Jerry Richardson bids Panthers goodbye as sale is finalized

Richardson decided to sell the team after he was accused of workplace misconduct in December, including subjecting employees to sexual harassment and racial slurs. He released a statement thanking the organization as the sale was finalized on Monday but did not address those issues.

Obviously, the trick here is to figure out how to structure the schedule to accommodate these games. Whether it’s one or two neutral site games per season, teams aren’t going to want to surrender those home dates. Do we go back to 84 games? Tough call, and made tougher because of what I ultimately want to see for these neutral site games:

I want these games to be fundraisers for a special endowment that helps retired players deal with post-concussion symptoms and trauma.

Which is, I think, something the players and fans could rally around.

Why are you mad at players? Chris said. Players aren’t complaining about playing football for a living. If we didn’t want to play football, we wouldn’t play football, but any job has a union or a negotiation that might not parallel completely cleanly to our CBA, but people negotiate for better benefits, etc., and it seems like some fans are knee-jerk, just because our lives are good for playing football, they want to side with billionaire owners, they’re not pro-labor, even though, yeah, we have it good, but I think talking about a salary cap or talking about more guaranteed money, I think that’s completely natural.

The average NFL salary is $1.9 million per year. NFL careers last an average of 3.3 years, according to the NFL players association.

Not everybody makes a ton of money, they’re going to have to go back to work and a lot of guys’ bodies are completely wrecked and the game takes a lot out of you, Chris said. So nobody’s complaining about playing football we love football, we play the game by choice, if we didn’t love it we’d just quit, but everybody negotiates.

There has been speculation about whether former Rams and Titans coach Jeff Fisher will return to NFL coaching, but sources tell Sporting News that Fisher’s immediate future lies not on the sideline, but in the broadcast booth.

Retired NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz sets the record straight.

At the end of Super Bowl 49, the Seattle Seahawks lost the game when they threw the ball at the 1-yard line and Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler jumped the route for a game-sealing interception. Since that day, people blab nonstop about Seattle’s mistake, not handing the ball to Marshawn Lynch at that moment. I’m here to set something straight. Seattle had to throw the ball. The New England’s defensive alignment didn’t leave them any other choice.

Johansson once kicked a ball 69 yards through the uprights for Abilene Christian.

When you think of big-legged kickers, a few names come to mind: Matt Prater, Tom Dempsey, and Sebastian Janikowski all carved out long NFL careers thanks to their ability to kick a football through the stratosphere. But one man out-kicked them all, even if he’d go on to spend just two weeks in the pros.

That man, the true field goal king of the gridiron was… (checks notes) uh, Swedish-born Navy veteran Ove Johansson?

Johansson is an unlikely football record holder. The Swede was a 24-year-old semi-pro soccer player in Dallas before changing his career path all thanks to a girl. He spotted his future wife April in the stands of a home game one year, then followed her all the way to Abilene Christian University, some 180 miles west.

But Johansson couldn’t afford tuition, and ACU didn’t have a soccer team. Instead, he turned his focus to football, taking a year to build up his leg strength before turning a tryout with Wildcats coaches into an athletic scholarship. After drilling multiple 70-yard kicks in practice, ACU gave him the chance to shine just before halftime of its homecoming game against East Texas State University (now Texas A&M-Commerce). Johansson’s 69-yard kick cleared the crossbar with room to spare and remains the longest recorded field goal in football history.

A Tom Brady-Antonio Brown pairing ranks up there with the results of the Packers-Raiders non-trade.

There’s no wrong answer to this question. These are six current or future Hall of Famers at play. And yes, technically Favre and Moss did play with each other — for four games in 2010 with the Vikings.

Favre was a three-time NFL MVP and easily a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He also is the all-time leader in interceptions thrown, and frankly, probably always will be. His 336 career interceptions are 59 more than any other player, and over 100 more than the closest active players (Eli Manning and Drew Brees are tied with 228).

The point being Favre loves to lob balls into traffic, and Moss is the best ever at coming down with those kind of throws. At their primes, there’s no receiver in NFL history who would’ve complemented Favre better, and there’s no quarterback better for Moss. We’re talking a macaroni and cheese level pairing. Sign me all the way up. — Adam Stites

Under any scenario, [the Genius Series] will be a huge, rich benefit for the development of the guys, Pelinka said. Whether it is getting them ready for when the other star geniuses come [to the Lakers] or becoming that themselves.

