Browse Month by May 2018
Chicago Bears

“Integrity fee” dead for now in West Virginia

If the sports leagues want to buy integrity, they’ll apparently have to pay for it themselves. At least in West Virginia.

Of course, that’s possibly not the end of it. With Congress possibly crafting legislation aimed at regulating sports wagering, the integrity fee could be foisted onto the states by the feds.

According to Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal, the cost of the stadium itself has moved north of $4 billion. Rams owner Stan Kroenke and his wife, Ann Walton Kroenke, will contribute $1.6 billion of their own money.

To put that in perspective, and as Kaplan notes, Terry and Kim Pegula paid $1.4 billion for the Bills franchise.

In January 2016, when Kroenke first secured approval to build the stadium and to move the Rams from St. Louis to L.A., Kroenke expected a $2.3 billion expense. That quickly moved to $2.6 billion and then to $3 billion. Kaplan explains that the cost increase partially arises from efforts to ensure that the new stadium will withstand an earthquake. The estimate also now includes “soft costs,” like access roads and utilities.

(Friesen’s new team, the Devils, beat the Ducks to win that year’s Stanley Cup.) The Sabres had time to draft and develop two franchise-caliber forwards before breaking out. The Knights were able to draft James Neal and were lucky that players such as Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson were left unprotected, but they didn’t have the time to develop and/or trade for a core of talent like these other organizations enjoyed.

The Jets don’t call the Giants. Why? The belief is because the two teams are in the same market, the Jets would have to pay a tax for the second pick. Also, keeping their trade pursuit quiet is paramount, to keep others from springing into action and setting off a bidding war.cowboys_026

Pittsburgh Steelers

Bills want to see Kelvin Benjamin in new offense before talking extension

With the draft in the books, teams can turn their attention to other personnel matters and one of the things on the Bills’ list is a possible contract extension for wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin.

You’re seen and not heard. This culture of fear is the reason why NFL cheer teams have been able to largely avoid the #MeToo reckoning until now. Ex-cheerleaders feel comfortable speaking out because they are free from the threat of losing their spot. Current cheerleaders are trapped in the system. When Davis was fired, she says her teammates were sad to lose her, but reminded her that she knew the rules, so she shouldn’t have posted the picture to Instagram in the first place. And when she announced her lawsuit, the reaction was worse. Her closest friend on the team no longer speaks to her. If you went inside the locker room and you said, girls, is there anything going on?

Heneghan has a family connection to the 49ers. His father Lal was once the team’s general counsel and executive vice president of football operations. He joins Jimmy Garoppolo, C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens as the current quarterbacks on the 49ers roster.

The 49ers opened room for the newcomers by waiving linebacker Jimmie Gilbert, linebacker Boseko Lokombo, defensive back Dexter McCoil, linebacker Donavin Newsom and cornerback Channing Stribling.

They would all smile at you and say everything is fine, Ware says. I’ve been there. I’ve watched the cheerleaders lie about that because they are too afraid that they are going to lose their job. MAKE IT A FULL-TIME JOB These women are part-time employees of the teams they cheer for. colts_018

Chicago Bears

Colts target training camp for Andrew Luck

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. Actually, you have heard this one before. And you’re about to hear it again.

Not rushing; I don’t want to say rushing. But, you know, he felt the pressure of coming back. And he couldn’t get back right. This year, whenever he sat down with me in early January he said, ‘Look, I don’t want to skip a step. I want to do this the right way.’ And he’s doing that. He looks the best I’ve seen him. His body’s in great shape. His arm feels really good. He’s just taking it step by step. We’re looking at training camp as our target date right now.”

Plenty of people won’t believe this, given the history of statements from the Colts that have ended up being not believable. Does Ballard have concerns that there’s so much doubt about the veracity of the team’s statements about Luck?

“No, I get it,” Ballard said. “I get it. And I don’t blame the people for asking the questions. That’s why I don’t mind answering it. I mean, it was unfortunate last year. I mean, that was a blow to us. There was never a point that we didn’t expect him back.

It’s also not clear why this is coming out now. Chances are that the Detroit News wasn’t randomly conducting criminal background checks on prominent Michigan sports figures. So someone who knew about it decided to tell the Detroit News about it, and the fact that a grand jury determined that there was enough evidence to justify a trial coupled with the curious failure of anyone to notice (including the Boston and national media during Patricia’s years as New England’s defensive coordinator) made it newsworthy.

Charles will vie for a role on a defensive line that also includes Chris Jones, Xavier Williams, Allen Bailey, Jarvis Jenkins and 2018 third-round pick Derrick Nnadi.

As expected, ESPN has announced that the crew calling Monday Night Football this season will be play-by-play man Joe Tessitore, former Cowboys tight end Jason Witten in the booth, former Buccaneers and Colts defensive tackle Booger McFarland as an on-field analyst, and Lisa Salters as the sideline reporter.

One unexpected piece of news in ESPN’s announcement: The new Monday night team will debut when the Rams face the Raiders in Oakland in the late game of the Week One Monday Night Football doubleheader.orioles_057