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49ERS TO ROMAN: FEEL FREE TO LOOK AROUND

Safety Mark Roman could ultimately wind up leaving the San Francisco 49ers as the team has told the veteran that he’s free to try to find a new team via a possible trade, according to Albert Breer of SportingNews.com.
After previous stints with the Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals, the 31-year-old has started for the 49ers for the past three seasons.
However, Roman has been supplanted by Dashan Golden in the starting lineup.
It’s unclear what kind of market Roman might find for his services and what the 49ers will consider acceptable as compensation from a potential trading partner.

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LYNCH PLEADS GUILTY TO FIREARM POSSESSION

Bills running back Marshawn Lynch has copped his second plea in less than a year.
The first time around, he ducked hit-and-run charges with what essentially amounted to a traffic ticket.
This time, he has pleaded guilty as charged, to misdemeanor charges in California arising from the possession of a firearm.
His agent, Doug Hendrickson, informed us of the plea.  Hendrickson tells us that Lynch will serve no jail time.
“Today I pled guilty to a misdemeanor violation of having a firearm in a vehicle,” Lynch said in a statement e-mailed to PFT.  “I am embarrassed by my recent arrest and conviction.  I deeply regret that I placed myself in this situation.
“I have made mistakes in the past.  Although I have learned many lessons over recent years, I obviously have not learned enough.
“I apologize to my family, the Buffalo Bills organization, my teammates, the Buffalo community, and Commissioner Goodell.  I have already learned from this recent mistake and am sincerely committed to being a more responsible citizen and better representative of the NFL.”
Lynch’s case will now be reviewed by the league under the Personal Conduct Policy, given that the legal process is concluded.  Though he wasn’t disciplined for last year’s guilty plea, the fact that he has run afoul of the law twice in less than a year could result in a stiffer punishment.
Frankly, we wouldn’t be surprised by a four-game suspension, reduced on appeal to two.

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PATRIOTS AND CHIEFS INTERESTED IN TRAVIS DANIELS

Competing for the same or similar players is something that was bound to happen since New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Kansas City Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli collaborated for so many years in New England.
According to Albert Breer of SportingNews.com, both the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs are interested in free agent cornerback Travis Daniels.
Daniels has played for the Miami Dolphins and the Cleveland Browns and played for former Dolphins coach Nick Saban at LSU. 
Plus, Daniels played for former Browns coach Romeo Crennel. And Crennel worked with Belichick and Pioli in New England.
That’s a lot of connections for Daniels to call upon as he looks for a new NFL employer.

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BROWNS ARE OUT OF THE T.O. CHASE

And another one joins the “we don’t want T.O.” parade.
The latest team to join the Anti-T.O. list, per our own John Taylor of CFT, is the Cleveland Browns.
J.T. also writes for The Orange and Brown Report, and regularly covers the Browns.
To thank him for helping us advance the ball, check out his work at CollegeFootballTalk.com.  It’s actually very good.  Possibly even better than the stuff you see here.

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THE HAMSTERS ARE ON THE JUICE

We implemented the permanent (for now) server solution on Wednesday night.
Just in time to avoid another crash.
With free agency still whirring and the T.O. news creating a spike in interest, we’re on track for what could very well be the record day we would have had on Friday if the hamsters hadn’t gone Jim Jones on us.
So come on in, make yourself comfortable, and hit F5.  We’re back, baby — just like Costanza after gulping down a mango.

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ARE COWBOYS WAITING FOR A TRADE OFFER?

