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Griffin III signs deal with 'Skins
Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins ended their contract impasse Wednesday when the rookie quarterback signed a four-year, fully guaranteed deal worth $21.1 million. It also includes a club option for a fifth year.
Griffin's agent, Ben Dogra, told The Associated Press that the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback agreed to terms and will be in Redskins rookie camp on Wednesday.
Griffin, the second overall pick in the draft out of Baylor, announced the news on Twitter, writing, "Well people....It's Time to go to Work!!! Off the unemployment line and oh yea HTTR!!!"
The latter stands for "Hail To The Redskins," the team's fight song.
Griffin will be on the field Wednesday for the third day of a five-day rookie camp. He wasn't considered a holdout because training camp doesn't officially begin until July 26.
The Redskins traded their first-round choices in 2012, 2013 and 2014 as well as their second-round pick this year to the St. Louis Rams on March 10 for the right to move up four spots to take Griffin.
Coach Mike Shanahan orchestrated the trade for Griffin, who threw for 4,293 yards and 37 touchdowns with just six interceptions and ran for 699 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2011 while leading Baylor to the Alamo Bowl.
Shanahan selected the 22-year-old Griffin the starter ahead of Grossman on the final day of rookie minicamp in May.
Washington made the big move after finishing last in the NFC East for a fourth straight year with a 5-11 record in 2011. That was the 16th season in the past 19 in which the Redskins didn't make the playoffs. During that span, they have started 21 quarterbacks. The most recent, Rex Grossman, committed 25 turnovers in 13 starts last season.
A few hours later, offensive lineman Josh LeRibeus, Washington's third-round choice, became the last of the Redskins' picks to sign.
Terms of the deal for the rookie from SMU were not disclosed.
Officials say NFL planned lockout
The NFL's on-field officials say the league is paying lip service to player safety by contacting replacement officials.
They also believe the NFL planned to lock them out rather than negotiate a new contract. Members of the NFL Referees Association were locked out June 3 after talks broke down.
NFLRA President Scott Green and past president Ed Hochuli, both current referees, said Wednesday the NFL is jeopardizing the safety of the players, as well as the integrity of the game, by considering using officials they feel are unqualified. None of those officials will come from the top college division because they all are barred from accepting NFL jobs by the colleges, Green said.
"To take seven officials who have not worked Division I (college) games or not worked the last several years," he said, "and to put them on the field has got to be pretty unsettling not only to the players and coaches, but to the fans.
"The players have plenty of things to worry about on the field, they don't need to be worrying about the officials."
Green said players know the current officials are consistent in their calls, but won't have any idea "what will be called or seen and what won't be, and that will be a product of how the game is being affected."
Added Hochuli: "There is no game if the competitive nature of the game is not being controlled" by officials.
The NFL disagreed, saying in a statement:
"Our goal is to maintain the highest quality of officiating for our teams, players, and fans, including proper enforcement of the playing rules and efficient management of our games.
"We are confident that these game officials will enforce rules relating to player safety. Contrary to NFLRA leadership, we do not believe that players will "play dirty' or intentionally break the rules."
Lynch charged with DUI
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was charged Wednesday with driving under the influence in Northern California.
Lynch was charged by the Alameda County district attorney with driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and driving while having a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher. Lynch has a court date on Aug. 14, which is in the middle of Seahawks training camp.
But Lynch's attorney, Ivan Golde, told The Associated Press that he feels the case could get thrown out or reduced because of discrepancies in blood-alcohol tests.
Golde's contention is that Lynch was not at the California legal limit of .08 when he was pulled over in Emeryville, Calif., on Saturday and tested at the scene. Golde noted that Lynch's level was higher when he was tested on a calibrated breathalyzer later at the jail.
Teresa Drenick, director of communications for the Alameda County district attorney, could not confirm Golde's claim about Lynch's blood-alcohol content and said she could not discuss the details of the case.
Lynch was seen weaving on Interstate 880 in the Oakland, Calif., area on Saturday morning, leading to his arrest for investigation of DUI. An incident report released by the California Highway Patrol described Lynch driving a Ford Econoline van and having two near collisions with two other vehicles driving in adjacent lanes.
Former 49ers DE Elam dies at 60
Former 49ers defensive end Cleveland Elam, a two-time Pro Bowl selection who had a team-high 17.5 sacks in 1976, has died. He was 60.
Elam died last Thursday. The team confirmed his death Wednesday.
The 49ers drafted Elam in the fourth round of the 1975 NFL draft and he contributed immediately as a member of the 49ers Gold Rush defensive line, which led the NFL in sacks during the 1976 season.
He went to the Pro Bowl in 1976 and 1977 and was a first-team All-Pro in 1977. Injuries cut short his career in 1979.