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Ravens release QB Grbac

| Saturday, March 2, 2002

OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Elvis Grbac , signed a year ago to upgrade the Baltimore Ravens' offense, was released by the team Friday as the team continued its purge of veterans.

Grbac, who left the Kansas City Chiefs as a free agent last March to sign a five-year, $30 million deal with the Ravens, opted to leave the team rather than accept a restructured contract. He would have received a $6 million bonus if he was on Baltimore's roster as of 4 p.m. yesterday.

''We're disappointed for us and for Elvis,'' Ravens coach Brian Billick said. ''We thought a new contract would not only give us obvious help with our salary cap, but benefit Elvis too. We were looking forward to facing the challenges of next season, when we believed he would play at a higher level for us.''

The Ravens signed Grbac less than three months after defeating the New York Giants in the 2001 Super Bowl. He was supposed to provide more offensive punch that his predecessor, Trent Dilfer , but threw 18 interceptions compared to 15 touchdown passes.

  • Former Penn State running back Curtis Enis , 25, forced to retire from the NFL last season because of a degenerative condition in his left knee, is planning a comeback. Enis faxed a letter to Browns president Carmen Policy yesterday, informing him of his intentions of returning.
  • Running back Antowain Smith , who revived the Patriots' running game last season, signed a five-year contract to remain with the New England Patriots yesterday. He rushed for 1,157 yards and 12 touchdowns on 287 carries and had 92 yards on 18 attempts in the Patriots' 20-17 Super Bowl win over the St. Louis Rams.
  • Five-time Pro Bowl linebacker Jessie Armstead agreed to a $4.5 million, three-year contract yesterday with the Redskins, who also reached agreement with former Florida receiver Reidel Anthony for a one-year deal and worked to complete a trade with Houston for former Gators quarterback Danny Wuerffel . The trade for Wuerffel was negotiated several days ago, and the parties simply waited for March 1 to finish the deal. The Texans will receive defensive tackle Jerry DeLoach - or a seventh-round pick in 2003 if DeLoach doesn't make the roster.
  • Quarterback Jeff Blake , sidelined by injury in 2000 and replaced as a starter by Aaron Brooks in 2001, was released yesterday by the Saints.
  • The Dallas Cowboys re-signed safety Darren Woodson to a five-year, $20 million year deal yesterday that should keep him with his only NFL team for the rest of his career.
  • The Buffalo Bills did not tender offers to three players, including linebacker Kenyatta Wright , making them restricted free agents yesterday. Joining Wright are offensive lineman Craig Heimburger and safety Keion Carpenter .
  • More than 100 former Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders will join a lawsuit against 29 NFL teams, charging that visiting players peeped on them in a Veterans Stadium locker room, their lawyer said.

    BASEBALL

    Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa will miss two to three days after straining his right ankle. Sosa was injured during Thursday's game against San Francisco. X-rays yesterday were negative.

  • Former players Bill Madlock , Tom Lawless and Jeff Newman were hired by the baseball commissioner's office day as field assistants. The trio will monitor pace of game and on-field operations at the 30 major league ballparks and will report to Bob Watson , who replaced Frank Robinson as vice president of on-field operations.

    TENNIS

    Third-seeded Serena Williams moved to the semifinals of the $585,000 State Farm Women's Tennis Classic tournament in Scottsdale, Ariz., yesterday by defeating Nicole Pratt 6-2, 7-5. Top-seeded Jennifer Capriati shook off a slow start and advanced to the semifinals by defeating sixth-seeded Barbara Schett , 7-5, 6-3.

  • Anna Kournikova was eliminated from the Abierto Mexicano Pegaso tournament in Acapulco, Mexico, yesterday, losing to Slovenia's Katarina Srebotnik 5-7, 6-3, 6-1. Srebotnik will face seventh-seeded Paola Suarez of Argentina, who defeated top-seeded Elena Dementieva of Russia 7-5, 6-3 in the other semifinal, in the final today.
  • No. 2 seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov was upset by Jiri Novak 6-1, 6-1 yesterday in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Open. In today's semifinals, Novak plays Fabrice Santoro , who defeated Ivan Ljubici 6-4, 7-6 (5).

    OFF THE FIELD

    Baltimore police said yesterday that no suspects have emerged in the deaths of an employee of former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman and the daughter of a minister. The two were found shot to death early Thursday in a car registered to the boxer.

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