Second killing may be linked to former Packers LB Carlos Gray’s death, police say

A man found shot to death Tuesday near Birmingham, Ala., possibly was killed in retaliation for former Packers linebacker Carlos Gray’s shooting death Monday, authorities told area media (via The Associated Press).
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Darryl Thomas, 21, appears to have been shot in retribution and his body dumped along a road, sheriff’s officials said.

At least one of the suspects in Thomas’ death is believed to have been a close friend of Gray.

No one has been charged in either death.

Elite Alex McGough Jersey Gray, 25, was found wounded and unresponsive Monday night in his Pinson, Ala., home, according to police (via

Gray’s girlfriend had seen him alive when she left the home an hour earlier.

Durability also is a critical factor. Rosen has good size at 6-4, 220 pounds, but there are questions about his ability to stay healthy after missing the last half of his sophomore season with a shoulder injury that required surgery. He then missed two games last season due to a pair of concussions.

The traits that will go down as Roethlisberger’s signature strengths on the field 鈥?his competitiveness and his confidence 鈥?are also sources of weakness. He can overcome bad games knowing he’s capable of anything with his physical talents, but that confidence can translate to the kind of jerkiness that can be detrimental to a team. For example, the tension between Roethlisberger and Todd Haley contributed to the Steelers’ offensive coordinator change this offseason. The QB also never had the greatest relationship with wide receiver Martavis Bryant, who was traded to the Raiders.

The Steelers did think about helping Roethlisberger when they hired his beloved quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner as coordinator to replace Haley. They thought about Roethlisberger again when they drafted wide receiver James Washington in the second round to replace Bryant. Pittsburgh is pushing the right buttons on Roethlisberger without having to reprogram him. The Rudolph selection simply is a sneaky way of motivating Big Ben out of his comfort zone.

If Pittsburgh’s overall offseason goal was making Roethlisberger realize the team’s window to win another Super Bowl with him is shrinking fast, consider it accomplished. The Steelers are expecting Roethlisberger to respond with another spike in his play, and his swagger suggests he will deliver. Even if that production comes out of arrogance, it’s good for the team’s bottom Cedric Ogbuehi Authentic Jersey line.

Pittsburgh’s only real QB competition in 2018 will be between Jones, Dobbs and Rudolph for the backup role. Even so, the team could not have found a better carrot to dangle in front of its veteran starter.

Chargers coach Anthony Lynn finishes college degree almost 30 years later

Many college students graduating this spring still have no idea what they want to do in life.

“The disappointment on her face when I told her I wasn’t coming, it was tough. I thought about it. She made me rethink it. I decided to walk because if it could inspire one person, then it’s worth it.”

Lynn, who went undrafted after playing four seasons at Texas Tech, went on to play six seasons in the NFL as a running back and special teams member with the Broncos and 49ers. He says he always intended to finish his degree, but as he began his coaching career in 2000, that goal faded away. Lynn credits a friend, Dave Szott, with convincing him to go back to school.

He’s especially happy his mother will be on hand for Saturday’s ceremony.

“I was the first person in my family to go to [college], and my mother sat there and watched my son graduate, watched my daughter graduate,” Lynn said. “And I just think she’s going to enjoy watching her son graduate.”

Both reality and perception will be important in this regard, with a compelling need to eradicate mistakes by officials and an even more compelling need to create the impression that the NFL is doing everything possible to eradicate mistakes by officials. For starters, the NFL will need full-time officials, across the board.

The process toward employing officials on a full-time basis already has begun. Eventually, all will need to be full-time employees, given the reality that for any mistake made by a part-time official, the argument will be, “A full-time official wouldn’t have made that mistake.”

And while there’s a practical limit to the number of calls that will be gotten right, it must seem to the neutral observer that the league is trying. Having a full complement of full-time officials cries out, “We’re trying as hard as we can.”ravens_129

Rangers hire Boston University’s David Quinn as coach

The New York Rangers hired Boston University’s David Quinn as their new head coach Wednesday, the second college coach hired by an NHL team this month and third in the past four years.
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Quinn replaces Alain Vigneault, who was fired hours after the Rangers missed the playoffs for the first time since 2010. An introductory news conference was scheduled for Thursday.

The retooling Rangers are the latest team to dip into the college ranks for a coach after the Philadelphia Flyers hired Dave Hakstol from North Dakota in 2015 and the Dallas Stars hired Jim Montgomery from the University of Denver in early May. Before Hakstol, it had been 28 years since a coach made the jump from the NCAA to the NHL.

So what did Marchessault do? He scored twice and had eight shots on goal in a 3-1 road win that spurred the four-game winning streak to close out the Jets. It’s fun to watch Marchessault flourish, as a guy who used to drive a Hyundai to NHL training camps and now has a ridiculously cool Lamborghini dropped at his home on game days to drive to the arena. Really, the entire top line — William Karlsson, Marchessault and Reilly Smith — has been terrific these playoffs, combining for 15 points, seven goals (half of the Golden Knights’ goals in the series against Winnipeg).

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni made the point once again about Paul being healthy: There’s nothing wrong at all.

We’re not going to win without him, D’Antoni said. So if he’s Prince Amukamara”>Authentic”>Prince Amukamara Jersey got to limp and drag his leg to the finish line, so be it. And he’s ready to do that.
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That deafening, bright yellow sellout crowd was imposing once again.

His quick wit and willingness to contribute — wherever, however — has made him a hit with his new linemates.

He plays the game the right way, Vegas alternate captain Deryk Engelland said. First guy on every puck, he creates havoc down low on their D-men, he finishes every check, he creates room for his linemates, he’s going to go to the dirty areas to get the job done. To get that first goal in what, three and a half months? In the conference finals as the game winner? I couldn’t be happier for him.

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The Houston Rockets were the best team in the NBA in the regular season.

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They played like it Wednesday night, using a balanced scoring attack to rout the Golden State Warriors 127-105 and even the Western Conference finals at one game apiece.
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James Harden and Eric Gordon each scored 27 points on a night Houston had five players score 16 points or more.

We can beat anybody, anywhere at any time playing the way we play, coach Mike D’Antoni said.

The Rockets didn’t trail after the first quarter and led by double digits for most of the night. They head to Oakland, California for Game 3 on Sunday night feeling much better after rebounding from a deflating 119-106 loss in the series opener.

Durant made a basket after that, but Houston scored the next eight points to extend the lead to 119-91 with about five minutes left.

The Warriors got frustrated in that stretch, with Durant getting a technical for shoving Harden in the back and Draymond Green pushing Ariza out of bounds seconds later. It was then that Kerr sent all of his starters to the bench for good.

He’s worked really hard. He’s been through a lot physically. He’s had to endure a lot of rehabs. We probably saw him at his best his first year over here. It’s been a tough road for him since then, Molitor said. I thanked him for the effort that he’s given me and the times he’s taken the ball, and I hope something happens in a positive fashion for him moving forward.

In a corresponding move, the Twins announced Tuesday that they’d recalled outfielder Ryan LaMarre Authentic Quintin Demps Jersey from Triple-A Rochester.

Since the move to the bullpen, Molitor has not found many comfortable opportunities to use the 31-year-old. Eight of Minnesota’s past 10 games have been decided by one or two runs.
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Evan Gattis (R), 51 percent, Houston Astros vs. San Francisco Giants (LHP Andrew Suarez): Gattis hasn’t had a very good season, but he might be starting to turn it around. He has a 1.042 OPS over the past two weeks with three of his four homers on the season. San Francisco’s Suarez has shown a severe platoon split with a 513-point difference favoring righties (1.007 OPS). This is a great opportunity for Gattis to stay hot and start paying off on his relatively lofty draft status.

Why the Devils shouldn’t trade Keith Kinkaid

The team then made the聽playoffs each of the next two seasons, and the Maple Leafs set franchise records for wins and points in 2017-18.
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I was criticized eight years ago that this was just a Hail Mary pass eight years ago, said Ray Lesniak, the former state senator behind this fight, and now everybody is saying, ‘Of course!’聽

Lesniak is the one who deserves to take the biggest bow on Monday. Yes, Gov. Phil Murphy’s name was on the case, and yes, it was his predecessor, Chris Christie, who聽signed the state’s first law legalizing sports betting six years ago after voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution to allow it.聽

But it was Lesniak who saw the hypocrisy and the opportunity. It was him who kept pushing despite one legal setback after another knowing that, someday, the Supreme Court would have a say on this.聽

Game Youth Sean Davis Jersey A former member of the U.S. National Taekwondo team, he has worked as a consultant for 10 other NFL teams, most recently the Cleveland Browns in 2016. In joining New England, he will be reunited with Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who gave Kim his first job in the NFL with the Browns in 1992.

New England is looking to rejuvenate a pass rush that tied for seventh in the NFL with 42 sacks but still proved to be a sore spot in critical junctures, including a Super Bowl loss to the Eagles in which the defense never took down Nick Foles.

The Patriots signed former Atlanta Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn this offseason and traded for defensive tackle Danny Shelton, whom Kim worked with on the Browns in 2016. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower (torn pectoral) and defensive end Derek Rivers (torn anterior cruciate ligament) are also returning from season-ending injuries.

