Garrett Bolles hopes to play heavier in 2018

Broncos 2017 first-round offensive lineman Garrett Bolles started all 16 games as a rookie. In an effort to have a bigger impact in his second season, Bolles hopes to get larger.

He’s going to have a lot of catching up to do, Guenther said, via the Las Vegas Review-Journal. We’re going to have to have a plan for that, for sure. Really, I’m concerned about the guys that are here now working. These guys have been busting their tails every day — coming in early, meeting with the coaches, being great in the meeting rooms, communicating on the field. We do a lot with one-minute situations today, so it was really good to see.

Back in late March, when strident comments from Giants co-owner John Mara sparked days of speculation and rumor that Beckham could be traded, NFL Media reported that Beckham wouldn’t set foot on a field until he gets a new contract. Although Beckham has since set foot on the field during preliminary phases of the offseason program, Beckham has yet to participate in actual football practice, because he hasn’t been medically cleared to do so.

Once he is, what will he do?

There continues to be no indication that the Giants and Beckham are closing in on a new contract. Beckham reportedly wants more than $20 million per year. The Giants apparently want to wait before making a commitment, primarily for reasons unrelated to Beckham’s skills and abilities. Beckham arguably should refuse to put himself at any degree of physical risk until he gets what he wants.

49ers great Dwight Clark, known for ‘The Catch,’ dies at 61 after battle with ALS

Dwight Clark, the San Francisco 49ers great most widely known for making The Catchfrom Joe Montana to defeat the Dallas Cowboys in the 1981 NFC Championship Game, died Monday. He was 61.

Clark’s wife, Kelly Clark, revealed the news about her husband, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

I’ve been asked if playing football caused this, Clark wrote. I don’t know for sure. But I certainly suspect it did. And I encourage the NFLPA and the NFL to continue working together in their efforts to make the game of football safer, especially as it relates to head trauma.

I could be (cleared), but at the same time, at the end of the day, we still won’t take any risks, Collins said. It’s minicamp. We’re not playing for anything right now.

Collins made the mistake of thinking he was 100 percent healthy once before. A few days later, in early April, he found out he needed a second surgery because the bone didn’t heal correctly after he first was injured in Week 16 of the 2017 season.

I’m very close, Collins said of being 100 percent. Just right now, we’re just taking the precautions, not putting me into the team things, getting my arm caught or anything. We’re right around the corner from the season, so we’re not about to risk anything.

Collins isn’t even willing to risk falling behind in learning new coordinator James Bettcher’s defense. The Giants are rotating four safeties Darian Thompson, Andrew Adams, Orion Stewart and Curtis Riley through the first-team defense in his absence.

Jim Kelly to receive Jimmy V Award at 2018 ESPYs

eagles_128Jim Kelly’s unwavering determination throughout his battle with cancer hasn’t gone unnoticed.

The legendary Bills quarterback will receive the Jimmy V Award at the 2018 ESPY Awards next month.

Rhys Hoskins returned from a nine-game absence caused by a fractured jaw and hit a three-run homer for the Phillies, who have lost four straight and 10 of 13.

Arrieta allowed five runs four earned four hits and two walks in his first start since making critical comments of the Phillies’ defensive shifting strategy following Sunday’s 6-1 loss at San Francisco.

The defense is dealing with the departure of core players like cornerback Richard Sherman and defensive ends Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson left as a free agent, and strong safety Kam Chancellor faces an uncertain NFL future.

On top of all that, Brian Schottenheimer replaced Darrell Bevell as offensive coordinator, and Ken Norton Jr. replaced Kris Richard as defensive coordinator under head coach Pete Carroll.

Edelman, who has worked closely with Tom Brady’s trainer, Alex Guerrero, at the TB12 Sports Therapy Center, previously discussed how Guerrero has helped him.

