He is willing to move to free safety and flank Landon Collins in order to save his value for the team.

While Cousins is, was, and was always going to be free agency’s biggest story, that was just one of the earth-shattering developments happening on Monday and Tuesday. Here were the biggest shakeups before free agency even started.

Before free agency, there were four teams in the running for Cousins: the Vikings, Broncos, Jets, and Cardinals. Now all of those teams have a starting veteran quarterback or are in the process of finalizing one for 2018.

But the nickel back is too rich to keep for a new regime that’s reconstructing the defense, too.

He isn’t solid anymore, is often injured, is recently coming off a 10-game PED suspension and is going into his 10th season at age 31. There’s no upside to keeping him for Romeo Crennel.

Maclin had so much promise as a key receiver for Joe Flacco after signing with Baltimore late in the offseason, but injuries played a part in his limited production. The Ravens should prefer keeping Mike Wallace over him. Maclin is more likely to be cut than to stay at a reduced salary.

They added Mike Glennon later in the day for insurance.

The Jets were the last team in the mix to land a quarterback, signing a one-year a deal with Bridgewater. New York is a good landing spot for Bridgewater, who will have the chance to prove he can get back to form after missing most of the past two seasons rehabbing a knee injury that was so devastating it could have ended his career.

They brought back Josh McCown, too.

The Jets have the No. 6 pick in the 2018 draft. They could still draft their franchise quarterback of the future and let him learn and develop behind Bridgewater for now.

Brees to re-sign with Saints on two-year, $50M deal Triplett: Breaking down Brees, all Saints signings It’s difficult to imagine Brees and the Saints parting ways, especially with the team again competitive and without his heir on the roster.

You pretty much have to go back to 1918 and 1919, when Babe Ruth pulled double duty as a starting pitcher and an outfielder for the Red Sox.

So, yeah, Ohtani’s upcoming season isn’t exactly predictable. On Tuesday, Scioscia told reporters that he expects Ohtani to make the most impact as part of a six-man rotation the club will experiment with in 2018. At least, that’s the plan now, in mid-February.

A couple hours after Wednesday’s workout — yes, it was still raining — the Angels held Ohtani’s first press conference of the spring in the Kachina Conference Center, at the Marriott Buttes Resort that overlooks the spring complex. Almost 25 minutes into the event, Scioscia’s comments about pitching being a priority were mentioned, and Ohtani was asked for his thoughts on the subject.

That could be a disappointing market for Cousins if he doesn’t perform well in Minnesota, but if he finds success he could get even more.

Especially because a new collective bargaining agreement negotiation is coming in 2021 that could hypothetically shift more money in players’ favor:

Stafford will only become a free agent before the end of his deal if he hasn’t lived up to the price tag.

If the Lions opt to keep him and pay him $10 million roster bonuses in 2021 and 2022, it’ll likely be because Stafford has played well and is therefore stuck in a below market deal at that point.

“That’s a term that you guys or not necessarily you in this room, but other people,” Taylor said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I don’t necessarily view myself as a bridge quarterback. I’m a quarterback. As far as a bridge, hopefully I’m helping bridge this team to a Super Bowl, and that’s the plan.”

Taylor, 28, goes into 2018 as the Browns’ starter — the 29th for Cleveland since it returned as an expansion team in 1999. He doesn’t plan on losing the job no matter what Cleveland does in the draft.

The penalties on 19 Russians were expected after a top administration official had pledged, under critical congressional questioning last week, that the administration would act within a week to use the mandate Congress had approved last summer.

Ranking the NFL’s Worst Early Free-Agency Moves

Ranking the NFL’s Worst Early Free-Agency Moves More The Jacksonville Jaguars have continued to spend money this offseason even though their purse strings are tighter after several years of major investments. The team lost slot corner Aaron Colvin to the Houston Texans on a four-year, $34 million deal, and it seemed as though it would be content to replace him via the draft at a much lower cost. Instead, the Jaguars made the worst signing of free agency to date, inking D.J. Hayden to a three-year, $19 million deal with $9.5 million guaranteed, per Adam Caplan of Sirius XM. The contract value makes no sense, as Hayden reached journeyman status after flaming out with the corner-starved Oakland Raiders and then as a rotational player for the Detroit Lions last year.

