WASHINGTON (AP) -- Previous Walter Payton Award winner Charles Tillman and four others are finalists for the Byron ''Whizzer'' White Award given annually by the NFL Players Association for community service in players' cities and hometowns.
New York Giants tight end Larry Donnell was on his way from Atlanta to New York to sign his exclusive rights free-agent contract when the plane he was on skidded off the runway. Thankfully, everyone was OK. The runway at LaGuardia Airport was snowy and the Delta commercial flight skidded upon landing at about 11 a.m. No injuries were reported, according to the New York Daily News . Donnell was OK, his agent confirmed to the Daily News , and he posted a picture from the scene on his Instagram account. New York Newsday reported he was flying to New York to sign his contract tender offer. Donnell released a statement through the Giants: “I’m blessed to be safe and sound after our plane skidded off the runway at LaGuardia airport today," Donnell said in the statement. "I feel fine physically and hopefully all the other passengers did not have any significant injuries. We were all shocked and alarmed when the plane started to skid, but most importantly, as far as I know, all of the passengers and flight crew were able to exit the plane safely.” Donnell made a name for himself last season when he scored three touchdowns in a Monday night game at Washington on Sept. 25. He finished the season with 623 yards and six touchdowns, a nice breakout in his second NFL season. On his way to handle a mundane task to officially get going on his third season with the Giants, Donnell and others on the plane got quite a scare. - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab
This trade made sense for Philly as it needed impact players on defense, as it fizzled late in both of the past two years.
By Larry Fine NEW YORK (Reuters) - It was a long road to a shortened National Football League career for Sidney Rice, an All-Pro receiver who retired last July at age 27 due to fears about his long-term health after numerous concussions. "The first time I actually experienced a head trauma was when I was eight years old," Rice told Reuters after announcing on Tuesday he was donating his brain to medical research after his death.
By Larry Fine NEW YORK, March 3 (Reuters) - It was a long road to a shortened National Football League career for Sidney Rice, an All-Pro receiver who retired last July at age 27 due to fears about his long-term health after numerous concussions. "The first time I actually experienced a head trauma was when I was eight years old," Rice told Reuters after announcing on Tuesday he was donating his brain to medical research after his death.
By Larry Fine NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford and former National Football League receiver Sidney Rice announced on Tuesday that they will donate their brains to medical research after their death. Rice, who retired from the NFL last July at the age of 27 over worries about the long-term effects of absorbing so many blows to the head, and Weatherford hoped their commitment might mobilize others to aid brain disease research. "It's helpful to get a professional athlete behind something," said Weatherford.
NFL games have begun for 2015. Monday was the deadline for franchises to decide whether to hold onto key players who are pending free agents by giving them the franchise or transition tag. -Should we use the exclusive franchise tag, when no other team can approach the player? -Should we go with the lower transition tag, in which other teams can set the market for a player and if the contract is not matched, there is no compensation when the player walks?
Padraig Harrington captured his first PGA Tour title in more than six years when he won the Honda Classic by making a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole in regulation and beating 21-year-old rookie Daniel Berger on the second playoff hole. NFL DETROIT (AP) - Ndamukong Suh can test the open market when free agency begins March 10 after the Detroit Lions did not use the franchise tag on the star defensive tackle. There was only a report early in the day on the team's website saying the franchise tag's price of around $27 million for Suh proved too daunting. MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Vikings have been trying to take advantage of their opportunity to communicate with Adrian Peterson.
With the cap rising to $143 million, if Pierre-Paul signs the tender, the Giants will pay him nearly $14.78 million for 2015.
The Kansas City Chiefs weren't letting a 26-year-old coming off a 22-sack season reach free agency. So Justin Houston will get the franchise tag. The Broncos felt the same way about receiver Demaryius Thomas. He'll get the franchise tag too, the Denver Post's Mike Klis reported . ESPN's Adam Schefter was first with the Houston news. Yahoo Sports' Rand Getlin said that the New York Giants decided to tag defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. Tim Twentyman of the Detroit Lions' official site reported the team will not use the franchise tag on Ndamukong Suh, which isn't unexpected since Suh would have cost almost $27 million to tag. The New England Patriots made an interesting decision with their franchise tag. Instead of using it on safety Devin McCourty, as many figured they would, they instead used it on kicker Stephen Gostkowski. That's a defensible decision too, because Gostkowski is arguably the best kicker in the NFL. He hit 94.6 percent of his field-goal attempts last season. It has been previously reported that the Dallas Cowboys expect to tag receiver Dez Bryant. In addition, the Miami Dolphins used the transition tag for tight end Charles Clay, for a little more than $7 million. The deadline to use franchise or transition tags is 4 p.m. Eastern time on Monday. In Thomas' case, and likely in Houston's case and the others who will be tagged as well, they're expected to get the non-exclusive tag. That means teams can sign them away at the price of two first-round picks. That sounds like a massive price, and it is, but maybe it shouldn't be viewed that way (aside from the fact that the NFL clearly has an unspoken understanding that messing with someone else's restricted free agents or franchise players will be looked down upon). Would a team consistently picking near the bottom of the draft who had cap room really be that unwise to give up two first-round picks for someone like Houston? If Houston was in this draft somehow, he'd be a top-five pick without question. He has made three Pro Bowls in four NFL seasons. All-Pro pass rushers who have plenty of prime years left don't become available often. That's probably why the Chiefs would match any offer anyway, which is their right with Houston as a franchise-tagged player. The same could said for a team like the Seattle Seahawks and the franchised receivers. Assuming the Seahawks could fit a Bryant or Thomas under the cap, wouldn't one of those elite receivers do more for them than any two late first-round picks would? The point of the franchise tag is that it virtually guarantees you'll keep that player. It'll be interesting to see if an NFL team ever tries to pry one away. - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

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