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NFL

Grimes signs 4-year deal to remain with Dolphins

MIAMI – Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes cashed in yesterday on his career comeback with the Miami Dolphins.

Grimes signed a $32 million, four-year contract to remain with Miami. The deal, which includes $16 million guaranteed, rewards Grimes for his recovery from an Achilles tendon injury that forced him to miss almost all of the 2012 season.

With the agreement, the Dolphins achieved one of their biggest offseason priorities by avoiding the loss of their best defensive back in free agency.

“I’ve been in this league awhile and actually feel appreciated here,” Grimes said. “This is where I wanted to be, and I’m glad it all worked out.”

Grimes, 30, spent six years with the Atlanta Falcons, who parted ways with him after his serious injury. The Dolphins gave him a one-year contract in 2013, and he had perhaps his best season, making four interceptions while playing in all 16 games.

NFL

Niners, Boldin agree to 2-year deal

SAN FRANCISCO – Wide receiver Anquan Boldin will be back with the San Francisco 49ers next season.

The 49ers and Boldin agreed to a two-year, $12 million contract with $9 million guaranteed yesterday, keeping quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s top target from last season from hitting free agency.

“We are pleased that Anquan has chosen to continue his career as a 49er,” General Manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “He is a consummate professional whose love and respect for the game provide a tremendous example for all players. Anquan has been a very productive player throughout his career and we look forward to his future contributions to our team and community.”

Boldin wrote on Twitter earlier in the day that “I wanted to be the first to tell you that I’m returning to San Francisco. Looking forward to joining my teammates, coaching staff and fans to bring back another championship to the Bay Area. Let’s go after our Quest For Six.” The post was accompanied by a photo of him running through the tunnel at Candlestick Park in a 49ers jersey.

Boldin, who was set to become a free agent next week, led San Francisco with 85 catches for 1,179 yards to go with seven touchdowns last season. He was traded from Baltimore to the 49ers in the offseason for a sixth-round pick after helping the Ravens win the Super Bowl.

NFL

Graham’s franchise tag value set at $7.05 million

NEW ORLEANS – The NFL formally designated New Orleans’s Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.

The designation was released yesterday after the deadline passed for NFL teams to use franchise or transition tags on players becoming free agents.

Because Graham often split out from the offensive line as a receiver would, there have been questions concerning whether the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement calls for Graham to have a receiver’s tag, worth $12.1 million. Graham still could file a grievance, leaving an arbitrator to decide which tag is appropriate.

Graham caught a team-leading 86 passes for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns last season.

NFL

Redskins place franchise tag on Orakpo

ASHBURN, Va. – The Washington Redskins placed a franchise tag on three-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Brian Orakpo yesterday, all but ensuring he will remain with the team next season.

The Redskins used the non-exclusive tag, worth about $11.5 million for 2014. He remains eligible to become a free agent later this month, but Washington will have the right to match any offer by another team and could receive two first-round draft picks as compensation if he signs elsewhere.

The Redskins will continue to work on a long-term deal with the 27-year-old 2009 first-round draft pick, whose play at times has straddled the line between good and elite, therefore making it a challenge to gauge his contract value. He has been most effective as a pass-rusher – 39½ sacks over five years – but he has twice torn the pectoral muscle near his left shoulder, leading to questions about his durability.

His chances of staying with the Redskins were helped when new Coach Jay Gruden retained defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, who plans to keep the 3-4 scheme that suits Orakpo’s talents.

NFL

Browns use transition tag on C Mack

CLEVELAND – The Browns aren’t letting Alex Mack walk away freely.

The team locked the free agent Pro Bowl center into a one-year, $10.039 million contract yesterday by designating him as their transition player.

By using the transition tag instead of the franchise tag, Cleveland will have five days to match any offer to Mack made by other teams when free agency opens on March 11. If the Browns had used their franchise tag, Mack would have made $11.654 million next season.

