Rarely does a playoff team flip a switch so hard, but Kansas City did, and it did so rather successfully.

It started with trading Alex Smith and anointing Patrick Mahomes as the new starting QB. Gone are Marcus Peters, Derrick Johnson and Albert Wilson. Arriving are Kendall Fuller, Anthony Hitchens and Sammy Watkins.

Fuller can end up being better than Peters all-around, and he will be much less of a headache for coach Andy Reid. Hitchens can make a ton of plays like Johnson did for many years, and at 25, he’s a decade younger.

Daniel was behind Carson Wentz in 2016, but the Eagles felt his advice was so important that they ate more than $4 million to cut him and replace Daniel with Nick Foles instead.

Cousins made top-market money up front and landed with a contender that will help him push his career to a higher (see: winning) level of success. The NFC runners-up from 2017 are the new NFC favorites for 2018.

They’re not playing together again. Brees got his two-year deal to return to the Saints, while Graham leaves Wilson and the Seahawks…. to join Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. The tight end has had a blessed career as a young basketballer-turned-veteran-red-zone-receiving-stud. Graham by default should work out for Green Bay after the Martellus Bennett disaster.

They’re the best. The Blackhawks have obviously slipped a few notches, while the Penguins have won back-to-back Cups.

Lucroy joins Nick Hundley of the Giants, Rene Rivera of the Angels and Chris Stewart of the Braves as the fourth free-agent catcher to sign a one-year major-league contract this offseason. Welington Castillo’s two-year, $15 million deal with the White Sox was the biggest for a free-agent catcher, while Chris Iannetta agreed to a two-year, $8.5 million contract with the Rockies and Alex Avila signed for two years and $8.25 million with the Diamondbacks.

Lucroy batted.310 with 2 homers and 13 RBIs in 46 games for the Colorado Rockies after being acquired in a midseason trade with the Texas Rangers. The two-time All-Star catcher hit.242 with 4 homers and 27 RBIs in 77 games for the Rangers before that.

“I’ll put it up against anybody’s,” the right-hander added. “And at the end of the season, we can look at the numbers and see how we all fared.”patriots_001

2018 NBA All-Star Game: Reserves leaked ahead of announcement

The 2018 NBA All-Star reserves — as selected by league head coaches — were leaked ahead of Tuesday’s 7 p.m. ET scheduled announcement on TNT.

Damian Lillard, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Karl-Anthony Towns, Russell Westbrook and LaMarcus Aldridge were named Western Conference reserves, according to multiple reports and later confirmed by the NBA.

Rooney’s favorite NHL goalie is Marc-Andre Fleury of the Vegas Golden Knights, and it’s not difficult to see the parallels between them. The manner in which Fleury has carried himself through adversity — remaining a beam of sunshine even after playoff disappointments or frustrating losses or being jettisoned to an expansion team — defines him. He lifts his teammates with his play and his attitude. Rooney did the same for the U.S. Olympic team. Whatever tension her teammates felt as the gold-medal game went to a shootout against Canada, Rooney undercut it by flashing that huge grin before the shootout and, as Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson notes, during it.

“Wanna be one of the first to Congratulate you on this accomplishment/achievement tonight that you’ll reach!” James wrote. “Only a handful has reach/seen it too and while I know it’s never been a goal of yours from the beginning try(please try) to take a moment for yourself on how you’ve done it!”

“The House you’re about to be apart of has only 6 seats in it(as of now) but 1 more will be added and you should be very proud and honored to be invited inside,” he continued. “There’s so many people to thank who has help this even become possible(so thank them all) and when u finally get your moment(alone) to yourself smile, look up to the higher skies and say THANK YOU! So with that said, Congrats again Young King ????! 1 Love! ”

James will join Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain and Dirk Nowitzki as the only players to score 30,000 points in their NBA career when he does eventually eclipse the number.

Clayton Keller is playing more like a seasoned veteran than a wide-eyed rookie.

He’s also a big reason for the Arizona Coyotes’ late-season surge.giants_151

Josh McDaniels will not be the next head coach of the Colts.

According to ESPN, McDaniels has decided not to take the job and to remain as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator.

The Colts announced Tuesday, they had agreed to terms with McDaniels to be their new head coach. In fact, they had set up an introductory press conference to announce his hiring Wednesday.

Now called Hard Rock Stadium, the venue that the NFL’s Miami Dolphins call home originally was named Joe Robbie Stadium when it opened in 1987. It has been renamed seven times since and has hosted five Super Bowls, with the old Miami Orange Bowl having hosted South Florida’s other five Super Bowls.

