Signed Free-agent safety Ed Reed is finally a Houston Texan. The nine-time Pro Bowl safety signed a contract with Houston on Friday, a week after leaving town with no deal in place. The Houston Chronicle reported it was a three-year deal worth $15 million, with $5 million guaranteed.
• The Carolina Panthers have signed unrestricted free-agent wide receiver Ted Ginn from the San Francisco 49ers. He signed a one-year deal. Terms have not been announced.
• A person familiar with the situation said the Chicago Bears have agreed to a one-year contract with linebacker D.J. Williams, giving them a possible replacement for Brian Urlacher. The deal comes two days after the Bears said they couldn’t agree on a contract with Urlacher, the eight-time Pro Bowl selection and the face of the franchise.
Sentenced The Alabama fan who poisoned the iconic Toomer’s Corner oak trees at rival Auburn has been sentenced to three years in prison. Court filings show that Harvey Updyke Jr. pleaded guilty to desecrating a venerated object and damaging an animal or crop facility.
Hired Alabama has hired Bill Battle as athletic director. University trustees unanimously approved Mal Moore’s hand-picked successor and former Crimson Tide football teammate. Battle played with Moore on Bear Bryant’s 1961 national championship team.
Changed Olympic boxers will fight without head guards in a pro-style scoring system starting this year after several significant rule changes by the sport’s international governing body. The International Boxing Association (AIBA) unveiled several rule amendments this week. Among them, male boxers at the world championships in October and the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 won’t wear the protective head guards adopted by the amateur sport before the 1984 Los Angeles Games. According to AIBA, medical data suggests that fighting without head guards will decrease concussions. The amateur sport also is moving to a pro-style, 10-point scoring system, discarding the latest version of the much-criticized computer punch-count systems.