AFC East: Ko Simpson
For the first time since the Buffalo Bills decided to cast him aside, Leonhard finally will get to play them Sunday at the Meadowlands.
The day Leonhard signed with the Jets, he already had the Bills in his sights. He and I spoke about his desire to show his old team they made a huge mistake for going with Donte Whitner and Ko Simpson instead of him.
Leonhard mostly was deferential in speaking about the Bills and said he understood they had a business decision to make when they declined to re-sign him as a restricted free agent. But you could tell he already was pumped at the idea of facing the Bills.
"It will be the first time that I've been put in that situation, and it will mean a lot," Leonhard said. "I'm sure it will be an emotional day, that first time that we play.
"I'm looking forward to that day, and hopefully we can make it a day that I'll remember for a long time."
Buffalo News reporter Mark Gaughan, with comments posted on the Jets' Web site this week, took a look at Leonhard's first chance to get back at the Bills.
"I was surprised," Leonhard said of the Bills' decision. "I expected to have some conversation with them and they basically said, "We're moving on.' You don't forget something like that."
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
A lot has happened since the last time the Buffalo Bills played the Cleveland Browns.
Not much of it is good.
And not much of it has brightened the outlook of either franchise.
The Browns will visit Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday for a rematch of one of the worst performances in recent Bills history.
It was Week 11 last year, and the Bills were fighting for their postseason lives, playing at home on "Monday Night Football" against a dreadful opponent.
One reasonably would assume the Bills to be fired up.
Eh. The Browns took an early 13-0 lead, and although the Bills battled back to pull ahead by a point with 2:25 to play, they found a way to lose. Phil Dawson kicked a 56-yard field goal for the Browns with 1:44 left, and Rian Lindell missed a 46-yard counterpunch.
Here's an idea of how events have unfolded for each franchise since then:
- Buffalo has gone 3-7 overall, 0-5 in the division.
- Cleveland has gone 0-10 overall, 0-4 in the division.
- Bills fans hate their head coach.
- The Browns fired head coach Romeo Crennel and replaced him with Eric Mangini, who hasn't exactly been embraced.
- Buffalo has been outscored 234-191.
- Cleveland has been outscored 247-80.
- Both teams were forced to trade away the best players on their rosters to avoid turmoil. The Bills dealt two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters to the Philadelphia Eagles in April. The Browns sent Pro Bowl receiver Braylon Edwards to the New York Jets on Wednesday.
- Both teams had players who endured legal problems that made national headlines, the Browns' situation (Donte Stallworth) more tragic than the Bills' succession (Marshawn Lynch, Donte Whitner, Ko Simpson).
- Each organization drafted its "quarterback of the future" in 2007 and still doesn't know what it has.
- Buffalo and Cleveland are more entertaining on special teams than they are on offense or defense.
- Tight end Robert Royal has dropped passes for Buffalo and Cleveland.
- Both clubs have running back tandems that make it tough to find enough carries to go around.
- The Bills and Browns need to gut themselves -- but the Browns are alone so far in actually doing it.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
Teams have pared down their rosters to 75 players and must get down to 53 by Saturday afternoon.
Players on the bubble have one exhibition game left to make their case for one of those precious spots on the final roster.
Time to check out some projections before Thursday night's preseason finales.
- Brian Galliford of BuffaloRumblings.com outlines who he thinks will make the Buffalo Bills' final cut. Notable: Safety Ko Simpson and linebacker Alvin Bowen get dropped.
- WQAM host Orlando Alzugaray forecasts the Miami Dolphins for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Notable: Running back Lex Hilliard makes the cut.
- Boston Globe reporter Mike Reiss breaks down the New England Patriots. Notable: Running back Sammy Morris and BenJarvus Green-Ellis both make the squad, while tight end Alex Smith and Benjamin Watson fight for the final tight end spot.
- Brian Bassett from TheJetsBlog.com tackles the New York Jets' final roster. Notable: Running back Danny Woodhead and special-teams ace Larry Izzo don't survive.
Each AFC East team still has three preseason games left to play.
Too soon to start filling out 53-man rosters? You bet.
But it's fun to check out some projections now that everybody has played at least one exhibition.
Boston Globe reporter Mike Reiss breaks down the New England Patriots. Notable: running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis makes the squad, while tight end Alex Smith is on the bubble. Tedy Bruschi is the last linebacker in.
