Category Archives: Sports

NBA suspends Ibaka three games, Chriss one for altercation

Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka has been suspended three games without pay and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Marquese Chriss has been suspended one game without pay for their involvement in a fight during last night’s game between the Raptors and the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. Ibaka will lose $448,276 in total salary; Chriss will forfeit $22,111.

Ibaka and Chriss were involved in a fight with 1.0 second remaining in the third quarter. Ibaka and Chriss were tangled up with the former falling down. According to the Raptors forward, Chriss said something to him on the ground which prompted Ibaka to get up and shove Chriss from behind. What ensued were the two players throwing haymakers at one another — none of them actually connected — until Ibaka walked away and both players were separated by their fellow players.

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Ibaka’s suspension was based on his instigation of the physical altercation, throwing a punch at Chriss, and his prior history of fighting during NBA games.  Chriss’s suspension was based on throwing a punch at Ibaka.

Chriss will serve his suspension tonight when the Cavaliers visit the Philadelphia 76ers at Well Fargo Center, while Ibaka will begin serving his suspension on Thursday when the Raptors host the Los Angeles Lakers. Cleveland was ahead 91-77 at the time of the incident and went on to win 126-101.

Earlier in the game, Ibaka hit the court hard in the second quarter after being fouled by Chriss after a rebound.

Monday’s game marked the eighth ejection of Ibaka’s 10-year career and the third for Chriss in three seasons. The NBA previously suspended Ibaka after altercations with Robin Lopez in 2017 and with James Johnson last season. He was suspended one game after both of those cases.

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Browns acquire OBJ from Giants

In a blockbuster heard around the NFL on Tuesday night, the New York Giants have reportedly traded Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Giants will receive a first-round pick, a third-round pick and safety Jabril Peppers. That third-round pick originally came from the Patriots in the deal that sent defensive lineman Danny Shelton to New England. 

The Giants had just signed Beckham Jr. to a five-year, $95 million contract last summer, but he has conflicted with management over his conduct on and off the field. A three-time Pro Bowl selection, he had 77 catches for 1,052 yards and six touchdowns last season despite missing the final four games with a quad injury. The Patriots reportedly tried to trade for Beckham last offseason and Tom Brady invited him to New England in an Instagram post last week, part of frequent IG exchanges the star QB has had with the elite wide receiver.

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Beckham will now team with quarterback Baker Mayfield, who is coming off a spectacular rookie season in which he was runner-up to Giants running back Saquon Barkley as the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. The Browns rebounded from an 0-16 season to finish 7-8-1 and into playoff contention last season.  They’ll visit Foxboro this season. NFL schedules will be released in April. But with the Patriots rumored to be ticketed for the Sunday night game in Week 1, a Cleveland-New England season-opener at Gillette Stadium is a distinct possibility. 

With the addition of Beckham, the Browns hope to end a playoff drought that stretches to 2002. They last won a playoff game on Jan. 1, 1995 when they beat the Patriots in a Wild Card Game.  

Browns pass-rusher Myles Garrett, when asked if the Browns are the team to beat in the AFC North, told NFL Network, “Absolutely. I think the tide has turned, and we can’t wait to get out there and prove it.” Meanwhile, New York’s Super Bowl odds went from 40-1 to 80-1 and its NFC title odds from 20-1 to 40-1, according to Westgate.

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Dolphins bringing back WR Parker

Parker and the Dolphins on Tuesday afternoon were closing in on a new two-year, $10 million contract that could pay him as much as $13 million if he hits all of his incentives, sources tell the Miami Herald. The contract includes no guaranteed money beyond the first year.

The new deal supersedes Parker’s fifth-year option, which was to pay him $9.4 million in base salary this year.

He was never going to get that, not with his injury history (he’s missed 10 games in his career due to a litany of maladies) and production (just nine touchdowns in four seasons).

But Chris Grier still believes in Parker’s talent, and Brian Flores does too. Plus, Parker wanted to remain in Miami, even after some drama with Adam Gase last season. Gase refused to play Parker in several games last year even though Parker believed he was healthy enough to go. That prompted Parker’s agent Jimmy Gould to roast the Dolphins’ previous coach on the record.

