Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent announced his retirement two days before the team was due to report to training camp so he can focus on his off-field issues.
Brent is facing intoxication manslaughter charges stemming from a car accident in December in which Jerry Brown, a practice squad linebacker for the Cowboys and a close friend, was killed. He then allegedly tested positive for marijuana twice and was held in jail for 11 days for violating the terms of his bond release before being released last weekend.
Brent was not expected to play in 2013 as he is due in court Friday and his trial on the manslaughter charge is scheduled to begin Sept. 23.
---The Baltimore Ravens have agreed in principle with safety Matt Elam on a four-year contract.
The team's first-round pick in the 2013 draft, Elam is expected to sign the deal July 21, when he reports for training camp. The deal includes a fifth-year option, general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome announced Thursday.
The 32nd overall pick out of the University of Florida, Elam played in 39 career games for the Gators, and recorded 176 tackles, 24 for losses He impressed the team during rookie minicamp with the Super Bowl champions with his confident play at free safety.
---Former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber has come a long way from bashing Eli Manning's abilities as a leader. Now he feels the Giants quarterback is better than his older brother, Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning.
Barber puts more emphasis on Eli Manning's big-game performance than Peyton's statistical achievements, he said Wednesday on his CBS Sports Radio show.
"The expectation was that he was never going to be Peyton," Barber said. "I remember having these conversations with people who watched Eli in college, saying, 'He's good, but he's never going to be Peyton, he's not Peyton.' Guess what? I think he's better than Peyton. Because of clutch. What matters in sports? It's winning and losing. You get to the stage and what do you do? Eli's gotten there, and he's won."
---Companies continue to take swift action to distance themselves from former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez - sometimes going to painstaking lengths to do so. Trading card and memorabilia company Panini confirmed to ESPN on Thursday it had removed a half-million Hernandez stickers from sticker books that had been produced but had yet to hit store shelves.
Hernandez is currently in a Dartmouth, Mass., jail awaiting trial as a murder suspect in the shooting death of 27-year-old semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd.
To replace Hernandez, the company had 1 million stickers produced for Tim Tebow, a current quarterback for the Patriots and a former teammate of Hernandez's at the University of Florida. The Tebow stickers will be handed out at events or given to customers who received Herndandez stickers in a pack and can send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the company.