Todd Bowles, Mike Maccagnan returning to Jets for 2017

In 2015, Todd Bowles revived a moribund New York Jets franchise and guided it to its first 10-win season in five years. Speculation about his future was raised after a 5-11 campaign in 2016, but the Jets are sticking with Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan for one more year.

Jets just confirm Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan will be back in 2017.

Bowles engineered a remarkable turnaround last fall when he brought a Jets team that had finished 4-12 the previous season to the brink of the postseason. New York was 10-5 and one game from clinching a wild card berth before suffering an upset loss at the hands of division rival Buffalo and former head coach Rex Ryan.

The Browns may be less inclined to move down in the order, thanks to another first-round selection from the Philadelphia Eagles. Cleveland received Philadelphia’s 2017 first-round pick during a trade prior to the 2016 NFL Draft, and it eventually became a relatively valuable selection when the Eagles had a five-game losing streak in the latter half of the 2016 season.

Philadelphia finished the year with a win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17, ending the year with a 7-9 record and securing another pick in the top half of the first round for the Browns.

The Eagles do own the Minnesota Vikings’ first-round pick, though. Minnesota’s opponents finished the season with a combined 125-129-2 record, which is equal to the 126-130 record of Indianapolis Colts’ opponents, so the two teams will flip a coin for rights to the No. 14 pick.

Selig was elected to the Hall of Fame earlier this month, sparking some writers to say that if Selig is a Hall of Famer

Going on to lose the game is hardly heinous, knowing that a road date in Oklahoma City is no gimme, but Friday’s home loss to Sacramento still stings, given that the Wolves wasted Zach LaVine’s first 40-point game. If only it helped in the standings when we hear that the Wolves are the first team in NBA history to feature three players under the age of 22 (LaVine, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins) to each post a 40-point game in one season.

After an absence of 14 games, Dirk Nowitzki is back at last for the Mavericks, who are also reveling in some strong recent contributions from Deron Williams and the first game-winning bucket of Harrison Barnes’ career. Dallas is by no means whole, with Andrew Bogut still sidelined and J.J. Barea not quite back yet, but some within the Big D sports populace — when they’re not wrapped up in what’s happening with the Cowboys — are starting to worry that the Mavs are poised to start winning more regularly and thus endanger local dreams of a high lottery pick.
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The Mitchell report glossed over the sport’s institutional failures and didn’t touch on the specific decisions made by those in power. Mitchell picked out those 86 players, rather than acknowledging that over a period of more than two decades, it was likely that thousands and thousands of players in the majors and minors used performance-enhancing drugs.

Selig was elected to the Hall of Fame earlier this month, sparking some writers to say that if Selig is a Hall of Famer — Bud Selig, the commissioner of the sport during the steroid era — well, then just let in all the cheats, because Selig enabled the problem. Selig was a big part of the problem. Selig was a source of the problem.
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This line of thinking is as unfair and ridiculous as the Mitchell report: Context means everything. Context matters.

The Saints brought in Brees and Payton before the 2006 campaign

That wouldn’t matter much if Payton stays, considering he has final say over all of the Saints’ personnel decisions anyway. Jeff Ireland, the former Dolphins general manager who’s now the assistant GM in New Orleans, would possibly take over the full-time GM duties if Payton remains as head coach. Payton and Ireland have worked with each other in the past.

But if Payton leaves, Loomis would likely be in charge of the coaching search. A top candidate to replace Payton is Doug Marrone, who’s a former assistant coach with the Saints and currently the offensive line coach in Jacksonville. Marrone opted out of his contract with the Buffalo Bills last year after just one season as the head coach.
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The Saints brought in Brees and Payton before the 2006 campaign and they led the club to a 10-6 record and its first division title in six years. Three years later, the Saints captured their first Super Bowl in franchise history.

The Eagles are coming off a primetime whooping from the Arizona Cardinals that can best be described as “Philadelphia and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” The Eagles maintained a close race in the first half, but the Cardinals ran away in the second, finishing 40-17 in Philly.

