Category Archives: Sports

Kicker Mason Crosby, Packers reach 3 year deal

The Green Bay Packers and kicker Mason Crosby have reached to a new three-year deal, per his agent Mike McCartney

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the contract is worth $12.9 million.

Crosby enjoyed a career-high 91.7 percent field-goal success rate (22-of-24) last year. He was a perfect 14-of-14 from 39 or fewer yards.

The 35-year-old out of the University of Colorado will be entering his 14th campaign in the NFL next year, all with Green Bay.

Crosby won Super Bowl XLV with the Packers in 2011, going 3-of-4 on field goals and hitting all 16 of his extra points in the postseason.

The signing does not come as a surprise considering that Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst told Mike Spofford of Packers.com that he wanted Crosby back.

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“I think when you have a guy who has been through the fire like Mason has, for a guy in my position it makes us feel very comfortable,” Gutekunst said. “He obviously had an excellent year last year. He’s a big part of our team, a big part of what we’re trying to do here. I’m very hopeful that will reach the right ending.”

A veteran of 10 NFL postseasons, Crosby has shined when the lights are brightest, hitting 26 of 29 playoff field goals and all 65 of his extra points.

He notably drilled field goals of 56 and 51 yards in the final 1:33 of a 2017 NFC Divisional Round Game in a road upset over the Dallas Cowboys.

He’s also been a reliable source of points for 14 years as he hasn’t missed a match since the Pack picked him in the sixth round of the 2007 draft.

Crosby and the Packers will look to build off a 13-3 NFC North-winning campaign that saw the team reach the NFC Championship Game.

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Kyrie Irving to have season-ending shoulder surgery

Kyrie Irving tried to keep playing through pain, a cortisone shot no longer providing enough relief.

Eventually, he and the Brooklyn Nets decided it’s best to get his right shoulder taken care of now and get healthy for next season — when Irving and Kevin Durant can lastly play together.

Irving will have arthroscopic surgery and miss the rest of the campaign, Nets general manager Sean Marks said Thursday.

“Kyrie mentioned he was playing through pain and you have to give him a lot of credit for that.

He wants to be out there and playing with his guys,” Marks said. “But there comes a point where you say enough is enough and again, it goes to long-term health. And the best thing that (we) could do is to shut it down and get this taken care of once and for all.”

Coach Kenny Atkinson said the point guard was still having trouble with the shoulder that started troubling him in October and sidelined him for 26 matches earlier this season.

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“Some days it was OK and other days it bothered him,” Atkinson said before the Nets faced the Philadelphia 76ers. “Obviously, it is difficult to perform under those circumstances.”

Irving said pain in the shoulder initially worsened after a game on Nov. 4. The Nets then went on a five-game road trip, where Irving continued to play until the pain got so bad he was having trouble lifting his shoulder.

He got a cortisone shot on Dec. 24 and was able to return on Jan. 12, but he acknowledged that surgery might still be necessary. Irving met with a specialist this week and by deciding to have a procedure now, his first season in Brooklyn ends after just 20 games.

Irving averaged 27.4 points, with a 50-point game on opening night and a 54-point performance versus Chicago on Jan. 31. He played only one more game after that.

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Detroit Lions release DT Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison

Damon “Snacks” Harrison held out of OTAs and minicamps during last year’s offseason to get a contract extension from the Detroit Lions.

He eventually got that extension. Now, the team is releasing the former All-Pro defensive tackle, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

One of the top interior run-stuffers in the league for years, Harrison posted 49 total tackles last campaign — his lowest total since his rookie year — for a Detroit defense that was 13th in the league against the run.

The Lions will save $6,718,750 in salary cap space by releasing Harrison. Detroit had a cap hit of $11,718,750 on Harrison if they kept the defensive tackle on the roster for the 2020 season.

Harrison started 15 matches for the Lions in 2019, finishing with 49 tackles, two sacks and three passes defensed. He had 5.5 sacks and 49 tackles in 25 games with the Lions, who acquired him for a conditional 2019 fifth-round draft-pick from the New York Giants prior to the 2018 trade deadline. A First Team All-Pro with the Giants in 2016, Harrison had 86 tackles and 2.5 sacks at nose tackle that season.

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Harrison tearfully told reporters at the end of last campaign that he is considering retirement this offseason, and that is reportedly still a possibility.

If this is indeed it for Harrison, it will have been an impressive career for a player who was undrafted out of the NAIA’s William Penn University in Iowa (student population: 1,050).

Harrison’s release continues the Lions’ trend of parting ways with key defensive players. The Lions traded long-time safety Quandre Diggs (and a 2021 seventh-round pick) to the Seattle Seahawks for a 2020 fifth-round pick at the trade deadline last season, just one year after Diggs signed a three-year, $20.4 million contract extension.

The Lions have also talked to multiple teams about a Darius Slay trade this offseason after fielding offers for the Pro Bowl cornerback at the 2019 trade deadline. Slay is about to enter the final year of a four-year, $48.15 million extension, becoming a free agent after the season. 

The Lions are looking to rebuild a defense that finished 26th in points allowed and 31st in yards allowed. Trading Harrison just expedited that process.

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Fury will consider “walking away” once contract up

With his long-awaited rematch versus Deontay Wilder less than a week away, Tyson Fury is considering when he might exit the sport of boxing.

The 31-year-old former heavyweight champion told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani that it might come earlier than many would expect:

“I’ve not got an age, but I’ve got three fights left on my contract with ESPN,” Fury, 31, told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani on Monday. “And after that, I will seriously think about walking away.”

When asked why he is considering walking away during the prime of his career, Fury seemed to indicate that he cared more about reaching the top of the mountain than staying at the top:

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“Because I don’t need to fight anymore,” he said. “What is the point? What am I going to gain from it? When I beat Wilder on Saturday, I’ll have completed the game. The game will be completed. I’ll have won every single belt there is to win in the game, from minor to major, and I’ll have won The Ring magazine belt twice — becoming only the second man in history to do that, me and Muhammad Ali.

“… Even after this win on Saturday, there’s nothing more to do. Nothing more to be gained.”

Fury retiring in his early 30s would be a surprise, though his career has hardly followed a conventional arc.

After shocking the world by ending Wladimir Klitschko’s reign over the heavyweight division, Fury took a hiatus from boxing that lasted two and a half years while dealing with depression and other personal problems. He would face Wilder soon after his return and draw the WBC champ in a classic fight, and their rematch has loomed ever since.

In the meantime, Fury has made appearances with the WWE and even flirted with facing UFC fighters.

A victory for Fury over Wilder would cement him as the undisputed top dog in the heavyweight division between defeating Wilder and Anthony Joshua’s stumble versus Andy Ruiz Jr. A loss would still leave him as a highly desired fighter, though it would be hard to not think what could have been.

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Rams promote Sophie Luoto to director of football operations

The LA Rams have long been the leader of breaking barriers in the NFL. The team is breaking another by promoting Sophie Luoto to Director of Football Operations.

The LA Rams continue the age-old tradition cherished by the city of Los Angeles of removing barriers in the professional sports scene. And so it is with great pleasure, and no surprise, that the LA Rams will be promoting Sophie Luoto to the Director of Football Operations.

Luoto graduated from U.C.L.A in 2010 with the dual major of mass communication and history.  Per the LA Rams Media guide published December 4, 2016, Luoto joined the team in 2015. She initially served as the liason between the COO and all LA Rams business personnel. 

She was likely heavily involved in the logistics of moving the then St. Louis Rams back to the Los Angeles area., quite a feat unto itself.

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Luoto will fill the vacated position of Bruce Warwick, who departed the organization after 10 years to become the chief of staff for coach Mike Norvell at Florida State University in December 2019.

With her promotion, Luoto will become the highest-ranking woman in the Rams organization and is among select few women in high-ranking football operations positions across the NFL.

Her duties involve directing team travel, which includes team travel for NFL matches, as well as all associated travel of scouts and prospects to various workouts, events, and destinations. She also will direct operations at the team practice facility as well as the team’s training camp at UC-Irvine.

Luoto, who graduated from UCLA, has spent the last four campaigns with the Rams serving as a manager in football operations. She previously worked at California-Berkeley as the director of recruiting operations.

