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NFL News - Wednesday, May 14,2008
... Bills, Giants, Raiders and More...

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Bills release injured TE Kevin Everett

The Buffalo Bills released Kevin Everett on Tuesday, clearing 
the way for the former tight end to receive disability benefits 
for the spinal cord injury that ended his career. Everett was 
initially paralyzed from the neck down after a violent 
collision with then-Denver receiver Domenik Hixon on a 
kickoff return in last year's season opener. Doctors doubted 
Everett would walk again, but the Texas native regained many 
motor skills, including the ability to walk without assistance.
Everett will be able to apply for long-term disability benefits 
and a one-time payment under the player health reimbursement 
plan. He would not have been eligible for the programs if he 
stayed on the Bills active roster. "We had numerous discussions 
with the league in dealing with this process to assist him in 
the best way possible," the team said in a statement Tuesday. 
"Kevin will always remain a Buffalo Bill in the same way that 
Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and so many others before him are 
held in the highest regard by our franchise." Everett, 
originally selected by the Bills in the third round of the 
2005 draft, is also eligible for full pension benefits because 
of credit for three seasons. "The Buffalo Bills continue to 
be moved by Kevin Everett's heartwarming story of his recovery," 
the team said in a statement released Tuesday. "His progress 
from September 9 of last year through today is nothing short 
of a miracle, and is a tremendous example of faith, family 
and hard work." Joining Everett on the waived/failed physical 
list is WR Chris Denney, who sustained a knee injury while 
playing in NFL Europa last season. Denney was an undrafted 
free agent signed by the Bills in 2006.

Army P Owen Tolson waived by Giants

 Free agent punter Owen Tolson of Army was among five players 
released by the New York Giants. Tolson, who ranked seventh 
in the nation in punting last season, was signed last week 
and cut on Monday after participating in a weekend minicamp 
for rookies and free agents. The Giants also waived linebacker 
Rory Johnson of Mississippi and defensive tackle Joshua Muse 
of Louisiana Tech, while terminating the contracts of tight 
end Eric Butler of Mississippi State and guard Carnell Stewart 
of LSU. Seven players who attended the camp on a tryout basis 
were signed, including former Rutgers defensive tackle Nate 
Robinson, who finished his career at Akron. Also signed were 
defensive tackle Brian Soi of Utah, defensive end Alex Morrow 
of Southern California, defensive backs Miguel Scott of North 
Carolina State and Terrance Stringer of Tuskegee, long snapper 
Nick Leeson of Virginia Tech and offensive lineman Jacob Hobbs 
of the University at Albany.

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Ex-NFL player Hambrick gets 5 years for drug sales

A Tampa judge has sentenced former NFL running back Troy 
Hambrick to five years in prison for selling crack cocaine.
The former Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals player was 
sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday.
Hambrick pleaded guilty on Feb. 26 to one count of distributing 
50 grams or more of crack cocaine. Court documents show Hambrick 
sold the drugs in 2007 to a confidential informants near his 
home in Lacoochee, about 40 miles north of Tampa. Hambrick's 
NFL career spanned five seasons. His best year was 2003 when 
he rushed for 972 yards and five touchdowns for Dallas.

Bears make Gould highest paid kicker

Robbie Gould became the highest paid kicker, agreeing to a 
five-year, $15.5 million contract extension with the Chicago 
Bears that includes a $4.25 million signing bonus on Monday.
The deal runs through 2013. "I'm excited about the contract I 
signed," Gould, who had a year left on his contract, said 
during a conference call with reporters. "I'm excited to be 
a Bear. ... This is definitely a win-win on both ends."
Gould has made 84 of 99 field-goal attempts and 99 of 100 
PATs with the Bears. He hit 31 of 36 field-goal attempts last 
season and made the Pro Bowl after the 2006 season, when he 
scored 143 points. Gould hit a game-winning 49-yarder in 
overtime to send the Bears past Seattle in the playoff opener 
following the 2005 season. Chicago went on to the Super Bowl.
His new deal trumps the five-year, $14.2 million contract Josh 
Brown signed with St. Louis on March 1. "He obviously helped 
to set another standard, and I'm very happy he got his deal 
done, which helped me in order to set my parameters and work 
on getting a deal done with Chicago," Gould said. Gould was 
an undrafted free agent out of Penn State in 2005. He first 
signed with New England, then spent time with Baltimore before 
going to the Bears in October of that year. "It gives undrafted 
free agents an opportunity to step back and say, 'I can make 
it' and 'One day I can get to that point where I can get a 
new contract,"' Gould said. "You're just looking to get an 
opportunity, and it made my hungry. I knew that when I was 
cut from two teams that I would eventually get an opportunity. 
Would I have ever thought that I would have lasted this long 
with the Chicago Bears? Probably not, because it was supposed 
to be a week-to-week deal that turned out to be, hopefully, a 
long career in Chicago."

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Renovated Pro Football Hall of Fame opens to public

A ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday marked the opening of the 
$4 million renovated wings at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Former Cleveland Browns star Dante Lavelli helped do the honors 
as the new wings were shown to the public. Renovations to the 
hall's enshrinee mementos, unchanged for nearly 30 years, 
include video and audio to help bring the game's greatest 
players and moments to life. A bench features nine lifelike 
figures in uniform. The last major update came in 2003 when 
the Hall of Fame gallery was updated with touch-screen kiosks 
complementing the bronze busts of each enshrinee.

Dallas Cowboys want new street names by stadium

The Dallas Cowboys have requested that Arlington change the 
names of two streets near the team's $1.1 billion stadium to 
Cowboys Way and Legends Way. Baird Farm Road between Interstate 
30 and Division Street would be temporarily changed to Legends 
Way and eventually renamed for the company that purchases the 
stadium naming rights. Cowboys officials have said they are 
discussing naming rights with several companies but declined 
to comment further. Arlington officials have confirmed that 
AT&T is one of the companies. The Cowboys also requested that 
the city change Rogers Street between Collins Street and 
Stadium Drive to Cowboys Way. The team also said they might 
request a future change in Sanford Street between Collins 
Street and Stadium Drive. The changes are expected to return 
to the council for formal approval.


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Raiders sign LB Edgerton Hartwell

The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent linebacker Edgerton 
Hartwell, hoping he can revive a career beset by injuries in 
recent seasons. The 30-year-old Hartwell played only 13 games 
in 2005 and '06 with Atlanta because of injuries to his knee 
and Achilles' tendon. He was cut by Cincinnati before the start 
of last season and sat out the entire year. He signed with 
Oakland on Tuesday and will have a chance to compete for the 
starting strong-side linebacker spot alongside Kirk Morrison 
and Thomas Howard. Robert Thomas and Sam Williams shared those 
duties last season. The Raiders have been looking to upgrade 
their run defense after allowing a league-worst 4.8 yards per 
carry last season. The Raiders also signed quarterback Brian 
White of Portland State and defensive end Greyson Gunheim of 
Washington ahead of the rookie minicamp this weekend.

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