Giants not “currently” interested in Dez Bryant

In the week since he was released by the Dallas Cowboys, free agent wide receiver Dez Bryant has expressed a strong desire to join another NFC East team in order to get back at his former team – such as the New York Giants. However, it takes two to tango, and it seems as though the Giants aren’t looking to dance.

Speaking on NFL Up to the Minute Friday on NFL Network, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Giants currently are not interested in adding Bryant to their wide receiver corps.

“As far as the Giants go,” said Rapoport, “my understanding is they are not at this point a team vying for his services.”

Rudy Gay started in place of Kyle Anderson, a lineup switch Popovich made because he said the Spurs needed more offense, and Gay responded with 12 points.

Kerr harped on turnovers before the game, saying it was one of his main critiques of Saturday’s double-digit win, in which his team tallied 18 turnovers.

“We got very careless with the ball in transition,” Kerr said.

His team then recorded seven turnovers in the opening quarter Monday, one shy of the most in a first quarter since Kerr took over in 2014.

New Orleans made 12 picks in the last two drafts. Out of those 12, the Saints have landed three Pro Bowlers, five starters — including a couple more with Pro Bowl potential — and two key members of the defensive line rotation, all of whom established themselves in two seasons or less.

Any team in the NFL would be happy to have that success rate.

“That’s hard to follow,” Loomis said at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. “We’re going to try. We’re going to give it our best shot, but it’s harder when you don’t have as many picks, that’s the bottom line.”

Picking late in the first round might limit a few options, but there is still immediate impact to be found outside of the top half of the round. New Orleans landed Ryan Ramczyk at No. 32 last year, Marcus Williams at No. 42, Alvin Kamara at No. 67 last year and grabbed Michael Thomas at No. 47 and Vonn Bell at No. 61 in 2016.

The Popovich coaching tree has produced fruit in Brett Brown (Philadelphia Sixers), Mike Budenholzer (Atlanta Hawks), and Mike Brown (Golden State Warriors assistant coach), and with Udoka on the rise, the tree continues to flourish.seahawks_110

Cowboys taking hard look at wide receiver prospects

A Cowboys’ contingent, including head coach Jason Garrett and wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal, spent Wednesday in Alabama looking at draft prospects. Lal coached up Alabama receiver Calvin Ridley, who could be a Cowboys’ target at No. 19 if he lasts that long.

“That was a blessing to have coach Garrett there, an NFL coach to coach you up,” Sutton said. “He kind of asked before the workout, he said, ‘You want me just to sit back and watch you and let you do what you want to, or do you want me to coach? I said, ‘Coach, I’d love for you to coach me.’ That’s something a lot of people don’t get a chance to do, and to have someone of his caliber out here willing to coach me and go with the drills was a blessing.”

The Cowboys signed Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson in free agency, but owner Jerry Jones said earlier this week they still could draft a receiver.

Johnson, a former fifth-round pick of the Steelers, started 15 games for the Jets last season.

Travis Swanson, who started most of the season in the middle for the Lions last year, remains unsigned.

The demise of the Patriots has been exaggerated on several occasions before 2018, so what’s wrong with writing off New England for yet another NFL offseason?

For now, with the younger Julian Edelman (32 to be) on the mend and Rob Gronkowski not retiring, the Patriots are fine without Amendola’s receiving across the middle. They were looking at a crowded wideout group, anyway. Behind Edelman, Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, Phillip Dorsett and Kenny Britt all were in the mix, and that was before they acquired Patterson.

One can’t blame the oft-injured Amendola for taking the money and running to the rival Dolphins for a good late-career deal (two years, $12 million). One also can’t blame the Patriots for thinking they no longer needed him as slot insurance.flames_005

Schultz’s OT goal lifts Penguins past Flames 4-3

Mike Sullivan would love to point to a coaching tactic or some semblance of strategy that explains why the Pittsburgh Penguins are so good in overtime.

Letang put the Penguins back in front with a wrist shot off the rush from the right circle that ripped over Gillies’ right shoulder with 2:59 left in the second. Calgary responded again, with T.J. Brodie threading a pass between Ruhwedel’s legs to Brouwer’s awaiting stick. Brouwer had no trouble sending it by Jarry to tie it with 2 seconds left in the period.

The sticks will be auctioned by the team’s foundations, with the proceeds going to the “You Can Play” organization, which promotes inclusion in all sports for LGBTQ athletes. …

Trotz has pulled Holtby four times from a game since Feb. 3 and his backup Phillippe Grubauer has won his last four starts but Trotz affirmed his support for his starter after the Anaheim loss.

“He hasn’t had a real good stretch just like any player,” Trotz said. “He is going to work with our goaltending coaches and get his game in order. He has won a lot of games for us and he is an elite goaltender in this league. Everybody goes through some dry spells and he is having one right now.”

Coming into the season, the Bruins were thought to be rebuilding around players like McAvoy, but success accelerated the plan. They have the second-most points in the Eastern Conference. At the trade deadline, then, Boston traded for wingers Rick Nash and Tommy Wingels and defenseman Nick Holden and signed Olympian Brian Gionta.

But then center Patrice Bergeron, the team’s leading goal scorer, broke his foot at the end of February. He will be re-evaluated next week. Goaltender Tuukka Rask was a late scratch Saturday with a lower-body injury, and Anton Khudobin started in goal Tuesday against the Red Wings.

“We knew if we kept playing hard, the goals were going to come,” Hartman said. “That one felt good.”

Dallas coach Ken Hitchcock took his timeout with 47.6 seconds left and had Lehtonen out for the extra attacker. Klingberg was collecting the puck deep for one last rush when he tripped. Hitchcock said Lehtonen gave the Stars a chance against a deep Nashville team.packers_158

Days after the incident, Villanueva issued a long explanation for what happened and expressed remorse for standing alone for the anthem.

Meanwhile, it’s now clear WFAN wants to be done with Francesa, his grandstanding public offer to stay on to rescue “the company” from ruin after Carton’s arrest dismissed as more self-inflating megalomania.

Still, his colossal self-delusions continue. Tuesday he claimed, “I’m a very good horse handicapper.” For all his years of on-air big-race handicapping, no one can recall him touting even one winner — before the race. Around New York’s tracks, where “my seats are on the finish line,” he’s regarded as a bad joke.

Based on his recent we-know-better boastful gambling talk, I sense his next stop will be on former CBS colleague Brent Musburger’s SiriusXM radio gambling show.

14. Dak Prescott, quarterback, Cowboys (NR): A fourth-round pick who comes out of nowhere to play flawlessly in the preseason and then lands the starting job when the veteran (in this case, Tony Romo) gets injured. You probably couldn’t have scripted a more interesting scenario, and the fact it’s the Cowboys only magnifies the curiosity factor.

Harris, freshly signed off the practice squad, freed himself from blanket coverage by Minnesota’s Trae Waynes, laid out, caught Kirk Cousins’ pass with one hand and landed on the pylon. His initial reward was to see the nearest official call the pass incomplete, but he rightly was awarded the touchdown on review.

Lynch was arrested in 2008 and 2012 for separate incidents, but that’s not the reason he’s here. He became a heel late in his career with Seattle, whether it was a crotch-grab during a touchdown run or an outright refusal to speak to the media. Who could forget “I’m here so I won’t get fined” before Super Bowl XLIX? He’s one of the most physical runners in NFL history, even if he had a fair share of haters.

Gronk is the ultimate frat boy. He drinks. He dances. He directs his own party-boy cruises. He gets away with all of it because, well, “Who doesn’t love Gronk?” Give credit to Gronkowski. He doesn’t apologize for any of it, and he doesn’t care what anybody thinks. For the haters, it’s just another reason to loathe the Patriots.

Elliott’s suspension comes at a time when the Dallas offense has been flying, scoring at least 28 points in each of the past three games.nike-youth-cardinals-103

Alex Smith and Derek Carr are headed to another shootout.

Oakland arguably has the toughest schedule of the three teams, still having to play at Kansas City and Los Angeles with a trip to NFC juggernaut Philadelphia in between. But the Raiders’ makeup last season was coming through consistently in the fourth quarter with Carr and being fearless on the road, no matter the distance, no matter the opponent.

