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Football Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy dead at 48

Former University of Miami All-American and a member of the 1989 national championship team Cortez Kennedy, also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, has died at the age of 48, according to the Orlando Police Department.

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No cause of death has been given to this point.

Orlando police confirmed to ESPN that, “they are investigating Kennedy’s death, but also said ‘there is nothing suspicious to report’ at this time.”

Kennedy went on to play 11 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks from 1990-2000, was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1992 and made eight Pro Bowls.

See the latest on PalmBeachPost.com

Tom Brady will grace cover of ‘Madden 18’

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has a long list of achievements in his NFL career, including five Super Bowl championship rings. But can he avoid the Madden Curse?

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Brady will grace the cover of EA Sports’ "Madden 18" video game, which goes on sale Aug. 25. According to the Madden Curse, players making the cover of the popular video game have had tough times that particular season. There is evidence to back that up, but some players have had good years, too, ESPN reported.

Brady’s teammate, tight end Rob Gronkowski, was on the cover of “Madden 17.” He missed the postseason after he was placed on injured reserve. The Madden Curse had its origins in 1999, ESPN reported, when the first player to appear on the cover — 49ers running back Garrison Hearst — broke his ankle in a playoff loss to Atlanta.

Since 2001, 13 different “Madden” cover subjects have missed at least part of the season, while others have seen their production dip or their teams suffer shocking ends to the season, ESPN reported.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick broke his leg during his cover season of 2004 and later spent time in prison for his involvement in a dogfighting ring. Seattle running back Shaun Alexander saw his productivity drop after appearing on the 2007 cover. 

Other players have done well. Richard Sherman played great the year he was showcased on “Madden 15,” but the Seahawks lost in the final seconds of the Super Bowl to the Patriots. Calvin Johnson (“Madden 13”) and Ray Lewis (“Madden 2005”) had terrific seasons as "Madden" cover athletes.

Brady, who turns 40 in August, grew up a few miles away from where Electronic Arts opened in his hometown of San Mateo, California, ESPN reported. As a kid, he would work out in the EA gym, in part because the company employed a family friend who lived across the street from him.

Brady downplays the curse.

"There's no such thing as curses," Brady said in a Facebook video. "It's a total myth, OK? I feel you're not really getting it. See? All good."

Ex-NFL receiver Michael Jackson dies in motorcycle accident

Former NFL wide receiver Michael Jackson was killed in a motorcycle accident Friday in his hometown of Tangipahoa, Louisiana, police said.

Jackson, 48, played in the NFL for eight seasons with the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens from 1991 to 1998. 

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Jackson's motorcycle was traveling "at a high rate of speed" around 1 a.m. Friday when it crashed into a car that was backing out of a parking space and into both lanes of the highway, ESPN said, citing a police report.

Jackson was one of the first stars for the Ravens after the franchise relocated from Cleveland in 1996. In the Ravens' first season, he led the NFL with 14 touchdown catches, according to Pro-Football Reference.

In eight NFL seasons, Jackson finished with 353 receptions for 5,393 yards receiving and 46 touchdowns. Injuries curtailed his career, forcing him to retire at the age of 29, ESPN reported.

Jackson served as the mayor of Tangipahoa from 2009 to 2013.

New England’s Bill Belichick, who coached Jackson during the receiver’s first five NFL seasons in Cleveland, issued a statement and said he was “deeply saddened.”

The Ravens also issued a statement, with general manager Ozzie Newsome saying that Jackson was “a vibrant person who became one of the Ravens’ first heroes.”

Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady headline Derby gala event

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was among more than 40 big-name celebrities who attended Friday night’s Kentucky Derby party.

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The Green Bay Packers quarterback joined star-studded cast that included fellow signal-caller Tom Brady, along with Jeff Bridges, Harry Connick Jr., Kid Rock, Tracy Morgan, Sammy Hagar, Katie Couric and Larry David. The 29th annual charity event was held at the prestigious Barnstable Brown Derby Eve Gala in Louisville, the Green Bay Post-Gazette reported.

The party was hosted by Patricia Barnstable-Brown and her twin sister, Priscilla Barnstable, at Barnstable-Brown’s mansion. She told the Louisville Courier-Journal last week that Rodgers would be bringing friends.

“Aaron Rodgers just called me to ask if he could bring 14 of his teammates," Barnstable-Brown said. "I don't know where we'll put them all, but we'll make room."

In addition to Brady, New England Patriots players who attended included Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola.

Guests arrived and walked a red carpet as media members conducted interviews and fans snapped photographs and took videos with their smartphones.

Eddie Lacy’s garage sale for charity was a huge success

It’s the dream of every sports fan that also enjoys prowling garage sales for memorabilia: Pull up to a house that is chock full of items owned by an NFL player and open your wallet. It’s a treasure trove.

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That’s how Packers fans felt in De Pere, Wisconsin, as former Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy kicked off what was supposed to be a two-day garage sale, with proceeds going to charity. Lacy, who spent the last four seasons with Green Bay, signed with the Seattle Seahawks during the offseason. On Friday, his discounted Packers gear — plus the normal fare that one might find at a garage sale, like video games, movies, furniture and even laundry detergent — drew a large crowd. Some buyers waited several hours to purchase items, ESPN reported.

