FALCONS PART WITH ALL-TIME LEADING WR
The Falcons released Roddy White, the leading receiver in franchise history, on Wednesday after his least productive season in a decade.
White's role in the offense declined in 2015 under first-year coach Dan Quinn and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
Atlanta announced the release of White, 34, in a statement that included glowing compliments from owner Arthur Blank, GM Thomas Dimitroff and Quinn.
"I'm a Southern guy. I love the South," White texted ESPN in response to where he might consider playing. White played for new Bucs coach Dirk Koetter in Atlanta, when Koetter was offensive coordinator (2012-14) there.
White, an All-Pro in 2010 and four-time Pro Bowl pick, holds franchise records for catches, receiving yards and touchdown catches. The 2005 first-round pick from Alabama-Birmingham became one of the team's biggest stars and most popular players.
Blank said White "is one of the greatest players to ever put on a Falcons uniform."
FLACCO DEAL: The Ravens and Joe Flacco agreed to a three-year extension that will keep the QB with the club through the 2021 season. If a deal hadn't been made, his salary cap hit would've been $28.55 million. In 2013, Flacco, 31, signed a then-record six-year deal for $120.6 million. Terms of the new deal weren't available.
PACKERS: Kicker and franchise scoring leader Mason Crosby reached a deal reportedly worth $16.1 million, with a $5 million signing bonus.
McIlroy switches putting grip
Rory McIlroy is shaking up his putting technique by going to a cross-handed grip for the Cadillac Championship at Doral, which starts today. "It's a drill that I've always done," he said. "And I've putted a lot just with my left hand. It's one of those things where the drill started to feel a little bit better than the real thing, so I'm just going to stick with it."
AUTOS: NASCAR suspended the crew chief of driver Martin Truex for one Sprint Cup race and fined him $50,000 for a rules violation at Atlanta Motor Speedway last week. Cole Pearn will miss Sunday's race in Las Vegas for a roof flap violation on the No. 78 found during prerace technical inspection. Truex also was penalized 15 driver points.
SOCCER: Leicester strengthened its position atop the English Premier League without even playing. Tottenham could've climbed above Leicester into first, but it lost 1-0 at West Ham. Third-place Arsenal lost 2-1 at home to Swansea, and Manchester City was routed 3-0 at Liverpool.
CYCLING: China was downgraded from gold to silver for an illegal change in the women's team sprint at the world championships in London, giving the title to Russia.
YACHTING: Two-time defending America's Cup champ Oracle Team USA capsized a 45-foot catamaran while training in Bermuda. Skipper Jimmy Spithill said there were no injuries to the sailors aboard and slight damage to some electronics when the boat rolled over onto its port hull, the tip of its wing sail resting on the water.