Football


  • NFL Roundup: Tepper to buy Panthers for record $2.2 billion CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers are being sold for an NFL-record $2.2 billion. Hedge fund manager David Tepper has agreed to buy the Panthers from team founder Jerry Richardson, two people familiar with the situation said Tuesday. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team has not yet ...
  • NFL Roundup: Odell Beckham, Le’Veon Bell among NFL offensive players poised to cash in after Matt Ryan’s megadeal (PhatzRadio Sports / USA TODAY SPORTS)   —   The five-year, $150 million extension Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan signed last week will make him the highest-paid player in NFL history … for now. The 2016 league MVP will become the first to average $30 million over a multi-year deal and first with $100 million in guarantees once ...
  • NFL power rankings: How did 2018 draft shift balance of power? (PhatzRadio Sports / USA TODAY SPORTS)   —   For NFL teams, taking the long-term view is essential in executing a draft plan. But developing a first-round pick can take many different forms. Some of the most prized selections in this year’s draft might be in for a gradual introduction into the league, as teams look instead to rely on ...
  • Re-ranking college football’s preseason top 25 after spring practice (PhatzRadio Sports / USA TODAY SPORTS)   —   Every team in the Football Bowl Subdivision got better this spring, if only because it’s hard to get worse during the first few months of college football’s dreary offseason. But a few things have changed. Clemson and Alabama might have inched closer to settling their respective quarterback competitions. Penn ...
  • NFL draft 2019 projected top 10: Rashan Gary, Nick Bosa lead dominant defensive line class (PhatzRadio Sports / USA TODAY SPORTS)   —   Even after teams pore over prospects for months, accepting some degree of risk is a necessity in the NFL draft. Some players, however, have a more volatile projection than others. The “boom or bust” dichotomy can also depend on the team that picks a player, as well as his corresponding opportunity ...
  • NFL draft steals: Cowboys have some of most promising value picks (PhatzRadio Sports / USA TODAY SPORTS)   —   In the immediate aftermath of the NFL draft, it can be difficult to define the event beyond the first-round picks. Yet as crucial as the highest rookie investments are, history has repeatedly shown that what can truly set a team up for long-term success is finding breakout players on ...
  • NFL draft grades 2018: Which teams had best, worst classes? (PhatzRadio Sports / USA TODAY SPORTS)   —   NFL draft grades — an annual exercise of hubris as “draft experts” tell the league’s front office executives and scouts how they performed over the course of three days. (And let’s note here, it’s virtually impossible to assign any fair assessment to a player until he’s been a pro ...
  • NFL draft 2018 tracker: Updates on picks from Rounds 4-7 A look at every pick in Rounds 4, 5, 6 and 7 in the 2018 NFL draft. More: NFL draft 2018 tracker: Pick-by-pick analysis of every selection in Round 1 More: NFL draft 2018 tracker: Pick-by-pick analysis of every selection in Rounds 2 and 3 Round 4 101. Panthers (from Browns via Packers) — Ian Thomas, TE, Indiana 102. Vikings (from ...
  • NFL Draft: Hurst, Crosby, Hines among best left for day 3 (PhatzRadio Sports / AP)    —   With four rounds left in the NFL draft, there are still plenty of gems left to be unearthed. The draft concludes with rounds four through seven Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The most interesting player still left on the board is Central Florida linebacker Shaquem Griffin, who had his ...
  • NFL draft 2018 tracker: Pick-by-pick analysis of every selection in Rounds 2 and 3 (PhatzRadio Sports / USA TODAY SPORTS)    —   USA TODAY Sports’ analysis of every 2018 NFL draft selection from Rounds 2 and 3. Round 2 33. Browns — Austin Corbett, OL, Nevada: He played left tackle in college, and maybe he gets an early tryout to replace retired star Joe Thomas in Cleveland. But Corbett has been widely projected as ...
  • Round 2 NFL mock draft: Which QB will Patriots target as Tom Brady’s successor? (PhatzRadio Sports / USA TODAY SPORTS)   —    With the 2018 NFL draft’s first round complete, it’s time to look ahead to the next one. Round 2 kicks off Friday evening in Arlington, Texas, so here’s one more mock draft to chew on as we look for homes for the top remaining prospects: 33. Browns — Maurice ...
  • NFL draft 2018 tracker: Pick-by-pick analysis of every selection in Round 1 (PhatzRadio Sports / USA TODAY SPORTS)  —   Analysis of all 32 first-round picks of the 2018 NFL draft, which kicked off Thursday night. 1. Browns — Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma: The reigning Heisman Trophy winner becomes the 11th quarterback Cleveland has drafted since its 1999 rebirth, and the fifth in the first round. But Mayfield, who walked on ...
