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Archives for: April 30, 2018

Felony charges dropped against Jets WR Robby Anderson

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Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson won’t face felony charges in Florida stemming from his arrest in January, the Broward County State Attorney’s Office confirmed Tuesday.

Anderson, arrested at 2:15 a.m. Jan. 19 in Sunrise, Fla., still faces a misdemeanor count of reckless driving, the state attorney’s office told in a statement:

“The felony charge was downgraded to a misdemeanor charge due to a possible discrepancy regarding the initial estimated speed, but there is no doubt that the defendant was driving recklessly. The other charges were declined, not filed, due to insufficient evidence.”

But Beckham has never been in trouble with the law and is a popular figure in the locker room. He is one of the best playmakers in football when healthy, having scored 38 touchdowns in 47 career games.

The Giants’ offense averaged 13.6 points in the 13 games last season where Beckham either didn’t play or was limited by injury. He finished second on the team with three receiving touchdowns despite playing just four games.

DeMarcus Lawrence isn’t upset like other NFL players about being hit with the franchise tag.

The Cowboys defensive end said he looked at it as an opportunity, rather than a burden, and plans to use that time to improve himself.

“I was excited just another opportunity to be a Dallas Cowboy,” Lawrence told the Dallas News. “There’s different ways you can look at a franchise tag, but I look at it as a blessing and another opportunity to get better, to get great.”

“I didn’t know what happened,” Markakis said. “I didn’t know if he caught it or what happened. I looked at the umpire and I saw him signaling, so I knew it was good.”

The centerfield gate had to be opened to return Tauchman’s glove.cardinals_037

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Peyton Manning turns down Fox ‘Thursday Night Football’ gig, report says

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The most sought-after color commentator in professional football won’t be working with any major networks this upcoming season.

According to the New York Post, Peyton Manning has turned down Fox’s offer to be the lead analyst for Thursday Night Football. This comes after he already turned down ESPN’s offer to take over for Jon Gruden on Monday Night Football.

Indiana came in after completing a season sweep of reigning NBA champion Golden State with a 126-106 home victory on Thursday night. However, the Pacers fell behind in a poor-shooting first quarter and never seriously challenged in this one.

They pressured us — they pushed the tempo, Pacers coach Nate McMIllan said. We just didn’t have any legs.

Glenn Robinson III scored 12 points and Trevor Booker had 11 for the Pacers. Indiana shot 26-for-87 (29.9 percent) and set season lows in points, made field goals and field goal percentage.

I was completely caught off guard by this, Davis said. I’ve never in any way done anything to try to intentionally cheat the game. … It’s one of those situations where the NFL rules clearly state you are responsible as a player for what you put in your body. I’ve taken the same supplement the last seven or eight years and never had any issues, been tested numerous times while taking the same stuff.

I just want you guys to know that in no way would I ever do anything to try to cheat this game.

Davis, the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner in 2014, is one of the most respected players in the NFL. The 35-year-old veteran is best known for overcoming three ACL surgeries early in his career to return to the sport. He made his first Pro Bowl roster at age 32 and has made the game the past three years.

Arizona recalled INF/OF Christian Walker from Triple-A Reno and optioned RHP Matt Koch to the Pacific Coast League farm team.cardinals_098

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Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff: No timetable on Matt Ryan extension

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Talks concerning Matt Ryan’s contract extension have seemingly slowed down.

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff on Wednesday said that while the team’s negotiations with the quarterback’s agent are ongoing, there’s no timetable on finalizing a deal with the veteran.

There’s no time frame on it right now,” Dimitroff told reporters at Georgia’s pro day, via ESPN. I think the biggest thing for [Ryan’s representation], at one time, was probably waiting to see what was going on in the market. That’s kind of come and gone now, right? So we’ll continue to talk about how to get it finalized.”

Ryan, who turns 33 in May, is entering the final season of a five-year extension worth $103.75 million. He is set to earn $19.25 million in 2018 and count $21.65 million against the team’s salary cap.

