A starting lineman for the New England Patriots worked as an informant for federal drug agents after he was arrested in New York on a charge of carrying the powerful painkiller oxycodone without a prescription, an attorney said.

Nicholas Kaczur, 28, wore a wire to help agents build a case against his alleged supplier, Daniel Ekasala, according to Ekasala's attorney.

A Drug Enforcement Administration agent said in an affidavit that a cooperating witness - whose name was not revealed in the document - wore a recording device during three drug buys last month. In each of the deals, the witness bought 100 OxyContin pills from Ekasala for $3,900 in cash, the agent wrote.

Ekasala's lawyer, Bernard Grossberg, said Kaczur was that cooperating witness.

Kaczur denied to the Boston Globe that he participated in the investigation, telling the newspaper, "I don't know what you're talking about, bro."

Kaczur could not be reached for comment. His agent, Vance Malinovic, did not return messages left by the Associated Press.

Stacey James, a spokesman for the Patriots, would not comment on Kaczur. He referred questions to the U.S. attorney's office, which declined to comment.

Kaczur, 6-4 and 315 pounds, started 15 games last year at right tackle.

The NFL does not test for oxycodone but does prohibit the misuse of prescription drugs.


* Miami coach Tony Sparano said he told six-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Taylor that the organization wants him back.

Two weeks ago, Sparano announced that Taylor won't practice with the team through training camp.

The new Dolphins regime, led by Bill Parcells, has been fuming for months that Taylor spent his offseason on the TV show "Dancing With the Stars" rather than working out with teammates.

* Tampa Bay tight end Jerramy Stevens was suspended without pay for the first two games of the season and fined an additional game check for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. *