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Some guys can’t wait.

Cowboys receiver Troy Bergeron and Browns receiver Rod Windsor recently signed with Arena Football League teams. Neither was a lock to make the NFL, and both are former winners of the AFL rookie of the year award, so their decisions make sense.

So does Zbikowski’s return to the ring.

Boxing is what I’ve been doing in my football offseason all my life, since middle school,” he said. “Some guys like playing pickup games of basketball; this is what I do.”

After winning his debut bout in ‘06, Zbikowski put pro boxing on hold because football paid better. He was a third-round pick out of Notre Dame in 2008, and has been a solid player for the Ravens the last three seasons.

“It was starting to feel like an eternity to when I was going to be able to fight again,” he said. “The NFL is year-round. I was young in my career and needed too much development to think I could go to boxing for a few months and come back to football.”

But now there’s no football _ and, technically, no team since he’s a restricted free agent. It was the opening he needed to get back in the ring.

He won with a first-round TKO in Las Vegas earlier this month. This past Saturday, he was on an undercard in Atlantic City, N.J., and won a decision over a guy who outweighed him by 20 pounds. He’s tentatively scheduled to fight again in April, near Dallas.

“Most up-and-coming fighters have 10 fights a year, almost one a month,” Zbikowski said. “I’m just trying to squeeze that into a five-month offseason.”


AP Sports Writer Doug Tucker in Kansas City contributed.