NFL roundup: Dolphins accept HBO invitation to be on "Hard Knocks"

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

HBO's annual training camp documentary series finally found a willing subject -- the Miami Dolphins.
The team announced it will be featured beginning in August, with the first episode to air Aug. 7 at 10 p.m. ET. Several teams passed on the series, including the Jets, Broncos, Redskins, Colts, Falcons and Seahawks.
The decision, according to first-year Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, did not involve owner Stephen Ross and was made by GM Jeff Ireland and the coaching staff.
"We are excited that the premier company in sports filmmaking history, NFL FILMS, and HBO Sports have chosen the Miami Dolphins to appear on their award-winning series Hard Knocks," Philbin said. "We are looking forward to connecting with our many fans across the country as the program chronicles our 2012 training camp. The series will highlight the outstanding men who comprise our team and represent our organization admirably, both on and off the field, as they compete for a coveted position on our roster.
"All the decisions that have been made this off-season have had one guiding principle -- will it help our players and organization reach its full potential? "
Meanwhile, Philbin offered no comment on two players missing from Tuesday's workout -- running back Reggie Bush and quarterback David Garrard. Garrard reportedly missed the session because of issues related to the tropical storm that swept through the area over the weekend.

---Sam Bradford restructured his rookie contract to soften the cap charge for the Rams over the final two years of his deal, Aaron Wilson of reported.
Bradford can earn $48 million over the remaining four years of the contract, including $20 million in guaranteed money, with his salary cap figure escalating to $16.6 million in the final year of the deal in 2015.
Bradford is guaranteed $14 million over the next two seasons. He received a $6 million roster bonus on May 11.
Per Wilson's source, the final two years of the deal aren't guaranteed -- $14 million base salary in 2014 and $13 million in 2015.

---Wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez was released by the Patriots.
New England has a bevvy of options at the position, including the team's top three holdovers from the 2011 roster -- Wes Welker, Deion Branch and Chad Ochocinco -- and veterans Brandon Lloyd and Jabar Gaffney, who signed as free agents.
Gonzalez signed March 17 after injuries contributed to him sliding out of the Colts' plans.

---The Patriots signed rookie cornerback Alfonzo Dennard to a four-year contract. The seventh-round pick was the 224th overall selection in the 2012 draft.
Veteran offensive lineman Jamey Richard, 27, also signed with the Patriots. Richard can play guard and center. He was a seventh-round pick of the Colts in 2008.

---Wide receiver Donald Driver expects to return to the Packers for another season or two.
Driver, 37, missed the first two portions of the team's offseason program while competing on "Dancing With the Stars," which he won, but could be back with the Packers as early as this week, according to
The 37-year-old Driver is due $2.6 million in base salary in 2012 to go along with $2.2 million in roster bonuses and a $200,000 workout bonus. He'll have to accept a pay cut, but agent Jordan Woy told the web site that he has been working on a restructured deal with the Packers.

---Offensive tackle Jonathan Martin officially signed with the Dolphins. The four-year, $4.9875 million deal was originally reported May 22.
The 42nd overall pick out of Stanford, Martin was a three-year starter and a finalist for the Lombardi Trophy last year.

---The Colts signed veteran offensive tackle George Foster, a former first round (20th overall) draft selection of the Broncos.
Foster (6-5, 338) started at left and right tackle at Georgia but is regarded as a right tackle in the NFL.
To make room for Foster on the 90-man roster, the Colts released fullback Ryan Mahaffey.

---The Steelers signed third-round pick Sean Spence, leaving only first-rounder David DeCastro unsigned of the franchise's 2012 draft picks.
Spence, a speedy linebacker who most teams projected to the weak side in the NFL because of his relatively small frame, is listed as the top backup to Lawrence Timmons and Larry Foote at inside linebacker in the Steelers' 3-4 scheme.

---The Jaguars signed second-round draft pick Andre Branch to a four-year contract.
Branch, the 38th overall pick in the draft, was the first of Jacksonville's six draft picks to sign a contract.

---The Jets added a pair of veteran tackles in Stephon Heyer and Ray Willis to provide depth along the offensive line.
Heyer was signed by the Redskins as an undrafted rookie in 2007 and went on to start 33 games for Washington. He started two of 12 games he appeared in for Oakland last season.
Willis was a fourth-round pick by the Seahawks in 2005 out of Florida State. He started 26 of 49 games in six seasons in Seattle. After spending 2010 on injured reserve, he was on the Saints' roster for two weeks last season.

---Running back Jamaal Charles hasn't been cleared to return to on-field work with the Chiefs, but said he's excited by what he sees from new coordinator Brian Daboll's offense.
"I love the offense," Charles said. "It's more like zone and stretch plays, and more outside for me."
The players who did take the field for the Chiefs' OTA on Tuesday included Charles' new backfield mate, Peyton Hillis.

---Denver Broncos defensive lineman 1st Lt. Ben Garland will be officially sworn-in as a member of the 140th Wing of the Colorado Air National Guard on Wednesday.
Garland, who was signed by the Broncos as a college free agent in 2010 from the U.S. Air Force Academy, spent the last two years on the club's military reserve list.

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