Jaguars’ Marcell Dareus Donates $125,000 to Help Fund School in Haiti

During his second trip to Haiti in the past two offseasons, Jaguars defensive tackle Marcell Dareus attended the groundbreaking for a school that will be named after him, according to John Reid of The Florida Times-Union.

I’d agree that based on last year’s weird circumstances—from Ryan Tannehill’s injury to Chris Foerster’s bizarreness to Hurricane Irma—Gase deserves a mulligan. I still believe he’s regarded among the most respected offensive minds in the sport, and that counts for a lot in (as we alluded to a second ago) such a quarterback-driven league.

That said, this offseason has been largely about bringing in his type of guys, and purging the team of some talent that happened to be self-centered. I think it had to happen, and Gase was right to do it. But when you’re waving goodbye to big names like Ndamukong Suh and Jarvis Landry, ownership will be watching the result closely, and you’re putting your rear end on the line. We’ll see how all that plays out.

Conley’s lawsuit was filed on Monday in reaction to a civil suit the woman filed in April. In his counter-suit, Conley claimed that the allegations affected his place in the NFL draft, costing him millions of dollars and a contract with Nike, reports ESPN.

The Raiders drafted Conley with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2017 draft. The Ohio State cornerback was originally considered as a top-10 pick.

Conley is seeking $25,000 in damages. The lawsuit also claims that the woman instituted and continued the criminal prosecution of Conley with malice … because she was upset that Conley refused to have sex with her, or to position her to be able to squeeze a pay-off from Conley, or both, according to ESPN.

In April 2017, the woman accused Conley of raping her in his Cleveland hotel room. In his countersuit, Conley claims that he refused to have sex with the woman and asked her to leave his hotel room, according to USA Today.

Kellen Winslow II charged with rape of unconscious 17-year-old

Kellen Winslow II has been charged with another rape.

According to the Associated Press, the 34-year-old former NFL tight end has been charged with the rape of an unconscious 17-year-old. The charge stems from a case 15 years old in 2003.

Winslow was a senior at the University of Miami in 2003. It is unclear whether he was still a student at Miami when the incident in question took place.

McCoy responded to the allegations about an hour after the initial post:

I used to try to manipulate my swing to hit balls to the left side of the infield and create some easy hits. I’ll still try to do it at times, depending on where guys are positioned, but a lot goes into it. It depends on the situation in the game. How many outs are there? Are there runners on base? If there are two outs and I get into a 2-0 count and I hit a little ground ball to the shortstop hole, that probably wasn’t as productive a team at-bat as it could have been if I ended up hitting a double somewhere.

Twitter’s purge followed a New York Times report on the booming business of the fake accounts, through a company called Devumi and frequently paid for by sports and entertainment celebrities presumably to give the impression that their influence is larger than it might be.

The actor John Leguizamo has Devumi followers. So do Michael Dell, the computer billionaire, and Ray Lewis, the football commentator and former Ravens linebacker. Kathy Ireland, the onetime swimsuit model who today presides over a half-billion-dollar licensing empire, has hundreds of thousands of fake Devumi followers, as does Akbar Gbajabiamila, the host of the show American Ninja Warrior. Even a Twitter board member, Martha Lane Fox, has some.​

Lewis’ follower count appears to have been hit particularly hard. Before the Times’ report, Lewis had 712,000 followers. As of early Friday, that number had fallen to 363,000 followers.

It’s unclear why Lewis had so many fake accounts following him or if he had knowledge that almost half of his followers weren’t real Twitter accounts.

Former NFL player Kellen Winslow II will stand trial for multiple sex crimes against multiple women, a judge in Southern California ruled Thursday (via the San Diego Union-Tribune).

Bennett happened in a different era, between LeBron stints, and feels almost irrelevant to what has happened since.

Want to play hardball? That is much easier to suggest from the outside.

Taken together, these moves left the Cavs worse off today than need be, but it is hard to see any of them unfolding much differently given Cleveland’s unique and messy circumstances.

The Supreme Court ruling was specific — in the absence of federal legislation regarding sports betting, states can call their own shots. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is working to install some federal oversight. Hatch, who was one of the authors behind PASPA, made a predictably anti-gambling statement to announce he’d target further regulation in the wake of the court’s decision.

The problems posed by sports betting are much the same as they were 25 years ago, the outgoing senator said. But the rapid rise of the internet means that sports betting across state lines is now just a click away. We cannot allow this practice to proliferate amid uneven enforcement and a patchwork race to the regulatory bottom. At stake here is the very integrity of sports.

While it’s unclear what Hatch’s plan will be, his efforts could be the start of federal legislation aimed at creating a standardized plan for state-by-state sports gambling regulations and oversight.

