Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU defensive tackle Ego Ferguson (9) wears a big smile heading off the field to the locker room, after LSU won 59-26 over Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss. LSU running back Jeremy Hill (33), safety Micah Eugene (34) and quarterback Anthony Jennings (10) are behind him.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The Chicago Bears agreed to a four-year contract with second-round pick Ego Ferguson.

The Bears have been moving quickly to wrap up their picks, with six of eight having already agreed to deals.

The 6-foot-3, 315-pound Ferguson had 58 tackles in his lone season as a starter last year at LSU and is considered raw after leaving school a year early.

In addition to Ferguson, the Bears announced they agreed to four-year deals with fourth-round pick Ka’Deem Carey (running back, Arizona), sixth-rounder Patrick O’Donnell (punter, Miami) and seventh-rounder Charles Leno Jr. (tackle, Boise State).


SAM CONFIDENT IN FIRST PRESS MEETING: Michael Sam seems ready for all the attention.

The first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team was confident and engaged as he was formally introduced by the St. Louis Rams, handling questions and scrutiny with aplomb well beyond that of a typical seventh-round pick.

“I’m determined to be great,” Sam said.

Sam put his arm around coach Jeff Fisher after sharing the podium with other late-round picks, joked that he’d never heard the term “tweener” and even rose in his chair in mock intimidation of fellow Missouri draftee E.J. Gaines, who had been asked what the SEC co-defensive player of the year was like as a teammate.

Sam considers himself proof that sexuality need not be a factor in the locker room.

“It’s OK to be who you are,” Sam said. “It’s OK to be comfortable in your own skin.”

The appearance of perhaps the famous seventh-round pick in NFL history attracted a massive throng. A half-dozen TV trucks lined a crammed parking lot at Rams Park — an hour before the team’s two first-round picks were due at the podium.


HARDY ARRESTED ON ASSAULT CHARGES: Panthers Pro Bowl defensive end Greg Hardy was to spend Tuesday night in jail after being arrested on misdemeanor charges of assault on a female and communicating threats.

Mecklenburg (North Carolina) County Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman Julia Rush said Hardy will spend the night in county jail and will have a court appearance Wednesday morning in Charlotte.

Hardy turned himself in Tuesday and was transferred to the custody of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, where he was booked. He appeared before the magistrate where he was not issued bond.

It is normal procedure for suspects in domestic violence cases to be denied bond as part of a 24-hour cooling off period.

Around the league

The Browns aren’t letting lockdown cornerback Joe Haden get away. Haden signed a five-year, $68 million extension with Cleveland, the total value of the contract surpassing cornerback Richard Sherman’s four-year, $57 million agreement last week with the Seahawks. Haden’s contract runs through the 2019 season and includes $45 million guaranteed, agent Drew Rosenhaus said. ... The Jaguars took another step toward parting with suspended receiver Justin Blackmon: They removed Blackmon’s name plate from his locker, the latest indication that he has no future with the franchise.