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Police drop charges against former Cowboys receiver Lucky Whitehead

Police in Prince William County, Virginia, have rescinded a warrant to arrest former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead.

“Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017, arrest of an individual named ‘Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.,’ the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny, and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys,” said a statement from the Prince William County Police Department. "The police department regrets the impact these events had on Mr. Whitehead and his family."

>> Read more trending news

TMZ reported Monday during the Cowboys’ morning walk-through that the receiver was arrested for shoplifting on June 22 and had a warrant out for his arrest after failing to appear for a July 6 court date.

When informed of the matter, Whitehead said he knew nothing of it and the allegations were false.

In a press conference, coach Jason Garrett said the Cowboys had just discovered the situation as the walk-through was concluding and that the team would “respond accordingly.”

Later that day, the Cowboys released him.

When Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones was asked if he had spoken with Whitehead’s agent about the possibility of it being a case of mistaken identity, as was being reported from Whitehead’s camp, Jones said, “I’m not going to comment on that.”

Whitehead was the example the Cowboys used to demonstrate accountability after an offseason that has seen defensive end David Irving suspended for a performance-enhancing drug policy violation, linebacker Damien Wilson arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and running back Ezekiel Elliott allegedly involved in a night club incident.

Lucky Whitehead cut from Dallas Cowboys after link to shoplifting arrest

Dallas Cowboys receiver Lucky Whitehead has been cut, sources tell All22.com.

WFAA-TV reporter Joe Trahan was the first to report the third-year receiver had been let go.

The news came just minutes after NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Dave Rich, Whitehead’s agent, said it was near logistically impossible for Whitehead to have committed a June 22 shoplifting for which he was allegedly arrested in Prince William County, Virginia.

According to The Associated Press, Prince William County police said Rodney Darnell Whitehead Jr., 25 – Whitehead's real name – was arrested about 1:30 a.m. June 22 for stealing about $40 of items from a convenience store.

>> Read more trending news

Police couldn’t confirm that the man was the NFL player, but records matched his birthdate, the AP reported.

According to online records, a court date was missed July 6, leading to another charge. Another court date was set for Aug. 10.

Rich claimed that this was a case of mistaken identity, the AP reported. Whitehead told reporters that he “didn’t know about” the incident.

Rich told Rapoport that Whitehead could not have been in the area because he didn't fly to Virginia until 7:20 a.m. June 22 – several hours after the incident reportedly took place.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ole Miss football coach made phone call to number tied to escort service

University of Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze announced his resignation Thursday night after school officials cited personal conduct issues that included a one-minute telephone call to a number associated with a female escort service, USA Today reported.

>> Read more trending news

The phone call was raised as a potential issue in a legal battle between the school and former Rebels coach Houston Nutt, who filed a lawsuit July 12 alleging that Ole Miss violated the terms of his severance agreement. Nutt’s attorney, Thomas Mars, sent an email to Ole Miss general counsel Lee Tyner, mentioning a “phone call Coach Freeze made that would be highly embarrassing for all of you and extremely difficult to explain,” USA Today reported.

School Chancellor Jeff Vitter, announcing Freeze’s resignation at a news conference, called it a “sad day” for the university.

“While Coach Freeze served our university well in many regards during his tenure, we simply cannot accept the conduct in his personal life that we have discovered” VItter said. 

Athletics director Ross Bjork said the resignation did not involve NCAA allegations but was based on a pattern of inappropriate conduct, USA Today reported.  Ole Miss put a self-imposed postseason ban this season and is already is operating with self-imposed scholarship reductions. The school faces the outcome of an NCAA investigation that traces back to 2012, ESPN reported.

Bjork said the phone call was brought to his attention last week.

“Because the call lasted less than one minute and did not appear at the time to be part of a pattern, we initially attributed this call to a misdialed number,” Bjork said. “We proactively looked into the rest of his phone records. In our analysis, we discovered a pattern of conduct that is not consistent with our expectations as the leader of our football program. As of yesterday, there appeared to be a concerning pattern.”

