May 2005 - Football Wiretap
Bears Sign RB Antonieo Harris To Two-Year Contract
The Bears signed running back Antoineo Harris to a two-year contract Tuesday. Harris participated in the Bears recent mini-camp on a tryout basis. The University of Illinois product last appeared on an NFL roster with the San Diego Chargers who signed him as an undrafted rookie in 2003. He spent his rookie season on injured reserve and was waived by the Chargers in the 2004 off-season. Harris is the second-leading rusher in Illini history with 2,985 yards on 676 carries over four seasons from 1999-2002, leading the team in rushing each of his final three seasons.
Vikes' Center Matt Birk Undergoes Hip Surgery
Four-time Pro Bowl center Matt Birk, a mainstay of the Minnesota Vikings' offensive line, underwent hip surgery Tuesday that could sideline him all of summer training camp and perhaps jeopardize his availability for the start of the regular season. The surgery, to repair a torn labrum in Birk's right hip, is the fourth procedure to which the seven-year veteran has been subjected over the past nine months. The three earlier operations were all to repair sports hernias. Birk believes the hip injury resulted from the sports hernias. "This is all a function of having tried to compensate for [the hernias]," said Birk, who has missed all of the offseason conditioning program. "When they checked out the hernia, to see how it was progressing, they found this thing. Hopefully, this will take care of it."
Packers To Retire White's 92 On Opening Day
The Green Bay Packers will retire the No. 92 of the late Reggie White during halftime ceremonies of the Sept. 18 home opener against the Cleveland Browns, team president Bob Harlan announced on Tuesday. White died on December 26. The Packers planned to retire White's number before his death. Harlan met with White last September to inform him that the team was going to retire his number during the 2005 season. "He was very honored," Harlan said. "I told him to look up there [the facade of Lambeau Field] and picture his name with the other numbers. He knew how special this was."
Former NFL QB And 'Unemployed Artist' Marinovich Arrested
Former NFL quarterback Todd Marinovich has been arrested after being found in a public bathroom with apparent drug paraphernalia. Marinovich, who has acknowledged that drug addiction derailed his once-promising football career, was being held in an Orange County jail for investigation of violating his probation pending on a drug court hearing scheduled for next week. A police officer found Marinovich in the bathroom May 20 with a bent spoon and syringe. The former quarterback fled on a bicycle but was arrested 15 blocks away, police said. On the police report, he listed his occupation as "unemployed artist."
Louisiana Governor To Push Two New Bills To Keep Saints
Facing a shortfall for a second consecutive year, and determined to not provide New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson with any more ammunition, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco will this week ratchet up attempts to push through two new bills that would create revenues to help fund the state's commitments to the NFL franchise. Under terms of a 10-year, $186 million agreement struck in 2001 between Benson and then-Gov. Mike Foster, the state owes the Saints a $15 million payment by July 5. The current budget for the Superdome Commission, which essentially serves as the conduit for the payments to the team, indicates a $10 million shortfall.
Walter Payton's Son Starring In Europe, Hopes To Become A Titan
Jarett Payton, the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Walter Payton, is a running back with the Amsterdam Admirals in NFL Europe, and he's trying to make the Tennessee Titans this season. He was on their practice roster last season. "My dad was the greatest, but I just want to be the guy who can play the game and not because of my last name," Payton said. "I was born into this and I've got to take it. I can't go out there and be like him. I've got to be myself."
Colts Safety Mike Doss Arrested On Gun Charges
Indianapolis Colts safety Mike Doss was arrested Sunday on gun charges. Police heard five or six shots coming from outside a restaurant around 2:20 a.m. ET, and found shell casings in the area and a gun in Doss' vehicle, according to a statement issued by the Akron Police Department. The 24-year-old Doss was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, discharging a firearm within city limits, inducing panic and obstructing official business. He posted bond and was released pending a court appearance.
49ers And Smith Close In On Contract
The San Francisco 49ers and the first overall selection of the 2005 Draft, Alex Smith are getting closer to completing a deal. ``We talked a lot about the terms of the deal,'' director of football operations Paraag Marathe said of the discussions earlier this week. ``We're reading from the same book and we're on the same chapter. We're only a few pages apart.'' The 49ers anticipate Smith's deal being ``north'' of the contract received by Manning, Marathe said.
Browns Verba Seeking New Contract
Cleveland Browns left tackle Ross Verba said he is boycotting the offseason workout program and said he will continue his work stoppage until he lands a contract extension from the team. Verba is considered as one of the team?s best players, and as a result, he is not happy with the $7.2 million owed to for 2005-2006. "I did them a favor," said Verba, who is working out regularly at the team complex, but declining to participate in any of the on-field activities. "Now it's time for them to show me some respect and love."
Colts Rookie Jackson Facing $10 Million Lawsuit
The Indianapolis Colts #1 pick Marlin Jackson is being sued for $10 Million in a civil suit stemming from a 2003 incident in which Jackson hit a man (Shahin Farokhrany) with a bottle during an altercation at a Michigan party. Jackson pled guilty to hitting Farokhrany and received probation for his actions. Afterwards, Farokhrany expressed his willingness to move forward and not pursue civil action against Jackson. "Sometimes, people get drunk and make mistakes," he told the Ann Arbor News. Hopefully, he won't be hitting people in the face again." But money talks, and Farokhrany has since changed his mind and will be trying to get a piece of the rookie Jackson?s contract and future earnings.
Bengals Send Three Packing
Marvin Lewis and the Bengals released three players on Saturday, Siddeeq Shabazz and two safeties.
Winslow Releases Public Apology To Browns Fans
Kellen Winslow tore his ACL while attempting tricks on his motorcycle and is expected to miss the 2005 season.
Lewis To Be Released From Prison On June 2nd
Ravens' running back Jamal Lewis will be released from prison on June 2nd after serving a four-month sentence for using a cell phone to set up a drug deal.
Tennessee Wants Travis Henry
Titans' owner Bud Adams has stated that Bills' running back Travis Henry would be "a real good addition."
Negotiations Continue Between Ward And The Steelers
Hines Ward is one of the NFL's most consistent wide receivers and will make $1.7 miliion this season if a new agreement is not reached.
Warner To Start For Arizona
Dennis Green has announced that he will go with Kurt Warner as the Cardinals' starting quarter back.
Mile High City Becomes Rice's Final Stop
Jerry Rice will be playing for his third team in one year, as he has signed a one-year contract with the Denver Broncos.
Saints' Owner Claims He Has Recieved A Billion-Dollar Offer
Aaron Brooks and the New Orleans Saints may be sold and possibly moved to Los Angeles.