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Around The NFL: Special Edition

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By Matt Greene

What a week it has been around the NFL. Every night for this past week I’ve been logging on to what seems like every website that covers NFL stories and rumors on the web. I thought I’d be able to fit all I needed on one sheet of notes like I had last week, but two jam-packed pages later, here I am, with the newest edition of Around the NFL.

NFL NEWS
– OG Sean Locklear and the Seattle Seahawks have agreed to a long term, 32 million dollar, contract extension. This signing will in all likelihood represent the minimum that other OL hitting the open market will demand.

– The draft order has been finalized by the NFL this week, as three teams (Chiefs, Falcons, Raiders) had to flip a coin as they all finished with the same records, and tied all the tiebreakers.
The order will be:
3 – Atlanta Falcons
4 – Oakland Raiders
5 – Kansas City Chiefs

– San Diego Chargers star TE Antonio Gates will apparently be undergoing foot surgery sometime soon. Reports indicate that he may be sidelined a minimum of three months. That would make him unable to participate in the teams OTA and offseason workout programs.

– Former Dolphin LB Zach Thomas was able to find a new home in just about a week after his release by signing a 1 year deal with the Dallas Cowboys. Thomas chose Dallas over New England, who had offered him a contract, New Orleans, who he visited, as well as the Broncos, Jets, and Bills, all of whom had shown interest in the veteran linebacker.

– Along those same lines, Rex Grossman and the Bears agreed on a 1 year contract extension, Jamal Lewis and the Browns agreed to a 3 year deal, and TE Desmond Clark signed a 2 year extension with the Bears.

– The New England Patriots decided not to use a franchise tag on anyone this offseason, despite having four impact players with expiring contracts. All four are expected to hit the open market, but it is likely that both star WRs Randy Moss and Donte Stallworth will re-sign with the team.

– The NFL Combine was hosted in Indianapolis this past weekend. Several draft prospects performed a variety of physical tests and interviews while being scrutinized by NFL team scouts, General Managers, and Coaches.

RUMOR MILL
– The Atlanta Falcons are looking to deal CB Deangelo Hall, who has expressed a severe disliking for the Falcons organization. Both the Giants and Redskins appear to be interested.

– The New York Jets have given LB Jonathan Vilma permission to seek a trade of his own. Teams that have shown interest are the Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, and the St Louis Rams.

– Vikings WR Troy Williamson has also been given permission to seek a trade. Espn.com http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3265157is reporting that he is headed to the Jaguars for a 6th round pick.

– The Detroit Lions are looking to deal DT Shaun Rogers. The interested teams appear to be the New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, and Denver Broncos. There are also a few NFC teams interested, but the Lions have reportedly said they would prefer not to deal Rogers to an in-conference team.

– The Denver Broncos are not receiving much luck in their attempts to deal WR Javon Walker. A knee injury Walker suffered last year and his age are the two factors keeping teams from biting.

– The Carolina Panthers are reportedly close to signing veteran WR Mushin Muhammed, who has been released by the Chicago Bears.

– With the Free Agency signing period just a few days away, players that have not yet been franchised or re-signed by their current teams will hit the open market in search of a paycheck. Two of these players, Bernard Berrian of the Bears and Assante Samuel of the Patriots, are both looking for very, very, big paydays. According to reports, Berrian is looking for a deal of around 5 years that will pay him an average of 8 million dollars per year. Assante Samuel is reportedly has his eyes even wider, reportedly looking for a 10 year deal worth 100 million dollars and a guaranteed salary of 30 million dollars.

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