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Eagles News: Dan Orlovsky says “a lot of people feel that Carson Wentz feels betrayed” – Bleeding Green Nation

https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2020/12/18/22188506/eagles-news-dan-orlovsky-people-feel-carson-wentz-feels-betrayed-nfl-trade-rumors-quarterback-reich

Eagles News: Dan Orlovsky says “a lot of people feel that Carson Wentz feels betrayed” - Bleeding Green Nation

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links …

Orlovsky: ‘Built up animosity’ between Carson Wentz and the Eagles – 94WIP
Speaking on the Pat McAfee show, Orlovsky says there’s a lot of “built up animosity” between Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles’ organization. “I like playing of the game of like, the unrealistic stuff. Let’s say he can’t be in Philly, I know the money and the picks and all of that stuff,” Orlovsky said. “I can 100 percent see him in Indy at the top of the list.” “A lot of people think there’s a lot of built up animosity between him and the organization in Philly. I think a lot of people think he misses Frank Reich as a human more than just a play caller. I think a lot of people feel that Carson Wentz feels betrayed and the only person in the NFL that he trusts is Frank Reich.”

Report: Jeffrey Lurie hasn’t even considered firing Howie Roseman – BGN
“One thing that definitely isn’t hanging in the balance, though, much to the chagrin of many Eagles fans, is the future of the general manager, Howie Roseman. Sources close to owner Jeffrey Lurie said that while no decision has been reached on whether Pederson will be back for a sixth season, Roseman’s return never has been in doubt. In fact, it’s not even something Lurie has contemplated.” Fantastic. What ill-advised acquisition can fans look forward to next? Who’s going to be the next obvious superstar that the Eagles pass on in the NFL Draft in favor of a player that might be out of the league in a few seasons? The reality is that if Roseman held the answers, the Eagles wouldn’t be in the mess they’re in right now.

We Feelin’ A Run? + NFL Picks! – BGN Radio
Jimmy Kempski and Brandon Lee Gowton analyze all the angles and possibilities of the Eagles main players (Wentz, Pederson, Howie), make their NFC East Picks and preview the Eagles-Saints! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

Mailbag: Eagles’ biggest draft needs? Carson Wentz salvageable? Josh Sweat is good? – PhillyVoice
I think the question going forward is whether Sweat can be a guy who plays a Brandon Graham-like workload. Over the last four years, Graham has been around the 70 percent neighborhood in defensive snaps played. Of course, Graham is an elite run defender, so that makes sense.Sweat has an extensive injury history, so there’s some debate over whether giving him that kind of workload is even a good idea. Is he a guy who can flourish with an increased snap count, or is he better when he can come in fresh and be something of a change-of-pace rusher who beats offensive tackles with speed? I don’t know the answer to that, but in order to be a consistent 10-sack guy, he’s going to have to play a lot of snaps.

Good Times, Bad Times – Iggles Blitz
Coaches and organizations that embrace risk are going to be better off than those who cling to comfort. It is tough to walk away from a player like Peters, but it has to be done. You’re clinging to past glory. That’s not how you win games in the NFL. That doesn’t mean getting rid of every veteran and loading up on youth. You must choose players who continue to perform at a high level and who can help maintain the winning culture. We don’t know the ins and outs of the Jeffery/Fulgham situation. Maybe Fulgham has some issues that the coaches are trying to deal with and benching him is the right thing to do. This is where you have to trust the coaches. That’s where their track record of embracing veterans becomes problematic. Are they sending a message to a young player they want to develop or simply going with the guy who helped them win a Super Bowl?

Kelce gives Pederson his strongest endorsement yet – NBCSP
But on Wednesday, one of the all-time greats in the organization, Jason Kelce, gave Pederson his strongest endorsement to date. “Doug, obviously, you saw it last week, I mean, we’re 3-8-1 and guys are still going out there and giving him everything they got,” Kelce said. “I think a great head coach is a guy that is a great motivator. I mean, is it important to be a genius? It helps, I guess. Is it important to be a big rah-rah guy? It helps. But the most important thing is, does this guy relate to people and does he motivate people? And does he get the most out of people, players, the coaches under him, everybody. I know that Doug built an environment that empowers individuals, empowers players, empowers his coaches underneath him to be the best that they can be. In my opinion, that’s the best quality/trait we can have in a leader, and it’s a lot harder to find than I think is often credited.”

