=== News Summaries from The Sports Network - Tuesday, March 11th ===
=== Bears terminate contract of DE Peppers ===
Lake Forest, IL (Sports Network) - Julius Peppers' tenure with the Chicago
Bears has come to a close.
On Tuesday, the franchise alerted the veteran defensive end that his contract
has been terminated, bringing an end to his four-year stint.
"We appreciate Julius' contributions to the Bears over the last four years,"
Bears GM Phil Emery said. "He was a leader on our defense starting every game
since coming to Chicago. His accomplishments over his NFL career place him
among the best defensive ends over the past 20 years. The Chicagoland
community has benefited greatly from his quiet generosity. We wish him the
Peppers appeared in and started all 64 games for Chicago, since the club
snagged him from the Carolina Panthers at the outset of free agency in March
In that time, the North Carolina product compiled 175 tackles, 37 1/2 sacks
and three interceptions.
Over his 12-year NFL career, Peppers can claim 556 tackles, 118 1/2 sacks, 39
forced fumbles and nine picks (two for TDs).
=== Colts re-sign Vinatieri ===
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - The Indianapolis Colts re-signed kicker
Adam Vinatieri on Tuesday.
According to various reports, including the Indianapolis Star, the deal is for
Vinatieri connected on 35-of-40 field goal attempts and all 34 PATs last
season. Over his eight years with the Colts, the 41-year-old has hit 185-
of-219 field goal tries, going 12-of-21 from 50-plus yards, and 99 percent of
his PATs, hitting all 146 he has attempted in his last four seasons.
During his 18-year career, which also included 10 years with the New England
Patriots, Vinatieri has converted 83 percent of his field goal attempts and
98.5 percent of his PATs.
=== Colts re-sign CB Davis, RB Bradshaw ===
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - The Indianapolis Colts re-signed
cornerback Vontae Davis and running back Ahmad Bradshaw on Tuesday.
The Colts acquired Davis from the Miami Dolphins in August 2012. He started
all 16 games for the Colts in 2013, recording 48 tackles, a career-high 13
passes defensed and one interception.
Davis, the 25th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, has 243 tackles, 52 passes
defensed and 13 interceptions over 70 games with the Dolphins and Colts.
Bradshaw joined the Colts in 2013 after spending six seasons with the New York
Giants, who selected him with in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft, but
appeared in just three games after suffering a neck injury.
Over seven seasons with the Giants and Colts, Bradshaw has racked up 4,418
yards and 34 touchdowns on 962 carries.
=== Vikings add bulk to DL with Joseph ===
Eden Prairie, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Vikings continued to
remake their defensive line on Tuesday by signing veteran defensive tackle
The 25-year-old Joseph was coming off the final year of his rookie deal with
the New York Giants after being drafted by the team in the second round (46th
overall) of the 2010 draft. He inked a five-year, $31.5 million deal with
Minnesota, according to multiple media sources.
The 6-foot-4, 330-pound run-stuffer is expected to plug the team's need at
nose tackle next to second-year three-technique Sharrif Floyd.
Joseph appeared in 46 of 48 games for the Giants in the last three seasons.
Earlier in the day the Vikings also re-signed defensive end Everson Griffen
and quarterback Matt Cassel.
Griffen was selected by the Vikings in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft
and has 17 1/2 sacks in 59 games. He notched a career-best eight sacks in
2012, then last year added 5 1/2 sacks.
Cassel signed with the Vikings last March to be a backup for Christian Ponder,
but wound up as the starter by Week 4 when Ponder was hurt. The Vikings also
signed Josh Freeman last October and all three wound up starting games for the
club that finished 5-10-1.
Overall, Cassel started six games, including the last four, and played a total
of nine for the Vikings in 2013. He completed 60.2 percent of his passes for
1,807 yards with 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
The 31-year-old veteran will likely be the starter heading into training camp.
He spent four seasons with New England and four years with Kansas City before
joining the Vikings.
Cassel completed 57.4 percent of his passes for 9,549 yards with 59 touchdowns
and 44 interceptions during his four seasons in Kansas City. His 2010 campaign
included 3,116 yards with 27 touchdowns and just seven picks, helping the
Chiefs to a surprising AFC West title.
The Vikings also formally announced the re-signing of linebacker Larry Dean,
who agreed to a new deal on Monday. Dean, who joined the Vikings in 2011 as an
undrafted free agent, set a career-high with 18 special teams tackles in 2013.
=== Falcons deals include extension for Babineaux ===
Flowery Branch, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Falcons and defensive
tackle Jonathan Babineaux agreed to a three-year contract extension on Tuesday
amid a flurry of moves as the NFL's free agency period opened.
The Falcons released 2012 Pro Bowl safety Thomas DeCoud and agreed to terms on
a two-year contract extension with center Joe Hawley.
They also signed guard Jon Asamoah and Tyson Jackson, both former Chiefs, and
former Dolphins defensive tackle Paul Soliai.
