Monthly Archives: January 2017

Romo threw 34 touchdown passes over 15 games in 2014

All of which leaves Trujillo, a watchdog in a state not known for big-time gambling, as the only law enforcement official in the nation attempting to stem a $5 billion gambling avalanche.

In September, Trujillo sent a letter to Newell that threatened the billionaire and his executives with “possible criminal charges” if Valve continued to facilitate “illegal activities.” In a response, a Valve lawyer dismissed the agent’s concerns as misplaced, arguing that Valve has “no business relationship” with gambling sites and doesn’t “encourage” its customers to use them.

But Elijah blames Valve for many of his problems. At rock bottom, he was so hopeless that he called a gambling hotline for help with suicidal thoughts. “Like, I was 16 years old and I couldn’t … I lost all this money and I wanted to end my life,” he says. “It was just really bad.”

But they don’t have a Roethlisberger or a Brady, an Aaron Rodgers or a Matt Ryan. Romo could give them one.

Romo threw 34 touchdown passes over 15 games in 2014. That’s more than twice the number Smith had in 2016. Romo threw for a career-high 4,900 yards as recently as 2012. Smith threw a career high of 3,500 yards in 2016.

It’s hard to deny the boost the Chiefs would get with Romo.

The decision is much more complex. Even if he’s healthy and lasts a full season, there’s no telling whether Romo would be the same player he was earlier in his career. He is at the age where many quarterbacks start to lose their skills. Squeezing Romo’s contract into an already challenging salary cap situation is another matter that would have to be resolved.

Will the Broncos make Demaryius Thomas the NFL’s highest paid receiver?

Game Andrew Bogut Jersey BIG OFFER FOR THOMAS: Negotiations continue between the Broncos and Demaryius Thomas. The latest report says they’ve offered him a deal with more than $40 million guaranteed. That may not be enough if he wants Calvin Johnson money ($48 million guaranteed). If he doesn’t get a deal, don’t be surprised if he doesn’t show up for camp and the preseason … at least.
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DEZLINE: Dez Bryant has all the leverage in talks with the Cowboys. One problem for the team: they might not have enough money to sign him to the kind of deal he wants.

KICKERS: A long-term deal between the Patriots and kicker Steven Gostkowski seems like a no-go. Are they waiting for a free agent market with at least a dozen viable options in 2016?

WILL HOUSTON HAVE A DEAL?: There’s no deal yet between the Chiefs and Justin Houston, but there’s plenty of reason for optimism. I’d say of the five players who got franchised, this is the one most likely to get a new contract before the 4 p.m. ET deadline today.

BAD TITANS: The Titans are holding firm on the offsets in Marcus Mariota’s contract, and that means they could start camp without their franchise quarterback. No worries, cheap owners, it’s not like quarterbacks are hard to find. Vince Young would probably do it if you called him.

Head coach Andy Reid added, “Justin has a relentless work ethic on the field and in the classroom, and he provides our team with tremendous leadership. He is a fearless competitor, and we are glad he is going to be back.”

Just 26 years old, Houston has combined with Tamba Hali as the NFL’s best pass-rushing tandem and could be a star for many more years in Kansas City. In 59 games in his career, Houston has totaled 199 tackles, 48.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles and one interception.

Leonard admitted the loss wiped away the shine of his career night

Although Leonard entered the contest Saturday as the two-time reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year, the Spurs didn’t use him to guard Booker until late in the fourth quarter. The Spurs spent the majority of the game using Parker to guard Booker, and the 20-year-old made sure to capitalize.
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Booker scored 26 points in the second half, yet San Antonio led by 5 (85-80) to start the fourth quarter. The Spurs actually led by 11 with 1:22 remaining in the third, only to watch Booker and the Suns whittle down the lead.

Julio Jones Mens Jersey San Antonio entered the game 26-2 when leading after three quarters this season, and its only losses under those circumstances had taken place in its past two defeats (Tuesday vs. Milwaukee and Jan. 1 at the Hawks). Make that three, courtesy of Phoenix.

On the flip side, Phoenix’s win over the Spurs marked the Suns’ third victory of the season when trailing entering the fourth quarter. Phoenix entered the contest holding a 2-23 mark in games it trailed to start the fourth quarter.

“I thought the Suns did a great job of being aggressive for 48 minutes,” Popovich said. “They clearly played very competitively for the 48, as is evidenced by the 26, or so, second-chance points they got. And, we exacerbated that with 20 points off our turnovers. So, that was really the game. You don’t want to come down to the end of the game having to make a shot to win it. You’ve got to win games earlier than that, but I thought that’s what won the game for them — their second-chance points and points off our turnovers. They did a great job.”

Carr played in every game and almost every snap

Game Scott Simonson Jersey Do the Cowboys revamp the secondary? Brandon Carr, Barry Church, Morris Claiborne and J.J. Wilcox are free agents. Carr played in every game and almost every snap. He had just one interception but had his best season. Church missed four games with a fractured forearm but continued to make plays and the defense was better with him on the field. Wilcox rebounded with a solid season mostly in a reserve role and is the defense’s biggest hitter.
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Claiborne was off to his best start but missed nine games with a groin injury. The Cowboys would rather keep their own than sign other free agents and they don’t have a safety ready to move into a starting role, so Church could be back. Carr’s durability is a plus over Claiborne but Claiborne is younger. One of the two could be back, but the price on both might be good enough for the Cowboys to keep them together for another season.

