The Browns, whose players participated in some of the most visible national anthem protests in the preseason, took a novel approach in their season opener against the Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Before the national anthem, the stadium’s video screens played a video discussing racial inequality in the U.S. Afterward, the players stood on the field for the national anthem.

Haden had been under contract for $11.1 million this season, $11.2 million next season and $10.5 million in 2019, though he was not subject to waivers and was free to sign with another team beginning Wednesday after 4 p.m. ET.

Haden missed a number of games over the past two years with various injuries, including a concussion, finger injury and a groin issue. Still, the 28-year-old was expected to be a key component in the Browns’ defense.

Instead, he’ll face his former team Sunday at 1 p.m. ET when the Steelers visit Cleveland.

Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season isn’t finished, but after Sunday’s results, it’s not too early to overreact to what happened in the opening games. Every team that won is not headed to the Super Bowl. Every team that lost is not headed to the No. 1 overall draft pick.

In some cases, there is legitimate cause for panic. In others, there is some reason to celebrate.

The rest lie somewhere in between. Here’s supporting or debunking the most popular overreaction for each team.11

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NFL teams have made 30 trades since Aug. 1, more than twice the average for the same period over the previous five years. There are multiple reasons why.

Who will be the first QB to lose his starting gig? Who’s playing for a big contract next offseason? We checked in with NFL execs for their thoughts on which quarterbacks have the most to prove heading into the regular season.

Predictions! That’s right. The NFL season is mere days away, which means it’s time to zip ahead four months and tell you what will happen in 2017 so you don’t have to go to the trouble of waiting to find out.

Many players, coaches and rookies will have great years, but you’re wondering which ones will have the best years. And we’re here to tell you.

A crack panel of our experts pulled their minds together to try to predict who will win the league’s end-of-season awards. Below are the top picks for everything except MVP, which we’ll reveal in the preseason edition of our NFL MVP Poll on Wednesday. For now, you can whet your appetite with these tasty morsels.

Methodology: We tabbed the panel of 12 experts who will vote in this season’s NFL MVP poll. Each nominated their top three candidates for the six awards included below. First-place votes are worth three points, second-place votes are worth two, and third-place votes are worth one. Reminder: These are just predictions.

The most unexpected element in Week 1 for the Chiefs was the superb all-around play of rookie running back Kareem Hunt. Hunt rushed for 148 yards, caught passes for 98 more and scored three touchdowns. Priest Holmes is the only other Chiefs player to hit those numbers all in the same game. While Hunt can’t continue that pace, he can be a consistent threat for the Chiefs. “I saw probably the same thing . . . at camp every day,’’ coach Andy Reid said. “He’s a load and you know he is talented and he’s a smart kid, which helps in that position.’’

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Ducks fly together, and so do the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL. On Tuesday, the Wings announced one of many themed nights scheduled for their upcoming season, and jerseys from Disney’s famous hockey movie that spawned an actual NHL team are one of them.

These jerseys, nearly identical to the movie jersey with a replica of their mascot, Slappy, instead of the famous duck, will be worn on Dec. 22 against the Toledo Walleye.

Coach Jack Del Rio typically keeps to his policy of not commenting on injuries and the Raiders are not required to file an injury report with the league until Wednesday.

— Quarterback Derek Carr had his jersey No. 4 retired Saturday night at halftime of Fresno State’s 66-0 home win win over Incarnate Word.

“I can’t tell you how much this means to me,” Carr said during a halftime ceremony. “I dreamed of this moment as a little boy, and now it’s finally happened.”

Carr holds 27 school passing records as well as 21 record in the Mountain West Conference.

But, he said, he was “very logical about it all.” Even with his rather limited knowledge of NFL football, he knew punters were drafted rarely, and that the entire league might have four or five job openings a year. He prepared himself for a handful of workouts and perhaps a few tryouts. There was no major draft party.angels_024

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The suspension of Ezekiel Elliott by the NFL for the first six games of the season certainly impacts the Dallas Cowboys. It also throws up in the air an NFC East that was seemingly tilted in the direction of the Cowboys, the prohibitive favorites to win the division.

While Elliott’s suspension helps the other teams in the NFC East, at least one player isn’t too happy about it: New York Giants safety Landon Collins isn’t giddy to see Elliott on the sidelines, even as his team opens the season against Dallas and won’t have to face the star running back.

Collins explained why he wasn’t pleased to see the Cowboys without Elliott, making his remarks following the Giants preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday night.

“My dad’s been there every step of the way,” Melvin Gordon told the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2015. “That’s what people need to know. He’s not a deadbeat father. He’d die to be here with me right now.”

