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Pete Carroll, Seahawks want veteran Matt Hasselbeck back for 2011 season

01.12.11 at 6:16 pm ET
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Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he hopes  Seattle veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck returns to the team for another season in 2011. Carroll said that the team will do everything possible to get Hasselbeck back in a Seahawks uniform for the 11th time in his career.

‘€œWe don’€™t know the timelines or how that’€™s going to work out, and all that kind of stuff, but that’€™s a big issue for us that we’€™re looking forward to,’€ Carroll said. ‘€œHe’€™s had a terrific run for us, and we want to see what we can do to keep that going.’€

Hasselbeck passed for 272 yards and four touchdowns in a stunning win over the defending champion Saints on Saturday in the Wild Card round of the NFC playoffs. The Seahawks will play the Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago in the Divisional round of the NFL playoffs.

Read More: Matt Hasselbeck, Pete Carroll, Rumor Mill, Seattle Seahawks

Report: Third plaintiff could join harassment lawsuit against Brett Favre

01.12.11 at 3:55 pm ET
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Even though Brett Favre‘€™s season has officially ended, the Vikings quarterback is far from out of the spotlight. ProFootballTalk’€™s Mike Florio wrote on Wednesday that a third plaintiff could come into play in the lawsuit filed by massage therapists against the Jets and Favre for sexual harassment and retaliation. Christina Scavo and Shannon O’€™Toole filed a suit against Favre and the Jets for advancements Favre made while with the team.

David Jaraslowicz, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs in the case, made an appearance on ProFootballTalk Live on Wednesday and said that the third plaintiff in the case contacted him directly about the alleged advances Favre made, which included text messages sent to her phone by Favre, inviting the unnamed therapist and Scavo up to his hotel room. Jaraslowicz said that Favre did not make direct contact with Scavo or O’€™Toole like he did with the third massage therapist.

Jaraslowicz said on Wednesday that it is possible the third therapist could be joining the lawsuit in the future.

Read More: brett favre, New York Jets, Rumor Mill,

Report: Rays sign right-handed reliever Kyle Farnsworth to one-year deal

01.12.11 at 3:18 pm ET
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After garnering a playoff spot last season, the Rays have had trouble retaining many of the players that had a giant role in getting the team into the postseason, losing some big names to free agency. But no part of their team has taken as much of a hit as the bullpen, which has already lost three relievers, and could potentially lose two more. In an effort replace some of those lost bullpen members, the Rays have agreed to a deal with right-handed reliever Kyle Farnsworth to a one-year, $3.26 million contract, ESPN.com reports.

The deal with Farnsworth has the option for a second year that could push the contract to $6 million. Farnsworth finished last season with the Braves, and had a stint with the Royals before being moved to Atlanta. Farnsworth recorded a 3.34 ERA in 64 innings pitched last season, and has a career record of 34-55 in 837 innings.

The Rays lost setup men Joaquin Benoit, Dan Wheeler and Randy Choate this offseason, and could see the departures of All-Star closer Rafael Soriano and Grant Balfour by the start of spring training.

Read More: Kyle Farnsworth, Rumor Mill, Tampa Bay Rays,

Chargers reportedly look to replace Ron Rivera with 49ers defensive coordinator

01.12.11 at 3:16 pm ET
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With the departure of defensive coordinator Ron Rivera to the Panthers, Norv Turner and the Chargers have begun the search for a replacement for Rivera. According to the North County Times, the Chargers have had preliminary conversations with several in-house specialty coordinators, but the favorite to get the job is 49ers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky.

With the hiring of Jim Harbaugh as head coach, the 49ers expect Manusky to seek other coaching options, which will allow Harbaugh to replace him with Vic Fangio, his defensive coordinator at Stanford.

Rivera took over as head coach of the Panthers this week, leaving the vacancy in San Diego. Other candidates considered for the defensive coordinator position with the Chargers are current linebackers coach John Pagano and secondary coach Steve Wilks. Manusky also has interviewed with the Cardinals and is expected to speak with the Cowboys and Panthers as well. But his history as the Chargers linebackers coach from 2002-06 could persuade his decision.

Read More: Greg Manusky, Ron Rivera, Rumor Mill, San Diego Chargers

LEEInks List: Memorable moments in last decade of Patriots-Jets rivalry

01.12.11 at 2:44 pm ET
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This list originally was published last month, before the Patriots routed the Jets, 45-3. With the teams meeting again in the playoffs, we decided to re-visit it.

Over the past 15 years, there have been major personnel switching places, career-changing injuries that reshaped the faces of the franchises, and claims of cheating between the two teams. Here are 10 memorable moments in the rivalry.

