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WAMC Sports Report 3/16/23: Rodgers plans to play for Jets in 2023, awaits Packers' move

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Aaron Rodgers says he intends to play for the New York Jets in 2023 after 18 seasons in Green Bay. The four-time NFL MVP quarterback says he is just waiting for the Packers to trade him. Rodgers made his comments Wednesday following days of speculation that his time in Green Bay might be done. The 39-year-old said he believes the Packers want to move on and make 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love their starting quarterback. The Jets sent a contingent that reportedly included owner Woody Johnson, coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas to Rodgers’ home in Southern California last week. Rodgers has been the face of the franchise since Hall of Famer Brett Favre was traded to the Jets in 2008.

Meanwhile, Free agent wide receiver Allen Lazard is leaving the Green Bay Packers to sign a four-year deal with the New York Jets. According to multiple sources including ESPN, the deal between Lazard and the Jets is worth up to $44 million and contains $22 million guaranteed.

A person with knowledge of the contract says the New York Jets and linebacker Quincy Williams have agreed on a three-year deal. The deal is for $18 million and includes $9 million in guarantees. That's according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team didn’t announce the agreement. The person says the deal could be worth as much as $21 million with incentives. He was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent Wednesday.

Two people familiar with the deal said Tuesday that tight end Darren Waller is being traded to the New York Giants. They spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity because the trade has not been announced. One person said the Giants will send the Raiders a 2023 third-round pick. Waller made the Pro Bowl in 2020 and gives Giants quarterback Daniel Jones a major playmaker and an upgrade at tight end. Waller twice has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in 2019 and 2020. Injuries cut into his production the past two seasons.

The Las Vegas Raiders and wide receiver Jakobi Meyers have agreed on a $33 million, three-year deal, a person familiar with the contract told The Associated Press. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal couldn’t be announced until Wednesday, said it includes $21 million in guaranteed money. Meyers spent his first four seasons with New England. He had 67 catches for 804 yards and six touchdowns last season. Meyers joins wide receivers Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow to give new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo another formidable option. Meyers reunites with Raiders coach Josh McDaniels, who was previously New England’s offensive coordinator.

Several more players switched teams, others are staying put.

Former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield was among other players on the move Wednesday, agreeing to an $8.5 million, one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press. The person, along with all other unnamed sources cited in this story, spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the agreement they confirmed hadn't been announced.

Mayfield, the top pick by Cleveland in 2018, joins his third team since last July. He gets an opportunity to compete with Kyle Trask to replace Tom Brady, who retired after three seasons with the Buccaneers.

Mayfield was 2-8 in 10 starts last season with the Panthers and Rams.

Jacoby Brissett, who replaced Mayfield in Cleveland while Deshaun Watson served a suspension, agreed to terms with the Washington Commanders on a one-year contract worth $10 million with $8 million guaranteed, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

Brissett will compete with projected starter Sam Howell, a second-year pro. Brissett threw for 2,608 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions last season for the Browns in 11 starts.

Two 1,000-yard rushers are off the market.

Running back Jamaal Williams and the Saints agreed on a $12 million, three-year contract, a person familiar with the deal told the AP. Williams led the NFL with 17 rushing touchdowns while running for a career-best 1,066 yards with the Detroit Lions last season.

Running back Miles Sanders, coming off his best season with the NFC champion Eagles in which he ran for a career-high 1,269 yards with 11 touchdowns, is heading to Carolina.

Carolina also added former Cincinnati Bengals tight end Hayden Hurst on a three-year contract. Hurst caught 52 passes for 414 yards and two touchdowns last season with another 13 receptions for 141 yards and a TD in the playoffs.

Late Wednesday night, four-time Pro Bowl tackle Orlando Brown Jr. agreed on a $64.09 million, four-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Brown’s agent, Michael Portner, confirmed the deal to the AP. He said it includes a $31 million signing bonus. Brown goes from protecting Patrick Mahomes for the Super Bowl champion Chiefs to blocking for Joe Burrow and the AFC runnerup Bengals.

