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Sports News

Last Update on March 02, 2015 21:38 GMT

NFL-FRANCHISE TAGS

UNDATED (AP) -- This was the final day for NFL teams to designate franchise or transition players. Teams had two weeks to use the franchise tag to avoid having a player hit the free agent market. The tag is for one year and guarantees the player a salary based on the five-year average cap percentage for the tag at every position.

-- As expected the Cowboys tagged receiver Dez Bryant. That means the two sides will get four more months to work on a long-term deal. On top of that the franchise tag means Bryant will earn $12.8 million this coming season. Bryant led the NFL with a club-record 16 touchdowns in the final year of a rookie contract that paid $11.8 million over five years.

-- The Denver Broncos have placed their franchise tag on receiver Demaryius Thomas, guaranteeing him roughly $12.8 million next season and buying the two sides more time to work out a long-term deal as well. Selected 22nd overall in 2010 out of Georgia Tech, Thomas has made the Pro Bowl in each of his three seasons with Peyton Manning at quarterback.

-- The New York Giants placed the franchise tag on defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. He had team highs of 12 1/2 sacks and 21 quarterback hits last season while playing on a defense ranked No. 29 overall. The move guarantees that the first-round draft pick of 2010 will make at least $14.813 million next season unless the two sides reach an agreement on a long-term deal by July 15.

-- A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press that the Chiefs have placed the franchise tag on All-Pro pass rusher Justin Houston. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Chiefs have not announced the move. The two sides still have until July 15 to negotiate a contract, and it is not certain whether Houston will immediately sign his tender. As an outside linebacker, the one-year deal would earn him about $13.1 million for the upcoming season.

-- The Detroit Lions' website is reporting that the team will not use the franchise tag on star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (ehn-DAHM'-uh-kehn soo). In short that means Suh can test the open market when free agency begins March 10.

-- Tight end Charles Clay has been given a transition tag by the Miami Dolphins, meaning they can keep him by matching any offer he receives. The move ensures Clay will make at least $7 million in 2015. He's a four-year starter who had 58 catches last season for 605 yards and three scores.

NFL-SALARY CAP

NEW YORK (AP) -- The NFL's salary cap is going up $10 million to $143.28 million for the 2015 season. This marks the second straight season that the cap went up by at least $10 million. Adding in benefits, the league says the projected player costs will be $180.775 million per team.

The salary cap is determined by a series of NFL revenue streams, with the players receiving 46 percent to 48 percent of those revenues, depending on the year.

NHL-TRADE DEADLINE

UNDATED (AP) -- The NHL trade deadline was today and the Eastern Conference leading Montreal Canadiens were busy. First they acquired Jeff Petry (PEH'-tree) from the Edmonton Oilers for draft picks. The defenseman was considered one of the most likely players to be dealt before the deadline as he can become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Habs also picked up forward Brian Flynn in exchange for a 2016 fifth-round pick from the Buffalo Sabres. Flynn has five goals and 22 assists in 54 games while playing a second and third-line role this season.

-- There was a flurry of trades over the weekend including one late Sunday night between the Lightning and Flyers. In that deal Philadelphia traded defenseman Braydon Coburn to Tampa Bay for defenseman Radko Gudas (GOO'-duhs) and draft picks. The Flyers also will acquire first- and third-round picks in the 2015 draft.

-- The St. Louis Blues bolstered a defense that's been without All-Star Kevin Shattenkirk for a month, acquiring veteran Zbynek Michalek (zuh-BEE'-nihk muh-KAHL'-ihk) and a conditional third-round draft pick from the Arizona Coyotes for prospect Maxim Letunov. The 32-year-old Michalek has missed two weeks with a concussion. In 53 games, he has two goals and six assists and is among the top shot blockers with 130.

--In a trade with St. Louis the Penguins obtained defenseman Ian Cole in exchange for defenseman Robert Bortuzzo and a seventh-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. The 26-year-old Cole has four goals and five assists in 54 games for the Blues this season. Bortuzzo has two goals and four assists in 38 games with Pittsburgh.

