Bad News, Browns: Kellen Winslow Hires Drew Rosenhaus as His New Agent

In news that can't possibly be good for the Cleveland Browns, tight end Kellen Winslow has hired Drew Rosenhaus as his new agent, Pro Football Talk is reporting.
Rosenhaus is the best-known player agent in the NFL, and he's well known in large part because his clients so often demand more money. Several players who have fired their previous agents and hired Rosenhaus have then had disruptive contract disputes, most famously Terrell Owens with the Philadelphia Eagles.

That doesn't mean Winslow will have a disruptive contract dispute, but Rosenhaus won't get a percentage of Winslow's paycheck unless he gets Winslow a new contract, so it stands to reason that Rosenhaus wants to get Winslow a new contract.

Would the Browns consider it? It's tough to say. Winslow has been a good tight end when he's gotten on the field, but the knee he injured in a motorcycle crash after his rookie year will never be 100 percent. The team will most likely tell Winslow he needs to wait a while before they'd consider a new deal. And Rosenhaus clients aren't known for their patience.


Rocky McIntosh Update

McIntosh, who is expected to start at weakside linebacker, was also with his wife and their first child, who was born on Wednesday. The 2006 second-rounder is expected to return to action today.


Kellen Winslow Update

K2 Watch: Minicamp ended without tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. participating. He appears to be in great shape, but he has not fully recovered from microfracture surgery on his right knee Jan. 30. Winslow is declining interview requests until he can practice.


Three miss time, but Portis returns

Shawn Springs was back on the field and then off it again almost before practice started. So was LaRon Landry. Rocky McIntosh wasn't on hand at all. But Clinton Portis was a surprise participant yesterday as the Washington Redskins opened the three-day minicamp that concludes their offseason at Redskin Park.

The players were told to stay away from anything to do with football on Thursday, but Landry still managed to hurt his groin. The sixth pick overall in April's draft, who figures to start at strong safety sooner rather than later, was injured playing paintball.

"LaRon got hit in a sensitive spot so he's going to have to rest a day or two," coach Joe Gibbs said. "It goes to show you can't control everything."

Winslow to Take It Easy When Training Camp Begins

He may be a M-Fing soldier, but Kellen Winslow will still be laid up in a M*A*S*H unit when training camp begins.

It's possible to view this as good news or bad news, but when training camp begins Kellen Winslow won't be at full speed. But considering that microfracture surgery is still a somewhat risky surgery, the fact that the Browns expect him to be ready to practice at all when training camp begins seems like a pretty good sign.

WInslow apparently will practice once a day to give his knee some rest and if it acts up, he'll take days off. It may mean that he'll take a little longer to absorb the new offense, but if he can be ready by Game 1, the Browns should be thrilled.


New York Jets LB Jonathan Vilma explains his dogfighting comments

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) - Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma said Thursday his recent comments comparing dogfighting to horse racing were misunderstood.

Asked on a local radio show his thoughts on the investigation of Falcons quarterback Michael Vick's possible involvement in dogfighting, Vilma said: "Dogfighting is much more extreme, but you can equate it to horse racing. . . . Everyone has heard about dogfighting. Whether you choose to participate or not, that's your decision. I'm not here to condone or accept it. It's been there for a while . . ."

Speaking at the team's mini camp Thursday, Vilma insisted "my comments that were misinterpreted were that I am not for or against dogfighting or Michael Vick. It's an unfortunate situation for Michael Vick whether he is involved or not."

Alex Cora and Boston Action Team High School Leaders Go to Bat for Inner City Youth

BOSTON, June 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Alex Cora of the Boston Red Sox teamed up with Volunteers of America and high school student leaders from the Boston Action Team youth volunteer corps today to highlight the need for meaningful summer volunteer activities for Boston youth. Cora joined several local high school students who are members of the Boston Action Team at Fenway High School to encourage inner city youth to get involved in their communities by volunteering in and around Boston during the summer. Volunteers of America's programs in Massachusetts support and empower the area's most vulnerable groups, including at-risk youth, adults and adolescents in recovery from substance abuse, and elders in need of affordable housing and mental health services.

