Repsher, Steve, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
NFL may fine Seahawks $500,000 if they move
NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue has warned Seattle Seahawks owner Ken Behring he could be fined as much as $500,000 if he moves the team, according to a report published yesterday in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
The story said the fine would be for conduct detrimental to the league. A spokesman for Behring, however, denied the story.
"There is no truth to the story whatsoever," Alan Elias said in Los Angeles.
He said that Tagliabue and Behring had a 90-minute meeting Wednesday night that was "cordial, a useful exchange of information."
"At no time during that meeting were there any threats made to Mr. Behring by the commissioner," Elias said. "Both sides agreed to reflect on the Seattle stadium situation and confer later."
Behring, who still has 10 years left on his lease with the Kingdome, has complained about the safety of the 20-year-old stadium. Behring has filed a lawsuit against the county claiming that the lease no longer is valid. The county has countersued.
The Seahawks got other news yesterday from the Seattle courts, when jurors in the vehicular assault trial of running back Lamar Smith declared themselves hopelessly deadlocked and a mistrial was declared.
The King County Superior Court panel had deliberated for four days since receiving the case Feb. 15. At issue was whether Smith was criminally liable for the 1994 car crash that partially paralyzed rookie tackle Mike Frier.
* Tony Mandarich, out of football four years, signed as a free agent with the Indianapolis Colts. Mandarich last played in 1991, when he started the first 15 games at right tackle for Green Bay before tearing a ligament in his left ankle.
* The Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-signed unrestricted free agent linebacker Hardy Nickerson to a four-year contract. Nickerson led the Bucs in tackles for the third straight season in 1995.
* After losing out to the Chicago Bears in the pursuit of linebacker Bryan Cox, the St. Louis Rams are crying foul. Rams general manager Steve Ortmayer accused Cox's agent, Clifford Brady, of steering Cox to the Bears and misleading the Rams' front office.
* The Miami Dolphins re-signed wide receiver Randal Hill to a one-year contract. Hill caught 12 passes for 260 yards in 1995.
* Former Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Sam Wyche joined NBC as an NFL commentator. Wyche teams with one-time NFL coaches Mike Ditka and Joe Gibbs. …