Have A Happy New Year!

Thank You to all of my readers, I really appreciate all of your support! Have a safe and happy New Years and look forward to a bigger and better NFL RUMORZ next year! ~Bam

Enjoy these videos...


Fox Unsure If He Will Return Next Season

(AP) A day after Carolina finished out of the playoffs for the second straight year, John Fox remained confident that he'll return as the Panthers' coach. He just won't be sure until owner Jerry Richardson says so. When asked Monday if Richardson would finally address the status of Fox and general manager Marty Hurney, team spokesman Charlie Dayton said it was unlikely.
In an e-mail later Monday, Dayton would only say that "nothing has changed" regarding Fox and Hurney.


Walker Wants Out Of Denver, Back To Green Bay

The Denver Post reports that wide receiver Javon Walker, acquired via a trade with the Green Bay Packers, said he wants out of Denver. Walker suggested he might even like to return to Green Bay. In a rambling briefing with the press, Walker essentially said he longer wants to be with the Broncos. Walker has $5.4 million in option bonus money coming to him this year and the team was planning on keeping him. However, after his bombshell, the team will likely seriously consider parting ways. "It's not for Javon," Walker said. "It's not for me." Source: Denver Post


Billick Fired

Brian Billick was fired as coach of the Baltimore Ravens on Monday, less than a day after his team concluded a disappointing 5-11 season and less than a year after receiving a contract extension through 2010. Players were told of the dismissal as they packed up their lockers at the team's practice facility. Only a few weeks ago, Billick proclaimed that he would return in 2008, but Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, who does not speak to the media during the season, made no public statement to that effect. "I just changed my mind," the owner told The Baltimore Sun on Monday. "I can't explain it to you. It's the toughest decision I've had to make." Billick won Super Bowl XXXV in his second season with the Ravens, and led the team to a franchise-best 13-3 record in 2006. But Baltimore lost a team-record nine consecutive games this season before ending the skid Sunday with a 27-21 win over Pittsburgh. Billick was confident that he would be coming back next season, and was very surprised by Biscotti's decision to let him go. During the last week Biscotti was seen talking to key players and staff members about Billick's coaching. Apparently most of the players lost confidence in him, which lead to his firing.


The Miami Make Over Begins

Bill Parcells' shakeup of the Miami Dolphins began Monday with the firing of general manager Randy Mueller. Assistant director of player personnel Mike Baugh and college scouting coordinator Rick Thompson also departed. Cam Cameron is also expected to be fired by the end of the week. On Sunday, the Dolphins became only the eighth team to finish 1-15. Parcells began work Thursday as executive vice president of football operations. Mueller was the Dolphins' general manager for three seasons but was in charge of personnel decisions only since coach Nick Saban left a year ago. Mueller received mixed reviews for his moves in 2007, which included the acquisition of free-agent linebacker Joey Porter and the selection of receiver Ted Ginn Jr. and quarterback John Beck in the draft.


Berrian Will Leave Chicago

Chicago Bears wide receiver Bernard Berrian has already turned down an extension with nearly $8 million guaranteed in June and is poised to be the top receiver on the market after New England's Randy Moss according to the Chicago Sun-Times. But Berrian did think contract during the year by switching to agent Drew Rosenhaus, who is in line to have more than two dozen unrestricted free agents. The Bears are considered a long shot to bring Berrian back. After all, what attracts a receiver besides money? The quarterback. Asked if that would play a role in his decision, Berrian replied: "It might.'' Rumored teams with interest: Jets


Bears Keep Both Coordinators

Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith said Sunday he will not change coordinators despite a 7-9 record and a team that was suspect on both sides of the ball at times this season the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Ron Turner will be back to have his play-calling ability questioned again next season. Defensive coordinator Bob Babich — Smith's hand-picked successor to Ron Rivera, who was run off despite a Super Bowl appearance last season — also will remain. Smith said recently the evaluations of the two coordinators were not related. In other words, you don't keep Turner simply because it would be unfair to fire him when Babich arguably had done a worse job.


Eagles Will Try To Re-Sign Smith, Add DE Allen?

Quoting two league sources, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported the Philadelphia Eagles will make another attempt at resigning free-agent-to-be tight end L.J. Smith. The Eagles never came close to an agreement with Smith's agent, Brian Mackler, when the sides tried to negotiate a contract extension. It's also possible the Eagles could place the franchise tag on Smith. The franchise tag for tight ends is $4.37 million. Smith, an unrestricted free agent limited to 10 games this year by groin and knee injuries. Smith finished the season with career lows in catches (22), receiving yards (236), yards per catch (10.7) and touchdowns (1).


With it becoming apparent Jevon Kearse will be playing his final game with the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported it wouldn't be surprising if the Eagles went after someone like Kansas City defensive end Jared Allen if he became available. The Jim Johnson, Philadelphia defensive philosophy puts a high priority on outside pass rushers. Allen, who has 131/2 sacks this season, would be an incredible complement to Trent Cole, who leads the Eagles with 121/2 sacks. Kearse has only 31/2 sacks this season.

Sources: Yahoo


Martz Fired

As I reported yesterday, the controversial offensive coordinator Mike Martz has been informed he will not be returning to the team in 2008. Kippy Brown, the Lions' wide receivers coach for two years under Martz and offensive coordinator of the Dolphins in 1988-89, will succeed Martz, according to published reports citing NFL sources. Martz has one year remaining on a three-year deal he signed in 2006. The Lions went to Arizona and turned in the worst rushing performance in modern NFL history. They posted minus-18 yards, the lowest total since sack yardage stopped being included in rushing yardage in 1947. The NFL record for fewest rushing attempts in a game is six. The Lions had games with seven, eight and nine rushing attempts.


