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Sunday Bloody Sunday? It's Free Agency Eve

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Barring a new CBA this afternoon, teams will have to meet the $94 million salary cap by 6 pm today and free agency will begin at midnight Eastern time.

Here are some of the latest rumors:

-- A strong candidate to land QB Drew Brees is (drumroll please) Minnesota.


The buzz in the Twin Cities has Brees following old friend Fran Foley, the Vikes' VP of Player Personnel, to the frozen north. This increases the chances Duante Culpepper will be cut. If he is, look for Miami to make a strong push to sign him.

-- Shaun Alexander will likely re-sign with the Seahawks, according to the N.Y. Daily News' Gary Myers.

-- The Jets will pursue QB Jon Kitna to provide stability. QB Chad Pennington will apparently be kept at a reduced salary and the Jets will think seriously about drafting a QB at the top of round one.

-- Patriots WR David Givens will be next in line once Antwaan Randle El gets a new team. Teams likely to pursue Givens are the Browns, Texans, 49ers, Seahawks and Vikings.

-- The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review claims that the market for Steelers UFAs like Chris Hope and Antwaan Randle El could be diminished by a lower salary cap. The implication seems to be that they will have a better chance of re-signing with Pittsburgh because there is less money elsewhere.

That might be true if all NFL teams had little money to spend. As we have seen, there are teams like Minnesota, Cleveland and Philadelphia with lots of money to play with. The Cowboys can apparently get between 18 to 20 million under the cap if they choose too.

Hope is one player who would fit their needs. If the Steelers are hoping on a depressed market to bring him back, Dallas may have a better than normal chance to snag him.

-- This St. Paul Pioneer Press story claims that C LeCharles Bentley was the source of the rumor that he's ready to sign with the Eagles once free agency begins. Bentley denied the story once it hit the Philly press.

-- The Denver Post links the Broncos, Chiefs and Cowboys to Terrell Owens, who will be cut in the next few days, if not today, by the Eagles.

The Post claims that Denver would have a good chance to land Owens despite its salary cap woes because there the Chiefs and Cowboys also are cap strapped. As we know, that's not true of Dallas.

I'm on record as opposing Owens but if the front office is for it, and Bill Parcells lunching with Drew Rosenhaus did little to quiet these rumors, it may become a reality. Football analyst K.C. Joyner offers one rationale for Owens' new team to maximize his ability. Know that Joyner wrote this in his 2005 Scientific Football before any of the Owens craziness erupted:

T.O is one of those players who has to have an external reason to play hard. His is not a cold-blooded professional who is motivated by winning or simply beating the other guy. T.O.'s motivations seem to be much more personal...

Richard Nixon had an interesting philosophy when it came to winning. He said it's not enough to win; the other guy has to lose... T.O. is the same way. Owens will always frame things in a confrontational manner and that is what motivates him.

As I write this T.O. is considering holding out for the 2005 season. The Eagles are not the type of team to cave in to such a demand so it looks like an impasse. The only thing I'd day is that maybe the Eagles out to consider putting some incentive clauses into T.O.s contract, but make them really high, like 20 TDs and 1,800 yards receiving. They should then announce them to the media, who will then say T.O. has no chance of reaching them. T.O. will then be able to turn every game into a "T.O. vs. the media/world" and will crush every opponent he faces...

I'm still opposed to T.O. But if Jerry Jones and Bill Parcells are not, I think the Joyner suggestion is the only way to harness Owens. Offer him a one year deal with lots of incentive money and let his mental foibles run amok.

-- Finally, a Patriots site says the team may be shopping TE Daniel Graham. The story is protected, but it made me wonder if Dallas might be a suitor. They need a second TE after letting Dan Campbell go.