Lions sign three tryout players

The Lions found three guys at their rookie minicamp who they wanted to take a longer look at.

The team announced they had signed wide receiver Deontez Alexander, tight end Marcus Lucas, and cornerback Josh Okonye.

By the way, if they do bring back the Batman look, they should bring back that entire diagram and have the players wear a single-bar facemask because those are amazing.

Anyway, here’s what a more modern version of the Batman uniform would look like.

Here’s what the same uniform would look like in white, if the Steelers decide to go that route. The Steelers will only be wearing the throwback for one game, so they definitely won’t be wearing both colors.

The new throwback won’t be the only different uniform the Steelers are wearing this year. The team has already confirmed that the all-black Color Rush uniform will also be on the field in 2018. The Steelers will be wearing that look for their Thursday night game against the Panthers in Week 10.

The Steelers will definitely be hoping that fans love the new throwback as much as they love the team’s Color Rush uniform.

Blandino will start the new position immediately and resume it in January 2019 after the next football season has wrapped up.

Is Keenum a one-hit wonder or a late bloomer? If it’s the latter, the Broncos might have signed a franchise quarterback in March for a more-than-reasonable $36 million over two years.

If he can perform the way he did in Minnesota, the Broncos will have a shot at the playoffs in 2018, regardless of what Chubb does opposite Von Miller.

Detroit Lions fans are allowed to be discouraged by the team’s failure to win more than nine games in five of the last six seasons. We’re in the post-Calvin Johnson era, and the Lions don’t appear as though they’re on the brink of a Super Bowl run in a division that features the juggernaut Minnesota Vikings and the Aaron Rodgers-led Green Bay Packers.

But it’s entirely possible we’ve yet to see the best of quarterback Matthew Stafford, who just turned 30 and is coming off his highest-rated season.  bucks_049

Eagles QB Nick Foles will earn at least $250K per game with updated deal, report says

It’s not 100 percent clear how much Nick Foles will play next season, but he could be paid handsomely thanks to a restructured contract in Philadelphia.

The Eagles quarterback is set to make a minumum of $250,000 per game if he plays a third of the team’s offensive snaps, ESPN.com reported.

“[Plaintiffs] Eric Inselberg, Michael Jakab and Sean Godown have resolved all claims in their pending litigation against the New York Giants, Eli Manning, John Mara, William Heller, Joseph Skiba, Edward Skiba and Steiner Sports, in accordance with a confidential settlement agreement reached today. The compromise agreement, entered into by all parties, should not be viewed as supporting any allegations, claims or defenses.

Coaches wanted every player present from Day 1, but veterans like Pro Bowl running back Robert Smith would try to hold out every year before signing one-year deals. Smith had several major knee injuries early in his career, and he thought the extra contact would expose him to more. I was happy to sign him two weeks prior to the regular season, as I knew he’d be in shape when he reported. I didn’t have to worry about him getting hurt before the season.

Kyle scored 19 points in a game in Portland on March 15, but when he heard how sick his brother was, he chartered a plane that night and brought Kaleb and his wife, who live in Portland, with him to Iowa City. The family felt fortunate that Kyle had been in Portland so he could travel with Kaleb. They felt there was even more luck when the flight crew on the jet happened to be based in Iowa City and gave the Korvers a ride to the hospital.ravens_013

Sam Darnold highlights: Jets rookie minicamp

Namath would be plenty happy to see Darnold start in Week 1 — if he earns it.

And win a championship, yes, Namath said of his hopes for Darnold. All of that, yeah. But I know Sam at this point is not prepared as much as Josh or even Teddy. They’re going to decide in preseason camp who gives the team the best chance to win — not to just develop a guy.

What was Namath’s reaction to the Jets drafting Darnold?

Not surprised, glad, happy, hoping that he can pan out, he said. I don’t know that anybody can completely handle New York. I think Sam will be all right with the tutoring that he’s getting.

Rodgers will get more, another executive predicted to Yahoo Sports. It’s all about the guaranteed [money]. Carson Wentz is recovering from a season-ending knee injury that he suffered in December. (AP) More Former agent and salary-cap analyst J.I. Halsell sees Rodgers’ potential deal as a measuring stick for Philadelphia Eagles star Carson Wentz, whose MVP-caliber sophomore campaign ended prematurely last fall due to a season-ending ACL injury. Provided Wentz recaptures his 2017 form, Corry says the Eagles could give Wentz big money after this season, as opposed to executing his fifth-year option for 2020 and franchising him in 2021 and 2022.

Beachum, who turns 29 next month and is entering Year 2 with the Jets, hasn’t even met Darnold. And while Beachum has heard positive feedback from others in the organization, he is maintaining some healthy skepticism about Darnold — for good reason.

I’ve heard that he is a great person, Beachum said Tuesday. I’m excited to get him in that room.

What if the player’s team lost guys at supporting positions? How do we grade the pick of a running back whose offensive line gets hurt or decimated by cap-saving moves in his second season? If a player busts, how do we know it’s because he was a bad pick? What if he had bad coaching? What if someone else at his position overachieved and stole his practice reps? What if the coaching staff changed and the new staff’s scheme didn’t fit the player? What if the player all the sudden stopped working hard once he got rich—how much responsibility does the GM hold for that? Some, sure (the GM should have done his homework, right?). But certainly not all the responsibility.

He remains the franchise’s all-time leader in tackles by a safety with 912. Griffin also had 25 interceptions, seven sacks, 11 forced fumbles and six fumble recovers with his best season in 2008 with seven interceptions. Controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk thanked Griffin for his nine seasons with the Titans and wished him the best in retirement.sharks-010

Zunino homers to back Hernandez, Mariners beat White Sox 4-3

Mike Zunino knew the ball hit the sweet spot. He just wasn’t sure at first if it would clear the wall.

Zunino homered and scored twice to back Felix Hernandez in the Seattle Mariners’ 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.

Jarrod Dyson, Nick Ahmed and David Peralta homered and the Arizona Diamondbacks earned an 8-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.

The Diamondbacks have won their first eight series of the season, becoming the first National League club to do so since the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977. The Seattle Mariners won each of their first nine series of the season in 2001 on their way to 116 wins.

“I get lucky every now and then,” Dyson said. “I don’t go up there to hit bombs. I want to hit more line drives. Sometimes, you get a good pitch.”

Arizona added five runs in the third inning on Ahmed’s three-run homer and Peralta’s two-run shot. Peralta’s shot was off reliever Drew Hutchinson.

Lively allowed seven runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings.

The Seahawks are without a second-round pick as it stands now. That would lessen their chances of emerging from this draft with a cornerback capable of stepping in and playing immediately the way Maxwell could.

The 30-year-old Maxwell finished an up-and-down 2017 season for the Seattle Seahawks on a high note by performing well as a fill-in for Richard Sherman.

Seattle cut Sherman and nickelback Jeremy Lane earlier this offseason while another former starter, DeShawn Shead, left in free agency. Before Maxwell, the only cornerback Seattle had added in free agency was former 49ers starter Dontae Johnson on a one-year deal.

Released by the Miami Dolphins in October after losing his starting job, Maxwell returned to the Seahawks in November after Sherman suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. He played the majority of his first game back after rookie right cornerback Shaquill Griffin suffered a concussion on the opening possession, and Maxwell remained in the starting lineup for the final six games, eventually replacing Jeremy Lane on the left side.sl_cardinals_010

Patriots spin off 2nd-round picks in trades with Lions and Bears

In a flurry of trade activity on Friday night, the New England Patriots made two deals that turned the second-round draft choice they received for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo into a 2019 second-round pick and two 2018 fourth-round selections, before using one of the fourth-round picks in a different swap that landed them Florida cornerback Duke Dawson.

Here’s how it unfolded:

“You guys will parse that tomorrow. That’s not our job. We’re just looking at the picks, looking at the numbers, and when the trades come into play, we’ll take it as it comes,” he said.

The Patriots have now made 64 draft-day trades in coach Bill Belichick’s 19 drafts with the franchise. The only year the Patriots haven’t made at least one draft-day trade in his tenure was 2004.

Martinez put Boston in front for the first time with a two-out blast to right off Marco Estrada (2-2) in the fifth, his fifth.

“It seems like lately we’ve been just scuffling a little bit at the plate, trying to find ways to put up runs,” Martinez said. “To get it done was huge.”

Martinez’s past three homers have gone to the opposite field.

“He has that ability to stay back and hit line drives out of the ballpark,” Cora said. “That’s impressive.”

Sale was impressed, too.

“He can do some pretty incredible things with that bat,” Sale said of Martinez. “I’m appreciative of it tonight.”

“He made one from Barrie,” said Raptors coach Dwane Casey, referring to a Canadian city that sits on the shore of Lake Simcoe some 68 miles north of the Air Canada Centre. “I thought that was a big shot for him. Again, we took the shots that we normally take, and there’s nothing abnormal about it.”

