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Originally published March 17, 2014 at 8:32 PM | Page modified March 17, 2014 at 8:50 PM

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Colts owner Jim Irsay faces 4 felony counts

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, who acknowledged a painkiller dependency more than a decade ago, faces preliminary charges of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance.

The Associated Press

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INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is known in NFL circles as a tough businessman and eccentric billionaire who enjoys interacting with fans about his beloved team and favorite songs from bands such as the Beatles and the Grateful Dead.

He might end up adding felon to the mix.

Irsay was pulled over near his home in suburban Carmel, Ind., shortly before midnight Sunday by police, who said they found multiple prescription drugs inside his vehicle. He was spotted driving slowly, stopping in the roadway and failing to use a turn signal.

Police said Irsay failed several roadside field sobriety tests before he was arrested.

The drugs weren’t associated with any of the pill bottles found inside, police said. Some weren’t even in bottles.

The 54-year-old Irsay, who acknowledged a painkiller dependency more than a decade ago, faces preliminary charges of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance.

If Irsay is convicted on the felony counts, he could face six months to three years in prison on each count. Chief deputy prosecutor Andre Miksha said no decision had been made on formal charges and a hearing was set for March 26.

Irsay said nothing as he left the Hamilton County Jail after posting bond Monday.

A short time later, he tweeted: “Deepest thx to family, friends, fans, colleagues for the messages of support, thoughts and prayers. Impossible to tell u how much this means.”

An NFL spokesman said Irsay is subject to discipline, but didn’t elaborate on what that might be. Forbes magazine has estimated Irsay’s net worth at $1.6 billion.

In October 2013, Irsay tweeted “I don’t drink ... haven’t in over 15 years.”

Rodgers-Cromartie signs

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The New York Giants signed cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, formerly with Denver, to a five-year contract worth a reported $39 million.

According to media reports, $14 million of the deal is guaranteed and it includes a $10 million signing bonus.

A day earlier, the Giants confirmed the signings of former Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond and ex-Kansas City safety Quintin Demps.

Cowboys add QB Weeden

The Dallas Cowboys signed free-agent quarterback Brandon Weeden to a two-year contract, even though team officials expect Kyle Orton to return as the backup to Tony Romo next season.

Weeden, 30, was a first-round pick by Cleveland in 2012 and had a promising rookie season, when he passed for 3,385 yards and won five starts. But he started poorly in 2013, got benched, lost his confidence and never recovered.

Mays returns to Bengals

CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Bengals re-signed safety Taylor Mays, a week after the graduate of O’Dea High in Seattle became an unrestricted free agent.

Mays, 26, played in the first eight games last season before dislocating his shoulder, ending his year.


• Oakland signed receiver James Jones, 29, previously with the Green Bay Packers, to a three-year contract worth a reported $11.3 million. He caught 59 passes for 817 yards and three touchdowns last season.

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