Lack of agent may be hurting Lamar Jackson

Quarterback Lamar Jackson decided that he didn’t need an agent. Some teams may be wishing he’d made a different decision.

Via Albert Breer of SI.com, NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said during the coverage of the Louisville Pro Day workout that teams are having trouble setting up workouts and meetings with Jackson. If Jackson had an agent (more accurately, a good agent), inability to communicate, coordinate, etc. wouldn’t be an issue.

The biggest issue for the Lions in drafting Barkley is their place late in the first round; they have only six picks in the draft overall, with No. 51 up next. It will be interesting to see whether Quinn can make a bold move to get a transcendent player who fits their No. 1 need.

The Bucs said bye to Martin and re-signed Peyton Barber as their default No. 1 back. That puts them in play for Barkley, and they might not have to do anything but wait their turn in order to get him with QB-desperate teams ahead of them.

That’s the word from the New York Daily News, which reports that Beckham told two Rams players he wants in.

A key element of a Beckham trade would be an assurance to the team trading for him that he wants to go. Although Beckham can’t block a trade, he has made noises about holding out for a new contract, and any team trading for him would want either to work out a new contract, or at least for Beckham to vow that he’ll show up to work on the last year of his rookie contract while they continue to work toward an extension.

So what would it take for Beckham to become a Ram? It seems unlikely that the Rams would give up two first-round picks, as the Giants are reportedly demanding, but it’s possible they’d give up their first-round pick this year and something more. If Beckham wants to go, the Giants want to build for the future and the Rams want to put together a roster that can win the Super Bowl, that trade could make sense.bills_117

Todd Gurley: Would be “awesome” to add Odell Beckham Jr.

Rams running back Todd Gurley would be happy to give up a few touches, if it meant adding a player the caliber of Odell Beckham Jr.

The Rams are in the enviable position of having a quarterback on a cheap rookie contract, and the flexibility that comes with cap space not-yet-tied-up in lucrative extensions for many stars. And that means that while talk of adding another one might be premature, it’s possible, and that’s enough to get people excited.

The Steelers are well aware of their need for Roethlisberger’s eventual replacement, thanks in part to the quarterback’s retirement consideration over the last couple years. Jones, 29, has served Pittsburgh well in his backup role, which is where he belongs. Unless the Steelers think Dobbs is capable of replacing the 36-year-old future Hall of Famer as starter, they need to address the position with a draft pick sooner rather than later.

Rivers is still going strong as he enters his 15th NFL season, so this is all about his age; he’ll turn 37 in December. LA’s signing of Smith suggests they don’t view Jones as anything more than a backup. Unless the Chargers think Smith can resurrect himself as an NFL starter while playing behind Rivers, they’d be wise to proactively plan for the latter’s eventual retirement.

That’s a serious bargain for New England, which signed running back Jeremy Hill to a similarly affordable deal (one year, up to $1.5 million with $150,000 guaranteed) last month.

Matthews’ one season with the Bills was a dud — he missed six games with injuries and finished with just 25 catches for 282 yards and one touchdown — but he was a key contributor for the Philadelphia Eagles from 2014 to 2016. A second-round draft pick in 2014, he recorded at least 67 catches and at least 800 receiving yards in each of his three seasons with Philly, totaling 225 receptions for 2,673 yards and 19 touchdowns during that span.

The addition of Derick Brassard has allowed the Penguins to comfortably go three lines deep. As the season wound down, it was a top line of Crosby, Guentzel and Bryan Rust, with a second line of Malkin, Carl Hagelin and Patric Hornqvist, and a third line of Brassard, Kessel and Conor Sheary.bills_070

Why Pat Shurmur, Mike Shula pairing could transform Giants’ offense

The playbook that emerges from a Pat Shurmur-Mike Shula pairing is one former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer would like to get his hands on.

Like others around the NFL, Dilfer initially was surprised when newly minted head coach Shurmur hired Shula to be Giants offensive coordinator. Though both quarterback-minded, they previously have not worked together and run different style offenses.

That’s one side of the story. To borrow wording from climactic scene in Jerry Maguire, how does Shurmur complete Shula?

