NFL Bars Teams From Signing Chmura

Wednesday, February 7th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL teams are not allowed to sign Mark Chmura until the former Green Bay tight end has a hearing with commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

The league alerted its teams Tuesday that Chmura is off-limits until Tagliabue concludes an investigation and meets with Chmura, presumably in the next few weeks. The NFL's free agency period begins March 2.

Chmura was acquitted on charges of sexual assault and child enticement last Saturday. He was cut by the Packers before last season, and has not played for 18 months. In 1999, Chmura suffered a herniated disc that sidelined him for most of that season.

``There is no timetable for a hearing, but the commissioner is very aware of the March 2 year start,'' NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. ``The clubs were informed today they can't sign Mark Chmura to a contract until the commissioner has completed his review of the entire incident.''

Chmura's agent, Eric Metz, told that they ``look forward to the opportunity to show them all of the facts surrounding the case and further clearing Mark's name and getting him back to playing football. I think upon hearing all the facts, they will realize Mark has done nothing wrong.''

Tagliabue could fine or suspend Chmura.