Some of the legislation 鈥?like one proposal in Pennsylvania聽鈥?requires a one-time license fee of up to $10 million, along with a tax of as much as 34% on gross receipts, something AGA Wade Davis Authentic Jersey senior vice president of public affairs Sara Slane told USA TODAY Sports could be a non-starter for potential operators.聽
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Another Gary Sanchez goof almost ruins it for Yankees

The Yankees escaped, thanks to the muscles of sluggers Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge , and because starting pitcher Luis Severino could work around not having his best stuff.

The problem was the Lions had double-teamed Jason most of the day and especially on key downs and distances. Nothing would be more key than this.

“Yeah, for sure. It’s great. It’s high,” Hill said of the competition in comments distributed by the team. “Obviously, those guys have played in Super Bowls and played at high levels and played big in playoff games, so the competition is definitely there, but I have all the faith in myself to go out there and compete at a high level, as well. It’ll only bring the best out of all of us. I think that’s how we want to approach every day, just playing at a high level, all of us and only good things can come from that.”

The group of backs got bigger last week when the Patriots drafted Sony Michel in the first round. He joins James White, Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead, Hill’s former Bengals teammate, as the backs Hill will be trying to beat out for playing time over the coming months.

He should be signed to a healthy second contract.

Buffalo hoped he’d be Erik Pears’ replacement at right tackle, but Kouandjio played just 25 games for Buffalo, starting eight.

The Bills didn’t have many options; the next true offensive tackle drafted was Billy Turner, by Miami at pick 67.

(After a few years, the Dolphins would have gladly traded Turner for Kouandjio… or, Turner for a few old tackling dummies.) Seantrel Henderson actually started 27 of 34 games at Kouandjio’s right tackle position but was mostly underwhelming (still, not bad for a seventh rounder).

“It’s just a bummer that you’re not going to be able to do a lot of the OTA stuff. I think that part’s fun. You get to get out there and compete with the guys,” Kuechly said, via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. “But it’s good to learn and watch from a distance, and help other guys out and get a new perspective on what the defense looks like. Just got to take advantage of it a different way.”

Kuechly had surgery in February to repair the labrum in his right shoulder. He had the same surgery two years ago after the Super Bowl on his left shoulder. That year, he missed all of OTAs but was ready for training camp, and the hope is that the timeline is the same.sabres_126

The 50 greatest NFL players from N.J.

He wanted to remove the stigma from the drug at a time when numerous states, including New Jersey,聽have pushed聽to decriminalize or legalize cannabis both medicinally and recreationally.
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It is quite possible that any decision won’t benefit James directly. He was on the fringes of the聽sport before taking on this fight, and look no further than Colin Kaepernick to see how the league responds to players who challenge the establishment.

James聽is hopeful that he’ll not only play again, but that he’ll be remembered as聽a pioneer. He believes he is on the right side of history, and that somebody needed to speak up for players who don’t want to聽spend their lives popping one pill after another.

Monday, he played a career-high 39 minutes, and they were all productive. McConnell finished with 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists and a plus/minus rating of plus-18, second-best in the game to Sixers’ All-Star Joel Embiid.

Game Womens Mike Singletary Jersey The Sixers were effusive in their praise for McConnell.

There’s an injection of energy that you immediately know you’re going to get with him, Brown said. He’s got sort of unusual characteristics that you wouldn’t think would be as successful in an NBA playoff game.

Said Simmons: The energy that TJ brought was huge… Everybody fed off that energy… it’s just something not everybody has, that fire within him. He’s not the Jay Prosch Youth jersey biggest guy, not the most athletic. But he has the energy he brings every night. He’s a huge part of this team.
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NFL finds itself in middle of unprosecuted sexual assault case from 2005

Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports that the NFL may give teams the ability to create their own anthem policies.
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Cam Newton Authentic Jersey Dubbed a compromise in the report, the NFL Players Association may not see it that way. As explained last month, the NFL gave players the right to protest during the national anthem. The league confirmed that right after Colin Kaepernick began his protests in 2016, and the NFL reiterated that right when the issue hit the fan with a flourish in 2017. Thus, as a matter of labor law, it may be impossible at this point for the NFL to unilaterally change the anthem policy by letting teams decide whether to rescind the players’ league-given right to protest.
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Of course, the NFL can change the policy, if it wants. The question would then become whether the NFLPA would fight any change to the policy via the available legal channels, arguing that the issue has morphed into a mandatory subject of collective bargaining.

Via our Curtis Crabtree, Avril has taken a job as the midday co-host of a radio show on 950 KJR-AM.

I’m excited to join the KJR team! Avril said. Seattle is home and I can’t wait to cover the best sports city in the world.

