Robinson has not been a liability, but after just 2.5 sacks over two years—a number that ties him for ninth on the Lions alone—he hasn’t lived up to the hype.
Williams, who is on his third team in three years, was released by the Tennessee Titans this offseason after disappointing in his first season of what was originally a three-year deal.
After the Lions traded away Akeem Spence, who played 60.8 percent of the team’s defensive snaps in 2017, it seems clear that they’re comfortable with playing this pairing for 16 games. It’s difficult to imagine that anyone but fourth-round rookie Da’Shawn Hand is pushing for a starting role this year, and even projecting a fourth-round rookie to start in the NFL is a stretch.
Expect more of the same at defensive tackle for Detroit. Hopefully, the now healthy Kerry Hyder, a hybrid end-tackle, can spell for Robinson and Williams on pass-rushing downs at least.
The wideouts who will most likely make the Colts roster this year other than Hilton are Ryan Grant, Chester Rogers, Daurice Fountain and Deon Cain, who have a combined 1,542 career receiving yards. Outside of the Cowboys, there is not a team with a stranger wide receiver situation in the NFL this year than Indianapolis.
Enes Kanter, who used to play for both teams in this series, is still beloved in Oklahoma City and was in the building for Game 5 to support Steven Adams.
Kanter supporting brothers at Thunder gameEnes Kanter explains he came to Game 5 between the Thunder and the Jazz because he wants to support his former teammates and to be a part of the playoff atmosphere.
The series shifts back to Utah for Game 6 on Friday night (10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN). The Jazz have never lost a series in which they had a 3-1 lead and the Thunder have never made a comeback from down 3-1. Eleven teams have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a best-of-seven series, most recently the Cavaliers in the 2016 Finals.
Russell Westbrook was the spark that lit an improbable fire, writes Royce Young: Some other stuff happened, a George layup, a Westbrook 3, an awesome Donovan Mitchell dunk, but the comeback was finally complete when Westbrook stopped and popped to splash a 3 with 35.9 seconds left in the third to tie the score 78-78. After the shot dropped, Westbrook’s unleashed a megawatt snarl that could power a fusion generator.
Burgers and Belmont: Meadowlands invites you to Battle for the Best Burger contest June 9
The Warriors vowed to make it harder for James to generate good looks after he shot 19 for 32 in the series opener, and James went 12:06 of game time between made baskets.
James went 10 for 20, showing few signs his shot was altered by a bloodshot left eye. He had been taking antibiotics and using drops after being poked in the eye by Draymond Green in the first half Thursday.
The Warriors earned a wacky 124-114 overtime win in Game 1 Thursday night featuring J.R. Smith’s blunder when he grabbed an offensive rebound in the waning moments of regulation and dribbled back toward halfcourt rather than shooting for the victory, and an overturned charge call against James.
Manziel previously teamed with Barstool Sports ahead of last month’s NFL draft, with the launch of the Comeback Szn podcast.
Manziel, who hasn’t played a snap in the NFL since December 2015, is coming off a recent hospitalization following a reaction to an increased dosage of Lithium, which he takes for his bipolar disorder.
I asked my dad, asked my sister. And I was like, ‘Maybe I’ll just tell him like right before the last game. I’ll like go to his office on Friday, or tell him like Saturday night before the game.’ And I was like, ‘Dang, (I can’t). That’s just a big ass distraction right before the game.’
Speaking in Southfield at the free football camp he puts on annually for two Detroit-area high schools, Johnson said he planned to break the retirement news to Caldwell right after the Lions’ 2015 season finale against the Chicago Bears, but because of family obligations didn’t get the chance until his exit meeting a few days later.
It was there, Johnson said, he shed a tear.
It was actually tough to actually say it, to spit the words out,Johnson said. But when I finally told him it was like a burden off my chest like no other. I was like, ‘man, I’m free. I ain’t got to be stressing this (stuff) no more.’
Jon Gruden’s second stint with Raiders begins on MNF
Jon Gruden spent the last nine NFL seasons working in a booth for Monday Night Football. The new Oakland Raiders ‘ leader kicks off his return to coaching on the same program. This time from the sidelines.
The Raiders open their 2018 campaign in Week 1 by hosting the Los Angeles Rams on Sept. 10, as the late game on ESPN’s MNF opening-week doubleheader. Kickoff is slated for 10:20 p.m. ET.
It’s coincidentally funny that we know Gruden will return to MNF before ESPN selected his booth replacement.
