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Seahawks Send Mirer to Bears for Top Pick

From Staff and Wire Reports

Rick Mirer, who lost his job as Seattle’s starting quarterback last season, was traded to Chicago on Tuesday night for the Bears’ first-round choice in the upcoming draft.

The Bears traded the 11th overall pick for Mirer and an undisclosed choice in the April 19 draft. Seahawk spokesman Steve Wright said the pick would be Seattle’s second choice in the fourth round.

Mirer is expected to start for the Bears, 7-9 last season.

“We believe Rick has the qualities to be an outstanding player and help us get to the next level,” Bear Coach Dave Wannstedt said in a statement.

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Mirer has already agreed to a three-year contract with the Bears, team spokesman Bryan Harlan said. Mirer and the Bears have 48 hours to negotiate a possible fourth year. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the deal was expected to be a four-year contract worth $15 million. Mirer had one year left on his contract with Seattle.

Erik Kramer, Dave Krieg and Steve Stenstrom played quarterback for Chicago last season.

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The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will send the 49ers’ $525-million stadium proposal to the city’s voters after board members voted, 10-0, to put a $100 million bond measure for a football stadium and shopping mall on the June 3 special election ballot.

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The board’s finance committee oversaw nearly a dozen changes and clarifications to the plan.

The changes include a guarantee from the 49ers that nearly half a billion dollars in financing will be secured before the bond money can be handed over. The team also must have commitments from retailers for the mall and has promised that 25% of jobs at the stadium and mall will go to Bayview- Hunters Point residents. One thousand jobs must go to people on welfare, the board said.

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Free-agent nose tackle Gilbert Brown, who anchored the middle of the defensive line for the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, has re-signed with the team. Brown, who turns 26 Saturday, signed a three-year contract.

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Fullback Howard Griffith has left the Carolina Panthers and signed with the Denver Broncos. Griffith, who will earn $4.4 million over four years, is the second significant addition to Denver’s offense in the past week. Last week the team obtained lineman Tony Jones from Baltimore for a second-round draft choice.

Tennis

Defending champion Michael Stich of Germany lost his opening match at the European Community Championship in Antwerp, Belgium, falling to fellow German Marc Goeller, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4.

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Afterward, Stich, ranked 20th in the world, complained about several line calls. “I was the better player,” Stich said. “All he did was serve well.”

Jim Courier, ranked 16th in the world, lost to Cedric Pioline of France, 6-0, 6-2.

Boris Becker, bothered by an injured right wrist, pulled out of the tournament after practicing for 35 minutes.

Sites for the ATP Senior Tour of Champions in Europe, which begins its first season in June, have been selected. They are Paris; London; Frankfurt; Prague; Portschach, Austria, and Pessaro, Italy.

Competitors in the round-robin events will include Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Pat Cash, Yannick Noah, Henri Leconte and Bjorn Borg.

Boxing

USA Boxing has ruled against Ken Norton Jr., the San Francisco 49er linebacker and son of former heavyweight champion Ken Norton, who was planning to enter a Dallas amateur boxing tournament in the novice division. Federation rules say pros from any sport cannot fight, but Norton was hoping an exception would be made.

“If you bend the rules for one guy, where do we stop?” USA Boxing spokesman Steve Ross said.

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Miscellany

The made-for-TV 150-meter dash between Olympic gold medalists Michael Johnson and Donovan Bailey will be held June 1 in Toronto and televised by CBS.

Names in the News

Joann Klonowski has been named CEO of the Long Beach Ice Dogs of the International Hockey League. Klonowski most recently served as senior vice president of marketing for the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer, will begin the new job March 1.

Matt Dunigan, Hamilton Tiger-Cat quarterback who suffered the 12th concussion of his 14-year Canadian Football League career last season, retired to become offensive coordinator at Valdosta State, a Division II school in Valdosta, Ga.

Bill Schmitz was named football coach at Austin Peay State in Clarksville, Tenn. Austin Peay of the Ohio Valley Conference went 1-10 last season.

Chris Burgess of Irvine Woodbridge High School, who has signed a letter of intent with Duke, was among the 12 players named to the U.S. junior select national basketball team that will compete in the Nike Hoop Summit game on April 19.


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