Jacksonville Jaguars unveil new old-school look


The Jacksonville Jaguars led the Nike uniform revolution five years ago with a unique, somewhat controversial look, capped by a two-toned helmet.

Say goodbye to excess, Jacksonville.

What began as a hashtag is becoming just that: a movement. And that’s the phrasing Griffin prefers. A movement implies he’s far from finished. He knows he’s inspiring every kid with any type of birth defect. (I’ll set the path for them, and they’ll just walk it.) He knows he can change the world. (When people see me on the field, they’ll think, Wow, he’s really doing this.) Whereas a feel-good story is flowery and abstract, a movement never sleeps.

But a movement could also die off if Griffin doesn’t play on Sundays.

In an epic 10th frame, Golden strings together three straight strikes and yells, That’s how you end it! to hand Griffin the L, 152 to 138. Not that Griffin caught the heroics. He was sprawled on top of that circular cushion with his brother, tapping through Instagram, in a state of relaxation. Sad case, he says, smiling, before walking off and perching a leg atop the back of another couch to relax.

Maybe the Giants like what they have in 2017 third-round pick Davis Webb, but they’re not sold he’s the guy of the future, it’d make sense for the team to search for that guy [checks watch] right about now.

Of course, it’s possible Gettleman is saying all this with the knowledge he isn’t interested in taking Saquon Barkley at No. 2 and that he’s in the market for a quarterback. It’s lying season, after all.

But if it’s an act, Gettleman played the role of Football Guy Who Wants To Win Super Bowl 23 Instead Of Super Bowl 53 convincingly.

Over his mild hip injury, left-hander CC Sabathia came off the 10-day to start and allowed two unearned runs in 4 1/3 innings. Pitching for the first time since April 6, Sabathia was pulled from a 2-2 game with a runner on first and one out in the Blue Jays due to his pitch count being at 71.

After batting third in the Yankees’ first 16 games, Giancarlo Stanton dropped to cleanup and was 1-for-3 with an infield single and walk.

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2018 NFL Schedule: Here are the 10 best games, including the NFC Championship Game rematch


2018 NFL Schedule: Here are the 10 best games, including the NFC Championship Game rematch More Do you wonder what Tom Brady will be doing when the NFL season opens and his New England Patriots are playing host to the Houston Texans? You know, the Brady who supposedly hasn’t committed to playing in 2018? Yeah, OK. We know exactly what he’ll be doing that first NFL Sunday.

A piece of my heart will always be in football, but my mind ended it. Borland, who started playing tackle football in ninth grade, finds it preposterous that children are still playing the sport with fewer rules protecting them than the adults in the pros. Even the rules in the NFL like limits on contact in practice and a recent rule change to outlaw leading with the helmet are only small steps.Those are all incremental improvements, Borland said.A lot of it is PR. When they do those things, they’re able to say the game is safer than ever. Safer than ever is a euphemism for dangerous and football is inherently dangerous.

In his third year at Central Florida, 2015, O’Leary told Griffin to stay home in St. Pete for the summer while Shaquill trained in Orlando. He says O’Leary even considered banishing him to a junior college.

I wasn’t playing because I had one hand; I wasn’t going to be naive anymore, Griffin says. That’s when I really felt that I was here for the wrong reasons.

Griffin spent the summer towing trucks for his father 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., working out and then cleaning offices 8 p.m. to midnight.

O’Leary wouldn’t be around for long, though. After starting the 2015 season 0-8, he retired. That offseason, Scott Frost was hired. And Griffin felt released into the wild, like that four-year-old kid again.

Working twice as hard as everyone else could now reap real rewards. He remembers hearing Frost’s voice in the weight room. Feeling his presence. When they spoke, there was sincere eye contact. So Griffin kept running and running and chasing ball-carriers 60, 70, 80 yards every snap in practice to the point of literally throwing up. He’d vomit, wipe his mouth clean and run some more.

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Despite interest in rookie quarterbacks, Gase says he’s committed to Tannehill


Ryan Tannehill remains Miami’s quarterback. And yet the Dolphins continue to show interest in members of the incoming rookie class.

During a recent visit to PFT Live, coach Adam Gase addressed the persistent belief that he’s not committed to Tannehill.

We’ll see what he does with that in 2018. If Tannehill doesn’t thrive, Gase may need to get a new quarterback, or fans may start clamoring for a new coach.

Last year, Quinn leaned on free agency to continue the remodeling. The Lions opened up the checkbook to acquire right tackle Rick Wagner and guard T.J. Lang, replacing former Martin Mayhew draft picks Riley Reiff and Larry Warford.