Bears Have Cap Issues

Age and salary-cap limitations could force the Chicago Bears into parting ways with names that have become familiar during the previous three-year run of success according to the Chicago Tribune. On offense, that could mean the end of the Chicago road for tackle Fred Miller, guard Ruben Brown, wide receivers Bernard Berrian and Muhsin Muhammad, tight end John Gilmore and possibly quarterback Rex Grossman. Miller will count $5.8 million toward the cap, unless he restructures, and that's too much for a veteran coming off a bad year. Even Miller has talked like a guy who understands his exit is near. Muhammad has sounded willing to rework his deal to stay in town if Berrian bolts, as expected.


Testaverde Set To Retire

After 21 seasons, Vinny Testaverde has had enough. The 44-year-old quarterback said Saturday that he'll retire after Carolina's season finale at Tampa Bay on Sunday. "I just feel like it's time," Testaverde told The Associated Press before boarding the team bus for the airport. Obviously at 44 it does get a little bit tougher as the weeks go by. I'm glad I'm able to do it on my own terms and walk away from the game not only healthy, but to experience some of the things I've been through." Testaverde was out of the league until the Panthers, desperate for quarterback help after injuries to Jake Delhomme and David Carr, signed him on Oct. 10. Four days and only three practices later, Testaverde became the oldest starting QB to win a game when he led the Panthers to a victory at Arizona. "It's going to be, for me, one of my special moments in the NFL," Testaverde said. "To come in with three days of preparation and go out and help a team win a football game and contribute, I'm proud of the fact I was able to do that." Testaverde started five more games for Carolina and completed 94 of 172 passes for 952 yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions. But his body wore down late in the season, and he was sidelined by back pain and a right Achilles tendon injury that kept him out of games and practices the past month. Testaverde said he started contemplating retirement several weeks ago. "You want to be able to go out there and perform the way you think you can," Testaverde said. "When you have some things that hinder you from doing that, it makes it tougher." Testaverde's final game will come where his pro career started. The 1986 Heisman Trophy winner at Miami, Testaverde was the No. 1 overall pick by Tampa Bay in the 1987 draft. He got off to rocky start, throwing 13 touchdown passes and 35 interceptions in his second season with the Buccaneers, his first as the full-time starter. AP


A Record Night!

The Patriots became the first team since the 72' Dolphins to go undefeated in the regular season clinching their sixteenth win with a 38-35 victory against the New York Giants.

Tom Brady tied a season record for touchdown passes and Randy Moss for touchdown catches when the two combined on a 4-yard touchdown on the first play of the second quarter against the New York Giants on Saturday night. It also gave New England a record for most points by a team in a season -- 561. The play gave Brady 49 TD passes for the season, tying Peyton Manning's 2004 record. Moss now has 22 catches, tying Jerry Rice, who did it in 12 games during a strike-marred 1987 season. The play gave the Patriots a 10-7 lead over the Giants and 561 points for the season. The old mark was 556 by the 1998 Vikings.

More Tomorrow...


Browns Will Bring Lewis Back Next Year

The Cleveland Browns intend to bring running back Jamal Lewis back next season, a source told the Cleveland Plain Dealer Friday. Lewis, with 1,176 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, is on pace for his fourth-highest career rushing total of 1,260 yards despite missing one full game and lasting only one play of another before leaving with a foot injury. Lewis' one-year contract, which increased from $3.5 million to $5 million with incentives, is up after this season. He will be an unrestricted free agent in March. Lewis' agent, Mitch Frankel, said Friday that talks regarding a contract extension have not begun. But the Browns will address it after the season, the source said.
Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer


Week 17 Picks

Here are my picks for week 17...next week will be the first round of the playoff picks...

NE @ NYG Sat 8:15PM- Patriots

CIN @ MIA Sun 1:00PM- Bengals

BUF @ PHI Sun 1:00PM- Eagles

CAR @ TB Sun 1:00PM- Panthers

JAC @ HOU Sun 1:00PM- Jaguars

SEA @ ATL Sun 1:00PM- Seahawks

NO @ CHI Sun 1:00PM- Saints

SF @ CLE Sun 1:00PM- Browns

DET @ GNB Sun 1:00PM- Packers

MIN @ DEN Sun 4:15PM- Vikings

DAL @ WAS Sun 4:15PM- Cowboys

PIT @ BAL Sun 4:15PM- Steelers

STL @ ARI Sun 4:15PM- Cardinals

SD @ OAK Sun 4:15PM- Chargers

KC @ NYJ Sun 4:15PM- Jets

TEN @ IND Sun 8:15PM- Colts


Sanders Signs Record Contract

Indianapolis Colts safety Bob Sanders has signed a five-year, $37.5 million contract with Indianapolis that includes $20 million in guaranteed money, according to NFL sources. The contract makes Sanders, 26, the highest-paid safety in the NFL. The Pro Bowl selection, whose playoff performance sparked the Colts on their run to a Super Bowl victory last season, would have been an unrestricted free agent after this season. Sanders is a strong contender for this year's NFL defensive player of the year honors. The Colts have doled out record contracts before to other top players. Before the start of training camp, Dwight Freeney signed a $72 million, six-year deal, making him the league's highest-paid defensive end. The contract included a $30 million signing bonus. After the 2003 season, quarterback Peyton Manning agreed to what was a then-record $99.2 million, seven-year contract that contained a still-record $34.5 million signing bonus. Sanders' signing is significant because Colts tight end Dallas Clark, who is having a career year, is an unrestricted free agent after this season. Getting Sanders signed now means that if Indianapolis can't reach agreement with Clark on a new deal, it will have the option of using the franchise tag to retain him for 2008. Sanders' average salary of $7.5 million under the extension is nearly $1 million more than what the Pittsburgh Steelers' Troy Polamalu got in his new deal in July, and the guaranteed money is more than what Ed Reed got when he signed an extension with the Baltimore Ravens in June 2006. ~Chris Mortenson, ESPN~


Singletary Interested In Falcon's Job

Hall of Fame linebacker and San Francisco 49ers assistant coach Mike Singletary has expressed an interest in the Atlanta Falcons head coaching job according to a report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. He interviewed with the Falcons for the job that eventually went to Bobby Petrino, who quit on the team this season after 13 games. He was also a candidate for vacancies in Dallas and San Diego last season. Singletary told the AJC he didn't, "just want any coaching job ... It has to be the right fit." Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Cowboys Sign Crayton, Who's Next?

