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The Jacksonville Jaguars will play in a renamed stadium next season.

The franchise said Friday that TIAA Bank Field will replace EverBank Field as the official stadium name.

EverBank secured naming rights to Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in 2010. The Jaguars and EverBank signed a 10-year Joe Montana Jersey , $43 million extension in 2014.

TIAA acquired Jacksonville-based EverBank Financial Corp. last year for $2.5 billion. TIAA is a financial services provider headquartered in New York.

Earlier this week, the Jaguars announced they would remove the last remaining tarps for the 2018 season. The addition of 3,501 seats brings stadium capacity to 69,132.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears first-year coach Matt Nagy is showing he can take the heat, and it has nothing to do with sultry late August weather at Monday’s practice.

Nagy made a controversial call Saturday to sit starters during a preseason game normally used as an opening-day dress rehearsal, and second-guessers have been attacking since the end of a 27-20 Bears victory over Kansas City.

“They’re at a point now where the physical part of (practice) is going to continue, but it’s really now you start game-planning,” Nagy said.

In part because he wanted to keep players healthy for the regular-season opener Sept. 9 at Green Bay Mason Crosby Jersey , and also because they’ve practiced a week longer than most teams, Nagy decided against a customary tuneup game in the next-to-last preseason game.

Starters weren’t available after Saturday’s game since they hadn’t played, but safety Adrian Amos on Monday viewed Nagy’s approach as anything, but half-baked preparation for the start of the regular season.

“The plan is always to go out there and execute, to hit the ground running,” Amos said. “It’s not dip your toe in the water or anything like that.”

Starters won’t play Thursday in the preseason finale against Buffalo, which is normal procedure.

“The focus for them right now is mentally they can finally just say, ‘you know what? I can go all-in on Green Bay and mentally just get prepared, soak it up Patrick DiMarco Jersey , don’t worry at all about Buffalo,” Nagy said.

Nagy’s concern over injuries hit home with players.

“It’s a smart decision, seeing that he doesn’t want us to get injured,” running back Tarik Cohen said. “Big season for us. We’re optimistic about how this season is going to turn out. So we want everybody healthy.”

Wide receiver Allen Robinson had only to look at former Jacksonville teammate Marqise Lee for an example of what can happen. Lee suffered a season-ending knee injury in the third preseason game Saturday against Atlanta.

“Definitely for me, for that being one of my close friends, that was very tough to see,” Robinson said. “Yeah, definitely at the end of the day, like I said before Howie Long Jersey , coach Nagy has the best interests for us players and this team.”

Not every player immediately understood the decision.

“There were mixed feelings,” Cohen said. “Some people wanted to play, some people needed the time off to heal their bodies and focus in more mentally.”

The greatest concern is whether a team lacking experience with Nagy’s offense has logged sufficient game time to make it work.

Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has 12 NFL starts and none in this offense, so it’s easy to see how another preseason effort would benefit timing on his passes.

“Obviously he’s ready and well prepared,” Robinson said. “We’ve done a really good job throughout the course of camp getting all the reps and stuff that we needed; maybe reps in between periods, getting some reps after periods, and things like that. So I think we’re all real prepared.”

Another issue is whether the offensive line and the defense can be physically ready with less full-speed contact than during a normal preseason.

Guard Kyle Long called going every day against the Bears defensive line sufficient preparation, even if most training camp work is not full speed.

“We’re playing against human beings in practice,” Long said. “And Akiem Hicks is pretty big and strong — you can’t really simulate getting hit by a Mack truck.”

Players think the decision indicates something about their new coach’s personality and resolve.

“He doesn’t care about what everybody else is going to think Patrick Chung Jersey ,” Cohen said. “He’s just looking out for our best interests and the team’s best interest.

“And that’s the type of coach you want on your side.”

NOTES: Offensive tackle Bradley Sowell suffered an ankle sprain Saturday. The Bears hadn’t updated his status after he was helped from the field during the game. … Linebacker Roquan Smith continued to be very limited in practice because of hamstring tightness. … The Bears re-arranged their Halas Hall locker grouping in an effort to improve team unity. They formerly grouped players’ lockers together according to roster positions. It’s jumbled now. “The philosophy between that is that you put big guys next to small guys, you put loud guys next to quiet guys, you put leaders next to non-leaders, offense vs. defense, center vs. D tackle,” Nagy said.

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Yadier Molina’s defense and longevity might earn him a ticket to the Hall of Fame. Suddenly the veteran St. Louis Cardinals catcher is on a home-run tear.

He homered twice to back a strong start by Miles Mikolas and lift the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday.

Molina’s two-run homer in the sixth inning off reliever Jeremy Jeffress gave St. Louis the lead and the Cardinals held on behind the solid pitching of Mikolas and four relievers.

Molina has five home runs in his last six games Mark Duper Jersey , including another two-homer game in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said the 35-year-old Molina has developed more power as he has grown older.

”He was such a young player when he came up,” Matheny said of Molina, who earlier this week set a major league record for most games caught with one team (now 1,762).

”You figured there was going to be room for improvement but the route he has taken is unique because you can’t always count on that kind of willpower. He’s as driven a player as I’ve ever seen.”

Marcell Ozuna led off the sixth with a line-drive single to center and scored on Molina’s shot to right-center, a ball that bounced off the top of the wall and into the St. Louis bullpen for a 3-2 Cardinals lead.

”He did some damage today,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. ”He was their offense.”

The Brewers (45-31) remained two games ahead of the second-place Chicago Cubs in the NL Central after Chicago lost in Cincinnati on Saturday.

Mikolas (8-2), who pitched in Japan last season, allowed three hits and two runs in 6 2/3 innings while walking two and striking out five. Bud Norris earned his 14th save with a scoreless ninth. Jeffress (5-1) took the loss.

”We didn’t have any idea what we were getting when we got him and he’s been everything as advertised from the Japanese league Latavius Murray Jersey , plus,” Matheny said of Mikolas. ”You just don’t know how that’s going to translate.”

Mikolas retired 16 of the last 17 hitters he faced.

The Brewers took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Jesus Aguilar and an RBI single by newcomer Brad Miller.

St. Louis closed the gap when Molina led off the second inning with a solo home run to right-center.

Brewers starter Chase Anderson did not yield another run in five innings, giving up two hits and striking out nine while walking four.

The Brewers had a big chance in the eighth when they loaded the bases with two outs on two hit batters and an infield single. Aguilar grounded out to shortstop against Cardinals reliever Sam Tuivailala to end the threat.

MILLER DEBUTS

The Brewers recalled infielder Brad Miller from Triple-A Colorado Springs and optioned struggling outfielder Domingo Santana.

Miller, acquired from Tampa Bay on June 10 in exchange for first baseman-outfielder Ji-Man Choi, was in the Brewers starting lineup at second base and had a bloop RBI single in his first at-bat.

Santana hit .278 last season for Milwaukee with 30 homers and 85 RBIs, but never got on track this season. He hit .249, with three homers and 17 RBIs in 189 at-bats.

Miller, who played 95 games at shortstop for Tampa Bay in 2016 Ahkello Witherspoon Jersey , likely will play a utility role with Milwaukee.

”I was pretty excited to get the call and come to a team in first place,” Miller said. ”I have the versatility to play everywhere but I’m definitely more comfortable in the middle of the diamond.”

