Titans waive Victor Ochi

The Titans trimmed a player from their roster on Monday.

The team announced that linebacker Victor Ochi has been placed on waivers. Ochi signed with the Titans last June, but tore his ACL in August and spent the entire season on injured reserve.

Ochi signed with the Ravens as an undrafted rookie in 2016 and went on to play two games for the Jets after getting cut in Baltimore. He also spent time with the Chiefs, but didn’t appear in any other games.

But without the benefit of an off-day Tuesday, Pittsburgh will take the field for 13 straight days and 26 of the next 27.

Temperatures in Chicago are not expected to change dramatically until Wednesday, meaning the Pirates will continue to play in wintry conditions for at least another day.

But cold weather or not, the Pirates will look to stay hot.

“We’ve been able to have success with what we’ve been doing,” pitcher Trevor Williams told reporters on Friday, according to mlb.com.

Williams suggested holding on for another three days in Chicago might be worth waiting for as Pittsburgh’s next road trip will be a warm one.

“I think all of us are ready to get to Miami,” he said.

“To be on the grass on the field where it felt natural and I was doing it myself, man, it makes me want to go out and run forever,” Golden said, via Darren Urban of the team website.

Golden, who led the Cardinals with 12.5 sacks in 2016 but had none in four games last season, could see a position switch as Arizona changes to a 4-3 defense. He played linebacker in the 3-4 but likely becomes a defensive end in new coach Steve Wilks’ defense.

“Football is football to me, whether you are in the three-point stance, whether you are standing up,” Golden said. “You can do all the technique you want, at the end of the day, you have to beat that man. I played defensive end in college, and I set the edge. I have got it on film in the league. I’ve got film setting the edge and getting around these guys. To be real, it’s just not difficult at all. I’d be lying if I said it’d be one percent difficult. It’s football.”

Golden won’t get much work on the field in the offseason, but he has to get healthy first.texans_094

Paul George on future: ‘Can definitely see’ staying in OKC

As the Thunder battle to secure a playoff spot, Paul George said it’s not championship or bust for him as he evaluates this season with regard to his future free-agency decision.

As I told [ESPN’s] Rachel [Nichols], I can see myself being here, George said. I’ve been happy here, I’ve been happy with the organization, happy with my teammates. Our record is not what we want it to be, but I think I’ve enjoyed just learning and being around these guys. So my answer is still the same. I’m not going to let the playoffs or how we finish this season persuade or indicate where I’m going to this offseason. I’m going to put everything into this and again, I can definitely see myself being here.

Absolutely. That definitely changes a lot, he said. Andre is a big piece, and him going down, it definitely was a big blow to us. But you’ve got to look at everything. You’ve got to look at what we can be, imagine what we would be if Andre was here playing with [us] now. Absolutely, you’ve got to look at everything. You’ve got to look at the team coming back, with free agency coming up with other guys who we could possibly go grab and who could we, myself, [Carmelo Anthony], [Russell Westbrook], who can we recruit with us here. You’ve got to look at everything.

The series finale between the Seattle Mariners and the Minnesota Twins was postponed Sunday because of wintry weather.

With snow in the forecast and game-time temperatures expected to hover around freezing, the game was called off about three hours before it was supposed to begin and rescheduled for May 14, what had been a mutual day off for both teams. The Mariners had not been scheduled to return to Minnesota this season.

Lance Lynn had been scheduled to make his Target Field debut for the Twins, opposite Marco Gonzales of the Mariners.

The two teams played through the coldest outdoor Twins’ game in Minnesota history on Saturday when the first pitch was thrown in 27-degree weather. Seattle beat Minnesota 11-4.

Right-hander Phil Hughes is rehabilitating a left oblique strain and likely will take the fifth-starter spot. Instead of being needed on Wednesday against the defending World Series champions, Hughes could be in line to start Friday against Chicago.cardinals_012

Dungy didn’t know sweeping new helmet rule was coming, either

It’s still not clear who knew that the NFL would be proposing and passing a broad new rule that prohibits lowering the helmet to initiate contact before it suddenly happened last Tuesday, but it’s pretty clear who didn’t know: Pretty much everyone.

