What are the Raiders getting in Nelson?

Suh, though, simply wasn’t able to take Miami to the heights expected upon his arrival. The times Suh truly took over a game and looked unblockable were few and far between.

Suh wasn’t even the NFL’s best defensive tackle during his Dolphins run. Aaron Donald of the Rams has proven far more disruptive in the same time span while playing on a much cheaper rookie contract.

It’s also a new general manager in Green Bay, and it stands to reason he wants to get the team a bit younger.

Nelson did struggle last season, playing in 15 games but only catching 53 passes for 482 yards and six touchdowns.

That was well south of his 2016 production, coming off an ACL injury, when he had 97 receptions for 1,257 yards and 14 touchdowns.

It’s worth noting that Nelson’s 2017 production hinged on the health of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

In Weeks 1 through 6, before Rodgers was hurt, Nelson averaged 1.48 yards per route run.

After Rodgers went down, he averaged 0.62 yards per route run, according to Pro Football Focus.

Minnesota put itself in a position to make this move through shrewd salary-cap management that yielded $53 million in space heading into the offseason (Vikings executive Rob Brzezinski, take a bow). Almost every key player is already under contract through at least this season, and prized running back Dalvin Cook is set to return after a knee injury prematurely ended his rookie campaign.

Spielman must now hope signing Cousins won’t lead to the Vikings suffering the same fate as Captain Ahab for both the short and long term. Minnesota might be unable to re-sign standout players in the future because Cousins is consuming so much cap space. That makes the margin of error even smaller in upcoming Vikings drafts.

The Jones fracture is going to end up dictating Watkins’ long-term success, and wideouts haven’t always been able to get past their foot issues.

Julian Edelman and Julio Jones were both able to recover from a broken foot and return to their previous level of play.

Marcus Gilchrist reaches agreement with Raiders

This week, the Raiders have signed one tight end and re-signed another. They’ve added a former Pro Bowl wide receiver and former Pro Bowl running back. For good measure, they’ve picked up a fullback who specializes on special teams.

Of course, they haven’t forgotten about their defense.

But a handful of higher-ups representing teams in the running for Mayfield did make it to the indoor football facilities on the OU campus, including Broncos general manager John Elway, senior personnel advisor Gary Kubiak and head coach Vance Joseph. Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan was in attendance, as well as Giants offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Shula and Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, both of whom met privately with Mayfield at some point during the week.

Yes, Mayfield threw the football (against air, without a defense), and we’ll get to that. But the biggest happenings were behind the scenes. Whisenhunt was part of a Chargers contingent that hosted Mayfield for lunch on Tuesday at the QB’s favorite local restaurant, Charleston’s, a cozy spot serving American fare about three-and-a-half miles west of campus. Mayfield had been provided a list of plays and concepts and was asked to go over the package with the Chargers staff, as well as explain elements of coach Lincoln Riley’s Oklahoma offense. The Browns, Saints and Jets are among the teams planning to hold private workouts for Mayfield in Norman over the next two weeks, and he has newly scheduled visits to Denver and Arizona.

Jumping into the Colts’ slot at No. 3 would ensure the Bills get a shot at a top quarterback. While Buffalo has several holes to fill, several key starters return from last year’s playoff team including offensive standouts like LeSean McCoy and a hopefully healthy Kelvin Benjamin. Picking up a rookie quarterback will give the Bills an inexpensive option that allows them to spend more freely on free agents as well, which should include adding some much-needed weapons to an offense where no wide receiver had more than 27 catches.

Grade for Browns: B+ Kizer needed a change of scenery after his disastrous rookie season, and Browns general manager John Dorsey might have found a new free safety by trading for a struggling cornerback in Randall.

Mike Pouncey to be released by Dolphins

That didn’t stop them from signing Sammy Watkins, whom many considered the best wide receiver on the free agent market. Though Watkins has been somewhat of a disappointment during his career, perhaps Andy Reid can maximize his talent If Mahomes is as good as advertised, Kansas City could have one of the most dangerous offenses in football. On the other side of the ball, the Chiefs acquired former Redskins cornerback Kendall Fuller in the Alex Smith trade.

He may have been an underrated piece in the Smith deal, but he had four interceptions last season and should help replace Marcus Peters. They weren’t done there, as they also signed one of the best free agent linebackers available in Anthony Hitchens.

