Category: Houston Texans

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Jonathan Martin facing five charges over threatening Instagram post, report says

Former NFL lineman Jonathan Martin was detained last month after posting an unsettling photo on Instagram that led to the temporary closing of Harvard-Westlake High School in Studio City, Calif., which Martin attended.

According to TMZ, Martin was charged with making criminal threats and possessing a loaded firearm by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on Monday. The report says there is currently a warrant out for Martin’s arrest.

Grizzlies: Ben McLemore started the game 4-4, including a trio of 3-pointers, and finished with 13 points. … While Gasol was one rebound and an assists shy of a triple-double, Dillon Brooks also flirted with the standard. In addition to his 22 points, he had eight rebounds and eight assists.

Ellenson, a 6-foot-11 forward in his second season out of Marquette, collected his career-high by converting 6 of 10 shots, including 4 of 6 from outside the arc. He entered the game averaging 3.1 points. “He’s really a good player. It’s not a secret,” Tolliver said about Ellenson, the 18th overall pick in the 2016 draft. “There’s a reason why was such a high draft pick. He has a lot of potential. He’s just a young guy trying to find his way.”

The Grizzlies recorded season-highs in several categories, including points (130), field goal percentage (57.8 percent) and 3-pointers made (16). They also had a season-best 36 assists.

Cooks made his mark in New England as a deep threat, recording 65 catches for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns with a career-high 16.6 yards per catch last season. He suffered a concussion in the Super Bowl in February but is expected to be healthy this upcoming season.

In addition to Cooks, the Rams have added Ndamukong Suh, Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib this offseason.

The Patriots now hold the 23rd, 31st, 43rd and 63rd overall picks and could be wheeling and dealing ahead of this month’s draft. The Rams first selection in the draft is now No. 87 overall.

“We’ve been on the road for a while,” Zobrist said. “Looking forward to that opening day tomorrow, and even though it will be cold, there will be a lot of people excited for that at Wrigley.”


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Steelers’ David DeCastro on NFL’s heads-up rule: ‘Might as well take the ball away while your at it’

The NFL announced a new rule last month that will penalize or even lead to ejection of players for lowering their helmets to initiate contact, sparking controversy among players and officials.

Steelers guard David DeCastro, who has been known to make hard head-first hits throughout his career, was more than willing to share his honest perspective on the rule change going as far as saying, You might as well take the ball away while you’re at it.

We stopped getting stops. We were defending really well up until that point, Magic forward Aaron Gordon said.

Terry, the savvy veteran guard, immediately gave the Bucks a spark by forcing a turnover on the inbounds play after Bledsoe’s two foul shots. Muhammad gave the Bucks a presence off the dribble to help make up for the absence of the free-wheeling Antetokounmpo.

Shabazz played a (great) game all night long, played in attack mode … got to his strengths in the paint, forward Khris Middleton said.

The Bucks led comfortably the rest of the way to close out the regular season at the Bradley Center. A new arena is scheduled to open in the fall on an adjacent lot in downtown Milwaukee.

Thomas is known for being one of the Browns’ most resiliant players, not missing a snap in 10 years until a triceps injury cost him the rest of the season in 2017.

Monday was a step in the right direction for Beckham and the Giants after a tumultuous offseason. The team wasn’t happy when a video surfaced that showed Beckham with what appeared to be a brown cigarette in his hand while a female companion used a credit card to arrange a white powder into lines after a night of partying in France.

This didn’t help Beckham’s desire to get paid. It’s no secret he wants a new contract. He played last year for $1.8 million and is expected to make $8.5 million on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract this season. A new deal is likely to net him in the range of $60 million guaranteed.

Showing up for the start of offseason workouts is at least a step in the right direction for the two sides.

Mavericks: Barnes started 0 of 7 from the field and missed his first three free throws. … Dallas finished 9-32 on the road.

76ers: The 1982-83 Sixers won 14 straight from Dec. 21-Jan. 21. … Philadelphia won 18 straight over two seasons in 1966. … The Sixers last lost March 13 to Indiana. … Ersan Ilyasova had 11 points and 12 rebounds.


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Severino puked at tryout, Yankees loved him

Brett Gardner stroked a solo shot to right field in the seventh that made it 5-0.

Boone, replacing Joe Girardi, nabbed his first big-league win and the Yankees won their first season-opener since 2011 — the six losses in a row a franchise record. Their overall Opening Day record improved to 64-51-1 and 29-34 on the rod.

Luis Severino lasted 5 2/3 innings. The righty ace struck out seven, walked three and gave up just one hit in 91 pitches.

