Nate Solder: Tremendous amount of pressure to fix Giants OL

The Giants made left tackle Nate Solder their biggest acquisition in free agency this offseason in a move that didn’t surprise anyone who watched the team play last season.

He was a partner of Goldman, Sachs & Company from 1996-2000 and also previously served as a former co-president of Constellation Energy Group, a Fortune 500 company located in Baltimore, Maryland.

But the Supreme Court sided with the state last month, overturning a 1992 federal ban on sports betting and opening the door for states across the country to allow such wagering. Nevada — home to Las Vegas — was the only place in the U.S. to offer full-scale sports betting before that.

Monmouth Park was hoping to become the first place outside of Nevada to accept bets on games. Drazin said it was possible because of a 2014 law the state enacted to get around the federal ban by allowing sports wagering at casinos and tracks without state regulation.

Mark Geragos and his legal team are expected to subpoena President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, according to reports from Yahoo and USA TODAY Sports.

The reports state there already have been informal attempts to coordinate depositions with Trump, who repeatedly has blasted NFL players who choose not to stand on the field during the national anthem as a form of protest.

The state Senate voted 37-0 and the state Assembly 73-0 at the Statehouse in Trenton — less than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court handed New Jersey a victory in its seven-year court battle to legalize such wagering.

Now it’s up to Gov. Phil Murphy to decide whether to sign the bill into law and make New Jersey the second state to begin accepting bets since the court’s ruling.

While he publicly supports sports betting and lawmakers are urging him to capitalize on the wagering as soon as possible, Murphy hasn’t said when he’ll take action on the legislation.

He said during a telephone town hall event Thursday night that his administration needs to review the measure.

And that’s gonna happen sooner than later in New Jersey, and that’s a good thing, Murphy added.

LeBron James on White House: No one wants the invite anyway

President Donald Trump won’t have a chance to rescind the invitation to the White House for the NBA champion, the way he did for the Eagles.

But it’s all not business for O’Brien; Watson’s skills and abilities allow the coach to have plenty of (wait for it) fun at work.

It’s a lot of fun to coach a guy like Deshaun, O’Brien said. It really is. Just him personally, he’s a very smart guy. He loves football, so every day he comes in willing to learn. Just really kind of soaks up the knowledge but then he has his own ideas, his own creativity on what he sees on different packages that we do, which we really enjoy talking about those things. When you have a guy like Deshaun, you can be creative because of his skill set. So, it’s been a good spring.

Regardless of who’s to blame, the relationship between Owens, the Hall of Fame, and the voters already has been permanently damaged. Nothing he says or does from this point forward will change it.

So he should just do whatever he thinks is right for him, and if anyone has a problem with that, it’s their problem.

In addition to the previously announced A-team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman in the booth, FOX has now announced that two sideline reporters, Erin Andrews and Kristina Pink, will work on Thursday nights. And Mike Pereira, the former NFL head of officiating, will attend each Thursday night game in his role as a rules analyst.

Pink has previously worked some Sunday afternoon games but will now relinquish that role and work only on Thursday nights. Andrews will continue to work as the lone sideline reporter on Sundays with Buck and Aikman.

Tackle Garrett Bolles notices the impact of Keenum, too.

I’m grateful we have Case here, Bolles recently told reporters. I think he brings a demeanor here. That season he had in Minnesota was not a fluke thing. It was 100 percent who he is. A man that has been benched and moved around multiple times and still fought his way to the top and took his team as far as he did. That’s a big picture in my eyes. When we brought him in I had to do my research and understand what kind of man he is. . . .

But for a few beautiful moments on a cool Wednesday afternoon, we were distracted by a bouncing ball.

That’s Carson Wentz in the video above: ducking, planting, escaping a pair of big rover balls tossed by his teammates and delivering a crisp little pass, six months after suffering an ACL tear and three months to the day before he will be asked to avoid defenders instead of backyard toys and throw passes in an NFL game that matters.

Later in practice, Wentz would go on to take a sparse handful of reps in seven-on-seven drills, completing a pair of soft tosses to tight end Zach Ertz and a short crosser to new receiver Mike Wallace. For a few brief moments, it was easy to forget about the literal and metaphorical clouds hanging over the practice facility and daydream instead of glorious Sundays to come.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen indicated earlier in the week that the Eagles’ starting quarterback was well ahead of schedule in his rehab. But seeing is believing. There’s a real chance that Wentz will be back, and operating at full capacity, for the Eagles-Falcons season opener Sept. 6.