Thanks to its most recent renovation project, which was completed in 2016, Hard Rock Stadium will have a new look when the Super Bowl arrives in 2020.

While the stadium’s seating capacity was reduced from 75,000 to 65,000, the renovation that featured new video boards, suites and seating pods is at least one of the reasons the NFL is returning for Super Bowl 54.

“You know, I think we’re close,” Blank said when asked about his team’s chances of winning the franchise’s first Super Bowl, via ESPN.com. “Obviously, we were there last year. We got to the second round this year. We could have proceeded further, but we didn’t. So, I think the team is in good shape.

“We have some areas that need to be improved on and worked on. And I think the coach (Dan Quinn) and (GM) Thomas (Dimitroff) are aware of those. That’s why we have the draft and free agency, and we’ll be focused on those.”

The Falcons went 10-6 this past season, losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Eagles in the divisional playoff round. Atlanta will return almost every key player, but the offense averaged just 22.1 points per game after averaging 33.8 in 2016.

“I feel good about where we are,” Blank said. “I think our defense was consistently good throughout this past year. Our offense didn’t have that consistency. I think another year of (offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian) in the system and a year with (new quarterbacks coach) Greg Knapp, I think we’ll be in good shape.”

Chiefs’ Kareem Hunt promises to ‘get better’ after Rookie of the Year debut

Kansas City running back Kareem Hunt knows the Chiefs have questions to answer heading into 2018.

Hunt won’t be a question mark for the Chiefs in 2018. He’s part of a standout rookie running back class along with Jacksonville’s Leonard Fournette and New Orleans’ Alvin Kamara, who also helped their respective teams reach the postseason. Hunt admitted he doesn’t know much about fantasy football but enjoyed the volume of messages he received on Twitter and Instagram. He’s already picturing more for 2018.

Just keep getting better and not got comfortable, Hunt said. I want to get better with every year.

Hunt spent Friday signing autographs as part of a promotion with Panini America is the exclusive trading card partner of the NFL.

I’m signing my arm off right now, he said, but it’s for a good cause.

He looked pretty good to me, cornerback Malcolm Butler said Friday, per ESPN.com.

Added wide receiver Danny Amendola, He looked good … they’re always good throws [from him].

A source went so far as to tell NFL.com Brady was zinging it pretty good in Friday’s practice.

Meanwhile, more detail has surfaced about the cause of the injury. Per NFL Network, Brady suffered a cut on his right thumb during a collision with Rex Burkhead while trying to hand off the ball to the running back at Wednesday’s practice. The cut was gushing blood and required [four] stitches.

Perhaps Pats fans will be able to get some sleep after this positive news about Brady, but there’s little doubt the nervousness will linger until game time.patriots_125_945b21fa96ea9486-180x180

The Bears were 10th in total defense, allowing 319 yards per game.

red_wings_013Combined, the two tallied 1,592 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground, as well as 478 yards through the air. This offseason, you can expect the Bears to try to get Trubisky help on the outside, as Kendall Wright was their best receiver this season with 614 yards and one touchdown.

Defensively, there’s not quite as much work to be done.

The Bears have the No. 8 pick in the 2018 NFL draft, and could go a variety of ways with the pick. But the Bears seem like a fairly good fit for Nagy, who will have a fresh slate to work with.

“It’s not something we discussed, so to talk about reasoning, we’re talking hypotheticals. … Certainly he’s good enough to be a backup. … But we have a good No. 2, a guy that fits our system that we have familiarity with. He’s here for the same reason that [Dolphins coach] Adam Gase goes back to [Jay] Cutler. We know exactly what we’re going to get from the guy. Physically, Kaepernick’s more talented, but familiarity with a backup at that position, knowing exactly what you’re going to get, is more important than the ‘wow’ factor. … It’s like with [Robert Griffin III]; you had him playing a certain way, and he was a hell of a player. But as soon as defenses figured out what they were, and a specific way to play them, that’s where they had to be able to start to win from the pocket. If you can’t do that in this league, it’s tough.”

Let’s not make this harder than it actually is.

Stafford had completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 3,224 yards, 21 touchdowns, five interceptions and a 100.5 passer rating through 12 games last year, then tore ligaments in and dislocated the middle finger on his throwing hand, and played through that. He’s 29, and plays a position where three 30-somethings have won NFL MVP over the past four years. It’s easy to make the case that he’s still ascending.

