Browse Month by March 2018
Pittsburgh Steelers

After last year, it would be difficult to disagree with them.

Actually, though you might not remember his name, you might know a bit about him. Back in 2012, Kiyomiya led Japan to the Little League World Series championship in Williamsport, Pa.; already 6 feet tall at 13 years old, he struck out eight Tennessee batters in four innings in the title contest and went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored and an RBI in Japan’s 12-2 win.

By the Johnson chart, the draft picks cancel out to essentially value Glenn as worth the 51st overall pick in the draft, a pick in the middle of the second round.

In making this move, though, the Bengals are essentially saying they don’t trust their ability to develop a left tackle, given that they could easily have drafted a tackle at 12 themselves.

TE Cameron Brate, Buccaneers Grade: C When Tampa Bay drafted O.J.

Howard with the 19th selection in last year’s draft, it seemed likely that the Bucs would be moving on from their incumbent tight end, given that Brate was due to become a restricted free agent after the 2017 season.

The circumstances are a little different. The Patriots knew Garoppolo was months away from unrestricted free agency and keeping him was impossible, while the Bengals thought McCarron’s impending restricted free agency meant he’d be back in 2018. That made trading for McCarron a little more valuable.

Still, it’s clear that McCarron was held in high regard by the Browns.

So it shouldn’t be difficult for McCarron to find a decent contract in free agency and an opportunity to be a starting quarterback. Cleveland was considered the favorite for his services, but seemingly removed itself from the market by trading a third-round pick for Tyrod Taylor just before free agency.

Given Sherman has a pretty smart and flexible agent himself he will make sure he stays in Seattle. With its secondary in flux, the team will keep its constant into his age-30 season. The question is whether Sherman gets an adjusted deal to keep him from becoming a free agent as scheduled in 2019.ravens_176

Los Angeles Chargers

Marshawn Lynch apparently safe after Doug Martin signing

The Raiders are just going to be deep in aging running backs.

It was natural to wonder about Marshawn Lynch‘s future in Oakland after Doug Martin agreed to terms today, but according to Michael Silver of the NFL Network, the addition doesn’t mean they’re subtracting Lynch.

LB Avery Williamson has agreed to a three-year deal with the Jets, reportedly worth $22.5 million.

New York needed help at just about every level of the depth chart. Williamson, a steady and durable piece of the Tennessee defense the past four seasons,?likely supplants Demario Davis for the Jets.?

ESPN’s Adam Schefter also confirmed the signing.

As Fallon Smith C. of NBC Sports Bay Area reported on Wednesday, quarterback Derek Carr met Nelson at the airport to begin his meeting with the team.

Two top House Democrats said Thursday that they have proof the Trump administration engaged in an intentional effort to rid the State Department of career officials they suspected of being “disloyal” to President Trump, citing documents a whistleblower gave to the panel.

The ranking Democrats on the House Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Government Reform committees sent a letter to White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, writing that they received documents “indicating that high-level officials at the White House and State Department worked with a network of conservative activists to conduct a ‘cleaning’ of employees they believed were not sufficiently ‘supportive’ of President Trump’s agenda.”

We don’t know. The It could be very long morsel is more than a little concerning. As long as the Senators’ leader in goals per game remains sidelined, Marian Gaborik is favored to fill in on a second scoring line with Bobby Ryan. That shouldn’t thrill Ryan’s fantasy managers much either.ravens_015

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Jags beat out the Saints and Seahawks, who also showed interest in signing the No. 38 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Seferian-Jenkins turned his career around with Gang Green, posting career-highs in receptions (50) and receiving yards (357) last season after battling alcoholism early in his career with the Buccaneers.

It wouldn’t be shocking to see Johnson’s ball skills come back if he’s thrown at more frequently, too.

The Montana product nabbed 15 passes across 55 games during his first four seasons in the league, but he has just three picks in 30 games over the past couple of years.

Interception rates for defensive backs with ball skills are almost entirely random from year to year, so given that Johnson has interceptions in the past, it seems likely they’ll pop up again at a higher rate going forward.

The Jets probably still need to go after another cornerback and might re-sign Morris Claiborne, but Johnson’s a major building block for the Jets’ defense.

G Josh Kline, Titans Grade: B- Tennessee might be transitioning away from the exotic smashmouth gameplan under new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, but it’s still good business to keep a sound offensive line in front of Marcus Mariota.

