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Wednesday Sports in Brief

March 24, 2022 GMT

PRO FOOTBALL

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill to Miami for a package of draft picks, and the Dolphins are giving the three-time All-Pro wide receiver a $120 million, four-year contract extension that makes Hill the highest-paid player at his position in NFL history.

The Chiefs will get the Dolphins’ first- and second-round picks and their fourth-rounder in this year and fourth- and sixth-round picks next year, along with some much-needed salary cap relief in the latest major NFL trade.

Hill’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said the extension from Miami includes $72.2 million guaranteed. The value of the deal surpasses the five-year contract that Davante Adams signed after he was traded from Green Bay to Las Vegas last week, which averages $28.5 million and includes $67.5 million guaranteed.

The Chiefs had been in discussions with Hill on a contract extension in part because they sought relief from a tight salary cap situation. But talks had stalled over the past few days, and Hill’s representatives requested permission to seek a trade, which came together quickly with multiple teams expressing interest in him. The deal clears more than $18 million in salary cap space for Kansas City.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans traded for wide receiver Robert Woods in a deal sending a sixth-round pick in the 2023 draft to the Los Angeles Rams.

The Titans announced the deal after first clearing some much-needed space under the salary cap. They also announced they signed back linebacker Dylan Cole to a one-year deal.

Woods is a nine-year veteran who tore his left ACL in practice on Nov. 12, the first significant injury of his career. The 6-foot, 195-pound receiver has played 125 games with 570 catches for 7,077 yards and 35 touchdowns with Buffalo and the Rams.

The move helps replace seven-time Pro Bowl receiver Julio Jones, who was released by the Titans last week.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit will be the announcing team when Prime Video takes over the “Thursday Night Football” package in September.

Michaels moves to Prime from NBC. His contract with NBC ended last month after he was in the booth for his 11th Super Bowl. Herbstreit, who has been with ESPN since 1996, will remain the network’s lead college football analyst and do NFL games for Prime. ESPN also announced Herbstreit had signed a multiyear extension.

Prime Video also announced that Fred Gaudelli will be Prime Video’s executive producer for “Thursday Night Football.” Gaudelli will remain with NBC in an executive role.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City’s mayor will announce Thursday that he’s exempting athletes and performers from the city’s vaccine mandate for private workers, a move that will allow Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving to play home games and unvaccinated baseball players to take the field when their season begins.

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Mayor Eric Adams was scheduled to make the announcement Thursday morning and it will be effective immediately, according to a person familiar with the upcoming announcement who was not authorized to discuss it publicly. The city’s sweeping vaccine mandate for workers will still apply to people with other types of jobs, including government employees.

Adams had said he felt the vaccine rule was unfair when it came to athletes and performers because a loophole in the measure, imposed under his predecessor, allowed visiting players and performers who don’t work in New York to still play or perform even if they are unvaccinated.

Irving, a vaccine holdout, had been among the most high-profile people impacted. He was able to re-join the team in January but only when they played out of town games.

BRITTNEY GRINER

The U.S. State Department said a U.S. Embassy official visited with WNBA star Brittney Griner, who remains detained near Moscow, to check on her condition.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price told CNN the official found Griner “to be in good condition.” Price did not identify the official who had been granted consular access to Griner, something the United States had been demanding.

Griner was detained after arriving at a Moscow airport, reportedly in mid-February, after Russian authorities said a search of her luggage revealed vape cartridges that allegedly contained oil derived from cannabis, which could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Russian state news agency Tass reported last week that a court had extended Griner’s pretrial detention to May 19.

BASEBALL

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Rachel Balkovec, hired by the New York Yankees as the first woman to manage a minor league affiliate of a Major League Baseball team, was hit in the face by a batted ball during a drill and will be sidelined for up to a week.

Balkovec was struck Tuesday. She will not be available for her first scheduled spring training game Thursday with Class A Tampa.

The 34-year-old Balkovec didn’t sustain a concussion but has facial swelling, the Yankees said Wednesday. She was involved in a hitting drill in an indoor cage at the minor league complex when she was hurt. Balkovec has been instructed by team doctors to rest for the next five to seven days. She will be re-examined after the swelling goes down.

Balkovec is scheduled to manage her first regular-season game on April 8 at Lakeland. The Yankees announced her hiring as a minor league manager in January.

TENNIS

Flashing the level of play that vaulted her to No. 1 in the world not too long ago, Naomi Osaka had little trouble in beating Astra Sharma of Australia 6-3, 6-4 on the first full day of play at the Miami Open.

Osaka is Japanese-born, calls California home now, but spent much of her youth in South Florida, basically just a few miles north of where the Miami Open is now held.

It was Osaka’s first match since a March 12 loss at Indian Wells, when she was rattled by a derogatory shout from a spectator. She revealed that she began seeing a therapist after Indian Wells — “it only took like a year after French Open,” she quipped, referring to how she missed the clay-court Grand Slam event to focus on her mental health last year — and that she was bracing to hear heckling.

Osaka will face No. 13 seed Angelique Kerber of Germany — like Osaka, another former world No. 1 — in the second round Thursday. Kerber, like all 32 seeds in the 96-player singles field, had a bye out of the first round. Kerber is 4-1 head-to-head against Osaka.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — Madison Square Garden won’t host the NIT semifinals and championship game the next two years, according to a person with direct knowledge of the decision — ending a college basketball tradition that dates to 1938.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no public announcement had been made. ESPN, citing anonymous sources, was first to report the change and said 2023 and 2024 are available for bid, with potential locations ranging from resort areas such as Las Vegas to historic arenas like Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Nothing has been determined beyond 2024.