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Dak Prescott will have options, just not a No. 1 option.

“I do think obviously when you lose a player like Dez, and what he’s brought to the field throughout his career,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “We are remaking our receiving room, if you will, including the coach. There was obviously some focus there, and as we’ve said from day one, we wanted to create a competitive situation there. I do think we wanted to do things as Jerry has said and Jason [Garrett] has said, that are Dak- friendly. We want to surround him with good players in a competitive situation so we can have the success that we think we can have.

Now Wilson is acknowledging that he was out of shape last season, and not mentally strong enough for the rigors of the NFL. Wilson told the Indianapolis Star that he has internalized the coaching he heard last year is going to be a better practice player in 2018.

“You just gotta treat every practice like it’s a game,” Wilson said. “You can’t just go out there and feel like I can be whatever today. Every day, you gotta prove it.”

Interestingly, Wilson said the pre-draft process itself contributed to him being out of shape at the start of the offseason: Wilson said he was being flown around to so many team facilities that he struggled to find time to work out. That might sound like an excuse, but it’s also the reality that the NFL asks a lot of players before they actually get to the league, and much of what the NFL is asking them to do isn’t conducive to being completely focused on performing well when the offseason work starts.

So the Ravens turned their first-round pick in 2018, their second-round selections in 2018 and 2019, and a seven-spot slide in round four into Hurst and Jackson, along with turning a fifth-round pick into a third-round pick, a sixth-round pick into a fourth-round pick.

It’s almost always worth it. If you don’t have a franchise quarterback, you have to be almost perfect everywhere else. If you do have one, it’s a good bet your GM and coach are sleeping better at night. It was a big, big deal looking back on that now. That was an important pick, at an important time in Atlanta. Safe to say, they’re happy with the investment. As for what it means for everyone else, the raw numbers—because, again, they always go up—aren’t that big a deal. Flacco ($22. 1M average per year) topped Rodgers in March 2016.broncos_005_5f198ae78204724c-180x180

Steelers move Ryan Shazier to PUP list

It was made clear some time ago that linebacker Ryan Shazier would not play during the 2018 season as he continues to recover from last year’s spinal injury, but he remained on the team’s roster until Wednesday.

That’s when the Steelers announced that they have moved Shazier to the reserve/physically unable to perform list. Shazier’s salary of $8.5 million for 2018 is guaranteed.

The move comes less than a week after Shazier walked on the stage in Dallas with the help of his fiancee to announce Pittsburgh’s first-round pick.

In Brady’s case, he would be able to be on the field with head coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, and he’d be allowed to throw to teammates but he would not be working against any defensive players. In Phase Two – as is the case during Phase One – teams can specify two hours for players to be at the facility. The maximum time for a player to attend offseason activities is four hours per day, leaving players two hours to choose to workout however they see fit.

Teams need to make decisions on whether to exercise fifth-year options on 2015 first-round draft picks before Thursday and Bengals tackle Cedric Ogbuehi won’t be getting his picked up.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports that the Bengals have opted not to go that route. The option, which is guaranteed for injury only, would set Ogbuehi up to make $9.625 million for the 2019 season.

When we picked him back in ’08, our feelings were we had to have a quarterback that could help us move in the right direction, coming off everything that went wrong with Vick, the GM continued.

And we felt like you could build around Matt Ryan, not thinking about him being around for three or four contracts, into his 30s. But it had to be a player like that, a player with his makeup on and off the field.broncos_087_2333ef8cbe0b56ff-180x180

Report: Free-agent RB Terrance West visiting Eagles

The Super Bowl champions haven’t finished reshaping their roster for the 2018 season.

Free-agent running back Terrance West visited the Eagles on Tuesday, per The Baltimore Sun.

This is West’s first known visit since free agency opened two months ago.

They’re going to go in the direction of Alvin Kamara anyway, clearly going to be their featured guy on offense, Rapoport said. But, obviously Mark Ingram is a nice one-two punch for Kamara and now they will not have him for the first four games of the 2018 season.

