Truth & Rumors: Nov. 5, 2004
Posted: Friday November 5, 2004 11:51AM; Updated: Friday November 5, 2004 3:11PM
One of the red-hot rumors making its way around the league has Miami owner Wayne Huizenga replacing coach Dave Wannstedt with Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, and GM Rick Spielman with the Pats' vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli. But that would make too much sense. Shortsighted Huizenga probably will hire Steve Spurrier as coach and GM.
Since helping the Chargers overcome a 1-2 start to move into a first-place tie with Denver in the AFC West, pending free agent quarterback Drew Brees has become the Carlos Beltran of the NFL.
QB David Garrard's stint as the starter could be lengthy if the scheduled re-examination of Byron Leftwich's knee Monday shows more than the sprained lateral collateral ligament already confirmed by the Jaguars.
Steelers linebacker Kendrell Bell is expected to be dressed for the game Sunday against the Eagles, but he will not start and is unsure how much he will play, if at all. Bell has not played since the first preseason game in Detroit.
Cornerback Sheldon Brown agreed to a six-year contract extension with the Eagles. The team is also believed to have pursued extensions with its other first-year starting corner, Lito Sheppard, and with strong safety Mike Lewis.
A contract extension? Jets GM Terry Bradway has earned it, unless the bottom falls out the second half of the season.
Tuesday is the deadline for the Cowboys to decide whether to give Darren Woodson a two-week practice window or scrap this season. And while Cowboys coach Bill Parcells said he is likely to give it another two weeks, owner Jerry Jones said on his weekly radio show that he doubted Woodson would be able to play again this season.
Cornerback Fred Smoot is enthused by the progress of negotiations with the Redskins on a contract extension and hopes to play his entire career with the team.
Jets starting right tackle Kareem McKenzie turned down a long-term contract offer from the club that included nearly $10 million in guaranteed money. He told the club he'll wait until after the season to decide his future.
Bobcats owner Robert Johnson tried unsuccessfully to lure Michael Jordan into his ownership group. "Michael and I talk all the time and he is definitely looking to own his own team," Johnson said recently.
Pat Riley is fed up with the incessant whining of malcontent multi-millionaire NBAers. Said Riley: "Until a team will actually just make a stand and suspend the guy for conduct detrimental (to the team), and for breach of contract, tortious interfering with the development of his team, and will suspend him and fine him and make the players' association and the NBA go to court and arbitration, then these guys will continue to do it."
Reacting to an Internet report that claimed Jason Kidd or one of his representatives contacted five Western Conference powers to pursue a trade, Nets president Rod Thorn said, "I've never given [Kidd or his camp] permission to broker a deal. And without permission, that constitutes tampering."
Alonzo Mourning has been trying to negotiate a buyout with the Nets to join a team with a better chance of winning a title.
Now that Latrell Sprewell made it known that the Wolves' contract extension offer to him was for $21 million over three years, it seemed curious that Sprewell himself has only been talking about a two-year deal.
Sprewell wants a two-year extension because he doesn't know whether he wants to continue playing after he finishes those two years.
Former Cavs coach Mike Fratello, now a TV analyst, said it would be in the Cavs' best interest to sign Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who becomes a free agent at the end of the season. "How many guys can get 35 points and 18 rebounds?" Fratello said of Ilgauskas' opening night.
In effort to bolster their frontcourt, the Bucks said farewell to Marcus Haislip and signed free-agent forward Marcus Fizer to a one-year contract.
Among the teams showing interest in Eddie Robinson are New Orleans, Toronto, Miami and the Clippers. Robinson is hoping to work out for teams next week.
The Bulls would like to sign free agent Bo Outlaw, but GM John Paxson expects Outlaw to sign with a better team.
The word from the Jazz is Kris Humphries is not happy with his lack of activity.
Reports in New York and Boston have linked the Yankees and Red Sox with Barry Zito, Mark Mulder and, especially, Tim Hudson, who will be a free agent after next season. "Absolutely false,'' said A's GM Billy Beane, "Those things are all rumors and that's the way they should be treated.''
