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QB Young says he 'probably' signed loan papers

QB Young says he 'probably' signed loan papers

DALLAS (AP) Former NFL quarterback Vince Young admitted under oath he probably signed at least some of the documents for a $1.9 million loan he claims he shouldn't have to repay.

"All I know is I probably could have signed some of them, and I feel like some of them are fishy," he testified in a videotaped deposition last month.

A copy of the deposition transcript was obtained by The Associated Press.

Young, who has been out of football since he was cut by the Buffalo Bills before the start of the 2012 season, is fighting a $1.7 million judgment against him obtained by New York-based Pro Player Funding LLC last July. The former University of Texas star has said he wasn't involved in seeking the high-interest loan, funded during the NFL lockout in 2011, and never got the proceeds.

But in the deposition, taken Dec. 13 in Houston, Young acknowledged he probably signed some of the paperwork in the presence of a notary during a visit to the office of a Houston lawyer.

"I went to sign some papers that my financial adviser asked me to go over and sign, but I don't remember what it was," he testified.

Asked by Pro Player's attorney if he bothered to request the documents in their entirety, Young replied: "No. I'd just go and sign and get out of there."

In court filings last year, Young said he didn't recall signing the paperwork. If he did sign something, it happened without the corresponding loan information being made available to him, he said. He also claimed no notary was present.

Young's attorney, Trey Dolezal, did not respond to requests for comment on the deposition.

As part of his testimony, Young acknowledged that he never questioned why $1 million of the salary he earned from the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2011 season went directly from the team to Pro Player.

"I never have discussions about things like that when I'm playing football," he said. "I'm just too focused. ... Like I said, I put my trust in (his accountant) to find out what's going on and my lawyers to figure it out so I can focus on playing football."

At one point, Pro Player attorney Sean Bellew asked Young whether he understood the significance of having a judgment against him.

"I'm not a lawyer, so I don't know nothing about this," he replied. "Only information I know is what my lawyer explains to me and lets me know what goes on. I'm just trying to figure it out myself."

Young testified that he was "lied to" by advisers who falsely claimed to have put $5 million of his money in a "trust." He also acknowledged that he allowed people to have power of attorney over his affairs without understanding what that meant.

"If they do anything on your behalf, I thought they had to make sure it goes by you and I'm signing for it," he testified. "I didn't know that ... if they have a power of attorney, they can go do anything with your signature."

Young has sued his former agent, Houston attorney Major Adams, and a North Carolina financial planner, Ronnie Peoples, claiming they misappropriated $5.5 million. The lawsuit, filed five days after the Pro Player loan went into default, also contends that Adams and Peoples obtained the loan for their own benefit.

Adams and Peoples have denied wrongdoing, and Peoples has filed a countersuit in which he alleges that Young caused his money problems by overspending and allowing his uncle, a former middle school teacher, to oversee his finances.

Attempts by Bellew to seek detailed information from Young about his current financial condition were repeatedly cut off by Dolezal.

"He's kept up with his bills," Dolezal said at one point. "And that's about as far as that's going to go."

Financing statements reviewed by the AP show that Young was one of at least 16 current or former NFL players who obtained loans from Pro Player in 2011. Three NBA players also borrowed money from the company, according to the documents.

Pro Player sued Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie last year over what the company said was more than $4.5 million in unpaid loans. That matter was settled in July when McKinnie agreed to have 50 percent of his wages garnished during the 2012 season.

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Follow Danny Robbins on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RobbinsDanny

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Ravens' Benjamin Watson named finalist for Walter Payton Man of the Year

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USA Today Sports

Ravens' Benjamin Watson named finalist for Walter Payton Man of the Year

Ravens' tight end Benjamin Watson is among three finalist for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award which "recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field."

The 14-year veteran is being recognized for his One More Foundation, which Watson and his wife Kirsten created in 2008. According to their website, the foundations purpose is "devoted to spreading the love and hope of Christ to One More soul by meeting real needs, promoting education and providing enrichment opportunities through charitable initiatives and partnerships." This is the second time in Watson's career he has been nominated. 

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In addition to this nomination, Watson was awarded the 2017 Bart Starr Award which is given annually to a NFL player who "best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field, and in the community." 

Some of Watson's charitable efforts through the One More Foundation include participating in #MyClauseMyCleasts to bring awareness to human sex trafficking, playing secret Santa to 25 families from Building Families for Children and partnering with the New Orleans Family Justice Center- where he used to play- helping survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen is a finalist for his Receptions for Research Foundation which focuses on cancer research and programming. Olsen and his wife Kara also started the HEARTest Yard Fund, a family service program that "provides families of babies affected by congenital heart disease with services including in-home, private nursing care, physical therapy and speech therapy, all at no cost to the families or hospital."

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Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is a finalist for the $37 million he raised for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in addition to his already established Justin J. Watt Foundation

The winner will be announced at NFL Honors airing February 3rd at 9 p.m ET on NBC. 

The winner will receive a $500,000 donation with $250,000 of it going to their foundation of choice and the other $250,000 going in his name to help expand Character Playbook nationwide.

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Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale welcomes second chance at role

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Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale welcomes second chance at role

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Don Martindale wondered if he would ever get a second chance to be an NFL defensive coordinator after his one-and-done disaster with the Denver Broncos in 2010.

The Broncos went 4-12 that season and gave up more points (29.4 per game) and yards (390.8) than any team in the league. Those miserable numbers, not surprisingly, cost Martindale his job.

He latched on with the Baltimore Ravens in 2012 as linebackers coach. After working diligently with several stars, including Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Zachary Orr and C.J. Mosley, the 54-year-old Martindale last week was promoted to defensive coordinator.

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To say he's pleased to be in charge of an NFL defense again would be a profound understatement.

"Without a doubt," Martindale said Thursday. "My family knows it. Everybody knows it. My players know it. I can't wait."

His performance in Denver eight years ago is hardly worth putting on a resume, but Martindale believes it was a worthwhile experience.

"Even though the stats were what they were, I was really proud with how we played," he said. "I'm glad I went through that process because I think that makes me a better coach today. It's like I tell my guys: You either win or you learn."

Martindale's new job with the Ravens carries the responsibility of overseeing a unit that has long been among the best in the NFL, thriving under notable leaders such as Marvin Lewis, Rex Ryan, Chuck Pagano and Dean Pees, who retired on Jan. 1.

"I've been preparing for this job all my life," Martindale said. "It's very humbling, but I understand the pressure and I look forward to the challenge."

Martindale takes over a defense that this season ranked 12th in net yards allowed, first in takeaways (34) and sixth in fewest points allowed (18.9). He has no plans to revamp the unit or change the philosophy, especially since head coach John Harbaugh stressed the need to retain continuity before launching his search for Pees' replacement.

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Martindale will, however, put his own stamp on the unit.

"I think personality-wise, and just calls, there's going to be some things that are the same. And then there are going to be sometimes where I'm going to pressure more," Martindale said. "I just think I have a more aggressive personality in calling the game. Sometimes, too aggressive. That's some of the things I've learned from the past."

His most daunting task will be finding a way to make the defense to come up big late in the game. In 2016, a fourth-quarter collapse in Pittsburgh cost Baltimore a playoff berth. This season, a fourth-down touchdown pass in the final minute by Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton bounced the Ravens from the postseason chase.

"Our mantra has always been to finish," Martindale said. "We're close. Obviously, the last two years, it's been the last play that's knocked us out of it. We are going to work diligently -- all of us -- with our package and situational football.

"That's going to be the next step, I think, that will skyrocket us. That's the big thing that I see. We were really good. Let's make it great."