– Giants’ DE Osi Umeyiora was reportedly “fuming” Wednesday morning when he discovered the Giants had pulled his permission to seek a trade. One source told the NY Times, ”He is sure they could’ve traded him. They had a lot more interest in him than they thought they would.” Beat writer Ralph Vacchiano reports the Bears “jumped in late” in addition to the nearly dozen teams that have already inquired. Umenyiora isn’t going to be practicing anytime soon even in the face of fines or a suspension “Then it becomes a matter for the union, and that’s when it could get really ugly.”
– Eagles’ DT Mike Patterson has a brain AVM (arteriovenous malformation) and will require surgery or radiation. AVM is a tangle of the blood vessels in the skull, and the seizure is not related to football. He may end up needing brain surgery to repair the AVM. Patterson’s career may not be over, however–Pacers’ G A.J. Price had the same condition and continues to play. He’s expected to be released from the hospital today and then consult with doctors on his next step.
– The Chiefs have signed OLB Tamba Hali to a 5-year/$60M extension, including $35M in guarantees. Hali led the AFC with 14.5 sacks (plus two more in the playoffs) while forcing four fumbles. He emerged as Kansas City’s defensive MVP and one of the most dominant pass rushers in the NFL.
– Cowboys’ LCB Terence Newman (groin) is expected to miss 4-6 weeks after an injury sustained in Wednesday’s practice. Newman hopes to return for the opener. He also missed the start of the 2008 season with a groin injury. The 32-year-old is making $8M this season.
– The Rams have signed RB Cadillac Williams to a 1-year contract. Williams averaged a poor 2.2 YPC through five games as the Bucs’ lead back last season. The Rams are in trouble if RB Stephen Jackson goes down.
– ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports free agent WR Braylon Edwards will visit with the 49ers on Wednesday evening. Braylon excels as a deep threat while QB Alex Smith has one of the game’s weakest arms. Schefter believes the sides may only be looking toward a 1-year deal that would enable Edwards to hit the market again next offseason after finding a soft one this summer. It’s not Edwards’ best destination.
– Lions’ first-round DT Nick Fairley (foot) will miss a “significant portion” of Lions training camp after undergoing surgery on his ailing foot Wednesday and is expected to be out 3-4 weeks. Fairley’s shoulder was the issue heading into the draft, but now there’s no telling how much time the stress fracture might cost him.
– The Cowboys have signed S Abram Elam to a 1-year/$2.5M contract. Elam played strong safety under coordinator Rob Ryan in Cleveland the past two years, and is a major upgrade on Alan Ball, who struggled opposite Sensabaugh last year.
– According to the Indianapolis Star, Colts’ QB Peyton Manning (neck) was running and throwing with “decent velocity” at Colts practice on Wednesday. There’s still no timetable for when Manning might come off the PUP list, but this it’s a sign that he’s getting closer. The Star’s Phillip Wilson expects Manning’s practice participation to ramp up once the Colts break camp, and does not believe he’s in any danger of missing regular season action.
– Free agent RB Tiki Barber worked out for the Dolphins on Tuesday. It’s Barber’s first known workout since the transaction freeze was lifted last week. According to Jay Glazer, “he looked good,” but the Dolphins want to see how RBs Daniel Thomas and Reggie Bush pan out before making a move. Barber will likely start generating more interest once teams get deeper into camp.
– The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the Ravens are in the driver’s seat for free agent WR Malcom Floyd. According to the Tribune’s Kevin Acee, Floyd appears to be “on his way out of town.” The Ravens are reportedly willing to pay Floyd more than the $3M a year the Chargers have said they will not go over.
– Jets’ coach Rex Ryan confirmed that he plans on giving defences “a heavy dose of RB Shonn Greene.” Greene is now the back, as Ryan confirmed that RB LaDainian Tomlinson will play mainly on third downs. Green is expected to receive 300+ touches.
– NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter believes the 2011-12 NBA season will likely be canceled entirely. ”The circumstances have changed among [David Stern's] constituency. We’re $800M apart per year…In the last six or seven years, there is a new group of owners to come in who paid a premium for their franchises, and what they’re doing is kind of holding his feet to the fire.” That’s not good. There is a legitimate possibility that the 2011-12 NBA season will be cancelled. Stay tuned.
– Indians’ OF Shin-Soo Choo (fractured thumb) is scheduled to take batting practice with his Indians teammates Thursday. Choo took 50-60 swings in a cage on Wednesday and reported no issues with his thumb. He’s already aiming to return to the Indians’ starting lineup during a series against the White Sox on August 16-18.
– 1B Matt Stairs has decided to retire. Stairs was released by the Nationals earlier this week after batting just .154/.257/.169 with no home runs and only two RBI in 74 plate appearances. The 43-year-old Canadian will finish with 265 career home runs over 19 major league seasons.
– The October 2011 issue of WWE Magazine teases a possible return for The Undertaker at the October pay-per-view event Vengeance. “On October 23 Vengeance rises from the grave in the form of an all new Pay Per View. What better time and place for The Undertaker to make his return to a WWE ring? After all, it was a year and a day to the date that the Deadman lost a Buried Alive match to Kane with the aid of the Nexus at 2010?s Bragging Rights. The Phenom hasn’t come calling for revenge on that score (some streak got in the way) So if we were Kane or Wade Barrett, we’d watch our backs come October. And if you happen to hear the ominous gong, you’ll know the bell indeed tolls for thee.”
