Monthly Archives: August 2017

Dolphins’ Jay Cutler: ‘I’d be lying’ if I said I practiced for broadcasting job

It’s becoming more apparent that Jay Cutler just wasn’t ready to walk away from football.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter confirmed the report.

That is interesting news for current director DeMaurice Smith, who has been the organization’s director since 2009. His contract expires in March 2018.

The vote would take place Oct. 15.

Before, challengers were able to get in the ballot no matter what. In 2015, Smith faced eight opponents, which is a reason the organization decided to change the procedures.

As of right now, civil rights attorney Cyrus Mehri is the only person in the running against Smith. Mehri co-wrote “The Rooney Rule” and said the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, signed off on by Smith, has been disastrous for the NFLPA.

“It is ironic in a league where players have to compete every single day,” Mehri told the Post, “that De Smith is afraid of competition. NFL players deserve better.”

That said, Vick believes Kaepernick’s unemployment has more to do with his play over the past two seasons than with perhaps being blackballed by the league over his social stances, as many people believe.

What if Kaepernick is accused of selling out rather than keeping it real? Vick said he’d tell him not to sweat it if they were talking face to face.

“It’s not about selling out. When you’re good, and you’re playing great, then you’re going to be wanted. People are going to want to sign you, going to want to see you play,” Vick said.seahawks_007

We drafted an expansion Virginia Beach NBA team. Here’s who we picked and why

Adam Eaton Game Jersey In late July, NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced he is considering the idea of an expansion. Adding more franchises to the 30-team league is just a question of when the right time is to seriously start thinking about [it], he said.

Elite Keenan Robinson Jersey As we were talking about what an expansion draft would look like in 2017, we decided to do our own. We called upon the beautiful SB Nation network of team blogs and experts to protect their players from each team and let us know who was available for drafting.

Per the NBA’s rules of an Expansion Draft, each team was allowed to protect eight players. The rest would be available for a new team to take for a new franchise.

Whitney and I paired as one team in the East and we pit ourselves against SB Nation’s Seattle SuperSonics blog, Sonics Rising. Seattle has been the likely destination for an expansion team ever since the SuperSonics relocated and became the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008.

Across SB Nation we are celebrating the prospect of an NBA expansion draft that may be in our future. Our team blogs are declaring which players they’d protect, and two writers are drafting the leftovers on behalf of theoretical expansion teams on the horizon. It’s a fun project.

So was the last real NBA expansion draft, held in 2004. It was a delightfully wacky exercise in team-building that birthed the ignominious Charlotte Bobcats.

How did the Bobcats do that summer, between the June 22 expansion draft and the June 24 amateur draft? They have had three winning seasons in the 13 since those fateful days, and it took six years to make the playoffs. That pretty much says it all.

7’1 Thon Maker gave up his legroom on a flight just to be nice

Thon Maker may be a ruthless defender when he swats opponents’ shot attempts on the basketball court, but off the floor, he’s as kind as they come. The Milwaukee Bucks big man proved as much when he traded his Economy Plus seat on a flight to parts unknown for the worst seat in the house: The very last row next to the bathroom.

Alex Killorn Limited Jersey The story goes something like this: Maker missed his original flight to Milwaukee and had to catch the next one. He sat in a first-class seat, but the person whose seat he took eventually boarded the flight. United Airlines bumped Maker up to Economy Plus — after all, he’s 7’1 and can use all the legroom he can get.

This will be Beasley’s 10th season in the league, although his previous two only happened after stints in China wrapped up. Last year was the first time in three years that Beasley spent his entire time in the NBA, and he would have played more if not for a nasty last season knee injury that caused him to miss 17 games.

Beasley was largely effective off the bench for the Bucks, averaging 9.4 points on 53 percent from the field and even 42 percent on three-pointers on limited attempts.

Mike Evans Limited Jersey For the Knicks, Beasley may be a starter, assuming Carmelo Anthony is traded before opening day (like it appears he will be). He’s a combo forward, able to play either spot effectively with his 6’9 frame, too quick for big men to match him and too big for smaller forwards in the post. He’s still Beasley — occasionally prone to dumb shots and forced jumpers — but now turning 29, he’s more mature than he has ever been. As an offensive sparkplug, he has some real value.

The Bills traded Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby and are clearly rebuilding now

The Buffalo Bills took a step backward for the 2017 season Friday and instead began a long-term effort to restock the roster through the draft.

Make no mistake about it: Acquiring Jordan Matthews to replace Sammy Watkins and E.J. Gaines to replace Ronald Darby leaves the Bills in a lesser place with just a month until the regular season begins.

Bennett showed his appreciation for Britt’s gesture.

“I think it was very touching for me, a very emotional moment to have that kind of solidarity from someone like Justin Britt who’s a very known leader in our locker room.

It seems like they’ve gotten this one under control, though, thanks to those Dirt Devils.

