Colin Kaepernick won’t recover from ‘anti-American’ tag, warns ESPN’s Jemele Hill

There’s still time for some quarterback-hungry NFL team to sign free agent Colin Kaepernick. But each passing day raises the possibility that the unemployed former 49ers QB is being blackballed by owners for refusing to stand for the American flag and national anthem last season.

Miscreant NFL stars can get away with a lot of things and still play in the league, said ESPN’s Jemele Hill. But the Kaepernick saga may prove that an unpardonable sin for players is to be seen as anti-American, says the new co-host of ESPN’s 6 p.m. ET SportsCenter with Michael Smith.

Kaepernick plans to stand for the flag/anthem this season if he hooks on with another team, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
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STEELE: John Elway doesn’t stick to sports, so why should Colin Kaepernick?

But that doesn’t seem to have helped much.
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During an appearance on ESPN’s Around the Horn, Los Angeles Times sports columnist Bill Plaschke said Kaepernick is clearly being blackballed.

This is so wrong what’s happening. It’s so clear what’s happening. In a league that needs quarterbacks, this guy can’t play for somebody? Are you kidding me?

Plaschke even called on commissioner Roger Goodell to send a memo to all 32 clubs saying they should forget politics and judge Kaepernick on his merits as a football player.

We’ll put the odds of Goodell sending out such a memo between slim and none.

Kaepernick is finding out the hard way that free speech and freedom of choice cut both ways, said Mike Golic on ESPN2’s Mike & Mike in the Morning on Wednesday.

Owners are thinking of the possibility of a backlash all the way up to the president of the United States. They have a right to think that way — as much as we disagree with it, Golic said.

Amir Garrett set to rejoin Reds rotation this week

Limited Kids Ivan Provorov Jersey The Knights have almost an embarrassment of riches on the mound this season. And let’s be clear: We’re not saying potential future ace with a whimsical anything-can-happen caveat. These three youngsters are the real deal.

For context, let’s look at some Top 100 prospect rankings for this season. According to’s assessment, Giolito is the ninth-best prospect in all of baseball, Lopez is 42nd and Fulmer is 66th. By Baseball America’s ranking, Giolito is 25th and Lopez is 31st. FanGraphs has Giolito 19th, Lopez 28th and Fulmer 98th. Baseball Prospectus has Giolito 10th and Lopez 30th. ESPN’s Keith Law has Giolito 13th.

The Reds will recall star pitching prospect Amir Garrett this week to rejoin the rotation.

Garrett, ranked as MLB’s No. 63 overall prospect by Baseball America, had been sent down to Triple-A earlier this month in an attempt to reduce his workload. He struck out all six batters that he faced in an abbreviated start for Louisville on Friday.

The Reds have not yet decided whether Garrett will face the Cubs or Rockies next week, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Authentic Mens Joe Maddon Jersey Garrett, 25, is 3-2 with a 4.25 ERA so far this season, including a 12-strikeout outing in April against the Orioles.

Despite his inconsistent form, Garrett is worth scooping up in mixed leagues due to his high strikeout potential. He may have a few dud starts, but Cincinnati’s offense has been pretty explosive, so Garrett also has upside for wins.

he would have been drafted before the 253rd and final pick this weekend.

It would be hard for anyone else from this quarterback class to match the journey Kelly has been on throughout draft season. The journey only gets even more bizarre from here. The Ole Miss quarterback with the proverbial checkered past will be the center of attention in the traditional Mr. Irrelevant festivities in Newport Beach, Calif. And being the center of attention has not always been Kelly’s strength.

If it were, he might have finished his career at Clemson. Or finished it on a higher note at Ole Miss — even with two spectacular performances against Alabama during his time in Oxford. Or he could have become a minor reality TV star during his year at East Mississippi Community College in between (Netflix’s Last Chance U is worth the viewing). Or, at least, he would not have been invited to the scouting combine with no hesitation (instead, he was invited, then uninvited.)

Or, for that matter, he would have been drafted before the 253rd and final pick this weekend.

Madden NFL 18 also will feature three different play styles: Arcade, Simulation and Competitive. That should help appease fans who are seeking different types of experiences, rather than EA having to balance the game in order to satisfy everyone — a near impossibility.
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Arcade: Over-the-top action filled with spectacular plays, lots of scoring and limited penalties.

Simulation: Play true to player and team ratings, with authentic NFL rules and gameplay.

Competitive: User stick skills are king, head-to-head ranked online and tournament default.
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Also mentioned but not yet expanded upon: A new Play Now Live mode to play the weekly matchups along with the season, Target Passing, Coverage Assignments and visual improvements that come with the Frostbite engine, including stadium exteriors surrounded by vast cityscapes. It’s also possible Online Team Play could be returning.

NFL free agency: Former Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles signs with rival Broncos

The Chiefs are still going to be seeing Jamaal Charles at Arrowhead Stadium but it’s going only going to be once a season.