NFL’s best and worst potential head-coaching openings: Where do the Eagles, Jets and Chargers rank? – ESPN+
6th out of 9 potential openings. As I wrote about Monday, though, even getting the Eagles under the 2021 cap will be an arduous endeavor. This roster is seriously flawed; now imagine it after letting safety Jalen Mills and offensive lineman Jason Peters leave and cutting tight end Zach Ertz, wideouts DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery and several other players without having any money to sign replacements. With more favorable cap situations, some teams might consider moving on from oft-injured players such as right tackle Lane Johnson and safety Rodney McLeod this offseason. Instead, the Eagles will be relying on them to return and stay healthy. Next season will likely be a retooling year for Philly, if not a straight year of rebuilding. The good news is that Jeffrey Lurie has generally been one of the NFL’s most patient team owners, with the short tenures of Ray Rhodes (as coach) and Chip Kelly (as football czar) as exceptions. If this job comes available, the new Eagles coach should get a few years to reshape the roster. Unless the Eagles have given up on their franchise quarterback, though, he’ll probably need to believe he can fix Wentz, and then actually pull it off.

Evans: Fantasy Football Passing Report ahead of NFL Week 15 – PFF
Jalen Hurts sparked new life into the Eagles offense, but I have a hard time trusting the passing options. Expect the Eagles to lean on Hurts’ rushing ability along with Miles Sanders. Dallas Goedert is my preferred option if targeting the passing game. He leads the Eagles in targets seemingly every week yet is priced down at $3,900.

2020 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight ends for Week 15 – Fake Teams
8) Dallas Goedert @ ARI. He’s still the lead guy in Philly, amassing 13 targets over the last two weeks (compared to seven for Zach Ertz).

The 2020 NFL RedZone Rankings – The Ringer
16. Philadelphia Eagles. Last year, I wrote of the Eagles: “Not just bad, boring.” They are still bad, but they are no longer boring. There are two Eagles teams. One can be described thusly: “Jalen Hurts is what Sean Payton thinks Taysom Hill is.” The other can be described with this: “How bad is Carson Wentz’s 2020 falloff? He’s currently second only to the 2015 Ghost of Peyton Manning in the biggest dropoff in DYAR from his previous three seasons’ average. He’d have to hit -1,535 passing DYAR to pass Manning.” The Wentz version would be in contention for dead last on this list. The Hurts version is too new to make declarations about, but it exhibits some competence. Pro Football Focus’s Seth Galina made the case this week that the Eagles improved across the board with Hurts as the starter. The Hurts-led version of the Eagles is clearly better and has a very high watchability ceiling.

NFL Picks: Predicting Week 15 against the spread – The Athletic
Eagles at Cardinals (-6.5). What stood out the most with Jalen Hurts in his first start was his poise. This is admittedly random, but he became the second quarterback in the last five years to produce 100+ rushing yards in a game without taking a sack. Hurts’ short-pass accuracy was very good and resulted in the Eagles setting a season-high for yards after the catch. For the most part, Hurts avoided negative plays and knew when to throw the ball away. The Eagles’ biggest issue this week is they’re banged-up in the secondary. That could mean big trouble against DeAndre Hopkins. The Cardinals currently occupy the last playoff spot in the NFC. They win, but the Eagles keep it close. The pick: Eagles (+6.5)

Giving back helps Rodney McLeod heal from ACL injury – PE.com
Those first few days after the knee injury that ended his 2020 season, safety Rodney McLeod admits, “it crushed my heart, spirits, and was hard to face reality.” McLeod has gotten better mentally since suffering a torn left ACL in Sunday’s win over New Orleans at Lincoln Financial Field, and it has helped him that his work in the community has provided the proper perspective. McLeod, the Eagles’ Walter Payton Man of the Year Award nominee, has always been a huge giver to those in need. His work since joining the Eagles in 2016 has been impressive – everything from football camps, to a student health program, to the Ronald McDonald House, to Living Beyond Breast Cancer, to the Eagles Autism Foundation, as well as various NFL activities. He and wife Erika have gone far beyond those programs with the formation of their Change Our Future Foundation, and what’s happened here is that as McLeod has spent his time this week giving back to the community, he’s helped heal a heart broken by an injury that will require months of rehabilitation, something McLeod is familiar with having torn his right ACL in 2018.

