Off the wire: Broncos to cut QB Wilson

FOOTBALL

Broncos to cut Wilson

Two years ago, Russell Wilson exuberantly declared he intended to play a dozen years in Denver and double the trio of Lombardi Trophies in the Broncos' lobby. General Manager George Paton was equally dizzy, thrilled to send four premium draft picks and three players to Seattle for a younger, healthier version of Peyton Manning and excited to sign the Super Bowl-winning quarterback to that $242 million extension six months later. Acquiring Wilson turned out to be the biggest miscalculation in franchise history. He won just 11 of his 30 starts and witnessed both the coaching and quarterback carousels continue to churn in Denver, which hasn't been to the playoffs since winning Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, 2016. Wilson endured his worst season under Nathaniel Hackett in 2022 and bounced back under Sean Payton in 2023 only to get benched for Jarrett Stidham for the final two games. On Monday, the Broncos informed Wilson they'd release him next week when the new league year begins.

Evans signs extension

A person familiar with the deal says Tampa Bay receiver Mike Evans has agreed to a two-year, $52 million contract to remain with the Buccaneers instead of testing his worth in free agency. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the contract had not been finalized. ESPN first reported the agreement, saying it includes $35 million guaranteed. The 30-year-old Evans is the only player in NFL history to begin his career with 10 consecutive seasons with 1,000-plus yards receiving. He's also Tampa Bay's career leader in receptions, yardage and touchdowns. He tied Tyreek Hill for the league lead in touchdown catches with 13, while finishing with 79 receptions for 1,255 yards in 2023.

Edwards stops attack

Police are praising former NFL player Braylon Edwards for stopping an attack on an 80-year-old man at a YMCA in suburban Detroit. Edwards says he was just minding his own business Friday when he heard a dispute about loud music at the recreation center in Farmington Hills. He says he heard a "thud," turned around and saw a man being attacked in the locker room. That's when he stepped in. Farmington Hills Police Chief Jeff King says Edwards "absolutely saved that's life." The alleged attacker has been charged. Edwards spent eight seasons in the NFL, mostly for Cleveland and the New York Jets.

Jags release vet on birthday

The Jacksonville Jaguars cut veteran defensive tackle Foley Fatukasi on his 29th birthday. The Jaguars made the move a few hours after wishing Fatukasi a happy birthday on social media. Releasing him will save the Jaguars roughly $3.5 million against the 2024 salary cap. Fatukasi will still cost the team $9.3 million in dead money. He signed a three-year, $30 million contract with Jacksonville in 2022 that included $20 million guaranteed.

EA Sports: 11K to be featured

More than 10,000 athletes have accepted an offer from EA Sports to have their likeness featured in its upcoming college football video game, the developer announced Monday. EA Sports began reaching out to college football players in February to pay them to be featured in the game that's scheduled to launch this summer. EA Sports said players who opt in to the game will receive a minimum of $600 and a copy of EA Sports College Football 25. There will also be opportunities for them to earn money by promoting the game. Players who opt out will be left off the game entirely and gamers will be blocked from manually adding or creating them, EA sports said without specifying how it plans to do that. John Reseburg, vice president of marketing, communications and partnerships at EA Sports, tweeted that more than 11,000 athletes have been sent an offer. The developer has said all 134 FBS schools will be in the game.

BASEBALL

Former MVP Donaldson retires

Josh Donaldson says he's retiring after a 13-year career in which he made three All-Star Games and won an MVP award. The 38-year-old Donaldson announced his plans to former major league first baseman Sean Casey during an appearance on the podcast "The Mayor's Office." Donaldson is a free agent after splitting last season between the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers. Donaldson was one of the game's top third basemen from 2013-17 while starring for the Oakland Athletics and Toronto Blue Jays. He won an MVP award with Toronto in 2015.

Phillies extend Wheeler

Zack Wheeler and the Philadelphia Phillies agreed on a $126 million, three-year contract for 2025-27, the fourth-highest average salary in baseball history at $42 million. Wheeler gets $23.5 million this year in the final season of a $118 million, five-year contract. Wheeler's average trails only Los Angeles Dodgers two-way star Shohei Ohtani ($70 million), Texas pitcher Max Scherzer ($43.33 million) and Houston pitcher Justin Verlander ($43.33 million).

Dodgers trade for Lipcius

The Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired infielder Andre Lipcius from the Detroit Tigers for cash. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers transferred pitcher Clayton Kershaw to the 60-day injured list. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has said he expects to return in July or August after recovering from shoulder surgery he had in November. Lipcius hit .286 with a double and a home run in 13 games for the Tigers last season. The 25-year-old was designated for assignment last week.

BASKETBALL

Kolek to miss time

Marquette guard Tyler Kolek will miss at least the final two games of the regular season as the 2023 Big East player of the year recovers from an oblique injury. Kolek hurt his abdominal muscle during a 91-69 victory over Providence on Wednesday. The injury caused Kolek to miss Marquette's 89-75 loss at Creighton on Saturday. Kolek won't play Wednesday against No. 1 UConn or Saturday at Xavier.

Dartmouth vote on track

Dartmouth basketball players remain on schedule to vote on whether to form the nation's first-ever college athletes' labor union after a National Labor Relations Board official rejected the school's request to reopen the case. NLRB regional director Laura Sacks denied the school's request, saying there was no new evidence that wasn't previously available to Dartmouth. Still pending is a request by the school to put off the vote. Sacks ruled last month that Dartmouth basketball players are employees of the school, clearing the way for an election on whether they want to unionize. The vote is scheduled for Tuesday on the school's Hanover, N.H., campus.

HOCKEY

Devils fire Ruff

The New Jersey Devils have fired Coach Lindy Ruff and named assistant Travis Green as the interim replacement for the rest of the season. General Manager Tom Fitzgerald made the surprising move with just over 20 games left to play. The Devils have lost five of seven to fall further out of playoff contention. Ruff was in his fourth season with the club. The Devils reached the second round of the playoffs last year.

Novak gets new deal

The Nashville Predators don't appear likely to be sellers at the NHL trade deadline, and they took an important step toward standing pat by extending pending free agent forward Tommy Novak. The team re-signed Novak to a three-year contract worth $10.5 million. He'll count $3.5 million against the salary cap through 2027. The late-blooming 26-year-old has established himself as a full-time NHL player over the past two seasons. This year he has 34 points through 51 games and has contributed to Nashville being on track to return to the playoffs.

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