NFL keeping kickoffs for 2018 season


The NFL will be keeping kickoffs 鈥?for now.
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The league will still have kickoffs for the 2018 season, but will look into changing the alignment and formation, NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent told reporters (via ESPN).

There’s no question that this is not about getting [the kickoff] out of the game, Vincent said. It’s about enhancing it.

The NFL has been looking to either adjust or eliminate kickoffs due to the dangers surrounding the play. According to NFL data, players are five times more likely to sustain a concussion during a kickoff compared to other plays.
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But if this is about safety, and if the kickoff truly is five times more likely to produce a concussion than a play from scrimmage, the decision should be simple.

With that reported concussion rate in mind, the evident consequences that come with one specific play outweigh its entertainment value and its implanted place in the sport.

Per a statement released by the players association:

The NFLPA has filed a non-injury grievance and a system arbitrator case on behalf of free agent safety Eric Reid. Prior to the start of the current NFL off-season, our Union directed the agents of free agent players who had participated in peaceful on-field demonstrations to collect, memorialize and report any relevant information about potential violations of the Collective Bargaining Agreement by teams.

According to our information, the NFLPA release says, a club appears to have based its decision not to sign a player based on the player’s statement that he would challenge the implementation of a club’s policy prohibiting demonstration, which is contrary to the League policy.

The union goes on to allege that at least one team owner asked Reid preemployment interview questions about his intent to demonstrate.

Trent Taylor Elite Jersey We believe these questions are improper, given League policy, the NFLPA Jonathan Ericsson Womens Jersey said in its release. Our Union continues to monitor these developments.

Reid, who has said he would not protest if he signs with another team, had his first known visit of the free-agency period with the Bengals, whose owner, Mike Brown, expressed concern over the player’s previous protests.

Reid is being represented by Colin Kaepernick’s attorney, according to ESPN.

Report: Le’Veon Bell won’t show up for Steelers’ OTAs


It would have created a bigger headline had Le’Veon Bell decided to show up for the Steelers’ organized team activities, but as expected, the Steelers running back won’t attend, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reports.

Bell remains unsigned after the team placed the franchise tag on him for a second consecutive year. Tom Brady, Julio Jones, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Donald are other big names around the league who are absent for voluntary offseason work.

A year ago, Bell reported to the Steelers a week before the season opener, holding out until the last minute. He played under the $12.12 million tag last year, earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors.

And don’t forget to join the @PFTPMPosse by following the Twitter account that has gone from a handful of members to more than 500, and constantly growing.

New ESPN analyst Jason Witten, a former teammate of Bryant’s with the Cowboys, speculated last week that Bryant will “end up going to the Green Bay Packers.”

On Tuesday, Rodgers was asked about Witten’s prediction, which Witten said was based on Bryant fitting what Rodgers does.

“I’m paid to play quarterback, so I don’t make those decisions,” Rodgers said, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.

The Packers drafted three receivers, getting Missouri’s J’Mon Moore (fourth round), South Florida’s Marquez Valdes-Scantling (fifth) and Notre Dame’s Equanimeous St. Brown (fifth). The rookies will compete with Geronimo Allison for playing time behind Davante Adams and Randall Cobb.ravens_099

Terrell Suggs: Don Martindale gets us back to the way we used to do things


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The Ravens have a new defensive coordinator this year in Don Martindale, but the change from Dean Pees did not mean a break from continuity on that side of the ball.
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Brian Boyle Jersey Martindale was hired as the team’s linebackers coach in 2012, which was the same year George Springer Womens Jersey that Pees took over as coordinator and the two men worked together on some effective units in Baltimore over the years. The team is also bringing back almost all of the major contributors from last year’s unit, which ranked sixth in points allowed, so some might expect little to change in 2018.

According to linebacker Terrell Suggs, though, continuity doesn’t mean the team will be doing things the same way.

These young, hungry bulls [can] kind of get back to the way we used to do things and taking the shackles off of us, so to say. 鈥?Sometimes a player can be shackled by the rules that come with the defense, but I think Wink is just going to allow us to go make plays, Suggs said, via the Baltimore Sun.

Australian rugby star Jordan Mailata spent Eagles rookie camp with an offensive line coach watching his every move, correcting his stance and explaining the basics.

Mailata has never taken a snap in a competitive American football game at any level. He’s still getting used to wearing a helmet. He’s a 6’8, 346-pound curiosity with athleticism to spare, but he’s almost unimaginably raw.

Like many, I was reluctant about being the featured team on Hard Knocks but once we sat down and talked about it as an organization, I feel a lot better and understand why the time is right, Dorsey said in a statement. Hue [Jackson] and I both feel like this team is in a good place and that we are in the process of building something that will lead to success. Being a part of Hard Knocks will give our fans the opportunity to see how passionate the people in our building are about winning and how excited we are about getting to work and preparing for the 2018 season.

