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Peep Show - ESPN - 7/25/2003


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Peep Show

By Darrell Trimble

ESPN Insider

Friday, July 25

Updated: July 25

11:44 AM ET

Denver Broncos: Denver signed all five of its remaining draft picks Thursday, including first-round selection OT George Foster. The Rocky Mountain News reports Foster's deal will pay him slightly more than $7.4 million over five years with a sixth season expected to be voided based on reaching minimum playing time incentives from 2004-2007. The deal also includes $4.6 million in upfront money, which is composed of signing bonus and option bonus payments. Foster, as well as the other four rookies, signed Thursday should practice today.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: All teams practice the two-minute drill, but Jon Gruden has taken it one step further and is actually practiing halftime. Midway through morning workouts, players convene in an air-conditioned trailer, the same size as their locker room at Raymond James Stadium. "It's like halftime,'' Gruden said. "Sometimes, as a coach, I've seen teams go in the locker room at halftime, come back out and they just never really spread their wings again. They just kind of don't come out of there as well. We're practicing coming out to start the second half and at the same time we're trying to cool the body temperature.''

Jacksonville Jaguars: The team came to terms with five draft picks Thursday: CB Rasheen Mathis, G Vince Manuwai, DE Brandon Green, S David Young and OT Marques Ogden. But the Jags still have to sign first-round pick QB Byron Leftwich and the team's first practice starts early Saturday morning. When asked about the progress of negotiations, Leftwich's agent Tom Condon told the Florida Times-Union: "We've got a lot of issues to cover, so I really couldn't speculate (about getting Leftwich signed today)."

New York Jets: A big concern for New York was how the team was going to replace KR Chad Morton. But so far, special teams coach Mike Westhoff has been very pleased with his replacement, Albert Johnson. "Albert Johnson has been outstanding," Westhoff told the New York Post. "I can't be any happier with what I've seen." Through the first four games of last season he was second to Morton with a 27.5-yard KO return average before missing the rest of 2002 with a torn ACL, his second in two years. However, much to the delight of the Jets coaching staff, Johnson looks to be fully recovered and ready to contribute.

Washington Redskins: The club agreed Thursday to a three-year contract with QB Gibran Hamdan, its seventh-round draft choice in April. The Washington Post reports Hamdan, who became the first of the club's NFL-low three draft picks to agree to a contract, signed a three-year deal worth $942,750, including a signing bonus of $32,750. The Redskins are also close to applying the finishing touches to an agreement with G Derrick Dockery, their third-round pick. Team officials hope to have Dockery sign the contract today. Washington is pushing for Dockery and agent David Dunn to sign a four-year contract instead of a three-year deal, and a longer deal would mean a heftier signing bonus. Club officials intensified negotiations with WR Taylor Jacobs, their second-round selection, and remained intent upon having all three of their draft choices signed and in training camp on time.

Houston Texans: RB Tony Hollings, who signed a four-year contract Thursday, has been cleared for full participation during training camp and won't be placed on the physically unable to perform list. Hollings had knee surgery a little more than 10 months ago, but the Texans have been so impressed with his recovery that they feel he's ready to run with the big dogs. "He's a go," GM Charley Casserly told the Houston Chronicle. "After having him here for two weeks, we feel the next step is to put him on the field. We're going to be cautious, but we are going in with the attitude of putting him on the field and seeing how he responds."

Arizona Cardinals: G Pete Kendall has been a starter for the past two seasons and while that won't change this year, his position might. The Arizona Republic reports Kendall will work primarily at center early in training camp. The starting center job opened when Mike Gruttadauria was released in the off-season. Kendall's intelligence and athletic ability are suited to playing center, said coach Dave McGinnis.

Indianapolis Colts: WR/KR Terrence Wilkins may find his way back to Indianapolis, where he first got his chance to make a name for himself. "We have an interest," coach Tony Dungy told the Indianapolis Star, referring to the Colts desire to bring Wilkins back. The Colts traded Wilkins, who was a restricted free agent at the time, to the Rams before the 2002 draft after signing him to a four-year, $4.5 million contract that included a $1.5 million signing bonus. But Wilkins never caught on in St. Louis and was released.

Philadelphia Eagles: Philly couldn't hit the trifecta Thursday, as they were only to sign two of their remaining three unsigned rookies. The Eagles signed TE L.J. Smith and WR Billy McMullen, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Smith agreed to a five-year deal that included a signing bonus of about $1 million and McMullen agreed to a four-year deal. Unfortunately for Eagles fans, Drew Rosenhaus, the agent for first-round pick DE Jerome McDougle, said that both sides remained too far apart to get a deal done and it was "doubtful" a deal would be done before camp opens tomorrow.

New England Patriots: With G Stephen Neal out indefinitely with a shoulder injury and Joe Andruzzi recovering from microfracture knee surgery, the team is scouring the league looking for someone to fill in at right guard. According to the Boston Herald the Patriots hosted former Washington and Jacksonville guard Brendan Stai Thursday.

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