NFL notebook

Jackson ending holdout

Rams, RB close on multiyear deal

Associated Press / August 21, 2008
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Rams running back Steven Jackson ended his holdout yesterday and St. Louis appeared on the verge of signing him to a new multiyear contract.

Jackson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he had agreed "in principle" to terms of a deal. He added that once a few details were ironed out, "we'll be pretty much done."

The 235-pound Jackson, a bruising runner and the centerpiece of the Rams' offense, is entering the final season of a five-year, $7 million deal he signed as a first-round pick in 2004. His prolonged stand perhaps reflected a realization of his value to an attack that averaged only 16 points last season while the team went 3-13.

The Rams cut off negotiations in late July on the first day of training camp after Jackson's agent, Eugene Parker, turned down a deal the team said would have put Jackson in the top echelon at his position.

"This is certainly a step in the right direction," coach Scott Linehan said. "We're hoping we can get this thing squared away real quickly."

Hasselbeck still out

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck did not practice again because of a stiff back, and he may miss his second consecutive preseason game, against San Diego. Coach Mike Holmgren is trying to ensure that Hasselbeck is ready for the regular-season opener Sept. 7 at Buffalo.

"Absolutely your starting quarterback has to be ready for the first regular-season game," Holmgren said after No. 3 quarterback Charlie Frye again took most of the snaps yesterday - just as he is likely to do Monday night against the Chargers.

Seattle is already missing its two top receivers with Bobby Engram out until perhaps October with a broken shoulder and Deion Branch six months into recovery from reconstructive knee surgery.

KC LB breaks hand

Linebacker Demorrio Williams will likely miss the final two Kansas City Chiefs exhibition games with a broken bone in his right hand, but expects to be ready for the Sept. 7 opener at New England.

Williams, who signed a five-year contract in March, suffered the injury Tuesday, but did not learn of the severity until a cast was placed on the hand later.

From what doctors told him, Williams said, he'll miss Saturday's game at Miami and probably next Thursday's exhibition game against St. Louis.

Surgery for Curtis

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Kevin Curtis will have surgery today to repair a sports hernia and will likely miss the start of the regular season. Coach Andy Reid believes Curtis, the team's top receiver last season, will be back during the regular season, but no timetable has been set for his return. "He'll be back this season, for sure," Reid said. "I'd like to tell you a time on it, but I can't. I don't know what that time is on it." . . . Five-time Pro Bowl center Tom Nalen is headed back to the operating table. The only player left from the Denver Broncos' Super Bowl teams of the late 1990s, Nalen will undergo another arthroscopic operation on his left knee today, said coach Mike Shanahan . . . Quarterback Trent Edwards has a swollen bruise above his right kneecap, which forced him to miss practice a day after the Bills starter knocked knees in a collision with running back Marshawn Lynch . . . Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman had his knee examined in Alabama after lingering soreness kept him out of practice for more than a week. Merriman underwent surgery to repair cartilage damage five months ago but has had persistent pain in the knee during training camp . . . The Carolina Panthers released injured defensive tackle Ian Scott, who missed all of last season in Philadelphia with a knee injury, and signed receiver Sean Bailey.

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