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Volume 6, Issue 44 (Wednesday, June 1st)

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Tonight's update brought to you by Fanstar.com

Incorporating a FLASH interface with an already extensive stable of
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Hi Folks,

Big news today as we unveil a brand new feature that I think honestly
revolutionizes how we do one of the most important things on our site.
Plus thanks to our Will Grant for rounding up these stories tonight.
Let's get to it.

J

******************************

Site News:

A. Real Time Expert Rankings. On the surface, this feature may
not seem all that big but trust me it's huge. Our Expert Rankings
have always been a giant undertaking. For each set of rankings, each
expert used to submit their rankings and David and Clayton would spend
hours formatting and putting together. Invariably, as soon as they
finished a complete set of rankings, an important player would be
injured the next day and the entire process would start over.

No more. We now have the ability for all our Experts to update their
rankings on the fly at any time they want. The rankings are now
automatically formatted and sorted. What this means is that our
rankings can now reflect news almost as quickly as it happens. A
perfect case today was the Koren Robinson DUI story. Since he's on
such shaky ground already, a DUI here could spell the end of his time
in Seattle. Within hours, every one of our Experts had updated their
rankings to reflect the bad news about Robinson. It eliminates a big
bottleneck for our staff in posting material and more importantly, it
gives the reader the most current information possible. Here's a look
at the WRs.

B. More info on our Survivor contest
Here's a better page describing our incredibly popular Survivor contest.


/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

1. SEA - WR Robinson Charged with DUI.
2. PHI - RB Westbrook Signs One Year Deal.
3. MIA - RB Williams Salary Issue May Delay His Return.
4. ATL - WR Price staying Put.
5. PIT - WR Gibson signs Three Year Deal
6. SF - WR McAddley Signed. DB Rumph Returns.
7. HOU - Ragone Doing Well in NFLE.
8. NE - OFF Release OT Lance Nimmo and Chris Redman
9. NO - IDP LB Ruff to Be Released.
10. NYG - IDP DL Strahan Ready for Action.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

1. SEA - WR Robinson Charged with DUI.

Clipped from: KiroTV.com article posted 6/1/05

Seattle Seahawks receiver Koren Robinson faces DUI and reckless
driving charges following a May 6 incident in Medina, the News Tribune
reported

Robinson, 25, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the misdemeanor criminal
charges filed in Kirkland Municipal Court. He is expected back in
court July 18.

Robinson served a four-game NFL suspension for substance abuse last
season. He sought treatment for alcohol abuse earlier this year and
completed it in time to participate in the Seahawks' post-draft
minicamp in April. Medina Police officer David Obermiller cited
Robinson on suspicion of DUI and reckless driving May 6.

Robinson has 213 catches for 3,167 yards and 12 touchdowns in four NFL
seasons. He led the team in 2002 with 78 catches for 1,240 yards.
Robinson's production dropped last season. He had 31 catches for 495
yards and two touchdowns in 10 games last season. Robinson is
scheduled to earn $1.35 million in 2005.

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

As the breaking news article earlier today stated, this may be the
last straw for K-Rob in Seattle. He's falling a long way in the FBG
expert rankings, as many of us expect that he'll be released. Expect
the league to chime in here if Robinson is found guilty. Another
suspension would certainly be in order if he were guilty. But even
without a league action, it appears he's really pushing the envelope
with the team on how many chances he will see. We'll keep you posted
on this situation as it develops.

ESPN reports that the team is disappointed with Robinson's actions as
well, but stopped short of saying that he would be released.

``We are extremely disappointed and concerned with Koren's
situation,'' the team said in a news release Wednesday. ``We have
established several programs, both league- and team-sponsored, to
support and help him. We will continue to encourage him to use this
support network and believe he should be held accountable for his
actions.''

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

2. PHI - RB Westbrook Signs One Year Deal.

Clipped from: ESPN news services article 6/1/05

Running back Brian Westbrook showed up at the Eagles' voluntary
passing camp Wednesday, ending his two-month contract holdout.

