Around The NFL: News, Notes & Rumors

Carson Palmer (Getty)

The Carson Palmer saga continues in Cincinnati, Jack Del Rio hopes that Blaine Gabbert doesn't start as a rookie, Tarvaris Jackson is looking forward to moving on, LaDanian Tomlinson is embracing the idea of being a third-down back and much more inside.


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Carson Palmer (Cincinnati Bengals)

QB Carson Palmer isn't waiting for the Bengals to move him out of Cincinnati via trade. At least, it wouldn't appear that way.

Palmer solid his five-bedroom home in Indian Hill for $1.915 million, according to Cincinnati.com, which said a local buyer closed on the purchase of the home, listed for $2.1 million for more than 90 days, late Tuesday (June 28).

Palmer is entering his ninth pro season but has demanded the Bengals trade or release him. If they don't, Palmer said he'll file his retirement papers with the NFL and walk away from a base salary of $11.5 million this season and the four total years left on the deal.

The Bengals drafted a quarterback in the second round, TCU's Andy Dalton, and owner Mike Brown repeatedly has taken the position that the franchise isn't planning to accommodate trade demands from any player.

Palmer, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2003, bought the home and the five acres of property it stands on in the Cincinnati area for just over $2 million in 2003.

Analysis: The Palmer saga continues in Cincinnati. Bengals owner Mike Brown vows not to trade or release Palmer, thus forcing the former Pro Bowl quarterback to retire. If Brown is offered a deal he can't refuse, however, the Bengals might end up giving in and trading their former franchise player.
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Jason Taylor (Free Agent)

LB Jason Taylor is 36, but he said on ESPN "NFL Live" that he has another year in him if the Jets are interested in retaining him for the 2011 season.

Taylor will be in his 15th NFL season and had five sacks last season.

"I'd love to come back and play one more year in New York," Taylor said.

The Jets have several high-profile free agents, including wide receivers Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards. They released Taylor after the first season of a two-year deal he signed to avoid paying a bonus this spring.

Before the lockout began, Taylor said he planned to play one more year only if it was with the Jets. He spent 12 years with the Dolphins and played with the Redskins in 2010.

He is the league's active leader with 132.5 sacks in his NFL career, tying him for eighth place on the all-time list with Lawrence Taylor and Leslie O'Neal.

Analysis: The Jets have more important issues to address prior to Taylor but the All-Pro defensive end has made it clear that he'd like to stay in New York for one more season. If the Jets are able to sign Taylor for a bargain price it would be a difficult proposition to resist.



Blaine Gabbert (Jacksonville Jaguars)

QB Blaine Gabbert would be better off sitting and learning this season, according to coach Jack Del Rio.

Said Del Rio, "In a perfect world, I'd like to see him not have to play this year in terms of having time to develop. That doesn't mean I would keep him on the bench if I thought he was the best option to win. Ideally, he's able to get that time to develop and really learn the game at this level. I'd love to see Garrard have a nice season, lead us into a playoff position, and then see if we can get hot. Things don't always happen the way you have them planned though."

Del Rio also said he wants Gabbert to communicate with former quarterbacks to see what it takes to play and be successful at the NFL level.

"I'd love to see him spend some time with a Joe Theismann, a Rich Gannon, guys I know well who have done it at the highest level. Find out what it takes to be a quarterback in this league, what are some of the things you should and should not be doing. How you manage your time, deal with people pulling at you from different directions, prepare for different teams, digest a playbook. All those things that experience helps with."

Analysis: The fact that Gabbert can sit back and learn from an established starter could be a blessing in disguise for the incoming rookie. Gabbert has the skills to make it in the league but his learning curve might take longer, coming from the spread offense in college.



T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Baltimore Ravens)

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh didn't have a productive season in 2010 after he was signed by the Baltimore Ravens. In addition, things ended badly when he dropped a pass that effectively ended the team's championship hopes.

He told the Carroll County Times, "I wish things had ended better. I'm not a guy who drops the ball, but I dropped a ball that really matters. Last year was a really bad year for me on the field."

Knowing he won't be brought back by the Ravens, Houshmandzadeh nonetheless vowed to be a good player again.

"The last two years have been the most disappointing years I've had," he said. "I know people will say I can't play no more. If I get to the right team, I'll shock a lot of people.

