Drew Brees spends $264,000 on John Wooden jersey to display at Purdue

A few weeks ago an anonymous bidder spent $264,000 to buy a jersey worn by the legendary college basketball coach John Wooden when he played at Purdue in the 1930s. Now that anonymous bidder has come forward: Drew Brees.

Brees, the Saints quarterback who played his college football at Purdue, has announced that the jersey will go on permanent display on Purdue’s campus.

Via BleedingGreenNation.com, Brooks sounded off after practice on Tuesday.

It’s crazy that people haven’t known this, Brooks said. It’s been this way for like a decade. . . . Reggie Wayne did it. He retired. He went there [to the Patriots] for a training camp and retired. Sh-t is not fun there. I was under the same regime in Houston [with O’Brien]. I almost retired. Sh-t was miserable, every day. Every day.

I’ve been working ever since. I feel good. I don’t feel great. Obviously I’ve got a lot of catching up to do and get into some football shape.

The toe injury didn’t seem to be prohibitive to Marshall being able to play. He didn’t miss a single game in 2015 despite the injury and finished the year with 1,502 receiving yards an 14 touchdowns. That also included 100-yard games in five of the last six games the Jets played that season and seven touchdowns over that span as well.

But the Seahawks will hope that with the ankle injury behind him and a bothersome toe now cleaned up as well, Marshall will be able to provide a significant boost to their receiving corps. Marshall knows that he has to prove he can still get the job done at 34 years old as well.

I think the sentiment around the league is that I’m done, he said. And I get it, rightfully so. When you get on the other side of 30 (years old) and your production slips and you have a big injury, people just count you out. So it was an interesting process, a humbling process to say the least.

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Asked Thursday if he feels a need to use the draft’s No. 2 overall pick on a successor for his 37-year-old signal-caller, Gettleman labeled the idea hogwash.

You miss on a quarterback, you’ve really hurt the franchise for five years, Gettleman added. It’s a five-year mistake.

Over the years, we’ve been taught to distrust everything we see and hear during the NFL Draft’s smokescreen season. Gettleman can disarm reporters with the claim that he hasn’t lied since he got caught numerous times as a child, but that doesn’t mean he’s telegraphing his plans.

Gettleman isn’t lying about his team’s draft strategy. With a straight face, he can point out the dire consequences of swinging and missing on a quarterback at the top of the draft.

As a four-decade NFL lifer, though, he knows just as well that the cost to the franchise is equally steep if a running back, offensive lineman or pass rusher goes bust at the top of the draft.

Davis says the team’s rules are overbearing and unreasonable, and that she was unjustly fired from what was once her dream job. She has filed a civil rights complaint, and is speaking out about discriminatory policies in professional cheerleading. Professional cheerleading is a much more exhausting and high-pressure job than many people realize.

Cheerleaders don’t only dance and cheer during games; they also have to make promotional appearances, show up to photo shoots, sell products for the team, and practice for hours and hours each week. They are also expected to meet very specific guidelines regarding their weight, general appearance, and etiquette. To give an idea of the standards professional cheerleaders are held to, here are just a few of the etiquette and appearance standards cheerleaders are expected to meet if they want to keep their jobs. In 2014, the Los Angeles Times published sections  of the 2012 handbook for the Oakland Raiders cheer team, the Raiderettes.

Conventional wisdom had centered on USC quarterback Sam Darnold. In recent weeks, however, Wyoming’s Josh Allen has emerged as a potential alternative.

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer collects and summarizes the various reports linking the Browns to Allen. The common thread? G.M. John Dorsey’s affinity for rocket-armed throwers. Last year, for example, the Chiefs (under Dorsey) moved from No. 27 to No. 10 to get Patrick Mahomes. And Dorsey spent years in Green Bay with Brett Favre as the resident gunslinger.

With the Giants reportedly interested in Darnold or no quarterback at No. 2, the Browns could try to cajole the Giants to move to No. 1, which then would allow the Browns to get Allen at No. 2. Falling any farther than No. 2 would make it more difficult for the Browns to get Allen.

If the Browns take Allen at No. 1 and the Giants take Darnold at No. 2, the Jets would then likely take Baker Mayfield or Josh Rosen at No. 3, giving the Browns at No. 4 the de facto No. 1 overall non-quarterback.

