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Volume 6, Issue 50 (Tuesday, June 7th)

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Tonight's Update brought to you by Fanstar.com

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

Hi Folks,

Hope the week's started off well for you. We're rolling into Wednesday
as we celebrate our 50th Daily Update of the Summer. And it's just
barely June. Thanks to our Mark Wimer for rounding up these stories
tonight, let's jump to it.

J

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

Site News:

A. Principles of Value Based Drafting Updated
I'd be dangerous if I learned how to type. I told you about this last night
but gave you the wrong link. Here's the correct url.

B. Real Time Rookie Rankings Released
For you guys that pay special attention to the rookies, we've set up
our Expert Poll for the rookies just like the other Expert Poll where
you can see how often we're updating. You can sort with multiple views
to get the data like you want it. Knock yourselves out.

C. Ad Rates Posted
If you know a company that would like some very high profile exposure to a great
demographic base of viewers, please pass along that link. As you know
from reading the updates and visiting the site, we have tasetful (no popups)
unobtrusive ad banners on the site and we have just one single ad at the
top of these email updates. And that's the way we'll keep it. We'd
rather offer our advertisers exclusive placing and at the same time,
not bombard you guys with a ton of ads. Thanks for the help there if
you know someone who might be interested in letting us help promote
their product.

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

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. MIN - Confirmation: NFL Suspends Onterrio Smith For Season
2. KC - WR Freddie Mitchell Works Out for Chiefs
3. STL - WR Bruce Medically Cleared: Back at Practice on Wednesday
4. NYG - QB Manning Ready to Lead Big Blue
5. NYG - Coaches Want to Get Shockey the Ball Downfield More in 2005
6. PHI - TE Smith Ready to Make A Big Impact
7. DET - WR Rogers To Shed "Red Jersey" - Test Contact
8. PIT - RB Bettis: No Setbacks In Return To Practice
9. STL - QB Bulger's Old Shoulder Injury: "I'm not really worried about it at all"
10. CLE - OT Verba Given Permission to Seek Trade
11. STL - OL Kyle Turley Released
12. SEA - TE Mili Trimmer at June OTAs
13. IDP: WAS - Some Good News: Taylor Didn't Fire Gun
14. IDP CIN - LB Webster Reworks Deal, Stays With Bengals
15. IDP GB - S Mark Roman Update After Softball Game Injury

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

1. MIN - Confirmation: NFL Suspends Onterrio Smith For Season

Clipped from: Palm Beach Post AP article by Jon Krawczynski, 6/7/05

Troubled Minnesota Vikings running back Onterrio Smith has been
suspended by the NFL for the entire 2005 season for violating the
league's substance abuse policy.

The announcement had been expected for several weeks, ever since
Vikings head coach Mike Tice suspended Smith indefinitely following an
embarrassing run-in at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
on April 21, when Smith was stopped after his bag set off a screening
device. A search found several vials of dried urine and "The Original
Whizzinator," which is marketed as a way to beat drug tests.

Smith told police the gear was for his cousin. He wasn't charged, and
the NFL has said possession of the device alone isn't enough to
violate league drug policies.

The NFL's statement did not give a specific reason for Smith's suspension.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Onterrio that he can shake some of
these problems and be with us next year," offensive coordinator Steve
Loney said. Smith's attorney,
David Cornwell, did not immediately return a telephone call from The
Associated Press.

Smith had been expected to battle with Michael Bennett and Mewelde
Moore for the starting running back job after leading the team in
rushing in 2004.

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

Well, it's official now. Michael Bennett and Mewelde Moore only have
to look over their shoulders at Ciatrick Fason now. The starting RB
situation in Minnesota is still far from clear, but it's official now
that Smith won't be in the mix.

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

2. KC - WR Freddie Mitchell Works Out for Chiefs

Clipped from: Topeka Capital Journal article by Staff, 6/7/05

Freddie Mitchell, a former first-round draft choice and wide receiver
of the Philadelphia Eagles who recently was released, worked out
Tuesday for the Kansas City Chiefs, who also plan to look at former
Rams receiver Az-Zahir Hakim today. The Chiefs are looking for
receivers willing to work at a price the cap-strapped team can afford.

