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Steelers’ Newberry May Retire

February 23, 1996

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Leon Searcy is gone, and Neil O’Donnell may be next. Now, the Pittsburgh Steelers might have to replace starting guard Tom Newberry, too.

Newberry, a former Pro Bowl guard who was injured much of last season, is contemplating retirement. If he does, the Steelers would have to replace not only Searcy, their right tackle, but also their left guard.

Justin Strzelczyk, who has started at all four guard and tackle positions, is Searcy’s likely replacement. The Steelers also plan to talk to free agent linemen Richard Cooper of the Saints and Ray Brown of the Redskins.

Brown, a 10-year veteran, has visited or plans to visit the Jets, 49ers and Colts, but has not yet stopped in Pittsburgh.

``Pittsburgh offers what he doesn’t have _ a winner,″ said Steve Baker, Brown’s agent. ``If he makes another trip, it likely would be to Pittsburgh.″

The 6-foot-6, 312-pound Brown probably would play left guard, Newberry’s position last season.

Newberry joined the Steelers last year as the replacement for former Pro Bowl guard Duval Love, who signed with Arizona. He started all but one game, but had nagging shoulder and back injuries.

Newberry signed a three-year contract last year that averages $950,000 a year.

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