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NFL roundup: Browns' Haden lands five-year extension

The SportsXchange

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.

According to multiple reports, Haden's deal goes through 2019 and includes $45 million guaranteed.

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. Haden will pair with rookie Justin Gilbert, the eighth overall pick in the 2014 draft, to potentially settle a long-standing hole in the defense.

---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."

---Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence and communicating threats charges, WSOC-TV reported Tuesday.

According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) 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.

"We are very disappointed to learn of the allegations involving Greg and are concerned for all parties as we continue to investigate," the Panthers said in a statement.

The 25-year-old Hardy played in all 16 regular-season games for the Panthers last season and finished with 59 tackles and a team-record 15 sacks.

---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.

Houston was bothered by the toe injury late last season, but as of last week, he said he was still unsure about whether surgery would take place. He missed pre-draft voluntary workouts.

Houston played in 12 games last season and had two interceptions, 10 passes defensed and 38 tackles.

---An arbitrator will hear the franchise-tag grievance case of New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham on June 17-18, ESPN.com 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. The Saints and the NFL will counter that tight ends routinely line up in the slot and that being split out is part of playing the position. Graham lined up wide for 67 percent of his snaps in 2013.

The difference between the franchise-tag salary for a receiver and a tight end is more than $5 million. If Graham is deemed a tight end and plays under the franchise tag in 2014, he would receive a $7.035 million salary.

---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.

The Bears also agreed to terms with three other 2014 NFL Draft picks -- safety Brock Vereen, quarterback David Fales and offensive tackle Charles Leno Jr. -- on Tuesday. Financial details were not disclosed.

Six of the eight players drafted by the Bears last weekend have agreed to contract terms.

---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.

Only Cleveland media who regularly cover the Browns and a few national writers will be granted access to watch practice and talk with the newcomers, including quarterback Johnny Manziel.

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

At age 32, Johnson is concerned about playing out his career with a team that is rebuilding after a 2-14 season in 2013. But he said he has not requested a trade.

"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."

The 11-year veteran holds club records for receptions with 927 for 12,661 yards and 61 touchdowns. Last season, Johnson showed no signs of a dropoff, catching 109 passes for 1,407 yards and five touchdowns.

---Undrafted wide receiver Jerry Rice Jr. 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.

His father, Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, was a 13-time Pro Bowl receiver and the NFL's all-time leader with 1,549 receptions and 197 touchdown catches.

---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.

Mallett, a tall, strong-armed pocket passer, also worked for three seasons under current Houston quarterbacks coach George Godsey. Mallett, 25, is under contract for 2014 before he can become a free agent in March.

Houston passed on the high-profile quarterbacks in the 2014 NFL Draft, selecting pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney with the first overall pick and offensive lineman Xavier Su'a-Filo in round two.

---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.

The Vikings expect Bridgewater to compete to start as a rookie.

---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.

Muema, who infamously left the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis before workouts began and said God told him he'd play for the Seattle Seahawks, was not present for the program's pro day workout. He told ESPN that he left town without a cell phone during the NFL draft.

Muema racked up 1,244 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior for the Aztecs.
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