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Thursday's Sports in Brief (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:20:31 PDT)
Trevon Bluiett scored 25 points, Sean O'Mara scored inside with 40 seconds left and No. 11 seed Xavier upset No. 2 Arizona 73-71 in the West Region. Xavier (30-13) stayed with the second-seeded Wildcats behind Bluiett's 18 first-half points and tracked down the Wildcats after they tried to pull away in the second half. O'Mara scored on a power move inside, but missed a free throw to give Arizona (32-5) a final chance.

NFL-National Football League roundup
(Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:16:51 PDT)
The stolen Super Bowl jerseys belonging to quarterback Tom Brady were returned to the New England Patriots on Thursday, the FBI announced. The uniform top Brady wore in last month's Super Bowl victory over the Atlanta Falcons disappeared shortly after the game and it set off an investigation led that to both jerseys being recovered in Mexico. - - The Super Bowl champion Patriots will make their fifth trip to the White House on April 19, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced.

Brady's Super Bowl jerseys returned to New England Patriots (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:35:49 PDT)
Tom Brady's stolen Super Bowl jerseys are back with the New England Patriots. The jerseys worn by Brady during this year's Super Bowl and the 2015 Super Bowl were returned to Gillette Stadium Thursday, the FBI announced. Brady's 2017 jersey went missing from the Patriots' locker room after the team's win over the Atlanta Falcons on Feb. 5, touching off an investigation stretching from Boston to the Mexican border.

NFL owners mull cut of regular-season overtime to 10 minutes (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:40:07 PDT)
''That is a significant change to our current replay rule and it is something that will be on the floor and will be debated next week,'' NFL officiating chief Dean Blandino said. The powerful competition committee, of which Vincent and Blandino are members, believed it's a player safety issue, noting that number of snaps for games going to OT - especially deep into the overtime - is excessive.

Greg Cosell's NFL draft preview: Christian McCaffrey has great skills, but what's his NFL fit? (Shutdown Corner)
(Thu, 23 Mar 2017 08:57:11 PDT)
Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey will be polarizing in NFL draft rooms, but not necessarily because of his skills.

Serial numbers, game photos may help verify Brady jerseys (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 22 Mar 2017 15:33:59 PDT)
Now that authorities believe they have recovered the jersey stolen from Tom Brady's locker following the Patriots' Super Bowl win last month, the next step will be determining whether it is in fact the MVP quarterback's missing grass-stained garment. Experts in the sports memorabilia industry, including one that has worked directly with NFL teams, say it is a tedious process that involves comparing photos and videos that captured degradation to the jersey during the game. No two jerseys are alike,'' said Barry Meisel, president of the MeiGray Group, which has authenticated game-worn sports memorabilia since 1997.

NFL draft profile: No. 36 — Florida LB Jarrad Davis, undersized closer with high football IQ (Shutdown Corner)
(Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:05:41 PDT)
Shutdown Corner is counting down the top 50 prospects in the 2017 NFL draft with a scouting report, quotes from NFL evaluators and a projection where they might be drafted. Key stat: Over his final 23 games as a starting linebacker, Davis totaled 154 tackles (17 for losses), eight passes defended, 5.5 sacks, one interception and one forced fumble. Florida LB Jarrad Davis can close in a hurry but is undersized.

Falcons sign FBs Coleman, Vainuku; also land OG Thornton (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:47:21 PDT)
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- The Atlanta Falcons have signed fullbacks Derrick Coleman and Soma Vainuku to fill the void left by the loss of Patrick DiMarco in free agency.

Falcons sign team president Rich McKay to 5-year extension (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 21 Mar 2017 08:17:05 PDT)
The Atlanta Falcons announced a five-year contract extension with team president Rich McKay on Tuesday. McKay will remain with the team at least through June 2022, serving as president and chief executive officer of the Falcons as well as president of owner Arthur Blank's AMB Sports & Entertainment. McKay was hired by the Falcons in 2004 and served as general manager for four seasons.

Monday's Sports in Brief (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 20 Mar 2017 23:55:47 PDT)
President Donald Trump has taken a swipe at controversial NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick at a campaign-style rally. Kaepernick, who played for the San Francisco 49ers but now is a free agent, hasn't yet been signed to another team. Kaepernick refused to stand during the national anthem at the start of NFL games last season to protest police treatment of minorities.

NFL draft profile: No. 38 — Michigan State DL Malik McDowell, rare talent but big concerns (Shutdown Corner)
(Mon, 20 Mar 2017 20:59:16 PDT)
Shutdown Corner is counting down the top 50 prospects in the 2017 NFL draft with a scouting report, quotes from NFL evaluators and a projection where they might be drafted.

