Tagged in: deal

Dennis Schroder back with Los Angeles Lakers on one-year, $2.64 million deal

Free agent guard Dennis Schroder is finalizing a one-year, $2.64 million deal to return to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and new coach Darvin Ham reached out to Russell Westbrook in recent days to tell him that they planned to sign a veteran guard to the team’s 14th roster spot, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Ham and Schroder spent five seasons together on the Atlanta Hawks. “We are extremely pleased to welcome Dennis Schröder back to the Lakers,” said Pelinka in a statement announcing the signing.

“Not only do Dennis and Coach Ham share a player-coach history together, but they also reflect one another’s mentality of toughness with an extremely competitive edge. Dennis will add both depth and an on-ball defensive presence to our core at the guard position. He is also a proven scorer and playmaker. We are really excited for Dennis to get to camp and get back to work in L.A. after his highly successful run with his national team this offseason.”

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Schroder averaged 15.4 points and nearly six assists during his 2020-21 campaign with the Lakers and turned down an extension worth north of $80 million during the season.

He later struck out in free agency, however, eventually settling for a one-year deal with the Boston Celtics for $5.9 million.

Schroder produced for the Celtics, averaging 14.4 points and 4.2 assists in 29 minutes per match, but was traded to the Houston Rockets in a deal for Daniel Theis. He played just 15 games for the Rockets.

Schroder, who turned 29 earlier this week, boasts career averages of 14.2 points and 4.7 assists across nine seasons in the NBA. Five of those seasons came with the Atlanta Hawks, were The news comes hours after Schroder and Germany lost to Spain in a EuroBasket 2022 semifinal game.

Schroder, who led all scorers with 30 points in Friday’s game, played a key part in helping Germany’s deep run which resulted in a bronze medal.

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Deontay Wilder, Robert Helenius working on finalizing deal for PBC PPV fight in October

Former heavyweight titleholder Deontay Wilder and Robert Helenius are in the process of concluding a deal for a PBC on FOX pay-per-view fight Oct. 15 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) contemplated retirement following a brutal 11th-round KO loss to Tyson Fury in their October 2021 fight that was named ESPN’s Fight of the Year.

The 36-year-old will lastly face a different adversary for the first time since November 2019, following two consecutive inside-the-distance defeats to Fury.

Helenius (31-3, 20 KOs) last fought on the Fury-Wilder undercard, when he scored a TKO over Adam Kownacki in a second consecutive bout.

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The fringe contender, who fights out of Finland, has competed just three times since a KO defeat to Gerald Washington in July 2019.

Wilder, ESPN’s No. 3 heavyweight, delivered perhaps his most memorable career performance in defeat. He was given little chance following the second meeting with Fury, when “The Gypsy King” brutalized him en route to a seventh-round TKO, but Wilder was able to floor Fury twice in Round 4.

The Olympic bronze medalist is perhaps the most imposing puncher in boxing, and with a win he could find himself in line for a matchup versus Andy Ruiz next year if the former champ defeats Luis Ortiz on Sept. 4.

Heavyweight contender Frank Sanchez is slated to compete on the Oct. 15 undercard, sources said. BoxingScene.com first reported the Wilder-Helenius news.

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Baltimore Ravens sign K Justin Tucker to four-year NFL extension

Justin Tucker signed a four-year extension with the Baltimore Ravens, the team revealed Monday, with a source saying it’s worth $24 million and continues to make Tucker the NFL’s highest-paid kicker.

Tucker, the most accurate kicker in NFL history, will earn an average of $6 million per season, the source said, which is $1 million more per season than any other kicker. Tucker’s new deal comes a week after Chris Boswell signed an extension with the Pittsburgh Steelers that had matched Tucker for being the league’s highest-paid kicker at $5 million per season.

Tucker, who had two years left on his current deal, is now signed through 2027 and will receive signing and option bonuses that total $11.5 million, according to the source. The extension also includes $17.5 million guaranteed, the source said, which is $5 million more than any other kicker.

After Monday’s practice, Tucker stated being the league’s highest-paid kicker was not at the top of his priority list but “it certainly has a nice ring to it.”

“Listen, this deal, for sure, checks all the boxes for me,” Tucker said. “And for all intents and purposes, this is the type of deal that will more than ensure that I will be a Raven for life. And for that alone, I couldn’t be happier.”

