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Cowboys to look at drunken driving after arrests

Cowboys to look at drunken driving after arrests

DALLAS (AP) The Dallas Cowboys are looking for ways to improve how the team handles drunken driving in the wake of two high-profile arrests and the car crash death of a practice squad player, a team official and former Cowboys star said Monday.

Calvin Hill, who played six seasons for the Cowboys and is now a player development consultant, issued a statement Monday. Hill said the team understands the consequences of drunken driving, especially since it had ``recently experienced the most tragic of circumstances regarding the issue.''

Nose tackle Josh Brent faces an intoxication manslaughter charge in a Dec. 8 crash that killed his friend and practice squad member Jerry Brown. And last week, fellow Cowboys lineman Jay Ratliff was arrested after sideswiping a semitrailer truck. Ratliff is charged with driving while intoxicated.

Blood-alcohol tests released by police say both Brent and Ratliff were well above the legal limit.

Hill did not name Brent, but said the team had communicated with Ratliff and was watching the legal process.

``The critical goal is to effect the decision making process in the hours before the wrong decision is made,'' Hill said. ``Our player assistance programs in the areas of preventing incidents such as these are at the highest level in professional sports, but we are always looking to do better and for ways to improve.''

The NFL Players Association offers a safe ride program to players, and every player's membership card carries contact information for it. Players can either set up a full night with a driver in advance or call for a ride home when they need one.

The NFL can discipline players for violating alcohol laws, and each team is required to hold annual life skills sessions that include instruction on drinking.

``We will continue to draw upon the best expertise and resources available, both internally and from outside the organization, to work toward being the best in the areas of education, prevention, and effecting the right decisions,'' Hill said.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello declined to comment on the statement.

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Former Hoya Marcus Derrickson signs a two-way contract with Golden State Warriors

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Former Hoya Marcus Derrickson signs a two-way contract with Golden State Warriors

Leaving the Georgetown Hoyas a season early is initially paying off for Marcus Derrickson. 

Less than a month before what would have been his senior season at Georgetown, the 6-7 forward has signed a two-way contract with the Golden State Warriors. 

Derrickson nabbed the second two-way position on the Warriors after an outstanding Summer League translated to a solid preseason.

Fitting right into the Warriors deep-ball oriented scheme, Derrickson was 6-16 from three point range during the five-game preseason. He's a versatile stretch-four that continues to develop and improve on his outside game. 

By signing a two-way contract, the former All-Big East Second teamer will have a chance to get called up to the two-time defending NBA champions at any point this season for up to 45 days. The remaining time will be with the Warriors' G-league affiliate the Santa Cruz Warriors

This arrangement will earn Derrickson a contract of $75,000 and a prorated amount for however much time he is practicing/ playing with Golden State. 

If he is called up to the NBA for more than the allotted 45 days, then the Warriors are obligated to give him a minimum rookie contract. 

Derrickson continues to prove himself as the list of aspiring players dwindles. As each contract begins to near its end, the Warriors time after time offer another opportunity.

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Trading Jodie Meeks gives Washington Wizards much-needed salary cap relief

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Trading Jodie Meeks gives Washington Wizards much-needed salary cap relief

With a luxury tax bill of approximately $19 million on the way, the Washington Wizards gave themselves some salary relief on Monday by trading veteran guard Jodie Meeks to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Wizards attached a future second round pick and cash to the deal and in exchange received a future second round pick of their own, NBC Sports Washington has confirmed. ESPN first reported the news.

Though Meeks, 31, was due to make $3.45 million this season, his departure saves the Wizards about $7 million because of projected tax penalties. That's a lot of savings in a deal that got rid of a player who had become expendable.

Meeks had fallen out of favor with the Wizards for a variety of reasons. He was due to serve a 19-game suspension to begin the season due to performance-enhancing drugs. The ban was announced the day before their first round playoff series against the Raptors was set to begin in April.

Meeks also underperformed last season in the first year of his contract with the Wizards and requested a trade in February. This summer, Meeks exercised his player option to remain with the team.

The Wizards were not likely to count on Meeks much at all this season because they traded for Austin Rivers in June to add depth at the shooting guard position. Meeks' role was made clear by the fact he did not appear in any of the Wizards' four preseason games against NBA opponents.

Meeks' tenure in Washington was a significant disappointment. The Wizards signed him last summer in hopes he could shore up the shooting guard spot on their bench. 

Though he stayed healthy for the first time in years, he never earned the trust of his coaching staff. The Wizards opted to rely more heavily on starter Bradley Beal, who logged the fourth-most minutes of any NBA player last season.

Now, they are moving on.

Meeks leaving the organization should have little effect on the Wizards, though it does leave them with a hole on their roster that needs to be filled. They currently have 13 players, one below the league minimum. The Wizards now have 14 days to add a 14th player.

They could sign a free agent, convert one of their players on two-way contracts (Devin Robinson and Jordan McRae) or make a trade. The Meeks deal gives them a $3.45 million trade exception.

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