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Patriots Reward Patrick Chung and Brandon Bolden with Contract Extensions

Patriots Reward Patrick Chung and Brandon Bolden with Contract Extensions

Jim Rogash/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The New England Patriots are already looking ahead to the future as they have agreed on contract extensions with safety Patrick Chung and running back Brandon Bolden.

ESPN reports Chung's deal is for three years and worth up to $8.2 million, with $3.4 million of that guaranteed.

Meanwhile Bolden signed a two-year deal worth $2.32 million

Chung spent the first four years of his career with the Patriots and was a solid defender for them as they made the playoffs on an annual basis. He played for the Philadelphia Ealges in 2013, but re-signed with the team in 2014 and recorded 85 tackles -- the most he's had in a season 2010.

The 24-year-old Bolden is in his third season with the Patriots. He had just 28 carries for 89 yards and a touchdown, but his true value comes on special teams. He's considered one of the team's best special teams players so his value does not also show up in the box score.

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Red Wings Place Franzen on IR

Red Wings Place Franzen on IR

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- The Detroit Red Wings placed center Johan Franzen on the injured reserve list due to an upper body injury.Franzen was injured in Tuesday's 4-2 win over Edmonton.The Wings called up forward Teemu Pulkkinen from their AHL team in Grand Rapids to cover.Pulkkinen leads the AHL in goals (20) and is second in points (39). He also set a Grand Rapids rookie record last season with 31 goals.This season, 35-year-old Franzen has seven goals and 15 assists in 33 games for Detroit (22-10-9, 53 pts).

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ESPN: Kyle Shanahan Parts Ways with Browns

ESPN: Kyle Shanahan Parts Ways with Browns

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Kyle Shanahan has resigned as the Cleveland Browns' offensive coordinator, according to ESPN.ESPN also reports quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains has been fired.Shanahan spent only one season in Cleveland and, according to ESPN, left because he did not agree with the front office about Johnny Manziel. Shanahan didn't believe the team could win with Manziel as the starter, but the front office insisted on starting him.The Browns' offense was 20th in passing yards per game and 17th in rushing yards per game last season.

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Nets Lose Williams to Fractured Rib

Nets Lose Williams to Fractured Rib

NBA via Brooklyn Nets(NEW YORK) -- Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams is out indefinitely with a fractured rib, the team announced Thursday.The 30-year-old Williams suffered the injury in Sunday's game against Miami. He then sat out Monday's loss to Dallas but returned for four minutes in Wednesday night's loss to Boston before having to leave the game because of the injury.Williams had an MRI that revealed a fracture in the left 12th rib."Deron reported some soreness above this area over the weekend and as a result underwent imaging studies on Monday, which were negative," Team physician Riley Williams III said in a statement. "Yesterday during the game, he reported a new onset of symptoms below the prior area of soreness. New imaging studies done today demonstrated the fracture. There is no timetable for his return."Williams has played in 32 games this season, averaging 13.9 points, three rebounds, and 6.3 assists per contest.Williams' rib will be re-evaluated in a week.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 1/8/15

Scoreboard Roundup – 1/8/15

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Charlotte Hornets 103 (14-24) – Toronto Raptors 95 (24-11)

Houston Rockets 120 (25-11) – New York Knicks 96 (5-34)

Top 25 Men’s College Basketball: (25) Old Dominion 72 (13-1) – Marshall 51 (4-11)

NHL: Boston Bruins 3 (21-15-6; 48pts) – New Jersey Devils 0 (15-21-7; 37pts)

Carolina Hurricanes 5 (13-24-4; 30pts) – Buffalo Sabres 2 (14-25-3; 31pts)

Philadelphia Flyers 3 (16-18-7; 39pts) – Washington Capitals 2 (21-11-8; 50pts) OT

Chicago Blackhawks 4 (27-12-2; 56pts) – Minnesota Wild 2 (18-16-5; 41pts)

St. Louis Blues 7 (25-13-3; 53pts) – San Jose Sharks 2 (22-15-5; 49pts)

Nashville Predators 3 (27-9-4; 58pts) – Dallas Stars 2 (18-15-7; 43pts) OT

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Bears Name Saints Executive Ryan Pace General Manager

Bears Name Saints Executive Ryan Pace General Manager

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LAKE FOREST, Ill.) -- The Chicago Bears have named New Orleans Saints executive Ryan Pace as general manager, replacing the fired Phil Emery, the team announced on Thursday.

Pace spent the previous 14 seasons working in the Saints' front office, the last two serving as the director of player personnel. From 2007 to 2012, he was New Orleans’ director of pro scouting.

