Month: February 2017

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This is how the 49ers lost to the Rams

Trailing 13-10 with under five seconds to go and facing third-and-goal, the 49ers called a QB sneak for Colin Kaepernick … and chaos ensued:

The ball came out of Kaepernick’s hands at some point, and the Rams emerged from the pile with it, with the refs ruling it a fumble recovered by the Rams. Replays showed Kaepernick struggling to hold the ball off the snap, eventually taking control of it, and lunging forward with the ball before losing it as he went toward the ground.

On the Comcast SportsNet postgame show following the loss, Griffin also responded to the report:

“You know, I just heard about it just a couple minutes ago, and some of the teammates were talking about it before the game, just saying not to focus on that,” Griffin said. “And not a shot at you guys at all — because like you said you don’t agree with that report. But they were just saying sometimes the media’s going to cook up things and try to pin it the guys and say ‘This is what happened, this is what really happened,’ when that’s not what really happened.
“You know, [they] were just saying ‘hold [the noise] down’ for the team during the interview, because they knew how big of an interview it was. And you were there, you understand how it escalated and what transpired. But for us, Mike Wise said it in there: I believe eventually that all this will calm down. All this will calm down and we won’t have these distractions outside of football, and we’ll just be able to go play. You guys can report on the football, and [we can] win games, and that’ll make everybody happy.”

Washington players’ unhappiness with the media in their locker room has been going on for some time.

Griffin’s return to the lineup was surrounded by off-the-field controversy. From the denied locker room issues to a report that the decision to start Griffin came from the owner and general manager instead of the coaching staff, Washington will now get a much-needed week off. The team will return to the field in Week 11 when it hosts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.114


Will the Steelers use the transition tag on Le¡¯Veon Bell?

Le’Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates his touchdown during the third quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Heinz Field on November 30, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Although the question of whether the Vikings cut running back Adrian Peterson won¡¯t affect the amount of the franchise tag applicable to Steelers running back Le¡¯Veon Bell, there¡¯s another development that will: Not using the franchise tag at all.
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The Steelers could opt to use the transition tag instead of the franchise tag on Bell. The transition tag would give the Steelers a right to match any offer sheet that Bell signs elsewhere; the franchise tag would provide a right to match and two first-round picks as compensation if he leaves (breaking: no one will be giving up two first-round picks for Bell).

The highest awarded pick went to the Dolphins, who were given the 97th overall selection in the draft for losing several free agents last year, including Lamar Miller and Olivier Vernon.

The lowest two picks handed out went to the Broncos, who were given the final two picks of this year¡¯s draft, which means that unless Denver trades their pick away, they¡¯ll be selecting Mr. Irrelevant this year.
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Speaking of trades, for the first time ever, teams will actually be allowed to trade compensatory picks in 2017. Two teams have already taken advantage of that: The Patriots picked up the Browns¡¯ third-round compensatory selection (103rd overall pick) in the Jamie Collins¡¯ trade, while the Titans get the Rams¡¯ third-round compensatory selection (100th overall) as part of the 2016 trade that moved Los Angeles up to the No. 1 spot in last year¡¯s draft.

Bill Belichick will probably love having that extra pick, and that¡¯s mainly because he¡¯s done well with compensatory picks in the past.


I could not be more excited to add DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi to the Pelicans

¡°I just can¡¯t give you my blessing just like this,¡± says Vanessa¡¯s dad, when Nick is like, would it be cool if I maybe married your daughter if I don¡¯t choose one of the other three women I¡¯m dating? He doesn¡¯t like that Nick also asked the families of other women if he could marry their daughters.

I¡¯m of two minds about how badly things go in Canada. On the one hand, if your kid goes on this show, you kind of have to play along. One could make the argument that one can¡¯t go on The Bachelor and then complain about the basic premise of The Bachelor. You could say that parents have to know what the basic premise is, too, and that if they had a problem with it, they maybe should¡¯ve dealt with it before.

“It seemed like I was going to wake up from a dream. It didn’t seem real. It was shocking, but I’ve had time to kind of think about it a little bit,” Cousins said Tuesday. “I still don’t think it’s really hit me yet. That’s how it goes.”

Cousins, as well as fellow trade piece Omri Casspi, traveled on the Pelicans’ private plane to a New Orleans franchise that is thrilled about the new arrivals.
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“I could not be more excited to add DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi to the Pelicans,” Pelicans owner Tom Benson said in a statement. “I know that everyone is thrilled with the anticipation of DeMarcus and Anthony [Davis] and Jrue [Holiday] and the rest of our team hitting the floor on Thursday night against the Houston Rockets. We are only a few games behind in the playoff hunt and I want to bring an NBA Championship to this city.”

Elite Youth Nikita Whitlock Jersey Although there has been speculation that Holiday could be traded as he becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season, sources told ESPN’s Justin Verrier that it is doubtful that a deadline deal involving Holiday will happen.


New DeflateGate report reveals contradictory information about Patriots’ balls

Jonas Hiller Womens Jersey Of the 11 deflated footballs used in the New England Patriots’ win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship, only one was well below the legal limit of 12.5 PSI. That one ball was a full two pounds under while the other 10 were just a tick below, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. That news counters previous reports that said officials found 11 of 12 balls deflated by two pounds of pressure or more.

