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Around the NFC

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published July 24, 2002

BEARS: Offensive coordinator John Shoop agreed to terms on a new three-year contract. Shoop had been the only Chicago assistant without an agreed-upon extension. His original contract, which had one year remaining, was voided. Terms of the new deal, expected to be signed Friday, were not released.

COWBOYS: Coach Dave Campo made it clear he wants each of the team's draft picks on the field when the club holds its first practice. "I'm going to coach the guys on Saturday that are here," Campo said. "That's something the players have to take care of, but it hurts them as much as it hurts us if they're not here." The Dallas Morning News reported the team moved closer to agreements with fourth-round pick Jamar Martin, fifth-round pick Pete Hunter and sixth-round pick Deveren Johnson, but none of the deals was expected to be completed until today at the earliest.

49ERS: First-round draft pick Mike Rumph, a cornerback from Miami, signed a five-year contract worth about $6.4-million. Rumph, the 27th player selected overall, will get a $2.35-million signing bonus, the team said.

GIANTS: New York's Daily News reported the team is close to a contract agreement with tight end Jeremy Shockey of Miami, and Drew Rosenhaus, the first-round pick's agent, reiterated that "our goal is to get Jeremy signed before the start of training camp." But with players due in Albany, N.Y., today and the first practice set for Thursday morning, a brief holdout is possible.

LIONS: Kalimba Edwards, a defensive end from South Carolina taken with the 35th overall pick, signed.

PACKERS: Ex-FSU wide receiver Javon Walker, the team's top draft pick, signed a six-year, $9.5-million contract. Green Bay also signed sixth-round selection Mike Houghton of San Diego State, whom coach Mike Sherman said was the most impressive player at the team's two minicamps. That leaves two of six picks, fullback Najeh Davenport of Miami, and defensive lineman Aaron Kampman of Iowa, unsigned. Team negotiator Andrew Brandt said Kampman has agreed to terms and is expected to sign today. Brandt also said Davenport's arrest on charges he broke into a dormitory room and defecated in a woman's closet "won't prevent us from signing him."

PANTHERS: Carolina agreed to a four-year, $1.5-million contract with quarterback Randy Fasani, leaving second-round selection DeShaun Foster as the team's only unsigned draft pick. The team has Fasani penciled in as its No. 3 quarterback behind Chris Weinke and 14-year veteran Rodney Peete.

RAMS: First-round pick Robert Thomas, a linebacker from UCLA, signed a five-year contract. Thomas was the 31st player chosen in the draft, and is projected to start at weakside linebacker, with second-year player Tommy Polley moving to strongside. The Rams report to training camp Friday and have signed seven of eight draft picks. Sixth-round choice Steve Bellisari, a quarterback from Ohio State who is being tried at safety, is the only unsigned rookie.

REDSKINS: Coach Steve Spurrier said his team enjoyed "a pretty good start" on its first day of practice. It was a "typical, typical practice, a very good practice," Spurrier said. "We have a long way to go. We're not there yet. We're not supposed to be. But the guys are hustling. There's a wonderful attitude on this team. It's fun coaching these players."

SAINTS: Veteran running back Terry Allen signed, continuing a 13-season career in which he has overcome a serious knee injury to rush for more than 8,000 yards. The 34-year-old, who led Baltimore in rushing in 2001, will back up Deuce McCallister. "Terry gives us a veteran that we know we can depend on," general manager Mickey Loomis said. "He's a leader and he proved last year with Baltimore that he can still create yardage and be a consistent starter when called upon. Terry has seen it all during his time in the NFL, so he can be a positive influence on Deuce as well."

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