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“Parker is not only healthy but wants to help this team win and the only real question that should be asked is how does Coach Gase justify his own incompetence,” Gould said after the Dolphins’ Oct. 21 loss to the Lions. “They averaged only 6.1 yards per pass catch. They needed Parker who is completely healthy and was in full participation all week and in warm ups this morning. “Parker is not only healthy but wants to help this team win and the only real question that should be asked is how does Coach Gase justify his own incompetence,” Gould said after the Dolphins’ Oct. 21 loss to the Lions. “They averaged only 6.1 yards per pass catch. They needed Parker who is completely healthy and was in full participation all week and in warm ups this morning.

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Mets re-assign Tebow to minor league camp

The New York Mets announced Tuesday that they assigned Tim Tebow to minor league camp, meaning he is unlikely to be on the major league roster when the regular season begins.

Tebow acquitted himself well in 15 spring training at-bats, hitting .267 with a .389 on-base percentage and one RBI.

The 31-year-old outfielder is set to enter his third full season in the Mets system. He is fully recovered from the broken hamate bone in his right hand that cut his 2018 season short, and he will look to work his way through New York’s minor league ranks in 2019 after ending last season at Double-A. After a standout college football career at Florida that saw him win one Heisman Trophy and two national championships, Tebow had an eventful-yet-fleeting NFL career. He spent two seasons with the Denver Broncos and one with the New York Jets before failing to make the roster of the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles in 2013 and 2015, respectively.

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He hit just .194 in 19 Fall League games in 2016 before hitting .226 with eight home runs and 52 RBI in 126 games between low- and high-A ball in 2017. Last season, Tebow took a significant step forward before getting injured.

In 84 games for the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, Tebow hit .273 with six homers and 36 RBI. He was also named an Eastern League All-Star.

Tebow seemed like he was potentially on his way to a Triple-A call-up, but a broken hand prevented him from getting that far. Per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, it is expected that Tebow will begin the 2019 campaign at Triple-A Syracuse, meaning he will be just one step from making his major league debut. Given slugger Yoenis Cespedes’ recent injury history, it isn’t outside the realm of possibility that Tebow could get called up to the big club at some point this season.

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Durant suffers ankle contusion in loss to Suns

Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant left Sunday’s 115-111 loss to the Phoenix Suns in the fourth quarter after turning his right ankle and did not return. 
Despite some initial concern inside Oracle Arena, Warriors coach Steve Kerr did not sound concerned about the injury after the game. 
“I think he’s going to be all right,” Kerr said after the game. “He had an ankle contusion, but I don’t think it’s bad. I talked to him briefly, he didn’t seem to think it was too bad.”

The play came with 6 minutes, 34 seconds left in regulation when Durant jumped up to make a pass and came down on Suns center Deandre Ayton’s foot. Durant stayed down for a moment before walking off the floor and going directly back to the locker room with members of the Warriors training staff and general manager Bob Myers. 

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The Warriors will monitor Durant’s ankle but officials did not believe an MRI was needed. 

Durant scored 25 points on the night. He entered Sunday averaging 27.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists.

Questions now surrounding Durant’s status couldn’t come at a worse time as the Warriors will have to face a piping hot Rockets team in Houston on Wednesday.

However, coach Steve Kerr expects Durant to be okay, reports from Oracle Arena said.

After tweaking his right ankle against Philadelphia, Durant didn’t miss any time. Throughout the 2018-19 season, Durant has put together averages of 27.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5.7 assists while shooting 36.0 percent from beyond the arc. Golden State dropped to 45-21 in the loss, but still have the best record in the Western Conference.

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Antonio Brown traded from Steelers to Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is reportedly heading to the Oakland Raiders.

Sources tell NFL Insider Adam Schefter that the Steelers have made a verbal agreement for Brown to be traded to the Raiders. The Raiders will reportedly trade a third- and fifth-round pick to the Steelers.

