That lone pick was a Dak Prescott throw he took 103 yards back to the house, so the wheels are still there.

Kansas City already lost outfielder Lorenzo Cain to Milwaukee in free agency, but how the team will perform in 2018 and go about its future still hangs in the balance here in mid-February as we wait for decisions on stalwart Royals infielders Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas.

There are certainly signs of decline from Talib, who had a particularly rough game against Alshon Jeffery when the Broncos played the Eagles last season, but he’s still an above-average cornerback as he enters his age-32 campaign.

At two years and $19 million, the Rams aren’t paying an exorbitant amount for Talib at his current level of play, since the going rate for solid 1A cornerbacks in free agency these days is $10 million per season.

If Les Snead restructures Talib’s deal and adds guaranteed money after this season, I would be a little concerned, but this is a logical acquisition for the Rams.

The Dodgers aren’t sporting a roster that will leave a lot of room for anyone new to crack the depth chart, but Verdugo might be the guy to do it. The 21-year-old was good enough as a pitcher and hitter as an amateur to warrant questions about how he would be drafted, but thus far Verdugo has rewarded the Dodgers’ decision to select him as a batter.

The 2014 second rounder has mashed at every level, and if given the opportunity it’s reasonable to expect that he will do the same in the majors. Last season, Verdugo had only a handful of plate appearances, and he may not have impressed in that stretch, but his mature approach and above-average hit tool will make for a quality major league hitter.

His two-year, $10 million deal is essentially backup money, so assuming the Bills use their two first-round picks to trade up in the draft to grab a quarterback, McCarron’s contract won’t preclude Buffalo from keeping him on the roster as a backup in 2019.

Of course, the Bills might also be paying a premium for a passer who isn’t much better than replacement-level. ravens_178

It rained during Shohei Ohtani’s first official workout of spring training.

No, really. Actual rain in the Arizona desert. It rained for a long time Wednesday, in fact. Hours, not minutes.

To that end, Nike introduced a confidential email and phone number that employees could call if they felt threatened.

Edwards, the No. 2 employee at the world’s largest shoe and apparel company, was responsible for managing Nike’s sales units across the world, its wholesale, retail and e-commerce business.

Although he was at the company since 1992, sources say there has been no outward talk that the 55-year-old Edwards was ready to retire and the high position that he holds at the company normally includes a greater wind down before retirement.

In a news release, Parker committed, for the first time, to being chairman and CEO of the company beyond 2020.

It was a torrid start at the plate for Devers, who rocked a wRC+ over 200 through the start of August. And even though he cooled off significantly through the rest of the season, he still maintained at least a roughly league-average performance, slashing.263/.312/.441 with a 92 wRC+ (100 is considered league average). And as mentioned already, he was quite successful at the plate in the division series against the Astros, so there’s plenty of reason to bank on Devers to deliver with his bat in 2018.

If there is an Achilles Heel in his game, Devers was rather error-prone at third base; he had 14 miscues in his 58 games. A move across the diamond to first base might be in order at some point, but in the meantime his bat is the selling point.

The Baltimore Ravens voided their four-year, $29 million agreement with wide receiver Ryan Grant after he failed a physical Thursday and will turn their attention to Michael Crabtree, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. ravens_005

Richard Sherman: Seahawks “kind of lost their way” with evaluating players

Richard Sherman wasn’t known for holding his tongue when he was a member of the Seahawks and it doesn’t appear that will be changing now that he’s a member of the 49ers. Sherman was a guest on the latest episode? Uninterrupted ‘s ThomaHawk podcast with Joe Thomas and Andrew Hawkins and said that he thinks the Seahawks began “devaluing core players” this offseason because they are “curious” about younger players.

Michael Bennett, Jeremy Lane and Deshawn Shead have joined Sherman on the way out the door while there have been reports of trade talks involving Earl Thomas. “They’ve kind of lost their way a little bit in terms of how they see players and how they evaluate players,” Sherman said. While Sherman doesn’t seem to think the Seahawks are making the right moves, he does admit that things had gotten a bit stale in Seattle. Sherman said that coach Pete Carroll’s “philosophy is more built for college” where players move on after three or four years.

The Buccaneers announced they have signed former Eagles defensive tackle Beau Allen. Rapoport reported Allen’s deal is for three years, $15 million, with a chance to make $16.5 million, a source informed of the situation said.

Former Giants linebacker Jonathan Casillas is visiting the New England Patriots on Thursday, Rapoport reported, noting there is mutual interest between them. Free-agent defensive end Adrian Clayborn is also visiting the Patriots, Rapoport reported.

