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Texans' Clowney won't be ready for start of training camp

HOUSTON (AP) The Houston Texans have placed outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney on the physically unable to perform list.

The move means the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft will not be ready for the start of training camp this weekend. But Clowney will be able to return to practice whenever he is ready.

Clowney played just four games as a rookie last season before having season-ending microfracture surgery in December. Monday's move isn't a surprise. The Texans have said they weren't sure if he would be ready for the start of training camp, but they still hope that he will be healthy in time for the season opener.

Tue, 28 Jul 2015 03:26:00 +0000
Memphis' Austin Nichols transfers to Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) Memphis leading scorer Austin Nichols has transferred to Virginia.

Virginia coach Tony Bennett announced Nichols' transfer Monday.

Bennett says Nichols is a "great fit for our program and system."

Nichols averaged 13.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.4 blocked shots per game as a sophomore with the Tigers.

The 6-foot-9 Nichols will have two years of eligibility remaining and must sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen granted Nichols a conditional release earlier this month.

Nichols becomes the third Memphis player to transfer since the end of the season.

Tue, 28 Jul 2015 04:25:00 +0000
Olympic champion Shawn Johnson gets engaged at Wrigley Field

CHICAGO (AP) Olympic champion gymnast Shawn Johnson threw out a ceremonial first ball at Wrigley Field - and wound up with quite a catch.

Johnson was walking off the field Friday before the Chicago Cubs hosted Philadelphia when she was surprised by longtime boyfriend Andrew East, a rookie long snapper for the Kansas City Chiefs.

East dropped to one knee near home plate and presented the 2008 gold medalist with a diamond engagement ring. A stunned Johnson put her hands over her mouth, bobbed her head up and down, then jumped into his arms.

Later, she put her feelings onto her Twitter feed.

"Today the love of my life asked me to be his forever.AND I SAID YES!" she posted.

The 23-year-old Johnson won the balance beam title at the Beijing Olympics. The next year, she won the title on ABC-TV's "Dancing with the Stars."

Sat, 25 Jul 2015 01:04:00 +0000
Mets acquire Uribe, Johnson from Braves

NEW YORK (AP) The New York Mets acquired infielder Juan Uribe, infielder-outfielder Kelly Johnson and cash considerations from the Atlanta Braves on Friday night for minor league pitchers John Gant and Rob Whalen.

The Mets announced the trade after their 7-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta's 4-2 loss at St. Louis.

In corresponding roster moves, the Mets designated outfielder John Mayberry Jr. for assignment and optioned infielder Danny Muno to Triple-A Las Vegas. Third baseman David Wright, sidelined with a spinal condition, was also transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

Before the game, the Mets promoted top prospect, outfielder Michael Conforto, from Double-A Binghamton, hoping to give their light-hitting lineup a boost. The Mets are last in the majors in batting average and second-to-last in runs scored.

The struggles reached their lowest point on June 9, when the team was no-hit by San Francisco Giants rookie Chris Heston. Los Angeles' Clayton Kershaw nearly matched the feat in the series opener, throwing six perfect innings, shutting the Mets out for the 11th time this season.

The pair is also expected to provide defensive flexibility for manager Terry Collins.

Uribe, acquired by the Braves on May 27 as part of a five-player deal with the Dodgers, is batting .272 with eight home runs and 23 RBIs while primarily playing third base.

"I feel very good because I got traded to another team that is a contender," Uribe said through an interpreter. "I would have felt bad if I got released or sent home, so I know that I'm going to go to a good team and have the chance to be in the playoffs."

He was a key contributor to a pair of World Series-winning teams, helping the Chicago White Sox in 2005 and San Francisco in 2010. The Mets have struggled to replace Wright's production in their lineup, receiving only three home runs from the third base position since Wright went down in April.

"Juan was really good for us," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "He's a guy that played a great third base."

In St. Louis, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he knew the trade was coming but didn't get confirmation until about 70 minutes before the first pitch. That forced him to quickly scratch Uribe from the lineup and move Chris Johnson from first to third with Joey Terdoslavich filling in at first base.

"You're getting ready to lose two guys that are really pretty good guys on our club," Gonzalez said. "Uribe's only been here about two months, but he fit in right away with these guys and you're going to miss that and Kelly's professionalism."

Added Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner: "One of the best teammates I've ever had and a good baseball player. I already told a couple of guys, `You're going to love (him),' and he's going to be great for the clubhouse over there."

