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Super Bowl, relocated team continue to be the NFL’s London carrots

From time to time, someone connected to the NFL dangles the possibility of a team moving to London and/or the Super Bowl being loaned there. The chances of either happening continue to be slim.

Relocation presents a variety of issues, from travel to competitive. Staging a Super Bowl in any country other than the United States carries with it a much more important conundrum: The exportation of our dominant sports event to another country.

The Chargers also announced the signings of Alabama cornerback Tony Brown, Georgia State cornerback B.J. Clay, Oklahoma State tackle Zachary Crabtree, William & Mary tackle Chris Durant, Clemson cornerback Marcus Edmond, Virginia Tech cornerback Brandon Facyson, Colorado State guard Zack Golditch, Arkansas defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson, Eastern Washington defensive end Albert Havili, Houston linebacker D’Juan Hines, TCU tight end Cole Hunt, Nicolls State defensive end Tevin Lawson, Kansas tight end Ben Johnson, West Georgia wide receiver J.J. Jones, Albany fullback Anthony Manzo-Lewis, Western Carolina running back Detrez Newsome, Minnesota defensive tackle Steven Richardson, Grambling State guard Trenton Scott, McNeese wide receiver Kent Shelby and Texas A&M punter Shane Tripucka.

They did not get a good return on Xavier Su’a-Filo—especially when you consider that they needed a QB in 2014 and this pick came three spots before Derek Carr.

Before the Deshaun Watson discovery, many would have docked Houston’s draft an entire letter grade just for that.

And maybe we still should given that this team’s playoff appearances in 2015 and 2016, with its outstanding defense, would have been more fruitful with a QB like Carr.

Su’a-Filo is no longer here, by the way; too finesse to be a starter, he’s angling for a backup role in Tennessee.

“This probably has one of the better player support systems there is in the National Football League,” Dorsey said of the team he now runs. “And I just want you all to realize one thing. He’ll understand what it means to be a Cleveland Brown. And once he understands 100 percent what it means to be a Cleveland Brown, the Cleveland Browns are 100 percent to committed to make this man a football player.”
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O’s place infielder Tim Beckham on 10-day DL, add Jace Peterson

Baltimore Orioles infielder Tim Beckham is considering surgery on the groin injury that sent him to the 10-day disabled list Wednesday.

“It makes you wonder sometime how much this might have been bothering him,” Showalter said. “If you rehab it and three days into it he starts feeling it again … you’ve got to keep that in mind.”

There are no guarantees either way, but surgery provides that best chance for Beckham to put this behind him.

“Obviously it’s Tim’s decision about where he wants to go,” Showalter said. “I know initially he really wanted to get back and get through it. After talking with the doctor and being showed the MRI, I think I’ve got a pretty good feeling which way he’s going to proceed.”

As a corresponding move, the Orioles added infielder Jace Peterson to the 25-man roster for Wednesday night’s game against Tampa Bay. Claimed off waivers from the Yankees on Tuesday, Peterson was in the starting lineup at second base.

“I am very excited about tonight,” Cavnar told MLB.com before the game. “I’m really honored on the historical context of it, but I’m more so excited for the team effort. We have such a great team of broadcasters, producers, directors — so it’ll be really fun to collaborate with them and do the game tonight.”

Cavnar, a pregame and postgame host for Rockies telecasts on AT&T SportsNet since 2012, joined analyst Ryan Spilborghs in the booth. The Rockies tweeted their support for Cavnar earlier.

Women calling Major League Baseball games is still a rarity. Cavnar’s company includes Mary Shane, the first woman in a booth, who did radio for the Chicago White Sox in 1976 before moving on to television; and Suzyn Waldman, the first woman to do baseball game commentary who has worked full time in the Yankees’ booth since 2005.

Waldman did her first TV broadcast in the booth in July 1995, for a New York Yankees-Texas Rangers game on ABC’s “Baseball Night in America,” and her first play-by-play in 1996, replacing Phil Rizzuto for a handful of WPIX broadcasts.
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Some players spend a lifetime trying to make it to college, much less the NFL.

“We’ll see,” Jackson said. “I don’t want to make medical decisions. I’m not very good at them. We’ll see where we are as we move through the week.”

Garrett had a foot issue in minicamp, but Jackson said he did not believe the ankle injury was related. Garrett was the first overall pick in this year’s draft.

“He was out there at practice; obviously he didn’t finish practice,” Jackson said. “Let’s just leave it at that. He didn’t finish today, so we’ll see where we are.”

There’s one bit of Pack-related uni news, however: Last season, wide receiver Ty Montgomery spent most of his time lining up in the backfield. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it looked a little weird, because he was wearing No. 88. This year, he’s officially listed as a running back, but he’s keeping No. 88, a move permitted by NFL rules.
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There’s also a solid-gray Color Rush design. At first it seemed the Lions wouldn’t be wearing it in 2017 (which would be just as well — it’s a stinker) because they aren’t scheduled for a Thursday night game this season. But it turns out that they’ll wear it for a Saturday afternoon game Dec. 16 against the Bears.

Five years ago, Edwards picked up an American football for the first time at a park at Ballarat University near Melbourne; smaller and less round than an Australian Rules Football ball, Edwards said, “it did feel a little foreign.”

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Jaguars activate CB Jalen Ramsey from PUP list

Second-year Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey was activated Saturday off the physically unable to perform list, the team announced.

Ramsey, a 2016 first-round pick, had two interceptions (one returned for a TD), 55 solo tackles, 14 pass breakups and one forced fumble. He was named to NFL.com’s 2016 All-Rookie team.

New England’s bye week comes at a convenient time, in the middle of the season and before a tough road game in Denver. Then comes a long road trip to Mexico City and a game against the Raiders, a fellow contender in the AFC. That game against Oakland, given the location and the strength of opponent, might be the toughest game on New England’s schedule. It comes right before the first of two Dolphins games in three weeks.

The final month of the 2017 regular season for the Patriots is a Steelers sandwich with AFC East bread. New England’s final road game of the year, in Pittsburgh and with a late kickoff, could come with massive playoff implications. We certainly are not going to suggest the last two home games of the season, against the Bills and Jets, will carry such weight.

Patriots schedule 2017, record prediction: 12-4
If we’re being honest, every single game on the Patriots’ 2017 schedule is winnable for the best team in the NFL. Considering the impressive offseason moves they made — not including the soon-to-be-completed NFL Draft — another undefeated slate similar to New England’s 2007 season is not a crazy suggestion.

But too many talented, playoff-caliber teams — the Chiefs, Texans, Falcons, Broncos, Raiders and Steelers among them — present traps for the Patriots, whose occasional lapses into complacency would be totally understood. That said, expect the Super Bowl 51 champions to be right back in contention for the Super Bowl 52 crown.

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NBA free agency: Sergio Rodriguez headed back to EuroLeague, reports say

Sergio Rodriguez’s trans-Atlantic basketball career is headed back to the EuroLeague.

The well-traveled guard, who began his NBA career in 2006 with the Trail Blazers and also had stints with the Knicks and Kings, has signed a long-term contract with CSKA Moscow, according to freelance pro basketball reporter David Pick.

NBA free-agent Sergio Rodriguez, former Euroleague MVP, agreed on long-term deal with CSKA Moscow till 2020.

According to CBS Sports, Rodriguez will step in at CSKA Moscow for Milos Teodosic, who will begin his NBA career this season with the Clippers.

He could have two statues and among today’s players is the only one who merits an argument for the NBA’s Mount Rushmore. He delivered two titles in Miami during his four seasons with the Heat, when he won two MVPs, two Finals MVPs and led Miami to four straight Finals appearances.

James also should be cast in bronze for what he did for his home-area Cavaliers, delivering their first ever title in historic fashion during his second tour of duty. At age 22 and in only his second postseason, the Akron native carried the Cavs to their first-ever Finals berth.

He highlighted his return to the Cavs in 2014 by taking the team to its second Finals, in 2015. Then he delivered on his promise to bring Northeast Ohio a pro sports title, its first since the Browns in 1964, when he led the greatest Finals comeback in history after the Cavs trailed the Warriors last June, 3-1.

James is one of only a handful of players to win four MVPs, to go along with three Finals MVPs. He is favored to make it to his seventh straight Finals this June and is fast closing in on being only the seventh player in history to score at least 30,000 points. On the dual statue issue, the only question is do they forgive him in Miami for leaving?steelers_123

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Steve Ballmer lost all control during Game 6

The Clippers were in an elimination Game 6 on the road to the Utah Jazz on Friday night. It wasn’t just any elimination game though, the future of the entire Clippers organization depended on it in a way. The game remained close until late in the fourth when an Austin Rivers three-pointer broke it open putting the Clippers up 91-79 with just over three minutes to go.

