Falcons release former Pro Bowl S Thomas DeCoud
ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta Falcons have released former Pro Bowl safety Thomas DeCoud.
DeCoud was let go by the Falcons on the opening day of free agency as the team began retooling after a dismal 4-12 season.
A third-round pick in 2008, DeCoud made 78 starts during his six seasons with the Falcons. He earned a Pro Bowl berth in 2012 as the Falcons came within one victory of making the Super Bowl, losing to San Francisco in the NFC championship game.
But DeCoud's production tailed off significantly in 2013, and the Falcons decided the 28-year-old no longer fit in their plans.
Falcons sign 3 linemen on 1st day of free agency
ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta Falcons have bulked up along the offensive and defensive lines, signing three players on the first day of free agency.
The Falcons announced Tuesday that they had agreed to terms with offensive guard Jon Asamoah, defensive end Tyson Jackson and defensive tackle Paul Soliai. The team also agreed to a new three-year deal with defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux shortly before he became an unrestricted free agent.
Asamoah and Jackson both played last season with the Kansas City Chiefs, while Soliai comes from the Miami Dolphins.
The Falcons hope the newcomers will help improve two of the biggest weaknesses from last season, when the Falcons slumped to on 4-12 after five straight winning seasons.
Braves say Kris Medlen injured elbow ligament
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Braves pitcher Kris Medlen has injured a ligament in his right elbow for the second time in less than four years, and Atlanta says it is too earlier to determine the extent of the damage.
Medlen had an MRI on Monday that revealed the injury, according to general manager Frank Wren.
Wren said Tuesday the 28-year-old right-hander and the team will seek a second medical opinion.
Medlen felt the injury on Sunday while pitching against the New York Mets. He grabbed the elbow with two outs in the fourth inning and left with a trainer.
Medlen tore his right ulnar collateral ligament while pitching against the Mets on Aug. 4, 2010, and was operated on by Dr. James Andrews that Aug. 18. Medlen didn't pitch for the Braves again until Sept. 25 the following year.
Brandon Beachy, another right-hander in Atlanta's projected starting rotation, left a game Monday because of tightness around his pitching elbow. Beachy has been limited to a total of 18 starts over the past two seasons.
Top-ranked Florida, bubble madness at SEC tourney
ATLANTA (AP) - For No. 1 Florida, it's nothing more than a warm-up for the bigger games to come.
For struggling Kentucky, it's a chance to regain a little swagger.
For everyone else, the Southeastern Conference tournament looks like the last chance to earn a spot in the NCAAs.
The Gators (29-2) roll into Atlanta as a huge favorite after becoming the first team in SEC history to go 18-0 in league play. The tournament begins Wednesday night with a doubleheader among the four lowest-seeded teams: Auburn vs. South Carolina, followed by Vanderbilt vs. Mississippi State.
Much of the attention will be on Tennessee (20-11), Arkansas (21-10), Missouri (21-10) and Georgia (18-12), who are all firmly on the NCAA bubble and need to shine during the final SEC tournament at the Georgia Dome.
COACHES SEC AWARDS
SEC coaches give top honors to Wilbekin, Donovan
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - No. 1 Florida nearly swept the coaches' Southeastern Conference individual awards.
The league announced Tuesday that Florida's Billy Donovan is coach of the year and Gators point guard Scottie Wilbekin is player of the year.
Coaches also selected Florida's Patric Young as the top defensive player and scholar-athlete. He's won the academic award for the past three years.
Kentucky's Julius Randle is the pick as the top SEC freshman and Florida's Dorian Finney-Smith is sixth man of the year.
It's the second straight coach of the year honor for Donovan, who led the Gators to an 18-0 regular-season SEC mark.
Wilbekin averages 12.9 points, 3.9 assists and 1.5 steals for the Gators.
Randle is averaging 15.4 points and 10.5 rebounds. Finney-Smith is averaging 9.4 points and a team-high 6.9 rebounds.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.