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Employment opportunity for the Nard Dog

theoffice_andy.pngThough we know it’s April Fool’s Day, we’re inclined to believe that the press release sent out earlier in the hour by the Miami Dolphins is legit.

If not, then well played, Mr. Greene.  Well played.

The Dolphins have announced that the organization will hold an open audition for an eight-piece a capella group that will perform at all home games during the 2010 season.

The auditions will be held on April 16 and April 17.

And Andy Bernard surely will be there, along with the surviving members of Here Comes Treble.

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Bears are expected to release Alex Brown today

The Bears have tried to trade defensive end Alex Brown.  Finding no takers, they are now poised to cut him.

Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports that the move is expected to be made today.

“I enjoyed my time and I appreciate the Bears for giving me the
opportunity to play,” Brown told Biggs.  “The city
of Chicago, there wasn’t a better place to spend eight years of
football.  I got to see a lot of highs and lows and had a lot of fun with
all of it.”

Brown, who says he plans to play four or five more years, would have preferred getting a chance to hit the market sooner.  Then again, in this uncapped year that has featured a limited flow of money, Brown likely wouldn’t have gotten a big-money deal.

Indeed, if anyone were interested in paying Brown more than $5 million per year, they would have sent a low-round pick to the Bears in order to squat on his contract, which pays out base salaries of $5 million in 2010 and $5.5 million in 2011.

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'Skins taking closer look at Jimmy Clausen

It previously was reported that the Redskins will conduct a private workout with quarterback Jimmy Clausen in South Bend.

The Redskins also will be bringing Clausen to town for a meeting with team officials, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.  Clausen is expected to meet with coach Mike Shanahan, and Shanahan is expected to attend the private workout.

So this means that the Redskins are interested in taking Clausen with the fourth pick in the draft?  Maybe, and maybe not.  As one league source has pointed out, it’s entirely possibly that the Redskins are trying to coax someone into trading up for Clausen — and that Shanahan is using Schefter, who wrote a book with Shanahan, to get the word out.

As we’ve previously acknowledged, it’s not a slap at Schefter; he’s simply doing his job.  Besides, the Schefter-Shanahan connection is a potential conflict of interest that is available to the audience.  We raised last night the problem of the conflicts of interest that aren’t generally known.

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Feagles returns to Giants

The contract standoff between 44-year-old punter Jeff Feagles and the Giants is over.

The team announced via Twitter Thursday that Feagles will be back with Big Blue.  He will have some competition, though.

The team signed former Australian rules football player Jy Bond a few weeks back.  Bond uses a different leg for his directional kicks than his regular ones. Top that, Feagles!

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PFTV looks at the status of the Roethlisberger case

PFTV took a one-week hiatus to accommodate the construction of a new set at the studios of WDTV and WVFX, which are conveniently located less than five minutes from the studios of PFT Daily, which are conveniently located in my house.

The new set is ready, the old set has been sold to Wayne and Garth, and we’ve taped a new five-pack of PFTV segments for your perusal.

First up, a look at the status of the Roethlisberger investigation.

 
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Thanks for another record-setting month

Once we partnered with NBC, we knew that traffic would increase.  And throughout the first eight months of the relationship, we saw a couple of new high water marks.

In the ninth month, it was time to see the baby.  (After all, you’ve gotta see the baby.)

For March 2010, we hosted 3.937 million unique visitors.  Those visitors inspected, on average, 12.43 pages, which equates to a grand total of 48.98 million page views.

The prior record was set in January, with 3.3 million uniques and 37.23 million page views.

So thank you, once again, for your ongoing support of the site.  And thanks to Rosenthal and MDS and Josh Alper and Silva for their help in keeping the info current and interesting.

And thanks once again to NBC for giving us a spot where this operation could expand like never before.

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Thursday morning one-liners

Bills head coach Chan Gailey doesn’t think the transition to a 3-4 defense will be as tough as people think.

University of Tennessee DT Dan Williams has turned
into the consensus pick
for the Dolphins at No. 12.

The Patriots can’t
really want Tim Tebow
. . . can they?

The ESPN draft crew recently put the Jets on the clock.

Ravens QB Troy Smith, apparently unhappy about his lack of a trade options, has changed agents.

The Browns appear to have Eagles LB Chris Gocong on their radar.

Last year’s No. 6 overall pick Bengals T Andre Smith plans to earn the team’s starting right tackle job.

SI’s Ross Tucker says that the Steelers are facing their “biggest dilemma” in a long time.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle thinks no one is “more deserving” of a big contract than LB DeMeco Ryans.

Jaguars WR Troy Williamson asks himself what would have happened if he didn’t tear his labrum last year.

A lot of smart folks think the Colts will take C/G Maurkice Pouncey if he’s available at pick No. 31.

The Titans will entertain a couple of quarterback draft prospects in the coming days.

There is a push in Denver for K Jason Elam to be make the Hall of Fame.

Don’t expect to see Chiefs CB Brandon Flowers work in OTAs because of shoulder surgery he underwent this offseason.

Is JaMarcus Russell trying to escape from Raiders island?