Quarterback Sam Bradford had his best game with the Eagles on Sunday, despite the loss, putting up a season-high 361 yards for two touchdowns. Bradford found a good rhythm with tight end Zach Ertz, who had eight catches for 78 yards and touchdown, Though Ertz had two drops, he was able to get some points on the board for the team.

Game Kids Jonathan Babineaux Jersey This is the second time these teams will meet this season, the first being in early October when Washington won, 23-20, on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Pierre Garcon with 26 seconds left in the game. The win helped put Washington one game ahead of the Eagles in the NFC East standings.

Is Bautista a better player than Hunter Renfroe?

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Edwin Encarnacion is the one star hitter left, and he averaged 39 home runs and slugged .544 the past five seasons. Only Chris Davis has more home runs in that span, and only four others have a higher slugging percentage. He has hit nearly as well on the road as at home. Still, he¡¯ll be 34 next year, and his 2016 season, relative to the league, wasn¡¯t quite as dominant as his previous four.

Elite Mens Gabriel Landeskog Jersey The concerns about Encarnacion, however, pale next to the others. Mark Trumbo led the majors with 47 home runs. Fifteen years ago, or maybe even 10 years ago, he would have signed a fat deal by now and been heralded as some team¡¯s new cleanup hitter.

This is important. While the average salary continues to rise, the median salary on Opening Day payrolls dropped from $1.65 million in 2015 to $1.5 million in 2016. That means teams are keeping younger, less expensive players over older, higher-paid veterans to fill rosters. This appears to be a direct result of what I¡¯ll generously call ¡°rebuilding¡± teams.

Take the San Diego Padres. Is Bautista a better player than Hunter Renfroe? Probably. But what¡¯s the point? You can pay Renfroe the minimum and find out if he¡¯s any good. Why pay Bautista so much more than Renfroe to win a couple extra games? The Chicago White Sox could use a DH. But the team isn¡¯t aiming for the playoffs, so why sign Napoli to a two-year deal for $30 million or so to win maybe 73 games instead of 71?

The net effect is twofold: It puts more money in owners¡¯ pockets (shocker!), but it also means the 30 best first basemen in baseball aren¡¯t necessarily the 30 starting first basemen.

That¡¯s one reason I think the bidding was quiet for Justin Turner. The Dodgers kind of reluctantly took him back. Not because they don¡¯t need him in 2017 and 2018, but because it might block third base for a potential run at Machado or Donaldson.

if Dallas slips up Sunday night against the Buccaneers, they could still win the NFC East

You can spend a good chunk of the NFL season trying Game Mens Shea Weber Jersey to figure out who you are. But by this point, if you want to do big things, you have to know who you are. The Giants know.

“Our mindset is to stop the opponent, to not let them score,” said Landon Collins, the second-year safety who’s emerged as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate after a rough rookie season.

Perhaps Sunday’s performance will help Cooks feel a little better about his Limited Mens Roman Josi Jersey role in New Orleans’ offense, after he expressed his frustration following a zero-target game two weeks ago.

Unfortunately, that’s one of the most tangible positives that could really come from the Saints’ win on Sunday, since they were virtually eliminated from the playoffs following their 28-13 home loss to the Lions in Week 13 and a 16-11 loss at the Buccaneers in Week 14.

That maddening inconsistency has led to three straight years of mediocrity for the Saints, who went 7-9 in both 2014 and 2015.

And on Sunday, it was the defense’s turn to flash that inconsistency by allowing 34 points (another seven came off of a defensive score by Arizona) and 425 yards.

New Orleans’ defense did come up with a pair of huge turnovers, though — off of a forced fumble by defensive end Paul Kruger in the first half and a forced fumble by safety Vonn Bell in the second half — to help survive this back-and-forth “thriller” between two of the NFC’s most up-and-down teams.

