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Dolphins’ Bowens Re-Signs With Team

March 1, 2002

MIAMI (AP) _ Defensive tackle Tim Bowens was without a team for an hour Thursday before the Miami Dolphins re-signed him to a five-year, $15 million contract.

As negotiations progressed, the Dolphins had to release Bowens. But one hour later, Bowens signed a new contract with Miami rather than test the free agent market.

``We thought about going into the open market but felt good about the Dolphins contract, and Tim did not want to leave,″ said his agent, Drew Rosenhaus. ``We’re happy with the way things are going for him there and just want to keep it going.″

The Dolphins also released safety Brock Marion and receiver O.J. McDuffie but hope to re-sign both players, coach Dave Wannstedt said.

Miami will continue pursuing a trade for New Orleans Saints running back Ricky Williams, Wannstedt said. New Orleans reportedly is asking for first- and third-round draft picks this year or a first-round pick this year and a conditional third-round choice in 2003 that could become a second-round pick.

Bowens has been a starter for the Dolphins since his rookie season in 1994 and a mainstay in their run defense. He had 60 tackles in 15 games last season.

His deal includes a $3 million signing bonus and two option years. Under Bowens’ old contract, which was to expire this year, he would have made $7 million in 2002 and counted $8.75 million against the salary cap.

Marion would have counted $4 million against the cap and McDuffie $3.9 million. McDuffie missed all of last season with a toe injury that has hampered him since 1999.

The Dolphins tendered tight end Jed Weaver, their lone restricted free agent, and safety Trent Gamble and defensive end Adewale Ogunleye, their two exclusive rights players.

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