For Pittsburgh, that means sorting out a loading receiving depth chart and a young, explosive defense. The Steelers added dynamic USC wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster in the second round of the NFL draft, making players like Sammie Coates and Justin Hunter potentially expendable. On the other side of the ball, 2017 draftees T.J. Watt and Cameron Sutton will try to work their way into a starting lineup hellbent on returning the unit to its Steel Curtain roots.

The Giants have a bit more roster uncertainty. After fielding the league’s 29th-ranked rushing attack last fall, New York remains in dire need of a true No. 1 tailback to emerge from the ether. Second-year back Paul Perkins got the nod at starter after a brief but intriguing rookie season, but he’ll need to prove he can handle the duties of a featured back. Behind him, veterans Shane Vereen, Orleans Darkwa, and Shaun Draughn offer an uninspiring platoon. One name who could emerge from the ether is former Clemson back Wayne Gallman, who slipped to the fourth round of the 2017 draft but ran for 3,400 yards — and a national championship — with the Tigers.redskins_012_ffe26216cd11f695-180x180

5 things we learned in Friday’s NFL preseason action

Authentic David Schlemko Jersey Friday was a mostly uneventful night of preseason football in the NFL. Patrick Mahomes, C.J. Beathard, Joshua Dobbs and Davis Webb all made their preseason debuts, but none had the eye-opening performance that Mitchell Trubisky did Thursday night.

Instead, it was a night of mostly good and OK performances.

There were still some things to take away from the three preseason games, though. Here’s five things we learned Friday night:

After Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson and DeShone Kizer all looked good in their preseason debuts, the pressure was on Patrick Mahomes to step up. He looked the part even if he finished with just 49 passing yards.

A good chunk of his yardage was called back by a holding penalty that negated a 40-yard pass on his first play from scrimmage. His highlight of the game instead was a touchdown pass across his body that was probably ill-advised but worked anyway.

Cutler has played the first two series for the Dolphins, going 3-of-6 for 24 yards.

The Dolphins struck first with a Senorise Perry 11-yard rush, which was followed up with a pair of Justin Tucker field goals. Ryan Mallett was then able to help get the Ravens the lead with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Larry Donnell.

Justin Tucker recovered a fumble on a kickoff in the 2nd quarter. Of course, this recovery came with a pretty cool celebration.
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If Butler hits the market, he’s likely to get an offer that exceeds Gilmore’s — and likely prices him out of Foxborough.

Luke Kunin: Tony Granato perfect choice as USA Hockey Olympic coach

When the news was officially announced on Friday , Kunin, a first-round draft pick by the Wild in 2016, wasn’t the least bit surprised.

These Olympics are more of a wild card given the lack of NHL participation, but Johansson, Granato and company made it clear the goal is still to win a gold medal.
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We had a couple of down years here at Wisconsin, and to take our group and to turn it around pretty much night-and-day, to be able to do that speaks for itself, Kunin said.

Kunin himself has come up through the amateur ranks and played a major role for USA Hockey. He was a member of the 2017 World Junior team, and also led the United States to gold at the 2015 IIHF Under-18 World Championship, when he served as captain with a roster comprised of the likes of Auston Matthews and Matthew Tkachuk.

Elite Youth Tajae Sharpe Jersey Had Kunin stayed at Madison for his junior season, he would likely be on the shortlist of college players to receive major consideration for a roster spot for the 2018 Olympic team. But the 19-year-old signed with Minnesota March 23, getting in 12 American Hockey League games at the end of the season.

Claude Julien is an experienced and well respected coach with a good knowledge of the Montreal market. Claude has been very successful as an NHL coach and he won the Stanley Cup. Today we hired the best available coach, and one of the league’s best. I am convinced that he has the capabilities to get our team back on the winning track.=

With his family watching in the stands and his teammates anxiously watching on the bench Sunday, Bickell didn’t miss.

Red Sox designate Pablo Sandoval for assignment

Pablo Sandoval was signed to what seemed to be a reasonable long-term contract during the 2014-2015 offseason, but nothing about the deal since has been reasonable. He’s struggled, he’s been hurt, and he’s struggled some more, and all of it cost him his job in Year 3 of his deal. The Red Sox announced that they designated Sandoval for assignment on Friday morning.
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He’s still owed $18 million in each of the next two seasons, a $5 million buyout, and what’s left of his $17 million for 2017. Sandoval signed a $95 million deal, so more than half of it is still out there waiting to be paid, and the Sox are either going to do so by paying him to play in the minors, or they’re going to part ways with the third baseman and watch someone else pick him up on Boston’s tab.
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The prospects are divided up into two teams — the U.S. Team and the World Team — with the international group representing 12 different countries.

For many of these players, their MLB future isn’t too far away, especially if last year’s game is any indication. The 2016 Futures Game featured several current major league regulars, including Boston Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi, Houston Astros infielder Alex Bregman, Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson, and San Diego Padres outfielders Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot, among others.

Last year’s Futures Game MVP Yoan Moncada, now in the Chicago White Sox organization, is back for a second straight year and is ranked as the No. 1 prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline.

