Steel­ers sign Har­ri­son to two-year deal

The Washington Post - - SPORTS -

So much for re­tire­ment. Again.

Five-time Pro Bowl line­backer James Har­ri­son is re­turn­ing to the Pitts­burgh Steel­ers. Har­ri­son, 36, signed a two-year deal with the team Sun­day af­ter a pro­duc­tive 2014 in which he had 51/ sacks af­ter be­ing lured out of

2 a brief 18-day re­tire­ment.

The 2008 NFL de­fen­sive player of the year’s sign­ing gives the Steel­ers needed depth at out­side line­backer af­ter Ja­son Wo­rilds abruptly re­tired at 27 two weeks ago. . . .

The strain and sweat on their faces showed just how much one more chance in the NFL means to Michael Sam and 104 oth­ers.

Ex­cept for pro days for col­lege play­ers en­ter­ing the NFL draft, March isn’t usu­ally a time for run­ning sprints and drills be­fore scouts. Then again, th­ese “vet­er­ans” will take any op­por­tu­nity to prove their worth.

“Who­ever wants me,” Sam said when asked about re­turn­ing to the field for the first NFL vet­er­ans com­bine in Tempe, Ariz. The first openly gay player drafted didn’t make it with St. Louis last year, cut at the end of train­ing camp. He landed on Dal­las’s prac­tice squad for a few weeks, then was re­leased.

Un­like many of the oth­ers on hand, in­clud­ing for­mer firstround draft picks such as Brady Quinn and Felix Jones, Sam re­ally has a blank NFL ré­sumé. But he’s cer­tain he’ll get a shot at a ros­ter spot.

“Ab­so­lutely, I think my chances are high,” said the de­fen­sive end, 25. . . .

Chris Bor­land, who sent shock­waves through the NFL with his re­tire­ment last week af­ter one sea­son with San Fran­cisco be­cause of fears of fu­ture brain in­juries, told CBS News’ “Face the Na­tion” that he was giv­ing back part of his sign­ing bonus.

“I’m pay­ing back three-fourths of my sign­ing bonus,” said Bor­land, 24. “I’m only tak­ing the money I’ve earned.”

Bor­land, as a third-round draft pick last year, had a four-year con­tract that in­cluded a sign­ing bonus of $617,436. Three­quar­ters of that bonus would be $463,077. TEN­NIS

No­vak Djokovic de­feated Roger Fed­erer, 6-3, 6-7 (7-5), 6-2, to win his fourth BNP Paribas Open in In­dian Wells, Calif., ty­ing him with Fed­erer for the most ti­tles in the desert af­ter win­ning for the sec­ond straight year.

Fed­erer leads the se­ries 20-18, but he made too many mis­takes, pil­ing up 43 un­forced er­rors.

Si­mona Halep beat Je­lena Jankovic, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, to win the women’s ti­tle, giv­ing the Ro­ma­nian the big­gest cham­pi­onship of her ca­reer. . . .

Fran­cis Ti­afoe, 17, of Prince Ge­orge’s County earned his first pro cham­pi­onship, win­ning 6-1, 6-2 over Maxime Ta­ba­truong of France in the $15,000 Fu­tures ti­tle match in Bak­ers­field, Calif. Ti­afoe is 18-4 in pro­fes­sional events this year. MISC.

Five nona­ge­nar­i­ans helped Wash­ing­ton-based Po­tomac Val­ley Track Club win the USATF Na­tional Masters In­door Track & Field Cham­pi­onships and set world records as the first 90-and- over teams to com­plete 4x200me­ter, 4x400-me­ter and 4x800me­ter re­lays at the JDL Fast Track in Win­ston-Salem, N.C.

Dixon Hemphill, 90, of Fair­fax; Charles Boyle, 91, of An­napo­lis; Roy En­glert, 92, of Spring­field; Charles Ross, 92, of Lit­tle Rock; and Orville Rogers, 97, of Dal­las, formed teams of four in the three races.

Po­tomac came from be­hind to win the na­tional cham­pi­onship over 86 other teams, fin­ish­ing with 682 team points Sun­day. Sixty-five mem­bers of PVTC com­peted in Win­ston-Salem in in­di­vid­ual events and re­lays.

On Satur­day, Bruce McBar­nette, 57, of Loudoun County won the high jump for men 55 and over by clear­ing 5 feet 11 inches to win his 30th ti­tle in na­tional Masters com­pe­ti­tion, which in­cludes ath­letes from 30 to 100 years old in five age groups. . . .

Min­nesota State re­ceived the top seed for the 16-team NCAA men’s hockey tour­na­ment, fol­lowed by North Dakota, Bos­ton Uni­ver­sity and Miami of Ohio as the other No. 1 seeds. . . .

Amanda Leveille made 19 saves, lead­ing Min­nesota to a 4-1 victory over Har­vard in Min­neapo­lis for the third women’s hockey ti­tle in four sea­sons for the Go­phers.

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