Refs penalize 49ers’ Bruce Ellington for lightly tossing ball at opponent

When refs announced an unsportsmanlike conduct on 49ers WR Bruce Ellington for “throwing the football at” a member of the Rams after fair catching a punt, we thought we were going to see something juicy on the replay. We saw this:

I think everybody agrees that athletes shouldn’t be allowed to angrily chuck things at their opponents, including the ball of the game they were playing. As enjoyable as it was to watch Chris Dudley flip out and hurl a ball at Shaq’s back after getting dunked on, we can all agree it’s unsportsmanlike and uncalled for and could lead to unnecessary injury, if the ball is thrown hard enough.

But Ellington tossed it. He tossed it lightly. He tossed it so lightly that the Rams player easily caught the ball after it softly ricocheted off his chest, with no flinching or recoiling after getting hit by the ball.

The penalty was within 15 yards of San Francisco’s end zone, so it was only a 5-yard penalty, but, still!

I think someone needs to have a chat with Jameis Winston, after he made what appeared to be an inappropriate comment while speaking to an elementary school classroom earlier this week. Winston empowered the boys in the room, telling them they were “strong,” and that they’d accomplish anything they wanted in life, then adding “but the ladies, they’re supposed to be silent, polite, gentle.” Twitter immediately jumped on Winston for the word “silent,” in particular, and Winston later said that he used poor word choice. The word “silent” is bad, but this goes beyond that. Speech like this basically implies that men and women are not equal and are defined by these gender roles, and Winston is saying all of this to elementary school students. According to the Tampa Bay Times, one girl in the class turned to a teacher and said, “I’m strong too.”3

Adrian Peterson is perplexed that people doubt him

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Alex Ovechkin Authentic Jersey Vikings running back Adrian Peterson knows a lot of people doubt he can ever return to his past greatness, but he doesn¡¯t understand why.

Peterson told Josina Anderson of ESPN he¡¯s perplexed by that talk. Peterson notes that he has previously recovered from a serious knee injury to have an MVP season, and he notes that in 2015 he led the league with 1,485 rushing yards. He sees no reason he can¡¯t come back again and have another big year in 2017.

The Browns also got a pair of fourth-round picks and one fifth-round compensatory pick. One of those fourth-round picks, No. 139 overall, will go to the Eagles as part of last year¡¯s pre-draft trade that allowed the Eagles to move up and select Carson Wentz.

So, the Browns currently hold 11 picks in this year¡¯s draft, including Nos. 1 and 12 in the first round and five of the first 65 picks. They tied a record by drafting 14 players last season.

This is the third consecutive year and fourth time since 2012 that the Browns have held 10 or more picks, and it goes without saying that the franchise is a bit overdue in using those picks to spark a turnaround.

It¡¯s a great point, and it means that, as a practical matter, a football would need to have sufficient chips to create a digital map of its location in relation to yard markers, sidelines, goal lines, etc.

Which means that it would make a lot more sense to suspend efforts to digitize the football and instead put cameras in as many places as possible to give a full and complete universe of angles and looks to ensure that officials will be able to quickly and efficiently determine whether the ruling on the field was right or wrong.

Johnson gives up his role on ESPN’s NBA Countdown to take the Lakers job.

Limited Youth Ross Cockrell Jersey “I want to see how they practice, how they prepare for a game,” he said. “That’s really important. It’s one thing to see it on TV, but it’s another thing when you’re right there in person.”

Authentic Aaron Ekblad Jersey He’s excited to get started.

“If you could draw up your dream job, what would it be? This would be it,” he said.

Johnson gives up his role on ESPN’s NBA Countdown to take the Lakers job.

“Magic informed us of his decision to accept this opportunity with the Lakers and thus end his current role on NBA Countdown in order to focus on his newfound responsibilities,” ESPN said in a statement. “We’re grateful for the terrific contributions Magic has made to our NBA coverage and we wish him all the best. We look forward to documenting the next step in Magic’s unprecedented basketball journey.”

