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Bills Set to Acquire QB Matt Cassel from Vikings

iStock/Thinkstock(BUFFALO, N.Y.) -- The Buffalo Bills have a trade in place to acquire quarterback Matt Cassel from the Minnesota Vikings for an undisclosed draft pick. The deal can’t be completed until the new league year begins on Tuesday at 4 p.m. E.T.

The 32-year-old Cassel is expected to battle E.J. Manuel for the Bills' starting quarterback job in 2015. Last year, Manuel was benched after four games in favor of Kyle Orton, who retired after the season.

In three games with the Vikings last season, Cassel passed for 425 yards with three touchdowns, four interceptions and a 57.7 passing percentage.

New England originally selected Cassel out of USC in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL draft. In 10 seasons with the Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs and Vikings, he has complied 15,727 passing yards with 96 touchdowns and 79 interceptions.

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Scoreboard Roundup - 3/4/15

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Indiana Pacers 105 (26-34) – New York Knicks 82 (12-48)

Phoenix Suns 105 (32-30) – Orlando Magic 100 (19-43)

Boston Celtics 85 (24-35) – Utah Jazz 84 (24-36)

Charlotte Hornets 115 (26-33) – Brooklyn Nets 91 (25-34)

Cleveland Cavaliers 120 (39-24) – Toronto Raptors 112 (38-23)

Memphis Grizzlies 102 (43-17) – Houston Rockets 100 (41-20)

Denver Nuggets 100 (22-39) – Minnesota Timberwolves 85 (13-47)

New Orleans Pelicans 88 (33-28) – Detroit Pistons 85 (23-37)

Miami Heat 100 (27-33) – Los Angeles Lakers 94 (16-44)

Golden State Warriors 102 (47-12) - Milwaukee Bucks 93 (32-29)

San Antonio Spurs 112 (37-23) - Sacramento Kings 85 (21-38)

Oklahoma City Thunder 123 (34-27) - Philadelphia 76ers 118 (13-48)  OT

Top 25 Men’s College Basketball: (3) Duke 94 (27-3) – Wake Forest 51 (13-17)

(12) Notre Dame 71 (25-5) – (16) Louisville 59 (23-7)

(23) Ohio State 77 (22-8) – Penn State 67 (15-15)

(24) Providence 79 (21-9) – Seton Hall 66 (16-13)

NHL:  Detroit Red Wings 2 (36-15-11; 83pts) – New York Rangers 1 (39-17-7; 85pts) OT

Ottawa Senators 3 (28-23-11; 67pts) – Winnipeg Jets 1 (32-21-12; 76pts)

Colorado Avalanche 3 (28-25-11, 67pts) - Pittsburgh Penguins 1 (36-18-9, 81pts)

Anaheim Ducks 3 (42-17-7, 91pts) - Montreal Canadiens 1 (41-18-5, 87pts)

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10-Time NBA All-Star G Ray Allen Won't Play this Season

iStock/Thinkstock(MIAMI) -- Ten-time NBA All-Star shooting guard Ray Allen will not suit up this season, but may return to the hardwood floor next year, he announced on Wednesday.

“Over the past several months, I have taken a lot of time to deliberate what is best for me,” Allen said in a statement released to ESPN. “I’ve ultimately decided that I will not play this NBA season. I’m going to take the remainder of this season, as well as the upcoming off-season, to reassess my situation, spend time with my family and determine if I will play in the 2015-16 season.”

Allen was originally selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the fifth overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft.  In 18 seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle Supersonics, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, he has averaged 18.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game.

Allen is the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made in both the regular season and postseason. He has won two Larry O’Brien trophies, with the Boston Celtics (2008) and Miami Heat (2013).

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Report: QB Peyton Manning Nearing a Pay Cut with Broncos

Thinkstock(DENVER) -- Quarterback Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos are closing in on an agreement which will see the 14-time Pro Bowler take a $4 million pay cut for the 2015 season, according to ESPN.  The deal will allow the Broncos more flexibility when the free agency market opens on Tuesday.

The 38-year-old Manning will earn a base salary of $15 million in 2015, which is down from the $19 million he was set to earn.

In 16 games last season under center for Denver, he passed for 4,792 yards with 39 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He holds the NFL record for most career passing touchdowns, with 530.

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Mattingly: Jimmy Rollins Will Bat Leadoff

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(GLENDALE, Ariz.) -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has faith in new shortstop Jimmy Rollins and said Wednesday that he'll probably bat leadoff to start the year.

"That’s the one guy we are pretty sure about, Jimmy is that leadoff guy," Mattingly said. "We don’t truly have anyone else that fits in that role."

