Posted on: June 17, 2010 11:04 pm

A week later on Bruce

OK, this happened about a week ago, but I wanted to touch on the announced retirement of WR Isaac Bruce.

More specifically, I just wanted to link to this Rick Reilly column from 2000 when he was still with Sports Illustrated. I don’t know why, but this has always been one of my favorites from Reilly. Say what you will about Reilly today – and many of my sports writer colleagues don’t mind sharing their opinions – there’s no doubt the man, when he was interested, could write.

Last line of the column: even a decade later, it's just a powerful statement. Hell of a kicker.

--Josh Katzowitz

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Category: NFL
Posted on: June 17, 2010 10:47 pm

Movement on the Atogwe front

For much of the offseason, much has been made about the saga of free agent S O.J. Atogwe, who was released by the St. Louis Rams after they offered him a $5 million pay cut and he declined to sign. He’s also kind of a big deal, because Atogwe is the most high-profile free agent on the market. 

After a few weeks of almost no movement, The’s Jason La Canfora reported that the Seahawks finally are showing some interest in him. Atogwe was made the Rams franchise player last season, and although he’s coming off shoulder surgery, he’ll be 29 next week and has accumulated 18 interceptions in the past four seasons. In other words, he's a good, good player.

The problem, of course, is that what team would want to sign him to a long-term deal when there’s so much uncertainty about the 2011 season? The Rams also are going through an ownership change, which certainly isn’t helping matters.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Posted on: June 17, 2010 9:28 pm

Bulluck keeping his options open

There’s little doubt that LB Keith Bulluck really wants a job. But would he go as far as playing for the Detroit Lions? Well, maybe he doesn’t want a job that bad.

Bulluck, interviewed by Sirius NFL Radio on Thursday, said he’d like to play for the New York Giants, but he also said he could persuaded to return to Tennessee – the only place he’s ever played and where he’s recorded at least 125 tackles five times this decade. But he’s coming off ACL surgery, and though he could return by the first week of the NFL game schedule, he’s also 33 years old.

Sure, he could be ready to play by September, but he likely wouldn’t be 100 percent until a few months into the season. He’s coming off a 108-tackle season in just 14 games, but is he worth the risk?

The Lions, though, could be looking (along with the Titans, for the record) for somebody just like him. One positive aspect about playing for the Lions: he’d be reunited with former Tennessee defensive coordinator and current head coach Jim Schwartz.

"I'm very familiar with their system and very familiar with those people,” Bulluck said in his interview. “That coaching staff, I know they're working to go in the right direction at Detroit. How many wins did they have last year? I'll tell you, (the Lions) are one of those teams that's up-and-coming. But honestly, to be 100 percent honest, I want to play for a championship. If it comes down to it, if my option is to go to Detroit, yeah, all right, that's what we gotta do. Because I'm gonna play football, regardless.’’

To answer his question, the Lions won two games last year - a huge improvement over their zero-win 2008.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Posted on: June 17, 2010 8:55 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2010 8:57 pm

Questions arise about cause of Hixon's injury

It sounds like New York Giants GM Jerry Reese and S Antrel Rolle disagree on what caused WR Domenik Hixon’s ACL injury Tuesday.

Reese said it had nothing to do with the new FieldTurf surface at New Meadowlands Stadium. Rolle said the turf is exactly what caused the injury.

"I was right there when it happened and I saw it right away," Rolle told ESPN New York’s Ohm Youngmisuk on Thursday. "And I was like, 'Damn, it don't look good.' He didn't make a cut or anything. It just got caught in the turf."

Reese, however, said the injury could have occurred on any surface, and although coach Tom Coughlin originally said he thought Hixon’s foot got caught, he later recanted that story after watching film of the practice.

Giants players told reporters that the turf felt slippery, and Rolle said it felt like his feet were burning and that “it just didn’t feel good to me at all.”

Youngmisuk also spoke to a FieldTurf representative. From the story:

Chip Namias, a spokesman for FieldTurf, said it typically takes a few weeks for the surface to settle in and he was told the team did not believe the field was responsible for Hixon's injury. "With all due and sincere respect to Antrel Rolle, who is a wonderful player, he is simply not medically trained or qualified to make such a statement," Namias said on Thursday. "The people who run NFL teams are ultra conscientious, and there's a very good reason why 21 of the 32 member clubs use FieldTurf."

