Frank Gore’s likely run to Canton, Ohio, will go through the Big Apple for at least one season. The seemingly ageless running back, who turns 37 next Thursday, agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the New York Jets on Tuesday. Gore is third on the NFL’s career rushing list with 15,269 yards after passing Barry Sanders last year while with Buffalo. With the Jets, Gore will join a backfield that includes Le’Veon Bell and fourth-round draft pick La’Mical Perine. The move reunites Gore with coach Adam Gase, for whom he played in Miami in 2018. The two were also together in San Francisco in 2008, when Gase was an offensive assistant. Gore, who many believe will someday be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, trails only Emmitt Smith (18,355) and Walter Payton (16,726) in yards rushing in NFL history. Gore spent last season with Buffalo, where he had career lows with 599 yards and 3.6 yards per carry in 16 games while sharing the backfield with rookie Devin Singletary. The veteran had two touchdown runs and also caught 13 passes for 100 yards . . . Quincy Enunwa’s career with the New York Jets is likely over after he and fellow wide receiver Josh Bellamy were placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. The moves effectively end each of the player’s seasons, four months before the opener is scheduled. The team also announced it waived cornerback Kyron Brown, wide receiver Keon Hatcher, running back Jalin Moore, and defensive end Charles Tapper. Enunwa missed all but one game last season with a serious neck injury, his second in three seasons. Bellamy was sidelined the last nine games with a shoulder injury, prematurely ending his first year in New York. Enunwa’s $6 million salary for this season is fully guaranteed, and it would cost the Jets $11.4 million in dead money on the salary cap if he’s released now. He’s due $7.8 million next year, with $4.1 million guaranteed for injury. Enunwa, a sixth-round pick out of Nebraska in 2014, has played in just 12 games over the past three seasons because of injuries. Bellamy, who turns 31 on May 18 played in just seven games last season after signing a two-year, $5 million deal with New York in the offseason . . . Veteran pass rusher Aaron Lynch signed a one-year contract with Jacksonville, giving the Jaguars more depth in case disgruntled defender Yannick Ngakoue decides to skip part of the season. Lynch had two sacks in 16 games for Chicago last year. Before his two seasons with the Bears, Lynch spent four years in San Francisco (2014-17). The 49ers drafted him in the fifth round in 2014. The Jaguars also signed running back Chris Thompson, the sixth free agent to sign a one-year deal with the team . . . The New York Giants claimed former Dallas Cowboys’ backup quarterback Cooper Rush on waivers. Daniel Jones is the New York Giants’ starting quarterback. Rush joins Alex Tanney and Colt McCoy in competing for the backup job. The move reunites Rush with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, who spent nearly a decade as head coach of the Cowboys before joining Joe Judge’s staff in the offseason.Rush was signed by the Cowboys as an undrafted rookie out of Central Michigan in 2017. He appeared in five regular-season games in three seasons, serving as a backup to Dak Prescott . . . The Los Angeles Chargers hired Pep Hamilton, who had been head coach and general manager of the XFL’s DC Defenders, as quarterbacks coach. Hamilton’s last NFL job was in Cleveland as assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach in 2016. He was also Indianapolis’ offensive coordinator for three seasons (2013-15).
Audit says Brett Favre got $1.1m for no-show gigs
A nonprofit group caught up in an embezzlement scheme in Mississippi used federal welfare money to pay Hall of Fame Brett Favre $1.1 million for multiple speaking engagements — but Favre did not show up for the events, the state auditor said Monday. Payments to Favre were made by Mississippi Community Education Center, a group that had contracts with the Department of Human Services to spend money through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Details about payments to Favre are included in an audit of the Mississippi Department of Human Services. State Auditor Shad White said his employees identified $94 million in questionable spending by the agency, including payments for sports activities with no clear connection to helping needy people in one of the poorest states of the United States. The audit was released months after a former Human Services director and five other people were indicted on state charges of embezzling about $4 million. They have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial in what White has called one of Mississippi’s largest public corruption cases in decades. “If there was a way to misspend money, it seems DHS leadership or their grantees thought of it and tried it,” White said Monday. White said the Human Services audit “shows the most egregious misspending my staff have seen in their careers.” The audit says Favre Enterprises was paid $500,000 in December 2017 and $600,000 in June 2018, and he was supposed to make speeches for at least three events. The auditor’s report says that “upon a cursory review of those dates, auditors were able to determine that the individual contracted did not speak nor was he present for those events.” Favre, who lives in Mississippi, faces no criminal charges. The audit report lists the payments to him as “questioned” costs, which White said means “auditors either saw clear misspending or could not verify the money had been lawfully spent.”
MLB’s average salary stays at $4.4m
Major League Baseball’s average salary ahead of a postponed Opening Day remained at around $4.4 million for the fifth straight season, according to a study of contracts by the Associated Press. Following an offseason when Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Anthony Rendon, and Christian Yelich all agreed to $200 million-plus deals, the flattened salary curve is evidence of a shrinking portion of the pie for baseball’s middle class. The stagnant stretch is unprecedented since the free agent era dawned in 1976. (The numbers do not take into account any decrease caused by a shortened season in 2020 due to the pandemic.) The New York Yankees have the top payroll (nearly $242 million) for the first time since 2013, towering over the Pittsburgh Pirates at $54 million — the lowest of any big league team in six years. There are 136 players earning at least $10 million, up from 122.
Cannons restock in MLL Draft
Major League Lacrosse postponed its scheduled May 30 opening because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the league pushed ahead with its 2020 collegiate draft Monday night via conference call, with the Boston Cannons adding five newcomers, starting with Syracuse defender Nick Mellen with the fourth overall selection. Boston picked a pair of attacks in the fifth round — Cornell’s Jeff Teat and Princeton’s Michael Sowers — before adding Marist faceoff specialist Peyton Smith in the sixth round and University of Maryland/Baltimore County defender Jason Brewster in the eighth round (46th overall). Sowers is Princeton’s career scoring leader (101 goals, 302 points in 47 games) but will not play with the Cannons this year, as he is transferring to Duke to play one final collegiate season. (The Cannons will retain his rights.) The New York Lizards started things off by taking Yale’s T.D. Ierlan, the third straight season a faceoff specialist has gone with the top pick. There were 10 picks from Massachusetts colleges, led by pair of long-stick middies from BU, Reece Eddy, (Philadelphia Barrage, 14th overall) and Chad Levesque (Chesapeake Bayhawks, 18th overall). — BRANDON CHASE
Sixers’ Ben Simmons working toward return
Philadelphia 76ers All-Star guard Ben Simmons is closer to getting cleared to play, should the NBA season resume. The league leader in steals was sidelined with nerve issues in his lower back when the season was suspended March 11 because of the pandemic. He is allowed to rehabilitate at the 76ers’ practice facility in Camden, N.J., but there seemed to be no guarantee he would have been cleared to play in time for a playoff run. Simmons and other players undergoing rehab, including All-Star center Joel Embiid, have permission to use the 76ers’ practice facility. Embiid was recovering from surgery on his left hand and had just returned after missing five games with a sprained left shoulder at the time of the shutdown.
Kyle Larson to race at Iowa dirt track
Kyle Larson plans to race again Friday night in a World of Outlaws event at Knoxville Raceway. The dirt track in Iowa will not have spectators at the event because of the pandemic. Larson was fired three weeks ago by Chip Ganassi Racing for using s racial slur while competing in an iRacing event. The slur was publicly heard on a gaming app and went viral. Most of Larson’s sponsors bailed on him and Ganassi had to fire his star NASCAR driver. Larson, 27, is half-Japanese and rose through NASCAR’s ranks in its diversity program. He was suspended by NASCAR and ordered to complete a sensitivity training course. Also scheduled to compete in the Knoxville event is retired NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne . . . The Florida Panthers finally have a deal with Russian forward Grigori Denisenko. The forward, who was the 15th overall pick by the Panthers in the 2018 NHL Draft, has been with Lokomotiv of the KHL, Russia’s top league. The Panthers said the 19-year-old Denisenko has agreed to a three-year entry-level contract — though it remains unclear when that contract will be officially signed and begin to take effect, given the uncertainty of the current NHL season because of the coronavirus pandemic . . . Roy Lester, who sandwiched a disappointing three-year stint as Maryland’s football coach between a highly successful career at the high school level, has died. He was 96. Lester’s daughter, Amy Lester Greco, said on a Facebook post that her father died Sunday in Rockville, Md., due to complications from the new coronavirus. Lester made a name for himself in Maryland during a 10-year run at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville during which the Rockets went unbeaten six times and had an 86-10-1 record.That led to him being hired in 1968 to coach at Maryland, where he inherited a program that won only two of 19 games over the previous two years. Lester guided the Terrapins to a 3-7 record in his first year and went 2-9 in each of the next two seasons before being fired. He was followed by Jerry Claiborne, who led Maryland to seven bowl games over 10 seasons. Lester returned to high school coaching in 1972 and won three state championships over the next 15 years while coaching at Paint Branch and Magruder . . . Eldred “Salty” Saltwell, who worked in a variety of roles including general manager and vice president over 30 years with the Chicago Cubs, died Sunday, the team said. He was 96. The Cubs said his death was not related to the coronavirus. Saltwell arrived in Chicago in 1958 and served as concession manager, traveling secretary, assistant secretary, assistant treasurer, secretary, general manager, vice president, and consultant. He replaced John Holland as GM following the 1975 season and lasted one year in that role, drawing criticism for trading shortstop Don Kessinger and first baseman Andre Thornton as the Cubs finished fourth in the NL East at 75-87.