Freeze went 39-25 at Ole Miss and took the Rebels to a Sugar Bowl victory. He also guided Ole Miss to a pair of victories against Alabama when the Crimson Tide was ranked in the top three nationally.

Matt Luke, the team's co-offensive coordinator and line coach, was named interim coach on Thursday.

Michael Vick criticizes Colin Kaepernick’s hair: ‘Try to be presentable’

Michael Vick released a statement on Twitter defending his comments on Colin Kaepernick.

>> Read more trending news 

In an appearance on FS1's "Speak for Yourself" on Monday, the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback said if Kaepernick wants to repair his image from last season’s national anthem protests, he should cut his hair.

Vick’s statement on Twitter addressed the criticism aimed at his comments and said he did not intend to be malicious. 

"Colin Kaepernick's hair has nothing to do with him not being on a NFL roster right now,” Vick wrote. “Let's be clear! I wish only the best for Colin. I stand by what I've said about him being signed at some point this season to help a NFL club. I think he is a great kid who has a bright future and I'm looking forward to seeing him on the field again. Trust and believe what I said was not in malice."

On “Speak for Yourself,” Vick said Kaepernick needs to look “presentable” if he wants to get a job off the field, which incited fans to attack Vick’s comments on Twitter.

“First thing we gotta get Colin to do is cut his hair. I’m not up here to try to be politically correct but, even if he puts cornrows in it, I don’t think he should represent himself, in that way, in terms of hair style. Just go clean-cut. What he needs to do is just try to be presentable,” Vick said. “I just think perception and image is everything. This is not the Colin Kaepernick that we’ve known since he entered the National Football League. I’m just going off my personal experiences. Listen, I love the guy to death. But I want him to also succeed on and off the field. This has to be a start for him.”

Vick said his opinions come from being able to relate to being judged by physical appearance.

Kaepernick was drafted to the San Francisco 49ers in 2011 and was signed with the team until March. He is a free agent and hasn’t been signed by another team.

Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.

Peyton Manning is hilarious in ESPYs skit about his retirement

Peyton Manning has a great sense of humor, and he took a few jabs at his retirement Wednesday night when he hosted the ESPYs.

>> Read more trending news

The former NFL quarterback recorded a nursing home skit that aired during the ESPN awards show, and his deadpan humor was on the mark as the two-time Super Bowl champion got an assist from his greatest rival: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Manning portrayed himself coping with life in a retirement community and showed his competitive spirit. 

“You like that Ruth, you like that, it’s called winning, it’s called being a champion,” he taunts a senior citizen during a shuffleboard match.

But Ruth, who is Manning’s foil throughout the video, gets the last laugh. Manning walks by her room and notices her in a Skype session with Brady.

“I knew there was something about you, Ruth,” Manning says.

“Grandma, I used to play football with Peyton,” Brady says.

“Oh, isn’t that wonderful,” Ruth responds, turning to Manning. “Did you win five Super Bowls, too?”

Manning’s slow burn response is a classic.

Manning is no stranger to comedy. Here are some commercials featuring the future Hall of Famer:

Twitter goes nuts over Carolina Panthers 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' tweet

It was three days in the making, but the Carolina Panthers social media team pulled off a Twitter stunt that went viral.

On Friday, the Carolinas Panthers account asked followers to, “go back and read the first word of our tweets from the last three days.”

>> Read more trending news

People who read the Panthers tweets from Friday to Wednesday found themselves reciting the theme song to the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."

Twitter went nuts, with the Panthers post garnering more than 20,000 retweets and over 27,000 likes in just two hours.

Here’s a sampling of the tweets:

Official NFL Shop mistakes Washington state for Redskins' home

The official shop of the National Football League was trying to celebrate state and hometown pride for several of its teams, but it appears to have made a big mistake.

NFLShop.com posted several novelty license plates with team logos over their respective states. As first noted Monday morning by the Washington Post, the shop was selling a Washington Redskins license plate with the logo over the state of Washington.

>> Read more trending news

The Redskins represent Washington, D.C., and play games in Maryland.

