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jokergreen Dec 27 '19
  CLEVELAND -- With wads of money to spend, the Cleveland Browns didnt waste any time shoving millions into two defensive holes they created this winter. Jameer Nelson Jersey . During the furious first few hours of free agency Tuesday, the team agreed to terms with strong safety Donte Whitner, a Cleveland native who cant wait to play in his hometown. "I must now embark on my intended journey and become a Cleveland Brown," Whitner wrote on his Twitter account. "A place thats very dear to my heart!" Also, the Browns reportedly struck a deal with inside linebacker Karlos Dansby, who resurrected his career last season in his second stint with Arizona. The team has not made any announcements. With $49 million of space under the salary cap to sign players, new Cleveland general manager Ray Farmer addressed two pressing needs after the club decided not to re-sign safety T.J. Ward or linebacker DQwell Jackson -- the Browns top tacklers last season and two of their best players. Whitners deal is reportedly worth $28 million over four years, and Dansbys is for $24 million -- $14 million guaranteed -- over four years. Farmer could be working on a blockbuster deal, with the Browns said to be interested in trading with Tampa Bay for shutdown cornerback Darrelle Revis. If they can land Revis and pair him with Pro Bowler Joe Haden, the Browns would have arguably the NFLs best tandem of cornerbacks. The Buccaneers are eager to part with Revis, who makes $16 million a year. Revis has a previous relationship with Browns coach Mike Pettine, who coached him in New York. The Browns didnt ignore their offence on the first day of free agency, signing Cincinnati wide receiver Andrew Hawkins, a restricted free agent, to an offer sheet. The Bengals have five days to match the contract or Hawkins will join the Browns, who need a replacement at slot receiver after releasing troubled veteran Davone Bess. A two-time Pro Bowler, Whitner is returning to Cleveland to help turn around a franchise he pulled for as a kid. As word of his signing leaked out shortly after 4 p.m., Whitner, who played at Ohio State before he was drafted by Buffalo, tweeted "O-H" in a nod to both his alma mater and home state. After playing 14 seasons in Cleveland, 49ers kicker Phil Dawson can appreciate Whitners excitement about the homecoming. "If most guys are honest, they have a soft spot in their hearts for their hometown, and obviously Dontes getting to go home," Dawson said on a conference call after receiving a new two-year deal with San Francisco. "One thing I know about Cleveland is when you grow up there, you wear orange and brown. No matter where you go or how far youve been gone, if youve grown up in Cleveland, youre a Browns fan. "Im sure its a special opportunity for Donte. Obviously were going to miss him. Hes a great player. Hell be a huge addition to that organization." Whitner spent five seasons with the Bills, who selected him with the No. 8 overall pick in 2006. Nicknamed "Hitner," the 28-year-old signed a three-year, $11.75 million free-agent deal with San Francisco in 2011 and played three seasons with the 49ers, getting to the NFC championship each year. Hes been durable, missing just one game in the past four seasons. Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer, another proud Clevelander, is thrilled to have Whitner as a new teammate. "Great to have another hometown guy here to help us win! Congrats @DonteWhitner!" Hoyer posted on his Twitter account. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Dansby fills the void left by the surprising departure of Jackson, the respected captain and team leader. Dansby, 32, had 122 tackles, 6 1/2 sacks and four interceptions with the Cardinals last season. He spent his first six years with Arizona, signed with Miami for three and then returned to the Cardinals as a free agent in 2013. A speedster who played collegiately at Toledo, Hawkins worked out for Cleveland in 2008 before he signed in the Canadian Football League. The 28-year-old signed with the Bengals in 2011 and had a career-high 51 receptions for 533 yards and four touchdowns in 2012. He was limited to eight games last season because of an ankle injury. Matt Harpring Jersey . But unfortunately for the Niagara Falls, Ont., native, a pulled muscle wouldnt allow him to go past the second set. Japan sealed its victory over Canada in the first-round Davis Cup tie after Nishikori downed an ailing Dancevic 6-2, 1-0. Elfrid Payton Jersey . That was OK with him. He was just happy his team came away with two points. Letestu redirected Jack Johnsons shot from the point with 2:38 left, lifting the Blue Jackets past the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on Monday night.LONDON - It took a $380,000 payment from a