Defensive Tackle Nick Fairley agrees to return to Saints

Cowboys QB Tony Romo waiting on release or trade

FILE PHOTO New Orleans Saints' Nick Fairley (90) watches from the bench against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. The Panthers won 23-20.(AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A person familiar with the situation says free agent defensive tackle Nick Fairley has agreed to return to the New Orleans Saints, and that former Carolina Panthers receiver Ted Ginn has agreed to a free-agent deal with New Orleans.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday night because the contracts have not been signed and the agreements have not been announced.

Fairley’s extension was first reported by Times-Picayune. reported that it was worth nearly $30 million over four years. Ginn’s agreement with the Saints, the terms for which have not been disclosed, was first reported by ESPN.

Last season, the 6-foot-4, 308-pound Fairley enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence with the Saints, who brought him in on a one-year free-agent deal. The 29-year-old former Auburn star and 2011 first-round draft choice by Detroit earned a full-time starting role with the Saints and finished with 6½ sacks, a career high for a single season.

The 31-year old Ginn has eclipsed 700 yards receiving in each of the past two seasons with Carolina and had 10 touchdowns two seasons ago. He also is an experienced returner. Ginn joins a deep receiver group that includes Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas and Willie Snead.

However, the Saints, who need help on defense, have been listening to trade offers for Cooks. That doesn’t mean Cooks will be dealt. Coach Sean Payton has said New Orleans would have to get a lot in return to consider parting with Cooks, a 2014 first rounder who has surpassed 1,000 yards receiving in each of the past two seasons.


QB Romo waiting on release from Cowboys or trade

DALLAS (AP) – Tony Romo remained with the Cowboys as the first day of free agency wrapped up Thursday, although the quarterback essentially said goodbye to Dallas fans in a video posted on Twitter.

Romo wasn’t released when the NFL opened for business after being told he would be, with reports surfacing hours before players could officially join other teams that the Cowboys were seeking a trade to try to get something for their former 10-year starter.

Not long after news broke that Houston had traded Brock Osweiler to Cleveland, which led to instant speculation that the Texans would target Romo, Dallas’ franchise leader in passing yards and touchdowns posted the video from the workout room in his house.

“I just wanted to come to tell you it’s been a crazy 48 hours here,” Romo said as Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin” played in the background. “Me and my family felt the outpouring of support and love from all of you.

“It’s been overwhelming and it doesn’t go unnoticed. I want to say thank you and we have a lot to think about going forward, but we’ll see what happens.”

Romo, who turns 37 next month and missed most of the past two seasons with injuries, lost the starting job to rookie Dak Prescott while recovering from a back injury sustained in the preseason.

The four-time Pro Bowler conceded the job to Prescott in November when the Cowboys were on a franchise-record 11-game winning streak,


Colts sign former Browns/Pats rush LBer Mingo

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Former LSU and New England rush linebacker Barkevious Mingo has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Indianapolis Colts.

Mingo’s deal is worth $2.5 million, his agent confirmed.

The move comes one day after Colts general manager Chris Ballard traded tight end Dwayne Allen and a sixth-round draft pick to New England for the Patriots’ fourth-round pick. The Colts confirmed that deal earlier in the afternoon.

Indy was in desperate need of linebackers. After outside linebacker Robert Mathis retired, the Colts’ top two outside linebackers – Erik Walden and Trent Cole – both became free agents. Ballard also released inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson last month.

Mingo was Cleveland’s first-round draft pick from Louisiana State in 2013, 6th overall. He has 72 tackles in his career including four in 2016, his only season with the Patriots.


Pelicans’ Cousins fined for language toward LA, Utah fans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The NBA has fined New Orleans Pelicans front-court star DeMarcus Cousins $50,000 for “directing inappropriate language” toward fans during a pair of recent road games.

NBA Executive Vice President Kiki VanDeWeghe, who announced the fine on Thursday, says the incidents occurred during the Pelicans’ victory over the Lakers in Los Angeles on Sunday and at the end of New Orleans’ loss to the Jazz in Utah on Monday night.

The Pelicans acquired Cousins in a trade with Sacramento during the All-Star break involving multiple players and draft picks. Since then, New Orleans is 2-6 overall, and 1-6 with Cousins in the lineup.

Cousins missed one of the Pelicans’ victories since his trade because he received an automatic one-game suspension after being assessed his 18th technical foul of the season.


