Category: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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“Rookie Premiere” rules spark a social-media skirmish

The annual NFLPA “Rookie Premiere” happens this weekend, with select draft picks making the trek to L.A. for the event. The requirements of the exercise triggered a social-media skirmish that resulted in ESPN’s Darren Rovell once again being stuffed in a locker.

And regardless of what happens, the Rookie Premiere is indeed baked into the CBA. For a sport that makes it hard for players to market themselves individually, there’s nothing wrong with taking a weekend to put on their new uniforms and pose for photos that will end up on trading cards and elsewhere.

Jones’ contract calls for a base salary of $10.5 million this year and the five-year pact has an average annual salary of $14.25 million. That currently ranks eighth among wide receivers.

Last week’s report indicated the Falcons are amenable to revisiting Jones’ deal, but it’s not clear whether that will happen if he stays away from the team for the remainder of the offseason program. He would be eligible for fines if he does not take part in the team’s mandatory minicamp next month.

Knebel walked off the mound toward the plate while waving his hands and yelling at Hernandez.

I let my emotions get to me, Knebel said. “Right when I threw my hands up I realized, that’s stupid. You can’t get thrown out of the game right now.”

Pinch-runner Nick Ahmed was caught stealing, Paul Goldschmidt struck out looking and Daniel Descalso grounded out to end the game.

Relative to their Super Bowl odds, five teams stand above the rest as being overvalued going into next season.cowboys_039


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NFL players lobbying Roger Goodell to reinstate Randy Gregory

Randy Gregory has a lot of people screaming loudly in the ear of Roger Goodell.

We’ll go through the process. Any way we can help to support him, we’ll certainly embrace that opportunity, said Garrett, via Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News. He’s someone that has worked very hard at this and we’re excited about his future.

Marshall was one of several Giants receivers to go down with a serious injury in 2017. The veteran missed the missed the bulk of the year after undergoing ankle surgery in October.

Jerry Jones: Cowboys not interested in signing a veteran tight endat this time

The Saints cut Coby Fleener, while Marcedes Lewis and Antonio Gates are among the tight ends still available as free agents. The Cowboys aren’t interested despite losing Jason Witten.

Owner Jerry Jones insists the Cowboys are prepared to go with the young tight ends on their roster.

I like the group that we have and don’t see at this time [adding a veteran], but I reserve the right to change my mind, Jones said.

Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa: Green Bay continues revamping its secondary after taking Louisville CB Jaire Alexander in Round 1. Jackson picked off eight passes last year, though he doesn’t have a ton of experience at corner. His ball skills might also make him a candidate to eventually play safety. Has drawn comparisons with Richard Sherman, though Jackson (6-0, 196) isn’t as big.

Breeland Speaks, DE, Mississippi: He should lineup just outside the offensive tackle at 6-3, 283 pounds, bolstering a three-man front that hasn’t been getting enough juice aside from Chris Jones’ production. colts_015


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Who will be punching a ticket to the second round? Our NBA experts make their predictions for all eight matchups.

But the final 11 seconds of regulation were a delirious stretch that somehow morphed Sunday’s tilt from a rock fight to an instant classic.

Let’s relive four critical moments through the eyes of the players and coaches involved:

David Freese (R), 0.5 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Detroit Tigers (LHP Matthew Boyd): Lefty on the hill? Don’t Freese the platoon wizard out of your lineup. Boyd’s early 1.40 ERA comes with tepid dominance at just 5.1 K/9. He’s bound to falter soon, and Pittsburgh’s righty-hitting piece is an ideal rental to sneak in a productive day.

Jurickson Profar (B), 2.1 percent, Texas Rangers vs. Oakland Athletics (RHP Kendall Graveman): That percentage is way too low. Likely locked into a starting role for at least the next several weeks with Elvis Andrus (arm) sidelined — and freshly eligible at shortstop as a result — Profar is riding a four-game hit streak heading into Tuesday. Graveman has paid for mistakes against lefty bats so far this year by allowing the third-highest wOBA in that split (.519) and generally pitches to contact (career 14.8 strikeout percentage).

Ryan McMahon (L), 3.7 percent, Colorado Rockies vs. San Diego Padres (RHP Tyson Ross): The celebration of David Dahl’s callup has hid the fact that McMahon has been assigned nine starts in the Rockies’ past 12 games.

Via the Charleston Gazette-Mail, the Governor’s proclamation of a done deal is being challenged by others involved in the crafting of a sports wagering program.

“I don’t know how in the world we got to the point where the governor says there is a deal. There is no deal in place,” West Virginia Gaming and Racing Association president John Cavacini said.

Separate questions have emerged regarding whether, if the deal has been struck, the meetings resulting in the consensus violated the state’s open meetings law, which means that a legal challenge could be coming.

The director of the West Virginia Lottery Commission, Alan Larrick, pushed back against his boss more gently, explaining that there’s “an agreement in principle,” but not final deal. Larrick also acknowledged that a so-called “integrity fee” is on the table.orioles_043


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Russell Westbrook praises James Harden, doesn’t make MVP endorsement

Reigning MVP Russell Westbrook praised former teammate James Harden but stopped short of saying the Rockets superstar deserves MVP honors this season.

Harden, who had his second MVP runner-up finish last season, is widely considered the favorite this season. He leads the NBA in scoring (30.6 PPG) and ranks third in assists (8.7 APG) for the Rockets, who have clinched the top seed in the playoffs.