Wright was one of a brigade of Toronto heroes in the Raptors’ 108-98 win in Game 5 over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, but he might have been the most emblematic. The Raptors have spent a full season refashioning their offense into a system more predicated on movement and playmaking. But this new enterprise works only if those being trusted, such as Wright and others in the supporting cast, reciprocate that trust by maximizing opportunities.jets_097

The USC product was set to compete with Guice as the draft’s second best running back, but Jones pulled up lame during his 40-yard dash at the Combine.

Minnesota-Duluth junior forward Blake Young, a native of Battleford, Saskatchewan, said he’d played with some of the members of Humboldt’s hockey team in the past. He said he chose to honor the deceased with his effort in Saturday night’s 2-1 win over Notre Dame.

“I found out with my mom last night,” he said after his team’s win in the national title game. “It’s tough because Saskatchewan is such a tightknit group of people, small communities. Everyone knows everyone. Your heart aches when you hear news like that. I was fortunate enough to play with some of those guys on that team, so just not knowing was a struggle. It was definitely on my mind all of last night and all of today. And I just told myself to go out there and lay it on the line for those guys who can’t anymore.”

Once he proves he’s 100 percent at his Pro Day, he will resurface as a Melvin Gordon-like prospect. The Giants can move back from No. 2 overall and get a difference-maker at CB with their No. 12 pick, then a running back who can benefit from their offensive line additions.

That phrasing suggests Elway has a quarterback he likes among the top choices — Wyoming’s Josh Allen, USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen or Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield — but that he isn’t counting on the quarterback he likes being available with the fifth overall pick.

Keenum got $25 million guaranteed on a two-year contract and will almost certainly be the Week One starter, but the Broncos could draft a quarterback they expect to take over for Keenum by 2019 or 2020 at the latest. Still, given that the Broncos have a defense they think they can win with now, it would seem to make more sense to use the fifth overall pick to draft a player who can contribute to a turnaround this season, rather than a player who will spend this season holding a clipboard.

The Seahawks don’t have draft picks in the second or third rounds, with five combined in the fourth and fifth rounds. That’s not much to work with in sliding up the board to a reasonable position.bills_070

Mike Maccagnan unfazed by past QB misses

The Jets traded up from No. 6 to No. 3 in the first round of this year’s draft with the expectation that the team is going to pick a quarterback for the third time since Mike Maccagnan became the team’s General Manager in 2015.

Barnes remains one of the league’s more puzzling players — not quite the same isolation-heavy scorer he was last season, but not all that much different. He can still be too tentative with the ball:

If you want to know why Payton has never developed into the plus defender he has the tools to become, it’s stuff like this — plus his egregious out-of-scheme gambling:

Psst: Phoenix is dead last in both points scored and allowed per possession. That double — known as Bobcatting in honor of the tanktastic 2011-12 Bobcats — is a rare accomplishment.

Gruden said he wants Cooper to be ready to play in 2018 like he did in 2015 and 2016.

The Giants can’t rely on Eli Apple as much as they were hoping, and their new regime has no ties to the former first-round pick who has had locker room issues. This might be early for Jackson, but some teams are extremely high on the playmaker. He could complete what on paper looks like a talented defense.

The Redskins have invested draft picks and free-agent dollars across their offense, and they’ll likely sit back and see whether those moves pay dividends. That means they probably will address their defense early in the draft, and their defensive front seven, especially the line, is a good place to continue building.

Landry had a down 2017 season thanks to injuries and inconsistency, but he is an edge rusher worthy of first-round selection. The Packers can’t rely on Clay Matthews on the perimeter much longer.

Quinn isn’t happy about it. And yet he is.bills_058

Ex-Eagles’ coach: Wentz wouldn’t listen when told to avoid contact

In 2016, his rookie season, Carson Wentz ran 30 times. The quarterback avoided contact on only 12 rushes and was flat-out tackled to the ground, like any ball carrier, a dozen times.

During film review, Eagles coaches instructed Wentz to be more cautious when running. The headstrong quarterback brushed off the advice, however, as he did so many defenders.

Ask around about Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen and you’ll hear that he’ll turn into budding MVP candidate Carson Wentz or Titans washout Jake Locker. You’ll hear that Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield will turn into either Johnny Manziel or Russell Wilson. This doesn’t happen in other sports. Jaylen Brown didn’t enter the NBA draft only to be compared to both Jimmy Butler and Bill Murray in “Space Jam.”

