– The Thrashers and F Andrew Ladd are closing in on a contract extension. Ladd is scheduled to become an RFA at season’s end. The club captain has 21 goals and 23 assists this season.
– According to TSN, the Leafs have made trade offers in search of a defenceman. No names are listed, and a trade doesn’t appear close at this time.
– The Bills will host free agent SS Bob Sanders on Tuesday. Sanders met with the Jags on Monday and will not offer him a contract. The 30-year-old’s visit to Buffalo probably means that free agent SS Donte Whitner will not be back.
– The Baltimore Sun reports that the Ravens have decided to release RB Willis McGahee. The decision was made at the Ravens’ recent personnel evaluation meetings. McGahee, in his age-30 season, is due a $6M salary in 2011, and the remaining years on his contract are optional. The move is expected sometime after the owners and players finalize a new CBA. The Sun’s Mike Preston suggests that the Ravens could re-sign McGahee for less money after cutting him, but he’s likely to pursue the best contract possible.
– Auburn’ QB Cam Newton will participate fully in the NFL Combine this week. Newton is trying to be “transparent” throughout the pre-draft process. NFL scouts were worried Newton’s camp would try to pass off Cam’s “Media Day” as an excuse to skip throwing drills in Indianapolis. QB Blaine Gabbert isn’t expected to throw, so Newton could start to run away as the top QB prospect in the draft.
– Steelers’ OLB James Harrison (lower back) finally underwent surgery on Monday afternoon, as it was delayed due to him catching a fever. The operation involved removal of a herniated disc from a nerve that bothered him all last year. Harrison recorded 10.5 sacks, his third straight season in the double digits.
– The Palm Beach Post predicts that Dolphins’ QB Chad Henne will open the 2011 season as the starter. Both the Post and Miami Herald believe it’s highly unlikely the Fins would be able to trade for QBs Kevin Kolb or Kyle Orton because they don’t have a 2nd-round pick. The Post’s prediction has Miami drafting a QB “in the middle rounds,” and names Colin Kaepernick, Christian Ponder and Ricky Stanzi as possibilities.
– Citing a “high-ranking team source,” Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia reports that Eagles’ RT Winston Justice (left knee) is scheduled only for a routine scope, and not a microfracture operation. The club official reportedly “scoffed” at a report that Justice’s surgery could be season or career threatening. They did, however, admit that the scope might reveal something more serious, but for now, the Eagles are confident Justice will be healthy in a few week’s time. Justice’s scope is said to be similar to Jason Peters’, which sidelined the left tackle for only two games in 2010.
– Mets’ OF Carlos Beltran (knee) will be held out for the first week of the Grapefruit League schedule. He reported to camp in good shape, but the Mets are still playing it safe with his surgically-repaired knee and want him to complete a running program before entering live games. The 33-year-old may be relegated to right field if his knee doesn’t cooperate this season.
– Angels’ GM Tony Reagins says his club’s “eyes are wide open” as to the possibility of Washington Huskies’ QB Jake Locker still playing baseball, especially in the event of an NFL lockout. “There are some factors out there that are going to make his decisions more difficult. The labor situation is one, where he’s selected is one of them. … We’ll see how it plays out. You always have a chance.” Locker signed a 6-year rights agreement in August of 2009, tying him to the Angels through 2015. He was Los Angeles’ 10th-round pick as an outfielder.