We saw this in 2017 when the Philadelphia Eagles leapt from last place in the NFC East to Super Bowl champions behind a rock-solid defense, 13 games of MVP-caliber play from Carson Wentz, and a Super Bowl MVP performance from backup Nick Foles. In 2015, it was the Carolina Panthers rising from a losing record to sprint out to a 15-1 regular season and a spot in Super Bowl 50.

That means it’ll be no surprise to see some turnover at the top of the league’s eight divisions this fall. Last season, we got new champions in the AFC South and all four of the NFC’s divisions. Here are the divisions that could see some similar tumult in 2018, ranked in order from most to least likely.

The Saints were worthy champions in 2017 and remain stacked for 2018, but the South stands to be the NFL’s toughest division after pushing three teams to the postseason last year. Both the Panthers and Falcons are coming off double-digit-win seasons with the cores of their rosters intact, and a few small additions could be the tweak needed to overtake New Orleans.

James expanded on those thoughts in a video with The Uninterrupted.

Eagles fans were hard to spot at the White House.

It’s unclear how many Eagles fans actually attended the replacement event, though sources on the ground indicate the fans that were there might not have been die-hard.

Asked a few attendees if they were Birds fans and they looked at me quizzically, which sort of answered the question.

Trump said the Eagles were abandoning their fans, but, by all appearances, not many fans were there.

The understanding must be that this will not end. The presidency will continue its attack on the soul of the black athlete. Trump will always attack black athletes because they pose a threat to his form of white power. To strike back, to scold men he believes to be uppity and selfish, is to reassure his base.

All of us in the NFL are saddened by the passing of Dwight Clark. Dwight made many memorable contributions on the field as a two-time Super Bowl champion and later as a member of the front office of the 49ers and Browns. He will forever live on in our memories for The Catch but also for his kind, gentle and courageous spirit. We send our deepest sympathies and love to Dwight’s wife Kelly, his family, teammates, and the many people whose lives he touched, including mine, throughout his career and life.

Dwight was a vibrant, charismatic soul!!! Jennifer and I are heartbroken over his passing. While we knew it was inevitably coming, it came way too soon! We are grateful for the decades of love and friendship we shared. We are praying for Dwight, his family and for all your prayers also. We will miss you dearly! Love Jennifer and Joe Montana.

There has been a nearly unbroken streak of politicians using black athletes to push policy or political agendas. Joe Louis was the son of an Alabama sharecropper, a heavy-handed pugilist. In 1940 he endorsed GOP front man Wendell Wilkie, even having the campaign craft buttons for black voters reading Joe and I for Wilkie. Jesse Owens was born to those same Alabamian fields. By 1936 he was sprinting against German athletes, fighting Hitler’s Germany and became an American hero, though often clashing with Jackie Robinson about their role in the Civil Rights movement.

Josh Rosen blew Patrick Peterson’s mind, but he thinks Sam Bradford starts

Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson generally spends his time studying opposing quarterbacks, but the arrival of Sam Bradford and Josh Rosen in Arizona this offseason means he spent some time watching the guys on his own side.

Peters: I don’t think this is going to happen, but I’m going to go there anyway. John Tavares is the good ol’ Ontario boy the Maple Leafs have craved. He’d provide an unrivaled 1-2 punch with Auston Matthews, he’d have high-end wings like Mitch Marner or William Nylander (or both) to flank him, and he’d probably be able to pull down every Toronto-area endorsement under the sun. The Maple Leafs would vault to instant contender status, with just a little more help on defense needed.

Arledge: Greg alluded to it earlier, but van Riemsdyk to the Devils just makes sense. An emerging contender with plenty of youth and the reigning MVP, New Jersey was still just 15th in the league in scoring last season. Add in JVR and his 36 goals to the top six and the No. 1 power-play unit, and you suddenly have another serious scoring threat alongside Taylor Hall. And the Devils have the cap space. Making the plunge on the 29-year-old Garden State native would give them a front-of-net presence and a dominant man-advantage group.

Carter nevertheless has a pick six in an earlier 2018 game, and he’ll remain on defense until Nick Marshall is able to return from a broken hand suffered last month.

The 27-year-old Carter has four catches for 42 yards this season.

The Wolves have explored the possibility of getting far enough under the cap — about $10 million — to extend Butler up to his max salary this summer, sources say, but that would require dumping both Wiggins and Dieng. Unlikely.