Additionally, Rapoport reported the locker room attendant under investigation by the NFL may be “a man described as elderly.” The elderly man reportedly took two bags of 12 footballs into the restroom near the referees’ room in Gillette Stadium. He stayed in the room for 98 seconds before exiting and taking the balls to the field. There is video evidence of the man entering and exiting the bathroom, but there are no reports whether there is video inside the restroom.
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One interesting thing to happen on the opening drive: Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman missed a tackle on the second play from scrimmage. Sherman had the angle but the New England receiver got away from him. It wasn’t a huge deal but it’s something to keep note of throughout the game, given that Sherman was dealing with a significant elbow injury from the NFC Championship.

New England started driving on its second possession, moving down the field with multiple short gains, but Tom Brady was picked off by Jeremy Lane near the end zone to kill that scoring opportunity. The Seahawks took over with under two minutes in the opening frame, and they’re currently on the move.

But it doesn’t end there — teams can really give them out to whoever they please. There have been fan raffles and things of that nature. At the core, you can be assured that they’re not stingy with them when it comes to front office staff, players and coaches. That doesn’t mean that they always end up with the same rings, however.


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Marlins manager Don Mattingly was home when the toxicology report emerged

Samson remembered how in spring training, he, Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton spent time at a golf tournament together, having fun. Every year, Samson recalled, he and Fernandez would take their physicals at about the same time because they were both early risers.

“I’m angry with him. And I love him. And it’s OK to be angry with someone you love. I’m angry with him that he’s not here in spring training. I’m sad, I’m angry and I love him.”

Marlins manager Don Mattingly was home when the toxicology report emerged, and he was glad he was in a place where he could process the information privately and didn’t have to talk about it publicly.

“I was a little disappointed,” Mattingly said. “It doesn’t change anything about the way I feel about Jose. I know kids do stuff — different stuff. Obviously, a little disappointed with that. I never felt like that was Jose, really.”

“I’ve been around different people [doing] different things, and Jose was the same all the time. I didn’t [see] any change of attitude. …You’re disappointed, but you love him, and you see all the good.”

“The fact that we’re all kind of like a tight-knit brotherhood within ourselves, we’re always rooting for one another,” Syndergaard told reporters last week. “We’ve got a really good camaraderie.”

So what if they’ve, ya know, never actually pitched together in one complete turn of the rotation. Like, ever. All that matters is that they love each other like five brothers from another mother. Mind you, chemistry isn’t the only thing the Mets starters have going for themselves. To hear them tell it, they’ve got their health too. That’s right: Those big-time boo-boos are bygone.


Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson caught 97 passes for 1,257 yards this past season

Release Jay Cutler. John Fox may not end up with a better option under center than his deposed incumbent, but it’s fair to say Cutler has run his course in Chicago. The Bears don’t need the cap space, but releasing Cutler will free up $14 million to go with the $58.9 million they already have available, pushing Chicago up near $73 million with few free agents of consequence.
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(The team could create another $10 million in space by releasing linebacker Lamarr Houston and receiver Eddie Royal.) It’s possible the Bears could bring Brian Hoyer or Matt Barkley back as a backup quarterback, even after the latter’s late-season spurt of interceptions, but they’ll need to address the QB position in some way this offseason.

Now, don’t turn this into the annual Brett Favre will-he-or-won’t-he retirement melodrama. Nelson, who turns 32 in May and was named the AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year at the NFL Honors event on Feb. 4, enjoyed his comeback way too much to hang ’em up now. He played through painful broken ribs in the team’s season-ending NFC Championship Game loss to Atlanta and said the team’s eight-game winning streak late in the year allowed him to get “to the point where I was really able to enjoy football again.”

But Nelson does recognize he’s closer to the end of his career than he is to the beginning, and he contemplates his football mortality more now than he did when he entered the league as a second-round draft pick out of Kansas State in 2008.

Youth Corey Graham Jersey After the 2011 season ended with that option-based attack cratering in a blowout loss to the New England Patriots in the divisional round, the Broncos signed Peyton Manning. In that overhaul, McCoy and Gase went from an option-based run offense to a no-huddle attack with Manning taking snaps out of the shotgun.


Shanahan popped into the media room to chat with a group of writers in a more informal session

Williams was the Broncos’ first-round pick in the 2013 draft. He has been a hardworking, rotational player who played much of the time on early downs in the base defense. At his best, he was a starter in an elite defense overall. But he was never quite the impact player the Broncos had hoped for, and last season they didn’t pick up the fifth-year option in Williams’ deal. There were some hard feelings, and Williams is now poised to be an unrestricted free agent. And while Denver will always bring back players at the right price, Williams figures to move on, as the Broncos have made their feelings pretty clear.

New San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan admitted at his introductory news conference that he will “go back through every play” of Super Bowl LI for the rest of his life. And though the ending of that Super Bowl and his tenure as Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator will undoubtedly be hard to shake, not everything from Shanahan’s Super Bowl experience will take on such a serious tone.

