Kokinis, Browns could be near deal

The Baltimore Sun

Browns coach Eric Mangini was encouraged by two days of meetings with Ravens pro personnel director George Kokinis and indicated his longtime friend will soon be Cleveland's new general manager.

Kokinis spoke with team owner Randy Lerner yesterday and could be days away from joining the club. It is not known whether Lerner offered Kokinis a contract.

Patriots: : Quarterback Tom Brady said his rehabilitation from season-ending knee surgery was "going really well," but he did not offer any timetable for a return to the football field.

Lions: : Coach Jim Schwartz made his first major hire, bringing in 40-year coaching veteran Gunther Cunningham as defensive coordinator.

Obituaries: : Shane Dronett, 38, a defensive lineman who started every game for the Falcons' 1998 Super Bowl team, was found dead at his home. The Gwinnett County police department said officers were called to Dronett's home near Atlanta yesterday morning in response to a possible suicide. ... Hall of Famer Dante "Gluefingers" Lavelli, a sure-handed receiver who helped the Browns build a dynasty in the 1940s and 1950s, died Tuesday at 85.

Chargers: : LaDainian Tomlinson addressed rumors that the team will part with the running back. "I have NO intentions of leaving San Diego," Tomlinson wrote on his Web site.

Vick: : PETA withdrew an offer to televise an anti-dogfighting public service announcement with Michael Vick after his release from prison. The organization said an agreement was reached with Vick's representatives to shoot the spot, but Vick's attorneys sought assurance that PETA would support Vick's return to the NFL.

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