Draft Affects NFL Veterans

The weekend wasn't all about the 255 college players selected on Saturday and Sunday. Draft weekend put in motion news on several NFL veterans, including a few former Vikings. Get updates from around the league.

  • WR Randy Moss has been traded by the Raiders to New England for the Patriots' fourth-round pick (No. 127).

  • QB Daunte Culpepper acknowledged for the first time that he may no longer fit into the Miami Dolphins' long-term plans.

    "Since I am a player/agent and there are discussions about my career taking place, I expect to be included in those discussions sooner rather than later," Culpepper wrote in an e-mail sent to select South Florida media. "As it pertains to being traded or released, I don't get to make that call so I will await the Dolphins' decision. I am sure that they will do what is in the best interest of the team.

    "While those decisions are being made, I am continuing to do everything I can to prepare to play at the level of expectations of the Dolphins (if they keep me), the NFL fans and most importantly myself. Until this week, it never entered my mind that I wouldn't be the starting quarterback of the Miami Dolphins this coming season."

    Of course, Culpepper was clearly ignoring the obvious. Even before drafting Brigham Young quarterback John Beck in the second round of last weekend's NFL draft, new Dolphins coach Cam Cameron had never offered Culpepper a public vote of support while pursuing Kansas City's Trent Green in a trade.

  • CB Antoine Winfield has spent time working out at Winter Park this offseason, but coach Brad Childress admitted the veteran is not a regular participant in the Vikings' strength and conditioning program. "I'm not requiring Antoine to be here," Childress said, "and I'm happy we've got 95 percent of the guys that are here working out."

  • Former Vikings OT Sean Bubin has decided to retire. Bubin, 25, was signed to the Patriots practice squad on Oct. 6, 2006 and spent the remainder of the 2006 season as part of the squad. The 6-foot-6, 305-pound offensive tackle was originally selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fifth round of the 2004 NFL Draft.

  • Former Vikings OT Nat Dorsey re-signed with the Browns. Terms were undisclosed. Dorsey will have to compete with Kelly Butler for a backup spot.

  • WR Darrell Jackson was acquired by the 49ers from Seattle in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2007 draft. "Darrell is a productive receiver with experience in our division which I think is a plus, "coach Mike Nolan said. "Scot McCloughan is familiar with Darrell from his time in Seattle and we are excited to have him with the 49ers."

  • RB Ricky Williams is now eligible for NFL reinstatement with his one-year suspension ending for a fourth failed drug test.

    Williams should be able to return to the Dolphins shortly, as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell must give a ruling on the matter by June 25. Williams has participated in the league's drug-testing program during his suspension and is expected to receive medical clearance for reinstatement.

    Williams and starter Ronnie Brown formed a solid one-two rushing punch for Miami in 2005, combining for 1,650 yards and 10 touchdowns.

  • RB Michael Turner appears he will return for his last year with the Chargers after not being traded during the draft. "I don't know where this goes now," GM A.J. Smith said. "We were looking for a package that was advantageous to us."

  • Titans CB Pacman Jones was expected to appeal his suspension by April 30. The Tennessean reported that the pending Georgia case in which he faces a felony obstruction police charge has been postponed from May and that the case has been sealed so that no further information on it becomes public.

  • OLB Lance Briggs, the Bears' franchise player, who wants to be traded or given a long-term contract instead of the one-year $7.2 million he'd make in 2007, was not traded during the draft.

    "I have a theory, but I really don't want to get into that," Bears GM Jerry Angelo said of the lack of interest in Briggs. We did have one team call us, Washington, it never materialized. I don't know what more to say."

    That doesn't mean that a deal can't get done after the draft.

    "I'm not going to rule that out totally," Angelo said, "irrelevant of what we do."

  • Dolphins OT Vernon Carey will be shifted from right to left tackle for the team's minicamp this weekend. Anthony Alabi, a 2005 fifth-round pick, struggled while manning the position during an April minicamp.

    A 2004 first-round draft choice, Carey had emerged as a solid starter at right tackle the past two seasons. Carey has said he would prefer to stay at that spot but would shift to left tackle if asked.

    "I talked to Vernon and said, 'Based on what I've seen and the studies I've done, there's no reason that you can't have a heck of a year as our left tackle," coach Cam Cameron said.

  • LB Donnie Spragan re-signed with Miami to a one-year contract. Spragan had started the past two seasons for Miami at strong-side linebacker, finishing with 50 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 2006. Spragan, though, drew surprisingly little interest in free agency. Spragan is now expected to serve as a backup at all three linebacker positions with Joey Porter taking his spot in the starting lineup.

  • WR Terrell Owens will be back with the Cowboys next year. Owner Jerry Jones reiterated for the upteenth time that he will pay Owens a $3 million roster bonus in June to ensure his return. Owens' rehab from surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right ring finger is going well. He spent the past week in Miami getting additional attention from his doctors, but his expected to return to Dallas and resume the team's offseason program.

  • Jaguars OT Maurice Williams, who lost his starting job when Tony Pashos was signed, was on the trading block during the draft, but they kept him because they didn't like the offers they got. "He's a valuable guy and we didn't feel the value ever matched up (with what they were offered)," coach Jack Del Rio said.

  • Jaguars DT Marcus Stroud still hasn't completely recovered from the knee injury that caused him to miss five games last year.

    Coach Jack Del Rio said that he had surgery and the doctors suggested he give it a long time to heal. Del Rio admitted he has concerns but hopes he'll be ready for training camp. He'll miss minicamp. He also suggested that Stroud is working harder in the offseason than he has in the past.