Cleveland’s LeBron James, a four-time MVP, is considered the primary challenger to Harden. James is averaging 27.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 9.2 assists per game and has been especially dominant since the All-Star break.

Westbrook, whose campaign last season was fueled by becoming the only player in NBA history other than Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double, has not generated much MVP buzz despite posting impressive numbers again this season. He entered Saturday averaging 25.6 points, 9.9 rebounds and a league-leading 10.1 assists per game, but the Thunder have been perceived as disappointing after their offseason trades for Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.

Take a look at the outpouring of love and support that took over social media Sunday remembering Taylor’s impact of a career cut short.

If Manning stays retired, Fox is pursuing Cowboys tight end Jason Witten as Plan B, say sources.

The 35-year old Witten could be another Romo, say sources. He has the same direct-from-the-huddle knowledge of today’s game and TV-friendly personality. Like Romo, he’d have a built-in fan base of Cowboys fans across the country. With America’s Team constantly featured in the best broadcast windows, Witten is a household name after 15 seasons in the league.

On the other hand, Witten won’t make as much in the booth as he can on the field. Under his current deal, he averages $7.4 million annually, according to Spotrac.com . Unlike the oft-injured Romo, Witten is still at the top of his game. He’s coming off his 11th Pro Bowl season and has played 239 straight games for the Cowboys. Jerry Jones gave him a four-year contract extension in 2017.

That could leave Joe Thomas, the just-retired Browns offensive lineman. Or another star tight end: Greg Olsen of Panthers.cardinals_136


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Suh signing makes Rams big winners of NFL free agency, according to ‘Madden’

Whether it’s because of the massive contracts being handed out or the increased willingness for teams to complete trades, NFL offseasons are more dramatic now than ever. That drama has been on display since the start of 2018 league year, with several teams making a pushes to contend while others find themselves rebuilding.

As they relate to the upcoming edition of the “Madden NFL” video game series, the moves being made in 2018, both in free agency and via trades, have differing levels of impact.

Los Angeles has also added Aqib Talib (93 Overall) and Marcus Peters (87 Overall) to its secondary, which more than offsets the loss of Trumaine Johnson (82 Overall). The departures of Sammy Watkins (82 Overall) and Alec Ogletree (74 Overall) are not very significant.

The other NFC West team that appears to be on the rise also made a big splash in free agency, as the 49ers’ signing of Richard Sherman (91 Overall) is one of the flashiest moves of the offseason. Sherman likely will start the season rated lower considering he’s coming off a major injury, but he still might be the team’s highest-rated player.

If it happens, McGlinchey may join Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson, who widely is regarded as a guy who’ll be taken in the top 10. Some of the more prominent mock drafts (we’ll have one, and it will be posted whenever it’s posted) have McGlinchey going no higher than No. 16, to the Ravens.

Brandt’s prediction suggests that he’s reliably been told by a team picking in the top 10 that McGlinchey will be the pick. In 17 days, we’ll see whether it happens. Along with every other pick taken in round one.

Brandt claims he was misquoted. “I’m getting killed on Twitter,” he said in a tweet directed to King. “I didn’t realize you were asking me a prediction for the top 10. I thought you asked what would surprise me most in top 10. I would be shocked if McGlinchey went in top 10. I wouldn’t be shocked if he slid out of Round 1.”

If the Giants do decide to give Beckham a rich extension, they surely will seek to include stringent clauses in the contract that will require Beckham to give back signing bonus money if he is suspended for any reason.texans_132


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Johnny Manziel will play two quarters in Spring League debut

Johnny Manziel hasn’t played a competitive game since December 27, 2015. That changes Saturday when he makes his debut with The Spring League.

The former Browns quarterback will play the first and third quarters, Kevin Seifert of ESPN reports.

The four teams in the league will rotate quarterbacks, so Manziel should see around 30 snaps.

Manziel will play in the second of the two games in Austin, Texas.

The Wild started fast, holding San Jose to no shots on goal for nearly nine minutes and taking a 2-0 lead on goals from Brodin and Cullen.

The Sharks then found their game late in the period and scored twice in 64 seconds to tie it, with Burns getting the first on a shot from the point and Pavelski tying the game after a turnover by Matt Dumba.

Wild D Louie Belpedio made his NHL debut after signing a contract earlier this week following a four-year career at Miami of Ohio. He had two assists to become the first Minnesota player ever with two points in his debut. … Sharks F Evander Kane returned to the lineup after missing two games with an undisclosed injury. … Brodin’s goal gave him 100 career points.

Jonas Valanciunas scored 25 points, and the Raptors rallied for a 108-98 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Monday night. Toronto closed the second quarter on a 21-7 run, and the Raptors also scored the first 13 points of the fourth.

Detroit was without injured stars Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin for its home finale, but the Pistons still led 53-36 in the first half. But it was 60-57 at halftime, and Detroit managed only 38 points over the final two quarters.

“I think we competed hard,” said Eric Moreland, who started at center in place of Drummond. “I think we competed on both ends tonight.”

The short-handed Pistons are out of playoff contention, and Toronto had some key players out too in Fred VanVleet and Serge Ibaka. Although the result meant little, it was a tight, entertaining game through three quarters. The Raptors led 85-80 at the end of the third before breaking it open.texans_111


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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


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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


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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


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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