Posted on: June 15, 2010 9:18 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2010 9:23 pm

Sigh: Sports writers foiled again

When you’ve got a controversy brewing on the team you cover and if the recipient of that controversy isn’t around – or isn’t talking – the next step as a beat reporter is to ask the opinions of his colleagues.

For instance, “So and so isn’t here, but what do you think about his a) desire to not play for your team this season; b) positive drug test; or c) run-in at the local strip club?” More often than not, you’ll get answers, and even if they’re the generic “We support our teammate and we don’t know much more than what’s in the police report” statements, that’s enough to write what we in the business call “a folo.”

The Boston Herald tried to do that today in regards to Patriots Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins and his desire not to sign his restricted free agent tender. But, as the title of the Herald's blog post says, “Ho, hum, nothing to see here.”

Obviously, New England coach Bill Belichick decided not to give his opinion on the matter, but we had two other beautiful side-steps of the issue. One player, guard Stephen Neal, said he didn’t know much about the situation, because he doesn’t have cable TV or the Internet. Read that part again. No cable TV, no Internet, no comment. Another, NT Vince Wilfork, seemed to grow agitated at the repeated attempts of questioners.

“What don’t you understand?” Wilfork said. “I’m not going to touch that. If you’re going to sit here and talk about that all day, I’m outta here. I’m not going to touch that.”

Even stranger? Just about every football writer knows that if you need good, solid, smart, thoughtful quotes from players who rarely say no to an interview request, you go to the offensive line. It's a double shot to the stomach when the guards, tackles and centers blow off your questions.

Mankins touched on the issue briefly Monday when he told ESPN Boston that there was “no way” he would sign his tender offer of $3.26 million.

--Josh Katzowitz

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

Posted on: June 15, 2010 8:36 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2010 9:25 pm

Haynesworth wants out of Washington

It seems like a $100 million in guaranteed money is not enough motivation for Redskins DL Albert Haynesworth to play nose tackle.

According to Jason Reid of the Washington Post , Haynesworth will sit out this week’s Redskins mini-camp and will ask to be traded.

“The Redskins are trying to establish a new regime with new schemes at Redskins Park, and it is not an organization that Albert would have ever been attracted to just a short year ago - regardless of the money," agent Chad Speck told Reid in a phone interview Tuesday night. "He has made it clear to me that he does not want to play for the Washington Redskins. … It's probably in everyone's best interests for the Redskins to make a deal and trade Albert."

 In the Redskins new 3-4 defensive scheme under head coach Mike Shanahan, Haynesworth probably would have to anchor the middle of the defensive line. He also skipped all of Washington’s voluntary workouts this offseason.

Haynesworth – a 6-foot-6, 350-pounder – has said in the past that he wasn’t interested in playing nose tackle because he doesn’t think he has the right body type for it.

"You look at all the nose tackles in the NFL, they're all the same type guys,” Haynesworth said on Sirius NFL Radio in March. “Most of those guys are short, stubbier, pretty much stump-type guys.”

Thing is, Haynesworth is right about that. And with $41 million of guaranteed money on the table, he must really be confident that he can’t play the position. Which leads us back to this quote he made when he initially signed his contract in March of 2009.

"You're not going to remember Albert Haynesworth as a bust," he said.

UPDATE (9:22 p.m. ET): Just to show that I'm not crazy for thinking Albert Haynesworth should be willing to play anywhere on the field for $100 million, here's what Arizona DT Darnell Dockett just tweeted: Did I just hear this correctly "Albert Haynesworth" will not be Mandatory minicamp? And he wants a trade, After signing 100millon dollar contract?

--Josh Katzowitz

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

Posted on: June 15, 2010 7:43 pm

Bad start for a new stadium

Not such a great start for the New Meadowlands Stadium.

As the Giants took to their new field for the first time today to practice, WR Domenik Hixon injured his right leg. Hixon was working on return drills when his cleat stuck in the turf. He later walked to the bench, where he sat with a sizable wrap on his right knee.

The severity of the injury is unclear at this point.

--Josh Katzowitz

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

Category: NFL
Posted on: June 15, 2010 7:15 pm

The latest with Revis, Mangold

Last weekend, Jets CB Darrelle Revis traveled to Cincinnati to participate in former Bengals DT John Thornton’s Bowling for Autism event, and afterward, he talked with a couple of my buddies. He told them basically the same thing he declared today: basically, he wants to be a Jet forever .

He also said today he wants to meet with Jets coach Rex Ryan.

“We’re going to try to see eye to eye and make sure this thing doesn’t get out of hand,” Revis told reporters after Tuesday’s practice. “I don’t want this to go negative. But negotiations do get crazy sometimes. We’re trying to stop it before it gets to that point.”

Meanwhile, C Nick Mangold, another of New York’s “Core Four” who wants a contract extension, isn’t pleased with the negotiations. Before this week, he said he was 50-50 about whether to show for mini-camp but ultimately decided it would be unprofessional not to fulfill his obligations.

“It’s deeply disappointing that we are where we are,” Mangold told reporters. “I’ve tried to do the right things on and off the field, and I feel it’s the Jets’ turn. Not having that security of an extension is bothersome."

As Bart Hubbach of the NY Post points out, the Jets really could upset Mangold – and protect their own interests – by not giving him a contract extension this year and then placing the franchise tag on him next season, meaning he still wouldn’t get the security of a long-term deal.

Neither Revis nor Mangold said they had thought about demanding a trade.

