Adrian Clayborn injured quad during offseason workouts

With Phase 3 of the offseason program soon to begin in most NFL cities, the chances of a player injury will increase. Of course, the injury risk already was there during the less intense portions of the program.

The same can be said for LaMarcus Aldridge (No. 32) and Marc Gasol (No. 33). Aldridge has carried a heavy workload for much of his career and is set to enter his 13th NBA season, while Gasol is set to turn 34 in the middle of next season.

Like Gasol, Paul Millsap (No. 64) is another former high fantasy pick who is set to turn 34 next season, as he enters his 13th season in the league.

There is no need to do it, Judge said Tuesday when asked about defending his title.

Judge was hitting .329 with 30 homers and 66 RBIs at the 2017 All-Star break, then batted .179 with seven homers and 16 RBIs with 67 strikeouts in his next 44 games through the end of August.

Judge finished the regular season with an AL-leading 52 home runs.

When asked in spring training if the post-Derby slump would impact his decision to avoid the event, Judge shook his head.

The Derby wasn’t even that big of a toll, to be honest, he said. “It’s just like taking BP. It really wasn’t too taxing. I wasn’t trying to swing 110 percent, I was taking a normal 80, 90 percent swing, trying to make contact.”

The Chargers signed Virgil Green to a three-year, $8.6 million deal this offseason to serve as the team’s blocking tight end. Sean Culkin, Ben Johnson and Cole Hunt are the other tight ends on the team’s 90-man roster, so depth at that position is an issue.ravens_078

Scott Zolak shares some insights about a strange New England offseason

There’s something different about the 2018 offseason for the New England Patriots. While the question of whether that means a different 2018 regular season remains to be seen, things definitely are different for now.

So what’s happening and why is it happening? Scott Zolak of the Patriots Radio Network and 98.5 The Sports Hub joined Tuesday’s PFT Live to discuss the situation. If you missed it, you’re in luck; the video is attached.

Richardson contends that, within days after making his complaint, Lions G.M. Bob Quinn met with Richardson and expressed “concerns about Richardson’s work performance.” Coaches also allegedly gave Richardson unfavorable internal ratings after he made the complaint.

The league and the team will eventually respond to the complaint, either by answering the allegations or attempting to dismiss the case. If the lawsuit survives any preliminary attempt to get it thrown out of court, depositions and other discovery will occur, culminating in a settlement, dismissal of the case via summary judgment, or a trial.

Via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, a pair for former Lions employees have filed suit against the team and the league, alleging race and age discrimination. The plaintiffs are Robert Yanagi, the Lions’ former director of video operations, and Michael Richardson, an assistant video director.

The Lions acknowledged the lawsuit but had no comment, citing the ongoing nature of the litigation.

(Unless, of course, the comment had nothing to do with anything that he was dealing with personally at that point in time, and that it had to do with some different things that he saw were out there, you know, different things that were going on, where we are in this society as a whole.)

How can Warner be surprised by the news, created by Warner himself, that a guy who last played in January 2010 was ready to play again in 2018? It’s an amazing revelation, and it would be news no matter what else is going on in the news cycle.orioles_053

A homer at home: Lindor’s shot helps Indians top Twins 6-1

A home run, at his homecoming.

Say this for Francisco Lindor: He clearly has a flair for the dramatic.

Our goal was to win, but it was pretty cool to see Frankie come through like that, Indians manager Terry Francona said. To see the way the fans responded, and then to see how genuinely excited he was about it, it was pretty cool.

So, too, was Indians ace Corey Kluber, who allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings. He gave up five hits and struck out six, lowering his ERA to 1.52.

Michael Brantley and Jose Ramirez each had three hits for Cleveland in the first regular-season game on the island commonwealth since 2010. Brantley and Ramirez hit consecutive homers in the sixth, and Yonder Alonso added a solo homer in the eighth for Cleveland.

Brian Dozier had two hits for the Twins, including an RBI double in the seventh that chased a sweat-drenched Kluber after 104 pitches. Minnesota starter Jake Odorizzi (1-1) gave up six hits and four runs, all of them coming across on homers, in five-plus innings.

They play really hard, Miami manager Don Mattingly said about his club. We’re just a young team that I think’s going in the right direction.