And in an expected move, the team released retired tight end Tony Gonzalez,
who is transitioning to a career in television as an analyst on CBS.
Babineaux, set to become an unrestricted free agent, has spent his entire
nine-year career with the Falcons. He has appeared in 138 games with 108
starts and has compiled 370 tackles with 23 1/2 sacks, three interceptions and
10 fumble recoveries.
The 32-year-old was selected by the Falcons in the second round of the 2005
NFL Draft. He notched 49 tackles with one sack in 2013.
Asamoah, a former third-round pick out of Illinois, appeared in 60 games with
41 starts at right guard over four seasons in Kansas City.
Jackson, meanwhile, was originally selected by the Chiefs in the first round
(third overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft out of LSU. He appeared in 74 games with
55 starts and tallied 190 tackles (138 solo), nine sacks, 12 passes defensed,
along with 21 quarterback pressures in his five-year Kansas City career.
Soliai, 6-foot-4, 345-pound run-stuffer, played seven seasons with the
Dolphins, appearing in 99 games with 62 starts while totaling 160 tackles with
4 1/2 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and 12 passes
"We are pleased to add Paul, Tyson and Jon to our roster," Falcons coach Mike
Smith said. "Paul has played for (defensive coordinator Mike) Nolan in Miami
and is familiar with our scheme, and Tyson is a good football player that will
fit with what we want to do defensively as well. Jon is a physical,
experienced offensive lineman that will add a veteran presence to our
DeCoud played in 89 games for the Falcons and totaled 544 tackles, 14
interceptions, three sacks, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and
27 passes defensed.
=== Redskins re-sign WR Moss to one-year deal ===
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Redskins have re-signed wide receiver
Santana Moss to a one-year deal, according to multiple reports Tuesday.
Moss, who will turn 35 in June, had 42 catches for 452 yards and two
touchdowns last season, his ninth for the Redskins.
The 13-year NFL veteran hasn't had more than 46 catches since grabbing a
career-high 93 in 2010.
Moss has 722 receptions for 10,167 yards and 66 touchdowns in 187 career games
for the Jets and Redskins.
=== Bills release QB Kolb ===
Orchard Park, NY (Sports Network) - The Buffalo Bills have released
quarterback Kevin Kolb, as expected.
Kolb, signed as a free agent last April 8, suffered a concussion during the
preseason and didn't play a down for the Bills in the regular season.
The Bills said Tuesday that Kolb, who also missed games in the 2010 and 2011
seasons with separate concussions, failed a physical.
The 29-year-old last played in 2012 for Arizona. In the two seasons after he
was traded to the Cardinals from Philadelphia, Kolb appeared in 15 games with
He has passed for 5,206 yards and 28 touchdowns with 25 interceptions in 34
NFL games, including 21 starts.
=== Niners ink K Dawson to two-year deal ===
Santa Clara, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The San Francisco 49ers have signed
kicker Phil Dawson to a two-year deal.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Dawson, 38, joined the 49ers as a free agent in 2013 after spending the
previous 14 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Last season, Dawson made 32
field goals and finished with 140 points scored -- both second most in 49ers'
Dawson's 84.5 career field goal percentage ranks eighth in NFL history.
=== Jets re-sign K Folk ===
Florham Park, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Jets re-signed kicker Nick
Folk to a multi-year contract on Tuesday.
The team had placed the franchise tag on the 29-year-old kicker at the end of
He set a franchise record by converting 23 straight field goal tries to
begin a season in 2013 and finished with a career-high 33 in 36 attempts.
Over his four seasons with the Jets, Folk has connected on 103-of-127 field
goal tries and all 138 extra-point attempts.
He spent his first three seasons in Dallas, which drafted him in the sixth
round of the 2007 draft, before being waived towards the end of the 2009
=== Ravens re-sign OT Monroe ===
Owings Mills, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - The Baltimore Ravens have signed left
tackle Eugene Monroe to a multi-year deal.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the pact is reportedly worth up to
$37.5 million over five years.
Monroe, who was selected with the eighth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by
Jacksonville, was traded to Baltimore on Oct. 1, 2013 for a fourth and fifth
round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He started 15 games -- four with
Jacksonville, 11 with Baltimore -- last season.
Monroe was considered one of the most sought-after tackles in this year's free
=== Bell re-signs with Lions ===
Allen Park, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Lions re-signed running back
Joique Bell on Tuesday.
According to the team's website, the deal is for three years and $9.3 million.
Bell played in 16 games with the Lions last season, recording 650 yards and
eight touchdowns rushing while posting 547 yards on 53 receptions.
Bell is a four-year veteran who has also been with the Colts, Eagles and
Saints. However, he didn't see any regular playing time until 2012 with the
In his first season of regular work two years ago, Bell rushed for 414 yards
and three scores, and had 52 catches for 485 yards.
