Pro Bowl TE Martellus Bennett announces retirement from NFL

Martellus Bennett has announced his retirement from football. The 31-year-old tight end posted the news in a clever illustration on Twitter Friday.

“I’ve decided to move on from the world of football and into the fantastical and wondrous world of creativity,” Bennett wrote. “I’m beginning what I believe to be my life’s work.”

Bennett played 10 seasons in the NFL for the Cowboys, Packers, Patriots, Giants and Bears. He caught 433 passes for 4,573 yards and 30 touchdowns.

Manziel last played in a game on Dec. 27, 2015, near the end of his second season with the Cleveland Browns. The Browns released him in March 2016, and he plunged into a two-year spiral of substance abuse that he often chronicled on social media. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and has been treated for depression.

NFL teams are opening their offseason programs this month. CFL training camps start May 16 for rookies, and the league’s regular season begins June 14.

Realistically, Manziel has about a month to decide whether to hold out for an NFL job or make a two-year commitment (the minimum, according to CFL rules) to the Tiger-Cats. If it’s the latter, he wouldn’t be eligible to play in the NFL until November 2019 at the earliest.

When told of Kanter’s comment, James replied: “I’m the King, my wife is the Queen and my daughter is the Princess. So we got all three covered.”

Not to Kanter’s way of thinking. “We’ve already got a king; it’s Kristaps Porzingis,” Kanter said. “Sorry about that.”

James had 26 points, six rebounds and 11 assists, but may have made his biggest statement in Monday’s 123-109 win by letting his shoes do the talking.

Jarrett Jack scored 18 points and Kyle O’Quinn had 15 points, 16 rebounds, five assists and four blocks for the Knicks, who beat Miami 122-98 on Friday but fell short in their hopes of beating another playoff-bound team.

The Knicks were without Tim Hardaway Jr. (sprained left ankle), Enes Kanter (lower back, right wrist) and Emmanuel Mudiay (concussion). Michael Beasley started after leaving Friday’s game with a bruised left knee.

Raiders bringing back Marshawn Lynch as lead ball carrier, report says

Marshawn Lynch will be back on the Raiders for the 2018 season, the running back in line to receive a $1 million roster bonus Sunday, NFL Network reports.

The Raiders signed former Buccaneer Doug Martin on Thursday, but Lynch figures to be Oakland’s primary ball carrier for the second straight season.

Marshawn Lynch will remain a member of the #Raiders. Sources say he is receiving his $1M roster bonus on March 18, a clear sign he’ll be their feature back… if there was any question.

“Looking at the film in a game that I broadcasted on Christmas night, there’s no question he’s still a beast,” Gruden said, per the San Jose Mercury News. Lynch had 95 yards on 25 carries in Oakland’s 19-10 loss at the Eagles in that game. Over the 2017 season, Lynch carried the ball 207 times for 891 yards and seven touchdowns and caught 20 passes for 151 more yards.

Rays: Tampa Bay Rays placed 2B Brad Miller on the 10-day DL because of a strained left groin and selected RHP Ryan Weber’s contract from Triple-A Durham. … CF Kevin Kiermaier was in a walking boot and out of the lineup after bruising his right foot on Sunday.

Rays: LHP Blake Snell (0-1, 5.00 ERA) looks to bounce back after getting roughed up for five runs in 3 1/3 innings by the New York Yankees on Wednesday.

White Sox: RHP Carson Fulmer (0-0, 5.40) looks to build on a somewhat promising first start, when he held Toronto to three runs and five hits over five innings.

“The dog video, there’s a lot that goes into it, right? It was a crazy situation. I haven’t fallen into peer pressure my whole life, and they peer pressured me to go out here and get attacked by this dog.”

Ingram explained that he went through this activity with the dog several times, but on his final attempt he tried to put a spin move on the dog. He said the dog then horse-collared him to the ground.

But Ingram was fine in the end, and he said he got back up “like a champ.”

Meanwhile, that dog has proven it can tackle NFL athletes. Someone should definitely draft that dog, and that’s why we created a scouting report for it.

After starting his career 0 for 21 versus Harvey, Harper is 5 for his last 11 with two home runs against him.

Mets: LHP Jason Vargas (broken right hand) threw a simulated game in Florida on Saturday. “He did great. Got up and down six times,” Callaway said. “He is progressing nicely.”

Nationals’ Dave Martinez ejected for first time as manager

It didn’t take long for Dave Martinez to earn his first ejection as a major league manager.

