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Volume 6, Issue 6 (Tuesday, April 19th)

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Hi Folks,

We're counting down the days till the NFL Draft and you can feel the
excitement in the air. Starting Monday, April 25, we'll be sending
these email updates daily as we have for the past five years. They'll
be all you need to stay on top of everything that's happening. Thanks
for being a part of what we're doing and have a great rest of the




1. NFLPA: We Told Owens Not to Sign 04 Deal With Philly
2. New Panthers' TE: Freddie Jones
3. Viking's WR Campbell: Charged with Gun, Marijuana Violations
4. Viking's OL: C Matt Birk Struggling with Sports Hernias
5. Vikings: Looking to Move Up for WR Edwards?
6. 49ers: QB Smith the #1?
7. RB McGahee: A Top Ten RB in 2005? (Commentary)
8. Bill's RB Henry: On the Trading Block on Draft Day?
9. Dolphins' QB: A Duel in the Making
10. Bears' QB Grossman: Not Injury Prone?
11. Packers' QB: Frye to Be Favre's Heir?
12. Draft Busts: An Overview
13. Bucs Should Draft a Starting RB (Commentary)
14. QBs Smith, Rodgers: Ready for Starting Role? (Commentary)
15. IDP: Jets Consider Dyson at CB; Abraham to Retire?
16. IDP: CB Nick Harper Re-ups with Indy
17. IDP: LB Sharper to Seattle
18. Worst Idea? QB Peete to Join "Best Damn Sports Show" (Commentary)


1. NFLPA: We Told Owens Not to Sign 04 Deal With Philly

Clipped from: Washington Post article by Mark Maske, 4/16/04

The NFL Players Association advised wide receiver Terrell Owens last
year not to sign the seven-year, nearly $49 million contract with the
Philadelphia Eagles that he wants to renegotiate after one season with
the team.

A union source said yesterday the deal contains contract language
that's unfavorable to Owens. The source declined to elaborate but said
Owens told union officials at the time he was ignoring their
recommendation because he trusted Eagles Coach Andy Reid.

Owens recently fired the agent who negotiated his contract with the
Eagles, David Joseph, and hired Drew Rosenhaus. Owens and Rosenhaus
have said publicly that they want the Eagles to negotiate a new
contract with them. Eagles officials do not seem interested in
reworking the deal, which is to pay Owens a salary of $3.25 million
next season. It contains $16 million in bonus money, but $7.5 million
of that total is not due until 2006.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Owens and Rosenhaus seem to be positioning themselves to fight this
renegotiation out with the Eagles – a team that has a history of
refusing to rework contracts (just ask Duce Staley…). It's still
obviously very early, but the potential is there for a long, drawn out
affair. It's enough for Owens owners to be concerned. Stay Tuned…


2. New Panthers TE: Freddie Jones

Clipped from: Gaston Gazette article by Steve Reid, 4/19/05

Any speculation the Carolina Panthers might select a tight end high in
the NFL draft ended on Monday when the team signed unrestricted free
agent Freddie Jones from the Arizona Cardinals.

Terms of the contract were not announced and the team did not release
any details on free agent moves in light of the death of linebackers
coach Sam Mills.

A product of the University of North Carolina, Jones, 30, has 404
catches for 4,232 yards and 22 touch-downs in his career.

However, his production has dropped off in recent years. After
catching 71 passes for San Diego in 2000, he's averaged 44.8 catches
over the last four seasons, the last three of which he's spent with
the Cardinals.

Still, Jones would give the Panthers a legitimate receiving threat at
tight end, although they don't use the tight end in passing downs as
much as other teams in the league.

Right now, the Panthers starter is Kris Mangum, but Jones would be an
immediate upgrade as far as his receiving skills. Mangum is better
known for his blocking and has occasionally lined up in the backfield
and as an H-back.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Jones was the 20th-ranked fantasy TE last season, with 45/426/2 to his
credit. However, as the article notes, the Panthers haven't been using
the TE very much in recent years. It's been several years since Wesley
Walls was a force there. We'll have to wait and see if Jones' arrival
will signal a change in that phase of the passing game or not.


