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We went three years without a single team being penalized for violating OTA rules.
The statements regarding OTA violations have said they " violated the rules concerning the intensity and tempo of drills" during OTAs.
The Lions will forfeit two days of OTAs on June 21 and 22.
As many people may not know, OTAs in the NFL are non-contact and there are certain other limitations for the practices such as how long the players can be on the field. In 2007, the Raiders were busted for violating those rules.
Three years passed before another team was caught breaking the OTA rules. This year, as the league and the union enter into CBA negotiations, two teams -- Raiders and Ravens -- have been penalized for violating the rules.
“The NFL Management Council and the NFL Players Association have resolved a complaint by the Players Association against the Jacksonville Jaguars concerning violations of the Collective Bargaining Agreement’s offseason workout rules,” the NFL said in a statement to be released Thursday morning. “It was determined that the Jaguars violated the rules concerning the intensity and tempo of drills conducted on the club’s organized team activity days (“OTA days”).
“As a result, the Jaguars will forfeit a week of their offseason program (June 21-25, 2010). Jaguars players are not permitted to be at the facility on those days, but will be paid for the sessions. The club cannot reschedule the cancelled days.”
The most likely way this goes down is that a player feels the practice is too intense or that the team has violated the spirit of OTAs in some fashion. They would then tell the NFLPA, who would approach it with the league.
Most head coaches would be upset if one of their best players decided to skip the offseason program and participate in ABC's 'Dancing With The Stars'.
Bengals' Marvin Lewis is not one of those coaches.
“Remember what we said when he went to Dancing With The Stars?” Lewis asked. “It was the best thing. Stay the hell away from me and give other guys reps and snaps and he wouldn’t be in my ear all the time saying, ‘Why am I here? I’m not getting any reps.’
He's of course talking about Chad Ochocinco who returned to Cincinnati this week.
Is it a good thing or a bad thing when your boss says it was good that you were gone for three months?
SB Nation's Buffalo Rumblings has confirmed that Marshawn Lynch is finally practicing with the Bills.
Lynch arrived in Orchard Park, NY several weeks ago but only hit the team's weight room not the practice field as they participated in OTAs.
This is Lynch's first-look at Chan Gailey and the Bills new offense.
For a reaction from Bills fans, check out SB Nation's Buffalo Rumblings.
This sounds familiar: ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Marshawn Lynch is in Buffalo and planning to attend the Bills OTAs on Tuesday.
Lynch has reportedly been at the Bills facility working out but not participating in OTAs. Last week, Bills coach Chan Gailey said he thought it was strange that he had yet to meet Lynch.
Stay tuned to SB Nation's Buffalo Rumblings regarding Lynch's appearance today.
Chad Ochocinco is in the house.
Absent from the Bengals offseason program thus far, Ochocinco arrived in Cincinnati and practiced with his teammates on Tuesday for the first time this offseason.
His arrival comes at a good time. Last week, Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer said he was hoping Ochocinco would be there soon.
"It would be great to have our No. 1 receiver here and working him and building it around him," Palmer said last week. "We've tried moving guys around. Maybe they're trying to find a new No. 1 receiver because it's hard to work your offense in without that guy around. We've moved Antonio [Bryant] around, he's been playing some spots. It's hard to tell and say because we're looking for a No. 2 and [No.] 3 receiver without a No. 1."
Now that "Dancing With The Stars" is over, Ochocinco can play football.
For a good rundown on what you need to know about the Bengals minicamp, check out SB Nation's Cincy Jungle.
The bad news keeps rolling in for the Titans.
First, there was Vince Young's fight at a strip club. Then there was Gerald McRath's four-game suspension. Of course, there's always Chris Johnson's unhappiness with his contract and refusal to show for minicamp.
The latest one? Cornerback Rod Hood is done for the season.
According to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, Hood tore an ACL in Friday's practice and he's done for the year.
For more on the worst day Titans fans have seen in a while, check out SB Nation's Music City Miracles.
Titans running back Chris Johnson hasn't attended any of the Titans offseason workouts because of his desire for a new contract.
Don't expect that to change at the Titans minicamp Monday, which is mandatory, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean.
On the one hand, you're going to have fans say he signed a contract and should honor it. On the other hand, Johnson might be the most underpaid player in the NFL outside of Darrelle Revis. He's arguably the best young back in the game today and will have a base salary under $1 million in 2010.
Running backs don't last very long in this league and Johnson understands that, which is why he's trying to force the Titans hand this offseason.
Last week Jets center Nick Mangold said he was "50-50" regarding his chances of attending the Jets mandatory minicamp, which starts today.
According to Rod Boone of Newsday, Mangold is in attendance.
This is certainly good news for the Jets. While we can't draw any solid conclusions from this, it could mean that Mangold is willing to play nice during negotiations. If he weren't in attendance, he would eligible to be fined by the team. At least he's not willing to lose money to make a point.