The link between them led Guerrero to issue the following statement:

I’ve known Julian since his rookie year and he is a phenomenal athlete who takes his training seriously — it’s disappointing to hear today’s news. Elite athletes sometimes work with multiple coaches and health professionals as part of their off-season training. Here at our facility, we take a natural, holistic, appropriate and, above all, legal approach to training and recovery for all of our clients. And anyone who would suggest otherwise is irresponsible, and just plain wrong, he said.Steven Wright and his knuckleball could fill key role for Red Sox

Vikings G.M. doesn’t mind writing big checks

tigers_011-115x115The Vikings have spent plenty of money already this offseason, most of it going to quarterback Kirk Cousins.

There’s more money to spend, with deals for more young stars on the horizon.

That had General Manager Rick Spielman laughing with attendees at the team’s charity golf tournament.

Fifty percent of the proceeds today will go to the contracts of Anthony Barr, Stefon Diggs and Danielle Hunter,” Spielman joked, via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Spending big on Cousins was an all-in proposition for a team that was very good, and very close a year ago. But those economic realities Spielman mentioned will naturally shorten the window for a veteran team, and creates pressure to hit on draft picks so they have cost-controlled contributors on the roster as well.

But with three years remaining on his deal, what would skipping mandatory minicamp and/or holding out of training camp accomplish? It could be that Jones opted simply to flag the issue by skipping voluntary OTAs this year, and that he’ll show up from this point forward, hopeful that the new deal comes after the current season. If it doesn’t, then next year Jones may opt for a different tactic.

Semi-educated guess? He’ll be there. Come next year, however, Jones may push harder for a new contract. If he doesn’t get one, maybe he’ll even inch a little closer toward shirtless driveway situps.

The Saints traded the 27th and 147th picks in this year’s draft along with next year’s first-round pick in order to take Davenport with to the 14th overall pick. Coach Sean Payton said that call was made because of how important it is to find premier pass rushers and they’re surely happy to know that Davenport’s thumb issue doesn’t look like an obstacle to becoming one.

I think Johnny will come fast because we’re not going to change things from here on, Jones said last week. He has the whole offense in, and he’s been running it on the field. Now, does he know what he’s doing with it yet? No. But because we’re repping it all with him now, he’s going to come faster than what is typical.

Luck’s return faces another issue: The Colts are installing a new offense under coach Frank Reich. 

eagles_332For me, coming off missing the entire year with the neck, I knew I was going to have to play a different kind of way, a different sort of physical state, Manning said. I was looking for things like positive feedback from receivers on whether the ball felt the same coming in and then when you get into the game and you throw a deep out. We played a preseason game and I threw a deep comeback route, and that was a thing to check off the box. You want to do everything for the first time again. You want to get hit, you want to make a tight throw, have a two-minute drive. I wanted to do all those things again.

The Golden Knights have scored the opening goal in the first period of all nine of their postseason home games…. Washington needs three more wins to become the second team in NHL history to win a Cup after trailing in all four postseason rounds, joining Pittsburgh in 1991…. T-Mobile Arena reported 18,702 fans in the sold-out building, setting a franchise record for attendance.

Torres definitely has been all that and more since he received his first big-league call-up on April 22 after a few years of being labeled one of baseball’s best prospects.

Through Tuesday’s 2-for 5-night, Torres is hitting.321 with nine homers and 26 RBIs… and two walk-off hits counting his game-winning homer that beat Cleveland on May 6.

Being that young and playing for this organization, there’s a lot of pressure, Sabathia said. For him to be able to deliver in these moments, it just means there’s more to come.

Torres’ error total is up to seven, a team-high, but he’s mixed in a whole lot of tremendous plays, too.

NFLPA will closely monitor sports betting developments

The NFLPA has joined many others in the sports world by issuing a statement in the wake of Monday’s Supreme Court decision overturning a federal ban on state-sanctioned sports betting.

“The Supreme Court’s decision today reaffirms the decision to collaborate with the other sports unions on the issues of player safety, integrity of our games and privacy and publicity rights. Our union will monitor developments closely and address the implications of this decision with the NFL, state legislators and other relevant stakeholders.”