Ryan, a four-time Pro Bowl player and the 2016 NFL MVP, threw for 4,095 yards and 20 touchdowns last season while adding 428 yards and two scores in the postseason before the Falcons were eliminated by the Super Bowl 52 champion Eagles.

You would have hoped the urgency would have been there with an opportunity to win the division, Bruins forward David Backes said. We had it in the third, but needed it right from the get go.

Boston will host the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round beginning Thursday night. The Leafs were 3-1 against the Bruins in the regular season.

Florida starter James Reimer left in the third with an injury, and Luongo came in and stopped eight shots over the last 8:07. The pair combined to make 41 saves.

Henrik Borgstrom, Frank Vatrano, Maxim Mamin and Evgenii Dadonov scored for Florida.

Backes and David Pastrnak had a goal each for Boston, with Pastrnak cutting it to 3-2 shortly before Reimer was hurt. Tuukka Rask made 22 saves.

We didn’t deserve to win and that’s the reality, Rask said. I think it’s mental, just not being sharp enough at the drop of the puck.

After beating the Bruins for the second time in three games, Florida is headed home despite an impressive 25-8-2 run to end the season, including winning their last five.

It’s disappointing. We were really hoping that we’d get a little help from some other teams and maybe get in, Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck said. I think there’s a lot of teams that didn’t want to play us if we did make it in.cardinals_129

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Titans think uniform unveiling event shows that Nashville should host the draft

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When the Titans unveiled their new uniforms at an event in Nashville on Wednesday night, a huge crowd estimated at 20,000 people showed up. And the Titans think that bodes well for the way the city would support the NFL draft coming to town.

Roseman: One, we have a huge amount of our core players coming back. We have a lot of guys who are under long-term contracts, guys who have been in our system. And we have a group of guys who were hurt last year who are superstar, Pro Bowl-caliber players.

Finally, when you look back to your year away from heading the Eagles’ football operations, what are some of the things you tried to learn if able to get a second chance in that position?

Roseman: That year off gives you great perspective. This job is all-encompassing. It’s hard to focus on anything else. It’s certainly hard to concentrate on self-improvement in the time that you’re engrossed in the job.

I had a chance to step back and realize how important the people are around you in every department. Hire the best and make sure they’re empowered and have the resources to do the right thing.

Victor Oladipo had 27 points on 12-of-15 shooting and Lance Stephenson, a former Hornet, had 10 rebounds, 10 assists and eight points for the Pacers, who have won seven of their last nine games.

Sabonis said he feels comfortable in the Pacers’ system, where he is playing more center than he did earlier in the season.

“I love it here,” Sabonis said. “It’s a great system. We have a great group of guys who believe in it and we all want to win so that’s been working for us.”

McMillan said Sabonis has been solid all season, whether it has been in a starting role or reserve, or playing the four or five position.

“He does a good job of getting the offense moving from side to side,” McMillan said. “He’s made good decisions out there when he’s played.”texans_126

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Colts place Rodney Adams on reserve/retired list

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The Colts placed wide receiver Rodney Adams on the reserve/retired list, the team announced Monday.

Indianapolis signed Adams to a reserve/future contract on February 2.

He spent time on the Vikings’ active roster and practice squad as a rookie in 2017 but did not see game action. Adams spent the first eight weeks on Minnesota’s active roster before the Vikings waived him October 30. He was signed to the team’s practice squad November 1, where he spent the remainder of the regular season and postseason.

The Nets led by 11 points during the third quarter before the Bulls cut the lead to three on Kilpatrick’s 3-pointer with five seconds left.

Chicago got within four points on Kilpatrick’s basket with 4:14 left in the fourth quarter, forcing the Nets to call a timeout.

Russell then hit a jumper at the elbow over Kilpatrick to start 6-0 run capped by his driving layup with 1:36 to play. That extended the lead to 112-102.

