Category Archives: Sports

Elliot, Cowboys close to deal

Conflicting reports have muddied the truth behind continued contract negotiations between Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys, but the star running back’s agent Rocky Arceneaux now wants people to believe a new deal is coming sooner rather than later.

Arriving in Dallas on Tuesday night from Cabo San Lucas, where Elliott has spent much of the summer training, Arceneaux told reporters at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport that his client and the Cowboys are “very close” to an agreement, then assured them that both he and the team are “committed” to getting the two-time Pro Bowler a long-term contract.

“I think Zeke is showing he’s committed by coming back to Dallas,” Arceneaux said, as ESPN’s Todd Archer reported. “We didn’t come here not to do a deal … We’re talking. They’re committed, and we’re committed. That’s why we are here.”

NFL reporter Michael Gehlken reported that Arcenaux added he believes Elliott should be able to play immediately — Week 1 vs. the New York Giants.

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Elliott’s agent continued by telling reporters the running back is in shape and ready to play on Sunday, when the Cowboys open their 2019 season against the New York Giants, with Elliott himself simply adding, “I’ve been ready.”

All this, of course, comes just a few days after Cowboys owner Jerry Jones threw his latest in a growing list of jabs at Elliott, suggesting rather bluntly that Zeke is “not the ingredient that will win” Dallas a Super Bowl. Jones had previously told reporters the team doesn’t need a rushing champion to win a title, dropped a “Zeke who?” line during the preseason and drew criticism from Elliott supporters like Marshall Faulk, who helped train the former first-round draft pick in Mexico this offseason.

Things may very well be heating up on the negotiation front, however, with the team’s Week 1 regular season debut just days away.NFL Network reported following Elliott’s arrival that he and Arceneaux are headed to the Cowboys’ facility with the goal of making Elliott the highest-paid running back in the league.

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RT Collins, Cowboys agree to 5-year extension

The Cowboys have agreed to a contract extension with starting right tackle La’el Collins, team owner and general manager Jerry Jones confirmed Tuesday morning on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. The five-year extension is expected to get finalized Tuesday and will include $35 million in guaranteed money, according to a source.

The deal, in total, will be for $50 million. The $35 million in guaranteed money is third in the NFL at right tackle behind Trent Brown’s $36.2 million (Oakland) and Lane Johnson’s $35.5 million (Philadelphia).

“He’s done nothing but make his mark, he’s the enforcer as (offensive line coach Marc) Colombo so lovingly refers to him on the offensive line,” Jones said. “He’s got the attitude, he’s got the kind of thing I call it the (former Cowboys offensive lineman) Erik Williams attitude or Colombo attitude for our offensive line. “It’s good to get him agreed to for the long term, certainly think I wouldn’t be surprised but he will finish his career as a Dallas Cowboy. I like everything about him, an outstanding athlete, he works hard, has played some guard for us but he’s a stalwart for us at tackle.”

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Collins is entering the final year of his rookie contract that pays him a base salary of $6.5 million in 2019. There was a thought the Cowboys were going to pass on Collins, considering the huge financial commitments the team is working on for running back Ezekiel Elliott, wide receiver Amari Cooper and quarterback Dak Prescott.

Yet, during training camp, Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said his franchise was working on numerous contracts, not just the Triplets 3.0.

As the team continues its contract talks with the Triplets 3.0, it has finalized deals with inside linebacker Jaylon Smith and now, it appears, Collins. On Aug. 20, Smith signed a five-year extension worth $63.7 million with $35.4 million in guarantees.

Collins was supposed to be a first-round pick in the 2015 draft until an off-the-field incident caused NFL teams to bypass him totally. The Cowboys took a chance on Collins and have been rewarded with a solid player on and off the field.

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Bolanos to make debut for Padres at Diamondbacks

As if National League West foes Arizona and San Diego do not know each other well enough, they will have even more face time this month.

The Diamondbacks’ 14-7 victory in Phoenix on Monday came in the first of nine games between the two in September, a matchup that on paper would seem to work in Arizona’s favor as it attempts to snatch an NL wild-card berth. The Padres are out of the race.

Arizona hit four homers Monday to recover from an 11-inning loss to the Dodgers on Sunday. Seven starters had at least two hits, and Ketel Marte hit his 29th homer to cap a six-run second inning for an early cushion. Since June 15, Marte is hitting .374 with 12 homers and 34 RBIs.

