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Sunday, March 26, 2017

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Jets GM will not guarantee Josh McCown as starting quarterback

Josh McCown

Josh McCown will probably be the New York Jets’ starting quarterback, but it’s not a pronunciation the team is quite prepared to make.

Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan voiced his faith in McCown, but wouldn’t name him the starter, leaving that to coach Todd Bowles.

Of course, we’ve heard that the Jets really want to make things work with this young quarterback, but by all accounts he’s nowhere near ready to start. This is just the Jets leaving their options open. McCown will almost certainly start when the season begins.

Richard Sherman believes Colin Kaepernick has been blackballed by NFL

Colin Kaepernick

If you think Colin Kaepernick is being deliberately ignored by NFL general managers, you’re not alone.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman told ESPN First Take on Friday that he thinks Kaepernick is being blackballed, as his level of play doesn’t merit being unsigned.

“I’m sure he is,” Sherman said, via Sheil Kapadia of ESPN. “It’s difficult to see because he’s played at such a high level, and you see guys, quarterbacks, who have never played at a high level being signed by teams. So it’s difficult to understand. Obviously he’s going to be in a backup role at this point. But you see quarterbacks, there was a year Matt Schaub had a pretty rough year and got signed the next year. So it has nothing to do with football. You can see that. They signed guys who have had off years before.

“You don’t have 32 starting-level quarterbacks in this league. You have about eight elites, and then you have the rest of the league. You have about eight, nine elite quarterbacks. You have two or three who have the potential to be elite. And then you have the rest of the teams. So he could play and start on a ton of teams in this league. He would be a starter on probably 20 of the teams in this league. But you’re telling me that you’re going to let other guys, you’re going to pick up some of these other guys and tell me that they’re starters?”

There’s definitely some agreement among NFL players that Kaepernick isn’t unsigned for lack of talent. The controversy surrounding his political stances is likely the primary thing working against him.

Jung-ho Kang reportedly denied visa to enter US, may not play for Pirates in 2017

The Pittsburgh Pirates are getting an unpleasant surprise just a little over a week before Opening Day.

Korean baseball writer Sung Min Kim reports on Friday that Pirates infielder Jung-ho Kang was not granted his visa to enter the United States and may not be able to play for the team in 2017.

Kang, who will turn 30 next month, batted .255/.354/.513 with 21 home runs and 63 RBIs for Pittsburgh in 2016, a year after finishing third in National League Rookie of the Year voting. He recently entered a treatment program after a DUI arrest in December in his native South Korea, his third such arrest since 2009. Kim also adds that there’s suspicion Kang may have been convicted of DUI in a country other than the United States and South Korea.

The soon-to-be 34-year-old David Freese will likely be asked to fill in if Kang is indeed out of commission, giving the Pirates a more reliable glove but a lower-upside bat.

Image via MLB on YouTube

Report: CBS wants to add Tony Romo to broadcasting team

Tony Romo

If Tony Romo doesn’t want to keep playing football, it sounds like he’ll have his share of offers.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, CBS has joined FOX in trying to hire the Dallas Cowboys quarterback for their broadcast coverage.

That makes NBC the only NFL broadcast partner that hasn’t been linked to Romo, and they don’t broadcast the number of games FOX and CBS do. It doesn’t sound like Romo is ready to go this route yet, though, no matter how intriguing or lucrative the opportunities prove to be.

WWE wrestler Kane pursuing mayoral run in Tennessee

Kane

Wrestler Kane, a 23-time WWE/WWF champion, is looking at a new career in politics.

Kane, whose real name is Glenn Jacobs, has formally filed paperwork appointing a political treasurer in order to run for mayor of Knox County, Tennessee, according to WCYB.

Jacobs runs an insurance company in addition to his WWE duties, and he identifies as a Republican. This is only the first step toward a run, and the election itself would not be until May 1, 2018.

“Knox County is a great place and we’re so happy and feel so blessed to live here,” Jacobs said. “I want to do my part going forward.”

Kane has been mulling this for over a year and it seems he’s decided to go through with it, though he still has a long way to go.

H/T TMZ

Report: Blake Griffin could be growing more open to leaving Clippers

Blake Griffin

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin is a free agent at season’s end, and one report indicates that he might be more open to leaving than he had been previously.

Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding reported Thursday that more people around the NBA believe Griffin is increasingly open to a “fresh start” somewhere else, with the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and Oklahoma City Thunder being listed as potentially intriguing options.

Ding cautioned, however, that Griffin is involved in the entertainment industry, which could offer some incentives to stay in Los Angeles.

All indications are that the Clippers are motivated to keep Griffin and fellow free agent Chris Paul, and will do what it takes to do it. That is, in all likelihood, the most likely outcome, though maybe Griffin is having second thoughts.

Joe Thomas praises Mitchell Trubisky as having most upside

Mitch Trubisky

Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas seems to have a preference if the team decides to look at a quarterback in April’s NFL Draft.

Thomas praised North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, believing him to have the most potential to grow into a pro-style offense.

“I know that Mitchell Trubisky is probably the guy that has the most upside potential in a pro-style offense in the NFL, and I don’t see those other guys as obvious fits in NFL offenses,” Thomas told 92.3 The Fan on Thursday, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “So if you’re going to take a guy, he might be your guy you want to take. With that being said, I think he’s only started for a year, so he’s got a lot of improvement to make before he is ready to be the starting quarterback.”

It had previously been reported that Trubisky was under consideration for the No. 1 pick, but that pick looks earmarked for Myles Garrett. If Trubisky is still around when the Browns pick at No. 12, they’ll have an interesting decision to make.

Matt Barnes on facing Kings: ‘Trying to kill them’

Matt Barnes

Don’t expect Matt Barnes to go easy on his old team when they cross paths on Friday.

The Golden State Warriors forward called the Sacramento Kings “the enemy” and said he was motivated to hurt them as his time with the organization brought about little success.

“I’m trying to kill them,” Barnes said Thursday, via Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle. “Plain and simple. Things didn’t go well there.”

Barnes was released by the Kings in February to make the DeMarcus Cousins trade happen, and it’s clear that didn’t go down well with him.

“They’re the enemy now,” Barnes added. “We’re trying to kill them, beat them by 50.”

Barnes has already been critical of the Kings for their handling of Cousins, making him the latest to leave the organization and have few good things to say about it.

Report: Adrian Peterson still seeking too much money

Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson remains a free agent, and we have yet to hear of any real interest from teams. While he is on the wrong side of 30 and coming off another significant knee injury, money likely remains the biggest issue.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on Friday that Peterson is still turning teams off with his contract demands, and that apparently includes the Green Bay Packers.

Some people believe Peterson’s legitimate suitors have been narrowed down to one team, but there has been nothing concrete on that front, either. The reality is Peterson’s market is cold because he averaged just 1.9 yards per carry in limited time last year but still considers himself to be one of the best running backs in the NFL. If he is expecting to be paid like anything close to a top-five or even top-10 back, he needs to seriously lower his expectation.

Michael Floyd could be fit for Lions

Michael Floyd

The New England Patriots gave Michael Floyd a chance last year after the wide receiver’s second arrest for driving while under the influence, but it doesn’t sound like he will be returning to the team.

With the Patriots having acquired star receiver Brandin Cooks from the New Orleans Saints, ESPN’s Mike Reiss speculates that New England has no room for Floyd on its roster. Danny Amendola could also end up taking another pay cut to return, and Malcolm Mitchell is expected to take on a bigger role in his second season.

Assuming the Patriots are out, one team to watch for Floyd is the Detroit Lions. Here’s what Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com wrote about how Floyd could fit with the Lions.

His DUI issues are a legitimate concern, but he can play and is the kind of tall, possession receiver Detroit doesn’t have on the outside. His 4.2-percent drop rate is a concern on the field as well. Here’s why Floyd might fit, though: If there’s a locker room that could be a good influence on him, it’s the Lions. Former Notre Dame teammates Golden Tate and Theo Riddick are key members of the Lions.

Floyd’s off-field issues (see his latest DUI video here) are an obvious deterrent for some teams, but it should also be noted that the former first-round pick never reached his potential on the field in Arizona. He caught just 33 passes for 446 yards and four touchdowns last season and topped the 1,000-yard receiving mark only once in four-plus seasons with the Cardinals. The one thing Floyd has going for him is that he is only 27, and he could end up being an incredible bargain for some team.

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