Sports

Dolphins decide Marshall worth risk

The Miami Dolphins finally have their diva receiver.

Swallowing hard and going against their organizational philosophy, the Dolphins agreed Wednesday to acquire disgruntled Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall from the Denver Broncos.

The price was two second-round draft picks, one this year (43rd overall), another in 2011.

According to an NFL source, Marshall has agreed to a four-year, $47.5 million extension with $24 million guaranteed. Including the $2.5 million Marshall will make this season, the contract will carry him through the 2014 season at an annual average of $10 million, tying him with Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald for highest-paid wide receiver in NFL history.

Marshall, 26, has had numerous off-field problems, including multiple arrests on domestic violence charges. He clashed openly with first-year Broncos coach Josh McDaniels in 2009. But Marshall also had periods of extreme productivity, including a record 21-catch, 200-yard, two-touchdown tour de force in December.

The 6-foot-4 Marshall is generally considered among the most talented receivers in the game.Over the past three seasons, he totaled 307 receptions for 3,710 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Leaf gets 10 years probation

Former NFL and Washington State Cougars quarterback Ryan Leaf was sentenced to 10 years of probation after pleading guilty to eight felony drug charges in an Amarillo, Texas, court.

State District Judge John B. Board also fined Leaf $20,000 after he pleaded guilty to seven counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and one count of delivery of a simulated controlled substance.

Leaf, speaking to reporters after the hearing, said “deep in my heart I knew I had a problem” – even as he continued to use prescription pain medication.

“I convinced myself it wasn’t a big deal because these weren’t illegal drugs,” he said, reading a statement. “But I did have a problem. It finally hit me square in the face in West Texas; I finally had to look squarely in the mirror.”

After resigning from West Texas A&M, where he coached quarterbacks, Leaf said he spent 42 days in an inpatient treatment center in Vancouver, B.C., then two months of outpatient care. He said he has been clean for 17 months.

Leaf now lives in Great Falls, Mont.

NFL schedule out Tuesday

The NFL says it will release the 2010 regular-season schedule Tuesday night.

The schedule is usually out in late March or early April, but several adjustments are being made this year. The league wants as many divisional games as possible in the final two weeks, hoping it makes late-season matchups more meaningful and prevents teams that have clinched playoff berths from resting starters.

Extra points

A day after meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell about his off-field problems, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger took part in offseason conditioning work for the first time this spring. … The Cincinnati Bengals signed right guard Bobbie Williams to a two-year contract, keeping their offensive line intact. … Detroit Lions tight end Casey FitzSimmons, who suffered several concussions, announced his retirement from the NFL. … Restricted free agents Stephon Heyer, a right tackle, and Anthony Montgomery, a defensive tackle, re-signed with the Washington Redskins. … New Orleans Saints restricted free agent defensive back Usama Young joined reserve safety and fellow restricted free agent Chris Reis in committing to another year with the team. … Backup cornerback Drew Coleman, a restricted free agent, signed his sixth-round tender with the New York Jets. Running back-kick returner Leon Washington reportedly also will re-sign. … Stan Kroenke isn’t asking the NFL to waive its cross-ownership rules in his bid for full ownership of the St. Louis Rams, the league said. That means Kroenke will have to surrender his principal stake in the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.

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