The Washington Nationals’ rookie skipper made an early exit from his eighth game on the job, getting tossed by umpire Marty Foster at the end of the third inning of a 3-2 loss to the New York Mets on Saturday.

They don’t get cut. They don’t get benched. They don’t get sent down to Triple-A, whatever it might be, Rendon said. It’s just sad that there’s no accountability for them.

Crew chief Joe West told a pool reporter that Foster felt that Rendon’s toss of his bat was showing him up and that an umpire in that situation has to do something, or he loses all respect from the players.

West also said: The pitch prior to the strikeout, [Rendon] walked completely out of the hitter’s circle, which the hitters aren’t allowed to do. Marty said, ‘We gotta play. You gotta get back in there.’ Then when he called strike three, he threw the bat.

The Nationals have lost four straight after winning their first four games.

After earning $9.56 million over his first four NFL seasons, Shazier is set to count $8.7 million against the Steelers’ salary cap after the team exercised the fifth-year option on his rookie contract last year. Although he won’t play in 2018, Colbert confirmed there will be some sort of designation for Shazier so he can still remain a part of the team next season.

The kid had a devastating injury, Colbert said. His willingness to not only aggressively rehab but to put himself out there and ask for no pity, again that’s all part of the recovery process that I think, he helps us as much as we help him.

Shazier, 25, is still rehabbing from a spinal injury suffered in a Dec. 4 game against the Bengals that required spinal stabilization surgery on Dec. 6 and has left him in a wheelchair. Still, the two-time Pro Bowl player has attended various sporting events and was even captured on video doing pull-ups at the gym.

Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh to be questioned Thursday in Colin Kaepernick collusion grievance

On Wednesday, the Ravens announced that they’ll soon be signing quarterback Robert Griffin III. On Thursday, the team’s General Manager and head coach will be questioned under oath in a grievance filed by another quarterback who ultimately wasn’t offered a job.

Making it known that Griffin soon will be joining the team provides a degree of transparency that can’t make things worse, and that possibly will make things better. With Griffin’s eventual addition to the roster out in the open, neither Newsome nor Harbaugh will be tempted to get cute (which witnesses often tend to do) when asked about Griffin vs. Kaepernick. The fact that they’ll be signing Griffin slams the door on any effort to engage in verbal swordplay regarding what would have been hypothetical or potential interest in Griffin.

Regardless, Newsome and Harbaugh will be asked plenty of questions about why the team deemed Griffin to be a better option than Kaepernick. Those answers will then become part of the broader collection of evidence that eventually will be massaged by Kaepernick’s lawyers into support for his claim that the NFL’s teams colluded to keep him unemployed because of his role at the forefront of the protests that occurred during the national anthem before games.

McNair likely would say that former Texans tight end Owen Daniels has no problem saying things that are not true, either. Because Daniels has confirmed Brown’s version of the events.

pearing recently on ESPN 97.5 in Houston, Daniels said that, indeed, McNair made the comments in question to the team in November 2008.

“We’re in the middle of the season, and this guy gets elected, and it wasn’t the guy that he was supporting,” Daniels said of McNair. “But a lot of the guys on the team were very supportive of Barack.”

Daniels recalls thinking that the comments were “weird” at the time. Daniels said that, after having a chance to look back and reflect on it, “That was weirder than I was actually making it out to be back then.”

William Gay signs with Giants

Signs on Wednesday pointed to veteran cornerback William Gay joining the Giants and the deal has come together.

Agent Jerrold Colton announced on Twitter that Gay has signed with the Giants. He joins Curtis Riley and Teddy Williams as new additions to a cornerback group while Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was released in March.

He has playfully tweeted at the league apologizing for his actions, but he insists he has been treated unfairly recently.

“I kind of feel like I’m getting that Rasheed Wallace treatment, just, quick trigger, quick trigger,” said Morris.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he is not worried about Morris’ ejections. And Morris has pledged to not let his temper get the best of him in the playoffs.

“Going in the playoffs, that’s nothing to worry about. I promise I won’t get no techs unless we’re just getting blatantly cheated,” said Morris. “I want my team to win, so I won’t put my team in jeopardy or anything like that. But I’m still passionate about the game, like I said.”

The coroner’s office apologized for “the misidentification and any confusion created by it.” The ministry did not say how the error occurred.

“Our condolences go out to the family of Parker Tobin,” the ministry’s statement said. “Unfortunately, Parker is one of the 15 that have lost their lives in this terrible tragedy. Parker had been misidentified and was previously believed to have survived.”

