An Oakland, Calif., prosecutor said New York Jets coach Bruce Coslet may have lied in a pre-trial hearing to help longtime friend Michael Blatt, who is accused of murder, the New York Post reported yesterday.
But Tori Verber, a law clerk in the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office in Stockton, said that, "At no time has this office considered perjury charges against Mr. Coslet."
Blatt, a college friend of Coslet's and a former interim general manager of the Seattle Seahawks, is charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the killing of Laurence Carnegie.
According to the prosecution, Blatt believed Carnegie, a friend of Seahawks owner Ken Behring, was responsible for the decision not to name Blatt as the Seahawks' full-time general manager -- and ordered Carnegie's death soon after former Los Angeles Raiders coach Tom Flores got the job.
Two former Pacific football players were convicted of first-degree murder in the case. They testified at Blatt's first trial, which ended in a hung jury, that Blatt hired them to kill Carnegie.
Blatt's second trial began Monday. A change of venue from Stockton was ordered before the first trial.
In a pre-trial hearing here three weeks ago, Coslet gave testimony by telephone about a phone conversation he had with Blatt in early 1989, when Blatt was the Seahawks' interim GM. Blansett reminded the coach he was under oath after Coslet testified that what he told sheriff's investigators earlier about the phone call was incorrect.
Coslet told investigators that during the conversation that Blatt told him he was not going to be named permanent general manager. But in the recent pre-trial hearing, Coslet said he had been in error and that what Blatt told him was that the Seahawks' owners had decided to keep Chuck Knox as head coach so he, Blatt, could not help Coslet land that job.
* RAMS: First-round draft pick Todd Lyght signed a five-year contract believed to be worth about $5.6 million, just 16 days before the team's NFL season opener.
Lyght, a cornerback from Notre Dame and the fifth player taken in the NFL draft, becomes the highest-paid rookie in club history.
Lyght, who will receive a signing bonus thought to be about $2.5 million, said he was satisfied with the deal, which averages $200,000 in base salary.
"You can't do anything in this world without money," said Lyght, who missed 30 days of training camp. "I feel good for my family. I'll be able to help out people that are close to me."
* BUCCANEERS: Pro Bowl cornerback Wayne Haddix ended his holdout by signing a two-year contract believed to be worth just more than $1 million.
"I think it was a just a matter of me realizing the season is getting close and I want to be there," said Haddix, who missed 28 days of training camp. "I talked to my agent and told him to get it done."
Although terms of the contract were not disclosed, media reports say the deal calls for a base salary of $425,000 this season and $500,000 in 1992. By playing at least eight games, Haddix would receive a $50,000 bonus each year. He would receive another $25,000 in 1992 if he is in the game on at least 60 percent of the team's defensive plays.
* EAGLES: Rich Kotite wrapped up training camp at West Chester University, satisfied his team is mentally and physically ready for the coming season.
Kotite's first training camp featured shorter practices, fewer double sessions and less post-practice running than the camps Ryan directed. The Eagles stressed the mental side of the game, Kotite said, and worked hard on maintaining their concentration and focus.