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Weekend Sports in Brief | Tacoma News Tribune
NFL

BOSTON (AP) — The New England Patriots have reached an agreement with free- agent quarterback Cam Newton, bringing in the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player to help the team move on from three-time MVP Tom Brady, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.

The one-year deal is worth up to $7.5 million with incentives, the person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it publicly. A Patriots spokesman said the team had nothing to announce Sunday night. The signing was first reported by ESPN.

The Patriots had been heading to training camp with 2019 fourth-round draft choice Jarrett Stidham as the heir apparent to Brady, who led the team to six Super Bowl championships since 2001 but signed with Tampa Bay this offseason. Stidham appeared in three games last season, completing two passes for 14 yards with one interception.

—By AP Sports Writer Jimmy Golen.

NEW YORK (AP) — The New England Patriots have been fined $1.1 million by the NFL for inappropriately filming the Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline during a game last season.

On Sunday, the league also took away a third-round pick in the 2021 draft.

Also, the team’s production crew will not be allowed to shoot any games in the 2020 season.

ESPN first reported the penalties. NFL spokesman Michael Signora confirmed the discipline to The Associated Press.

The filming occurred at the Bengals game at Cleveland on Dec. 8 of last season.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — Gerrit Cole could make his New York Yankees debut in a tasty opening-day treat for fans, facing Juan Soto and World Series champion Washington at Nationals Park.

The Yankees and Nationals are set meet when the virus-delayed season begins next month, a person familiar with the game told The Associated Press on Saturday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because there hasn’t been an official announcement.

The New York Post first reported the matchup.

MLB will start a 60-game season on July 23 or 24. The schedule is still being worked out -- there could be a game or two on the first day of play, or a full slate.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Edgar Santana will miss all of the abbreviated 2020 season after being suspended 80 games for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

MLB announced Sunday that Santana tested positive for Boldenone, a performance-enhancing substance.

The 28-year-old Santana is in the process of a comeback after missing all of the 2019 season following reconstructive surgery on his right elbow in September 2018. S

GOLF

The U.S. Open is returning to NBC starting this year at Winged Foot after Fox Sports has asked to end its 12-year contract with the USGA, multiple people told The Associated Press on Sunday night.

Three people with direct knowledge of the change say it came together in the last two weeks. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced.

An announcement was expected Monday.

The U.S. Open, originally scheduled to be played last week, was postponed to Sept. 17-20 at Winged Foot in New York when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down golf for three months.

—By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson.

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Dustin Johnson won the Travelers Championship on Sunday to end a long drought and extend his career-long season victory streak to 13.

Johnson closed with a 3-under 67 for a one-stroke victory over Kevin Streelman at fan-free TPC River Highlands. Johnson last won in Mexico City in March 2019.

Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus each won in 17 consecutive years. Johnson failed to win in 2014, but is given credit for winning in the 2013-14 season from his victory in the fall of 2013 in Shanghai. The tour changed to a wraparound season in 2013.

Johnson finished at 19-under 261 for his 21st PGA Tour title.

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Dylan Frittelli became the fourth PGA Tour player to test positive for the coronavirus and had to withdraw from Rocket Mortgage Classic next week in Detroit.

Frittelli missed the cut at the Travelers Championship, playing the opening two rounds with Ian Poulter and J.T. Poston. The South African player took a saliva test so he could take the tour’s charter to Detroit, and the result came back positive Sunday.

AUTO RACING

LONG POND, Pa. (AP) — Denny Hamlin held off Kevin Harvick on Sunday night to win the second Cup race of the weekend at Pocono Raceway and flip the result of the opener.

Hamlin raced to his fourth victory of the season — and sixth at Pocono — to cap a wild, marathon day of racing at the track, with three NASCAR races and a near-darkness Cup finish. Pocono doesn’t have lights -- but the pit road numbers were lit up and glowed as Hamlin took the checkered flag for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Hamlin had a late vibration in his No. 11 Toyota on Saturday that hindered his attempt to catch Harvick down the stretch. About 25 hours later, Hamlin surged past Harvick and built a nearly 3-second lead; Harvick’s serious run at the victory slowed because of a loose wheel.

