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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Final Storm roster is 4 short of being full
Three days after being released by the Storm, Arena Football League superstar Barry Wagner said he still hopes to play a 16th season , but he is realistic about his chances. Wagner, a wide receiver/linebacker who was named one of the 20 greatest AFL players of all time, said he'll wait until the end of the week before exploring his options.
By DAVID MURPHY
Published February 28, 2007
TAMPA - Three days after being released by the Storm, Arena Football League superstar Barry Wagner said he still hopes to play a 16th season , but he is realistic about his chances. Wagner, a wide receiver/linebacker who was named one of the 20 greatest AFL players of all time, said he'll wait until the end of the week before exploring his options.
Meanwhile, the Storm finalized its roster. As expected, coach Tim Marcum kept 20 players (four fewer than teams are allowed to carry) because of salary cap concerns.
The deepest position appears to be wide receiver: The team features three players who led their AFL teams in receiving last season (Lawrence Samuels, who was with the Storm; Terrill Shaw, Dallas; and T.T. Toliver, Nashville). As expected, veteran quarterback John Kaleo will enter Friday's season opener as the starter.
Also, Tampa native Bill Gramatica returns as placekicker, free-agent signee Marcus Owen will play offensive and defensive line and former Cleveland Browns starter Mark Word enters his first AFL season on the defensive line.
Tenth-year defensive lineman Nyle Wiren was placed on injured reserve, as were linemen Thaddeus Bullard, Clint Mitchell and A.J. Ricker, wide receivers Hank Edwards and Huey Whittaker, defensive back Bo Rogers and quarterback B.J. Symons.
For a complete breakdown of the Storm roster, as well as comprehensive news and analysis about the Tampa Bay Storm and around the AFL, log onto blogs.tampabay.com/storm.
Packers eyeing Moss
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Green Bay is definitely interested in former All-Pro wide receiver Randy Moss if the Raiders dump him, and he would agree to a restructured contract in order to play with a better team and Brett Favre.
The teams have had preliminary dialogue, but at this point the Packers consider Moss to be an economically unfeasible solution to their need for another receiver alongside Donald Driver and Greg Jennings.
Moss has two years left on his contract, including base salaries of $9.75-million in 2007 and $11.25-million in '08.
CHIEFS: Backup quarterback Damon Huard agreed to a three-year contract. He was paid $710,000 last season and would have become an unrestricted free agent Friday. Huard was 5-3 while filling in for injured starter Trent Green last season.
EAGLES: Safety and special teams standout Quintin Mikell signed a four-year contract to remain with the team.
49ERS: Linebacker Derek Smith had surgery to repair a damaged muscle connected to his left eye, a delicate injury that hampered his play last season. He won't participate in contact drills until the preseason but should be healthy for his 11th pro campaign.
PATRIOTS: Duke University offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien has been hired as an offensive assistant coach.
SAINTS: Defensive tackle Hollis Thomas agreed to a four-year, $12-million contract. He came to New Orleans last season after spending his first decade in the league with the Eagles. The NFL suspended him for the last four games of the regular season because he tested positive for a banned steroid, which Thomas blamed on his asthma medication.