Monthly Archives: February 2017

Marcus Lattimore’s career ‘up in the air’

San Francisco 49ers running back Marcus Lattimore is contemplating whether he wants to continue playing football, according to a report from CSN Bay Area. Lattimore is working his way back from a serious knee injury he suffered in 2012 while playing for the University of South Carolina. According to the report, Lattimore’s status going forward is “up in the air.”

Lattimore was once thought of as a top NFL prospect before suffering a second knee injury. He opted to head to the NFL a year early despite the injury and was selected in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the 49ers. San Francisco had a deep roster and plenty of draft picks, so the selection made sense for the future. The 49ers didn’t need to rush Lattimore and could give him time to fully recover. Lattimore sat out all of last season and opened this year on the physically unable to perform list. He was only recently medically cleared and practiced for the first time this week. He felt pain in the knee after practicing twice, leading him to contemplate his future.

A standout at South Carolina, Lattimore was the Sporting News Freshman of the Year and a second-team All-American in 2010, with 1,197 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns. After tearing a knee ligament in 2011, he returned for the 2012 season and was playing well before dislocating his right knee in a game against Tennessee.

I think this Jerry Brewer breakdown of the Bruce Allen-Scot McCloughan dynamic in the Washington Post is definitely worth your time. It’s a reminder of how messy it can get when decision makers get greedy and want credit for their individual contributions. Imagine if the Washington football team had actually won a playoff game these last two years.

During Super Bowl week, I spent seven hours one night riding shotgun while shadowing an Uber driver desperate to make money, picking up drunk customers heading to parties. We made 14 rides over the course of seven hours of work. Only one person tipped the driver. This is a public service announcement: There is no tip included in your Uber fare. I think people should start taking the initiative to tip your Uber drivers.5

Earl Mitchell signs with 49ers

The 49ers have signed defensive tackle Earl Mitchell to a four-year deal, NFL Network¡¯s Mike Garafolo reported.

Limited Youth Richard Sherman Jersey Per the report, Mitchell will sign a contract worth $16 million over the four years and will get $5.5 million in 2017.

Mitchell was released last week by the Dolphins, who cut him instead of paying him $4 million next season. He had taken visits with the Falcons, Broncos, Seahawks and 49ers before deciding to sign with the 49ers.

Mitchell, 29, spent the last three seasons with the Dolphins. He played in nine games and started five last season. Mitchell has 5.5 career sacks and two fumble recoveries.

The fact that Coughlin is noncommittal about Bortles¡¯ future in Jacksonville isn¡¯t a complete surprise. Days before he was interviewed to fill the Jaguars¡¯ role of executive vice president of football operations, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported that Coughlin wasn¡¯t a ¡°big fan¡± of Bortles.

In January, when Coughlin was introduced by the Jaguars after being hired, he held a news conference where he gave an endorsement of Bortles that wasn¡¯t exactly ringing.

The reason Coughlin¡¯s noncommittal answer is a big deal is because the Jaguars only have until May to decide if they want to keep Bortles for an extra year, because that¡¯s when they have to make a decision on his fifth-year team option that¡¯s included with all first-round rookie deals.
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If the Jags decide to exercise the option, that means that roughly $19 million would instantly become guaranteed for injury for the 2018 season, meaning if Bortles got hurt in 2017, the Jags would have to pay him $19 million in 2018 no matter what. That¡¯s a lot of money to invest in a quarterback when you¡¯re not even sure you want him to be your quarterback.

If Bortles is going to stay in Jacksonville, it sounds like new coach Doug Marrone is going to have to convince Coughlin that the 24-year-old is definitely the quarterback of the Jaguars¡¯ future.

Jeanie Buss said this new role for Johnson really began coming together in earnest in January

The decision to fire her brother was a very long, involved process that Jeanie Buss has been leading, sources close to the situation said. It was her decision, not Magic’s, to fire Kupchak, Jim Buss and longtime Lakers publicist John Black.

Jim Buss had hired lawyers to represent his interests, sources said, but the provisions governing the family trust that owns and operates the Lakers very clearly gave Jeanie Buss the authority to make these moves.