Forsett is now in his second week with the Broncos, Derby in his sixth

Kansas City Chiefs: The loss of Derrick Johnson is a big one for Kansas City, and the effectiveness and mobility of DeMarco Murray and Marcus Mariota, respectively, should help Tennessee with ball control and not give up a lot of sacks. You’ll basically need Tyreek Hill to run one back (always a possibility) for the K.C. D to pay off.

“He’s been a nice addition to our team,” Kubiak said. ” … We need to continue to use him. He’s done a lot of good things in the game. He has to put the ball away and that type of thing. We need him and we need him making plays for us. I think he’s shown the ability to do that.”

Forsett is now in his second week with the Broncos, Derby in his sixth. Neither were in the plan when the Broncos exited summer, but with three games to play and a playoff spot in the balance, both players suddenly find themselves with plenty of responsibility.

Elizabeth is 3 years old now and still just 20 pounds. She can’t talk, but she has figured out how to communicate with a series of sounds and pointing. And she has just come out of another surgery, this one to take out her tonsils to try to help her sleep better.

In addition to the obvious, horrible burden of what something like this does to a young family, there was one aspect I had never considered. They feel eerily alone. Obviously it is very hard to find other families going through what they are, and by choice, they had not told very many people in their lives about Elizabeth’s condition, until now.

“You feel like you’re on an island sometimes, because we’ve been scared of sharing our story. We still want to be Brian and Ashley, you know? We don’t want people treating us differently.”

Which makes complete sense. But it also means even the most innocent conversation can cause pain.

He is satisfied that he played 18 NFL seasons and remained a productive player

A player has to be notably gifted, superior beyond even NFL standards to do that.

Woodson was.

He knew it. And he never tried to play the game with more thought than instinct. He said he never wanted to know too much about an opponent or know too much even about his own scheme. He played football, he said, relying on his skill and instincts. He let them guide him, lead him. That took him to great places. Great heights. Low places, too, like the Tom Brady-sack-that-wasn’t-Tuck-Rule 2001 AFC championship game and play that helped define Woodson.

He is satisfied that he played 18 NFL seasons and remained a productive player. He was not just hanging on until the end but still producing. Early in his career his teammates included Hall of Fame players Rod Woodson and Jerry Rice and Tim Brown. He played with superior cornerbacks Eric Allen and Albert Lewis. They never had long conversations about the game. They just watched each other and learned from each other.

San Francisco 49ers: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Lynch entered the draft following three very good years starting for a Memphis team that went from being poor to winning 19 games the last two seasons. Lynch is a tall and athletic passer who has considerably more potential than Goff. He’s not a perfectly refined passer at this point, but his tools and accuracy are too intriguing to pass up.

Miami Dolphins: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
Miami doesn’t have a lot of talent at cornerback other than Brent Grimes, who will be 33 at the start of next season. Some consider Hargreaves the draft’s best cornerback. For the Dolphins, he could slide into the starting lineup straight away and provide an immediate upgrade to the pass defense.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
It’s worth monitoring Alexander’s draft decision. He’s only a redshirt sophomore but could make a name for himself on a national stage in next week’s College Football Playoff Championship. Alexander’s instincts are impressive, and only overtaken by his athleticism.

Robles could be a star after playing well in Class A at 19

David Schoenfield’s take: The time is now for the Nationals, and if you can get Chris Sale, make it happen. Giolito was considered the top pitching prospect in the minors entering 2016, but he hasn’t dominated at the upper levels of the minors and was terrible in 21 innings with the Nationals (26 hits, seven home runs, more walks than K’s, and his fastball velocity averaged “just” 93.3 mph). His stuff has backed up, and the command of his fastball and curveball need improvement. Is he a future ace or mid-rotation starter? Robles could be a star after playing well in Class A at 19, but he’s likely two or three years away.

Mark Saxon’s take: Last season, 90 percent of Dyson’s plate appearances came against right-handed pitchers. If the Cardinals platoon Dyson with Tommy Pham in center field and move Randal Grichuk to left, they would still have a more dynamic fielding unit than they had in 2016, when Brandon Moss and Matt Holliday often were playing the outfield.

