Jerry Jones Will Introduce Michael Irvin in Canton

At FanHouse, we're all about news that casts Michael Irvin in a positive light. The latest: Irvin sounded as nervous as a high school kid getting ready to ask the prettiest girl in his class to the prom as he humbly requested that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones introduce him at his induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"Would you..." an emotional Irvin stammered, "could you ... be my Hall of Fame presenter?"

Jones accepted. It's the first time he's made a Hall of Fame introduction, so he's got a long ways to go to catch up to Raiders owner Al Davis, who has introduced nine Oakland Raiders.

7 Points With Miami LB Jon Beason

Miami's Jon Beason is getting ready for his Pro Day on April 5th, and he took a few minutes to talk with's Ed Thompson about what he'll be doing that day, his Combine experience and more in this exclusive interview.

Ed Thompson: What are you doing right now as you continue to prepare for your final steps into the NFL?

Jon Beason: As of today, I'm just training hard for my Pro Day on April 5th, which I'm excited about. The feedback I'm getting from my agent is that I really don't have to run the forty again, but I want to. I want to be able to do it healthy and put my best foot forward and show the clubs how fast I am.

ET: You've already shown them your great sideline-to-sideline speed during the season. Do you think you'll really gain that much running the forty again?

JB: I'm expecting to run it in 4.5, which is a big improvement from my Combine numbers. So it's really just for me and my well-being.

DJ Williams Update

The Broncos could move D.J. Williams to the middle if Wilson is traded. Williams has played his entire career at outside linebacker, but he shined in his chance to play middle linebacker two seasons ago. Wilson sat out the 2005 season finale at San Diego, and Williams played middle linebacker when the Broncos used five defensive backs in a nickel alignment.

Williams played well in that game, but because Wilson and Ian Gold were the linebackers in the nickel defense last season, Williams often came off the field for a fifth defensive back in passing situations.

The Broncos also have Nate Webster, who can play all three linebacker positions, as a backup.


Savage says no talk of no Winslow

BEREA Kellen Winslow should be ready for training camp, Gary Baxter’s rehab is going “extremely well” and LeCharles Bentley remains on course for season-ending surgery.

So said Browns General Manager Phil Savage, who updated the surgically repaired players’ progress Thursday on the Browns’ AM radio flagship, WTAM.

An Internet report as to Winslow possibly sitting out the 2007 season — he had recent knee surgery — got Browns fans buzzing last week.

“The procedure was done to help him be better this year than he was last year,” Savage said. “Toward the end of the year, he did struggle some from that knee. We feel like he’ll be back. He’s been around the building. He should be good to go in June or July.

James Jones' struggles from 3-point range continue

The Suns want consistency out of James Jones, and he is consistently missing.

The forward made three three-pointers in the second quarter March 14 vs. Dallas but has not made one since. It became a streak of 11 consecutive three-point misses Thursday for the player Phoenix desperately needs to connect when point guard Steve Nash is resting.

If Jones is not, Phoenix goes through dire offensive stretches without Nash, like when the Kings wiped out the Suns' first half-lead Thursday. Before the drought, Jones had a streak of 14 consecutive games with a three-pointer. He shot 40.7 percent (24 for 59) on threes during that stretch.

Thomas expected McGahee trade

(March 23, 2007) — BUFFALO — Thurman Thomas sported his brand new No. 34 Sabres jersey, presented to him by team president Larry Quinn, during Buffalo's victory over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.

The former Buffalo Bills' superstar and newest member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame was back in town to visit his ailing father-in-law, and to check out his favorite hockey team at HSBC Arena.

He sat in team owner Tom Golisano's luxury suite, spent some time in the broadcast booth with Rick Jeanneret and Jim Lorentz, and led a Let's Go Buffalo cheer during a break in the action.

But football is never very far from Thomas' mind, especially when it comes to matters concerning the Bills, and he shared some thoughts on his old team's decision to trade away running back Willis McGahee.

William Joseph Update

There was an interesting appearance however at the Giants offseason workouts. One of the less publicized "Miamites," William Joseph, did show up for conditioning. Perhaps realizing he's on his last legs with the team, is reaching out for that one final chance before he gets that big ugly axe.


Piazza, as DH, helps A's edge Padres

PHOENIX – Mike Piazza and Nick Swisher have found their handshake, and it's quite a change from the jive Swisher and Frank Thomas would use to celebrate.