Claiborne started 15 games for the Jets last season, helping lead a young secondary that improved substantially. In 2018, he’ll be playing alongside former Ram Trumaine Johnson, who agreed to terms with the Jets on a five-year, $72.5 million deal ($34 million guaranteed) earlier this week.

In January, after the regular season, Claiborne indicated his desire to come back to New York.

GM Ryan Pace sent a clear message that the NFL’s worst passing attack wouldn’t stand pat. Now, second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has a cadre of new weapons with a No. 1 receiver in Robinson, an emerging tight end in Trey Burton and a slot standout in Taylor Gabriel.

Thanks in part to Sammy Watkins’ somewhat surprising departure, Austin is instead sticking around. The wideout has agreed to restructure his contract with the Rams, which has four years remaining on it, according to the Los Angeles Daily News’ Vincent Bonsignore.

The Raiders family was saddened to learn of the passing of New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson. Mr. Benson was an instrumental influence on the league’s growth upon purchasing the Saints in 1985 and his leadership was essential to New Orleans becoming a frequent host for the Super Bowl. His dedication to community and charitable endeavors will continue to live on in New Orleans and beyond. The Raider Nation’s thoughts and prayers are with Gayle Benson and the Benson family at this time.

Ngata, ranked No. 74 on NFL.com’s Top 101 Free Agents of 2018 list, adds to the Eagles’ embarrassment of riches on the defensive line. The 34-year-old joins Fletcher Cox, Michael Bennett, Brandon Graham, Timmy Jernigan, Derek Barnett, Chris Long and Vinny Curry (until he gets traded or released).

How the 2017 Eagles finally built their ‘dream team’ through free agency

Now the Eagles are almost $10 million over the salary cap. They have to be under the cap by the time the new league year begins Wednesday, so something’s got to give. Luckily for Philadelphia, Howie Roseman was ready for this.

“We had anticipated what was going to go on in this offseason certainly last year,” Roseman said at the NFL Combine. “Some of the moves we made were with that in mind. From our perspective, we attempted to look at the free agent classes over a two-year period and felt like we would try to balance where our resources would go.”

It’s good that the Eagles thought ahead, but the changes they’ll have to make to this roster will still be felt. They’ve already traded away Torrey Smith and Marcus Johnson and brought in Michael Bennett and cornerback Daryl Worley.

It’s unlikely that the Eagles will be able to hold on to Trey Burton, starting inside linebacker Nigel Bradham, and Blount, all of whom could walk in free agency. They will likely cut or trade defensive end Vinny Curry. They’re also saddled with a tough decision to make about Foles, who won them a Super Bowl but isn’t going to take the starting role from Wentz. How does Roseman plan to accomplish that?

“Our intention is to find creative ways to do that,” he said at the combine.

The Eagles don’t have the cap space to follow the exact blueprint they used in 2017, but their overall goal is still the same: using free agency to jump-start a path to the Super Bowl.

Playing as a strongside linebacker in New York, Kennard did enough as a blitzer to rack up 9.5 sacks over his four seasons with the Giants.

He wasn’t a particularly active run defender, although the Giants were an excellent run defense after importing Damon Harrison in 2016.

The USC product’s rookie season — when he generated 4.5 sacks and five tackles for loss despite starting just six games — might have been his most productive campaign.

It’s possible that Kennard projects better as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but as Patricia noted earlier this month, the Lions will be spending the vast majority of their time in their sub packages anyway.

More likely, Detroit will send Kennard after the quarterback more frequently than the Giants did and will expect him to contribute on early downs.

The issue with the New England comparison is that Bill Belichick really doesn’t value players at this position all that much.

MLB 2018: Mariners’ contention window could close after this season

It’s been more than four years since Robinson Cano first put on a Seattle uniform, and more than two since Jerry Dipoto took over as general manager of the Mariners.

Dipoto was supposed to bring a radically different school of thought to the Mariners’ front office and lead the team to success. Cano, signed by predecessor Jack Zduriendcik, was supposed to spearhead a push for relevancy, backed by Felix Hernandez, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager.

Although the Vikings have not made any offer to Cousins yet, there’s “mutual interest,” according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

The Jets can outbid the Vikings, but they’re worried that the Vikings will land Cousins anyway because he wants to play in Minnesota, per SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano.

Adam Schefter said the Vikings were one of the four finalists to land Cousins.

The Vikings don’t plan to apply the franchise tag to Case Keenum, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Rapoport and his colleague Mike Garafolo both reported that the Vikings are expected to be in on Kirk Cousins once legal tampering begins.

No one should expect Kaepernick to get a call, though, for the same reasons (good and bad, right and wrong, true and false) that kept him out of the NFL in 2017, and for another that wasn’t a factor last offseason. Kaepernick’s collusion grievance against the league, filed in October, is still in play.

Yahoo! Sports reported last month that Kaepernick’s attorneys had requested depositions from several owners, team and league executives and even commissioner Roger Goodell’s wife, Jane. With discovery still going on, no timetable is set for when the arbitrator can hear the case.

It’s not impossible or impermissible for a team to sign or even negotiate with Kaepernick while the grievance is in play … but it’s impractical and unlikely. Kaepernick could receive damages lost salary from last season and, conceivably, this season if he wins the case.

Hopkins’ new pact came in at $49 million over three years.

The difference between the three-year money and the difference between those fifth-year options is essentially identical, but even so, it’s a surprise that Evans and his representation weren’t able to get more given the 6.1 percent rise in the salary cap over last season.

The Giants and the NFL acknowledged only that they know of their existence.

ESPN has been unable to confirm where or when the videos were filmed.

“We’re aware of the video, but we don’t have any comment beyond that,” a Giants team spokesman said via email Friday night.

The NFL, through a spokesman, also declined to comment further.

Hawkins said no receiver in the NFL plays as hard as Landry.

Thomas called the trade for Randall “fantastic” and said it would be good for Kizer to go to Green Bay.

“I really think Kizer has a future in this league, but he needs some time to learn and grow,” Thomas said. “The situation in Green Bay is going to be so much better than it is if he would’ve stayed in Cleveland. For Kizer, this is a great trade. For the Browns, it’s a great trade.”

Hawkins and Thomas both said that Shelton would be a better fit in the 3-4 defense with New England than in Gregg Williams’ 4-3 defense in Cleveland.

The Giants (3-13) badly missed their top receiver after he fractured his ankle during a Week 5 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. They finished 31st in the NFL, averaging 15.4 points per game.

Beckham has reached the Pro Bowl and set numerous records in his first three professional seasons.

About a month ago, Thomas said the rehab for the torn triceps tendon that ended his 2016 season and his consecutive snap streak at 10,363 was going well.

In January, Thomas told WKYC-Channel 3 in Cleveland that he feels he’s still playing at a high level and he loves the game. But he has struggled with knee and shoulder issues during the past few years to the point that he only practices one day per week.

Female umpire Jen Pawol gets first taste of MLB action

Jen Pawol, one of only two women umpiring in MLB-affiliated professional baseball, was behind the plate Thursday in the Tigers’ 6-1 exhibition win over Division II Florida Southern in Lakeland, Fla., earning praise from Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire and minimal abuse from either team.

The native of New York state says she doesn’t know yet where she’ll be assigned this season, but presumably she’ll work some Grapefruit League games this spring.

“I’m the luckiest woman in the world,” she said. “I get to take the field every day with the best men the world. I am so thankful for the opportunity.”

Behind Ohtani, Tyler Skaggs is sort of a question mark, but Matt Shoemaker has a few successful seasons under his belt. After a season marred by injury in 2017, the hope for the Angels is that Shoemaker can pitch like he did in 2014 and 2016 in particular, when he kept his ERA well under 4.00. But the beauty of having Ohtani in the rotation is that the Angels will not need to lean so heavily on pitchers like Skaggs or Shoemaker.

Finally, once-in-a-generation talent Mike Trout missed a large chunk of last season thanks to a torn ligament in his left thumb, and while it’s not necessarily likely that a full year of Trout would have put the Angels in the 2017 playoffs, losing him for nearly 50 games didn’t help. Trout, at only 26, is garishly talented and was worth nearly 7 WAR in his abbreviated season last year, so having him return to the lineup almost every day in 2018 only bolsters the Angels’ case for making the playoffs.

The road to October won’t necessarily be easier for the Angels this season, but thanks to the additions of Ohtani and a few veterans, they are better equipped to traverse it.

MLBPA files grievance against Pirates, A’s, Marlins and Rays

The Major League Baseball Players Association filed a grievance to the MLB against four teams to find out why some teams aren’t spending more money.

According to a report from the Tampa Bay Times, the union is claiming the teams in question — the A’s, Marlins, Pirates and Rays — failed to comply with rules on how they spend the revenue-sharing money during the 2017 season and the current offseason.

“We also have made significant investments in scouting, signing amateur players, our player development system and our baseball facilities. It is regrettable and that the MLBPA would react to a free agent market that is apparently not to its liking by filing a frivolous grievance against a Club that has continued to invest heavily in all areas of its Baseball Operations notwithstanding steadily diminishing revenue sharing receipts.”

MLB.com reported Sunday that the Red Sox are not worried about Martinez’s current health, but the exam revealed a problem that might arise down the road. The 30-year-old outfielder suffered a sprained ligament in his foot last year, and battled an elbow injury the season before. He’s missed 85 games the past two seasons.

The Boston Globe had a similar take on the situation Saturday, noting that the Red Sox were just looking to protect themselves with terms of the contract, and that Martinez is expected to join the club soon.

Martinez hit 45 home runs, with a 1.066 OPS, last season between the Tigers and Diamondbacks.

The current way to make sure a sign isn’t stolen is for the catcher to jog out to the mound and, with his glove covering his mouth, talk to the pitcher. These mound visits happen over and over during the season, especially during the biggest moments in the postseason. These trips aren’t the only reason postseason games last forever, of course, but they certainly are a contributing factor.

Rodgers-Cromartie joins a slew of top-to-mid tier cornerbacks in the free agency pool.

The move comes one day after NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported DRC was asked by the new Giants regime to take a “significant pay cut” from his $6.5 million salary for the 2018 season. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport added that Rodgers-Cromartie was also asked to move to safety, but the corner will instead test the open market as an outside cornerback.

Former Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman spent just one day on the market before signing an incentive-laden deal with the San Francisco 49ers . Sans Sherman, Malcolm Butler , Trumaine Johnson , Bashaud Breeland , E.J. Gaines , Brent Grimes , Morris Claiborne and Prince Amukamara lead this season’s free-agent cornerback class. Of those top talents, the 31-year-old?DRC is older than all of them but Grimes.

What does this mean for the Bills? : It wasn’t difficult to see Taylor’s departure coming. He was a candidate to be cut last spring before restructuring his contract with the team. The writing on the wall got even darker when he was benched for Peterman in Week 11 despite a 5-4 record. While Taylor would return to mark 14 starts on the season and help get the Bills to the playoffs for the first time since 1999, the franchise’s lack of faith in him meant his days in New York were numbered.

The Chargers have great edge?rushers in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, plus?a shutdown corner anchoring their secondary in Casey Hayward. Their 3-4 defense, however, is one speedy,?playmaking linebacker away from being truly elite. Evans?would be a huge?asset against?the pass, both in coverage and in blitz packages.

The Seahawks need to end their nightmare of duct-taping the offensive line and trying to solve problems by?moving players around. McGlinchey’s athleticism will allow him to be a rock of a right tackle for the long haul.

Stephen Curry to skip 3-point shootout during All-Star Weekend

Stephen Curry always told himself he’d participate in the NBA’s 3-point shootout until he won the event.

That happened in 2015. After losing the event to teammate Klay Thompson in 2016, Curry skipped last year. He told ESPN Friday he won’t participate this year, either.

“I told myself I was going to do it until I won,” Curry told the San Jose Mercury News last year. “Then I won. Then I had to defend. And then Klay beat me. So it’s a little bit of an internal battle.

Laine opened the scoring by putting a wrist shot past Lundqvist at 19:05 of the first period. He added on midway through the second period when he snapped off another wrist shot, then scored into an empty net with 34 seconds left.

Laine, the third overall pick of the 2016 draft, scored 36 goals in his rookie season. He leads the NHL in goals since entering the league with 74. Ovechkin and Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov each have 73.

Considering its talent, Milwaukee (24-22) has largely been considered an underachieving team this season. Bucks general manager Jon Horst has been clear that the franchise’s ultimate goal is to compete for championships.

Horst added that Prunty “has the knowledge and experience, along with the respect of our players and staff, to get the job done.” Prunty has spent 22 seasons around the NBA and has served as the head coach of Great Britain’s men’s national team.

In addition to the Prunty announcement, the Bucks announced the addition of Vin Baker to their coaching staff. Baker is a familiar face in Milwaukee; he spent the first four seasons of his NBA playing career there and played in three All-Star games as a Buck. More recently, Baker was a member of the Bucks’ broadcast team and will be leaving the broadcast booth for the bench.

MORE: With Jason Kidd out, Bucks could target these 10 coaching candidates

The Bucks, who currently hold the Eastern Conference’s eighth seed, plan to conduct a thorough coaching search in the offseason.