stunt-prone bookmaker to persuade former France international David Ginola to launch an improbable bid to unseat FIFA President Sepp Blatter.With the fee secured, Ginola started his campaign on Friday by decrying the credibility of Blatters FIFA before admitting he knew little about the governing bodys processes or institutions.The former Paris-Saint Germain and Tottenham player could not name a member of FIFAs ruling executive committee, which includes Blatter, and looked dumbfounded when asked about the International Football Association Board, which sets the rules of the game.I need to know a lot more about FIFA, Ginola, who is known beyond football for his suave model looks and shampoo adverts, responded, looking uncharacteristically flustered.But the 47-year-old Ginola only has until Jan. 29 to convince five of the 209 national associations to endorse his campaign.Even if Ginola produces the required nominations, FIFA requires proof he has filled an active role in football for two of the last five years. His most recent role as listed on the press release announcing his candidacy is as an international campaigner for Englands failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup, which ended in 2010.FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert in November said there were potentially problematic facts and circumstances surrounding Englands bid.I wasnt really in the big conversations, Ginola acknowledged on Friday, playing down his function.After previously showing little interest in a job in football politics, Ginola reconsidered when approached by Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, which is better known for stunts like offering odds on Oscar Pistorius murder trial.One of the biggest challenges confronting world football centres on bookmakers funding a sport that is also trying to tackle the problem of match-fixing through illegal betting markets. Even a commercial behemoth like FIFA does not have a betting sponsorship, and Ginolas involvement with a commercial sponsor appeared to immediately undermine his proposed candidacy.I need to be paid because Im not a football player anymore, Ginola said.Former England striker Gary Lineker, who also worked on Englands World Cup bid, said on Twitter: Not entirely sure a campaign backed by a publicity seeking bookmaker is the answer to all FIFAs ethical problems.Despite his name being touteed, Lineker has repeatedly ruled out challenging Blatter, who is running for a fifth, four-year term as president in May. Bo Outlaw Jersey. . FIFA Vice-President Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan and former FIFA official Jerome Champagne also want to enter the race, but have not said if they have the required five nominations.Ginolas campaign team admitted that it has yet to receive any indication that a federation will back the bid. To achieve that, the team has recruited David Larkin, who runs the Change FIFA Twitter account that is followed by around 19,000 and mostly relays links to articles.Ginolas media release said: Change FIFA is an affiliation of football fans working for positive change in the game.Larkin, who appeared alongside Ginola at the media conference, acknowledged that the organization is effectively the Twitter account run by himself and another man. Change FIFA never appears to have held an event, has no business office listed, lacks a website and has no means for fans to register and join it.When people need help and they contact me I am happy to help, said Larkin, who is registered as a patent attorney.Change FIFA in 2011 backed the candidacy of Elias Figueroa, a three-time South American Player of the Year. It failed to gain one nomination, which was required then.Ginolas campaign said it is based on ensuring transparency at FIFA. The London-based publicity firm hired to run the campaign told reporters on Thursday that Ginolas candidacy would be revealed at a fashionable Soho hotel on Friday — and not before. But on Thursday Ginola conducted an interview with a British tabloid, which was posted online later in the day.Ginola himself acknowledged at his campaign launch: If we cant remove all suspicion and doubt from football then it cannot be trusted. And trust is what we need above anything else.Ginola is seeking 2.3 million pounds ($3.5 million) for the campaign via a crowd funding program.It could be over in two weeks, but Ginola will still be 250,000 pounds better off. And a bookmaker, whose branding was plastered over the launch, will have received free publicity worth far more than that.The likely outcome, health permitting, is that Blatter will be re-elected, given the widespread support already in place for the 78-year-old incumbents campaign.___Rob Harris can be followed at www.twitter.com/RobHarris ' ' ' 
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