Lions incentivizing attendance at conditioning program

The dirty secret about NFL voluntary offseason workouts is that they’re not really all that voluntary.
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But the Lions have figured out a way to guarantee attendance from a significant number of their players, by paying them.

Via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Lions have made an effort to incentivize attendance under General Manager Bob Quinn, with 14 players having workout bonuses of at least $100,000 in their contracts.

Topping that list is quarterback Matthew Stafford, who will make $500,000 for showing up for 90 percent of the workouts this spring. Stafford has always been a regular attendee, and quarterbacks generally are at programs around the league.

It’s unreal, Gallant said. When you think back to early October when the season started, we were thinking about competing and playing hard, and now all of a sudden, we’re moving on to the second round of the playoffs. We’re playing good hockey, and we got experienced guys and a good hockey team, so we’re pretty proud of Alonzo Mourning Jersey it and real happy.

Authentic Youth Domata Peko Jersey We’ll have a week off here to get ready for the next one. It’s awesome. It’s been a great feeling.

As Tony Dungy explained it last month on PFT Live, citing the Steelers’ decision not to draft Dan Marino with Terry Bradshaw on the team as the prime example, the Giants should take a quarterback at No. 2 if that’s where their evaluation leads. And I agree with that thinking, as long as the Giants are 100-plus-percent sure that the quarterback they take will become a franchise quarterback and keep the team relevant for more than a decade.

If the Giants have any doubt about the potential quarterback pick at No. 2, they should pass on a passer 鈥?especially since that means getting a player like running back Saquon Barkley or defensive end Bradley Chubb. Which would do a lot more to improve the team while Eli is still on it.

But if they choose to take a quarterback, the Giants need to be ready for a rough ride, given the market in which they play, a fan base still miffed about the clumsy benching of Eli during the 2017 season, and the reality that the Mannings will find a way to make their feelings known. The ride will get rougher if the quarterback they take doesn’t become the right quarterback for the next generation.
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Heyward gets big hit as Cubs sweep Cardinals with 4-3 win

Wade Davis bent over on the mound with his head resting in his arms. The All-Star closer thought Dexter Fowler’s drive was headed for the iconic scoreboard at Wrigley Field, but Leonys Martin caught the ball on the warning track in center field.
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Such is life these days for the rolling Chicago Cubs.

Jason Heyward hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh, Fowler’s bid for another big homer came up just short and the Cubs swept the St. Louis Cardinals with a 4-3 victory on Sunday.

I definitely sat back in my seat when I heard it get hit, Schwarber said. But then we took a look at the wind and saw it was blowing in and we were able to make the catch there.

St. Louis went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base in its fourth loss in five games, damaging its chances of making the playoffs. Lance Lynn lasted just four innings, allowing five hits and three runs.

Bettis (3-0) allowed five hits in 7 1/3 innings with three strikeouts and two walks.

He used his entire arsenal effectively. He pitched, Colorado manager Bud Black said. It was a very effective outing. He kept them off balance and there weren’t a lot of hard-hit balls.

Bettis worked quickly, contributed to a relatively swift game time of 2 hours, 31 minutes.

I think you intuitively Jacquizz Rodgers Authentic Jersey want to work at a good pace in weather like this, Black said. Their pitcher was working fast, too.

Game Kids Dawuane Smoot Jersey Bryan Shaw and Jake McGee followed, and Wade Davis pitched a perfect ninth for his NL-leading eighth save in eight chances.

Colorado improved to 5-1 on a seven-game trip that started in Washington, and the Rockies are 9-4 on the road overall.
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The Giants are going to have to wait a little while to see one of their new free-agent signings in regular-season action.

The NFL suspended defensive end Josh Mauro on Friday for the first four games of the 2018 season after violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. Mauro just signed a one-year, $880,000 deal with the Giants this week.

Mauro can participate in all offseason and preseason activity, but then must leave the team until Week 5. The Giants were aware of the possible suspension before signing him.

I had 100 percent faith he was gonna be absolutely great at this. I saw it for years. I saw it in production meetings. I saw it at dinner tables. … He had a way of telling a story, an enthusiasm, that if you’re able to get that guy that I saw away from the field, that would be magic on the air. I had, four years ago, a round of golf with my good friend, Al Michaels. We’re playing on the eighth hole, I can still see it. Al said, “What active player right now will one day make a great NFL analyst? I have a guy.” I said, “Well I have a guy, too.” He says, “You first.” I said, “No you first.” This goes back and forth. I finally said: “OK, Tony Romo.” He goes, “That’s my guy!”

“I’m really hopeful that Robby will put this kind of thing behind him and that he will be the kind of person — forget about his playing, he’s an incredible football player, but that he will be the kind of person all-around that will make people proud to wear a No. 11 jersey,” he said.

