Month: April 2018

Dolphins Sign TE Gavin Escobar

The Miami Dolphins announced Monday that they’ve signed TE Gavin Escobar to a contract.

Escobar, 27, is a former second-round pick of the Cowboys back in 2013. He played out his four-year, $4.21 million rookie contract with the Cowboys and was testing the open market for the first time in his career when he signed a one-year. $885,000 contract that included $80,000 guaranteed with the Chiefs last year.

For the Colts to consider moving from six to 11 or 12, I’m guessing the price would be that pick plus another first-rounder, plus a mid-round pick this year or next. Buffalo, for instance, might offer 12 and 22 in the first round this year, plus a third or fourth next year. That might be worth the risk for the Colts. Two sides of the Reuben Foster story Sometimes your best draft choices are the picks you don’t make. The Saints were thinking that way last week, when San Francisco linebacker Reuben Foster—a target of New Orleans late in the 2017 first round—was charged with felony domestic violence.

Authorities in California said Foster dragged his girlfriend by the hair, punched her in the head eight to 10 times, and punctured her ear drum. The 49ers are letting the legal system run its course, for now, but if the charges prove true, it’s hard to imagine Foster stays on the roster of a franchise with a recent history of sordid acts by prominent players.

Rapoport further wrote that the hope is that another team will medically clear him.

There was no immediate confirmation from the Seahawks on the report.

McDowell, taken with the 35th overall pick in the second round out of Michigan State, was on the Non-Football Injury list all of last season after suffering a head injury in an ATV accident last July. Coach Pete Carroll referred to his injury as a really bad concussion.

Asked about McDowell at the NFL league meetings in Orlando last month, Carroll said he no update on McDowell.

No, sorry, Carroll said when asked if there was anything new on McDowell. I haven’t had a good response for you in a long time on that one, sorry.

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Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly discharged from hospital

Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly has been released from the hospital, according to his wife.

Jill Kelly posted an Instagram photo of her husband leaving the facility with the caption, “With a swollen smile, and a cane in his hand he was DISCHARGED from the hospital today!”

The former Bills great recently underwent surgery to remove cancer from his jaw and is expected to continue his recovery in New York, according to Jill.

Kelly played for the Bills from 1986 to 1996 and led them four consecutive Super Bowls. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

The Steelers already put some of their Ryan Shazier fallback plan in place by signing former Colts and Bears inside linebacker Jon Bostic, but Evans would be a tremendous fit for their system. Like Shazier, Evans is a natural leader and a stat-sheet stuffer.

You can’t spell Jacksonville without Jackson — not in this mock draft, at least. The Jaguars extended Blake Bortles, but even with the notable investment, he’s signed through only 2020. Unless Jackson lands with an offense catered to his running ability in which he could start as a rookie, he will be best off in a developmental situation like this — a team that has the NFL’s top rushing attack and an established West Coast passing game.

It still does not appear likely the Giants will take a quarterback, at least not with the No. 2 pick. Their extensive study of all the top prospects included dinner, tours of the team facility and plenty of football talk. By the end of this process, they will know all they need to know about Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen. Impressions will be made, but the facts cannot be altered: The body of work of these players is not commensurate with what the Giants require the No. 2 pick to be.

“You got to do your due diligence when you’re there at second, if you don’t do to these workouts at No. 2 and you really don’t have an interest in these guys, then you’re tipping your hand,’’ a source with knowledge of the Giants’ draft thinking told The Post.dolphins_127

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Reuben Foster will not participate in team activities

Linebacker Reuben Foster will not participate in San Francisco 49ers team activities that begin Monday, the team announced on Sunday.

CEO Jed York, GM John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan said in a team statement that “Foster will not participate in team activities as he is tending to his legal matters. As previously stated, his future with the team will be determined by the information revealed during the legal process.”

Foster, 24, was charged with multiple domestic violence and weapons counts last week in connection with a February arrest.

Stanton will go into this week’s Yankees-Marlins series feeling good about his game after a lot of early struggles, including two five-strikeout games that got a lot of media attention.

He’s hitting just .220 in 14 games with 25 strikeouts in 59 at-bats, but has been fairly productive with three homer and 10 RBIs. And although he was 0-for-5 again with two strikeouts against the Tigers on Friday, his roadtrip began with a good series in Boston in which he was 6-for-12 with a double, triple and three RBIs in three games.

The 2018 NFL Draft starts Thursday, April 26, and ends Saturday, April 28. The first round will be featured Thursday night, with the second and third rounds taking place Friday night; the final five rounds will be on Saturday.

This year’s draft is being held at the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Believe it or not, this will be the first draft held in an NFL stadium.