The Steelers spent the past two months publicly flailing, alternately leaking stories that suggested a trade hinged on getting a first-round pick, then suggesting it wouldn’t. They set a final offer deadline for Friday and then let that deadline come and go. After news conferences and statements from various levels of the organization seemingly contradicting each other, they were forced to settle for third- and fifth-round picks from the only team that seemed seriously interested in bidding for Brown throughout the entire process. After Brown’s second year in the league yielded an 1,108-yard season, the team gave the 2010 sixth-round pick a considerable raise by signing him to a five-year, $42 million extension with an $8.5 million signing bonus. The Steelers were only able to sign Brown after two seasons because he was drafted under the old CBA; had Brown been drafted after the 2010 season, the Steelers would have needed to wait for a third year before signing Brown to a deal.

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In Year 4, Brown broke out as one of the top wideouts in the league with a 1,499-yard campaign. From 2013 to ’16, Brown averaged — averaged — 120 catches, 1,578 yards and 11 touchdowns per season. Because he was under contract through the end of the 2017 season, though, the Steelers were able to pay Brown just $28.8 million over that four-year span, which is a little more than the annual average salary guys such as Robert Meachem and Laurent Robinson were getting in free agency.  Raiders entered the offseason with more than $60 million in cap room, so absorbing a new deal for Brown wasn’t going to be an issue. AB’s new contract is reportedly a three-year pact worth $54.1 million with $30 million guaranteed, which is a far cry from the zero dollars and zero cents that was remaining in guarantees on his Steelers deal.

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49ers don’t pick up option for veteran Garcon

After veteran wide receiver Pierre Garçon’s production fell off dramatically and his season ended on injured reserve for a second consecutive season, the odds were low the 49ers would pick up his option for the 2019 season.

The 49ers will make the expected move and not pick up the option on Garçon’s contract, the NFL Network reported on Thursday.

Garçon, 32, was scheduled to make $6 million in salary and bonuses this season. Instead of his scheduled salary cap figure of $8.275 million, he will count $7.2 million against the cap in “dead money,” according to overthecap.com. The total cap savings for the 49ers amounts to $505,000, but the 49ers do not have any future salary commitments to Garçon. Only the top 51 salaries count against the salary cap in the offseason, so after the savings of $1.075 million from the move to part ways with Garçon, the next player salary to move into the top 51 counts $570,000 against the 49ers’ cap.

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Garçon appeared in 16 games for the 49ers over the past two seasons after the club signed him to a five-year, $47.5 million contract ($17 million of which was fully guaranteed) on the first day of free agency in 2017.

He caught 40 passes for 500 yards in eight games in 2017 before a neck injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season, Garçon managed just 24 receptions for 286 yards and one touchdown in eight games last season before undergoing season-ending knee surgery.

Garçon previously played for Washington and Indianapolis. In 148 career games (131 starts), Garçon has 628 career catches for 7,854 yards and 38 touchdowns. He is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent on March 13. The team did tender one-year contracts Thursday to running back Raheem Mostert, a restricted free agent, and to linebacker Elijah Lee and defensive back Greg Mabin, who are exclusive rights free agents. Additionally, the team exercised the 2019 contract options for fullback Kyle Juszczyk, defensive lineman Cassius Marsh, linebacker Dekoda Watson and cornerback K’Waun Williams.

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Broncos trading Keenum to Redskins

The Broncos will have two trades to announce when the league year opens on Wednesday after agreeing to send quarterback Case Keenum to the Washington Redskins, a league source confirmed on Thursday.

Last month, the Broncos struck a deal to acquire quarterback Joe Flacco from the Baltimore Ravens for a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft.

Flacco’s arrival made Keenum expendable and his $21 million salary cap hit cumbersome.

The Redskins needed starting quarterback help because Alex Smith is unlikely to play this year because of a broken leg and his back-up, Colt McCoy, lasted only two games because of a leg injury.

The Broncos wanted salary cap relief because they have many needs to address in free agency. Thus, talks started at last week’s Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

In addition to Keenum going to the Redskins, the Broncos will give Washington their 2020 seventh-round pick in exchange for a 2020 sixth-round pick. Keenum was due $7 million in guaranteed salary this year and Broncos and Redskins will split that amount. The Broncos will also pay Keenum a $500,000 bonus. All told, his dead salary cap charge for the Broncos will be $6.5 million, which means the trade will create $14.5 million.

