Veteran kicker forgoes retirement

Originally Published: September 7, 2004
ESPN.com news services

New York Giants: The Giants signed veteran kicker Steve Christie Tuesday, ending for the time being Todd France's dream of playing in the NFL.

France had beaten out veterans Matt Bryant and Bill Gramatica in training camp competition.

However, the 24-year-old hurt his chances by missing badly a 44-yard field goal in Thursday's preseason finale against the Baltimore Ravens. It was his only miss in five preseason attempts.

Christie and Dave Kimball, who had been in the Indianapolis Colts camp, were given tryouts on Monday. Coughlin elected to sign 36-year-old Christie, who had been considering retirement, for his 15th NFL season.

The San Diego Chargers opted not to bring Christie back this season, and his tryout with Tampa Bay ended last week, when they elected go with rookie Josh Scobee.

Christie hit 15 of 20 field goal attempts and all 36 of his extra points last season with the Chargers. He converted all 10 of his field goal attempts from inside the 40-yard line and two of three from 50 yards and beyond.

If there is a weakness in Christie's game, it's the kickoff. The Chargers were the only NFL team not to have a touchback on a kickoff last season. The average start for opponents' possessions was the 32.4-yard line, which ranked last in the league.

Tennessee Titans: Kicker Joe Nedney left practice early after being injured while kicking off a tee.

Nedney fell to the ground and stayed down for a few minutes while trainers looked at him. He then walked off the field.

The veteran missed the 2003 season after tearing a ligament in his right, non-kicking leg in the first half of the opening game. Coach Jeff Fisher wouldn't discuss which leg Nedney injured Tuesday.

Asked if he would be forced to use punter Craig Hentrich as a substitute, Fisher said that remains to be seen. Hentrich filled in for Nedney in the 2003 opener and kicked three field goals. The Titans replaced Nedney by signing Gary Anderson for the rest of the season.

Miami Dolphins: After dealing their best pass rusher to the Chicago Bears, the Dolphins are turning to a former Bear to help their defensive line.

The Dolphins signed defensive end Bryan Robinson, who was released by the Bears on Sunday, to a one-year contract.

Terms were not disclosed.

Robinson, 30, spent his last years with the Bears. He started all 16 games for the fourth time in the last five seasons in 2003 and collected one sack and 47 tackles.

In August, the Dolphins traded end Adewale Ogunleye, who led the AFC with 15 sacks last season, to the Bears for wide receiver Marty Booker and a third-round pick.

  • Fullback Rob Konrad underwent surgery to remove a bursal infection in his right thigh.

    Konrad, a starter since his rookie year in 1999, will miss Miami's season opener against Tennessee.

    Team physician Dr. George Caldwell performed the surgery at Broward General Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale.

    Konrad suffered a bruised knee in training camp and did not travel to New Orleans for the team's final preseason game because of the staph infection.

    Miami braced for the possible loss of Konrad by claiming fullback Jamar Martin off waivers from Dallas. Martin played in 14 games for the Cowboys last season.

    Konrad had just four carries for 17 yards and caught 16 passes for 166 yards last season.

    San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers shuffled their depth on the defensive line Tuesday, releasing tackles Riddick Parker and Josh Shaw and signing former Dolphins lineman Tony Brown.

    Shaw recovered from last season's four-game suspension and his release by San Francisco to earn a roster spot this summer, but he was dropped in favor of Brown, who spent much of last season on Carolina's practice squad. Brown was waived by Miami on Monday.

    The 49ers also released defensive tackle Michael Landry and guard Alonzo Cunningham from their practice squad, signing cornerback Rayshun Reed and offensive tackle Tom Provost to replace them.

    NFL renews Japanese agreements
    The NFL has renewed its television agreements with three Japanese networks on the eve of the 2004 season.

    The league announced deals with NHK, NTV and Gaora starting on Thursday, when Indianapolis is at New England.

    NHK will continue to broadcast ABC's "Monday Night Football" and has exclusive pay television and high-definition rights to carry the Super Bowl live.

    Two games per week will be aired on NHK-BS, which is available in 13 million homes, and one game each week on NHK Hi-Vision, the network's 24-hour high definition channel. NHK, which has been affiliated with the NFL since 1989, also will show "NFL Weekly," a 30-minute recap of the week's games, and incorporate material from the NFL Network and NFL Films into existing shows.

    Gaora, a satellite sports channel, will broadcast up to six games per week. The network will continue to produce its own 30-minute, biweekly NFL-themed show. NTV, which reaches 44 million homes, will continue to produce its weekly 30-minute show, "NFL Club."

    Rison's CFL debut ends in a tie
    Andre Rison has been to five Pro Bowls and owns a Super Bowl ring.

    So maybe that's why he seemed a little underwhelmed by his CFL debut in a 30-30 tie Monday between his Toronto Argonauts and the host Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

    "It was great. It was great," the 37-year-old receiver said. "I got a chance to touch the field."

    Asked when he started to feel the real pressure of the intense Labor Day rivalry between the teams, Rison responded: "In overtime, when we were trying to win."

    Arguably the highest-profile player to join the CFL since Doug Flutie, Rison saw plenty of action in his first professional football game since 2000.

    He led Argos receivers with four receptions for 49 yards, including a 28-yarder that set up a touchdown by quarterback Michael Bishop in the third quarter.

    Rison was noticeably stiff after the game and nursed a taped right hamstring.

    Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.

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