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Clippers to land bought-out Reggie Jackson

After agreeing to a contract buyout with the Detroit Pistons, guard Reggie Jackson plans to sign with the LA Clippers upon clearing waivers, league sources told ESPN.

Jackson had become the highest-impact player available in the buyout marketplace. Several compatitors had interest in him, but his focus had been on the Clippers in the event he was able to secure a contract buyout, league sources said.

Jackson, 29, will play a significant role on the Clippers’ second unit, where coach Doc Rivers is eager to implement Jackson’s playmaking and scoring abilities on a roster that could be the NBA’s deepest.

Jackson was completing the final season of a five-year, $80 million contract with the Pistons. The Pistons and Jackson’s agent, Aaron Mintz of CAA Sports, completed the buyout terms earlier Tuesday before reaching an agreement with the Clippers on Tuesday afternoon.

Jackson has been a longtime friend of Clippers star Paul George and had long hoped to play with him, sources said.

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Jackson has averaged 14.9 points and 5.1 assists in 14 games this season. He missed several weeks to start the season due to a back injury.

In nine NBA campaigns with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Pistons, he has averaged 12.9 points, 4.4 assists and 3.0 rebounds a game. Jackson was a key performer in a backup role to Russell Westbrook and James Harden in Oklahoma City earlier in his career.

Jackson is expected to be one of the top guards available in summer free agency.

The moves leaves just Derrick Rose and Brandon Knight as the teams’ only true point guard options but expect two-way player Jordan Bone to have more of a role down the road.  Also Bruce Brown should see plenty of time once again at PG like he did when Jackson was injured.

This also opens up a potential reunion with Tim Frazier who was released when the team made the two for one deal at the deadline moving Andre Drummond to Cleveland for John Henson and Knight.

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Cardinals´ Miles Mikolas likely to miss start of season with elbow injury

St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas will receive a platelet-rich plasma injection in his ailing throwing arm, likely delaying his regular-season debut for about one month.

A 2018 All-Star, Mikolas received a similar injection after last season to treat a flexor tendon issue.

St. Louis manager Mike Shildt stated Tuesday that the injection will keep Mikolas from throwing for three to four weeks. Once he is cleared to throw, Mikolas will have to restart his throwing program from scratch.

“It gives us a better chance to be able to get him off to a healthy start and get what he’s dealing with behind him,” Shildt said.

The Cardinals scratched Mikolas from his second scheduled bullpen session of the spring. An MRI done over the last few days showed the arm to be no better or worse than during a similar exam taken following the 2019 season.

It’s possible that Mikolas will stay in Jupiter when the Cardinals break camp in late March.

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“I think the plan is still evolving, quite candidly,” Shildt said.

Mikolas was expected to receive the injection later Tuesday.

“It’s a setback, but it’s not anything that we can’t overcome,” Shildt said. “It’s going to ultimately be good for Miles. We now move forward and adjust.”

Mikolas signed with St. Louis before the 2018 campaign following a successful stint in Japan. He went 18-4 with a 2.83 ERA during his first season with the Cardinals and earned a trip to the All-Star Game.

He couldn’t duplicate that success last season, going 9-14 with a 4.16 ERA. Mikolas acknowledged that the same arm issue bothered him “from time to time” late last season.

Mikolas started 32 games in each of the past two regular seasons and made two post-season starts last year, wining one. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection to treat his arm soreness after the Cardinals were eliminated from the playoffs.

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Houston Rockets to sign verterans Green, Carroll

The Houston Rockets are keeping busy during the All-Star break, with plans to sign veteran forwards DeMarre Carroll and Jeff Green, according to multiple media reports Monday.

Green, who has been a free agent since Utah Jazz waived him on December 24, is estimated to sign a 10-day contract as early as Tuesday, according to league sources at ESPN.

Sources indicate he will be offered a deal for the rest of the season if he feels comfortable enough to commit to it.

Carroll, who took a buyout from the San Antonio Spurs on Monday after playing only 15 games (averaging 2.2 points, 2.1 rebounds a game), needs to clear waivers before signing with the Rockets.

