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Browns WR Josh Gordon reportedly will appeal yearlong suspension

07.24.14 at 2:25 pm ET
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Suspended Browns wideout Josh Gordon isn’t going down without a fight.

The Pro Bowl receiver will appeal the yearlong suspension levied against him during a meeting with NFL executives Aug. 1, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

ESPN reported in May that Gordon was dealing with the suspension due to failing a drug test in the previous months. The 23-year-old receiver’s situation only got worse when he was arrested and charged with DWI in North Carolina earlier this month.

“It is concerning and you want to address it, but until we know where he stands with the league we don’t know really where he stands with us,” Browns coach Mike Pettine said Monday. “I’ve stated before that we’ve had the meetings, we’ve discussed all the options, from the best case to the worst case. And we’re still in that mode of waiting.”

Gordon was one of most dynamic players in the NFL last season, leading the league in receiving yards (1,646) while becoming the only player in history to record consecutive 200-yard receiving games.

Read More: Browns, Josh Gordon, Mike Pettine,

Ravens CB Aaron Ross to miss entire season with torn Achilles

07.24.14 at 1:47 pm ET
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Ravens cornerback Aaron Ross‘€™ season was over before it could ever really start.

The 31-year-old tore his Achilles tendon while taking part in Baltimore’€™s conditioning test Thursday and will miss the entire 2014 season.

Ross, who won two Super Bowls with the Giants, signed a deal with the Ravens last month and was expected to compete for the team’€™s nickel corner spot during camp.

In seven NFL seasons, Ross has recorded 250 total tackles, 11 interceptions and 41 passes defended. He was selected by the Giants in the first round (20th overall) of the 2007 NFL draft out of the University of Texas.

Read More: Aaron Ross, Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants,

Report: Ravens RB Ray Rice suspended 2 games

07.24.14 at 1:39 pm ET
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The NFL finally has come down with a decision on Ravens running back Ray Rice, suspending him for the first two games of regular season due to his offseason arrest on an assault charge, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Sources told Schefter that the suspension — which likely will be announced by the league Thursday — will begin Aug. 30 and will last until Sept. 12, the day after Baltimore plays the Steelers in the second game of the season. Rice will be fined $58,000 dollars and will be asked to take part in counseling.

This past February, Rice allegedly hit his then-fiancee while in an elevator at a casino in Atlantic City, N.J. TMZ later acquired video that shows Rice lifting his unconscious fiancee out of the elevator — a video that Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome admitted “doesn’t look good.”

Rice later pleaded not guilty to a third-degree charge of aggravated assault and was able to avoid a trial by agreeing to enter a pretrial intervention program in May.

It’s been a turbulent last few months for Baltimore, as Rice was one of five players on the Ravens roster to be arrested during the offseason.

Read More: Baltimore Ravens, Ravens, Ray Rice,

Suspended Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon arrested for marijuana possession

07.24.14 at 1:15 pm ET
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Just two years ago, Justin Blackmon was chosen by the Jaguars with the fifth overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft after a stellar career at Oklahoma State.

Now, the talented wideout may be out of the league after playing in just 20 games.

Blackmon, already suspended for at least a year after violating the league’s drug policy, was arrested Wednesday evening in Oklahoma for possession of marijuana.

After Blackmon’s car was stopped by police after a traffic violation, he admitted to officers that he smoked “a blunt” while driving and had another in his car.

This is the latest in a long string of drug incidents with Blackmon. The 24-year-old receiver missed the first four games of the 2013 season after violating the league’s drug policy. He would only play four games with Jacksonville before again infringing on the league’s drug program, this time being suspended for at least a year.

“This is no longer a football issue,” said Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny. “As his teammates, you hope he can do everything he can to get his life squared away. We feel for him and we obviously want the best for him because he’s a good kid at heart. We want the best for him. We hope that he can come out of this. … He’s a good guy. He’s fighting through some things now and hopefully he’s able to fix that and get his life back on the right.”

Despite Blackmon’s uncertain future in the NFL, the Jaguars have remained hesitant to cut the promising receiver.

“I know our policy right now, I believe, is it’s not putting us in a difficult situation having him still be part of our organization in this capacity,” Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said Thursday. “It’s really hard by not having conversations with him. I really don’t know how he’s doing, where he’s at. And then when we receive news like this, it creates more discussion. So I’m sure those will be conversation we’ll have [about] the direction we’ll go.”

