Laura-Valentine helps abandoned children find opportunities through adoption into loving, Christian families.

This Month’s Featured Family

Take Action, Help us Raise Funds

To date, Laura-Valentine has raised tens of thousands of dollars, making possible adoptions for many children. You can participate in this valuable mission through the purchase of LV music and products, by donating, or by contacting us to have Laura-Valentine perform or speak at your upcoming event.

It wouldn’t be reasonable for me to tell you the Lions have Super Bowl talent.

I think the franchise’s current ceiling is a postseason berth with a playoff win, which would likely need to come on the road.

The NFC North is brutal this year. The Vikings are the class of the division and have loaded up to make another run at the Super Bowl. And Aaron Rodgers is Aaron Rodgers. As long as he’s healthy, regardless of the other shortcomings on the Packers’ roster, they’ll be tough to beat.

Davis dominated as a tackler in the Jets’ 3-4, but what got him paid this much to join a base 4-3 was his breakout coverage skills at age 29. The Saints had only a two-down option in the middle with Manti Te’o, but there’s a good chance Davis will help them shore up the strong side.

Cleveland has made a lot of big moves through trades and free agency, but this can’t be overlooked. While former Packer Damarious Randall will play safety for the Browns, Carrie will fill a void as a strong No. 2 cover man to flank Jamar Taylor with Jason McCourty being traded. The team also signed former Chief Terrance Mitchell for depth.

Obviously, most players likely showed up to the team’s first voluntary workout on Monday, but as’s Ian Rapoport reported, Mack chose to stay away while he attempts to work out a contract extension with the Raiders. Currently, the former No. 5 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft is set to play 2018 under the fifth-year option, which would pay him just over $13.84 million, according to Spotrac.

Mack’s absence from workouts certainly isn’t ideal, as the team has a new head coach in Jon Gruden and defensive coordinator in Paul Guenther. Fortunately, as NFL Network’s Jim Trotter reported, the “expectation internally” is that the two sides will get a deal done before training camp.

Khalil Mack did not attend the start of Raiders voluntary workouts today, but there is no sense of panic within the organization. Mack is in the final year of his rookie contract, and the expectation internally is that an extension will be done before the start of training camp.rams_177

Similarly former Bengals center Russell Bodine will be facing his former team while former Bills left tackle Cordy Glenn and linebacker Preston Brown do the same.

So of the many players that protested during the anthem, only Reid & Kaepernick are being “blackballed”. Even though many that were in the spotlight protesting every week have jobs, have received raises, and/or were hired by other teams…but these two guys are the only ones being blackballed.
Doesn’t add up, must be another reason.

“Do you plan on kneeling for the National Anthem?” is the same question as “Do you plan on being a huge distraction to the team and your teammates?”
If fans continue to listen to the NFL talking heads the NFL will become the NBA and everyone will stop watching. Don’t fall for this none scene.

But it is not collusion if teams have unilaterally decided it is bad for their business. It seems completely plausible that an owner would be worried about the damage to their team’s individual brand from a player kneeling, rather than to the NFL brand as a whole.
I’m surprised labor and employment law is so clear that NFL teams can’t hold protests against players in employment decisions. Why is that? How does that differ, legally, from holding past drug use or domestic abuse against the players in employment decisions? And if it were the case, why is Kaepernick’s lawsuit on collusion and not an open and shut labor suit?

Week 2 of the preseason will see the Bengals hit the road to face the Dallas Cowboys , who just narrowly missed out on the playoffs this past season. A date and game time will be announced later. It will come sometime between August 16-20.

Then in Week 3, the Bengals will be back on the road to face the Buffalo Bills , who Cincinnati ironically helped squeak into the playoffs by beating the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17. Cincinnati and Buffalo will play on Sunday, August 26 at 4 p.m. EST on FOX. The Bengals and Bills have been incredibly linked since the conclusion of the 2017 NFL season. This will also be the first time that McCarron, who signed with Buffalo this offseason, will face the Bengals, so that will make for a big storyline for a preseason game.rams_061

Jets don’t have a consensus as to quarterback, yet

The latest super-sized edition of the Jets Mailbag features the complicated truth about Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen and Josh Allen, Bridgewater trade bait, the value of the Wonderlic test and the chances that the Giants do Gang Green a favor.

Check out our expanded football coverage on Facebook with more analysis, opinions and fan engagement this offseason. Like our Facebook page at
Did they trade three second-rounders to move up three slots to take a pipsqueak QB from a spread offense? They should be sued for gross negligence if that is the case.

