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.
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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.http://www.officialbravesshop.com/images//mlb_jerseys_new/atlanta_braves/braves_190.jpg

the Dallas Cowboys desperately needed to find wins to stay in the tight NFC East race,

Despite all of that animosity, Kelly told reporters in a conference call earlier this week he’d “love” to shake McCoy’s hand Sunday. McCoy, unsurprisingly, said he wants no part of it.

LeSean McCoy on Chip: “Why do you want me to shake that guy’s hand? … “What’s the big issue?” “I gotta go, man. I’ll see y’all Sunday.”

Marco Murray, is apparently feuding with Kelly as well. Murray, who’s only averaging 3.5 yards per carry this season, reportedly met with Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie this week and criticized Kelly’s approachability. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport says Murray could sink as low as fourth on the depth chart at running back this week.

Though Murray may not see the field Sunday, there’s little doubt that McCoy will be Buffalo’s featured back. In 10 games with the Bills this season, McCoy is averaging 4.6 yards per carry and has scored three touchdowns. Given that the Eagles have the sixth-worst rushing defense in the league, McCoy may finally have a chance to extract revenge on the football field Sunday instead of through the media and passive aggressive gestures.

Similarly, the Dallas Cowboys desperately needed to find wins to stay in the tight NFC East race, but beating the Green Bay Packers was a tall task, and they proved they weren’t up to it when Green Bay got the win.

In the finale of the day, a key AFC matchup between the Patriots and Texans had a big impact on the postseason race. New England faced its first three-game losing streak since 2002, but beat the Texans easily to clinch a playoff spot and jump back into first place in the AFC. The Texans had a chance to assert their grip on the AFC South, but fell back into second place behind the Colts.

Below, we’ve got all of the Week 14 games, with scores updated throughout the day.

Vontaze Burfict, Doug Baldwin fined for raising middle fingers

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict and Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin were each fined $12,154 for unsportsmanlike conduct after the players raised middle fingers in separate games Sunday, sources told ESPN.

Burfict stuck both of his middle Malcolm Johnson Womens Jersey fingers up toward the stands late in the fourth quarter of the Bengals’ 16-12 home loss to the Bills.

The fine is Burfict’s second of the season. He was fined $75,000 for allegedly stomping on the leg of Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount.

That one person is Matthew Stafford. But it could be so many players on the Lions roster these days. How they’ve managed to do this is tough to explain, and the Lions aren’t trying to find a reason anymore. They’ve accepted that this is the way they are.

In some ways, it goes back to when the schedule first came out. Safety Glover Quin said some of the players looked at the schedule when it was released, saw few national television opportunities and simply said, “good.”

They liked the idea of playing at 1 p.m. on Sundays, being Nate Orchard Womens Jersey underneath the national consciousness, taking it week to week and just seeing what happens. What happened is the Lions became a compelling story, an interesting team winning in the most surprising ways.

Detroit has won six of its past seven games and leads the NFC North. Chaos does not bother this team — not at all.

“It hasn’t been pretty,” Quin said. “But we go out at 1 o’clock, play good football and find a way to get a win.

“And [on Thursday], the whole world got to see what you guys been seeing every week. Let’s go out, play football. It’s a close game, and we find a way to win.”

The Carolina Panthers had a scoreless 20-play drive against the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 13

How many points did they get out of that drive?

None. Nada. Zilch. Receiver Phillip Dorsett dropped a fourth-down pass in the end zone.

“Fourth-and-1, it speaks for itself,” Hilton said. “You have to get that. One yard, if you can’t [get] that then you don’t need to be in the National Football League.”

That’s the second time this season a team Clive Walford Authentic Jersey had a drive of 19 plays or longer that didn’t result in any points, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information. The Carolina Panthers had a scoreless 20-play drive against the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 13.

Tolzien had enough pressure on him starting his Connor Cook Authentic Jersey first game in exactly three years. His top three receivers didn’t do him any favors by dropping passes. Donte Moncrief joined Dorsett and Hilton in dropping passes that would have been a touchdown or put the Colts in position to score.

“It’s my fault,” Hilton said. “I started it with the drop. Shouldn’t have happened, should have caught it. Changed the game. That was on me. … We put too many balls on the ground. We take pride in not dropping the ball.”

“Well, like any young football players, they are going to get better the more reps that they get and they have proven that,” Washington coach Jay Gruden said. “Dak and Zeke, they’ve done a great job. You know, Zeke is a powerful runner. He’s been bottled up from time to time in first quarter, but as the game goes on, that offensive line can wear you down and he gets chunks of yardage.

But as the current NFL rooks will find out, it doesn’t compare to being home.

