Could the Chargers pursue proCane WR Reggie Wayne?

Reggie Wayne has a friend in a very high place in San Diego's front office.

And it just so happens general manager Tom Telesco could still use an upgrade or two out wide.

A marriage between Wayne and the Chargers just makes sense. After all, as Chargers' blog "Bolts From The Blue" points out, Telesco is a fan of Wayne from back in his days as a Colts scout.

ESPN reporter Ed Werder connected the dots between Wayne and the Bolts, too.

"The Chargers are interesting because Tom Telesco the GM there was with the Colts," Werder said. "He's known to consider Wayne a Hall of Fame caliber player and of course Antonio Gates is going to miss the first 4 games of the season, Wayne might be able to help them early."

Wayne's greatest value could come in the form of mentorship. Keenan Allen is still a young, impressionable player who could use a voice like Wayne's around.
That alone might make No. 87 worth a try. And anything Wayne still has left in the tank would be the cherry on top.

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Tim Brown says Michael Irvin didn’t want him as a Cowboys’ teammate

Michael Irvin kept Tim Brown from trying to return home to play for the Cowboys when Brown was a free agent in 1994.

Brown, who played at Dallas Woodrow Wilson High School, proposed to Irvin the idea of playing together with the Cowboys when the two were at the Pro Bowl. Brown said Irvin “boisterously declined.”

“I think it was the first year I made the Pro Bowl as a receiver, and I was a free agent going into that offseason, the offseason of ’94, and I ended up signing with the Broncos,” Brown said in a Pro Football Hall of Fame conference call Thursday. “I sort of happily walked up to Michael thinking it was going to be a great concept, and I said to him, ‘Hey, man, look, man, I’m thinking about coming home to Dallas. I would love to come there and be No. 2 to you.’ He got so upset. ‘Tim Brown, don’t you ever think about coming….’ I was like, ‘Mike, man, what’s going on?’ He was like, ‘No. I’m glad you told me first. I’m calling Jerry right now and telling him don’t do it.’ So that was pretty much the end of that conversation, and I was a little upset, because I did want to come home, and I wanted to play for the Cowboys. I’m glad that worked out the way it did for many reasons at this particular point. But yeah, that is a true story.”

Brown signed a four-year, $11 million deal with the Broncos in March 1994 that the Raiders matched. Brown ended up playing 16 of his 17 seasons with the Raiders, making 1,094 catches for 14,934 yards and 100 touchdowns in his career.

Irvin was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 after making 750 catches for 11,904 yards and 65 touchdowns in his 12-year career in Dallas.

Alvin Harper was the Cowboys’ second-leading wideout in 1994, the year Dallas lost to San Francisco in the NFC Championship game. Harper made 33 catches for 821 yards and eight touchdowns that season before leaving for Tampa Bay in free agency. Brown had 89 receptions for 1,309 yards and 77 touchdowns in ’94.

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Lamar Miller will need strong 2015 campaign to earn big pay day

Lamar Miller of the Miami Dolphins is entering a contract year this season in which he'll look to prove his worth -- whether it's to the Dolphins or another running back-needy franchise. In 2014, Miller began to show just how talented he is, racking up 1,099 yards on just 216 carries, which gave him a 5.1 yard-per-carry average for the season.

Shockingly, Miller never topped 20 carries in a game last season, tallying 19 in the final two games of the season. In his career, he's only done it once. That doesn't mean he can't handle the workload. If anything, it shows the Dolphins' lack of desire to make him the bell cow at running back. That might not bode well for Miller come time to negotiate a contract.

Miller can't control how often he gets handed the ball this season, but he can make the most of his opportunities when they arise. With rookie Jay Ajayi likely Miller's primary backup, Miller could get even fewer carries than he did in 2014. Ajayi has long-term health concerns with his knee, but in the short term, he's good to go.

"This kind of talent — to be there where he was — is a perfect fit in terms of what we want to add and in terms of adding an element of additional power to our running game," Dolphins assistant general manager Eric Stokes said of Ajayi following the draft. "It really was an easy move to turn that card in, and we’re very happy to have him."

By the way Stokes was talking, they seem excited to have Ajayi on the team, yet another reason to pass on extending Miller long term. The way the NFL works nowadays, a running back by committee is gaining popularity, as teams shy away from handing out big contracts to running backs.

So what will it take for Miller to get a big time pay day? Well, if he has a breakout season and rushes for 2,000 yards, he may just become too expensive for Miami to keep. That's not to say another team won't pay him what he deserves, but it may not be the Dolphins with Ajayi on the roster and plenty of backs in the 2016 NFL Draft.

If he eclipses his mark of 1,099 yards from last season with say, 1,500 yards, it will show his consistency and reliability -- and he may be inexpensive enough to stay in Miami. 

In the end, however, it comes down to Miller making the most of his opportunities. He won't get 300 carries like he probably wants, but if he can average 5-plus yards per carry once again, he'll prove his worth. Needless to say, 2015 is the biggest year of Miller's young career.

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2015 Most Important Packers No. 7: Sam Shields, CB

GREEN BAY – Even after earning himself a four-year, $39 million extension, even becoming one of the Green Bay Packers’ rags-to-riches success stories as he went from undrafted free agent to top-level cornerback, Sam Shields has never been the kind of cornerback that everyone talks about.