Johnson said he wants Anderson to be on the team, but would not stand in the way if the coaches wanted to get rid of him.

Donahue, a 2017 draft pick, was arrested last month after causing an accident by driving the wrong way in the Lincoln Tunnel while intoxicated.

“Young men are sometimes young men,” Johnson said. “They make silly mistakes. I’m hopeful that we can be part of helping them become better people.”

Johnson said he was “absolutely” disappointed not to land quarterback Kirk Cousins in free agency, but liked how the Jets rebounded by signing Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater and trading up to No. 3 in the draft to potentially take a quarterback.

“We moved very quickly to Plan B and it’s almost a shame to call it Plan B because it’s shaping up to be something pretty magnificent,” Johnson said. “I’m pretty excited about it and we did so swiftly. It doesn’t hurt at all that we now have an awful lot of money that we were thinking we might be sending out the door to one player now back with us and we can spread that out over a lot of other players over the next few years.”jets_035

Since the day he took over as general manager of the Jets in 2015, Mike Maccagnan has repeated one phrase: Build through the draft.

If Collins undergoes surgery, he will miss some time in the spring with new defensive coordinator James Bettcher as he installs his defense. Collins would still be able Spencer Long Jersey to go through meetings, but he would miss out on practice reps. If he is able to come back by the start of training camp, he should have no problem catching up.
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On Monday, Collins sounded excited about Bettcher’s scheme.

Today we went over two schemes and it’s perfect, Collins said. While he was going over it, it was like I was in college again. It was back to what I knew like the back of my hand and it’s going to play fast because it’s very stern.

At the moment, we’re not even sure who the quarterbacks will be when OTAs begin. Josh McCown and Bridgewater will be there, but will Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty? The quarterback room is expected to get a new resident in next week’s NFL draft.

If the Jets take a quarterback at No. 3, as expected, will that mean the end for Petty and/or Hackenberg? Petty appears to be a definite goner. There are still some people in the organization clinging to the hope of getting something out of Hackenberg, but he will be the fourth quarterback in a four-man group if he survives the next few weeks.

On the mound — In his second home start of the season, Ohtani got worked over by the Red Sox Tuesday night, giving up a leadoff home run to Mookie Betts to begin the game and three runs in just two innings before exiting. His fastball location was poor, and the Angels subsequently announced he was removed after developing a blister on his pitching hand during the second inning.

At the plate — On Friday night in Kansas City, Ohtani went 2-for-4, including his first double, to bring his season line to .367/.424./.767.
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At the plate — He should get Wednesday — the day after his start on the mound — off as a rest day, so the earliest he’s expected to be back in the Angels lineup would be Thursday against Boston.
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On the mound — Depending on how they respond to Ohtani’s short start against the Red Sox, his next start may have to wait until the Angels’ homestand against the Astros from April 23-25.

Jed York will make final call on Reuben Foster’s future

49ers CEO Jed York left the discussions between the organization and Adam Duvall Jersey Reuben Foster to General Manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan. But when it comes time to make a decision on the linebacker’s future, York will make the call.
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Limited Youth Roger Lewis Jersey We’d love Reuben to be on this team, York said, via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. And we’d love him to participate for us, but if he’s not doing things off the field that allow us to be able to rely on him 鈥?or he’s doing something that we’re not comfortable with off the field and it’s proven that’s what’s going on 鈥?I think the guys have said then you’re just going to have to move on.
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York said he would make the decision on Foster.

Ultimately, you can say everything is my call, York said. So, if it comes down to it, if there was something I’m not comfortable with but football [side] was, I would ultimately make that decision.

Now, for the first time since Bryant led the team in catches in 2011, the Cowboys will be transitioning to a new No. 1 wide receiver.

The offense likely will continue to be centered on a power-rushing scheme, led by running back聽Ezekiel Elliott. But now, quarterback Dak Prescott will have his chance to put his stamp on the passing offense and the direction it takes. And most importantly, the Cowboys will look to establish聽a new top target.

The obvious in-house choices to play a bigger role are Terrance Williams, a 28-year-old target entering his sixth season in Dallas, and former Jaguars receiver Allen Hurns, who is 26 and signed with the Cowboys in March after Jacksonville released him.

Williams’ experience in Dallas’ scheme could give him an early edge for a bigger role than聽Hurns, but his inconsistency has been problematic. Cole Beasley, who led the team in receptions in 2016, could also see an increased workload聽as the team looks to help Prescott rediscover his rookie-year form 鈥?perhaps by emphasizing separation from receivers and quicker throws.

Jordan Spieth double-bogeyed the first hole to fall out of the lead.

It definitely went in one ear and out the other early on, Reich said. It didn’t go exactly like this, but this is just made up to protect the innocent, or protect the guilty, however you say it: We would say to him, ‘Hey, you just need to kind of back off on some of this tackling stuff.’
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LaMarcus Aldridge added 15 points and 14 rebounds but was 6 for 19 from the field.

De’Aaron Fox added 21 points, and Hield had 17 for the Kings.

Kings: Fox’s season-high for 3-pointers is six against the Spurs on Jan. 28. … The Kings’ last victory over the Spurs was Nov. 15, 2014 in Sacramento and their last win in San Antonio was Jan. 20, 2012. … Sacramento was without Iman Shumpert (left knee surgery), Garrett Temple (sprained left ankle), Skal Labissiere (sprained left ankle), Frank Mason (sore left heel) and Harry Giles (knee rehabilitation).

Elite Braydon Coburn Jersey Spurs: San Antonio’s streak of playoff appearances is the longest active streak in the four major professional sports. The Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL are second with 12 followed by the NFL’s New England Patriots with nine and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the MLB with five. … Aldridge had his 27th double-double of the season, the most he has had in three seasons with the Spurs. The 12-year veteran had 26 double-doubles in his inaugural season in San Antonio and 18 last season.

The Braves handed the Nationals their first loss of this season on Tuesday, winning 13-6, and can post a series victory by solving Scherzer again.

Scherzer (1-0, 0.00 ERA), though, was 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA in three starts at Atlanta last season, and dominated the Reds in Cincinnati on Friday in Lenny Dykstra Youth jersey the delayed opener, striking out 10 while giving up five hits and a walk over six innings in the 2-0 victory.

The biggest thing for me is not becoming a fan. I have to manage the game, said Washington’s Dave Martinez after getting a victory in his managerial debut. It was hard not to be a fan of Scherzer.

The honeymoon period won’t last too long since the Cardinals may struggle to compete in the NFC West against the stacked Los Angeles Rams, improved San Francisco 49ers and established Seattle Seahawks.聽

FOX now wants Joe Buck, Troy Aikman to handle Thursday nights

After trying and failing to hire Peyton Manning, FOX now wants to do on Thursday Night Football what CBS and NBC did previously: Give double duty to the network’s top Sunday crew.

That would be Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, whom FOX is asking to handle Thursday nights, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post.

Perhaps it’s the number of back-to-back sets, as the Grizzlies, Jazz and Kings led the league with 16 each. Perhaps it’s the number of five-in-seven stretches, as the Spurs and Timberwolves each had a league-high three of those. Perhaps it’s mileage, as the Trail Blazers, Timberwolves and Lakers were the only teams that topped 50,000 miles this season, while the Pacers were at the bottom with 35,520 miles.

The Nuggets went on a four-game road trip in October, a six-game trip in December and a seven-game trip in March. Meanwhile, the longest road trip for the Timberwolves and Thunder, who play in the same division as Denver? Three games.

Denver was also one of only two teams to take a seven-game trip, the other being the Knicks, and the only team to take two trips of at least six games this season.

He’s right, and it’s refreshing to see a top prospect refuse to fully submit to the dog-and-pony portion of the pre-draft process. If anyone wants to know whether he’s fast, they can watch how he did when facing college competition.

A cynic would say he chose not to run at the Combine or his Pro Day workout because he knew the outcome wouldn’t be impressive. If so, he wouldn’t be the first guy who has a different gear in T-shirts and shorts in a straight line and in full pads with defenders chasing him.

They’re not playing together again. Brees got his two-year deal to return to the Saints, while Graham leaves Wilson and the Seahawks …. to join Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. The tight end has had a blessed career as a young basketballer-turned-veteran-red-zone-receiving-stud. Graham by default should work out for Green Bay after the Martellus Bennett disaster.buccaneers_085

Suarez powers Reds past Pirates 7-4

The Cincinnati Reds have struggled to come up with big hits in key situations so far this season.
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Eugenio Suarez stepped up Saturday night.

Elite Giorgio Tavecchio Jersey Suarez hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning, and the Reds cooled off the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 7-4 victory.

Corey Dickerson hit a two-run double for Pittsburgh in the first. Josh Harrison added a sacrifice fly in the second, and Adam Frazier had an RBI single.

But Cincinnati’s pitching tightened up after that, retiring 16 straight Pirates from the third through eighth innings.

Chad Kuhl struck out seven in five innings for Pittsburgh. He was charged with two runs and five hits.

Pirates left-hander Steven Brault will remain in the starting rotation after pitching five Dion Phaneuf Youth jersey effective innings in a 5-2 win over Cincinnati on Thursday. Brault made a spot start in place of injured right-hander Joe Musgrove.