Live coverage of the 2018 NFL Draft starts at 8 p.m. ET on April 26 for Round 1. The draft resumes at 7 p.m. on April 27 for Rounds 2-3, and then again at noon on April 28.

This year’s draft will be covered by two broadcast networks (Fox and ABC) and four cable outlets (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, NFL Network). For the first time, all seven rounds of the three-day event will air live on broadcast TV.

Round 1 on April 26 (8 p.m. ET) will air on five channels: NFL Network, Fox, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. Troy Aikman, Fox’s lead NFL analyst, will join NFL Network’s Rich Eisen and Mike Mayock at the analyst desk.dolphins_003

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Eagles release Daryl Worley after cornerback’s arrest

The Philadelphia Eagles released Daryl Worley on Sunday after the cornerback was arrested for allegedly being combative with Philadelphia police, multiple law enforcement sources told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.

The Eagles confirmed Worley’s arrest prior to his release, saying in a statement, “We are in the process of gathering more information about Daryl Worley ‘s arrest this morning.”

After adding new coach Matt Nagy and retooling their offense, the Bears likely will look to add to their defense early in the draft. Edmunds, only 19 years old, is a special talent and can fit into multiple spots in the Bears’ defense.

Rosen might experience a minor slide on draft day, and if so, the 49ers of all the teams in the top 10 are most likely to trade down. While the Patriots, Jaguars and Bengals all could make a similar move, the Chargers have been quiet during this draft process and need to start planning for the future.

New coach Jon Gruden would love to add to his offense, but Smith is the type of high-character, plug-and-play leader who can help solidify the Raiders’ defensive talent. Cornerback also is a strong option.

According to NFL Network, Worley was tased during the 6 a.m. arrest after he allegedly became combative toward police.

Here are five observations about the Eagles decision to cut ties with Worley. 

1. It was a low-risk, high reward move. The risk still won out. It seemed curious that the Panthers would be willing to move on from a 23-year-old cornerback on his rookie contract, who seemingly remained productive. The Eagles likely were going to release Smith anyway, though, so general manager Howie Roseman was lauded for deftly bringing in a young cornerback option. Now he’s already gone.

2. It won’t cost anything.  Worley was only set to earn $670,000 this season and $755,000 next season as part of the contract he signed before his rookie season with the Panthers. The Eagles will save $670,000 without incurring a dead cap penalty. It’s not much, but the team is tight for cap space — just $1.675 million under the cap prior to Worley’s release, per NFLPA — and every dollar counts. seahawks_051

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Competition Committee opposed pass interference change, 6-2

If the Jets’ proposal to change defensive pass interference from a spot foul to a 15-yard penalty is going to be successful, it’s going to need a lot more support than it enjoyed within the Competition Committee.

San Antonio Rampage forward A.J.After winning the Cup 1955, Detroit shocked everyone by trading Sawchuk to the Boston Bruins.Puck is dumped Stars zone by Fehr.Brown made impact right away for the Raiders his first, setting the NFL record for most combined yards by a rookie with 2 yards.ran and went back into first, and the trainer told me that his legs were weak at that point time.They’re playing the game the right way, Blues coach Hitchcock said.

I’ve watched him play a couple times, and he has a knack for it, Woodson said.Defensively was where he really made impression, though.Miami already had extended Jansen a five-year, $80-million offer, according to a Yahoo Sports report.Wide receiver Hogan emerged as unlikely hero the New England Patriots’ 36 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers the AFC Championship Game, racking up a career-best 180 receiving yards and a pair of first-half touchdowns.The Saskatchewan native was drafted the fifth round, 155th overall, by the Calgary Flames 2000.

Below is a breakdown of the Giants’ 2018 schedule. Details of New York’s regular-season schedule, including dates and kickoff times, will be added when the NFL makes them available.

Toughest tests: Not including the Giants’ NFC East rivals, seven of the 10 non-divisional opponents on their schedule are strong playoff contenders. And the Colts, Bears and Buccaneers are not exactly push-overs. Road games at domes in Atlanta and Houston will be particularly tough.

Biggest breaks: Speaking of games in domes, New York is fortunate it does not have to travel to New Orleans. It also gets to host two tough playoff teams from the AFC South in Jacksonville and Tennessee. Chicago as New York’s intraconference matchup presents a winnable game.

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Steelers schedule 2018: Pittsburgh faces familiar road in title hunt

The Steelers’ 2018 schedule is yet another first-place schedule to which the defending AFC North champions have become accustomed. That means Pittsburgh will get another shot at Jacksonville, which knocked the Steelers out of the playoffs in the divisional round last season.

Biggest breaks: The Chargers have to make a cross-country trip to play the Steelers. As for the Chiefs, they haven’t beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh since Dec. 21, 1986.

