© St. Petersburg Times, published February 21, 2003
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Former Bucs safety Damien Robinson was released by the Jets on Thursday, ending his troubled two-season stay with the team.
The Jets also released former Bucs defensive end Steve White, who signed before last season as a free agent.
Robinson started at free safety for most his two seasons. However, he was in trouble on and off the field.
The most notable trouble came in 2001, when he was stopped amid high post-Sept. 11 security at Giants Stadium and an assault rifle and ammunition were found in the trunk of his car. The Jets fined him one game check, about $30,000.
Later in the season, he was fined $20,000 by the league for twisting the face mask of New Orleans quarterback Aaron Brooks and sparking a fight near the end of the game. Robinson had two interceptions in each of his two seasons with the Jets. White was a reserve.
BENGALS: Offensive tackle Richmond Webb, who spent most of his career with the Dolphins, was released. The move will save $4-million next season. The 36-year-old Webb, a Pro Bowl pick in seven consecutive seasons, was entering the final year of a three-year contract and missed most of last season with a torn chest muscle.
COWBOYS: Backup cornerback Dwayne Goodrich, charged with two counts of manslaughter after a fatal hit-and-run accident, was waived along with two players. Fullback Robert Thomas and guard Jeremy McKinney also were released.
FALCONS: Two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Keith Brooking re-signed for seven years, $41-million with a $10.5-million signing bonus.
JAGUARS: Safety Donovin Darius was named a franchise player, and he will be paid at least $3.04-million next season if they don't agree to a long-term contract.
JETS: Offensive tackle Jumbo Elliott will not face charges stemming from an altercation with a limousine driver dressed as Santa Claus in December.
LIONS: Coach Steve Mariucci seemed to indicate the team will take Michigan State receiver Charles Rogers with the No. 2 pick in the draft. Mariucci was asked about Bobby Williams' evaluation of Rogers at the scouting combine. Williams, the Lions receivers coach, was Rogers' coach with the Spartans: "Well, he recruited him, so obviously he thinks the world of him. He's going to be coaching him now. ... " Then, without missing a beat, Mariucci caught himself, adding: "If he were to be on our football team, because I asked Bobby to coach the wide receivers."
PACKERS: Defensive tackle Cletidus Hunt was declared a transition player, allowing the team to match any offer.
PATRIOTS: Safety Tebucky Jones was declared the franchise player, and will make at least $3.04-million next season.
RAVENS: Cornerback Chris McAlister was designated the franchise player, and he must be offered at least $5.9-million a season.
SEAHAWKS: Tackle Walter Jones, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, was named franchise player.
TEXANS: Jermaine Lewis, who returned a kickoff for a touchdown for the Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV, was released after failing to work out at receiver.
TITANS: Veteran quarterback Neil O'Donnell was released and punter Craig Hentrich was designated a transition player in the team's first moves toward getting under the salary cap.
EARLY OPENER: The season may open on Thursday night for the second straight year, with the telecast moving from ESPN to ABC. In exchange for the opener, ABC would give up a telecast on the final Monday of the regular season, and ESPN would get an extra Saturday night game in the final week.
PEPPERS TALKS: Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers says he didn't know the pills a friend gave him to increase his energy last season would lead to a four-game suspension. In an article in the March 3 issue of ESPN The Magazine, Peppers said he took the pills because he was feeling tired and needed a boost. He said he trusted the friend and was surprised to learn the pills contained an ephedra-like substance, which is banned by the NFL.
OBITUARY: Ed "Whitey" Wagner, the Giants equipment manager for more than 20 years, died Tuesday in East Rutherford, N.J., at age 84. Mr. Wagner served with the U.S. Army and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded a Silver Star, Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart.