Alonzo Spellman may have a future in the NFL yet, even with all his off-field troubles.

Spellman, arrested on an outstanding weapons warrant earlier this week, worked out with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday, his first look from any team since being released by the Chicago Bears after several run-ins with authorities.

"Quality defensive linemen are always difficult to come by," said Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin, who signed Spellman to an offer sheet in 1996, before his troubles began.

The Jaguars signed Spellman to a four-year, $12 million offer sheet in February 1996 as a transitional free agent, but the Bears matched the offer. Then came the troubles that led to the 26-year-old defensive end's release by the Bears in June.


ELWAY TO MISS GAME: Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway will miss his team's opening preseason game in St. Louis on Saturday night to be with his wife, Janet, who was scheduled to undergo colon surgery Thursday at the Mayo Clinic.

Elway went to Minnesota to be with her for surgery that coach Mike Shanahan described as "non-cancerous."

Elway would not speak with the media on Thursday.

Shanahan wasn't specific about Janet Elway's ailment, other than to say it wasn't cancerous.

Janet Elway originally was scheduled to have surgery on Friday, but it was moved up a day, Shanahan said.

SMITH SIGNS EXTENSION: Making good on their promise, the Denver Broncos tore up Rod Smith's existing two-year contract and signed him to a six-year, $19.2 million deal that includes a $2.4 million signing bonus, the most lucrative contract ever given a Broncos wide receiver.

Smith will receive $1 million in base salary this year. His salary increases to $4.4 million in 2003, and the deal includes various incentives.

In his first year as a full-time starter in 1997, Smith caught 70 passes for 1,180 yards and 12 touchdowns.


KITNA GETS START: Jon Kitna will start his first NFL home game when the Seattle Seahawks take on the Indianapolis Colts in the Kingdome on Saturday night.

Coach Dennis Erickson is pairing Kitna with the Seahawks' first unit on Saturday, with plans to keep him in for five or six series before turning the ball over to his other backup quarterback, John Friesz.


CONWAY IN SLUMP: Brett Conway says he is fine physically and mentally.

The Green Bay kicker shanked a potential game-winning field goal from 25 yards in overtime on Sunday, then watched as incumbent Ryan Longwell hit a 27-yarder to lift the Packers past Kansas City 27-24 in Tokyo.

Conway, drafted in the third round last year, missed all last season with a torn quadriceps muscle, the result of overkicking after he pushed four straight field goals wide right in the preseason, including three in a nationally televised 7-3 exhibition victory over New England.

Conway's stumble opened the door for Longwell, a rookie free agent who made 24 of 30 field goals during the season and six of seven in the playoffs.

Still, the Packers say - publicly, at least - that Conway has a chance to beat out Long-well in camp.


'NINERS NOT IN WALSH'S FUTURE: Bill Walsh, who laid the foundation for one of the longest-running success stories in NFLeague history, told San Francisco radio station KNBR that he will not be involved with he team even if owner Eddie DeBartolo asks.

Walsh said in the interview on Thursday that he's involved with a group trying to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles, a job that could involve part ownership and perhaps even running the team.

"I've informed Mr. DeBartolo that I will not be considering returning to the 49ers and I just want to wish him well and having the club returned to him," Walsh said..

When former 49ers President Carmen Policy resigned on July 22, speculation began that DeBartolo might want Walsh to return to the team. Walsh said there were some talks three or four months ago about his becoming temporary general manager.