He believed strongly in promoting the game and its positive values to generations of fans. His legacy will live forever in Canton, Ohio through his generosity and support that helped launch a vision for the future by celebrating this great game we love.

Tom was a friend and an ally, and I admired him greatly. He was a proud Texan, who also embraced his leadership role in the State of Louisiana. His spirit and competitiveness were a perfect fit for all Saints fans and the City of New Orleans. Tom was not only a great and generous owner, but he was also a very productive contributor to the National Football League.

He might even be very good, given what the 49ers have around him, but is he going to suddenly become the second-best running back in football? Even if he does, why aren’t the 49ers confident they can develop a young back into a worthwhile contributor in a scheme which has been doing that for nearly three decades now? General manager John Lynch and company have certainly made some positive moves, and they have money to burn, but the players they’ve gotten stuck on — Juszczyk, Malcolm Smith and now McKinnon — have produced incomprehensible contracts.canucks_003

Pittsburgh Steelers

These are the pitchers with whom the Mets open spring training.

It’s tough to say the team is being cheap after signing Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier, albeit at discounted rates, but if the team doesn’t add Lynn or Cobb, there’s no other way around it. Lynn, an innings eater, makes more sense, as Cobb has his own history of injuries. Either one would be a much-needed upgrade, though. Remember, even when healthy, Harvey, Matz and Wheeler are rollercoasters.

Maybe that’s because of all the surgeries and DL stints, but the fact of the matter is this Mets rotation no longer has the sparkling reputation it once did. To take this collection of starters into the season would indicate previous moves were more about shutting up disgruntled fans than they were about winning. There’s talent throughout the Mets roster, but there are also more risks than guarantees in the rotation.

Doing something about that should be common sense for a major-market team this close to contention.

The Packers wouldn’t cut Aaron Rodgers’ go-to guy as he returns healthy for a full season, would they? Nelson does carry a big number and turns 33 in May. Look for Green Bay to try to restructure and keep Nelson around for one more season. He becomes a free agent in 2019.

Marshall turns 34 in March, and before his season-ending ankle injury in October, he was hardly active or effective in the Giants’ passing offense. Under new coach Pat Shurmur, offensive coordinator MIke Shula and cost-conscious GM Dave Gettleman, Marshall won’t be back.

Murray turned 30 and the offense is rebooting for Marcus Mariota under Matt LaFleur. Murray will be released, and Derrick Henry will get his chance to be the early-down workhorse in Tennessee.

Denver could be doing a complete reboot of its passing game, from quarterback to its two familiar starting wideouts. Thomas wasn’t great in 2017 with some shaky QB play, but he can still be an effective possession guy at age 30. It’s more likely the Broncos cut their No. 2, instead.packers_118

Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL free agency winners, losers: Vikings get right QB; Bears, Chiefs help theirs

The venerable Packers wide receiver is the most notable, shocking cut so far, trumping the Dolphins’ decision to part ways with Ndamukong Suh. Rodgers moves on with recently extended Davante Adams and Graham as his go-to guys, but it’s sad to see Nelson leave.

The Jets traded the one-time Pro Bowl defender before the 2017 season, and he promptly found a strong home as a 4-3 tackle after playing 3-4 end for most of his career. He was very disruptive in the middle of the field with Seattle. With a lot of other positional money issues, especially defensively, it will be hard for the Seahawks to keep him.

Ansah, two years removed from a Pro Bowl selection, fought through injuries for a rebound 12-sack season after disappearing in 2016. It will be interesting to see how much Lions general manager Bob Quinn wants to keep the veteran around beyond ’18 as a defensive cornerstone for new coach Matt Patricia.

The team also re-signed Josh McCown on a one-year deal, so if Bridgewater isn’t totally healthy, they have a safety net. Bridgewater, if he wants to start right away, will likely have to beat McCown in training camp.

In his rookie season, he finished with 2,919 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 12 picks in 12 starts. He followed that up with 3,231 yards, 14 touchdowns, and nine picks when he started every game for the Vikings in 2015. Part of the issue was the offensive line. Bridgewater was playing behind the 28th-ranked line in 2014 and the 25th-ranked line in 2015. Those units allowed a total of 91 sacks over those two seasons.

He’s coming off of a knee injury that was so gruesome there were questions about whether it would actually end his career. Bridgewater was cleared to return to the field last season, but Case Keenum had established himself as the starter and took the Vikings all the way to the NFC Championship.packers_142

Los Angeles Chargers

If Minnesota wants to land Cousins, it will have to make him the highest-paid quarterback in NFL history.

Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has requested his release from the team, according to ESPN.com’s Todd Archer (on Twitter). The Cowboys are reportedly planning to trade or release Scandrick, but the veteran would prefer to choose his own destination. Scandrick is scheduled to carry a $5.28MM cap hit in 2018. By moving on from him, the Cowboys will save $1.4MM while carrying $3.88MM in dead money.

He and the Bucs began discussing a new contract early last season and the process intensified this offseason, with Tampa making retaining the dynamic player a priority.

So, the word is Cousins wants a short-term deal, with all guaranteed money, and the chance to potentially hit free agency again in three to four years. It could be the first fully guaranteed multiyear contract in NFL history.

But that doesn’t mean the Vikings have to tip their hand entirely in his favor. There’s no benefit for the Vikings to give him a three-year contract of all guaranteed money and the option for Cousins to hit the market as a free agent again when he’s 32. In order for this to work, the Vikings need some protection on the back end of this deal.

But if the Giants take Manning’s successor at No. 2 — assuming the Browns also take a quarterback at No. 1 — the Colts might be in a position where they get to pick the player they want. That — essentially having the first pick in the draft — might be impossible to say no to. There’s no way to know how it’ll all turn out. Even the Colts don’t know what kind of offers they’ll be getting.

But the Colts are doing the right thing by keeping their phone lines open until the moment they turn in their draft card. You never know if a team will get so desperate they decide to hand you an endless supply of draft picks. And let’s face it, the Colts are more than just a player away from competing for Super Bowls. They can use all the help they can get.

Adrian Peterson has been linked to the Dallas Cowboys ever since he broke out as a star freshman at Oklahoma. He grew up less than two hours away from Dallas in Palestine Texas, and his big personality made him the ideal running back to wear the star on his helmet. For most of his career, a homecoming wasn’t possible, but now, it finally makes some amount of sense.buccaneers_074

Los Angeles Chargers

MLB trade news: Yankees acquire Brandon Drury in 3-team deal with D-backs, Rays

The Rays continued their offseason moves by sending outfielder Steven Souza to Arizona in a three-team trade that saw the Yankees acquire a sought-after infielder in Brandon Drury, the teams announced Tuesday.

The Yankees acquired INF/OF Brandon Drury from ARI. As part of the trade, the Yankees sent INF Nick Solak to TB and RHP Taylor Widener to ARI. OF Stephen Souza, Jr. went from TB to ARI, and LHP Anthony Banda from ARI to TB.

The three-deal trade was a win-win for the Yankees and Diamondbacks, while signaling a rebuild is in order for the Rays, who have designated outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment and traded righty Jake Odorizzi in the past three days.

Baseball players know how to market themselves. Why do you think they post the workout videos on Instagram, looking shredded, while we stare at our guts in the mirror while we get ready for work, contemplating whether we want that extra donut?

Some ballplayers are on the cutting edge of fitness, using the latest performance enhancing … supplements, and have their own personal trainers and all that other stuff. Even the players understand how bad of a cliché this has become, with some of them mocking it openly in recent years.

Well, at least this guy’s in the best shape of his life. Really.

“That’s the part that I can’t wait — winning,” Stanton said. “I’ve never had that before. That’s what I always wanted. That’s what everybody wants in their career. And what my previous years haven’t been.

“You’re not going to be in your prime forever. You’re not going to be in the game forever. I wish every player can experience what I’m about to experience.’”

Stanton said he didn’t want to be part of a rebuild in Miami under new ownership, but he also didn’t want to accept a trade to the Giants or Cardinals. He narrowed his finalist down to the last four teams standing in 2017 — the Yankees, Dodgers, Astros or Cubs.

Now, the 28-year-old reigning NL MVP is ready to win at all costs, saying he doesn’t care if he only hits “two home runs all year.”buccaneers_005

Chicago Bears

MLB free agency 2018: Where should the top remaining players end up?

The 2018 MLB free agent class got a late start this offseason, but some of the biggest names have finally found homes.

The Orioles have been making moves recently and could use a left fielder. Gonzalez could be an enticing piece in a small ballpark. The Padres and Giants are also trying to contend in the loaded NL West, and could use more outfield depth.

Pitchers, largely, hated the idea. Catchers weren’t fans, either.