Over a six-year career, Weeden is 6-19 as a starter and has thrown 31 touchdowns to 30 interceptions while completing 57.9 percent of his passes. Five of those wins came in his rookie campaign with the Cleveland Browns. His last cameo was a bit more successful, however. In 2015, he played in two games, starting one of them, and completed 26-of-42 passes for 305 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 107.7 passer rating.

Weeden spent 2017 with the Tennessee Titans.

King signed a five-year contract worth $16.5 million in 2016, but it included an out with only $150,000 in dead cap before the 2018 season. The Raiders opted to take advantage of it because King’s salary cap hit would have been $3.05 million — sixth-highest among NFL punters.

Where do Olivier Vernon, Dalvin Tomlinson fit in Giants’ defense

The Giants, who have $5.6 million in salary cap space, are in the market for a punter after releasing three-year starter Brad Wing earlier this month. Austin Rehkow, who was a 2017 undrafted rookie out of Idaho, is the only punter on the current roster.

We are going to have a new punter, coach Pat Shurmur said this week.

King was a 2017 Pro Bowl alternate and 2016 Second-Team All-Pro who keeps a higher, quirky profile than many at his position.


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LeBron James, Cavs pause to reflect on 50th win, Central title

LeBron James’ teams had won 50 or more games 10 other times in his 15-year career before the Cleveland Cavaliers clinched the Central Division title with a 123-109 win over the Knicks on Monday, giving the Cavs a 50-31 record with one game left to play.

However, there’s a case to be made that none of those seasons were quite as trying on James as what Cleveland went through in 2017-18, which led the Cavs superstar to savor the 50-win mark if only for a moment after putting up 26 points, 11 assists and 6 rebounds against New York.

Other teams could have folded. Or certainly not rallied to win enough games to take the division title and host a first-round playoff series.

“It’s very special,” Lue said. “I think any time you can win your division and have home court in the first round I think it’s a good accomplishment, especially with everything we’ve been through this year. The guys just stuck with it and now we’re in position where we can tie our win total from last year.”

His release makes Jones an unrestricted free agent.

Jones announced his retirement after Super Bowl LII but has now decided he wants to play a 15th season.

The Seahawks made Jones a seventh-round choice in 2004, and he has also played for the Dolphins, Rams, Texans and Eagles.

Jones has punted 1,110 times for 50,500 yards, giving him a career average of 45.5 yards.

Davis stirred the crowd with an off the glass pass from Rajon Rondo that resulted in a one-handed alley-oop dunk in the run.

“That was exciting,” teammate Jrue Holiday said. “I’d rather him do that in the playoffs than now.”

Thornwell got a roar for a jam over DeAndre Liggins in the game’s final minutes.

Allen said other areas Palmer directed his focus were “getting on the board (to diagram plays), watching our own film to try and correct mistakes, and really diving into defenses and the responsibilities of each guy in certain coverages.”


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The strength of Todd Bowles’ 2018 roster figures to be the defensive backfield.

The Jets are re-signing cornerback Morris Claiborne to a one-year, $7 million contract, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, via a source informed of the situation.

I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Tom Benson. I have had the great fortune of knowing Mr. Benson for decades. He possessed a deep passion for the game and was committed to its growth.

We’ll revisit this grade if the terms of the contract don’t match the initial numbers, but if not, this is one of the most stunning deals of the offseason.

TE Jimmy Graham, Packers Grade: C It was a strange run in Seattle for the former Saints star, who never quite lived up to the lofty heights of his peak years in New Orleans but did manage to overcome a serious knee injury to serve as an effective member of the offense.

Graham oddly wasn’t a red zone factor before the knee injury in 2015, catching just two touchdown passes, then retained his downfield ability immediately afterward in averaging better than 14 yards per reception in 2016.

Although ASJ isn’t much of a threat with the ball in his hands, he possesses reliable hands to move the chains as a possession receiver and the size and athleticism to help Bortles as a red-zone weapon.

Since the onset of free agency, Jacksonville’s David Caldwell-Tom Coughlin braintrust has imported Seferian-Jenkins, re-signed Marqise Lee, splurged on former Colts wideout Donte Moncrief, added ex- Redskins tight end Niles Paul and landed the best guard on the market in former Panthers Pro Bowler Andrew Norwell.

The Jaguars aren’t resting on their laurels after reaching the AFC Championship Game in 2017.

After spending their top two picks in 2017 on Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, this move gives Bowles his Patrick Peterson.

There are minor concerns about Johnson, mostly regarding his health, given that the 28-year-old missed a total of 11 games from 2014 to’16 before playing a full season again in 2017.


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Once trades become official Wednesday, Aqib Talib will be off to the West Coast to begin a new chapter in his career with the Los Angeles Rams .