The members of the Dallas Cowboys who arrived fighting for roster spots are now multimillionaies. Wide receiver Patrick Crayton, who signed a four-year deal that could be worth as much as $14, joined QB Tony Romo and DT Jay Ratliff in the big bucks club. Owner Jerry Jones probably isn't done handing out big contracts either, DE Chris Canty and RB Marion "The Barbarian" Barber should be cashing in soon.


Cleveland To Let Anderson Leave?

The Cleveland Browns signed third-string quarterback Ken Dorsey to a contract extension through 2010. The signing of Dorsey, who was cut by the team before the start of the season, could be meaningless or could be a prelude to bigger roster moves. Profootballtalk.com continues to speculate that Derek Anderson could be allowed to walk in free agency to the Miami Dolphins, who would surrender draft picks as compensation. One of those picks could go to select running back Darren McFadden from Arkansas. Dorsey is a friend and mentor to rookie quarterback Brady Quinn, who would take over the starting job if Anderson is allow to go elsewhere.


Jets Have Targets

With almost $28 million in salary-cap room, seven draft picks (including a possible top-five choice) and a couple of bargaining chips for the trade market (Chad Pennington and Jonathan Vilma), the New York Jets should be able to return to respectability the New York Daily News reported. The early word is that Mike Tannenbaum, known as a frugal spender, is prepared to be a big player in free agency. Don't be surprised if the Jets' wish list includes Baltimore Ravens OLB Terrell Suggs, Tennessee Titans DT Albert Haynesworth and Chicago Bears WR Bernard Berrian. This could be a make-or-break offseason for "Tangini." Their to-do list is daunting.


Vikings Have Off-Season Targets

The Minnesota Vikings say they will evaluate their quarterback status at the end of the season according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. But there seems little doubt that they will inquire about the availability of Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb this winter. The problem for Minnesota is that McNabb, 31, would cost at least two first-round draft picks. If the Vikings decide to return with 24-year-old Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback, they'll need to try to trade for the Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald of Minneapolis, who might also cost a couple of first-round draft picks, or sign at least two other premier wide receivers.


Russell Will Start Next Week

Despite a rough and ragged outing in his longest stint of the year on Sunday afternoon, rookie quarterback JaMarcus Russell, the top pick in the 2007 draft, will get the first start of his career when the Oakland Raiders conclude the season against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. First-year coach Lane Kiffin, who brought Russell along slowly after the former LSU star missed all of training camp as contract negotiations dragged on, has been reluctant to install the rookie as his starter. And Kiffin's worst fears were realized in Sunday's 49-11 loss to Jacksonville, when Russell had four turnovers and was temporarily knocked from the game with a head injury.
But with only one game remaining on the schedule, the Raiders want to get a long look at Russell so they can assess his progress moving forward into 2008. Russell, who signed a six-year contract with a maximum value of $68 million one week into the season, figures to be the Raiders' starter next year. He will become the team's third different starter in 2007. Josh McCown has started nine games and Daunte Culpepper has six starts. Both are eligible for unrestricted free agency in the spring.


Williams To Be Watched Closely

When Roy Williams returns to work Wednesday for the Dallas Cowboys he will do so with a sharp warning the Dallas Morning News reported. The NFL, in a letter, told the Cowboys strong safety that increased discipline is possible if he commits another horse-collar tackle. Williams missed Saturday's game at Carolina because he was serving a one-game suspension after being penalized for an illegal horse-collar tackle. If Williams is flagged again, he could receive a two-game suspension, including playoff games.


Owens Hurt

Dallas receiver Terrell Owens left the Cowboys' game Saturday night against Carolina because of a left ankle injury. The team said at halftime that he would miss the rest of the game.
Owens' leg got caught underneath him when he was tackled by Jon Beason on a 4-yard catch in the second quarter. After limping around on the sideline for several minutes, Owens walked to the locker room. A television camera later caught Owens walking near the locker room without a shoe on his left foot, accompanied by a trainer and agent Drew Rosenhaus. Owens had five catches for 48 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown catch, before he was injured. The TD was Owens' team-record 15th of the season.


Pacman Still Suspended

The NFL rejected an appeal by the players' union Thursday on behalf of suspended Titans cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell turned down Jones' request for leniency Nov. 6. The NFL Players' Association appealed that ruling as excessive and had a hearing by telephone Dec. 14. But Jones must serve the final two games of his season-long suspension. "Commissioner Goodell notified Adam Jones today that his suspension for the 2007 season will not be modified," the league said in a statement. "Once the Titans have concluded their 2007 season, Jones may begin limited activities at the club's facility and, assuming no further problems, will be eligible to participate fully in Tennessee's off-season workout program." He pleaded no contest in early December to a disorderly conduct charge, agreeing to a year probation, random drug testing, community service and anger management classes. Jones has been arrested six times since being drafted, including two arrests in Georgia in 2006 that the Titans did not learn about until 2007. Charges in two other cases are pending. A felony obstruction charge in Georgia from February 2006 is on a court docket for March, and public intoxication and disorderly conduct charges in Tennessee from August 2006 are on a court docket for Jan. 3. ESPN


Week 16 Picks

Here are my picks for week 16...

