NFL Players in the News

by KFFL Staff on July 18, 2006 @ 16:00:00 PDT



QB | Aaron Brooks | Oakland Raiders | Fantasy
Jerry McDonald, of the Oakland Tribune, reports Oakland Raiders QB Aaron Brooks must shine in 2006. He won half of his 86 starts in New Orleans as a starter before he went 3-10 as a starter in 2005. Brooks has very good mobility and an explosive supporting cast. He also has some of the same traits as departed QB Kerry Collins (strong arm, questionable decision-making skills and killer turnovers). He needs to play well enough to make quarterback a non-issue in terms of the starter. If QB Andrew Walter starts a game, that could signal the Raiders season is in trouble or that Brooks was injured.

QB | Steve McNair | Baltimore Ravens | Fantasy
Rick Maese, of the Baltimore Sun, reports Baltimore Ravens QB Steve McNair continues to work on learning the team's offense. McNair was in Baltimore last week and stopped by the Ravens' offices, meeting with offensive coordinator Jim Fassel to ask him questions. McNair also worked with WR Mark Clayton and WR Derrick Mason, who ran through some routes.

Running Back

RB | Clinton Portis | Washington Redskins | Fantasy
ESPN's John Clayton reports Washington Redskins RB Clinton Portis is down to 210 pounds, which is what he previously weighed with the Denver Broncos.

RB | Brian Westbrook | Philadelphia Eagles | Fantasy
Don Benevento, of the Courier-Post, reports the Philadelphia Eagles are confident of their running game, led by RBs Brian Westbrook and Ryan Moats, headed into the 2006 season. Westbrook has proven to be one of the most versatile backs in the NFL, and can be equally dangerous as a pass receiver. However, he has been prone to injury. He made it through 12 games last season before missing the rest of the season with a foot sprain. Moats got off to a slow start in his rookie season, but he came on strong at the end replacing the injured Westbrook. He wound up with 55 carries for 278 yards. Whether he can carry that over into this season remains to be seen, but the coaches are optimistic. "He is much more comfortable, much less thinking in the play, up to the line of scrimmage," Mornhinweg said. "He is a very smart guy. However, we ask a tremendous amount out of our halfbacks in this offense." Head coach Andy Reid also is holding out hope that he will have the services of a healthy Correll Buckhalter this season. With training camp approaching fast, Reid and his staff continue to say they are designing an offense that will run the football. "We always emphasize the running game," said offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, when asked to outline the Eagles plans for the coming camp.

RB | Laurence Maroney | New England Patriots | Fantasy
Mike Reiss, of the Boston Globe, reports New England Patriots rookie RB Laurence Maroney has fired his agent at the Lock, Metz and Malinovic Sports firm. Maroney still needs to file paperwork with the NFLPA that indicates who is his representative. The switch doesn't appear to be based on dissatisfaction with contract talks.

RB | LaMont Jordan | Oakland Raiders | Fantasy
Jerry McDonald, of the Oakland Tribune, reports Oakland Raiders RB LaMont Jordan had a decent year in his first as a feature runner, gaining 1,025 yards in 14 games during the 2005 season. Jordan needs to take the next step as a runner and has a lot of improving to do as a receiver, where he dropped an alarming number of passes. If the Raiders don't add another running back during training camp or coax a 500-yard season out of RB Justin Fargas, Jordan will need at least 1,300 yards rushing if the Raiders hope to be a contender in 2006.

RB | Ronnie Brown | Miami Dolphins | Fantasy
Jonathan Heeter, of The Telegraph, reports Miami Dolphins RB Ronnie Brown will be the primary back since suspended RB Ricky Williams is playing in Canada while serving a suspension for the year. Brown will enter the 2006 season as the uncontested starter at running back. Brown said, "I don't think that means much. I feel a lot stronger this season. I will have a full camp to get ready for the season. I'm excited." Right now, Brown is concerning himself with training camp. The team is expected to compete for a playoff spot. Brown added, "You just have to be in the right frame of mind entering camp. I know my body can handle the load. I'm ready for the challenge. Our goal is to make the playoffs."