If Dorsey really didn’t want to be on Hard Knocks, he did have one outlet available to him: He could have fired Jackson, as teams with new head coaches can’t be forced to do the show. Fortunately for Jackson, Dorsey didn’t go that far.

Adam Vinatieri now has teammates born after he played his first NFL game


Adam Vinatieri, the Colts’ 45-year-old kicker, has reached a landmark few NFL players have achieved: He now has teammates who were born after he made his NFL debut.
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Vinatieri played his first NFL game on September 1, 1996, kicking a field goal and an extra point for the Patriots in a loss to the Dolphins. The Colts released their full roster of rookies for this weekend’s minicamp, and it shows two players born after that: running back Nyheim Hines, born November 12, 1996, and cornerback Henre’ Toliver, born October 21, 1996.

Jackson, meanwhile, reaffirmed Taylor is the Browns’ starting quarterback聽and that won’t change, according to the Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot.聽

Elite Youth Dion Jordan Jersey Concern does arise with deeper drops. They will make protection Chris Sale Authentic Jersey more difficult for both offensive tackles.聽How quickly and efficiently the Browns’ quarterbacks release the ball will have a profound effect on any success the offense experiences.
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He doesn’t have to carry us for our team to be good, Astros manager A.J. Hinch said of Altuve. Obviously when we’re at our best he’s an integral part of that, but I don’t think there’s a lot of pressure on any of our guys to have to be the guy. That’s the way this team’s built, it’s the way that we perform. If we’re operating at a great level, if he does have a bad stretch or an 0-for-4, usually someone else is stepping up and doing well.

A lot of it gets fixated on Jose because he’s hitting third or second and he’s a marquee player and a superstar player, but the reality is if we’re the best version of ourselves our team is pretty deep and can we beat you from any time in the order.

Right-hander Justin Verlander (5-2, 1.05 ERA) gets the start for the Astros on Wednesday in the series finale. Verlander leads the majors in ERA, WHIP (0.72), opponent batting average (.148) and opponent OPS (.449), and is coming off his first complete game of the season, a 2-0 victory over the Angels.

Verlander has faced the Giants once previously, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and one walk with seven strikeouts over six innings while pitching for the Detroit Tigers in an 8-6 loss at AT&T Park on June 16, 2008. Verlander did not factor into the decision.

Jets claim OT Garcia off waivers from Pats


Jets claim OT Garcia off waivers from Pats More ESPN The New York Jets have claimed left tackle Antonio Garcia off waivers from the New England Patriots, a source told ESPN’s Field Yates. Garcia, the Patriots’ 2017 third-round pick, was waived by the team on Friday with a non-football-illness designation. The 6-foot-7, 302-pound Garcia was selected No. 85 overall last year after he was credited with 70 knockdown blocks and didn’t allow a sack in more than 900 offensive snaps as a senior at Troy. With Nate Solder entering the final year of his contract in 2017, the Patriots had traded a third-round pick (No. 96) and fourth-rounder (No. 124) to move up to select Garcia, with the hope of grooming him as a possible replacement in 2018.
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Verdict: Over. McCown seems extremely unlikely to actually keep these guys in contention and thus keep Darnold off the field. This looks like a Kurt Warner-Eli Manning situation, with the team starting off slowly against a slate of good defenses and the veteran eventually giving way to the highly-drafted rookie around halfway through the year.聽 Josh Allen, Bills Over/Under: 10.5 starts In order for Allen to hit the over here, he’d have to debut in Week 6 against the Texans at the absolute latest. Starting your career on the road against J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus and company does not sound fun. Is it possible he debuts earlier?

Elite Kids Jabrill Peppers Jersey A major league sports team executive met with the owner of a bookmaker last week to pitch sponsorship opportunities, The Post has learned.

While leagues have looked to grab a piece of the what could become a $10 billion-a-year sports gambling business in New Jersey — mostly through a hoped-for 1 or 2 percent integrity fee attached to each wager — the revelation that individual teams may now be interested in partnerships means in-stadium advertising for bookmakers could be coming down the road.

Major League Baseball is expected to Womens Nickell Robey-Coleman Jersey come up soon with a policy about team sponsorships with bookmakers, a source close to the league said, should the ruling allow such bets.

Game Youth Andy Levitre Jersey My sense is baseball has no hard line against associating with sports betting firms, the source said.

How would this look? In-game and in-stadium sponsorship is most likely. Don’t be surprised if the DraftKings fifth inning is a phrase that comes through on television or radio sometime in the very near future.

The free-agent market is often about choices for players as they entertain interest from teams.


For running back C.J. Anderson, fitting in with an offensive scheme played a large role in his decision to sign with the Carolina Panthers.

I just think it fits my game personally well, Anderson said Wednesday afternoon during a guest spot on NFL Up To The Minute. They love to run the ball. That’s something they do more of.

