Report: No team willing to give mid-round pick for Ereck Flowers

The Giants shopped Ereck Flowers during the draft but found no takers, Jordan Raanan of ESPN reports. The asking price of a mid-round draft pick was “too steep” for at least one team, Raanan adds.

Flowers, who is guaranteed $2.4 million this season, leaves the Giants with a decision to make on his future.

He has not endeared himself to the new coaching staff by skipping the team’s voluntary offseason workout program, remaining home in South Florida to train. The Giants wanted him to compete for the right tackle job after they signed Nate Solder to a record deal to play left tackle.

Michel is obviously staying put, and receiving ability could keep both White and Burkhead on the roster. Bolden has special teams value, and the Patriots like keeping a fullback like Develin around. Both Gillislee and Hill are prime cut candidates, and Gillislee has performed better between the two in recent years.

Gillislee averaged 5.7 yards per carry in both 2015 and 2016. Hill hasn’t topped four yards per carry since his rookie season in 2014.

Roethlisberger, 36, recently claimed he’d like to play another three to five years and has said he’d refer Rudolph to the playbook if the rookie sought assistance.

Rudolph threw 86 TDs over his last three seasons at Oklahoma State.

Attorneys for free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick deposed Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider over the past two days as part of Kaepernick’s ongoing collusion grievance against the NFL, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Thursday.

Speaking to reporters, Carroll didn’t definitively rule out the possibility of the Seahawks signing Kaepernick, per the News Tribune’s Gregg Bell.

Kaepernick filed his grievance last October, alleging team owners are conspiring to keep him out of the league as a result of his protests and social advocacy.

The Yankees challenged and the call was flipped when it was shown catcher Gary Sanchez nipped the back of the jersey of Olson, who tried a hook slide. If Olson used his feet to slide, he would have been safe. That let the Yankees get to the bottom of the ninth. colts_124

Stoneman Douglas state champs work out at Panthers’ arena, lift Stanley Cup

Players from the varsity and junior varsity squads were practicing at the BB&T Center to get ready for their appearance at the 2018 Hockey High School National Championships in Wayzata, Minnesota, from March 22-25.

“We’re pretty much fighting for the 17 who passed away,” senior Matthew Horowitz told reporters.

The players visited the BB&T Center on Sunday, too, as guests of Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, who attended Stoneman Douglas for two years before moving to Connecticut to finish high school.

The Panthers are wearing MSD patches on their jerseys for the remainder of the season. On Feb. 22, their first game back in Florida after the shooting, goalie Roberto Luongo addressed the crowd and spoke of the students at Douglas, saying, “You guys are an inspiration to all of us. At the end of the day, you guys are what’s giving us hope for the future. Thank you.”

The Golden Knights have lost four of their last five games and are without some of their key players due to injuries. The latest addition to the injury list is right winger Reilly Smith, who was injured late in the second period in the team’s 4-1 road loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. After taking a hit, Smith — who is tied for second on the squad’s scoring list with 60 points — left the ice holding his left side and did not return.

“I don’t have an update for you,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said after Tuesday night’s game. “Obviously, Reilly is one of our top players and he always plays a good game. I thought the team played well without him in the third period, but he’s a big loss to that line for sure.”

Smith joins defenseman Nate Schmidt (undisclosed), wingers James Neal (upper body), Oscar Lindberg (upper body) and Will Carrier (upper body), goaltender Malcolm Subban (upper body) and defenseman Luca Sbisa (undisclosed) on the injured list.

“We’re missing guys, but that’s no excuse for anything,” said center Erik Haula. “… We have a deep team. We’ve been saying that all year. Now it’s time to prove that.”

But left winger Tomas Tatar is healthy.packers_163

Beal said that the officials gave him a simple explanation afterward.

Washington’s second opportunity didn’t go so well. Center Marcin Gortat was forced to take a contested 21-foot jump shot that missed, ending the game.