The 36-year-old veteran has started 1,456 major-league games as a leadoff hitter, which is the most among any active player.

Rollins came over to Los Angeles in a trade after spending 15 seasons with the Phillies.

"To be back there, as of now, you feel like you're that fire-starter again, like you'll be that spark-plug that gets things going," Rollins said Tuesday.

Rollins had a storied career in Philadelphia, winning the National League MVP in 2007 and helping the team win the World Series in 2008. He is the franchise's all-time leader in hits, at-bats and doubles.

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Phil Jackson Fined for Calling Ohio State's Russell a 'Great-Looking Kid'

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The NBA fined New York Knicks president Phil Jackson an undisclosed amount for calling Ohio State freshman D'Angelo Russell "a great-looking kid" and a "great prospect" on Tuesday.

Jackson said those comments to Cleveland.com after watching Ohio State play last week.

The NBA prohibits any scout from giving their thoughts on a player before they declare for the NBA draft.

New York is expected to have one of the top picks in the draft and this is the second time that Jackson has been fined during his tenure as president.

Jackson was fined for tampering with then-Thunder guard Derek Fisher about the open head coaching position last season.

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Kansas Wins Big 12 Title in Dramatic Fashion

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images(LAWRENCE, Kan.) -- The Jayhawks (24-6) overcame an 18-point deficit on Tuesday night to win the Big 12 title after their 76-69 overtime win over No. 20 West Virginia (22-8).

Kansas guard Frank Mason III scored 19 points and forward Jamari Taylor chipped in with 14 in the victory.

"We haven't had a better win here for higher stakes than what that was," Kansas head coach Bill Self said after the game. "As a coach, when you have good players and you play well, you should win. But it always means a little more when you can't get anything going and somehow the kids figure out a way to do it. It was pretty special for me to sit there and watch those guys pull it off."

Kansas standout Perry Ellis sprained his right knee late in the first half and did not return.  Self said that Ellis would not play on Saturday against Oklahoma.

"We played tough, we played hard, but playing without Perry [Ellis] obviously is not good," Self said. "He had the flu and got off to a bad start anyway, then he gets hurt. We don't know the extent of it, but the good news is we think he can be back in a week or so."

This is Kansas' 11th straight conference title, which ties the streak Gonzaga had from 2001-11. 

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Winston 'Would Love' to Play in Tampa

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston had an all-day meeting with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday.

The Buccaneers, who hold the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, had team officials meet with the youngster who many believe the Bucs will take with that top pick.

"Being able to play three years in Florida, I would love to stay here in this great state," Winston told the Bucs' website. "I've just got to take advantage of this blessing. It's not really important to me to be the first pick, but it is important to me to be picked. I believe that I have been blessed during my years at Florida State to win a national championship and just be a winning quarterback. And I believe this place -- I would love to be here."

The 6-foot-4, 230 pound Winston played two seasons for Florida State, winning a national championship and Heisman Trophy along the way. He finished his time in Tallahassee completing 66 percent of his passes for 7,964 yards, 65 touchdowns, and 28 interceptions.

The NFL Draft runs from April 30 to May 2 in Chicago.

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Panthers Sign DT Cole to 1-Year Deal

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- The Carolina Panthers signed defensive tackle Colin Cole to a one-year contract on Tuesday.

According to ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton, the contract is worth $1.05 million with an $80,000 signing bonus.

After missing the 2011-12 seasons due to a major ankle injury, Cole returned to the NFL in 2013 with the Panthers.

The 35-year-old Cole has played in 31 games for Carolina, starting 23 of them.

"It's hard to get and maintain a job in this business. We're so happy to be a part of this organization and this community. It's a blessing," Cole said. "I'm the oldest player on this team, and I'm just happy to have the ability to continue my career. It's been a long road, but as long as they'll allow me to play, I'll continue to play."

The past two seasons with Carolina, Cole has been used in a four-man rotation at tackle with Dwan Edwards, Kawann Short, and 2013 first-round draft pick Star Lotulelei.

Cole was set to become a free agent on March 10 if he had not reached a deal with the Panthers.

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Report: Eagles Set to Trade RB LeSean McCoy to Bills

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- The Philadelphia Eagles have a trade in place to send running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso, according to ESPN.

The trade cannot be made official until the new league year begins next Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.

The Eagles selected McCoy out of Pittsburgh in the second round of the 2009 NFL draft. In six seasons with Philadelphia, the three-time Pro Bowler has rushed for 6,792 yards and 44 touchdowns on 1,461 carries. He also has 300 receptions for 2,282 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Bills drafted Alonso out of Oregon in the second round of the 2013 draft.  He missed the entire 2014 season after tearing his ACL last July.

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