“For Mike, being exposed to true West Coast philosophy of installation and teaching progression, I think is really important,” Dilfer said. “Every coach has to be under a true West Coast blue-blood guy at some point: Because they just teach it better than others.”

Giants players will get their first real look at the new offense Monday, when the voluntary portion of the offseason program begins. The NFL offseason ban on players and coaches talking schematics will be lifted as film study and meetings start.

Because of the type of personnel movement inside the division, the Saints should feel like they’re on very solid ground as the frontrunner heading into 2018.

Yes, the Saints will face the Rams this upcoming season thanks to the first-place scheduling. But the lack of major movement within the division certainly benefits the Saints at this point.

New Orleans probably flirted with more notable big-named free agents than anyone else in the NFC South. The Saints briefly dated players like Ndamukong Suh, Jimmy Graham, Jordy Nelson and Muhammad Wilkerson. They didn’t dive into any Las Vegas weddings with any of these players, though, electing to a more frugal and measured approach.

The Saints improved at linebacker by inking Demario Davis. They addressed a hole at tight end by nabbing Benjamin Watson. New Orleans beefed up at cornerback by bringing back Patrick Robinson.bills_053

Andrew Luck addresses return timetable, says he hasn’t thrown NFL football yet

Andrew Luck seemed to be in good spirits as he addressed the media on his recovery and what’s in store for his NFL career.

Luck missed all of the 2017 season and a large chunk of 2016 with a lingering shoulder injury, but he indicated the recovery process is moving along well.

“If I wasn’t making progress, it would freak me out and we would have to change something,” Luck said, via the IndyStar. “But I am.”

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Brown personally met with Reid when Reid visited the Bengals on Monday. Brown, according to the source, initiated discussion regarding the issue of kneeling during the anthem. The conversation almost exclusively centered on the topic, with Brown explaining that he intends to prohibit it — and with Brown at one point asking Reid for his response.

Reid, caught off guard by the line of questioning, wasn’t willing to make a commitment on the spot.

Smith, 28, pleaded not guilty to “domestic violence, assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, false imprisonment and vandalism” in March, according to Josh Koehn of SFGate.com, after he was accused of assaulting a woman in a San Francisco home.

“Unfortunately through these circumstances, Aldon and I are no longer together,” his fiancee, Shawna McKnight, told TMZ. “Although it’s with a heavy heart, I truly wish him the best and pray he gets the help he needs. I will always have love for him, but at this point I’m simply the victim in this ongoing case.”

Smith, who appeared in five NFL seasons between the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders, has continually faced legal issues.

He’s been charged with DUI on three separate occasions since 2012 and was charged with three counts of felony possession of illegal firearms in 2013 before having those charges reduced to misdemeanors and serving probation in that case.bills_028

Why would teams collude against a player?

The reason they ask the questions to players interviewing is to see if the player is trust worthy or will leak the info. Teams are top secret when it comes to locker room talk. This is just a test to see if they can trust the player.

You can argue the right and wrong of this all day every day, but yes, they have a legitimate reason to ask.

Actually this is America. You should stand and be proud. In another country you would be booed possibly even attacked for doing such a thing. You wanna be an idiot you have to be prepared for all that comes with it.
Reid talent doesn’t outweigh his mouth or drama otherwise he would be signed already, let’s be real.

So Reid uses his first opportunity for a job to take his best shot at setting up the Bengals for a lawsuit. Nice. Mark my words, he will not get another invite!

Conduct detrimental to the team is stated pretty clearly in the rules. The reputation of the NFL has been tarnished whether one agrees with the protests or not. Alienating a significant percentage of the fan base is detrimental to the league no matter the cause.

I’m a pretty hard core liberal, but you have to have some common sense to these things. You don’t have to like something, and you may make a stand, but you better be willing to take those consequences. This player works for and represents the team he plays for, and the image that team wants to have, if he can’t fit that and the team feels its detrimental, I don’t see the leg to stand on. It is up to the fans to decide at that point if it still wants to support the product if they don’t like how the player is treated.

A bunch of whine bags. You have a job and like it or not as soon as you walk in that stadium you punched the time clock and you are on your Employers time and like any job, your Employer has rules to follow.

