New York Jets defensive end John Abraham finally reported to the team yesterday, signing his one-year, $6.67 million franchise tender after missing all of training camp.
The Pro Bowl player refused to sign the tender because he wanted a long-term deal, and was forced to miss offseason training activities and camp. Abraham does not have the deal he wanted, nor does he have assurances he won't be franchised again at the end of the season.
"The business part is over with," Abraham said. "It's time to get to the personal part, which is getting back with my teammates and getting ready for the season. For me, it's more getting ready to play for the first game, not trying to hurt the team."
Abraham will have a physical today and begin practicing with the team immediately. He won't play in the preseason finale Thursday at Philadelphia, but is expected to see spot duty in the season opener at Kansas City on Sept. 11.
* RAMS 37, LIONS 13: In Detroit, Marc Bulger accounted for two touchdowns, Isaac Bruce had 85 yards receiving and a score and Steven Jackson ran for 108 yards and a touchdown to lead St. Louis.
The Rams were so dominant on an 11-play, 90-yard drive in the first quarter that they didn't have a third down.
A pass rush that came from all angles stifled Detroit's first-string offense, which hasn't scored in three preseason losses. When quarterback Joey Harrington had time to throw, he either missed receivers or they dropped passes.
Rams cornerback Terry Fair had full feeling in his extremities and never lost consciousness after spraining his neck late in he first quarter when his head struck Lions running back Kevin Jones's thigh on a tackle.
Fair, motionless face down on the turf for several minutes, was strapped to a backboard and carted off the field late in the first quarter. As the cart approached the tunnel, Fair lifted his right arm and put his thumb up. He has taken to Henry Ford Hospital for a precautionary evaluation.
* BEARS: With a five-year contract in hand and an ear-to-ear grin crossing his face, running back Cedric Benson joined the team and put a drawn-out negotiation behind him.
The fourth overall pick and the last first-rounder to sign, Benson called it "a great relief" and said it "feels good to be here" during a news conference at the team's practice facility. Terms of the contract were not revealed, but the Bears reportedly offered between $17 million and $17.5 million guaranteed on a $35 million deal.
* GIANTS: Quarterback Eli Manning said he experienced no soreness in his sprained elbow a day after throwing the ball for the first time since he was injured 10 days ago. Manning reiterated his plans to be in the starting lineup for the Giants' opener Sept. 11 against Arizona, but said he will miss the Giants' preseason finale Thursday at New England.
* EAGLES: Jerome McDougle returned to the team, one month after he was shot in the stomach by three armed robbers in southwest Miami. McDougle doesn't know when he'll be ready to play.
* DOLPHINS-BEARS TRADE: Miami traded linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo to Chicago for tight end John Owens and a conditional draft pick.