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Friday, March 14, 2003 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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NFL

Kordell Stewart will play for Bears

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Kordell Stewart needed a team, and the Chicago Bears needed a quarterback. Yesterday, they agreed to terms on a two-year, $5 million contract.

"We wanted a shorter-term deal that gives him the opportunity to establish himself and come back and negotiate a long-term deal," said Stewart's agent, Leigh Steinberg.

"Kordell is ecstatic. He had a higher offer of more money, which he turned down earlier in the week. My job is to get the right fit for him. He had an opportunity to talk to the coach and the players, and it made sense."

Stewart, who spent eight years with the Pittsburgh Steelers before being released last month after losing his starting job to Tommy Maddox, was one of three quarterbacks to visit the Bears last week. Jake Plummer and Jeff Blake were the others. Plummer signed with Denver and Blake with Arizona, another team that offered Stewart a deal.

The Bears released veteran Jim Miller last month.

"We're just real happy we have an experienced veteran in the building," Bears General Manager Jerry Angelo said. "We needed to bring somebody in here to hit the ground running."

Emmitt Smith visits Cards

TEMPE, Ariz. — Emmitt Smith ended a two-day meeting with the Arizona Cardinals yesterday.

"It's been a wonderful visit," said Smith, the NFL's leading career rusher who was released Feb. 27 by Dallas. "It feels like I'm being recruited all over again.

"Right now, I can say one thing about the Cardinals. ... I felt at home," added Smith, who during 13 seasons with the Cowboys played in 25 games against the Cardinals. "For some reason, coming out here to Arizona, I've always felt like being at home."

Davis will sign for five years

Stephen Davis, former Washington running back, agreed to a five-year, $15.5 million deal with the Carolina Panthers.

Davis, released last month, was the Redskins' No. 3 career rusher (5,790 yards) and the only player in franchise history to run for 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. But his straight-ahead running style wasn't a good fit in Coach Steve Spurrier's wide-open offense.

The deal with Carolina includes a $2.5 million signing bonus and, with incentives, could be worth $36 million.

Zeus returns to NFL

Orlando Brown, a 6-foot-7, 350-pound tackle nicknamed "Zeus," is back in the NFL three years after being poked in the eye by a referee's flag.

Brown will sign a one-year deal worth $1 million with the Baltimore Ravens.

Brown sued the NFL after referee Jeff Triplette's thrown penalty flag struck Brown's right eye during a Dec. 19, 1999, game against Jacksonville. Brown was with Cleveland at the time.

He has not played since and was cut by the Browns in September 2000. At the time, he had a six-year $27 million contract.

Baltimore also re-signed tackle Ethan Brooks for two years and extended an offer to former Raven Jermaine Lewis.

Notes

• The Jacksonville Jaguars signed LB Mike Peterson to a six-year, $20.4 million contract. Peterson played his first four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts.

• The New York Jets matched the Washington Redskins' five-year, $8 million offer to kick returner Chad Morton. But the NFL Players Association will appeal to an arbitrator because the Jets allegedly did not match the contract as written. The matter is expected to be decided within 10 days.

• The Minnesota Vikings traded QB Todd Bouman to the New Orleans Saints for a sixth-round draft pick and re-signed backup RB Moe Williams to a three-year contract that will pay him about $900,000 a season.

• The Cowboys signed LB Alshermond Singleton, a starter for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season, to a four-year contract.

• The Miami Dolphins signed CB Terrell Buckley to a one-year contract, bringing the 11-year veteran back to the team for which he played from 1995 to 1999.

• The Atlanta Falcons re-signed P Chris Mohr for six years and $5.2 million.

• A Florida appeals court has thrown out the 15-year sentence of Cecil Collins, former Miami tailback, ruling that the judge in his burglary trial didn't let his relatives testify on his behalf. Collins has served three years for the 1999 incident.

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