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NFL briefs

By Times staff and wire reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 16, 2001

Rumor mill starting to heat up for Rice

DETROIT -- Despite rumors suggesting that Jerry Rice is on his way to Seattle or Oakland, the Lions apparently are still alive in the competition to sign the NFL's all-time leading receiver.

Coach Marty Mornhinweg thinks they have a chance at Rice, and -- perhaps more important -- so does Rice's agent, Jim Steiner.

"I'm not going to get into the rumors," Mornhinweg said. "But there's ongoing discussions, even as of today."

At least three other teams -- the Raiders, Seahawks and Browns -- also have met with Rice, 38. The 49ers have told Rice he will be released June 1 for salary-cap reasons.

BEARS: The team agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent defensive end Clyde Simmons.

BENGALS: Fullback Nick Williams is scheduled to have knee surgery in a week and could be sidelined next season.

BROWNS: Owner Al Lerner remained hospitalized after brain surgery, the Associated Press reported. The operation took place Monday at Cleveland Clinic Hospital, the AP said. Neither the Browns nor the hospital would confirm the surgery or if the 68-year-old billionaire was a patient.

GIANTS: Defensive end Jeremiah Parker and his girlfriend have been charged in connection with the death of the woman's 4-year-old son.

Authorities in Paterson, N.J., said the boy was injured, then died, after his mother, 19-year-old Tauleah Kelly, shook him.

Kelly has been charged with child endangerment, neglect and two counts of aggravated assault. Parker was charged with one count of child endangerment and one count of neglect.

PACKERS: Coach and general manager Mike Sherman moved Vince Workman, who played for the Bucs in 1993 and 1994, from pro personnel assistant to weight room coach.

Bucs get TV time

It might be a sign of things to come -- or the kiss of death -- but the Bucs continue to draw national media attention.

Tuesday, Fox studio analysts James Brown and Terry Bradshaw were at One Buc Place producing a two-minute look at the Bucs' upcoming season.

The short will air during halftime of the NFL Europe game between Frankfurt and Rhein at 1 p.m. May 27.

- Staff writer Roger Mills contributed to this report.

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