Lions’ Bob Quinn, Matt Patricia ‘in lockstep’ on personnel decisions

Detroit – Before a crowd of the nearly 4,000, the Detroit Lions held their annual Season Ticket Member Summit at Ford Field on Monday. The event, hosted by play-by-play announcer Dan Miller, had general manager Bob Quinn, team president Rod Wood and coach Matt Patricia taking questions from the audience.

Here were some of the highlights from that Q&A:

Patricia said he’s been working hard to familiarize himself the current roster, and while several of those evaluations were easy, there were about a dozen or so players he needed to study to see how they would fit into the schemes he wants to run in Detroit. That’s where he was able to lean on Quinn.

“Honestly, with Bob’s help, trusting his opinion and evaluation, knowing we look at players the same way, look at guys in the same light, how they’re used, their roles, Bob is familiar schematically what I do defensively and what I’ve done before. It was really an easy conversation,” Patricia said.

It was just last month that Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Beckham “will not set foot on a field” without a new contract. That came not long after a report by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo in February that OBJ wants $20 million per year in his next contract. Last year, he made it known in an UNINTERRUPTED interview that he wants to be the highest-paid player—not just receiver—in the league.

All of this drama follows a suspicious hotel room video involving Beckham earlier this offseason. Per ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert, Giants co-owner John Mara is on the record this offseason of saying he is “tired of answering questions about Odell’s behavior.”

When he is on the field, there is no denying the type of impact he can make. He had at least 90 catches, 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns in each of his first three seasons before an ankle injury limited to just four games last year.la_kings_014

Josh Norman chimes in on Eagles’ White House cancellation

On Monday, the President pulled the plug on Philadelphia’s visit to the White House, apparently after realizing that fewer than 10 players would be participating. A player from one of the Eagles’ top rivals responded to the situation by posing a question via the President’s preferred platform for communicating with the masses.

Kodak had an endorsement deal with both Clark and Joe Montana, who threw the pass that became The Catch, but Kodak refused to pay Walls. Eventually he sued Kodak and got the money he was owed.

I ended up getting a lot more than Joe and Dwight got put together, Walls said.

The 32-year-old Edelman missed the entire 2017 season after suffering a torn ACL during a preseason tilt.

But Dallas likely will no longer have a heavy reliance on a lead wide receiver and a No. 1 tight end.

The Cowboys don’t seem particularly interested in finding a true replacement for Bryant, who averaged 66 catches a year in his eight seasons in Dallas. The three-time Pro Bowl selection’s numbers dipped in recent years – he played just nine games because of injury in 2015, and he had a career-low 12.1 yards per catch last year – but he was the unquestioned alpha dog of the receiving corps.

Instead, Linehan said he’s looking for balance out of a group that includes slot receiver Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams (who is sidelined this spring while rehabbing a foot injury), and new additions Allen Hurns, signed as a free agent from the Jaguars, rookie third-round pick Michael Gallup and former Rams first rounder Tavon Austin.

This is how Eagles leader and Piscataway native Malcolm Jenkins explained his decision in February

I don’t want to take away from anybody’s experience or make it a big distraction. It’s a celebratory event, and I want the guys who choose to go or whatever to enjoy that, Jenkins said. Me personally, because it’s not a meeting or a sit-down or anything like that, I’m just not interested in the photo op.

Over the last two years, I’ve been meeting with legislators, both Republican and Democrat, it don’t matter. If you want to meet to talk about events in my community, changing the country, I’m all for that. But this isn’t one of those meetings, so I’ll opt out of the photo opportunity.

Storyline to watch: Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski report. Our long nightmare is about to be over. Brady and Gronk will report to mandatory minicamp after skipping all the previous voluntary situations.

A (former) star running back is still on the market, and could make sense for a NFC East rival of the Giants and Eagles.

In a column on potential landing spots for remaining NFL free agents, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell pointed out the Dallas Cowboys as a fit for Adrian Peterson.

If this is it, perhaps now is the time for a long-rumored dalliance to come into existence. The Cowboys are left with just Rod Smith behind Elliott, and while Smith has been a reasonable backup, it seems plausible that Peterson could still be an upgrade as a 100-carry back while playing a couple of series per game. At the very least, he would sell plenty of jerseys for a team that isn’t exactly teeming with skill-position weapons behind Elliott.

