Browse Month by February 2017
Seattle Seahawks

Vikings should let Adrian Peterson finish career in Minnesota, dad says

Elite Womens Cameron Brate Jersey The Minnesota Vikings and Adrian Peterson should explore ways to let the veteran running back finish his career with the team, according to Peterson’s father.

Peterson has spent his entire 10-year career with the Vikings, and he has an $18 million option for 2017, including a $6 million roster bonus due March 11. The Vikings must decide whether to ask him to rework that deal or release him outright.

“Finishing your career in one place (has value),” Nelson Peterson said. “I look at how Arizona treated Larry (Fitzgerald), how they are taking care of guys who have been there.”

Nelson Peterson is referring to when the Cardinals extended Fitzgerald’s contract in 2015 on a reduced rate. Fitzgerald, who is playing on a base salary of $11 million, has remained productive in Arizona, leading the league with 107 receptions last season.

Peterson recently told ESPN’s First Take he would like to remain in Minnesota but would be intrigued by the Houston Texans, New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers if he becomes a free agent.

Limited Mens Julius Peppers Jersey Rodgers told an increasingly concerned fan base to relax earlier this week, then provided some soothing play on Sunday. A week after being completely shut down in Detroit, the Green Bay offense looked like its same old self in Chicago, piling up 358 yards.

Rodgers had more passing yards in the first half than he did in the entire game against the Lions, eventually ending his day with 302 yards and four touchdowns. Cobb, who called his play leading up to this game “embarrassing,” broke out for seven receptions and 113 yards to go with his scores, and Jordy Nelson was, well, Jordy Nelson (two touchdown grabs).

This crazy-impressive 34-yard touchdown to Davante Adams was called back for a hold, but it gives you an idea of just how dialed in Rodgers was.

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the Packers also refused to trade him to the Vikings — his preferred destination

Carolina released Tolbert on Feb. 21 after five seasons with the Panthers, in which he served as a forceful, bowling-ball type of power back who was an effective blocker and short-yardage back, and also excelled as just about the largest person anyone would see catching a pass out of the backfield. Tolbert had one year remaining on his deal, but as Carolina needs to get younger in the backfield, the Panthers decided to release the veteran in favor of Darrel Young, who was signed shortly after the 2016 concluded.

Alterraun Verner, cornerback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Verner was one of the hottest defensive backs available on the market two offseasons ago, scooped up by the Buccaneers during a free agency period that saw Tampa Bay spend a healthy portion of money on Verner and pass rusher Michael Johnson. Both have been cut by the Buccaneers less than two years after signing, bringing an end to two underwhelming stays in Tampa Bay.

After rejecting Favre’s request for a release, the Packers also refused to trade him to the Vikings — his preferred destination. Once the trade market was limited to the Buccaneers and Jets, Favre chose the former, angling for a reunion with former position coach Jon Gruden.

New York went on to pull the trigger against Favre’s wishes, leading to an awkward conversation between Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum and agent Bus Cook.

With that backdrop in mind, let’s rank Romo’s potential landing spots:

“You did what?” Cook yelled, via Jeff Pearlman’s 2016 Favre biography. “You’re a crazy bastard. I told you I don’t know if he’s coming. This was not smart.”

That’s not to suggest Romo’s quest for a new NFL home will resemble the Favre-to-Jets soap opera that extended into the summer of 2008. But the Favre saga does drive home the point that there is still plenty of time for back-channel maneuvering and last-minute flourishes when a franchise-altering quarterback is changing hands.

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Marshall¡¯s teams have been known for their tough defense throughout his tenure

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Joe Lunardi has the Shockers as a No. 9 seed in his most recent Bracketology. While that doesn¡¯t mean as much a month out from the madness, if they¡¯re still around the nine line come tourney time, they could make things interesting.
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What are they good at? The Shockers use a full team effort to take care of business on both ends of the floor. Their bench play has been instrumental to their success. They win by controlling the game at both ends of the court, start to end. It¡¯s hard for teams to keep pace with the high scoring, when they are getting locked up on the defensive end.

Marshall¡¯s teams have been known for their tough defense throughout his tenure, as teams have never managed to average more than 65 points per game against them. This team is no different as they are holding teams to the fifth-lowest field goal percentage in the country, and teams shoot just below 39 percent from the field facing this Shockers squad.

“He used to always give me a hard time and kind of bust my chops: ‘What are you really doing when you broadcast a game?'” Lynch said, laughing. “‘What kind of impact are you having?’ He was messing with me.”

He enjoyed doing the announcing and being a part of the NFL, but the fight to go through something with a group of guys and what we go through together, and it is not easy and it¡¯s a grind for everybody, but it is worth it. That¡¯s really what people who played, people who coached, those are the reasons when people get out of it, they miss it so much.”

It’s that same competitive persona that made taking this particular job appealing to Lynch. Although he had never been all-in on moving into personnel, he said he has had conversations with teams in the past about making the move. In the run-up to recent drafts, Elway has invited Lynch to help the scouting department.

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You really think I didn’t go back to re-watch those games to see if I missed something?

