Sports News

Peterson says he's got 5-year, $70 million dealExternal Link

PHOENIX (AP) Cornerback Patrick Peterson says he has reached agreement on a five-year, $70 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals, with $48 million guaranteed.

Peterson revealed the terms via twitter Tuesday night. The Cardinals announced the deal a short time later, but did not disclose the terms.

The agreement keeps Peterson under contract with Arizona through 2020.

Peterson has made the Pro Bowl in each of his three seasons in the NFL, first as a kick returner then the last two years at cornerback, after Arizona made him the No. 5 pick overall out of LSU in 2011.

He had two years left on his original contract after Arizona had picked up its fifth-year option earlier this year.

The personable, self-proclaimed best cornerback in the NFL probably wanted the world to know his deal exceeded those of cornerbacks Joe Haden of Cleveland and Richard Sherman of Seattle.

Haden signed a five-year, $68 million contract with $45 million guaranteed and Sherman got a four-year, $56 million deal with $40 million guaranteed.

Peterson is the first to reach agreement in the initial class of the players subjected to a fifth-year option on their contract. Under the latest collective bargaining agreement, players picked 1 through 10 have a fifth-year option on their contracts that clubs can exercise.

That group includes Cam Newton and J.J. Watt.

In fact, Peterson is the first of any 2011 first-round pick to reach an agreement on an extension. A news conference with Peterson was scheduled for Wednesday morning.

"Want to thank my family, friends and teammates, all of (hash)P2Nation and the best agent in the biz," Peterson said in another tweet.

Peterson has jousted with Sherman over who is the best cornerback in the NFL. Peterson laid his claim to the fact he plays all over the field, defending the opponent's best receiver. Sherman plays on one side.

Both were first-team All-Pro selections last season.

Peterson and Mike Woodson are the only players to make the Pro Bowl as a kick returner and cornerback. Peterson is one of seven players to make three Pro Bowls before his 24th birthday - which he celebrated July 11.

He has started all 48 games since coming to the NFL. In those three seasons, he had 12 interceptions, 162 tackles, a sack, 60 passes defensed and a fumble recovery.

Peterson returned four punts for touchdowns as a rookie, including a 99-yarder to beat St. Louis in overtime, but has not had any since. He said he has been told he won't return punts or play on offense, as he did some last year, and will concentrate only on playing cornerback.

"I think that's just going to take my game to another level now," he said at his locker on Monday , "because now I don't have to focus on the punt return, try to remember the offensive plays, or things like that. I can just hone in on playing defensive back and being the best player that I can be."

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Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL


MSNBC.com | Wed, 30 Jul 2014 05:56:00 +0000
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Report: Browns' Gordon hires lawyer, preps appealExternal Link

BEREA, Ohio (AP) Josh Gordon has a new, high-profile teammate to help him fight the NFL.

Facing an indefinite suspension for marijuana use, Cleveland's talented wide receiver has hired attorney Maurice Suh to represent him at his appeal hearing with the league this week, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. Suh, who helped Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman win an appeal for a suspension in 2012, will be with Gordon in New York on Friday, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks.

ESPN first reported Suh's hiring.

Gordon is facing an indefinite ban under the league's substance abuse policy. While he awaits his hearing, the Pro Bowler has been at training camp with the Browns. He has declined interview requests.

Suh helped Sherman win his appeal of a substance abuse violation on the grounds of a faulty test.

According to the person who spoke to the AP, Gordon will contend failed test results were caused by secondhand marijuana smoke. Gordon's attorney also is expected to point out that Gordon only tested positive once despite being tested over 70 times, and even then two samples taken did not match.

ESPN and profootballtalk.com were first to report Gordon's plans to clear his name.

Gordon, who failed at least three drug tests in college for marijuana, was suspended for two games last season for what he claimed was for a prescribed cough medicine. Despite the suspension, he still led the league in yards receiving and broke several team records. The 23-year-old reportedly checked into rehab following a recent DWI arrest in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Browns are eager to find out if they will have Gordon at all this season.

Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron said the uncertainty has weighed on Gordon as he waits to learn his fate.

