Texans pick up Kevin Johnson’s option for 2019

Monday’s been a busy day for 2015 first-round defensive backs getting their fifth-year contract options exercised.

Jewell’s college accomplishments don’t translate well to the NFL because he’s a Will/Mike linebacker tweener. He plays well in space, though he doesn’t have the high-end lateral quickness to cover Alvin Kamara types or top tight ends out of the backfield. He can succeed as an undersized middle linebacker if the linemen in front of him keep blockers away, but Jewell can get engulfed if a guard gets his pads into him.

Jewell doesn’t project as a Pro Bowler, but he’s a great value here as a rotation linebacker and priority special teamer. He’ll find a way to be productive when he gets on the field as long as the Broncos don’t expect him to be Luke Kuechly. Inside linebacker depth is an issue for the Broncos. They still have bigger needs on offense, but Jewell does fit their defensive personality. Grade: C-plus.

“There was a verbal disagreement, there was NO physical altercation. The two are in the middle of a divorce and it is a hard time for both parties.”

Police in Los Angeles are still investigating the matter.

Athleticism: Excellent. Nyheim Hines was the fastest running back at the combine, with a 4.38-second 40.

Every-down rushing: Fair. Hines is decisive between the tackles and won’t shy away from contact. But he’s not really designed to be a workhorse.

Open-field rushing: Exceptional. Hines is a threat to score with every touch. He obviously has the speed to run away from defenses, but he’s also got a wicked spin move and a jump cut.

Receiving value: Excellent. Hines started his college career as a slot receiver and often operated out of the slot in 2017. He can run the full route tree.

Pass protection: Fair. It’s not something you want him to do much, but he’ll get in his defender’s way.

Proposed rule could allow officials at NFL office to eject players after instant replay

Egregious “non-football acts” could be subject for ejection next season even if referees don’t call for expulsion on the field.

Troy Vincent, executive vice president of football operations, told USA Today Sports on Monday that the league’s competition committee will propose a rule allowing the league office in New York to eject players after instant replay.

“We are looking to address what’s obvious to coaches, players and fans,” Vincent said.

The rule, which will need 24 votes of support from owners to pass next week in Orlando, could also be used to identify players who spark fights.

Pirates: RHP Gerrit Cole (11-8, 3.99 ERA) goes for back-to-back wins over Cincinnati as the Pirates open a three-game series against RHP Luis Castillo (2-7, 3.26) and the Reds on Friday. Cole threw seven innings and homered to lead Pittsburgh to a 1-0 win at Cincinnati last week, after going 0-6 in his first nine career starts against the Reds.

Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (5-4, 3.45 ERA) goes to the mound as Chicago opens a four-game series against Atlanta. LHP Sean Newcomb (2-7, 4.36) starts for the Braves.

The safety expressed that he wished to retire last September, but after talking with management, he was placed on the reserve/left squad, meaning he would have to sit out the season, per ESPN.

Cravens suffered a concussion in Week 4 of the 2016 season, which caused him to miss two games, and then missed the final three games of the season with an elbow injury.

The 2016 second-round pick did have a strong rookie season compiling 34 tackles, one sack and five passes defended.

Orioles: DH Mark Trumbo (quad strain) is expected to start for Double-A Bowie on Tuesday and Wednesday. … RHP Alex Cobb could make his season debut Saturday in Boston, Showalter said. Cobb missed most of spring training before signing as a free agent in late March.

Cubs delay home opener vs. Pirates because of snow

The Chicago Cubs’ home opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates has been postponed because of snow.

The Cubs tried pushing back the scheduled start time by an hour, and workers used handheld blowers to melt the snow on the tarp, but the accumulation and cold temperatures were too much to overcome. Snow covered the seats on the lower level and the playing surface at Wrigley Field in a scene more reminiscent of December than April.

About 10 miles to the south, the Chicago White Sox were hosting the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday in a game delayed briefly by the wintry weather. This is Tampa Bay’s only trip to Chicago this season.

“Opening Day is always very special,” Maddon said. “We’ve already played nine or 10 games, so it’s a little different. You’d rather go out there with your uniform on and not five layers of clothing, [though].”

Pittsburgh is off to a surprising 7-2 start. It took three of four against Cincinnati in its previous series.

