Moulds shuffled out of Buffalo and into Houston


BUFFALO, N.Y. – Eric Moulds agreed to a contract with Houston on Tuesday and said the Texans have worked out a trade to acquire him from the Buffalo Bills.

“Yeah, it’s done,” said Greg Johnson, Moulds’ personal adviser. “I’m ecstatic. I’m relieved, happy and thankful that all parties came to an agreement.”

Moulds, who had the Bills’ permission to seek a trade, agreed to a four-year, $14 million contract that includes a $5 million signing bonus. It’s not clear what the Texans traded to Buffalo, but it’s believed to be a fourth- or fifth-round pick in this month’s draft.

The Texans declined to confirm the deal for the wide receiver. Bills spokesman Scott Berchtold said, “There is nothing official to report.”

A 10-year veteran, Moulds had two years left on his contract with Buffalo, but had vowed not to return to the team after he twice rejected the Bills’ demands that he accept a significant pay cut last month.

Moulds was scheduled to count about $10.8 million against Buffalo’s salary cap.

By trading Moulds, the Bills freed up about $5.5 million in cap space. He still will count about $5.3 million against the Bills’ cap because of bonuses factored in during his contract with the team.

Moulds, who has passed his physical with the Texans, agreed to a deal in principle with the Texans last weekend but had to wait until Houston and Buffalo completed the trade. Moulds had been in Houston visiting with the team since Monday before traveling to his home in Louisiana late Tuesday.

“I’m excited about it,” Moulds said. “I was optimistic through the whole deal, but at the same time, to get closure and get an opportunity to get it done is a big plus.”

Charges against Culpepper dismissed

MINNEAPOLIS – Quarterback Daunte Culpepper was cleared Tuesday of misdemeanor charges stemming from a boat-party sex scandal.

A judge ruled there wasn’t probable cause to determine a crime was committed by Culpepper, one of four Minnesota Vikings accused of misdemeanor lewd conduct during the cruise last fall on a suburban lake. Culpepper has since been traded to the Miami Dolphins last month.

Culpepper issued a statement through the Dolphins saying he was “delighted” at the ruling.

“I was confident when the legal process began that the truth would come out, and I am glad that my innocence has been proven,” he said.

Titans bar McNair from team workouts

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Titans told Steve McNair they don’t want him working out in their building until his contract is reworked, the quarterback’s agent said Tuesday.

McNair was told to go home Monday when he showed up at the team’s headquarters for the start of the third week in the Titans’ offseason conditioning program. The team’s general counsel had called agent Bus Cook earlier Monday and informed him McNair would be told to leave. A team trainer told the 11-year veteran to leave, Cook said.

“You tell the guy who’s the mainstay of the organization, the leader, to get out, that he’s not wanted, that’s pretty rough,” Cook said. “I don’t know what Steve will do or won’t do. I imagine he would have a hard time going back over there.”

McNair, the NFL’s 2003 co-MVP, is due $9 million in salary in 2006 – but his salary cap number is $23.46 million. The Titans declined last month to pick up a $50 million option to stretch the deal through 2009, leaving McNair with nearly a quarter of their cap space.

“We have no choice but to protect the club and its future from the possibility of having a significant amount of our salary cap at risk in a single player should he sustain a major injury,” the team said in a statement. “This is entirely a risk management problem.”

Cook said the Titans’ general counsel told him the team doesn’t want McNair working out on team property until his contract is reworked.

General manager Floyd Reese and coach Jeff Fisher were in Los Angeles following a private workout of Southern California quarterback Matt Leinart. The Titans said in a statement that they look forward to McNair returning once his contract is resolved.