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Jonathan Martin will meet with NFL investigators, per report


Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan Martin plans to meet with the NFL’s special investigator next week, according to a report from the Associated Press.

The NFL has appointed Ted Wells, a New York attorney with prior experience with sports-related cases, to investigate the claims of misconduct and hazing in the Dolphins locker room. Offensive guard Richie Incognito has been suspended indefinitely by the team after a profanity-laden voicemail surfaced that featured several racial slurs and threats.

Tolzien was pressed into action early on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles after veteran Seneca Wallace left with a groin injury. The third-year former undrafted free agent out of Wisconsin came into Sunday with no career pass attempts, but finished 24-of-39 for 280 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions as the Packers lost, 27-13.

After an impressive career with the Badgers, Tolzien was undrafted but signed a contract with the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers released Tolzien during final cuts, but he was picked up by the San Francisco 49ers and spent two seasons there before being released and signed by the Packers.

He will now try to hold the fort down until the All-Pro Rodgers can return, just 10 weeks after Tolzien was released by the 49ers. When Tolzien was at Wisconsin, he set the school record for completions in a season with 211 of them. Over the course of his two-year career as the Badgers starter, he completed 68 percent of his attempts for 5,164 yards, 32 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, and 8.7 yards per attempt. And then Wilson came along.


Kansas football still has an early top-15 class. Can KU keep its 2 Louisiana 4-stars?


Last weekend I took a trip to New Orleans for the Nike Opening Regional Camp. One of the themes that stood out was the talented group of players committed to the University of Kansas.

Five weeks ago, Kansas had a top-five recruiting class. Green’s later years were touched by tragedy. In 2011, his 9-year-old granddaughter, Christina, was killed in Arizona in a shooting that targeted Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Christina was the daughter of Green’s son, John, who works as a national cross-checker for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

I don’t know what’s in the water in Lawrence, but whatever it is, David Beaty better bottle it and hold it near and dear to his heart forever. This month, Beaty got verbals from three four-star recruits. WR JaMarr Chase, WR Devonta Jason, and CB Corione Harris all committed to the Jayhawks, part of a load of six early KU commits from Louisiana.

It’s dipped a bit, but KU is still in the top 15. That’s surprising.

Drew Brees just had one of the best seasons of his career after throwing for 5,200 yards and 37 touchdowns, but he’s also 38 years old. While it’s possible he launches passes downfield through his mid-40s, it makes sense for New Orleans to write up a contingency plan for his eventual retirement.

“He can talk all about his brand, talk about his sons, talk about basketball, talk about me. But keep my family out of this.”

In his Fox Sports Radio interview on Thursday, Ball responded with general indifference toward James’ threat.

“It’s just like people saying, ‘Keep my family’s mouth’ — whatever they’re saying, I don’t care. They’re not going to stop me from doing what I’m doing,” Ball said. “If they take a little edgy edge on it and they get a little touchy because I answered something a certain way, who cares?”

Adrian Peterson free agency: Raiders emerge among 3 best fits for RB


Adrian Peterson a while back provided not-so-subtle hints that if he couldn’t finish his career with the Vikings, he wouldn’t mind doing so with the Giants.

Now that Peterson will actually get to pick his second NFL team as an unrestricted free agent, don’t expect him to end up there.

The matchups include a rematch of January is NFC Championship, a perfect-world, Derek-Carr-stays-healthy clash between the Raiders and Patriots, and somehow, more Philip Rivers. As the quest to crown the league is most exciting offense continues, players like Odell Beckham Jr., David Johnson, Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, and Tyreek Hill have no recourse but to wait and hope the difference between a good and elite playmaking squad can be found in the 2017 NFL draft.

Blitz is simplistic technology means the power to make Alex Smith ignore a wide open Tyreek Hill is now in your hands. The Chiefs have some solid pieces in place, but they are never going to win an offense-only shootout by pitting Smith up against Drew Brees.

Chargers-Giants is the toughest matchup of the Blitz Bracket is second round. Los Angeles at full strength gets solid advantages at tailback and tight end, but New York is dynamic receiving corps nets a big win at WR1 and a more even matchup at WR2. (Allen vs. Marshall is a debate that could arc in several different directions given the questions surrounding each talented wideout.) In the end, a coin flip gives this one to LA.


RG3 injury: Redskins star kept out ‘because of the score’, says Mike Shanahan


The Redskins caught a lucky break on Sunday’s loss against the Broncos. Despite taking a massive hit by Denver’s Terrance Knighton, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was ruled “okay” by Dr. James Andrews, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. Head coach Mike Shanahan claims that he kept Griffin out due to the score after the game became a blowout Denver win.

Griffin was thrown to the ground and Knighton landed on his left knee in the fourth quarter. The quarterback grabbed the knee and was inspected on the sideline. Kirk Cousins entered the game shortly after and played in relief of Griffin. The former Baylor Bear finished 15-of-30 for 132 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

With Griffin’s diagnosis, he is likely to play in Week 9. The Redskins will next host the San Diego Chargers in Washington. The Redskins drop to 2-5 following the 41-25 loss to the Broncos in Denver.