I had trouble finding a recent Jets projection, but here is one from just before New York Jets training camp opened from TurnontheJets.com. If anyone has an updated analysis, please post a link in the comments section below.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made the right call by not rescinding any of the punishment he handed down in April for Lynch's repeatedly unlawful behavior.
"Commissioner Roger Goodell has notified Marshawn Lynch that he has reviewed his appeal of a three-game suspension for violating the NFL Personal Conduct Policy and that it should not be modified," the NFL said in a statement.
As I wrote when the suspension was announced, Lynch needed to face the consequences:
As much as the three-game suspension is a reprimand, it's also a personal message to Lynch that he cannot continue to keep embarrassing himself, the Bills and the NFL and dodge consequences.
Lynch mostly has avoided being accountable so far. He has learned that if you play the system, apologize and act contrite, authority figures will make your problems smaller.
Maybe Lynch would have learned a lesson earlier if an authority figure had stood his ground with him before this.
Lynch played cute with Erie County district attorney's office after a hit-and-run incident last summer in downtown Buffalo and essentially got off with a finger-wagging.
Nine months later, Lynch was arrested on multiple gun charges for carrying a loaded, concealed and unregistered 9 mm handgun and avoided any serious punishment. In a plea deal, he received three years probation and was ordered to perform 80 hours of community service.
Not helping Lynch were additional indiscretions the Bills have faced this year. Safeties Ko Simpson and Donte Whitner were arrested for disorderly conduct in separate confrontations with police officers. Whitner was tasered into submission.
Ostensibly, the Goodell's stern ruling was amplified to include the entire Buffalo locker room if not the whole league.
Some Bills fans were certain Goodell would reduce the suspension by at least one game because of the precedent set forth with Brandon Marshall prior to last season.
The problem with that theory is that the reduction backfired. Goodell tried to be merciful, but apparently no lesson was learned. Marshall was arrested March 1 in Atlanta for disorderly conduct stemming from a physical altercation with his fiancee. It was Marshall's fourth arrest since March 2006.
Goodell's decision to uphold Lynch's three-game suspension was correct.
For once, somebody didn't ease his burden. Maybe now he'll figure out the right way to carry himself.
The overachieving safety, who made a pair of interceptions Saturday morning at New York Jets training camp, has turned into a captivating NFL defender.
His biggest fan is Jets head coach Rex Ryan, who was Leonhard's defensive coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens last year and targeted him as a must-have free agent.
"Jim Leonhard, I tell you, he disguises coverages about as well as almost anybody outside of Ed Reed in this league," Ryan said when asked of the two interceptions thrown by Kellen Clemens, who otherwise had a phenomenal morning.
"We were playing a Cover 2 over there, all the way behind the numbers. So there's no way he's going to get to the middle of the field. And sure enough, by the time he sees the route come open, there's Leonhard."
Leonhard is listed at 5-foot-8 and 186 pounds. He's entering his fifth NFL season even though a tryout would have surprised most who knew him back home in Ladysmith, Wisc.
Ryan said Leonhard's appearance is more like "an accountant or something like that" than a football player.
"He doesn't pass the look test," Ryan said.
Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend can't get here fast enough for the Buffalo Bills.
They could use a jolt of pride.
Embarrassing news keeps piling up for the club. Two more arrests were made Friday.
An Associated Press report stated Virginia Beach police stopped Smith for excessive speed. He was charged with speeding, driving under the influence and refusing to take a breath test.
Fullback Corey McIntyre was arrested for indecent exposure after a weeks-long investigation. Rather than try to describe what he was doing, you can see how the Palm Beach Post and the Treasure Coast Newspapers covered it.
McIntyre's agent, Brett Tessler, refuted the allegations.
"Corey McIntyre is one of the highest character people around and the last guy who would do what he is being accused of," Tessler said in a statement. "We look forward to proving that these embarrassing accusations are false and that Corey is guilty of absolutely nothing."
Whether McIntrye or Smith are guilty of these charges isn't the point of this post. It's that the Bills' image has taken a colossal pummeling.
It's only May, but 2009 already has been a trying year with the deaths of AFL legends Lou Saban and Jack Kemp and Wilson's daughter, Linda Bogdan, a team vice president and the assistant director of college and pro scouting.
The Bills drew the ire of fans by retaining head coach Dick Jauron after three straight 7-9 seasons and no playoffs for nine years running. They also made controversial transactions in acquiring star receiver Terrell Owens and trading Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters.
