With the Minnesota Vikings eagerly waiting, Brett Favre has sought the advice of a noted surgeon about his beat-up throwing arm, according to the latest report on the quarterback's status.

Citing an anonymous source, ESPN.com reported yesterday that Favre, an 18-year NFL veteran, consulted orthopedic surgeon James Andrews about options for healing the partially torn biceps tendon that has caused pain in his right shoulder. Andrews is one of the most consulted surgeons in pro sports.

Favre declared his retirement for the second time in February because of the injury, which he blamed for his poor performance in December while the New York Jets missed the playoffs.

The Jets released him last month, making him free to sign with the Vikings or any other team, but Favre has expressed a disinterest in surgery. According to the ESPN.com report, Andrews and Favre experimented with an exercise regimen that could allow the tendon to tear naturally and thus avoid an operation.

Salary cap increase. NFL teams will have nearly $12 million more under the salary cap this season, the final year with one in place unless the league and its players' union can reach a new collective bargaining agreement.

The cap was due to increase $7 million to $123 million this season, but additional adjustments stipulated in the current CBA will increase the total amount that teams can spend on player compensation to about $128 million. The $12 million increase is the largest in three years.

The league informed teams Wednesday that a "cash-adjustment mechanism" from final accounting figures in May will give clubs $947,000 of additional salary cap room.

Colts. Team president Bill Polian told an Indianapolis radio station yesterday that assistant head coach Clyde Christensen will become the new offensive coordinator and Pete Metzelaars will take over as offensive line coach under new coach Jim Caldwell following the retirements of Tom Moore and Howard Mudd.

Redskins. Washington won another legal victory in a 17-year fight with a group of American Indians who contend the football team's trademark is racially offensive.

The decision issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington doesn't address the main question of racism at the center of the case. Instead, it upholds the lower court's decision in favor of the football team on a legal technicality.

Redskins attorney Bob Raskopf said millions have been spent on the Redskins brand and the team would have suffered great economic loss if they lost the trademark registrations.

Smith charged. Former NFL star Bruce Smith, 45, was charged with drunken driving in Virginia Beach, Va..

A city police spokesman said Smith was stopped at 1:42 a.m. yesterday on Interstate 264 and later charged with speeding, driving under the influence and refusal to take an alcohol breath test.

He was released on bond a few hours later.

Smith played for the Buffalo Bills and Washington. The NFL's all-time sacks leader was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame earlier this year. He could not be reached for comment.