The Chargers will “almost certainly” target a blocking tight end in the draft, according to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The Cowboys will rack up frequent flier miles during the preseason.

The Giants will work out a former Arizona basketball player on April 11.  (That didn’t work out so well with Jai Lewis. Remember him?)

Eagles LB Omar Gaither signed his one-year restricted free agent tender.

It’s no surprise the Redskins haven’t talked to QB Jason Campbell about a long-term extension.

The McCaskey family goes about their business owning the Bears very
quietly
.

Tom Kowalski of MLive.com looks at the possibility of someone trading up to the No. 2 pick to draft Jimmy Clausen.  (Good luck with that.)

As exhibition games go, watching Aaron Rodgers face off against Peyton Manning in Week Three of the preseason should be pretty good.

The Vikings don’t have a local television deal in place for their preseason games yet.

The Falcons will host LB Rolando McClain this Monday.

Even the stats agree: wide receiver is Carolina’s biggest hole to fill on draft day.

You can take TE Jeremy Shockey out of New York, but you can’t take him out Page Six.

The Bucs will host WR Dez Bryant for a pre-draft visit, just like the Bengals and Cowboys.

Cardinals S Adrian Wilson should be a fan of the team re-signing Matt Ware. 

For the first time since 2000, there won’t be a “Governors Cup” game between the Chiefs and Rams.  (Calm down, please.)

49ers WR Michael Crabtree sleeps with a playbook in his bed.

The Seahawks will close the preseason against the Raiders for a fourth straight year.

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Brian Waters skips Chiefs offseason workouts, again

Guard Brian Waters, the 2009 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, has yet to report for the team’s offseason workout program, according to Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star.

But Chiefs fans shouldn’t be alarmed.  Waters has become a regular irregular at the out-of-season lifting-and-running sessions.

“”I haven’t participated in the offseason program fully in five or six
years,” Waters told Teicher  “That’s nothing new.  I would never miss out on [offseason practice] because of displeasure with the team.  I’ll be
participating for sure in everything mandatory.  Everything else will be
my prerogative to choose if I’m going to be there.”

A year ago, Waters was displeased with the team, requesting to be traded or released.  After a meeting with new coach Todd Haley, the matter apparently was resolved.  Now, he said that he “definitely” wants to remain in Kansas City.  “Honestly, the truth is:  Whether I want to play for
the Chiefs or not, I want to play football and I have a contract with
the Chiefs.  So it really doesn’t matter what I want,” Waters said.

Though we already liked Waters because of his off-field charitable endeavors and his donation of both a Pro Bowl jersey and a signed, game-used helmet to the recent auction for Baby Mason, his comments reflect that he “gets it.”  Professional football players are grown men.  Grown men who sign a contract should realize that it’s a two-way commitment.

Plenty of pro football players don’t.  Waters, to his credit, does.

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More misadventures for Santonio, Twitter style

On Wednesday’s edition of ESPN’s Jim Rome Is Burning, Rome has a classic “Final Burn” regarding the perils of Twitter, as viewed from the perspective of Steelers receiver Santonio Holmes, who recently invited another Twitter user to commit suicide.

But the “kill urself” message isn’t the only one that could raise some eyebrows for the league and the team.  As a reader points out, Holmes posted Wednesday morning that it’s “time to wake n bake.”

According to the linguistic authorities at UrbanDictionary.com, the term “wake n bake” means to get out of bed in the morning and smoke pot.

As we recently pointed out at SportingNews.com, some in the league make too much of the fact that guys smoke marijuana.  The real question is whether their marijuana smoking affects performance or keeps them from playing.  But in light of the fact that players can be pushed into the NFL’s substance abuse program due to behavior — and given that Holmes was cited in 2008 for marijuana possession — he probably should have steered clear of the phrase.

So what will come of this?  Probably nothing.  But we know for a fact that receiver Randy Moss had to do some major tap-dancing to avoid being placed into Stage 1 of the substance abuse program when he admitted to Bryant Gumbel in 2005 that Moss smokes pot “every blue moon.”

Based on Holmes’ tweet, it could be inferred that he celebrates every yellow sun with a blaze.

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Drayton Florence claims Aaron Schobel will retire today

In what probably represents yet another April Fool’s Day gag, Bills cornerback Drayton Florence says, via Twitter, that defensive end Aaron Schobel will announce his retirement at 3:00 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Though we tend to think it’s a phony story, there’s a slim chance it’s legit.

Recently, coach Chan Gailey said that there’s no timetable for Schobel to make a decision regarding his future.  The Bills want Schobel to return, even though he’ll earn a base salary of $6 million.

UPDATE:  Adam Schefter says that Schobel isn’t retiring.  So Florence pulled an April Fool’s Day prank.  Here’s our 4/1 response:  Florence is a great player, who has earned every penny he has been paid during his NFL career.

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Warren Moon unloads on Eagles regarding Donovan McNabb

It’s one thing for Stephen A. Smith to direct his one-setting volume at the Eagles and their handling of Donovan McNabb.  It’s quite another for a Hall of Fame quarterback who has been traded by the team with which he became a star to do the same.

As to the former, who cares?  As to the latter, we all should.

