Whispers from around the NFL

Updated: January 3, 2005, 5:44 PM ET
Pro Football Weekly
  • With Dennis Green expected to give his position over to second-year pro Gerald Hayes in 2005, don't be surprised if veteran Cardinals LB Ronald McKinnon isn't back next season.
  • According to a source close to the Ravens, there are rumblings the team could switch to a 4-3 defense next season.
  • We hear Niners management and head coach Dennis Erickson could possibly avoid a testy stalemate regarding Erickson's coaching staff, with some of the head coach's older assistants simply agreeing to retire. We also were hearing growing rumors at presstime that the Niners could switch gears and consider firing GM Terry Donahue -- despite his four-year contract extension before the season -- rather than Erickson, who would be a lot more expensive to dump.

  • QB Kurt Warner, who believes he can still start in the NFL, has told the New York media that he will not return to the Giants next season, and reports already have come out as to where he might end up. As of now, Chicago, Miami and Dallas have been mentioned most often.

  • Although his health is a bit of a concern going forward, we're told the Saints would be inclined toward keeping TE Ernie Conwell in the mix next season because he is a solid presence in the locker room.
  • Falcons DT Rod Coleman believes his team relaxed too much in a Week 16 loss to the Saints and has vowed not to allow his team to lose focus like that again.
  • We're told the Panthers would be thrilled if WR Ricky Proehl decides to come back for the final season of his contract, even as rumors of his retirement swirl.
  • Panthers RB Stephen Davis has vowed to return to the field for Carolina next season, but we hear there isn't any clear picture of when he might be ready to go full speed.
  • Although you might think the Buccaneers were prepared to just float through their Week 17 game vs. the Cardinals with an eye on not getting hurt because they had nothing to play for, we hear that DE Simeon Rice, RB Michael Pittman and S Dexter Jackson -- all former Cardinals -- kept the intensity high all week.
  • Word from New York is that the Jets are close to negotiating a contract extension with the agent of DT Jason Ferguson, who is due to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.