Smith expects better contract from Bears

All Lovie Smith wants is a fair deal to coach the Chicago Bears.


He thinks he'll get one, but how long it takes is an entirely different question.

In Smith's first public comments since his agent, Frank Bauer, said the two sides were at a stalemate in negotiations, Smith said he expected to get a more lucrative deal after his contract runs out next season.

"Of course I don't like being the lowest-paid coach in the league," he said Friday at the annual NFL scouting combine. "I'd like to be in a different position. I look at it like I won't be in that position long."

Smith, the 2005 NFL Coach of the Year, led the Bears to a 15-4 record and their first NFC Championship in more than two decades last season before they lost 29-17 to Indianapolis in the Super Bowl. He has one year remaining on his current deal, which paid him $1.35 million in 2006.

He is scheduled to make $1.45 million next year.

GIANTS: Tom Coughlin has one regret about Tiki Barber: that he couldn't convince the running back to keep his opinions out of the public spotlight.

The coach told reporters during the NFL's annual scouting combine he wished Barber hadn't used the media to voice his strong opinions and wasn't sure why Barber blamed the coaching staff for pushing him into retirement.

Barber's latest comments came during a news conference when he was hired by NBC.

"I do not know what this is all about," Coughlin said. "I was under the impression he was having a press conference to announce his new role with NBC, and then to find out that he turned around and talked about something like this ... I think to give the illusion that I had something to do with his retirement, I don't quite follow that."

Barber, who retired after last season and will now work on the Today show and Sunday Night Football broadcasts, criticized Coughlin recently for not giving him enough rest during the practice week.

TITANS: Adam "Pacman" Jones, entangled in a triple shooting at a Las Vegas strip club, might not be on the team's roster next season.

Mike Reinfeldt, the team's new general manager, was asked at the NFL Combine about Jones' status after reports of the cornerback's involvement in the mayhem. He replied: "I would assume there is that potential."

Jones, who is under contract through 2009, has not been charged in connection with the shootings that left one man paralyzed. But police seized more than $81,000 in bills that they say belongs to Jones and sparked the melee and the shooting.

PATRIOTS: Corey Dillon, who is 14th on the NFL's career rushing list, is likely to be playing for a team other than New England next season.

Dillon's agent, Steve Feldman, told The Associated Press that his client will ask the Patriots for his release and that the team is likely to grant it by March 2, the start of free agency.

BROWNS: Won a coin flip with Tampa Bay at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis and will pick third overall in April's draft. The Buccaneers will select fourth.

The teams finished with identical 4-12 records last season and their opponents had the same winning percentage.

Chargers: The father of NFL MVP LaDainian Tomlinson was killed when the pickup truck in which he was riding blew a tire and flipped on a highway.

Oliver Tomlinson was killed at about 1:30 p.m. in the one-vehicle rollover, a Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman said.



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