Falcons reach deal with second-round draft pick Robert Alford

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The Atlanta Falcons signed cornerback Robert Alford, a second-round pick from Southeastern Louisiana.

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Cornerback Robert Alford, Atlanta's second-round draft pick, signed a deal Friday. Only two Falcons draftees remain unsigned.  FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Cornerback Robert Alford, Atlanta's second-round draft pick, signed a deal Friday. Only two Falcons draftees remain unsigned.

Alford was the second of two cornerbacks selected by the Falcons in the draft. First-round pick Desmond Trufant remains unsigned.

Alford had 10 interceptions and started 31 games at Southeastern Louisiana. He also returned punts and kickoffs in 2012, taking advantage of his 4.39 speed in the 40-yard dash. He impressed the Falcons with his performance against major college players in the Senior Bowl.

The only other remaining unsigned pick from the Falcons’ draft is quarterback Sean Renfree, a seventh-round selection from Duke.

GIANTS: Wide receiver Victor Cruz signed his $2.879 million tender with New York.

Two people familiar with the contract told The Associated Press on Friday that the restricted free agent with three years in the NFL had signed the tender while he works on a long-term deal with the Giants.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the signing has not been announced publicly.

Had the 26-year-old Cruz not signed before Monday, the Giants’ offer could have been reduced to $630,000 for the 2013 season. The Giants could have matched any offers Cruz received from other teams.

FEMALE OFFICIAL: Sarah Thomas is on her way to becoming a female official in the NFL and it could happen as early as the 2014 season.

Thomas spent three days at the Indianapolis Colts’ three-day minicamp this week. The league says she could be the first to come through its officiating development program and then handle games.

Thomas, who has been line of scrimmage official in Conference USA for the past seven seasons, wouldn’t be able to work regular-season games until a position becomes available and only after she’s fully prepared.

Last year, Shannon Eastin became the first woman to be an official in both a preseason and regular-season NFL game.

She was a line judge in the Rams-Lions season opener, among the replacements hired during the officials’ lockout.

NABBED: A third suspect in the late-night stabbing of Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Mike Adams was captured as he attempted to flee his Florida motel room, Pittsburgh police said Friday.

Officers used a stun gun on Jerrell Whitlock, 26, after he tried to flee through a back door in his Gainesville motel room and refused officers’ commands to get down, police said.

Whitlock had been sought on charges of attempted robbery, aggravated assault and conspiracy since Adams was stabbed twice in a June 1 attempted carjacking on Pittsburgh’s South Side.

Two other men are already jailed on similar charges.

JETS: Kellen Winslow Jr. turned a three-day tryout into another chance at reviving his NFL career.

The former Pro Bowl tight end was signed to a one-year deal by the New York Jets on Friday after a solid performance during the team’s minicamp this week.

Winslow was brought in on a tryout basis and impressed coach Rex Ryan, who wouldn’t comment Thursday as to whether a signing was imminent but seemed to indicate he was pleased with what he saw.

“That athleticism and his ability to catch the football,” Ryan said, “it certainly jumps out.”


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