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Report: Seahawks expected to cut second-rounder Malik McDowell, who still isn’t cleared

Malik McDowell, after one serious non-football injury and zero games played, is apparently on his final days in Seattle. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Seahawks are expected to cut McDowell, who is still seeking medical clearance, in the near future.

McDowell, taken 35th overall in last year’s draft, was expected to bolster the Seahawks’ defensive line in the years to come.

Last season, the Seahawks missed the playoffs for the first time since 2011 and they’ve spent the offseason moving on from Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Jimmy Graham, and Sheldon Richardson. More changes might be coming. Earl Thomas has been floated in trade discussions, and it’s not clear if Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor will be able to play football again. Meanwhile, the teams surrounding the Seahawks — the Rams and 49ers, namely — have only gotten stronger over the past year.

Hernandez is a first-team All-American. A powerful, 348-pound road grader, he could provide an immediate boost to Detroit’s ground game. Wynn, who has experience at tackle, is the more athletic option if the Lions put a premium on moving in space, whether pulling or attacking the second level.

In the second round, the Lions still could look for a guard, such as Auburn’s Braden Smith, or consider a top-tier center such as Ohio State’s Billy Price (who could slide a bit because of a pec injury suffered at the combine) or Iowa’s James Daniels.

If Detroit went that route, Glasgow would most certainly stay at guard.

Beyond the perceived need for a starting guard, the Lions are otherwise in reasonable shape up front for 2018. Still, the team also should be mindful of a backup plan for Lang in 2019.

I think the NFL really views this event as an event for diehard football fans, Estis said. So I think having team sections like that, down on the floor, close to the stage to create all that really cool atmosphere of hardcore fans, I think that’s what the NFL wants, and I know they’re working hard to make sure that fans from each of those markets end up in those seats.

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Third-year review on Lions’ 2015 draft: Not good

It’s often said you don’t know what you have with an NFL draft class until three years have passed. With that in mind, and sticking to an annual tradition, I’ve re-evaluated the Detroit Lions’ draft from three years ago, prior to the upcoming round of rookies being added to the roster.

After another disappointing training camp last year, he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers for a fifth-round pick in 2019.

Abdullah’s best season was his rookie year, when he led the team in yards from scrimmage. Working in tandem with Joique Bell, Abdullah averaged 4.2 yards per carry, caught 25 passes and was one of the league’s better kickoff returners.

He appeared primed for a breakout in 2016, but a Week 2 foot injury prematurely ended his season. And when he returned last year as the featured back in the rotation, he struggled in the role. Despite flashing some big-play ability, his efficiency bottomed out at 3.3 yards per attempt. Even if given the benefit of the doubt because of inferior blocking and play-calling, the results weren’t good enough.

The game was preceded by a moment of silence to remember the lives of Erin Popovich, the wife of San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, and former first lady Barbara Bush. 76ers coach Brett Brown is a former a Spurs assistant who has remained close with the Popovich family, and said Erin Popovich was a star, like a real star. A very strong woman, and somebody that will be missed.

Among those in the sold-out crowd were former Heat point guards Mario Chalmers and Jason Williams, the starters on Miami’s three NBA championship teams. Both got warm ovations when shown on the videoboards around the arena.

That message was underscored by the Seattle Seahawks’ decision to sign a quarterback with no experience instead of keeping a scheduled meeting with Kaepernick after he reportedly didn’t declare he would no longer protest. The former 49ers quarterback, who led the team to the Super Bowl and came within a play of winning the title, has not been in trouble with the law.

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Bears were more worried about some knees than others

For another $1 million dollars, the Bears could have made sure Cameron Meredith was theirs this season.

But apparently the concerns over his reconstructed knee forced them into a cautious valuation, and so they lost him without compensation yesterday when they didn’t match the Saints offer sheet for the wide receiver. They tendered the former undrafted rookie at the lowest level of $1.9 million, when tendering him at $2.9 million would have gotten them a second-round pick if someone would have signed him away (or more accurately, scared off any suitors for a year).

Granted, Robinson has better back-of-the-football-card stats than Meredith, but not by a margin larger than the difference in their paychecks. Robinson had a 1,400-yard season in 2015, but in 2016, his 73-catch, 883-yard, six-touchdown stat line isn’t much different from Meredith’s 66-888-4.

Considering the Bears monitored Meredith’s rehab all last season, they’re in the best position to know what’s happening in that knee. But given General Manager Ryan Pace’s track record of finding qualified receivers vs. the Saints’, it’s worth wondering whether they were penny wise and pound foolish on this deal.

Drafted in the first round, Davis was tasked with the difficult challenge of starting at middle linebacker from Day 1. He played every defensive snap in six of his first seven games — only missing time in the outlier due to a concussion – but had noticeable struggles in coverage and with his pursuit angles, leading to being one of the league leaders in missed tackles.

By mid-season, the coaching staff reduced the rookie’s role, pulling Davis off the field on obvious passing downs. The idea was to narrow his focus on Sundays and work on his coverage skills on the practice field, building him back up to the complete linebacker he needed to be.

If Week 17 was any proof, the development plan put in place was a success. Davis played every snap in season-ending win over the Green Bay Packers and delivered his finest performance. He recorded a season-high 12 tackles (without a miss) and forced a fumble.

More: Patricia likes LBs, but would Lions take one in first round?

The strong close to the year buoyed Davis’ spirits heading into his first offseason.

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Giants’ new, veteran running back understands why he’s here

Jonathan Stewart will be given the opportunity to compete for playing time at running back with the Giants, as, for the first time in his long NFL career, he transitions to a new team. The veteran also understands there is another reason why the Giants signed him.

Gettleman spent four years with the Panthers and has inside knowledge of what Stewart is like, on and off the field. Mike Shula, the Giants’ new offensive coordinator, held that title in Carolina and also knows what Stewart can do.

As far as the discussions with Matt, again Matt knows what this team is about and he knows what he can do for this team at a number of levels. He knows that he’s right up against a third contract in the NFL, and those are big contracts and significant discussion points. And he’s very aware of that. And he’s aware of everyone on the team being aware of it. He doesn’t want to be a distraction. That’s him. Ultimately, he’s a team guy through and through. Again, hopefully we can move through this and get this done.

Ryan is in the final year of a five-year, $103.75 million extension and is due $19.25 million in 2018. There was talk of the the Falcons completing the extension before the start of free agency to free up more cap space, but that never materialized. Ryan’s 2018 cap number currently is $21.65 million.

When pressed on how close the team is to reaching a deal with Condon, Dimitroff said, I don’t know how close we are on it. We talk about it and it seems like things are right around the corner and understand that there’s no real rush on it right now. … It’s not like we’re worried about free agency. The only rush on it is getting everyone comfortable so that we can continue to focus on the upcoming season.

I think all of the market will factor into how we do Matt and how we approach Matt, there’s no question about that, Dimitroff said. If I were to state the significance of it, I think it’s just a piece of the pie.

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NBA playoffs 2017: We’re seeing exactly why Kevin Durant came to the Warriors

Kevin Durant needed to be wanted. He didn’t want to be needed.

He went to the bench with 6:48 to go in the first quarter of the Warriors’ Game 4 matchup on the road against the Jazz in the Western Conference semifinals Monday night, having not scored a single point. He wouldn’t re-enter the contest until the 9:23 mark of the second. It didn’t matter.

Durant would heat up before the half and go to the break as one of three Golden State players with 10 points at that juncture. The Warriors, the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs, would go on to a 121-95 victory, their eighth-straight in the playoffs and 23rd in the last 24.

He’s been obviously great for the game of basketball, great for the NBA, great for the Spurs organization, Stephen Curry said. I want to see where that fountain of youth is so I can see if I can get a hold of that for the rest of my career.

Kevin Durant added that, despite turning 40 in July, Ginobili still enjoys the game.

You can just tell how much he loves the game of basketball, Durant said.

Should the Spurs lose and Ginobili decide to retire, he can look back on Game 3 of this series as one of his more startling performances. With Leonard, Tony Parker and David Lee out of the lineup, Ginobili scored 21 points, which was the second-most by a player his age in a conference finals game.

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Meet Anthony Gose: Detroit’s new 99 mph-throwing left-handed pitcher

The whole Cespedes injury thing was a bit of debacle from the start. The Mets’ best hitter was clearly hampered by a sore hamstring originally tweaked on April 20, but instead of putting him on the 10-day DL, the club kept him on the active roster and played shorthanded for a couple of games. In his second game back on the field, April 27, Cespedes re-injured the hamstring running out a double against Atlanta. The Mets finally put him on the DL a day later, and he hasn’t played since. The earliest he could return is early next week.

The Mets were 8-8 after that game April 20. Since then, they’re 15-19, and currently sit 8.5 games behind the Nationals in the NL East. Of course, Cespedes’ injury hasn’t been the only one for the snakebit Mets. Speaking of that …

Tigers fans may still view Anthony Gose as the bust center fielder received in return for second baseman Devon Travis prior to the 2015 season. But Gose is making a comeback at another position.

It was no secret this spring that the Tigers were toying with the idea of converting Gose into a pitcher. After pitching for the first two months of the season in extended spring training, Gose finally got his first taste of game action with Single-A Lakeland on Monday.

Gose, who pitches left-handed, would be among the hardest-throwing lefties in MLB should his transformation work.

Pitching will be Gose’s last chance at reclaiming his MLB career. The 26-year-old is a lifetime .240 hitter with 12 home runs in 372 career at-bats.

If Gose can develop a couple more pitches to go with his fastball, he could have a chance to help Detroit’s struggling bullpen.

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David Price injury update: Red Sox pitcher to make season debut Memorial Day

Farrell said team would keep a tighter rein on Price’s workload initially. Still, adding David Price is always going to be a positive.

Injury issues are out of the norm for Price, who at most missed about six weeks in the middle of the 2013 season with a strained triceps. Otherwise he’s been dependable, one of the many reasons Boston gave him a seven-year, $217 million contract.

The 31-year-old shouldered the load for an injury-riddled Red Sox rotation last season, leading the majors with 35 starts and 230 innings. But his 3.99 ERA was his worst since his rookie season with Tampa Bay in 2009, and he surrendered a career-high 8.9 hits per nine innings.

Meantime, Wendelstedt huddled with crew chief Joe West, then they walked off the field, as if they were going to the headsets used in replay reviews. The umpires huddled some more and then called Fontana out ’ without using replay.

After consulting with me, [Wendelstedt] said, ’I want to change it myself. I think I erred. I think I called it too quick. I don’t want to go to replay.’ I said, ’OK, it’s your call.’ So he changed it, West told a pool reporter after the game.

Said Wendelstedt: When you’re an umpire you have to be honest with yourself. ’ And as soon as my hands went out [indicating the runner was safe], I knew that I’d missed it.

We can correct what we deem as an error, West said, and we did.

According to the Times, Angels manager Mike Scioscia received word from his video coordinator that Martinez tagged Fontana’s hand before it reached the base.

Out.

Which brings another baseball adage: You never know what you’re going to see at the ballpark.

That was new to me, Rays manager Kevin Cash said, but a lot of things are new to me sometimes.

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NCAA baseball tournament 2017: Regionals bracket, schedule for road to College World Series

The NCAA baseball tournament regionals begin this week as 64 teams travel the road to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

Most of the bracket starts play Friday, June 2, with No. 1-overall seed Oregon State (49-4) facing No. 4 Holy Cross (23-27). No. 2 Nebraska (35-20-1) and No. 3 Yale (32-16) round out the four-team field in the Corvallis Regional.

While its certain more than one pitcher will crop up on Houston’s radar (Chris Archer, Yu Darvish and Ervin Santana) and multiple teams will be interested in Cole should he become available, this trade does have some legs because both sides would benefit.

By the time most of us left here yesterday, it was pretty clear that we could have played baseball. But the Cubs felt, and had information that indicated it was not going to be the case.

The sun even made a brief appearance Saturday evening, which caused an over reaction from Brewers manager Craig Counsell.

First time, for us, that we’ve had players treated for sunburn after a rainout, Counsell said.

Stearns even went as far as to suggest MLB look into the Cubs’ postponement.

One last comment from Stearns on Weathergate: If there were other reasons the game was called, that’s something that MLB should look into.

Milwaukee is surprisingly leading the National League Central, though the Cubs beat them 13-6 on Sunday.

Did the Cubs make a mistake in calling Saturday’s as early as they did? Possibly, but the Brewers are blowing it way out of proportion considering it is a 162-game season.

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