Garcia (1-0) gave up one hit in five shutout innings , pitching around five early walks to win for the first time as a starter. Miguel Andujar doubled with one out in the fifth against Garcia — who held the New York Mets hitless for six innings last week in his initial major league start.

He just continued what I’ve been seeing him do before I got back, Realmuto said. He’s throwing the ball really well.

One night after a 12-1 drubbing in the Bronx, the last-place Marlins (5-12) returned the favor to split the two-game series. The listless Yankees committed two costly errors in the first two innings as Miami built a 4-0 lead.

New York also threw a wild pitch and had a passed ball on a 44-degree night. The Yankees (8-8) have made an AL-high 17 errors in 16 games.

We’ve got to get better in that department, and we will, rookie manager Aaron Boone said.
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NFL schedule 2018: Release date news; home, away opponents for each team

The 2018 NFL schedule will be released at a date that provides plenty of time for the league’s fans and media to break it down for months before the start of the season — about four months, to be specific.

According to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, The Dolphins view linebacker as a bigger need than defensive tackle and have been impressed by Roquan Smith’s all-around skills.  

Two of the names that stood out to them from that third category were Michael Crabtree and Dez Bryant.

I think there are not a lot of bipartisan things our elected officials can agree on, but this should be one of them: honoring former New Orleans Saint and current ALS spokesman and beacon Steve Gleason with the United States Congressional Gold Medal. Democratic senators from Gleason’s home state of Washington and Republican senators from his adopted state of Louisiana co-sponsored the legislation, which must be approved by two-thirds of both the Senate and the House of Representatives to become law. Gleason, who is wheelchair-bound and communicates by using his eye with a special computer program, would be the 107th individual so honored by the House and Senate over the past century.

Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said the team did not learn of the investigation until Friday. The Seahawks also reportedly were unaware of the incident before the March 7 trade that sent Bennett to the Eagles, along with a seventh-round pick, for backup receiver Marcus Johnson and a fifth-round pick.

James is best deployed in a role allowing him to blitz and attack near the line of scrimmage, but he’s no slouch in coverage. With further development, he could take on more of a single high safety role. Projected: potential top 10

He was expected to battle for a starting spot in Philadelphia’s deep stable of cornerbacks, which includes Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones, Jalen Mills and Rasul Douglas. Bowen offered more context on Worley’s potential standing with the Eagles going forward in the event he isn’t released: 

Worley is the second player acquired by the Eagles this offseason facing potential legal issues. Defensive end Michael Bennett was acquired by the team in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks and was charged with felony injury to the elderly after allegedly shoving aside a female staffer while trying to get on the field following the New England Patriots Super Bowl win over the Atlanta Falcons in Feb. 2017.
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Jim Mora says he was “in no way being negative” toward Josh Rosen

In days and weeks preceding the draft, a prospect’s college coach is expected to be over-the-top in his praise of the player. Typically, it’s all taken with a grain of salt, because that’s what the coach is supposed to say.

An assessment from a coach becomes noteworthy, then, when it’s anything but over the top. Enter the multiple statements made in recent days by former UCLA coach Jim Mora. They were far from over the top.

“Josh loves football,” Mora said. “There’s been a question, ‘Does Josh love football?’ He loves football. He’s on record as saying, ‘If I didn’t love football, I wouldn’t play football.”

Mora also said that Rosen has never indicated that he doesn’t want to play for the Browns, explaining that Rosen is a “competitor” who wants to be the first pick.

“You want to be recognized as the best,” Mora said.

Still, people will look at the full body of Mora’s comments and wonder whether the guy who coached him at UCLA truly does.

In hindsight, the Jets’ decision to spring from No. 6 to No. 3 before the draft starts could be the aberration. The better move when acquiring a pick always is to get the pick at a time when no one else can react to the development by trying to acquire a higher pick.

The most obvious candidate to make a move up is the Bills, who already have jumped from No. 21 to No. 12 in a climb that most see as a stepping stone to something much higher. The Giants remain the most likely partner at No. 2, but other teams could be interested in the pick, and the Giants have no reason to rush a trade, given the reality that the offers will get better, not worse, as the draft approaches.

