Browse Month by May 2018
Minnesota Vikings

The Philadelphia Eagles lost a pair of linebackers on Tuesday: one by design and one as a result of injury.

The Eagles released Mychal Kendricks, who has been the subject of trade speculation for multiple offseasons. Kendricks was seen leaving the team’s practice facility Tuesday morning.

There were ample opportunities to play Hackenberg in meaningless games in 2016 and ’17, yet the coaching staff never felt comfortable with the prospect of him leading the offense.

General Manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur each said that Apple would get a clean slate, however, and he’s set for a prominent spot in the secondary in his third NFL season. On Monday, Apple spoke to the media at Giants OTAs and said “of course” he is embarrassed about how things went last year while discussing his attempt to make the most of his chance this year.

“It’s about just putting things behind me, trying to continue to move forward, and go out here and have great energy on the field,” Apple said, via NJ.com. “I definitely feel it. The coaches have told me. I’m trying to be a better person, better player, and better teammate this year. Obviously, with the stuff that happened last year, I want to continue to work on myself. I want to communicate better, and not let certain stuff get to me. I want to continue to strive to be better every day.”

Ross said he feels “the best I’ve felt since I went into my last year of college” and that offseason work with former Bengal T.J. Houshmandzadeh has helped him get to a place where he can be more successful in his second season. If so, that will be a welcome addition to a Bengals offense that’s moving in a new direction under offensive coordinator Bill Lazor this year.

Minnesota Vikings

Reuben Foster plea hearing rescheduled for next week

49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was set for a plea hearing in Santa Clara on Monday, but it will take place next week instead.

The hearing has been set for May 8 so that the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office has more time to review new evidence provided by Foster’s former girlfriend Elissa Ennis. Foster is charged with domestic violence and forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime, but Ennis’ attorney said last week that she was injured in an altercation with another woman and not by Foster.

From that perspective, the 30,000-foot view of this draft isn’t so hot. The Bucs ranked 29th in scoring in 2014, 20th in 2015 and 18th each of the past two years. Of this group, only Mike Evans panned out. He’s a bona fide No. 1 receiver who influences coverages snap after snap and, lately, can align in multiple positions.

Newman turns 40 in September, making him the oldest active defensive player in the league.

He played the third-most snaps among the Vikings’ cornerbacks last season, 555, while seeing action in all 16 games with seven starts. Newman did have a career low in tackles and made only one interception, but he still filled a valuable role on the team.

Newman has spent the past three seasons in Minnesota, re-joining Mike Zimmer. The two were together in Dallas from 2003-06 and in Cincinnati from 2012-13.

He has the most career interceptions among active players with 42.

He reads plays well, making it hard for opponents to get him in a run-pass bind. White’s upside is limited, but he can develop into a useful nickel package defender. The Chargers cannot go wrong as long as they keep taking middle-of-the-field defenders who can actually tackle.

Minnesota Vikings

West Virginia has a gambling deal, unless it doesn’t

West Virginia often is mocked for being behind the times. When it comes to the looming proliferation of sports wagering, my home state resides on the cutting edge.

In fact, we’re so far ahead of the curve that the process has apparently gotten ahead of itself. Because the recent announcement by Governor Jim Justice of a deal that would include the state’s casinos (but absolutely, positively not the state) paying an integrity fee to the sports leagues apparently was premature.

The sports leagues have no leverage on this, and yet they somehow are on the verge of persuading West Virginia to cave. There’s no legal right to an “integrity fee” or anything else for supplying the events on which people wager. And there’s nothing the sports leagues can do from a business perspective to force states to pay, short of shutting down their sports until the states cry uncle.

So the sports leagues (NFL included, although the NFL has quietly piggybacked on the NBA and MLB) can take their “integrity fee,” and they can shove it, sideways. They already have the resources, harvested in part from stadiums that have been built in whole or in part by taxpayer money, to ensure that their games have integrity — and they have a clear incentive independent of legal wagering to ensure that their sports have integrity.

Three years ago, the NFL spent millions in a relentless persecution of the greatest quarterback in league history. All in the name of integrity.

So if the sports leagues currently have concerns about the integrity of their games, they need to use some of the billions they already make (and they’ll make even more billions via the increased interest in their sports that will come from widespread legalized gambling) to ensure that the integrity that already should exist definitely does. And the sports leagues should have the basic integrity to not try to call an effort to get money for nothing something other that what it really is.

With that, Murray didn’t have his best on the gridiron or the diamond Saturday.