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Monday, October 24, 2016


Matt Flynn reportedly negotiating with Dolphins, Browns; Seahawks also in mix

Now that the Redskins traded up in the draft to take Robert Griffin III and Peyton Manning has reportedly narrowed down his selections, the Matt Flynn free agent market is becoming clearer.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Flynn is negotiating with the Dolphins and Browns. They say the Seahawks were expected to bid on Flynn but are hosting former Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne. SI’s Don Banks says the Seahawks and Dolphins are Flynn’s market, and that the loser will likely end up drafting former Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

I’ve been wondering all along why the Dolphins are bothering with Peyton Manning instead of focusing on Flynn. I thought Matt played extremely well against the Patriots two seasons ago, and it goes without saying he looked brilliant against the Lions last year. He made short throws, intermediate throws, and long throws against Detroit, and he led several scoring drives. I think he will be a top-15 quarterback next season with the potential to improve over time.

Rather than bidding on a guy with health concerns who may only play 3-4 years, the Dolphins should sign Flynn who will give them a half dozen good years. Plus, he already knows coach Joe Philbin’s offense. What about the fit wouldn’t work?

Dwight Howard says he’s committed to Magic; report suggests otherwise

Dwight Howard might be giving the Magic false hope.

With the trade deadline looming, Howard has gone on record as saying he’s committed to his teammates and doesn’t want to be moved.

“I’ve been telling those guys [in the Magic front office], and I’ve been telling them for the past two or three weeks now, that I want to stay and finish the season,” Howard told the media after the Magic beat the Heat Tuesday. “I told ’em I feel we’ve got a great opportunity to win and I told ’em that I want to be here and I want to bring a championship here. And I told ’em they’ve got to give me that chance.”

But all that jibber-jabber might just be a passive Howard leading the Magic on, especially considering the report Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski dropped Tuesday saying that Howard’s true preferred endgame is playing with the Nets:


Warriors trade Monta Ellis to the Bucks for Andrew Bogut, Stephen Jackson

We have our first NBA trade deadline deal, folks. But don’t get your hopes up. It doesn’t involve Dwight Howard, although it’s still a swap involving big names.

The Warriors agreed Tuesday to trade shooting guard Monta Ellis, forward Ekpe Udoh and injured center Kwame Brown to the Bucks for center Andrew Bogut and forward Stephen Jackson, according to Yahoo! Sports.

And how’s this for irony: The Warriors host the Bucks on Friday.

Ellis, obviously, has previously been linked to trade scenarios sending him to Orlando. But instead he’ll be heading to Milwaukee where he’ll be part of a dynamic backcourt along with Brandon Jennings. Udoh, who can also fill in at center, gives the Bucks a young big man with plenty of upside.

With the Bucks hanging around the fringe of the East’s playoff picture, both players will give the team a serious boost that it wouldn’t have otherwise gotten with Bogut out for possibly the rest of the season. And then there’s Kwame Brown, who despite being Kwame Brown was a prominent role player for the Warriors before tearing a pectoral muscle in January.

Bogut, who has faced injury troubles throughout his career, has missed all but 12 games this season, thanks mostly to a fractured ankle. Golden State also welcomes back Stephen “Stak5” Jackson, who for now returns to the team for which he was a key contributor during its impressive 2007 “We Believe” playoff run. We say “for now” because the Warriors are reportedly shopping Jackson in hopes of getting another big.


Randy Moss thinks the media has given him a ‘bad rap’

For Randy Moss, signing with the 49ers isn’t just about showing people he can still play. He also wants to prove he has what it takes to be a supportive teammate.

“I think when it comes to the world-wide sports media, I’ve gotten a bad rap … not being a team player and things like that,” Moss said Monday after signing a one-year deal with the Niners. “I really don’t want to get into that because that’s not what I’m here for. I think that one thing I’d like the sports world to understand is the love and the passion I have for the game of football. I think every player wants to win and every organization wants to win.”

Moss could perhaps be referring to the harsh criticisms delivered by Cris Carter and Warren Sapp, two former teammates of Moss’ who both are now part of the media. And after abundant instances of Moss quitting on teammates throughout his career, it’s clear why he’s earned that “bad rap.” You just think Moss would be wise enough to acknowledge the same.

Yes, Moss comes with a bad reputation, but for the Niners it’s a low-risk, high reward signing, as his contract is only a $1.75 million hit on the salary cap. If he delivers, the gamble pays off. If he becomes a headache, you dump him for practically nothing.

Whether Moss has anything left in his career is still to be determined. Moss has been disappointing, often times looking as if he had given up, when playing with less than stellar quarterbacks. How he connects with Alex Smith is key. But he does give the Niners another red-zone target other than Vernon Davis, something they were sorely lacking last season. If the Niners are getting anything better than what Moss showed in his two-year sabbatical, otherwise known as more recent Bay Area stint in Oakland, they’re coming away with a steal.

H/T Pro Football Talk
Photo credit: Brett Davis, US Presswire

Dwight Howard Nets shirt for sale at store

For $24.99 you can buy a Dwight Howard New Jersey Nets shirt and get a jump start all your friends. Yup, the NBA seems to know something about Dwight Howard that most people are only speculating: he’s headed to the Nets.

It was pointed out to LBS over Twitter that an adidas Dwight Howard Nets shirt was available at the store. We were skeptical about the link because we figured nobody who runs the site could make such a bad mistake, but we were wrong. Guess the person running the shop is the same person who operated the Giants’ website.

UPDATE: The link no longer worked about an hour after this story was published.

H/T SayWhatNOC, ZDP5000

Mike Tomlin was worried about Steelers’ season ending in Denver on 80-yard OT TD

This isn’t some story about Mike Tomlin clairvoyantly knowing the Steelers would lose to the Broncos on an 80-yard touchdown in overtime. Nope, it’s a story about how Tomlin’s worst fears came true.

CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz called the Steelers-Broncos playoff game, and he told The Denver Post Tomlin was afraid of losing on a game-ending touchdown in overtime.

Nantz apparently grilled both John Fox and Mike Tomlin during production meetings about their plans for overtime given the new rules. Would the coaches defer knowing that one stop and a score would end the game, or would they want the ball first? Nantz was trying to sell Tomlin on deferring, but the Steelers coach wasn’t hearing it.

“He said, ‘No way I am doing that. I’m not putting my whole season at risk giving the other team the football because if one guy busts an assignment or something else and one play they go 80 yards and a touchdown and my season is over. I’m not going to let that happen. I’m taking the football,’ according to Nantz.

“I said, ‘Come on. You gotta be kidding. The longest pass play of the season for the Broncos and Tebow was 56 yards against Kansas City.’ He said, ‘I’m not going to put my season on the line for a one-play, 80-yard touchdown pass.’”

Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened and the Steelers were sent packing on an 80-yard touchdown pass from Tim Tebow to Demaryius Thomas. If Tomlin was so fearful of a game-ending touchdown, you have to wonder why the players weren’t as well.

Dwight Howard reportedly offered power to decide fate of Magic coach, GM

The Orlando Magic are desperately trying to keep Dwight Howard who is expected to opt out of his contract and become a free agent after the season. Dwight already gave the team a list of organizations to whom he’d like to be traded, but they seem committed to keeping him. They’re talking about adding players and doing anything to convince him to sign a contact extension with the team. They are so desperate to please him, they reportedly are giving him the opportunity to determine head coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith’s fates after the season.

Sound familiar?

Of course it does. The Cavaliers offered similar power to LeBron James before he left them for the Heat. Orlando denies the charges, saying the owners will decide the employment status of the GM and head coach. Their denial is not surprising; they can’t let the public or current employees know Dwight Howard controls them. Regardless, this is a bad precedent.

Though Dwight Howard is a superstar and more valuable to the organization than either the coach or GM, he also needs to be put in check sometimes. He needs to be told if he’s making mistakes and called out when his behavior is hurting the team. Giving him the ability to decide the future of the coaches and GM gives him more power and probably would make him feel like he doesn’t need to listen to anyone. Shoot, if I were told I were that valuable, I probably would get a huge head, too.

Fan wins training session with Didier Drogba, offers it to Fernando Torres

On Saturday night, Chelsea forward Didier Drogba raised more than 250,000 Euros for his charity, The Didier Drogba Foundation. One man paid 15,000 Euros for a personal training session with Drogba, and after winning the auction he promptly took the opportunity to use his prize as a hilarious punchline. Via the Daily Mail:

Didier Drogba managed to keep a straight face at his charity ball as the winner of a training session with the Ivorian striker offered to donate the prize to his misfiring colleague Fernando Torres.

Auction winner 1, Torres 0. For those of you who do not follow the Premier League, Torres has been struggling mightily this season. In 22 games, he has only two goals on 45 shots. Since signing with Chelsea from Liverpool in January, Torres has scored only three goals in 36 appearances and has hardly lived up to his 50 million-Euro price tag. Roberto Di Matteo, Chelsea’s caretaker manager, believes the problem is between the ears for the 27-year-old.

“He has a psychological problem and only Fernando can unlock it,” Di Matteo said according to “If he needs me, I am always here but it is obvious the change must come from him. He must not think about how much he cost the club. He must concentrate only on playing and not about scoring, or providing an assist or making a great play every time he touches the ball.”

Or maybe he could just accept the auction winner’s offer.

H/T Dirty Tackle

Pierre Garcon announces he’s signing with Redskins via Facebook

There’s nothing quite like breaking some news to your fans while also boosting your social media profile. That’s what Pierre Garcon did on the first day of free agency, posting on his Facebook page that he is leaving the Colts to sign with the Redskins.

“I wanted you all to hear it from me 1st before u saw it on the news… I will be signing with the Washington Redskins and I’m very excited about the opportunity in front of me,” Garcon wrote.

“I want to thank all Colts fans from the bottom of my heart for all the love and support you’ve shown me the past 4 years and I hope that at some level u will still follow my career, as I will continue to share my life with you on here…”

We thought Frenchy Garcon was crazy when he turned down a five-year contract offer from the Colts. It’s possible the contract wasn’t as appealing as reported, or, maybe Garcon knew teams like the Redskins wanted him. We’ll have to see his contract before officially commenting on whether he was overpaid or underpaid, but I’ll say this much: I don’t think Pierre Garcon is anywhere near a game-changer.

Jay Cutler granted his wish to reunite with Brandon Marshall

Less than a month after pointing out that the Bears could use some size at wide receiver, Jay Cutler got his wish. Chicago traded two third-round picks to the Dolphins in exchange for Brandon Marshall.

Marshall and Cutler were teammates on the Broncos from 2006-2008 and shared plenty of offensive success. Marshall caught over 100 passes and 1,200 yards in 2007 and 2008, and scored a combine 13 touchdowns. Cutler targeted Marshall a league-leading 179 times in 2008. He clearly feeds the potentially troublesome receiver enough to keep him happy.

The two also seem to have incredible chemistry. At least that’s how Marshall described their relationship during a January radio appearance.

“It’s hard to find that and sometimes it’s once in a lifetime,” Marshall said, “…when you take two guys and put them on the field together and they have that chemistry, that’s what’s almost impossible to find. I can’t explain it. That’s why I said it’s almost painful to think about.

“We’ll line up there and we’ll get a coverage and he will just look at me and I’ll know exactly where he wants to adjust my route. You don’t find that. It got to a point where coaches, they didn’t know what we were doing so we’ll install a whole play and they’ll give us a play on the front side and put me on the back side and they’ll tell us just do what you all do and just make it work. We had a lot of freedom in our offense, and we made it work and chemistry was great. It was something special.”

Jeez man, Brandon was getting all Sixteen Candles on us there. So yeah, now he gets to rekindle his romance with Jay. I don’t know how you could dislike this deal for the Bears. Two third-round picks is not that much, especially for a talented player like Marshall. It’s actually a great deal for them, one that can make a huge difference.

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