Perhaps it’s his quiet demeanor, his relative disinterest in media interviews, or the fact that one of the team’s more popular and high-profile players, Tramon Williams, was always in the Packers’ secondary with him. But now, with Williams having departed as a free agent this spring, Shields’ time has come: It’s up to him to play like a No. 1 corner.

“I expect a lot from him,” cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt said this offseason. “Last year, I thought the top four corners in the league were, not in any order, [Richard] Sherman, [Darrelle] Revis, Brent Grimes and Vontae [Davis]. I think, if he does the things that we were working on, he can be in that conversation.

“Those four were clearly better and then there was a group of around 12 — [Shields] is in that group of 12 to 14, in my opinion. How do you get in that top four with Brent Grimes, Revis and Sherman and Vontae Davis? How do you do that? That’s the question.”

Why he’s important:  The cornerback room is vastly different these days, as not only did Williams depart in free agency but Davon House also left (signing with Jacksonville) and longtime veteran voice and special teamer Jarrett Bush was not re-signed. The Packers did draft a pair of cornerbacks with their first two picks this spring – Damarious Randall and Quentin Rollins – but how quickly they will come along remains to be seen. On top of that, would-be starter Casey Hayward hasn’t played a ton outside and hasn’t played a whole lot over the past two years – due to a hamstring injury in 2013 and a limited role last year – and has to earn the job opposite Shields. Given the situation, the Packers need Shields to be the shutdown corner the coaches believe he’s capable of becoming.

If he delivers:  If Shields has a breakthrough season like Williams did in 2010 – unlike Whitt’s assessment of Shields being in the 12-14 range last year, Williams became a top-5 cornerback during the Packers’ Super Bowl XLV run – then the Packers will have a player who can more or less take away half the field from their opponents. The Packers offense has seen firsthand the impact that can have on an offense when facing Seattle’s Sherman, and Shields playing at that level would also allow defensive coordinator Dom Capers to scheme in a way that he could give help to whoever lines up on the other side, whether that’s Hayward or one of the rookies.

If he disappoints:  The Packers are hoping they can move Shields around and match up him up on the opposing team’s top target, and as Williams can attest, such an assignment means you will get beat on occasion – after all, you’re covering a top-level wideout, and that guy gets paid, too. That said, if Shields isn’t up to the task, then the Packers secondary could have problems given the unproven nature of their other cover men. Hayward, for example, could stay healthy and recapture the ball-magnet form he showed as a rookie in 2012. But if he doesn’t, and Shields backslides, the Packers’ pass defense could become a major liability.

Quote, unquote:  “[Some] corners throughout their career – Al [Harris] was predominantly on the right, Nnamdi [Asomugha] played on the right – some guys feel more comfortable one way or the other. Sam says he feels comfortable on both sides. I just know he’s made most of his impact from the right [until now]. He’s going to have to match so he’s going to have to play left and right this year, anyway. We’re going to put him where we need him and where I feel he’s going to be most productive.” – Whitt, on how he plans to use Shields this season.

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Cavs re-sign James Jones to one-year deal

The Cavs still have deals to make with Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavedova and J.R. Smith, but in the meantime, they’re quietly making moves to keep their depth at the end of the bench. On Thursday, they agreed to a deal to re-sign veteran forward James Jones.

From Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Small forward James Jones has reached an agreement on a one-year deal to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, league sources informed Northeast Ohio Media Group.

The contract, according to one source, is for the veteran’s minimum. The paperwork was faxed Thursday to Jones, who is in Florida with family. The contract is expected to be signed and finalized as early as Friday.

Jones isn’t a huge part of the Cavs’ rotation at this point, but he’s a beloved teammate and he’s still capable of coming in, playing spot minutes and knocking down three-pointers. For the veteran’s minimum, there’s nothing not to like about this signing.

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Ryan Braun slugs three-run home run in loss

Brewers right fielder Ryan Braun provided the only serious offense his team would mount in the 8-3 loss to the Diamondbacks on Thursday. Braun launched a three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to put the Brewers on the board. It was too little, too late however, as the Brewers fell 8-3 to Arizona.

The home run was Braun's 17th of the season and just his second this month. It was his only hit of the game, as struck out in all three of his other at-bats on Thursday.

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Allen Hurns looking to build off breakout rookie season

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Football season is just around the corner.

The Jacksonville Jaguars open their 2015 training camp Friday, July 31, with players reporting to camp the day before.

One of the major story lines heading into camp will be the development of the the group of second-year receivers in Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee.
Robinson and Lee represent a pair of 2014-second-round draft picks. So there were some relatively high expectations for their rookie seasons. Hurns on the otherhand, went undrafted in 2014 out of the University of Miami.

Hurns had a relationship with, who at the time was the Jaguars offensive coordinator, Jedd Fisch, leading the to the team bringing him in as an undrafted free agent. The move turned out to pay off in a big way for the Jaguars as Hurns was the surprise rookie for the team in 2014.

Hurns was among the league leaders in receiving for all rookies in 2014, appearing in all 16 games for the Jaguars, starting eight, grabbing 51 passes for 677 yards and six touchdowns. He was ninth among all rookies in receptions, eighth in yards, and tied for sixth with Buffalo's Sammy Watkins in touchdowns.

