Phil Simms is not out of the broadcast booth yet.
On a busy day of NFL transactions, the biggest name was Simms, who appeared ready to come out of retirement and join the Cleveland Browns. A news conference even was scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
But the quarterback, who worked for ESPN last season after being cut by the New York Giants, couldn’t reach a deal to become the backup to Vinny Testaverde.
“We’ll just keep talking,” Browns director of player personnel Mike Lombardi said. “If there’s a deal to be made, we’ll make it. We just have to work some kinks out.”
Browns owner Art Modell wouldn’t specify what went wrong in the negotiations. The Browns are only $108,000 under the salary cap and would have had to make cuts or renegotiate contracts to make room for Simms.
The Seattle Seahawks jumped into the free-agent market by signing Green Bay Packers cornerback Corey Harris, who spent his first NFL season as a wide receiver.
Harris, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound restricted free agent, signed a three-year offer sheet worth slightly more than $1.975 million, including a $500,000 signing bonus. The Packers will have seven days to match that offer, and if they don’t, the Seahawks must surrender their third-round choice in the April 22-23 draft.
Quarterback Dan McGwire’s contract with the Seahawks expired and he is not expected to be re-signed.
The Giants, meanwhile, were victimized by free agency again when Dave Meggett, their versatile running back-kick returner, agreed to a five-year contract with the New England Patriots, rejoining coach Bill Parcells.
Meggett accepted a pact worth $2 million annually, with a $3 million signing bonus. The Patriots have called a news conference for today.
The Patriots also lost a running back when Kevin Turner joined the Philadelphia Eagles, becoming the second-highest-paid fullback in the NFL behind Daryl Johnston of Dallas.
The Eagles will pay Turner nearly $4.13 million over three years. New England receives a third-round pick in April’s draft as compensation.
Detroit signed Pro Bowl receiver Herman Moore to a four-year contract extension worth $13.5 million that will keep him with the Lions through 1999.
Safety James Washington, one of the stars in Dallas’ Super Bowl victory two years ago, signed with Washington. The seven-year veteran spent the last five seasons with Dallas, where he signed as a Plan B free agent.
Quarterback Bubby Brister rejoined Rich Kotite with the New York Jets, signing a two-year contract to back up Boomer Esiason.
All-Pro defensive end Bruce Smith underwent surgery for a torn muscle in his left shoulder. Smith said it has been bothering him since the Nov. 14 game against Pittsburgh.
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