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L.T.'S MOM: "IT DOESN'T LOOK PROMISING"

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. 

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COWBOYS OFFICIALLY DUMP OWENS, WILLIAMS

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.

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"NO CHANCE" OF A T.O. RETURN TO PHILLY

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.

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EAGLES SHIP GREG LEWIS TO NEW ENGLAND

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.

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PFT PLANET SKEWS THE EAGLES POLL

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.

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RAIDERS NOT INTERESTED IN T.O.?

OK, we’re kind of getting bored with this — sort of like the “hello” voice.  But now that we’ve started it, we can’t stop.
And, actually, this T.O.-related nugget might be the most significant one yet.
Dave Mason of KHTK in Sacramento tells us that he called Raiders exec John Herrera regarding the team’s potential interest in Terrell Owens.
Said Herrera: “We’re as happy as can be right now.”
While it’s not a “yes,” it really isn’t a “no,” either.
And we wonder whether Herrera would still feel as happy as he can be if Tim Kawakami were to put his “f–king hand” on Herrera.
UPDATE:  Dave has advised us that Herrera was referring to the Javon Walker restructuring, and not addressing Owens.

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CHARGERS PASSING ON T.O., TOO?

Though it’s not an official statement from the team and it doesn’t really cite any sources, we’re willing to regard the proclamation from Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune regarding the Chargers’ lack of interest in receiver Terrell Owens as sufficiently informed to allow us to add the team to the Anti-T.O. list.
Writes Acee:  “While rumors fly about where Terrell Owens will land next, rest assured he will play for the Eagles again before he plays in San Diego on a team put together by A.J. Smith.”
Acee also writes that the Chargers won’t target safety Roy Williams, who also reportedly (but not officially) has been cut.

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SPORTINGNEWS.COM: PLAYERS SHOULD BE CAREFUL TO WISH FOR UNCAPPED YEAR

In our most recent SportingNews.com article, which we forgot to mention once it went live on Wednesday, we take a look at whether the uncapped year will be all that it has been expected to be.
Based on the extent to which most teams are spending money in 2009, it’s a safe bet that life without a cap will be largely irrelevant, since most teams aren’t spending the cap space they currently enjoy.
Anway, the whole thing is right here.  You should read it — it’s a nice break from the T.O. coverage.

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EAGLES CONDUCT T.O. REFERENDUM

Well, the Philadelphia Eagles have come up with an interesting way to generate web traffic.
On their official Internet site, the Eagles have posted a poll asking the following question:  “Do you want the Eagles to sign T.O.?”
Currently, the “no” vote is leading, 62.9 percent to 37.1 percent, based on 9,625 votes.
We think that the poll should have a third possible response — “Is the person who came up with the idea to put this issue to a fan poll high?”
UPDATE:  You know, we should probably all vote “yes,” just for gits and shiggles.

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WALKER STAYS WITH THE RAIDERS

Remember those reports that the Raiders were poised to cut receiver Javon Walker?
As it turns out, they were wr-wr-wr-wr-premature.
According to David White of the San Francisco Chronicle, Walker has agreed to a major restructuring of his contract, giving up a $5 million roster bonus that was due this week and reducing his base salaries dramatically.
In return, his new base salaries for 2009 and 2010 are fully guaranteed.
The move creates nearly $8 million in cap space for the Raiders.
His 2009 base salary has been cut from $4 million to $2 million, and his base salary for 2010 has been reduced from $6 million to 2.6 million next season.
Walked also agreed to reduce his base salary in 2011 from $8 million to $3.2 million.  His 2012 base drops from $10 million to $3.8 million.  And his 2013 base falls from $10 million to $4.4 million.
That is a lot of sprayed champagne.
But while it’s easy to focus on what Walker gave up, the reality is that, absent the restructuring, he would have gotten not another dime from the team.  It’s also a sign that Walker didn’t feel all that strongly about a potential injury grievance aimed at collecting the $5 million injury-guaranteed roster bonus, to which he arguably would have been entitled since he finished the 2008 season on injured reserve.
Our guess is that Walker’s agent gauged the market, and determined that the offer that the Raiders put on the table was better than anything Walker would get from another team.
So, in some cases, tampering actually strengthens the relationship between the player and his current team.