Fifteen minutes! he laughs. Just enough time for a beer!

It’s game day, so Lewis is not complaining about those polyps. He’s not scheduling any extra meetings. No, he’s downright giddy. First, he bumps into an old friend in the parking lot who’s a Steelers fan. (My timing is just off today!) He pokes fun at the bartender who’s ticked the Falcons just handed Matt Ryan the richest deal in NFL history. (You’ve got to hold on to a good quarterback!)

His problem with players future is having no clue the majority of his workforce hails from neighborhoods like Adamsville. Lewis sees such ignorance bleed through the commissioner’s actions. As fewer kids from America’s suburbs play football—because they have options, because they don’t need to risk head trauma—these are the kids who’ll drive the NFL. Shape the NFL.

And does he know that environment? Lewis says. Probably not.

Then it’s off to pick up Jazz. Then it’s off to dinner at The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill, where Lewis always tries cooking up billion-dollar ideas with his kindred spirit, Taylor aka Cornbread.Their most recent idea? ATV-style tires for wheelchairs, so the disabled can enjoy the beach. Every single week,Cornbread says, he comes up with a different idea.

Here’s what the jersey would look like, courtesy of our friends at Arrowhead Pride :

The league did change the rules in 2012 to allow players to add generational titles — like Sr., Jr., or in the case of Robert Griffin III, a Roman numeral — to the back of their jerseys. But eagles_032 had to legally change his name to Ochocinco to get that moniker on his jersey. So it will be interesting to see what they decide on Duvernay-Tardif.

Duvernay-Tardif has spent the last seven years in medical school at Montreal’s McGill University. He’s poised to take his medical exam and graduate in May.

I need to make sure I pass it because it’s the last year I’m allowed to pass that exam,he said. After that, I’d have to start over the whole thing.

He’s using his medical experience as well as his athletic background to connect with Olympic athletes while he covers the games for Radio-Canada. But Duvernay-Tardif said trying to get time with the athletes has also taught him a lesson that will impact the way he interacts with media covering the Chiefs.

It makes you realize that once the journalists get to you, you need to be kind because they work hard in order to get there,Duvernay-Tardif said.

After he graduates from med school, the next goal on his list is a Pro Bowl nod.

the Browns will depend on Denzel Ward to start as a boundary defender hence the decision to keep him out during rookie minicamp with a minor hip injury.

“He strained his hip flexor on the first day of rookie camp, and sat out the final two days, but only as a precaution. He would’ve practiced — and wanted to — if the Browns allowed. But Ward is slated to be the shutdown corner this season, and Jackson isn’t taking any chances.”

As mentioned, Gaines already has a history with soft-tissue ailments keeping him on the sidelines. Cleveland can’t rely solely on the veteran to elevate the pass defense. Expect Ward to have every opportunity to start over Jamar Taylor, who has become trade bait, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph has a good problem on his hands. How will he play all of his pass-rushers?

It’s difficult to find any negatives on Nelson. As the first offensive lineman taken in April’s draft, he fills a need and answers ongoing criticism about Andrew Luck’s pass protection—assuming the QB returns to the field for the upcoming season.

Here was the reasoning behind the pick:

The Knicks’ front office has already highlighted small forward as a position of need for the roster, so Mikal and Miles Bridges seem to make sense. Either selection would work, but the upside of Miles due to his youth may be slightly more attractive.

The New York Giants struggled mightily in 2017, but they spent the majority without Odell Beckham Jr. (who missed all but four games due to an ankle injury) and all of it without Saquon Barkley (who was starting his junior year at Penn State).

Beckham—who caught 90-plus passes for 1,300-plus yards and 10-plus touchdowns in each of his first three seasons—has been participating in individual drills at OTAs, according to ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan.  bucks_239

New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider’s Short Hills home went on the market Wednesday for nearly $3 million

According to property records, the home was last assessed at $2.98 million. Property taxes for the home were $47,560 in 2017.

After making the All-Star game in 2016, Schneider had an up-and-down, injury-plagued 2017-18 season in which a groin injury suffered in January sidelined him after a solid start to the season.

