The Miami Dolphins have filed a grievance against Ricky Williams, asking an arbitrator to uphold their contractual right to recover $8.6 million paid to the retired running back between signing bonus and incentives, the Miami Herald reported on its Web site yesterday.
NFL Players' Association attorney Richard Berthelsen told the newspaper that the Dolphins asked that the hearing be expedited so the case can proceed within the next few weeks.
The union and teams are limited to four such requests each year, Berthelsen said, saying that most such arbitration hearings are held after the season. Berthelsen said the request was made through NFL Management Council attorney Dennis Curran.
Berthelsen said he plans to argue that Williams be allowed to keep the money.
"First of all, you're talking about a signing bonus that the club didn't pay," Berthelsen told the Herald. "How do the Dolphins have a right to ask for money back that they didn't pay? As for the incentives, that's money that Williams earned for his performance the past two years. The Dolphins will have to prove that they were irreparably harmed, and I'm not sure how they can do that."
* TITANS: The biggest question Tennessee faced this preseason was who would replace Eddie George. Now the only query is: Can Chris Brown keep this up?
The second-year running back out of Colorado finished the preseason leading the AFC with 240 yards rushing on 32 carries, including 98 yards on eight rushes in Friday night's 27-7 preseason finale victory over Green Bay.
The Titans know defenses will be preparing much differently for Brown in the regular season.
"Because of what he's done, there's going to be a lot more respect," Coach Jeff Fisher said.
Brown gave credit to his offensive line for helping out.
"They've been opening up some big holes out there, making it a lot easier for me to see them and get through them," Brown said.
The Titans' running game ranked 26th last year, generating just 101.4 yards per game.
* PANTHERS: Carolina traded for Steelers offensive lineman Todd Fordham, who can play both guard and tackle, to add some versatility to the unit.
Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney said the team gave up a late-round 2005 pick for Fordham.
The Panthers also released 14 players, including veteran tackle Melvin Tuten.
* JETS: New York cut veteran tight end Mikhael Ricks and 11 others. Ricks, a six-year veteran who was signed in July, has 153 catches for 1,982 yards and eight touchdowns in his career.
* VIKINGS: Veteran safety Tyrone Carter was among the 12 players cut by Minnesota. Carter, drafted by the Vikings in 2000, played three years in Minnesota and spent last season with the Jets, where he started the final 10 games.