Report: Rolen gets long-term deal from Cards
ST. LOUIS, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Scott Rolen, who declined a lucrative, long-term contract offer from the Philadelphia Phillies, reportedly has signed one with the St. Louis Cardinals.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday that Rolen, 27, acquired from the Phillies in a blockbuster trade on July 29, has agreed in
principle to an eight-year deal worth about $90 million. The deal would make the All-Star third baseman, who is eligible for free agency at the end of this season, the highest-paid player in franchise history in total value.
The newspaper added that sources indicates the announcement will be made before the playoffs begin next week.
According to various reports, Rolen turned down a seven-year, $90 million offer from the Phillies because he was concerned about the direction of the franchise. He avoided arbitration last winter by signing a one-year, $8.6 million deal with the Phillies.
Rolen's often rocky relationship with Philadelphia ended with the July trade and the Cardinals made clear their intention of signing him to a long-term extension.
At first, he hesitated to enter into contract talks until he became comfortable with his new surroundings.
The paper said General Manager Walt Jocketty offered little about the negotiations. He said it was "a matter of policy" for the team not to talk about negotiations because it is a potential "distraction" to the players involved.
Rolen has been an integral part of the Cardinals' 33-13 surge that allowed them to clinch the National League Central Division last week.
He is batting .267 with 29 home runs and 105 RBI overall this season, and is batting .283 since landing in St. Louis. Recently, he was named NL Player of the Week after hitting five homers in six games.
The three-time Gold Glove winner has hit at least 25 homers in five consecutive seasons.
Vikings trying to downplay Moss arrest
MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Rookie head coach Mike Tice of the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday indicated his disappointment in wide receiver Randy Moss. Moss was arrested for allegedly bumping a female traffic officer with his car Tuesday in Minneapolis.
Moss, 25, is being detained at the Hennepin County Jail on suspicion of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, which is a felony.
"I'm disappointed," the haggard Tice told reporters at the team's practice site. "I can't go any further than that. "The police records are sealed, so if and when there are charges made and I am able to sit down with Randy, his agent, and (owner) Red McCombs, I will address his situation accordingly."
A Minneapolis police spokeswoman said the county attorney would consider filing charges on Wednesday, and it is unclear whether Moss would be allowed to post bail.
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has the right to suspend and fine Moss under a "conduct detrimental to the league" clause in the collective bargaining agreement.
According to an arrest report from the Minneapolis Police Department, Moss allegedly tried to make a left turn from the wrong lane from Sixth Street onto Marquette Avenue in the city's downtown area. The traffic officer stepped in front of Moss' 2002 Lexus sedan and ordered him to stop.
The arrest report said Moss continued to drive forward, pushing the officer a half-block down Marquette Avenue until she was forced down. The traffic officer called for police, who arrived at the scene, arrested Moss, and impounded his car.
It is the latest incident involving Moss, who scared off college football powers Notre Dame and Florida State with his problems with the law during high school. He also has been fined by the NFL for squirting water on a referee and fined by the Vikings for verbally abusing corporate sponsors on the team bus in 2001.
Last year, the Vikings gave him a six-year, $75 million contract extension that included an $18 million signing bonus, a record at the time.
Late in the season, Moss raised questions about his commitment to football, and rankled fans by saying, "I play when I want to play."
Moss has had several run-ins with teammates as well, most notably the now-retired Cris Carter, who once was considered his mentor.
As recently as this past Sunday, Moss was seen arguing on the sidelines with quarterback Daunte Culpepper during a 21-14 home-field loss to Carolina that dropped Minnesota to 0-3.
"It's going to be a distraction, of course, but we have to take care of business," Culpepper said of the arrest. "It's part of life and we have to deal with it."
Moss, an extraordinary talent, set an NFL record with 5,396 receiving yards through his first four seasons. He is the only receiver in league history to amass 1,000 yards in each of his first four years.
CB Glenn gets long-term deal with Texans
HOUSTON, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The Houston Texans and cornerback Aaron Glenn have reached a contract extension.
Glenn, 30, who is currently in the final year of the contract he signed with the New York Jets before it carried over to the Texans in the Expansion Draft, got five years added to his pact.
The Houston Chronicle reported the deal is worth $26 million. and that he got a $7 million signing bonus.
"It shows a commitment to me, and when I got here, I made a commitment to them to try to be the best corner in the league, and that's what I'm trying to do," Glenn told the paper. "They stepped up to the plate and said they wanted me here. I'm at home, and I'm happy that I'll be able to finish my career as a Texan. You can't beat that."
The 5-9, 185-pounder is playing in his ninth NFL season, and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1997 and '98. He has started 123 of 124 pro games played, and has 26 career interceptions for the Jets and Texans.
This season, he leads the Texans with two interceptions and five passes defensed and has eleven tackles.
Glenn, a first round pick of the New York Jets in 1994, was a two-time All-America selection at Texas A&M and played at Nimitz High School in suburban Houston in Humble, Texas.
"I'm happy with what I got," Glenn said. "A lot of people might say I could have gotten this or I could have gotten that, but I'm happy with it."
