Around the Nation (July 30): Browns sign veteran safety Jim Leonard to contract

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FOOTBALL

Browns ink veteran Jim Leonard to deal

BEREA -- Cleveland has signed safety Jim Leonard, making the Browns the fifth different NFL team in the nine-year veteran's career.

The Browns confirmed the signing Wednesday after Leonard wrote on Twitter that, "It's official, I just signed my 8th NFL contract to become a part of the Cleveland Browns. #dawgpound."

Leonard, 31, was with Buffalo last year where he spent the first four seasons of his career after being signed as an undrafted rookie out of Wisconsin in 2005. He spent 2012 in Denver and also played 2008 for Baltimore and 2009 and 2010 with the New York Jets.

He had four interceptions playing in 16 games last season with seven starts. He has 12 career interceptions.

NFL retirees lose round in settlement for concussions

PHILADELPHIA -- A federal judge has rejected an attempt by seven former professional football players to intervene in a tentative class-action settlement of concussion claims that would cost the NFL at least $765 million.

Senior U.S. District Judge Anita Brody issued an order in Philadelphia late Tuesday denying the NFL retirees' motion to intervene in the case.

The players object to the settlement, calling it a "lousy deal" for ex-players whose symptoms don't qualify them for compensation. Brody's order said that players who object to the deal can raise their concerns at a fairness hearing scheduled for Nov. 19, or opt out of the settlement.

Brody gave preliminary approval to the settlement earlier this month.

The group includes 2008 Pro Bowl player Sean Morey, now Princeton University's sprint football coach.

ICE HOCKEY

Blue Jackets sign D'Amigo, Tyrell

The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed forwards Jerry D'Amigo and Dana Tyrell to one-year, two-way contracts.

The 23-year-old D'Amigo was acquired by Columbus along with a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2015 draft from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Matt Frattin on July 1. He appeared in 22 games with Toronto last season, making his NHL debut on Dec. 5, 2013, against the Dallas Stars. He had one goal and two assists with the Maple Leafs in addition to also playing with the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies.

The 25-year-old Tyrell played 64 games in the AHL last year, totaling 15 goals and 18 assists. He also appeared in seven games for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

TENNIS

Right wrist forces Nadal out of events

Rafael Nadal is withdrawing from hard-court tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati because of a right wrist injury, putting his status in doubt for a title defense at the U.S. Open.

Nadal plays left-handed, but he uses a two-handed backhand.

His manager announced the withdrawals Wednesday.

The Toronto tournament begins Monday; the Cincinnati tournament starts Aug. 11. Those two events would have represented Nadal's hard-court preparation for the U.S. Open, which begins Aug. 25.

The Spaniard, currently No. 2 in the ATP rankings, won his second championship at Flushing Meadows in 2013. That is part of his collection of 14 Grand Slam titles, tied with Pete Sampras for second in the history of men's tennis, trailing only Roger Federer's record of 17.

BASEBALL

ESPN announcers to call game atop Green Monster

BOSTON -- ESPN announcers will call Sunday night's Red Sox-Yankees game from atop Fenway Park's Green Monster.

The network said Wednesday that Dan Shulman and John Kruk will be located in Section 9 of the stands above the stadium's famous Wall. Boston first installed the Green Monster seats in 2003.

In May, Shulman and Kruk called the Cardinals-Cubs telecast from the bleachers at Wrigley Field.

BASKETBALL

Heat make Bosh's $118M deal official

MIAMI -- Chris Bosh has signed his $118 million, five-year contract to stay with the Miami Heat.

The team says Bosh signed the deal Wednesday. The sides agreed on the terms earlier this month, but the paperwork could not be completed because Bosh was on a lengthy international vacation and needed to undergo a physical before signing.

Bosh is entering his fifth season with the Heat. He was the first player to commit to the Heat this summer after LeBron James' announcement that he was leaving Miami and returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Bosh averaged 16.2 points on 52 percent shooting last season for Miami. He will earn just over $20.6 million this season, and his contract is the largest in terms of total value in Heat franchise history.

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