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Roaf Says He’s Quitting; Hawk, Davis Sign

July 29, 2006

Willie Roaf says he’s going back to school. A.J. Hawk, Vernon Davis and several other first-round draft picks are ready to start their first NFL jobs.

Roaf, the 11-time Pro Bowl tackle, says he’s retiring and going back to college. The Kansas City Chiefs are holding out hope that he’ll return for a 14th season.

The 36-year-old Roaf told The Kansas City Star on Friday, the first day of Chiefs’ training camp, that he was retiring. His departure would leave a large hole in Kansas City’s offensive line.

Carl Peterson, president and general manager of the Chiefs, said neither he nor coach Herm Edwards had spoken with Roaf in several weeks and they were ``leaving the door open.″

``Certainly I am aware of what was written,″ Peterson said Friday. ``I’d say right now, because of who Willie Roaf is, what he has contributed to the Kansas City Chiefs and what he’s contributed to the National Football League, we’re going to keep the door open for a while.

``Players do change their mind.″

Hawk, the Green Bay Packers’ top pick and fifth overall, agreed to a six-year deal with the team.

The linebacker’s agent, Mike McCartney, said the sides were still working out details, meaning the Ohio State star was expected to miss Friday night’s first training camp practice. He could be ready to go by Saturday.

``A.J.’s ecstatic, and it’s going to be great to see his impact as a Packer,″ McCartney said.

A person familiar with the contract, who requested anonymity because the deal was not yet complete, said the deal was worth $37.5 million but could be worth up to $40 million under certain conditions.

Hawk’s Ohio State teammate and fellow linebacker Bobby Carpenter agreed to a five-year, $12 million deal with the Dallas Cowboys.

Carpenter, taken 18th overall, was to receive about $7.5 million guaranteed. He was already in camp as the deal was being finalized.

Davis signed his contract with the San Francisco 49ers just in time for the first practice of training camp.

The tight end, taken sixth overall out of Maryland, was the last of San Francisco’s nine draft choices to sign with the club. Defensive end Manny Lawson, the 22nd overall pick, agreed to a deal late Thursday, and the 49ers’ negotiating team worked through the night to reach a deal with Davis.

``I was stressing at first, because I didn’t know when it was going to get done,″ said Davis, who got about four hours of sleep before his first workout. ``I told (the negotiators) I just wanted to get out there and play. I’m not a guy who can miss days.″

Terms of the deal weren’t immediately available.

The Baltimore Ravens and top draft pick Haloti Ngata also agreed on a five-year deal, ending the defensive tackle’s one-day holdout.

Ngata, the 12th overall selection, is expected to report to training camp Saturday. He missed both practices Friday, the first day of camp.

``I’m really relieved that it’s done and I can go play football. I couldn’t afford to miss too much time because I only had that one minicamp,″ Ngata said in a telephone interview. ``It was a good deal. The Ravens were very fair to me.″

The Ravens expect Ngata to join the team before Saturday’s afternoon practice.

The 350-pound Ngata is expected to vie for a starting spot on the Ravens’ line. He was the Pac-10 co-defensive player of the year last season at Oregon.

Vince Young got his deal done with the Tennessee Titans on Thursday and showed off his strong arm in practice Friday.

Young arrived in Clarksville, Tenn., with a new contract that could be worth up to $58 million _ about $4 million more than top draft pick Mario Williams signed for with Houston. Young didn’t miss a minute of a practice in the pouring rain and couldn’t have been happier.

``It was the whole thing on my mind,″ Young said. ``Like I’ve been saying ... when I got (drafted), I said I wanted to be in camp.″

Second-round pick LenDale White, who also agreed to terms Thursday, had some paperwork delays, and the Titans expect him here by Saturday morning.

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed tight end Marcedes Lewis, the 28th overall selection, to a five-year contract a day before the team opened training camp.

Lewis’ deal is worth about $7.5 million, with a little more than $4.8 million in guaranteed money.

The Buffalo Bills agreed on a five-year contract with defensive tackle John McCargo, the second of the team’s two first-round draft picks.

McCargo signed the contract for $8.6 million over five years, including $5.2 million in guaranteed money, shortly after the team held its first practice. The deal would be worth an additional $3 million if he meets all his bonuses.

The move leaves Buffalo with one unsigned prospect, safety Donte Whitner, who was selected eighth overall out of Ohio State.

The New England Patriots agreed to terms with first-round pick Laurence Maroney late Thursday night but camp started Friday without Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch, who is holding out for a new contract.

With Branch holding out, Troy Brown taking the morning off and David Givens now in Tennessee, Tom Brady barely recognized his receivers for the first practice.

``You definitely realize when he’s not here,″ Brady said of Branch, who led the Patriots with 78 catches and 998 yards receiving last season. ``You just roll with the punches and try to play with the guys that are out here.″

In less than six months, Bears linebacker Lance Briggs has gone from Pro Bowl linebacker to backup.

Like teammate Thomas Jones, the team’s leading rusher last season, Briggs was demoted off the first unit by coach Lovie Smith Friday after skipping voluntary workouts over the offseason.

With a year left on his contract, Briggs and the Bears failed to reach agreement on an extension for a linebacker who made a career-high 170 tackles last season and has returned three interceptions for touchdowns in his three-year career.

Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said there were no prospects right now for a new contract for Briggs.

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