Peterson, 33, could team with Ezekiel Elliott to form the highest-profile backfield in the NFL. Last year, the future Hall of Famer rushed for 529 yards on 3.4 yards per carry across stints with the Cardinals and Saints. But with just 3.1 yards per carry since the start of the 2016 season, we could be witnessing the end of Peterson’s career as a viable NFL back.

Jose Abreu had an RBI double for the White Sox.

jets_034Price (7-4) held Chicago scoreless after allowing two runs in the first. He gave up five hits, struck out six and walked three, improving to 5-0 in his past six starts with a 2.89 ERA.

Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth for his 20th save.

Carlos Rodon took the loss in his season debut, giving up four runs two earned and six hits, striking out seven and walking two in five innings. The 24-year-old lefty started the season on the disabled list after left shoulder surgery last September.

Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk was the former Red Sox player honored in the middle of the third inning. He played with Boston from 1969-80 and the White Sox from 1981-1993.

Each game, the Red Sox show highlights of a past star and have him on the video board if they’re in town.

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (8-2, 3.59) looks to keep his solid season going before Boston heads out on a 10-game road trip.Walk-off walk: Blue Jays beat Orioles 4-3 in 10 innings

TORONTO Blue Jays catcher Luke Maile didn’t need to swing his bat to drive in the winning run against the Orioles.

Maile broke a tie with a bases-loaded walk in the 10th inning and Toronto beat Baltimore 4-3 on Saturday.

I wanted to swing, Maile said. It just worked out the other way.

Maile walked on four pitches from Baltimore’s Mychal Givens (0-2) to score Justin Smoak as the Blue Jays improved to 7-1 in extra innings.

I got off rhythm and just wasn’t throwing strikes, Givens said.

It was Maile’s third game-winning RBI of the season. His 10th-inning single beat Kansas City 5-4 in the second game of a doubleheader on April 17, and his two-run homer in the 12th inning beat Boston 5-3 on May 11.

This game changer won’t be a threat to the NFL.

jets_035However, last week Graham posted a letter written to him by a fan who claims that, because Graham is skipping the trip, he is no longer a fan of the defensive end and he hopes the Eagles release him. The fan concluded: You have my permission to show this letter to your a—hole teammates — so they know how a long time Eagles fan feels about you miserable bastards.

Team owner Jeffrey Lurie has walked a tightrope on all of these issues. His team’s locker room has not been held back on expressing itself, even though he said last year that kneeling during the anthem as a protest is not very respectful or proactive.

Check it out, give us your thoughts, and list any accomplishments that you think we missed.

A rampant rumor emerged on Friday that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was on the verge of potentially being traded. On Saturday, Gronk addressed this situation while talking to reporters at a youth football camp.

It just shows how much fakes news is out there, Gronkowski told reporters, via CBS Boston. Hashtag fake news, that’s all I know. It’s true. It exists. See it all the time about me. It’s wild.

Gronkowski was asked about a specific rumor that coach Bill Belichick had agreed to trade Gronk, but that quarterback Tom Brady threatened to retire if it happened, prompting owner Robert Kraft to block the move.

What a nice guy, Gronkowski joked about Brady. But I haven’t talked to him. I didn’t even know about it until last night. Fake news.

While Friday’s news was fake, Gronkowski didn’t seem to know whether a trade could eventually happen.

I have no clue, Gronkowski said.

Sam Darnold highlights from Day 4 of Jets OTAs

jets_036The Jets on Tuesday are back on the practice field, for their fourth organized team activities practice — and the second such session that is open to reporters.

Want to take a look at rookie quarterback Sam Darnold in action? Check out the video above.

The Jets began OTAs last Tuesday.

It is called a rookie minicamp, but it is not exclusively for rookies, which is why the newest Giants player is a 29-year-old with fairly extensive NFL experience.

The Giants, following the three-day camp, decided to sign cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris, who played in the NFL from 2012 through 2016 with the Bengals and Ravens, appearing in 33 games (no starts). Lewis-Harris’ work in the rookie camp impressed the coaching staff — he was allowed to participate because he was an unsigned free agent. Harris, undrafted out of Tennessee-Chattanooga, has one career interception. He was most recently cut by the Broncos prior to the 2017 season.

