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|14 teams to get extra picks|
Philadelphia and St. Louis will get four compensatory picks in next month's NFL draft. Carolina, New England and San Francisco will get three each among the 32 extra
choices mandated by the league's labor agreement.
A total of 14 teams will get extra selections in the third through seventh rounds, based on the value of the free agents they lost in 2004.
The Titans, who lost defensive linemen Jevon Kearse to Philadelphia and Robaire Smith to Houston, will get the first of the choices, 96th overall at the end of the third round. Denver will get two compensatory choices in that round, 97th and 101st. Seattle, Kansas City and New England also will get third-rounders.
The number of picks a team receives and the rounds they come in are based on a formula that takes into account salary, playing time and postseason honors by players they lost. The maximum that one team can get is four picks.
Atlanta makes Super Bowl push
A $150 million renovation to the Georgia Dome is at the center of Atlanta's bid for the 2009 Super Bowl.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank and members of the bid committee hope to turn the dome into more of an entertainment destination, complete with an atrium (similar to the one in Green Bay's new Lambeau Field), retail shops and restaurants. The number of club seats and suites also will be increased.
Blank said Monday that the project has the support of the city and the state of Georgia. The team, whose lease runs through 2020, would finance the enhancements and hopes to receive loan help from the NFL, a common practice for stadium construction and renovation these days.
"It's a 1992 building and we're concerned about the age of the dome," Blank said. "Since '92, there have been 18 new or significantly changed facilities and five or six more are planned. By 2009, the arena and the bowl would be outdated. The capacity, we expect, would go up by several thousand. We have 4.5 million people in Atlanta and we are growing."
Also bidding for the 2009 game are Miami, host of the '07 Super Bowl, Tampa and Houston.
|Commissioner Paul Tagliabue needs his owners to get on the same page.|