Friday, March 19, 2004

Sapp indicates future includes 6 possibilities


Bengals mentioned, but club keeps quiet on subject

By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

FREE AGENCY: Day 16
Bengals free agent action Thursday:

BENGALS CONFIRMED: The team-owned Web site quoted agent Jordan Woy saying he is talking with the Bengals about two of his free agent clients, wide receiver Patrick Johnson and safety Brock Marion.

OTHERWISE CONFIRMED: Free agent cornerback Bobby Taylor visited Washington, where interest has reportedly waned after the Redskins signed cornerbacks Walt Harris and Ralph Brown. The Bengals have re-entered the bidding for Taylor.

GONE: Brandon Bennett, a former Bengals running back-kickoff returner, signed a contract with Tampa Bay.

On Warren Sapp's own Web site, the man himself says the Bengals are one of six teams for which he'd like to play.

Sapp, one of the NFL's most dominating personalities and dominating defensive players, has received a four-year, $16 million offer from the Bengals.

At qbkilla.com, Sapp asks viewers, "Where will he play? Click the magic 8 ball to find out."

Clicking the 8 ball releases the logos of these six teams: Saints, Bengals, Buccaneers, Ravens, Chiefs and Giants.

Above the logo, a large question mark pulsates.

The Web site reveals more information than either the Bengals - who declined comment on anything to do with free agents - or Drew Rosenhaus, Sapp's agent.

Rosenhaus had said he would like to see Sapp holding a press conference somewhere today. Sapp's site says it might take a few days.

Rosenhaus, who has not returned phone messages this week, told the Associated Press on Thursday that it's unlikely Sapp will return to the Buccaneers and that there is "mutual interest" between the Chiefs and Sapp, similar to Sapp's situation with the Bengals.

Rosenhaus insists he is not using the Bengals as leverage to increase the market for Sapp elsewhere.

The seven-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle would lend the Bengals additional credibility in their rebuilding process, not to mention a pretty good run-stopping tackle. Sapp's larger-than-life personality and national profile would be unlike any with the Bengals since the late 1980s heyday of quarterback Boomer Esiason.

The Bengals already have signed two new defensive starters in free agency. One is safety Kim Herring, who had been released by the Rams. The other is middle linebacker Nate Webster, a four-year Sapp teammate with Tampa Bay.

E-mail mcurnutte@enquirer.com




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