Patriots-Saints exhibition game will feature three talented tight ends

Jimmy Graham leaps for high passes. Rob Gronkowski runs over defenders. Aaron Hernandez swerves around them.

Three tight ends with three different styles — all on the same field.

“I’m not so sure that this era in football right now doesn’t have some of the best tight ends in the history of the game,” New Orleans interim coach Joe Vitt said Wednesday, “and I think you’ve seen some of the best on this field the last couple of days.”

The Saints and New England Patriots held two days of joint practices before they meet in a preseason game on Thursday.

All three tight ends were drafted in 2010 — Gronkowski in the second round, Graham in the third and Hernandez in the fourth.

Trent Richardson’s ailing left knee may be more seriously injured than the Cleveland Browns thought.

Richardson, the running back picked No. 3 overall in April’s draft, will see a specialist Thursday.


FOOTBALL: West Virginia Coach Dana Holgorsen will earn $2.3 million this season under a new six-year contract, AD Oliver Luck said.


NHL: The Carolina Hurricanes signed forward Jeff Skinner to a six-year contract extension worth more than $34 million that will keep him with the Hurricanes through the 2018-19 season.

Skinner, 20, has 51 goals and 56 assists in his short career, which began when Carolina took him in the first round of the 2010 draft.

The Flyers re-signed defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon to a multiyear contract extension and agreed with center Scott Laughton on an entry-level contract.

The news comes a day after Philadelphia’s defense took another hit when Andrej Meszaros underwent surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon.


FCBL: Sam Balzano went 3 for 5 with a triple, four RBI and two runs as Old Orchard Beach used 17 hits to take an 11-4 win over Seacoast at The Ballpark.

Jason Vosler added four hits and two RBI, and Tito Lluberes was 3 for 4 with two doubles.


MONTREAL ROGERS CUP: Maria Sharapova withdrew from the tournament in Montreal with a stomach ailment.

The second-ranked Sharapova told organizers she picked up the bug at the London Olympics.

TORONTO ROGERS CUP: Olympic champion Andy Murray won his opening match in Toronto, beating Italy’s Flavio Cipolla, 6-1, 6-3.

In another second-round match, Jeremy Chardy upset third-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

— From staff and news services


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