The NFL notebook …
SPARTANBURG, S.C. ó Training camp used to be a chore for Jake Delhomme.
The chronic pain in the quarterback’s right elbow meant it took a long time to warm up before every Carolina Panthers practice. Then he’d have to ice the elbow after almost every workout.
After his first training camp practice Saturday following reconstructive surgery, Delhomme’s routine changed.
“The last few years after the first practice I iced right away,” Delhomme said. “Now that you brought it up, that’s the first time I’ve thought about it. I just walked past the trainer. I didn’t even think going and putting ice on my arm.”
The Panthers plan to limit the number of throws Delhomme makes each day, but he’s not expected to sit out any workouts.
Delhomme underwent Tommy John surgery last fall to replace a ligament in his elbow after he was injured in Week 3 last season. His rehabilitation has gone according to plan, and Delhomme is enjoying being pain-free.
“I will ice, there’s no doubt. But that’s more just trying to stay ahead of the game,” Delhomme said. “We’ll see. Things went well this morning.”
There was no way Jeff Otah was going to miss any practice time in a contract dispute.
The Panthers rookie tackle, taken with the 19th pick in the draft, told agent Eric Metz Friday to make sure he got a deal done. They then agreed late Friday on a five-year, $14 million contract that includes $8.9 million in guaranteed money.
“Just wrap it up, let’s go. Just take what they give me,” Otah said he told his agent. “I’m happy that I’m situated and I don’t have to hold out and I’m here with my teammates getting better and help us win.”
The 6-foot-6, 330-pound Otah began his first NFL practice as Carolina’s starting right tackle.
TITANSNASHVILLE, Tenn. ó Chris Johnson got an early phone call Saturday morning, then hopped onto a plane from Orlando to Tennessee. He made it in time to sign his new five-year contract and got onto the field for his first training camp practice.
Johnson missed the first practice of training camp on Friday, but the team announced Saturday morning that they had agreed on a deal with the running back out of East Carolina who was the 24th pick overall in the draft. Considered the fastest player available in the draft, Johnson was timed at 4.24 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
Johnson’s deal is worth approximately $12 million. Asked what he would do with his bonus money, Johnson said he didn’t know yet. But he already had spent $5,000 ó the price of switching from jersey No. 29 to No. 28 with cornerback Chris Carr.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. ó While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers still aren’t acknowledging interest in Brett Favre, coach Jon Gruden said little to dispel the notion on the first day of training camp.
The Bucs practiced twice at Disney World amid speculation Saturday that they and the New York Jets have emerged as possible destinations if the 38-year-old retired quarterback applies for reinstatement to the NFL, and the Packers can work out a deal to trade him.
CHIEFSRIVER FALLS, Wis. ó Glenn Dorsey walked up and shook hands with the man who’d just made him rich.
“I promise I’ll work hard,” said the big defensive tackle, towering over Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt.
After a brief contract holdout that essentially cost him only one practice, Dorsey signed a five-year, $51 million deal Saturday morning that includes an option year and more than $22 million in guaranteed money for the 300-pound All-American from LSU.
BILLSPITTSFORD, N.Y. ó First-round pick Leodis McKelvin signed a five-year contract potentially worth $19.4 million with the Buffalo Bills on Saturday.