Wednesday Sports in Brief


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Joe Flacco has gone from Denver Broncos tormentor to savior.

The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to trade the veteran quarterback to the Broncos in exchange for a fourth-round pick in this year’s NFL draft, a person with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Wednesday because neither team announced the deal, which was first reported by ESPN. NFL rules prohibit teams from discussing trades until the start of the league year on March 13.

Flacco, the MVP of the 2013 Super Bowl following a miraculous win at top-seeded Denver, became expendable in Baltimore with the emergence of rookie Lamar Jackson, the former Louisville star who led the Ravens into the playoffs after Flacco got hurt.

—By Football Writer Arnie Stapleton.

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Chargers will not pick up the option on defensive tackle Corey Liuget’s contract.

General manager Tom Telesco told the team website Wednesday he is not closing the door on a possible return even though Liuget will become an unrestricted free agent on March 13.

The eighth-year lineman was the longest-tenured player on the Chargers’ defense. He has 237 tackles, 24.0 sacks and five forced fumbles.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Place-kicker Josh Lambo has signed a four-year contract extension with the Jacksonville Jaguars, keeping him from hitting free agency next month.

Lambo tweeted a photo of him signing the deal Wednesday on Twitter, adding “Doggone good news!! We’ll be in Duval for 4 more years, as I’ve signed an extension with the Jags!!”

Lambo set a franchise record for consecutive made field goals last season. He converted 24 straight between Nov. 19, 2017 and Nov. 11, 2018.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Defensive end Steven Means has signed a one-year contract extension with the Atlanta Falcons after making four starts in 2018.

Means had one sack and 14 tackles in eight games last season, his first with Atlanta. He had three tackles for losses.

NEW YORK (AP) — Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt is replacing the late Bob McNair as head of the NFL’s influential financial committee.

Hunt has been on the committee for seven years. McNair passed away in November.

Other owners on the committee are Atlanta’s Arthur Blank, Tampa Bay’s Joel Glazer, Indianapolis’ Jim Irsay, Jacksonville’s Shahid Khan, New England’s Robert Kraft, Philadelphia’s Jeffrey Lurie and Miami’s Stephen Ross.


NEW YORK (AP) — Joel Embiid has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for public criticism of referees that included profanity.

The penalty was announced Wednesday by Kiki VanDeWeghe, the NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations.

Embiid’s comments came at the end of his postgame interview following Philadelphia’s 112-109 home loss to Boston on Tuesday.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Center Enes Kanter has joined the Portland Trail Blazers.

Kanter was waived by the New York Knicks along with Wesley Matthews following the trade deadline last week. Kanter announced Wednesday on Twitter that he had signed with the Blazers for the rest of the season. The deal was first reported by ESPN.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies have signed forward Bruno Caboclo (cuh-BO-clo) to a multi-year contract after having first signing him to consecutive 10-day contracts.

Terms of the deal announced Wednesday were not disclosed.

The 6-foot-9 Caboclo has started one of his 10 games played for Memphis averaging 6.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.40 blocks in 21.1 minutes. He has either set or tied his NBA single-game career highs for points, three-pointers made, free throws made, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks with the Grizzlies.


CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Pitcher Aaron Nola and the Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a $45 million, four-year contract, avoiding a salary arbitration hearing scheduled for this week.

The 25-year-old right-hander set career bests last year when he was a first-time All-Star, going 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA. He would have been eligible for free agency after the 2021 season.

Under a deal announced Wednesday, Nola gets a $2 million signing bonus, $4 million this year, $8 million in 2020, $11.75 million in 2021 and $15 million in 2022. Philadelphia has a $16 million team option for 2023 with a $4.25 million buyout.

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs and Sinclair Broadcast Group are launching a regional sports network in 2020 that will be the team’s exclusive TV home.

The Cubs said Wednesday the Marquee Sports Network will carry live game broadcasts and pregame and postgame coverage. Cubs games will be in one place, instead of split between two broadcast stations. The Cubs signed five-year contracts with WGN and WLS in 2014 ahead of plans for the network launch in 2020.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Nationals have traded right-handed reliever Trevor Gott to the San Francisco Giants for cash.

Wednesday’s move comes after Washington designated the 26-year-old Gott for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson.

Gott went 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA in 20 appearances totaling 19 innings for the Nationals in 2018, with 15 strikeouts, 10 walks and four home runs allowed.

PHOENIX (AP) — Catcher Caleb Joseph and the Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to a one-year contract that calls for a $1.1 million salary in the major leagues and a $250,000 salary in the minors.

Arizona opened a roster spot by placing right-hander Taijuan Walker on the 60-day injured list on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old Joseph played five seasons with Baltimore and is ninth among active catchers with a caught-stealing percentage of 29.4.

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals signed veteran reliever Jake Diekman to a $2.25 million, one-year contract on Wednesday that includes a mutual option for the 2020 season with a $500,000 buyout.

The Royals made room on the 40-man roster by placing right-hander Jesse Hahn on the 60-day injured list. Hahn is still recovering from Tommy John surgery and is not expected before opening day.

The 32-year-old Diekman spent last season with the Rangers and Diamondbacks, making 71 appearances with a career-worst 4.73 ERA.


ATLANTA (AP) — Darius Leonard, the AP’s Defensive Rookie of the Year, and Tarik Cohen have been honored by the Black College Football Hall of Fame as their top pro players for 2018.

The award, announced Wednesday, recognizes the most outstanding professional football player from a historically black college and university. Arizona Cardinals safety Antoine Bethea was selected as the inaugural recipient in 2017.

Indianapolis linebacker Leonard played at South Carolina State and was selected by the Colts in the second round of last year’s draft. He finished his rookie season with an NFL-high 163 combined tackles (111 solo), eight pass deflections, seven sacks and one interception. His 163 tackles broke the franchise record and helped Leonard make the All-Pro team.

Bears running back and return specialist Tarik Cohen attended North Carolina A&T and was drafted in the fourth round in 2017.


LONDON (AP) — The Anthony Joshua roadshow is finally heading to the United States.

The world heavyweight champion will make his American boxing debut when he defends his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles against Jarrell Miller at Madison Square Garden in New York on June 1.

Joshua’s 22 professional fights have all taken place in Britain. He has won all of those previous bouts, 21 by knockout.


NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The executive committee of the organization that governs New Jersey high school athletes has approved a proposal to drastically reduce contact in football before and during the season.

The proposal passed Wednesday by the executive committee of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association reduces in-season full contact from 90 minutes per week to 15 and preseason full contact from unlimited to 6 hours total, including scrimmages. There will be no change in the existing ban on full contact in the spring and summer.

The amount of contact is less than mandates or recommendations by the NFL, NCAA, Ivy League, USA Football, Pop Warner or any other football jurisdiction, the NJSIAA said in a news release.