Gruden’s celebrated return to coaching is perfect for the final game to wrap up Week 1. The former Super Bowl victor will begin the opening chapter of his coaching comeback against the 2017 NFC West champion and in-state rival Rams. There is zero doubt the Black Hole will be off the chain for the matchup.
The expansion Texans made David Carr (.597, 64-71) the first pick in 2002.
This will be an historic moment for the franchise, and we believe we will be selecting a player in David that possesses all the qualities we are looking for in a player and a person, Texans founder Bob McNair said.
It’s business, I understand it, Anderson told the Associated Press on Monday after he was released by the Denver Broncos. I’ve been here five years and it came to an end. So, I’m excited for the next opportunity.
Where that is, I don’t know, Anderson said. I have no clue.
Possible landing spots include Miami, where Dolphins coach Adam Gase offered him a four-year, $18 million deal in 2016 that Denver matched, and New England, where Patriots coach Bill Belichick is also a fan.
Anderson hits free agency at an opportune time.
He’s 27, has just 683 career carries and is coming off his best season, one in which he played in all 16 games for the first time and ran for a career-best 1,007 yards.
Anderson’s resume includes a Pro Bowl, two dozen TDs, a pair of playoff touchdowns and numerous game-sealing runs, none bigger than his TD plunge that capped Denver’s 24-10 win over Carolina in Super Bowl 50.
Patriots teammates have spoken with Brady about upcoming season
According to Adam Schefter, we don’t even know if Tom Brady is going to suit up in 2018.
The lack of any official word from Brady, either privately or publicly, has left some to admit that, while they do believe he will play in 2018, they cannot say that for sure.
I know what it was like before I had it, and I know what it’s like now. I’m going to be able to tell when I’m out there running around, even during batting practice, I’m going to tell if it’s better or not.
For the first time since coming out of the Yankees’ April 6 game against the Orioles, Drury went through some modified baseball activity ahead of Monday’s game. He fielded ground balls and took a few rounds of batting practice.
Just because he struggles in one area — in whatever that is that we all have — we’re going to get him better. To sit here and say he doesn’t fit this offense I don’t think is very fair.
Just as Howard struggles as a receiver (14 drops on 76 career targets, per Pro Football Focus), the 5-foot-6 Cohen lacks the power to sustain a ground attack between the tackles. Nagy plans to move both backs around, maximizing their value with situational concepts that play to their strengths while minimizing their weaknesses.
Among the best young tandems in the league, Howard and Cohen combined for 1,970 yards from scrimmage and a dozen touchdowns last season. As Nagy attempts to transition from rebuilding to contending , he understands his productive backfield requires tinkering as opposed to overhauling.
Harrell often could be seen switching between a mix of retro Jordans and rare Kobes and LeBrons, with several customized versions highlighting some of his favorite cartoon characters. After a SpongeBob Squarepants sighting early in the year, it was his Homer Simpson-etched pair of the Air Jordan 29 that caught the most attention.
James Harrison: No animosity with Steelers
Bill Belichick talked to James Harrison about playing one more year for the New England Patriots, but the thought of leaving Pittsburgh again was too much for him.
I knew I wasn’t going to be at home, so that’s really what it came down to, Harrison told the Post-Gazette in a phone interview Wednesday.
He wasn’t sure he wanted to play the 2018 season anyway at age 40, even if the Steelers had kept him on the roster and not cut him at the end of last year.
Marleau’s first goal moved him past Gordie Howe into 17th place on the NHL’s all-time playoffs list. … Johnsson left the game in the third period favoring his left leg after he collided with Marchand, and did not return. … Toronto was again missing C Nazem Kadri for the second game of a three-game suspension for his hit on Tommy Wingels in Game 1, Tomas Plekanec was moved up from the fourth line to play between Marleau and Marner on the No. 2 unit. … Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov sat out with a lower-body injury suffered Saturday, allowing veteran Dominic Moore to move into Plekanec’s old spot on the fourth line between Johnsson and Kapanen. … Hyman returned to the top line with Matthews and Nylander.
It’s difficult to peg Falk’s draft slot. His size (6’4 and 225 pounds) will be appealing, as will his reliable accuracy that led to a completion perception of 68.3 over his four seasons at Washington State.
Those check marks could get him drafted high. However, Falk’s lack of mobility is a concern, as he was sacked 125 times throughout his college career. The 23-year-old’s limited deep-ball ability also led to a lowly per-attempt average of 6.7 yards in 2017.