After spending two decades around Kobe Bryant as his agent and friend, Pelinka saw how obsessed the Lakers legend was with improving and constantly searching for new ways to find any advantage he could get over his opponent. It was Bryant’s curiosity that in part inspired Pelinka to create the Genius Series.

I remember one time [Bryant] called me and was like, ‘Have you ever seen the way a cheetah attacks its prey? Like when it is hunting down a wildebeest?’ Pelinka said. He said, ‘I have really been thinking of ways to creatively change some of my movements and noticed that there was this incredible beauty in how a cheetah uses its tail to balance itself when it jumps in the air.’ And he said, ‘I have been moving my foot in different ways, almost like the tail of a cheetah, to learn how to have proper balance when I am shooting my fadeaway jumper.’

Dickerson homered in the second, his sixth, and Diaz homered leading off the sixth, his sixth.

The Padres closed to 7-5 on Wil Myers’ infield RBI single with one out in the sixth and then loaded the bases on Eric Hosmer’s walk. But Steven Brault got Hunter Renfroe to hit a flyball to right that wasn’t deep enough to bring in Jose Pirela, and Kyle Crick struck out pinch-hitter Christian Villanueva.

Crick (1-1) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win. Felipe Vazquez pitched the ninth for his 17th save.

Pirates starter Jameson Taillon went 4 2/3 innings, allowing four runs, three earned, and seven hits while striking out four and walking three. He got the first two outs of the fifth before allowing Renfroe’s homer to left, his fifth, that pulled the Padres to 6-4. Taillon allowed singles to Cory Spangenberg and Carlos Asuaje before making way for Edgar Santana, who struck out Freddy Galvis.

He’s had a terrible injury he had to rehab from, he’s had to change coaches, learn a new system, and it’s been a slow and steady process. But, man, is he a good player. When he’s feeling good, you can see why we picked him, Gruden said, via ESPN.

Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenter said Conley looks like he’s picking up the mental side of the game.

Most importantly, he’s out there and he’s doing good, Guenther said. He’s really understanding the little details of everything: the press techniques that we’re teaching; some of the different coverages, we have a lot of different coverages in now. He’s done a really good job for us.

The only question left for Conley is whether he can get healthy and stay healthy after last year’s shin injury. The Raiders’ coaches are optimistic that he can.

It would take something dramatic, an ability to show, not tell.

What’s surprising is that the momentum has gained steam for the Thunder and George, despite the actual season not going according to plan. The Thunder weren’t as good as they thought they’d be, and a first-round exit at the hands of the Utah Jazz certainly was not part of the recruiting pitch.

Agent says Rick Nash unsure if he’ll play next season

One of the biggest names in NHL free agency has informed teams he’s not on the market.

Rick Nash, 34, is taking time to contemplate whether to play in the 2018-19 season, according to his agent Joe Resnick, who declined to detail what Nash’s considerations were with regard to his future.

Nash has suffered several reported concussions during his NHL career, most recently in March as a member of the Boston Bruins. He missed six weeks with concussion symptoms in 2013 while with the Rangers.

I know some individuals have stated that he might not pick a team until January or February. No … he’s undecided at this point [about playing at all], he said.

Nash’s decision adds some uncertainty to the Bruins’ offseason plans. After being spurned by free agent Ilya Kovalchuk, who signed with the Los Angeles Kings, Nash was seen as a fallback position to be their second-line winger.

To acquire Nash, the Bruins anted up Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey, Ryan Lindgren and Boston’s first-round pick, which the Rangers used to trade up and take Wisconsin defenseman K’Andre Miller. As it stands, they got 23 games and 11 points for that bounty.

The Cavaliers could lose LeBron James in free agency this summer. If that’s the case, TUMS plans to be there for Cleveland fans.

The company announced Friday it would provide free heartburn medicine to those in attendance at the Cavaliers first home game of 2018-19 if James signs elsewhere this summer.

Hey Cleveland, is the basketball free agency mania triggering heartburn? TUMS feels your pain and will deliver free TUMS at the first home game of next season if your star decides to take his talents to another team, TUMS Brand Manager Valeria Saccol said in a press release (via cleveland.com). TUMS may not be able to convince him to stay in The Land, but at least we can provide heartburn relief for fans who need it.

James opted out of the final year of his contract with the Cavaliers. He could still return to Cleveland, but he is also considering signing with the Lakers, 76ers and others, according to multiple reports.