"He's trying to be positive," Cameron said after Monday's practice. "It's one of those things, he doesn't know. It's up in the air right now. It's hard for him to have a say either way, so he's just grinding. He's out here every day and he's working hard and that's all you can ask of him."

If Gordon loses his appeal, he'll have to wait one year to apply to Commissioner Roger Goodell for reinstatement.

Gordon could be helped by the public outcry over the league's handling of Baltimore running back Ray Rice's case. Rice was suspended two games by Goodell for violating the league's personal conduct policy. Rice was arrested following a Feb. 15 altercation in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in which he allegedly struck then-fiancee Janay Palmer.


MSNBC.com | Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:10:00 +0000
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NBPA votes Roberts as first female exec directorExternal Link

Michele Roberts has watched basketball for as long as she can remember. It was an easy choice growing up in a home with one TV and two older brothers.

When she saw an interview last year with an NBA player and noticed how passionately he talked about trying to improve his embattled union, she wanted to be more than a fan. She wanted to be involved.

That got her started toward becoming the first woman to lead a North American pro sports union.

Roberts was elected early Tuesday morning as executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, and the Washington trial lawyer is eager to provide the leadership it needs after a few difficult years.

"They were looking for, not a man, not a woman, they were looking for a personality," Roberts said in a phone interview. "I think I'm that personality and I intend to be what I have been in my entire practice, singularly devoted to this union. And that's what they were looking for.

"Someone, whether it be a boy or a girl, who understood that this was their union, and they intended to run it, and they were looking for someone who appreciated that and was not going to deviate from that."

Roberts received 32 of 36 votes at a meeting of players in Las Vegas, defeating tech industry CEO Dean Garfield and Dallas Mavericks CEO Terdema Ussery in the final vote.

It capped a long and arduous process to replace Billy Hunter, who was ousted in February 2013. Roberts was one of the finalists initially offered to the rank-and-file during All-Star weekend in February, but the process was re-opened under another search committee at the urging of some players and agents.

More than 100 players reconvened in Las Vegas this week, and after some tense moments leading up to the vote, Roberts emerged as the winner.

"Obviously I would've preferred that it happen sooner rather than later, but I completely understood when there were questions raised about the process," Roberts said. "Frankly, I would not have wanted them to ignore those questions and not affirmatively address those concerns. I wanted the job in February, but I wanted the job where there would be no questions about the fairness or the process, so I completely endorsed the executive committee to address these questions, and they did and now best I can tell they're very pleased."

The players considered more than 300 candidates during their 17-month search before picking Roberts, who has been called the finest trial lawyer in Washington by "Washingtonian Magazine." She said her new job will feature straight, honest talk, just like she delivers to a jury, and strategizing, things that have made her such a successful lawyer.

The search to replace Hunter, who led the NBPA from 1996 until a review of the union was critical of his business practices, leaves players with less than two years to prepare for the next potential collective bargaining talks. Either the union or the league can opt out of the current agreement in 2017.

The union has struggled for years with in-fighting and a lack of organization, and the players took a significant cut in their guarantee of basketball-related income - 57 percent to about 50 percent, a drop of hundreds of millions annually in salary costs - in the contentious lockout in 2011. League revenues are on the rise, a new TV contract is set to be negotiated in 2016 and franchise valuations are skyrocketing.

"As far as I'm concerned, preparations for CBA negotiations started yesterday," Roberts said. "It's at the top of my list of things that I've been instructed to begin the process of preparing for, and sure it's a lot to do, but I've never been shy about hard work and long hours, so we'll get it done. We'll be ready."

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver congratulated Roberts in a statement, saying he looked forward to working with her "to ensure the continued health and growth of our game."

"The partnership between our players and teams is the backbone of the league, and we are eager to continue working with the Players Association to build this relationship," Silver said.

The fallout from the lockout and the Hunter ouster left the union reeling. But it also made Roberts want to get involved, which will bring the New York native back home.

"The more I thought about it," she said, "the more I thought that would be a great opportunity to do something really important."


