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Bucs, rookie DE agree; 3 picks left

Arizona defensive end Joe Tafoya, a seventh-round draft pick, agreed to terms Wednesday with the Bucs on a three-year, $914,000 contract.

Only three of the Bucs' nine draft choices remain unsigned _ first-round pick Kenyatta Walker; safety John Howell, a third-round pick; and tight end Dauntae Finger.

In other transactions, the Bucs released defensive tackle Matt Sweeney, who signed with the team as a free agent and spent the off-season with the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe.

Tafoya earned All-Pacific 10 honors his junior and senior seasons. He finished with 24{ career sacks.

SUPER BOWL OR BUST: The broken ankles, the ones sustained when everyone jumped off the bandwagon last season, apparently have healed _ the Sporting News picks Tampa Bay to be Super Bowl champion.

The magazine cites the expected improvement with new quarterback Brad Johnson of the passing game, which has not finished higher than 26th in the NFL in the past six seasons.

"It will be because of Johnson & Johnson. We don't mean the Band-Aid company," the Sporting News said. "The passing partnership of Brad Johnson and Keyshawn Johnson should raise the offense to a level where it can stand eye-to-eye with a defense that has been one of the best in the NFL for several years."

NBA career for Chiefs TE? "I am curious '

KANSAS CITY, Mo. _ Fans have grown accustomed to seeing Tony Gonzalez celebrate touchdown receptions by dunking over the goal post. Would they be ready to see one of the NFL's best tight ends throwing down on rims in the NBA?

For the first time since the Chiefs drafted Gonzalez from California in 1997, the question is a legitimate one.

Gonzalez, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, often spends his summers hooping it up. He is playing in the NBA's Southern California Summer Pro League with the likes of Magic Johnson, Penny Hardaway and Baron Davis _ and has turned the heads of some scouts.

He says he is intrigued, at the very least, by the possibility of playing basketball at the game's highest level.

"It's no secret that I love playing basketball, everyone knows that," said Gonzalez, who recently had 26 points and 11 rebounds in a victory against Johnson's team. "But I haven't really planned on anything. I'm just playing like I have every other year, trying to get in shape for the NFL season.

"It's just that this summer, I've been playing really well, and scouts are coming up to me asking if I'd think about playing in the NBA. I am curious, but I would think about it only if it didn't interfere with football."

BENGALS: The team signed second-round draft pick Chad Johnson, third-round selection Sean Brewer and seventh-round pick T.J. Houshmandzadeh to multiyear contracts. Johnson, a wide receiver, signed a four-year contract. Brewer, a tight end, and Houshmandzadeh, also a receiver, signed three-year agreements.

BRONCOS: Douglas County (Colo.) prosecutors dropped charges against the wife of linebacker Bill Romanowski in a prescription drug case. Julie Romanowski faced eight counts of illegally obtaining the diet drug phentermine for her husband and one count of conspiracy. Bill Romanowski was acquitted on related charges last month.

BROWNS: With training camp opening in less than a week, the team agreed to terms on a three-year contract with rookie wide receiver Andre King and said it doubted top pick Gerard Warren of Florida would report on time.

CARDINALS: The Federal Aviation Administration released a preliminary statement that said the team's proposed $335-million stadium would be a "hazard to air navigation" as now planned.

The FAA said it wouldn't issue a final finding until after hearing again from Tempe officials and Arizona's Tourism and Sports Authority, which is overseeing the project. Preliminary ground work was halted at the site last week.

CHARGERS: Zeke Moreno, the former Southern California linebacker selected in the fifth round of the draft, signed a three-year contract. San Diego's top three picks _ running back LaDainian Tomlinson, quarterback Drew Brees and cornerback Tay Cody of Florida State _ remain unsigned. Moreno is the younger brother of Moses Moreno, a San Diego quarterback from 1999-2000 before being released this year. Terms were not announced.

COLTS: The team re-signed linebacker Dwight Hollier and running back Lenox Gordon. Hollier, a free agent, started 15 games for Indianapolis last season and was fourth on the team with a career-high 95 tackles.

DOLPHINS: Cornerback Patrick Surtain agreed to plead no contest to a charge of reckless driving, his attorney said. Prosecutors accepted the deal, which stems from Surtain's arrest on a charge of driving under the influence in July 2000. Adjudication will be withheld. Surtain will donate $25,000 to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, perform community service and attend a DUI school, attorney Ed O'Donnell said.

JAGUARS: Stacey Mack, a backup running back, was arrested on charges of propositioning an undercover police officer for oral sex.

Mack, who started one game last season for injured running back Fred Taylor, was driving on U.S. 1 on Tuesday afternoon when he pulled up to an undercover vice officer, a police report showed. After a conversation, Mack agreed to pay $15 for oral sex, police said.

Mack, 27, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor soliciting for prostitution. He was released on bond four hours later.

The Jaguars did not immediately return a telephone call for comment and Mack's telephone number is not listed.

PATRIOTS: Prosecutors said they will not drop assault-and-battery and witness intimidation charges against wide receiver Terry Glenn even though the woman involved said she does "not believe that he committed any crime." Kimberly Combs, the mother of Glenn's 5-year-old son, made the statement in an affidavit accompanying a motion filed by Glenn's attorney, Joe Cataldo, seeking dismissal of the charges at a pretrial hearing.

VIKINGS: Minnesota agreed to terms with two draft picks, cornerback Eric Kelly and tackle Brian Crawford. Kelly, who played at Kentucky, was the team's third-round pick. Crawford, who played at Western Oregon, was taken in the seventh round. Five of the team's draft picks remain unsigned.

TV COVERAGE: The league and ESPN will experiment with an overhead camera that moves behind the quarterback during a Jaguars-Giants preseason game next month. The technique, used by the XFL last season, uses a wire-and-pulley system to shift a small camera above the field several feet behind the quarterback, said Dennis Lewin, the NFL's senior vice president of broadcast planning.

_ Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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