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Following Wrist Surgery, Packers LB Hawk Should be Ready For Camp

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 05:44 AM PDT

Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk, had surgery on his right wrist in February. Hawk told Greg Billing of the Dayton Daily News that the "last piece of hardware" was removed two weeks ago. He doesn't expect to miss time during training camp, if there is one.

Hawk plans to give his wrist a test during the American Century Championship, where he finished 69th out of 83 golfers last year. Hawk, a 200-to-1 shot to win the tournament, said he hasn't played golf since last year's final round of the ACC.

"Football pays my bills so that's the main thing I'm focused on," Hawk said, "just working out and rehabbing the wrist I had surgery on in February."

Packers: NFL Talks In Positive Direction

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 04:17 AM PDT

Legendary senior writer jclombardi looks at nfl lockout and its direction.



Redskins TE Cooley Says Plaxico Burress Worth the Risk

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 03:41 AM PDT

Regardless of what the Redskins do with Donovan McNabb or Albert Haynesworth, they have another glaring deficiency on their team-wide receiver. Sure, they will probably try to re-sign Santana Moss and they drafted some rookies but no one they currently have on their roster exactly screams big-play receiver.

According to Steve Wyche of, Redskins tight end Chris Cooley has a guy in mind he would like to play with on Sundays. Speaking of some of the veteran wide receivers available on Tuesday’s “Cover Two Podcast”, Cooley had this to say:

“It’s tough when you get guys like T.O. or Chad, who have been what they are in the NFL for so long. In my opinion, Plaxico Burress probably is a guy that’s humbled such as Michael Vick was, a lot, in the same situation. If you were going to take a risk on a guy that’s a good player, he’s probably the guy you’re going to take a risk on. “He’ll probably step in a locker room, keep his mouth shut, work hard and try to earn his way back into the league the first season.”

Eagles Will Move Early and Often in Free Agency

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 12:36 AM PDT

According to Eric Edholm of Pro Football Weekly, the Eagles have their free agent moves planned “down to the minute.” Philly is geared up to deal no only with the expected frenzy that will come with a new CBA deal but the odd timing of it. July — often a time for NFL folks’ vacations in normal years before training camps hit at the end of the month — promises to be one of the wackiest months in recent NFL history if the lockout ends in due time.

Like his fellow GMs around the NFL, Howie Roseman knows the laundry list of things that will have to be accomplished in a short time: unrestricted free-agent signings, trades, draft-pick signings and undrafted free-agent signings, not to mention any trades (Kevin Kolb, anyone?) or long-term extensions clubs choose to work out with their players. We hear the Eagles have their plan in place, down to the minute, of how they will attack the opening hours of free agency — if and when it occurs.

Bears LB Urlacher Rips on Soldier Field, Bears Trip to London

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 08:34 PM PDT

Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher was on ESPN1000 in Chicago Thursday morning by way of Kevin Seifert of ESPN. Urlacher gave his opinions on a number of topics.

Bears president Ted Phillips said this spring that the he considers the grass at Soldier Field a home-field advantage. Urlacher said the Bears would be better off playing on an in-fill surface such as FieldTurf if the only other option is worn-out sod. He called the current surface “a disaster,” and when asked it gives the Bears an advantage, he said: “No. You’re both playing on it. The weather I think is the biggest advantage we have against teams that don’t play in our weather.

Urlacher made clear he isn’t happy about the Bears’ October 23rd trip to London to play the Buccaneers. The game could still be moved to Tampa if the NFL doesn’t reach a collective bargaining agreement with its players by August 1st. Urlacher: “No, I’m not excited to go to London. … I don’t understand why they do that. … I am not excited to go to London, I will say that.”

Plaxico Burress is an example of the kind of big receiver Bears coach Lovie Smith has said he wouldn’t mind adding. Asked if Bears players would welcome Burress, Urlacher said: “Heck yeah.” He added: “I’m a big fan of his and always have been a big fan of his football-wise. … He’s a tough matchup for any corner. He’s a good guy, a good red zone guy.”