The Saints bolstered the running back group with the selection of Boston Scott in the sixth round (201st overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft. Daniel Lasco, Jonathan Williams and Trey Edmunds are also on the offseason roster.

His first solo shot left in a hurry, when turned around a 3-2 pitch into a screaming line drive into the left-field seats for his eighth of the season to lead off the second inning.

The designated hitter then went to right field in the bottom of the fourth inning for his ninth of the season and a 2-0 Yankees lead.

Stanton grounded out sharply to third base and walked in his final two plate appearances.

The Chicago-based company has been incorporating technology and performance-based data with its Wilson X Connected Football, which debuted two years ago. Now, Darnold and Palmer are helping develop the next-generation version that will enhance film sessions and, possibly, on-field production. I think it’s really cool to come out here with Wilson and give them my feedback on what it really takes to be a quarterback and what I’m looking for in this data, Darnold said in a video provided by Wilson, and help kind of build the prototype that is going to push this game to the next level.sharks-028

Kluber strikes out 10, Indians top Seattle 6-5 with 5 homers

Corey Kluber struck out 10 in 8 2/3 innings and the Cleveland Indians hit five solo home runs, including three in the first inning, to beat the Seattle Mariners 6-5 on Friday night.

Kluber (4-1) reached double figures in strikeouts for the 41st time and avenged his only loss this season, when Nelson Cruz hit a two-run homer at Seattle on opening day in the Mariners’ 2-1 win. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner left with a 6-2 lead after Kyle Seager’s two-out single in the ninth, the Mariners’ fourth hit.

Cody Allen gave up Mitch Haniger’s single and Mike Zunino’s three-run homer, then retired Ben Gamel on a lineout to shortstop Francisco Lindor.

OF Jayson Werth would get a $1 million, one-year contract if added to Seattle’s 40-man roster. He would earn a $150,000 bonus if he spends 100 days on the active major league roster or a major league disabled list.

The game was the 28th postponement in the majors this season, the most related to weather through April since the commissioner’s office started keeping those records in 1986. Baltimore and Tampa Bay were also rained out on Tuesday.

Detroit and Pittsburgh will make up the game with a straight doubleheader on Wednesday starting at 4:05 p.m.

This is the second time the teams will play a doubleheader this season and the third time they’ve had to reschedule due to weather. Wintry conditions pushed back opening day at Comerica Park on March 29 and their game on March 31 was also postponed. Pittsburgh swept a doubleheader from the Tigers on April 1. Detroit also had two games against the New York Yankees wiped out earlier this month.

Pittsburgh will send out Jameson Taillon (2-1, 2.86) in Game 1 against Detroit’s Jordan Zimmermann (1-0, 7.71). Chad Kuhl (2-1, 4.57), who had been scheduled to start on Tuesday and was originally slated to take the hill for the opener of the doubleheader, will face Matthew Boyd (0-1, 1.40) in the nightcap.

The Pirates have dropped six of seven following a hot start, while the Tigers have won five of seven.dolphins_036

Seahawks still open to considering Colin Kaepernick, Pete Carroll says

Pete Carroll said Monday the Seattle Seahawks have not closed the door on the possibility of adding Colin Kaepernick to their roster, but how much further they pursue it may depend on the upcoming NFL draft.

“We’re still battling on all fronts, on all guys. We’re still looking at guys and evaluating. There are still free agents we’re looking at and in that the process just continues,” Carroll said. “We’ve gone through the information gathering and we have a pretty good feel for where we are. It’s ongoing. We’re not done with that decision at all.”

Meanwhile, the status of McDowell remains murky. McDowell, Seattle’s initial draft pick in the second round of last year’s draft, was injured in an ATV accident last summer and has not taken part in any football-related activities since. Carroll said the team has received no indication on McDowell’s ability to even rejoin the team at this point, let alone play football.

“There is a lot of stuff we can’t get into. It’s a really unfortunate situation on both sides,” Schneider said.