Bulls: Markkanen made a pair of 3-pointers. The 20-year-old from Finland is two shy of tying Kirk Hinrich’s franchise rookie record of 144 set during the 2003-04 season. … David Nwaba had 11 points and 10 rebounds

Nets: Forwards Joe Harris (sprained left ankle) and Caris LeVert (right foot tendinitis) were held out. DeMarre Carroll was also a scratch due to a left hip strain.

He had his right rotator cuff fixed after the Super Bowl and remains in a sling six weeks later.

“Not too much, right now,” Jeffery said when asked what he is able to do. “Just trying to loosen it up.”

Jeffery, who signed a four-year deal worth up to $52 million, won’t participate in OTAs. But he expects to be cleared for the preseason.

The likely reason stems from the team’s shift to a 4-3 “Tampa-Two” defensive scheme that will feature more zone coverage, which is a style of play that isn’t considered Melvin’s strength. Melvin, though, admits he was surprised the Colts didn’t make a strong push to keep him in the fold.

“(General manager) Chris Ballard and I spoke in-depth about the upcoming season and expectations that they would have for me there,” Melvin said. “But, hey, it didn’t work out that way. I’m just excited to be an Oakland Raider.”texans_101

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Odell Beckham Jr. trade is reasonable for only 3 NFL teams

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When the Falcons made the draft-day trade with the Browns to get Julio Jones at No. 6 in 2011, everyone at the time thought Cleveland would get the better of the deal with the five players it was able to select. Instead, Jones’ elite play has maintained Atlanta’s status as a dangerous offense six seasons later.

This is Cleveland’s second chance to get a transcendent wideout from a top-10 pick. The Browns, with pick Nos. 1, 4, 33 and 35 overall, have plenty of ways to make the Giants happy and make Beckham happen.

Shanahan has said he doesn’t need another Julio Jones-type for the 49ers, but Beckham, having thrived in the West Coast offense since he got to New York, would be spectacular in San Francisco. Like the Rams’ Les Snead and the Browns’ John Dorsey, John Lynch has proved he can be a aggressive general manager when needed. The 49ers are calculated even when working with a high cap number, and they can find ways to give Beckham an acceptable deal that’s somewhat team-friendly.

When one considers a Beckham investment as a way to invest more in Garoppolo, it makes total sense. In contrast to the Browns with Taylor/a rookie and the Colts with Luck, the 49ers have the most certain QB situation to get the best out of Beckham.

“I feel really fortunate to be part of this staff,” Morton said. “I come to the park each day and I look at the wall over here — just the pitching staff that I’m on — I feel very fortunate to be part of it.”

Morton (2-0) allowed four hits and three walks for one unearned run while striking out seven in six innings. It was a nearly identical performance to his season debut, when he allowed three hits, two walks and no runs while striking out six in a 6-1 win over Baltimore. He also got the final 12 outs in Game 7 of the World Series against the Dodgers to help secure Houston’s first championship.

On a rotation that includes Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers and Gerrit Cole, Morton became just the eighth Astros starter in franchise history to give up zero earned runs in his first two starts to a season. He extended his winning streak at Minute Maid Park to six games, including the postseason, a seven-start span in which he’s 6-0 with a 1.09 ERA.texans_088

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Texans completely changing offense in 2018

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There is plenty of news coming out of Texans camp about Deshaun Watson’s health and how Houston plans to use the quarterback coming off of a season-ending ACL injury.

According to NFL Network, Watson is ahead of schedule in his rehab and head coach Bill O’Brien said he expects the QB to be throwing at OTA’s in July.

In addition, O’Brien intends to adjust the offense with Watson in his second year. The former Clemson QB had a lot of success as a rookie throwing for 1,699 yards and 19 touchdowns, but the Texans’ head coach said there was plenty of reason to make some adjustments.

Pitchers that got their throwing in were bundled up in right field. OF Andrew Benintendi and a few other starters decided to hit inside instead.