"We'll see where they are, how much money they would cost, those kinds
of things," coach Dick Vermeil said. "Freddie's out on the street
looking for a job. All it coast was an airline ticket to get him
here."

Mitchell, an occasionally outspoken player who caught 90 passes during
his four seasons at Philadelphia, walked past reporters without
commenting following his workout.

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

It's easier to get a job when you have a job. isn't that a maxim
written in stone somewhere? Seriously, though, Freddie Mitchell may be
a much better player after this humiliating off-season of unemployment
- it has to be a reality check that even he has to recognize, doesn't
it?

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

3. STL - WR Bruce Medically Cleared: Back at Practice on Wednesday

Clipped from: St. Louis Post Dispatch article by Bill Coats, 6/7/05

Rams wide receiver Isaac Bruce's days as a practice spectator are over.

After sitting out the three-day minicamp that ended Sunday as a
precaution because an abnormality in his heartbeat was discovered,
Bruce on Tuesday was cleared to return to the football field.

He is expected to participate in organized team activities Wednesday
and Thursday at Rams Park.

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

Good news for Isaac Bruce and his fantasy owners everywhere. We're
glad the situation was resolved happily for all involved.

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

4. NYG - QB Manning Ready to Lead Big Blue

Clipped from: The Journal News article by Ernie Palladino, 6/7/05

Seeing Eli Manning sitting beaten and defeated in an empty row as the
train headed north from Baltimore, Kevin Gilbride figured the kid
could use a comforting word or two.

What the quarterbacks coach gave Manning, smarting mightily over the
0.0 passer rating he'd just compiled, was, quite simply, freedom of
expression. And Manning has taken that into this year, using his newly
found voice to grow as the Giants' offensive leader.

With no Kurt Warner, or any other veteran to compete with for that
matter, it is his team now. His interaction with his teammates, and a
freer give-and-take with the coaching staff, must aid Manning in his
takeover.

"As a quarterback, you have to be a leader," Manning said at last
week's minicamp. "You have to know what everyone's doing, and I feel
comfortable with that."

It wasn't like that last season. While Manning spent the first nine
games doing what most rookies do - being more seen than heard - any
leadership qualities lay dormant. When
Tom Coughlin switched to him after the Nov. 14 loss in Arizona,
Manning was more worried about solving defenses than commanding those
around him.

It was a bad time. But it didn't hit rock bottom until his fourth
start against Baltimore.

The numbers: 4 of 18, 27 yards, two interceptions. Yanked in the
fourth quarter.

"It was an ugly feeling after that game," Gilbride said yesterday.
"That was about as low as you could go.

"I never had any question about his future potential, but I did worry
about what was going to happen to him psychologically, emotionally,
spiritually. We had quite an interesting discussion on the train ride
home."

Gilbride may come to regard that talk as the true start of his
quarterback's career.
"I said, 'You've got to understand it's time for you to say, this is
what I can do, this is what I want to do,' and be a little bit more
assertive," Gilbride said. "The bottom line is, if you're not feeling
comfortable about those things, you need to step up and speak your
mind."

Slight adjustments came. Manning's performance improved over the last
three games, winding up with a last-second win over Dallas in the
finale.

The final starting record read 1-6. But Manning's development as a
leader had commenced.

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

Manning can lead all he wants - but what we're looking for is big
statistical production. With Plaxico Burress in the fold and the
coaching staff vowing to get TE Jeremy Shockey the ball down the field
more often (see below), it seems that Manning has a shot at vast
improvement - if he can just deliver the ball to his weapons
consistently. Time will tell.

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

5. NYG - Coaches Want to Get Shockey the Ball Downfield More in 2005

Clipped from: New York Times article by Richard Lezin Jones, 6/7/05

Four days after tight end Jeremy Shockey called on the Giants to make
greater use of him as a downfield receiver, he received an endorsement
from a somewhat surprising source: the coaching staff.

While defending the use of Shockey as a blocker last season, the
offensive coordinator, John Hufnagel, said Monday that a priority for
this season was developing more schemes to use Shockey as a vertical
weapon.

"We need to get Shock more into the game," Hufnagel said at an annual
spring news conference for assistant coaches. "To be a playmaker for
us consistently, game in, game out. I know he's looking forward to
that challenge. He wants it so bad, we just have to make sure we're
doing everything we can offensively to help him."

Last week, during a three-day minicamp, Shockey pleaded with coaches
to open up the offense and use him more as a receiver. Shockey said
that he was less concerned with padding his statistics than helping
the Giants improve a dismal offense, which ranked 26th in passing with
an average of 176.1 yards a game.

Asked if he had something to prove this season, after two subpar years
in which he slipped from the ranks of elite tight ends, Shockey said:
"I want to win games - that's what I want to prove.

"Having good numbers and not make the playoffs - what's that going to
prove? Nothing. That's what I want to prove: help this team go as far
as it can go."

Hufnagel seemed to concede Monday that if the Giants were to improve
on last season's 6-10 record, making more use of Shockey was
essential. But Hufnagel did not discount the importance of Shockey as
a blocker.

He said that because opposing defenses blitzed heavily last year -
hoping to take advantage of Kurt Warner's lack of mobility and the
rookie Eli Manning's lack of experience - Shockey was a key in helping
the quarterbacks stay upright.

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

Opinions on Shockey's prospects vary from elite to merely very
good - he is ranked anywhere from 3-7 on our TE board,
and ends up 4th overall. If the team actually does give him some
downfield plays in 2005, he could rocket up everyone's boards by
September.

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

6. PHI - TE Smith Ready to Make A Big Impact

Clipped from: Philadelphia Daily News article by Les Bowen, 6/7/05

Smith missed some practice time, but no games, in his second NFL
season out of Rutgers. He said he couldn't recall when the trouble
began, but it nagged him quite a while - "a lot of the season," he
said - before he aggravated it in the final regular-season game. Smith
kept playing, and made an acrobatic catch for the Eagles' first
touchdown of Super Bowl XXXIX. Ten days later, he underwent surgery to
shave down a herniated disc that was pressing on a nerve.

Offensive coordinator Brad Childress, asked yesterday how much the
injury bothered Smith last season, called its effect "significant."
Smith's 34 catches for 377 yards and five touchdowns showed progress
from his rookie year (27 catches, 321 yards, one TD).

Overall, though, 2004 wasn't quite a breakthrough into stardom for the
6-3, 258-pound, mobile tight end taken in the second round of the 2003
draft. Another tight end from that draft, the Cowboys' Jason Witten,
taken eight spots after Smith (69th overall to Smith's 61st), caught
87 passes last season and made the Pro Bowl.

"Last year, I probably wasn't ready to be the starter," said Smith,
who split time with veteran Chad Lewis. "Everybody thinks they're
ready to start, but I can see now, I wasn't ready to start. [Now] the
coaches feel more confident in me; I feel more confident in myself.''

Lewis suffered a severe Lisfranc sprain of his left foot while
catching his second touchdown pass of the NFC Championship Game. He is
rehabbing as an unrestricted free agent, but still has a stall in the
Eagles' locker room. If Lewis, 33, plays again, it probably will be
with the Eagles, but Smith clearly is being counted upon to take
another step, as the full-time starter this season, possibly with
former Cowboy James Whalen as his main backup.

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

Smith is the heir apparent at TE with the Eagles. Considering that TEs
as a position snagged 68/689/9 in 2004 last year, if one guy could
command the lions' share of those numbers, he'd be a top 5 TE in 2005.
Back injuries are tricky, though - don't get too excited about Smith
until we see how he holds up once the pads come on and the hitting
starts in training camp.

