The 6-foot-7 Fells, a converted basketball player, did little to translate that athleticism into production in Arizona.

He caught on with the Lions for $1 million last year and briefly pushed Eric Ebron out of the lineup, making him one of the more popular Lions to the Detroit fanbase.

He caught 17 passes for 177 yards and three scores before Ebron took back his job as the primary pass-catching tight end.

As a player who turns 32 in April, Fells probably isn’t going to turn into a useful tight end anytime soon, but the Browns gave him a three-year, $12 million deal to presumably serve as a blocking tight end next to David Njoku.

You and I are not the same if you can watch Vea almost single-handedly destroy a play by jacking up the left tackle and pushing him back into path of the pulling right guard and right tackle on a counter, forcing the running back to cut back right into his waiting arms without at least whispering “Hot damn!”

And these kind of plays happened in all four games I watched.

The only other guy I can recall tossing offensive lineman around the way Vea did in college in the last decade was Ndamukong Suh. As a matter of fact, Suh is exactly who Vea reminds me of on the field at times.

The Raiders repeatedly turned to Carrie after David Amerson and Sean Smith struggled, and while their pass defense was still a brutal 30th in DVOA, Carrie arguably kept it from being worse.

Bears general manager Ryan Pace made a pair of investments at tight end last year in signing blocking tight end Dion Sims and drafting freak athlete Adam Shaheen in the second round, so it’s a bit of a surprise that he’s making a third foray into the market, but Burton is a more complete player than either of those two.

This is likely more of a referendum on Shaheen, given that Burton will probably occupy two-tight-end sets alongside Sims to start the season.

The four-year, $32 million deal Burton signed is hardly insignificant; he now holds the third-largest average annual salary for a tight end in the league behind Jordan Reed and Travis Kelce, each of whom had much more impressive campaigns before signing their deals.

(With four years and $31.25 million left on his deal, it’s perhaps notable that Ertz is in line to make less money than his former backup.) If Burton hits that upside, he’ll be worth the money he’s getting as part of this contract, but a lot of teams pay for the best-case scenario in free agency and end up getting something significantly less.

In defense of Kevin Love, the Cavs’ most popular scapegoat

News broke late Monday night that the Cavs had held a team meeting before practice. The most noteworthy development? Cavs players questioning the legitimacy of Kevin Love’s illness, which kept him out of Saturday’s debacle against the Thunder.

Upon hearing Love had become the scapegoat for the Cavs’ struggles, the first thing that came to mind was Garry Gergich, the awkward yet lovable character from NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.” Garry — or Jerry or Larry or Terry because no one ever cares quite enough to get his name right — is often the target of the members of the Pawnee Parks and Recreation department because of his general clumsiness and tendency to put himself in ridiculous situations. He becomes the butt of many jokes, even in cases where he really hasn’t done anything wrong.

“Most nights it’s not going to be 6-5,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “But when it is, the guys have got to know they’ve got a chance to get it done. That is a good quality to have in your group. You don’t want to use it every night.”

The NBA announced the reserves for this year’s All-Star Game on Tuesday night. Not every deserving player made the list, of course. As SN’s Sean Deveney wrote this week in his prediction piece, “There are always snubs.”

It’s a tough deal for George, who was hoping to play in his hometown (and in, maybe, his future home arena). He lost out to LaMarcus Aldridge, Draymond Green and Karl-Anthony Towns in the coaches’ voting for frontcourt players.

Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon extended his points streak to six games with his team-leading 32nd goal in the second period. MacKinnon has seven goals and six assists during the run and eight goals and nine assists in his last eight games.

“We’re on the outside looking in. Hopefully we’ll get closer going into the All-Star break,’’ Hardaway said. “I feel like with our group, we have that fire and that desire and in our heart is to make the playoffs one hundred percent. If we don’t make the playoffs we’re going to home in April upset. At the same time we know that we gave our all. But we’re trying to make the playoffs, point blank.”

Perron was credited with an empty net goal when the Canucks inadvertently sent the puck the length of the ice for the final margin.

“If you’re a second too late, they’re gonna pass right by you and come the other way,” said Sedin, who has seven points in his last seven games. “These guys can score, they got offensive skill up front and we knew it was going to be a back and forth game. We played good in the first and good in the third, but in the second it got away from of us.”

Along with his assist on Nosek’s goal, Perron tied his career-high of 57 points.

After that it will be back to the football grind for the fifth-year pro, who will take plenty of training and medicinal methods with him but also be able to add another skill and a once-in-a-lifetime experience to his already impressive resume.

“I love the experience and I think it’s going to serve me well in the future,” he said. “It was on my bucket list. Back home the Olympics is like a religion, growing up we were just watching it all day through the winter. Discovering new sports, no matter if you’re looking at skeleton or bobsledding or curling or whatever it is, everything is impressive when it’s the Olympics.

Curry exploded for 44 points on 14-of-19 from the field, including 8-of-11 from beyond the arc, to go with 6 rebounds and 10 assists in 37 minutes. It was his third 40-point game of the season.

Kevin Durant chipped in 24 points and eight boards, and Klay Thompson had 19 points. Thompson reached 10,000 career points, becoming the 10th player in franchise history to accomplish the feat.

First-quarter play has been an issue for the Warriors, but their production in the first is what got them over Thursday night.

Jackson carried the offensive load along with T.J. Warren when the Suns were shorthanded at point guard and without Devin Booker, but now that Booker is back and Elfrid Payton is running the point things have changed. Jackson managed 22 points in Booker’s first game back from injury, but it’s unlikely he repeats the 10-15 shooting he had in that contest. With fewer shots to go around now that the Suns are at full strength, it’s going to take that type of efficiency against the Clippers for him to be a value. Don’t bank on it.49ers_006

The Rams spread the ball around quite a bit in their victory over the Cowboys a week ago.

Trump is not letting the issue go. He wrote Saturday on Twitter: “Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to league staff members in New York, New Jersey, Los Angeles and overseas at Sunday’s Dolphins-Saints game in London.

“This past week was a challenging week for all of us, but I am proud of the way our clubs and players have come together and entered into [dialogue] like never before,” Goodell wrote. “On Friday, the Broncos released a statement directly from their players. I wanted to share it with you as it provides a narrative of this past week and their hopes for today.”

The statement by Broncos players forwarded by Goodell to the NFL staffers read in part: “Make no mistake — our actions were in no way a protest of the military, the flag or those who keep us safe. We have nothing but the deepest love and respect for those who protect our way of life and the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.

Aaron Rodgers is capable of doing the same thing, and with more than a week of preparation, Cobb’s upside in a pass-heavy offense is tough to ignore during a time when some wideouts are underachieving, injured or on their bye week. The four targets in Week 4 are a bit of a concern, but you could certainly do worse if you’re in need of a WR2 or a flex play.

Did you expect any other team? The Patriots of ’07 featured one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history, led by future Hall of Famers Tom Brady and Randy Moss. It set records in points scored and still owns the record for largest win differential in a season. The defense wasn’t half-bad, either. But the dream of a perfect season was dashed in the Super Bowl by the wild-card Giants, who won 17-14 thanks to one of the craziest plays in Super Bowl history.chargers_012

DeRozan has 25 and Toronto downs Portland 99-85

DeMar DeRozan credited Toronto’s second unit for Portland’s ugly second quarter.
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The Trail Blazers were held to just six total points — Evan Turner’s layup and four free throws — in the period and Toronto went on to win 99-85 on Monday night.
Toronto’s focused on defense throughout, coach Dwane Casey said.

“I mean, you’re not going to stop a Kiko Alonso Youth jersey great player like Lillard or McCollum,” Casey said. “But our whole emphasis was to make them work for every inch of the court.”

DeRozan had 15 points in the first quarter and the teams were knotted at 29 going into the second. DeRozan led the Raptors with 24 points in the 101-92 victory over the Lakers.