Jeanie Buss said this new role for Johnson really began coming together in earnest in January, when he reached out to her after she and longtime fiance Phil Jackson split.

“He is like family with me and he was worried about me,” she said, adding that she and Johnson had dinner soon after.
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“That’s where it seemed like the connection was right and [we] started talking and brought him in as an adviser,” Buss said. “I think everything has kind of opened up the right way and the timing was right and I couldn’t be happier and more proud. I think Dr. Buss would really be smiling right now seeing us together.”

Game Youth Kole Calhoun Jersey Quarterback Jared Goff needs someone to protect his blindside. How can Goff, last year’s No. 1 pick, showcase his talent if he doesn’t have enough time in the pocket to throw? Enter Joe Thomas, who has been involved in trade rumors for years.

Jimmer Fredette scored 73 points in China and his team still lost

Former NBA player and 2011 lottery pick Jimmer Fredette scored 73 points in a Chinese Basketball Association game. That¡¯s the fourth-highest single-game point total in CBA history. His team somehow lost, 135-132, in overtime.

Fredette¡¯s points were scored on an efficient 25-of-49 shooting, including 10-of-18 from three-point range and a perfect 13 makes at the line. He played more than 54 minutes and turned the ball over six times, also registering four rebounds, three assists, and three steals.

Oddsmakers believe Belichick’s Super Bowl XLIX hoodie will be a grey color (1/2 betting edge) with blue (7/4) and red (7/1) also in the running. As for what type, the oddsmakers favor it being sleeves cut (-150 betting edge) with sleeves intact (+110) far behind.

If you watch the Patriots on the regular basis, you know Belichick frequently wears a Patriot-blue hoodie, but the sleeves part will vary as the season goes on. As the weather in Foxborough gets colder, Belichick will favor the sleeved hoodie more, but since Super Bowl XLIX is in blistering-hot Phoenix in a domed stadium, expect the sleeves to be absent.
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Elite Mens Oakland Raiders Jersey Check out the rest of the many prop bets on Super Bowl XLIX here.

Sometimes, though, looks can be deceiving. The plan was for Ladd, who’d won a championship with Chicago in 2010, to fill in a void on the team’s top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. While he did score eight goals and added four assists in 19 regular-season games, Ladd could never find a groove in the playoffs, scoring just once and adding an assist in a terrific seven-game series loss to the Blues.

Miller feels spry enough this spring that he’s going to pitch for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic

If Wacha can pitch that way for the next seven or eight months, his return to form from a shoulder injury will be right on time for the Cardinals. Coming off their first postseason-less fall in six years, they opened camp to miserable news when they learned their best pitching prospect, Alex Reyes, had torn an elbow ligament and needed season-ending surgery.

Wacha, 25, will be given first crack at the rotation spot that, presumably, would have been filled by Reyes. If he can be as good as he was from a magical 2013 postseason run through the All-Star break of 2015, the Cardinals could, despite losing Reyes, have one of the deepest rotations in the game. If Wacha struggles as badly as he did most of last season, their rotation could turn into a chaotic mess of musical chairs.

At 31, Miller feels spry enough this spring that he’s going to pitch for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. He wanted to represent his country, and he relished the thought of coming “full circle” with Jim Leyland, who managed him in Detroit in 2006, when Miller broke into the majors as a 21-year-old rookie with the Tigers. He’s also looking forward to jumping back into the fray after giving up a two-run homer to David Ross in World Series Game 7.

“I get to pitch in some big games right away and hopefully forget about the last game of last year sooner than later,” Miller said, laughing.

Kluber, Cleveland’s ace, has attained the requisite stature to ease into spring training and proceed at his own pace. He ranks third among MLB starters, behind David Price and Max Scherzer, with 672? innings over the past three seasons, and he sets the tone for the rotation with his relentless work ethic.

The Indians could ultimately succeed or fail depending upon how Carrasco, Salazar, Bauer and Josh Tomlin fare behind Kluber in the rotation.

With loads of cap space, the Bears shouldn’t let Alshon Jeffery hit the open market.

Franchise Alshon Jeffery. It’s curious that the Bears haven’t already locked Jeffery up to a long-term deal, but even after a disappointing 2016, there’s little reason for the Bears to let Jeffery leave for free. They have no other free agents who would justify the tag. By virtue of being tagged for the second time, Jeffery’s salary would rise to $17.5 million in 2017, which would make him the highest-paid wide receiver in football.

Even if that seems excessive, think about that $73 million number I just mentioned. What are the Bears going to do with all that money? There’s no way they can even come close to using all of it, and while they’ll roll most of it over, Jeffery is a genuine asset. The Bears can use that tag as leverage for a palatable long-term contract or to create a trade market for their star receiver. I don’t see a strong argument against the Bears franchising Jeffery for a second consecutive year.
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“We’re going to operate that way. And guys that don’t like it, they won’t be around.”

Lynn, a 48-year-old Texas native, said he considers Rex Ryan and Bill Parcells his mentors, but he probably leans closer to Parcells in his coaching personality.

“Players have always played hard for me,” Lynn said. “I feel like I’ve always got the most out of players. But I’ll be honest with you — I have got the most out of them because of fear. I don’t have a lot of players calling me, asking me how I’m doing. But Rex has the personality where guys call him all of the time.

“I’m probably more balanced now because I’ve been around Rex. My mom used to say you deal in truth and grace. And I probably demonstrate a little more grace with my players right now. And when you do that, they appreciate it so much. I think the relationship becomes more relational than just professional.”
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Brandon LaFell finished second among Bengals receivers in receiving yards with 862 last season.

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Wright will be a free agent and said as the Titans wrapped up their season what everyone has thought for some time: He’s not going to get a contract offer to remain in Tennessee. He’s a skilled pass-catcher who can be an effective slot receiver in the right situation. He needs to stay healthy, bond with coaches and a quarterback, and work to stay on his feet and get what he can on every play without going backward. He could flourish in a new setting, but it won’t mean the Titans made a mistake in moving on.

Steve Smith, the Baltimore Ravens’ leading receiver in 2014, retired. Kamar Aiken, the go-to target in 2015, is an unrestricted free agent. And Mike Wallace, the most productive wideout last season, has been mentioned as a salary-cap casualty.

Who is going to step up into a leading role for Baltimore in 2017? The Ravens believe it could be slow-developing first-round pick Breshad Perriman.

Salvador Perez Authentic Jersey Compensatory picks haven’t been announced yet, but the Bengals could potentially get three or four picks in return for losing Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Andre Smith and Reggie Nelson in free agency last year.

The Bengals have already been preparing as if they’ll have a large draft class. Considering they’re a team that tends to keep all or most of it’s draft picks for at least the first season or two, they simply won’t have the room for a big free agent haul.

“There’s no reality there,” Lofton said on Sirius XM Radio. “Maybe the last couple of weeks or the last half of the last season (they wanted to get rid of him), maybe. But he was a pretty good teammate. They like the way he played.”

Owens’ 15,934 career receiving yards place him behind only Hall of Famer Jerry Rice. Rice and Randy Moss, two of the greatest wide receivers in the history of the NFL, are the only players with more receiving touchdowns than Owens.

Johnson played in the NFL for 11 seasons, 10 with the Bengals and one with the Patriots

Limited Youth Parker Ehinger Jersey First, the highest-scoring teams that included a solid running game have won the title. The 1999 Rams scored 32.9 points per game as the Greatest Show on Turf, and they were fifth in the league in rushing (128.7 yards/game). The 2009 Saints were sixth in the league in rushing (131.6 yards per game). The 1994 49ers were sixth in the league in rushing (118.6 yards/game). And the 1998 Broncos, with Hall of Famers John Elway and Terrell Davis, were second in the league in rushing (154.3 yards/game).

The only team in the 500-point club that also had a top-six rushing attack but didn’t at least play in the Super Bowl was the 2011 Saints.

