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Tag:Josh Katzowitz
Posted on: March 2, 2012 12:50 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 1:28 pm
 

Saints offered to make Brees highest-paid player

Did Brees really turn down Mickey Loomis' offer to make him the highest-paid NFL player? (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

With the report Thursday that the Saints and quarterback Drew Brees are $5 million per year apart on contract negotiations, CBSSports.com’s Larry Holder has the news that New Orleans offered Brees a contract before the 2011 season that would have made him the highest-paid player in the NFL and that Brees and his agent, Tom Condon, turned it down.

“He (general manager Mickey Loomis) offered Brees the highest paid contract in NFL history,” a source told Holder. “Does that not equate with great or elite?”

NFL News, Notes
In a Yahoo Sports report Thursday, Jason Cole cited multiple sources that said that Loomis was trying to devalue Brees by saying only he is a “very good” quarterback as opposed to a “great” one.

Cole also speculated that Saints owner Tom Benson might have to step into the negotiations to make sure both sides were satisfied with a new contract. New Orleans, of course, could franchise tag Brees, but Brees obviously wouldn’t be happy with that decision.

Plus, that would make it tougher for the team to keep guard Carl Nicks and receiver Marques Colston if the only way for the Saints to avoid sending Brees to free agency was to tag him.

As CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman wrote, “What the hell are the Saints doing? I've said this before. There are certain players, only a handful, where you open the vault and roll out the cash. You give them a blank check. Brees is one of those players. Franchising Brees is going to anger him, no question. Players despise the tag because it limits their earning potential. So you've ticked off your best player. For what? Why?”

But now we have to wonder why Brees and Condon would turn down the richest deal in the league and what they expect to actually get in return for Brees playing.

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Posted on: March 2, 2012 12:19 pm
 

Packers net about $67 million from stock sale

Green Bay stockBy Josh Katzowitz

You can always count on the Packers owners to make sure their team has enough money to help pay for whatever improvement projects need to be financed for Lambeau Field. And I’m not talking about the owners who actually have a vote in how the team is run.

No, I’m talking about the Packers fans, who bought more than 268,000 shares of stock the team put on sale to help pay for a proposed $143 million expansion of Lambeau. Paying $250 apiece for the stock certificate (plus $25 for handling) that gives them a non-voting ownership stake in the team, the Packers raised about $67 million from the sale.

And while we can debate how much value Green Bay fans are receiving from plunking down that much money for one share of “worthless” stock -- and really, I’m not sure there’s any convincing those fans that this is anything but a great deal -- there’s little doubt that Packers fans are some of the best fans in football. Because they so willingly donate their money to the team so they can, in fact, be a part of that team.

NFL News, Notes
Mark Murphy, the team president and CEO, called the results of the sale “humbling and overwhelming” and “just unbelievable” and told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “The stock sale really allowed us to borrow less and gave us much more flexibility.”

About half of the new sales came from the state of Wisconsin, but states like Illinois (8.5 percent of the total sales), California (8.5 percent), Minnesota (5 percent) and Texas (5 percent) certainly made their contributions known. Even Canada got into the act, as that country’s citizens bought 2,000 shares.

In all, the paper reports that the team added 250,000 new stockholders, bringing the overall total to 360,000 -- more than the combined populations of Madison and Green Bay, Wis.

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Posted on: March 2, 2012 10:48 am
 

Farrior's time with Steelers comes to a close

After a decade in Pittsburgh, Farrior will be released. (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

Yet another longtime Steelers player is done in Pittsburgh. That’s the word from agent Ralph Cindrich, who tweeted Friday morning that his client, linebacker James Farrior, will not be back with the Steelers in 2012.

“#JamesFarrior has been a rock for the #Steelers but the #Turk takes no prisoners -- he's gone,” wrote Cindrich.

The move to release the 15-year veteran who spent the past 10 years in Pittsburgh (he started his career with the Jets in 1997) is only the latest Steelers casualty as the team tries to get under the salary cap so it, we assume, can sign receiver Mike Wallace to a deal.

Already, Pittsburgh has released defensive end Aaron Smith and cleared the roster spot formerly taken by receiver Hines Ward, and as CBSSports.com’s Ryan Wilson points out, linebacker Larry Foote and nose tackle Casey Hampton also are on the potential chopping block.

