NFL tables rule change to allow teams to negotiate with coaches during playoffs

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Rebuilding NFL franchises in search of a new head coach will still have to wait until a rising assistant’s team has bowed out of the postseason before contacting him. A proposed rule change was tabled at the NFL Spring League Meeting that would have allowed needy clubs to negotiate with coaches whose teams are still alive in the playoffs rather than forcing them to wait until their season ends — and potentially missing out on other hires.

The league did relax rules about group celebrations, using the ball as a prop, and going to the ground as part of a celebration. Any dance that mimes using a weapon or violence toward other players is still banned, and players can’t do prolonged celebrations that delay the game.

And the league still won’t let players get away with dances it deems sexually suggestive. That includes Hingle McCringleberry’s three pumps.

Michael Bennett, who said last season that two pumps gets you a baby; three pumps gets you a fine, will have to keep that thrusting under control if he doesn’t want to pony up next season.

Dan Carpenter Jersey And Von Miller, who once said them pumps are expensive, had the support of Key & Peele when he was fined $11,000 for a suggestive dance in 2015. The comedic duo gave the amount of Miller’s fine to his charity, Von’s Vision, after Miller was penalized for a three-pump celebration.

Roger Goodell’s got jokes, but we wish that sense of humor extended to these touchdown dances.

because how cool would it be to see Felix Hernandez finally get to start a playoff game?

Game Carl Davis Jersey Martinez’s move to the top also signals the start of a transition within the rotation. St. Louis is deep in young starters, and it can begin to entertain the idea of running out five of them to the mound over multiple seasons. The other four:

Game Allen Hurns Jersey Alex Reyes, 22: The right-hander could become at least a 1A to Martinez in time. He made an impressive debut in 2016, posting a 1.57 ERA in 46 innings that were split between the ‘pen and rotation. Reyes throws hard: He averaged 96.5 mph with his fastball last season, second on the team to Trevor Rosenthal and ahead of Martinez’s 95.6 mph, according to Fangraphs. He was effectively wild (4.5 BB/9) and hitters had a rough time squaring him up (one home run allowed). One red flag about Reyes: character. He was suspended for 50 games last season after testing positive for marijuana in the minors in 2015.

The skid: Haven’t made the playoffs since 2001

Need to know: Believe it or not, at 15 years, this is Major League Baseball’s longest current playoff drought. A couple of seasons ago, Seattle was an afterthought on this list, but the Pirates (20 years), Royals (28 years) and Blue Jays (21 years) have all snapped their own skids since 2013 and the Mariners find themselves alone atop this list. Here’s hoping Seattle makes it happen, because how cool would it be to see Felix Hernandez finally get to start a playoff game?

NFL Draft 2017: Mitchell Trubisky first QB taken, a ‘slap in the face’ for Deshaun Watson

uarterbacks are always among the main topics on draft day, and Thursday was no different.

Former Clemson star Deshaun Watson is one of the top quarterbacks in the draft, and he thought he should be the first one off the board.

According to, Watson said he would consider it a “slap in the face” if Mitchell Trubisky went before him due to last season’s championship run in which Watson led Clemson to victory over Alabama. That’s exactly what happened when the Bears traded up one pick to draft Trubisky second overall.

“If anything about Jay Cutler, and I don’t know him well, I’ve only gotten to know him, but I don’t think he cares,” Kevin Burkhardt told . “That’s a great thing. You can be honest. You don’t care — you can just be honest and say what you’re going to say. I think he’ll do that.”

The fact is, as an NFL analyst, Cutler is not going to be perfect at the start. Initially he’s going to have to rely on his knowledge of the game and that don’t-care attitude everyone seems to be convinced he has to carry him through his first season.

He’s going to make mistakes and he’s going to stumble over his words, but he is someone who doesn’t seem to be affected by negativity and that could help him in the long run.

At the same time, his willingness to tell it like it is also could be a great asset.

“That is going to be the challenge for everyone — how critical can you get?” Burkhardt said. “You don’t have to insult someone’s family, you just have to say what you’re seeing. That’ll be a unique challenge right off the bat, though it’s preseason so you don’t have to get too critical.”

Cutler’s first appearance on Fox will be in a preseason game between the Titans and Cutler’s former team the Bears.nike_steelers_2063

Texans now positioned to land Tony Romo with no regrets

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Elite Jimmie Ward Jersey The Texans had millions of reasons why they shouldn’t pursue Tony Romo, and most of that was in the money tied to starting quarterback Brock Osweiler.

Now they can pursue a trade with the Cowboys or go after Romo in free agency, if Dallas releases him. Houston cleared that when a deal, originally reported by Adam Schefter, sent Osweiler, a sixth-round in 2017 and a second-round in 2018 pick to the Cleveland Browns for a fourth-round pick in 2017.

The money tied to Osweiler’s absurd contract was the deterrent to grabbing Romo. Osweiler had $16 million in guaranteed money for 2017. Releasing Osweiler would have resulted in $25 million of dead cap. That’s substantial, and somehow Houston managed to get Cleveland to take that deal; now the path is clear for Romo. If they don’t do it, then Denver might.

Next time someone spreads the alternative fact that bat flips weren’t a thing in decades past, first laugh, then show them this Gary Matthews beauty from the 1983 NLCS. Notice the artistry: Behind the back, one motion, all part of his swing.

Then show them the greatest bat flip of all time 鈥?Tom Lawless, he of the .080 batting average, in the 1987 World Series. You’ve gotta wait for the replay to see it, though. That’s how epic it was. Lawless is still a fan of bat flips, by the way.

If Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh and Lance McCullers Jr. can stay healthy (they’re making progress in spring training), Houston could go seven or eight deep during the season. Charlie Morton, Mike Fiers, Joe Musgrove, Chris Devenski, Brad Peacock and Michael Feliz are all in the mix in camp. In addition, David Paulino (2.00 ERA in 90 minor league innings in 2016) and Brady Rodgers (3.14 ERA in 132 PCL innings last year) will be lurking in the big league bullpen or, more likely, at Triple-A.

Former USC QB Todd Marinovich pleads guilty to public nudity, drug charges

Former USC and Raiders quarterback Todd Marinovich pleaded guilty Tuesday to multiple misdemeanor charges but has a chance to avoid jail time.

Marinovich was arrested in August after he was found naked in another person’s backyard in Irvine, Calif. According to the Orange County Register , police said Marinovich was carrying a brown bag with methamphetamine, marijuana, syringes, a marijuana pipe and his wallet.
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D.J. Alexander Authentic Jersey The 47-year-old pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor counts including public nudity, drug possession and trespassing and received a stayed 90-day jail sentence. He will not have to spend time behind bars if he completes six months of outpatient rehab and three years’ probation, his attorney Adam Cole told the Register. Cole said Marinovich already has spent time in rehab since his arrest.

MLB also tweaked its replay challenge system, giving managers a 30-second time limit to decide on whether to seek a review and the replay officials themselves a two-minute guideline in which to render a decision.

Other rule changes were aimed at specific practices by teams and players that some thought provided a potentially unfair advantage.

—Teams are now prohibited from the use of any markers on the field that could create a tangible reference system for fielders. That measure stemmed from the practice of teams using laser rangefinders before games in an effort to determine the best positioning for their outfielders, then using paint or golf markers as physical reference points for the players during games.

—A pitcher can no longer take a second step toward home plate with either foot or otherwise reset his pivot foot in his delivery of the pitch, a rule aimed directly at Padres reliever Carter Capps’ unorthodox delivery.

The Bills are taking a wait-and-see approach to protect themselves in case Watkins’ injury history bites them again.

The Jaguars won three games last year. Thet have not won more than five since 2010, when Jack Del Rio was coaching and David Garrard was the quarterback.The AFC South was begging to be taken for a couple of years. It might still be, but the Texans, Titans and even Colts have shown signs of making the leaps more than the Jaguars have.

Picking up quarterback Blake Bortles’ fifth-year option Tuesday — not a surprise in any context — looks smart, too. But just like with Bortles’ performance this season, the entire Jaguars operation has to live up to the hype, and it needs to happen soon.

Conley, meanwhile, likely has a chance to start immediately for the Raiders as a first-round pick.

That, however, depends on whether he’s charged. Unless he’s completely exonerated, the case will follow him whether he, the Raiders or the NFL like it or not.

Authentic Kids Lee Smith Jersey Yet the consequences already are less dire than what Collins faced, under very similar circumstances, two drafts ago.

The Bills are taking a wait-and-see approach to protect themselves in case Watkins’ injury history bites them again.

Elite Womens Jarvis Landry Jersey The option would have paid him $13.2 million in 2018 and be guaranteed for injury. Why commit to that money when he has yet to show he can stay healthy and produce enough to be considered an elite NFL receiver? If Watkins wants to get paid, he’s going to have to prove it.

Lions QB Brad Kaaya’s mom was the infamous Felisha in movie ‘Friday’

Brad Kaaya was selcted by the Lions in the sixth round of last week’s NFL Draft, but it turns out he isn’t the only famous member of his family.

Kaaya’s mother, Angela Means Kaaya, had a small acting part in the Ice Cube cult classic “Friday” as Felisha, a notorious bum and mooch.

It’s where the widely popular line “bye Felisha” became an iconic insult, and the rest was history.

Ross broke Chris Johnson’s 40-yard dash record at the NFL combine by running a 4.22 40-yard dash. Johnson had run a time of 4.24.

Hamilton is the all-time single-season minor league stolen base champion as he stole 155 bases in 132 games in 2012. Through 26 games this season with the Reds he has 16 steals.

“It’s something I look forward to. I’m a competitor — if something happens with him, it happens,” Hamilton said. “We’ll do it for a charity event. I’m willing to do it.”

Now, the question becomes what are the perameters for the race? Is it in shorts on turf, or is it in cleats on grass?

