Could Eagles sign Edwards away from Vikings?

Posted March 13, 2010 @ 10:27 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

• The Vikings might be questioning their internal decision to tender restricted free-agent DE Ray Edwards at a first-round level and not at the higher first- and third-round level. There is mounting evidence that the Eagles are eyeing Edwards, who is seen as a rising player, as a possible target and that they would be willing to sacrifice their first-round pick (24th overall) to sign him. Although there hasn't yet been a poison-pill contract signed this season, the Eagles could strike with a deal that's hard for the Vikings to match. Edwards could be a great fit at right end, opposite DLE Trent Cole; he's a burgeoning pass rusher and strong run stopper. The difference in one-year salary between the first-round tender and a first-and-third tender is $647,000.

• It's looking more likely that the Redskins will look to deal DE Andre Carter. He's a poor fit in the 3-4 defense the team is expected to use as its base next season and is the most tradable commodity it has. The Redskins have only five picks and certainly could get something of value for Carter, who had 11 sacks and a career high in tackles last season. He turns 31 in May and remains a viable starter.

• The Lions' interest in re-signing Caleb Campbell, the team's seventh-round pick in 2008 who was not allowed to play in the NFL because of Army duty, is not just a feel-good story. Campbell recently ran 40-yard dashes in the 4.5-second range and is applying for a waiver to leave his Army duty two years early and is likely to sign a one-year contract with the team. Although making the roster two years removed from football remains a long shot, Campbell's high energy, smarts and athleticism could make him an option on the weak side and on special teams.

• The word out of Halas Hall is that 2009 free-agent addition Frank Omiyale, who had his share of issues at left guard last season, is almost certainly going to be moved to right tackle, where he figures to be the favorite over fellow free-agent addition Kevin Shaffer for the starting job. Interestingly, we hear that last offseason the Jaguars were also very interested in signing Omiyale before the Bears beat them to the punch. It's worth noting that their offensive line coach at the time was new Bears O-line coach Mike Tice.

• While it seems pretty crowded at wide receiver for the Bears all of a sudden, don't discount under-the-radar second-year WR Juaquin Iglesias, a virtual nonfactor as a rookie who some observers believe could make strides similar to those made by Earl Bennett in his second season. Said Bears head coach Lovie Smith at this year's Combine: "Even though we're young, I really feel like (wide receiver) may be the deepest position on our ballclub, and they'll just take off. Even a guy like Juaquin Iglesias that didn't get a chance to play this last year. I saw a lot of good things that he did during practice going against our '1' defense last year."

• Sources say the Buccaneers' strategy for grooming QB Josh Freeman was part of the reason the team chose not to be more aggressive in its efforts to re-sign unrestricted free-agent WR Antonio Bryant, who signed with the Bengals March 10. Tampa Bay was concerned that Bryant might put pressure on Freeman and demand the ball be thrown to him, which is not an environment the team is seeking to create for its young quarterback.

• At the Combine last month, head coach Sean Payton put to rest speculation that the Saints would be cutting Reggie Bush this offseason, and GM Mickey Loomis put another nail in the coffin of that rumor at a press conference March 12. Bush is set to make $8 million during the 2010 season, and Loomis indicated he would not be taking a pay cut. "(Bush will) be back, and he'll be back at his current salary," Loomis said.

• There are all kinds of interesting names popping up on the Cardinals' QB rumor mill, with the team reportedly showing interest in Chargers backup Charlie Whitehurst, who visited the Cardinals Wednesday, and Derek Anderson, who was cut Tuesday by the Browns and was expected to make a visit at the end of this week. There are also rumblings in the desert that the Cardinals could seriously consider Marc Bulger once he's officially given his walking papers by the Rams.

• New Rams QB A.J. Feeley doesn't think the fact he hasn't played in a regular-season game the past two years will be a drawback. "I don't expect rust," Feeley said. "You kind of work that stuff out during training camp and minicamps. As a guy in the NFL, it's tough. You want to play and you have ambitions of what you want to do, but you realize it's a team game and everybody's got to play a role. ... You can go from not playing to playing a whole season. You never know."

• What will newly acquired veteran DT Fred Robbins' role be with the Rams? "I can fit in either way," Robbins said. "I bring a different dimension. I can play left, right, three-technique, one-technique, and I feel comfortable playing them all. Wherever they need me, that's where I'll be, just bringing those other guys along, too, so we can be a dominant force in the middle."

• While Leon Washington's agent, Alvin Keels, said there would be interest from other teams in signing Washington to an offer sheet, the market for him is apparently developing slowly. There's been speculation about which teams might be interested in Washington, but reports indicate no official meetings have been conducted since he was tendered March 3. Teams would have to give up a second-round pick if they signed Washington, who is recovering from a broken leg, to an offer sheet and the Jets chose not to match the offer.

• Loyalty played a significant role in the Dolphins' decision to re-sign NT Jason Ferguson, we hear, even though he's been suspended for the first eight games of next season for taking performance-enhancing drugs. Ferguson is a favorite of Dolphins VP of football operations Bill Parcells, and sources say they wouldn't be surprised if Ferguson became an assistant coach for Miami eventually. Ferguson, 35, is recovering from a quadriceps injury, and some expect the team to use at least one draft pick on a nose tackle in the draft.

• The Steelers tendered a majority of their restricted free agents at the second-lowest, or "draft-pick," level, which gives Pittsburgh the right to match any offer sheet and would require a team to surrender a 2010 draft pick in the same round in which the player was drafted. TE Matt Spaeth (third round), P Daniel Sepulveda (fourth round) and CB William Gay (fifth round) all received draft-pick tenders, and while all have been key contributors for Pittsburgh, it's clear the Steelers are comfortable with other teams potentially setting the market for those players even though the Steelers will receive less than a high-round pick in return if the players garner offers sheets Pittsburgh feels are too rich to match. The only restricted free agent whom the Steelers tendered at the first-round level was improving ORT Willie Colon.

• If the Steelers don't have improved special-teams coverage teams next season, it won't be for a lack of trying. They signed FS Will Allen and WR Arnaz Battle, both of whom have experience on coverage units, on March 8. Also, they added a pair of CFL linebackers, Derrick Doggett and Renauld Williams, who have contributed on special teams. New special-teams coordinator Al Everest, formerly with the Niners, is charged with bolstering Pittsburgh's coverage teams after the Steelers struggled in this area in 2009. 

• The Colts have yet to officially acknowledge the departure of veteran D-lineman Raheem Brock, who recently Tweeted that he had played his last down in a Colts uniform. "I think he was tired of being bounced around from end to tackle," one team insider said of Brock. "He was always the good soldier, but he wasn't real happy."

 

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