"It's a great honor to join the Boston Action Team Captains to help promote summertime volunteering activities," said Cora. "Summertime is a great time for high school students to support causes they believe in, and to help some of their neighbors in need. The Boston Action Team Captains have done a great job getting their peers to volunteer, and all Major Leaguers are extremely proud of the job Action Team high school students all across the country are doing to help train and inspire the next generation of volunteers."

Meriweather mending - For now, caution best prescription

Five games into a frustrating rookie season, Chad Jackson was asked what advice he would give a first-year player in his situation. "Don't get hurt," replied the Patriots receiver, who opened training camp last year on the physically-unable-to-perform list with a hamstring injury that persisted into the season.

First-round pick Brandon Meriweather has already gone awry of Jackson's recommendation. Meriweather, sidelined by a hamstring injury, was not on the field during the Patriots' three-day minicamp last week, although he was in Foxborough working out. The rookie defensive back was also absent from the passing camp session the Patriots opened to the media last month.

Perhaps Bill Belichick and Co. have learned their lesson from Jackson, whose 2006 season became a cautionary tale for rushing a rookie back from an injury before he's fully healed. Jackson, a second-round pick, showed flashes of brilliance while playing in 12 games but finished with only 13 catches for 152 yards and three touchdowns.

Chud sets fast pace, high standards

Sometime soon, Rob Chudzinski is going to experience something he really hasn't since January.

A day off.

The Browns' new offensive coordinator has worked tirelessly to develop, implement and install his system, and the end of full-squad minicamp marks an important milestone in that process. Not as important as say, the September 9 season opener or even the first preseason game, but a milestone nonetheless.

With the first "session" of installation, tinkering and tweaking complete, the Browns' players and coaches will have a few weeks to get away and decompress before the start of training camp. And though Chudzinski hopes the players won't let their minds drift too far from their playbooks, he does appreciate the break he and the players are about to get.

"We've thrown a lot at them," Chudzinski said. "That was the philosophy of going through this -- if you kind of spoonfeed them, you never really get to the things you need to get to and find out the things you need to find out.

Hester nears liftoff - Ex-defensive back getting a kick out of switch to offense

Devin Hester can't contain his enthusiasm. His defensive teammates can't contain Hester.

The scene is all so reminiscent of last season, when opposing teams could only watch helplessly as Hester juked and sprinted past them for an NFL-record six kick returns for touchdowns during his Pro Bowl rookie campaign.

For an encore this season, Hester also is lining up from scrimmage as a wide receiver during the Bears' organized team activities in Lake Forest.

One of Hester's favorite plays is when he deceives the defense on fakes.

"That's the fun part about it," Hester said with a huge smile and a giggle after Wednesday's workout.

Armstead Retires As a Giant

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Jessie Armstead grew up in Dallas Cowboys country and wore a Washington Redskins uniform for two seasons, but his NFL heart beats only for the Giants. Armstead joined the team as an eighth-round draft choice in 1993 and left after the 2001 season. In nine years, he never missed a game, went to five consecutive Pro Bowls and helped lead the Giants to Super Bowl XXXV.

“I’ll always be a Giant,” Armstead said this week.

Today, Armstead guaranteed he would be a Giant forever. Four years after playing his final NFL game, Armstead signed a one-day contract so he could officially retire as a Giant.

“I always said I wanted to come back and make sure I retire a Giant,” Armstead said. “It’s an honor for them to actually sign me back and let me retire with them. When Dallas did it for Emmitt (Smith), they felt the same way. I had my mind made up before Emmitt, but then when he did it, it opened the doors where I can say hey, ‘There’s a possibility.’

Kellen Winslow Update

Tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. picked up his activity. He didn't wear shorts and helmet like his teammates, but Winslow jumped in on a few drills involving multiple tight end formations.


