Stephen Jones, Cowboys sound committed to Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones sees rookie quarterback Dak Prescott play and he likes it. He watches Prescott interact with his teammates on and off the field and he loves it.

So when owner and general manager Jerry Jones speaks as though he yearns for Tony Romo to start again, Stephen Jones doesn’t cringe.
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¡°Dak will appreciate this. Over the long haul, Jerry is a very loyal person,¡± Stephen Jones said. ¡°Dak will be the biggest beneficiary of all in this organization, when it¡¯s all said and done.

¡°Jerry does not forget the people that do special things for him. Tony has had several special seasons here and it¡¯s obvious to everybody that Tony has a special place with Jerry.

With two touchdowns in the Cardinals¡¯ 48-41 loss to the New Orleans Saints, he tied John David Crow for the franchise¡¯s single-season touchdown record with 17, a record that has stood since 1962.

Limited Mens Chuck Foreman Jersey Johnson also finished Sunday with 13 rushing touchdowns this season, one behind Crow¡¯s franchise record of 14, also set in 1962.

Johnson¡¯s role began to evolve Sunday, as the Cardinals played their first game without wide receiver Michael Floyd. Johnson saw more snaps in the first half as a wide receiver than usual, with Kerwynn Williams taking snaps at running back and quarterback in the Wildcat offense.

His 108 yards from scrimmage were 25.4 percent of the Cardinals¡¯ total on Sunday.

While Johnson¡¯s MVP chances are hurt by the Cardinals¡¯ 5-8-1 record, he has made as strong a case to be the NFL¡¯s offensive player of the year as anyone in the NFL — including Dallas¡¯ Ezekiel Elliott.

Adam Vinatieri would grow up to become pro football’s version of Mariano Rivera

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Adam Vinatieri is picking at his lunch-to-go in a carton with a plastic fork. He has a hell of a story to tell, if only he can fit it all in between the salad and the next team meeting bearing down on him. As he rubs the high-salt, low-pepper stubble stretched across his still youthful face, the NFL’s oldest player wants you to know he started becoming a man as a very young boy.

“I was at the crossroads of my life,” he says, “when I was 7 years old.”

Adam Vinatieri would grow up to become pro football’s version of Mariano Rivera — the greatest closer of all time. He would start his NFL career when Tom Brady was a redshirt freshman at Michigan and Peyton Manning was a junior at Tennessee. He would spend much of his NFL life playing with both and working for the best of the coaching best in Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Tony Dungy and Pete Carroll.

Josh Norman Youth Jersey The guy behind the counter had a reputation for pulling a gun on customers when even a little threatened, according to a report by the Times-Picayune. Gibson argued with the guy, then demanded a refund. The employee allegedly cursed her and walked her out of the store while holding his cocked weapon. She and her husband, Kerry Francois, called the police and waited for officers to arrive.

The employee kept blowing kisses to them and flipping them the bird and cursing them, the paper reported. Francois says the employee pointed his gun and so Francois started shooting his own gun, hitting the employee in the leg and wounding two other bystanders. Ambulances came, and the hospital patched up all three victims, while police took Francois to jail. He’s the only person who fired, and in a year, there will be another self-defense case for the courts to sort out.

Sunday morning people crowded Courtroom 8 for the seventh straight day. Light flooded the big windows of the long, once grand and now peeling atrium, where family members of accused killer Cardell Hayes and of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith waited during breaks.

Adding Moreland makes Hanley Ramirez Red Sox’s primary DH

No matter how the Boston Red Sox decided to replace David Ortiz, even if they splurged for free agent Edwin Encarnacion or struck a short-term deal with Carlos Beltran, it almost certainly was going to require more.

So, why not take a flier on Mitch Moreland?

Bradley Beal Limited Jersey Two days after reaching an agreement with the Red Sox, Moreland passed a physical in Boston, the final touch on a one-year, $5.5 million contract. The plan, according to manager John Farrell, is for Moreland to play first base and Hanley Ramirez to be the designated hitter against right-handed pitchers. Ramirez could play first base against lefties, while Farrell rotates other players through the DH spot.