The station referred to Avril’s job as a next chapter, and comments from Seahawks coach Pete Carroll over the weekend suggested that Avril was, in fact, done with football. The Seahawks released him with a failed-physical designation last week.

Cliff was a fantastic player for us, Carroll said. We were very fortunate to get him back when we did years ago. And because of where he had been and what he had been through, he Daniel Pribyl Jersey came in with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove, and did nothing but great stuff. He has been a great leader and a bit of a statesman for us. He always says the right thing and stands for the right stuff and he has been a really high-character guy who you can just always count on.

Jets CEO: Drafting Darnold will be seen as moment Jets shifted to new gear

The Jets will give Sam Darnold a chance to convince them that he鈥檚 the right choice as the starting quarterback heading into the 2018 season, but one member of the team鈥檚 brass already sounds convinced that winning the job for Week One will be the least of Darnold鈥檚 accomplishments with the team.
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Game Jimmy Graham Jersey Jets chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson opted against taking a measured approach Tuesday when discussing what Darnold will mean to the Jets in 2018 and beyond.
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I honestly think [people] are going to look back 20 years from now and say this is the moment the Jets shifted into a new gear, that they became a great team, Johnson said, via Rich Cimini of ESPN.

To keep things fresh, ESPN is making some significant changes. Following Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden’s move to the Raiders, Kirk Herbstreit of College GameDay will join Kiper, Trey Wingo and front office insider Louis Riddick on ESPN’s main desk (Thursday, 8 p.m. ET).

For the first time, ESPN will present an NFL Draft-themed College GameDay right before its main coverage, starring Herbstreit, Rece Davis, Lee Corso, Desmond Howard and David Pollack. With Berman in semi-retirement, successor Trey Wingo will serve as ESPN lead anchor for the second straight year.

Samuels caught 201 passes and ran the ball 182 times over four years at North Carolina State, which led Steelers coach Mike Tomlin to call him a versatile guy after the draft. N.C. State assistant Eddie Faulkner went so far as to compare Samuels to the versatile guy the Steelers have used at running Joffrey Lupul Youth jersey back for the last five years.

He鈥檚 very similar to a Le鈥橵eon [Bell], to be honest with you, Faulkner said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He鈥檚 a really good receiver. He can run the ball. He does a lot of things well.

Comparing Samuels to Bell may be a stretch, but Samuels will get a chance to prove otherwise with more reps up for grabs as long as Bell stays away from the team this offseason in his ongoing push for a new contract.

If the Pelicans have to choose between breaking the bank for Cousins over many years and letting him go, they would be right to let him go. They have been that good without him. The alternate path is workable enough.

Jets’ Sam Darnold throws at rookie minicamp

Obviously too many quarterbacks right now, Bowles said when asked about the release of Petty. Hopefully Bryce can get with another team.

2008: After the Falcons go Matt Ryan, the Raiders draft Joe Flacco. Baltimore never wins that second Super Bowl thanks to Flacco’s magic. The Browns grab Chris Johnson with their 2008 first-round pick that they didn’t trade to move up for Quinn in 2007.

Mostly, the Giants were down to Sam Darnold or Josh Allen, with some Josh Rosen support in the building as well. Schwartz reports there wasn’t much love for Baker Mayfield among the new-look Giants power structure.

If it were up to Pat Shurmur, Allen would have been the quarterback pick — had the franchise been leaning in that direction.

The first round of the 2018 NFL Draft is over, which means it’s time for some early reactions on the selectiotigers_013-115x115ns.

The draft is a fun time because it brings so much promise to fans and to the teams themselves. We don’t really know how these picks will turn out until we see them on the field, but we can still analyze the decisions beforehand based on what we know already.

These selections are reversed in Sporting News’ latest mock draft, with Miller going No. 23 and Rudolph at No. 31. But the stock of the two QBs “behind” USC’s Sam Darnold, Wyoming’s Josh Allen, UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield keeps rising. Garoppolo and Brissett with their athleticism developed well behind Brady, and both Jackson and Rudolph fit the same profile.

Adapting to Jackson’s speedy, quick skill set would take patience, and returning offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels can get the most out of him. Jackson also has a growing edge over Rudolph, because what he did at Louisville translates better to the Patriots’ playbook. It makes sense for New England lean that way at No. 23, especially with the chance to also get Miller several picks later.

I was surprised they took a QB because I thought maybe in the third round you can get some really good players that can help this team win now. Nothing against Mason I think he is a great player. I don’t know him personally but I’m sure he is a great kid. I just don’t know how backing up or being the third, who knows where he’s going to fall in the depth chart but helps us win now but that’s not my decision to make that’s all the coaches and the GM and owner…if they feel like he can help our team, so be it but I was a little surprised.