Category Archives: New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints

MLB free agency: Jonathan Lucroy reportedly reaches deal with Athletics

The Athletics have reached agreement on a one-year contract with free-agent catcher Jonathan Lucroy, reports.

The two-time All-Star has been the most prominent free-agent catcher this offseason, and had been expected to command a multiyear deal, but in a slow market that apparently didn’t happen.

Let’s just say Ohtani probably didn’t pack multiple rain jackets on his flight from Japan.

So, yeah, of course it rained on the back fields of the Tempe Diablo Stadium complex Wednesday, where Ohtani and his fellow pitchers (and catchers) conducted their first official workout of the spring. It started sprinkling a few minutes after 11 a.m., while Ohtani was playing catch with fellow right-hander Felix Pena. It picked up a few minutes later, when Ohtani’s group of pitchers ran through drills covering first base on Field No. 2. The rain slowed a bit as the group moved to an outfield-less infield for bunt-fielding drills.

His goals have not diminished since he made it to MLB at the age of 20 and they continue to get higher.

“I don’t want to be one of the top [players]; I want to be the top one,” Correa told “That’s what everybody wants to do. That’s why we play.”

Correa is just 23-years-old. He won’t turn 24 until September, but he has already won the American League Rookie of the Year award, been selected to an All-Star game, and won a World Series with the Astros in 2017.

He isn’t done though. He has his sights set on one more award, even if he doesn’t necessarily think he has to win it this year.

“MVP is something I don’t want to retire without winning one,” he said. “It would be like a dream come true…That’s amazing. I don’t know if it’s this year, but at some point, I’d like to win that, and I’ll just try to improve my game every single day to try to accomplish that.”

LaVar Ball to serve as head coach of sons’ Lithuanian team

LaVar Ball continues to move up in the basketball world.

Ball will serve as head coach Sunday for Vytuatas’ game against Jonavos Jonava in the final matchup of the Big Baller Brand Challenge Games, the team announced.

Ball had previously served as assistant coach during Vytuatas’ 147-142 win over BC Dzukija earlier this week.

If you go with eight teams or fewer, your rosters will be stacked with plenty of star power, though you can counter that by enlarging the size of each team’s roster, like using two starters at every position or several utility players. This can be a fun way to get the ball rolling if you are a newbie.

Ten teams is the traditional size of most leagues. The player pool is deep enough that each team has stars, but managers will still have the challenge of picking up free agents and players who are getting hot.

George is averaging 20.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game on the season.

For a greater challenge, try using 12 or 14 teams. In bigger leagues like that, the player pool is thinned out enough that managers will need to have knowledge of lesser-known players in order to succeed.

Rosters: Standard rosters include one catcher (C), one first baseman (1B), one second baseman (2B), one shortstop (SS), one third baseman (3B), one middle infielder (MI) — filled by a 2B/SS, one corner infielder (CI) — filled by a 1B/3B, five outfielders (OF), one utility (UTIL) spot — filled by any position, nine pitchers (P), and three bench (BE) spots. Those who are on your bench are players who are on your roster but not in your starting lineup.

The fun part of fantasy baseball is all of these options can be adjusted however you see fit. Every league is a little different, and some league commissioners find certain roster settings more fun than others. The options are endless, really.

NBA trade rumors: Thunder eyeing Avery Bradley after Andre Roberson injury

The Thunder need to do something in the wake of losing forward Andre Roberson for the season, and it looks like their short-term plans include pursuing Clippers guard Avery Bradley who Los Angeles recently acquired in the Blake Griffin trade.

According to the Washington Post, the Thunder have expressed interest in acquiring Bradley who would give Oklahoma City a very similar player to Roberson.

According the the Boston Herald, the Celtics are actively pursuing trades for Clippers guard Lou Williams and Grizzlies guard/forward Tyreke Evans.

Williams, who is averaging 23.5 points and 5.2 assists per game, has been linked to multiple teams as the NBA trade deadline looms on Feb. 8.

The sophomore appears capable of providing the requisite shooting needed to space the floor after struggling from the foul line during his freshman season. At this point, Bridges is a career 37.9 percent 3-point shooter on 285 attempts. He hoists more than seven 3s per 40 minutes and is shooting an impressive 88.8 percent from the foul line. That’s up from 68.5 percent last season and drastically swings his projected NBA 3-point numbers from league average to the high 30s. Bridges has converted 36.4 percent of his NBA range 3s this season.

Jordan, 29, is averaging 11.6 points and 14.9 rebounds per contest in 46 games this season.