    "We're very pleased with the way he's approaching things. We believe the long -prospects are good. This offseason is so crucial and he understands the importance of this time of year. It's like buying insurance. The more you work, the more you're able to withstand. He's made a tremendous commitment," he said.

  • DE Bobby McCray is unhappy the Jaguars haven't given him a long-term deal instead of the $1.85 million deal as a restricted free agent. He's refusing to sign his tender and will skip the offseason program. His agent is Drew Rosenhaus, who can cause a storm and said McCray deserves a big contract after having 10 sacks last year. Nobody will be surprised if he's a training camp holdout.

  • Colts DT Corey Simon, who missed the 2006 season with knee and undisclosed illness problems, remains on the team. His status for the 2007 season remains up in the air.

    "In Corey's situation, I don't know. I have to talk to the doctors and I haven't had an opportunity to do that just yet," team president Bill Polian noted, adding that the team has yet to make a decision on whether Simon will be with Indianapolis in the fall. Simon, who signed with the team before the start of the 2005 season, has filed a grievance with the NFLPA regarding his salary, which the team has withheld since he has been sidelined. Indianapolis has filed a counter-grievance asking for a portion of his bonus back.

    "Well, we haven't made such a decision. And any such decision I think would be predicated on what the results of the physical are. What the doctors think the road ahead looks like. That might, or might not, impact the grievance. That's a legal issue that needs to be discussed with the lawyers," Polian said.

  • Colts DE Dwight Freeney were put on hold until after the draft. Freeney was tagged as the team's franchise player last month.

    "In Dwight's situation, there's nothing going on right now. But that's because of the draft. We'll talk again very soon after the draft," Polian said.

  • WR Aaron Moorehead inked a one-year deal with the Colts. Moorehead, who visited with the Minnesota Vikings last month, was an unrestricted free agent. Financial terms were not disclosed.

  • LG David Diehl is about to become LT David Diehl, which might buy the Giants a year until he completely proves he cannot handle the added pressure of that LT position. Then they're back to square one, since they failed to secure a veteran OT during free agency or a highly-ranked OT during the draft. "I am not going to move to left tackle," said RT Kareem McKenzie, who might be a better choice to make a switch.

  • Eagles LB Takeo Spikes, who was acquired in a trade with Buffalo last month, still could play either inside or outside. "No, we'll just see," coach Andy said if a position had been determined. "He's been very open to me. He played WILL the majority of his career, but he also played MIKE. The position he wouldn't be quite as familiar with is the SAM linebacker position. I don't really care about all of that part. I just want good players in there that do their thing. I want good competition that will bring out the best in guys. You can't have enough good players."

  • Redskins SLB Marcus Washington, who missed the final two games of last season with hip and knee injuries, is ready to begin working out after missing the first month of the offseason program.

  • Carolina WR Keyshawn Johnson will be back this season. Johnson hadn't said anything definitive about his future, but when ESPN analyst Chris Mortensen jokingly told Johnson he can retire now that the Panthers selected his apparent successor, receiver Dwayne Jarrett from USC in the second round, Johnson replied, "I don't know about next year, maybe the year after, but we'll see. But one year at a time at age 34."

    Johnson has three years left on his contract with the Panthers.

  • Panthers DT Kris Jenkins will likely return this season after the club failed to receive any quality trade offers. Jenkins had been on the trading block for weeks, but the Panthers were said to want at least a second round pick in exchange.

    "We've said, I think Kris is on our team and we want him to be on our team and he's a valuable player," Panthers GM Marty Hurney said. "Nothing has happened and I don't see anything happening."

    It's uncertain if Jenkins, who is said to a little miffed the team put him on the trading block, will report to minicamp next weekend.

  • TE Jerramy Stevens, who has twice been arrested for driving under the influence, signed with Tampa Bay. The former first-round pick has 130 career receptions and 15 touchdowns. He will compete with Alex Smith and Anthony Becht. Bucs coach Bruce Allen said he was satisfied that Stevens bad behavior is behind him.

  • TE Aaron Walker recently signed his restricted free-agent tender of $850,000 with the Rams, but faces added competition for a roster spot after the acquisition of Randy McMichael. Entering their second seasons are 2006 second-round pick Joe Klopfenstein and 2006 third-round pick Dominique Byrd.

    "We've got a lot more depth at the tight end spot, but Aaron did a nice job for us (last year)," coach Scott Linehan said. "He's going to have more competition, but he also has a good year under his belt playing our system."

  • 49ers RB Maurice Hicks is expected to sign his one-year tender and be at minicamp this week after remaining unsigned through the signing period.

  • NT Kelly Gregg agreed on a four-year extension with the Ravens that will run through the 2011 season. The unexpected agreement could allow Gregg to finish his career with the Ravens. One of the most underrated players on last season's top-ranked defense, Gregg was the team's fourth-leading tackler and anchored the middle of the line. He has led all NFL interior linemen in tackles the past five seasons, averaging 97 during that span. "He's the best technician of any defensive lineman in the league," said defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, who has coached Gregg since both were at the University of Oklahoma. "All of his teammates know how good he is."

  • QB Byron Leftwich will make his public first appearance in Jacksonville in the offseason on May 8 when the OTAs begin. He has yet to give any interviews in the offseason and it'll be interesting to see if he gives interviews during the camp and whether he'll discuss his rift with coach Jack Del Rio.


  • Viking Update Top Stories