Here are some Whispers we've been hearing from our sources around the NFL:
• The Cowboys are said to be keeping their eyes open for receivers. The Dez Bryant incident had no effect on this; the team had planned to look for WR help before he was arrested. With the injury to Danny Coale — the fifth-round rookie suffered a stress fracture in his left foot in late May that required surgery — and no clear front-runner for the third WR position, it’s possible that the team will add help from the waiver wire at some point during the preseason or after. Remember, Laurent Robinson and his 11 TDs were added last season prior to Week Two. If the right vested veteran comes along, the Cowboys could make a similar move early this season.
• The Vikings have no need to rush RB Adrian Peterson back from injury, and if he has to miss a few games they feel good about Toby Gerhart entering the lineup. The fact that the offensive line could be improved in as many as three spots also gives the team comfort that there is absolutely no need to push Peterson to return faster than he needs to be.
• One NFL observer expects far better results from Chiefs WR Jon Baldwin in Year Two. “The immaturity was a problem in college, and I figured it would hurt him as a rookie,” the observer said. “But that freakish ability is going to be a factor at some point soon, you’d have to think. He’s something of a rare specimen.”
• Questions about Amini Silatolu's intelligence hurt his draft stock earlier this year. The Panthers knew he would be raw and anticipated him having some mental lapses when they selected him in the second round. While he had some problems digesting Carolina’s playbook this offseason, we hear the Panthers are still set to make him their starting left guard. The club was very pleased with the physical ability and temperament he showed in OTAs and minicamp.
• After moving Jeremy Zuttah between guard and center during his first four seasons in the league, the Buccaneers will keep Zuttah at center in 2012. With Pro Bowl guards in Carl Nicks and Davin Joseph playing on either side of him, we hear the Bucs believe Zuttah, whom they rewarded with a new four-year contract this offseason, is ready to have his best season. In fact, word is the Bucs believe he could be their answer at the position far beyond the end of that contract.
• Look for Ivan Golde, the attorney for Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch, to make every effort to try and postpone Lynch’s mid-August arraignment on the DUI charge recently filed by the Alameda County district attorney’s office. It’s being widely assumed that Lynch’s best chances of avoiding a league-mandated suspension in the foreseeable future hinge on his legal team’s ability to drag his case through the judicial system as long as possible, thereby delaying the influence a verdict in the case would have on any judgments by commissioner Roger Goodell.
• Don’t be surprised if the Packers’ additions of second-round rookie Jerel Worthy and veteran free agents Anthony Hargrove and Phillip Merling create a scenario in which holdover DEs Jarius Wynn and C.J. Wilson are pitted directly against one another for a spot on the final roster.
• Acknowledging that he could have a very difficult time making the 49ers’ final roster, we hear RB Anthony Dixon is determined to make it very difficult for the team to cut him. Daily team observers tell us the third-year running back, who has been plagued by weight issues, is in the best shape of his life.
• The Chargers released DE Luis Castillo last week, the second time they had let him go since February. The veteran suffered a season-ending leg injury in Week One last year and the Chargers are going young up front, with Corey Liuget (2011 first-ronder) and Kendall Reyes (2012 second-rounder). We heard adding depth was a priority for the Chargers this offseason, after a lack of depth let them down in 2011. That has been seen by several free-agent acquisitions, including ex-Saints NT Aubrayo Franklin, one of the top free agents available. Franklin likely will be Antonio Garay's No. 2, but GM A.J. Smith told reporters that Garay's versatility should allow him to "be a floater" on the D-line.
• One of the Patriots' rookies who reportedly failed a physical last week was undrafted OT Markus Zusevics, who comes from an Iowa program that Bill Belichick is familiar with through his relationship with Kirk Ferentz. "If healthy," Zusevics could battle for a roster spot, as depth is a question mark at tackle behind Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer. Vollmer was hurt often last season, and backups Marcus Cannon, Kyle Hix and Matt Kopa have very little experience. According to PFW's scouting report on Zusevics, he is an "underpowered and self-made overachiever who has to prove he can anchor vs. NFL strength."
• Rookie TE Orson Charles has received positive reviews for his initial play with the Bengals, with one insider saying the Georgia product has had a “great offseason.” Charles was PFW’s No.2-ranked TE prospect, but he had some struggles during predraft workouts, and he was arrested for DUI in March. The Bengals, who have had quite a bit of success with Georgia players in recent years, took Charles in Round Four.
• News of Lions DT Corey Williams’ June 18, 2011 DWI arrest broke last week after a court hearing in Drew County, Arkansas. Yukiko Shepherd, the chief court clerk of Drew County, said July 20 that the “charge for the time being has been ‘taken under advisement,” meaning that “no decision has been made.” Williams’ attorney, Rickey H. Hicks, filed a motion to suppress evidence in the case, alleging that Williams was a “victim of racial profiling” and a “victim of an illegal search and seizure.”