Saturday, October 19

Deal is contingent on Carter passing a physical

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- news services

Cris Carter and the Miami Dolphins reached a verbal agreement on financial terms on Saturday that could pave the way for Carter's return to the NFL, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported.

The contract, believed to be for one year, is contingent on Carter passing a physical, which is expected to take place early next week. There are no provisions in Carter's contract with HBO that would preclude him from returning to the NFL if he desired. Carter currently is working as a commentator on HBO's "Inside the NFL."

The Dolphins host the Bills on Sunday, but then have their bye week. Carter could make his Dolphins' debut on Monday Night Football against the Packers on Nov. 4.

Carter, who turns 37 next month, met with team officials on Friday night. A source told that the Dolphins definitely will want to assess his conditioning before securing a contract agreement.

Miami demonstrated interested in Carter during the offseason. Ironically, the plan was to sign Carter to a short-term contract and to release Oronde Gadsden. But Gadsden was injured at the time, the team could not cut him while he was hurt, and the plans never materialized. It now appears that Gadsden, who ruptured a ligament in his left wrist last weekend, will opt for season-ending surgery, unless the Dolphins present him a contract extension offer to his satisfaction.

"We have no choice," Gadsden's agent Michael Todd told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "We wanted to get an extension as injury protection, but they offered a contract that should have gone to the 51st player on the roster instead of Oronde."

Dolphins spokesman Harvey Greene declined comment on Carter's contract or Gadsden's status on Saturday.

"Any announcements regarding Oronde Gadsden or any ramifications to result from his decision will not be announced until Monday,'' Greene said. "We have a game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. The game is our focus.''

Carter's agent, Mitch Frankel, didn't immediately return a call to The Associated Press seeking comment.

Carter is the NFL's second all-time leading receiver with 1,093 catches for 13,833 yards and 129 touchdowns. The Dolphins flirted with Carter during the offseason, but the two sides could not agree on compensation.

Information from's Len Pasquarelli, ESPN's Chris Mortensen and The Associated Press was used in this report.