Update on the latest in sports:
Browns take chance on Kareem Hunt
UNDATED (AP) — The Cleveland Browns are giving Kareem Hunt a second chance to play in the NFL.
The Browns have signed the running back, three months after he was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs. Hunt was dropped after a video showed him pushing and kicking a woman the previous February. He was placed on the NFL’s commissioner’s exempt list hours before the Chiefs released him.
The Browns feel comfortable giving the Cleveland native an opportunity to make amends. Hunt has sought treatment and counseling, but he could still be suspended by the league under its personal conduct policy for the incident and two others that surfaced after he was released by the Chiefs.
Hunt was in his second season with Kansas City and was one of the team’s most productive players as it won the AFC West the last two years. He led the NFL with 1,327 yards rushing as a rookie in 2017 and logged 824 yards on the ground through 11 games last year before he was cut.
In other NFL news:
— Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and MLB first-round pick Kyler Murray says he will pursue a career in the NFL. Murray tweeted that he is firmly and fully committing his life and time to becoming an NFL quarterback, adding that football has been his love and passion his entire life. Murray was drafted ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics last June before throwing for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns for Oklahoma, leading the Sooners to the CFP semifinals.
— The Panthers have re-signed safety Eric Reid to a three-year contract that runs through the 2021 season. Reid joined the Panthers in Week 4 of last season and started all 13 games played, recording 73 tackles, five pass breakups, one interception and a sack. Reid has an ongoing lawsuit against the NFL owners for colluding to keep him out of the league following his decision to kneel for the national anthem while with the 49ers.
—The Falcons have signed linebacker Bruce Carter to a one-year contract extension. Carter is a seven-year veteran who played in 11 games for Atlanta last season, recording 16 solo tackles and 21 total.
Former NFL referee Red Cashion has died at 87. Known for his vociferous calls of “FIRST DOWN,” Cahsion retired from the NFL in 1997 after officiating for 25 years, 21 as a referee. He worked two Super Bowls.
Jeremy Lin plans to sign with Raptors
UNDATED (AP) — One of Jeremy Lin’s agents says the veteran NBA guard is in the process of having his contract bought out by the Atlanta Hawks so he can join the playoff-contending Toronto Raptors.
Toronto will become Lin’s eighth NBA franchise, after stints with Golden State, New York, Houston, the Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte, Brooklyn and Atlanta. He started just one of his 51 games this season, averaging 10.7 points on nearly 47 percent shooting.
In other NBA news:
— The Cavaliers have signed well-traveled guard Nik Stauskas for the rest of the season. Stauskas last week went from Portland to Cleveland to Houston and to Indiana before the Pacers waived the 25-year-old, allowing the Cavs to pick him up again. He averaged 6.1 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 44 games off the bench for the Trail Blazers.
— The league has determined that Golden State’s Kevin Durant should have been called for a discontinued dribble on the Warriors’ final possession of what became their 120-118 win over Miami on Sunday. Golden State made a pair of free throws on that possession to pull out the victory. The league opted not to fine Heat coach Erik Spoelstra (SPOHL’-strah) for his postgame comments about the officiating.
— The NBA is going to investigate whether league rules were broken when Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons inquired about meeting with Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson for playing tips. The Basketball Hall of Famer revealed over the weekend that Simmons expressed a desire to meet, through an intermediary. Johnson indicated that he would be willing to partake in such a session with the 76ers’ starting point guard if all parties involved granted permission, but Philadelphia general manager Elton Brand says the request was denied.
Cole, Astros complete arbitration hearing
UNDATED (AP) — Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole has asked for a $13.5 million contract through arbitration for 2019
The Astros countered with an offer worth just over $11.4 million.
Cole received $6.75 million last year while going 15-5 with a 2.88 ERA for the AL West champions.
Players and teams have split six decisions, including a victory for Astros shortstop Carlos Correa.
In other signing developments ahead of spring training:
— Brad Brach and the Cubs have finalized a one-year contract that guarantees the reliever $3 million and could be worth $8 million over two seasons. The right-hander had 12 saves and a 3.59 ERA in 69 games for Baltimore and Atlanta last season. He posted a 1.52 ERA over 27 appearances following a trade to the Braves.
— Free agent catcher Stephen Vogt (voit) is returning to the Bay Area, agreeing to a minor league contract with the Giants. Vogt played 4 ½ of his six seasons with the Athletics and is a career .251 hitter with 57 home runs and 218 RBIs.
— The Pirates have announced a minor league contract with outfielder Melky Cabrera, who will report to major league spring training. Cabrera has a .286 average in 14 seasons with seven big league teams.
— Catcher Nick Hundley has accepted a minor league deal with the Athletics and an invitation to big league camp. Hundley batted 241 with 10 home runs and 31 RBIs in 96 games for the Giants last season.
— Lefty reliever Zach Duke has signed the one-year deal he accepted from the Reds last week. Duke split last season between the Twins and Mariners, going 5-5 with a 4.15 ERA.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-AP POLL
Tennessee remains No. 1
UNDATED (AP) — Tennessee remains the top team in the latest Associated Press men’s basketball poll for the fourth consecutive week after extending its team-record winning streak to 18 games.
The Vols received 40 of 64 first-place votes, while second-ranked Duke picked up 24. The Blue Devils didn’t move up despite earning the top overall seed in the NCAA’s initial rankings for March Madness.
Third-ranked Gonzaga switches places with No. 4 Virginia following the Cavaliers’ 10-point home loss to Duke on Saturday. Fifth-ranked Kentucky is followed by Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Houston and Marquette.
Kansas State is back in the poll at No. 18. Cincinnati dropped out.
Kings trade Thompson to Canadiens
UNDATED (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings have traded forward Nate Thompson and a fifth-round pick to the Montreal Canadiens for a fourth-round choice.
Each pick is in the 2019 draft.
Thompson has four goals and six points in 53 games this season, winning 53.3 percent of his faceoffs. The 34-year-old is a pending free agent who carries a $1.65 million salary-cap hit for the rest of the season.
Also around the NHL:
— The Blackhawks have worked out a three-year extension with Collin Delia. The rookie is 6-2-3 with a 2.98 goals-against average for the suddenly-surging Hawks, who’ve won seven in a row.
Lefty takes 5th at Pebble Beach
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Phil Mickelson finished off a 7-under 65 to win the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and match the tournament record with his fifth victory.
Mickelson had a three-shot lead over Paul Casey with two holes to play when it was too dark too finish Sunday night because of delays from rain and a hail storm. He hit a 7-iron to 8 feet on the par-3 17th and played it safe down the par-5 18th, making a 6-foot birdie.
Mickelson finished at 19-under and joined Tiger Woods as the only players to surpass $90 million in earnings.
Casey birdied the 18th for a 71 to finish alone in second, three shots back. He won the pro-am portion of the tournament with Don Colleran, the chief sales officer for FedEx.