Was RG3 victim of extortion?

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Was RG3 victim of extortion?

From Comcast SportsNet
DALLAS (AP) -- A former Baylor basketball player is facing a federal extortion charge for allegedly threatening to release "derogatory information" about Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III unless he was paid. Richard Khamir Hurd, 25, was arraigned Monday in federal court in Waco. His bond was set at 25,000. A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that Griffin, the Baylor quarterback who was the No. 2 overall draft choice of the Washington Redskins, was the target of the alleged extortion attempt. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because authorities had not disclosed the fact. Griffin was at an NFL rookie symposium Monday in Ohio, where players were not made available to reporters. Court documents say that last week, Hurd contacted a representative from a St. Louis agency, threatening to publicize derogatory information about a client unless he was paid a "substantial sum" of money. The representative is identified in documents only by the initials B.D. Griffin's agent is St. Louis-based Ben Dogra, who didn't respond to messages Monday. The documents don't name Griffin. According to court documents, Hurd met at a Waco business Friday with someone who agreed to handle the transaction. After signing a non-disclosure agreement, handing over the information and receiving a check, Hurd was arrested by an undercover FBI agent, documents said. Hurd's attorney did not return calls seeking comment. Hurd's mother, Marlene Hurd, told The AP on Monday she'd heard that her son was in jail but wasn't aware of the details. "Whatever it is, I pray by the grace of God that he's innocent," she said. Griffin's Heisman Trophy, the first in the history of the world's largest Baptist university, came after he led the Bears to only their second 10-win season in 112 years. In his three-year career, Griffin set or tied 54 school records. Washington traded three first-round picks and a second-rounder to the St. Louis Rams to move into the No. 2 slot to draft Griffin. The past year also saw Baylor win the NCAA women's basketball championship with a 40-0 record and reach the round of 16 for the second time in three years in the men's tournament. However, less than a week after the Lady Bears won the title, the NCAA put the Waco school on three years' probation after an investigation turned up hundreds of impermissible telephone calls and text messages sent to prep recruits by coaches and assistants on the two basketball teams. Hurd played basketball at Baylor as a walk-on, from the 2004-05 season through the 2007-08 season, after a high school career at Heritage Christian Academy in Cleveland north of Houston, according to Baylor sports information. His brother, Lamar Hurd, also played at Heritage Christian and later at Oregon State. The brothers helped Heritage Christian become one of the top private school programs in Texas, and the school's former coach, Jerome Tang, is now a Baylor assistant.

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NL East: Marlins trade for two starters, load up for pennant race

NL East: Marlins trade for two starters, load up for pennant race

No one in the NL East has been as aggressive at this year's trade deadline than the Miami Marlins.

Five games back from the Nats in second place, the Marlins already acquired closer Fernando Rodney from the Padres late last month. Now they have pulled off an even bigger deal with San Diego to bring in starters Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea.

The Marlins also received reliever Tayron Guerrero in what amounts to a seven-player deal. Off to the Padres are starter Jarred Cosart, first baseman prospect Josh Naylor, minor league pitcher Luis Castillo, as well as injured reliever Carter Capps, who is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery.

In landing Cashner and Rea, the Marlins get two right-handers who could ultimately upgrade their rotation, but both have been ineffective so far this season. Cashner, 29, is 4-7 with a 4.76 ERA and a 2.23 strikeout-to-walk ratio, the worst of his career. Rea, 26, is 5-5 with a 4.98 ERA and a 1.73 SO/BB rate.

Cashner presents the biggest upside as a guy who just two years ago held a 2.55 ERA across 19 starts. The year before that, in 2013, he posted a 3.09 ERA in 31 outings across 175 innings pitched.

Both pitchers will have to be better than they have been to make this trade a win for the Marlins, but they now have some much-needed depth behind Jose Fernandez in their rotation. They addressed their biggest need in hopes of separating themselves from the Mets and catching up to the Nationals.

ESPN first reported the trade on Friday morning.

[RELATED: Papelbon's job as Nats closer now a real question]

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Josh Norman has had enough talking about Odell Beckham (VIDEO)

Josh Norman has had enough talking about Odell Beckham (VIDEO)

RICHMOND — Odell Beckham's apparent feud with Josh Norman seems to have bored the Redskins cornerback.

Asked Friday about the spat, Norman looked down at the podium and played with a rubber band. The corner explained he doesn't want to speak about Beckham's comments, and hardly thinks about it.

That said, Norman allowed it was strange that Beckham claimed it was the Giants receiver that made the Skins corner famous.

"I guess when a guy talks about you that much you’re doing something right," Norman said.

Throughout his media session, Norman seemed engaged with reporters and interested in answering questions. That changed, however, for the Beckham question.

"It means nothing to me. He’s talking about me, but I’m not talking about him."

Check out the full video above.

RELATED: NORMAN VS. BECKHAM FEUD CONTINUES TO INTENSIFY

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Papelbon's job now a real question, Nats glad to have Zim & Solis back

Papelbon's job now a real question, Nats glad to have Zim & Solis back

Leftover notes and observations from the Nats' 4-2 win over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday night...

Papelbon pulled: Jonathan Papelbon has been causing trouble for the Nationals in the ninth inning lately, having gone back to his shaky ways of pitching to hard contact with a fastball that tops out at 89-90 miles per hour. Many fans have not felt confident this year in Papelbon's ability to do his job as closer. Now we know the Nationals feel the same.

Manager Dusty Baker pulled Papelbon after the 35-year-old veteran faced just three batters on Thursday night. He got Brandon Crawford to fly out, then gave up a single to Brandon Belt and a walk to Mac Williamson. By the end of his first at-bat, Baker had Oliver Perez warming.

Papelbon was ultimately charged with one earned run as Perez allowed Belt to score on an infield grounder. That gave Papelbon his third straight appearance with at least one earned run allowed, with seven of them total during that stretch.

His troubles go beyond the numbers, though. First place teams who have their closer's back simply do not take him out that early in such a big spot in such an important game. If any more indication was needed the Nationals could use an upgrade at that position by Monday's non-waiver trade deadline, there it was. Now, the question is how the Nats can bring in a new closer. Will they give up the farm for an Andrew Miller, or hope for the same results with a Alex Colome or Jeremy Jeffress, who would conceivably be cheaper? Either way, they should do something, or else it could cost them a lot down the road. They know it, we know it, everyone knows it.

Zimmerman gets two hits: In his third game back from the disabled list, Ryan Zimmerman had a solid outing with a single, a double and a run. That followed Wednesday's game in Cleveland where he had a single, two runs and a steal. Zimmerman is now 6-for-20 (.300) with five runs, a double and a homer in his last five games, though those are split by his stint on the DL.

Espinosa drives in a run: Hits have been few and far between for Espinosa, who has fallen off a bit in July after his exceptional month of June. But the Nats shortstop did get a big one on Thursday night with his RBI single with two outs in the top of the second inning. Espinosa now has just three hits in his last 10 games across 38 at-bats with 17 strikeouts. He has a .318 OPS during that stretch. Maybe Thursday was a sign he is about to get going again.

Solis shines again: Sammy Solis continued to look strong in his second appearance since returning from the disabled list on Tuesday. he tossed a scoreless eighth inning after working around a leadoff walk. Solis has now pitched 1 2/3 innings with no runs and three strikeouts since coming back. Beyond going after closers, the Nats have also been linked to left-handed relievers, guys like Zach Duke and Boone Logan. With Solis back pitching well, though, it's not a major need.

[RELATED: Roark and Turner lead the way as Nats top Giants]

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