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SI names Drew Brees Sportsman of the Year

11.30.10 at 12:56 pm ET
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Sports Illustrated announced Tuesday morning that Saints quarterback Drew Brees has been named Sportsman of the Year for his championship on the field and his charity off of it. Brees becomes the award’s 57th recipient after leading the long-suffering Saints to their first Super Bowl title and helping aid the rebirth of the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Brees will be recognized at a ceremony in New York on Tuesday. He is the fifth NFL quarterback to be honored, and third in six years. The Steelers’ Terry Bradshaw won in 1979, 49ersJoe Montana in 1990, Patriots’ Tom Brady in 2005 and the PackersBrett Favre in 2007.

Read More: Drew Brees, Rumor Mill,

Jets auditioning new kickers as Nick Folk struggles

11.30.10 at 11:07 am ET
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Concerned by Nick Folk‘s recent downturn in performance, ESPNNewYork.com is reporting that the Jets are scheduled to work out veteran kicker Kris Brown on Tuesday. Folk has missed five of his last 10 field goal attempts, including one from 44-yards against the Bengals on Thanksgiving. He also almost missed an extra point (he got a lucky bounce off the upright) and came up short on three kickoffs.

Brown, 33, was cut by the Charges on Nov. 23. He kicked in three games for the Chargers and made four of five field goals. In a 12-year career, Brown has played for the Steelers and Texans, losing his job in Houston in the preseason to Neil Rackers. He is a 77 percent career kicker on field goals.

Read More: Kris Brown, Neil Rackers, Nick Folk, Rumor Mill

Damien Woody and Jerricho Cotchery expect to play Monday

11.30.10 at 11:06 am ET
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Jets right tackle Damien Woody sat out practice Monday while recovering from a sprained knee ligament, but expects to play at the Patriots Monday night. “It’s too big,” Woody said, with the division rivals tied atop the AFC East with 9-2 records. “So, I’m going to be out there.” Woody sprained the medial collateral ligament in his right knee against the Texans last Sunday, but played on Thanksgiving in the Jets 26-10 win over the Bengals. Woody said he was “pretty sore” afterwords and spent the weekend rehabilitating.

Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery was limited in practice on Monday, but also hopes to play after already missing two games with a groin injury. “I’m heading on the right track,” Cotchery said. “I didn’t do too much today, but I got some snaps in on offense and got in some routes. We have a lot of time before Monday, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be in good shape.”

The Jets don’t need to release an official injury report until later in the week since they play the Monday night game.

Read More: Damien Woody, Jerricho Cotchery, Rumor Mill,

A’s to meet with Lance Berkman

11.30.10 at 11:05 am ET
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One of A’s general manager Billy Beane‘s priorities this offseason is to find a reliable hitter who can help the club score more runs for its talented pitching staff. So, on Tuesday, they are planning to meet with 34-year-old free agent Lance Berkman. The switch-hitter batted .248 with 14 home runs and 58 RBIs this past season between the Astros and Yankees. In late October the Yankees declined to exercise the $15 million contract option for Berkman, who received a $2 million buyout.

The A’s finished 81-81 in 2010. They stayed in the AL West chase until late in the season, losing out to the eventual AL champion Rangers.

Read More: Billy Beane, Lance Berkman, Rumor Mill,

Carlos Boozer practicing with the Bulls after hand injury

11.30.10 at 11:04 am ET
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For the first time since breaking his right hand in an accident at his home on Oct. 2, forward Carlos Boozer practiced with the Bulls on Monday. He wore a modified padded glove that shields the broken fifth metatarsal, but leaves his thumb and first two fingers exposed so he can get a feel for the ball. Boozer reported no problems after practice and said, “I feel pretty good. I got my protective glove on. During practice, my hand felt pretty good. It’s getting better and better, which is all I could hope for.”

Despite the successful outing, coach Tom Thibodeau wasn’t ready to make a decision on whether Boozer would play Wednesday against the Magic. “He looked fine,” Thibodeau said. “We’ll see how it goes tomorrow (in practice) and in the shoot-around on Wednesday. For the first day, it was very good.”

Boozer missed the entire preseason and hasn’t played in any of the Bulls’ 15 regular season games to date. Thibodeau said that Boozer will move into the Bulls’ starting lineup in place of Taj Gibson, who has averaged 11.5 points and 7.1 rebounds in 27.5 minutes as Boozer’s replacement. Last year, with the Jazz, Boozer averaged 19.5 points and 11.2 rebounds in 78 games, and averaged 34.3 minutes per game. The number of minutes Boozer will play for the Bulls depends on his conditioning said Thibodeau.

Read More: Carlos Boozer, Rumor Mill, Taj Gibson, Tom Thibodeau

Prince Fielder on the trading block?

11.30.10 at 10:00 am ET
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Will the Milwaukee Brewers deal Prince Fielder? That’s the key question of their offseason and general manager Doug Melvin is debating that very scenario. He told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. You can’t say one or the other. I haven’t decided yet.” In other words, make him an offer.