Other reports are indicating that Darrelle Revis will be the only Jet to get a contract extension this summer.
Stay tuned to SB Nation's Gang Green Nation for more.
On Friday morning, the Dallas Morning News reported that the Cowboys had not sent a letter to restricted free agent Miles Austin informing him that his tender would be reduced on June 15 to 110% of his 2009 salary.
Here's the reason why: Austin signed his tender on Friday, according to Michael Lombardi of NFL Network.
It's a one-year contract worth $3.168 million.
If Austin hadn't signed by June 15, the Cowboys would have been eligible to reduce his tender level to 110% of his 2009 salary. The difference would be about $1.5 million. However, reducing his tender level never seemed like a possibility because Austin had already signed an injury waiver to participate in OTAs and owner Jerry Jones has publicly said he'd like to get a deal done for Austin.
Todd Archer of the Dallas Morning News reports the two sides have had "minimal talks" regarding a due in large part to the uncertain labor landscape.
"It's not that big of a deal to me," Austin said, according to the Dallas Morning News. "It is what it is. I'm here to work, that's what I do. I'm not trying to lose any more money ... Hopefully something can work out. Obviously I love Dallas. Yeah, I'm excited for the season. I'm excited to play hard."
It's unclear at the moment if Austin signing his tender has any bearing on the potential long-term deal the two sides are reportedly working on.
For more on the Cowboys, check out SB Nation's Blogging The Boys.
Antoine Bethea was looking for a new contract. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, he got it.
Schefter reports the Colts and Bethea agreed on a four-year deal worth $27 million. The first two years of the deal will pay out $18 million.
This should please SB Nation's Stampede Blue, who has been calling for a new deal for quite some time. Here's what Stampede Blue had to say of a recent article about Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis' holdouts:
I see no mention of Antoine Bethea, who is the only player on the roster with a legitimate reason to be pissed about his contract situation. Bethea is one of the best safeties in all of football, and the tender the Colts offered him is peanuts compared to what other top NFL safeties make.
This now (likely) means Bethea will participate in the rest of the Colts offseason as an official member of the team.
For more on the Bethea contract, check out Stampede Blue.
Jason Smith struggled with a concussion to end the 2009 season. It was a disappointing end for the No. 2 overall pick of the Rams.
Things aren't getting off to a much better start this offseason.
According to Brian Stull of 101 ESPN, Smith is out with a stress fracture in his toe.
Per Stull, he's done for the rest of OTAs which means we won't see him again until training camp.
For more on the Rams, check out SB Nation's Turf Show Times.
The Broncos are conducting a minicamp this weekend and Elvis Dumervil, who has signed an injury waiver, will be there. By no later than Monday, he'll sign his tender and officially become a member of the Broncos once again.
The Denver Post reports Dumervil "doesn’t want to bring hostility into what had been civil contract negotiations with the Broncos."
However, the Post also reports the Broncos sent a letter to Dumervil indicating that if he did not sign his tender by June 15, they would drastically reduce his salary.
This wasn’t the collective bargaining rule stating clubs must notify such intentions to their unsigned restricted free agents by June 1. This was a second letter, meant specifically for Dumervil, sent earlier this week that issued a not-so-subtle sign-it-or-else threat.
So maybe they will avoid any contentious talk. The Broncos have already stated their desire to get Dumervil locked up to a long-term deal.
Shalize Mansa Young of the Boston Globe reports that the Patriots have informed guard Logan Mankins that if he does not sign his restricted free agent tender by Monday, they will reduce his salary his salary by approximately $1.7 million, per league rules.
What does that mean? Mankins was tendered at the highest level, meaning he will make $3.268 million for the coming season if he signs before the deadline. If he does not, 110 percent of his salary from last year, the final year of the rookie contract he signed after the Patriots made him the 32d overall pick in 2005, equals $1.54 million.
So the 28-year old Californian stands to lose $1.728 million.
So this is a move that could create some acrimony between Mankins and the team, right? Not so, says Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com, who calls the letter a "procedural matter".
It is highly unlikely that a team would take the step of reducing a restricted free agent's salary because of the damage that could do to the long-term relationship between the player and team.
What to expect? Some think Mankins will sign the tender and report to the Patriots offseason. That's just a guess but it doesn't make much sense for him to hold out any longer and take the risk of losing that $1.728 million.
For more on the Patriots, check out SB Nation's Pats Pulpit.
Jets C Nick Mangold is entering the final year of his rookie contract and, already one of the best players at his position, is looking to get paid.
The Jets haven't extended Mangold at this point and it's unclear if they plan to do so. if the franchise tag is around in 2011 (heck, if football is around in 2011), Mangold understands it's a possibility that he could be hit with the tag.
