New York The NFL Players Association wants two bye weeks and bigger rosters to accept the league’s proposed 18-game regular season.
A person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press that the union’s counterproposal also includes a potential expansion of practice squad size and a two-thirds reduction of offseason workouts.
The person spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the details.
The owners want to play 18 regular-season and two preseason games instead of the current breakdown of 16 and four. That’s one issue to be hashed out during the collective bargaining negotiations between the league and the union. The current agreement expires in March, raising fears of a potential lockout.
Panthers promote QB
Charlotte, N.C. — Unsure of Jimmy Clausen’s status because of a concussion, the Carolina Panthers have promoted quarterback Brian St. Pierre from the practice squad. The Panthers made room on the 53-man roster Tuesday by waiving running back Andre Brown a week after claiming him from Indianapolis.
Merling charge dropped
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — Prosecutors have dropped a felony aggravated battery charge against Miami Dolphins reserve defensive end Phillip Merling The Broward State Attorney’s Office charged Merling with attacking his pregnant girlfriend. But it said Tuesday that the woman had moved to her parents’ house in South Carolina and authorities have been unable to serve her a subpoena to have her return to Florida to testify against Merling.
Dolphins QB ailing
David, Fla. — Quarterback Chad Henne is missing the Miami Dolphins’ only practice in preparation for Thursday night’s game against the Chicago Bears. Also absent at the start of Tuesday’s workout were safety Chris Clemons (hamstring) and center Joe Berger (knee). They were hurt in Sunday’s win over Tennessee, along with Henne, who injured his left knee.
’Skins have out clause in McNabb’s contract
Landover, Md. — Nothing is straightforward about Donovan McNabb these days. It turns out the $40 million he is supposed to be guaranteed in his new contract could turn out to be a mere $3.5 million.
McNabb’s agent, Fletcher Smith, clarified some of the details of McNabb’s deal Tuesday. He says while the contract is worded so that it has “$40 million in guarantees,” the Redskins do have an option to cut McNabb at the end of the season with no further money due.
McNabb receives a $3.5 million bonus this year as part of the new agreement, but the rest of the five-year, $78 million package would come to naught if the team decides to cut ties.
The clause essentially gives the Redskins seven more games to decide if McNabb is truly the quarterback to lead the team under coach Mike Shanahan.
Bengals sign K Pettrey
Cincinnati — The Cincinnati Bengals have signed former Ohio State University kicker Aaron Pettrey to replace another former Buckeye. Kicker Mike Nugent was lost for the season after tearing a knee ligament during a successful onside kick in the closing minutes of Sunday’s 23-17 loss at Indianapolis.
Steelers cut K Reed, sign Suisham
Pittsburgh — For eight years, the Pittsburgh tolerated Jeff Reed’s off-field incidents and had no issues with his platinum-dyed hair and quirkiness. What they couldn’t forgive were his misses. Reed, who began the season as one of the 10 most accurate kickers in NFL history but has been erratic all season, was cut Tuesday and replaced by former Redskins and Cowboys kicker Shaun Suisham.
Giants sign WR Hagan
East Rutherford, N.J. — The New York Giants have signed Derek Hagan and placed Ramses Barden on injured reserve. Barden fractured his left ankle in the Giants’ 33-20 loss to Dallas on Sunday. The Giants also are without Steve Smith, who is out indefinitely due to a torn pectoral muscle.
Arizona OT Keith done
Tempe, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals’ starting offensive right tackle, Brandon Keith, is out for the remainder of the season because of hamstring and knee injuries.
Browns cut QB, sign two players
Cleveland — Brett Ratliff got caught in a numbers game again.
For the second time this season, he became Cleveland’s odd quarterback out.
The Browns waived the veteran QB on Tuesday, one of several moves the team made.
The team also waived punter Dave Zastudil, who had been on injured reserve because of a knee injury, placed starting offensive guard Billy Yates on injured reserve due to a biceps injury and signed defensive back Eric King and kick returner Clifton Smith.