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“He had a good day and swung the bat well and got beat up left and right,” he said. “He took four or five balls off his body, a couple of balls in the dirt and got smoke in the elbow. He should be fine. He’s a catcher, but that was a tough day.”

On Monday, after he singled and mashed hit a two-run home run against the Mets, Bregman said his surgically repaired right elbow was feeling “awesome” with “no pain, no tightness, nothing.”

Wednesday, after another minor setback, all again appeared well. Hinch said Bregman sent a text message to someone in the dugout during the game stating he would be ready to play on Thursday. “That made me feel better,” Hinch said, “but I’m still not going to play him.”

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Astros’ Bregman exits with back stiffness

Astros All-Star third baseman Alex Bregman is expected to return to the lineup Friday against the Cardinals after leaving Wednesday’s 11-5 win over the Marlins at Ballpark of the Palm Beaches with back stiffness.

Astros manager AJ Hinch said Bregman reported stiffness in his back after his at-bat in the first inning and was removed from the game. Bregman had surgery on Jan. 11 to remove bone chips from his right elbow and was playing in only his third game of the spring.

“He sort of begged and pleaded to stay in the game, but I took him out,” Hinch said. “He won’t play [Thursday], but he’ll be in there the next day, I think. He sent a text to the dugout in the middle of the game that he was ready to go for [Thursday]. That made me feel better, but I’m still not going to play him.” Meanwhile, Astros catcher Robinson Chirinos, who left the game in the fifth inning when he was hit on the left elbow by a pitch, is unharmed, Hinch said. Chirinos homered in the third inning.

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“He had a good day and swung the bat well and got beat up left and right,” he said. “He took four or five balls off his body, a couple of balls in the dirt and got smoke in the elbow. He should be fine. He’s a catcher, but that was a tough day.”

On Monday, after he singled and mashed hit a two-run home run against the Mets, Bregman said his surgically repaired right elbow was feeling “awesome” with “no pain, no tightness, nothing.”

Wednesday, after another minor setback, all again appeared well. Hinch said Bregman sent a text message to someone in the dugout during the game stating he would be ready to play on Thursday. “That made me feel better,” Hinch said, “but I’m still not going to play him.”

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TE Boyle, Ravens agree to new contract

Boyle have been eligible for unrestricted free agency a few weeks and was likely to draw some interest from other teams.

Boyle, that turned 26 would be the most underrated of the Ravens’ offensive novices that struck free agency. A valuable blocker, Boyle lined as a tight end-fullback hybrid, helping Baltimore rush to an NFL-best 4,297 yards within the last two seasons (when he started an overall total of 24 matches ). His critical halt last season in a 26-16 win in Atlanta sprung quarterback Lamar Jackson to get a 13-yard touchdown run.

Even a fifth-round selection (171st overall) in 2015,” Boyle has been a better receiver than his numbers would indicate. Last week he caught 23 passes and rated out since the tight ending in the AFC North. Boyle, 26, led all Ravens tight ends in playing time last season, featuring prominently as a versatile 270-pound blocker and occasional receiver in the team’s run-heavy scheme. According to Pro Football Focus, Boyle led all tight ends in run-blocking snaps in the regular season’s final seven weeks — the seven weeks in which quarterback Lamar Jackson started after taking over for Joe Flacco.

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“Watch Nick Boyle,” Harbaugh said in late November, after he was asked what factors had led to the team’s dramatic turnaround in rushing success. “That’s a big part of it. That should have been in your multiple-choice question right there.”

Boyle’s first two seasons were fraught up with issues. He was suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs, sidelining him for an overall total of 14 games. That prompted coach John Harbaugh to state Boyle wouldn’t normally function as team if he continued to” double down on dumb” Boyle stayed out of trouble and missed just one match. His 624 snaps season were 229 significantly more than some other tight end on the Ravens roster.

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