Jonathan Allen: “No way of telling” about how much I’ll work at OTAs

Defensive lineman Jonathan Allen recorded the first sack of his NFL career in his third game, but he didn’t add to that total before his season came to an abrupt end.

Allen suffered a Lisfranc injury in Washington’s fifth game of the year and the Redskins had to go without their 2017 first-round pick for the rest of the year. Allen got some practice work in before the end of the year, but he’s not sure that he’ll be ready for a full workload when Organized Team Activites get underway in a few weeks.

“I’m going to be honest, the OTAs they start like end of April, and this will be my first time, so I would like to think so, but I mean, honestly, there’s no way of telling at this point,” Allen said, via the team’s website. “I feel like I’m going to be in a good spot come OTAs, so I’m excited for that, and right now, I’m just taking it day by day just trying to grind.”

Tennessee was a surprise playoff team last season thanks in part to its playmaking defense, and the Titans would be wise to continue building on that side of the ball. Evans is an under-appreciated linebacker in this class; he’s a good athlete with great range who fits the linebacker profile the Titans value.

With Jason Peters needing a replacement for the long term (though they do like Halapoulivaati Vaitai), the Eagles would be wise to snag a swing tackle like Miller who can offer depth. He then could start at left or right tackle, depending on Lane Johnson’s preference, if/when Peters moves on.

“I’m going to put my fan hat on, and obviously at some point we have to,” Kraft said. “Not just that, but think what happened in the ’08 season when in the first quarter against Kansas City, Tom [Brady] goes out. How many people would have said that Matt Cassel would have led us to an 11-5 season? I put my faith and confidence in Bill [Belichick]. He knows his responsibilities. Anything can happen, even if Tom comes in [and is in] tip-top shape.”

At the moment the Patriots have only two quarterbacks on the roster, Brady and Brian Hoyer. They’ll surely add at least one more before training camp, and that could come in the draft. Brady will be 41 in August, and although he says he can keep playing for a few more years, it’s possible that a quarterback they draft next month could be the next starting quarterback in New England.bills_101

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

Mack enters the final season of his rookie contract, set to make $13.846 million on the fifth-year option.

When it comes to the future of star tight end Rob Gronkowski in New England, Robert Kraft is at peace.

The Patriots owner is aware that Gronkowski openly contemplated retirement after New England’s Super Bowl loss to the Eagles , but everything Kraft’s seen and heard from the playmaker suggests a return to the field in 2018.

“It’s not even an issue for me,” Kraft told Jeff Howe of The Athletic. “I didn’t know about it until I read about it in the paper. I saw (Gronkowski recently at Gillette Stadium). We have a fun, good relationship. He is one of the most up people I know. I was impressed that he was coming in late and doing whatever he had to do to make himself feel right and get his body right.”

The fivesome includes three first-time head coaches, Matt Patricia (Detroit), Frank Reich (Indy), and Mike Vrabel (Tennessee), and two men returning to the top job, Pat Shurmur (New York), and Jon Gruden (Oakland).

For Gruden, his ballyhooed return to the sideline begins with today’s workouts. Given this is little more than supervised workouts, the fiery coach isn’t going to begin his tenure with a big speech or hoopla.

Phase one of workouts are voluntary for NFL players.

Montgomery was knocked around throughout his 4 1/3 innings, as he retired just 11 of 23 batters allowing four runs on a career-high 10 hits.

Montgomery’s short outing had manager Aaron Boone deciding to spell him with German, who was called up from Triple-A on Saturday and the leading candidate to take injured lefty CC Sabathia’s turn Thursday in Boston before being used in long relief on Sunday.

Now the options are fellow call-up Luis Cessa, who pitched an inning of relief on Saturday but was stretched out in spring training, or Sonny Gray on regular rest (which is an option due to Monday’s off day).rams_014

Nationals place Miguel Montero on paternity leave, designate Enny Romero, call up Matt Reynolds

The Nationals have put catcher Miguel Montero on the paternity list and designated left-handed reliever Enny Romero for assignment.

Montero has been starting while Matt Wieters is on the disabled list. So third-stringer Pedro Severino moved into the lineup against the New York Mets on Saturday, while Jhonatan Solano’s contract was selected from Triple-A Syracuse so he can serve as the backup catcher.

In another move, the Nationals recalled utility player Matt Reynolds from Syracuse, giving them an additional player on the bench.

It’s been two years since Johnny Football last played competitive football. Here’s a play-by-play of what’s happened between his last snap for the Browns and the Spring League and why he faces an unprecedented path back to the NFL.

It’s uncertain if the All-Star Game will still take the form of a 3-on-3 tournament as it has the past two years. The 3-on-3 tournament was negotiated beginning in 2017 for five-day bye weeks for each team.

San Jose is hosting NHL All-Star Weekend for the first time since 1997.

Gentry helped preserve the tie with a twisting, diving catch in left field that took away a potential winning hit from Brett Gardner in the 10th.

Richard Bleier (1-0) pitched three scoreless innings.

This was the first series for the Yankees with two games going at least 12 innings since 2001 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia.

Baltimore starter Mike Wright Jr. got only two outs, made a throwing error and was tagged for five runs.

“It was pretty awful,” Wright said.

Frustrated, he then tagged the padded dugout wall with a five-punch combination. The righty alternated the blows, starting with his pitching hand.

