POSTED 7:10 p.m. EDT, July 18, 2006 DAVIS THEORY RAISING EYEBROWS As police search for the folks who tried to turn Cowboys safety Keith Davis into a human block of Swiss cheese, folks around the league aren't buying the theory that Davis was the victim of an attempted carjacking. We've heard from both league and industry sources who are very skeptical of the notion that a car pulled up next to Davis's ride at 5:00 a.m. on a Dallas freeway and opened fire in an effort to secure possession of the tricked-out 1993 Chevy Impala. Police are accepting, however, the notion that the gunmen were after the car, not Davis. But how many carjackings unfold on an Interstate? And involve the attempted carjackers shooting bullets into the thing that they presumably hope to sell? We don't know what happened, and aren't going to speculate. But for now we agree with the school of thought that, whatever it was, it wasn't a carjacking. POSTED 6:25 p.m. EDT, July 18, 2006 AUBURN WHISTLEBLOWER GETTING COLD FEET? Our sister site collegefootballtalk.com is reporting that the professor that started all the academic accusations at Auburn is now talking like a bearded clam. Do us a favor and visit the site -- if it does well maybe we can ship Dante's butt over there. POSTED 5:26 p.m. EDT, July 18, 2006 AGENT BATTLES EVENTUALLY TO RESULT IN GUNFIRE? Mike Reiss of theBoston Globe reports that Patriots first-round running back Laurence Maroney has parted ways with agents Ethan Lock and Eric Metz. The move isn't a shocker for readers of this site, given rumors reported in this space last week that 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, the No. 6 overall pick in the draft, has left the same firm and is believed to be headed with agent Zeke Sandhu for Dave Dunn's shop. The resulting scramble regarding Vernon Davis is prompting fears in some league circles that, eventually, someone is going to get the Keith Davis treatment. "I wouldn't be surprised if someone is killed over this," said one league insider with knowledge of the situation. "It might not happen right off the bat, but down the line." The possible addition of Maroney to this hybrid game of musical chairs and Powerball lottery is sure to raise any tensions that already might have been stoked by the Davis situation. The fears expressed to us mesh with concerns we've heard on numerous occasions in the past in connection with the inherently cutthroat world of football agents. The thinking is that, literally, someone's throat will be cut in the wake of one of these squabbles involving players who leave one agent and head for another one. The violence, as the theory goes, is more likely to originate not from the agents but from the so-called "runners" who cozy up to the players -- and who them help to deliver the players to the agent. Runners operate in the background, and sometimes in the shadows. So some might be in position to make certain things happen to certain people, if so disposed. Let's be clear here. We're not saying that anyone is in any imminent peril. The point is that these situations create plenty of hard feelings among the agents and their runners, as the promise of three percent of a fat rookie contract that suddenly gets up and follows the lure of another runner and/or agent. Bottom line -- if/when someone is shot, stabbed, or harmed in some other way as a result of one of these situations, we all should be sickened, but no one should be surprised. POSTED 3:06 p.m. EDT, July 18, 2006 WELBOURN WOULD HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED? There's increasing chatter in league circles that Chiefs tackle John Welbourn was facing a suspension for a second violation of the league's steroid policy when he abruptly retired last month. A looming suspension was our first thought when word broke of Welbourn's decision. As he said at the time, "I decided to retire on my own terms rather than someone else's." To us, that sounded pretty darned ominous. But we then heard that Welbourn walked simply because he wanted more money and the Chiefs wouldn't give it to him. Now, the talk is that Welbourn indeed was staring down the barrel of another multi-game sit when he opted to walk away. If these new rumors are true (and we're not saying with any degree of certainty that they are), the decision to retire makes sense. If Welbourn is at a point where he can't be competitive without using some type of substance that falls within the scope of the steroids policy, there's no point sticking around. Last season, Welbourn received a four-game suspension for a first violation of the steroids policy. Recently, the league increased the penalty for a second violation from six games to eight games. The changes, however, don't take effect until 2007.