Category Archives: Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers

Blazers’ Damian Lillard met privately with owner Paul Allen to discuss future

Blazers star Damian Lillard met in secret with owner Paul Allen to talk about the future of the franchise and where the team is headed, according to a report from ESPN.

Lillard requested the meeting, which lasted about an hour, to “reaffirm his commitment” to the organization, but he also wanted to ensure he and the franchise were aligned with the same goals of winning a championship while he’s still in his prime.

Lillard has four years remaining on a contract that owes him $115 million.

The senior goalie stopped 74 of 75 shots in winning one game and tying one last weekend, including her 10th shutout of the season in a 0-0 tie with Connecticut College. She leads the NESCAC in goals-against average (1.00), save percentage (.963) and shutouts, and wrapped up quite a career there.

The mass shooting at the Parkland, Florida, school remains an unfathomable tragedy for those affected by it. That includes the members of the school’s boys’ hockey team, who won the state championship in their league less than two weeks after the shooting. The tragedy claimed the life of Jaime Guttenberg, sister of junior varsity player Jesse Guttenberg. The players placed their medals from that tournament win on memorials of the victims, with senior Matthew Horowitz telling the media that “we’re pretty much fighting for the 17 who passed away.”

Ty Lue says Tristan Thompson will start at center, Kevin Love goes back to the 4 and Jae Crowder will come off the bench.

During his spring tutorials, Gordon fields balls launched from a machine and fungoes directly off the bat, which behave less predictably. He looks natural on fly balls in the gap, while line drives hit straight at him or directly over his head pose more of a challenge.

“Once the season starts and we get the scouting reports, we’ll have a really good idea where he should play hitters,” Prieto said. “Right now, I want him to use his instincts. I want him to read swings and challenge himself to the pull side and the opposite side. He comes in every day, and he’s looking to get better. He doesn’t just want to be a good center fielder. He wants to be a great center fielder, and it shows in everything he does.”

Butler hurt as Rockets beat Wolves for 11th straight win

Timberwolves: After Butler fell to the floor, the play continued and ended with Gibson committing a horse-collar-like takedown of Harden on a layup. Harden made the desperation heave and ensuing free throw to put the Rockets up 14. … Towns and fellow 7-footer Cole Aldrich served as human crutches in escorting Butler to the locker room.

Rockets: With a steal in the third quarter, Paul passed Allen Iverson for 12th on the NBA’s career list with 1,984. Mookie Blaylock is 11th with 2,075 steals. … In his second game with the Rockets, veteran small forward Joe Johnson had 10 points in 22 minutes.

“We see it every year,” Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook head NBA oddsmaker Jeff Sherman told ESPN. “It’s part of being informed of what’s going on.”

“The NBA is always a headache,” William Hill director of trading Nick Bogdanovich said. “Sharper players already have lower limits.”

However, this particular stretch might force one bookmaker into uncharted territory.

“It [may] get to the point as weeks go by [where I don’t] book those games,” Golden Nugget sportsbook director Tony Miller said. He did promise lower betting limits for games involving teams out of playoff contention.

Twenty-four games remain in the regular season, with the Warriors a half-game behind the Houston Rockets for the top spot in the Western Conference. Whether or not they’ve received enough rest during the break, they know it’s time to perform if they want to make a trip to the Finals for the fourth consecutive season.

Curry is confident that his team will be focused for the stretch run.

“We’ve got [24] games before the playoffs to chase another championship,” Curry said, “so [we’ll be] ready to hit the ground running when we get back.”

The Rockets have won 11 straight at home against the Timberwolves and will go for a four-game season series sweep in Minnesota on March 18. In their previous three meetings, Houston overwhelmed Minnesota from beyond the arc, making 19.5 3-pointers per game. But whether it was rust or an improved defensive strategy from Minnesota, Houston was limited to just 14 of 38 3-pointers on Friday night.

Ryan Shazier will have some sort of role with the Steelers in 2018.

“I expect Ryan is going to be here one way or the other and have a role with the team one way or the other in 2018, for sure,” Steelers owner Art Rooney II said of the injured linebacker Wednesday, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Shazier, who is still recovering from a back injury in early December, would be entering the fifth year on his initial contract. After earning $9.56 million over his first NFL seasons, Shazier will count $8.7 million against the Steelers’ salary cap after the team exercised the fifth-year option on his rookie contract last year.