How can the Seahawks fix Russell Wilson? 3. Adrian Peterson returning to the Saints ? 4. Re-grading the 2015 NFL Draft “I liked the Philip Dorsett move by the Colts, what an idiot I was,” Prisco said. “I didn’t like the Todd Gurley move by the Rams, what an idiot I was.” Hard to argue, Pete!

The other two teams participating are Acadie-Bathurst Titan from the QMJHL, plus the Regina Pats, which will play as the host team.

Sissons helped the Broncos finish second overall in the WHL in the regular season before making a run to the final, where they beat the Everett Silvertips in six games.

Sissons, who signed with the Devils as an undrafted free agent prior to the 2016-17 season, had a breakout campaign for the Broncos in 2017-18.

Frazier hit.362 with three homers and four RBI for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with a 1.125 OPS in 12 games.

It was a welcomed sight for the Yankees after Frazier dealt with the most serious injury of his career.

During spring training in late February, he crashed into a left-field wall making a catch. His head slammed against a scoreboard behind a chain-link fence. Frazier missed the rest of spring training and all of April recovering from brutal concussion symptoms, such as headaches and light sensitivity and he even forgot the names of his cats.

Since returning, though, he’s been hot enough at the plate that the Yankees called him up as an extra bench bat without the designated hitter in play at a National League park. They will keep his right-handed bat, manager Aaron Boone said, at least through the weekend series with the Royals because the team expects Kansas City to use two lefty starting pitchers. cowboys_053

NFLPA Files Grievance On Behalf Of Free Agent S Eric Reid

On Monday, the NFL announced that they’ve filed a grievance on behalf of free agent S Eric Reid.

Here’s the official release from the NFLPA regarding the grievance:

The NFLPA has filed a non-injury grievance and a system arbitrator case on behalf of free agent safety Eric Reid. Prior to the start of the current NFL off-season, our Union directed the agents of free agent players who had participated in peaceful on-field demonstrations to collect, memorialize and report any relevant information about potential violations of the Collective Bargaining Agreement by teams. These cases were filed based upon the following:

Reid is among the most notable players still available on the free agent market.

Reid has visited with the Bengals last month, but let Cincinnati without a deal. Reports said that Bengals owner Mike Brown specifically questioned Reid about his plans to kneel for the anthem.

The return of Ellsbury, 34, could be a problem for Boone.

If the Yankees’ outfield is healthy, Ellsbury would come back as the fifth option. He’d also have to take a roster spot. It’s unclear whom Ellsbury would replace.

The Yankees will deal with a similar situation when Brandon Drury returns from the disabled list. The third baseman has been dealing with blurred vision and headaches. He’s on a rehab assignment at Double-A Trenton, which is slated to end May 15. On Monday, general manager Brian Cashman said he expects Drury back sooner than later.

The Boston Red Sox’ pre-game stretch began in front of their third-base dugout as the Yankees were finishing up batting practice for Tuesday night’s series opener at Yankee Stadium.sharks-017

Rays rough up former teammate Cobb in 8-4 win over Orioles

On a night in which Alex Cobb was treated poorly by his former teammates, the Tampa Bay Rays welcomed their newest member with pride and compassion.

Cobb, meanwhile, received a rude greeting from the Rays in his first appearance against them since joining the Orioles as a free agent in March following a six-year run in Tampa Bay.

Denard Span ripped a double on Cobb’s first pitch of the night, and the right-hander exited during a four-run fifth inning after allowing five runs and 10 hits.

“There’s no excuses. There’s things that are off on my end,” Cobb said. “Nothing changed there in that game other than me faltering a bit toward the end and them capitalizing.”

In his three starts since signing a four-year, $57 million contract with Baltimore, Cobb (0-3) has yielded 17 runs and 30 hits.

Chance Sisco homered and newcomer Jace Peterson had two RBI for the Orioles, who have lost 10 of 11.

The Rays have won five in a row, scoring at least eight runs in its last four games.

Jesse Chavez (1-0) retired all four batters he faced in relief of starter Doug Fister. Keone Kela pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save of the season.

The win closed a 2-4 homestand, leaving Texas with a 4-12 home record, equaling the fewest wins through the first 16 home games during the Rangers’ 47 seasons.

Among the four losses, the bullpen allowed four runs in the ninth inning Friday, five runs in the seventh Saturday and six in the ninth Monday.

“We’ve been going through our little trials and tribulations,” said Kela, perfect in save situations this season. “It was a good, collective bullpen win to move forward and just forget about the past.”