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

7. DET - WR Rogers To Shed "Red Jersey" - Test Contact

Clipped from: Detroit Free Press article by Curt Sylvester, 6/7/05

Coach Steve Mariucci has seen enough of wide receiver Charles Rogers
in the red No. 80 jersey he's been wearing in the Lions off-season
workouts and minicamps.

"I think he shoved it in the laundry just now and I hope not to see it
again," Mariucci said Monday, as the Lions completed their first day
of work in the final week of minicamp.

"We'll see how it goes but hopefully, he'll finish this camp without it."

A red jersey is traditionally assigned to players coming off an
injury, a reminder to teammates to avoid contact during workouts. And
Rogers has spent most of the last two off-seasons in a red jersey as
the result of a twice-broken collarbone.

With the approval of the team's medical staff, however, Mariucci says
it is time to get Rogers out of the red jersey.

"It's probably in his best interest to get rid of it so he feels like
he's like everybody else in the last part of this practice before we
go to training camp," he said.

"We've talked about it. It's not just the physical part of his
recovery that matters. It's the mental part -- being sure and quit
thinking about it, play the game and not have any reservations about
being able to stay healthy.

Rogers suffered his first broken collarbone after 22 receptions for
243 yards and three touchdowns in the first five games of his rookie
season.

He made it through the red jersey off-season phase of the 2004 season
but suffered a second break in the collarbone on the third play of the
season opener at Chicago and spent the rest of the season -- plus the
off-season -- recovering from surgery.

He has been working in the weight room and running plays with the
offense in the minicamp.

Removing the red jersey is the final step in preparing him for the
start of training camp in late July.

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

Rogers teams with the Williams' duo (Roy and Mike) to form one of the
most intriguing young WR trios in the league (Boldin, Fitzgerald and
Johnson in Arizona are another such unit). Roy Williams is currently
15th, Rogers is 45th and Mike Williams is 47th on our Footballguys.com
consensus expert rankings board.

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

8. PIT - RB Bettis: No Setbacks In Return To Practice

Clipped from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.com article by Ed Bouchette, 6/7/05

New father Jerome Bettis feels like an old football player. His spring
routine disrupted by thoughts of retirement, overall body fatigue and
the birth of his first child, Bettis nevertheless believes he's
building momentum toward what likely will be his 13th and final season
in the NFL.

"I feel OK," Bettis said after practice yesterday. "I mean, I know I'm
older now, I feel it more, but I feel good."

Bettis, 33, announced in March that he would return to play this
season after contemplating retirement for a month. He issued a
qualifier, though, that he would play only if there were no "setbacks"
this spring.

To help guard against any, he did not participate in the May 6-8
minicamp that kicked off spring drills. But he joined teammates in
practice May 24 and has experienced no problems since then.

"I'm where I thought I'd be," Bettis said. "I knew where it would be I
wasn't going to play like a spring chicken. I knew that was the price
I would have to pay, so I'm comfortable with that."

Bettis ranks fifth in career rushing in NFL history with 13,294 yards,
70 behind No. 4 Curtis Martin of the New York Jets. He led the '04
Steelers with 941 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns, the most he has
scored in a season. He also showed he was not a tired player because
545 of his yards came in the second halves of games.

But this time last year, Bettis was in better shape. He works annually
with trainer Bob Kersee in St. Louis before he would join the Steelers
for their spring drills. His time this year was taken up by the birth
of his daughter, by thoughts of retirement and because he wanted to
give his body a long rest after he carried 294 times in the regular
season and playoffs. That process will be reversed this year. Bettis
will join Kersee for nearly six weeks of workouts in two weeks.

"I'm not in great shape, which is good news," Bettis said. "If I were
in good shape and felt OK, then it would be a problem. As I get in
better shape, I think I'll feel a lot better as well."

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

All of the readers who have fought through the first 8-12 weeks of a
new born baby's life can empathize with Jerome Bettis' position. It's
no easy row to hoe - we're sure that this consummate pro will be ready
to play come regular season. How many fantasy points he scores will be
proportional to how many carries rival Duce Staley is able to log
during 2005. Everyone should keep an eye on both of these key Steeler
RBs as the preseason progresses - Bettis was one of the steals of the
2004 draft, after all was said and done.

