Travis Kelce and Justin Jefferson are unanimous choices for The Associated Press NFL All-Pro Team, and Sauce Gardner is the first rookie cornerback selected in 41 years.
The Chiefs’ Kelce and the Vikings’ Jefferson received first-team votes Friday from all 50 members of a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league.
Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, San Francisco 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa and Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones each got 49 of 50 first-team votes. The Chiefs and Niners led the way with four players each on the first team.
Gardner, the fourth overall pick by the New York Jets, was named on all 50 ballots, receiving 43 first-place votes. Pro Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott was the last rookie cornerback chosen for the first team in 1981.
Kelce’s older brother, Jason, also earned first-team honors for the fifth time in his career to stay one ahead of his pass-catching brother. Jason Kelce’s fellow Philadelphia Eagles linemate, right tackle Lane Johnson, joins him on the squad.
LOS ANGELES (AP)Sean McVay has decided to return for a seventh season with the Los Angeles Rams after taking a break to contemplate his future following the first losing season of his career.
The youngest head coach in NFL history to win the Super Bowl has decided not to take a break from coaching after his Rams finished 5-12 in the worst season ever by a defending champion. The Rams confirmed his decision with a tweet.
COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) – Mike Williams will miss the Los Angeles Chargers’ AFC wild-card round game against the Jacksonville Jaguars because of a fractured lower back.
The wide receiver was downgraded to out after further rests. The Chargers said the X-ray on Sunday and an MRI on Monday both were negative, but a re-scan Friday morning showed a small transverse process fracture.
NEW YORK (AP) – Trevor Bauer became a free agent when he went unclaimed on waivers, leaving the Los Angeles Dodgers responsible for about $22.5 million owed to the former Cy Young Award winner whose unprecedented 324-game suspension over sexual misconduct allegations was reduced by an arbitrator.
Los Angeles designated Bauer for assignment Jan. 6, the last day to restore him to the roster, after arbitrator Martin Scheinman cut the suspension imposed by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred from 324 to 194 games. The Dodgers placed the pitcher on waivers Thursday.
Any team could sign the 2020 NL Cy Young Award winner for the major league minimum of $720,000. That would be offset against the $22,537,635 owed to Bauer by the Dodgers.
Manfred suspended Bauer in April for violating the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy after a San Diego woman said he beat and sexually abused her in 2021. Bauer has maintained he did nothing wrong, saying that everything that happened was consensual.
Bauer was never charged with a crime. The suspension cost him $37,594,233.
NEW YORK (AP) – Juan Soto, Pete Alonso and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. reached big-money agreements on one-year contracts that avoided salary arbitration as the exchange of proposed hearing figures between Major League Baseball and the players’ association stretched late into Friday night.
Soto got a $23 million deal with San Diego, tied for the fourth-highest one-year contract among arbitration-eligible players. Shohei Ohtani set the record when the two-way star agreed last fall to a $30 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels.
In addition to the deal with the outfielder, San Diego also reached a $14.1 million, one-year agreement with Josh Hader, the largest salary for an arbitration-eligible relief pitcher.
The high-spending New York Mets struck a $14.5 million deal with Alonso, who tied for the major league lead with 131 RBIs last season. The first baseman nearly doubled his $7.4 million salary.
Guerrero agreed to the same figure with Toronto, the first baseman increasing his salary from $7.9 million.
Left-hander Julio Urias settled with the Los Angeles Dodgers at $14.25 million, first baseman Rhys Hoskins with NL champion Philadelphia at $12 million, two-time All-Star right-hander Shane Bieber with Cleveland at $10.01 million and left-hander Jordan Montgomery with St. Louis at $10 million.
Minnesota right-hander Chris Paddack, recovering from Tommy John surgery in May, agreed to a $12.5 million, three-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the deal is subject to a successful physical. Paddack gets $2.5 million in each of the next two seasons and $7.5 million in 2025.
