=== News Summaries from The Sports Network - Wednesday, March 4 ===
=== Peyton Manning to return, taking pay cut ===
(SportsNetwork.com) - Peyton Manning will play an 18th NFL season on a reduced
salary in 2015, agreeing to a $4 million cut with the Denver Broncos.
ESPN first reported the news that Manning will have his pay slashed from $19
million to $15 million next season, with the Denver Post confirming the news.
The Broncos are expected to make an official announcement Thursday once
Manning takes and passes a physical exam.
According to NFL.com, the five-time NFL MVP can still earn the $4 million back
Manning is entering the fourth season of a five-year, $95 million contract he
signed with the Broncos in March of 2012. The soon-to-be 39-year-old has
started every game during his tenure with the club and led Denver to an AFC
championship in 2013, though his struggles near the end of last season and the
Broncos' plans to make changes on offense under new head coach Gary Kubiak led
to speculation that Manning would consider not returning.
It marks the first time in Manning's storied career that he has agreed to a
The team is budgeting $12.823 million to account for the franchise tag
designated Monday for wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. Tight end Julius Thomas,
defensive tackle Terrance Knighton and offensive lineman Orlando Franklin are
set to hit the market.
Manning finished second in the NFL with 39 touchdown passes this past season
after throwing for a league-record 55 in 2013. The NFL's all-time leader in
that category finished last year's campaign with 4,727 passing yards and a
101.5 quarterback rating.
=== Eagles release Trent Cole ===
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Eagles officially
released veteran pass-rusher Trent Cole on Wednesday.
Cole's release comes one day after reports surfaced that the Eagles have a
deal in place to trade former NFL rushing champion LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo
Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso.
In the past two weeks, the Eagles have parted ways with tight end James Casey,
guard Todd Herremans, cornerback Cary Williams and now Cole.
Cole, 32, carried cap figures of $11.625 million in 2015, $12.6 million in
2016 and $14 million in 2017 as part of the four-year extension he signed in
March of 2012. He had base salaries of $10 million in 2015, $10.9 million in
2016 and $13.9 million in the final year.
"We spoke with Trent and his agent and expressed a desire to have him back,"
said Eagles coach Chip Kelly. "We have been talking for a couple of weeks.
However, at this point, we think it's best to let him explore other options
around the NFL."
A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Cole recorded 569 tackles, 85 1/2 sacks and 19
forced fumbles in 10 seasons with Philadelphia, which selected him in the
fifth round of the 2005 draft. He ranks second in Eagles history in sacks
behind Reggie White (124).
Cole, who played eight seasons in a 4-3 defensive scheme, played his past two
seasons with the Eagles in the 3-4. The Cincinnati product had 52 tackles and
6 1/2 sacks in 2014.
=== RB Thomas says goodbye to Saints ===
(SportsNetwork.com) - Veteran running back Pierre Thomas is saying goodbye to
the New Orleans Saints.
"As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end but I'm not done
yet," said part of a message Thomas posted to his Instagram account Wednesday.
The statement, which thanked the Saints and their fans, came amid multiple
reports that the team is going to release Thomas after eight seasons.
Thomas, 30, carried the ball 818 times for 3,745 yards and 28 touchdowns in
105 games for the Saints after they signed him as an undrafted free agent in
2007. He caught 327 passes for 2,608 yards and 12 scores.
=== Bills to acquire Cassel from Vikings ===
Orchard Park, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The Buffalo Bills announced Wednesday
that they have a deal in place to acquire quarterback Matt Cassel from the
However, there appears to be confusion on the exact terms of the trade.
The Bills said they will acquire the 32-year-old veteran and an undisclosed
draft pick in exchange for two undisclosed draft choices. Minnesota, on the
other hand, said it is dealing Cassel for an undisclosed draft pick.
Regardless of the terms, the trade cannot become official until the new
league year begins at 4 p.m. ET next Tuesday.
The news comes a day after the Bills reportedly agreed to a trade with the
Philadelphia Eagles for former NFL rushing champion LeSean McCoy.