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

9. STL - QB Bulger's Old Shoulder Injury: "I'm not really worried about it at all"

Clipped from: Belleville News-Democrat article by Steve Korte, 6/7/05

St. Louis Rams quarterback Marc Bulger absorbed such a beating late
last season that he took a little extra time this spring to rest his
sore throwing shoulder.

" Usually (I wait) until the beginning of April," Bulger said of how
long he waits until he starts passing the football during the
offseason. "This year, I waited until the beginning of May. I feel
fine. It takes a little longer to get warm, but it doesn't get sore
after (throwing). I'm not really worried about it at all."

Bulger said the injury to his throwing shoulder, which sidelined him
for two games in December, continued to nag him for several months
after the 2004 season.

"My shoulder actually started to bother me for a couple of months
because the cortisone started to wear off," Bulger said. "But, by the
middle of March to late March, it started to come back pretty well."

Bulger also had to recover from an injured left thumb and a sore back
suffered during the Rams' 47-17 playoff loss to the Atlanta Falcons on
Jan. 15 at the Georgia Dome.

Bulger was sacked four times, and repeatedly battered throughout the game.

"I don't know if it was broken or not," Bulger said of the injury to
the thumb on his non-throwing hand. "If it was, it was something
minor. We just let it go, and it healed. My back locked up. It was
nothing major though."

Bulger, 28, showed no signs of being bothered by any of those assorted
injuries during the Rams' minicamp this past weekend. However, Bulger,
a perfectionist, was less than satisfied with the sharpness of the
offense during the minicamp.

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

Bulger is one of the top fantasy prospects at QB heading into the
season. Although OL Kyle Turley has been released (see below), the
Rams still deploy a powerful offense with Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce (now
cleared to practice, see above) and Marshall Faulk/Steven Jackson all
arrayed in support of Bulger. He's the #4 QB on our constantly updated
expert ranking board.

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

10. CLE - OT Verba Given Permission to Seek Trade

Clipped from: Cleveland Plain Dealer article by Tony Grossi, 6/7/05

The Browns have given disgruntled left tackle Ross Verba permission to
talk to other teams willing to trade for him.

They filed the necessary paperwork with the NFL office on Saturday,
the same day L.J. Shelton signed a one-year contract, ostensibly to
replace Verba.

General Manager Phil Savage said on Monday that the Browns have not
formally closed the door on Verba returning to the team, but trading
him would be the preference.
Chicago, Houston and Kansas City are teams still looking to upgrade
their offensive lines.

In the meantime, Verba has been excused from participating in any
team-related activities. He will not be fined for being absent from
coach Romeo Crennel's mandatory minicamp next week, Savage said.

Verba's public comments stating his displeasure with his contract
situation rankled the Browns' top brass. It is fairly obvious that
Verba has talked himself off the team.

The question is how long the Browns would work to try to get something
in return for him. Technically, they could hold out for a trade all
the way to the league deadline in October. Such a strategy would keep
Verba from earning game checks for half a season.

Savage said he has been unable to reach Tom Condon, Verba's agent, to
discuss the best way to terminate his Browns career.

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

Sometimes, contract negotiations in the NFL are like a game of Poker.
It appears that Verba overplayed his hand and is now an Ex-Brown. He
has decent skills, so expect him to land somewhere else at some point
during 2005 - but it could take awhile.

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

11. STL - OL Kyle Turley Released

Clipped from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch article by Bill Coats, 6/7/05

Kyle Turley won't be playing offensive tackle, tight end, defensive
tackle or anything else for the Rams in 2005. Turley has failed a
physical exam administered in Arizona, where he had been rehabbing the
back injury that cost him the entire 2004 season, and has been
released.

Officially, Turley was designated as "waived - failed physical," which
means the Rams owe him $250,000 but that the effect on the salary cap
is the same as if he simply had been released. The "hit" is $1.82
million this year and $5.47 million in 2006.

