Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 30, 2011
The NFL notebook …
SPARTANBURG, S.C. ó Cam Newton smiled to the hundreds of fans who cheered as the Heisman Trophy winner took the field Saturday for the first time with the Panthers.
And he doesnít feel like a No. 1 pick shortchanged by the system.
Newton practiced a day after signing a four-year, $22 million deal with Carolina. The fans at Gibbs Stadium began to cheer as they saw Newton in his red No. 1 jersey walk down the hill from the locker room, his arms around Panthers star runner DeAngelo Williams.
ěWelcome to Carolina, Cam!î one shouted.
Newton was all smiles as he ran on the grass, holding his arm up in a No. 1 sign to acknowledge the cheers. Carolina supporters need something like Newton to celebrate after last yearís dismal 2-14 finish. Newton hopes to bring them something special, starting this season.
Newton took a major financial hit as the draftís top selection, getting $56 million or so less than Sam Bradfordís $78 million, six-year deal as St. Louisí No. 1 pick.
ěIt really doesnít matter,î Newton said. ěEither way you look at it, Iíve still got more money than Iíve ever had.î
INDIANAPOLIS ó Peyton Manning has a new long-term deal in time to report to training camp.
He still hasn’t been cleared to practice.
Colts owner Jim Irsay said he was “thrilled” to sign the only four-time MVP in league history to a deal that will likely keep him in Indianapolis for the rest of his career. Details of the contract were not immediately available but it is believed to be for five years. The contract is reportedly worth $90 million.
PITTSBURGH ó Plaxico Burress shook hands. He bro-hugged. He talked. He listened. He watched. He hung out. He paced.
The one thing the free agent wide receiver didn’t do on Saturday while visiting the Pittsburgh Steelers is sign a contract.
Instead Burress hopped into an awaiting limo just as the team began afternoon practice at Saint Vincent University following a lengthy visit in which he met with owner Art Rooney, director of football operations Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin when he wasn’t catching up with old teammates.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó Eli Manning would be happy to have Plaxico Burress back in a New York Giants’ uniform but the quarterback isn’t going to lobby management to re-sign the Super Bowl hero.
Burress, who was released from prison on June 6, visited with Coughlin, Reese and co-owner John Mara on Friday night at the Giants headquarters in an attempt to convince them that he could be a team player.
UNCíS QUINN SIGNS
ST. LOUIS ó The St. Louis Rams and first-round pick Robert Quinn agreed to terms on a four-year contract with an option for a fifth season.
Quinn, the 14th pick out of North Carolina, had to wait five days after changing agents before signing. He is expected to be on the field Sunday.
Coach Steve Spagnuolo said after the first workout that Quinn’s plane had landed in St. Louis and that the two had spoken by telephone. Spagnuolo added that Quinn hadn’t signed earlier because of a personal issue.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.ó The Arizona Cardinals have reached a contract agreement with first-round draft pick Patrick Peterson.
The cornerback from LSU, the fifth player drafted overall, could be at training camp in time for todayís practice.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. ó San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said Saturday that he expects holdout Frank Gore to play with the team this season but is prepared to move forward without the two-time Pro Bowl running back.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó Two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora has ended his holdout after a day and reported to the New York Giants.