Cassel started the Vikings' first three games this past season before breaking
several bones in his left foot against the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 21. He
was placed on injured reserve three days later.
The USC product has completed 59 percent of his passes for 15,727 yards with
96 touchdowns and 70 interceptions during his 10-year career. He has started
71 games for New England, Kansas City and Minnesota since 2008.
=== Texans release C Myers ===
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Texans released veteran center
Chris Myers on Wednesday.
Myers, who was acquired by the Texans through a trade with the Denver Broncos
in March of 2008, started all 112 games he appeared in for the Texans.
The 33-year-old Myers had been due $6 million in the final season of his
contract. He carried a $8 million salary-cap hit.
"Chris has been a mainstay on our offensive line for the past seven seasons,"
said Texans general manager Rick Smith. "He has been a consummate pro during
his time here in Houston. Chris, his wife, Jenny, and his entire family have
represented our organization in the Houston community with class. We
appreciate his contributions and wish him the best as he continues his
A sixth-round pick of Denver in 2005, Myers has played in 153 games (128
starts) in his 10 NFL seasons. He holds the NFL's longest active consecutive
games played streak for an offensive linemen (153) and consecutive starts at
=== Cowboys sign LB Keith Rivers ===
Irving, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Cowboys signed veteran linebacker
Keith Rivers to a one-year contract on Wednesday.
Rivers was cut by the Buffalo Bills last month after signing a two-year deal
worth $5 million with the club in 2014. He made just three starts and recorded
16 tackles over 12 games last season.
The former Cincinnati first-round pick has started 50 times over six seasons
with the Bengals, Giants and Bills. Rivers has compiled 291 tackles, three
sacks and two interceptions for his career.
=== Tigers release injured Hanrahan ===
Lakeland, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Tigers have released pitcher
Joel Hanrahan, who will undergo a second Tommy John procedure in less than two
Hanrahan signed with the Tigers last May while he was recovering from the
elbow reconstruction surgery performed in May 2013, but the right-hander never
appeared in a game for Detroit. He had soreness in the elbow during throwing
sessions last summer and again last month.
After further exams, it was determined he needed another operation on the
elbow. It has been scheduled for March 18 in Texas.
Hanrahan signed with the Boston Red Sox as a free agent in 2013 after two
solid seasons as a closer for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He converted 76 saves in
84 opportunities during the 2011 and 2012 seasons with Pittsburgh, earning
All-Star nods each year.
However, he struggled in his short time in Boston, appearing in just nine
games while posting a record of 0-1 with four saves and a 9.82 ERA before
being diagnosed with the torn ulnar collateral ligament.
Hanrahan owns a career record of 22-18 with 100 saves and a 3.85 ERA in 362
games, all but 11 as a reliever, during a seven-year career with Boston,
Pittsburgh and Washington.
=== Pirates' Cole, 20 others reach deals on 2015 contracts ===
Bradenton, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to contracts
for the 2015 season with Gerrit Cole and 20 other players on Wednesday.
Cole, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft, was limited to 22 starts last
season because of two stints on the disabled list. The 24-year-old right-
hander finished with an 11-5 record and a 3.65 ERA.
Lefty Jeff Locke, young outfielder Gregory Polanco and infielder Jordy
Mercer were among the other notable players to sign.
Locke, 27, was 7-6 with a 3.91 ERA in 21 starts last season after earning an
All-Star nod in 2013.
The 23-year-old Polanco made his MLB debut in 2014, batting .235 with seven
home runs and 33 RBI in 89 games.
Mercer, 28, hit .255 with 12 homers and 55 RBI in 149 games last season.
=== Ray Allen to sit this season out ===
Arlington, VA (SportsNetwork.com) - Ray Allen announced Wednesday that he will
not play in the NBA this season and will instead spend the next couple months
contemplating his future.
