Seahawks owner donates $1 million to gun-control efforts in Washington

Seahawks owner Paul Allen is offering up more than thoughts and prayers.

According to Liz Matthews of USA TODAY, the Microsoft co-founder has donated $1 million to a campaign trying to raise the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 in Washington.

The latest donation went to support Initiative 1639, which supporters say would create a background check system for semi-automatic rifles similar to the one for handguns, along with requirements for training and safe storage. The measure needs 260,000 signatures on petitions to get it on the ballot in 2018.

This is an issue for the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose 8-2 record in games decided by seven points or fewer last season should serve as a red flag for a regression candidate.

Since 2006, 16 of 19 teams (84 percent) with five or more wins than losses in games decided by seven points or fewer had a worse record the next season. On the flip side, all 20 teams with five or more losses than wins over that same period improved their record the next season.

“You know, I’ve had conversations with him,” Sherman said to Michael Robinson of NFL Media. “Obviously he knows mistakes have happened in the past and he’s trying to move past it. He’s doing his best to deal with the situation the best he can. Basically, he’s an incredible young man. We’re all human beings and I think that’s what society forgets — that we all make mistakes. These young men are under a microscope that most people don’t have to deal with. And, obviously, he’s handling it the best he can, but I’m trying to do my part to just be a good teammate and be there for him in any way I can. And I think he’s going to be fine.”

A ruling about Foster’s trial is set to be announced on Wednesday.

That makes the player protest issue the top item in this week’s meetings, despite some gargantuan league developments that should be far more pressing. Under normal circumstances, the Supreme Court’s landmark gambling decision would have overwhelmed this week’s NFL business docket. Not to mention the multibillion dollar sale approval of the Carolina Panthers to hedge fund wizard David Tepper. Even the debate about potentially eliminating kickoffs or where to place the 2019 draft would have been banner headlines in almost any other year.

Terence Newman re-signs with Vikings

The Vikings added depth at cornerback, re-signing Terence Newman.

Newman entered the league in 2003, in the same draft class with Jason Witten. While Witten, a third-round pick of the Cowboys, is contemplating his future, Newman, the Cowboys’ first-round pick that year, has decided to play a 16th season.

Absolutely it is, Ballard said in March. I think it’s going to be good for Andrew to be back around his teammates. I think that’s what he wants. I think that’s what he misses. I think he misses being around the locker room, being around his guys. Like I said a while ago, it’s one of the special things about this kid. He likes to be considered as one of the teammates. The only other player I’ve ever been around like that is [Brian] Urlacher. Urlacher, superstar Brian, he was just one of the guys, and he didn’t ever want to be treated differently. He knew his status, but he never acted in that way. You never would have known. So, in terms of him being back, yeah, I think it’ll be good for the organization, good for the team, good for the locker room and good for Andrew.

“Additional evidence was provided to the People that warrants further investigation so that we can take this case to a just result,” Santa Clara prosecutor Jim Demertzis said, via ESPN.com. “There was a video submitted to the People. Out of respect for Mr. Foster’s due process rights and for the integrity of the ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment on the evidence other than in the courtroom.”

Foster, who also faces a felony charge of possessing an assault weapon, has another court date in Alabama on Wednesday regarding a marijuana possession arrest.

Still, there’s reason for optimism. Cassius Marsh turned out to be a pass-rushing specialist who doesn’t get sacks, which is why he has bounced around the league. Nothing became of Kevin Norwood. A rotational backup is what became of Kevin Pierre-Louis (in Kansas City last year, now with the Jets).

Jimmy Staten, Garrett Scott, Eric Pinkins and Kiero Smith might one day be answers to an obscure question in a Seattle coffeehouse trivia night… or they might just be forgotten. Grade: C Tampa Bay Buccaneers Round 1 (7 overall).

Josh McDaniels “very happy” with decision to stay, wants to be head coach again

Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was 99 percent of the way to becoming the Colts head coach early this offseason, but he backed away at the last minute and opted to remain in his current job.

Assuming Belichick doesn’t decide to end his run, next offseason will provide insight into whether other teams are interested in doing the interview dance with McDaniels after he didn’t make it to the altar this time around.

Last October, the NFL wisely scuttled the so-called May 16 rule. This year, draft picks from schools that finish the academic year after the middle of May will be able to participate in offseason workouts.

The new rule allows rookies at schools with final exams concluding on or after May 16 to participate in the offseason program as of May 16 if the player: (1) provides documentation that he has completed all necessary requirement for all courses in which he was enrolled; (2) is permitted to return to school for any final exams in non-online courses, if he has remained enrolled; (3) is permitted enough time to complete final exams for online courses; or (4) is no longer enrolled in school.

For many players, item number 4 will be the key. If the player has left school (and plenty do so that they can focus on draft preparation), the player won’t be barred by an arbitrary, outdated rule that was implemented to keep teams from pressuring players to do that which they’ve already done: Left school to begin their professional careers.

To stand up for what’s right, and to stand up for those who’ve been wronged. I have two older sisters that taught me respect and love. I’ve always tried to protect them, and keep them from harm. I am a husband and a father to a wonderful and amazing family. I try to share those values with them. I am so thankful to my wife and family for being supportive of me. I believe and have always acted with a respect for all people, knowing that everyone is someone’s dad, mom, sister, brother, son, or daughter.

“I do not condone any of the type of behavior that has been alleged, and I never have. I have always been someone who respects and protects the rights of anyone who has been harassed or has been the victim of violence, and we as an organization will continue to operate that way. In these times, we need to be even more sensitive and responsible in dealing with these issues and separate right from wrong. Thankfully, truth is on my side.

Carson Wentz injury update: Eagles QB resumes throwing; posts video of progress

Carson Wentz has taken an encouraging step in his rehabilitation.

Wentz suffered a torn ACL and LCL in a Week 14 win over the Rams in December and required surgery to repair the damage. While a Week 1 return isn’t guaranteed, the surgeon who performed the operation on Wentz’s knee expressed optimism that he could be healthy enough to put in work at training camp barring any setbacks.

“We’re playing the right way a lot of the time,” Holtby said. “It’s more where you’re at as a team, and I think we’re continuing to build and push forward in the right direction. We have a lot of guys contributing right now. It’s a good sign.”

Washington’s road to the elusive Cup could go through Pittsburgh and then Boston, Tampa Bay or Toronto. Perhaps the expectations being on those teams instead of the Capitals isn’t such a bad thing.

“I think it’s a good thing because I think last two years we were on top of the league and we win Presidents’ Trophy,” Ovechkin said. “Everybody thought we were going to be unstoppable in playoffs and we didn’t. … We’re going to do our thing, and we’re going to have success.”

Ovechkin’s pursuit of 50 goals injected life into a game lacking some intensity, with the Capitals and Devils already in the postseason and looking eager to get the playoffs underway. The Russian superstar attempted 18 shots and got eight on net.

“Effort was there, and you can see I’m ready for playoffs in pretty good shape,” Ovechkin said after playing 6:04 of the final 8:10. “Still have a pretty good chance at the end. It is what it is. Whatever. The most important thing ahead of us, and second season right now starts in a couple days.”

Though 50 is a nice round number, teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov, who assisted on goal No. 48, said he doesn’t think missing that benchmark means anything to Ovechkin.

“We look for him a little bit more than usually, but I don’t know,” Kuznetsov said. “I don’t think he’s sad about he didn’t get 50, but 49 is still a good number.”

Packers WR Trevor Davis arrested after ‘bomb joke’ at LAX

Trevor Davis’ ill-timed joke has gotten him into a giant mess of trouble.

The Packers receiver was checking in for a flight Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport when he was asked the usual questions of if he was carrying any aerosol cans, knives, weapons or explosives.

According to a police report obtained by ESPN, Davis turned to a female companion and asked if she “remembered to pack the explosives.”

Red Sox: Cora said LHP Drew Pomeranz (strained left forearm flexor) was going to make a rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday and is planned to go five or six innings. Cora also said that it’s “most likely” that he’d return to the rotation if things went well.

The Red Sox have won 22 straight games when they give Porcello three or more runs. In his last 33 starts when they’ve scored three-plus, he’s 28-0 with a 3.26 ERA.

The last slam by a Red Sox player was by Dustin Pedroia on Sept. 24, 2016, on the road against the Rays when Porcello picked up his last victory of his AL Cy Young Award-winning 22-4 season.

King signed a five-year contract worth $16.5 million with Oakland in 2016 and had three years remaining on the deal, but Gruden’s decision to cut him saved the team $2.9 million in salary cap space.

King, 29, ranked sixth in the NFL on yards per punt (47.4) and tied for 15th for kicks inside the 20 (28) last season. He also posted a career-best 42.7-yard net average in 2017.

With those numbers, he likely won’t be out of work for long. On the same day he was released, at least one NFL the Vikings reached out to him, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported, citing an unidentified source.

The Celtics took a 20-8 lead in the first quarter and nursed it through most of the game before a four-point play on a clear-path foul by Tatum, followed by a Prince 3-pointer, helped turn a 73-63 deficit into a one-point game.