David Schoenfield’s take: Hey, the Mariners just acquired a pitcher who threw a no-hitter! What, you don’t remember Heston’s no-hitter against the Mets in 2015? He had a solid rookie season with the Giants that year, posting a 3.95 ERA while relying heavily on an upper-80s sinker. The Giants weren’t buying into him, however. They signed Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, and Heston pitched just five innings in the majors in 2016 and eventually went down to Triple-A with an oblique injury.

He’ll be something like the No. 6 starter for the Mariners and was attractive because he still has options left. This wouldn’t preclude Jerry Dipoto from considering another veteran starter, such as Doug Fister, or maybe another minor trade.

Toronto was desperate when it signed Ryan. The Yankees are not.

D’Qwell Jackson suspended 4 games for violating PED policy

The Indianapolis Colts have announced that linebacker D’Qwell Jackson will be suspended without pay for four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

The Colts released a statement on Jackson’s suspension, saying it begins immediately.

The decision to release Gasser without charging him in McKnight’s death was met with widespread criticism. When details emerged of a previous road rage arrest on Gasser’s record, it raised more questions. According to Ramon Antonio Vargas of the New Orleans Advocate, Gasser was arrested in 2006 after a road rage altercation led him to assault a man in the very same intersection where he shot and killed McKnight.

Think about it. He slept in a room with Tom Brady posters during the summers of 2009 and 2010. After the first year of the “experiment,” Flacco went 1-1 against Brady’s Patriots, throwing for 264 yards and two touchdowns in a regular season loss while Brady passed for 258 yards and one touchdown. A few months later in the postseason, the Ravens came away with a 33-14 victory in New England with Brady recording just 154 yards on two touchdowns. Flacco threw for just 34 yards and no touchdowns, but maybe that was just to throw us off the trail. Maybe he had Space Jammed the power right out of Touchdown Tom and knew he had to hide it.

Beckham expressed his frustrations with the officiating during and after the game, at one point complaining his concerns about pass interference were brusquely dismissed.

Vikings’ playoff hopes could rest with their pass-rush

The Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback search of 2014 took them across the country, to meet with players in restaurants and hotel rooms, on practice fields and in front of whiteboards, as they joined a handful of other teams in what amounts to the NFL’s annual search for happily-ever-after by way of speed dating.

The Vikings took Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles out to dinner in Orlando following his pro day in March 2014, but by the end of the spring, their months-long search had put two names above Bortles’ and everyone else’s on their draft board: Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, followed closely by Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater. The Jacksonville Jaguars, meanwhile, had become enamored enough with Bortles to spend the third overall pick on him and stake their future on the quarterback.

Two-and-a-half years later, as Bortles faces the Vikings for the first time in his career, it’s a logical moment for one of our periodic checks on the Class of 2014 — which, depending on how you look at it, can be characterized as anything from eclectic to enigmatic. Bortles, who has started every game for the Jaguars since Week 4 of 2014, threw 35 touchdown passes last season but leads the league in interceptions for the second straight season.

That’ll be a big storyline Thursday night when the 9-3 Chiefs face Carr and the Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium with first place in the AFC West at stake: Will Carr’s futility against Kansas City continue?

“Every game is different, but you’re definitely more confident as you get more success.”

Carr is 1-4 against the Chiefs since becoming Oakland’s starting quarterback in 2014. The victory came in his first try and was his finest moment against Kansas City. On a Thursday night in Oakland, Carr led the Raiders on a 17-play, 80-yard drive in the fourth quarter and threw the winning touchdown pass with 1 minute, 42 seconds remaining in a 24-20 victory.

That’s been the extent of his success, however, and three of Kansas City’s four wins have come by at least 14 points.

“I just didn’t complete as many passes as I [wanted] to,’’ Carr said when asked about his performances against the Chiefs. “Just have to take care of the ball against them.

“It’s just how the games have went.”

But he indicated the Chiefs aren’t in his head.