Early-season criticism seems to have put Andy Dalton on a path to prove his doubters wrong. Never was this more apparent than on Sunday, as he threw five touchdowns and targeted eight different receivers. In the past, there was a question about whether Dalton was a quality QB, or whether a group of good receivers made him better than he really was. Against the Jets, he showed that he deserves to be in the conversation with the league’s top quarterbacks — even if he does boast a great supporting cast.
The New York Jets are a team with no offensive identity, and that’s why they couldn’t move the ball against the Bengals. This isn’t a product of coaching, but rather inconsistent play at every offensive skill position that makes it tough for a coaching staff to lean on any one weapon. In the past, Rex Ryan teams have been characterized by tough defense and running the football, but the current stable of running backs is awful.

NFL picks and predictions, Week 8: Bills vs. Saints 2016


The Buffalo Bills have skirted by rather well despite missing E.J. Manuel. Thad Lewis has stepped in as the team’s starter and won one of two games played. An 82.5 quarterback rating isn’t all bad given the situation, going along with a 62.5 percent completion percentage with three touchdowns to just one interception.

The Bills’ suprising mediocrity doesn’t compare to the turnaround that the New Orleans Saints have made, however. The team is coming off a Week 6 loss to the New England Patriots, but the loss was their first. The Saints started the season 5-0 after winning just seven games total in 2012. Unsurprisingly, experts overwhelmingly expect the Saints to win at the Superdome on Sunday.

Tampa Bay has lost some close games, especially earlier in the season, but the Bucs haven’t looked all that competitive in their last two meetings. The games were decided by 11 and eight points, respectively, but neither game was winnable for the Buccaneers.

Carolina opened up as narrow 3-point favorites for this matchup, probably due to the home-field advantage enjoyed by the Buccaneers. However, the line moved further in Carolina’s favor throughout the week, with the Panthers being favored by as much as 7 points, according to OddsShark.

The Raiders needed a bye week to heal some wounds, and as Silver and Black Pride reported, Wednesday gave them the news they wanted to hear. Starting center Stefen Wisniewski was back at practice on Wednesday after missing the past two weeks with a knee injury.

Losing Wisniewski forced the Raiders to do some shuffling at the offensive line, and it showed in the past two weeks. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor has been sacked 13 times since Wisniewski went out, with nine of those sacks coming last week against the Chiefs.13

Selection Sunday 2017: What to expect when the NCAA bracket is revealed


The greatest Sunday of the sports calendar year and perhaps America’s most celebrated nonofficial holiday has finally arrived. Selection Sunday means hours of speculation, then an hour of observance, followed by a few more hours of reaction and predictions. The entire day is a symphony.

Check out our full NCAA bracket, updating live throughout March Madness. You can find a printable bracket here.

Reporters wanted to ask the pair if they were tired on Saturday after playing four games in four days. Naturally, fatigue crept in a little, but it’s something they’re both used to. Giles compared it to practicing four days in a row earlier in the season, which he admitted might have been more difficult than the games themselves. Then he smiled, and with Tatum sitting by his side, compared the short turnarounds to his time on the EYBL circuit.

This time, the competition was stronger and the lights brighter. The biggest difference, however, is that his friend Tatum was on his side instead of on the other bench. Just like the two had planned.

Coach Krzyzewski said that didn’t matter.

“Harry wants to be at Duke,” he said “I love him for that, and these guys know that too, and they love him. He’s always up. He’s got such a good personality.”

Slowly, Giles has built himself back up. Late in Duke’s semifinal win over North Carolina, he caught another lob from Allen, and that moment sparked a memory for Tatum.

“That was a flashback of what he used to do all the time,” Tatum said.

“He’s Big Play J,” Giles said. “He’s going to get it done every time. I know him.”15

Hayes falls under that change.


4 adults, 1 baby, and a banana protested Washington’s NFL team on Friday morning

Angry Washington NFL fans decided to hold a rally on Friday morning to express their anger at the organization after an infuriating first day of free agency.

Over the course of his career, Hayes has been a 4-3 defensive end. With Wade Phillips now their defensive coordinator and switching to a 3-4, the move shouldn’t be too shocking, all things considered.

Phillips said in late January when he was hired, “Four out of the last six teams I’ve gone to were running a 4-3, and we went to a 3-4 and went to the playoffs every year, and they hadn’t been to the playoffs the year before,” via ESPN. “I think we can fit whatever we need to fit in. And if we couldn’t, we would change.”

Hayes falls under that change.

If Hayes’ name rings a bell but you aren’t sure why, it might be because the man not only believes that mermaids exist, but he also believes that dinosaurs do not exist.

The trade gives the Rams eight selections in Rounds 2-7 in the 2017 NFL Draft. They’ve been one of the more busy teams early in free agency, signing wideout Robert Woods, signing Andrew Whitworth, and re-signing Rodger Saffold.

