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Saints and Chiefs work out a deal for Roaf

Willie Roaf is headed from the Saints to the Chiefs, pending NFL approval of the trade.

"I can confirm we have an agreement in principal to trade Willie to the Kansas City Chiefs, predicated on approval of the signed paperwork submitted to the league," Saints spokesman Greg Bensel said Monday night.

The team would not release any details on the trade, but reported the Saints would get a conditional fourth-round draft choice in 2003 that could become a third-rounder, depending on Roaf's performance with the Chiefs.

Roaf was due a $4.25-million roster bonus today, but the deadline to pay it was extended several times to allow the seven-time Pro Bowl tackle to work out a new deal.

Peter Schaffer, Roaf's agent, did not return calls from The Associated Press.

The Chiefs and Broncos both were negotiating with Schaffer for Roaf, who said last month he would retire unless the Saints traded or released him.

Saints general manager Randy Mueller said the team would keep Roaf on the roster rather than releasing him if it could not work out a deal.

Also, Kansas City signed 41-year-old kicker Morten Andersen to a one-year contract. Terms were not disclosed.

GIANTS: The team opened its offseason conditioning program insisting that recent bickering among some star players won't cause any problems this season.

"As a grown man, and with the grown men I work with every day, we realize we're not all the same," halfback Tiki Barber said. "We don't have the same ideals and principles. We don't all have to like each other. We just have to work together, and build a cohesion so we can win."

In recent weeks, there seemingly has been little cohesion among the Giants, who posted a 7-9 record just one year after playing in the Super Bowl.

The biggest tiff has involved defensive end Michael Strahan, who set a single-season sack record last season, Barber and defensive tackle Keith Hamilton.

Strahan started the controversy this month, saying he wasn't happy with the state of contract talks and that he probably would not play for the Giants after his contract expired in 2002.

Barber then publicly criticized Strahan, noting the defensive end rejected a multiyear deal that would have included a $17-million signing bonus.

Hamilton jumped to the defense of Strahan, saying Barber should mind is own business.

PANTHERS: The team brought back former special teams standout Michael Bates, signing the kick returner to a one-year deal worth $750,000.

RAIDERS: Defensive tackle Darrell Russell pleaded innocent to sexual assault charges.

Russell and two friends were arrested early last month after a 27-year-old woman claimed she was drugged and raped on Jan. 31, in a home in Alameda, Calif.

Russell was charged with 25 felonies as an accomplice. He has been free since posting bail on Feb. 7.

REDSKINS: The team signed running back Chris Barnes, a fifth-round draft pick by Baltimore last year. The Ravens cut him at the end of training camp.

Also Tony Banks, last year's starting QB, was invited to attend a minicamp that begins today, but isn't expected to attend. Banks is an unrestricted free agent.

STEELERS: The team signed free agent kicker Todd Peterson to a three-year, $2.5-million contract.

TEXANS: Free-agent Kris Brown joined the team, after Pittsburgh didn't match a four-year, $4.7-million offer sheet.

MANLEY IN CUSTODY: Sheriff's deputies arrested ex-Buc Dexter Manley at a Houston hospital, where he had checked in after missing a court-ordered meeting in the wake of his conviction for evidence tampering.

Manley, 43, was found guilty Wednesday after a jury determined he tried to swallow less than a gram of cocaine during a 2001 drug bust at a Houston motel.

Sentencing is set for April 5, but Manley had been required to meet with a probation officer Thursday and failed to show up. His attorney, Jonathan Munier, said the former Pro Bowl defensive lineman checked into Riverside General Hospital during the weekend for depression.

Harris County deputies took Manley away from the hospital Monday morning and returned him to jail, Lt. Robert Van Pelt said. He had been free on $20,000 bail.