Posted on: June 17, 2010 10:29 am
Edited on: June 17, 2010 2:58 pm

More on Ravens Cornerback Situation

Yesterday we wrote that the Ravens were likely to sign Walt Harris, Ken Lucas or Ken Hamlin. Hamlin is the best of the three, but Harris and Lucas are cornerbacks, which is a greater area of need in Baltimore.

To take the story a step further, John Harbaugh spoke about the health of starting corner Fabian Washington and shimmering young nickelback Lardarius Webb, two players coming off late-season ACL injuries. Both have claimed all offseason to be on track to start opening day, but every player rehabbing a major injury claims to be “on track” (or “ahead of schedule”).

Here’s what Harbaugh had to say on WBAL’s Sportsline with Brett Hollander:

“You never know about those ACLs. Even when (Washington and Webb) come back to play, if they play earlier in the year, they’re probably not going to be fully back with their strength. We have to factor that in. As the season goes along, you’ll probably see them get better and better.”

Baltimore’s other starting corner is Domonique Foxworth. Chris Carr, a return man and finesse dime back, is also no the roster, as is journeyman Travis Fisher. If Harris or Lucas sign, they’ll likely have a key role in September.

UPDATE: ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that the Ravens have signed Ken Hamlin to a one-year contract.

--Andy Benoit

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Posted on: June 17, 2010 9:46 am
Edited on: June 17, 2010 1:10 pm

Miles Austin Dating Kim Kardashian (R Bush's Ex)?

We’ll try to avoid tawdry rumors on this blog….after we get this one out of the way. Reality TV star Kim Kardashian is reportedly dating Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin. Kardashian has had somewhat of an on-again, off-again relationship with Reggie Bush. The National Enquirer reported this story, which means it’s likely hogwash. Apparently Austin and Kardashian were both at Game 6 of the NBA Finals, but they didn’t sit together.

Keep in mind, it’s possible that Kardashian thinks she’s actually dating Alex Rodriguez.

--Andy Benoit

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Category: NFL
Posted on: June 17, 2010 9:07 am
Edited on: June 17, 2010 9:11 am

Marvin Harrison Has Gun Confiscated

Police confiscated a 9 mm handgun from former Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison during a traffic stop Wednesday. Harrison was stopped three blocks from the Philadelphia garage he owns where, you may recall, in 2008, three people were injured in a shooting. Harrison’s name came up in that case, but he was never charged. Police are testing Harrison’s gun to see if it is related to the ’08 shooting.

ESPN the Magazine’s Shaun Assael described Wednesday’s incident:

"The 37-year-old former Pro Bowl receiver was driving the wrong way down the one-way street in a Cadillac Escalade when the patrolman stopped him along with the driver of a second car that was trailing him, the sources said.

According to the law enforcement sources, the patrolman saw Harrison place something that appeared to be a weapon in the seat console of his car. When the officer asked him to step out of the vehicle, Harrison produced a car registration and a permit to carry a weapon, both of which were in order. When he was asked whether he had a weapon, however, he answered no, the sources said.

At that point, the sources added, the officer said that he had probable cause to search the vehicle and found a weapon in the seat console."

--Andy Benoit

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Category: NFL
Posted on: June 17, 2010 12:18 am

An Interesting Criticism on Cleveland's RFA's

Terry Pluto in the Cleveland Plain Dealer praised Jerome Harrison and Lawrence Vickers for looking like the “only winners” among the Browns’ unhappy free agents. Harrison and Vickers were the only restricted free agents in Cleveland to participate in the bulk of the team’s offseason programs. The other restricted free agents – D’Qwell Jackson, Matt Roth and Abe Elam – did not sign their tenders until the June 15 deadline and have not been around the team.

Pluto wrote:
[Harrison and Vickers] signed a type of insurance form and showed up for at least some of the OTAs and minicamps. Even wiser was [RFA] Jason Trusnik, the Nordonia product who signed his $1.7 million offer a few months ago. He realized the key word in restricted free agent is "restricted."

That means you ain't going anywhere, because the Browns could match any offer you receive. Because the Browns had the right to match any offer ... well ... there would be no offers.

So sign the one-year deal, have a good year and then cash in when you're unrestricted and teams could freely bid for you. That's how it works. In the meantime, all are being paid about $1.7 million.

The argument many restricted free agents made was that, by not signing, they were maximizing their rights as free agents. Because the uncapped year drastically limited many of those rights, it was important to fully maximize what was left.

But several players, such as Atari Bigby in Green Bay, Deuce Lutui in Arizona or, perhaps, Abe Elam in Cleveland, may come to realize that, by staying away, they opened the door for their starting job and let someone else walk right through it. That’s a point Pluto made, writing “Abe, you should have been in camp. You're not good enough to hold out. You were cut twice before Mangini signed you with the Jets. You had 17 career starts before Mangini brought you to the Browns last season.”

