July 25, 2014 in Sports

NFL notes: Falcons, WR Roddy White agree to four-year extension

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White
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The Atlanta Falcons agreed to a four-year extension with receiver Roddy White on the eve of training camp in Flowery Branch, Georgia, on Thursday.

Terms haven’t been released.

With players reporting for camp throughout the afternoon, White was not available for comment.

Coming off a 4-12 season, Atlanta is counting on a return to full health for both White and receiver Julio Jones.

White, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, missed three games last year with ankle and hamstring injuries before finishing with 43 catches for 502 yards and two touchdowns over the last five weeks.

Jones, a Pro Bowl invitee in 2012 and the sixth overall draft pick three years ago, broke his foot in an Oct. 7 home loss to the New York Jets. He was leading the NFL with 41 catches and ranked second in yards receiving at the time.

Atlanta picked up the 2015 option on Jones’ contract in April.

White holds the team records for career receptions (685) and yards receiving (9,436).

Yarno returns home

The Jacksonville Jaguars have named Luke Butkus interim offensive line coach, tabbing him to fill in for cancer-stricken assistant George Yarno.

Yarno left the team last month and returned home to be with his family in Spokane, while he undergoes treatment.

Coach Gus Bradley says the 56-year-old Yarno will be away from the team for “some months.”

Bradley says Yarno is “encouraged by the progress” and adds “We’re all rooting for him and we’ll welcome him back with open arms when he comes back.”

Yarno is a Ferris and Washington State alum.

Gordon to meet with league

Pro Bowl wide receiver Josh Gordon of the Cleveland Browns will have an appeal hearing with NFL officials in New York on Aug. 1, a person with knowledge of the meeting said.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the discussions.

The game-breaking playmaker is facing a possible one-year ban for violating the league’s substance abuse policy for at least the third time. Gordon, who had a history of marijuana abuse in college, was suspended for the first two games last season. He still led the NFL with 1,646 yards receiving.

The 23-year-old player is expected to report to training camp today.

Quick kicks

The Jacksonville Jaguars have no plans to part ways with troubled receiver Justin Blackmon. Owner Shad Khan made it clear Thursday that Blackmon will remain on the roster despite his latest arrest. “We want to keep him as a player,” Khan said following a charity kickoff luncheon at EverBank Stadium. “He’s not part of the team, obviously. But I think it’s very important for him to get the help. I think that’s the most important thing. I think it’s good for him and good for us. We want him to get the help and really beat this.” Blackmon was arrested Wednesday in the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond on a complaint of marijuana possession. Police said they noticed his sedan go around stopped traffic in an attempt to get into a turn lane. … Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, who is recovering from cancer treatments, will participate in the coin toss at the Hall of Fame game on Aug. 3. Kelly will represent Buffalo as an honorary captain, while former linebacker Harry Carson will be the New York Giants’ honorary captain when the teams face off in the first game of the NFL preseason.


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