The list of people caught surprise by the rule change includes Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy. An influential voice in the industry who often receives requests from the league and those who run it for advice and counsel, Dungy didn’t know that the league would be considering, or implementing, a rule that could have such a significant impact on the game.

In reverse order, here are the teams that should consider going after Beckham most.

The Colts haven’t been as active in NFL free agency as they had teased and as many expected. So far on offense, they’ve lost wide receiver Donte Moncrief and replaced him with former Redskins backup Ryan Grant. They also signed Eric Ebron to add to their pop at tight end behind Jack Doyle.

For now, beyond go-to guy T.Y. Hilton, Andrew Luck is returning to a wideout corps in which Grant and Chester Rogers are the next two most viable options. Seeing the Colts not push harder to sign Allen Robinson and Watkins, instead settling for Grant, was a head-scratcher.

They promoted him to the active roster on October 18, 2016, and he played in three games.

Neasman, 26, played in 11 games last season, mostly on special teams. He played six snaps on defense, making two tackles, and 184 snaps on special teams.

Anderson is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA in four starts against the Padres. He has thrived at Coors Field where he is 8-5 with a 3.39 ERA in 20 games (19 starts) with 31 walks and 108 strikeouts in 119 1/3 innings. Against the Padres at Coors Field, Anderson is 1-0 with a 0.73 ERA in two starts.

Lucchesi will make his first career start on the road in his Coors Field debut. In his first two career starts, he has eight strikeouts and three walks in 9 2/3 innings, while yielding three earned runs.

Lucchesi’s second start was Thursday against the Rockies when he pitched five scoreless innings and allowed one hit, a single by Charlie Blackmon to open the game, with three walks and seven strikeouts.texans_013

The problems with Manziel’s comments about the Browns

Earlier today, we posted an item based on a quote from Johnny Manziel that had been pushed to Twitter by Andrew Perloff of The Dan Patrick Show, during Dan’s interview of Manziel. Some took issue with this, claiming that the comments were “taken out of context,” twisted to support a predetermined narrative.

This is a claim that emerges from time to time in the sports world, a second cousin once removed of the”fake news” shout, from those who prefer to ignore the words that came from someone’s mouth. Manziel’s words weren’t “taken out of context”; it was an isolated quote that has the same meaning in context as it has out of context.

How is the phrase “if Cleveland did any of their homework” anything other than a slap at Cleveland for not figuring out that Manziel was lying to them? Does anyone think that Manziel, when meeting with the Browns (or anyone else) in the pre-draft process said, “I’m not a guy who came in every day and watched film” and “I’m not a guy who really knows the X’s and O’s of football”? He surely said the opposite, which definitely means he was saying what he needed to say in order to get drafted as high as possible.

But the Bengals have been looking for an upgrade in the secondary, and they may be the team to give Reid an offer. If they do, it may quell the talk that he’s been blackballed, although questions about why it took so long for him to get an offer will persist.

Reid was the first player to join then-teammate Colin Kaepernick‘s protest in 2016.

Eric Karabell: Scott Kingery has appeared in seven games so far and already played five positions, so I would call that kind of impressive. At the plate, he has hit three doubles and certainly could stick in the No. 3 spot in the lineup. Fantasy managers are spending so much time worrying about whether he will become a regular at any position that they overlook the potential for more than 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases. So far I have seen every indication that a 20-20 campaign is feasible, as is more than 500 at-bats.

I also think Miami’s Brian Anderson, Pittsburgh’s Colin Moran and Cincinnati’s Jesse Winker will be successful thanks to excellent plate discipline and in each case undervalued power.patriots_113-223x223

Jed York says he and Richard Sherman unblocked each other on Twitter

Suh or the speculation on Odell first, he said, which one is it

For the next hour, with his voice beginning to scratch near the midpoint, McVay seamlessly handled queries about the Rams’ most recent acquisition — star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh — and the pursuit of New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

As he did Monday night after news broke of the Rams’ interest in Beckham, McVay prefaced answers to questions about him by saying he could not talk about other teams’ players because of tampering rules. He then reiterated that the Rams have demonstrated this offseason that they are not shy about pursuing any trade.

Translation: The Rams would love to add Beckham to a team that led the NFL in scoring last season.

Many coaches and NFL executives disdain and refuse to answer questions posed as hypotheticals. But McVay politely and enthusiastically embraced an onslaught.

How would a player such as Beckham hypothetically fit into the Rams offense

Trying to get myself right mentally, for my family. Show these people I deserve a second chance – to do this [sport] that I love. New Gators coach Dan Mullen said Elam was still a part of the Gators family, but there are no guarantees he’ll find an NFL family. He’s 26. There are plenty of younger safeties, including in the same building where he stood. Elam offered no rationalizations, and cast no blame. He said he got complacent. He said he made childish mistakes. He didn’t even use the injuries as an excuse, saying the time off helped me get right mentally. There are two questions here: 1) Is Elam right mentally 2) Was he good enough to begin with He did have a rash of injuries, but it’s impossible to tell if he would have done better if healthy. Was it a bad fit in Baltimore

Or was it something no team could fix On Wednesday he spoke not as a big shot but as a fringe player – a guy who was just trying to get a look, or maybe a camp invite. He said he’d do whbroncos_019-500x500atever is asked, whatever is needed. I’m still young, he said. I can move. I can do special teams. I can be a great teammate. I can lead guys. I can do a lot of stuff. He said it was time to grow up and be a man. He had the look of someone who had confronted his football mortality. He knew no one owed him a thing. He was asked bluntly why anyone should trust him with another shot. People make mistakes, he said.

That’s the NFL as we know it. Hardly anything is clear and indisputable.

Stanton’s first-inning shot blast screamed over the right-center field wall, landing about 10 rows deep into first deck’s seats. He was stoic as he jogged the bases, exhaling as he rounded third.

Gary Sanchez was the first to meet him, and they exchanged forearm bumps. When he got to the dugout steps, Aaron Judge put his hand on Stanton’s head and yelled, That’s what I’m talking about.

The home run came off a 91-mph two-seamer and it scored Gardner because Curtis Granderson flat-out dropped Gardner’s line drive right at him in left field to start the game.

The same is even suggested of the old catch rule, as NFL officiating director Al Riveron on Wednesday combated the notion that the new catch rule was effectively already in use during Super Bowl LII. The Eagles touchdowns by Corey Clement and Zach Ertz looked a lot like catches previously bound to be overturned on instant replay review.

Here’s to residual fuzziness. Riveron acknowledged there was slight movement of the football on the catches, but not clear, indisputable evidence.

Donnie Jones announced his retirement from in February after spending five years as the Eagles’ Mr. Reliable at punter, and 14 years in the NFL overall.

Now, the Eagles have a need at punter. The Raiders also just released one of the best — and most popular — players at the position in the NFL.

According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Marquette King went to the Raiders’ facility on Friday to meet some of his new coaches — Jon Gruden was hired as head coach in January — when Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie informed King he was being released.

King — affectionately referred to as’Punt Gawd’ by fans and renowned for his post-punt dance celebrations — is now on the open market, and he’s an option worth exploring at punter for the Eagles.

NFL Draft 2018: Eagles interested in South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst | Zach Ertz’s potential backup

King was a second-team All-Pro selection in 2016 and has been one of the most effective punters in the NFL since becoming the Raiders starting punter in 2013.patriots_045-223x223

Cowboys sign kicker/punter Brett Maher

The Cowboys announced they have signed kicker/punter Brett Maher.

Maher is unlikely to make the roster as the Cowboys have Dan Bailey at kicker and Chris Jones at punter. But Maher gives them an extra leg during the offseason and in training camp, taking up only one roster spot while ensuring that neither Bailey nor Jones is overworked.