It’s a known fact that the Dallas Cowboys tried to trade safety Roy Williams before cutting him, calling multiple teams and getting no interest.
This time around, could it be that the Cowboys have delayed announcing the decision to cut the player in order to try to finagle a trade market?
By waiting to announce the move, the Cowboys might be hoping that a team that would like to acquire his services will call up and make an offer.
Though he’s going to be released in any event, in some cases a team will make a trade in order to get the contract.  With Owens owed only $5.77 million in compensation this year  (which is roughly half the amount of the franchise tender at the receiver position) maybe someone would offer a draft pick in order to secure T.O. without having to write a big bonus check.
And although we’re listing the various teams who have said, on the record or otherwise, that they’re not interested in Owens, we’ve been saying for years that 31 teams can say no — and that it only takes one to say yes.
In the case of conjuring a trade market, it only takes two to say maybe.
So who might actually be interested?  Some readers have suggested that Chiefs G.M. Scott Pioli could give Owens the same “one-strike” arrangement that Randy Moss received in New England two years ago.  The only problem?  Todd Haley is the head coach, and like so many other coaches throughout the league Haley has a history with Owens that would prompt Haley to prefer pounding nails with his foreheard to having Owens on the team.
The Broncos make some sense, if Brandon Marshall ends up missing a big chunk of the year as a result of his most recent arrest. 
The Raiders will continue to loom as a possibility until owner Al Davis says otherwise. 
The Jets continue to intrigue us, given the need to replace Laveranues Coles — and the importance of selling popcorn and PSLs. 
The Colts have one of the only quarterbacks who would tell T.O. to shut the f–k up when he whines for the ball.
The Pats would make sense for the guy who likes to wear No. 81, but only if there already wasn’t a pretty good receiver there who wears that jersey.
The Bucs could be in play, if/when they get a quarterback whom Owens deems worthy of dropping his passes.
Speaking of dropped passes, the Jaguars are always looking for a few capable receivers.
Finally, Chargers G.M. A.J. Smith might be sufficiently desperate to punch through to the Super Bowl to give Owens a shot, especially if Smith thinks he might land in Oakland or Denver.
We’re probably missing a good possibility — and it’s probably the team that will sign him.
At least we can count on PFT Planet to point that and other stuff out in the comments.

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CERRATO CONFIRMS THAT THE 'SKINS DON'T WANT T.O.

At a time when some mixed reports were beginning to emerge as to whether the Washington Redskins are interested in receiver Terrell Owens, the team has removed all doubt on the matter.
Per the team’s official web site, executive V.P. of football operations Vinny Cerrato says that the team has no interest.
“[Owens’s representatives] called us three years ago before he went to Dallas, and we didn’t have interest then,” Cerrato said.  “Why would we have interest when he’s three years older now?  We have no interest.”
Boom.  Roasted.

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NO T.O. IN ATLANTA

In the past, receiver Terrell Owens has mused about the possibility of playing for the Falcons, given that he spends his offseasons in Atlanta.
Before he gets to worked up about the possibility, he needs to consider one thing.
The Falcons don’t want him.
Specifically, a league source tells us that the Falcons can be scratched from the list.
It’s not a huge shock — they already have Roddy White, one of the best young receivers in the league.  And as the franchise attempts to continue to rebuild its image in the wake of the Mike Vick mess, the last thing they need is Owens creating division in the locker room.

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VIKES NOT INTERESTED, EITHER

And there’s another.
Again, it’s not a surprise.  But now it’s official.
A league source tells us that it’s “very safe to say” that the Minnesota Vikings aren’t interested in receiver Terrell Owens.
The Vikings recently made a run at T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and T.O. has experience in the West Coast Offense.  So, on the surface, a possible fit existed.
But Owens and Vikings coach Brad Childress had a verbal squabble during T.O.’s campaign to be cut by the Eagles.  Owens at one point told Childress not to talk to Owens.
As we recall it, Childress eventually testified in T.O.’s grievance hearing and shared some unflattering opinions about Owens.

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NINERS NOT INTERESTED, EITHER

The Anti-T.O. list continues to grow.
A league source tells us that, as expected, the San Francisco 49ers aren’t interested in bringing Owens back to the team where his career started.
It’s not a shock.  But now it’s official.

