Top picks sign; Leaf's exit surprises Holmgren

Sunday, July 28, 2002

Three first-round picks agreed to deals Saturday as tackle Mike Williams signed with the Bills, running back William Green signed with the Browns and defensive end Dwight Freeney signed with the Colts.

Williams, the fourth player taken in the draft, is scheduled to join the team Sunday for the Bills' first full-squad training camp session.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the contract is expected to make Williams the highest-paid rookie in Bills history and the team's third-highest paid player behind quarterback Drew Bledsoe and receiver Eric Moulds.

Green, the 16th overall pick, ended his five-day holdout when he agreed to terms on a five-year, $7.850 million contract.

His deal was finalized shortly after Green's agent, Tom Condon, had initially turned down the package.

Browns president Carmen Policy said the sides agreed on a seven-year deal that will be voided to five years if Green reaches some early incentives.

Condon would not comment, but said Green would fly to Cleveland and may practice with the Browns on Sunday.

Elsewhere

  • SEAHAWKS:Coach Mike Holmgren decided not to try to talk Ryan Leaf into staying with Seattle.

    Holmgren spoke to Leaf from the team's training camp facility after hearing of the quarterback's decision to retire.

    "I hadn't seen him since our minicamps," Holmgren said Saturday as Seattle opened camp. "We had a good conversation. It was pretty clear to me. I've talked to a lot players who decided not to play.

    "I was surprised. I think he did a decent job in minicamps."

    Leaf did not show up for a quarterbacks meeting Thursday, and the Seahawks said Friday he told the team he was quitting. He has not spoken publicly about his decision or what he plans to do next.

    VIKINGS:Bryant McKinnie, taken seventh overall in the draft, still has not signed with the Vikings. He missed the team's first practice Saturday.

    Ben Dogra, one of the offensive tackle's agents, said he spoke at length with the team Friday and would continue to negotiate over the weekend.

    "We're trying to bridge some gaps here," Dogra said. "We're trying to make progress."

    Also, the Vikings released tight end Johnny McWilliams.

    SAINTS:Coach Jim Haslett does not have a new contract as training camp begins.

    Haslett is in the final year of the original three-year contract he signed in 1999 with a base salary of $900,000. That deal places him in the bottom quarter of the NFL's 32 head coaches, according to published reports.

    Also, starting quarterback Aaron Brooks did not report to training camp, and Loomis believes Brooks is holding out.

    GIANTS: Cornerback Jason Sehorn does not expect to play in many of the Giants' preseason games because of weakness in his right knee after his third operation since 1998.

    JAGUARS: Coach Tom Coughlin reported no progress on the Jimmy Smith holdout front. The Jaguars apparently have an offer for a raise on the table and are waiting for Smith and agent Gary Uberstine to respond.

    BRONCOS:Quarterback Steve Beuerlein has looked sharp and thrown pain-free for the first two days of training camp after having elbow surgery Oct. 10.

    BENGALS:Coach Dick LeBeau said quarterbacks Jon Kitna and Gus Frerotte will compete during training camp to earn the starting job.

    Should Frerotte get the nod, he would become the team's fifth opening-day starter in as many years.

    TITANS:Cornerback Samari Rolle hurt his right foot Saturday afternoon and wound up on crutches, while top draft pick Albert Haynesworth missed his fifth training camp practice with the Tennessee Titans.

    Rolle said he did not know exactly what was wrong, but his foot was swollen.

    -- From wire reports

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