When people suggest he is a head-hunter, former New Orleans Saints defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove is, well ... hurt.
Hargrove released a statement Thursday denying a late hit he delivered on Brett Favre in the NFC championship game had anything to do with coach Gregg Williams’ organized bounty program.
Hargrove was penalized and later fined for the hit — which is often mentioned as evidence of the Saints’ foul intentions that day. According to a Sports Illustrated report, Hargrove celebrated an ankle injury Favre later suffered by saying: “Favre is out of the game! Favre is done! Favre is done!”
In the statement, Hargrove said “the late hit and the comments were both mistakes.”
Hargrove, who played with Seattle last season, said: “Players all over the league do the same thing every Sunday, make late hits and say stupid things. But I can say with absolute certainty that neither the late hit nor the comment have anything whatsoever to do with the issue being so hotly discussed in the media.”
So, what he’s saying is that he can be dumb, ignorant and revolting all by his lonesome. And that’s a good thing? I guess.
LIONS SHOPPING FOR AN AFFORDABLE RUNNING BACK
Detroit Lions aren’t sure what they’ve got at running back and in Tampa they’d like to get someone with after-burners that still light up.
Fortunately there are a couple of options — and it might not even cost either team that much.
The Lions have a nice tandem in Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure. When they’re healthy.
Best missed all but six games last year due to concussions and while he’s cleared to practice, he’s just one shot from living with the fairies again. Sad. But sometimes reality has its cruel side. Leshoure is coming off Achilles surgery, which is always tricky.
They might want to look at Justin Forsett, who is just 26 and will come cheap (the Lions are up against the salary cap trying to keep their defence and receivers) after getting bumped down on Seattle’s depth chart behind Leon Washington.
The Bucs have LeGarrette Blount, but they are looking for someone with some breakaway speed and the ability to touch the ball on every down, like Trent Richardson.
But Forsett would be an intriguing fall-back option. His 4.63 yards per carry average is better than more publicized free-agent running backs Peyton Hillis (4.22), Michael Bush (4.18), and BenJarvus Green-Ellis (4.05). And, he wouldn’t be as pricey.
Richardson is one of the top running back prospects in some time. The Bucs, with the 5th pick, will have a shot at him. But there’s a tendency not to pick running backs that high. Last year Mark Ingram (who started ahead of Richardson for two years at Alabama) was the first running back off the board, and he lasted until the Saints took him at No. 28. “As talented as Trent Richardson is — and I believe he is, I believe he is a Top 10 talent in this draft, I’m not convinced he’s going in the Top 10,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said.
That would leave even Detroit, at No. 23, with an outside chance to not only buy a little insurance but, in either case, to get it at an affordable price.
BROOKING IN BIG TROUBLE
Easy come; easy go.
And, if Keith Brooking isn’t careful he could end up going — bankrupt, that is. Or, heaven forfend, even jail.
Wells Fargo is accusing the Cowboys’ free agent of fraudulently transferring money to avoid paying a debt. Brooking has been sued in federal court by Wells Fargo for nearly $2 million they allege he owes for two unpaid loans. Brooking took out the two loans for more than $2 million from the bank in the summer of 2008, but they say he still owed $1,996,224.73 as of January.
According to the suit: “Upon information and belief, beginning in 2008, K. Brooking realized he would not be able to meet his obligations to his creditors, including Wells Fargo. K. Brooking therefore acted to fraudulently transfer his individual wealth and assets, including, but not limited to, transferring real property located in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina to insiders.”
The suit also includes Brooking’s wife. Brooking, whose three-year $6 million contract with Dallas ran out in 2011, has denied the accusations through his agent.
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
Former USC defensive tackle DaJohn Harris has got heart. And, he wants every NFL team to know it.
Harris had a medical at the recent scouting combines that revealed he had a hole in his heart and doctors told him he couldn’t work out until he had further tests.
Wednesday, at USC’s pro day, he was back on the field. “This is my Combine, I got to talk to teams but I didn’t get to do anything else, so this is my Combine,” Harris said, after he was cleared after further testing. Cardiologists told him his condition, patent foramen ovale, won’t prevent him from playing in the NFL.
His cardiologist has e-mailed all 32 NFL teams to say that it’s safe for him to play. Harris was a two-year starter at USC and drew praise for his play in East-West Shrine Game practices. “I hope they realize that I’m fine,” Harris said. “I’ve never had a problem with this before.”
COURTROOM TO COURTROOM
Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib goes to trouble like he goes to the football.
Fast and often.
It’s made him a success on the football field but a human tsunami anywhere else. Talib is facing yet another accusation of acting like a miscreant.
This time a woman is claiming in a civil suit that Talib caused a traffic accident between the two of them, then threatened “to put a cap in (her)” in December 2010.
In an unrelated matter, Talib is scheduled to go on trial this month in Texas on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
He’s also been involved in two separate fights in which he punched teammates and faced an allegation of hitting a cab driver.
The woman is suing him for $15,000, saying she suffered physical injuries, depression, anxiety, and “severe emotional distress.”
Some players change teams, Talib just seems to be working himself across the country, courtroom to courtroom.