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Kicker charged with DUI

Chicago Bears kicker Paul Edinger was charged Saturday with drunken driving after his sports utility vehicle crashed into mail boxes in a residential community.

Edinger, 23, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident after police found his vehicle in Punta Gorda Isles, a residential neighborhood.

Police said he crashed into three mail boxes before striking a large rock. He then backed up and drove away, before two flat tires caused him to stop. Witnesses called police, who say they found an open beer in the SUV. Edinger then failed a roadside sobriety test, police said.

He was taken to the county jail, where his bail was set at $500. A telephone call to the jail was not answered late Saturday and it could not be determined if he had posted it and been released.

Edinger, a Lakeland native, kicked a career-best 54-yard field goal in the season finale to knock the Lions out of the playoffs. He led the Bears in scoring with 84 points, finishing his rookie season making 21 of 26 field goals.

Edinger was a sixth-round pick in 2000 after earning second-team all-Big Ten honors at Michigan State. His 39-yard field goal as time expired beat the Gators in the 2000 Citrus Bowl.

NFL, union officials

to discuss labor matters

Talks to extend the collective bargaining agreement could be wrapped up sooner than later. Gene Upshaw and other union officials are scheduled to meet with NFL officials in New York on Monday. The league and players are close to extending the agreement to 2006.

It is believed that only 12 to 16 minor differences, down from four or five times as many a few months ago, remain to be worked out.

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