No Foul Play Over Sanders’ Move To Giants

When Deion Sanders was traded to the San Francisco Giants, the paranoid fans in Dallas immediately suggested the 49ers had arranged the deal to make it easier for them to re-sign Sanders.

But imagine the controversy if he had been traded to the Florida Marlins, who said they tried to make a deal for him.

Wayne Huizenga owns the Marlins and Dolphins. He could have overpaid Sanders as a baseball player as a package deal to get him to sign with the Dolphins.

Huizenga scoffed at that scenario.

“We can’t play games. (Commissioner Paul) Tagliabue is a smart guy. He wouldn’t let that happen for 3 seconds.”

Such a move could have hurt Huizenga’s bid to stay in the league. The NFL has a rule forbidding an owner to own teams in another sport.

When Huizenga bought the team, he agreed that if the rule wasn’t changed by 1996, he would sell the Dolphins or his other team, the NHL’s Florida Panthers.

Tagliabue still doesn’t have the votes to change the rule, so he recently moved the deadline to 1997.

Scrimmage skirmish

At Platteville, Wis., Chicago Bears defensive end Alonzo Spellman and Cleveland Browns tackle Bob Dahl were the main event as the teams’ tempers flared before a sold out Pioneer Stadium crowd of 9,693 six plays into Cleveland’s first drive Saturday.

While there was no clear winner, Dahl came away with a red eye, apparently from getting poked with a finger.

Both teams played without their No. 1 draft picks, Bears running back Rashaan Salaam and Browns linebacker Craig Powell. Neither has signed a contract.

If Kent Graham’s numbers a year ago were as good as Saturday’s, he might be the New York Giants’ starting quarterback today.

Graham hit 4 of 6 passes for 129 yards, including a 70-yard scoring pass to Omar Douglas, during a scrimmage at Madison, N.J. The TD came against the second-team defense, but the others were mostly against the Giants’ first defense.

Graham’s solid showing came a year too late to be first-string.

Dave Brown beat Graham for the starting job last year, and solidified himself as the No. 1 quarterback late in the season by leading the Giants to a six-game winning streak.

More than 30,000 spectators showed up as the Dolphins returned to the Orange Bowl and downed Tampa Bay 17-0. Miami’s Bernie Kosar, Dan McGwire and Doug Pederson combined to complete 18 of 22 for 224 yards.

Injury report

In a scrimmage between Washington and Pittsburgh at Frostburg, Md., Cory Raymer, the Redskins’ second-round draft choice who signed a $2.087 million contract earlier this week, fractured his left ankle. He is expected to undergo surgery today. … The New York Jets said defensive tackle Tony Casillas is expected to be sidelined for up to eight weeks after back surgery to repair a herniated disc.

End zone

Indianapolis QB Jim Harbaugh, who is expected to lose the starting job to Craig Erickson, said, “Everyone is going to be accountable if we don’t go to the playoffs.” The Colts haven’t been to the playoffs in a nonstrike year since 1977, when they were in Baltimore. They last made it in the 1987 strike season… . Bills QB Jim Kelly begins practicing full time today.

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