“Look, we have a great relationship with Ben. We’ll talk through things. The important thing is he wants to be here and he wants to continue beyond the contract. That’s great.”

“The only thing Nick would do is maybe on a Tuesday say, ‘My shoulder is a little sore.we just work on the short passing game?'” Long said. “I told him that wasn’t a problem.”

It became one during basketball season.

“He’s playing in a game and goes to throw a full-court,” Long recalled, “and I think his shoulder about dropped down to his knee. Somehow he was able to keep that shoulder working during (football) season, and it just couldn’t handle basketball.”

Foles was forced to undergo surgery. But as evidenced by his rifle 22-yard touchdown pass to Corey Clement in Sunday’s 41-33 win over New England, arm strength isn’t an issue.

Long, who retired as Westlake’s coach in 2009, watched Super Bowl 52 with pride not just because of Foles’ on-field prowess, but because of the well-respected person he became.

“It can’t be that for him,” Lee said. “Don’t let him fool you. He’s going to try to control his world and keep his mind as calm as possible for the most part, but things are going to flare up. I know Calais is going to go back and do what he’s supposed to do. I know he’s eager to go out there and make some plays so I can’t wait to see it.”

Campbell is a prime reason for the 7-3 Jaguars becoming one of the surprises of the league. He’s tied for the NFL lead with 11.5 sacks (a career high) and has been a linchpin to the Jaguars leading the NFL in scoring defense, total defense, takeaways, pass defense and

On Wednesday, the Tigers shot under 40 percent from the field in a 76-71 loss at Alabama that featured eight lead changes.

A particularly solid piece of trolling took place during an early TV timeout, when an Alabama fan brought onto the court to shoot for a prize just happened to be wearing a dark jacket with FBI spelled out in big yellow letters across the back.

Xavier Rhodes can cover any player on Pederson’s play sheet. The key factors here will be: A) Will safety Andrew Sendejo be physically ready to go? B) Can Minnesota’s edge rushers beat the Eagles’ tackles?

All of this comes down to the Eagles’ ability to stay effective on the ground. This could be a Leggie Blount game. He’s enjoyed a couple of huge days in the postseason before. If OC Frank Reich uses him to soften the Vikings up for some of these RPOs (run-pass options), Foles should see larger windows downfield. RPOs have become the new RPGs. You know, role-playing games, like “D&D” and “Baldur’s Gate.” Never mind.

This offseason, based on contracts and team outlooks, it’s feasible that half the league will swap starting quarterbacks. Several big names could become free agents. Three hyped passers — Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen — sit at the top of many draft boards. Plenty of teams who have enjoyed longtime quarterback stability have reason to consider a rebuild.

Simms’ performance against the Broncos was the single-most efficient game in Super Bowl history. He started the game completing his first seven passes, including going 6 for 6 for 69 yards and a touchdown on the Giants’ first drive. After a down second quarter (he only went 5 for 8, the amateur) he followed by completing 10 of 10 passes in the second half for 165 yards and two touchdowns.

He threw three touchdowns to three different receivers, and his 88.0 completion percentage and 150.9 quarterback rating are still-standing Super Bowl records.

Rodgers came up big in his only Super Bowl appearance — and against the league’s top defense, to boot. The Steelers had the most sacks (48) of any team, boasted the NFL’s top-rated scoring defense (14.5 points per game) and had the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in safety Troy Polamalu.chargers_007

The Jaguars might believe they are a QB away from joining the AFC’s elite.

In this weekly series, I identify players available in more than 40 percent of ESPN leagues at each position. Some nominations are purely specialists capable of helping in one or two categories, while others deliver more diverse and important statistical offerings. Either way, I believe the names below — ordered by ownership rate at each position — can contribute positively to fantasy rosters.

Even while spending the season often ceding minutes and touches to the likes of Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler in Chicago last year, Rondo was 13th in the NBA with 12.6 potential assists per game, just ahead of the likes of Damian Lillard and Draymond Green.

“You have to wait for the right time. I promise you — and I’ve talked to some of the guys — we’re always looking to add. But it has to be right, and the timing was right for this move for Kelvin.”

