Former Illini charged after Dallas teammate dies in accident

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Former Illini charged after Dallas teammate dies in accident

IRVING, Texas (AP) Police charged Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent with intoxication manslaughter Saturday after he flipped his car in a pre-dawn accident that killed teammate Jerry Brown.

Irving police spokesman John Argumaniz said the accident happened about 2:20 a.m. Saturday in the Dallas suburb, hours before Brent was to be on a team flight to Cincinnati for the Cowboys' game Sunday against the Bengals.

Argumaniz said the 25-year-old Brown a practice-squad linebacker who also was Brent's teammate for three seasons at the University of Illinois was found unresponsive at the scene and pronounced dead at a hospital.

It marked the second straight week the NFL found itself dealing with a tragedy right before gameday.

Last Saturday, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend before killing himself in front of his coach and general manager. The 25-year-old Belcher shot himself in the parking lot at the team's practice complex at Arrowhead Stadium.

"We are deeply saddened by the news of this accident and the passing of Jerry Brown," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement. "At this time, our hearts and prayers and deepest sympathies are with the members of Jerry's family and all of those who knew him and loved him."

Officers conducted a field sobriety test on Brent and arrested him on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, Argumaniz said. The charge, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison, was upgraded after Brown was pronounced dead.

Argumaniz said Brent, who pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge three years ago at Illinois, was being held without bond. Brent is named as Joshua Price-Brent in the police news release. Argumaniz said Brent missed a 10 a.m. Saturday booking session with a judge because he was intoxicated. He did not know if Brent had an attorney.

Brent was speeding when the vehicle hit a curb and flipped at least once, Argumaniz said. Police received 911 calls from motorists who saw the upside-down vehicle but they did not immediately have any eyewitnesses to the wreck, the police spokesman said.

Argumaniz said when officers arrived at the scene on a state highway service road, Brent was dragging Brown from the vehicle, a Mercedes, which was on fire. Officers quickly put out the small blaze, he said.

Argumaniz said it wasn't known how fast the vehicle was traveling. The road has a 45 mph limit.

"I can say investigators are certain they were traveling well above the posted speed limit," Argumaniz said.

Before he was taken to the jail, Brent went to a hospital for a blood draw for alcohol testing and also received treatment for some minor scrapes.

Argumaniz said Brent identified himself to officers as a Cowboys player.

Cowboys players were aware of the accident Saturday morning, and coach Jason Garrett told the team about Brown's death on the plane about 1:15 p.m. after asking other personnel to step off the aircraft, team spokesman Rich Dalrymple said.

The flight was "quiet, more than normal," Dalrymple said.

Former Illinois coach Ron Zook said Brent, a third-year player who made the first start of his career in the opener against the New York Giants, was trying to help Brown make it in the NFL. Brown joined the Cowboys in October after he was released by the Indianapolis Colts.

"It was Jerry's dream, and Josh was trying to help him any way he could," Zook said.

Zook said he spoke with Brent's agent, Peter Schaffer, who said he had made contact with Brent.

"He said Josh was distraught, and he didn't care about himself or what was happening to him," Zook said. "All he cared about was Jerry's family."

Brent was arrested in February 2009 near the Illinois campus for driving under the influence, driving on a suspended license and speeding, according to Champaign County, Ill., court records.

In June 2009, Brent pleaded guilty to DUI and was sentenced to 60 days in jail, two years of probation, 200 hours of community service and a fine of about 2,000. As part of his plea deal, prosecutors dropped one count of aggravated DUIno valid driver's license. Brent successfully completed his probation in July 2011, court records show.

Brent, a nose guard, has played in all 12 games this season and played a bigger role than expected with starter Jay Ratliff battling injuries. He has 35 tackles and 1 12 sacks and might have started Sunday against the Bengals because Ratliff is out with a groin injury.

The Cowboys signed Brown to their practice squad Oct. 24, but he hasn't been on the active roster. He was released from the Colts' practice squad Oct. 20. Brown played in one game for the Colts, a loss to the New York Jets on Oct. 14.

"On behalf of the entire Colts family, our sincerest condolences go out to Jerry's family and friends," Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said in a statement. "He was a good teammate that was well liked by all. Today's tragic news is just another reminder of how fragile life is and how everyday given is a gift."

Brent and Brown played at Illinois from 2007 to 2009. Brent played as a freshman and finished his career with 71 tackles and five sacks. Shortly after his guilty plea on the DUI charge, Brent entered the supplemental draft with a year of eligibility remaining, and the Cowboys took him in the seventh round.

Brown, who took a redshirt season at Illinois the year before Brent arrived, had 13 tackles combined in 2007 and 2008 but didn't play in 2009.

"I can't believe it," Travon Bellamy, a former Illinois teammate, wrote on Twitter. "Before people pass judgment on Josh, they need to know that he is a good person that made a bad mistake."

Brown played for San Antonio in the Arena Football League this year. In 2011, he played for Jacksonville in the AFL and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League.

He was born and grew up in St. Louis, attending Vashon High School.

Fantasy Football: 2016 running back sleepers and busts

Fantasy Football: 2016 running back sleepers and busts

When was the last time you didn't see a running back projected to go in the Top 3 of a fantasy draft? Well, that's where we are in 2016.

As most NFL teams transition to two-back systems or deploy a running back-by-committee approach, fantasy owners are struggling to find true No. 1-type backs.