The collaboration with other sports unions referred to in Monday’s statement included a joint statement with the MLBPA, NBAPA and NHLPA in April focused on “the legal, commercial, practical, and human consequences of allowing sports betting to become mainstream.”

But he has to prove he’s worth their time, on and off the field. Manziel has a long way to go to get back in the NFL, because the truth is he wasn’t good enough to be worth the headaches. But there had to be a legitimate first step toward rehabilitating his career, and the CFL might be perfect for that.

With sporting events happening virtually every day, any delay results in money being lost. That’s why states like West Virginia were wise to adopt a sports wagering bill before the Supreme Court decision (but will be the opposite of wise if it wedges a money-for-nothing “integrity fee” onto the bill).

Eventually, most if not all states will get in on the act, especially as they start to see how sports wagering performs in states that have it. The looming explosion of wagers on all forms of sports should result in a major uptick in interest in these sports. This could make gambling, as the executive described it, the biggest development in sports media in our lifetime.

Yeah, he’s special, said Burton, who caught a career-high five touchdowns for the Super Bowl champion Eagles in 2017. “He fits right in the category with Carson in the way he prepares, his physical attributes on the field, his athleticism.”bucks_508

Rams’ New Inglewood Stadium Reportedly Now Costs More Than $4 Billion

The projected cost of the Los Angeles Rams’ new stadium in Inglewood, California, which is scheduled to open in 2020, has reportedly exceeded $4 billion.

On Monday, Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal reported the investment by Rams owner Stan Kroenke and wife Ann Walton Kroenke is more than double the next highest amount paid for an American athletic venue ($1.7 billion for MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey).

Reasons for the increased costs include access roads, utilities and making sure the stadium could withstand an earthquake, per Kaplan. The final total could approach $5 billion when the new NFL Network building is factored into the equation.

Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park is also expected to house the Los Angeles Chargers, though the Rams are the primary equity partner in the high-priced facility.

So, Fuller will be adjusting to a new role in a new defense in a new city, all as he tries to prove that his standout second season wasn’t a fluke.

The first impression he makes at next week’s initial OTA sessions will be worth monitoring.

Having the Preakness favorite has never bothered Bob Baffert before and it doesn’t bother him with Justify.

Coming off an impressive victory in the Kentucky Derby , Justify is the 1-2 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s second race in a field of eight horses. Derby runner-up Good Magic is the second choice at 3-1, but Justify is the horse to beat with the chance to give Baffert his seventh Preakness winner and a shot at a second Triple Crown in four years after American Pharoah did it in 2015.

We’re fully embedded into offseason mode, moving away from the draft and towards training camp. It’s a long way down the road, relatively speaking, but it’s also not too far away to start asking questions about certain teams. For instance, what will the Seahawks ‘ offense look like in 2018?  No one knows, because there is so much changing. Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett are the only sure things in terms of pass catchers, Rashaad Penny was added to own the backfield in the draft and Brian Schottenheimer replaced Darrell Bevell as offensive coordinator. It’s not unreasonable to expect them to struggle a little bit. Unless they just unleash Russell Wilson anyway.cowboys_071

Aaron Donald tells Rams he won’t be at OTAs, wants new contract

Aaron Donald will continue his absence from any Rams workouts.

The defensive tackle is looking for a restructured contract and told the team he won’t be at OTAs until a new deal is presented, according to ESPN.

One factor that helped Obada’s development was practicing with and learning from the likes of Julius Peppers and Charles Johnson for a year. Those two players have combined for 222 sacks in their careers; they rank first and second, respectively, on the Panthers’ all-time sacks list.

“It’s set the bar so high and it’s made me hungry,” Obada said. “At the same time, because I’m in the same room as them, next to them in the locker room it’s also showing me that that’s attainable and I just have to apply myself and learn from him.”

A minicamp with tryout players and rookies isn’t necessarily the greatest level of competition, of course. What comes next — full OTAs, minicamp and training camp — will be the true test of how far Obada has come and how far he still has to go.

