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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Football

Antonio Brown wrote check for college fund to settle furniture-throwing lawsuit

Antonio Brown has reached a settlement in a lawsuit that stemmed from him allegedly throwing furniture off the balcony of a high-end apartment complex last year.

On Tuesday morning, Brown released a statement on Twitter saying the legal dispute between him and Ophir Sternberg — the man who was suing him — has been resolved. In the since deleted statement, Brown said he donated a “confidential sum of funds” to a charity and wished Sternberg well. According to court documents obtained by TMZ, the settlement included a donation to a charity as well as Brown making an undisclosed contribution to Sternberg’s son’s college fund.

Brown was accused of nearly killing Sternberg’s 22-month-old son by throwing furniture off a balcony during a reckless fit of rage. Sternberg later named Brown in a lawsuit seeking $15,000 in damages and claiming the incident traumatized him. Brown acknowledged that items were thrown off the balcony but said someone else was responsible.

In any event, TMZ notes that both sides are pleased with the settlement. If the allegations against Brown are true, it sounds like he got off easy.

Cam Newton expected to be full participant in training camp

Cam Newton tie

Cam Newton has been progressing well in his recovery from a surgical procedure he had on his shoulder following last season, and it does not sound like the quarterback is expected to have any limitations when the Carolina Panthers begin training camp in two weeks.

According to Brendan Marks of the Charlotte Observer, the plan is for Newton to be a full participant in training camp. That has been the target date for his return to full practices all along, and there’s no reason to believe anything has changed.

Newton dealt with shoulder soreness down the stretch last season and missed the final two games of the year. Doctors determined that the issue stemmed from a buildup of scar tissue and cartilage damage due to shoulder surgery he had in 2017, and he had an arthroscopic “clean-out” after the season. His rehab has gone well and he had not experienced any pain as of about a month ago.

Considering how bad his shoulder ailment was late last season, the Panthers will probably continue to play it safe with Newton right up until Week 1. They know their best chance of contending again is having the former MVP healthy.

Rob Gronkowski confirms he had throwing session with Tom Brady

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski may have decided to give up his playing career, but the former All-Pro tight end is still doing what he can to help the New England Patriots prepare for the upcoming season.

Gronkowski was in Los Angeles this week to serve as a captain in the second annual Monster Energy $50K Charity Challenge Celebrity Basketball game, and a report on Monday claimed he caught passes from Tom Brady during a private workout at UCLA. Gronk later confirmed it while speaking with TMZ.

“It was great working out,” Gronkowski said. “Tom needed someone to throw to, so he called Mr. Reliable Robbie G., the one and only.”

The session obviously led to further speculation that Gronk could eventually change his mind about retirement, but his openness about it likely means fans should not get their hopes up.

Gronkowski said on “The Rich Eisen Show” last week that he is loving retirement but “can’t really say how I’m going to feel about it when the games start rolling around and everything.” While he showed signs of slowing down significantly over the past two seasons, fans and even some within the Patriots organization believe he will eventually miss football too much. Gronk tried to put the comeback talk to rest in June, but it’s not going away completely.

Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski reportedly throw in private workout at UCLA

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski’s retirement has not stopped him from working out with his longtime quarterback.

Tom Brady and Gronk reunited on the field on Monday for a private workout at UCLA, according to MassLive.com’s Andrew Callahan. Brady has a house in Brentwood, a neighborhood a few miles west of UCLA’s campus, and often works out at the school. He threw to the team’s receivers earlier in May.

Callahan says Gronk was in Los Angeles to play in the Monster Energy $50K Charity Challenge Celebrity Basketball Game on Monday night at Pauley Pavilion, the on-campus basketball arena at UCLA.

Gronkowski retired in March after over a year of rumors about him considering the possibility. The New England Patriots winning the Super Bowl — the first where he actually was able to contribute in a win — helped serve as the perfect opportunity for him to go out on top.

Gronk put talk of a comeback to rest earlier in June. However, there are many within the Patriots who reportedly believe Gronk will miss football and want to make a comeback.

The 30-year-old tight end had 47 catches for 682 yards and three touchdowns last season.

Watch: Tom Brady runs faster 40 time now than at NFL Combine

Tom Brady

Tom Brady is nearly 42 years old and has played 19 seasons in the NFL. Despite his age, his injuries, all the hits he’s taken, he’s somehow faster now than he was when he was tested at the NFL Combine in 2000.

Brady posted a video on social media Friday that showed him running a 40-yard dash. He ran it in a time of 5.17 seconds, which is faster than the 5.28 he ran at the Combine.

Here are the videos side-by-side:

This is no doubt due to the change in Brady’s training approach. Prior to the Combine, it’s unclear to what extent Brady focused on his physical conditioning, diet, and other factors relating to his body. But it’s clear that’s become a major focus for him as he’s defied the aging process.

Tedy Bruschi says he is ‘doing much better’ following latest stroke

Former NFL linebacker and current ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi suffered his second stroke last week, but fortunately he appears to be recovering well.

On Monday morning, Bruschi took to Instagram to educate people about the warning signs of a stroke. The Patriots legend said he is “doing much better” and that he was able to get the help he needed because he immediately identified what was happening.

“Around 10:30am on July 4th I lost use of my left arm. I then tried to speak and realized I was slurring my speech. As I turned to my wife she noticed the left side of my face was drooping. We immediately knew what was happening,” Bruschi wrote. “These are stroke warning signs. We called 911 and an ambulance got me to the hospital. Thank you for all your kind thoughts and prayers. I’m doing much better.”

Bruschi has dedicated much of his life to raising awareness about strokes since he suffered his first in 2005. He wrote a book about the experience in 2007 and has since run in multiple Boston Marathons. He even played for the Patriots for several more seasons after his first stroke.

It’s great to hear that Bruschi is on the road to recovery, and it’s remarkable that he is already using another unfortunate situation to educate others.

Baker Mayfield married wife Emily Wilkinson in Malibu

Baker Mayfield

Congratulations are in order for Baker Mayfield and his wife Emily Wilkinson.

The two got married at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu on Saturday night, according to reports.

Oklahoma Sooners co-offensive coordinator Cale Gundy shared a photo of several Sooners who attended the affair:

In the photo are: Cale Gundy, former tight end Connor Knight, Gundy’s son KC Gundy, former wide receivers Grant Bothun, Dede Westbrook and Geno Lewis, wide receiver Nick Basquine, former quarterback Kyler Murray, former tight end Mark Andrews, former offensive tackle Orlando Brown, former center Ty Darlington and tight end Grant Calcaterra, according to OU Daily.

Mayfield, 24, is entering his second NFL season with the Cleveland Browns after they made him the No. 1 overall pick last year. He played for Oklahoma in college after transferring there from Texas Tech. He won the Heisman Trophy in 2017.

Mayfield and Wilkinson made their first public appearance at a Clippers game in 2018. Mayfield proposed about a year prior to their wedding.