Cardinals sign German DL Djeri

The Arizona Cardinals apparently are looking for talent all over the world, because they just signed a player from Germany who has never played in the United States.

The Cardinals announced Wednesday they signed defensive lineman Moubarak Djeri, who played this past season in the German Football League. That season runs from April to October.

The 6-foot-3, 275-pound Djeri had 12 sacks, 40 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and a pair of forced fumbles for the Cologne Crocodiles in 2017.

“It was a big dream, and right now it’s life,” Djeri said of signing an NFL contract, according to the Cardinals’ website. “I’m so excited to be here.”

Djeri, 22, was born in Togo and moved to Germany when he was 11 as part of a student exchange program.

Djeri said he became interested in American football after watching it on television when he was 6 years old.

He started playing football in Cologne, Germany, at the age of 18.

Djeri knows moving to the NFL represents a major jump in the level of competition.

“I know the NFL is much faster than the league I played in before,” Djeri said. “But I’m going to keep working.”

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Man runs on field, kisses Cristiano Ronaldo

March 27 (UPI) — A male fan ran out of the stands and onto the field to kiss Cristiano Ronaldo during Portugal’s 3-0 loss to the Netherlands.

The scene went down Monday in the 62nd minute of the friendly at Stade de Geneve in Geneva, Switzerland. Ronaldo was standing at midfield during a stoppage in play when a few fans invaded the pitch. One of them ran up to the superstar and put his left arm around his neck, before trying to kiss him on the mouth.

He might have succeeded.

Ronaldo lightly pushed the fan away as he started taking selfies of the exchange. Another two fans also came up and hugged Ronaldo, before being taken away by security.

Memphis Depay, Rya Babel and Virgil van Dijk each scored first half goals in the victory. Portugal’s Joao Cancelo received a red card in the 61st minute. Ronaldo also left at that point, being substituted out of the match.

Monday’s game marked the first time in 10 matches — for club or country — that Ronaldo didn’t score a goal.

“We are sad, but it is important to find positive points in defeats,” Portugal manager Fernando Santos said after the match, according to the team’s Twitter account.

Portugal battles Tunisia in another friendly at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

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Danica Patrick shares birthday party photos with Aaron Rodgers

March 27 (UPI) — Sports power couple Aaron Rodgers and Danica Patrick were together this week to celebrate Patrick’s birthday.

The retiring NASCAR driver and the All-Pro quarterback held up their glasses for a photo, which Patrick posted Monday on her Instagram feed.

“I love getting older!!!!!!!!!!! Super grateful for all the love around me in my life! People, work, opportunities, dreams…full heart space! Don’t forget to dream big for the things you want in your life,” Patrick wrote for the caption.

Patrick stood with a glass of champagne in hand, alongside Rodgers and 10 others for the group shot, the first in a series of four photos she posted. Her second photo featured her with five women, while the third showed off her two-tiered unicorn cake.

Patrick’s final photo was of her No. 3 and No. 6 balloons.

Rodgers turns 35-years-old in December. The Green Bay Packers gunslinger spends a lot of his Sunday’s at Lambeau Field, which is located about three hours north of Patrick’s hometown: Beloit, Wisc.

Rumors of the Rodgers-Patrick union swirled this winter, before the couple announced their relationship. Rodgers and actress Olivia Munn broke up in April after three years of dating.

“When you are living out a relationship in the public eye, it’s definitely … it’s difficult,” Rodgers said in an August ESPN interview.

“It has some extra constraints, because you have other opinions about your relationship, how if affects your work, and you know, just some inappropriate connections.”

Patrick’s divorce from her only marriage was finalized in 2013, before she started dating fellow NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Patrick and Stenhouse ended their relationship in December.

Rodgers was on hand to watch his race car-driving girlfriend compete in February’s Daytona 500, her final race in the sport. Patrick will wrap up her IndyCar career on May 27 in the 2018 Indianapolis 500.

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Zion Williamson: High school basketball phenom wins dunk-off

March 27 (UPI) — High school basketball phenom Zion Williamson won the 2018 McDonald’s All-American Dunk Contest with a flurry of high-flying antics.

