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Chiefs, running back Jamaal Charles reach deal

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles has agreed to a contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs announced the deal Wednesday night.

The two-year extension runs through the 2017 season, a person familiar with the contract said on condition of anonymity because the team didn't disclose terms of the contract.

The six-year NFL veteran ran for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns last year to help the Chiefs reach the playoffs. He also had 70 catches for 693 yards and seven more TDs as Kansas City went 11-5 before losing to Indianapolis in an AFC wild-card game.

"Jamaal is an elite player in the National Football League," Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey said in a statement released by the team. "It was important for us to keep him here in Kansas City long-term."

Charles was expected to take part in the first practice scheduled for Thursday.

"I had no intention on holding out," Charles tweeted. "I just ran out of gas on the way to camp and my cellphone battery died. It was a long walk I tell ya."

Charles comes off a season with career highs in yards from scrimmage (1,980), rushing touchdowns, total touchdowns, receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

Charles' earned a base salary of $1.75 million in 2013, according to NFLPA records. He was set to earn a base salary of $2.65 million, which ranked 11th among NFL running backs, before the contract extension. Various media reports, including from NFL.com and ESPN, put Charles' two-year extension at $18 million.

With Charles secured through 2017, the Chiefs can shift focus to quarterback Alex Smith and outside linebacker Justin Houston, both of whom enter the final years of respective contracts.

Smith, 30, comes off a season where he completed 308-of-508 passes for 3,313 yards and 23 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. He established career highs in rushing attempts (70) and yards (431), and became the second quarterback in team history to start the season with nine consecutive wins.

Smith reported Sunday with rookies and quarterbacks and put in two morning practices before being excused from Wednesday's practice. The Chiefs' second-year quarterback attended voluntary organized activities and mandatory minicamp.

The same can't be said of Houston, who missed the Chiefs' offseason workout program. Houston is expected to report for training camp, however.

"From what I hear, he's going to be here," outside linebacker Tamba Hali said. "We're going to get it rocking again - Sack City. Whatever happened in the offseason, we put all of that behind us. He's here to play football just like every other man. That's our concern - get to that quarterback."

Houston, 25, comes off his second straight Pro Bowl selection and finished the season with 11 sacks in 11 games. He and Hali combined for 22 sacks in 2013.

Houston is entering the final year of his rookie contract, which pays him a base salary of $1.4 million. His 26.5 sacks since 2011 matches Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews' sack production during that span.

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AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta and AP freelance writer Herbie Teope contributed to this report.

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Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 02:51:00 +0000
Mavericks' Felton pleads guilty in NYC gun case

NEW YORK (AP) Dallas Mavericks point guard Raymond Felton pleaded guilty Wednesday in a New York gun case, taking a plea deal that involved admitting a felony but spares him jail.

Felton pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm. He admitted he knowingly had a large-capacity ammunition magazine and a semi-automatic pistol without a license.

"Are those charges true?" Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Larry Stephen asked.

"Yes, sir," Felton said, later adding in a soft voice: "I apologize. I realize what I did was wrong."

He was immediately sentenced to 500 hours of community service and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine. Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Rebold said Felton will be allowed to do the service outside New York.

If he complies, the case will be closed without jail time or probation.

"At this point, Raymond is looking forward to starting the next chapter of his life and focusing on success in Dallas," his lawyer, James Walden, said after court.

The criminal case arose last winter, as Felton grappled with the breakup of his marriage and navigated a struggling season with the New York Knicks. He was traded to Dallas last month, two days after his plea plan was announced.

The team declined to comment Wednesday.

About a week after Felton's law student wife filed for divorce, her attorney brought a loaded semi-automatic handgun to a police precinct and said it was Felton's and she wanted it out of the house, authorities said. Walden has said Felton never threatened anyone with the gun.

After police contacted Felton, he turned himself in shortly after a Mavericks-Knicks game at Madison Square Garden.

Felton was charged under a state law that bans many large-capacity ammunition magazines. Prosecutors said Felton's could hold about 20 rounds.

The NBA, which has said it is monitoring the case, had no immediate comment Wednesday. The league usually waits until criminal cases against players are resolved before deciding whether to impose any fine or suspension.

