Preakness 2018: Who won? Win, place, show payoffs

Justify will attempt to be the 13th Triple Crown winner in next month’s Belmont Stakes after dominating the field in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes.

On a sloppy, muddy track amid a foggy and cloudy evening that followed three inches of rain over three days at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., Justify broke cleanly from the gate and was in control from the start in the 1 3/16-mile race for 3-year-olds.

Kentucky Derby winner Justify , who won by a neck, was strong throughout the race, but was locked in a duel with Good Magic, who faded in the final two furlongs.

Fantasy owners will tell you that predicting the most productive Patriots running back on any given week compares to solving a quadratic equation. As far as the starter position, Dion Lewis, Mike Gillislee, James White and Rex Burkhead all started games but none logged more than eight in 2017.

Lewis signed with the Titans during free agency, but the Patriots acquired Jeremy Hill. Sony Michel’s first-round draft tag doesn’t simply vault him into pole position. The Patriots may plan on using five tailbacks in various situations based on the given matchup.

Despite those lean times earlier this decade, Colbert’s rosters have gone 188-99-1 since he first came onto the scene in 2000. They have won two Super Bowls and reached a third. That’s a track record only Bill Belichick can better.

The Cavs focused their defense on slowing Brown, and it worked. He was 3 of 8 from the floor and never found his flow after getting two early fouls.

They were denying me the ball, and when I did get it, it was in positions that I’m not comfortable in, he said. “Give credit to Cleveland. They were physical and we settled for jumpers too much.”

The long layoff between Games 2 and 3 revived the Cavs.cowboys_063

Cleveland cleanse: Browns coach Hue Jackson to jump in Lake Erie

Before diving into the 2018 season, Hue Jackson will plunge into Lake Erie.

The Browns coach will uphold the promise he made following his first season in Cleveland and jump in the lake on June 1.

After going 1-15 in 2016, Jackson promised to take the plunge if the Browns finished with the same record in 2017. Of course, the Browns notoriously went winless last season.

Hanson’s wife, Kasey, suffered second- and third-degree burns that required attention from the burn unit at Shands Hospital in Gainesville.

Chris Hanson and Holmes were able to quickly recover and participate in training camp later that summer.

As long as there are no setbacks, Clayborn is expected to be ready for training camp at the end of July.

The tweaked quad is a little concerning given Clayborn’s injury history — the 30-year-old has battled a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus in 2012, a torn right biceps in 2014, a torn MCL and meniscus in 2016, and a torn left biceps in the playoffs after the 2016 regular season.

The Patriots signed Clayborn to a two-year contract worth $10 million during the offseason. He had a breakout year with the Falcons in 2017, especially when he recorded six sacks against Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott in November.

Kuznetsov, who is the embodiment of that aesthetic, was happy to see the rookies settle in for one particular and very Kuznetsov-like reason.

“If young guys feel comfortable, they can make jokes. And they can handle bad jokes,” he said.

“It’s interesting to go from that world to this world, probably really good for me in a lot of ways,” Kyle said. “But hard to play, I think, especially the first round against Indiana. … It was just a crazy series in itself, and I felt like it was really dramatic.”

Kyle continues to play well. He shot 56 percent from 3-point range in the second round against the Toronto Raptors and is averaging 11 points and shooting 47 percent on 3s in the conference finals against the Boston Celtics.ravens_182

Eric Reid files collusion grievance against NFL

The two men who were at the forefront of the anthem protests now each have collusion grievances against the NFL.

Free-agent safety Eric Reid has filed a collusion grievance, seven weeks to the day after becoming a free agent.

Reid’s free-agency experience consisted of a visit to the Bengals. As PFT reported at the time, owner Mike Brown sought a commitment from Reid that he wouldn’t protest during the anthem, but Reid declined to provide one. Reid thereafter did not receive an offer.

The fact that Reid’s grievance follows Kaepernick’s means that Reid will have access to the same evidence generated in Kaepernick’s case, especially since both men are represented by Mark Geragos. Now that the group of players using the legal process to push back against the NFL’s position has doubled, it’s impossible to rule out other players who believed that they are being damaged as part of a coordinated effort by the league to shun them doing the same.

Most of Gates’ highlights came on passes from Philip Rivers, who offered his own thoughts about Gates’ departure from the team. Rivers said he “couldn’t be more thankful” for the chance to play with Gates, who caught 87 touchdowns from Rivers. The 86th gave them one more than the Steve Young-Jerry Rice tandem and only Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison have hooked up for more scores.

