Weaver Believes Deal Near; Teams Talk QBs at Combine

The Rams are denying rumors that they are trying to acquire Michael Vick. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

Eagles fullback Leonard Weaver told your Eagletarian Saturday, "I believe it's close," when asked about a new deal with the Eagles. Weaver could be a restricted free agent on Friday, if no new pact is signed. In any case, the Eagles are very unlikely to let him get away.

 St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo spoke to reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine this morning, talking in general terms about his team's quarterbacking situation. Starter Marc Bulger is not expected to return, and the Rams hold the first overall pick in the draft.

Spagnuolo, the former Eagles defensive assistant, reiterated what GM Bill Devaney said the day before -- that he has not spoken to the Eagles about Michael Vick. Anticipating that reaction, the question actually was "given your close relationship with the Eagles, do you foresee talking to them about what they plan to do with Michael Vick?" That question remains unanswered.

The Eagles probably have to pick up a $1.5 million bonus due Vick March 5 before anybody offers them much of anything for the former Pro Bowl quarterback.

Spagnuolo was asked a lot about the risks and rewards of drafting a quarterback with that precious first overall pick. He said that in general, when you look for a QB you look for "those leadership type of guys ... guys that can get the job done in the pinch."

The idea of drafting a QB and starting him next season -- when the Rams are unlikely to be real good -- did not seem to appeal to Spagnuolo, which might be a point in favor of trading for Vick.

After saying that "every quarterback is different," Spagnuolo allowed that "it's kind of smart to ease those guys into it ... it depends on the person."

Later Saturday, Arizona Cardinals general manager Rod Graves and head coach Ken Whisenhunt made appearances in the press room at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Both were asked about the team’s quarterback situation in the wake of Kurt Warner’s retirement. Shockingly, neither of them said they’re having conversations with the Eagles about a trade for Donovan McNabb. But both said they aren’t necessarily going to hand the job to Matt Leinart either.

At the moment, Leinart is the only quarterback the Cardinals have under contract.
Whisenhunt: (will Leinart definitely be your starting quarterback in 2010?) ``I think everybody on this team knows they have to play and play well to keep their position. It’s hard to say Matt has to earn it right now, because he’s the only quarterback on our roster. There’s no secret we have to address that. We have to get more depth at that position.

``Matt understands the sense of urgency with that position. I don’t think there’s any secret about that. He’s been with us for three years now. He’s worked very hard to improve his game. I think we’re all excited about where that goes this year. He does have the pedigree of having had success (at USC). He’s a good football player. That’s why he was drafted where he was drafted. It’s just, when you get into a situation like he did, playing behind a quarterback like Kurt and the level he was playing at, it’s tough. But (Packers quarterback) Aaron Rodgers certainly has seemed to respond to that very well after being behind Brett Favre. We’re obviously hoping for a lot of the similar things to happen.’’

(Do you have a profile of the kind of quarterback you want to bring in to compete with or back up Leinart? A career backup? A veteran with starting experience who will compete with Leinart for starting job?)

``We’ll see what’s available out there. But I wouldn’t rule out either one. I mean, I wouldn’t rule out bringing a young guy in to compete or a veteran guy that’s played to come in and compete for that spot. That’s what we’ve done with our football team. We’ve had competition at every spot. That’s what’s made us better and that’s what we’ll continue to do. I don’t think Matt’s scared of that whatsoever. He’s excited about where he is and leading our football team and being a good quarterback in the NFL.’’

Graves: (his team’s quarterback situation):

``Obviously, we have Matt Leinart and right now, he’s the only quarterback we have under contract. We’re looking for ways to bolster that position. We feel you’ve got to have two quality players at that position. So we’re looking at how we can satisfy that in both the free agent market and the draft.
``But we feel confident, at least I do, about what Matt Leinart’s prospects are for this season. I know he’s worked tremendously hard. We’re feeling that we’ll be able to get the job done with him. At least I’m very hopeful of that. And we’ll see if we can get him some help as well.’’