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RGIII won't put career at risk

Redskins’ quarterback says he’s hoping to play in first game of season, but will put his health first.

THE ROAD back for Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III began yesterday at an offseason practice.

Wearing a helmet but no jersey, and sporting a large brace on his reconstructed right knee, Griffin did some handoffs and throws with other teammates recovering from injuries. It's the latest step toward his goal of playing in the season opener, Sept. 9 against the visiting Eagles.

"As soon as I woke up out of the surgery, I put the date of the first game in my phone," Griffin said. "It was the passcode of my phone for a month . . . That's always been the goal, but I'm not going to risk my career to play in one game. Yeah, I'm definitely all-in for Week 1, but I'm also all-in for my career as well."

It was Griffin's first Redskins Park news conference of the offseason.

Griffin had surgery to repair ligaments in his right knee on Jan. 9, 3 days after he was injured in the playoff loss to Seattle.

The injury, he said, was hard to accept.

"It's one of the things I get emotional about because it was tough at that time," Griffin said. "Yeah, I cried. Real men cry. It's doesn't matter. And I moved on. As soon as we finished our little cry festival, I put the date of the first week in my phone."

In addition to the physical rehab, there also needed to be a meeting of the minds with head coach Mike Shanahan, who was widely criticized for leaving Griffin in the Seahawks game too long after it became clear the quarterback was injured.

"We hashed everything out. We talked, and we're moving forward from it," Griffin said.

Noteworthy * 

Former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu signed a 4-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals.

The team's third-round draft pick, Mathieu did not play last season after repeated off-field issues. He was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2011 but was kicked off LSU's team before the start of last season for failed drug tests. His image and NFL future took another hit a few weeks later when he and three former teammates were arrested on marijuana charges after police officers found 10 bags of pot and drug paraphernalia in his Baton Rouge apartment.

The deal could be worth up to just over $3 million. According to a person familiar with the contract, Mathieu does not get his entire slotted salary bonus of $662,500 at first. Initially, he gets $265,000 with the remainder spread out over the next three seasons, as long as he does not get suspended for substance abuse.

* Carolina signed four draft picks, including first-round defensive tackle Star Lotulelei from Utah. Lotulelei's agent said the deal was for 4 years. Financial terms were not released.

* Free-agent defensive tackle Richard Seymour has begun discussions with the Atlanta Falcons, according to reports.

Fox Sports and Fox Sports South reported that the three-time Super Bowl winner with the New England Patriots is interested in playing for Atlanta, although the Falcons do not have a large amount of cap space at the moment.

Seymour, who played his first eight seasons with the Patriots and the last four with Oakland, starred at Georgia and is training in the Atlanta area.

* Prosecutors in Dallas are going to court to have the bond revoked for Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent, who is awaiting trial on an intoxication manslaughter charge.

In court papers, prosecutors accused Brent of violating the terms of his release on bond by consuming alcohol and tampering with a device that detects the presence of alcohol in his body.

He has been free on a $100,000 bond since being charged in the Dec. 8 crash that killed practice-squad player Jerry Brown Jr., a passenger in the car.

* New York Giants fullback Henry Hynoski will have surgery today after hurting his left knee in the team's organized training activity.

The team said he'll have surgery to repair the medical collateral ligament and a chip fracture.