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.”

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.

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.

Allen Hurns wearing No. 17 with Cowboys in memory of the Douglas shooting

The Jacksonville Jaguars did not want to retain the services of wide receiver Allen Hurns, but the Dallas Cowboys were happy to give him a new home. However, since they already had a No. 88 on the roster (that Dez Bryant guy), he had to choose a new number.

He decided to go with No. 17. His reason why is pretty admirable—he wanted to honor the victims of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Hurns shared the news during a recent radio appearance on 105.3 The Fan’s Shan and RJ show.

Cleveland Browns: They’ve got a stockpile of draft picks that would make a deal with the Giants at least somewhat realistic. They’ve got enough cash in the bank to make a new contract for Beckham feasible. This team also appears to be on the fast track to respectability, partially due to the acquisition of slot receiver Jarvis Landry, Beckham’s best buddy from their college days in Baton Rouge. Bonus: There’s still time to catch LeBron play from courtside seats.

Free agent QB Geno Smith is visiting a second NFL team, the Seattle Seahawks, according to a source.

Griffin’s physical limitation should be discussed, says his NFL.com profile, as it pertains to areas like tackle disengagement and consistency of finishing, but his instincts, play speed and technique have all been major factors in helping him thrive at his position. Central Florida linebacker Shaquem Griffin (18) celebrates a sack on Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham (8) during the second half of the Peach Bowl NCAA college football game, Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP) More You can’t help but cheer for him – even the biggest fans of hated rival USF love him – but you can’t help but wonder: Where will he land

Mason Rudolph has busy pre-draft schedule

Most conversations about quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL Draft generally cover the first four, and then Lamar Jackson, and then the rest.

But Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph could have something to say about that conventional wisdom, based on his travel schedule.

Per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Rudolph has a busy slate of visits or workouts without nearly as much attention.

“It should demonstrate every type of throw,” Allen said of his script. “I’m looking forward to Friday for sure.”

The same goes for interested suitors in attendance to see Allen do more than showcase arm talent in aerial displays that will include an attempt to support a recent claim to an NFL scout that he could throw an 82-yard pass in the air [“I guess we’ll kind of find out on Friday,” Allen said.]

Allen expects meetings with teams around his Pro Day will be an extension of Combine interviews that he separated into two categories.

Allen considered one group of the get-to-know-you variety because those clubs didn’t have much if any interaction with him in January at the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

The other peppered him with more Xs-and-Os questions designed to see whether Allen’s smarts match up with his prototype 6-5, 237-pound size and break-any-plate-at-the-carnival-no-matter-how-much-it’s-rigged arm strength.

Neuheisel had three stints as a collegiate head coach, including a 2008-2011 stint at UCLA. Neuheisel also played college football at UCLA and was named the MVP of the Rose Bowl in 1984. Neuheisel has never been a professional head coach, but spent three years on Brian Billick’s staff with the Ravens. He was Baltimore’s quarterbacks coach in 2005 and 2006 and served as offensive coordinator in 2007.

The Alliance of American Football is set to begin its inaugural season in February 2019. An official announcement of Neuheisel’s hiring and the location of the Southern California entry is expected soon.

Love threw the pass with 3.3 seconds left and the Cavs trailing by three, and James caught it on the right wing, where Philly forward Robert Covington was called for a shooting foul on the Cavs star. James, who went on to make the first free throw and miss the second, leading to the intentional miss on the third, told ESPN after the game that he believed Covington fouled him on the floor before he was in his shooting motion.

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.

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.