TRAINERS ROOM

Brewers: Ryan Braun entered in the fifth inning to play left field, when outfielder Lorenzo Cain exited due to groin tightness. Cain also was hit by a pitch in the right elbow on Friday and hit by a pitch in the back in the first inning Saturday. Counsell said Cain would not play Sunday in the series finale. ”He’s just a little beat up,” Counsell said. Braun appeared for the first time since receiving a cryogenic injection in his right thumb on Wednesday and went 1-for-2. . RHP Zach Davies (10-day DL, right rotator cuff inflammation) is scheduled to make a second rehab start for Colorado Springs on Sunday.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: RHP Luke Weaver (3-6, 4.69 ERA) will be making his 16th start of the season and seventh career start against the Brewers. He is 2-2 against Milwaukee.

Brewers: RHP Jhoulys Chacin (6-2, 3.18 ERA) had a six-game winning streak snapped in a 1-0 loss at Pittsburgh on Monday. Chacin is 0-6 with a 5.88 ERA in eight career games (seven starts) against the Cardinals.

Darryl Rogers, who coached Michigan State to a share of the Big Ten title in 1978 and later took the helm for the Detroit Lions Adolphus Washington Jersey , has died. He was 83.

The Lions said Rogers’ family confirmed his death Wednesday.

Rogers coached Michigan State from 1976-79, going 24-18-2. The 1978 team, which included star flanker Kirk Gibson, won its final seven games to finish tied for first in the conference.

”Our thoughts and prayers go out to Darryl Rogers and his family at this most difficult time,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said in a statement. ”Coach Rogers won the 1978 Big Ten championship at Michigan State and was, in many ways, an offensive pioneer in college football. I was honored to have had the opportunity to talk to him a number of times throughout my time here and he was always very supportive. He loved Michigan State and will forever be a Spartan.”

Rogers also coached at Arizona State from 1980-84 before heading to the NFL. He was with the Lions from 1985-88.

”We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Darryl,” Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford said. ”On behalf of me Bob Griese Jersey , my family and the entire Detroit Lions organization, I would like to extend our sincere sympathy to his wife, Marsha, and the Rogers family.”

Rogers played wide receiver and defensive back at Fresno State and became the coach there in 1966. He also coached San Jose State from 1973-75 before taking over at Michigan State.



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ALLEN PARK Odell Beckham Jr Jersey , Mich. (AP) — Jake Rudock is back with the Detroit Lions after being signed to their practice squad.

The Lions waived Rudock as they cut their roster down to 53 players by Saturday’s deadline. That move paved the way for Matt Cassel to be the team’s backup quarterback behind Matthew Stafford. But the Lions announced several more moves Sunday.

Detroit signed Rudock, linebackers Alex Barrett and Darnell Sankey, cornerback Mike Ford, wide receiver Chris Lacy, safety Rolan Milligan and offensive lineman Dan Skipper to the practice squad. The Lions were also awarded offensive lineman Andrew Donnal from Baltimore and cornerback Dee Virgin from Houston, both via waivers.

Detroit waived center Leo Koloamatangi and tackle Brian Mihalik.

Doug Williams looked at Alex Smith and slightly exaggerated the commitment the Washington Redskins made to their new soon-to-be 34-year-old quarterback.

"He can play to 40," Williams said Thursday. "Can you, Alex? Look at him. I think he can."

Smith smiled back and has plenty to be happy about. The veteran is now the Redskins' franchise quarterback after being acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs and signing a $94 million, four-year extension with $71 million guaranteed that keeps him under contract through 2022.

He'd be 38 if he plays out that deal Spencer Ware Jersey , one that shows the Redskins were willing to commit long term to Smith the way they never did with Kirk Cousins. As Williams implied Cousins didn't want to be in Washington for the long haul, Smith made it clear he did.

"This is where I wanted to be," Smith said. "It looked fun. I wanted to be a part of it."

Smith gives the Redskins the kind of continuity at the position they lacked with Cousins, who became the first QB in NFL history to play back-to-back seasons under the franchise tag before signing a fully guaranteed $84 million, three-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings.

"I do believe that Washington had a lot of great pieces," Cousins said at his introductory news conference. "They will have a lot of great pieces going forward and the margin of error is small. The difference between winning and losing is so small."

Cousins' year-to-year status and propensity for mistakes in big moments outweighed his three consecutive 4,000-yard seasons to Washington's front office, which decided to target Smith.

"That's somebody you can build your team around and know he's going to be here, year in and year out Trent Murphy Jersey ," coach Jay Gruden said. "You're not always looking down the road: 'Oh, who's going to be our quarterback next year?'"

Williams said three or four other teams were also attempting to get Smith, which the Redskins did by sending a 2018 third-round pick and promising young cornerback Kendall Fuller to Kansas City.

Smith had some say in his destination because he had to agree to the extension that Williams joked, "If we have to add a couple more years to it, we'll do that, too."

That was never going to happen with Cousins, a 2012 fourth-round pick taken the same draft as Robert Griffin III who thrived under the impression he was not wanted. From the Redskins' perspective, that went both ways.

"It wasn't a matter of wanting to commit to the other guy," Williams said of Cousins. "We had to look at it what we had to do that's going to be best for us Chris Hogan Jersey , somebody who wanted to be here."

Smith's introduction six weeks after the trade and extension were agreed to came with a welcome gift as the Redskins signed former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Paul Richardson to a five-year deal that's reported to be worth $40 million.

Richardson saw what DeSean Jackson did as a fellow speed threat in this offense and talked to former Washington receiver Pierre Garcon about the situation and figured it would be a good fit to catch balls from Smith.

"I want him to know I'm always available," said Richardson, who has 95 catches for 1,302 yards and eight touchdowns in four seasons. "Just throw it. It don't matter where it is. I'm going to go get it. And I'm going to turn him into a believer."

Smith has already made the Redskins' brass into believers, and the entire organization from owner Dan Snyder and team president Bruce Allen down showed up for his much-hyped introductory news conference.

Standing in the same building that Cousins roamed the past three seasons as the starter, Smith looked comfortable being the guy and understanding the faith the franchise put in him.

"We've got to go win games," Smith said. "Excited about the opportunity because that's what it is at this point. It's an opportunity, and we've got to go make the most of it."

Gruden praised Smith for having "all the traits" to be successful, and Williams sees the same on-field characteristics.

But the Super Bowl MVP QB-turned-executive also sees another benefit in the locker room of Smith being under contract long term.

"I don't think the fans really understand when you talk about stability and when you know the guy that's going to be leading this team is going to be in your locker room for the next three to four to five years Marshawn Lynch Jersey , that's a good feeling," Williams said.

"I think now they can relax and even during the season don't have to worry about whether our fearless leader's going to be here next year."

NOTES: The Redskins re-signed LB Zach Brown, whom they added in free agency a year ago. ... According to tweets from their agents, WR Brian Quick re-signed and former Cowboys P Sam Irwin-Hill signed with Washington.

AP Pro Football Writers Dave Campbell and Howard Fendrich contributed.

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MINNESOTA VIKINGS (14-4)

New faces: Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo Reggie Ragland Jersey , QB Kirk Cousins, DT Sheldon Richardson, PK Daniel Carlson, CB/KR Mike Hughes, C/G Brett Jones, SS George Iloka, WR Kendall Wright, OL Tom Compton, QB Trevor Siemian, OT Brian O’Neill.