Kevon Seymour was out of the NFL and working at an auto customizing shop. Now he’s an Eagles corner. – Inquirer
Jeremy Logsdon, owner of an auto customizing shop in Charlotte, N.C., was home wrapping Christmas presents Sunday, with the Saints-Eagles game on TV in the background. Logsdon heard a familiar name. Kevon Seymour, signed to the Eagles’ practice squad on Dec. 2, and then called up to play against New Orleans, made a special-teams tackle. As the game went on, injuries dictated that Seymour’s first Eagles game — also his first NFL game since 2017 — would include 35 snaps at cornerback. “To hear his name on the national stage again was really exciting,” Logsdon said. He said the gift-wrapping took a backseat for a while. “It was nice to be able to watch, and see him back doing what he loves, man; he was so passionate.”

Arizona Cardinals Thursday injury report upgrades De’Vondre Campbell and Dre Kirkpatrick, but problems persist – Revenge Of The Birds
On the offense, Chase Edmonds and Justin Pugh remain sidelined with injuries, but the concern may be DeAndre Hopkins who was again a did not practice for a non-injury related issue. The thing is, we saw Hopkins had his lowest snap percentage of the season against the Giants, and we know he’s been dealing with ailing injuries, so it may be just overall fatigue, but who knows.

Giants’ James Bradberry placed on Reserve/COVID-19 list – Big Blue View
As if things weren’t already complicated enough for the New York Giants with the injuries to Daniel Jones and the positive COVID-19 test for offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, the team’s defense ha now been dealt a huge blow in advance of Sunday night’s game against the Cleveland Browns. Giants star cornerback James Bradberry has been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. He was deemed to be a high-risk close contact of an individual who has tested positive. That contact did not occur at the Giants facility and the positive individual is not a member of the organization. Bradberry will remain isolated from the team and continue to participate in meetings remotely. If he continues to test negatively and has no symptoms, he would come off the reserve list on Monday.

Three unexpected moves for the Cowboys to make – Blogging The Boys
Cut Jaylon Smith. This may not be as much of a stretch as the rest, since there are others who have floated this idea. His play has not been great this season. At times, “mystifying” is very applicable. It’s hard to know what is going on with him; he is no longer just having poor results individually, he has reached the point of dragging down the players around him on the field. He is a great individual and seems to be a leader in the locker room, but he is certainly not carrying his part of the load. It is time for the team to admit it and move on.

Louis Riddick’s time on MNF proves that he’s ready to be a GM – SB Nation
ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Louis Riddick could be making a jump from broadcasting, back into the game itself. On Wednesday it was reported that both the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions has set up interviews with Riddick, with both potentially interested in hiring him for their vacant GM positions. As an analyst, Riddick has been one of the best parts of Monday Night Football. His knowledge of players and systems shines every single week. To back that up he also has the experience as a former player, and NFL executive to get the job done. Selected in the 1991 NFL Draft, Riddick was a journeyman running back who played for five different teams over his eight year career. When he finally retired from football all together in 2001 the Washington Football Team hired Riddick as a pro scout, he then rose in executive ranks to director of pro player personnel with the organization, before moving to the Eagles in 2009 to take on similar roles.

Reasons not to trade for James Harden are silly and don’t really matter – Liberty Ballers
The Philadelphia 76ers should trade for James Harden. They should be willing to give up quite a bit for him. The arguments against trading for him focus on issues that I can’t bring myself to care about. I don’t care that Harden is 31 and Ben Simmons is only 24. Harden is far better now (and probably for at least the next two or three years) than Simmons will ever be. If the Sixers were title contenders this season and for the foreseeable future, then this would be a real debate. But they were the 6-seed in the Eastern Conference last year, and they’ll likely finish around fourth or fifth in the conference this year. Joel Embiid turns 27 this season and has a long history of injuries. The time to contend is now, and Harden takes the Sixers from a middle-of-the-pack playoff team to a true contender and a favorite in the East. [BLG Note: The Sixers need to do what it takes to pair Harden with Embiid.]

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Dembele, Pique 8/10 as Barca rally from two-goal first-leg deficit to reach Copa del Rey final – ESPN

https://www.espn.com/soccer/barcelona/story/4328645/dembelepique-8-10-as-barca-rally-from-two-goal-first-leg-deficit-to-reach-copa-del-rey-final

Dembele, Pique 8/10 as Barca rally from two-goal first-leg deficit to reach Copa del Rey final - ESPN

Barcelona produced a remarkable comeback to beat Sevilla 3-0 after extra time at Camp Nou on Wednesday, turning around a two-goal first-leg deficit to make the final of the Copa del Rey and keep their best chance at a trophy alive.

Substitute Martin Braithwaite headed home the winner in the 95th minute after Gerard Pique‘s glancing header, which proved the last touch of normal time, had dramatically forced extra time.

Ousmane Dembele had earlier opened the scoring with a stunning effort from 20 yards, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen saving a second-half penalty from Lucas Ocampos before Fernando was sent off for Sevilla minutes before Pique’s equaliser.

Barca will meet either Athletic Bilbao or Levante in the final in April. The two sides meet in Valencia on Thursday after a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Bilbao last month.

Positives

Barca’s season was written off after a 2-0 first-leg defeat in Seville was followed by a 4-1 Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain. However, since then, they’ve cut the gap on La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid to five points and now have a cup final to look forward to next month. A repeat of last season’s trophy-less campaign is looking a little less likely than it once did.

In Wednesday’s win — as was the case in the win at Sevilla in the league on Saturday — Barca looked hungry again. They pressed well, giving Sevilla no time to breathe, and adapted well to their formation, with Ronald Koeman once again opting to play with three central defenders. Regardless of the off-pitch problems, the team looks united and committed to its coach.

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Negatives

It looked like Barca’s impressive performance and all their hard work would be for nothing heading into injury time. Prior to Pique’s goal, they’d failed to make the most of their possession in and around the box, with a desire to walk the ball into the back of the net costing them. They need to shoot when they get the chance in and around the area, and they also need to be quicker about it.

Manager rating out of 10

8 — Koeman stuck with the same side that beat Sevilla comfortably on Saturday and reaped the rewards in the first half. His substitutions, which seemed strange at first glance, also helped swing the game in Barca’s favour in the end.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Marc-Andre ter Stegen, 8 — The penalty save from Ocampos was huge. Without it, Sevilla have an away goal and Barca would have been all but out of the competition.

DF Oscar Mingueza, 8 — The B-team defender showed once again that he’s with the first team to stay. A perfect fit for the right-sided centre-back role in a three-man defence. Unfortunate to give the penalty away for a foul on Ocampos.

DF Gerard Pique, 8 — A colossal performance from the defender both at the back and up top. It’s incredible to think he has just returned from what many thought was a season-ending knee injury and been able to play so many minutes in such a short space of time.

DF Clement Lenglet, 6 — Looked more confident on the ball than in recent weeks but had a nervous wait in extra time when VAR reviewed a possible handball in the Sevilla box.

MF Sergino Dest, 6 — Almost a right-winger when Barca are on the front foot in this shape. Had some nice touches but struggled in one-on-ones with Marcos Acuna, who had too much strength for him. Came off after an hour.

MF Sergio Busquets, 7 — Good on the ball and pressed well but couldn’t quite find that incisive pass in the final third.

MF Frenkie de Jong, 7 — Didn’t stop running for 120 minutes, helping in defence and in attack.

MF Pedri, 7 — Started the game despite being ruled out for two weeks with a calf problem as recently as Sunday. Quick on the ball and vital to Barca’s press, he just needs to work on his shooting — or at least start shooting more.

MF Jordi Alba, 9 — A threat in attack, thumping the bar with a brilliant volley and setting up the winner. Also worked hard to get back and defend, covering his colleagues and making some crucial blocks.

FW Lionel Messi, 7 — For once, he wasn’t involved in the game’s key moments, although he did slide in the pass for Dembele’s goal. That said, he was still central to almost every attack Barca pieced together.

FW Ousmane Dembele, 8 — Relishing playing as a focal point through the middle in this new formation. Had already had two chances when he expertly took his third. Sevilla were frightened whenever he ran at them.

Substitutes

FW Antoine Griezmann, 7 — Defended brilliantly and showed a calm head to beat his man and cross for Pique in the last minute of normal time.

DF Junior Firpo, 6 — Replaced Mingueza, who was on a booking, and did a good job on the right.

MF Ilaix Moriba, 6 — Koeman showed huge faith in the 18-year-old to bring him on with Barca still chasing the game, and he didn’t look out of place.

FW Martin Braithwaite, 6Scored the winner, getting in front of his man to connect with Alba’s cross.

FW Francisco Trincao, 6 – Impressively danced through the Sevilla defence late on but his shot was blocked.

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The Hurry-Up: Buckeyes Offer No. 1 DT James Smith, Austin Jordan Cuts List to Three, Clemson Lands Its Quarter – Eleven Warriors

https://www.elevenwarriors.com/ohio-state-football-recruiting/2021/03/121471/the-hurry-up-buckeyes-offer-no-1-dt-james-smith-austin-jordan-cuts-list-to-three

The Hurry-Up: Buckeyes Offer No. 1 DT James Smith, Austin Jordan Cuts List to Three, Clemson Lands Its Quarter - Eleven Warriors

The Hurry-Up is your nightly dose of updates from the Ohio State football recruiting trail, keeping tabs on the latest from commits and targets from around the country.

Buckeyes offer No. 1 DT

Ohio State has not made a true run at the nation’s No. 1-ranked defensive tackle prospect since it was in a good position in the 2020 class to land Bryan Bresee. (Unless you want to count J.T. Tuimoloau as a defensive tackle in the 2021 cycle with the positional versatility he brings to the table. Leonard Taylor in 2021 and Walter Nolen in 2022 were offered by the Buckeyes, but Taylor signed with Miami and Nolen is already very unlikely to end up with Ohio State.)

Not that Larry Johnson really cares about rankings. He’s constantly going after the guys he truly wants from a talent and personality perspective.

It looks like Johnson may have found both of those things, however, in his latest defensive line offer in James Smith, the No. 3 overall prospect and No. 1 DT in the 2023 class. Johnson has gotten in early on Smith in this cycle by extending an offer to the 6-foot-3, 270-pounder on Tuesday night.

The man with the nickname “Big Kong” has offers (or at least listed offers) from a dozen programs – Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Penn State, Texas and Texas A&M are the highlights alongside Ohio State.

Smith hails from Montgomery, Alabama’s Carver High School, making him the second player in this cycle that Ohio State has extended an offer to, following an offer to the nation’s No. 1 cornerback in Tony Mitchell last week. 

Again, it’s rare for the Buckeyes to extend offers to Alabama players and even more rare for them to win out in a recruitment from a player residing in the state. They have never signed a high school player from Alabama, and Smith is only the fifth player Ohio State has offered from the state among the 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 cycles.

The Crimson Tide have done an excellent job keeping their in-state talent home, as to be expected, but Ohio State is dipping its toes in the water here for Mitchell and Smith – a player whose physicality and versatility to play as a 3-tech and on the edge is one item that has to be a reason Johnson and Co. value Smith so highly with an early offer. He is more of a 3-tech prospect, but Johnson loves to bring in players who can be moved around along the defensive line.

Jordan’s top three

With five-star cornerback Will Johnson committing to Michigan and five-star cornerback Denver Harris recently pushing the Buckeyes out of the running for now, Ohio State’s other top targets at the position have become a bit more clear.

Toriano Pride sits atop that small list, and Ryan Turner is a player we know that the Buckeyes absolutely love and are hoping to bring into their 2022 class.

But do not count out Austin Jordan, a four-star prospect out of Texas powerhouse Ryan High School. Jordan, the No. 173 overall player and No. 21 cornerback in the cycle, provided a recruiting update to us on Wednesday afternoon, narrowing his list down to three schools.

None of the schools in that trio is a surprise as Ohio State finds itself pitted against Oklahoma and Texas for the Lone Star State’s 28th-ranked prospect.

We believe the Buckeye staff likes Pride and Turner as cornerback prospects a bit more than Jordan, but the 5-foot-11, 185-pounder is a burner on the outside (runs a 10.98 in the 100 meters) who can keep up with top-level receivers. He faces some of the state of Texas’ best competition, and he has the length to be a good cover guy at the next level.

This is a recruitment, however, that probably won’t see much movement to the Buckeyes until the dead period is lifted, and that won’t happen until at least June 1. Jordan has never visited Ohio State, and he probably needs some more in-person evaluation before he becomes a no-doubt Buckeye prospect. Jordan is absolutely worth keeping an eye on, though, as Ohio State searches for at least one more cornerback in this class for a total of three (and that number could possibly push to four, but three is likelier at this point).

Clemson lands its QB

Dabo Swinney’s program has had a formula that’s been working for the last several cycles when it comes to how it cycles quarterback recruiting.

Stud-developmental guy-stud-developmental guy.

Clemson is back at it again, as the Tigers landed their man on Tuesday night, and the quarterback dominoes continue to fall.

Cade Klubnik, the nation’s No. 74 overall player and No. 5 pro-style quarterback, announced his commitment to Clemson just four days after he was extended an offer. That comes after newly minted five-star quarterback Ty Simpson committed to Alabama on Friday after Simpson had been considered a Clemson lean for a while.

This affects the Buckeyes in the fact that their own five-star quarterback, Quinn Ewers, is even further solidified to his Ohio State pledge. (Though he wasn’t going anywhere, anyway.)

Texas has its own five-star quarterback in the fold in Maalik Murphy, and with Clemson and Alabama each getting their guy, it’s another piece of evidence that Ewers is fully locked into Ohio State. (If that profile picture of the Buckeyes’ hat on the deer head didn’t do it for you.)

As another fun fact, Klubnik’s recruitment picked up last fall when his Westlake (Austin) program defeated Ewers’ Southlake Carroll team in the Texas 6A-Division I state championship game. Klubnik finished 18-of-20 for 221 yards and a score (plus 90 yards rushing and two touchdowns) while Ewers went 23-of-39 for 351 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

We can only hope the two will meet again in 2021 for a rematch between the two likely future College Football Playoff opponents. Maybe Ewers will get his revenge in Round 2 over Klubnik in the same way Justin Fields got his over Trevor Lawrence in the Sugar Bowl.


Header photo: James Smith – Jason Caldwell/247Sports

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Rangers analyst Steve Valiquette eviscerates dreadful Sabres – New York Post

https://nypost.com/2021/03/03/rangers-analyst-eviscerates-sabres-amid-jack-eichel-rumors/

Rangers analyst Steve Valiquette eviscerates dreadful Sabres - New York Post

MSG hockey analyst Steve Valiquette took several shots at the Sabres after Buffalo fell to the Rangers in a Tuesday night snoozefest.

“I think the Buffalo players should be wearing ski masks on the 15th and 30th of every month,” the former Rangers netminder said in reference to NHL paydays, “because there’s no way you can have that star power and then not have any pushback. I mean, they look like they’ve quit on their season.”

The Sabres, who also play their games on the MSG network, actually had more chances than the Rangers in the 3-2 loss, but mustered only five shots to New York’s three while down a goal in the third period.

“The Rangers packed it in in the third period but did Buffalo even make an effort to [get to high-scoring areas]? I think they’re very easy to play against,” Valiquette said. “I think that’s a dreadful hockey team. They should be embarrassed.”

It was the fourth straight loss for a Buffalo team that has often looked lackadaisical. At 6-11-3, the Sabres are last in the East division and well on their way to missing the playoffs for the 10th straight season.

Buffalo entered the pandemic-shortened 56-game season with reason for optimism after signing Taylor Hall, the 2018 league MVP, to a one-year, $8 million contract, adding him to a talented core of forwards.

But Hall has scored just one goal, while captain and face of the franchise Jack Eichel and his $10 million annual salary has two goals. Jeff Skinner, who is being paid $9 million, hasn’t scored at all and has been benched a couple times this season for poor play. The Sabres are second-to-last in goals per game with 2.20.

Jack Eichel during tonight's Sabres-Rangers game.
Jack Eichel during Tuesday night’s Sabres-Rangers game.
NHLI via Getty Images

The disappointment has led to rumblings that the Sabres could trade the 24-year-old Eichel — possibly to the center-needy 8-9-3 Rangers — which could set the lowly franchise back even further.

“It’s sad to see because Buffalo is one of my favorite cities,” said Valiquette, who grew up in nearby Ontario, Canada. “Unbelievable people there, hard-working people. They must have a hard time watching that team play hockey.”

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UFC parts ways with former champion Junior Dos Santos, perennial contender Alistair Overeem – MMA Junkie

https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2021/03/ufc-news-junioe-dos-santos-alistair-overeem-no-longer-roster-departure-part-ways

UFC parts ways with former champion Junior Dos Santos, perennial contender Alistair Overeem - MMA Junkie

Two staples of the UFC’s heavyweight division are no longer on the roster.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos and perennial contender Alistair Overeem have parted ways with the promotion.

A person with knowledge of the situation confirmed the two heavyweights’ promotional departures following their removal from the UFC rankings Wednesday but asked to remain anonymous as the promotion has not officially announced the moves.

UFC officials did not reply to request for comment by MMA Junkie.

Dos Santos (21-9 MMA, 15-8 UFC) made his promotional debut at UFC 90 in October 2008. He made a statement immediately when he put away Fabricio Werdum with strikes in 80 seconds. The victory kicked off a nine-fight winning streak by “Cigano.”

Included on that run were two title fights: a clinching performance and a title defense. In November 2011, at UFC on FOX 1, Dos Santos finished Cain Velasquez with punches in 64 seconds to become the UFC heavyweight champion. He would follow up that performance with a second-round TKO win over Frank Mir at UFC 146 in May 2012.

Dos Santos lost the belt to Velasquez via unanimous decision in a December 2012 rematch at UFC 155. Following a win over Mark Hunt in May 2013, Dos Santos got his trilogy opportunity but was defeated by Velasquez via TKO at UFC 166 in October 2013.

Over the next seven-plus years, Dos Santos remained a heavyweight contender. From 2018-2019, Dos Santos even established a three-fight winning streak with victories over Blagoi Ivanov, Tai Tuivasa, and Derrick Lewis.

Dos Santos followed up the streak with a four-fight losing skid. Prior to his UFC departure, Dos Santos was finished by strikes in four straight fights – losses to Francis Ngannou, Curtis Blaydes, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and Ciryl Gane.

Overeem (47-19 MMA, 13-8 UFC) entered the UFC already an established MMA star who competed in numerous notable promotions including Strikeforce, PRIDE, and DREAM.

In December 2011, Overeem made his promotional debut at UFC 141 and finished Brock Lesnar with a body kick and punches. Over his next four fights, Overeem went 1-3 with TKO losses to Antonio Silva, Travis Browne, and Ben Rothwell.

Overeem turned around his bad luck, however, and rattled off a four-fight winning streak with victories over Stefan Struve, Roy Nelson, Junior Dos Santos, and Andrei Arlovski.

Over the span of his next 11 bouts leading to UFC exit, Overeem would have his ups and downs. Prior to his departure, Overeem won back-to-back fights against Walt Harris and Augusto Sakai before he was finished with punches by Alexander Volkov at UFC Fight Night 184 on Feb. 6.

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Giants release wide receiver Golden Tate – New York Post

https://nypost.com/2021/03/03/giants-release-wide-receiver-golden-tate-in-nfl-free-agency/

Giants release wide receiver Golden Tate - New York Post

The Giants have begun their roster housecleaning, on Wednesday releasing wide receiver Golden Tate, a move that was expected for quite some time.

Tate, 32, was scheduled to make $8.4 million in 2021 and would have counted $10.8 on the salary cap — numbers that never were going to fly, given his lack of production last season. The Giants will save $6.1 million on the cap by parting ways with Tate, and he will count $4.7 million in dead money.

The Giants also released linebacker David Mayo, saving $2.3 million.

Tate’s addition was the immediate response after the Giants traded Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns in 2019. The Giants in no way expected Tate to replicate Beckham’s exploits on the field, but they gave him a four-year, $37.5 million contract that did not make it prohibitive to get rid of him after two years.

Tate got off to a bad start with his new team, missing the first four games of his Giants career on NFL-mandated suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. In 11 games that 2019 season, Tate caught 49 passes for 676 yards and six touchdowns.

His second year with the Giants was a bust. He battled injuries and in 10 games, caught 35 passes for 388 yards and two touchdowns. He was sent home from practice and benched for one game by head coach Joe Judge after a Week 8 outburst in a loss to the Buccaneers on Monday Night Football, as Tate screamed, “Throw me the damn ball!’’ at the Giants’ sideline after a reception and later shouted, “Throw me the ball!’’ into a television camera after a touchdown catch. Tate also “liked’’ a post on Twitter suggesting the Giants should cut him. In Week 4, he was involved in a postgame fight with Jalen Ramsey of the Rams. There was bad blood between the two players, as Ramsey is the ex-boyfriend of Tate’s sister, who has two children with Ramsey.

golden tate was released by the giants on wednesday
Golden Tate
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

By saving $8.4 million on the cap, the Giants are now just about at the $180 million figure that is expected to be the minimum teams will be able to spend this season. There will be other cuts in the days to come to increase the cap space.

Without Tate, Sterling Shepard should be able to return to his most comfortable and productive spot as a slot receiver.

Mayo, 27, played in all 16 games (13 starts) in 2019, but was not part of the playing rotation in 2020, with only two starts in 11 games.

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