The Pirates are off Tuesday, and could have gone with a four-man rotation until April 15, but Hurdle wanted to give Brault another shot.

This is a guy that we believe is going to be a starter, Hurdle said. Right now, he’s got an opportunity to do it.

Reds first baseman Joey Votto, a Toronto native, had Humboldt Broncos written on his cleats in honor of the victims of the fatal bus accident Friday involving Saskatchewan’s Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team.

Even in the Pro Day setting, Barrett didn’t let an uncertain future get in way of one last route tree.

I was happy because this is the last time I’ll be in an Ohio State uniform, Barrett said. Be out here as Ohio State, J.T. Barrett, quarterback. It’s my last time for that.

There’s the paradox that Barrett might not get drafted. After all, he already has been through the ups and downs some NFL quarterbacks experience. He took advantage of an opportunity in 2014 as a redshirt freshman to set up a national championship run before a season-ending injury against Michigan. Cardale Jones won the starting job the following season before Barrett took it back, but not before an arrest for an OVI. Barrett then spent the last two seasons on the fringe of the Heisman conversation while losses to Penn State, Clemson, Oklahoma and Iowa seemed to weigh far heavier than the victories he compiled.

Report: Cowboys’ coaches think Dez Bryant is slipping physically

Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is 29 years old, and may already be past his prime.
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That’s the word from Albert Breer of SI.com, who reports that the Cowboys’ coaches began to see Bryant slip physically in 2015 and now think he just isn’t the same player he was when the Cowboys signed him to a five-year, $70 million contract. That physical decline is measurable, as Bryant has lost inches on his vertical jump.

Desmond King Game Jersey For years, everyone was connecting the dots to New York. Harper’s dad was a Mickey Mantle fan, and some said Harper was, too. They definitely have the money, and they have gotten below the threshold, giving the opportunity to spend. But they already have the game’s top two sluggers in Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, and both of them happen to be corner outfielders. They only way it works is if Stanton winds up not liking New York (highly unlikely; so far you can’t wipe the smile off his face).

Harper could end up garnering a long-term deal worth over $400M when he hits the market, blowing away Stanton’s record deal of $325M.

Advice: Penn State running back Saquon Barkley would be an obvious pick were he to slide to No. 7, but there’s little chance of that happening.聽A more likely scenario is finding value early in the second round with聽someone like Nick Chubb or Sony Michel from Georgia, or Ronald Jones from Southern California.

2. The Bucs should be looking to add both a cornerback聽and safety聽in this class. Veteran cornerback Brent Grimes was re-signed, but the long-term outlook聽is tenuous after former first-round pick Vernon Hargreaves III was demoted to nickel last season. Tampa Bay was pleased with 2017 second-round pick safety Justin Evans and could use an early selection again on the back end.
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Advice: General manager Jason Licht should have a handful of elite defensive players to choose from at No. 7, and the best of the group Authentic Darian Thompson Jersey might be Florida State safety Derwin James, who is already drawing comparisons to the likes of Kam Chancellor and Eric Berry. Ohio State’s Denzel Ward would be the top choice for a pure corner, while Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick is a versatile defender who could serve in a number of roles.

Engram and fellow second-year pro Davis Webb have been glued together for passing sessions this offseason.

He’s a guy that we can play at the Y-tight end (or) we can split him out, Wells said. I think you’re going to see some of that this year in terms of him being able to play in a lot of different spots.
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With Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall sidelined for the final 11 games of the season and Sterling Shepard in and out of the lineup, Engram’s 108 targets and 496 snaps running routes both were the most by a rookie tight end since 2006, according to Pro Football Focus.

The problem is it takes time to get all his bulk moving downfield. Therefore, although Tate has the potential Authentic Yuli Gurriel Jersey to play a meaningful NFL role as a possession- and red-zone target, he will need to learn how to separate against defenders who are often larger and faster than his college opponents.聽Tate posted a 4.68-second聽40-yard dash time at the combine, which is glacial even for a receiver his size.

He’s only 21, though, and he averaged a touchdown nearly once every four catches in college. Tate has the physical tools to be a contributor and red-zone master, but it might take time to get there.

Marcell Ateman is another example of a large-bodied receiver whose NFL coaches might need some patience because of his speed limitations.

Like Tate, Ateman has natural length at 6’4 and 216 pounds, along with a wide catch radius and the body control in the air to snatch throws high over opposing defensive backs. That package makes him an ideal third-down and red-zone target, which is how the Oklahoma State standout scored eight times during his senior season.

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The Los Angeles Rams bridged a barrier by having two men named to the 2018 cheerleading squad. Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies each made the squad after going through the standard tryout process.