The second start of his NBA career was not going to be easy for guard Terry Rozier, not after wowing in his first start on Wednesday, in which he posted a 17-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist triple-double. But, on Friday, he handled himself well against the Hawks: 31 points on 11-for-18 shooting to go with seven rebounds in a Boston win without injured point guards Kyrie Irving or Marcus Smart.

“When you come off the bench you don’t know exactly the timing,” Rozier said. “You should come out aggressive and the same mindset and be ready no matter if you’re starting or not. But like I said, if you are starting you can just think about it all day and know you’re starting so it’s just a little different.”

For an added bonus, the Celtics got a big day from rookie forward Jayson Tatum, who scored a career-high 27 points on 11-for-19 shooting. Tatum’s last three performances (he had 20 points two games ago and 15 on Wednesday) have helped alleviate some concerns about his flagging production in January.

Eagles fans will not be getting unlimited Bud Light at the Super Bowl parade

Eagles tackle Lane Johnson promised the city of Philadelphia free beer if the Eagles won the Super Bowl back in August. Later that afternoon, Bud Light agreed that if the Eagles won, they’d back up that promise.

While Bud Light will be offering beer at the Eagles’ parade on Thursday, it won’t be all-you-can-drink as initially believed. Philly Mag spoke with a spokesperson for Anheuser-Busch, who described how it’s going to work:

The rep says that the company is giving away one free Bud Light per person 21 and up at bars along the parade route, which covers quite a bit of ground. On Monday, the city confirmed that the Super Bowl parade in Philly is currently slated to go from way down at Broad and Pattison in South Philadelphia all the way up to the Art Museum. There are a lot of bars along the way. There won’t be free Bud Light at all of them.

Pereira also waded into the debate surrounding the NFL’s catch rule, even harking back to the infamous 2014 Dez Bryant non-catch.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has previously signaled the league’s intent to revisit the catch rule this offseason, and Pereira has made it clear that changes must be made.

Under my proposal, said Pereira, and what I think the rule ought to change to be, then I think Dez Bryant’s catch was a catch.

Fans throughout the star-studded crowd reacted with varying levels of bemusement and enthusiasm while her languid, two-plus-minute version of the song continued. Although Fergie was on pitch, her tempo, musical accompaniment and sexy delivery were not exactly typical for a sporting event or a patriotic song.

Golden State All-Star Draymond Green captured the mood — and became an instant GIF — when he was shown open-mouthed on the scoreboard and the television broadcast in apparent confusion over the unique vocal stylings. Green then chuckled to himself after realizing he was on TV.

After a forceful finish, Fergie finally got big cheers when she shouted, “Let’s play some basketball!”

The Grammy Award-winning singer, born Stacy Ann Ferguson, is from nearby Hacienda Heights, California.jaguars_088-223x223

Phelps hoping for healthy season in Mariners’ bullpen

When Seattle traded for reliever David Phelps last July, Mariners manager Scott Servais believed his team was adding a player that could help the team reach the postseason.

In deeper formats where it might be tougher to secure saves during the season, then I will likely bypass the top-100 closers — I always do — and take four or five lesser relief pitchers with the hope a few perform well and secure roles.

That appears likely to change in 2017-18, with Xavier currently leading the league by a game and a half and staring down a very manageable slate to end the regular season. Saturday’s tussle between the two league front-runners has monster ramifications not just for which team is going to win the league, but for which is more likely to hear its name called as a No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday.

If Xavier takes down Nova on Saturday (something it hasn’t had a whole lot of success doing since joining the league), then the race should be about over. If the Wildcats continue their dominance over X, then we’ll all go back to wondering if any other team is capable of winning a title in the new Big East.

Alex Presley and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a minor league contract, and the outfielder will report of major league spring training.

The 32-year-old has a .263 average in eight seasons with Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Houston, Milwaukee and Detroit. He hit .314 with 3 home runs and 20 RBI in 71 games for the Tigers in 2017.

Sure enough, the Mountaineers’ FBS residence began as feared. In their first FBS contest, a symbolic meeting with Michigan (whom they famously upset in 2007), they lost by 38. And Michigan wasn’t even that good. Appalachian State lost to Southern Miss and fellow FBS newbies Georgia Southern and South Alabama, then got upset by Liberty for good measure. The team was 1-5, and both Satterfield’s tenure (he was 5-14 to that point) and the FBS jump were looking like really bad ideas.

In the aftermath of the Redskins’ move to trade Alex Smith away from the Chiefs, the team is now considering placing its franchise tag on Kirk Cousins.

According to a report from ESPN, the decision would allow the franchise to “recoup some of the compensation” going to the Chiefs that will be traded away when they acquire quarterback Smith once the new league year begins in March.

There is one reason Cousins might not accept the tag and that is if there’s no sign he could get a long-term deal from the team where he’s potentially traded.

Cousins did say earlier this week (via he does “expect to be a free agent,” and he is projected as the top free-agent quarterback available. However, working around a franchise tag might limit Washington’s leverage.

Cousins, 29, enters his seventh NFL season in 2018. Throughout his career, he has thrown for 16,206 yards and 99 touchdowns with 55 interceptions.

Kramer, whom Vince Lombardi once called the best guard in football, had been regarded as the most overlooked player from the 1960s Packers teams that won five championships in seven years, including the first two Super Bowls. No player had been a finalist more than Kramer without receiving induction into the Hall.

Now 82 years old, Kramer was a three-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro selection over an 11-year career for Lombardi’s Packers. He is perhaps best known for the key block that paved the way for Bart Starr’s game-winning quarterback sneak to beat the Cowboys in the 1967 NFL championship game, otherwise known as the Ice Bowl. Kramer was elected to the Packers Hall of Fame in 1975.

Kramer is the 25th Packers player inducted in Canton and 12th from Green Bay’s championship teams of the 1960s. He was named to the league’s 50th Anniversary team and was the only member of that group not already in the Hall of Fame.bills_035

So how far Brady has come to be the awesome competitor he is now isn’t a knock — it’s another feather in his helmet.

Peyton Manning and Brett Favre put up gaudy statistics during their careers. But Brady is catching up fast, even though he was not asked to light it up for the Patriots early in his career. All seven of his 30-plus TD pass seasons have come after age 30.

Brady has climbed up to No. 3 on the all-time passing touchdowns list, tied with Brees with 488. He’s third all time in career passer rating with his 97.6. He’s also fourth in career passing yards with 66,159. But what’s most amazing: He has played in more than two full seasons worth of playoff games — an NFL record 36. He’s 27-9 in those games.

Surviving and thriving in football is physically demanding, especially in contrast to other sports. And for Brady to also maintain mental advantages is downright unfair. It comes back to his mindset, his best natural talent.

“I love this sport. I admire all the guys who’ve played before me and I realize how hard it is,” Brady said. “I grew up a fan of Joe Montana, Steve Young, Dan Marino, John Elway and Warren Moon and watched them all. I loved watching football highlights, watching guys’ techniques, dropbacks and throws.

“They paved the way for us quarterbacks today. We’re paving the way for quarterbacks of the future. I’m a hell of a lot older than most of the guys in the league now, so there’s a lot of guys who are probably looking at me like I used to look at them.”

Watch all three “Dilly Dilly!” commercials in order below. “Ye Old Pep Talk” is scheduled to air during the first quarter of Super Bowl 52; “The Bud Knight” will air during the second quarter.

Tom Brady did not need to lead the Patriots to victory last year in Super Bowl 51 to strengthen his position as the greatest NFL quarterback of all time.

“One for the thumb,” though, has a nice ring to it. Brady’s fifth title also stamped his status as the NFL’s best overall player.

Leave it to the Saints’ Drew Brees, another excellent, older quarterback, to remind us what Brady has done. Keep in mind Brees, no doubt an elite quarterback, has one ring with New Orleans. In comparison, Brady’s accomplishments seem all the more impressive.

The Buffalo Bills made a surprising move last week, benching Tyrod Taylor and announcing that they’d start rookie Nate Peterman.

As President Trump called for NFL owners to suspend or fire players who protested the national anthem, players and coaches answered defiantly Sunday morning, with most members of the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars either standing with their arms locked in solidarity or taking a knee on the field.

Ravens Coach John Harbaugh joined his players, locking arms, and Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, a Pakistani American billionaire and businessman, joined his players before the game’s kickoff at 9:30 a.m. in London’s Wembley Stadium. Ravens Hall of Famer Ray Lewis also took a knee during the anthem.

The Texans beat Arizona 31-21, but lost runing back D’Onta Foreman, who was carted off with a leg injury in the fourth quarter.

That decision went about as poor as possible, as Peterman threw five, count ’em, five first-half interceptions. Taylor entered in the second half, but it was took late for a reasonable attempt at a comeback. The Chargers won, 54-24.

