No. 3 overall pick remains unsigned

Updated: August 4, 2005, 10:33 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Cleveland Browns: As rookie wide receiver Braylon Edwards' contract holdout presses on, Browns quarterback Trent Dilfer is reminded of a similar mistake.

Dilfer missed the first part of his first training camp in 1994 so he could get a sweeter deal from Tampa Bay.

"I held out for 12 days," Dilfer said. "It was a wonderful decision financially and a horrible decision football-wise. Being completely honest with that, if I had to go back to do it all over again, I'd have sacrificed the $2 million I made to be a better football player my first couple years."

Edwards' agent Lamont Smith and the Browns are at a standstill in their negotiations. The club has presented Smith with five-year and six-year proposals for the No. 3 overall pick from Michigan, who in addition to missing the first week of training camp was also absent from the team's mini-camp in June because of a family funeral and leg injury. The sides still have several major issues to resolve, including Edwards' signing bonus and guaranteed money.

As his agent tries to finalize a deal, Edwards is in New Orleans working out with his father, Stan, a former NFL running back.

Dilfer was the sixth overall selection in 1994 by the Buccaneers, taken three picks after Washington took quarterback Heath Shuler. At the time, Dilfer felt he should get more money than Shuler because he had been rated higher by many teams before the draft.

As a rookie, Dilfer played in just five games, making two starts. He threw one touchdown and six interceptions. The next season under coach Sam Wyche, he started all 16 games but his numbers were awful -- four TDs, 18 interceptions and a 60.1 quarterback rating. The Buccaneers went 7-9 and Wyche was fired following the season.

"I completely stunted my development as a football player," Dilfer said. "I was never able to catch up. I worked as hard as I possibly could, but there's no substitution for reps, there's no substitution for camaraderie and there's no substitution for a trust level with your teammates."

Cornerback Daylon McCutcheon missed another practice Thursday because of migraine headaches, and running back Reuben Droughns sat out with a pulled hamstring.

There's no word on when McCutcheon might return, and coach Romeo Crennel is unsure how long it might take the veteran cornerback to get up to speed with the team's new defensive schemes.

Droughns, acquired in an offseason trade with Denver, was hurt in practice Wednesday.

"He cannot come back until the medical staff releases him," Crennel said.

Carolina Panthers: Safety Mike Minter was taken off the field after practice with his left knee heavily wrapped in ice.

Carolina coach John Fox said Minter sprained his knee, but added the extent of the injury will not be known until possibly Friday.

The injury occurred during live goal-line drills late in Spartanburg, S.C.

Considered the emotional leader of the defense, Minter has started 109 games with that unit, more than any player in team history.

San Francisco 49ers: Left tackle Jonas Jennings will undergo surgery Friday to repair a broken right index finger. He'll be out six to eight days, leaving the 49ers without three of their projected starters on the line just one week into training camp.

Rookie Patrick Estes took Jennings' place with the first team Thursday and broke a bone in his left hand during the morning practice. Estes' injury will not require surgery and he'll be able to practice with his hand wrapped.

"It's part of the game," 49ers coach Mike Nolan said at camp in Santa Clara, Calif.

The 49ers also are without two-time Pro Bowl center Jeremy Newberry and rookie David Baas, the team's projected starter at right guard. Newberry has a knee problem that could force him to miss the season. Baas, the team's second-round draft pick, pulled a hamstring last week and could be out until September.

Detroit Lions: Although he still hopes to turn his long runbacks of 2004 into a long-term contract, Lions return specialist Eddie Drummond has signed the one-year restricted free-agent qualifying offer tendered him in February and will report to training camp.

The two sides will eventually resume discussions on a longer deal. Lions officials had been adamant that they would not negotiate a multiyear contract until Drummond first signed the qualifying offer, worth $1.43 million, and came to camp. Drummond is the last three-year restricted free agent in the NFL to sign his qualifying offer.

Drummond, 25, was voted to the NFC Pro Bowl squad in 2004 but could not play in the game because of a shoulder injury that sidelined him the final five contests of the regular season. Before the injury truncated his season, Drummond, signed as a free agent in '02, returned 41 kickoffs for a 26.6-yard average and two touchdowns and 24 punts for an average of 13.2 yards and two scores.

-- Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior writer

Chicago Bears: Starting cornerback Jerry Azumah, a key veteran who wears a lot of hats for the Bears, will miss three to four weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right hip Wednesday, but team officials are optimistic the procedure will not keep the seventh-year veteran out of the season opener.

The surgery, performed by Denver-based hip specialist Dr. Marc Philippon, came after Azumah met with one other orthopedist and decided that rest would not remedy what was a recurring problem for him. The positive is that Azumah, who missed the opening four games of the 2004 season after having neck surgery, avoided a more invasive procedure that might have sidelined him for a much longer period.

