Sources: Spurs to re-sign Rudy Gay; Marco Belinelli to get two-year deal

The San Antonio Spurs have agreed to re-sign forward Rudy Gay to a one-year, $10 million contract, a source told ESPN’s The Undefeated.

On June 14, Gay opted out of the final year of his contact with the Spurs that paid $8.8 million. Yahoo! Sports first reported Gay’s new deal.

The 12-year NBA veteran averaged 11.5 points and 5.1 rebounds last season in his first season with the Spurs in a career-low 21.6 minutes per game.

The 6-foot-8, 230-pounder also proved last season that he had recovered from the season-ending Achilles tendon tear that he suffered during his 2016-17 campaign with the Sacramento Kings.

Two of those players — Slovenian wing Luka Doncic and Oklahoma point guard Trae Young — will have their futures forever linked after Thursday night, as the Hawks and Mavericks went forward with a trade that was discussed for much of the day, Atlanta swapping Doncic to Dallas for Young and next year’s first-rounder.

And a third possible star, Michael Porter Jr., who entered this season as a potential No. 1 pick in this year’s draft before he suffered a back injury just two minutes into his NCAA career at Missouri, slid all the way from the top five to the final pick in the lottery, landing with the Nuggets at No. 14.

It’s been a roller coaster, for sure, Porter said. It’s had its ups and its downs, but I think God has been the driver of it all.

Denver entered Thursday night hoping to come away with a player who could crack the rotation on the wing. But the Nuggets came out of the first round with a guy who, if healthy, could be a franchise player, a 6-11 forward with shooting guard skills.

There are other players who could develop into elite players in this draft — most notably No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton — but the gambles taken by the Hawks, Mavericks and Nuggets could change those franchises for the foreseeable future.

Yes, Watson’s approach correlated with team success.

The Texans were 3-3 in the six games that Watson started and 1-9 in the games that he didn’t. Thus, the team should want his production to be optimized, because clearly their success rides upon his.

Was Watson lucky or unusually hot? Perhaps a bit, if you get into the details. Watson had a passing touchdown rate of 9.3 percent, while Wentz led qualified passers at 7.5 percent. Watson averaged one touchdown pass every 6.6 completions, while the league average was 14.8. The Texans owned the third-lowest drop percentage during the first half of the season, while in the second half they were 10th. And Watson demonstrated an almost preternatural connection with Will Fuller V, connecting with him on five long touchdowns in a three-week span.

However, and this is important, Watson’s success level in these types of big plays wasn’t that unusual overall, as he completed 41.4 percent of deep passes (15-plus air yards) while the league average was 41.3 percent. Plus, the Texans ranked 25th in percentage of plays that were designed passes in the first half of the season, and if they increase that volume this season, it could counter or possibly offset any concerns that his efficiency might regress.

Following Saturday’s news that the Yankees could be without righty starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (hamstring strains in both legs) for weeks, Rothschild was asked what he’s thought of Sheffield’s progress since getting promoted from Double-A.

It’s an adjustment, the pitching coach said before the Yankees faced the Mets at Citi Field. Video doesn’t tell you everything and I didn’t get to see the game from (Friday) night, but I think he’s made improvements and it’s an adjustment. It’s step by step and he’s still fairly young. But he’s very competitive and he’s going to figure it out.

Recently, Triple-A manager Bobby Mitchell said he believed that while Sheffield isn’t far off from being big-league ready, the Tennessee native still needs more work in the minors.

In the lead-up to Super Bowl LI, Belichick noted that Shanahan’s offenses called to mind those of Mike Shanahan, Kyle’s father, whom Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young once hailed as the greatest play caller.

The Mets seem more willing to move Syndergaard and are asking for a package the Yankees likely aren’t willing to meet for deGrom.

So what could a potential Syndergaard to the Yankees deal look like? Bleacher Report put together a trade involving four of the best Yankees prospects, including center fielder Estevan Florial. The others: RHP Luis Medina, RHP Cody Carroll, OF Billy McKinney. That package includes four of the top 16 prospects in the Yankees system.

Syndergaard, 25, on the mend from a finger injury, owns a 3.06 ERA in 11 games started this season. Since debuting in 2015, Syndergaard has posted a 2.92 ERA and 5.94 SO/BB ratio across 428.2 innings.

