ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - The Denver Broncos have signed their top draft pick, defensive tackle Derek Wolfe, to a four-year, $5.2 million contract with $3.2 million in guarantees.
The Denver Post first reported the signing.
Wolfe, taken in the second round, said Monday night "my main concern was playing football, so I wasn't really worried about getting the contract done. But still, it's nice to get it out of the way."
NFL rules, however, preclude Wolfe from joining his teammates at offseason practices until June 8 because his school, the University of Cincinnati, doesn't graduate its 2012 class until next month.
So, Wolfe is home in Lisbon, Ohio, working out on his own. "It stinks," he said. "I like being around my teammates, but you've got to do what you've got to do."
Wesleyan hires Patrick Beilein
BUCKHANNON- West Virginia Wesleyan College has hired Patrick Beilein as men's basketball coach.
Director of Athletics Ken Tyler said Monday in a news release that Beilein's appointment is effective June 15.
Beilein comes to Wesleyan from Bradley University, where he had served as director of men's basketball operations since 2011.
Beilein replaces Jim Boone, who resigned in April to take the head coaching job at Delta State University.
He was an assistant coach at Dartmouth before joining Bradley's program. He also was a graduate assistant at Michigan, where his father, John Beilein is the head coach.
Beilein played at West Virginia when his father was the Mountaineers' head coach. He also was a member of the Houston Rockets' summer league and played professional basketball in Ireland.
Browns believe in QB Weeden
AKRON, Ohio - Browns general manager Tom Heckert says the team expects rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden to be Cleveland's starter this season.
Heckert, speaking Monday night before a banquet for Browns fans, said Weeden will compete with Colt McCoy for the starting job and "we and we fully expect Brandon to be that guy. That's our goal to have him be the guy."
The Browns drafted Weeden, from Oklahoma State, with the No. 22 overall pick last month. Heckert was impressed with Weeden's performance in a recent rookie camp and expects him to continue to progress during organized team activities starting Tuesday.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots have announced that Wes Welker has signed a franchise tender contract.
The team's announcement comes about a week after Welker posted on his Twitter account that he inked the $9.5 million deal that comes with being the team's designated franchise player.
The Patriots also announced the signing of sixth-round draft choice Nate Ebner, a defensive back from Ohio State. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Welker, who has earned four straight Pro Bowl selections, leads the NFL with 554 receptions since joining the Patriots in 2007. He led the NFL with 122 receptions and finished second in the NFL in with a franchise-record 1,569 yards receiving in 2011.