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Reds to extend Bronson Arroyo for three years

12.03.10 at 4:03 pm ET
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According to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com (via twitter), the Reds and pitcher Bronson Arroyo have agreed to a three-year, $35 million extension that will keep the pitcher in Cincinnati from 2011-13.

Arroyo had a career high 17 wins in 2010, going 17-10 with a 3.88 ERA. In five seasons with the Reds, he has a 70-60 mark with a 3.97 ERA while averaging 217 innings a season.

The Reds acquired Arroyo from the Red Sox during spring training in 2006, picking him up in exchange for outfielder Wily Mo Pena. Pena proved something of a bust in Boston, and was out of baseball early last year before resuming his pro career in the independent Atlantic League. Earlier this week, Pena signed a minor league deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks that could pay him $675,000 if he makes the big league team.

The Reds had exercised a $13 million option on Arroyo for the 2011 season, but the two sides instead agreed to hammer out the extension.

Read More: Bronson Arroyo, red sox, reds, Rumor Mill

LeBron James’ return to Cleveland draws big ratings

12.03.10 at 2:48 pm ET
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LeBron James‘ return to Cleveland drew big TV ratings Thursday night, according to TNT. The game drew a 5.0 overnight TV rating, besting the 4.1 overnight rating for the NFL Network’s telecast of the Philadelphia Eagles vs. the Houston Texans by 22 percent.

The NBA game averaged a huge 25.4 overnight rating in the Cleveland TV market, compared to 14.9 in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area. Nation ratings peaked at 6.7 from 8:15-8:30 p.m, then declined as the Heat took control. The pregame show from 8-8:11 p.m ET outdrew the game itself, pulling a 5.9 rating.

Despite the high-rating, the game did not beat out the first Celtics-Heat matchup. Darren Rovell tweets that the Heat-Cavs drew 7.05 million viewers, while the Celtics contest drew 7.3 million viewers. Headline Planet adds the game couldn’t outpace the season opener’s 5.6 rating.

Read More: Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James, Miami Heat, Rumor Mill

Vikings report: Adrian Peterson practices, Percy Harvin doesn’t

12.03.10 at 2:45 pm ET
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Updating a previous report, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson returned to practice on Friday, according to Minnesota radio reporter Tom Pelissero. Peterson has been recovering from an ankle injury suffered in the second quarter in last Sunday’s contest against the Redskins. How much work Peterson can put on his ankle has yet to be seen, but this at least bodes well for his playing status for Sunday’s game with the Bills.

Pelissero also notes that receiver Percy Harvin did not practice. The Pioner Press adds that Harvin was nowhere to be found in the building, calling him questionable for Sunday’s game. He’s missing time due to migraine issues, and though Harvin hasn’t missed a game this year, his absence is concerning.

Read More: Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, Rumor Mill,

Update: Texans WR Andre Johnson’s MRI reveals no significant damage

12.03.10 at 2:44 pm ET
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Updating a previous report, Texans receiver Andre Johnson‘s MRI revealed that his ankle inury is not serious. The wideout simply re-tweaked a previous right ankle sprain, but he was able to play through it. Coach Gary Kubiak said there was “no significant change in what we’re looking at.” Now that he has nine days to rest before the Texans’ next game, vs. the Ravens, Johnson is expected to be good to go come game time.

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Report: Eagles will reward receiver DeSean Jackson eventually

12.03.10 at 2:43 pm ET
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According to report from CSN Philadelphia, the Eagles have assured DeSean Jackson that he will be rewarded as one of the NFL’s highest-paid receivers “when the time is right.” But with the collective bargaining agreement still up in the air and the “30 percent” rule restricting the amount teams can offer in extensions, the time is not now.

Jackson, in the third year of his four-year rookie contract, understands this. “I’m not going to panic,’€ he said. ‘€œI’m not going to sit here and be a crybaby about it. I definitely know what I’m worth. It’s unfortunate, but you can’t get frustrated because it’s not going to change until the [NFLPA] makes a deal with the NFL. You just have to deal with it and hopefully something will work out.”