The Lakers also announced that they have parted ways with Black, the longtime publicist who was with the team for 27 seasons. Lakers chief operating officer Tim Harris will immediately search for Black’s replacement, the Lakers noted in their statement.

Thomas, a 10-time Pro Bowler, has never missed a start and is one of the best left tackles in league history. He’s also been with the Browns for his entire career and has never sniffed the playoffs.

The Browns are in rebuilding mode and have stockpiled draft picks for the next couple years. Thomas will turn 33 next season, too. But to finally trade one of the cornerstones of the team — and for only a third-round pick — seems baffling. And also very Browns.

Kyle Shanahan is tasked with turning things around for the 49ers, and he’s facing this undertaking without any viable option at quarterback. Meanwhile, back in Atlanta remains the quarterback Shanahan coaxed an MVP performance out of in 2016: Matt Ryan. Now, Ryan is the face of the Falcons, and there’s literally no reason that the Falcons would want to move on from him considering his performance last season, which culminated in a Super Bowl appearance.

4 things we appreciate about Dikembe Mutombo’s disappointed NBA Dunk Contest reaction

I have a confession to make: I missed the Dunk Contest over the weekend. It wasn¡¯t because I didn¡¯t care, but rather I fell asleep an hour before All-Star Saturday aired on TV, and I stayed asleep for three hours.

Womens Braydon Coburn Jersey Eventually, I had to catch up with what happened via my Twitter feed, but there was one highlight that told me everything I needed to know about the Dunk Contest: Dikembe Mutombo recording a failed dunk and shaking his head in disgust while deleting the recording:

I don¡¯t doubt that there were some really good dunks; I nodded my head in approval while reading through the top five of Tim Cato¡¯s dunk rankings. But the sight of a disappointed Mutombo indicated to me that this year¡¯s contest didn¡¯t live up to last year¡¯s duel between Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine. This is the same man who had this memorable reaction to an Aaron Gordon dunk last year:

There are some other things about that Mutombo video that I admire along with his reaction:

Lowry¡¯s refined three-point shot has fully arrived, and he¡¯s one of the reasons the Raptors are chasing after the Cavaliers in the playoffs this season. Toronto recently traded for Serge Ibaka, and Lowry stands to benefit from his new power forward¡¯s presence on both ends of the floor.

Sure, a bit of posturing, but Keselowski¡¯s point does carry some validity.
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Plate racing is more than just supreme horsepower and finding the right drafting partner at an opportune time. Winning at Daytona and its sister track, Talladega Superspeedway, is akin to a chess match where drivers need to make and execute passes in the moment, but also think ahead and plan accordingly.

This doesn’t mean these are the best recruiting classes ever. There are a couple differences there.

For one thing, though prospects have been covered in publications for decades, national ratings were only formalized around the turn of the century, by Rivals and Scout, with the 247Sports Composite arising as a way to combine all the major ratings into one. A few years ago, SI’s Andy Staples went back to World War II to try and rank the 15 most valuable classes ever, with the benefit of knowing how signees eventually performed in college.

For another, recruiting rankings don’t equate perfectly to college success, so this is not a look back to try and re-grade these classes based on college production. Ratings are predictive, of both personal and institutional success, but nothing is perfect. Nobody would retroactively proclaim Florida’s 2010 class to be the greatest haul of the last decade, even though it remains the highest-scoring.

The main point of this post is to assemble these numbers for your records. Every year, we look through the lists to see whether Alabama’s setting a new mark or not, and now it’s in one easy place we can update each year. This goes back to 2002, when full classes at the top level began being reliably rated.For Gordon, and for some teammates, the toxicology report doesn’t change how they feel about Fernandez.