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CROSS OFF THE RAVENS, TOO

With all these T.O. stories, I feel like I should change the ring tone on my Sprint phone to the SportsCenter theme.
But our editorial decisions always have been guided by one simple principle — write about the stuff in which we’d be interested if we weren’t the ones writing it.  And, yeah, we’re interested in seeing how this train wreck is going to play out.
We’ve learned that, as widely expected, it won’t end with a stop in Baltimore. 
Per a league source, the Ravens aren’t interested in Owens.
Apart from the fact that Ravens coach John Harbaugh had a front-row seat for the T.O. drama in Philly, the bigger impediment likely would arise from Owens’ accusation that Ravens G.M. Ozzie Newsome made a racist comment about him when Ravens were attempting to swing a trade for Owens five years ago.
According to Owens, Newsome told T.O.’s agent at the time, David Joseph, that Newsome “was a black man from Alabama just like T.O.” and that “sometimes a black man’s gotta be slapped.”
Wrote Owens at the time, in an autobiography, “Initially, I was kind of stunned by it.  My agent was kind of reluctant to tell me about it at the time.  What a lot of people don’t know, and I guess I’ll let it out now, is that was pretty much one of the main reasons I didn’t want to go there.”
Newsome bristled in reaction to the claim.
“Please, why should I respond to that?” Newsome said.  “I did tell T.O. that he should check with the veterans we brought in over the years.  I told him to call Rod Woodson, Shannon Sharpe, Michael McCrary, and Sam Adams, and they will let him know how we treat veterans here.”
So, yeah, it would likely be difficult for Newsome to forget about that one, and pay Owens millions of dollars to potentially destroy the team from the inside out. 

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THURSDAY MORNING ONE-LINERS

Said LB Cato June after visiting the Bills, “I think I could fit in well with the players that they have here. They’re on the brink of being a championship team, so to me that’s a great asset and a great way to continue my career.”
The Dolphins brought CB Eric Green, a former starter with the Cardinals, in for a visit.
Free agent QB Patrick Ramsey could be backing up QB Tom Brady after visiting the Patriots Wednesday.
Bob Glauber of Newsday cautions the Jets to stay away from WR Terrell Owens.
Said Ravens LB Ray Lewis, “From beginning to end as a Raven … Wow! My heart is with the Ravens. My heart is with Baltimore and the great fans.”
Bengals QB Carson Palmer is happy about the signing of WR Laveranues Coles and the re-signing of RB Cedric Benson.
The agent for free agent LB Paris Lenon said the Browns are “definitely on his radar scope.”
The Steelers haven’t confirmed it, but the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports WR Martin Nance, on the practice squad in 2008, has been added to the offseason roster.
Free agent LB Kevin Burnett, a four-year Cowboys veteran, will visit with the Texans on Thursday.
The Colts re-signed exclusive rights free agent DT Daniel Muir.
Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com thinks the Jaguars could use WR Terrell Owens, but that there’s no chance he’ll wind up in Jacksonville.
QB Vince Young’s agent Major Adams said that Young is working out harder than ever to try to win back the Titans’ starting quarterback job.
Broncos DL Kenny Peterson, who re-signed with the team Wednesday, was a high school teammate of coach Josh McDaniels.
S Keith Davis, who started nine games for the Cowboys in 2008, is expected to visit with the Chiefs today.
Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee will have his popcorn ready if WR Terrell Owens signs with the Raiders.
Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson wants to supplant Emmitt Smith as the NFL’s career rushing leader.
Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News writes that it doesn’t matter if Marion Barber or Felix Jones is the Cowboys starting running back, so long as Barber finishes games.
The Giants worked out TE Lee Vickers and TE Ben Troupe on Wednesday and signed Vickers, who was out of football in 2008.
Eagles T Stacy Andrews went to Ole Miss on a track and field scholarship, he threw the discus and hammer, and joined the football coach at the behest of then-coach David Cutcliffe.
On Wednesday, T Ray Willis, who started 10 games for the Seahawks in 2008, became the first free agent to visit the Redskins.
Former Bears S Shaun Gayle leaned on his teammates for support during the search for his girlfriend’s murderer.
The Lions won’t issue missing DE Corey Smith’s No. 93 to any player this season.
It’s unlikely that the Packers will pursue a trade for Panthers DE Julius Peppers.
C John Sullivan, a 2008 sixth-round pick, and RG Anthony Herrera are two options to replace C Matt Birk with the Vikings.
Two free agents, TE L.J. Smith and C Brett Romberg, will visit the Falcons on Thursday.
While the Panthers signed defensive tackles Maake Kemoeatu and Damione Lewis to restructured deals that run through 2014, it’s unlikely either man will get a $9.3 million bonus due in 2010.
The Superdome will be more colorful for Saints games this season.
Buccaneers G.M. Mark Dominik says that kickers Matt Bryant and Mike Nugent will compete for the job this summer.
Bob Young of the Arizona Republic thinks the Cardinals should give S Adrian Wilson a contract extension.
Rams CB Ron Bartell said coach Steve Spagnuolo’s success with the Giants played a big role in his decision to re-sign with the team.
Ann Killion of the Mercury News thinks the 49ers’ flirtation with QB Kurt Warner shows that they don’t have a long-term plan.
Seahawks FB Leonard Weaver hasn’t received much interest around the league which may portend a return to Seattle.