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Tucker acknowledged that the deal came together quickly.

At a recent practice, he joked with coach John Harbaugh that a deal could get done in five minutes.

“And sure enough, it took about five minutes,” Tucker said. “There’s the saying in business that [with] a good deal, maybe neither side gets exactly what they want and neither side is happy, so it’s a good deal. But in this case, I believe everybody is super stoked, and I think that makes a great deal.”

Tucker, 32, has become one of the NFL’s all-time best kickers in his 10 seasons. Undrafted out of Texas, Tucker currently has the best field goal percentage in NFL history (91%) as well as the league’s record for the longest field goal (66 yards).

He has been named to the All-Pro first team five times, which is two more than any other kicker. Since entering the league in 2012, he ranks first in the NFL in field goals made (326) and points (1,360).

Known for being clutch, Tucker is 16-of-16 on field goals in the final minute of regulation and has converted 58 consecutive fourth-quarter/overtime tries, marking the NFL’s longest active streak. Last season, his record-setting, 66-yard field goal beat the Detroit Lions as time expired in regulation.

Harbaugh said Tucker is more than the game’s best kicker. He is also a great leader.

“Being out here with the mindset that he takes to it in terms of his work ethic, also his sense of humor, his understanding of the moment,” Harbaugh said. “So, we’re happy to have him back.”

In other news Monday, starting running back J.K. Dobbins was activated off the physically unable to perform list and practiced for the first time since tearing the ACL in his left knee on Aug. 28, 2021.

He was limited to individual drills and looked like he was laboring at times. When Baltimore held team drills, Dobbins worked off to the side. “I thought he looked pretty good in individual [drills],” Harbaugh said.

“Maybe we add a little more each day and see how he handles it and how the knee responds. It seems like, so far, so good.”

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LB Anthony Barr, Dallas Cowboys agree to one-year deal

After talks that covered a couple of months, the Dallas Cowboys reached a one-year agreement with veteran linebacker Anthony Barr on Wednesday.

The deal is for $2 million but can max out at $3 million, a source told ESPN’s Todd Archer.

With the Cowboys keeping Micah Parsons in a multifaceted role between linebacker and pass-rusher in 2022, the team wanted to add some veteran help alongside Leighton Vander Esch with no other uber-experienced linebacker on the roster.

The Cowboys have second-year linebacker Jabril Cox coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament. While he has gotten off to a good start, he has missed the past two days of work, although there does not seem to be concern over his status.

Barr, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, had a career-high three interceptions to go along with 2.5 sacks and 72 tackles last season, the latter of which was his third-highest output in his eight seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.

The 30-year-old linebacker appeared in 11 games after undergoing a procedure on his right knee that forced him to miss the first four matches of the 2021 season.

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He reworked his contract last March to allow himself to hit free agency after the 2021 season.

After missing the final 14 games of 2020 upon tearing a pectoral muscle versus Indianapolis, Barr’s salary and bonuses were reduced from $12.9 million to $10 million with a fully guaranteed base salary of $9.4 million.

Barr has a background with Cowboys senior defensive assistant George Edwards, who coaches the linebackers, from their time together in Minnesota.

The former UCLA standout was former Vikings coach Mike Zimmer’s first draft pick in 2014 (ninth overall). Barr, a 3-4 outside linebacker in college, transitioned to a nontraditional off-ball role in Zimmer’s 4-3 scheme, where he was used strategically on blitzes designed around his skill set. According to Pro Football Focus data, Barr was ranked as the 12th best pass-rusher at his position and 14th in coverage in 2021.

Barr wore the green dot on his helmet for the majority of his time in Minnesota and played a critical role in calling defensive plays on the field.

The last time Barr hit free agency in 2019, the linebacker verbally agreed to a deal with the New York Jets that would have paid him $15 million per season for five years, but he returned to the Vikings less than 24 hours later to sign for far less money.

He has 495 tackles, 17.5 sacks, 8 forced fumbles and 5 interceptions in eight campaigns.

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New England Patriots and punter Jake Bailey agree to four-year, $13.5 million contract

Punter Jake Bailey, a 2020 first-team All-Pro, agreed to a four-year contract with the New England Patriots worth $13.5 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The deal runs through the 2025 campaign and includes $6.5 million fully guaranteed, per Schefter.