3. Viking's WR Campbell: Charged with Gun, Marijuana Violations

Clipped from: Star-Tribune article by Staff, 4/19/05

Vikings receiver Kelly Campbell was formally charged Monday by the
Fulton County (Ga.) District Attorney with receiving a stolen gun and
possession of marijuana.

Campbell, 24, was arrested Feb. 24 after an Atlanta police officer saw
the SUV the Viking was driving cross the center line to pass three or
four cars and drive in the wrong lane, the police report said. The
officer said he smelled marijuana when he walked to Campbell's
driver's side window.

A search of Campbell's 2003 GMC Denali found the handgun, reported
stolen in Florida, and 16 grams of marijuana under the center console,
the incident report said.

The theft by receiving stolen property charge is a felony and could
carry a possible sentence of one to 10 years. However, according to
Fulton County district attorney spokesman Erik Friedly, the charge
could be reduced to a misdemeanor at the discretion of the judge.
Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

The Vikings team and coaching staff have a few black eyes due to
off-field shenanigans this off-season. While Campbell's situation
isn't the end of the world, the indiscretion is yet another sign that
the team has some discipline problems amongst the players and coaches.


4. Viking's OL: C Matt Birk Struggling with Sports Hernias

Clipped from: Pioneer Press article by Bob Sansevere, 4/19/05

After undergoing two surgeries during the 2004 season — one in the
preseason, one in midseason — Birk had hoped he was done with hernias.
But this offseason, there was pain, a familiar pain. Birk had it
checked out. He learned he had another sports hernia on his right side
along with what he described as "a full-blown hernia'' on his left

He had surgery to repair them on St. Patrick's Day. And now, he
wonders about his future and whether his career could be endangered if
he has more hernias.

"I've had nights staying up thinking about that,'' Birk said.

If he held a desk job or something less rigorous than playing center
in the NFL, a hernia wouldn't prevent him from working.

"It's just kind of from wear and tear and the stress put on that
area,'' Birk said. "So many people have come up to me and said they
had the same thing. But if you don't use your body or don't use it the
way we do, it's not as much of a problem. It's bothersome when you
make explosive movements or lift heavy things.''

Birk explodes into a heavy thing — a 300-plus pound defensive tackle —
on just about every play in a game.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

The center/quarterback exchange is a vital part of every single play –
it won't be good news for Daunte Culpepper and company if Birk is
forced into retirement by these recurring hernias. Keep an eye on
Birk's status once training camp starts if you have Vikings on your
roster or are thinking about drafting some players from Minnesota.


5. Vikings: Looking to Move Up for WR Edwards?

Clipped from: Miami Herald article by Jason Cole, 4/19/05

The Dolphins have been contacted by Minnesota about a possible trade
as the Vikings try to find a trading partner to move up from the No. 7
overall pick in the NFL draft to get Michigan receiver Braylon

A Vikings source confirmed that the team has talked to San Francisco
and Miami about a possible move. In addition, another source said
Minnesota also is talking with Cleveland about the No. 3 pick.

The Vikings have the No. 7 and No. 18 picks, and will be looking for
the cheapest trade among the top picks.

The Vikings are at least the second team to express interest in the
Dolphins' No. 2 overall pick in the draft, which begins Saturday. Last
week, Tampa Bay expressed interest in the No. 2 in hopes of getting
quarterback Alex Smith with that pick. All of the talks are considered
preliminary at this point because no one is quite sure whom San
Francisco will select with the No. 1 overall pick. The 49ers have
opened contract talks with Edwards, Smith and the agent for Cal
quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Obviously, with Randy Moss hanging his cleats in Oakland these days,
the Vikings are looking for other options at WR. If Edwards lands with
the Minnesota offense, it would be an ideal situation for the young


6. 49ers: QB Smith the #1?

Clipped from: Washington Post article by Mark Maske, 4/19/05

The San Francisco 49ers apparently plan to choose Utah quarterback
Alex Smith with the first selection in the NFL draft Saturday if they
can agree to a contract with him in the next few days.