The New England Patriots made their first big pickup of free agency, adding wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. A person with knowledge of the deal said it is for three years and could be worth as much as $33 million.

Smith-Schuster confirmed the move in a post on Twitter saying he was “Excited for my next chapter in New England!”

Smith-Schuster had 78 receptions for 933 yards and three touchdowns last season for Kansas City. He was held by Eagles cornerback James Bradberry on a play that led to a go-ahead field goal late in the fourth quarter of the Chiefs’ 38-35 win in the Super Bowl.

The Browns agreed with safety Juan Thornhill on a three-year contract worth $21 million — $14 million guaranteed — a person familiar with the negotiations told the AP.

Thornhill leaves the Super Bowl champion Chiefs after four seasons. He’s the third defensive player to join the Browns in free agency along with run stopper Dalvin Tomlinson and end Ogbonnia Okoronkwo.

Six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox is returning to the Philadelphia Eagles on a $10 million, one-year deal, according to a person familiar with that deal.

Veteran safety Jordan Poyer, a two-time second-team All-Pro, is staying in Buffalo on a two-year deal.

NBA

Final      Philadelphia      118         Cleveland           109

Joel Embiid had 36 points and 18 rebounds and played the final 4:12 after initially being called for his sixth foul, leading the Philadelphia 76ers to their sixth straight victory, 118-109 over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night. James Harden added 28 points and Tyrese Maxey had 23 for the Sixers. They were up 108-101 when Embiid was whistled for an offensive charge on Evan Mobley while making a jumper. As Cleveland fans began to celebrate Embiid’s apparent disqualification, Sixers coach Doc Rivers immediately challenged the call, which was overturned after a replay review and the superstar was allowed to stay on the floor. Caris LeVert scored 24 points for Cleveland. Donovan Mitchell added 21.

Final      Boston  104         Minnesota          102

Jalen Green scored 28 points and rookie Jabari Smith Jr. added 24 as the Houston Rockets withstood a late charge to beat the Boston Celtics 111-109. The Rockets, who are tied with Detroit for the NBA’s fewest wins with 16, snapped a three-game skid. Jaylen Brown scored a season-high 43 points for the Celtics. Boston had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, but Jayson Tatum missed a layup.

Meanwhile, The NBA has suspended Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant eight games without pay after determining that his holding a firearm at a club in suburban Denver earlier this month was “conduct detrimental to the league.” Morant missed his sixth game last night, and he will miss the next two games and be eligible to return on Monday when Memphis plays Dallas. The games he already missed will count toward the suspension. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver met with Morant in New York before announcing the league’s decision. He called Morant's conduct “irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous.”

NHL

Final Shootout Colorado               2              Toronto                1

Nathan MacKinnon was the only scorer in the shootout as the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 on Wednesday night. Mikko Rantanen scored in regulation for Colorado (38-22-6), which got 18 saves from Alexandar Georgiev. Morgan Rielly scored for Toronto (40-18-9). Ilya Samsonov stopped 28 shots.

Final Shootout  Washington       5              Buffalo 4

Tom Wilson tied it with 68 seconds left in regulation, Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie scored in the shootout and the Washington Capitals kept their faint playoff hopes alive by coming back to beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-4 Wednesday night.

Wilson’s goal was the first tying or go-ahead goal in the final two minutes this season by the Capitals. The win pushed Washington within five points of the second and final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 12 games to play.

Final      N-Y Islanders     6              Anaheim             3

Kyle Palmieri had a career-high four points with a goal and three assists, Brock Nelson scored two goals and linemate Pierre Engvall also scored in the New York Islanders’ 6-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Nelson scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period and added another in the third to secure his second straight 30-goal season for the Islanders, who snapped a two-game skid. Engvall matched his career high with his 15th goal by scoring in his third consecutive game. The 32-year-old Palmieri scored four points for the first time in his 724-game NHL career, which began in Anaheim.

WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC

New York Mets closer Edwin Díaz injured his knee while celebrating Puerto Rico's 5-2 win over the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic last night. The All-Star right-hander had just finished pitching a perfect ninth inning when the injury occurred in Miami. There was no immediate word on how severely Díaz was hurt. The Mets said he will undergo more tests Thursday. But the injury was exactly what big league teams and their fans fear the most when their high-priced stars go play for their countries. Díaz was swarmed by teammates after pitching a perfect ninth inning in a 5-2 win. The group was jumping together when Díaz collapsed to the ground.

NCAA-WOMENS BASKETBALL

Kelsey Wood had her second double-double of the season, Ny’Ceara Pryor added 11 points, eight rebounds and a career-high 10 assists and Sacred Heart won its first NCAA Tournament game with a 57-47 victory over Southern on Wednesday night in the First Four.

Sacred Heart (19-13), which has won six games in a row, plays fifth-ranked and top-seeded Stanford in the first round Friday.

Wood finished with 10 points and a season-high tying 11 rebounds, and Olivia Tucker added 13 points on 5-of-18 shooting, 1 of 10 from 3-point range, for the Pioneers.

Genovea Johnson, the only Southern player to score in double figures, finished with 13 points.

The Jaguars (18-15) had won five games in a row and nine of their last 10.

Mississippi State versus Illinois

Jessika Carter had 22 points, nine rebounds and four blocks, Anastasia Hayes added 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists and Mississippi State beat Illinois in a First Four game.

Mississippi State (21-10) advances to the field of 64 to take on No. 6 seed Creighton. The Bulldogs improved to 14-3 in the NCAA Tournament since the 2016-17 season.

Makira Cook scored 21 points and Genesis Bryant added 17 for Illinois (22-10), which had one of the best turnarounds in the country after finishing last season with a record of 7-20.

NCAA-MENS BASKETBALL

DJ Horne had 20 points and Arizona State raced to a big halftime lead and scored the most points ever in a First Four game, burying Nevada 98-73 on Wednesday night.

Desmond Cambridge Jr. — a Nevada transfer — scored 17 points as Arizona State (23-12) led 53-26 at the half and then kept up the pressure on the way to the rout. The first-half output was a season high for Arizona State, which advanced as a No. 11 seed to face TCU in a West Region first-round game on Friday in Denver.

Arizona State hit 67.7% of its shots from the floor and forced 10 turnovers in the first half, piling up a 22-2 run over eight minutes to pull away.

Will Baker scored 17 and Tre Coleman had 14 for the Wolf Pack (22-11). One of Nevada’s top players, Kenan Blackshear, picked up three fouls early and sat on the bench for more than five minutes of the opening half. Averaging 14.4 per game, he was held to four points.

FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON 84, TEXAS SOUTHERN 61

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Ansley Almonor scored 23 points and Fairleigh Dickinson earned its first NCAA Tournament win in four seasons.

Fairleigh Dickinson shot 50% and advanced to the East Region to play top-seeded Purdue in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday.

Joe Munden Jr. scored 17 points, Demetre Roberts had 15, Grant Singleton finished with 13 and Sean Moore 10 for Fairleigh Dickinson (20-15).

John Walker III led Texas Southern (14-21) with 22 points. Joirdon Karl Nicholas added 10.

(C) 2023 Associated Press

A 2022 Siena College graduate, Alexander began his journalism career as a sports writer for Siena College's student paper The Promethean, and as a host for Siena's school radio station, WVCR-FM "The Saint." A Cubs fan, Alexander hosts the morning Sports Report in addition to producing Morning Edition. You can hear the sports reports over-the-air at 6:19 and 7:19 AM, and online on WAMC.org. He also speaks Spanish as a second language. To reach him, email ababbie@wamc.org, or call (518)-465-5233 x 190. You can also find him on Twitter/X: @ABabbieWAMC.
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