NFL "News & Rumors"

Today's "News & Rumors" from around the National Football League

Word from Green Bay indicates that Packers WR Antonio Freeman will refuse to take a pay cut for the upcoming season, opting instead to seek a release after July 1.

Freeman, speaking to reporters after watching the Milwaukee Bucks battle the Sacramento Kings on Sunday expressed his unhappiness at the teams' request to take a paycut off the $4.3 million he is scheduled to make this season.

"It's just not a situation I'm happy with," Freeman said. "It's not about money, it's about happiness right now, and I don't think being back in Green Bay will make me happy".

"There's no $4.3 million No. 2 receivers in the NFL, and I'm not willing to take a $2 million pay cut. Then you bring a guy in and give him a $7 million signing bonus."

Freeman joined forces with QB Brett Favre as the two became most prolific active touchdown tandem in the NFL, gathering in 57 touchdowns, yet his tenure in Wisconsin became expendable when Green Bay signed former Patriots receiver Terry Glenn.

"I had a very accomplished career in Green Bay. I don't regret anything. But you don't go from a No. 1 to a No. 2 - if you're going to do that, you move to another team."

Jon Gruden wasted little time in lighting the spark for the quarterback race in Tampa Bay, signing former Buffalo Bills QB Rob Johnson on Saturday.

Rob Johnson is expected to battle his namesake, Brad Johnson for the starter's position, with third-year veteran Shaun Kin filling in the third slot.

Still no word from the Broncos on the Shannon Sharpe watch.

Although the former Bronco has expressed interest in returning to Denver, Mike Shanahan has not extended any invitation for negotiations, despite the teams' need for an additional receiver.

The Miami Dolphins will welcome their newest member with open arms on Monday, as Ricky Williams makes his debut to coaches, teammates and local media.

"We had no qualms or reservations after talking with him and doing our research that there was anything we would be scared of, said Dolphins senior vice president Rick Spielman.

The former Heisman Trophy winner carries quite a bit of baggage, after three injury riddled seasons with the New Orleans Saints, who gave away their entire draft in 1999 for the opportunity to nab him with the No. 5 pick.

Despite the injuries, Williams averaged 1,043 yards per season with New Orleans.



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