Based on that, I’m not sure what anyone expected Detroit to do other than lock him up. Wait for the next Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers to fall out of the sky? Bottom out for a high draft pick, and hope you have it in the right year? Do that, and the likelihood is someone else will be doing the picking before you get it right.

Conversely, if you’re stable at the position, as Detroit has been the past nine years, it colors every other decision you make, and facilitates building, which isn’t lost on the man who was on the other side of the negotiating table.

Saints’ Drew Brees becomes third member of 70K club

The duo is now a trio.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees reached a new milestone on Sunday, joining Brett Favre and Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with at least 70,000 passing yards.

Brees entered Sunday’s game against the Falcons needing just 39 yards to reach 70K. The 17-year veteran eclipsed the mark with a 12-yard screen pass to Mark Ingram late in the first quarter.

Well on his way to a 12th straight 4,000-yard passing season, Brees is less than 2,000 yards behind Manning (71,940) for the most passing yards in league history, a record he could own midway through the 2018 season.

I fit whatever role they want me to fit, Barner said.Ealy’s hustle helped stop the play for a one-yard gain.It is understandable decision considering he has seen just 97 total targets the last two years and the Browns’ quarterback situation, but the 31-year-old slot is unlikely to find a hot market.

No matter the type of business, a Farmers agent can help you customize insurance package to reduce your risk and protect your investment.1966 Browne of the Cubs fans five times 18-inning game against the Reds.The hospital factors into a number of different areas, from pediatric to women’s health and the ER, it touches a lot of different people, Boyes said after Thursday’s presentation.This year be the year where we find out if Chisenhall has the chops to be a regular at the big league level or if he is destined to be a bit player.He definitely got slept on the draft and that’s why he went third round.

The reaction prompted a response from teammate and fellow wideout Mike Wallace, who defended Perriman after the game.

“That (stuff) is disrespectful,” Wallace told The Baltimore Sun. “I don’t agree with that. I would have flipped them the bird — everybody — if that was me. I’m happy he’s not like me. I would have turned around and flipped the bird to the whole stadium. That’s just me. I don’t care who likes it or how they feel. That’s disrespectful. They’re acting like he’s trying to have bad games.”

Perriman, however, was unaware he was being scrutinized.

“I didn’t know what the cheers were for,” Perriman said. “I didn’t know if they were good or bad. So I can’t be mad.”

Perriman, 24, has dealt with numerous injuries and failed to live up to his expectations since being selected by the Ravens with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. The UCF product has 10 catches for 44 yards with no touchdowns in 11 games played this season.

Everyone in western New York will be kicking themselves if that one game keeps them on the outside looking in.

“We can win a shootout against anybody,” Bell said. “I feel like we can score points whenever we need to.”

Good thing, because Pittsburgh might have to. The Ravens (7-6) rolled up 414 yards against the NFL’s fourth-ranked defense and recovered from a slow start to score on five consecutive drives and six out of seven to take a 38-29 lead on Javorius Allen’s second touchdown with 6:44 left.

Because Paul offers redundancy that in some ways improves the system when run by Harden, the Rockets as a team have a more robust and reliable offense, even utilizing the dreaded long-range shooting.

Bills: Benching Tyrod Taylor for Nathan Peterman, at Chargers, Week 11. Hopefully there will be a “30 For 30” on the exact thought process of Bills coach Sean McDermott in deciding that this was the time he needed to get Taylor out and get Peterman, the backup and a raw, untested fifth-round pick, in. The Bills might still have lost with Taylor, but no one will ever know, because Peterman was exactly what everybody except McDermott thought he would be.
“He’s like you,” Eppler replied. “He’s simple, humble, and he wants to be great.”

Ohtani took a moment during his news conference to send good wishes to the two-time MVP for his wedding. Asked why he had chosen No. 17 after wearing No. 11 in Japan, Ohtani quipped: “I actually wanted No. 27, but somebody else [Trout] was wearing that number.”

Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma — Baker Mayfield is the likely Heisman winner this season and he showed why again Saturday tossing four touchdowns while amassing 243 yards passing and 65 yards rushing against the best defense in the Big 12 in TCU.eagles_016_056fb65ad819b107-180x180

Greg Olsen injury update: Panthers TE’s foot checks out OK, report says

It’s unclear if he will miss any practice this week because of the lingering soreness.

Olsen had returned to practice on a full-time basis last week as the team was on its bye and was activated from injured reserve on Friday. His availability will be closely monitored this week as the Panthers prepare for a division showdown against the Saints.

Carolina (8-3) will look to keep its four-game winning streak alive when it visits New Orleans (8-3) at 4:25 p.m. ET Sunday.

