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Redskins, Jets, Steelers and More

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 NFL News - Wednesday, February 20,2008
... Redskins, Jets, Steelers and More...

Pro Bowl long snapper Albright re-signs with Redskins

Pro Bowl long snapper Ethan Albright re-signed with the 
Washington Redskins on Tuesday. Albright hasn't had a bad snap 
since joining the Redskins in 2001. He was one of three 
Washington representatives at this month's Pro Bowl, his 
first All-Star selection in his 12-year NFL career. Albright 
was signed as an undrafted free agent by Miami in 1994. He 
made his NFL debut with the Dolphins in 1995 and later played 
with Buffalo before joining the Redskins.

Veteran safety Artrell Hawkins signs with Jets

Safety Artrell Hawkins, who last played in 2006 with New 
England, signed with the New York Jets on Tuesday. Hawkins, 31, 
was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round of 
the 1998 draft. In nine NFL seasons, he started 92 of the 122 
games he played and had 482 tackles and 11 interceptions. He 
played six season with the Bengals, one with Carolina and two 
with the Patriots. He was released by New England in August.

Steelers sign defensive end Travis Kirschke to 2-year deal

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed defensive end Travis Kirschke 
to a two-year contract Tuesday. Kirschke was a backup until 
he started four games at the end of last season after Aaron 
Smith went out with a torn biceps muscle. Kirschke has played 
in 141 games, including 64 with the Steelers. He played six 
seasons in Detroit and one in San Francisco before signing 
with the Steelers as an unrestricted free agent before the 
2004 season.

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Chiefs place franchise tag on NFL sack leader Jared Allen

The Kansas City Chiefs put a franchise tag on defensive end 
Jared Allen, who led the NFL in sacks last season despite 
being suspended for the first two games. The Chiefs and Allen 
have been unable to work out a contract for almost a year. The 
Chiefs said Tuesday they had franchised Allen, who had 15 1/2 
sacks last season. He was suspended the first two games because 
of multiple DUI convictions. Under terms of the collective 
bargaining agreement, Allen will make almost $9 million next 
season, the average of the five highest-paid defensive ends 
in the NFL. If another club signs Allen, it would have to 
compensate the Chiefs with two first-round draft picks.
Kansas City also would have the right to match the contract.
Allen has said he would like to remain in Kansas City.

Titans' Sherman Smith joins Redskins as offensive coordinator

The Washington Redskins completed their coaching staff under 
new coach Jim Zorn, hiring Sherman Smith as offensive coordinator 
Friday. Smith comes from the Tennessee Titans, where he was 
the running backs coach since 1995 as well as an assistant 
head coach for the last two seasons. "It was a hard decision 
because I couldn't make a bad decision," Smith said.
Smith said he was drawn by the chance to reunite with
ex-teammate Zorn. The two played together for the Seahawks in 
the late 1970s and early 1980s. "The opportunity to work with 
Jim, the opportunity to develop further as a coach and in the 
coordinator position and to be a part of the Redskins' 
organization, I'm looking forward to that," Smith said. Smith 
received an offer from the Redskins when he visited Washington 
on Tuesday, then returned to Tennessee to consider his options. 
He'll join his new team at the NFL combine next week.
Smith will replace the person who hired him. Zorn was brought 
to Washington last month to be the offensive coordinator, then 
was promoted to head coach last Saturday. Zorn said earlier 
this week that he would call the plays if Smith accepted 
the coordinator position. "He does not want to call the plays," 
Zorn said. "And I want to call the plays."

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Patriots start work on LB corps, sign veteran T.J. Slaughter

The New England Patriots signed veteran free agent linebacker 
T.J. Slaughter on Tuesday. Slaughter played seven seasons in 
the NFL, but missed all of last season with a torn tendon in 
his left ring finger. He was placed on the injured-reserve 
list by the 49ers in November 2006 because of the injury.
He was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third round 
of the NFL draft in 2000 out of Southern Mississippi. He played 
three and a half seasons for the Jaguars and played for Green 
Bay, Baltimore, New Orleans and San Francisco. 

Redskins' new coach Zorn hires two assistants

Newly hired Washington Redskins coach Jim Zorn added John 
Palermo to coach the defensive line and Chris Meidt as an 
offensive assistant Monday. Palermo spent last season as the 
defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Tennessee Tech. 
He previously coached at the University of Miami and spent 14 
years as an assistant at Wisconsin. His other stops have 
included Minnesota, Appalachian State, Memphis State and 
Austin Peay, where he was head coach in 1990. Palermo fills 
the vacancy created when Greg Blache was promoted as the 
defensive coordinator after Gregg Williams was fired last 
month during the head coaching search. Meidt has been the 
head football coach at Division III St. Olaf for six seasons. 
He replaces Bob Saunders, who left the team after his father, 
assistant coach Al Saunders, was dismissed along with Williams. 
Another offensive assistant, Jack Burns, also won't return.
Zorn, hired as the Redskins' head coach Saturday, still 
needs to decide on an offensive coordinator and a running 
backs coach.

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Texans player accused of trying to choke common-law wife

Houston Texans receiver and kick returner Jerome Mathis was 
arrested and charged with choking his pregnant common-law wife.
Deputies went to Mathis's home Friday in Manvel, about 25 miles 
south of Houston, after getting a 911 call. Erica Smith told 
deputies the player had pushed her onto a bed and started 
choking her. The 26-year-old woman refused medical treatment 
but said she is six months pregnant. Mathis had left the house 
when deputies with the Brazoria County Sheriff's Department 
arrived. When he returned Sunday, he was arrested and charged 
with assault and family violence. He was released on $3,000 
bond. If convicted, he faces up to a year in jail and a fine 
of up to $4,000, authorities said. His attorney could not be 
immediately located. In December, Mathis received a misdemeanor 
citation after his pit bull chewed through a fence and behaved 
aggressively. The 24-year-old player was on the Texans' 
injured list last season.

Man accused of planning attack on Super Bowl indicted

A man accused of planning to shoot people at the Super Bowl 
was indicted on six counts of sending threatening communications, 
according to court documents filed Tuesday in federal court.
Kurt William Havelock, 35, turned himself in to authorities 
Feb. 3 after driving within sight of University of Phoenix 
Stadium during the Super Bowl with a rifle and 200 rounds of 
ammunition. He said he changed his mind. Havelock told 
authorities he was upset that the city of Tempe denied him a 
liquor license application for a Halloween-themed bar.
Before the planned attack, the indictment said, Havelock sent 
several letters to websites and news organizations. Havelock's 
writings included an eight-page manifesto in which he warned 
of an "econopolitical confrontation," according to the FBI.
A phone message and email sent to Havelock's federal public 
defender Jeffrey Williams were not immediately returned 
Tuesday evening. 

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