Only a week remains before the Red Sox lose their exclusive negotiating rights with their free agents, including Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek, Derek Lowe, and Orlando Cabrera. The chances of the Sox signing any of the players before their window of exclusivity closes Thursday appear remote.
Both Chicago ballclubs should be pursuing Carlos Beltran in earnest. But neither one will sign him. Even if the Cubs dump Sammy Sosa's albatross contract onto the Mets, Rockies or Orioles, the Tribune Company doesn't want the distinction of owning the highest contract of baseball's new labor age.
If the Orioles were looking for any kind of advantage with prized free-agent pitcher Carl Pavano, they may have found it in agent Scott Shapiro, a diehard Orioles fan virtually since birth and a friend of owner Peter Angelos.
Just because Pavano is close with owner Jeffrey Loria doesn't mean he'll give the Marlins any special consideration as he weighs contract offers.
In addition to Twins workhorse pitcher Brad Radke, the Dodgers have expressed interest in third baseman Troy Glaus, abandoned by the Angels in free agency, as an option should Adrian Beltre not return.
Manager Jim Tracy said he anticipated reaching agreement on a new contract with the Dodgers within a few days.
Mets GM Omar Minaya said that Mets owner Fred Wilpon has informed him that the club has the financial flexibility to explore signing any free agent on the market. "They want me to contact all the free agents," said Minaya.
Al Leiter is planning to take the first step toward exploring free agency today and the Yankees, Phillies and Red Sox would certainly seem interested.
Don't be surprised if the Mets make a run at Anaheim right fielder Jose Guillen.
The Yankees have had some internal discussions about signing free-agent first baseman Tino Martinez.
Several New York papers reported that the Rangers have interest in a trade of second baseman Alfonso Soriano for Yankees pitcher Javier Vazquez. But Rangers assistant GM Jon Daniels said the two teams have not had any direct contact on the subject.
The Rockies have expressed more serious interest in a possible trade for Yankees center fielder Kenny Lofton now that the Giants have picked up the contract option on Colorado's first choice, Marquis Grissom.
Unable to afford Armando Benitez and Troy Percival, the Rockies' bullpen options include free agents such as Dustin Hermanson and Scott Williamson, if healthy, and possibly Byung-Hyun Kim. They have also have expressed interest in free-agent starter Esteban Loaiza.
The Pirates are finalizing a one-year contract extension with closer Jose Mesa.
Woody Williams filed for free agency after the Cardinals decided to exercise a $900,000 buyout rather than assume his $8 million option for 2005.
Third baseman Tony Batista officially filed for free agency, the most significant member of the new Washington franchise to do so.
Devil Rays outfielder Rocco Baldelli suffered a torn ACL in his left knee last week playing baseball with his 6-year-old brother in the backyard of their home in Cumberland, R.I. He'll undergo reconstructive surgery today in Vail. The Rays might now devote more attention to acquiring an outfielder.
Vancouver captain Markus Naslund is considering returning to his native Sweden after Christmas to play for his old team, Modo.
Speaking from Los Angeles, Kings winger Luc Robitaille said, "If you think nobody's concerned about hockey in the United States, I can tell you here it's dead. You don't hear anything about hockey. There's nothing in the newspapers and there's nothing on television." If the season is indeed lost, the chances of the 38-year-old Robitaille returning next year are slim.
Flyers GM Bobby Clarke didn't have a problem with goalie Robert Esche sticking up for his union brethren when he publicly ripped NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. But he felt that Esche crossed the line when he called Bettman a "madman," and yesterday said he asked Esche to call Bettman and apologize. "He agreed and called up and apologized," Clarke said.
Jeremy Roenick had additional neurological testing by the Flyers staff. At stake is the $7.5 million salary the center would be paid as an injured player during the NHL lockout. So far, he has not been paid because the Flyers contend that he is healthy.
David Beckham could return to action for Real Madrid as soon as next weekend. He has been sidelined since breaking a rib in England's World Cup qualifier against Wales last month.
Will Beckham quit in two years? According to wife Victoria and the Daily Star, the Beckham diary reads: win 2006 World Cup, retire from football, move to LA and become a movie star.