McDaniels changes mind on Colts’ job

The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Josh McDaniels has backed out of a deal to become the Indianapolis’ Colts new coach, a decision that shocked the franchise hours after it announced his hiring.

The Colts confirmed McDaniels’ decision in a statement Tuesday night after reports emerged that the Patriots’ offensive coordinator had opted to stay in New England with coach Bill Belichick.

McDaniels had agreed to contract terms with the Colts to replace the fired Chuck Pagano. A news conference had been scheduled for Wednesday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Colts said McDaniels informed them Tuesday evening that he would not sign the deal.

“Although we are surprised and disappointed, we will resume our head coaching search immediately and find the right fit to lead our team and organization on and off the field,” the Colts said in the statement.

The Patriots and McDaniels’ agent, Bob LaMont, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

By spurning the Colts after they waited 22 days to hire him, McDaniels leaves the reeling franchise as the only one without a coach. New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia left Belichick’s staff a day after the Patriots’ Super Bowl loss to become coach of the Detroit Lions.

The move by McDaniels was reminiscent of his mentor, Belichick, who resigned as coach of the Jets with a handwritten note less than a day after he was hired in 2000.

Butler defends

BOSTON — New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler says he didn’t miss a curfew or do anything off the field that would have hurt New England’s chances of winning the Super Bowl before he was benched for the game.

In a statement released Tuesday on Twitter and Instagram, Butler says reports of misconduct off the field are “ridiculous.”

He says he visited with family every night while in Minneapolis. He adds, “I never attended any concert, missed curfew, or participated in any of the ridiculous activities being reported. They are not only false, but hurtful to me and my family.”

Before the Super Bowl, Butler was on the field for 98 percent of the Patriots’ defensive snaps and started 17 of their 18 games. But he made it on the field for only one special teams play on Sunday as the Philadelphia Eagles racked up 538 yards of offense, including 374 yards passing, and won 41-33. Patriots coach Bill Belichick has not explained why Butler was benched.

After the game, Butler told ESPN that he “could have changed the game.” He also used a profanity and said the Patriots “gave up” on him.

In his statement, Butler apologized for the language he used “during a very emotional time.” His statement was “liked” on Instagram by teammates Tom Brady and Martellus Bennett.

Butler is an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Gronk call released

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski can be heard on a 911 call calmly telling a dispatcher that his home was burglarized while he was at the Super Bowl.

Police in Foxborough, Massachusetts, released a portion of the call on Tuesday.

He can be heard telling the dispatcher on Monday: “This is Rob Gronkowski calling, and while I was gone my whole house got robbed, while on the Super Bowl trip. And I just got back.”

A police report says someone broke a window to get in. In a Broadcastify.com recording of a call between responding officers and dispatch, a dispatcher says “multiple safes and possible guns” were taken.

The police report redacted all details of what was taken.

The report says Gronkowski lives with two roommates, both of whom reported items stolen.

Suspect had history

INDIANAPOLIS — An immigrant who was living illegally in Indiana when he was arrested in a suspected drunken-driving crash that killed an NFL player had a history of misdemeanor convictions and arrests, including at least two previous instances of driving under the influence, authorities said Tuesday.

President Donald Trump drew added attention to Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson’s death on Twitter, calling the highway collision that killed him and another man “disgraceful.” The president also prodded Democrats to work with him on illegal immigration and border security.

The driver believed to be responsible for Sunday’s crash on Interstate 70 in Indianapolis had been deported twice in the last decade.

Trump tweeted Tuesday: “So disgraceful that a person illegally in our country killed @Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson. This is just one of many such preventable tragedies. We must get the Dems to get tough on the Border, and with illegal immigration, FAST!”

In a second tweet, he added, “My prayers and best wishes are with the family of Edwin Jackson, a wonderful young man whose life was so senselessly taken. @Colts.”

Jackson was 26. The collision also killed his Uber driver, 54-year-old Jeffrey Monroe, who was not mentioned by the president. Police said both men were struck by a pickup truck driven by the suspect as they stood along I-70 after Jackson became ill.

Orrego-Savala remained jailed in Indianapolis but had not been formally charged in the crash.

Elsewhere:

n The Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles will choose last, following the New England Patriots in this spring’s NFL draft. The order was set after the Eagles beat the defending champion Patriots 41-33 on Sunday. Cleveland had the worst record in the league at 0-16 and will pick first in the opening round April 26 in Arlington, Texas. The Browns, New York Giants (3-13), Indianapolis (4-12), and Houston (4-12) hold the first four choices. Cleveland owns Houston’s top pick.

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