But the police-blotter activity has been absurd.
McIntrye is the fourth member of the roster to have been arrested already this year.
Cleveland police used a Taser to subdue Bills safety Donte Whitner, who was arrested for aggravated disorderly conduct and resisting arrest last month for his role in what was described as "a near riot."
The NFL suspended Pro Bowl running back Marshawn Lynch three games for two transgressions in a nine-month span. He was the driver in a hit-and-run incident last summer in Buffalo but escaped with a traffic ticket.
Lynch's latest incident was a Feb. 11 arrest in Culver City, Calif. He was charged with carrying a concealed, loaded and unregistered 9-mm handgun. He pleaded guilty to one of the misdemeanor charges in exchange for having the other two dropped. He was sentenced to three years' probation and 80 hours of community service.
Safety Ko Simpson was arrested for disorderly conduct at 2 a.m. ET on New Year's Day outside a bar in his hometown of Rock Hill, S.C.
Police were in the process of arresting two of Simpson's friends for disorderly conduct, while he kept yelling, "I'm Ko Simpson with the Buffalo Bills. I am worth millions!" Police claim they asked Simpson to leave the scene several times, but he kept screaming.
|Ed Wolfstein/Icon SMI|
|Contract talks between Fred Jackson and the Buffalo Bills are far apart on contract talks.|
Jackson is an exclusive-rights player. Although his contract is up, he doesn't have enough NFL time served to negotiate with other clubs. In other words, Jackson can re-sign with the Bills or buy a ticket if he wants to go to a game.
The Bills and Jackson's agent, Jerry Douglas, have exchanged proposals but remain far apart in negotiations.
But what has agitated Jackson even more were comments from Bills chief operating officer Russ Brandon on Wednesday.
Brandon, speaking at a pre-draft luncheon, was asked about this year's arrests of running back Marshawn Lynch and safeties Donte Whitner and Ko Simpson. Brandon defended the team's reputation and underscored the importance of integrity.
"We always value character," Brandon said. "It goes into the overall operation of our draft and everything we do here when we're evaluating a player."
Brandon's comments compelled Douglas to issue a statement Thursday to ESPN.com and the Buffalo News:
"We find the organization's comments regarding the importance of character very interesting given their position on Fred Jackson. I think it's a fair statement to say that during his three years with the Bills, Fred has demonstrated his high character and that he is second to none in that department, to say nothing of his on-field contributions. Yet the organization is not making the concerted effort to lock in Fred as part of the team's long-term future. Public statements are great as long as you mean what you say."
The Bills declined to respond to Douglas' public volley.
All the Bills had to do to retain Jackson's rights was tender him a one-year offer for $460,000. That is a bargain for one of the NFL's best No. 2 running backs, but not a desirable deal for either Jackson or the Bills.
If he were to sign his tender, he would be playing for a pittance. But he also would become a restricted free agent in 2010, and the Bills could lose him.
Jackson understandably wants a long-term deal. He's already 28 years old, having meandered to the NFL from Division III Coe College to the National Indoor Football League to NFL Europa to the Bills' practice squad.
Jackson last year ran for 571 yards and three touchdowns and caught 37 passes for 317 yards. In the season finale against the New England Patriots, he started and ran 27 times for 136 yards.
His value has increased because of Lynch's off-field troubles. Unless NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reduces the suspension on appeal, Lynch will miss Buffalo's first three games.
Jackson likely is looking for a deal that puts him in line with other No. 2 backs. Other deals for top backup running backs go for about four years and $2.5 million.
The Bills interviewed Fred Taylor and Kevin Jones about joining the backfield but they signed with other teams. Taylor joined the New England Patriots for two years and $5 million. Jones went to the Chicago Bears for two years and $3.5 million.
Other comparables could be Julius Jones (four years, $11.8 million signed in March), Correll Buckhalter (four years, $10 million signed in February), J.J. Arrington (four years, $10 million signed in February) and Chester Taylor (four years, $14.1 million signed in 2006).
New York Jets
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Paul Zeise reports Pitt offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh will become quarterbacks coach.
- Dave Blezow of the New York Post reports the Jets will hire former Fresno State defensive line coach Kerry Locklin.
- Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger writes about the plight of Larry Grantham, who is auctioning his Super Bowl III ring to pay for medical bills.