=== Browns make splash, sign Whitner, Dansby ===
Berea, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - The Cleveland Browns began remaking the
franchise under new general manager Ray Farmer on Tuesday, crafting a pair of
high-profile deals on the first day of free agency by agreeing to terms with
veteran safety and Cleveland native Donte Whitner, as well as linebacker
Whitner, a two-time former Pro Bowl selection, agreed to a four-year deal
worth $28 million, according to NFL.com.
The hard-hitting Ohio State product started all but one game for the 49ers
over the past three seasons and will be replacing T.J. Ward, who left
Cleveland to sign with the Denver Broncos.
Dansby, meanwhile, agreed to a four-year, $24 million deal that includes $14
million guaranteed, according to multiple media sources.
The ex-Cardinals linebacker, who will turn 33 in November , had a big year in
2013, finishing with 122 tackles, 6 1/2 sacks and four interceptions.
=== Bengals keep Brandon Tate ===
Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - The Cincinnati Bengals have re-signed
wide receiver/kick returner Brandon Tate.
Terms were not disclosed.
Tate averaged 26.1 yards on 35 kickoff returns last season, while also
averaging 9.3 yards on 36 punt returns.
The 26-year-old North Carolina product has spent the past three seasons with
the Bengals after playing his first two years with New England.
Tate has 38 career receptions, just one last year, for 649 yards in 66 NFL
games. He has also averaged 25.1 yards on 154 kickoff returns and 9.8 yards on
109 punt returns.
=== Cardinals re-sign Feely, Ballard, Rucker ===
Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - The Arizona Cardinals have re-signed kicker
Jay Feely, tight end Jake Ballard and defensive end Frostee Rucker.
The team announced the deals Tuesday as the NFL's free agency window opened.
But linebacker Karlos Dansby, who played last season for the Cardinals, was
reportedly signed by the Cleveland Browns.
Feely had already confirmed reports of his one-year deal Monday on Twitter.
"Happy to announce I am signed back with the @AZCardinals," Feely tweeted. "I
never wanted to play with different teammates or for another organization."
The 37-year-old will be entering his 14th NFL season and fifth in Arizona. He
had 127 points this past season, the third-highest total of his career, going
30-of-36 on field goal attempts and making all 37 of his point-after tries.
Among active kickers, Feely ranks fifth overall with 329 field goals made in
398 attempts, an 82.7 percent success rate.
Ballard, 26, had seven catches for 75 yards and two touchdowns in eight games
last season and was signed to a one-year deal. Rucker, who appeared in all 16
games with 11 tackles last season, signed a two-year deal.
=== Redskins re-sign LB Riley ===
Loudoun County, VA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Redskins have re-
signed linebacker Perry Riley.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but according to the Washington, DC, NBC
affiliate, the deal is for three years and $13 million. NFL.com is reporting
that the deal is for $4 million per season.
In 16 starts with the Redskins last season, Riley had three sacks, one
interception and 115 total tackles.
In four seasons with Washington, the LSU product has 319 tackles and 7 1/2
sacks. He has started every game since taking over the starter's role in Week
10 of the 2011 season.
=== Steelers release Woodley ===
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Steelers released linebacker LaMarr
Woodley on Tuesday.
Woodley, who signed a six-year, $61.5 million contract with the Steelers
before the 2011 season, played in 11 games last season, recording 36 tackles
and five sacks.
Woodley started 81-of-94 games played during the regular season as well as
seven-of-eight postseason contests in his seven years with Pittsburgh. He was
originally selected by the Steelers in the second round (46th overall) of the
2007 NFL Draft out of Michigan.
During the regular season, Woodley recorded 355 tackles, five interceptions,
nine forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries and 57 sacks, which rank seventh
in team history.
He reached 50 career sacks in just 73 games played, 22 games faster than any
Pittsburgh defender, since sacks became an official statistic in 1982. Woodley
registered 36 tackles, 11 sacks, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries
in the postseason.
=== Bucs strike early, sign DL Johnson, McDonald ===
Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - New Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith
made news over the weekend by telling the Tampa Tribune that the roster he
inherited didn't necessarily mesh with his system.
The franchise began rectifying that on the first day of free agency by signing
two high-profile defensive lineman, former Bengals star defensive end Michael
Johnson, and ex-Seahawks defensive tackle Clinton McDonald.
Johnson, one of the crown jewels on this year's market, signed a five-year
deal worth $43 million, with $23 million of that guaranteed, according to
multiple media sources.
A former 2009 third-round selection out of Georgia Tech, Johnson helped anchor
one of the NFL's best defensive fronts in Cincinnati but struggled reaching
the passer in 2013, amassing just 3 1/2 sacks compared to 11 1/2 the year
prior. He is, however, regarded as one of the most complete defensive ends in
McDonald, meanwhile, agreed to a four-year, $12 million deal to leave the
reigning Super Bowl champions after accumulating 5 1/2 sacks last season as
a part-time player.
