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Cardinals sign Fitzgerald

Receiver could earn up to $60m

Being third was no handicap to Larry Fitzgerald.

The wide receiver from Pittsburgh, who was drafted No. 3 overall, and the Arizona Cardinals agreed yesterday to a six-year contract that could be worth up to $60 million. That puts him in a financial bracket as high or perhaps higher than the first two picks.

About $20 million is guaranteed, said a source close to the negotiations, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Eli Manning, the No. 1 overall pick, also got $20 million guaranteed from the Giants and $54 million with incentives. Second pick Robert Gallery's deal with Oakland is estimated at seven years and $60 million.

Fitzgerald missed both practices yesterday after getting tied up with paperwork.

In just two seasons, the 6-foot-2-inch, 233-pounder managed to rank first in Panthers history in TD catches (34), third in receptions (161), and fourth in yardage (2,677).

Williams files papers
Ricky Williams filed retirement papers with the NFL that probably will prevent him from playing this season, even if he changes his mind about quitting. The Dolphins were informed that the papers were filed with the NFL Management Council in New York on Williams's behalf late last week. A week before the start of training camp, Williams told the Dolphins that he had decided to retire at 27. The papers aren't binding, but because Williams was in the league's substance abuse program, he can't return for one year without penalty. The Dolphins receive immediate salary-cap credit for the running back's $3.6 million base salary this season . . . Derrick Knight, who became Boston College's all-time leading rusher last season after starring at Xaverian High, signed with the Giants. Terms of the deal were not announced . . . Joe Jurevicius had a major setback in his bid to return from a serious knee injury when the Buccaneers revealed that the receiver needs surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back. The timetable for his return is unknown . . . Marvin Lewis, who led the Bengals to an 8-8 record in 2003, signed a new contract shortly after last season, team spokesman Jack Brennan announced. Lewis received a new four-year contract that will pay him more than $2 million per season . . . First-round draft pick DeAngelo Hall will report to the Atlanta Falcons' training camp today after the cornerback reached terms on a contract that could include the largest signing bonus in franchise history.

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