The electric receiver is earning $480,000 in base salary this year and is due $565,000 next year. He received a $1.353 million bonus when he signed in 2008 after the Eagles drafted him in the second round out of Cal. His deal is worth a total of $3,486,365 over four years, or an average of $871,591 per year. He has outplayed that money and draft selection, posting 1,167 yards and nine touchdowns last season and 762 yards and five touchdowns so far this year.

Read More: DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles, Rumor Mill,

Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez pleads guilty, avoids jail time

12.03.10 at 1:27 pm ET
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Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez pleaded guilty to attempted assault Friday, avoiding jail after being accused of attacking his girlfriend’s father, Carlos Pena, in August. Rodriguez was ordered to undergo 52 sessions of anger management over the next year for misdemeanor criminal assault. Rodriguez was also ordered to pay $14,444.65 in restitution for Pena’€™s medical bills stemming from the confrontation. There is a two-year order of protection for Carlos Pena and Daian Pena, the mother of Rodriguez’ children. If Rodriguez violates or fails to comply with the deal, he could face 120 days in jail.

Read More: Francisco Rodriguez, New York Mets, Rumor Mill,

Report: Cardinals assistant Russ Grimm could coach Panthers in 2011

12.03.10 at 1:02 pm ET
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Cardinals assistant head coach Russ Grimm is already in consideration to replace John Fox as Panthers coach in 2011, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Fox will be leaving the Panthers, who currently sit at 1-10, after his contract expires, and Grimm is a logical candidate as his successor. As Schefter points out, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is close to Steelers chairman Dan Rooney, whose team trained Grimm as a coach. Grimm also has the endorsement of former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, who has reportedly been pushing his candidacy. Grimm also would come cheaper than one of the big names such as Bill Cowher, which would make him even more appealing to Richardson.

Read More: Carolina Panthers, Rumor Mill, Russ Grimm,

Update: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger will play with small fracture in foot

12.03.10 at 12:37 pm ET
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As was reported earlier in the week, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had been seen in a walking boot due to what was originally diagnosed as a sprained foot. Turns out the “sprain” was actually a re-aggravation of a previous fracture, according to NFL Network’s Jason La Confora. The report also says that Roethlisberger will play this Sunday against the Ravens, despite the inury being “very painful.”

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Report: Yankees engaged in contract talks with Carl Crawford

12.03.10 at 12:30 pm ET
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According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Yankees are “very much engaged” in contract talks with free agent outfielder Carl Crawford. It was previously thought that pitcher Cliff Lee was the Yankees’ main target, and Olney adds that it’s unclear if the team would be able to afford both players. With Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher all laying claim to a starting job, the Yankees appeared set in the outfield. Crawford batted .307 with 19 homers and 47 stolen bases this past season for Tampa Bay, and he is thought to be seeking an eight-year contract.

The Red Sox reportedly have already met “face-to-face” with Crawford, as have the Angels.

Read More: Carl Crawford, Rumor Mill, Yankees,

Texans receiver Andre Johnson undergoes MRI Friday

12.03.10 at 12:25 pm ET
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After he recorded 149 yards on six catches in Thursday night’s loss to the Eagles, Texans receiver Andre Johnson underwent an MRI on his ankle Friday morning. He received a shot to the ankle during the second quarter to numb the pain after re-aggravating the injury. On his first play back, Johnson caught a 31-yard pass on a key third-down fade.

Johnson also told HoustonTexans.com that he wasn’t “really worried” with the injury, though he didn’t know the extent of it. ‘€œI don’€™t know how bad it is. It’€™s numb right now,’€ Johnson said after the game. ‘€œWhen I was playing before I came in [to the locker room], I was limping when I was out on the field, and I told them that I needed to do something if I was going to continue to play. We came in and numbed it up. When I came back, I looked like a new person. The rest of the game, I felt fine.’€

The star receiver’s big night put him over 1,000 yards for the third straight season and the fifth time in his career.

Read More: Andre Johnson, Rumor Mill,