Saquon Barkley’s agent: We’re not steering RB away from Browns in NFL draft
The agent for Saquon Barkley said the running back prospect will not pull an Eli Manning and preemptively refuse to join the Cleveland Browns in response to a report that the agency had pushed for such a move.
I can say on behalf of our entire team that we would be thrilled for Saquon to go to whichever team drafts him,’ Kim Miale, Barkley’s agent, told cleveland.com on Wednesday. We know he will be a resounding success for any team fortunate enough to select him.
SI.com reported Barkley’s manager at Roc Nation, the sports agency founded by Jay Z, pushed for the former Penn State standout rusher to do what Manning did in the lead-up to the 2004 NFL draft. Manning’s agent Tom Condon told the San Diego Chargers that his client would sit out the season if the Chargers drafted him.
The best time to see a fully unleashed Embiid? When he decides to take matters into his own hands, initiating offense after snagging a rebound, recovering a blocked shot or swiping a steal. The 7-footer brought the ball up about once per game in 2017-18, and on those plays, with Embiid as the point-center, the Sixers averaged an incredible 1.21 points per possession, per Second Spectrum. That’s better offense than James Harden’s Rockets (1.15) and Steph Curry’s Warriors (1.14).
And, by the way, these aren’t just clear-cut fast breaks, where you’d expect higher offensive efficiency. Two-thirds of Embiid’s possessions as point-center have been in the half court. Deep down, every big guy — at every level — loves playing point guard every once in a while. Joel Embiid just happens to be awesome at it.
Via Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News, Accorsi said that Manning has at least two years of winning, championship football left in him, and expressed great confidence that Gettleman would turn the team around quickly.
Of course, Accorsi isn’t impartial. He recommended Gettleman for his last two jobs, serving as a consultant when the Panthers hired Gettleman in 2013. He also drafted Manning in 2004, and still sees him as a viable starter.
I wouldn’t want to put an endline on him, but I do agree with them that he can play winning, championship football for two years, Accorsi said of Manning. Now, it may be more. I’m not saying that he can’t do more. But I don’t think there’s any question: What I saw last year in the Philadelphia game with what he had to play with, I definitely think he could still take a team to a title. I mean, obviously he has to be surrounded with a pretty good team. But I do.
This series was always going to be influenced by pace of play. Simply put, Philly likes to play fast, while Miami milks the clock and slows things down. According to ESPN Stats & Information, since Embiid went down because of a fractured left orbital bone and a concussion on March 28, the Sixers led the league in pace at 106.1 possessions per 48 minutes. Even when Embiid played, though, the Sixers ranked fifth in the league in pace of play.
Cardinals release Max Tuerk
The Cardinals dropped an offensive lineman from the roster on Thursday.
The team announced that center Max Tuerk has been placed on waivers.
Tuerk joined the Cardinals last November when they signed him off of the Chargers practice squad. He wound up playing in one game for Arizona before the season was over.
He still started eight games, including three at defensive end, while earning second-team All-American honors from CBSsports.com. But he missed the last three games of the season with an ankle injury and as the draft drew closer, the questions about his work ethic lingered.
At one time expected to be a high first-round pick, McDowell’s stock dropped until he was taken near the beginning of the second round. It was something the Seahawks understood, but they had their eye on McDowell for a long time and even worked a trade to move out of the first round, adding four picks while still landing in a position to take McDowell.
Davis was drafted No. 6 overall in 2006, a year after the Niners used the No. 1 pick on Smith. Davis enjoyed his best seasons with Smith as a starter, earning 965 yards and 914 yards in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
The 34-year-old Davis has lost a step with age but played a key role in Washington’s offense last season with Jordan Reed injured (again). Davis believes Smith can bring playmaking and consistency to Washington’s game plan.
His ability to get in and out of the pocket, keep the play alive, Davis said. That’s going to be tremendous for us, and it’s imperative that we have that because, you know, this game is all about how effective you can be, and if you can sustain plays, then that’s good, that’s great, because that allows the receivers to get open when everyone else thinks the play is dead and we can still keep going.
Davis said Smith has evolved from the quarterback he was during their San Francisco tenure.
Adidas signs on as a sponsor of upstart Pacific Pro Football
An upstart minor football league has added a well-known corporate sponsor.
Adidas has announced that it will be a founding partner of Pacific Pro Football, the minor league that agent Don Yee says he’ll launch in the summer of 2019.
This eliminates two plays that if you were reinventing the game are plays you would probably leave out, Polian says.
The preponderance of video reviews by officials won’t be an issue in the Alliance, Polian says. Each coach will be allowed two challenges and that’s it for replay.
And here’s one everybody but a placekicker will love: All extra points are 2-point conversion plays from the 2-yard line.
Ebersol has spent three years putting together the Alliance. He and Polian, backed by the numbers showing America’s passion for the sport, see a huge void the league can fill.