RB | Steven Jackson | St. Louis Rams | Fantasy
Bill Coats, of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, reports St. Louis Rams RB Steven Jackson is looking at the 2006 season as a new beginning. Jackson said, "I'm approaching it with a focus of saying, 'This is me getting a new beginning.' I feel like I've got a chance to start my career over." Head coach Scott Linehan is expecting Jackson to be a workhorse. With Linehan as his head coach, Jackson feels 2006 could be his breakout year.

Wide Receiver

WR | Kevin Johnson | Free Agent Players | Free Agency News
Mark Eckel, of the Times, reports free agent WR Kevin Johnson (Lions) has received interest from several teams, the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers, about returning to the NFL. Johnson has recovered from an Achilles tendon injury that ended his season in 2005 but is still sore the next day from working out, "So I'm not going to put myself through all that. I'm not going to a team not be able to do what they want me to do and then get cut anyway." Johnson has not ruled out retirement but would like to return to the NFL.

WR | Randy Moss | Oakland Raiders | Fantasy
Jerry McDonald, of the Oakland Tribune, reports Oakland Raiders WR Randy Moss must remain healthy in 2006. Moss' primary objective is to return to his 80-catch, 1,400-yard and 15-touchdown glory. Moss silently played through rib, groin and pelvis injuries when he probably should have taken a month off. Based on the four healthy games he played (24.5 yards per catch) it's not unreasonable to expect a return to form in 2006. He's saying the right things in this offseason's radio interviews, granted in part to pump up his smoothie business. But if he gets hurt for the third straight year, expect Moss to be looking for a way out of town and the team to accommodate him.

WR | Jerry Porter | Oakland Raiders | Fantasy
Jerry McDonald, of the Oakland Tribune, reports Oakland Raiders WR Jerry Porter has been known to switch moods fairly quickly. His play has been much like his moods, memorable catches and games mixed in with periods in which he becomes invisible. Former teammate Lincoln Kennedy said in a radio interview Porter wants out, although the receiver has never said it publicly. His contract makes that unlikely this year, and the Raiders need Porter to become a reliable, physical third-down target that makes the difficult, drive-sustaining receptions.

WR | Jabar Gaffney | Philadelphia Eagles | Fantasy
Bob Brookover, of the Philadelphia Inquirer, reports assuming Philadelphia Eagles WR Todd Pinkston (Achilles') is healthy and the team's No. 2 wide receiver, WRs Jabar Gaffney and Greg Lewis will battle for the team's No. 3 wide receiver slot in training camp. Gaffney ran from the slot quite often in minicamp and is much bigger than Lewis, who was disappointing last year after moving into the No. 2 role following Pinkston's injury.

WR | Todd Pinkston | Philadelphia Eagles | Injury News, Fantasy
Bob Brookover, of the Philadelphia Inquirer, reports Philadelphia Eagles WR Todd Pinkston (Achilles') is expected to be the team's No. 2 wide receiver, if he is 100 percent recovered from last season's Achilles' tendon injury. Pinkston participated in a limited manner during the team's offseason minicamps.

WR | Deion Branch | New England Patriots | Free Agency News
Jerome Solomon, of the Boston Globe, reports New England Patriots WR Deion Branch is paying the price of signing a five-year contract when he was a rookie. While other wide receivers drafted that same year, like WRs David Givens and Antwaan Randle El, have landed big free agent contracts this year Branch is still under contract for one more season. With training camp two weeks away the Patriots don't seem willing to work a new deal with Branch. The Patriots don't believe Branch has outplayed his contract. They say he has performed up to what they expected. Because of his play, he has hit escalator clauses in his contract that basically double his base pay for this season to a little more than $1 million, an amount the Patriots gladly will fork over. Branch feels the time is right for a new deal from the team. For Branch, the league's most underpaid receiver, the timing might not be right for him to pick up the money he deserves.

