Browse Month by February 2018
Los Angeles Chargers

Former Panther Rae Carruth breaks silence with an apology letter; Saundra Adams responds

After spending 17 years behind bars for conspiring to kill the mother of his son, former Carolina Panthers player Rae Carruth has spoken out with a public letter of apology.

“If I could change anything, I’d change the whole situation. His mother would still be here and I wouldn’t be where I’m at. So that’s what I’d want to change. I want the incident to never have happened at all. … I let him down as he came into this world and the only way that I can make that right and the only way I can work out my relationship with my son is to be there for him.”

He went on in the interview to say that he believes he should be the one to raise his son and that he could “make a difference,” while also thanking Adams for the “unconditional care, compassion, love and support” that she gave Chancellor.

Carruth said he wanted to make the letter public because his past attempts to contact Saundra Adams haven’t received a reply.

“I feel like if I did it in the open, it would put an end to the lies. If I say publicly, ‘Ms. Adams, I apologize, Ms. Adams, I take responsibility for what happened,’ that she can no longer get on television and do an interview and say Rae has never apologized to me,” Carruth said.

This is the first time Carruth has spoken publicly since 2001 after not taking the stand during the trial and appearing in a brief interview with CNN early in his sentencing.

A source told SN in 2017 not to expect a grand announcement from the FBI if Tillman succeeded.

“They will try to get him to fade to anonymity as much as they can,” said retired U.S. Marshal Kim Widup, a 38-year law enforcement veteran who led the Whitewater investigation. “But I think at some point the FBI will also use it as part of their recruiting policy, as in, ‘Look who we got.’”

Tillman is not the first high-profile athlete to be connected to law enforcement. Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Herschel Walker made well known his interest in taking FBI classes. Basketball Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal is a deputy marshal in Louisiana, a reserve police officer in Florida and a sheriff’s deputy in Georgia. Not totally unrelated, former NFL guard Daryn Colledge enlisted in the Army National Guard in March 2016, and more notably, Pat Tillman left the Arizona Cardinals in June 2002 to enlist in the Army Rangers in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.jays_298_adb123b3050ea281-180x180

Los Angeles Chargers

Timberwolves prepare for Bulls, await word on Butler’s MRI

Cameron Payne also saw time at backup point guard instead of Jerian Grant as Chicago fell 116-115 to Philadelphia.

“I couldn’t be happier the way we went out and played and competed,” Hoiberg told the team’s website. “We dig ourselves an 18-point hole and fight all the way back and have complete control of that game. A lot of guys played well, so there’s a lot of positives to take out of this game. I loved our effort all game long.”

The Timberwolves have a chance at much more as they try to break a 13-year streak of missing the postseason.

Minnesota started Friday sitting fourth in the West after having played more games than any other team in the NBA. The Wolves had 21 games left to cement their position. Now they might be doing so without Butler.

“It’s 21 games in 47 days,” Thibodeau told the team’s website before Friday’s game. “And there’s some unusual breaks, too, in terms of we have a five-day break, we have two three-day breaks, we have four two-day breaks. For our players, most NBA players, like to play every other day. … Whatever comes our way, we’ll have to deal with it.”

Once again, the Eagles spent big to put their past mistakes behind them, but this time, the cost was draft currency. Philly sent two first-round picks, a second, a third, and a fourth to Cleveland for the right to draft the North Dakota State quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick of the 2016 NFL draft. The gamble paid off. After a promising but uneven rookie campaign, Wentz developed into an MVP candidate in 2017. While he missed the final three games of the season with a torn ACL, he still finished second in the league in touchdown passes with 33 in 13 games.

The decision to extend the contracts of Tom, Dave and Doug isn’t so much a reward for last season, which no doubt was impressive, as it is to recognize their importance to our football team this coming season and for years to follow, Khan said in a statement. We’re past celebrating the accomplishments of our division title and playoff run, and now it’s time to take the next step. We need the right leadership firmly in place to make that happen, and it’s good to know we’ll have that with Tom, Dave and Doug secure in their roles with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Marrone led Jacksonville to a 10-6 record in his first full season as head coach after the team went 4-12 in 2016.bears_111-223x223

Los Angeles Chargers

With these things in mind, I’ve made a few key adjustments to the Kings of Command baselines.