Patriots star Brady's missing Super Bowl jersey found in Mexico
(Mon, 20 Mar 2017 17:09:33 PDT)
The New England Patriots jersey that vanished after quarterback Tom Brady wore it in the team's fifth Super Bowl victory last month has been found in Mexico, officials said on Monday. The jersey and a second one Brady wore in a championship victory two years earlier were taken by a former Mexican media executive who had been credentialed to cover the February game in Houston, according to the National Football League and law enforcement officials. Mexican authorities found the missing jersey at the home of Martin Mauricio Ortega, a former director of Mexico's La Prensa newspaper, in a raid following a Federal Bureau of Investigation request, a government source told Reuters.

Police: Brady's missing Super Bowl jerseys tracked to Mexico (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 20 Mar 2017 16:48:39 PDT)
Tom Brady's missing Super Bowl jersey has been found in Mexico six weeks after it vanished from the Patriots' locker room - but the mystery isn't over. The NFL said the jersey was found in ''possession of a credentialed member of the international media,'' and authorities were investigating Monday whether a former Mexican tabloid newspaper executive played a role in the theft. It wasn't the only piece of memorabilia recovered: Authorities found a Brady jersey that had gone missing after the Patriots' 2015 Super Bowl win over the Seattle Seahawks.

Brady's stolen NFL Super Bowl jerseys recovered
(Mon, 20 Mar 2017 15:10:10 PDT)
The jersey stolen from New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady after last month's Super Bowl has been found, authorities confirmed Monday, pointing the finger of blame at a journalist from a Mexican newspaper for the theft. The NFL said in statement Brady's jersey -- worth an estimated $500,000 -- and a second jersey worn by the quarterback at the 2015 Super Bowl were recovered in Mexico following an FBI-led probe. A helmet believed to belong to Von Miller, the Most Valuable Player at the 2016 Super Bowl won by the Denver Broncos, was also recovered, according to US reports.

NFL competition committee considers shorter overtimes
(Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:20:04 PDT)
A proposal to shorten overtime periods in NFL games from 15 minutes to 10 will be considered next week when the NFL's Competition Committee gathers during annual league meetings in Phoenix. A report on the NFL's website said the committee will propose trimming one-third of the total time teams have to avoid a draw in pre-season and regular season contests. The new shorter time period would not apply to playoff games, where the 15-minute time frame -- the same as a normal quarter in an NFL game -- would remain.

Patriots star's missing Super Bowl jersey recovered in Mexico
(Mon, 20 Mar 2017 08:15:33 PDT)
(Fixes typos in second paragraph, changes 'won' to "worn") BOSTON, March 20 (Reuters) - The football jersey that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady wore in last month's Super Bowl victory in Houston, Texas, which disappeared hours after the stunning come-from-behind win, has been found in Mexico, the National Football League and police said Monday. Both the jersey worn in Brady's fifth league championship over the Atlanta Falcons, and the one he'd worn two years earlier when the team topped the Seattle Seahawks, were recovered "in the possession of a credentialed member of the international media," the NFL said in a statement. The jersey was found in Mexico, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said in a post on Twitter.

FBI, NFL recover Tom Brady's missing Super Bowl jersey in Mexico (Shutdown Corner)
(Mon, 20 Mar 2017 06:01:48 PDT)
There remain two pervasive mysteries surrounding Super Bowl LI and the New England Patriots’ triumphant victory. One, of course, is how the hell the Atlanta Falcons could blow a 25-point third-quarter lead (still not over it). The second is, who stole Tom Brady’s jersey?

NFC champ Falcons sign Dontari Poe to bolster defensive line (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 16 Mar 2017 11:53:43 PDT)
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- The Atlanta Falcons have bolstered their defensive line by agreeing to terms with two-time Pro Bowler Dontari Poe.

Dontari Poe signs with Falcons, strengthening defensive line (Shutdown Corner)
(Thu, 16 Mar 2017 10:35:49 PDT)
Dontari Poe, the most statistically successful quarterback in the history of the NFL, has signed a one-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons. Poe is a former first-round draft pick and two-time Pro Bowler who spends most of his time on the defensive side of the ball. Poe, a defensive tackle, will add heft and depth to a unit that played championship-level football for three-quarters of Super Bowl LI.

Compensation pool to pay out $128 million to NFL players (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 16 Mar 2017 10:14:46 PDT)
NFL players will receive $127.84 million in performance-based bonuses for the 2016 season, led by a payout of $371,783 to Falcons cornerback Brian Poole. Poole was an undrafted free agent who became a regular on the NFC champions' defense. Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott, the Offensive Rookie of the Year who helped the Cowboys to the NFC East title, earned a $353,544 payoff.

U.S. judge upholds NHL defenseman's shortened ban, in defeat for Bettman
(Wed, 15 Mar 2017 19:52:04 PDT)
By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Wednesday rejected National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman's bid to restore Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman's 20-game suspension for hitting a linesman, and instead upheld an arbitrator's decision to shorten the ban to 10 games. U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan said the NHL failed to show that the arbitrator, Georgetown University law professor James Oldham, exceeded his authority under the league's collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the NHL Players' Association (NHLPA) in halving the suspension.

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