Firmly on the bubble, will Ameer Abdullah make the team in Detroit?

Three years ago, the Cardinals hoped that running back Ameer Abdullah would slide to them. The Cardinals had to settle for David Johnson instead. They may get another chance at Abdullah.

However it plays out, it’s clear that the Lions have shifted away sharply from the idea that Abdullah will be moving the chains on a regular basis.

When we get to the physical part of it, obviously teams that have been going against us the last couple of years, it’s a little bit different tackling LeGarrette than it was maybe tackling Ameer in the hole, running backs coach David Walker has said, as quoted in the article at DetroitLions.com. He’ll have a chance to be a guy who’ll give us a physical presence in the backfield that maybe we didn’t have as consistently as we’d like last season.

Abdullah has had three seasons of chances to become that guy. The signing of Blount and the drafting of Johnson underscores the fact that Abdullah hasn’t gotten it done. The only question left is whether he leaves the team before or after the final year of his rookie contract, and whether if he goes before Week One it’s by trade or a release.

The thing that excites me about this team is the confidence and the work ethic that’s in that building, Talib said, via Robert Klemko of SI.com. It starts with McVay. You can tell the work he puts in because he knows everything. He knows the whole defense and the whole offense. I think that confidence breeds success. All the successful teams I’ve been on have had great, hard-working offseasons and a super confident bunch of guys.

There can be a fine line between confidence and overconfidence, something Talib’s teammate Michael Brockers referenced while cautioning his teammates not to fall into the hype that’s followed last year’s division title and this offseason’s moves for Talib, Marcus Peters, Ndamukong Suh and Brandin Cooks. It seems Talib believes the Rams are right where they need to be with training camp about to start.

What needs work? Jameis Winston should have had a breakout third year after a great second season, but instead he and the rest of the Bucs offense (minus Mike Evans) took a gigantic step back in 2017—and likely missing the first three games of the season due to a suspension isn’t going to help. Winston needs to improve his tendency for turnovers and his connection with WR DeSean Jackson, while his offensive coordinator and head coach need to put him in better situations to win. The QB had a career-low 11 interceptions but led the league in fumbles with 15 (at least he also led the league in recoveries with seven!). His 6.9% sack rate was the highest of his career thanks to a bad offensive line. On top of that, Jackson’s 13.4 yards per reception was by far the lowest of his career. All of that needs major work if the Bucs want to see the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

The NFL informed me today that I will be suspended for the first three games of the season.

I know I have to hold myself to a higher standard on and off the field and that I have a responsibility to my family, community, and teammates to live above the platform with which God has blessed me. I apologize to my teammates, the Buccaneers organization and fans for letting them down and for not being able to be out there for the first three games of the season. Although I am disappointed in the NFL’s decision, I understand the NFL’s process, and I embrace this as an opportunity to take advantage of the resources available to help me achieve the goals that I have for myself.

No police charges were filed, but the driver filed a formal complaint with Uber and Winston was banned from using the service.

While a student at Florida State, Winston was accused of raping a female student. The alleged 2012 assault was not publicized until 2013 amid controversy of a cover up by the school and Tallahassee police. The woman in that case, Erica Kinsman, sued Florida State and reached a settlement that would pay her $950,000. Winston was also suspended for half a game in 2014 for shouting a sexual explicit phrase in public.

Winston will lose $124,000 in base salary for a three-game suspension because his base salary is only $705,000 this season.

Ryan Fitzpatrick would be the Bucs’ starting quarterback in the event of a Winston suspension. Fitzpatrick went 2–1 when Winston sat with a shoulder injury last season. Ryan Griffin would assume Fitzpatrick’s backup duties.

The Buccaneers open the season in New Orleans to face the Saints on Sept. The Bucs then host the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles in Week 2 and then the Steelers in Week

He booked his own interviews, says Adam Silver, Stern’s successor, who oversaw the show on the league side. He had those relationships to get directly to players. Ebersol also installed Rashad as the sideline reporter on the NBC game of the week. This was before cable took over and network shows were must-see TV. It became a reccurring image through the ’90s: Rashad interviewing Jordan on the court after another big game. His mere presence, without having to explain it, evokes an era, says Bob Costas, who worked with Rashad on those NBC broadcasts. It’s almost like when people hear Da na na na na NUN na na … they know! It just evokes an era.

Other reporters criticized Rashad for being too close to Jordan, for losing objectivity; Rashad says they were just jealous. When he covered games in Chicago, he would stay at Jordan’s house. They’d would work out together and drive to the arena, where Rashad would chat up coach Phil Jackson and the players. It was cool to be familiar with that whole group, see it from the inside, Rashad says. Most reporters don’t get that. There’s a line that they can’t cross. For the entire Bulls’ [run], I didn’t have that line . … It was like I was a member of the team.

As NFL coaches learned, Jay Cutler is uncoachable on new reality TV show

Jay Cutler hates people, doesn’t want people in his house, and wants to do nothing all day. He is my spirit animal, tweeted one admirer Sunday night. With that, the surly former Bears quarterback started his unlikely second career as a reality TV star.

