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Originally published March 5, 2014 at 8:06 PM | Page modified March 5, 2014 at 11:03 PM

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Brandon Browner must sit out first 4 games of season

Cornerback Brandon Browner, who played for the Seahawks the past three seasons and is an unrestricted free agent, will have to sit out the first four games of the 2014 season. He will have to comply with the rules of the league’s substance-abuse policy to be able to return to the field.

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Free agent Browner must sit out first 4 games of 2014 season

Cornerback Brandon Browner will have to sit out the first four games of the 2014 season.

Browner, who played for the Seahawks the past three seasons and is an unrestricted free agent, revealed Tuesday on Twitter he had been reinstated after having been indefinitely suspended without pay by the league Dec. 18.

The NFL and the NFL Players Association clarified in a joint statement Wednesday that Browner will sit out the first four games and also will have to comply with the rules of the league’s substance-abuse policy to be able to return to the field.

Browner, 29, is eligible to sign with any team beginning Tuesday and participate in offseason workouts, training camp and exhibition games.

If he complies with the terms of the substance-abuse policy and program, Browner will be fully reinstated after serving the four-game suspension without pay and forfeiting an additional four weeks of pay.

Denver might release Bailey

The AFC champion Denver Broncos are expected to release perennial Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey, 35, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Bailey is scheduled to make about $10 million next season.

Steelers get salary-cap relief

Eight-time Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu and tight end Heath Miller signed new three-year contracts designed to help the Pittsburgh Steelers get under the $133 million salary cap.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers will save $4.5 million in cap space on Polamalu’s deal and $3.3 million on Miller’s contract — primarily because the team converted most of their 2014 salaries into signing bonuses and gave the players nonguaranteed salaries for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

Pittsburgh cut linebacker Larry Foote, cornerback Curtis Brown and offensive tackle Levi Brown.

Browns release receiver Bess

Cleveland released troubled wide receiver Davone Bess, 28, ending his stay with the Browns after less than a year.

Bills’ Williams signs extension

The Buffalo Bills signed safety Aaron Williams, 23, to a four-year, $26 million contract extension.

Cheerleader to be prom date

It took 10,000 retweets but a Houston-area teenager got his dream date for the Crosby High School prom: a Houston Texans cheerleader.

Michael Ramirez, 17, asked cheerleader Caitlyn on Twitter if she would be his prom date if he could get 10,000 retweets.

She responded, “Of course I will.” Within 24 hours, it was a done deal.

Caitlyn said she is looking forward to the prom; the team does not release full names of its cheerleaders.


Woods plans to play at Doral

Top-ranked Tiger Woods, who didn’t finish his final round Sunday at the Honda Classic because of lower-back problems, said he is healthy enough to compete at the Cadillac Championship, which starts Thursday at revamped Doral.

Billionaire and golf devotee Donald Trump took over the resort in Miami and gave the golf course a major makeover in the last 12 months.

Woods won at Doral for the fourth time last year.


Hochevar has elbow injury

Kansas City right-hander Luke Hochevar likely will miss at least the first two months of the season because of a sprained ligament in his right elbow. He was 5-2 with a 1.92 earned-run average in 58 relief appearances last year.


Rangers get St. Louis in trade

Martin St. Louis, last season’s league scoring champion, was sent from Tampa Bay to the New York Rangers for Ryan Callahan in a swap of team captains before the trade deadline.

In some other deals on a hectic day of transactions, Montreal acquired forward Thomas Vanek from the New York Islanders; Los Angeles got forward Marian Gaborik in a trade with Columbus; and Florida traded goaltender Tim Thomas to Dallas one day after the Panthers picked up Roberto Luongo in a trade with Vancouver.

Sled-dog racing

Iditarod musher has painful day

An Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race musher was flown to a hospital after an ordeal that included crashing his sled, hitting his head on a tree stump and getting knocked unconscious and later falling through ice and breaking his ankle.

Scott Janssen, 52, an Anchorage, Alaska, undertaker known as the Mushing Mortician, was back home recuperating Wednesday.


• A month before he fatally shot his girlfriend, Oscar Pistorius convinced a friend to take the blame when a gun was accidentally fired under the Johannesburg restaurant table where he and other friends were sitting, according to testimony in the double-amputee runner’s murder trial in Pretoria, South Africa.

The testimony by boxer Kevin Lerena raises questions about the character of Pistorius, who insists he accidentally killed Reeva Steenkamp, 29, in his home Feb. 14 last year. Prosecutors allege he intentionally shot Steenkamp, a model and television personality, after a loud argument.

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