Hurns has been working privately during the offseason with fellow second-year Jaguars, Robinson and quarterback Blake Bortles. They are working to build off the chemistry the three of them, along with Lee, established in 2014.

The addition of a dynamic pass catching tight end, Julius Thomas, and the most prolific receiver in Florida State history in rookie Rashad Greene, paired with Hurns and the rest of the second-year receivers, means Bortles should have plenty of weapons to work with in the fall.

Hurns will be a vital part to improving the Jaguars offensive attack in 2015.

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Clinton Portis will work as a Redskins analyst for ESPN 980

Red Zebra Broadcasting on Wednesday announced that former Redskins running back Clinton Portis will serve as a Redskins analyst on ESPN 980 during the upcoming season.

Portis, a fan favorite during his seven years in D.C. for both his alter-egos and his play, will call in to “The Drive With Cooley and Czabe” on Mondays. He will also co-host a one-hour show about the Redskins on one Friday every month throughout the season.

“I am so excited to finally be on the air covering the team I love,” Portis said in a press release. “Chris Cooley was a great teammate and close friend and we promise to make it as memorable as we did during our playing career.”

Portis, who played with Cooley from 2004-10, officially retired in 2012. Portis has appeared as a guest on “The Drive” before, including last November, when he offered Robert Griffin III some advice for dealing with the media. His own experience as a member of the media includes work as an analyst for the ACC Digital Network.

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Bernie Kosar themed slot machines come to Northfield Rocksino

Bernie Kosar gets his place among slot machines in Summit County: Little Mermaid, Treasure Island and Wheel of Fortune can get out of the way, Bernie Kosar has made his entrance into the realm of video slot machines. 

Joining the genre of Kosar-themed stuff around Northeast Ohio, including Bernie Beer, are a set of Bernie Kosar slot machines at Northfield's Hard Rock Rocksino, Northeast Ohio Media Group's Karen Farkas reported. The minimum bet is $1, the jackpot $50,000

Kosar joins Drew Carey, Ellen DeGeneres, Dolly Parton and Elvis Presley in the casino's lineup of celebrity slot machines.

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All eyes on Sam Shields

The game changed the moment Sam Shields put pen to paper on a new four-year, $39 million contract last year.

The Green Bay Packers cornerback no longer was an unsung and undrafted gem. Now among the highest paid at his position, more was expected of Shields. He was a marquee player and a pivotal piece to the direction Dom Capers’ defense was heading.

Shields took steps last season toward being the shutdown No. 1 cornerback the organization feels he can be, but there’s still room for growth in the 27-year-old. The Packers are counting on it. He’s the only proven boundary cornerback on the roster after Tramon Williams and Davon House left in free agency.

“I expect a lot from him,” cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt said. “Last year, I thought the top four corners in the league were, not in any order, (Richard) Sherman, (Darrelle) Revis, Brent Grimes and Vontae (Davis). I think, if he does the things that we were working on, he can be in that conversation.

“Those four were clearly better and then there was a group of around 12 — he’s in that group of 12 to 14, in my opinion. How do you get in that top four with Brent Grimes, Revis and Sherman and Vontae Davis? How do you do that? That’s the question.”

Shields started 14 regular-season games for the Packers last season opposite Williams, registering 40 tackles and two interceptions. He played in his first Pro Bowl as an alternate for the Super Bowl-bound Revis.

The 5-foot-11, 184-pound cornerback will be the first to tell you he’s an unfinished product. He still has undisciplined moments and occasionally gets caught looking in the backfield, but his speed is what separates him and allows him to stand in against the league’s top receivers.

Shields played predominantly on the right side last season, but Whitt lined him up at the left perimeter spot throughout the offseason program to test his comfort. Shields had too many missed tackles last season — 11 according to Pro Football Focus — but didn’t give up many explosive plays.

Whenever the Packers have asked him to match a top-flight receiver, Shields has answered the bell.

“I don’t necessarily know if he’s going to play on the left,” Whitt said. “I’m going to give him an opportunity over there. I just know he’s made most of his impact from the right. He’s going to have to match, so he’s going to have to play left and right this year, anyway. We’re going to put him where he need him … and where I feel he’s going to be most productive.”

Shields’ place in the starting lineup is the only certainty entering training camp. Fourth-year cornerback Casey Hayward likely will get the first shot opposite Shields, but quickly will have to make up for lost time. He injured his foot in the spring and missed the offseason program.

Hayward saw only about 39 percent of defensive snaps last season, but that he played in all 18 games (including playoffs) was a positive step after he missed most of the 2013 season with a recurring hamstring issue. Rotating in the nickel and dime subpackages, Hayward had 42 tackles, seven deflections and three interceptions.

“He makes plays on the ball,” Capers said. “Some guys just seem to be around the football. So he’s done that with the reps that he’s had. Only time will tell on that, but we like what we’ve seen out of Casey and we know he can go out on the field and make plays for you.”

The only benefit to Hayward’s absence this summer is it allowed the Packers to get extended looks at their top two draft picks, Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins, who were taken to help fill the void left by Williams and House.

