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Eagles boot Bahr

Published Oct. 10, 2005

Philadelphia released its placekicker Monday, and New England coach Bill Parcells hinted the Patriots might follow suit.

The Eagles may bring back Roger Ruzek to replace Matt Bahr _ who replaced Ruzek after the second game.

"I just thought we had to do something," Eagles coach Rich Kotite said.

Bahr missed five of his last eight field goal tries, including a 21-yarder and a 45-yarder, the latter on the last play of Sunday's 10-7 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Three of Bahr's last four kicks hit the goal posts.

"In fact, he came to me," Kotite said. "He has a lot of class. I told him how I felt, and he said that he felt bad that he wasn't able to contribute more lately."

Kotite said he would start tryouts today for a replacement but indicated that Ruzek and Lin Elliott, who was dropped by the Dallas Cowboys after the third game, were the chief contenders.

The Patriots have tried out several kickers in recent weeks, looking at Elliott twice, but reluctantly have stayed with Scott Sisson.

Parcells said his rookie kicker, who missed a 27-yard attempt Sunday and has failed on his past three tries from within 30 yards, may not be ready for the NFL.

"That kick yesterday, they don't get any easier than that," Parcells said. "I was really stunned. It really surprised me. We were right in front there."

After the miss, a fan was ejected for holding up a "Home of Missin' Sisson" banner behind the Patriots' bench.

The Patriots (2-11) snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 7-2 victory over the woeful Cincinnati Bengals, but that did not lessen the pressure on Sisson.

He has made just 14 of 26 field goals, and the Patriots are the only team without a field goal of longer than 40 yards. New England has lost six games by three points or fewer, making Sisson's misses more glaring.

"I've tried to find someone that can do better," Parcells said, rubbing his eyes in apparent frustration. "If I could come up with a viable alternative, I might do it."

Parcells rejected the possibility of signing a veteran kicker such as Ruzek or Jim Breech, saying he would rather stay with Sisson in hopes he will improve.

"I really don't ever want to go in that direction with this team if I can help it, particularly at this point of the season when most of the damage has been done already," Parcells said. "I've lived this long with this guy."

Asked if he still thinks Sisson has the ability to kick in the NFL, though, Parcells said: "I don't necessarily think so."

Deadline extended

NEW YORK _ The NFL and its players union agreed to extend the deadline eight days until Dec. 23 for 1993 salary increases that won't count against the salary cap in future years.

The sides agreed that increases in contracts signed after 4 p.m. on Dec. 23 will be treated as signing bonuses and prorated over 1993 and any future years in those contracts.

Around the league

Redskins: Mark Rypien, benched last month for throwing too many batted balls, will return as Washington's starting quarterback Sunday against Atlanta. "We're just looking for something to spark us," coach Richie Petitbon said. Petitbon has had Rypien playing musical chairs with Rich Gannon and Cary Conklin in an effort to break the Redskins' rapid decline from Super Bowl champions two years ago.

Cowboys: Dallas awaited results on magnetic resonance imaging tests on the sprained knees of wide receiver Alvin Harper and center Mark Stepnoski.

Bills: Injured offensive stars Jim Kelly (sprained left ankle) and Thurman Thomas (bruised forearm) are likely to be ready for the Bills' AFC East showdown Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

Chargers: San Diego tight end Derrick Walker is scheduled to have surgery sometime next week on his left knee, which required arthroscopic surgery during training camp. He was scheduled to undergo surgery after the season.

Rams: Offensive tackle Jackie Slater said he has no intention of retiring and wants to return for his 19th season with Los Angeles. Coach Chuck Knox welcomed the news, saying, "I'm delighted Jackie wants to return to the Rams." It remains to be seen whether Slater, who makes $1.1-million, can agree to a contract that will fit under the salary cap looming on the horizon.