Wrong, this is about behaviors not beliefs. This is more like asking somebody if they are going to urinate on the Bible or if they’re going to have sex on the counter during working hours.rams_095

Did you all see the final numbers from last year? Were the NFL games down?

Of course they have a reason. Owners own their teams to make money, not to provide some free service to fans or free platform to activists. If a potential employee’s actions may hurt the ability to make money, they have a very good reason to ask if they intend to engage in that activity.

Wait what? Last time I checked when your employer has certain standards and rules that you are supposed to comply with you either do what’s asked of you or you’re out of a job. Players have no right to protest the anthem while they are at work and wearing the uniform of their teams owners. I was a firefighter for 21 years and we couldn’t use tobacco on or off the job or we would be fired, we also couldn’t drive a vehicle to the station that had ANY type of political candidate’s bumper sticker on it. You have every right to protest ON YOUR OWN TIME, but not while you are on the clock and being paid to do your job.

Even Reid himself suspects the anthem protests are the reason it’s taking him so long to find a new team.

“The notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap, not because of my skill set but because I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous. If you think is, then your mindset is part of the problem too,” Reid tweeted in March .

Reid also tweeted , “GMs aren’t the hold up broski. It’s ownership. People who know football know who can play. People who know me, know my character.”

It is obviously a very polarizing subject, but it is one that has clearly affected Kaepernick’s career as he never signed with a team last season.

That’s why current and former players who spoke to Bleacher Report said they aren’t buying the story Davis is selling in his video. They believe he did cheat. The supplement excuse isn’t new to them.rams_060

NFL free agency: Terrelle Pryor joining Jets, report says

Free-agent wide receiver Terrelle Pryor has agreed to a contract with the Jets, Newsday’s Calvin Watkins reported Thursday. Terms were not available.

Pryor, 28, will be entering his third full season as an NFL receiver, each with a different team, after beginning his career as a quarterback with the Raiders. Last season he caught 20 passes for 240 yards and one touchdown for the Redskins. An early-season ankle injury limited him to nine games with Washington.

The season prior, he broke out with 77 receptions, 1,007 yards and four TDs for the Browns.

Brewers: OF Christian Yelich went on the 10-day disabled list on Sunday, four days after one of Milwaukee’s prized offseason acquisitions got hurt during a 6-0 loss to St. Louis. The move was retroactive to Thursday. He was hitting .385 with one homer and five RBI.

Milwaukee’s Adrian Houser pitched two shutout innings before being optioned back to Double-A Biloxi. It was the right-hander’s only appearance since being called up to replace Corey Knebel after the All-Star closer went on the 10-day disabled list Friday with a strained right hamstring. The Brewers said a corresponding move would be made on Monday.

King was sixth in the NFL in 2017 on yards per punt (47.4) and tied for 15th for kicks inside the 20 (28).

He was named second team All-Pro by the Associated Press in 2016.

King signed a five-year, $16.5 million deal in 2016 and had three years remaining on his contract.

The punter has been a popular player with the Raiders for several years now and has a loyal following on Instagram with more than 350,000 followers.

Oakland also waived tight end Clive Walford.

The teams are both 27-53 with two games remaining and will meet again Monday in Brooklyn in another crucial game for draft positioning.

The Nets’ first-round pick is owned by Cleveland after being moved via Boston in the Kyrie Irving trade last August.

Brooklyn’s 24 3-pointers pushed them over 1,000 for the season, ending the game with a franchise record 1,012.

The previous season high was 877 last year.buccaneers_092

Jim Kelly leaves ICU as doctor hails ‘solid progess’ in recovery from cancer surgery

Jim Kelly has taken another big step in his recovery from oral cancer surgery, as he has been released from the ICU.

Kelly’s wife, Jill, posted the good news on Instagram Thursday.

“Blessing upon blessing. Last day in the ICU,” read the post, which showed Kelly walking.

The Sabres have a decision to make in goal with starter Robin Lehner set to become a restricted free agent and backup Chad Johnson eligible to become an unrestricted free agent. The team’s other pending unrestricted free agents include forwards Benoit Pouliot and Jordan Nolan and defenseman Josh Gorges.

