NFL Notes: Boldin to retire if cut by Ravens

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NFL Notes: Boldin to retire if cut by Ravens

For Super Bowl champion Anquan Boldin, it's either Ravens or retirement.

The Baltimore wide receiver told ProFootballTalk that he'll hang it up once he and the Ravens cut ties.

"Baltimore is the only place I want to play. It’s the last place that I will play. For me, I’ll retire a Raven, I’m not putting on any other uniform.

“I won’t play in another uniform. We have a saying, once a Raven, always a Raven, and I’ll always be a Raven.”

Boldin is due a base salary of $6 million in 2013.

Charlotte council backs $144M for Panthers stadium
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte's City Council has agreed to a plan that would give the Carolina Panthers nearly $144 million from a food-and-beverage tax hike to pay for upgrades to its downtown stadium, Mayor Anthony Foxx said Friday.

Foxx said North Carolina General Assembly approval would be needed for the city to increase its prepared food-and-beverage tax by one cent. That part of the deal hasn't been settled.

The money would be paid over 15 years and requires the team to stay in Charlotte for that period of time. That would resolve concerns from city officials that the Panthers could relocate the franchise to another city.

Team officials declined comment on the announcement, referring all questions to city officials. However, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson addressed the concerns that the team would leave town if a deal couldn't be reached.

"I never would want our team to move somewhere else. I never said that," Richardson said after the city council's closed-session meeting (see full story).

- Associated Press

Houston's Cody undergoes successful back surgery
HOUSTON -- Houston Texans nose tackle Shaun Cody is out of the hospital after undergoing back surgery.

Dr. Robert Watkins says he performed successful microscopic surgery for a lumbar disc herniation on Cody on Jan. 29. Cody was released from the hospital the day after the surgery.

The 6-foot-4, 307-pound Cody missed three games last season in November with a back injury. Cody, who played at Southern Cal, was drafted in the second round in 2005 by Detroit. He signed with the Texans as a free agent in 2009.

- Associated Press

Ben Simmons, Robert Covington react to Ersan Ilyasova trade

Ben Simmons, Robert Covington react to Ersan Ilyasova trade

On Wednesday, the Sixers traded Ersan Ilyasova to the Hawks in exchange for Tiago Splitter and a 2017 second-round pick, as well as the option to swap 2017 second-round selections (see story).

"I want to thank Ersan Ilyasova for his positive contributions to this organization both on and off the basketball court," president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said in a statement. "Ersan is a true professional whose daily examples of hard work, focus and consistency have helped facilitate the ongoing growth of our program and culture."

The Sixers took to Instagram to express their appreciation for Ilyasova’s leadership. Ilyasova quickly embraced the role of a veteran go-to when he was traded to the Sixers in early November. Both posts below exemplify his team-first mentality.

✊🏼 A true Pro @ersanilyasova7

A post shared by Ben Simmons (@bensimmons) on

Thanks for being a great teammate @ersanilyasova7. Wishing you the best in ATL

A post shared by Rob Covington (@atf_33) on

Best of NHL: Rickard Rakell, Ducks snap Bruins' win streak at 4

Best of NHL: Rickard Rakell, Ducks snap Bruins' win streak at 4

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Rickard Rakell broke a tie with his second goal with 2:34 to play, and the Anaheim Ducks snapped Boston's four-game winning streak under new coach Bruce Cassidy with a 5-3 victory over the Bruins on Wednesday night.

Rakell also scored in the second period for the Ducks and has 24 goals in his outstanding season. Ondrej Kase, Josh Manson and Andrew Cogliano also scored for Anaheim, and Jonathan Bernier made 26 saves in his first victory since Jan. 23.

Frank Vatrano scored the tying goal in the third period for the Bruins, who hadn't lost since Cassidy replaced Claude Julien on Feb. 7. Defensemen Brandon Carlo and Zdeno Chara scored early goals, and Tuukka Rask stopped 20 shots.

Anaheim beat Boston for the seventh straight time (see full recap).

Rare goal from Russell lifts Oilers over Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Kris Russell's goal with 7:58 left was his first in more than a year and lifted the Edmonton Oilers over Florida 4-3 on Wednesday night to snap the Panthers' five-game winning streak.

Russell's goal was his first since Feb. 11, 2016, when he played for Calgary. He went goalless in his first 48 games with the Oilers.

Fellow defenseman Oscar Klefbom also scored for Edmonton, as did forwards Zack Kassian and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Connor McDavid, who came into the night leading the NHL scoring race, had an assist on Russell's goal.

Aleksander Barkov, Colton Sceviour and Jonathan Marchessault scored for Florida. Keith Yandle had two assists for the Panthers, giving him 400 points for his career.

Cam Talbot stopped 31 shots for the Oilers, who have won their last eight games at Florida -- last losing on the Panthers' ice in 2002. James Reimer made 31 saves for the Panthers, who just completed a 5-0-0 road trip (see full recap).