Rishard Matthews, Tennessee Titans, hamstring, 4:05 p.m. ET: Hamstring issues have been the nemesis of many of the Titans, and Matthews is the latest victim. His injury surfaced during a practice session in advance of the Week 12 game, and he hasn’t played since. Even though he did not play last Sunday, Matthews had begun to increase his running work. This week, he continued his progress with a return to limited practice Wednesday. He upgraded to full participation Thursday and Friday and even expressed optimism about his status for Sunday early in the week. His removal from the pregame injury report cements his status for the Week 13 contest against the Cardinals.

The St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to a two-year, $11 million deal with reliever Luke Gregerson, a source told ESPN’s Buster Olney.

The deal includes a vesting option for 2020.

The 33-year-old right-hander struggled some with Houston last season. In 61 innings, he had a 4.57 ERA, marking the third straight year his ERA rose from the previous season.

He had 31 saves and a 3.10 ERA for Houston in 2015, following four straight seasons with a sub-3.00 ERA for San Diego and Oakland.

Seung-hwan Oh led the Cardinals with 20 saves last season, but the 34-year-old had a 4.10 ERA. Former closer Trevor Rosenthal, who lost the job to Oh, came on with 11 saves later in the year.orioles_018

With Chris Thompson out for the season, Washington rookie running back Samaje Perine is a must-own in all leagues.

Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland Browns (20.1 percent): It didn’t take long for Coleman to assimilate back into the Browns’ offense, as he posted six catches for 80 yards on 11 targets, an impressive line in his first game since Week 2 and especially against an incredible Jaguars secondary.

After the Eagles finished last season a lackluster 7-9, Roseman was on the hot seat, but he was granted another year because he had a coach and quarterback in their rookie seasons. Now, Wentz is blossoming and leading the team’s dramatic change in fortune. The Eagles are coming off their bye week at 8-1, the best record in the NFL.

It’s not fair or fun to bury Peterman, who was rushed onto an NFL field long before he was ready. The coaches who buried Taylor by knocking him for projected skills Peterman clearly doesn’t yet have deserve the blame for lighting their quarterback room on fire. Even worse, McDermott didn’t regret the decision after the game, chalking the result up to a bad outcome as opposed to a wrong call.

He rated at minus-7 defensive runs saved in 2017 — that’s seven runs below average. He rated minus-6 in 2016 and plus-1 in 2015. That’s one system. UZR graded him at minus-0.3 runs in 2017, minus-8.4 in 2016 and plus-1.0 in 2015.

Taylor also supposedly missed open receivers in the flow of the offense, which is true of every quarterback in the league and would be reflected in his impressive statistics if it were truly a hindrance. (And these were the best of what were admittedly some truly bad arguments.)

Hosmer is or isn’t a good defensive first baseman. Maybe you like defensive metrics or maybe you don’t, but the metrics almost always match the reputation of a player. Those with good defensive reputations usually rate well in the metrics.avalanche_420

Browns want Peyton Manning in major front office role, report says

When it comes to bringing in quarterbacks, few do it more often than the Cleveland Browns. However, the next QB they want won’t step on the field.

Despite their brutal lack of success, the Browns have a nice defensive cornerstone in place with Myles Garrett and will likely have the top pick (again) in the 2018 draft where they could take a shot (again) at a franchise quarterback like Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen.

Manning once turned around a losing franchise in Indianapolis, could he pull it off again in Cleveland?

With four top-10 teams and seven of the top 17 NBA draft prospects, as well as numerous sleepers who could emerge down the line, top-level executives and decision-makers from all 30 NBA teams will be scouting the event, despite its being held over a holiday.

Marcus Mariota completed 22 of 33 passes for 306 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions, adding 5 yards and one score on five carries against Pittsburgh on Thursday. Mariota now has 12 touchdowns (eight passing) and 10 interceptions in nine games this season. Granted, he missed one game, but Mariota sits 17th among quarterbacks in fantasy points this season. He has managed at least 13 fantasy points in eight of his nine outings but hasn’t finished a week ranked better than 11th in points at the position since Week 1.

Johnny Gaudreau’s 10-game point streak ended for the Flames.

The move was made as the Phillies added right-handers Seranthony Dominguez, Franklyn Kilome, Jose Taveras and left-hander Ranger Suarez to their 40-man roster.

By adding the pitchers to their 40-man roster, the Phillies protect them from being selected by another team in next month’s Rule 5 draft. The deadline to set rosters before the draft is Monday at 8 p.m. ET.nationals_001