– “Everyone…and I mean just about everyone” CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman talks to in the NFL believes Colts’ QB Peyton Manning will sign with the Redskins if/when he reaches free agency. This comes after a report that two people close to Manning believe it’s “very likely” he will end up with the Redskins. The Skins and Dolphins are known to be the two heaviest pursuers, and the Skins have room under the cap to sign Manning. Stay tuned.
– The Jets triggered another $7.5M in guarantees for WR Santonio Holmes by keeping him on the roster the second day after the start of the 2012 league year waiver system. The Jets had to place Holmes on waivers by Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. to avoid $15.25M in total guarantees over the next two years. Holmes’ locker room issues and rocky relationship with QB Mark Sanchez spells disaster.
– NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora doesn’t see “any way” free agent WR Vincent Jackson returns to the Chargers. The Union-Tribune San Diego has reported the Chargers don’t plan to use the franchise tag on V-Jax. The sides are open to a long-term deal, but Jackson is set to break the bank on the open market. “There’s too many teams in need of a wide receiver. Somebody’s going to give him big bucks.” LaCanfora lists the 49ers, Rams, and Bucs as three potential landing spots.
– According to NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora, the Redskins are “fully expected” to use the franchise tag on free agent TE Fred Davis. LaCanfora, a former Redskins beat reporter, cites “numerous people in the organization.” The franchise tag for tight ends is projected to be roughly $5.5M, and the Redskins “for a change” have plenty of salary cap room. Davis, 26, was the Skins’ only consistent offensive playmaker in 2011. He’s is in danger of a year-long suspension with his next positive drug test.
– 49ers’ coach Jim Harbaugh insists that the organization is behind free agent QB Alex Smith as the team’s preferred quarterback. ”We’re all in lockstep as an organization that Alex Smith is our guy. It’s well-documented. You saw the way he played this year. (He is a) tremendous leader on our football team.” Harbaugh will officially open the QB job to competition after re-signing Smith. QB Colin Kaepernick isn’t a realistic threat to become starter for Week 1.
– Joel Sherman of the NY Post reports that the Yankees are still quietly shopping RHP A.J. Burnett. The Yankees would prefer to sign DH Eric Chavez and one left-handed DH-type (either Raul Ibanez, Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui), but Sherman reports that they would likely need to expand their budget in order to do–unless they move Burnett, which would add payroll flexibility. The Yanks are reportedly only willing to eat $8M of the $33M left on Burnett’s contract as part of a trade, but will need to do more than that if they’re serious about trading him.
– OF Emilio Bonifacio won his arbitration hearing against the Marlins and was awarded a $2.2M salary for 2012. Bonifacio requested a salary of $2.2M and was offered $1.95M from the Marlins when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. The 26-year-old was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter after batting .296/.360/.393 with five home runs, 36 RBI, 40 stolen bases and a .753 OPS last season.
– Marlins’ president David Samson told Jayson Stark of ESPN.com that they could make an offer to Cuban OF Yoenis Cespedes on Wednesday. Cespedes traveled to Miami on Tuesday and is expected to meet with the Marlins on Wednesday. Samson said, “I don’t know how tomorrow will go. But it would not surprise me if it ended with an offer.” The Cubs, White Sox, Orioles and Tigers are also believed to have serious interest, but it’s not known if Cespedes will meet with any other clubs while he’s visiting the United States.
– Christian has been advertised for a match against Sheamus this weekend at WWE’s SmackDown live event from the Cow Palace in San Francisco. The Cow Palace’s preview has since been updated, with Alberto Del Rio now scheduled to face Sheamus in a special “RAW vs. SmackDown Challenge match.” Del Rio is also advertised for Sunday’s SmackDown live event from Bakersfield, California. As for Christian, it’s unclear whether he’ll be returning to action this weekend, but multiple sources have confirmed he’s ready to return.
– Shawn Michaels was asked on Twitter if he knows of any WWE superstars that could get a career boost by having them end The Undertaker’s streak. Michaels, who tried twice to end the streak, responded, “I do not.”
– WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross has updated his blog, which you can read in its entirety over at JRsBarBQ.com.Here are some highlights of what JR wrote about:
New Projects In The Works: “The King and I spent about 2+ hours working on a new project that we will continue to work on over the next month or so. More info on it when the time is right.”
“I also worked on a new, DVD project, unaware of the release date, on the Top 50 Finishing Moves in Wrestling on Monday. That should be an interesting DVD and as is customary with ‘lists’ or ‘top ten’s, etc” it will likely be controversial to some fans. Nonetheless I had fun doing it and it brought back some cool memories.”
Whether He’d Like To Buy TNA: “Lord, no. I have no desire, or the funding, to attempt to manage or own any wrestling company at this stage of my life. There are too many headaches and I’m not into sports psychology or managing a day care center for wrestlers.
Does He Hate TNA? “Hell, no. Why would I hate TNA? That makes no sense. It provides fans with more product to enjoy and more importantly, to me, provides wrestlers with another place to live their dream and earn a living. Same goes for ROH or any other promotion. The healthier those companies are the better it is for the overall genre. Any one who thinks that I ‘hate’ other wrestling organizations is 100% Pet Coon Goofy.”
