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NFL

Griese might consider Dolphins

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 12, 2003

MIAMI -- Brian Griese says he is interested in signing with the Dolphins as the backup to Jay Fiedler if he can't land a starting job elsewhere.

Griese is expected to be released June 1 by the Broncos. His father, Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Griese, led the Dolphins during their glory years in the 1970s.

"It's a city where I grew up, and the team is very good," Griese said. "I need to weigh my options to see whether there is another opportunity out there. ... But I love Miami."

Griese plans to talk soon with teams about the possibility of signing with them after being released. He would not identify any other teams but said he'll visit by phone with Dolphins offensive coordinator Norv Turner.

The Broncos have failed to make the playoffs the past two seasons with Griese as their starter, and last week they signed former Arizona quarterback Jake Plummer to a seven-year, $40-million contract.

The Broncos have indicated they will release Griese on June 1 to save salary cap space and have given him permission to seek a trade. But he acknowledged that a trade is unlikely because of the impact it would have on Denver's salary cap.

If he is released in June, it may be too late for him to land a starting job.

The Dolphins declined to comment, but their interest in Griese is no secret. They have said Fiedler will again be their starter this year, but they are seeking a new No.2 quarterback.

Miami went 2-4 last season when Fiedler was hurt and Ray Lucas struggled as his replacement.

"I've been a starter in this league, and I believe I can still be one," Griese said. "But I'd also like to play for a team that can win the Super Bowl, and certainly Miami can do that with the talent they have there."

Griese, who turns 28 on Tuesday, was Denver's third-round draft pick in 1998 and took over for John Elway the next season. He made the Pro Bowl in 2000 but has gone just 27-24 as a starter.

In other Dolphins news, the team released backup safety Shawn Wooden.

Wooden played in all 16 games last season, starting two, and had 21 tackles and one interception.

Patriots sign LB Colvin

FOXBORO, Mass. -- The Patriots signed linebacker Rosevelt Colvin, adding one of the most attractive free agents on the market and improving their weak pass rush.

Colvin had 10 1/2 sacks last season, tops on the Bears and tied for 12th in the league. He chose the Patriots over several teams that pursued him.

"They're very talented on defense. They're coming off a Super Bowl run two years ago," the 6-foot-3, 245-pound Colvin said. "I'm not the answer to any questions they have. I'm just a piece of the puzzle."

The Patriots had 34 sacks last season. Only 11 teams had fewer.

Colvin, 25, was fifth on the Bears with 72 tackles last season. He had 101/2 sacks for the second straight season, the only linebacker in team history to record double-digit sacks in consecutive seasons.

FALCONS: Fullback Bob Christian, whose season ended when he suffered a concussion in December, said he will retire.

GIANTS: Fullback Jim Finn, who spent the past three years with the Colts, signed. The team also signed cornerback Ray Green, who spent the past two seasons with the Dolphins.

JAGUARS: Receiver Donald Hayes, who was released by the Patriots, signed. Hayes played in 12 games for New England last season, catching 12 passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns. He played his first four seasons with Carolina and caught 66 passes for 926 yards in 2000.

JETS: A limousine driver filed a $5-million lawsuit against offensive lineman Jumbo Elliott and accused the player of assaulting him outside a Long Island steakhouse in December. The driver, Donald Matinsky, 60, said Elliott pushed him to the ground, causing a slight fracture of his left knee, after he asked him to leave the limousine. A grand jury cleared Elliot of criminal charges last month.

LIONS: Safety Bracey Walker re-signed. The 6-foot, 210-pounder played in 14 games with one start in his first season with the team.

REDSKINS: Safety Matt Bowen joined Washington after Green Bay declined to match a four-year, $6-million offer. The Packers will receive a sixth-round pick in next month's draft as compensation.

SEAHAWKS: Free safety Damien Robinson, who was released by the Jets last month, signed a four-year contract. The former Buc will replace Marcus Robertson, who was released last week.

OFFICIALS: The league has asked eight officials to resign, which a lawyer representing the officials said is the largest number of referees who have been asked to step down at one time. League spokesman Greg Aiello would not discuss the requested resignations except to say that they were connected to the officials' performance. The eight officials were told last week that they had until March 20 to resign or they would be fired, said Mike Arnold, a labor lawyer who represents the NFL Referees Association. Arnold said that the league did not give a reason for the action and that each official had received satisfactory reviews last season.

GOODRICH TRIAL: Former Cowboys cornerback Dwayne Goodrich was indicted by a grand jury in a hit-and-run accident that killed two men. Goodrich was charged with two counts of manslaughter and three counts of failure to stop and render aid as well as aggravated assault. He was accused of driving through a fiery accident scene on Jan. 14 and hitting three men.

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