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Eagles fire Andy Reid after 14 seasons

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Eagles fire Andy Reid after 14 seasons

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Andy Reid stuck around after he was fired by the Philadelphia Eagles, meeting with players, encouraging staff and shaking hands with the man who let him go.

After 14 years, Reid found it hard to walk away.

Owner Jeffrey Lurie understood. ``He had the love and respect of every individual in this organization,'' he said at his news conference Monday. ``This man is amazing to work with, smart and dedicated, and the record will speak for itself.''

Not this season's 4-12 record nor the humiliating score of the season-ending loss to the New York Giants, 42-7, on Sunday.

It was the worst finish by the team since Lurie fired Ray Rhodes following a 3-13 finish in 1998.

``When you have a season like that, it's embarrassing. It's personally crushing to me and it's terrible,'' Lurie said. ``Our fans deserve the very best. This year, they got a team that was not very good at all. I feel terrible about that.''

Lurie informed Reid of his decision shortly before 9 a.m. Reid addressed the team an hour later and received a standing ovation.

``It was emotional,'' running back LeSean McCoy said. ``We felt his pain. It hurts a lot.''

Many players blamed themselves for his ouster and a few held back tears while talking about their former coach.

``It's unfortunate. I feel we personally let him down,'' wide receiver Jeremy Maclin said. ``It's a sad day.''

Reid took over a 3-13 team in 1999, drafted Donovan McNabb with the No. 2 overall pick and quickly turned the franchise into a title contender.

He is the winningest coach in club history and led them to a run of four straight NFC championship games, a streak that ended with a Super Bowl trip after the 2004 season - and a loss, 24-21, to the New England Patriots. The Eagles are still seeking their first NFL title since 1960.

Reid cemented Philadelphia as a destination football town and led the team to an unmatched level of success. But the team hasn't won a playoff game since 2008 and after last season's 8-8 finish, Lurie said he was looking for improvement this year.

Instead, it was worse.

``I look forward to the day when everyone welcomes him back into the Eagles Hall of Fame because that's inevitable,'' Lurie said.

Reid grew up in Southern California and may welcome a return home. He already has said he wants to coach next season.

``I think Andy is an outstanding football coach,'' Lurie said. ``That's what Andy wants to do. He doesn't want to transition to other aspects of football operations. He's a football coach. He wants to coach right now. He was very excited about the future of this team and this franchise. He wanted to stay.''

Reid is due to make $6 million in 2013 in the final year of his contract. He is the franchise leader in wins (140), losses (102) and winning percentage (.578) and led the Eagles to nine playoff appearances, six division titles and five NFC championship games.

Aside from team troubles, the year was a painful one for Reid. He endured a devastating loss weeks before the season opener when his oldest son, Garrett, died at training camp after a long battle with drug addiction.

In October, Reid fired close friend and longtime assistant Juan Castillo, who was in his second season as defensive coordinator after coaching the offensive line for 13 years. He later fired defensive-line coach Jim Washburn.

Still to be determined is whether Michael Vick stays with the team. He's under contract for $16 million next season, but the Eagles can release him within a few days after the Super Bowl and avoid a salary-cap hit.

In 2009, Reid and Lurie gave Vick a second chance in the NFL after the former star quarterback spent 18 months in federal prison related to a dogfighting operation. Vick took over as the starter in 2010, had a remarkable season and led the Eagles to the NFC East title. But like rest of the team, Vick regressed the last two seasons.

``There is nobody who wants to win more than I do,'' Lurie said. ``Once you've experienced the success we've had, it makes you just realize that there's nothing more that you want than a Super Bowl, and to deliver that to our fans.''

After beating the defending Super Bowl champion Giants on Sept. 30, the Eagles lost eight straight games - their worst losing streak in 42 years.

Lurie said he has a ``defined'' list of candidates to replace Reid, but hasn't spoken to any coaches or set up interviews yet. General manager Howie Roseman and president Don Smolenski will assist him in the process.

``It's better to find the right leader than to make a fast decision,'' Lurie said. ``There's no guarantee I'll make a great decision, but I'm confident I will.''

A person familiar with the team's plan said the Eagles will interview Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan this week. Atlanta's offensive coordinator, Dirk Koetter and special teams coach Keith Armstrong also will be interviewed. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team has not announced its interview plans.

Earlier, PhiladelphiaEagles.com posted video of Lurie and Reid addressing employees, who gave Reid a big ovation. Lurie handed him a game ball.

``I have a hard time standing before people without a few boos involved. But I'm taking it, I'm taking it all in,'' Reid said. ``These have been the greatest 14 years of my life.''

He added: ``Sometimes change is good. ... I know the next guy that comes in will be phenomenal. The ultimate goal is a Super Bowl. Everybody in this room, I wish you a big ring on the finger in the near future.

``Hail to the Eagles, baby.''