Tuesday night’s total is set at nine runs. Eight of the last nine All-Star matchups have gone UNDER this year’s posted total.

For the first time since 2002, the MLB All-Star Game will not determine home-field advantage in the World Series. The end of the much-maligned rule should let this game return to being the light-hearted exhibition game it was always meant to be.

Spurs, Knicks, Heat, Timberwolves: Which is best fit for Kyrie Irving?

Kyrie Irving no longer wants to play alongside LeBron James in Cleveland, according to ESPN. The news came as a major surprise Friday evening, and left the NBA world shook. But now that we know he doesn’t want to play for the Cavs, we’re left to wonder where he will go.

We have a hint of where Irving would like to play. Adrian Wojnarowski reported Irving’s preference would be to play in San Antonio with Gregg Popovich. Woj’s ESPN colleague Chris Haynes said the same, but included some more teams of interest.

The Knicks? Irving wants to stop being LeBron’s teammate to play for the Knicks? Things in Cleveland must really be bad.

“I support Michael in everything he does,” Martellus Bennett said. “He’s very well-educated on what it is he wants to happen in the world and what he’s trying to communicate, and I think he does an awesome job. I love him to death, and I think he’s very courageous in the position he’s in and the things that he says, and I’m very proud to be his brother and to see him make the impact that he does — not just with stances like that but the work that he does in the community, the type of father that he is.

“If there’s anybody you can look up to, it’s Mike. I know sometimes he may come off a little abrasive, but man the dude is such a great guy. He’s always working in the community, he’s always trying to better the young and he’s a progressive thinker. I think it’s awesome.”

As Terry Bradshaw neared the end of his career, the Steelers drafted Malone with the No. 28 overall pick in 1980. Primarily their starter from 1984 through ’87, Malone did little to light it up. In his last season in Pittsburgh, he went 6-6 but threw six touchdowns to 19 interceptions for a 46.9 rating. Not too long after he hung it up, Malone embarked on a much stronger, longer gig as a popular sportscaster.dolphins_121

Here are the 10 must-see games of the 2017 NFL season.

Things were off from the beginning, tight end Greg Olsen told co-host Gil Brandt and me on SiriusXM NFL Radio. Every time we tried to correct it, it seemed like something else would pop.

Womens Byron Maxwell Jersey Added linebacker Thomas Davis: That’s all you heard about getting back to the Super Bowl, coming up short, how close we were to getting it done. … In our minds we felt like we had to hit the reset button and start over but I don’t think you can truly do that until you have a humbling season like we had last year.

Humbling is one way to describe a 6-10 record after going 15-1 in 2015.

Last year was a combination of things, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. Quite honestly, we didn’t handle last year very well, starting with me.

Such failure prompted Rivera to reflect upon the modus operandi from the previous three seasons (2013-15) when the Panthers reached the NFC playoffs.

We said, ‘OK, what did we do and what do we change and need to get back to?’ Rivera said. That was part of the process of evaluating.

Here are the 10 must-see games of the 2017 NFL season.
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A Christmas Day treat in Houston will have a pair of playoff hopefuls and two of the NFL’s stingiest defenses. The Texans have jettisoned Brock Osweiler and this could be an important game for both teams late in the season.

A playoff rematch that was dominated by the Falcons last season, the Seahawks will hope to get some revenge at home. The Legion of Boom may be losing some of its punch, but the Seahawks are a different team at home and there almost always seems to be some sort of controversy when Seattle gets a prime-time home game.

Red Sox collapse reminds AL that Yankees are far from done

That wasn’t how the Red Sox saw the opener of their three-game set going with the Yankees.

They blew a 3-0 lead in the eighth inning on a less-than-stellar performance from trade-deadline acquisition Addison Reed and walked away with an embarrasing 5-4 loss which put an end to their seven-game winning streak.

Charlotte, N.C. The metro area is about half the size of Phoenix’s and the Triple-A stadium in town, BB&T Ballpark, can’t be expanded. Unrelated: The county and city governments are resisting demands by people wanting to bring Major League Soccer to the city to pay for a $150 million stadium. Even if the corporate community decided it could make money on a baseball project, we’re talking about a facility that would be multiple times more expensive.

Las Vegas. Sin City extended itself to get the Raiders to come there. The D-backs might be disappointed if they’re intent on using other people’s money to conduct business. Plus, they’ll start life there as the No. 3 franchise (behind the Raiders and the NHL’s Golden Knights).
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San Antonio. The Alamodome can’t fit a regulation field (as the dumb exhibitions played there have shown). Plus, the San Antonio option quietly disappeared after the Marlins used the market as a pawn in its own extortion plot (see: free Marlins Park).

The common thread in the flawed alternatives? Subpar markets and/or facilities. Chase Field is a desert oasis in comparison, random geyser eruptions notwithstanding.
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Rockies/Diamondbacks 鈥?Living in the Dodgers’ shadow in the NL West, both the Rockies and Diamondbacks made nice moves this summer. Colorado added All-Star reliever Pat Neshek and catcher Jonathan Lucroy.