“Excuse my language, because I’m gonna say verbatim what they said,” Beal said. “They said it’s something called the … some s— rule. It’s a freak rule. To me, it didn’t really make sense because you kind of take a basket away. You go back and we get the same amount of time, but we didn’t get the same amount of time and then the ball was placed in the corner.”

“(Giants chairman) Steve (Tisch) and I spoke after yesterday’s game in Oakland and agreed to talk again today,” said Gians president John Mara. “This morning, we decided in the best interest of the franchise that we would relieve Jerry and Ben of their duties, effective immediately. This season has been incredibly disappointing for the organization and our fans, and while it would be ideal to make these kinds of decisions at the conclusion of the season, we simply felt now is the time to prepare for a fresh start.

The team would only save $5 million in 2018 by cutting him, but it would save itself another $13 million that could be used in the future. It’s probably a given that Vernon will be retained if only to avoid carrying $12 million in dead money.

Harrison is probably safe no matter who is in charge, unless someone knocks the Giants out with a good trade package. He already has $2.5 million guaranteed for next season, and cutting him would only create $2.3 million in cap space. He remains one of the best run defenders in the NFL.

Jason Pierre-Paul is already locked into his contract with no escape other than trade, so keeping Harrison and Vernon would give the Giants — on paper, at least — a solid defensive line, which should help the team even while rebuilding next season.

The Texans have gone into a free fall as the AFC South has become out of reach for them behind the Titans and Jaguars.

The Cubs are also banking on Chatwood holding the improved velocity he showed in 2017. He had Tommy John surgery in July of 2014 and missed all of 2015. That was actually his second TJ surgery, having had his first one while still in high school. According to Statcast data, his four-seam fastball velocity improved from 92.7 mph in 2016 to 94.8 in 2017, the biggest increase in the majors.

Big injuries marred their chances early; now, little injuries have hurt their chances of a respectable finish.

The defense can’t seem to put things together, and the offensive personnel keeps being misused by Dirk Koetter. Jameis Winston has become a forcing-the-ball-to-Mike-Evans turnover machine. The lack of creativity is shocking.

With that in mind, let’s take a peek at 2018 salary cap and see what might lie in store for the Giants.

Despite that fiasco with the University of Tennesssee, Schiano is gaining steam for a return to head-coaching somewhere after rebounding from his Bucs burnout. Schiano, well respected by Bill Belichick, is New Jersey all the way, having led a turnaround at Rutgers. At only 51 and having learned a lot from Tampa Bay, Schiano could be better in a second NFL go-round.

Would Harbaugh leave the Wolverines for this other high-profile job? More important, would Giants ownership welcome his weirdness? Those are two big ifs, but at this point, Harbs can’t be ruled out to rejoin the ranks of brother John.

Blues coach Mike Yeo held his breath during the fight.

The problem for Peterson’s fantasy managers is twofold. First, a 7.5 GBYPA is actually lower than the league average of 7.8 GBYPA, so it isn’t exactly a feather in the proverbial metric hat.

The second issue is Peterson has posted a 7.7 GBYPA that is slightly lower than the team total in that metric and he has a GBYPA of 5 or fewer yards in the three aforementioned games where tallied fewer than five fantasy points.

And, if the general rule is that you need five fantasy points per thousand dollars of price, Antetokounmpo hasn’t hit that threshold in either scoring format in his past four games. It is legitimate to question whether Eric Bledsoe’s presence is contributing to that, and until that is answered and/or his price goes down a bit, Antetokounmpo is too risky to spend that much of your budget on.

The NFC is more open with the Seahawks and Cowboys at 5-3 and the Packers (4-3), Cardinals (4-4), Redskins (4-4) and Falcons (4-4) all in contention.

“We don’t want Vladdy getting into fights, but he sent a message there,” Yeo said. “If you saw the way the bench got up … I could hear what they were saying.