Dallas turned those mistakes into six points, though it should have been more if an Ezekiel Elliott touchdown wasn’t called back on a bogus holding call on Tyron Smith, who had his hands inside the frame of his opponent and drove him into the ground, but was flagged for it. Dale Weise Womens Jersey

Bell puts one back ferociouslyNick Young pulls up from 3-point land and misses, but Jordan Bell flies to the rim for a monster, one-handed putback dunk.
Prior to the game, Warriors coach Steve Kerr was both salty and contemplative over the Warriors’ slow start to the season. He groused that he would be very pleased if the Dubs could improve upon 26 turnovers. (The Warriors entered play on Monday as the league’s second-most careless team with the ball.) The Warriors obliged, coughing up the ball only 12 times.

That’s when Smith went to work to lead the game-winning drive, sparked by his scrambling toss to Wilson.

Kansas City took advantage of the injuries to the Washington defense, grabbing a 14-10 lead on the opening series of the second half.

Washington answered with a quick three-play, 75-yard touchdown drive of its own and the Chiefs added a field goal to tie it at 17-17 entering the fourth quarter.

The Chiefs then ate up the clock with a 14-play, 66-yard drive that ended with Butker’s go-ahead 32-yard field goal with 4:51 remaining. Cousins led the Redskins back downfield, mostly with his legs, to get a game-tying field goal with 47 seconds remaining. Cousins finished with 227 passing yards, going 13 of 23 through the air with two touchdowns and another 38 yards on the ground.

It’s practically impossible to be as good as he was against the Patriots that night, but this was the closest he has come. He has continued to throw deep, in defiance of everything he’d shown throughout his career. He has run an offense that has been more creative and versatile than any other Andy Reid has given him in his five years there.

His chemistry with all his weapons has been complete a different player every week, while each can make a big play at any time. On this night, it was a lot of Travis Kelce, just enough of Wilson at the right time, Tyreek Hill as a decoy more often than not, and still enough of Kareem Hunt for him to wear down the defense.

Smith has done that while still being the safe, turnover-proof “manager” he hates being called. He has not thrown an interception yet. He used his feet again to escape trouble, no easy task with the pressure Washington put on him most of the night (he still got sacked four times).avalanche_278

Greg Olsen on IR, expected to miss about 6 games due to broken right foot

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen broke his right foot in a Week 2 matchup against the Buffalo Bills. Olsen was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday, but he could return.

Olsen broke his right foot in the first half against the Bills. When the Panthers came out of the tunnel to start the second half, Olsen was walking with crutches and sporting a walking boot. Carolina shortly announced that its star tight end would not return to the game, which the Panthers Brandon Carr Youth Jersey won 9-3. Olsen finished the game with one catch for 10 yards.

“First of all, the number of plays that these guys play, then Tobias Enstrom Womens Jersey take that to the next week, is really a competitive disadvantage,” said Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. “Guys get worn out. It’s hard to recover from one week to the next.”

Of course, there’s concern that we might see even more ties, with the shorter period leading to fewer scoring opportunities. There’s also a chance, however slight, that the team that wins the coin toss simply squats on the ball for almost the entire 10 minutes before kicking a field goal. But that’s only an extreme theoretical, and we’ll have to wait and see how teams adjust their strategies when a game goes into overtime this season.

Last season, the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks tied 6-6, and a London game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Washington ended in a 27-27 score.

The rules are about the same in the playoffs, except we go into a second period and beyond until there is a winner. Just like in the regular season, playoff overtime periods will be 10 minutes long. Of course, the New England Patriots didn’t need 10 minutes to finish their miracle comeback against the Atlanta Falcons — James White scored the game-winning touchdown on the opening possession to cap off the first overtime period in Super Bowl history.

Tim Shaw, who is battling ALS, named one of 6 Titans captains

The Titans announced their 2017 team captains with five of the team’s biggest leaders and one special surprise member, former linebacker Tim Shaw.

The addition of Shaw signifies the role his presence and fight against Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) has on the Titans locker room. Shaw remains a regular around the Titans facility during training camp, home and away games. He’s giving motivational speeches to the team as well.

“It is real special for Tim to be with us,” linebacker Wesley Woodyard, one of the Titans’ other captains, told the team website. “Nobody knows how many days you have on this earth, and him battling ALS, it shows the courage he has to keep going on. It is amazing to have him around, and we cherish him.”

