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National Sports

Tight end contracts could be next to see significant rise

Several tight ends in the NFL are centerpieces of the offense. Now, it's time they get paid like it. Guys such as George Kittle, Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz and Rob Gronkowski — before he sat out a year — are more productive than many wide receivers but make far less money. The franchise tag ...

In shortened season, stars still had chance to shine in 1981

The season began with Fernandomania and ended with a classic World Series matchup between the Dodgers and Yankees. Mike Schmidt slugged his way to a second consecutive MVP, and Nolan Ryan pitched another no-hitter. But perhaps the best way to describe baseball in 1981 is by recounting Pete ...

AP study: MLB average at around $4.4M for 5th year in row

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball's average salary ahead of a postponed opening day remained at around $4.4 million for the fifth straight season, according to a study of contracts by The Associated Press. Following an offseason when Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Anthony Rendon and ...

Michigan militia puts armed protest in the spotlight

Gun-carrying protesters have been a common sight at some demonstrations calling for coronavirus-related restrictions to be lifted. But an armed militia's involvement in an angry protest in the Michigan statehouse Thursday marked an escalation that drew condemnation and shone a spotlight on the ...

NFL to hold 2021 draft in Cleveland from April 29-May 1

By TOM WITHERS AP Sports Writer CLEVELAND (AP) — After a successful virtual, stay-at-home experience this year, the NFL plans to hold its draft outdoors in downtown Cleveland next year from April 29 to May 1. The dates were announced Tuesday, three days after the completion of a unique ...

Lakers return $4.6 million from stimulus loan program

By GREG BEACHAM AP Sports Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers have repaid a loan of roughly $4.6 million from coronavirus business relief funds after learning the program had been depleted. The Lakers applied for the loan under the Small Business Administration's Paycheck ...

Browns exercise contract option on star DE Garrett, TE Njoku By TOM WITHERS AP Sports Writer CLEVELAND (AP) — The Browns didn't have a major decision to make on Myles Garrett's near future. Now they can begin working on keeping the star defensive end much longer. Cleveland exercised the ...

McVay’s Rams begin virtual learning in unusual NFL offseason

By GREG BEACHAM AP Sports Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay is beginning this unusual NFL offseason with big plans. The millennial coach is always on the lookout for teaching innovations, and he meticulously planned out the next nine weeks by examining everything ...

MLB teams adjusting as pandemic affects draft preparation

By NOAH TRISTER AP Baseball Writer The Detroit Tigers can feel certain about one thing: They have the No. 1 pick in the draft. What that Major League Baseball draft will look like, when and where it will take place and how the selections will be made still isn't clear. "It's going to present ...

Chiefs to release 2-time Pro Bowl P Colquitt after 15 years

By DAVE SKRETTA AP Sports Writer KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Dustin Colquitt walked into the Kansas City Chiefs training facility 15 years ago as a third-round pick out of Tennessee, a punter with a big leg and peerless pedigree. He wound up setting numerous franchise records, including most ...

Burrow to join exclusive NFL company if LSU QB is top pick

By The Associated Press undefined Joe Burrow has a chance to join some very exclusive company if the LSU quarterback winds up going No. 1 overall to Cincinnati. Not only could he become the ninth quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy and then be the first overall selection in the NFL draft ...

Prospects ready for their closeup on draft night from home

By JOE REEDY AP Sports Writer Yetur Gross-Matos would have liked to have been in Las Vegas for the NFL draft on Thursday night, but the Penn State defensive lineman is OK participating from home. Gross-Matos is one of 58 prospects who will take part remotely in the draft, which has gone ...

Tokyo Olympic CEO promises ‘transparency’ over cost of delay

By STEPHEN WADE AP Sports Writer TOKYO (AP) — The chief executive of the Tokyo Olympics promised "transparency" with the Japanese public on Thursday regarding the cost of postponing the games until next year. Neither the Japanese organizers nor the International Olympic Committee has said ...

MLB, minors term talks constructive

By RONALD BLUM AP Baseball Writer NEW YORK (AP) — The tone of talks for a new agreement governing the relationship between baseball's major and minor leagues took a positive turn when the bickering sides met electronically for about an hour and later issued a joint statement that termed the ...

Incentive deal to move Carolina Panthers to S.C. approved

ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) — A county in South Carolina approved a deal loaded with tax breaks for the Carolina Panthers to move their headquarters and practice site. The York County Council approved the deal in a 4-3 vote after listening to public comments during their virtual meeting on Monday, ...

Column: Nothing smart about staging UFC fights or NFL draft

By TIM DAHLBERG AP Sports Columnist Dana White must be a smart guy. He did, after all, build UFC from almost nothing into the entertainment and sports juggernaut it is today. Roger Goodell is pretty smart himself. He's been able to keep 32 owners happy while filling their pockets with even ...

AP source: Cowboys sign DE Aldon Smith, suspended since 2015

By SCHUYLER DIXON AP Pro Football Writer The Dallas Cowboys are taking a chance on another suspended defensive end, signing Aldon Smith to a contract while his playing status in the NFL is uncertain. A person with direct knowledge of the deal said Smith signed Wednesday with Dallas. The ...

Hockey players in the minors face uncertainty, job fears

By STEPHEN WHYNO AP Hockey Writer Tom Parisi made the long drive from South Carolina to his home just south of Boston with a lot on his mind. The ECHL season had just been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the 26-year-old wondered if he'd need to dig for oysters on the beach ...

Survey: Athletic directors bracing for financial crisis

By RALPH D, RUSSO AP College Sports Writer Athletic directors at the nation's biggest schools are bracing for a potential financial crisis related to the coronavirus pandemic. According to a survey conducted by LEAD1, an association of athletic directors from 130 major college football ...

Rugby in crisis as unions engage in ‘unprecedented dialogue’

By STEVE DOUGLAS AP Sports Writer USA Rugby has filed for bankruptcy. The Australians are facing a black hole of more than $70 million. England leaders have drawn up worst-case scenarios of an even bigger financial hit. The coronavirus pandemic has left rugby on its knees over the last two ...