Bucs, first-round pick Talib remain apart

TAMPA — Negotiations between the Bucs and first-round pick Aqib Talib, thought to be nearing their conclusion, might take a bit longer than expected.

Talib's agent, Todd France, and Bucs management have had little to no dialogue in the past two days, leaving the 22-year-old cornerback from Kansas in danger of missing Friday's reporting deadline in Celebration. The team's first practice is scheduled for Saturday morning at Disney's Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista.

The sides had been having regular talks until recent days, with signs pointing to the possibility a deal could be struck with time to spare. But something that likely remains a sticking point in these negotiations and those of other rookies is the lack of signings by players in the same area of the draft. The contracts of players selected in the same range typically are used by agents as a baseline in negotiations.

With only a handful of late first-round picks signed (Talib was 20th overall), there is little for Talib's representatives to use as a points of reference.

Second-round pick Dexter Jackson and fifth-rounder Josh Johnson also remain unsigned. The Bucs have not had a rookie holdout under general manager Bruce Allen, who joined the team in 2004.

Packers listen on Favre, but how much?

The Brett Favre drama has officially moved to the next stage and the floor is open to anyone who would like to make a bid for the retired quarterback.

But according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, there is reason to believe the Packers aren't 100 percent serious about trading Favre and are simply acquiescing to the desire of Favre and the NFL to offer an avenue for him to play again.

According to ESPN.com, league commissioner Roger Goodell has been in contact with general manager Ted Thompson several times and has urged him to find out if there are teams interested in making a trade that would suit both sides' desires.

An NFL spokesman refused to confirm that Goodell had spoken to Thompson, saying only that "the commissioner has conversations with teams on a regular basis."

Thompson did not return a message seeking comment.

The Journal Sentinel reported that the Packers were basically told to contact "everybody" to see if there is interest. In other words, Goodell wants the Packers to either find a trading partner or exhaust all possibilities, thereby making it clear to Favre what to do.

The Packers, in turn, have contacted almost every team in the league with the exception of NFC North clubs and a few teams with established quarterbacks such as Indianapolis, New England and Dallas to gauge interest.

BEARS: Pro Bowl kick returner Devin Hester missed the first training camp practice, saying he is unhappy with his $445,000 salary. The Bears had hoped to extend the former Miami standout's contract, which has two years remaining, before camp but had not completed a deal. Also, first-round pick Chris Williams from Vanderbilt, expected to start at left tackle, agreed to a five-year deal. Financial details were not disclosed.

Broncos: Receiver Rod Smith is planning a news conference today amid published reports that he will retire. Smith's agent, Jack Mills, did not give details. Smith, 38, has been on the reserve/retired list since February. Denver's career leader in every major receiving category said in June he was at peace with his career, if it was indeed over: "Definitely. I was okay with it five years ago.''

BROWNS: Wide receiver Joe Jurevicius and offensive lineman Ryan Tucker were placed on the active physically unable to perform list, with Jurevicius possibly out for the season. The former Buc has had two operations on his right knee since last season. Tucker is recovering from a broken hip. Also, receiver Donte' Stallworth, signed as a free agent in March, missed the first workout with a hamstring injury.

CHIEFS: Undrafted rookie Sergio Joachim, a receiver from UCF, agreed to a two-year deal.

COLTS: On the eve of training camp, five draft picks agreed to terms, including the first pick, Mike Pollak, an offensive lineman from Arizona State taken in the second round, and sixth-rounder Mike Hart, a running back from Michigan.

LIONS: Seventh-round pick Caleb Campbell will not get a chance to play for Detroit because of a change in military policy. When he was drafted in April, Army policy would have allowed the West Point graduate to serve as a recruiter if he made the team. But a subsequent Department of Defense policy has superseded the 2005 Army policy. In a letter to Lions president Matt Millen dated Wednesday, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jonathan P. Liba wrote that Campbell was ordered to give up professional football for "full-time traditional military duties." Coach Rod Marinelli, an Army veteran, said: "Obviously nobody likes surprises, but you've just got to salute and move on.''

RAMS: Defensive end Claude Wroten was suspended without pay for the season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Wroten's draft stock fell in 2006 when police found marijuana in his vehicle.

SAINTS: Receiver Marques Colston, whose 168 catches are more than any receiver through his first two seasons, agreed to a three-year extension.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Bucs, first-round pick Talib remain apart 07/23/08 [Last modified: Thursday, July 24, 2008 7:52am]

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