Other teams in the top 10, primarily those who don’t need a top-flight quarterback, could be looking to trade down and stockpile picks; the question becomes which quarterbacks will be left after the first three or four picks are made. Which makes those types of trades even more conducive to waiting and seeing how things pan out.la_kings_006

Bears signing kicker Cody Parkey

The Bears continued their aggressive early work in free agency, and they just have to hope it works out better than last year’s.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Bears are signing Dolphins kicker Cody Parkey.

I hope, but I’ve been in the league long enough to know that it’s a business, and it’s not always about what I want, Mathieu said, via ESPN.com.

Mathieu ed all 16 games for the first time in his career last season and finished the year with 78 tackles, two interceptions and a sack for the Cardinals.

They believe in the strength of the league.

This is a key feature of the Goodell era in the NFL: his ability to rake in ever more money for the owners despite mounting problems.

The recent deals give Goodell some good news to bring into an owners meeting that will otherwise be subsumed with ongoing challenges.

The league has been unable to quell the anthem protests by players after two seasons.

Certainly the Rangers rotation or anyone attending a Mavericks game this month belongs in this category.

Then there is the unique brand that can be provided only by the NFL owners at their league meetings.

Next week we will get rules changes in the NFL as we inevitably do.

Shead is visiting the Lions today and will meet with the 49ers on Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports.

In a previous life, I would fly to Maui or Palm Desert to cover these affairs.

Hall of Fame defensive back and former Oakland Raiders assistant Rod Woodson raised some doubts Wednesday about the team’s offseason moves, and the decision to give new coach Jon Gruden a $100-million contract.

Can the circle be unbrokenHe has been responsible Europe for the SEMI International49ers_216

Nuggets:The Nuggets failed to reach 114 points. Denver had scored at least 114 in nine of its previous 10 games. …

Millsap added: “That was big for us to come out and not fold under pressure. (The Grizzlies) had an opportunity to tie the game up a couple of times, and we were able to get stops.”

C Nikola Jokic, who had recorded a triple-double in three of the previous five games, managed nine points, nine rebounds and five assists.

Grizzlies: The Grizzlies used their 22nd different starting lineup. … The last time Memphis had a 12-game losing streak was from Jan. 6-31, 2009. .G Myke Henry, called up from the G League before the game, had a career-high five steals. .F Ivan Rabb had a career-best six offensive rebounds, part of Memphis grabbing 17 from the offensive glass

“Just improving over time,” Ball said of how his rookie season is going. “Started off slow, but I think I am getting my rhythm now; I thought I was getting it before I got hurt, so I am trying to pick up where I left off.”

While Thomas might not be a fan of Ball’s form, the Lakers’ newer point guard likes the results so far.

“He is a gym rat, so he is going to continue to get better, no matter what and no matter how it looks,” Thomas said of Ball. “It reminds me of Kevin Martin’s shot when he used to play in the NBA, and how successful was he? He was a really good shooter. So, I think if he just continues to work at it, it is only going to get better.”

“Ginobili, he’ll be trying to drive it to the basket when he’s in his casket,” Gentry said. “That’s just who he is. To me, I don’t know if there has been another guy in this league that is more competitive than he is.”

Paul George had 23 points and 11 rebounds, and Adams had nine points and 12 boards.

Thunder: F Jerami Grant was called for a flagrant foul for a swipe at the head when Powell made a layup in the first half. … The Thunder outrebounded the Mavericks 56-36, including a 19-8 edge on offensive rebounds.

Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki, who is sixth on the NBA scoring list, reached 31,000 points with his patented one-legged fadeway in the middle of the second quarter. The 39-year-old German, in his 20th season, all with the Mavericks, finished with 12 points. … Powell led Dallas with eight rebounds. … J.J. Barea scored all 12 of his points in the fourth quarter and matched Westbrook with a game-high seven assists.49ers_216

Penguins pick up Derick Brassard, trade Ian Cole to Senators in deal involving Vegas

The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired center Derick Brassard from Ottawa on Friday night in a three-team deal that sent defenseman Ian Cole to Ottawa and forward Ryan Reaves to the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Penguins announced the deal Friday night during their 6-1 victory at Carolina, with Pittsburgh general manager Jim Rutherford calling it “the most complex trade I’ve made” because of salary cap issues and the involvement of a third team.

For different reasons, the Senators and Golden Knights will have an oversized impact on the trade deadline. We preview what could be a wild weekend, along with the Jersey Foul of the Week, a potential Olympic return for the NHL, puck headlines and more.