Dhani Jones did not include Urlacher among his ranking of the NFL’s top 10 linebackers and questioned when Urlacher last “got off a block.” Urlacher’s response: “I think we were drafted in the same class, right? Is he a 2000 guy? I haven’t heard anything about him since then. I saw him on a TV show with a bow-tie on though. So I know him better for how the way he dresses than what he does on a football field. Guys are going to talk. I’ve definitely had a lot worse things said publicly from guys, so I can live with it.”

Cincinnati Could Have a Whole New Backfield in 2011

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 05:31 AM PDT

Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer states that the Bengals backfield could look very different in 2011. Cedric Benson, who was the teams leading rusher the past two seasons, is a free agent who would like to stay in Cincinnati but will be entertaining other offers. He would be a solid veteran presence on what seems sure to be an extremely young offense.

If Benson signs elsewhere, don’t look for Bernard Scott to take over as the featured back. Durability concerns make him only a complementary back-he is too fragile to carry the full load. Restricted free agent FB/RB Brian Leonard was tendered at the second-round level by Cincinnati, an indication the team also wants him back. There’s a good chance he’ll be handling the third-down role again in 2011.

If Benson does leave, look for the Bengals to go after Michael Bush, Ronnie Brown, or perhaps Joseph Addai.

DeMaurice Smith, Roger Goodell Release Statements Following Meetings

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 03:27 AM PDT

NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made the following statements after Thursday’s meeting between the NFL players and owners:

DeMaurice Smith:
"Someone asked me whether I was optimistic. I think we're both optimistic when we have the right people in the room. We know we're talking about the right issues and that we're working hard to get it done. It is extremely complicated, it requires a lot of hard work by a lot of people, but we're committed to getting something done and we're going to keep working at it. Just to wrap up: we're working hard, we understand the fans' frustration, I know our players' frustration. We're going to keep working hard and try to make sure we get a deal done."

Roger Goodell: "You obviously know we met over the last couple of days. We are under court order as far as what we can discuss so our comments will be brief. But obviously we're all working hard. The players and owners were here over the last two days. De and I were here for the entire meetings also. And it's complicated and it's complex, but we're working hard and we understand the fans' frustration. But I think both of us feel strongly that we're going to continue to work hard at it."

Vikings RB Peterson Apologizes, Refunds To Be Given for Camp He Won’t Be At

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 02:00 AM PDT

The guys over at Access Vikings have been busy digging up some dirt on the Vikings biggest superstar, Adrian Peterson.

According to ProCampsWorldwide, the organizers of the youth camp with Peterson's name attached, updated their website in an effort to take all the blame away from Peterson and to place it all on their own shoulders.

"ProCamps Worldwide would like to correct its previous statement regarding this week's Adrian Peterson Camp in Norman, Okla., as well as take full responsibility for the scheduling mishap with this event. We erroneously stated that Adrian's inability to attend the camp results from his involvement with the NFL Network's Top 100 Players of 2011. In fact, he will be visiting the NFL Network on July 3, 2011.

"ProCamps has appreciated the opportunity to assist Adrian with his football camp the past three years and due to a breakdown in communication on our end, the camp was scheduled at a time that prevented Adrian from being able to attend. We would like to note that Adrian has never missed a minute of his camp since the inception and that over 1,000 kids have been impacted as a result. Furthermore, Adrian's commitment to helping kids is reflective in the multiple football camps he has hosted since entering the NFL and continues through his commitment to his personal foundation as well as mission trips assisting kids around the world.

"ProCamps has been working diligently to put together an all-star roster of former OU players to host the camp until Adrian can return next year and continue the event. ProCamps has issued an apology to the campers for the situation as well offered full refunds to participants who do not want to attend and $70 worth of in kind gifts for those who will be attending the camp now hosted by [former Oklahoma players] Jason White, Mark Clayton and DeMarco Murray. We apologize for any convenience this might have caused anyone, specifically to Adrian, as well his fans and all camp attendees."