Taking things a step further, 16 percent has become a comically poor measure for a successful relief pitcher strikeout rate, as the major league average for relievers alone last season was 23.3 percent. Compare that to the starters’ average (20.6 percent), and it’s even clearer that starters and relievers should be evaluated separately.

In addition, with pitching workloads in rapid decline this decade, and role-driven staffs becoming increasingly in vogue, not to mention there being even more advanced measures with which to measure a pitcher’s true skill, I think it’s time we shift the swing-and-miss metric off of the pure strikeout rate.

The aim remains the same: Identify the pitchers who surrender the fewest free passes, induce the most swings and misses and command the strike zone the best. For the first time this season, however, starting pitchers and relief pitchers will have their statistics split up, and each set will have its own set of baselines.

But the Central Florida target still carries the potential that made him the 26th overall pick nearly three years ago. His combination of solid size (6’2, 214 pounds) and elite speed (a 4.24-second 40 time at his pro day in 2015) helps offset the lingering rawness he can’t seem to shake. Perriman still has plenty of room to grow, and a new coaching staff could be the key that unlocks his Pro Bowl potential.

It’s the first time Alderson has been that definitive about his anticipation of the former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback’s future, but he is pleased with the progress Tebow has made since the team signed him on Sept. 8, 2016. That’s why Tebow was one of the 15 non-roster invitees who will work in the Mets’ big league camp over the next six weeks.

He’s dedicated himself to improving, Alderson said. Spent a lot of time in the offseason working with hitting coaches and so forth. So some people say, ‘Well, gee, why is he in the major league camp?’ I think realistically given his age, given where he started, he and we need to try and accelerate the process.

This experiment, if you will, is not going to last forever, but he’s made meaningful progress. We thought he would best benefit from being in major league camp. That would accelerate his development rather than falling back on protocol.

Leading 2016 receiver Shaedon Meadors missed the season with injury, and slot receiver Deltron Hopkins transferred, meaning Lamb was without each of his top four targets. Freshmen Thomas Hennigan, Jalen Virgil, and Malik Williams combined for nearly 40 percent of Lamb’s targets and finished with 84 catches, 1,121 yards, and 10 scores.bears_135

Pittsburgh Steelers

New manager Dave Martinez echoed the sentiments of his veteran second baseman.

I’m more concerned about rushing him and him not being fully ready, Martinez said. When we get him back, we don’t want him to go back on the DL, we want to get him back for the whole season.

Murphy had debridement and microfracture surgery on his right knee in mid-October, shortly after Washington fell to the Chicago Cubs in the National League Division Series. More than four months later, he has regained full range of motion and is running at 60 percent weight-bearing on a treadmill, though he hasn’t yet been cleared to take swings.

Twenty-four days before the Eagles lost their first Super Bowl in the Superdome, the Bulldogs won the national title in the same building.

Dawg fans have been waiting for another ever since, packing Sanford Stadium and filling the coffers of a rich athletic department. Their team has finished 11 times in the top 10 since 1980, nearly winning or playing for titles in 1982, 1992, 2002, 2007, 2012, and most agonizingly in 2018. Meanwhile, the Dawgs have watched Florida win three national titles and Georgia Tech win a piece of one.

With an epic haul of recruits in 2018, the wait might be over soon. And then Hummer TV Guy can drive up the ramp of the High Museum.

Neither he nor the Twins expressed any concern about his health.

This guy has upside, chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said. I think he’s kind of one of those guys who’s sneaky, ends up in the top of your rotation, and it might not be the big velocity or otherwise, but the way he pitches and the way he manages contact, guys don’t square it up often.

Odorizzi was given the cubicle next to Ervin Santana, whose injury made Odorizzi’s acquisition all the more important for a Twins team that used 16 starting pitchers in 2017.