Johnson is batting .275 with nine home runs and 34 RBIs while playing all over the diamond, logging innings at five different positions. The versatile Johnson will be returning to the New York area spending part of last season with the Yankees. Johnson will become the 126th player to play for both New York teams.

He has been surging in July with a .311 average, three home runs, and team-high 12 RBIs.

"You find a good routine and when it's working it's hard to think about getting out of that," said Johnson, who was surprised to be traded to a division rival. "Now the toughest thing will be finding that routine there."

Mayberry, signed in the offseason, mostly struggled as a right-handed bat off the bench. The 31-year-old Mayberry is hitting .164 with three homers and nine RBIs in 59 games this season.

Muno has hit .148, going 4 for 27 in limited appearances with the Mets this year.

Gant, 22, pitched for the Mets at Class A and Double-A, while Whalen, 21, made 14 starts for Class A St. Lucie.

---

AP freelance writers Steve Overbey and Luke Thompson in St. Louis contributed to this report.

Sat, 25 Jul 2015 04:50:00 +0000
Agent: Saints inform 2014 sack leader Galette of his release

NEW ORLEANS (AP) The New Orleans Saints have cut Junior Galette, who has been among their most productive pass rushers the past two seasons, but also has dealt with off-the field trouble.

Galette's agent, Alvin Keels Jr., said Friday that his client has been informed he'll be released after he undergoes a physical.

Galette, who signed a four-year, $41.5 million extension just last year, led the Saints with 10 sacks last season. His 12 sacks ranked second on the club in 2013.

The Saints did not return multiple messages seeking comment on the move, but the timing indicates that coach Sean Payton was concerned about whether the NFL's ongoing review of Galette's conduct outside of football could become disruptive for the club.

Galette was arrested in January after an alleged domestic dispute. Charges were dropped, but the incident remains under review by the NFL. The league also is reviewing a video which shows a man resembling Galette in an altercation on a beach.

Keels said Galette is expected to undergo a physical on Saturday, and, if he passes, should be released by Monday.

"He appreciates the organization and the fans, coaches and teammates for the opportunity," Keels said. "Things obviously didn't work out and he's looking forward to the next chapter in his playing career.

"He's motivated to get back on the field and I think he'll use this as a building block," Keels added. "He'll bounce back."

Galette was elevated to a starting role in 2013 in part because of injuries to former Saints outside linebackers Will Smith and Victor Butler. Galette finished that season within one sack of defensive end Cameron Jordan's team-leading 12 1/2 sacks.

"The Saints made a big mistake to kick me when I'm down," Galette told WWL-TV in New Orleans on Friday. "I'm not mad. It'll be the worst call they ever made. I will be the best player in the league next year."

In 2014, Galette was named a defensive captain and received a new contract, seemingly consummating an inspirational rise from a challenging childhood and a significant setback in college.

Galette, who describes an early childhood spent in poverty in Haiti, moved to New York later in his youth. He initially attended college at Temple, but was kicked out when a relative staying with him was caught with a stolen laptop. He then transferred to Division II Stillman.

In 2010, he signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent and made the squad as a long-shot, playing in four games as a rookie. He served primarily as a reserve defensive end in the 2011 and 2012 seasons, compiling 9 1/2 sacks combined during those two campaigns before his breakout season in 2013.

Galette's release will cost him nearly $24 million in base salary from 2016 through 2019, but he has already been paid close to $17 million.

"I'm set for life. My mom's set for life. My son's set for life," Galette told NOLA.com. "This is not adversity. Adversity is getting kicked out of Temple with no money in your pocket."

The guaranteed portions of Galette's contract will also count against the Saints' salary cap the next two seasons, likely in excess of $10 million in 2016, depending on whether he signs with another club.

Meanwhile, New Orleans' decision to release Galette raises prospects for playing time for eight-year veteran Anthony Spencer and rookie second-round draft choice Hau'oli Kikaha.

Spencer, who played under Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan when he held the same job in Dallas, joined the Saints this offseason as a free agent. He took a number of first-team snaps during voluntary practices and mandatory minicamp this summer.

Kikaha registered 19 sacks for Washington last season, the most by any player in the NCAA's Division I Football Bowl Subdivision.

---

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

Sat, 25 Jul 2015 00:55:00 +0000

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