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February 19, 2008

Keyshawn might return to NFL

   Former Cowboys receiver Keyshawn Johnson is eyeing a return to the NFL after sitting out last season working as analyst for ESPN.

    Johnson is working out and has made it known to teams that he is available, according to a source.
And if he is going to come back, Johnson would like to get a deal done as soon as possible — possibly within the first couple of weeks of free agency.

If not, he will be content with saying goodbye to the game for good and continuing his broadcasting work on ESPN. He said he likes his job and his prospects for the future as an analyst.
However, his one-year hiatus from the game after being released by the Carolina Panthers following the 2006 season has not diminished the salary expectations of the 11-year veteran and three-time Pro Bowler.

It will take a deal that he is comfortable with to bring him back to the NFL. And according to a source, he will not return for the veteran minimum.

After discussing contracts with a number of teams last summer Johnson eventually left the game because his suitors did not meet his contract demands — most notably the Tennessee Titans. The presence of Bill Parcells in Miami makes the Dolphins a possible destination for Johnson. The Titans could also return to the mix.

According to Johnson’s camp, the big difference between this year and last year is that he will be available in the first phase of free agency. He was released by the Panthers last May following the 2007 draft when teams had already spent most of their cap money.

— Clarence E. Hill

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