NFL free agency rumors: Saints won’t rule out reunion with Adrian Peterson, Sean Payton says

Sean Payton won’t rule out a reunion between the Saints and running back Adrian Peterson.

Peterson signed a two-year, $7 million contract with New Orleans before last season. But his time with the Saints was short-lived, as rookie running back Alvin Kamara cut into his playing time. Peterson appeared in four games for New Orleans, registering 81 yards on 27 carries before he was traded to the Cardinals on Oct. 10.

Although Sillah has yet to officially cut down to a top list of schools — something he hopes to do as the Summer arrives — he did name one school that could be in it until the end.

The Giants finished last season with a 3-13 record. They fired coach Ben McAdoo in December and replaced him with former Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

Road games against the Falcons and Giants give way to a home game against the Redskins before the Week 6 bye. 4-1 isn’t just on the table with this schedule, it should be the expectation. Road trips to Baltimore and Minnesota, followed by a home game against the Rams and an away game against the Bengals, are a tough stretch out of the break. Then things get hairy: the Saints play the Eagles (home), Falcons (home, Thanksgiving), Cowboys (road), Buccaneers (road) and Panthers (road) before closing out the season against the Steelers and Panthers at home.

Who took the under on 24 hours for that to happen?

Nance has collected two DNP-CDs out of the Cavs’ 14 playoff games so far and had two more games where he played four minutes or less, but he played a big role in Game 3, scoring 8 points on 4-for-4 shooting in 21 minutes with 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.

With New Jersey’s casinos, racetracks and online gambling infrastructure in place, Christie says the Garden State will have a leg up on many others who are in a similar rush to cash in on the revenue that can be reaped by states that offer sports betting.cowboys_097

Patriots, Rob Gronkowski reportedly closing in on new deal

Rob Gronkoswki was looking for a new deal, and it sounds like he’s about to get it.

The Patriots’ All-Pro tight end skipped voluntary workouts earlier this offseason because he was reportedly unhappy with his current contract . According to Jeff Howe of “The Athletic,” the Patriots and Gronkowski are close to a new deal.

That’s good news for the AFC East champs. As it currently stands, Gronkowski is only signed through 2019 season. He’s set to earn $8 million in base salary in 2018. He could also make an additional $750,000 for per-game roster bonuses and a $250,000 workout bonus.

Regardless of how the Thomas situation plays out for the short and long term, two things are clear. One is the end of the Legion of Boom as we once knew it.

The other: A situation like Thomas’ displays how hard it is for older veteran players (other than quarterbacks) to continue to receive high salaries even when they’re still playing at a Pro-Bowl level.

“I am thrilled to have been selected to be the next owner of the Carolina Panthers,” Tepper said in a statement from the team. “I have learned a great deal about the community and the team over the past several months and look forward to becoming part of the Carolinas. I want to thank Jerry Richardson and the other Panthers partners for all they have done to establish and develop the NFL in the Carolinas. It has been a remarkable 25-year journey and I promise to build upon the Panthers’ success on the field and in the community.”

Tepper was able to buy the team after Richardson put it up for sale hours after a Sports Illustrated story regarding his alleged workplace misconduct.

That closed the book on the run of the only former NFL player to own a team, as the North Carolina-native said goodbye.

“Bringing the Panthers and the NFL to the Carolinas in 1993 was enormously fulfilling for Rosalind and me and all of our partners,” Richardson said. “We are deeply grateful for the outpouring of support over the last 25 years. You have taken the Panthers into your hearts and made them part of this warm and supportive community. We want to thank all of our past and present players, coaches and staff for their hard work in making the Panthers a great success both on the field and in the community. The personal relationships we have enjoyed have been very meaningful to us.ravens_158

3-star safety Giovanni Biggers picks UNC over Rutgers

Giovanni Biggers is one of The Boys’ Latin School’ s top play-makers on its roster. And he’s now become a North Carolina Tar Heel, he revealed Wednesday via a Twitter post.

Eric Dickerson isn’t sweating Saquon Barkley’s entry into the NFL because he says the Giants don’t have the blocking necessary for Barkley to break his NFL rookie rushing record.

They got no offensive line, Dickerson told TMZ. “You’ve got to have a line. Nothing against their line, but they don’t have a line.”

Dickerson set the mark with the Rams in 1983, when he ran for 1,808 yards.

If that’s the case, it’s definitely a break from Warner’s vanilla-ice-cream-in-a-Styrofoam-cup image. If he’d eventually bring some of that candor to a TV broadcast booth, that would actually make Warner — who has far more TV experience than Witten and far more experience calling games as a radio analyst for Westwood One — the better choice.

But we’re willing to handle this as a meritocracy. Answer the poll question below regarding whether it should be Witten or Warner on Monday Night Football.

They built their case against Greene on those two bits of evidence and a grand jury indicted him. The same day he was indicted, the Kansas City Chiefs dropped him.

The case fell apart months later because the evidence wasn’t as solid as originally advertised.

So, basically, the Jaguars saw Jackson as a project and Bryan as a more immediate contributor. And, obviously, the Jaguars weren’t willing to roll the dice on a guy who could become the successor, in time, to Blake Bortles.

While Caldwell wouldn’t say whether the Jaguars would have taken Jackson in a later round, Caldwell wasn’t surprised that Jackson went in round one, three picks after the Jaguars were on the clock.broncos_017_5c78391d87042ad0-180x180

Carson Wentz pledges $500,000 for sports facility in Haiti

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has visited Haiti multiple times and wants to do something to improve life in the most impoverished country in the Western Hemisphere. He’s hoping a significant donation will help.

Wentz announced on Twitter that he’s matching up to $500,000 in donations to build a sports complex that is being planned in Haiti.

The complex will have 10 soccer fields, two indoor basketball courts, six outdoor basketball courts, 5,000 shaded seat track and field, dormitories for 200 people, locker rooms and a community park with Wi-Fi, a play space and lighting.

In recent years, LSU has not leaned heavily on its backs as pass-catchers. Guice caught just 32 passes over three seasons. In the same amount of time, Leonard Fournette pulled down just 41 grabs, but the Jaguars back showed what he can do with 36 catches last season as a rookie.

Mickell started his college career as a receiver before moving to the secondary. He made 85 tackles two sacks and three interceptions in his final two seasons.

Scales was named a team captain and MVP in 2016 when he led the country with 23.5 tackles for loss. He also had seven sacks and led the Big Ten with 126 tackles. Last season as a senior, Scales made 12.5 tackles for loss and six sacks.

And now he’s back with the Saints on a deal that makes him just the 34th-highest-paid cornerback in football.

Ben Roethlisberger’s least favorite move of the offseason was actually one of the best draft decisions of the year.

Quarterback is the most important position in the game, and the Pittsburgh Steelers know they can’t be caught without a succession plan under center. Oklahoma State product Mason Rudolph gives them a quality option out of Round 3, and he presented great value in that No. 76 spot. broncos_075_7e1f83a98225d9f5-180x180

Former first-round NFL draft pick Anthony Gonzalez wins GOP congressional primary in Ohio

Former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez won the Republican primary for Ohio’s 16th congressional district on Tuesday.

Gonzalez, a former Ohio State standout who was a first-round pick in the 2007 NFL draft, will square off in November against Democrat Susan Moran Palmer, who won the six-candidate Democratic primary.

The Rams wound up taking offensive tackle Greg Robinson here, who was large and a tremendous athlete but, it turns out, a horrendous football player.

(As one coach put it years later:He could do backflips, which was incredible for such a big man, but in this game we don’t do backflips.) Still, don’t laugh at the Rams.

Other players they got in the Griffin mega deal included DT Michael Brockers, LB Aleg Ogltree and CB Janoris Jenkins, who all became high-level starters.

If Washington had still owned this pick and gone defensive end with their first choice, like they did on what turned out to be the very average Trent Murphy (now in Buffalo), they would have had Khalil Mack.

The Falcons made Rodgers a seventh-round draft pick in 2015. Atlanta waived him before the regular season, and the Giants signed him to their practice squad late that season.

Rodgers also has spent time on the Chargers, Steelers and Panthers’ practice squads.

The charge against Greene, unlawful possession of a handgun, was dismissed last July.

Now, he’s filed a federal lawsuit against members of the Elizabeth Police Department and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office claiming malicious prosecution, defamation and violation of his civil rights.

The suit doesn’t just seek damages for humiliation and lost economic opportunity, it also seeks an independent monitor to oversee the Elizabeth police department, citing a pattern of abusive behavior against others.

A city spokeswoman declined comment, saying they doesn’t discuss pending litigation and efforts to reach a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office were unsuccessful Thursday.broncos_008_383aa0a92acdcb3d-180x180

Brady has a theory on why NFL ratings are down

It appears that Tom Brady had a few things he wanted to get off his chest, because the Patriots quarterabck touched on a lot of topics during his interview at the Milken Institute Global Conference earlier this week.

For instance, we now know that Brady plans on playing at least two more years in NFL, but only because he has Gisele’s official approval. We also now know that Brady may or may not feel appreciated by Bill Belichick. We also know that Brady was and still is totally in the dark about why Malcolm Butler got benched in Super Bowl LII, which means that’s a mystery that will likely never be solved.

