- John Clayton, NFL senior writer
- 0 Shares
The Vikings' sale to Reggie Fowler should slow the Randy Moss trade talk. Fowler can't involve himself in team decisions until he closes the sale in three to 10 weeks, and that should buy enough time for Mike Tice to get his wish of keeping Moss. Moss said last week he wanted to stay a Viking and told the Vikings only the Ravens and Falcons interested him in a trade. Last week, Tice impressed Moss with the Vikings' plans to upgrade the defense through free agency. With a salary cap that could go as high a $102 million through creative management, the Vikings have a chance to improve and keep Moss.
Air back in McNair
Steve McNair's positive response to the Titans' hiring of Norm Chow as offensive coordinator was an immediate increase in preparation for next season, a sign his retirement thoughts have ended. McNair hasn't directly told Jeff Fisher he's returning, but he's been cleared to train and plans to come to camp in his best shape in years after surgery to strengthen his sternum. Chow's system is big on protecting the quarterback while still getting the ball to the wide receivers, which could keep the air in Air McNair.
The feel good story in free agency involves the Panthers and linebacker Mark Fields, who had a Pro Bowl season after recovering from Hodgkins' disease. Talks have heated up on a multi-year deal with Fields before free agency begins in March. Fields, who missed the 2003 season, helped to change the Panthers' season when teammates saw him smiling after a comeback win against the 49ers. "I'm getting my lungs back," Fields said, and from that point, the Panthers won six of eight games.
Impressed with Warner
Teams in need of a quarterback are growing more impressed with Kurt Warner's tapes than his stats. Warner went 5-4 as a starter, completing 62.8 percent of his passes, but had only six touchdowns passes. However, on 11 receptions, a Giants receiver was stopped between the opponents' 4 yard line and the end zone. His quarterback rating would have gone from 86.5 into the 100s if receivers could have broken a few tackles.
John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
5hEric D. Williams