"Aaron is an outstanding player," said General Manager Charley Casserly. "Not only has he demonstrated that he's one of the top cornerbacks in the league, but he also represents everything positive about the Texans and the city of Houston."
Panthers lose CB Fair for season
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Veteran cornerback Terry Fair of the Carolina Panthers will miss the remainder of the 2002 season with a fractured right ankle.
Fair suffered the injury in Sunday's 21-7 victory at Minnesota. He was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, ending his season.
"It's disappointing to lose a player like that," said Coach John Fox. "Terry was coming along as somebody we were going to be counting on as the season wore on."
Fair, selected with the 20th overall pick in the 1998 draft, spent his first four seasons with the Detroit Lions, starting 48 of 52 games before being released in a salary cap move. He had seven interceptions and 235 tackles.
As a rookie in 1998, Fair led the NFL with a 28.0-yard kickoff return average.
To take his roster spot, the Panthers signed linebacker Brad Jackson, who was with the team during training camp before being cut.
Jackson, 27, spent his first three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. He has 29 tackles in 39 games while playing primarily on special teams.
Bucs send Gibson to Colts
TAMPA, Fla., Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have dealt third-year safety David Gibson to the Indianapolis Colts for an undisclosed draft pick.
Gibson will join a similar defensive scheme to the one employed by the Buccaneers, as the Colts are led by former Tampa Bay coach Tony Dungy.
The Indianapolis depth chart shows only one player at strong safety, second-year man Cory Bird, and he sustained an injured hip in the Colts' game at Houston on Sunday.
With tackle Kenyatta Walker and guard Kerry Jenkins likely out for a month because of injuries, the Bucs also made a move to shore up their offensive line, re-signing second-year guard Russ Hochstein to a one-year contract.
Hochstein, a fifth-round pick in the 2001 draft, had been released by the Bucs last week when they signed tight end Rickey Dudley, who scored a touchdown in Monday night's win over St. Louis.
To make room for Hochstein's return, Tampa Bay released tight end Marco Battaglia, one of four players at that position on the Bucs' roster.
Hochstein has played in just one regular season NFL game, working on special teams in the Bucs' season opener on Sept. 8, but he has been with the team since April 2001 and played in all four preseason games. He becomes the Bucs' main reserve at guard.
Washington is the Bucs' only experienced backup at center, and 18th-year veteran Lomas Brown is the only healthy reserve tackle.
Eagles extend contract of C Fraley
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The Philadelphia Eagles Wednesday signed center Hank Fraley to a five-year contract, locking up their starting offensive line through at least the 2004 season.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Fraley, eligible to become a restricted free agent at season's end, is in his second year as the anchor of the Eagles' line. He took over the position when incumbent starter Bubba Miller suffered a season-ending knee injury in the 2001 preseason finale.
Fraley, 25, originally signed as a rookie free agent with the Pittsburgh Steelers after the 2000 draft, but was released and later claimed off waivers by the Eagles. He was deactivated for all 16 regular season and both postseason contests in 2000 before being elevated to replace Miller.
With the signing of the 6-2, 300-pound Fraley, the Eagles will have their line under contract for at least the next few years.
Left tackle Tra Thomas and left guard John Welbourn are signed through 2008, right tackle Jon Runyan is signed through 2005, and right guard Jermane Mayberry is inked through 2004.
Sunderland to do Lakers' play-by-play
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Paul Sunderland has joined the Los Angeles Lakers as the team's play-by-play broadcaster. He succeeds the late Chick Hearn.
The Los Angeles Daily News reported Sunderland got a one-year deal worth $300,000.
Sunderland, 56, becomes the second play-by-play voice in franchise history. He served as the team's play-by-play broadcaster for 56 games during the 2001-02 season when Hearn missed time because of a variety of health-related problems, including open-heart surgery and a partial hip replacement.
"I'm very, very happy (to get the job), but it's with mixed emotion," said Sunderland. "I wish I didn't have to take the job under these circumstances. It's life and life goes on, but I'd rather Chick were here."
Sunderland is a familiar face and voice to Los Angeles sports fans. He has served as the host for pregame shows for the Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Dodgers. He also has served as a play-by-play announcer for national NBA telecasts on NBC for several seasons, three Olympic Games for NBC, and a number of other national and international sporting events.
Sunderland is a native of Malibu, Calif., and grew up listening to Hearn.
He played college basketball at the University of Oregon and Loyola Marymount University, and also earned All-American honors in volleyball while attending Loyola.
He played for the U.S. National Volleyball Team from 1975-84, was named the U.S. Player of the Year in 1977, '79 and '82, and was also a member of the U.S. Olympic Volleyball teams in 1976, '80, and the gold medal-winning squad in 1984.
Sunderland will team with Stu Lantz, who will enter his 16th season as the Lakers color commentator in 2002-03.
"I embrace his (Hearn's) legacy, and I will let Chick Hearn be my guide," Sunderland said. "I will do everything in my power to honor him on a nightly basis."
Hearn died Aug. 5, succumbing to a coma after a fall in the back yard of his suburban Los Angeles home.