Jazz: Beat the Lakers 117-110 on April 3. … Five players scored in double figures. … Derrick Favors had 10 points and 13 rebounds.

Lakers: Three of the five starters did not make a field goal in the first half. … Kyle Kuzma did not play due to a mild left ankle sprain.

Ennis had a career-high 22 points. He shot 9 of 18 from the field, made three steals and played 28 minutes off the bench.

“Basketball kind of rewards you when you come out and play hard,” Ennis said. “That’s what I tried to do the whole game. Whether shots are going in or out, I just try to keep going.”

Ricky Rubio played 18 minutes and had nine points, two assists and two steals for Utah. He was listed as questionable before the game due to hamstring soreness that forced him out of Thursday’s contest against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Rubio didn’t play in the second half, but Snyder said he was the key for Utah to start the game.

“I thought he stabilized us at the beginning of the game,” Snyder said. “I think his presence on the court was really important. His leadership is one of the reasons we’re where we are.”

While it’s unclear whether the league eventually will conclude that Guice was mistaken or lying, at least one team employee who has interacted with Guice was and still is convinced that Guice made it up.

It’s unclear when the investigation will be concluded, and whether any specifics will be released publicly. For now, however, it appears that the league will clear its various teams on this one.

I don’t pay much attention to other sports, but when I do, the goal is to find a way to relate it to the NFL.

So with Tiger Woods in the midst of finally getting his golf game back on track (even though he’s tied for 29th at The Masters), an obvious question arises, which will be addressed during Friday’s PFT Live.

Which was the most memorable NFL comeback?texans_046

Geno Smith signs with Chargers | How will he be remembered with Giants, Jets

Geno Smith is leaving the New York market.

The veteran quarterback signed Sunday with the Chargers to back up Philip Rivers, according to multiple reports. Smith spent his first four seasons with the Jets and one with the Giants.

With the Giants mired in a miserable season, Manning was benched in Week 13 in favor of Smith. It ended Manning’s prideful streak of 210 consecutive starts, which was the third-longest streak for a quarterback in NFL history.

Smith was the first African-American starting quarterback in the Giants’ 92-year franchise history.

The Giants fired general manager Jerry Reese and coach Ben McAdoo a few days later, and interim coach Steve Spagnuolo reinstalled Manning as the starter.

Smith handled the awkward situation well under duress — he received death threats — but let it be known that he felt he should keep playing.

Giants fans wanted either Manning (the past) or third-round pick Davis Webb (the future) to play over Smith, who always was seen as a short-term placeholder. He signed a one-year contract.

McAdoo told Smith he should’ve remained the starter for the rest of the season. Webb finished his rookie year with zero snaps, complicating the 2018 NFL Draft for the Giants.

Smith again will be backing up the quarterback with the longest active streak of consecutive starts. Rivers supplanted Manning at the top.

One of Smith’s missteps with the Jets was in San Diego, when he missed a team meeting because of an error adjusting his clock to the three-hour time difference as the Jets stayed on Eastern Standard Time. He started the game game, anyway.

Rawls runs likes a bowling ball wrapped in barbed wire, seeking out contact and delivering menacing blows for a player his size.

Unfortunately, the bruising physical style that makes Rawls so fun to watch has also held him back.

The new rule would have prevented several well-known incompletions from being overturned by replay review, including Calvin Johnson’s touchdown against the Chicago Bears in the 2010 season opener and Dez Bryant’s stumbling fourth-quarter grab just short of the goal line against the Packers in the playoffs.

What was happening was, on the field, the rule is pretty easy to officiate for officials, competition committee chairman Rich McKay said. They know what they are looking for, they make their calls. But when you get to replay and all of the sudden you slow it down frame-by-frame you can see the ball move just a little bit. You can see so many different things that you can’t see at full speed the rule got a little complicated.patriots_153-223x223

The Chargers led the NFL in passing offense last season, averaging 277 yards per game, all while surrendering a league-low 18 sacks.