Philly’s decision to re-sign Bradham at this price also suggests that they won’t be bringing back Patrick Robinson, who was arguably a better player in 2017.

The Bradham deal isn’t going to sink the Eagles, but when Carson Wentz comes due for an extension in two years, it seems likely that Bradham will be one of the first guys out the door. canucks_005

“Pretty surreal,” Mayfield said. “I never would have thought that would be a thing.”

“I think you see genuine interest from everyone that’s here,” one scout said of Mayfield. “That’s not any kind of deception talk or red herring. We’re all interested in (Mayfield) because he’s an interesting guy. Not everyone has an interest in drafting him, but that doesn’t mean you won’t watch.”

“He did good,” another scout said, “which is what you’d expect. He’s a good player. Just turn on the tape, you can see that. But yeah, I think you saw today that he can make all the throws. That’s probably what most people were looking at today.”

That’s good news to Mayfield, who said that’s exactly what he set out to do.

“I felt at the Combine, a couple deep balls that I left short, today I felt like I made that correction,” he said. “You know, timing routes, like comebacks and out routes, when you throw to guys frequently, those come with time. I feel like I did what I needed to do today.”

Jensen had a stellar first year as starter, anchoring Baltimore’s offensive line as a powerful run-blocker. The position has been paid well in free agency of late, and Jenson is by far its best option this year.

The 2017 season was tough for Pugh, as the 2013 first-rounder had to bounce around from left guard to right tackle again in New York’s often makeshift line. He also played only half of the season because of a back injury. His versatility to play multiple positions gives him nice rebound appeal away from the Giants.

McKinnon took advantage of the early-season injury to Dalvin Cook, remaining more active than ever as an explosive receiving back. He isn’t a guy a team can pound between the tackles or give 25 touches, but he can be a valuable cog to boost a passing game.

Okafor was having his best, most disruptive season with 4 1/2 sacks in 10 games before going down with Achilles injury. He’s a solid all-around end with double-digit sack potential in the right system.packers_131

His release also coincided with news that the team agreed to a three-year deal with tight end Jimmy Graham, that will likely eat the space saved by Nelson’s release.

A prove-it year is on the way for Nelson in 2018 — if he decides to play at all. He’ll be 33 years old next fall and has 149 games of service under his belt. After earning nearly $46 million in his NFL career, he may decide to call it a career rather than relocate.

But he may be welcomed back to Green Bay, just at a significant discount. Nelson is no longer a $12 million player, but he is a valuable veteran presence with a strong relationship to Rodgers. Re-signing him at a market value contract could be Gutekunst’s next move — and one that would appease a fanbase that values loyalty enough to keep an NFL franchise in a town of 105,000.

That would be an upgrade for the Dolphins, who foolishly gave Andre Branch a three-year deal last offseason with $8 million fully guaranteed for 2018 to play across from Cameron Wake.

Quinn will be a massive upgrade at defensive end on Branch, but the Dolphins will likely need to perform cap gymnastics to either fit Quinn in on his current cap hit of $11.4 million or as part of a new contract.

It seems likely that Quinn could serve as a replacement for Ndamukong Suh, whose departure would free up $17 million in cap room for a Dolphins team which is nearly $16 million over the salary cap at the moment.

From Arizona, Kiyomiya and his teammates head to Okinawa for the next phase of spring training. Their regular season starts March 30, and that’s when the legend can really grow.

“I feel like he’s the new Ohtani of the Fighters,” Laird said. “Hopefully he can live up to his hype and he can help the team.”

In April 2016, though, Watkins suffered a Jones fracture in his left foot, which required surgery.

The Bills rushed him back onto the field, but after Watkins limped through two games, he underwent a second surgery, went back on injured reserve and missed half the year.

The Bills traded him to the Rams before the 2017 season, and it’s fair to wonder whether concerns about the foot made the Rams wonder whether a long-term deal was in their best interests.

Sammy Watkins spurned a return to the Rams to sign a big deal with the Chiefs.? Sepackers_161

Now the question becomes: Where will Sherman play next season?

The Legion of Boom has lost another member. The Seahawks released? Richard Sherman ?on Friday, the team announced.? “Thank you for helping win championships, shape our culture and define success in Seattle,” the Seahawks said in a statement. “We love you and your unwavering competitiveness, confidence and fierce passion for football and life.

