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NFL roundup: Namath favors Vick over Smith

The SportsXchange

Joe Namath said he expects Michael Vick to be the New York Jets' opening-day quarterback, but he needs to be healthy this season.

The Hall of Famer and former New York Jets great said Vick is a better option than incumbent Geno Smith and will give the Jets a better chance at success in 2014.

"Of course, the coaches are going to decide who's out there, but, boy, I don't know any football fan that's been around for nine or 10 years that doesn't think Michael will be outstanding and probably is the best player at this time," Namath said Tuesday night at the United Way's annual Gridiron Gala in Manhattan, according to

Vick, 34, who signed with the Jets in March to compete for the starting job, has said that Smith is the starter.

---Bond was set at $17,000 Wednesday morning for Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, who was also ordered by a judge to attend three Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per week after his arrest on suspicion of domestic violence and communicating threats charges Tuesday.

The warrant in the case alleges Hardy threw the 24-year-old woman to the floor and bathtub and strangled her. Hardy was released Wednesday.

According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) police, the alleged incident involving Hardy's girlfriend occurred early Tuesday morning. Police responded to a call at 4:18 a.m. ET and the alleged victim said she was physically assaulted and threatened by Hardy, who claims he called 911 when the alleged victim would not leave. The 24-year-old woman said she had been drinking before the incident and has been in a relationship with Hardy since September 2013.

---The Chicago Bears became the first team on Wednesday to reach a contract agreement with their first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Cornerback Kyle Fuller agreed to terms on a four-year contract with a fifth-year option, the team announced. The package is valued at $9.687 million and includes a $1.761 million salary cap figure for the coming season, according to

In four years at Virginia Tech, Fuller had six interceptions and 28 passes defensed.

---The San Diego Chargers signed four of their six choices from the 2014 NFL Draft to four-year contracts, the team announced Wednesday.

Guard Chris Watt of Notre Dame (third round, 89th overall), defensive tackle Ryan Carrethers of Arkansas State (fifth round, 165), running back Marion Grice of Arizona State (sixth-round, 201) and wide receiver Tevin Reese of Baylor (seventh round, 240).

Cornerback Jason Verrett (first round, 25) and outside linebacker Jerry Attaochu (second round, 50) are the only two draft picks who are unsigned.

---The New York Jets signed offensive lineman Dakota Dozier, a fourth-round selection from Furman, and seventh-round pick Trevor Reilly, an outside linebacker from Utah, the team announced Wednesday.

Like all rookies drafted after the first round, Dozier and Reilly signed four-year deals.

---The Indianapolis Colts signed outside linebacker and fifth-round draft pick Jonathan Newsome, the team announced Wednesday.

Newsome was selected by the Colts in the fifth round (166th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft. In two seasons at Ball State, he competed in 23 games and totaled 116 tackles, 16.5 sacks, 24.0 tackles for loss, one interception, two forced fumbles and three passes defensed.

---The Baltimore Ravens signed three draft picks from their 2014 class, the team announced Wednesday.

Tight end Crockett Gillmore of Colorado State (third round), guard/center John Urschel of Penn State (fifth round) and quarterback Keith Wenning of Ball State (sixth round) all signed four-year contracts with the team.

---The Arizona Cardinals signed linebacker Keenan Clayton and safety Anthony Walters to one-year contracts on Wednesday.

Clayton last played in the NFL for the Oakland Raiders in 2012. In 36 games spanning the 2010 to 2012 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Raiders, he had 29 career tackles on defense and four passes defensed. He added 26 special-teams tackles.

Walters played in 13 games for the Chicago Bears last season and had 10 tackles on special teams. In three years with the Bears, he saw action in 33 games and totaled 21 tackles.

---The Kansas City Chiefs signed rookie guard and sixth-round draft pick Zach Fulton to a four-year deal, the team announced.

Fulton was the first of the Chiefs' two sixth-round picks from the 2014 NFL Draft (193rd overall). He became the first of Kansas City's six selections in the draft to sign.

---The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed free agent long snapper Andrew DePaola and waived cornerback Anthony Gaitor, the team announced Wednesday.

DePaola has been with the Bucs the last two preseasons and will compete with veteran Jeremy Cain. Gaitor was a seventh-round pick in 2011. He played 12 games with the Bucs in 2011 and 2012, but tore his ACL in camp last summer and missed the entire season. .

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