Key losses: Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, QB Case Keenum, QB Sam Bradford Ryan Schraeder Jersey , QB Teddy Bridgewater, RB Jerick McKinnon, G/C Joe Berger, PK Kai Forbath, WR Jarius Wright, DT Tom Johnson, DT Shamar Stephen, OL Jeremiah Sirles.

Strengths: Defense that led NFL in fewest yards and fewest points allowed per game last season only got stronger with free agent additions Richardson and Iloka. First-round draft pick Hughes, also potential kick returner, provides depth at critical position in mix for nickel package playing time in slot with Mackensie Alexander and Terence Newman. FS Harrison Smith and CB Xavier Rhodes headline one of best secondaries in league. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs give newcomer Cousins one of best WR tandems in NFL, with veteran TE Kyle Rudolph viable red zone target. Cousins topped 4,000 passing yards for Washington while playing in every game over each of last three years.

Weaknesses: OL lost Berger to retirement and starting LG Nick Easton in training camp to neck injury. Starting C Pat Elflein has missed entire preseason Johnny Townsend Jersey , recovering from offseason ankle and shoulder surgeries. Second-round draft pick O’Neill is long-term project, with questionable depth at OT spots in case of injury to Riley Reiff and/or Rashod Hill. Sudden death of OL coach Tony Sparano right before training camp was big blow. Special teams bear watching, too, with rookie Carlson taking over high-pressure position for Forbath and P Ryan Quigley coming off so-so 2017. Vikings did not have any kickoff or punt return TDs last year, and coverage units were burned often during preseason.

Fantasy Players To Watch: RB Dalvin Cook. Well on way to stellar rookie year, Cook tore ACL in left knee in fourth game. He averaged 112 yards from scrimmage, 22 total touches and three receptions per game and scored two TDs in abbreviated debut. Latavius Murray, who rushed for 745 yards and eight TDs over last 10 games of regular season, provides proven backup.

Vegas Says: Super Bowl 12-1. Over/under wins 10.

Expectations: After riding Keenum to NFC championship game, fueled by last-second TD pass to Diggs in playoffs against Saints dubbed “Minneapolis Miracle,” Vikings made sure Super Bowl window stayed open. Went all in on three-year, fully guaranteed $84 million contract to add Cousins to roster that was already one of most stacked in league. With recent big-buck extensions for Diggs Ali Marpet Jersey , DE Danielle Hunter and LB Eric Kendricks, front office is keeping band together as long as possible under salary cap. Repeating last season’s record will be tough task, though, with OL uncertainty and stiffer schedule that includes road trips to face Rams, Eagles, Patriots and Seahawks. Plus, rival Packers have QB Aaron Rodgers back from injury.

With sports betting now legal in New Jersey, and even with football season still more than two months away, bets can be placed on one important NFL proposition: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Accompanying an article from Connor Orr of SI.com is a photo of the betting board at Monmouth Park, revealing some of the odds to win the 53rd installment of the game.

The Browns are only 75-1 underdogs to win it all. Making that number even more amazing is the fact that the Bengals are at 125-1.

Other teams deemed by oddsmakers to be less likely to win it all than the Browns include the Bills (100-1), the Dolphins (100-1), the Buccaneers (100-1) Laremy Tunsil Jersey , the Colts (100-1), the Jets (100-1), the Cardinals (100-1), and Washington (100-1).

The Bears also have 75-1 odds.

Then there’s this: The Seahawks, one of the best teams of the past six years, have 50-1 odds. While the Seahawks are hardly favorites to win it all, they seem like a MUCH better bet to climb the mountain than a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2002 — and that has won only one game in the past two seasons.

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The Dolphins announced they have signed tight end Mike Gesicki Phil McConkey Jersey , the last of the team’s eight draft picks to agree to terms.

Miami made Gesicki the 42nd overall choice.

He was a four-year letterman and three-year starter at Penn State, where he caught 129 passes for 1,481 yards and 15 touchdowns. Gesicki finished his collegiate career with at least one reception in 27 consecutive games.

His 129 receptions, 15 receiving touchdowns and 1,481 receiving yards were the most in school history for a tight end and ranked ninth, ninth and 17th, respectively, in those statistical categories by any player in school history. As a senior in 2017, Gesicki was a second-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten honoree.

Third time was the charm for James Harden.

The Houston Rockets star was voted the NBA’s Most Valuable Player after twice being runner-up, beating out four-time winner LeBron James and Anthony Davis of the Pelicans at the NBA Awards on Monday night.

Harden joined Michael Jordan as the only players to average at least 20 points Kendall Fuller Jersey , eight assists, five rebounds and 1.7 steals in a season.

He led the league in scoring, 3-pointers and 50-point games with four while helping the Rockets to an NBA-leading 65 wins.

”The last four years have been like knocking on the door, knocking on the door. Now the moment is finally here,” Harden said backstage. ”Just every single year you try to come back and be better than you were the year before, and just to be holding that trophy finally, it means a lot.”

James didn’t attend the show in Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport amid frenzied speculation about his future. He has until Friday to tell the Cavaliers if he will pick up his $35.6 million option for next season or opt for free agency.

Harden, who is from Los Angeles, led his mother on stage before he accepted the trophy from Commissioner Adam Silver.

”I’m not going to get emotional,” he said from behind dark sunglasses. ”She’s my backbone in good times and bad times.”

Harden received a total of 965 points and 86 first-place votes. James finished second with 738 points and 15 first-place votes Ali Marpet Jersey , while Davis was third with 445 points and no first-place votes.

Harden didn’t prepare a speech.

”I felt like last year I should have won as well, so I didn’t see a difference between last year and this year,” he said backstage. ”If I won it, then I was going to go off the top and try to show my appreciation to everybody helping me along the way.”

Harden’s teammate, Chris Paul, popped up among reporters backstage and asked Harden how many bottles of liquor Rockets CEO Tad Brown would have to buy at the next location.

”Couple cases,” Harden said, grinning.

The Rockets had another winner in Daryl Morey, who was honored as Executive of the Year.

In other awards, Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers won Rookie of the Year.

The guard averaged 15 points Mike Pouncey Jersey , eight rebounds and eight assists, joining Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson as the only rookies to post those numbers in a season.

Simmons helped Philadelphia to a 52-30 record, including ending the season with a 16-game winning streak.

He beat out finalists Donovan Mitchell of Utah and Jayson Tatum of Boston.

Guard Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers earned Most Improved Player.

He averaged 23.1 points in his first season with the Pacers while nabbing his first All-Star berth. He also led the league in steals for the first time.

The Defensive Player of the Year went to center Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz.

He was the leading vote-getter for the league’s All-Defensive first team while anchoring a Jazz defense that ranked second in the NBA in defensive rating.

Lou Williams of the Los Angeles Clippers took Sixth Man honors.

The guard became the first player to average at least 20 points for the first time in his 13th season or later. He led the league in fourth-quarter points and scoring average.

Williams kissed his two young daughters on his way to the stage after becoming the Clippers’ third winner in the last five years.

Dwane Casey was chosen Coach of the Year for his work with the Toronto Raptors, who fired him last month. He has since become coach of the Detroit Pistons.

”Can’t look in the rear view mirror,” Casey said backstage. ”Winston Churchill said success is measured by failure, failure, and then come back with enthusiasm, and that’s what I’ve done.”

Casey led the Raptors to the No. 1 seed in the East for the first time in franchise history after winning a team-record 59 games. Casey coached the East in the All-Star Game for the first time.

Casey won over Quin Snyder of Utah and Brad Stevens of Boston.

Robertson received the Lifetime Achievement Award from presenters Charles Barkley and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

After Barkley mentioned last year’s recipient Bill Russell, Boston’s Hall of Fame center flipped his middle finger in Barkley’s direction.

Robertson is the career leader in triple-doubles and was the first player to average one for a season. His antitrust case against the NBA also ushered in free agency for players, which Robertson said was his most important assist.

Backstage Michael Hoomanawanui Jersey , Robertson commended the activism of today’s players, although he wondered why more white athletes aren’t speaking out.

”The only thing that really bothers me is where are the white athletes when this is happening?” he said. ”This is not a black athlete problem. You see injustice in the world. It’s all around.”

Robertson went on to say he hopes ”the whites and the blacks get together, even with the football,” a reference to NFL players who have taken a knee or sat in silence during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality.

Former NBA player Dikembe Mutombo received the Sager Strong Award, named for the late Turner Sports broadcaster. He donned a garish sports coat similar to what Craig Sager always wore.

The Hustle Award went to Amir Johnson of the 76ers.



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Several signings and one big trade drastically shifted the balance of power across the NHL in a matter of days.

With John Tavares going home to Toronto Kemal Ishmael Jersey , Paul Stastny leaving Winnipeg for Vegas, St. Louis signing three free agents and trading for Ryan O’Reilly, the landscape of the league has changed. The Washington Capitals are bringing back a vast majority of their team, the Western Conference is loaded and yet the Maple Leafs now appear to be Stanley Cup favorites after adding Tavares.

”He’s one of the best players in the league,” Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman said. ”And I think it’s obvious to say that Toronto is a better team today with that acquisition.”

Tavares’ decision to leave the New York Islanders knocks them out of contender status and puts a whole lot of pressure on coach Mike Babcock’s Maple Leafs to make a deep playoff run. Losing out on Tavares despite reportedly offering more money than the Maple Leafs’ $77 million over 11 years kept the Sharks from moving into front-runner status in the West – but they may not be done yet.

”We pride ourselves on being able to take a swing on difference makers like this,” San Jose GM Doug Wilson said. ”John was the one that we wanted to swing at.”

The Sharks, who extended Logan Couture and re-signed Joe Thornton and Tomas Hertl to keep their core together, have plenty of tradable assets and will keep swinging for a difference-maker. One is off the market following the Blues‘ trade for O’Reilly that now gives them a potent 1-2-3 punch down the middle with Brayden Schenn and free agent signing Tyler Bozak.

O’Reilly saw the Blues sign Bozak to a $15 million, three-year contract and wondered if there wasn’t room for him anymore. Now they have centers to match up with just about any opponent in the league.

”You look at all the teams that have success, they definitely have guys down the middle that compete,” O’Reilly said Monday. ”And I’m thrilled to be a part of that.”

The Capitals boasted depth with Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nicklas Backstrom and Lars Eller during their Cup run, and Babcock can now roll out Tavares, Auston Matthews and Nazem Kadri. Vegas lost talent on the wing with David Perron going to St. Louis and James Neal signing with Calgary but now has a very competitive center corps led by Stastny, William Karlsson and Erik Haula.

”We do like having centers Dan Marino Jersey ,” Golden Knights GM George McPhee said. ”You can move centers around the lineup, you can have centers on the wing. You can’t get wingers to play center.”

Here’s a look at where a few more teams stand early in the preparations for the 2018-19 season:

GOT WHAT THEY NEED

LIGHTNING: Signing Tavares would’ve been a luxury and might’ve necessitated a roster makeover just to fit him under the salary cap. Tampa Bay signed restricted free agent forward J.T. Miller to a long term deal, extended defenseman Ryan McDonagh, got a deal done with Slater Koekkoek and should have much of the same team that won the Atlantic Division last season.

”We try to improve our team,” Yzerman said. ”I don’t sense that we have a need to change just to change.”

FLAMES: Inking Neal to a $28.75 million, five-year contract would be a nice capper to the Flames‘ offseason that began with acquiring center Elias Lindholm and defenseman Noah Hanifin from Carolina. New coach Bill Peters could put Neal or Lindholm on right wing with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan.

GM Brad Treliving’s final tasks this offseason are to find a backup goaltender to Mike Smith and sign restricted free agents Lindholm and Hanifin to new contracts.

KINGS: Long-term , signing franchise defenseman Drew Doughty to an $88 million, eight-year extension is the most important thing Los Angeles did. In the shorter term, it also won the competition for returning Russian winger Ilya Kovalchuk, who GM Rob Blake believes can play with either top-six center, Anze Kopitar or Jeff Carter, and produce at age 35.

”That scoring-type winger was something that we needed to add,” Blake said. ”Where he plays on the power play and the way he scores goals with his shot I think is something we’ve coveted or looked for.”

WORK LEFT TO DO

SENATORS: They traded Mike Hoffman, bought out Alexandre Burrows but still have at least one big problem with the future of Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson. The Senators have reportedly given Karlsson’s camp permission to speak with other teams about a contract – which is expected to look a whole lot like Doughty’s deal – which would open to door to Ottawa trading its captain rather than losing him for nothing like the Islanders did when Tavares wouldn’t sign early.

”We start Oct. 4,” GM Pierre Dorion said Sunday in Ottawa. ”We’ve got lots of time.”

OILERS: Connor McDavid won the scoring title and the Ted Lindsay award as the players’ choice for most outstanding player Kevin King Jersey , and yet Edmonton missed the playoffs by 17 points. GM Peter Chiarelli publicly dangled the 10th pick in the draft to try to get an offensive defenseman and hasn’t been able to acquire one yet.

Meanwhile, left wing Milan Lucic is 30, coming off a 34-point dud of a season and still has five years left on his contract at a $6 million annual cap hit. Lucic’s name has come up in trade talks, but moving him now won’t be easy, so the Oilers have to prepare for life with him next season.

”He’s a proud guy and we expect to have him back and at a Bartolo Colon has long had two milestones on his mind. Now he has both of them in hand.

The 45-year-old right-hander overcame a sluggish start to earn his 245th major league win and match Dennis Martinez for the most by a pitcher from Latin America when the Texas Rangers beat the Chicago White Sox 13-4 on Saturday night.

Colon already had the most wins by a pitcher born in the Dominican Republic, having surpassed Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for that distinction with his 244th victory at Kansas City on June 18, six days before a loss at Minnesota. Colon won again Saturday in his first home start since June 6 to tie Martinez, who is from Nicaragua.

Asked if he was able to put all his achievements in perspective, Colon made it clear there were two that were especially important to him.

”Not every milestone,” he said through a translator. ”Marichal and Dennis Martinez, and I got those.”

The night was done for Colon (5-5) after Matt Davidson led off the sixth with a homer to center field that pulled the White Sox to 5-3. Four relievers closed it out for Texas.

”We want to be able, if he’s got an opportunity, to put the W behind his name to make sure he gets this,” manager Jeff Banister said. ”Obviously we want to win every game we possibly can, but a situation like this for him Bradley McDougald Jersey , and the overall history and his impact on the game, and impact on himself, and just what it means for the game of baseball.”