The Rays didn’t hit on the field.

Rays: With another bullpen game scheduled Sunday, Cash said they should be fine after using three relievers on Saturday, but he didn’t name a starter.

Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez is set to make his 2018 debut. He’s been on the disabled list since March 26th recovering from offseason right knee surgery.

I had to battle. Command wasn’t there, I had four walks. But it was a grind. I wanted to keep the team in it as long as possible, Nola said to reporters after his last start. I could’ve went a little more, but it was a good decision. I was creeping up pitch count.

Nola has faced Cincinnati three previous times in his career. He is 1-1 with a 3.15 ERA, 0.900 WHIP and a 9.9 K/9 rate in those starts.

Reds veteran righty Homer Bailey will match up with Nola on Tuesday night. Bailey (0-2, 4.22 ERA) has started his 12th major league season with two losses in two starts. Bailey surrendered five runs (four earned) on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates last Thursday.

I don’t think Homer was nearly as sharp (Thursday) as he was in the last game, Reds manager Bryan Price told after Bailey’s last start. That wasn’t starting from the fifth inning as much as it was starting in the first. He made some good pitches down in the zone, I thought, the first time through the lineup. As he got in a little further in the game, it became apparent he didn’t have his best command.

Bailey, 31, is 1-4 with a 3.97 ERA in 10 starts against the Phillies. Bailey has never faced Hoskins, the slugging second-year Phillies outfielder who is one of the hottest hitters in baseball.cardinals_018

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Richard Sherman supports Lamar Jackson’s decision not to hire an agent

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San Francisco cornerback Richard Sherman likes having company among prominent NFL players without agents.

So Sherman says he’s pleased to see that Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson hasn’t hired an agent in advance of the 2018 NFL draft.

“Yes, it’s a great idea,” Sherman told USA Today. “In terms of improving his draft stock or the amount of money he receives, there isn’t much they can do. I’m sure he has mentors and [advisers] who can guide him.”

By adding Griffin, that line of questioning goes away. And while it’s odd to think that the Ravens would allow legal strategy to influence football decisions, it’s too coincidental that they held a press conference on Wednesday announcing that Griffin will join the team next week, a day before Newsome and Harbaugh are scheduled to answer plenty of questions about why they picked Griffin over Kaepernick.

Besides, the truth seems to be that the Ravens previously allowed business strategy to influence football decisions, based on the decision not to sign Kaepernick last year. The challenge for the Ravens and the NFL on Thursday ultimately will consist of showing that the Ravens made their decisions about Kaepernick on their own, and without any influence of a league office that arguably was spreading the word that signing Kaepernick would be bad for business.

Houston went scoreless for more than four minutes, missing seven shots and committing three turnovers as Oklahoma City pulled away. The Thunder also blocked three shots in that span.

“Just doing what you’ve got to do to win, honestly,” Westbrook said.

The Rockets scored five straight points with less than a minute left to get within five, but George made two free throws to help secure the win.

Anthony made three of the Thunder’s 10 3-pointers. He said it was important for them to be in attack mode right from the start.

“It was one of those days, understanding the situation that we’re in and just trying to be aggressive out there on both ends and go after it from the beginning,” he said.

The Thunder led by as many as 11 in the first half, but Houston used a 5-1 spurt take a 62-61 lead at halftime.

Thunder: Westbrook also had 10 assists. … Oklahoma City had five blocked shots, including two from Jerami Grant. … Steven Adams added 12 points.texans_020

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As Seahawks purge roster, they purge their identity, too

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What happened to the Seahawks we used to know? Every day this offseason, it seems, they’ve done something to make them look like every other NFL team. They never used to look like every other team.

Now you’ll know them not because of Beast Mode, the Legion of Boom or the woke locker room, but by their neon uniforms.

Maybe that’s good enough for Seattle these days: Dress different, act like the masses. It wasn’t good enough before, though, when the Seahawks nurtured an identity, lived by their own rules and stayed late at the playoff party every year.