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SPRINGS TO SIGN WITH PATS

Last year, the New England Patriots lost a cornerback to Philadelphia, when Asante Samuel jumped to the Eagles on the first day of free agency.
This year, the Pats have managed a small measure of revenge, winning the two-team derby with the Eagles for the services of veteran corner Shawn Springs.
According to Shalise Manza Young of the Providence Journal, Springs is expected to sign with the Patriots.
Springs was released last Friday by the Redskins.

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READ OUR LIPS: NINERS DON'T WANT T.O.

Attention, PFT Planet:  You can quit sending links regarding the statements of 49ers G.M. Scot McCloughan that the team has not “closed the door” on acquiring free-agent receiver Terrell Owens.
We’ve re-confirmed the situation with our source, and we’re confident that the Niners don’t want Owens.
So why would the Niners leave the door open even though they’d slam it if he tries to walk through it?  We’ll allow PFT Planet to speculate as to the possible reasons in the comments.
By the way, it’s probably not a good idea for any NFL team to be talking about Owens at all until he’s officially released.  An executive with one team opined to us that ‘Skins executive V.P. of football operations Vinny Cerrato should not have said publicly that the Redskins aren’t interested in Owens.  We can only assume that the same exec would believe that McCloughan should not be suggesting possible interest in a guy who technically is still the property of another team.

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PAYMAH VISITING RAVENS

Denver Broncos free agent cornerback Karl Paymah is visiting the Baltimore Ravens today, according to Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com.
A league source has confirmed to us that Paymah is currently meeting with team officials at the Ravens’ training complex after arriving in Baltimore today.
Per the article, Payman is regarded as a reserve cornerback who excels on special teams.
He washed out as a starting cornerback in place of an injured Champ Bailey last season and was benched after two starts with the Broncos installing rookie Josh Bell in his place.
The 26-year-old former third-round draft pick from Washington State has started five games in four NFL seasons.
He recorded 39 tackles last season and one interception. For his career, Paymah has registered 101 tackles and three interceptions.

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LIONS HAUL IN BIG GRADY JACKSON

The Detroit Lions significantly bulked up their defensive line by adding beefy defensive tackle Grady Jackson with a three-year, $8 million contract on the same day the team finalized its two-year, $8.5 million contract with cornerback Phillip Buchanon, according to Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press.
A 36-year-old defensive lineman who started 14 games last season for the Atlanta Falcons, Jackson weighs well over 350 pounds.
The Lions definitely need to become stouter against the run, ranking last in the NFL at stopping the run a year ago while failing to win a single game.
Former Miami Dolphins defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday is scheduled to visit next week, per the article.
On the other side of the football, the Lions hosted free agent offensive lineman Daniel Loper. Loper wasn’t immediately signed to a contract, though, and is likely to take more visits, according to his agent.

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ERIC GREEN VISITING TITANS

Arizona Cardinals free agent cornerback Eric Green is visiting the Tennessee Titans today, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean.
Green’s visit is one day after former New York Jets and Oakland Raiders cornerback Justin Miller, a former Clemson standout, visited the Titans’ team headquarters in Nashville, Tenn.
Green is taking a look around the league as he searches for a new job, meeting with the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday. On Friday, he’s scheduled to visit the San Francisco 49ers.
“He is just kind of making the rounds to see what’s up,” said Green’s agent, Craig Domann. “I told Eric, ‘This is a chance to see who you like and then we’ll look at the money.’”
The Titans need to replenish their cornerback depth since Eric King has signed with the Detroit Lions. Plus, free agent cornerback/return specialist Chris Carr is visiting the New England Patriots today.

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