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Week in Review

Big winner: DeMaurice Smith. In a stunning upset, Smith was elected the new executive director of the NFL Player's Association on Sunday in Hawaii. A corporate lawyer by trade, Smith's status as an NFL outsider may actually have helped him gain approval ahead of fellow candidates Trace Armstrong, Troy Vincent and David Cornwell. Smith now faces the daunting task of trying to negotiate a new labor agreement with NFL owners.

Big loser: Cleveland WR Donte' Stallworth. Police officials are awaiting the results of blood tests conducted after Stallworth hit and killed a pedestrian during a Saturday morning traffic accident in South Florida. Stallworth's NFL career could be over if charged with DUI manslaughter. It's believed the Browns paid Stallworth a $5 million roster bonus on the day before the crash.

Under-the-radar move: The retirement of Chicago Bears tackle John Tait. 2008 first-round pick Chris Williams better be ready to protect Kyle Orton's blindside. Retiring at the age of 34 because of injuries, Tait proved well worth the six-year, $34 million contract offer he signed in 2004 that Kansas City declined to match. RT John St. Clair also could be leaving the Bears. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported he is meeting today with Browns officials.

Highlights from this week's NFL calendar

Today (March 16): Some teams begin offseason workout programs. Sessions are voluntary, which in NFL coach-speak means every player is expected to attend.

Tuesday (March 17): Chicago begins a three-day minicamp. Sounds like a hamstring pull waiting to happen.

Wednesday (March 18): The NFL publicly releases the agenda for next week's league meetings in Dana Point, Calif. A potential change to the overtime format should be one of the hot topics.

Thursday (March 19): Baltimore will hold an official news conference announcing the re-signing of LB Ray Lewis. Expect a group hug as well to help soothe Lewis' feelings after being snubbed elsewhere in free agency.

Sunday (March 22): This was the re-scheduled kickoff date for the United National Gridiron League, which is hoping to become a developmental system for NFL players. Financing issues have forced the UNGL to push its debut back to May 3.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 16, 2009

Baltimore Ravens News

News » Six teams Broncos should start calling 2009-03-16

Six teams Broncos should start calling 2009-03-16

Six teams Broncos should start calling 2009-03-16
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: Cutler vs. Broncos

Cutler and his parents recently placed their Denver-area homes on the market. Now it's time for the Broncos to place a "for sale" sign on their disgruntled quarterback.

The relationship between new Broncos coach Josh McDaniels and Cutler appears irreconcilable. Cutler wants to get traded and is undermining McDaniels by skipping the start of Denver's offseason workout program. In turn, McDaniels lost Cutler's trust with his horrific handling of the fallout from the unsuccessful attempt to acquire Matt Cassel from New England.

Both sides will never be able to truly live down what has happened. If Cutler won't fully buy into the new program being installed, McDaniels needs to find a quarterback who will.

Here are six potential trade partners and what type of compensation could be in the offing for a fourth-year quarterback coming off his first Pro Bowl appearance:

Detroit: It would require a bold move, but the Lions might be able to seal this deal by offering the top overall selection in April's draft. Detroit would acquire a proven commodity who would greatly accelerate the rebuilding process after an 0-16 season. The Lions would still have another first-round pick (No. 20) from last season's trade of wide receiver Roy Williams to Dallas.

Denver could then use either the top pick or its own first-round choice (No. 12 overall) on a quarterback McDaniels can mold a la Cassel in New England. Georgia's Matt Stafford, Southern California's Mark Sanchez and Kansas State's Josh Freeman are considered the draft's top three prospects.

Tampa Bay: The Bucs were in the market for Cutler in February as part of what would have been a three-way trade with Denver and New England. Tampa Bay's interest should be piqued once again. A package of picks that include the No. 19 overall selection is the likely compensation. Tossing a young interior offensive lineman like Arron Sears or Jeremy Zuttah into the mix would sweeten the pot.

New York Jets: Cutler would fill the void created by Brett Favre's retirement. Speaking of which, Favre and Cutler have the same agent. Bus Cook is adept at behind-the-scenes negotiations and would be wise to try and maneuver Cutler to a team that would become a legitimate Super Bowl contender with his arrival. Like with Tampa Bay, the Jets would have to offer their first-round pick (No. 17 overall) and other considerations.

San Francisco: As evidenced by the unsuccessful free-agent dalliance with Arizona's Kurt Warner, new 49ers head coach Mike Singletary isn't fully committed to Shaun Hill as his starting quarterback. The 49ers have the No. 10 overall selection, which would put Denver in striking distance for any quarterbacks that begin to slide. The Broncos also could demand one of San Francisco's outside linebackers (Parys Haralson or Manny Lawson) to seal the deal. Denver is shifting to a 3-4 defense under new coordinator Mike Nolan, who coached both players in San Francisco the past three seasons.