-- The Bruins and Lightning worked out a deal that sends forward Brett Connolly to Boston for second-round draft picks this year and next. The 22-year-old Connolly has 12 goals, three assists and 38 penalty minutes in 50 games for the Lightning this season.

-- Defenseman Marek Zidlicky (zihd-LIHK'-ee) has been traded by New Jersey to the Red Wings for a conditional draft pick. Zidlicky had to waive a no-trade clause in his contract that expires after this season.

-- The Columbus Blue Jackets have dealt veteran defenseman Jordan Leopold to the Minnesota Wild for defenseman Justin Falk and a fifth-round pick in the 2015 draft. The 34-year-old Leopold, an unrestricted free agent this summer, is returning to his home state.

-- The New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres have swapped goalies. The Islanders acquired Michal Neuvirth (NOY'-vihrt) in the deal while the Sabres got Chad Johnson and a 2016 third-round pick.

NHL-SCHEDULE

UNDATED (AP) -- Two of the top teams in the NHL are facing off tonight in New York as the Rangers entertain the Predators. Nashville starts the day with the most points in the league with 89, sitting in first place in the Western Conference and the Central Division. The Rangers are third in the East with 82 and just two points back of Islanders in the Metropolitan Division.

Montreal is the top team in the East with 87 points, and tonight the Canadiens are playing in San Jose. The Sharks are having a down year as they are five points out of the second and final playoff berth in the West.

The final game has Carolina playing the Blackhawks in Chicago.

NBA-SCHEDULE

UNDATED (AP) -- There are five games this evening in the NBA. In Dallas, the Mavericks are taking on the Pelicans in a Southwest Division battle. The Southwest is the only division in the NBA in which every team has a winning record. The last place Pelicans, if they were in the Eastern Conference, would be tied for the sixth seed instead of out of the current playoff picture in the West with a record of 32-27.

Atlantic Division leader Toronto has dropped five straight and is in Philadelphia tonight, while Phoenix plays at Miami, league-leader Golden State continues its eastern road trip with a stop in Brooklyn, and the Clippers are at Minnesota.

NBA-BULLS

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Bulls are now without their backcourt. The team says guard Jimmy Butler is joining Derrek Rose on the injured list. Butler will miss three to six weeks because of a sprained ligament in his left elbow while Rose recently had to have knee surgery.

Butler, Chicago's scoring leader, was injured during Sunday's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. He missed most of the second half after he ran into a pick by DeAndre Jordan, the latest blow to a team that has shuffled players in and out of the rotation because of various ailments.

T25-SCHEDULE/POLLS

UNDATED (AP) -- Kentucky and Virginia remain 1-2 in the new Associated Press men's basketball poll. The Wildcats continue their march toward an undefeated season with a record of 29-0. They received all 65 first place votes. The Cavaliers remained No. 2 by upping their record to 27-1.

Gonzaga (gahn-ZAG'-uh), last week's third-ranked school, fell all the way to seventh after suffering its second loss of the year against 29 victories. The new No. 3 is Duke followed by Villanova and Arizona.

Completing the second ten are Wisconsin, Gonzaga, Wichita State, Kansas and Maryland.

A check of tonight's schedule shows second-ranked Virginia at Syracuse, 14th-ranked Baylor at Texas and No. 17 Iowa State home to 15th-ranked Oklahoma.

Connecticut remains the top team in the AP women's poll. The Huskies once again got all 35 first place votes to top Notre Dame, South Carolina, Maryland and Tennessee.

GOLF-HONDA CLASSIC

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) -- Padraig Harrington captured his first PGA Tour title in more than six years when he birdied the final hole in regulation and then beat 21-year-old rookie Daniel Berger on the second hole of a playoff in the Honda Classic. The event was completed a day late because of darkness at the course Sunday.

The three-time major champion had a one-shot lead until hitting into the water on the 17th hole for double bogey. On the same hole in the playoff, Harrington hit his tee shot to 3 feet. Berger, who closed with a 6-under 64, followed with a shot into the water.

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy failed to make the cut after rounds of 73 and 74.

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