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Originally published Friday, February 28, 2014 at 9:14 PM

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Ex-NFL safety Sharper surrenders in Los Angeles


The Associated Press

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Former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper surrendered to Los Angeles police after being named in a warrant involving a rape case in New Orleans.

Sharper, 38, also is under investigation in sexual assault cases in Florida, Nevada and Arizona and has pleaded not guilty to rape charges in Los Angeles.

Sharper’s surrender Thursday night had been arranged in advance, LAPD Officer Bruce Borihan said. He was being held at the downtown Metropolitan Detention Center.

In a bail motion filed in the California case, Los Angeles County Investigator John Maccharella described a pattern in which the former football star met women at clubs or parties and lured them to a hotel room, where they were allegedly drugged and raped.

Lawyers for Sharper, who played in the NFL from 1997 to 2010 primarily with the Green Bay Packers, have said they would prove that any sexual contact Sharper engaged in was welcomed.

The motion says the incidents happened in the past five months, with two occurring within a day in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Notes

• The New Orleans Saints have placed their franchise tag on Jimmy Graham in order to protect the club’s rights to its star tight end through next season.

• The Panthers used the franchise tag on Greg Hardy, preventing the outspoken defensive end from hitting the free-agent market. Hardy will make $12.45 million next season.

• Jeremy Maclin gets a second chance to play in Chip Kelly’s offense. Maclin and the Philadelphia Eagles agreed on a one-year contract, preventing the wide receiver from becoming a free agent next month. Maclin missed the entire 2013 season after tearing his right ACL in training camp.

• The Baltimore Ravens and tight end Dennis Pitta reached agreement on a five-year contract Friday. Pitta, Baltimore’s fourth-round pick in 2010, was set to become an unrestricted free agent when free agency starts March 11.

• The Oakland Raiders re-signed offensive lineman Khalif Barnes. The 6-foot-6, 321-pound former University of Washington player has spent five seasons with the Raiders after four with Jacksonville. He has made 46 starts in 63 games for Oakland, starting 11 games last season at left tackle and five at left guard.

“I’m so excited to be back,” Barnes said in a statement released by the team. “I’m going on my sixth year here and we’ve had some ups and downs, but there are some unfinished things we have to do here. I want to be a part of the process that turns this thing around.”

• The NFL’s salary cap for this season has been set at $133 million, the highest amount in league history. Each team must be compliant with the cap number by the start of the league’s free-agency period. The cap amount announced Friday, which applies to active players’ salaries, is up from $123 million last season and surpasses the previous high of $127,997,000 in 2009.



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