Monthly Archives: May 2018

Former NFLer Chris Borland helps others adjust to retirement

In this Nov. 16, 2014, file photo, San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Chris Borland (50) runs back an interception as New York Giants’ Odell Beckham (13) and Preston Parker (83) give chase during an NFL football game in East Rutherford, N.J. Borland knows firsthand all about the challenges of early retirement, having stepped away from a promising football career after one year because of concerns over head injuries. Borland spends his time now helping other football players and military veterans make that adjustment to their new lives that often lack the thrill and competitiveness of life in the armed forces or professional sports.

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File) More Chris Borland knows firsthand all about the challenges of early retirement, having stepped away from a promising football career after one year because of concerns over head injuries.

With post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries in blasts with veterans, we see a very similar and somewhat unique issue with repetitive brain injuries in football. There are very similar physical struggles, but also two populations that have a hard time transitioning out whether it is the military or football and reintegrating into society.

I stay close to it, said Manning, who retired a month after winning Super Bowl 50. I’m certainly a fan, an ambassador, do some work with Riddell helmets, which keeps me close to it, and I still have a lot of friends in the league.

Obviously I keep up with Eli. Manning also said he’s a big fan of Denver’s new quarterback, Case Keenum, a Manning Passing Academy alum and sixth-year pro who signed with the Broncos after leading the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC championship last season. The two plan to get together on the golf course soon so that Keenum can pick Manning’s brain about playing in Denver, where the Broncos have gone 14-18 and missed the playoffs in the two seasons since the five-time MVP’s retirement. I know what it’s like to change teams, Manning said. There’s expectations. There’s pressure. And there’s a lot of adjusting. The Broncos went 55-17 with two Super Bowl appearances and one parade in Manning’s four seasons in Denver, the best four-year stretch in franchise history.

On the heels of successful games in Mexico in 2016 and 2017, the NFL and Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism announced a three-year agreement in November to play regular-season games in the country through 2021. 77,000 fans attended November’s New England Patriots- Oakland Raiders game in Mexico City this season.

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Ryan Shazier stands at Pittsburgh Penguins game

Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier showed at Wednesday nights Pittsburgh Penguins game that he is continuing to make progress in recovering from the severe spinal cord injury he suffered last season.

According to Field Yates of ESPN.com, the Rams restructured the contract of punter Johnny Hekker. The move converted $1.21 million of Hekker’s 2018 base salary to a signing bonus paid immediately. It saves the team $968,000 in cap space this season while pushing an additional $242,000 in cap commitments to each of the next four seasons of his deal.

The Rams currently have the least amount of salary cap space of any team in the league, according to NFLPA numbers. The team will have to find the space needed to accommodate Donald’s impending deal, though the year one cap hit could potentially be pretty negligible depending on how the contract is structured. Hekker’s contract restructure is one way for the Rams to get the space needed so they can take care of the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Robinson was decently disruptive as a pass rusher, generating 27 pressures, but lacked plays in the backfield. He finished the year with a half-sack and five total tackles behind the line.

Joining Robinson are a couple of free-agent additions and a developmental project.

The Lions inked Akeem Spence to a three-year deal last offseason. In his first year with the franchise, he flashed some ability as a pass rusher, tallying three sacks and 29 quarterback pressures. Ideally a rotational piece, he was thrust into a starting job in the middle of last season when Haloti Ngata was lost to a season-ending elbow injury.

Ngata is gone now, having signed with Philadelphia this offseason. To fill the roster hole, Detroit reached a one-year deal with former first-round pick Sylvester Williams. More of a space-eating nose tackle with plenty of experience defending two gaps, the personnel swap points to a schematic shift up front under incoming coach Matt Patricia and coordinator Paul Pasqualoni.

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McShay also noted that Barkley only makes sense for the Giants if the team is committed to being a balanced offense.

That’s a big component in all of this: What is your emphasis? he said. If you are trying to throw the ball around and go 60-40, 70-30 pass to run, then I don’t know that it makes sense. But if the Giants want to be a run-first team and that’s what I’m told the emphasis is, then Barkley makes all the sense in the world.