“That is special,” Rivers said. “Speaking from a selfish standpoint, I don’t know where I’d be without him. If he hadn’t been here for 14 years, I don’t know what my career is like. You’re talking about a pretty unique opportunity to be paired with the best tight end who has more touchdowns than anybody. And then I’m able to share in many of them. It’s awesome, and that part is important. It’s great to have something we can share together. That part is cool and special to both of us. When you see the names like Young and Rice, Peyton and Marvin, and you see Rivers and Gates; that is special.”broncos_001_80192e557a8429c8-180x180

Bengals won’t pick up Cedric Ogbuehi’s option

While initial fears were that Nelson’s tear would require a full surgical repair, doctors delivered good news after surgery. Nelson’s meniscus only needed to be trimmed and cleaned out, which cuts down the recovery time and left Nelson with a timeline of weeks rather than months before he’d be good to go again.

That was enough to keep Nelson right where he was on many draft boards before the injury. The Raiders took Nelson with the 110th overall pick during the fourth round of the draft on Sunday.

Nelson began his college career at Hawaii and transferred to Wisconsin, where he started every game and finished third in the country in pass breakups. His is the latest addition at cornerback in Oakland in an offseason that’s seen Rashaan Melvin, Daryl Worley, Shareece Wright, Leon Hall and Senquez Golson join the team.

He always found a way to play well against teams I was on. I have great respect for guys who’ve taken their teams to the Super Bowl and won them, really that’s what they’re measured by as quarterbacks. And he’s done it. Twice. Not a lot of people can say that. So I felt like I knew him.Confidence in his own ability. Since Shurmur’s first shot at being a head coach, he’s worked with a diverse set of quarterbacks—Mike Vick, Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez and Sam Bradford in Philly, then Teddy Bridgewater, Bradford again and Case Keenum in Minnesota. And through the experience, he was able to make his offense work for different guys in different ways. So that’s the plan here.

“That’s a huge lift, for not only him, but for us,” General Manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement. “To see where he’s come from to where he is and knowing where he might be able to go, it’s beyond inspirational. It’s just exciting. It’s really exciting for him.”

The Steelers took safety Terrell Edmunds with that pick and are expected to use him in a variety of roles that could include some of what Shazier did on defense when he was healthy.

The Patriots are currently in Phase Two of the offseason program. Phase Two began on May 1 and lasts three weeks. In Phase Two, coaches are allowed on the field with players, and individual drills are allowed. Teams are allowed a max of 90 minutes on the field. Contact is not allowed. Offense-versus-defense and one-on-one drills are not permitted, either. Helmets are also banned during Phase Two.broncos_098_9683d62603426b79-180x180

Tuesday’s #PFTPM has a visit with A.J. Green and much more

If you’re on your way home (or anywhere) and you have an hour or so to kill, here’s a way to kill it good.

The show includes a visit with Bengals receiver A.J. Green, plus plenty more.

Actually, the whole thing is more than an hour, which should cover you for the commute home and then some.

So enjoy the show, and join us tomorrow, when the guests include Jets G.M. Mike Maccagnan and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

In the process, Morhinweg and Urban were able to pivot and push forward with adjustments that highlighted Vick’s otherworldly talents.

Two years later, Roman pulled off a similar trick when an Alex Smith concussion led to the revelation of Colin Kaepernick’s potential out of a retrofitted pistol offense.

General Manager Ryan Pace said on Friday night that the plan is for Daniels to start his Bears career at left guard. Chicago has an opening at that spot after declining Josh Sitton‘s option this offseason and Cody Whitehair returns after 32 straight starts the last two seasons.

Pace also said the team thinks Daniels, who turns 21 in September, will grow as a player in the coming years.

“We feel there’s still a lot of upside ahead, as young as he is,” Pace said, via the Chicago Tribune. “You see these offensive linemen kind of get caught in awkward positions. He has the ability to recover and maintain his balance. Some guys awkwardly go down in those moments, he doesn’t do that.”

Daniels was one of two offensive players drafted on Friday with wide receiver Anthony Miller coming 12 picks later in the second round. That continues an offseason devoted to fleshing out the lineup around quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who once beat Daniels’ team in a high school playoff game, in his second season.

This plan will help to change that, starting today.broncos_001_80192e557a8429c8-180x180

Pete Carroll not happy with having to release Cliff Avril

The Seahawks have released veteran defensive end Cliff Avril with a failed physical designation, the team announced Friday.

