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NFL

Sanders turns down Lions' offer

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 24, 2003

Detroit president/general manager Matt Millen and new coach Steve Mariucci recently spoke with Barry Sanders to gauge his interest in a possible comeback, according to ESPN.com.

However, Sanders indicated he has no interest in returning unless the Lions allow him to talk to other teams.

Although Sanders repaid the prorated portion of the signing bonus he owed the Lions after retiring before training camp began in 1999, Detroit retains his contractual rights.

During the past few seasons, teams have inquired about Sanders' availability in a trade, but nothing developed.

The Lions hoped that with a new coach and new offensive scheme, Sanders might consider ending his retirement.

In 10 seasons with the Lions, Sanders, who turns 35 this summer, rushed for 15,269 yards. He retired 1,458 yards away from passing then all-time rushing leader Walter Payton.

Packers might deal Glenn

Green Bay has been quietly shopping receiver Terry Glenn at the scouting combine, packersnews.com reported.

The Packers have given Glenn's agent, Jimmy Gould, permission to talk to other teams about a trade, which likely would include a new contract for Glenn. However, there has been little interest in Glenn.

Glenn is due a $500,000 roster bonus Friday, and Mark Hatley, the team's vice president, recently said he would be "surprised" if the Packers didn't pay the bonus.

If the Packers trade or cut Glenn before paying the bonus, they would save $1.4-million toward this season's salary cap.

Glenn had 56 catches for 817 yards and two touchdowns last season.

Prospects' refusal to run upsets many at combine

INDIANAPOLIS -- Mariucci will wrap up his six-day stay at the scouting combine today with a list of heights and weights, a lot of new acquaintances and little helpful information to judge the skill position players for the draft in April.

No, he didn't fall asleep at his stopwatch.

But the Lions are no better or worse off than the other 31 teams that sent full coaching and scouting staffs to Indianapolis hoping to time some of the top prospects in the 40-yard dash.

As usual -- or maybe it was worse than usual this year -- the players listened to their agents, and virtually none of the big names showed their stuff.

At one point Saturday, running back Derek Watson of South Carolina State got a standing ovation from scouts and coaches simply for stepping up to the starting line. The eight backs ahead of him on the draft list declined to run.

Dolphins senior vice president Rick Spielman was furious when only Watson and three other backs, out of 16 in their group, agreed to be timed.

"To have four guys out of 16 work, I think it's a total embarrassment," Spielman said. "It's an embarrassment for these kids. It's an embarrassment for their agent.

"I just think it's ridiculous when a player knows he's coming to the combine, and he has not played in January, and he has not had any injury, and he doesn't run. He knows he has two months to prepare for this thing, which is a huge job interview. And he can stack up against people in his position. How is he going to get ready, week in and week out, if he can't do this?"

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