10. Sept. 20, 2009: Rex Ryan enters the rivalry

The outspoken coach of the Jets has not backed away from any challenge. When hired by New York last year, he said: ‘€œI never came here to kiss Bill Belichick‘€™s rings.’€ Ryan backed it up in the teams’ first meeting as the Jets won 16-9, their first home victory over the Patriots since 2000. Mark Sanchez outplayed Tom Brady, throwing the only touchdown of the game without turning the ball over. While the Jets won the game, the Patriots would go on to win the second meeting in 2009 and capture the AFC East.

9. Oct. 24, 2004: Pats beat Jets in matchup of unbeatens

The Patriots and Jets both entered the Week 7 matchup at 5-0, the first time two undefeated teams had met that late in the season since 1973. In a defensive showdown, the Patriots scored the only touchdown of the game with 11 seconds left in the first half and fought to hold off the Jets. With 2:14 left and the Jets trailing 13-7, New York decided to go for it on fourth-and-8 from the Patriots’ 30. Chad Pennington‘€™s pass was broken up by Rodney Harrison, giving the Patriots the NFL’s regular-season record for wins with 18 (the Pats broke their own record four years later with 21 in a row).

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Belichick, Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan, Tom Brady

AL MVP Josh Hamilton in hospital with pneumonia

01.12.11 at 12:50 pm ET
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The Rangers’ Josh Hamilton, the 2010 American League MVP, was expected to be released from the hospital Wednesday after being treated for pneumonia since Monday, the team announced. The Rangers said he should be able to return to his offseason conditioning within the next few days.

Hamilton hit .359 with 32 home runs and 100 RBIs last season as he helped lead Texas to its first-ever World Series appearance.

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Report: Yankees pursuing Justin Duchscherer

01.12.11 at 12:47 pm ET
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In an ongoing effort to find help for their pitching staff, the Yankees are stepping up their pursuit of pitcher Justin Duchscherer, according to ESPN.com.

The 33-year-old Duchscherer is 33-25 with a 3.13 ERA in eight seasons with the Athletics and Rangers. He made the All-Star team in 2005 as a reliever and again in 2008 as a starter, but he has thrown just 28 innings over the last two seasons due to a variety of injuries.

The article says it is unclear if the Yankees plan to use Duchscherer as a starter or reliever. They currently have CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova lined up for their top four rotation spots, with the fifth spot up for grabs.

Read More: Justin Duchscherer, Rumor Mill,

Report: UConn close to hiring Mark Whipple as next coach

01.12.11 at 12:46 pm ET
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UConn could have its new football coach by Thursday, according to The Associated Press. An athletic department official told the AP that the school is in the final stages of negotiation with former University of Miami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple.

Whipple, who coached UMass to the 1998 Division 1-AA championship, was let go by Miami at the end of the season when head coach Randy Shannon was fired. He would replace Randy Edsall, who left UConn after an 8-5 season and a Fiesta Bowl berth to take the head coaching job at Maryland.

Whipple has also been a head coach at New Haven and Brown. He was the Steelers quarterbacks coach from 2004-06 and served as an Eagles assistant coach before being hired by Miami in 2009.

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Browns LB Scott Fujita calls NFL’s 18-game proposal ‘a slap in the face’

01.12.11 at 12:45 pm ET
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It appears the NFL and the players union are still worlds apart when it comes to the proposed 18-game schedule. In a conference call arranged by the union, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita voiced his displeasure with the proposal.

“To me, right now, as things stand, 18 games, the way it’s being proposed, is completely unacceptable. … I see more and more players get injured every season,” Fujita said Tuesday.

“There are so many things now ‘€” with player health and safety, and the future of us and our families – that aren’t even being considered. And for us, it’s disappointing. It feels like a slap in the face.”

The 18-game schedule is one of several sticking points in the ongoing negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement that has many predicting a lockout. When asked if he thinks a lockout is inevitable at this point, Fujita said, “It certainly looks that way to me.”

Read More: Rumor Mill, Scott Fujita,

Report: Carmelo Anthony could hold up trade to Nets

01.12.11 at 10:17 am ET
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Discussions between the Nuggets, Nets and Pistons about a 15-player mega-trade that would send Carmelo Anthony to New Jersey could all be for naught, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com.

Broussard reports that several league sources said Anthony has never told anyone he would be willing to sign an extension with New Jersey. The Nets have said the deal is contingent upon having an extension in place.

“He has not agreed to go to New Jersey,” said one source who speaks regularly with Anthony. “I have never heard him, in all the times we’ve talked, say he’s willing to go to New Jersey. Not once. Personally, I would be stunned if he went there and signed an extension.”

Read More: Carmelo Anthony, Rumor Mill,