We remain in favor of a federal framework that would provide a uniform approach to sports gambling in states that choose to permit it, but we will remain active in ongoing discussions with state legislatures. Regardless of the particulars of any future sports betting law, the integrity of our game remains our highest priority.”

MLB’s statement said the decision will have “profound effects” on baseball: “As each state considers whether to allow sports betting, we will continue to seek the proper protections for our sport, in partnership with other professional sports. Our most important priority is protecting the integrity of our games.”

The sanctioning bodies will need to formulate a plan of action, as many states are expected to move quickly to legalize betting. A 2017 report by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming estimated that 14 states would offer sports betting within two years: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.ravens_174

Mike Maccagnan: Sam Darnold will have “every opportunity” to earn starting job

When discussing the addition of quarterback Sam Darnold in the first round of the draft, Jets head coach Todd Bowles said that the team has no timetable in terms of when they expect to see him in the starting lineup.

General Manager Mike Maccagnan sent a similar message during a Wednesday appearance on The Rich Eisen Show, saying “nothing’s been predetermined one way or another.” Maccagnan added that the lack of determination leaves the door open for Darnold to show the team he should start ahead of Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater.

Four months later, Andrew Luck ($24. 6M) beat out Flacco. Last June, Oakland’s Derek Carr ($25M) eclipsed Luck. Two months after that, Detroit’s Matthew Stafford ($27M) got past him. San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo ($27. 5M) edged Stafford in January, Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins ($28M) dethroned Garoppolo in March, and now we have Ryan at the top. Rodgers will probably be next, and then someone else, and so on. So while Ryan hit the milestone of being first to get to $30 million annually—and QBs got there before any other player got to $20 million—this is more a continuation of a trend that underscores the importance of the position in pro football than anything else. But there is still significance.

Sanchez’ miss was ruled a wild pitch, but Sanchez should have been able to stop it. Sanchez said as much after the game.

Yeah, definitely had a chance, he said. “I just couldn’t block it (or) stop it right there. That contributed for Sevy to have to throw more pitches in that inning. I wanted to stop it and keep it there, but unfortunately I couldn’t do it.

Sanchez entered the game with six passed balls — tied for the most in the league with Omar Navarez of the White Sox. Nobody else has four.

Sanchez tied for the league lead in passed balls last season and spent all offseason in the Dominican Republic losing weight and working on his flexibility, trying to get better at blocking balls — an issue that caused then-manager Joe Girardi to bench Sanchez two games last summer.

Would they pay one-third of that on an insurance policy to protect him?

Devonta Freeman—one of the two surprising starters—recently had his own interesting contract situation, but it was solved with a five-year, $41.25 million deal, with $22 million guaranteed.broncos_009_031c018ca465cfe5-180x180

Cowboys lack No. 1 receiver, taking a committee approach

The Cowboys have a lot of receivers. They don’t have a No. 1 receiver.

The moment Dez Bryant walked out the door, the Cowboys became a wide receiver by committee.

“I feel that we have been true to the thought that we were going to throw the ball in a lot of different ways, not necessarily feature going to your number one receiver, that’s a dominant receiver,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said.

I don’t know what (taking Barkley) means for Eli, Shurmur said from his office Tuesday.

What it means for us organizationally is we picked the guy we thought was the best player in the draft. I believe in Eli. Again, ‘vote of confidence,’ that goes into the ‘buy in’ category for me. You take whatever you want from that. What I know is that Eli is going to be the very best Eli he can be, and we believe in him.

Instead, Broncos General Manager John Elway said, according to Jeff Legwold of ESPN, that the team will allow Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly to compete for the No. 2 job behind Case Keenum. The Broncos will not bring in another quarterback for organized team activities or minicamp.

Elway said the Broncos had their eye on a couple of quarterbacks but opted to spend their picks elsewhere.

The Broncos gave Keenum a two-year, $36 million contract and handed him the starting job for 2018, but the assumption was they would draft a young quarterback to groom behind Keenum. Keenum has said he would welcome a draft choice joining him in the quarterbacks room.broncos_089_91bb5ff393b2e70b-180x180