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San Francisco welcomes back top RB Gore

Wed., Aug. 3, 2011, midnight

Frank Gore practiced Tuesday with the San Francisco 49ers for the first time this offseason, breathing life into an offense that has been working this summer without several of its top players.

The two-time Pro Bowl running back ended his four-day holdout Monday and was back on the field a day later as the 49ers conducted their second padded practice of camp at Santa Clara, Calif.

He was welcomed back by a new coaching staff and several players who have been anticipating his arrival.

“I almost hugged him and gave him a kiss, but I tried to play it cool,” wide receiver Josh Morgan said. “It was really exciting to see him.”

Gore, who missed San Francisco’s final five games last season with a fractured hip, is in the final year of his contract with the 49ers that will pay him $2.9 million this season with a $2 million roster bonus. He is seeking a contract extension.

Gore has led the 49ers in rushing every year since being drafted in 2005, including a team-record four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons from 2006-2009. Gore was on his way to extending that string last year before his injury. He finished the season with 853 yards rushing and 46 receptions for 452 yards. Gore needs 931 yards rushing to become the leading rusher in franchise history.

Colts begin signing flurry

Signing players has suddenly become a No. 1 priority for the Colts.

The Colts signed their first-round pick, left tackle Anthony Castonzo, and free-agent linebacker Ernie Sims, Detroit’s first-round pick in 2006. Those moves come less than 24 hours after Indy signed another former first-rounder, defensive lineman Jamaal Anderson.

Castonzo was taken 22nd overall, is expected to protect Peyton Manning’s blind side and was the last unsigned pick in the Colts’ draft class.

While the Castonzo move was expected, Indy’s uncharacteristic free-agent frenzy was not. Only one other player on the current roster, kicker Adam Vinatieri, joined Indy as an unrestricted free agent. Agent Todd France said Sims has a one-year deal, and there’s no telling if the Colts are finished.

“It just depends on what we’re looking for,” coach Jim Caldwell said after a special teams practice at Anderson, Ind. “You want someone that can have an impact and someone that fits what we do. So we take all of those things into consideration.”

Sims looks like a perfect fit with the Colts, whose defense has traditionally favored speed over size.

Browns, Taylor agree

Phil Taylor has spent the past few days shopping for a new phone and lamenting on his Twitter page how much he misses football.

Finally, he’s getting back on the field.

The extra-large rookie defensive tackle agreed to terms on a contract with the Cleveland Browns, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press.

Taylor, the No. 21 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft, will immediately report to the Browns, said the person who spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because the team has not yet announced the deal with the Baylor standout.

The 6-foot-3, 335-pound Taylor missed the team’s first four practices of training camp at Berea, Ohio, in a holdout. The sticking point in talks was over a fourth guaranteed season for Taylor.

Saints sign top pick

The New Orleans Saints agreed to terms with their top draft pick, defensive end Cameron Jordan.

The four-year deal is worth around $7.7 million, Hendrickson said.

The 6-foot-4, 297-pound Jordan, who is the son of former Pro Bowl tight end Steve Jordan, was taken 24th overall out of California.

Eagles land Brown

The Philadelphia Eagles agreed to contract terms with veteran running back Ronnie Brown, who spent his first six seasons with the Dolphins.

The 29-year-old Brown rushed for 4,815 yards and 36 touchdowns and caught 184 passes for 1,491 yards with Miami. He ran for 1,000 yards in 2006 and made his only Pro Bowl team in 2008.



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