Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports news from Saturday, highlighted by Antonio Brown surprisingly signing with the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots just hours after his shocking release from the Oakland Raiders.
We’ll also take a look at 19-year-old Canadian Bianca Andreescu stunning Serena Williams in the U.S. Open Women’s Final, some of the top action from the college football world and the results from an action packed UFC 242 event in Abu Dhabi.
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Sunday!
CATCHING ON: Antonio Brown Signs With Patriots After Messy Ending With Raiders
Antonio Brown is a New England Patriot. Yes, you read that right: the mercurial seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver is Tom Brady’s newest target.
For those who somehow missed the conclusion of possibly one of the weirdest sagas in NFL history, here’s a recap of some of the most notable moments.
- March 13: Brown was traded from the Steelers to the Raiders for draft picks. He quickly signed a three-year, $30.125 million extension.
- July 25: Brown shows up for training camp but can’t participate because he has frostbite on the bottom of both of his feet that was caused by cryotherapy.
- July 30: News surfaces about Brown’s problem with the NFL’s new helmet guidelines, leading to him filing a grievance he eventually loses. Reports surface that Brown would quit football if he doesn’t get his way.
- Aug. 18: The Raiders fine Brown for an unexpected absence. GM Mike Mayock says Brown has to be “all-in, or all-out” with the Raiders.
- Sept. 4: Brown gets on Instagram and speaks on the fines he received from the Raiders. At practice, he gets into a heated confrontation with Mayock, allegedly calling him a “cracker.”
- Sept. 5: Reports begin to surface that the Raiders are going to suspend Brown for Week 1. Mayock gives a very short statement, saying: “I don’t have any more information for you right now, and when I have some and it becomes appropriate, you guys all get it. I promise you. But that’s it for today.”
- Sept. 6: Brown returns to the Raiders facility, gives a tearful apology to his teammates and all seems back on track for him to play in Week 1. However, that night Brown posts a dramatic video of his phone call with head coach Jon Gruden.
- Sept 7: The Raiders fine Brown more than $215,000 for conduct detrimental to the team. With the move, ESPN reported that the Raiders voided Brown’s $29.125 million worth of guaranteed money. Brown says there is “no way” he plays after losing the guarantees. Brown asks for his release via Instagram and is shortly granted his wish. Quickly after, the Patriots sign Brown to a one-year deal worth up $15 million with a $9 million signing bonus.
There’s a theory floating around that Brown’s moves were deliberate so the Raiders would release him, making him free to sign with the Pats.
Robert Littal of Black Sports Online, said that a league source texted him saying that once Brown found out he could sign with the Patriots, he put the crazy train in motion to make it happen.
Considering Brown’s reaction to being released, it’s a believable theory. Check out the video Brown posted to his YouTube channel shortly after hearing the news.
The Raiders had a press conference announcing Brown’s release on Saturday and seemed happy to have the saga behind them.
“We just have exhausted everything,” head coach Jon Gruden said. “We tried every way possible to make it work. All I’m gonna say is, it’s disappointing. I’m really proud of our players, our coaches, our owner, our front office. We did everything we could to make this work. I’m sorry it didn’t. I apologize, but I will tell you I am very proud of what we did as an organization to try and I wish Antonio nothing but the best and I’m sorry that we never got a chance to see him in Silver and Black. Very disappointing in my career as a coach. I really looked forward to coaching him, but it’s not gonna happen. I’m not gonna sit here and talk about it all day, we got 12 rookies, we got a lot to be excited about. I wish Antonio the very best.”
Oakland opens its season on Monday Night Football against the Denver Broncos and there won’t be a lack of things to talk about.
Brown has totaled over 1,250 yards and 100 catches in each of his last six seasons. He has had double-digit touchdowns in all but two of those years.
In his nine-year career, Brown has collected 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns.
He won’t be able to suit up this week for the Patriots against — appropriately — his former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
When Brown does get on the field, he joins a wide receiver corps that includes Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon, among others.
SERENA STUNNED: Bianca Andreescu Upsets Williams for Women’s U.S. Open Title
Title No. 24 will have to wait for Serena Williams.
Bianca Andreescu, a 19-year-old Canadian up-and-comer, pulled out a 6-3, 7-5 victory at Flushing Meadows over Williams in the final of the U.S. Open, taking home her first major title.
It was Andreescu’s debut at the tournament. She didn’t make it through the first-round of qualifying a year ago.
What made the victory extra sweet for Andreescu is that she grew up idolizing Williams and has many similar aspects to her game.
“I’m sure I’m not the only person that’s looked up to her. She’s an inspiration to many, many people, not only athletes. What she’s done off the court, too. She’s truly a champion. Above all, she’s very kind-hearted. She came up to me in the locker room, she said some really nice things, which I’ll cherish for a really, really long time,” Andreescu said.
