Chargers make Derwin James the 17th overall pick

Safety Derwin James lasted a bit longer than many people predicted, but his wait to learn his NFL destination has come to an end.
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The Chargers selected James with the 17th overall pick of the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. James was often pegged as a Top 10 pick in the many mock drafts being ripped up and thrown in the trash around the country on Thursday night.
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James hit the ground running at Florida State, making plays against the run and pass as a freshman in 2015. He injured his knee in 2016 and returned healthy for a strong season in 2017, which should make defensive coordinator Gus Bradley happy to have him even if James wound up dropping further than expected.

Gettleman last week stated his directive perfectly and succinctly when he said, As the GM, I walk a tightrope. I’ve got to look at the short-term [and] then I’ve got to look at the long-term.

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The 26-year-old had 69 catches for 1,059 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in 2016, but regressed last year, with just 43 catches for 728 yards and two scores.

I probably would have rated Lawrence Taylor a tad higher. He was a guy we (the Cowboys) tried desperately to trade for with New Orleans, and they took (South Carolina running back) George Rogers. (Then-Giants general manager) George Young and I had been at the North Carolina-Clemson game. We were playing each other in New York the next day. I went back on an Eastern Airline flight with George to New York, and he was like in seat 4b, I was in 4a. We just watched Taylor make all these plays against Clemson on the road. He was really special.

I was watching it in my home in Wisconsin when Alan Ameche, from Kenosha, Wisconsin, ran off tackle for a touchdown, and I think if there was anything that really sent the NFL in the right direction, and made it replace the popularity of college football, it was that game.

Oh yeah, I knew Unitas well. Played golf with him many times. I thought that he was a salt-of-the-earth guy. I felt for him at the end of his career because obviously, he was Golden Tate III Authentic Jersey over the hill, and was not playing like he did. But I thought that when he was playing in the early ’60s, I thought he was by far the best player in our league.

Orlando Pace tells rookie class of his path to the Hall of Fame鈥揳nd Kurt Warner’s

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In the 1997 NFL draft, the Rams took Ohio State offensive tackle Orlando Pace with the first overall pick. Pace is now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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At the same time, a former Northern Iowa quarterback who had gone undrafted in 1994 was playing Arena football for the Iowa Barnstormers. That quarterback, Kurt Warner, is also now in the Hall of Fame.

Pace took to Twitter on the anniversary of his draft to deliver that message to all of this year’s rookies, both the highly drafted and the ones who are disappointed when they don’t hear their names called.

He was on scout team and he was doing a number on our first-team defense, that’s how we knew he was gonna be something special as a freshman, doing the things he did, Mama said. You’d hear the defensive guys talking about him coming out of the locker room and coming off the field, saying ‘This kid’s gonna be special.’ Then seeing him come up my junior year was pretty awesome. Pretty cool to see him come Juan Samuel Youth jersey through and prove he deserved to be a USC quarterback.

He’s one of those guys who are really dynamic. He’s done a lot of things I’ve never seen before. Throwing into triple coverage, he just slings it out there and gets it in the perfect spot. Making plays with his feet, thinking it’s gonna be a sack, the play is over and he just extends it. He’s like a magician, almost.

The Steelers picked safety Terrell Edmunds, which made some history as well. Edmunds was selected 12 picks after his brother Tremaine went to the Bills and they are the first brothers to be selected in the first round of the same draft. Their father Ferrell Edmunds also played in the NFL.

While was the first player Pittsburgh drafted this year, his selection was not their first move of the draft. They traded wide receiver Martavis Bryant to the Raiders for a third-round pick while the first round was going on.

This is what father and son time is about, the elder Herrera said. It’s the 2018 draft and what are we doing? We’re getting Barkley.

The cheers actually began when the Browns used the No. 1-overall selection to take Baker Mayfield, the quarterback from Oklahoma. That seemed to stun just about everyone in the stadium. It left a mountain of options for the Giants: A choice of three highly regarded quarterbacks in Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen; or they could take Barkley or even trade down. It was clear those at MetLife wanted the Penn State running back.

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Career backup QB Luke McCown retires at 36

1 / 2 Career backup QB Luke McCown retires at 36 After a career during which he made just 10 NFL starts, quarterback Luke McCown retired. Veteran quarterback Luke McCown is calling it a career. Better known as the younger brother of Jets QB Josh McCown, Luke McCown has not appeared in a game since 2015, when he played with the New Orleans Saints. The 36-year-old McCown released the news Friday through his agent, Mike McCartney, noting: “It’s bittersweet to leave the game I love and the craft I’ve worked at since the second grade”.

Speaking of special teams, the Sharks have been whistled for the second-fewest number of penalties, and thus not even giving the Ducks many chances with the advantage. It gets worse: The Sharks turn on the throttle in close games, with a shot attempts percentage of 58.25 in close games, third best in the playoffs. The Ducks have serious high-end talent with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, but you’d be asking too much for them to come back from a 3-0 hole, especially with the Sharks playing as hot as they are right now.

He’s made just six starts since, logging three with the Buccaneers in 2007, two with the Jaguars in 2011 and one final start with the Saints — against the Panthers — in 2015.

McCown’s final stop in the league came last summer with the Cowboys, but Dallas released him before the start of the season. With scant interest on the open market, Luke is moving on to new horizons.

We wish him well.

When asked about Mitchell’s sweatshirt after his game that night, Simmons downplayed the gesture and doubled down on his assertion that he’s the league’s best rookie.

On Wednesday, the final day of the regular season, Mitchell wore a red Adidas sweatshirt with “Rookie?” across the chest, further fanning the flames of the debate. Both Simmons and Mitchell enjoyed impressive playoff debuts this weekend, and one can only think this debate will continue until June 25, when the NBA holds its annual awards show.

Leave it to Joel Embiid to turn a serious injury into a new nickname and grow his legend on social media.steelers_058

Colin Kaepernick walks into league office, says he’s doing great

Authentic Willie McCovey Jersey As he continues to press his case that NFL owners have colluded against him, Colin Kaepernick was at the league office this morning.
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Kaepernick and his attorneys are at the league office to depose NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell today, TMZ reports.

Doing great, Kaepernick told TMZ. I love y’all and we’re gonna keep going.

One of the men accompanying Kaepernick was carrying an Adidas bag, perhaps a nod to Adidas saying that it would sign Kaepernick if he signs with an NFL team.

Asked if he’d take Philadelphia Eagles lineman Chris Long up on his offer to wear a dog mask, like the Eagles did on their way to winning the Super Bowl, Embiid laughed.

That would be, like, good business marketing, like my first game back, they had masks all over the place, he said.

According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, the Bears will have veteran cornerback Tharold Simon in this week’s minicamp on a tryout basis.

Simon was in Aleksi Heponiemi Jersey camp with Washington last spring, but was cut in May and didn’t find another team. He spent 2016 with the Cardinals, and his first three years with the Seahawks, where he was part of their Super Bowl-winning defense.

He’s gotten plenty of chances by virtue of his size (6-foot-3, 202 pounds), and with no investment on the Bears’ part, he’s the kind of guy worth a look this time of year.

In the final 15 seconds, Holiday made two crucial defensive stops. He smothered Lillard on a drive in the lane, forcing a miss. Then he finished the Blazers off with a blocked shot on Pat Connaughton.

Authentic Ryan Miller Jersey He’s not an accomplished pick-and-roll screener, so they can’t adjust by using him that way. The Pacers are hiding Myles Turner on him, which has the ripple effect of slotting two like-sized players — Bogdanovic and Thaddeus Young — on LeBron and Love, neutering that pick-and-roll combination.

Class counsel believes appointment of Special Investigator is appropriate

The NFL wants a Special Investigator to explore allegedly widespread fraud in connection with the concussion settlement. The co-lead class counsel representing former players agrees that an investigation is needed, but he pushes back against the perception that fraud is prevalent.
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That doesn’t mean fraud isn’t happening. The challenge for the court will be to come up with a way to spot true fraud without hurting those who truly aren’t trying to perpetrate a fraud. How the court handles this issue will go a long way toward ensuring that former players who deserve compensation will get it as soon as they can.

With the five-year anniversary 鈥?FIVE YEARS 鈥?of the original settlement agreement approaching in August, it’s critical that these claims get processed and paid as quickly as possible.

Jim’s health situation points to the need for people to be aware of the signs and symptoms of oral cancer and to get checked out immediately if something seems abnormal, Jim Kelly’s wife, Jill, said in a statement. We are so thankful that Jim continues to make progress every day. His recovery will take time and patience. We all look forward to being out of the hospital soon. Please keep us in your prayers and thank you for such incredible support.
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First of all, simplicity is the key. I think this is a fan-driven concept here because a lot of people have no idea why was this thing called that way and why was the next one not called that way. 鈥?I think we’ve cleaned up a lot of that, and that will get the fans more engrossed in the game. It’s going to be much easier for them to understand what is and what isn’t.

