Catch up with the news from the NFL's biggest names, from Brett Favre to Matt Leinart to Pacman Jones and many more.
QB Brett Favre is still retired, but he might not be done. In an article published April 8 by the Biloxi (Miss.) Sun Herald, Favre told writer Al Jones, a friend of the Favre family, that he could be talked into playing again if the Packers were to need him if successor Aaron Rodgers is injured. "It would be hard to pass up, I guess," Favre said. "But, three months from now, say that presents itself, I may say, 'You know what, I'm so glad I made that decision (to retire).' I'm feeling very comfortable in what I'm doing and my decision. Yeah, I can probably be up there doing that and playing, but again, I don't know. It's only speculating."
Cardinals QB Matt Leinart hasn't commented publicly since pictures of him partying with young girls, allegedly Arizona State coeds, appeared on the Internet. According to sources, Leinart thought he was doing the right thing by staying at home that weekend. It's probably time a member of his entourage assumed control of making guests check their cell phones and cameras at the door.
CB Pacman Jones' path to Dallas get cloudier as the days go on. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he's not planning his offseason around acquiring Jones - or Jones being reinstated by Commissioner Roger Goodell - and that a potential trade with the Titans could be dying. "It's just me trying to be realistic about it," Jones told the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. "I don't have a feel for it right now."
Pacman Jones is doing his part to facilitate a trade to the Cowboys.
He said he is willing to surrender more than $1.2 million owed to him by the Titans to offset the bonus money they'd want in a concession to get a deal done.
"We are willing to renegotiate the terms of the contract to help facilitate the trade," agent Manny Arora.
But Jones' willingness to compromise doesn't mean a deal is close to getting done. Even Arora will acknowledge all other matters are secondary until trade terms have been settled.
The Titans have asked for two mid-round picks for Jones -- one this year and one next year. The Cowboys have offered only a late-round pick this year.
"Our willingness to re-do the contract is irrelevant until trade terms are agreed upon," Arora said.
WR Chris Henry is "unlikely" to wind up with the Cowboys, owner Jerry Jones told the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram.
Bucs QB Jeff Garcia says he's disappointed the team hasn't been willing to tear up his contract and reward him with a new deal that would enable him to finish his career with the Bucs. Garcia, 38, has one year remaining on his contract that will pay him a base salary of $2 million in 2008. He went 8-6 as a starter for the Bucs last season, leading them to an NFC South title and was named to the Pro Bowl. Non-rookie starting quarterbacks average between $7 million and $15 million a year in the NFL, making Garcia among the league's lowest-paid signal callers.
"Talks haven't necessarily gone all that good," Garcia said. "So in a way, it's disappointing. At this point in my career, I'm no longer 24 or 25 saying, 'I'm going to prove to you I deserve this.' I feel like I've proved throughout my career. And I feel like at this time, it's time to just work with me and you know what I bring to the team. You know what I've done for the team and you know how much more I can do. And now I have a year under my system. So that's kind of where I'm at."
OLB Michael Boley solidified the Falcons' linebacking corps by accepting his one-year tender as a restricted free agent. Boley, who has developed into a complete player under the direction of defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, remains a target for a long-term contract.
Eagles QB Kevin Kolb spent most of his rookie season as the team's No. 3 quarterback behind starter Donovan McNabb and backup A.J. Feeley. But Kolb, the team's second-round pick in '07, is expected to move up to No. 2 in '08. There has been speculation that Feeley might be traded to a team looking for a veteran backup, such as the Green Bay Packers. "I can sit here and honestly tell you nobody has asked about any of our quarterbacks," coach Andy Reid said.
LB LaMarr Woodley will be the Steelers' starting left outside linebacker in 2008, and he could become their top pass rusher. In fact, he was their top pass rusher last season, based on his sacks per play. Woodley had four sacks in 80 defensive snaps as a rookie in 2007. "He's exactly one every 20 snaps," coach Mike Tomlin said. "If he kept that pace up, then he'd be a pretty good football player."
