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Archive for Sunday, July 29, 2001

NFL Briefs

July 29, 2001

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Draft pick Pickett signs with Rams

Macomb, Ill. Twenty pounds lighter and millions of dollars richer, defensive tackle Ryan Pickett arrived at the St. Louis Rams' training camp Saturday night.

The third of the team's three first-round draft picks said he signed a five-year, $6 million contract. Pickett, who left Ohio State after his junior season, was the 29th overall pick in last April's draft.

"Oh man, it feels good because this is a lifelong dream," Pickett said. "It's just starting to hit me that this is what I'm doing."

The Rams signed defensive tackle Damione Lewis of Miami, the 12th overall pick, on Friday. Arizona State safety Adam Archuleta, the 20th pick, remained unsigned.

Bennett, Vikings agree on contract

Minneapolis The Minnesota Vikings agreed to terms Saturday with first-round draft pick Michael Bennett, a former Wisconsin football and track star who was the 27th overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft.

Bennett, who was eligible to play two more seasons for the Badgers, made the most of his first full season as a starter when former Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne left campus.

Bennett, 22, ranked third in the nation in rushing, with 1,681 yards, though he went into last season with only 57 career carries. He also rushed for 11 touchdowns and was ninth in all-purpose yards (170.6 yards per game).

Running back Rhett released by Browns

Cleveland The Cleveland Browns waived veteran running back Errict Rhett on Saturday to free up playing time for younger players.

"I have a great deal of respect for Errict. He is a great person and he worked extremely hard, but we have a logjam at the running back position," coach Butch Davis said.

Rhett, 30, was to be Cleveland's feature back when he signed a three-year, $4.5 million dollar contract on Feb. 28, 2000. He started five games with the Browns last year but missed the final 11 games after tearing a ligament in his foot. He did not play in the Browns intrasquad scrimmage Saturday.

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