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RB Steven Jackson Released by Falcons

Leon Halip/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Atlanta Falcons released the NFL's active leader in rushing yards (11,388) running back Steven Jackson on Thursday.

The 31-year-old Jackson still had one year left on the three-year contract he signed with the team. The move saves the Falcons $3.75 million against the salary cap.

The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Jackson originally was selected with the 24th overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. He played nine seasons in St. Louis before playing the last two in Atlanta. During that time he's carried the ball 2,743 times, averaging 4.2 yards per touch while scoring 68 touchdowns. He also caught 460 balls for 3,663 yards and nine touchdowns. Jackson had 190 carries for 707 yards and six touchdowns last season.

With Jackson gone, the Falcons are left with youngster Devonta Freeman as their only signed running back. Jacquizz Rodgers and Antone Smith are about to become free agents.

The Falcons ranked 24th in the NFL with 93.6 rushing yards per game last season.

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Blue Jackets Trade Horton for Clarkson

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- The Columbus Blue Jackets traded injured winger Nathan Horton to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for winger David Clarkson, Thursday.

The 29-year-old Horton has missed most of this season with a back injury that some are afraid may be career threatening.

“David Clarkson has been a 30-goal scorer in the NHL who will bring added character and leadership to our group and we believe he will be a valuable contributor to our team,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. “While we are excited to welcome David to the Blue Jackets, it is also difficult that Nathan’s time here has ended prematurely due to his injury situation. He is a tremendous person and we wish him and his family all the best in the future.”

Clarkson, 30, signed a seven-year, $36.75 million deal with the Maple Leafs in July 2013. He struggled since his arrival in Toronto, tallying just 26 points in 118 games.

Horton has played 10 seasons in the NHL with Florida (6), Boston (3) and Columbus (1). During that time he played in 627 games, scoring 203 goals while dishing out 218 assists. He also won the Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2011.

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Panthers Acquire Jagr from Devils

Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images(SUNRISE, Fla.) -- The Florida Panthers have acquired winger Jaromir Jagr from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a second-round draft pick in 2015 and a conditional third-round draft pick in 2016.

The Panthers are fighting for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and Jagr's presence should make that goal more obtainable.

The 43-year-old, five-time scoring champion has 11 goals and 18 assists in 57 games this season.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Jagr won back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and 1992. Following the 1998-99 season, Jagr received the Hart Memorial Trophy which is given to the player deemed most valuable to his team.

Jagr currently ranks first among active NHL leaders in points (1,784), games played (1,530), assists (1,068), goals (716), power play goals (202), and plus/minus ( 284).

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Paul George Practices in Full

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) -- After missing close to seven months due to a broken leg, Pacers forward Paul George participated in and finished his first full practice Thursday.

Originally George was supposed to miss the season, but he recently came out saying that he could be ready for game-action by mid-March.

The 24-year-old George said on Thursday that he needs to improve his conditioning and move better than he did during practice to get back to his All-Star form.

Despite the positive results of Thursday, there's still no timetable for George's return.

"Paul is not going to be out there unless he's Paul George," Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said. "He's eager to get back on the court, but not before he's ready. Once he's mentally cleared to play in a game, he's still got to be ready to (actually) play in a game."

George is a big reason why the Pacers made the Eastern Conference finals the past two seasons. He averaged 21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.9 steals per game last season.

The Pacers (23-34) are currently one game behind Brooklyn for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

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Scoreboard Roundup - 2/26/15

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers 110 (37-22) – Golden State Warriors 99 (44-11)

Phoenix Suns 117 (31-28) - Oklahoma City Thunder 113 (32-26) OT

Top 25 Men’s College Basketball: (3) Gonzaga 59 (29-1) - San Diego 39 (14-15)

(7) Arizona 82 (25-3) – Colorado 54 (12-15)

(13) Utah 83 (22-5) - Arizona State 41 (15-13)

(21) SMU 66 (23-5) – Memphis 57 (17-11)

NHL: Buffalo Sabres 6 (19-38-5; 43pts) – Vancouver Canucks 3 (35-23-3; 73pts)

Montreal Canadiens 5 (40-16-5; 85pts) – Columbus Blue Jackets 2 (26-30-4; 56pts)

New York Rangers 4 (38-16-6; 82pts) – Arizona Coyotes 3 (20-35-7; 47pts)

Toronto Maple Leafs 3 (25-31-5; 55pts) – Philadelphia Flyers 2 (26-25-11; 63pts)

Chicago Blackhawks 3 (37-20-5; 79pts) – Florida Panthers 0 (26-22-13; 65pts)

St. Louis Blues 2 (39-18-4; 82pts) – Winnipeg Jets 1 (31-20-12; 74pts) SO

Minnesota Wild 4 (32-22-7; 71pts) – Nashville Predators 2 (41-14-7; 89pts) 

Detroit Red Wings 3 (34-15-11, 79pts) - San Jose Sharks 2 (30-24-8, 68pts)

Ottawa Senators 1 (26-23-10, 62pts) - Los Angeles Kings 0 (29-19-12, 70pts)

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Titans OT Michael Roos Retires

Banana Stock/Getty Images(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- Tennessee Titans left tackle Michael Roos is hanging up his helmet for good after 10 seasons in the NFL, the club announced on Thursday.

“I’m excited to begin the rest of my life, and I am grateful to do so now, while I am full healthy,” Roos said on his Instagram account.

The Titans originally selected Roos out of Eastern Washington in the second round of the 2005 NFL draft.  He played in 148 career games, recording one fumble recovery.

“On behalf of the organization, I want to thank Michael for his 10 years of outstanding play for our franchise,” Titans CEO & President Tommy Smith said in a statement. “On a weekly basis, he was a player that you could count on to play his best, year after year. He was a true pro and I am thrilled that he was able to play his entire career as a Titan.”

Roos was a three-time All-Pro and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2008.

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Judge Rules in Favor of Vikings RB Adrian Peterson

Andy Lyons/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is a step closer to being reinstated into the NFL.

Judge David Doty ruled on Peterson's behalf in the NFL Player Association's lawsuit against the NFL.

The judge stated that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acted outside his authority in November, after he suspended Peterson until at least April 15 for disciplining his four-year-old son by hitting him with a switch last May.

"This is a victory for the rule of law, due process and fairness. Our collective bargaining agreement has rules for implementation of the personal conduct policy and when those rules are violated, our union always stands up to protect our players' rights," the NFLPA said in a statement.  

"This is yet another example why neutral arbitration is good for our players, good for the owners and good for our game," the statement continued.

The Vikings will have to decide what they'll do with Peterson -- whether it is a trade, restructure his contract, or release him.

Peterson told ESPN.com that he's had some reservations about returning to Minnesota.

The NFL can appeal Peterson's reinstatement and NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league will "review the decision.''

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Report: Angels Outfielder Josh Hamilton Suffers Cocaine and Alcohol Relapse

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton suffered a cocaine and alcohol relapse after having surgery on his shoulder, according to the New York Daily News.

Although Hamilton met with MLB executives in New York on Wednesday about a possible disciplinary issue, the team had no comment regarding the report Thursday.

"I'm not going to make any comment on any situation or information regarding Josh Hamilton," Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said. "He's not here in camp with us, he's at home rehabbing from surgery and we're going to leave it at that."

Hamilton was suspended from February 2004 to June 2006 due to issues related with cocaine and alcohol addiction. He also had alcohol relapses in 2009 and 2012, but bounced back, leading the Rangers to back-to-back World Series appearances. He even won the AL MVP award in 2010.

Hamilton is expected to be out until May with a shoulder surgery.

Hamilton signed a five-year deal with the Angels prior to the 2013 season.

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Report: K-Rod Signs 2-Year Contract with Brewers

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(MILWAUKEE) -- Relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez is returning to the Milwaukee Brewers after reaching an agreement on a two-year contract Thursday, according to ESPN.

In 69 appearances with the Brewers last season, Rodriguez had 44 saves and an ERA of 3.04. The right-handed pitcher also struck out 73 batters and walked 18 in 68 innings of work.

Rodriguez was originally signed by the Los Angeles Angels as an amateur free agent in 1998. In 13 big league seasons (2002-2014) with the Angels, New York Mets, Brewers and Baltimore Orioles, he has notched 348 saves with a 2.73 ERA.

Rodriguez holds the Major League record for most saves in a single season with 62. Last season, he was named to his fifth All-Star team.

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Former Louisville Guard Chris Jones Charged with Rape

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A warrant has been issued for the arrest of former Louisville guard Chris Jones after he's been charged with raping one woman and sodomizing another, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.

The alleged sexual assaults took place on Saturday night and one of Jones' victims was 19 and the other was 20.

Jones pleaded not guilty to the alleged charges in court Thursday, according to the report.

Louisville has not been allowed to comment due to privacy laws and an ongoing investigation.

Jones was dismissed from the team on Sunday. He was averaging 13.7 points per game and 3.6 assists.

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