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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Lawrence Taylor pleads guilty but avoids prison

01.14.11 at 7:54 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY FRIDAY:
NBA: Bobcats at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)

SATURDAY:
NHL: Penguins at Bruins, 1 p.m. (NESN)

SUNDAY:
NFL: Jets at Patriots, 4:30 p.m. (CBS)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Former Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor pleaded guilty Thursday in New City, N.Y., to misdemeanor charges of sexual misconduct and patronizing a 16-year-old prostitute in a deal that will keep him out of jail. “She told me she was 19,” insisted Taylor, who must register as a sex offender.

Taylor thus avoids becoming the third member of the Giants’ 1991 Super Bowl championship team to land behind bars. Mark Ingram is in federal prison for money laundering, bank fraud and bail jumping. Dave Meggett, who also played for the Patriots, last year received a 30-year sentence for criminal sexual conduct and burglary.

‘™¦ Heat star LeBron James, who sat out Thursday night’s loss to the Nuggets, is still hearing it about his two-faced behavior regarding his tweet about the Cavaliers. At Ball Don’t Lie, Kelly Dwyer wonders why James won’t take a stand one way or another.

‘™¦ The Broncos hired John Fox to be their new coach. In The Denver Post, Dave Krieger writes that the former Panthers coach is a good fit for the Broncos as the anti-Josh McDaniels ‘€” a veteran coach who will demonstrate more professionalism than McDaniels. Meanwhile, at The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Terry Pluto looks at the unknown quantity that is new Browns coach Pat Shurmur.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Jan. 14, 2000, which two former Red Sox players were elected to the Hall of Fame?

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Read More: John Fox, Lawrence Taylor, LeBron James, Pat Shurmur

Report: Rafael Soriano agrees to three-year deal with Yankees

01.13.11 at 9:29 pm ET
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According to SI.com, reliever Rafael Soriano has agreed to a deal with the Yankees, thought to be for three years, $35 million. Soriano will set-up closer Mariano Rivera, who is signed for the next two seasons. The New York Times reports that Soriano has opt-out clauses, allowing him to make $11.5 million for one year, $21.5 million for two, and the $35 million for all three.

The 31-year-old Soriano saved an American League-best 45 games for Tampa Bay in 2010, compiling a 1.73 ERA while striking out 57 and walking 14 in 62 1/3 innings. In 2009 the righty saved 27 games for the Braves, finishing with a 2.97 ERA.

The move would cost the Yankees their first-round draft pick (31st overall) since Soriano was a Type-A free agent. It comes just days after New York general manager Brian Cashman said the Yanks wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice a first-round draft pick in order to sign any free agent. The move also guarantees that the Red Sox will be receiving Texas’ first-round pick as compensation for Adrian Beltre agreeing to his deal with the Rangers since Soriano was the last remaining free agent with a higher Elias ranking than Beltre. (If Soriano signed with the Rangers, their pick would have gone to the Rays.)

Read More: Rumor Mill,

Broncos hire John Fox as head coach

01.13.11 at 5:01 pm ET
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The Denver Broncos announced via Twitter that they have hired John Fox as their next head coach. Fox replaces former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels who was fired late in the season after less than two seasons on the job. Fox was the coach of the Carolina Panthers for the last nine season where he compiled a 73-71 record. His best season in Carolina ended with a loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVII.

Read More: Denver Broncos, John Fox, Rumor Mill,

Browns name Pat Shurmur coach

01.13.11 at 1:06 pm ET
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The Browns on Thursday named Pat Shurmur coach, handing the job to a 45-year-old with no head coaching experience.

Shurmur guided the Rams offense the past two seasons and previously was an assistant for the Eagles for 10 years.

Read More: Pat Shurmur, Rumor Mill,

Former NBA star Allen Iverson returns to U.S. to have growth in leg removed

01.13.11 at 12:55 pm ET
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Former NBA star Allen Iverson plans on returning to the United States to have a growth removed from his right leg. Iverson currently plays for Besiktas, a Turkish team. An MRI originally showed a shadow between the two bones in Iverson’€™s lower leg, but the guard continued to play. Business manager and longtime friend of Iverson Gary Moore said the growth could be anything from a lesion or a cyst to a tumor, ESPN reports.

Iverson signed a two-year, $4 million dollar contract with the Turkish squad after no NBA team gave the veteran a look. He plans on returning his team overseas in time for the playoffs.

ESPN reports that Iverson was en route back to the United States and unavailable for comment, but that the Besiktas guard hopes to find out more about the injury, including the severity by having surgery within the next few days. Moore said that two things have to happen: The lesion must come out, and it then must be tested to find out whether it is malignant or benign.