- Bergen Record reporter J.P. Pelzman declares "It's time for everyone to move on" in the Brett Favre saga.
- Buffalo News reporter Thomas Prohaska takes a look at an effort to move the Bills to the Niagara Falls area and rebrand them the Niagara Bills.
- Rock Hill Herald reporter Charles D. Perry writes safety Ko Simpson wants pretrial intervention for an incident in which he was arrested.
- Toronto Globe & Mail reporter David Naylor speaks with former Dolphins receiver Oronde Gadsden, who wants to bring a CFL franchise to Detroit or Rochester, N.Y.
New England Patriots
After 11 games, the Bills are about as pedestrian as you can get. They rank 19th in scoring defense, 16th in total defense, 20th in run defense and 16th in pass defense.
"I am disappointed with where we are at this point," Bills defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said Wednesday. "I didn't think we were an elite defense. I thought we were good enough to be in the top 15 or top 10 defenses.
"When you allow explosive plays, that screws up every number that you could think of. And then we had trouble, maybe two weeks we didn't do very well on third down, maybe three weeks. It's an accumulation of things like our continuity isn't as good as it was early, and so now we just have to get our continuity back and try and get our mojo back."
A few injuries have exposed a stunning lack of depth.
While the New England Patriots suffer a series of monumental, year-ending injuries and keep winning, the Bills are staggered by some nagging problems.
Pro Bowl defensive end Aaron Schobel has been the biggest loss, a bum foot keeping him out six straight games. Whitner has missed time with a separated shoulder. Cornerbacks Terrence McGee and Jabari Greer have battled sprained knees.
"As we always say, everybody's got their injuries," Bills coach Dick Jauron said. "You just have to find a way to play through them, over them, and find a way to get a victory somehow."
But what of their reserve linebackers? They made a controversial decision to put last year's leading tackler, Angelo Crowell, on injured reserve, seemingly to punish him for opting to have relatively minor knee surgery right before the season.
The backups behind Posluszny, Kawika Mitchell and Keith Ellison (he didn't practice Wednesday because of an ankle injury) have been a crew comprised of Blake Costanzo, Teddy Lehman, Jon Corto, Marcus Buggs and John DiGiorgio -- names that could be mistaken for the Tonawanda City Council.
Bryan Scott, the 6-foot-1, 219-pound safety, has been working out with the linebackers.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The NFL is getting obnoxious in penalizing aggression.
On the New England Patriots' first play Sunday in Gillette Stadium, Buffalo Bills safety Ko Simpson laid a clean lick on receiver Randy Moss, who had a high Matt Cassel pass glance off his fingertips.
Moss was vulnerable while leaping, and Simpson drilled him in the chest a second after the ball arrived.
Referee Walt Coleman's crew whistled Simpson for unnecessary roughness to put the Patriots on their 44-yard line.
Also on the drive, Cassel found Wes Welker on a deep out pattern for a 21-yard gain to the Buffalo 17. But replays indicated Welker didn't have possession and failed to get both feet inbounds.
Bills coach Dick Jauron threw the challenge flag, and several assistants jumped up and down to get the officials' attention, but play wasn't halted. The Patriots got off another play to eliminate any possibility of a video review.
Two plays later, Cassel scrambled 13 yards for a touchdown.
The Bills' secondary is hurting something fierce. Strong safety and captain Donte Whitner, who also had been filling in for Youboty in the slot, is out with a separated shoulder. Right cornerback Terrence McGee isn't quite 100 percent recovered from his sprained knee.
Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel and his targets, especially slot receiver Wes Welker, couldn't be happier. Welker has caught at least six passes in every game this year. The only other receiver in NFL history to have done that is Jimmy Smith for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2001.
Here is what the Patriots should expect to face Sunday.
The hard-hitting Whitner has 37 tackles, one sack and two forced fumbles. He could be out a few weeks.
Free safety: Ko Simpson.
He temporarily lost his job to Scott because he wasn't playing up to snuff. Simpson started 15 games as a rookie in 2006, but suffered a season-ending leg injury in last year's opener. He has 30 tackles.
Slot cornerback: Reggie Corner.
The fourth-round draft choice worked at this position almost exclusively in training camp and preseason, while 11th overall selection Leodis McKelvin worked on the outside. Corner was inactive the first four games.
That Whitner filled this role when Youboty couldn't play doesn't speak well of where McKelvin is in his development. For perspective, the Patriots drafted linebacker Jerod Mayo with the 10th overall pick. Mayo has been an every-down player from the hop.