--Josh Katzowitz

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

Posted on: June 15, 2010 6:29 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2010 6:40 pm

Jim Zorn makes Joe Flacco happy

You might have forgotten what happened to former Redskins coach Jim Zorn after he was fired at the end of last season. In case you didn’t realize, he’s found another job. And so far, he seems like a pretty good fit for his new position.

Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun writes about Zorn, now the Baltimore Ravens quarterback coach, and how he’s tutoring quarterback Joe Flacco. It’s the first time Flacco has worked with a coach who’s actually played the quarterback position in the NFL (see Zorn's stats here ), and so far, the partnership is going well.

"Jim's been great," Flacco told the newspaper. "He's a great guy, down to earth, real relaxed. He's been a great coach so far. I love every part of him being my coach, and I think the other guys are really liking him a lot, too. He has a lot to teach.”

Remember: the last time Zorn was a quarterbacks coach, he helped Seattle’s Matt Hasselbeck to three Pro Bowl appearances earlier this decade. Forget his disastrous two-season run as Washington’s head coach. The man is a heck of an assistant.

--Josh Katzowitz

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

Posted on: June 15, 2010 5:55 pm

The return of Ochocinco

CINCINNATI – As expected, Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco made his offseason debut Tuesday, and though he declared he was in tremendous shape, he didn’t get in much work during the first two practices of mini-camp.

Though Andy took my money quote ( in case you missed it, here it is: “I just need everybody to trust in me like birth control. I’m going to be there for you 99.9 percent of the time.” As an aside to the original aside, Jets CB Darrelle Revis could tell you about the other 0.1 percent of the time) , Ochocinco talked about why his teammates should trust him.

The question comes because Ochocinco missed voluntary workouts yet again – this year, he spent his time on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars and he’s currently filming a reality dating show for vh1.

“I could die and resurrect and handle my business,” Ochocinco told us after the morning practice. “In general, people need to trust when I’m not here. That should never, ever, ever, ever be a question. Ever. You already know how I am when I get here. You know what you’re getting. It’s the outside. My teammates know what time it is.

“I just want everybody to remember that nothing has changed. It seems there are always questions when I’m not here. But I’m still training and working out the same way. The same way I’ve done in the past years. I’m still hungry, and I have a love and passion for this game. Nothing’s changed.”

Except that he’s not in the same kind of shape he’d be in if he had attended OTAs with most of the rest of his teammates. That’s why he didn’t get much action in the practices today.

“We didn’t want to overdo it,” offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski said. “If he hasn’t been doing a lot of football stuff, you have to ease him back into it. You can tell he hasn’t done a lot of football. I think he’s in pretty good shape, but there’s a big difference in football where you’re running routes and sticking your foot in the ground and putting pressure on your joints. You can tell he hasn’t been doing a lot of route running.”

Once minicamp ends Thursday, Ochocinco said he’ll fly to Las Vegas and train in the boxing gym with Floyd Mayweather Jr. to further his preparation for the season.

“It’s the quickness, the hand-eye coordination,” Ochocinco said. “My feet aren’t going anywhere. The cardio that boxing gives me, especially working out with him, will shot me up there. I’ll come back in stupid shape.”

Maybe in good enough shape to run through an entire practice.

--Josh Katzowitz

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

Posted on: June 15, 2010 3:55 pm

Chris Johnson Tweets Frustration

Chris Johnson is starting to get more vocal about his holdout. A day after saying he wasn’t mad at the Titans, the 2,000-yard rusher Tweeted:

“Just got off the phn w/ my agent & its not good news I’m feeling lk @Revis24 rt now at least dey offering him.” (Johnson is referring to Darrelle Revis’s contract squabble in New York).

Johnson also wrote, “Its like how do u expect ur players to give they all and not put their bodies on the line when you not willing to give them what they deserve. How do u want player 2 honor their contract but the team dot have to honor it. If u dont wnt 2 pay a player early dont cut a player early.’’

--Andy Benoit

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Category: NFL
Posted on: June 15, 2010 3:29 pm

Top 10 Most Overpaid Players in the NFL?

Foxsports ran an interesting piece today: the top 10 most overpaid players in football.

Here’s their list:

10. Brandon Jacobs, RB, NYG, $7.5M this season
9. Antonio Smith, DE, HOU, $15.5M since signing in ’09
8. Eli Manning, QB, NYG, $35 million guaranteed, $15.27M per year ’09-’15
7. Julius Peppers, DE, CHI, $20M this season
6. Antonio Bryant, WR, CIN, $9M with Bucs in ’09; $7M in ’10
5. Matt Cassel, QB, KC, $15M in ’10
4. Vernon Carey, RT, MIA, $15M in ’09
3. Jay Cutler, QB, CHI, $15M per year
2. Roy Williams, WR, DAL, $13.6M in ’09
1. Albert Haynesworth, DL, WAS, $41M guaranteed

Overall, this is a good list. Including Jacobs might be faulty, given that his power is key to New York’s run-based offense. Manning signed his contract shortly after winning the Super Bowl – nobody raised any objection then.

The Cassel deal could haunt Scott Pioli for a long time. The fact that Carey made nearly $1 million per game last season is shocking. He’s a solid but unspectacular right tackle.

Roy Williams has cost the Cowboys money and draft picks, but it’s the Cowboys’ fault for not realizing that his north/south style of play was ill-fit for Jason Garrett’s catch-and-run offense.

The Redskins are getting what they deserve with Haynesworth. The man is a superstar, but only when he smells new money. Throughout his entire career, Haynesworth has griped and underachieved in every non-contract year. This isn’t to say he’s a bum. No matter what, Haynesworth attracts double teams, which will always make him more valuable than his stats indicate. But $41 million guaranteed? Ouch.

--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow us on Twitter:

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