Zach McAllister: There’s a pretty good case to be made that he’s throwing well: He’s throwing harder than last year, throwing way more strikes than last year and throwing more edge strikes on the black of the strike zone. He added a sinker and improved his ground ball rate. But there’s also this: He has already allowed six homers (after allowing eight all of last season), and batters are hitting .395/.415/.816 with men on base, more than double the OPS he has allowed with the bases empty.

We started with one story — Cleveland has a hot-mess bullpen, and that’s why it is no longer an elite team — but ended up with a bunch. There are a couple of guys who look worse only because of, literally, one or two balls that landed a few feet over instead of a few feet shy of the wall. There’s a serious injury, and there’s a less serious injury, each of which has disturbed Cleveland’s plans in its own way. There’s one pitcher, McAllister, who looks like a really strong bet to dominate in the second half. And there’s one, Goody, who probably wasn’t as good as we might have believed in the first place. All in all, it’s … still a pretty good bullpen.

When I think of other hard-hitting safeties in recent years who were game-changers, two in particular come to mind: Troy Polamalu of the Steelers and Bob Sanders of the Colts. At 5-10 or shorter, both were smaller than Chancellor, yet they were multiple-time Pro Bowlers; Super Bowl champs who were all over the field making plays and punishing the opposition with huge hits.

But their relentless approaches took physical tolls on themselves, too. Polamalu missed 26 games over his last six seasons, and Sanders only played more than six games in two of his eight seasons. We can’t necessarily say Polamalu’s reckless style shortened his career, as he played 12 seasons. But for Sanders, that was definitely the case. Even for Thomas, injuries have been more of a factor over the past two seasons.

Safety Landon Collins has shown he is elite.

But the Giants need Alec Olgetree to anchor the middle, be the heart of it. They need dominant linebacker play once again to do anything special with this defense.

I’ll put that on myself, Olgetree said. I’m not afraid of that.

First time I’ve heard that, he said. Every team looks at players and sees different things. I’ve learned the linebacker position here has been something they’ve been trying to address for awhile. I feel pretty confident I can be the type of guy that makes a difference.

It’s a controversial ruling that’s been lauded by some and criticized by others. Tuesday’s letter falls firmly in the latter category.

The group published its response, signed by the leaders of 28 different organizations, accusing the league of repressing peaceful, non-disruptive protest of police violence against unarmed African Americans and other people of color.

The group also took aim at the loudest voice speaking up against these protests — President Donald Trump.

President Trump, responding to the NFL’s new rule, said to those who take a knee, [Y]ou shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there, maybe you shouldn’t be in the country. This racebaiting attempt to alienate people of color is repugnant to America’s core values. Athletes who choose to kneel during the national anthem to peacefully protest police violence embody the best patriotic ideals of our nation. Protesters striving to create a more inclusive democracy define the history of this country; there is no better way to honor our national symbols than to fight for equal justice for all.

At some point, the team has to turn its attention to next season, however. Head coach Doug Pederson knows, down to a minute, when that time will be: 12:01 a.m. on June 15, after the ring ceremony is over. Then, the Eagles will focus is on training camp and defending their title.

But even if the party has to end, Philadelphia will always have Super Bowl LII — and the players will always have these rings to commemorate that night.

The ring ceremony had it’s moments, one of the most special being when Nick Foles received his jewelry.

During interviews with reporters, Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie said players had a simple request from players when it came to this year’s rings: The bigger and the blingier, the better.

And that’s what we did, said Lurie.

We all we got. We all we need.

The Arizona righty isn’t a Cy Young or MVP front-runner.

That has always been the Lakers and Hollywood, Pelinka later added. When we are winning here, we know what it is like — the [Leonardo] DiCaprios, the biggest stars come out to cheer for the Lakers. We want to bring that back.Bunting is hard. Matt Harvey makes it look nearly impossible

Even 130 years ago, bunting was controversial. It was considered too easy — there were rules suggested, and rules adopted, to make it harder — and it was considered unsporting. Indeed, the term ‘bunt’ itself appears to have derived from the lullaby ‘Bye, Baby Bunting,’ in an attempt by its detractors to associate it with childishness, writes Peter Morris in A Game Of Inches.

Since that surgery, he has been asked to bunt 27 times. It is a stretch of 27 plate appearances that demonstrates beyond doubt that even if you know how to bunt, bunting is very, very difficult. You wouldn’t fail like Harvey has failed at something that wasn’t very, very difficult.

Remember: some 27 times he’s been asked to bunt. There are, by my count, 13 different things that can happen after that, each outcome representing a certain level of skillfulness at the task. We’re going to count down from the most skillful outcome, and tally how many times Harvey did each of them.

On Monday, New Jersey’s governor signed a new bill to formally legalize it there.

Now that sports gambling is spreading, though, leagues aren’t crying about it. The leagues have fought for years to keep sports betting illegal, but they’re positioned to be among the biggest winners where it’s made legal. Their opposition has quieted.

I think, originally, it was sincere, says John Wolohan, a sports law professor at Syracuse. If you had to talk to some of the commissioners today and say, ‘Are you upset with this?’ I would say no.