A six-time Pro Bowl receiver, Owens is partnered with two-time DWTS champion Cheryl Burke. Fisher will dance with Sharna Burgess; Arlen, Val Chmerkovskiy; and Bella, Artem Chigvintsev.

Athletes have had success on the show, winning the Mirror Ball Trophy 10 times. NFL running back Rashad Jennings was last season’s champion, with former Chicago Cubs catcher and current ESPN commentator David Ross finishing second.

Graziano: 10. And yeah, I know what I said about Denver in the first question, but QB Tom Brady doesn’t love it there, and the Patriots have to lose at some point, right? Thought about giving them a loss to the Falcons or Chargers, but it’s tough to pick against them at home. So let’s say they get out of the gate 8-0 and then stumble in Denver. Even though I don’t love the Broncos this season.nets_024

Mike Ditka: Mitchell Trubisky’s debut better than any rookie performance of Tom Brady, Fran Tarkenton

Mike Ditka liked what he saw from Mitchell Trubisky in his NFL preseason debut. He liked it so much he brought up Tom Brady and Fran Tarkenton when talking about the performance.

“What I saw out of Trubisky for a rookie in his first game I thought was outstanding,” he said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. “I don’t know too many rookies, including Tom Brady, Fran Tarkenton or anybody else that’s ever had that kind of a start. Now, one game doesn’t make a career — I understand that — but the kid looked awfully good, he looked awfully composed, he threw the ball very accurately. I thought he made good decisions all the way through; avoided the rush at times.”

To cover their bases, the Dolphins signed former Bears quarterback Jay Cutler to a one-year deal and are working harder with backup Matt Moore.

For now, Tannehill will be doing what he can to help Cutler, Moore and the rest of the players and staff out from the sidelines.

“I know there’ll be times where he’ll be rehabbing at other facilities,” Gase said. “He’s got a good plan mapped out. He’s done a good job of communicating with our training staff, our doctors. They’re all kind of on the same page. I’m going to know when he’s not going to be here. There will be some weeks where he’s around a lot and he’ll be able to help the coaching staff and the players.”

Lindley won only one of his six starts for the Cards from 2012-’14, posting a dismal 50.8 completion percentage, a horrendous 2-11 TD-INT ratio and a microscopic 50.3 rating while averaging only 146 yards per game. Even worse, because of injury, he had to start a forgettable playoff game against the Panthers. He was 16-of-28 for 82 yards, a TD and 2 INTs, “good” for a rating of 44.3 while being sacked four times. Consider Tom Tupa, who was a much better NFL punter, as the close runner-up.dolphins_002

Cardale Jones going to Chargers is bad news for Robert Griffin III

Cardale Jones is getting a fresh start in Los Angeles.

The Bills fourth-string quarterback was traded to the Chargers Wednesday in exchange for a conditional draft pick, the team announced.

According to, it will be a seventh-round pick.

“The request came last week and was made to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. Irving has expressed that he wants to go play in a situation where he can be a more focal point and no longer wants to play alongside LeBron James, sources said.”

Irving’s agent, Jeff Wechsler, did not confirm or deny the story.

If the former Duke guard were to be traded, he would be giving up his “supermax” option that he would be due once he got to free agency. He is locked up for three more years and due $60 million over that time.

Friday evening, Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports reported a source claims the Cavaliers and Knicks are in “serious talks” regarding a trade involving Irving and Carmelo Anthony, with a third team possibly involved.

The idea is for current players to be surrounded by and constantly reminded of the legacy they’re playing to uphold. The same effects are felt by the general public, for which two clichés come to mind while roaming The Star: “everything is bigger in Texas,” and “no expense spared.”

The Ford Center, which houses the Cowboys football operations facilities mentioned above, is a beast in itself even though it’s only a portion of The Star.

In addition to Cowboys practices and high school football games, Ford Center hosts soccer games, marching band competitions, track meets and commencement exercises. Its 12,000-seat capacity will expand to a currently unknown figure when it hosts concerts.t_rangers_048-115x115