Friday, April 05, 2002

NFL notebook

Titans' Kearse a workout no-show

The Associated Press

        NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Defensive end Jevon Kearse, who is working out on his own in Florida, is one of just three players under contract not at the Tennessee Titans' on-field workouts.

        But his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said Thursday there is no controversy.

        The Titans held workouts Tuesday and Thursday. Bruce Matthews also didn't attend, but he is expected to announce his retirement in June. Backup quarterback Neil O'Donnell was excused.

        Kearse, named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons, has worked out repeatedly at the team's building in Nashville. He attended voluntary weightlifting sessions there last week.

        The offseason program is not mandatory under NFL rules, but players under contract rarely miss the 14 on-field workouts allowed.

        Kearse, who has two years left on his deal and is scheduled for a base salary of $425,000 this season, could not be reached Thursday.


        Hall of Famer Jim Brown, who chose a six-month jail sentence over community service for vandalizing his wife's car, says he'll never be violent again.

        “I will never again raise my hand to anyone regardless of what they do to me,” the former Cleveland player told interviewer Bob Costas for Thursday night's On the Record on HBO. “It's such a weak gesture. I regret any physical acts against anyone.”

        Brown, 66, was convicted of misdemeanor vandalism. Jurors acquitted him of the more serious charge of making a terrorist threat during an argument with his wife in 1999.

        Judge Dale S. Fischer initially sentenced Brown to a year of domestic violence counseling. She also ordered the Hall of Fame running back to spend 40 days on a work crew cleaning up streets or put in 400 hours of community service, pay $1,800 in fines and serve three years probation.

        But Brown, who finished sixth in an Associated Press poll of the 20th century's greatest athletes, refused to do that. So the judge imposed a six-month jail term and ordered that Brown be separated from other prisoners because of his celebrity status.

        Brown was interviewed by Costas through a glass screen in the visitor's room at the jailwith the sounds of other visitors in the background. Jail officials refused to grant Costas a private interview, saying Brown was to be treated just like anyone else. He spends 23 hours a day in his cell, that he said is about 6-by-10 feet.

        “It's just small enough to drive you crazy if your mind is weak,” he said.


        The team signed kicker Derek Schorejs, who has been in training camps with Cincinnati, Cleveland and the New York Jets but never has appeared in a regular-season game.


        Free agent tight end Brian Kozlowski re-signed with the team. He had a career-high 270 yards receiving last season and 15 receptions, tying a career best set in 2000.


        Free agent guard Donald Willis signed a four-year deal with Kansas City. He joined the Chiefs in 1999 as a free agent and has played in 30 games, including six starts.


        Wide receiver D'Wayne Bates was waived Thursday, a day after Chicago matched Minnesota's offer sheet for him. General manager Jerry Angelo said the sticking point was the first year of Bates' contract.

        On Wednesday, the Bears said they would match a three-year, $2.85 million offer from Minnesota — a deal that would have cost them $1.1 million against the salary cap this year. But Angelo said the Bears wanted to “explore other options within the contract” and the only way to do that was to match the Vikings' offer.


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