Pat McManamon has written a tremendous op-ed piece
in today's Akron Beacon Journal regarding the ongoing NFL labor
dispute, a piece in which he takes a
sizeable chunk out of the arses of both the
player's union and the owners. A summation wouldn't do it justice, so click HERE
to read the article in its entirety, with just a little teaser to follow right
Kids are dying in Iraq, there are those still homeless from Hurricane Katrina
and people deal with real tragedy every day.
The NFL is at an "impasse'' over the division of wealth.
Pardon me while I retch.
And, to continue with the labor lunacy and a view from another corner of the
league, click HERE for an
excellent article from David Aldridge of the
continue to work on an agreement with offensive tackle L.J. Shelton, who can become a free agent if and when the NFL decides it wants to
begin the signing season. Shelton is the last of The Big Three general manager
Phil Savage targeted for a contract extension/re-signing following the
end of the 2005 season.
Savage sounded like a person who views the glass as a quarter full when asked
about the progress being made on a deal.
"We're still working on it,'' Savage told the Akron Beacon Journal.
Speaking of The Big Three, the middle member, running back Reuben Droughns,
has some sage advice for Savage as the GM heads into his second free agency
"I said, 'Get us some good free agents, some veterans,' " Droughns told the
Cleveland Plain Dealer. "Veteran leadership in the locker room is
something a successful team always is going to need. That leadership helps the
LeCharles Bentley, the former Ohio State product and object of many a
Browns fan's affections, has
denied a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer
that he will sign with the Eagles as soon as the 2006 free-agent season begins.
The story, citing a source close to the Pro Bowler, stated that "Bentley's
interest in joining the Eagles is so strong that only the delay in the
free-agency period prevented the move from happening (Saturday)."
The Pro Bowl center denied the story to the New Orleans Times-Picayune,
although he refused to speculate on where he may end up.
Oddly enough, there is very little noise coming out of Berea either publicly
or via sources regarding the team's interest in Bentley. Is this a case of
Savage lying in wait in the weeds, not wanting to tip his hand, or is there
indeed little interest on the part of the Browns in the center?
In addition to the Browns and Eagles, the Vikings are also said to be
interested in Bentley.
The Browns are still being mentioned as a potential suitor for New England
linebacker Willie McGinest, provided, as expected, the veteran is
released. The rumors seem to be Patriots-centric in their evolution as McGinest
is also rumored to be drawing looks from the Jets and Eric Mangini
(McGinest's '05 defensive coordinator) and the Cowboys and Bill Parcells
(responsible for drafting McGinest in 1994).
Baltimore's Bart Scott is expected to be a mildly hot commodity upon
the commencement of free agency. The linebacker's star rose considerably last
season after proving to be, at a bare minimum, a capable replacement for the
injured Ray Lewis. The Browns are among a handful of teams considered to
have more than a passing interest in the 25-year-old, and, according to at least
one league source, the Ravens fully expect both Scott and teammate Maake
Kemoeatu to become Browns soon after the start of free agency.
Chick Ludwig of the Dayton Daily News writes that
may be on the Browns offseason shopping list. The Eagles have
until March 11 to either trade or release the wide receiver before they will owe
him a $5 million roster bonus.
That being said, anything written by a grown man who goes by the name of
"Chick" on purpose and for any reason other than losing a bet should be taken
with a huge block of salt.
Something to keep in the back of your mind: the Lions continue to sniff
around Trent Dilfer, trying to gauge if there is any interest on the part
of the Browns in dealing the veteran quarterback. The Browns have zero (or nil,
nada, none) interest in trading Dilfer, but the Lions refuse to go away and
Just something to think about, is all.
AFC NORTH NOTES
The Ravens, in the midst of their annual offseason "Must Find A QB" tour, are
considering going hard after free-agent quarterback Jon Kitna. A Ravens
source says that Kitna is a strong option for the club, and the reasons are
two-fold: it would give them a player they deem as a strong (read: better)
alternative to Kyle Boller, and, given the fact that Carson Palmer
is coming off a devastating knee injury, it would weaken a divisional foe.
The Baltimore Sun, however, disagrees and is reporting that
Kerry Collins, not Kitna, sits atop the club's QB to-do list.
If the Ravens are indeed interested in Kitna, there strongest competition may
come from the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets.
The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that Kitna is
top option as a replacement for Chad Pennington/mentor for the QB they are
expected to take in the first round of this year's draft.
While re-signing with the Bengals remains a possibility, Kitna has
doubt it will come to fruition. "I honestly believe (the Bengals) are looking to
go in another direction," Kitna told the Cincinnati Post over the
If the league cannot come up with a new collective bargaining agreement, the
may be forced to part ways with either their starting or backup center.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the club has two
plans to restructure the contracts of Jeff Hartings and Chukky Okobi,
with the direction being determined by the final salary cap number. If there is
no new CBA agreement, the Steelers could be faced with the very real possibility
of losing one or the other if a restructured deal cannot be agreed upon.
"We don't know yet. It depends on what the deal is," Jim Steiner, an
associate of Hartings' agent, Ben Dogra, told the Post-Gazette.
"There are ongoing discussions. They are trying to work it out."
The Redskins maintain an interest in obtaining linebacker Ray Lewis
and continue to pursue ways to make a trade happen. ESPN reported last week that
the club would not even consider trading the Pro Bowl LB unless at least one
first-round draft pick was involved, but that has, as of yet, failed to deter
Big Boy Danny Snyder.
The Bengals are rumored to be targeting Sage Rosenfels as a backup
quarterback if they decide to go in another direction and away from Kitna.
Rosenfels has spent the last four seasons being non-descript in Miami with the
While it seems to be a given that Antwaan Randle-El has played his last down a
Steelers' uniform, he may not end up leaving the state. Rumors are swirling that
the Eagles have their eyes on the Randle-El, but will take a wait-an-see tack
until they get a handle on the type of money the wide receiver and his agent
will be seeking.
Wide receivers Kelley Washington and Kevin Walter, fullback
Jeremi Johnson and guard Scott Kooistra were tendered one-year
contracts by the Bengals over the weekend.
If another team signs the player to an offer sheet, Cincinnati has the right
to match it, or receive draft-pick compensation commensurate to where the player
was selected. Washington was a third-round selection, Johnson a fourth and
Kooistra and Walter seventh-rounders.
The Texans are believed to be interested in signing Walter to an offer sheet.