- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

PRO FOOTBALL

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Jonathan Martin is returning to familiar territory, months after he accused a teammate of bullying and left the Miami Dolphins.

The offensive tackle is headed back to the Bay Area to play for Jim Harbaugh - again.

Martin was traded from Miami to the San Francisco 49ers, reuniting the lineman with his college coach at Stanford and a supportive coaching staff he knows so well. In fact, Harbaugh publicly expressed his support of Martin last year and called him a “personal friend.”

IRVING, Texas (AP) - The Dallas Cowboys released franchise sacks leader DeMarcus Ware, a salary cap move that owner Jerry Jones called “extremely difficult” after the worst season of the star pass rusher’s career.

Ware broke Harvey Martin’s 30-year-old franchise record for sacks in 2013, but got to the quarterback a career-low six times and missed games for the first time in his nine-year career with a thigh injury.

The 31-year-old Ware also had offseason elbow surgery and was set to count $16 million against the salary cup. His release saves about $7.4 million and gives Dallas about $9 million to spend at the moment.

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - The Oakland Raiders agreed to a five-year, $42.5 million contract with offensive lineman Rodger Saffold and kept oft-injured running back Darren McFadden on a one-year deal worth up to $4 million.

Oakland and former New York Jets right tackle Austin Howard also agreed to a five-year, $30 million contract, with $15 million guaranteed, according to two people with knowledge of the deal.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - The Denver Broncos spent the first day of free agency bolstering their defensive backfield, agreeing to a four-year deal with Pro Bowl safety T.J. Ward and then hours later reaching an agreement on a six-year contract with cornerback Aqib Talib.

Talib and Ward will play in a secondary that will be without Champ Bailey, who was released last week.

CLEVELAND (AP) - During the furious first few hours of free agency, the Browns agreed to terms with strong safety Donte Whitner, a Cleveland native who can’t wait to play in his hometown.

Also, they reportedly struck a deal with inside linebacker Karlos Dansby, who revived his career last season in his second stint with Arizona.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Pittsburgh Steelers released linebacker LaMarr Woodley, with a post-June 1 designation to save money under the salary cap and signed free agent safety Mike Mitchell from the Carolina Panthers.

HOCKEY

Story Continues →