“I don’t love him any less,” Gordon said. “I know some people might have felt a different way towards him. I knew the guy as a great person. You don’t know what anybody does when they go home. … All I know is he’s always been great to me, as a teammate and as an opponent. There’s nothing that can ever come out that could make me think differently of him or the way he carried himself or the way he handled his business.”

The first is to sign Jones to a long-term megadeal, on par with the other elite pass-rushers in the NFL.

They also have the sort of offensive line that would be capable of protecting a talented quarterback, although they might be a left tackle away from truly ranking among the better lines in football. Chicago had the league’s eighth-lowest sack rate (4.7 percent) and its sixth-lowest pressure rate (23.4 percent) in 2016. That’s not a trick of the Bears’ scheme, either: They threw their passes 8.7 yards in the air, which is well above league average, and they took 2.52 seconds to get the ball out, which is right above the league average of 2.50.

It’s always dangerous for teams to go after a quarterback without having any support around him, given the worries about passers forming bad habits and suffering career-impacting injuries early on. The Bears have much of the infrastructure to support a quarterback, though, and given that Fox and Ryan Pace are entering their third year together at the helm with a 9-23 mark, they probably need to strike and show signs of improvement soon.
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The first is to sign Jones to a long-term megadeal, on par with the other elite pass-rushers in the NFL.

Womens Terron Armstead Jersey He has the third-most sacks over the last two seasons with 23.5 — 11 of which came last season, his first with the Cardinals. The two players with more sacks than Jones are Oakland’s Khalil Mack with 26 and Denver’s Von Miller with 24.5. Mack just finished the third year of his rookie deal, which will allow him to renegotiate with the Raiders. He’s likely in line for one of the highest-paying contracts at the position. Miller received a six-year contract worth $114.5 million with $70 million guaranteed and a $17 million signing bonus last offseason, setting the bar for other outside linebackers, especially other 3-4 outside linebackers like Jones.

Fitzpatrick just finished a polarizing two seasons with the New York Jets

Womens P.J. Hairston Jersey The Raiders’ first-round draft pick from 2013 just has not panned out. Hayden had high expectations entering his contract year last summer, with the cornerback saying he expected a pick-six or two and he was embracing the move to the slot. But for the first time in his career, Hayden did not register an interception, while his 34 tackles and six passes defended were his fewest since his rookie season.

Sure, Hayden played in 11 games, starting two — his season ended prematurely and on injured reserve because of a hamstring injury — and he became a more sure-handed tackler. But Hayden has not become a game-changer that Oakland thought it was getting when it drafted him at No. 12 overall with future Pro Bowl corners like Desmond Trufant and Xavier Rhodes still on the board. Going somewhere — to his hometown Houston Texans, perhaps? — where first-round expectations are nullified might be best for all parties.
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Josh McCown: He’s a good guy to have in a locker room. He acquitted himself well in Cleveland with toughness and he averaged 264 yards per game in eight starts in 2015. He could join the team on a reasonable one- to two-year deal.

Ryan Fitzpatrick: Fitzpatrick just finished a polarizing two seasons with the New York Jets, but he’s still less than two seasons removed from a 31-touchdown season. Fitzpatrick has a penchant for interceptions. Still, his backup quarterback resume is extensive.

Case Keenum: His two-season stint as a Rams starter unraveled in 2016, but the lack of playmakers around him was glaring. Keenum’s true identity is as a primary backup who can start a handful of games if the starter goes out.

The Islanders and Rangers steal headlines with contracts and arena drama

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Jake Rudock Womens Jersey Lace ’em up. Time for the Morning Skate.

Kevin Shattenkirk Womens Jersey While everyone took the last day of the All-Star break off, the NHL’s biggest American market (I think? there are a lot of people there, OK) took over headlines with a trio of breaking news items. How rude.

