Johnny Manziel starting his CFL career as a backup

Johnny Manziel will get in a game for the first time in Canada this week, but he’ll be coming off the bench as a backup as the Canadian Football League preseason kicks off.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats coach June Jones says last year’s starter, Jeremiah Masoli, absolutely remains the starter both for the preseason opener on Friday and for the regular season opener on June 16.

Masoli is going to play until I feel good about it, Jones said of the starters’ playing time in the preseason game. And then the rest of the game will be whatever we decide – 15 plays each, or whatever.

If they and others find themselves resenting Belichick’s ways and questioning the effectiveness of his methods and his message, coach and players could be on a collision course for a level of dysfunction that they may not be able to overcome.

Williams seemed to acknowledge he was in no condition to drive, and he insisted that he wasn’t the one who crashed the Lamborghini.

That’s my $325,000 car that I paid for, he said. I know I can’t drive a car.

Williams claimed that Wright called him and told him his Lamborghini was crashed, but when police asked Williams where his phone was, Williams said that it was in the car. When police asked Williams how his phone could be in the car when he had just said that Wright was in the car and called Williams to tell him about the crash, Williams said, I’m not trying to lie to you. I swear to God I would not try to lie to you.

What Williams told police contradicts the statement he released after he was arrested. Williams said nothing about Wright in his statement, and instead indicated that he had been driving, saying, The driver in front of me slammed on his brakes and I turned to the left and hopped the curb to avoid hitting him. I got his insurance information and my neighbor picked me up when my car wouldn’t drive.

TMZ has photos of the crash scene that also contradict Williams’ lawyer’s claim that Terrance did not hit a light pole and there was no light pole even near the vehicle. The crash scene photos show a downed light pole next to Williams’ car.

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Saints RB Mark Ingram Changes Agents

New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram is entering the final year of his contract in 2018, and this spring, he made a change that could impact his next round of negotiations.

Ingram, 28, has hired a new agency to represent him, signing with Detroit-based VIP Sports Management and agents Paul Bobbitt and David Jones. Previously, Ingram was represented by Joel Segal of Lagardere Sports and Entertainment, an international agency with offices in New York, Dallas and Scottsdale, Ariz.

Considering he repeatedly hit batters, likely without his manager’s warning, the Padres coaching staff is also at fault. The Rockies are a team on the rise, with plenty of good young ballplayers, including Arenado and Charlie Blackmon. Unless there is a reasonable explanation for what Perdomo did, there is no excuse for this brawl.

Despite the fact that multiple parties could have and should have prevented these brawls, I do believe that we can take a couple of good things from them. First off, we can appreciate rivalry between ball clubs, even if it is not particularly friendly, because baseball feeds on tension. Secondly, I am happy to see that each of these four teams, though quite young, have players who are loyal to their teammates, and loyalty is especially valuable, particularly in the free agent era.

I do not believe brawls are the best ways to solve problems, but I can appreciate what these scraps did.

Also back is Kerry Hyder, who enjoyed a breakout season in 2016, before an Achilles tear in the preseason sidelined him all of last year. If he’s anywhere close to the same player he was pre-injury, the boost he can provide shouldn’t be understated.

The rotation is rounded out by Anthony Zettel and Cornelius Washington. Zettel enjoyed a breakout of his own last year and is an ascending talent who should be able to build on his 6.5 sacks, while Washington provides a sturdy edge setter who serves an underrated role against the run.

But you never can have enough pass rushers, and with Ansah operating on a franchise tag, destined to hit the open market next offseason, the Lions should jump at the possibility of getting a potential future starter early in the draft — assuming one is still there at No. 20, when the team is slated to make its first selection.

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Lions LB Jarrad Davis looking forward to big second season

Allen Park – It was far from an ideal rookie season for Detroit Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis, but he’s banking on a year of on-the-job learning and a strong finish in 2017 to lead to positive results in his second season.