Will Jeff Hardy Ever Return To WWE? “I have no way of answering that question other than to speculate that answer would be a ‘not likely.’ I have no way of knowing if Jeff would even be interested or if WWE would be interested. If Jeff is happy in TNA, then my suggestion to him as a friend would be to enjoy the ride and save your cash.”
– Former WWE developmental wrestler Peter Orlov (Alex Koslov) confirmed his WWE release on Twitter:
“It is true. I have been granted free agent-ism. John (Laurinaitis) confused me when he used a variation of his infamous ‘future endeavored” line.”
– During an interview with Moviefone.com to promote his new movie Journey 2, The Rock spoke about a number of wrestling-related topics. Here are some highlights of what The Rock said about:
Finding Time To Train For WrestleMania While Shooting Movies: “You fit it in, that’s what you do. I make sure there’s a ring on location with me, anywhere that I shoot. I had a ring down in New Orleans, when I was preparing for the Madison Square Garden event. I have a ring down in Florida, a ring down in Louisiana; there’s always a ring close by. In order to prep for WrestleMania, it’s a lengthy training camp that requires daily work inside the ring because you can’t simulate the physicality of professional wrestling.”
Whether John Cena Is In Trouble At WrestleMania: “The only trouble he’s going to have is removing my size 15 boot from his ladyparts.”
Being Excited About Returning To WWE: “That’s right — I’m excited about all the projects you just mentioned. I’m excited about WrestleMania; to be able to go back, team up with Vince [McMahon] and make a big vision like that come to life and create the biggest match-up of all time is very special to me. There’s countless matches that have moved me and inspired me, and we’re going to do something very special down in Miami, my hometown, sold-out Sun Life Stadium. Boots to John Cena’s ass.”
What It Would Take To Get Him Into Politics: “Right now the best way that I can impact the world is through entertainment. One day, and that day will come, I can impact the world through politics. The great news is that I am American, therefore I can become President. But don’t forget: I am G.I. Joe.”
The Associated Press has issued a negative review of The Rock’s new movie Journey 2. AP movie writer David Germain wrote the following about The Rock’s performance:
“[Journey 2] lacks the likable goof factor of Brendan Fraser, who starred in the first movie but isn’t back for the second. Dwayne Johnson steps in this time, and while he tries to yuck it up amid the nonstop action, he’s just not a goofball on the order of Fraser, who somehow can make extreme silliness palatable with that big, simpering grin of his. Johnson, on the other hand, merely simpers.”
“Johnson stars as ex-Navy guy Hank, stepfather to troublesome teenager Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson, reprising his role from the first “Journey”).”
“Size matters to the filmmakers here, which might be why they signed up Johnson, a co-producer as well as star, who strains for some laughs with an overdone gag about his massive pectoral muscles.”
Overall, the reviewer said the film is hampered by weak dialog and over-the-top gimmicky 3D effects. “If only the movie had the hint of a brain.”
– Wrestling legend Jake “The Snake” Roberts was a guest on Wrestling Voice Radio this week and spoke about a number of topics, including the WWE Hall of Fame, today’s wrestlers having their promos scripted out for them and more. Here are some highlights of what Jake said about:
What a WWE Hall Of Fame Induction Would Mean To Him: “A lot. A lot, because I did make a lot of mistakes in my career but if they would acknowledge what I did and what I accomplished by putting me in there, it would be something I could give to my Grandchildren, for everything I did right, I know I belong in there, a lot more than others that are in there but I don’t care about that, the WWE was very good to me. I didn’t understand a lot of things, I was not a good business man. Vince would call me say we need an idea for this and I’d give him an idea and we’d just rock and roll with it, I didn’t know I’d to go in there and fight for my money and my place and the bottom line is the squeaky wheel gets the grease and I should of recognized that. I should have done the right thing and been squeaky.”
Whether he Thought Steve Austin’s “Austin 3:16? Promo Would Take Off Like It Did: “Oh absolutely, I told Vince from the get-go that Steve was going to be his next super-superstar and Vince said he’d ‘never be better than third or fourth match’ and I said ‘Vince, it will take him longer to get over, but once he gets over he will get so far above everybody else, you will not believe it!’, and what happened?”
Whether Scripted Promos are Good or Bad: “Nobody knows my character like me, but the problem today is these guys don’t have any characters, they don’t know what they are, hell, they all do the same damn thing and nobodies selling anything. Never say anything and not do it, because you’ll destroy your own credibility, most important thing about that is if you ever destroy your credibility to a fan he will never believe you again, today they’re going out there and doing all this crap nobody sells anything in the ring, and the reason is these guys have not learned they’re trait. In my day you had to progress, you had evolve, to change to keep your job, there’s a little initiative to get you going and that’s the difference.”
– Former WWE wrestler Batista (Dave Bautista) has signed on to star in the third installment of the Riddick film series. The movie also stars Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, Jordi Mollà, Matt Nable and Katee Sackhoff. The film was delayed at one point due to financial issues but Universal Studios announced that principal photography has begun. Batista is said to have a major role in the movie, which will mark his highest-profile project to date. Batista recently wrapped production on Russell Crowe’s latest film, Man With the Iron Fists, which is the directorial debut of hip-hop artist RZA of the Wu Tang Clan.