The only diagnosis the team has provided regarding McDowell is that he suffered a severe concussion and facial injuries in the ATV accident.

“We haven’t had a good update in a long time,” Carroll said.

“All of these good things that have happened in the last few weeks, man, he would have enjoyed all of that so much,” Loomis said. “And I think he gets his greatest enjoyment from seeing how the city reacts to those kinds of things. So he’ll be missed.”

The Saints are also hoping to get a return visit from Jordan Spieth and Ryan Palmer. The golfers brought some good luck into the war room last year, when the Saints landed one of the greatest draft hauls in NFL history (five starters, including both the Defensive and Offensive Rookies of the year in Marshon Lattimore and Alvin Kamara).

Payton and Palmer have been friends for years, and the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic is in New Orleans during draft week.

“We’re sending the designer limo for those two,” Payton told reporters at a celebrity golf event on Tuesday, according to the New Orleans Advocate. “I texted their caddy, James (Edmondson). I said, ‘No pressure.’ Hopefully, they’ll come back, (but) they’ll have to wait a little longer than they did a year ago.”

The Saints aren’t picking until No. 27, in large part because of the success of last year’s class.

Payton said the Saints still have a few “must” positions to fill before they head into the 2018 season, and he listed their biggest remaining needs as a “pressure player,” a sixth offensive lineman, a linebacker and tight end.dolphins_115

Dwyane Wade: Retirement decision ‘not my focus’ right now

About an hour after the final game of his 15th NBA season, Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade acknowledged that he has thought about retiring but said he won’t make a final decision until later in the offseason.

Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill, who had widespread support from the sports world, was released from prison Tuesday and then attended the Sixers’ series-clinching Game 5 victory over the Heat.

It is the fifth time since joining the Rangers in 2011 that the 39-year-old Beltre has gone on the DL because of leg issues. He missed the first 51 games last season because of calf and hamstring problems before becoming the 31st player in MLB history with 3,000 career hits. He then had another DL stint in September.

Beltre, who is in his 21st MLB season, was limited to 94 games last year. That was his fewest games since 77 as rookie with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1998.

Shortstop Elvis Andrus is out at least another month after his right elbow broke when he was hit by a pitch April 12. Second baseman Rougned Odor has been out since April 10 with a left hamstring strain.

Texas recalled outfielder Ryan Rua from Triple-A Round Rock, the second time in eight days he has come back up because of injuries to other players. The Rangers also activated right-hander Doug Fister from the 10-day DL to start the series finale against the A’s on Wednesday night, and optioned reliever Matt Bush to Round Rock.

During a post-draft news conference in Dallas, Rosen said “there were nine mistakes ahead of me.” On Friday, Rosen said that he didn’t mean to include in that remark the six non-quarterbacks taken, and added that there were only “three mistakes” taken ahead of him, referring to quarterbacks Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and Josh Allen.

Rosen plans to wear No. 3 with the Cardinals, which was worn by Carson Palmer for the last five years. Rosen said Friday the one misconception of him that he wants to put to rest is a lack of a passion for football. He had to repeatedly answer questions from teams on the topic, adding that he felt he had to keep coming up with answers to convince teams he loved football.

Cardinals offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said he doesn’t have a problem with Rosen’s personality.

“I’ve coached plenty of different personalities,” he said.

“I coached receivers in Carolina back in the day, and being the coordinator plenty of places, there’s plenty of people that have opinions, and everybody’s got an opinion, and I got no problem with that. There’s going to be a way we’re going to do it here, and I’m fine with it.”

Gray (2-4) had pinpoint control in scattering three hits and walking one to break his three-game slide. He had at least one strikeout in every inning before being lifted for a pinch-hitter after throwing 101 pitches.sl_cardinals_047

Roger Goodell to be flanked by Cowboys greats at start of NFL draft

Commissioner Roger Goodell will have some company when he walks to the front of the stage Thursday night to start the NFL draft at AT&T Stadium — the home of the Dallas Cowboys.