Tight End

TE | Tony Gonzalez | Kansas City Chiefs | Fantasy
Rick Dean, of the Topeka Capital-Journal, reports Kansas City Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson would like to extend the contract of TE Tony Gonzalez. Gonzalez is entering his contract year with the team.

Place Kicker

PK | Neil Rackers | Arizona Cardinals | Fantasy
Michael Seiden, of, reports Arizona Cardinals PK Neil Rackers said he has made some personal goals for 2006, such as increasing his touchback percentage to over 85 percent for the season. Rackers said he did have the opportunity to kick field goals at the team's new stadium and was asked if there was an advantage to kicking indoors. "I guess I would say yes," said Rackers. "I mean you lose the wind factor on some kickoffs, but it is Arizona, so indoor or outdoor it is a great place to kick."

Defensive Line

DL | Tank Johnson | Chicago Bears | Injury News
Larry Mayer, of, reports Chicago Bears DT Tank Johnson (quadriceps) has been going through the treatment process for his injury and said the team doctors and trainers are encouraged by his progress.

DL | Stanley McClover | Carolina Panthers | Transaction reports the Carolina Panthers have signed rookie DL Stanley McClover, the team's seventh-round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

DL | Jesse Mahelona | Tennessee Titans | Transaction
Paul Kuharsky, of the Tennessean, reports Tennessee Titans DL Jesse Mahelona has agreed to terms on a contract with the team.

DL | Kris Jenkins | Carolina Panthers | Injury News
Mike Triplett, of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, reports Carolina Panthers DT Kris Jenkins (knee) returned to the practice field last month and is expected to be in the lineup by Week 1. He also hopes to be at his listed weight of 335 pounds. Jenkins has been limited to five games in the past two years with knee and shoulder injuries. More than that, he has opened up this year about his battles with alcoholism and depression during those lost seasons. Jenkins worked harder in his rehab and stayed closer with the team as they reached the NFC Championship Game. He said he has limited his drinking.

DL | Jevon Kearse | Philadelphia Eagles | Injury News
Ashley Fox, of the Philadelphia Inquirer, reports Philadelphia Eagles DE Jevon Kearse (knee) had surgery on his right knee to clean up meniscus fragments exposed in a late-season collision. He spent several weeks rehabilitating in Philadelphia under the watchful eye of the Eagles trainers. Once cleared to leave, he went home to Pompano, Florida. Kearse is now working out hard every day to be ready for the 2006 season. Kearse goes through exercises geared toward improving his change of direction and explosion.


LB | Stephen Tulloch | Tennessee Titans | Transaction
Paul Kuharsky, of the Tennessean, reports Tennessee Titans LB Stephen Tulloch has agreed to terms on a contract with the team.

LB | Keith Ellison | Buffalo Bills | Transaction reports the Buffalo Bills have signed sixth-round draft pick LB Keith Ellison to an undisclosed contract.


CB | Derrick Martin | Baltimore Ravens | Transaction
Mike Duffy, of, reports the Baltimore Ravens have signed sixth-round selection Derrick Martin to a three-year contract. Contract terms were not disclosed.

CB | Cortland Finnegan | Tennessee Titans | Transaction
Paul Kuharsky, of the Tennessean, reports Tennessee Titans CB Cortland Finnegan has agreed to terms on a contract with the team.

CB | DeMarcus Rideaux | Free Agent Players | Transaction
The Cincinnati Bengals have announced the team has waived rookie CB DeMarcus Rideaux.

Strong Safety

SS | Keith Davis | Dallas Cowboys | Injury News
Nick Eatman, of, reports Dallas Cowboys SS Keith Davis (gunshot) was out of the hospital Monday, July 17, after suffering two gunshot wounds. Davis is expected to be ready for all contact when the team starts training camp July 28.

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