The 49ers intensified negotiations with Smith's agent, Tom Condon,
yesterday after informing the representatives of Cal quarterback Aaron
Rodgers that they favored Smith, a source involved in the discussions
said. The 49ers would reevaluate their options around midweek if
they're unable to agree to a contract with Smith, said the source, who
spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deliberations were at
a sensitive stage.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

It looks like Alex Smith will be the next 49ers QB after Saturday – if
the team and he can agree to a deal. We're not very excited about
Smith as a fantasy option during 2005 if he lands with the rebuilding
49ers, but if you are a dynasty owner with a solid #1 QB already, he
might be worth picking up and stashing on your bench.


7. RB McGahee: A Top Ten RB in 2005? (Commentary)

Clipped from: Democrat and Chronicle article by Bob Matthews, 4/17/05

Do you honestly think Willis McGahee will be one of the 10 best
running backs in the NFL this season?

Yes, I believe he can be, based on what he showed last year in terms
of ability and durability, coupled with the probability that he will
improve in his second full season. His longest run last year was 41
yards, and I'll be surprised if he doesn't have several longer TD
jaunts this season.

I rate the following eight backs a notch above McGahee, based on their
past production and projections for this season: Shaun Alexander,
Ahman Green, Priest Holmes, Edgerrin James, Jamal Lewis, Curtis
Martin, Fred Taylor and LaDainian Tomlinson.

I put McGahee at the next level on a list including Tiki Barber, Chris
Brown, Corey Dillon, Rudi Johnson, Deuce McAllister and Clinton
Portis. I believe McGahee has more potential than any of them. Julius
Jones and Steven Jackson are knocking on the door.

The three best running backs in the draft (Ronnie Brown, Cedric Benson
and Carnell Williams) figure to get opportunities to display their
talent this season but they will be on poor teams.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

One mans' opinion – but it's worth noting and comparing to your early


8. Bill's RB Henry: On the Trading Block on Draft Day?

Clipped from: Democrat and Chronicle article by Leo Roth, 4/13/05

Noted for his draft day blockbusters, Donahoe has a big ace card this
year with which to work a trade and move up the draft order:
disgruntled former starting running back Travis Henry.

A depressed market for ball carriers and Donahoe's insistence on
getting what he decides is "fair market value" for Henry have
prevented a deal from taking place so far. But things tend to happen
fast on draft weekend.

"As far as exploring things on draft day, we'll explore everything,"
Donahoe told the media on Monday during a pre-draft luncheon at Ralph
Wilson Stadium. "We've already — and this is most unusual — we've
already had some calls about teams with first-round picks that want to
get out of there. That may be more the norm than not this year because
of all the uncertainty of who the first rounders might be."

This year's draft is unique in that scouts can't agree on a slam-dunk
top 20 players, causing uneasiness among teams holding picks in that
range. The best chance for a deal involving Henry still involves the
Arizona Cardinals, who after weeks of talking are offering the Bills
veteran tackle L.J. Shelton for Henry in a straight player-for-player

"We're not interested in that. We've told them that," Donahoe said.
"When we receive from somebody what we feel as a staff is a fair
trade, we'll make the trade, and if not, we're not going to trade him
just to trade him. ... A lot of things could change in the next couple

Certain to affect the Henry talks is what Arizona does with the No. 8
pick overall. If coach Dennis Green elects to take a much-needed
cornerback — he rates Miami's Antrel Rolle, West Virginia's Adam Jones
and Auburn's Carlos Rogers as Top 10 picks — then Green may be likely
to spice up a deal for Henry. Swapping the Cardinals' 44th slot in the
second round for Buffalo's 55th might get it done.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

The Henry-to-Arizona scenario has been talked about a lot during the
off-season – we'll see what happens in the frenzied atmosphere of the
NFL draft this weekend…


9. Dolphins' QB: A Duel in the Making

Clipped from: Sun-Sentinel article by Alex Marvez, 4/15/05

Frerotte's next fight will be against Feeley, who hasn't secured the
No. 1 position under first-year coach Nick Saban despite starting six
of the Dolphins' final seven games in 2004. Feeley said he wasn't
surprised by the Dolphins' decision to sign Frerotte, a 12-year
veteran with 64 career starts, or that Saban has opened the position
to competition despite hinting that wouldn't be the case earlier this

"Right now, the thing for me is to improve my individual skills," said
Feeley, who has bulked up 13 pounds since last season to 223 through
offseason workouts. "I want to learn as much of the offense as I can
right now, so I really don't worry about the depth chart or the reps."