The Buccaneers also reached an agreement with former Giants tight end Brandon
Myers on a two-year contract worth $4 million. Myers, who will turn 29 in
September, caught 47 passes for 522 yards and four touchdowns during his lone
season in North Jersey, a year after hauling in 79 passes for the Raiders in
Perhaps the biggest news surrounding the Bucs, however, remained the status of
former All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis, who is believed to be on the trading
block. The Bucs are expected to release Revis, who is scheduled to make $16
million in 2014, if they can not work out a deal.
Tampa Bay also released veteran kicker Lawrence Tynes, who missed all of last
season with a MRSA infection.
=== Texans release Daniels, McCain ===
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Texans released tight end Owen
Daniels and cornerback Brice McCain on Tuesday
The moves will save the Texans $5.4 million under the salary cap, according to
the Houston Chronicle.
Daniels played in five games in 2013 before fracturing his fibula, ending the
campaign with 24 catches for 252 yards and three touchdowns. In eight seasons,
all with Houston, Daniels had 385 catches for 4,617 yards and 29 touchdowns.
McCain appeared in 16 games last season, recording 32 tackles and one
interception. In five seasons with the Texans, he had 124 tackles, five
interceptions and one touchdown.
=== Jaguars release Forsett ===
Jacksonville, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Jacksonville Jaguars released
running back Justin Forsett on Tuesday.
Forsett played in just nine games in 2013 for the Jags, posting 41 yards on
six carries and 15 catches for 82 yards. It was his only season with the team.
"Thank You Jacksonville for all the love & support!! It was a pleasure being
able to play back in my home state!! #Blessed," Forsett tweeted on Tuesday
In six NFL seasons, Forsett has 1,692 yards and eight touchdowns on the
ground, while recording 115 receptions for 850 yards and a touchdown with
Indianapolis, Seattle, Houston and Jacksonville.
=== Jaguars trade Gabbert to 49ers, re-sign Blackmon ===
Jacksonville, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Jacksonville Jaguars traded
quarterback Blaine Gabbert to San Francisco on Tuesday for a sixth-round draft
pick and re-signed cornerback Will Blackmon.
The Jaguars selected Gabbert with the 10th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft
out of Missouri. He opened the past two seasons as the starting quarterback
but played in just three games this past season after suffering a thumb/hand
Gabbert returned in Week 8 to serve as Chad Henne's backup for the rest
of the season.
Over 28 career games -- 27 starts -- Gabbert has completed 414-of-777 passes
for 4,357 yards 22 touchdowns and 24 interceptions.
Jacksonville is expected to select a quarterback in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Blackmon had 40 tackles, one sack and one interception in 15 games in his
first season for the Jaguars, including eight starts. He has 89 tackles in
seven NFL seasons with the Packers, Giants and Jags.
=== Broncos re-sign WR Caldwell ===
Englewood, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - The Denver Broncos re-signed wide receiver
Andre Caldwell Tuesday, as the two sides agreed to a two-year deal.
Caldwell appeared in all 16 games, starting twice, last season. He hauled in
16 passes for 200 yards with three touchdowns.
"Blessed to continue my career with the BRONCOS #unfinshedbusiness," Caldwell
tweeted on Tuesday.
In six seasons in the NFL, Caldwell has 141 receptions for 1,390 yards and
nine touchdowns. He played his first four seasons with the Bengals before
coming to the Broncos for the last two years.
=== Seahawks re-sign McCoy ===
Renton, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Seattle Seahawks re-signed tight end
Anthony McCoy on Tuesday.
McCoy missed the entire 2013 season after suffering a torn Achilles' tendon
prior to the start of the campaign.
In 2012, McCoy had 18 catches for 291 yards and three touchdowns as a reserve.
For his career, McCoy, who was a sixth-round selection of the Seahawks in the
2010 Draft out of USC, has 31 receptions for 437 yards and three scores.
=== Eagles sign S Jenkins, release S Chung ===
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Eagles have signed
safety Malcolm Jenkins on Tuesday.
Jenkins was the 14th overall pick of the 2009 draft by New Orleans, and over
five seasons with the club he totaled 358 tackles, six interceptions, and six
Last year, he played in 14 games and had 68 tackles, six passes defensed, two
interceptions and two forced fumbles.
Also on Tuesday, Philadelphia re-signed punter Donnie Jones and released
safety Patrick Chung.
In his first season with the Eagles, Jones, 33, set franchise records with a
40.5 net punting average and 33 punts downed inside the 20-yard line. He was
named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for back-to-back games.
Chung, 26, appeared in 12 games in his only season with the Eagles after four
in New England. He started 10 games and had 59 tackles.
=== Bills re-sign Carpenter ===
Orchard Park, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The Buffalo Bills re-signed kicker Dan
Carpenter on Tuesday.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Carpenter matched a Bills record for field goals made in a season with 33 in
2013 and established a personal best 131 points - third most by a Bill in a
season. He converted 33-of-36 field goal attempts and each of his 32 extra
point tries to rank sixth in the AFC with 131 points on the year.
