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Cardinals turn to Hoyer to start at QB in finale

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Cardinals turn to Hoyer to start at QB in finale

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Cardinals will give Brian Hoyer his first NFL start, less than three weeks after the team claimed him off waivers from Pittsburgh.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Wednesday the former Michigan State quarterback and New England backup will start in the season finale Sunday at San Francisco.

``He's been in the league, he's a veteran guy,'' Whisenhunt said. ``He did a nice job in last week's game and this is an opportunity to see what he can do with a week of practice and where he can go from there.''

Hoyer, who spent three seasons as a backup to Tom Brady in New England and was out of a job for most of this season, will be the fourth starter at quarterback for the Cardinals this year. He'll be operating an offense that ranks last in the NFL.

Arizona also has gone with John Skelton, Kevin Kolb and rookie Ryan Lindley at the position. Kolb is out for the season with a rib injury. The other two were benched for poor play.

``It's no secret. We haven't gotten the production out of that position that we've needed,'' Whisenhunt said. ``I think it's actually more than four if you consider back and forth, the way guys have started. We've got to get consistency at that position and this is an opportunity to see how Brian measures up.''

After failing to make it on an NFL roster to start the season, Hoyer was signed by the Steelers when Ben Roethlisberger was injured, then waived after three weeks when Roethlisberger returned. The Cardinals signed him on Dec. 10, a day after losing 58-0 at Seattle. Hoyer has appeared in 14 NFL games, 13 with the Patriots, then last week in Arizona's 28-13 loss to Chicago.

``It's a crazy business, but to me it's the best job in the world,'' Hoyer said after Wednesday's practice. ``I'm excited and going to work hard this week and try to put as much into it on the practice field and the film study and studying the books, and go from there.''

Arizona (5-10) has lost 10 of 11. After Lindley's pass was intercepted by the Bears' Charles Tillman and returned 10 yards for a touchdown on Arizona's first series of the second half, Hoyer came in and completed 11 of 19 passes for 105 yards with one interception and no TDs.

``He has a good knowledge of the game, good timing on his throws,'' Whisenhunt said. ``He did a good job in the game last week, making some accurate throws, some quick throws. Obviously the interception wasn't one of those, but it will be interesting to see how he stacks up with a week to prepare. I know he's going against a tough defense. It will be a tough situation, but it's a great time to evaluate him and see where he is.''

Hoyer said that when the Cardinals picked him up so late in the season, he figured he would get a chance to play. He said he didn't practice with the Arizona offense at all before going into the game last Sunday. Now he will benefit from a full week of practice with the starters.

``Football is football and when you can read it off the wrist band it's not like you have to worry about making a mistake in the play call,'' he said. ``Once I could read it off the wrist band, I could translate it and relate it to what I know and kind of just go from there - and play football.''

Hoyer said he learned a lot as Brady's backup.

``The hard work that he puts in, that's not what people get to see on the field,'' Hoyer said. ``What they see on the field is kind of the result of the time he puts in. Obviously being there, being experienced, being there for so many years, he knows everything that's going on out on the field. For me it's a little bit different situation, but I can still prepare the way that I learned from him and try to take all the guesswork out of it.''

Whisenhunt said his decision was based on the combination of wanting to see what Hoyer can do and believing he gives the team its best chance to win.

``I wouldn't put him in there just to play him and see what he is,'' the coach said. ``This isn't a tryout. I think he merited that based on the way he played last weekend. It is an opportunity to see how he handles that with a week of practice. There's no question about that, but I also think from what we saw last week, he did some nice things in the game and see if he can build off of that.''

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Capitals re-sign Madison Bowey leaving Tom Wilson the lone remaining RFA

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Capitals re-sign Madison Bowey leaving Tom Wilson the lone remaining RFA

Defenseman Madison Bowey re-signed with the Capitals on Thursday, inking a two-year extension that will carry an average of $1 million.

Bowey carried a cap charge of $703,333 last season.

The 23-year-old appeared in 51 games for the Caps in 2017-18, amassing 12 assists, 24 penalty minutes and a plus/minus rating of minus-3.

Bowey also suited up in nine contests for AHL Hershey, though he finished the season as one of the Black Aces during Washington's run to the Stanley Cup.

With Bowey back in the fold, the Caps now have six of seven defenseman from last season’s roster under contract. (Veteran Brooks Orpik remains an unrestricted free agent.)

Bowey had an uneven first year in the NHL—he didn’t play following the late-February addition of Michal Kempny—but the Caps expect that the 6-2, 198-pound right-shot blue liner will become reliable full-time player with more seasoning.

Bowey’s deal leaves Tom Wilson as the Caps' only remaining unsigned restricted free agent. The sides are in discussions on a multi-year extension.

Including Bowey’s extension, the Caps have roughly $7.3 million in salary cap space remaining, according to www.capfriendly.com.

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Carmelo Anthony traded to Hawks, who will buy him out, in three-team deal involving Dennis Schroder

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Carmelo Anthony traded to Hawks, who will buy him out, in three-team deal involving Dennis Schroder

The stage has been set for Carmelo Anthony to hit free agency, as the 10-time All-Star was traded to the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday in a three-team deal, one that will lead to a subsequent buyout of his contract. ESPN first reported the news and noted that the Rockets are the favorites to sign him.

The full deal sends Dennis Schroder from the Hawks to the Thunder in exchange for Anthony and a protected first round pick, and sends Mike Muscala from Atlanta to Philly. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will go to the Thunder from Phily and Justin Anderson will go from the Sixers to the Hawks.

That's a complicated deal, but it ultimately frees Anthony up to choose a new team. He was set to make $27.9 million from the Thunder next season, but the Hawks are footing the bill to let him walk.

Anthony's skills have declined now that he's 34 years old. Last season, he averaged 16.2 points on 40.4 percent shooting, way down from the 22.4 points he averaged the season before with the Knicks.

Still, Anthony could help a team looking for a scoring punch and the Rockets would like some more help in their quest to take down the Warriors. If he signs there, he will join friend Chris Paul and the 2017-18 MVP, James Harden. 

Houston has been the logical landing spot for Anthony ever since news broke that the Thunder were looking for a way out of his contract. If he doesn't go there, perhaps the Lakers would make sense. LeBron James is going to need a lot more help than the roster he currently has around him to make some noise in the crowded Western Conference.

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