Jim Rogash/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The New England Patriots extended the contract of special teams' specialist Matthew Slater through the 2016 season, according to ESPNBoston.com.
ESPNBoston.com also reports that the 29-year-old Slater, who is a three-time Pro Bowler and one of the Patriots' captains, will receive $3 million in guarenteed money with incentives that could earn up to $4.2 million.
"Matt does a lot of things for us," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said. "Obviously he's a very good player on the field, professional, works hard. (He) does a great job with all the players -- younger players -- but also his peers. He's very well-respected in the locker room, not just by the players but by the entire organization by the way he goes about his job, how dependable he is, his work ethic, his attitude, his toughness. He's really such a model player. I'd love to have 53 guys like him."
Slater has played in 98 regular-season games making 99 tackles for the Patriots since they selected him in the fifth-round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
Joe Robbins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After losing his starting spot to Michael Vick Week 9, Geno Smith has gotten his old job back.
The New York Jets announced Wednesday that Smith will be the starting quarterback during their game Monday night against the Miami Dolphins.
"As an organization, all of our decisions are organizational driven," Jets head coach Rex Ryan said during a conference call Wednesday. "We just want to get Geno another opportunity to show what he can do. Obviously we like the way he finished last season. We've had some bumps in the road this year. We sat him down for a few weeks and we'll see how he responds."
Smith relieved Vick during the Jets' 38-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills Monday. Vick had completed 7 of 19 passes with an interception before giving way to Smith. Smith played solid completing 10 of 12 passes for 89 yards.
The 24-year-old Smith, who the Jets selected with the 39th overall pick in the 2013 Draft, has played in 25 games during his career with Gang Green. During that time he has completed 56.4 percent of his passes throwing for 4,505 yards, 19 touchdowns and 31 interceptions. Smith has also ran for 509 yards and seven touchdowns.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Texas) -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is confident in his team headed into their Thanksgiving Day showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Jones, who is teaming up with The Salvation Army this holiday season, said on Wednesday that he has faith his team.
"It's one of the biggest, if not the biggest we've ever played on Thanksgiving Day," Jones told ABC Sports Radio.
The Eagles are 5-0 on Thanksgiving and both teams are tied for first in the NFC East, but Jones isn't worried about that.
"I don't know what our record is, but we've played more turkey days than the Eagles have, I'm not going to let them have that advantage either," Jones continued.
Jones saw his team go into MetLife Stadium on Sunday and beat the Giants in front of a lot of Dallas fans.
"It was fabulous," Jones said. "Boy I was rewarded by all of those Cowboys fans. That defense [chant] that was going on at the Meadowlands was real rewarding."
The Eagles are averaging 31.1 points per game this year under head coach Chip Kelly.
"We have all the respect for Chip Kelly, certainly their style is a challenge," Jones said. "What we need to do is keep the ball with the Cowboys, we don't need our defense out there any longer then it has to be."
For more information on how you can help out The Salvation Army and their national Red Kettle Campaign, visit salvationarmyusa.org and help spread the word using the hashtag #RedKettleReason.
American Football Field Yard Lines IStockPhoto/ Thinkstock(STARKVILLE, Miss.) -- Mississippi State can't afford a loss to rival Ole Miss on Saturday. The Bulldogs sit at No. 4 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings that were announced on Tuesday and are looking forward to the Egg Bowl.
"[It's the] last regular season for us, rivalry game, you got to leave it all out there on the field," Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen said this week. "You kind of work all year round for this type of game."
Both teams come in ranked for only the third time in 57 years of the Egg Bowl, but Ole Miss dropped to No. 18 after a 30-0 loss to Arkansas last weekend.
"They're a very good football team," Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze said. "[Quarterback] Dak Prescott makes them better than very good. You take him away from that team they're still really good."
"Defensively they're one of the best in the nation against the rush. They just don't give up much on the ground at all," Freeze continued.
Prescott rallied Mississippi State to a comeback victory in last year's matchup and remains one of the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy.
"It's a game played with emotions and a game played with the heart," Prescott said. "It's a good rivalry and I'm glad to be a part of it."
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(GAINSVILLE, Fl.) -- Florida is looking to hand Florida State their first loss of the season on Saturday in one of the biggest rivalry games of the weekend.
Gators head coach Will Muschamp is set to step down at seasons end and knows the importance of this game.
"[They're a] really good football team. [I've] got tremendous respect for [Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher] and the job he's done and his staff," Muschamp said. "They've won a bunch in a row. Last time they lost was when the Gators were up there. They've done a outstanding job."
Florida State got all they could handle from Boston College last weekend and Fisher knows that the Gators are pumped up for this game.
"We're going into battle," Fisher said. "These games are going to be dogfights. People are going to try and be the one that knocks us out, knocks us off, got nothing to lose."
Florida is 2-1 on the road this year. The Seminoles have won six games this year at home.
NBA via Golden State Warriors(MIAMI, Fl.) -- Stephen Curry lit up the Miami Heat Tuesday night as he led the Golden State Warriors to a 114-97 victory.
Curry finished the night shooting 12 of 19 from the floor, draining eight 3-pointers.
There had been some concern in the past couple days with Curry's shooting as he was 8 of 24 in his previous two games. Curry steadied those worries by finding open looks with the help of his teammates.
"Everything feels in rhythm," Curry said. "My bigs, Draymon Green, Mo Speights, Andrew Bogut set some great screens for me and I got a lot of space. When you see your first two or three go down, your confidence is at a high. Shots just appear and you have confidence to knock them down."
Heat forward Chris Bosh was utterly perplexed by the end result. With 6:45 left in the fourth, his team was leading by two.
"We got to the end, we're in the bonus, you know 93-95 and we don't score anymore," Bosh said. "We just forget our offense and I don't know why."
The Warriors have now won six straight and are 11-2 on the season.
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(ASHBURN, Va) -- Push has come to shove as the Redskins have decided to bench Robert Griffin III in favor of Colt McCoy this Sunday when Washington will face Indianapolis.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Griffin will not play this weekend, but remains a part of the team's long term plans.
Griffin has struggled this season. He has missed six games after suffering a dislocated ankle in week 2. In the five games he has started, Griffin has completed 69.7% of his passes for 869 yards while throwing two touchdowns and three interceptions. Additionally, he has been sacked 16 times. The team is 1-4 in those five starts.
McCoy made his only start of the season against the Dallas Cowboys on October 27. He completed 25 of 30 passes for 299 yards with one interception and a rushing touchdown in a game that saw the Redskins defeat the Cowboys 20-17.
John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(MASSACHUSETTS) -- Aaron Hernandez has had his trial for a 2012 double murder delayed so his lawyers could prepare for the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd.
Hernandez is charged with the 2012 deaths ofDaniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. The fallen star is alleged to have killed the two men after one of them spilled a drink on him at a Boston nightclub.
Lawyers for Hernandez say they are reviewing more than 500,000 pieces of evidence and more than 300 names turned over by the district attorney's office.
The judge in the case, Jeffery Locke, has agreed to delay the case but did not set a new trial date. Locke stated that he would like to see how long the trial in Lloyd's murder takes before making a decision.