The 6-2, 228-pound Montana product joined the Bills as a free agent on
September 3, 2013. He spent his first five years in the NFL with Miami after
signing with the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent in 2008.
Carpenter has converted 160-of-191 field goals (83.8-percent) in his career,
along with 186-of-187 point after tries for 666 points in 92 games played. His
160 field goals made since 2008 are fourth-most among NFL kickers.
The Bills also re-signed tight end Mike Caussin on Tuesday.
The James Madison product entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with
Jacksonville in 2010 before signing with Buffalo on December 2, 2010. He has
five catches for 41 yards in six games with two starts.
=== Colts sign DE Jones ===
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - The Indianapolis Colts agreed to terms
on an undisclosed contract with defensive end Arthur Jones on Tuesday.
In 2013, Jones started a career-high 13 games and registered a career-high 53
tackles (27 solo) and four sacks.
"We are happy to announce we have agreed to terms with defensive lineman
Arthur Jones," said Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson. "He is an outstanding
producer down after down versus the run and pass. He's a guy who plays at a
championship level week after week and lays it on the line every time he steps
out on the field. He is a great fit for our team."
Jones has recorded 118 tackles (66 solo), 8.5 sacks and one forced fumble in
46 career games for the Baltimore Ravens over the past four seasons.
=== Dolphins' Ross to pay for stadium upgrade plan ===
Davie, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has decided
to pay for upgrades to Sun Life Stadium with private funds in order to attract
the Super Bowl and other high-profile events.
However, in return he is reportedly asking the state for tax breaks. The Miami
Herald said Ross wants to stop paying property taxes.
A plan for taxpayer support for stadium improvements was rejected by Florida
voters last May and the Dolphins lost on bids later that month for the Super
Bowl in both February 2016 and 2017.
Ross has come up with a new plan, which he says will create more than 4,000
"I have made clear I want the stadium modernized because it's right for our
fans and it's right for Miami-Dade and South Florida," said Ross in a
statement Tuesday. "I have decided the best way to get this done is to pay for
the project with private funds. All we ask in return is that we are treated
the same as all franchises in the state of Florida. A world-class city needs a
"We haven't won a Super Bowl bid in Miami-Dade in far too long, and we know
that with the stadium as an issue, we never will unless it is modernized."
Miami has hosted the Super Bowl 10 times, the last coming after the 2009
season when New Orleans beat Indianapolis.
"We can bring back the Super Bowl, the College Football Playoff Championship
and world-class soccer matches -- and all the revenue those big events
generate for the local community," Ross added. "I am going to make the
commitment and provide the resources because Miami deserves the economic
benefits of a modernized stadium."
The next Super Bowl up for bid is in February 2018.
=== Saints sign S Byrd to six-year deal ===
Metairie, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - The New Orleans Saints have agreed to
terms on a six-year contract with safety Jairus Byrd.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Byrd, one of the most highly sought after players in the 2014 free agent
class, was selected with the 42nd overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft by
Buffalo, where he spent the first five seasons of his career.
The three-time Pro Bowler missed the first five games of the 2013 season with
an injured foot. He appeared in the final 11 games of the season, totaling 48
tackles, four interceptions and one forced fumble.
"We had hoped for the opportunity to pursue Jairus Byrd," said Saints general
manager Mickey Loomis. "After meeting with him, we are excited that he will
become a member of the New Orleans Saints. We think that his play-making
abilities will be an excellent fit with what we are trying to accomplish with
our defense and in our secondary."
Over 73 career games, Byrd has 356 tackles and 22 interceptions, nine of which
came in his 2009 rookie campaign.
=== Bengals release Kyle Cook ===
Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - The Cincinnati Bengals released center
Kyle Cook on Tuesday.
The Michigan State product spent all seven seasons with the Bengals, appearing
in 73 games.
The 30-year-old was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2008.
=== Cowboys part ways with Ware ===
Irving, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Cowboys decided to part ways
with the franchise's all-time sacks leader on Tuesday, releasing linebacker
DeMarcus Ware after nine seasons.
Ware has totaled 117 sacks since 2005, when Dallas selected him in the first
round (11th overall) of that year's draft.
"A decision like this, involving a man who is a cornerstone player in the
history of your franchise, is extremely difficult," said Cowboys owner/general
manager Jerry Jones in a statement shortly after the club decided to release
the seven-time Pro-Bowler.
Ware's cap hit for the 2014 season, even with a restructured contract, was to
be $16 million. The move saves the club $7 million on the cap for next year.
Ware compiled 58 tackles and eight sacks while participating in 13 games for
the Cowboys in 2013 -- the first time in his career he failed to see action in
every contest during a given season. A strained quad suffered in October cost
the Troy product three games mid-season.