But here’s the thing: Every pitch, especially in October, can potentially be the difference between a raucous celebration and a crushing defeat. And sometimes teams use another bit of oft-embraced technology — video — to steal signs. But even when that’s not actually happening, pitchers and catchers have to assume it’s happening, which is part of the reason why you see so many catchers make so many trips out to the mound, especially in the postseason.

“I had no conscious, I have no memory of doing that. But obviously I must have because they found the glove there,” Simpson said.

When asked if he’s ever blacked out before, he said no.?

After these clips aired,?Christopher Darden, one of Simpson’s prosecutors from his criminal trial, said?plainly on the program, “I think he’s confessed to murder.”

If things go south with Le’Veon Bell and the franchise tag, then LSU’s Derrius Guice will be a stronger consideration. For now, the Steelers?need to go back to the defensive well after the unfortunate injury that?befell Ryan Shazier. Vander Esch is the kind of long, rangy playmaking linebacker the Steelers love. He had?a strong Combine, too.seahawks_160_fec8b3a21dc92c70-180x180

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Colts need to revitalize their pass rush in their transition to a base 4-3.

The Browns ‘ decision to ship Shelton to New England comes a day after the team acquired quarterback Tyrod Taylor , wide receiver Jarvis Landry and cornerback Damarious Randall in a series of trades. All trade agreements cannot become official until the start of the new league year on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET.

Shelton, the 12th overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft , hasn’t quite lived up to expectations after establishing himself as one of college football’s top D-linemen while at the University of Washington. He was shopped around by the Browns before the trade deadline in October, with the Denver Broncos being among the interested teams, Rapoport reported. He’s now set to help bolster New England’s defensive line.

Both UZR and DRS work principally by determining the probability that a play is made on a batted ball, assigning a run value to a batted ball and giving a player credit or penalizing a player for making or missing a play, respectively.

For example, if a batted ball is caught 25 percent of the time, and that batted ball is worth 0.6 runs on average, then a defender who makes the play receives 0.6 times (1 – .25) = +.45 runs worth, and if he misses it, then he is penalized -.15 runs.

The Browns still have plenty with which to play around come free agency, but Gang Green now holds the temporary honor and/or burden of having the greatest financial flexibility in football.

Chubb is explosive off the edge and can be their best pick at the position since Dwight Freeney 16 years ago.

Just as the Browns are searching for a new franchise leader offensively, here is their chance to get a difference-making playmaker in the same vein defensively. Pick a secondary position, any secondary position: Fitzpatrick is built to be a superstar in the Jalen Ramsey ilk. seahawks_084_a90dbb1535cb6592-180x180

Chicago Bears

Kyrie Irving threatened to sit out season if Cavs didn’t trade him, report says

Kyrie Irving pulled out all the stops to make sure he was traded away from the Cavaliers last summer.

According to Cleveland.com, Irving asked team owner Dan Gilbert for the trade. When Gilbert initially said no, Irving threatened to have knee surgery, which would cause him to miss time.

Although the surgery would be minor, he said he wouldn’t come to training camp and then opt to have the surgery during the season.

Saves like her thwarting of Team USA archvillain Marie-Philip Poulin in the shootout. Stops like that last, “golden save” on Canada’s Meghan Agosta.

“I’ve watched the celebration about 50 times. It’s just awesome,” says Rooney, who stopped 29 of the Canadians’ 31 shots in regulation and overtime before turning back four of six in the shootout. “But when I replay it in my head, I picture the save. Then I picture the bench, and seeing my teammates sprinting at me. And then everything going dark under the dogpile. It’s an indescribable moment.”

However, the Knicks travel to Milwaukee next Friday, and Noah still has family and friends in nearby Chicago. His charitable foundatioh, Noah’s Arc, is also located there.

When asked about Noah’s return, coach Jeff Hornacek told reporters Thursday, “We’re not going to comment on that stuff. Personal reasons, he won’t be with us for a couple of games. He works hard to keep himself in shape. He’s professional that way. It’s always tough when you want to play.”

Noah, 32, signed the now largely untradeable contract in the summer of 2016, when Phil Jackson was the Knicks’ president. Now, with a glut of big men on current president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry’s roster, the 11-year veteran has appeared in only seven games this season, averaging 5.7 minutes, 1.7 points and 2.0 rebounds.

The Knicks summoned 6-7 rookie shooting guard Damyean Dotson from the G League to take Noah’s spot on the roster.lions_010