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AP Sports Writer Dan Gelston contributed to this report.

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NBA offseason grades: Thunder stood out in Northwest Division

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NBA offseason grades: Thunder stood out in Northwest Division

Here is a look at how the 2018 NBA offseason went for teams in the Northwest Division...

Portland Trail Blazers, C+

2017-18 finish: 49-33, 1st round of playoffs
In: G Seth Curry, G Nik Stauskas, G Anfernee Simons, G Gary Trent, Jr.
Out: F Ed Davis, G Pat Connaughton, G Shabazz Napier

The Blazers are about as cash-strapped as anyone out there, so they had very little room to work with in free agency. They made some minor moves but nothing of real note. They had a solid draft, but picked Simons who is a long-term project. And they had to let some decent players go in free agency. The best thing that happened to the Blazers this summer was re-signing Jusuf Nurkic. Other than that, it was a pretty mediocre offseason for Portland.

Oklahoma City Thunder, A

2017-18 finish: 48-34, 1st round of playoffs
In: G Dennis Schroeder, C Nerlens Noel, G Hamidou Diallo
Out: F Carmelo Anthony

GM Sam Presti deserves high praise for another strong offseason. Most of the acclaim comes from the Thunder re-signing Paul George despite the assumption of many he would leave in free agency. But OKC also snagged Noel on a cheap deal, adding more athleticism and depth behind center Steven Adams. And they got Schroeder back in the deal for Anthony when they could have shed his salary for nothing in return. They also added three second round picks, including Diallo who looked good in the Summer League. It's hard to imagine the Thunder doing better than they did, given the financial resources they were working with.

Utah Jazz, B

2017-18 finish: 48-34, 2nd round of playoffs
In: G Grayson Allen, F Tyler Cavanaugh
Out: F Jonas Jerebko

The Jazz get most of their points from re-signing players like Dante Exum, Raul Neto and Derrick Favors. Though the price tag for Favors is a little high, they did a nice job of bringing the band back together, knowing they have an opportunity to get better this season simply by having Rudy Gobert stay healthy. The Allen pick has potential to work out very well for them. He looked good in the Summer League and should complement Donovan Mitchell and Ricky Rubio well at the guard position. All in all, there was nothing flashy for the Jazz but they made some solid, smart decisions.

Minnesota Timberwolves, C

2017-18 finish: 47-35, 1st round of playoffs
In: F Anthony Tolliver, G Josh Okogie, F Keita Bates-Diop
Out: F Nemanja Bjelica

The Wolves have enough salary committed to where they could only do so much this summer. Tolliver is a nice pickup and should add shooting to their frontcourt. Bates-Diop gives them nice value as a second round pick. It would have been nice to see the Wolves change something via trade, but they have reason to believe they can get better if Karl-Anthony Towns continues to ascend and Andrew Wiggins reclaims his form as a scorer.

Denver Nuggets, B+

2017-18 finish: 46-36, missed playoffs
In: G Isaiah Thomas, F Michael Porter, Jr. 
Out: F Wilson Chandler, G Devin Harris

The Nuggets had a solid offseason just as they get ready to make a big leap forward as a franchise. They re-signed Nikola Jokic to a long-term deal, added Thomas on a low-risk contract and took a chance on Porter in the draft. They lost Chandler in a salary dump, but have the tools to win 50-plus games next season. Thomas could be a big difference maker if healthy and Porter gives them another building block for the future. If he can get past his back injury, he will fit in nicely with their young core.

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Contract makes Adrian Peterson a no-risk acquisition for the Redskins

Contract makes Adrian Peterson a no-risk acquisition for the Redskins

Adrian Peterson is truly a no-risk acquisition for the Redskins. 

The 33-year-old running back signed with the Redskins for one year at the NFL minimum salary of $1.015 million according to Field Yates of ESPN

The contract structure means that the Redskins can have him practice for the next week and a half, play in the two remaining preseason games, and then let him go prior to Week 1 and walk away owing him nothing. 

If they do keep him for Week 1, his salary for the season will become guaranteed. But if they decide to let him go at some point in the season the payout of the remainder of his salary will be a drop in the bucket of a $176 million salary cap. There is no signing bonus, roster bonus, or other guaranteed salary. 

One more team friendly aspect of this deal is that Peterson will cost less against the cap than the Redskins are paying him. The NFL has something called the veteran minimum benefit, designed to encourage teams to keep older players rather than the younger and cheaper one. Under this benefit, Peterson will count just $630,000 in cap space. That is the same cap charge as Byron Marshall carries. So, if it comes down to choosing between the Marshall and Peterson for a roster spot, the salary cap will not be a factor. 

Apparently, Peterson is anxious to play football and after spending the entire offseason as a free agent who wasn’t drawing much interest, a player who received $11 million guaranteed from the Vikings two years ago will go to work for a fraction of that. 

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