The 31-year-old native of Alabama departs the Metroplex having racked up 547
tackles and two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) in addition to
the overall club record for taking down the quarterback. Ware set a single-
season sacks record with 20 in 2008.
=== Rams release CB Finnegan ===
St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - The St. Louis Rams made it official on
Tuesday, releasing veteran cornerback Cortland Finnegan.
According to a report in the Post-Dispatch last Wednesday, both head coach
Jeff Fisher and team executive VP Kevin Demoff contacted Finnegan and told
him that the move would be made.
The paper also revealed that releasing the former Tennessee Titan will save
the Rams $4 million in cap money for the upcoming season. Finnegan was
due $6 million in base salary plus a $3 million signing bonus due by March
13, and would have counted $10 million against the salary cap, the paper
The Samford product, who signed a deal with St. Louis for five years at
approximately $50 million in March of 2012, recorded only 27 tackles and one
interception in seven games (five starts) last year. He picked up 101 tackles,
three picks and one sack in 16 games two seasons ago in his first campaign
with the Rams.
=== Bears agree to 5-year deal with Houston ===
Lake Forest, IL (SportsNetwork.com)- The Chicago Bears made several moves in
free agency on Tuesday, including agreeing to a five-year contract with
defensive end Lamarr Houston.
Houston spent his entire four-year career with the Oakland Raiders, who
snagged him out of Texas in the second round of the 2010 draft. He recorded
228 tackle and 16 sacks with one interception over 64 games (60 starts) for
the East Bay franchise.
In 2013, Houston totaled 69 tackles and six sacks while starting in all 16
In addition, the Bears agreed to a one-year contract with linebacker Jordan
Senn, agreed to terms on a two-year deal with safety Ryan Mundy and re-signed
linebacker D.J. Williams to a one-year pact.
Senn, a seven-year veteran out of Portland State, spent the last four-plus
seasons with Carolina. He totaled just seven tackles in 14 games for the
Panthers in 2013. The 29-year-old was signed by the Indianapolis Colts prior
to the start of the 2008 campaign.
Williams was credited with 27 tackles and two sacks in only six games for
Chicago last season, his first with the team.
A former first-round (17th overall) pick of the Broncos in 2004, the Miami-
Florida product has competed in 133 NFL games and picked up 851 tackles, 22
1/2 sacks and two picks for Denver and Chicago.
Mundy is a five-year veteran, who has picked up 207 tackles, two interceptions
and one sack over 80 games with the Steelers and Giants.
=== Titans re-sign KR/RB Washington ===
Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - The Tennessee Titans re-signed kick
returner/running back Leon Washington to a one-year deal on Tuesday.
Washington appeared in five games for the Titans last season, returning 16
kicks for 481 yards, including a 95-yard return. Washington also spent two
games with the New England Patriots in 2013.
Over eight NFL seasons with the New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Patriots and
Titans, Washington has returned 261 kicks for 6,815 yards and eight
touchdowns. He has also recorded 146 catches for 1,127 yards and two TDs.
=== Braves' Medlen diagnosed with ligament injury in pitching elbow ===
Lake Buena Vista, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Atlanta Braves right-hander Kris
Medlen has been diagnosed with an injured ligament in his pitching elbow.
Medlen underwent an MRI after leaving Sunday's spring training outing and the
diagnosis for a return is uncertain at this point. The 28-year-old had Tommy
John surgery on the same elbow in August 2010 and missed most of the
following season recovering from the procedure.
"His MRI showed injury to the ligament, but don't yet know the extent," said
Braves general manager Frank Wren, who added that MRIs can be inconclusive
when a player has had a previous Tommy John surgery.
"A diagnosis would be premature at this point," Wren added. "He will undergo
further tests until we seek a second opinion."
With two outs in the bottom of the fourth in Sunday's spring training game
against the New York Mets, Medlen threw his first pitch to Matt Clark and
could be seen reaching for his right forearm/elbow.
After throwing his next pitch, Medlen hopped off the mound and headed straight
for the dugout.
Medlen bounced back after his surgery to go 10-1 with a minuscule 1.57
earned run average before going 15-12 with a 3.11 ERA over 31 starts for the
Braves last season.
=== Orioles renew Machado's contract ===
Sarasota, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Baltimore Orioles renewed the contract
of third baseman Manny Machado on Tuesday.
Machado, who will be entering just his second full season in the majors, has
yet to appear in a spring training game after having knee surgery last
September when he tore a ligament. He could be ready for opening day.
In 156 games last year, Machado hit .283 with 14 homers and 71 RBI while
leading the American League with 51 doubles. In 51 games in 2012, he hit .294
with seven homers and 26 RBI.