“It is what it is but again, you don’t want a guy like him fighting and he breaks his hand. He did pretty well. He’s so strong. But again, that’s not what we want him doing.”

It was Tarasenko’s second career Gordie Howe hat trick — a goal, an assist and a fight in the same game. The other one came on Nov. 13, 2014, against Nashville.nike_bills-081

Amazon will stream ‘Thursday Night Football’ in 2017. Here’s what you need to know

In 2016, the NFL and Twitter collaborated to let the social media service live stream 10 Thursday Night Football games. For the 2017 season, Amazon will own the rights to the games, according to Recode.

After averaging 35.5 points per game through the team’s first two games, the offense has averaged only 13.3 points per game over the team’s current losing streak. Oakland is 6-16 SU in its last 22 night games.

Thursday night’s total is set at 47 points. The OVER is 6-1 in Oakland’s last seven games at home.

With the way the Chiefs played in their first five games of the season, it would seem like an overreaction to worry too much about last week’s dud performance against Pittsburgh. Kansas City should be much more comfortable this week against a struggling opponent that it has enjoyed plenty of recent success against.

For some context, the Packers are currently fifth in passing yards allowed, though their ranking drops to 17th in opponents’ passer rating and they are 15th in pass DVOA. Last season in those three measures, the team ranked 31st, 26th, and 23rd, respectively.

In fact, with Watson under center, I might go so far as to say that the Texans offense is downright innovative right now. Bill O’Brien is drawing up plays you don’t typically see run at this level. All this after years of frequently watching Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett, Case Keenum, Brian Hoyer, T.J. Yates, Brandon Weeden, Brock Osweiler, and Tom Savage struggle to string together more than a scoring drive or two each week.

In 2016, Indianapolis had a turnover ratio of -5. The entire secondary produced seven interceptions with linebacker Akeem Ayers adding an eighth.

Hooker is responsible for three of the six. He is tied for the NFL lead in interceptions through the first four games.lakers_049

Ben Roethlisberger wonders if he ‘doesn’t have it anymore’

Ben Roethlisberger had a terrible day. Worse than that, really. He threw five interceptions in a 30-9 loss to the Jaguars in Pittsburgh. He became the first quarterback in history with more than 50 pass attempts, no touchdowns and five picks.

Koo’s struggles with the Chargers weren’t all his fault, as our own Nate Scott pointed out in his weekly NFL kickers column, Gramatica Errors. The blocking by his teammates during attempts was poor at times, and for crying out loud, Chargers. You can’t expect Younghoe Koo to do everything out there.

Still, Koo only converted three of six field goal attempts. One was blocked, and two were just misses. And it is pretty difficult for a team to justify sticking with a kicker who’s only converting 50 percent of his field goal attempts.

The Chargers signed Nick Novak to take Koo’s place. Novak has made 82.8 percent of his field goal attempts over his career.

“We feel like Nick (Novak) was the best choice for our team,” head coach Anthony Lynn said. “Nick has been an accurate kicker for a long time.”

Here’s hoping Koo gets another shot so we can get back to cheering him on again.

Adrian Peterson — AKA “All Day” — also matched his nickname, brutalizing the Bears all damn day. The Vikings rookie ran for the most yards ever against the Bears, with 224 on 20 carries, and gained the most all-purpose yards in a game against the Bears, with 361. He also set Vikings records for rushing yards and all-purpose yards in a game.

Peterson was in his 5th NFL game. Of the four records he set that day, the only one that no longer stands is the Vikings rushing record, which he broke himself.

Hester was in his 22nd NFL game. His first quarter punt return touchdown broke the franchise return TD record of eight, which Gale Sayers needed 43 games to set.falcons_032

Shaken up, Urshela was checked by a trainer but stayed in the game.

On Tuesday, commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to NFL teams expressing a belief that “everyone should stand for the national anthem” and that the dispute surrounding the issue is “threatening to erode the unifying power of our game.” He spoke of a plan that will be reviewed with the teams at next week’s league meeting, which would “include such elements as an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues.”

