The Sports Xchange
Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird will step down from his position with the team, according to multiple reports Friday, April 28. The 60-year-old basketball legend is expected to continue on as a consultant with the team, The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski reported. No reason for Bird's departure was given. General manager Kevin Pritchard will take over the team's basketball operations.
Marshawn Lynch is coming out of retirement after the Seattle Seahawks agreed to trade the running back to his hometown Oakland Raiders. Lynch and the Raiders have an agreement for a two-year contract in place, according to multiple reports Wednesday, April 26. He is expected to be at Oakland's training facility later to take a physical. The draft compensation reportedly will be a swap of late-round picks in 2018.
Adrian Peterson is set to begin his next chapter in New Orleans. The seven-time Pro Bowl running back has agreed on a two-year deal to join the Saints pending a physical, according to multiple reports. NFL.com reports on Tuesday, April 25, Peterson's deal is worth $7 million, including $3.5 million guaranteed. Peterson, 32, confirmed that the signing was finalized on Monday.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. plans to retire from the NASCAR Monster Cup series at the end of the 2017 season. The 14-time Most Popular Driver has 603 starts—26 victories—over a career that began at age 24 in 1999. Among his accomplishments are two Daytona 500 crowns (2004, 2014) and two championships (1998, 1999) in what has become the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Earnhardt Jr., 42, is not having the season he planned after missing 18 races recovering from concussions in 2016.
Former No. 1 pick Jake Long announced his NFL retirement on Monday, April 24, after nine injury-plagued seasons. The left tackle, the first overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins, played only four games with the Minnesota Vikings in 2016 before he suffered a torn Achilles on Nov. 13 to end his season. "As I continue with my recent rehab," Long wrote in his statement posted on Twitter, "I realize that although my heart and mind still want to play, my body is telling me something completely different."
MINNEAPOLIS — Miguel Ibarra was already a fan favorite in Minnesota from his time with Minnesota United FC for three years when the club was still in the North American Soccer League, and he added to his local reputation on Sunday. Ibarra scored the game's only goal as Minnesota United FC picked up its second victory of its debut Major League Soccer season, a 1-0 result over the Colorado Rapids at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
When the NFL Draft begins selections in Philadelphia April 27, the Minnesota Vikings will sit out the first day and make their first pick at No. 48 overall. Here is an in-depth look at the team's needs, offseason changes, potential best fit and the selections by NFLDraftScout.com's experts. Top five needs
The New York Knicks and team president Phil Jackson picked up their option on the remaining two years of his contract, ESPN reported on Thursday morning. New York has posted an 80-166 mark and missed the playoffs in each of the first three years under the watch of Jackson, who is making $12 million annually. Jackson, 71, who graduated from Williston (N.D.) High School and played at the University of North Dakota, had said the opt-out clause in his contract was related to the possibility of a lockout in 2017.
The Minnesota Vikings have eight picks in the NFL Draft with their first pick at No. 48 overall, in the second round. Things will be strange in the Twin Cities this year with running back Adrian Peterson not with the Vikings anymore. An injury-filled 2016 season led the organization to part ways with Peterson, and with two weeks until the draft, he was still looking for a new address. The Vikings added Latavius Murray as his replacement, but a young runner could also be added to help quarterback Sam Bradford in his second season in Minnesota.
BOSTON — Retired running back Marshawn Lynch may have interest in the New England Patriots if talks with the Oakland Raiders break off. Lynch has privately expressed interest in playing for Patriots should a move to his hometown Raiders falls through, the Boston Herald's Jeff Howe reported Monday. Lynch visited the Raiders' facility last week as he considers making a comeback. The visit was cleared by the Seattle Seahawks, who own Lynch's rights.