Melvin Gordon’s father, freed from prison, will finally see him play NFL game

For Melvin Gordon III, Sunday’s preseason game against the Seahawks will be an emotional affair.

Millennials are on their phones all the time anyway, said Jets president Neil Glat. Boarding Pass is a smart way to appeal to fans who might like the novelty and surprise of sitting in different seats on any given Sunday.

“Some games you’ll be upstairs, some game you’ll be downstairs, some games you’ll be in a club,” promised Glat here at MetLife Stadium’s Toyota Club, where the Jets held their second annual “upfront” presenting news ticket plans, food offerings and customer experiences.

Glat declined to comment on how many fans he expects to purchase the 10-game season pass. But the team does say do say that if a fan attends all 10 games, the face value of the tickets is “guaranteed” to exceed the purchase price.

Boarding Pass sounds like a great idea. But it also shows the mighty NFL is no longer Teflon after an 8-percent drop in TV ratings last season.

Moving forward, more clubs like the Jets are going to have to get creative to retain season ticket holders.

With the exception of the elite squads – the Patriots, Cowboys, Steelers and Giants, namely – the days of just mailing out a renewal notice may be over. Especially if the economy doesn’t improve.

“The Cleveland Cavaliers are not operating with any sense of urgency on finding a Kyrie Irving trade. League sources say they are continuing to field calls and talk through ideas, but that there is no sense of closure on the situation looming. In fact, there does not seem to be much urgency in how the Cavs are approaching the situation at all.

Sherman then brought up an interesting point.

He then named names. Now if you told me this guy threw eight pick-sixes last year and played like a bum, had no talent, that’s one thing. But Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett or whoever is playing for the Jets right now — whoever is starting for the Jets is terrible — have jobs. He also mentioned Kaepernick being better than Blake Bortles and Jared Goff.

Felix Potvin Game Jersey All issues aside, Sherman advocated for others in the NFL to speak up on Kaepernick’s behalf. Not a lot of guys are willing to step out there, he said. So the guys not speaking up for him are doing him a disservice.
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Sherman then brought up an interesting point. He mentioned his teammate Michael Bennett also being outspoken in favor of Kaepernick, and added, but on our team it’s like, ‘They’re a bunch of hippies over there.’

Bennett, who also spoke with Bell, brought home a major point that is often overlooked when it comes to Kaepernick’s situation.

There are (accused) rapists and drunk drivers in the league, Bennett said. But he’s somebody who didn’t do anything to anybody.

Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott weren’t on the field, but a couple of other Cowboys stepped up to give us some highlights.

Even the tight end position could be interesting again. The Giants have spent years shuffling between mediocrities like Will Tye and Larry Donnell, but now they have an intriguing rookie in first-round draft pick Evan Engram. The Ole Miss prospect was touted as one of the better pass-catching tight ends in the draft, and Engram is capable of lining up in multiple positions, giving Eli a versatile weapon at tight end he hasn’t really had since Martellus Bennett’s brief run in 2012.

There is potential on this offense, but also a lot of question marks, so New York will need its defense to step up once again.

Michael Jordan bets hundreds of thousands of dollars on golf, according to Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley says Michael Jordan likes to bet a lot of money on golf.

How much? Hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to Barkley.

During an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, the NBA analyst said he once saw MJ bet $300,000 on a putt.

Barkley said he’s not sure why Jordan bets so much, but thinks it’s probably because he’s so competitive.

He also shared his own troubles with gambling, saying that he’s won a million dollars five times, but probably lost a million dollars 25 times.

Patton had a distinct matchup edge inside against an undersized Rhode Island frontcourt, but was unable to take advantage. He got into foul trouble quickly, and ended up being disqualified from the game after only 21 minutes of playing time. It was an extremely underwhelming performance after an extremely underwhelming second half of the Big East season.

Prior to Mo Watson’s injury, Patton was averaging 14 points and 6.2 rebounds per game on a ridiculous 74 percent field goal percentage. Without Watson, those numbers fell to 11.9 points and 5.8 rebounds on 61 percent shooting. Those numbers aren’t bad, but questions still abound about him from NBA decision-makers. He’s another player that wouldn’t be guaranteed to go in the first round if he was to leave. He will also not have an extremely easy decision, given that Creighton returns a lot of the talent on its roster next season.steelers_133

Schroder and Millsap won their individual matchups this time

There is no shortage of general managers around the league who are not much interested in Anthony. So, who might be?