He’ll be joining a secondary that features another newcomer in cornerback Marcus Peters (also acquired via trade) and one of the league’s better safeties in Lamarcus Joyner , who received the franchise tag. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Talib is excited for what’s next.

Not this exact conversation, maybe, but conversations with the same basic theme. When (and how) is it OK to incorporate modern technology into baseball? The answer with this sport, eternally, seems to be the same: Probably at least 10 years ago.

Today, let’s talk about allowing pitchers and catchers to communicate pitch signals with words, instead of having to rely on caveman-era hand signals. Here’s the idea: Let the catcher and pitcher — and maybe the manager and/or pitching coach, but more on that in a minute — wear earpieces and microphones and call pitches that way. In the NFL, coaches send quarterbacks their play-calls through a headset in the QB’s helmet. Honestly, this is something baseball should have been implemented years ago.

He gained that experience during his three-season run in New England and four-year stint in Denver, where he was one-fourth of the No Fly Zone. His departure has cut that group down from four to two — leaving just Chris Harris and Darian Stewart — and officially spelling the end of an era.

“It’s in the books now, man,” Talib said of the No Fly Zone defense. “It’s definitely in the books. … We’ll definitely go down in the books as one of the best secondaries in history.”

That secondary was part of a suffocating defense that won Denver a Super Bowl . Perhaps Talib can be a senior member of another memorable defense. He already has a familiar face (Phillips) calling the shots.


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The 76ers raced to a 25-7 lead midway through the first quarter before Portis got hot and Chicago started making 3s.

Philadelphia’s lead was down to 33-29 at the end of the quarter and the Bulls busted out for 40 points in the second to take a 69-67 halftime lead. Chicago was 9 of 12 on 3-pointers in the quarter, including 4 for 5 by Portis.

The 76ers were up by five early in the fourth before Portis scored six straight points — on a 3-pointer and a three-point play — to put the Bulls on top 101-100. A few minutes later, Portis dunked over Embiid to stretch the lead to 111-106 with just over four minutes to play.

“It really is hard,” Hoiberg said. “It’s hard for Robin, it’s hard for Justin and it’s hard for Jerian, who’s probably making as big a sacrifice as anybody.”

Philadelphia is on the cusp of a playoff appearance this season, but the organization found itself in the same position as the Bulls the previous few years, playing mostly young players with the unspoken hope of improving draft position.

“When I look in the rearview mirror, it’s not as painful as people make it out to be,” coach Brett Brown said. “Losing stinks and the pain of losing is real, but the things that went into growing young players was really enjoyable for me. The development of young guys, giving them opportunities, explaining life in the NBA, what it takes to stay in the NBA, the culture — stuff that nobody sees.”

A ceremony at the museum steps starts at 1 p.m. and is expected to last until approximately 3 p.m. Those looking to attend can get there via the Market-Frankford and Broad Street SEPTA lines, which will be free all day to get people to the parade route. One of the bullet points announced for the parade is 14 Jumbotrons set up along the route, so the city is certainly going all-out.

The list of street closures and the times they will be closed can be found here, courtesy of ABC6. With more than a dozen closures, trying to navigate the area on the day of the parade will be tough. Below, you can find a map of the route, courtesy of the city of Philadelphia, via PennLive.

Player rest was eventually labeled a “significant issue for our league” by NBA commissioner Adam Silver in a memo distributed to all 30 teams in which Silver threatened “significant penalties” to NBA owners if their players rested in a manner that would be viewed as detrimental to the overall NBA product.


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Tyronn Lue: LeBron James ‘leading by example’ by playing every game

LeBron James is on pace to play in all 82 games for the first time in his 15-year career because, Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue says, the Cavs star feels obligated to be out there every night for his teammates.

“I told you I want to play every game,” James said. “If my health continues as it is right now, then that’s what it is.”

James, 33, has picked up the nickname “Benjamin Button” by Lue because of his ability to seemingly age in reverse. Lue was surprised to hear Friday that James has never played in all 82 games. The most games James played before resting was in 2008-09 when he played the first 81 before sitting out the season finale. James’ good friend Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets played all 82 games in 2014-15 and told ESPN’s Michael Wilbon he has held bragging rights over the four-time MVP ever since.

The subject of James resting came up Friday because Lue chose to sit James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving when the Cavs traveled to play the Grizzlies last December. Cleveland’s big three did not even make the trip with the Cavs that game, contributing to a growing debate in the NBA about when player rest is appropriate.