Joey Gallo and Ryan Rua homered for the Rangers, who won for the 11th time in 13 games and clinched their fifth consecutive series. Robinson Chirinos hit a three-run double in the fourth inning that put Texas ahead to stay.

White Sox lefty Carlos Rodon (1-3) allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings.

Shin-Soo Choo, who has a major league-best on-base streak of 41 games, didn’t play for Texas because of right quad soreness. Choo said he has dealt with the issue for at least 10 days and it really bothered him recently.

Chicago’s first two batters got hits, though neither scored. Colon then threw 42 of his 79 pitches in the second inning, when he gave up three hits and his only two walks while the White Sox took a 2-0 lead.

”He’s kind of my half-hero,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. ”I told (pitching coach Don Cooper), look at that guy. He’s still out there getting after it. Good for him. … Even though he gave up a couple runs early, he just kept pitching. No panic, no concern, just keep throwing strikes and let me see what happens.”

Affectionately nicknamed Big Sexy, the portly Colon retired 10 of 11 batters before Davidson went deep. Colon even got over to cover first base in time to get speedy Leury Garcia, who dove headfirst as the pitcher took a toss from Gallo to start the third. Colon had a grin on his face walking back to the mound.

”I thought that if I didn’t get the guy out Melvin Ingram Jersey , I was going out,” Colon said. ”So thanks that happened that he was out, so I could continue the game.”

SHORT HOPS

Three White Sox pitchers combined to throw 65 pitches in the eighth inning, when the Rangers scored seven times. The big hits were a two-run triple by Elvis Andrus and a two-run double by Jurickson Profar. … Adrian Beltre had two hits, increasing his career total to 3,107 – the most among active players and three shy of Dave Winfield for 20th all-time.

TRAINER’S ROOM

White Sox: 3B Yolmer Sanchez was back in the lineup after missing the series opener with a bruised left quad sustained when he collided with Minnesota 1B Logan Morrison on Thursday.

Rangers: Choo doesn’t think his quad issue is serious, but said he didn’t want to make anything worse. ”I know I have the streak going on, but my body and staying healthy is more important,” he said. … LHP Martin Perez (right elbow) allowed two singles in six scoreless innings in his second rehab start, throwing 73 pitches for Double-A Frisco.

UP NEXT

Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels (4-6, 3.61 ERA), one of the top starters potentially available before the July 31 trade deadline, pitches the series finale. Hamels has a 3.28 ERA over his last nine starts. He is 2-0 with a 2.86 ERA in four career starts against the White Sox.



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Jed Lowrie loves the feeling of coming through with a clutch hit late to lift his team patrick mahomes authentic jersey , and he just keeps showing a knack for it.

He is a big reason the A’s are rarely out of games even when down by a couple of runs.

The Oakland second baseman delivered his 12th game-winning RBI after filling in beautifully at third base during Matt Chapman’s absence, hitting a three-run double in the decisive sixth to help rally the Athletics past the San Diego Padres 6-2 on Tuesday night.

If that’s not enough to make Lowrie an All-Star for the first time in an 11-year career and at age 34, manager Bob Melvin might just throw his hands up in disbelief.

”It would be the icing on the cake. I feel like I’ve been close a couple times and haven’t been there,” Lowrie said. ”So that would be something I would always be able to say.”

Mark Canha added a solo homer in the sixth and Chad Pinder connected in the seventh.

The A’s finally got to San Diego starter Clayton Richard (7-8). Pinder walked to start the sixth as the first five hitters reached base. Khris Davis followed Lowrie’s double with a run-scoring single before Canha’s 11th home run, after a double play.

Emilio Pagan (2-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win in relief of A’s starter Chris Bassitt.

Chapman went 0 for 3 in his return from the disabled list after missing 16 games with a recurring right hand injury that began bothering him during the offseason. He had played in 149 straight games before the DL stint.

Wil Myers hit a run-scoring double in the fifth right after Eric Hosmer’s RBI groundout got the Padres on the board.

Bassitt, who has just one win in five starts since being called up last month, escaped jams in the first and third innings as the Padres stranded five baserunners. The A’s made a pair of forceouts at home in the third, including first baseman Matt Olson’s nifty throw after a backhanded stop.

Myers’ double chased Bassitt. He was tagged for two runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings, struck out six and walked three.

Richard allowed five runs and six hits, walked a season-high five batters over six innings and struck out two in his second straight defeat.

”Defense picked me up early in the game but that’s the story of it was just too many three-ball counts and then put too many guys on with the walk,” Richard said.

Oakland, which had its six-game winning streak snapped Sunday by Cleveland, won for the 13th time in 16 games despite grounding into five double plays.

”As much as any team I’ve ever had Janoris Jenkins Jersey , at least at this point, there’s no panic when we’re down,” the skipper said.

Leadoff hitter Travis Jankowski had three hits for San Diego, which will conclude the short two-game series Wednesday having played 23 of its last 28 away from Petco Park.

BIG MAC HONORED

Padres bench coach Mark McGwire, a former A’s slugger who spent his first 11 1/2 big league seasons in the East Bay before being traded to the Cardinals in 1997, was honored before the game as part of Oakland’s 50th anniversary season festivities in a ceremony at home plate with team President Dave Kaval. Big Mac received his green No. 25 commemorative A’s jersey and the Bash Brother tipped his cap to the cheering crowd.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Padres: RHP Jordan Lyles, scratched in the bottom of the first inning June 23 just before his scheduled start and on the DL with inflammation in his pitching elbow, played catch with the relievers and depending how he felt afterward the Padres would decide when he is ready to throw off a mound. … The Padres placed RHP Kirby Yates on the paternity list and recalled RHP Colten Brewer from Triple-A El Paso.

Athletics: RHP Trevor Cahill, who has an impingement in his throwing elbow, pitched in the Arizona League and is likely to make another rehab appearance Sunday or Monday before potentially joining the A’s in Houston early next week. … RHP Daniel Mengden (sprained right foot) threw a bullpen session and if all was OK by Wednesday the A’s planned to send him to Triple-A Nashville for a rehab assignment. … Oakland optioned INF Franklin Barreto to Nashville to clear roster room for Chapman’s return.

UP NEXT

Padres: RHP Luis Perdomo (1-2, 8.36 ERA), a taxi squad player, will be called up Wednesday to make his fifth start of 2018.

Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea (8-6 John Brown Jersey , 3.38) is coming off a masterful June during which he went 3-0 with a 2.84 ERA in five starts.



Continuity paid off for the Los Angeles Rams' offense last season, starting with the same offensive line combination that played together in all but one game.

It certainly did for running back Todd Gurley, who signed a four-year, $60 million contract extension in July after running for 1,305 yards and scoring 19 total touchdowns last season behind that familiar front five.

"Whoever said money don't make you happy lied," Gurley said with a smile Wednesday.

The Rams expect even greater stability on offense to translate into continued success in head coach Sean McVay's second season, a belief that has been reinforced during the start of training camp.

At this same stage last year, the Rams were working in new additions at left tackle, center and wide receiver while learning the basics of a new offense, and were still weeks away from trading for wide receiver Sammy Watkins. They return 10 of 11 starters for this year's workouts at UC Irvine, with new acquisition Brandin Cooks replacing Watkins as the big play threat in the passing game.

Quarterback Jared Goff said the familiarity is paying dividends, especially during the transition from teaching the offense in the first few days to refining each element of a system that produced an NFL-leading 29.9 points per game.

