We could be seeing a changing of the guard in the NFL soon.

Nobody will argue Lynch over Peterson as an all-time NFL rusher, but the former is 13 months younger than the latter and is not coming off a season marred by a knee injury. The 2017 season will be Peterson’s 11th in the league.

Kids Mike Purcell Jersey In the mind of SN’s Vinnie Iyer, Peterson, a physical running back whose size is comparable to that of Lynch, makes total sense for the Raiders. In fact, Peterson is the only person on this list who makes as much (if not more) sense than Lynch.

Both teams entered 2017 with a lot of salary cap space and both were aggressive early in free agency. The Jaguars added defensive help in the form of defensive lineman Calais Campbell, safety Barry Church and cornerback A.J. Bouye.

The Browns bolstered their offensive line by signing former Packers center JC Tretter and former Bengals guard Kevin Zeitler. The Browns also re-signed guard Joel Bitonio. Then the Browns traded for quarterback Brock Osweiler from the Texans in a deal that was more about acquiring another second-round pick next year than it was about getting Osweiler, who will probably never suit up for the Browns. Cleveland now has eight first- and second-round picks over the next two years, meaning the Browns could actually be a contender in the AFC North by 2018.
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We could be seeing a changing of the guard in the NFL soon. Heck, even the Rams made some decent moves in signing offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth from the Bengals and former Bills wideout Robert Woods.

Astrodome finally granted historic landmark status by Texas commission

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After nine years of efforts by supporters, the Astrodome has finally been declared a state antiquities landmark in Texas.

Yes, apparently the process to gain landmark status in Texas is so arduous that even famous domed structure once known as the Eighth Wonder of the World wasn’t a gimme. It almost makes you wonder about that little Alamo place in San Antonio and that big domed building in Austin.

For people to try to second-guess something he did, even though we won, you kind of just laugh at it. We ride and die on his every move, and he’s the ultimate captain of our ship. Without him and the tone he sets, none of us would be doing what we do.

Critics roasted Maddon’s strategy in the final two World Series games, particularly his use of closer Aroldis Chapman. Chapman himself threw more gas on that fire, telling reporters, He abused me a bit on how much he made me pitch, and sometimes he made me pitch when I didn’t need to pitch.

Pitching coach Chris Bosio said he understands Chapman is a warrior, but his words about Maddon were unfair.

Carlton Fisk Game Jersey The bottom line is we got it done, Bosio said. You can’t fault anybody or pick anybody apart when you win it all, especially with what we had to overcome.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said he understands the continued second-guessing of Maddon’s strategy is just part of sports.

Listen, the great part about the game is everyone manages along with the manager, (and) second guesses, Epstein said. Everyone ‘GMs’ along with the GM and second-guesses. Ultimately, you do a great job and win. That speaks for itself. He has the ultimate defense.

Watch Orioles pitcher Wade Miley get hit by back-to-back line-drives

Wade Miley had a very short — and painful — start Friday night.

The Orioles starter took not one, but two line-drives on consecutive batters in the second inning vs. the White Sox.

The first liner came off the bat of Jose Abreu, and looked to catch Miley right in the wrist.

It’s not often you see a pitcher hit by one comebacker, but two in one night? Talk about an unlucky evening.

The Braves and Dodgers fought a seesaw battle down the stretch, with the race for the 1982 NL West title coming down to the final day of the season.

Coincidentally, for Diamond and for the Braves, the regular season concluded in the same place it began: San Diego’s Jack Murphy Stadium.

The Braves, entering the day with a one-game lead, lost to the Padres 5-1 and had to wait for the conclusion of the Dodgers’ game against the Giants to determine whether they’d soak themselves in champagne or travel to Los Angeles for a one-game playoff the next day.

Nobody wanted to play a Game 163.

Thankfully for the Braves, just moments before their game’s final out, Joe Morgan put the Giants ahead late with a three-run homer.
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Limited Youth Cory Schneider USA Jersey But those Dodgers were pesky, so nobody took anything for granted.

Billy Beane just keeps wheeling and dealing. The A’s signed Trevor Plouffe to a decent contract, and same with Rajai Davis. While Oakland is seemingly adamant on rebuilding around Sonny Gray in the rotation, it still would shock no one if Beane decided to trade him at the deadline for more youth. But, for now, the A’s might have just enough in the offense and pitching to bug some teams in the AL West.

Cutler will be supported by play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt and color commentator Charles Davis.

Unlike former Bears QB Jay Cutler, Romo is joining a No. 1 announce team, not a No. 2. That means he’ll be working the biggest games that go out to the largest amount of viewers.

Limited Mens Eli Rogers Jersey Romo also be in a two-person booth with Nantz. Cutler will be supported by play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt and color commentator Charles Davis.

Simms, who held CBS’s No. 1 game analyst job for 20 years, has been moved to The NFL Today pregame show to make room for Romo. So Romo will have to grow and make mistakes on the job with his predecessor looking over his shoulder.

Another challenge for Romo, who spent his playing career in the NFC: He’ll be calling CBS’s AFC package, where he’s not as familiar with the players, coaches and teams.