The Orioles also signed pitchers Brad Brach, Kevin Gausman, Miguel Gonzalez,
Steve Johnson, Josh Stinson, Chris Tillman, Mike Belfiore, Tim Berry, Zach
Britton and TJ McFarland; catchers Steve Clevenger, Johnny Monell and Michael
Ohlman; infielders Michael Alamanzar, Ryan Flaherty, Jonathan Schoop and
Jemile Weeks; and outfielders David Lough and Henry Urrutia to one-year
=== Angels release Mulder ===
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have reportedly
released pitcher Mark Mulder.
Mulder's attempt to return to the major leagues after a six-year absence ended
abruptly early in spring training when the left-hander ruptured his left
Achilles' tendon during a drill.
The Los Angeles Times said the Angels made the move Tuesday, and Mulder's name
was not part of the Angels' roster on the club's official website.
A five-time 15-game winner, Mulder has not pitched in the majors since July 9,
2008 while then a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. The 36-year-old appeared
in just three games that season due to shoulder problems and formally
announced his retirement in 2010.
Mulder decided to try a comeback this past offseason and had signed a minor
league contract with the Angels in January.
The left-hander compiled a 103-60 record with a 4.18 earned run average over
nine seasons with the Cardinals and Oakland Athletics. Mulder led the American
League with 21 wins with the A's in 2001 and went 19-7 the following year,
while earning a spot on the AL All-Star team in 2003 and 2004.
=== Report: Knicks and Phil Jackson closing in on deal ===
(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Knicks are reportedly close to a deal that
could make Phil Jackson the head of the team's basketball operations.
Speculation surrounding the Knicks and Jackson has been rampant for a few
days, but ESPN has cited a source as saying only a few details need to be
ironed out. The report also said an official announcement might not come until
Jackson retired from coaching in May 2011 after leading the Chicago Bulls and
Los Angeles Lakers to a combined 11 NBA titles. He guided the Bulls to six
championships and the Lakers to five, the last coming in 2010 with Los
At his retirement press conference three years ago, Jackson said his plans
didn't include coaching in the NBA in the future. He never said anything about
a front office role.
With the Knicks, the 68-year-old Hall of Famer would take over for Steve
Mills, who was given the position of president and general manager just this
past September. Mills, according to the ESPN report, would remain with the
Jackson played for the Knicks from 1967 through 1978 and was an integral part
of the team's last NBA title in 1973. He missed the club's title run 1969-70
with back injury.
=== Bynum to make Pacers debut ===
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel
announced that center Andrew Bynum will make his team debut Tuesday night
against the Boston Celtics.
Vogel said earlier in the day that due to Ian Mahinmi's bruised ribs, Bynum
will come off the bench.
Bynum, who missed all of 2012-13 with knee problems, averaged 8.4 points and
5.3 rebounds in 24 games with the Cleveland Cavaliers this season. The
Cavaliers suspended and ultimately traded the seven-footer in January to the
Chicago Bulls, who quickly released him in a salary dump move.
The Pacers then signed Bynum on Feb. 1. Bynum he has not suited up in any game
=== Stars' Peverley 'resting comfortably' ===
Dallas, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley remained
hospitalized Tuesday and is "resting comfortably" after collapsing from a
cardiac event he suffered during the first period of Monday's game against
The Stars issued an update on Peverley's condition Tuesday and said he is
undergoing more tests in an attempt to discover what triggered Monday's
"The focus of all the testing and monitoring is being dedicated to finding the
cause of the event and a long-term solution to rectify the problem," Stars
general manager Jim Nill said in a statement.
"Rich has been communicating with his teammates and friends. He is extremely
grateful for all of the prayers and support that he's received from fans and
The Stars said a press conference in conjunction with doctors from UT
Southwestern will be held Wednesday.
Peverley, who had a procedure performed during the preseason to correct an
irregular heartbeat, collapsed shortly after completing a shift as players
from both teams frantically called for medical personnel to assist the nine-
The incident occurred with 13:37 remaining in the first period and the Blue
Jackets holding a 1-0 lead.
Peverley was transported to the hospital after being attended to for several
minutes, and the Stars later issued a statement saying that he was conscious
and his condition was not life-threatening.
Stars coach Lindy Ruff and Dr. Gil Salazar both said Monday night that once
Peverley regained consciousness, he asked to go back into the game, which was
suspended and later postponed.
The 31-year-old was held out of the Stars' game at Columbus last Tuesday
following a recurrence of his heart condition, but returned two days later and
recorded two assists in Dallas' 6-1 win over Vancouver.
Peverley, acquired from the Boston Bruins in July as part of the trade that
also sent Stars leading scorer Tyler Seguin to Dallas, has seven goals and 23
assists this season.
=== Avs F Parenteau out with another knee injury ===
Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Colorado forward P.A. Parenteau is expected
to be out of the lineup for a while thanks to a right knee sprain.
"It's an MCL and obviously, he won't be back for at least 4-to-6 weeks," said
Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy. "He was in pain. He's a real team guy and he
wanted to give it a try, but right after he got the puck on the power play, he
couldn't go back.
Parenteau suffered the injury early in the extra session of an eventual 3-2
overtime victory at home against the Winnipeg Jets.