Jansen’s deal is the second-largest free-agent reliever contract in history, behind Aroldis Chapman’s five-year, $86 million deal with the Yankees from last week.

Jansen recorded 47 saves in 71 appearances for the Dodgers in 2016, finishing the year with a 1.83 ERA. He was the recipient of Major League Baseball’s 2016 Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award.

After a June 20 save against the Washington Nationals, Jansen became the all-time saves leader in Dodgers history, passing Eric Gagne’s previous record of 161. Jansen finished the year with 189 saves. His 632 strikeouts as a reliever also passed Jim Brewer’s club record of 604.

Jansen, who was converted from a catcher to a reliever by the Dodgers while still in the minor leagues, was the anchor of the team’s bullpen that registered franchise records in both innings pitched (590 2/3) and appearances (607). Both numbers led the major leagues.
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ESPN’s Doug Padilla contributed to this report.

The Seahawks threw several wide receiver screens early in the game

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“It certainly is enhanced if you’re running the ball, then they’ve got to react,” Pete Carroll said. “Because there are two different plays happening at the same time there. They don’t know whether we’re going to hand it off or give it to the fly guy. It’s a good deceptive.”

The offensive line all blocked to the left, and Wilson carried out the fake to Thomas Rawls. That was enough to create hesitation among three Panthers defenders.

“You¡¯ve got to see who has the ball,” Lockett said. “It’s hard to see if the quarterback handed it off or not. Sometimes you have a fake hand off, hand off to the running back. So they have to take a split second to see what’s going on. And the end comes down. He doesn’t even know what’s going on because nobody sees the exchange.”

Reid and the Chiefs¡¯ staff coached Carr in last season’s Pro Bowl and got to know him then. But it¡¯s doubtful they could learn of any significant holes in Carr¡¯s game from a few days in such a relaxed atmosphere. Even if they had, it wouldn¡¯t explain the success the Chiefs had against him in previous games.

“He’s thrown a lot of interceptions, but don’t get it wrong: He makes throws,” cornerback Xavier Rhodes said. “He forces passes from time to time, but he’ll still make great throws. He gives his receivers time to run backyard routes, other than the route that was called. We’ve got to stay on those guys in coverage, keep it tight on them so we can stop him from scrambling around and giving his guys time to get open.”

Akeem Spence Authentic Jersey Bridgewater operated by a different ethic during his two years as the Vikings’ starter, using his feet to extend plays but generally finding ways to limit turnovers and keep the Vikings out of trouble.

The Titans have a 20 percent shot at winning the AFC South

The Titans have a 20 percent shot at winning the AFC South, but they’ll need to win this game or convince the NFL to have a special playoff berth for the league’s most exotic team if they want to make the postseason. If they win this game, they’ll have a shot: Tennessee’s division odds would rise to 33 percent without considering any of its other games, and if the Titans can beat the Jaguars in Jacksonville in Week 16, their playoffs odds would be right under 50 percent.

There’s also a reasonable chance that the Raiders will have locked up the top seed in the AFC and have the ability to rest their players in Week 17 against a Broncos team playing for its playoff spot, which would be an interesting philosophical discussion: Would the Raiders play their starters and use their whole playbook, or leave Derek Carr on the bench and save their scouting for a possible playoff matchup? The Bengals faced this decision against the Jets in 2009 and sleepwalked through the first half of a must-win game for Rex Ryan’s team in New York before taking out their starters; they promptly lost to the Jets in the wild-card game in Cincinnati the following week.
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Authentic Youth Tomas Hertl Jersey The Giants and Washington are still the favorites to finish as the fifth and sixth seeds in the East, but a lot can go wrong on the way to the ball. The 5-7 Eagles could still make a run into the postseason, to start. (If that seems improbable, you’ll only have to go back to 2015 to remember that this same Washington team was 5-7 before reeling off four straight wins to win the NFC East, or that the 2013 Chargers won their final four games after starting 5-7 to claim a wild-card berth.)