The Dolphins won't hold their first veteran minicamp practices until
May, but Frerotte is expected to initially have a better grasp of the
offense, because he played in new coordinator Scott Linehan's system
the past two years in Minnesota. Feeley faced similar circumstances
last season when arriving from Philadelphia to compete against Jay
Fiedler, who already was familiar running the Dolphins' offense.
Feeley failed to win the starting job entering the regular season.

Saban recently grew angry when asked how he would split practice
repetitions between Feeley and Frerotte, claiming that "to make an
issue out of how many reps a guy gets and how good he plays" was
wrong. But Feeley said Thursday that his development in learning the
offense was hurt when ex-Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt evenly split
his snaps with Fiedler.

"To be honest with you, there probably is some truth to that," said
Feeley, who had five career NFL starts before last season. "But that's
last year. It's one of those things where trying to figure out
everything that happened last year that was negative and trying to
learn and move forward. ..."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

The Dolphin's QB situation is not at all settled – and it remains to
be seen how good their offense will be in 2005. The 2004 version was
pathetic. If the team can settle on one guy to guide the offense early
in training camp, the stability might help the Dolphins' skill
position players be more productive.


10. Bears' QB Grossman: Not Injury Prone?

Clipped from: Chicago Tribune article by Terry Bannon, 4/17/05

Two years ago this week, Grossman flew from Florida to the Chicago
home of his sister, Ashley Fox, to watch the NFL draft. A day later,
after the Bears traded the fourth pick of the draft and wound up with
the 22nd, Grossman was a Bear.

"I can remember how it felt, but it does seem like a long time ago,"
Grossman said.

Since then, Grossman has had two major injuries. A broken middle
finger on his passing hand knocked him out of the 2003 season finale
at Kansas City after the Bears waited until they were eliminated from
playoff consideration to start him.

And a torn ligament in his right knee ended his 2004 season after three games.

Six games. Two injuries. And deserved or not, a reputation for getting hurt.

"I've had two freak injuries," Grossman said. "Hopefully all that
stuff's behind me. I don't feel like I'm injury-prone, if there is
such a thing.

"I've played full-contact football since 2nd grade and all through
high school and in the Southeastern Conference, where I was hit a ton,
a lot more than people think.

"Coming into the league one of my strengths was being durable, and the
fact that both [injuries] were not contact-related, I classify them as
freak accidents."

At Kansas City, Grossman was injured bracing his fall. At Minnesota
last year, he simply planted his foot on the Metrodome's new
artificial turf as he dived for a touchdown.

Grossman promises he won't be timid about running when needed, but he
has learned some lessons.

"Even before the surgery, I needed to learn to slide better, to get
down and avoid unnecessary hits," he said. "[Sometimes] I need to run
out of bounds to save my body.

"As far as rolling out and cutting back and doing the stuff I've
always done, I'm not going to change."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

The Bears got Grossman a quality target in Muhsin Muhammad during free
agency – we'll see how the two jell once training camp begins.
Grossman has had so little playing time during the past 2 years that
it's hard to say if he can be a quality starter at this level of the
game. Stay tuned…


11. Packers' QB: Frye to Be Favre's Heir?

Clipped from: Press Gazette article by Pete Dougherty, 4/19/05

"I like Charlie Frye better," said Geep Chryst, a former NFL
quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator who scouted the Senior
Bowl and NFL scouting combine this offseason.

"He's probably one of those guys where the whole is better than the
sum of his components. You watch him throw at the Senior Bowl, Charlie
was just kind of in the mix.

"But he's one of those athletes that just kind of figures out as the
game goes on, 'This is what I have to do to win.'"

The Packers have scrutinized this quarterback crop, and there's a
decent chance they'll use a first-day pick at that position.

