Deadline DudWednesday, October 21, 2009
The NFL trade deadline came and went Tuesday with nary a splash. One member of Twitter nation pointed out that the day's events are "about as exciting as the league's supplemental draft
." No argument here. NFL GMs are understandably loath to "start jettisoning players
" just six weeks into a 17-week schedule.
While star-power names like Dwayne Bowe
, Terrell Owens
, Brady Quinn
, Shaun Rogers
, Josh Cribbs, Shawne Merriman
, Glenn Dorsey
, and even Steven Jackson
were tossed around, the only last-minute trades involved relative no-namers Will Witherspoon
and Tank Tyler
Witherspoon was acquired by the Eagles in exchange for WR Brandon Gibson
and a 2010 fifth-round pick. Middle linebacker Omar Gaither
is out with a sprained foot, and the newly signed Jeremiah Trotter
can't keep up with running backs and tight ends in the passing game. Witherspoon will fill a glaring hole in the middle of the defense for the rest of the season. The price they paid was a sixth-round pick last April, yet to be activated as the sixth wide receiver on the depth chart. The Rams, however, are tissue paper thin at receiver, where Gibson could begin to eat into struggling No. 2 receiver Keenan Burton
's snaps within a matter of weeks.
Tyler, a former third-round pick by the Chiefs, had started just two games this season. The Panthers have already tried a handful of options at nose tackle since NT Ma'ake Kemoeatu when down with a torn Achilles' tendon in August. Tyler is simply the latest stop-gap solution. Editor's Note:
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. We're offering the mid-season edition at 33 percent off! In a completely unsurprising move, the Patriots released Joey Galloway Tuesday. The 38-year-old had been a healthy scratch for three straight weeks after struggling to learn the Patriots' system. There was a rather large surprise at wide receiver, however, as the Boston Herald reported rookie Julian Edelman is out indefinitely with a broken arm. Special teams maven Sam Aiken will likely fill in as the No. 3 receiver this week, but keep an eye on third-rounder Brandon Tate. The explosive playmaker appears to be fully recovered from ACL surgery and is eligible to return from the PUP list this week.
Though the Patriots did not have an update on Sammy Morris' status Monday, the veteran was absent from Tuesday's walkthrough practice. A typically cryptic Bill Belichick would say only that he does not anticipate any offensive players being out for the season. Morris was unable to put any pressure on his knee while leaving Sunday's game, and he never returned to action. Our best tea-leaf reading indicates that Laurence Maroney will be the lead back in a tasty matchup against the Bucs this weekend.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin confirmed Tuesday that Rashard Mendenhall has officially displaced Willie Parker as the starting tailback. It's what we've been saying for at least two weeks now, but it's still nice to get official word from the team's brass. "It's great to have Willie back," Tomlin explained, "but Rashard has the hot hand right now. So in the short term we'll proceed in the manner that we have in the last several weeks." Mendenhall will continue to handle feature back duties, with Parker in the change-of-pace role and Mewelde Moore as the two-minute back. Mendenhall (bruised knee) may be limited in practice this week, but he's fully expected to start against the Vikings.
Though Marion Barber will continue to start, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday that Tashard Choice will receive an increase in carries. Felix Jones (knee) is expected to return this week, but Choice is the only back able to play at full speed. It's not clear how the committee will shake out long-term, but expect to see Choice and Barber at about 15 touches apiece this week with Jones being worked back in slowly.
The Bears agreed to terms with QB Jay Cutler on a two-year extension through 2013, including $30 million in "new" money and $20 million guaranteed. The deal comes in at essentially $50 million over four and a half years, which is a surprisingly reasonable number considering agent Bus Cook's history and the forced exit out of Denver. The Bears are obviously satisfied with what they've seen from their first franchise quarterback in over two decades.
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Two-Minute Drill: Redskins coach Jim Zorn confirmed that Jason Campbell will remain the starter for Monday night's game against the Eagles. The team also signed former Bengals LT Levi Jones, ostensibly to fill in for Chris Samuels (neck). … Despite reports to the contrary, free agent RB Ahman Green had not signed with the Packers as of Tuesday night. He may officially join the team on Wednesday. … Bucs coach Raheem Morris is resistant to the idea of putting rookie QB Josh Freeman into this week's game because of the short practice week for the game in London. … Texans coach Gary Kubiak once again expressed concern with Steve Slaton's fumbling problem. … Coach Rex Ryan confirmed that the Jets are scaling down the offense for QB Mark Sanchez. … According to GM Bill Polian, the Colts have no plans to alter their rotation at tailback. … James Jones is now the full-time No. 3 receiver in Green Bay with a knee sprain sidelining Jordy Nelson indefinitely. … Formers Steelers RB Gary Russell is expected to take over as the Raiders' starting fullback. … Ravens coach John Harbaugh assured that K Steven Hauschka is in no danger of losing his job. … In hopes of landing a starting gig next offseason, impending free agent LenDale White has switched to Drew Rosenhaus as his agent. … Patriots signed OLB Tully Banta-Cain to a two-year extension one day after releasing him in a procedural move. … The Vikings are working on a contract extension for head coach Brad Childress, with a deal expected to be announced in the next two to three weeks.
Red Zone: Browns leading tackler ILB D'Qwell Jackson is out for the season after suffering a serious shoulder injury in Week 6 against the Steelers. … Colts WR Anthony Gonzalez (knee) is not expected to be return to action this week. … Jets coach Rex Ryan indicated that Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring) "feels better" this week, but his status for this week's game is unknown. … Though Vikings CB Antoine Winfield started the week in a walking boot, he has not been ruled out for Week 7. … LT Jared Gaither insists he'll "definitely' be ready to return to the lineup when the Ravens come out of their Week 7 bye. … Bengals OT Andre Simth (foot) will return to team practice Wesnesday. … Seahawks WLB LeRoy Hill (groin) and CB Marcus Trufant (back) returned to practice Tuesday. Trufant has spent the first six weeks on the PUP list. … Bucs placed FB B.J. Askew on the Non-Football Injury list due to neck and back injuries sustained in a weekend car accident. Earnest Graham is expected to take over lead-blocking duties.