Is it a 40-yard dash like the NFL players run or it is a 60-yard dash which all MLB players run prior to the draft?

So much could be done with this proposed race, and here’s hoping something indeed happens with it. Hogan made some big plays for the Patriots last season, but he was a matchup-based outside threat to complement their quick inside wideouts. Bennett was a key one-year pickup to offset more injury woes for Rob Gronkowski, but he moved on to help the Packers. Cooks and Allen, acquired a day apart once free agency opened in March, are better overall coups at those positions.


Kovalchuk’s Possible Return: To Trade or Not to Trade

You know it’s the offseason when we’re discussing the seemingly annual New Jersey Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk rumors! Recently, reports have surfaced indicating that Kovy is on his way back to the NHL and John wrote an extended piece about it. Today, I look at the two options the Devils could explore: bringing him back into the fold, or signing and trading him.

Moss’s bristly personality would wear out his welcome at other stops — the Raiders were so frustrated with him they traded him to New England for the pittance of a fourth-round pick — but he only failed one NFL drug test over his career and never faced suspension for it. For the Vikings and, eventually, the Patriots, his reward far outweighed his risk.

Game Kids Mark Ingram Jersey If there’s anyone who can relate to Tunsil’s awful draft day, it’s Sapp. The University of Miami standout was slated to be a top-five pick, but a failed marijuana test at that year’s draft combine gave teams reason to doubt his judgment. That report was thrust into the spotlight the night before the 1995 draft. Rumors flew that Sapp hadn’t just failed a weed test that year but tested positive for marijuana and cocaine multiple times throughout his college career.

Limited Womens DeAngelo Williams Jersey Though Sapp vehemently denied the leaks, players like Mike Mamula, Kyle Brady, and Derrick Alexander all heard their names called by then-commissioner Pete Rozelle before he did. The Buccaneers lucked into a bargain at No. 12, keeping the burly lineman in the Sunshine State. He was a seven-time Pro Bowler and six-time All-Pro for Tampa Bay. His play in the trenches helped set the foundation that transformed the Bucs from league laughing stock to Super Bowl XXXVII champions.

The Warriors don’t like Utah, so a Jazz player is offering them free trips to Vegas

Game Youth Merril Hoge Jersey The Warriors are airing their grievances after the Jazz beat the Clippers in the NBA playoffs, and their core problem: Having to spend time in Utah. Andre Iguodala explained his problems to ESPN.

That faith or doubt in Cleveland gets put to the test against Toronto on Monday in Game 1 (7 p.m. ET, TNT). The Cavaliers have had a week of rest after sweeping the Indiana Pacers, although all four games were incredibly close. Meanwhile, Toronto fell down twice to Milwaukee, losing Games 1 and 3, before closing them out.

This is, on paper, Toronto’s best team since they emerged as one of the top Eastern Conference squads. They added Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker at the trade deadline, two huge additions that give them a defender who has a real chance to bother LeBron James and a stretch forward who fills a gaping hole they’ve had at the power forward position. They have several options at center, DeMar DeRozan coming off his best season and an excellent series vs. Milwaukee, and (hopefully) Kyle Lowry is finally rounding into shape. You can’t ever trust the Raptors in the playoffs, though, so who knows what version of this team we’ll actually see.

Game Youth Trey Flowers Jersey We all know about Cleveland. It’s James, with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love behind him and a bunch of shooters filling in on the wings and coming off the bench. They can beat virtually anyone if they play their best basketball. We haven’t always seen them do so, but in the postseason, it seems like they always have a switch they can flip.

Luke Walton says Magic Johnson assured him the Lakers will keep their top 3 pick

Authentic Vlade Divac Jersey The Los Angeles Lakers will keep their top-three pick in this year’s NBA draft. At least that’s what team president Magic Johnson told head coach Luke Walton.

Walton said as much during an interview on We Need to Talk on CBS Sports.

Magic’s already ensured me that we’re gonna get our top 3 pick this year, so I’m excited about that, Walton said We don’t know who the pick is yet, but I was just happy to know that we are getting a pick. That’s good enough for me for now.
How Magic would know that when the ping pong balls have yet to hit is unclear. In reality, the Lakers don’t know if they’ll have a pick in the upcoming draft.

The selection is top-three protected, and if it falls to four or lower in the draft lottery, it conveys to Philadelphia as part of the deal that landed Steve Nash in Los Angeles. The Lakers also lose their 2019 first-round pick to Orlando as part of the Dwight Howard trade if they lose their first-rounder this season.

Los Angeles finished with the NBA’s third-worst record and, as a result, have the third-best odds at landing the top pick. The Lakers have a 46.9 percent chance at that pick staying in the top three. That gives Philadelphia a 53 percent chance of landing another first-round pick this summer.
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Suffice it to say, there’s a lot riding on the ping pong balls in Los Angeles this year. But it doesn’t seem Magic is worried. Maybe he knows something the rest of the league doesn’t.