General manager Jerry Angelo called the arthroscopic surgery "the best-case scenario" for the Bears, who will move second-year veteran Nathan Vasher into the starting spot until Azumah returns, hopefully for the final preseason contest. Vasher led the Bears in interceptions in 2004, with five.

A starter for much of his career, Azumah, 27, plays the outside cornerback spot only on early downs, typically moves inside to the slot cornerback position on third down and is also the Bears' top kickoff returner. The former New Hampshire star is entering the final year of his contract and season-ending surgery almost certainly would have diminished his potential value in the unrestricted free-agent market next spring.

-- Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior writer

Miami Dolphins-Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks traded cornerback Kris Richard to the Dolphins for defensive end Ronald Flemons.

Richard, a third-round draft pick in 2002, spent his first three seasons in Seattle as a backup and special teams player.

"It was a roster-maintenance move," Seahawks general manager Tim Ruskell said. "Kris was on the bubble for us. They had inquired about him several times. We're always looking for defensive linemen. ... Obviously, it's not a world-beater trade."

Flemons has played in six games over four seasons with Atlanta and Miami.

"He's a guy who gets off the ball," Ruskell said. "They're looking more for a 3-4 type of defensive lineman."

Dolphins employee avoids lightning strike: The Dolphins' video coordinator was shaken up after lightning struck near where he was working atop a tower during the team's afternoon practice.

Dave Hack, who has worked in the team's video department for 32 years, was treated and not seriously injured. He was not hospitalized, according to team officials.

The strike hit about 40 minutes into a planned two-hour workout, the remainder of which was canceled.

Hack, one of the longest-tenured members of the Dolphins' organization, is the only team employee to have attended each of former quarterback Dan Marino's 242 regular-season and 18 playoff games.

Bands of severe thunderstorms moved through much of South Florida during the afternoon, producing more than two inches of rain per hour and bringing wind gusts in excess of 45 mph to some parts of the region.

Ex-Seahawk sentenced: Former Seahawks running back Chris Warren was sentenced to five years' probation and 500 hours of community service for failing to pay child support.

A federal magistrate also ordered him today to pay $43,500 immediately and to make continuing payments of $5,000 a month.

Warren pleaded guilty in January to a federal misdemeanor for failing to support two daughters who live in Washington.

He played for the Seahawks from 1990-97 and was a three-time Pro Bowler.

Tennessee Titans: The Titans finally swapped contract proposals for top draft pick Adam "Pacman" Jones, and general manager Floyd Reese called the move the first real step in their negotiations.

"It's not where we want it to be, but it's not completely off the wall, so we can work with it," Reese said without elaborating on details of the proposal.

Agent Michael Huyghue sent over an offer for the cornerback, and Reese said he responded. Jones, the sixth pick overall and the first defensive player taken in the draft, now has missed seven days and 11 practices.

Minnesota Vikings: In the letter dated Aug. 1 and addressed to Blaine Mayor Tom Ryan and Anoka County Board Chairwoman Margaret Langfeld, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf wrote the team is committed to a partnership with Blaine and Anoka County and "we are anxious to move this project forward to build a world-class venue for everyone in Minnesota."

"No more discussions about Eden Prairie, Eagan and Minneapolis, this is our preferred site," Lester Bagley, Vikings vice president of public affairs and stadium development, told The Associated Press.

Wilf said the preferred site for a stadium and training facility is a parcel of land at the Preserve at Rice Creek. About 400 acres of the 700-acre site would be developed, Bagley said.

Previous proposals have reached $645 million, when a domed roof and training facility are included, said Steve Novak, a division manager in charge of governmental services for Anoka County.

Last month, Wilf told the St. Paul Pioneer Press he envisions a $1.6 billion complex that includes residential housing, retail and offices. Wilf hasn't said how much he'd personally be willing to contribute to a new stadium _ but he said if the stadium plan fails to gain state approval, he'll develop the land without the stadium.

In the letter, Wilf wrote the Vikings expect to work with the state on financing options "as we believe there is a role for the state in this public-private partnership."

New York Jets: Quarterback Chad Pennington responded well to a day off, throwing a few sharp passes during the practice.

Pennington threw in five straight afternoon practices before coach Herman Edwards gave him off Wednesday to rest his surgically repaired right shoulder.

"It feels much better," Pennington said. "I'm trying to work through some things and it's just a work in progress. It's a matter of time. You can't be frustrated. You have to keep working and feel comfortable with making the right reads and eventually the throws will come and you'll get all the kinks worked out."

Running back Curtis Martin was given the practice off to rest, and linebacker Victor Hobson was held out with what Edwards called "a little bit of a tight hamstring."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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