NEW YORK (AP) – Major League Baseball is on track to expand its experiment with robot umpires to all 30 Triple-A ballparks this season.
MLB used the Automatic Ball-Strike system at five Triple-A stadiums for parts of last season and will go ahead with the wider use this year if owners approve of it next month. MLB’s intent was first reported by ESPN.
MLB started the experiment in the independent Atlantic League in 2019. A challenge system was tried last year at Low-A in which a pitcher, batter or catcher had the right to appeal a human umpire’s decision to the computer call.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said he liked the challenge system but said the sport’s competition committee was not going to consider the robot umpires for the major leagues for 2023.
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Andrew McCutchen is returning to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
A person with knowledge of the agreement tells The Associated Press the veteran centerfielder, a five-time All-Star and the 2013 National League MVP for the Pirates earlier in his career, has agreed to a one-year deal with the club. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the agreement is pending the completion of a physical.
The agreement is a homecoming for the 36-year-old McCutchen, who served as the centerpiece for Pittsburgh’s baseball renaissance a decade ago. McCutchen hit .237 with 17 home runs and 69 RBIs for the Milwaukee last season.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) – The San Antonio Spurs drew 68,323 fans for their return to the Alamodome, a record for an NBA regular-season game.
The Spurs, celebrating their 50th anniversary season, returned to their former home to face the Golden State Warriors in a 144-113 loss.
Spurs Hall of Famer David Robinson announced the official attendance at the close of the third quarter. It shattered the previous record of 62,046 who gathered to watch Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls play the Atlanta Hawks at the Georgia Dome on March 27, 1998.
MIAMI (AP) – The home of the Miami Heat has yet another name: Miami-Dade Arena.
That will be the temporary moniker for the building where the NBA team plays its home games, while the search for a more permanent naming-rights partner commences.
The Heat and Miami-Dade County announced the new name two days after a bankruptcy court terminated the county’s naming rights deal with collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
HONOLULU (AP) – Chris Kirk in the lead might have been the only shred of normalcy in the Sony Open.
Jordan Spieth started the day with a share of the lead. He walked off the 18th green at Waialae in a minor state of shock after following his opening 6-under 64 with a 75 to miss the cut. He’s the first player since Matt Every at Bay Hill in 2020 to go from a share of the 18-hole lead to an early exit.
Kirk dropped only one shot in his round of 65, putting him at 11-under 129 for a one-shot lead over Spaun and Taylor Montgomery, the PGA Tour rookie who is playing his eighth tournament of the season and only once has finished out of the top 15.
RABAT, Morocco (AP) – European champion Real Madrid is in line to face the Seattle Sounders, the first United States team to qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup, at the next edition of the tournament in Morocco in February.
FIFA made the draw for the Club World Cup that was pushed into this year from a traditional December slot by the World Cup that finished last month in Qatar.
Madrid is waiting in the semifinals for the winner of CONCACAF Champions League winner Seattle’s second-round game against either Al Ahly of Egypt or New Zealand’s Auckland City, which open the tournament in the first round on Feb. 1. Flamengo, the Copa Libertadores winner, is in the other semifinal game against African champion Wydad Casablanca or Al Hilal.
CHICAGO (AP) – Tyler Adams was voted the U.S. Soccer Federation’s Male Player of the Year for the first time after becoming the youngest captain at last year’s World Cup.
Adams received 71.6% of votes, followed by three-time winner Christian Pulisic (14.7%), Matt Turner (8.2%), Antonee Robinson and Tim Ream.
WENGEN, Switzerland (AP) – Aleksander Aamodt Kilde spoiled a Swiss party by winning a World Cup super-G on the country’s storied Lauberhorn course.
The Norwegian blew kisses to the noisy local fans in the finish area after edging home racers Stefan Rogentin and Marco Odermatt. Kilde, the 2022 Olympic bronze medalist in super-G, also held his arms out wide as if asking for the crowd to forgive him.