If Kizer busts, then it’s not that big of a deal. He’ll simply be added to that alphabet soup of former Browns’ quarterbacks.

The potential payoff, however, isn’t all that different than the scenario in which the Browns could have taken Mitchell Trubisky. Kizer is from Toledo, Ohio. Kizer had two years as a starter at a major program, and he has shown potential in the down-field passing game. A redshirt year or two in Cleveland wouldn’t hurt, but that’s hard to come by. Kessler didn’t get it.
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It’s difficult to envision Kizer as a franchise quarterback, given the 4-8 record he led the Irish to last season, and it seems unlikely he’s the lottery ticket the Browns have been looking for. There’s still an intrigue, and it’s worth a shot to see if there’s any value there.

Drew Pearson says Roger Goodell ‘encouraged’ his Eagles trolling at draft

Drew Pearson was urged to troll Eagles fans at last week’s NFL Draft in Philadelphia.

The former Cowboys wide receiver told PFT Live on Monday that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell encouraged his comments before announcing Dallas’ second-round selection of Colorado cornerback Chidobe Awuzie on Friday.

Here’s why that’s awkward: Kelly once threatened a bouncer in a Buffalo, N.Y., bar saying he would “go to my car and get my AK-47 and spray this place.” He was charged with disorderly conduct, reaching a plea deal in January of 2015 and performing 50 hours of community service.

The incident occurred in 2014, when Kelly was still an Ole Miss commit fresh out of East Mississippi Community College. He then led the Rebels for two seasons, going 14-8. Kelly threw for 5,800 yards and 50 touchdowns to only 21 interceptions during that stretch, but several character concerns caused the NFL to not invite him to its combine — and for him to drop to the final pick of the NFL Draft.

Regardless, this will likely result in an awkward meeting at NFL Network studios. In giving up this year’s No. 32 pick to the Saints for Cooks, who was the No. 20 overall pick in 2014, the Patriots get someone who can give their current offense some of the best elements they had in Moss and Welker.

Cooks was not the go-to guy in New Orleans. That will change in New England, as his speed, quickness and versatility will be used to create mismatches Brady can exploit. Julian Edelman and Hogan can help Cooks enjoy a more high-target, amoebic role.cubs_1665

Rockets vs. Thunder, NBA playoffs 2017: Schedule, predictions, and news

DeMario Davis Elite Jersey Of course it’s Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round. Of course it’s James Harden vs. Russell Westbrook. The two leading MVP candidates square off against each, settling their candidacies for the award once and for all.

No, that’s not really fair — Houston is favored because they won more and have a better team, and the MVP is a team award. However, the narrative will fall squarely on those two. There’s no way around it, and you can only imagine how the crowd will start buzzing or Twitter would start spazzing out when those two end up guarding each other for a possession. It will happen, someone will get roasted (that will 100 percent happen), and it will be a magical moment.
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Oklahoma City implodes whenever Westbrook isn’t on the floor, and Houston has one of the league’s best benches — with two Sixth Man of the Year candidates! One key will be surviving the Westbrook-less stretches despite that.

The home team is 8-0 SU and 6-2 ATS in the last eight games between these two teams. The Grizzlies weren’t competitive in the first two games of the series, but this time around they’ll enter San Antonio with plenty of confidence and momentum. How much that confidence and momentum will matter against one of the league’s best home teams is yet to be determined.

The most recent one happened with the No. 26 pick in 2011. Essentially, the Ravens tried to make a trade, but ran out of time.

Apparently, the team saw that there were a bunch of players available that the team would have been very satisfied to draft, and therefore were entertaining offers to trade back into either the later first round or even the second round, where they could still get one of the guys on their draft board and accumulate additional picks as well.

There’s no question Penguins vs. Capitals should have been the Eastern Conference Final.

Mens David DeCastro Jersey The narratives were alive and well in Washington on Thursday.

For all that’s said that the Capitals vs. Penguins matchups are more than Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, the two captains sure made Game 1 all about themselves. Crosby scored twice in 52 seconds to open the second, while Ovechkin kicked off a Capitals comeback with a goal 17 minutes later.
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It didn’t end that way, with Evgeny Kuznetsov scoring the tying goal eight minutes into the third and Nick Bonino countering with a backbreaker four minutes later.

Even still, in the Capitals’ 3-2 loss, the hockey world was given a treat in seeing Ovechkin and Crosby rise to the occasion. If the rest of this series is anything like Game 1, we are in for one incredible playoff series.

When Atlanta did make a run, cutting Washington’s once 20-point lead to just three, it was Wall who came up with a huge chasedown block before added a tough layup and pull-up jumper extending the lead.

These two could be the best two players in their second round series against the Celtics, and that’s a problem for Boston. (Isaiah Thomas should lap Beal, but they can at least play at very similar levels.)

Washington must have known this was possible all along for these two, but it’s still a glorious realization that they’re both finally reaching that potential.