Right cornerback: McGee.
Sunday will be McGee's third game back after missing two with a sprained knee. He looked like a burnt matchstick after Miami Dolphins receiver Ted Ginn got through with him, but McGee played more press coverage in last week's loss to the New York Jets. That's a good sign. The Pro Bowl returner has 26 tackles, two interceptions and five passes defensed.
Left cornerback: Jabari Greer.
Greer is the only Bills defensive back to start every game. He has 34 tackles, two interceptions (both for touchdowns) and a team-high seven passes defensed.
The Bills drafted McKelvin and Corner and signed free-agent Will James because they didn't think they were strong enough at Greer's position, but Greer fended off all challengers in camp.
On Thursday, I posted my inaugural preseason All-AFC East offense.
Special teams will be unveiled Saturday.
LEFT DEFENSIVE END: Ty Warren, Patriots.
The only member of the Patriots' D-line that hasn't been to the Pro Bowl might be its best. Teams actually have started to run away from Warren because they prefer to try Richard Seymour instead. That's saying something.
NOSE TACKLE: Vince Wilfork, Patriots.
This AFC East position is more loaded than any other. Every team has a stud, and three of them are new: Marcus Stroud (Bills), Kris Jenkins (Jets) and Jason Ferguson (Dolphins). So have fun with them, centers.
Wilfork remains the scariest. Jets C Nick Mangold and Dolphins C Samson Satele call Wilfork the best they've faced. Mangold admits he gets nervous when he faces Wilfork. Satele says Wilfork "can handle himself with three guys blocking him. If you have two 300-pound guys running after you and you can stone them in that hole, there's nothing more I can say. He's so quick, it's unbelievable."
RIGHT DEFENSIVE END: Aaron Schobel, Bills.
Seymour is everybody's default selection, but New England's five-time Pro Bowler played in only eight games last year. Besides, Schobel has done more with less. His 52 sacks since 2003 are second only to Jason Taylor's 59. Schobel went to his second Pro Bowl last year despite recording only 6.5 sacks because he often was double-teamed. He tied for fifth in the NFL with five forced fumbles (more than Seymour has in his career).
The AFC East's most experienced position is led by Vrabel, who is coming off the finest campaign of his career. He recorded 12.5 sacks and forced four fumbles. His bookend is coming off a disappointing overall first season for the Patriots, but Thomas came on strong down the homestretch and in the postseason, reminding the Patriots why they signed him after a stellar run in Baltimore. Calvin Pace? He's on the verge of becoming special. Joey Porter? He looks ragged.
Here's a position that's skewing young. Based on reputation, Tedy Bruschi would be named above, but he's on the downside. Harris last year led the Jets with 117 tackles as a rookie. Crowder served with distinction as Zach Thomas' understudy for three years. Now the Dolphins defense is Crowder's to take over. Look out for Bills sophomore Paul Posluszny. The former Butkus Award winner sometimes is forgotten because he suffered a broken forearm in his third NFL game.
LEFT CORNERBACK: Darrelle Revis, Jets.
Bills veteran Terrence McGee, also a Pro Bowl KR, makes this a close call. But Revis is on his way to greatness. Revis made an impact his rookie season. The 14th overall pick had a team-high 77 solo tackles (91 total), three interceptions and 13 passes defensed.
FREE SAFETY: Ko Simpson, Bills.
I stewed on this position the most because no one is convincing. James Sanders started 15 games last year, but the Patriots brought in aged warrior John Lynch late in camp -- not the greatest vote of confidence. Chris Crocker (Dolphins) was a mild surprise to win the job despite three seasons as a starter in Cleveland and Atlanta. Eric Smith (Jets) has four starts to his name in two seasons.
So we're going strictly on upside here, and Ko Simpson has more than the others. He had a sensational rookie season in 2006, but a leg injury in Week 1 prevented him from following up last year.
STRONG SAFETY: Kerry Rhodes, Jets.
There's heavy-duty talent at strong safety. Fifteen-year vet Rodney Harrison remains a fearsome hitter. Donte Whitner, entering his third year, is emerging as a total package. But Rhodes already has established himself as a stalwart by his fourth season. Rhodes has started all 48 games of his career, and many observers insist he should have played in at least one Pro Bowl by now. He has nine interceptions over the past two seasons.