But seniors Picasso Nelson Jr. and Tarvarius Moore are keepers, and Hopson attempted to address this need in recruiting, bringing in a pair of JUCOs (Xavier Marion, Tyler Jack) and a couple of mid-three-star freshmen (Emanuel Dabney, WyDale Flott).
Attacking experience and a green set of safeties? Is it possible to be even more all-or-nothing than Southern Miss was? The Golden Eagles ranked ninth in success rate and 127th in IsoPPP (which measures the magnitude of the successful plays), so the bar is both high and low.

These responses to Dirk Nowitzki’s 30K points show us how much his peers love him


Dirk Nowitzki scored his 30,000th point on Tuesday night, and while the entire NBA celebrated his monumental achievement some of the best messages came from the players and people who know him best. Former teammates and people close to the Mavericks sent some really sweet messages.

Big congrats to my buddy Dirk! 30 stacks!!! Only six players in the history of the game have scored 30,000 points. On this day in ’98 I would’ve never believed you’d still be with the @Mavs, be an MVP, NBA Champ and in the 30k club no matter how many nights we went back to the gym for 1 on 1 and shooting battles. Unreal, historic, clutch player and better person.

Who would have ever thought this kid I carried for 1 season would go on to be the best player in Mavs history.

Official team practices don’t start for five months, but that doesn’t mean the NFL offseason will be boring. Contract extensions, free agency drama, and the 2017 NFL draft will ensure the league remains in the news throughout the spring and into the summer.

Headlines will emerge from the ether to fuel debate. Last season, it was moves like Josh Norman getting de-franchise tagged, DeMarco Murray moving to Nashville, and everything that happened to Laremy Tunsil on draft night. This year, almost anything is in play.

But plenty of breaking news will come from expected sources. A handful of veteran quarterbacks are set to find new homes in 2017, led by four-time Pro Bowler Tony Romo. Standouts like Le’Veon Bell, Dont’a Hightower, and Eric Berry are all set to ink new contracts with their teams — or send the free-agent market into a frenzy by refusing.

Here’s a breakdown of the biggest stories set to dominate the NFL’s news cycle before the draft this spring.2

NBA scouts flocked to Adelaide to watch the potential-filled teenager


It wasn’t the perfect season for the rookie, who had his ups and downs, but, when asked if he’d recommend this pathway to others who were in his position, his response was clear.

“I’ve already done that,” he said.

“I’ve told players that want to go to college, ‘don’t go to college’. I’ve already been working; I’ve been recruiting for Australia.

“I enjoyed my journey over here, and I definitely feel like it was a smart route to take, so I’ll definitely encourage other players. Especially if they’re, for sure, a draft pick; I’d definitely encourage them to come overseas and live this life.”

Ferguson entered the NBL season as, essentially, a lock to be chosen in the first round of the 2017 Draft, and that’s unlikely to have changed.

The three-time junior national team gold medallist wouldn’t divulge which teams have been speaking with his agent, but admits he has ‘a whole list’ at his home.

NBA scouts flocked to Adelaide to watch the potential-filled teenager — often coming for just the night to watch him — with all 30 teams sending a representative at some point throughout the course of the season. Now, Ferguson is back in the United States, and is looking ahead toward June’s draft, But, he’ll never forget the incredible time he spent in Adelaide.

“I’ll miss the whole 36ers family,” Ferguson said.

“Everyone’s so close. Especially my teammates, my coaches.

“I’ll definitely miss the fans because, every time I see them, they’re just very encouraging. They’re always thinking about my future, which is crazy to me. To have other people caring about me; thinking about how I am and how my future is gonna go.

“That’s pretty amazing to see from them, so I’ll definitely miss the 36ers family.”14

NBA spokesman Mike Bass affirmed Jeanie Buss’ role with the Lakers in a statement.


“Jeanie Buss is the sole Governor of the Los Angeles Lakers and under league rules, she has control over the team,” the statement said. “She has not only been a terrific leader for the Lakers organization, guiding the business before and after her father’s passing, but an incredibly influential voice among all our team owners.”

Last week, Jeanie Buss replaced her brother Jim as president of the Lakers’ basketball operations with Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.

The Lakers have to vote on a board of directors and controlling owner every year, sources told ESPN. Since 2013 — the year of Dr. Buss’ death — there have been three votes to affirm Jeanie as controlling owner. This year’s vote has not yet taken place.

Lewis’ book does have a basketball tie: The first chapter (excerpted on Slate) is all about how the Houston Rockets have evaluated draft prospects under general manager Daryl Morey, including how they learned from some early mistakes.

March is the month when fluffy players are streamlined, new pitches are learned, and new swings lead to better results. March is when your favorite injured player becomes your favorite healthy player, no, seriously, this time for real, just look at him.

March is when some random A-baller who isn’t on the 40-man roster thumps a couple homers and makes you think, “Maybe, just maybe.”

It’s a hideous, Splenda-coated optimism, though, filled with false notes that your brain susses out immediately. You know it means nothing. You know that for every surprising development that’s sustained in the regular season, there are 30 that you’ll never think about again. You build this knowledge into how you approach the whole month, too. It’s why you don’t care about wins and losses. It’s why you don’t even bother looking at Grapefruit League standings before you make your predictions for the season.