"That definitely is a possibility that they could say, 'Hey, we're going to let you play through and franchise you later,'" Mangold told the Daily News. "I think that will put a sour taste in my mouth that they'll let me play it out without the security of having years on my contract. I think that would be a disappointing way for the relationship to continue on."
"I wouldn't put it past them to do it," Mangold added. "But we'll cross that bridge if it gets to that."
Mangold is just one a few Jets players that need to be extended. First and foremost is probably Darrelle Revis, who has skipped at least one voluntary session to indicate his unhappiness. At some point the Jets need to address Mangold, LB David Harris and even WR Braylon Edwards.
I suspect each player wants to get a long-term deal done before the money runs out.
For more on the Jets, check out SB Nation's Gang Green Nation.
News broke moments ago that Bucs first round pick Gerald McCoy went down with a left leg injury and was helped off the field.
According to Jason La Canfora of NFL Network, it's nothing to be concerned about.
Gerald McCoy's practice injury only a "tweaked" hip. Nothing serious; he's smiling and not limping. Bucs breathing easier.
Take a sigh of relief, Buc 'Em.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers first-round pick Gerald McCoy has limped off the practice field with a leg injury. Early into the Bucs Thursday OTA McCoy left the practice field with head trainer Todd Toriscelli.
This would be one injury the Bucs can't afford. Defensive linemen generally take longer to develop than most positions so he needs all the reps he can get.
Updates will be coming but for now stay tuned to SB Nation's Buc 'Em.
Browns kicker Phil Dawson reported for mandatory minicamp Thursday morning after missing all of the voluntary sessions, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.
Dawson pulled a similar stunt last year skipping the voluntary portions of the offseason because he wasn't happy with his contract that will pay him $1 million in 2010.
Yes, a kicker was attempting to gain leverage by skipping workouts.
The issue likely arises from the Raiders decision to make Sebastian Janikowski the highest paid kicker in the league with a deal that averages $4 million annually. Dawson, who has been one of the better kickers in recent years, wants money more in-line with what the top kickers in the league are getting.
Frankly, a kicker skipping workouts is not a good idea. As Shayne Graham would tell you, a kicker can go from among the best in the NFL to released in a matter of one game.
For more on the Browns and mandatory camp, check out SB Nation's Dawgs By Nature.
Panthers LB Thomas Davis received crushing news...again. An injury he suffered at Panthers OTAs this week was indeed another torn ACL, according to the Charlotte Observer.
Davis was lost last November when he blew his right anterior cruciate ligament while backpedaling and planting on the Louisiana Superdome turf. That one was a non-contact injury, and Tuesday's spill was eerily similar. While backpedaling during individual drills next to teammate Jon Beason, Davis went down without being touched by another player, and immediately gripped his right knee.
You gotta feel for him on a personal level -- and we haven't even gotten to the financial part. Davis was a restricted free agent making about $3.2 million. If the CBA mess got figured out, he was likely to land a new contract with the Panthers in the $8 million per year range.
That may not be happening now.
Earlier this week the Ravens were penalized one week of OTAs for an apparent violation of OTA rules. It's unclear exactly what the rules were but they can rest easy knowing they're not the only ones doing it.
According to David White of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Raiders have also lost two days of OTAs.
The NFL and NFLPA announced the development in a joint press release (Hey, that's the second time this week they've agreed on something).
This is the second time since 2007 that the Raiders have been busted for violating OTA rules. Last time was for too much contact -- the sessions are touted as "non-contact".
For a team to get busted like this, a player has to bring up the dispute with the union so it could cause for some uneasiness in the locker room.
For more on the Raiders, check out SB Nation's Silver and Black Pride.
After Bills offensive lineman Ed Wang went down with an injury in OTAs last week, coach Chan Gailey said he was hoping they hadn't lost him for the season.
"His injury was not as serious as maybe we had first thought .. has a chance to be back by the last minicamp."
That's a big difference from the Bills original thinking. It's believed to be a high ankle sprain.
For a reaction from Bills fans, check out SB Nation's Buffalo Rumblings.
Brandon Marshall had what was described as a minor hip surgery at the start of the Dolphins OTAs. The surgery was actually on the other hip that was previously surgically repaired.
This is good news for the Dolphins and demonstrates that Marshall's hip surgery truly was "minor".
For more on the Dolphins, check out SB Nation's The Phinsider.
Troy Polamalu rarely attends the Steelers offseason voluntary practices and, as the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review points out, it's generally the most overblown story of the offseason.
Polamalu has never made any secret that he doesn’t have much use for off-season practices, most of which are voluntary. His absence from them — he attended mini camp, which is mandatory — is annually one of the most overblown stories of the spring.
Polamalu prefers to work out on his own but he returned this week to Pittsburgh for a week of practices.
It's actually great timing in his return.
On Tuesday, the Steelers players went bowling. On Wednesday, they'll have just a walk-through. On Thursday, they'll be in a lighter mood since it's the last offseason practice and Mike Tomlin generally allows them to wear funny hats on the field.