Since he landed in Pittsburgh in 2002, Farrior has been a consistent force, recording at least 100 tackles in nine of the next 10 seasons. But his production fell off a bit last year, and at the age of 37, he clearly is slowing down. Farrior was due $2.825 million in 2012, the last year of his contract.

And at this point, you have to wonder if Farrior is done altogether from the game.  

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Posted on: March 2, 2012 9:53 am
Edited on: March 2, 2012 10:57 am
 

Falcons place franchise tag on Brent Grimes

Since he's been franchise-tagged, Grimes can expect to make $10.4 million next season. (Getty Images)
By Josh Katzowitz

In a move that doesn’t surprise, Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff announced Friday morning that the team will place its franchise tag on cornerback Brent Grimes.

Grimes has become one of the better defensive backs in the NFC South, and though he missed four games last year because of a knee injury, he’s started the last 28 games in which he’s played. After a standout 2010, when he made 87 tackles, five interceptions and 23 passes defensed (in a reserve role, he actually had six interceptions in 2009), his numbers decreased last year -- he recorded 49 tackles, one pick and 14 defended passes.

[RELATED: NFL Franchise Tag Tracker]

Grimes -- No. 2 on our list of free agent cornerbacks -- also will turn 29 before next season, so there might be some concern in the organization about giving him a long-term deal after a so-so 2011. Especially since the Falcons signed Dunta Robinson to a six-year contract worth $57 million in March 2010.

With the tag, Grimes should expect to make about $10.6 million next season. If he signs it, that is. Which, according to his agent, he's not wanting to do at this point.

“We have no plans to sign the tag at this time,” Ben Dogra told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “We hop[e] to be able to continue to disscuss through all the issues at the appropriate time.”

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Posted on: March 2, 2012 9:34 am
 

Roethlisberger, Haley quickly becoming BFFs

Haley, left and Roethlisberger, center, had a good phone conversation, which must have pleased Tomlin. (US PRESSWIRE)
By Josh Katzowitz

Because the drama for when new Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley would call quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the first time was so heavy -- it took more than two weeks after Haley was hired! -- we felt compelled to follow up with the news of how well the phone meeting actually went.

You, of course, will be happy to know that it went really, really well*.

*Just pretend we’re having this conversation in a high school hallway, and we’re gossiping about the potential newest power couple in class. Then, the enthusiasm shown above makes a little more sense.

"It was a really good talk," Roethlisberger, who spoke with Haley for about 15 minutes, told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. "Unfortunately, we can't talk football right now and that's one of the big things I wanted to talk about.

Pittsburgh's offensive upheaval
"So it was just me talking to him, about golf, his family, my family, him having been a ballboy here, just things like that. It was a good start and I felt it was a good step in the right direction.”

Initially, Roethlisberger blew off the call because he didn’t recognize the phone number that popped up on his ID. But after listening to the voice message, he immediately called back Haley to have a chat.

According to NFL rules, the two can’t actually talk football until mid-April, so instead, they began to build a relationship -- personal or otherwise.

“I think it will be a good working relationship -- and good friendship, who knows," Roethlisberger said.

Look, CBSSports.com’s Ryan Wilson had it right when he wrote that this so-called controversy wasn’t a big deal. But at the same time, if Roethlisberger felt disrespected by Haley’s decision not to make contact for a few weeks, it becomes a bigger story. Especially when you remember this quote from Roethlisberger after Haley was hired to replace Bruce Arians, a Roethlisberger favorite: “I've gotten a lot of calls and texts and emails from people around the league, both good and bad about him. Everybody has an opinion, as we all know, and they're letting me know what their interaction with him was -- good, bad and indifferent. I've heard a lot of things and I'm looking forward to meeting him and forming my own opinion.”

Now that they’ve finally met and talked, it seems like, so far, the Roethlisberger’s opinion is a positive one. And maybe this story, at least until training camp begins, can be left alone for a while.

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Posted on: March 1, 2012 4:33 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2012 4:49 pm
 

Eagles place franchise tag on DeSean Jackson

Jackson

By Josh Katzowitz


The first franchise tag has been placed, and Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson is the lucky recipient of it.

Well, lucky in as much, as he’ll make about $9.5 million for 2012, but not so lucky in that Jackson has badly wanted a long-term deal for the past two seasons. Lucky in that Jackson can begin to rebuild his reputation after a terrible end of 2011 when we wondered about his bad attitude. Unlucky in that if Jackson were to suffer a significant injury, his prospects for a big-time deal after 2012 will diminish greatly.

