NFL ROUNDUP | News and notes
Eagles: Philadelphia confirmed an ESPN report that they sent wide receiver Terrell Owens a letter detailing his alleged misdeeds during his 10 days at training camp at Lehigh University. An Eagles source said Monday that the letter sent during the weekend was just one in a series the team has addressed to Owens during his tenure. It is believed that the Eagles also sent Owens a letter in May when he held out of the team's three-day post-draft minicamp at the NovaCare Complex. An Eagles official said at that time that the team was within its rights to recover about $1.8 million of the $2.3 million signing bonus Owens received when he signed a seven-year deal before last season. What the Eagles are essentially doing is putting together evidence in case they decide to file a grievance against the wide receiver for violating the terms of the seven-year contract worth just under $49 million that he signed before last season.
Broncos: Jerry Rice moved up the depth chart Monday, running as a third-string receiver ahead of Darius Watts. After practice, the veteran receiver continued with a theme he set when he signed with the Broncos: that he is simply trying to prove himself and make the team. "I pretty much approach every season never thinking about what I accomplished the year before," Rice said. Rice was limited in practice much of last week with a sore foot. He played briefly in Saturday's preseason game against the Texans and caught one pass for 6 yards. Watts struggled against Houston, catching two passes but dropping a handful of others.
Vikings: An MRI test on cornerback Fred Smoot's sore right knee revealed no further damage, and the team expects him back on the field soon. If he's able to participate in practice this week, Smoot could play in Friday night's exhibition game at the New York Jets. He was hurt during an intrasquad scrimmage last week. Wide receiver Kelly Campbell, however, will miss at least the next two weeks with a strained right quadriceps that has kept him out for most of camp. Campbell, entering his fourth year, began the summer as the No. 4 receiver with a chance to be the primary kickoff returner -- but now his job is in jeopardy.
Dolphins: Following a three-week holdout and an overnight stay in the Atlanta airport, first-round draft pick Ronnie Brown finally joined the team. The former Auburn running back took the field for his first training camp practice Monday after signing a five-year, $34 million contract that included about $20 million guaranteed. The second overall pick in the April draft, Brown tried to make the trip from his home in suburban Atlanta to South Florida late Sunday after the agreement was reached. But his flight was delayed in departing, then finally canceled because of bad weather, forcing him to sleep at the airport before leaving Atlanta on Monday morning.
Bengals: Coach Marvin Lewis blasted linebacker David Pollack on Monday, the 18th day of the first-round draft pick's holdout. "I think the club has given in every way," a frustrated Lewis said at the Bengals camp. Pollack was the 17th overall pick in the draft. He has been asked to move from defensive tackle, where he played at Georgia, to strong-side linebacker with the Bengals. Originally penciled in as a starter at strong-side linebacker, he has been demoted to third team on the depth chart as his holdout continues. Landon Johnson, who led the team with 133 tackles last year as a rookie, is listed as the starter with Marcus Wilkens backing him up.
Panthers: Carolina moved first round draft pick Thomas Davis from safety to linebacker on Monday because of depth concerns following an injury to Brandon Short. Short injured his foot in Saturday night's preseason game against Washington, and the Panthers aren't sure how long he'll be out. Chris Draft, who has backed up Short at strongside linebacker, has had a handful of asthma attacks that have limited him in training camp. That prompted the Panthers to move Davis, who played safety at Georgia, out of the secondary.
Patriots: New England placed rookie linebacker Ryan Claridge on injured reserve and signed free-agent defensive lineman Ifo Pili on Monday. Claridge, a fifth-round draft choice out of Nevada-Las Vegas, will miss the season because of a shoulder injury. As a senior, he led the Mountain West Conference with nine sacks and started 10 games at inside linebacker. Pili was on the Philadelphia Eagles' practice squad from last Dec. 15 through the Super Bowl.