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SAINTS' ROYAL DENIES HITTING PLAYERS WITH COINS DURING ROOKIE HAZING

Linebacker Andre Royal says he told NFL investigators that he participated with some of his New Orleans Saints teammates in the hazing of rookies, but insisted he didn't not strike any of the players with a bag of coins.

Royal said he was interviewed Wednesday along with numerous other Saints players about what happened Aug. 20. Royal admitted to striking players with his elbows and shoulders as they ran through a gantlet of about 25 to 30 Saints players.

"I don't even think a bag of coins was there," Royal said. "I was at the end where they were throwing the water. I got soaking wet myself."

The hazing occurred last week on the final night of training camp at Wisconsin-LaCrosse for the Saints, who beat Tampa Bay, 10-6, Friday night in an exhibition game.

Victims of the hazing said they were hit with a bag of coins.

Royal said he hit some players with elbows and bumped others. "But it wasn't nothing to hurt."

Royal said he had a bag of coins at the dormitory that he collected from teammates for his daughter's piggy bank.

"Everybody leaves change around. That was all put in a bag. I told the investigators that," Royal said.

Team officials have refused comment on the hazing since announcing earlier this week that the NFL was investigating the incident.

Green must wait for new deal

MINNEAPOLIS -- The agent for Minnesota Vikings coach Dennis Green twice was rebuffed this summer in his attempts to get his client a contract extension.

"We don't want to consider that until the season's over," new Vikings president Gary Woods said before Minnesota's 42-28 exhibition victory over the San Diego Chargers.

Ray Anderson asked Woods and new owner Red McCombs before McCombs' $250 million purchase was complete if they would consider an extension for Green, who is in the last year of his contract. Woods told Anderson that issue would have to wait until after the season.

Anderson asked again to discuss an extension after the sale closed last week, and he flew to San Antonio to meet with Woods and McCombs even though they told him they would not reconsider.

Anderson met with Woods for about an hour and then McCombs for about 15 minutes. Their answer was the same: Wait until the season is over.

Specific terms never were discussed, although Woods said he probably would consider a three-year deal for a coach with an established team like the Vikings.

"To have any kind of contract negotiations, of any kind, during the season is very distracting to anybody," Woods said.

Around the league

Janet Elway, the wife of Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway, was in fair condition at Swedish Hospital over complications from colon surgery, hospital spokeswoman Sarah Spaulding said Friday. Janet Elway had been home only a few days after surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Elway still traveled to Nashville on Friday for the team's last exhibition game, today against the Tennessee Oilers.

Karim Abdul-Jabbar scored on two 1-yard runs as the Miami Dolphins completed their first undefeated preseason since 1981 by beating the Green Bay Packers, 21-7. Jason Taylor intercepted a deflected pass and returned it 38 yards to set up Miami's second touchdown for a 14-0 halftime lead.

Wayne Chrebet caught four passes for 86 yards and a touchdown and third-string running backs Richie Anderson and Robert Farmer combined for 123 yards and a touchdown as the New York Jets beat the Chicago Bears, 24-7. Chicago was booed off the field after finishing the preseason winless (0-4) for just the fourth time in team history.

Greg Hill scored St. Louis' only touchdown in his return to Kansas City, giving the Rams a 10-6 win over the Chiefs in a penalty-filled Governor's Cup exhibition game. The result probably helped nail down a roster spot for Hill, who was not re-signed by the Chiefs after last season and only joined St. Louis earlier this month. Hill, who was Kansas City's first-round draft choice in 1994 but never really found a home in the Chiefs' offense, ran for 21 yards on nine carries and put the Rams up 7-0 with a 3-yard run in the first quarter. He blew kisses to the Arrowhead Stadium crowd after his touchdown and was roundly booed for the gesture.

Forty-four-year-old Steve DeBerg, trying to become the oldest player in the NFL since George Blanda, directed two second-half touchdown drives to lead Atlanta over Cincinnati. DeBerg, who hasn't played a regular-season game since 1993, was 10 of 14 for 129 yards and a touchdown. Almost as important, he avoided any sacks after looking lethargic in his first preseason appearance for the Falcons (2-2).

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