You can’t really dwell on the bad things, Davis said. You just have to go out, you have to play and you have to have fun. I was able to go out and say that those last three games. … I just went back to being a kid again. Just going out there and letting loose, not really worrying about anything, not really stressing about messing up, not really trying to say,’I’ve gotta do this, I’ve gotta do this.’ Just going out there and letting things happen.

Even though he knows he’ll be learning another new defensive scheme this offseason, with Matt Patricia at the helm, along with a new defensive coordinator and position coach, Davis said he feels more mentally relaxed coming into his second season.

While the playbook might be different, the young linebacker is confident the transition will be made smoother because of the study habits he refined during his rookie campaign.

The biggest key to Davis’ improvement will certainly be the strides he can make in pass coverage.

According to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune, the primary factor in their decision to not tag the restricted free agent at a more restrictive level was the fact they were worried about Meredith’s recovery from a torn ACL and partially torn MCL in a preseason game. Campbell reported that heavy doubt about Meredith’s knee has existed since his surgery, and that by late October, the team was uncertain about his future.

It must have been a considerable concern, since they still need all the offensive weapons that they can get and they’re still sitting on $24 million in cap room, meaning they could have easily absorbed the two-year, $9.6 million offer the Saints lured him away with.

Making it that much more strange is they guaranteed a lot more money to another wide receiver coming off an ACL tear.

The Bears gave Allen Robinson a three-year, $42 million contract, with $25.2 million guaranteed. He tore his ACL in the regular season opener for the Jaguars, weeks after Meredith’s injury.

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Browns GM open to all options with No. 1 pick and that includes drafting Saquon Barkley

The predraft obfuscation reaches its zenith right about now, days before the draft. And the Browns, who have the No. 1 and No. 4 picks — and a dire need for a franchise quarterback — have yet to tip their hand. Common sense suggests they’d take a passer, though we still don’t know who they favor. But common sense was nowhere to be found in 2016, when they passed on Carson Wentz, or in 2017, when they passed on Deshaun Watson.

I thought we made a good push here tonight, created a lot more zone time and made Fleury work a little harder than he had to this point in the series, Los Angeles coach John Stevens said. But (we) had some critical errors at critical times along the wall (that) ended up costing us.

Vegas’ offensive burst broke open a third straight game of tense, defense-dominated playoff hockey between a franchise that won two Cups with that attitude and another that didn’t exist a year ago.

Some of the possible conflict between Rodgers and the Packers is Kirk Cousins ‘ fault.

It’s not that the new Minnesota Vikings quarterback did anything wrong by leveraging the free agency market into an unprecedented, fully guaranteed contract worth $84 million over the next three seasons. It’s that by signing it, Cousins set a standard for what a premium passer will cost.

While the Kings are down, they know they’re not out: They rallied from an 0-3 series deficit in the first round in 2014 against San Jose.

Oh yeah, we trust in ourselves, and it’s been done before, said Iafallo, whose goal gave Los Angeles its first lead of the series. We look at each other, look across the room, and we trust each other. We can definitely do it.

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The Cowboys love Hitchens, even if you’ve never heard of him.

At 5-foot-9, Wilson isn’t the classic big receiver who typically finds big paydays. But in today’s spread-oriented schemes, he can eat up a lot of yards between the 20s. — Seifert

He could be of value elsewhere, too. He can play inside or outside, at least in a 4-3 base scheme, and has missed only four games in his four-year career. — Seifert

A surprise Oakland run would probably send Billy Beane in search of a rental or two, and he has the supply of young arms to make something happen.

Duffy is on a team-friendly deal that has four years remaining on it, providing a lot of future WAR to a team willing to help provide a boost to Kansas City’s farm system.

As for a surprise Royals run … it wouldn’t be boosted much by dealing prospects from the barren system. More likely, it would be a lower-tier prospect or two and a willingness to take on some money.

Towns shot 13 for 17, including making all three of his 3-point attempts, and showed no ill effects after getting knocked in the face with about a minute left in the first half.

Entering the fourth quarter in this defense-optional contest, the Wizards were ahead 90-82. The hosts stretched that to a game-high edge of 10 points, at 95-85 with 10 minutes left.