However, a concussion ended Shields’ 2016 season after just one game. It was his fourth documented concussion with the Packers, and he decided to sit out all of 2017.

I was going through hell—headaches, couldn’t see the light, things like that, Shields said, per Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com.

Shields believes he’s ready for a return to football—and we wish him nothing but the best—but it’s fair to wonder whether concussions remain a concern and what kind of player he’ll be after a year away.

L.A. gave Shields a one-year deal worth just over $1 million for an opportunity to compete. But the Rams are trying to win now, so if they don’t believe Shields can help with that, they can release him without paying him anything.

They’re more meaningful to the fans in Los Angeles, because the Rams wore that getup before they left for St. Louis after the 1994 season. There’s a connection to those uniforms that there clearly isn’t for the St. Louis-era garb. But, nope. According to the Los Angeles Times, the NFL hasn’t yet allowed the Rams to use the throwbacks as their primary uniform because … well, who knows. The Times reported that the Rams are talking to the league about wearing the blue-and-yellow uniforms more often. The fans want them, but the league limits those uniforms to twothrowback games.

Los Angeles Rams receiver Pharaoh Cooper in the blue-and-yellow uniform the team wants to wear more often in 2018. (AP) More The Times wrote that the Rams requested to the NFL last season that they be allowed to wear the throwback look in Week 6 against Jacksonville and in a wild-card playoff game against Atlanta, and the team was denied both requests.

We have spent the year educating (the NFL) on our fan base, Rams chief operating officer and vice president for football operations Kevin Demoff told the Los Angeles Times.colts_126

NFL offseason amusement! Top 10 storylines to follow


We’ve made it through the NFL Scouting Combine, free agency and the draft. As OTAs, mandatory minicamps, training camp and the preseason approach, here are our top 10 offseason storylines to watch.
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Which one of the Big Five rookie QBs will see extensive action in 2018?

Here’s how we’d rank the Big Five in terms of likelihood to be their respective teams’ majority starter in 2018:
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The Browns keep putting it out there that Mayfield will redshirt as a rookie, but we’ll believe that when we see it. It’s highly unlikely Cleveland would have gone 0-16 with Tyrod Taylor behind center last season, but Taylor consistently frustrated the Bills with his own limitations, prompting multiple trips to the bench. It’s certainly possible Taylor could also give Browns coaches fits; if so, it will be very difficult to resist getting a look at the league’s No. 1 overall pick.

If the Ravens ‘ Jackson pick doesn’t light a fire under Joe Flacco, nothing will. The rookie has almost no chance of stealing the job this summer, but Authentic Stanley Cup Jersey Flacco has to be a lot more productive if he still wants to be The Man in December. A revamped offense should help Flacco, but it also eliminates any excuses for the organization’s one-time Super Bowl hero.
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If they do want to make a veteran addition, they could consider DeMarco Murray. Murray’s production dipped in 2017 before he was released by the Titans, but he’s shown ability as both a runner and receiver that could fit as a change of pace from Kamara.

Giuliani sat in the second row directly behind home plate, donning a Yankees hat at times. He chatted with fans around him and cheered emphatically during a Yankees rally in the third inning.

The former New York City mayor joined Trump’s legal team in April in an effort to help the President聽clear up any ties聽between the Trump campaign and聽Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The 73-year-old聽Giuliani then contradicted Trump in a Fox News interview on May 2, when聽the lawyer said Trump repaid his longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, $130,000 for a payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. The payment was made by Cohen聽prior to the 2016 election to keep private an affair between Daniels and Trump.

CFL team with Johnny Manziel’s rights makes a move to clear space for him


We still don’t know if Johnny Manziel will ever play in the Canadian Football League, but the team that owns his rights is making it possible.
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Game Sergei Boikov Jersey The Hamilton Tiger-Cats made a trade today that TSN reports would clear salary cap space for the Tiger-Cats to pay Manziel more than just the league minimum. Manziel wouldn’t make anywhere near as much in Canada as he was making when he played for the Browns, but the Tiger-Cats are apparently willing to pay him more than any old scrub trying to make the roster.

Similarly, what unlocks the Thunder and turns them from good to diverse and explosive, is Steven Adams’ versatility. Both coaches will try small lineups to pull Adams and Gobert from the paint, but both players are agile and dynamic. Plus, it’s just good, solid fun watching two giant human beings go against each Marshawn Lynch Womens Jersey other.

McCarthy also talked up backup quarterback Brett Hundley last year after Aaron Rodgers went down, and Hundley did not play well enough to justify McCarthy’s high praise. So perhaps McCarthy just likes to publicly bolster his backup quarterbacks. Because an honest assessment would suggest that Kizer is not a first-round talent, and if he was the Browns wouldn’t have traded him to the Packers.

