NFL Notebook

Steelers' Porter Fined For Slurring Winslow

By Mark Maske
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 15, 2006

The NFL yesterday fined Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Joey Porter $10,000 for using a slur related to sexual orientation to describe Cleveland Browns tight end Kellen Winslow after the two teams played last week.

After the Steelers' 27-7 triumph eight days ago, Porter called Winslow "soft" and used the slur to denigrate Winslow for a late hit on another Pittsburgh player late in the game.

Porter later issued an apology for his remarks but excluded Winslow, saying the only person that he'd meant to offend was Winslow.

· COURTS: An appeals court ruled that the estate of the late Steelers center Mike Webster is entitled to as much as $2 million in disability benefits.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled unanimously Wednesday that the NFL must pay benefits to the estate retroactive to the date of Webster's retirement in 1991, along with legal fees and interest. Lawyers for the estate estimated the value of the award at $1.5 million to $2 million.

The league's six-member pension board, consisting of three members from league management and three from the NFL Players Association, had maintained that Webster suffered from a degenerative condition and was not fully disabled when he retired, cutting his benefits in half. But a Baltimore judge and the appeals court supported the estate's contention that Webster suffered brain damage during his 16-year playing career that left him completely disabled when he retired.

Webster, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, died from a heart attack in 2002 at age 50.

· CHARGERS: San Diego signed free agent wide receiver Az-Zahir Hakim and placed wideout Malcolm Floyd on the injured reserve list with an ankle injury.

· GIANTS: Defensive end Michael Strahan participated in portions of New York's practice for a second day in a row but remained listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Strahan has missed the last five games because of a foot injury.

· PANTHERS: Quarterback Jake Delhomme missed Carolina's practice for a second straight day and probably won't play Sunday against the Steelers. Chris Weinke started in Delhomme's place last weekend -- and lost to the Giants -- after Delhomme suffered ligament damage in his right thumb the previous Monday night at Philadelphia.

· BENGALS: Linebacker David Pollack's NFL career probably is over after a specialist recommended that he undergo surgery for a cracked bone in his neck. The former first-round draft choice was hurt while making a tackle during a game in September and had his head placed in a halo brace to immobilize his neck.

· BEARS: Defensive tackle Tank Johnson was charged with not having a gun owner identification card after six firearms were found at his Gurnee, Ill., home.

The misdemeanor charge carries a potential penalty of up to a year in jail, said Jeff Pavletic, first assistant state's attorney in Lake County.

Johnson already has a separate conviction on a gun charge.

· COLTS: Wide receiver Brandon Stokley will miss the rest of the season after being placed on injured reserve. Stokley, 30, part of the first trio in NFL history with 1,000 yards and 10 TDs in one season, injured his right Achilles' tendon Sunday at Jacksonville.

· BROWNS: Rookie linebacker D'Qwell Jackson (Maryland) had surgery on his toe and will likely miss Cleveland's final three games.

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