It seems unlikely that the turf would be replaced, but if so, it’d have to be a joint decision between the Jets and the Giants.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Posted on: June 17, 2010 8:33 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2010 8:40 pm

Penn to skip mini-camp

The latest with Tampa Bay LT Donald Penn is that he’s not planning to show up for next week’s Buccaneers mini-camp. This, according to the St. Petersburg Times .

Penn, a restricted free agent, was offered a $3.168 million tender, but because he refused to sign by Tuesday’s deadline, the team lowered the offer by $100,000. Penn – like just about everybody else who didn’t sign their tenders – wants a long-term deal.

The reason why he might not get one? Well, according to – a Bucs fan site – Tampa Bay GM Mark Dominik told a group of season-ticket holders Wednesday that Penn put on too much weight for the team to offer him a long-term extension. Though erased the original post because “people are going NUTS,” Tampa Bay officials told that the question-and-answer session was supposed to be off the record.

"I'm really disappointed," Dominik said in comments that Pro Football Talk has kept on its site. "When you think about a left tackle and how important that position is, especially to a young franchise quarterback. And that guy during the season gains 40 pounds and basically turns his back to nutrition and keeping himself in shape, that's disappointing to me. Rightfully so. I'm just being blatantly honest with you. And I expected better from him.”

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Posted on: June 17, 2010 6:04 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2010 6:11 pm

Harris turns down Ravens deal

We’ve already talked about the Ravens DB corps today, about how the team added S Ken Hamlin today and about how they’re likely to continue adding to a unit that’s rather unhealthy and rather mediocre.

Bad news for Baltimore.

According to the Baltimore Sun , 35-year-old Walt Harris surprisingly turned down the Ravens’ one-year contract offer today after trying out for the squad the past few days.

The Sun speculates that Harris doesn’t want to play for the veteran minimum, and considering he suffered through a torn ACL that cost him last season with the 49ers, Baltimore prudently might not want to offer a lengthier deal.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Category: NFL
Posted on: June 17, 2010 5:18 pm

Toomer feels better about the NYG

Do you remember when former New York Giants receiver Amani Toomer ripped into his old team after the 2008 season? Do you remember him taking great offense when the coaching staff began to decrease the then-34-year-old’s role to make way for younger receivers? Do you remember when he said the Giants had an agenda to phase him out of the picture?

This, after a long career in which he recorded nearly 10,000 receiving yards while catching 54 touchdown passes for the New York squad. True, it wasn’t the nastiest divorce in history, but it wasn’t pleasant either. Remember?

Well, everything seems to be cool now.

“I had been with the team for 13 years,” Toomer told the New York Daily News . “If you have a 13-year relationship with anyone, the breakup is going to be bad. But cooler heads prevailed.”

Still, Toomer couldn’t help himself from ripping somebody … anybody. So, he focused on the last team for which he tried to play – the Kansas City Chiefs who cut him before the regular season began last year.

“Going from an organization like the Giants to the Chiefs, it’s a big difference,” Toomer said. “It’s like going from the varsity to the junior varsity. “

Now, for the really cool part. Toomer – who’s never participated in a race longer than 3.1 miles – will run the New York City marathon in November and start the race in last place. For every runner he passes, he will donate $1 to the New York Road Runner’s youth programs.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Category: NFL
Posted on: June 17, 2010 3:34 pm

Super Agent Eugene Parker Loses Big Money

Imagine being fired just months before you’re set to receive a six-figure commission. According to Comcast SportsNet’s Kelli Johnson, that’s the position Eugene Parker finds himself in. The renowned agent (client include Deion Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Michael Crabtree and others) was fired by Redskins left tackle and No. 4 overall pick Trent Williams Thursday. 

The NFLPA requires that Williams wait four days before hiring a new agent. Whoever he hires will have to immediately get started on the rookie’s contract negotiations.

--Andy Benoit

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