Uh oh, 2013 is counterintuitive, at least in terms of ERA. Science still comes through as long balls were lower in the cold, but more runs were scored on a per game basis in the coldest contests.

The elephant in the room is sample size. Not only are the number of games limited, they’re biased. Each season, the quality of the teams enduring the cold, or benefiting from the warmth are different. Dome and retractable roof clubs are counted with the 70-plus, contributing to the bias.

Game Corey Moore Jersey The above doesn’t disprove the notion pitchers have the advantage during inclement conditions. Maybe the ERA in the 17 games below 40 degrees in 2013 would have been higher had they been played in more temperate conditions. The larger sample of contests played in the 40s exhibited the lowest ERA.

Big-picture wise, there’s ample data to suggest temperatures influence outcomes, especially homers. However, in small samples, there could be outliers so individual results should be analyzed on a team-by-team basis.

Giants sign third-round pick Lorenzo Carter


The Giants have signed third-round pick Lorenzo Carter, Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News reports.
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But I’m here for the Leafs’ soap opera. Give me the media setting up Matthews vs. Marner. Give me Game of Thrones maneuvering in the front office for the GM spot. Give me heated criticism of Mike Babcock’s lack of accomplishments. … Oh, who am I kidding, he’s a great quote with two Canadian Olympic Patrick Patterson Youth jersey gold medals, so he’s a protected species in the Toronto media.

I don’t think we’re quite at Kasperi Kapanen visits the same hot dog vendor each day yet, but give it time …

A couple of things about Jake Guentzel, who had a point on all three Pittsburgh Penguins goals in their Game 1 rally against the Washington Capitals, who at the very least can raise that First 40 Minutes of Game 1 championship banner next season.

It’s the little things, too. Like when Evgeni Malkin missed Game 1 with an injury, and Guentzel knew that he’d see more power-play time. So Crosby took him aside and explained to him what was expected from him on that unit with Geno out. It’s that level of mentorship.

There have been a lot of things that have gone very right for the Penguins in winning two straight Stanley Cups and challenging for a third. Having the No. 77 overall pick in 2013 from Nebraska-Omaha turn into a top-line winger on a rookie contract is chief among them. Guentzel tied Crosby and Mario Lemieux for most points through the first seven games of a playoff season (16) in Penguins history. His 20 goals in 32 playoff games is the fastest any Penguin not named Mario Lemieux has reached 20 postseason goals. It took Crosby 38 games and Malkin 40.

Womens Ron Jaworski Jersey Thanks to everyone who tuned in this week for our exclusive interview with Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon. We learned a lot about his decisions and his process, including why he isn’t looking to spend big bucks on team executives. Plus, the Penguins’ musings of Rob Rossi, including a look at the Evgeni Malkin book he’s working on. Stream it here and grab it on iTunes here.

Boston’s president of basketball operations, called back the next day and Larkin agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million deal to return to the NBA.


Ainge, At that moment, the pact made little sense for both sides: The Celtics already had 15 guaranteed contracts and a point guard depth chart that was helmed by Thomas, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier.

Nine months later, with Boston’s roster decimated by injuries, Larkin is now an integral part of the Celtics’ playoff rotation and the only pure ball handler behind now-starter Rozier.

In Sunday’s Game 1 of a first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks, Larkin logged the sixth-most minutes on the team and — despite a first-half rough patch during which he committed a rash of turnovers — chipped in five points and was plus-12 during his floor time (only Jaylen Brown had a higher mark at plus-18).

Kenley Jansen was unavailable for Monday’s save situation, having worked a pair of scoreless outings over the weekend, including Sunday’s save. The Dodgers called upon Josh Fields, who worked around a hit to record a scoreless conversion. This all but confirms he’s the top backup plan should Jansen have to give up the closer role for any reason. Jansen’s improved form has soothed early-season concerns, but the Dodgers did help fantasy players by clarifying the replacement pecking order, and Fields remains a decent stash.

Jason Heyward (L), 10 percent, Chicago Cubs vs. Cleveland Indians (RHP Josh Tomlin): Did you know that Heyward has a .900 OPS against righties this year? The much maligned outfielder is holding his own with the platoon advantage and gets a great opportunity to further that against Tomlin. Lefties are doing whatever they want against Tomlin so far this year with an eye-popping 1.460 OPS, albeit in just 23 plate appearances.

Dexter Fowler (B), 49 percent, St. Louis Cardinals vs. New York Mets (LHP Steven Matz): Fowler hit .293 against lefties from 2015 to ’17 and though he’s a horrid 1-for-18 against them so far this year, we’re going to #trusttheprocess here. He still leads off regularly and his plate skills (K and BB rates) are the same as his career marks. Matz has allowed an .828 OPS to righties this year with five homers and five steals. Perhaps Fowler can deliver a combo meal (1 HR, 1 SB) and jump-start his season numbers a bit.
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