The Green Bay Packers and Mike Holmgren have reached agreement on a five-year, $2.5 million contract that will make him the team's 11th head coach, according to a published report.
The Green Bay Press-Gazette, quoting unidentified sources, reported in today's editions that Holmgren, the San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator, had agreed to terms and that a formal announcement would be made today.
The newspaper said Holmgren checked into a Green Bay motel yesterday and discussed the contract with his agent, Bob LaMonte, and Packers general manager Ron Wolf.
Holmgren has spent six years with the 49ers, the last three as offensive coordinator.
Earlier, Wolf released a statement through Green Bay spokesman Lee Remmel saying all differences between the Packers and 49ers had been cleared up and that there would be no further comment from the team immediately.
There was speculation that the 49ers would try to block Holmgren's departure by enforcing a clause saying he couldn't take a job with another team unless he was bypassed for the 49ers head coaching position.
But NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue issued a directive to all 28 teams Thursday, stating that the anti-tampering policy permits an assistant coach to accept a head coaching opportunity with another club regardless of the terms of his contract and regardless of any covenant to the contrary in that contract.
49ers president Carmen Policy said he protested the league policy in a letter to Tagliabue.
"How are they going to pass a resolution in fairness that says existing clauses are no longer valid when you paid for those clauses?" Policy said.
* FALCONS: Rapper Hammer says tailback Mike Rozier's story isn't legit.
Rozier's agent, Art Wilkinson, had said the running back missed 10:30 p.m. Friday curfew before a playoff game with the Redskins because he had been out with Hammer.
Not so, said Hammer.
"If Mike Rozier says that he was with me, I feel sorry for him," Hammer said. "He's got some personal problems that he'd better take care of."
* Displaying religious signs during football games is protected free speech, U.S. District Judge Joyce Hens Green said in barring officials from removing such signs during tomorrow's Detroit-Washington game.
The District of Columbia Armory Board had adopted a policy in June 1990 saying banners could be exhibited at RFK Stadium if the content was related to the event, was not commercial or vulgar and complied with a size limit.
* RAIDERS: After missing a first court appearance, quarterback Todd Marinovich pleaded innocent to a misdemeanor disturbance charge in Torrance, Calif. Marinovich missed the court date because he had misread the citation, said an aide to attorney Gary Pohlson.
* CHARGERS: Coach Bobby Ross has met with Florida athletic director Bill Arnsparger about becoming defensive coordinator.
* STEELERS: Pittsburgh seeking a coach planned to conduct a second interview today with Cowboys defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt