The Browns had been expected to take a quarterback and had insisted Mayfield was under consideration through the pre-draft process. Most speculation still centered on USC’s Sam Darnold and Wyoming’s Josh Allen, but momentum for the Browns’ favoring Mayfield started to build in the last few days.
My story is something I only could have dreamed of. To actually be a reality, it’s amazing, Mayfield told reporters Thursday night.
Jackson, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner, became the the only player in FBS history to rush for at least 1,500 yards and pass for at least 3,500 yards in a season. And Jackson accomplished this feat twice (in 2016 and 2017).
He went 22-11 as a starting quarterback at Louisville and was a Tedric Thompson Womens Jersey touchdown machine. He reached the end zone 119 times (a school record), running for 50 and throwing for 69.
The biggest concern is his accuracy. He completed 57 percent of his throws for his career.
I didn’t say best or highest ceiling — I said most NFL-ready. I got to see and study Mayfield close-up twice this past season, when he shredded an NFL-stacked Ohio State defense in September, then tried to carry the Sooners past Georgia in the Rose Bowl. He’ll enter the league having played a whopping 48 college games off a two-year stretch in which he completed over 70 percent of his throws. If you need one of these rookie QBs to play, I’d bet on Mayfield being most ready for Sunday.
In each of the past two seasons, we’ve seen a rookie running back lead the league in rushing, with Ezekiel Elliott in 2016 and Kareem Hunt in 2017. Barkley is good enough to be the third straight. We know running back is a position where guys can transition to the NFL quickly in terms of learning curve — in fact, the ability to pick up blitzes matters as much as reading blocking on runs — and Barkley is ready to make an immediate impact.
Game Youth Texas Rangers Jersey Chubb is a very good pass-rusher, though not a dominant one. But in a relatively lean year for pass-rushers, he is head and shoulders the best, and he should help a defense right out of the gate. He has 10.0 sacks in each of the past two seasons, and he has a consistent motor. Keep an eye on Okoronkwo, who has 17.0 sacks over the past two seasons and could be a steal.
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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.”
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 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.
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.
The Eagles officially released punter Donnie Jones from the reserve/retired list.
Jones announced his retirement after Super Bowl LII, calling it quits after 14 seasons. He will be a free agent if he decides to return to the NFL.
The Seahawks made Jones a seventh-round choice in 2004. He played for the Dolphins, Rams and Texans before signing with the Eagles in 2013.
Mitchell throws outlet pass length of court for Ingles lay-inDonovan Mitchell throws a beautiful pass right into the arms of Joe Ingles for the easy bucket.
The same can be said about the Jazz. After losing Hayward to the Celtics in free agency, Utah could have been devastated and just slipped into rebuilding mode. No one would have argued with that, especially after the Jazz got off to a slow start and Gobert went down twice with injuries.
Even as Utah was turning its season around, it traded Rodney Hood and Joe Johnson away at the trade deadline. So with Hayward and George Hill departing in free agency, and Hood being traded away, Utah enters this postseason without three of its top four scorers from a season ago when it finished with 51 wins and reached the Western Conference semifinals before being swept by the Golden State Warriors.
Denver has shown interest in all of the top prospects.
Josh Rosen visited Denver last week, and Sam Darnold worked out for the Broncos in Los Angeles on Friday. Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson also have Denver’s attention.
The Broncos continue to seek a long-term solution at quarterback, with Case Keenum the starter this season after signing in free agency. Denver went through Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Brock Osweiler after Peyton Manning retired. None worked out.
Thus, the Broncos are expected to use the fifth overall choice on a quarterback, assuming one of the top prospects remains.
The Spurs have played with 25 different starting lineups this season, including another new one against the Kings. Spurs players have missed a total of 196 games due to injury, with star forward Kawhi Leonard leading the way with 71.
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.
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.
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).
Linebacker Connor Barwin spent last season with the Rams and the free agent’s search for a job in 2018 will take him to another NFC West team.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Barwin is scheduled to visit the Cardinals this week.
Barwin signed with the Rams last March and went on to start 13 games during the regular season. Barwin had 34 tackles and five sacks and added three tackles and a half-sack in the team’s playoff loss to the Falcons.
Barwin has 55.5 overall sacks in a nine-year career that’s also seen him spend time with the Eagles and Texans. If he signs in Arizona, he’d join Markus Golden as complements to Chandler Jones in the team’s pass rush.
Rockets: Paul received a technical foul in the second quarter after arguing after being called for an offensive foul. … Ryan Anderson missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle. … Eric Gordon also sat out for the second straight game with a sore left ankle.
Harden on if the Rockets are where they want to be with the playoffs starting in a week: “We’re good. We’re in a great place right now. We have two more games to close it out and be ready for the playoffs.”
Saturday was just the third time this season where Houston has lost when Harden, Paul and Clint Capela all played. The Rockets are 41-3 when each member of the trio plays and their three losses have come by a total of 11 points.
Not hiring an agent makes more sense for a rookie like Jackson, who is going to be stuck with the contract slotted to his draft position, than for a veteran free agent like Sherman, who was involved in active contract negotiations. So even if Sherman is right that Jackson doesn’t need an agent, that doesn’t mean Sherman made the right call when he decided not to hire an agent for himself.
But agents do more than just negotiate contracts. Agents for draft prospects set up meetings and workouts with NFL teams, and there have been reports that teams have had trouble getting Jackson scheduled for workouts.
The question, then, is whether an agent’s help in setting up meetings and workouts for Jackson with NFL teams would bolster Jackson’s draft stock enough to be worth paying an agent 1 percent to 3 percent of his rookie contract. Jackson and Sherman don’t think having an agent is worth the money. The overwhelming majority of NFL players think it is.