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Baltimore gives Lewis his release

Smith, Bears agree on a new contract

JAMAL LEWIS: Ravens still hope to re-sign running back JAMAL LEWIS: Ravens still hope to re-sign running back

Running back Jamal Lewis, the NFL's Offensive Player of the Year in 2003, was cut by the Baltimore Ravens yesterday.

General manager Ozzie Newsome said the team still hoped to re-sign him.

Lewis ran for 2,066 yards in 2003, the second-highest total in NFL history. His numbers slipped after that -- his 1,132 yards last season were his most since then, although he averaged just 3.6 yards per carry

Lewis, 27, spent the 2005 offseason serving time in prison after a guilty plea to using a cell phone to set up a drug buy. He also has had ankle problems.

The Ravens' first pick in the 2000 draft, Lewis was due a $5 million roster bonus Saturday along with a $5 million base salary for the 2007 season. The Ravens have spent the last week negotiating with Mitch Frankel, his agent for a deal that would be more cap friendly.

"There has been good dialogue," Newsome said. "Jamal has been a significant contributor to us in the last seven seasons. It's our hope to have him back with the Ravens."

New deal for Smith
The Bears signed coach Lovie Smith to a four-year contract extension through the 2011 season. The team also signed general manager Jerry Angelo to a contract extension through the 2013 season. Smith, the 2005 NFL coach of the year, led the Bears to a 15-4 record and their first NFC championship in more than two decades before they lost, 29-17, to the Colts in the Super Bowl. He had had one year remaining on a deal that paid him $1.35 million in 2006. Smith was scheduled to make $1.45 million next year . . . Tight end Kris Mangum, who ranks third in Panthers history with 126 games played, announced his retirement . . . Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith, who was entering the last year of his contract, has signed a four-year extension through the 2011 season for roughly $25 million . . . The Bills re-signed running back Shaud Williams and secured the rights to defensive linemen Anthony Hargrove and Tim Anderson by tendering both one-year contract offers . . . The Cowboys re-signed Pro Bowl punter Mat McBriar to a five-year, $8.5 million contract.

Johnson released
The Vikings released quarterback Brad Johnson, making the 15-year veteran an unrestricted free agent. After the Vikings had recurring problems on offense and finished 6-10, coach Brad Childress ruled Johnson out of the running for the job in 2007 . . . The Texans released receiver Eric Moulds after one season and also dropped defensive tackle Seth Payne and offensive lineman Zach Weigert. Moulds had 557 yards and one touchdown last season after joining Houston in a trade with Buffalo. He had spent 10 years with the Bills . . . Linebacker Brian Simmons was released by the Bengals. Simmons, 31, has spent his entire nine-year career with Cincinnati . . . The Jets released running back Derrick Blaylock and former Patriots defensive end Bobby Hamilton . . . The Redskins released former Patriots tight end Christian Fauria and re-signed offensive lineman Mike Pucillo. The Redskins also restructured quarterback Mark Brunell's contract, creating more space under the salary cap. Fauria joined the Redskins last year and played in nine games, making two catches for 17 yards. He severely sprained his ankle in November and ended the season on injured reserve.

Physician questioned
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center announced it is investigating a large purchase of human growth hormone made by hospital physician Richard Rydze, who serves as a Steelers team doctor. Rydze has been questioned by a New York investigator for allegedly using his credit card to purchase about $150,000 in testosterone and human growth hormone in 2006. Rydze's questioning is part of a larger investigation into a national steroid distribution network in which two Orlando, Fla., pharmacies were raided Tuesday . . . Elliot Pellman, the head physician of the Jets, has stepped down as the top man of the NFL's concussion committee. Pellman, who held the post since its inception in 1994, will be replaced Dr. Ira Casson of the Einstein School of Medicine and Dr. David Viano of Wayne State University.

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