Why doesn’t Bill O’Brien trust Deshaun Watson with the game on the line? Is Carson Wentz the league’s best quarterback? Taking a close look at the biggest conundrums through Week 8.

Will the Dolphins find a suitor for impending free agent Jarvis Landry? We lay out a handful of logical trades that could take place before Tuesday afternoon.

Some of that is he pitches well to the park: Minute Maid is pinched down the lines but fair to the alleys and center, and Keuchel does a good job of limiting pull fly balls. But he also just allows less hard contact. Maybe he just loves the mound.

He claims the alleged victim was “too intoxicated to drive” and she stayed over. The friend’s signed affidavit stated he slept across the hall and never heard or saw anything violent occur.

Super Bowl 2018 halftime show: Justin Timberlake to perform in Minneapolis

The Redskins faced the Eagles Monday in their second “Monday Night Football” game of the season. The first came on Oct. 2 against the Chiefs, just three days after quarterback Kirk Cousins and wife Julie welcomed their first child with the birth of their son, Cooper.

Cousins missed one day of practice for the birth, but he wasn’t going to miss more than that. In fact, Cousins attended a quarterback meeting with the help of his backup Colt McCoy while his wife was giving birth.

An investigation by the Broward County (Florida) State Attorney’s Office determined there was “no reasonable likelihood” of a conviction for the incident that involved Landry and Estrella Cerqueira, who is the mother of the couple’s daughter.

“The victim maintains that the defendant did not intent to touch her [or] strike her, but accidentally did so,” assistant state attorney Stefanie Newman said in a memorandum.

It was hard to pinpoint anything notable in terms of fantasy when the Dolphins lost 40-0 to the Ravens on Thursday night. However, backup receiver Leonte Carroo had a career-high six receptions for 48 yards. This could open the opportunity for Carroo to get more playing time in the second half of the season, especially if DeVante Parker (ankle) remains sidelined. — James Walker

No. Butler’s skill set would likely be a better matchup against Travis Benjamin, whose run-after-the-catch ability has New England’s attention. The Patriots don’t always match up their corners, but if Stephon Gilmore returns to action, he would seem like the more likely option to check Allen, whether it’s in the slot or on the outside. — Mike Reiss

James Cook, the No. 55-ranked prospect in the country, is blazing a new path.49ers_220_77bc458c1668dc31-150x150

Aaron Rodgers breaks collarbone, could miss rest of the season

Aaron Rodgers left the Packers’ game against the Vikings on Sunday after taking a big hit from Anthony Barr. The Packers later announced that he broke his collarbone, and could miss the rest of the season.

The Panthers have had their own share of injuries to overcome, beginning earlier in the year, but are starting to find a rhythm with a new supporting cast. As Cam Newton gets further removed from his shoulder injury, he’s starting to look more like his 2015 self. He’s still without TE Greg Olsen, but has seemed to find a productive Plan B with Ed Dickson — who saw the majority of targets in Week 5 and had himself a career day.

Thompson’s family members, who live in Florida, haven’t been able to watch him play much in person. Thompson leads the Redskins in receiving yards (340) and rushing yards (175). But despite warning his family to go see him play the following week at home against the Cowboys instead, Thompson can’t wait for Monday night.

His big-time effort even earned him a nickname from veteran coach Andy Reid: “butt kicker dot com.”

Luckily for the Chiefs, they are still the top team in each power rankings. Unfortunately for the Packers, however, they took a huge fall. Yahoo Sports’ power rankings has Green Bay at No. 16. On the other hand, the Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers, and Los Angeles Rams are in the top 10.

The Eagles, Panthers, and Rams are in the top 10 on ESPN’s power rankings, and the Steelers moved to the top five after beating Kansas City. Philadelphia is also the No. 2 team on’s power rankings list, but the Rams are behind the Eagles at No. 3. However, the Atlanta Falcons slipped to No. 12.

Newton, Panthers concern Lions

The wraps came off Cam Newton on Sunday. It’s no coincidence that he suddently resembled the quarterback who won the 2015 Most Valuable Player award.

Newton passed for 316 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 44 yards and another score in Carolina’s 33-30 win at New England.