Gordon has said his father worked him out in drills as a young football player, gave him tips and showed him video of the game’s greatest running backs. The family often sacrificed to send the young Gordon to football activities.

And of course, Bo Gordon was at almost every one of his son’s youth and high school football games. That game-day experience is something he missed out on while in prison.

That will change Sunday, as Bo Gordon and his wife, Carmen, will be on hand when the relocated Chargers host the Seahawks in their first game at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

“Dad will be in the stands soon,” Carmen Gordon told Union-Tribune. “I can’t imagine. We’ll all probably be crying. It’s going to be something else, and Melvin is going to go off. ???? He’s going to go off because Dad is in the stands. They have a bond.”

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Kobe Bryant has some new ink to show off.

The Lakers legend Friday shared a video on his Instagram account of himself getting some work done on his right forearm.

Bryant, who has three girls with longtime wife Vanessa, had the names Bianka Bella, Giana Maria-Onore and Natalia Diamante tattooed on his arm to commemorate his daughters.

All that Collins does is just wreck opposing competition. Over Collins’ final 15 games of the season, he averaged 22.5 points, 10.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while shooting 66 percent from the field and 78 percent from the foul line. Oh, and he did it against ACC competition that included Miami, Syracuse, Duke (twice), Notre Dame, Louisville and Virginia Tech.

The worry spots here are with his passing — as he’ll occasionally get some tunnel vision — and defense, where he’ll get lost both when pulled out on the perimeter and in rotation on the interior. But Collins is just a beast of a player as well as a strong athlete at 6-foot-11.

“It’s hard to double when it’s off ball, especially when you’ve got good guys like Amir, Al and Jonas that set really good screens for you,” Thomas said. “Once I’m running around it’s tough to catch me and guys are just getting me open. I’ve got the easy part of making the play.”

One of the Celtics’ go-to plays when Thomas doesn’t have the ball in his hands is a double screen on the perimeter. As you can see in the following video, Patrick Beverley gets caught up in Smart’s off-ball screen, leaving James Harden to switch onto Thomas once he receives the hand-off from Crowder. Harden wants nothing to do with guarding Thomas, and Thomas takes advantage by sinking a smooth hook shot over Trevor Ariza when he gets into the paint.steelers_001

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In the final seconds, it was Thomas trying to bring the Celtics back, making a layup off a drive with 7.5 seconds to play, cutting the deficit to two points. But Thomas was not fist-pumping, not imploring a late rally despite the glimmer of hope. Instead, his upper lip stiffened. He walked, stoic and silent, toward the bench.

Who could blame him? On the floor, the Celtics were looking at a difficult loss, and Butler soon made two game-sealing free throws. As time wound down, Thomas knew he was just seconds away from being plunged back into reality. This game would be over, and Thomas again would be surrounded by a much more significant loss off the floor.

But the Celtics were lacking rhythm and offensive cohesion for most of their postseason opener against the Bulls, and Chicago had the defense and rebounding to stifle Thomas and the top-seeded Celtics. The Bulls won 106-102.

For Thomas, the day was bigger than basketball, bigger than the postseason. Early Saturday, his 22-year-old sister, Chyna Thomas, died in a car accident on Interstate 5 in Washington state. But still, Thomas suited up for the Celtics on Sunday and, individually, he did not disappoint. More telling, the Celtics floundered without him on the floor — Thomas was plus-12 for the game.

They’ll need to summon that defensive mindset against the Wizards, who stormed the Hawks in the fast break in their series. Washington averaged 25.2 points per game out of transition, most of any team in the playoffs, and their efficiency — 1.15 points per possession — was well above their season average. The Wizards were a good running team in the regular season (20.3 points per game in transition, fourth in the NBA), but they’ve been exceptional in the playoffs.falcons_137

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Pete Rose may be blackballed by Major League Baseball, but that doesn’t mean he’s not still popular. It also doesn’t mean his memorabilia isn’t extremely popular.

Just how valuable is his memorabilia? The ball he hit to break Ty Cobb’s all-time hits record sold Saturday for $403,657.20 in an auction on That is not a typo.

The opening bid for the ball started off at $50,000. It had been up for auction since May 23.

It sold at the same Lelands auction in which Charlie Sheen auctioned off his Babe Ruth memorabilia.

Ballard was left with a pretty smelly pile by predecessor Ryan Grigson, and he might already be regretting not staying put in Kansas City for the purge there later. He has a lot of damage to undo, in drafting and free agency. And he’s got to make a coaching decision, since Jim Irsay kept Chuck Pagano in place while making his oddly late move on Grigson.

Beane and Sean McDermott have history with the Panthers, and putting him in place with McDermott instead of Doug Whaley should at least clean up the lines of communication. He’s a blank slate for the Bills for now, since they oddly made the change after the draft and, of course, free agency. There’s talent on paper, which has tended to be on the inactive list more than on the field.

“And the amount of tuition he has to pay off? It’s so expensive. Ninety percent of Americans can’t afford it, and take 30 years to pay it off. … There are brilliant people doing all the right things that walk out of school with all that debt and what kind of head start are they getting? I’m fortunate to be able to change that for him.”

Well done, Logan.

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The fourth Jet on this list, Mangold’s free agent status is the most surprising on the list. He missed eight games last year but had made three straight Pro Bowls before that.

Teams often view center as a cheap position, which could be a hang-up for a player used to earning bigger money. But it’s hard not to see Mangold playing somewhere for $2 million-$3 million this season.

The Chiefs are still going to be seeing Jamaal Charles at Arrowhead Stadium but it’s going only going to be once a season.

Broncos general manager John Elway announced Tuesday that Denver has signed the longtime Kansas City running back. According to multiple reports, Charles got a one-year deal worth up to $3.75 million.

Charles, 30, was released by the Chiefs in February after another injury-plauged season. His productivity had decreased over the last two years, largely because of the torn ACL he suffered in October 2015. He didn’t seem to fully recover from the injury, and didn’t take the field until Week 5 of the 2016 season.

He played in only three games until he suffered a setback in his knee that required surgery on his meniscus. Once again, Charles missed the end of the season.cubs_1635

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The Jacksonville Jaguars earned their first win of the season in Week 10 with a road victory over the Tennessee Titans, but that doesn’t have oddsmakers convinced they can make it two consecutive, as the Arizona Cardinals are road favorites in Week 11.
Jake Gardiner Authentic Jersey
Kids Pharoh Cooper Jersey On SB Nation’s six-member panel of NFL experts, only one person, Ryan Van Bibber, was willing to pick the Raiders to win straight-up. Ditto CBS Sports, where eight of nine picked the Giants. At ESPN, the Giants had a clean sweep as of press time, with six experts yet to make a selection in the game.

Unless the Raiders fix their secondary in a hurry, Eli Manning and a deep wide receiver corps could have their way in the passing game. In particular, rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden will need to step up, according to Raiders blog Silver And Black Pride, after getting roasted by Foles and Co. Fail to do so, and the Giants will score a third straight win after starting the season 0-6.

Arizona earned back-to-back wins at home, defeating both the Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans with a bye week in between. At 5-4, the Cardinals will enter EverBank Field on Sunday as touchdown favorites, as most sportsbooks have the line at seven points in favor of the road team, according to OddsShark.

It was only about 10 weeks earlier that Tolzien had been released by the San Francisco 49ers, and now he’s filling the shoes of perhaps the best current quarterback in the NFL.

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Commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters on Wednesday that “there’s absolutely nothing new” in the ongoing “will they, won’t they” saga between the league and the Olympics to be held next year in South Korea. As you might expect, players are still pretty intent on going.

Asked about the news on Thursday, Philadelphia Flyers winger Jakub Voracek told CSN Philly that the NHL refusing to go is “absolutely ridiculous.”

“We have it once every four years. I read something that [NHL deputy commissioner] Bill Daly said ‘we’re not going.’ Nobody wants you to go.

“The players want to go. Why you’re saying you’re not going? You’re not part of the players association. … Nobody wants you there. They want the players.”
Voracek also pointed out that the league would have a tough time keeping its stars from leaving to play for their countries:

The Broncos get high marks on Cutler’s wish list because they’re a team built to win, thanks to a ferocious defense and a cache of talented wide receivers. A deal between the two almost certainly won’t happen because:

The Texans should be the top spot on any free-agent quarterback’s wish list this spring. Houston has a strong enough defense to carry the club to the Divisional Round of the playoffs, as proved in 2016, and has a plug-and-play offense just waiting for a competent passer. The franchise bet $72 million that Brock Osweiler would be that guy last spring, but one awful year later, Houston sent him packing to Cleveland.

Cutler would play behind an offensive line with similar sack rate numbers as the one he left behind in Chicago. He’d have a receiving corps headlined by All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins and flanked by second-year speedster Will Fuller. The Texans also have a talented rushing attack led by Lamar Miller. The tools are in place for a playoff run in Houston; the Texans are just missing the final, and most important, piece of the puzzle.


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