After McMaster intervened to stop the inquiries, the aide said, a White House official contacted the State Department to press his suspicions with senior aides to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. It is not clear that Tillerson approved or knew of the email exchanges between his aides assessing the politics and loyalties of these State Department staff.

In their letter, Cummings and Engel detailed some of the exchanges from the whistleblower’s documents, including emails in which Trump-appointed senior staff referred to certain department employees as “turncoat,” “associated with previous policy,” “Obama/Clinton loyalists not at all supportive of President Trump’s foreign policy agenda,” and “a leaker and a troublemaker.”

But the Rams were more than willing to take Peters, who will join newly acquired Aqib Talib in the secondary. “[The players] know exactly what the expectations are, what our standards are, and they know what it is to do it the right way,” Rams coach Sean McVay explained last month…. “Anytime you have guys that can cover and do different things as far as matching up with receivers like? Antonio Brown, that gives you a chance to be versatile and maybe mix some things up in terms of the pressures that you want to bring.”

Peters, who grew up in Oakland, never seemed comfortable in the Midwest and perhaps a return to California will make the “maybe a change of scenery will be good for him” cliche a reality. But the cornerback also takes issue with the idea that he comes with more baggage than he’s worth. “I can say on-the-field issues, that comes with being a competitor,” Peters said, via the Los Angeles Daily News’ Vincent Bonsignore.

“When you want to win so badly. You want to see the team do so good. Sometimes teammates and coaches and players, you’re going to have those arguments.

With Robinson leaving, Lee takes over as Jacksonville’s No.

Heyman reported on the filing of a $2.5 million lawsuit by Juan Carlos Nunez against prominent player agents Sam and Seth Levinson. Nunez claims the brothers have been directly involved for decades in helping clients obtain PEDs and that they reneged on a deal to compensate him for the “dirty work” he did for them.

Nunez also alleges former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, the star witness of the 2007 Mitchell Report into PED use in baseball, corroborated his claims in a sworn statement.

Those last two paragaphs might sound ominous for baseball, but a closer look at Heyman’s report indicates something different, at least for the moment.

Just two PED users were mentioned in the report: former Levinson clients Melky Cabrera and Nelson Cruz. Cabrera was suspended 50 games in 2012 for a positive test; Cruz agreed to 50-game suspension in 2013 to help MLB close its investigation of players’ ties to PED supplier Anthony Bosch, who operated the now-defunct Biogenesis clinic in Miami. Twelve of the 14 players who received Biogenesis suspensions were represented by ACES, the Levinsons’ agency (per this 2013 report by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale).

Heyman reported that Nunez, in his lawsuit, addressed the fake website he helped put up to convince MLB that Cabrera’s failed PED test was the result of ignorance. Nunez is alleging Seth Levinson cooked up the idea as part of a scheme to fool MLB and that the brothers then made him a fall guy. Nunez was sentenced in 2015 to three months in federal prison and three months of house arrest for his part in a conspiracy to steer players to Bosch.

The 26-year-old was also an effective return man in college and was excellent on 18 returns for the Jags in 2016, averaging 30.3 yards per attempt with a touchdown.

1 wideout and will now be paid as such.

The Jags re-signed him for four years and $36 million with $18 million guaranteed, which is a discount on what Robinson got but for a player with a much lower ceiling.

As part of a receiving corps alongside Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole, Lee fills a logical piece of the receiving puzzle for Jacksonville, but it feels like it could have found a similarly productive wideout in June for a fraction of the cost.