The dude caught 124 balls for 1,727 yards and 16 friggin’ touchdowns this past season and won pretty much every collegiate wide receiver award. And, keeping it one hunnit, let’s also add that he did all that shit with a pretty erratic quarterback (Two, technically — remember when they were playing the freshman, too?). You really think I’m going to say this dude isn’t elite with those kinda stats and with that kinda QB without taking a second look? (Actually, it was like four more looks just to be safe).

There just isn’t any there, there.

The closest thing to an electrifying play from Cooper in those five games was the go route he caught against Auburn with 3:30 left in the third quarter and Alabama down 36-27 at the time. The situation in the game, how dominant he looked on the play, the fact that he housed it even after being caught from behind, all conspired to give me a lil’ Chris Matthews tingle (Google it) for a few minutes.

Perhaps a change of scenery could benefit Bostick, who will compete for a spot on the roster. He struggled to find the field while in Green Bay, playing just 34 snaps in 2014. At 26 years old, his best football could still be ahead of him.
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Elite Youth Ryan Vogelsong Jersey Jim Tomsula confirms 49ers are talking contracts with Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree

The San Francisco 49ers are in the process of negotiating terms of new contracts for running back Frank Gore and wide receiver Michael Crabtree, head coach Jim Tomsula confirmed with the media on Thursday via ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez.

Both players’ futures with the team remain cloudy as the NFL Combine gets underway, but general manager Trent Baalke has indicated he would like both to return. Gore will play next season at age 32, so it’s difficult to envision him warranting a large contract similar to that of a feature back.

As for Crabtree, Tomsula said he “absolutely” wanted his wideout back in Santa Clara next season.

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The Mariners are one of the more interesting teams to me as spring training approaches

Replacing Encarnacion will be former Royal Kendrys Morales, who also signed a three-year deal but for just $33 million. The deal was one of the first struck during the free-agent season. While Morales can be a force at the plate, you get what you pay for. He can’t really play the field, whereas Encarnacion logged about half of Toronto’s innings at first base. At the plate, Morales projects to create about 22 fewer runs than Encarnacion, or roughly two fewer wins. But he’s making $9 million per season less so … should the Jays have sprung for an extra $4.5 million per win per season?

Frankly, I can see it both ways, and it’s easy to look at this in hindsight. In trying to get out in front of the market, the Jays could not have known how tough of a winter it would be for free-agent power hitters, which ended up limiting the length of Encarnacion’s eventual deal. Still, for the past couple of years, there was no tougher middle of the order to navigate than the one in Toronto, and while the Jays remain in the middle of the AL East chase, it feels like they are a little less fearsome entering the new season.
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Authentic Youth Brandon Tate Jersey The Mariners are one of the more interesting teams to me as spring training approaches. After the team fell just short in its playoff pursuit last season, GM Jerry Dipoto was one of the busiest execs in the game during the winter.

Smith does not know what he’ll do next. However, he said the Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots still irks him.

“The 2015 season was really hard for me because my mind would always go back to the Super Bowl,” Smith said. “When we’d go into the indoor practice facility, man, we should have two of those banners hanging up in here. And it was hard to overcome that for coaches as well as for players.”

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Bennett’s team and its defense were just minutes away from the Final Four last season.

This is not to say that he is at fault for the result or that he is the only one who had a miserable game. Just that it’s almost a vile and unexpected thing that this decline should sneak up on him. In the same way that it doesn’t feel real watching Barcelona get destroyed by PSG, even if this type of result has happened before. Each time is just as absurdly comical.

It was telling that when Barcelona needed to make a change to gain a foothold in the game, Iniesta was taken off for Ivan Rakitic. That’s how bad he had been. One of the best midfielders of his generation substituted in a game that called for him the most.

This year’s UVA defense is even better than last year’s, in terms of holding opponent point totals down. The 2015-16 team allowed 60 or more points 19 different times, and they went 11-8 in those games. Virginia’s forcing far more turnovers this year — 21.3 opponent turnover percentage (39th) vs. 18.8 (129th) in 2015-16. Opponents are also shooting much worse from the field this year vs. last year.

Even the most efficient offenses have struggled mightily this year. In eight games against top 30, Virginia’s 4-4, but holding those teams to 59.6 points per game. Duke will be the ninth top-30 offense to face the Hoos when the two teams tip off on Wednesday. The Blue Devils average nearly 82 points per game.

The two teams certainly represent different sides of the college basketball style spectrum, but not different levels of title contention this year. Both are 8-4 in league play, and this week’s winner will have a big leg up toward earning a double bye in the upcoming ACC tournament. Duke and Virginia were also among the NCAA tournament committee’s top 16 teams in Saturday’s bracket preview.

Bennett’s team and its defense were just minutes away from the Final Four last season. If they can continue to impose themselves on opponents this year, perhaps they finally take that next step this March.

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Dansby also signed a similar one-year deal and figured heavily into the linebacker rotation.

