- Associated Press - Saturday, March 14, 2015


Minnesota acquired wide receiver Mike Wallace from the Miami Dolphins on Friday, another attempt by the Vikings to establish a reliable deep threat and a move by the Dolphins for salary cap relief.

The Vikings will send a fifth-round draft pick to the Dolphins for their seventh-round selection in the swap that was finalized on Friday night.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Pittsburgh Steelers biggest move during the first week of free agency was making sure their franchise quarterback didn’t get away.

The team signed Ben Roethlisberger to a five-year contract. Financial terms were not immediately available, but Roethlisberger and team president Art Rooney II both called it fair for both sides. The 33-year-old Roethlisberger was about to enter the final season of an eight-year, $102 million deal he signed in 2008.

BUFFALO (AP) - Percy Harvin is rejoining Rex Ryan, agreeing to a one-year contract with the Buffalo Bills.

Two people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press that the wide receiver-kick returner is headed to Buffalo. He was released this month by the Jets after playing for Ryan last season in New York.

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Darren McFadden will get a chance to replace NFL rushing champ DeMarco Murray in Dallas after the former high draft pick never could find a dominant form in Oakland.

The Cowboys signed McFadden on a two-year deal a day after Murray bolted for NFC East rival Philadelphia on a big contract that Dallas owner Jerry Jones said he couldn’t match because of the strain it would have put on the salary cap.

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - The New Orleans Saints and free agent running back C.J. Spiller agreed to a four-year contract, a move that bolstered a backfield which also includes Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson.

Spiller, 27, has spent his first five NFL seasons with the Buffalo Bills, showing the ability to pile up yards as both a ball carrier and receiver out of the backfield.



SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - Yu Darvish said he didn’t need any more opinions once the first doctor recommended season-ending surgery on the ailing right elbow of the Texas Rangers ace.

The Japanese right-hander waited for two more reports anyway before the announcement that Dr. James Andrews will perform elbow ligament-replacement surgery on Tuesday in Gulf Breeze, Florida.

Andrews was the last of three doctors to review images of the 28-year-old’s elbow, following Rangers team physician Dr. Keith Meister and New York Mets medical director Dr. David Altchek. Tommy John surgery likely will sideline Darvish until early 2016.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - A bird was struck and killed by a foul ball while perched atop the protective netting behind home plate during the first inning of the Tigers-Braves game.

Detroit catcher James McCann hit a pitch from Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz toward the right side of the screen. The sharp liner made direct contact with the bird, sending it crashing to the first row of seats in a burst of feathers. Fans first reacted with “oohs,” and then a smattering of laughter.



INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Paul George is putting this weekend’s comeback plan on ice. The concept of returning later this season is still heating up.

Indiana’s two-time All-Star told reporters he’s much closer to playing now than when he returned to full practices two weeks ago, his most strenuous work since running into a basket stanchion and gruesomely snapping his right leg in two places Aug. 1 in Las Vegas.



TOKYO (AP) - The world’s biggest automaker is driving onto the world’s biggest sports stage.

Toyota Motor Corp. signed on as a global Olympic sponsor Friday in a landmark deal reportedly worth nearly $1 billion, becoming the first car company to join the IOC’s top-tier marketing program.

The eight-year deal underlines Asia’s growing influence in the Olympics, bolsters the IOC’s long-term financial security and gives Toyota a worldwide platform that shuts out rival auto manufacturers.

The deal starts globally in 2017 and runs through the 2024 Olympics.



PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) - Charley Hoffman played short of the water hazard, then nearly walked into the path of a 10-foot alligator on the fairway.

The alligator ambled across the third fairway at Innisbrook during the second round of the Valspar Championship. Hoffman, John Senden and Woody Austin wisely decided to wait until the gator finished his journey from one swamp to the next.

“Rarely do they walk in the middle of the fairway and halt play,” Hoffman said. “We weren’t going anywhere fast. And neither was he.”

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