Posted by Mike Florio on March 5, 2009, 11:05 PM EDT
We’re getting ready to call it a night after an unexpectedly busy day, which generated more than 1.2 million page views thanks to the sudden availability of Terrell Eldorado Owens.
If Aaron Wilson is still up and if any other big-name players get bumped in the middle of the night, we’ll have something posted.
Meanwhile, we’ll leave you with two more teams to be added to the Anti-T.O. list.
First, though Texans owner Bob McNair hasn’t reiterated his position from more than three years ago, his words were sufficiently strong to require no elaboration.
“He’s almost dismantled the Eagles; why would you wish that on us?” McNair said as Owens’ grievance against the Eagles was pending. “I’ve already got enough problems.” (Thanks to Stephanie Stradley of the Houston Chronicle for pointing that one out.)
Another AFC South team took the same position.
“No interest,” Jaguars G.M. Gene Smith said.
The only remaining AFC South team that hasn’t joined the Anti-T.O. list is the Colts, and they potentially could be interested. Primarily because Peyton Manning might be able to control Owens.
Especially based on this clip, which we think was filmed by Brodie as he was eating an entire bag of candy.
Posted by Mike Florio on March 5, 2009, 10:51 PM EDT
Kicker Matt Stover, a fixture in Baltimore since the inception of the franchise (note that we no longer say that the team is actually the first edition of the Cleveland Browns . . . oops), will no longer be doing his thing for the Ravens.
Stover tells our own Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times that the Ravens have informed the man who joined the Ravens/Browns via Plan B free agency in 1991 that it is “going in a different direction.”
The issue came to a head when Stover told the Ravens that he had received an offer to sign with the Jets.
“That answer made it very clear that they are not looking to keep me because they told me to go ahead and sign the contract with the Jets,” Stover told Wilson. “It was a real offer from the Jets. The Ravens are going in a different direction now.”
The Jets ended up re-signing Jay Feely, leaving Stover to look for other opportunities.
“The big thing for me is I realize the privilege I’ve had to play this game and the opportunities that it has given me as a person and economically,” Stover said. “I have no regrets from the past. I’m excited about my future.”
As for the Ravens, the job could fall to Steve Hauschka, who handled kickoffs and the occasional long field goal as a rookie.
Posted by Mike Florio on March 5, 2009, 10:03 PM EDT
Last month, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that former Giants coach Jim Fassel would become the first coach hired by the UFL.
Fassel tells our pal Todd Wright of Sporting News Radio in an interview to be aired during Thursday night’s show that, while not a done deal, things are moving in that direction. (Todd’s show can be heard right here.)
“I have not signed a contract yet, but I anticipate to signing a contract,” Fassel tells Wright. “And I would be excited about it.”
Fassel generally believes that the UFL will succeed.
“I think it is going to work,” he says. “There are good financial people involved with this and they have a sound plan. There are good football people running it from the league office and I like the concept.”
The league has announced that its inaugural season will feature four teams and a six-game season.
Posted by Mike Florio on March 5, 2009, 9:50 PM EDT
Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller, who six years ago rocketed up the draft board based on a college career at Cal, could be heading back to the Bay Area, as a member of the Raiders.
According to Jerry McDonald of the Oakland Tribune, Boller recently visited the team.
Boller, a first-round pick in 2003, became the starter not long into his career, and then opted to stay once he was demoted to backup.
He missed all of the 2009 season due to a shoulder injury, and is now an unrestricted free agent. So, after making it through the full season with Joe Flacco and Troy Smith, the Ravens have decided that they really don’t need him.
In Oakland, Boller would compete to serve as the backup to JaMarcus Russell. Other quarterbacks on the roster are Andrew Walter and Bruce Gradkowski.
Posted by Mike Florio on March 5, 2009, 9:09 PM EDT
Various media reports are indicating the balance of the deal that sent receiver Greg Lewis to New England from Philadelphia.
