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© St. Petersburg Times, published February 13, 2001

Mark Chmura's agent says his client is a low risk for any team willing to give the former Packers tight end a chance.

"He's the last guy you'd have a problem with on your team," Eric Metz said. "When you go through something like this, it really opens your eyes, what to stay away from, who to stay away from."

Chmura was acquitted this month of charges he enticed and sexually assaulted a 17-year-old former babysitter for his children at a drunken party last year.

Metz acknowledged his client's reputation was damaged during the trial.

"A lot of people want to paint Mark after this trial as the morally devoid poster boy for what's wrong with people in sports," Metz said Monday in a telephone interview from Scottsdale, Ariz. "He was just in the wrong place one time and he did nothing criminal.

"He said it himself: If stupidity were a crime, he'd be in jail. But he also said it won't happen again. And he shouldn't be judged the rest of his life for it."

Metz said several teams, which he declined to identify, have expressed interest in Chmura. He said whoever signs him won't have to keep an eye on him.

"A young kid coming out of college is immature and thinks he's invincible. He thinks, "I can just go anywhere.' Chewy was that way once, too," Metz said. "But now he's had his eyes opened and knows he can't just go anywhere or put himself in any bad situations. You only learn and grow as a person when you suffer adversity and he has."

Chmura must meet with commissioner Paul Tagliabue before he can resume his career. Metz said he expects to meet this month so he can negotiate with teams when the free agency period begins March 2.

NFL WINS SUIT: The league was awarded $2.6-million in damages last week when a federal court agreed that a New York satellite carrier illegally retransmitted game telecasts into Canada. PrimeTime 24 was found to have infringed on copyrights held by the NFL from 1997 through August 2000.

EX-VIKING SENTENCED: Former running back Chuck Foreman was ordered to pay $7,200 in restitution but avoided jail for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme. U.S. District Court Judge David Doty sentenced Foreman to three years' probation for the scam, known as real estate "flipping." Flipping involves the purchase and rapid resale of property at inflated prices.

BENGALS: Cincinnati, hoping to keep Pro Bowl running back Corey Dillon for another season, designated him as its transition player. Dillon will become an unrestricted free agent March 2 if he does not reach a contract agreement with the team by then.

BROWNS: Former Miami coach Butch Davis completed his staff by hiring Jerry Rosburg, Notre Dame's special teams coach the past two years.

DOLPHINS: Center Tim Ruddy had surgery on his injured left shoulder and is scheduled to be reevaluated in May.

PATRIOTS: After a weekend of soul-searching in Huron, S.D., with his family, backup quarterback Michael Bishop has decided to play for Frankfurt in NFL Europe.

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