He signed his $1.43 million, one-year tender offer Wednesday and will
participate in the team's optional camp.

Versatile Westbrook is coming off a breakout season in which he led
the team with 1,515 total yards and was tops among NFL running backs
with 73 catches for 703 yards and six touchdowns, despite sitting out
the last two regular season games. Westbrook was a key component of
the Eagles' trip to the Super Bowl and caught a 10-yard touchdown pass
in the Eagles' 24-21 loss to the Patriots.

He has been seeking a long-term contract but had until June 15 to sign
a $1.43 million restricted free agent tender or risk having it
reduced. Westbrook, who still would prefer a multiyear deal, is
eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2005 season.

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

At least this is some good news for Eagle fans. With all of the
holdouts and talk of contract renegotiations, it's good to see that
Westbrook was willing to sign the one-year deal. He'll be playing for
a long-term contract for 2006 and beyond. If the Eagles can't work
out something before the season, Westbrook will be an unrestricted
free agent and would certainly be a hot commodity next summer.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

3. MIA - RB Williams Salary Issue May Delay His Return.

Clipped from: Miami Herald.com article by Jason Cole 6/1/05

There could be one hiccup in Ricky Williams' return to the Dolphins,
and it has nothing to do with drug use.

In fact, the NFL might be willing to cut Williams a small break in his
return to the game based on his willingness to be tested again earlier
than required under the league's substance abuse policy.

But a more vexing issue for the Dolphins could be a debate over
whether Williams is due to make a $3.7 million base salary next season
or the league minimum of $540,000 based on the language in the
contract. The difference could have a huge impact over whether
Williams is even on the team by late July when the Dolphins are
scheduled to begin training camp.

The $3.7 million figure would be far too much for the Dolphins to
handle under the salary cap this season and could force the team to
cut Williams. The $540,000 figure would be easy for the Dolphins to
deal with.

Agent Leigh Steinberg declined to discuss the matter other than to
say, ``I don't see Ricky playing for that [$540,000] figure.''

At least five attorneys with a background in contract law have read
Williams' contract, which was renegotiated with the Dolphins in
September 2002.

Two attorneys believe Williams has a right to a $3.7 million salary.
Two believe he should be making $540,000. The remaining attorney said
the matter was worthy of a good debate in front of an arbitrator, if
it comes to that.

''There are clauses in the contract that are pretty strongly worded in
the team's favor, but you have a pretty good question about whether
he's still in breach of the contract once he returns to the team,''
the undecided attorney said.

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

You have to love the use of the word vexing when talking about
anything relating to Ricky Williams. Will he play, or won't he? Will
he be suspended or won't he? Will he make $3.7 Million or just $500K.
How will he pay back the $8.4 Million that he owes the Dolphins? If he
returns, how much will he play with first round pick Ronnie Brown? All
of this means that Ricky Williams is still a risky pick at this point.
There is still a long way to go here.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

4. ATL - WR Price staying Put.

Clipped from: AtlantaFalcons.com interview 6/1/05

Head Coach Jim Mora on if he anticipates the Falcons making a move on Wednesday:

"I wouldn't anticipate it. Who are you talking about?"
Mora on if he envisions the Falcons releasing Peerless Price today:
"No. We have not talked about that today. I wouldn't anticipate anything today."

Mora on if he thinks the scrutiny put on Price is fair:

"I think that's just the way this business works. With free agency and
the salary cap and the June 1 deadline, I think every team's going to
have a player or two that the focus is on him and that hat's on
Peerless right now. That's why you guys [the media] are all out here
today. And he understands that. He understands the business. He's had
a great attitude. He's worked his tail off, he's fit in and we're very
pleased with him right now."

Mora on if he feels Price needs to step up:

"I don't think it would be fair for me to say that about Peerless. I
can only evaluate him on last year -- he did what we asked him to do.
We were in here learning a new offense together from inside out and I
think it's been clearly stated that we want to get our receivers more
involved and that just doesn't mean the receivers getting open and
catching balls -- it means, as an offense, we have to learn our
concepts better and develop more players into the flow of our offense,
which is kind of the natural progression in your second or third year.
I think it's just going to happen. If it happens, the offensive line
blocks better, the backs run better routes, the receivers run better
routes, Mike makes good decisions. But you're always going to get
scrutiny at this level. It's a part of the deal. If you can't handle
it, do something else."