In the meantime, the Browns are expected to try and sign Mack to a long-term contract.

The 6-foot-4, 311-pounder has been one of Cleveland’s best and most dependable players since the Browns drafted him in the first round in 2009. He has not missed one offensive play in five years, a run of 4,998 consecutive snaps.

NFL

Bills choose not to place franchise tag on S Byrd

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – The Buffalo Bills chose not to use the franchise tag to retain safety Jairus Byrd, a decision that allows the three-time Pro Bowl player to become an unrestricted free agent.

The decision was announced by the team shortly before the NFL deadline to apply the tag arrived yesterday. And it came after the two sides were unable to negotiate a long-term contract.

Though the two sides can still talk, it’s unlikely a deal will be reached before the league’s free-agency period opens on March 11.

Negotiations reached a standstill last weekend after the Bills made Byrd what they regarded as a lucrative multiyear offer.

NFL

Titans sign Pollard to multi-year deal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Titans agreed to a multiyear contract with safety Bernard Pollard that keeps their top tackler off the free-agent market.

General Manager Ruston Webster said yesterday that “getting this deal done today helps our overall plan for this offseason.” Pollard tweeted: “Thank God!!! I’ll be a Titan for the next couple years!!! TitanUp.”

Pollard started all 16 games last season and led Tennessee with 142 tackles, including 93 solo stops. He also had three interceptions.

Pollard was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent March 11.

Tennessee chose not to use the franchise tag on any player. Cornerback Alterraun Verner, the top candidate for a franchise tag, will hit free agency March 11.

NHL

Blackhawks F Hossa out for 2 to 3 weeks

CHICAGO – Marian Hossa will be sidelined for two to three weeks because of an upper-body injury, leaving the Chicago Blackhawks without one of their top scorers.

Hossa was injured Saturday night during Chicago’s 5-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins outside at Soldier Field. It is unclear exactly when Hossa got hurt, but he took a hard hit from Penguins forward Craig Adams during Chicago’s second power play of the first period.

Yesterday’s announcement is a big blow for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who lead the NHL with 213 goals this season. Chicago is competing with St. Louis and Anaheim for the top spot in the Western Conference. The Blackhawks and Blues also are tied for the Central Division lead with 86 points apiece.

The 35-year-old Hossa has 24 goals and 26 assists in 57 games. He needs 15 points to reach 1,000 for his career.

NHL

Capitals D Orlov suspended two games by NHL

WASHINGTON – Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov was suspended by the NHL for two games for boarding Philadelphia Flyers forward Brayden Schenn.

The suspension, announced yesterday, will cost Orlov $7,076.92 in salary.

Orlov launched into Schenn during the third period of Sunday’s game and he was assessed a major penalty. The infraction helped the Flyers rally from a 4-2 deficit for a 5-4 overtime win.

After the suspension was announced, the Capitals recalled defenseman Jack Hillen from Hershey of the AHL. Hillen had been with Hershey for a conditioning stint after rehabbing a fracture in his right leg.

Boxing

Former champion Tarver arrested in Florida

CLEARWATER, Fla. – A former world champion boxer was arrested in Florida on a felony theft and bad check warrant stemming from unpaid IOUs at a Las Vegas Strip casino.

The Florida Highway Patrol arrested Antonio Tarver on Saturday night after a traffic stop.

The 45-year-old Tarver was held on $215,425 bail following his arrest on a warrant issued last June in Las Vegas, officials said. It was unclear whether he had an attorney.

Tarver, who lives in the Tampa Bay area, was named in a criminal complaint filed in Las Vegas alleging that he failed to repay three casino loans totaling $200,000 obtained in July 2012 at the posh Wynn Las Vegas resort.

Nevada treats written casino IOUs, known as markers, like fraudulent bad checks. State law lets prosecutors collect a 10 percent processing and prosecution fee with any settlement.

Most cases are resolved before charges are filed. Some are resolved when the amount owed is paid as bail.

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