But a 20-3 run capped by an inside basket from Andrew Wiggins off Towns’ assist put Minnesota up 105-98 with less than 5 1/2 minutes to go. After the Wizards got within 111-109, Towns sank a corner 3 with 29 seconds left to push the visitors’ lead back up to five.

Every starter scored at least 10 points for the Timberwolves, who were coming off a victory over the Golden State Warriors in their previous game. Wiggins scored 16, and Nemanja Bjelica had 17, plus eight rebounds and seven assists.

Miller opened the scoring 4:19 into the game, but Ottawa roared back with three goals to close the period as Paajarvi scored his seventh of the season, Dzingel notched his 20th while on the power play and Pyatt tipped in Cody Ceci’s shot at 11:24.

Miller scored his second of the game on the power play 2:03 into the second period to cut the margin to 3-2, but the Senators answered that with goals by Hoffman — who also got his 20th of the season — and Gaborik to grab a 5-3 lead at 13:44.

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Abdominal surgery likely to shelve Clippers’ Avery Bradley for rest of regular season

LA Clippers guard Avery Bradley underwent surgery to repair adductor and rectus abdominis muscles on Tuesday and will likely miss the rest of the regular season.

Six to eight weeks is the recovery time for the surgery, which means the Clippers would need to make the postseason for Bradley to have a chance to return this season.

The Clippers are 36-29 and holding on to the seventh seed.

Towns was back out there to open the second half, and he kept getting the ball down low — and kept putting it in the hoop. Wizards starting center Marcin Gortat, in particular, put up little resistance while trying to guard the All-Star known by his initials, KAT.

Both teams are without All-Star guards at the moment. The Timberwolves are missing Jimmy Butler, who had surgery on his right knee on Feb. 25, while the Wizards don’t have John Wall, out since late January because of an operation on his left knee.

If you’re skeptical about what a guard can get on the open market, recall the deal Kevin Zeitler received last year from the Browns: five years, $60 million, with $31.5 million guaranteed. And Norwell, unlike Zeitler, was a first-team All-Pro in his contract year. — Seifert

Reasonable people can debate whether Solder is an upper-tier player, but no one can argue the value of even a competent left tackle in free agency. In 2017, the Rams gave Andrew Whitworth — at age 35 — a deal that averaged $11.25 million per year. Solder could cash in if he decides to leave the Patriots. — Seifert

Inciarte is a joy to watch in center field. He also had a nice season at the plate in 2017 and has four years and an option remaining on an extremely team-friendly deal. If the Giants had the prospects to deal, they would be wearing out the smartphone of Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos.

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Lillard, Blazers beat Heat 115-99 for 10th straight victory

As the Portland Trail Blazers keep winning, Damian Lillard should keep climbing in the MVP conversation, according to Miami coach Erik Spoelstra.

Lillard had 32 points and 10 assists, and the Trail Blazers beat the Heat 115-99 on Monday night for their 10th straight victory.

The acquisition of Hartman Feb. 25 from Chicago, plus the decision by Mike Fisher to come out of retirement and rejoin the team he captained to the Stanley Cup Finals last year, only made a deep team even deeper.

So deep, in fact, that Laviolette continues to give key players maintenance days off to give them rest before the playoffs. Calle Jarnkrok got Saturday night’s game off, leaving P.K. Subban as the only skater to play in every game, and there’s a chance Subban could get a game off during the team’s three-game road trip that starts Thursday night in Arizona.

This is one of the toughest times of the year, center Ryan Johansen said. Every team, every player is bringing their best. You’ve got to find ways to prepare yourself and out-compete, outwork and outplay the opposition.

Pageau poked in a rebound with 1:45 remaining to stretch the lead to 5-3.

For some reason, I don’t know if we had a regular jump that we’ve had throughout this homestand. You factor in that we just didn’t get the start that we wanted, Panthers captain Derek MacKenzie said. We let a team hang around, and sooner or later something like that is going to happen.

Paajarvi put the Senators ahead 3-2 when he swept in a rebound 42 seconds into the third period.