Thoughts: It’s been a shocking free-fall for Hurst, and Lions general manager Bob Quinn wouldn’t comment whether the former Michigan standout is on or off the Lions’ board due to health concerns. But you can make a strong case it’s worth exploring the risk on Day 3. Settle is a two-down lineman who could be a long-term nose tackle option, while Ford has an non-traditional body type (5-foot-11), but has shown the ability to produce despite those limitations.

Basically what we did, coming into the draft, we had a group of about five guys that we would be very happy with at 24 and we got our pick and three of those guys were there and it was a hard decision between Calvin Ridley and D.J. Moore, Hurney said. I think that the difference to us is, and we think they’re both excellent wide receivers, is just D.J. Moore gives us a little different skill set than we had.

Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond Grade: A. Quick-strike QB with quality accuracy on short/intermediate throws. Aggressive. Needs work downfield and against pressure. 109. Troy Apke, S, Penn State Grade: D+ Super athlete with size. Not a great football player yet. Slow to react to run plays and route concepts. 110. Nick Nelson, CB, Wisconsin Grade: B+ Sticky man CB. Nice ball skills. Average athleticism. Can be overly grabby. Helps to fill a need in secondary. 111. Brian Allen, C, Michigan State Grade: B- If he was bigger and a tick more athletic, he’d have gone on Day 2. Technician. Nice depth on aging OL. tigers_056-115x115

Early Big Ten power rankings: Who is No. 1?

I think we did really well this spring, Morris said. We’ve got a lot of young guys that are stepping up, and that’s one of the best things. We’re building depth.

That depth could come at a cost for Morris. Sophomore Tyshon Fogg had a standout spring and filled in on the weakside once Morris was injured. There will be plenty of snaps for both this fall – Rutgers will likely try to offset its depth issues on the defensive line by utilizing its second-level defenders – but Fogg certainly could push for the job in Rutgers’ base defense.

Green Bay fans have a running list of cornerbacks who haven’t got the job done since the last Super Bowl run in 2010 — when Williams and Charles Woodson were the starters. There is a standard at the position, and it has not been met this decade. Give credit to Gutekunst, McCarthy and Pettine for recognizing the problem, but it’s on Alexander and Jackson to prove these moves right.

Jackson is still reeling from 0-8 with Cody Kessler in 2016 and 0-15 with DeShone Kizer in 2017, and will practice self-restraint.

Austin Corbett, OL, Nevada: He played left tackle in college, and maybe he gets an early tryout to replace retired star Joe Thomas in Cleveland. But Corbett has been widely projected as a guard in the NFL, and the Browns are currently very strong (and financially committed) inside with Joel Bitonio, Kevin Zeitler and JC Tretter.

Will Hernandez, G, Texas El-Paso: Here’s a beloved hog molly for GM Dave Gettleman. New York now has Saquon Barkley to ignite a dormant ground game, but a lack of talent in the backfield wasn’t the only reason for those struggles. Hernandez is a mauler who will blast open lanes for Barkley and also take good care of Eli Manning.

Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia: He ran for nearly 5,000 yards in four seasons with the Bulldogs and actually timed faster at the combine (4.52 40) than backfield mate Sony Michel (4.54). Chubb can be a punishing runner but certainly capable of getting outside and tearing off large chunks — call him Carlos Hyde-plus. But with just 31 catches in college, don’t expect to see Chubb much on passing downs, where Duke Johnson will continue to get most of the work.tigers_006-115x115

What we did learn about the Yankees this week?

Watch the video above for NJ Advance Media Yankees beat writer Randy Miller’s take.

Who’s going to lead the Yankees in home runs this season?

Last year, Aaron Judge led the American League with 52 home runs.

CC actually called me when he found out that I was going back to Trenton, Sheffield said. He just said, ‘Don’t worry about it. You could be in the Double-A, then be in the Bronx. You never know what could happen. He also said this could be a test for me to go down there to show them what you’ve got. Talking to CC, that was good for me.

What could have been: Ray Farmer and Mike Pettine could have avoided the wow factor. They let Buffalo trade up for Sammy Watkins and watched Oakland take Khalil Mack with the next pick. Then, Cleveland drafted Justin Gilbert at No. 8 and traded up to grab Johnny Manziel at No. 22.

Does it matter? None of that worked. Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo were the next three quarterbacks selected in the draft. Cleveland traded Justin Gilbert to the Steelers in 2016.

1. LeBron James connection: Let’s not bury the lede here. Fizdale and James have a good relationship dating back to their shared time in Miami (Fizdale was Erik Spoelstra’s assistant during James’ years in South Beach). In fact, many connected dots to Fizdale’s next stop and where James could sign in free agency this summer.

2. One stop ended abruptly: The Knicks will be Fizdale’s second head coaching gig in the league. After years as an assistant, Fizdale landed the head job in Memphis in 2016 and guided the team to the postseason in his first year at the helm. But Fizdale was let go just 19 games into the 2017-18 season.