The Clippers remain the logical destination, according to other executives, though, it should be stressed, they’re merely speculating. We’re a long way from Anthony winding up in LA. But should the team fizzle out in the postseason for the fourth straight year of Doc Rivers’ tenure, changes are sure to be made. Four Clippers starters are heading into free agency, and three of them are looking at major payouts: Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick.

“That might be the best bet,” the West exec said. “I think you’d need both sides to be a little desperate, and if things don’t work out for the Clippers, they might be as desperate for changes as the Knicks.”

Regardless of how much Wall was “fazed” by the defensive intensity, Schroder and Millsap won their individual matchups this time, and that may be the key to making a comeback in this series. In the two previous games, Wall and Morris won and talked the talk. The tables turned Saturday, if only for a night.

“They did what they were supposed to do,” Wall said. “We took care of home court. They came home — we knew the crowd was going to be amazing for them. They got Game 3. Our job is to put the pressure on them to win Game 4.”

Before Game 3, Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told Schroder to calm down on the trash talk. According to Schroder, Budenholzer wanted him to act more like Spurs star Kawhi Leonard. Schroder being Schroder, he pleaded to Budenholzer that the talk was all in fun and that it made him play harder.

“I’d like it if everybody was quiet and played beautiful basketball,” Budenholzer said. “I know the trash talk is part of the game, but I also want my guys to be in control and focused.”

Umpire Joe West struck in head by ball thrown from stands

The Brewers-Marlins game Friday night at Miller Park was halted for seven minutes after umpire Joe West was struck by a baseball apparently thrown from the grandstands.

West was standing behind first base in the bottom of the fourth inning when he was struck in the back of the head by a baseball. West removed his cap, rubbed his head, then huddled with the other umpires as security personnel attempted to locate the fan who threw the ball.

West continued umpiring after the incident. No word from the Brewers on whether security located the fan.

Nicknamed “Cowboy Joe,” the 64-year-old West made his MLB debut in 1976, and is the longest-tenured umpire in the majors. He’s one of only three umpires in MLB history to work more than 5,000 games.

The trade market for Paul George has changed significantly since last season’s trade deadline, now that he has reportedly informed the Pacers he will enter free agency in 2018 with his sights set on the Lakers. Los Angeles is looking to acquire George this summer rather than waiting until July 2018, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.

Can the Lakers now land Paul George by offering Thursday’s No. 27 and 28 picks and either Julius Randle or Jordan Clarkson? They’re trying.

The Pacers are hoping Collison, who will be 30 this upcoming season, will have a similar season that Jeff Teague did last year running Nate McMillan’s offense. Teague, now with the Timberwolves, averaged 15.3 points, 7.8 assists and four rebounds in 82 starts last season.

If Collison can stay healthy like Teague, the opportunity for assists down low to Myles Turner and Thaddeus Young should be readily available for the Pacers new-look roster. browns_005

New England had a light class after trading for veterans Brandin Cooks and Kony Ealy this offseason.

The grades for Minnesota are all over the place. I liked the Vikings for getting a top-10 talent in Dalvin Cook in the second round. Offensive lineman Pat Elflein was considered a good pick as well. After that, the Vikings’ draft might not have many starters.

New England had a light class after trading for veterans Brandin Cooks and Kony Ealy this offseason. Still, the team was able to find a couple of pass rushers in Derek Rivers and Deatrich Wise and good developmental offensive linemen in Antonio Garcia and Connor McDermott.

The grades for the Saints varied after the selection of Marshon Lattimore in the first round. Ryan Ramczyk and Alvin Kamara might find it hard to get playing time early in their careers, and the team didn’t properly address pass rusher.

Bortles technically sat at first, but after relieving Chad Henne — Henne was so bad he left Jacksonville no choice — in the second half of a Week 3 blowout loss to the Colts, Bortles was named starter for the rest of the season.

Despite predictably dismal initial numbers on a team with few offensive weapons and a dreadful line, Bortles proved one key component of success for an NFL quarterback: durability. He enters 2017, though, with his last chance to prove he can earn a second contract with the Jaguars.

The Indiana Hoosiers buried the Hawks by 22, 95-73, in the first Big Ten Tournament second-round game of the night.

Now, it’s still going to be close for K-State even with a 4-8 record against the Top 50, thanks to a poor non-conference schedule (229th) — that’s simply playing with fire when dealing with the Selection Committee. So defeating the West Virginia Mountaineers in tomorrow’s semifinals might still be necessary for Bruce Weber’s team.

But the second team out entering the night’s lineup, the Iowa Hawkeyes, weren’t so lucky. The Indiana Hoosiers buried the Hawks by 22, 95-73, in the first Big Ten Tournament second-round game of the night. As I wrote earlier, Iowa needed to get to a Friday quarterfinal against the Wisconsin Badgers to have a shot, but now Indiana is the team with a renewed chance. However, the Hoosiers might need to make Sunday’s final to have a real shot, and if they get that far, they might as well go ahead and cut the nets down.

The Xavier Musketeers, 62-57 victors over the Butler Bulldogs in the Big East Tournament quarters, are the night’s biggest winner. That victory, their first over a team not named “DePaul“ in their last 10 games, should loft Chris Mack’s team to safety and a spot above the First Four. While the Providence Friars lost to the Creighton Bluejays in the nightcap at Madison Square Garden, Ed Cooley’s squad should still make its fourth straight trip to the NCAAs. But it just might have to play an extra game in Dayton.

The pickings at the skill positions aren’t much better. Cutler could reunite with Matt Forte, but the dynamic back is now on the wrong side of 30, averaged just 3.7 yards per carry, and set a career low for receptions and receiving yards last year.

Brandon Marshall is now with the Giants, and Eric Decker spent all of the previous season on the injured list. Would Cutler want to throw passes to Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson all season? That seems like a long and winding path toward a late-career revival, but he might not have much of a choice.

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Alterraun Verner released by Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the Bucs are cutting corner Alterraun Verner on Thursday. The team later confirmed the move.

The 28-year-old cornerback signed a four-year $25.5 million contract in 2014. With no guaranteed money left on the deal, the Bucs will save the entire $6.5 million salary-cap hit in 2017. Verner was scheduled to count as the fifth-highest hit to the Bucs’ cap.

The release makes fiscal and football sense after Verner lost out on a starting spot in the 2016 lineup to rising first-round rookie Vernon Hargreaves. After a dreadful 2015 campaign in which he was benched, Verner started three games last season and saw fewer than 25 snaps in 10 contests. He started just nine games the past two seasons.

The Bucs will move forward with stud corner Brent Grimes and Hargreaves as their primary corners.

Verner will get a jump on free agency and should find teams interested in a veteran with starting experience — this time at a much lower price.

This makes sense, especially if the Bills don’t believe they have a shot at Romo. The obstacles amount to general manager Doug Whaley’s bizarre fascination with backup EJ Manuel and the money-saving alternative of choosing someone like Clemson’s Deshaun Watson with the No. 10 pick in the draft. If Whaley ultimately balks at Taylor’s $27 million price tag, you can clip out this entry, set it on fire and toss it into the godless sea.

The successfully recovery means Tannehill will participate in the team’s April conditioning program and organized team activities in May. The quarterback is expected to sport a knee brace throughout the 2017 season, though, and coach Adam Gase might opt to scale back his reps in offseason practices.

How much money are the Texans willing to spend on a veteran?

Drafting the next starter is possible, but it’s a crapshoot that’s hard to trust and the Texans don’t have the best picks to work with.

Adding talent through the draft isn’t a bad idea, but relying on a rookie to be a significant upgrade from Osweiler is a difficult ask. The best and most realistic option to hope for immediately better quarterback play is to add a veteran passer in the offseason.

How much money are the Texans willing to spend on a veteran?

No matter what Houston decides to do in the offseason, Osweiler will count at least $19 million against the team’s salary cap in 2017. It could be $25 million if Osweiler isn’t on the team and that means sinking any more money into the position will be tough.

While the New York Giants led all teams in salary cap dedicated to the quarterback position in 2016 with $25,588,400, the Texans are primed to soar well over that mark if a veteran is added.

He just couldn’t get anything going and Barcelona couldn’t either. His era is unfortunately coming to a close, as they all do, and it seems fitting that this Barcelona cycle is ending with him as well. They will regroup and rebuild for a new round of dominance, and they will do so without Iniesta. They will have to find someone else to run the show. But the truth is that only Iniesta can do what Iniesta does. Barcelona will have to build a different identity after him.

Bennett didn’t win pretty with the Cougars, and he hasn’t with Virginia, either. But he has won — quite a bit, actually. He’s 252-111 in just his 11th year as a head coach. Since the start of 2013-14, he’s 107-25.