Colts expect Manning to miss camp opening; Bush traded completed; Adams cut

Peyton Manning never misses a game and hardly snap. That’s in the regular season.

The Indianapolis Colts expect to begin training camp practices Monday without their star quarterback, who not only is coming off neck surgery, but doesn’t have a contract.

Coach Jim Caldwell said Friday that Manning is “not ready right now” and that the team will “turn him loose” when he is ready to play.

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Manning is in the midst of negotiations on a new contract that Colts owner Jim Irsay says will make the four-time league MVP the highest-paid player in NFL history. Manning has never missed a start – the streak is at 227, including playoffs, the longest active one in the league.

“I’ve told him to be as cautious as he needs to be because the last time I checked, we don’t count pre-season games,” Pro Bowl centre Jeff Saturday said. “I can tell you this, there’s not a player that works harder than he does.”

Miami completed its trade for Reggie Bush by sending safety Jonathon Amaya and an undisclosed draft pick to New Orleans. Bush was acquired Thursday, when he agreed to a two-year contract for nearly US$10 million with the Dolphins.

“It’s still pretty surreal for me,” said Bush, who can’t practice with Miami until Aug. 4 because of post-lockout league rules. “This whole experience is great. I’m looking forward to this opportunity. … I’m just looking forward to being able to come in here and contribute right away and be a difference-maker and help this team win.”

Amaya was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Nevada in 2010. He led the Dolphins with 15 tackles on special teams.

Miami also cut outspoken linebacker Channing Crowder, who had been a starter since his rookie season in 2005, but was criticized for not making more big plays.

Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne said Friday the team had reached a contract agreement with QB Matt Moore, who was not re-signed by Carolina. But Miami had not confirmed the deal.

Pittsburgh cut veteran tackle Flozell Adams on Friday, while Atlanta is bringing back a rising star at the position, Tyson Clabo.

After the Steelers agreed to terms with free agents Willie Colon and Jonathan Scott, they released the 36-year-old Adams, who was in the second year of a two-year deal and was scheduled to make $5 million this season. Adams started all 16 games in 2010 and is a five-time Pro Bowler who spent the first 12 years of his career with Dallas.

The Falcons agreed to terms with Pro Bowl tackle Clabo on a five-year deal worth $25 million, about $11.5 million in guaranteed money. Atlanta still hopes to bring back at least one of its two starting guards from 2010: Justin Blaylock or Harvey Dahl.

Atlanta opened cap room by releasing defensive end Jamaal Anderson and receiver Michael Jenkins, a pair of former first-round picks. The team cleared $7.8 million under the salary cap with those moves, then agreed to terms with DE Ray Edwards on a five-year contract.

Edwards, who spent the last five seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, is a strong pass rusher. He had 16 1/2 sacks the past two years and gives Atlanta another threat along with John Abraham.

San Francisco released veteran kicker Joe Nedney and centre Eric Heitmann after they failed physicals. Nedney will be replaced by five-time Pro Bowl kicker David Akers, late of the Eagles, who agreed to a deal Thursday.

The 31-year-old Heitmann was placed on injured reserve last November because of a neck injury that wasn’t healing quickly.


-Quarterback Mark Brunell was cut by the Jets, but the 40-year-old quarterback could return to back up Mark Sanchez at a reduced salary, two people with knowledge of the situation tell The Associated Press. Brunell was due $1.25 million in base salary this year.

Punter Steve Weatherford said he is leaving the Jets. He won’t be changing stadiums, though, by moving to the Giants.

“I’m on my way back to NYC but my helmet has changed,” Weatherford said on Twitter.

The Jets also cut backup quarterback Kevin O’Connell, who spent last season on injured reserve after injuring his throwing shoulder.

-Jacksonville gave up on 2008 first-round draft pick Derrick Harvey. The defensive end had just eight sacks in 47 career games, including 32 starts. The eighth overall pick in ’08, Harvey got a five-year, $33.4 million contract that included $17.4 million guaranteed. By 2010, he was riding the bench.