Whether they'd consider using their first-rounder, at No. 24 overall,
is another matter. No scouts interviewed for this story put a
first-round grade on Frye or Campbell, though two said they wouldn't
be surprised if Frye was drafted late in the round.

Frye, like Losman last year, elicits some comparisons with Favre when
it comes to temperament, though he's different in significant ways.
At 6-foot-37/8, Frye is almost 2 inches taller than the 6-2 Favre. But
he doesn't have the cannon arm that Favre has.

However, the first words many scouts use to describe Frye are "tough,"
"competitive," "gritty" and a "leader," terms often used to describe
Favre. Although Frye doesn't have the arm strength to make some of the
across-the-body throws that Favre can, he's shown an ability to
manufacture plays while on the run.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Considering the quality WR stable in Green Bay, and the fact that
Favre seriously considered retirement this past off-season, having
Frye on your dynasty league's roster wouldn't be a bad move, if you
have a need at the position.


12. Draft Busts: An Overview

Clipped from: Post-Gazette article by Staff, 4/19/05

What makes a bust? Usually, it's a combination of a high pick followed
by poor performance over a short career. Sometimes, it's a pick so
obviously bad when it's made that the team busted, not the player. And
then there are those classics where a team takes a high bust while
passing over a future Hall of Famer, such as Jerry Rice. Here's a look
at some notable draft busts over the past two decades, not necessarily
the biggest busts, but among the more interesting, with their overall
NFL draft position in parenthesis.

QB Ryan Leaf, (No. 2, 1998, Chargers), Washington State: After
debating for months over which quarterback would be taken first, him
or Peyton Manning, Leaf's career lasted about that long, months.

OT Tony Mandarich (2, 1989, Packers) Michigan State: All 'roided up
and ready to go, this Sports Illustrated cover boy had the poor
misfortune of entering the league in the first year it dished out
steroids punishment. Pack bypassed Barry Sanders (3), Derrick Thomas
(4) among others.

QB Akili Smith (3, 1999, Bengals), 1999, Oregon: Cincinnati also
fanned on QB David Klingler with the sixth pick in 1992. Carson Palmer
(1, 2003) became the third QB Bengals drafted in top six in dozen

LB Brian Bosworth (2, 1987, Seahawks), Oklahoma: Three seasons, 24
games, 4 sacks. The only thing his NFL career surpassed was his film

CB Bruce Pickens (3, 1991, Falcons), Nebraska: More like slim Pickens.
Played 5 seasons, had 2 interceptions. Falcons had foresight to draft
Brett Favre in the second round that year, but then traded him to
Green Bay.

RB Alonzo Highsmith (3, Miami, Oilers), RB Brent Fullwood (4, Auburn,
Packers), LB Mike Junkin (5, Duke, Browns) and QB Kelly Stouffer (6,
Colorado State, Cardinals), 1987: All four were mighty busts and the
picks of Junkin and Stouffer came unexpectedly high, which allowed the
Steelers to accept Rod Woodson as a gift at No. 10.

RB Blair Thomas (2, 1990, Jets), Penn State: 2,236 yards rushing in 8
seasons. The first of a trio of big Nittany Lions busts at the
position in the decade. The Bengals drafted Ki-Jana Carter No. 1 in
1995 and the Bears drafted Curtis Enis No. 5 in 1998.

QB Heath Shuler (3, 1994, Redskins), Tennessee: Four seasons, 29
games, 593 passes. Right school, right position, four years too early
for Washington.

QB Andre Ware (7, 1990, Lions), Houston: Four seasons, 14 games, 161
passes. Could have had OT Richmond Webb to block for Barry Sanders.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Before you get too excited about the new crop of NFL prospects, it's
worth being reminded about all the high-profile players who never
panned out. Blair Thomas , Ki-Jana Carter and Curtis Enis are all
infamous names in fantasy football circles…


13. Bucs Should Draft a Starting RB (Commentary)

Clipped from: Tampa Bay Online article by Joey Johnston, 4/18/05

Saturday, the Bucs should use their No. 5 overall selection for a
running back. Don't trade up. Don't trade down. Stand pat, keep the
other picks for later, and finally address the franchise's most
glaring need.