Hill sustained a bruised back when he was hit from behind on a screen by Indiana’s Trevor Booker. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said Hill’s back bothered him after halftime and he was forced to play James at the point. Lue expects Hill to be good for Wednesday.
Cavs forward Kyle Korver played just four minutes because of lingering foot soreness.
Kyle Shanahan on receivers: We need right guy, not just a big guy
The franchise tag deadline passed on Tuesday and the free agent market for receivers is looking a little deeper after Allen Robinson and Sammy Watkins went untagged.
That information was likely noted in Santa Clara because the 49ers are expected to be in the market for receiving help now that they’ve locked up Jimmy Garoppolo as their starting quarterback. Many have pointed to Robinson as a potential target because he’d give the 49ers more size at the position than they had in 2017, but head coach Kyle Shanahan isn’t locking onto one type of wideout.
With Pierre Gar?on expected back from last year’s neck injury to go with Marquise Goodwin and Trent Taylor, the 49ers have some options already on hand at receiver. Adding to that group should only make life better for Garoppolo, but the route they take to that end may not involve a big-ticket free agent addition.
First, the Vikings seem to be very sensitive about the importance of keeping enough cash and cap space available to retain as many of their other great players as possible. Committing $91 million fully guaranteed over the next three years will complicate that objective, dramatically.
Second, the current high-water mark for quarterbacks sits at $27.5 million annually. $30.33 million per year would represent an implausible spike, skipping over a slower progression of $28 million, $28.5 million, $29 million, $29.5 million, and $30 million.
Third, if the $91 million will be fully guaranteed, the Vikings would have to put the bulk of that money in escrow right now. For that reason, most teams resist fully guaranteed payments beyond two years. Only one the Dolphins have fully guaranteed the first three years of a contract, giving Ndamukong Suh $60 million at signing to cover 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Colts re-sign Jack Mewhort
There was surprisingly little attention paid to guard Jack Mewhort in free agency, and now he’s staying put.
The Colts re-signed Mewhort to a one-year deal today, his agent announced. Mewhort was a second-round pick of the Colts in 2014 and has played his entire career in Indianapolis. He played five games last year before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
The Jets’ plan after moving from the sixth overall pick to the third overall pick still isn’t clear. The Colts’ plan is much more obvious. They’re trying to add good, young ers to a roster that doesn’t have nearly enough of them.
It gives us a chance to really replenish our young talent, and start building a core of young talent that we need to do, Ballard told the team’s official website in a video posted to social media. I’ve said this since I walked in the door, you want to build with your own ers. You want to draft and develop your own guys. That’s how you build a lasting organization and team that builds and grows together, and that’s important to us.
That would cost them $14.5 million, and there’s no guarantee he’d be any happier about it this year than last, when he skipped offseason work, training camp and the preseason before showing up and having a good season.
The Steelers talked about trying to finish a deal before Feb. 20 (when teams could begin using the tag), but that came and went because there was no organic urgency.
Rapaport throws in the barring a dramatic turn in talks proviso, and there’s still time to negotiate. But it appears that with the clock ticking, Bell could be getting tagged again.
Best Move Of Free Agency More At the end of the 2017 season, the Minnesota Vikings had three quarterbacks on their roster that had started at least 25 games in the NFL. None of them were deemed to be the answer, each for their own reason, and if the Vikings were to remain a favorite they needed to upgrade the position and give it long term stability. They did both by signing free agent Kirk Cousins to a three year, $84 million contract a couple days after free agency opened. This is where we make a joke about three years being long term stability for the Vikings QB position. Anyway, Cousins not only brings stability, but production.
Report: Bucs, Browns talked to Rams about trading for Robert Quinn
The Buccaneers and the Browns both tried to broker a trade for pass-rusher Robert Quinn before the Rams sent him to Miami, ESPN reports.
Instead of vesting immediately, the injury guarantee vests in the middle of March, and the salary then becomes fully guaranteed on April 1. However, any injury guarantee vesting in the middle of March and converting to a full guarantee on April 1 is meaningless; from the middle of March until April 1, there’s no football game or practice or offseason workout session that could result in an injury to Sherman.
That’s where the 49ers hoodwinked Sherman. Instead of simply saying, Your salary for 2019 will be fully guaranteed on April 1 if you make it to the Pro Bowl (which may have prompted Sherman to ask for the injury guarantee to vest in December), they inserted a hollow injury guarantee that becomes triggered at a time when there’s no way to suffer a football-related injury, leaving him unprotected for the balance of the 2018 regular season and postseason.