The Padres will bring something new to the series on Tuesday, however, when right-hander Ronald Bolanos is to make his major league debut after being promoted from Double-A Amarillo on Monday. Arizona is scheduled to start Merrill Kelly (9-13, 4.91 ERA).

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Bolanos, 23, signed a $2 million signing bonus in 2017 after leaving his native Cuba. He was 13-7 with a 3.66 ERA at Class A Lake Elsinore and Amarillo this season, with 142 strikeouts in 130 1/3 innings, and has touched 100 mph with his fastball. He seems likely to remain in the rotation the rest of the season.

“We’re excited to have him here,” San Diego manager Andy Green said. “He’s one of the many young arms we have in the organization, and he has some real good stuff.

“It’s a fastball that could be anywhere from ninety to a hundred. You don’t see that a lot, but that’s legit with him. It’s four pitches. He has some swing-and-miss to all his secondary. He’s very young, limited time in Double-A. We’ve done that quite a bit, where these guys have gotten the opportunity pretty quickly. It’s going to be a good learning month for him.”

The Diamondbacks have won seven of eight and 10 of 14 to get back in playoff contention after a stretch in which it lost seven of 10.

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Rockets, Gordon reach deal

Rockets guard Eric Gordon talks about his new four-year extension in a series of tweets from Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston. Gordon and the team reached an agreement late Friday night on a deal that will pay him roughly $75.6M.

The deal includes a unique clause that guarantees the final year only if he makes an All-Star team or Houston wins a championship. Gordon will make $14M next season and was set to be a free agent next summer.

He has been a productive scorer for the Rockets, averaging 16.8 points since signing in the summer of 2016. He has also put together his three healthiest seasons since he was a rookie, appearing in 75, 69 and 68 games over the past three years.

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“Definitely means a lot,” Gordon told Berman. “We knew we needed to get it done before the season started. I knew how important I was to them and how important it was to me to be on a really good team and do well. … Houston is home. It’s very special. It’s definitely exciting. I’m all about team success and me being a big part of that. They know my work ethic. They know my kind of leadership and what I bring to the table. Ownership wants to win.”

Gordon is the latest key piece of Houston’s foundation to reach a long-term agreement. James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Clint Capela are all under contract through 2022-23, while P.J. Tucker is hoping to receive an extension as well.

“It made the decision even easier,” Gordon said. “Now that we’re here for a long time, it’s easier to do what’s necessary and right to win the championship.”

Gordon was the NBA Sixth Man of the Year in the 2016-17 season and runner-up the following season before moving into the starting lineup last season.

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Raiders claim Kizer, now have 4 QBs on roster

The Oakland Raiders reportedly claimed quarterback DeShone Kizer on waivers after he was released by the Green Bay Packers.

Field Yates of ESPN reported the news. The Raiders now have four quarterbacks on their roster, an atypical number that may spell the end of either Mike Glennon or Nathan Peterman’s time with the team.

The Packers released Kizer this week after he lost the backup quarterback job to Tim Boyle. The Notre Dame product was a 2017 second-round pick of the Cleveland Browns and started 15 games as a rookie, throwing for 2,894 yards and 11 touchdowns against 22 interceptions. Cleveland lost all 15 games Kizer started.

Kizer threw for 187 yards and two picks during three brief appearances last season in Green Bay. In a July interview with Jim Owczarski of the Green Bay Post-Gazette, Kizer said he had a lofty goal for his career:  “Personnel, especially in this organization, is strictly upstairs. And I don’t work upstairs. My office is downstairs. Therefore, my mentality is about me. I have all the confidence in the world that when I’m playing my best ball there’s no one who can stop me.

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“For me to compare myself to another backup quarterback who’s in or a tryout guy who comes in would be dumb of me in the sense that I would be limiting myself because I don’t see myself as a career backup in this league.

“I don’t see myself as Aaron Rodgers’ backup for the final era of his career. I see myself as a future Super Bowl MVP. That’s the goal that I want to head toward. That’s the level I want to play at. Therefore, if I’m competing and focused in on the backup competition, then once again, I’m limiting myself.” Raiders coach Jon Gruden clearly sees some level of potential in Kizer to add him to a roster that already includes two other backup quarterbacks.