Polamalu is recovering from a knee injury that sidelined him much of the 2009 season.
For more on the Steelers, check out SB Nation's Behind The Steel Curtain.
It's no reason for concern but Dez Bryant is injured. According to the Dallas Morning News, Bryant participated in the first half of Tuesday's practice at the Cowboys complex but came up with some tightness in his hamstring. After that, the Cowboys decided to hold him out for the rest of the day.
"They didn't want to take any chances," Bryant said. "It's not frustrating at all. I'm just following orders, and they wanted to hold me out until (Wednesday). I feel like I'm picking up the offense." He's supposed to try and get back on the field on Wednesday. Bryant has had an impressive start to his NFL career. Nearly all accounts of his athletic ability are positive and there have been no off-the-field distractions (...yet). For more on the Cowboys, check out SB Nation's Blogging The Boys.
"They didn't want to take any chances," Bryant said. "It's not frustrating at all. I'm just following orders, and they wanted to hold me out until (Wednesday). I feel like I'm picking up the offense."
He's supposed to try and get back on the field on Wednesday.
Bryant has had an impressive start to his NFL career. Nearly all accounts of his athletic ability are positive and there have been no off-the-field distractions (...yet).
For more on the Cowboys, check out SB Nation's Blogging The Boys.
“I have not seem him today. He is not an injury,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “I have not talked to him today and I don’t know what his reason for not being here is.”
Gaither practice yesterday for the first time in a month after injuring his foot earlier in the offseason. But Harbaugh indicated the absence was not injury related.
“He practiced yesterday and did a nice job and told me the foot felt a lot better,” Harbaugh said. “The injection worked and the orthotics made a big difference.”
For more on the Ravens, check out SB Nation's Baltimore Beatdown.
Cowboys WR Patrick Crayton previously skipped voluntary workouts and publicly requested a trade from the organization that spent a first round pick on WR Dez Bryant and already has millions dumped into WR Roy Williams.
Apparently he's had a change of heart.
Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com reports Crayton will attend the remainder of the Cowboys OTAs.
"Crayton is excited about the 2010 NFL season and accepts any decision[s] made by the Cowboys organization regarding his status with the team," agent Fred Lyles wrote in a text message. "He's looking to compete and we don't want to be a distraction."
So what's the deal?
Maybe Crayton realized that the best way to get out of town is not to be a malcontent. If you're publicly complaining about your situation, that only makes you less desirable by other clubs.
We're not sure what the situation is at this point but we've got a feeling we'll know soon.
For more on the Cowboys, check out SB Nation's Blogging The Boys.
The NFL and the NFLPA can agree on one thing: The Ravens violated the rules of the OTAs.
The two sides issued a joint statement regarding the violation:
"The NFL Management Council and the NFL Players Association have resolved a complaint by the Players Association against the Baltimore Ravens concerning violations of the Collective Bargaining Agreement's off-season workout rules. It was determined that the Ravens violated the rules concerning the intensity and tempo of drills conducted on the Club's organized team activity days ('OTA days') and the length of time spent by players at the Club's facility on such days. As a result, the Ravens will forfeit the final week of their off-season program (June 14-18, 2010). Ravens' players are not permitted to be at the facility on those days, but will be paid for the sessions. The Club cannot reschedule the canceled days."
It's unclear exactly what the "intensity and tempo of drills" means but there are rules that indicate the drills run during these OTAs are to be non-contact. The second part of that -- "length of time spent by the players at the Club's facility" -- is a defined rule that the Ravens violated. Players can't spend more than four hours at the facility per day during these OTAs and they can't be on the field for more than 90 minutes at a time.
The Ravens acknowledged that they had broken the rules and apologized for the error.
"The NFL informed us of the situation, and the action they've taken is appropriate," G.M. Ozzie Newsome said. "We made a mistake, and it won't happen again. We'll complete our organized team activity days this week and then turn our focus to the start of training camp."
Chargers WR Malcolm Floyd is one of several restricted free agents sitting out the Chargers offseason program. Floyd tells Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune that the Chargers won't have to wait much longer for his arrival.
"I don't think there was anything more to gain by sitting out," Floyd said this morning.
The Chargers and Floyd's agent are talking over details, and Floyd could sign the one-year $3.168 million tender as soon as today and join the team for the final four coaching sessions involving veterans.
The other option for Floyd would be to sign an injury-waiver in order to participate in the minicamp.
Floyd is just one of several high-profile Chargers sitting out that haven't signed their respective tenders. The others include WR Vincent Jackson, LB Shawne Merriman and LT Marcus McNeil.
Floyd understands that he's at least second on the wide receiver totem pole when it comes to getting a long-term deal done.
"VJ is a Pro Bowl receiver," Floyd said. "They'll probably take care of him before me ... It's just a tough position for me. We took a chance. There's nothing I can really do about it. It's time to put it behind us and get ready for the season."