Turley signed a six-year, $26.5 million deal with the Rams after he
was acquired in a trade with New Orleans in March of 2003.

Turley, 28, underwent surgery on a herniated disc in March of 2004
after starting all 16 games at right tackle the previous season, his
first with the Rams. Turley reinjured his back early in training camp
last July and was placed on the injured reserve list Aug. 28.

Additional surgery was not performed, and Turley said in a recent
interview with the Post-Dispatch that he had been training daily since
early January at the Athletes Performance Institute in Tempe, Ariz.
After dropping some 65 pounds from his playing weight, down to 235,
the 6-foot-5 Turley reported that he'd added about 30 pounds and hoped
to play in the NFL this year.

Still, Turley acknowledged that he probably couldn't add enough bulk
to man an offensive line position this year, so he hinted that he'd be
interested in a different position - perhaps tight end or defensive
end.

"As far as the team goes, I don't know what their thoughts are," he
said. "Obviously, they signed a contract with me to play offensive
line, and they don't know what I would do at another position. So,
that's probably a big question in their mind. ...

"(But) it might take another year possibly to continue putting the
weight on, making it good weight, and not just going out and eating a
bunch of Krispy Kreme doughnuts and burritos at 2 in the morning, to
get back up to 300 pounds."

It probably never would've gotten that far with the Rams, particularly
after Turley's well-publicized offseason clash with coach Mike Martz.
Their rift began when Martz became irritated that Turley wasn't
returning his phone calls after leaving training camp in Macomb, Ill.,
to seek evaluations of his back injury.

A conversation between the two in mid-December in Martz's Rams Park
office escalated into a shouting match and ultimately led Martz to
file a complaint with NFL security, alleging that Turley threatened
him. Turley continued his criticism of March into the new year,
assailing him bitterly in national interviews.

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

Turley was a fiery, top competitor at his position until his back gave
out. We hope he gets himself well and lands somewhere else, if he
desires to continue playing football - after his altercations with
Martz during the off-season, he had slim to nil chances of playing for
the Rams again this year.

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

12. SEA - TE Mili Trimmer at June OTAs

Clipped from: The News Tribune article by Mike Sando, 6/7/05

Veteran tight end Itula Mili appeared considerably trimmer after
reporting to the previous camp at 290 pounds. Mili's weight tends to
fluctuate during the offseason. .

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

Given Jerramy Stevens' troubled past, the Seahawks hope that Mili is
good to go once training camp starts - he's an important insurance
policy for the team.

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

13. IDP: WAS - Some Good News: Taylor Didn't Fire Gun

Clipped from: Washington Times article by Jody Foldesy, 6/7/05

Miami police confirmed yesterday that Washington Redskins safety Sean
Taylor fired no shots in Wednesday night's incident in southern Dade
County, a crucial fact given Florida's stiff mandatory minimum
sentences for gun crimes.

Meanwhile, two sources familiar with the investigation said there is a
second phase of the case in which Taylor is the apparent victim. In
the first phase, according to police, Taylor pointed a gun at two
victims and physically assaulted one. Subsequently, sources said,
there was a retaliation in which shots were fired at Taylor.

Detective Mary Walters of the Miami-Dade County Police Department, who
confirmed Taylor did not fire his gun, declined comment on the second
phase of the case. It was unclear when police might release
information in connection to the shooting.

The two pieces of information uncovered yesterday helped clear up some
of the uncertainties that lingered in the wake of Taylor's arrest
Saturday night on two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, a
third-degree felony, and one count of simple battery, a first-degree
misdemeanor.

Police on Friday said they were searching for Taylor in connection
with a "shooting," but a press release obtained Sunday said no shots
were fired. The existence of a second phase of the case could explain
the discrepancy.

After posting bond Saturday night, Taylor was released. He is
scheduled to be arraigned June 24, five days after the Redskins
conclude minicamp, the final element of their offseason workout
program.

