Redskins

Man gets prison term for extorting QB Griffin

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Man gets prison term for extorting QB Griffin

WACO, Texas (AP) A former Baylor basketball player was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison Wednesday for trying to get $1 million from Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III through extortion.

U.S. District Judge Walter Smith also ordered Richard Hurd, 26, to pay a $1,000 fine for threatening to release damaging information about Griffin last June.

``I messed up, and I'd like to apologize to my family,'' Hurd said during a brief hearing. ``I've embarrassed myself and them as well.''

Hurd could have been sentenced to as many as three years behind bars after pleading guilty in September to two charges relating to the scam - threatening to injure the reputation of another person and receiving the proceeds of extortion.

Griffin won the Heisman Trophy at Baylor last year, and he signed a contract worth more than $21 million after the Redskins made him the second player selected in the 2012 draft. The Redskins play at Dallas on Thursday, the rookie's first pro appearance in his home state.

During a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Griffin referred to Hurd as his fiancee's ex-boyfriend, noting that anyone who gains fame and money can be vulnerable.

``People do things like that when they're angry at you or for whatever reason,'' Griffin said. ``For me, it's extremely unfortunate, and you've just got to move on from it. It's not anything I'm afraid of. It's just sad.''

According to federal authorities, Hurd contacted Griffin's agent and said he wanted $1 million. Otherwise, he would provide the media with information that would damage the former Baylor star's reputation.

The agent then contacted the FBI, and, under its direction, went through with negotiations that led to Hurd agreeing to accept a far lesser amount - $120,000 - in exchange for signing a non-disclosure agreement. Hurd later was arrested by FBI agents after signing the non-disclosure document and collecting a check for the agreed-upon amount at a Waco law office.

Many of the court documents in the case have been sealed, and it's unclear what information Hurd wanted to reveal.

During the hearing, Hurd's attorney, Russ Hunt, told Smith that his client had done ``something really stupid'' but didn't provide details. Hunt also declined to discuss the specifics of the plot after the court appearance.

Walking away from the court house, Hurd refused to talk about the case.

``The only thing I have to say is `Happy Thanksgiving' and `Sic `em, Bears,''' he said. ``Any other cliche I can throw out there?''

Hurd played at Baylor as a walk-on from 2005 through 2008 after a high school career at Heritage Christian Academy in Cleveland, north of Houston. A member of the Baylor basketball coaching staff, Jerome Tang, was Hurd's coach at Heritage Christian and became the player's legal guardian.

Hurd's brother, Lamar Hurd, also played at Heritage Christian and later starred at Oregon State.

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AP Sports Writer Schuyler Dixon in Dallas contributed to this report.

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Need to Know: Five safe draft picks for the Redskins

Need to Know: Five safe draft picks for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, April 22, four days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

Five safe picks for the Redskins

Sometimes teams try to hit home runs with their draft picks. They may hit a few but they also will strike out a lot. Teams often are better off trying to hit solid singles and doubles. Here are five picks who would are unlikely to make many Pro Bowls but the Redskins would not regret the pick if they turned in the cards with their names on it. 

RB Kerryon Johnson, Auburn—I’m starting off here with a player who would be a safe pick in the third round. Of course, the Redskins don’t have a third right now but if they do swing a trade and get one, Johnson would be a good pick. He doesn’t have breakaway speed, which is one reason why he might be available in the third. He is a grinder who will be an upgrade over Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley. 

DL Vita Vea, Washington—There is plenty of hand wringing over whether Vea is a three-down player or just a base defense nose tackle. But even if he can’t rush the passer very well his floor is a player who can go a long way towards helping the Redskins stop the run, a chronic weakness. This is why a lot of fans and media are urging the Redskins to not overthink this and take a player that will, at a minimum, bolster one of their weakest areas. 

OL Billy Price, Ohio State—He started 55 games for the Buckeyes, the most of any player in the storied history of the program. He did suffer the partial tear of a chest muscle in the combine but that will be fully healed by training camp. When he’s ready, he’s an explosive, smart, and powerful player. Just plug him in at left guard and the Redskins’ O-line is set with all home-grown talent. 

LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State—He doesn’t have the ceiling that the more heralded Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds have. However, he may have a higher floor. Smith is undersized, and Edmunds will be highly drafted based more on potential than on production. At 6-4, 256, Vander Esch has plenty of size, and he racked up 141 tackles last year on his way to defensive player of the year honors in the Mountain West. 

 CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado—The All-Pac-12 selection has the size and athleticism that add up to a safe pick in the second round. He needs some work on technique, but he has enough natural athletic ability—he competed in the decathlon—to be a productive cornerback right out of the gate. One other plus that fans will appreciate is that his strength is press coverage, not off man. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS.

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Timeline  

Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 30
—Training camp starts (7/26) 95
—Redskins @ Cardinals (9/9) 140

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2018 NBA Playoffs Wizards-Raptors Game 4: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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2018 NBA Playoffs Wizards-Raptors Game 4: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and the Washington Wizards battle Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Serge Ibaka and the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night in Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

GAME 4: TORONTO RAPTORS AT WASHINGTON WIZARDS

Series: Raptors lead 2-1
Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 6 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (pregame coverage begins at 5 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Time to get even

After a momentous Game 3 win, the Wizards have breathed some life back into their season. On Sunday, they can make this a brand new series.

With a win in Game 4 for the Wizards, they would tie the series and send it back to Toronto ensuring another home game in Washington. A loss would put them down 3-1, a deficit that has historically been hard to overcome.

Only 11 teams have accomplished the feat, most notably the Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals. The Warriors did the same that year in the conference finals. It has only been done three times since 2006. 

How will Raptors respond?

Game 3 took on a much different tone and style than the previous two and it played into the Wizards' hands. It was much more physical and Washington did a good job of instigating contact and using it to their advanage. After the game, several players highlighted Markieff Morris shoving OG Anunoby and Serge Ibaka as a turning point.

Just because it worked in Game 3 doesn't mean it will carry over successfully in Game 4. Not only could the Raptors respond with their own dose of brutality, but the referees may try to nip anything of the sort in the bud early on.

It would not be surprising if Game 4 was officiated very tightly and if a message was sent in the first quarter to the players. After seeing how well it worked in Game 3, the Wizards will likely try to test the limits.

Playoff Beal

The Raptors will also try to adjust their defense following Bradley Beal's 28-point outburst in Game 3. He wasn't much of a factor in the first two games of the series, but broke out in Game 3 to lead the Wizards to a win.

The Wizards did a good job of getting Beal involved early. He was found for open looks from three in the first half and had two three-pointers in each of the first two quarters. Beal also took it upon himself to attack the rim and force the issue.

The Raptors held Beal back in the first two games by being rough with him and in Game 2 they got him in foul trouble. Surely he will be a big emphasis of their gameplan on Sunday.

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For more on the Wizards-Raptors series, check out or latest Wizards Tipoff podcast: