By RICK STROUD
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 4, 2001
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Linebacker Jamie Sharper, a key figure on the Ravens' record-setting defense, signed a five-year, $22-million deal with the Super Bowl champions Tuesday.
Sharper, an unrestricted free agent, interviewed with several teams before returning to the club that drafted him out of Virginia in the second round in 1997.
"To be able to come back to Baltimore is truly a blessing," Sharper said. "Looking over the other teams in the league, they just couldn't compare to the Baltimore Ravens."
He interviewed with Seattle, Carolina, Miami, Philadelphia and Jacksonville.
TAMPA -- The Bucs have hired Alan Williams as a defensive assistant.
Williams, who coached running backs and defensive backs at William & Mary for five seasons, replaces Kevin O'Dea, who will serve as an offensive assistant this season.
BRONCOS: The team signed Quentin Neujahr, a free-agent center who spent the past three seasons with Jacksonville. Terms were not disclosed.
REDSKINS: Washington restructured the contract of wide receiver Michael Westbrook to help make room under the salary cap.
SAINTS: Owner Tom Benson, 73, had bypass surgery to clear blocked coronary arteries. Spokesman Greg Bensel said Benson was in good spirits and is expected to recover.
AIKMAN SPEAKS: Appearing in the Dallas area for the first time as a former Cowboys quarterback, Troy Aikman said he still is interested in playing in the NFL, although only as a starter. But Aikman said he also is considering a broadcasting career.
- Staff writer Rick Stroud contributed to this report.