Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fabian Washington expected to sign deal with New Orleans Saints

Fabian Washington is expected to sign a deal with New Orleans Saints, possibly as early as today, a person close to the Baltimore Ravens cornerback said.

The seven year NFL veteran out of Bayshore High spent last season with Baltimore earning a reported $1.8 million salary. He was slowed down by some injuries after coming off surgery and eventually lost his starting job.

At New Orleans, the 28-year-old will likely be a nickel back, though he said he is open to fighting for a starting job. He was the overall 23 pick in the 2005 draft by Oakland and played there through the’07 season before joining Baltimore.

Washington was also getting interest from Tampa, Minnesota and the New York Jets. The Saints offered the best opportunity all around and the deal could bring him a nice raise.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Could Fabian Washington join Mistral Raymond in Minnesota or head to Tampa?

Cornerback Fabian Washington could be headed to Tampa, Minnesota or the Jets, according to various reports.

The Bayshore High product was one of three unrestricted three agents on the Baltimore Ravens roster when the week began.

One of the trio, Chris Carr, reportedly signed with the Ravens on Saturday while another, Josh Wilson, has gone to the Washington Redskins.

Washington is not expected to sign with Baltimore. If he goes to Minnesota he will join, 2011 sixth round draft pick Mistral Raymond from Palmetto High, who played at University of South Florida and is expected to be used at corner or safety for the Vikings.

Washington has been contacted by the Bucs, Vikings and Jets. Though he is only 28 years old, he is considered a nickel back now perhaps because of several surgeries in recent years for a torn ACL in his left knee and a bulging disc in his neck.

The 5-11, 175 pound Washington started for the Ravens at the beginning of last season, but eventually lost his job and Wilson took over for him. He struggled last year though it was unclear how much of his problems were due to injuries.

Washington said after last season that he didn’t see a role for himself in Baltimore and mentioned Arizona, Jacksonville and Houston as teams he thought he could help.

He is expected to be a relatively inexpensive pickup for a backup corner or nickel back after earning a reported $1.8 million with Ravens last year.

Friday, July 29, 2011

DRC not worried about sudden crowded cornerback situation at Philadelphia

Less than 24 hours after Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie was traded to Philadelphia he learned the Eagles acquired another cornerback, Nnamdi Asomugha, considered by many to be the top free agent in the 2011 sweepstakes.

The Eagles already have cornerback Asante Samuel and three being a crowd, particularly at cornerback, it appears somebody is going to be traded or become a nickel back, which neither Rodgers-Cromartie or Samuel wants.

It appears despite being a multiple Pro Bowler, Samuel is the odd man out. The Eagles want to get young in the secondary and he is 30 years old while Rodgers-Cromartie just turned 25 last April.

Stan Cromartie, Dominique’s dad, said he doesn’t think the Cardinals traded for his son to be a nickel back, but admits you never know.

Dad has heard Samuel could go to the Cardinals. The New York Jets, who lost out in the Asomugha sweepstakes, is reportedly interested in him.

Stan Cromartie said his son is taking everything in stride. He doesn’t rattle and most of all realizes this is all part of the business. Samuel has been given permission not to report to camp and has not shown up yet.

Philadelphia General Manager Howie Roseman and head coach Andy Reid have dodged questions about how the Eagles are going to deal with three starting caliber quarterbacks.

Philadephia has a new defensive coordinator in Juan Castillo and he is said to prefer young guys who are not set in their way and can learn from him. That certainly fits Rodgers-Cromartie and not Samuel.

Another plus, Rodgers-Cromartie also has a much lighter contract to handle than Samuel.

Cothron named Southeast head vollyball coach

Nancy Cothron, long time volleyball guru in Manatee County, has been named head volleyball coach at Southeast High. She replaces Vince Strefling, who resigned after last season.

Cothron was the Saint Stephens head coach for 16 years, ending her there after last season when the school did not renew her contract to coach or teach. She won her first district championship last season and amassed 189 victories during her time there.

