Raiders player to spend 180 days in prison

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Raiders player to spend 180 days in prison

From Comcast SportsNet
DECATUR, Ala. (AP) -- Oakland Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain has been sentenced to 180 days in jail for assault and other charges stemming from a fight in his hometown when he allegedly threatened to kill a man and fired a gun next to his head. Decatur Municipal Judge Bill Cook convicted the 22-year-old former Alabama star Thursday of third-degree assault, menacing, reckless endangerment and discharging a firearm in the city limits. He fined McClain 2,000. McClain, 6-foot-3 and 255 pounds, and Jarodiaus Willingham were charged with assaulting Rishard Tapscott, who was a friend of the two, on Nov. 30, 2011. Tapscott testified that the Raiders linebacker pointed a gun at his head and threatened to kill him before firing it beside his ear. McClain's attorney, Harvey Steinberg, said he will appeal to Morgan County Circuit Court seeking a jury trial. "I wanted to put this on so we could show how ridiculous this entire situation is," Steinberg said after the conviction. "It truly is. There's no basis for it. Our feeling was that we should go through it so we could put out there that Rolando did very little, if anything, wrong. He certainly didn't do anything criminal." McClain was released on the bail he paid following his arrest. He did not respond to reporters' questions before driving away in a white pickup truck. "I hate that this took place but I'm glad about him being found guilty because it shows that I wasn't lying," Tapscott said following the five-hour trial. Willingham, 23 of Decatur, pleaded guilty to third-degree assault in the case Thursday morning. He received a 90-day jail sentence. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league will review McClain's case to determine if further punishment is warranted. The Raiders said in a statement that they would continue to monitor the situation. McClain, the eighth overall pick in the 2010 draft, signed a 40 million, five-year contract that included 23 million in guarantees with the Raiders before his rookie season. He had 99 tackles and five sacks in 15 games last season. Tapscott has also filed a civil suit against McClain. The judge declined to allow City Prosecuter Emily Baggett to introduce a videotape from the incident. Decatur attorney Carl Cole, who is representing Tapscott in the suit, provided the video to the prosecution.

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Wizards unlikely to pay any more free agents to attend training camp

Wizards unlikely to pay any more free agents to attend training camp

With the big-ticket item put to bed with Bradley Beal’s max contract, the Wizards are entering a dead period where little will take place leading into Sept. 27 training camp. But there still are key issues to be decided and one is filling out the roster.

By league rule, they can carry as many as 20 players during the offseason at one time. While they still have two spots open for the 15-man regular season roster, it's unlikely the Wizards will pay more players to attend camp.

So when they are said to have "signed" players from this point forward to a "training camp deal," it'll strictly be what's called a "make good" deal. In other words, it's non-guaranteed and the only way that player gets the money is if he makes the final 15. 

The reason for this is because the Wizards have locked in Jarell Eddie, Danuel House, Sheldon McClellan and Daniel Ochefu on deals with partial guarantees -- basically payments to bring them into training camp so if they don't make the cut they'll walk away with something -- that total about $400,000. Although the sum still is relatively small it does count against the $94 million salary cap. Any quality players still looking for a place to attend camp are more likely to go somewhere they have a better chance to make the cut or take guaranteed money now to go abroad like Aaron White did Friday

Micheal Eric played for the Wizards at Las Vegas summer league and was their best center. Even though he has had an invite on the table from the Wizards, the 28-year-old appears unlikely to accept because he wants money to attend, league sources tell CSNmidatlantic.com.  

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Is Tony Romo fat? An investigation

Is Tony Romo fat? An investigation

Is Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo fat? That's the question of the day on the NFL Internet. 

It all started with this photo of the 36-year-old jogging onto the field at the start of training camp. 

At first glance, yes, Romo does look quite porcine. The 6-foot-2 veteran has been listed at 230 pounds, significantly slimmer than this image would suggest. 

Could missing the second half of last season with a fractured collar bone have kept him from staying in shape? Twitter, of course, had jokes. 

Laughs aside, it's hard to determine from a single image whether someone has gained weight. Any number of factors can make a person look fat. Angle, lighting, the way clothes hang, etc. 

In this case, it seems some combination of those factors created a misleading shot. Here's another from that same moment. 

Yeah, not so fat here. 

Cowboys alum Michael Irvin also insisted that he'd seen Romo recently and he looked "fine."

The verdict of our investigation: unflattering photo, nothing to see here. Let's all go back to picking at Eddie Lacy, shall we?

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With Melancon in store, what do Nats do with Papelbon?

With Melancon in store, what do Nats do with Papelbon?

For the Nationals to bring in Jonathan Papelbon last July in a trade with the Phillies, he had to first waive the no-trade clause in his contract. He accepted the move to leave Philadelphia with the understanding he would be the closer in Washington. Drew Storen was moved to the eighth inning and, for a variety of reasons, the trade blew up in the Nationals' faces.

Now they have done the same to Papelbon. They traded for All-Star closer Mark Melancon on Saturday in order to solidify the ninth inning and Papelbon has been replaced.

The question now becomes not only what the Nats do with their embattled reliever, but also how he reacts. As evidenced by his comments last July right after he was traded to the Nationals, being a closer means a lot to him:

''For me I'm getting up there on the all-time closing list and that's important to me. When Theo (Epstein) had me as a young kid in Boston and he wanted to start to me and I said, `No, I'm a closer, that's what I want to be, and that's who I am.' This is what I envisioned. I envisioned chasing Mariano. I've told Mariano that at many All-Star games, `I'm coming after you.' So that's part of it," Papelbon said.

''Ego may be a part of it or whatever you want to say, but for me it's a path that I started 11 years ago and now I'm trying to do everything I can to continue that and win championships as a closer."

Until Papelbon speaks on the subject himself, there's no reason to believe he won't accept the demotion. And truthfully, there are plenty of reasons why he shouldn't have a problem with it.

For one, it is just for a few months. He is an impending free agent and will be able to seek a closer role with another team. If Papelbon turns his season around and becomes an effective setup man or seventh inning guy, he could be paid handsomely this winter.

Papelbon does also kind of owe the Nationals one, doesn't he? For all they put up with last year with the Bryce Harper incident and the suspension and contract grievance that followed, the Nationals have treated Papelbon much better than many teams would if presented the same circumstances. They brought him back this season as a reclamation project and until Saturday had shown plenty of patience with his actions both on and off the field.

Exactly how they will use Papelbon is unclear. Whether the Nats trust Papelbon more than other options like Shawn Kelley, Blake Treinen and Sammy Solis is hard to tell. And whatever their plans are, the Nats may not outline them publicly, as manager Dusty Baker has been reluctant to discuss specific bullpen roles this season. 

A Papelbon-Melancon combination doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but the potential is there for a lethal eighth and ninth inning duo, if they choose to go that route. Both would bring experience and toughness to the pennant race and beyond.

Papelbon still provides value and the Nats can very much still use him. What they do and how he feels about it, though, are real questions at this point.

[RELATED: Nats may have gotten a steal with Melancon]

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