- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 1, 2016

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Tom Brady reportedly has agreed to a two-year contract extension with the New England Patriots.

The deal will significantly lessen Brady’s salary cap hit for 2016, which would have been about $15 million. He was due to make $9 million next season, plus a $6 million bonus, and $10 million in salary in 2017.

Brady, 38, has often redone his contract to help the Patriots’ cap situation. The four-time Super Bowl champion has said he plans to play well into his 40s. The extension would allow him to do so in New England.

The agreement was first reported by ESPN.

NEW YORK (AP) - Using a franchise tag on a quarterback will cost a team $19.95 million for 2016 under the values agreed upon by the NFL and the players’ union.

The franchise designation is worth the average of the top five salaries at a player’s position or 120 percent of the value of his 2015 salary, whichever is higher. Teams secure the rights to continue negotiations with that player even as the league’s free agency period begins, which this year is March 9.

Teams have until Tuesday to use the franchise or transition tag on a scheduled free agent. The salary cap for next season is $155.27 million, an increase of about $12 million per team from 2015.

The next most expensive position is defensive end at $15.7 million, according to numbers made official. The salary cap for next season is $155.27 million, an increase of about $12 million per team from 2015.

Wide receivers would cost just under $14.6 million, followed by linebackers ($14.1 million), cornerbacks (just under $14 million) and offensive linemen ($13.7 million).

Defensive tackles ($13.6 million), running backs ($11.78 million), safeties ($10.8 million), tight ends ($9.1 million) and punters/kickers ($4.57 million) follow.

Among the top players whose contracts are up and could get franchise tags is linebacker Von Miller, the Super Bowl MVP for Denver.

NEW YORK (AP) - A person with knowledge of the team’s plans tell The Associated Press that the New York Jets will use the franchise tag on Pro Bowl defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, keeping him from becoming a free agent.

Wilkerson, who has been seeking a long-term extension, will be paid $15.7 million for the 2016 season. He has until July 15 to reach a multiyear deal with the Jets, or he must play the season under the tag.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team didn’t announce the move, which was expected.

Wilkerson, selected for his first Pro Bowl, had a career-high 12 sacks in Todd Bowles’ defense, but is coming off a broken right leg suffered in the season finale.


Loui Eriksson is still with Boston. Dan Hamhuis is still a Canuck. And Jonathan Drouin is still on the roster of the Tampa Bay Lightning after the NHL’s trade deadline came and went.

The league said there were 19 trades involving 37 players completed on Monday. That’s lower than last year’s numbers of 24 trades and 43 players, but it marked the 15th straight deadline day in which at least 30 players were dealt.

There were a few splashes made, mostly in the Western Conference by teams including Anaheim and Colorado as the afternoon deadline arrived.

Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic delivered on his intent to provide Colorado’s playoff run one more push. And Dallas added defensive depth by landing nine-year veteran Kris Russell in a trade with Calgary in exchange for defensemen Jyrki Jokipakka and Brett Pollock and a conditional second-round draft pick. Russell has 174 shot blocks in just 51 games this season.

But the day was largely notable for the names who didn’t move, like Eriksson, Hamhuis and Drouin.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Three Minnesota men’s basketball players were suspended over the weekend after a sexually explicit video appeared on one of their social media accounts, according to a person with knowledge of the discipline.

Guards Kevin Dorsey, Nate Mason and Dupree McBrayer were benched Sunday at Illinois for what the Gophers announced as a violation of team rules. They are not under investigation for any criminal charges, according to the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

The video was posted Friday on Dorsey’s Instagram and Twitter accounts, both of which were disabled about a half-hour later. A university statement, citing educational data privacy, said that additional information on the punishment will not be shared “at this time.”

Coach Richard Pitino said on his weekly radio show on 1500 ESPN that he “anticipated” that all three players will be available to play against rival Wisconsin on Wednesday. Pitino declined to comment specifically on the reason for the suspensions.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Vanderbilt’s poor crowd control has resulted in a $100,000 fine, and athletic director David Williams knows the Commodores need to do a better job after fans stormed the court following a 74-62 upset of Kentucky.

“We didn’t take care of our business,” Williams said, “and rightfully the SEC did what they should do.”

What the Southeastern Conference did was levy the hefty fine on the school.

Fines start at $50,000 for a first offense and go up to $100,000 for a second offense and up to $250,000 for subsequent offenses after being increased at the SEC spring meetings last year.

“Unfortunately, I’m going to be one that pays one of the penalties,” Williams said.

Vanderbilt was fined $100,000 because it was the school’s second offense. Vanderbilt fans also stormed the court after a men’s basketball victory over No. 1 Florida in 2007, and the Commodores aren’t the first. Auburn was fined $100,000 in January also after a win over Kentucky.

Williams, who voted for both the original policy and the increased penalties, said he and other Vanderbilt officials need to do a better job explaining why supporters need to celebrate differently.

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