"We feel like we're in a good spot," Goff said. "Offensively Shaun Alexander Jersey , we've been starting to click. I think today was the first day you really felt that consistency starting to gel. We're not so much installing anymore, we're running the same plays over and over again and starting to get a good feel with it."

"It makes everyone so much more comfortable just to come out here and just play our game. You don't have to think about too much, and that's what it is all about," Gurley said.

For Goff, his increased comfort level entering his second season as the starter manifests in a better understanding of what opposing defenses are trying to do.

"It just continues to slow down," Goff said. "Your pre-snap process is a lot smoother, and you're more under control of everything and are seeing things better."

While Goff is playing faster, there has been no deceleration by Gurley after signing a contract featuring the most guaranteed money for a running back in NFL history. Goff and McVay both praised his relentlessness in practice, with a prime example coming when Gurley kept running towards the end zone as McVay was setting up the next play in the sequence.

"I got what I want, now let's keep going," Gurley said. "Nothing doesn't stop. The grind continues. It's going to be even harder now, obviously, to be able to do what I did last year Cornellius Carradine Jersey , and teams are going to game plan for it. It's my job to go out there, put myself in a great position and try to work as hard as I can. As long as I do that, I feel comfortable with the players around me and the coaches around me to put me in a great position."

With so much familiarity returning, Gurley is ready to build on his best season to date. But he understands his individual production is the result of what the offense does together, declaring that every running back is the beneficiary of the blocking he gets before Gurley backtracked.

"Obviously, Barry Sanders is going to do what he do, but it doesn't matter what other running back you have back there. If you don't have all 11 doing one thing, then it's not going to work," he said.

NOTES: Outside linebacker Matt Longacre left practice early because of an undisclosed injury. . Kicker Greg Zuerlein made a 63-yard field goal during a simulated two-minute drill.

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The Los Angeles Rams exceeded every expectation and stunned the NFL during their surge to an 11-win season and the NFC West title.

That didn’t make the Rams’ opening-round playoff loss to Atlanta any easier to bear – at least not while it’s still fresh for the players and coaches who led the turnaround to get there.

”It’s a good start Taron Johnson Jersey , a great start,” receiver Robert Woods said Sunday. ”But we’ve got to keep building.”

The Rams’ comeback season is over after a 26-13 loss to the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons on Saturday night. The players still seemed stunned by the abrupt conclusion to a remarkable turnaround season as they cleaned out their lockers at the team’s training complex.

”It’s hard, because we had a good thing going,” guard Jamon Brown said. ”For it to come to a halt and stop like it did, it’s tough. But we learned that we have the guys to do it. It was a matter of having the scheme, having the right coaches, having the right attitude. We’re going to get better.”

After 13 consecutive non-winning seasons and 12 straight non-playoff seasons, the Rams (11-6) suddenly had it all under 31-year-old Sean McVay, who became the youngest head coach in league history to reach the playoffs. Los Angeles improved by seven wins on last season’s performance while moving from 32nd in the NFL in scoring in 2016 to first this season, more than doubling last season’s point production.

Although McVay said he isn’t sure exactly what to do this week, he hopes his players will understand they’re only as good as what happens next year. After outstanding seasons from Todd Gurley, Jared Goff and Aaron Donald, the Rams have pieces in place to do this again and again, McVay believes.

”I think this organization is going in the right direction,” McVay said. ”I think we’ve got a good foundation in place that we can build on Mike Daniels Jersey , but by no means does that mean that you win games automatically next year. While we did win some games this year, you still have to earn everything.”

The Rams have several decisions to make in the offseason on the fates of free-agent players including cornerback Trumaine Johnson, receiver Sammy Watkins and linebacker Connor Barwin. But after a season that revitalized a franchise and a fan base, McVay and the Rams appear to be on the way up.

Here are more things to watch as the Rams move on:

TRU STORY: Six Rams starters will be unrestricted free agents, including three defensive backs: Johnson, Lamarcus Joyner and Nickell Robey-Coleman. Johnson played the last two seasons under the franchise tag, but is likely to get a big contract this offseason as an elite cover cornerback. Los Angeles must navigate potential upheaval in the secondary, perhaps by drafting a cornerback or safety, if it hopes to return with another strong defense.

PAY THE MAN: Donald is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and the Rams seem unlikely to force their All-Pro defensive lineman into another holdout – except that also seemed unlikely this season, when Donald skipped the entirety of training camp and didn’t play in the first regular-season game. Donald is the Rams’ defensive cornerstone, and getting a record-setting deal done will be high on general manager Les Snead’s to-do list, just as it was last year.

SAMMY’S FUTURE: Watkins occasionally clicked with Goff after arriving during the preseason in a trade with Buffalo, catching 39 passes for 593 yards and eight touchdowns. But Goff clearly had more familiarity with Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, and it showed. Watkins is a free agent patrick mahomes stitched jersey , but could be kept in LA with the franchise tag or the transition tag. Watkins said he would love to stay with the Rams, but added: ”I just know it’s a business. Since I got traded from the Bills, it’s like anything can happen. I didn’t see that coming. I think I played pretty hard this year, and I can’t wait to see what my future holds, here or anywhere else.”

NEW QBs COACH?: McVay all but confirmed that quarterbacks coach Greg Olson is talking about moving to Oakland to work for new coach Jon Gruden, who happens to be McVay’s mentor. If Olson leaves, Goff will have his third position coach in three seasons. McVay encourages his assistants to move up in the coaching world, but he also hopes to keep the rest of his staff intact, saying he anticipates no changes other than the possible departure of Olson.

UNSWEET HOME: The Rams’ playoff loss was their fifth in eight games this season at the Coliseum, where the franchise is just 4-11 since returning home from St. Louis in 2016. The Rams also lost their final three home games this year despite increasingly raucous crowds while their improved play grabbed the attention of LA’s long-abandoned football fans. Linebacker Alec Ogletree believes the Rams had a strong us-against-the-world vibe while going 8-1 away from the Coliseum this season, but nobody is quite sure how to replicate it. With two seasons left in the Coliseum before the opening of their lavish Inglewood palace, McVay said the Rams must figure out how to play better at home.




TENNESSEE TITANS (10-8)

New faces: Coach Mike Vrabel, defensive coordinator Dean Pees, offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, CB Malcolm Butler Chris Wormley Jersey , RB Dion Lewis, G Kevin Pamphile, QB Blaine Gabbert, G Xavier Su’a-Filo, LB Will Compton, DL Bennie Logan, LB Rashaan Evans, LB Harold Landry, S Kendrick Lewis, S Kenny Vaccaro.

Key losses: Coach Mike Mularkey, defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, RB DeMarco Murray, QB Matt Cassel, DL Karl Klug, S Da’Norris Searcy O. J. Simpson Jersey , NT Sylvester Williams, strength coach Steve Watterson.

Strengths: Defense ranked fourth in NFL against run, tied for fifth in sacks in helping Titans to first playoff berth since 2008. RB Derrick Henry led team in rushing despite only two starts. Titans had second-fewest penalties in league. QB Marcus Mariota missed only one game and led 18-point rally for first playoff victory in 14 years. Mariota also coming off first healthy offseason since entering NFL, with offense designed to fit his skills. Offensive line featuring two-time Pro Bowl LT Taylor Lewan returns all five starters, though RT Jack Conklin is coming off torn ACL. WR Corey Davis coming off healthy offseason, and three-time Pro Bowl TE Delanie Walker is back, with TE Jonnu Smith poised for better second season.