Read More: Jaguars, Justin Blackmon, Paul Posluszny,

WR Roddy White signs 4-year extension with Falcons

07.24.14 at 12:45 pm ET
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One of Matt Ryan‘€™s favorite weapons will be running routes in the Georgia Dome for the foreseeable future, as the Falcons signed receiver Roddy White to a four-year contract extension Thursday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the team.

White, who holds Atlanta’s franchise records in both receptions (685) and receiving yards (9,436), should once again be a vital cog in the Falcons offense, especially with the retirement of tight end Tony Gonzalez and the questionable status of injury-prone wideout Julio Jones.

Despite missing three games last season with ankle and hamstring injuries, White had another productive campaign, finishing the year with 63 receptions and 711 yards. White finished the 2013 season on a high note, catching 43 balls for 502 yards and two touchdowns over his final five games.

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Chiefs, RB Jamaal Charles agree to extension

07.24.14 at 12:39 pm ET
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Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles was one of the most dynamic playmakers in the AFC last season, and he’s finally going to be paid like one.

The Chiefs announced Wednesday night that they have signed the Pro Bowler to a contract extension. While Kansas City did not disclose terms of the deal, a source told The Associated Press that the extension is expected to run through the 2017 season.

“Jamaal is an elite player in the National Football League,” Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said said in a statement released by the team. “It was important for us to keep him here in Kansas City long-term.”

Charles, who gained 1,980 total yards and scored a league-high 19 touchdown last season, was expected to holdout from attending Kansas City’€™s mandatory training camp before reaching the deal.

Charles took to Twitter to announce his return, as he participated in the team’€™s first practice Thursday.

Read More: Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs,

Tigers trade for Rangers closer Joakim Soria

07.24.14 at 11:58 am ET
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Yet another MLB contender has fortified its bullpen in time for the stretch run of the 2014 season, as the Tigers acquired Rangers closer Joakim Soria for pitching prospects Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson.

The deal was finalized during Texas’€™ 2-1 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday and was announced after the game.

“I’m going to a new team. It’s going to be my new family. I’m going to do whatever they want me to do,” Soria said after the game. “I just want to help them win the World Series. That’s what it’s all about, and I hope I can help out as much as I can.”

Soria has been one of the few bright spots on a Rangers team that holds the worst record in baseball (40-61), as the righty is 1-3 with a 2.70 ERA and 17 saves in 19 opportunities this season.

Soria will make the jump from the last-place Rangers to the Tigers, who hold the top spot in the AL Central despite an ineffective bullpen that ranks 12th out of 15 American League squads with a 4.37 ERA.

Soria, a two-time All-Star with the Royals,€“ signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the Rangers last season after missing the entire 2012 season while recovering from his second Tommy John surgery. He has a $7 million club option for 2015 with a $500,000 buyout.

Read More: Joakim Soria, rangers, Tigers,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Testimony ends in Clippers ownership trial

07.24.14 at 8:18 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’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.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 12:37 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Rangers at Yankees, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Marlins at Braves, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Padres at Cubs, 8 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Tigers at Angels, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
WNBA: Phoenix Mercuty at Los Angeles Sparks, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
Soccer: International Champions Cup, Olympiakos vs. AC Milan, 8 p.m. (FS1)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

– The Clippers ownership trial in Los Angeles moved closer to its conclusion Wednesday, as Donald Sterling‘s lawyer threw a curveball that appeared to miss the mark on the final day of testimony.

Instead of calling Shelly Sterling, as was expected, Donald Sterling’s legal team called Dr. Jeffrey Cummings to discuss the protocol of examinations used to judge mental capacity. Shelly Sterling’s attorneys repeatedly objected, and Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas rejected most of the testimony and refused to accept the psychiatrist’s report from the banned owner’s lawyers that indicated Donald Sterling suffered only mild cognitive impairment. Levanas noted that both sides had agreed not to make Donald Sterling’s mental capacity an issue in this trial.

Donald Sterling’s lawyers ended up calling only two witnesses despite listing 14 on their initial list submitted to the court. In addition to Cummings, they called Dean Bonham, whom they described as an expert in assessing the value of sports franchises. Bonham claimed the Clippers could be sold for more than the record $2 billion Ballmer offered. However, Shelly Sterling’s lawyers got Bonham to admit he had not graduated from high school or college and had no special training in franchise valuations.

The case is slated to wrap up Monday with closing arguments.

After Wednesday’s session, attorneys for Shelly Sterling and prospective buyer Steve Ballmer said that if they win this case, they will ask the judge to allow the sale to go through immediately, despite the likelihood of Donald Sterling appealing the decision.

“If you don’t let this sale go through and meet the deadline for the sale, an incredibly valuable asset will fall like a rock,” Shelly Sterling attorney Pierce O’Donnell said.

Donald Sterling’s lawyers, who earlier this week filed a lawsuit against Shelly Sterling, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and the league, said if they lose this case they will seek an injunction to stop the sale.

Mark McGwire still wants nothing to do with former Athletics teammate Jose Canseco, despite Canseco’s conciliatory tone at last weekend’s 25th anniversary celebration of the 1989 World Series champions.

“It’s too late,” McGwire told ESPNLosAngeles on Wednesday. “What he did was wrong. … I [can't] care less what he does.”

Canseco acknowledged during Saturday’s commemoration in Oakland that he made a mistake by exposing McGwire as a user of performance-enhancing drugs in his 2005 book, saying he “idolized” McGwire when they played together.

“It haunts me ’til this day that I said those things about him, even though obviously they were true,” Canseco said. “I could have gone about it a different way and gotten my point across. … I regret writing the book for sure.”

MASHUP POLL: Should Mark McGwire forgive Jose Canseco?

  • No, Canseco sold out McGwire and still can't be trusted (50%, 54 Votes)
  • Yes, Canseco only told the truth about McGwire using PEDs and has apologized (50%, 53 Votes)

Total Voters: 107

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Canseco said he has not had contact with McGwire since the book came out. McGwire, now the Dodgers hitting coach, was with his team in St. Louis during the A’s reunion.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Clippers, Donald Sterling, Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire

Michael Sam on Tony Dungy: ‘Thank God he wasn’t the St. Louis Rams coach’

07.23.14 at 12:32 pm ET
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Michael Sam responded to Tony Dungy‘s comments to the Tampa Tribune that he wouldn’t have drafted the openly gay Rams rookie because he would be a distraction and things wouldn’t go “totally smooth.”

“Thank God he wasn’t the St. Louis Rams coach,” Sam told ESPN’s Nick Wagoner on Tuesday. “I have a lot of respect for Coach Dungy. And like everyone in American, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.”

Dungy’s comments sparked controversy and discussions amongst many. The former Colts coach later clarified his take on Sam in a statement.

Whether or not Sam is a distraction is ultimately up to  Jeff Fisher. And the Rams coach told ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning Wednesday that Sam has “absolutely not” been a distraction.

“Let’s define distraction,” Fisher said. “There were a couple of extra cameras during early OTAs. There may have been an extra camera yesterday as rookies reported and went on the field the first time. Mike’s a very passionate athlete. He’s very focused on trying to make this football team. … He worked really hard during the summer, and he’s doing a good job.”

Fisher said there will be no limits placed on Sam’s media availability during training camp. He said he has no problem with Dungy’s comments.

“I’m going to assume some that maybe things were taken out of context,” Fisher said. “But everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. Coaches are going to have differences of opinion during the draft. … I’m not concerned. Tony’s entitled to his opinion as everybody is and so are and right now we think we have a pretty good thing going.”

Read More: Jeff Fisher, Michael Sam, Tony Dungy,

Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki placed on DL with hip flexor strain

07.23.14 at 12:29 pm ET
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Rockies All-Star shortstop and major league batting leader Troy Tulowitzki has been placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a left hip flexor strain.

Tulowitzki hurt himself while running out a ground ball in Pittsburgh on Saturday. He missed the next two games before going to the DL.

Tulowitzki’s lower-body issues date back to 2008 when he tore his left quadriceps tendon.

“That ’08 injury really put me behind the 8-ball because when you completely tear a muscle, it never gets the same again,” he said. “All the other muscles have to help support. I knew it was going to be a long road back from that injury.

“I didn’t know to the extent, but here we are six years later and it’s still giving me issues.”

Tulowitzki is hitting .340 and is third in the National League with 21 home runs.

Read More: Troy Tulowitzki,