|On day Favre retires, lots of other moves made in NFL|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 04 March 2008 15:22|
The iconic Green Bay quarterback's decision to stop playing after 17 seasons, an unprecedented three MVP awards and a slew of passing records sent the official retirement of Warren Sapp to the back burner.
Sapp's 13-year NFL career officially ended when his retirement was posted on the Oakland Raiders' Web site. Sapp said immediately after last season that he was through playing, but did not file the paper work. The posting on the team's site was the first official word that the star defensive tackle was done.
In January, the 35-year-old Sapp posted a two-word message on his Web site: ``I'M DONE!'' He had told teammates and coaches his plans after the season finale against San Diego.
Sapp made seven Pro Bowls, won the 1999 Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year award, and led Tampa Bay's dominant defense that won the Super Bowl after the 2002 season. He finished his career with 96 1/2 sacks, 28th overall since the NFL began keeping track of the statistic in 1982, but extra impressive because he played tackle.
Sapp spent nine seasons in Tampa before joining the Raiders in 2004 as a free agent. He mostly struggled with the Raiders, except for a strong 2006 in which he had 10 sacks, and had become more of a situational player in his final season.
In 2007, he had only two sacks and the Raiders' defense struggled against the run, allowing a league-worst 4.8 yards per carry.
His running ``feud'' with Favre brought some levity to a sometimes brutal game. Sapp was known as a trash talker, and Favre often went directly back at him with a smile when both the Bucs and Packers were in the same division and played twice a season.
One day after re-signing star receiver Randy Moss, the Patriots addressed needs at cornerback. With CBs Asante Samuel and Randall Gay gone as free agents, New England signed Jason Webster.
Webster has 393 tackles and 11 interceptions in 87 career games, 74 of them starts. He played in one game last season for Buffalo before injuring his arm.
The eight-year veteran was a second-round draft pick of San Francisco in 2000 and played four years with the 49ers before signing as a free agent with Atlanta, where he played for three years.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Webster is ``an experienced veteran who will add good depth to our secondary.''
Arizona bolstered its pass rush by signing defensive end Travis LaBoy to a five-year contract. LaBoy's deal reportedly is worth $22 million, with $7.5 million guaranteed.
LaBoy played four seasons with Tennessee after being drafted in the second round, 42nd overall, out of Hawaii in 2004. He's expected to compete with Bertrand Berry for the starting job.
In a reserve role last season, he played 13 games with six sacks, 20 tackles, four forced fumbles, one interception and one fumble recovery.
The team also signed blocking tight end Jerame Tuman to a two-year contract. He appeared in six games, one as a starter, for the Steelers last season before going on injured reserve Nov. 14.
-Running back/kickoff returner Maurice Hicks signed a three-year contract with Minnesota, who needed a third back after Mewelde Moore joined the Steelers. With San Francisco last season, Hicks averaged 23.8 yards per kickoff return. Over the past three years, the 49ers credited him with 50 special teams tackles.
-Denver re-signed DE John Engelberger, who led the team's linemen in tackles last season. Engelberger, entering his ninth season in the NFL and fourth in Denver, made 59 tackles and a sack, despite a right shoulder injury early in the season.
Denver also re-signed reserve tight end Nate Jackson.
-T.J. Duckett agreed to a five-year contract with Seattle. Duckett, who played for Detroit last season, has 2,642 career yards rushing and 36 TDs.
He previously played for the Redskins and the Falcons, who selected him 18th overall in the 2002 draft after running for 3,379 yards at Michigan State.
-Seattle also signed tight end Jeb Putzier to a one-year contract. He played the last two seasons with Houston and had six catches for 39 yards and a touchdown last year for the Texans.
-A day after signing Damien Woody to play right tackle, the New York Jets cut last year's starter, Anthony Clement. They also signed cornerback Andre Woolfolk, a former first-round pick by Tennessee who was out of football in 2007.
Clement started all 33 games, including one in the playoffs, since being signed as a free agent in 2006.
-Safety Nick Sorensen signed a three-year contract with Cleveland. Sorensen excelled on special teams last season for the Browns. The eight-year veteran also played for St. Louis and Jacksonville.
-Reserve tackle Matt Murphy re-signed with Buffalo. A six-year veteran, Murphy appeared in only two games with the Bills last season before tearing his left calf muscle during a practice in November. Murphy was a tight end when he signed with the Bills in 2006, but the team began converting him to an offensive lineman last year.