Adding Mets stud righty Noah Syndergaard would go over well in the Yankees ‘ clubhouse, his former teammate said.

If he were to be an addition to our team, Yankees infielder Neil Walker said Tuesday in the clubhouse at Yankee Stadium, it would be well-received.

But some simple math tells you the Red Sox have played six more games than the Yankees this season.

Is Nationals’ Bryce Harper to Yankees realistic?

According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, that gap, plus the remaining games on the schedule, could work in the favor of the Red Sox:

New York will pick up two games on Monday with a doubleheader against Washington while the Sox enjoy a day off here. But not counting the All-Star break, the Sox have 11 scheduled days off remaining and the Yankees nine.

That may not sound like a big deal, but the Sox can use those days to build in extra rest for their starting pitchers and/or reconfigure the rotation to create more favorable matchups.

In addition, the Sox are done with West Coast games and the Yankees have six in September. The Yankees also have two more doubleheaders scheduled (July 9 at Baltimore and Aug. 25 at Baltimore) and the Sox so far none.

The teams have four series remaining against each other, two in each city. But there are seven games at Fenway Park and six at Yankee Stadium. The last three games of the season are Fenway.

Jarvis Landry: Ryan Tannehill and I didn’t have a good relationship

Browns receiver Jarvis Landry sounds happy to be out of Miami, and to be catching passes from a quarterback other than Ryan Tannehill.

That support has meant a lot to Anderson. Now he has to make sure the team doesn’t look foolish for not cutting bait.

That’s why I’m working hard and giving it my all, because I know they believe in me and I know they’re behind me through whatever, he said.

The Jets have been hit with a spate of player arrests recently — two on drunken-driving charges in the past five months, and seven arrests overall in the past 13 months.

Former Dallas Cowboys defensive end and alleged domestic abuser Greg Hardy is officially a UFC fighter.

Competing on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series in Las Vegas, Hardy, 29, won his UFC contract in his first-ever professional MMA fight by knocking out fellow NFL alum Austen Lane in just 57 seconds. The fight was contested in the heavyweight division.

But there has been the argument since he missed last season with a broken wrist, he shouldn’t get an extension just yet.

There is also the issue of free agency — for Johnson to become an unrestricted free agent in 2019, he needs a fourth accrued season. If he holds out and doesn’t report to the Cardinals 30 days before the season begins, then he will only have accrued three seasons and would become a restricted free agent in 2019.

Last year’s line was not close. Flowers and Bobby Hart sat together on one side of the locker room, surrounded by defensive players. Center Weston Richburg was on the same side of the room as Hart and Flowers but isolated from all the other offensive linemen. Justin Pugh, John Jerry and Brett Jones were grouped together on the other side of the room. The group was fractured, did not enjoy socializing together.

There were a lot of things going on last year, Ellison said of the 2017 offensive line.

Haslam son-in-law joins Browns as an executive vice president

A man known for firing employees perhaps too quickly has a new employee whom it will be harder to fire.

Via wkyc.com, the son-in-law of Browns owner Jimmy Haslam will join the team as an executive vice president. And so JW Johnson will move his family to Cleveland and assume an active role in the team.

Per the report, a spokesperson for the Browns confirmed the move, explaining that Jimmy and co-owner Dee Haslam hope to make it more of a family business, very much in line with the structure of other NFL franchises.

When I had my son, I really locked in, knowing I need to do this for him, and for myself also, Latimer said. It’s a blessing just to be in the NFL. I learned. It don’t last long, man. I’m grateful to have made it this far in and have the opportunity still. When he got here, changes had to be made, man.

Very few foul ball catches will be able to top this.

Davidson’s is one of a growing number of podcasts hosted by MLB players. And like the men who play the game, each one has its own flair.

The idea for Davidson’s came during the White Sox fan fest in January, when Davidson got up on stage with TV play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti and the two started fielding questions from fans and joking with each other.

The two enjoy what he called playful bickering during their near-daily interactions at the ballpark, so it was natural that their good-natured ribbing on stage would be a hit with fans. That event gave Davidson, who said he usually only listens to fitness podcasts, an idea to start his own show, with Benetti as his co-host.

I will be ready to play and pursue another championship with our team and for patriots fans around the world, Edelman wrote.

After missing all of last season with an ACL tear, the 5-foot-10 wide receiver was a highly anticipated return for the 2018 season. The Patriots would have to face Houston, Jacksonville, Detroit and Miami without Edelman if the appeal fails.