The sale was a success. It was basically sold out before dinner, according to The Associated Press. T-shirts, unused cleats, Packer hoodies and even more Green Bay swag was gone within hours.

Lacy, himself, was a no-show, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported. That was ironic because he postponed the sale in April when he couldn't get to Green Bay because of travel problems.

"He doesn't like the attention," said Melissa Martinez of De Pere. She said she hung out with Lacy from time to time and was there to buy a few things.

Tide detergent had a sponsorship agreement with Lacy, a former Alabama Crimson Tide running back, thus the several large bottles of Tide at the sale, the Press-Gazette reported. Those were quickly scooped up, including by Martinez and her aunt.

A resourceful neighbor tried to cash in on the large traffic at Lacy’s house, advertising a “Right Next Door to Eddie Lacy Garage Sale.”

Lacy spent four seasons with the Packers, rushing for 788 yards and 23 touchdowns. He was limited to five games during the 2016 season when he suffered an ankle injury and the Packers placed him on injured reserve.

Records: Aaron Hernandez was Bloods gang member

Newly released prison records say ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez was a member of the Bloods street gang.

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A death report released Friday by Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. also says Hernandez once threatened to kill a correction officer and his family.

The reports were released in response to a public records request from The Associated Press.

They show he was disciplined for the threats against a correction officer and for submitting a urine sample that tested positive for Neurontin, an anti-epileptic drug that is also used as a painkiller.

The following month he was disciplined for "being in possession of STG paraphernalia." STG means security threat group -- prison language for gangs.

Two months later in November, Hernandez was disciplined for "threatening to kill a corrections officer and his family.”

The events took place while he was housed in a Bristol County prison from 2013 to 2015.

Hernandez was found hanged in his cell at the Souza-Baranowksi maximum-security prison on April 19 while serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Evander Holyfield's son arrested on drug charges

Elijah Holyfield, a University of Georgia running back and the son of former boxing legend Evander Holyfield, was arrested on drug charges early Monday.

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Holyfield was arrested in Athens on misdemeanor charges of possession of drug-related objects and marijuana possession, less than 1 oz., according to 960 The Ref.

Holyfield was booked into the Athens-Clarke County Jail jail at 3:19 a.m. ET. He was released less than an hour later at 4:08 a.m. ET.

Visit WSBTV.com for the latest on this developing story.

Deshaun Watson buys mom new car for birthday after getting drafted by Texans

Deshaun Watson is officially a professional quarterback as he was taken 12th overall in this year’s NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. Most guys might go blow some signing money on some ridiculous gifts for their posse or buy themselves a huge house, but not Watson. He went out and hooked his mom up with a sweet ride:

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>> See the photos here

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Watson will tell you that everything he gets and has worked for is because of his mom. She was working more than one job and doing community service in order to get a house that was a gift to the family by former Florida State star Warrick Dunn as part of Habitat for Humanity. 

Seahawks’ Russell Wilson, Ciara welcome baby girl

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, pop singer Ciara, welcomed their daughter, Sienna Princess Wilson, who was born Friday night, ESPN reported.

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Sienna weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces, according to Ciara’s Instagram post.

It's the couple's first child together, CNN reported. They married last July and used Instagram in October to announce they were expecting a baby.

The "1, 2 Step" singer has a 2-year-old son from a previous relationship with rapper Future.

FSU’s Dalvin Cook among high-profile players still undrafted

The first night of the NFL draft was full of surprises, from the seemingly lopsided trades of teams looking to move up to the players selected several spots before they were projected to go.

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Perhaps the most surprising thing about Thursday’s first round was the collection of names that remained on the board for Day 2. Here’s a look at the some of the players with first-round talent who didn’t hear their names called in Round 1:

>> Photos from NFL draft

Dalvin Cook

Florida State’s star running back seemed like a lock to be selected in the first round after posting 1,765 yards and 19 touchdowns in his junior season. Cook saw both Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey go in the top 10, Fournette going fourth overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars and McCaffrey going eighth to the Carolina Panthers. Cook could conceivably go to the Packers or Seahawks, the teams that hold the first two picks of the second round.

Cam Robinson

The 6-foot-6 former Alabama offensive tackle was projected to go somewhere in the middle of the first round, but after a 20-pick wait, the first offensive lineman off the board was Utah’s Garett Bolles. Tackle Ryan Ramczyk of Wisconsin joined Bolles later in the first round, leaving Robinson as the odd man out.

Quincy Wilson 

The University of Florida defensive back was considered a fringe first-round selection after a 33-tackle, three-interception season. Eight defensive backs came off the board Thursday night, but not Wilson.

Forrest Lamp

Much like Robinson, the limited number of offensive lineman taken in the first round pushed Lamp to the back of the line. Considered one of the most talent players at his position going into the night, Lamp undoubtedly will find a home on Friday night.

DeShone Kizer

Although Kizer wasn’t slated to be taken as high as some of the other quarterbacks available, some believed a team at the back end of the first round would take a chance on the Notre Dame product. With several teams still seemingly in precarious quarterback positions entering next season, it appears he’ll find a home sooner rather than later.

 

 

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