When Peterson made his infamous slavery comments earlier this offseason I was somewhat willing to accept it as a poor choice of words from a man that seems genuinely generous and very rarely makes a poor choice in his actions.  The poor choices he does make tend to be relatively minor such as driving too fast, asking to use a McDonald's bathroom after hours, or mis-scheduling his own parade to conflict with a mandatory minicamp.

Still, one can't help but be annoyed that the face of the franchise seems to be slipping up more and more frequently with each year, even if this one wasn't entirely his fault.

Brad Childress used to publicly advise Peterson to not stretch himself too thin over the offseason, something that would be easy to do given his fame, but it is unknown if Leslie Frazier has the same mentality.  And, unfortunately, it doesn't matter what Frazier wants to tell Peterson because he can't speak to him at all, thanks to the lockout.

Peterson issued an apology for the misunderstanding as to why he wasn't going to be able to attend the youth football camp that has his name attached to it.

"I want to apologize to all the fans about the confusion regarding the camp in Norman," Peterson said in a statement. "I hosted camps in Palestine and Tyler, Texas, last week that went great. Due to ProCamps misunderstanding of my schedule, I was never able to host this year's Norman camp on their scheduled dates, but look forward to being back in 2012."

To those that opt to not attend the camp after hearing of Peterson's absence, full refunds are available.  ProCamps is offering extra gifts to those that do still attend.

Texans OL Caldwell Says Lockout Throwing Chemistry Off

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 01:57 AM PDT

Texans offensive lineman Antoine Caldwell says that without the regimented offseason workouts, OTAs, and mini-camps, the lockout is testing players’ professionalism and team chemistry.

“You call yourself a profes­sional, but it’s really taking that to a whole other level this summer,” Caldwell said according to Tim Gayle of the Montgomery Advertiser. “You really have to be a professional now because you have to work out every day (on your own), you’ve got to make you stay on the routine, stay on track, because you never know when that call is going to come.

“The toughest part about this summer is the uncertainty of ev­erything. Usually, you know where you need to be every day. You need to be here at 9 a.m., you need to be there at 3 p.m. Every­one’s on the same track so you know exactly where your football team is.

“Now, some guys are in Houston, some guys are back home, some guys are on vacation. It throws the chemistry of the team off.”

A Montgomery native, the 6-foot-4, 307-pound Caldwell has started 10 of the 23 games he’s appeared in since the Texans chose him in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft out of Alabama.

New Possible One-Year Rule Changes Post-Lockout

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 12:55 AM PDT

Once the NFL and NFLPA reach a new collective bargaining agreement, the league is considering possible one-year rule changes to make up for the loss of a normal offseason, Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network reports.

One such rule change, which figures to delight NFL general managers and player agents, is to increase training camp rosters to 90 players.

“I don’t know anyone in my position who wouldn’t support it,” one NFL general manager told La Canfora. “We’d love to be able to bring 90 in (for training camp). And from the players’ side, it’s more opportunities for them.”

Teams used to be able to use NFL Europe roster exemptions to carry additional players into training camp. When the NFL shut that operation down, the league opted not to adopt the Competition Committee’s proposal for an 86-man roster.

Player costs is often cited as the reason roster levels have remained at 80.

Another possible change, one that the league is pushing for, comes from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, who tells 101 ESPN in St. Louis that the league is pushing for teams to have three or four “right of first refusals” on their unrestricted free agents.

Such a measure would seriously deplete the bargaining power for these free agents, many of whom were already denied the opportunity to test the open market in 2010. Teams will be reluctant to pursue a player if they know that his former team can match any offer, which would essentially mean they’re doing their opponents negotiating for them.

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