The instances before the end of game four where Leonard started a possession on Harden were when the Spurs went with a lineup of Patty Mills, Manu Ginobili, Kawhi and two of their big men, Aldridge, Pau Gasol or David Lee. These were often short stretches in the second or third quarter and this match up was forced by on-court personnel, not an attempt to ice Harden.

The Spurs seem to find more value in having Leonard mobile or entirely swallowing up another Rockets player than stuck to Harden.

The Rockets react to this by leaving Leonard’s man out of the pick-and-roll Game Marshawn Lynch Jersey action and trying to hide them both in the corner as much as possible. And in the instances where Leonard gets switched on to Harden, it’s not an instant solution because the Beard is already moving with a head of steam and denies Leonard the ability to control the possession.

Game four was a problem. Leonard switched on to Harden with six minutes Game Teddy Bridgewater Jersey left in the third quarter and the Spurs down seven. Leonard’s best defensive effort against Harden in these minutes was when Harden attempted to pass from above the foul line.

Leonard’s so smart and so freaking long he anticipates Harden’s decisions and disrupts passes when he picks up his dribble. There’s no space for Harden’s pocket passes or even a split second for Harden to pick up his dribble without a predetermined plan of action.

What happens to Brock Osweiler?

The Browns are toying with the idea of releasing him or trying to trade him, but at $16 million guaranteed for 2017 and an eternally expanding black hole where most team’s quarterback depth charts should be, there’s little risk in keeping Osweiler.

Cleveland appears destined to add a young, developmental passer this offseason, whether that’s a plug-and-play guy like Jimmy Garoppolo or a player they’d find in the draft is still up in the air. Keeping Osweiler would give them an insurance policy — albeit an expensive one — should the team cycle through injured quarterbacks like a broken Rolodex this fall.

If Osweiler gets released, he’ll still have his suitors, though no one will come close to matching the four-year, $72 million deal he got from the Texans. He could assume a backup role with several different teams or push to regain his starting status with a QB-needy team like the Jets, Jaguars, or 49ers.

Osweiler proved he isn’t the answer as a franchise quarterback, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a place in the league.

The reputation strengthened through the decades as Southern Miss’ victims list grew. Archie Manning and No. 4 Ole Miss in 1970. No. 6 Florida State in 1989. No. 13 Alabama in 1990. Mississippi State many, many times. Et cetera.

Southern Miss at its best is a terrifying mix of speed and salt and chips on shoulders. It is a team that won’t win all its games — even in 1954, the team that beat Bama lost to North Texas, Dayton, and Southeastern Louisiana — but can win against any opponent.

As such a foe, the Golden Eagles are graded on curves. We judge them against Conference USA peers, obviously. And they are given an S&P+ rating just like everybody else. But we also grade them on the SASM scale: Salty-Ass Southern Miss.
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Calvin Johnson proved that, yes, he can dance

The former Detroit Lions wide receiver made it all the way to the “Dancing With the Stars” finals Monday evening, and is one of three contestants — along with IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe and Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez — to make Tuesday night’s finale, where he will vie for the Mirror Ball Trophy. And considering that Johnson’s sister, Erica, once said he had no rhythm, and his former teammates all said they figured this first venture in retirement wasn’t going to go well, Johnson did what he set out to do and proved them all wrong.

The NFL returned to México over these last few days, scheduling Blake Bortles Authentic Jersey Monday Night Football between the Houston Texans and the Oakland Raiders and organizing a three-day fan fest leading up to it. They love their football here, even if fútbol (soccer) remains the dominant sport. They watch, they cheer, they argue and they poke fun, usually by assigning silly nicknames to the NFL’s greatest players.

Much was made of the security measures being implemented ahead of the Raiders-Texans game in Mexico City, with some comparing the security levels to that of a Super Bowl. Despite that, one fan made his way through countless police checkpoints and metal detectors with the laser pointer, an item often present in other sporting events that Estadio Azteca usually hosts.

It is even common to see vendors selling the pointers mere blocks away from the stadium. In recent years, they’ve become part of the vending landscape prior to a big event. They are on par with scalpers, vendors selling jerseys — both authentic and fake — and those with carts full of street food.

Though Liga MX — Mexico’s top soccer league — and its international governing body, FIFA, expressly Brad Nortman Authentic Jersey forbid fans from interfering from the game, use of the pointers is difficult to enforce at the domestic level. Oft-times in soccer, the devices are directed at opposing goal keepers or the referees.

