Caleb Brantley was a potential first-round pick until he was charged with assaulting a woman in the lead-up to the NFL Draft. The Browns picked him up in the sixth round and flirted with releasing him before those charges were dropped. Now, he’ll give Cleveland a tremendous value in the middle of the field. He’ll compete with Larry Ogunjobi, the greatest player in the history of Charlotte football and a relative gridiron neophyte with the potential to be the next Dontari Poe.

Behind that wealth of talent is a hollow linebacking corps led by Jamie Collins, a potential eight-game rental in 2016 who shifted gears from the league’s No. 1 team to No. 32 after a trade with the Patriots. In a major win for the club, Brown convinced Collins, a pending free agent, to re-up with the club. The Pro Bowler was water to the desert in Cleveland, immediately taking a spotlight role in a depleted depth chart. His tackle numbers rose from 4.7 per game to 8.6 with the Browns, showcasing just how important he was — and how few options the team had to make stops in its second level.

The franchise has a lot of corny, ridiculous things that deserve to be made fun of: villains who contribute to excruciatingly formulaic plots; the soundtrack, which can range from romantically cheesy to “wait, this is totally a knockoff of John Fogerty’s ‘Centerfield’”; the ridiculous sports scenes involving Air Bud, like his aforementioned batting practice, and this block from Spikes Back.

But there’s something about the Air Bud series that’s worth admiring: These movies have heart.

You see a gifted dog get abused and abandoned, then end up in a loving home. You see the Framm family move to a new town and try to cope with the death of their pilot father. You see Josh Framm struggle to make friends at school and stumble through a couple of extracurricular activities before trying out for the basketball team.

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I think he’s one of the better quarterbacks, and he should have an opportunity right now to be playing, Harris said. Obviously, there are reasons he is not with a team that have nothing to do with his ability to play. There are differences in our situations as black quarterbacks, but the similarity is all about opportunity. And that’s a shame.

Kaepernick remains unsigned despite having led the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance and despite throwing 16 touchdown passes and four interceptions last season on a woeful 2-14 team. Much of the NFL insists this is a football decision more than it’s blackballing Kaepernick for his police brutality and civil rights protests that included his kneels during pregame national anthem renditions.

Game Isaiah Pead Jersey That football decision stance is one that Harris and many others find nonsensical.
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Harris played at Grambling and in 1969 was an eighth-round pick, No. 192, by the old AFL’s Buffalo Bills. That year he became the first black quarterback to start an NFL season. He was only the second black quarterback in the NFL, coming into the league one year after Denver’s Marlon Briscoe. Harris played for the Bills (’69-’72), Rams (’73-’76) and Chargers (’77-’81).

Watkins is a dynamic, field-stretching threat who can change games on one play … when he’s healthy, which has rarely been the case in three years. He played all 16 games in 2014 but was constantly limited by nagging injuries. Watkins played in just 13 and eight games the following two years, as complications from foot surgery kept popping up.

Watkins is a great player, but the Bills paid a steep price to get him, trading away their 2015 first-rounder to Cleveland to move up four spots. They would surely like to get more out of him.

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As we’ve seen during the Stanley Cup playoffs, Nashville loves its Predators, with some 50,000 fans gathering downtown outside Bridgestone Arena and even more to watch the games in bars and restaurants.
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Mo Alexander Game Jersey Toler said the investigation is ongoing.

We are investigating a report of a sexual assault that reportedly occurred at the Pens Game last evening. The female victim walked in to the Zone 2 station last night at 12:01 a.m. to report the incident. Further details are not available at this time as the investigation is ongoing.
The victim told police the sexual assault occurred inside a stall in between periods but no one came to her aid, KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh reported.

The Penguins acknowledged in a joint statement with AEG, their arena management company, an incident occurred and said they are cooperating fully with the police investigation.

Boughner played 12 seasons in the NHL for six different teams along the way. He was a teammate of Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr in Pittsburgh in 2000-01.

Boughner never left the bench after retiring following the 2005-06 season, moving straight into coaching with his hometown Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League. He coached the Spitfires for eight seasons, winning back-to-back OHL championships and Memorial Cup titles in 2009 and ’10.

The Panthers went 35-36-11 last season, finishing sixth in the Atlantic Division and missing the playoffs for the fourth time in five years. The team fired coach Gerard Gallant in November and Tom Rowe finished the season as the interim coach.

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Travis Frederick Youth Jersey Cavaliers forward Kevin Love reportedly lost a whopping ten pounds in two days after getting food poisoning from eating sea bass.

Rene Robert Jersey Hart’s been on the NBA radar for over two years now and even went as far as to declare for the draft last year. But after struggling at the NBA Draft Combine a month after starring in the national championship, he decided to return. Then, he put in a another average performance at the Nike Basketball Academy, leaving many scouts wondering if he was maxed out as an excellent college player.

However, Hart has taken the next leap forward. Particularly, his ability to create plays with the ball in his hands has become elite. Always an elite finisher around the rim 鈥?his 1.52 points per shot around the basket in the halfcourt is in the 94th percentile among all college basketball players according to Synergy 鈥?Hart has improved his ability to get there by adding better change of pace and direction to his game. He’s always been an excellent straight-line driver because his strength, but he can now get more space around the rim in a variety of ways.

Hart’s also improved as a jump shooter, hitting 39 percent of his 3s. There’s still a small concern about Hart’s jumper going forward, as he has something of an odd release that sees his hands more parallel to the seams on the basketball than most others players. But the signs are that he can be an adequate NBA shooter in time. Throw in the elite basketball IQ, tremendous rebounding for a guard, and defensive toughness that should make him playable early in his NBA career, and Hart has done a great job thus far of making himself a potential first round pick.

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Throughout last year, Larry Fitzgerald heard the question: “Are you going to retire after the 2016 season?”

The Cardinals star receiver obviously didn’t hang up his cleats, returning in 2017 for his 14th NFL campaign. But in his first media appearance of the 2017 season Sunday, Fitzgerald once again got the retirement question.

“I feel good right now,” Fitzgerald said (via ESPN.com). “When that changes, I’ll let you know.”

In situations of intensity, like Sherman screaming at his coaches or smack talking his teammates, the veteran describes his behavior as nothing more than competitive expression. Sherman also pointed out that not all teammates spend time together off the field and clarified it doesn’t necessarily mean trouble is brewing if teammates don’t have a perfect relationship outside of football.

“Every single person on every single team doesn’t hang out,” Sherman said. “I don’t see anybody getting mad that Tom [Brady] isn’t hanging out with [cornerback] Malcolm Butler. Like, ‘Hey Tom, you and Malcolm Butler hang out? You guys don’t? Hmm … what’s going on there?’ You know what I mean? What are we talking about here? They’re trying to create a story that isn’t there.”

Sherman, 29, will enter his seventh year in Seattle. He is owed $22.4 million over the final two years of his contract after talks of an offseason trade were quickly hushed in May.

The Seahawks are scheduled to open training camp later Sunday.t_rangers_008-115x115

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The old hat Pelicans never had an answer for Russell Westbrook.

Following a facelift, New Orleans’ new and improved frontcourt fell to 0-3 thanks to more mastery by the Thunder guard and MVP front-runner, whose triple-double train is approaching milestones set during two of the NBA’s most hallowed regular-season performances.

Westbrook again unloaded on those poor Pelicans Sunday to the tune of 41 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists — for those keeping count at home, that makes 29 triple-doubles in 59 games — as Oklahoma City surged to a 118-110 victory at home. He trails Wilt Chamberlain’s 1967-68 triple-double output by two, and, at this current pace, would finish with 40 on the year, one shy of the single-season mark set by Oscar Robertson in 1961-62.

Capela has played in under 50 games this season while dealing with injuries. The 6-10 power forward came into the contest averaging 12.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.
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Robert Quinn Limited Jersey Not only did Capela’s offensive outburst help the Rockets in the short-term, it will also help them in the postseason. Houston lacks a consistent physical threat in the paint, and while undersized, Capela can move some people around when motivated.

Harden continues to shine in Mike D’Antoni’s system. As a point guard, he has really found his rhythm in the offense. Harden shot 9 of 15 from the field Saturday, while knocking down 6 of 10 from 3-point range.

Four Pistons scored at least 20 points in a 136-106 win against the 76ers. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led with 26 points. Marcus Morris added 22 points, Reggie Jackson had 21, and Tobias Harris came off the bench to score 20 points. This is the kind of balanced scoring coach Stan Van Gundy envisioned this season.

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You’re going into the Bay Area Hall of Fame this spring. You spent your NBA career outside of the Bay Area, though. What’s that honor like for you, and did you always consider yourself a Bay Area guy?

I think it’s a really great thing for me personally because for all the places I went, this was always the place that I was always connected to, even after I left. I always came back when I could for games, stayed in touch with the coaches. I had professors from school that I was still talking to throughout my career. I was always connected to the school. With USF, we were always made up of primarily Bay Area players. So there was always a lot of pride in that. I was really lucky to come here, come here with great teammates. It’s awesome.

Your recruiting class when you came to USF in the late 70s was pretty highly respected. Had you considered other schools before picking the Dons?
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Yeah, James Hardy and Winford Boynes — in fact James is going into our USF Hall of Fame this year. It’ll be great to see him. But there were three schools I was considering. I did not want to leave California. So that left UCLA, USC and USF. At that point, I really related to our coach Bob Gaillard, who played at USF and was a great athlete. And our guys — our guys were Bay Area, Northern California guys and we were pretty much tied together.

Authentic Youth Clinton Portis Jersey Before you committed to USF, there was talk that some NBA folks were trying to get you to skip college. Was that ever a real option for you?

Hield’s emergence can by no means negate the utter stupidity of Kings’ GM Vlade Divac’s decision to part ways with a three-time All-Star who’s averaged more than 20 points and 10 rebounds per game in each of the past four seasons, and still had a year left on a sweetheart of a contract, given his numbers.

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Shawn Carter has been to plenty of games at Staples Center, but some Lakers fans think he is actually one of the team’s rookies thanks to a prank carried out by the Kings’ digital staff.

In a video posted to Twitter Monday, Kings social media staffer Shahbaz Khan asked rival Lakers fans attending a Summer League game in Las Vegas about under-the-radar rookies Carter (birth name of rapper Jay-Z), and Ned Stark, a fictional character from HBO’s popular show Game of Thrones.

The most embarrassing response came from a confident Lakers fan who described himself as being a diehard since he was born. Maybe he should study up on Lakers rookies not named Lonzo Ball.

A lot has been made of how the Cavaliers are managing LeBron James this season. While he’s no longer leading the league in minutes per game, there are only 0.2 minutes separating him from Kyle Lowry in first place. That’s concerning on a number of levels, most notably because James is coming off of six straight NBA Finals appearances and has already played more minutes in his career than the likes of Charles Barkley, Steve Nash, Allen Iverson and Larry Bird.

Nick Vigil Jersey With Kevin Love now sidelined for about five more weeks, the Cavaliers basically have two options to choose from heading into the final stretch of the regular season:

As ESPN’s Zach Lowe recently said on his podcast, the latter would strengthen James’ MVP case. The former, of course, could impact James in the long-run if the Cavaliers make it to the NBA Finals for the third year in a row. We all know James can handle a ridiculous minutes load, but the Cavaliers have to ask themselves if it’s worth risking it at this stage of his career.

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Draymond Green may have had to ice his face after the Warriors’ 119-108 win over the Sixers on Monday night.

As Richaun Holmes finished off a huge alley-oop, the ball found Green’s face, and hit it — hard.

Those numbers are outrageous. However, Collins has a simple role for Gonzaga as their sixth man, and he could really help his stock by returning next season and becoming “the man.” We’ll see what happens here.

Ojeleye is a big riser this time around, as a powerful combo forward that showcases terrific defensive versatility along with a well-rounded offensive game. Not only can Ojeleye defend in a variety of situations both on the block and in switches on the perimeter, but he can also hit over 40 percent of his 3s and even create for himself off the bounce, be it in the midrange or all the way at the rim.

To pair with all of that, he’s considered an extremely hard worker. Given the way NBA teams are looking for combo forwards in order to play more versatile, perimeter-based lineups, Ojeleye will be a commodity if he decides to declare despite being 22 years old already.

In the second clip, notice where Kyle Lowry is on defense. Instead of sticking with Rozier on the cut when the Raptors hedge the initial pick-and-roll, Lowry parks himself underneath the basket to stop Thomas from getting a straight-line drive. Patrick Patterson then has to cover two players in the corner, and the Raptors panic when the Celtics start moving the ball around the perimeter following a scramble.broncos_118

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Miami is expected to sell this month, and Gordon would represent a substantial piece of that sell-off. Nightengale reported three teams have expressed interest in the speedy (32 stolen bases) leadoff man, who would be a long-term play for those clubs. (UPDATE: Heyman reports the Angels, Blue Jays and the Royals are the teams that have inqured.) Gordon three years and $37 million remaining on his contract after 2017, plus a $14 million club option ($1 million buyout) for 2021, per Cot’s Contracts. One potential drawback: age. Gordon is 29, which means he will be entering his decline phase during the latter stages of that contract.
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Darren Sproles Elite Jersey Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale may have had to take a no-decision in Saturday’s home game against the Yankees. Sale left the game with 1-0 lead in the eighth inning before the Yankees tied it in the ninth on Matt Holliday’s solo home run and then went on for a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox with three runs in the top of the 16th inning. But Sale continued his career dominance of the Yankees. He struck out 13 batters with just two walks and scattered three hits over 7 2/3 innings. Sale’s ERA against the Yankees is now 1.17 in 69 1/3 innings. After playing 16 innings on Saturday, the Yankees and Red Sox have a day-night doubleheader scheduled for Sunday.

Travis Shaw’s eighth-inning solo homer off Phillies reliever Joaquin Benoit lifted the Brewers to a 3-2 victory at Miller Park. Shaw’s go-ahead home run gave him an MLB-best 22 go-ahead RBIs this season, meaning a third of his team-high 66 RBIs have given the NL Central-leading Brewers a lead.

Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn struck out just three and gave up eight hits, but did not allow a run in 6 1/3 innings against the Pirates. Batting left-handed, Lynn even hit an RBI double in the second inning to give St. Louis a 2-0 lead en route to a 4-0 victory.

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