As it turns out, the Eagles get the Pats’ fifth-round pick in 2009, and the Pats get the Eagles’ seventh-round pick in 2010.
The transaction gives the Eagles twelve picks in the upcoming draft.
Posted by Mike Florio on March 5, 2009, 9:02 PM EDT
The list continues to grow.
The New Orleans Saints have joined the list of teams that don’t want Terrell Owens.
“I’m hearing all this talk about T.O., I want to put a stop to that business,” coach Sean Payton said in an interview with WWL radio in New Orleans.
Though acknowledging that Owens can be “explosive,” Payton pointed out a certain unwelcome statistical category in which Owens is among the league leaders.
“He was second in the league in dropped passes last year with 33,” Payton said, “and a lot of those came at critical moments.”
It doesn’t help Owens’ cause that Payton is a Bill Parcells protege, and that Parcells despises the player.
Posted by Mike Florio on March 5, 2009, 8:21 PM EDT
A league source tells us that the significant restructuring accepted by Oakland receiver Javon Walker, news of which first surfaced today, actually was finalized in late February, prior to the start of the new league year.
So the $8 million in cap savings was on the books as of February 27, when the free-agency period opened.
The most surprising aspect of this news is that, somehow, the information remained under wraps for a full week.
Then again, it’s not as if Walker or his agent would have been bragging — Walker took a major haircut, in lieu of being dumped.
Posted by NBC Sports on March 5, 2009, 7:54 PM EDT
The New Orleans Saints announced today that they’ve signed New England Patriots unrestricted free agent fullback Heath Evans to a two-year contract.
It’s a development that coincides with Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com reporting that the Saints will cut starting fullback Mike Karney. Karney has been with the Saints since 2004.
Evans is a former Auburn standout entering his ninth NFL season who has started 121 career games.
Although he’s primarily a blocking back, Evans has 561 career rushing yards and three touchdowns with one touchdown catch on 40 career receptions.
Evans has been active for all but three games during his first eight seasons in the league.
“Heath is a versatile and fundamentally sound fullback who can help our offense in a variety of roles, whether it be as a lead blocker, as a runner or receiving option out of the backfield as well as on special teams,” Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis said in a statement. “He has played in a few different offensive systems and has adapted quickly and been a contributor to all of them.”
Added Saints coach Sean Payton: “Heath is a tireless worker and someone we were very impressed with after spending time with him. He’s very excited about the various things we do from an offensive perspective and is a well-rounded and versatile player. In addition he has played quite a bit on various special teams units throughout his career and been a reliable and dependable player in many different situations.”
Posted by NBC Sports on March 5, 2009, 7:35 PM EDT
Cleveland Browns free agent cornerback Travis Daniels is scheduled to visit the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos next week and is also drawing interest from the New England Patriots, according to Albert Breer of SportingNews.com.
Daniels’ connections to Nick Saban at LSU and with the Miami Dolphins are reportedly playing an instrumental role in his appeal to NFL teams who have a background with Saban, the University of Alabama coach, in addition to Daniels’ game film.
Saban has worked previously with Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli, Broncos coach Josh McDaniels and Patriots coach Belichick.
Posted by NBC Sports on March 5, 2009, 7:19 PM EDT
Since Marques Douglas was cut by the Baltimore Ravens last week at the launch of the free agent signing period, the New York Jets have demonstrated the most interest in the veteran free agent defensive end, according to a league source.
A hard-working, blue-collar role player, Douglas has always been a personal favorite of Jets coach Rex Ryan, the former Ravens defensive coordinator.
The Denver Broncos and the San Francisco 49ers are the other teams that have been linked to Douglas, who was cut last Friday by the Ravens.
Last season, Douglas registered 36 tackles. In 10 NFL seasons, the former Howard University standout has 371 career tackles and 19 sacks.
Listed at 6-foot-2, 292 pounds, Douglas has previous stints with the 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints after going undrafted.
Posted by NBC Sports on March 5, 2009, 7:10 PM EDT
Cleveland Browns unrestricted free agent safety Sean Jones is scheduled to meet with the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday.