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

There's been a lot of speculation that Price would be released after
June 1. In 2004, Price put up the lowest totals that he has had since
his rookie season back in 1999. Given the fact that Atlanta gave up a
1st round draft pick for Price back in 2003 and signed him to a
massive long term contract, it was easy to see why putting up only 575
yards receiving and 3 TDS would put Price's job in jeopardy. While
this isn't a massive vote of confidence for Price, it does look like
he will be with the Falcons for at least another year.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

5. PIT - WR Gibson signs Three Year Deal

Clipped from: Tribune-Review article by Joe Bendel 6/1/05

The Steelers signed the third of their eight draft picks Tuesday when
they came to an agreement with fourth-round selection Fred Gibson.

The former Georgia wide receiver inked a three-year deal that will pay
him $230,000 this season, $310,000 in '06 and $385,000 in '07, in
addition to a $296,000 signing bonus. He joins sixth-round pick OG
Chris Kemoeatu and fifth-round selection LB Rian Wallace as Steelers
signees.

Gibson, 6-foot-4, 219 pounds, has looked solid during the Steelers'
voluntary workouts, displaying the skills that earned him first-team
All-Southeastern Conference honors last season for the Bulldogs. He
had 49 catches for 801 yards with seven scores in '04.

"They think Fred can come in and be a big help," said Gibson's agent,
Doug Hendrickson. "A lot of people had him graded as a round one or
round two guy, so they know they got a great player in Fred. The key
for him is learning the system."

Gibson is seen as a potential replacement for 6-5 Plaxico Burress, who
signed with the New York Giants this offseason. Gibson would likely be
used in a backup role this fall, in addition to being a part of the
Steelers' multi-receiver sets.

"He brings an added dimension in terms of his size, speed and athletic
ability," Hendrickson said. "Especially in the red zone."

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

Good news for Pittsburgh fans. Gibson has great physical skills, and
could be a nice sleeper pick considering he was drafted in the 4th
round. With Antwaan Randle-El and Cedrick Wilson in front of him, it
may be another year before Gibson really gets a chance to shine.
However, if he continues to impress the coaches during the summer
camps and the pre-season, he could see a playing time this season.
Stay tuned for details.


/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

6. SF - WR McAddley Signed. DB Rumph Returns.

Clipped from: SF49ers.com article 5/31/05

The news Tuesday was the debut of wide receiver Jason McAddley and the
return of cornerback Mike Rumph to the practice field. McAddley was
signed over the weekend after an impressive workout and visit last
Friday, and Rumph saw his first action since fracturing his forearm
last season.

A three-year veteran, McAddley entered the league as a fifth-round
selection of the Arizona Cardinals in 2002. His rookie campaign has
been the best statistical effort of his brief career, catching 25
passes for 362 yards and one touchdown. An impressive 18 of his
catches were for first downs.

"I like what I saw today. He has good size, runs routes well, he's
been well coached. Jerry (Sullivan) has had him, so he starts at a
better spot than a lot of guys would," Nolan said. "We'll see how it
goes from here, but he'll compete with the group. We didn't just bring
in a body. He'll compete and make us better."

McAddley also brings ability in the return game to the 49ers who are
in need of depth at that spot. During the 2004 season with the Titans,
McAddley returned 38 kickoffs for 849 yards (22.4).

June Cuts
Nolan re-affirmed that the team will look closely at the waiver wire
following the anticipated roster cuts around the league starting
Wednesday. Nolan indicated that the 49ers interest remains in the area
of offensive line, wide receiver and defensive backs.

"It wouldn't be far fetched to sign a couple of each for that matter.
That's wishful thinking, but we can still handle that," Nolan said. We
certainly need to sign a couple offensive linemen, wide receivers legs
are valuable when you get in camp and we need DB's."