“To get these guys out there and off the field in positive situations, close the door for them, I believe will go a long ways to get them back on track mentally and physically,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said.

Kendall Graveman (0-5) got the first two outs in the fifth before four straight batters reached, beginning with Jurickson Profar’s double. Texas scored twice in the inning for a 3-2 lead.

Graveman, who entered the game with a 10.07 ERA, recorded season highs with six innings and seven strikeouts.sl_cardinals_020

The 2018 final eight is great: Why this year’s second round might be the best ever

For all the criticism of the NHL’s divisional playoff format, this year’s second-round series are loaded with compelling matchups. In the Western Conference, we have the Vegas Golden Knights vs. the San Jose Sharks, two teams that swept their first-round opponents, and the Winnipeg Jets vs. the Nashville Predators, the teams with the two best records in the Western Conference.

In fact, when the Jets and Predators begin their series on Friday in Nashville, it will mark the second consecutive year that the teams with the league’s two best records match up as early as the second round. It’s a statistical oddity that never happened under the old system, which was in place from the 1994 playoffs through 2013 and ranked teams first through eighth in each conference. As we saw in 2017, when the Capitals and Penguins played in the second round, these division-rival showdowns have the potential to happen more often.

Winnipeg and Nashville might both have had easier matchups under the old playoff system. And, yes, there are still questions about the fairness of divisional playoff systems, especially during the seasons when one division is markedly better than another. But the 2018 second round is loaded with what are arguably the league’s eight best teams, including a two-time defending champion looking to reign again, a Presidents’ Trophy winner looking to avenge its Cup Final loss and a rock-solid expansion team looking to make history. What’s not to love about that?

“It’s something about the Kansas City barbecue has gotten him going,” said White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito (1-3). “I come in after an inning, and guys are hitting home runs left and right and it makes me feel good. I’m ready to get back out there and put another zero on the board.”

Davidson is 6 for 10 with five home runs in three games this season at the Royals’ ballpark.

“I do love barbecue in general,” Davidson said. “It’s one of those things. It’s not like when I come here, `like man, I can’t wait to get here.’ It’s kind of a big park and the green backdrop. You see the ball well here.

“It’s pretty cool hitting here. It’s not necessarily a hitter’s park, but it’s gone pretty well so far. We’ve won every day we’ve been here. So let’s keep it going.”

Yoan Moncada homered to open the first inning for Chicago for the second straight game, and Yolmer Sanchez and Trayce Thompson also went deep against Jakob Junis (3-2), who became the third pitcher in franchise history to allow five homers in a game. The others were Chris Young, May 9, 2016 at the New York Yankees, and Sean O’Sullivan, May, 28, 2011 at Texas.

Junis gave up six runs and six hits with two walks over 5 2/3 innings.jets_028

Marvin Lewis stands by John Ross despite dreadful rookie year

The Bengals made wide receiver John Ross the ninth overall pick in last year’s draft, and he had about as bad a rookie season as possible: He never caught a pass, and the only time he touched the ball, on a running play, he fumbled.

But Bengals coach Marvin Lewis denies he has any issues with Ross, and thinks a much better second season is in store.

There’s some anticipation building that the Patriots, especially after the Cooks deal, might pull off another shocker and go after Odell Beckham Jr. But the extra first-rounder allows them to land Tom Brady’s successor however they want, even over QB-needy rivals like the Jets and Bills, if necessary. For now, if New England stays at this pick, Rudolph is an ideal prospect.

Moore has been getting more buzz as a first-round pick, and there’s a chance his stock rises even higher. Moore could help Philadelphia replace Torrey Smith with his ability to make big plays both before and after the catch.

Flacco found a bit more success as the year went along and is currently on track to have a full offseason of work. That’s good for the Ravens because he’ll be working with new receivers in John Brown and Michael Crabtree and coach John Harbaugh says it is “critically important” that they get on the same page.

“[The reps are] the most important thing of all,” Harbaugh said, via the team’s website. “You have to practice. It’s a practice sport. You have to get good. You can’t just roll the ball out there and be great, especially in the passing game. … But with those guys getting the reps and getting really good at what they do, and even beyond that, let’s go to work outside of practice and build that rapport.”

Flacco has not made a habit of getting together with his receivers for a passing camp during past offseasons, but the circumstances of this year and a three-year playoff drought may be enough to alter his approach.bills_125