It was a breakthrough performance for a quarterback coming off a colossally disappointing 2016 season and offseason shoulder surgery. Newton averaged 188.7 yards passing and gained a total 46 rushing yards while throwing twice as many interceptions as touchdowns in the Panthers’ first three outings this season.

“We just need to stop the run and put them into 3rd-and-long situations,” Cincinnati safety George Iloka said. “Every week, we challenge ourselves to be the best defense on the field.”

The Bengals’ defense wasn’t quite as good as whoever was getting to feast on Andy Dalton mistakes the first two weeks. But since Bill Lazor became offensive coordinator after a sloppy Week 2 loss to Houston, Dalton has looked like the guy who guided Cincinnati to four straight playoff berths.

In two games with Lazor calling the shots, Dalton has produced passer ratings of 124.1 and 146.0. In the rout of Cleveland, Dalton completed 25 of 30 passes for 286 yards and four touchdowns without an interception.

Snead and McVay know there are tougher defenses ahead on the schedule, including matchups with divisional foes Seattle and Arizona (each twice), plus road trips to face the solid defenses of the Vikings and Giants.

But they like what they’ve seen so far and are hoping the success carries through the regular season and into the playoffs.


If the Saints want to trade Kenny Vaccaro, we know the perfect spot

It’s strange to think about any spot on the New Orleans Saints defense being loaded enough that they can afford to trade a player, much less a starting safety like Kenny Vaccaro. This is the same team that opened the season by allowing Sam Bradford to turn in the week’s best quarterback performance.

But that hasn’t slowed the team’s resolve as they spent the week shopping safety Kenny Vaccaro, according to Ian Rapoport.

Does this make sense? On the surface it does. The Saints have Vonn Bell, a second-round pick in 2016, ready to ascend. Vaccaro is in the last year of his rookie deal, the fifth-year option, which pays him $5.7 million in fully guaranteed dollars. He’s a free agent next year, so it makes sense to try and get some draft value or maybe even a competent player at any other spot on the defense where they need help.

There’s also the little matter of Drew Brees’ contract. If they want to re-sign him next year, they’ll need a mountain of cap space to do it … despite the fact that he’ll be 39 in 2018.

Is it time for panic in Dallas? Not at all. The team is 1-1, just like it was at this time a year ago. While the struggles to get moving offensively damper the hype for a team that has come to define itself by its stout offensive line, it’s a long season and there are plenty of lesser defenses on the way.

An early hole against the Broncos meant leaning heavily on Dak Prescott to lead the Cowboys back and he finished with a career-high 50 pass attempts. The Cowboys aren’t likely to favor Authentic Mike Evans Jersey the pass that much in the future and will have a chance to establish the run more against future opponents, including the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3.

Prescott was also the team’s leading rusher — although, it took just 24 Jaroslav Halak Youth Jersey yards on the day to easily grab that crown.

Bears’ Kevin White out several weeks with broken shoulder blade

Kevin White’s season is in jeopardy once again.

The Bears wide receiver has been diagnosed with a break in his left shoulder blade and will be placed on the team’s injured reserve for the third time in three seasons, coach John Fox announced Monday.

White suffered the injury Sunday in the fourth quarter of the Bears’ 23-17 loss to the Falcons in just his fifth career regular-season game. While the team has yet to determine if surgery is necessary, he isn’t expected to return until the team’s Nov. 12 game against the Packers at the earliest.

After video review, the ruling on the field was upheld as a fumble, much to the dismay of the Redskins, their fans, and even Fox Sports rules analysts Dean Blandino and Mike Pereira.

“I would also like to thank the Raiders organization, my agents at Sun West Sports, Frank Bauer and Kenny Chapman, and everyone who believed in my talents which allowed me to continue playing the sport I love. Of course, none of this would be possible without the support and love from my wonderful mother, Janet Jones, my grandmother, Gram (Bernice Calhoun) and my beautiful wife, Tamika Jones.”

Jones signed with the Chargers last year, but was released prior to the season and did not play in 2016.

Jones said in his announcement on Pitch Engine he will join NFL Network as an analyst.

“I’m hoping to follow in the footsteps of other great Packer legends like Greg Jennings and Charles Woodson and take my talents into broadcasting,” Jones said. “I admire what they have been able to achieve post-football, so if I can only do one-third of what they’ve accomplished, I should be fine.”