Shahid R. Khan, Jaguars’ Owner, Is Subject of Protest

Some workers at one of his plants, though, believe Khan has forgotten who helped make him a success. They accuse Khan of failing to clean up industrial chemicals and toxic substances that spewed out of the Chrome Craft Corporation, a company in Highland Park, Mich., that Khan owns.

Accompanied by several dozen members of the United Auto Workers, several former employees of the company took their case to New York to demand that the N.F.L. pressure Khan to address the situation. They gathered Thursday at the N.F.L. store on Sixth Avenue, just a few blocks south of Radio City Music Hall, where the league was holding its annual draft.

“He paints himself as the American dream, but it came at the expense of the workers,” said , a U.A.W. vice president. “The league needs to tell him to clean up the plant and deal with the problems.”

The plant, which was idled in late 2009 and has not reopened, is owned by , a privately held auto parts manufacturer that Khan took over several decades ago. The company now has $3 billion in sales, 48 plants and more than 12,000 employees, and has its headquarters in Urbana, Ill.

Workers who were employed at Chrome Craft said they were forced to handle dangerous chemicals, like chromium, without proper protection. Mike Miley, 41, who worked at the plant for 20 years until it closed, said he wore a thin protective suit “that soaked through like tissue” when he was asked to clean storage tanks and move chemicals into drums.

Miley’s epileptic seizures, which increased while working at the plant, have slowed since being laid off in 2009, he said. His father and two uncles who also worked at the plant for about 40 years each died of cancer.

“He needs to clean up the plant and take responsibility for the people he made sick,” Miley said.

The Rev. , pastor of the Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church in Highland Park, said he wanted Khan to apologize and set up a green development fund in the city.

Brad Wurfel, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, said the department inspected the site after a request from union, religious and environmental leaders, and found no hazardous materials. The department is planning to take soil and water samples from near the factory. The company, Wurfel said, has cooperated with the investigation.

“We have no evidence that there’s ground water contamination there,” he said. But, he added, “it’s a highly urbanized area with a long history of industrial chemicals being used.”

The company had been cited for environmental violations before and addressed all the problems raised, Wurfel said.

In a statement, Flex-N-Gate said: “We comply with all laws, including environmental, workers’ health and safety, and public protection.  We settle for nothing less.”

After their rally in front of the N.F.L. shop, the protesters walked to the league’s headquarters to state their case to the commissioner. The group gave a spokesman for the league a package that included a letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell and 100 pages of citations and documents and testimony from workers.

“At this point, they are in possession of what I believe is a comprehensive case,” said Pastor Bullock, who said he was told that Goodell would be given the materials. “There is a certain perception the league wants to have, and I think they will consider it in terms what kind of potential negative shadow that it might have.”

Former Jaguars Quarterback Garrard Signs With Dolphins

He’s not sure yet who else will be part of the competition, though.

The Dolphins reached agreement with the former quarterback after failed courtships with Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn. They also hosted San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith for a visit Sunday and may still consider signing him.

“They didn’t say for sure they were bringing another guy in, but they said it’s a possibility, whether in the draft or whatever,” Garrard said in a phone interview.

For now, Garrard and incumbent Matt Moore are the contenders for the job.

“It’s going to be a great competition, and I’m all about that,” Garrard said. “I’m going to do my best to make sure it’s me on opening day.”

The Dolphins also told safety Yeremiah Bell he’ll be released to create cap space, a person familiar with the discussions said. The person confirmed the discussions to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Dolphins hadn’t announced a move.

By cutting Bell, the Dolphins save more than $4 million in cap space, which could be used in negotiations with Smith.

The 34-year-old Garrard, a starter for Jacksonville from 2005-10, didn’t play last season. He was released five days before the opener by the Jaguars, and Miami courted him last year after quarterback Chad Henne’s season was ended by a shoulder injury.

But Garrard didn’t sign, and instead underwent back surgery in October. He considered retirement, he said, but is now 100 percent and eager to extend his career another year.

“It was taken away from me, and it gave me a great perspective on life and this game,” he said. “I want to make sure when I leave this game, I do it when I’m ready to go, and there’s never any remorse or thought of, could I have done more?”

Garrard apparently impressed the Dolphins with his workout Monday, and he said he was impressed by new coach Joe Philbin and his staff.

“I just love the vibe,” Garrard said. “I love everybody’s mission and goal, and the purpose they have and the direction they’re heading.”

Garrard’s best season was in 2007, when he threw 18 touchdown passes and only three interceptions. He topped 3,500 yards passing in 2008 and 2009, and he’s 39-37 as a starter in nine seasons, all with Jacksonville.

Colts’ Loss Clears Path for Pursuing Andrew Luck

The Colts’ 19-13 loss to the ensured that they will have the first overall pick in the N.F.L. draft and that Stanford’s Andrew Luck, perhaps the most coveted quarterback since Manning himself, will almost surely be theirs. The Jaguars, who along with the rest of the A.F.C. South have been tormented by Manning’s presence, now face at least another decade with a potentially dominant quarterback in the division.

The Colts finished the season 2-14, their worst record since they were 3-13 in 1998, when Manning was a struggling rookie. The Colts, who were implored by some fans to preserve their draft position by tanking games, were in danger of missing out on the first pick and Luck because they won two straight games last month. Had the Colts beaten the Jaguars, they would have lost the top pick to the St. Louis Rams, who lost to the San Francisco 49ers and, with only two wins, would have had the worst record in the N.F.L.

Instead, the Colts, who won the top pick on a tiebreaker, now embark on what will be an off-season of difficult decisions and delicate conversations. They must first determine if Jim Caldwell will remain as the coach. But then they must figure out how to manage Luck and Manning. There seems to be little doubt that the Colts will take Luck — he is simply too good to pass up, even if Manning, who will turn 36 in March, can play a few more years.

The trickier decision is what to do about Manning, whose return is not yet assured. The Colts owe Manning a $28 million roster bonus in early March, which will put in effect the final four years of the five-year contract he signed last summer. The Colts may not fully know by then if Manning is able to return to his pre-injury level of play.

If the Colts do not pay the bonus, Manning will be a free agent, an outcome that seems unlikely after the owner Jim Irsay told the NFL Network that Manning would return to Indianapolis if he was healthy. If the Colts pay Manning, they will almost certainly keep him and make Luck his backup even though most personnel evaluators say Luck will be good enough to start as a rookie — potentially setting up an awkward dynamic.

If the Colts keep both quarterbacks, it will probably limit their ability to spend significantly to improve other positions, needs that were underscored by the team’s collapse in Manning’s absence.