James averaged 34 points, nine assists and 9.1 rebounds per game during Cleveland’s playoff run.

Pelicans, Lakers call DeMarcus Cousins on Day 1 of free agency

New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins received phone calls from the Pelicans and the Los Angeles Lakers on the first day of NBA free agency on Sunday, a source told ESPN’s The Undefeated.

Cousins also told The Undefeated that he is open to re-signing with the Pelicans but will make the best decision for himself.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Cousins could be re-signed by the Pelicans to a two-year deal. The Lakers, however, are a team that Cousins expressed interest in being traded to during his latter years with the Sacramento Kings.

A source close to Cousins said it might be time for him to play on a big-market stage after playing in Sacramento and New Orleans.

When previously asked about free agency, Cousins told The Undefeated: I don’t plan on rushing through this process. I’m going to make the absolute best decision for DeMarcus Cousins. We’ll see what that is. As of right now, I don’t really know. I can’t answer that. Would I like to go back to New Orleans? I’m very open to that. I love what we created. I love what was created after I went down. I would love to be part of it. But I’m going to do what’s best for me, and I feel they’ll do the same.

The 27-year-old Tavares is the gem of free agency this year, and the Islanders will see him walk without getting anything in return.

Tavares is a five-time All-Star who has been the face of the Islanders since he was the first overall pick in the 2009 draft and came up as a 19-year-old.

The New York captain had 37 goals and 47 assists last season. Despite his production, however, the Islanders missed the playoffs for the second straight season. They have only been to the postseason three times in his career and never advanced past the conference quarterfinals.

Tavares has also played for four head coaches in New York and has had stadium issues hanging over him. He started his Islanders tenure at the deteriorating Nassau Coliseum before moving to the Barclays Center in 2015.

The Yankees’ productivity versus lefties was previously cited.

Dustin Fowler (L), 4 percent, Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox (RHP Lucas Giolito): After facing a weeklong string of southpaw starters, the White Sox will send a pair of righties to the Guaranteed Rate Park hill. It’s not assured, but after sitting all week, Fowler is a good bet to start both games. James Shields gets the ball for the home team in the second game, so even if Fowler starts only one, he’s a dual power-speed threat, facing a couple of homer-prone arms and batteries not adept at controlling the running game.

After his rough run, Gardner the longest-tenured Yankee who was part of the 2009 World Series-winning club and is looked at as one of the clubhouse’s main leaders was hearing boos occasionally at home and fans were calling for highly regarded left fielder Clint Frazier, 23, to take his job.

Frazier has hit .325 with five homers, nine RBI and a.975 OPS in 29 games at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

It’s starting to look like he actually believes this stuff.

From the interview with Soban Deb:

Mr. Irving, a West Orange, N.J., native, is among the most popular basketball players in the world, and he has one of the best-selling basketball jerseys in the N.B.A. With that popularity has come controversy: He has questioned several times whether the Earth is round, and in an interview on Friday with his most in-depth comments to date on the subject, he said that it was still worth debating.

Can you openly admit that you know the Earth is constitutionally round? he said to me. Like, you know that for sure? Like, I don’t know.

Well, yes, yes I can. Thanks to guys like Magellan, plus hundreds of years of science. But I digress.

Then, later in the interview, when Deb asked him directly – does he think the Earth is flat?

Devils announce 2018-19 preseason schedule

The Devils announced their 2018-19 preseason schedule, which will lead into the team’s regular-season opener in Sweden.

The six-game slate will be highlighted by the finale, when they play SC Bern in Bern, Switzerland. at 7:30 p.m. local time (1:30 p.m. EST) on Monday, Oct. 1 at PostFinance Arena.

The Devils will stay in Europe to open their season against the Edmonton Oilers at 7 p.m. local time on Saturday, Oct. 6, at Scandinavium in Gothenburg, Sweden. That translates to a 1 p.m. face-off time in New Jersey.

Was Hall’s season best in Devils history?

This is not complicated. Jones believes he’s outperformed his contract. A thousand players before him have felt the same way, and thousand more after him will.

The difference with this example is that Owens is involved, and so naturally, he is being used as a scapegoat. Because that’s just the treatment Owens gets.

Global warming? That’s Owens’ fault, too. Stock market takes a hit? Owens. Aliens invade? All Owens.