Predicting surprise: Young players who could shine for Nationals, Astros in 2018

Devenski was drafted in the late rounds by the White Sox in 2011, but he was traded to Houston in August of the following year. When Devenski first reached the majors in 2016, he was used in long relief and occasionally as a spot starter. He did well, but once he took on the role of late-inning reliever last season, Devenski appeared to hit his stride.

Why he could break out: With the new role, Devenski struck out batters at a higher rate and held them to a lower batting average than in 2016. Opposing hitters batted .206 against him in his rookie year, but Devenski dropped that to .174 last season, and his strikeout rate jumped from 25.5 percent to 31.7 in 2017. Devenski also gave up slightly less hard contact, but he did throw more pitches per plate appearances and walk batters at a higher rate than he did in his rookie year.

It’s fair to say that most free-agent contracts are really one- or two-year deals with various team options tacked on the end, and that the Cousins contract is about sacrificing money to wipe away those unguaranteed team options at the end of the deal.

It will be difficult for other players to follow this path, if only because they don’t have the sort of leverage Cousins did.

The pocket quarterback attrition rate and career path makes it far friendlier to go year-to-year, as Cousins did, than it is at other positions.

It might become the new norm for quarterbacks, but think about a truly transcendent franchise player at another position: J.J.


“Last year was great. A lot of these guys came of age and viewed it as a very successful season, but I think what stands out being in that room right now is each guy I’ve spoken to, the hunger is there and there’s no satisfaction with what they’re able to accomplish. We understand it’s a very tough road. That will be one of our messages, especially for young players who have had success.”

The Yankees have a couple roster battles at second and third base. Gleyber Torres, a top-ranked prospect, is the favorite to win the second base job, but third base is more open. Fellow prospect Miguel Andujar is a candidate, but the Yankees have also been linked with free agent Mike Moustakas in recent weeks.

“We’ve got several guys now in camp,” Boone said. “We’ve got a couple of veteran guys who are part of the mix. Obviously with guys like Gleyber Torres, Tyler Wade and Miguel Andujar, all real opportunities are right in front of them, as they’re kind of knocking on the door as that next wave of guys we think — whether it’s immediately or certainly down the road — guys we feel really good that are going to impact our Major League club for a really long time.”

The Pats also just missed out on landing CB Aqib Talib, who’s headed to the Rams.

One of the biggest names in the NFL is on the move. The Seahawks ?released veteran corner Richard Sherman on Friday, clearing approximately $11 million in cap space. Bookmaker.eu has revealed odds for where Sherman will land, and there are some intriguing possibilities. The Patriots, mauled on defense in the Super Bowl, have the best odds of any single team at +350 (bet $100 to win $350).

New England is followed closely by the Bears at +400. The “field,” or any other NFL team not specifically listed in BookMaker’s odds, is +140: Field +140? New England Patriots +350? Chicago Bears +400? Oakland Raiders +550? Los Angeles Chargers +600? Tampa Bay Buccaneers +900? San Francisco 49ers +1,500? Cleveland Browns +1,500? Atlanta Falcons +1,500?

And whichever team grabs him could see their Super Bowl odds improve. So what are the odds of each team winning the next Super Bowl? And which massive long shot can go all the way? Visit SportsLine now to see R.J. White’s NFL futures bets and analysis for Super Bowl LIII, all from the expert who keeps crushing the world’s most prestigious handicapping tournament, the Las Vegas SuperContest.

They’ll also go after Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland, a fourth-round pick out of Clemson in 2014. That’s in part because Randall is expect to play free safety here depending on how things shake out in free agency and the draft, a source told cleveland.com. The “legal tampering period” began at noon on Monday, with teams permitted to begin negotiating deals for free agents and then consummating them when the league year opens Wednesday at 4 p.m.

The Browns got a jump on free agency by trading for quarterback Tyrod Taylor, receiver Jarvis Landry and Randall, but they’ll still be big players in the market, and have about $77.9 million to spend, according to overthecap.com. The Browns will pursue Pryor, who never wanted to leave here in the first place last year. But his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, didn’t think it was best for Pryor to be wrapped up for four years at about $8.5 million to $9.5 million a year.

