MLB qualifying offer jumps to $15.3 M

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of qualifying offers for eligible free agents has risen to $15.3 million from $14.1 million.

The 8.5 percent increase was finalized by Major League Baseball and the players’ association. It is up from $13.3 million after the 2012 season, the first of the new system.

Baseball’s labor contract sets the price at the average of the 125 highest contracts by average annual value.

A club has until 5 p.m. Eastern time on the fifth day following the World Series to make a qualifying offer and a player has until 5 p.m. EST on the 12th day after the World Series to accept it. An offer can only be made to a free agent who was with the team for the entire season.

None of the 22 qualifying offers made after the last two seasons was accepted.

Lions sign former Broncos K Matt Prater

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Lions have signed Matt Prater to a one-year deal in their latest effort to fix their early kicking woes.

The Lions confirmed the agreement Tuesday night. The Broncos cut ties with Prater last week, when the 30-year-old kicker was about to come off a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Prater made 25 of 26 field goals last season, including a record-setting 64-yarder against Tennessee. The Lions have grown increasingly desperate for kicking help after rookie Nate Freese went 3 of 7 on field goals and Alex Henery went 1 of 5.

Prater has been in the NFL’s substance-abuse program, which includes alcohol, since a DUI arrest in 2011. He was originally facing a ban for a full season but his lawyer negotiated a four-game ban instead.

Faried agrees to 4-year extension

DENVER (AP) — High-flying Kenneth Faried received quite a raise for elevating his game last season.

The Denver Nuggets forward has agreed to a four-year, $50 million contract extension, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. Denver had until Oct. 31 to negotiate a new contract for Faried or he would have become a restricted free agent next summer.

Faried averaged a career-high 13.7 points last season. Because of his recent improvement, all eyes will be on him this year.

Former players suing conferences, networks

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A group of 10 former college athletes have filed a proposed class action, antitrust lawsuit against several television networks and college conferences, including ESPN, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and the Southeastern Conference, for profiting off their names and likenesses without their permission in both ads and televising games.

The lawsuit filed last Friday in U.S. District Court in Nashville features former Vanderbilt safety Javon Marshall as lead plaintiff.

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