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Hawks Take Away Joey's Offer

The Seattle Seahawks took their $35 million contract offer to Joey Galloway off the table Monday and told the holdout wide receiver he must play under terms of his existing pact if he wants to play at all.

The Seahawks met with Galloway's agent, Eric Metz, of Scottsdale, Ariz., in Pittsburgh over the weekend.

A day after Seattle (2-1) beat the Steelers 29-10 in Pittsburgh, the team issued a terse three-paragraph statement from senior vice president Mike Reinfeldt, its top negotiator.

"Despite our repeated efforts to make Joey Galloway the second-highest-paid receiver in the National Football League, talks with his representatives in Pittsburgh were unsuccessful," the statement said.

"The organization has decided it is time to move forward and concentrate on the rest of the 1999 season. We formally withdraw all previous extension offers and bring to a close all negotiations on the issue. In the event Joey decides to honor his existing contract for the 1999 season, we would welcome his return. We wish Joey well with this very difficult decision."

"This will serve as the last public statement regarding Joey Galloway."

No Seahawks officials were available to talk about the statement.

Coach and general manager Mike Holmgren, who seemed optimistic last week that something could be worked out, ended his news conference Monday by saying a statement was upcoming.

Metz was not immediately reachable by phone for comment.

Antonio Freeman of Green Bay became the highest paid receiver in the NFL this year when the Packers gave him a $42 million, seven-year contract, including a $10 million signing bonus.

Galloway was seeking a $25 million, five-year contract that includes a $10 million signing bonus.

Before Monday, the Seahawks were offering him a $35 million, seven-year deal that included a $7 million signing bonus.

Reinfeldt and Seahawks vice president of football operations Randy Mueller met with Metz in Pittsburgh three times last weekend.

Holmgren and Galloway did not attend the meetings.

Galloway caught 65 passes for 1,047 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. He was scheduled to earn $1.585 million from the Seahawks this season in the final year of a five-year contract that he signed as a rookie after the Seahawks made him the eighth overall pick in the 1995 draft.

His holdout has cost him $93,000 a game, which is 1-17th of the salary he was scheduled to earn this seasonHolmgren also is fining him $5,000 a day.

The Seahawks play the Oakland Raiders on Sunday night in the Kingdome.

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