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Carroll Hardy, who hit for Ted Williams and built Broncos’ ‘Orange Crush,’ dies at 87

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HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. -- Carroll Hardy, a multisport star best known as the only man to pinch hit for Ted Williams, died Sunday at age 87.Hardy was also known as the football executive who helped assemble the "Orange Crush" defense in Denver during the 1970s.The University of Colorado, where Hardy was a three-sport star, said he died of complications from dementia. He is survived by his wife and three children.Hardy went on to play professional baseball and football after starring in track, baseball and football at Colorado from 1951 to '55.CU athletic director Rick George called Hardy "a true icon
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Cleveland Browns TE David Njoku now ‘all in’ on team, walks back trade request

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Browns tight end David Njoku tweeted Saturday that he's "all in" with Cleveland after requesting a trade earlier this summer through his agent.I'm all in Cleveland. Time to work.— Chief David Njoku (@David_Njoku80) August 1, 2020 A league source confirmed to ESPN that Njoku has rescinded his trade request, at least for now.Njoku has had "some good meetings with the new Browns' organization including GM Andrew Berry, and he has decided to give the team his full commitment right now and go from there," his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN's Adam Schefter.Last week, first-year Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said
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Saints QB Drew Brees says his flag comment was a ‘missed opportunity’

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METAIRIE, La. -- Drew Brees on Saturday reiterated his vow to stand with the Black community for social justice, saying it "broke my heart" and was "crushing" that his June comments about disrespecting the flag by kneeling during the national anthem made people feel differently.The New Orleans Saints quarterback, who began his first training camp news conference with a prepared statement, said he will always stand for the national anthem because of what it means to him, but respects those who don't to bring attention to social injustices."I acknowledge and respect anyone who chooses to kneel or any other form
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Football

Bill O’Brien – Texans ‘working hard’ on extension for QB Deshaun Watson

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HOUSTON -- Texans coach and general manager Bill O'Brien on Friday said the team is "working hard" with quarterback Deshaun Watson's representatives on a contract extension, and that "we want him here for a long time."Watson, a first-round pick in 2017, was eligible for a contract extension for the first time this offseason. He made less than $3.8 million in 2019, which was just 4.88% of the Texans' cap. He is scheduled to make $4.4 million during the 2020 season."Deshaun is a great player, an even better person, and we want him here for a long time," O'Brien said. "...
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New Lions safety Jayron Kearse suspended three games

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Detroit Lions safety Jayron Kearse has been suspended three games by the NFL for violation of its substance abuse policy.Kearse, 26, signed with the Lions in March after four seasons in Minnesota, where he played in 62 games with five starts, making 79 tackles and defending eight passes.Kearse was charged with DWI and carrying a firearm without a permit last October, when he was with the Vikings. Kearse apologized for his actions back in October, saying the arrest is "not a reflection of who I am as a person."The NFL has not said whether this suspension is related to that
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Chicago Bears’ Mitchell Trubisky delivers warning shot to critics

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Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky delivered a message to his critics Friday."...I'm just trying to prove everybody wrong and prove my teammates right," he said on a video call with Chicago media.Trubisky, 25, is set to compete in training camp with veteran Nick Foles for the Bears' starting job.The second overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft had been Chicago's unquestioned starter for most of the past three seasons, but his play regressed last year. Trubisky finished 28th in total QBR (39.4), tied for 27th in touchdown passes (17), 21st in passing yards (3,138), 32nd in yards gained per pass
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Cam Heyward, Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t had serious talks on new deal, agent says

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All-Pro defensive lineman Cam Heyward would like to retire as a Pittsburgh Steeler, but he is concerned that might not happen due to a lack of movement on a contract extension.Heyward enters the final year of his deal, and there have been no substantive contract discussions between the Steelers' front office and Heyward's agent, Michael Perrett of Element Sports Group.The sides have had broad discussions about Heyward's future but in no particular terms."I thought we'd be further along in the process. In a normal year, we might be," Perrett told ESPN. "The current situation has led to a lot of
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Football

Source — NFL referees to be assigned geographically

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The NFL will form its officiating crews this season with an eye toward geography amid the coronavirus pandemic, in hopes that individual officials can drive to as many games as possible, a source said Friday.Based on logistics and the uneven spread of officials around the country, some flights will be unavoidable, but both the league and the NFL Referees Association wanted to minimize long trips.Negotiations between the sides on other changes for officials remain ongoing. ESPN previously reported that officials won't make their usual visits to training camps, and they are being outfitted with masks and electronic whistles.Other details to
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NFL training camp 2020 – Joe Burrow, Jordan Love, Jerry Jeudy rocking team gear

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4:51 PM ETESPN staffWe got a look at some high-profile rookies in their new uniforms on Friday. That included first-round picks Joe Burrow, Jordan Love and Jerry Jeudy.Plus, Kyler Murray got in some work in the Arizona heat -- it's a dry heat, right? -- and we got a behind-the-scenes look at how some teams are trying to keep their players and staff safe in the time of COVID-19.Here's what you need to know from camps across the league:Jump to the best of the day:Photos | Videos | Notes from NFL Nation reportersTop news of the dayNFL gives Antonio Brown
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Bengals rookie Joe Burrow expects to ‘play well, win a lot’

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CINCINNATI -- Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow isn't shy about accepting the expectations thrust upon his shoulders this offseason.If and when the season begins, Cincinnati wants the top overall pick in the 2020 draft to come and be successful immediately. In his first news conference since the Bengals selected him, Burrow said he shares the same aspirations in his first season in the NFL."Going into my rookie year I expect to play well and I expect to win a lot of games," Burrow said Friday when asked about reflecting on recent success that includes a Heisman Trophy and a national
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