AP source: Saints, Winston in 'advanced' negotiations
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A person familiar with the situation says the New Orleans Saints and quarterback Jameis Winston are working on a contract proposal to make the former Buccaneers starter a backup to Drew Brees. The person says the Saints and Winston are in “advanced” talks.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday because negotiations were ongoing.
Winston passed for 5,109 yards and 33 touchdowns last season but also threw 30 interceptions. Tampa Bay has replaced Winston with ex-Patriots QB Tom Brady.
Meanwhile, the Saints says reserve QB Taysom Hill has a new two-year contract.
In other NFL news:
— Seattle Seahawks veteran offensive lineman D.J. Fluker said he has been released by the team after two seasons as their starting right guard. Fluker posted on Twitter that he had been informed by coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider of the decision. The move came two days after Seattle drafted Fluker’s heir apparent in LSU guard Damien Lewis in the third round of the NFL draft. Seattle has also added several interior offensive linemen this offseason, including B.J. Finney, Kahlil McKenzie and Chance Warmack. The move with Fluker will save Seattle about $3.6 million against the salary cap.
NFL DRAFT-TV RATINGS
NFL draft averages record 8.4M viewers across 3 days
UNDATED (AP) — Seth Markman was just as nervous as NFL coaches and general managers about the unknown factors involved with a virtual draft. But the ESPN executive producer said he was overwhelmed with how everything came together over the three days. It also ended up being must-see TV as the first significant live sporting event since the coronavirus pandemic ground everything to a halt.
The draft averaged a record 8.4 million viewers over all three days, according to the NFL and Nielsen.
The previous high was 6.2 million last year
Indians to furlough some employees
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians will pay regular salaries to full-time employees through June 30, but the club has had to furlough others due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The team said senior executives took “voluntary salary reductions” to ensure the team could continue to pay staffers. The Indians confirmed they have furloughed many of their part-time employees and interns. Those will take effect on May 1.
The Indians are one of the few teams to guarantee full-time workers their salaries through June.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told teams last week he was suspending non-player personnel contracts on May 1. Many teams agreed to pay employees through May.
Baseball has been shut down since March 12 and the start of the season remains unclear.
Ryan Newman says he’ll be ready to race
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Ryan Newman says he will be ready to race when NASCAR resumes competition.
Newman suffered a head injury in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. The Indiana native spent less than 48 hours in the hospital before walking out holding hands with his two daughters.
Ross Chastain drove the No. 6 Ford in place of Newman for three races before the NASCAR season was suspended March 13 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Newman said Sunday on Fox Sports he will be ready to race when NASCAR calls drivers back to the track. NASCAR says Newman still must be medically cleared.
Jeff Gordon ‘crashes’ in first iRace
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Alex Bowman scored his first iRacing victory of NASCAR’s invitational series by holding off Corey LaJoie and Ryan Preece in a two-lap overtime sprint to the finish at virtual Talladega.
The victory is the third consecutive for Hendrick Motorsports, which got back-to-back wins from William Byron headed into Sunday’s esports event.
Garrett Smithley finished fourth and Landon Cassill fifth as less-heralded drivers continue to use the iRacing platform to gain attention. Byron and Brennan Poole were sixth and seventh as Chevrolet drivers claimed six of the top seven spots.
Jeff Gordon made his iRacing debut but crashed.
HIGH SCHOOL PLAYER KILLED
Louisville recruit killed in shooting
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Police in Florida say a high school football star who had signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Louisville was fatally shot late Saturday night.
Orlando police say Dexter Rentz Jr. was the only one killed when four people were shot in a crime called in to authorities shortly after 11 p.m.
The senior wide receiver planned to play for Louisville next season. As a sophomore in 2017, he set a state record when he intercepted five passes in a single game.
In a radio interview last year, he said his goal was to grow as a leader and help other "young guys see that there’s more to it than football.”
Nembhard declares for draft again
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida guards Andrew Nembhard and Tre Mann have declared for the NBA draft while keeping open the option of returning to school.The Gators made the announcement on the final day underclassmen had to decide on their futures.
Nembhard hired an NCAA-certified agent so he can retain his college eligibility and potentially return to school. He returned last year after not getting invited to the NBA scouting combine.
The sophomore averaged 11.2 points, 5.6 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 2019-20. Mann, a freshman, averaged 5.3 points off the bench.
Nembhard’s decision comes after two other Florida starters — guard Scottie Lewis and forward Keyontae Johnson — decided to stay in school.
The Gators seem to be equipped to handle both potential departures. They have Ques Glover and former Cleveland State standout Tyree Appleby to play the point next season.
In other college basketball news:
— San Diego State forward Matt Mitchell has declared for the NBA draft while keeping open the option of returning to school. The Aztecs made the announcement on the final day underclassmen had to decide on their futures. The school says Mitchell did not hire an agent, allowing him to maintain his collegiate eligibility. Mitchell has until June 3 to withdraw his name from draft consideration and return to SDSU for his final season. Mitchell started the season as the sixth man but started the final 19 games. He was named to the All-Mountain West first team.
Governor envisions baseball without fans this season
NEW YORK (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he can envision baseball games being played without fans this summer at Yankee Stadium and the Mets' Citi Field.
The Democrat said “Be creative. Try to figure it out,” during his briefing Sunday. Adding that if players could get paid more than staying home and owners would get some revenue versus total shutdown, why not? He’d love to watch.
Cuomo says he has spoken with owners of professional sports teams, but he did not identify which ones. They would have to make the economics work without gate revenue but with broadcast revenue.
Cuomo said that everybody has to think outside the box, because there is no box.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-BULL RIDING
Bull Riding resumes, but no fans
GUTHRIE, OKLAHOMA (AP) — The Professional Bull Riders returned from a 41-day break this weekend in Guthrie, Oklahoma, for an Unleash The Beast event originally scheduled for Las Vegas. The two-day competition at Lazy E Arena was closed to fans to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Fabiano Vieira won the competition with the only 3-for-3 performance. The 37-year-old Brazilian earned $11,000 and 104 points to jump from 14th to ninth in the season standings.
The PBR also plans to stage two-day events at the Lazy E on May 9-10 and 16-17.
Italian sports to resume training soon
UNDATED (AP) — Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte has announced that professional sports teams can resume training on May 18.
The move means that the Serie A soccer league could resume playing games in June.
Serie A has been suspended since March 9, when the government ordered a nationwide lockdown.
Conte also said that athletes in individual sports can resume training on May 4.
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — A 2-year-old colt has died after what's being called an accident at Santa Anita, making it the 12th fatality at the Southern California track since late December.
Last Renegade had yet to make his racing debut for trainer Peter Eurton. According to the California Horse Racing Board website, the colt died Friday. No further details were provided. A required necropsy is pending.
The track in Arcadia has been closed for racing since March 27 by order of the Los Angeles County Public Health Department as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. However, horses are allowed to train.