NFL notebook: Hall of Famer Barney says football will be gone in 10-20 years

| Friday, June 14, 2013, 8:33 p.m.

Lem Barney is an NFL legend, a Hall of Famer who made his living playing football.

And he wouldn't do it again.

Speaking on Friday in Southfield, Mich., the Lions great said the sport will be gone in the next two decades. He said he wishes he would have been a truck driver or a cab driver, anything other than a player suffering concussions.

“The game is becoming more deadly today,” Barney said. “It's a great game, and I think it's the greatest game if you like gladiators. But in the next 10 to 20 years, society will alleviate football altogether because of how strong it's becoming, how big it's becoming and the tenacity that it already is. And it's only going to get worse.”

Barney's comments came while he was sitting on a panel alongside major college football coaches — Michigan's Brady Hoke and Michigan State's Mark Dantonio among them — all who appeared frozen as Barney attacked their profession.

Giants WR Cruz agrees to contract tender

Wide receiver Victor Cruz signed his $2.879 million tender with the Giants.

Two people familiar with the contract told the Associated Press that the restricted free agent with three years in the NFL had signed the tender while he works on a long-term deal with the Giants.

Had the 26-year-old Cruz not signed before Monday, the Giants' offer could have been reduced to $630,000 for the 2013 season. The Giants could have matched any offers Cruz received from other teams.

Cruz is coming off a Pro Bowl season in which he made 86 catches for 1,092 yards and scored 10 touchdowns as one of the league's best slot receivers.

Bills sign 1st-rounder Manuel

The Bills signed quarterback EJ Manuel, their rookie first-round draft pick, a day after closing their final session before training camp opens July 28.

Manuel was selected 16th overall out of Florida State and was the only quarterback selected in the first round. He is competing with veteran free-agent addition Kevin Kolb for the starting job.

Jets sign TE Winslow

The Jets signed tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. to a one-year deal after a solid performance during the team's minicamp.

Winslow, who turns 30 next month, was brought in on a tryout basis and impressed coach Rex Ryan, who said Thursday that the former Pro Bowl tight end's “athleticism and his ability to catch the football, it certainly jumps out.”

Winslow played in one game last season with New England before asking for his release.

Bills deny ‘kill' is part of defense terminology

The Bills are refuting defensive end Mario Williams' claim that coordinator Mike Pettine ever used the word “kill” in discussing his philosophy toward defense with his players.

In a statement, coach Doug Marrone said he's been assured by Pettine that he's never used “kill.” Marrone did say Pettine has used the word “hurt,” but not in the context of a physical nature.

Marrone was responding to comments Williams made a day earlier following the final practice of the team's three-day mandatory minicamp.

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