Both Tobin and Labelle were members of the Humboldt Broncos team. The deceased also include coach Darcy Haugan, bus driver Glen Doerksen and nine other players.

The Broncos were en route to a playoff game Friday when a truck carrying peat moss collided with their bus. The players were between the ages of 16 and 21.

Fourteen people were injured in the crash. As of Monday afternoon, 12 remained in the hospital, according to the Saskatchewan Health Authority; four patients are in critical condition, four patients are in serious condition, and four patients are in stable condition.

Which NFL players do you want to see play both ways?

Shohei Ohtani has turned the baseball world upside down. That has no specific relevance to the NFL, but that hasn’t stopped us from finding a way to make it relevant to the NFL.

Monday’s PFT Live included a draft based on the current players we’d most like to see do more than what they currently do.

The video has the full draft (three rounds, two picks per round). The comments will (hopefully) have your thoughts.

Edmonton tied the game back up a couple minutes later as McDavid earned another assist by dropping it back to Nugent-Hopkins, who tied a career high with his 24th goal of the season.

It was the fourth and final meeting of the season between the Canadian clubs, with the Canucks winning two of the first three. … There was a lengthy moment of silence before the game to honor the victims of Saskatchewan’s Humboldt Broncos minor hockey team bus tragedy on Friday. In addition, both teams wore decals to recognize the victims, the proceeds from the 50/50 draw went toward the cause and the home logo on the scoreboard was a hybrid between the Oilers and Broncos.

The Kansas City Chiefs waived running back George Atkinson on Wednesday.

Atkinson spent most of last season on Kansas City’s practice squad. He was signed to a futures contract in January.

Atkinson has appeared in 21 career games with the Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns. He has seven carries for 34 yards and a touchdown.

In accordance with the signing of virtually every other free-agent quarterback in the history of professional football, the Ravens brought Griffin in for a workout, then decided to sign him.

“LC [Collins] is a guy who has played inside for us at guard. He played tackle for us last year,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Sunday night at the team’s Taste of the NFL event at The Star. “We saw him as a guy who could do both coming out of school. You’ve heard me say this a lot: One of the things we want to do is always try to play our five best guys.

Marquette King on never meeting Jon Gruden: I just saw him on car commercials and stuff

Marquette King denies his celebrations or his personality are reasons Oakland cut him. The punter said he never even met Jon Gruden.

“I just saw him on car commercials and stuff,” King said in a conference call with Denver writers, via quotes distributed by the team. “I get to see him two times a year [now].”

King joined the Broncos on Thursday, agreeing to a three-year deal worth up to $7 million. He chose Denver because it was the best fit, he said, but added, “There is somewhat of a revenge factor in there, too.”

He will continue celebrating, though he vows the unsportsmanlike conduct penalties are a thing of the past.

“I’m still going to have fun,” King said. “I’m still going to dance and still celebrate. I’m going to be me. Nothing is going to stop me from being me. The flags—I got three flags two years ago and one flag last year—it’s in the past. I’m just looking forward to doing my thing and making sure I’m working on my composure and doing the right things to making sure the team is in the best situation possible.”

The Saints are exploring a possible addition to their offensive line.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that tackle Austin Howard visited with the team. The Ravens opted not to pick up their option on Howard’s contract for 2018.

Howard started every game at right tackle for the Ravens last year after joining the team in August. He spent the previous three seasons with the Raiders, but was dropped by Oakland last summer.

If he’s truly committed to that, we’ll see him play one more Spring League game before cutting the best deal that he can and joining the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, where coach June Jones is waiting to help Manziel fulfill his potential (according to Jones) to be the best player in CFL history.

Josh Rosen starts busy week in Buffalo

The draft gets started two weeks from Thursday and that leaves teams with dwindling time to make final decisions about where they rank this year’s prospects.

With as many as six quarterbacks on track to come off the board in the first round, the way teams rank those players will have a great deal of impact on how things play out in Dallas later this month. UCLA’s Josh Rosen is one of those quarterbacks and he’ll be visiting with four teams this week that are thought to be looking for help at that spot.

Such misses have raised questions about whether Elway can effectively scout the position, despite having been one of the greatest to ever play it.

Elway’s on-field legacy with the Broncos and success in his first four seasons as general manager — Denver went 50-14, won a Super Bowl and reached another — have bought him time to try and reverse a two-year downward cycle. But the past can only go so far if the Broncos don’t start thriving again in the future.

