Waiting For Green, Browns Sign Denson

By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer

BEREA, Ohio (AP) - While waiting for first-round draft pick William Green to sign a contract and report to training camp, the Cleveland Browns signed running back Autry Denson to a one-year contract Friday.

Denson, who played for the Chicago Bears last season, was on the field Friday afternoon when the Browns held their first full-squad workout.

Cleveland's players had to move indoors for the first half-hour of their initial practice open to the public because of severe weather, disappointing more than 400 fans.

Meanwhile, Green, taken with the No. 16 overall pick by the Browns, remained a holdout as the club tries to finalize a deal with the former Boston College running back.

Team spokesman Todd Stewart said Lal Heneghan, the club's top negotiator, has resumed talks with Green's agent, Tom Condon. Stewart said the club was hoping to have Green in camp this weekend.

Green is expected to be the Browns' No. 1 feature back this season.

Browns president Carmen Policy is frustrated by the club's inability to close a deal with Condon.

"A rookie being viewed as a potential contributor to this team on a full-time basis, he's got to be in camp," Policy said Thursday. "He's got to be part of this at the beginning, and we can argue that the beginning is Friday.

"It would really be in everybody's interest to get the player on the field."

The Browns were hoping that the signing of other first-round picks the past few days would help the sides reach an agreement.

Denson played for the Bears last season after being cut by the Miami Dolphins after training camp. He had just one carry but appeared in all 16 games on special teams for Chicago.

Notre Dame's career rushing leader, Denson had 31 rushes for 108 yards in 2000 for the Dolphins. He was claimed off waivers by Miami after being waived by Tampa Bay.

The 5-foot-10, 203-pound Denson was drafted in the seventh round of the 1999 draft by the Buccaneers.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)