The 49ers did get a boost in the secondary with the return of Rumph to
the practice field.

"Mike practiced today which was a very good sign," Nolan said. "He did
well out there running around. His legs have always been good. He went
diving for a couple of balls that I didn't care for; he's supposed to
stay off the ground."

There has been speculation that Rumph will move from cornerback to
free safety, a spot that is currently occupied by Dwaine Carpenter.
Nolan has stated that his goal is to get the best possible players on
the field at the same time and if moving Rumph to safety accomplishes
that goal, then he will make the move.

"If he's the best corner than that's fine and we'll take him," Nolan
said. "The other guys, in my opinion, aren't as versatile as he might
be. Now, he may have no capability at safety, but as far as watching
him athletically, it's worth a shot. So you might see that happen, but
for now he'll be taking reps at corner."

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

A couple of things to note here: McAddley adds a bit of depth to a
suspect WR corps that suffered a blow when Derrick Hamilton was lost
for the season to a knee injury as we reported back on 5/25. As the
article points out, McAddley had a nice rookie campaign in Arizona,
but has done little since then. He had one catch for 36 yards last
year and one other for two. Don't expect much from him this year with
a rookie QB, and questions marks at WR and RB.

Rumph will give the Niners a much-needed boost in the secondary. Rumph
had 54 solo tackles, 8 assists, 2 sacks and 3 INTs back in 2003. He
missed most of last season with a forearm injury. For folks in IDP
leagues, a move to free safety should give him a bump in his stats as
well. He definitely has the athleticism to make the transition.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

7. HOU - Ragone Doing Well in NFLE.

Clipped from: Houston Texans.com practice report by Nick Schenck

In the NFL, out of sight usually means out of mind. Quarterback Dave
Ragone, however, certainly has been on the minds of the Texans coaches
despite playing multiple time zones away in Berlin , Germany .

Ragone has raised some eyebrows while delivering one superb
performance after another to lead the Berlin Thunder (7-2) to their
second consecutive World Bowl berth with one week to play in the
regular season. Currently, he leads all NFL Europe quarterbacks in
completion percentage (62.9), pass completions (154), passing yards
(1,698), touchdown passes (13), fewest interceptions (2), and passer
rating (97.6).

The decision to allocate Ragone to NFL Europe wasn't easy. By going
overseas, players miss their team's off-season conditioning program as
well as coaching sessions and mini-camps. Even so, Capers and the rest
of the coaches and player personnel staff felt it was in Ragone's best
interest to earn some game experience after watching the past season
from the sidelines.

"I think with Dave, as with most young quarterbacks, to improve you
need to play," Capers said. "I'm encouraged by the way he's performed
over there. I think we'll see Dave come back a more comfortable guy
because of his experience."

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

While the talent level in the NFLE isn't quite the same as the 'real'
NFL, the fact that Ragone is tearing things up is still a good sign.
He'll still sit second chair to Carr when he returns to the Texans,
but this clearly shows that he's ready to take over the backup role,
and could be a nice sleeper pick if Carr goes down to injury.

The article also mentions how Kailee Wong will move from outside
linebacker to inside linebacker this season, and will also be
responsible for calling the defensive plays.

It also mentions how RB Jonathan Wells is impressing coaches with his
willingness to do anything that he is asked, and could play in a
variety of situations for the Texans next year.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

8. NE - OFF Release OT Lance Nimmo and Chris Redman

Clipped from: Patriots.com article 6/1/05.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots waived offensive tackle
Lance Nimmo and quarterback Chris Redman today.

Nimmo, 25, was signed to the Patriots practice squad on Nov. 10, 2004
and was subsequently signed to the active roster on Feb. 16, 2005. He
was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fourth round (130th
overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-5-inch, 303-pounder spent
the spring of 2004 in NFL Europe, where he started all 10 games for
the Cologne Centurions. The West Virginia University product was a
member of the New York Jets in 2003 and was listed among the
day-of-game inactives for all 16 games. The Jets released the New
Castle, Pa. native on Sept. 4, 2004. He was signed to the Cleveland
Browns' practice squad on Sept. 7, 2004 and remained with Cleveland
until being released from the practice squad on Oct. 6, 2004.