In addition to the Achilles injury, Sherman played the 2016 season with an undisclosed MCL injury. As TheMMQB.com’s Andy Benoit pointed out at the time, that would go a long way toward explaining Sherman’s struggles with changing direction — and yet he still ranked 10th, according to PFF.? Sherman, who has been among the league’s most outspoken players on everything from social justice to football-related issues, tweeted this Friday afternoon:

CBSSports.com’s Cody Benjamin writes that the Patriots, 49ers, Raiders, Chiefs and Chargers are the favorites.?

Meanwhile, the Seahawks continue to dismantle one of the league’s most dominant defenses. Earlier this week they agreed to trade Michael Bennett to the Eagles. Sherman’s out, as is fellow cornerback Jeremy Lane, per Schefter, and there have been reports that safety Earl Thomas could be on the trade block.?

Rob Gronkowski has yet to say what he intends to do in 2018, but it seems as though the star tight end still has football very much on the brain. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Gronkowski has been working out at the TB12 Sports Therapy Center this offseason, which is located at Gillette Stadium. Gronkowski began training with Tom Brady’s personal trainer, Alex Guerrero, last offseason.

A cornerback-needy team or a contender looking to improve an already talented roster will likely hand him a contract that he’s OK with. The Seahawks probably won’t be that team because they’re lacking the money. According to Spotrac, the Seahawks are projected to own roughly $25 million in cap space next week. By cutting Sherman, they said that they’re not willing to pay him $13.2 million (his 2018 cap hit before getting cut) for the 2018 season.

Smith was released by the Raiders last week after he was arrested following an alleged domestic violence incident at an apartment in San Francisco’s Nob Hill neighborhood. In addition to his not guilty plea, a protective order was issued, prohibiting Smith from contacting the victim. “Domestic violence is a major problem in our community and we want to send a very clear message,” District Attorney George Gascon said. “We want to make sure we also protecting the survivor in this case.”buccaneers_033

Tom Brady: Family will play a big part in retirement decision

In the “Good Morning America” interview, host Michael Strahan shared the story from the 2000s of how Bundchen spoke with him about the length of Brady’s career. Bundchen, according to Strahan, wanted him to talk to Brady about his desire to play another 10 years.

“I knew if I was at home watching TV and Drew was getting hit and I felt like I could’ve helped, I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself,” Strief said. “It’s much easier knowing that there’s someone there that’s going to play at a high level for him. So this is all Ryan Ramczyk’s fault.”

As soon as McCarron won the grievance that made him an unrestricted free agent, he was gone from Cincinnati. McCarron will look for a place he can be the starter after years as Andy Dalton’s backup. Watch Cleveland and Arizona as potential landing spots. — Graziano

Seattle won’t give Thomas away, and I still think the team is more likely to extend him than to let him go. But if someone is willing to pay a high enough price, Thomas might not get to stick around for the defensive rebuild. — Graziano

The seven-second clip posted on social media shows Beckham in a bed next to a pizza holding what appears to be some sort of brown cigarette or cigar. There is a woman next to him with a credit card and what looks like a white powdery substance aligned in rows.

A second video shows what is believed to be the same woman kissing and taping Beckham while he was asleep.

The Dolphins located Timmons before the game against the Chargers but made him inactive, snapping his streak of 101 consecutive starts. He was suspended for the following game, against the New York Jets. He finished the season with 84 tackles in 14 games.

With the Detroit Lions, who selected him No. 2 overall in 2010, Suh was a dominant force in the middle for five seasons, making the Pro Bowl four times and being named first-team All-Pro three times. He played in 78 of 80 regular-season games for Detroit while making 238 tackles with 36 sacks, 13 pass breakups, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and an interception.
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The Bucs have several positions and prospects?they could target at No. 7 overall, but it makes sense?for them to go for this latest standout Seminole.

In 2015, Tyrod Taylor was the first Bills quarterback to make it to the Pro Bowl since Drew Bledsoe in 2003. His replacement, Nathan Peterman , set an NFL record by throwing five interceptions in the first half of his first start .

They need someone in the secondary to clean up and make plays. James looks like the next Earl Thomas or Eric Berry — take your pick.

The Bears might?not keep Kyle Fuller even with the transition?tag, but regardless, this is a need with Prince Amukamara hitting free agency. Ward also would be the?best player available. He’d have?an immediate impact making plays on the ball with his dazzling athleticism.

GM John Lynch adds another big thumper after getting Solomon Thomas, Reuben Foster and Akhello Witherspoon last year. Edmunds can do everything from any spot in the 49ers’?front seven. He’ll add to their budding?dominance ?in?run defense and also boost the pass rush.

