Brian Hoyer shocked by struggles, Brett Favre returns to Green Bay and other NFL news

Much of talk leading up to the NFL action Sunday centered around whether the Cleveland Browns would continue with Brian Hoyer at quarterback or make the switch to first-round pick Johnny Manziel. Hoyer, once believed to have a future in Cleveland, played poorly recently, opening the door for head coach Mike Pettine to make the switch. Hoyer retained the starting job, but another poor performance triggered the debate for another week.

Hoyer completed less than 50 percent of his passes for 140 yards. Worse, he tossed two interceptions, giving him seven total in his last three games against zero touchdowns. After the game, Hoyer relayed to the Cleveland Plain Dealer how surreal the downward turn in his performance has felt.

“It’s crazy how fast things change,” Hoyer said. “Four or five weeks ago, we were talking about contract talks, and now, we’re talking about if I’m even going to be staying here.”

Hoyer certainly has reason to wonder where his future lies. If Manziel provides any kind of spark to the offense, the Browns will likely turn the page on Hoyer for good.

Since leaving the Green Bay Packers in 2008, Brett Favre has only visited the city twice. In each instance, he was a member of the rival Minnesota Vikings and was largely booed by those in attendance. While some animosity remains since his retirement, the time for reconciliation with the franchise is drawing near. Favre took another step towards that eventuality Monday by appearing at a charity event in Green Bay.

Another team sliding down the rankings is San Francisco. The 49ers dropped their second game in as many weeks, this time against a woeful Oakland Raiders team on Sunday. Derek Carr carved up San Francisco’s defense, completing 78.6 percent of his passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns.
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Rex and Rob Ryan sighting at Yankees spring training

Rex and Rob Ryan, two men with wide-open schedules and paychecks that continue to roll in, visited New York Yankees training camp on Friday in Tampa. The photographic evidence, with proof of Rex’s enduring love of novelty T-shirts.

Robert Griffin III to Seattle: The Browns are a strong candidate to part ways with RGIII before March 11, when the injury-prone arm is due a $750,000 roster bonus. I simply refuse to believe that Hue Jackson will go into next season with Griffin ticketed for a major role. Once free, Griffin will struggle to find any promise of a starting job, but I’m booking the supernova-turned-project for a low-cost look-see with the ‘Hawks.

Colin Kaepernick lands in La-La: If you’re the Niners, do you pay Kaepernick $16.9 million in salary and bonuses after trading for CousinsNo way. I’d look at a team like the Rams, who need an affordable veteran option in place while coach Sean McVay aims to grow second-year passer Jared Goff.
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Nick Foles to the Titans: What kind of a team would try to sell its fan base on Foles as a starterNobody looking to sell tickets. Outside of landing with a squad like the Jets, Foles makes sense as a backup forevermore. With Kansas City expected to decline his option, a gig with the Titans fits. The aging Matt Cassel is a free agent, leaving just trick-shot artist Alex Tanney behind on-the-mend starter Marcus Mariota.
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Brian Hoyer to the Patriots: Hoyer’s voyage Beyond Foxborough was an enjoyable spree, but he’s hardly starting material. Why not chill back at home base while Tom Brady does all the workThe Pats love Jacoby Brissett, but adding an insurance policy couldn’t hurt.

Adrian Peterson unsure of Vikings return

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson doesn’t know how he feels about a return to the team that drafted him. In an interview with ESPN, Peterson said he was “still uneasy” about going back to the Vikings after his 2014 suspension, especially considering his feeling that the organization stood idly when it had the power to stick up for him.
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A’Shawn Robinson Elite Jersey “There were people (in the organization) that I trusted, who knew exactly what was said, that weren’t heard from.” in the decision-making process. “They weren’t able to do anything about it,” he said via Vikings reporter Bob Goessling.