Bottom line: The road game against Jacksonville should be interesting. That’s the team that beat the Steelers twice last year and upset the pecking order in the AFC. Something else to watch: Pittsburgh has lost just three AFC North games in the last three seasons It shouldn’t see much of a slide in 2018. Record prediction: 12-4

Donald, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, is entering the final year of his rookie contract but could be headed for a big payday after Rams general manager Les Snead referred to him as “someone who is on the verge of becoming the highest-paid defensive player in football.”

While the Rams had made it a priority to complete a long-term extension with Donald this offseason, a deal has yet to be reached. Meanwhile, the team has made a number of notable roster moves in acquiring Brandin Cooks, Marcus Peters, Ndamukong Suh and Aqib Talib.

Donald, who turns 27 next month, is coming off a strong season in which he recorded 11 sacks. In his first four years with the Rams, he has been named to four Pro Bowls and earned three first-team All-Pro selections.

Green Bay needs a pass-rusher and a cornerback early in this draft, and they’ll likely have the choice between Landry and Minkah Fitzpatrick. Landry has more upside and can be this team’s defensive anchor moving forward.

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Patriots’ 2018 draft picks: Lamar Jackson firmly in play with two first-rounders

If you think the Patriots have had a wild offseason since NFL free agency began, just wait until they’re on the clock in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Pick Nos. 43, 63 and No. 95 give the Patriots a ton of flexibility. For their top second-rounder, of the players mentioned above, Rudolph and Hubbard are most likely to be available. Stanford safety Justin Reid, South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert and Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington also would be solid picks.

The Patriots of late have not gotten much of an impact from the draft, as they haven’t had the necessary picks to manipulate the board exactly how Belichick would like. They wield that great power now, and everyone knows it comes with great responsibility. Don’t expect anything less than amazing when we look back on this transition class for New England five years or so later.

The report stated that the Bills and Saints have also shown interest, but New Orleans just signed ex-Bear Cameron Meredith and Buffalo doesn’t seem to interest Bryant.

Bryant has just 150 receptions over the last three seasons. He has not had over 900 yards during that time, either, while scoring just 17 touchdowns. He averaged over 90 receptions for over 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns the previous three seasons.

The Ravens haven’t had much luck with veteran receivers in recent seasons, but Bryant may just need a change of scenery to rediscover his best form.

With the 2018 NFL Draft less than two weeks away, the first-round picture remains as murky as ever. The first overall pick is still included in trade discussions, and even if the Browns stay put, the discussion moves to the draft’s two best quarterbacks.

Add the flurry of trade talks, and this class is set to be one of the most intriguing in recent history.seahawks_003

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David Johnson: Cardinals Can Be Best Offense in NFL with Sam Bradford

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson has high expectations with Sam Bradford leading the offense in 2018.   

Appearing on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio on Wednesday, Johnson said the Cardinals will have the best offense in the NFL if the quarterback stays healthy:

“We’re going to be great if Sam Bradford is healthy. … For me watching him personally I’ve seen him do some great things. I think the biggest thing is just being healthy. Not just with the addition of him but also the linemen we got, the receivers and everyone else that we have added to the team on the offensive side, I think we definitely will be the top offense in the league this year.”

McCourty was near-shutdown in coverage last season as a surprise late signing for the Browns. They are retooling their secondary for a new regime, so the Patriots benefit and get a solid No. 2 replacement for Butler opposite Stephon Gilmore. The bonus is having Jason play with his brother Devin.

The price might seem high for a diminutive dasher who isn’t built to handle 20-25 touches per game, but there’s a lot of the Falcons’ Tevin Coleman in Kyle Shahahan’s latest open-field backfield cog. McKinnon improved his value with some big games filling in for Cook in Minnesota last season. He should be paired with another early-down, Devonta Freeman-type back in San Francisco. Look for that option to come in a deep running back draft.

“That’s probably something I think about a lot, and have for a long time,” Patricia said at last month’s league meetings. “I think it’s just kind of going to be who I am and what I think the team should be. I think it’s important for them to understand who I am as a person, and how I feel about this game, and how passionate I am about this game — how much I believe in the relationship part of this game. And this is family. So that hopefully all that will be conveyed through my conversation with them the first time I get a chance to talk to them.

“But also, I want them to understand what I’m looking for from a team when we turn on the film, making sure that we’re playing smart football, tough football, fundamentally sound football,” Patricia said. “Those are all very important things to me that you build on and you start from.”

One player who will not be in the building today is defensive end Ziggy Ansah. He’s remaining in his home country Ghana for a family obligation, according to a team source. He and his representation have been in regular communication with the organization’s leadership, including Patricia, making sure the team is familiar with his plans. Those talks, and the relationship between player and team, were characterized as positive by the source. The expectation is Ansah will be back with the Lions in the near future.la_kings_003

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