John Elway may take a quarterback, won’t decide until draft day

Broncos G.M. John Elway says signing Case Keenum in free agency won’t preclude using the fifth overall pick in the draft on a quarterback.

“That’ll be wide open,” Elway told Adam Schefter. “I’m betting we won’t know what direction we’re going to go until probably the day of [the first round] or the day before.”

Miami’s needs include just about everything on defense, led by tackle, outside linebacker and safety. Its luxury pick would be leaning toward a future alternative to Ryan Tannehill at QB should UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Wyoming’s Josh Allen or Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield still be available when it’s on the clock.

Because the Dolphins would improve with any “best player available,” a trade up the board is unlikely. In the more unlikely event Barkley free-falls to No. 11, it would be logical for Miami to trade out of the pick in order to help address multiple needs. Besides, Kenyan Drake showed enough promise in taking over for Jay Ajayi last season for the Dolphins to think he can fly in a featured role from the get-go in 2018. And the signing of Frank Gore probably confirms no Barkley to Miami.

Humboldt, which began play in 1970, has missed the playoffs just once since its 1980 season — in 2015-16 — and has had eight alums reach the NHL.

“Our hearts go out to the players and their families of the Humboldt Broncos,” Dallas Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said after Friday night’s game. “… That overrides anything that a hockey game had. It’s a tough situation for everybody in Saskatchewan, and we feel for them.”

Even after trading for Cordy Glenn, the Bengals shouldn’t shy away from drafting an offensive tackle early. With Andy Dalton set for another year as the starter, Cincinnati needs to protect him as much as possible.bills_062

Pat Riley: LeBron ‘did the right thing’ when he left Miami

Miami Heat president Pat Riley is notoriously selective in terms of media availability and has said very little regarding the very public departure of LeBron James from Miami in 2014 as a free agent.

But in author Ian Thomsen’s new book, “The Soul of Basketball: The Epic Showdown between LeBron, Kobe, Doc and Dirk that Saved the NBA,” the normally reticent Riley opens up with a number of scintillating details regarding his relationship with James — including suggesting that in the infancy of LeBron’s tenure with the Heat, LeBron nudged Riley toward descending from the front office to replace coach Erik Spoelstra.

The Saints say they like what they see from Hill as a quarterback, but actions — like signing Savage to compete for the backup role — speak louder than words. New Orleans is making no secret about its effort to go all in for at least one more Super Bowl run with Brees, but that doesn’t mean the team can’t set itself up for the future in the process. The future Hall of Famer remains lethal as a passer, but he’ll turn 40 after this season.

Baltimore signed Griffin in free agency as the team hopes he is turns out to be a better backup option than Ryan Mallett was last season. Flacco, though, is 33 and has dealt with a variety of injuries over the last few years; he has three years remaining on his current contract, with a potential out after the 2019 season. With injury concerns surrounding both their starter and their backup, the Ravens could draft a quarterback for depth insurance and, potentially, an eventual replacement for Flacco.

However, Mehta tweeted this morning that Allen will, in fact, meet with the Jets at Florham Park, so we still do not really know if the two sides will summit again. The Jets did recently go to Wyoming to have a private workout with Allen, so it could be that they have enough intel on the signal-caller to make an informed decision. After all, as of last season, the Jets were believed to have done more work on Allen than any other club.

At the very least, New York may not be considering Sam Darnold as strongly as Allen, Baker Mayfield, and Josh Rosen. The Jets are not planning to meet privately with the USC product, either at their facility or elsewhere.

With Ryan Suter (ankle surgery) shelved until next fall, Matt Dumba sits head and shoulders above his fellow blueliners as top power-play anchor. The 23-year-old defenseman has been especially productive these past few weeks with 16 points since March 1.bills_050

Giants ready to work with Eli Apple’s “God-given ability most people don’t have”

It wasn’t so long ago that Eli Apple‘s days with the Giants appeared numbered, but changes to the coaching staff have provided the cornerback with a new start in New York.

“Day one is Monday and every guy that walks in that room, day one is Monday,” Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher said, via quotes distributed by the team. “So, whatever happened before, whether it was here or whether it was with a different team, guys that we draft, whether it was in college, whatever it was that has happened with guys, day one is Monday. Day one is the first day those guys walk in the building, and we’re going to build from there.”

Fitzpatrick’s age is the only reason the Bucs are not in better shape than the 49ers QB-wise. As Tampa stands now, with the 35-year-old Fitzpatrick bringing experience to his backup role behind Winston, it has a solid argument for the most reliable 1-2 combo in the league. That will change when Fitzpatrick’s contract expires and the Bucs have to pay Winston the starting QB money he deserves.

There have been reports that Beckham does not plan to step foot on the field until he has a contract extension, so the fact that he is not completely avoiding the team during the offseason is a positive sign.

Last July, he had another bone removed from the same ankle, the os trigonum.

Both were 10-to-15 minute procedures that have been much easily to deal with than the February 2016 shoulder labrum surgery that cost him an entire season.

“That one hurt,” Bird said “This one’s easy. The shoulder I worried about. That (rehab) went so long. This is cake compared to the shoulder. With the shoulder you’re like,’Damn, will I get back?’ You’re told you will, but there are some days going through the rehab process where you’re like,’Damn, this is different.’ But the two ankles I’ve had,… they just took a bone out. So that was fine.” bills_034

New York Giants: 5 takeaways from the first day of offseason program

New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur hoped each and every one of his players would be in attendance Monday morning as the team kicked off its voluntary offseason program in East Rutherford.

Odell Beckham Jr., Eli Manning and Nate Solder were there.

As for Collins, he was also asked about his contract status. His rookie deal expires this season.

“I’m just letting it just work itself out,” Collins said. “I’m not really going through the negotiating part. I’m going to leave that between Dave Gettleman and my agent and then go from there. From that point on, I’m just here trying to make new friends with my boys, new relationships and be a captain like I’ve always been.”

“You start back at zero, so everybody’s equal,” Campbell said in a phone interview, via ESPN’s Michael DiRocco. “You have to earn the right to have the opportunity to make it to the playoffs. When people start picking you as the favorite and [predicting] what you should do, it’s kind of poison. You’re kind of relaxing and start believing you’re better than you are.”

Campbell went on to talk about how it happened back when he was with the Arizona Cardinals.

Outside of San Jose’s Brent Burns, defenseman Dustin Byfuglien might loom as the West’s most dominant fantasy blueliner. We’re just a little concerned about the young fella between the pipes. No question, Connor Hellebuyck has been outstanding for the Jets in recent play and all season long, but he completely lacks in NHL playoff experience. There’s no guarantee the 24-year-old isn’t overwhelmed by the pressure.bills_002

Chad is coming in hot with the non-sequitur two-parter.

Like most people, I deal with day-to-day job frustrations, but I do my best to not let them impact me. Would I like it if my texts and calls were always returned? Sure. Would I like more access to the people I cover? Absolutely. But many of these things are outside of my control and I gain nothing by being upset about it. I do my best with the resources I have available.

It’s probably a bit higher now, given he has another year of seasoning under his belt, but he hasn’t had the opportunity to show his talents in a meaningful situation, outside of five passes late in a loss to Baltimore, one of which was intercepted.

All that to say, no, no one is going to be asking for Rudock in a deal that involves moving up in the first round. He could conceivably net a Day 3 pick, but until I see Matt Cassel’s contract, I’m not convinced the Lions are giving up on the idea of the former Michigan standout backing up Matthew Stafford again in 2018.

It will be more about tweaks than an overhaul. The most significant changes will come with the blocking. Patricia also hinted to some variance in situational play-calling, which I would especially expect to see on third-and-short with Blount in the fold.

That’s probably the most cynical way to view the offseason.

My understanding is players are not allowed to interact with coaches on football-related matters (scheme, play books, etc..) until Phase 2 of the offseason program in May.

Background for those who don’t follow me on Twitter, a friend came through with a ticket to the NCAA championship game in San Antonio on Monday. I flew down the day of the game and for the 50 or so hours I was in the state of Texas, I committed to eating tacos for every meal. In hindsight, it was the right decision.rams_035

Struggling Yankees’ Gary Sanchez says he’s fine, numbers disagree

BOSTON a Watch Yankees beat reporter Brendan Kuty explain that while struggling catcher Gary Sanchez says that he’s hitting the ball well, the numbers don’t quite bear that out.

Sanchez entered Wednesday night’s game hitting .053 with a home run in 36 at-bats this season.

A lot of the tests have come back negative so far but we’re still waiting on a number of things that he’s still going through that will be hopefully start to get answers trickling in moreso today, tomorrow and beyond. Nothing more to report.

Could Aaron Hicks (strained right intercostal) rejoin the Yankees on Thursday?

Possibly, yeah. Everything went well last night, 3 at-bats. The plan is for him to play nine innings tonight and then if all goes well there I think there is a chance he could join us tomorrow. We’ll make that evaluation at the end of the night.

“But, when you talk to some of these teams now, they no longer believe he’s going to be dealt. The fact that he showed up for the start of OTAs on Monday, they’ve begun their offseason program with him in attendance.

“The Rams have solved a wide receiver need with the acquisition of Brandin Cooks [from the New England Patriots]. It leads other teams to believe, from their conversations with the Giants and their own observations, that Odell Beckham Jr. will not be traded,” Schefter said.

What might a Beckham contract look like for NYG?

There was speculation Beckham could be dealt after a video showed him in a Paris hotel room with substances that appeared to be drugs. That was followed by a report that he would hold out without a new contract.

In between, Giants owner John Mara said he was suffering from Beckham fatigue .

“I’m tired of answering questions about Odell’s behavior and what the latest incident is,” Mara said. “I think he knows what we expect of him. Now it’s up to him. I still believe he’ll be able to show him what we expect of him.”rams_002

Malcolm Delaney has ankle surgery, needs 6-8 weeks to recover

Atlanta Hawks guard Malcolm Delaney, already out for the season, has had arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle.

The expected recovery time is six to eight weeks. The Hawks will close their season with Tuesday night’s home game against Philadelphia.

Delaney has been out since March 6 with the left ankle sprain. He averaged 6.3 points and 3.0 assists in 54 games, including three starts.

The Grizzlies would match the franchise’s worst record (22-60) since the move to Memphis if they lose their final game.

The game was the first this year between the NL East rivals. The Mets went 7-12 against the Marlins last year.

Syndergaard allowed five hits, walked two and struck out five. He improved to 4-0 in six starts against the Marlins with an ERA of 1.62, 47 strikeouts and four walks.

Marlins: C J.T. Realmuto (back) is close to beginning a rehab assignment. … RHP Dan Straily (forearm) will throw a bullpen session Tuesday and is expected to begin a rehab assignment soon. … LHP Wei-Yin Chen (left elbow) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Tuesday in Jupiter and is then expected to advance to extended spring training. … 3B Martin Prado (hamstring) played three innings in extended spring training. … 1B-OF Garrett Cooper (wrist) will wear a cast for at least a week. … RHP Elieser Hernandez (tooth infection) has been temporarily sidelined from a rehab assignment because of a broken finger nail.

The law enforcement investigation that led to the incident report and the conclusions reached therein was fraught with false statements of fact, implicated practically unheard of destruction of evidence and included references to evidence that never existed, the filing alleges.

The Florida wildlife agency’s investigation concluded that Fernandez was operating his boat when it hit a Miami Beach jetty in September 2016. Investigators also concluded that Fernandez was under the influence of cocaine at the time and had a blood alcohol content of.14.

Jeffery fell hard on his right shoulder early in training camp, back on July 30. He missed four days of practice and was held out of the preseason opener, after suffering what the team termed a shoulder strain. But Jeffery said Thursday, at an appearance at the Boys and Girls Club of Bridesburg, to deliver a $25,000 check from sponsor Kids Foot Locker, that when he got an MRI right after suffering the injury, there was talk of surgery right away, which he said would have cost him the season.

Jeffery, playing then on a one-year free-agent deal, didn’t think that was optimal.buccaneers_073

Angels’ JC Ramirez has torn UCL; Tommy John surgery may be next

Los Angeles Angels right-handed starting pitcher JC Ramirez has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament and Tommy John surgery is recommended, the team announced Monday.

He was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL last season and underwent stem-cell treatment instead of opting for surgery.

Ramirez lasted just two innings Saturday against the Oakland Athletics in his last start because of forearm tightness and the team placed him on the disabled list Sunday.

“I’ve got some decisions to make,” Tortorella said of playing Washington. “I have a pretty good idea of what I think the starting lineup will be in our first playoff game, but I’ve got decision to make in case we’ve got injuries.”

The Predators scored three goals in the first period with Watson starting the scoring at 7:52 of the first and Forsberg adding a pair on the power play.

The 2018 campaign may be difficult for the mustachioed coach since he’ll be breaking in a new starting quarterback after relying on Alex Smith since arriving in Kansas City. Plus, he’ll do so without offensive coordinator Matt Nagy, who became the Chicago Bears head coach after taking over the Chiefs’ play-calling duties last season.