Felton, 30, was a star at the University of North Carolina and was the fifth pick of the 2005 NBA draft. Besides Dallas and New York, he's played for the Charlotte Bobcats, Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers.

Last season, Felton missed 17 games while battling injuries and averaged a career-low 9.7 points as the Knicks went 37-45 and missed the playoffs.

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:48:00 +0000
Johnny Be Good: Browns expect Manziel to behave

BEREA, Ohio (AP) Johnny will be good.

That's what the Browns expect from Johnny Manziel now that training camp is about to start.

Cleveland coach Mike Pettine said he's not worried about the popular rookie's wild off-field behavior carrying into the season, and he's determined not to let any outside influences affect his decision in picking either Manziel or veteran Brian Hoyer to be his starting quarterback.

Pettine, who will open his first training camp on Saturday, discussed Manziel, Pro Bowl wide receiver Josh Gordon's clouded situation and several other topics during an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Manziel, the former Texas A&M star nicknamed "Johnny Football" for his dazzling skills, made headlines throughout the offseason with his weekend partying. And while most of it was seemingly innocent, a recent photo of him appearing to roll up a dollar bill brought him even more scrutiny.

Pettine said he's aware of the photo, and during his recent vacation, he called Manziel to discuss the young QB's conduct.

"I picked up the phone and called him," Pettine said. "It was a good conversation, positive and I'm confident going forward, especially now that it's all about football, I think some of this will and should quiet down because football season is different. The offseason is one thing, but it's all about preparation and I think he knows that in order for him to compete well, he's going to have to probably be more dedicated than he has ever been."

Manziel has insisted he will not change his ways and that he's entitled to have fun away from football.

Pettine said Manziel has been dedicated to learning his playbook, and has given the Browns no reason to think he's going to be a distraction. Pettine believes Manziel is beginning to understand the responsibility that comes along with being a high-profile athlete and social media sensation.

"I think that's a process for him and I think he's headed along the right path with that," Pettine said. "I think if you talk to him, he gets it. Some of the things I think he gets a little frustrated with, but I think he's coming to realize that, `Yeah, this all comes with the territory."'

Hoyer, who has worked his way back after undergoing knee surgery, begins camp with a lead over Manziel in their competition to be Cleveland's starter. Pettine said he would like to name his starter "reasonably quickly," and that he and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan have discussed how to divide up the practice repetitions evenly.

Manziel might have a huge fan following - his No. 2 jersey has outsold all others since April in the NFL's online store - but Pettine said he won't be swayed to name him a starter.

"All the decisions we make will be based on football," he said. "We're not going to base our depth chart on jersey sales.

"The external pressure will not factor into our decision. It's an easy decision for us. It's who gives us the best chance to line up against the Pittsburgh Steelers in September and win that football game, that's what it boils down to and that's as simple as it is for us. But it's a decision that we want to make pretty quickly because there needs to be some chemistry developed."

As for Gordon, Pettine expects him to report on Friday and practice Saturday. The team is awaiting clarity from the league on Gordon, who could be facing an indefinite ban for another violation of the league's substance abuse policy. Pettine said he's beyond the point of worrying about whether Gordon will play at all this season. Gordon was suspended two games last season.

However, Pettine did make it clear the team has no plans to release Gordon and want to help him.

"Josh is a Cleveland Brown and we want what's best for him and we want what's best for us," he said. "He's smart. He's bright. He's creative. He's a guy that in a lot of ways that you root for."

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 02:07:00 +0000
Padres OF Maybin tests positive for amphetamine

CHICAGO (AP) San Diego Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin was suspended 25 games by Major League Baseball on Wednesday for testing positive for an amphetamine.

Maybin said in a statement released by the Major League Baseball Players Association the failed test was the result of a change in the medication he was using to treat Attention Deficit Disorder.

"I have been undergoing treatment for several years for a medical condition, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), for which I previously had a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). Unfortunately, in my attempts to switch back to a medicine that had been previously OK'd, I neglected to follow all the rules and as a result I tested positive," Maybin said. "I want to assure everyone that this was a genuine effort to treat my condition and I was not trying in any way to gain an advantage in my baseball career."