Carolina: The Broncos made a blockbuster trade earlier this decade when they sent running back Clinton Portis to Washington for cornerback Champ Bailey. Why not consider doing the same with a Cutler-for-Julius Peppers swap? Peppers has said he wants out of Carolina and the chance to switch from defensive end to outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. The Broncos could demand current starter Jake Delhomme or promising backup Matt Moore as part of the deal. One caveat: Denver would have to be willing to offer Peppers a mountain-sized contract extension. He is currently slated to earn $16.6 million for 2009 as Carolina's franchise player.

Chicago: Kyle Orton didn't solidify himself as a long-term answer in 2008. Cutler is a strong-armed thrower who could still thrive in Chicago's rough weather conditions. The Bears have eschewed free-agent signings this offseason while planning to build through the draft. But for a team that hasn't fielded a Pro Bowl quarterback since Jim McMahon in 1985, a talent like Cutler could be too tempting to pass on. The Bears have the 18th pick of the first round.

Cause and Effect


Free-agency news:

  • Ravens release Rolle, sign CB Carr
  • Report: Pats on Peppers' wish list
  • Bears lose starting LT to Browns
  • Rebuilding Chiefs sign three veterans
  • Jets match Browns' offer for Abram


  • Schein: Belichick's dominant offseason
  • Czar: Agent Bus Cook does it again
  • Marvez: Trade options for Jay Cutler
  • Marvez: The NFL's Dirtied Dozen vets
  • Scout.com: Top 20 FAs | Who's left?

Player Trackers:

    Track offseason moves by your favorite team and division.

Detroit trading DT Cory Redding and a 2009 fifth-round draft choice to Seattle for LB Julian Peterson.

The cause: Peterson's $6.5 million salary was too much for a Seahawks team that has already invested heavily in linebackers Lofa Tatupu and Leroy Hill for 2009. Seattle was seeking defensive line help following the free-agent loss of Rocky Bernard (New York Giants). Detroit has needs across the front seven but none more so than a pass-rushing threat like Peterson, who notched 24.5 sacks during his three seasons in Seattle.

The effect: Unless Ernie Sims gets traded, Detroit almost certainly will pass on Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry with the No. 1 overall pick. The Lions cannot afford to invest that heavily at linebacker in a 4-3 defense, especially with how frequently Detroit will be using its nickel and dime packages. Redding never fulfilled the expectations that came with the seven-year, $49 million contract extension he received from Detroit in the 2007 offseason. Redding will be surrounded by better talent in Seattle, especially if DE Patrick Kearney makes a full recovery from reconstructive shoulder surgery. Redding's willingness to accept a restructured contract added to his appeal in Seattle.

Draft watch: Georgia QB Matthew Stafford

No player's Pro Day is more anticipated this spring. Stafford declined to participate in throwing drills at the NFL Scouting Combine. He wanted to wait for Thursday's session in Athens because of familiarity with Georgia's receiving targets. Stafford can help cement his status as the top quarterback prospect in this year's draft with a strong outing. But it's still impossible to forecast when Stafford's name will be called. The high salary that he would command — at least $35 million guaranteed if chosen in the top four — combined with struggles by other underclassmen quarterbacks who turned pro early could cause Stafford to slide if Detroit passes with the No. 1 pick.

Free agency watch: Torry Holt

Let the bidding commence for the top wide receiver available on the free-agent market. Holt was released by St. Louis on Friday after the Rams were unable to swing a trade. The National Football Post reported that Tennessee's attempt to acquire Holt was scuttled by his refusal to renegotiate his contract. Holt is the NFL's leading receiver this decade but he also turns 33 in July and carries medical concerns about his knees. The refusal of teams with receiver needs to pursue other 30-something wideouts like T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Laveranues Coles earlier this offseason could be a sign that Miami, Philadelphia and both New York squads won't have much interest. Tennessee still makes a lot of sense even if the Rams trade fell through. Holt and the recently signed Nate Washington would give quarterback Kerry Collins some credible receiving targets on a team desperately lacking them.

PHOTOS: The Dirtied Dozen

Orlando Pace, Torry HoltThe NFL can be a cold, hard business for NFL 30-somethings. Alex Marvez shares 12 longtime veterans suddenly shown the exit.
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Mark Clayton Name: Mark Clayton
Position: WR
Age: 26
Experience: 4 years
College: Oklahoma
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