Those who can’t wait for the three-day April extravaganza that is the NFL draft will soon have to wait a little longer. It’s about to become a three-day May extravaganza.
ESPN, citing league and union sources, reported Monday the league and the Players Association are going to move the draft back a few weeks while moving up the start of the league year to before the Indianapolis scouting combine.
The change of the draft to May would start next year. The new league year would start before the combine in 2015 and 2016, a source said.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell can set the date of the draft without the NFLPA’s approval, although he would prefer to have the union on board with the change.
Charles Woodson will receive quite a greeting from Raiders fans when he makes a free agent visit to the team’s facilities on Tuesday.
A few of his potential teammates in Oakland will give him a warm reception as well.
Woodson spent his first eight NFL seasons with the Raiders after being selected with the fourth overall pick in 1998. He signed with the Packers following the 2005 season and helped the Packers win a Super Bowl title five years later before being released by the team in February.
Several Oakland fans began an online campaign via Facebook and Twitter asking others to gather at the Raiders facility in anticipation of Woodson’s arrival.
Williams clears air
Bills defensive end Mario Williams denies ever contemplating suicide, and said private comments he made in text messages are being taken out of context by his ex-fiancee in a lawsuit over the possession of a $785,000 diamond engagement ring.
Calling himself ‘‘completely fine,’’ Williams said he was ‘‘venting’’ his feelings to someone he thought he trusted.
Williams spoke after practice Monday, in his first chance to respond since Erin Marzouki’s attorney released a series of texts the two exchanged in November. The texts portray Williams as being despondent over their breakup.
In one text, Williams writes: ‘‘No money in the world should leave me with suicidal thoughts.’’
Williams said he wrote that out of anger. He adds the decision to release the texts reveal Marzouki’s true character.
Gag order for Te’o
The Chargers are keeping Manti Te’o off-limits to the media — for now. The star linebacker was barred from speaking with reporters at the Chargers’ second open session of organized team activities. That doesn’t mean Te’o isn’t out and about. Maxim confirmed Monday that Te’o attended a party last week in Hollywood after the magazine included his fake girlfriend on its list of the world’s hottest women. Rookie coach Mike McCoy says he didn’t know Te’o went to the party. Te’o was part of a girlfriend hoax that drew national headlines . . . Calvin Johnson is downplaying whatever was wrong with his fingers last year. The Lions star receiver caught 122 passes for an NFL-record 1,964 yards last season, putting up incredible numbers despite the fact that the rest of the offense was inconsistent. The Lions went 4-12, but after signing Reggie Bush in the offseason, they hope Johnson will have a little more help this year. Johnson met with reporters Monday. He was coy when asked how badly his fingers were hurt last year, saying he ‘‘had a couple injuries to them’’ — but nothing that affected his play much . . . The Bears terminated the contract of vested veteran defensive tackle Andre Fluellen. The 6-foot-2-inch, 302-pound Fluellen has played in 56 games with six starts over five seasons with Detroit and Miami.
Rice’s guns stolen
Police said the Maryland home of Ravens running back Ray Rice was burglarized over the weekend, and $2,000 and two guns were stolen. Baltimore County police spokeswoman Cathleen Batton said Monday that the burglary happened between 8:30 p.m. Friday and 12:50 a.m. Saturday at the home in Reisterstow. Batton said Rice was out of town for the weekend, but a friend was staying at the home and reported the burglary to police. Batton said the burglar apparently forced his way in through a rear window and ransacked portions of the home. Batton said surveillance video shows the burglar . . . Former Patriots receiver Chad Johnson has been arrested in Fort Lauderdale on charges that he violated probation stemming from an altercation with his now ex-wife, TV reality star Evelyn Lozada. Johnson was jailed Monday morning by a Broward County judge and later released after posting $1,000 bail. Another hearing was set for June 3. An arrest warrant was issued this month when Johnson failed to meet his probation officer.