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Tuesday, March 26
 
Whispers from around the NFL

Pro Football Weekly

  • There are reports that Eagles middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, who has been franchised, is on the trading block. It has been suggested that the team would deal Trotter for a third-round pick, but we hear that the team would demand more. Trotter's agent has said that his client is livid over being tagged and insists that he won't ever sign a long-term deal to remain in Philadelphia. The Eagles, meanwhile, are in no hurry to start such negotiations and will wait until July -- provided they don't deal him.

  • Just because the Cowboys signed cornerback Bryant Westbrook doesn't mean they won't use their No. 6 overall draft pick on a corner. However, the addition of Westbrook may give them more options.

    Glover
    Glover

  • The Cowboys were thrilled to land ex-Saints defensive tackle La'Roi Glover as a free agent. They believe he will provide the inside pass rush they have been missing for years. His arrival means the team likely won't re-sign Michael Myers, who was apparently asking for the moon in his initial contract demands. Expect for Glover to be Dallas' three-technique tackle, with Brandon Noble starting at nose tackle.

  • The signing of ex-Ravens wide receiver Patrick Johnson by the Jaguars pretty much seals the fate of Keenan McCardell, who is expected to be released after June 1.

  • The Vikings have discussed the possibility of moving center Matt Birk back to left tackle, where he was a backup for two seasons. At wide receiver, the team has shown interest in Colts free agent Jerome Pathon, Lions free agent Germane Crowell and Bears restricted free agent D'Wayne Bates.

  • The Lions maintain that while they'd like to re-sign wide receiver Germane Crowell, they won't pay top dollar for him because of his injury history. The team also would like to re-sign tight end David Sloan but at a more affordable price.

  • The Bears' signing of kicker Jon Hilbert means Paul Edinger's job is not locked up. Though Edinger had a fine season kicking field goals, he continued to struggle on kickoffs. If Hilbert consistently places the ball deeper than Edinger and makes his kicks, he could win the job.

  • The leading candidate at presstime to head what is expected to be a RB-by-committee approach in Tampa Bay is Cardinals free agent Michael Pittman.

  • With the Buccaneers re-signing free-agent guard Todd Washington -- who we hear was the prime candidate to replace center Olin Kreutz in Chicago had Kreutz opted to sign with Miami -- the future of veteran Bucs center Jeff Christy is more than a bit shaky.

  • PFW has learned that as big a reason as any behind the Bucs' plan to move linebacker Shelton Quarles from the outside to the middle are concerns about the physical condition of undersized middle linebacker Nate Webster, who recently had surgeries on both shoulders.

  • We hear offensive tackle Todd Weiner, who signed a five-year, $17.5 million deal with the Falcons, including a $5.5 million signing bonus, turned down a very similar offer from the Saints.

  • Word out of Atlanta is that new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips won't commit to a 3-4 scheme until he thoroughly evaluates the team's defensive personnel in training camp.

  • We hear the presence of linebacker Henri Crockett, who signed with the Vikings, could be sorely missed in the Falcons' locker room. Crockett, we're told, was especially good working with younger players.

  • If, as expected, the Panthers select defensive end Julius Peppers with the second pick in the draft, don't be surprised if defensive end Jay Williams is approached about restructuring his contract or is perhaps released outright.

  • Considering the Rams offered veteran punter Sean Landeta a one-year, $750,000 deal before Landeta opted to remain with the Eagles, it's pretty obvious incumbent punter John Baker should be worried about his job security.

  • We hear it's only a matter of time before 49ers wide receiver J.J. Stokes, who has a bigger base salary this coming season than Terrell Owens, is asked to take a significant pay cut.

  • Seahawks cornerback Ike Charlton, a second-round pick in 2000 who has been unable to win a starting job, doesn't appear to figure prominently at all in Seattle's plans.

  • It seems that former Colts tight end Ken Dilger has not signed with any team thus far because his asking price is too high. We hear that when Dilger was first cut, he was asking for about $3 million a year. Despite Dilger's all-around skills, no team has been keen on paying him that much money because of his age (31).

  • The Dolphins were stunned at the four-year, $5 million deal the Panthers gave their former third cornerback, Terry Cousin. The Dolphins believe he is only worthy of a spot as the third corner and think the Panthers overpaid for his services.

    Williams
    Williams

  • Since running back Ricky Williams was traded to the Dolphins, he has been going all out to mesh with his new teammates, something he had a hard time doing with the Saints.

  • The Browns are feeling quite frustrated after a busy first few weeks in free agency. Despite signing offensive tackle Ryan Tucker, safety Robert Griffith and defensive end Kenard Lang, the Browns lost in the bidding wars for linebacker Kailee Wong and DT La'Roi Glover. Also, four players they had their eyes on -- offensive lineman Steve McKinney, Mike Wahle and Frank Middleton and running back James Allen -- were signed by other teams before the Browns could make an offer.

  • Browns head coach Butch Davis continues to make a case for running back James Jackson as a reliable featured back, but expect Cleveland to address their backfield in the draft.

  • With Eric Brown not expected to be re-signed, the Broncos' free safety role will be up in the air in the preseason. Recently signed free agent Izell Reese, who was a backup in Dallas last season, could do battle with either cornerbacks Deltha O'Neal or Willie Middlebrooks or a rookie should Denver spend a draft choice there. If the Broncos don't draft a free safety, look for them to possibly shift either Middlebrooks or O'Neal to the middle.

  • The Ravens are looking to free up cap space by possibly restructuring the contracts of players such as linebackers Peter Boulware and Ray Lewis, but the team is not as optimistic with defensive end Michael McCrary's situation. He figures to be released in the coming months unless some agreement can be reached.

  • The Ravens, who are expected to select a wide receiver in the first half of the April draft, would like to add a veteran pass catcher but may have trouble doing so until money becomes available later this summer.

    Pro Football Weekly Material from Pro Football Weekly.
    Visit PFW's web site at http://www.profootballweekly.com






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