Broncos general manager John Elway announced Tuesday that Denver has signed the longtime Kansas City running back. According to multiple reports, Charles got a one-year deal worth up to $3.75 million.

The move comes just three days after coach Ron Rivera denied rumors that Benjamin had packed on nearly 40 pounds this offseason, jumping from 243 pounds last year to about 280 pounds now. However, Rivera did acknowledge that Benjamin is slightly overweight.

“He is a little heavy. He knows it. We’ve talked about it,” Rivera said Saturday. “We’ve talked about what he has to do. He’s done a great job in the two weeks he’s been here.

“Am I concerned? Yes. He is heavy. I’m going to admit that right now. But is he working hard? Absolutely.”

Benjamin, 26, missed the entire 2015 season after suffering a torn ACL in training camp but led the Panthers wideouts in receptions and yards last season and during his rookie year in 2014.

After getting a solid first-rounder in Florida inside linebacker Jarrad Davis, Detroit wasted Friday with two reaches in Florida cornerback Teez Tabor and Northern Illinois wide receiver Kenny Golladay. Basically, they went for uber ersatz versions of great picks they made before, Darius Slay and Calvin Johnson. That won’t do.

The Auburn defensive end, mocked as a first-rounder up until a week before the draft, still hasn’t been taken because of reported concerns about his attitude and actual push to produce to match his pass-rush potential.


How marijuana created some of the best bargains in the NFL draft

Hours before the 2016 NFL draft was set to begin, potential No. 1 overall pick Laremy Tunsil had a problem. A video of him smoking what appeared to be marijuana from a gas mask was published on his Twitter timeline, followed by embarrassing leaks of private conversations with Ole Miss staff members.
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Suddenly, one of the draft’s top player’s prospects dwindled. He slipped through the top 10 picks before landing at the 14th spot with the Miami Dolphins. The difference between the contract he signed and the one Jared Goff earned at the No. 1 spot was significant — a $17.5 million gap.

That could turn out to be one hell of a deal for the Dolphins. Bill Polian said Monday that the overwhelming majority of players who tested positive for marijuana at the combine didn’t succeed in the NFL, but there are plenty of examples where a little weed helped an NFL team make out like a bandit at the NFL draft.

The Pacers led the Cavaliers by 26 points. Jokes about Cleveland’s so-called switch were flowing free. Then LeBron James found the switch, delivered the Cavaliers to victory and perhaps brought the Pacers to within 48 minutes of the end of the Paul George era. Man oh man. You can’t describe this as simply a huge Pacers collapse (though it is that) because a top-three player was involved. But that doesn’t exactly make Indiana feel any better, does it?

It’s a good time to read Whitney Medworth on how the Pacers failed Paul George.

It’s a good time to read Lang Whitaker’s account of LeBron’s roar from Indianapolis, as well.
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The Grizzlies beat the Spurs in Game 3 because no San Antonio point guard can stick with Mike Conley. This was a physical game (to be expected) and that suits Memphis. We’ll see if things change for Game 4.

A look at Rudy Gobert’s 3 fouls in 5 minutes against Clippers

Rudy Gobert played just five minutes in the first half of the Utah Jazz’s Game 7 matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers. He spent the majority of the first two periods on the bench due to foul trouble.

The reason? Gobert was whistled for three fouls early on, some more questionable than others.

The first one was obvious. Less than than two minutes into the first quarter, Gobert shoved DeAndre Jordan while attempting a layup.
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But the next two can be subject to interpretation.

Referee Tony Brothers whistled the Frenchman for nudging Marreese Speights with his forearm. You can argue that’s a ticky-tack foul, one that Clippers big man Jordan gets away with regularly.

Atlanta’s team effort kept its lead in tact from start to finish. It was a big win for a Hawks team that desperately needed a morale boost after dropping Games 1 and 2 in Washington.

Limited Kids Brandon Mebane Jersey Wall looked nearly unstoppable at times, torching the Hawks for 29 points on 10-of-12 shooting, including a sequence where he went coast-to-coast then behind-the-back before posterizing Kent Bazemore. But the Hawks were able to inhibit Bradley Beal, who finished with just 12 points on six-of-20 shooting.

Atlanta still trails, 2-1, in their first-round playoff series, but Game 4 is at home. If Saturday’s game is any indication of what the Wizards should expect the next go-round, Washington had better be ready to fight, and fight early.

Charles Barkley ate a life-changing churro and tried to bury the hatchet with San Antonio

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Chuck has a long history of beef with San Antonio, which he has never apologized for an always double-downed on. Much of the ire stems from his rant in 2014 that insulted the women of the city, and the city itself.

Now his change of heart isn’t so much admitting that he was wrong or that he slandered an entire city ¡ª but rather because he ate a churro for the first time. At this point we need to question Barkley’s life choices that led to a 54-year-old man living his entire life without eating a churro. Especially a man who …

We all know Rielly’s defensive numbers are quite poor. Last year, everyone said that it was because he played with Matt Hunwick. This year, Rielly played with Zaitsev and Hunwick’s numbers aren’t so bad, and Zaitsev had a rough go in the DZ.

