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NFL Truth & Rumors: April 18, 2005

Posted: Monday April 18, 2005 10:25AM; Updated: Monday April 18, 2005 11:42AM
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Troy Brown
Are Troy Brown's days with the Patriots really over?
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Patriots coach Bill Belichick appears to be from the Bill Parcells school when it comes to receivers: Why draft one up high when there is often adequate talent and production available in Rounds 2-4?
-- Boston Herald

Troy Brown has dropped out of the public eye since the Pats declined to pick up his option in February, and there has been no known interest in his services on the open market. Brown is still available, and the way it looks right now, he would provide more "value" to the Patriots than any rookie on the board.
-- Boston Herald

Don't count on the Patriots taking a defensive lineman in the first two rounds. But don't be surprised if they do, either, especially if Wisconsin's Luis Castillo or Georgia's David Pollack drop unexpectedly into the 20s. LSU's Marcus Spears is also a real possibility.
-- Providence Journal

The Eagles own 13 picks, five in the first three rounds and among the first 94 selections, at what looks like a very good time to start restocking the cupboard. Free safety Brian Dawkins turns 32 in October, and has just two years left on his deal after reaching incentives that voided three years. Offensive tackle Jon Runyan hits that same age in November, in the final season of his contract. The other starting offensive tackle, Tra Thomas -- one of those currently unhappy with his pay -- turns 31 in November. Whether he plays here this coming season under the one-year franchise tender or not, the Eagles seem to have no intention of signing a long-term deal with defensive tackle Corey Simon, so it's certainly time to think about his replacement.
-- Philadelphia Daily News

If running back Brian Westbrook ends up playing the season under a one-year restricted free-agent tender, he could be gone in 2006 as well; certainly, with Dorsey Levens apparently headed back into retirement and Correll Buckhalter coming off knee surgery, the Eagles are looking at least for a complement to Westbrook, if not an eventual replacement. They've talked to Buffalo about Travis Henry. Nobody knows what's going to happen with wide receiver Terrell Owens' attempts to renegotiate but T.O. also turns 32, in December.
-- Philadelphia Daily News

Simon, defensive tackle Hollis Thomas, wide receiver Terrell Owens and Westbrook have all made it known they are unhappy with their contracts. If the situations remain unchanged, that could create needs Eagles coach Andy Reid might not have thought he had to address in this year's draft.
-- Camden Courier-Post

The one significant addition the Bears didn't make since the end of last season was at quarterback, as they chose not to pursue a veteran backup who might have been looking over the shoulders of Rex Grossman and backup Chad Hutchinson. The Bears are likely to draft a quarterback this weekend, but not in the first round.
-- Chicago Tribune

The Jaguars consider themselves set at safety this season with Donovin Darius on the strong side, Deon Grant at free safety and Deke Cooper as the top backup at both positions. But Darius, who remains upset at being designated the Jaguars' franchise player each of the past three years, is expected to depart eventually -- if not in a trade this offseason, then almost certainly as a free agent this winter. Because the only other backup safety is special-teams standout Nick Sorensen, who is not considered starting material, the Jaguars consider safety a position they would like to address in this weekend's draft. Unfortunately for the Jaguars, who appear likely to draft a safety on the second day, scouts say little in the way of NFL-caliber talent will be available at that spot in the later rounds.
-- Jacksonville Times-Union

Oh, how the Packers would love an electrifying playmaker such as Adam "Pac-Man" Jones, whose value is magnified because of his dual role as a proficient return specialist, but they would have to mortgage a significant part of their draft to move up into the higher echelon of Round 1. Still, the Packers are in the market for an impact player or two who can become the space invaders they're sorely lacking. Armed with two second-round selections, GM Ted Thompson has the trade bait to leapfrog a handful of teams that may be eyeing Georgia's Thomas Davis, who's projected to last beyond the first half of the 32-pick round. -- Green Bay News-Chronicle

Then again, the Saints at No. 16 could use a boost at right tackle, but Florida State tackle Alex Barron probably won't be available at that point in the draft. Barron, who allowed one sack as a senior, is projected to go within the eighth and 15th pick, and there are teams looking for a quick fix at left tackle that have picks in that range. Namely, the Texans at No. 13 and the Panthers at No. 14.
-- New Orleans Times-Picayune

The Bucs haven't sent coaches to any of Ohio State place-kicker Mike Nugent's eight pro workouts this spring. They didn't bother to interview Nugent during their weeklong stay at the scouting combine and they haven't brought him to Tampa for a personal interview. It could mean something -- the Bucs want him.
-- Tampa Tribune

Most draft experts project Nugent as a third-round pick. The Vikings are interested, but, like most teams, they struggle with the age-old question of whether any draft pick, let alone one on the first day, should be used on a kicker.
-- Minneapolis Star Tribune

The 49ers, Falcons and Jets have expressed strong interest as well, said Nugent.
-- Tampa Tribune

With cornerback Donnie Abraham contemplating retirement, the Jets apparently are poised to replace him with free agent Andre Dyson.
-- Newsday