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Chiefs could be ready to let go of OLG Waters

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Posted June 19, 2011 @ 10 a.m. ET
By PFW staff

Following are whispers we've been hearing from around the league:

• For the past decade, OLG Brian Waters has been a premier player for the Chiefs, earning five Pro Bowl appearances while being a leader both on and off the field. However, he might be nearing the end of his Kansas City career. According to our team sources, Chiefs management is very high on reserve OG Jon Asamoah, a third-round pick a year ago. GM Scott Pioli comes from New England, which was known for getting rid of veterans with big salaries and replacing them with younger players. That scenario might play out soon with Waters.

• On the 49ers' free-agent front, we hear QB Alex Smith, C David Baas and DL Ray McDonald all appear to be virtual locks to be re-signed. A great indication of Baas' desire to re-sign was provided by the cross-country flight he made to participate in the final day of the team's recent four-day players-only workout.

• Keep a close eye on Niners sixth-round rookie WR Ronald Johnson, who we hear could have a leg up on a roster spot because of his close connection with the team's new WR coach John Morton, who coached Johnson at USC. Johnson has been a conscientious attendee of the Niners' players-only workouts.

• Seahawks free-agent DE Raheem Brock, one of the league's most potent pass rushers late last season, recently told PFW that, even though it "might be tough," he would like to stay in Seattle. The problem team insiders believe the Seahawks might have with Brock is that he could be looking for starter's money but is projected primarily as a nickel defender, sharing the load at the "Leo" end position with Chris Clemons.

• Cardinals veteran SS Adrian Wilson recently told team insiders that 15-20 defensive players have been working out regularly in Scottsdale, Ariz. Wilson said the whole team might try to get together for a few days near the end of June, but admitted that logistics could be a real problem.

• We hear Cardinals free-agent CB Michael Adams has a better than 50-50 shot at re-signing as the team's fourth corner because of his solid special-teams skills. Adams is also considered one of the team's best tacklers.

• The most surprising aspect of all the turnover and restructuring that has occurred within the Colts' organization this offseason is that nearly all of the people who have been affected have been with the team the longest. It is pretty clear GM Chris Polian is bringing in a fresh perspective and changing the dynamic of the club.

• The Texans would be making a mistake by not re-signing All-Pro FB Vonta Leach, the way we hear it. It is better to overpay than to let a valuable asset like Leach walk. TE-H-back James Casey has done a nice job bulking up but he is not Leach.

• LB Keith Bulluck, who spent last season in a part-time role with the Giants, said he would consider playing for three teams in 2011: the Giants, Lions and Patriots. Bulluck wants more of a full-time role, which he had enjoyed since his second season in the NFL. The appeal of the Patriots is that it is a veteran-friendly team, and the LB-needy Lions could offer a fuller role. Returning to the Giants is possible, but it's doubtful he'd be a three-down linebacker in their system.
• Redskins rookie OLB Ryan Kerrigan impressed bookend starter Brian Orakpo in the recent player-organized workouts, and observers say a key for Kerrigan will be to play with better knee bend and a lower center of gravity, something Andre Carter often failed to do when working in a two-point stance last season.
• Most have assumed that WR Malcolm Kelly's days with the Redskins are close to being over, but he has lost 10-15 pounds and might have a chance to sneak onto the roster again, as he barely did last season. Kelly plans to work out with possible starting QB John Beck in the next few weeks, and the receiver's experience might give him a slight edge when rosters are cut down. Still, rookie WR Aldrick Robinson opened eyes at the player-organized workouts by displaying what Kelly lacks: long speed.
• Vikings NT Pat Williams put the chances of him returning to the team at 50-50 after it appeared the two sides would part ways. Williams said he worked some things out with head coach Leslie Frazier during the window when the lockout briefly was lifted in late April, and the team still has a need at defensive tackle, so a reunion can't be ruled out completely.

• The Patriots' safeties get a new position coach in 2011, Matt Patricia, who previously coached the linebackers. "He's a very smart guy," SS Patrick Chung told PFW. "He's a good coach and I can't wait to get this going."

• Chung also talked about his starting partner in the Patriots' secondary, two-time Pro Bowler Brandon Meriweather. "I learn to go hard (from Meriweather)," he said. "I'm the same way — full speed, full tilt every play. I call him my partner in crime. We go hard."

• Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the team needs a complementary back for rookie Daniel Thomas, as the team is likely operating under the assumption Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams will be playing elsewhere. "We do have somewhat of a scatback in Kory Sheets that we haven't seen yet, so I'm still hoping he can develop," Ireland said. The Dolphins likely would rather sign a veteran scatback to join Thomas in the backfield, but there is a chance that Sheets, who missed all of 2010, could, at a minimum, add depth and a change of pace. If not, Darren Sproles would definitely fit the mold in a group of solid free-agent running backs that could include, among others, DeAngelo Williams and Ahmad Bradshaw.

• We hear the Buccaneers are interested in re-signing DE Tim Crowder, regardless of his free-agent status. Crowder is a free agent in limbo, not knowing whether he will be unrestricted or restricted when free agency begins, but the Bucs extended a restricted tender to him before the lockout began. Tampa Bay drafted two young defensive ends in Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers with its top two picks and both are expected to be immediate starters. The Bucs still would like to have Crowder, who started nine games last season, for depth and he has said he would like to stay with the team. The four-year veteran likely will look to sign with a team where he'll have a chance to play a larger role if he's unrestricted, though.

• In court documents filed last week, Falcons CB Chris Owens denied accusations made by his former girlfriend that he went on a rampage inside an apartment he was paying for and damaged property. Sources familiar with Owens, who was named the Falcons' Man of the Year in 2010 for his dedication to helping the community, were surprised by the allegations given Owens' high-character reputation.

• For some athletes, the focus of workouts is to keep weight off, but for Lions RS-WR Stefan Logan, the goal is to keep weight on. The 5-foot-6 Logan, who was one of the NFL's top kickoff and punt returners last season, wants to be 180 pounds. Logan knows that when the lockout is over, the Lions will begin team-organized training in earnest. "They're going to try to whip us into shape," said Logan, who's working out four days a week.

• The Ravens' selections of WRs Torrey Smith and Tandon Doss in April's draft will make for some interesting competition for roster spots and depth-chart positioning. Smith, a second-round pick, is a roster lock, as are veterans Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason. Moreover, Doss, a fourth-round pick, is very likely to make the club, too. A daily team observer suggests that former Bills WR James Hardy's chances of making the club were not helped by the selections of Smith and Doss, and especially if both rookies pick up the offense quickly. What's more, we're told Smith and Doss have some of the same skills as second-year WR David Reed, who was exceptional as a returner as a rookie and might have some upside as a receiver.

• Browns LB Kaluka Maiava is excited about playing in a 4-3 scheme like he did at USC, but he believes there are skills he can take from playing in the 3-4 for his first two pro seasons. For instance, in a "30" front, he had to deal with unblocked guards and was responsible for two gaps at times. "My experience is more broad," he told PFW.

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