Birt leads Tulsa past Tulane in AAC quarterfinal, 66-60

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Pat Birt scored 15 points and Tulsa led almost wire-to-wire to earn a 66-60 American Athletic Conference Tournament quarterfinal victory over Tulane at the XL Center Thursday.

The Number 10 seed Green Wave led for 13 seconds after Cameron Reynolds hit two free throws to give Tulane a 48-47 lead with 8:40 to play, but Sterling Taplin answered with a 3-pointer with 8:27 left to put No. 7 seed Tulsa back in front for good.

Corey Henderson Junior scored 12 points and Taplin contributed 10 as the Golden Hurricane (15-16) earned a berth in the semifinals, where they play No. 2 Cincinnati Friday night.

Tulsa was just 19 of 50 from the field, including 6 of 19 from long range, but converted 22 of 31 from the free-throw line.

Reynolds scored 17 points to lead Tulane (6-25), which was just 17 of 52 from the field, including 5 of 21 from deep.


McCree’s double-double helps Louisiana Tech gain semifinals

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – Erik McCree scored 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, leading second-seeded Louisiana Tech to a 69-57 victory over No. 7 seed UAB on Thursday night in a Conference USA Tournament quarterfinal.

On Friday, the Bulldogs (23-9) play No. 6 seed Marshall.

Jalen Harris added 17 points, Jacobi Boykins 14 and Omar Sherman 10.

Denzell Watts, Dirk Williams and William Lee scored 13 points each with Chris Cokley collecting 12 rebounds for the Blazers (17-16).

Boykins scored the first four points and the Bulldogs led thereafter, going up 13, 31-18, at halftime with Harris leading the way with 12 points.

The Bulldogs led by 21 early in the second half with the Blazers getting within nine, 60-51, for one second before Harris made two free throws on the other end. McCree scored the Bulldogs’ final seven points.


Ole Miss ousts Missouri, coach Anderson 86-74 in SEC tourney

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Deandre Burnett scored 16 of his 23 points in the first half, and Mississippi beat 14th-seeded Missouri 86-74 Thursday night at the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

The Rebels (20-12), the six seed, won their fourth in five games trying to improve their postseason resume. They simply wore down Missouri a night after the Tigers upset Auburn to give one last victory to coach Kim Anderson, whose firing was announced last weekend.

Ole Miss traipsed to the free throw line early and often as three Tigers fouled out, finishing with more free throws (31 of 47) than Missouri made field goals (26 of 61). Sebastian Saiz, who had his SEC-best 20th double-double by halftime, finished with 14 points and 16 rebounds. Terence Davis added 19.

The Rebels will play No. 3 seed Arkansas on Friday night in the quarterfinals.

Missouri (8-24) finishes the season losing seven of eight.


Alabama runs away from Mississippi State 73-58 in SEC

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Dazon Ingram scored 17 points, Corbin Collins added 14 and Alabama shot well throughout to roll past Mississippi State 75-55 on Thursday in the Southeastern Conference tournament.

The fifth-seeded Crimson Tide had it easy in its tournament opener, leading by as many as 30 with eight minutes remaining against a Bulldogs squad playing its second SEC contest in 24 hours. Alabama’s sharpness in many facets created that clear path as it made 25 of 53 from the field (47 percent) and committed just nine turnovers for its most decisive win since drilling LSU 90-72 last month.

Ingram made all seven field goal attempts including a 3-pointer, while Collins made 4 of 6 from long range. Reserves Donte Hall and Avery Johnson Junior each added 10 points for Alabama (18-13), which moves on to a Friday quarterfinal against Number 4 South Carolina.

Tyson Carter had 13 points for the 12th-seeded Bulldogs (16-16), whose consolation was winning the rebounding battle (38-36) and paint points (40-32).


Hey umpire, whattayou, drunk? Alabama cops say yes, he was

(Information in the following story is from: WAAY-TV,

PRICEVILLE, Ala. (AP) – Hey umpire, whattayou, drunk? At one Alabama high school baseball game, police say the answer was yes.

WAAY-TV reports a north Alabama umpire faces public intoxication charges after he was arrested for officiating at a high school baseball game while drunk.

Priceville police say Derek Bryant was arrested by Monday with one inning left in a junior varsity game at Priceville High School.

Police were called after coaches said they smelled alcohol on Bryant.

At the time of his arrest, Bryant had been umpiring for several hours, but no one saw him drink alcohol at the baseball field.

The man told police he had been drinking earlier.

Bryant has yet to answer the charge in Priceville municipal court.

Tony Romo thanks fans for the support on Twittter:


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