The Bears fired general manager Phil Emery and head coach Marc Trestman in late December after they finished the 2014 season with a 5-11 record.

Pace will have to decide the future of starting quarterback Jay Cutler, who was benched late in the season because of poor play. He will also have to improve a defense that ranked 30th overall in the NFL.

The Bears have missed the postseason seven of the past eight seasons.

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Andrew Luck: Broncos Present ‘a lot of Challenges’

Andrew Luck: Broncos Present ‘a lot of Challenges’

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) -- The Indianapolis Colts' trip to the AFC Championship game will have to go through Denver on Sunday in the divisional round.

It's the third showdown between Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and former Colt, now Bronco, Peyton Manning.

Luck said this week that the game isn't about their matchup, but rather him facing their defense.

In speaking about the defense he'll be facing, Luck said there's "a lot of challenges, [it's] hard to say the biggest one. I think obviously [Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware] stand out and their d-line is very good."

"I think our offensive line is up for that challenge," Luck continued. "[There's a] bunch of good players all over the field."

Manning and the Broncos lost to Luck in their first game 39-33 last season and bounced back this year with a 31-24 win on Sept. 7.

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Joe Flacco: Need a Fast Start Against Patriots

Joe Flacco: Need a Fast Start Against Patriots

Rob Carr/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) -- The Baltimore Ravens will have the tough task of beating the New England Patriots on the road Saturday in the divisional round.

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco stressed the importance of getting off to a fast start.

"It's great when you can score a touchdown and then put another on top of that," Flacco said of quieting the home crowd. "I don't think I'm always thinking about that, but it is pretty cool."

The Ravens have yet to beat the Patriots in the playoffs on the road, but Flacco is looking forward to the opportunity of going up against Tom Brady.

"Tom was playing for who knows how many years before I got in here," Flacco said. "I was in high school, sitting there watching him watching those guys win Super Bowls."

"It's not really about me outdueling Tom or him outdueling me," Flacco continued. "We're not playing against each other. I think these guys on defense present more challenges then they normally do."

This will be the fourth postseason meeting between the two teams. The Patriots are 18-8 in the playoffs since 2000.

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Cavaliers Trade for C Timofey Mozgov

Cavaliers Trade for C Timofey Mozgov

National Basketball Association(NEW YORK) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers traded two protected first-round picks to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for center Timofey Mozgov and a 2015 second-round pick.

It's the second trade the Cavs have made in a week. They were part of a three-team deal that got them J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, and a first-round pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Dion Waiters.

"It was a deal that we worked on for quite some time," Cavaliers GM David Griffin said. "We're very excited about this. It fits our needs."

The Cavaliers were in need of a center after losing Anderson Varejao for the season due to a torn Achilles.Mozgov reunites with Cavaliers' coach David Blatt, who coached him on the Russian national team in the 2012 Olympics in London.The Nuggets also receive a $4.6 million trade exception from the Cavs in the deal.The 7-foot-1, 250 pound Mozgov has played in 35 games this season, averaging 8.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game.

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Rodgers Says He Will Play Sunday

Rodgers Says He Will Play Sunday

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(GREEN BAY, Wis.) -- Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has not practiced since re-injuring his left calf on Dec. 28 against the Detroit Lions, says he will be ready to play Sunday when the team hosts the Dallas Cowboys in a NFC divisional playoff game."I'm going on Sunday," Rodgers said Wednesday. "It's just a matter of how."Rodgers missed the Packers' two practices last week during the bye as well as practice Wednesday. Despite that, there still is a chance Rodgers could practice Thursday."It just kind of depends on how it feels," Rodgers said Wednesday. "I met with Doc. I've seen him every day. Nothing really changed on the schedule. This was kind of the plan from the start. It's progressing, but we'll see how it feels tomorrow."Rodgers has started all 16 games for the Packers (12-4) this season. During that time, he's completed 65.6% of his passes for 4,381 yards, 38 touchdowns, and only five interceptions.

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Colts Owner Jim Irsay Confident Headed into Denver

Colts Owner Jim Irsay Confident Headed into Denver

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay believes his team has what it takes to win a Super Bowl this year.

The Colts are preparing for a showdown with the Broncos in Denver on Sunday and Irsay told reporters in a rare media appearance on Tuesday that this could be a special run to the Super Bowl.

"I definitely feel that," Irsay said. "The expectation is again that we haven't played our best game, and that we have to play it [Sunday at Denver]."

"I like the fact that we've already won a playoff game and we're on a roll," he continued. "[Former Colts coach] Tony Dungy always said that the first one's the hardest to get. Coming out of the [Cincinnati] game healthy with the confidence of a 16-point win, that goes a long way."