To make room on the 90-man roster, the Giants waived cornerback C.J. Goodwin, 28, who previously played a total of 28 games split between the Cardinals and Falcons. Goodwin did not last two weeks with the Giants; he was awarded off waivers May 2.

This continues the offseason strategy of adding veterans to compete for jobs in the defensive backfield. The previous signings were William Gay, Teddy Williams, B.W. Webb and Curtis Riley.

In his first year as head coach, the 32-year-old McVay helped author one of the league’s more stunning worst-to-first narratives, morphing an offense that birthed an unwatchable, NFL-low 14.0 points per game under Jeff Fisher in 2016 into a powerhouse that pumped out a league-leading 29.9 points per tilt.

It’s going to make us a whole lot better because the up-tempo and his play-calling style is crazy unique, Peters said. It’s going to cause for us to be on our toes a lot.

It’s especially high praise coming from Talib, the 32-year-old veteran who spent years in Denver practicing against Peyton Manning and seasons in New England seeing Tom Brady ‘s magic-spinning up close and personal.

The ill news for Rams opponents is that adding Talib and Peters only improves the offense by forcing McVay’s roster of weapons to face top talent on a daily basis.

It’s good competing against them at practice, wideout Robert Woods said. Very challenging guys, different guys. You see Talib with his experience, you see Peters just jumping the ball.

Have we mentioned Los Angeles also added All-Pro defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh to the mix? For all the talk of what the Rams can do on offense, this defense has the position-by-position talent to create equal excitement.

Ravens passing game ‘deep’ in transition from last year

Drop back. Throw long. Repeat.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was flinging the ball far downfield Thursday during a voluntary offseason training practice, targeting an array of receivers that includes newcomers Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead.

Someone kind of joked that we completed more deep balls in practice today when we did the whole offseason last year, coach John Harbaugh said.

Joe’s known for throwing the deep ball, and I think we’ll hit a lot of those, Brown said.

Last year, when I was out there, I proved myself and going forward I plan to prove myself again, Bostic said. I got a lot of unfinished business.

So do the Steelers, who were gashed for 164 yards rushing and 45 points in a stunning playoff loss to Jacksonville. Though Pittsburgh led the league and set a franchise record with 57 sacks, the defense struggled at times following Shazier’s injury against Cincinnati on Dec. 4.

Throw out a Christmas Day game against Houston — which played without quarterback DeShaun Watson — and the Steelers allowed 33.5 points and 381 yards after Shazier’s exit. They’ll have a full offseason to get ready for life without him. The plan includes potentially flipping from a 3-4 to a 4-3 look in certain situations and getting creative with substitutions.

That’s where Edmunds comes into play. Though technically a safety, he served as a de facto linebacker late in his time at Virginia Tech when the Hokies played with five or more defensive backs. There’s also Matakevich, a special teams ace who will finished 2017 on injured reserve due with a shoulder issue.

Giants shuffle roster after rookie minicamp

The Giants swapped out six players on their roster for six that tried out for the team during their three-day rookie minicamp.

As a civil fraud lawsuit against Giants quarterback Eli Manning was pending, the NFL consistently declined comment on whether the Personal Conduct Policy applied to the allegations or any of the evidence that had come to light.

Now that the civil case has been resolved, the NFL has commented on the situation. “We monitored the situation and are satisfied that it is a civil matter that was resolved,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told PFT via email. “Not a [Personal Conduct Policy] issue.” The Personal Conduct Policy expressly encompasses “[c]rimes of dishonesty such as blackmail, extortion, fraud, money laundering, or racketeering.”

He’ll start out behind Joe Schobert with the Browns and coach Hue Jackson said the team expects Avery to have a big role on special teams during his rookie season.

Since returning from thumb surgery late in the first round, guard Marcus Smart has been unflappable and Boston’s unquestioned deacon of toughness.

From sacrificing his body diving for loose balls or keeping plays alive with a rebound, to causing deflections on defense, to popping up out of the crowd for a timely rebound or tip-in, Smart is the proud everyman for a once underdog Celtics team that has outworked the Cavaliers through the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals.

That’s me. That’s how I was raised, said Smart, who was Boston’s top performer off the bench in the Celtics’ 107-94 Game 2 win with 11 points, nine assists, five rebounds and four steals. “I’m the youngest of four boys. My whole life I had to fight. bucks_517