ESPN.com NFL analyst Matt Bowen played seven seasons as a defensive back in the NFL.

Our five-person NFL Insiders panel debates how Matthew Stafford stacks up against the top-tier QBs. Plus: Which team playing on Thanksgiving is best set up for the future? And who’s tougher for defenses to handle: Le’Veon Bell or Antonio Brown?

The Vikings have found their No. 1 receiver in Stefon Diggs

Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings (4.6 percent). The Vikings have found their No. 1 receiver in Stefon Diggs, but Thielen has been in the mix over the past six games, logging three touchdowns and a 127-yard effort during that stretch. In a deeper PPR league, he can be used as a flex option.

Vance McDonald, TE, San Francisco 49ers (1.7 percent). If you are Adrian Clayborn Womens Jersey a Zach Miller owner (or a Gronk owner, should he miss Week 12), McDonald is on the tight end radar. He has at least 50 receiving yards or a touchdown in three straight games, and Kaepernick has kept up his fantasy-steady quarterback play of late.

Brandon LaFell, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (11.0 percent). It’s a close call between Boyd and LaFell for the Bengals pass-catcher I’d be most interested in adding. While LaFell isn’t an overwhelming talent, he’s bound to see steady work going forward. He has averaged 5.5 targets per game this season, but it would not be a surprise to see him average eight per game for the rest of the season. He too can be added in 12-team-or-larger leagues.

Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots (45.1 percent). It came in a relatively small dose (22 snaps), but Lewis showed flashes of why he was one of the unique running backs in football before his season-ending injury in 2015. Lewis had five rushes for 23 yards and three catches for 26 yards, playing two fewer snaps than fellow backfield mate James White. Lewis is the Patriots’ best combo back in terms of rushing and receiving and should be added in all leagues.

Mike Gillislee, RB, Buffalo Bills (26.3 percent). The Bills announced on Sunday that LeSean McCoy is set to undergo a procedure on his thumb but could play in Week 12. That’s good news, but Gillislee is a must-add for any McCoy owners as an insurance policy. He’s also a smart add for anyone whose running back depth is in need of work, as he’d be a usable piece in Week 12 if McCoy is unable to play.

DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins (47.9 percent). The Dolphins are surging, and Parker was a key part of their 2-0 swing through California in Weeks 10 and 11. He has 13 catches on 18 targets over the past two weeks, including a touchdown and a 103-yard effort. A Alex Mack Womens Jersey first-round pick in 2015, Parker has excellent size and a promising ceiling. He should be added in any-size leagues but isn’t yet a sure-fire starter in 10-team leagues. But on ability alone he’s worth the speculative add and can be started in deeper leagues.

Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles, left this past Sunday’s game with injuries

Even as he’s owned in 43 percent of ESPN leagues, Asiata’s lowly start rate of 12 percent last week suggests he qualifies as a streaming commodity to consider for Week 12. Jerick McKinnon Denard Robinson Authentic Jersey continues to play more snaps and handle more touches than Asiata in most outings, but a valuable blend of receiving and goal-line work supports a steady fantasy pattern for the bruising change-of-pace back.

Asiata doesn’t claim a high ceiling, but we have found a reasonably high floor at this eroding fantasy position, as he is one of just 11 tailbacks to produce at least seven fantasy points six times since the start of Week 4 (after Adrian Peterson was sidelined). The Lions have yielded the 11th-most rushing yards and the 10th-most receiving yards per game to backs, evidence Asiata can grind out another flex-worthy outing and even RB2 production at this depleted position.

Both lead backs for the Eagles, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles, left this past Sunday’s game with injuries. For Mathews, an MCL sprain points to him likely missing Monday night’s game against the Green Bay Packers.

Sproles’ status is still up in the air, but a fractured rib all but ensures that even if he plays, Smallwood will see significant snaps. The Packers’ defense is nothing short of injury-ravaged, which was manifest when Robert Kelley ran for 81 of his 137 rushing yards in the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s game. Look for the Eagles’ backs to find similar success Monday night.

The Bucs are already dealing with some injuries at cornerback. Four-time Pro Bowler Brent Grimes Dwayne Gratz Authentic Jersey suffered a thigh bruise against the Chiefs after just a few snaps and did not return.

The Bucs face one of the league’s stop slot receivers this week in the Seahawks’ Doug Baldwin, who has 54 catches for 733 receiving yards this year, with 483 of them coming from the slot, fifth-most in the NFL. His four receiving touchdowns from the slot are tied for fourth in the league.

In the CFL, a trained official sits at league headquarters for every game with a live audio connection to the referee. He has the authority to advise on the spot of the ball based on what he sees on the monitor in front of him.