The rest of the interesting extension-eligible guys from that draft class might find a leaner initial market: Terry Rozier, Justise Winslow, Trey Lyles, Myles Turner, Stanley Johnson, Frank Kaminsky, Willie Cauley-Stein, Kelly Oubre, Delon Wright and perhaps a couple others. Teams are going to squeeze early, hoping these guys watch good veterans sign for cheap and come back to the table in late July with lower expectations. At the same time, agents know there will be more money in the system next summer, when these players could enter restricted free agency. Finding common ground might prove difficult.

Mitch Haniger and Mike Zunino homered for Seattle.

Gonzales had been chased after just 2 1/3 innings of what became a 10-0 loss on April 9, but Friday’s start was much different. Gonzalez, who’d never taken a game into the eighth inning until going 7 1/3 innings against Tampa Bay earlier this month, didn’t need more than 13 pitches to finish any inning against the Royals.

He has a lot of confidence right now because everything that’s happened to him this year, he’s earned, Mariners manager Scott Servais said.

Whit Merrifield singled to lead off the game and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Rosell Herrera. Gonzales picked Merrifield off second base to erase the baserunner and would retire nine straight batters before running into a spot of trouble in the fourth.

Kennedy left after five innings due to tightness in his left side that surfaced on the last pitch to Zunino.

I felt it grab, Kennedy said. And then the rest of the inning it stayed tight. The last couple pitches I was compensating for it, so I knew … the right thing to do is to say something.

Segura added a two-out RBI single in the seventh inning off Brandon Maurer to give Seattle a 4-0 advantage.

Houston also re-signed Green to a one-year, minimum contract, which is important to managing the team’s tax bill. Given how well Green played in Mike D’Antoni’s system, and that he’s a local product, getting him back at that price is a huge win.

Nonetheless, the big story of the night for the Rockets is starting small forward Trevor Ariza jumping ship for a one-year, $15 million deal with the Suns — a huge hit to Houston’s chances of competing with the Warriors. Ariza’s departure is stunning given his close relationship with Houston stars Paul and James Harden and his vital role in the Rockets’ starting lineup.

Nearly as much as PJ Tucker’s ability to defend centers, it was Ariza sliding down to power forward that made Houston’s small lineups feasible. And Ariza was the Rockets’ first option against top wing scorers, including Durant in the Western Conference finals.

Pat Shurmur “very confident” Ereck Flowers will succeed at right tackle

The Giants made their biggest acquisition of free agency at left tackle when they signed former Patriot Nate Solder to a four-year, $62 million contract.

Every season, more teams switch pick-and-rolls — a way to minimize help, and stay close to 3-point shooters. That first switch leaves a little guy guarding a big guy. Sometimes that mismatch doesn’t matter; fewer bigs are skilled back-to-the-basket players. But when it does, defenses increasingly use a second switch: Their other big man scurries across the paint, yanks the guard out, and takes the opposing brute himself.

Smart offenses see that switch coming, and find an open man while the two defenders are between assignments. Too many teams give up after that.

There is another counter: That second switch just shifts the small-on-big mismatch about 10 feet across the floor! If that other big guy is a post-up threat, give him the ball! That’s exactly what Indiana does here after the Clippers try to sneak Lou Williams from Thaddeus Young to Domantas Sabonis:

I get why more teams don’t try that. Toggling from one mismatch to another takes time; if you don’t start your offense early in the shot clock, you won’t have enough ticks left to pull it off. Swarming help defenses have made entry passes harder than ever. And again: Chances are that second big isn’t a post-up artist.

“I’m not this bad person that the media portrays,” Callaway said. “I mean, I can’t stress it enough. I just gotta . . . actions. Let my actions speak for me.”

Callaway would be wise not to blame himself, not the media, for any perceptions of him as a person. It wasn’t the media that led a woman to accuse him of sexual battery when he was a freshman. (He was later cleared in a Title IX investigation, although the claim he made in his defense, “I was so stoned, I had no interested in having sex with anyone,” isn’t likely to impress NFL teams.) It wasn’t the media that got Callaway cited for marijuana possession in a separate incident. And it wasn’t the media that caused Callaway to throw away his final chance on the Florida football team when he was entangled in a credit card fraud investigation.

NFL teams know what kind of athlete Callaway is. It remains to be seen whether they are convinced he is the kind of person they want on their team.

I just wanted to say I enjoy watching Otto Porter play basketball. We tend to talk about third and fourth options in specialist terms: spot-up guy, stopper, rim protector, shooter. You know what Otto Porter is? A goddamned basketball player.bills_055

OBJ has 8.5 million reasons to work out with the Giants

As noted earlier by Gantt, it remains to be seen whether Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will actually set foot on a football field without a long-term contract. But Beckham reportedly will be joining the team for Phase One of offseason workouts, and that’s a smart move by Beckham.

