A few solid players at positions of interest for the Vikings have been released in the previous few days while other players are making the news for being on the trading block or working to negotiate an extension. We have updates on dozens of players around the NFL.
TE Alge Crumpler was released by Atlanta. The four-time Pro Bowl player for the Falcons was due to count $5.1 million against the team's salary cap next season.
QB Byron Leftwich was released by Atlanta. He played in only three games last season, mainly due to lingering ankle issues.
RB DeShaun Foster is on the trading block. The Gaston Gazette cited league sources who said the Panthers have been entertaining offers, and that Foster could be released if no trade is found. Foster is due to count $5.8 million against the team's salary cap next season. The Panthers have backup De'Angelo Williams, and free agency and the draft are chock full of enticing running backs. Carolina would seek at least one big back to team with the speedy Williams.
WR Chad Johnson will not be traded, coach Marvin Lewis said Feb. 13. "At no point has anyone in the Bengals organization uttered anything about trading Chad Johnson," Lewis said.
DE Mike Rucker has announced his intention to play another season, but will the 32-year-old be with Carolina? He recently met with GM Marty Hurney, and the Panthers have two weeks to negotiate exclusively with Rucker.
Houston S Will Demps will be an unrestricted free agent. He was a surprise last offseason and will likely be a priority to re-sign as the Texans try to strengthen their secondary.
WR Andre' Davis is an unrestricted free agent the Texans will be looking to re-sign. He is the top one they have to re-sign from a year ago, but they will have competition for him.
Houston S/LB Michael Boulware will be an unrestricted free agent. He spent most of his time on special teams. He is strongest still at linebacker, but he would rather play safety.
TE Mark Bruener will be an unrestricted free agent. He brings invaluable leadership to the locker room and is primarily a blocking tight end who has been solid for the Texans. He will likely return.
RT Marc Colombo is signed through next year, but said he would be interested in signing a new deal with the Cowboys. "I would like to be here for a few more years," Colombo told the Forth Worth Star-Telegram. "I am going into the last year and they told me if I had a good year we would talk about restructuring. I am hoping I played up to the standard that they wanted and hopefully we get a chance to restructure here and move on."
MLB Odell Thurman could be nearing a return to the Bengals. He has been working out at the team's stadium, although he still needs to be reinstated by the NFL before he can join the team in offseason workouts that begin March 24. He has missed the past two seasons for repeated off-field incidents. But all signs point to Thurman having matured and working hard to resume his career. "If he can continue on this road, it will be a great story," coach Marvin Lewis told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "It will be one where he can be a huge positive."
Colts WR Marvin Harrison could miss a good portion of training camp while recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee last month. He missed 11 games last season.
Colts SS Bob Sanders could miss at least part of training camp following surgery last month on his shoulder.
Seahawks OG Rob Sims, the starter on the left side last season, will move to the right side following the signing of Mike Wahle. Sims will compete with Chris Gray, if the 37-year-old Gray returns for another season.
TE Charles Davis (ended '07 season on Jaguars practice squad) was added to Jacksonville's roster.
S Herana-Daze Jones, scheduled to be an exclusive rights free agent, re-signed with Cincinnati.
FB Jim Finn (failed physical) had his contract terminated by the Giants.
PK Shane Andrus was waived by the Giants.
FB Brad Hoover, scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent, has been negotiating on a new contract with the Panthers, although no deal has been reached.
MLB Antonio Pierce was charged with animal neglect after two of his pit bulls reportedly escaped his property. When found, one of the dogs was deemed to be underweight and sick. The dogs were reportedly returned to Pierce, who placed them in a kennel.
DE Dwight Freeney could miss a good portion of training camp as he continues to rehab from the foot injury that landed him on injured reserve last season.
LB Channing Crowder, who led the Dolphins with 78 tackles last season, is the leading candidate to take over the starting job in the middle following the release of Zach Thomas.
DT Rod Coleman was released by Atlanta. Coleman, a Pro Bowler in 2005, had a disappointing 2007 after an offseason accident on a personal watercraft.
MLB Zach Thomas' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has reportedly had discussions with the Dallas Cowboys. Thomas, who was released by Miami last week, grew up in Pampa, Texas, and played collegiately at Texas Tech.
DT Albert Haynesworth's agent, Chad Speck, said the Titans will place the franchise tag on his client by the Thursday deadline. Speck added that he expects to continue negotiating on a long-term contract with the team.
QB Matt Schaub had surgery on his left shoulder. It is a 2-3 month recovery. He should start throwing in March or April.
CB Dunta Robinson, the Texans' best defensive back, is working like crazy to make a miraculous comeback from surgery to repair a knee ligament and hamstring on the same leg. It still might be November before he can return, and no one knows the level of performance at which he'll return. He will likely start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list.
WR Rod Smith was placed on the Reserve/Retired list by the Broncos as he continues to rehab from a second hip surgery. Smith hasn't ruled out playing again, but the move helps the team's salary cap situation with Smith due to earn $1.5 million next season. To play again, Smith would have to apply for reinstatement to the league office.
QB Jake Delhomme's recovery from ligament-replacement surgery on his right elbow nearly four months ago is on track. He said he is pain free for the first time in three years, and continues to test his elbow by throwing Nerf footballs. Delhomme hopes to begin throwing real footballs in a few months.
Texans DB Roc Alexander will be an unrestricted free agent. He missed last season with an injury. He will not be a priority to re-sign in the offseason, but he could provide depth in a weak secondary.
Texans LB Charlie Anderson will be an unrestricted free agent. Has great arm reach and quickness. He has the ability to pass rush. He is strong on special teams.
Texans LB Danny Clark will be an unrestricted free agent. He earned the starting job last season, and may be back. He brings a physical presence and hard-hitting to the linebacker corps.
Houston RB Ron Dayne will be an unrestricted free agent. He will likely return as a situational back who is capable of making a handful of solid starts in a season.
Texans S Glenn Earl will be an unrestricted free agent. He was a starter until suffering a season-ending injury prior to last season. He will try to return and fight to get his job back.
Texans CB/S Von Hutchins will be an unrestricted free agent. He prefers to play cornerback, but showed his versatility last offseason by starting at safety as well. He will be a priority for the Texans this offseason.
DE N.D. Kalu will be an unrestricted free agent for the Texans. He finished third on the team in sacks and plays in only passing situations. He is a great leader on a young defensive line. He will likely return.
Houston DB Jason Simmons will be an unrestricted free agent. He has the versatility to start at every position in the secondary. He also adds leadership the coaches love.
Texans P Matt Turk will be an unrestricted free agent. He was solid last season, but struggled slightly in November. He finished strong. He may have competition in camp, but will likely return.
G Fred Weary will be an unrestricted free agent for Houston. He suffered a season-ending injury, but was in the midst of a terrific season. He will likely return and compete for his job again.
DB Dexter Wynn will be an unrestricted free agent. He can play at cornerback or be used as a returner. He's solid on kicks and punts. He will likely return.
WR Jerome Mathis is valuable as a kick returner, but his injuries have kept him off the field for most of his career. It's uncertain whether the Texans will bring him back as a restricted free agent.
S C.C. Brown will be a restricted free agent. Will likely return as the starter at safety. He has improved dramatically and appears to be a solid long-term starter for the team.
T Scott Jackson will be a restricted free agent. He has little playing experience, but he is quick and has the potential to be a swing tackle on game days.
T Anthony Maddox will be a restricted free agent. He will likely remain as a backup, but he is capable of starting. He is a solid player with quick feet and the ability to pass rush from the middle.