Patrick Mahomes’ talent is off the charts, but he’ll still experience ups and downs during his first full season as a starter. How Reid manages the 2017 first-round pick will determine whether the Chiefs make another playoff run or drop a rung in the AFC West.

That style of play nearly cost the Eagles their first-ever Super Bowl title last season. In a diving effort to score a touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams, Wentz mangled his knee and was forced to miss the remaining three games of the regular season as well as Philly’s playoff run.

Luckily for the Eagles, Nick Foles filled in admirably and won the Lombardi Trophy for the city regardless. But the Eagles would clearly rather not face that same situation again if they don’t have to.buccaneers_014

NFL’s West Coast teams want to limit early kickoff times in road games

NFL fans on the West Coast hate when their team travels east for a game that starts at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. But it’s even worse for players — traveling from west to east is always worse when it comes to jet lag.

So the 49ers, Chargers and Cardinals have proposed a new NFL bylaw that would limit the number of early kickoffs for West Coast teams on the road. According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, the bylaw would state, “No team will be scheduled to play more than three away games with a scheduled kickoff time prior to 1:00 p.m. in the time zone of their home stadium (w/o consent).”

Anderson got his 19th goal at 7:55 of the second, and Dubinsky pulled Columbus within 3-2 with a short-handed goal at 7:20 of the third.

“We played a pretty good game,” Dubinsky said. “Obviously, we gave a couple power-play goals to them there in the first, got down 3-0 to a really good team.”

Defenseman P.K. Subban played his 82nd game, the only player on the Nashville roster to play every game this season. … The Predators improved to 41-4-6 when scoring first and 23-4-4 when leading after one period. … The Predators sold out their 102nd straight game with a franchise record 17,594.

Philadelphia traded Torrey Smith to the Panthers earlier this month, so Wallace will likely move into a familiar role responsible for stretching the defense.

The Nuggets outscored Portland 35-20 afterward.

“Coaches are funny that way,” Devin Harris said. “I thought it was the right thing to do. Obviously, I thought Jamal got fouled. But he used it to kind of fire us up and we needed a little bit of an energy pick-up right there and I thought Coach gave it to us.”


The teams ahead of Denver in the playoff race haven’t done the Nuggets any favors. A loss to Portland would have eliminated the Nuggets from playoff contention because the Spurs, Timberwolves, Thunder and Pelicans all won Monday night.buccaneers_002

Although the Rams’ reported interest in Beckham is believed to be genuine, no team has overwhelmed Gettleman with an offer this week.

As Rapoport referenced, the 2013 Harvin blockbuster cost the Seahawks the Nos. 25 and 214 picks in the 2013 draft as well as the No. 96 pick in 2014. Beyond that war chest of draft capital, Seattle also gave Harvin a new contract, making him one of the highest-paid receivers in the league.

General manager Dave Gettleman can’t be blamed for expecting similar compensation — if not more — for a franchise cornerstone not even on the trade block in the first place. Beckham is a more complete, more productive receiver than Harvin was at a similar stage in his career.

Friday we dotted I’s and crossed T’s, got more people involved, including Baseball. And then Friday night he flew in, I believe, to Tampa or might have been Saturday morning, but a physical Saturday at Tampa, Florida at the complex, which is more challenging. Our doctor was here Friday with our trainers at the Winter Meetings, so we had to try to coordinate, do we get him back to New York Do we get him over to Tampa Where is he at He lives in Miami and he happened to be there. So at Saturday was a full day of physicals and then we didn’t get all the full workups, like blood results and stuff until this morning. So once that happened, the sign of the cross was in, and I know you guys have had this thing since probably Thursday night or Friday. So sorry, we have to catch up to your reporting, but we are here, we’re happy with where we are.

That’s footwork, delivery, getting away from center, his mechanics in the gun, getting the ball out quicker, being more accurate. All the things that every quarterback in this league is working on, he has to continue to refine those, Garrett said. Prescott suffered some regression in his sophomore season in 2017, experiencing significant declines in his completion percentage, yards per attempt average, and total number of passing yards. He threw for 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions after throwing 23 touchdowns and just four interceptions while leading the Cowboys to the playoffs in his rookie season.

Both Prescott’s and the team’s decline came amid the six-game suspension served by running back Ezekiel Elliott from Weeks 10 through 15. Obviously a couple years ago in his rookie year, we won 13 games and he was a big part of that. I thought we did a good job of attacking defenses a lot of different ways, Garrett said. Certainly we were predominately a running team, but he was very effective throwing the football.nike_broncos_051-500x500