MSNBC.com | Wed, 30 Jul 2014 01:34:00 +0000
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Police: Abraham asleep at wheel during DUI arrestExternal Link

ATLANTA (AP) Authorities say Arizona Cardinals linebacker John Abraham was arrested on a drunken driving charge a month ago in the Atlanta area.

Abraham has been absent from the team's training camp since Friday.

DeKalb County Jail records show that the 36-year-old was taken into custody June 29 and released the same day.

Abraham was driving a black, 2013 Dodge Challenger that had stopped in the center southbound lane of a suburban Atlanta road the afternoon of June 29, Brookhaven, Georgia police said in an incident report. Abraham smelled of alcohol and failed voluntary sobriety tests - including reciting a portion of the alphabet. Police said Abraham remained asleep for several minutes after police arrived, despite an officer shouting and pounding on his doors and windows.

After Abraham woke up, he told investigators he was coming from the Pink Pony - a local strip club - and the person who was supposed to pick him up hadn't arrived, police said in the report.

The records show Abraham was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, as well as stopping, standing or parking in a prohibited place.

Records from the jail do not indicate whether the case had been resolved as of Tuesday, nor do they list an attorney for Abraham.

The Cardinals have said only that Abraham has been absent from camp for personal reasons.

This is not the first brush with the law for Abraham, who has also played for the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets.

In 2012, he was arrested on an obstruction charge in Atlanta after he repeatedly refused to leave an area taped off by firefighters and police. A police report said he appeared intoxicated, smelled of alcohol, was unsteady on his feet and slurred his speech. It was not immediately clear whether that case had been resolved.

And in 2003, Abraham pleaded guilty to driving while impaired in New York after he drove his SUV into a fire hydrant and light pole. Police had said his blood alcohol content measured more than three times the legal limit.


MSNBC.com | Tue, 29 Jul 2014 23:06:00 +0000
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Vin Scully to return for 66th season in LA in 2015External Link

LOS ANGELES (AP) Vin Scully is staying in the booth for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 86-year-old Hall of Fame announcer will return for his record 66th season with the team in 2015. The announcement was made by in Korean, Spanish and English by players Hyun-Jin Ryu, Yasiel Puig and Justin Turner on the Dodger Stadium video board in the second inning of Tuesday night's game against Atlanta.

The news was greeted with loud cheers and a prolonged standing ovation for Scully, who stood and waved to fans from his booth, where he hugged his wife, Sandi.

A decision about Scully's future has become an annual rite of passage in recent years as he evaluates his health and his family's wishes in considering whether he wants to continue.

"God willing, I will be back next year," he said in a statement released by the team. "Naturally there will come a time when I have to say goodbye, but I've soul-searched and this is not the time."

Scully's consecutive years of service make him the longest-tenured broadcaster with one team in sports history. He calls all nine innings of the team's home games and road games in California and Arizona for the Dodgers' new television home on SportsNet LA, while the first three innings of his games are simulcast on the radio.

Scully and the Dodgers have been invisible to 70 percent of Los Angeles television viewers so far this season. Only customers of Time Warner Cable Inc. and a couple of its partners have been able to watch the team's games. Subscribers of major providers such as DirecTV, Dish Network, Verizon and AT&T have been shut out.

"I'm obviously not alone in saying that I'm overjoyed Vin will be coming back to the booth in 2015," team president and CEO Stan Kasten said. "Our fans deserve the very best and Vin's voice, knowledge, experience and passion for broadcasting Dodger baseball are second to none."

Scully began his professional broadcasting career in 1950 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He has called three perfect games, 25 World Series and 12 All-Star games. He was behind the microphone for Kirk Gibson's Game 1 homer in the 1988 World Series, Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series, Hank Aaron's record-setting 715th home run and Sandy Koufax's four no-hitters, including a perfect game.

At 25, he became the youngest person to ever broadcast a World Series game. In 1955, he called the Dodgers' first and only World Series championship in Brooklyn, and later called their five other World Series victories.


MSNBC.com | Wed, 30 Jul 2014 03:49:00 +0000
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