“There were multiple times when I saw a laser that came from the stands and there were definitely some times it hit me in the eye,” Osweiler told ESPN Mexico’s Luis Miguel Vasavilbaso. “I could not say that made the difference, but definitely having a laser pointing at your eye undoubtedly affects how you play a game.”

Thompson feels he has additional leverage the form of the massive jump the salary cap take next

Six weeks ago, it seemed to be a foregone conclusion that restricted free agent Thompson would re-sign a big free agent deal with the Cavaliers. He had just come off a good NBA Finals performance, and on the first day of free agency Stein and Albert Wilson Authentic Womens Jersey Windhorst reported that Thompson and the Cavaliers were nearing a five-year, $80 million deal. And then the two sides stopped talking, and then even though LeBron supposedly wasn’t going to re-sign until Thompson did he went ahead and did, and then all of a sudden the two weren’t a package deal. The same day ‘s agreement with the Cavaliers was reported, Sportsnet’s Grange reported that Thompson was open-minded about signing a short-term deal with the Cavaliers: After that, silence.

For the last month, as the moratorium period Alex Smith Authentic Womens Jersey ended and everybody signed and loose ends got tied up and rosters were settled and League came and went and guys decided to move on to Europe, there was no news about Thompson. This morning, ‘s – Windhorst dropped a column explaining that there is still no deal because this is one of the most complex free agency situations of the last decade. The upshot of his piece is that, compared to a typical restricted free agent, Thompson feels he has additional leverage the form of the massive jump the salary cap take next. Restricted free agents are typically a tough spot. Since their current team has the right to match any contract offer, potential suitors are leery about wasting their time by making offer that is likely to be matched. Teams hold most of the leverage, offering their RFAs smaller contracts than they, and essentially daring them to convince another team to tender a compelling offer. At this point, the Portland Trail Blazers are the only possible big-money alternative for Thompson.

For Thompson to become a restricted free agent the first place, the Cavaliers had to extend him a one-year qualifying offer. Thompson’s case that qualifying offer is for $6 million, a 32 percent increase on his salary last year. Considering the reporting that he was nearing a five-year, $80 million contract last month, a one-year, $6-million contract seems paltry. The threat to accept the one-year qualifying offer usually isn’t taken very seriously. Sure, maybe the Cavaliers offered five-years, $80 million and Thompson wanted something closer to the five-year, $94 million. Is he really going to give up the security of $80 million and risk a career-threatening injury, or just a terrible, to take the $6 million offer and to get a mega contract as unrestricted free agent next? But according to Windhorst’s story, Thompson sees the situation differently. Depending upon where exactly next ‘s salary cap ends up, the contract for Thompson 2016 could prove to be $5 million per year more than a deal now. Over the life of a five-year contract, that adds up to over $25 million more than Thompson could get signing this year, more than making up for a salary of just $6 million this. If you look at the list of 2016 free agents, it’s a pretty garbage bunch. The only players clearly better than Thompson are Durant and Horford, and I could buy arguments for Dwyane, Conley, and Drummond as well.

Brandon Marshall: Byron Maxwell ‘holds every single play’

Four days before his long-awaited return to South Florida, New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall called out Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Maxwell, accusing him of foul play.

Marshall still is miffed by Maxwell’s tactics from their 2015 encounter, when Maxwell played for the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I played against him last year and he just Greg Lloyd Authentic Womens Jersey held every single play,” Marshall said Wednesday. “Every single play he held. That was tough.”

After Turner surprised Zimmer on Wednesday morning with his resignation, Turner told ESPN’s Ed Werder, “I think it’s just we have different views on Heath Miller Authentic Womens Jersey where the offense was going.”

Zimmer said later Wednesday that he was “very, very surprised” by the resignation, and called Turner, 64, a “very good friend of mine.”

The resignation seemed to stem from a philosophical difference between Turner and Zimmer. As early as the 2014 off-season, Zimmer had gone to then-Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson in order to pick his brain on offense, to be more educated in order to evaluate things for himself.

Zimmer also announced that he had a minor procedure on Tuesday for a torn retina.

Pat Shurmur, who was hired this offseason as the Vikings’ tight ends coach, will be the interim offensive coordinator.

The Vikings lost 20-10 to the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Monday night, their second loss after a 5-0 start. They lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 21-10 on Oct. 23.