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Graham's career Super after leaving Jets

TAMPA, Fla. - The first time the Jets released Ben Graham, he recalled sitting for a nice conversation with then-coach Eric Mangini and general manager Mike Tannenbaum.

That was after he punted horribly in a Week 2 loss to the Patriots this season.

But Graham's replacement, Reggie Hodges, hurt himself in his first practice and Graham was re-signed in time for the Week 3 game at San Diego. He kicked again in Week 4, coincidentally, when the Jets buried the Cardinals.

Hodges, however, soon regained his health and Graham was released again.

"I was walking toward the locker room to get changed for the team photo and I got a tap on the shoulder," Graham said. I went upstairs, was told I was being released [by assistant GM Scott Cohen], so I actually left the building walking past my teammates getting their photo taken as a team. So I never had a chance to say goodbye to them a second time." He harbors no ill will toward the Jets and probably realized how strange it would sound if he did. He's with a team that is playing in the Super Bowl.

Ring ring rounded up

Authorities in Essex County, Mass., say they have found 27 Giants Super Bowl rings, valued at more than $170,000, stolen last June from a Massachusetts jewelry manufacturer. The District Attorney's office said investigators found the rings yesterday in a bank safe deposit box in Saugus, and three people have been charged in the case.

Systems go for Ward

Steelers receiver Hines Ward, who suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in the AFC Championship Game, insists he'll be on the field Sunday. He's expected to resume practice tomorrow. "It feels better," Ward said.

This notebook was supplemented with an Associated Press report


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