NFL notebook

Faneca lines up retirement

Vikings settle on site for stadium

Associated Press / May 11, 2011

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Alan Faneca made no secret in the final weeks of the 2010 season that it could well be his last in the rugged trenches of the NFL.

Yesterday, the eight-time All-Pro guard announced his retirement after 13 years in the league.

“From the dog days of training camp to winning a Super Bowl the memories are endless,’’ Faneca said in a statement released through his agent Rick Smith. “The greatest memory that I will leave the game with is all of the lifelong friendships I have made.’’

The former Steelers and Jets standout played last season with the Cardinals. Faneca started every game his last nine seasons and finished with a streak of 144 consecutive games played.

“It’s incredible considering the brutality of the position he’s played, especially with as much pulling as he’s done in his career,’’ said Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt, who was on the Steelers coaching staff for six of Faneca’s seasons there.

Faneca, 34, was named All-Pro from 2001 through 2008 and was a Pro Bowl starter from 2001 through 2009.

Vikings eye suburbs The owners of the Minnesota Vikings said that the team’s future is in the suburbs, announcing a deal with Ramsey County to collaborate on a $1.1 billion retractable-roof stadium about 10 miles north of the Metrodome.

The deal between appeared to end the debate over the where to put a new stadium, at least from the team’s perspective. But how to fund the facility remains a major question. The plan calls for a new stadium at the site of a former Army ammunitions plant in Arden Hills, about 10 miles northeast of downtown Minneapolis. It proposes an $884 million stadium and an additional $173 million for infrastructure.

The third leg of the funding stool, a proposed $300 million from the state plus another $100 million in transportation improvements, was in question after a key lawmaker called the transportation money a “non-starter.’’

Study targets helmets Nearly 40 percent of NFL players last season wore a helmet model that got the second-lowest rating for reducing the risk of concussions in a study by Virginia Tech researchers.

Riddell’s VSR-4 helmet received just one star in a study of football helmets led by Virginia Tech professor of biomedical engineering Stefan Duma. Another Riddell model — the Revolution Speed — was the only helmet that earned five stars, the top rating.

According to Riddell, 38 percent of NFL players wore the low-rated VSR-4 in 2010 and 39 percent wore one of the various models under the Riddell Revolution name.

Bush: Just kidding Reggie Bush insisted he was only joking when he stirred up fans with posts on his Twitter account about enjoying free time during the NFL lockout. The timing of the posts heightened criticism of Bush because the flashy running back has been absent from workouts organized by quarterback Drew Brees, which have drawn several dozen Saints players to Tulane’s football facilities . . . Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth did not grope a waitress at a hotel bar and intends to fight the accusations, his lawyer said in entering a not guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of sexual abuse . . . Chad Ochocinco, the Bengals receiver who earlier this year had a tryout with Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer, has accepted a challenge from Professional Bull Riders chief operating officer Sean Gleason to ride a bull at the LucasOil Invitational this weekend in Duluth, Ga.

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