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Saturday, March 25, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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NFL Notes: Mora gets extension

ATLANTA — Jim Mora wants to spend the rest of his coaching career with the Atlanta Falcons. The team is committed to him for at least four more seasons.

Despite a second-half collapse that ruined a shot at the playoffs, the Falcons gave Mora a three-year contract extension Friday that runs through the 2009 season.

"My family and I love it here," said Mora, an ex-Washington Husky who went to Interlake High School. "Our business is a little bit nomadic at times. We'd like to stay here as long as we can. I appreciate the confidence they have shown in me."

Mora guided the Falcons to the NFC South championship and within one win of the Super Bowl in his rookie season. Atlanta was 6-2 at the midway point last year but won only two games the rest of the way, finishing 8-8, missing the playoffs and extending the franchise's 40-year streak of never having back-to-back winning seasons.

Even so, Falcons owner Arthur Blank decided to give the coach a new deal. Mora initially signed a five-year, $7.5 million deal for his first head-coaching job, but the last two years were at the team's option.

The new contract guarantees those final two years and adds another year to the deal.

Allen a 49er

Larry Allen, a 10-time Pro Bowl guard for the Dallas Cowboys, agreed to a two-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Allen, the last link to the Cowboys' most recent Super Bowl-winning team, was released Tuesday when he refused to take a pay cut. The 12-year veteran cleared a path for NFL career rushing leader Emmitt Smith and his teammates while being placed on eight All-Pro teams.

The 49ers outbid several suitors to put the 6-foot-3, 325-pound Allen on a line that improved last season but still struggled just as much as every other part of the NFL's 32nd-ranked offense.

"I think Larry has got a mindset that every offensive lineman should have," 49ers coach Mike Nolan said. "I'm looking for an identity that our offensive line is searching for. Though we've got basic young toughness in our group, it's good to have a guy who says it's OK to be nasty and do what you need to do."

Notes

• WR Keyshawn Johnson signed a four-year, $19 million deal with the Carolina Panthers. The contract includes a $5 million signing bonus.

"I didn't come here to catch 100 balls," Johnson said. "I came here because I feel Carolina is the team with the best chance to get to the Super Bowl."

Released last week by the Dallas Cowboys, Johnson rejected a bid from the New York Giants and also planned to meet with the Seahawks. But after coming to Charlotte on Thursday, he never made it to Seattle because the Panthers convinced him to stay.

• RT Jon Runyan, 32, agreed to a three-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, returning to the offensive line he has anchored for the last five seasons.

• DT Lional Dalton has agreed to terms on a four-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, locking up their last remaining free-agent starter after FB Tony Richardson signed with the Minnesota Vikings earlier in the week. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

• The New England Patriots re-signed WR Troy Brown. The team also re-signed OL Stephen Neal. Terms of the deals weren't disclosed.

• Cleveland Browns TE Kellen Winslow Jr. had minor surgery in January on the knee he injured in a motorcycle accident last year. The Browns did not disclose the surgery until this week. Winslow missed all of last season.

• The New York Giants re-signed WR Tim Carter. The Giants also were awarded WR Harry Williams, who was waived by the Green Bay Packers earlier this month.

• OT Kenyatta Walker re-signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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