But looking at Zaitsev’s numbers away from Rielly, and Rielly’s away from Zaitsev, their zone starts don’t diverge much at all, and Rielly’s possession stats get a bit better. Zaitsev actually got worse.

By adjusting for zone, score, and venue, Corsica tells us that the news is far less good for Zaitsev. Rielly got better without him when Rielly played with Marincin, Hunwick, or Carrick, and worse with only Marchenko and Polak, both of whom he played less time with.

Limited Kids Brock Nelson Jersey Zaitsev was worse with every other player he was with: Gardiner (!), Hunwick, and Marincin.

No, Zaitsev wasn’t getting worse zone starts away from Rielly.

The schedule release will let us know the specifics

A shortened season due to suspension, along with lackluster quarterback play in Chicago, limited his production in 2016. Despite this, Jeffery has shown that he can be one of the best receivers in the NFL, going well over 1,000 yards in both 2013 and 2014 when he played full 16-game seasons.

The Eagles also signed Torrey Smith from the San Francisco 49ers. Smith, much like Jeffery, wasn’t in a great situation last season. The 49ers had the worst passing offense in the league, thanks to a lack of playmakers, as well as Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick under center. In 12 games, Smith had just 20 receptions for 267 yards and three scores. Smith is going to be 28 next season, and playing on the opposite side of a receiver like Jeffery should open things up for him.

ESPN and NFLN are the official draft broadcasters, but there are other journalists who are affiliated with NFL TV partners.

Among the most notable is CBS’ Jason La Canfora. He told a reporter in 2013 that he had no problem tipping picks and felt it a journalistic duty. A couple years later, the NFL had enough, however.

At least one of those games will be played at 9:30 a.m. ET, despite the fact that a lot of people hate that timing.

It has also been confirmed that the Raiders will return to Mexico City this season, and they’ll host the Patriots. We just don’t know when, but we’ll find out Thursday.

The schedule release will let us know the specifics, but we do know the opponents each team will face in 2017.

We all are aware of the obvious matchups, like those that pit your favorite team against each division opponent twice in any given season. The league announced each team’s full slate of opponents back in January.

The only other offensive lineman taken in the first round was Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk with the final selection.

Aaron Rodgers’ brother became the face of The Bachelor, now this Stanford running back can become the face of an entire dating website. What I like about this brand opportunity is that it’s very unlikely anyone else will in the NFL will invade the space, so McCaffrey has free dominance of the online dating scene.

Before Thursday, the last time the NFL draft even went 10 picks without an offensive tackle coming off the board was 2005, although the run ended at No. 13 when the New Orleans Saints took Jammal Brown.

Another six years before that John Tait was the first offensive lineman off the board in 1999 when the Kansas City Chiefs scooped him up at No. 14. After Tait, four of the next seven picks in the 1999 NFL draft were offensive linemen.

Game Mens Tommy Wingels Jersey No such run happened Thursday night. The only other offensive lineman taken in the first round was Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk with the final selection.

In 1965 no offensive linemen went in the first round of the NFL draft. At the time, there were just 14 teams in the league and among the first-round selections were three players listed as halfbacks, two as fullbacks, and another two as backs.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled that the video recording of University of Oklahoma football player Joe Mixon punching a woman in a Norman restaurant must be released for public viewing.

Game Mens Xavien Howard Jersey Mixon plays in the Sugar Bowl against Auburn and rushes for 91 yards and two touchdowns. During the game, the first since the tape’s release, Auburn fans chanted He hits women! at Oklahoma’s offense.

Jets Jamal Adams and Teez Tabor had an NFL draft bet since high school

Out of any position on the football field, defensive backs love to talk. NFL prospects Jalen Tabor and Jamal Adams (the No. 6 overall pick by the Jets) do that pretty well in addition to having skills on the field:

At the combine, NFL Network asked Adams about this tweet and he said that the two players made the bet while in Oregon at The Opening (a Nike recruiting camp for high school athletes). Both attended the camp in the summer of 2013 as high-level recruits.
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Watson, along with his mother Deann and three siblings, lived in a small, cramped apartment in Gainesville, Ga. Deshaun brought home a Habitat for Humanity note one day that gave steps to home ownership, which Deann pursued. She spent over 300 hours helping build new houses before they could move into one of their own.

Through his foundation, Dunn was able to surprise the Watson family with a furnished home with four bedrooms, two baths, and even a full refrigerator.
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I felt grown having my own room, Watson told the Associated Press. Just having my own bed, not really being squished, not really worrying about someone sneaking up on me, it was a great moment, a special moment.

Its something Dunn loves to help people with, especially when the effort is put in. Were helping people who are helping themselves, Dunn said. Its crazy how much pride people have when its something they work for and not something theyre given.

Dunn might not have known that Deshaun would become a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist and national champion, but it shows the impact can be even greater than imagined.