– WWE SummerSlam is less than two weeks away – and only four matches have been announced for the show thus far:
WWE Championship Unification Match
John Cena vs. CM Punk
No Holds Barred Match for the World Heavyweight Title
Christian (c) vs. Randy Orton
WWE Divas Title Match
Kelly Kelly (c) vs. Beth Phoenix
Sheamus vs. Mark Henry (Will be announced on SmackDown)
According to our WWE sources, the following matches are also very likely to appear on the card:
The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio
Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston
Dolph Ziggler vs. Alex Riley
Ezekiel Jackson vs. Cody Rhodes
Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett
– Former WWE Superstar Edge did a media call this week to promote his upcoming appearances on SyFy’s Haven. Here are some highlights of what Edge said about:
Returning To WWE: He doesn’t know if he wants to but hasn’t been contacted by WWE. He feels it’s too soon at this point to return and says he stuck around for a bit after first retiring for the Christian storyline. Edge said he’s not in contact with WWE. He said it’s nothing personal, everyone is just busy. He still keeps in contact with his friends who are on the road.
Appearing At SummerSlam: He will be appearing at SummerSlam Axxess but won’t be appearing on the pay-per-view later that night. He said by the time the pay-per-view is going on, he will be headed back to the hotel to wait on Dolph Ziggler and Christian to have some sushi.
His Acting Career: He’s open to more acting projects in the future but isn’t aggressively pursuing them. He made it clear that he didn’t leave wrestling to go into acting and would still be wrestling if he were able to.
Working For WWE Behind The Scenes: Edge said he’s not sure if he would even consider it, maybe in 5 or 10 years. He talked about being that close to wrestling without actually being able to perform might be something he doesn’t enjoy. He added that the travel of an agent job would probably turn him away and said when he travels, his neck hurts, plus he doesn’t want to wake up in a different city anymore.
CM Punk’s Recent Storyline & Life After Wrestling: He hasn’t been following the CM Punk storyline on RAW but does DVR SmackDown to see the Christian storyline. He said since he can’t wrestle, he feels watching it right now may be “a little funky.” He said he’s trying to step into everyday life and not have wrestling be a part of it all the time. He said he will never be ashamed of Edge and where it got him, but doesn’t want to be Edge 24/7.
Entering The Hall Of Fame One Day: Regarding the WWE Hall of Fame, he said he would not turn down the offer and Christian inducting him would be a no-brainer.
– WWE announced its 2nd quarter financial results on Thursday – including the pay–er-view buyrates for WrestleMania, Extreme Rules, Over The Limit and Capitol Punishment. WWE did a total of 1,598,000 pay-per-view buys in the second quarter of 2011, mostly due to the 1,059,000 buys from WrestleMania 27.
Extreme Rules 2011 did 209,000 buys, up from 182,000 in 2010. Over the Limit 2011 did 140,000 buys, down from 197,000 in 2010. Capitol Punishment 2011 scored 170,000 buys, up from Fatal 4 Way doing 143,000 in 2010.
Comparing the 2011 pay-per-views in this quarter to Q2 2010, if you take WrestleMania 27 out of the equasion, up against the 2010 events, 2011?s 2nd quarter drew 519,000 buys compared to 522,000 in 2010.
– WWE announced financial results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2011:
Revenues totaled $142.6 million as compared to $106.8 million in the prior year quarter. Operating income was $21.0 million as compared to $10.3 million in the prior year quarter. Net income was $14.3 million, or $0.19 per share, as compared to $6.3 million, or $0.08 per share, in the prior year quarter. There were several items that impacted the comparability of our year-over-year results, primarily the timing of our annual WrestleMania® event and a $3.3 million film impairment charge in the current year quarter. Adjusting for these items in both the current and prior year quarters (as described below), adjusted revenues increased 5% to $142.6 million from $135.6 million in the prior year quarter. Adjusted Operating income declined 2% to $22.9 million from $23.4 million in the prior year quarter. Adjusted Net income was $15.5 million, or $0.21 per share, as compared to $15.1 million, or $0.20 per share, in the prior year quarter.
– iMPACT Wrestling’s Eric Bischoff was one of the featured guests on Monday Night Mayhem. Here are some highlights of what Eric Bischoff said about:
Why he does not feel uneasy about the future of iMPACT Wrestling on Spike TV, amidst reports of the network looking to rebrand: “Once again the Internet Wrestling Community has taken ahold of a story that came out a month or two ago about rebranding, and a couple of quotes that were made, and noticed that TNA wasn’t prominently featured in that story, and jumped to conclusions. The truth is iMPACT (Wrestling) is the highest-rated show on Spike TV. iMPACT has been, over the past year, averaging the largest audience that it ever has in the history of the company. The audience is growing unlike other networks & television shows that have very short life cycles and that peak & valley very quickly. 2011 looks like it’s going to be the best year ever for iMPACT. I think the folks at Spike TV are pretty excited about it quite frankly, and I haven’t or heard anything that makes me nervous.”
If he believes an effective relationship between TNA & the world of MMA should develop in the near future for the benefit of both entities: “Could it happen? Maybe. Should it happen? I don’t think so. MMA is a sport. It’s a legitimate sport. Professional wrestling is an entertainment property, and the similarities kind of end once you get past that they operate in a Pay-Per-View environment and in an arena environment. Anybody that operates under the assumption that there’s some really cool synergy between MMA & professional wrestling, it’s their opinion, but I don’t share it.
Whether or not he has given any thought on returning to commentating: “Actually I have. Not on a regular basis, Mike Tenay is doing a wonderful job. I enjoy commentating. Play-by-play is one of the toughest jobs in the industry. The list of things for you to accomplish & maintain during the course of a broadcast, all while you are creating a story, and calling action, and making things seem larger than life; it’s very difficult job. I miss getting immersed in the story, and the energy, and getting caught up in the moment. It’s at those moments you forget what you’re doing, and you get caught up in the excitement & energy of that, and you do your best work. I miss that