Fielder will be a free agent after the 2011 season and he is represented by Scott Boras who does not like his clients to sign extensions before they hit the open market, so any deal would probably be for a one-year rental. Not surprisingly Boras is thinking Fielder is worth Mark Teixeira money. Still, a number of teams would like a power bat in the middle of the lineup including perhaps the Red Sox.

Read More: prince fielder, red sox, Rumor Mill, Scott Boras

Report: Rockies’ Troy Tulowitzki close to new megadeal

11.30.10 at 9:56 am ET
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The Denver Post is reporting that Rockies All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowizki is close to completing a new mega-deal that may extend as long as 10 years.  Citing sources that are close to the negotiations, The Post says Tulowitzki has reportedly signed a seven-year, $134 million extension that will carry him through the 2020 season. Tulowitzki won his first Gold Glove and NL Silver Slugger awards this year, hitting .315 with 27 homers and 95 RBIs despite missing 33 games with a broken wrist.

The Post is also reporting that the Rockies have agreed in principle on a deal with left-handed pitcher Jorge De La Rosa, pending a physical. It is a two-year, $21.5 million contract that includes a player option for a third year that could increase the deal’s value to $32 million. If De La Rosa forgoes free agency and exercises the option, the Rockies receive a fourth-year club option for $11 million.

The Rockies have schedule a news conference for Tuesday.

Read More: Jorge De La Rosa, Rumor Mill, Troy Tulowitzki,

Tony Romo throws passes at Cowboys’ practice

11.30.10 at 9:55 am ET
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Tony Romo, who broke his left collarbone on Oct. 25, has done all the prescribed rehabilitation work and kept the rest of his body in shape during recovery. He goes to all the Cowboys’ meetings and watches games from the sideline. And on Monday, Romo was back on the Cowboys’ practice field throwing soft passes during warm-ups. Romo has lobbed balls on the field before each of the past two games, but this is the first time he was seen throwing to teammates during the portion of practice open to the media.

“The mindset we have as an organization is to get him as healthy as we can as quickly as we can,” interim coach Jason Garrett said. “He has his mindset to come back as quickly as he can.” Romo has a target date for return set on the second-to-last game, Dec. 25 at the Cardinals. The Cowboys have made a return possible by not putting Romo on injured reserve. The collarbone did not require surgery, just rest and rehab.

The Cowboys were 1-6 coming out of the game during which Romo was injured. Backup Jon Kitna has gone 2-2 and put up remarkably similar numbers.

Read More: Jason Garrett, Jon Kitna, Rumor Mill, Tony Romo

Boise State kicker Kyle Brotzman a target of taunts

11.30.10 at 9:54 am ET
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As if missing two field goals in Boise State’s 34-31 overtime loss to Nevada on Friday wasn’t difficult enough, Broncos kicker Kyle Brotzman is now having to endure an endless stream of taunts on social networking sites. The senior kicker, and leading scorer in school history, missed a game-winner from 26 yards with two seconds left in regulation followed by another from 29 yards out in overtime. The loss spoiled the Broncos’ unbeaten season and their hopes of playing in a BCS bowl game.

It didn’t take long for angry fans to turn on Brotzman, who grew up in the Boise area. Within hours the Ada County Sheriff’s Department got a report about callers leaving obnoxious, harassing telephone messages. That was followed by the emergence of dozens of Facebook pages filled with ugly name-calling, jabs and taunts aimed at Brotzman. However, supporters also responded quickly starting “Bronco Nation Loves Kyle Brotzman” and “We Still Love Kyle Brotzman” pages to stand by the beleaguered kicker.

Broncos’ coach Chris Petersen tried to deflect criticism away from Brotzman on Monday, saying no single person is responsible in a loss like that and that there is plenty of blame to go around.

Read More: Boise State, Chris Peterson, Kyle Brotzman, Rumor Mill

Alabama PA announcer fired for song choices

11.30.10 at 9:54 am ET
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The University of Alabama terminated an employee Monday who played unauthorized songs aimed at Auburn quarterback Cam Newton over the Bryant-Denny Stadium public address system prior to Friday’s Iron Bowl. Two of the pregame song choices were “Take the Money and Run,” by The Steve Miller Band and “Son of a Preacher Man,” by Aretha Franklin. The NCAA has been investigating allegations that Newton’s father, a pastor, solicited $180,000 from Mississippi state during recruiting.

Alabama spokeswoman Debbie Lane said in a statement that all music and videos played in the stadium before and during games have to be approved by a senior athletic administrator. The part-time staffer, who has not been named by the university, did not get those songs cleared. “The University of Alabama takes great pride in our football team’s long-standing tradition of playing the game with dignity and class, and showing respect for players and coaches of opposing teams,” Lane said. “We are disappointed when the actions of any staff member undermine our deeply held values and expectations.”

Read More: Cam Newton, Rumor Mill,