Forward Sam Reinhart, who scored a career-best 25 goals, completed his three-year entry-level contract and is eligible to be a restricted free agent.

Lehner visited a specialist Monday to assess a lower-body injury that forced him to miss the final five games. Defenseman Zach Bogosian expects to be cleared to skate by June after having season-ending hip surgery in January.

“They play the game in different levels. Myles is such an athletic, to me, he’s more like Julius Peppers in terms of his movement skills and his length and how he plays,” Browns general manager John Dorsey told the team’s website. “Chubb plays the game a little bit differently, but he’s still an unbelievable defensive prospect for this draft.”

Cleveland could also take Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, an explosive talent who impressed during the Scouting Combine.

Despite trading a third-round pick for Tyrod Taylor this offseason, the Browns are also expected to select a quarterback in the draft. Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield have been the signal callers most heavily linked with Cleveland during the draft process.

“There was a number of base runners on and they capitalized on one swing so you have to give Martinez a little bit of credit,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “From Zack, I thought he battled through those early innings and he had some real easy innings kind of towards the back end of his outing, so I focus on that more than anything.”buccaneers_076

Eugenio Suarez breaks thumb when hit by Jameson Taillon pitch

Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez broke his right thumb when he was hit by a pitch during Sunday’s game against the Pirates.

Suarez, who entered leading the Reds in RBIs, winced after a pitch from Jameson Taillon caught him on the right hand leading off the fourth inning. Suarez was tended to by trainers before taking first base. Then he was replaced in the bottom of the inning by Cliff Pennington.

There was no immediate word on how long Suarez will be out.

“I knew it was probably going to miss some time, when we went out and inspected it,” Cincinnati manager Bryan Price said. “Immediately, half the nail was turning different colors, and there was bleeding around the thumb. I didn’t anticipate the thumb being broken.”

Zobrist’s infield single tied it at 2 and set the stage for Happ’s big hit after a rough start to the season.

“I think everyone saw the balls,” Barnes said. “It was not like they were hitting bullets everywhere.”

Newton had previously been involved in an accident in December 2014 when his truck was hit from the side on a bridge after another driver failed to yield at a stop sign in Charlotte, NC. He suffered two transverse fractures in his lower back, forcing him to miss multiple games.

Knicks: Hornacek said Hardaway and Kanter most likely wouldn’t play Wednesday, but didn’t rule it out. … Hardaway was called for a technical foul at the end of the first half.

Masters champion Patrick Reed was seated courtside, wearing his green jacket. Love and actor Chris Rock were among those to greet him.

James said Monday morning he hadn’t seen the billboard that went up near MSG urging him to play for the Knicks next season, though he was aware of it. Similar billboards had already gone up in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Portland and his hometown of Akron, Ohio.buccaneers_016

Browns trade QB Cody Kessler to Jaguars

For the third time this offseason, the Cleveland Browns have made a trade centered on a quarterback.

The Browns have agreed to send backup Cody Kessler to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for a conditional 2019 seventh-round draft pick.

We are excited about the opportunity to add Cody as depth to our quarterback position, Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell said in a statement. Despite being just 24 years old, Cody has already seen NFL game action and was very effective as a rookie in 2016, showing accuracy and efficiency in posting a quarterback rating of 90-plus. From our research and through getting to know Cody during the draft process, we know he is a smart, tough and competitive young man and we expect him to be a great addition to our quarterback and offensive meeting rooms.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office told NBC Sports Bay Area on Wednesday no decision has yet been made whether to pursue criminal charges against Foster, who was arrested last month at his Los Gatos home for alleged domestic violence, threats and possession of an assault weapon.

York said he has not talked with Foster about the incidents of this offseason, including a January arrest for possession of marijuana in Alabama. However, general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan have spoken with Foster on multiple occasions.

We’d love Reuben to be on this team, York said on the final day of the NFL owners meetings. And we’d love him to participate for us, but if he’s not doing things off the field that allow us to be able to rely on him – or he’s doing something that we’re not comfortable with off the field and it’s proven that’s what’s going on — I think the guys have said then you’re just going to have to move on.patriots_110-223x223