By all accounts, there are three excellent runners available - Ronnie
Brown and Carnell "Cadillac'' Williams of Auburn, Cedric Benson of
Texas - each of whom rates as top-five
in value.

The Bucs ranked 29th in rushing, averaging 93.1 yards per game (almost
unthinkably, the third time in four seasons for Tampa Bay to have a
sub-100-yard average). They were woefully one-dimensional and
predictable in many of last season's losses.

Rarely have the Bucs been in position to acquire a big-time runner. In
fact, they haven't picked this high since 1990.

But after going 5-11, the Bucs have earned this luxury. Here's a
chance to get a backfield catalyst, the cornerstone for a rebuilding

The Bucs must get this one right.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Tampa Bay could also use some decent offensive linemen (as the article
goes on to discuss), but there is no doubt that a premium RB would be
in a position to rack up some fantasy points in Tampa.


14. QBs Smith, Rodgers: Ready for Starting Role? (Commentary)

Clipped from: Sacramento Bee article by Jim Jenkins, 4/17/05

Could Rodgers and Smith step in and perform likewise as rookies?

A majority of scouts feel they have the physical tools - sufficient
arm strength, quick release, accuracy and escapability - to play as
rookies. But what about the intangibles that routinely take a few
years to develop in the NFL, the decision-making under fire and
recognizing complex defensive formations?

An immediate hurdle for Smith would seem to be adjusting from a
shotgun offense in college to the under-center, backpedaling style of
the pro game. He disagrees.

"If I were a big, immobile guy, I would say it would be a concern," he
said during his visit with the 49ers last week. "Dropping back is not
going to be something that is hard for me. Every (pro) workout I have
had has been under center, and I haven't taken a snap from the 'gun'
since then."

And there are others to consider.

Also rating favorably but projected to go in the second or third round
are Jason Campbell from Auburn, whose stock rose after an undefeated
season; and Charlie Frye of Akron, who hopes to became the latest
Mid-American Conference quarterback to make an impact in the NFL,
following in the footsteps of the New York Jets' Chad Pennington and
Jacksonville Jaguars' Byron Leftwich, both from Marshall, and

Kyle Orton of Purdue is seen as going no later than the third round,
but he had a mediocre senior season. In the same category is Andrew
Walter of Arizona State. He is the tallest of the highest-rated
college quarterbacks at 6-foot-6 and has many of the physical pluses
and field smarts teams seek, but he had season-ending shoulder surgery
in December.

Should any of those ranked behind Rodgers and Smith sink lower than
expected, don't be surprised if one of them ends up with the Raiders,
who, barring another deal, don't pick until the second round because
they traded their first-round pick to Minnesota for Randy Moss.

Bucking the normal routine of most coaches in the league, Raiders
coach Norv Turner didn't do a predraft news conference, so there have
been no hints. But with quarterback Rich Gannon expected to be
released, Oakland just might want another potential backup for Kerry
Collins who would compete against Marques Tuiasosopo, a 2001
second-round pick who has had only cameo NFL appearances.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

There are lots of examples of rookie QBs who couldn't step in and play
well in the NFL – Eli Manning, who has all the pedigree and physical
tools in the world didn't do well in fantasy terms last season. Don't
risk your 2005 campaign by relying on a rookie QB.


15. IDP: Jets Consider Dyson at CB; Abraham to Retire?

Clipped from: article by Ken Berger, 4/18/05

With cornerback Donnie Abraham contemplating retirement, the Jets
apparently are poised to replace him with free agent Andre Dyson.

A team official could not confirm reports over the weekend that Dyson,
a productive if not elite cornerback, would visit the Jets' Hofstra
facility today. Though Dyson lacks the size and strength to be a
classic shutdown cornerback, he would be an upgrade over Abraham and
would give the Jets flexibility in the draft.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Dyson was 115th amongst fantasy DBs last season, but he had 6
interceptions and 15 passes defensed – he isn't afraid to go after the
ball. If your league rewards interceptions and passes defensed
strongly, he might be worth a look if he lands in New York.


