The Green Bay Packers signed all-pro wide receiver Antonio Freeman to a one-year tender offer, the team said yesterday.
The deal means Freeman will be able to report to training camp today and play for the Packers while the team and Freeman's agent, Joel Segal, continue to work on a long-term contract.
Freeman held out through the first two weeks of training camp while reportedly seeking a contract worth more than $6 million annually, which could have made him the game's highest-paid receiver.
Last season, he also signed to play for the Packers' tender offer of $1.153 million. Freeman then set career highs with 84 catches for 14 touchdowns and a league-best 1,424 yards despite suffering a broken jaw late in the year.
COLTS: Running back Edgerrin James, the team's surprise first-round pick, ended a 20-day holdout when he signed a seven-year contract valued at $49 million.
His agent, Leigh Steinberg, announced the signing and the financial terms of the contract. James, who took a physical before signing, joined the Colts for their afternoon practice.
The former Miami star was drafted fourth overall in April's draft, one pick ahead of Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams. He missed 25 practices, a scrimmage and the Colts' preseason opener. The Colts had no immediate comment on the signing.
The contract included a $9.5 million signing bonus and an additional $350,000 bonus for making the roster, Steinberg said.
SEAHAWKS: Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Sinclair signed a five-year contract extension. In effect, Sinclair was given a seven-year contract. He had two seasons left on his old contract, which he signed in 1996 and had restructured in 1997, and is now signed through 2005. Sinclair, 31, led the NFL with a team-record 16 1/2 sacks last season.
RAMS: The Rams have been added as a defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a woman killed in a wreck involving linebacker Leonard Little. The widower and teenage son of Susan Y. Gutweiler allege Little was driving drunk after participating in a Celebrity Waiters' Night on Oct. 19 at a hotel bar. Little's sport utility vehicle collided with Gutweiler's car after he left the event in downtown St. Louis. She died two days later. The Gutweilers' attorney, John Kilo, said the Rams failed to properly supervise Little, who was an employee and making an appearance that night at a charitable event. Police have said Little was legally drunk at the time of the accident.
LIONS: Detroit -- apparently taking the announced retirement of Barry Saners seriously -- has begun the process of reclaiming the unearned portion of the $11 million signing bonus they gave the running back when he signed a six-year contract in 1997, according to the Detroit Free Press. With Sanders back in the United States after a European vacation, the Lions are eager to meet or at least talk to him about the possibilities of rejoining the team.