--Andy Benoit

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Posted on: June 16, 2010 11:48 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2010 11:52 pm

Adrian Peterson's 14-pound ball

Adrian Peterson has been training with a 14-pound football to help cure his fumbling woes. At first blush, this seems backward. Obviously, carrying a heavy ball would make a regular ball feel lighter. Wouldn’t a player be more inclined to fumble a lighter ball? Peterson’s fumbling issues were never because he lacked the strength to hold the ball.

But Solomon Wilcots wrote an explanation on

"Weighted balls are often used to increase muscle memory at all three pressure points — the hand that covers the point of the ball, the opposite end of the ball under the elbow, and the top of the ball against the chest — for greater ball security. It’s impossible to maintain possession of a heavy football if it’s held out and away from the body. The goal is to train the muscles to remember all three pressure points, so that eventually it’s naturally kept high and tight."

--Andy Benoit

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Posted on: June 16, 2010 11:18 pm

The QB Situation In Buffalo

Think OTA’s and voluntary minicamps aren’t important? You’re not a Bills quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Trent Edwards and Brian Brohm are still competing for the starting job under center (which, in Buffalo, is also a competition for “first position to get sacked”). Head coach Chan Gailey said today that the team will enter training camp with the No. 1 and No. 2 quarterbacks decided.

To cover his bases, Gailey said it would still be an “open competition” in training camp, just with a predetermined pecking order. (“Because if it happens that way, then you’ve got a leg up, Gailey said. “If you try to get everybody equal shots from the first day of camp then you probably get nobody ready, rather than getting three ready”.)

So who will it be? Let’s throw Brohm out of the equation – he’s not ready. The Bills managed just three points and 11 first downs in his lone start last season.

Both Edwards and Fitzpatrick struggle to stretch the field and maintain mechanics, especially behind a bad offensive line. While Fitzpatrick is clearly a backup, there’s a tendency to think that the 26-year-old Edwards can still develop into a quality passer. But injuries have been a problem, plus Edwards has never shown he can consistently attack a defense from the pocket.

Fitzpatrick is frantic in the pocket, but with Buffalo’s horrendous offensive line, franticness could be a plus. After all, the pressure the quarterbacks perceives will almost always be there. Fitzpatrick has iffy mechanics but the grittiness to flee a pass-rush and at least keep plays alive. Of course, Edwards, when healthy, has some escape-ability as well.

Choosing between these two quarterbacks feels a bit like being five years old and choosing between spinach and squash. Given that neither is a great fit, the Bills might as well go with the younger player (Edwards) just in case there is a miracle story waiting to be written.

--Andy Benoit

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Posted on: June 16, 2010 10:40 pm

Ravens Expected to Add a DB

The Ravens recently had defensive backs Walt Harris, Ken Lucas and Ken Hamlin in for a visit. John Harbaugh said he expects the team to sign “at least one of those guys”.

Harris, a cornerback, will be 36 in August. He tore his ACL last November. Lucas struggled mightily as Seattle’s No. 2 corner last season. He’s only 31, but age doesn’t matter when your confidence gets permanently shaken.

It’s surprising that Hamlin hasn’t drawn more interest since being cut by the Cowboys. He was a Pro Bowler just two years ago and is still in his twenties. His awareness in coverage doesn’t match his hitting ability, but that’s not to say he can’t be a decent starter (or certainly a fantastic dime back). The Ravens most need help at corner, but Hamlin is the best player in this trio.

--Andy Benoit

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Posted on: June 16, 2010 9:49 pm

LenDale White on Pot, Pete Carroll

LenDale White admits he smokes marijuana. You know, the drug that can make a person lazy and slow? White was recently cut from the Seattle Seahawks after reportedly failing a drug test. In his first interview since then, he said, “I did it, so it is my fault. I smoked marijuana; that is all I have ever done. That’s all I do, that’s it. I smoke. I don’t care about any other drugs, but it’s marijuana. … But I have changed. I am a good man. Unfortunately the stuff that I did in my recent past caught up to me in the present and it’s affecting my future.’’

White said he was not given a reson for his release. When asked about Pete Carroll, he replied, "Pete Carroll? The same Pete Carroll who ran out on ’SC? I have no comment on Pete. I better wait ’til I’m on a team one day before I say anything.’’

White doesn’t have the burst or speed to be an everydown back, but he could be of interest to a team looking for a good goal-line runner. He scored seven touchdowns in 2007 and 15 touchdowns in 2008.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or