Franchise Kirk Cousins. There are a few differences between Cousins’ situation last season and the decision GM Scot McCloughan faces this year. The price of franchising Cousins has gone up: After paying Cousins a shade under $20 million on the franchise tag in 2016, Washington will owe him $23.9 million on the franchise tag in 2017 by virtue of the 120 percent rate for second franchise tags.

That number will go up slightly if Washington chooses to opt for the exclusive version of the franchise tag. Last year, McCloughan tendered Cousins with the non-exclusive tag, which would have allowed any team to sign Cousins to an offer sheet and send Washington two first-round picks if it decided not to match. This year, the idea of a team being willing to give up two first-round selections for Cousins seems more palatable.

LaFell was given an incentive-laden one-year deal with a cap hit of $2.4 million. He ended up hitting all of his incentives and finishing second among the Bengals receivers in receiving yards (862) and first in receiving touchdowns (6). LaFell played well enough that he will likely be a priority to re-sign in 2017.

Dansby also signed a similar one-year deal and figured heavily into the linebacker rotation.

Limited Youth Rob Ninkovich Jersey Both were low-risk, high-ward options who contributed a significant amount of playing time.

Game Womens Nick Leddy Jersey So why are the Bengals so averse to free agency? They actually aren’t — they just prefer to stay out of the frenzy of the first-day signings and instead bolster their roster with more mid-tier free agents.

Terrell Owens will not be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. To many people, that seems absurd. Yet, several Hall of Fame voters have defended their perspectives against Owens’ candidacy. Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News is the latest to explain why he didn’t vote for Owens’ induction: Because the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Dallas Cowboys didn’t want to stick with the wide receiver.

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NHL trade rumors 2017: Ben Bishop reportedly open to trade from Lightning

Ben Bishop has finally opened up about the trade speculation surrounding him all season.
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The impending unrestricted free-agent goalie for the Tampa Bay Lightning told the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday that he¡¯s open to a trade before the March 1 NHL trade deadline.

As you might expect, however, it wasn¡¯t an outright demand. Rather, Bishop expressed his willingness to play more going up against his love for Tampa Bay.

“But we’ll see where it takes us. That’s my feeling. But at the same time, I want to play, too.”

Bishop, 30, has started only twice in the last 16 days as the Lightning have ceded more and more times to 22-year-old goalie of the future Andrei Vasilevskiy. Bishop¡¯s numbers haven¡¯t helped his cause either: His .904 save percentage and 2.83 goals-against average are a far cry from his Vezina Trophy-worthy numbers over the past three seasons. Last year, his 2.06 GAA was the best of his career.

Now he¡¯s gone 11-12-3, which has made trading him more difficult. But as the market opens up as the deadline approaches, at least Bishop¡¯s willingness to move on is on the record. If not, the Lightning will lose him either in free agency or the expansion draft this summer.
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¡°From the outside looking in, it looks bad, and it¡¯s even worse when you¡¯re going through it.¡±

New York has had its fair share of controversy in recent weeks. Just days after team president Phil Jackson publicly chided Anthony on his Twitter account, Knicks owner James Dolan banned former All-Star Knickerbocker Charles Oakley from entering Madison Square Garden.

The same night Dolan announced the permanent ban, Knicks fans chanted ¡°Free Charles Oakley¡± and ¡°We want Oakley¡± during the team¡¯s matchup against the Nuggets.

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The Bills have some coaching strength on defense

The Bills have moved on to their eighth coach since they last made a playoff appearance in 1999. Sean McDermott has a defensive background — much like Rex Ryan, Dick Jauron, Gregg Williams and Wade Phillips before him — but what the Bills really need to focus on is their offense. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor has shown some promise, but the front-office decision to bench him in Week 17 suggests the team will commence yet another offseason search for a quarterback. The cycle continues in Buffalo.
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The Bills have some coaching strength on defense, including McDermott and coordinator Leslie Frazier, and they have the foundation of a strong unit. Under Ryan, the Bills ranked 13th in the NFL in opposing QBR the past two seasons (59.6). If 2016 rookies Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland can get healthy, the defense could be an early strength. The Bills’ spot at No. 10 in the 2017 draft probably precludes the drafting of a quarterback who can help immediately, but it is high enough to gain immediate help in some fashion.

Teammates don’t intervene. Corbin again urges Cousins to calm down. Cousins instead walks out of the film room and doesn’t return. When asked about the episode nearly two years later, Cousins confirms it — as well as his regular insubordination toward Corbin in practices, huddles and meetings.

Youth Cody Kessler Jersey “I feel bad for Ty Corbin,” Cousins says today about the interim coach who would compile a 7-21 record before being replaced. “We all knew the situation he was put in. That was just a frustrating period for everyone, to start the season the way we did. We finally were on the right path. I truly believe we would have been a playoff team. I was in a bad place. It was never an issue between me and Ty Corbin. He’s a great guy who was put in the worst situation possible — the worst.”

Just before the All-Star break, the team hired George Karl, a basketball lifer who’d won 1,131 games before arriving in Sacramento. Karl’s high-octane, read-and-react offense was well-suited to the present-day NBA.