Cards expected to release RB Adrian Peterson on Monday

The Arizona Cardinals are expected to release RB Adrian Peterson on Monday, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Peterson, 32, would be owed a $750,000 bonus on Friday, the third day of the league year, if he were still on the team.

The recent track record of superstar cornerbacks leaving their old homes for new digs is mixed, at best. Nnamdi Asomugha went from being a true side eraser for the Raiders to being borderline unplayable for the Eagles at age 31. Darrelle Revis was a major disappointment after leaving the Jets for the Buccaneers; and while Revis produced an above-average season in winning a Super Bowl with the Patriots, age caught up to him during the second year of his second run with Gang Green. Revis was essentially finished at 31. Things went better for Aqib Talib in Denver, but after Talib’s age-31 season, the Broncos decided they were better off going with Bradley Roby and shipped Talib off to the Rams.

Sherman will turn 30 later this month and will be coming off a ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered in November, so the odds are against him returning to his perennial All-Pro form for a significant length of time. The good news is that he landed in a welcoming location with the 49ers. The Seahawks were more diverse in their coverages than some might suggest, but Sherman’s size, instincts and spatial awareness made him a perfect fit for the Cover-3 that Seattle ran as its base coverage. Niners defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was an assistant with the Seahawks and Jaguars under Gus Bradley, so he should have no difficulty finding a familiar spot for Sherman along the sidelines.

Webb, 32, was basically a special-teams player after being phased out of the defense toward the end of the season.

Webb thanked the Ravens for a “great run” in a tweet Monday.

The potential of young nickel backs Tavon Young and Maurice Canady hurt Webb’s chances to remain with the Ravens.

Webb has 15 interceptions, 93 passes defensed, five sacks, three forced fumbles and 480 tackles in 127 career games.

It’s hard to find much fault, on the other hand, with the contract Tampa Bay handed its star wide receiver. Evans was entering the fifth-year option of his rookie deal, and the obvious reference point for a contract was the five-year, $81 million extension DeAndre Hopkins picked up in August before playing out his own fifth-year option.

The difference between the two was their draft position. Hopkins was drafted with the 27th pick, making his fifth-year option a relatively team-friendly $7.9 million. As a top-10 pick, Evans was entitled to a far bigger fifth-year option, as the Bucs were on the hook for $13.3 million before signing him to an extension.

The deal will reportedly pay Sherman $39 million over three years with a $5 million signing bonus.

Richard Sherman wasn’t a free agent for long. Just one day after the Seattle Seahawks released the three-time All-Pro cornerback, Sherman agreed to a three-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers , according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter . The team confirmed the signing on Sunday .

It’s got multiple escalations built in for this season.

Explained: Not to diminish what I said earlier about team chemistry, which is very important, but baseball is a tremendously individualized sport. There’s really nothing to be had in the way of learning how to play with other players on the team.

Sure, certain things can be learned: feeds from the double-play tandem, catcher learning the pitching staff, etc. But it’s not like running Spider 2-Y Banana belly option, when the ball is snapped on a hard count.

So, obviously, what they really mean is learning to call guys by their real first name, or else it’ll be awkward, like how you’ve been calling your brother-in-law “Jim” instead of Frank for years.

Apparently, Ohtani is up for the challenge.

Ichiro has 3,080 career hits in MLB and should have plenty of opportunities to get a few off Ohtani this season. However, he likely wont have the same success if he deals to Ohtani from the mound. Ichiro did pitch one inning for the Marlins in 2015, giving up one earned run on two hits.

The Mariners and Angels play their first series of the season May 4-6 in Seattle.

You pretty much have to go back to 1918 and 1919, when Babe Ruth pulled double duty as a starting pitcher and an outfielder for the Red Sox.

So, yeah, Ohtani’s upcoming season isn’t exactly predictable. On Tuesday, Scioscia told reporters that he expects Ohtani to make the most impact as part of a six-man rotation the club will experiment with in 2018. At least, that’s the plan now, in mid-February.