“If Colin Kaepernick is NOT on a roster at the beginning of camp and the regular season, his effective banishment from the NFL will be a MAJOR topic of conversation about the NFL among sports columnists, broadcasters, pundits, pontificators, and opinion makers, and the public so long as he is not in the League and it will become the ONLY conversation every time a starting QB is injured, unable to play, and replaced by a “back up” who [is] lesser skilled than Kaepernick,” Edwards wrote, in part. “In consequence, the focus will not be on the games, not on the star athletes, and not on the marque matchups to the degree desired, strategically marketed, or normally expected.”

But should the two sides buck expectations and reach a mutually agreeable long-term deal, in which the salary cap ramification of Cousins’s contract can be spread over the life of a four- or five-year contract, the team can devote what remains under the cap to other pressing needs.

That should start with the defensive line.jaguars_086

Lockhart, in a Friday conference call with reporters, called “any attempt to paint Aaron Hernandez as a victim” misguided.

“A football junkie,” was how Jeremy Pruitt remembered Ramsey. The head coach at the University of Tennessee coached defensive backs at Florida State when Ramsey came to Tallahassee. “He was a sponge; you couldn’t give him enough information.”

Which is to suggest he didn’t say much. No promises of a national title or a place on the All-America team, both of which he accomplished in three seasons. But over time, Ramsey grew bolder. He was good, and he knew it, so as he’d point out years later before the AFC championship: “Why not say it?”

At ACC media day one year, Ramsey carried a microphone and interviewed — taunted might be more accurate — other teams’ players. “How’s it feel to let us come back on y’all like that?” he asked a Louisville player, before mimicking a Boston College player’s accent, before reminding a Georgia Tech player of Florida State’s victory against the Yellow Jackets in the ACC championship game.

The lawsuit says the Patriots performed preseason exams of Hernandez and should have recognized signs of cognitive impairment. The NFL was “fully aware of the damage that could be inflicted from repetitive impact injuries and failed to disclose, treat or protect him from the danger of such damage,” the complaint states.

“There are a number of issues,” Lockhart said. “We just saw this last night. At first blush, there are several things that jump out.”

For a president whose administration is in chaos even according to members of his own party, keeping support from his base seems to be crucial. But continuing to attack Americans for expressing one of the privileges that comes with citizenship could continue to hurt him with demographics that have long been unsupportive of his politics.

Despite Trump continuing to suggest that the protests disrespect the flag, black Americans — a group that overwhelmingly voted against him in 2016 and continues to give him low approval markings — disagree.


Oklahoma chipped away and got within striking range.

The Sooners intentionally fouled Azubuike, a 41-percent free-throw shooter coming in, several times. He missed all five of his free throws in the final 3:37 to help the Sooners get back into the game.

“It was definitely frustrating because we didn’t really get a chance to run anything,” Graham said. “But I guess it was pretty smart on them doing that.”

The Texans went back to Tom Savage as their starter. He started the season opener but lasted only a half before O’Brien went to Watson. Things weren’t any better this time around, as Savage completed only 19 of 44 passes last Sunday and the Texans lost to the Indianapolis Colts. Their record dropped to 3-5, and they fell two games behind the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC South. Savage is to start again Sunday in Los Angeles against the Rams.

The Packers have played two full games since Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone. McCarthy, in reacting testily to a reporter’s question about Kaepernick following Rogers’s injury, spoke of the three years that he had invested in coaching Rodgers’s backup, Brett Hundley.

But Hundley has totaled only 332 passing yards in two games as the fill-in starter for Rodgers. The Packers have lost both games and, with their record at 4-4, are two games in back of the first-place Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North.

But what, exactly, is Davis getting for the reported 10-year, $100 million contract he will give Gruden?

Gruden has not coached since 2008. In a league that evolves year to year, that is an eternity. He has studied tape and met with players, particularly quarterbacks, in his role as a broadcaster. But he has not coached the generation of players coming out with the current college skill set. He has not run a team under the practice rules that were put in place with the current collective bargaining agreement. There are certainly adjustments ahead for Gruden.

A 5-0 start gave way to a 1-6 downward spiral, which gave way to a 4-0 finish. Which version of the Chiefs will be on display during the postseason? It’s impossible to know. Even so, it’s difficult to envision them losing at home to the upstart Titans. A victory this weekend might send the Chiefs back to New England, where they won the NFL’s season-opening game in stunning fashion to quickly end any notion of the Patriots chasing a 19-0 season.jaguars_006