Gruden was complimentary of Kizer after he went through the coach’s “QB Camp” when he was a broadcaster at ESPN. Whereas the Browns threw Kizer into the fire right away, Gruden saw a quarterback who needed developmental time.

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Suspended RB Hunt has sports hernia surgery

Browns running back Kareem Hunt will spend part of his NFL suspension rehabbing after surgery.

Hunt, who will serve an eight-game ban for two physical off-field altercations in 2018 while he played for Kansas City, had a sports hernia operation Thursday — hours before the Browns played Detroit in their exhibition finale.

Hunt had been expected to play in what would have been his last game until his ban ends in November. The Browns said the 24-year-old is expected to be fully recovered by the time he’s eligible to return to their roster for the Nov. 10 game against Buffalo.

On Wednesday, the league said Hunt is not allowed inside the team’s facility during his suspension, which goes into effect Saturday at 4 p.m. The Browns had asked for an exemption so Hunt could be around his teammates while serving his penalty.

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Hunt, who is from the Cleveland area, will now have to rehab his injury elsewhere.

The Browns signed the league’s 2017 rushing leader in February on the recommendation of general manager John Dorsey, who drafted Hunt in the third round in 2017 while he was Kansas City’s GM.

Hunt was punished by Commissioner Roger Goodell for violating the league’s personal-conduct policy following an investigation into the two incidents, one in which he shoved and kicked a woman during an argument in a hotel hallway in Cleveland where he was staying.

The Chiefs released him in the final weeks of their playoff push last season. The team was upset that Hunt had lied to them about his involvement in the incidents. Hunt gained 1,327 yards rushing as a rookie. He had 824 yards rushing and 378 yards receiving in 11 games in 2018 before the Chiefs cut ties with him.

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Police issue arrest warrant for Lakers’ Cousins

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Los Angeles Lakers center DeMarcus Cousins on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge.

Cousins’ ex-girlfriend and the mother of his 7-year-old son filed a police report Friday, about two hours after she alleged Cousins threatened to “put a bullet in your (expletive) head.” The phone conversation was recorded by Cousins’ ex-girlfriend and a copy was provided to the Mobile (Alabama) police department. Footage was released by TMZ on Tuesday.

Mobile police spokesperson Charlette M. Solis informed on Thursday that “an arrest warrant has been issued.” The third-degree harassing communications charge was listed on the Mobile municipal court website, although no other information was provided.

Defense attorney Mary Kristen Galanos, who is not involved in the case, said that a suspect is subject to arrest in Alabama after an alleged victim signs a warrant in a misdemeanor case.   “They aren’t going (to) send a SWAT team out for him,” said Galanos of Shane A. Taylor & Associates. “What usually happens is that the person is picked up on a routine traffic stop.”

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Galanos said since the investigation has garnered so much interest, Cousins’ attorney would likely set up time for Cousins to turn himself in to police, when he’d be processed and released. The charge is a Class A misdemeanor, meaning Cousins would face a maximum of a year in jail.

Galanos said it’s unlikely Cousins would serve much if any jail time if convicted or if he takes a plea in the case.

NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement Tuesday that the league is “investigating the allegations.”

“We are aware of the allegation involving DeMarcus Cousins and, of course, take this claim seriously,” the Lakers said in a statement Tuesday. “We are in the process of gathering information and will reserve further comment at this time.”

Cousins, a four-time NBA All-Star, tore his left ACL this month after he signed a one-year deal with the Lakers in July. Cousins, 29, missed most of last season as a member of the Golden State Warriors as he recovered from an Achilles tear suffered in January 2018. He also was hampered by a quadriceps injury during the Warriors’ playoff run that ended with a loss in six games to the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals. 

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Bills sign K Hauschka to 2 year extension

The Buffalo Bills signed kicker Stephen Hauschka to a two-year extension Wednesday.

Hauschka, 34, was entering the final year of a contract he signed with Buffalo in 2017 after six seasons with the Seattle Seahawks.

“I’m super excited,” Hauschka said. “We’ve come to love this place. It’s such a great place to work and raise a family. The culture and environment we get to work and play in every single day is amazing. We’re going to turn this thing around and win a bunch of games here and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Hauschka made 22 of 28 field-goal attempts in 2018, including a streak of 17 straight that ranks as second longest in Bills history.