The Colts were in a similar position last season after beating the Chiefs 45-44 in the wild card round, but fell to the Patriots 43-22 in New England.

"Peyton [Manning] is still playing at such a high level," Irsay said of the Colts former quarterback. "I thought that he would. It was, again, great that he was able to go to a team and get surrounded with great players like they've surrounded him with."

Still, Irsay has faith that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will deliver on Sunday.

"To be in the playoffs three straight years, win 33 games over three years, to have already won two playoff games, that's something that you don't take for granted," Irsay said of Luck's run. "This is really exciting, obviously, to have this context, but again, both teams want to advance. Our goal is to win the game."

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UFC Champion Jon Jones Enters Rehab

UFC Champion Jon Jones Enters Rehab

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones tested positive for trace amounts of cocaine, according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. 

Jones (21-1 MMA), who is considered the best fighter in UFC, announced Tuesday that he will enter a rehab facility. 

On December 4, Jones tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a cocaine metabolite, with a World Anti-Doping Agency approved lab in Salt Lake City.

This comes three days after Jones defeated Daniel Cormier to successfully defend his title for the eighth straight time.  The result from the January 3 fight will stand because the positive test came "out-of competition."

"I'm proud of Jon Jones for making the decision to enter a drug treatment facility," said UFC Owner Dana White in a statement. "I'm confident that he will emerge from this program like the champion he truly is."

 Jones, 27, was cited with a DUI in 2012 after crashing his car into a telephone pole in New York.

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Report: Rams Owner Will Move Team Without Permission

Report: Rams Owner Will Move Team Without Permission

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS, Mo.) -- St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is buying land in Los Angeles and is intent on using it.

According to ProFootballTalk.com, Kroenke will move the Rams from St. Louis with or without NFL approval.  To move, a team needs 24 (or three fourths of the other owners) votes of approval.

Kroenke recently purchased 60 acres of land next to the Forum in Los Angeles and joined the owners of Hollywood Park to build an 80,000 seat stadium.

ProFootballTalk also reports that Kroenke has informed the mayor of Inglewood that his team will be moving to the area. 

It is possible that Kroenke could enter into a legal dispute with the NFL if enough owners intend to block the move.

The Raiders, under the ownership of Al Davis, were the last team to sue the league in an effort to move, ironically to Los Angeles. Davis, filed an anti-trust lawsuit and in 1982 a district court ruled in the Raiders favor. They then moved to Los Angeles. 

 

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Dolphins Hire Mike Tannenbaum as Head of Football Operations

Dolphins Hire Mike Tannenbaum as Head of Football Operations

George Gojkovich/Getty Images

(MIAMI, FL.) -- The Miami Dolphins have named Mike Tannenbaum the Executive Vice President of Football Operations.

Tannenbaum, 45, spent six seasons with the New York Jets as their General Manager.  He initially joined the team in 1997 as Director of Player Contract Negotiations."

"Football's in my blood. I spent two years away from it, and I missed it dearly," Tannenbaum said via a conference call. "I missed the competition. I missed getting in a foxhole with a bunch of people that are committed to a cause. At the end of the day, I was very comfortable with that's who I am."

Tannenbaum was hired as a consultant last year by team owner Stephen Ross.  Simultaneously, Tannenbaum worked for Priority Sports as an agent for professional coaches, such as Seahawks defensive line coach Dan Quinn. Upon being hired for his new role, Tannenbaum will no longer represent coaches.

Last season the Dolphins hired Dennis Hickey, a long time personnel expert, from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to be their General Manager.  Hickey was brought in to replace Jeff Ireland. 

In an interesting power structure, Hickey will report to Tannenbaum, however Coach Joe Philbin will report directly to Ross.

Tannenbaum said that Hickey will maintain final say over the team's draft but managing the team will be "a collaborative effort." 

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Yankees Re-Sign Stephen Drew

Yankees Re-Sign Stephen Drew

NY Yankees/MLB(NEW YORK) -- The New York Yankees are bringing Stephen Drew back in a one-year deal.

Drew will earn $5 million this season, according to David Lennon of Newsday, and can earn $1.5 million in incentives, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal -- making the potential total value of the deal $6.5 million.

Last season, Drew sat out the first month and a half, hoping to earn a multi-year contract. He signed with the Red Sox in May for $10.2 million and was traded to the Yankees at the July deadline.

Viewed more for his defense (.986% fielding in 2014), Drew batted .162 with a .237 OBP in 89 games last season. 

A natural shortstop, Drew will return to second base after the Yankees acquired Didi Gregorious from the Arizona Diamondbacks last month. 

