Originally created 02/28/04

Sapp not eager to leave Buccaneers



NEW YORK - The NFL made another attempt Friday to block the court ruling allowing Maurice Clarett into April's NFL Draft.

The league asked the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay of U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin's ruling earlier this month, citing "potentially tragic consequences" if it remains intact.

The stay would block Clarett - and presumably Southern California wide receiver Mike Williams - from entering the draft while the appeals court considers whether Scheindlin's ruling should be overturned.

Clarett's lawyer, Alan C. Milstein, said the likelihood that the appeals court would block the ruling was "so remote as to be next to impossible."

"We'll win at this level. We'll win at the Second Circuit. If they go to the Supreme Court, we'll win there," Milstein said. "We are prepared to win at every level we have to win until this is over."

BUCCANEERS: Warren Sapp hopes his playing days in Tampa Bay aren't over.

The seven-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle is set to become a free agent for the first time next week, but isn't eager to change teams after helping transform once-laughable Tampa Bay into one of the NFL's elite franchises.

A year removed from winning the Super Bowl, Sapp not only wants to remain a part of a perennial playoff contender but is eager to show he's still the league's most dominant player at his position. The Buccaneers aren't sure they can afford to re-sign him as they try to trim their payroll.

"If it's my choice, I'd keep laying bricks right here in Rome. Rome wasn't built in a day, but it was torn down in 20 minutes," Sapp said.

STEELERS: Longtime starters Dewayne Washington and Mark Breuner were released.

The team also re-signed kicker Jeff Reed to a one-year contract worth $380,000. Reed had hip surgery in January but is expected to be ready for minicamp in June.

Both Washington and Bruener lost their starting jobs at cornerback and tight end last season, when Bruener was forced to take a pay cut from $2 million to $850,000 just to stay with the team as a third-stringer.

SEAHAWKS: Seattle waived defensive tackle Chad Eaton.

The eight-year NFL veteran was due to receive $2.4 million next season. This season's salary cap is $80.6 milliion.

"This is simply cap-related," general manager Bob Ferguson said.

PACKERS: In Green Bay, Wis., safety Curtis Fuller has been re-signed to a one-year contract.

The Packers claimed the 5-foot-9, 191-pound Fuller off waivers Sept. 1 from Seattle. He played in nine games.

Fuller was a fourth-round pick of the Seahawks in 2001 and has played in 35 games in three seasons.