Cardinals G Mike Iupati missed Wednesday’s practice to get tests run on his left knee.

“I’m sending him to a doctor. I don’t know,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. “He’s got a knee swelling a little bit.”

The Cardinals signed the 28-year-old away from San Francisco this summer in order to try to strengthen their running game. The three-time Pro Bowler will make a guaranteed $22.5 million on a deal that could extend to five years and $40 million.

The Raiders announced Wednesday that WR Andre Holmes will miss the rest of the preseason and possibly the season opener after sustaining a broken hand Sunday in practice. Holmes, who is battling for the final receiver spot, had the best year of a spotty career last season, catching 47 passes for 693 yards and four touchdowns.

Fantasy football sleeper running backs in 2015

The old saying goes that you can’t win your league in the first round, but you can lose it. Here, we’re focusing on the first part of that saying. It means that you’ll take an expected guy early in the draft, and get fine production out of him, but so will everyone else.

It’s later in the draft — eying up-and-comers and returning veterans and guys in new situations — where you really make your bones. The first rounds are crucial, but the later rounds are the most important.

Drew Brees, Saints
Brees put up his worst fantasy production since 2010 last year. Now, that does not mean he was bad — he still finished sixth at the position, still averaged 18.1 fantasy points a game — but it is true nonetheless. He lost Brandin Cooks, Mark Ingram and Jimmy Graham for multiple games, had a terrible defense, and wasn’t his usual self in home games compared to past years. Some are calling for a bounce-back, and honestly, talent-wise that’s on the table. Remember, though, that the Saints traded for Max Unger and signed C.J. Spiller in the offseason.

Graham and Kenny Stills are gone, but the team retained Ingram and Khiry Robinson. The Saints might be surprisingly run-heavy in 2015. Combine that with the worries about Brees’ production from last year, and I know I wouldn’t want him as my starter.

In 2008, his team, the Parramatta Eels, were one of the worst in the league. The following year, in 2009, the Eels were still — surprise, surprise — awful. That is, until Hayne barreled through with an astonishing string of seven Man of the Match performances. As a result, Hayne was awarded Fullback of the Year. Additionally, he was crowned the best and fairest player, winning the Dally M Medal.

Hayne tied for the medal again in 2014 after another stellar season.

The Patriots went to great lengths to get signals and other information about their opponents

A congressional inquiry that would put league officials under oath had to be avoided, Martz recalls Goodell telling him. “If it ever got to an investigation, it would be terrible for the league,” Goodell said.

Game Kids Tony Moeaki Jersey This, understandably, angered the rest of the league’s owners, who were pushing Goodell to go after the Patriots this time around.

The Patriots went to great lengths to get signals and other information about their opponents. In fact, it borders on Keystone Cops type stuff or Spy vs. Spy, the old Mad Magazine series.

Patriots staffers would dress like media members, covering team logos on their clothing or turning sweatshirts inside out to hide their team gear. They would also wear badges, credentials marked for Patriots TV or Kraft Productions. That trick came in handy when the league, in cooperation with the Jets, set up a sting to catch the Patriots in the act.

Although it may have come against Georgia Southern, West Virginia senior safety Karl Joseph had the game of his career with three interceptions and a fumble recovery on Saturday. Coming into this season, Joseph was considered a hard-hitting safety who needed to play better against the pass. Obviously he’s off to a good start.

Georgia Southern is an option team, so Joseph was mostly playing his assignment and capitalizing on some bad passes. But three interceptions is still three interceptions. The best of the three came when Joseph was locked on the hip of a Georgia Southern receiver and had to break back on the ball, quickly stepping in front for the interception.

Game Womens Ladarius Green Jersey “He studies so much film, understands it and knows where they want to attack,” West Virginia defensive coordinator Tony Gibson said to Fox Sports about Joseph after the game. “The misnomer on him is that he’s just a hitter, but he really is so much more than that. He has such instincts and a great feel for the game. He’s a kid that just gets it.”

The “chatter” Pittinger hopes to address stems from Porter’s reputation as a “hot head,”

Porter’s defense attorney, Robert Del Greco, told the AP on Wednesday, that he has not met with Porter and can’t comment on the charges. But he stressed that “whatever investigation has been launched by the review board has been done on their own accord and not as a result of any complaint filed by Joey Porter personally or me on his behalf.”

The “chatter” Pittinger hopes to address stems from Porter’s reputation as a “hot head,” she said, and his high profile as a Steelers coach and former star player.

Abel has a controversial past and was nearly fired for a 2008 incident in which he pistol-whipped and shot a man while off-duty. Abel said the man walked up to his car at a red light and punched him.

The most significant difference between rookies and second-year quarterbacks is the ability of passers to avoid mistakes. While completion percentages typically improve by an average of two percent and touchdowns stay relatively steady, passer ratings take a significant jump on average, thanks to fewer interceptions.

