- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 8, 2020


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - David Tepper is entrusting Baylor’s Matt Rhule to lead the Carolina Panthers out of what he views as a cycle of “long term mediocrity.”

The Panthers announced Tuesday that the 44-year-old Rhule has agreed to become the team’s next head coach. He replaces Ron Rivera, who was fired with four games remaining in the 2019 regular season.

The deal is worth $62 million over seven seasons, with incentives to make even more for winning. said a person familiar with the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the team has not released contract details. The NFL Network was first to report the contract terms.

The deal makes Rhule the sixth-highest paid coach in the NFL, according to Forbes. The five coaches ahead of him - New England’s Bill Belichick, Seattle’s Pete Carrroll, Oakland’s Jon Gruden, New Orleans’ Sean Payton and Baltimore’s John Harbaugh, have all won Super Bowls.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - New England Patriots assistant Joe Judge probably is going to have to wait another day before finalizing a contract to become the somewhat surprising choice as head coach of the four-time champion New York Giants.

The team and representatives for Judge worked most of Tuesday on a deal to bring the 38-year-old to the Meadowlands in New Jersey to revive a franchise that tumbled to the bottom of the NFL in recent years, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the deal is not done. The person did not expect the contract to be finalized until Wednesday at the earliest.

Mentored by Bill Belichick and Nick Saban in a 15-year career, Judge would become a head coach for the first time. He would be one of the youngest NFL coaches, but still five years older than Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams, who at 33 is the league’s youngest.

Judge has won three Super Bowls with New England in eight years as an assistant on Belichick’s staff. He was the fifth candidate the Giants interviewed since firing Pat Shurmur on Dec. 30, but he was not considered among the front-runners until having an impressive interview on Monday.

-By AP Sports Writer Tom Canavan.

FRISCO, Texas (AP) - The Dallas Cowboys will introduce Mike McCarthy as the ninth coach in franchise history Wednesday.

The club made the announcement Tuesday, a day after McCarthy reached agreement on a deal to replace Jason Garrett.

It’s the second coaching stop for the 56-year-old McCarthy, who won a Super Bowl and went to the playoffs nine times in 12-plus seasons with Green Bay.

The Packers won the title at the home of the Cowboys nine years ago. They went to the NFC championship game four times under McCarthy, who is 125-77-2 in the regular season and 10-8 in the playoffs.


BOSTON (AP) - Major League Baseball says it will investigate allegations the Boston Red Sox illegally used their video replay room to steal signs between opposing pitchers and catchers during their 2018 World Series championship season.

The claims were made Tuesday in a report by The Athletic. The website cited three anonymous sources it said were with the Red Sox during the 2018 season who said some players visited the replay room during games to get information on sign sequences.

Those sources told The Athletic that the Red Sox weren’t able to do it during the postseason because of in-person monitors used by MLB in those games.

“The Commissioner made clear in a September 15, 2017 memorandum to clubs how seriously he would take any future violation of the regulations regarding use of electronic equipment or the inappropriate use of the video replay room. Given these allegations, MLB will commence an investigation into this matter,” the league said in a statement.

The Red Sox said they will cooperate as MLB looks into the allegations.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Catcher Jason Castro has finalized a $6.85 million, one-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

The Angels announced the agreement Tuesday after the sides reached a deal last week. Left-hander Adalberto Mejía was designated for assignment to make room.

The 32-year-old Castro is a respected defensive catcher who committed just one error last season and bolstered his reputation for working well with young pitchers. He spent the last three seasons with the Minnesota Twins, and he posted a career-best .767 on-base percentage last season while contributing 13 homers and 30 RBIs.

The Bay Area native is expected to join Max Stassi as the Angels’ new catching duo. Both are former Houston Astros catchers.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Infielder Starlin Castro finalized a two-year contract with the Washington Nationals on Tuesday, one of a flurry of recent moves by the World Series champions.

Castro’s deal gives the club someone who can start at second base and maybe also play some at third, where Anthony Rendon left as a free agent. Castro gets $5 million next season and $7 million in 2021 plus the chance to earn award bonuses.

Last season with the Miami Marlins, Castro batted .270 with career highs of 22 homers and 86 RBIs. He appeared in all 162 games, making 115 starts at second and 42 at third, along with two at shortstop.

Castro will turn 30 in March and is entering his 11th season in the majors. In addition to the Marlins, he has played for the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees and been an All-Star four times.


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Anthony Davis left the Los Angeles Lakers’ game against the New York Knicks in the third quarter Tuesday night after he bruised his lower back in a painful fall to the court.

Davis was injured when he fell awkwardly while trying to block the shot of New York’s Julius Randle. Davis pounded the court in obvious pain after his hard landing, and he stayed down for about two minutes in a hushed Staples Center.

Davis eventually rose with help from his teammates, and he walked to the Lakers’ dressing room slowly, but under his own power.

Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, emerged from the Lakers’ locker room after the injury and said X-rays on Davis’ back were negative, but the superstar is feeling sore. The Lakers described the injury as a bruised sacrum - the lower part of the spine near the tailbone.

Davis, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, is the primary reason behind Los Angeles’ swift rise to the top of the Western Conference.

CLEVELAND (AP) - Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin is out indefinitely after having surgery on his left knee.

The Pistons announced Tuesday that Griffin will have an extended rehabilitation period with no timetable for his return.

Pistons coach Dwane Casey said before Tuesday night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers that he hasn’t been given any indication if Griffin will play again this season.

The Pistons are mired in another rebuilding season and making the playoffs seems unlikely. Detroit is 13-24 going into the finale of a six-game trip.

The 30-year-old Griffin was an All-Star last season for the sixth time. He has played in just 18 games this season and is averaging a career-low 15.5 points and a career-low 4.7 rebounds per game.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Nashville Predators have hired former New Jersey Devils coach John Hynes as the third coach in franchise history after firing Peter Laviolette.

The Predators announced the hiring Tuesday before a morning skate. Nashville hosts Boston on Tuesday night.

“John Hynes is a bright young coach and great leader who has a track record of both effectively developing young players and successfully motivating veterans,” Nashville general manager David Poile said in a statement.

Poile fired Laviolette and assistant coach Kevin McCarthy on Monday after the Predators (19-15-7) had dropped four of five. They are 11th in the Western Conference standings with 45 points.


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - National Women’s Soccer League President Amanda Duffy is stepping down to become executive vice president of the Orlando Pride.

Duffy will take over front office and technical duties for the Pride and represent the team on the NWSL board. She’ll report to Orlando City chief executive officer Alex Leitao.

Duffy, 39, has served as the league’s president for the past year. She joined the NWSL in 2017 as managing director of operations.


More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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