Notes: Top prospect Star Lotulelei has heart issue

Star Lotulelei
ESPN first reported on Sunday that Star Lotulelei has a left ventricle that is not operating at maximum capacity.

Top draft prospect Star Lotulelei will undergo more extensive heart tests when he returns to Utah.

Doctors at the NFL’s scouting combine in Indianapolis found the star defensive tackle and likely high pick has a heart condition, Lotulelei’s agent, Bruce Tollner, confirmed Monday.

Tollner said Lotulelei would not take questions regarding the diagnosis yet. But the 6-foot-2-inch, 311-pound defensive tackle still plans to do a full workout in front of scouts at his regularly scheduled Pro Day on March 20. Lotulelei was scheduled to fly to Utah on Monday night, Tollner said.

ESPN first reported on Sunday that Lotulelei has a left ventricle that is not operating at maximum capacity.

Lotulelei’s professional future could depend heavily on what doctors find. The Utah standout is Scouts, Inc.’s top-rated prospect. He is trying to join Alex Smith as the only players from the University of Utah to go No. 1 overall; San Francisco took Smith with the top pick in 2005.

Teo’s time does not impress

Manti Te’o’s first appearance on a football field since the BCS championship game didn’t go as well as planned.

The Notre Dame star linebacker and Heisman Trophy runner-up was clocked at 4.82 seconds in the 40-yard dash. NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock had said Sunday anything faster than 4.7 would be ‘‘phenomenal.’’ Anything 4.8 or over would be a ‘‘concern.’’

The workout comes more than a month after Te’o’s highly publicized online romance with a girlfriend was exposed as a hoax and that Te’o was a victim of the hoax.

Eagles cut veteran linemen

The Eagles released veteran defensive tackles Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson.

Jenkins signed a five-year, $30 million contract with the Eagles in 2011 and started every game the last two seasons. He was due to make $5.5 million this season, but rebuilding Philadelphia cut the 32-year-old.

Patterson, the team’s longest-tenured player, spent eight seasons with the Eagles. A first-round draft pick in 2005 out of Southern California, the 29-year-old Patterson played in 115 games with 99 starts, making 551 tackles and 16½ sacks.

Redskins seek more cap space

The Redskins have put contract negotiations with some of their players on hold, telling agents and players they remain hopeful they can recoup some of the salary cap space that was cut by the NFL last year, according to several people familiar with the situation.

Redskins officials have told those agents and players that they cannot negotiate in earnest until the salary cap matter is resolved. The players include some eligible for free agency in March and others who face the possibility of release unless their contracts are reworked, those people said.

The NFL’s free agent market is scheduled to open on March 12. That is also when teams must be in compliance with the salary cap, which is estimated to be $121 million to $122 million per club for the 2013 season.


Washington would have considerably less to spend if the salary cap cut remains in place, as several people familiar with the situation continue to expect. In 2013, the Redskins are scheduled to absorb the remaining $18 million of a $36 million reduction over two years that was imposed on them by the league, with the consent of the NFL Players Association, last March. The cut is a penalty for the way the team structured some player contracts in 2010, when there was no salary cap.

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The Redskins and Cowboys, who lost $10 million in cap space over two years, challenged the penalties in arbitration last year but their case was dismissed. A federal judge has twice rejected a collusion complaint by the players’ union that accuses the NFL and teams of operating with a secret salary cap in the uncapped year.

49ers eye trade of QB Smith

San Francisco is feeling good about the prospects of trading former starting quarterback Alex Smith, league sources told Smith lost his job to Colin Kaepernick while out with a concussion. Sources say Kansas City and Arizona have shown interest in Smith . . . Oakland is hoping to restructure quarterback Carson Palmer’s contract, league sources told Palmer, who threw for 4,018 yards with 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last season, was traded from Cincinnati for two high draft picks in 2011.