“The slide and the Roman,” Piazza said, demonstrating how they slide their hands and grab each other's forearms. “For my Italian-American heritage.”

Piazza sure appears to have his stroke down as the Athletics' new designated hitter – not to mention a comfort level with his teammates who really like him.

Duane Starks Update

Raiders: The team re-signed veteran cornerback Duane Starks, who was an unrestricted free agent. He joined the Raiders last season but played in only three games on special teams and in a reserve role on defense.


Joel Rodriguez Update

NASHVILLE The Nashville Kats have agreed to contract terms with DL Brian Howard and OL/DL Joel Rodriguez.


NFL Network Feature Path to the Draft - Jon Beason

Check out the NFL Network's feature video, Path to the Draft, on Jon Beason. Click at the top on NFL U Video Highlights or click here!

Winslow: ''I'm good, very good''

Kellen Winslow got at least a little bit of his much needed, much desired time away.

But being back on the rehab trail hasn't drained Winslow's energy or enthusiasm. And not only is Winslow still focused on returning to health, he thinks new Browns' offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski can help him top his record-setting 2006 season when he does.

"I'm good, very good," Winslow said Monday evening, speaking from his Cleveland-area home. "I got some real good news when Coach Chud came back here, and he's going to be real good for the offense. He's going to get everybody on the same page.

"That is a blessing. And I'm excited to get healthy and get to work."

Ex-Devil Ray Huff Finds Hope With the Orioles

JUPITER, Fla., March 21 -- In past years, the sight of Aubrey Huff slumped in a chair in front of his locker, as he was on Wednesday morning, might have suggested he was unhappy. Such a sight was common the past few years in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays clubhouse. Huff could barely get himself to leave his house to get to the ballpark. Once the game was over, Huff rushed home.

"I know the last couple of years it got really hard to go to the field every day," Huff said. "It really wore on you. It would get to the point where you'd get to the field as late as possible. You just wanted to get in there and then get out of there. It was tough. Mentally, it took a lot out of me. It took a lot out of a lot of guys."

But Wednesday, Huff was simply tired. He traveled to Port St. Lucie on Tuesday night for a game against the New York Mets and then headed here early Wednesday morning for the Cardinals game. His eyes were puffy as pillows, his face drawn, and occasionally he'd let out a monstrous yawn. The truth is, Huff is having one of the most enjoyable springs of his career

Brock Berlin Works Out with Cowboys

The Cowboys worked out quarterback Brock Berlin, offensive lineman Jim Molinaro and wide receiver Jamel Richardson on Tuesday. They did sign Molinaro, considered to be no more than a depth guy at tackle or guard.

Berlin, the former University of Miami and Florida quarterback, failed in his two training camp attempts the past two summers to make a Miami Dolphins roster. He's probably being measured against Matt Baker, the rookie quarterback on the Cowboys' practice squad last year.


Burress, Shockey miss voluntary program

The Giants had a strong turnout for the opening of their voluntary offseason strength-and-conditioning program yesterday.

Most of the team showed up, save for Eli Manning's two main receiving options. As usual, tight end Jeremy Shockey and wide receiver Plaxico Burress were no-shows. They have worked out on their own in agent Drew Rosenhaus' facility in Miami the past two years.

One might remember it was Shockey's absence that drew Manning's ire two years ago when Manning called him out for working out on his own. Shockey basically shrugged off the criticism and went his own way anyway. And when Burress was asked after the 2006 season whether he would work at Giants Stadium if Tom Coughlin were replaced, he said, "Tell (the new coach) I'll see him in training camp."

McGahee gets number 23

OWINGS MILLS — Baltimore Ravens running back Willis McGahee, recently acquired in a trade with the Buffalo Bills, will wear the No. 23 this fall.

The Ravens traded a third-round draft pick, No. 92 overall, and a seventh-round pick in this year’s draft along with next year’s third-round selection in exchange for the former University of Miami star. The Ravens signed McGahee to a contract with a maximum value of $40.12 million.


Huff gives Orioles' lineup flexibility - Former Miami star can play several positions.

FORT LAUDERDALE – When Aubrey Huff was with Tampa Bay, he remembers walking in the mall during spring training and seeing New York Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter shopping.