Now Quinn must find center Travis Swanson’s replacement. After two injury-plagued seasons, the Lions allowed the former third-round pick to walk in free agency, leaving an opening in the starting lineup.

Glasgow is projected to slide to center, but with two years of starting experience at guard, the team has some flexibility coming into the draft.

Among the players currently on the roster who could contend for the starting job are Dahl, Corey Robinson and free-agent additions Kenny Wiggins and Wesley Johnson.

Dahl started three games at left guard for the Lions late last season. Wiggins started 16 games for the Chargers at right guard and has previous experience with new offensive line coach Jeff Davidson. Johnson was the Jets starting center in 2017. And Robinson, the Lions swing tackle, got a surprising start at guard last season.

Derrick can get it downhill, press the hole, hit the hole, and really turn it over and outrun people, general manager Jon Robinson said, per Jim Wyatt of the team’s official website. He can stick it up there and run over people. Dion can make people miss. He can kind of get lost in the wash up in there and squirt out, and be good out of the backfield.

The Titans also shored up their secondary by signing Malcolm Butler to a whopping five-year, $61 million deal that includes $30 million guaranteed. 

Considering last year’s Titans logged nine wins despite lacking flash, the retooled version has a real chance to propel the franchise back to double-digit wins for the first time since 2008. 

Finally, there are the Indianapolis Colts. 

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Lions’ T.J. Lang ready to leave last season’s injuries behind


Allen Park — Detroit Lions guard T.J. Lang spent half of last season on the injury report, but unlike the previous two years, none of those issues lingered into the offseason or required surgery.

I can’t make any predictions here, but this is the first time I’ve done an offseason workout in three years, so I’m definitely excited about that, Lang said during a Thursday press conference.

As Lang noted, the Lions’ line struggled with durability and production. Because of injuries, the team started 10 different combinations last year. And while not entirely the fault of the blocking, the ground game and pass protection both struggled. The Lions finished last in the NFL in rushing and quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked 47 times, a career-high.

That faith proved misplaced as the team finished last in the league in rushing, both yards per game and yards per carry. Ameer Abdullah struggled in his first full season as the lead back, averaging a career-low 3.3 yards, ultimately leading to a decreased role down the stretch.

Shortly after the conclusion of the season, Quinn vowed to add competition at the position. He did so in free agency, picking up 250-pound LeGarrette Blount. The accomplished veteran brings a short-yardage element the Lions have lacked in recent years, but at 31 years old, probably isn’t going to be a guy taking 20 handoffs per week.

Given some of the other issues in the ground game, namely the blocking, and upcoming adjustments to the scheme, it’s not inconceivable the Lions attempt to make it work with the tailback collective they currently have under contract. But with such a deep, talented prospect pool, and little long-term security at the position beyond this season (Abdullah and Blount’s contracts expire at the end of this upcoming season), it wouldn’t be the best approach.

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One team executive on meeting with Penn State running back Saquon Barkley: Barkley is a Boy Scout.


The executive explained it this way: Everything in the interview was, ‘Yes, sir. No, sir.’ His answers were detailed and unrehearsed. He’s the real deal in every possible way. 

How impressed was he? This executive thinks Barkley goes first overall to Cleveland.

One thing I’ve been hearing from team sources around the league is that they think the first round of the draft won’t feature much drama in terms of trades. 

There’s a lot of trade talk right now between franchises, but in the end, these sources say, the trading will be minimal. The reason? They don’t see these quarterbacks as valuable enough to make big moves.

There is some buzz out there among team sources I’ve spoken to that this is the season we see Winston finally break out. I heard some of that last year but not to the extent I am this offseason.

The unforced errors are the big thing with Winston, and there was some positive momentum on them last season. His interceptions per game went from 0.94 in 2015 to 1.13 in 2016 to 0.85 in 2017, while his completion percentage increased from 58.3 to 60.8 to 63.8.

Beyond that, we also get the standard Cowboys and Lions home games, with Detroit and Dallas hosting divisional opponents in Chicago and Washington. It’s a divisional feast!

Revenge. Glorious revenge. What could possibly be more rewarding than vanquishing a foe by way of expert retaliation? We’re talking profound justice, baby!

With the release of the 2018 NFL schedule, we’re now privy to a host of matchups that offer the opportunity of glorious payback for teams and players with business to settle. Take this soap opera drama crossed with manly gridiron action and shoot it into in my veins.

It’s a bit obscured by history now, but the Falcons were probably one Julio Jones slip away from knocking off the eventual Super Bowl champion Eagles in their own building during the Divisional Playoffs. Let’s jump in the time machine, shall we?