The trick is carrying over the fire and intensity, which shouldn’t be a problem now with sudden life in the quest for a second consecutive playoff berth. It probably won’t take more than nine wins to capture a division that was expected to be the best in the NFL. Consider the Broncos were in third place at 9-7 last season, while both the Raiders and Chiefs were 12-4.

Give the slight edge to Kansas City because of desperation at Arrowhead.

What transpired Tuesday was even more embarrassing than New York’s 2-9 record for a team considered a legitimate Super Bowl contender entering the season. The Giants railroaded Manning into ceding his starting job when telling him backup Geno Smith would play in the second half of Sunday’s game at Oakland no matter how things unfolded in the first two quarters. New York knew someone as prideful as Manning wouldn’t accept such a cockamamie plan just to keep alive his string of 222 consecutive starts (including the postseason).

Manning bowed out as gracefully as he could under the circumstances and shifted to a second-string role.

Don’t be fooled by McAdoo’s gaga about this move being made because the Giants want “a complete evaluation of the roster top to bottom, especially at the quarterback position, moving on to next season.” This was all about putting New York in better position to lose its final five games with Smith and rookie Davis Webb under center and thus secure the highest draft pick possible to select a quarterback.lakers_004

Watch: Rams coach Sean McVay breaks down Snoop Dogg play

The players also received a lot of love from the crowd, but none got more than Stephen Curry. The crowd chanted “MVP” when the team captain received his ring last. These fans clearly view Curry above all others, including reigning Finals MVP, Kevin Durant. Curry thanked Dubnation fans before the official 2017 NBA Championship banner dropped from the rafters.

“It’s a league matter,” Kerley said. “My main focus right now is Thursday. It’s a quick turnaround. Any questions about that, I’d love to answer. As far as the suspension, I’m going to leave that up to the league.”

Asked if he expects to play Thursday night against the Bills, Kerley said, “I don’t know. As far as right now, I’m ready to play.”

Coach Todd Bowles also deferred to the league on the matter, but he said they’d be able to adjust if a suspension is handed down before Thursday.

Kerley will be a key loss for the Jets (3-5). He was their No. 3 receiver and played in 55 percent of the offensive snaps over the first eight games, compiling 22 catches (fourth on the team) for 217 yards and a touchdown.

Kerley also assumed the punt-returning role in recent weeks, and his fourth-quarter muff on Sunday proved costly in a 25-20 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

Without Kerley, the Jets will use one of their two rookies — Chad Hansen or ArDarius Stewart — as the No. 3 receiver, behind Jermaine Kearse and Robby Anderson.

Kerley became the fourth Jets player to be suspended in 2017. Previously, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, wide receiver Jalin Marshall and defensive back Nick Marshall served suspensions. Seferian-Jenkins’ two-game ban (Weeks 1 and 2) stemmed from a DUI arrest that occurred in September 2016 while he was playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.chargers_016

NFL odds 2017, Week 5: Betting lines, trends, and analysis for the week’s top games

The Los Angeles Rams are 6-18 straight up and 10-14 against the spread in their last 24 games against the Seahawks. The Rams have won three of the last four games in this head-to-head series, however, and are hoping to pick up another win over their division rivals on Sunday.

Los Angeles is a 2.5-point home favorite over Seattle at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. This marks the first time that the Rams have been a betting favorite against Seattle since back in 2011, when they lost 24-7 as a 3-point home favorite.

The Rams have been one of the biggest early surprises of the 2017 season with a 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS start to the year, and a win over Seattle would give Los Angeles an early commanding lead in the NFC West.

The 49ers have lacked consistency in the punt return game since Ted Ginn left, and it seems like a matter of time before Taylor busts one for a touchdown. In the passing game, he is showing confidence that receivers with significant experience lack. With Marquise Goodwin and Aldrick Robinson dealing with drops, Taylor is starting to emerge as the second wide receiver option behind Gar?on.

