49ers and George Kittle having ‘minimal’ progress in contract talks

Sportsnaut

Approaching a “pivotal” week, the San Francisco 49ers and star tight end George Kittle are still miles apart in contract extension talks.

Mike Silver of NFL Network, speaking live with Andrew Siciliano, shared that Kittle’s agent said negotiation progress has been “minimal.”

#football

RB Lamar Miller Signs One-Year Deal With Patriots

SI

The New England Patriots have signed veteran running back Lamar Miller to a one-year deal, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The Patriots choose to use one of their remaining four roster spots on their 80-man roster on a running back, which could mean several different things. 

Miller was a fourth-round draft pick by the Miami Dolphins in the 2012 NFL draft. He found his first 1,000-yard rushing season in 2014, when he carried the rock 216 times for 1,099 yards and eight touchdowns. In four seasons since then, however, Miller has eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards just once (2016). In 2019, Miller suffered a torn ACL during the Houston Texans' preseason bout against the Dallas Cowboys and did not return during the remainder of the season. Miller spent three seasons in Houston. 

#football

Logan Ryan, still a free agent, views himself as safety, not CB

NFL.com

Free agent Logan Ryan doesn't see himself as a cornerback any longer.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Ryan views himself as a safety moving forward.

To underscore that desire, his agent emailed all 32 GMs safety stats so as to compare Ryan's production to others at the position.

#football

Shannon Sharpe: “If Luka Doncic Was African American, He’d Be The Rave Of The NBA”

Fadeaway World

Luka Doncic has been putting on an insane performance for the Dallas Mavericks this season. With marks of 29 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 8.9 assists per game, the young star has the Mavs firmly in the race for the Western Conference crown.

But as Luka continues to do his thing in Orlando (36 points and 19 assists in his latest victory against Milwaukee), the level of hype and respect surrounding his name has yet to match that of others NBA superstars.

Shannon Sharpe, on FOX Sport’s Undisputed, may have revealed the reason why:

#basketball

Should the Golden State Warriors draft a center or a guard this offseason?

Sportsnaut

After a horrid 2019-20 NBA season, the Golden State Warriors are retooling for the 2020-21 season. With a healthy core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, tertiary pieces like Andrew Wiggins and a good bench, the Warriors will be competitive again. 

The big picture: The Warriors will get a top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. The question is, who should Golden State draft based on their needs?

How the Warriors stack up

As it stands, the Warriors have six guards signed for the 2020-21 season. But only three of them are guaranteed: Curry, Thompson and Jordan Poole. The other three – Damion Lee, Ky Bowman and Mychal Mulder – have partially-guaranteed contracts. 

Lee recently got a contract extension and Bowman averaged 7.4 points, 2.9 assists, 2.7 rebounds and a steal in 22.6 minutes a game. Meanwhile, Mulder averaged 11 points, three points and one assists in about 30 minutes a game. But he shot under 40% and only 30% from the 3-point line in the seven games – with three starts – he played. 

In the frontcourt, Golden State has Wiggins, Green, Kevon Looney, Marquese Chriss, Eric Paschall and Alen Smailagic. The first three players signed long-term contracts so they’re not going anywhere while the last two are draft picks. That leaves Chriss’ partially-guaranteed contact.

#basketball

Pelicans’ Alvin Gentry won’t last much longer with New Orleans

Clutch Points

The New Orleans Pelicans were eliminated from postseason contention on Sunday after losing to the San Antonio Spurs, and now all the attention shifts to head coach Alvin Gentry and his future.

Most NBA pundits believe the Pelicans are going to part ways with Gentry in the offseason. William Guillory of The Athletic even went as far as saying it’s the worst kept secret in the NBA that Gentry will be fired by VP David Griffin.

#basketball

Mountain West cancels fall football but will consider spring

Larry Brown Sports

The Mountain West has become the second FBS conference to cancel its fall sports season, including college football.

As first reported by Brett McMurphy of Stadium, the conference will instead consider staging a spring college football season.

#college, #football

Nick Saban: “Players are a lot safer with us”

SI

Alabama football coach Nick Saban spoke with ESPN on Monday following reports that both the PAC-12 and Big Ten are close to canceling their 2020 college football seasons.

In an interview with Chris Low, Saban detailed his opinion that student-athletes are safer on college campuses with their teams rather than being sent back home.

"I want to play, but I want to play for the players' sake, the value they can create for themselves," Saban told ESPN. "I know I'll be criticized no matter what I say, that I don't care about player safety. Look, players are a lot safer with us than they are running around at home. We have around a 2 percent positive ratio on our team since the Fourth of the July. It's a lot higher than that in society. We act like these guys can't get this unless they play football. They can get it anywhere, whether they're in a bar or just hanging out."

Earlier on Monday, reports began to surface that both the PAC-12 and Big Ten conferences were very close to canceling their respective teams' football seasons due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The news came just one week after both conferences announced their restructured, conference-only schedules.

#college, #football

Maybe It’s Time For the NFL Or the Government to Save College Sports

The Big Lead

College football has come to a crossroads with many possible paths, all of which are roads less traveled. Players have seized their opportunity to stand up to one of America's most powerful institutions and demands have been made. The PAC-12 started by asking for everything and now enough high-profile players from other Power Five conferences have gotten involved that they now have a movement that could reshape college football as we know it.

So what the hell is the NCAA supposed to do now? What do colleges do? What do these huge, money-making conferences do? One option is let these high-profile players walk away. College football fans are already locked in to watching an inferior product with lesser athletes, so losing stars should not hurt them. If Trevor Lawrence had left Clemson this winter, another recruit would be there waiting.

It appears that the NCAA is in denial that there is anything they can do besides protect the status quo. College football players playing for free is apparently so integral to amateur sports that if something happened to it, the entire system would collapse. So it's time to ask who benefits from college football and see if they can help. 

Like the NFL, for instance. With this movement towards player empowerment the league could drop the age of eligibility and invest in a real farm system. Or, since the NFL has used college football as its feeder system for the better part of a century and it hasn't cost them a dime, maybe it's time they had some skin in the college game.

#college, #football

John Tortorella defends Sheldon Keefe: What he’s criticized for ‘pisses me off’

The Score

Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella is well-known for his unapologetic attitude, but this time he's showing support for first-year Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe after his squad fell in the qualifying round to the Blue Jackets.

"I just can't get over people ripping Sheldon Keefe and his staff as far as the job he's done with that Maple Leafs team," Tortorella said, according to The Athletic's Aaron Portzline. "They have done a terrific job with that team."

After shutting out Toronto on Sunday in the decisive Game 5, many fans and critics began pointing fingers at Keefe and the coaching staff for the loss. The Leafs have now failed to advance past the first round of the postseason since 2004.

#hockey, #nhl

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