Colin Kaepernick’s protest didn’t result in fewer people watching NFL games last year

While it has been well-documented that the NFL’s television ratings were down in 2016, more people actually watched the league’s games last season than the previous year.

Hitchens’ injury could provide an unexpected opportunity for 2016 second-round pick Jaylon Smith, who missed all of last season due to nerve damage suffered in his knee at Notre Dame.

Smith started Dallas’ preseason game last week against the Colts, but he was back behind Hitchens on Saturday. Smith entered the game and recorded three tackles — one for loss — against the Raiders.

Justin Durant, who did not play Saturday, will also be in the running to start in the middle of Dallas’ defense should Hitchens’ injury prove to be as serious as currently feared.

Sean Lee, who is slated to start at weak-side linebacker, could also get some snaps in the middle, but he too has battled a litany of injuries throughout his career.

Hitchens has 220 tackles and 3.5 sacks through the first three seasons of his career. He developed into a reliable tackler last season, so his loss will be huge for the Cowboys.

Kalil spent most of 2016 on injured reserve and has never really lived up to his billing as a top draft pick, but the Panthers looked at the glass half full and went all-in on this five-year contract. If not for his status as a former top draft pick who played well early in his career, Kalil would have signed a one-year contract worth $7 million or less, as he would have been asked to prove he was worth more. Luckily for him, the Panthers don’t feel the need to have him prove it.Justin Durantseahawks_032

Steph Curry copied Klay Thompson’s dunk fail in China and it was hilarious

When Klay Thompson was in China celebrating his new shoe deal, he had an amazing time. But for fans, one of the highlights of the trip was watching the Warriors star try to dunk the basketball and fail terribly. And apparently his teammate Steph Curry thought it was funny, too — while also in China, Curry mimicked Thompson’s failed dunk and thought it was the funniest thing ever:

Rather than being limited to specific jersey colors at home and on the road, teams will be able to pick from the selection of jerseys available to them.

Limited Youth Evan Longoria Jersey Teams will have, at least, four jersey options to choose from in each game, according to a report from ESPN’s Nick DePaula. There will be eight other teams in the league with classic color ways. It’s unclear what The Athlete Mindset and The Community editions for each team will look like at this point.

In addition to introducing four jersey options for teams, Nike is also touting that all jerseys will be lighter and more flexible for players to move in throughout an 82-game season. The uniforms were made with recycled polyester from recycled bottles and alpha yarns. The uniforms are said to dry sweat 30-percent faster than current NBA uniforms because of the material.
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The jerseys are a modification of what Team USA wore in the 2016 Olympic Games, according to a report from ESPN. The armholes on the jersey are a bit wider with more space and the collar is a different shape than previous models by Adidas.

Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union miss the Banana Boat Crew, and so should you

Ah, summer. It’s gone as soon as it’s here, fading both slowly and quickly like a mid-July sunset. And when it’s over, all we have left are memories.

That’s the wistfulness of summer captured in this nine-second Snapchat from Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union, which shows them mourning summers past as they see a sad, lonely, empty banana boat on the water.

Calderon signed with the Lakers last season but was bought out halfway through, nearly joining the Warriors before Kevin Durant’s injury caused Golden State to sign Matt Barnes instead. Calderon went to Atlanta, where he played 17 games.
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What the 35-year-old Calderon brings to any team is veteran leadership and perimeter shooting, since he’s a 41 percent career three-point shooter. Calderon is a defensive sieve, but he could be useful to a team like Cleveland in a limited role. The Cavaliers never really had a true backup point guard last year after losing Matthew Dellavedova until adding Deron Williams late in the year. With Williams’ return uncertain, Calderon could provide more stability in the backcourt that the team had during last year’s regular season.
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But at the end of those three-year contracts, the players become restricted free agents. Having played for little salary (relatively speaking), they are hungry for a payday. Teams face being forced to pony up lest another team come in with a crazy offer. This is how the Mavericks got Parsons from the Rockets, and the Rockets got Jeremy Lin from the Knicks. Sometimes, teams are appreciative of the overachievement but unable or unwilling to pay up. This is how the Kings lost Isaiah Thomas and the Jazz lost Wesley Matthews (albeit after one year).

We needed a backup big man and while Johnson’s numbers don’t jump off the page

We needed a defensive presence off the bench and Sefolosha provided that. He can guard three and depending on who is on the floor up to four positions. He has a nice stroke from the corner so you can’t leave him alone while on offense.

Stan Mikita Womens Jersey We needed a backup big man and while Johnson’s numbers don’t jump off the page, he’s a solid contributor who can play the four or the five in a small ball setting. He’s not going to light up the scoreboard or fill up the stat sheet, but he’s a solid role player coming off the bench.

With one exception, what’s most interesting about the 2004 NBA expansion draft isn’t what happened to the Bobcats — though that’s interesting in a way that particularly rancid meat is interesting. What’s truly fascinating is what happened around the expansion draft.
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Before the expansion draft, the mediocre Phoenix Suns worked out a deal with Charlotte. They’d made Jahidi White, a veteran big man, available in the expansion draft. There was not much demand for White in Phoenix, Charlotte, or anywhere, especially give his $6 million salary. (This was enormous for a late-rotation player in those days.)

Wallace, meanwhile, became an All-Star and All-Defense player for the Bobcats. He had a run in the late 2000s where he was considered one of the top five small forwards in the league. He never really developed a jumper and his fall from stardom was exceptionally fast — remember when the Nets traded an unprotected first that became Damian Lillard for Wallace to get Deron Williams to re-sign? that was fun — but he was the expansion draftee who made it.

DeShone Kizer looks better than Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler in Browns debut

Brock Osweiler finished his day six of 14 for 42 yards. Cody Kessler was up next, and went five of 10 for 47 yards. Then it was time for rookie DeShone Kizer, who outshone them both.

Kizer gave the Browns a late-game lead on a 45-yard bomb to Jordan Payton, and he looked poised doing it. He completed 11 of 18 passes for 184 yards, a touchdown, and no interceptions.

Malcolm Jenkins went on with his now-normal national anthem protest on Thursday night. However, he was joined in solidarity by teammate Chris Long, who played his college football at the University of Virginia, which is in Charlottesville.

Remember how Matthews was traded from the Eagles to the Bills last week? Well the other player involved in that deal, Ronald Darby, picked off his former quarterback less than a week later:

Bortles is entering his fourth NFL season. Things haven’t gone so well for him in the previous three years, and fans have grown impatient as he has yet to show any signs of life in the preseason.

Luck, still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, is the most prominent member of his team’s physically unable to play (PUP) list. While his rehab has been going well, the Colts aren’t eager to rush their star back into the lineup. His status for the opening game of the regular season is still up in the air.

Instead, the league’s special counsel for conduct, B. Todd Jones, wrote that the “photographic, medical, testimonial, and other evidence that is sufficiently credible in the commissioner’s judgment to establish the facts, even allowing for concerns you and your representatives have advanced about the complaining witness’s credibility.”redskins_021_28d0dbcd88e8433d-180x180

Jaguars need to find a better quarterback than Blake Bortles NOW

Blake Bortles went from a promising, but unrefined talent in 2015 to a dumpster fire in 2016. The Jacksonville Jaguars have played two preseason games now. That trend appears to be continuing in the wrong direction.

The Jaguars starter finished his preseason game against the Bucs just 8-for-13 with 65 yards, but the stats don’t tell the full story. Bortles was off the mark all night with stunners like this one.

If it wasn’t already frustrating enough for fans who have watched him throw 51 interceptions and get sacked 140 times in his 46 career games, it’s apparently frustrating Jaguars players now, too.
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Eli Manning Mens Jersey Not a good night for Washington. Kirk Cousins only threw two passes. Ryan Mallett got most of the action for Baltimore, and struggled mightily, finishing 9 of 18 for just 58 yards.

Justin Tucker hit a 59-yard field goal. He is ridiculously good. A solid rushing effort and Tucker brought home the win for the Ravens.

Hoyer is expected to be the starter for the 49ers going into the season. Kyle Shanahan couldn’t have been too confident after seeing a blooper like that one.

Pete Morelli could barely keep himself from laughing after the Broncos and 49ers combined for five penalties on one punt. It’s hard to blame him, especially when you hear another official giving him help on making the call.

The investigators looked at photographs, police records, and text messages. Two medical experts consulted by the league determined that a series of photographs of the woman’s injuries appear recent and consistent to her statements.

There’s still youth on the roster.

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At last four of those expiring contracts are features, not bugs, and they should be able to spend some of the savings to improve the team. The big question is Darvish, of course. Without him or a free agent equivalent, the Rangers will have some serious pitching needs.

They were 22nd, which is substantially lower than the previous season. Trades for Jonathan Lucroy and Cole Hamels took a big bite out of their prospect cache, but so have promotions. There’s still youth on the roster.

Rougned Odor harnessing his tools. Joey Gallo making more contact. Cole Hamels avoiding age gremlins. Jurickson Profar returning from the abyss (he’s hitting .300 with more walks than strikeouts in Triple-A and is just 24, after all).

Tashaun Gipson Jersey I then made my way over to Giancarlo Stanton. He’s a large baseball man, but everyone seems to have forgotten how large he is because Aaron Judge has supplanted him as the large baseball man du jour. I feel kind of bad for Stanton because of this. He didn’t seem to mind, though, as he fielded question after question from other reporters about being a large baseball man with a new large baseball man in town.

The other reporters around me didn’t seem thrilled that I was taking up press conference time by playing Smash Mouth for Correa. One guy tried to speed up the process by singing the song for him.

I still don’t know it, Correa said, looking at the other reporter blankly. To be fair, the guy didn’t do a very good job singing it (no offense to whoever this guy was).

Oh, THIS song! Correa said, grinning in only the way the realization that Smash Mouth’s All Star is playing can inspire. Yes, I know this song!

And there you have it, folks: Most baseball players don’t have All Star stuck in their heads, but they do know all the words.

49ers schedule 2017: San Francisco gets treated to needed breaks

The 49ers’ 2017 schedule is one of the NFC’s most favorable for their first regular season with Kyle Shanahan as coach and John Lynch as general manager. With low preseason expectations, this season is all about improving and potentially climbing out of the NFC West basement.

Although at a glance San Francisco gets breaks with fellow last-place teams in the AFC South, their own division and the NFC East balances that out for another well below-.500 outlook.

“They haven’t let me down or haven’t let this team down yet.”

The Bills revamped their receiving corps by trading Sammy Watkins and acquiring Matthews in separate deals on Friday. Watkins, the No. 4 overall pick of the 2014 draft, was dealt to the Rams along with a sixth-round pick for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a 2018 second-rounder. The Bills then made a deal with the Eagles for Matthews and a third-round pick next year for cornerback Ronald Darby.

Wentz, who drove Matthews to the airport after one last dinner with four other Eagles players, was notified of the trade after it was completed but before it was announced. Given their chemistry both on and off the field, Wentz knows Matthews’ presence will be hard to replicate but is still hopeful he finds his groove in Buffalo.

“We were so close off the field that on the field that helped,” Wentz said. “Replacing a guy like that in the locker room is definitely not going to be easy.”

Matthews, a second-round pick in 2014, was second on the Eagles with 73 receptions last season.

Three names didn’t help Tolliver find success with any of his five NFL teams, but 1994 with the then-Houston Oilers was the lowlight. He went 0-7 with a passer rating of 62.6 and a completion percentage of just 50.4. He also took 28 sacks, or 10 percent of his dropbacks. He resurfaced in the league three seasons later only to be slightly less awful for the Chiefs, Falcons and Saints.dolphins_116

Matt Ryan ready for Falcons rebound: ‘It’s about what’s in front of us’

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There are ample reasons to believe the Falcons can avoid the post-Super Bowl curse that for decades has befallen the losing team the following season.

Ryan is not only coming off an MVP season in which he set career highs in passing yards (4,944), passing touchdowns (38), completion percentage (69.9) and passer rating (117.1), but he is also providing the leadership needed if the Falcons are going to rebound from the biggest collapse in Super Bowl history last February against New England.

How hard is it to form a relationship with new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian after being so close with his predecessor Kyle Shanahan?
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Ryan: That’s one of the challenges. Kyle and I were very much on the same page. It took time for us to get to that point. We worked really hard on open lines of communication and getting an understanding for each other. I’ll miss him in the fact that we were on that level all through the season last year. That’s probably the biggest thing for me to work on with Sark is just opening up the lines of communication, making sure we’re very much on the same page in specific situations in games. That’s probably the biggest thing where quarterback and coordinator have to be on the same page. But I’ve enjoyed working with Sark up until this point. He’s really smart. That’s one of the things when you spend time with him. He’s had to adjust to our system and he’s been able to pick it up really, really quickly.

One of the big problems for Carolina last year was living in the past following its Super Bowl loss the previous season. How do the Falcons avoid having the same thing happen?

Ryan: For me it’s about what’s in front of us and learning from the past but not being consumed by it. I think it starts with (Falcons coach) Dan (Quinn), though. His messaging every day, every meeting we have, every time we’re on the field, it’s about today — winning today, being present, being where you’re feet are. We talk about that a lot.

Orioles appear to be in holding pattern, but roster crisis looms

The Orioles are three games under .500 this season, but in this year’s parity-fest that is the American League, they’re still on the fringe of the playoff race.

Kids Marshal Yanda Jersey Heading into Tuesday’s action, Baltimore is 6.5 games behind the Yankees in the AL East and only 4.5 behind the second wild-card spot (though there are eight teams fighting for those two spots). Not an ideal position, sure, but the O’s aren’t quite in need-a-miracle territory, either. That said, it’s challenging to figure out exactly how the front office views this team.

Kids Davis Webb Jersey Boston’s Mitch Moreland had struck out to apparently end the game in the bottom of the ninth, but he reached first base due to Allen’s wild pitch. The Red Sox then became the first team with a walk-off win after striking out with two outs in ninth inning or later, and trailing at the time, since the Washington Senators in 1961.

Recently-acquired infielder Eduardo Nunez also recorded three hits while tallying four RBIs for the Red Sox. He is now batting .500 since arriving from San Francisco last week.

The game was already garnering attention early when Indians outfielder Austin Jackson robbed Hanley Ramirez of a home run by diving over the fence into the bullpen.

The Indians (57-48) have now lost three straight games after previously winning nine in a row. Despite its recent skid, Cleveland still holds a two-game lead over the Royals in the AL Central.

Boston’s late win helped them climb a half-game ahead of the Yankees in the AL East after New York lost 4-3 to the Tigers.

As their hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, reels from a weekend beset by violence stemming from a series of white supremacist rallies, NFL players Chris and Kyle Long said the community will emerge stronger.

Coming from Charlottesville, it’s a quiet town. The loudest it gets is on Saturdays at [University of Virginia’s] Scott Stadium. I’d say it was shocking to see that, but, you know, there are bad things that happen all the time and, like I said, prayers to those who are involved, said Kyle Long, an offensive guard with the Chicago Bears.