3. Memphis drama: Fizdale and Grizzlies star Marc Gasol reportedly didn’t see eye-to-eye, possibly leading to the abrupt firing earlier this season. Should that worry Knicks fans already sensing a clash between the new head man and young star Kristaps Porzingis? Not really. Fizdale reportedly had great relationships with Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and James in Miami.

4. Sought after: Fizdale had options on the coaching market after interviewing with Phoenix, Charlotte, Orlando and Atlanta.

5. Take that for data: Knicks fans will love this kind of attitude.canucks_037

Seahawks, Wilson could be on a Kirk Cousins-style collision

With all the talk about Aaron Rodgers‘ looming mega-deal, there’s another quarterback who, like Rodgers, has two years left on his current contract. Unlike Rodgers, there’s no momentum toward adjusting the other quarterback’s deal.

The other quarterback is Russell Wilson, and his contract situation eventually could get messy.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the current expectation from Wilson’s perspective is that he’ll finish his current deal and receive the franchise tag in 2020. Based on his 2019 cap number of $25.286 million, it will cost the Seahawks $30.34 million to keep him for another season after the expiration of his current deal.

His original plan to get noticed was to start training immediately on the west coast and hope to land in one of the NFL’s regional combines. When the league announced it wouldn’t be holding those this year, panic mode set in and the offensive lineman had to figure out the next course of action.

Growing up in Windsor would turn out be yet another blessing for Shepley though. There’s an NFL rule that states if a prospect went to high school within 50 miles of an NCAA school’s facility, he can attend that team’s pro day. The only caveat was he needed to be specifically requested by at least two NFL teams.

“My whole plan of action was to train as hard as I could,” Shepley said. “I knew I had some of the tools to test well already, I just needed to work on those in the months leading up to the Pro Day.

I think in Eric’s case and even Kaepernick’s case they’re good enough players to be out there and having a job, Namath said.

Why aren’t they? I don’t know. I don’t believe in the collusion though, I think the NFL is smarter than that.

Namath did not explain why he thinks teams haven’t signed the players.

Edge rusher: Clayborn was a good get, but he did most of his sack damage for the Falcons in a situational rotational role. Returning end Trey Flowers led a productive committee with 6 1/2 of the team’s 42 sacks, but New England’s pass rush overall last season was inconsistent.

Cornerback: McCourty replaces Butler in the short term, but he becomes a 31-year-old free agent in 2019. Behind Stephon Gilmore and McCourty, there’s Eric Rowe, also in a contract year, and not much else. That makes corner a priority position for multiple selections.giants_146

Seahawks GM John Schneider says Seattle not ‘actively’ trying to trade Earl Thomas

Despite the constant trade speculation swirling around over the past few months, Earl Thomas remains a member of the Seattle Seahawks. A big window for a potential deal passed during the draft, and based on Seattle general manager John Schneider’s recent comments, it doesn’t seem like the Seahawks are eager to make a trade happen themselves in the immediate future.

In an interview with Seattle’s Sports Radio 950 KRJ (per ESPN’s Brady Henderson), Schneider said that the team isn’t actively trying to move its All-Pro free safety.

Nope, not actively looking for that, Schneider responded. Nope.

While it may be true that the Seahawks themselves aren’t openly shopping Thomas around, that likely hasn’t stopped them from listening to offers for the star safety.

Miller was on’s third page of their overall prospect rankings, and they weren’t alone with having the offensive lineman ranked so low.

He’s a big, physical player who shows some promise, but his development is still pretty raw, and he’s headed to a team with Tom Cable, who hasn’t shown much promise developing offensive line talent.

After Giancarlo Stanton belted a double to right-center field to lead off the ninth, Neil Walker drew a two-out walk with Stanton on on third base. Miguel Andujar notched the game-winning hit, singling to shallow right field off closer Cody Allen, scoring Stanton and setting off a wild celebration in of all places the outfield.

In was the Yankees’ second rally in as many innings.

In the eighth, they loaded the bases against Alexi Ogando making his first big-league appearance since 2016 before Aaron Judge drew a full count walk to force in Miguel Andujar and make it 6-5 Yankees.

The Yankees’ bullpen squandered a 5-0 lead through seven innings and a one-run advantage going into the ninth inning.

Aroldis Chapman earned his first blown save when Yan Gomes scored on the lefty’s second wild pitch of the inning to tie things at 6-all.

The fastball smacked off the plate umpire’s helmet and catcher Gary Sanchez, who didn’t have a chance at catching it, also didn’t a a shot at nabbing Gomes at home. The Yankees won for the 13th time in their last 14 games and improved to 22-10. They started the day a game behind the Red Sox and tied for the second-best record in the majors.

They also improved to 19-3 while leading after six innings and 17-3 after scoring first.nike_jets_1639