Joe Flacco and the Ravens have agreed to terms on a new contract that will… (Bill Haber / Associated…)
Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens reached a tentative agreement Friday on a new contract that would make the Super Bowl most valuable plater the highest-paid player in NFL history.
If the deal is finalized, the veteran quarterback would receive in excess of $120 million over six years, according to a person close to the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract has not yet been signed.
Flacco would earn more than the $20-million average salary Drew Brees receives with the New Orleans Saints.
The Atlanta Falcons started their youth movement Friday, releasing running back Michael Turner, defensive end John Abraham and cornerback Dunta Robinson, moves that were not unexpected given their age (all in their 30s) and hefty salaries.
The moves free up about $16 million in salary cap space, money the team intends to use to build a younger roster. Last year, the Falcons were one of the oldest teams in the league.
The Denver Broncos placed their franchise tag on All-Pro left tackle Ryan Clady, ensuring the three-time Pro Bowler a salary of $9.828 million in 2013.
The Buffalo Bills retained the rights to safety Jairus Byrd by placing a franchise tag on him. In making the move Friday, the Bills have essentially offered Byrd a one-year contract worth $6.9 million. Byrd isn't required to accept the offer and he's not prevented from negotiating with other teams. The Bills, however, will have the right to match any offers made to Byrd.
The Arizona Cardinals cleared salary cap room by releasing linebacker Stewart Bradley and cornerback William Gay.
Breeders' Cup to allow furosemide
Under pressure from trainers and owners who support the use of the diuretic furosemide to prevent bleeding in race horses, the Breeders' Cup Board of Directors voted Friday to reverse a decision that would have banned the drug's use for all races at its world championships Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita.
Instead, the Breeders' Cup will continue the medical policy it put in for this past year's world championships, banning furosemide, previously known as Lasix, for only the juvenile races.
The Breeders' Cup will drop from 15 to 14 races over two days after it was decided to discontinue the $500,000 Juvenile Sprint.
The Breeders' Cup had pledged funding to support "an industrywide independent study of the causes, effects and potential alternative methods of reducing the occurrence" of bleeding in the lungs that affects some horses.
Trainer Ron Ellis said two of his stable's owners, Gary West and Samantha Siegel, had expressed strong opposition with the proposed Breeders' Cup ban.
"I think the more this looked like it was going to happen, the more people came out of the woodwork to express their disapproval," Ellis said. "An independent study will show horses have a tendency to bleed, and this [furosemide] is a way to lower blood pressure."
— Eric Sondheimer
The NCAA Committee on Infractions issued severe sanctions against the St. Mary's basketball program after finding that a former assistant coach acted unethically in the recruitment of international athletes. St. Mary's has risen as a major basketball power thanks in part to a pipeline of talented players from Australia.
The NCAA also found that head Coach Randy Bennett failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance and suspended the coach for five games next season. Bennett will also be prohibited from recruiting off campus for one year.
St. Mary's additionally received a four-year probation and a reduction of scholarships from 13 to 11 for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.
St. Mary's, in a news release, said it accepted the findings but would consider filing an appeal.
Last year, St. Mary's won the West Coast Conference regular season and tournament for the first time in school history. The Gaels are currently 25-5 overall and 13-2 in WCC play. The Gaels' only two conference losses have been to arch-rival Gonzaga.
— Chris Dufresne
Out all season with bad knees, Andrew Bynum's latest setback may be the one that finally ends his year.
Bynum admitted for the first time that he may not play for the Philadelphia 76ers because of swelling in his right knee. Bynum had been steadfast since training camp that he would eventually make his 76ers debut, even setting an All-Star break target date. Bynum backed off Friday because he still had swelling in his right knee from five-on-five drills last week. Bynum, an All-Star last season with the Lakers, refused to commit to a comeback.