Pair of WRs head north for jobs
Soward, the first-round choice of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2000, has signed a contract with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. A second-round choice of Tampa Bay in the '98 draft, Green is also headed north, signing with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes. Contract details were not immediately available for either player.
The 29th player chosen overall in 2000, Soward has not played the past three seasons, and remains under suspension by the NFL for his repeat violations of the league's substance abuse policy. The former Southern California star appeared in 13 games as a rookie, with two starts, and caught 14 passes for 154 yards and one touchdown.
But he was twice suspended in 2001, the second time for an entire season, and has yet to be reinstated. Soward, who earned a $2 million signing bonus as part of his rookie deal with the Jags, apparently has yet to meet the NFL standards for aftercare. He recently told a newspaper that he has applied to be readmitted into the league. Various reports over the past three years have suggested that Soward, 26, has spent time in at least a half-dozen different treatment facilities.
Green, 28, has played with the Bucs (1998-2001), Redskins (2002) and Lions (2002). He was not in the league in 2003.
The former University of Florida standout has appeared in 66 games and started in 37 of them. He has 162 receptions for 2,311 yards and seven touchdowns. Green can also be used as a kickoff and punt returner.
New Orleans Saints: The Saints, continuing to create competition for the backup tailback spot behind Deuce McAllister, have signed free agent Ki-Jana Carter, who appeared in eight games for New Orleans last season. The eight-year veteran is the third free agent tailback to join the club this offseason, following the acquisitions of Aaron Stecker and Lamar Smith.
Carter, 28, signed a one-year contract for the minimum base salary of $660,000.
The star-crossed tailback, who was the first overall choice in the 1995 draft, has been beset by injuries throughout his career. His misfortune began in his rookie season with the Cincinnati Bengals, when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in an exhibition game. He has undergone at least three knee surgeries and wrist surgery.
The former Penn State star has appeared in just 57 games and started in 14 contests. With the Saints in 2003, he carried 19 times for 72 yards and one touchdown. In stints with the Bengals, Redskins and Saints, he has 309 rushes for 1,127 yards and 20 touchdowns, and 66 catches for 469 yards and one score.
Atlanta Falcons: In the continuing reshaping of the Falcons personnel department, the team has hired Phil Emery as its director of college scouting. Emery will replace Reed Johnson, who is retiring after three decades in the league.
Emery joins the Falcons after six seasons with the Chicago Bears, where he primarily served as an area scout, working mostly in the southeast. Beyond that, Emery was also responsible in Chicago for creating the point system used by the Bears to evaluate their draft prospects. Prior to signing on with the Bears, he had a long career as a coach in the college ranks.
"We are excited to bring a person of Phil's abilities to the Falcons staff," said general manager Rich McKay. "Phil is a very detailed individual who will help us build off the success of the 2004 draft."
There figure to be additional moves as the Falcons restructure their scouting staff under McKay and assistant general manager Tim Ruskell. As reported in the ESPN.com "Tip Sheet" last Friday, the Falcons recently fired three scouts, including longtime national scout Mike Hagen.
Buffalo Bills: The Buffalo Bills have reached a contract agreement with tight end Tim Euhus, a fourth-round choice in this year's draft. The former Oregon State standout is the first of the club's six selections to come to contract terms.
Details of what is believed to be a three-year contract were not immediately available, although it is likely Euhus received the minimum base salaries for a rookie.
The 109th prospect chosen overall, Euhus was a three-year starter in college and finished his career with 98 catches for 1,346 yards and nine touchdowns.
Minnesota Vikings: Fourth-round draft pick Mewelde Moore, a former standout tailback at Tulane, has agreed to his rookie contract with the Vikings. Details of the contract, which is not yet officially signed, were not immediately available.
One of the most prolific all-around performers in NCAA history, Moore, the 119th player selected last month, was just the second player in NCAA history to rush for over 4,000 yards and also post more than 2,000 receiving yards. He totaled 6,505 yards for his career.
In a crowded Vikings backfield, Moore will have to challenge for playing time, but he could be used as a third-down back and kick returner in his rookie campaign. He ranks 11th in NCAA history in career all-purpose yards.
Baltimore Ravens: Offensive lineman Damion Cook and deep snapper Joe Maese, both three-year veterans with the Ravens, have re-signed with the team. The two players were restricted free agents and both signed the one-year qualifying offer of $628,000 that the Ravens had made them in early March to retain a right of first refusal.
Maese, 25, is regarded as one of the best young deep snappers in the league and he has played in all but one game during his Baltimore tenure. The former New Mexico standout was a sixth-round pick in the 2001 draft and the only true deep snapper on whom the Ravens have ever invested a draft choice.
Originally signed by Baltimore as an undrafted free agent in 2001, Cook can play both tackle and guard but has seen very little action in three seasons. The former Bethune-Cookman lineman has appeared in just four regular-season contests.
Parker, an exclusive-rights free agent, played in eight games last year before a season-ending shoulder injury sidelined him Nov. 2. He finished with 18 catches for 244 yards and three touchdowns.
Parker also was the team's primary punt returner, averaging nine yards on 23 returns. In two seasons, he has 35 receptions for 512 yards and four touchdowns.
Hamilton joins newly acquired defensive tackles Warren Sapp and Ted Washington to help a defense that allowed an average of 156.9 rushing yards last season as the Raiders fell from AFC champions to 4-12.
Hamilton, who helped the Patriots win two Super Bowls during his nine-year career, has 335 tackles, 16 sacks and four fumble recoveries in his career. He led all defensive linemen with 79 tackles in 2000. Hamilton also played for the New York Jets.
Last season, Hamilton started in all 16 games finishing with 46 total tackles as New England went on to win the Super Bowl.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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