Not that it would be easy to figure out what state to put behind the Redskins, as Washington Post columnist Dan Steinberg pointed out.

“The WASHINGTON Redskins actually play their games in … well, they actually play their games in Maryland. But as everyone knows, the WASHINGTON Redskins actually hold their practices in … well, they actually hold their practices in Virginia. But as everyone knows, at least the WASHINGTON Redskins actually stage their training camp in … well, that’s in Virginia too,” Stienberg wrote. “So okay, it’s a little confusing. Still. Whatever the team’s proper geographic orientation, it has nothing to do with Washington state.”

The listing for the license plate was removed from NFLShop.com on Monday.

Ryan O'Callaghan, former Patriots offensive tackle, comes out as gay

Former New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Ryan O’Callaghan revealed in an interview with Outsports on Tuesday that he is gay.

“No one is going to assume the big football player is gay,” O’Callaghan said in the interview. “It’s why a football team is such a good place to hide.”

>> Read more trending news

O’Callaghan, who said he originally contemplated suicide after his NFL career was over, initially came out to then-Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli in 2011. O’Callaghan said in his interview that he hopes he can use publicly coming out as a way to help other LGBTQ people struggling with their identity.

O’Callaghan, who played in the NFL for five seasons, made 20 starts in his career for both the Patriots and the Chiefs. The 33-year-old Cal product was originally taken in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft by New England.

Read more here.

Uber driver gets $300 tip from NFL player for long drive

An Uber driver who picked up a passenger at a Chicago airport embarked on a 550-mile trip Sunday night — and got a $300 tip for his long-distance trek. 

>> Read more trending news 

When Hadi Abdollahian picked up his passenger at O’Hare International Airport, he hought he was signing up for a three-hour drive to suburban Buffalo Grove, CNN reported. But the Iranian refugee was asked to drive to Buffalo, New York, an eight-hour ride. 

You see, Abdollahian’s passenger was new Buffalo Bills defensive back Shareece Wright, who had missed his connecting flight to New York and needed to be in camp the next day for offseason practice. Wright signed with the Bills last month after spending the past two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.

When Wright called and said he needed to be in Buffalo, Abdollahian thought the player wanted to go to a local Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, ESPN reported. Told he meant the city of Buffalo, Abdollahian did not flinch.

"I'm a man of my words and if someone says it's an emergency he really means it," Abdollahian, 26, told CNN.

>>RELATED: 11.5-hour Uber drive 

They arrived at 1 Bills Drive with mere minutes to spare before 7 a.m. meetings, Wright said. The defensive cornerback tipped Abdollahian $300 on top of the $632.08 ride, CNN reported.

"He didn't complain once. He kept me from stressing out. The only thing he complained about was people driving 50 miles an hour," Wright told CNN. "His focus was to get me there on time and he did."

When local company Bluerock Energy heard about the road trip they gave Wright a check to reimburse him for the Uber ride. But Wright thought Abdollahian deserved it more than he did and passed it along.

"Anyone's who's that passionate and focused about what he's doing, I'm more than willing to help anyone who's putting that foot forward to be successful," Wright told CNN.

Abdollahian confirmed that he received the check and shared a picture of it on Twitter. 

Troy Aikman gets engaged to girlfriend Capa Mooty on European vacation

On Friday, Hall of Fame quarterback and former Dallas Cowboy Troy Aikman proposed to his girlfriend, Capa Mooty — and she said yes.

>> Read more trending news

According to People magazine, Aikman announced the exciting news on Instagram, sharing a picture of the couple with the caption, “June 2, 2017 – A special day as I proposed to the love of my life.”

It looks like he popped the question during the couple’s trip to Italy, giving his proposal a perfectly romantic backdrop. They have reportedly been dating since February 2016, and Aikman regularly shares snaps of the pair.

Their wedding will mark Aikman’s second marriage. He and ex-wife Rhonda Worthey called things off in 2011 after 11 years together. He shares two daughters with Worthey, Jordan Ashley, 15, and Alexa Marie, 14. Mooty also has two children, both boys, from a previous relationship.

Read more here.

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