  • Top 40 NFL draft prospect rankings: Who’s best overall in 2018 class? (PhatzRadio Sports / USA Today Sports)  —   The 2018 NFL draft kicks off Thursday night. But after months of study, USA TODAY Sports’ hay is in the barn. Here is Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz’s ranking of the top 40 prospects available: 1. Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State: Speed, power, elusiveness, instincts and pass-catching ability make him the complete package. It’s ...
  • NFL draft arrives, and pressure is on teams to get top value ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Dave Gettleman has learned many lessons as an NFL executive. The new general manager of the New York Giants has one mantra in the draft room. He says teams must “stay with the value.” They “can’t get too cute” or hope for a player to be around in a later round. The Giants ...
  • 2018 NFL DRAFT: Who needs to draft a quarterback? Ranking NFL teams’ need from 1-32 (PhatzRadio Sports / USA TODAY SPORTS)   —   This year’s NFL draft represents one of the deepest quarterback classes in recent memory. As many as six passers could hear their names called in the first round as franchises search for saviors. A secondary wave of passers could come off the board in Day 2, with some ...
  • Patriots-Steelers rematch among 10 NFL games we can’t wait to see on 2018 schedule (PhatzRadio Sports / USA TODAY SPORTS)  —   The NFL schedule for the 2018 season was set Thursday night, so you can start circling dates on your calendar. Potential playoff and Super Bowl previews, scintillating quarterback matchups, and reunion games are among the highlights. Here are the 10 games we’re most excited to see (in order ...
  • NFL mock draft 2018: Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield could be biggest QB dominoes (PhatzRadio Sports / USA TODAY SPORTS)   —   With the NFL draft set to kick off next week, the top picks in the first round have yet to take shape. What has become clear: Quarterbacks should fly off the board quickly, with demand once again seemingly outweighing supply. How exactly the dominoes fall at that position could set ...
  • NFL’s most overpaid players: Jimmy Garoppolo, Kirk Cousins highlight list (PhatzRadio Sports / USA TODAY SPORTS)   —   Pro athletes are overpaid. In the context of what they contribute to society compared to teachers, police officers, firemen and the like, who’s going to argue? Yet who should complain given the perspective of professional sports market forces that easily support nine-figure, multi-year contracts? Still, it’s amazing to learn that ...
  • NFL mock draft 2018: Projecting first-round trades (PhatzRadio Sports / USA Today Sports)   —   The NFL draft is only three weeks away … which is to say we’ve officially entered the pre-draft rumor mill phase, which is billowing smokescreens and wild speculation fueling the league’s version of silly season. Delightful. So following the Rams’ lead — GM Les Snead has already made ...
  • NFL Roundup: Seven NFL draft WR options for Patriots to replace Brandin Cooks (PhatzRadio Sports / USA TODAY SPORTS)   —   The offseason reshaping of the New England Patriots offense continued Tuesday with another one of last season’s key figures departing. Wide receiver Brandin Cooks was traded to the Los Angeles Rams, a person with knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports’ Mike Jones. The person spoke on condition of anonymity ...
  • NFL: New helmet rule likely to be part of replay for officiating (PhatzRadio Sports / AP)   —   ORLANDO, Fla. – The NFL’s new rule outlawing a player from lowering his head to initially make any sort of hit with his helmet likely will be included in replay reviews for officials. That has not been decided yet, but Commissioner Roger Goodell and competition committee chairman Rich McKay made it ...
  • NFL owners approve simplified catch language ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Maybe it’s too late for Jesse James and the Steelers or Zach Miller and the Bears. No matter, the NFL has a simplified catch rule designed to eliminate confusion — and, the league hopes, controversy — about receptions. Team owners unanimously approved the new language Tuesday, with basically three elements defining a catch: —having ...
  • NFL owners to discuss 10 rules proposal changes next week (PhatzRadio Sports / AP)   —    NFL owners will be presented 10 rules proposals at their meetings next week, including changes to the catch rule and to the length of defensive pass interference penalties, and allowing personal fouls to be reviewed by instant replay. The competition committee and several teams are bringing the proposals, which will be ...
  • NFL free agency winners, losers: 49ers, Seahawks headed in opposite directions (PhatzRadio Sports / USA TODAY SPORTS)   —    The NFL’s first wave of free agency is over. Signings will continue to trickle in over the next few weeks, but the majority of high-impact moves are already on the books. Many team officials and coaches will say they’re happy with how it all played out, but there often ...
  • NFL competition committee to recommend catch rule changes (PhatzRadio Sports / AP)    —   WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The NFL’s catch rule would get less complicated if team owners approve recommendations from the powerful competition committee. One of the first orders of business when the league’s annual meetings begin Monday in Orlando, Florida, will be a proposal by the committee to clarify what is ...

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