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Dolphins GM Spielman says he will return

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Published November 11, 2004

DAVIE - Dolphins general manager Rick Spielman said Wednesday he has been assured by owner Wayne Huizenga he would return in that role next season.

Spielman, widely criticized for his personnel decisions, said he was preparing to lead the search to replace Dave Wannstedt, who resigned Tuesday as coach.

Spielman said he and Huizenga met and the owner informed Spielman of his decision. The Dolphins also must hire a new president because Eddie Jones plans to retire in March.

"I know that I will be the general manager here," Spielman said.

Spielman was promoted from a lesser role in player personnel and given final authority over the makeup of the roster when Huizenga revised the team's organizational structure in January.

He addressed some of the difficulties through this season, from the sudden retirement of running back Ricky Williams to injuries to receiver David Boston and several others to Wannstedt's decision to step aside.

"To experience all that stuff in the short time frame that I've been here as general manager, it's been experiences that you might not experience in a 20-year time frame," Spielman said.

Meanwhile, the team terminated the contract of starting free safety Antuan Edwards, citing his subpar play and the emergence of his backups as reasons for the surprising move.

Edwards, in his first year with the Dolphins after spending his first three NFL seasons with Green Bay, had 45 tackles and one sack since winning the job in training camp from Arturo Freeman.

CHARGERS: Tight end Billy Baber signed a one-year contract. In his fourth NFL season, he played in 29 games for the Chiefs the last three seasons, making two starts. He began this season on the injured reserve list and was waived Nov. 2.

CHIEFS: The team prepared for Sunday's must-win game at New Orleans without All-Pro running back Priest Holmes. Coach Dick Vermeil stopped just short of saying Holmes would definitely be out, but the league's leading rusher and scorer was on crutches after straining a medical collateral ligament in his right knee. Derrick Blaylock, out last week with a deep thigh bruise, practiced full speed for the first time and would start. Meanwhile, linebacker Monty Beisel, who missed the last two weeks with a calf muscle injury, will be asked to join Quentin Caver in replacing linebacker Shawn Barber, who went on injured reserve with a left knee injured suffered against the Bucs.

PANTHERS: Defensive back James Whitley signed to replace Travares Tillman, who was placed on injured reserve with a broken arm. The team waived offensive lineman Mike Gandy, claimed from Chicago Tuesday, after he failed his physical.

RAIDERS: An Alameda County judge ruled that the family of a team co-founder remains limited partners in the franchise, bolstering their legal fight with owner Al Davis. In a lawsuit filed last year, the family of E.J. McGah claimed that Davis denied them access to financial records, mismanaged team finances and compromised the family's 30 percent ownership stake, a portion worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Davis had claimed the family lost its limited partner status after McGah died in 2002.

SEAHAWKS: Cornerback Ken Lucas, who took a hard fall and bruised his lung against the 49ers, insisted he's fine and believes he can play Sunday at St. Louis. Also, defensive end Grant Wistrom could return from a cracked left kneecap. It would be about one week earlier than initially expected, but Wistrom is eager to face his former team.

TITANS: Quarterback Steve McNair said he still can't take a direct hit 21/2 weeks after being knocked out of the 20-3 loss at Minnesota on Oct. 24. McNair was able to throw passes in a one-on-one drill and in a seven-on-seven drill, his first work with teammates since his latest injury.

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