- Associated Press - Saturday, March 12, 2016

DENVER (AP) - The Broncos have acquired Mark Sanchez from Philadelphia, a move Denver general manager John Elway calls the first step toward replacing the retired Peyton Manning.

The Super Bowl champions were left without an experienced quarterback this week when five-time MVP Manning retired and Brock Osweiler signed with Houston as a free agent. So they have turned to Sanchez, who was acquired for a conditional 2017 draft pick.

Sanchez, 29, spent his first five NFL seasons with the Jets, helping them to the AFC championship game in his first two years. But the fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft lost his job in New York and spent the last two seasons with the Eagles, starting 10 games and going 4-6.

CLEVELAND (AP) - The Browns have released troublesome quarterback Johnny Manziel, ending his drama-filled stay with the team.

The team finally cut ties with the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner after two disappointing seasons. Manziel faces an uncertain future in the NFL and potential criminal charges in Texas following a domestic violence incident.

Manziel’s end had been expected for weeks, and the Browns announced his departure with eight words: “The Cleveland Browns have waived QB Johnny Manziel.” The team included a few stats but no other comment.

Cleveland used a first-round pick in the 2014 draft to select Manziel, an electrifying star at Texas A&M; who earned his “Johnny Football” nickname in college with side-armed throws and scrambles for touchdowns. But Manziel’s pro career has not gone well as he has become better known more for his excessive social life than anything else.


VIENNA (AP) - Maria Sharapova’s racket supplier says the drug she tested positive for at the Australian Open shouldn’t be on the banned list.

Head CEO Johan Eliasch says the World Anti-Doping Agency should have imposed “a dosage limitation only” on meldonium instead of completely banning it as of Jan. 1.

Eliasch says Sharapova was taking the substance in such low doses that the drug couldn’t possibly have improved her performance.

He says he “would encourage WADA to release scientific studies which validates their claim that meldonium should be a banned substance.”

Eliasch publicly backed Sharapova and announced a new racket deal with the five-time Grand Slam champion. The decision was called “a strange stance” by Andy Murray, who also plays with Head rackets.

Sharapova posted a letter to her fans on her Facebook page, explaining how she claims to have missed WADA’s email adding meldonium to the banned substance list and re-iterating her assertion that she took the medication as recommended by a doctor.


NEW YORK (AP) - Former Mets closer Jenrry Mejia wants to challenge the agreement he made not to appeal his third positive drug test, which led to a lifetime ban from baseball.

Banned on Feb. 12, Mejia spoke at a news conference in the office of one of his new lawyers. They accused Major League Baseball of orchestrating his third positive test because Mejia refused to implicate another individual, whom they would not identify, in the use of performance-enhancing drugs. MLB denies the allegations.

Mejia was suspended for 80 games last April 11 following a positive test for Stanozolol, a drug popular among bodybuilders, and now admits he did take a banned substance then. He returned July 12, appeared in seven games for New York, then was suspended for 162 games on July 28 after a positive test for Stanozolol and Boldenone.


NEW YORK (AP) - An independent arbitrator reduced Dennis Wideman’s suspension from 20 games to 10 based on the determination that the Calgary Flames defenseman did not intend to injure linesman Don Henderson.

In an 18-page ruling, James Oldham wrote that he agreed with the NHL’s decision to suspend Wideman for abusing an official. He disagreed that there was sufficient evidence to show he deliberately wanted to injure Henderson when he hit him during a game Jan. 27.

Wideman has already served 19 games as the appeals process went to Commissioner Gary Bettman and then Oldham. He will get back $282,258 of the $564,516 he was going to forfeit as a result of the suspension. He played in the Flames’ 4-1 loss to the Coyotes later in the day.

The NHL said in a statement it “strenuously” disagrees with Oldham’s ruling.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Prosecutors say Buffalo Sabres forward Evander Kane will not face criminal charges following an investigation into a possible sexual assault.

Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael Flaherty announced that the decision was made after an examination of the facts, including the results of forensic and toxicological testing.

Reports surfaced in December that Buffalo police were investigating a claim made against the player about an incident that occurred at a downtown Buffalo hotel where Kane is living. Flaherty says no criminal complaint was ever filed.

Kane, who is from North Vancouver, British Columbia, has denied doing anything wrong.

The 24-year-old Kane is in his first full season in Buffalo after he was acquired in a multi-player trade with the Winnipeg Jets a year ago.

MONTREAL (AP) - P.K. Subban was released from the hospital after the Montreal Canadiens defenseman was removed from the ice on a stretcher with a neck injury.

The team said on its Twitter account that Subban had a “nonserious neck injury” and was released from Montreal General Hospital late Thursday night.

Subban took to Twitter to reassure supporters: “Feeling good, and feeling the love. Thanks for all the support!!”

Coach Michel Therrien said Subban will undergo treatment and won’t play Saturday against Minnesota, ending his streak of 273 consecutive regular-season games. He had the team’s longest active streak, not missing a game since Jan. 30, 2013.

His injury came near the end of the third period against the Buffalo Sabres. Subban fell and was struck in the head by teammate Alexei Emelin, who accidentally ran into him. Subban grabbed the back of his head as trainers tended to him, but looked alert when carted off.

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