Pittsburgh at St. Louis- Steelers

Dallas at Carolina- Cowboys

Oakland at Jacksonville- Jaguars

Philadelphia at New Orleans- Saints

Kansas City at Detroit- Lions

Cleveland at Cincinnati- Browns

Green Bay at Chicago- Packers

NY Giants at Buffalo- Giants

Houston at Indianapolis- Colts

Atlanta at Arizona- Cardinals

Tampa Bay at San Francisco- Buccaneers

Baltimore at Seattle- Seahawks

Miami at New England- Patriots

NY Jets at Tennessee- Titans

Washington at Minnesota- Vikings

Denver at San Diego- Chargers


Russell To Start?

Oakland Raiders coach Lane Kiffin seems to have soured on bringing No.1 draft choice JaMarcus Russell off the bench for a few series, as he's done the past two home games against the Broncos and Colts. Russell is going to be the starter or he is going to be the closer Sunday. What he will not be, for once, is the middle reliever. So said Kiffin, who was vague as ever about his quarterback plans Wednesday as his team prepared for a weekend trip to Jacksonville. "Uh-huh," Kiffin said when asked if Russell, the reigning No. 1 overall draft pick, could make his first NFL start. "There's a possibility of it. We're still looking at it. There's a bunch of different ways to do it."


Parcells To Be VP For Dolphins

Bill Parcells signed a four-year contract with the Miami Dolphins to become the team's executive vice president of football operations on Thursday. Parcells faxed the contract to the team, less than a day after turning down an offer to join the Atlanta Falcons. "He has a proven track record of success everywhere he has been in the National Football League," Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga said Thursday afternoon. "And his football acumen will help put the Miami Dolphins franchise back among the elite of the NFL." The two-time Super Bowl champion coach will report directly to Huizenga, whose affinity for big-name help now has led him to Parcells -- a 66-year-old former coach of four NFL clubs who owns a home in South Florida and now has a job there, too.


Troy Smith To Start Sunday

Rookie quarterback Troy Smith will make his first start Sunday when the Baltimore Ravens visit the Seattle Seahawks. With Kyle Boller missing his second consecutive day of practice because of lingering effects from a concussion, including headaches and sensitivity to light, Ravens coach Brian Billick confirmed Thursday Smith will take his place. "With Kyle, it would be problematic for him on Sunday, so, hopefully, he will be available to back up," Billick said. "Missing two days of practice would make it tough. We're certainly not going to put him at risk." Billick acknowledged that Smith, last year's Heisman Trophy winner at Ohio State, may also start the season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers because of Boller's injury. "Concussions are very unpredictable," Billick said. Smith will be the third quarterback to start for the Ravens this season. Steve McNair started six of the first nine games, but struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness and was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 3. Smith rushed for a touchdown in his NFL debut against Indianapolis on Dec. 9, and directed a game-tying drive in regulation in a 22-16 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. (AP)


Who's Going To Start?

Lovie Smith was asked multiple times Tuesday whether Kyle Orton would get his second start when the Green Bay Packers visit the Chicago Bears at Soldier Fieild. Multiple times Smith refused to say. It appears the door is open for the return of Brian Griese. A source told the Chicago Sun-Times Tuesday evening that no change had been announced, and switching back to Griese would indicate Smith made an error in handing the job to Orton last week while saying Orton gave the Bears the best chance to beat the Minnesota Vikings. Asked after the 20-13 loss Monday night at the Metrodome if Orton would be the starter for the final two games, offensive coordinator Ron Turner responded: ''Oh, yeah. No doubt. As far as I know. Next week we've got Green Bay, short week, let's go.'' Source: Chicago Sun-Times


Pro Bowl Rosters

Here are links to check out the pro bowl rosters

NFC Roster
*Sean Taylor was voted to the probowl.
AFC Roster


In other news, Roddy White and four other Atlanta Falcons were fined by the NFL for violating uniform regulations with tributes to Michael Vick during last week's Monday night game. Vick, Atlanta's suspended Pro Bowl quarterback, was sentenced to 23 months in prison on federal dogfighting charges the morning of Dec. 10. The Falcons played at home against New Orleans that night. After scoring a touchdown, White displayed a "Free Mike Vick" T-shirt under his jersey. He, along with tight end Alge Crumpler and cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall and Chris Houston, were fined $10,000 each. Crumpler, Hall and Houston all wore black eye strips with written tributes to Vick, which the league called "displaying an unauthorized personal message." Wide receiver Joe Horn was fined $7,500 for pulling up White's jersey to show the black T-shirt with handwritten white lettering. The fines were confirmed Tuesday by NFL spokesman Randall Liu. (AP)


Henry Back After Suspension

Tennessee rookie running back Chris Henry returned to the Titans on Monday after serving his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on anabolic steroids and related substances. Coach Jeff Fisher said Henry was back in the team's building Monday and stayed in good shape. "He missed being around. He's looking forward to contributing again," Fisher said. Henry originally fought his suspension before dropping his appeal for a positive test involving a substance added to the league's banned list within the past year. He still ranks fourth on the roster with 104 yards on 22 carries with two touchdowns in limited playing time.


Big News!

  • The Dolphins won their first game this season with an overtime touchdown
  • Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis was forced out of Sunday's game at Miami with a broken left hand.
  • Brett Favre broke Dan Marino's all time passing yards record
  • The Packers clinched a first round bye
  • The Buccaneers clinched the NFC South
  • Kellen Clemens was hurt in the first quarter of today's game against the Patriots

More To Come...


Belichick Denies Granting Jets Video Permission

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Friday the New York Jets never requested permission to use an extra video camera in last season's playoff game in Foxborough, directly contradicting Eric Mangini's explanation of the events according to the New York Daily News. "I was never asked for permission nor was anyone in our video department asked for permission for a second end-zone camera," Belichick told NBCSports.com. Evidently, someone isn't telling the truth. Mangini, responding to published reports Wednesday that said a Jets cameraman was stopped from taping, said the team received approval from the Patriots to shoot from both end zones. The Patriots never filed a complaint with the NFL about last January's incident, and the league isn't investigating the matter. Spokesman Greg Aiello said this week there are "no restrictions on shooting from both end-zone positions as long as the opportunity is provided to both teams." Click here to see my first artical about this.


