Top National Sports Stories: Falcons reward Freeman...NFL to hire full-time officials...Marlin bidders down to 2

Published on August 10, 2017 at 06:39AM

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons have worked out an extension with Devonta Freeman that theoretically makes him the highest-paid running back in the league in terms of the overall package. The five-year, $41.25 million package includes a $15 million signing bonus and $22 million in guaranteed money. Freeman has run for 2,383 yards in three years with the Falcons, including 1000-yard seasons in 2015 and 2016.

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL has announced that it will begin hiring between 21 and 24 full-time officials from among the current roster of 124 for this season. The full-timers will be hired at each of the seven officiating positions and may serve on each of the 17 crews. They will work collaboratively with their assigned crews, the league officiating staff and the NFL’s football-related committees during the offseason.

MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Marlins have lost another suitor as owner Jeffrey Loria tries to sell the major league club. A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that a group led by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Quogue Capital investment fund founder Wayne Rothbaum has halted its bid to buy the team. The decision leaves groups led by former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and by South Florida businessman Jorge Mas still in contention to buy the franchise.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The PGA Championship begins this morning at Quail Hollow, where Jimmy Walker will try to defend his title. British Open winner Jordan Spieth (speeth) will try at age 24 to become the youngest player to complete a career Grand Slam. Rory McIlroy is considered a slight favorite after winning twice at Quail Hollow in seven starts.

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — A Florida prosecutor says Tiger Woods has agreed to plead guilty to reckless driving and will enter a diversion program that will allow him to have his record wiped clean if he completes it. Woods was charged with driving under the influence in May when he was found asleep in his Mercedes-Benz, apparently under the influence of a prescription painkiller and sleeping medication. No alcohol was found in his system.