The other Chargers sitting out could see a reduction in their salaries. On June 15th, the Chargers can reduce the tender level to 110% of the 2009 salary. For McNeil, this means going from $3.168 million to $583,000 and for Jackson from $3.268 million to $600,000.
For more on the Chargers, check out SB Nation's Bolts From The Blue.
The Buffalo Bills are suddenly leading the headlines this offseason. Well, for a weekend at least.
Shortly after taking the job in Buffalo, coach Chan Gailey said he didn't know who the quarterback would be and it'd be a true competition. He's certainly being true to his word.
On Saturday, Brian Brohm took first team reps. Brohm, a former second round pick by the Packers, wasn't expected to be a contender for the starting job but with Gailey's quarterback expertise, he can't be counted out. Brohm was followed by Trent Edwards in both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work.
In other news, Bills rookie offensive lineman Ed Wang went down with an injury. Early reports indicate it's a high ankle sprain, which would likely keep him out for the rest of OTAs but available for training camp. Gailey, speaking to the media, wasn't sure what the situation was.
“He did sustain an injury this morning,” said Gailey. “We’re getting the reports back from the doctor this afternoon we’ll know a lot more. I’m hoping we haven’t lost him for the season.”
And for the final Bills update we turn to Marshawn Lynch.
Lynch has been at the Bills complex the last week lifting weights with his teammates. But he hasn't met Chan Gailey.
Gailey was asked: Is it strange that one of your running backs is in town and you two never meet? "I would think that is strange, yes," he said.
It's widely been rumored that Lynch would like a ticket out of Buffalo. Maybe this is his way of going about it.
SB Nation's Buffalo Rumblings has been busy covering all the news coming out of Orchard Park this week.
Marshawn Lynch is in Buffalo and has been lifting weights with his teammates over the course of this week. However, he has yet to get on the field.
Why? We're not sure exactly why.
On Wednesday, coach Chan Gailey said he hadn't had any communication with Lynch. The rumors started on Tuesday that he had arrived in Buffalo and would report to OTAs on Wednesday. But he wasn't on the field Wednesday. Same goes for Thursday when multiple reports indicated he would be available but apparently wasn't.
It's known that Lynch isn't a happy camper right now. With the addition of C.J. Spiller and the emergence of Fred Jackson, he's an insurance guy at this point. If he's on the roster in 2010, he won't get a chance to be the feature back and put up big statistics to demand more money when he's eventually released or traded.
Why he's not practicing isn't quite clear. It's possible that the Bills are angling to trade him and would prefer he not practice risking an injury.
For all things Bills, check out SB Nation's Buffalo Rumblings.
First it was Reggie Wayne and now it's Robert Mathis. The Colts defensive end is not attending mandatory minicamp because he's unhappy with his contract.
SB Nation's Stampede Blue has a few words for him: "Get your butt in camp."
Since they aren't there, does this mean someone like Anthony Gonzalez or Jerry Hughes can get a leg up on taking their jobs from them? In reality, that's probably unlikely, which is why I have often said of late that this "open competition" stuff the Colts throw around is total BS. Personally, I kind of wish it really was "open." It might motivate Mathis and Wayne to get their butts to camp instead of sulking wherever they are over contracts they signed and agreed to years ago.
As Stampede Blue points out, Antoine Bethea is a restricted free agent and not currently under contract. Because of his level of play in the last year, he probably has a legitimate reason to ask for a new deal.
In June of 2006, Mathis signed a five-year, $30 million contract with the Colts.
Check out the full, detailed reaction from SB Nation's Stampede Blue.
The Rams spent a second round pick on offensive lineman Rodger Saffold in April's draft. Six weeks later and he's got an injury.
According to the Rams official Twitter feed, Saffold suffered a sprained knee at the Rams OTAs.
They say he's "likely" to miss the rest of OTAs -- which only run for a couple more weeks -- and the move is being described as "precautionary" and that he could return. At this point, there's no reason to push it considering training camp is two months away.
This is too bad for Rams fans, who were hoping he could come in and contribute quickly, according to Turf Show Times.
Saffold looks like a natural for the right side, where he can use his well-regarded run blocking ability. He could even move to the left in a pinch.
To see what Rams fans are saying, check out SB Nation's Turf Show Times.
The Broncos first round pick -- No, not Tim Tebow -- has made his first appearance at OTAs.
WR Demaryius Thomas had broken his foot during February's NFL Combine keeping him out of action until now.
Thomas is highly talented but has been described as raw so getting as much work as possible in OTAs.
Also returning to work for the Broncos is OT Ryan Harris. With Ryan Clady out, it's good news that the Broncos are getting their other offensive tackle back.
RB J.J. Arrington also made an appearance at the Broncos OTAs, which are primarily being attended by the younger guys on Friday.
