Randy Lerner has reached a deal to sell the Cleveland Browns to Tennessee truck-stop magnate Jimmy Haslam III — a minority stockholder in the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.
ESPN reported Thursday the sale price was more than $1 billion. For comparison, the Miami Dolphins sold at a value of more than $1 billion in 2009.
Lerner will sell 70 percent of the Browns to Haslam now, with the other 30 percent reverting to him four years after the closing date, a person with knowledge of the sale told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details have not officially been announced.
‘‘To own such a storied franchise as the Cleveland Browns, with its rich tradition and history, is a dream come true,’’ Haslam said through the team.
“We are committed to keeping the team in Cleveland and seeing it get back to the elite of the NFL — something all Browns fans want and deserve.’’
Haslam scheduled a news conference at Browns headquarters for Friday.
While the papers have been signed, the NFL still must approve the sale. Getting the nod from 24 of the 32 teams is required, and no date has been set for a vote because the sale has not been presented to the league yet.
The person with knowledge of the sale said approval is expected by the end of September.
All in good fun
A day after Jets wide receiver Chaz Schilens said he felt cornerback Antonio Cromartie’s comment that he’d rank himself the second-best receiver on the team was a ‘‘slight’’ to the players at his position, he backtracked Thursday, saying he cleared the air with Cromartie.
‘‘Antonio Cromartie is a hell of an athlete,’’ Schilens said with a smile. ‘‘He could play wide receiver any time he wants to.’’
Schilens also spoke with coach Rex Ryan, who thought Cromartie’s comments were mostly a joke and recognized that Schilens didn’t take them as they might have been intended.
Cromartie chose to not speak to reporters for a second straight day.
The Jets provided a glimpse for the first time into their plans for Tim Tebow in goal-line situations, as the quarterback ran for two touchdowns and threw for another score in a four-play sequence with the second-team offense.
Otah, Carolina done
Panthers general manager Marty Hurney announced the team had terminated the contract of offensive tackle Jeff Otah, a former first-round draft pick, after he failed a physical.
Otah missed 31 of the last 35 games because of knee problems that started in 2009; he finished the last three seasons on injured reserve.
Carolina dealt the 6-foot-6-inch, 340-pound Otah to the Jets on July 23 for a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2013, but the trade was rescinded after Otah failed a physical.
Titans starting center Eugene Amano injured his right triceps in a collision during team drills. Amano left the field holding his arm — the one he uses on snaps — and was escorted to the locker room. ‘‘He got it caught. I think a helmet hit, but I'm not sure,’’ coach Mike Munchak said . . . Texans defensive end J.J. Watt dislocated his left elbow and will miss some practice time, but Houston coach Gary Kubiak expects him to be OK for the team’s opener Sept. 9 against Miami . . . The Eagles traded linebackers Moise Fokou and Greg Lloyd to the Colts for cornerback Kevin Thomas and a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2013 draft.