After last week’s news conference and making the rounds with various media outlets, Shanahan popped into the media room to chat with a group of writers in a more informal session. At the start of that sit-down, Shanahan recounted the case of his missing backpack, which included his iPad playbook, from early in Super Bowl week.
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The New York Giants are staying busy on Monday afternoon. Not only have they released former Pro Bowl wide receiver Victor Cruz, but they have also released running back Rashad Jennings.

Tuukka Rask Game Jersey Giants GM Jerry Reese said, “Rashad is a pro’s pro, on and off the field. He came to work every day and did everything we asked him to do, and always worked extra to get better at his craft.”

Jennings was the team’s starting running back this season, in an offense that struggled mightily in that department. In 13 games during the 2016 season, Jennings rushed the ball 181 times, accumulating 593 yards and three touchdowns. It was Jennings’ lowest total yardage since 2012, when he played in just 10 games for the Jaguars.


Hurricanes player nears return to action after multiple sclerosis diagnosis

Carolina Hurricanes forward Bryan Bickell says he¡¯s close to returning to game action ¡ª just months after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Bickell, 30, told reporters after a conditioning skate in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday that he¡¯s aiming to return during the Hurricanes¡¯ five-game homestand starting on Feb. 17. Carolina played the Washington Capitals on Tuesday evening.

Out since late October, the Hurricanes forward hasn¡¯t played since he and the team announced his multiple sclerosis diagnosis on Nov. 11. Bickell sought treatment after feeling dizzy and suffering numbness in his right leg and arm.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system that targets the brain and spinal cord, ¡°disrupting the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body,¡± according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. There¡¯s no known cause and no known cure, though the prevailing thought is that it¡¯s due to genetics.

Life expectancy for those diagnosed with multiple sclerosis is 5 to 10 years less than those not diagnosed with the disease.
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(Also, this story has nothing to do with anything, but I love how Podein showed up for the Flyers outdoor alumni game in 2012 without realizing it would be in front of 50,000 people. That¡¯s so quaint. I want to hang out with Shjon Podein.)
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He ultimately didn¡¯t make the roster, so he¡¯s back down in the QMJHL, where he¡¯s had a good season with 14 goals and 24 assists in 35 games. That¡¯s a higher scoring pace than last season, and it sets him up to make the leap to the AHL or NHL next fall.


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Harry Douglas, Brian Hartline, Chris Canty join the list of 2015 NFL free agents

The Atlanta Falcons have released wide receiver Harry Douglas, according to Pro Football Talk. Douglas, 30, played seven seasons for the Falcons and racked up 3,130 receiving yards with eight touchdowns.

By cutting Douglas, the Falcons open up another $3.5 million in cap space to help fortify the team’s other needs. Atlanta now has an estimated $29 million to spend throughout free agency and the draft. The Falcons finished with the worst-ranked defense in the NFL last year, a group that figures to get plenty of attention with head coach Dan Quinn coming over from a defensive coordinator role.

Speaking at an event at Lowell High on Wednesday, McCourty said that he’s not worried about getting tagged and would be fine with a one-year deal next season, via CSN New England:

“I’ve kind of broken it down as the worst-case scenario would be that I get franchised and come back to play for another year here,” McCourty said. “To me that’s no reason to stress. I love it here. The franchise tag is player-friendly now. It’s a good number. There’s no reason really for me to be stressed. If I hit free agency, I hope there’s some teams that want me to play there. Hopefully that goes over well. It’s still exciting.”
He also seemed prepared for the idea of not wearing a New England uniform in 2015, though he admitted that scenario was the last thing on his mind while the Patriots were making their Super Bowl run last month.


Khalil Mack had 11 sacks last season and has 30 in his three NFL seasons

Authentic Mens Keith Mumphery Jersey Already a two-time All-Pro — Mack was named at two positions last season and at edge rusher this year — Mack led the NFL with 96 QB pressures, per Pro Football Focus, in 2016 and was PFF’s highest-rated edge rusher with an overall grade of 93.9. Mack was also credited with four passes defensed, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

Terrell Davis rushed for 7,607 yards and 60 rushing TDs in 78 career games, averaging 4.6 yards per attempt. But the Broncos first noticed Davis’ signs of greatness on one particular play on special teams.

Elway and former teammates Rod Smith and Shannon Sharpe — another Hall of Famer — can easily recall a long list of moments when Davis lifted the Broncos. Two of the three Lombardi trophies in the lobby of Broncos’ suburban Denver complex are certainly proof.
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They also remember the one play that changed everything, the one before Davis became TD, before he had rushed for a single yard in a regular-season game, before Davis was anything but a sixth-round pick trying to hang on in the Broncos’ depth chart. It is a play so steeped in Broncos’ lore that former coach Gary Kubiak used to show the video to the rookie class as proof of what can happen when work and belief intersect.

“It was one of those plays, you just knew there was something in there,” said Smith, one of the league’s best players to not be drafted. “I tell guys all the time, to stay in this league you have to get noticed one time. Then you have to get noticed every day after that, but that first time, that’s the one. You have to make those guys upstairs stop the tape and rewind it to look again and remember your name and your story. Especially if you’re not one of those first-round guys.”