Archive for Friday, January 24, 2003

NFL briefs

January 24, 2003


Jaguars hire Harris as personnel exec

Jacksonville, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars filled out their front office Thursday by hiring James Harris as their vice president of player personnel. Harris had been the Baltimore Ravens' director of pro personnel since 1997.

Harris, 55, played quarterback for the Bills, Rams and Chargers during a 12-year career. He led the NFL with an 89.8 passer rating in 1976, when he started for the Rams. He also was among the first black quarterbacks to start in the NFL.

He's the second black man to be elevated to a high-ranking NFL executive's post this month, along with Rod Graves of the Arizona Cardinals. In November, the Ravens made Ozzie Newsome the NFL's first black general manager.

Eagles' Johnson signs $4 million extension

Philadelphia -- Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson signed a four-year extension worth more than $4 million Thursday, making him the NFL's highest-paid coordinator.

Johnson, 61, withdrew Wednesday from consideration for the San Francisco 49ers' head coaching position.

His average salary of more than $1 million surpasses the contract of former Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis, who signed a three-year deal worth about $850,000 a year last offseason.

Bengals select OU aide

Cincinnati -- The Bengals hired Oklahoma assistant and former NFL player Jonathan Hayes as tight ends coach Thursday, completing the staff of new coach Marvin Lewis. Hayes is the younger brother of Bengals defensive line coach Jay Hayes, who was hired earlier this week.

Hayes has been Oklahoma's tight ends coach and special teams coordinator for four years. He played tight end for 12 NFL seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers after the Chiefs drafted him in the second round from Iowa in 1985.

Vick out of Pro Bowl

Flowery Branch, Ga. -- Falcons quarterback Michael Vick will not play in the Pro Bowl next week because he needs to have a bunion removed. Vick will miss the Feb. 2 game in Hawaii and remain in Atlanta to have a podiatrist take the bunion off his foot, team spokesman Aaron Salkin said Thursday.

Cardinals to raise prices

Tempe, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals will increase ticket prices an average of 6.3 percent next season, despite another losing year. Arizona's tickets averaged a league-low $41.59 in 2002, when the Cardinals lost nine of their final 10 games and finished 5-11.

Steelers sign three

Pittsburgh -- Running back Antwon McCray, offensive lineman Dave Costa and fullback Wes Ours -- all free agents -- signed Thursday with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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