For all thing Broncos, check out SB Nation's Mile High Report.
The Saints opened their mandatory minicamp on Friday morning and RB Pierre Thomas is "nowhere to be seen" according to Saints sideline reporter Kristian Garic.
Thomas also skipped out on last week's OTAs after previously saying he would attend.
He's not currently under contract so the only way he could attend these practices is by signing an injury waiver.
Thomas is looking for a long-term deal and skipping voluntary workouts is a way of expressing that. However, skipping out on mandatory minicamp subjects him to fines.
A week ago, SB Nation's Canal Street Chronicles polled their community on whether Thomas would have a contract by this time. 55% of the respondents said that he would.
Check out what Saints fans are saying over at Canal Street Chronicles.
Bengals 2009 first round pick Andre Smith held out for nearly a month last season, then broke his foot causing him to appear in just six games.
The bad news doesn't stop there: According to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the lingering effects of that injury will keep him out until the 2010 version of training camp.
On Wednesday, SB Nation's Cincy Jungle started to pick up on the indications that Smith wouldn't participate in the Bengals OTAs.
It's unlikely that Smith will be ready when the Bengals take the field for minicamp from June 15-17 because he's yet to be medically cleared, according to Joe Reedy. As of this posting, not including the injured or unsigned draft picks, the Bengals will have five offensive tackles, three offensive guards and two centers for minicamp work in two weeks.
As Mac's Football Blog points out, Smith had a cleanup procedure on the foot in February that was expected to keep him out for 10 weeks.
16 weeks later and we get the next that he'll miss nearly two more months.
In response to that, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Lynch was definitely in town and would attend Thursday's OTAs.
However, on Thursday Lynch was nowhere to be found. Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com reports Lynch was not on the field for the Bills Thursday practice.
On Wednesday, Bills coach Chan Gailey was asked if he had heard from Lynch and offered up an easy response: "No."
More updates coming on the status of Lynch and the Bills. For now, keep up with the Bills and Lynch's situation at SB Nation's Buffalo Rumblings.
Judging by the reps in practice, the Bills quarterback derby is a two-man race between Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick. However, just because we know the finalists doesn't mean a decision is any closer.
Bills head coach Chan Gailey said on Wednesday that he will "never" be satisfied with the quarterback position.
“Again it goes back to never being satisfied. We’re making progress every day though. I see these guys understanding what we’re trying to do and I think they’re getting better. We’ve got a long way to go yet. It’s easy when you’ve got shorts on and nobody is hitting you. That’s the easy time to play quarterback. It’s a lot harder when they’re all flying around you and they’re all trying to take your head off.”
The Bills will wrap up OTAs towards the end of June but it doesn't sound like a starting quarterback will be named at that point.
Catch up on all the Bills offseason moves over at SB Nation's Buffalo Rumblings.
First there was a report that Marshawn Lynch was in Buffalo lending to speculation that he would attend Wednesday's OTAs.
Then he didn't show. Bills coach Chan Gailey was asked if he had heard from Lynch and he answered simply, "No."
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Lynch is in town and will attend the Bills OTAs on Thursday.
There's still no confirmation from Lynch himself but we shall find out by Thursday afternoon.
Follow along with the Lynch situation over at SB Nation's Buffalo Rumblings.
On Wednesday morning Adam Caplan of Scout.com reported Marshawn Lynch had arrived in Orchard Park, NY. Caplan speculated that this meant he would show up to the Bills OTAs.
Well, that's not the case, according to WGR 550.
SB Nation's Buffalo Rumblings points out that this could mean he's at the facility but not participating in the practice.
Lynch, according to a report from Yahoo, planned on reporting to OTAs late last week, but that obviously didn't happen. While Lynch isn't facing any repercussions for missing these activities, this decision of his isn't doing him any favors in the court of public opinion.
Indeed he's not doing himself any favors. He's been the subject of trade rumors, feuded with local icons and that's not mentioning his past legal issues.
Some of those in the Buffalo Rumblings community are tired of the Marshawn Lynch show. Check out their reaction.
Bills RB Marshawn Lynch said in a May 24th Yahoo! Sports report that he would be showing up to the Bills OTAs "within the next week". While he's a little late with the prediction, it appears he'll soon be participating.
Adam Caplan of Scout.com is reporting that Lynch arrived in Buffalo on Tuesday night and it "looks like" he'll be at the Bills OTAs.
Lynch has been a point of contention recently in Buffalo. Aside from his legal trouble, he's reportedly been in a feud with Buffalo legend Thurman Thomas.
He's also been the talk of trade rumors dating back to the 2009 season. He recently revealed that Bills GM Buddy Nix told him he wouldn't be traded. However, that came before LenDale White was released, who could be considered a possibility in Buffalo even though he and Lynch have similar backgrounds.
