NFL notebook: Chiefs' free agent choices could impact No. 1 pick
BY Associated Press
Friday, February 22, 2013
2/22/13 at 6:28 AM
The Kansas City Chiefs are still deciding what do with receiver Dwayne Bowe and left tackle Branden Albert and it could have an impact on how they use the No. 1 pick in April's draft.
Bowe and Albert could both become free agents next month. And with a top-heavy class of offensive linemen available, including Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M, what the Chiefs do over the next two weeks could dictate how the draft falls.
"I did have a chance to look at him, and I'll tell you, he's a pretty good football player," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of Joeckel.
Bowe played in only 13 games last season because of injuries, but he still had 59 catches for 801 yards and three touchdowns.
The bigger question might be what the Chiefs will do with Albert. He was limited to 11 starts last season because of a back injury.
Another option would be trading out of the No. 1 pick, something Reid did not discount.
NFL exec says HGH testing resolution needed: NFL senior vice president Adolpho Birch said Thursday the league and players association need to reach agreement soon on HGH testing.
The NFL and the union agreed in principle to HGH testing when a new 10-year labor agreement was finalized in August 2011. But protocols must be approved by both sides and the players have questioned the science in the testing procedures.
In 2011, the NFL became the first professional league to agree with its players on HGH testing. But while the sides debated the scientific validity of the test, and the union still is not satisfied with the process.
On Tuesday, the union said it favors HGH testing, but only with a strong appeal process.
"We've had kind of a long history in our union and the league's relationship and that's deteriorated the trust between the two, and the players don't feel comfortable moving forward and I don't feel comfortable moving forward without the proper protections in place," NFLPA President Domonique Foxworth said.
Pey-off: Broncos coach John Fox dropped some bad news on the rest of the league Thursday when he said Peyton Manning could be even better in 2013 than he was in 2012.
The reasoning is simple. A year ago, as Manning worked out at Duke, he was still trying to regain strength in his right arm after multiple surgeries to repair nerve damage in his neck. Now Manning will have another offseason to recover, another offseason to fine-tune the Denver offense and work with teammates.
Trade talk: San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke did nothing to dissuade talk about a possible Alex Smith trade.
The obvious predicament the 49ers face this offseason has Colin Kaepernick firmly entrenched as the starter, and Smith, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2005, serving as an expensive backup.
The debate over Smith's future has raged since coach Jim Harbaugh changed quarterbacks late last season, moving Kaepernick, who led the 49ers to the Super Bowl, ahead of Smith, who led San Francisco to the NFC title game after the 2011 season.
Titanic check: Tennessee didn't make a snap decision - or a snap judgment - when it hired Gregg Williams as its new senior assistant coach.
Instead, the Titans did their homework before hiring the bounty-scandal-tainted assistant.
"There was hesitation in that we had to do our research," Titans general manager Ruston Webster said.
Williams' hiring might not be the only change coming to Nashville. The Titans apparently would like to find a complementary back to speedster Chris Johnson.
One thing that will not change is the quarterback.
"I think Jake (Locker) has done a good job," he said. "One of the things we have to do is have more consistency around him. When your offensive line is in flux and you change your coordinators, doing all those types of things, and he gets hurt - another thing is to keep him healthy - I don't think that does anything for any quarterback's development."
Saturday: Tight ends, offensive linemen, special teams
Sunday: Quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers
Monday: Defensive linemen, linebackers
Tuesday: Defensive backs