NFL

CINCINNATI — The Bengals signed linebacker Kevin Minter to a 1-year deal on Monday, filling the opening from Karlos Dansby's departure for Arizona as a free agent.

Minter is entering his fifth season. He was Arizona's second-round pick in 2-13 and has played in 61 consecutive games. He had a career-high 3½ sacks last season.

Minter joins a linebacker group that features Vontaze Burfict and Rey Maualuga.





CLEVELAND — The Browns signed free agent kicker Brett Maher to compete with Cody Parkey for the starting job.

Maher spent the past three seasons in the Canadian Football League, where he connected on 41 of 50 field-goal tries and scored 161 points for Winnipeg, Ottawa and Hamilton.

The 27-year-old signed with the New York Jets after playing at Nebraska. He also spent time with the Dallas Cowboys, but has not appeared in an NFL game.

In his first season with Cleveland, Parkey made 20 of 25 field goals, 20 of 21 extra points and scored 80 points for the 1-15 Browns.

Parkey signed with Cleveland last year after kicker Patrick Murray suffered a left knee injury two days before a Sept. 25 game against Miami. Rushed into service, Parkey missed three field goals, including a 46-yarder on the final play of regulation that would have given the Browns the win. They lost in overtime.

NBA

CLEVELAND — LeBron James has teamed up on a special sneaker for special athletes.

The Cavaliers star and Nike have unveiled a new shoe designed for disabled athletes that can be slipped on and off more easily. The LeBron Soldier 10 FlyEase is modeled after the signature shoe worn by James, but it has no laces and can be secured with Velcro straps and zippers.

"It's about us empowering every kid and everybody to understand we are all athletes," James said.

The project is near and dear to James, a father of three. He hosted kids from the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation last week at the team's facility and presented them with new pairs of the stylish, slip-on sneakers.

"Sports should never be taken away from a kid," the 3-time NBA champion said. "It creates fun. It creates laughter. It creates brotherhood or sisterhood. To be able to have shoes that are easy to get on and off gives kids another opportunity to live out their dreams."

Longtime Nike designer Tobie Hatfield said the new model is designed to eliminate the struggle for some kids to simply get the shoe on their foot.

"One of the key learnings we've had in crafting accessible footwear is the importance of easy entry and exit of the shoe, not just simplifying its fastening system," Hatfield said. "Eliminating the intricate hand movement of lace tying is important, but if the athlete cannot get their foot into the shoe, lacing becomes a moot point."