AP NEWS

Scratch 3 more names from White House visit

February 10, 2017

Chris Long, LeGarrette Blount and Alan Branch added their names to a growing list of Patriots players who won’t participate in a White House celebration if the new Super Bowl champions are honored by President Donald Trump.

Blount said on “The Dan Patrick Show” yesterday he’s not interested.

“I will not be going to the White House,” the running back said. “I don’t feel welcome in that house. I’ll leave it at that.”

Long revealed on Twitter that he doesn’t plan to attend a ceremony that has been a tradition for winners under past presidents.

Long’s announcement came in response to an open letter written to him by Chuck Modi in yesterday’s New York Daily News, encouraging Long to show solidarity with his teammates in boycotting the White House.

And defensive tackle Branch told SiriusXM NFL Radio that he will skip the White House visit and spend time with his family.

Earlier, Martellus Bennett and Devin McCourty said they do not plan to make the visit, and Dont’a Hightower said on Wednesday he would skip the event.

Palmer to return

Carson Palmer is coming back with the Arizona Cardinals for a 15th NFL season. The 37-year-old quarterback said in a statement he is “ready to get back to work and prepare for the 2017 season.”

There had been speculation about Palmer and receiver Larry Fitzgerald for next season. Fitzgerald said last week he was returning.

Both Palmer and Fitzgerald agreed to a one-year contract extensions last year. Palmer’s deal puts him under contract through 2018.

Palmer threw for 4,233 yards this year, his sixth career 4,000-yard season, but for only 26 touchdowns with 14 interceptions. The Cardinals, with nearly everyone returning from a 2015 team that went 13-3, finished 7-8-1, Arizona’s first losing season in Bruce Arians’ four years as coach.?.?.?.

The Indianapolis Colts released 33-year-old linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, a move that will save the Colts about $5.5 million under the salary cap. It’s the first significant decision made by new general manager Chris Ballard.

Jackson started all three seasons he was in Indy and was the defensive signal caller and leading tackler before missing the final four games of last season to serve a suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy. .?.?.

The Seattle Seahawks signed former Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh.

Walsh was released midway through last season, and is infamously remembered for missing a 27-yard field goal in the closing seconds of a 2015 NFC wild card game against Seattle that could have given Minnesota the victory.

The signing of Walsh may signal a kicking change for the Seahawks. Norwood native Steven Hauschka is a free agent and had his own struggles last season. .?.?.

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton named Curtis Johnson a senior offensive assistant and wide receivers coach and Ryan Nielsen as defensive line coach. .?.?.

Carolina Panthers team president Danny Morrison resigned after seven years to pursue other career opportunities at the college level.

Raiders on track

The president of the Oakland Raiders says financing for the proposed Las Vegas stadium will not be an issue despite the withdrawal of an instrumental backer.

The remarks from Marc Badain before the board that oversees the proposed project came less than two weeks after casino magnate Sheldon Adelson pulled his $650 million pledge toward the $1.9 billion stadium.

NFL owners must approve the Raiders move from Oakland to Las Vegas. A vote is expected during league meetings in March.