It gets a little complicated after that, Sherman wrote. He also noted that agents negotiate bad deals all the time and that he wanted to be represented by somebody who was going to look out for my best interest and nothing else. He found that in himself. So, can Sherman regain his prior form That’s really the most important question in all of this.

It’s not like Sherman suddenly regressed to the point where he was a liability last season, but he wasn’t at his best either. In a nine-game 2017 season, Sherman notched two interceptions and seven passes defended. According to Pro Football Focus, Sherman allowed a 75.5 passer rating in coverage, which ranked 24th among qualified cornerbacks.

Wiggins has spent the past three seasons with the Chargers, staring 16 games at right guard last season. Assuming the Lions move Graham Glasgow to center next season, Wiggins would likely compete for a starting job at left guard.

Still, analytics site Pro Football Focus frowned on Wiggins’ individual performance, grading him 70th among 77 qualifying guards. They credited him with allowing just three sacks, but 41 total pressures on the quarterback, second-worst among all guards.

Wiggins played for Lions offensive line coach Jeff Davidson in 2016, who was serving in the same role with the Chargers in 2016.

The Los Angeles Chargers were one of 32 teams in attendance at the Louisville pro day Thursday and reportedly spent a little more time with Jackson than the others. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that Bolts offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt met with Jackson after his pro day.

Garafolo added for context that Chargers coach Anthony Lynn was effusive in his praise of Jackson at the combine, signifying that L.A. has real interest in the quarterback. Philip Rivers is 36 years old and has two years left on his contract. Behind him on the Chargers depth chart are longtime backup Kellen Clemens and third-year QB Cardale Jones, for whom L.A. traded ahead of last season. L.A. also met with former Jets quarterback Geno Smith this week.jets_100

From 2012 to’16, Brees’ average pass traveled 7.8 yards in the air and resulted in 5.1 yards after the catch.

To be fair to Dipoto, the Mariners made a strong campaign to sign Shoehi Ohtani, who would have made an enormous impact on their rotation. Yet Dipoto now says that he doesn’t anticipate that he’ll sign another starting pitcher. There are still four good starters out on the market. Obviously someone like Yu Darvish would be an enormous boost, but even Lance Lynn could provide plenty of quality innings.

The Saints’ second-half leads and excellent defense allowed them to run the ball more frequently last season, taking some of the workload off Brees, who averaged fewer attempts per game than he has since 2005.

His rate statistics remained strong, including an NFL-record completion percentage of 72.0, but they masked some on-field slippage.

In 2017, Brees threw much shorter passes, averaging 6.4 yards in the air, with those throws generating 6.2 yards after the catch.

Drew Brees, 39, will remain in New Orleans for at least two more seasons.? AP Photo/Bill Feig Going back through 2005, the only starting quarterback to average more yards after the catch than air yards in a single season is Alex Smith, who did it in 2014 and 2015.

The most head-scratching move of 2018 NFL free agency involves a quarterback who Ravens safety Eric Weddle on Twitter proclaimed “has been paid more for nothing than anyone in (the) history of (the) NFL.”

It’s one thing for a media member to level such scathing criticism. It’s far more damning when a player gets publicly eviscerated by one of his own, especially a peer as accomplished and well-regarded as Weddle.

Yet the Cardinals not only are reportedly set to sign Bradford to a one-year, $20 million contract that includes $15 million guaranteed when it appears no other team had anywhere near as much interest. Arizona reportedly is doubling-down on the QB stiffs with the intention to also add Mike Glennon on a one-year deal.

Darvish also boasted a 27 percent strikeout rate and 7.6 percent walk rate last season, and the latter is especially appealing for a Cubs team that had the seventh-highest walk rate in the league in 2017. Even for all that he offers as an effective swingman, Montgomery simply cannot compete with that. His walk rate was a full three percentage points higher than Darvish’s last year.ravens_169