Jesse Armstead Officially Retires as a NY Giant

LB Jesse Armstead has officially retired as a Giant. At a press conference, Strahan and WR Amani Toomer recalled a few memories of Armstead's career. Strahan recalled Armstead's interception for a touchdown that was negated by a penalty in Super Bowl XXXV. Toomer told a story about his first day of practice with the Giants when he and Armstead traded shoves after a play. Armstead responded by getting in Toomer's face, causing the second-round pick to think, "This is a different league."


Sinorice Moss Update

As for the on-field stuff, WR Sinorice Moss had an impressive morning. He fielded punts well, ran as if the quad injury is way behind him and caught several passes, including a quick fade past CB R.W. McQuarters and a touchdown behind S Will Demps. Oh, and for a portion of practice, Demps worked with the second team while James Butler played alongside starting strong safety Gibril Wilson.


Learning the Ropes

Considering all the promise and unknown of the young players added to the Seattle Seahawks defense for the coming season, the four weeks of mini-camp for defensive coordinator John Marshall figured to be a learning experienced filled with highs and lows.

It was all over his face as he came off the field chatting with assistant Rhodes.

“I’m in a bad mood,” Marshall said, “so temper my comments.”

Actually, he did fine, if only because he broke into a smile and his mood changed markedly when asked about the progress with his two rookie defensive linemen, third round pick Brandon Mebane, the tackle from Cal; and fourth round draft choice Baraka Atkins, the defensive end from Miami.

Gore Eyes Dickerson's Record

The 49ers took Frank Gore in the third round of the 2005 draft because he had two major knee surgeries during his four-year University of Miami career. Well, two NFL seasons and 2,303 rushing yards later, Gore seems fine, and San Francisco has already restructured his rookie deal so that he's now scheduled to make $28 million.

So now what? For starters, Gore is taking care of his immediate family. It wasn't long ago that Gore's mom was raising three kids on welfare; now, she "doesn't even know what a bill looks like," and thanks to Frank, has a new four-bedroom home in South Florida, and a shiny, new "baby blue-colored Lexus RX-350."

Gore's next purchases, he said, will be a home for him in San Francisco and a car for Shemika, who works as an after-school teacher in the West Grove and drives their mother to weekly dialysis treatments.

If you want another reason to never believe the legitimacy of NFL draft grades issued hours after the draft concludes, here ya go: Sports Illustrated once dubbed the 2005 NFL Draft's most overrated running back.Gore has had to prove himself at every level, and he uses that as motivation:

...[h]e watches his high school highlight tape before every game he plays because it reminds him how simple the game is, said he is targeting Eric Dickerson's NFL season rushing record (2,105). But that is goal No. 2.

I love the idea of him popping in the Briscoe High highlights, and while I would normally just dismiss the Eric Dickerson talk, Gore has a knack for proving people wrong. If he's going for the record, though, I'd recommend the jheri curl and Chris Sabo's to make it seem as realistic as possible.


Kellen Winslow's Knee Won't Be Ready at Start of Training Camp

Browns tight end Kellen Winslow had a good season in 2006, and he may have a long and successful NFL career. But one thing is clear: He'll never be 100 percent recovered from the serious knee injury he suffered when he crashed his motorcycle two years ago.

Winslow had microfracture surgery on the knee in January, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports today that he'll be limited at the start of training camp. While the rest of his teammates are going through two-a-days, Winslow will most likely just practice once a day, and he'll be given extra days off to rest the knee.

That means he'll have fewer repetitions in the Browns' new offense, and fewer opportunities to develop a rapport with rookie quarterback Brady Quinn. Then again, Winslow already knows new offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski's style from their time together at the University of Miami, and Quinn might not be in training camp anyway.

Winslow should be ready to play by September, and he should have another productive season. But it's hard not to get the sense that all he'll ever be is a good football player -- and if he had never gotten on a motorcycle he would have been great.