Week 15 Picks

Here are my picks for week 15...

Denver at Houston- Broncos

Cincinnati at San Francisco- Bengals

Jacksonville at Pittsburgh- Jaguars

Atlanta at Tampa Bay- Buccaneers

Seattle at Carolina- Seahawks

Green Bay at St. Louis- Packers

Baltimore at Miami- Ravens

NY Jets at New England- Patriots

Arizona at New Orleans- Saints

Buffalo at Cleveland- Browns

Tennessee at Kansas City- Titans

Indianapolis at Oakland- Colts

Detroit at San Diego- Chargers

Philadelphia at Dallas- Eagles

Washington at NY Giants- Giants

Chicago at Minnesota- Vikings


McAllister Put On IR

Chris McAlister's season ended Wednesday when the Baltimore Ravens placed the Pro Bowl cornerback on injured reserve because of a right knee injury according to a report in the Baltimore Sun. With McAlister out, the Ravens probably will start Samari Rolle and Corey Ivy at cornerback and play Derrick Martin at nickel back Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. If Rolle, who missed practice yesterday with a shoulder injury, is sidelined, too, the Ravens likely will start Ivy and Martin and use David Pittman at nickel back

Source: Baltimore Sun


Jets Taped Patriots Last Year

So the video controversy between the New York Jets and New England Patriots came to a head in September. What fans may not know is the two franchises have shared barbs over video thoughout 2006. At a game in Foxborough, a Jets employee was caught videotaping from the end-zone stands, according to a league source. The camera wasn't confiscated and the incident wasn't reported to the league, but Patriots officials were miffed. Just recently, a team official mentioned the incident in a conversation about this Sunday's Jets-Patriots game. The accusation was denied by Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum. Before the Foxborough incident, the Jets sniffed out a Patriots spy at the September, 2006 game at the Meadowlands, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. At the time, the Jets didn't report it because they were unable to confiscate the camera or the tape.

Source: New York Daily News


Steelers' Smith Out For Season

The Pittsburgh Steelers have lost star defensive end Aaron Smith for the rest of the season with a torn biceps sustained in Sunday's blowout loss to the New England Patriots. Coach Mike Tomlin revealed the injury at his Tuesday news briefing. The injury is not expected to be career threatening, Tomlin said. Smith was placed on injured reserve, a move that means he cannot return this season. Defensive lineman Ryan McBean was promoted to the 53-man roster. "Being the guy he is, he continued on," Tomlin said Tuesday. "He came out a few times, and that was worrisome because this guy doesn't come out of games." The Steelers are already playing without starting safeties Ryan Clark, who was placed on injured reserve earlier this season, and Troy Polamalu, who has missed the last three games. The additonal loss of Smith, one of the best two-way defensive ends in the league, is a significant blow to the NFL's top-rated defense.


Petrino Resigns, Won't Finish Season

Bobby Petrino abruptly resigned Tuesday as Atlanta Falcons coach after 13 games, and multiple sources told ESPN he is negotiating an agreement to become the new coach at Arkansas. Petrino and his agent had been talking with the Falcons about his preference to return to the college ranks. He had only left Louisville in January, agreeing to a five-year, $24 million contract to coach the Falcons. Arkansas had no immediate comment on its coaching search, but called an 11:30 p.m. ET news conference in Fayetteville for a "major announcement." Petrino is expected to attend. Citing the team as its source, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on its Web site that Petrino phoned the Falcons about 5:45 p.m. Tuesday and resigned. Petrino and the team agreed he would not coach the Falcons' remaining three games. The Falcons declined further comment beyond a terse, two-paragraph statement released Tuesday night. Owner Arthur Blank and general manager Rich McKay were scheduled to hold a news conference at 2 p.m. ET Wednesday. Petrino and Arkansas do not have a deal, the sources told ESPN, but once one is in place, Petrino is expected to be paid around $3 million a year to succeed Houston Nutt, who resigned after a tumultuous season and hours later took the Mississippi job. Source: ESPN


Vick Gets 23 Months

Michael Vick was sentenced to prison Monday for running a dogfighting operation and will stay there longer than two co-defendants, up to 23 months, because he lied about his nvolvement when he was supposed to be coming clean to the judge who would decide his fate. The disgraced NFL star received a harsher sentence than the others in the federal conspiracy case because of "less than truthful" statements about killing pit bulls. Vick said he accepted responsibility for his actions, but U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson said he wasn't so sure. "I'm not convinced you've fully accepted responsibility," Hudson told Vick, who arrived in court wearing the black-and-white striped prison uniform he was issued when he voluntarily surrendered Nov. 19 to begin serving his sentence early. Despite the early surrender, a public apology and participation in an animal sensitivity training course, Vick was denied an "acceptance of responsibility" credit that would have reduced his sentence. Federal prosecutors opposed awarding Vick the credit. Dogs that did not perform up to expectations were killed by electrocution, hanging, drowning and other violent means by the dogfighting ring. Hudson said evidence, including statements by the co-defendants, showed Vick was more directly involved than he admitted. Hudson also mentioned that Vick had been deceptive on a polygraph test. Though that evidence was not admissible in court, the results were discussed. "He did more than fund it," prosecutor Michael Gill said, referring to the "Bad Newz Kennels" dogfighting operation. "He was in this thing up to his neck with the other defendants." The judge agreed. AP Article