Late Tuesday, the owners rewrote the rule on using the helmet, making it a 15-yard penalty for any player to lower his head to initiate any hit with the helmet.
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McKay called it a significant change, noting that it was a technique too dangerous for the player doing it and the player being hit.

McKay said the tackle made by the Steelers’ Ryan Shazier last season Solomon Hill Jersey that resulted in the linebacker suffering a spinal injury 鈥?Shazier underwent spinal stabilization surgery two days later 鈥?was not the impetus for the change. But it was an example of what needs to be eliminated from the game.

This one technique, we saw so many hits when a player lowered his head and delivered a hit and either hurt himself or the player he was hitting, McKay said. It was time for a change of this magnitude.

The ball is in your court 鈥?for now.

Will you ask for the moon in contract negotiations and force the Giants to reluctantly trade you?
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Or will you negotiate in good faith and accept a fair and reasonable deal that is mutually beneficial and promise to toe the behavioral line that John Mara and Dave Gettleman have drawn in the sand?

James Burgess Mens Jersey Speak now, Odell, or forever hold your peace 鈥?before another team makes the Giants an offer they can’t refuse.

If that was an olive branch Mara extended you on Wednesday, reach up and catch it. With two hands.
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Beckham saying last summer that he wants to be a Giant For Life always meant he wanted to be a Giant For Life as long as the Giants made him the highest-paid receiver in the league 鈥?which they will 鈥?and then some.

Remember what he said last July: I believe that I will be, hopefully not just the highest-paid receiver in the league, but the highest paid, period.
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Patrick does want to continue his radio show and is on the verge of renewing with AT&T and DirecTV for the next three years, he said.

Patrick had been doing NBC’s pregame for the last nine years and co-hosted the Super Bowl four times.

His contract with NBC Sports Network is a licensing agreement for the simulcast of his radio show. It still could continue even though he will not be on Sunday night.

Mike Tirico is the leading candidate to be the main host on the pregame.

As always, changes to our NFL on-air team, if any, will be announced sometime closer to the start of the 2018 season, NBC Sports said in a Jay Prosch Youth jersey statement.

Tirico has been a popular figure this NFL offseason. In Fox’s pursuit of Peyton Manning for Thursday Night Football, the idea of borrowing Tirico to call the primetime games on a rival network has been broached.

Regrading and re-drafting Round 1 of the 2017 NHL draft

It hasn’t even been a year since names were called during the 2017 NHL draft, but seasons are wrapping up everywhere. That gives us a chance to look back and see how some of the first-rounders performed in their “draft-plus-1” season.

Chris Peters ranks and evaluates the top 50 prospects in hockey in terms of long-term impact at the next level. Elias Pettersson, a 2017 first-round pick for the Vancouver Canucks, tops the board, but who follows?

Here’s a look at the 2017 draft with hindsight grades for how teams did and what a way-too-early re-draft might look like, taking into consideration a player’s entire body of work, including this season.

The Jets lead the Wild 3-1, with Game 5 scheduled for Friday in Winnipeg.

In a scoreless Game 4 late in the first period Tuesday, and with the Wild on a power play, Morrissey attempted to defend Staal in the slot in front of the Jets’ goal. In doing so, his stick caught Staal on the neck with significant force. There was no penalty on the play, but the NHL decided that the play was worthy of a suspension after a hearing Tuesday afternoon, and it announced the decision that night.

The NHL noted in its ruling that the front of the net is a place of “constant battle,” and sticks are frequently used by defensive players to establish position. To that end, they agreed with Morrissey’s argument that the contact wasn’t intentional, with an intent to injure. However, they said the height of his stick made this a “reckless strike to an opponent’s neck, with sufficient force to merit supplemental discipline.”

This is the first time Morrissey has been suspended or fined in his NHL career.

Following Lynch’s retirement after Super Bowl 50, he sat out a season and then signed with the Oakland Raiders. He reportedly accepted a $500,000 pay cut to remain with the team in 2018.

As Lynch sat out the 2016 season, the Seahawks finished 10-5-1 atop the NFC West, but lost in the divisional round to the Falcons. Last season, Seattle missed the playoffs for the first time since 2011 and have blown up a significant part of the roster in the offseason.jets_014

The Jets move one step closer to the 2018 season on Monday, when the players convene in Florham Park for the beginning of the team’s offseason program.