"I wish I could come back (to Baltimore), but I know the dynamic and how it works. Not playing as much, I didn't know how to handle it. People in the media think, ‘He's complaining,' but I was learning how to handle something new. It was an adjustment for me."

Analysis: Houshmandzadeh's production has dropped at an alarming rate in recent years but he's still capable of contributing in some capacity. Houshmandzadeh would be an adequate fit on a team that runs a West Coast offense that already has two established wideouts on the roster.



Chad Ochocinco (Cincinnati Bengals)

WR Chad Ochocinco responded to comments made recently by Bengals owner Mike Brown regarding what Ochocinco has been doing in the offseason. The wide receiver said, "Mr. Brown, it's a lockout. Therefore I can do whatever I please."

Ochocinco then wondered if coach Marvin Lewis will take Brown's side.

Said Ochocinco, "Hopefully Marvin is doing this maybe to help me out. Maybe he is trying to cause friction between himself and me. Maybe he doesn't like me for real. If he doesn't like me, well, I don't like him either. Maybe he's doing this to help the situation out. Maybe he's trying to do this to show Mike Brown I don't think I can coincide with Chad, but damn it I can't coincide with him either, and if he really feels that way when I see him I'm going to whoop his ass."

Analysis: Ochocinco has fallen so far down the totem pole, that he's no longer relevant, even in Cincinnati. The Bengals seem content with parting ways with the outspoken receiver as they move on with a new group of core players that might not include Ochocinco or quarterback Carson Palmer.



Aqib Talib (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

CB Aqib Talib, indicted in early June for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, won't stand trial until March 26, 2012, according to his attorney Frank Perez.

The fact that the trial won't occur until after the 2011 season leaves Talib's status unknown for when the lockout ends. Previous reports have claimed the team will release Talib, but the club has not confirmed that.

Talib was suspended for the first game of the 2010 season after assaulting a cab driver.

Analysis: Talib's legal problems appear to be on the back burner for now but his availability for the 2011 season is still in question. The NFL might be contradicting its player conduct policy by allowing him to play but the league also needs to respect the innocence of Talib until proven guilty.



Tarvaris Jackson (Minnesota Vikings)

QB Tarvaris Jackson expects to move on from the team once the lockout ends.

Jackson told the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "It's probably time for a change. I'm grateful for the opportunity to play up here the last five years. (But) I'm not trying to be a backup. I'm trying to go somewhere where I have a chance, and I don't feel like I'd get that chance here. It's time to move on. No hard feelings or anything. It's a business."

The Vikings selected quarterback Christian Ponder with the 12th overall choice in April's draft, a move that took many by surprise, including the team's fans.

Jackson told the paper he was never accepted by the fan base. "Since Day 1, I don't really think I was really welcome here anyways, because nobody really knew who I was, being from a smaller school (Alabama State)," said Jackson. "A lot more things probably play into it, too. It's just the way things are. I can't help that.

"Just the way things happened, like the way I was thrown into there, the way where it was me or Brett (Favre) or all this stuff. Just a lot of different things played into it that kind of soured our relationship. Fans are going to be fans."

Jackson said he hopes to get a fresh start in the NFL, like he did in college when he changed schools.

"This reminds me of me transferring from Arkansas to Alabama State," he said. "Like (I have a) sour taste left in my mouth. It really, really motivated me to try to get to the NFL, and it really motivated me to try to be the best. I think this situation, the ways things happened here, it adds a lot of fuel to the fire."

Analysis: It's not Jackson's fault that the Vikings made a severe reach with their second-round pick in the 2006 draft (former head coach Brad Childress can take the blame there). Jackson has yet to develop into a starting caliber quarterback and it appears that may be the case throughout his career.



Ryan Longwell (Minnesota Vikings)

PK Ryan Longwell will be a free agent once the lockout ends, but told FOXSportsNorth.com that his priority is to re-sign with the Minnesota Vikings.

"Our full intention to go back to Minnesota and put together another good stretch of years up there," he said. "It does seem like a really good fit. I am a firm believer in the way Coach (Leslie) Frazier approaches coaching and life and approaches people."