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XFL documentary maker plans new football league


While Vince McMahon promises to bring back a revamped XFL in 2020, a son of McMahon’s partner in the original short-lived XFL venture said his football league will come first. And some big NFL names will be involved.

Charlie Ebersol, who directed a documentary on the XFL that aired last year as part of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, announced Tuesday that his league, the Alliance of American Football, plans to debut Feb. 9, 2019, the week after Super Bowl LIII. The season will run 10 weeks and will have 50-man teams.

Unlike McMahon, whose announcement came without a media plan, Ebersol said that his league, made up of players who didn’t make the cut for the NFL, will have the initial game and the championship game on CBS and one matchup per week on CBS Sports Network. Other games will be available on the league’s app, which Ebersol said promises to integrate live fantasy play into the broadcasts.

He will make the most money and be under the most intense scrutiny. But he cannot do it alone.

Well, I think that it’s going to be a whole group effort,Solder said Friday. I don’t think one particular player is going to change the whole thing, so with everyone that is already there that I know and anyone that is coming in, we’re just going to have to work as hard as we can. It’s going to be an uphill process, and that’s not saying anything about the past. It’s just that the NFL is a difficult, difficult league, and we’re going to have to be the best that we can be to perform at a high level.

In his seven years with the Patriots, Solder has known only winning, and the Giants expect him to bring some of that formula for success with him.

The biggest thing about winning as a player is understanding what it takes to win,general manager Dave Gettleman said, and the understanding that the guys on the other side of the field are getting paid to play, too. That is one thing that Nate definitely understands. The Patriots have a very demanding culture up there, which we’re going to have as well. So it won’t be any surprise to Nate. At the end of the day, he certainly can show people what is required, the preparation and the work to win.

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How the NFL will (try to) rewrite the catch rule


It also lessened the need for players to keep the ball off the ground in the first place. Even under the current rule, a player can avoid the going to the ground mess if he simply keeps it in his hands.

What gets lost in this is that the sheer number of pass plays every year is 17,000 or 18,000, Blandino said. And we’re only talking about, what, five or six of them? That’s what it seems to be every year. Obviously they’re controversial, but I think [previously] the committee ultimately felt they didn’t want to make a change for five or six plays that could impact more plays in other ways. That’s part of the challenge they have now.

The Giants finally made official last week’s trade for LB Alec Ogletree. They sent their fourth-round compensatory pick (135th overall) and their sixth-round pick (176th overall) in this year’s draft to the Rams for Ogletree and the Rams’ 2019 seventh-round pick.

He gives us our defensive quarterback, Gettleman said. As for giving up two picks in this year’s draft, Gettleman said, When you get a player of this quality, you can do it. Alec is 26. He’s young, he’s under contract for the next four years. We really thought he was a great guy to add.

Wanted to make sure to challenge the opportunity to get better, Carroll said. Wanted to find ways to make… and there was some tough decisions here to get that done, but I wanted to work at changing just kind of the approach to it so that maybe we can find our ways and maybe some newness to uncover. It was difficult to make those choices, because the guys that left we have done so much together and worked together in great fashion. But I just felt it was time. It really just comes back to competing and just trying to find a way to get a little better. That’s why we made those choices.

The team hired Brian Schottenheimer as offensive coordinator and Mike Solari as the offensive line coach. Ken Norton Jr. returns to the team to take over as defensive coordinator after three years with the Oakland Raiders. The team also hired Jethro Franklin as assistant defensive line coach, Larry Izzo as assistant special teams coach and Steve Shimko as an offensive assistant.

Seattle also moved Carl Smith from quarterbacks coach to associate head coach, moved Dave Canales from wide receivers coach to quarterbacks coach, and promoted Nate Carroll to wide receivers coach from the assistant position.

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Welcome to the NFL’s annual scramble for top talent.


Less than two months remain before the 2018 draft (April 26-28), when teams will jockey for the prospects who will make up the majority of the league’s rosters in the coming years. Free agency, of course, is a supplementary exercise.

What follows is a subjective ranking of the high-end players still available, and the ones who have already agreed to terms.

A preseason trade from the Jets to Seattle, if nothing else, gave Richardson tape in both the 4-3 and 3-4 defenses. The Seahawks, who gave up a second-round pick and receiver Jermaine Kearse to get Richardson, might want him as a younger replacement for Michael Bennett. Richardson made a few splashy plays in Seattle, but he probably wasn’t dominant enough to spark a frenzied bidding war.