Orton To Start For Bears

With Rex Grossman hurt and Brian Griese continually ineffective, Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith will turn to No. 3 quarterback Kyle Orton, who has not played at all this season, to start against the Minnesota Vikings next Monday night. Orton, 25, started 15 games for the Bears as a rookie in 2005, after Grossman was injured but has not thrown a pass in the nearly two full seasons since. He did pilot Chicago to an eight-game winning streak in 2005 and led the Bears to a division title. "I'm a better player now than I was as a rookie," Orton told Chicago-area reporters on Monday afternoon. "If I play well and win football games, it will be my job. This is the most excited I've been, and I look forward to the game. I'm just a better player [now]." In a season of instability at the position, the Bears will become the sixth franchise to use three different starting quarterbacks this season. Orton will become the NFL's 57th different star6ter for 2007. Grossman opened the season as the starter, lost his job to Griese and then regained it. But the former first-round choice suffered a knee injury in last Thursday's loss at Washington and, while he will not need surgery, the injury will sideline him for the balance of the season. In all, Grossman logged seven starts and Griese six this season. It is believed that, barring injury, Orton will be the starter for the final three games of the campaign. "He's a smart football player with a strong arm," Smith said in making the announcement that Orton will start. "Our guys have played with him, so they know It's just time to see what Kyle can do." In his 15 appearances in 2005, Orton completed 190 of 368 passes for 1,869 yards, with nine touchdown passes and 13 interceptions, for a passer rating of 59.7. With Orton in the lineup that year, the Bears relied heavily on their running game and a rugged defense. A former Purdue standout, Orton was a fourth-round choice in the 2005 draft.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times,Tribune, ESPN


Bulger Out

Rams quarterback Marc Bulger will not play this weekend after suffering a setback in his recovery from a concussion, the St. Louis Rams announced Saturday morning. The team also announced that Brock Berlin, who has never attempted a pass in a regular-season game, would start Sunday at Cincinnati. Bulger passed a neurological exam Tuesday and was cleared to practice but began feeling poorly during meetings Thursday afternoon, Rams coach Scott Linehan said. There also are signs that Bulger's absence may not be limited to Sunday. "It's indefinite," Linehan said Saturday, adding that Todd Bouman, signed by the team on Friday, will be the No. 2 quarterback against the Cincinnati Bengals. Regular backup Gus Frerotte will be the emergency quarterback for the Rams. Frerotte partially tore the labrum in his right (throwing) shoulder in Sunday's win over Atlanta. Frerotte can hand off but is unable to throw, Linehan said. Bouman, 35, is an 11-year veteran out of St. Cloud State. He has played in 42 games with Minnesota, Green Bay, New Orleans and Jacksonsville. Bulger, who was not made available to the media after practice Friday, was injured in the first quarter of a 24-19 loss to the Seahawks on Nov. 25 and had failed the neurological exam last week. After passing the test Tuesday, he worked out Wednesday and Thursday and took some limited snaps Friday. Source: ESPN news services


Bush Likely Out For Season

New Orleans Saints tailback Reggie Bush, who will not require surgery to repair a partially torn ligament in his left knee, will not play Monday night at Atlanta. Sources told ESPN and ESPN.com that the former Heisman Trophy winner is likely to miss the rest of the season. ESPN's Chris Mortensen first reported Friday afternoon that Bush had a partial tear of the posterior cruciate ligament, and Saints officials subsequently confirmed the injury. League sources told ESPN.com that Bush sustained the injury in a Nov. 4 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, that he aggravated it in another game and has played the past month with it. "It just got to the point, though, where he couldn't [play] anymore," a league source said. "He's a tougher kid than people realize, but it was only getting worse. At this point, he's just really beaten up." The former Southern California star and the second player chosen overall in the 2006 draft, Bush has already undergone at least one MRI examination and will visit noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Monday. A determination on how best to treat the injury will then be made. It isn't unusual for a PCL injuries not to require surgery, and such tears typically heal with rest and rehabilitation. Bush practiced on Thursday and did not indicate he was having any trouble when he spoke to reporters after practice. However, he became sore that evening and the team ordered a precautionary MRI, which indicated a tear in his posterior cruciate ligament. The injury is the latest setback for Bush, who acknowledged on Thursday that he has performed below his expectations since taking over as the Saints' featured running back after Deuce McAllister's season-ending knee injury in Week 3. In 12 games, Bush has rushed for 581 yards and four touchdowns on 157 carries. He also has 73 receptions for 417 yards and two touchdowns. But his longest plays from scrimmage have been a 22-yard run and a 25-yard reception, and the usually sure-handed Bush has 10 dropped passes and has fumbled eight times, losing three. Source: ESPN


Griese's Back In, Grossman Hurt

AP Chicago quarterback Rex Grossman left in the first quarter of Thursday night's game against the Washington Redskins with a knee injury, and the Bears said he would not return. Grossman's left leg twisted awkwardly when he was driven into the ground by defensive lineman Cornelius Griffin. The injury happened on Chicago's second possession, slightly more than four minutes into the game. Grossman was 2-for-6 for 14 yards to that point. He was replaced by Brian Griese. Early in the second quarter, Bears defensive tackle Antonio Garay left with an ankle injury. Chicago said he wouldn't return, either. Redskins right guard Randy Thomas, who had been out since Week 2 with a torn triceps, returned to the starting lineup Thursday, but he left in the first half with an elbow injury. The team said his return was questionable.


Week 14 Picks

Here are my picks for week 14...