Sam Darnold minicamp takeaways

The Jets are rolling with Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater, and Sam Darnold as their quarterbacks in that order, for now. There is a three-man competition for the starting job, after the Jets took Darnold third overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.

The Jets traded up from sixth to third in the draft, in order to select Darnold. That trade-up move was the first sign that Hackenberg was finished with the Jets.

In the footage, he repeatedly tells the officers the driver was crazy and trying to kidnap him, and driving 100 miles per hour. He’s trying to kill me me, this guy, Dykstra says.

Originally, the bill would have blocked any facility from opening a sports book if its owners had a 10 percent stake or greater in a professional sports team.

That would have affected the Golden Nugget, which is owned by Tilman Fertitta, who also owns the Houston Rockets of the NBA.

But under the amendment, that casino would be barred only from accepting bets on NBA games, according to a source.

Will they figure out a way to meet in the middle, coming up with a deal that satisfies both sides? It’s certainly in the best interests of both to do so. As far as salary cap implications go, the Giants would have some work to do in order to make the first year of the kind of extension Beckham is seeking — $18 million per season is a reasonable starting point and go up from there — but it can be done with some maneuvering. It’s even possible to lower Beckham’s cap hit in 2018 if necessary.

Beckham appears to understand the end game here: The Giants hold all the cards, even if he gets to the point where holding out could be the only way to force the issue. That strategy won’t sit well with Beckham the competitor, and there’s no doubt the brand he has built with Nike and others and his pop star popularity are far greater when he can show off his remarkable talent on the field.

Plus, Beckham will never hit the market if the Giants want to prevent that from happening because they can use the franchise tag for, at the very least, the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

There will be a time when a line may get drawn in the sand, but that time isn’t now.

Giants sign tight end Scott Simonson, waive Aaron Davis

The New York Giants signed former Carolina Panthers and Oakland Raiders right end Scott Simonson on Tuesday ahead of the start of their mandatory veteran mini-camp. Simonson has played in 18 career games and started one game for the Panthers in 2016.

Stafford chuckled, like someone who has played the game for a while.

I understand this time of year, there’s nothing to write and talk about for you guys, in terms of final scores of games, Stafford said. I understand you guys are trying to compare this year to last year, but we’re focused on now. We’re a different team, we got different players, got different coaches, gotta go out there and make it work.

Via SportsBusiness Daily, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in an annual state of the league press conference that there’s no reason to change the state of the league’s rule that players must stand for the anthem.

The NFL is in a very different situation than the NBA, Silver said. Twenty-five percent of our league is comprised of players who aren’t American. So it’s hard to say in the case of the NBA it’s about patriotism, when a quarter of our players aren’t even American. But we’ve collectively viewed it as a moment of unity in our arenas.

That’s kind of a weird explanation, frankly. The more accurate truth is that, in the aftermath of Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf refusing to stand for the anthem more than 20 years ago, the NBA swooped in and negotiated an agreement with the NBA Players Association to make standing mandatory. End of problem.

Which is precisely what the NFL should have done. But the NFL doesn’t enjoy the kind of relationship with the NFL Players Association that would be conducive to a quick and easy win-win outcome, and the league surely didn’t want to get squeezed into making a concession to players in order to make the problem go away in August 2016.

Can Good Magic upset Justify?

Baffert is 4-0 in the Preakness with the Derby winner and doesn’t see any reason Justify doesn’t have another big run in him.

I like being the favorite, Baffert said Wednesday. “I don’t want to be 50-1. I like knowing that I have a chance to win. When you come in and you’re like, ‘Well, I don’t know, we’re going to need the Stanford marching band to interfere a little bit,’ then you don’t feel that well. I just feel that when you know that there’s a chance you can pull this off and when you can win on the big arena, that’s what it’s all about.”

Justify already won on horse racing’s biggest stage when he held off a hard-charging Good Magic to capture the Derby on a muddy track at Churchill Downs. Rain is expected at Pimlico Race Course in the days leading up to the Preakness and on race day, which could set up a similar scenario to how jockey Mike Smith took Justify out to the lead before the final turn and pulled away.

He’s the best horse, said D. Wayne Lukas, who trains Bravazo and Sporting Chance. “He looks terrific, he’s doing well. I watched him all week. He’s going to be very, very hard to handle.”

