Three of the Pittsburgh Steelers' top draft choices, including former Maryland quarterback Neil O'Donnell, have missed too much training camp to contribute this season and shouldn't even bother signing, Coach Chuck Noll said yesterday.
Noll said Steelers management "is screwed up if they pay them all kinds of money and they can't help you now" and he really doesn't want third-round pick O'Donnell, first-round tight end Eric Green and third-round defensive tackle Craig Veasey.
Noll said it would be "almost impossible" for O'Donnell to make the team because he's missed 21 days of camp and said he "should just sign for next year and forget about this year."
Colts: The hamstring injury that caused Eric Dickerson to fail a physical was no surprise to Coach Ron Meyer. "We were aware that he had strained the left hamstring," Meyer said, adding that the running back told the team in June.
Dickerson ended his holdout Monday, and the Colts discovered his left hamstring tested 40 percent weaker than his right. But he should be ready by the Sept. 9 opener.
Meyer also said quarterback Jack Trudeau will start Saturday vs. Denver and top pick Jeff George will come in early.
Cardinals: Running back Stump Mitchell was released "with Stump's best interests in mind," General Manager Larry Wilson said. St. Louis also released rookie running back Donnie Riley and free agent kicker Kevin Nicholl.
Mitchell, 31, had been trying to come back from a knee injury. He was with the Cardinals nine years and is the team leader in combined yardage and kickoff returns.
Wilson called him "one of the great players in the history of the franchise."
Giants: Defensive end Eric Dorsey signed a two-year contract late Monday and practiced yesterday.
The other two-thirds of New York's line, Erik Howard and Leonard Marshall, remain out of camp, as does Lawrence Taylor.
Vikings: Changes are in store for Herschel Walker. One is that he'll be used more as a receiver.
Another change: Plays will be signaled from the sideline, meaning Walker won't be a messenger and will be on the field more. And instead of being called only by offensive coordinator Bob Schnelker, they'll come from a four-man brain trust that includes Coach Jerry Burns.
Chargers: Negotiations with their top pick, linebacker Junior Seau, reached a stalemate and a meeting scheduled for today was called off.
Seau is asking for $1.35 million per year and says he won't settle for less than the five-year, $6 million deal Tampa Bay gave linebacker Keith McCants. McCants was picked fourth overall, Seau fifth.
San Diego is offering $850,000 a year for five years. General Manager Bobby Beathard insists the club won't offer as much as McCants received.
Lions: Coach Wayne Fontes said quarterback Rodney Peete, not Bob Gagliano, will start Thursday's preseason opener in Houston. Top pick Andre Ware is unsigned.