Booed in the past when taking the stage, Goodell is expected to be flanked by some Cowboys greats — Hall of Fame quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, as well as probable future Hall of Fame tight end Jason Witten.

“I’m sure he’s going to get a good response with us being out there,” Staubach said. “If they boo, all of us are in trouble.”

Staubach still had his senior year at Navy to play and a four-year commitment in the service after graduation before he could think about playing professionally.

“It wasn’t a big deal,” Staubach said. “When you’re young, five years seems like an eternity. I didn’t know if I’d ever play again, but they wanted me to play for them, and as it turned out, I signed. The 10th round was a little better because there were fewer [teams], so being in the 10th round was relatively high for somebody they didn’t think could play for a while.”

Arrieta (3-0) allowed three runs — one earned — and four hits in seven innings. He pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fourth after walking in a run.

“It was a grind,” Arrieta said. “I didn’t get a consistent feel for my breaking pitches but I kept them off-balance.”

The Diamondbacks had won eight straight games in Philadelphia, dating to 2016.

Greinke (2-2) gave up five runs and nine hits in six innings, striking out nine.

“I didn’t think I was very good the entire game,” Greinke said. “I made a bad pitch on the homer. I wanted it down and he put a really good swing on it.”

Carlos Santana hit a double off the top of the right-field fence to start Philadelphia’s sixth and Odubel Herrera walked. After Greinke fanned Rhys Hoskins, Altherr hit a 2-1 slider over the bushes behind the wall in straightaway center field to give the Phillies a 5-3 lead.jets_012

Ex-USC assistant Todd McNair’s defamation trial vs. NCAA begins in L.A.

In a small, cramped, downtown courtroom, opposing sides in former USC assistant football coach Todd McNair’s defamation trial against the NCAA delivered lengthy opening statements on Monday, providing detailed looks into how they will argue the case over the next few weeks.

Broillet said McNair approached friends at Washington, Western Kentucky and Temple for jobs at the college level, but his involvement in the Bush scandal prevented anything from materializing. The same goes for jobs in the NFL with the New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals. The timeline for these inquiries was not provided.

The NCAA’s lead attorney, Kosta Stojilkovic, who once clerked for Chief Justice John Roberts, made a case that McNair’s attempts to find a job in coaching were minimal and that his lack of effort — not the NCAA’s punishment — was at fault for his continued absence from college coaching several years later. In fact, Stojilkovic said the NCAA “gave McNair one of the lightest penalties it could.”

Showing no panic from allowing a goal to Evgeny Kuznetsov 17 seconds into the game and another to Alex Ovechkin 28 seconds into the third period, the back-to-back defending Stanley Cup champions took another series lead in typical Penguins fashion.

Playing without injured forwards Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin, Pittsburgh naturally fed off Crosby, who had a goal and an assist.

“Right from Sid, he led the way for us and it’s right down the lineup,” said Guentzel, who had a goal and two assists and leads the playoffs with 16 points. “You can’t get down. There’s going to be highs and lows throughout the whole series. You’ve got to stick with it to the end and we were happy to get three and end up winning the game.”

Matt Murray stopped 32 of 34 shots, keeping the Penguins in the game and maintaining the lead late with a sprawling stick save on Brett Connolly with 2:30 left. Unsure of what would happen at the other end of the rink with Braden Holtby dialed in, Murray could only keep the puck out as much as possible after allowing the early-period goals to Kuznetsov and Ovechkin.

Murray denied Michal Kempny from point-blank range and kept the puck out from a hard-charging Devante Smith-Pelly early and missed no opportunity to give the Penguins the impressive stop when they needed it.jets_043

Ozuna breaks out of slump, Cardinals roll past Mets

Kolten Wong and DeJong had two hits each for the Cardinals, and Dexter Fowler drove in two runs.

Steven Matz (1-2) gave up seven runs, just three earned, over 3 1/3 innings. He surrendered five hits and fell to 0-3 with an 8.49 ERA in three career starts against the Cardinals.