Tim Lincecum ready for bullpen role with Rangers

Tim Lincecum signed an unfinalized deal with the Rangers this week and he’s ready for whatever role the team throws at him, even if that’s out of the bullpen which he didn’t do much during the first stint of his career.

“I’ve pitched out of the bullpen a number of times in my life, so it’s nothing new to me,” he told reporters Tuesday, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I’ve done it obviously in the major league level, so same thing there, I feel like it just keeps more doors open for myself and I saw the more often I threw the better off I was, especially those last six months, so the bullpen role seems more fitting for that.”

Coming out of the bullpen will be a new thing even after a little bit of time off, but the No. 10 overall pick in 2006 is ready for whatever the Rangers throw at him, even if that means he will be closing which he has never done at MLB level.

“I feel like I could do that,” he said. “I’ve done it in the Cape and I’ve done it in the college level,” he said. “It’s going to be obviously different, but I think I can tap into that mentality.”

Here is all you need to know about Opening Day for each MLB team.

Once again, the Rays and Marlins are blowing up their rosters and selling off everything that’s not nailed to the floor. Not everyone has been unceremoniously shoved out the door just yet, so there’s still some talent to be found on both teams, but both teams are going to be an absolute chore to watch this year. Both are probably ticketed for last place and the top of the draft.

In the face of such depressing developments, the only responsible thing to do is to sardonically wonder whether the two teams could be competitive if they banded together and formed a joint roster. We’ll call this Frankenstein team the Marays. It’s a combination of the two teams names, yes, but also close enough to sounding like moray eels. Moray eels, in case you’re wondering, are big slimy wriggly things that dwell at the bottom of tropical waters like those around Florida and use their ugly jaws to rip unsuspecting fans fish to shreds. Fitting, no?

Wizards’ Markieff Morris goes on expletive-filled rant about Mavericks’ J.J. Barea

Wizards forward Markieff Morris does not agree with Mavericks guard J.J. Barea’s statement saying John Wall’s teammates “don’t like him.”

“Man, (expletive) J.J. Barea!” Morris told the Washington Post Wednesday. “What the (expletive) is he talkin’ about? The (expletive) I care about what J.J. Barea said. (Expletive) J.J. Barea. He ain’t a part of this team.”

“I don’t think anybody would’ve thought he’d have 36 goals at this stage of the game,” Boudreau said. “I remember when we signed him, when we were talking in the room, and thinking if he could give us 50 to 60 points we would think it was a great signing.”

Staal’s first score came 4:35 into the game on the power play after a tripping call on Victor Rask, adding to Carolina’s NHL-leading penalty total. Parise’s goal was also with the man advantage for the Wild, who entered the game ranked eighth in the league on the power play. The Hurricanes came in 22nd on the penalty kill.

The Wild, whose post-New Year’s Day surge has thrust them into third place in the Central Division, are 10-3-2 in their last 12 games. They pushed their lead over fourth-place Dallas, which controls the first wild card spot, to three points.

Lillard has been vocal on social media the past two seasons after not making the All-Star team despite better scoring numbers than his All-Star seasons from 2013-15.

While Lillard was not pleased with Westbrook’s comments to the media, George was glad to see his teammate stick up for him.

“We were actually joking before he went up there and I’m like ‘Nah, Russ, man, just let it go, let it go Russ, it is what it is, I wasn’t picked,’ and he was like, ‘Nah, man, P that’s messed up. I’m gonna tell them something about that,’ George told ESPN.

“It was awesome for a teammate to have your back and to stand up. And to be honest, he should be a starter. He’s been the MVP, been the best player at his position. He should’ve been a starter. But that’s another story. But the fact Russ had my back, that’s my guy forever, and it’s more apparent what this decision needs to be made when it comes down to it.”

George is averaging a respectable 20.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, but the Thunder’s slow start to the season likely cost him an All-Star selection.