It's never good to skip out on workouts -- voluntary or otherwise -- when there's a new coach in town. Chan Gailey hasn't seen much, if any, of Lynch so it's important that he has a good first impression.
If Lynch ultimately wants to get out of town (and there's no proof of that), he'll need a solid 2010 season to convince other teams he's worth the baggage.
For a reaction from Bills fans on this news, check out SB Nation's Buffalo Rumblings.
Perhaps no one in the NFL is riding with more pressure this offseason than Matt Leinart. A former first round pick, Leinart hasn't exactly lived up to expectations. Part of that is his own doing and part of that was the presence of Kurt Warner, who retired this offseason.
Leinart enters the 2010 season as the starter but Derek Anderson -- signed this offseason -- is nipping at his heels.
According to Darren Urban of the Cardinals official site, head coach Ken Whisenhunt says Leinart is coming into his own.
“It’s obvious to me he’s more comfortable with the whole process, not just throwing a pass or knowing where guys line up. He understands the concepts of the plays and he has the ability to get us in and out of certain plays, all those things you see more assuredness from him. I am excited with what he has done in the OTAs so far.”
There were some concerns early in the offseason that Anderson could supplant Leinart as the starter or that another veteran could be signed.
Leinart enters the 2010 season as the second to last remaining on his current contract. Even as a mediocre starter, Leinart can command some serious money. To do that, though, he'll have to remain the starter -- something he hasn't been able to do since an 11 game stint in 2007.
Keep up with SB Nation's Revenge of the Birds to track Leinart's progress this offseason.
The Cowboys drafted WR Dez Bryant in the first round so he was expected to play an important role in the offense.
The only problem was that there are two other bona fide number ones at receiver for the Cowboys. Would Bryant be a number one right away? The answer would be yes.
"It's crazy -- just a lot of weapons at one time on the field," Bryant said. "It's going to be hard to stop. ... It's exciting to be able to be out there with those guys. I felt like coach put me out there for a reason. They're trying to get me to learn everything as soon as possible. I'm doing a good job and it's just great."
All is good for Bryant but his teammates can't necessarily say the same thing.
Bryant's presence will likely push Roy Williams off the field in lots of situations. The Cowboys gave up a king's ransom in a trade last year for Williams and then committed quite a bit of cash to him. The results weren't quite what either side expected. On the flip side, Miles Austin had a breakout year and some reports suggest he'll receive a long-term deal before the end of the 2010 season.
However it all works out, the Cowboys are likely to enter the 2010 season with three number ones at receiver.
For a more detailed look at the Cowboys receiver situation, check out SB Nation's Blogging The Boys.
In October of 2008, Marlin Jackson suffered a season-ending knee injury. In June of 2009, he again suffered a season ending knee injury.
And now today, there's this two sentence release from the Eagles:
After an MRI this afternoon, Eagles defensive back Marlin Jackson was diagnosed with a ruptured Achilles tendon in his right leg. He suffered the injury during the Organized Team Activities this afternoon.
Jackson was "visibly upset" after injuring his ankle causing many to fear the worst. It's safe to say a ruptured Achilles falls under the "worst" category.
At some point, you've gotta be wondering when one of these injuries will be career-ending.
Eagles CB Marlin Jackson is coming off of back-to-back seasons ended by ACL injuries so this tweet from Eagles practice can't be good:
And now Marlin Jackson is down, after falling on a deep pass over the middle. Limping off, assisted by head ath trainer Rick Burkholder.
Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports Jackson was "visibly upset" and left the facility without his jersey on.
No word yet on the specifics of the injury but Jackson's reaction -- crying into his jersey while being carted off -- can't be promising.
After a couple weeks of practice in shorts, Rex Ryan is ready to declare LaDainian Tomlinson still has it.
"We had this little fold play and he just started boom, boom, boom, like this," Ryan said Thursday, zigzagging his hand. "Two or three different cuts. Clearly he would have made about 20 yards. I was like, 'Yeah, this is our guy.'"
Sure, he can run well in shorts but the question is what can he do in pads? The Chargers have one of the most prolific offenses and LT averaged over four yards per carry in just two games last season.
Why would things change in New York?
"His last game, as everybody is quick to point out, he never had a big game against us, but that was our day, I think," Ryan said, referring to the Jets' 17-14 win. "I believe he's got a lot more left. When you watch him out here bouncing around doing a great job with protections, running the football, he's still got that wiggle."
That game against New York Ryan is talking about? LT touched the ball 15 times and racked up 24 yards.
Before you start moving LT up your fantasy draft boards, remember Ryan also told reporters to "just watch" Vernon Gholston because he was going to have a good year. He did so well the Jets switched his position.
Restricted free agents Pierre Thomas and offensive tackle Jamal Brown have been absent from the Saints voluntary OTAs because neither have signed their one year tender offer in hopes to sign a long term deal with the club. Thomas has been at the Saints facility participating in the conditioning program while Brown has not been participating in any of the team's offseason workouts.