Bill Belichick talked to Malcolm Butler; reason for Super Bowl benching still unclear

Bill Belichick still isn’t budging with Malcolm Butler.

As the NFL’s Annual Meeting kicked off in Orlando, Fla., the Patriots coach on Sunday addressed the drama surrounding the Pro Bowl cornerback and why he didn’t play in the team’s Super Bowl loss to the Eagles.

Despite the controversy, Butler insisted he has no hard feelings toward his former team.

I’ll always have love for New England, Butler said. From the custodians to Belichick, all the way to Mr. Kraft, I love those guys, my teammates. I like everything about New England, especially the fans. Those fans, they really had love for me and they still do. I will always remember where I came from, and I never could forget.

Foles threw for 373 yards and three scores while also catching a touchdown pass as he led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl win in franchise history with a 41-33 victory over the Patriots, a performance that earned him MVP honors. He has one season left on his current contract and is expected to resume his backup role when Carson Wentz returns from a knee injury, but that doesn’t mean his value is overlooked.

He’s still on the team because he’s an incredibly valuable player for the Philadelphia Eagles, Roseman said. When you talk about the position and what’s gone on, you’ve seen the free-agent market and the trade market. We’re in the business of making sure we get the right value for the player.

And what our value is for the player is going to stick. …We feel very confident [about] what his value is to our football team and, really, throughout the rest of the league. There was obviously interest in Nick Foles because Nick Foles has been tremendously productive in a Philadelphia Eagles uniform.

Detroit opened the scoring 7:13 into the game when Zetterberg threw the puck toward the Islanders’ net from the side boards and it deflected off Tavares past Greiss.

The Islanders tied it 3:51 into the second period as Ladd took a feed from Cal Clutterbuck in the slot and zipped a quick shot by Coreau on the glove side.

Saints signing Cameron Meredith to offer sheet

Restricted free agent wide receiver Cameron Meredith visited with several teams recently and one of them is making a bid to sign him away from the Bears.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Saints will sign Meredith to an offer sheet. The Bears will have a chance to match the offer, but will not be due any compensation if they opt to let him go after tendering Meredith at the lowest level this offseason.

Schefter reports it is a two-year deal worth around $10 million.

Getting the deal done wasn’t made in a vacuum, either. LA was aware of the sensitivities in paying Suh while at the same time trying to negotiate a long-term extension with Donald, who missed all of the 2017 preseason in a holdout and could do the same this year if forced to play out the final year of his rookie contract.

“Before we did all this, we sat down with Aaron and let him know,” Snead said. “He’s well aware we’re going to work to get something done this spring. But we (said), ‘Oh, by the way, we’ve got the chance to acquire Ndamukong. He would actually get paid before you do. Are you good?’

The Eagles have agreed to terms with tight end Richard Rodgers on a one-year deal, the team announced Wednesday.

He adds much-needed depth at the position for Philadelphia, which lost Trey Burton in free agency and released Brent Celek.

Rodgers, 26, has spent his career in Green Bay since it made him a third-round pick in 2014. He played in 63 games with 24 starts with the Packers, making 120 catches for 1,166 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Plenty of football fans may feel the same way. But with the NFL pushing hard for safety (in large part to influence lower levels of the sport to follow the NFL’s lead) and most of the media pushing for even more safety advances and in turn (at times gleefully) predicting the demise of the sport, many of those who buy tickets and consume TV broadcasts and otherwise support the sport may want to see football like it used to be.

Pastrnak scores 34th, Bruins beat Senators 5-2

The Boston Bruins won, then got the break they needed to remain in contention for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

David Pastrnak and Tommy Wingels scored 51 seconds apart in the second period and Boston beat Ottawa 5-2 on Saturday night, a win that preserved Bruins’ chances for the No. 1 seed with an overtime loss by Tampa Bay.

The Senators closed out the season with back-to-back games on the road against two of the top teams in the East. After getting shut out 4-0 at Pittsburgh on Friday night, Ottawa didn’t concede anything against the Bruins.

With the bat, Ohtani hasn’t been much less impressive, with his three homers coming in a mere 19 trips to the plate, including one homer hit slightly to the left of center field against defending American League Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber. More importantly, though, Ohtani’s 97.3 mph average exit velocity (per Statcast) is second-best in the league among players with at least 10 batted-ball events, he has six well-hit balls in play (including all three of the homers) and his 77.8 percent contact rate thus far exceeds his 69.5 percent rate during his five-year career in Japan.

