Former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner tweeted Tuesday that he has been reinstated by the NFL following his suspension in December for violating the league’s policy on substance abuse. Browner was suspended indefinitely without pay by the league on Dec. 18. The reinstatement will make Browner a free agent as his contract with the Seahawks ended after this season. Browner’s agent, Peter Schaffer, also confirmed the reinstatement . . . The NFL Competition Committee has discussed experimenting this preseason with a much longer extra-point try, NFL.com reported. According to one member, preliminary talks were held about placing the ball at the 25-yard line for the extra-point kick — which would make it a 43-yard attempt — rather than the 2-yard line, where it is currently placed . . . Defensive end Greg Hardy has signed his franchise tag tender with the Panthers, a person familiar with the situation said. Hardy will make $13.1 million for one season if he doesn’t sign a long-term extension. The four-year NFL veteran had 15 sacks last season, tying a franchise record . . . The Cowboys are close to getting under the salary cap after restructuring the contracts of quarterback Tony Romo, linebacker Sean Lee, and cornerback Orlando Scandrick. The adjustment on the six-year, $108 million extension Romo signed last year will save Dallas about $10 million on the salary cap, while the conversions on Lee and Scandrick will cut about $7 million . . . The Chargers released cornerback Derek Cox, a year after signing him to a four-year contract for about $20 million, with about $10 million guaranteed. He struggled and was benched three times in a four-game stretch . . . The Jaguars released veteran guard Uche Nwaneri, who started 63 of the team’s last 64 games and didn’t miss a snap last season. Cutting him will give the club another $3.7 million in salary-cap space . . . The Vikings have decided to release tight end John Carlson, according to media reports. Carlson spent two injury-marred seasons with the Vikings after signing a sizable free agent deal two years ago.
Report: McQueary says he was abused
Mike McQueary, a former assistant football coach and key prosecution witness in the upcoming conspiracy trial of three former Penn State leaders accused of covering up Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse crimes, told his players during a November 2011 closed-door meeting that he, too, was sexually abused as a boy, ESPN The Magazine reported. McQueary confided to a dozen Nittany Lions players that he could relate to the helplessness of the young boy he had seen with Sandusky in a campus shower a decade earlier because he was abused as a boy, according to two players who attended the meeting, the magazine said. Prosecutors are expected to call McQueary to testify later this year at the criminal trial of former Penn State president Graham Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley, and former vice president Gary Schultz, who are charged with crimes ranging from conspiracy to failure to report suspected abuse . . . The prosecutor leading an investigation into fraud in an academic department at North Carolina said Deborah Crowder, a retired administrator tied to the case, won’t face charges and will cooperate with investigators. The problems in Crowder’s African and Afro-American Studies department included classes with significant athlete enrollments that didn’t meet, dating to the late 1990s . . . North Texas coach Dan McCarney is getting a five-year contract after leading the Mean Green to nine wins and their first bowl victory in 11 seasons. School officials said the deal that will take McCarney through the 2018 season was imminent . . . Urban Meyer prowled the sidelines on Ohio State’s first day of spring practice, just days after surgery to relieve pressure from a cyst on his brain.
MLS says it’s ready to go without refs
Major League Soccer is prepared to start the new season this weekend even if a labor dispute with referees and other match officials isn’t resolved. The Professional Soccer Referee Association has filed a pair of unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board, accusing the Professional Referee Organization of bad-faith bargaining and making threats against PSRA members. ‘‘We will be opening up this weekend with referees, and we are absolutely in a position to have a contingency plan in the event that those discussions don’t end positively,’’ MLS commissioner Don Garber said . . . D.C. United acquired midfielder Alex Caskey from the Seattle Sounders for a third-round pick in the 2016 draft . . . A Texas appeals court has temporarily blocked an arbitration panel from reviewing $12 million in bonuses paid to Lance Armstrong by a company that wants its money back, stopping efforts to force him to give new sworn testimony about his doping past . . . John Isner, the top-ranked American tennis player, will return to the Boston Lobsters this season. He played for the Lobsters from 2010-12.