After the Vikings worked jointly with the NFL to put him on the commissioner’s exempt list stemming from a Nov. 4 no contest plea to charges of reckless injury to his 4-year-old son, Peterson said he felt “ambushed” after the decision to suspend him for all but one game in the 2014 season. The former All-Pro finished with just 21 carries and one start while watching his team struggle and miss the playoffs with a 6-9 record.

The project would be financed with private funding and will move forward jointly with the economic coalition “Carson2gether.” On Friday, a news conference will bear the official announcement near the site.

The 168-acre area sits on a former landfill that has been the subject of recent cleanup efforts. The NFL has has been well aware of the valuable space, attempting to purchase it on at least three separate occasions, per The Times.

Both teams are dealing with significant barriers to get a stadium constructed on site at their current homes. In San Diego, mayor Kevin Faulconer has assembled a task force with the aim of putting together a viable proposal that all stakeholders can be happy with. The challenge there is that over nearly 14 years, seven mayors and nine proposals, the city hasn’t been able to put together a plan that satisfied all parties.

Super Bowl 2016 coin toss prop bet: Results for the opening coin toss

The first “football decision” of Super Bowl 49 involves one team calling the coin toss. Given that there are two potential outcomes, Super Bowl prop betting allows for multiple wagers on the toss. You can bet if it will land on heads or tails, which team will win the coin toss, if the team making the call will win the coin toss, and if the coin toss winner will win the game.

Andre Ellington Kids Jersey We have results on the first three wagers, and will update this article once the winner of the game has been determined. The coin landed on TAILS. The Patriots called heads and lost the coin toss.

Manning was noncommittal at the Super Bowl breakfast Friday, but he did tell The Denver Post he is “not interested” in letting his decision take longer than necessary. The Post also reported last month that Manning is expected to return next season.

Kids Dallas Cowboys Jersey The most likely reason Manning has yet to announce is his health. He played through a torn right quad during the final stretch of the season which led to a significant downturn in his performance, including in a playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts. The injury also led to Manning opting to not participate in the Pro Bowl.

Even if Manning chooses to not make a decision next week, he will have one no later than March 9, when his $19 million salary for next season becomes fully guaranteed. Accordingly, the team will have to move on Manning before that clause is activated.

Feb. 28, 2014: St. Louis Blues acquire goalie Ryan Miller and forward Steve Ott from the Buffalo Sabres for goalie Jaroslav Halak, forward Chris Stewart, prospect William Carrier, a first-round pick and a third-round pick.

Marlins president David Samson, who spoke eloquently about Fernandez the morning of his death

Late Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez was voted the NL Comeback Player of the Year by his peers in the annual Players Choice Awards of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Marlins president David Samson, who spoke eloquently about Fernandez the morning of his death, feels lasting affection for Fernandez, and anger. Samson recalled seeing the toxicology details for the first time and said he “had an idea of what would be in there, because when you’re on a boat at high speed at 3 in the morning — no matter who’s driving — the assumption is there’s alcohol involved.”

“If you’re referring to the other substances, I was blown away. My first [reaction was]: ‘Is it traces? Is it a lot? Is it true?’ And then I got distracted from myself and said, ‘It doesn’t matter. He’s still never coming back.’ And all of that probably happened in 10 seconds.”

There’s also the matter of financial security. NFL players don’t have a long shelf life, and injuries can derail an entire career in the blink of an eye. Taking advantage of breakout seasons and nailing down guaranteed money for multiple years is a huge priority, especially when players are in the middle of their prime.

The franchise tag doesn’t afford them that opportunity — sure, they get a huge salary, but it’s for just one year, and who knows what happens in that one year. Even if they get through the season healthy and still playing well, they have to do this all over again in the offseason, except they’re a year older. It’s a vicious cycle.

So what can players do if they’re tagged?

“I saw a lot of moving parts in his swing that aren’t always there when he’s going good,” says the NL exec. “He was over-rotating and trying to create power instead of staying compact and working through.”

Jeffery is in the prime of his career

The only franchise-tag candidate is wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. The Bears used the tag on Jeffery last season, and barring the completion of a long-term deal, they could apply the tag again to prevent Jeffery from testing free agency. However, Jeffery’s 2017 salary-cap number would be in excess of $17 million. Still, Jeffery is in the prime of his career. He has endured some well-documented setbacks (injuries and suspension) the past two seasons, but Jeffery is an upper-echelon player at his position. If the Bears aren’t ready to commit to a lavish multiyear agreement, then the franchise tag may be their only hope of keeping Jeffery in town for one more year.

Because the franchise tag figure is projected to be in the $14.5-15 million range, the transition tag would be a more affordable fallback option (projected to be in the $11 million range) for the team while it worked toward a potential long-term deal with Hightower. The transition tag would give the Patriots the right of first refusal on any contract Hightower might receive in free agency, thus providing the club some leverage.
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The potential issue, though, is that the team would be allowing another club to dictate terms of a contract it would be absorbing. Nonetheless, if the Patriots feel confident they are in position to match any offer — and feel the best strategic approach is to let the market dictate what Hightower ultimately receives — this could be the team’s best course of action.

In a vacuum, it’s easy to see that Johnson isn’t worth a second franchise tag; not when you consider that only one cornerback, Darrelle Revis, made more than $16 million on a base salary last year.
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Using the tag would essentially ensure his return in 2017 (it’s hard to imagine a team signing him to an offer sheet and giving up draft-pick compensation if the Patriots don’t match), which should help the defense continue to make positive strides after its strong finish to the 2016 season.

the Heat are one of a handful of teams to have shown interest in acquiring Serge Ibaka from Orlando

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We should be lasered in on the Jahlil Okafor trade saga. Or the Sixers’ big win Saturday night over Miami to bring the Heat’s thoroughly unforeseen 13-game unbeaten run ?to a halt. But you know us. It’s always going to be tough for us to get through one of these comments without dissecting the Joel Embiid latest. And it comes from our pal Adam Reisinger, who reminds us that the fewest games total ever registered by a Rookie of the Year ?is Patrick Ewing’s 50 games in 1985-86. Embiid, who’s ailing anew, has played 31 games to date. The Sixers have 26 games left on their schedule after the All-Star break, but realistically only 21 of those will be available to Embiid when you factor in Philly’s five remaining back-to-backs. Gonna be close!
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Memphis Grizzlies: Veteran power forward Brandan Wright has been a welcome addition to the Grizzlies’ rotation, providing scoring, rebounding and shot-blocking off the bench since returning from an ankle injury. Now 29, Wright never turned into the player that some hoped he’d be when the Warriors traded fan favorite Jason Richardson to acquire him on draft day in 2007, but if he gets close to 20 minutes a night he’s someone to consider streaming into your lineup if/when you’re looking for blocks.

Miami Heat: According to Stein, the Heat are one of a handful of teams to have shown interest in acquiring Serge Ibaka from Orlando. Miami has a -2.2 PER at power forward this season, per 82games.com, and Ibaka would provide a second frontcourt shot-blocker alongside Hassan Whiteside, which would certainly make for entertaining defense.

Knicks fans peppered the arena on Friday with chants of “We want Oakley” and “Free Charles Oakley.” Dolan said that the organization ejected Oakley because he was being verbally abusive to security. Oakley was charged with three misdemeanor counts of assault for striking Madison Square Garden security and one misdemeanor charge of trespassing.

Hockey players prepare for ¡®Beauty and the Beast¡¯ night by dancing to the theme song

Hockey players, surprise, are still quite graceful on ice when not playing their sport. We learned that lesson when four players from the South Carolina Stingrays in the ECHL recreated the iconic Mean Girls Christmas dance.

We have more evidence of hockey player dancing shenanigans thanks to the Toledo Walleyes, also of the ECHL. On Wednesday, in preparation for the team¡¯s Beauty and the Beast night, goaltender Jeff Lerg and teammate Jean-Paul LaFontaine skated to the title song from the Disney classic.

Yes, it¡¯s as delightful as it sounds.

Today’s #WalleyeWednesday featured a dance between @Ah_LaFontaine12 and @jlerg1, set to ‘Tale as Old as Time’ from ‘Beauty & the Beast.’

Honestly they could give Emma Watson and Dan Stevens a run for their money in the live-action Disney remake due out next month. Well done, Jeff and Jean-Paul.

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I¡¯m honored to have had the opportunity to work with him to nurture and grow our businesses, but mostly, I¡¯m grateful to have called him my Dad, and I know my siblings feel the same.¡±

Tom Brady told Gisele ‘too bad, babe’ when she wanted him to retire after Super Bowl 51

Leading up to the Super Bowl, you could throw down a prop bet on whether Tom Brady would retire after the game. On Monday, the Patriots quarterback told the world that was a sucker’s bet.

“If it was up to my wife, she would have me retire today,” Brady told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “She told me that last night three times. And I said, ‘Too bad, babe. I’m having too much fun right now.’ You know, I feel like I can still do it, and if you love what you do and you’re capable of doing it, then, I mean, I’d be so bored if I wasn’t going out there, knowing that I could still do it. So, I’m going to work hard to be ready to go and I still plan on playing for a long time.”

Brady’s 2016 season was one of his finest. He finished second in the league’s MVP voting despite missing the first four games of the year thanks to a dubious suspension handed down by the league. When he returned, he led New England to a 11-1 regular season campaign while setting an NFL record for best touchdown-to-interception ratio for a season (28:2).

“Basic reason for me is I don’t feel accepted in the White House,” McCourty told TIME Monday. “With the president having so many strong opinions and prejudices I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won’t.”

Hightower’s reasoning is apparently much less politically motivated and he also didn’t go in 2014 when Barack Obama was in office.

Patriots running back James White and defensive end Rob Ninkovich both said they haven’t decided yet if they’ll make the trip.

Super Bowl 2017 halftime show: TV schedule and performers

The best part of Super Bowl LI¡¯s halftime show? There will be absolutely zero Coldplay involved.
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Sunday¡¯s extravaganza will eschew the typical tradition of rolling out a trio acts, instead focusing on a singular performer and her sidekick. LI¡¯s headliner? Lady Gaga.

The Fame Monster artist was originally rumored to be flying solo, one year after Beyonce, Coldplay, and Bruno Mars choked the field at Levi¡¯s Stadium and two since Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz, and Missy Elliott teamed up for an eclectic performance that catapulted Left Shark into the public consciousness. Instead, she¡¯ll team up with San Francisco¡¯s favorite nonagenarian ¡ª the legendary Tony Bennett ¡ª who will contribute a brief video introduction to help kick off the event.

Lady Gaga, never one to avoid spectacle, will have to step up her game Sunday. She¡¯ll be the focus of more than 72,000 live fans and hundreds of millions more across the globe on television. The Grammy-winning chanteuse has some grand plans in store for her performance; reports swirled midway through January she wanted to find a way to sing from the retractable roof of NRG Stadium.

Earlier this week on Mix 104.1¡¯s Karson & Kennedy, the 30-year-old singer revealed that the idea came from her sister, who said ¡°I know, let¡¯s suspend you in the air!¡± However, Lady Gaga stopped short of confirming whether she would open the show on the roof.

Instead, the Patriots got the ball back with 3:30 remaining. They needed only 2:30 to drive 91 yards for a touchdown and game-tying two-point conversion against the Falcons’ exhausted defense.
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That’s just one of many hotspots where the Falcons are vulnerable to criticism. They led by 25 points in the third quarter and by 19 points with less than 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and they lost. It was an epic, historic collapse that will never be forgotten.