But in the aftermath of their season, several players spoke positively about Farrell while stopping short of openly lobbying for him to return.

“He’s done a great job,” right fielder Mookie Betts said. “I know no [Red Sox] manager has won back-to-back [division] titles, so it shows he’s done a great job in managing personalities and put us in a position to win. He listens to us and he talks with us. [It’s] one of those dynamics that he fits well.”

“We’re going to go as planned with Tanner,” Baker said about a half-hour after Major League Baseball announced that Game 4 instead will be played Wednesday at 4:08 p.m. ET.

Despite missing his entire first two seasons with injuries and undergoing season-ending surgery that limited him to 31 games in 2016-17, Embiid showed the promise of being a transformational talent. He averaged 20.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game last season.

Embiid, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, had successive surgeries on his right foot that sidelined him in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. Surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee ended his 2016-17 season in March. Embiid has yet to make his debut this preseason but recently returned to full-contact participation in practices.

The positive thing is we’re 4-1 and we know we can be a lot better.

Josh Robinson, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Robinson exited the game against the Patriots in the first half due to a concussion, and did not return. Robinson serves primarily as the Bucs’ gunner on special teams.

Ryan Russell, DE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: A shoulder injury knocked Russell out of action during the second half on Thursday night, and he did not return. Following the contest, the team indicated Russell had dislocated his shoulder, and he is expected to miss 2-4 weeks.

Find a way. The Panthers are 4-1 and a half-game in front of the defending NFC champion Falcons, who had the week off. The Saints and Buccaneers are at 2-2, and there’s only been one intradivision NFC South game so far. The next one isn’t until Week 8. No way at all to know how that division will sort itself out, but in the meantime, Carolina fires the measuring stick right back up again Thursday night, hosting those 4-1 Eagles in what could be an NFC playoff preview but yeah it’s still too early to tell.

“There’s still a lot to work on,” said Panthers rookie running back Christian McCaffrey, who had his first NFL touchdown on Sunday. “Every day is about finding a way to get better. ”

It’s all about finding a way. The Panthers and the Lions met here Sunday with each trying to find its way back to the NFC playoffs. The early part of the season has shown that each has the defense to do it but needs to work on the offense. The Panthers’ offense has found a way to stack two good games in a row, so they’re 4-1 and the Lions are 3-2. Will they meet again? They could find a way.x (1)

How to bet Minnesota-Chicago

ESPN Chalk’s NFL Vegas experts (Phil Steele, Erin Rynning, Warren Sharp and Mike Clay) are here to provide analysis and best bets for Monday night’s tilt between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears.

“Sources said Brown has felt strongly the urge to kneel in protest during the anthem, but the Steelers have been in unison standing or remaining off the field during the playing of it. Sunday, when the quarterback did not throw to him early in the game, when he was wide open for a possible TD, Brown took it personally and believed it was related to his recent dispute with Roethlisberger, according to the sources, which led to his sideline blow-up.”

Brown on Wednesday apologized for his tantrum. A day prior, Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin had addressed the matter.

“It doesn’t need to happen,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “It shouldn’t happen. Hopefully, he learned a lesson through that. A.B. is a competitor, we all know that. It aids him, it aids us. He has to control (his emotions). If not, it can work against him, it can work against us. Those are lessons you learn along the way.”

Roethlisberger also spoke out Tuesday against Brown’s actions, saying, “I don’t know (if) he needs to react that way. He’s superhuman on the football field, and when that happens it almost brings him back to being a mere mortal, if you will. Because it gets in his head and it just messes with all of us a little bit. I’m not trying to call AB out. I just think this is causing a distraction that none of us really need.”

Brown, who has 30 catches for 388 yards and a touchdown through four games in 2017, was held to just four catches for 34 yards against Baltimore.
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