After losing to Arizona last week, Washington is looking over its shoulder at teams from other divisions. Tampa Bay, Green Bay and Minnesota are its biggest rivals for a wild-card berth. The good news for Washington fans — especially compared to the Giants — is that they’re likely to be favored in each of their final four contests. They’re currently 1-point favorites at Philadelphia, host the scuffling Panthers, and travel to face the injury-riddled Bears before finishing up at home against the Giants.

Packers vs. Cardinals 2016: Time, TV schedule and team news for NFL playoffs

When the Green Bay Packers face the Arizona Cardinals in the Divisional round of the playoffs, they’ll hope it goes better than the first time the two teams met. The Packers were embarrassed, 38-8, in the Week 16 loss. But they get a shot at redemption Saturday night on NBC.
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Three weeks ago, it wasn’t pretty for the Packers’ offense. They were missing starting left tackle David Bakhtiari, and starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga went down with an injury during the game. The Cardinals sacked Aaron Rodgers a staggering eight times. Green Bay turned the ball over four times, and two of Rodgers’ three fumbles were recovered by the Cardinals and returned for touchdowns.

Game Christian Jones Jersey However, coach Tom Osborne did let him back on the team for the bowl game. That decision was met with criticism, but Osborne claimed that it would be better for Phillips to be in a structured environment.

Osborne said he was surprised by Wednesday’s news.

All of his correspondence with me in spite of circumstances have been fairly upbeat … didn’t see that coming. He was very loyal to his friends and yet he had some anger issues and couldn’t overcome the demons in his life. Things weren’t going in a good direction for him. All I can say is I feel very bad … I guess we feel like we did what we could for him.
Phillips wrote to coaches and discussed the issues and experiences he had behind bars.

Phillips left college early for the NFL Draft, where he was drafted No. 6 overall in 1996 by the St. Louis Rams. However, he spent time in jail and was released before going to the Miami Dolphins. While with the Dolphins, he pleaded no contest to hitting a woman at a nightclub and was released.

He then moved on to NFL Europe, eventually coming back to the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers, who eventually released him for “conduct detrimental to the team.” He played in the CFL and AFL but never returned to the NFL.

Tim Kurkjian breaks down how MLB players and owners were able to reach agreement on a five-year labor contract

The owners and players have a tentative five-year labor deal that will go through the 2021 season, and Cubs starter Jon Lester is happy with the agreement even if his primary request wasn’t granted:

While my efforts to eliminate pitchers from having to throw to 1B didnt pass, I’m proud of the PA & Owners for coming together on a new CBA!

Old rule: A team giving a qualifying offer to one of its free agents would receive a pick between the first and second rounds if it lost that free agent to another team. (The top 10 first-round picks were protected.)

Now … let the other debates begin! (Dear voters: Go look up Edgar Martinez while you have a few seconds …)

Limited Brandon McManus Jersey Fowler is one of the most sought-after free agents left on the board, with the Cardinals, Nationals, Blue Jays, Astros, Rangers and Giants all somewhat still negotiating or at least having checked in on the asking price for his services. I think the Cardinals are the best fit for him, because they need a center fielder more than all the other clubs. St. Louis is still one of the game’s best baseball cities, and he would fit in perfectly with the “Cardinals Way.” The Cardinals have the resources in their budget to sign him, and there aren’t a lot of solid alternatives, either in free agency or through trades.

This is one of those times when they’ll have to overpay, like they did when they inked shortstop Jhonny Peralta a few years back. With veteran outfielder Matt Holliday off the books, they can reallocate those dollars to Fowler.
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The Orioles gave him a qualifying offer, but because a signing team could lose a first-round pick, the interest in Trumbo won’t be what it otherwise would be in a completely open market. This helps players like him while also potentially bringing more teams into the bidding for free agents.