The previous year, the league cut the play clock from 45 seconds to 40, but instead of speeding up the game, the change slowed it down. Teams had to call more timeouts because they were running out of time sending substitutions in with play calls for the quarterbacks. NFL officials hoped that the new communication system would help speed up the pace of the game.

Huh. Pace of the game. Sounds familiar, right? And in 2008, the NFL approved electronic on-field communication between coaches and a designated defensive player, too.

This is 2018. At this point, we’re not even talking about using modern technology in baseball. We’re talking about the basic technology that the NFL started using almost a quarter of a century ago. Seriously. That’s ancient technology, by technology standards.

Sure, there are logistics to consider. Should only pitchers and catchers communicate, or should the manager and/or pitching coach be looped in, too? Would they only be allowed to talk about pitches and locations, or other things, too (like, can the catcher tell the pitcher what base to throw to on a bunt)? If they’re not supposed to talk about other stuff, does MLB need to monitor the conversation? What safeguards can be taken to prevent other teams hacking the feed?
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MLB free agency news: Royals sign Mike Moustakas to one-year deal

The Royals have signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year deal.

Moustakas is coming off a year in which he set the club record for home runs for the Royals with 38, but he saw his stock drop significantly as the free-agent market never really got going in the offseason.

My editor tells me we need more than that. Look, who the hell knows what Miller’s deal is? He hit 30 bombs in 2016, and then fell flat on his face. Part of that may have been because of injuries (he only got into 110 games), so maybe he’ll find the power stroke if he’s healthy, which makes him more of an appealing idea than someone like C.J. Cron, who is largely a known quantity. Either way, he’s not really someone you want out in the field. He’s a shortstop. He’s a second baseman. He’s an outfielder. He’s a first baseman. He’s a power hitter. He’s a mess of swing-and-miss. He’s sort of none of the above.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s likely, but something like that I would consider,” Boone told reporters Tuesday, per MLB.com. “I’ve thought about it.”

Boone doubtless is thinking “instant offense.” Judge had a 1.182 OPS (.439 OBP, .742 SLG) and 11 home runs in 114 plate appearances leading off an inning last season. In fact, his 9.6 home run percentage leading off was almost two points better than his 7.7 overall homer percentage. His walk rate was 5.5 points lower (13.2 to 18.7), but it’s safe to assume pitchers challenged Judge more at the start of an inning.

More challenges should equal more long-ball opportunities.

And if Judge gets on base with a hit or a walk rather than a homer, then the likes of Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird will be waiting to drive him in.

“They haven’t brought it up yet, but if they did, I’d just roll with it,” Judge told reporters.
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Pelicans’ Rajon Rondo given postgame technical foul for throwing towel

Monday’s matchup between the Pelicans and the Bulls was a sight to behold for NBA fans everywhere.

The game went into double overtime, the Pelicans went on a 21-2 run to turn a 17-point deficit into a 2-point lead in the fourth quarter and, to top it all off, DeMarcus Cousins finished the game with 44 points, 24 rebounds and 10 assists.

Cassell has plenty of NBA experience as both a player and coach. He played for eight teams over the course of his career, including the Bucks, and he has served as an assistant coach with the Wizards and Clippers. Cassell has shown the ability to relate and connect with his players. For example, he played an instrumental role in getting Paul Pierce to sign with the Wizards during his time in Washington. Don’t be surprised if Milwaukee’s front office gives him a call.

Look, joke about Jackson’s tenure with the Warriors all you want and how he seems to sneak in those little comments when he’s broadcasting a Golden State game for ESPN. But he did help establish a new winning culture for the Warriors and lay the groundwork for Steve Kerr to build upon (Kerr has given Jackson credit specifically for the strength of the defense). He might be ready to take off the headset and return to the sidelines.

This incident highlights a year-long narrative of escalating tensions between NBA players and officials. During post-practice media availability Wednesday, Durant recanted his statements about officiating, perhaps in an attempt to save face and ease tensions among the two groups.

Durant told reporters that upon reviewing his actions he “was being an a—hole last night, I was being a jerk… I shouldn’t have slammed the ball like I did.”

“I can go back and say I was being a jerk last night and I deserve whatever the league is going to throw at me,” an apologetic Durant added.

Durant will likely face a fine for his statements. With 11 technical fouls on the season, Durant should be concerned that he is only five techs away from receiving a one-game suspension.

Less than a year later, Darling has maintained a close friendship with several players on the Blackhawks, including fellow goaltender Corey Crawford. He smiled when a reporter asked whether he would feel emotional playing in Chicago again.
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