The Packers also opted against re-signing nine-year veteran Jarrett Bush, who a league source confirmed has been suspended for the first four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Randall missed the start of the offseason program with an ankle injury before returning midway through organized team activities. A starting safety for two seasons at Arizona State, many teams were split on where Randall would play at the next level.

Not the Packers. The moment Randall was taken with the 30th overall pick, general manager Ted Thompson said he’d compete for a role at cornerback rather than being thrown into a jam-packed safety room. He has the versatility to play inside or outside.

The Packers face another high-ceiling project in Rollins, who played basketball for four years at Miami (Ohio) before making a late switch to football. He shot up draft boards after amazing scouts with what he could do based on pure instincts and athleticism.

Those attributes were on display this summer and could be enough to give third-year veteran Micah Hyde a run for the nickel cornerback spot. Undrafted rookie LaDarius Gunter also earned reps with the first-team defense, overcoming a slow time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine.

When the rookies arrived, Whitt quizzed them on the best receiver they’d matched up against in college. Needless to say none of their responses were anywhere near the level of Calvin Johnson, Alshon Jeffrey, Randall Cobb or Jordy Nelson.

“There’s two guys that’s in that cornerback room, not counting Micah who have played any snaps in the NFL,” Whitt said. “I think that’s being lost in a lot of this. There’s only two guys. I played just as many snaps as everybody else in the NFL. We have to teach them how to play.”

The Packers are stable at safety, a testament to how quickly they’ve rebuilt the position after a disastrous 2013 season. The addition of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Hyde’s transition to safety hastened that turnaround and spurred veteran Morgan Burnett’s comeback.

Burnett registered a career-high 130 tackles last season to lead the defense. He also ended a two-year drought without an interception against Atlanta on Dec. 8 and snagged another in the NFC title game, though his decision to slide with the Packers leading 19-7 with 5 minutes remaining has been widely debated.

Clinton-Dix arguably had his best game of the season in the playoff encounter with the Seahawks. His two interceptions erased sour memories from the Packers’ opener in Seattle when he badly missed an open-field tackle on Ricardo Lockette’s 33-yard touchdown.

“He came a long way,” said safeties coach Darren Perry of Clinton-Dix, who had 92 tackles and an interception in 16 games with 10 starts. “I can tell you the first time we played them out there, he had a lot going through his mind. He was probably thinking a lot and not just reacting. I think that second time we played them out there, he had seen some things. He experienced some good, some bad and I think that helped him grow as a player.”

Behind Burnett and Clinton-Dix, the Packers return Hyde, fourth-year veteran Sean Richardson, undersized Chris Banjo and practice-squad holdover Jean Fanor. Richardson, who missed a year following neck surgery in January 2013, played in all 18 games and led the Packers in special teams tackles.

Questions linger about Richardson’s quickness and ability to change direction, but the Packers thought enough of his upside to match the one-year, $2.55 million contract he was offered by the Oakland Raiders as a restricted free agent.

“He’s hungry. He wants to get on the field,” Perry said. “I think last year we developed a role for him and we’ll continue to try to work ways to get him on the field because Sean can help us. He’s a big-bodied guy who’s plenty physical and smart. He can make some plays. It’s just a matter of getting the combination and finding the package to get him some reps out there for us.”

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Jon Beason might have training camp reps limited

Few Giants defensive players have expressed more excitement than Jon Beason about playing in a new scheme under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

But in order for Beason to fill the "Mike" role that Antonio Pierce did for Spagnuolo, he has to stay on the field, and it sounds as if the Giants are going to handle the veteran linebacker with caution in order to make that happen. 

Beason, speaking with Bruce Murray and Rich Gannon on Sirius XM NFL Radio, said that while he's "chomping at the bit" to hit the field again after missing all but two games in 2014 with a toe injury, the Giants will probably limit his reps initially. 

"I'm sure the Giants will force me into being smart about reps and the workload, I'll do what I can to listen them, but at the same time, do what I have to do to prepare and get ready for the season," Beason said. 

While Beason is months removed from surgery, and participated in most offseason practices, he indicated that the toe will require continuous maintenance to get through a full season — from regular taping to orthotics, to special-made cleats.

Beason believes that the toe injury is a result of wear and tear brought in by the proliferation of field turf in the NFL as opposed to grass. 

"A big part of it is the turf, it's not great for our bodies and it changes based on position," Beason said. "They'll come to learn that it's unforgiving and learning how to plant and cut on it is key. If you're an older guy, like I never played on turf in high school, I was well into college before this turf thing became big. I always played on grass, where you learn how to cut and plant and you know the limitations of grass, how it gives. I think the younger kids have a better understanding of turf because they play on it at a younger age." 

But with his injury issues hopefully behind him, Beason now is tasked with helping the Giants improve their 29th-ranked defense. He told Gannon and Murray that he likes the fact that the defense will dictate to the offense, not vice versa, and revealed that Spagnuolo has one recipe for improving the Giants' ranking: Eliminating yards after contact. 

"There's a number that [Spagnuolo] mentioned the first day that we started our offseason program, it's 1,507, that's the amount of yards we gave up after contact," Beason said. "Not so much scheme, but getting guys down at the first opportunity. We can go from 29 to the early teens, close to a top=10 defense, just based on getting guys on the ground. 1,507 we want to eliminate that number, that's something that we worked on really hard this offseason, proper leverage, technique, and tackling."