Bailey, 25, was entering the final year of his rookie contract, and carried a salary-cap charge of $4.05 million — the second highest of any punter in the NFL.

“I’m just so happy and blessed I get a few more years here,” Bailey stated after Monday’s practice, adding that it is a “huge milestone” in his life.

“Any time there is uncertainty, it’s always something in the back of your head. But at our position, you have to be able to compartmentalize and execute, and if you’re not able to do that with whatever is distracting you, you’re not going to play very long.”

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The extension is expected to lower his cap charge by about $1.85 million, increasing the Patriots’ overall cap space to about $4.75 million.

While the team gains cap relief, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Bailey — who entered the NFL as a fifth-round draft choice out of Stanford — earns some long-term security.

He punted 49 times last season and posted a 47.3-yard average (eighth in the NFL) and 39.6 net (21st in the NFL). He also handles kickoff and holding duties.

Bailey’s powerful leg is especially helpful to the Patriots when weather conditions turn colder and windier later in the season in New England.

Coach Bill Belichick places a notable emphasis on winning the field-position battle, and Bailey has often been effective in helping the team do so.

In 2020, when he was named first-team All-Pro, Bailey punted for a 48.7 average and 45.6 net, with just five touchbacks.

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Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson agrees to settle 3 more lawsuits as discipline ruling expected Monday

Sue L. Robinson, the disciplinary officer jointly appointed by the NFL and players’ union, is expected to issue a decision Monday on whether Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson violated the league’s personal conduct policy following accusations of sexual misconduct.

Meanwhile, Watson has agreed to settle three of the remaining four active civil lawsuits against him, Houston attorney Tony Buzbee told ESPN’s John Barr early Monday morning.

If Robinson, a former U.S. district judge, imposes any punishment, either side will have three days to submit an appeal in writing.

In that case, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell or his designee “will issue a written decision that will constitute full, final and complete disposition of the dispute,” per terms of Article 46 in the collective bargaining agreement.

The NFL Players Association already made it clear in a statement Sunday night that it won’t appeal.

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“In advance of Judge Robinson’s decision, we wanted to reiterate the facts of this proceeding,” the union said in a statement.

“First, we have fully cooperated with every NFL inquiry and provided the NFL with the most comprehensive set of information for any personal conduct policy investigation. A former Federal Judge — appointed jointly by the NFLPA and NFL — held a full and fair hearing, has read thousands of pages of investigative documents and reviewed arguments from both sides impartially. Every player, owner, business partner and stakeholder deserves to know that our process is legitimate and will not be tarnished based on the whims of the League office. This is why, regardless of her decision, Deshaun and the NFLPA will stand by her ruling and we call on the NFL to do the same.”

Robinson heard arguments from the league, union and Watson’s attorney during a three-day hearing held in her home state of Delaware in late June. The sides conversed a potential settlement all the way up through the hearing but could not agree to a deal.

The league and Watson’s side did engage in further settlement talks in recent days, sources told ESPN’s Dan Graziano, but neither side ever felt they were close to an agreement. The most Watson’s side indicated it was willing to offer was a suspension in the range of six to eight matches, according to sources. The best the league indicated it was willing to offer was a 12-game suspension and a significant fine — in the range of $8 million, sources said.

Watson has been accused of sexual assault and inappropriate conduct during massage sessions in civil lawsuits filed by 25 women.

The encounters cited in the lawsuits took place between March 2020 and March 2021, while Watson was a member of the Houston Texans.

One of the 25 lawsuits was dropped following a judge’s ruling in April 2021 that plaintiffs needed to amend their petitions to disclose their names. In June, Watson settled 20 of the 24 lawsuits he was facing; on Monday, he agreed to settle three of the remaining four, according to Buzbee, who represents the women suing Watson.

Last month, the Texans reached settlements with 30 women who made claims or were prepared to make claims against the organization for its alleged role regarding the allegations against Watson.

Although two grand juries in Texas declined to pursue criminal charges against Watson earlier this year, the NFL has been investigating whether he violated its personal conduct policy since last year. The NFL interviewed Watson over multiple days earlier this summer. The league’s investigators also spoke to several of the women.

Watson has continually denied all wrongdoing and stated he has no regrets for any of his actions during the massage sessions. Watson also said he cooperated with the NFL’s investigation and “answered every question truthfully” that he was asked by the league’s investigators.