On Friday, the Heat defense was victimized by Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis, who had 45 points, 17 rebounds, five blocks and five steals. Miami also couldn’t stop point guard Jrue Holiday, who had 29 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, including the game-winning runner with 7.3 seconds left in overtime.

Those performances overshadowed solid efforts by Heat point guard Goran Dragic, who nearly had a triple-double with 30 points, nine rebounds and eight assists; and center Hassan Whiteside, who had a double-double with 19 points and 16 rebounds before fouling out.

“We have to forge ahead regardless of what emotions we’re feeling,” Erik Spoelstra told the media after the Pelicans loss. “All these moments can benefit us, and I truly believe they will. We are so close to getting over the hump.”

The Heat will be facing an 18-39 Memphis team that has been out of playoff contention for several weeks.

Injuries have crushed the Grizzlies, who lost their eighth straight game on Friday night, falling 112-89 to the Cleveland Cavaliers.


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Marte said he would not object to the switch.

I don’t care. I just want to be with the team, he said. I don’t care where I play. I can play anywhere. I just have to be ready to play anywhere.

Lovullo watched Souza often when the Arizona manager was Boston’s bench coach.

He was still a young player that was finding his way, but he seemed to improve every time we saw him, Lovullo said. The athletic ability, the ability to hit for power, the defensive ability — it was obvious to the opposing dugout that he was an exciting player.

Ohio State, which hasn’t lost a conference game to anyone other than Penn State, has a bit of a tougher road ahead. The Buckeyes will have to bounce back quickly from their embarrassingly one-sided loss to the Nittany Lions on Thursday because they’ve got arch-rival Michigan in Ann Arbor on Sunday. After hosting Rutgers two days later, they’ll wrap up the regular season with a tricky Friday night tilt at Indiana.

Even if Chris Holtmann’s surprising Buckeyes are able to win out, it might only be good enough for a share of the Big Ten crown.

It’s been a long journey to this point, and it’ll still be a long journey until hopefully we get what we need to get done in Indianapolis, Luck said. The rehab has been hard at times. The one thing I know in my heart is that I am getting better, and I’m feeling great. I’m extremely optimistic. It’s been fun to see myself improve, so really I couldn’t be more excited for this offseason and for our new coach — everything that’s happening — and where the direction of the team is going.

Luck has spent the past few weeks in Southern California working with throwing experts. He said he has started throwing but didn’t specify what kind of ball he’s throwing.

Hunziker lost a ski on his third run, for a score of 46.40, and will not medal with a best score of 66.20. McEachran was next, and he posted a score of 32.60, finishing in fourth, just outside the podium, with plenty of athletes to go. Dahl went next, and posted a score of 41.80, with a best of 76.40 will also finish outside of the top three. Elias Ambuehl will be just behind him after posting a 73.20 in his third run.

James Woods posted a 90.00 in his third run, which wasn’t enough to move him up, because he had a 91.00.

Unfortunately for the United States, Gus Kenworthy couldn’t put it together in three runs, posting a best of 35.00, putting him in 11th place.


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It could wind up being Bell’s last game with the organization.

These are the actions of a player who is signaling his unhappiness with the team. This information getting out publicly could be a signal that the team is preparing to move on rather than franchise-tag him again at the price of $14.57 million. A veteran writer like Bouchette does not suggest Bell might not be back with the Steelers in 2018 without having reason to do so.

Todd Bowles has to get his next hire right: For all the credit Bowles received for leading a flawed Jets team to a second straight 5-11 season, he is at fault for his offensive coordinator hires. Firing John Morton only one season after Chan Gailey “retired” and other offensive assistants were fired is an admission of failure.

As if making his first appearance in a regular-season game in almost a year weren’t inspirational enough, J.J. Watt has become the face of Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery, with an online fundraising effort that has now topped $31 million. The Texans honored first responders before the game, then introduced the defensive starters with, you guessed it, Watt entering last. The response was deafening.

However, shortly before halftime, Watt headed to the locker room with a dislocated finger. He described it after the game as the bone having “busted through the skin. Nothing bad, just tape it up.” He later returned.

Sunday night’s game promises a little more competitive matchup than last week’s New England-Atlanta affair, with 5-2 Pittsburgh playing Detroit, trying to end a two-game losing streak and make noise in the NFC North. The Steelers have been a soap opera this season — imagine how much Coach Mike Tomlin loves that.

Wide receiver Martavis Bryant will not play after a week in which he repeated a trade request on social media, a decision that ended with him on the scout team pretending to be a Lions receiver for the defense during practice. “He just has to earn his way back,” fellow wide receiver Antonio Brown said. “Obviously, we need him. We know what he’s capable of. We’re going to need him down the stretch. He made a mistake, and he’ll learn from it.”