Avril’s football future had been in serious doubt since he suffered a career-threatening neck/spine injury last October, causing him to miss the final 12 games of the season. Avril, 32, said earlier in the offseason that he would sit down with his family and discuss his football future sometime in the spring, by which point he would have been roughly six months removed from surgery.

Either way, he’s another longtime Seahawk to part ways with the team during an offseason of big-name departures. Seattle released cornerback Richard Sherman, traded defensive end Michael Bennett and lost tight end Jimmy Graham in free agency. Kam Chancellor’s football future is also up in the air because of a neck/spine injury of his own.

Callaway was seen by many as a talented enough player to be drafted in the early rounds, but he fell to the fourth because of significant off-field concerns. He was suspended from the Florida Gators football team for all of 2017 for allegedly using stolen credit card information to fund bookstore accounts. He was cited after a traffic stop in May 2017 for misdemeanor marijuana possession and possession of drug equipment. And he was cleared of sexual assault allegations by a Title IX hearing officer in August 2016 after his accuser and her witnesses boycotted the hearing because the hearing officer was a Gators football booster.

I was young, that’s all. Immature, Callaway said of his list of transgressions. I was just living in the moment. I knew I had to grow and learn from my mistakes. When I got suspended, I didn’t think it would cost me the NFL. I just knew that it would hurt. Because I know my talent. I’m pretty good at football.tigers_001-115x115

Panthers GM: Team considered Ridley before drafting Moore

With their first-round pick, the Panthers ended up selecting Maryland wideout D.J. Moore. However, General Manager Marty Hurney told SiriusXM’s Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn that his team was considering several players with the pick, including Alabama receiver Calvin Ridley.

Mark Walton, RB, Miami Grade: A Gio Bernard clone. Small, super-shifty. YAC machine as a receiver. 113. DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Penn State Grade: A- Similar style to Emmanuel Sanders. Crafty route-runner who can really separate. 114. Da’Shawn Hand, DE, Alabama Grade: C. Two-gapper. Strong. Very limited as a pass rusher. 115. Joel Iyiegbuniwe, LB, Western Kentucky Grade: B+ More speed at the LB spot.

Brady was also asked about another mystery during his 60-minute interview and that one had to do with why NFL ratings have been in a steady decline over the past two seasons. Although some people have theorized that player protests have hurt ratings, Brady doesn’t agree with that. The Patriots quarterback also doesn’t buy the theory that the NFL is oversaturating itself by putting too many games on too many days.

Thoughts: The Lions don’t need a wide receiver in 2018, but could look at slot options who are good at making things happen after the catch if they are thinking about letting Golden Tate walk in free agency. This trio fits the bill.

Thoughts: Detroit has passed up a number of edge rushers in this draft, but there are some intriguing speed options who could be on the board in the fifth round in Sweat and Armstrong. The reason Sweat is dropping is reportedly because of a knee injury. Mata’afa offers a powerful outside option with flexibility and experience playing inside. Sieler, a local product, is a wild card talent. He’s massive, at 6-foot-6, 290 pounds, and put up monster numbers against low-level competition.

That might be the most remarkable thing about their wide receivers, whose post-draft depth we examine today as part of a series covering each position group.

There’s not a diva in the bunch.

In fact, it was never about anything other than wins with this group which despite having replaced Torrey Smith, who was traded to Carolina, with free agent Mike Wallace, expects to have the same mindset in 2018.

Actually, from the moment he arrived as a free agent a year ago, Jeffery started talking Super Bowl smack, ostensibly guaranteeing it.tigers_135-115x115

Ravens ‘in the laboratory’ devising Lamar Jackson plan

We’re only two days into minicamp season, but it’s already fair to wonder in Baltimore: How do the Ravens plan to use Lamar Jackson, their dangerously mobile rookie quarterback, this season with such an inert signal-caller in Joe Flacco starting under center?

The thing I was really impressed with is I thought he was accurate. You read the reports and stuff like that, but he’s a naturally talented thrower. He’s got natural arm talent, Harbaugh gushed Saturday. That’s something that people were questioning. To see him out here throwing the ball naturally, very accurately, I thought it was a big plus.

Jackson and Flacco’s styles are so diametrically opposed that Baltimore’s late-first-round selection of the former prompted NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock to conclude that the Ravens philosophically and schematically committed to a new offense. But with Flacco under contract through 2021 with a potential out following the 2019 season the Ravens will have to slow-play their transition to Jackson.