The Browns traded for Watson in March, sending three first-round draft picks to the Texans. Cleveland then gave Watson a new five-year contract worth $230 million and fully guaranteed, the richest deal in NFL history for any player.

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Julio Jones signing deal with Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Veteran wide receiver Julio Jones has a new home, agreeing to a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday.

The seven-time Pro Bowler gives soon-to-be 45-year-old Tom Brady another weapon in Tampa, Florida, as Jones looks to rebound from a down season with the Tennessee Titans.

Jones joins a receiver group with the Bucs that contains holdovers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Tyler Johnson, Scotty Miller and Breshad Perriman, and welcomed Russell Gage — like Jones, another former Falcon — this offseason. Godwin had offseason surgery on a torn ACL suffered late last season.

The Bucs opted not to put him on the PUP list to start training camp, but a source told ESPN that they will be careful with him before letting him practice.

Tampa Bay also brought on veteran Kyle Rudolph last week, a move to shore up its tight end spot in the wake of Rob Gronkowski’s retirement.

The Titans released Jones in March, just one season after getting him in a trade from the Falcons.

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Tennessee dealt two draft picks to acquire him last year, hoping he would provide much-needed balance to its passing attack.

However, he appeared in just 10 games because of injuries and had career lows with 31 receptions for 434 yards and just one touchdown reception. It was the second consecutive season in which Jones was limited by injury. He appeared in just nine games for the Falcons in 2020.

The Falcons drafted Jones sixth overall in 2011, sending multiple picks to the Cleveland Browns to be able to take the Alabama standout. Atlanta, when it moved up to acquire Jones, traded its first-round pick in 2011 (No. 26), its second-round pick, two fourth-round picks and its 2012 first-round pick.

Jones, 33, is the Falcons’ career leader in catches (848) and yards (12,896) and is second to Roddy White in touchdown receptions (63). His 91.9 receiving yards per game is the best per-game average in NFL history.

He also leads the NFL in receiving yards since 2014, and Evans leads the NFL in touchdown catches (75) during that span. Now, they’re both on the same team.

Also Tuesday, the Bucs waived tight end Codey McElroy with an injury designation. A source told ESPN that McElroy will undergo foot surgery this week after dealing with the injury during the offseason.

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New Orleans Saints QB Andy Dalton and RB Mark Ingram agree to deal on jersey number

New Orleans Saints veterans Mark Ingram II and Andy Dalton have completed a jersey swap that can only be described as a win-win.

Dalton, who signed with the Saints this offseason, will get the No. 14 that he has worn throughout his career as a quarterback with TCU, the Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears.

Ingram, meanwhile, gets to wear a more slimming No. 5 jersey.

Last season, Ingram hilariously tried to describe his angst over the unappealing jersey number options he had when he returned to New Orleans in a midseason trade.

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Not only was his former No. 22 not an option, but nothing in the 20s or single digits was available either. So Ingram very reluctantly decided to go with 14 “because it seemed the best of the worst.”

Ingram stated he didn’t like numbers in the 30s because “it’s too big of a number for me.”

“I don’t want no 30s,” Ingram said. “It’s just too wide. I’m short, stocky. I gotta have a number that fits me a little bit.”

The 40s were even worse, in Ingram’s sartorial opinion. Ingram said he contemplated asking kicker Wil Lutz if he could wear his No. 3 while Lutz was on injured reserve last year.

He even considered reaching out to former Saints quarterback Archie Manning about wearing No. 8 in his honor (both Manning’s 8 and Drew Brees’ 9 aren’t officially retired, but they never get assigned to new players).

Coincidentally, the No. 5 that Ingram has now landed in is the same one that former Saints running back Reggie Bush was unable to acquire as a rookie in 2006 before the NFL permitted running backs to wear single digits.

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Phoenix Suns, coach Monty Williams agree to long-term extension

The Phoenix Suns and Monty Williams, the NBA’s reigning coach of the year, have agreed on a long-term contract extension, sources told ESPN on Saturday.

Williams, who was voted the National Basketball Coach’s Association’s coach of the year in consecutive seasons, had two years left on his original five-year deal, and now moves under contract for several more years.

Williams’ impact on the Suns’ organization has been deep, including a trip to the 2021 NBA Finals and a franchise-record 64 regular-season victories last season.