Interceptions can be totally random from year to year, and I think there’s plenty of upside in targeting a guy with Mathieu’s football instincts, especially given that he’s still just 25 years old. The Texans are already deep at corner with Colvin, Joseph, Kareem Jackson and Kevin Johnson, so Houston might very well just stick with Mathieu as a full-time safety and use him and Andre Hal as interchangeable players inside and outside the box.

The roster has a long way to go before completion, though. AJ McCarron steps in for Taylor, but quarterback is still a primary concern. Once the team drafts its next franchise signal-caller, far more will be needed to supplement the passing game.

The Bills have yet to reach consistent contender status. Even so, they seem to have found the right man for the job.

At his peak in 2015, Mathieu was a ball-hawking force of nature, capable of shifting between free safety and serving as a slot cornerback from snap to snap. The former LSU star picked off five passes, made 11 tackles for loss and knocked away 17 passes in 14 games before suffering his second torn ACL in three years. Since then, Mathieu has suited up far more frequently like a pure free safety, and the production hasn’t been there. Over 26 games during 2016-17, the Honey Badger recorded just two interceptions, nine tackles for loss and eight pass breakups.

Pittsburgh’s home opening 5-4 win against the Minnesota Twins (2-2) on Monday at PNC Park was not sold out and, after a scheduled day off Tuesday, a forecast for cold, rainy weather Wednesday could shrink the crowd size for the second and final game of the series.

It won’t dampen the Pirates’ spirits.buccaneers_093

Cowboys agree to terms with free-agent DE Kony Ealy, report says

The Cowboys and free-agent defensive end Kony Ealy have agreed to terms on a one-year contract, NFL media reported Monday.

Ealy, 26, recorded one sack in 15 games last season for Jets, his first in New York after three seasons with the Carolina Panthers. Ealy also had an interception in 2017 along with 11 tackles.

Trail Blazers: F Ed Davis returned to action after missing four games with a sprained right ankle, and Stotts said the boost he provided was bigger than his 5.4-point and 7.4-rebound averages. “What he offers on the court is unique, as far as his rebounding, his screen setting, his finishing around the paint, all those things,” Stotts said. “His presence in the locker room, his presence on the bench. Just the intangibles. He’s been a very integral part of what we’ve done this year.”

Nuggets: Malone said he decided to bring Gary Harris off the bench rather than start him because he didn’t want to mess with the chemistry the Nuggets had developed while going 7-4 in his absence. … Barton had averaged 18.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists while starting in Harris’ place the previous 11 games.

TECHNICAL SPARK: Malone drew a technical for arguing a no-foul call when Jamal Murray went down hard with 6:18 left in the third quarter and the Nuggets trailing 62-53.

Servais said Healy is scheduled for an MRI and is not expected to be available in the coming days. If Healy goes on the DL, he would join DH Nelson Cruz (sprained ankle), catcher Mike Zunino (strained oblique) and outfielder Ben Gamel (strained oblique).

Padres: Reliever Kirby Yates exited the game with ankle discomfort after throwing just one pitch in the eighth. … RHP Dinelson Lamet played catch up to 90 feet and will likely do the same again on Sunday as he continues to make progress in his recovery from elbow soreness that started in late March.

Astros: Houston activated RP James Hoyt from the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Fresno. … 1B Yuli Gurriel, on the disabled list after breaking his hand in February, was given an off day but will play the next three games on his rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Corpus Christi.

Hinch on the bizarre nature of the game’s ending: “If you see enough games, I guess you see everything. I had never really seen that before. That wasn’t very predictable.”buccaneers_077

Greg Holland struggles in Cardinals debut, gets loss vs. Brewers

St. Louis Cardinals reliever Greg Holland came into Monday night’s game with the Milwaukee Brewers in the 10th inning, walked four batters in one-third of an inning and got the loss.

Holland, who had been activated earlier in the day, walked the first two batters he faced, third baseman Travis Shaw and right fielder Domingo Santana. Second baseman Eric Sogard moved them along with a bunt, so Holland intentionally walked catcher Manny Pina to load the bases. Holland’s four-pitch walk to Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia drove in the go-ahead run.

Posey’s home run off starter Rich Hill was the first of the season for the Giants cleanup hitter and first since Aug. 8, 2017.

Dodgers: RHP Josh Fields pitched a scoreless inning after being reinstated from the paternity list before the game. RHP Zach Neal designated for assignment after originally being optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City. The change was made after the team claimed RHP Alec Asher off waivers from Baltimore.

