CB Tramaine Brock to begin job hunt with Seahawks, report says

Former 49ers cornerback Tramaine Brock, cleared last week of domestic violence charges, is a free agent looking for a job, and he’ll start his search Tuesday with the Seahawks, Pro Football Talk reported, citing an unidentified source with knowledge of the situation.

The Seahawks clearly are very familiar with Brock, who played seven seasons for the Niners in the NFC West.

Seattle would consider Brock, who has 11 interceptions in his career, at the corner opposite Richard Sherman.

The Niners released Brock in April after he was charged with criminal domestic violence, The charges were dismissed last week, but it’s unclear whether he still faces punishment under the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

The Buccaneers’ second-year kicker — yes, still a second-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft — missed an extra point and a field goal in Tampa Bay’s preseason-opening loss to the Bengals.

The Cowboys running back will also claim that Thomas told friends and acquaintances to to lie to the police about his relationship with her.

Elliott’s father, Stacy Elliott, tweeted out an itinerary of the points Elliott’s legal team plans to outline and said his son is “ready to fight.”

Elliott was handed the six-game suspension on Friday after more than a year-long NFL investigation into claims that Elliott abused his ex-girlfriend. The length of the suspension was a surprise, especially because no charges were filed against Elliott and because team owner Jerry Jones said he didn’t see Elliott being sidelined by the league.

“I came out of my meeting and I actually had a text on my phone and the first text that I saw it was the most crazy thing in the world,” Watt said Saturday (via the Houston Chronicle). “I read the text and it said, ‘I see your little bro out there ballin’, hope all is well.’ And I looked and it was from Kendrick Lamar. … It was a pretty wild thing to see.”

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Jazz bringing back Joe Ingles on four-year deal, report says

There is no guarantee Gordon Hayward will return to the Jazz for the 2017-18 season, but if he does, Joe Ingles will be there with him.

Ingles will re-sign with the Jazz, agreeing Saturday to a four-year deal, according to ESPN.

The 29-year-old swing player, who is one of Hayward’s closest friends, averaged 7.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists this past season.

As for Hayward, he met with the Heat Saturday and is not expected to make a decision on where he will go until next week.

Another survivor at the expense of his head coach, operating in a new, demanding L.A. market. Now that Jeff Fisher isn’t around to kick around anymore, the spotlight shines brighter on Snead’s shortcomings. The vaunted Robert Griffin III trade did almost nothing for the Rams. Sean McVay is a big leap at head coach, and Jared Goff needs to start showing he’s worth the top pick (and the trade that brought him there) sooner rather than later.

Tom Coughlin has become the face and voice of the front office, but Caldwell still holds the title, and he’s got a lot to prove. This is at least the third year of gushing about the smart signings, hirings and drafting the Jags have done, yet the overall record is … what it is. (They’re 15-49 on his watch.) Hiring Doug Marrone as coach was more of a Coughlin operation, but Blake Bortles is Caldwell’s baby.browns_041

Why it’s better to laugh with JaVale McGee than at him

JaVale McGee is one of the most underrated figures in the NBA. Yes, he was a punchline for a long time. You could say he was appreciated then, but mostly because we were laughing at him on Shaqtin’ a Fool. Now, we can laugh with him.

McGee’s been better than ever for the Warriors this season, especially in the playoffs when Kevin Durant was missing due to injury. His averages on field goals and field goal attempts have gone up, too.

It hasn’t been easy to shake his old, blundering reputation. He also got into a wild Twitter beef with Shaquille O’Neal over Shaqtin’ that had everyone involved — Durant, the Warriors as an organization, even Shaq’s mom — jumping into the fray.

OK, so that one was maybe a mixture of laughing and looking on in mild horror. But he’s also the butt of jokes that are more in good humor — like Andre Iguodala using toilet paper with his face on it. (Iguodala and McGee have been teammates twice now, first with the Nuggets and now again with the Warriors.)

McGee can poke his own fun, though. He gave the whole Golden State team blankets with Draymond Green’s sleeping face on them, since Green was exposing everyone else’s naps on Snapchat.

