Last May, Harper and the Nats agreed to a $21.65 million deal for the 2018 season that was the largest one-year pact ever given to an arbitration-eligible player.

That’s a lot of pressure on a player whose entire professional baseball experience consists of 126 minor league games split between Class A and Class A Advanced teams in 2017. Tebow said Alderson’s prediction was nice, but he’s not thinking about anything other than what he needs to do to improve.

My goal isn’t about what’s going to happen one day, Tebow said. My goal is to focus on this day and our outfield work, my training session, getting to know all the new coaches, and working as hard as I can. I think one of the important things about being an athlete is being able to lock in and have tunnel vision because I can’t worry about one day if I’m going to play in the bigs or not.

I got into this because I love it. I’m passionate about it, and I think for me it’s being able to lock in and have tunnel vision regardless of what team I’m on wherever they decide to put me.

But when Thursday’s action tipped off, that narrative headed for the dumpster. For starters, the Purdue Boilermakers went off the rails, losing at 11-16 Wisconsin Badgers — the Boilers’ third defeat in succession. That means the Auburn Tigers are now this projection’s fourth No. 1 seed.

Note: Quality win data (the ratio in parentheses, see Jan. 26 post for more info) and RPI information are courtesy WarrenNolan.com and accurate as of the morning of Feb. 16, 2018 and only reflect games against Division I opponents.

I will not be discussing anything relative to 2019 at all, Harper said, wearing a Nats cap backward and reading prepared opening remarks from his phone. I’m focused on this year. I’m focused on winning and playing hard like every single year. So if you guys have any questions about anything after 2018, you can call [agent] Scott [Boras] and he can answer you guys. … If you guys do talk anything about that, then I’ll be walking right out the door.

The former No. 1 overall pick in 2010, Harper debuted in 2012 at the age of 19. In 2015, he won the National League’s Most Valuable Player award, becoming the youngest player ever to be voted a unanimous MVP, after a season in which he hit .330 and led the NL with 42 home runs. Despite a down season in 2016, he returned to form last year and was considered an MVP front-runner before suffering a gruesome knee injury in mid-August that all but ended his regular season.

When that contract expires in November, the 25-year old superstar is widely expected to ink a historic deal as the headliner of a star-studded free-agent class that includes Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado and Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson. That is, if the Nationals aren’t able to sign Harper to a long-term extension before then.

The season is coming unraveled for the Raiders.

They have two straight losses since a 2-0 start and now they’ll be without QB Derek Carr for an estimated two to six weeks because of a transverse process fracture in his back.

The switch to rookie Mitchell Trubisky as the starter at QB is the correct move. The time is right. But the early change underscores how misguided the Bears’ offseason moves at QB were, signing Mike Glennon to a significant contract and then trading up in the draft to land Trubisky. They needed to do one or the other, not both. Now the Bears must hope that Trubisky has the same sort of early success that Deshaun Watson is experiencing with the Texans.

Let’s not hear anything more about how “improved” the Browns’ roster is this season. They played at home against the previously winless Bengals and were down, 31-0, before a late, cosmetic TD. This is not on Coach Hue Jackson.

The Colts are in a great spot at No. 3. Their three biggest needs are offensive tackle, edge rusher and running back, and they have three high-end prospects to choose from here. Offensive tackle would be my pick, as keeping Andrew Luck healthy is more important than giving him rushing support or defensive help.

The Browns have done a great job building their defense in recent drafts, but after adding Darnold first overall this year, getting an elite running talent and a culture-changing person can complete their offense with awesome young players.

Each week, national NFL writer Mark Maske will provide his ranking of the league’s 32 teams. This week, Kansas City holds on to the top spot after maintaining the league’s only unbeaten mark with a convincing Sunday night win over the Texans in Houston. Nipping at the Chiefs’ heels are the Green Bay Packers, who broke more Dallas Cowboys hearts thanks to another sensational last-minute comeback authored by Aaron Rodgers. Things get a little muddy thereafter, with plenty of solid squads filling out the top 10.

With 20 starts heading into his senior season, Thomas was one of the leaders on Miami’s defense, a unit that has been pivotal in the team’s success.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers called for the message to be redirected because many were interpreting it as directed at the military.

Windhorst: They do, but I’m not going to say “fact” like I am predicting the upset. The Warriors’ second unit is a weakness, especially offensively. Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston are not having good seasons, and Draymond Green has been struggling shooting. So if the Rockets hit on all cylinders and force the Warriors to score nonstop for 48 minutes, I could see Houston being able to give Golden State issues. But four out of seven? Not ready to say that.

Flacco capped his best statistical season in Baltimore by playing one of the best games of his career in Super Bowl 47 — especially impressive considering the 49ers sent six of their 11 defensive starters to the Pro Bowl and had the league’s second-ranked scoring defense (17.1 points per game) and fourth-ranked pass defense (200.2 yards per game).

Aaron Rodgers was carted off the field in the first quarter after what the Green Bay Packers said was a broken collarbone, an injury that the team fears could cost him the rest of what was shaping up to be a golden season for the quarterback.

The injury is similar to one that kept Rodgers out for seven games during the 2013 season; this time, however, it is to his right throwing shoulder.

Rodgers was sacked by Anthony Barr as he rolled out of the pocket, driven to the ground with his arm bracing his fall. He left the game immediately, walking off the field, and then was evaluated in the tent before being carted into the locker room. His right arm was immobile and he traded a hand slap with backup quarterback Brett Hundley with his left hand.

The first game of the NFL’s fourth week brought more demonstrations during the national anthem when players for the Packers and Bears, as well as some fans at Green Bay’s Lambeau Stadium, stood and linked arms. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his team had called on their home supporters to join them in a display of “unity and love” before a Thursday night game broadcast to a national television audience.