Ravens OT Jonathan Ogden said he plans to make a final decision on whether to retire before the NFL draft. The 11-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle recently said that his toe injury remains a problem and he won't be participating in the Ravens' first minicamp on April 17. It seems like Ogden is still leaning toward retiring. "If I can't do play football the way I'm used to, then I'm not going to (return)," Ogden said at an autograph event honoring Baltimore's two Super Bowl teams. "If I think I can, I want to give it a shot."
Cowboys LB Akin Ayodele has no plans of giving his starting job away to newcomer Zach Thomas. Ayodele has started the past two years at the weak-side inside linebacker position opposite Bradie James since signing a five-year, $17.5 million contract that lured him from Jacksonville in 2006. Ayodele has heard all the hype and rumors about Thomas, a seven-time Pro Bowler, but he doesn't see things changing heading into the 2008 season. "It's like every year; it's how you play," Ayodele said. "I'm going into the season like it's my position. I am the starter and nothing has changed." Ayodele said if he doesn't lose his starting job, it wouldn't be because he was beaten out. "I've never worried about anybody taking my starting position if the competition is fair," Ayodele said. "If it's not, then you know the deal." Ayodele is set to earn $2.5 million in base salary next season. He was fourth on the team in tackles last season with 95. The Cowboys expect more out of their weak-side linebacker in the Phillips 3-4 defense.
CB Terence Newman is in the final year of his contract and is seeking a big-money extension. Coming off his first Pro Bowl appearance, Newman does not plan to give the Cowboys a hometown discount. He wants to be paid like one of the league's top cornerbacks. "I would like to stay here in Dallas, but I don't need the money," Newman said. "But I definitely want to be recognized as one of the top corners. I just want to be paid as one of the top corners." What do top cornerbacks get paid? Consider Philadelphia recently signed Asante Samuel to a six-year, $57-million deal, and Nate Clements signed with San Francisco last year for eight years and $80 million.
RS B.J. Sams, a Baltimore unrestricted free agent whose 2007 season was derailed by an ACL injury in September, signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs. An ankle injury limited him to only 12 games last season. Sams, who weighs only 185, made a nice splash as a rookie when he returned two punts for touchdowns and averaged 10.5 yards on 55 returns. He also averaged 24.6 yards on 59 kickoff returns that year. But after averaging 12.1 yards on punt returns in 2005, Sams fell off significantly. An aggressive runner, he also battled fumble problems.
OLB Shaun Phillips has even more motivation to add to his sack total this year. Phillips, who was second among Chargers with 8 1/2 sacks will donate $1,000 for each sack in '08 to the After-School All-Stars sports program for San Diego's inner city youth. "They provide kids with opportunities to learn the principles of teamwork and discipline just like I did when I was a kid," Phillips said.
Packers RB Vernand Morency signed his one-year tender and will in the Packers' stable of runners in 2008. Morency received a one-year contract for $927,000.
Cardinals DL Darnell Dockett is still absent from the offseason conditioning program. Dockett wants a new contract even though he signed his current deal fewer than two years ago and it doesn't expire until after the 2011 season. Ripping up that deal is not a priority with club officials, who have more pressing matters.
Titans CB-RS Chris Carr took little time to get to Nashville and get to work. The cornerback will provide the Titans with depth and could well be their kickoff returner on opening day. He's not played nearly as well as a punt returner, but because of Jeff Fisher's own experience with the job, the coach is certain to see why exactly Carr hasn't excelled there before eliminating him as a possibility. Pacman Jones isn't expected back with the Titans, who struggled to replace him as their return man during his suspension in 2007.
"Pacman did a great job in the return game in '06," Carr said. "Hopefully we can get to that level again if I am the guy back there. I am very confident in my football skills, in my skills as a returner, I know that. I think we can do very well because I don't consider myself average. "I just want to do what I can to help. We could have five touchdowns on kickoffs and people could say they still want Pacman back there, but I don't worry about that kind of stuff. I know there are a lot of good special teams guys on this team who will make my job easier if I am back there."
RB LenDale White has a May 1 court date in Denver to answer for a citation he received there in March. White was cited for interference/resistance, destruction of private property and refusing an order of officer following the alleged incident on March 15 in downtown Denver. White's uncle, Herman White, who witnessed some of what happened, recently said it "is nowhere near what is being portrayed." Denver police have declined to elaborate on the citation.