LONG PONG, Pa. (AP) — Kevin Harvick snapped an 0-for-38 drought at Pocono Raceway, taking the checkered flag Saturday at one of two tracks where victory had eluded him.

Harvick won the first of two NASCAR Cup races in front of no fans this weekend at Pocono and will start 20th on Sunday with the field set by inverting the lead-lap finishers.

The 44-year-old California driver has won at every active track except Kentucky Speedway (nine tries) and the 2014 series champion has three wins overall for Stewart-Haas Racing this season.

Harvick held off a hard-charging Denny Hamlin for his 52nd career Cup victory. He had 12 top-five finishes in his other 38 starts at Pocono.

PINE HILL, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina racetrack has lost some partnerships after its owner advertised “Bubba Rope” for sale online days after NASCAR said a noose had been found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace, the top series’ only Black driver.

A concrete company and a driver series ended their partnerships Friday with the half-mile, dirt track 311 Speedway in Stokes County, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.

The racetrack owner’s “Bubba Rope” post on Facebook Marketplace earlier this week sparked a backlash on social media and a condemnation from a spokesman for Gov. Roy Cooper.

The Carolina Sprint Tour posted on its Facebook page that it would not race at the speedway for the remainder of its season, according to the newspaper.

WOMEN`S SOCCER

Players for the Portland Thorns and the North Carolina Courage knelt during the national anthem Saturday when the National Women’s Soccer League opened the Challenge Cup tournament in Utah.

The players and coaches wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts in warmups before the game, which was nationally televised on CBS. The players also knelt during a moment of silence before kickoff.

The league said Friday that it would play the national anthem before the Challenge Cup games and that it would support the players in whatever they chose to do.

The NWSL is the first professional team sport in the United States to return amid the coronavirus outbreak. The monthlong Challenge Cup opened Saturday with a pair of games played without fans at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah.

HORSE RACING

NEW YORK (AP) — A barn at Belmont Park has been placed under a precautionary quarantine because of a suspected case of equine herpesvirus Type 1.

New York Racing Association officials say a 4-year-old colt trained by Chris Englehart exhibited fever and neurological symptoms associated with EHV-1 on Saturday and is being treated by a private veterinarian. The colt named Freudnme last raced at Finger Lakes in upstate New York in June 2019.

EHV-1 can cause upper respiratory infection in young horses. If a number of horses are housed together, they can become sick and then recover uneventfully. However, equine herpesvirus-1 can also cause a severe neurological disease that affects a horse’s brain and spinal cord, and may result in paralysis and death.

OBITUARY

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. (AP) — Phil Krueger, who helped build a dominant defense as an assistant for 1967 national champion Southern California and later became part of the first coaching staff in Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ history, has died. He was 90.

Krueger died Monday at his home, his family said.

Skilled in all phases of the game, Krueger coached offense, defense and special teams during more than three decades in the NFL and college. He was the head coach at Fresno State and Utah State, going 31-22, and an assistant at Illinois.

Krueger moved from the field to Tampa Bay’s front office and spent 10 years as an executive, known for his skill in negotiating contracts. He was hired as the Buccaneers’ first general manager in 1991.

Krueger worked under head coach John McKay at USC and Tampa Bay.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Washington Redskins assistant coach Joe Bugel, regarded as one of the top offensive line coaches in NFL history, has died. He was 80.

Bugel died on Sunday, according to a statement from the team, which did not disclose a cause of death.

Bugel was the architect of “The Hogs,” the dominant offensive lines that helped lead the team to three Super Bowls under Hall of Fame head coach Joe Gibbs.

Bugel was the team’s offensive coordinator and offensive line coach from 1981-82 and became the assistant head coach in 1983, a role he had until 1989 before becoming the head coach of the Phoenix Cardinals.

He returned for a second stint with the team as assistant head coach-offense from 2004-09.