AMELIA ISLAND - The NFL would like to have a team back in Los Angeles by 2008, commissioner Paul Tagliabue said.
Tagliabue said owners were pushing for a decision on a stadium site by next spring, giving the NFL the time it needs to return a franchise to the country's second-largest television market.
"We're hopeful we can stick to a timeline that would have us make some decisions on a stadium project maybe a year from now in May of '05," he said.
The league, which has not had a team in the Los Angeles area since the Rams departed for St. Louis 10 years ago, has been working with groups representing sites at Carson, the Coliseum and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
"Everyone has been working at this," Tagliabue said. "At some point decisions need to be made."
The NFL also said it plans to honor the memory of former Cardinals defensive back Pat Tillman during the regular season - perhaps by having all teams display a helmet decal with his uniform No. 40.
CLARETT PLANS APPEAL: Former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett is continuing his legal fight for a chance to play next season. Clarett's attorney, Alan C. Milstein, said he was preparing a brief to present to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City. He declined further comment.
SHELL HIRED BY LEAGUE: Former Raiders coach Art Shell was named vice president of football operations for the league. Shell will oversee all games and handle problems ranging from complaints about field conditions to player development.
BILLS: Offensive lineman Dylan McFarland, the first of two seventh-round draft picks, signed.
DOLPHINS: Former safety Gene Atkins was ordered held on bond on charges he wielded knives and hit a Pembroke Pines police officer responding to a domestic-violence call from his wife. A judge set bond at $280,000 for Atkins, 39.
GIANTS: Retired defensive lineman Keith Hamilton pleaded guilty to cocaine possession. Hamilton, 33, could face up to six months in jail.