The title of “best Seahawks newcomer” realistically could only go to one of Griffin or Chris Carson, and while Carson has earned all of the accolades and it’s devastating to lose his services, Griffin is my choice because he’s been thrown into the unenviable role of “The guy quarterbacks target because Richard Sherman is on the other side,” and he’s handled it extremely well.
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Packers vs. Vikings odds 2017: Green Bay betting favorite on road at rival Minnesota

The Green Bay Packers are 7-1 straight up and 5-3 against the spread in their last eight road games against division rivals. The Packers will face a division rival on the road this Sunday when they visit the Minnesota Vikings.

Brett Hundley will step in as Rodgers’ replacement on Sunday as the Packers are a 6-point home underdog hosting the New Orleans Saints.

The week wraps up with two intriguing matchups. The Atlanta Falcons visit the New England Patriots (-3.5) in a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl on Sunday Night Football and the 5-1 SU Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5) host Washington on Monday Night Football. Atlanta is 8-1 ATS in its last nine night games.John Harbaugh defends Ravens OC Marty Mornhinweg, anemic offense

John Harbaugh deflected some of the criticism aimed at offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg on Monday, saying no one should point the finger at him even though the Baltimore Ravens rank among the worst offenses in the NFL.

There were no more miracles.

“Adrian made a great play,” Gould said. “They made blocks. They made a lot of good blocks. And we’re sitting here talking about a 55-yard game-winner.”

Peterson was named NFC offensive player of the week. Hester was named NFC special teams player of the week.

“All of the great things that happened are forgotten,” Hester said after.

More than any other game in 2007, this one summed up the Bears season. There were fireworks, and there was heartbreak. It was the second of five “must win” games that could have gotten the Bears back to .500. We lost all five.
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The Kansas City Chiefs are a perfect 9-0 straight up and against the spread in their last nine games on the road.

The Chiefs can extend that streak with another win and cover this Thursday night against the Oakland Raiders.

“I thought EJ gave us a chance there at the end,” Del Rio said. “He did some things really well, and so there’s some definite positive, encouraging signs, that we can build on.”

If Carr just misses two weeks, Manuel may be just fine against the Ravens and Chargers. But if he misses more time, the Bills and Chiefs will be challenges for Manuel and the Raiders.

The four organizations are based in the three communities in which Long has played during his NFL career. The city that raises the most money during the season will receive an additional $50,000 donation.

“There’s a lot of opportunities to help out, and they’re wonderful organizations,” Long said. “We have such a great platform as football players, and hopefully fans get behind it.”

Long grew up in Charlottesville and starred in high school at St. Anne’s-Belfield before going to the University of Virginia. He was moved to start the scholarship program following the violent protests in Charlottesville in August.

“Our hometown is a wonderful place, and I feel like people got the wrong idea about what the residents of Charlottesville are all about,” he said.

It’s entirely possible that had the Lions needed to release an injury report this week, 20 players would be on it. How many will get back for next Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh? That’s the biggest question for the Lions right now. — Michael Rothstein
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Kirk Cousins’ terrible opening week could screw up two franchises

Cousins hasn’t been able to come to terms with Washington on a long-term deal, and back-to-back franchise tags have forced him to take big money up front while gambling on himself to earn the league’s next massive quarterback contract. On Sunday, the franchise’s inability to come to terms with its young passer looked like a positive.

Cousins put together a solid Brock Osweiler impression against the Eagles, needing 40 passes to gain just 240 yards. Despite getting paid nearly $24 million this season, he was outplayed by passers like Tyrod Taylor and Jared Goff. His team managed just one offensive touchdown.

But that’s not just bad for Washington. The San Francisco 49ers currently start the most-caretakerest of quarterbacks in Brian Hoyer, and a Cousins-to-Santa-Clara move has been rumored ever since his former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan took the head coaching job out west. With the quarterback and his current team nearing a breaking point in contract negotiations, the 49ers were in a prime position to swoop in and hand Cousins a starting job.

Chargers kicker and internet sensation, Younghoe Koo, had a chance for a game-winning field goal against the Dolphins on Sunday and missed, leading to a 19-17 loss for Los Angeles. It was the second week in a row Koo has missed a field goal in the closing seconds of the game.

He walked on to the football team at nearby Cal, earning kickoff duties as a true freshman and working his way into field goal duty as the season wore on. As a senior, he connected on 20 of his 23 attempts — and was somehow more accurate from long range than he was on extra points (36-of-42).
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