“We’ve had subsequent two-year deals that didn’t work out all that well. In fact, we have about one a year. That’s why I think we’ll be a little bit cautious, especially with that midrange.”

Clarkson has also primarily come off the bench

Jordan Clarkson, PG/SG 2015-16 Player Rater: 4.36 (led Lakers) 2016-17 Player Rater: 5.77

Demetrius Harris Authentic Jersey Clarkson has also primarily come off the bench. He’s logging almost five minutes less per game than in 2015-16. Yet he still leads the Lakers with 27.8 minutes per game.

Despite the minutes drop, Clarkson’s volume stats by and large compare with his solid 2015-16 numbers. But the secret sauce in his improvement comes from the steals department. Clarkson currently averages 1.8 thefts per tilt, a huge leap over last season’s 1.1 steals. He’s already posted multiple five-steal games, including last Friday’s monster 20-point, 4-3-pointer and 5-steal line versus the Warriors.

Julius Randle, PF 2015-16 Player Rater: 2.65 2016-17 Player Rater: 4.70

Cause one: his field goal percentage bump. His .538 percentage marks a quantum leap versus last season’s .429. Randle’s shooting has improved despite the average distance of his shot moving out from 6.7 to 7.9 feet. Even more incongruously, his biggest jump is in deep 2-pointers (from .254 to .556).

Womens Dennis Rodman Jersey The area where Randle’s doing something special for his position? Assists. Randle’s court vision has opened up to the tune of 3.8 assists per game. That’s one of the best big-men per game averages in the entire league.

Randle still isn’t adding much in the defense categories (0.7 steals, 0.6 blocks), but his dimes have the potential to make Randle a unique fantasy asset.

Nick Young, SG/SF 2015-16 Player Rater: -3.43 (depressed due to injury and a social media mishap) 2016-17 Player Rater: 4.45

Young’s heartwarming comeback campaign suffered a bit of a scare last night via an Achilles strain. It’s hard to believe, but the preternaturally sophomoric Young has transformed into something of a 31-year-old grizzled veteran.

Like every other Laker on this list, Young’s transformation arrives via efficiency. Young’s improvement is concentrated in one specific area: 3-point production. As of last night’s game, Young was averaging a career-high 2.6 3-pointers per game. That high average is accompanied by a career-high .418 3-point percentage.

(I mean come on. Nick Young’s eFG% is 59 percent! Walton should get Coach of the Year based on that alone.)

Minnesota also has plenty of reasons to want to move on from Peterson and the ongoing circus

Publicly, the Vikings have been supportive of Peterson. Owner Mark Wilf, general manager Rick Spielman and Warren have all stated in the past month that they would welcome Peterson back.

Peterson spoke last week Aaron Donald Youth Jersey about a potential return to Minnesota and talked about his love for the fans and teammates, per Ben Goessling of ESPN. Yet, Peterson also stated he is uneasy about going back because of certain rifts between he and the organization.

“Adrian was referring (in the article) to people that were kicking him when he was down,” Nelson Peterson said to the Pioneer Press. “It’s not the fans of Minnesota; it was people like Kevin Warren and those type of people, the Cris Carter-type of person, those type of people that he felt could have came to him (and) helped him.”

As for the Rams and Bradford, they could be headed for a breakup, if not this year, then for 2016, when the team can let Bradford walk and will have hopefully rebuilt a woeful offensive line and an iffy cast of skill players for whoever Fisher deems to be his next Kerry Collins salvage project.

The Rams aren’t likely to fetch much in return for Bradford. A few have suggested a second-round pick at best, a conditional one at that. That leaves the Rams betting on Bradford’s health too, even by getting rid of him.

It’s impossible to say where the Bills/Bradford trade rumor came from. Talking up Alec Ogletree Youth Jersey potentially interested teams could benefit Bradford’s agent by helping drive up the asking price in contract renegotiation talks with the Rams.

For now, Fox said he’s still trying to talk with Cutler and establish a relationship with the quarterback. “I’m getting to know the guy. This is a relationship business.”

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.”