Although he has been slowed at times by knee injuries, Mathieu started all 16 games last season and is as young as anyone on the free agent market. Safeties are critical to current defensive schemes and he should find many suitors.

Crabtree, 30, has made 579 catches for 6,870 yards and 51 touchdowns in nine NFL seasons. He played six seasons in San Francisco after the 49ers made him a first-round pick before spending the past three seasons in Oakland.

The Raiders cut him Thursday after signing receiver Jordy Nelson.

Instead, designate one of the three to ask two or even three questions so it becomes more of a conversation and the guest is heard. It allows for a flow and a much better listen than hopscotching from one question to the next.

A little inside baseball: Over this past summer, Yankees lead TV play-by-player and ESPN New York afternoon host Michael Kay hired Excel’s Casey Close and Jim Murray as his agents. Close is most famous for being Derek Jeter’s player agent and is considered at least among the top five agents in baseball. The Yankees and Close feuded over Jeter’s final contract.

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The winners and losers from a crazy start to NFL free agency


Wednesday at 4 p.m. marked the official free-agent signing period, though negotiations were permitted prior to that. And, based on the flurry of activity in the past two days, particularly Tuesday, a lot of teams and players already have either bettered themselves or find themselves in a lurch.

Here’s a look at the winners and losers based on the early frenzy of activity leading into Wednesday’s official signing period.

2. Da Bears: Chicago added some key weapons to surround second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, especially in landing Allen Robinson, the best receiver on the open market this offseason. He’s coming off a knee injury, but Robinson is a terrific route-runner who has the ability to break a game open and is highly productive.

The Bears also agreed to terms with former Eagles tight end Trey Burton, who’s best known for throwing that TD pass to Eagles quarterback Nick Foles in the Super Bowl. They, too, are bringing in receiver Taylor Gabriel, a speedster who can stretch the field.

The 27-year-old was serving life without parole for the 2013 murder of Odin L. Lloyd and had recently been acquitted of committing a double murder in 2012.

Baez, who insists the ex-NFL star was innocent, chose to come forward in a two-part docu-series on Oxygen titled, Aaron Hernandez Uncovered, which aims to explore the athlete’s secret double life before his sudden death.

It also features interviews with former teammates, detectives, as well as Shayanna Jenkins, his fiancée and the mother of his only child.

After his death, I can tell you it really disturbed me how many people were throwing out stories and saying certain things that were not only factually inaccurate, but just outright abusive, Baez told Fox News about his involvement with the show.

I thought and I felt, and I still do to this day, that the real story has to get out there. … No one has ever captured the true Aaron Hernandez. It’s been bothersome to me and that’s why I decided to take part of it.

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All the moves Giants made on a busy day of signings


At one time, the Broncos had big hopes for Cody Latimer, making him their 2014 second-round draft pick out of Indiana. Four years and not much impact on the field later, the Giants are taking a chance on him, adding a tall receiver to a room that includes Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and, for now, Brandon Marshall.

Mauro joins linebacker Kareem Martin in coming to the Giants from Arizona, where new Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher ran the defense the past three years. Mauro figures to challenge for a starting spot as an end in Bettcher’s three-man defensive line as the front office adds pieces to improve the run defense.

It’s shoot first, ask questions later, Mauro told the Giants website, describing Bettcher’s defense. It is an offensive defense. I like to play that type of way, just getting off the rock, being explosive, just causing mayhem in the backfield. There’s a lot of pieces that really fit that type of style, that type of mold. I think it’s going to be very effective.

Latimer’s most productive season was in 2017, when he caught 19 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns.

The Giants are interested in overhauling their roster, but they did not turn their backs on all of their own unrestricted free agents. They brought back Wynn on a one-year contract.
Looking to fortify their depth, the Giants also signed Webb to a one-year deal.

You surrender three second-round picks and your sixth-overall pick to the Colts for the third pick of the NFL draft.

It means you are so desperate for one of the quarterbacks, so terrified that you might have been left standing in the game of quarterback musical chairs that you are willing to settle for the third-rated quarterback on your board.

There remains a danger, of course, that another quarterback-desperate team — the Bills at 12 for example, perhaps the Broncos at 5, perhaps the Cardinals at 15 — could leapfrog the Jets for the apple of their eye.

Maccagnan made a smart play signing Teddy Bridgewater to a one-year deal and bringing back Josh McCown, the 39-year-old godsend.

What those moves do, if the Browns choose Sam Darnold with the first-overall pick, is allow Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates to let Josh Allen or Josh Rosen or Baker Mayfield redshirt for most or all of his rookie season, à la Pat Mahomes II in Kansas City.

And there will be no mentor better for him than McCown.

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