RIGHT CORNERBACK: Ellis Hobbs, Patriots.
The competition looks scarce for Hobbs, who turned in a decent season last year opposite Pro Bowler Asante Samuel. Jabari Greer took over the starter's job last year and performed well, but the Bills felt compelled to draft three CBs and sign another through free agency.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim GrahamNew York Jets
- New York Daily News reporter Rich Cimini writes rookie OLB Vernon Gholston "finished a disappointing preseason with another hollow performance" in Thursday night's exhibition finale.
- Newsday writer Erik Boland takes a look at RB Jesse Chatman, who almost hit 100 yards each in rushing and receiving.
- Evaluation was more important than fielding the best players, writes New York Post reporter Mark Cannizzaro.
- Jane McManus of the Journal News types the words "Erik Ainge" and "led the team" together for probably the first time in her life.
- Newark Star-Ledger reporter Dave Hutchinson details S David Barrett's conversion from CB.
- Buffalo News columnist Bucky Gleason says "the Bills are prepared to play the entire season without" holdout LT Jason Peters.
- Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reporter Sal Maiorana writes the Bills rested 21 of their 22 starters, with only S Ko Simpson playing in Thursday night's exhibition.
- The Bills were trying to avoid an Osi Umenyiora situation by scratching their starters, Buffalo News reporter Mark Gaughan explains.
- Niagara Gazette reporter Jay Skurski updates how bubble players like LB Jon Corto, CB Ashton Youboty and RB Dwayne Wright fared.
- The Bills announced Thursday they have broken the 56,000 barrier in season tickets, about 1,000 under their franchise record, writes Allen Wilson of the Buffalo News.
- Carlos Frias of the Palm Beach Post offers a must-read feature on how much football means to Dolphins exec Bill Parcells. The story isn't rah-rah chalk talk; it's sadder than that.
- Miami Herald reporter Jeff Darlington proclaims RB Ronnie Brown ready for live action after Thursday night's performance.
- In his Miami Herald blog, Armando Salguero takes a walk with QB Josh McCown. The next journey McCown takes might be a hike.
- The Dolphins broke from preseason finale tradition and played their starters until the half, explains Palm Beach Post reporter Edgar Thompson.
- The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Harvey Fialkov was among the many who finally spotted WR Ernest Wilford.
- Boston Herald scribe John Tomase pokes around the New York Giants' locker room and doesn't find anybody too excited about beating the Tom Brady-less Patriots.
- Boston Herald reporter Karen Guregian writes "there's still something about this winless precursor to the regular season that remains unsettling."
- WR Chad Jackson's impressive night leads off Guregian's notebook from the game.
- The Providence Journal's Shalise Manza Young notices the performance of rookie QB Kevin O'Connell.
- Boston Globe writer Christopher L. Gasper gives a rundown of who played and who didn't.
- Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe is sick of the preseason.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
- Rochester Democrat & Chronicle columnist Bob Matthews bemoans the Bills' inability to join the Brett Favre derby.
- Associated Press reporter John Wawrow notes that RB Marshawn Lynch still isn't talking to the media, but he's doing back-flips in practice. Literally.
- Former Jets RB Darian Barnes on the Favre trade: "I couldn't care about something any less. We play against great quarterbacks all the time. We play [Tom] Brady twice. It's just another great quarterback. I respect the man, but I just don't care."
- Buffalo News reporter Rodney McKissic catches up with S Ko Simpson.
- We're bound by law to provide team-by-team reaction to the Favre trade.
- Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel scribe Omar Kelly writes RB Ronnie Brown will be a game-time decision for Saturday night's preseason opener.
- Miami Herald reporter Jeff Darlington describes how the WRs are getting on coach Tony Sparano's last nerve.
New England Patriots
- WR Randy Moss still hasn't spoken to the media, but as Boston Herald reporter John Tomase writes, Moss is make loud statements in training camp.
- Christopher L. Gasper of the Boston Globe writes LB Adalius Thomas is feeling more at home in his second season with the Patriots.
New York Jets
- New York Post columnist Mike Vaccaro reports from Beijing the Favre trade has been the talk over there, too.
- New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica says Favre makes the Jets relevant again.
- Brendan Prunty of the Newark Star-Ledger paints the scene from Favre's first touchdown as a jet.
- Electronic Arts will release a downloadable update that puts Favre in a Jets uniform for Madden '08 players.