Sean Taylor, the slain Washington Redskins safety, leads the Pro Bowl voting at his position, according to tallies released yesterday by the NFL.

Taylor had 187,064 votes from the fans as of Nov. 13, tops among free safeties in the NFC.

Taylor died Nov. 27, a day after being shot at his home in Florida. He had five interceptions this year and ranked among the league leaders.

Fan voting continues through Tuesday and will count for one-third of the total vote to determine who plays in the Pro Bowl on Feb. 10 in Honolulu. Coaches and players count for the other two-thirds of the voting.

In Miami, the attorney for the 17-year-old who allegedly was the gunman said he wants to work with prosecutors to resolve the case.

Sawyer Smith, who along with his father, Wilbur Smith, is representing the youth, Eric Rivera, said his client was admitting no wrongdoing.

Circuit Judge John Thornton Jr. denied Rivera bail in his brief appearance via videoconference in a Miami-Dade County courtroom. His three codefendants were denied bail a day earlier.

All four - Rivera; Charles Wardlow, 18; Jason Mitchell, 19; and Venjah Hunte, 20 - have been charged with first-degree felony murder and armed burglary. Their arraignments are scheduled for Dec. 21.

Smith said the grand jury's identification of his client as the alleged gunman put him in a unique position.

"The other boys may be in a position to separate themselves somewhat from our client," he said. "However, under the felony-murder rule, if it can be shown that they're involved in it, if they're involved in the burglary, then it's not a defense that they were not the one that pulled the trigger."

The Redskins announced that profits from the sale of No. 21 jerseys and other Taylor items at team stores would go to the trust fund established for the player's 1-year-old daughter, Jackie, to provide for her education and health care.

Redskins owner Dan Snyder guaranteed an initial contribution of $500,000, plus the retail-profit donations.

Ratings bonanza.

The New England Patriots' pursuit of an undefeated season continues to draw viewers.

Their dramatic comeback win over the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night attracted the largest audience ever for a cable program. The game on ESPN averaged more than 12.5 million homes and 17.5 million viewers.

The previous highs were 11.8 million households for last year's Giants-Cowboys game on

Monday Night Football

and 17.2 million viewers for Disney Channel's

High School Musical 2

in August.


Minnesota defensive end Ray Edwards, second on the team with four sacks, was suspended for the final four games of the regular season for violating the league's steroid policy.


Cleveland lost one of its top special-teams players, placing linebacker Kris Griffin on injured reserve with an injured right knee, and then signed linebacker Colby Bockwoldt.


The arraignment of Adam "Pacman" Jones was rescheduled for today because a codefendant missed a flight and was unable to attend the hearing in Las Vegas. Jones is expected to plead no contest to a reduced charge in a strip-club melee that preceded a triple shooting, which left a man paralyzed.