So, how does Ross approach the 2018 season?

He eyes a rebound and he won’t be alone, as teammates A.J. Green and Brandon LaFell have told Ross to not overthink everything on the field and just play, according to the Bengals ‘ official website.

That’s one of my biggest things, Ross said. “I’m thinking about everything I’m doing and it’s taking away from how talented I actually am. They’re in my ear a lot saying, ‘Just relax. Be yourself. We can tell when you’re yourself. You perform better. You just have to stop thinking so much.'”

Ross has also gained valuable insight from former Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who has worked out with the Ross during the offseason.

He said, ‘You got drafted ninth because you’re talented and you work hard,’ Ross recalled. “‘Just continue to do so. You’ll get better.'”cowboys_069

Former Browns first-round pick Trent Richardson placed on suspended list to start Roughriders’ training camp

Former Browns first-round pick Trent Richardson was absent from the start of CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders’s training camp.

Richardson, who played four games last season for the Roughriders, was placed on the team’s suspended list to start the season.

“I don’t think so, no,” head coach Chris Jones told reporters when asked if Richardson would be in attendance when the Roughriders open camp May 20. “Right now Trent’s got some situations going on at home so we’ll just have to see where that goes.”

Sean McDermott, Bills: After getting Buffalo to the playoffs in his first season, he is working with a rebuilding team as the follow-up. That’s a tricky spot for an immediately successful coach.

Ron Rivera, Panthers: Carolina hopes it is not headed for the inconsistency that cost John Fox. A shakeup in ownership is coming, making this season critical for Riverboat Ron to make the right gambles.

Doug Marrone, Jaguars: There suddenly are thoughts of a Super Bowl in Sacksonville, so anything less than another AFC South title would be disappointment Marrone wants to avoid.

Magee, 25, played two games for the Falcons last season and has seen action in seven in his three-year career. He has five career carries for 17 yards.

He also has spent time with the Browns, Seahawks, Rams and Ravens. Magee played three games with the Ravens in 2015 and two games with the Seahawks in 2016.

Raymond James Stadium now boasts what its website calls the most advanced HD video system in use today. With two 9,600 square-foot boards (north and south ends of the stadium) and four 2,300 square-foot HD tower walls, it ranks as the third-largest video board system in the NFL.

NFL rules require a stadium to have been open two full seasons before it can host a Super Bowl, so a change needed to be made when construction delays meant the Rams and Chargers wouldn’t be able to play in their new stadium until 2020.ravens_147

Eli Manning wasn’t sure of his Giants future before draft

In hindsight, there were plenty of signs that the Giants were taking running back Saquon Barkley and not a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick.

But Giants quarterback Eli Manning admitted he didn’t know what his future held going into the process.

“It’s easy to get excited about your own paper team — that’s the guys you have on your roster — and that’s just because of the playmakers,” he said. “Look at Odell [Beckham], Saquon, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, those are all guys who have played in games and made big plays for us. You go in with a new left tackle, some offensive linemen, so on paper there’s a lot of playmakers, now it’s just a matter of us coming together as a team.”

He also said he hoped that the Beckham headlines would subside with time. His star receiver has reported to the offseason conditioning work, entering the final year of his contract. That may be kicking the can down the road, but for the moment, Manning’s still the guy in charge of the can.

After weeks of speculation about whether Brady is upset with the team and/or openly revolting against coach Bill Belichick, Brady finally had a chance to make it clear that nothing has changed. That nothing is different. That nothing is wrong. And while at times he said some of the right things, his failure to address the elephant in the room means that the thing with tusks and a long trunk still lingers.

Many continue to believe that the elephant emerged because Belichick benched cornerback Malcolm Butler during Super Bowl LII for no apparent reason at the time, and with no explanation provided since then. As Brady said Monday (via Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston), “Malcolm kept coming over to me during the game and he was like, ‘Get ’em, Tom.’ And I’m like, what defense are we in that Malcolm isn’t on the field?”

While the specific circumstances suggest that it was disciplinary, the broad picture points to Butler’s looming free agency, his failure to accept the team’s best offer on a long-term deal, and perhaps Belichick’s reluctance to give Butler a chance to be the star of another Super Bowl, forcing the team to give him what he wants financially or to apply the franchise tag in order to keep him around.broncos_038_5944b9f2f5b99565-180x180

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