Longwell completed a five-year deal with the Vikings having made 43 of 46 field-goal attempts over the past two seasons. Having come to Minnesota from Green Bay, Longwell knows free agency is inherently unpredictable.

"You have to be ready for something else, just in case," he said. "Whether I play one more game or five or 10 more years, who knows? But you want to leave a legacy of leadership, and in the spiritual realm that is obviously very important to us."

Analysis: Longwell has spent his entire career in the NFC North division and that doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon. Longwell might have taken this opportunity to move to a contender, but he's content in Minnesota for the time being.



Kenny Britt (Tennessee Titans)

WR Kenny Britt is being sued for his alleged role in a bar fight last October, according to the Nashville City Paper.

Harold E. Pointer filed a civil suit in Davidson County Circuit Court last week seeking $150,000 in punitive and compensatory damages. Britt and patron Bradford Miser are named in the suit along with the bar, the Karma Lounge in Nashville.

According to the paper, Pointer claims Britt and Miser were allowed to re-enter the lounge after being escorted out, then approached Pointer and his friend. Miser allegedly hit Pointer with a glass bottle, starting a brawl on the floor during which Pointer claims Miser and Britt hit him repeatedly until security intervened.

It's the latest in a line of incidents this offseason for Britt, who has a hearing in Hoboken, N.J., on July 12 on a charge of disorderly conduct. Britt was originally arrested on June 8 and charged with fourth-degree obstruction, fourth-degree tampering or fabricating evidence and third-degree resisting arrest with force. Those charges were reduced to disorderly conduct. He also has a July 18 court date after surrendering to Nashville police regarding outstanding warrants resulting from an alleged falsification of a driver's license application.

Britt also had a bizarre series of postings on his Facebook account last month, including an announcement that he was retiring and a curse at commissioner Roger Goodell. Britt later claimed his account had been hacked.

Analysis: Britt's trials and tribulations seem to never end and are becoming a major distraction for the Titans, even with the impeding lockout. Britt's ongoing pattern of negative behavior will likely cause the NFL to come down hard on the talented, yet troubled wideout.



Darnell Dockett (Arizona Cardinals)

DL Darnell Dockett tweeted live during a traffic stop Monday, writing 11 posts while pulled over.

Dockett said he was told he was pulled over for speeding, but the police wanted to search his car.

The first tweet read: "I don't know why the police always messing w/me I'm never gonna let them search my car with out a search warrant! No matter what!"

Dockett said he sat around while the police called for backup, with a total of three cars showing up.

He continued to tweet during the stop, including a few profanity-laced entries. He was eventually let go without so much as a speeding ticket.

Dockett's final tweet about the stop read: "No ticket and I didn't get punk by PO-PO today now I'm off to my 2nd work out! Police aint searchig my sh*t with no warrant "holla at me"!"

Dockett is one of the NFL's most prolific players on Twitter, with more than 10,000 posts and more than 71,028 followers. He also worked as a correspondent for the Ochocinco News Network leading up to the Super Bowl in Miami in 2010.

Analysis: Dockett's encounter with local police was strange but it certainly kept his Twitter followers amused. At least Dockett knows his rights and won't be taken advantage of by the authorities.



Jimmy Clausen (Carolina Panthers)

QB Jimmy Clausen, the team's second-round pick last year, claims he is looking forward to working with rookie Cam Newton.

Said Clausen, "This guy, Cam Newton, I can't wait to work with him during camp. I was just out there in Carolina with the team two weeks ago for a two-week period. It was great working with Cam. He's a great talent. He's just going to help our team."

Asked about the situation concerning jersey No. 2, which Clausen now wears and Newton wore in college, Clausen said, "It's my number right now, and we'll see what happens. But as of now, it's my number."

Clausen also commented on the offense being implemented by new offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski. While the scheme has been portrayed as much different from what was used previously, Clausen said, "To be honest, it's the same concepts, just different terminology. So you have to get the terminology down. But the concepts are pretty much similar to every system."

Analysis: Clausen, along with almost everyone else, knows that Newton's future as a starting NFL quarterback is no guarantee. Even if Clausen ends up being forced out of Carolina, he'll more than likely have a shot to compete for a starting job elsewhere.