It was the fourth major runner-up finish for Williams since returning to the tour after having a baby two years ago. Her last Grand Slam win came at the Australian Open in 2017
“I’m not necessarily chasing a record. I’m just trying to win Grand Slams,” Williams told reporters. “It’s definitely frustrating, you know.”
WOLVERINES SURVIVE: No. 7 Michigan Holds Off Army in 2OT
Army rolled into Ann Arbor and nearly shot down Michigan’s College Football Playoff hopes before they even got started.
The Wolverines booted a field goal and recovered a fumble in the second overtime period to win 24-21 and stave off the upset.
“The entire football game we made mistakes offensively — penalties, and turnovers, and turnovers on downs,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said. “The defense was not in the best positions, but they played great.”
The Black Knights led the entire game until Michigan kicked the go-ahead field goal in double-overtime. It almost didn’t go that far, but a 50-yard kick by Army at the end of regulation was short.
Army was looking for its first road win over an top 10 squad in more than 50 years. The Black Knights came close last year as well, pushing No. 5 Oklahoma into overtime before losing 28-21.
Best of the rest: Clemson, LSU get big wins
No. 1 Clemson rolled over No. 12 Texas A&M 24-10 behind quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who has two TDs and went 24 of 35 passing for 268 yards.
In a the clash between two top 10 squads, No. 6 LSU got the best of No. 9 Texas 45-38 as Tigers QB Joe Burrow passed for 471 yards and four touchdowns.
Here are the other Top 25 scores from Saturday:
- No. 2 Alabama (2-0) beat New Mexico State 62-10
- No. 3 Georgia (2-0) beat Murray State 63-17
- No. 4 Oklahoma (1-0) beat South Dakota 70-14
- No. 5 Ohio State (2-0) beat Cincinnati 42-0
- No. 10 Auburn (1-0) beat Tulane 24-6
- No. 11 Florida (1-0) beat UT-Martin 45-0
- No. 13 Utah (2-0) beat Northern Illinois 35-17
- No. 14 Washington (1-0) lost to California 20-19
- No. 15 Penn State (1-0) beat Buffalo 45-13
- No. 16 Oregon (0-1) beat Nevada 77-6
- No. 17 Wisconsin (2-0) beat Central Michigan 61-0
- No. 18 UCF (1-0) beat FAU 48-14
- No. 19 Michigan State (1-0) beat Western Michigan 51-17
- No. 20 Iowa (2-0) beat Rutgers 30-0
- No. 21 Syracuse (1-1) lost to Maryland 63-20
- No. 22 Washington State (1-0) beat Northern Colorado 59-17
- No. 23 Stanford (1-0) lost to Southern Cal 45-20
- No. 25 Iowa State (1-0) did not play
- No. 25 Nebraska (1-1) lost to Colorado 34-31, OT
AND STILL: Khabib Extends Undefeated Record at UFC 242 With Submission of Poirier
Khabib Nurmagomedov still has his belt and an undefeated record — and this time there were no extracurriculars following his dominant victory.
Nurmagomedov retained his lightweight belt with a submission victory over challenger Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night at UFC 242. Nurmagomedov won by a rear naked choke midway through the third round that forced Poirier to tap.
The win was the first for Nurmagomedov since beating outspoken UFC superstar Conor McGregor in October of 2018. After that fight, a brawl started in the ring post-fight and spilled into the crowd. After the incident, Nurmagomedov was suspended and fined by the Nevada Athletic Commission.
While Nurmagomedov was out, Poirier won an interim lightweight title with a victory over Hawaii fighter Max Holloway, setting up Saturday’s bout.
Nurmagomedov showed respect to Poirier following the fight.
“MMA is about respect, this is what we showed tonight,” Nurmagomedov said.
In the co-main event, Paul Felder defeated Edson Barboza via a three-round decision.
UFC 243: Whittaker vs. Adesanya will be held on Oct. 6. It is set to be held in Melbourne, Australia.
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Headlines
- Julio Jones inks lucrative extension with Falcons
- Zion unveils Air Jordan 34, delivers massive dunks
- Sister of Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard charged with robbery and murder
- U.S. beats Greece at FIBA World Cup, but hard foul leads to tense moment between Jaylen Brown and Giannis Antetokounmpo
WHAT’S ON TAP IN THE SPORTS WORLD
NFL: Sunday Night Football, New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers close out the first full Sunday of NFL action with a high-profile AFC matchup in Foxborough. The Patriots will unveil their latest championship banner from their 13-3 victory over the Rams in Super Bowl LIII. New England is listed as a 5.5-point favorite.
When: Today, 8:20 p.m. ET
TENNIS: U.S. Open Men’s Final
Legendary Spaniard Rafael Nadal tries for his 19th Grand Slam singles title, which would move him within one of his long-time rival Roger Federer, who holds the record for men’s major championships. Nadal’s opponent, Daniil Medvedev, is seeking his first.
WHEN: Today, 4 p.m. ET
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