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PRO FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : AFC : Raiders Try Out Kicking Replacements

Associated Press

With kicker Jeff Jaeger definitely sidelined for the season opener and maybe longer because of a sprained knee, the Oakland Raiders had four players in for tryouts Tuesday in El Segundo.

The Raiders looked at Cary Blanchard, who was recently cut by New Orleans; Dirk Borgognone (Green Bay); Tony Zendejas (St. Louis), and Cole Ford (Pittsburgh).

Coach Mike White, who expects to announce his decision today, said it will weigh heavily on ability to put the ball in or near the end zone on kickoffs, “maybe even more than being a high-percentage guy.”

The Raiders signed free agent Koe Nedney (San Jose State) to a practice squad contract and are considering him for regular-season duty along with the free agents, White said.

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The Cincinnati Bengals signed guard Todd Kalis, a former starter for Pittsburgh and Minnesota in hopes of plugging a leaky offensive line.

The Bengals also are considering an offer to running back Barry Foster, cut on Monday by Carolina. General Manager Mike Brown, however, said he is uneasy about Foster, who would replace Ki-Jana Carter, sidelined for the season after knee surgery.

Kalis, an eight-year veteran cut by the Steelers on Sunday, started 11 games last season before breaking his left leg on Nov. 11. Contract terms weren’t disclosed.

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To make room for Kalis, the Bengals placed left guard Rich Braham (sprained ankle) on injured reserve.

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Offensive lineman Gene Williams and linebacker Travis Hill were traded by the Cleveland Browns, Williams to the Atlanta Falcons and Hill to Carolina.

The Browns received a conditional fifth-round pick for Williams and “past considerations” for Hill.

However, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the Browns will receive former Seattle receiver and kickoff returner Michael Bates, who was claimed off waivers by the Panthers Monday.

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Miami Dolphin quarterback Dan Marino’s purchase of stock in a company owned by team owner Wayne Huizenga may be a violation of the NFL’s salary cap rules.

The Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale reported the league is looking into Marino’s purchase of more than $390,000 worth of stock in Republic Waste Industries, a company Huizenga bought in May. Since the purchase, the stock has quintupled in value, making Marino’s stake worth nearly $2 million.

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The league said the more than $1.5 million gain on the Miami quarterback’s investment might be a possible salary cap violation.

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Pittsburgh Steeler cornerback Deon Figures, still recovering from a gunshot wound to his left knee, won’t start Sunday’s opener against Detroit. Coach Bill Cowher, saying Figures is not yet in good enough physical condition, said third-year cornerback Willie Williams, who has started only one pro game, will replace Figures.


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