The Panthers tied it at 3 on Huberdeau’s goal. Trocheck passed toward the net and the puck went off Huberdeau’s skate and in at 4:23.

George and Anthony each scored 21 points and Westbrook notched his 20th triple-double of the season to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Sacramento Kings 106-101 on Monday night.

George and Anthony broke out of shooting slumps. George was 4 of 9 on 3-pointers and Anthony hit 5 of 7 to make the Kings pay for packing the paint.

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Hawks’ Dwight Howard: ‘No doubt’ I belong in Hall of Fame

Dwight Howard is confident his career is worthy of recognition.

During a Q&A session with The Undefeated, the Hawks center said he deserves to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

“No doubt. It’s kind of got swept under the rug because the perception of all the things that happened in Orlando. All of the media stuff,” Howard said. “If you look at basketball itself, and I don’t ever talk about myself, but winning three Defensive Player of the Year trophies has never been done. Leading the league in rebounding six straight years. All that kind of stuff, I think that deserves it.”

The site creators noted both coaches have been very outspoken in their displeasure with President Donald Trump, especially in response to restrictions on immigration. For them, who would be a better dynamic duo in the White House than “two men with a combined 11 championship rings and 4 Coach of the Year awards between them?”

As ideal as this scenario might be to many Americans, the creators of the site noted they weren’t a legitimate political organization.

It is, however, selling Popovich-Kerr T-shirts and other memorabilia. Any proceeds will aid several charities, including ACLU, Council on American-Islamic Relations, International Rescue Cheap Jerseys Basketball Committee, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Even though there is a zero percent chance this would ever Cheap Jackie Robinson Jerseys happen, it would be fun seeing Kerr and Popovich on the campaign trail.

Bell could have that ability

That brings us back to Bell and Draymond Green. One of the critical factors in the success of the Warriors over the last three seasons has been Green’s ability to defend with versatility. Because he is a center who can handle guards, the Warriors are able to switch on nearly every matchup, which offers few easy paths for opposing ball handlers.

Bell could have that ability, too. He was fourth at the NBA Draft Combine among all players in shuttle run and lane agility time, showing off his tremendous footwork. He measured 6-8.5 in shoes, but his wingspan was 6-11.75. There’s reason to think Bell could approach Green’s effectiveness on the defensive end.

The relationship between the Knicks and rising star Kristaps Porzingis has been turbulent in recent months, as Porzingis skipped his exit interview in April. Well, Porzingis’ time in New York could be nearing its end. Phil Jackson is open to the possibility of trading Porzingis as the frenzy of interest is growing, according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Sixers landed the No. 1 pick for the second year in a row, thanks to a predraft trade with the Celtics. In return, Boston receives the No. 3 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, in addition to either the Lakers’ 2018 first-round pick or the Kings’ 2019 first-round pick. The Celtics will receive the Lakers’ pick if it falls between No. 2 and No. 5. If it doesn’t, they’ll get the Kings’ unprotected first-round pick in 2019.

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Bill Russell jokes to Shaq, Kareem, Dikembe, Alonzo Mourning and David Robinson: ‘I would kick your ass’

Bill Russell hasn’t played in the NBA for a long time, but his trash talk game is still on point.

Russell was awarded the NBA’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the NBA Awards Show on Monday, and was introduced on stage to much fanfare by the likes of Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning and David Robinson.

Beginning on the Tuesday following the third weekend of regular season games, the claiming priority is based on the inverse order of the standing of clubs in the current season’s games.

If a drafted rookie has not signed with his club by this date, he cannot be traded to any other club in 2017, and may sign a player contract only with the drafting club until the day of the Draft in the 2018 League Year.

Vezenkov is a clear draft-and-stash, playing for Barcelona currently. He won the Greek League MVP at 19 years old before going over the Spain. The key for him is athleticism. He has the skill, both in terms of shooting and passing, but he might not be athletic enough for this level.

Jaramaz is incredibly fun to watch. He operates well in the pick-and-roll, and essentially tries to dunk on dudes at will. The key for him is the jump shot. He’s athletic enough to play in the NBA. If he can learn to shoot, he’ll make it over.

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