In this match involving Vikings' McKinnie, it's advantage Venus

Viking Bryant McKinnie seems content with his Ebone Starr, for the moment, while Tarvaris Jackson is looking and Adrian Peterson is hitting on the playbook.

At the American Indian Magnet School's playground-raising in St. Paul on Friday, members of the Vikings lent their muscles to the one-day project.

While most Vikings were using one shovel to move chips onto a tarp, McKinnie was twice as efficient with a shovel in each hand. The way the offensive tackle was working two shovels made me think that he might, indeed, be able to juggle Serena and Venus Ebone Starr Williams simultaneously (as offensive as that would be to the sensibilities of most). Because he was holding potential weapons, I opened with a sly question, asking whether McKinnie was bummed that no American had made either final of the French Open.

"I know," he replied. "They've got Wimbledon coming up."

Will McKinnie be there? "Possibly," he said, mischievously.

Bills' Everett needs to emerge

There's never good news when it comes to a player sustaining an injury, but there can be bright sides. For example, Buffalo's Robert Royal taking a tumble and hurting his shoulder during a recent organized team activity, sustaining what's being called a sprain, is certainly a yikes moment for fans of a team that have been waiting semi-patiently for a tight end to do something, anything at all.

But, on a positive note, Royal isn't hurt badly, which for him is positive because it means he is allowed to cut some activities with an excused absence. And Royal's tweak means that backup Kevin Everett is getting to ditch his understudy tag for at least a little while and show what he can do before training camp.

Everett's rookie season ended approximately, oh, 11 or 12 seconds into it, as he tore his ACL almost as early as possible during initial workouts in one of his very first activities as a Bill. As frustrating as that was for a team that was hoping to have a new receiving weapon in the mix, it was likely even more exasperating for them to see him struggle in his first season on the field in 2006, as he wasn't able to stand out and be even faintly productive.

McCollum is planning to fight for center job

At age 37 and coming off major knee surgery, it looked very much as if Andy McCollum was nearing the end of the line in professional football. If he were a dinosaur, the next stop would be the tar pits.

But McCollum, a brontosaurus-size center, seems intent on avoiding professional extinction. As the Rams' offense broke the huddle Tuesday — the first day of the team's full-squad minicamp — McCollum was snapping the ball to quarterback Marc Bulger with the first offensive unit.

It was widely assumed that Brett Romberg, who started the last three games of the 2006 season at center, would begin '07 as the starter. Romberg rotated in with the first unit Tuesday. But with McCollum's left knee healthy, it looks as if center will be one of the team's most hotly contested positions when training camp opens in late July.

"Certainly the group that we finished the season with played very well," Rams coach Scott Linehan said. "But Andy's back. When we put the pads on and we start training camp, we'll resume the center competition there."

Seahawks work on bump-and-run in minicamp

KIRKLAND -- Marcus Trufant used his right forearm to jostle D.J. Hackett as he broke off the line of scrimmage, disrupting Hackett's route and depriving quarterback Matt Hasselbeck of his primary receiver.

A few plays later, Pete Hunter missed his jam on Deion Branch, allowing Branch to run past him and take a deep pass from Seneca Wallace.

It's called press coverage -- or bump-and-run -- and the take-and-give tactic has become something to watch at the Seahawks' minicamp because the cornerbacks are using the technique more in each practice than they did in any game last season.

The reason for the increased emphasis in this two-week minicamp that concludes Thursday is multi-faceted.

Lewis says he's winning the battle with Father Time

After years of chasing down running backs, all of the NFL's great middle linebackers eventually found something they themselves couldn't elude -- time.

Mike Singletary decided to retire after 12 seasons before his play declined. Jack Lambert walked away after 11 years because of a severe toe injury. And Dick Butkus stopped after nine seasons because of multiple knee injuries.

Now, in his 12th season, Ray Lewis is entering a similar stage in his career, or is he?

Unlike the past greats, Lewis said he is not close to calling it quits.