Maybe this is Seattle’s new winning formula. It has been other franchises’ winning formula, to be sure. But the Seahawks had their own formula, and if they had employed a more reliable kicker last season — another common theme they have adopted to their detriment — they might still be winning with it today.

And, it continues to be worth noting, they had a golden opportunity to avoid this stain on their reputation last offseason, but after a seemingly positive visit and praise from Pete Carroll, they, like every other team, chose not to sign Kaepernick as a backup.

They did this at a time when their locker room, their entire on- and off-field approach, was progressive and willing to engage in freedom of varied expressions so much that it appeared ideal for Kaepernick to fit in seamlessly.

In hindsight, it may be no coincidence that the locker room no longer has that vibe, nor the backup quarterback they picked over him.

Simmons, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft, sat out the entire 2016-17 season with a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone of his right foot.

Some within NBA circles subscribe to the notion that Simmons is not a true rookie and shouldn’t be eligible to win the award.

“Coming off a broken foot is definitely not an edge, but people are always going to say what they want to say,” Simmons said. “But at the end of the day, this is my first year in the league. If you’re a guy coming from overseas, you’re still a rookie and you can be 30 years old. So there’s a rule in there.”

On Friday, Simmons was part of an epic duel with James, whom Simmons considers a mentor. The rookie finished with 27 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists while James registered 44 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds. Philadelphia won, overtaking Cleveland for sole possession of the No. 3 seed.

Simmons credits coach Brett Brown for giving him the keys to the floor general role.

“He put me in position as the point guard, and I don’t think he thought it would work out this well as it has,” Simmons said. “I think it is a lot of credit to Coach for sticking me in that position and trusting me.”patriots_119-223x223

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M.I.A. opens up about’ridiculous’ NFL lawsuit over Super Bowl middle finger

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Six years after her controversial halftime performance at Super Bowl XLVI, M.I.A. is speaking out about her legal battle with the NFL. The league demanded $16.6 million in damages from the rapper, whose real name is Maya Arulpragasam, after she flashed her middle finger to the camera while on stage with Madonna and Nicki Minaj. The two sides eventually settled for an undisclosed amount. In an interview with Daniel Dylan Wray of Huck Magazine to promote her upcoming documentary, M.I.A. said that while in the midst of the lawsuit, her then-manager, Jay-Z, urged her to agree to a settlement that would see most of her earnings go to the NFL.

Beckham has produced a Hall of Fame-like start to his career. He had 4,122 receiving yards and 35 touchdowns during his first three seasons and was on pace for a 1,200-yard-plus campaign in 2017 before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. But off the field and on the sidelines, he’s been far from the perfect face of the franchise – especially for the old school Giants. Sideline outbursts, dog-peeing celebrations, suspensions for cheap hits, and, most recently, a video showing Beckham doing a number of possibly questionable things all contributed to the Giants’ apparent unease about his character. Co-owner John Mara was asked about the video Sunday and wasn’t able to hide his frustrations with his star player, saying, I guess my response to that is I’m tired of answering questions about Odell’s behavior.

And interestingly we did the Marcus Peters trade before we did the Aqib Talib trade. But once Aqib became available, how do you fit him within the parameters of your salary cap, with other things like Aaron Donald extension, things like that, coming down the line Sometimes you have to make sacrifices to get gains…. Once we came up with that vision, that goal, we attacked the offseason.

As we witnessed with the star-studded Super Bowl 50 defense in Denver, great cornerback play allows Phillips to be more creative with his game plans and play calls, unleashing unrelenting pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

While Talib spear-headed the Broncos’ celebrated No Fly Zone secondary, Phillips made do with a late-round draft pick ( Danny Trevathan ), a former practice squad member ( Brandon Marshall ) and an undrafted free agent ( Todd Davis ) at inside linebacker.nike_broncos_042-500x500

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