When working out on their own, NFL players have no financial protection, other than whatever insurance policy they may have purchased. When working out at the team facility, they remain automatically eligible for their full salary for the coming season, if a fluke injury puts them on injured reserve.

With six points and a plus-10 in his past eight games, Burakovsky could be a sneaky sleeper if you agree that the Caps can make a run. Of the six forwards on the top lines, Wilson and Burakovsky are the ones left out on the power play. John Carlson led the league in scoring from the blue line and could very well do that again in the playoffs.

FYI — the former Raiders star was in court on Thursday after allegedly violating a protective order put in place following his arrest for domestic violence. The judge ordered Smith to wear a GPS and SCRAM device — which measures alcohol in your sweat.

According to officials at the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, Smith allegedly violated a condition of his electronic monitoring … and that’s why he was arrested.

Manning said he paid no attention to any of the recent speculation involving Beckham.

“I think over the years you just can’t get caught up with what’s being said on TV or in the news or what people assume is happening,” Manning said. “It doesn’t help, you don’t know where these things get started or where it’s going. I think it’s important when those things happen to just have great communication with your coaches and with the ownership and whatnot and make sure everyone is on the same page. I never got too concerned with it. We all know the talent that Odell has and what he brings to the football field and I look forward to playing with him this year and for years to come.”bills_034

Bird has accepted his fate.

Manziel has been working out in Southern California and recently threw at pro days for the University of San Diego and Texas A&M in front of NFL scouts. His football rights are currently held by the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

But as Manziel told reporters on Saturday, this first game back felt like more than just a return to football.

Manziel and the rest of his Spring League colleagues will indeed play again Thursday at Kelly Reeves Stadium in Austin.

Dak Prescott finished behind Hackenberg with six points. While that seems comical now, remember that the Cowboys tried to trade up for Lynch and then were pipped to Cook by the Raiders before settling on the guy who would quickly become their franchise quarterback. One scout told McGinn that Prescott had “no accuracy and no vision,” while saying the Mississippi State product wasn’t an NFL quarterback. Another suggested that the Eagles would need to sit Wentz for a year or two before he could become a real starter, while others alternately compared him to both Bortles and Ben Roethlisberger.

“I can’t walk too quick, but I got off the crutches in two days and now the boot is on and off. When I walk in and out of (the ballpark), I wear it just to be safe.'”

Yankees’ good, bad and ugly 9 games in | Where does Aaron Judge fall?

His mindset is way better than you’d suspect even though he’s scheduled to miss the first six-to-eight weeks of the season after sitting out all of 2016 recovering from shoulder surgery and 3 1/2 months last season with a right foot issue that led to July surgery.

“It just is what it is,” Bird said before the Yankees-Baltimore Orioles’ season finale. “You keep going. That’s the only thing I know how to do. Smile and laugh. Have a good time.”bills_002

Odell Beckham’s angling for the mega-deal has begun

Welcome to the official attempted start of Let’s Make A Deal.

“Hey everybody, the one, the only, Odell Beckham Jr. reporting to work! The haters’ favorite diva receiver!

It doesn’t definitively mean that Beckham will not stage a holdout.

In net, I guess it has to be Keith Kinkaid if you must pick one. It doesn’t feel good by any means, but something isn’t right with Cory Schneider. For better or worse, the team has to roll with Kinkaid to start the playoffs. But really, you’re avoiding the goaltending situation altogether and really considering only Hall or his linemates.

It doesn’t feel good putting a team with so many great pieces on offense at the bottom of the pecking order, but the Penguins have owned their cross-state rivals this season to the tune of a 4-0 record while outscoring them 20-11. Goaltender Brian Elliott has only just returned from surgery, and though the shutout was encouraging, beating the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers in the final days of the season is not a true test.

If you are betting on the Flyers, remember that Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds are not on the first line and also not on a line together. In an effort to spread out the offense, Voracek is playing on a second line with rookie Nolan Patrick, while Simmonds is down on a third line with Valtteri Filppula. Both players are still a part of the power play, but can’t be relied on for results at even strength.

Beckham, 25, has been featured in trade rumors in recent weeks, due in part to his contract status. The three-time Pro Bowler, who is coming off a season-ending ankle injury, can be an unrestricted free agent next year.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported March 29 the Giants would be open to trading Beckham for two first-round picks. Two days prior, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman commented on Beckham’s status to NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones.

“Bottom line is, as Ernie [Accorsi] taught us, you don’t quit on talent,” Gettleman said. “… He’s on our team.”

Beckham is undoubtedly one of the best receivers in football. He had at least 90 receptions, 1,300 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in each of his first three NFL seasons. Only Antonio Brown and Julio Jones have averaged more receiving yards per game than Beckham since he entered the league.rams_069