- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 3, 2009

From combined dispatches

The Coast Guard narrowed the search area Monday for two NFL players and a third man missing since a weekend fishing trip off the Florida Gulf Coast after crews rescued a fourth man clinging to their capsized boat.

Survivor Nick Schuyler, a former University of South Florida player, told rescuers that the boat the four friends were aboard was anchored when it flipped Saturday evening in rough seas, said Coast Guard Capt. Timothy M. Close. Since then, Schuyler, who was wearing a life vest, had been hanging on to the boat found by a Coast Guard cutter 35 miles off Clearwater, Fla.

Schuyler said the other three men got separated from the boat. The 21-footer belongs to Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, who, along with free agent defensive lineman Corey Smith and former South Florida player William Bleakley, remained missing.

Schuyler was conscious but appeared weak as he was being taken off a helicopter at Tampa General Hospital and placed on a stretcher. His father said his son was in serious but stable condition and that he “looks OK.”

SEAHAWKS:T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Seattle have agreed to a five-year contract, according to media reports.

Citing unidentified sources, ESPN.com, The NFL Network and the Seattle Post Intelligencer reported on their Web sites that the former Cincinnati Bengals receiver’s deal is for $40 million and includes $15 million in guarantees.

The 31-year-old Houshmandzadeh has caught 204 passes in the last two seasons. Seattle didn’t have a wide receiver catch more than Bobby Engram’s 47 last season.

The Seahawks had seven injuries at the position while sliding to a 4-12 finish in 2008.

BRONCOS: Denver star receiver Brandon Marshall faces a possible suspension even though a disorderly conduct charge stemming from a fight with his fiance was dismissed in an Atlanta court.

The Pro Bowl receiver might still be disciplined for repeated violations of the league’s personal conduct code, which gives commissioner Roger Goodell the authority to punish players.

Also, the Broncos signed linebacker Andra Davis as they continue to revamp their defense.

49ERS: San Francisco sent a private jet for two-time MVP quarterback Kurt Warner, who traveled from Phoenix to the team’s training complex for a physical exam and a meeting with top brass.

The 49ers also re-signed fullback Moran Norris to a three-year contract, welcoming back the burly run-blocker after releasing him last summer.

TITANS: Tennessee signed Pittsburgh Steelers free agent receiver Nate Washington to a six-year deal and added former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Jovan Haye with a four-year deal.

LIONS: Detroit signed free agent receiver Bryant Johnson to a three-year contract, adding the former first-round draft pick to complement rising star Calvin Johnson.

CARDINALS: Arizona signed free agent safety Keith Lewis to a two-year contract.

The team also announced it had re-signed punter Ben Graham to a two-year contract and backup quarterback Brian St. Pierre to a one-year deal.

BENGALS: Cincinnati linebacker Darryl Blackstock agreed to stay with the Bengals, who have taken two hits to their offense in the first days of free agency.


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