Compiled from wire reports
Ex-Browns rookie pleads not guilty
•?A former rookie linebacker for the Browns pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and other charges in New Jersey.
Ausar Walcott was arraigned Thursday in Paterson, N.J. He is accused of punching Derek Jones in the side of the head outside the Palace Gentlemen’s Club in Passaic early Sunday.
A prosecutor says Jones is in a medically induced coma at a New York hospital, where he’s listed in critical condition.
Walcott, 23, is being represented by a public defender while he attempts to hire an attorney. He is being held on $500,000 bail. The case will now go to a grand jury.
Walcott, who played for the University of Virginia, was signed by the Browns on May 13 following a tryout. The team released him Wednesday.
•?The Minnesota Vikings signed veteran Desmond Bishop to a one-year deal to add much-needed help at linebacker. Bishop, 28, is the latest player to come to Minnesota from rival Green Bay. Bishop missed all of last season with an injured hamstring and was cut by the Packers last month. He gives the Vikings a player with experience at middle linebacker, something that was lacking in the current group. The Vikings released linebacker Stanford Keglar.
•?Jim Hudson, a former New York Jets safety who helped the team to its only Super Bowl title in 1969, died Tuesday in Austin, Texas. He was 70.
•?Nebraska coach Bo Pelini announced that defensive end Ernest Suttles and linebacker Thomas Brown are no longer on the team.
Penguins, Kunitz agree on new deal
•?The Pittsburgh Penguins and forward Chris Kunitz agreed to a three-year contract extension that could keep him playing alongside Sidney Crosby until the 2016-17 season. General Manager Ray Shero says the new deal, which begins in 2014-15, will carry an annual salary cap hit of $3.85 million. The 33-year-old Kunitz has flourished since the Penguins acquired him from Anaheim in February 2009. Kunitz led the Penguins with 22 goals.
•?The Tampa Bay Lightning will buy out Vincent Lecavalier’s contract. Lecavalier, 33, has seven years and $45 million left on his deal, which carries a $7.72 million yearly cap hit. Tampa will have to pay Lecavalier $32.67 million in the buyout, including an $8 million bonus that had to be paid out in full. The remaining salary is paid out at two-thirds, $24.67 million over the next 14 years.
•?The St. Louis Blues re-signed defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to a multiyear contract, a day after holding onto forward Patrik Berglund with a one-year deal. The 24-year-old Shattenkirk was among the scoring leaders by a defenseman with 23 points. Since entering the NHL in 2010, he’s fourth among American-born defensemen with 109 points. The 25-year-old Berglund was second on the team with 17 goals and tied for fourth with 25 points.
•?The San Jose Sharks signed defenseman Jason Demers to a one-year contract to prevent him from becoming a restricted free agent next month
•?Mark Messier is leaving the New York Rangers after being passed over to replace fired coach John Tortorella. Messier had been a special assistant to Rangers General Manager Glen Sather.
Grizzlies promote Joerger to coach
•?The Memphis Grizzlies introduced Dave Joerger as their coach, sending the franchise in a new direction after its most successful era under former coach Lionel Hollins. Joerger was a successful coach in the minor leagues and was the lead assistant under Hollins the last two seasons. He has been with the team six seasons. Terms of Joerger’s contract weren’t released. But the Commercial Appeal newspaper in Memphis reported Joerger signed a four-year deal with a starting salary of about $1.5 million.
•?Landon Donovan is returning to the U.S. national team after an absence of nearly 11 months, but Carlos Bocanegra was bypassed for the American roster for next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup. Donovan and veteran defender Oguchi Onyewu were among 23 players picked Thursday for the regional championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean. Bocanegra, the U.S. captain at the 2010 World Cup, was among 12 players cut from the preliminary roster.
•?Patrick Mason, a college assistant coach for 17 years, is Virginia Tech’s new baseball coach. Mason replaces Pete Hughes, who left after seven seasons to take the same job at Oklahoma.
— From wire reports