ATLANTA (AP)The Atlanta Falcons agreed to terms with Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith on Friday to become the team’s head coach.
The Falcons announced the agreement. Smith held a virtual interview with the team on Monday and he also interviewed with the New York Jets and Detroit Lions.
The 38-year-old Smith has served on the Tennessee staff for 10 seasons, including two as offensive coordinator. The Titans finished this season tied for second in the NFL in total yards.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) – The NFL suspended Chicago Bears defensive linemen Mario Edwards Jr. for the first two games next season Friday for violating the league’s policy against performance-enhancing substances.
Edwards, who is not under contract for 2021, will be able to participate in preseason practices and games.
He had four sacks last season – his first in Chicago. He has 141/2 sacks over six years with the Raiders, New York Giants, New Orleans Saints and Chicago.
NEW YORK (AP) – The conditional reinstatement of wide receiver Josh Gordon has been rescinded by the NFL, and Gordon is once again under suspension.
The change in Gordon’s status was listed on the NFL’s official transactions on Friday.
Gordon was signed by the Seattle Seahawks in September despite being under an indefinite suspension. That suspension ended in early December when Gordon was conditionally reinstated by Commissioner Roger Goodell. He was expected to be eligible to play the final two weeks of the regular season.
But that never took place. Gordon was placed back on the commissioner’s exempt list in Week 16.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Dodgers star Cody Bellinger agreed to a $16.1 million, one-year contract Friday with the World Series champions that avoided salary arbitration.
Los Angeles also agreed to one-year deals with shortstop Corey Seager for $13.75 million and left-hander Julio Urias for $3.6 million.
Bellinger, an outfielder and first baseman, was the 2019 NL MVP and 2017 NL Rookie of the Year. He hit a career-low .239 with 12 homers and 30 RBIs in the shortened season, down from a .305 average with 47 homers and 115 RBIs, all career bests.
NEW YORK (AP) – Slugging outfielder Aaron Judge was among the New York Yankees who avoided arbitration Friday, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $10,175,000.
New York also reached deals with catcher Gary Sanchez ($6.35 million), first baseman Luke Voit ($4.7 million), third baseman Gio Urshela ($4.65 million), shortstop Gleyber Torres ($4 million), right-hander reliever Chad Green ($2.15 million), left-hander Jordan Montgomery ($2.13 million) and outfielder Clint Frazier ($2.1 million).
BOSTON (AP) – A person with knowledge of the terms says the Red Sox have agreed to a $4,575,000, one-year deal with third baseman Rafael Devers that avoided salary arbitration..
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because details have not been announced by the team.
The 24-year-old Devers had a breakout season in 2019, when he batted .311 with 32 homers and 115 RBIs, leading the majors with 54 doubles and 359 total bases and finishing 12th in the AL MVP voting.
NEW YORK (AP) – The New York Mets agreed to one-year contracts with seven players Friday to avoid salary arbitration, including shortstop Francisco Lindor, outfielder Michael Conforto and first baseman-outfielder Dominic Smith.
Lindor will earn $22.3 million and Conforto gets $12.25 million in their final years before potentially becoming free agents, while Smith agreed to a $2.55 million deal in his first year eligible for arbitration.
Outfielder Brandon Nimmo ($4.7 million) and right-handers Edwin Diaz ($7 million), Seth Lugo ($2,925,00) and Robert Gsellman ($1.3 million) also agreed to one-year deals.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The Phillies agreed to one-year contracts with first baseman Rhys Hoskins, right-hander Vince Velasquez and left-hander Jose Alvarado on Friday to avoid salary arbitration.
Hoskins will earn $4.8 million in 2021, Velasquez gets $4 million and Alvarado makes $1 million.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Yogi Berra will soon be all over – your mail, that is.
The New York Yankees great known for his funny malaprops will be featured on a new stamp this year, the U.S. Postal Service announced Friday, truly making him a man of letters.
A 10-time World Series champion as a player and three-time AL MVP, Berra filled baseball’s record book along with ”Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.”
NEW YORK (AP) – Kyrie Irving’s absence from the Brooklyn Nets has become a costly one.
The NBA fined the point guard $50,000 on Friday for violating its health and safety protocols, and said he could return to team activities Saturday – though he won’t play in the Nets’ game that night.
The league added that he would forfeit his salary for each game he misses during a five-day quarantine period that would end Saturday if he continues to test negative for the coronavirus. He’s already missed two, which means he has lost nearly $900,000 of his $33.5 million salary.
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) – The Edmonton Oilers placed goalie Mike Smith on long-term injury reserve Friday and re-assigned Olivier Rodrigue to the taxi squad, pending quarantine protocols.
Edmonton did not elaborate on Smith’s injury. He was supposed to start Thursday night at home against Vancouver, but was declared inactive, forcing Mikko Koskinen into back-to-back starts.
Edmonton re-signed the 38-year-old Smith to a one-year contract in the off-season.
HONOLULU (AP) – Ralph Lauren Corp. said Friday it is ending its sponsorship with Justin Thomas after he was heard muttering a homophobic slur to himself after missing a putt last week in Hawaii.
Thomas has worn the company’s clothing since he turned pro. He has reached No. 1 in the world briefly on two occasions, won a major at age 24 and captured the FedEx Cup in 2017.
In the third round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions, he missed a 5-foot par putt on the fourth hole. He could be heard saying the slur under his breath as he tapped in.
Ralph Lauren said it was ”disheartened” by his language.
HONOLULU (AP) – The World Golf Championship is moving from Mexico City to the Gulf Coast of Florida this year, a change driven by the COVID-19 pandemic that has put restrictions on travel and kept away spectators.
The PGA Tour sent a memo to players Friday informing them of the relocation for Feb. 25-28. It will be played at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, co-designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin.
Marco Andretti will not run the full IndyCar schedule this season as the third-generation driver reprioritizes his racing career.
Andretti will compete in the Indianapolis 500, the historic race his family has notoriously won just once, and assist Andretti Autosport with preseason testing and development. He will be in a car next week testing in Sebring, Florida.
Beyond that, his schedule is open.
DERBY, England (AP) – Wayne Rooney now has the Derby job on a permanent basis after England’s record goal-scorer retired from playing and received a contract through 2023 to manage the second division team.
The 35-year-old former Manchester United captain, who took temporary charge of Derby in November, is now focusing on his coaching career.
NEW YORK (AP) – A federal appeals court in New York on Friday upheld convictions against a sports marketer, an aspiring agent and a financial adviser in a college basketball scandal that spoiled the careers of several coaches and left a stain on the integrity of college athletics.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said in its written decision that it was not adequate for the defendants to argue that their actions mirrored what was commonly done in college basketball programs and that their aim was to help universities, rather than harm.
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) – Bruce Headley, the thoroughbred trainer who developed sprint champion Kona Gold and many other stakes winners during a 61-year career based in California, died Friday. He was 86.
Santa Anita officials said Headley died at an Arcadia hospital from the effects of a stroke. He had been slowed in recent years by cardiac issues.
He had 902 victories from 6,121 career starters, who totaled earnings of $38,682,030. Headley had 123 career stakes victories. He bred and owned most of the horses he trained.
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