Warren Moon believes that the Eagles are bungling the Donovan McNabb situation.  Moon compares the situation to his own exit from Houston.  Specifically, Moon tells Jim Corbett of USA Today that, when the Oilers traded Moon out of Houston because the franchise deemed that Cody Carlson (who?) was ready to take over the Chuck ‘n’ Duck offense, the Oilers let Moon know what was happening, and worked to accommodate his trade preferences.

Moon believes the Eagles are doing the exact opposite.

“It’s mind-boggling they would put Donovan in this
position,” Moon told Corbett.  “He’s hearing about things second hand, which I
don’t think shows him a lot of respect.

“It really surprises me because the Philadelphia
Eagles have already made very strategic and very smart personnel moves
that has gotten them in position to win championships.  This one really
baffles me, especially because of how important that position is.”

On the surface, Moon has a point.  The Eagles’ focus apparently has been maximizing trade value, and nothing more.  As a result, potential suitors like the Browns and the Cardinals, apparently convinced that the Eagles wanted too much for McNabb, made other plans.  Now that the Eagles appear to be willing to take the best offer, teams that may have made offers are out of the picture.

Still, no one knows whether and to what extent the Eagles are communicating with McNabb, or whether the Eagles will try to move him to a team that he wants to join.

The other side of the coin, of course, is that the Eagles have no duty to do anything along the lines of cooperating with McNabb.  And given their propensity to lock players up to ultra-long-term deals and then say “tough crap” after a few years go by and the player feels underpaid, we’d be inclined to think that the Eagles are oblivious to — or simply don’t care about — whether and to what extent their handling of McNabb’s departure reflects “respect” for the player, or has a negative impact on the men who remain.

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Rams scrap plan to have "neutral" doctor look at Sam Bradford

For quarterback Sam Bradford, his shoulder has provided the biggest unknown in the weeks preceding the draft.  The St. Louis Rams apparently believe that those concerns have been answered.

According to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Rams have scrapped plans to have a “neutral” doctor take a look at the ball-and-socket in Bradford’s torso.

“At that point, [the shoulder) was such a big question mark,” Devaney
said Wednesday, per Thomas.  “Since then, we’ve talked to so many people that have
looked at him from other teams.  And our doctors — they’ve gone over him
with a fine-tooth comb — we’re completely satisfied.  We don’t need a
follow-up.”

The development marks an impressive recovery from Bradford, who experienced a Grade 3 shoulder separation, which required reconstruction of the AC joint.

Lost in the fact that Bradford’s shoulder has healed are broader questions regarding Bradford’s readiness for the NFL.  He has operated largely out of the spread offense, like Tim Tebow.  And the injury came on a hit from a 234-pound BYU linebacker.  What will happen if/when he takes a square hit from a guy 50 pounds heavier, or more?

Bradford’s own weight gain may address some of those concerns, but his rise to the top of the draft board doesn’t mean that he’ll automatically be the next Peyton Manning or Tom Brady.

Indeed, Packers coach Mike McCarthy seems to have been more impressed by Wednesday’s workout from Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, who also has had to overcome questions regarding his health and durability.  “I like
this workout better from the fact I thought Colt was challenged
more in his workouts
as far as the type of throws,” McCarthy said, per the Dallas Morning News.  “I
thought in Sam’s workout, he was very accurate.  But Sam’s workout
was very controlled.  He didn’t do as much movement and as many
driving throws, in my opinion.

“I thought
Colt’s workout was more challenging. He had more down-the-field,
driving type throws, which personally, I always look for because I
think you get more information out of those.”

Once again, it’s hard to trust anyone, especially as the draft approaches.  But since McCarthy doesn’t need a quarterback, his words have a bit more credibility than others.  Still, at this time of the year, no one has much.

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Jon Beason sees dollar signs

With linebackers like Karlos Dansby and DeMeco Ryans pocketing huge deals recently, Panthers linebacker Jon Beason knows that his payday is coming.

Said Beason in the wake of news that Ryans has inked a six-year, $48 million deal with $21.75 million guaranteed, Beason told the Charlotte Observer, “I don’t have a pen and a notebook or a tape recorder, but let me ask you
a question.  Do you think I’m in the
same class as DeMeco Ryans, or better?”

It sounds like Beason thinks he’s better.  And he may be right.

Especially since Beason compares himself to the current gold standard at linebacker — Patrick Willis of the 49ers.

“The NFL’s done a good job of keeping myself and Patrick Willis joined
at the hip,” Beason said.  “Whether he gets a deal first, or it happens
to be me, the other one’s going to be right behind him.”

The only question is whether Beason will get that deal in Carolina, or whether he’ll have to go elsewhere.

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April Fool's Day gets rolling with report of Ronnie Brown to Pats

For a second, they had me.

OK, maybe for a couple of seconds.

Our friends at the Joe Rose Show, the morning offering at WQAM in Miami (Sid Rosenberg calls it his “opening act”), are pushing the notion that the Dolphins are trading running back Ronnie Brown to the Patriots for the 44th pick in the 2010 draft.

Happy April Fool’s Day, guys.

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