Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports news from Friday, highlighted by Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott beginning his holdout by not reporting for the team’s training camp in Oxnard, Calif. with two years still remaining on his deal.
We’ll also take a look at Seattle Seahawks star linebacker Bobby Wagner getting paid and Russell Westbrook officially being introduced as a member Houston Rockets.
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Saturday!
HOLDOUT BEGINS: Cowboys’ Star RB Ezekiel Elliott Doesn’t Report for Training Camp
Ezekiel Elliott wasn’t on the Dallas Cowboys plane to California on Thursday and wasn’t present for the start of training camp on Friday either.
The star running back, who still has two years left on his rookie deal, officially began his holdout on Friday in hopes of pressuring the Cowboys into giving him a new deal.
“He’s late,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “We have officially reported, so he’s a non-report officially and all of the mechanisms that are in place with your collective bargaining agreements, structurally under the contract, everything is in place and addressed if you’re not where you’re contracted to be, so he’s late.”
The Cowboys have not been shy about feeding Zeke a massive amount. Last year, Elliott had a monster workload, with 304 rushes — 43 more than any other player — to go with 77 catches, collecting 2,001 yards from scrimmage.
The Ohio State product has led the league in rushing two of his first three seasons but has put on some major mileage in the process. That could be why the Cowboys have shown reluctance in giving Elliott a long-term deal.
Elliott wants to make more than what Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley got on his four-year, $57.5 million deal, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports. Elliott, 24, is due to make a base salary of $3.85 million this season and $9.09 million in 2020, which was a fifth-year option the team has already exercised.
Elliott is not the only big-name player holding out. Others doing the same around the league include fellow running back Melvin Gordon of the Chargers, Texans star edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney, All-Pro Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas and veteran Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams.
LIFTOFF: Russell Westbrook Introduced by Houston Rockets
Russell Westbrook was all smiles as he traded in his familiar Oklahoma City blue for Houston Rockets red for the first time on Friday.
The Rockets traded for Westbrook earlier this month in a blockbuster deal that sent veteran point guard Chris Paul and draft picks to the Thunder. The trade was a ripple effect of another move OKC made this offseason, shipping Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers to combine forces with Kawhi Leonard, shifting the competitive landscape of the NBA.
With the Rockets, Westbrook joins forces with former teammate and fellow MVP James Harden. Westbrook — the league’s notorious triple-double machine — won the NBA’s top honor in 2017, while Harden took home the trophy in 2018.
“To be able to win something you have to be able to sacrifice some parts of your game and we both understand that,” Westbrook said. “We both understand that we have one common goal and that’s to win championships. We understand what we have to do.”
CASHING IN: Bobby Wagner Gets Huge Deal From Seahawks
Some NFL players are getting paid. Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner bet on himself and won big.
Wagner and the Seahawks reportedly agreed to a three-year extension worth $54 million with $40.2 million guaranteed. The deal makes him the highest paid inside linebacker in the league, with an annual value of $18 million. Wagner self-negotiated the contract.
“We feel blessed that we were able to draft Bobby in 2012, keep him here on a second contract, and now to have him sign a third contract is a huge deal for us,” Seahawks general manager John Schneider said in a statement. “There’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll go down not only as one of the greatest Seahawks, but also as one of the greatest middle linebackers in NFL history. It’s a major deal for our organization moving into the future.”
Wagner is one of only three players remaining on the Seahawks roster from its Super Bowl champion team in 2014. That didn’t stop his former teammates from reaching out and congratulating their friend.
Wagner is a four-time All-Pro selection and has had over 130 tackles each of the last three seasons.
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Sports Headlines
- Mookie Betts goes yard three times, Red Sox beat Yankees
- Antonio Brown makes grand entrance to Raiders training camp on hot air balloon
- Baker Mayfield gets the LeBron James treatment with mural in Cleveland
- 2 dead, multiple swimming athletes hurt in South Korea balcony collapse
- Hall of Fame duo plotting to boycott Derek Jeter induction ceremony
- Patriots quarterback making position change to wide receiver, a la Julian Edelman
WHAT’S ON TAP IN THE SPORTS WORLD
BASKETBALL: The Basketball Tournament
Missing the NBA? Then this is for you. Aptly named, “The Basketball Tournament” is a 5-on-5, winner take all tournament with a grand prize of $2 million.
When: Today, starting at noon ET
GOLF: World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational
Matthew Fitzpatrick shot a 6-under 64 in the second round at the FedEx St. Jude Invitational to take a two-stroke lead into the weekend at the World Golf Championships event.
When: Today, 2 p.m. ET
MLB: Dodgers vs. Nationals
The MLB-leading Dodgers wrap up their three-game series with the Nationals. In the opener Friday night, Justin Turner hit a three-run homer with two outs in the eighth to help the Dodgers beat the Nationals 4-2.
When: Sunday, 1:30 p.m. ET
Missed Yesterday’s Roundup? Click here for it.