Pittsburgh is trying to become the first team since the 1982-83 New York Islanders to win three straight Stanley Cups. Brassard figures to slide in as the third-line center behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

“We’ve tried to get more depth at center and get more insurance there,” Rutherford said. “Our centers have played pretty well, but you’ve got to have a lot of strength at center and we just felt we had a chance to get a guy like this, this was a good addition.”

This offseason, you can expect quarterback-needy teams to try to make space for Kirk Cousins. He’s going to require a large contract, especially after Jimmy Garoppolo signed his mega deal. The Jaguars are just one of a handful of teams that we could see making a push for him, but they would have to make some cuts to make that happen. They could start with Bortles, immediately opening up $19 million.

The spread on the Super Bowl had the Patriots favored by 4.5 points. The line opened at Patriots -6, and dropped as low as -4, but it didn’t matter with the Eagles winning outright. At kickoff, the Eagles were +176 on the moneyline, so if you bet $100 on the Eagles to win the game, you won $176.

The point total was at either 48 or 48.5 at kickoff, depending on your sportsbook of choice. This too did not matter as the game blew past it in the third quarter. After a relatively quiet first quarter, things picked up from there and the final score brought a total of four points. That is the highest point total since 75 combined points between the San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl 29.
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He hit a career-best .315 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs last year despite being slowed by a thumb injury that kept him out from mid-July to September.

The first overall pick in the 2012 amateur draft has always been a solid defender, but he is looking to take that part of his game to the next level.

I want to be able to save more runs and be an elite defender, and I think if I can do that with the way I hit it’s just going to be something special, he said.

Stage 2 has ended with Ryan Blaney in the lead. He’s now led 46 of 120 laps. Paul Menard and Joey Logano round out the top three. Just 21 teams are on the lead lap, while 11 of the 40 teams are now off the track for the remainder of the race.

Following two multi-car crashes that knocked out several contenders, the Daytona 500 has settled down and is in amidst the longest green-flag racing stretch of the afternoon. Ryan Blaney continues lead, with Joey Logano second and Denny Hamlin third.

When he went down it really cut it short, Servais said. We were already a little bit short on how far we were able to stretch our starter. We were in tough spots in a number of games in that sixth inning, early seventh inning.

After a warmup period, the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) pair of Jonathan Guerreiro and Tiffani Zagorski kicked off the second group. They had an excellent technical score, 34.15, and had a total score of 66.47, taking first place. Next was the French team of Romain Le Gac and Marie-Jade Lauriault, and they scored a 59.97, taking third place.

The team of Kirill Khaliavin and Sara Hurtado from Spain came up seventh, and they knocked it out of the park with a score of 66.93, and a technical score of 35.07. They took over first place with the routine. Alper Ucar and Alisa Agafonova of Turkey are up next. They scored a 59.42, which put them fifth overall.
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Zuccarello scores 2 to lead Rangers to 5-2 win over Devils

“We dug ourselves a pretty big hole,” said Rick Nash, who had two assists. “We have bounced back well but when you are underneath that line and you are chasing those teams, points are hard to come by. . Last night was a tough loss, it was a good bounce back tonight.”

Then Holiday opened the fourth quarter by letting fly quick 3s and changed the game.

This year’s crop of available quarterbacks should be better than most, especially with Manning and the Giants headed toward a messy divorce. He’s not the only proven veteran who could be available. Kirk Cousins has no ties to Washington after Week 17. Minnesota will have to make a decision between free agents Sam Bradford, Case Keenum, and Teddy Bridgewater.

During his Tuesday media address, the Steelers coach downplayed the brutality at Paul Brown Stadium in Pittsburgh’s 23-20 comeback win and said the rivalry game provides opportunities for both teams to progress.

Rodgers-Cromartie said he tries to stay in Apple’s ear. He knows from experience what the young cornerback is dealing with this season. Rodgers-Cromartie had his own struggles early in his career and is on his fourth NFL team despite being a Pro Bowl corner.

He said Apple doesn’t want to leave the Giants but has enough talent and tape to get a second chance if something goes awry.

“I don’t want to see him go down that path. I try to stay on him,” Rodgers-Cromartie said.

Is he headed in the right direction?
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