NBA aside, we’ve also recently gotten some great glimpses into McGee’s personal life. His latest is posting this picture of him holding his baby daughter like a phone.

This was just the beginning for Westbrook. He would finish with three 50-point triple-doubles on the season.

“Official Photographer”

The world was watching when Westbrook’s Thunder and Durant’s Warriors met for the first time on Nov. 4. The hype was out of control for this game and Westbrook took it to another level when he showed up at Oracle Arena wearing a pinny that said “Official Photographer”.nike_redskins_2188

March Madness 2017: Live updates as teams qualify for NCAA Tournament bids

The NCAA Tournament Selection Committee has about half of the bracket picked, as the 32 teams that win their conference tournament receive automatic bids for their efforts. Though they can breathe easily knowing they’ll be on the bracket somewhere, they still await Selection Sunday to find out what their path to the championship looks like as they’re seeded and placed in one of the four regions.

While winning the conference looks pretty on paper and serves as the ultimate last-minute resume boost, it means little in terms of tournament success. Four of the past five NCAA tournament winners didn’t win their conference tournament.

The Redbirds’ failure to defeat Wichita State in the Arch Madness final likely cost them a place, particularly since the game was the Shockers’ second consecutive blowout win in the series. Illinois State’s home win over Wichita State is its lone triumph over a Top-50 foe in three tries. The Redbirds’ 2-4 record against the Top 100 won’t help either, not when quality wins seem to be the Selection Committee’s most important criteria. If Dan Muller’s team sneaks in, it will be due to a 12-6 record away from Normal.

There’s a common saying throughout this season that this is a “wide-open year” in college basketball. That’s probably not entirely true, as there seem to be about 12-15 teams that have distanced themselves from the rest of the country as the season has turned the stretch and headed for home. The difference between those 12-15 contenders, however, is as thin as it’s been in any season of recent memory.

When the bracket is released in full, the predictions will start flowing in and they won’t stop until the first major wave of games tip off on Thursday afternoon. But what about some predictions regarding the thing that will lead to the massive onslaught of even more predictions? Would you enjoy that?
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Here’s the full list of results from this year’s crop of running backs at the 2017 NFL Combine

In an Akron Beacon-Journal article titled “With Andrew Bogut on way after clearing waivers, are Cavs better than championship team?”, Marla Ridenour detailed the list of talent Cleveland have acquired since the start of the season.

“…the real question for the Cavaliers is whether the depth added since Jan. 7 will make them a better team than the 2016 NBA champions,” Ridenour wrote.

“The roster restocking started with the trade with the Atlanta Hawks for one of the league’s premier 3-point specialists, Kyle Korver. Since then, the Cavs have also brought in Derrick Williams, the second overall pick in 2011 who is with his fifth team in six years, and former Dallas Maverick backup point guard Deron Williams, who played with LeBron James on two Olympic teams.

“Now on the way … is rim protector Bogut. The ex-Golden State Warrior faced the Cavs in the NBA Finals the previous two seasons and won the title in 2015.”

But Micah Adams, writing for ESPN.com, warned that Bogut was not a risk-free acquisition for the Cavs.

“As much value as Bogut adds defensively, his offensive game has been a struggle,” Adams wrote.

“He’s currently the only player in the NBA who has played at least 500 minutes and has more turnovers than made field goals. And he has done it while shooting just 47 percent, not good for any big, let alone one that has taken all but four of his shots inside the paint.”

Full results for each position group at the Combine can be found here.

Here’s the full list of results from this year’s crop of running backs at the 2017 NFL Combine. Key events like the 40-yard dash and agility drills take place Friday. We’ll have all the times and other important stats as they roll in.

the Pittsburgh Steelers running back who was arrested in late August.

In addition to feeding the electric Andre Ellington the majority of their carries (something they did not do last season to the chagrin of pretty much everyone), they’re spreading out targets to Michael Floyd (11 catches for 252 yards), Larry Fitzgerald (10 catches for 107 yards), and explosive rookie John Brown (nine catches for 109 yards and three touchdowns).