Under the drug agreement between MLB and its players' union, 25 games is the penalty for a second positive amphetamine test. A first positive results only in six unannounced follow-up tests over the next year.

The 27-year-old Maybin was batting .247 with one home run and nine RBIs in 62 games this season.

"I understand that I must accept responsibility for this mistake and I will take my punishment and will not challenge my suspension. I apologize to my family, friends, fans, teammates, and the entire Padres organization. I look forward to returning to the field and contributing to the success of my Club."

Padres President and CEO Mike Dee and manager Bud Black responded in statements.

"I'm disappointed in Cameron's violation of MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program, but I am pleased that he's taking responsibility for his mistake," Dee said. "The joint agreement was put into place to protect both the player and the game, and the Padres fully support it."

"Our club fully supports Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," Black said. "Cameron has accepted full responsibility for his violation and apologized to his teammates and coaches. We are all looking forward to his return."

MLB permits an exemption for players with attention deficit disorder. The annual report from the drug program's independent administrator, Dr. Jeffrey M. Anderson, said 119 therapeutic use exemptions were granted for ADD drugs in the year ending with the conclusion of the 2013 World Series.

There were seven positive tests for Adderall in that span that resulted in discipline.

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 22:46:00 +0000
Jerry Jones: Garrett not coaching for job

OXNARD, Calif. (AP) Jerry Jones doesn't like to repeat his good sound bites, so he found a new way to say Jason Garrett isn't coaching for his job.

The Dallas Cowboys owner said Wednesday it wasn't a "make or break" season for Garrett, a year after opening training camp by declaring that last season wouldn't be "Armageddon" for his coach if the once-proud franchise missed the playoffs again.

The Cowboys have identical endings to all three full seasons under Garrett, losing to NFC East rivals to finish 8-8 and miss the playoffs.

This time, Garrett is in the final year of his contract. While he's not talking extension, Jones also isn't talking change.

"Did the record of 8-8, 8-8, 8-8 ... was that the factor? No," Jones said on the eve of the team's first camp practices. "In my mind he is more of an asset after this last 8-8 season than he was before the first 8-8 season we had three years ago."

In Jones' mind, that means Garrett is gaining experience since replacing Wade Phillips in the middle of the 2010 season. And the owner says he likes the continuity with Garrett going into his eighth season after he was hired as offensive coordinator before Phillips came on as coach in 2007.

"There's nobody that has a better feel for me than Jason, in terms of the relationship," Jones said. "We both know where our expectations are and when it's looking good and when it's looking dire. And I don't expect it to be the latter."

In other words, Jones isn't resigning himself to missing the playoffs a fifth straight time. Dallas hasn't done that since 1990, when the Cowboys entered his second year as owner coming off a two-year mark of 4-28.

"I don't want to have to stomach it," Jones said. "Let's put it like that."

Still, Jones was a bit cautious with his optimism, using his opening statement to point out that roughly half of the 90-man camp roster includes players who weren't with the Cowboys a year ago.

He also likes to say Dallas has gone from one of the oldest teams in the league to one of the youngest. Some might call that rebuilding. Not Jones.

"It's not about next year," Jones said. "I think we've got the fundamentals to compete and compete right now, and the decisions we've made are that."

The biggest decision was releasing franchise sacks leader DeMarcus Ware on the first day of free agency in March. The Cowboys hope to fill the void by finding quality in the large quantity of defensive linemen in camp.

Dallas also is looking for a replacement for Sean Lee at middle linebacker after he tore a knee ligament in the first offseason practice.

The offense is counting on a healthy Tony Romo, and Garrett said he would be ready "for all aspects" of camp.

The Cowboys will ease into workouts, even scrapping their traditional conditioning test to try to cut down on a two-year plague of injuries that helped wreck two of the worst defenses in franchise history. And that's one of the areas where Garrett figures he can be better.

"We want to evaluate how we used our players, what we asked them to do and how we can do stuff better," Garrett said. "So I can give you 50 examples of that, coverages we play, what we're doing up front with our guys, techniques we're using at the different levels of our defense. And we implemented all that stuff in the offseason."

So Garrett starts the process of trying to break out of his personal 8-8 rut for a franchise with a .500 record going back 17 years.

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Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 02:03:00 +0000

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