his last shot. So far, his commitment and work ethic are promising signs, according to Petrino.
QB Michael Vick will still be allowed to run by new head coach Bobby Petrino, but Petrino would like to encourage Vick to look to pass first more often. "What I would like to change about Michael is his first instinct, when he decides to take the game over and go win is to do it running the ball," Petrino said at the recent NFL owners meetings in Phoenix. "I would like to have him say 'Okay I'm going to take the game over, we got to win this but I'm going to utilize my receivers, my running back, my tight end,' and build that trust within everybody so he understands we're going to get it done but we're going to utilize the players around him. He's still going to have the ability to take off and go. We'd like that to be his third instinct instead of his first."
S Mike Minter announced that he will retire after the 2007 season. "It's not that I felt like my play is slipping. The decision is more based on how my body feels," said Minter, who agreed to a $1.3 million pay cut this season to remain with the team. "You're talking about 1,200 or 1,300 snaps a year and not having missed any time. Eventually that adds up, especially how I play the game. I can understand Tiki (Barber) and what he went through. It's tough when your body continues to go through the grind year after year."
LB Shelton Quarles might be forced to retire because of undisclosed physical issues but said the ultimate decisions rests with the team. "If it was up to me, we probably wouldn't be talking about it right now," Quarles said. Although Quarles, 35, declined to elaborate, it was the biggest hint yet that he is at odds with the Bucs and the team's medical staff about his ability to keep playing."I could see if anything that happened to me hindered my performance," said Quarles, Tampa Bay's starting middle linebacker. "In my opinion, it didn't. The high ankle sprain is something that happens to everybody. I know myself, I know my body, and I know what I've put it through over the years. What I've done in the past on the field should give me the ability to continue my career."
DE Melvin Oliver, a sixth-round draft pick who started 14 games as a rookie, ranked No. 14 in the league in rolling in an additional $223,517 in performance based pay. Oliver was the only 49ers player to rank in the league's top 25 in performance based pay. He recorded 50 tackles and one sack and scored a touchdown on a fumble return.
LB Keith Burns decided to retire from his playing career and become an assistant special teams coach for the Broncos. Burns was a key figure in the locker room and a good special teams player, but he was an unrestricted free agent and decided to begin another phase of his career.
RG Marco Rivera is expected to announce his retirement soon. Rivera's future was in question after he had to undergo back surgery in January. It was his second back surgery in three years. The Cowboys moved to replace him with the signing of Leonard Davis. Still, Rivera hoped to return at least as a backup. Now, the news is Rivera is not long for the NFL.
LB Greg Ellis is ahead of schedule in his rehab from a torn Achilles' tendon that sidelined him for the final seven games of last season. Ellis has already started running and the Cowboys believe he will be ready for training camp. Ellis led the team with 4.5 sacks before he was sidelined in week 9. "Obviously, when they lost him last year that hurt them a lot," new head coach Wade Phillips said.
LB Bobby Carpenter, who came on at the end of last season, may be without a job with LB Greg Ellis' impending return. However, the Cowboys still like Carpenter's potential and have plans to find a role for him. Coach Wade Phillips said Carpenter will be looked at both outside and inside linebacker. "I want to start this off-season putting Bobby outside and inside and try to get a feel for exactly where he needs to have an opportunity to play, because he is a talented player," Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said. "He's big and can run and is smart. You just kind of look for fits -- where people should fit in -- and give them an opportunity to play."
CB Reynaldo Hill did well again in the league's performance based pay program, which uses an index to reward players who are underpaid based on their playing time compared to other players at their position on their team. Hill earned $216,470 though the program, following a season during which his base salary was $350,000.
DE Jared Allen's offseason saga continues. Allen, who placed No. 2 on the team in sacks last season, continues to flex his leverage on the Chiefs and general manager Carl Peterson. Allen, a restricted free agent, wants a new contract. The Chiefs don't want to give it to him. What Allen doesn't seem to realize is that Peterson is holding the long end of the lever. Allen recently served jail time for his second DUI conviction since joining the NFL in 2004. He's likely to serve a four-game suspension to begin the 2007 season. And he's a restricted free agent. Allen, who in 2006 said he intended to play his entire career in Kansas City, views the offer as a slap in the face and has requested a trade. He can posture and plead and sit out, but he doesn't seem to realize who he's dealing with. Peterson, who is also the Chiefs' president and CEO, has a reputation for playing hard ball, even when Kansas City has been desperate. And Allen, who is still in the process of establishing himself, can ill afford to jeopardize an entire season by holding out, especially in a contract year.
S Jon McGraw signed a two-year deal with the Chiefs. Financial terms were undisclosed. McGraw formerly played for Herm Edwards' New York Jets, who drafted him in the second round in 2002. Edwards is now the head coach of the Chiefs.
G Corey Hulsey re-signed with the Raiders. Terms were undisclosed.
DL Chris Cooper, a valuable, versatile veteran role-player, was re-signed for two years as an unrestricted free agent (terms undisclosed). He has 22 tackles and two sacks in 13 games as a backup last year. Cooper was Oakland's sixth-round pick in 2001 and made three tackles in the 2003 Super Bowl for the Raiders.
FB Terrelle Smith, cut by Cleveland despite being the lead blocker for 1,000-yard rushers in five of his seven pro season, was signed for two years as an unrestricted free agent to lead the way for Edgerrin James (terms undisclosed). Smith was New Orleans' fourth-round pick in 2000.
DE Andre Wadsworth, the third overall pick in the 1998 draft, was signed by the Jets. The 6-foot-4, 272-pound defensive end started 30 games over three seasons with Arizona from 1998-2000, but was plagued by knee injuries. He hasn't played in an NFL game since then. "Andre came in for a workout," coach Eric Mangini told the New York Daily News. "He had a really good workout, but spending time with him after the workout was extremely impressive and he looked for an opportunity. In meeting with him, and seeing where he is physically, we thought it would be a good chance for us to give him that opportunity." Wadsworth was drafted right after San Diego selected Ryan Leaf with the second overall pick. Who knows? Maybe the Jets will sign Leaf to compete with Marques Tuiasosopo and Kellen Clemens to be Chad Pennington's backup. Then again, probably not.
G Edwin Mulitalo signed a three year deal with the Lions. Terms were undisclosed. Mulitalo spent his first eight seasons in the league with the Baltimore Ravens.
DT Colin Cole, an exclusive rights free agent, signed a one-year, $435,000 deal to remain a Packer.
RB Noah Herron, an exclusive rights free agent, signed a one-year, $435,000 deal to remain a Packer.
TE Tory Humphrey, an exclusive rights free agent, signed a one-year, $360,000 deal to remain a Packer.