The Giants averaged just 96.8 rushing yards per game in 2017, 26th in the NFL. Adding a dynamic running back like Barkley would help. The addition of left tackle Nate Solder in free agency will help too. 

The Nationals won just three times in their 10-game homestand and are 3-9 since starting the season 4-0. Washington did not get a hit with a runner on base, and three of its runs came on miscues by Colorado. Cleanup hitter Ryan Zimmerman went 0 for 5, grounding out to short with Harper on first base to end the game, and his average dropped to.122.

It wasn’t good. We should have won some more games. But you know what? The effort is there, Nationals manager Dave Martinez said.

Rockies starter Tyler Anderson was pulled with two outs in the fifth after allowing his sixth walk. Antonio Senzatela came on and his 2-1 pitch, an inside fastball to Zimmerman, got past catcher Chris Iannetta. Taylor scored on the passed ball and Trea Turner also scored after Iannetta’s throw sailed over Senzatela’s head for an error.

Hopkins was the main beneficiary of Watson’s historic debut. In the first seven games of the 2017 season, the receiver reeled in seven touchdowns; with Savage and T.J. Yates under center for the remaining nine games, Hopkins caught just six scores.

It’s hard not to daydream what Deshaun can do with a full season under his belt, Hopkins added. [Before he got hurt] he was only getting better and better each week.

Before Watson came into his life, Hopkins had to put up with a motley carousel of mediocre schmoes at quarterback in Houston. Since entering the league in 2013, the wideout has caught touchdown passes from Matt Schaub , Case Keenum , Ryan Fitzpatrick , Brian Hoyer , Ryan Mallett , T.J. Yates , Brandon Weeden , Brock Osweiler and the aforementioned Savage. Needless to say, the lightning-rod Watson was a welcome addition into Hopkins’ orbit.

Lesniak said New Jersey doesn’t need the leagues to make sure the betting is credible. 

We can have our own officials do that, he said.

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Tom Brady Will Play In 2018, Wants New Contract

Tom Brady will indeed suit up for the 2018 campaign, but he’d like a new contract from the Patriot prior to the season getting underway, according to Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com.

And even if the Lions wait until Day 3, there’s a chance they could snag someone like Kalen Ballage, a bigger back with an advanced receiving skill set that would work well in the team’s offensive scheme. Even later, a versatile option like Ryan Nall could be in play. The Oregon State product weighs north of 230 pounds and is a competent short-yardage option who can catch passes and also line up as a blocking back.

This is a draft where the Lions have an opportunity to turn a weakness into a strength. In hindsight, Quinn made a miscalculation not drafting a running back last year, notably trading the No. 85 pick to the Patriots instead of taking Kareem Hunt. Not drafting a running back this year could be compounding that mistake.

It’s the first postponement at Rogers Centre since a game against the Royals was called off following a collision between two panels of the stadium’s moving roof on April 12, 2001. The teams will play a doubleheader on Tuesday.

If you come to a dome and get banged, something ain’t right,” Royals manager Ned Yost said about an hour before the game was called.

On Tuesday morning, the Blue Jays said in a statement that police surveyed the area around Rogers Centre and concluded there is no longer a safety concern. The team said in the statement that it is currently working to repair the damaged roof.

Monday’s starters, Kansas City left-hander Eric Skoglund and Blue Jays lefty Jaime Garcia, will start Game 1 on Tuesday. Game 2 will also feature a pair of lefties, with Kansas City’s Danny Duffy going against Toronto’s J.A. Happ.

Next! Carson Smith, in two-thirds of an inning, allowed two hits, a walk and two earned runs.

Thus, on Day 1 of the 2018 season, a 4-0 lead into the eighth inning was managed — by The Book — into a 6-4 loss.

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Mike Freeman’s 10-Point Stance: Why Is the NFL Still So Scared of Kaepernick?

Is it because of potential fan reaction? Maybe. But the NFL, and many of its teams, is excellent at countering bad press. Teams do it all the time. They did it with Mike Vick. They did it with Greg Hardy. The owner of the Giants, John Mara, defended a kicker, Josh Brown, who admitted to domestic abuse.

Is it because President Trump might attack the league or team if Kaepernick signs? I’ve reported before some in the league fear Trump’s Twitter reaction, and that remains the case. But the NFL could defend itself against Trump easily. How do I know this? Because it’s done it before.

So then what? How is this so terrifying?

The person, who has knowledge of Torres’ situation and the Yankees’ plans, requested anonymity to speak freely.

I would think they wouldn’t just wait one day and do it, the person said. You might see a bigger hesitation.

If the Yankees wait until Wednesday to call up Torres — the sixth-best prospect in the game, according to Baseball America’s preseason ranking — they’ll gain a full year of team control over him. He would have to wait an extra season to become a free agent.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has said Torres’ service clock wouldn’t be a consideration when evaluating whether to promote him.

Manager Aaron Boone said he hasn’t ruled out the possibility that Torres could be promoted before Wednesday, though a premature promotion seems far-fetched.

I’d say anything’s possible, Boone said in Detroit on Sunday. We have had conversations about that kind of thing. Possible? Yes. Likely? Not necessarily.

The Yankees have an off day Wednesday but perhaps they could call him up for Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays.

The source added that it would look sort of fishy for the Yankees to call up Torres so soon after his free agency gets shoved back a year — remember what a controversy it became when the Cubs did it to Kris Bryant in 2015? — especially after Cashman said it wouldn’t play a role.

But, the source added, this is what it is. Those are the rules.

If you had told me in 2014 I’d be running a meditation company, he told me recently, I wouldn’t believe it.

I also asked him about Eric Reid and Kaepernick during the conversation. Borland played with Kaepernick, and his voice is important because he comes from a military family and many critics of kneeling during the anthem say it is anti-military (it never was). 

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Texans-Jets, Browns-Broncos only scheduled Saturday games, two more to flex during season

The NFL has just two games currently scheduled for Saturdays this December but a new addition to league flex scheduling procedures will add two more later int he year. The Houston Texans will travel to face the New York Jets and the Denver Broncos will host the Cleveland Browns on Dec. 15. Both contests are Week 15 matchups. he league also will flex two games to Saturday in Week 16 out of a possible four matchups: Baltimore at LA Chargers, Jacksonville at Miami, NY Giants at Indianapolis or Washington at Tennessee.

He got into a fight and was caught popping wheelies on his motorcycle and sentenced to two to four years in prison by a judge who has been accused of being enamored with the rapper. But no one should be fooled. As long as Kraft and other NFL owners continue blackballing players like Kaepernick who missed all of last season and has yet to be signed by a team despite being more talented and accomplished than many quarterbacks who are collecting NFL checks Kraft’s trek to that Pennsylvania prison won’t mean much.

If a player follows a cheerleader on social media, the cheerleader has to block them. Cheerleaders are held responsible for players’ actions. Davis told The Daily that leading up to her termination in January, her bosses scolded her for being at a party where players were present, even though Davis says she didn’t even attend the party. Later, Davis posted a photo of herself in a lace bodysuit to her personal Instagram page, and received a message from one of her coaches saying it was very poor judgment to post this photo, especially given rumors that are going around about you. Davis deleted the photo, even though she didn’t see anything wrong with it, and the next day found out that the team wanted her to resign over the photo.

Davis refused to resign and was quickly fired. She told The Daily that being shamed over the photo and having her character called into question was devastating. Since then, Davis and her mom, who was a choreographer for the team until resigning shortly after Davis was fired, are speaking out about the unfair treatment she and other cheerleaders experienced on the team. Davis has also filed a civil rights complaint  with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the NFL. Professional cheerleaders have been speaking out for years about the low pay, sexist double standards between cheerleaders and players, and extremely strict rules that cheerleaders are expected to follow even in their personal lives.

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