It's a nightmare scenario for the Quebec native, who was forced to miss four
weeks while recovering from a left knee injury suffered against Winnipeg in
Parenteau, 30, has picked up 14 goals and 19 assists in 53 games in his
second season for the Avs.
=== Bowling Green fires Orr ===
Bowling Green, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Bowling Green State parted ways with
men's basketball coach Louis Orr on Tuesday, deciding not to renew his
The Falcons went just 12-20 overall this season, including 6-12 in the Mid-
American Conference. The Falcons lost in the first round of the MAC Tournament
on Monday, falling to Northern Illinois 54-51 in overtime.
Orr joined Bowling Green prior to the start of the 2007-08 season and later
signed a two-year contract extension that expired at the end of this season.
"We want to thank Coach Orr for his dedication to BGSU and his leadership in
developing men of character in the Falcon basketball program," stated BGSU
athletic director Christopher Kingston. "I want to personally thank Coach Orr
for his professionalism and wish him the best of luck in his future
Bowling Green posted an overall record of 101-121 in Orr's seven seasons as
head coach, including a 54-60 mark in MAC play.
In his second season at Bowling Green, Orr led the Falcons to an overall
record of 19-14 and won the MAC East Division, earning the top seed in the MAC
Tournament. For his efforts, Orr was tabbed the MAC Coach of the Year that
Orr went on to lead the Falcons to records of 16-16, 13-19 and 12-20 over his
final three seasons. Bowling Green twice made it to postseason play under Orr,
competing in the National Invitation Tournament in 2009 and the
CollegeInsider.com Tournament in 2012.
=== Peterson out as UNCW head coach ===
Wilmington, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - The University of North Carolina
Wilmington fired head men's basketball coach Buzz Peterson on Tuesday.
Peterson was let go after his fourth year on the job ended with a subpar 9-23
record, the worst mark during his stint. The Seahawks went 42-82 with Peterson
at the helm, including a 30-53 record in Colonial Athletic Association play.
"For the great fans of Seahawk basketball, I am sorry that we could not
deliver the results that you deserve," Peterson said in a released statement.
Athletic director Jimmy Bass appointed assistant Eddie Biedenbach as interim
head coach as the search for a permanent replacement commences.
Peterson has also coached at Appalachian State, Tulsa, Tennessee and Coastal
=== Creighton's McDermott named National Player of the Year ===
Omaha, NE (SportsNetwork.com) - Creighton forward Doug McDermott was named the
National Player of the Year by Sporting News on Tuesday.
McDermott has had a tremendous senior season. After deciding to stay in school
and lead Creighton into its first season in the Big East Conference, McDermott
leads the nation in scoring with 26.5 points per game. He's scored 20 points
or more in 26-of-30 games this season, including a career-high 45 points in
his regular-season finale on Saturday against Providence.
He's currently ranked seventh in NCAA history with 3,011 career points, 48
points from passing Keydren Clark (Saint Peter's) for sixth place, and is
one of three men all-time with at least 3,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
McDermott is the first Big East player to win the award since St. John's
forward Walter Berry in 1985-86.
=== WNBA preseason starts May 2 ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The WNBA preseason will tip off in May with
a slate of 12 games in 12 cities.
The opener will feature San Antonio at Tulsa on May 2. Those teams will meet
again in San Antonio on May 6.
For the fifth straight year, WNBA teams will face international competition
during the preseason. The Australian National team will face the LA Sparks on
May 3 and will visit Minnesota to play the Lynx on May 5. Also, the Chinese
Olympic team will square off against the Sparks on May 10.
The preseason will conclude May 13 when Washington and Chicago meet at the
University of Delaware.
The 18th season of the WNBA will open on May 16 with five games, as New York
visits Connecticut, Washington hosts Minnesota, San Antonio travels to
Atlanta, Chicago welcomes Indiana and Los Angeles heads t
=== Dallas Seavey wins second Iditarod title ===
Nome, AK (SportsNetwork.com) - Dallas Seavey won the Iditarod sled dog race
for the second time, finishing just over two minutes in front of Ally Zirkle.
Seavey, the youngest winner two years ago at age 25, came from behind to
surpass Zirkle and Jeff King. He reached the finish line in a record time of 8
days, 13 hours, 4 minutes and 19 seconds.
Zirkle was just 2:21 behind to finish as the runner-up for a third straight
year. She was trying to become the first woman musher to win the title since
Susan Butcher won the last of her four in 1990.
King, a four-time Iditarod champ, had been leading throughout much of the
nearly 1,000-mile race from Anchorage to Nome, but had to withdraw on Monday
night because of severe winds just before the final checkpoint in Safety.
Seavey is a third-generation musher and kept the title in the family for a
third straight year. His father, Mitch, became the oldest winner at age 53
when he captured his second title last year. Mitch also won in 2004.
03/11 21:50:45 ET