Asked if he hurt himself, he simply said: “No, it’s padded.”

Judge’s franchise record of 14 straight home games with an RBI ended. He singled twice, including a five-hop dribbler that caromed off the first base bag. He has a 16-game hitting streak at home.buccaneers_085

Patriots acquire WR Cordarrelle Patterson from Raiders

The Patriots added to their depth chart at receiver Sunday, acquiring wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson from the Raiders, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

The report also indicated the Pats will exchange their fifth-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft for the Raiders’ sixth-round pick.

Patterson caught 31 passes for 309 yards in his first season with the Raiders last year. He’s never lived up to expectations since the Vikings drafted him in the first round (No. 29 overall) out of Tennessee in 2013. However, he is an outstanding returner, leading the NFL in kickoff returns (28.3 yards per return) last season.

The Padres struggled to make contact with Cole’s offspeed pitches. For a second straight start, Cole had at least 20 swinging strikes. In his Astros debut against the Rangers, he had a career-high 21 swinging strikes and had 20 on Saturday night against San Diego.

“I thought the curveball was good, but sometimes the slider was better than the curveball,” Cole said. “We had both sides of the plate with the fastball, which is kind of what sets everything up.”

Padres starter Bryan Mitchell worked around six walks in 5 2/3 innings, allowing three hits. The Astros loaded the bases in the fifth, but Bregman flied out to end the threat.

The game, which will be on Thursday, Sept. 6 in Philadelphia, would be a rematch of the NFC Championship. The Eagles crushed the Vikings 38-7 and eventually defeated the Patriots in Super Bowl 52 to win their first title.

The Thursday night game also will likely draw huge ratings, since the Vikings just signed former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins to a giant three-year, $84 million deal that’s fully guaranteed.

Considering NFL ratings have been slipping in recent years, the Eagles-Vikings matchup is one way to bring in a large crowd.

Lundqvist said New York needs to hit the reset button this offseason.

“It’s about winning games and getting back to the playoffs,” he said. “We need to set that goal right away. If you’re here, you’re here to make a difference. I think we can turn this around real quick.”buccaneers_030

Jay Gruden: ‘Good possibility’ Redskins use early pick on RB

The Redskins struggled to move the ball on the ground last season, and coach Jay Gruden may have a solution to their problem.

Speaking Tuesday on 1067 The Fan, Gruden hinted that Washington may take a running back early in this year’s NFL Draft, saying there was a “good possibility” of using an early pick on a running back.

Holtby is 14-2-2 with a 2.62 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in his career against Columbus, which lost to Nashville in its final game while resting stars Artemi Panarin, Seth Jones and Zach Werenski and two-time Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

“They’re a good young team and they have a great goaltender, but for me it doesn’t matter against who you play,” Kuznetsov said. “It’s just like a fun time. You prepare all year for this moments.”

The Capitals rested RW T.J. Oshie, who has been dealing with a lower-body injury. C Jay Beagle missed his third consecutive game with an upper-body injury. … With the primary assist on Kempny’s goal, Capitals F Shane Gersich picked up his first NHL point in his third game. … Ovechkin, Capitals D Dmitry Orlov and John Carlson and Hischier played all 82 games this season.

Video obtained by TMZ Sports shows Zay shoving Cayleb in a hallway and shouting he is going to “fight for Jesus.” The clip later shows what appears to be Zay’s blood on the walls of the apartment building where Cayleb’s girlfriend is a resident.

Kansas City’s offensive outburst on a raw night came out of nowhere. The club had been held to a single run in four of its previous five games, and two runs in the other. The Royals hadn’t scored more than three runs in a game since a season-opening 14-7 loss to the White Sox.

They had three runs in the first inning alone Monday night.

They tacked on another in the third before a five-spot in the fifth, a half-inning that lasted so long it was a wonder Junis didn’t cool off — or freeze entirely — while sitting in the dugout.buccaneers_002

Shurmur, Gettleman drool over Saquon Barkley’s potential

Giants GM Dave Gettleman has made it clear that he won’t necessarily take a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL draft. Of course, he wouldn’t say who else he was considering.

But it sure sounded like he expects Penn State running back Saquon Barkley to be sitting atop his draft board when it’s done.

There’s no doubt he is, and both Gettleman and Giants coach Pat Shurmur have said they don’t have a problem with taking a running back second overall. For years, the prevailing thought in the NFL was that running backs could be found later, and that building an offensive line was far more important. But a recent run of game-changing running backs – like Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott and Los Angeles’ Todd Gurley – has seemingly changed all that.

Advice: Big Ten linemen like Ohio State DE Sam Hubbard or Michigan DT Maurice Hurst appear to be scheme fits for Schwartz and might be solid options at the back of the first round.

All-world LT Jason Peters is 36 and trying to came back from an ACL tear that ended his 2017 season after seven games. Could be time to start eyeing his successor.

Advice: If GM Howie Roseman wanted to find a high-end replacement immediately, he’d probably have reasonable shots at players like Pitt’s Brian O’Neill or UCLA’s Kolton Miller at the end of Round 1. But the Eagles won’t pick again until Round 4, when projects like Humboldt State’s Alex Cappa or North Carolina A&T’s Brandon Parker are more realistic options.patriots_095-223x223