JUDGE notes: Carter to be a Ram pending team approval

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Clark Judge



The St. Louis Rams won't make a move on free-agent Cris Carter until after the veteran wide receiver meets this week with Coach Mike Martz and quarterback Kurt Warner. Martz on Saturday acknowledged interest in Carter and said he was almost certain the club would extend the former Minnesota Vikings' pass catcher a contract. But first, he said, he wants Carter to pass an examination of his future prospective teammates. Already, Martz has had a three-hour meeting with star running back Marshall Faulk on the question of Carter's possible addition, and Faulk — who had some issues with Carter in a Pro Bowl — approved the move. But the test doesn't stop there. Carter is expected to meet on Sunday with team president of football operations Jay Zygmunt, then arrive in St. Louis next Wednesday to meet Warner for dinner. Martz said he expects to meet with Carter the following day. "I'm 99 percent certain this will work," Martz said. "But it will work as long as it's positive." It should be. Carter has notified him he's not interested in joining the Rams for money; he wants to play where he can win a Super Bowl, and St. Louis will be a favorite again next season. The Rams also are expected to lose free-agent wide receiver Az-Zahir Hakim, and Carter would fill a role as the team's third receiver. Carter recently voided his contract with the Vikings and became a free agent for the first time since 1990 when he was released by Philadelphia. There are conflicting reports about Carter's influence in a locker room, with outbursts of anger visible on the sidelines last season in Minnesota. But Martz believes Carter's displays of emotion were borne out of frustration from losing and that he will be a welcome addition to the Rams' locker room. He intends to gain a second opinion. That's why he said he will meet with the core of his veteran players and poll them before making a move. Unless Carter flunks the test, color him a Ram for next season.

Chiefs adding some beef?

After completing talks with the agent for free-agent tackle John Parrella, Kansas City president Carl Peterson said he¿s not optimistic a deal can be reached. You probably can guess the reason. ¿I think he should see what¿s out there, then maybe he¿ll come back to us,¿ said Peterson. ¿We probably won¿t do anything more with this until we get back (to Kansas City) on Tuesday and see where it stands. Obviously, we¿re interested, but I think (Tom Condon, Parrella¿s agent) should talk with John.¿ Parrella, the only member of the San Diego Chargers to play every game the past five years and the club¿s Lineman of the Year in 2000, was offered a contract that averaged $3 million a season and turned it down. That was by San Diego. One source within the club suggested he was looking for a payment more in the neighborhood of $4-4.5 million annually, which would eliminate the Chargers and might eliminate Kansas City. The Chiefs flew Parrella to Indianapolis, where he took a physical and met with club officials in two days. The club hoped to reach a deal with Condon, but Peterson said the Chiefs didn¿t make an offer — and won¿t until they hear from Condon.

49ers searching for a guard

Now that the San Francisco 49ers have center Jeremy Newberry tied to a six-year, $20 million deal, the club will look for more help on the offensive line — starting at guard. The club is interested in a left guard to replace Ray Brown, and while there's always the possibility of moving tackle Derrick Deese to the position the more likely possibility is that they make a free-agent addition. The club has interest in Green Bay's Mike Wahle, the New York Jets' Kerry Jenkins and New Orleans' Chris Naeole and has spoken with representatives of all. Naeole seems to be out of the picture, with Jenkins the most likely possibility.

Giants, Strahan trade offers

The New York Giants were interested in renegotiating a contract with defensive end and NFL sack king Michael Strahan, but that was before he notified them he wants to be the highest paid player in the league. One NFL source said Strahan turned down a signing bonus of $16 million in favor of something higher. The Giants weren't interested. Stay tuned.

Rams may lose Little

Arizona coach Dave McGinnis said the Cards have not made St. Louis defensive end Leonard Little and offer and don't have him scheduled for a visit. "But we'd be interested," he said. The Cards have all sorts of cap room, with reports Saturday morning that they were close to closing a deal with Little, who was third in the league last year with 14.5 sacks. "Not true," said McGinnis. The Cards also are talking about free-agent cornerback Duane Starks, but they don't have him scheduled for a visit, either. Agent Drew Rosenhaus said Starks plans to visit Arizona, but McGinnis isn't aware of a date. "But we're interested in him, too," he said. Starks also has the interest of Oakland, which would like to sign him to replace Eric Allen.

No worries for Reid

Philadelphia Coach Andy Reid said he wasn't concerned with Jeremiah Trotter's demand to be traded. Reid, in Indianapolis for the NFL scouting combine, indicated he plans to have Trotter — the team's franchise player — in the lineup when the club opens the season and said there has been no talk of trading him. Trotter led the team in tackles the past three seasons.

Bucs' Abraham to Colts trade rejected

The Tampa Bay Bucs offered cornerback Donnie Abraham to Indianapolis for a third-round draft choice but were rejected. The feeling is that the New York Jets will wind up with Abraham, and it might not be by trade. If the Bucs can¿t peddle Abraham, they¿re expected to waive him — with Abraham rejoining Herman Edwards, who coached him at Tampa Bay, in New York. The Jets have openings for two starting cornerbacks, and there¿s a chance they could wind up with Abraham and free-agent Brian Kelly.

Falcons shopping for GM

Reports that the Atlanta Falcons gained permission to interview St. Louis general manager Charley Armey are not accurate, with Armey saying he hasn't been contacted by the Falcons or anyone on the Rams regarding the opening in Atlanta. An NFL source on Saturday night said the Falcons gained permission to talk to Tampa Bay director of player personnel Tim Ruskell after they were denied permission to interview Miami vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman.

Quick kicks

  • Free-agent defensive tackle La¿ Roi Glover is looking for a contract with a $10 million signing bonus and averages $6 million a season. Good luck.
  • The chances of free-agent linebacker Marvin Jones re-signing with the New York Jets are "solid," according to Rosenhaus. Rosenhaus said he first wants to gain a market value for Jones before returning to the Jets to negotiate.
  • Offensive tackle Leon Searcy isn't out of the picture in Baltimore, but he will talk with Washington, Miami and Atlanta.
  • Cleveland is extremely interested in signing free-agent defensive lineman Kenard Lang and will have him in next week for a workout. Lang, who played defensive tackle with the Redskins last year, would be reunited with defensive coordinator Foge Fazio, with the Redskins in 2000. He also has the interest of Houston and Denver.
  • Look for the New York Jets to take a long, hard look at free-agent defensive lineman Steve White of Tampa Bay. Clark Judge can be reached at his e-mail address,
  • Tagged: Packers, Chiefs, Rams, Saints, Jets, 49ers, Chargers, Derrick Ransom, Leonard Little, John Parrella, Ray Brown, Derrick Deese

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