"There would be four or five people around him," Huff said. "It isn't what I want. I'm a low-key guy. When I take my wife to dinner, I don't want to be bothered. I've always been that way. I'm not playing to get attention."

Huff, who set a University of Miami record for RBI with 95 in 1998, will start getting some attention because he was the Orioles' top free-agent signing at $20 million for three years, and Baltimore has a history of connecting with its best players.

Rams Sign Mike Rumph

The Rams added some depth to its defensive unit with the signings of free agent linebacker Chris Draft and cornerback Mike Rumph late Monday night.

Rumph was a first-round pick by the 49ers in 2002 but has yet to live up to the hype. He started 19 games for San Francisco in four seasons before being traded to the Redskins last year for wide receiver Taylor Jacobs.

Rumph has been labeled as "soft" and "uninterested" but the Rams hope he will be able to shed those labels and help in their secondary.


Browns staying quiet on Winslow

BEREA – The Browns assumed an attitude of “don’t dignify it with a response” to a report Kellen Winslow Jr. might not play in 2007.

General Manager Phil Savage did not respond to the report. The team’s media relations department referred reporters to Savage’s Feb. 20 statement about Winslow’s offseason knee surgery: “If you see him around, he will be on crutches for a few more weeks. We expect him to be back and ready to go sometime in June or July. I don’t know if that will include (organized team activities).”

The report had some Browns’ fans in a lather, and the effect multiplied when WKNR-AM 850 made it the theme of its talk shows.

Shockey, Burress skip Giants' voluntary conditioning camp

Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey and wide receiver Plaxico Burress did not show up at Giants Stadium as the team kicked off its voluntary offseason strength and conditioning program today.

That's nothing new. Shockey and Burress have opted to do their offseason work on their own in Miami the past couple of years, which has irked quarterback Eli Manning. Manning said as the Giants broke up last year that he would make it a point of getting in some quality throwing with his two main receiving options, whether that meant heading south or having the two come north for a while.

Defensive tackle William Joseph, another player who spent most of the offseason in Miami with Shockey and Burress, did show up for the program's opening.


Notebook: Niners have the leverage with Gore

After negotiating lucrative contracts for running backs Willis McGahee and Thomas Jones after trades, agent Drew Rosenhaus might feel that the market has been set for Frank Gore. However, the 49ers are in a position in which they don't have to touch Gore's contract and they can still keep him around for the next three seasons. But the 49ers also want to take care of Gore, a 2005 third-round pick.

Gore set the 49ers record last season while leading the NFC with 1,695 yards rushing. Gore is entering the final season of the original three-year deal he signed as a rookie. He is scheduled to earn $435,000 this season, making him tied for the 36th-highest paid player on the team.

But if Rosenhaus is looking for a deal that will make Gore one of the highest-paid players in the game, he is not likely to get it.

Piazza is Big Daddy in Oakland's lineup

PHOENIX -- Mike Piazza stashed the leather and picked up the lace. Becoming the Oakland Athletics' designated hitter prompted the former, Nicoletta Veronica Piazza's Feb. 3 arrival the latter.

"I never thought I would play in the big leagues long enough to have a kid,'' Piazza said. "My family and friends say she looks a lot like me. I'm not sure that's a good thing.''

Those flickering hearts at Petco Park last year would disagree. Most Piazza at-bats featured three swings and hundreds of swoons.

Kiper's Latest Mock Draft

14. Carolina - Greg Olsen, TE, Miami (Fla.): Several months ago, I had Olsen going to the Bears near the end of the first round. After a sensational effort at the combine workout, he's soared up the draft board to the point that Carolina and Green Bay have to be interested. The Panthers need a TE of Olsen's caliber.

18. Cincinnati - Jon Beason, LB, Miami (Fla.): Beason didn't run as well as expected (4.74) at the combine workout, but his film evaluation grades, especially from 2005, figure to win out, placing him ultimately in the mid-to-late first round area. Marvin Lewis also knows firsthand what it means to have a former Miami Hurricane setting the tone on your defense.


Last Week'sTop Stories

- Irvin fulfills biggest wish of sick man
- Cora a core figure
- Denny Fortney Update
- Pats Workout Players From The U
- Todd Sievers Update
- O's Huff happy to be back in AL East
- Brett Romberg Update
- McGahee confident he'll pay dividends
- Frank Gore Might Be Looking For a New Deal
- Bills trade Willis McGahee to Ravens