The keyword about their absences is that OTAs are voluntary:
It's not clear how long Thomas and Brown plan to stay away from the practice field. So far, all of the team activities have been voluntary. The June 4-6 minicamp is the first mandatory team activity. The media will have its first access to the team during Thursday's OTA session.
Thomas has been rumored to be getting a long term deal from the Saints before training camp begins. His absence could not be related at all to his contract, because Thomas was visiting his cousin in Chicago who had been shot, but he did not ask to be excused from team activities.
As for Thomas, he is less likely to get a long term deal because he was out all of last year with a hip injury, and the Saints have more youthful players ready to step in to his position.
Patrick Crayton will continue his bizarre standoff with the Cowboys by missing another set of OTAs, according to the Dallas Morning News. The Cowboys will conduct another set of OTAs starting Monday and Crayton is not expected to be in attendance.
Crayton is looking to be traded after the Cowboys drafted Dez Bryant in the first round and gave Roy Williams a big contract in a trade last year.
Crayton's agent has previously said he would "fulfill every obligation" in his contract and because these are voluntary OTAs, he's technically correct thus far.
The Cowboys have a mandatory minicamp in June. Crayton is expected to attend that because he could accrue fines by missing it.
There's likely little to no trade market for Crayton, who's scheduled to make $2 million in 2010, which makes his absence from OTAs confusing.
Check out more on the Cowboys and Crayton's absence at SB Nation's Blogging The Boys.
Tight end Bo Scaife is expected to finally report to the Titans for offseason workouts, according to Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.
Scaife is once again playing on a one-year contract.
In 2009, the Titans slapped him with the franchise tag which paid him $4.4 million. As a restricted free agent in 2010, Scaife is eligible for a 10% pay raise which brings his salary to $4.9 million.
Scaife, who signed his tender in March, hasn't attended any voluntary workouts thus far.
His reasons for missing are confusing. Sure, he wants a long-term deal like any NFL player does. However, it's hard to deny he's been very well-compensated. By the end of the 2010 season, he'll have earned over $9 million for two years of work.
Last season, Scaife caught 45 balls for 440 yards.
The Titans will conduct OTAs on Tuesday and Thursday of this week.
Check up on all things Titans at SB Nation's Music City Miracles.
Brandon Marshall's Miami debut isn't going as smoothly as he might have thought. After a surgery -- which ESPN reports is hip surgery -- Marshall will be out until training camp.
Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said it's nothing to be too concerned about. In fact, Marshall was throwing and catching on the day the procedure was done.
Marshall is understandably frustrated over the slow-start to his Dolphins career.
"It's definitely frustrating, but you know, some things you can't control," said Marshall, who didn't appear to be wearing any braces or show any other obvious sign of injury. "In my past, I learned that, not to worry myself and hold my head down when I can't control it. I'm just going to do the best I can with the mental reps and prepare myself that way."
Sam Bradford will likely sign in the next few months a contract in the neighborhood of $50 million guaranteed. He'll be far and away the highest paid player on the Rams roster and one of the highest in all of the league.
None of that mattered on Tuesday as he lined up for his first practice at Rams OTAs on the second team.
Veteran QB A.J. Feeley took first team snaps while Bradford and backup Keith Null split snaps. According to Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo, there shouldn't be any conclusions drawn from how the snaps were split.
"Somewhere in there, we'll give both Sam and Keith some reps with the first group, just to get them used to it," Spagnuolo said. "But right now, all the reps are evenly split. It's not like the ones are getting any more than the twos or threes. You want everybody to get a chance."
This is just the first session of OTAs so no assumptions can be made here. If Bradford isn't the starter at some point in the 2010 season, it would be a major upset.
This is the time of year NFL players begin to trickle back to their respective teams for the start of Organized Team Activities (OTAs). This is the only set of practices for the teams between the end of the season and the start of training camp.
Essentially, they're practices. But there are a few rules involved.
First and foremost, all OTAs are voluntary, according to article XXXV of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
No player shall be required to attend or participate in any off-season workout program or classroom instruction of a Club other than as provided in Article XXXVI (minicamps). Any other Club off-season workout programs and classroom instruction sessions shall be strictly voluntary.
Coaches can't say or do anything that would indicate they're anything but voluntary, according to the CBA. No matter how clearly that is stated, every year coaches seem to say things that would indicate they're not voluntary.
There are only pads and shorts in these practices and no hitting is allowed. Teams have been punished in the past for allowing contact drills.
Teams can also run 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills provided no live contact occurs.
The players are not to be on the field for longer than 90 minutes at a time and can't be at the facility for longer than four hours each day and no more than four days per week.
There are 14 of these sessions and most teams are starting them this week and running until the middle of June.
The oddest part of it all? Above any workout bonuses a player may have in his contract, he'll receive $130 per day to participate in the workouts.
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