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Archives for: February 28, 2017

Adrian Peterson slated to become a free agent after Vikings decline $18 million option

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After an incredible 10-year run, Adrian Peterson is days away from no longer being a member of the Minnesota Vikings. The team announced it will not pick up the $18 million option on Peterson¡¯s contract, leaving him set to become an unrestricted free agent in March.
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But the Vikings say it doesn¡¯t necessarily mean his time with the team is through.

¡°Adrian is an important part of the Minnesota Vikings organization,¡± general manager Rick Spielman said in a statement Tuesday. ¡°We will continue to have conversations with his representatives and leave our future options open while determining what is best for both parties moving forward.¡±

Peterson also left open the possibility that a new contract with the Vikings could be in his future, although ¡°other options¡± will be explored.

“It¡¯s been a great 10 years with the Minnesota Vikings,¡± Peterson said in a statement to ESPN¡¯s Josina Anderson. ¡°They know what I bring to the organization as a player, with my work ethic and dedication. I spoke with Rick Spielman this past weekend. The door is still open to find some common ground.

¡°I understand addressing the offensive line is one of their main priorities this offseason. In the meantime, I will explore my other options and see what path God leads me on. My main goal remains the same: to win a Super Bowl championship with a great team, which I also believe we have in Minnesota.”

Arguably the best running back of his generation, Peterson has tallied an unbelievable 11,747 rushing yards and 97 rushing touchdowns, along with 1,945 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns in 10 years with the team.

The NFL¡¯s annual free agent frenzy kicks off on March 9. These are the best players out there. Keep track of where they¡¯re all headed with our handy list.

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AP reporter tweets Dennis Allen is fired, then deletes report

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Terry Collins of the Associated Press tweeted Sunday night that the Oakland Raiders had fired head coach Dennis Allen. His tweet was out there long enough to catch like wildfire, but he deleted it later, leaving fans to wonder. Collins later explained that he deleted the tweet because the “rumors hadn’t been confirmed by the AP.”

Emmanuel Sanders Limited Jersey Please disregard my recent tweet about the Raiders. These rumors haven’t been confirmed by the AP. I’m sorry.
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Rumors of Allen’s demise circulated Sunday morning before the games kicked off. Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports reported that Allen could be fired if the Raiders laid an egg for the fourth game in row.

Tom Brady has been pressured on slightly less than 37 percent of his pass attempts, according to Pro Football Focus, the 10th worst mark in the league. When Brady has had time to throw, he’s struggled to connect with his receivers. Brady completed just 58.8 percent of his passes during the first three weeks. He’s never completed less than 60 percent of his throws in any full season. Tight end Rob Gronkowski, traditionally one of Brady’s favorite targets, hasn’t been a major factor yet. He’s working his way back from knee surgery and has just 11 receptions for 116 yards on 23 targets. With the offense struggling to find a groove, the Patriots have relied on a stingy defense. New England has allowed just 4.4 yards per play this season, the lowest mark in the league.

Kansas City sits at 1-2, but the Chiefs are coming off their best performance of the season. Despite being without a bevy of starters including Derrick Johnson, Eric Berry and Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs crushed the Miami Dolphins 34-15 on the road last Sunday. Knile Davis picked up the offensive slack, rushing for 132 yards and a touchdown while Joe McKnight caught six passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns.

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49ers sign DT Earl Mitchell to 4-year deal

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The San Francisco 49ers agreed to a four-year contract with free-agent defensive tackle Earl Mitchell on Friday.

A person familiar with the deal confirmed that Mitchell had decided to join the Niners just over a week after being released by Miami. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the signing had not been announced by the team. first reported the deal, saying Mitchell would get a $16 million deal with $5.5 million paid in the first year.

The 49ers need help on the interior of the defensive line as they are expected to switch from a three-man front to a four-man front under new coordinator Robert Saleh. San Francisco allowed a league-worst 165.9 yards rushing per game last season.

Mitchell was drafted by Houston in the third round in 2010 and played four seasons for the Texans. In his final season with the Texans, Mitchell played under new 49ers defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina.

He then signed a four-year, $16 million contract with the Dolphins but got released with one year remaining on the contract. Mitchell was limited to just nine games last season because of a calf injury.

In 100 career games, Mitchell has 5 1/2 sacks and 19 tackles for loss.

Earlier in the day, the Niners signed wide receiver DeAndre Carter to a two-year contract. Carter has not played in the NFL but spent part of the 2015 season on the practice squads in Oakland and New England. Carter was cut by the Patriots last September and wasn’t on a roster at all last season.

Carter played college ball at Sacramento State. He had 207 catches for 2,760 yards and 35 TDs in 41 games. He was an Associated Press first-team All-American in 2014 when he caught 99 passes for 1,321 yards and 17 TDs.

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O’Brien will take over play-calling, but the biggest improvement the team needs to make is obvious.

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O’Brien will take over play-calling, but the biggest improvement the team needs to make is obvious. Osweiler finished the year with 15 touchdowns, 16 interceptions and a pitiful 72.2 passer rating.

While Houston ended the season No. 8 in the NFL in rushing yards, it was No. 29 in passing yards and subsequently finished No. 29 in total yards as well. But would the Texans spend an early draft selection on a quarterback with Tom Savage on the roster, and with Osweiler due to count $19 million against the salary cap in 2017?

“We’re so far from answering that question,” O’Brien said. “Right now, we sit down and evaluate our team and everything we do …it’s not even a question that I can begin to answer.”

It’s a difficult question for the Texans that comes with salary cap implications, no matter what Houston decides.

At this point, though, the player who held golf’s top ranking for a record 683 weeks but is now ranked 693rd and not healthy enough to sit in a chair for 15 minutes and answer questions from reporters at a tourney benefiting his foundation, has to be considering that the end is near. Whether he acknowledges the reality remains up in the air.

“With the way my body feels, with the way that I’m able to feel like I’m able to compete now, I don’t know that it’s good enough,” ex-tennis great Andy Roddick said after injuries forced him out of the ranks of the elite and into retirement. “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen someone who’s interested in ‘existing’ on tour.”

For sure, just being one of the guys scuffling along at the cut line has never been at the top of the bucket list of someone whose intensity to compete and win has been a driving force since he first exploded onto the golf scene.

The Bengals might consider re-signing Dre Kirkpatrick, 27, instead and moving on with 2016 first-rounder William Jackson III

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Although he has been with the Bengals since turning his career around in 2010, he’ll also be 34 next season and is scheduled to make $7.5 million in salary and bonuses. Cornerbacks rarely continue to play at a high level past their mid-30s, and Jones, who was recently arrested, has a history of off-the-field issues and could fall under the league’s personal conduct policy, potentially resulting in a suspension this season. The Bengals might consider re-signing Dre Kirkpatrick, 27, instead and moving on with 2016 first-rounder William Jackson III.
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Drew Brees is still chugging along at age 38, which allows the Saints to be flexible about drafting a quarterback this year. Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports
Current depth chart:

Womens Deacon Jones Jersey Drew Brees: Age 38, signed through 2017. 2017 salary and bonuses: $13 million. 2017 salary-cap number: $19 million (Note: Brees’ contract also includes an $18 million salary-cap hit in 2018, even though his contract will void after this season).

Luke McCown: Age 35, signed through 2017. 2017 salary and bonuses: $1.5 million. 2017 salary-cap number: $1.75 million.

Garrett Grayson: Age 25, scheduled to be exclusive rights free agent in 2019. 2017 salary and bonuses: $540,000. 2017 salary-cap number: $540,000.

Jennings was due to make $2.5 million in 2017, which was the final year of his four-year deal that he signed with the Giants back in 2014. He was going to count over $3 million against the cap. Between releasing him and Cruz today, the team has created $10 million in cap space.

Carucci thinks Owens’ reputation as a journeyman overshadows his production on the field. Carucci says, though, that the perspectives of the media should matter less than Hall of Famers’ opinions on Owens’ candidacy.

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Avalanche player lays hit of the year contender on Jets¡¯ Mark Scheifele

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Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov had himself a game on Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets, but whether his biggest play crossed the line probably depends on which team you root for.

Zadorov was all over the ice in Denver, well on his way to 27 minutes and more than 24 shifts by the mid-third period. Colorado had 16 hits by that point, and it¡¯s fair to say most of them came from Zadorov. He was a tone-setter.

But Winnipeg felt he finally crossed a line when he laid a massive hit on center Mark Scheifele as he tried to exit his own zone.

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Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba immediately jumped on Zadorov and tried to deliver justice while Scheifele tried to gather himself. He kept playing, although he was seen stretching his neck on the bench.

Zadorov was assessed a two minute minor for charging, and both he and Trouba got five minutes for fighting.

Kansas City Royals Game Jersey If you¡¯re wondering why Zadorov wasn¡¯t tossed from the game, here¡¯s your answer:

Zadorov somehow managed to avoid direct contact with Scheifele¡¯s head. More specifically, Zadorov didn¡¯t aim at the head at all. You can see him squaring up to hit the body; the angle and height of both players kind of negated that, though.

So we end up with the hit of the season, unless we can¡¯t count hits that earned penalties. And if the Department of Player Safety does find reason to discipline Zadorov, or if Scheifele does miss some time, Zadorov shall be stripped of his title.

But for now, we have a hockey rarity: an excellent hit that left nobody seriously injured. For now.

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Most people didn’t know the personal pressure Tom Brady

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Galynn is quieter than her husband, but when you’re around her, the genetic lines to her son are as unmistakable as lights along a dark road. She is shy, like her son. She is unfailingly polite, like her son. She seems content residing in the background, like her son. She greets people with a hug, like her son. And she is a stone-cold killer, like her son. At that dinner, I asked her what she thought of her son’s on-field bloodthirstiness. “I love it,” she said.

Most people didn’t know the personal pressure Tom Brady, seen here playing with his sons Benjamin, left, and John, was under this season.

“He got it from his mother, obviously,” Tom Sr. added. “She and I will compete driving home. We competed last night playing cards. She wins for the first time in seven or eight years and she’s taunting me. Can you believe that, after 43 years? She’s taunting me.”

Brees returned to form in 2016 after injuries slowed his usual pace in 2015. In his 16th season, Brees took more snaps than any other quarterback in the NFL. He has missed a grand total of two starts since joining the Saints in 2006. One of Brees’ secrets: He had the NFL’s fourth-lowest contact rate in 2016, taking a hit on 5.8 percent of his dropbacks.

Between Bill Belichick’s insightful postgame interview on ESPN on Super Bowl Sunday (above), a humorous Monday night appearance by Belichick and Julian Edelman on the “Jimmy Fallon Show,” and Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” program on Tuesday night, a new level of insight and color has been learned about the New England Patriots’ victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

Limited Womens Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Jersey In addition to a brief discussion between Edelman and quarterback Tom Brady about winning for Brady’s mother, here are other things that stood out:
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Edelman’s delayed celebration. After James White’s overtime touchdown run, Edelman kept telling everyone to get off the field because the play still needed to be reviewed. It wasn’t until he met up with Bill Belichick on the field, and Belichick told him the play was confirmed, that Edelman let loose. Some great emotion there.

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This game featured the first backdoor cover in Super Bowl history

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Year after year, the Clippers have been hammered with injuries. For nine straight seasons starting in 2005-06, the team never finished among the 10 healthiest teams by games lost due to injury, according to injury-tracking site That streak ended in 2014-15 — hooray! — only to be undone by devastating playoff injuries in 2015 and 2016. And even today, as the team fights through injuries, Rivers still refuses to blindly chalk it up to some faceless group of vengeful basketball gods.

Instead of shirking responsibility and resigning it to bad luck, Rivers went to work this past summer to establish a sports science and performance department to complement the work of Clippers trainer Jasen Powell, who has been with the team for almost two decades. Rivers, along with Lawrence Frank, who moved from the coaching bench to the front office as executive VP of basketball operations, picked up the phone and called around the league to find the best talent and bring it to the Clippers.

They settled on Mark Simpson, who was a British performance guru in the world of cycling before the Oklahoma City Thunder made him the first full-time sports science director in the four major American sports. This summer, the Clippers hired him away from their Western Conference foe — then set to work augmenting their nutrition, sleep and recovery systems to ensure they would get the most out of their players.
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Elite Womens Larry Csonka Jersey This game featured the first backdoor cover in Super Bowl history. After Pittsburgh went up 21-10 with 3:31 left, Roger Staubach hit Percy Howard with 1:56 left to trim the Steelers’ lead to four, within the 6.5-point spread. Dallas actually had one last drive to try and win the game, but the drive stalled at the Steelers 38. The worst bad beat belonged to those who took the under. The teams combined for 17 points in the first three quarters before exploding for 21 points in the fourth, culminating in Howard’s touchdown. The Cowboys became the first team to lose the Super Bowl but cover the spread, a feat that wouldn’t be repeated until Super Bowl XXIII.

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