Even with a backup quarterback in Drew Stanton filling in for Carson Palmer, they don’t seem to have altered (greatly) their willingness to chuck the ball deep.

Against San F1rancisco in particular, this was apparent.

Below: protection does its job, including a nice blitz pickup by running back Stepfan Taylor (No. 30), and Stanton goes confidently in the direction of his dreams.

The most notable name on that list is Bell, the Pittsburgh Steelers running back who was arrested in late August. Bell was also charged with marijuana possession during that arrest, which could still result in a one-game suspension regardless of the DUI case.

Josh Gordon pled guilty to DUI charges last week in an attempt to avoid additional punishment, though Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports Gordon could still be suspended for that arrest based on his history of substance-abuse violations.

“Jay has a good feel for who can make plays for him,” Shanahan said. “He has a good feel for the talent around him and even the talent around the league. He is going to get the ball to the places it should go with both of those things in mind. He has vision and anticipation. A lot of guys with strong arms don’t have those two things. They just wait for people to get open and try to win with their strong arm. Jay’s vision and anticipation set him apart.”

Cutler did not let his Type 1 diabetes, discovered in 2008, deter him. His quest for a Super Bowl for the Bears — he is signed through 2020 — is passionate. His get-away-from-me attitude with the public is real. His lean-on-me attitude with his teammates is real.

Will the Browns pay Terrelle Pryor No. 1 receiver money?

It’s a long-running joke that baseball players report to spring training every year and boast of being “in the best shape of my life.” In Sandoval’s case, it might be true, although that isn’t saying much for someone whose belly grew so big that he snapped his belt buckle while taking a swing April 9 in Toronto.

For the record, Sandoval reported to Red Sox camp Thursday weighing “in the high 240s,” according to Joe Ferrer, a certified strength and conditioning specialist at Bommarito Performance Systems in Miami, where Sandoval worked out five days a week for most of the winter. Josmir Romero, Sandoval’s personal assistant, estimated the 30-year-old has dropped approximately 40 pounds since May, when he had surgery for a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

“He’s like a new Panda,” Romero said.

“I can not only sense that, I know it to be true,” said Echevarria, a former U.S. Army veteran who owns Coach Ray’s Boxing & Fitness. “From the previous seasons when Pablo came into spring training extremely overweight, he’s really dedicated this time to his nutrition and his training to get where he’s at right now. And he’s in awesome shape, man.”

Will the Browns pay Terrelle Pryor No. 1 receiver money? It’s easy to forget that Pryor was a quarterback once upon a time, but he turned into a bona fide No. 1 receiver last year, putting up 1,007 receiving yards with five different mediocre, or worse, quarterbacks throwing him the ball. But it’s only one year of productivity. Is it worth a $15 million bet that he can do that consistently? I’d say it is, but we’ll see if the Browns agree.

Park Chu-Young, Marouane Chamakh, Ignasi Miquel, and O?uzhan ?zyakup. Fantastic, Forgotten Players and Where to Find Them.

Charles Woodson changed the way the NFL thinks about defensive backs

It was over and Charles Woodson was ready to ride the game bus for the final time. He exited Arrowhead Stadium and found his family, chatted with them, gave hearty hugs, took warm pictures and then turned and looked for his final Oakland Raiders ride. It was over and on this final day, everything that he had routinely done for nearly two decades in professional football became moments to instantly memorialize. OK, got to the stadium … completed warm-ups … absorbed everything at halftime … played the rest of the game … shook hands … surveyed the crowd …

All of it a snapshot, yet a blur for Charles Woodson.

Washington: Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA
Washington’s run to the playoffs has been done with a defense that ranks near the bottom of the league against the run. Clark, who can play over the nose, is a powerhouse against the run.

Houston Texans: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
It seems a little cliché to give Texans quarterback Christian Hackenberg of Penn State. The fit works, but he hasn’t played like a first-round pick in a couple years. Wentz is similar in many ways to Lynch, but doesn’t get the fanfare because of where he plays.