This week North Carolina State defensive end Kentavius Street tore his ACL while working out for the Giants.

It’s unknown which team Nelson was working out for when he suffered the injury, but injuries like this could happen to any player at any workout, which is why some players hesitate to do private workouts. Last year, for example, Christian McCaffrey told all teams he would not be working out for them. That didn’t hurt his draft stock, as he was still the eighth overall pick in the draft.

Nelson is viewed as more of a mid-round pick, and so he may not feel that he had the leverage to make such a refusal. But it’s something other players should consider. Injuries during private workouts can tank a player’s draft stock.

Second, a good agent will get the rookie the best possible pre-draft training, ensuring that the player is ready for the various aspects of the pre-draft workouts that follow, and a good agent will cover those expenses.

Sabonis scores career-high 30, Pacers beat Hornets 123-117

Domantas Sabonis had barely settled into his seat on the bench when coach Nate McMillan looked his way.

When Myles Turner picked up two early fouls, Sabonis was pressed into duty much earlier than usual.

“By the time my heat packs came I had to go in, and I was like, `Uh oh,” Sabonis said with a laugh.

But the 6-foot-10 forward from Lithuania responded with a career-high 30 points, helping the Indiana Pacers beat the Charlotte Hornets 123-117 on Sunday to keep alive their slim hopes of winning the Central Division title.

For Indiana (48-33) to win the Central and earn home-court advantage for the first round of the NBA playoffs, it needs to beat Charlotte on Tuesday night and have Cleveland (49-31) lose its final two games against the New York Knicks. The Pacers have the tiebreaker advantage over the Cavaliers after taking three of four in the season series, including a 124-107 win in November.

The Pacers jumped out to a 70-57 halftime lead after shooting 67 percent from the field, including 6 of 9 from 3-point range.

Charlotte rallied in the third quarter, but the Pacers took over and quickly built a 20-point lead even with Oladipo on the bench with four fouls.

And if I can get a first-round pick and another high choice, I’m sending him packing.

It’s never easy for a GM to trade an elite player. I understand that having made plenty of high-profile trades in my GM days. When Beckham is healthy, focused and on his game, he is one of the NFL’s best receivers. He averaged 96 catches, 1,374 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns per season over his first three years in the league before a broken ankle and the ensuing surgery cost him the final 12 games of last season.

But GMs, coaches and long-time owners such as John Mara also don’t like distractions, and Beckham is among the league leaders in headline-grabbing incidents on and off the field.

There was the infamous Miami boat trip prior to a playoff game in which he played poorly and then punched in a locker room wall. There have been selfish on-field battles with cornerback Josh Norman and fines for blind-side hits. There are obnoxious touchdown celebrations. There was last year’s ridiculous rant that he should be the NFL’s highest-paid player regardless of position, surpassing top quarterbacks.

What does no medical re-check mean for Maurice Hurst? As it turns out, not much

More than a month after doctors sent Michigan defensive lineman Maurice Hurst home from the Scouting Combine due to a heart condition, the doctors don’t need to see him again.

Via Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Hurst wasn’t asked to return to Indianapolis for the medical re-check. Given the fact that the powers-that-be prevented him from working out little over a month ago, the decision not to take a second look at him seems odd, on the surface.

As explained by a source with knowledge of the process, it isn’t. The re-check happens only when further imaging or examination is deemed useful to the process. If, for example, a player had surgery not long before the Combine, doctors will want to inspect the healing of the surgical scar. If a player was recovering from a broken bone, doctors will want a fresh X-ray.

As the source explained it, one specific orthopedic issue has become a more common cause of players being kept from working out. If doctors notice any type of swelling in and around the fifth metatarsal, the doctors will encourage the player to take some time off, and to work out at his Pro Day instead.

Ultimately, then, Hurst’s status comes down to a given team’s comfort level. The absence of a re-check ultimately means nothing as it relates to the issue that kept the Combine from letting him work out.

So he slept at Yankee Stadium. He said it wasn’t in his office, but it was a comfortable spot.

“I actually stayed here last night,” Boone said after New York beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-3. “We had so much going on last night. I actually got a good night’s sleep, but it did come quick.”

Sonny Gray pitched six effective innings and rookie Miguel Andujar hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly before the Yankees broke away.

It was 3-all in the sixth before Andujar’s sacrifice fly, scoring Didi Gregorius with his first RBI of the season.

Austin Romine hit a soft pop to shallow right later in the inning that bounced out of first baseman Chris Davis’ glove for a single, allowing Tyler Austin to score and chasing starter Chris Tillman (0-2).