Leagues will push for tax revenue from all sanctioned sports betting on the grounds that legalizing it will put a monitoring burden on them.

A week later, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported that Kaepernick’s legal team will seek federal subpoenas to compel testimony from Trump, Pence, and other officials familiar with the president’s agenda on protesting NFL players.

But whether or not Trump could actually be brought in for testimony is still questionable, at best.

The teams met seven times in 10 days, with the Cubs winning four games over the two series.

We’re doing this without everybody right now, too, and that’s the even better part, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. We have part of our bullpen but not everybody. I give these guys a lot of credit. During this little stretch they’ve been above and beyond.

Cubs: RHP Yu Darvish (right triceps tendinitis) threw a bullpen session that didn’t go well when he experienced pain. He will return to Chicago to be re-evaluated and RHP Tyler Chatwood will start in his place on Saturday. Chatwood was activated from the paternity list. … INF Kris Bryant (shoulder) has yet to be cleared for baseball activities, although it’s hoped he will come off the DL next week. … RHP Carl Edwards Jr. (right shoulder inflammation) will pitch for Triple-A Iowa on Friday and if it goes well, he could rejoin the rotation.

Dodgers: RHP Josh Fields (right shoulder inflammation) went on the DL.

Unfortunately, that free agent also happened to be the franchise center for Lamoriello’s new team, the New York Islanders. John Tavares’ leaving rips the heart of the current incarnation of the Islanders. The draw of his childhood team was far more powerful than that of Lamoriello, coach Barry Trotz, the Islanders’ frequent also-ran status and arena uncertainty. A petty statement about Tavares having achieved great individual success on the ice was the capper for one of the most brutal days in the history of the Islanders.

Tavares joins Brendan Shanahan, Scott Gomez, Scott Niedermayer and Zach Parise as elite talents who left Lamoriello’s teams as free agents.

Plenty of teams felt jilted by the Tavares decision — compounded by the elongated and secretive process.

The Islanders, of course, were most scorned by Tavares; they drafted the center No. 1 overall in 2009, courted him over the past 12 months and tried to appeal to him with a new GM and coach (who have both won Stanley Cups) … then watched their captain walk away without recouping anything. Lamoriello released a curt, 56-word statement congratulating Tavares on his individual success. Zing.

Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer Sunday.

It’s coming, Atlanta manager Brian Snitker told reporters after Freeman hit his 16th homer of the season. Somebody’s going to pay. It’s just one of those things that everybody goes through.

He’s working, and we still have unbelievable confidence in him and what he brings. You feel like he’s going to do something special every time he goes up there.

The Yankees also will get their first looks at rookie outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. and second baseman Ozzie Albies.

Anibal Sanchez, who is 3-2 with a 2.68 ERA in nine appearances (eight starts), gets the ball for the Braves. He’s hoping to avoid his third straight loss after allowing six runs and 10 hits in 9 2/3 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays and the Cincinnati Reds.

July 1 is right around the corner, bro, coach Rick Carlisle said on draft night when asked about the Mavs’ need for a big man. We will address it. There will be options.

The Mavs have been in communication with Jordan’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, but a trade fit with the Clippers is problematic, according to league sources.

A deal with Dallas would almost certainly send shooting guard Wesley Matthews to the Clippers. Matthews is due $18.6 million in the final season of his contract.

These are the major extension decisions facing All-Stars, rising young players and their teams, plus their impact on potential trade talks.

The Clippers have a deep backcourt after selecting guards Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson in the draft lottery. Sixth Man Award winner Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley and Milos Teodosic give the Clippers three proven guards on the roster.

Carlos Correa out of lineup for 4th straight game; Astros expect him back Tuesday

capitals-243The Houston Astros expect shortstop Carlos Correa to be ready to return to the lineup on Tuesday, manager A.J. Hinch said Sunday.

Correa was out of the lineup for the fourth straight game Sunday with soreness in his right side, but Hinch said the Astros are just being ultra conservative with the 23-year-old All-Star, who is in his fourth season.

The Astros also placed right-handed reliever Joe Smith on the 10-day disabled list Sunday with right elbow soreness with the move retroactive to Thursday. Hinch said the Astros were sending Smith back to Houston to get evaluated. Left-hander Reymin Guduan was recalled from Triple-A Fresno in a corresponding move.

Cespedes was playing for Double-A Binghamton rehabbing a hip injury when he was pulled from the game.

The right-handed slugger hit two doubles before exiting the game and had been close to returning to the Mets.

Should the Seahawks trade Thomas or give him an extension?

Brady Henderson, Seahawks reporter: I doubt that Thomas would take much less than the $13 million that Eric Berry makes a year as the league’s highest-paid safety, so I would try to extend him with a similar average but structure it in a way that minimizes the financial commitment in later seasons. The Seahawks would be much better off keeping Thomas in the fold given all the key pieces their defense has lost, but they also have to protect themselves in the long term after getting burned on big-money extensions for Kam Chancellor and Michael Bennett. Accomplishing both might be easier said than done.

I feel I’m going to enjoy this weekend more than anybody because I really like the colors, Rojas said.