49ers looking at ex-Warrior LaBoy
Advertiser Staff and News Services
Former University of Hawai'i star Travis LaBoy could end up with his hometown NFL team — the San Francisco 49ers.
The 49ers, who assigned a franchise tag on nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin, are considering adding a defensive player to the mix with LaBoy, a free-agent outside linebacker, under consideration.
His agent said yesterday that LaBoy visited the 49ers earlier this month. LaBoy, 28, was a second-round pick for the Tennessee Titans in 2004 and recorded 19 1/2 sacks in four seasons there. In 2008, the Cardinals signed him to a five-year, $22 million contract as a quasi defensive end-outside linebacker.
Although LaBoy got off to a good start with the Cardinals, he suffered a torn biceps that season and also had a foot injury that eventually required surgery. Arizona released him before the 2009 season.
The 49ers gave him a medical examination, and he also met with coach Mike Singletary and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky.
LaBoy is from the Bay Area and attended Marin Catholic High School. He also has visited with the New York Jets.
ALL-PRO DE PEPPER WON'T BE FRANCHISED
Julius Peppers grew up in North Carolina, starred in college in the state and made five Pro Bowls in eight years with the Carolina Panthers.
Now, after a decision based on finances, Peppers is almost certainly leaving home and about to be the test case for how much NFL teams are willing to spend on an elite player in a season without a salary cap.
General manager Marty Hurney announced yesterday the Panthers won't place the restrictive franchise tag on the team's career sacks leader for a second consecutive year at a cost of at least $20.1 million.
"With the magnitude of the contract, the tender that it would take to franchise him and how it fits into the big picture with our team, we made the decision to not franchise him," Hurney said. "Obviously, it's a very difficult decision because he's a tremendous player."
The 30-year-old Peppers will become an unrestricted free agent. Teams wanting a 6-foot-7 pass rusher with freakish athletic ability and questionable consistency can start the bidding on March 5.
"I feel good about having the opportunity to visit with other teams. My goal will be to find the right match for my skill set," Peppers said in a statement released by his agent, Carl Carey. "I am thankful for the eight seasons I have spent in the National Football League thus far and am looking forward to beginning this new phase of my career."
RB WESTBROOK LET GO AFTER 8 SEASONS
Brian Westbrook was released yesterday by the Philadelphia Eagles, ending an often-dynamic eight-year run that was marred by various injuries.
A former All-Pro, the 5-foot-10 Westbrook led the league in yards from scrimmage in 2007 with 2,104. He rushed for 1,333 yards and accounted for 12 touchdowns that season.
But he spent much of last season on the sidelines, missing eight games with a pair of concussions and an ankle injury. Westbrook had only two touchdowns in 2009.
He was due $7.25 million next season.
Eagles coach Andy Reid said he called Westbrook with the news yesterday morning. Reid said Westbrook should still have an opportunity to play for another team.
"Brian is one of the greatest Eagles of all time and he is an even a better person and leader," Reid said. "In my mind, there has not been a more versatile running back that the NFL has seen."
COACH CABLE SUED BY EX-ASSISTANT
Former Oakland Raiders assistant Randy Hanson sued head coach Tom Cable and the team yesterday for damages suffered during a training camp scuffle that resulted in Hanson being treated for a fractured jaw and broken teeth.
The suit alleges that Cable "without warning or provocation" grabbed Hanson during an Aug. 5 coaches meeting at the team's Napa hotel. Cable then threw Hanson against the wall, causing the left side of Hanson's face to strike a table, then hit Hanson while he was on the floor, the lawsuit said.
The suit alleges that after Cable was restrained by the other coaches, he threatened to kill Hanson. Defensive assistants John Marshall, Willie Brown and Lionel Washington also attended the meeting, the lawsuit says.
Hanson's lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, accuses Cable of assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. It says the Raiders made only a cursory investigation of the attack and ratified Cable's conduct by failing to discipline him and by not allowing Hanson to remain as an assistant coach.
Cable and the Raiders weren't immediately available for comment.
Jets: New York signed former Dallas kicker Nick Folk and free agent offensive tackle Michael Turkovich. The signing of Folk gives the Jets some insurance if Jay Feely, who'll be an unrestricted free agent, isn't re-signed.
Lions: Detroit released defensive end Jared DeVries, who missed last season after surgery on a ruptured Achilles tendon. DeVries started 29 games the previous three seasons for the Lions and has played in 120 games for them since they drafted him out of Iowa in 1999.
Seahawks: Seattle signed defensive end Ricky Foley and punter Tom Malone. Foley played for the B.C. Lions last season and led the CFL with 12 sacks and had 51 tackles. Malone spent time on the New England Patriots practice squad.