Steve Smith denies calling Clausen a “punk”

Last week, reported that Panthers’ rookie Jimmy Clausen had already “pissed off multiple receivers” during a recent mini-camp and also claimed that Steve Smith “basically thinks Jimmy is a punk.”

Today, Charlotte Observer writer Charles Chandler denied the rumors cooked up by the hit-or-miss

Earlier today, Smith strongly denied having a problem with Clausen.

There was also a mention in the aforementiond item that Carolina tight ends were upset at Clausen for yelling at them. The most vivid memories I have of Clausen from minicamp were two passes he threw in red zone drills through traffic for touchdowns to tight ends Jeff King and Gary Barnidge. Both of those guys looked extremely happy. King even spiked the ball through his legs in a much more expressive gesture than he normally does.

A lot of people love because of its rumor mill section. But the problem that I have always had with the site is that it rarely, if ever, cites its sources. So you don’t know whether or not the rumor is coming from a general manager, the team janitor or Mike Florio’s neighbor. is standing by its story, but I’m more apt to believe Chandler, who covers the Panthers for a respectable news outlet and who was actually in attendance during the mini-camp. Plus, as Chandler notes in his report, Smith isn’t the type to hide his feelings. He’s a fiery guy who wears his emotions on his sleeve, so if he did have a problem with Clausen, the whole world would probably know about it by now.

As usual when it comes to a rumor by, this story is probably much ado about nothing.

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Chiefs to take Clausen in Round 2?

The buzz heading into Round 2 of the NFL draft seems to be centered around the Chiefs possibly moving up to take Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, offensive coordinator Charlie Weis will spend tonight trying to convince the rest of Kansas City’s staff to take his former QB when the draft resumes at 6:30PM ET.

This news might be surprising to some, seeing as how the Chiefs committed a six-year, $63 million contract to Matt Cassel last season. But the feeling in Kansas City is that 2010 will be a make or break season for the 27-year-old Cassel, who struggled running Todd Haley’s offense last year.

Weis had a fair amount of success (at least statistically) with Clausen at Notre Dame, as the QB racked up 3,722 yards, 28 touchdowns and just four interceptions last season. If anything, Clausen could provide insurance in case Cassel struggles again.

The problem, however, is that GM Scott Pioli has already stated that the Chiefs aren’t in the market for a quarterback. And when the team is on the clock in the second round, it’ll be Pioli and not Weis that makes the final decision. Plus, let’s not forget that it was Pioli that orchestrated the trade to acquire Cassel from New England, so he’s going to give the former Patriot every opportunity to succeed before throwing another quarterback into the mix.

Schefter is always reliable with his information, so we’ll see what transpires tonight when Kansas City is on the clock.

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Are the Redskins still in the market for a QB at No. 4?

The Redskins are trying hard to convince teams that they plan on taking a quarterback with the No. 4 overall pick in next week’s draft, says But with Donovan McNabb on the roster, that’s going to be a tough sell for Washington.

After acquiring McNabb, the Redskins’ biggest need became offensive tackle. (If you want to get technical, offensive tackle has always been their biggest need.) And with Russell Okung, Trent Williams, Bryan Bulaga and Anthony Davis all receiving first round grades, Washington will have plenty to choose from as long as it stays within the first 10-12 picks.

The hope for the Redskins is that some team is in love with Jimmy Clausen and wants him bad enough to trade up to the No. 4 spot to get him. It would be an ideal situation for Washington if it could trade down and still wind up selecting one of the top tackles, all while acquiring more draft picks in the process. Of course, if they miss out on taking one of the four tackles mentioned above, guys like Vladimir Ducasse and Bruce Campbell (two players with late first round, early second round grades) should still be available depending on how far the Redskins trade back.

Presumably, the Raiders, Bills and Jaguars would all be interested in Clausen. But whether or not any of them would be willing to trade up to get him is the question. The Raiders hold the eighth overall pick, while the Bills have the ninth and the Jags have the 10th. Unless the Browns surprise everyone and snag him at No. 7, Clausen should be there for the Raiders at No. 8 and they don’t have to trade up to get him. Of course, that’s where the gamble comes in, because either the Bills or the Jaguars could trade up to No. 4 in order to get ahead of Oakland.

If the Redskins can’t find a trade partner, then they’re not fooling anybody by saying they intend to draft a quarterback with the fourth pick. They’re currently trying to sign McNabb to an extension and therefore, taking Clausen at No. 4 would be a waste.

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Redskins, Jaguars among teams that could be interested in Jimmy Clausen

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Jaguars and Redskins have each scheduled private workouts in South Bend with Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen. Washington holds the fourth overall pick in April’s draft, while Jacksonville has the 10th.

It’s no secret that Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder would rather cut off one of his ears than watch Jason Campbell take another snap under center in Washington, while Jaguars’ head coach Jack Del Rio went as far as to say that David Garrard wasn’t a “Super Bowl-caliber” quarterback in early February. Needless to say, both teams would like to upgrade their quarterback situation sometime in the near future.

What the Redskins do at No. 4 may ultimately depend on what the Rams and Lions do at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. If the Rams draft Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh, then Sam Bradford will be available for the Redskins at No. 4. If St. Louis takes Bradford, then Clausen will definitely slip to No. 4. If the Lions pass on offensive tackle Russell Okung at No. 2, then it may come down to Okung and Clausen for the Redskins.

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