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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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Ex-NFL player beats up man who allegedly peeped in daughter’s window

Former NFL defensive back Tony Beckham was involved in an incident on Monday morning that resulted in a man being treated for a broken face and then arrested.

According to a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office probable cause affidavit obtained by ABC Local 10 News, 48-year-old Geoffrey Cassidy was arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious exhibition after Beckham says he caught the man masturbating while looking through Beckham’s 15-year-old daughter’s window. Beckham beat Cassidy up before police arrived and arrested the alleged peeper.

Beckham said he caught Cassidy crouched outside the girl’s bedroom window with his hand in his pants, and Cassidy ran away after Beckham yelled at him. Beckham then chased him down and tackled him to the ground, and a neighbor who heard the commotion called 911. Beckham’s daughter said she had just gotten out of the shower and was getting dressed when Cassidy was looking through her window.

Cassidy was treated for fractures in his face at a local hospital. He denied looking through the window of the home and said he was only in the neighborhood because his car overheated. He was being held on $1,500 bond as of Wednesday and could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Beckham was drafted in the fourth round by the Tennessee Titans back in 2002. He spent four seasons with the Titans and one with the Detroit Lions.

Antonio Brown blasts Bruce Arians over ‘diva’ remarks

Antonio Brown

Even with wide receiver Antonio Brown’s Pittsburgh Steelers future in doubt, he’s more than happy to defend himself via Twitter.

The latest instance of this came after former Steelers offensive coordinator and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians referred to Brown as a “diva,” claiming he was no longer the same guy that Pittsburgh drafted.

Brown wasn’t having that.

There’s an added shot at former Pittsburgh teammate Emmanuel Sanders, who recently criticized Brown’s conduct, tucked in there as well.

This probably won’t endear Brown to his Steelers’ bosses any. There’s a reason Pittsburgh seems eager to move on from him. This is just more distraction that they don’t really need, though he certainly has the right to respond to public criticism.

Report: Oklahoma not supporting QB Austin Kendall’s transfer

Lincoln Riley

Oklahoma is bringing in a new quarterback who will likely be their starter for the 2019 season, but they are apparently making it difficult for one of their current signal-callers to find immediate playing time elsewhere.

Former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts revealed on Wednesday that he has decided to transfer to Oklahoma. Prior to Hurts making his announcement, ESPN’s Jake Trotter reported that the Sooners are trying to block QB Austin Kendall — who is looking to transfer as a graduate student — from being able to play immediately at West Virginia.

Graduate transfers typically do not have to sit out a year before becoming eligible like undergrads would, but Trotter notes that Oklahoma reserves the right under NCAA rules to object to the player playing immediately at another school in the same conference. The SEC passed a rule last summer stating that all graduate transfers can transfer within the conference and be eligible to play immediately, but no such rule exists in the Big 12.

If Kendall transferred to West Virginia and was forced to sit out a year, he would have only one year of eligibility remaining. Trotter reports that he has withdrawn from classes at Oklahoma and is committed to leaving, and he visited Auburn in addition to West Virginia and has drawn interest from other programs.

Again, the report came out before Hurts announced he has committed to Oklahoma, so the Sooners may back off now that they have their quarterback. If not, Kendall will not be the only high-profile quarterback who is fighting to gain eligibility this offseason.

Ryan Shazier wants to continue rehabbing with Steelers

Ryan Shazier

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier is set to become a free agent, but wants to continue trying to return to football with his current team.

Steelers owner Art Rooney II said Shazier, who suffered a devastating back injury in 2017, still wants to play in the NFL again and wants to continue working to do it with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Shazier didn’t play in 2018, and we last saw him walking onstage to announce a Steelers draft pick, which was an inspiring moment. Expect the Steelers to be amenable to bringing him back as long as he wants to continue working toward a return.

Manny Machado reportedly seeking contract larger than Giancarlo Stanton’s

Manny Machado

If Manny Machado is looking to become the highest-paid player in the history of baseball, there’s a strong chance he is going to end up very disappointed.

The Chicago White Sox are one of the teams that have shown interest in signing Machado, and ESPN’s Buster Olney reported on Wednesday that the offer they have on the table to the free agent slugger is for $175 million over seven years.

It has been widely reported that the White Sox are not willing to go past seven years, and they seem to be sticking to that principle. Of course, that offer is roughly half of the $325 million Giancarlo Stanton got from the Miami Marlins, and Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports reports that Machado has been seeking a deal comparable with that one.

Stanton had just turned 25 when he signed his mega-contract with the Marlins in 2014, and it should be noted that it is a 13-year deal. That means the average annual value is $25 million, which is the same as what the White Sox reportedly offered Machado. Stanton obviously got more long-term security, but he was not eligible to become a free agent for another two years at the time he signed his contract, anyway. The two situations are not exactly alike.

The landscape of Major League Baseball also seems to have changed since Stanton signed his deal. Teams have been more hesitant to sign players to contracts that pay them top dollar into their late-30s, and we could be seeing that trend continue with Machado and Bryce Harper.

Machado is said to have a preference of where he signs, but he needs at least one other team to get involved in the bidding if Chicago’s offer is the only one he has. While $25 million per year is nothing to scoff at, he almost certainly wants at least a 10-year contract.

Jalen Hurts announces he is transferring to Oklahoma

Jalen Hurts

Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley will be coaching his third starting quarterback in as many years when the Sooners open up camp later this year, and the latest has the potential to become the school’s third consecutive Heisman Trophy winner.

In a piece he wrote for The Players’ Tribune on Wednesday, Jalen Hurts announced he has decided to transfer from Alabama to Oklahoma. He said he is proud to have received his degree from the University of Alabama and thanked Nick Saban for changing his life. Hurts also admitted what happened during the 2018 National Championship Game — when he was replaced by Tua Tagovailoa — was tough for him.

“Was what happened in the 2018 National Championship Game bittersweet? Of course it was — it was a humbling experience. It was tough, man,” Hurts wrote.

“But I am even tougher for it. I AM BUILT FOR THIS.”

Hurts, who assured Crimson Tide fans he is “Bama for LIFE,” will be eligible to play immediately at Oklahoma as a graduate transfer. Riley is, of course, in search of another starting quarterback with Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray having declared for the NFL Draft. Murray took over for Baker Mayfield, who won the Heisman with the Sooners the year prior before being drafted No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Browns.

Many considered Miami the favorite to land Hurts, especially after the Hurricanes made their new offensive coordinator hire. Former Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell, who will have two years of eligibility remaining when he is cleared, announced on Tuesday that he is heading to Miami. Oklahoma should be a great fit for Hurts.

Report: Tate Martell hires lawyer in attempt to obtain eligibility waiver

Tate Martell

Tate Martell announced on Tuesday that he is transferring from Ohio State to Miami, and the quarterback is hoping he will not have to sit out a season before helping his new team.

Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports.com reports that Martell has hired a lawyer as he seeks to obtain an eligibility waiver to be able to play immediately at Miami. Martell redshirted his freshman year at Ohio State and then served as Dwayne Haskins’ backup this past season, so he has two years of eligibility remaining. Undergraduates who transfer typically have to sit out a year, but Martell is reportedly going to argue that Urban Meyer’s sudden retirement is reason enough for him to be immediately eligible.

While the odds of Martell winning that argument seem slim, a source close to his family told Wiltfong the 19-year-old “has a better shot than you’d think.”

One other way Martell would be able to gain eligibility is by graduating early from Ohio State, though it would be difficult for him to earn his degree by May.

Unless Martell has some sort of unique argument to present to the NCAA, it’s doubtful Meyer’s sudden retirement will be enough to grant him a waiver. That would give dozens of other players at Ohio State and across the country precedent to transfer and obtain waivers based on coaching changes.

Martell, a former five-star recruit, has decided to leave Ohio State because former Georgia quarterback is transferring to Columbus, and Fields seems like he has a much better shot at being granted a waiver.

Jaguars reportedly hire former Vikings OC John DeFilippo

The Jacksonville Jaguars are hoping to somehow turn their offense into an area of strength heading into 2019, and they feel the offensive coordinator who came up short with the Minnesota Vikings this season can help them accomplish that goal.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that the Jaguars have reached a deal to hire DeFilippo as their next offensive coordinator. The 40-year-old was fired by the Vikings in December after less than a full season with the team.

DeFilippo’s first job in the NFL was as offensive quality control coach for the New York Giants and then-head coach Tom Coughlin, who is now the executive vice president of football operations for the Jaguars. That level of familiarity may have helped.

The Vikings were a huge disappointment in 2018 after signing Kirk Cousins, and many feel they used DeFilippo as a scapegoat. In fact, the coach was believed to be a favorite for at least one head coaching position at one point, so he is obviously respected across the league. If DeFilippo can help rebuild the Jaguars in what will likely be the post-Blake Bortles era, that will be a nice boost for his resume.

Dion Waiters goes off about lack of playing time: ‘F— patience’

Dion Waiters

Dion Waiters missed the first three months of the season while he was still recovering from ankle surgery he had last year, and the veteran guard has slowly been worked back into the rotation over the past two weeks. Following the Miami Heat’s blowout loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, he made it clear he wants a bigger role.

Waiters played 12 largely meaningless minutes and finished with just two points on 1-of-4 shooting. While speaking with reporters after the game, he became quite animated in expressing his desire to play more.

“F— patience,” Waiters said, via David Furones of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I want to play. I’ve been patient.”

After making his season debut on Jan. 2, Waiters feels he is ready to be turned loose. He played just 10 minutes in a win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, and he obviously has not suffered any setbacks. He said he has been “patient long enough” and was asked what he would like the next step to be.

“Get back to my regular self, get me back in the starting lineup, s— like that,” Waiters said. “That’s what it is. You all know what it is. F—. I’m tired of this. I’m being patient right now.”

Waiters had his season cut short by an ankle injury last December, so he is anxious to get back to playing full-time. He was playing a career-high 30.6 minutes per game and averaging 14.3 points through 30 games before he went down last year.

There had been some questions about whether or not Waiters was in shape recently, and the veteran went off about them. With the Heat now 21-21, you can understand why he wants a chance to contribute more.

Jabari Parker finally back in Bulls’ rotation

Chicago Bulls logo

Jabari Parker has finally managed to crawl his way out of the doghouse, and he responded on Tuesday night with one of his best games in nearly two months.

Prior to the Bulls’ 107-100 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago coach Jim Boylen told reporters Parker has done what was asked of him in practice and is back in the team’s rotation. The former No. 2 overall pick responded with 18 points in 17 minutes.

Parker also played 19 minutes in a loss to the Utah Jazz on Saturday, scoring 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting in that game. He had appeared in just one of Chicago’s last 12 games prior to that, so something obviously changed.

There was speculation last month that Parker’s time with the Bulls may be coming to and end. He was signed to a two-year, $40 million contract during the offseason, but his role was practically nonexistent after Fred Hoiberg was fired. That probably had something to do with the hard-nosed approach Boylen has been taking as coach of the Bulls, and it is one that nearly caused a mutiny among players.

The Bulls have now lost eight straight games, so perhaps Boylen is trying to see if Parker can emerge as a leader during a lost season.