Sunday, June 23, 2002

Booker signs seven-year deal with Bears

Record-setting Chicago receiver will earn $28 million

Enquirer wire services

        LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The Chicago Bears re-signed wide receiver Marty Booker, who set a team record with 100 receptions last season, to a seven-year, $28 million contract.

        Booker, a restricted free agent who agreed to the deal Friday, accumulated 1,071 receiving yards and scored eight touchdowns last season to help Chicago win the NFC Central and make the playoffs.

        Booker got a $5.5 million signing bonus and will get a base salary of $1 million this season, with another $1 million reporting bonus.

        Booker was a third-round pick in 1999 out of Northwest Louisiana, where he became a receiver after playing quarterback in high school.

        Against Tampa Bay last November, he had a breakout game with 165 yards receiving and three TD catches to spark a victory over the Bucs.

        The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Booker caught 47 passes for 490 yards and two touchdowns in 2000.

        RETURN TO L.A.? Los Angeles lawmakers approved several measures aimed at luring an NFL team back to the city.

        The action came in response to the Anschutz Entertainment Group's abandonment of a proposed $450 million downtown stadium.

        Council members voted 9-1 Friday to form a committee of council members and city agency staff to evaluate NFL stadium proposals. Public hearings are planned.

        The Community Redevelopment Agency will analyze 36 blighted areas it is revitalizing as potential stadium sites.

        Council members said their top priority remains use of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for another NFL team, despite indications from several NFL owners that they oppose the historic stadium.

        “The NFL has no official position on the Coliseum,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. “But the key point for us is we have yet to see a viable stadium plan.”

        When Anschutz was in the bidding, the NFL created a group of five owners to assess the possibility of a team moving to Los Angeles.

        Anschutz spokesman Michael Roth said Friday there has been no change in the group's decision.

        Los Angeles has been without a professional football team since 1995, when the both the Rams and Raiders left Southern California.

        REDSKINS: Cornerback Donovan Greer was released by Washington after injuring his knee in the second game of last season.

        Greer's release had been expected, but he wasn't let go until Friday after he had recovered from the knee injury. Under NFL rules, an injured player cannot be released.

        The five-year veteran signed as a free agent before last season. He then tore a knee ligament in the second game.

        The move clears $800,000 of salary cap space, leaving the team about $4.6 million under next season's $71.1 million cap, The Washington Post said.


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