Eagles claim Cortez from Dallas, release France

Philadelphia Eagles: With kicker David Akers close to returning from a hamstring injury, the Eagles have
shuffled their kicking game.

The Eagles on Tuesday claimed kicker Jose Cortez off waivers
from the Dallas Cowboys and released kicker Todd France.

It took less than 24 hours for Cortez to find work after he
was waived by the Cowboys on Monday. He missed a 29-yard
field goal in Sunday's 13-10 loss to Seattle, and is 12-of-16
on the season.

The release of France is surprising since he has kicked well in
three games since replacing Akers, who is sidelined with a
hamstring injury. France has made 6-of-7 field goals, with his
only miss being a block.

Eagles coach Andy Reid has indicated that Akers may return for
this weekend's game against Denver.

"If he's not back this week, he'll be back the next week," Reid
told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "We will see how he does by

Minnesota Vikings: Defensive tackle Kevin Williams was placed on a year's probation and fined $1,000 after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct in a domestic dispute.

Williams, who entered his plea Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court, acknowledged having a loud argument with his wife, Tasha, at their Minnetonka home in August.

Williams, a first-round pick from Oklahoma State and the ninth player taken overall in the 2003 NFL draft, was also ordered to undergo counseling.

• The team signed receiver Jason Anderson and defensive ends Elton Patterson and Eric Taylor to
their practice squad.

Anderson signed with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted rookie
out of Wake Forest, but was released prior to training camp and
spent the preseason with New England.

Patterson previously spent time with Cincinnati and
Jacksonville, appearing in eight games.

Taylor was picked by Pittsburgh in the seventh round in 2004 and
spent that season with the Steelers' practice squad.

To make room, the Vikings released defensive ends Earl Cochran
and Eric Coleman from the practice squad. They had one spot open
after promoting linebacker Heath Farwell to the active roster last

Tennessee Titans:
A West Virginia judge has added 90 days to Pacman Jones' probation for violating terms related to a 2002 incident, the Tennessean of Nashville reported

Jones reportedly did not make consistent contact with his probation officer. Jones' probation was scheduled to end on Thursday.

Judge Robert Stone in Morgantown extended the probation by 90 days, though the state requested for it to be extended up to a year, the Tennessean reported.

"We felt it should not be extended at all,'' Jones' attorney, David Straface, told the paper. "We felt he did make sufficient contact. The court felt he should have had more contact."

In October 2003, Jones was sentenced to one year in jail following a bar fight while he was a student at West Virginia, but the sentence was suspended and he was placed on two years' probation, the Tennessean reported.

• The tean agreed to terms
with wide receiver Sloan Thomas, moving him from the
practice squad to the active roster to help relieve a shortage of
healthy receivers.

The Titans (2-5) released receiver Andrae Thurman after he
violated team rules and to make room for running back Travis Henry,
who is returning from a four-game suspension.

Brandon Jones had tests on his sore right knee, and Drew Bennett
will be out against Oakland (2-4) on Sunday. That leaves the Titans
with five receivers, including Thomas, if Jones is able to play.

Coach Jeff Fisher said Monday the team was considering bumping
up Thomas.

The 6-foot-2, 212-pound receiver joined the Titans' practice
squad after being waived by Houston in training camp. At the
University of Texas, he had 88 catches for 1,362 yards and 12

Green Bay Packers: The Packers opted against signing talkative, controversial wide receiver Freddie Mitchell, instead adding former Packers practice squad player Andrae Thurman, who was cut by the Titans this week, ESPN.com's John Clayton reports.

The Packers also re-signed running back Walt Williams, released wide receiver Jamal Jones and placed Ahman Green on injured reserve.

Mitchell was on the receiving end of the fourth-and-26 pass that helped the Eagles oust the Packers from the playoffs in 2003 when he was with Philadelphia. Mitchell has been out of action since being released by Kansas City on Sept. 3 after failing to stick with the Chiefs over the summer after talking his weay out of Philadelphia.

Indianapolis Colts: The Colts waived cornerback
Donald Strickland and defensive end Nathaniel Adibi.
Both players had been placed on injured reserve and would have
missed the rest of the season.

Strickland was a third-round pick out of Colorado in 2003, but
has been slowed by injuries throughout his career. Colts coaches
expected Strickland to compete for a starting job at training camp
this year, but he missed most of camp and all of the preseason with
a hamstring injury.

He started the season opener against Baltimore, but aggravated
the injury and was placed on injured reserve Sept. 14.

Adibi signed as a free agent during the offseason but was slowed
by a shoulder injury and was placed on injured reserve Aug. 12.

Cleveland Browns: The Browns placed cornerback Gary Baxter on injured reserve, ending his season, and promoted
rookie wide receiver Brandon Rideau from the practice squad.

Baxter is out after tearing a pectoral muscle in Sunday's loss
to the Detroit Lions and undergoing surgery. Baxter was one of
Cleveland's biggest offseason acquisitions, signing a six-year, $30
million free agent contract in March. He finished the season with
20 tackles and two interceptions.

Rideau, an undrafted free agent from Kansas, was the biggest
surprise of Cleveland's training camp. He made the team at the
club's deepest position before being placed on the practice squad.
He finished the exhibition season with seven catches for 84 yards.

The Browns also signed linebacker Clifton Smith to the practice
squad. He spent the past two seasons with the Washington Redskins.

San Francisco 49ers: Cornerback Willie Middlebrooks
re-signed with the 49ers, and center Norm Katnik was sent back to the practice squad.

The 49ers acquired Middlebrooks from the Denver Broncos during
the preseason in a trade for defensive end John Engelberger. He was
among the 49ers' final cuts, but was re-signed on Sept. 28.

Middlebrooks hurt his groin, and San Francisco released him
again before last Sunday's game against Washington so Katnik, a
second-year pro from Southern California, could be elevated from
the practice squad to be a backup lineman.

Detroit Lions: The Lions waived long snapper
Joe Maese and signed Jody Littleton to replace him.

The team also waived running back Larry Croom from their
practice squad and signed tight end Sean McHugh and defensive
tackle Kevin Carberry to the practice squad.

Littleton, who spent training camp with the Lions before being
waived in August, has played in 13 NFL games. He originally spent
time with the Lions in the 2003 preseason and then was signed in

Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals have re-signed wide receiver-kick returner J.J. Moses.

The move came one day after the surprise release of wide
receiver Charles Lee, who was the team's No. 4 wide receiver with
11 catches for 152 yards.

The Cardinals had claimed Moses off waivers from the Chicago
Bears on Aug. 30, but released him six days later.

The 5-foot-6, 175-pound Moses appeared in 30 games over the last
two seasons as the punt returner and kick returner for the Houston

Owners' meetings called off
An NFL owners meeting scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday in Kansas City has been called off because of the death of New York Giants owner Wellington Mara.

The owners had been scheduled to discuss revenue sharing and
negotiations with the players' union. There also was likely to be
talk about the status of the New Orleans Saints, temporarily
relocated to San Antonio because of Hurricane Katrina.

No rescheduling date has been set.

Information from SportsTicker and The Associated Press was used in this report.