Bengals prepared to move on without Chad Johnson
Marvin Lewis sharpened his comments about Chad Johnson to a razor's edge Tuesday, the coach saying the Cincinnati Bengals are "prepared to move on" if the all-star wide receiver decides to sit out the 2008 season the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Speaking during the AFC coaches' breakfast at the annual NFL meeting, Lewis talked openly and passionately about Johnson and challenged his team to rise above one player's squabble with the club. Johnson, a five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, has made a series of comments about the Bengals — most of them negative — over the past three months. He has threatened to sit out, though he remains under contract through 2010 with the Bengals holding an option for 2011. Lewis said the team will not trade Johnson.
"It's unfortunate that Chad has put himself in that situation, because a lot of people who really had affection for him now see him in a different light," Lewis said. "Hopefully some of the things he said, he's going to have to face one way or another. If he shows and does things, and does (them) the right way, I'm willing to take the bullets for him again and allow him to come back the right way."
Denver's Cutler takes shot at teammate Marshall
In his first offseason interview, one sprinkled with unusually blunt criticism, the Denver Broncos quarterback called out his No. 1 receiver and fellow third-year star who suffered a gash on his right forearm while horsing around last month.
"Yeah, he's not my favorite person right now," Cutler said. "I mean, I support him, but it's always something with him right now."
Defensive radios could present problems for NFL
According to Profootballtalk.com there were discussions before the NFL adopted a rule allowing radios in the helmet of a defensive player. The defensive player who wears the green-dotted helmet will be told to report to the umpire before he takes the field. But Vikings coach Brad Childress and Panthers coach John Fox both raised concerns at Tuesday's meeting about whether it was feasible for a substituting defensive player to check in with the umpire before lining up.
For instance, Childress pointed out that he might want to use a setup in which he had a linebacker wearing the helmet radio in the base defense, and a defensive back wearing it in the nickel package. If it's third-and-10 and the nickel back replaces the linebacker, does it make sense to force him to check in with the umpire and point to the green dot on his helmet between plays?
Falcons executive Rich McKay, who was running the meeting in his role as a co-chair of the Competition Committee, said it would be up to the defensive player to report to the umpire. McKay didn't seem too concerned about problems arising, and apparently Childress and Fox weren't either, because both the Vikings and Panthers voted for the proposal. But it seems likely that there will be at least one play this year when a defensive player is out of position because he was too busy making sure the umpire knew whether he had the green dot on his helmet to get lined up on time.
Dallas forced Browns to up Anderson's contract offer
General Manager Phil Savage upped the Cleveland Browns' contract offer to Derek Anderson because he feared Dallas would sign the quarterback and trade him to Miami according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
"It didn't matter if I was pretty convinced or just slightly," Savage said Tuesday at NFL league meetings. "The threat of that being there [influenced him to raise the Browns' offer]."
Here's what Savage envisioned if he failed to re-sign Anderson to a multiyear deal and had to give him the one-year contract tender as a restricted free agent: Dallas would have signed Anderson to a big contract and included a "poison pill," which would have made it impossible for the Browns to match the offer. Dallas would have compensated the Browns with first- and third-round picks. They would be the Cowboys' original selections, No. 28 overall in both rounds. Dallas would have traded Anderson and their other first-round pick - No. 22 overall, obtained from the Browns last year - to Miami for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. The Cowboys then would select Arkansas running back Darren McFadden with that pick.