“I’m really frustrated, I want to go out there and pitch well and I’m not doing that,” Matz said. “To come out of the game like that in the fourth inning, is really frustrating.”

Josh Rosen opened as a minus-300 favorite to be drafted ahead of Barkley, and the UCLA quarterback closed as a plus-270 underdog. That head-to-head draft proposition was one of a few props that contributed to a net loss for both the Westgate and William Hill sportsbooks after Round 1.

“Obviously styles make fights. This one had all the quarterbacks and that’s why it was so interesting to everyone,” William Hill director of trading Nick Bogdanovich, who said there was an 800 percent increase in betting handle at his sportsbook from last year, told ESPN.

Nevada Gaming allowed draft betting for just the second year, as it continues to expand its policy of only approving outcomes solely decided on the field of play. MVP and other similar voting options have gradually been added to the betting menu in recent years.

“You basically need a lawyer to submit these things to explain how you’re going to do it,” Salmons said. “We don’t have the manpower or time to petition, so we just look at the gaming website and play by the rules.”

For example, Nevada sportsbooks only can offer binary draft propositions: head-to-head matchups of two particular players; an over/under for the total number of players drafted from a particular school or a conference; or by position in the first round.

Utah takes a 3-1 series lead back to Oklahoma City. Game 5 in the best-of-seven playoff is Wednesday night.

Donovan Mitchell had 33 points and seven rebounds to lead the Jazz to their third straight win in the series. Joe Ingles added 20 points, hitting five 3-pointers.

Mitchell’s willingness to attack the rim put the Thunder on their heels throughout the second half.

“He’s done a good job of getting in there and finishing or dropping it off,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “It’s an important part of what we do. He’s our most dynamic offensive player.”

Rudy Gobert added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Ricky Rubio chipped in 13 points, eight assists and six boards. Derrick Favors also scored 13.

Paul George had 32 points and Russell Westbrook added 23 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Thunder, who shot 39 percent from the field.

“I thought we played downhill a lot more,” coach Billy Donovan said. “I thought we were at the rim a lot more. From there, we probably missed some opportunities to move the ball. I thought our ball movement was sporadic and sometimes it was very good.”jets_107

Cardinals left tackle D.J. Humphries expects to be ready for start of season

Arizona Cardinals left tackle D.J. Humphries was lost for the season when he tore his MCL and dislocated his knee cap in a Thursday night game against the Seattle Seahawks last November.

While he’s still not certain when he’ll be back to full speed, Humphries is confident it will be in time for the start of the regular season.

Based on rumors, Sporting News has “narrowed down” the Barkley draft derby to a dozen teams, all of which currently hold top-20 selections. Here are those 12 teams, ranked in relation to their likelihood of landing the Nittany Lion.

Seattle isn’t bringing back Eddie Lacy or Thomas Rawls, leaving some combination of Mike Davis, Chris Carson, C.J. Prosise and J.D. McKissic as its backs for 2018. Since the trade for Marshawn Lynch more than seven years ago, the Seahawks haven’t gone big in addressing their backfield.

With Seattle’s defense and the passing game taking some personnel hits, this year would make sense as the time to finally re-establish itself as a traditional power running team to both better complement and supplement Russell Wilson. The QB will get his chance to mentor Barkley on ESPN’s “QB2RB,” but finding a way to pair the two for the longer term will be difficult.

According to Albert Breer of SI.com, Griffin has been invited to the 2018 NFL Draft and plans to attend.

The Central Florida linebacker was already one of the best stories in this year’s talent pool, after he overcame a birth defect which cost him a hand to become one of the top players in college football.

But after initially not getting an invite to Indianapolis, he proceeded to take the combine by storm. He registered 20 repetitions of the 225-pound bench press (again, with one hand), and ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash.

His ability to overcome obstacles has made him an inspiration to many, and having him around the draft broadcast will benefit the league, as the NFL works to highlight such stories (for their own ratings, as well as the greater good of society which is of course their first priority).

Allegations of drug use inside sober homes is nothing new, says code enforcement officer Woods.bills_116