NFL Nation: Copeland Bryan

We’ve had a relative flurry of activity Tuesday afternoon here in the NFC North. Let’s start in Detroit and work our way out.

Speaking to reporters in Detroit on the second day of the Lions’ offseason program, quarterback Matthew Stafford said he is throwing at full strength but acknowledged his surgically repaired knee is not yet 100 percent. He had arthroscopic surgery Dec. 29.

“I wasn’t running full speed with the guys,” Stafford said, according to a transcript provided by the Lions. “I was doing a separate conditioning thing, but other than that I was going.”

Stafford said he should be ready for the Lions’ veteran minicamp later this spring. If this were training camp, I would be alarmed. But dialing down a March conditioning run is pretty typical for players returning from surgery.

The Lions also re-signed three players Tuesday. Safety Marquand Manuel signed a one-year contract, according to John Niyo of the Detroit News. Meanwhile, Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com reports the Lions also agreed to terms with defensive end Copeland Bryan and cornerback DeAngelo Smith.

Lions extend RFA tenders

March, 4, 2010
3/04/10
9:55
AM ET
Detroit has not officially announced its decisions on restricted free agents, but the Detroit News and Mlive.com report all players have been informed of their status.

Of all the RFAs listed in the post immediately preceding this one, only two did not receive a tender: Linebacker Cody Spencer and defensive end Copeland Bryan. According to the News' John Niyo, defensive end Jason Hunter is the only RFA who got an elevated tender. That means the Lions would receive a second-round pick in compensation if they decided against matching an offer Hunter might receive.

Guard Daniel Loper received a low tender. The remaining RFAs received original-round tenders.
OK class, it's time for one of our final lessons in the new world of an uncapped NFL. Before the free-agent market opens Friday morning, each team must first address its entire list of restricted free agents in one of two basic ways:

1. Tendering a 1-year contract, OR
2. "Non-tendering" the player, essentially cutting ties.


Remember, a restricted free agent (RFA) is a player with four or five years of experience whose contract has expired. Those players are free to seek offers elsewhere, but current teams at least have the right to match that offer and keep the player. Depending on the level of contract tender, the team could also receive draft-pick compensation.

If the player doesn't sign an offer sheet elsewhere, and can't agree on a long-term contract, he plays at the salary in the chart below. (There are slightly higher values for players in their fifth seasons.)


Because of the addition of a fifth year to the RFA list in the uncapped year, an additional 212 players are scheduled to be restricted free agents this offseason. Below is a list of the primary RFAs for each NFC North team.

There have been some reports about individual tenders, but no team has officially released its decisions. That will happen sometime between now and Thursday night. When it does, we'll analyze how easy or difficult it will be for those tendered to move on to another team.

Chicago Bears: Defensive end Mark Anderson, safety Josh Bullocks, safety Danieal Manning, linebacker Nick Roach, linebacker Jamar Williams.

Detroit Lions: Defensive end Copeland Bryan, offensive lineman Dylan Gandy, defensive lineman Jason Hunter, offensive lineman Daniel Loper, offensive lineman Manny Ramirez, safety Ko Simpson, linebacker Cody Spencer.

Green Bay Packers: Safety Atari Bigby, defensive back Will Blackmon, offensive lineman Daryn Colledge, safety Nick Collins, defensive end Johnny Jolly, running back John Kuhn, offensive lineman Jason Spitz, cornerback Tramon Williams, running back DeShawn Wynn.

Minnesota Vikings: Offensive lineman Ryan Cook, defensive end Ray Edwards, defensive tackle Fred Evans, safety Eric Frampton, quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, cornerback Karl Paymah, fullback Naufahu Tahi.

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Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

A few thoughts on the Buffalo Bills' shoddy performance Saturday night in a 31-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field:

Bills fans have to love the comments from head coach Dick Jauron. Yes, I'm being sarcastic.

"It was a disappointing night," Jauron said. "The good news is that it's preseason. We knew we had a long way to go, and this should show us that we have a long way to go. We've got to get back to work on Monday."

But why do the Bills have such a long way to go? They opened camp a week earlier than the rest of the league and have played an extra exhibition because they were in the Hall of Fame Game.

In the first half, the Bills donated four turnovers, allowed three sacks and had five plays for negative yardage. For the game, they committed 12 penalties for 123 yards.

The Bills' first-teamers should look sharper than their opponents right now. They do not. Reserves and players who won't make the team scored all of Buffalo's points in the second half.

Trent Edwards doesn't look any more comfortable than he did last year. Edwards is entering his third NFL season and second as Buffalo's starting quarterback, but he doesn't seem to be developing the kind of pocket presence you'd like to see from a franchise quarterback.

He threw an interception to end the first drive (the ball was deflected to Packers linebacker Brady Poppinga, but that's because Lee Evans was covered), was sacked twice and lost a fumble to end the second drive.

The first-team offensive line had a rough night. On five series, Edwards was sacked three times. Center Geoff Hangartner was whistled for a false start. Left tackle Langston Walker was penalized for holding.

Terrell Owens was missed. The Bills won't normally face blanket corners like Pro Bowlers Al Harris and Charles Woodson, but Owens certainly would have made things easier for Edwards. Owens' bum toe better not be bothering him when the regular season begins.

Despite a shaky camp, Ryan Fitzpatrick put together another strong exhibition performance. Fitzpatrick completed 12 of 16 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown with one interception. His past two games combined: 25-of-32 for 255 yards.

Xavier Omon is making sure he gets one of those 53 roster spots. The second-year back is projected to make the opening-day roster, especially with Marshawn Lynch suspended for the first three games. But Omon is running hard. He had five carries for only 6 yards, but he scored a touchdown and ripped off a 52-yard catch and run.

Two things that stood out to me on defense: 1) I know that linebacker Keith Ellison is listed at 6-foot and 229 pounds, but he really looked more like a defensive back out there. 2) The second-team defensive line outplayed the first-teamers -- relatively speaking. They were playing the Packers' backups, but ends Chris Ellis and Copeland Bryan and tackles John McCargo and Spencer Johnson played with conviction.

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills' most significant revelations Thursday dealt with two players they didn't want any more: Guard Derrick Dockery and tight end Robert Royal.

But they had a lot of assets they preferred to keep.

BuffaloBills.com writer Chris Brown wraps up all the moves they made Thursday.

The Bills re-signed third-string quarterback Gibran Hamdan, fullback Corey McIntyre and defensive back Dustin Fox.

Brown also reports the Bills extended low tenders to linebacker Keith Ellison and safety George Wilson.

The low tender is for one year at $1.01 million and gives the Bills the opportunity to match any offer sheet those players might sign. If the Bills decline to match, they would receive a draft pick commensurate with where that player was drafted -- in Ellison's case a sixth-round pick, and in Wilson's case nothing because he wasn't drafted.

The Bills also retained the rights to several exclusive-rights players: Quarterback Matt Baker, running back Fred Jackson, running back Bruce Hall, tight ends Derek Schouman and Jonathan Stupar, defensive end Copeland Bryan, linebacker Blake Costanzo and long snapper Ryan Neill.

One move not listed in Brown's report is tackle Kirk Chambers. My sources tell me terms have been reached on a multiyear deal. Chambers would have been an unrestricted free agent at 12:01 a.m. Friday.

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