Keenum is anxious to prove Elway knows what he’s doing.

“I’ve been a fan of Elway and the Broncos for a long time,” he said, “So this is a childhood dream come true.”

Now let’s see if Keenum can end Denver’s quarterback nightmare.

Davis said the substance was an “estrogen blocker” in a supplement that he’s used for the last seven or eight years without triggering a positive test until now. Davis said he did not and would not “intentionally” do anything to “cheat the game” and that his “conscience is clear.”

He also acknowledges that NFL rules about players being responsible for what they put in their bodies is clear and that he’s run afoul of them as a result of the test. That will leave Davis unavailable to start the year and leave the Panthers looking for another solution at linebacker for a quarter of the 2018 season.

Plus, it won’t be long before Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott will have their hands out seeking lucrative extensions when their rookie contracts become eligible for renewal following the 2018 campaign.

Odell Beckham trade rumors, big free-agent signings products of Rams’ new vision

Odell Beckham Jr. to the Rams?

Although having never played in a 3-4 system like the one deployed by Rams coordinator Wade Phillips, Suh agreed to the plan that will have him at nose tackle in base packages. The one-year, $14 million salary tendered by LA sealed the deal Monday, giving the Rams their scariest defensive front since the Fearsome Foursome’s heyday in the 1960s.

“Aaron is the type of guy who (believes), ‘If he helps us and he gets better, let’s do it. My time will come here soon.'”

We’ll know by then if all these marquee names have moved the Rams closer to their first Super Bowl appearance since the 1999 season and if Beckham is part of the group.

But one thing already is certain: Snead’s unconventional roster building has put the Rams in their best position to compete for a Lombardi Trophy since the “Greatest Show on Turf” era. At the same time, it has generated the buzz that was sorely lacking when the franchise left St. Louis and returned to Southern California two years ago.

Riley Dixon currently serves as the punter in Denver, and as Klis notes there’s no specific reason to believe the team isn’t happy with him. But if King would be regarded as an upgrade, the Broncos could be interested in exploring the possibility.

Of course, the fact that King’s agent is going public with the player’s interest in the Broncos may be a sign that the interest in King isn’t as significant as King’s agent had hoped — especially at the $3 million he was due to earn in 2018.

Despite missing Alabama’s final two practices leading into the College Football Playoff semifinal, Averett returned to help the Crimson Tide limit Clemson to just 124 passing yards in a 24-6 win. A healing Averett was even better in Alabama’s national championship victory over Georgia with six tackles, a sack and pass break-up.

If there were any lingering doubts about his health, Averett answered them last month at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. A former track star at Woodbury High, Averett ranked fourth among cornerbacks in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.36 seconds.

Odell Beckham Jr. Rumors: Giants Want At Least 2 1st-Round Draft Picks in Trade

Odell Beckham Jr. Rumors: Giants Want At Least 2 1st-Round Draft Picks in Trade

The New York Giants are reportedly seeking at least two first-round draft picks in any trade offer for superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

One day later, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Beckham will not set foot on a field without a new contract extension in place. He’s currently under team control for one more season because the Giants exercised the fifth-year option in his rookie deal.

The Los Angeles Rams are one team that’s already reached out to the Giants to discuss a possible trade for the 25-year-old playmaker, per Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.

Beckham has been a force since New York selected him with the 12th overall pick in the 2014 draft. He tallied at least 90 catches for 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns in each of his first three seasons. His 2017 campaign came to a premature end in October because of a fractured ankle.

Two first-round picks, especially if neither ends up inside the top 10, would be a small price to pay for that type of high-end production.

The NFLfattempted to resolve the catch rule and make the game safer with another measure further aimed at eliminating spearing. But nothing from its annual league meeting generated as much buzz as the future of New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

Team co-owner John Mara began the week expressing disappointment in his volatile superstar while suggesting no one on his roster was untouchable. Days later, Mara had backtracked a bit, saying he didn’t wish for Beckham to be traded but qualifying: I want him to be a Giant. I can’t say it’s a 100% guarantee it will happen. Can’t say that about any player.

In between, reports swirled about whether Beckham would suit up for any team in 2018 minus a massive contract extension, and general manager Dave Gettleman equivocated as much as Mara even as potential suitors like the Rams seemed to emerge as trade partners.

More: Odell Beckham Jr. trade firmly on Rams’ radar, but Sean McVay dances around possible deal