Seattle Seahawks: Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
Russell Okung is a free agent after the season, and if he happens to leave Spriggs would be a solid replacement. He’s an athletic left tackle who will undoubtedly rise during the offseason process.

New York Jets: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
The only running back under contract for the Jets next season is Zac Stacy, who is currently on injured reserve. Elliott is an instant-impact running back when he’s given the opportunity, which he strangely didn’t get enough at Ohio State.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
Pittsburgh still needs to find talent in the secondary, and White is easily the best cornerback available. He offers good length and playmaking at the position.

This may have been one of the weirdest seasons ever, but it has resulted in an eclectic and unpredictable playoff field that should make January weekends a lot of fun.

Jeff Fisher says it was ‘hilarious’ when he couldn’t find his challenge flag

Los Angeles Rams head coach Jeff Fisher couldn’t find his challenge flag in the third quarter of a 26-10 loss against the New England Patriots in Week 13.

However, he eventually found the flag and won the challenge. Fisher explained why he couldn’t locate his flag. He explained that it was “hilarious,” via NESN.com.

Johnson, who retired earlier this season after eight games with the Tennessee Titans, continued his tradition of taking children on a huge shopping spree.

At Smith’s annual Christmas event, the children were given $200 Target gift cards while Papa John’s donated a pre-shopping pizza party for the children. Each child also received a gift bag, a Holiday Helpers T-shirt, and items from Target and the Ravens.

A reminder, though: Even if Smith likes to play Santa Claus, he does not want St. Nick coming to his house.

Last year, Smith asked for “a healthy Achilles” for Christmas, and he got his wish. The 37-year-old returned to the field this season and has caught 54 catches for 589 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games.

Both Smith and Johnson are future Hall of Fame wide receivers, but their impact has been felt well beyond the football field.

If not, props to Joe’s sibling. That’s some good younger brother-ing right there.

The Ravens visit the Patriots on Monday Night Football this week. Someone should probably check the walls in Flacco’s hotel room to see if he’s trying to gain an extra advantage.

Washington has struggled with the slot quite a bit recently

Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals: I know, I know. He’s been struggling recently with back-to-back games of fewer than 65 yards and single-digit fantasy points in five of the past six, but I like his chances at a bounce-back this week. Washington has struggled with the slot quite a bit recently, allowing 109 yards or a touchdown to the position in five of the past six games, allowing an average of more than nine catches for 113 yards per game to the slot.

You know Fitz will get targets in this one, and given the matchup at home against Washington’s 25th-ranked pass defense the past four weeks (as well as CB Josh Norman not defending the slot), expect a lot of love to come Fitz’s way.

Doug Baldwin, Seahawks: Much like the rest of the Seahawks, he was on the “love” list last week and flopped mightily. Yeesh. I really misread that game last week. And yet, here I am back on Seattle and especially Baldwin. Only two players have more fantasy points from the slot than Baldwin this season, and this is a good matchup for him.

Eddie Royal, Chicago Bears, toe, (Q): Royal remains listed as questionable because of his toe. He played last week … for 12 offensive snaps. He is not yet healthy, and there is no more Jay Cutler. This is not a good option for fantasy owners.

Players off game status injury report:

Brandon Marshall, foot /knee, New York Jets: Marshall was listed as a nonparticipant both Thursday and Friday of this week as he managed some leg soreness. After a full participation in Saturday’s practice, Marshall is ready to face the Colts on Monday night.

Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers, shoulder: Benjamin injured his shoulder in Week 11 but has played since. Still, his absence from Wednesday’s practice made some fantasy owners nervous. He returned to limited work Thursday and a full practice Friday. He is off the game status injury report and is expected to play Sunday night against the Seattle Seahawks.

DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins, shoulder: Jackson has been on the injury report for several weeks because of his rotator cuff but appears to be making progress. A full participant in practice throughout the week, Jackson is off the game status injury report heading into Sunday’s contest against the Arizona Cardinals.