The 6-foot-7 Duke commit took flight Monday night at Morehouse College’s Forbes Arena in Atlanta, Ga. Williamson, 17, is the No. 2 player out of all high school basketball recruits in the class of 2018, according to the ESPN100.

He competed against Nassir Little, Olivia Nelson-Odoba, Jahvon Quinerly, Devon Dotson, Darius Garland, Keldon Johnson and Quintin Grimes.

Williamson – – who is already a viral dunking sensation with 1.4 million Instagram followers – – began his night by bouncing the ball under the rim and casually throwing down a one-handed 360-degree slam with his left hand.

He received all 10s for that forceful flush.

On his next dunk, Williamson threw the ball off of the right side of the backboard. He went up and caught the ball before putting it between his legs in midair and throwing it through tenet with his left hand.

He received a few 9s on that dunk.

Williamson’s next slam was his most powerful. He ran in from beyond the 3-point line before jumping up in the pain. He corked the basketball way back with his right hand before slamming it over the rim.

The 10s came back for that attempt.

Williamson attempted a nasty 360-degree one-handed slam on his next attempt, before just deciding to throw down a reverse dunk. His previous dunks were good enough to earn him top prize at the event.

Previous winners of the high school dunk competition include: LeBron James, DeMar DeRozan, Carmelo Anthony, Baron Davis, Vince Carter, Jerry Stackhouse and Blake Griffin, among other high-risers.

The Spartanburg Day School senior heads to Durham, N.C. this fall as part of the top recruiting class for 2018, which includes R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish.

“The atmosphere was crazy,” Williamson said at the dunk contest, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “When I was out there dunking, everybody wanted to stand up for some reason. I love crowds like that.”

The 2018 McDonald’s All-American boys game will take place Wednesday at Philips Arena in Atlanta.

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Washington Redskins sign former Chicago Bears LB Pernell McPhee

A month after being released by the Chicago Bears, free agent linebacker Pernell McPhee signed with the Washington Redskins, the team announced on Monday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed for McPhee, who visited with the Redskins last Monday and was offered a contract a day later.

McPhee is joining the Redskins after spending the previous three seasons with the Chicago Bears, who signed him to a five-year contract in 2015.

The Redskins are hoping he can help replace Trent Murphy, who signed with the Buffalo Bills on the first day of free agency.

Last season, McPhee started five of the 13 games he appeared in for the Bears. He finished with 21 tackles and four sacks.

The 29-year-old has appeared in 96 regular-season games and made 23 starts, totaling 182 tackles and 31 sacks with the Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears.

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Serena Williams posts new photo of Olympia, preview for documentary

March 26 (UPI) — Prepare to go inside the life of Serena Williams, who is set to star in a new documentary.

Williams posted a trailer for HBO’s Being Serena on her social media accounts Monday. The documentary premiers at 10 p.m. on May 2.

“When I realized that I was pregnant, I was like ‘oh my God, how am I going to play?’ I put so much pressure on myself. I want to make sure that I’m the best,” Williams said in the trailer.

“I don’t know if there’s anything left for me in tennis, but I’m not done yet.”

Williams, 36, will address motherhood, her return to tennis and more in the five-part series. The 23-time Grand Slam champion also posted a photo of her infant daughter, Olympia Monday. Olympia is flashing a smile in the photo with her superstar mother.

Williams said that she “almost died” while giving birth to Olympia in an article she wrote in February for CNN. Olympia was born by emergency C-section after her heart rate dropped during contractions. Williams ended up with a pulmonary embolism and her C-section wound came open due to intense coughing. When she returned to surgery, doctors found a large hematoma in her abdomen. She spent the first six weeks of motherhood in bed.

On March 19, Williams told UPI that a win would mean a lot to her, but she is currently “taking a little bit at a time.” Williams added that she feels like she is getting better every week and every day.

She said she has goals, but “it’s going to take a while” to reach them.

Williams’ run at the 2018 Miami Open lasted a mere 77 minutes. She was knocked out of the tournament in straight sets by Naomi Osaka on Wednesday on Key Biscayne.

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