Williams has gone 149-78 (.656) in his three seasons and delivered accountability and purpose to a wayward Suns’ program, transforming a team that had won 19 matches prior to his arrival into one of the league’s best teams.

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The Suns last season joined the 1969-70 New York Knicks as the only teams to finish with a better road victory percentage than every other team’s home victory percentage in a season.

The Suns were 47-0 when leading after three quarters — the best in the shot-clock era.

The only two other teams that went undefeated in that scenario in the regular season both included LeBron James — the 2017-18 Cleveland Cavaliers and the 2019-20 Los Angeles Lakers.

Among the Suns’ regular-season dominance last season: a franchise-record 18-game winning streak and three separate winning streaks of nine-plus games in a season when the rest of the NBA had a combined four streaks of nine or more victories.

The Suns were the only team to rank in the top five in offensive and defensive efficiency and went 33-9 in clutch-time games — the best record in such situations in the NBA since the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors.

Despite the league-best and franchise-record 64 victories, the Suns were blown out in a Game 7 at home to the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference semifinals.

Phoenix reached the NBA Finals in 2021, losing in six games to the Milwaukee Bucks. Through the past season, Williams’ leadership was tested by the distractions of an NBA investigation into owner Robert Sarver’s behavior, stemming from an ESPN investigation.

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Arizona Cardinals star Kyler Murray agrees to $230.5 million deal, is now among NFL’s richest QBs

Arizona Cardinals star Kyler Murray has agreed to a five-year extension worth $230.5 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, a deal that makes him one of the NFL’s highest-paid quarterbacks.

The deal, which runs through the 2028 season, contains $160 million guaranteed for injury, the source told Schefter. Murray will make $105 million fully guaranteed upon signing the deal, according to the source.

The average annual value of Murray’s deal is $46.1 million, which is the second highest in the NFL behind only Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers ($50.3 million). Deshaun Watson’s deal with the Browns has an average annual value of $46 million, and Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes’ deal averages $45 million per year.

The only deal in NFL history with more guaranteed money than Murray’s is Watson’s $230 million fully guaranteed with the Browns. The Cardinals officially revealed Murray’s five-year extension Thursday but did not disclose terms.

Some of Murray’s teammates, including newly acquired receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and star safety Budda Baker, congratulated the quarterback on Twitter.

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Murray’s agent, Erik Burkhardt, and Cardinals general manager Steve Keim worked on the deal into Wednesday night and finalized the agreement Thursday morning after months of ongoing negotiations, according to Schefter.

Murray, 24, already had been under contract through the 2023 season after the Cardinals exercised their fifth-year option on his rookie deal in April.

But the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner’s long-term future in Arizona became unclear earlier this year after Murray scrubbed his Instagram page following the Pro Bowl, leaving just two posts: one of him at Oklahoma from 2018 and one from the Pro Bowl.

Keim stated earlier this year that there was “zero chance” Murray would be traded and indicated a long-term deal could be finalized at some point during the summer after the organization had an oportunity to “take a deep breath and sort of refocus” after free agency and this year’s NFL draft, similar to negotiation timelines that culminated in lucrative deals for other third-year quarterbacks such as Mahomes and Buffalo Bills star Josh Allen.

Murray, who was drafted first overall by the Cardinals in 2019, has established himself as one of the NFL’s top young quarterbacks over the past three seasons. He led the Cardinals to year-over-year improvement each season — from five wins in 2019 to eight in 2020 and 11 in 2021, all while setting records.

Murray is the first player in NFL history with at least 70 passing touchdowns, 20 rushing touchdowns, 3,500 passing yards, 400 rushing yards and 17 games with a completion percentage of at least 70% in his first three seasons. His overall completion percentage of 66.86 is the best for a player in his first three seasons.

Murray also was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2019 and a Pro Bowler in each of the past two seasons.

Arizona missed the playoffs in 2020 after losing six of its last nine games — including consecutive win-and-they’re-in contests to close out the season. Murray was injured throughout the second half of 2020 and spent the offseason frustrated and lamenting self-inflicted mistakes that cost the Cardinals a postseason berth.

In 2021, however, the Cardinals appeared to have figured out their issues from the end of 2020. They started 7-0, and Murray was part of the MVP conversation. He then missed three matches because of an ankle injury, and Arizona went on to finish the season 4-6 and was blown out by the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC wild-card round.

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