Not all of it was good, either. It sure sounds like the Islanders are getting pushed out of Barclays Center after just two years. But hey, at least they signed Thomas Greiss for the next three years. Meanwhile, their neighbors in Manhattan signed coach Alain Vigneault to a three-year deal that will keep him around until 2019-20. And why not? Vigneault may frustrate Rangers fans a lot, he¡¯s still among the best in the business.

Which begs the question: How much do the Penguins value Fleury? It¡¯s clear Rutherford feels it¡¯s hard to keep both goaltenders happy, and that moving Fleury before the deadline would be best for both sides. Fleury could fill the starting role in a playoff contender like the Stars or the Blues right away, or be a part of a young future in Winnipeg or Calgary. The Penguins would get a healthy return for Fleury and be freed of their biggest expansion draft problem.

The only downside? A trade clearly makes the Penguins a worse team, and Pittsburgh has had real injury problems at the goaltender position over the last few years. Yet, it¡¯s a choice that will have to be made given the expansion draft, should the market be willing.

Michael Floyd dismisses criticism after DUI arrest propelled his path to winning a Super Bowl

Lost in the amazing comeback that the Patriots had in Super Bowl LI against the Falcons was the story of their wide receiver Michael Floyd.

Floyd played the first four years of his career, and 13 games in 2016 with the Arizona Cardinals. On December 14, the Cardinals cut Floyd because of his arrest on suspicion of DUI. Floyd was charged with one count of obstructing a roadway and failure to obey a police officer, along with two counts of DUI.

Two days after being arrested, and one day after being released, the Patriots picked him up off of waivers.

He didn’t play in the AFC Championship or the Super Bowl, and earned more than $1.2 million for his time with the team. Floyd tweeted the following after winning the Super Bowl with the Patriots:

In the replies to the tweet, many people criticized Floyd and felt that he shouldn’t have received a ring. He was on the Patriots because of a DUI arrest, and hadn’t done much in their championship run. In the two regular season games that he did play in for New England, Floyd started one, had six targets, and four catches for 42 yard and one score.

When Floyd came to the realization that people weren’t happy for him because of how he arrived in New England, he brushed it off.

Damn I just realized ppl are really mad that I got a ring. I thought everyone would be happy for me. Oh well. I’m a champion!!

Along with last week’s release of fellow inside linebacker Brad Jones, the team has added over $7 million in cap space. Those resources will come in handy when the team negotiates with soon-to-be free agents Randall Cobb and Bryan Bulaga.

Only Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk has more catches among the top-10 career rushing leaders

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Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 26 points on 10-for-17 shooting Tuesday night, another strong performance that will surely further spark the trade speculation that surrounds him on a daily basis.

¡°I think in his situation, maybe he just got tired of … hearing it from that particular person.¡±

Anthony was talking about LeBron. But he just as easily could have been talking about himself. Could you blame Anthony if he has grown weary of trying to figure out what Knicks president Phil Jackson wants to do with him?

As February begins, Anthony¡¯s human side is going to be tested for the next three-plus weeks. The NBA trading deadline is Feb. 23, which means Anthony has to face more tidal waves of trade rumors and constant speculation over his future.

“LaDainian was the best pure running back I¡¯ve ever been around. And I was around Marcus Allen and Christian Okoye, guys like that,” Marty Schottenheimer told the team¡¯s website. Schottenheimer was the Chargers coach from 2002 to 2006, building his offense around Tomlinson. “It was really a treat to be involved with him. I told him from the start that he had it all and we were going to ride him.”

Known for his physical, relentless running style, Tomlinson also was a tremendous pass-catcher. He finished his career with 624 catches for 4,772 yards and 17 touchdown receptions.

Only Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk has more catches among the top-10 career rushing leaders.
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“It was almost impossible to defend him,” Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis said. “Because he had hands like a receiver, he had feet like a ballet dancer and had a heart like a lion — any time that you have all of those things, you just never know what you are going to get.

¡°What made him the hardest thing to deal with was that he always kept a calm demeanor. You never could rattle him. He always stayed true to himself.”