Second, the adage “defense travels” is never more true than in the title game. Rhythm and timing are keys to an offense, and with the Super Bowl’s extended buildup, pregame warm-ups on a field crowded with people, and an extended halftime, it’s difficult to keep your routine.

But No. 1-ranked defenses? In the last four seasons alone, three No. 1 defenses prevailed in the Super Bowl: The Seahawks stifled the Broncos’ 606-point offense, the Broncos overpowered the Carolina Panthers’ 500-point offense, and the Patriots recovered just in time to finish the Falcons.

And third, with so much emphasis on the pass in most 500-point offenses, sometimes those offenses reach when the simplest of plays will do.

Johnson played in the NFL for 11 seasons, 10 with the Bengals and one with the Patriots. He caught 766 passes for 11,059 yards and 67 touchdowns. Johnson made six Pro Bowls, earned four First-Team All-Pro awards and led the NFL in receiving yards in 2006.

Johnson finished his career leading the Bengals in receptions, yards and touchdowns.
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Johnson has said repeatedly over the years that he feels that he has earned his way into the Hall of Fame, even once donning a gold jacket during a game that said “Future H.O.F. 20??” He has also criticized the voting process for including criteria other than statistics, particularly in the case of Owens.

Statistically, Johnson’s numbers would make him a long shot for the Hall of Fame.

James White was so excited after scoring Super Bowl-winning TD that he forgot to keep the ball

New England running back James White scored the game-winning touchdown for the Patriots against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI. It was historic not just because the Pats won, but because it was the first overtime Super Bowl touchdown ever.

White called in to the Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday as he was on his way to the Patriots’ Super Bowl parade. When Patrick asked White what he did with the game-winning touchdown football, White told him, “I actually don’t know what I did with it.”

“I left it on the ground and started running.” White added, “I wasn’t thinking in that moment, I was too busy sprinting down the field.”

The football isn’t the only thing that has gone missing since the Super Bowl. Tom Brady’s jersey from the game was taken from the locker room afterward, and it left him frantically looking for it.

Even Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has ordered the Texas Rangers to help find the uniform.

A good consolation prize for White will be that he will receive Tom Brady’s MVP car, at least, according to Brady. The QB said after the game that he felt White should have been the MVP in the first place.

You can’t really blame White for getting so excited while scoring the final touchdown to complete the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history that he forgot the football. There may have been a moment (like when the Falcons were up 28-3) where he felt that chance wouldn’t have presented itself.

Kenny Easley was a five-time Pro Bowler and named All-Pro four times

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The question of “What if?” comes up often in football circles when discussing Easley. From 1981 to 1987, he totaled 32 interceptions and was one of the finest defensive players in the league, making the Pro Bowl five times and earning first-team All-Pro honors on three occasions. Easley was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, attaining 80 percent approval from the 48-person selection committee.

But in 1987, after he was traded to the Phoenix Cardinals, Easley failed his physical.

“When the general manager, the head trainer and the doctor walked in my room, immediately I could sense that something’s wrong,” Easley said. “And they tell me, the doctor basically says, ‘There’s no other way I can tell you this, but you failed the physical.’ And it was like somebody had punched me in the gut and knocked the wind out of my sails. I tried to compose myself and say, ‘What do you mean?’ They told me I had a kidney ailment. And in fact, I needed to be in an Arizona hospital right now.”

His eight-game sack streak included strip sacks in three straight games and he returned an interception for a touchdown against Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, a 6-yarder in Week 12.

On that day, Mack became the first NFL player since Charles Woodson in 2009 to have an interception, sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery and a touchdown in the same game.

Mack’s 26 sacks in the past two seasons lead the league, 1? more than Miller. And according to ESPN Stats & Information, Mack, who has started every game in his three-year career, has played the second-most snaps in the NFL among defensive linemen in that time frame, his 2,764 snaps trailing only Cameron Jordan’s 2,796.
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Mack, who sat out the Pro Bowl because of an undisclosed injury, did not attend the awards ceremony in Houston but took to social media to offer his thoughts.