Jones is a big, experienced safety at 6-foot-1, 225 pounds with 44 career starts.
For his career, Jones has 286 tackles and three forced fumbles.
Jones’ 14 interceptions since the 2006 season ranks third among NFL safeties behind the Baltimore Ravens’ Ed Reed and the St. Louis Rams’ Oshiomogho Atogwe during that span.
The Browns drafted Jones in the second round out of the University of Georgia in 2004 with the 59th overall pick.
Posted by NBC Sports on March 5, 2009, 6:59 PM EDT
Denver Broncos free agent cornerback Karl Paymah is expected to visit the Minnesota Vikings next week, according to Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press.
Paymah visited the Baltimore Ravens’ training complex today, meeting with team officials and coach John Harbaugh.
Drafted in the third round in 2005 out of Washington State, Paymah has five career starts in four NFL seasons.
He started twice at cornerback in place of an injured Champ Bailey (groin injury) last season, but didn’t draw high grades and was replaced by rookie Josh Bell.
Regarded as a special-teams ace, Paymah is considered capable of operating as a reliable reserve cornerback.
Posted by NBC Sports on March 5, 2009, 6:49 PM EDT
The New England Patriots announced several roster moves today, re-signing safety James Sanders, punter Chris Hanson and linebacker Eric Alexander.
Hanson averaged 43.7 yards per punt last season, the second-highest figure of his career, and was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week in the final week of the regular season. For his career, Hanson has a 42.8 average with 65 touchbacks and 168 punts inside the 20-yard line.
Sanders is a former fourth-round draft pick who has started 36 career games with 198 career tackles, five interceptions, one sack, a forced fumble and 10 pass deflections. Last season, he started 14 games for New England and registered 66 tackles with one interception.
A former undrafted free agent from LSU, Alexander has 26 career special-teams tackles.
Meanwhile, the Patriots released linebacker Darrell Robertson.
Robertson was signed to a future contract in late December.
He was signed to the Patriots’ practice squad in November after being cut by the Dallas Cowboys. He signed with Dallas after going undrafted.
Posted by Mike Florio on March 5, 2009, 6:18 PM EDT
After a mini-version of a free-agent tour, safety Jermaine Phillips decided that the best place for him to go was the place from which he came.
The Buccaneers have announced that Phillips has re-signed with the team.
Phillips has spent all seven seasons of his NFL career in Tampa, with 94 game appearances and 72 starts.
The fifth-round pick in the 2002 draft appeared in every game as a rookie, including the team’s victory in Super Bowl XXXVII.
Phillips first cracked the starting lineup in his second season (2003), starting eight games in 14 appearances.
Last season, he missed five games due to injury.
The Bucs also announced that tight end Jerramy Stevens and receiver Cortez Hankton have been re-signed. Hankton likely will be camp fodder and we’ve got nothing good to say about Stevens, so for a change we’ll say nothing.
Posted by Mike Florio on March 5, 2009, 5:37 PM EDT
OK, instead of doing a separate post for each team that says it doesn’t want Owens, we’ll try to do them in groups of two or three.
So here are the latest two or three to say N.O. to T.O.
The Jets are out, per Erik Boland of Newsday, who cites an unnamed source.
The Rams also aren’t interested, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The Titans aren’t interested, either, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean.
And so the PFT Anti-T.O. list, currently featured on the front page of Yahoo! via MJD’s Shutdown Corner, now stands at thirteen. And counting.
Posted by Mike Florio on March 5, 2009, 5:19 PM EDT
As the Chargers and running back LaDainian Tomlinson continue publicly to express hope that they’ll work out a restructured contract that will pay L.T. something other than $6.725 million in 2009, his mother, Loreane, told XX 1090 in San Diego on Thursday that the situation “doesn’t look promising.”
“They almost like handed him crumbs,” Loreane Tomlinson said as to the offer that the Chargers have made.
