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Lions’ First-Round Pick Finally Signs

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Associated Press

The Detroit Lions on Friday signed guard Jeff Hartings, the last first-round draft choice to come to terms.

Terms were not disclosed, but published reports said Hartings signed a five-year, $5.25-million contract.

The deal includes a one-year option that would pay Hartings $1.7 million in 1997, the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News said.

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Hartings’ base salary this year of $577,000 reportedly will be reduced by nearly $136,000, representing the four games he has missed.

Detroit drafted Hartings 23rd overall out of Penn State, and projected him as a starter at right guard.

Detroit’s other first-round pick, linebacker Reggie Brown of Texas A&M;, has not played since injuring his left knee in the second exhibition game.

To make room for Hartings, the Lions cut linebacker Michael Brooks, a 10-year NFL veteran who played the last three seasons for the New York Giants.

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Brett Favre says the NFL hasn’t gotten back to him on his request to have a beer if he wants.

“Nothing. I’m not going to worry about it, really,” Favre said. “I’m worried about beating Seattle.”

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Last week, Favre revealed that he’s protesting his status in the NFL’s drug abuse program.

He said that because he came forward earlier this year to let the league know he had an addiction to painkillers, he shouldn’t be treated like a player who got caught doing illicit drugs.

So, Green Bay’s MVP quarterback has asked Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to lift his two-year ban on alcohol. The league won’t talk about the matter.

“You know, it seems like everything I do, or everything that goes on in my family, becomes big news,” Favre said. “It seems like football takes a back seat to a lot of things, which is unfortunate.”

Two weeks ago, Favre’s sister, Brandi, 19, was arrested in connection with a drive-by shooting at a motel in Slidell, La. No one was injured. And last month, their brother, Scott, 29, was arrested on felony drunk-driving charges after an accident that killed a family friend.

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San Francisco tight end Brent Jones is out of Sunday’s game against Atlanta because of a partial shoulder dislocation.

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