The Jaguars also cut starting guard Vince Manuwai, who showed up at training camp injured, out of shape and overweight. Manuwai injured his left foot last month and couldn’t attempt conditioning tests.

-Tampa Bay agreed to terms with former Atlanta punter Michael Koenen, then reached deals to re-sign free agent guard Davin Joseph and tackle Jeremy Trueblood. The Buccaneers had a turnaround season in 2010 in great part due to improvement on the offensive line.

-New England released seven players, including defensive end Ty Warren, tight end Alge Crumpler and offensive tackle Nick Kaczur. All carried salary cap numbers of at least $3 million.

Also released were linebacker Tully Banta-Cain, defensive lineman Marcus Stroud, cornerback Tony Carter and linebacker Ryan Coulson.

-Defensive lineman Shaun Smith, an eight-year veteran, agreed to terms with Tennessee. He spent last season with Kansas City and had 56 tackles and one sack with 10 starts.

Embraer to decide this year whether to build new plane to take over Bombardier

MONTREAL – Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer still plans to decide by year-end whether to re-engine its E195 or develop a new, larger aircraft to compete with Bombardier’s (TSX:BBD.B) CSeries.

Chief executive Frederico Fleury Curado said Friday that the company is evaluating the merits of stretching its largest aircraft and adding a new engine and wing, or investing more on an even larger two-aircraft family of planes.

Either way, he said, Embraer would only follow the path that makes it more competitive.

Embraer is under pressure to adjust its offering after Boeing announced plans last week to re-engine its family of 737 aircraft. That followed a similar move earlier by Airbus.

All are trying to reduce the fuel burn of their planes to better compete against the promised savings of Bombardier’s new design slated to enter into service the end of 2013.

Curado said a new plane to compete with the smaller Airbus and Boeing planes would have much in common with its existing E jets, giving customers an opportunity for an upgraded product.

Most analysts believe Embraer will elect to install new engines instead of devoting more time and money to come up with a new plane.

Earlier, Embraer beat analyst expectations by earning US$96.4 million or 53 cents per share in the second quarter on US$1.36 billion of revenues.

Analysts had forecasted on average 46 cents per share.

The latest quarterly figures compared with $57.4 million or 32 cents in the same year-earlier period.

The company also raised its 2011 sales and margin guidance with its EBIT target rising 10 per cent to US$465 million.

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Feds: Pellan canvases, removed for Queen’s portrait, will find new public home

MONTREAL – The federal government says two paintings, pulled down to make space for a portrait of the Queen, will be placed up somewhere the public can enjoy them.

Heritage Minister James Moore says even more people will be able to see the masterpieces by Alfred Pellan.

The move to pull down the paintings created some surprise or anger – among art-lovers, anti-monarchists, Quebecers and even among federal employees at Foreign Affairs.

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The government says it took down Pellan’s paintings of Canadian scenes, which hung in the Foreign Affairs building, to pay tribute to Canada’s head of state in advance of her 50th anniversary on the throne.

“I know that no slight was intended,” Moore told reporters Friday.

“Mr. Pellan’s painting will be displayed prominently very soon.”

Moore made the remarks in Montreal while announcing that the federal government is spending $23 million to fund 252 arts projects.

While the vast majority of these projects are already underway, several dozen of them – 44 in total – will receive new federal funding. Those new contributions are slated to total $3 million.

Pellan is considered a pivotal figure in bringing modern art to Canada and is revered enough that a federal electoral riding is named after him.

The Parti Quebecois, Quebec’s opposition party, says the recent gesture surrounding Pellan showed a lack of respect for Quebec art.

But Moore scoffed at that suggestion. He said the PQ was just trying to score political points ahead of a Quebec election.

No provincial election is actually required for another two years, and there is no indication one is imminent – but Moore seemed to indicate he believes one might happen in the fall.

