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Walker's wish is granted as Packers ship him off to Denver

Javon Walker what he wanted yesterday -- a ticket out of Green Bay and the groundwork for a new contract.

The Packers traded Walker, who had threatened to retire rather than play for the team in 2006, to the Denver Broncos for a second-round pick. Hours later, the Broncos and Walker agreed to parameters for a six-year contract extension, Denver coach Mike Shanahan said.

Walker, coming off a serious knee injury as he enters the final year of his contract, said last month that he wanted to be dealt.

Walker had a breakout season in 2004, catching 89 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns, leading to his request for a big payday. Green Bay refused to redo Walker's deal, and he tore up his knee in the season opener.

Shanahan said he was optimistic about Walker's recovery.

''Our doctors felt very good in looking at his knee," Shanahan said. ''He looks right on pace to recovery and should be ready to go."

Heaven-sent Saint?
Few in New Orleans expected Reggie Bush to be available at No. 2. For the Saints, who already have a strong running back in Deuce McAllister, the Heisman Trophy winner was too tantalizing to pass up.

Bush said he was not disappointed that he was not taken first overall, and saw playing in New Orleans as a chance to boost morale in the storm-torn Gulf South.

''I could possibly bring some smiles back to the faces," Bush said. ''Any organization that's pumped up about me makes me feel good and want to go there and play."

Armey hospitalized
Rams GM Charley Armey was hospitalized after complaining about shortness of breath and rapid heart beat during draft discussions. Team spokesman Rick Smith said preliminary tests were normal, but that Armey would be kept overnight at Missouri Baptist Hospital . . . The Saints acquired Browns center Jeff Faine in a trade with the Browns . Cleveland received the Saints' second-round pick, at No. 34 overall. New Orleans also got the Browns' second-round pick at No. 43 . . . Former Jaguars tackle Mike Pearson agreed to terms with Miami.

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