Cedric Benson(Cincinnati Bengals)

RB Cedric Benson had a trial for assault in Travis County postponed until Aug. 29, according to the Austin-American Statesman. His attorneys asked for more time in preparing their case after receiving additional evidence from prosecutors.

Benson, who starred at the University of Texas, is accused of punching an employee at a bar last year, and could face up to a year in jail if convicted. Sam Bassett, one of his lawyers, said the delay also gives the sides a chance to discuss a plea bargain.

Benson, 28, allegedly got into a fight at Annie's West on May 30, 2010 in which he suffered a bloody lip and shoved a bar manager. The altercation continued outside, and Benson allegedly punched bar employee Bryan White in the face.

Benson is scheduled to become a free agent once the lockout ends. He has worked out with Bengals players in recent weeks and talked with new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden before the lockout began.

Benson had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons for the first time in his career, but averaged more than half a yard less per carry in 2010. The Bengals ran more stretch plays with backs this year instead of going between the tackles which led to a lot of no gains and losses. He has stated he hopes the offense returns to more of the power running attack if he re-signs.

Analysis: Benson, once a magnet for negative news in the press, has kept clean since joining the Bengals but this is certainly not an ideal situation for the free agent running back. Cincinnati does have a handful of up and coming runners such as Bernard Scott but Benson is expected to return to the team once the lockout ends.



Eli Manning (New York Giants)

QB Eli Manning said Plaxico Burress would be more welcome in the team's locker room than Tiki Barber.

Manning was asked the question on the Dan Patrick Show, and said, "Probably Plaxico. He has probably fonder memories, winning a Super Bowl, that catch for the touchdown in Super Bowl XLII. Tiki just ended on a bad note. It's really a shame, he should be remembered as a great Giants running back and a terrific player ? because he was ? but the way he went out he burned a few bridges. ... So I think Plaxico would probably be welcomed back a little quicker."

After Barber retired, he leveled some criticism of Manning, including the questioning of his leadership. Manning answered, and he believes that helped his status in the locker room.

"I responded back and I think guys liked to see that from me," Manning said. "I didn't want it to be a deal where it's me vs. Tiki ... but I couldn't just sit there and do nothing."

Analysis: Barber wants to make a comeback but clearly that won't be happening with the Giants. In fact, Barber's entire comeback might be in jeopardy as few teams are showing interest at this point.



LaDainian Tomlinson (New York Jets)

LT LaDainian Tomlinson has enjoyed the extra time to rest this offseason following his 10th NFL season, but he has remained busy.

He participated in workouts New York Jets players put together in California and New Jersey, and was in Fort Worth, Texas on Monday for the start of Camp LT. The former TCU star said that as the calendar ticks toward August, he knows the thirst for playing football rather than teaching it will rise. "It's a time clock on my body and I promise you as you get closer to August you start feeling like hitting. That's just what it is for football players," Tomlinson told Newsday. "I've been at the point where I'm like, 'Oh, I'm good. Working out, everything's good.' I am starting to get a little eager to hit people and kind of to get hit maybe."

Tomlinson reiterated that he's comfortable in a complementary third-down role while Shonn Greene handles the bulk of the workload. Tomlinson rushed for 914 yards and six touchdowns on a career-low 219 carries in 2010, and will be entering the second year of a two-year deal.

"I think I proved that I can still play and that I've got a lot left," Tomlinson said. "Let me do a lot of the pass catching and the blocking and kind of that third-down role and still be able to take some handoffs. ... Beating up my body, running through there, taking all the carries, and I can run routes, I've proved that."

Tomlinson is still chasing the elusive Super Bowl ring, but at 32 years old, admitted he still likely wouldn't retire should he win a Lombardi Trophy next season.

"I don't want to put a limit on when I should stop playing," he said. "I think it's a feeling you have, but also I don't want to have that feeling of leaving just a tad bit too early and saying, 'Gosh, I wish I could've kept playing another year.' Or hold on too long. It has to be the right exit to the game."

Analysis: Tomlinson looks to be embracing the idea of being a third-down back, unlike many of his predecessors who tried to hang on too long as a primary option. LT can still make great contributions behind Green, both in the running game and through the air.

Information from the Sports Xchange was used in this report


Questions or comments? Contact Brad Wilbricht at brad.wilbricht@gmail.com


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