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NFL Notebook: Panthers claim Spencer

Associated Press
The NFL notebook …
CHARLOTTE ó The Carolina Panthers have claimed tackle Charles Spencer off waivers from Houston and released offensive lineman Rueben Riley.
Spencer hasn’t played in the NFL since breaking his leg during his rookie season in 2006. The former third-round pick provides more beef up front for Carolina. Spencer is 6-foot-4 and 337 pounds.
Riley spent last season on Carolina’s practice squad.
The move on Wednesday comes as Carolina continues to negotiate with unsigned first-round picks Jonathan Stewart and Jeff Otah. Players are scheduled to report to training camp in Spartanburg, S.C. on Friday.
FAVRE UPDATE
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is monitoring the ongoing rift between the Green Bay Packers and Brett Favre.
A person with direct knowledge of Goodell’s interest said the commissioner has spoken with Packers management several times recently as tensions mounted between the three-time MVP and his team.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks.
ESPN.com first reported Goodell’s interest in the Favre predicament, indicating that Goodell encouraged Packers general manager Ted Thompson to survey teams around the league to try to find a trade partner in hopes of resolving it quickly.
SAINTS
Wide receiver Marques Colston got his reward for playing far beyond the expectations for a seventh-round pick.
Colston, whose 168 catches are more than any NFL receiver through his first two seasons, agreed to a three-year extension that could keep him in New Orleans through the 2011 season.
49ERS
The San Francisco 49ers signed center Cody Wallace to a four-year contract Wednesday, leaving only first-round pick Kentwan Balmer unsigned on the day before players report to training camp.
Wallace, a fourth-round pick and 107th overall, was an all-conference lineman at Texas A&M last season. He will back up veteran starter Eric Heitmann on the 49ers’ revamped offensive line.
COWBOYS
This soap opera is better than the one with J.R. and Sue Ellen back in the day. You got T.O., Tony Romo and his squeeze, Jessica Simpson, and now a new villain for the story ó Adam “Don’t Call Me Pacman” Jones. Best part is we can follow along on HBO’s behind-closed-doors series “Hard Knocks.”
KIFFIN GETS THE AXE?
Will Raiders coach Lane Kiffin get fired? Don’t laugh. Raiders owner Al Davis is a crazy old kook. Kiffin already appears on shaky ground and if second-year QB JaMarcus Russell doesn’t look as if he’s developing fast enough, Davis will say, “Just get out, baby.”
GIANT HOLE?
Who replaces Michael Strahan, the gap-toothed guy, in the Big Apple? And Strahan isn’t the only loss. The Giants lost several players to free agency.
HOW’S PEYTON?
We probably won’t find out until late in the preseason whether the Colts quarterback will have his streak of 160 consecutive starts snapped. Coming off knee surgery, Manning could be out for the next six weeks.

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