Santana arrived Monday wearing a dark blue cast on his right hand after surgery to remove a calcium deposit that developed around the knuckle on top of his middle finger. He said it bothered him when he tried to throw a slider or a changeup in the American League wild-card game loss in New York, in which he gave up four runs on two homers in just two innings.bears_039

Chicago Bears

Love for safeties … Safety is not generally regarded as a marquee position on NFL draft night.

The first day of the NFL’s regular season began with drama surrounding one of the league’s best wide receivers a game-time decision for Sunday’s prime-time game and the possibility of national anthem protests at stadiums around the country, but the emotional high point came when the Texans took the field in Houston.

Watt wasn’t the only injured Texans player; linebacker Brian Cushing, wide receiver Bruce Ellington and tight ends C.J. Fiedorowicz and Ryan Griffin were out with concussions during the team’s 29-7 loss to Jacksonville. That puts the Texans in a jam with a game Thursday in Cincinnati, and Coach Bill O’Brien hasn’t said whether he’ll start Tom Savage or rookie Deshaun Watson, who entered the Jaguars’ loss in the second half and promptly delivered a touchdown drive.

No safety has been taken in the draft’s top 10 since Eric Berry went fifth overall to the Chiefs in 2010. There haven’t been two safeties taken in the top 10 of the same draft since Michael Huff went seventh to the Oakland Raiders followed by Donte Whitner going eighth to the Buffalo Bills in 2006.

But two safeties, Ohio State’s Malik Hooker and LSU’s Jamal Adams, are strong candidates to break the trend.

It’s also a risky move, as Morton did a nice job maximizing a talent-poor group led by quarterback Josh McCown. Starting over from scratch again at quarterback and coordinator will be difficult, and Bowles’ lack of job security could scare away potential hires. The Jets reportedly tried to hire Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo last year, and he is now a coaching free agent, but he could look at other opportunities, such as potentially working under Steve Wilks in Arizona, as being more secure.

New-school quarterbacks get old-school coaches: Pete Carroll’s hire of Brian Schottenheimer as Seahawks offensive coordinator mirrors Carolina’s decision to pair Cam Newton with Norv Turner. Two of the most unique quarterback talents to enter the league this decade will be placed in two of the most traditional, old-school offenses possible. (Newton with Turner looks like a better fit.) For Carroll, this looks like a missed opportunity to reset his offense with fresh ideas.jaguars_110

Chicago Bears

The preseason comes to a close Thursday with almost every NFL team in action.

Two teams that won’t be playing: the Cowboys and Texans, who were scheduled to meet in Houston before Hurricane Harvey pushed the matchup first to Dallas, then cancellation. The Cowboys raised more than $2 million by holding a telethon Thursday night, giving fans a chance to talk to their favorite players.

Here’s the entire slate of games. Check back in throughout the day for updates on all the action.

Like Mitchell Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes won’t be starting Week 1. But like Trubisky, Mahomes has a bright future.

Notably not among that list were the eight known team owners who donated to Trump’s presidential campaign, Jets owner Woody Johnson, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Jaguars owner Shad Khan, Texans owner Bob McNair, Buccaneers owner Edward Glazer and Rams owner Stan Kroenke.

Save for Lurie and Ross, however, who have overtly associated themselves with Democratic objectives, many of the others, much like the majority of the NFL power set, have demonstrated more conservative leaning.

Their performance against the Patriots on Sunday in Mexico City was dreadful. It’s clear that the talk about the Raiders being a championship contender during what’s left of their time in Oakland was nothing more than that.

So the Giants haven’t given up, after all. But was the spirited effort, especially on defense, in Sunday’s stunning victory at home over the Chiefs merely a one-time thing? Or can the Giants keep it going Thanksgiving night at FedEx Field against the Redskins?

The Dolphins are reeling and there’s little realistic hope that matters will improve when they play Sunday at New England. Jay Cutler’s playing status is uncertain after he was placed in the concussion protocol. That could mean Matt Moore starting at QB against the Patriots. The last time some observers wondered if the Dolphins were better off with Moore at QB, they lost by a 40-0 margin at Baltimore.jaguars_076

Chicago Bears

Because he didn’t find the end zone in Week 13, Barber’s game might get overlooked.

