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    Notes: Darren Sharper surrenders on rape charges

     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.
    AFP/Getty Images/File
    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.

    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, according to the LAPD. 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.

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    Lawyers for Sharper, who played in the NFL from 1997 to 2010 primarily with the 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.

    Maccharella said he was told a woman went to a New Orleans bar with Sharper, consumed an alcoholic beverage provided by him, and blacked out. She awoke the next morning while being sexually assaulted, the bail motion stated, noting that an exam later showed Sharper’s DNA was present.

    Police issued warrants on Thursday for Sharper. He faces charges in the alleged rape of two women at the same location Sept. 23.


    If convicted in the California case, Sharper could face more than 30 years in state prison. If convicted of aggravated rape in Louisiana, he could face life imprisonment.

    Maclin signs on

    Jeremy Maclin and the Eagles have 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 former first-round pick led the team with 69 receptions for 857 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012. ‘‘This is a place I can showcase my skills,’’ said Maclin, who reported the Eagles offered him a five-year contract, but the sides couldn’t agree on terms . . . The Ravens and tight end Dennis Pitta reached agreement on a five-year contract. He missed most of 2013 while recovering from a dislocated and fractured hip, but he returned to catch 20 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown in the final four games . . . Derek Wolfe said he’s finally healthy after suffering a seizure in November that doctors now believe was related to the spinal cord injury he suffered in the preseason. The Broncos’ defensive lineman said he’s back up to 280 pounds, having regained 20 of the 30 pounds he lost last season.

    Saints tag Graham

    The Saints placed their franchise tag on Jimmy Graham to protect the club’s rights to its star tight end through next season. The move means Graham, barring a holdout, will almost certainly play for New Orleans next season for no less than the tight end franchise tag of $7.04 million. It is also possible, under the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, that Graham could be tagged as a receiver because of how often he lined up split wide from the line. That would carry a tag of $12.3 million. Once Graham’s tag has been determined, the sides could continue to argue that matter before an arbitrator. During the past three regular seasons combined, he has 270 catches for 3,507 yards and 36 touchdowns . . . The Jets placed the franchise tag on kicker Nick Folk, who made $780,000 last season, but the franchise-tag estimate for kickers is about $3.4 million . . . The Panthers used the franchise tag on defensive end Greg Hardy, who will make $12.45 million next season. ranked Hardy as this offseason’s top free agent after posting a career-high 67 tackles last season. The team also re-signed kicker Graham Gano to a four-year contract. Financial terms were not released.

    Seahawks cut Rice

    Wide receiver Sidney Rice and defensive end Red Bryant were released by the Seahawks, giving the Super Bowl champions an additional $12 million in salary-cap space . . . The Bears agreed to a one-year contract with cornerback Kelvin Hayden. He injured his hamstring in training camp last year and sat out the season. In 2012, he tied for the NFL lead with four opponent fumble recoveries for the Bears.