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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Howard Agrees To Raiders Deal

From Wire Reports

Desmond Howard, the Green Bay Packers’ Super Bowl MVP, has agreed to a four-year, $6 million contract with the Oakland Raiders, the Associated Press reported.

The Raiders have scheduled a news conference today to announce a “major” free-agent signing. The team would not confirm or deny that Howard was the player.

The Heisman Trophy winner from Michigan set a Super Bowl record with 10 returns for 244 yards, including a 99-yarder for a touchdown in a 35-21 win over the New England Patriots.

In the regular season, Howard set an NFL record for punt-return yardage with 875 yards and led the league with a 15.1-yard average per return. By the end of the season, he also was their top kickoff returner.

He returned three punts for touchdowns during the regular season and another in Green Bay’s playoff win over San Francisco.

Howard, represented by Leigh Steinberg, said he wanted to stay with the Packers but looked at several teams before deciding on the Raiders. Oakland also plans to use Howard as a wide receiver.

Howard, who was paid $300,000 by the Packers last season, was the No. 4 pick in the 1992 draft by the Washington Redskins, where he spent three years before going to Jacksonville.

Manning’s decision today

Peyton Manning, considered by far the best professional prospect among college quarterbacks, will announce today whether he intends to return to Tennessee or enter the NFL draft.

Manning, son of former NFL and Mississippi quarterback Archie Manning, said he will announce his decision in a news conference on the Tennessee campus.

If he comes out, Manning is likely to be the first pick in the April 19 draft, either by the New York Jets, who have that choice, or in a deal with a team like Atlanta or New Orleans, which covet him.

Turner gets extension

Norv Turner got additional job security as coach of the Washington Redskins when he signed a three-year contract extension.

Turner, 44, reportedly was signed to an original 5-year, $3 million deal in 1994. The extension, for an undisclosed sum, takes Turner through the 2001 season.

Turner’s teams have improved from 3-13 in 1994 to 6-10 in 1995 and 9-7 last season. But last season, they started 7-1 before losing six of their last eight games.

Cunningham, Moon get looks

Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham worked out at the New Orleans Saints training facility.

Coach Mike Ditka has said he wants to create a more competitive environment for veteran starting quarterback Jim Everett.

Cunningham retired after the 1995 season and sat out last year but has said he would like to return to the NFL.

Warren Moon, who played four seasons in Houston under new Chargers coach Kevin Gilbride, talked with San Diego, where he would be a backup if he got job.


The Carolina Panthers landed a pair of unrestricted free agents from the Pittsburgh Steelers, signing defensive end Ray Seals and agreeing to terms with wide receiver Ernie Mills.

… The Denver Broncos have hired Ricky Porter as an offensive assistant coach. Porter, 37, spent the 1996-97 season as an offensive assistant with Tampa Bay.