Weaknesses: Veteran WR Rishard Matthew has been on physically unable to perform list all preseason. Aside from Matthews and Davis, rest of receiving corps is very young and untested. Evans was hurt in opening days of training camp. Secondary lost starting S Johnathan Cyprien in camp to torn ACL with two other key backups also on injured reserve.

Fantasy Players To Watch: Davis. The fifth overall draft pick in 2017 flashed his big play potential in his injury-plagued rookie season. He has been healthy and worked with Mariota most of offseason.

Vegas Says: Super Bowl 52-1. Over/under wins 8.

Expectations: Titans want much more after consecutive 9-7 seasons, including sweep of AFC South champion Jacksonville last season and winning wild-card game at Kansas City. Firing Mularkey and hiring Vrabel was made to get most out of Mariota in his fourth season. Titans bolstered secondary adding Butler to CBs Logan Ryan and Adoree Jackson and All-Pro S Kevin Byard. This is 20th season since franchise debuted Titans nickname, which ended in team’s lone Super Bowl berth in Atlanta, where next Super Bowl will be played.

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Kevin Anderson won the longest Centre Court match in history and earned a chance to try to collect his first Grand Slam championship [url=http://www.seahawkscheapstore.com/justin-britt-jersey-cheap]Justin Britt Jersey[/url] , edging John Isner 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-4, 26-24 in the semifinals at Wimbledon in a marathon between two big servers that lasted more than 6 1/2 hours.

The fifth set alone lasted nearly 3 hours as the match became a test of endurance more than skill. Anderson finally earned the must-have, go-ahead service break with the help of a point in which the right-hander tumbled to his backside, scrambled back to his feet and hit a shot lefty.

Only one match at the All England Club has been longer: Isner’s 2010 first-round victory over Nicolas Mahut, which went more than 11 hours over three days and finished 70-68 in the fifth. That was played over on Court 18, which now bears a plaque commemorating the record-setter.

The contest lasted so long, the day’s second semifinal didn’t finish. Novak Djokovic was leading Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9) in a compelling showdown filled with entertaining points that was suspended as soon as the third set concluded at just past 11 p.m., the curfew at the All England Club.

NFL

PLANO, Texas (AP) – Walt Coleman doesn’t see the revamped catch rule as a big change for NFL game officials because the veteran referee believes they’ve already been calling catches the new way.

If anything, Coleman said he figure there will be fewer reviews of their rulings.

Officials gathered for their annual preseason meeting in the Dallas area.

League owners unanimously approved the changes in April – more than three years after Dez Bryant’s infamous catch that wasn’t in Dallas’ playoff loss at Green Bay, and just a few months since Pittsburgh’s Jesse James had a late go-ahead touchdown taken away in a loss to New England that damaged the Steelers’ hopes for the AFC’s top seed.

Essentially, the new rule eliminates the ground as a factor on catches while establishing three main criteria: having control of the ball; getting two feet down or another body part; and making a football move [url=http://www.buccaneerscheapstore.com/demar-dotson-jersey-cheap]Demar Dotson Jersey[/url] , such as taking a third step or extending the ball.

NEW YORK (AP) – DeMarco Murray is retiring from the NFL.

The 2014 Offensive Player of the Year made the announcement four months after being released by the Tennessee Titans.

Murray, 30, lost his job to Derrick Henry last season and was due to make $6.25 million in 2018 when the Titans let him go. He ran for 659 yards and six touchdowns last season, dealt with a knee injury late in the year, and missed the Titans’ final regular-season game and two playoff contests.

The Titans acquired Murray in a March 2016 trade with the Eagles. Murray had spent one year with Philadelphia after playing four seasons with the Cowboys. Murray was playing for Dallas in 2014 when he won the NFL rushing title and Offensive Player of the Year honors.

He was a dominant force that season for the Cowboys, who went 12-4 to win the NFC East. Murray ran for a league-best 1,845 yards, then signed a five-year, $40 million deal as a free agent with Philadelphia in 2015.

BASEBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Chase Utley will retire from baseball at the end of this season, capping a 16-year career that included a World Series championship with Philadelphia and an elder-statesman role with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The six-time All-Star said he’s leaving to spend more time with his wife and two young sons.

Utley announced his decision at a jammed news conference in the basement of Dodger Stadium, with several of his teammates surprising him by crowding into the small, steamy room.

Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw sat on the floor in a corner, with Matt Kemp, Rich Hill, Corey Seager, Austin Barnes and Kenta Maeda joining him. Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt looked on, while hitting coach Turner Ward used his phone to capture video. Yasiel Puig hung in the back [url=http://www.saintscheapstore.com/michael-hoomanawanui-jersey-cheap]Michael Hoomanawanui Jersey[/url] , and 92-year-old Dodgers pitching great Don Newcombe listened in.

AUTO RACING

SPARTA, Ky. (AP) – Christopher Bell rallied from the rear of the field after a tire change due to a spin during qualifying, steadily worked his way up the field and passed Justin Allgaier with 17 laps remaining before holding off Daniel Hemric to win the 300-mile NASCAR Xfinity race at Kentucky Speedway.

Bell drove his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to his second victory this season.

Bell, who has three career victories in the Xfinity Series, moved within 17 points of co-leaders Elliott Sadler (12th) and Hemric. He trails third-place Cole Custer by 14.

Cup Series regular Kyle Busch (Toyota) led three times for a race-high 111 laps and won the first stage but finished third. Allgaier was fourth in a Chevrolet and pole winner Custer (Ford) fifth. John Hunter Nemechek won the second stage but finished seventh in a Chevrolet.

NBA

NEW YORK (AP) – Jeremy Lin’s injury-plagued stint in Brooklyn is over as the Nets agreed to trade him to Atlanta.

The move helps clear up the Nets’ logjam at point guard and sends Lin to another team that is also pretty crowded at the position. The Hawks announced they also acquired a 2025 second-round pick and the right to swap second-round picks in 2023 with the Nets, who acquired the draft rights to shooting guard Isaia Cordinier and a protected 2020 second-round pick.

Lin has a year and $12.5 million left on the contract he signed two summers ago.

NEW YORK (AP) – The Brooklyn Nets acquired forwards Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur along with a 2019 first-round pick from the Denver Nuggets.

The Nets also received a second-round pick in 2020 in the trade and sent guard I Second-year Colts general manager Chris Ballard has used five NFL draft picks in two days on prospects he is hoping will toughen up his rebuilding team in the trenches.

Granted, the needs are numerous for a franchise that finished 4-12 last year and has missed the playoffs for three consecutive years, but Ballard bypassed skill-position players for a second consecutive day with Friday's second-round selections of South Carolina State outside linebacker Darius Leonard, Auburn guard Braden Smith, Rutgers defensive end Kemoko Turay and Ohio State defensive end Tyquan Lewis.

The Colts moved up three spots in a trade with Cleveland to select Lewis with the final choice of the second round. That's four of five players taken who play along the line after Ballard used Thursday's No. 6 overall pick on Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson.

"No question the emphasis on our fronts, the front seven on defense and the O-line," Ballard said. "I had some frustrating moments last year, where I thought physically we didn't match up against teams, especially in our (AFC South) division. It's hard to sustain winning when your foundation, your O-line and your D-line, aren't good."