Of the uncertainty as to L.T.’s status, she said, “It’s almost like a slap in the face. . . . Tell us something.”
Though she explained that the situation is hard on the family, she said that her son is keeping a positive outlook. “I’ll be playing somewhere,” L.T. told his mother, according to his mother. “I don’t know where, but wherever I go it’ll be OK.”
We’d love to know how it came to be that Mrs. Tomlinson ended up doing a radio spot. The hosts weren’t sure how to pronounce her name, so it’s not like she’s a regular on the station.
Based on what she said, our guess is that someone in the L.T. camp realized that she would be the best person to get the message into circulation, without giving anyone in the media fodder for claiming that LaDainian is whining about his situation.
Posted by Mike Florio on March 5, 2009, 4:52 PM EDT
The Dallas Cowboys finally have formalized the release of receiver Terrell Owens and safety Roy Williams.
“Terrell Owens was a very productive player who performed at a very high level for all three of his years here in Dallas,” said owner Jerry Jones. “But we have made a decision to move forward without him.
“In the aftermath of the season, we talked about change. Some of what is changing involves the process and some of it involves people.
“This is a decision that was made based upon consideration for an entire team. We will move on now with a new team — a new attitude — and into a new stadium. The evaluation process and the prospect for change will continue at every level of the organization.”
In those 105 words, Jones said plenty.
He essentially admitted that all of the stories about dissension in the locker room were true, even though he had said they’re false.
He also has acknowledged that significant change is needed. So why hasn’t he fired the head coach?
Jones’ comments contradict the notion that he has been out of touch when it comes to the state of his team. The fact that he has not engaged in sweeping change, then, reinforces our suspicion that the combination of a sagging economy and the opening of a billion-dollar stadium might have prompted Jones to avoid the cost of buying out Wade Phillips (and the highly-compensated Jason Garrett) and then hiring their replacements.
Posted by Mike Florio on March 5, 2009, 4:29 PM EDT
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports, and we separately have confirmed, that the Eagles will not be making a play for free-agent receiver Terrell Owens.
Per the Inquirer, there is no interest.
Per our source, there is “no chance.”
But if PFT Planet had gotten its way, the move would have been made. The Eagles have pulled their “Should we sign T.O.?” poll after a heavy influx of PFT readers had pushed the total tally to more than 75 percent.
Well done, my friends. Well done.
Posted by Mike Florio on March 5, 2009, 4:17 PM EDT
The Eagles made a move with a receiver on Thursday — but not the move that the PFT Planet-influenced poll hoped to see.
The Patriots have acquired receiver Greg Lewis in a trade with Philadelphia, along with an undisclosed pick in the 2010 draft.
In exchange, the Eagles picked up an undisclosed selection in the 2009 draft.
Lewis, who has 23 career starts and 90 total appearances, has a history with the Pats. In Super Bowl
XXIX XXXIX, Lewis caught a fourth-quarter touchdown pass, cutting the New England lead to 24-21. It was Lewis’ first career touchdown.
Posted by Mike Florio on March 5, 2009, 3:55 PM EDT
When we posted at 3:10 p.m. EST our item about the Eagles poll regarding whether the team should sign T.O., 9,625 people had voted — and 62.9 percent of them had said “no.”
In an update to the story, we suggested that we should all vote “yes,” in the spirit of Mitch Berger being named the Super Bowl MVP.
As of 3:47 p.m., a total of 20,170 votes have been cast. And “yes” now has 64.3 percent of the vote.
Based on my once strong but now poor math skills, this means that 10,545 votes were cast in the intervening 37 minutes — and that 9,399 of them were “yes.”
It’s a rate of 89.1 percent “yes,” and 10.9 percent “no.”
Very impressive, PFT Planet. Please remember to buy a Sprint phone. And not to buy my book.
UPDATE: As of 3:57 p.m. EST, it’s now 76.5 percent “yes,” with more than 32,000 total votes. I hope they feed their hamsters well.