NFL free agency rumors: Malcolm Butler visiting Saints Thursday

The intrigue surrounding the Saints and Patriots is set to continue.

After swapping Brandin Cooks for a Patriots first-round pick last week, the Saints might be sending a first-round pick right back to New England. Saints coach Sean Payton confirmed to The Associated Press that Patriots restricted free agent cornerback Malcolm Butler is visiting New Orleans on Thursday.

The Saints can sign Butler to an offer sheet, but the Patriots would have a chance to match any offer and would get a first-round pick back from New Orleans if they choose not to match.

Not only would the Saints lose a first-round pick, they would lose the No. 11 overall pick owned through last year’s record. They would keep the No. 32 pick acquired from the Patriots in the Cooks trade.

But Duquette told MLB Network Radio Sunday that the team is still seeking an outfielder through free agency or the trade market. And without specifically saying Bautista might be a player of interest, he did say his earlier comments were misconstrued.

The thing with [Jose] Bautista, Duquette said, I was just trying to make it clear to the agent that we didn’t want the Orioles in that conversation because I didn’t want the fans to be upset that we were trying to bring Bautista here after we had competed against him for the last six or seven years.

Authentic Kids Lawrence Timmons Jersey That kind of got blown out of proportion. We are always interested in the market this time of year. There is some good value. We’re still interested in a number of players on the market. We’ll have to see if there’s a match.

Limited Mens Andrew Hawkins Jersey The 36-year-old Bautista, a six-time All-Star, has been a thorn in the side of the Orioles in recent years, feuding with pitcher Darren O’Day and outfielder Adam Jones on several occasions.

Bills hire Brian Gaine as VP of player personnel

You get the picture. Impressive.

And it’s not just those three on the Charlotte roster. Yoan Moncada, who is MLB.com’s No. 1 overall prospect and BA’s No. 2 overall pick, is the starting second baseman for the Knights. And Zack Burdi, the club’s first-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft out of Louisville, is prepping for his career as a big-league closer in the back of the bullpen.

There’s a reason the Knights were an easy choice for the No. 1 spot for Baseball America, when that respected publication was trying to determine the minor-league club with the top prospect roster. Lots of elite talent, which is rather unique for a Triple-A squad.

A lot of the time, most of your top prospects will be in Double-A or Single-A, just seems it works out this way, Knights pitching coach Steve McCatty said. I’m really …
Authentic Youth Alan Branch Jersey
The Bills have hired Brian Gaine as their new vice president of player personnel, the team announced Monday.
Womens Dave Parker Jersey
A source tells Sporting News the Bills had interviewed Gaine for their previously-vacant general manager position, which was given to Brandon Beane. Buffalo also hired Jim Schoen as assistant general manager.

Gaine comes to Buffalo from Houston, where he served in the Texans’ front office, most recently as director of player personnel.

It’s generally a pretty lateral move, but Brian was excited about building this and starting this, Beane told Buffalobills.com of Gaine’s jump north. I think partnering with me and Joe was attractive. I know Brian and who he is to the core and trust that he’s going to be a big time asset.

Gaine in recent years has interviewed for GM roles with the 49ers, Eagles, Bears and Jets, according to the site.

Documents detail Aaron Hernandez’s troubled time in prison

New details keep emerging in the days since former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez killed himself in prison while serving a life sentence for murder.

The Associated Press obtained documents that reveal Hernandez was cited more than a dozen times for violations as an inmate and became a member of the Bloods gang. He also had delusions of one day returning to the NFL.

The 27-year-old Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of former friend Odin Lloyd. He hanged himself April 19, five days after he was acquitted of a 2012 double murder.

According to documents obtained by the AP through a public records request, Hernandez was disciplined for five violations while he was held in a Bristol County jail awaiting trial on the 2013 murder charge. The violations were, “threatening to kill a corrections officer and his family; submitting a urine sample that tested positive for a painkiller; committing an aggravated assault; refusing to obey an order; and possessing gang paraphernalia.”

The gang paraphernalia was reportedly related to the “Security Threat Group,” or STG, an informal group of inmates, and his gang affiliation was listed as the Bloods.

After he was convicted and transferred to the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, Hernandez was cited at least a dozen times for physical altercations with other inmates and became “insolent” with a corrections officer, the records show. Hernandez also was cited for having a homemade weapon, getting an unauthorized tattoo and having another inmate in his cell.nike_steelers_318

Lions, Giants showing interest in RB LeGarrette Blount, report says

The Lions and Giants may not be done improving their rosters even after the draft.

According to Yahoo Sports, both teams are showing interest in former Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount, who is still unsigned after rushing for 1,161 yards and 18 touchdowns on 299 carries last season.

Detroit, surprisingly, opted not to take a running back in last week’s draft, despite entering the season with just oft-injured Ameer Abdullah, Zach Zenner and third-down back Theo Riddick on the depth chart.

Game Youth Al Davis Jersey We’ll be starting those conversations,鈥?McKenzie said on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday. We got this draft over with. Now, we will be pursuing Derek shortly.

We’re always trying to make sure we keep our good players. We targeted Derek from the outset. We’re going to try and get talking to him and also Gabe.鈥?

Carr and Jackson have both emerged as two of the top players at their respective positions. Carr is coming off his best year, throwing 28 touchdowns with just six interceptions while leading the Raiders to a 12-3 record 鈥?before suffering a season-ending leg injury against Indianapolis.
Limited Mens Anders Nilsson Jersey
Jackson helped the Raiders lead the NFL in fewest sacks allowed (18), while also paving the way for the league’s sixth-ranked rushing attack (120.1-yard average).

The Clippers are finished … maybe for good

The Utah Jazz danced into Los Angeles on Sunday and led Game 7 just about wire to wire in winning the series 4-3. Utah ended up winning three of the four games at Staples Center (the Clippers took two of three in Salt Lake), and it’s the Jazz who will move on to face the Golden State Warriors in the conference semifinals beginning Tuesday.

Authentic Kids Derek Watt Jersey All chatter is now focused on the fate of the Clippers. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and J.J. Redick are all free agents this summer. Bringing back the core would mean spending upwards of $250 million in payroll … for a crew that’s never made the conference finals. That seems like a bad play. But what do you do? Let Griffin walk? Say goodbye to Redick? Do the unthinkable and wave goodbye to CP3? We’ll find out in a couple months.

The Clippers became the first NBA team to blow a series lead in five straight postseasons. Paul Pierce played his final game, closing a very strange farewell tour. Utah survived early controversial foul trouble for Rudy Gobert. Perhaps no one should have been surprised at the outcome: The game was played on International Jazz Day!
Authentic Kids Brandon Thompson Jersey
Maybe the Raptors will rediscover themselves and give James a close game 鈥?if not to win, then to at least refocus his attention back on the fact that he is playing against real people with real dreams, hopes, and families.

The Cavaliers will likely make light work of the Raptors, who should probably give up the pipe dream that they can beat a LeBron James team. Instead, they need to try to catch James’ eye, to make him notice them 鈥?because right now, he’s probably somewhere watching The Good Dinosaur and drying a single tear rather than studying film of the Raptors.

Patrick Mahomes II lands in great spot with Chiefs

Game Mens Steve McNair Jersey Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes II might be one of the biggest boom-or-bust prospects in this year’s NFL draft. The Kansas City Chiefs are taking a huge gamble here, trading away their 2018 first-round pick to move up and select Mahomes with the No. 10 pick.

The son of former MLB player Pat Mahomes, Mahomes II was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 2014, but turned down a contract offer to play football at Texas Tech. Mahomes racked up 11,252 passing yards and 93 touchdowns in just three seasons with the Red Raiders. He was also an asset in the running game, rushing for 845 yards and 22 touchdowns in his college career.

It looked like the Blazers had a chance before Game 3 quickly turned sour. Jusuf Nurkic returned to the lineup after sitting out the first two games, and the Blazers got off to a quick start, with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum seemingly unable to miss.

Portland’s backcourt combined for 63 points, but it wasn’t enough to slow down Klay Thompson (24 points) and Steph Curry (34 points), who took over the third and fourth quarters, respectively.

Game Mens Anthony Barr Jersey Portland will be fighting for their playoff lives in Game 4, so expect to see another impressive performance for Lillard and McCollum. But if the Blazers want any chance at victory, they’ll need to pray Golden State has off night from the field.

FaceApp made Bill Belichick smile and turned Gregg Popovich into a monster

FaceApp. Your social feeds are full of people making themselves look older and younger — now it’s time to unleash the app’s power on the world of sports. Everyone is into different things, so we have three distinct sections for you to enjoy.

I need to preface this with a warning. The natural person to feed into the youth field from the sporting world was Gregg Popovich, everyone’s favorite sports dad. But something happened. The app struggled, took a long time to process — it refused to churn out a creation. After three uploads I finally prevailed and took the opportunity to make a young Coach Pop.

I don’t care.

Are there any peculiarities about playing on a big [ice] field for you?

You don’t always want to race on such an airfield. So much space in the corners. The game is slower. It’s more comfortable for me to play in the NHL. I love hockey with high speed, love make quick decisions. Create moments, shoot the puck. I don’t like playing on the big field. I’m not used to it.

There are some discussions in the KHL about switching from big fields to small ones…

If there is an opportunity, it should be done. The game will be more interesting for fans. More hits, collisions, shots. It will be harder for goalies. You can shoot from everywhere and it will be dangerous moment. But trust me, hockey is much more interesting on NHL-sized fields.

Game No. 1 in Russell Westbrook’s historic season did not start off with a triple-double, but it still contained one of his most memorable moments. A Philadelphia fan flipped Westbrook the double bird, and he gave us a reaction that can be meme’d forever.

Westbrook handled that better than a lot of other people would have.
nike_redskins_171

Here’s why Mitchell Trubisky to the 49ers at No. 2 is a bogus NFL draft rumor

It’s best not to believe anything draft related that you hear this week, when lying season kicks into full gear. The latest rumor centers on ¡ª who else ¡ª Mitchell Trubisky, the North Carolina quarterback with a mere 13 college starts. But this latest one centers on the team picking second in the draft, the 49ers, and not the Browns, though they’re involved in this one, too.

Davis’ instincts and intelligence are off the charts. He has a knack for diagnosing the play before it happens and being where he needs to, and he has the closing speed to be a sure tackler. He identifies weak points and gets to the ball carrier in a hurry ¡ª as evidenced by his 7.5 tackles for loss in 2015 on plays that weren’t sacks.

That doesn’t mean he can’t provide pressure by shrinking pockets up the middle. Davis can give quarterbacks nightmares on disguised zone blitzes and showed a strong sense of timing with the Gators, waiting for the perfect moment to charge upfield and exploit a blocking crease. He is also a hard worker who should be a strong locker room presence.

Here, Thomas bulldozes the offensive line to sack Mitchell Trubisky.

It’s plays like this where Thomas looks like the player many expect him to be at the next level.

Thomas is also one of the most interesting players in the draft
Thomas was born in Chicago, but spent his childhood down under in Australia. He took up soccer and Irish step dancing after school, and he wasn’t into football.
Limited Mens K.J. Wright Jersey
Limited Mens Oliver Ekman-Larsson Jersey Thomas grew up out of shape thanks to a bad diet and a love for Xbox. When he came back to the United States and moved to Texas, his teachers and coaches helped him get on the right path.

Moving to a Texas town will do that to you. They’re serious about their football.

Washington can use Perine to wear down defenses.

That off-the-field leadership has the adults who watched him grow into an All-Pac-12 defensive end convinced he’ll be a success no matter where he goes in the 2017 NFL draft.

Whoever drafts him, he’s going to make them right, said Fex. Not just on the field; in the locker room — he’ll be a fan favorite in the stadium, he’ll be a fan favorite in the community. It’s gonna be fun to watch.

In three seasons at Oklahoma, he ran the ball 685 times. Each year, he took at least 196 handoffs, including a career-high 263 in 2014 when he was a third-team All-American and the Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year.
Game Mens Zach Line Jersey
Based on his rugged style and past production, Washington can use Perine to wear down defenses.

Perine is a man on a mission when he has the football. He doesn’t fall to the turf easily. Defenders will not stop him with arm tackles. In a 35-19 win against Auburn in the Sugar Bowl last season, the former Sooner turned what looked like a short gain into a 15-yard run.

As soon as Perine took the handoff, he started to run up the middle, but there weren’t any creases available. So he cut to the outside, stiff-armed one Tiger, and dragged another along the way. In fact, Perine became the program’s all-time leading rusher after that scamper.

Perine has been wreaking havoc on the ground since his freshman year in 2014. He ran for 427 yards, an FBS rushing record, in a 41-7 victory against Kansas. Perine broke the record with this scamper:

Thomas shared that sentiment, while acknowledging he can only get there through hard work.

Game Mens Xavien Howard Jersey I feel like I can do so much in this world. I want to be the best person I can be. Best teammate. Best player.

This is how Bears and 49ers fans reacted as their teams traded in the NFL draft

It didnt take long for some NFL draft craziness to get started Thursday night. Just minutes after Roger Goodell opened the show to a chorus of boos, the San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears negotiated a swap that sent quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to Chicago with the No. 2 pick, while the 49ers hoarded mid-round selections and took Solomon Thomas at No. 3 overall.

A day later, 49ers fans and media are touting John Lynch as a genius, especially after San Francisco traded into the tail end of the first round to grab Reuben Foster.

Authentic Youth Johan Franzen Jersey Bears fans werent as enthused by the results.
Authentic Youth Vic Beasley Jersey
First, it started with a trade. Chicago sent a third-round pick (No. 67 overall) and a fourth-round pick (No. 111 overall) to the 49ers, along with a 2018 third-round pick. In return, the Bears got one spot in the draft order. Getting a running back would be nice now that the Adrian Peterson era is over, but after the top five backs theres a drop off and theyre all gone when the Vikings go on the clock. But adding offensive line talent is certainly a priority, too. The Vikings struggled to protect Sam Bradford and couldnt provide much running room anyway. Dawkins was a three-year starter who played left tackle in college, and could play tackle in the NFL, but likely projects best inside.

While the Raiders really have the luxury to take the best player available, regardless of position, the defense is the side that needs more work. If there is a big hole to fill, its at linebacker, and Cunningham is as exciting a playmaker as there is at the position to replace Malcolm Smith. Then in the second round, the Raiders take King, a tall, press cornerback on a defense that likes tall, press cornerbacks.