There will be plenty of new faces as the team has signed 16 free agents over the past five weeks. Phase One, which begins Monday, is just strength and conditioning work and lasts for two weeks. The most serious portion of the spring program does not begin until May 22, when organized team activities (OTAs) start. This is a fancy name for a football practice. Everything is voluntary until the mandatory Jim Rice Youth jersey minicamp, which is June 12-14.
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Womens Courtney Upshaw Jersey The Jets are coming off a 5-11 season, just like they were last year at this time. Last year, Bowles stressed turning the page to his team. He did not even want them talking about 2016. The 5-11 season in 2017 felt different, though. There were some positive vibes at the end of the season. I’m curious to see if there is an emphasis again on moving on from last year or if they try to build upon some of the positives.
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The report says the ex-wife had filed for a protection order against McCree and went to a police substation Saturday to report past domestic violence incidents.

The ex-wife told police McCree was waiting for her when she left the substation. She says she and her mother tried to drive away, but McCree followed and rammed her vehicle several times. They were able to escape by running several red lights.

McCree was released on bail Sunday. Jail records didn’t list an attorney.

McCree and his ex-wife divorced in 2015. They have three children together.

McCree also played for the Broncos, Chargers, Panthers and Texans.

Next up on Shonka’s quarterback value board: Rosen.

Jim Kelly can’t speak after surgery, but shared his Easter message

Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly remains in intensive care after surgery to remove the cancer that is growing in his jaw, but he still took time to send Easter greetings to his well-wishers.
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I swear to God, if you hit me like that, Suggs says he told Ward, I’m getting thrown out of the f鈥搆ing league.

The Giants could grab their true successor to Eli Manning with the No. 2 pick and disappoint the Jets at No. 3. Or, knowing they have a coveted pick, the Giants could trade back to stockpile selections, much like the Browns and 49ers did in the previous two drafts.

The Florida Shuffle has been investigated by such media outlets as The New York Times, the Palm Beach Post and South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Jamie’s story was first reported by The Athletic.

Jamie, covered by his father’s insurance plan, was sent for tens of thousands of dollars in urine tests while staying in sober homes.

Perhaps they feel like Darnold’s a lock to go in the top two picks (either to the Browns or the Giants or to someone who could trade with them), but not doing your homework on one of the top picks seems like turning in an incomplete assignment.

What if someone makes a surprising move up for Saquon Barkley or Bradley Chubb? What if someone makes a surprising move up for Baker Mayfield or one of the Joshes? What if he was available, and you didn’t have a complete evaluation? And why give away the chance to smokescreen your opponents?
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Les Snead thinks Rams have the cap space to keep their team together

The Rams are taking a risk this offseason, trading away draft picks and loading up on players who come with expensive contracts, including many contracts that expire after this season. But Rams G.M. Les Snead says he’s not concerned.
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Those meetings are going to be crucial, because none of the players seem to know what to expect.

The latest to (possibly) overreact to the hastily crafted rule change is Paul Krause Jersey Steelers guard David DeCastro, who thinks the letter of the law could apply to most running plays and turn offensive linemen into sumo wrestlers.

Karl-Anthony Towns Limited Jersey I just can’t wait until the referees come into training camp like they do every year, and they show us the videos of what to do and not do in the rule changes, DeCastro said, via Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I just can’t wait to see it because I have no idea what they’re talking about. It doesn’t make any sense to me. . . .

You’re taught from a young age, the low man wins. Get your head lower than theirs. It’s like the nature of the game. You might as well take the ball away while you’re at it. . . . We’re going to look like sumo wrestlers. Put our bellies against each other.

Because of the pace of the discussions that led to the rule, the change came long before the explanation could possibly get out to the people it impacts. Coach Bill O’Brien explained this week on PFT Live that the impact would be less drastic than some (like DeCastro, appparently) expect. But when competition committee chairman Rich McKay talks about how the rule is a substantial change without offering visible examples, it creates confusion.

It seems apparent that the league’s specifically trying to eliminate hits like the ones that left Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier with a spinal injury rather than the plays DeCastro’s talking about.

But until the league illustrates that difference to players, they can expect these kinds of criticisms on a regular basis.
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Snead noted that the Rams are in good cap shape heading into 2019 and think they can make the necessary deals to keep the players who are slated to be free agents next year, including Aaron Donald, Brandin Cooks, Ndamukong Suh and Lamarcus Joyner.