“We want DeSean to be an Eagle for the long haul and this is a step in the right direction to accomplish that,” Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said in a statement. “DeSean is a talented player and a proven playmaker in this league and we look forward to him continuing his career in Philadelphia. It’s our understanding that he has the same desire. We will continue our efforts on getting a long-term deal done with him.”

DeSean's forgettable season
Before the end of last season, the Eagles might have felt they needed to reward Jackson -- ranked No. 6 in our free agent wide receiver rankings -- with the long-term deal in order to keep him happy. After all, he had back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons in 2009-10, but his play fell off last year when he caught only four touchdown passes.

More damaging than that, though, was his attitude. He missed meetings, the Eagles benched him in the fourth quarter of the Patriots game, and teammates openly questioned his effort.

Jackson and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said all along he was a top-five receiver, but he certainly didn’t play like -- or act like -- one.

For his part, Jackson later apologized for his actions and, when asked if he was OK if the Eagles tagged him, he said “Why wouldn’t it? Hey, it’d be all right. God’s got a plan, brother. I’m going to roll with it.”

Looks like the rolling with it part begins right now.

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Posted on: March 1, 2012 4:25 pm
 

Jacobs isn't interested in selling his soul

Jacobs isn't sure of the NYG want him back next year. (AP)
By Josh Katzowitz

When he’s not filling in for Jason Pierre-Paul as a wrestler for TNA, Brandon Jacobs likes to earn his living as a running back for the Super Bowl champion Giants. Though he’s supposed to make $4.9 million in 2012, the last year of his contract, the Giants have made it known they’d like to pay him less.

And while he has said he would take a cut in pay, Jacobs -- who restructured his deal last August -- there’s only so far he’s willing to go.

Latest NYG news
“I want to stay in New York a whole lot, man, because this is where I started,” Jacobs told WNBC-TV on Wednesday (via the New York Post). “It’s a great organization. I got wonderful, great teammates. I won a second Super Bowl here with this organization. But I’m not willing to sell my soul, you know? It’s a great organization and I want to be a part of it, but if not, if they’re not feeling the same way, then so be it.”

Jacobs is scheduled to earn $4.4 million in base salary with a roster bonus due to him March 17, and the Post theorizes that if he and the team can’t agree to a restructure, the Giants might cut him in order to save the $500,000 bonus. Plus, you have to remember that Jacobs doesn’t always have the best attitude when it comes to his playing time or talking with his critics, and coming off the worst statistical season since 2006, Jacobs might have to settle for making far less money with the Giants or for leaving the team altogether.

For now, Jacobs isn’t sure of his future plans.

“I have no idea,” he said. “I don’t know what they’re thinking. I want to be here. If not, there are 31 other teams out there.

“As far as I’m concerned I got another year left on my contract. I don’t know why I’m sitting here saying all this stuff. If they want it to work out it’s going to work out. If they don’t want it to work out, it’s not going to work out. That’s all I can say.”

And if it doesn’t work out with the Giants and he has to go play somewhere else, Jacobs can take solace in the fact that he still, we assume, has his “fast-ass car.

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Posted on: March 1, 2012 3:13 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2012 3:17 pm
 

Raiders might make Wimbley cap casualty

Oakland wants Wimbley to take a paycut, but he's already said he's not interested in doing so. (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

As general manager Reggie McKenzie continues to make the Raiders a less-expensive (and possibly less-talented) club -- already, Oakland has purged cornerback Stanford Routt – it sounds like there’s a big-time conflict coming between the club and linebacker Kamerion Wimbley.

According to NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora, the team will cut Wimbley if the two sides can’t renegotiate his deal.

While the Raiders try to get under the salary cap, at this point, they’ll have to pay Wimbley $11 million for next year, including $6.5 million guaranteed (in August, he signed a $48 million deal).

Wimbley has been a valuable member of the Browns and Raiders defense since Cleveland selected him in the first round of the 2006 draft, averaging 61.5 tackles and seven sacks per season.

As the Raiders blog points out, though, Wimbley has the leverage, writing, “This is classic contract standoff. Wimbley has Raiders by the throat. They both want him and don't want his contract. Team using media.”

But if the Raiders do decide to let go of Wimbley, who said he’s not interested in taking a paycut, so they don’t have to pay him, there likely won't be a shortage of teams who are willing to compensate him for playing.

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