Redman, 27, was signed by the Patriots to a future contract on Jan. 6,
2005 after spending the 2004 season out of football. The
6-foot-3-inch, 223-pound signal caller spent four seasons with the
Baltimore Ravens from 2000-03 and played in 10 games with six starts.
His career statistics include 106 completions on 198 attempts for
1,111 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions. Redman has a 3-3
record as a starting quarterback. The former Louisville standout was
drafted in the third round (75th overall) by the Ravens in the 2000
NFL Draft.

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

Not much news here for the Super Bowl Champs. Dynasty owners who were
still holding out hope that Redman might do something can now sleep
easier knowing that the book is closed on him.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

9. NO - IDP LB Ruff to Be Released.

Clipped from: The Times Picayune article by Mike Triplett 6/1/05

Meanwhile, the Saints are planning to release linebacker Orlando Ruff,
according to Coach Jim Haslett.

Ruff, a six-year veteran, would have earned $1.1 million in the final
year of his three-year contract this season. After he is released, he
will count $125,000 against the Saints' salary cap -- one-third of the
signing bonus he received in 2003.

Ruff started 17 games in the past two seasons but did not win the job
outright. He became expendable when the Saints drafted middle
linebackers Courtney Watson and Alfred Fincher in the past two drafts.

Although Ruff's situation is unrelated, Loomis said, many NFL veterans
with more than one year left on their contract will be released after
today deadline for salary-cap reasons.

Loomis said the Saints aren't planning to release any such veterans.

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

Ruff had 58 solo tackles, 21 assists, 1 INT and 2 PDs last season in
only 14 appearances. He's been a mid-range LB throughout his career,
with his 79 total tackles last year being his career best. We'll keep
you posted on where Ruff lands once he is released.

The article also mentions that WR Az-Zahir Hakim visited the Saints on
Tuesday but did not sign a contract. They continue to look for veteran
help at WR and might find more prospects as the salary cap cuts come
down.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

10. NYG - IDP DL Strahan Ready for Action.

Clipped from: Associated Press article 6/1/05

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Coming off a season-ending chest injury,
Michael Strahan wasn't supposed to be doing much on the opening day of
the New York Giants' minicamp on Wednesday.

"Limited" was the word the team used to describe his status.

Strahan didn't act that way, though. The 33-year-old defensive end
hugged guard Jason Whittle early in the morning workout and wrapped up
punter Jeff Feagles later on.

"I feel great," Strahan said between practices. "I am having no
trouble, nothing hurts. I'm in one piece. It's fine."

Strahan's status for this season has been a major question mark since
the six-time Pro Bowler tore a pectoral muscle on his right side
against the Chicago Bears in November, sidelining him for the season.
He had surgery to repair the injury.

After six months of rehabilitation, Strahan said he has full range of
motion again and is lifting as much weight as he did before the
injury.

There is no doubt in his mind that he will be able to perform as well as he did.

"If I were a guy who relies on speed and I blew out my knee, I think I
would be a little worried," said Strahan, who holds the NFL record for
sacks in a season. "If I were a guy who relied on certain things and
they were taken away, I would be worried.

"But to me, it's more like a chess match," Strahan added. "It's a
thinking game more so than a physical game. The physical part is back.
If I were still worried about that, I would be wary. But since I know
that part is back and I am not having any trouble with that, it's full
steam ahead."

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

When he's healthy, Strahan has been a beast. He had 70+ tackles and
double-digit sacks in the three previous seasons before his injury in
2004. In 2003 he posted career bests in solo tackles (61) and passes
defended (5) and also racked up 18.5 sacks. Even with 13 years of
experience, a healthy Strahan is going to be hard to contain. The
Giants could certainly use him back on the field.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and I hope you have
a great Thursday.

J

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