There are only a handful of those "bell cow"running backs, which we ranked in order in the pictures below.

If you're unable to secure one of those five players, the CSN Fantasy crew offers up some advice on who to target, which sleepers to keep an eye on and who to stay away from for the 2016 season.

If you've got specific draft questions, drop us a line on Twitter @CSNFantasy or use #CSNFantasy and we'll give you our take.

Top Targets

C.J. Anderson, DEN: I know he got off to a terrible start last season and anybody who owned him was frustrated beyond belief after probably spending a first-round pick on him. But things got better from there. He averaged 6.4 yards per carry in the final 11 weeks and showed he can still be productive even on a Broncos team that didn't have the typical elite QB play, so owners shouldn't be scared off just because Peyton Manning is gone and Trevor Siemian is starting. Anderson, 25, is still the same guy that broke out in the second half of 2014 and is the clear lead back on a team that undoubtedly will run the ball. Considering you can get him in the third or fourth round of any draft, what's not to like? — Tony Andracki

​[RELATED: 2016 Fantasy Football wide receiver sleepers and busts]

​Jeremy Langford, CHI: If we're looking at Langford from strictly a value perspective, there aren't many better running backs to snag at his late fifth-round average draft position. Ignore Langford's 3.6 yards per carry in 2015. With a full year under his belt and a true zone blocking scheme in Chicago, he should see an increase in that number. Neither Ka'Deem Carey, Jacquizz Rodgers nor Jordan Howard have done enough to steal carries from Langford. Look for the former Michigan State Spartan to continue to get three-down work and provide a steady diet of points for PPR owners with his ability to catch the ball (22 receptions, 279 yards in 2015) and turn upfield for extra yardage. — Scott Krinch

Sleepers

Ameer Abdullah, DET: Why is everybody so down on this guy? He still holds all the skills that made him a popular breakout candidate prior to last season and now he's in an even better situation in Detroit with Joique Bell no longer around to vulture touches or tuddies. Don't be surprised at all if Abdullah breaks out in his second year and he's falling to the ninth round and later in drafts, so you can scoop him up on the cheap. — TA

[MORE: Five Burning Questions for the 2016 Fantasy Football season]

Duke Johnson Jr., CLE: There will always be that one player you regret passing up in your drafts. Don't let Johnson be that guy this year. In limited playing time, in an awful situation under the previous coaching regime in Cleveland, Johnson still managed to haul in 61 receptions for 534 receiving yards and two touchdowns. There may not be a better pass-catching running back in the NFL, and after seeing what new Browns head coach Hue Jackson did with a similar back in Gio Bernard in Cincinnati, I'm buying major stock in Johnson. The Duke will be loose this season. — SK

Busts

Devonta Freeman, ATL: This dude had just four good games last season. I know he was the No. 1 fantasy RB last year, but being a stud in Weeks 3-6 doesn't win anybody a championship. Tevin Coleman is legit and going to steal some touches and considering you'd have to draft Freeman at the end of the first round to secure his services, there is just no way he's worth that cost. Plain and simple. — TA

Latavius Murray, OAK: The honeymoon is over. If you've followed us over the past two years, you'll know my affinity for the bulldozing Raiders running back. After seeing with Murray did in his first full year as a starter in 2015, he's entered my doghouse. Murray was given the third most carries in the league and only averaged 4.0 yards per carry with six touchdowns, while also failing to turn one of his 41 receptions in for a score. For a player his size, he should be averaging better than 1.9 yards after contact. I know he's still young at 26-years-old, but I just don't see much room for improvement. If you're looking for a Raiders running back to own this season, look no further than rookie lightning bolt DeAndre Washington. — SK

Road Ahead: How many wins will Jose Quintana end up with this season?

Road Ahead: How many wins will Jose Quintana end up with this season?

CSN's Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton break down the upcoming schedule in this week's Honda Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland & NW Indiana Honda Dealers.

After a 6-2 homestand, the White Sox got swept by the Detroit Tigers.

The White Sox will head to Minnesota for a four-game series and then head back to Chicago for another three-game series against the Tigers.

[SHOP: Get your White Sox gear right here]

Jose Quintana — who's searching for win No. 12 — and Carlos Rodon — who's 3-0 in his last five outings with a 1.47 ERA — are scheduled to get the first two games of the series.

With 30 games left, how many wins will Quintana finish the season with?

Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton share their thoughts.

See what they had to say in the video above.

Report: CB K'Waun Williams fails physical with Bears

Report: CB K'Waun Williams fails physical with Bears

The Bears search for cornerback depth will continue.

K'Waun Williams, who the Bears were awarded off waivers from the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday, failed his physical and will now become a free agent, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The 25-year-old Williams was suspended by the Browns for two weeks after he refused to play due to an injury in the team's preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers. Following the team-issued two-week suspension, the Browns waived Williams.

[SHOP: Get your Bears gear here]

Williams, who signed with the Browns as undrafted free agent out of Pittsburgh in 2014, served as the Browns starting nickel cornerback over the past two seasons. In 26 career games, Williams amassed 60 tackles, two sacks, three forced fumbles and two passes defended.

The Bears will have to look elsewhere for cornerback depth as starters' Tracy Porter (concussion), Kyle Fuller (knee) and nickel corner Bryce Callahan (hamstring) are currently sidelined.

The Bears roster now stands at 74.