Of course, eliminating that extra yardage would be made easier with a certain defensive end in the lineup. The uncertainty surrounding Jason Pierre-Paul's availability for this season after getting his index finger amputated in a fireworks accident creates another challenge for Beason and the Giants' defense to overcome. 

Beason intimated that he reached out to Pierre-Paul about the "freakish" injury, but did not hear back. He could only say what many of his other teammates and ex-teammates have expressed about their star defensive end: Get better, and we'll welcome you with open arms when you return. 

"First thing you hope is that he's healthy and then how is he feeling as a person?" Beason said. "I'll tell you what, when you make a big mistake like this and it costs you and the people around you, the media's not so friendly. You read the reports, and you turn on the TV, and you feel for the guy because you know him, you know his intent, you know what type of guy he is, he's all in, he's a good-hearted person, and probably one of the most giving people believe it or not, that you will meet.

"You just hope that him as a person that he can come to terms with it, and hopefully there's some way to continue to play football because he had tremendous upside, very rare talent, and Giants nation still loves him and we wish him well."

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Orlando Franklin at home in San Diego

Orlando Franklin joined the Chargers at a time their future in San Diego was anything but certain.

That hasn't kept him from making himself at home.

The left guard enters training camp as the main addition to what projects to be a more physical offensive line in 2015. He also is a new homeowner, having moved into the Poway neighborhood of San Diego this spring.

Franklin, a Denver Bronco the past four years, spent his early childhood living in Canada.

He and his wife wanted to own property somewhere cold and warm. When he signed with the Chargers in March, they already had 10 acres in Toronto. On a Wednesday in May, a Poway home hit the market, and by the following Monday, Franklin said, he had closed on it.

Any housewarming conversation begs the question what he'll do should the Chargers relocate to Los Angeles, a possibility as early as next year. He has a plan.

"(Broncos left tackle) Ryan Clady is one of my best friends, and he owns two places in LA," Franklin said. "I already told him that if I move to LA, I'm only paying his mortgage during the season. This is where I want to be. My girl and I always planned to be home owners in California or Florida because we like being snowbirds in Canada six months a year. ... It just so happened (we were) able to find a perfect house, I feel like, and got it for a good deal. I was like, why not?"

Franklin is at home on the field, too.

The Chargers offense is not unlike the one he had in Denver where coach Mike McCoy was the Broncos' offensive coordinator for Franklin's first two years in the NFL. He worked this spring mostly between left tackle King Dunlap and center Trevor Robinson; starting center Chris Watt was eased back from ankle surgery. Watt was a full participant during the June minicamp and is expected to be again in training camp.

Dunlap, Franklin and Watt are entrenched on the starting line.

The right side features less certainty. Johnnie Troutman is the incumbent at right guard, but May free-agency signing Joe Barksdale is expected to push him with Jeremiah Sirles among the others in the mix. D.J. Fluker is expected to remain the starting tackle, although he has seen occasional practice reps inside.

Not every Chargers lineman is at home just yet.

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Yasmani Grandal remains sidelined on Tuesday

Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal is once again out of the lineup on Tuesday against the Braves. Grandal miss Monday's game after taking a foul ball off the mask on Sunday. The injury is not considered serious, but given Grandal's recent experience with concussion symptoms, the Dodgers are giving him at least one more day of rest.

Rookie Austin Barnes will be behind the plate for Tuesday's contest, while Grandal continues to recover.

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proCane rookies got their Madden ratings, and they're mad

2. Tevin Coleman, Falcons RB: 90. Solid paper tear.
3. Duke Johnson, Browns RB: 87. Paper crumple < paper tear.
4. Marcus Mariota, Titans QB: 84. Isn't he supposed to be non-emotional?
5. Philip Dorsett, Colts CB: 82. Incredulous laughter is always good.
6. T.J. Yeldon, Jaguars RB: 81: "Lord have mercy."
7. Devin Smith, Jets WR: 79. Very befuddled.
8. Jameis Winston, Bucs QB: 74. His initial body language would've put him higher, had he stayed the course. Too much eventual acceptance, though.
9. Amari Cooper, Raiders WR: 72. Businesslike.
10. Melvin Gordon, Chargers RB: 67. This is where the quality starts drops. "I feel it," is barely mad at all.
11. Todd Gurley, Rams RB: 55. Gurley takes an even bigger step down. He thinks his rating is pretty good!
12. Devin Funchess, Panthers WR: 47. The first legitimately happy dude on the list.
13. Kevin White, Bears WR: 46. The dance/double "check it out" combo puts him in the basement.

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Seantrel Henderson's spring slide lands him on Bills' bubble

Continuing a month-long series analyzing players who are on the Buffalo Bills' roster bubble and where they potentially fit in 2015:

Name: Seantrel Henderson
Position: Offensive tackle
Age: 23
2014 stats: 16 games (16 starts)
Chance of making 53-man roster: 75 percent

Why he should make it: Along with veteran guard Chris Williams, Henderson saw his stock drop the most of any Bills player this spring. He went from a 16-game starter at right tackle under coach Doug Marrone to rotating second-team reps with undrafted rookie Tyson Chandler during June's minicamp, the most recent time players were on the practice field. Still, his slide most likely won't be enough to keep him off the 53-man roster. The Bills don't have tremendous depth along their offensive line and have a long-term need at offensive tackle because Cordy Glenn is set to become a free agent next spring. Even if Henderson doesn't reclaim his starting right tackle job from Cyrus Kouandjio, he's worth keeping around at a position that very much remains in flux for the Bills, especially with last week's arrest of offensive line coach Aaron Kromer.

