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Giants waiting on Strahan


Michael Strahan still has not made a decision whether to play for the New York Giants or retire after 14 seasons and seven trips to the Pro Bowl.

Agent Tony Agnone said yesterday that the 35-year-old defensive end was still on the West Coast considering his options. Strahan discussed his role with the team and "do they really want him, etc., etc.," in talks with Giants general manager Jerry Reese Tuesday, Agnone added.

Reese has described the talks with Strahan Monday night and Tuesday morning as "constructive and positive." Strahan said then that he expected to reach a decision on his future within two days, Reese said.

Justin Tuck, who missed part of last season with a Lisfranc foot injury, has played well at left end in Strahan's absence. He had four tackles, a sack, and a pressure in the 20-12 loss to the Jets Saturday. The Giants will play their final preseason game tonight against the Patriots.

Bengals add Elling
With Shayne Graham slowed by a bruised hip, the Bengals signed kicker Aaron Elling, giving them someone to kick in the final exhibition game against the Indianapolis Colts -- and beyond, if needed. Graham was injured while helping make a tackle on a kickoff during an exhibition game Monday night in Atlanta . . . Punter Scott Player, the Arizona Cardinals' longest-tenured veteran in both seasons and games played, was released by the team. The 37-year-old Player appeared in 140 games in nine seasons with the Cardinals. Player will be replaced by Mike Barr, picked up on a waiver claim Tuesday . . . The New York Jets hosted former Patriots safety Artrell Hawkins on a free agent visit. Hawkins, who played in 19 games for the Patriots over the last two seasons, was released by New England Aug. 18 . . . Detroit Lions running back Kevin Jones, on the physically unable to perform list with a left foot injury, will get re-examined today to determine how close he is to returning. Jones, who has been held out of the preseason, remains hopeful he can play in the season opener Sept. 9 in Oakland.

Rucker to appeal
Bengals defensive end Frostee Rucker is appealing a proposed one-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, the result of settling a domestic violence case in April. If he loses the appeal, Rucker will become the third Bengals player suspended by the league for the Sept. 10 season opener. Commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended receiver Chris Henry for the first eight games for repeatedly violating the NFL's conduct policy. Linebacker Odell Thurman was suspended for last season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. His request for reinstatement was denied by Goodell, who ruled he should sit out 2007 as well . . . Britt Reid, 22, son of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, was charged with driving under the influence and drug violations in Plymouth Township, Pa., last week while still awaiting sentencing for a separate road-rage incident earlier this year . . . Todd Marinovich, 38, the former Los Angeles Raiders quarterback whose career ended in a mire of drug abuse, is facing a possible prison term after a weekend arrest for drug charges in Orange County, Calif.

Card show
The woman who paid $7,400 on eBay for 22 Michael Vick football cards, chewed up and slobbered on by two Missouri dogs, acknowledges she hadn't heard of the Atlanta Falcons star quarterback before he was indicted for dogfighting.

But Laura Norton-Dye, 40, of Cape Girardeau, wanted to send the message that local animal shelters need help -- and she challenged Vick to donate money himself. Norton-Dye, who outbid 30 others, has requested the money be donated to the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri and to Safe Harbor, a local animal sanctuary.

The success of the auction created a craze of more than 25 other postings this week offering torn-up cards featuring the disgraced superstar. But so far, the original post from Rochelle Steffen, of Cape Girardeau, has been the only auction to attract droves of bidders. "When I started this I only expected to get $100 for a local shelter," Steffen said. "But it's received so much attention. It's for such a good cause that jumps every boundary."

Vegas loves fantasy
The billion-dollar business of fantasy football has another new player: Las Vegas oddsmakers.

Station Casinos Inc., the fifth-largest sports book in the country, was to become the first to release a betting line -- at 7 p.m. EDT yesterday -- and start taking wagers based on players' projected fantasy statistics.

So instead of plunking down a bet on whether the Saints will beat the Colts next week, or how many points will be scored, a better in Vegas can wager that Reggie Bush will finish with more than 16 fantasy points. Or that Peyton Manning might be under 21.

Jason McCormick, director of race and sports for Station's 14 sports books, said consumer demand led to the fantasy betting.

McCormick said betting lines will be available on eight quarterbacks, eight running backs, and eight receivers. The 24-player lineup, chosen by McCormick and a handful of other Station oddsmakers, will change each week.

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