16. IDP: CB Nick Harper Re-ups with Indy

Clipped from: Indy Star article by Mike Chappell, 4/15/05

After spending six weeks on the NFL's veteran free agent market, Nick
Harper decided there was no place like home.

The Indianapolis Colts' veteran cornerback, free to test his value on
the open market since March 1, agreed to a two-year contract with the
team. Hadley Engelhard, Harper's agent, confirmed the deal Thursday
but declined to address financial details.

Harper could not be reached for comment.

"There was quite a bit of interest in Nick and a couple of interesting
situations," Engelhard said. "We kept our options open.

"But in the end, Nick really wanted to stay in Indy. Fortunately there
was a meeting of the minds."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Harper was a serviceable fantasy starter at DB last year, ranking 35th
in average fantasy points per week. He'll see a lot of action in the
Colt's mediocre defense as teams struggle (and pass a lot) to keep up
with the scoring machine that is the Indianapolis offense.


17. IDP: LB Sharper to Seattle

Clipped from: Seattle Times article by Jose Miguel Romero, 4/13/05

Sharper is scheduled to be introduced today at Seahawks headquarters
in Kirkland, where he likely will explain why he chose the Seahawks
over the Cincinnati Bengals and Marvin Lewis, his former defensive
coordinator in Baltimore. After his release from the Houston Texans on
April 1, many thought Sharper would sign with the Bengals or a team
located closer to his East Coast home.

Instead, he becomes the Seahawks' most high-profile addition this offseason.
Sharper, who is 6 feet 3 and 239 pounds, fills a major need at
linebacker. This offseason, the team has released veteran outside
linebacker Anthony Simmons and lost middle linebacker Orlando Huff to
Arizona in free agency.

The Seahawks were looking at a starting linebacker corps consisting of
second-year player Niko Koutouvides, who showed promise last season in
the middle; D.D. Lewis on the weak side, coming off a season on
injured reserve; and oft-injured 34-year-old Chad Brown on the strong
side. Newly signed Kevin Bentley is also expected to contend for a
starting job.

Now it remains to be seen whose contracts will be restructured and/or
who might be released in order to enable the team to pay Sharper.

Brown is a candidate for a pay cut — his agent, Peter Schaffer, said
yesterday that he and the Seahawks have discussed such a situation —
and could see his $4.2 million salary cut to as low as $1 million this
season. If the sides cannot agree to a reduced salary, Brown could be

"Chad would like a win-win contract," Schaffer said. "That's what
we're shooting for."

[[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Sharper is a prime LB at the zenith of his career (and a top-ten
fantasy prospect). He is on the wrong side of 30, but there is no
reason to expect his production to drop off in 2005.


18. Worst Idea? QB Peete to Join "Best Damn Sports Show" (Commentary)

Clipped from: Philadelphia Daily News article by Kevin Mulligan, 4/19/05

Strange decision of the spring came in yesterday. Ex-Eagles
quarterback Rodney Peete, 39, one of the true good guys in sports, is
calling it a career after 16 seasons with six NFL teams.

The reason he's retiring, we don't get a little bit. His TV skills,
experience, looks and insights are perfect for the big network NFL
shows. Yet, rather than retire and be patient and listen to TV offers,
Peete is beginning at the bottom: He will co-host the absolute worst
sports television talk show in history, the misnamed "Best Damn Sports
Show, Period." Yes, in my opinion, it's worse than ESPN's "Cold Pizza"
and "Rome Is Burning" and all those other trash "sports-related" shows
on ESPN and Fox.

Rodney, what are you thinking?

You and wife Holly Robinson Peete could have hosted your own show.
You'd have been a great addition on the Sunday studio shows or, at
worst, replaced the biggest waste of time, space and money on NFL TV,
Fox sideline bozo Tony Siragusa. You could have gone down so many
better avenues. But this? This?

We'll pull for you, Rod, but sorry, won't go near that garbage on my tube.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Can't believe they're dogging my man, Goose…


On that note, I'll wrap this one up folks. Have a great rest of the
week and enjoy the Draft this Weekend. We'll see you Monday with
another update.

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