One of 10 active NFL players with more than 1,000 career points, Hauschka has made 242 of 280 field goals (86.4 percent) in 149 games with the Baltimore Ravens (2008-09), Denver Broncos (2010), Seahawks (2011-16) and Bills.

Hauschka won a Super Bowl ring with Seattle during the 2013 season. In two seasons with the Bills, Hauschka has made 51 of his 61 field goal attempts and 54 of 55 extra-point attempts. He made 17 straight field goals last season, the second-longest streak in Bills history.

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Hauschka suffered a a hip contusion on a blindside hit by New York Jets defensive end Henry Anderson in a December meeting between the teams last season. He missed two field goal attempts in that game and then missed two more down the stretch in the final two games of the season.

Concerns seemed to heighten outside of the organization when Hauschka missed a chip shot field goal from 34 yards out against Indianapolis and then another miss the next week against Carolina.

The Bills never seemed too concerned. Head coach Sean McDermott was asked if he was worried about Hauschka’s misses and he responded with one simple word: “No.” Hauschka is only 34 years old and has proven to be a reliable kicker over his career. This contract extension is a reasonable one and a smart move by the Bills to keep a proven producer on their roster the next few seasons.

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Angels Trout gets day off with minor foot issue

Angels star Mike Trout wasn’t in the starting lineup for Los Angeles’ Wednesday home game against the Texas Rangers due to a right foot injury.

Manager Brad Ausmus told reporters that Trout has a minor issue at the base of his foot. Ausmus said the ailment wasn’t serious but that the team wanted to keep the center fielder off the foot with an off day on Thursday looming.

“His right foot has been bothering him a little bit off and on for the last few weeks,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “We’re just trying to give him two days to calm it down a little bit. It’s kind of like a bruise, but it’s on the bottom of his foot and not the top.”

Trout has a career-best 43 homers, tops in the majors, to go with 100 RBIs this season, making him the favorite to win his third American League MVP Award. He is batting .293 with a league-leading 101 walks. He also leads the AL in on-base percentage (.436) and slugging percentage (.651).

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Wednesday night was the last time the two teams play this season, so Trout will not have an opportunity to pad his stats. But he doesn’t need much help in a season that could rank as his best ever offensively.

With 28 games left in the season, the two-time MVP has set a career high in homers, and he leads the league in WAR (8.1), on-base percentage (.436), walks (101), runs created (138), times on base (247), AB per homer (10.4) and several other statistical measures.

Trout has a 1.356 OPS and 11 home runs against Texas this season. Wednesday night, he would have faced Ariel Jurado, against whom he has gone 4-for-6 with three home runs and five RBIs.

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Indians’ Ramirez out 5-7 weeks after surgery

Cleveland Indians star Jose Ramirez’s timetable to return from his hand injury has been set. 

The team announced Tuesday the two-time All-Star will return to game activity in five to seven weeks following surgery to repair a hamate fracture. 

The AL wild card game is five weeks from Wednesday. If the Indians play in that game, the best-case scenario is Ramirez would be able to start, but man, he’ll have been gone for nearly six weeks without a chance at a rehab stint. 

Realistically, Ramirez would be, at best, a pinch hitter in that game. 

The divisional round would be over roughly six weeks from now and another week bleeds toward the middle of the ALCS. To reiterate, after missing so much time, Ramirez would probably need help getting up to speed.  The injury occurred when Ramirez fouled a ball off Kansas City Royalsstarter Glenn Sparkman in the first inning of Saturday’s game. 

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The Indians’ post-All-Star break surge has come in conjunction with Ramirez’s return to form. The 26-year-old was hitting .327/.363/.705 in the second half before breaking his hand. 

Cleveland has weathered injuries to some of its key players this season, particularly in the starting rotation. Pitchers Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco have combined to make 19 starts. Mike Clevinger missed two months earlier this year due to a back injury. 

As the Indians continue to chase a wild-card spot and the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central, Carlos Santana, Yasiel Puig, Francisco Lindor and Franmil Reyes will be tasked with picking up the slack for the time being.

The Indians entered Tuesday trailing the Twins by 3 1/2 games. They hold the top wild card by a half-game over both the Athletics and Rays, so it’s possible they fall out of a playoff position. 

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