The Jacksonville Jaguars join the Steelers, Patriots and Chiefs among the projected AFC division winners, thanks in large part to a pass defense that has been lights out. Opposing quarterbacks have a league-low 63.5 passer rating against the Jags — the league average is 88.3 — with four touchdowns against 10 interceptions. Since 2002, the year the league expanded to 32 teams, only nine other squads have held opponents to as low of a passer rating during the first nine weeks of the season.

Of the seven games on Friday night, five of them feature at least one team that is in the top nine in defensive rating (San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons), the top five in slowest pace (Memphis Grizzlies, Spurs, Utah Jazz, Heat, Sacramento Kings), or both. Thus, two games stand out as the most likely candidates for players to produce more than average across the board:

The Phoenix Suns (worst defensive rating, fifth-fastest pace) at the Denver Nuggets (T13th-worst DRTG, 18th-fastest pace) and the Indiana Pacers (ninth-worst DRTG, 17th-fastest pace) at the Los Angeles Lakers (17th-worst DRTG, fastest pace) both feature bad defenses and fast paces, especially compared to the other games on the docket. Plus, the Pacers are on the second half of a back-to-back, and their net rating (e.g., average margin of victory) drops by 8.7 points on the second half of a back-to-back compared to when rested, so their defensive performance is likely to be worse than the above-stated average on Friday.

That’s who he is; he’s not going to have a 180-yard, two-score game. He’s not going to win you a DFS GPP. But he’s a high-floor option — especially in the right matchup, which Week 14 should be for him, as the Colts travel to Buffalo to face a Bills defense that has allowed 11 rushing touchdowns to running backs in the past five weeks, only stopping the inexplicably imploding Chiefs rushing attack. You can’t expect Gore to finish Week 14 as the overall No. 1 RB, but if you need a low-end RB1, he’s got as good a shot as anyone.

Peyton Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: But as the quasi-surprise replacement for Doug Martin (most expected Jacquizz Rodgers to be the workhorse), Barber got 23 carries for 102 rushing yards, and added four receptions for 41 more, leading the team in both rushing and receiving yardage. He topped 3.0 yards after contact per rush.jaguars_032

Chicago Bears

Oklahoma focused on using its big men in the paint to spread the floor and incorporate more pieces to help Young.

Sooners coach Lon Kruger said he wanted a more “efficient” game from Young.

Seth Roberts, WR, Raiders: Here’s the skinny: Michael Crabtree is suspended for Week 13 while Amari Cooper is dealing with a variety of injuries. When Crabtree sat out Week 4 due to injuries, Roberts played on 93 percent of the team’s snaps. Oakland’s matchup is against the New York Giants, who enter the weekend ranked 29th in the league against the pass. Basically, there’s a lot to like about Roberts and for owners in desperate need of a WR2 or flex play, Roberts has tremendous upside as the Raiders are looking to get back into the playoff picture.

When the NFL was planning the Raiders’ relocation, they envisioned the team being so good right now that fans in Oakland would continue to support it even though they knew the Raiders were leaving. The franchise’s long-time slogan is “commitment to excellence.” Mark Davis and Co. need Gruden to elevate the Raiders the way he once did Tampa Bay — and then to keep them there all the way to their new home.

Chris Hogan, WR, Patriots: There’s been no sign of Hogan at New England’s practices this week. Given that the Patriots should be able to handle the Bills, Hogan will likely sit out for the fourth consecutive weekend.

Alshon Jeffery, WR, Eagles: After being limited in Wednesday’s practice, Jeffery (foot) was a full participant Thursday.

Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers: While Martin (concussion) hasn’t officially been ruled out, he isn’t expected to play this weekend.

Put that in the context of Keenum, Foles and Bortles making about $9.2 million combined in salaries and bonuses for this season. Will the Redskins and other NFL teams hit the pause button before handing out contracts worth $25 million per year or more to Cousins and other quarterbacks? Should they?

“I think everyone at this point is frustrated by this situation,” Lockhart said, and added: “The commissioner and the owners do want the players to stand.”

The owners’ meeting will include “a discussion about the entire issue, including the [anthem] policy,” said Lockhart, who declined to make a prediction about the outcome of those deliberations.jaguars_017