NFL trade talks heat up prior to Tuesday's deadline

New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) watches from the sideline while playing against the...

New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) watches from the sideline while playing against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter of their NFL preseason football game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 30, 2012. (Reuters/TIM SHAFFER)

JOHN KRYK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:11 AM ET

The NFL's trade deadline is Tuesday at 4 p.m. EDT, and there are squibs of news to report:

* Reports that the New York Jets were quietly seeking to trade Tim Tebow were shot down. That doesn't mean it still won't happen, though. Who might want him? Beyond Jacksonville, who knows.

* It's practically a given that the St. Louis Rams will let running back Steven Jackson go after the season, with a pair of young studs ready to move up. But ESPN reported that teams are interested in perhaps trading for him now.

* Teams have approached the Carolina Panthers about trading for running back DeAngelo Williams, but he has a big contract.

* The Seattle Seahawks have fielded interest in veteran wide receiver Braylon Edwards, the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported. Edwards was a surprise scratch on Sunday, for a purported swelled knee, which compelled speculation that he was being held out in Detroit to keep him healthy for a possible trade.

*Mike Wallace's days in Pittsburgh might be numbered. Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com reported Sunday that the Steelers wide receiver, who held out for almost all of training camp, appears set to depart after the season. So don't expect him to be traded by Tuesday. Antonio Brown has emerged as Ben Roethlisberger's top wideout threat this year, and Emmanuel Sanders has made plays downfield as well.

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Mario Williams made surgery decision: report

It is becoming clear why Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey claimed to know so little about the surgical "procedure" Mario Williams had on his injured wrist early last week.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Sunday that the $100-million defensive end had arthroscopic surgery on his sprained left wrist on Tuesday -- and that he did it on his own.

Citing team sources, Mortensen reported that Williams did not show up at Monday's team meeting, and then "texted a trainer and his defensive line coach to say he was getting a second opinion on his wrist and, subsequently, that he was undergoing arthroscopic surgery."

Williams also told the team he would be back for Monday's practice (the 3-4 Bills had a bye on Sunday), and that he would play next Sunday at Houston.

Expect Gailey to be grilled about this development on Monday. And, if he makes himself available before his usual Wednesday-only media access, Williams, too.

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New England soldiers on in merry ol' England

There was no changing of the guard between the perennial NFL powerhouse New England Patriots and upstart St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

Well, except for this.

Flambouyant Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski did a memorable, back-and-forth, changing-of-the-guards march to celebrate his first of two touchdown catches during New England's 45-7 victory in old England.

That is, at Wembley Stadium in London.

"I don't know what the hell he was doing," said quarterback Tom Brady, who led the Patriots to touchdowns on their first five drives before the game was 33 minutes old.

When told by reporters what Gronkowski's celebration was intended to mimic, Brady said, "Is that what it was? "¦ He needs some work on that."

The Pats improved to 5-3 before heading into a bye week, while the Rams fell to 3-5.

Gronkowski showed repeatedly why he one of the game's most effective pass receivers. He snared eight of Brady's passes for 146 yards, with a good bunch of those yards coming after contact.

Brady praised the U.K. crowd, who hung in there despite a cold rain.

"This is a great venue," he said. "This is a beautiful stadium. I know how historical it is. It's a great atmosphere for football.

"I know (the score) got out of hand today, but that's how the Patriots liked it, so it was a fun game for us."

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Packers on right side of ugly win

Pity the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars.

They went into Green Bay with their only effective offensive player, running back Maurice Jones-Drew, on crutches.

They got a brave performance from their injured starting quarterback, Blaine Gabbert (torn shoulder muscle).

They held Aaron Rodgers and the high-powered Packers attack to just 172 passing yards and 238 total.

And they still lost.

Without one of his favourite receivers, Greg Jennings, Rodgers was effective enough in spurts to lead the Packers to a 24-15 win.

He connected with Donald Driver and Randall Cobb on touchdowns, and didn't throw a pick.

"It's good to be on this side of an ugly win," Rodgers said. "The way we played on offence, especially the last couple weeks, the expectations were we were going to come out and maybe blow them out. But we didn't start fast, we didn't have enough juice early on and didn't play well enough on offence to get that done."

The Packers improved to 5-3 to stay within two games of the victorious Chicago Bears in the NFC North, while the Jags dropped to 1-6.

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Raiders thump free-falling Chiefs

How bad are the Kansas City Chiefs?

So bad that in their latest flash of ineptitude Sunday their recently concussed and benched quarterback, Matt Cassel, was pressed back into duty –- and led the team in rushing.

The Oakland Raiders won at Arrowhead Stadium for the sixth consecutive year, this time 26-16 as the free-falling Chiefs fell to 1-6.

The Raiders improved to 3-4.

Even though Cassel was deemed recovered from the concussion he suffered against Baltimore three weeks ago, Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel started Brady Quinn again.

The Raiders knocked Quinn got out early with a suspected head injury and Cassel took over. Cassel threw for 218 yards with a garbage-time touchdown and one interception.

He also rushed seven times for 35 yards, besting the efforts of running backs Peyton Hillis (23 yards) and Jamaal Charles (4 yards).

Crennel often speaks in overly simplistic terms at his news conferences, but it was difficult to know if he was being serious or facetious this time:

“Well, generally, if the other team is able to score, that puts you down. And so, along with the turnovers, you can say that it’s similar to what we’ve been talking about all along, all right? We get penalties at inopportune times, we turn the ball over, and then we allow other teams to score.”

What a mess in Kansas City.

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Cowboys give away another one to Giants

Only the Dallas Cowboys could commit six turnovers against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants and still wind up an inch away from beating them in the final seconds of the game.

That’s how perplexingly impressive/terrible the now 3-4 Cowboys are in 2012.

New York defeated Dallas for the fourth consecutive year at Cowboys Stadium, this time 29-24 in a game as schizophrenic as the Cowboys themselves.

After a series of gaffes saw them fall behind 23-0 early in the second quarter, the Cowboys took over and grabbed a 24-23 lead after three quarters -- only to watch the Giants (6-2) get two field goals to go up by five in the fourth.

It appeared quarterback Tony Romo and the Cowboys pulled out a victory with 10 seconds left when Dez Bryant grabbed a 37-yard pass in the back of the end zone. Officials ruled touchdown.

But the play was properly overturned on video review as Bryant touched the tip of his hand down out of bounds before falling in bounds with the ball.

As for Romo: Good Tony was scintillating, completing 37 passes for 437 yards, but Bad Tony threw four interceptions, including a pick-six to Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.

For the second time this season, the Cowboys defence was stellar, again containing Ahmad Bradshaw on the ground and holding Eli Manning to under 200 yards passing (192).

Bryant was particularly confounding for Dallas. He caught five passes for 110 yards, but was the culprit on two of the early turnovers. He was caught slow-dogging on a post route that got intercepted and –- in sequence –- misjudged, muffed, recovered, then fumbled a punt return.

john.kryk@sunmedia.ca

@JohnKryk

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