Read More: Allen Iverson, Rumor Mill,

Ex-coach of Michigan’s Denard Robinson says quarterback likely will remain at school

01.13.11 at 12:54 pm ET
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The high school coach of Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson said on Wednesday that he believes ‘€œif the right things are said,’€ then Robinson will return to school and play in the 2011 NCAA season, ESPN.com reports.

Deerfield Beach (Fla.) High School coach Art Taylor said that he thinks Robinson wants to stay at school, and will meet with new Wolverines coach Brady Hoke to determine his future with the team.

‘€œI think if the right things are said at Michigan, I think he wants to stay,’€ Taylor said on Wednesday. ‘€œWill they put you on the edge and roll you out? Denard does not want to sit out a year.’€

Taylor said that coming out of high school, Robinson was also interested in going to school at Florida or UCF. But Michigan drew him in with the style of offense the Wolverines run. Robinson’€™s decision could come if any significant changes are made to the offense following the hiring of Hoke.

Read More: Brady Hoke, Denard Robinson, Michigan Wolverines, Rumor Mill

Knicks could target free agent centers Marc Gasol or DeAndre Jordan in offseason

01.13.11 at 12:53 pm ET
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Taking a pending Carmelo Anthony trade into account, Knicks president Donnie Walsh told the New York Post on Thursday that the team wouldn’€™t be willing to give up too much in a trade for the Nuggets forward. Right now, the biggest names on the Knicks’€™ radar for the upcoming summer are free agent centers Marc Gasol and DeAndre Jordan. The Post emphasized the team’€™s need for a legitimate center, and both Gasol and Jordan are 7-footers who have already proven themselves this season before the All-Star break.

The Knicks have been involved in trade talks with the Timberwolves regarding Minnesota’€™s first-round draft pick. But New York reportedly would have to part with Anthony Randolph, along with two or three other prospects like Danilo Gallinari, Landry fields or Wilson Chandler. Walsh expressed to the Post that he isn’€™t sure he wants to part with any of those players because of the team’€™s need for a center.

As it stand right now, Amar’€™e Stoudemire is the starting center, but would be moved back to his natural power forward position if the team acquires a proven center.

Read More: Amar'e Stoudemire, Anthony Randolph, Carmelo Anthony, Rumor Mill

Vikings reportedly will offer Adrian Peterson $50 million contract extension

01.13.11 at 11:09 am ET
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The Vikings are expected to focus their priority offseason signings on linebacker Chad Greenway and wide receiver Sidney Rice, depending on if the NFL labor issue falls into place. But the Vikings also are reportedly expected to give running back Adrian Peterson a $50 million extension over five years as part of a remodeled contract, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Secondary signings are expected to be Ryan Longwell and Brian Robison, after Peterson’€™s contract is reconstructed.

Peterson rushed for 12 touchdowns in 2010 on 1,298 yards. Half of the money Peterson is expected to receive will be guaranteed money from the Vikings. Peterson will be entering his fifth season in 2011.

Read More: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings, Rumor Mill,

Cowboys running back Tashard Choice could be traded before 2011 season

01.13.11 at 11:01 am ET
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After Tashard Choice‘s disappointing season for the Cowboys in Dallas in 2010, The Dallas Morning News suggested that the running back could be moved out before the start of the 2011 season, since his trade value is higher than ever. In a question-and-answer segment, SportsDayDFW.com’€™s Gerry Fraley wrote that Choice’€™s value on the market is high, and that Cowboys fans shouldn’€™t expect him to return to the team next season.

With Marion Barber and Felix Jones ahead of Choice on the depth chart, the No. 3 back probably will seek a different role. Injuries to Barber and Jones this season gave Dallas a good look at Choice’€™s ability, and Fraley wrote that he believes the third-string back deserves more touches. When the offensive-minded Jason Garrett took the helm at the end of the 2010 season, Choice was rarely used until forced in by injuries.

Read More: Dallas Cowboys, Jason Garrett, Rumor Mill, Tashard Choice

Joe Torre looking for a job with Major League Baseball under Bud Selig

01.13.11 at 10:57 am ET
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Former manager of the Yankees and Dodgers Joe Torre confirmed on Wednesday that he has been in talks with baseball commissioner Bud Selig about getting a job with Major League Baseball, ESPN.com reports. Torre said on Wednesday that he has not received an official offer yet, and he believes that Selig is still considering other candidates.

Torre has been attending quarterly owners meetings in Arizona as part of Selig’€™s competition committee. The next owners meeting is scheduled for Thursday, when Torre said he hopes to discuss the potential position with the commissioner, ‘€œif he has time.’€

‘€œThe commissioner and I have been talking. I’€™m just trying to figure out what feels right, I guess,’€ Torre said.

News reports in the past few days have indicated that the position for which Torre is applying is that of executive vice president for baseball operations, formerly held by new Mets general manager Sandy Alderson.

Read More: bud selig, Joe Torre, Major League Baseball, Rumor Mill