Picking the right quarterback is the most important thing an NFL organization can do. The Browns famously didn’t believe in Wentz and traded the second overall pick in 2016 to the Eagles, who did. The rest is history. You can basically get everything else wrong and still repeatedly make it to the playoffs with the right quarterback, as we saw in the first few years of Andrew Luck’s career during Ryan Grigson’s reign as general manager in Indianapolis. It is not hyperbole to suggest getting this decision right is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Rutgers commits Zamar Wise and Jaaron Hayek are expected to participate. While Adisa Isaac , Yusuf Terry , Jake Hornibrook and Saleem Wormley highlight some of Rutgers’ top out of state targets, also set to compete.

We expect to bring you live updates beginning at 11:00 a.m. (ET). You can follow along with us here as we keep you updated on all the action:

Beckham showing up to workouts won’t end the offseason drama, but it’s a step in the right direction for the superstar receiver to continue his career in the Big Apple.

The 24-year-old Collins, however, would prefer to remain on the outside.

“I like playing tackle,” Collins said Sunday, via the team’s official website. “Right now, I’m focused on playing tackle. That’s where my mindset is. That’s where I’m grinding for.”bills_047

Message Yankees’ Greg Bird has for doubters that he’ll get healthy and become star

Yankees first baseman Greg Bird already is getting around pretty good for a guy who had arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle on March 27. He showed up Sunday to Yankee Stadium in a walking boot, but ditched it soon after arriving.

His future? He’s as determined and confident as ever that he’s going to live up to the high expectations that the Yankees for him, the expectations that he has for himself.

They say most players caught under the NFL’s program aren’t first-time PED users. That first failed test typically indicates the player had been using something undetectable, but either he got sloppy or the league found a new way to detect it.

Players also suspect the NFL is paying close attention to the Panthers because of the team’s recent history. Defensive lineman Charles Johnson received a four-game suspension in 2017 for violating the league’s PED policy. Backup offensive lineman Chris Scott was suspended for four games for a PED violation in 2016. Defensive lineman Wes Horton received the same punishment in 2015.

“The main thing, #ComebackSZN for me is like no matter wherbills_014e I end up and no matter what happens football-wise,” Manziel explained, “at least my life, at least, you know, I’ve repaired a lot of relationships that needed work, I’ve repaired a lot of myself that needed a lot of work and I’m able to run back on the field, something I didn’t know if I’d ever get a chance to do again.

“So it’s disappointing, some of the things that happened, but nevertheless this is a huge step for me. I put pads back on. A lot of people would have just wrote me off to even get to this point. I’m definitely emotional about it. I’m definitely happy about it. This isn’t the end goal for me, but I’m having fun again. You know, guys talking s**on the field, I’m having fun. I had a smile on my face. You know, I’ll be pissed off when I go back and watch this during the night, but at least I know we come back out here in four days again and we play again.”

Bill Belichick ‘chastised’ Gronk for using TB12 method

Recent sightings of Rob Gronkowski, which have included pictures at Brigham & Women’s Hospital on Monday visiting heart patient Lauren Meizo, appear to show an even leaner version of the tight end than we witnessed last season.

Of late, Gronkowski has been working out at TB12, continuing his mission with trainer Alex Guerrero. After the 28-year-old’s multitude of injuries, including a third back surgery, he last year decided he would put his faith in Tom Brady’s body coach, who focused on getting the tight end more pliable.

That process has resumed, but some are now asking if it’s possible Gronk might be getting a bit too lean for a tight end.

So, what has gone wrong? Why can’t we reliably figure out which quarterbacks will turn into superstars? And can we fix it in time to evaluate this year’s class?

Over the next two days, I’ll look into how and why we struggle with the most important part of the draft process. We’ll try to answer the “why” in Part 2 on Tuesday, as well as evaluate whether the problems are fixable and apply what we know (and don’t know) to the Class of 2018. But let’s start with what recent history can tell us.

As the attention reached a fervor, President Donald J. Trump sent out a series of tweets calling for the kneeling NFL players to be fired.

Many around the league took umbrage with President Trump’s message.

It’s been about seven months since those tweets, but the discussion around the national anthem kneeling is still ongoing.

In an extensive, wide-ranging interview with The Atlantic , Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins — one of the most socially active players in the league and co-founder of the Players Coalition, an organization that “fights injustices disproportionately affecting African Americans” — addressed the Commander-in-Chiefs remarks, saying President Trump was like “any other troll.”

Jenkins  joined other Eagles players in 2016 in raising his fist during the national anthem, which is something he continued through most of the 2017-18 season.rams_066