“Josh, I think, without a doubt, is the number one quarterback in the draft. He’s a franchise-changer,” Mora told SI. “He’s got the ability to have an immediate impact. His arm talent, intelligence, and his ability to see the game and diagnose the game is rare. He’d come to the sidelines after a play and it was uncanny he could right away say exactly why he made every decision.

“He needs to be challenged intellectually so he doesn’t get bored. He’s a millennial. He wants to know why. Millennials, once they know why, they’re good. Josh has a lot of interests in life. If you can hold his concentration level and focus only on football for a few years, he will set the world on fire. He has so much ability, and he’s a really good kid.”

Rosen is expected to go in the early part of the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft on April 26. He could be taken by any one of several teams, including the Browns, who have the Nos. 1 and 4 overall picks.

But Mora believes former USC quarterback Sam Darnold would be better suited for the Browns.cardinals_107

Judge issues warrant for Aldon Smith’s arrest

Aldon Smith just missed his day in court for violating a protective order stemming from an alleged domestic violence incident with his fiancee… and there’s a bench warrant out for his arrest.

We broke the story… the troubled NFL star was arrested and charged with 4 misdemeanors — including domestic violence — after allegedly beating up his fiancee on March 3.

Jaire Alexander, another first-round talent, reiterated Thursday what he said at the combine: He believes he is the best cornerback in the draft and, as such, should go in the first round.

Alexander also chose not to run the 40-yard dash, but he did run at the combine and said afterward he was happy with that time. His best of two trials was 4.38 seconds.

The deal means that Hall will be staying put in the Bay Area after playing for the 49ers in 2017. Hall is 33 years old and will turn 34 in December, but new coach Jon Gruden has shown a predilection for signing older players this offseason. Previously this month, the Raiders signed aging vets such as wide receiver Jordy Nelson, running back Doug Martin, and safety Reggie Nelson.

Running back Malik Williams also ran in the 4.5 range, as did cornerback Trumaine Washington. Linebacker Stacy Thomas had a chance to go through drills as well, though he said as a middle linebacker, he’d like to do more inside linebacker drills than outside before the draft.

Neither Geron Christian nor Trevon Young, who ran at the combine, ran Thursday. Pass rusher James Hearns appeared to run a 4.80 and a 4.73, an improvement from his 4.89 at the combine.

Asked who would run a faster 40 between him and Jackson, Alexander hesitated.

The Broncos might not even have a shot at the presumed top four quarterbacks in the draft.

That’ll be wide open, Elway said, via ESPN’s Jeff Legwold. … I’m betting we won’t know what direction we’re going to go until probably the day of [the first round] or the day before.

With the Browns owning the No. 1 and No. 4 selections, it’s possible a team could leap ahead of Elway to swipe a QB before Denver is on the clock. Elway also could be in a position where he needs to trade up one spot if his QB of choice is on the board at four and Cleveland is lining up a trade with another team — say the Buffalo Bills.

We’ll go through the scenarios and see where they fall, Elway said of Denver’s draft options. … [The quarterbacks] all have their strengths and their weaknesses… it’s a good crop of young quarterbacks, and I think the chances of these guys all being pretty successful are pretty good.

Whether those QBs are all good enough for Elway to select his second first-round signal-caller in three years ( Paxton Lynch, 2016) remains to be seen.

It really doesn’t bother me that much because I know the people that say some of these things have never actually taken a snap behind center, never had a 300-pound lineman about to hit them while they have to read the defense downfield, Mayfield said. If I was worried too much about it, I’d be worried about the wrong things. But I do use some of it as motivation. I can listen to all the people patting me on the back, or I can listen to the people saying I need to get better. I know I need to get better, or else there would be nobody saying that. Mayfield is expected to be the third or fourth quarterback off the board on April 26, though he should still land in top 15 picks in what’s a stacked quarterback draft class.

MLB free agency: Rockies, Carlos Gonzalez reportedly near one-year deal

Carlos Gonzalez and the Rockies are nearing a one-year deal, according to FanRag Sports.

Gonzalez is coming off of one of the worst years of his career where he posted a .262 batting average with 14 home runs and 57 RBIs. The 14 home runs and 57 RBIs were career-worsts in years in which he played at least 100 games.

As for Honeywell, he’s one of the best pitchers in the minors, and probably could have been pitching in Tampa Bay last summer. The Rays are almost definitely going to leave him behind when they break camp so that they can keep him in Triple-A until the Super 2 deadline passes and they gain an extra year of control when he’s called up. We’re going to put him in the rotation because he’s good and we’re actually trying to win some ballgames.

“We’re aware of the video, but we don’t have any comment beyond that,” said a team spokesman, via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan .

Beckham’s season was cut short last year by a broken ankle. The Giants picked up his option, so he’s in the final year of his rookie contract and looking to secure his future with a pricey long-term deal.

Beckham has ponied up a total of $221,546 in fines over the course of his career for everything from fighting to excessive celebration, per Spotrac . He’s never faced league discipline for any violations of the league’s substance abuse policy.

It’s time for coach Mike Zimmer to replenish his defensive line depth , as Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen are free agents. It will take some time for Bryan to put it all together as a pass-rusher in the NFL, but his athleticism and versatility?to play either tackle or end will allow him to develop?in the Vikings’ scheme.

Matt Harvey pitches two scoreless innings in second spring appearance

Matt Harvey thinks he is on the right track as he tries to regain the form that made him an All-Star in 2013.

The oft-injured New York Mets pitcher allowed two hits over three scoreless innings against the Detroit Tigers on Monday in his second spring training appearance.

“Being able to go three against that lineup was a good test,” Harvey said. “There were a couple of pitches that were here or there that weren’t mechanically as I wanted, but I was able to bounce back pretty quickly and get it under control.”

Brandon Nimmo hit his second homer of spring training leading off the first inning against RHP Mike Fiers, a drive just right of the batter’s eye. … Jose Reyes drove in a pair of runs with a double in the seventh, while Travis d’Arnaud doubled in a run in the first. … LHP Jason Vargas is to start Tuesday against the Houston Astros and RHP Collin McHugh, and RHP Zack Wheeler is to pitch Wednesday against the New York Yankees.

Various talks and discussions from representatives of the media are being held, including ‘ very own Sadhbh O’Shea taking part the panel on women’s cycling.Made his debut against UNC Greensboro posting a game-high 28 points, eight rebounds, five steals and three blocks …All of that stuff was place last Saturday night for the Texans – minus one very important additive – and that was the presence of any significant strikes by the flimsy offense.Doby, a left-handed batter, swung from the heels and missed Harrist’s first pitch.I want to be there for kids, and be a good place I can give back and help another .

Blues defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 3 game seven of the first round of the 2016 Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center.While the Ducks ended up on the end of a 2 decision against the St.Look at Vladimir Tarasenko for example.O’Neill viewed this as a violation of earlier guarantees that Bush would refrain from nation building endeavors during his time office.

With Williams off the market the focus likely will shift to Grizzlies guard Tyreke Evans, who has drawn the interest of several teams, including the Celtics and the Cavaliers.

Markkanen came of Arizona with some immediate pressure placed on his shoulders. The No. 7 overall pick in last year’s draft already faced questions about his defensive ability and aggression, and on top of that, he became the centerpiece of the Jimmy Butler trade on draft night.

The biggest risk to Simmons blowing up again on Thursday is teammate Joel Embiid, who also has a terrific matchup to work with.

To be out there with some of the best of the best and the best at your position бн It’s not a competitive event but it really is, if you think about it, Barkley said. I just want to do the best I possibly can to not only challenge myself but challenge the other backs in there, too.

I’m not just going to bash anybody that decides not to (participate). Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. But me, I think it’s important. It helps you see where you’re at personally and against competitors who are competing for the same spot as you.

According to the New York Post’s original report on the lawsuit, a helmet in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton that was supposedly worn by Manning in Super Bowl XLII against the Patriots is one of the dozens of fake items.

Plus, on Thursday he faces a Chicago Bulls squad that has struggled against elite, multi-talented big men this season. The last time he faced the Bulls, Simmons turned in a monster triple-double with 19 points, 14 rebounds, 12 assists and 3 blocks.

Sixth overall on the Player Rater. The owner of 15.69 Player Rater points. A top-five spot in ESPN’s rest-of-season rankings.

How could Antetokounmpo be considered a fantasy disappointment? Because he is a player with a 1.9 ADP who is giving No. 6 production.

A shortfall of four slots in the first round is impactful. It is disappointing. If you invest a second-overall pick in a player, you expect at least 18-19 Player Rater points in return. We’re talking about a 17 percent shortfall. That’s significant, especially for a high draft pick.