Cardinals DB Oliver Celestin will be back with the Cardinals after signing his one-year contract tender. The restricted free agent is a standout special team performer.
Jacksonville S Gerald Sensabaugh signed his one-year tender for $1.417 million. Sensabaugh played in just two games last year before going on the injured reserve list with torn labrums in both shoulders. He had moved into the starting lineup after the club released veteran Donovin Darius.
Bucs WR Paris Warren could be this year's Earnest Graham. That's so if you listen to Jon Gruden. Before he dislocated his ankle while catching a touchdown in the final preseason game last season, Warren was the Bucs' most productive receiver during the exhibition season. Gruden says he learned his lesson with Graham last season. The seldom-used running back rushed for 898 yards after being pressed into service last season. "Paris Warren is an interesting guy, too," Gruden said. "He has five touchdowns in four preseason games. You go back and watch it and say, 'You know, he may be our go-to guy this year. He's beaten this guy, he's beaten that guy.' It took me three years to figure Earnest out. We finally give him the ball and he has 900 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Maybe that's what I need to figure out. When you watch the preseason game, what do we have the preseason games for? There goes Earnest Graham. It's a preseason game. Put him in a regular season game and it's, 'You know what? I'm an idiot.' Maybe Paris Warren needs to play."
LB Victor Hobson might prove to be a valuable find. "Victor is a good young player with considerable playing experience," coach Bill Belichick said of Hobson who can play both inside or outside, but will likely play inside next to Tedy Bruschi in New England. "We are excited about his addition to our linebacker unit." The 28-year-old Hobson is a veteran of five seasons with the Jets, where the 6-foot, 252-pounder played in 76 games with 58 starts. The 2003 second-round pick started 14 games last season in New York, finishing with 62 tackles and two sacks.
LB Mario Haggan will have to sit out the first four games of the season if and when he's signed by a team after testing positive for a banned substance under NFL guidelines. Haggan told buffalobills.com that he ingested an over-the-counter weight loss product that contained a banned substance. "It's my fault," Haggan said. "I wasn't trying to cheat the game. It's a learning experience and definitely humbling. I'll take it under the chin and sit my four games and hopefully be on the field somewhere after that." Haggan is an outstanding special team player but he's drawn little interest from other teams and his suspension makes him less attractive, including to the Bills. He is eligible to take part in all offseason and preseason activity.
RB LaBrandon Toefield spent five years in Jacksonville buried on coach Jack Del Rio's depth chart, often playing behind Fred Taylor, Maurice Jones-Drew and Greg Jones. He's never carried more than 53 times in a season and only ran the ball a combined 23 times the last two seasons. Now, Toefield is hoping for a chance to find more playing time in Carolina after signing a one-year, prove-it deal. "I felt like it was a great opportunity for me," said Toefield, 27. "In Jacksonville, it was a tough situation. We had three, four or five good backs that could start. I felt it was time for a change and I thought Carolina was a great spot for me. There is an opportunity here and it's up to me to come in and grab it."
S Kerry Rhodes signed a five-year, $33.5 million contract extension with the Jets, including $20 million in guaranteed money.
Rhodes indicated that once the Jets showed they were serious about paying him as an elite player, he didn't consider waiting and shopping for other teams after this season.
"It's a relief knowing I would be here be with a team that I like and be with guys I'm familiar with," Rhodes said. "There wasn't much selling (on the Jets' part). I've been a positive leader on this team. That fits their mold of what they want to be. I like New York. I like the organization. It wasn't a big, hard decision once they came to me with the idea of sticking around."
Bucs DB Eugene Wilson is attempting to play cornerback full-time for the first time since his college days at Illinois, but has looked strong as he competes for the starting spot vacated by Brian Kelly. "You can't say enough good things about him," defensive backs coach Raheem Morris told the St. Petersburg Times. "He's looking like a stud right now."
Browns WR Joe Jurevicius is recovering well from a staph infection suffered several weeks after having knee surgery in January, according the the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He is reportedly expected to participate in May and June offseason programs.