LB Orakpo gets $20M deal for his birthday
ASHBURN, Va. - Brian Orakpo was enjoying a late-night, day-early birthday dinner in Austin, Texas, when he got the word: A five-year, $20 million deal with the Washington Redskins was ready for his signature. "I was actually celebrating it with my fiance in a sushi joint," the linebacker said. "It's one of my favorite foods. I got the call and couldn't even enjoy it no more." Although the contract includes $12.1 million in guaranteed money, the fiance picked up the check - even a suddenly wealthy beau doesn't get to pay for his own birthday meal. The distracted No. 13 overall draft pick from the University of Texas then headed home, packed his bags and caught an early flight to arrive in time to join his teammates on the field for Friday morning's practice, ending a one-day holdout on the day he turned 23. "Got the deal done. My pocket's a little bigger. On your birthday, it's always a good thing," Orakpo said.Sporting a burgundy and black skullcap, Orakpo took part in a few drills before removing his helmet about halfway through the two-hour workout. Coach Jim Zorn said there was still some paperwork to sort out and that Orakpo's first official practice would take place during the afternoon session. "He's just overexcited," Zorn said. "He's just fired up about being here." COLTS: Longtime Colts assistant coaches Tom Moore and Howard Mudd are returning from retirement. Coach Jim Caldwell announced Moore, the offensive coordinator, and Mudd, the offensive line coach, would be back with the team after saying they would retire because of changes to the NFL pension plan. DOLPHINS: First-round pick Vontae Davis has agreed to terms. Agent Todd France confirmed the deal for Davis, the cornerback who played at Illinois and was the 25th pick in the first round. FALCONS: Signed first-round draft pick Peria Jerry, an All-America defensive tackle from Mississippi, to a five-year contract. Terms were not released. LEGAL: Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce finished two days of testimony Friday before a grand jury in New York investigating a gun charge against former teammate Plaxico Burress. Pierce emerged from a Manhattan courthouse after about two hours of testimony and did not speak to reporters. His attorney Michael Bachner said the grand jury asked Pierce a lot of questions and that his statements were "clear, coherent and consistent." SEAHAWKS: Two-time Pro Bowl offensive guard Mike Wahle was released before their first practice of training camp Friday afternoon, then retired. VICK: Patriots coach Bill Belichick won't rule out the chance the team will sign quarterback Michael Vick. But he won't rule it in, either, at least not publicly. Asked again about Vick on Friday, Belichick repeated his Thursday comment. He said he's concerned about the players the Patriots have in camp, not ones they might acquire. VIKINGS: First-round draft choice Percy Harvin (Florida) was a no-show at the team's first practice of training camp. The Vikings opened practice early Friday, but the 22nd overall pick was still in negotiations with the team on a contract.
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