Celtics forward Jaylen Brown (strained hamstring) came off the bench again on Saturday. Brown played 29 minutes and scored 16 points.

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles rang the Sixers’ ceremonial Liberty Bell pre-game.

Among the celebrities in the crowd at Wells Fargo Center: rapper Meek Mill, film director M. Night Shyamalan, The Roots bandmember Questlove and Eagles tight end Zach Ertz.

Justify splashed through the slop to win the Kentucky Derby by 21/2 lengths on Saturday, becoming the first colt in 136 years to wear the roses after not racing as a 2-year-old.

The colt that began his racing career in February improved to 4-0 and gave Bob Baffert his fifth Derby victory. That snapped a tie and left the 65-year-old trainer trailing only Ben Jones with six.


Big Ben on Rudolph pick: How does it help us win now?

One year after seriously contemplating retirement, Ben Roethlisberger is struggling with the Steelers ‘ decision to draft Mason Rudolph as his heir apparent.

A generous assessment of Roethlisberger’s reaction would concede that he’s simply being overprotective of his mates in the 2017 quarterback room, Jones and Dobbs.

Those two guys are who I feel the worst for, Roethlisberger offered. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t worried about [Rudolph] coming and taking my job. I feel confident that I can go out and beat whoever I need to beat out for my job…. I do feel bad for those guys.

I don’t know what’s going to happen. I assume Landry’s still the two, I don’t really know. And Josh, same thing. Last year you take him in the fourth round, so does that mean the Steelers screwed up in that pick? Like do they think that he wasn’t the one that they thought, or has he not developed the way they thought? Why else would you take a quarterback in the third round the next year?

We’re fortunate now that Jenny Vrentas, Robert Klemko, Andy Benoit, Albert Breer, Conor Orr, Jonathan Jones, Tim Rohan, Jacob Feldman and Kalyn Kahler—average age: 30—have grown into an excellent team, with a group of superb editors. It’s time for them to have the opportunities I’ve had over the years, and to do some of the stories and projects I’ve done that they’re more than ready to do. They’re ready.

I just felt it was time to move ogiants_349n from the 24/7-ness of football coverage and try something a little bit different. My 29 years at Sports Illustrated have been, collectively, a dream come true. I’ll always be grateful to Mark Mulvoy for hiring a green 31-year-old kid in 1989, just as I’m grateful to my current boss, Chris Stone, for the opportunities and support he’s given me in recent years. For three decades, I’ve had the job of a lifetime in the sports media business, and I will be forever grateful to SI. I leave at the end of May with immense gratitude to my editors over the years and to my staff at The MMQB since 2013. Thanks, from the bottom of my heart.

Derrick Johnson will put on a Raiders jersey in 2018.

The former Kansas City Chiefs great agreed to terms with Oakland on Friday, NFL Network’s Mike Silver reported.

The agreement comes a day after Johnson visited his former rival.

Prescott, meanwhile, took a step back last year. His completion percentage dropped from 67 percent to 62 percent, his yards dropped from 3,667 to 3,324, his touchdowns flatlined and his interceptions spiked from four to 13. None of it was unreasonable considering the rookie year he had, but he definitely was not as good as he was in 2016, even if there is a little bit more hand-wringing being done over his season than perhaps necessary.

The Seattle Seahawks have lost three of their main contributors in the passing game this offseason. Paul Richardson, Jimmy Graham and Luke Willson are gone after successful stints with the team. Richardson finally had a breakout year, Graham scored a bunch of touchdowns and Willson has been quietly consistent his entire Seattle career. These guys will be missed by more than just the fans, the QB will miss them on the field too. So, who will Russ be throwing to this year?

Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Marcus Johnson, Jaron Brown, Amara Darboh, Tanner McEvoy, David Moore and Cyril Grayson Jr.

Doug Baldwin- Has some of the best hands the NFL has seen in years. This guy can also beat you cold with his route running ability. Baldwin has morphed from undrafted free agent into one of the best all-round receivers in the league.

Tyler Lockett- This guy has speed, and he looks so smooth when he’s running away from people. Lockett has also shown reliable hands throughout his time as a Seahawk. The production isn’t necessarily what you would want from your number two receiver, but he has unique traits and room to grow.

Jaron Brown- He has nine touchdowns in five seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. Brown also has prototypical size for a receiver at 6’2 and 205 lbs., couple that with his above average speed and he could be a good weapon for Russell Wilson this year.nike_jets_1624