NFL Truth & Rumors: Jan 13, 2005
Posted: Thursday January 13, 2005 10:26AM; Updated: Thursday January 13, 2005 4:04PM
Now that the regular season is over, the NFL rumor mill is heating up. To keep you up to date, we've created a special edition of NFL Truth & Rumors. To check out the other sports, click here. And for Golf Truth & Rumors, click here.
Former Giants Pro-Bowler Harry Carson is upset about John Abraham's comments last week that he had to weigh his desire to play against the possibility of injury and his potential large free agent contract. Carson is old school: If you walk, you play. "Don't play for yourself, play for the guy next to you. They are counting on you," he said. "One of the knocks the old guys have against the young guys is the old guys would go out and play on one leg if necessary. The young guys look at their value.
Jets coach Herm Edwards said, "I told John he doesn't have to make that decision. I'll make that decision for him, basically. And if he's not 100 percent, he really can't help the football team."
Quarterback Chad Pennington, the one indispensable player the Jets cannot live without as they play the Steelers in the AFC divisional playoff Saturday in Pittsburgh, missed yesterday's practice with flu-like symptoms.
Bucs coach Jon Gruden is seeking a "a quick decision'' from Brian Griese regarding a new contract and "wants to know as early as midweek whether Griese's on board or does he [Gruden] need to look at Jeff Garcia or Kurt Warner if they get released.''
The Lions have acted swiftly to reaffirm faith in Joey Harrington as their starting quarterback. President Matt Millen and Coach Steve Mariucci issued a joint statement, calling "baseless and untrue" a published report that the franchise is considering releasing Harrington, or that such an action has been a point of discussion in the front office.
Cornerback Ty Law will have surgery on his left foot in the near future, according to his agent, Carl Poston. Poston said he has not discussed a new contract with the Patriots, but suspects the team would want Law to return at far less than the nearly $10 million he's due next season -- the final year of his contract. -- Boston Globe
Peter Schaffer, agent for Bengals unrestricted free agent running back Rudi Johnson, met this week with Bengals VP Paul H. Brown at the East-West Shrine Game practices in northern California. "Nothing to report," Schaffer said. -- Cincinnati Enquirer
The Bengals have had preliminary conversations with the agent for Rich Braham on a new contract for the 11-year veteran center.
Packers president Bob Harlan is poised to strip coach Mike Sherman of his GM duties and pursue Seattle VP of football operations Ted Thompson as his next GM.
It remains to be seen how Harlan's decision affects quarterback Brett Favre, who has not committed to playing next season yet. Assuming Sherman stays to fulfill the final year of his contract, Favre might be willing to stick around to see whether the new GM can fix the defense and make a run for the Super Bowl next season. If the new GM decides to rebuild, it would probably have an impact on Favre's decision.
Doug Pederson, the Packers' backup quarterback until back and rib injuries put him on injured reserve in October, has healed and is now forgetting about some of his previous talk of retiring. Pederson said he doesn't expect to even hear at all from the Packers until April regarding their interest in bringing him back. "They've got to look at the situation, too, depending on what Brett does, to bring a free agent in or go with what they have," Pederson said.
To a man, Green Bay's players say they were stunned when defensive coordinator Ed Donatell was fired at the end of last season. If Bob Slowik encounters the same fate in the days ahead, Packer players aren't likely to be as shocked.
Former Dolphins defensive coordinator/interim coach Jim Bates said his interview with Cleveland on Tuesday was a positive experience. But he said he was unsure how the process would proceed.
The Dolphins have interviewed Panthers assistant coach Dave Magazu as a likely successor to offensive line coach Tony Wise. Magazu is friends with Scott O'Brien, the former Carolina special teams coach who was hired this week to be coordinator of football operations under coach Nick Saban. Secondary coach Mel Phillips and special teams coach Keith Armstrong have been retained by the team.
The Ravens' new offensive coordinator will be Rick Neuheisel or Jim Fassel. In a perfect world, Fassel would become offensive coordinator and Neuheisel would become quarterbacks coach.
Rob Brzezinski, Vikings director of football operations, said he has started negotiations for a contract with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and is confident he and Linehan will come to terms.
With an opening for a defensive backs coach, the Bears are talking to a familiar name. Former Bears cornerback Leslie Frazier has talked to head coach Lovie Smith about the job, which opened when Vance Bedford's contract expired and he was not re-signed
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