Vikings trade for Holcomb, Samuel reports to Patriots Print
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Monday, 27 August 2007 14:42
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 Tarvaris Jackson has the starting quarterback job in Minnesota, and a new backup in veteran Kelly Holcomb.
The Vikings traded an undisclosed 2009 draft pick to Philadelphia on Monday for the 12-year veteran who has 21 career starts, nearly twice as many as the other three quarterbacks on the roster combined.
Coach Brad Childress also announced that Jackson, a second-round pick out of Alabama State a year ago with two career starts, will be the opening day starter. Holcomb will compete with Brooks Bollinger for the backup job.
``I think it's really important that you have the right mix of people in the quarterback room and that everybody understands what their role is,'' Childress said.
``It'll help,'' Jackson said. ``He's an older guy. Been in the league a long time and won a lot of games. ... I just look at is as help for the team and help for me to get better. I'm looking forward to it.''
Patriots
Cornerback Asante Samuel returned from his holdout that cost him a month of the preseason. Samuel, who tied for the NFL lead with 10 interceptions last season, was at Gillette Stadium taking a physical, but did not practice.
Coach Bill Belichick didn't know if the fifth-year veteran could play in Thursday's preseason finale against the Giants.
The Patriots applied the franchise tag to Samuel in February, guaranteeing him a one-year, $7.79 million contract, but preventing him from becoming an unrestricted free agent. A fourth-round draft pick in 2003 out of Central Florida, Samuel has started 39 games. He tied Denver's Champ Bailey for the NFL lead in interceptions during the 2006 season and then returned two more for touchdowns in the playoffs.
Raiders
Coach Lane Kiffin narrowed his choice for a starting quarterback to Josh McCown and Daunte Culpepper. Both will share time in Thursday's preseason finale in Seattle, with McCown starting and Culpepper his backup.
Beyond that, however, Kiffin isn't making any commitments.
``It's become a two-man race,'' Kiffin said. ``We'll let both guys play in this game. I don't have the exact reps (but) we'll play it by ear. We're still going to evaluate the two of them for the starting job.''
The two have put up similar numbers. McCown, who arrived in a draft day trade with Detroit, has completed 19 of 35 passes (54.3 percent) for 277 yards and has a 80.3 rating. Culpepper, signed on July 31 after being released by Miami, is 15-for-28 (53.6 percent) for 200 yards, three touchdowns, and a rating of 112.2.
49ers
Frank Gore wants some action before the season begins. Coach Mike Nolan probably won't listen to his Pro Bowl running back's pleas for a little playing time in Thursday's exhibition finale at San Diego.
Gore, who led the NFC with 1,695 yards rushing last season, hasn't suited up since breaking his right hand on the second day of training camp. With his hand almost completely healed, he has participated in certain drills during practice in the last two weeks.
``I want to be out there for my team,'' Gore said. ``I miss being out there with the guys. But he's the coach, so I'll go with his decision. I feel really good, and I'm just working hard right now.''
Lions
Detroit will put second-year free safety Daniel Bullocks on injured reserve after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament. Bullocks led all NFC rookie defensive backs with 70 tackles last season. His right knee buckled during a non-contact play Saturday in the Lions' 37-10 loss at Indianapolis.
``He's a heck of a player,'' coach Rod Marinelli said. ``But you move on. The NFL is all about that.''
Sixth-year safety Idrees Bashir and rookie Gerald Alexander will compete for the starting spot.
Steelers
Kevan Barlow, who signed with his hometown Steelers earlier this year, was among 10 players released.
Barlow, from Pitt, was signed May 10 to compete for the backup running back's role behind Willie Parker. But Barlow quickly fell out of the rotation and never made a strong push to make the team.
A third-round pick by San Francisco in 2001, Barlow has rushed for 3,984 yards on 1,022 carries in six NFL seasons. Last season, Barlow averaged only 2.8 yards per carry while gaining 370 yards with the Jets.
Giants
Special teams standout David Tyree will be sidelined up to six weeks with a broken left wrist. Tyree will have surgery, coach Tom Coughlin said, adding that the team was willing to keep him on the roster.
The five-year veteran was hurt Saturday during the 20-12 preseason loss to the Jets. Coughlin said Tyree did not report the injury after the game and had swelling in the wrist Sunday. X-rays found the break.
Coughlin also was concerned about receiver Plaxico Burress, who missed practice Monday because of a back problem and was being examined by doctors in New York. Coughlin said Burress' back started acting up last week.
Dolphins
Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter returned to practice Monday, less than three weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. Porter was optimistic he'll play in the opener at Washington.
``I didn't do too much. I just ran around a little bit and tested it out,'' said Porter, who was limited in drills. ``I'm ahead of schedule. I've set myself up to be in a good situation come the season opener.''
Panthers
While guard Jeremy Bridges practiced with his teammates Monday, his lawyer entered a not guilty plea on his behalf for a misdemeanor assault charge for pointing a gun at a woman outside a strip club.
Attorney George Laughrun said a trial date was set for Oct. 2.
Bridges was arrested in the early morning of July 26, a day before players reported to training camp. The Panthers later suspended Bridges for the first two games of the regular season for conduct detrimental to the team. He'll miss games against St. Louis and Houston.
Bridges could also face further disciplinary action under the NFL's personal conduct policy.
Chargers
Tight end T.J. Cottrell, the son of defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, was one of 10 players cut. Cottrell is a second-year player from Buffalo State.
The Chargers also placed running back Tyronne Gross on injured reserve with a knee injury.
Jets
Veteran wide receiver Tim Dwight was among eight players released. Dwight, in his 10th NFL season and second with the Jets, was on the physically unable to perform list all summer. He had 16 catches - nine on third-down plays - for 112 yards before he injured a foot and missed the last five regular-season games and New York's playoff game at New England. Dwight was also the team's primary punt returner with a 10.4-yard average.
Jaguars
Tight end Jermaine Wiggins was released. Wiggins signed as a free agent from Minnesota last spring to help fill a void at the position, but became expandable with the return of George Wrighster from a torn rotator cuff. Wiggins had one catch for 1 yard in three preseason games.
 

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