Carson Palmer is making a stink in Cincinnati. Clearly, he wants out. And I have no doubt the Titans would love to get him. The big problem: Bengals owner Mike Brown probably isn't going to trade the veteran quarterback. Those who know Brown say he's stubborn, and won't cave no matter what Palmer says. If that's the case then Palmer would have to retire, and the Titans wouldn't be able to make a play on the guy they should want most. Right now, the Titans are waiting, just like everyone else. A new Collective Bargaining Agreement would change everything. But for now the Titans are exploring their options in the draft and waiting to see what options they might have in free agency……..
As the rumor mill fires up in anticipation of the NFL's eventual but undetermined free-agent signing period, so too does speculation over which teams may be interested in Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Throw the Tennessee Titans into the mix, writes Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. Wyatt thinks Hasselbeck would be more attainable than Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer, and cites Hasselbeck's ties to the Titans franchise as reasons why the unrestricted free agent could draw considerable attention from Tennessee. Wyatt: I have no doubt Matt Hasselbeck is one name on the Titans' radar. The long-time Seahawks quarterback, scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent, has ties to a Titans front office that includes GM Mike Reinfeldt, VP of Player Personnel Ruston Webster and Director of Pro Scouting Lake Dawson. Hasselbeck and the Seahawks both gave strong indications during the season that they'd like to get a deal done, but ESPN's John Clayton reported recently that the two sides were still miles apart in negotiations.
Mike Florio of Profootballtalk.com reports that New Orleans Saints assistant defensive line coach Travis Jones on Wednesday received three years' probation and 100 hours of community service for his involvement in a real estate scam in Texas. Saints officials could not be reached for comment. Jones entered a plea agreement in June 2010. "Mr. Jones has entered a plea and hopes to receive a sentence of probation, so that he can concentrate on his career and spend time with his family, " Kreiss said in a statement made in conjunction with co-counsel Eric Schwartzreich in 2010.
Since Tuesday, when he announced his desire to return to football, Tiki Barber has had little to say. There is plenty of irony here. During the 2006 season, when he prematurely announced his retirement from the Giants, he couldn't keep his mouth shut. And for good reason. His mouth was going to make him a television star. A star so bright he would shine not only as a "regular" on NBC's "Today" show but also as a featured player on "Football Night In America." See, if Tiki Barber had made it in TV, made it so big NBC would have added years and dollars when his three-year, $6 million contract expired in 2009, there would be no need to put the pads back on and be reduced to a one-word punch line.
Quarterback Joe Flacco had a breakout 2010 season for the Baltimore Ravens, but he might have to find two new targets. Ravens coach John Harbaugh isn't sure if wide receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Donte' Stallworth will be back with the team next season. Harbaugh made the comments Wednesday night during a conference call with 6,000 season-ticket holders. "You can't really put a percentage basis on it because there are so many things up in the air at this time," Harbaugh said of the chance the receivers will return, according to the Ravens' official website. "There are obviously a lot of issues that haven't been a part of the equation in the past. It's just a different calendar now with free agency".
A surprise team with no ties to Tiki Barber has emerged as a possible landing spot for the soon-to-be no-longer-retired running back, who is attempting to defy the odds with a comeback after missing four full NFL seasons. There could be something down the line with Barber and the Steelers, according to two sources who stated that Barber would certainly be interested in restarting his career in Pittsburgh, playing for a player-friendly head coach in Mike Tomlin and a franchise that annually is a Super Bowl contender. The Giants cannot officially remove Barber from their reserve/retired list until there is a new collective bargaining agreement. The Giants, though, are not going to impede Barber's attempt to find a new team and are likely to give permission to Barber and his agent, Mark Lepselter, to start the process of drumming up interest -- without any tampering fears by other teams -- while the CBA negotiations are ongoing.
The Arizona Cardinals and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald failed to come to terms on a contract extension last week before the league's collective bargaining agreement was set to expire. But Fitzgerald said on Wednesday that he is "not really" interested in testing the free-agent market. Fitzgerald is entering the final year of a four-year, $40 million contract he signed in 2008. He said on Wednesday that he is "absolutely" hopeful that he can work out an extension with the Cardinals. Fitzgerald said "progress was being made" in contract talks between his agent and the Cardinals before the end of the NFL's business calendar on March 3.
A large portion of the Carolina Panthers coaching staff took a look at Auburn quarterback Cam Newton Tuesday at his pro day workout. The rest of their decision-makers will get a chance in a more intimate setting next week. The Panthers are one of nine teams to organize a private workout for Newton. Carolina's will take place on the same campus where he performed for the league Tuesday, and will be held sometime next week. His agent, Bus Cook, declined to provide specifics of Newton's travel schedule. The Panthers, who own the first pick in April's draft, have admitted he's part of a group of players they're considering with that pick.
The Vikings will conduct private workouts with some of the top quarterback prospects before the draft, vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman said. And apparently, Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton is on the list. The NFL Network reported Wednesday that Newton has private workouts with eight teams, including the Vikings. The workouts will be led by each team's head coach at an undisclosed location, according to the network. Newton's father, Cecil, identified four of the teams -- including the Vikings -- for the network. Newton received positive reviews following his pro day at Auburn on Tuesday after struggling in passing drills at the NFL Scouting Combine two weeks ago.
Fullback Heath Evans will be an unrestricted free agent whenever the NFL's labor dispute is settled, but he said he hopes and expects to re-sign with the New Orleans Saints. He said Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis and Coach Sean Payton have expressed interest in bringing him back, though he said they wanted to wait until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached before working on a new deal with Evans. If he doesn't re-sign with the Saints, the 32-year-old Evans may turn to a second career in television. He has been a frequent guest analyst for pro and college football on ESPN this offseason and said he hopes to go down that road full-time after his playing days are over.
Although no earth-shattering news was revealed by Gerald Sensabaugh's agent, Kevin Conner, he did reiterate the fact his client intends to survey the market once the new collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NFL Players Association is enacted. "Our main goal and objective for Gerald is to secure a long-term deal," Conner told Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network on Wednesday. "We are strategically preparing for that opportunity, both with Dallas and the free-agent market. We have contingency plans for both scenarios. Gerald fully understands the nature of this side of the business."
Cam Newton and his agents, Tony Paige and Bus Cook, had dinner with Buffalo Bills executives on the eve of his compelling pro day workout on Tuesday at Auburn, indicating more than a passing interest in the quarterback, NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt reported Wednesday. The Bills have the third overall pick in April's NFL Draft, and the temptation to select Newton, a potential franchise quarterback, likely grew after his impressive workout Tuesday. Newton displayed rare arm strength and improved footwork during a 48-minute workout in front of representatives from all 32 teams (approximately 125 personnel members), including five head coaches -- Ron Rivera (Carolina Panthers), John Fox (Denver Broncos), Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati Bengals), Ken Whisenhunt (Arizona Cardinals) and Pat Shurmur (Cleveland Browns).
The Raiders have re-signed quarterback Kyle Boller to a one-year, $1.25 million contract, a $250,000 raise over last season. Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski said he hasn't heard from the Raiders and Charlie Frye is scheduled for unrestricted free agency.
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has signed a multi-year contract extension, the team is set to announce. Since being named the general manager on Jan. 13, 2008, Dimitroff has helped to shape the roster that has led to two playoff trips in three seasons. The franchise has posted three consecutive-winning seasons for the first time in its history. "This extension of Thomas' contract ensures that he and coach (Mike) Smith, whose contract was extended last month, will be able to continue to work together on solidifying the long-term sustainability and success of our football team," said Falcons owner Arthur M. Blank.