"Over the past several months, I have taken a lot of time to deliberate what
is best for me," Allen said in a statement released through his agent Jim
Tanner. "I've ultimately decided that I will not play this NBA season. I'm
going to take the remainder of this season, as well as the upcoming off-
season, to reassess my situation, spend time with my family and determine if I
will play in the 2015-16 season."
The 39-year-old guard had drawn strong interest from numerous teams. He
averaged 9.6 points and shot 38 percent from 3-point range in 73 games for the
Miami Heat last season.
Allen holds the league's all-time record for most 3-pointers made and has
averaged 18.9 points per game during his 18-year career.
=== Magic's Marble out 4-6 weeks with eye injury ===
Orlando, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Orlando Magic rookie guard Devyn Marble is
expected to be sidelined 4-to-6 weeks with a detached retina in his left eye,
the team announced Wednesday.
Marble has averaged 2.3 points and 1.9 rebounds in 16 games this season for
the Magic. He also averaged 13 points and 5.2 rebounds in six games with Erie
of the NBA Development League.
The Iowa product was selected by Denver in the second round of last year's
draft. The Magic acquired his rights in exchange for Aaron Afflalo on June 26.
=== Raptors rest Lowry for 3rd straight game ===
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry was
given a third consecutive game off to rest.
The Raptors said Lowry would sit out Wednesday night against Cleveland after
missing games against New York and Philadelphia.
He has struggled, averaging just 11.6 points and 4.8 assists in five games
since making his All-Star debut last month.
=== Pelicans sign Elliot Williams to 10-day contract ===
New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - The New Orleans Pelicans signed guard
Elliot Williams to a 10-day contract on Wednesday.
Williams was averaging 21.8 points, 7.6 assists and 4.5 rebounds in 25 games
for the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League.
A first-round pick of the Portland Trail Blazers in 2010, Williams averaged
3.6 points in five games for the Utah Jazz earlier this season.
=== James, Westbrook named Players of the Month ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - LeBron James and Russell Westbrook were
named Wednesday as the NBA Players of the Month for February.
James averaged 24.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 7.3 assists in 10 games for the
Cleveland Cavaliers, helping them post an 8-3 record in the month.
Westbrook finished the month with three consecutive triple-doubles, becoming
the first player since James in March 2009 to get three in a row.
He averaged 31.2 points, 9.1 rebounds and 10.3 assists in 12 games for the
Oklahoma City Thunder, who went 9-3. He joined Oscar Robertson as the only
players in NBA history to put up a 31-9-10 line in one calendar month while
playing at least 10 games.
=== Wiggins, Smart named Rookies of the Month ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Guards Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota
Timberwolves and Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics were named Wednesday as
the Rookies of the Month for February.
Wiggins, the No. 1 overall draft pick, won the Western Conference honor for
the fourth consecutive month after averaging 16.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and
38.7 minutes in 11 games during February.
Smart won the Eastern Conference award for the first time behind averages of
9.8 points, 4.3 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 32.6 minutes over 11 games.
=== Ducks' Jackman out 4-6 weeks ===
Anaheim, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Anaheim Ducks forward Tim Jackman will be
sidelined 4-to-6 weeks with a lower-body injury, the team announced Wednesday.
Jackman, who signed a one-year contract extension last month, suffered the
injury during Sunday's 3-1 win at Dallas.
The 33-year-old enforcer has five goals and two assists while leading the
Ducks with 84 penalty minutes in 53 games this season.
=== Panthers, after dressing coach, recall 2 goalies ===
Sunrise, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Florida Panthers recalled two minor
league goaltenders on Wednesday, one day after both Roberto Luongo and Al
Montoya were injured in a game against Toronto.
The Panthers called up Dan Ellis from San Antonio of the AHL and Sam Brittain
from Cincinnati of the ECHL.
Luongo suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury after taking a shot off his
shoulder late in the first period and didn't return to the ice for the second.
