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Pro football notebook

By ANTONYA ENGLISH

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 5, 2001


Giants add Umholtz to roster

Former South Florida punter Tony Umholtz has signed a contract with the Giants. Terms were not disclosed, but Umholtz is expected to compete for punting and kickoff duties.

Umholtz, who played for USF from 1997-99, spent the 2000 training camp with the Titans. The Giants need a punter because of the departure of Brad Maynard to the Bears. Kicker Brad Daluiso is a free agent and has not re-signed.

During his senior season, Umholtz had 74 punts for 3,062 yards, a 41.4 average. He was a six-time I-AA Independent national player of the week who did placekicks when Bill Gramatica was injured midway through the season.

"I think the fact that I can kick off in addition to being able to punt gives me a good shot to compete," Umholtz said. "I kicked field goals my senior year and was pretty comfortable with it."

Agent D. Robert Lewis said the Jets, Redskins and Patriots expressed interest, but the Giants situation was "tailormade."

BROWNS: Youth football and recreational programs in Northeast Ohio could receive up to $2-million under an agreement ending litigation between season-ticket holders and the old Cleveland franchise that was approved preliminarily by Cuyahoga County Judge Kenneth R. Callahan. The 1995 season-ticket holders can accept accept a $50 cash payment for each seat or donate the money to a charitable fund.

DOLPHINS: Although Miami ranks wide receiver high on its draft priority list, coach Dave Wannstedt said the team could take a quarterback -- possibly Drew Brees -- 26th overall.

SAINTS: Former Seahawks safety Jay Bellamy signed a four-year deal. The 5-11, 199-pound Bellamy started all 16 games in 2000 and tied for the team lead in interceptions with four.

TITANS: Tennessee finalized a six-year, $45-million contract with former Rams defensive end Kevin Carter. The Titans waived four players they had signed to allocate to NFL Europe to clear about $1-million of salary-cap room.

REALIGNMENT VOTE IN MAY: Owners will vote on realignment at the end of May, setting up the format of eight four-team divisions when Houston re-enters the league in 2002 as the 32nd team.

XFL: The league named its April 21 championship "the Million Dollar Game," based on the money that will be divided by the winning team in the game to be played on the same day as the NFL draft. The XFL also announced rules changes. Since there is no kick for a point after touchdown, teams will be allowed to go for one point from the 1-yard line, two points from the 5 and three points from the 10.

- Information from other news organizations was used in this report.

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