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NFL

Patriots get their RB in Dillon

By Times Staff and Wire Reports
Published April 20, 2004

CINCINNATI - Running back Corey Dillon got his wish Monday, finally leaving a Bengals team that hasn't won in 13 years.

The running back wound up on a championship team.

Dillon was traded to the Patriots for a second-round draft pick, ending his stellar and stormy career with Cincinnati. The Bengals built their franchise around him in the 1990s but tired of his complaining and lobbying to go elsewhere.

One of the NFL's most accomplished backs now gets to resuscitate his career with the defending Super Bowl champions, who filled their most glaring need in exchange for the 56th overall pick.

"I think everybody pretty much broke even," Dillon said. "We're talking about the New England Patriots. They're the defending Super Bowl champs. They got exactly what they wanted. I guess Cincinnati got exactly what they wanted. Corey Dillon got exactly what he wanted. I'm happy."

Meanwhile, Bengals cornerback Dennis Weathersby is slowly recovering from a head injury sustained in a car accident April 12 outside Cincinnati.

Bucs' Kelly clears cap room

TAMPA - For the second time in six weeks, Bucs cornerback Brian Kelly has restructured his contract to give the team more room under the salary cap.

Kelly, who is signed through the 2008 season, lowered his base salary for the upcoming season from $1-million to the NFL veteran minimum of $535,000. The difference was converted to a guaranteed signing bonus that can, for salary-cap purposes, be prorated over the remaining five years of the contract. The move frees up $372,000 in cap room.

The seventh-year pro, limited by a torn pectoral muscle to five games last season, shifted his 2004 base salary from $2.8-million to $1-million last month. The Bucs have restructured enough contracts that only nine players will have base salaries of $1-million or more next season, according to the NFLPA's Web site.

The team also retained all its restricted free agents by re-signing fullback Jameel Cook and defensive tackle Chartric Darby.

Darby's contract is a one-year deal for $628,000, the minimum qualifying offer the team tendered in March. Terms of Cook's deal were not released, but it is believed to be for the same amount.

LAW FIGHTS LAW: Patriots cornerback Ty Law was arrested after police said he led them on a brief foot chase in Miami Beach.

Law was driving his 2004 Rolls-Royce early Saturday morning in the South Beach section when an officer flagged him down for a lane violation, Miami Beach police said.

The Pro Bowl player initially pulled over, but police said he sped off, prompting them to chase him about half a block until he stopped again. He then ran from officers again, but they caught him after a short chase. According to police, Law told the two officers "not to touch him because he is a professional athlete."

GADSDEN ARRESTED: Free-agent receiver Oronde Gadsden was charged with driving under the influence in Pembroke Pines. Gadsden was pulled over about 2:30 a.m. Monday after police said the vehicle he was driving swerved out of its lane and ran over several lane markers.

DOLPHINS: Linebacker Morlon Greenwood, a restricted free agent, signed a one-year deal.

LIONS: Receivers Scotty Anderson and Reggie Swinton re-signed.

RAMS: Kurt Warner has been told he will be cut after June 1, the quarterback's agent told the New York Daily News. Mark Bartelstein, Warner's agent, told the newspaper that coach Mike Martz informed Warner of the decision.

- Times staff writers Greg Auman and Rick Stroud contributed to this report.

[Last modified April 20, 2004, 01:20:37]


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