Source: Hamlin, Cowboys close to deal

July, 14, 2008
The Cowboys and safety Ken Hamlin drew closer on Monday, to completing a six-year deal that will keep the team's franchise player in Dallas the remainder of his career, a source told

Talks progressed well enough on Monday that Hamlin's agent, Kennard McGuire, flew to Dallas to work on the final numbers and the final details. The plan is to complete a deal by Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET deadline for any long-term contracts for franchise players.

The 27-year-old safety found a new home in Dallas after leaving the Seahawks, the team that drafted him. Hamlin signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract in 2007 and ended up going to the Pro Bowl. Hamlin showed great resilience coming back from a 2005 incident in which he was a victim in an assault that temporarily left him with a serious head injury.

Hamlin came back in 2006 and started 16 games. He left in 2007 via free agency to join the Cowboys.

Timing off: While the timing of Peyton Manning's infected bursa sac procedure isn't good, it might only mean that the Colts' 2008 offense gets off to a slow start.

Timing will be off temporarily in the passing offense because Manning won't be able to practice for four to six weeks. Not that Manning was going to do much in the five preseason games, but it will force Manning to play catchup on the practice field in the three weeks before the start of the regular season.

Where the Colts get a break is that they have a bye week on Sept. 28 and two of the first three games at home. Manning is a perfectionist and maximizes his practice time by working his timing routes. Even with Marvin Harrison being limited because of a knee problem, Manning will have to get into midseason form with maybe one preseason game as a tuneup, leaving the rest to the practice field.

The fact that the problem is a bursa sac is a little scary. Harrison had an inflamed bursa sack that didn't calm down all last season, leaving him a nonfactor in the second half of the season and the playoffs. The difference is that Manning, as a quarterback, doesn't put as much stress on the bursa sac as a wide receiver, who has to run for a living.

The good news for the Colts is the procedure is before training camp starts, giving Manning ample time to get ready for the regular season.

The season opens with home games against the Bears and the Jaguars in Week 1 and Week 3, and a road game in Minnesota. Winning the Jaguars home game might be the key to the Colts season, but by that time, Manning should have the timing of the offense in good shape as long as he doesn't have a setback in his recovery.

In Week 4, Manning can regroup, spend extra time with the receivers and make an even bigger splash during the final 13 games of the season.

Not a lot of options: Too bad Packers general manager Ted Thompson, a linebacker back in his playing days, doesn't have Brett Favre's arm. If he decides to trade the future Hall of Fame quarterback, Thompson could be stuck in the proverbial pocket with limited mobility. According to friends of Thompson, he won't trade Favre to an NFC team. That's understandable. A trade to an NFC team could cost the Packers a regular season game or maybe a shot at going deep into the playoffs if Favre goes to an NFC contender and has success. Here's the problem with the AFC: The Ravens and Jets don't appear ready to make a Favre trade. That leaves the Dolphins, and that might not be the right spot for Favre, who's looking to go to a Super Bowl. As Thompson said on Saturday, the situation is messy.

Try, try again: The Ravens are making a last ditch effort to sign franchise linebacker Terrell Suggs to a long-term deal. Both sides started exchanging offers on Monday after talks had dragged on for most of the offseason. With the price of pass-rushers being so high, this could go down to the wire with no guarantee of a deal getting done.



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