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Professional football roundup

By Times staff and wire reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 14, 2001


Trio of QBs lines up jobs

Two quarterbacks stayed put Tuesday while a third took action toward finding a new home.

Rams backup Trent Green visited Kansas City for a physical exam. The Chiefs must work out trade terms with St. Louis, where Green has two seasons left on his contract.

The Rams have said a deal must happen before Thursday, when Green is due a $500,000 roster bonus.

"I'm very comfortable with this situation," Green said after meeting with owner Lamar Hunt and president and general manager Carl Peterson. "I know what the offense is going to be."

Shane Matthews, a former Florida player, agreed to terms on a two-year deal to stay in Chicago after visiting Denver on Monday. Terms were not released.

Matthews, Cade McNown and Jim Miller shared the starting job the past two seasons. Each passed for more than 1,000 yards in 1999.

Unable to find a starting job elsewhere, Denver backup Gus Frerotte returned with a one-year deal after turning down an offer from Cincinnati last week.

GIANTS: Fred von Appen was named special teams coach, two months after Minnesota fired him as defensive line coach.

JAGUARS: Quarterback Mark Brunell did not take part in a planned meeting with owner Wayne Weaver to discuss a new contract. The meeting, requested by Weaver, was aimed at speeding up the process in an attempt to sign Brunell to a long-term deal.

PATRIOTS: Two former Pro Bowlers, nose tackle Henry Thomas and special teams star Larry Whigham, and wide receiver Tony Hamler were released. Free agent nose tackle Garrett Johnson re-signed, and former Steelers linebacker Mike Vrabel signed as a free agent.

RAIDERS: On the first day of the team's trial against the league, team lawyers told jurors the NFL wrongly took the team's rights to the Los Angeles market, then refused to pay for it.

The $1-billion lawsuit accuses the NFL of forcing the team out of Los Angeles and interfering with the Raiders' plan to move from the Los Angeles Coliseum to a proposed stadium in nearby Inglewood in 1995.

RAVENS: Free-agent offensive tackle Leon Searcy signed a six-year contract for $31.5-million. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said Monday that Searcy had agreed to terms on a five-year contract for that amount. He declined to comment on the difference.

HAYES UPDATE: Olympic gold medalist and former Cowboys star Bob Hayes said he will be out of his hospital bed by Saturday so he can greet competitors at the annual Bob Hayes Invitational track meet in Jacksonville.

"If I have to go out in a wheelchair, I'm going to be there," he said from his hospital bed to TV station WJXT in Jacksonville, his hometown. "The little girls and boys don't just come to run track. They come to see Bob Hayes."

Hape visits Broncos

TAMPA -- Bucs tight end Patrick Hape visited the Denver Broncos.

Hape, an unrestricted free agent, has been an integral part of the Bucs offense, participating in 43 percent of the offensive snaps last season.

Though known primarily for blocking, Hape has 19 career receptions for 100 yards and two touchdowns.

Arena League

PHILLIPS SIGNS: The Florida Bobcats signed Lawrence Phillips to a contract, giving the troubled former NFL and Nebraska running back a chance in his third professional league. Phillips, 25, played for the Rams, Dolphins and 49ers during an NFL career clouded by problems with the law and failure to attend practices. He also has played in NFL Europe. He was arrested in May on felony assault and misdemeanor weapons chargers stemming from an incident with his girlfriend in Beverly Hills, Calif.

- Staff writer Rick Stroud contributed to this report.

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