Lack of stars doesn’t stop Whitecaps from drawing fans to MLS games

VANCOUVER – For the second time this season one of the marquee teams in Major League Soccer will play against the Vancouver Whitecaps without their superstar player.

David Beckham won’t be in the lineup Saturday afternoon when the L.A. Galaxy take the pitch against the Whitecaps at Empire Field. Beckham, the former Manchester United midfielder and English captain, has been suspended after receiving his eighth yellow card of the season.

In May, a knee injury kept Thierry Henry out of the New York Red Bulls lineup when they tied the Whitecaps 1-1 in Vancouver.

“Our fans for sure would have loved to see both of them,” said Bob Lenarduzzi, the Whitecaps president. “Those kinds of things are out of our control.

“We need to accept that’s a hazard of the game.”

A crowd of over 26,000, the largest of the season, is expected for the match against the Galaxy.

“We were at close to 23,000 before Beckham picked up his yellow card,” said Lenarduzzi. “It’s not like we haven’t been able to sell tickets.”

A crowd of 21,000 turned out to watch the Red Bulls without Henry.

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“To me, the encouraging aspect is people want to watch the game,” said Lenarduzzi. “They’d love to see the marquee players, but it hasn’t stopped people from purchasing tickets.”

The expansion Whitecaps are last in MLS with a 2-10-9 record but their average attendance of 20,008 in nine home matches leaves them third in the league. Empire Field’s capacity is 27,500.

The Seattle Sounders lead the league in average attendance with 37,189, followed by the Galaxy at 22,829.

Toronto FC is fourth at 19,977.

Lenarduzzi believes the figures show Vancouver fans are attracted by the game, not just the stars on some teams.

“We have made some huge strides to a point where people are coming out to see the game,” he said. “If there happens to be the marquee players, it certainly generates a lot more interest, but I’m not sure that’s the sole reason people are coming out.

“It has become a soccer crowd. People are coming back because they like being part of that atmosphere.”

The Whitecaps will leave Empire Field in October and play their final three games of the season in B.C. Place Stadium, which is undergoing US$565 million in renovations, including a retractable roof.

The soccer configuration at B.C. Place is for 20,000 seats.

The Whitecaps sold around 16,500 season tickets for their inaugural MLS season.

The Whitecaps may be enjoying a honeymoon this year, but Lenarduzzi knows the team must be competitive in 2012 if it hopes to keep drawing support.

“This season I think we have a grace period because we are an expansion team,” he said. “Beyond this, we need to start showing drastic improvement.

“What we want to do come the end of the season, regardless of where we finish, is determine what our core of players is that will carry us forward to next year.”

One player the Whitecaps might add to their lineup is Keven Aleman, a member of Canada’s under-17 national team. It’s believed he may be the future considerations in the trade that send Terry Dunfield from Vancouver to Toronto FC.

Lenarduzzi refused comment.

“Part of our deal for Dunfield to go there was future consideration,” he said. “Right now that’s exactly what is it, future considerations.”

Toronto released Aleman in May. He had refused to sign a letter of commitment to the Reds because he wanted to try out for teams in Europe.

In other news, the Whitecaps have added goalkeeper coach Marius Rovde and physiotherapy consultant Rick Celebrini, the club announced.

A native of Trondheim, Norway, Rovde played professionally in his home country, as well as in Scotland and Wales.

His coaching career includes spells in Norway and Scotland before serving as director of goalkeepers with Trinidad & Tobago’s soccer federation from 2008 until this year. He also worked as head goalkeeper coach at Trinidad & Tobago’s Joe Public FC.

Celebrini played 31 games with the Whitecaps from 1992 to 1996 when the club was known as the as Vancouver 86ers.

Since retiring as a player and becoming a physiotherapist, the Burnaby, B.C., native has worked with Canada’s alpine ski team, the Canadian Soccer Association, the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and the NHL Players Association.

His client list includes Canadian NBA star Steve Nash.