Wednesday, May 14, 2014
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National Football League Roundup

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[May 14, 2014]  May 13 (The Sports Xchange) - Cornerback Joe Haden signed a five-year contract extension with the Cleveland Browns that includes $5 million more in guaranteed money than the Seattle Seahawks gave Richard Sherman in a new deal last week.

Haden, 25, is regarded as a Pro Bowl-caliber cover corner. He was one of three top cornerbacks expected to receiver a lucrative extension entering the offseason, including Sherman and Arizona Cardinals star Patrick Peterson.

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Michael Sam is eager to be just another player, but he stood out Tuesday when he appeared at an introductory press conference along with other St. Louis Rams rookie draft picks.

Sam, a defensive end out of the University of Missouri, became the first openly gay NFL draft choice when the Rams selected him in the seventh round last week. A massive media presence attended the press conference in Earth City, Mo., and Sam stole the spotlight.

Appearing at the dais along with the Rams' other late-round draft picks, Sam acknowledged that his goal of focusing on football will be difficult due to the hoopla surrounding him but said, "I'm determined to be great."

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Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence and communicating threats charges.

According to police, the alleged incident involving Hardy's girlfriend occurred early Tuesday morning. Police responded to a call at 4:18 a.m. ET and the alleged victim said she was physically assaulted and threatened by Hardy.

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Detroit Lions cornerback Chris Houston is recovering from toe surgery, his father told the Detroit Free Press on Tuesday.

Larry Houston confirmed that his son had the surgery after Houston apparently posted a picture of himself on Instagram late Monday night lying in a hospital bed following the procedure. It is not certain how long Houston's recovery will take or whether he will be ready for training camp in July.

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An arbitrator will hear the franchise-tag grievance case of New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham on June 17-18, reported Tuesday.

Graham's representatives contend that he should be categorized as a receiver rather than his listed position of tight end for purposes of the franchise tag and thus compensated accordingly.

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The Chicago Bears reached an agreement Tuesday with rookie running back Ka'Deem Carey, defensive tackle Ego Ferguson and punter Patrick O'Donnell on four-year contracts.

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In anticipation of a potential media feeding frenzy at the Cleveland Browns' rookie minicamp, the team will limit access to reporters this weekend and at other offseason activities.

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Longtime Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson questions whether he wants to stay with the team after its struggles last year.

"When you've been somewhere for a long time, nobody's been here as long as I have," Johnson said Tuesday. "I've been thinking about things this offseason. Kind of wonder if this is still the place for me."

- -Undrafted wide receiver Jerry Rice Jr., the son of Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, received an invitation to rookie minicamp this weekend with the Baltimore Ravens.

Rice Jr. played at UNLV last season and caught 11 passes for 86 yards, including a touchdown in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. He was a walk-on at UCLA before transferring to Las Vegas.

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First-year Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien is passing on familiarity to take a closer look at the four quarterbacks on his current roster.

For now, Houston will not pursue a deal for Ryan Mallett, the New England Patriots quarterback entering the final year of his contract who spent his rookie season as O'Brien's pupil in Foxborough.

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Former Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, the 32nd overall pick last Thursday by the Minnesota Vikings, said Tuesday on the "Dan Patrick Show" that he informed agent Kennard McGuire that he did not want to play in Cleveland.

"I actually told my agent that's not the place where I wanted to be," Bridgewater told Patrick on Tuesday in the midst of several rounds of media interviews.

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Former San Diego State running back Adam Muema went undrafted, but he is plotting a professional career outside of football. He is hopeful of a chance in mixed martial arts or boxing in the near future. (Editing by Frank Pingue)

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