Alexander will serve a four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

There’s absolutely no way the Raiders leave Miller on the bench behind Breno Giacomini at right tackle. He’ll start Week 1.

Head coach Sean McDermott lost a reliable middle linebacker in Preston Brown during free agency. In response, the Bills selected athletic second-level defender Tremaine Edmunds at No. 16. The Virginia Tech product stands at 6’5″, 250 pounds with the ability to pressure the pocket.

James possesses the physical tools to help in run support, line up against tight ends and cover in space. A player with that type of versatility should appear on the field in Week 1 with a sizable role.

The Chargers have their secondary bookends and slot defenders in place. The safety positions should have plenty of combinations during practices; joining James are fourth-rounder Kyzir White, Jahleel Addae, Adrian Phillips and Rayshawn Jenkins.

Two years ago, the Oakland Raiders fielded one of the top offensive lines in the league. After quarterback Derek Carr took some hits in the past couple of years, head coach Jon Gruden felt the need to address the offensive tackle position early in the draft.

The Raiders traded back and selected Kolton Miller with the 15th overall pick. At UCLA, injuries shortened his collegiate experience, but he started on both sides of the offensive line—most recently at left tackle.

According to ESPN.com’s Paul Gutierrez, Miller only saw reps at left tackle during the three-day rookie minicamp.

Despite going into his age-35 season and coming off Lisfranc surgery, Donald Penn shouldn’t be counted out as a starter. The 13th-year man earned back-to-back Pro Bowl selections in the last two seasons.bucks_427

Seahawks sign former Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds, report says

The Seahawks have reportedly signed the NCAA’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.

According to NFL Media, Seattle has agreed to terms with former Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds as a wide receiver/kick returner.

Reynolds finished his college career with 64 rushing touchdowns for the Midshipmen. He also was the NCAA’s all-time leader in rushing yards for a QB.

With a laser shot and a physique that resembles an NFL defensive lineman, Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien has become a folk hero around the NHL.

The Golden Knights are Canada’s team because Nevada might as well be an honorary province. According to the Business Council of Canada and Nevada, which is a thing that exists, 1.7 million Canadians visit Nevada annually, which would make it the third-largest city in Canada. The siren’s song of affordable hockey tickets and warm weather is undeniable.

The Golden Knights are Canada’s team because they embody the shared values of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: “openness, respect, compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, to search for equality and justice.” And that’s just Ryan Reaves.

Shepard began his NFL career with the Buccaneers. He accumulated 432 receiving yards and three touchdowns over four seasons in Tampa Bay. He also contributed on special teams.

The Giants finished 2017 with a 3-13 record. They fired coach Ben McAdoo in Week 13 and replaced him with former Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur following the season.

Darren McFadden was entering his second season with the Cowboys when he broke his elbow, an injury that was expected to sideline the running back for at least a couple months. Dallas’ running backs coach told reporters that McFadden fell on his elbow while trying to catch his phone and keep it from hitting the floor.

That was the initial story, at least.

McFadden a couple weeks later said he had slipped on wet concrete and fell on his elbowthe phone just happened to be in his hand. The phone, thankfully, by all acounts was not harmed.

The cast on backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke’s left foot when he arrived at Vikings training camp in 2016 was a mystery, until he explained what happened. Turns out he injured himself breaking into a house … his own house.ravens_172

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

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

Ravens Have a Major Joe Flacco Problem

The Baltimore Ravens have a major Joe Flacco problem, even if they don’t realize it or want to admit it. Since going on his four-game streak to win the Super Bowl after the 2012 season, and getting a big contract, Flacco has been among the worst regular starters in the NFL, and the Ravens have not won another playoff game.

Last year, he averaged 5.7 yards per pass attempt. Let’s put that in some perspective. Ryan Leaf’s career yards per attempt was 5.6, and JaMarcus Russell’s was 6.0.

You want players from the teams that will advance the furthest. This is pretty obvious, as more games played equals more points. Of the 29 players who scored more than 10 points during last season’s playoffs, only four weren’t on teams that made the conference finals.

Swearinger then pointed out that a secondary can only shine if the defense has strength up front and the ability to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

In the 12th, a poor decision to throw to third base on a bunt by Brett Gardner loaded the bases with nobody out.

Earlier, a throwing error by Orioles starter Mike Wright Jr. led to three unearned runs when the Yankees used a lot of seeing-eye hits and bloops to build a 5-0 first-inning lead.

The Orioles later gifted the Yankees another run in the fifth when shortstop Manny Machado lollygagged fielding a two-out grounder, Jace Peterson beat it out, the inning went on and Austin Romine followed with an RBI single to make it a 6-4 ballgame.

Here’s more good fortune: Aaron Judge singled in the eighth when his groundball hit first base and caromed away from Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini.

The Yankees didn’t take advantage. bills_054

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 nydn.us/ManishMehta.
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