Hill beat the Giants on opening day in Los Angeles but wasn’t as fortunate in San Francisco. The left-hander yielded three runs and five hits over five innings with six strikeouts and two walks.

Giants starter Chris Stratton struggled with his control again. He allowed two earned runs but walked four in five-plus innings.

LHP Clayton Kershaw (0-2, 2.25) of the Dodgers faces LHP Ty Blach (1-1, 5.79) on Sunday in a rematch of opening day starters. Kershaw lost the first round despite allowing one run over six innings while Blach owns a career 1.41 ERA against Los Angeles.

“I expect him to throw quite a bit,’’ Irsay said. “I expect him to channel his Brett Favre, if you will, and just say ‘The hell with it . . . let’s go play football, let’s go rock and roll.’

“There’s never been anything unusually ominous or surprising or behind the scenes that’s taken us by surprise. There really hasn’t been. The throwing shoulder, there’s a lot going on there. It’s a complicated mechanism. At this level, with the type of torque that’s put out, you just want to make sure you bring him along the right way.’’

Luck has thrown for over 4,000 yards in three of his five NFL seasons. He also has 132 touchdown passes to just 68 interceptions, but he has never registered a QB rating above 96.5.

Magic: Asked for his memories at the Bradley Center, Vogel recalled a time when then-Celtics coach Rick Pitino got into an argument with guard Dee Brown off the court while Vogel was Boston’s video coordinator. “Not a … fight but just a (verbal) flare-up,” Vogel said.buccaneers_017

Odell Beckham trade scenarios: Six teams that are best fits for Giants WR

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the update Wednesday but noted it’s unclear whether any interested team would be willing to pay that price.

The Giants could have nipped the Beckham trade rumors in the bud several times over the past few days, but the team’s brass has refused to rule out a blockbuster deal.

Ralph Vacchiano of SNY passed along comments co-owner John Mara made Sunday when asked about whether it’s possible the wideout could play elsewhere in 2018.

I can’t answer that one way or another, he said. We’re certainly not shopping him if that’s what you’re asking. But again, when you’re coming off a season where you’re 3-13 and played as poorly as we played, I wouldn’t say that anybody is untouchable.

There were moments that I was extremely sad and depressed. I mean, the game I loved was taken away from me. I couldn’t do what I expected to be able to do.

Watt played only three games in 2016 before undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disk. He broke his left leg five games into the 2017 campaign.

More: J.J. Watt on historic Hurricane Harvey fundraising:’No better feeling in the world’

I’ve had two of the toughest years of my life personally in having season-ending injuries two years in a row, said Watt, 29, who will enter his eighth NFL season this year.

Of his rehabilitation, he said, I’ve had a great couple of weeks.

Officials, owners and coaches want to eliminate use of the helmet as a weapon, Commissioner Roger Goodell explained at his press conference Wednesday to conclude this week’s league meeting.

I look at it more broadly than that. I think our efforts in this area we have to look at more broadly because I think it’s not just about the Rooney Rule, our efforts never were just about the Rooney Rule. I think it’s an important element. There’s a fundamental aspect to that. But I think it’s much broader than that in the sense that how do we create the opportunities and how do we do everything to help train and give people the experience to advance their careers.patriots_119-223x223

Raiders announce re-signing of FS Reggie Nelson

He said the January suicide of Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski and the death of Coeur d’Alene (Idaho) High School principal Troy Schueller from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound earlier this month pushed him to speak out. Let me share my story so others can share theirs, Rypien said. Let’s get rid of this silence that happens when you’re caught up in this cycle and you don’t know how to find the help I’ve been afforded. There are ways to get help… My story is impactful because people see me in a different light. I want them to see me in an accurate light.

The only two possible outcomes for this case is the DA’s office they don’t have a case and dismissing, or a trial — one or the other, Hardin said Friday, per ESPN. If and whenever they ask for a plea, it will be not guilty. –The Oakland Raiders stunningly released punter Marquette King while re-signing safety Reggie Nelson and releasing tight end Clive Walford. The Raiders formally announced the release of King, who reportedly showed up to the team facility earlier Friday and was pulled aside by general manager Reggie McKenzie and informed of the transaction, according to the NFL Network.

The move will save the Raiders $2.9 million against the salary cap, which is what King was scheduled to make in 2018. King, who made $2.5 million in 2017, was entering the third year of a five-year, $16.5 million deal. –The Minnesota Vikings signed Kendall Wright, giving the team’s offense another option at wide receiver. Wright, 28, made 59 catches for 614 yards and one touchdown in 2017 on a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears after five years with the Tennessee Titans.

Pelissero states that Guerrero recently flew to Orlando, Florida to work with Lynch, and that Lynch will in turn fly to Foxboro, Massachusetts in April in order to continue working with him. According to Pelissero, the two parties will work together on deep tissue stuff as well as Lynch’s nutrition.

News of Lynch’s working with Guerrero comes just days after Broncos head coach Vance Joseph defended Lynch, stating that it was unfair to write Lynch off as a draft bust after only making only four starts in his NFL career.

When did discussions with Michael Hill and the Marlins about Giancarlo really get going BRIAN CASHMAN: In passing, like the GM meetings I started having conversations there, but at the same time I had to kind of leave — the DH role’s an important piece here, because obviously with our excess, we need to be to create a flow where everyone would get involved in the lineup, and utilize it as an advantage to rest people, and maneuver on a weekly basis so to speak.patriots_025-223x223

Aaron Donald is training to become a better pass rusher by… dodging knives!

Los Angeles defensive tackle Aaron Donald has a strong argument as the best player in the NFL after winning the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2017. So who am I to question what he does to hone his craft But here I am, questioning what he does to hone his craft.

The video was posted by DeWayne Brown of Two Tenths Speed and Agility. In a later tweet, he confirmed that, yep, those are knives that Donald is dodging.

There have been plenty of rules implemented in the NFL that protect offensive players and make life difficult for defensive players. Lineman may use kitchen knives to protect their quarterbacks was not one of those rules.

The Dolphins are much worse with Tannehill and without Landry and Suh than without Tannehill and with Landry and Suh, but they’re not about to contend either way, so it’s hard to blame them for deciding to save some money in order to focus on the future.

There’s been talk, per’s Tony Pauline, that the Dolphins could draft a quarterback in the first round, which would likely only hurt their projected win total for 2018. Regardless, a team that ranked in the bottom five defensively with Suh the last two years could have trouble matching its 6-10 record from 2017.

And what’s the protocol for those times when a starting linebacker disappears the night before a game and the team is on edge as it fears the absolute worst

If he has time during what’s left of this offseason, maybe Adam Gase can write some helpful additions to that handbook now that he’s survived coaching the 2017 Miami Dolphins. The insanity of that season was such that losing the starting quarterback and middle linebacker to preseason knee injuries barely registers.

I think we had a lot of, he said, stopping to think of the right way to put it.

There were a lot of little, he said before starting over again.

This isn’t such an easy thing to explain.jets_032

49ers sign Marquise Goodwin to three-year extension

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t the only member of the 49ers offense with a new deal from the team.

The 49ers announced that they have signed wide receiver Marquise Goodwin to a three-year extension through the 2021 season. Josina Anderson of ESPN reports the deal is worth $20.3 million with $10 million in guaranteed money.

In the four games Fultz played before taking his extended absence from the line-up following a game against the Pistons on Oct. 23 he averaged six points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game without attempting a single three-pointer.

Going forward, depending on Fultz’s performance and readiness, it is possible his minutes increase and he plays a larger role as the Sixers currently in fourth-place in the Eastern Conference standings make a push to win in the postseason.

With Fultz in the rotation, this might cut into the playing time of reserve point guard T.J. McConnell, who will spend some time playing off the ball with Fultz around.

Not long after Goodell succeeded Paul Tagliabue as Commissioner in 2006, word quickly spread that the new regime wasn’t doing deals like the prior regime did regarding ers starting at suspensions. Goodell quickly developed the reputation of enforcer, fighting tooth and nail instead of working to find middle ground on matters of er discipline.

In the Cowboys case, Goodell had the same kind of judge/jury/executioner power that ers have complained about for years. Goodell could have found that Jones must pay 100 cents on the dollar, and Jones would have had no recourse.

But Jones got a chance to settle. To resolve the matter to the satisfaction of all parties. To create the impression of a win-win, when the approach with ers is always the zero-sum game of win-lose.

Maybe Goodell and the Finance Committee (which also presided over the hearing, a curious twist that previously hadn’t been reported or disclosed) hoped to avoid Jones taking the full-blown L and then spouting off to the media that the outcome confirms his concerns about the power of the league office run amok. Regardless, the perception of a double standard has become a slice of reality in this case.jets_115