WTF are wrong with you people? I posted a f–king picture … s–t starting to piss me off now … it’s me in a Dallas Cowboys uniform … where I belong … get a life please, Bryant wrote in a since-deleted tweet, via For the Win.
Bryant’s production has declined in recent years, with him catching 69 passes for 838 yards and six touchdowns last season. Since he is owed $12.5 million for 2018 and represents a $16.5 million hit against the salary cap, team brass recognizes a decision on Bryant needs to be made sooner rather than later.
No one wants to compete and get after it more than Dez, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said last month, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
At the same time, we all know this is a business where everybody has to be accountable. Certainly everybody knows that. That’s a tough one. Certainly we’re going to be grinding it out and trying to determine what is in the best interest of our business.
Free agency commences March 14.
Most people stay away from the team to treat and focus on their injuries. He was definitely still there for the team, but especially there for me when I needed it most.
Said coach Steve Kerr of why Curry’s approach has been successful: I think it’s how hard he works combined with his humility off the floor. He’s just a decent human being; such a nice player. He’s obviously a superstar player, but he acts like he’s the 12th man. I can get on him in film sessions and he never seems to mind. He leads by example. He’s a great guy, a great teammate and the players respect him. That’s what a captain is about.
Superstar players don’t normally like to re-enter the arena bowl after games because fans will attempt to swarm them for autographs. Players often send a team security personnel out to grab a loved one to bring them back near the locker room. On this occasion, however, Curry ventured out into the bowl looking for family members.
The Cowboys don’t plan to let the breakout pass-rusher, coming off a 15-sack season, get close to the market. At worst, they will fall back on the franchise tag before hammering out the contract both sides know needs to get done.
Alex Smith is set to replace Cousins in Washington, and the rumors of the Redskins tagging and trading him won’t become reality. Consider the Vikings as Cousins’ top team, with the Broncos and Browns tied for a distant, fading second. He would be a great mental and physical fit in Minnesota.
For Durant, he doesn’t have the same impact offensively �� although he kept the Warriors above water when Curry was sidelined with an injury earlier in the season �� but he’s developed into one of the best two-way players in the NBA. He’s knocking on the door of the 50/40/90 club for the second time in his career, and he’s become the rare type of defender who can guard every position on the floor and provide the rim protection needed to function as a power forward or center in smaller lineups. (There are some holes in his Defensive Player of the Year candidacy, but Durant has become a terrifyingly versatile defender.)
Since there’s a case to be made for Curry and Durant, they’re unlikely to get the votes they need to challenge Harden at the top unless one of them takes over down the stretch. They are both having spectacular seasons, though.
Recency bias dictates that fans will look at this ranking with disdain given how the Lob City era in Los Angeles ended, but make no mistake: Only someone who is arguably the greatest point guard of this generation could pull a franchise like the Clippers kicking and screaming out of painful mediocrity and into relevance.
Among the players on this list, none has more assists, a higher PER and a higher win-shares-per-season rate than Paul. In his first four seasons with LA, he led the league in either steals (2011-12, 2012-13), assists (2014-15) or both (2013-14). He also led the league in assist percentage in all but his last season in LA.
Harden picks defenders apart in isolation. He currently leads the league with 12.2 points per game in isolation, and he ranks in the 97.5 percentile with 1.27 points per isolation possession.
Knowing his tendencies, Anunoby guards him close to prevent him from pulling-up from the 3-point line �� 41.3 percent of Harden’s shot attempts have been pull-up 3-pointers this season �� and reacts quick enough to shutdown a lane to the basket �� 33.1 percent of Harden’s shot attempts have come within 10 feet of the rim this season �� when he starts to drive.
Cousins developed into arguably a top-10 player in Sacramento amid periods of adversity and accusations by media personalities that he was a thug. He was averaging 27.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists while shooting 45.2 percent from the field at the time of his trade to the Pelicans following last season’s All-Star Game.
Off the court, he showed his love for the city of Sacramento with charity work he continues to do despite playing in New Orleans. Cousins even broke down when saying goodbye to fans of a team that, in all honesty, did him a favor by trading him.
Harden does create some separation with a step back, but Anunoby reacts quickly and uses his long arms to contest Harden’s shot. It’s about as well as someone could be expected to guard Harden in isolation, especially when that someone is only 13 games into their rookie season.