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TO NO SURPRISE, FINS LIKELY OUT OF T.O. CONTEST

We’re confining our official T.O. list to teams who have indicated, via an on-the-record statement or credible report via unnamed sources (that leaves us out), that they wouldn’t touch Terrell Owens with a ten-foot bag of popcorn.
But we don’t really need an official report to cross the Dolphins off the list.  V.P. of football operations Bill Parcells didn’t want the guy in Dallas, and their one-year collaboration only confirmed Parcells’ feelings.
Still, Armando Salguero (the real one, not the impostor) makes the case in far more compelling fashion than we ever could.
Here it is.

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PFT HEROES 2008: THE MIKE WEBSTER AWARD

[Editor's note:  We had to recreate this entry as a result of the technical difficulties that ultimately resulted in the expungement of several days of content.]

A Hall of Famer for his ability, former Steelers center Mike Webster became the most recognizable name and face of the plight of linemen suffering repeated blows to the head while battling in the trenches.

The results were tragic for Webster, marring his post-football existence and bringing his life to an untimely end at the age of 50.

And it was after his passing that Webster perhaps has had his greatest impact.  Through a landmark effort to win disability benefits from the league, Webster’s experiences have helped focus attention on this problem.

So for his performances and, more importantly, his sacrifices, our annual award given to the top offensive lineman in the NFL is named for Mike Webster.

The first recipients were Steve Hutchinson and Matt Birk of the Minnesota Vikings.

They’re the second recipients, too.

Birk, whose time in the NFL is winding down, deserves the recognition for a career of solid performances, a significant amount of charity work, stellar on-field and off-field leadership, and (perhaps more importantly) being a friend of PFT. 

Hutchinson’s selection arises more for his impact – which can be seen both in the performance of the Minnnesota rushing game since he arrived from Seattle and the disappearance of the Seahawks’ running attack since he left.  Also, Hutchinson is a card-carrying member of PFT Planet, so he got some brownie points for that, too.

It’s unlikely that they’ll win the thing a third year in a row, given that Birk is now gone for Baltimore.  But even if they aren’t side-by-side during the season, we reserve the right to put them side-by-side at the end of the season as the top offensive linemen in the game.

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INTRODUCING THE ANTI-T.O. LIST

You speak, we listen. 
When we feel like it.
In this specific case, we decided that we’d accept the advice of a reader and create the first official spinoff of the Anti-Vick List.
It’s the Anti-T.O. List.  And it’s right here.
So keep us posted as to the addition of new teams to the list.

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