Later, chaos reigned after Montoya went down with a lower-body injury less
than a minute into the third. Play was stopped twice to see if he could
Eventually, Panthers goaltending coach Rob Tallas put on a uniform and took a
seat on the bench under the NHL rule that allows teams to dress any eligible
player in a goaltender emergency. But Luongo changed back into his uniform
from street clothes to relieve Montoya and finish the game, which the Panthers
The well-traveled Ellis, 34, has appeared in 204 career NHL games for Dallas,
Nashville, Tampa Bay, Anaheim, Carolina and Florida. Brittain, 22, has never
played in an NHL game.
=== Ivanovic, Errani advance to Monterrey QFs ===
Monterrey, Mexico (SportsNetwork.com) - Top-seeded Anna Ivanovic and Sara
Errani were a pair of second-round winners Wednesday at the Monterrey Open.
Ivanovic, the reigning champion at this tournament, topped French challenger
Pauline Parmentier 6-3, 6-2 to set up a meeting with Kristina Mladenovic in
Second-seeded Errani cruised past Hungarian qualifier Timea Babos 6-3, 6-3 on
the hardcourts of the Sierra Madre Tennis Club.
Mladenovic defeated Russian Vera Zvonareva 6-4, 6-2 in her second-round
matchup. Zvonareva was coming off a first-round upset of sixth-seeded Alison
Eighth-seeded Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova prevailed over Slovenia's Polona
Hercog in a marathon match that lasted over 2 1/2 hours. Rybarikova earned a
7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (11-9) decision to reach the quarterfinals at Monterrey for a
second straight year.
This year's champ will earn $111,389.
=== Gajdosova, Nara advance in Kuala Lumpur ===
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (SportsNetwork.com) - Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia
and Japan's Kurumi Nara were among the second-round winners Wednesday at the
Malaysian Open tennis event.
The fourth-seeded Gajdosova battled through a tough first set and pulled away
in the second for a 7-5, 6-2 win over Thailand's Luksika Kumkhum and will next
play Nara in the quarterfinals.
Nara, seeded sixth this week, needed more than three hours to eliminate Polish
qualifier Magda Linette, 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (8-6).
Eighth-seeded Julia Goerges of Germany cruised into the quarters with a 6-1,
6-2 rout of Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine. Goerges will next meet Romania's
Alexandra Dulgheru, who followed her upset of second-seeded Sabine Lisicki
with a 6-4, 6-1 triumph over China's Duan Ying-Ying.
Russian qualifier Elizaveta Kulichkova also moved into the quarterfinals with
a 6-0, 6-2 pounding of Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva.
The remaining second-round matches will take place Thursday. Top-seeded
Caroline Wozniacki highlights the action against China's Zhu Lin.
This week's champion will collect $43,000.
=== Love named Presidents Cup assistant ===
Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - United States captain Jay Haas named Davis
Love III as one of his captain's assistants for the 2015 Presidents Cup, it
was announced on Wednesday.
Love was named U.S. Ryder Cup captain for a second time last week, but this
will also mark his second stint as an assistant for the American
Presidents Cup team. He was one of Fred Couples' assistant captains at
Muirfield Village in 2013.
Couples was already selected by Haas as a vice-captain for the event,
scheduled for Oct. 6-11 at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Songdo IBD,
Incheon City, South Korea.
"I'm ready to help Jay and the team as much as I can as a captain's
assistant," Love said. "Jay and I were successful as assistants for the last
Presidents Cup in 2013, and I am very excited to join him and the U.S. team in
South Korea this fall. I love being in the team room and positively impacting
the U.S. side anyway I can."
International captain Nick Price tabbed Mark McNulty and Tony Johnstone as
assistants to go along with the previously-named K.J. Choi. McNulty and
Johnstone were assistants under Price in 2013.
The U.S. team has won the last five editions of the Presidents Cup.
=== BMW Championship headed to Aronimink in 2018 ===
(SportsNetwork.com) - The 2018 BMW Championship will be played at Aronimink
Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, tournament officials announced on
The BMW Championship is the penultimate event of the FedExCup playoffs. The
top 70 players on the FedExCup points list qualify for the tournament.