Why he shouldn't make it: The red flags through the spring were glaring for Henderson, who missed an OTA practice for non-injury reasons -- he was later spotted outside the locker room -- and also missed the first mandatory minicamp for travel issues. From all appearances, he didn't get off on the right foot with Kromer, although it's unclear if Kromer will even be coaching Henderson again this season. The one scenario that would keep Henderson off the 53-man roster is if coach Rex Ryan feels strongly about keeping 34-year-old veteran Wayne Hunter as his swing tackle. Ryan has a long history with Hunter that he doesn't have with Henderson and as a former seventh-round pick, Henderson is still very much expendable on the 53-man roster. The Bills keeping three offensive tackles -- Glenn, Kouandjio and Hunter -- is a possibility that can't be discounted at this point.

Closest competition: Hunter, Cyril Richardson, Williams

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Edgerrin James Delivering Hope At Youth Camp

In the six years since former Immokalee High and NFL star Edgerrin James began holding free one-day football camps in Collier County, he’s tried to deliver one over-arching message.


“I think you're supposed to come back to that area,” James said of giving back to his community. “Everyone has their own reasons why, but I think it's important to show the kids that it's possible to make it. They walk the same streets we walk and they've done things that we've done.”

The former Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks running back started holding free camps in 2009 in Immokalee, then moved the site to Ave Maria in 2012. In that time, James, who also runs the Edgerrin James Foundation & Charities Inc., has welcomed athletes from different parts of the state, including Orlando, Miami and Tampa.

Approximately 608 campers were in attendance Monday, program director Yhonsha Rue said, including almost 30 girls. That was nearly 100 more than in 2014 (525) and 200 more than 2013 (400). Rue said the non-profit Laces of Love also donated 300 pairs of cleats to underprivileged kids.

“All of my roots are from Immokalee,” said James, who lives in Orlando for most of the year with his family, though he has a house in Naples. “So it's very important to come back to Immokalee. What better time than right before football season?

“Anytime I have an opportunity to go back, even check out the games —even Immokalee, Naples, Fort Myers — I always pop in. I enjoy watching the sport. It gives me a chance to be a fan, he said.”

Almost 70 players from Immokalee High were on hand. It would have been more, Indians head coach Dale More said, but due to a scheduling conflict the varsity team members attended a Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp.

More was appreciative of the work James put in and hopes he would consider being a part of the Indians program moving forward.

“I wanted him to be a part of our program,” More said. “He's a (important) figure in our community. I think the kids are excited to see him. When they see him walk around they say, ‘That's where I want to be some day.’

“And that's what I enjoy so much about our practices. Our kids give 110 percent effort every single day, every single practice, because they have someone to look up to like Edgerrin that they want to be someday.”

And someday soon Hall-of-Famer may be added to James’ dossier. The NFL’s No. 11 all-time on the NFL rusher with 12,246 yards was not selected in his first year of eligibility in 2014. On the plus side, nine of the 10 players in front of him are in the Hall of Fame — LaDainian Tomlinson being the outlier.

“My numbers are there,” said James, who also scored 80 touchdowns in his 11-year career. “Everything speaks for itself. Those numbers, you compare it to people who are already in. It's a matter of wins. It's a process they have to go through and once the process plays itself out, you can't deny what I've done and what I've accomplished.”

But before that even happens, it was about moments like Monday in his hometown. In his first camp, he saw players like Immokalee’s D’Ernest Johnson strut their stuff. This past season, Johnson finished his first season at the University of South Florida.

“It feels good,” James said of the success he sees from the camp. “Them being from Immokalee and knowing them from a youth stage. I watched them when they were playing Pop Warner football and watching them grow up and turn into men. And now they call me now and then when they want me to know anything. It was actually fun. It's a good feeling.”

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Reggie Wayne sparks interest in contenders

The list of teams interested in Reggie Wayne -- or perhaps the list of teams Reggie Wayne is interested in playing for -- is out.

According to WRTV's Dave Furst, the Patriots, Ravens, Texans and Packers have expressed some form of curiosity surrounding the future Hall of Famer. The Broncos have "backed off," per Furst, which denies us a chance to see Wayne catch a pass from Peyton Manning again.

As you'll notice, this is largely a list of contenders with the exception of the Houston Texans. There, Wayne would get a chance to reunite with old pal Vince Wilfork and ride off into the sun together.

This is why the list may be part fantasy and part reality. For example, Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun has already mentioned that the Ravens are out and John McClain of the Houston Chronicle has reported that the Texans are not interested in the veteran's services.

In the NFL, "interest" often gets confused with a team merely checking up on a player's medical progress while asking purposely vague questions about where said player would like to suit up next season. Maybe that's the case here, maybe the Ravens are trying to fly under the radar until after camp, when they don't have to pay Wayne's entire salary for the season.

Either way, a team on the verge would be wise to take a flier on one of the best receivers of the last decade. If nothing else, he'll bring an unquestioned level of leadership and experience to the table.

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Ravens, Texans not expected to pursue Reggie Wayne

A report about interest in wide receiver Reggie Wayne included the Ravens on the list of teams that were in the mix, but it doesn’t look like the former Colts wideout will be heading to the place where the Colts franchise played its first games.

Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun and Jamison Hensley of ESPN both report that the Ravens are not expected to pursue adding Wayne to their mix at receiver. Hensley adds that the team also isn’t expected to make a play for Ace Sanders, who was waived by the Jaguars last week after two seasons in Jacksonville.

There were questions about the wide receiver group in Baltimore throughout the offseason and the addition of Breshad Perriman in the first round didn’t put them all to rest. It would appear, however, that the Ravens are content to see what the rookie, Marlon Brown, Michael Campanaro and Kamar Aiken can do alongside Steve Smith rather than double down on well-seasoned wideouts this season.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Texans also aren’t making a play for Wayne. DeAndre Hopkins, Cecil Shorts and third-round pick Jaelen Strong are at the top of their depth chart at receiver.

The Packers and Patriots were the other teams mentioned as potential landing spots for Wayne and we noted some of the potential obstacles to Wayne landing with those teams earlier on Monday.

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Reggie Wayne excited to see Andre Johnson, Frank Gore with Colts

INDIANAPOLIS -- Three of the Indianapolis Colts' new players have ties to receiver Reggie Wayne, who spent the past 14 seasons with the franchise.

The Colts signed running back Frank Gore and receiver Andre Johnson and drafted receiver Phillip Dorsett during the offseason.

All three attended the University of Miami, just like Wayne. And they all work out in Miami, just like Wayne.

That’s why it’s not weird -- anymore at least -- for Wayne to see Gore and Johnson playing for the Colts.

“I would say yes, but when they’re not up here they’re down [in Miami] and I see them working out and stuff,” Wayne said. “It’s funny cause you sit back and laugh, it almost was a University of Miami receiving corp. Andre Johnson always says, ‘I wish you were still there, it would have been exciting.’ Those guys are great friends of mine. I’m excited for them. I’m happy for them. I wish them the best and they’re great guys. You guys know about me doing stuff in the community. Those guys are also community guys. You’ll be seeing them do stuff around the city.”

The Colts decided not to re-sign Wayne, 37, in March. They turned around and signed Johnson as his replacement. Johnson is 34 years old, but he’s still an upgrade over Wayne at that position. Wayne said last week that he plans to play a 15th season.

Johnson and Wayne talked before the former Houston Texan receiver signed with the Colts back in March.

“We understand that as athletes that’s the way it goes and I’m just thankful I was able to do what I was able to do for so long,” Wayne said. “Not everybody is blessed enough to do it. I’m still going to be cheering from afar. Just have to ride the wave as best as you can.”

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Edgerrin James provides life lessons, free gear at free youth camp

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10 Things to Know About Shane Larkin

For Shane Larkin, joining the Nets for the 2015-16 season won’t require much of a commute. The 5-foot-11 guard joins Brooklyn after spending last season with the New York Knicks, averaging 6.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.2 steals in 24.5 minutes per game.

Making his first appearance with the squad at last month’s player-signing press conference alongside Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young and new face Thomas Robinson, Larkin felt right at home.

Someone who Nets General Manager Billy King says will provide “athleticism at the point,” Larkin is already looking forward to that East River rivalry. Get to know one of the latest additions to the Nets roster.

First reactions on coming to Brooklyn: I was really excited. I was in New York last year, so obviously I’m excited to still be playing here in New York City, where basketball is a mecca. Coming across the water is definitely going to be interesting. I’m happy to be on the other side now and it’ll be fun when we play the Knicks.

Favorite movie: Recently, “Jurassic World” was dope and “Ted 2” was mad funny. As for all-time favorites, I’ve got a lot of them, like “The Departed.” There are too many to name.

Musical taste: I really like all types of music. Some of the dudes in the game that I listen to are Meek Mill and Drake. Those are probably the two I’m listening to most right now.

Player who inspires him: When I was younger, my favorite player was Allen Iverson, but he’s more of a scorer though. I’m more of a facilitator. I like getting in the paint and creating for guys.

Familiarity with Brooklyn: Being in New York here, I’ve been over to Brooklyn a few times before. Came over for that Michael Jackson show, it was cool.

Game inspiration: There are a lot of point guards that do it well now. Ty Lawson is a guy I try to resemble myself after. We’re the same height. You try and take different parts of different guys’ games. I mean, Steph [Curry] is probably the best point guard in the league right now. CP3 is always a 10+ assist guy, so I try to model my game after them.

Favorite NYC spots: There is so much in the city to do. I just go to the city and wind up wherever it takes me. You can’t get bored here.

Favorite shot on the court: I just try to get it done in the paint. I like throwing lobs. Hope we can connect on some of those this year.

Role model: My role model is my Dad. He played baseball and he was a professional athlete. I’m just learning from him and learning the ropes. He showed me how to go about the business side of things and showed me how to become better and better. Whenever I’m feeling down or not fully confident in myself, I can just call him and he’ll help me out.

One thing to tell Nets fans: I’m really excited for the season. It’s a great opportunity for me and the team. I’m glad we got Brook back, we got Thad back and brought in T-Rob. I think it can be really exciting and the sky’s the limit. We just have to mesh well together and come together as a group. I think we’ll have a really good season and it’s going to be fun when we play across the water.

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Reggie Wayne has spoken to teams, wants to play one more year

Reggie Wayne won’t be back with the Colts this season, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to throw in the towel on his career.

Wayne is in Indianapolis on Friday to receive a key to the city and told reporters at a press conference that he still plans on playing during the 2015 season. Mike Wells of reports that Wayne said he’s spoken to five teams that have shown interest in bringing him on board for what he says will be a last hurrah in the NFL.

“Ideal is playing one more year and hanging it up,” Wayne said, via Eric Cox of RTV6.

Wayne caught 64 passes for 779 yards and two touchdowns with the Colts last season, but didn’t look like the same player he was before tearing his ACL during the 2013 season. He had surgery to repair a torn triceps and a knee scope after the year came to an end and might not be guaranteed anything more than a chance to compete for a roster spot if he does strike a deal to go to training camp with a team later this month.

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Edgerrin James' annual free youth football camp in Ave Maria - TODAY

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James Jones said "I'll be back in Cleveland for sure"

LAS VEGAS – During these at times frenetic and expensive days of free agency for the Cavaliers, the one name seldom mentioned as been James Jones.

Well, he's a free agent, too. And he's coming back.

"I'll be back in Cleveland for sure," Jones told the Northeast Ohio Media Group Sunday in Las Vegas, on the red carpet for the first Players' Awards show.

"I've made it well known last year when I told them I was coming to help change the culture and do something special," Jones said. "It wasn't a situation where I was looking for a platform to move on. I was looking to be a part of something, to build something. And so I'm still in."

Jones, 34, is a free agent after playing out his one-year contract with the Cavs last season.

A 12-year veteran, he would qualify for a veteran's minimum salary of $1.5 million, which would be a $950,000 cap hit for Cleveland. He made the league-minimum $1.45 million last season.

A league source confirmed the Cavs would re-sign Jones. He's been a friend and teammate to LeBron James dating back at least to 2010, during James' first season in Miami.

The 6-8 forward averaged 4.4 points in 11.7 minutes per game during the regular season, and kept his scoring average through increased playing time during the playoffs.

"Last year was big for me in establishing who I am and defining myself," Jones said. "So, I'm excited about the things I've worked on this summer, and they'll see a different James Jones next year for sure."

The Cavaliers are negotiating with restricted free agent Tristan Thompson on a long-term contract, and may bring back J.R. Smith. The team is also considering signing Russian center Sasha Kaun.

"Those are conversations that are always tough to have," Jones said, speaking about Smith and Thompson. "This is the part of the business that requires a lot of thought and requires a lot of work. I'm hopeful we'll get it done. They're a big part of what we've done and we'll continue to do."

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X-rays of Dodgers' Yasmani Grandal's jaw negative after shot to mask

As Yasmani Grandal disappeared into the clubhouse in the sixth inning of the Dodgers' 5-0 victory over the Washington Nationals on Sunday, Manager Don Mattingly feared for the worst.

"I thought he broke his jaw," Mattingly said.

The mask covering the All-Star catcher's face was struck by a ball fouled by outfielder Michael Taylor.

Mattingly's fears were relieved, at least temporarily, when X-rays on Grandal's jaw were negative. Grandal is scheduled to undergo further testing Monday.

Pitcher Zack Greinke immediately sensed something was wrong with Grandal.

"His face wasn't really moving," Greinke said. "It was like frozen."

Grandal said his teammates and trainers had trouble understanding him because his inability to move his jaw prevented him from speaking properly.

Grandal was replaced by A.J. Ellis, who caught the remaining four innings. By the end of the game, Grandal's condition was significantly improved.

"It's a little better now," Grandal said. "It definitely hurts to swallow, hard to bite down."

Grandal didn't have any concussion-like symptoms. He was on the seven-day concussion disabled list in May after taking a couple of knocks to his head in a game against the San Diego Padres.

In addition to catching a majority of games, Grandal has established himself as a middle-of-the-order hitter. He ranks third on the team with 14 home runs. Only Adrian Gonzalez and Joc Pederson have more.

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Yasmani Grandal likens himself to Varitek, aspires to be like Molina

The All-Star Game was a reunion -- in a fitting place too -- for Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal and Rays pitcher Brad Boxberger. Both players were dealt from the Cincinnati Reds in 2011 in exchange for Matt Latos. Now both of them are All-Stars.

Despite his All-Star status, the Orange County Register notes that Grandal still remains under the radar. Grandal responded comparing himself to a former All-Star:

“I look back, I see Jason Varitek…[He] was one of the best catchers, overall, for a period of about 10 years. And he wasn’t recognized like he was the guy, because at any point there was some catcher who was doing a little bit better that year.”

For Grandal, those catchers would be Buster Posey and Yadier Molina. Grandal actually aspires to be like Molina. He said:

“Because how can you be better than Yadi Molina, the career he’s had?...But, yeah, one of my goals is to get to that point.”

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