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NFL briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 27, 2001


Stubblefield a 49er again

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco signed Dana Stubblefield, a free agent released by the Redskins last month, to a six-year deal Thursday.

The 6-foot-2, 290-pound Stubblefield spent five seasons with the 49ers -- teamed with fellow defensive tackle Bryant Young -- before leaving for Washington in 1998.

San Francisco general manager Bill Walsh was excited to reunite the duo. Added to the mix was defensive end Andre Carter, the 49ers' top pick, seventh overall, in last week's draft.

"We feel we'll have as good as, or the best, combination of defensive tackles in football," Walsh said. "I'm just excited about the first day these guys are in the huddle together."

Stubblefield, a three-time Pro Bowl selection and the 1997 Defensive Player of the Year, has 393 tackles, 46.5 sacks, 15 passes defensed and two interceptions over eight seasons.

He was a first-round draft pick, 26th overall, by the 49ers out of Kansas in 1993.

Walsh said no players were sacrificed to make room for Stubblefield, but he would not disclose financial terms of the deal.

Bucs sign FSU's Chaney

TAMPA -- The Buccaneers signed two more undrafted free agents, Florida State running back Jeff Chaney and Clemson defensive tackle Terry Jolly.

Chaney, who started at FSU as a defensive back, was a running back for three seasons. He rushed for 1,091 yards on 234 carries with 10 touchdowns in his career.

In four seasons, two as a starter, Jolly totaled 136 tackles and five sacks. He won all-conference honors as a junior.

BEARS: Defensive tackle Jim Flanigan was released. Flanigan, a third-round selection from Notre Dame in 1994, started 88 of the previous 90 games. This off-season, the Bears signed tackles Ted Washington and Keith Traylor.

COWBOYS: Cornerback Phillippi Sparks, 32, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram he is "99 percent sure" he will retire.

DOLPHINS: Gator fullback/long snapper Eric Jonsson of Seminole signed. Among the 11 others: Florida defensive tackle Buck Gurley and Texas Tech quarterback Zebbie Lethridge.

LIONS: Ex-Buc defensive end Chidi Ahanotu -- a possible replacement for free agent Tracy Scroggins, who apparently has priced himself out of the Lions' salary structure -- is expected to visit, probably next week, according to the Detroit Free Press. ... Detroit signed tight end Pete Mitchell (Giants) and offensive lineman Matt Joyce (Cardinals), and re-signed restricted free-agent guard Kerlin Blaise. Mitchell, 29, started five of 14 games last season and finished with 25 receptions for 245 yards and one touchdown. He probably will back up David Sloan.

PACKERS: Green Bay claimed cornerback Tony Darden off waivers from San Diego, and signed three former XFL players.

PATRIOTS: New England, which signed free agent Terrance Shaw last month to play cornerback and nickel back, released cornerback Antonio Langham, 28. He had one interception last season.

RAIDERS: The Raiders' lawyer said in his closing argument that the NFL conspired to crush the club's efforts to build a new stadium in Los Angeles, an allegation one of the league's lawyers dismissed as false and foolish.

RAMS: Offensive lineman Frank Garcia, who spent six years with Carolina, signed. Garcia was an original member Panther.

REDSKINS: Owner Dan Snyder said he had surgery three weeks ago to have a cancerous thyroid removed and has been told by his doctors he is cancer-free.

STEELERS: Pittsburgh extended Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala's contract for the next three seasons. Last week, the Steelers retained their rights to him for 2001 by matching a $700,000 tender offer to the restricted free agent running back.

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