Broncos sign No. 1 draft pick

August 10, 1991

The Denver Broncos' No. 1 draft choice, All-America linebacker Mike Croel, has signed a series of one-year contracts whose terms were not disclosed, the Broncos said yesterday.

Croel, a 6-foot-2, 231-pounder from Nebraska, was the fourth pick overall in the 1991 NFL draft and the Broncos' last draft pick to come to terms with the team.

In other Broncos news, wide receiver Vance Johnson pleaded guilty to criminal mischief in Arapahoe County Court and was sentenced to serve a week in jail. The criminal mischief charge stems from an incident in June when Johnson rammed his car into his estranged wife's car. Johnson also was ordered to serve one year of probation.

* OILERS: Pro Bowl defensive end Ray Childress, who led the team with 8 1/2 sacks last season, will be sidelined two to three weeks with a stress fracture of the fibula on his right leg. Childress underwent X-rays Thursday after experiencing pain in the leg, but the results were negative. A bone scan yesterday revealed the fracture.

* GIANTS: Reyna Thompson, who earned a Pro Bowl berth last season with his special teams play, signed a two-year contract with New York, ending a 24-day holdout.

* 49ERS: Overweight tackle Bubba Paris returned to practice, but it's not certain whether he will return to the starting lineup.

Coach George Seifert said he planned no changes in the offensive line related to Paris' return.

Paris reported to camp two days late on July 15, weighing 327 pounds. He was judged by 49ers coaches to be in no shape to practice and has been on a strict private conditioning regimen since.

When the team flew to Germany for its exhibition game with the Chicago Bears on July 28, Paris stayed in Rocklin, Calif., to work with conditioning coach Jerry Attaway.

* SAINTS: Wesley Carroll, New Orleans' top draft choice, signed a three-year contract, ending a 26-day holdout.

The signing of Carroll, 6-0, 183, leaves two Saints unsigned -- wide receiver Brett Perriman and cornerback Robert Massey.

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