Message Board
NFL en español
NFL Draft
Photo gallery
Power Rankings
NFL Insider

ESPN Auctions
Monday, April 28
Griese expected to be let go by Broncos on June 1 news services

DAVIE, Fla. -- Quarterback Ray Lucas was released Monday by the Miami Dolphins, a move that had been expected after he struggled filling in for injured starter Jay Fiedler last season.

The Dolphins were 5-1 when Fiedler was sidelined, then went 2-4 with Lucas, a seven-year veteran, as the starter.

Lucas' contract was terminated after he met with coach Dave Wannstedt.

"We still feel that Ray can be productive in this league, but we believe this move is in everyone's best interest," Wannstedt said. "This gives him time to try to start working as soon as possible with whatever team he winds up with."

The Dolphins plan to pursue Brian Griese as their backup quarterback. He's expected to be released June 1 by the Denver Broncos.

"Without mentioning any specific names, we feel there are some quality veteran quarterbacks who can help this football team," Wannstedt said. "We're confident that we will be able to add a quarterback like that to our roster before the start of training camp."

For now, Fiedler's backup is Sage Rosenfels, acquired last August in a trade with Washington.

Browns pump up contract offer to White
BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns increased their contract offer Monday to running back Jamel White, hoping he will sign a long-term deal to remain with the club.

Last week, the Browns offered White a four-year package with an unspecified signing bonus. White's agent, Josh Wright, confirmed the Browns had made a new offer, but did not provide any details.

The restricted free agent recently signed a $1.3 million tender offer from the Browns, who would like to keep White for more than one season.

White expressed disappointment with the Browns' initial offer. He was convinced the team would try to trade him during the NFL draft.

The Browns selected running back Lee Suggs in the fourth round Sunday, but the former Virginia Tech star is expected to miss his rookie season after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Bucs trim QBs by two, release wide receiver
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released quarterbacks Shane Matthews and Greg Zolman on Monday just two days after drafting Chris Simms of Texas.

Simms, the 97th pick in the NFL draft, will probably be the fourth quarterback on the defending Super Bowl champions, behind starter Brad Johnson and backups Shaun King and Jim Miller.

A 10-year veteran, Matthews was signed as a free agent in March after being a part-time starter for the Washington Redskins last season. He started seven of the eight games he played last season, finishing with 1,251 yards passing and a career-high 11 touchdown passes.

Matthews has also spent time with the Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers, playing in 28 games with 22 starts.

Redskins sign Heisman runner-up Banks
ASHBURN, Va. -- Iowa quarterback Brad Banks, the national player of the year and Heisman Trophy runner-up, was one of 12 undrafted free agents signed Monday by the Washington Redskins.

Banks passed for 25 touchdowns, rushed for five, threw just four interceptions and led the nation with a 166.0 rating in the regular season last year for the Hawkeyes. He led Iowa to an 11-1 record before a 38-17 loss to Southern California in the Orange Bowl.

Despite the numbers, Banks wasn't considered a top NFL prospect, mainly because he's just 5-foot-11. Coach Steve Spurrier said he envisions Banks running a lot of shotgun and bootleg in training camp and exhibition games.

"He's obviously a player you move around a bit," Spurrier said. "We thought Brad would give us a change of pace."

Banks will compete against seventh-round draft pick Gibran Hamdan of Indiana for the third-string quarterback job behind Patrick Ramsey and Rob Johnson.

Jerry Kramer's son signs with Chargers
SAN DIEGO -- Linebacker Jordan Kramer, son of former Green Bay Packers guard Jerry Kramer, was one of 26 rookie free agents who signed with the San Diego Chargers on Monday.

Kramer played at Idaho, his father's alma mater.

Jerry Kramer helped open the hole for Bart Starr's 3-yard sneak to win the "Ice Bowl" against Dallas on Dec. 31, 1967 and send Green Bay to the second Super Bowl.

The Chargers also signed San Diego State wide receiver Kassim Osgood, who teamed with J.R. Tolver to form the most prolific receiving tandem in NCAA history.

Kent State basketball player signs with Chargers: Antonio Gates, a Kent State basketball standout who hasn't played football since high school, signed a two-year contract Monday with San Diego.

Gates is projected as a tight end, and he has demonstrated some of the skills essential to the position on the basketball court.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound forward was a key member of the Golden Flashes team that came within one win of the Final Four in the 2002 NCAA Tournament. He averaged 20.6 points and 7.7 rebounds last season.

Gates enrolled at Michigan State in 1998 to play football. After one semester the Detroit native transferred to Eastern Michigan, where he played basketball for one season before leaving for Kent State.

Washington State QB signs as free agent
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans signed undrafted Washington State quarterback Jason Gesser as a free agent Monday.