That title, Brandt said, should go to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady — who has provided another MVP-caliber year at a hometown discount salary that averages $14.4 million per year between 2015 and ’18. Conservatively, Brady would get at least 40 percent more than that on the open market.
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Limited Kids Ricardo Louis Jersey But you get the point. There isn’t much precedent, if any, for what Blount has provided the Patriots this season. He has produced the best season of his career, and one of the most important in the NFL this season, at nearly the lowest rate his team could have paid him.

Odell Beckham can do more ridiculous things than you realized

Given some momentum, San Francisco went 88 yards on their first drive of the second half, with Kaepernick hitting Anquan Boldin to tie the game.

Manning seemed to put a halt to the Niners’ momentum with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Beckham, which OBJ celebrated in his usual low-key manner.

San Francisco, though, came right back to make it 20-20 with 11:53 to play. This time, it was the Giants who got conservative, kicking a 24-yard field goal on fourth-and-1 from the San Francisco 5-yard line to take a three-point lead with 4:37 to go.

Three things we learned

1) Odell Beckham can do more ridiculous things than you realized

Beckham caught his third quarter touchdown pass while running toward the center of the field. Somehow, within one step, he had made a 180-degree turn and sprinted around the defensive backs for a touchdown.

Unfortunately for the Giants, Beckham sustained a hamstring injury, either on the spin move or the celebration, and missed all but the last few seconds of the game.

2) The clocks are not placed well at MetLife Stadium

As the third quarter came to an end, Kaepernick realized that the play clock ¡ª located at field level -¡ª was down to four seconds and he wasn’t going to get the play off. He did what most quarterbacks would do: He called a timeout.

Game Kids Ty Lawson Jersey What Kaepernick didn’t realize was that there were only two seconds left in the quarter ¡ª it was going to expire before the play clock would have hit zero. The problem is that there’s no game clock on field level at MetLife ¡ª you have to look up to the top of the first deck to see the two clocks next to each other.

3) Both of these teams have defensive issues
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After a low-scoring first quarter, the teams spent the next 45 minutes of game time throwing long drives at each other. During the second half, either team could have won the game by getting two straight defensive stops, but neither came close.

With Gerald Henderson and Jerryd Bayless both hurt, who exactly do Philly fans want launching from deep?

Welcome back to another edition of the Insider cheat sheet, our weekly roundup of crucial fantasy basketball information taken from ESPN’s group of NBA Insiders.
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Every Friday throughout the season, we’ll provide a rundown of the most crucial bits of intel. You’ll gain guidance from some of the biggest names in the game — including Amin Elhassan, Tom Haberstroh and Kevin Pelton — to take your fantasy teams to the next level.

Here’s what our experts are saying about the week ahead.

Man, this is brutal. I get that Covington is slumping; he’s shooting 28 percent on 3s, but he’s still launching six per game. That is frustrating to watch for fans who just want every Philly player to pass the damn ball to Joel Embiid.

But booing every miss, as Sixers fans have started to do, seems excessive. Covington is an undrafted surprise locked into a four-year minimum-salary contract. Literally any NBA-level production from that player type is an unexpected positive. Covington wildly outperformed that contract for three years as an above-average 3-point shooter, and now (some) Philly fans are punishing him for building up expectations.

His job is to shoot! With Gerald Henderson and Jerryd Bayless both hurt, who exactly do Philly fans want launching from deep? Covington isn’t Josh Smith, launching hopeless bricks despite being a skilled inside player with zero track record of credible 3-point shooting.
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Have some faith Covington’s 3-point mark will float back up toward his career norms! Cheer him into a hot streak! He’s trying hard on both ends, and doing what the team asks.

Carlos Martinez is the team’s best player, and a fan-favorite

With all this in mind, here’s what I think the Cards should offer Carlos: $55M over the next five years, plus two options at $15M a piece. When considering his projected cost in arbitration, plus the projected value of his first two free agent years, this is 68.5% of his worth calculated here. The team also gets two option years that could come at quite the discount depending on how Martinez ages.

This seems like a point where it’s a David Johnson Authentic Jersey win-win for both. Carlos gets a guarantee ten times higher than what he’s projected to make next year. Worst case scenario, he and his family will have obtained generational wealth that people like us can only dream of. Best case scenario, he makes $85M through his Womens Joel Ward Jersey age 31 season, and enters free agent market still an attractive asset, worthy of a $100M+ guarantee.

The Royals suffered a major blow last May when Mike Moustakas collided with Alex Gordon on a foul ball in Chicago that tore Moustakas’ ACL, causing him to miss the remainder of the season. Rookie Cheslor Cuthbert held his own, but his bat was a far cry from the improved offensive performance Moustakas had shown in 2015 and the first month of 2016. The Royals also badly missed Moose’s terrific defense at third, with Cuthbert being a significant downgrade.

Moustakas returns after nearly a year off, but questions still remain whether he will be the same kind of player who hit .277/.340/.475 with 29 home runs in 174 games over 2015-2016. Moustakas injured his right knee, on his lead leg when hitting, not his rear, or plant leg that would bear the brunt of his weight as he cocks into his swing.