"The BMW Championship has had wonderful success with its rotation to date and
Aronimink Golf Club will continue the trend in 2018," PGA Tour Commissioner
Tim Finchem said in a statement.
"Philadelphia is one of America's great sports cities, and thanks to the great
community support we anticipate the tournament receiving, the BMW Championship
will continue to be able to raise significant funds for the Evans Scholars
Aronimink previously hosted the 2010 and 2011 AT&T National, now the Quicken
Loans National. The course also has hosted the PGA Championship, Senior PGA
Championship and U.S. Amateur.
"We look forward to bringing a major world-class event to Aronimink," said
Aronimink president Steven Zodtner. "Our membership and the Philadelphia golf
community are excited to partner with the Western Golf Association, BMW of
North America and the PGA Tour to showcase our championship golf course and to
return professional golf to our region."
The BMW Championship, formerly the Western Open, was last played in
Pennsylvania in 1959, when the Pittsburgh Field Club hosted the tournament.
This year's BMW Championship will be played at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake
Forest, Illinois. Billy Horschel won the title last year at Cherry Hills
Country Club on Colorado.
=== MLS, players' union agree to new CBA ===
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Major League Soccer and its players'
union agreed to terms in principle on a new collective bargaining agreement
which will run through the 2019 season, the league announced Wednesday
With the deal in place, the league will avoid its first-ever work stoppage and
kick off its 20th season on Friday when the defending champion Los Angeles
Galaxy host the Chicago Fire at the StubHub Center.
"We are pleased to finalize the framework for a new Collective Bargaining
Agreement with our players," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. "We now enter
our 20th season with enormous momentum with our new television partnerships,
dynamic star players from the US, Canada and abroad, and two new expansion
teams in New York City and Orlando that will debut in front of more than
60,000 fans on Sunday in the Citrus Bowl. This agreement will provide a
platform for our players, ownership and management to work together to help
build Major League Soccer into one of the great soccer leagues in the world."
Heading into the negotiations, the big sticking points for the players were
trying to secure some form of free agency, as well an increase in the minimum
According to initial reports, the league's first offer regarding free agency
was to allow a player to pick his next team as long as he had accrued 10 years
in the league and was at least 32 years of age.
The deal, according to a report from the Orlando Sentinel, grants free agency
to players that are at least 28 years old with eight years of service. A
player's raise in free agency is capped based on salary.
The new deal also includes a minimum salary increase to $60,000 per year, a
substantial mark-up from the 2014 minimum salary of $36,500.
"We are pleased to announce that we have reached a new Collective Bargaining
Agreement with the league," said Bob Foose, Executive Director of the MLS
Players Union. "We are pleased to finally turn our fans attention back to our
players and the competition on the field as we get started on the 2015
In addition to Friday's opening match, the 2015 season will see the
introduction of two new expansion teams: Orlando City Soccer Club and New York
City Football Club. The two new clubs will open their seasons against each
other on Sunday at the Citrus Bowl.
Other notable opening-weekend matches include the MLS Cup runners-up New
England Revolution traveling to CenturyLink Field to face Seattle Sounders FC,
while the New York Red Bulls will face Sporting Kansas City at Sporting Park.
=== Owners of Bombers' stadium suing architect, builder ===
Winnipeg, MB (SportsNetwork.com) - The owner of Investors Group Field, the
home of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, filed a Statement of Claim Wednesday
against the stadium's architect and builder.
According to the Winnipeg Free Press, Triple B Stadium Inc. is suing Raymond
S.C. Wan Architect Inc. and Stuart Olson Construction Ltd. for purportedly
paying inadequate attention to water drainage and insulation needs for the
stadium, which opened in May 2013.
"While we are extremely disappointed that we have had to deal with continuous
and ongoing issues since we became the primary tenant in 2013, we believe
today is an important step forward in attempting to have them resolved," Blue
Bombers president and CEO Wade Miller said in a statement.
The paper reported that Triple B Stadium has spent $4.7 million repairing
cracks and luxury suites damaged by melting snow since 2014.
03/04 23:55:02 ET