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The Pittsburgh Steelers have made a contract offer to All-Pro runnin

August 12, 1993

Undated (AP) _ The Pittsburgh Steelers have made a contract offer to All-Pro running back Barry Foster.

That was the easy part.

″Let’s just say we’ve got a lot of work in front of us,″ said Foster’s agent Jordan Woy.

Foster, the AFC’s top rusher in 1992, arrived at training camp last Thursday after missing 20 days of practice.

Tom Donahoe, the Steelers’ director of football operations, confirmed negotiations had started but would not provide details.

Foster is asking for a one-year contract extension and said he wants an deal similar to the one the Buffalo Bills gave Thurman Thomas lat month - a four-year, $13.5 million contract.

″As long as we keep making progress and we keep heading in the right direction, we’ll continue the process,″ Woy said. ″We’re open to anything that compensates Barry Foster as one of the top running backs in the game.″

Foster has two years remaining on a contract that will pay him $460,000 this year and next. That contract includes performance incentives, which last year nearly doubled Foster’s pay. Bengals

John Copeland’s agent, Joel Segal, said he hopes to have Cincinnati’s top draft pick in training camp before Saturday’s game at Indianapolis. Contract talks continued Wednesday.

Coaches expect Copeland to start at defensive end as soon as he gets into shape. The Bengals’ last known offer to Copeland was a five-year deal for $5.92 million with a $3 million signing bonus.

Negotiations with Pro Bowl running back Harold Green and wide receiver Reggie Rembert remain stalled. Patriots

Patriots cornerback Maurice Hurst ended his 27-day holdout, saying he wanted to concentrate on football the rest of the year. After that his future in New England is uncertain.

Hurst signed a one-year contract Tuesday night for a reported $495,000, nearly $200,000 below the initial offer and far below the team’s second offer of $3.5 million over three years.

Hurst demanded a trade during the acrimonious negotiations, but coach Bill Parcells has other plans.

″Do I have any intention to trade Maurice Hurst? No,″ Parcells said. ″In the midst of negotiations, a lot of things are said.″

Hurst faced a deadline of either reporting to camp by Friday or having the team withhold one of his game checks. Falcons

The Falcons cut back to one practice a day in preparation for Saturday night’s exhibition game against Tampa Bay.

Rookie linebacker Ron George watched practice on crutches following knee surgery Monday. George, injured last week against Miami, may be out five to six weeks.Rookie wide receiver Shannon Baker returned to work after missing three days with a sprained ankle.

There was still no movement on the three veteran holdouts - wide receiver Andre Rison, tackle Chris Hinton and linebacker Jessie Tuggle. Linebacker Darion Conner is expected to agree to terms any day. Bears

Running back Neal Anderson, who has a pulled hamstring, is working out but his status is doubtful for Saturday’s exhibition game against Phoenix.

Five players, including linebackers Joe Cain and Dante Jones, were treated for dehydration after practice. Temperatures in Platteville, Wis. were in the upper 80s. Cardinals

Quarterback Chris Chandler, recovering from a sprained ankle, returned to practice Wednesday and will be part of the three-man rotation in Saturday’s exhibition game at Chicago.

Chandler and Steve Beuerlein are competing for No. 1 job. No. 3 quarterback Tony Sacca also will play at least a quarter against Chicago. Bugel said a starter will not be named until at least the end of preseason.

The Cardinals appeared no closer to signing top draft pick running back Garrison Hearst or two starters, linebacker Eric Hill and cornerback Robert Massey. Browns

Owner Art Modell, undeterred by Cleveland’s 41-12 loss to Washington on Monday night, says this is the best Browns team since the 1986 or 1987 squads that advanced to the AFC championship game.

The Browns are 16-32 in the 1990s, and coach Bill Belichick, beginning his third year, is still looking for his first winning season. Modell’s only championship team was in 1964.

″I still have great confidence in the coaching staff and the hard core of our players,″ Modell said. ″We’ve just got to make some adjustments and some corrections and maybe shift some people. But I’m absolutely positive we’re going to be all right.″

The Rams loosened a logjam at strong safety Wednesday when they traded Chris Crooms to the Green Bay Packers for an undisclosed 1994 draft choice.

The 6-foot, 215-pound Crooms, a second-year player out of Texas A&M, was taken in the fifth round in 1992. He was used primarily on special teams as a rookie, but did see some action in nickel situations.

The Rams still have three strong safeties vying for playing time and roster spots, and free safety Anthony Newman has experience at the strong spot. Dolphins

Unsigned running back Bobby Humphrey ignored the Dolphins’ ultimatum to report or risk a cut in the team’s standing offer and remained a holdout Wednesday.

Dolphins general manager Eddie Jones said the offer, believed to be $650,000, was reduced Wednesday because the four-year running back failed to report to camp.

Jones wouldn’t reveal details of the reduction, but league rules state that he must offer Humphrey at least a 110 per cent raise from last year’s salary, which would amount to $412,500. He also said the offer would be reduced each week that Humphrey continues his holdout. Vikings

The Vikings will find out next week if top running back Terry Allen will be lost for the season because of a knee injury.

Vikings trainer Fred Zamberletti said Wednesday that Allen will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Aug. 20.

If Allen’s anterior cruciate ligament is found only to be stretched, it will be repaired by the arthroscopic procedure and he could return in a matter of weeks. But if a tear is found, major reconstructive surgery will be needed and Allen will miss the season. Chargers

The Chargers learned Wednesday that defensive tackle Shawn Lee, expected to start this season, will be out four to six weeks with a broken right leg.

Lee, who was injured in practice Tuesday, was initially thought to have a bruised calf. However, X-rays showed that Lee had suffered a broken fibula, one of the two bones in the lower leg. Cowboys

Cowboys starting fullback Daryl Johnston will probably miss the rest of the exhibition schedule with a fractured finger on his right hand suffered during a training camp practice drill Wednesday.

Johnston, a five-year veteran, will be outfitted with a cast and protective splint and will be available for the team’s regular season opener Sept. 6 against the Washington Redskins, coach Jimmy Johnson said.

Backup Tommie Agee will replace Johnston for the final three pre-season games. Dallas hosts the Los Angeles Raiders on Saturday.

Defensive end Lee Williams and wide receiver Joe Campbell returned to the Houston Oilers’ training camp on Wednesday after missing a day of practice.

Meanwhile, tight end John Henry Mills underwent surgery in San Antonio to repair a broken nose he suffered Monday during practice. He was to remain hospitalized overnight.

The Oilers said Mills is expected to sit out the rest of the week, but he may be ready for Monday’s exhibition game against Detroit in Houston. Raiders

The Raiders promoted linebacker Joe Kelly to starter Wednesday and Howie Long returned to practice after a lengthy holdout.

Kelly, a free agent signed from the New York Jets, was promoted to the first-team unit at the middle spot, ahead of Anthony Bell, who started last season.

Long, who has played more defensive tackle than defensive end, renegotiated a contract through the 1995 season.


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