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Bucs DB Jackson has two visits scheduled

By RICK STROUD, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 2, 2003

TAMPA -- Safety Dexter Jackson, the Super Bowl XXXVII Most Valuable Player, has scheduled visits to Pittsburgh and Atlanta this week.

Jackson, who had two interceptions in the Bucs' 48-21 win over Oakland in the NFL title game, became an unrestricted free agent Friday.

The Bucs have made re-signing middle linebacker Shelton Quarles their top priority in free agency and are prepared to lose their starting free safety.

But Tampa Bay is only about $500,000 below the salary cap and likely needs to restructure more contracts or release players to make room for Quarles.

Receiver Joe Jurevicius and tight end Ken Dilger are the latest veterans to restructure contracts, according to information from the NFL Players Association.

The Bucs could replace Jackson with another free agent or second-year pro Jermaine Phillips.

Around the league

WASHINGTON -- Redskins owner Dan Snyder signed defensive linemen Regan Upshaw and Brandon Noble on Saturday, giving his team five new players in the first day and a half of free agency.

Upshaw, a former Bucs defensive end who spent the past three seasons with Oakland, signed a five-year, $7.5-million contract, including a $2-million signing bonus. Terms were not available for Noble, a defensive tackle who spent four seasons in Dallas.

They join former Jets guard Randy Thomas, ex-Niners guard Dave Fiore and running back Trung Canidate, who was acquired in a trade with the Rams.

BEARS: Free-agent tight end Desmond Clark signed a six-year deal. He was with the Dolphins last season after the Broncos released him in training camp. Chicago also re-signed former Bucs tight end John Davis and fullback Stanley Pritchett.

DOLPHINS: Fullback Rob Konrad re-signed, receiving a four-year, $4-million deal.

JETS: The team unveiled its plan for a $1.2-billion stadium on Manhattan's West Side, complete with a retractable dome and seating for 85,000. The proposed facility is a key part of the city's bid for the 2012 Olympics.

LIONS: Free-agent cornerback Dre' Bly signed a five-year deal, leaving the Rams after four seasons. The Associated Press reported the deal was worth $24.5-million, including a signing bonus of just more than $6-million.

TEXANS: Free-agent offensive lineman Zach Wiegert, who spent the past four seasons with the Jaguars, signed. The team also claimed linebacker Patrick Chukwurah off waivers from Minnesota.

-- Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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