Lonzo drills treyLonzo Ball tips rebound to the Lakers leading to him knocking down his third 3-pointer of the night.
Since Dec. 12, Ball has shot 36-of-86 (41.8 percent) from 3-point range. The Lakers prioritize getting the rookie stronger in the offseason and having Ball build more muscle to prevent injuries more so than his shooting form.49ers_172

Malcolm Jenkins slapped Tom Brady’s butt and yelled, ‘c’mon Tom!’ after his Super Bowl drop

Tom Brady is a quarterback, not a wide receiver. Eagles cornerback Malcolm Jenkins made sure to remind him of that at Super Bowl 52.

Brady found himself wide open after handing the ball off to James White on third-and-5 and sneaking past a disinterested Philadelphia defense. He broke into the flat behind former teammate Chris Long while White pitched the ball to Danny Amendola, then stretched out to reel in a high pass that looked like a game-breaking gain for the Patriots.

The Eagles got to roast Brady on the other side of the ball 12 minutes later. Facing fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line, quarterback Nick Foles dialed up a play that pushed him to the line of scrimmage as a receiver. Much like Brady had before, he slipped past the Patriot defense unnoticed. Unlike Brady, he caught his on-target pass from Trey Burton — giving the Eagles a 22-12 lead at halftime and making the most of a 70-yard, clock-draining drive.

“Although I wish I could have contributed more to help my team win, I have to get ready for the next opportunity,” Butler wrote. “Moving forward I will do what I have always done to work hard, and prepare for next season to be the best that I can be on and off the field.”

Butler had been demoted in practice leading up to the game, according to Kevin Duffy of MassLive.com. Johnson Bademosi, who started in just three games for the Patriots during the 2017 season, got more playing time than Butler after Butler played 98 percent of the team’s defensive snaps this season.

Despite his statement, it’s still a weird situation. We don’t know much about what went on, and Butler’s statement is more about appreciation and being peaceful than revealing anything.jays_066_04c0bbb73f469260-180x180

Winter Olympics medal count 2018: Norway running away with overall lead

With one week to go in the 2018 Winter Olympics, Norway has established itself as the top medal leader. As of Sunday evening, the Norwegians have 26 medals total, well ahead of Germany’s 18, Canada’s 16, and the Netherlands’ 13.

Norway added to its medal total after several strong performances on Saturday. The cross country team took the gold in men’s 4×10 relay, while Oystein Braaten topped the podium at men’s ski slopestyle. In the men’s Alpine ski downhill, Henrik Kristoffersen got the silver position behind Austria’s Marcel Hirscher, who picked up his second gold of this year’s games.

It’s a relatively quiet night, with no medal events in the NBC primetime window. Free skating returns with the ice dance short program, where American siblings Alex and Maia Shibutani are big podium favorites. Lindsey Vonn will ski again after placing first in the downhill training run, but that event won’t have its medals decided until Tuesday.

Other qualifying events to watch are women’s ski halfpipe, women’s snowboard big air, and women’s bobsled training runs. The U.S. women’s hockey team will play Finland in the semifinal round, with a potential Canada rematch looming.

Mikal Bridges was the scoring star for Villanova on Saturday, dropping a team-high 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field, including 4-of-7 from behind the three-point line. As good as Bridges was, Donte DiVincenzo may have been even better. The sophomore was 5-of-7 from beyond the arc, scoring 21 points of his own, and also chipped in nine rebounds and a team-high nine assists.

As a team, Villanova shot a scorching 38-of-63 from the field.

The offensive explosion by the Wildcats proved to be too much for Xavier. The Musketeers got 26 points from All-American candidate Trevon Bluiett and were a sparkling 19-of-22 from the free-throw line. In the end, making 10 fewer three-pointers than their guests proved to be too much to overcome.

Saturday’s loss marked Xavier’s first defeat in more than a month. The Musketeers had won nine straight games since an 89-65 loss at then-No. 1 Villanova on Jan. 10. The defeat also marked the first home loss for Xavier, which had been 16-0 at home this season.

Villanova’s win kept its chances of winning its fifth Big East regular season title in as many seasons alive. Xavier currently sits atop the standings a half game ahead of the Wildcats, but that’s only because the Musketeers have played one more conference game.