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News » Better watch your back, JaMarcus


Better watch your back, JaMarcus


Better watch your back, JaMarcus
On Mondays during the NFL offseason, FOXSports.com senior NFL writer Alex Marvez will address the big moves of the preceding week, the big storylines of the upcoming week and the draft, and free agency implications for both.


Storyline of the Week

Jeff Garcia signing with Oakland.

A word of advice to JaMarcus Russell: Watch out.

If you don't believe me, ask Matt Leinart and Vince Young.

The effect: This mega-deal struck by agents Drew and Jason Rosenhaus will have a significant trickle-down effect on other big-name tight ends with pending contract issues. The deals signed by San Diego's Antonio Gates (six years, $24 million) and New Orleans' Jeremy Shockey (five years, $26 million) in 2005 now seem like chump change. Bo Scaife, Tennessee's franchise player, will probably increase his asking price for a long-term deal. Jacksonville's Marcedes Lewis, Houston's Owen Daniels and Oakland's Zach Miller also will be harder to sign to extensions as they inch closer to unrestricted free agency.

As for the Bucs, I love the intensity and versatility Winslow will add. My only concern: Whether a player with chronic knee problems can fulfill his end of the deal by staying healthy and producing like he did for Cleveland in 2007.

The Buzz

Tampa Bay and Kansas City may have tipped their first-round draft hands with last weekend's free-agent signings.

The Bucs were openly in the market for a fourth quarterback to compete with Luke McCown, Brian Griese and promising youngster Josh Johnson. The conventional wisdom had Tampa Bay targeting a quarterback — most likely USC's Mark Sanchez or Kansas State's Josh Freeman — with the No. 19 overall pick. But the likelihood of that happening plummeted Sunday with ex-Steelers backup Byron Leftwich reportedly agreeing to a two-year contract.

This stems from one of two things:

A. The Bucs didn't think Sanchez or Freeman would be available and had no interest in trading up.

B. Neither quarterback was worth being chosen so high. Expect the Bucs to now focus on a big-bodied defensive tackle to augment an undersized front in new defensive coordinator Jim Bates' system. Mississippi's Peria Jerry would make sense if still available midway through the first round.

As for the Chiefs, it seems highly unlikely that Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry will be chosen at No. 3 with Zach Thomas signed to a one-year, $2 million contract. Thomas, fellow newcomers Mike Vrabel and Monty Beisel and four-year Chiefs veteran Derrick Johnson are projected starters. Current end Tamba Hali also could shift to outside linebacker if/when the Chiefs use a 3-4 front under ex-Arizona coordinator Clancy Pendegrast.

With all the needs remaining after a 2-14 season, I wouldn't be surprised if Kansas CIty took anyone from an offensive lineman (Baylor's Jason Smith or Virginia's Eugene Monroe) to defensive tackle (Boston College's B.J. Radi) to wide receiver (Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree or Missouri's Jeremy Maclin). A projected weak-side linebacker with more pass-rush potential than Curry like Texas' Brian Orakpo or Florida State's Everette Brown is also a possibility. Regardless, I'm sure Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli would love to trade the pick and horde draft choices with so many holes that still need filling.

Week in Review

Big winner: Terrell Owens. He showed a commitment to the Bills by attending offseason workouts in Buffalo. His arrival softened the blow from the announcement of Bills running back Marshawn Lynch's three-game NFL suspension.

Big loser (tie): Lynch and Bills safety Donte Whitner. As the sportsbybrooks.com blog astutely noted, Buffalo is quickly becoming "a Dallas of the Great Lakes region."

The Bills are generating plenty of off-field drama this offseason beyond the T.O. signing. Witner became the third Bills player arrested this year following an incident that left him tasered outside Miami wide receiver Ted Ginn's birthday party in Cleveland. Running back Fred Jackson — Lynch's projected replacement during the suspension — is skipping offseason workouts because he wants a new contract. Left tackle Jason Peters, who has exorbitant contract demands, may be traded (Philadelphia is believed a potential suitor). Wide receiver/returner Roscoe Parrish also is on the trading block, according to profootballtalk.com. What's next — O.J. Simpson returning on a work-release program?

Under-the-radar move: St. Louis acquiring wide receiver Laurent Robinson from Atlanta for a swap of positions in the fifth and sixth rounds in this year's draft.

The Rams desperately needed receiver help following the offseason release of Torry Holt and Drew Bennett. Robinson could provide it by regaining his pre-injury form of 2007 when he caught 37 passes for 437 yards and one touchdown. Robinson became expendable when rookie Harry Douglas emerged as a solid third receiver in 2008.

Highlights from NFL Calendar

  • Tuesday (April 14): The NFL announces its 2009 regular-season schedule at 7 p.m. ET.

  • Friday (April 17): The last day for restricted free agents to sign tender offers with other teams.

  • April 25-26: NFL Draft in New York City.



  • Author:Fox Sports
    Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
    Added: April 14, 2009

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