Posted on: June 14, 2010 3:46 pm
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Another one for the Titans

It’s not been what you’d call a great last two days for the Titans. First, QB Vince Young. Now, LB Gerald McRath.

Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher said today that McRath has been suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

McRath told the Tennessean that he didn’t take a steroid.

"I have no idea," he told the newspaper. "… I didn’t test positive for a steroid … None of the products I took were on the banned list.’’

--Josh Katzowitz

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


Posted on: June 14, 2010 3:20 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2010 11:36 am
 

RFA deadline fast approaching

Tuesday is the day where millions of dollars could be won and millions of dollars could be lost. That day is the deadline when restricted free agents must sign their qualifying offers from their previous team. If not, they’ll only make 110 percent of their 2009 salary.

For players like San Diego WR Vincent Jackson and LT Marcus McNeill, that could cost them a bunch of money. According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune , neither player will sign their tender offer because they want long-term deals. That means both could lose $2.5 million a piece for this season. It also means they both might just sit out the year in protest.

A player like New England Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins could lose more than $1.5 million, and a guy like Denver sack-master Elvis Dumervil could have to settle for collecting $630,000 rather than the $3.1 million the Broncos have offered.

One player, like Ray Edwards with the Vikings, went ahead and signed his tender offer today, and I expect a few others to ink their names sometime this evening. Unless you’re trying to project some semblance of leverage – which, honestly, most of the players don’t have because of the potential upcoming lock-out when the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires at the end of this season – it doesn’t make sense not to sign a one-year deal.

But I don’t make millions of dollars per year (hint, hint CBSSports.com upper management), so I don’t have that perspective.

On Sunday, Pro Football Talk had an interesting theory, based off something the Boston Globe’s Albert Breer wrote a few days ago. PFT wonders if the smell of collusion is in the air.

One reason this topic has been raised: teams sent letters to the players who hadn’t signed their RFA tenders, which suggests some sort of league-wide memo was passed around on how to handle the scenario. If that’s true – or even remotely true – the NFL Players Association might have something to say about that.

From the NFL owners’ perspective, it makes sense not to re-up their players for long-term contracts, especially with the uncertainty of what happens when the CBA ends. But at the same time, the Colts gave S Antoine Bethea a four-year, $27 million extension last week, so we know it is physically possible to compromise with the players.

Diff’rent strokes for diff’rent owners, one supposes. But if players like Jackson and McNeill sit out the season, everybody – with the exception of San Diego’s 2010 opponents – loses.

UPDATE: According to Lindsay Jones of the Denver Post on her Twitter account, Dumervil has signed his tender.

--Josh Katzowitz

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


Posted on: June 14, 2010 1:48 pm
 

Revis sits out a few

Jets CB Darrelle Revis, hungering for a contract extension, participated in mini-camp today. Sort of.

He sat out a few plays at the end of practice Monday, and though he told the NY Daily News’ Manish Mehta that he was “a little light headed,” Revis basically winked when he used that excuse. He said he was insulted by the Jets offer and that, as of now, the contract talks “(don’t) look good.”

The big issue is what the Raiders pay their star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, giving him a $45 million, three-year contract last season. He’s supposed to make about $16 million in 2010, or 16 times what Revis will be paid this season. Revis, meanwhile, believes he should be the highest-paid CB in the NFL. I’d expect the Jets to give him more money, but I’m not sure they’ll give him that much money.

--Josh Katzowitz

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


Category: NFL
Posted on: June 14, 2010 12:55 pm
 

Some Sage advice for Rosenfels - make other plans

If Brett Favre doesn't return for another season with the Minnesota Vikings, there likely will be a two-way battle for starting quarterback. At this point, we know who probably won't be taking snaps for the Vikings. Coach Brad Childress seemed to make that pretty clear this past weekend during Minnesota's mini-camp.

Sage Rosenfels, stuck behind Favre and backup/former starter Tarvaris Jackson, didn't enter a game for the Vikings last season, and the number of snaps he received last weekend gives a pretty good indication how the Vikings view his chances this year, even if Favre doesn't return.

With the Vikings sticking with sixth-round pick Joe Webb as a QB (they had thought about moving him to WR), Childress gave him second-team snaps on Saturday, while Jackson took the first-team reps. Rosenfels, meanwhile, got only two snaps in 11-on-11 drills. That was a boatload of work compared to what Rosenfels received Sunday. Try zero reps. When R.J. Archer is getting more snaps than you, that can't possibly be a positive development in your career.

Rosenfels hasn't been talking, but after listening to Childress say nobody should read much into the decision not to give snaps to Rosenfels and that he simply was trying to get his other QBs some work, the Star Tribune's Judd Zulgad had this bit of analysis in his blog:

You can buy Childress' argument to only a certain degree. Keep in mind, this was the only mandatory minicamp where everyone (well, almost everyone) was supposed to be present. That meant this was the best place for players to get their pre-training camp work. While everyone expects Brett Favre to return, the expectation also has been that  Rosenfels would at least get a chance to battle Tarvaris Jackson for the starting job if Favre does not come back.

That means Rosenfels certainly would have expected to get in some work that might have been close to what Jackson got. But in the end it was Webb who got those snaps.


Rosenfels, entering his eighth season, is three years removed from his best performances, when he replaced Matt Schaub as Houston QB and led the Texans to a 4-1 record in his five starts and finished the 2007 season completing 64.2 percent of his passes for 1,684 yards, 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The question now is: if Favre returns and the Vikings cut loose Rosenfels, does any team think it's worth the gamble to bring in a 32-year-old backup?