“I don’t know what went wrong, what happened,” Carroll said via the San Antonio Express-News about his short stint with the Spurs after signing as a free agent last summer.

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“I felt like San Antonio was going to be a great place for me, for my talents, but it didn’t work out.”

Carroll, 33, is in his 11th NBA campaign, having started his career with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2009 after they made him a first-round pick in that year’s NBA draft.

During the 2010-11 season, he played for the Rockets, and also had stints with the Denver Nuggets (2011-12), Utah Jazz (2011-13), Atlanta Hawks (2013-15), Toronto Raptors (2015-17) and Brooklyn Nets (2017-19). In 569 career games, he has averaged 9.0 points and 4.3 rebounds.

The six-foot-eight Green, also 33, has career averages of 13.0 points and 4.4 rebounds a game while playing for eight NBA franchises, beginning his 13-year career with the Seattle SuperSonics in 2007-08.

During his time with the franchise that became the Oklahoma City Thunder, Green was team-mates with current Rockets players James Harden and Russell Westbrook. His other stops included the Boston Celtics, Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards.

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D.J Humphries to re-sign with Cardinals for 3 years

The Arizona Cardinals reportedly are hanging on to 2015 first-round pick D.J. Humphries. 

According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the 26-year-old offensive tackle has agreed to a three-year, $45 million contract with $29 million guaranteed and $30 million to be paid over the first two years.

Humphries was set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Cardinals general manager Steve Keim hinted that a deal was imminent on last Friday while appearing on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM (h/t Cards Wire’s Jess Root): “I would just say that I’m very optimistic that D.J. will return.”

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In December, Kyle Odegard of the team’s official website relayed that Humphries was Pro Football Focus’ 23rd-best player at his position with a minimum of 500 snaps. 

The Cardinals ended 2019 at 5-10-1, but there is reason for optimism in the near future with 2019 No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray at quarterback—especially with Humphries locked in to continue protecting him.

Humphries will also play a large role in Arizona solidifying its identity on the ground after finishing as the 10th-best rushing offense last campaign.

“I’d like to continue to be a physical run team,” Kingsbury told ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss last week. “I think when you can mix in the quarterback having his 40, 50 [yards]—we’re never going to run him 20, 25 times—but guys are playing at a physical level on the perimeter, up front, and it’s paying off.”

Humphries is coming off his regular season in which he appeared in all 16 matches. The Florida product didn’t play during his 2015 rookie campaign before playing 13 games in 2016 and being limited to five in 2017 and nine in 2018 with persistent injuries. Humphries made $9.63 million last year in his option season.

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Barca granted permission to sign striker

Barcelona have finally been given authorization to sign a new forward to replace the injured Ousmane Dembélé.

The Frenchman underwent surgery on a torn hamstring and is expected to miss close to six months of action, while striker Luis Suárez is also sidelined with a knee injury, so Barça have applied to the RFEF for special permission to sign a replacement outside of the transfer window.

Now, Mundo Deportivo state that the RFEF have granted Barcelona permission to bring in a new striker, so La Blaugrana now have 15 days to find a new striker.

They are allowed to sign someone from another Spanish side or a player who is currently without a club.

Getafe’s Ángel Rodríguez, Alavés’ Lucas Pérez and Real Betis’ Loren Morón have all been suggested, but MD believe that Leganés striker Martin Braithwaite is the most likely candidate to arrive at Camp Nou in the coming weeks.

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The club have long been linked with pretty much every striker in Spain, but director Guillermo Amor confirmed (via ​Sport) that there was a delay in gaining permission from the RFEF.

Before the ruling, he said: “A lot has been said but we still don’t have the green light from the RFEF to sign. We’ve still not received anything official. If we do, the club will take the decision that has to be taken.

“First we have to see if we get authorisation. What’s clear is that the club have been working on this a lot. We work hard every day, analysing and improving and, when the moment comes, we will do what’s best for the club. That’s not in doubt.” 

A possible reason for the delay could have been ​La Lig​a’s ambiguity over Dembélé’s injury. It was suggested that league officials were not convinced the winger will miss six months of action, so they were working closely with a specialist team to try and identify whether such a layoff would actually make sense.

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