Starter Steve McNair and Billy Volek had been the only quarterbacks on the roster. Tennessee released backup Neil O'Donnell for salary cap reasons in February.

Gesser shared the Pac-10's offensive player of the year award with Southern California's Carson Palmer, the top pick overall and one of 13 quarterbacks taken in the NFL draft. Gesser was a three-year starter and threw for 8,830 yards with 70 touchdowns and 39 interceptions.

Tight end Dudley agrees to another year with Bucs
Unrestricted free agent tight end Rickey Dudley, a key in-season pickup for the Tampa Bay Bucs last season, has agreed to return to the reigning Super Bowl champions for another year. learned that Dudley on Friday agreed to a one-year contract, the financial details of which were not yet available.

The seven-year veteran had weighed offers from a few other teams, but four weeks ago, reported that he had a tacit understanding with Bucs officials that he would return. Dudley is a big fan of coach Jon Gruden and the feeling is mutual.

Gruden fought hard last year, in fact, to convince the Bucs to sign the tight end. It turned out to be an excellent addition for Tampa Bay, as Dudley did a nice job in a No. 2 role and, as usual, was a great "red zone" target.

The former Ohio State star, a first-round choice of the Oakland Raiders in the 1996 draft, caught just 16 passes for 192 yards but scored three times. Being able to uncover in the "red zone" is one of the biggest strengths of Dudley's game. He has averaged a touchdown every 6.6 receptions over the course of his career.

Dudley, 30, is a big target, has deep speed and can split the safeties. He has 211 catches for 2,934 yards and 32 touchdowns in his career, while playing in 98 games and starting 85 of them.

In addition to the Raiders (1996-2000) and the Bucs (2002), he played the 2001 season with the Cleveland Browns but suffered a knee injury that limited him to just four appearances.

Panthers' Sauerbrun signs one-year extension
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Two-time Pro Bowl punter Todd Sauerbrun has signed a one-year contract extension with the Carolina Panthers.

Sauerbrun, who led the NFL with a gross average of 45.5 yards last season, was designated Carolina's franchise player when he and the team could not agree to a new contract.

After reaching the deal Thursday, Sauerbrun will receive $1.47 million -- the same amount as he would have made as a franchise player. The difference is he will receive some of that money immediately as a signing bonus.

Sauerbrun was an All-Pro and went to the Pro Bowl for the second straight year in 2002. His 37.5 net average ranked fourth in the NFL and his 31 punts inside the 20 tied for second in the league.

In 2001, Sauerbrun was elected to his first Pro Bowl after averaging 47.5 yards on 93 punts with a net average of 38.9 yards and 35 punts inside the 20 to lead the NFL in gross average and net average and rank second for punts inside the 20.

Texans sign Schau to one-year contract
The Houston Texans on Thursday re-signed versatile offensive lineman Ryan Schau to a one-year contract, has learned, plucking him back out of the unrestricted free agent market in advance of the draft.

Schau will receive a $125,000 signing bonus and a base salary of $530,000.

Houston officials had been pursuing Schau, 30, since the start of the free agency signing period. The four-year veteran drew interest from a small number of teams but felt that returning to the Texans offered him the best shot at a starting job.

The former University of Illinois standout played three seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, then was chosen by Houston in the expansion draft. He was projected as a starter at guard in 2002 but a preseason injury cut short his playing time.

He started in five games and, given his size and strength as an in-line drive blocker, should contend for a starting spot in 2003.

Wooden rejoins Dolphins after recent release
MIAMI -- Safety Shawn Wooden was re-signed by the Miami Dolphins on Thursday, six weeks after being released by the team.

Wooden played in all 16 games with Miami last season behind starting free safety Brock Marion.

He started two games, had 21 tackles and one interception, plus 16 more special teams tackles in 2002, his eighth NFL season and seventh with the Dolphins.

Terrell decides to re-sign with Redskins
ASHBURN, Va. -- Safety David Terrell re-signed with the Washington Redskins on Tuesday.

Terrell, a restricted free agent, has been the starting free safety for two years, but he might have to settle for backup duty next season. The Redskins signed Matt Bowen from Green Bay as a possible starter, and the safety position is also expected to be a priority in this weekend's draft.

Terrell, 27, was a seventh-round draft pick in 1998, but he didn't earn a roster spot until 2000. He and cornerback Champ Bailey are the only Redskins defenders to start all 16 games over the past two seasons.

Bucs release receiver Toliver
TAMPA, Fla. -- Receiver Antoine Toliver was released Tuesday by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Toliver, who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with St. Louis in 2000, signed with the Bucs' practice squad on Dec. 4. He remained with the team through the end of the season, then signed another contract on Jan. 31.

 ESPN Tools
Email story
Most sent
Print story
Daily email