Nelson and Smith signify a concerted effort to better protect quarterback Andrew Luck, who missed all of 2017 due to shoulder surgery. The Colts allowed a league-high 56 sacks last season.

It's just the third time since 1970 that the Colts have used first- and second-round selections on offensive linemen. In 2011 [url=http://www.ravenscheapstores.com/ronnie-stanley-jersey-cheap]Ronnie Stanley Jersey[/url] , they added current starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo in the opening round and guard Ben Ijalana in the second. In 1997, they drafted eventual Pro Bowl left tackle Tarik Glenn in the first and guard Adam Meadows in the second.

New head coach Frank Reich, an assistant with the Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia Eagles last season, attributed the championship to the play of the fronts on both sides of the ball.

"It's not a new philosophy," he said. "I'm glad Chris and I share that same belief. That's a conviction we're going to stick to."

Nelson, lauded for his physical style and nastiness, was generally regarded as the draft's best guard prospect. Smith, a 6-6 and 315-pound lineman named to All-SEC teams in his last three years, allowed just 11 hurries in 1,103 pass-blocking snaps last season, according to Pro Football Focus.

"It's about competition," Reich said. "My experience has been you're not looking for five starters, you're looking for eight or nine starters on the offensive line. That's usually the way it roles in the year. You want that depth."

But a 29th-ranked defense that ranked next to last in sacks is also in need of an identity and playmakers. Leonard, a MEAC defensive player of the year taken with the 36th overall pick, is projected to be a weak-side linebacker who can play all three downs in the Colts' new 4-3 scheme. The 6-2 and 234-pound defender has the skills to not just make tackles but rush the passer and cover tight ends.

"The athlete, the speed, that's what we want at linebacker [url=http://www.raiderscheapstore.com/emmanuel-lamur-jersey-cheap]Emmanuel Lamur Jersey[/url] ," Ballard said. "We want guys who can play in space and close to the football. You have to do that with speed."

Leonard boosted his stock against quality competition, particularly with a season-high 19 tackles against Clemson and 14 tackles in the Senior Bowl.

Turay, the highest-drafted defensive end in Rutgers history, has impressive pass-rush skills but not the gaudy statistics; he started nine of 12 games and had 65 tackles, seven for loss, with four sacks last season. He's raw and considered somewhat of a project, and his development was slowed by two shoulder surgeries in college.

But Ballard sees tremendous upside.

"He didn't look like a project at the Senior Bowl," Ballard said. "He looked like the freaking best pass rusher at the game."

Smith, a two-time All-Big Ten first-team selection, had 9.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks for the Buckeyes last season.

"You win up front," Ballard said. "You win when you rush. You win with speed. That's how we're going to play. We're going to play with waves, seven and eight defensive linemen."

The Colts parted with a sixth-round pick in the Browns deal, but added a fifth-round selection in a trade with the Eagles by moving down three spots in the second round before taking Turay. That gives the Colts a fourth-round pick, two in the fifth and one in the seventh as the draft comes to a close on Saturday.

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Dallas Cowboys cornerback Marquez White has been indicted on one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in what he described as a road-rage incident in suburban Dallas.

The 23-year-old White said in a statement to his hometown newspaper [url=http://www.billscheapstore.com/patrick-dimarco-jersey-cheap]Patrick DiMarco Jersey[/url] , the Dothan Eagle in Alabama, that a motorist became angry with White as he drove home in October. White says he pulled a handgun when the motorist appeared to be reaching for his own. He says the other driver followed him home and yelled racial slurs at him.

White, who is black, was indicted by a Collin County grand jury in early June and arrested June 15. He later posted bond and was released.

White played at Florida State before being drafted by the Cowboys. He spent his rookie season on the practice squad.


Fantasy football players who miss out on the elite quartet of running backs can still make a pair of moves to boldly position for a championship.

Selecting Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins in the first round isn't shocking. After all, Hopkins comes off a 2017 season that saw him catch 96 passes for 1,378 yards and 13 touchdowns. Over the past three seasons, Hopkins has been targeted a whopping 518 times despite the offensive struggles of the Houston offense.

It's taking Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson next where pencils and jaws will drop.

Running backs have regained the upper hand atop most drafts and sound logic suggests waiting until the fourth or fifth round to consider a quarterback in standard leagues. In this case, throw logic aside and step out of the safe zone to roll the dice on what will be the best pass-catching duo available. Even with questions about his surgically-repaired knee [url=http://www.buccaneerscheapstore.com/justin-evans-jersey-cheap]Justin Evans Jersey[/url] , Watson is that good and has the potential to outpoint any running back not named Todd Gurley II, Le'Veon Bell, David Johnson or Ezekiel Elliott.

High risk move? Why, yes, yet Watson averaged 43.2 fantasy points in his last five starts before tearing an ACL. Watson threw all but one of his 19 touchdown passes in that span, with six of those going to Hopkins, who averaged 95.6 yards and 9.4 targets per contest. With Watson at the helm, Hopkins averaged 16.2 fantasy points per game [url=http://www.packerscheapstore.com/davante-adams-jersey-cheap]Davante Adams Jersey[/url] , giving them a combined total of 59.4 fantasy points between the duo.

Cornering the market on a QB-WR combo that potent is worth the risk, especially when fantasy players consider that the Texans open the regular season with five straight games against opponents (at Patriots, at Titans, vs. Giants, at Colts, vs. Cowboys) that were 21st or worse in fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers. In a potential fantasy playoff scenario in Weeks 15 and 16, Houston gets the Jets (19th) and Eagles (24th), giving the gamble even more appeal.

Missing out on the top two tiers at running back means following up the Hopkins-Watson combo with a receiver such as Larry Fitzgerald of the Cardinals (or a tight end like the Eagles' Zach Ertz or Travis Kelce of the Chiefs) [url=http://www.dolphinscheapstore.com/adam-joseph-duhe-jersey-cheap]Adam Joseph Duhe Jersey[/url] , bolstering the team in a PPR format. The fourth round will unearth a solid back or two like Jordan Howard of the Bears.

If Watson is healthy and the Texans offense is that good, a fantasy title could be in sight.

CAUGHT IN A BIND

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (groin) will be out until late August, leaving his fantasy baseball owners in a major bind. There is some relief on the waiver wire, as Pirates backstop Elias Diaz has emerged as a solid hitter (.286 batting average, seven homers, 25 RBIs) and Omar Narvaez of the White Sox is quietly hitting .285 with modest power numbers.

There no such thing as completely replacing Sanchez, yet Diaz and Narvaez provide reasonable options to keep production sound behind the plate.

KEEPING UP WITH JONES

Youngster Erik Jones ($9,600/FanDuel [url=http://www.vikingscheapstore.com/laquon-treadwell-jersey-cheap]Laquon Treadwell Jersey[/url] , $8,400/DraftKings) snapped his four-race streak of top-10 finishes when he placed 16th in last week's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire but has a good opportunity to start anew in Sunday's Gander 400 in Pocono. Jones comes into the weekend having scored at least 21 points in seven of his last nine races.

Jones, who won at Daytona earlier this month, is a good sleeper pick as he seeks to end what has been an impressive July.

This column was provided to The Associated Press by the Fantasy Sports Network, ://FNTSY


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