CHI @ WAS- Bears

CAR @ JAC- Jaguars

MIA @ BUF- Bills

SD @ TEN- Chargers

TB @ HOU- Buccaneers

OAK @ GB- Packers

DAL @ DET- Cowboys

NYG @ PHI- Eagles

STL @ CIN- Rams

ARI @ SEA- Seahawks

MIN @ SF- Vikings

KC @ DEN- Broncos

PIT @ NE- Patriots

CLE @ NYJ- Browns

IND @ BAL- Colts

NO@ ATL- Saints


Redman To Start For Falcons

For the fifth time in seven games, Atlanta Falcons coach Bobby Petrino is making a quarterback switch in an effort to jump-start his sagging offense, with little-used Chris Redman taking over as the starter for Monday night's game against New Orleans. The start will be Redman's first in a regular-season game since Oct. 20, 2002, when he was playing with the Baltimore Ravens. Since that game, he has thrown only 24 passes. "It's unbelievable," Redman said. "I have a chance to be on a pedestal that I never thought I would be on again, to be honest. I want to take advantage of this opportunity." On the Atlanta quarterback carousel, Joey Harrington has started 10 games and Byron Leftwich two contests for the 3-9 Falcons, and both have lost and regained the No. 1 job at various junctures over the past month. But Leftwich has been unable to stay healthy, and Harrington has been ineffective lately, so Petrino is making another change. The Falcons will become the fourth franchise in the league in 2007 to use three different starting quarterbacks. Redman will become the league's 55th different starter this year. Redman, 29, played well in relief of Harrington last Sunday, completing 16 of 24 passes for 172 yards, with one touchdown pass and one interception against St. Louis. He rallied the Falcons back to within one score, but then the Rams pulled away for a 28-16 victory. "I did it for one quarter," he said. "Now I've got to show I can do it for four quarters." Of all the Atlanta quarterbacks, Redman is arguably the best versed in the Petrino offense, since he played in it while in college. Petrino was the offensive coordinator at Louisville for part of Redman's career there, and that is one of the reasons the Falcons signed him as a free agent in the offseason.
Originally a third-round choice of the Ravens in the 2000 draft, Redman won the starting job in 2002, and was generally viewed as Baltimore's long-term solution at the critical position. He started the first six games that year, then was sidelined by a season-ending back injury.


Favre Wins SI Sportsman Of The Year Award

Brett Favre's standout season for the resurgent Green Bay Packers has earned him the title of 2007 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, making him the fourth quarterback to win the award in its 53-year history. The 38-year-old Favre joins fellow quarterbacks Terry Bradshaw (1979), Joe Montana (1990) and Tom Brady (2005) as recipients of the award, given to an athlete who symbolizes the ideals of sportsmanship. Favre, a three-time NFL MVP, said in the cover story of the magazine's Dec. 10th issue that leadership is about finding ways to raise his team's level of play. "You do that by setting an example, by doing things the right way. I've always shown up, I've always been prepared, I practice every day," Favre said. "I practice hard. I study. No matter what happens on the field, I never point blame at anybody else. Everything I do comes back to leadership, the example I want to set." Favre has started a quarterback-record 249 consecutive games, and this year surpassed Dan Marino for career touchdown passes and pass attempts. He is 450 yards away from breaking Marino's career record of 61,361 yards. Favre has had one of the best seasons of his 17-year career, completing 67.4 percent of his passes for 3,412 yards with 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He's on pace to surpass his career marks in completion percentage, yards passing and fewest interceptions per attempts. The magazine also recognized Favre's history of philanthropy, including his Fourward Foundation that's donated more than $4 million to charities in Wisconsin and Mississippi and assisted Mississippi's Gulf Coast counties after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade won the magazine's award last year. AP Article


NFL Investingating Rolle's Penalty

The NFL is looking into an accusation made by Baltimore Ravens cornerback Samari Rolle that an official called him a "boy" during Monday night's 27-24 loss to New England. "The refs called me a boy. No. 110 called me a boy," Rolle said in the locker room after the game. "I will be calling my agent in the morning and sending my complaint. I have a wife and three kids. Don't call me a boy. Don't call me a boy on the field during a game because I said, 'You've never played football before.' " NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Tuesday the league is looking in to the situation. No. 110 is head linesman Phil McKinnely, a former player for three NFL teams during the 1970s and '80s. McKinnely, who played collegiately at UCLA, is black, as is Rolle. The Ravens were demonstrative after the game about the officiating, especially on the final drive that led to Tom Brady's pass to Jabar Gaffney for the winning touchdown with 44 seconds left. After the touchdown, set up by a fourth-down defensive holding call on Jamaine Winborne, linebacker Bart Scott was penalized 15 yards for complaining and another 15 yards for throwing the official's flag. "In a game of this magnitude, you don't make that kind of call," Rolle said. "Let the players decide the outcome of the game. You can crown them champions now. I'm not taking anything away from them. They are a great team. They're not asking the refs to help them, but it's just an empty feeling."


Henry Wins Appeal, Will Return

Denver Broncos halfback Travis Henry won an appeal of his one-year drug suspension and will be able to finish out the remainder of the season. The NFL informed Henry in September he had failed a test for marijuana. He disputed the results and sued the NFL to avoid a suspension. He contended the league violated its substance abuse policy by not allowing an expert of Henry's choosing to be present for the testing. Henry's lawyer Harvey Steinberg told The Associated Press that he wasn't surprised by the decision. "I'm thrilled," Steinberg said. "I always thought we should prevail. I knew that if we got a fair shake, based on the evidence, we'd win. Travis knows and he's absolutely thrilled and relieved and very happy." Henry claimed his positive drug test for marijuana was because he was a victim of secondhand smoke. Faced with the possibility of getting a one-year suspension because he's been a past offender, Henry even took his case to a federal court. After waiting for a ruling, Henry was notified Tuesday afternoon he won his appeal. "Travis Henry will remain in the substance abuse program, must continue to adhere to all aspects of it, but will not be suspended following his appeal," the NFL announced in a statement Tuesday. Source: John Clayton, ESPN


McNair Put On IR

Steve McNair was placed on injured reserve Monday afternoon, ending the quarterback's injury-plagued season with the Baltimore Ravens and raising questions about his future with the franchise. McNair, 34, will undergo Tuesday morning surgery to repair damage to his left shoulder. It will be the seventh surgery of the 13-year veteran's career. The move was not altogether surprising, given that McNair has not shown much progress in recovering from his shoulder injury and the Ravens are all but out of the playoff chase. In a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Nov. 11, McNair sustained a partial dislocation of his non-throwing shoulder and also damage to the rotator cuff. Those injuries both will be dealt with during Tuesday's surgery. McNair's rehabilitation is expected to take months. Five-year veteran Kyle Boller, the Ravens' first round choice in the 2003 draft, will make his third straight start when Baltimore faces New England on "Monday Night Football", and he will remain in that role the rest of the season. Boller and rookie Troy Smith, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and a fifth-round choice in 2007 from Ohio State, are the only quarterbacks on the Ravens' roster. The team probably will sign another backup in the next few days. ESPN's Len Pasqurelli