"It's incredible. Some people say you go [in] reverse once you hit the 30 mark, but I think I'm going the other way," said Lewis, 32, whose Ravens begin their final minicamp of the offseason tomorrow. "So where I am right now, it's scary because now I can really see that my best football is ahead of me, and so that's what's more exciting than anything, for me."

Shockey shows up at voluntary workout

EAST RUTHERFORD -- Jeremy Shockey left no doubt Friday as to how he feels about the whole concept of the Giants' off-season training program. Who needs it?
"If it was such a big deal, Ernie Accorsi would have put in my contract a bonus or a clause that if I'm here 80 percent of the time or 100 percent of the time ... he wouldn't have given me a big bonus up front," Shockey said. "He'd have given me half a bonus for coming in and working out.

"That right there should tell you it's not a big deal. Off-season workouts are about keeping guys in shape that don't want to be in shape. Guys that stray off and don't eat right and all that."

Not that Shockey hasn't worked out all off-season.

He's up to 265 pounds, 11 pounds more than his previous high weight, all put on in his sessions at his traditional off-season training haunt near the University of Miami.

Jimerson Named Southern League Player Of The Week

(Jackson, TN) June 11th- Diamond Jaxx OF Charlton Jimerson has been named the Southern League Player of the Week. It is the second time this season that the San Leandro, CA native has been given this prestigious honor.

Jimerson had an incredible week at the plate as the twenty-seven year old went 14-31 (.452) with four home runs and thirteen RBI's. Jimerson added four stolen bases and compiled an impressive .935 slugging percentage. Half of Jimerson's fourteen hits were extra base hits (four home runs and three doubles).


FRANK GORE - A wealth of talent

Inside the kitchen of her luxurious, four-bedroom home in West Kendall, a smiling Lizzie Gore opens the door to her deep freezer and points to a collection of frozen ribs, steaks and chicken.

''The only thing we used to have in our refrigerator was a carton of eggs, some bologna and a loaf of bread,'' she says, reminiscing of the days not long ago when she and her three children lived on welfare and shared a tiny, two-bedroom home in Coconut Grove about half the size of her current 1,000-square foot living room.

``I used to have bills come to my name. Now, I don't know what a bill looks like. Frank takes care of everything.''

Guillermo Diaz not giving up on NBA dream yet

This is a cautionary tale for Arron Afflalo, Marcus Williams, Glen Davis and maybe Wilson Chandler.

Guillermo Diaz's story is like those of so many other players who declare early for the NBA draft and sign with an agent. Diaz, like the players mentioned above in this year's draft, didn't test the draft process. He was in a year ago as soon as Miami's season ended.

But unlike Texas' Daniel Gibson, who is flourishing as a second-round pick with Cleveland in the playoffs, Diaz wasn't as fortunate.

He wasn't doing dishes as a side gig either. He was simply in Europe, playing in the Czech Republic and Greece. And now he's back in the states this spring, training in Las Vegas, getting ready to be on the L.A. Clippers' summer-league team. He's doing all that with the hope that this time the Clippers, who drafted him No. 52 in the 2006 second round, will keep him on the squad for training camp and into next season.

NFL U Video Highlights Section Updated

Check out 3 HungryMan Commercials from the 2005 NFL Season that feature Shockey, Portis and Sapp by clicking here or above on NFL U Video Highlights.

Charlton Jimmerson Update

Charlton Jimerson went 3-4 with the only run batted in to pace the Diamond Jaxx attack. Sunday's performance by Jimerson capped off a week in which Jimerson went 14-31 (.452) with four homers and thirteen RBI's.


Burrell falls in lineup, but responds with big homer

Pat Burrell, whose batting average and slugging percentage have sunk like the Titanic over the past six weeks, belted the tying home run in the ninth inning Thursday night against his nemesis, former Phillies closer Billy Wagner, who had saved a franchise-record 31 straight games for the Mets.