At Triple-A, Frazier has hit .302 with eight homers, 12 RBI and a.937 OPS in 42 games.

On Tuesday, Boone was asked what he’d tell Frazier about dealing with going up and going down.

Go be yourself, Boone said. He’s here because he’s really talented and he continues to earn this opportunity. The thing I’ve liked about Clint and have been excited about is the couple little glimpses we’ve gotten to see of him up here this year, he’s represented well, he’s had good at-bats.

Boone cited Frazier’s maturity in handling the disappointment of going back to the minors.

And when I’ve sent him back down, one of the conversations I’ve had with him, both times I sent him back, is, ‘Keep on working, keep on getting better, taking your craft seriously every day,’ Boone said.

Seahawks’ Tyler Lockett says he played last season at 75-80 percent

Despite being named a second-team All-Pro for the second straight season as a kick return, it was clear that Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett didn’t have the same ability to move last year following his broken leg at the end of the 2016 season.

Lockett estimates he was only between 75-80 percent last season as he played without his full range of movement or explosion.

I fell short of 100 last year, but I missed a game, also, Lee said. Trying to have over 110 [this upcoming season]. But I need some interceptions. So that’s gonna be a huge emphasis.

Adams will also be looking for his first interception. Told that it eats at Adams, Lee said, It eats at me every morning I wake up.

Why is that?

Cause I should have ’em, he said. I’m just expected to. I got [three] in college. … Not just getting ’em, I expect to score.

Now six months removed from ACL surgery, quarterback Carson Wentz is running and throwing without hesitation. In practices this week, he looked mobile in the pocket, and his mechanics looked much the same, which he says is because he threw from a seated position early in rehab when he was still unable to move. Aside from a brace he wore on his left knee, his injury was invisible.

I just focus on my growth and growing as a linebacker, Lee said. It’s really helped me zone in on my craft. It comes with maturity, to be honest with you. Just growing up and focusing on your job and the task at hand. I can’t control what everybody says, I can control what I display on the field.

He still has to show he can stay healthy for the Texans to commit to him long term. Last season was the first that Clowney played all 16 games, but he spent the offseason program rehabbing a knee injury after arthroscopic surgery in January.

Texans coach Bill O’Brien said he expected Clowney to be on the field at the start of training camp July 26. That gives the Texans only a six-week window to get an extension completed, and the sides have had no substantive negotiations, per McClain.

Jaguars sign Andrew East, Sean Hickey

The Jaguars signed first-year long snapper Andrew East and first-year offensive tackle Sean Hickey to their roster, the club announced Thursday. To make room on the roster, the Jaguars waived fullback Lamar Atkins and long snapper Colin Holba.

East played collegiately at Vanderbilt and has yet to appear in an NFL game.

Hickey played collegiately at Syracuse and has yet to appear in an NFL game.

Brady has previously said that he hoped to still be playing at 45.

I always said my mid-40s, and naturally that means around 45, Brady told ESPN last May.

Brady has indicated that two factors will ultimately decide how long he lasts — staying healthy enough to contribute at a high level and his family life, with the latter providing more of a tug in recent years.

Brady has two children with his supermodel wife, Gisele Bundchen, and another with actress Bridget Moynahan.

As Brady told Winfrey, I think what I’ve alluded to a lot … was there’s other things happening in my life, too. I do have [three] kids that I love, and I don’t want to be a dad that’s not there driving my kids to their games.

The Falcons’ front office isn’t thrilled with Julio Jones’ offseason activities.

The controversy reared its ugly head again this week, when President Trump uninvited the Super Bowl-champion Eagles from their celebratory visit to the White House after most players refused to attend. The president instead hosted Tuesday’s ceremony with just fans to honor our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the National Anthem, the White House said in a statement.

Despite the recent divisive incidents, Diddy offered optimism. The 48-year-old said he would support the players who continue to protest, referencing Muhammad Ali’s stand against the Vietnam War draft and Jim Brown’s civil rights activism in their time.

All the NFL players, they’re in a messed-up position, but this is a defining time, Diddy said, and if Ali and them was able to do it and Jim Brown was able to do it, if ya’ll stick together, they can’t break you. So I’m just at a point where my feelings are hurt ’cause I’m such an NFL fan … and I hope they do what they have to do to fix it and I hope that they re-engage my dream to [own a team].

Because, if not, I don’t want to be associated at a round table that actually even does that to people at all.