2011 NFL Signings, NFL Trade Rumors and News: Ricky Williams, Kyle Orton, DeSean Jackson, Chicago Bears



The NFL preseason is in full swing. Ricky Williams will be watching the Blind Side. Kyle Orton is learning hard work pays off and the Chicago Bears look to add more teeth to their defense. What are the latest NFL signings? NFL Trade rumors? NFL Injury news?

The Sportsbank in not on the PUP list, covering it all for you.

Here’s the latest news and notes from around the NFL for August 8, 2011:

The Baltimore Ravens made arguably their best move possible to replace running back Willis McGahee, signing former Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams to a two-year contract, worth about $4 million. Williams has the make-up to be the bruiser goal-line back that they lost when McGahee departed for the Denver Broncos. Officially on the depth chart Ricky Williams will back up super stud Ray Rice, but don’t be surprised if he gets a number of red zone opportunities.

Philadelphia Eagles superstar wide receiver DeSean Jackson finally ended his holdout and reported to camp on Monday.

Tennessee Titans DB Cortland Finnegan, who received a reputation as a dirty player after fighting with Houston Texan’s wide receiver Andre Johnson last year, admitted that his absence from practice Saturday was because he was unhappy with his current $3.7 million contract.

News out of Denver Broncos camp Kyle Orton is currently well ahead of former Florida Gator Tim Tebow on the quarterback depth chart. Top draft picks Von Miller looks as though he’s locking himself in as the Broncos starting strong-side linebacker.

Green Bay Packers running back James Starks has looked phenomenal thus far in camp, with fellow team members commenting on his strong pushes in drills and his desire to “not go down” during plays.

The Chicago Bears are getting close to a deal with CB Kelvin Hayden. If healthy, he’d be a great fit for the Bears defense. Most Bears remember Hayden when he was with the Indianapolis Colts, where in the Super Bowl he intercepted a Rex Grossman pass and returned it for the game winning touchdown.

Barring injuries, the Chicago Bears have already named their starting offensive line. Right guard Roberto Garza will move to a new position, replacing Olin Kreutz at center. J’Marcus Webb will move from right tackle to left tackle. Chris Williams, who has had a history of injury problems since being the Bears number one draft pick a few years back will play left guard. Lance Louis will start at right guard and first-round draft pick Gabe Carimi will start at right tackle. Quarterback Jay Cutler, who has been rather quiet in camp thus far, has to be hoping the line will be improved as the Bears allowed 56 sacks last season, the most allowed by any team in the NFL.

Surprisingly, former Seattle Seahawk center Chris Spencer, who signed a $6 million, two-year contract to replace Kreutz will be a reserve.

Injuries are mounting up early in the NFL and a pre-season snap has not even taken place yet:

Detroit Lions rookie running back Mikel Leshoure has a torn Achilles tendon, requires surgery, and will likely be lost for the season.

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Ernie Sims is expected to miss a couple of weeks after having an appendectomy.

Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Kevin Haslam will be out for the season after injuring his knee.

Coming tomorrow: A recap of all free-agent movement and trades to date.



Soxman is a Sportsbank senior contributor and a White Sox columnist and sports reporter for Chicago Tribune Red Eye Edition. He’s also a frequent guest on local television and radio programs in Chicago. You can e-mail him at thesoxman72@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: @thesoxman72.

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