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Scoreboard Roundup – 1/6/15

Scoreboard Roundup – 1/6/15

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Phoenix Suns 102 (21-16) – Milwaukee Bucks 96 (18-18)

Top 25 Men’s College Basketball: (1) Kentucky 89 (14-0) – Mississippi 86 (9-5) OT

NHL: New Jersey Devils 4 (15-20-7; 37pts) – Buffalo Sabres 1 (14-24-3; 31pts)

Philadelphia Flyers 2 (15-18-7; 37pts) – Ottawa Senators 1 (16-15-8; 40pts) SO

Tampa Bay Lightning 4 (26-12-4; 56pts) – Montreal Canadiens 2 (26-12-2; 54pts)

Nashville Predators 3 (26-9-4; 56pts) – Carolina Hurricanes 2 (12-24-4; 28pts)

San Jose Sharks 4 (22-14-5; 49pts) – Minnesota Wild 3 (18-15-5; 41pts) 

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Detroit Tigers Sign Free Agent LHP Tom Gorzelanny

Detroit Tigers Sign Free Agent LHP Tom Gorzelanny

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- The Detroit Tigers have agreed to a one-year contract with free agent left-handed reliever Tom Gorzelanny, the club announced on Tuesday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In 23 appearances with the Milwaukee Brewers last season, the 32-year-old Gorzelanny had an ERA of 0.86 and struck out 23 batters in 21 innings of work. He missed the beginning of the year, recovering from offseason surgery on his left-shoulder.

"We are pleased to add a veteran pitcher like Tom to our ballclub," said Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski in a statement. "Tom is an established reliever who can help solidify the bullpen on the left side and will be a nice addition to our roster."

Gorzelanny was originally selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second round of the 2003 MLB draft. In 10 big league seasons with the Pirates, Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals and Brewers, he has posted a record of 47-51 along with a 4.27 ERA.

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Maple Leafs Fire Head Coach Randy Carlyle

Maple Leafs Fire Head Coach Randy Carlyle

Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After less than four seasons on the job, the Toronto Maple Leafs have fired head coach Randy Carlyle.

"I want to thank Randy for all of his hard work and dedication," Leafs general manager David Nonis said in a statement. "It's never an easy decision to make when changing your leadership but our team was not trending in the right direction and we felt an immediate change was necessary."

Assistant coaches Peter Horachek and Steve Spott will take over the coaching duties for the team's game Wednesday night against the Washington Capitals, according to team officials.

Caryle entered the season on thin ice after management fired his assistants but decided to keep him on board to see if he could help turn the team around.

Heading into Wednesday night, the Maple Leafs sit at 21-16-3, which is good for eighth in the Eastern Conference.

Caryle took over during the 2011-2012 season and went 91-78-19 during his time with the organization.

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Nuggets’ Brian Shaw Experimenting with Getting Rid of Early Shootarounds

Nuggets’ Brian Shaw Experimenting with Getting Rid of Early Shootarounds

Rick Havner for TSN(NEW YORK) -- In an effort to shake things up, Denver Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw is looking outside the box and will experiment with getting rid of morning shootarounds.

Shaw feels that this will help energize his team and help their focus during games.

“It’s just something that I’m experimenting with now to try to get us to a point where we can come out and be a little bit more sharp,” Shaw told the Denver Post. “Our attention span isn’t always the greatest.

“When we do stuff in the morning, sometimes it’s in one ear and out by the time we come back that night. So the closer we can do everything going into the game, hopefully it will be better for us.”

So far so good for Shaw's experiment as the Nuggets won on Monday night, beating the Minnesota Timberwovles 110-101.

The Nuggets still sit at 15-20, 4.5 games behind the Phoenix Suns who hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

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Nowitzki Moves to 7th on Scoring List in Mavericks Win

Nowitzki Moves to 7th on Scoring List in Mavericks Win

NBA via Dallas Mavericks(DALLAS, Tx.) -- With a three-point shot, Dirk Nowitski put away the Brooklyn Nets and passed Moses Malone for seventh on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

Nowitski drained the three with 34.8 seconds left in overtime of Monday Night's 96-88 win over the Nets.

"Yeah, it's been insane, crazy ride in Year No. 17, and Moses was obviously an unbelievable player," Nowitzki said. "So it has been a humbling experience to pass all these all-time greats. It's a tribute to obviously the hard work, but all the great coaches and teammates that have gotten me to this point, and obviously staying healthy is a big part. I am proud of it but I am more proud that we got the win."

Nowitzki passed Hakeem Olajuwon for ninth in November and now trails -- in order -- Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O'Neal. 

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