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Lions, Harrington part ways

Marinelli decides on change at QB

With Joey Harrington out of the picture, Detroit Lions QB coach Mike Martz works with holdover Dan Orlovsky yesterday.
With Joey Harrington out of the picture, Detroit Lions QB coach Mike Martz works with holdover Dan Orlovsky yesterday. (AP Photo)

The Detroit Lions parted ways with Joey Harrington yesterday after four turbulent seasons during which the quarterback went from franchise savior to franchise goat.

Coach Rod Marinelli declined to say whether Harrington was released. ''I've decided to move in a different direction with the quarterback," he said.

Harrington, drafted No. 3 overall in 2002, was 18-37 as a starter with the Lions under three coaches: Marty Mornhinweg, Steve Mariucci, and Dick Jauron, who took over when Mariucci was fired during the 2005 season.

Harrington started 55 games, throwing for 10,242 yards with 60 touchdowns and 62 interceptions and a mediocre 68.1 passer rating.

He will be replaced by Jon Kitna or Josh McCown, both former starters who agreed to terms in the last week. The Lions already have under contract former Tampa Bay and Arizona starter Shaun King and second-year man Dan Orlovsky.

Harrington would have received a $4 million bonus if he was on the roster June 15.

Coach explains on Culpepper
Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress says he saw a little of Terrell Owens in Daunte Culpepper. That was enough for him.

''It just became a deal where I didn't feel like it was the team, I felt like it was 'me,' " Childress said about Culpepper. ''I went through a big 'me' situation last year with a guy who was all about 'me.' "

While still the offensive coordinator at Philadelphia, Childress clashed with Owens during training camp, the precursor to the mercurial receiver's high-profile exile from the Eagles.

Shortly after replacing Mike Tice as the coach in Minnesota, Childress again found himself not seeing eye-to-eye with one of the team's marquee players.

Culpepper refused to rehab his severely injured right knee in Minnesota, preferring to remain at home in Florida. He also asked for a raise and was hesitant to meet with Childress and the new coaching staff to start examining the team's new offense.

With neither side budging, the Vikings shipped Culpepper to Miami last week for a second-round pick, days after Culpepper requested to be traded or released.

Seahawks lose Hutchinson
The Seattle Seahawks said no thanks to Steve Hutchinson. The Seahawks were told yesterday they needed to match the guarantee provision in the $49 million, seven-year Minnesota offer to their All-Pro guard if they wanted to keep him. A team official for the NFC champions confirmed they let the league's deadline pass last night at midnight without doing anything, making one of the keys to their Super Bowl season now the highest-paid Vikings lineman. The deal includes $16 million guaranteed and is the richest ever given to a guard . . . The Dallas Cowboys signed veteran offensive tackle Jason Fabini to a three-year, $4.5 million deal that includes a $1.75 million signing bonus. The eight-year veteran was drafted by Cowboys coach Bill Parcells in 1998 when Parcells was the Jets' coach and general manager . . . The Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-signed veteran wideout Ike Hilliard. He was the team's third receiver last season after spending his first eight seasons with the New York Giants . . . The Philadelphia Eagles released quarterbacks Mike McMahon and Andy Hall, three days after signing 36-year-old Jeff Garcia as Donovan McNabb's backup.

Raiders ink CB Poole
The Oakland Raiders signed cornerback Tyrone Poole to a two-year contract. Poole, an 11-year NFL veteran, played the past three seasons with the Patriots but was limited to six games the last two years because of injuries. The 34-year-old played only one game last season, the opener against Oakland, before being sidelined with an ankle injury . . . As expected, cornerback Will Allen signed a $12 million, four-year contract with the Miami Dolphins after spending the last five seasons with the Giants. The Dolphins also signed tight end Justin Peelle to a three-year deal, and added wide receiver Kelly Campbell and defensive tackle John Shaw . . . Craig Nall agreed to a three-year contract with the Buffalo Bills, believing they will give him the best shot as a backup quarterback. Nall, an unrestricted free agent who played at Northwestern State, spent the past four seasons as Green Bay's third-stringer . . . Fullback William Henderson will return for a 12th season with the Packers, who re-signed the unrestricted free agent . . . The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed defensive end Carlos Hall to a one-year contract after the 27-year-old's first season with the team was hampered by injuries.

Neal to visit Texans
Stephen Neal is scheduled to take a free agent visit to the Houston Texans, who are looking for a right guard, the position where Neal has been a Patriots starter for the last two seasons. Neal has visited with the Vikings and Bills.

Also, offensive tackle Tom Ashworth, who started 17 of 20 games in which he appeared over the last two seasons with New England, visited with the Seahawks yesterday. Receiver Tim Dwight was en route to Pittsburgh last night to meet with the Steelers.

JEROME SOLOMON

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