The Kings suddenly have a promising young core with Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere, and Buddy Hield. What they need is a point guard who can push the pace, get after it defensively, and put everyone else in a position to score. Fox fits the bill. He embarrassed Lonzo Ball and UCLA in the Sweet 16 and showed a unique ability to put pressure on opposing defenses throughout the year. He’d be a god send for Sacramento.

Oilers fans sing ¡®Star-Spangled Banner’ after singer’s microphone fails

For one, the dude did a really good job of adjusting on the fly after learning his microphone wasn’t working.

Secondly, for Canadian fans to jump in without hesitation may be even cooler. And to do it for another country’s national anthem makes it even more impressive.
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The United States and Canada, in general, are huge rivals, especially when it comes to hockey.

How many other countries would do the same for a big rival? And it makes you wonder if the U.S. would return the favor if we were in their shoes. I’d like to think so.

Let’s pause on that for a second. A lot of people are going to immediately dismiss KS’s scoring by saying we have enough offensive defencemen. This is a mistake, even before we get to Shattenkirk’s defensive numbers. Jake Gardiner’s career high in points (43, this year) is the only time any of the Leafs’ current top three have ever cleared 42 points the way Shattenkirk consistently does, and none of them has come close to KS’s high of 56 this season. He would still be the top offensive defenceman on the team, and he’d almost certainly add the most goals.
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The Leafs already score a lot? Great, then they’ll do even better scoring more. Having more offensive production is always a benefit to your team, and additional goals for are as worthwhile as fewer goals against. The Leafs can make room for Shattenkirk on one of their power play units, and do very well adding to a strength.

There’s no tenable argument against how good Shattenkirk is at preventing shots. Remember that sample of 111 3000-minute defenders from before? In Fenwick against per 60, Shattenkirk is first. He’s fifth in CA60, if you prefer that; sixth in expected goals against. And this is the class of NHL defencemen who he’s going up against.

Jack Ham and Jack Lambert are inner-circle Steelers all-timers

That freak athleticism goes a long way in explaining his success on the field. Watt is a three-down linebacker who can chase down quarterbacks around the edge or shoot gaps between blockers. At Wisconsin, he’d roam throughout the backfield to find weak points in blocking schemes, attacking to create havoc so he or his teammates could capitalize. Here’s an example of that cerebral pre-snap planning, courtesy of the Big Ten Network.

He also has the flexibility to shadow tight ends or drop into zone coverage, notching four passes defended and a pick-six last fall. Solid fundamentals — strong hits at the point of contact and good wrapping of ball carriers — make him a sound tackler. That, combined with his ability to attack and shed blockers, should make him the kind of defensive player whose name is called over the PA several times each game.

Jack Ham and Jack Lambert are inner-circle Steelers all-timers, just as critical to Chuck Noll’s teams as Greene and L.C. Greenwood. The franchise has had 17 linebacker Pro Bowlers, by far the most of any position. The Steelers sucked in the ‘80s, but Ham and Lambert eventually gave way to Jason Gildon and Joey Porter, two star outside backers, at the turn of the millennium.

Porter, James Farrior, Lawrence Timmons, LaMarr Woodley, and ageless wonder James Harrison have all keyed Super Bowl runs. A few of those occupy the top slots on the Steelers all-time sacks list, with Harrison at No. 1 with 79.5 career takedowns. The Steelers have had Hall of Fame-level QBs, but defense has been their central theme.

Linebackers are the ones who get cheered loudest when they run out of the tunnel at Heinz Field. They’re the ones whom we, as Pittsburghers, use to rationalize why other teams will always cower against us. (I’m not saying it’s a rational thing; it’s just a thing.) Pittsburghers love linebackers as much as they love eating french fries on their sandwiches, which is to say we really love them a lot.

Do-it-all safety Marcus Williams brings versatility to Saints’ secondary

Marcus Williams, the ball-hawking Utah safety with fantastic athletic ability, has been selected by the Saints with the 42nd pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Mens Darren Fells Jersey The former Utes safety totaled five interceptions in each of the last two seasons, ranking second among Pac-12 players in both 2015 and 2016. Williams has the playmaking instincts and physicality to thrive at the next level.
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The free safety’s production speaks for itself. Williams was a playmaker throughout his collegiate career, totaling 11 total interceptions in three years. In 2016, the Utes finished the year with a 9-4 overall record, thanks in large part to Williams. One of the better run-stuffing safeties in this year’s draft class, Williams played a large part in Utah’s dominant defense which ranked 25th in rushing last year.

Harbaugh writes that Kaepernick’s decision not to stand for the national anthem before games last season boldly and courageously confronted perceived inequalities in our social-justice system. He notes Kaepernick was alone in that protest and adds:

I thank Colin for all he has contributed to the game of football as an outstanding player and trusted teammate. I also applaud Colin for the courage he has demonstrated in exercising his guaranteed right of free speech. His willingness to take a position at personal cost is now part of our American story.

Kaepernick remains a free agent this offseason, for reasons that likely have more to do with his activism than his on-field ability. Kaepernick’s football qualifications are certainly good enough for him to have a job, but it’s April, and he doesn’t.