General Manager Dave Gettleman said in January that Apple is getting a clean slate and head coach Pat Shurmur used the same phrase on Wednesday.
Eli was in the building, so I had a chance to visit with him and this is a clean slate deal, Shurmur said, via NJ.com. So I think we all know that we need to get better. We had a great conversation. He’s eager to get started when we do get started and we’re going to put the ball out there and let it rip. As I get to know him better and we start to develop those relationships that are necessary for a player and a coach and an organization, we’re sort of starting at ground zero with that. So I’m looking forward to that.
If the Giants do decide to move on from Apple, they’d surely prefer trading him to releasing him. That gives them no reason to do anything but talk up his chances of remaining with the team as long as he’s still a member of the team.
Lions linebacker Brandon Copeland cleared to resume football activities
Detroit Lions linebacker Brandon Copeland has been cleared to resume football activities nearly seven months removed from a torn pectoral, according to Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com.
Copeland was injured in Detroit’s first preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts. He was waived/injured and moved to the Lions’ injured reserve list after clearing waivers.
Rodgers, clearly unhappy with the departure of Nelson, posted this message on his Instagram account: Hard to find the right words today to express what 87 means to me. No teammate exemplified what it means to be a packer quite like him. From living in GB full time, his incredible contributions to the city, state, and region, to his consistent, reliable play on the field. Definitely a sad day and the toughest part of this business. There will never be another quite like white lightning.
Nelson leaves as one of the Packers’ all-time best receivers, ranking third in team history in catches (550), fifth in receiving yards (7,848) and second in touchdowns (69). His chemistry with Rodgers was evident by the 65 touchdowns Nelson caught from the quarterback, breaking Brett Favre and Antonio Freeman’s club record of 58.
That’d be awesome, Barkley said. Something bigger than you. If you go to a team like that, obviously, they’ve had some rough years. But I think they’re just a couple of pieces away. They do have a lot of young talent. They’ve brought in a new offensive coordinator. They only won one game, but they were in a lot of games. You want to be a part of something like that. Something that’s bigger than yourself. Something that will leave a legacy. Being a part of something special.
If the Browns do take Barkley, that would likely mean he’s drafted with either the first or fourth overall pick. Barkley said he’s competitive, but will come in with my head low ready to work regardless of where he comes off the board. Whether it’s Cleveland or someone else, that’s likely to be pretty early in the first round.
The Jets have been planning for this draft since last year. One of the second-round picks they sent to Indianapolis came in the Sheldon Richardson trade, a pick they acquired for more ammunition in this year’s draft.
Giants land their left tackle in $62 million splash
Solder has been extremely durable, with only one major injury in his career a torn right biceps in 2015 that forced him to miss the final 11 games. Otherwise, he has played in 15 or more games in all of his six other seasons. In April 2014, the annual physical examination by the Patriots revealed Solder had testicular cancer. He missed several weeks of offseason activities while undergoing surgery and treatment and went on to start all 16 regular-season games that season and every postseason game, as the Patriots went on to win Super Bowl XLIX.
It is all surreal, yes, but also purposeful, considering Solder’s intentions.
I think it’s a shame on me if the money only helps the Solder family, he said Friday morning. My belief is that this money has been entrusted to me not for the personal comfort and security, but for an actual impact that we can have on our community and the people around us. I’m just such an imperfect person I’m going to make mistakes, so I have to rely on Jesus. We have all through our suffering with our son and everything that goes on in life, so we have to do the same thing with our rejoicing and when things are going well, we have to rely on him.
Solder was the Patriots’ Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee, an award honoring players for their contributions off the field and also their performance on the field. Solder’s son, Hudson, turns 3 in July and is battling a recurrence of a cancerous tumor in his kidney. Solder and his wife, Lexi, also have a younger daughter, Charlie.
I asked him a simple question of how he came up with the information on the best safety. He threw me aside like I was a nobody, Byard told ESPN on Wednesday morning. It just puts a bigger chip on my shoulder. I come from a situation where I’ve been ignored my whole life. Being a two-star prospect, having maybe five offers coming out, broke every school record at my school, and I was still talked about being a Day 3 or undrafted guy. In two years, I’m an All-Pro and Pro Bowler.
Byard might not be a household name yet, but he appears on pace to be. NFL players, coaches and media have taken note after his All-Pro and Pro Bowl 2017 season in which he recorded eight interceptions.
The Tennessee safety said he has Sanders’ tweet saved as the lock screen on his phone for motivation.
This just lets me know I still haven’t done nothing yet. It lets me know no matter what you’re doing in this league you gotta keep working until you don’t have to introduce yourself no more, Byard said. Some guys don’t have to reach the All-Pro or Pro Bowl pinnacle to get respect from legends. I understand the position I’m in, being a small-school guy, I have to fight for every inch of respect that I can get in this league. This chip will stay on my shoulder until I’m out the game.