|ROUNDS 2-3||ROUNDS 4-7|
|7 tonight, ESPN, NFL Network Bucs pick: Round 3, 5/68||Noon Saturday, ESPN, NFL Network Bucs picks: Round 4, 31/126; Round 5, 5/140; Round 6, 4/174; Round 7, 5/212|
Saints general manager Mickey Loomis is "angry" about allegations that his Superdome booth was wired so he could eavesdrop on opposing coaches radio conversations. Loomis said Thursday that he has a clear conscience and welcomes a joint investigation by Louisiana state police and the FBI.
"I have never asked for the capability to listen to an opposing team's communications," Loomis said. "I have never inquired as to the possibility of listening in on an opposing team's communications. And I've never been aware of any capability to listen in on an opposing team's communications at the Superdome or at any NFL stadium.''
Loomis also pledged to finalize a deal with Drew Brees. He said the quarterback has earned the right to negotiate a deal he likes, but a balance is needed to keep the team competitive.
Loomis said he was prepared to deal with the consequences of the NFL's bounty investigation, which resulted in suspensions and lost draft picks, and said he wasn't discouraged by bad publicity.
Pro bowl in doubt: With commissioner Roger Goodell and others expressing concerns about the quality of play in the Pro Bowl, Goodell is "strongly considering" suspending the game in 2013, according to reports.
The NFL said no determination has been made.
Many players chosen for the game skip it. The game draws solid TV ratings but isn't considered a money maker. The big factor is cost, particularly when played in Hawaii.
NFLPA president Domonique Foxworth said the union and league were talking about improving and preserving the game.
"We have had lots of talks with the players about the Pro Bowl," NFL counsel Jeff Pash said last week. "It's not going to ever look like a playoff game, but it needs to improve so fans don't say, 'I feel bad watching it.' ''
Bengals: A judge dismissed an assault charge against linebacker Rey Maualuga after learning the dispute was settled in mediation. He still faces possible punishment from the league.
Giants: The team signed Pro Bowl defensive tackle Shaun Rogers, who started four games for the Saints last season. The 12-year veteran, 33, also played for the Lions and Browns.
Redskins: Safety Brandon Meriweather, who signed last month, was charged with drunk driving early Thursday, according to reports out of Arlington, Va. Police said the former University of Miami standout failed a field sobriety test and said he was driving home from a club but couldn't remember its name.
Steelers: Quarterback Byron Leftwich agreed to a one-year deal and will compete with Charlie Batch to back up Ben Roethlisberger. Leftwich, 32, did not play last year after breaking his left arm in the preseason. He has thrown seven passes since signing with the team in 2010 after a disappointing and injury-shortened 2009 with the Bucs.
Vikings: The team signed Jerome Simpson, a former Bengals receiver recently convicted on a felony drug charge who reportedly will be suspended for three games by the league. GM Rick Spielman said after a background check he is confident Simpson can be trusted.