Read this earlier.
Off-field actions could be costly
By Adam Schefter
Special to NFL.com
(June 6, 2005) -- This offseason has been a pricey one for former University of Miami teammates Sean Taylor and Kellen Winslow. Each has put his bonuses in serious question for questionable behavior. Taylor has $10.475 million worth of signing and option bonus payments, including a $3.32 million bonus payment not yet paid and due in April 2006, that might be witheld due to his weekend arrest on gun-related charges. Like Winslow, Taylor's contract has specific default language that could wind up costing him, big time. If Taylor is convicted, and is unable to report to the Redskins, he would be in violation of the contract's language and subject to lose that money.
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There are many morals to this story, but one of the biggest is: It's always better to be around your team and your employer than your hometown and your buddies.
LET'S MAKE A DEAL
Here's a deal that quietly has been discussed, hasn't come to fruition, but should: The Jaguars should trade a third-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks for Pro Bowl running back Shaun Alexander, a deal that makes sense for both sides. The Jaguars would get the insurance they need for Fred Taylor, as well as a draw who is wildly popular in Alabama and would help boost attendance in Jacksonville, at a relatively modest cost. The Seahawks would get back a third-round pick in addition to salary-cap relief they need and want for a player who has vowed not to sign the tender that Seattle has given him. Makes great sense. Now it's up to both teams to make it happen. Problem is, the Jaguars -- not the Seahawks -- have balked at it. Right now, they're not willing to pay the Seahawks or Alexander.
BACK TO ACTION
One week after the Cowboys handed former Green Bay guard Marco Rivera a five-year, $20 million contract that included a $9 million signing bonus, Rivera underwent surgery for a bulging disc in his lower back. Not exactly the type of honeymoon either side envisioned. There were some who questioned how soon Rivera would be able to return to the field, but those questions are evaporating. Rivera has dispelled any doubts, declaring that he will be ready to go when training camp opens in July. This is a huge relief to the Cowboys, who are counting on Rivera being a major upgrade at right guard, and quarterback Drew Bledsoe as well. Bledsoe now will have a feisty guard guarding him.
THE MATT JONES WATCH
On the first day of the Jaguars' minicamp on April 29, first-round draft pick Matt Jones strained his hamstring. But now, when the Jaguars resume their Organized Team Activities on June 7, Jones is expected to be back in action, which would provide Jacksonville its first extended glimpse of the receiver it's so anxious to see. Since being injured, Jones has spent plenty of time in the team's meetings rooms, learning from teammates. But he would rather do his learning on the field, and now he will get the chance. The hope is that his hamstring, which troubled him at Arkansas, will not fail him again.
TIES THAT BIND
Dolphins coach Nick Saban and his new general manager Randy Mueller will be working in close proximity, just as they did years ago in Louisiana. When Saban was LSU's head coach, Mueller was general manager of football operations for the New Orleans Saints. The two got to know each other during those days, but not overly well. Yet it was enough to make a strong impression on Saban. Now he has found an ideal match for him. Mueller will not be the "yes" man that many thought Saban would hire. Mueller is one of the league's sharpest talent evaluators, a low-key personnel man who will do his job and impress Saban and Dolphins fans.
TIME TO KILL
Miami's former general manager, Rick Spielman, should be back in the NFL in no time. His talents are too good for him not to be. But it's not as though he needs a job today. When the Dolphins and he parted ways last week, Spielman still had two years remaining on his contract. Spielman wants to work sooner rather than later, but he now can be semi-selective in picking out his next job.
When Spielman left the Dolphins last week, it could not have bode well for Miami quarterback A.J. Feeley. Spielman was the general manager that dealt a second-round pick to Philadelphia for Feeley. But now Spielman is gone, and the head coach that wanted Feeley, Dave Wannstedt, is gone, and so is the support that Feeley had when he arrived in Miami last offseason. And if anything, Gus Frerotte has an advantage in the battle to become the Dolphins' next starting quarterback; Dolphins coach Nick Saban has admitted as much this offseason. This stems from the fact that Frerotte played for Dolphins offensive coordinator Scott Linehan in Minnesota. Feeley is a battler, so don't rule him out. But he's going to have to demonstrate noticeable i