Coach Joe Gibbs said Taylor has been excused for the remainder of the
workout program. The move was somewhat superficial, considering Taylor
hadn't shown up for the program or even talked to Gibbs this
offseason, but the team seemingly wanted to make clear that Taylor has
no Redskins commitments for the foreseeable future.

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

A little good news is better than none, but Taylor could still face a
mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison thanks to the first
"phase" of the incident.Stay Tuned.

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

14. IDP CIN - LB Webster Reworks Deal, Stays With Bengals

Clipped from: Cincinnati Post article by Kevin Goheen, 6/7/05

The Bengals and Nate Webster have reworked the injured middle
linebacker's contract, according to an Internet news report.

ESPN.com reported over the weekend that Webster agreed to a
restructured deal that will pay him the league minimum (for a
five-year player) of $540,000 this season, with the opportunity to
earn as much as another $500,000 in incentive pay based on playing
time.

The restructured deal also voids the final three seasons of the
original five-year contract that Webster signed as an unrestricted
free agent last year. He played his first four seasons with Tampa Bay
but came to Cincinnati for a deal that included a signing bonus of
$2.5 million.

Head coach Marvin Lewis did not respond to a request for comment,
while Drew Rosenhaus, Webster's agent, declined comment on the report
Monday. Data from the NFL Players Association, however, confirmed that
the contract has been changed.

"I'm choosing not to talk about that situation right now," Rosenhaus said.

Webster was due to make a base salary of $1.5 million this season and
count $2.1 million against the Bengals' salary cap. Although his base
salary is lowered this season, his salary cap cost escalates to $2.5
million because the team must accelerate the remaining pro-rated
portion of his signing bonus ($2 million) into this year's cap.

.By accepting the restructured deal, Webster has helped both himself
and the team. While he won't be able to recoup all of the money he was
scheduled to make, he will be eligible to become a free agent at the
end of the season. By restructuring now both he and the Bengals can
afford to be more patient with his recovery.

It does Webster no good to rush a return [from a torn right patellar
tendon - MW] and attempt to play injured, especially while he has the
full use of the Bengals training staff at his disposal. If he returns
from the injury and plays well he'll be able seek a new deal next year
with the Bengals or any other team.

The team benefits from cap relief in the next three seasons when
Webster was due to make a total of $5.7 million in base salaries. A
healthy Webster would bolster the defensive depth and his salary is
inexpensive for the risk involved. Without the restructure, Webster
would have been a prime candidate to be released.

Until Webster is healthy enough to join the competition, the starting
middle linebacker spot will be contested between second-year player
Landon Johnson and rookie Odell Thurman, the team's second-round pick
in this year's draft.

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

It sounds like Webster may miss some significant playing time in 2005
- but the team has to believe that he'll have a shot at a chunk of
playing time, or they wouldn't have kept him on the roster. Webster
owners will want to monitor his progress as training camp marches
towards the regular season opener (Cincinnati at Cleveland, Sunday
Sept 11 at 1 PM ET).

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15. IDP GB - S Mark Roman Update After Softball Game Injury

Clipped from: PackersNews.com article by Dylan B. Tomlinson, 6/7/05

.Green Bay Packers safety Mark Roman's softball career is over.

Fortunately, Roman's football career should resume today.

Roman collided with Peterson while chasing a fly ball while playing in
the Brett Favre celebrity softball game. He had the knee checked out,
and said he was pleased to discover that the injury was just a bruise.
But if Favre asks Roman to play in the game next year, Roman said he
will politely decline.

"Yes, I think that's my last one," Roman said.

A day after the injury occurred, Roman still seemed irritated at Peterson.

"Yeah, I did call for (the ball)," Roman said. "But he's a defensive
lineman, so enough said."

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

Good news here for Roman owners. You can breathe easy now that we know
the knee injury is only a bruise, and not related to connective
tissues.

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


That'll do it for today, Folks. Have a great Wednesday and thanks for
reading. We'll see you tomorrow with the update.

J

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