Update on the latest sports
Tom Brady signs with Buccaneers
UNDATED (AP) — Six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady has signed a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, saying he is embarking on a “new football journey.”
The 42-year-old quarterback who spent the first 20 years of his career with the New England Patriots announced his decision Friday in an Instagram post and thanked the Bucs for the opportunity.
The deal is worth $30 million per season.
The signing comes three days after Brady announced on social media that he would not return to New England, ending his historic run with the Patriots.
He joins an offense that led the NFL in passing yards last season, featuring a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, tight ends O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate, and a young, developing running back in Ronald Jones.
What the Bucs didn’t have in 2019, when they went 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the 12th straight season, was a quarterback who protected the football. Jameis Winston led the league with 5,109 passing yards while also becoming the first “30-30” player in NFL history with 33 TD passes and 30 interceptions.
Brady, who turns 43 in August, will be counted on to change that.
In other NFL news:
— A person familiar with the deal says the Atlanta Falcons have agreed to a one-year deal with three-time Pro Bowl running back Todd Gurley, one day after he was released by the Los Angeles Rams. The person told The Associated Press about the agreement on Friday on condition of anonymity because the deal will not be official until Gurley passes a physical. The league isn’t allowing players to report to new teams immediately for those physicals during the coronavirus pandemic. Gurley’s physical will be especially important. He had a persistent left knee injury that limited his effectiveness down the stretch in 2018. The issue remained last season, even though he played in 15 games. The former University of Georgia standout has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in three of his five seasons with the Rams.
— Quarterback Nick Foles says he is “looking forward to the next part of the journey” with the Chicago Bears after losing his starting job during an injury-riddled season with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Chicago acquired Foles from Jacksonville for a compensatory fourth-round pick on Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the situation. The former Philadelphia backup and 2018 Super Bowl MVP signed a four-year, $88 million contract with Jacksonville prior to last season. He broke his left collarbone early in the opener, missed the next eight games and got benched in his third game back.
— The Dallas Cowboys have agreed to a deal with safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, adding a familiar name for new coach Mike McCarthy. Clinton-Dix’s representatives, SportsTrust Advisors, announced the move early Friday on Twitter. The 27-year-old’s addition comes at a position the Cowboys have largely ignored in free agency and the draft in recent years. McCarthy was the coach in Green Bay when the Packers drafted Clinton-Dix 21st overall in 2014. He had 14 of his 16 career interceptions with Green Bay, including a career-high five in 2016. The Packers traded him to Washington during the 2018 season, and Clinton-Dix spent last year in Chicago.
Saints coach tests positive
UNDATED (AP) — New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton says he is resting comfortably at home after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Payton is the first person in the NFL to publicly disclose a COVID-19 diagnosis. He told ESPN on Thursday that he came forward to motivate people to educate themselves about what they can do to help fight the pandemic.
Payton told ESPN he took the test Monday, a day after he began to feel ill. The 56-year-old coach says he doesn’t have a fever or cough.
Payton was tested soon after he returned from attending horse races Saturday at Oaklawn in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and the coach’s announcement had a ripple effect in horse racing.
New Orleans-based thoroughbred trainer Tom Amoss said he had spent time with Payton at Oaklawn Park and would immediately stop training horses that were scheduled to run at New Orleans’ Fair Grounds Race Course. On Saturday, Oaklawn remains scheduled to host the Louisiana Derby and several other graded stakes races — minus fans.
In other virus-related developments:
— The Miami Dolphins and owner Stephen Ross have pledged $500,000 toward critical needs for elderly and youth in South Florida as a result of the coronavirus. The money will support public school meal programs, other food programs and church relief efforts.
— Formula One is setting up a series of virtual races to replace postponed or canceled Grand Prix events. The series says a “number of current F1 drivers” will take part in the races, with the first set for Sunday. That’s the day when the Bahrain Grand Prix was supposed to take place. None of the drivers taking part have been named. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and McLaren’s Lando Norris are among drivers from various competitions who have already been taking part in various online races not organized by F1. The Australian Grand Prix last weekend was canceled at short notice and the Monaco Grand Prix was canceled from its May 24 date on Thursday. Races in Bahrain, Vietnam, China, Spain and the Netherlands have been postponed.
— The LPGA Tour commissioner has provided a little hope amid more postponements. He says the ANA Inspiration has been rescheduled for Sept. 10-13. The LPGA’s first major in the California desert had been scheduled for April 2-5. It’s the first tournament to be postponed that now has a new date on the calendar. The LPGA’s event in Portland was slotted for that week and now is pushed back to the following week. Meanwhile, the LPGA postponed three more events in April in Hawaii, Los Angeles and San Francisco. And the world ranking boards have decided to freeze the standings until golf resumes.
— A German virologist says he doesn’t think professional soccer in the country will be able to resume this year. Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit, of the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg, tells broadcaster NDR: “I firmly believe it will only be possible for it to take place again next year.” He says the so-called “ghost games” without fans are also unlikely to take place as fans would gather elsewhere to watch them if they are not allowed in the stadiums. The German soccer league has already suspended play in the county’s top two divisions through April 2, though most expect play to resume without spectators in May at the earliest.
— The European Swimming Federation says it has decided to postpone the European aquatics championships, which were to be held in May in Budapest, because of travel restrictions and other effects of the coronavirus outbreak. The federation said Friday in a statement that it has proposed new dates in August, “though this might be confirmed only in May or early June.”
— All rugby in England below the top-flight Premiership has been canceled for the season. Bill Sweeney, chief executive of the Rugby Football Union, says the decision was taken “to assist with long-term planning and provide clarity to the game at a time of continuous change” during the virus outbreak. Sweeney says the RFU is in “active discussions” with Premiership teams about managing the end of the season, which had been scheduled to finish at the end of May. Several Premiership teams have asked players to take a pay cut during the outbreak.
— The Olympic flame has arrived in Japan from Greece. It was greeted in a scaled-down ceremony at an air base in northern Japan. The flame touched down Friday amid questions about whether the Tokyo Games can open as scheduled on July 24 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The flame will stay in northern Japan for almost a week until the four-month torch relay begins officially on March 26 from the northern Fukushima prefecture. That’s the northeastern part of Japan that is recovering after being devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and meltdown of three nuclear reactors.