Troubled kicker inks deal with Raiders
Oakland and first-round draft choice Sebastian Janikowski finalized a contract Friday after the team gained assurances in case the troubled kicker runs afoul of the law again.
Janikowski signed a five-year contract worth $6.05 million. The contract includes a $2 million signing bonus. It also includes a clause that will force the kicker to pay back $25,000 for every game he misses due to suspension.
"That's obviously something the Raiders were very concerned about," said Janikowski's agent, Paul Healy. "It's a unique situation for a lot of reasons."
Most of them concern the kicker's run-ins with the law. He is free on bond and awaiting arraignment in Tallahassee on charges of possession of the date-rape drug. Prosecutors say it could be a few weeks before the next step in that case. Until then, he is allowed to leave the state for work.
Another issue: The Polish kicker isn't a United States citizen and could face deportation.
Janikowski got a clause in the deal that guarantees his salary for three seasons if he scores 114 or more points this season, and stays out of trouble. The Raiders got the unique provisions on the signing bonus, in case Janikowski slips back into trouble.
Janikowski made 66 of 83 field goals over three years at Florida State and became the third-leading scorer in school history. The Raiders finished last in the AFC in field-goal percentage last year.
Rookie cornerback William Bartee has agreed to a four-year contract with Kansas City. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Bartee, 6-foot-1, 189 pounds, was a second-round pick out of Oklahoma. He made 60 tackles and two interceptions in 11 starts for the Sooners. The Chiefs have signed seven of their eight draft picks. The lone holdout is first-round pick Sylvester Morris, a wide receiver out of Jackson State.
Tennessee has offered Carl Pickens a multiyear contract. Pickens became available Thursday when Cincinnati released him. Meanwhile, the NFL reduced Tennessee cornerback Denard Walker's suspension from two games to one Friday. The league suspended Walker and three other players on March 14 in an effort to crack down on off-field problems. Walker pleaded guilty last summer to assault for an incident involving the mother of his son.
Trevor Pryce, who led NFL defensive tackles with 13 sacks last season, told Denver he believes he is underpaid and was absent as the team opened training camp. Pryce, 24, is the fourth-year of a five-year, $4.9 million contract that will pay him $762,000 in base salary this season.
Washington running back Stephen Davis, the NFC's leading rusher last year, ended his holdout, agreeing to a one-year contract that will pay him $3.532 million. Meanwhile, No. 2 overall draft pick LaVar Arrington remained unsigned despite owner Dan Snyder's vow that all his draftees would be in camp on time. A league source said Arrington is insisting on a deal worth more than the one top pick Courtney Brown got from Cleveland.
Nose tackle Jerry Ball retired two days before Minnesota players report to training camp. Ball played 13 seasons in the NFL. The Vikings announced the move along with the signings of four draft choices defensive tackle Fred Robbins and defensive end Michael Boireau, both picked in the second round; running back Doug Chapman of Marshall, selected in the third round; and linebacker Antonio Wilson, a fourth-round pick.
Cincinnati wide receiver Darnay Scott, accused of writing a bad check, spent a night in jail before he was released after posting $5,000 bond.
Quarterback Kurt Warner signed for the two-year veteran's minimum of $358,000 so he could practice while talks continue on a longterm deal.
Miami receiver O.J. McDuffie began training camp the same way he finished last season hurt. The Dolphins held their first full-squad workout under new coach Dave Wannstedt, but McDuffie is still bothered by a sore left big toe that hampered him for much of 1999 and required surgery in February to repair a torn tendon. McDuffie failed the team physical and was placed on the active physically unable to perform list.
Also missing Friday were the Dolphins' top two draft choices, tackle Todd Wade and cornerback Ben Kelly. Both are unsigned.