Ward Out Indefinitely

Derrick Ward, the New York Giants' leading rusher, suffered a broken leg Sunday against the Chicago Bears and will be out indefinitely. Ward fractured his left fibula, the thinner of the two bones extending from the knee to the ankle, in the fourth quarter of New York's 21-16 come-from-behind victory. He rushed 24 times for a career-high 154 yards. "At this point in time it doesn't appear to be surgical, but he will be out," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Monday. When asked if he thought that meant for the rest of the season, Coughlin said, "That's the way it appears." Ward, who is in his fourth year, leads the Giants in rushing with 602 yards despite missing the previous four games with ankle and groin injuries. "It's tough to deal with," Ward said Sunday. "I'll bounce back from this like I bounced back from all the other ones." Brandon Jacobs, the opening day starter who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, could replace Ward on Sunday at Philadelphia.

Source: ESPN


Williams Likely Out For Season

Detroit Lions wide receiver Roy Williams is expected to miss the rest of the regular season because of a sprained knee. Lions coach Rod Marinelli announced Monday that Williams has a sprained posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and that he will miss "several weeks." Marinelli said the injury was similar to the one sustained by cornerback Stanley Wilson in the Thanksgiving Day loss to Green Bay, after which Wilson was put on injured reserve. Detroit also lost reserve safety LaMarcus Hicks to a broken ankle, while cornerback Travis Fisher was undergoing tests on his injured wrist. Say goodbye to the Lions playoff hopes!


Russell Makes NFL Debut

(AP) JaMarcus Russell made his NFL debut for the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, entering the game in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos. Russell, the No. 1 overall draft pick in April, had been brought along slowly after missing all of training camp and the exhibition season in a contract dispute. He signed a deal that guaranteed him at least $29 million three days after the season opener. Russell has been working mostly with the scout team and in extra practice sessions designed to help him catch up. Russell got some work with the first team this week because of a quadriceps injury to starter Daunte Culpepper. Coach Lane Kiffin said recently that he wanted to use Russell for a few series at a time at first, to keep him out of difficult situations like the two-minute drill. By making him the second-string quarterback this week, Kiffin was able to make that happen this week. Russell entered to a standing ovation with 13:48 remaining in the second quarter and completed a 16-yard pass to Jerry Porter on his first play.
By NFL rules, if the No. 3 quarterback plays before the fourth quarter, the first two quarterbacks aren't allowed back into the game. Andrew Walter was the third quarterback.
Josh McCown started at quarterback for Oakland and threw a 17-yard TD pass to Tim Dwight on the game's opening drive. Culpepper missed much of practice this week with a sore right quadriceps and was on the inactive list for this game because of the injury. That gave McCown his sixth start off the season and first since Nov. 11 against Chicago despite having two dislocated joints in his non-throwing left pinkie.


Skins Use 10 Man Defense To Honor Taylor

The message was all too clear: Sean Taylor is gone forever. For all of the No. 21 jerseys, waving towels and handwritten signs in the stands Sunday, for all of the flowers at a makeshift memorial outside the stadium, for all of the pregame tributes to the Pro Bowl safety, the most stark reminder of Taylor's plight came when the Washington Redskins lined up on defense for the first time since he was shot to death. Instead of 11 Redskins on the field, as rules allow, there were 10. As the Buffalo Bills got ready to run their first play midway through the first quarter, the man who replaced Taylor in the starting lineup, Reed Doughty, stood near coaches on the sideline with his arms crossed. After watching while Bills running back Fred Jackson gained 22 yards, Doughty entered for the next play -- and made the tackle. The 24-year-old Taylor died Tuesday, a day after being shot at his home in Florida during a burglary. Four men have been charged. The shock has yet to dissipate for Taylor's teammates and fans, and the grieving process continued on game day. "The only way we can honor him right now is to go out there on the field and play. Go out and play football," Redskins defensive end Phillip Daniels said during a pregame video tribute to Taylor. Associated Press


Schaub Leaves Game

Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub left Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans in the first quarter after sustaining a left shoulder injury when he was sacked. Schaub walked off the field holding his left arm. The Texans said he was questionable to return. He was replaced by Sage Rosenfels. Schaub also left Houston's game against Tennessee on Oct. 21 with a knee injury, and Rosenfels rallied the Texans from a 32-7 deficit to take the lead. The Titans eventually won 38-36. Houston starting right guard Fred Weary was carted off the field in the second quarter with the medical staff working on his right leg. Weary raised his right hand to the crowd as the cart left the field. His status was not immediately announced.



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Carr Demoted

Struggling David Carr was demoted to the No. 3 quarterback for the Carolina Panthers on Sunday against San Francisco. Vinny Testaverde was the starter, and undrafted rookie Matt Moore was listed as the backup. Carr was the emergency No. 3 quarterback. The 44-year-old Testaverde returned after missing last Sunday's loss to New Orleans with a sore back. Carr started in his place against the Saints, and was 10-of-22 for 95 yards and two interceptions before being replaced by Moore early in the fourth quarter. The demotion comes after Carr signed a two-year, $6 million free-agent deal with Carolina in the offseason following a five-year stint as the starter in Houston. But when original starter Jake Delhomme was lost to a season-ending elbow injury in Week 3, Carr has thrown three touchdown passes, five interceptions and has a passer rating of 58.3.

Source: ESPN


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