--Josh Katzowitz

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



Posted on: June 14, 2010 11:20 am
 

Busy week for the Jets

If you're following any team during its mini-camp sessions, the New York Jets might be the most compelling, especially with HBO's Hard Knocks cameras trailing everybody and everything.

There are four players who are in want of contract extensions - they are known as the Core Four - and if CB Darrelle Revis, C Nick Mangold, LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson and LB David Harris - don't get what they want, who knows how this season will go for the Jets. If all four are happy and playing, New York is going to be one of the best teams in the AFC and a potential Super Bowl contender. If not, well ...

Revis showed up today for the beginning of mini-camp, and though Mangold said last week it was a 50-50 proposition on whether he'd be there, he's in attendance as well.

So what will happen with the Core Four? According to ESPN NewYork's Rich Cimini , it doesn't look good for anybody not named Revis. From Cimini's story on Sunday:

Take this to the bank (no pun intended): C Nick Mangold, LB David Harris and LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson will not get contract extensions in 2010. The Jets have yet to begin negotiations with any of the players and, considering the uncertainty of the CBA, the organization is showing no sense of urgency. The Jets probably won’t admit this publicly, but I think they’ve already made a decision to wait.

By waiting until after the season, GM Mike Tannenbaum is putting himself in an almost impossible position, with Mangold, Harris, WR Braylon Edwards, WR Santonio Holmes and CB Antonio Cromartie all unsigned. Say goodbye to two or three of those players.


Plus, you've got the Jets struggling to sell seat licenses, and the unknown of how well QB Mark Sanchez's knee will perform. Intrigued? Yeah, you should be.

Bart Hubbach of the NY Post breaks it down for us.

--Josh Katzowitz

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


Posted on: June 14, 2010 10:41 am
 

3,2,1 - Geronimo!!!

For those Bengals fans who wish coach Marvin Lewis would just jump out of an airplane, you got your wish Sunday afternoon. Pairing with the Golden Knights jump team out of Lebanon, Ohio, Lewis - along with secondary coach Kevin Coyle and director of player development Eric Ball - parachuted out of a plane at 12,500 feet.

Geoff "Butch" Hobson of Bengals.com has the full report, and it's an interesting read. Lewis is a big fan of military personnel, as Hobson describes throughout the story, and the team will host the Golden Knights for lunch today - after they parachute onto the practice fields.

Fortunately on Sunday, all parties survived, and Bengals mini-camp remains as scheduled Tuesday-Thursday.

--Josh Katzowitz

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



Category: NFL
Posted on: June 14, 2010 10:25 am
 

Thank you Vince Young

Obviously, when you start a brand-new NFL Facts and Rumors blog, you want to get off on the right foot by immediately linking to grainy surveillance footage of a famous QB detailing exactly why police felt the need to issue him a citation for assault at a strip club. All last week, I worried just how I was going to pull off this rite of passage. Which quarterback could I count on to get in trouble just in time for this blog's debut?

Luckily, Tennessee's Vince Young came through with the assist, receiving a Class C Assault Citation from Dallas police after jumping the manager of the club at 3 a.m. Sunday morning. You can see that surveillance footage here , courtesy of WKRN in Nashville.

Apparently, the manager of the club insulted Young by flashing the "Hook Em Horns" sign upside down. That's on the same level of biting your thumb at an adversary during Shakespearean times, so obviously, Young is in the right here. You can't go around disrespecting people's alma maters without expecting a punch in the face in return. Especially if there are naked girls dancing all around. The manager is just lucky Young didn't challenge him to a duel.

--Josh Katzowitz

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


Category: NFL
Posted on: June 14, 2010 9:49 am
 

And away we go

You might have noticed last week that CBSSports.com added a new blog, MLB Facts and Rumors. You might have wondered, "Man, I really wish CBSSports.com would add a couple of experienced, funny, well-read, handsome bloggers to write about the NFL comings and goings." If so, today is your lucky day, for today is the day we begin the NFL version of Facts and Rumors. Naturally, we're calling it NFL Facts and Rumors.

My name is Josh Katzowitz, formerly of the now-defunct Cincinnati Post. I've been a freelance writer for the past 2 1/2 years, contributing to the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Boston Globe and a variety of other newspapers, magazines and web sites. I was lucky enough to be a member of the initial Rapid Reports team last season, when CBSSports.com embedded a reporter with each NFL team. I was with the Bengals, so if you have any Chad Ochocinco questions (What does "Kiss the Baby" mean? Is he ever going to show up for offseason workouts? How often does his Twitter account actually make sense?), I might be able to answer them.

Coming on later today is Andy Benoit, but I'll leave it to him if he wants to introduce himself.

This, of course, will be your one-stop shot for NFL news, rumors and analysis, and since we know NFL fans are passionate and will inhale all NFL news - no matter how minute - we'll give you exactly what you want. Think of us as your tour guides on this NFL safari. We'll keep you safe from the Lions and snakes, and we'll give the commentary you so badly desire. We've also got pretty cool hats.

So, that's that. We're starting today, and we couldn't be more excited. Check back early and often.

Two promises: I promise that I won't again refer to myself on this blog as handsome (though that's not a promise I necessary will keep), and I promise I won't make another safari analogy.

This blog should be a good time. I'm looking forward to it.
 
--Josh Katzowitz

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



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