Cothron brings a wealth of experience to Southeast. Volleyball has been her life and she is currently Director of the Manatee Area Volleyball association. She will be a full-time physical education teacher at Charlotte Academy in Port Charlotte.

“I am excited. I have always respected Paul Meachtle (Southeast Athletic Director) and welcome the opportunity to coach for him,” Cothron said. “This is my first time coaching at a public school. Southeast has a great tradition with girls basketball and I hope we can get some of those girls to come out for the team. It should be challenging and fun.”

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Palmetto's Chris Smith signs with St. Louis Rams

Never Give Up. Don’t ever give up.

No words ring more true for defensive back Chris Smith, whose life has taken a 360 degree turn in the last week.

The Palmetto High product signed a contract with the St. Louis Rams on Wednesday and is at their facility waiting for training camp to open on Saturday.

Last week Smith came home from Omaha, Nebraska after the United Football League closed operations. He was with the Omaha Nighthawks and figured big in their plans to play cornerback and return kicks.

Less than a week later, Smith got a call from the Rams, offering him a free agent contract and invited him to their camp. It was a surprise because the two teams that previously showed him the most interest were the Denver Broncos and the New York Jets.

“My agent had never heard anything from St. Louis. I wasn’t expecting an offer from them,” Smith said. “But now that I am here I want to take advantage of this opportunity and do my best to earn a spot on the team. We will see what happens.”

Bucs sign Florida's Ahmad Black; only one left in 2011 draft class

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed three more draft picks to four-year deals, including University of Florida safety Ahmad Black.

Also signing with the Bucs on Thursday were fourth round pick Luke Stocker, a tight end from Tennessee and FIU cornerback Anthony Gaitor.

The only person in the Bucs 2011 draft class that remains unsigned is USC running back Allen Bradford,a sixth round draft choice.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rodgers-Cromartie okay wth trade to Eagles

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is okay with going to the Philadelphia Eagles if his much talked about trade takes place, according to his father.

Stan Cromartie, former Southeast High basketball great, said he talked with Dominique's today and his son realizes it's a business and has no apprehension.

Rodgers-Cromartie, who played for Lakewood Ranch High, is reported to be going to Philadelphia for quarterback Kevin Kolb. The Eagles are also asking for a first round draft pick, which is one of the reasons the deal is being delayed, Stan Cromartie believes.

"I talked to my son's agent Eugene Parker a little while ago and he told me that the first person the Eagles asked for in a potential trade for Kolb was my Dominique," Stan Cromartie said. "Arizona feels they are already giving Philadelphia a number one pick in Dominique because that is what he was (selected 16th overall in the 2008 draft).

"Dominique just wants to play football. He understands this is a business and anything can happen at anytime. The Cardinals want a QB and the Eagles say they want Dominique. I don't think Arizona will give up another first round pick.

"Whatever happens, Dominque is grateful to Arizona because they made his dream come true. Wherever the ship falls, he is ready to play football. Deion Sanders played for five NFL teams."

Rodgers-Cromartie signed a five year, $15.1 million contract that includes $9 million guaranteed with Arizona. He was Pro Bowl selection in the 2009 season, but was unable to play because of an injury.

Hills and Sanders try to make it as NFL frenzy continues

Since the NFL ended its lockout there has a been a frenzy out there and it has hit some of our local products.

Receiver Joe Hills out of Palmetto and Southeast graduate Terron Sanders got calls from the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens respectively soon after NFL teams were allowed to contact rookie free agents.

Both are expected to be in camp today fighting for a job. Hills likes his situation with the Titans. They are not expected to resign Randy Moss and their other top big receiver Kenny Britt, has had legals problems and is not someone who can be expected to bring stability to a team right now.

Nearly 6-5, Hills is bigger than receiver on the Titans depth chart and has the size that pro teams covet out of their wide receivers. Click here for full story.

Joe Hills