The slumping Burrell added an RBI double in the 10th inning, and finished 2-for-5 with two RBIs after manager Charlie Manuel dropped him from the No. 5 spot in the Phillies' lineup, something he had stubbornly refused to do even though Burrell is batting .164 (18-for-110) since April 25.

Aaron Rowand, who entered the game batting 101 points higher than Burrell's .223, was moved into the fifth spot behind Ryan Howard. Asked if Rowand is better lineup protection for Howard, Manuel said, "We're going to find out. He's got a higher average, a good on-base percentage and a little bit better slugging percentage at this time."

With McGahee, Ravens Add a Little Swagger on Offense

Willis McGahee was sitting outside the Baltimore Ravens’ locker room in Owings Mills, Md., on Thursday when cornerback Chris McAlister walked by, rubbing his fingertips together — the universal sign used to ask for money.

McAlister was offering to sell McGahee his jersey number, 21, which McGahee wore during his turbulent tenure with the Buffalo Bills.

“No, you can have it,” said McGahee, who joined the Ravens in a trade in March. “I’m good.”

McGahee said he was content to wear No. 23 in Baltimore.

“I don’t want 21,” he said. “I’m looking for a fresh start, and 23 was the number I was picked,” referring to his stature as the 23rd selection in the 2003 N.F.L. draft.

Orien Harris Update

The addition of Orien Harris to the Cleveland Browns could prove to be a very significant (and often overlooked) roster move. Coming out of the University of Miami, Harris was an inside defensive lineman, and was switched to end by the Steelers in his rookie campaign. Due to the depth of the Pittsburgh roster and Harris’ inexperience, the Steelers placed him on the practice squad, where the Browns signed him late in the 2006 season. Harris displays promise at the defensive end position in the 3-4 defense, with some pass rush potential.


Bulkier Shockey defends absence

Jeremy Shockey was back on the field yesterday, bouncing around, playfully chiding teammates and injecting a bit of energy into the Giants' organized team activity workouts.

Plus, he arrived in East Rutherford weighing a career-high 265 pounds of visibly solid muscle. And he said he's faster than he was at this point last year.

Energetic. Solidly built. And speedy. Three reasons why the veteran tight end feels he shouldn't have to respond to concerns for the third straight year about his training in Miami for much of the off-season.

"It's a slap in my face when people think that I'm trying to do something that betters myself and no one else," Shockey said during a nine-minute session with reporters. "I have to take care of myself in order to better this team.

Jets' Jonathan Vilma welcomes lofty expectations after subpar season

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) - Jonathan Vilma was hanging out in Boston - enemy territory as far as New York Jets fans are concerned - during an excused absence from pre-season workouts.

The linebacker's trip Thursday had nothing to do with the New England Patriots. It was to watch his sister, Alice, receive her MBA from Harvard Business School.
"She's got the brains," Vilma said Friday. "She took them all."

Walking around the Harvard campus, the former University of Miami star was thoroughly impressed.

"Miami is Miami. Nothing beats Miami, but of course, Harvard speaks for itself," he said. "When I was telling people that my sister was graduating from Harvard, they were taken aback by it and they understand that it's something big and something special. We definitely treated it as something special, and we're definitely proud of her."

Panthers bringing along first round pick Beason slowly

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — What made linebacker Jon Beason so attractive to the Carolina Panthers on draft day was his versatility.
But learning two positions is tough - especially if you're a rookie.

"He's an instinctive guy and I think he's had some background at both outside backer and inside backer in his career," coach John Fox said. "As far as it relates to our system, we'll bring him along primarily at one spot, but kind of keep it an idea."

The speedy Beason was primarily an outside linebacker at Miami, but played middle linebacker on passing downs. The Panthers hoped the former Miami star could start right away on the outside, and provide important insurance with oft-injured Dan Morgan playing the middle.

But for now, Beason has been working behind incumbent starter Na'il Diggs at outside linebacker during this month's optional workouts.