NFL notes: Stars in holding pattern

Randy Moss #84 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on against the New York Jets at New Meadowlands...

Randy Moss #84 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on against the New York Jets at New Meadowlands Stadium on October 11, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images/AFP)

Bill Lankhof, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:08 PM ET

The Arizona Cardinals aren’t so sure about Kevin Kolb anymore; Randy Moss won’t be looking at strike three in Minnesota and, when it comes to Peyton Manning, Colts’ owner Jim Irsay talks a lot but doesn’t actually say much.

It’s simpler to figure out what is not happening in the NFL lately than what is happening. For instance, the Vikings say they aren’t interested in bringing Moss — a former fan favourite — back for a second encore.

If not Minnesota, maybe St. Louis.

Rams’ head coach Jeff Fisher gives Moss props. “I thought the world of him over the six or eight weeks that we had him (in Tennessee),” said Fisher. “I thought he was a terrific teammate and he did a great job in our locker room.”

He just couldn’t catch. It’s just that the world didn’t have Gisele Bundchen to point it out. But that’s probably being catty.

Speaking of catty, as it has since the season ended, much of the discussion centres on Manning, with Irsay saying they’ll continue to be “great friends”, that he hopes the quarterback will continue to be “in a Colts uniform” and that they recently “got into a debate about whether Tiger Woods will win more majors than Jack Nicklaus or not.”

But it’s irrelevant. Just talk until Irsay says he’s willing to pay Manning his March bonus, or that they’ve reached a new contract agreement.

We’re about as close to knowing what is going to happen with Manning as Rex Ryan is to giving someone the silent treatment.

While Irsay has speculated whether Manning can recover his arm strength, former NFL quarterback Chris Weinke, who has spoken with Manning, is convinced he can return to play effectively.

Weinke should know. He recovered from a similar spinal fusion surgery in 1998, although he did it at a younger age.

“It’s not a question of if he can get back healthy because it’s already been proven it can happen because I went through it,” Weinke told USA Today. “I lost everything, full atrophy in my throwing arm, the nerves that control my right arm were damaged. I had total nerve regeneration. I had to in essence re-teach myself to throw.”

While Manning has been regenerating, Irsay hasn’t been the only one with a remarkable ability for generating double-speak. In Arizona, Kolb was signed last season as their quarterback of the future. But general manager Rod Graves noted: “There’s no reason to think at this particular point that we wouldn’t proceed with . . . seeing (Kolb’s) contract through, but things change as we go down the road.”

Translation: Change — as in change like Manning becoming a free agent, maybe. To “think” Kolb will be No. 1 rather than outright saying he is No. 1 are two different things.

But then, perhaps when they signed Kolb as their quarterback of the future, they didn’t say how long (or to be more precise, how short) that future would be.

HE’S A KEEPER

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman says the Eagles want to sign receiver DeSean Jackson to a long-term deal to keep him in Philadelphia. Jackson had 58 catches for 916 yards last season but with a glut of free agent receivers on the market there had been speculation the Eagles might tag and/or trade him.

“This is about a relationship we have with a player that we drafted and that we feel strongly about,” Roseman said. “We feel fortunate to have a player of DeSean Jackson’s magnitude on our football team and I think the future is bright for DeSean Jackson.”

THE DISS MILL

There’s just no pleasing some people.

Last year ESPN’s Cris Carter said Calvin Johnson wasn’t an “elite” receiver. That was before Johnson launched a personal blitz kreig on every secondary.

Now Detroit quarterback Matt Stafford is getting pooh-poohed. He became only the fourth quarterback in history to throw for 5,000 yards in a season.

“Throwing for 5,000 yards in the NFL right now is nothing,” pooh-poohed the NFL Network’s Marshall Faulk. “I don’t want to take anything away from it. As much as people throw the football now, you better have 5,000 (yards) if you have Calvin Johnson.”

Hmmm. First Johnson’s not that good. Now Stafford’s not that good. But Johnson is good. Someone make these guys stop. They’re making my head hurt.

QUICK HITS

Adrian Peterson believes he will recover from surgery for a torn ACL in time to start the season ... Detroit defensive end Cliff Avril believes loyalty begins, and ends, in the pocketbook. If the Lions want to sign him they’ll have to pay market value. “There’s no such thing as a hometown discount in the NFL,” Avril said. “Once you can’t play anymore, they’re going to let you go, so you have to strike gold when you can.” ... Kicker Josh Scobee and the Jaguars are working on a long-term contract ... Bengals’ Rey Maualuga has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanour assault charge after an employee at a bar claimed the linebacker punched him ... Former Raiders’ coach Hue Jackson will return to Cincinnati, where he was an assistant from 2003-06, to coach the secondary and special teams.

CHICK MAGNET?

Tim Tebow. Chick magnet.

Who knew?

Some guys don’t have a prayer. The Broncos quarterback has a prayer for everything.

Or, so it would appear. Rumors circulated recently that Tebow was working out at UCLA.

ProFootballTall.com reports the same thing is now happening at UCLA as happened at the media centre two weeks ago in Indianapolis before Super Bowl XLVI, where folks blew past icons like Joe Montana to get a glimpse of Tebow.

“There’s a little Tebowmania going on here on the UCLA campus,” head coach Jim Mora said, jokingly. “There’s a few more girls hanging around the football office and the football field than there typically are.”

 

 


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