Ravens

Ex-NFL player gets 7-month sentence on tax charge

Ex-NFL player gets 7-month sentence on tax charge

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) A former NFL defensive back was sentenced Thursday to seven months in prison for failing to file a federal income tax return for 2005, when he was a member of the New York Giants.

William James, formerly William J. Peterson, had already spent four months in a federal detention center so he will only need to serve three more months for failing to pay taxes on $5.5 million in income, a federal judge said at his sentencing. The judge also ordered James to file back returns and pay back taxes and penalties totaling $470,000.

James, 33, was a third-round draft pick of the Giants in 2001. He spent his first five seasons in New York and also played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers.

James had been accused of not filing returns from 2005 to 2009. He pleaded guilty to a single count in May.

James, of Brownsville, Pa., was also ordered to serve one year of probation following his release, which will include mental health treatment. His attorney said a medical report found James suffered from post-concussion syndrome that left him mentally impaired, affecting both his memory and behavior.

U.S. District Judge Jerome Simandle said that while the post-concussion syndrome was not an excuse for the crime, it is ``something that will probably be with Mr. James for a long time.''

The judge asked James if he had joined a class-action lawsuit accusing the NFL of negligence and concealing the severity of concussions and brain injuries. James said he had not.

``I played the game because I love the game and I know (what) comes with the game,'' James said.

Prosecutors said James, formerly of Woodland Park, N.J., ignored advisers who repeatedly told him he was obligated to file income tax returns.

The government said that between March 2008 and August 2009, the IRS visited his New Jersey home several times to deliver notices. James did not respond to them, prosecutors said.

Quick Links

Ravens reportedly agree to a deal keeping John Harbaugh in Baltimore long term

john_harbaugh.jpg
USA Today Sports

Ravens reportedly agree to a deal keeping John Harbaugh in Baltimore long term

The Ravens have reportedly agreed in principle to a new contract extension with head coach John Harbaugh, a move already being praised by national pundits everywhere. 

It was nearly a month ago that the Ravens announced Harbaugh would be returning as the team’s head coach in 2019, which was noteworthy considering his status as a potential lame duck head coach.

In the same release, the team announced they were working towards a contract extension with Harbaugh, whose current deal was set to expire next year.

Despite reports from national NFL insiders, including Jason La Canfora and Peter King, that Harbaugh might prefer to hit free agency as a highly sought-after head coach after the 2019 season, it appears the Ravens will keep him in Baltimore for the foreseeable future. 

This news comes on the heels of a busier-than-usual coaching carousel, with a quarter of the 32 NFL teams changing head coaches in the last month, including two AFC North rivals. Harbaugh almost certainly would have been the cream of the crop among coaching free agents no matter when he became available, so the Ravens were looking to lock him up long term.

After a tough November home loss to the Steelers that put the team at 4-5, Harbaugh was asked about his job security, and he remained steadfast and confident.

"I've never been someone who's worried about keeping a job," Harbaugh said. "It's always been, for me, [about] doing the job. I've got a bunch of great coaches and a bunch of great players that bust their tails every day to do the best job they can. I feel really good about the way this team has been coached for the last 11 years, and for the last number of weeks we've been in the season. So, there are no regrets. Never been any regrets here with me."

After that game, the Ravens rattled off six wins in seven games to make the playoffs, and many players credited Harbaugh with keeping the team together. It was prior to Week 16 when the front office announced Harbaugh would be returning no matter how the season ended, but the strong finish and AFC North title certainly made the decision easier.

A coach with a special teams background, Harbaugh is an anomaly in the current era of young, offensive-minded head coaches. He won Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, and holds a 104-72 career record in Baltimore.

The terms of the new deal have not yet been released, but it will be interesting how many years the team is committing to Harbaugh.

MORE RAVENS NEWS: 

Quick Links

Bradley Beal's agent says guard's not looking for a trade: 'He wants to win'

bealusat119.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Bradley Beal's agent says guard's not looking for a trade: 'He wants to win'

Bradley Beal, his agent Mark Bartlestein told Bleacher Report, would like to stay in Washington - even as he's a hot topic among front offices as the trade deadline approaches.

From Bleacher Report:

His agent, Mark Bartelstein, is not looking for a trade. "Brad wants to win, Bartelstein told B/R. "He wants to win at the highest level, and he wants to compete for championships. I think he's seeing progress, and he's going to do everything he can to lead this team. They got themselves into a huge hole, and he's going to do his best to get them out of it.

The Wizards are facing tough decisions when it comes to the future of the franchise as this season's trade deadline approaches. Beal, as NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig detailed this week, is among the most tradable assets they have, especially when it comes to their three major contracts. But owner Ted Leonsis took a firm stance against tanking while speaking to reporters in London, and Beal is integral to their playoff hopes with John Wall sidelined. 

This isn't the first time this season that Beal has denied wanting to be anywhere but DC. When drama swirled around the team earlier this season, Beal denied a report that he had requested a trade.

"That's nonsense," he said at the time. "I heard it earlier before the game and I was like, 'If it didn't come from the horse's mouth, it wasn't me.' I got this Washington jersey on and I come here and work everyday, you know, until otherwise. This is where I wanna be."

Earlier this season, it was reported that the Raptors were interested in Beal but couldn't afford what the Wizards were asking for him. According to the latest report on Beal from Bleacher Report, there are a number of teams who may still be interested. 

Again, from Bleacher Report:

There are so many teams in the mix trying to make that extra push that want Beal," a Western Conference executive told B/R.

But even if some fans are clamoring for a big trade at the deadline, the price tag for Beal - who had 26 points in the Wizards' comeback win over the Knicks this week - only seems to be rising. 

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: