Fans will be able to place bets on their phone from inside Raiders’ Las Vegas stadium

The Oakland Raiders have a conditional lease agreement in place for the team’s new stadium in Las Vegas. As it stands now, the agreement will allow fans inside the stadium to place bets on games from their phones, according to ESPN’s David Perdum.

The NFL has strict rules about gambling, which adds another wrinkle to the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas. The team’s lease for the new stadium does include a provision banning any gaming or gambling, but nothing in the lease would keep fans from placing bets via one of many sportsbook apps.

It is possible to block access to sports betting apps inside the stadium using geolocation technology. That’s something the league could pursue through the Nevada Gaming Commission, but they haven’t done so yet.
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There were no flags thrown in my dreams. That’s how I knew it wasn’t real. The NFL would never allow players to have this kind of fun … or would they?

They might! Owners are gathering in Chicago this week to make a few rule changes, one of which is an easing of the league’s War on Fun.

Elite Mens Reggie White Jersey According to Peter King of The MMQB, commissioner Roger Goodell, the commanding general in the league’s War on Fun, has been meeting with players throughout the spring to work on easing the celebration penalties. We still don’t know what the new rule(s) will look like, but one change that’s likely coming is that the ball will probably be in play as a prop again without incurring a penalty and a fine.

An NFL where players are having fun and fans are having fun watching them? Maybe it doesn’t have to be a dream.

(Next, can we do something about the nightmare that is Thursday Night Football?)

NFL better be careful with ‘immediate ejections or suspensions’ for illegal hits

Elite Sam Shields Jersey The NFL’s continued efforts to improve player safety are fine and dandy. They should be commended, in fact.

But if the league wants certain penalized, flagrant hits to result in immediate ejections, as executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent suggested Wednesday, it needs to tread carefully.

Elite Kris Versteeg Jersey Based in part on perpetual confusion over its catch rule despite multiple, public explanations, the NFL apparently has not learned that, sometimes, less is more when it comes to the rule book.

So before it creates another complicated rule, the league at least should examine the nightmare that has been automatic ejections for targeting penalties in college football.

For years, the sights of players limping at young ages, shaking hands with gnarled fingers or struggling to turn their necks from side to side were the saddest sights fans could imagine.

They’re now being replaced by the effects of brains deteriorating and taking bodies along with them — sometimes violently, as the Junior Seaus, Dave Duersons and Andre Waterses have shown.

It’s wreaking havoc through more and more generations of players, coming closer to even the youngest ones.

The time at which we see players being debated in free agency, even the draft, paying the price of playing this sport gets closer every day.

There was the Monday night game in 2007 against New England

There was the 2006 season, in which the Bengals commonly were criticized for having more arrests (10) than victories (eight). A USA Today database demonstrated the 2006 Bengals were the only team to reach double-figures in arrests in a single year — and that followed the 2005 AFC North championship season that portended such promise for the organization.

There was the Monday night game in 2007 against New England, when Cincinnati was trailing 17-7 at the half and wideout Chad Johnson harangued quarterback Carson Palmer all the way from the sideline to the tunnel, and perhaps beyond. Johnson broke off his route on a key play that led to an interception, and Palmer ripped him on the field. Johnson refused to allow Palmer to assert a quarterback’s leadership, even though Palmer was correct.

Johnson caught lots of ball for the Bengals, an average of 92 per year between 2003 and 2007, so Cincinnati management — and many of its fans — made allowances for his me-first antics. But the Bengals averaged seven wins per year and made the playoffs twice during Johnson’s time with the team. That pivotal New England game, the fourth game of the season, became a 34-13 loss and led to a 7-9 finish.

The Nebraska pass rusher admitted failing a Combine drug test, and everybody immediately knew his top-five status was toast. Then he fell out of the first round, and the next day he kept falling. When the Cowboys took him five picks from the end of the second round, he vowed to use the slide as motivation. He hasn’t quite done it yet: He is suspended for the first four games of the upcoming season.nike_cardinals_297

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with baseball’s pace of play at the moment.

Authentic Womens Kendall Wright Jersey There were also other, more subtle factors possibly affecting Lynn’s play, including one that would have seemed like a benefit: the chance to play close to home in Anaheim.

Elite Denny McLain Jersey I can’t see any advantages other than that you’re in the same house you live in all year long, Lynn said.

He continued, But the demands (on) your time are off the charts because everybody wants tickets, they want to see you because you’re around. I didn’t have to deal with that kind of stuff back east. When I came out here, sometimes I couldn’t wait to get on the road just to relax a little bit.

A lot of his problems were park-related, though. There’s a reason why Fenway Park has long been known as an offensive mecca, why Ted Williams hit .428 there in 1941 but just .380 on the road that year.

One of the reasons it is is that there’s no foul territory, Lynn said. Down the right field line or left field line, if it doesn’t go fair, it’s in the stands. That’s an advantage for the hitter. You don’t foul out much. Plus the background is really good.

Of course, there will always be resistance from myself and others if the powers that be try to bastardize the sport with unnecessary changes, such as the intentional walk rule, or the dreadful slide rules. But just because I don’t like them doesn’t mean I’m not willing to have the conversation about them. Some think both of those changes are good for the game. And that’s OK.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with baseball’s pace of play at the moment. Same goes for length of game. I think baseball is just fine as is, but that doesn’t mean I’m unwilling to embrace change. (And #EmbraceThePace, too.) Fun is subjective, but as fans, we shouldn’t be so quick to pooh-pooh others’ ideas of what fun in baseball should be.

Rob Manfred meets with Indians owners about Chief Wahoo issue

Before MLB commissioner Rob Manfred officially announced Friday that Cleveland will host the 2019 All-Star Game, he apparently had a thornier issue to discuss with the Indians — the future of the team’s controversial Chief Wahoo logo.
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Indians beat writer Paul Hoynes of reported that Manfred met with Indians owner Paul Dolan and minority owner John Sherman at Progressive Field to discuss the future of the logo that is beloved by many fans but reviled by many fans and Native American groups as racist.

When asked about the Chief Wahoo issue after the All-Star announcement, Manfred said he didn’t want to speculate on the logo’s future.

The 30-year old is coming off a season in which he rushed for 824 yards in 13 games, all starts, and scored nine touchdowns. Stewart has not played in all 16 games in any of the last five seasons, but has rushed for more than 800 yards and better than four yards per carry in each of the last three.

Authentic Youth Wallace Gilberry Jersey The Panthers are coming off a 6-10 season in which they finished last in the NFC South, but are two years removed from a Super Bowl appearance.

This Panthers have said they are going to try to put more of a focus on getting the ball into Stewart’s hands in 2017 after quarterback Cam Newton was asked to carry the ball nearly 100 times this past season.

The biggest thing, our realization is that our primary runner cannot be our quarterback, coach Ron Rivera said in an interview with ESPN in February. We’re going to look to do a little more backfield sets in terms of two backs and 12 personnel with the extra tight end as the lead blocker.

We’ve got to get guys like Jonathan Stewart rolling. We’ve got to put it in our backs’ hands and get the ball to our playmakers.

Bears, WR Kendall Wright agree to one-year deal

That trade was a day after the White Sox’s other big offseason deal, a jaw-dropper that sent left-handed ace Chris Sale to the Red Sox in exchange for Moncada (now first in BA’s ChiSox ranking), right-hander Michael Kopech (fifth), outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe (eighth) and right-hander Victor Diaz. Kopech, who owns a fastball that easily tops 100 mph, could be in Charlotte (and possibly Chicago) at some point this year, too; he’s at Double-A Birmingham and has 20 strikeouts in 12 innings over three starts so far this year.
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The Bears signed free agent wide receiver Kendall Wright on Saturday to a one-year deal worth $4 million, the team confirmed.

Wright, 27, spent his first five NFL seasons with the Titans, appearing in 66 games with 41 starts and catching 280 passes for 2,244 yards and 18 touchdowns.
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After being selected by the Titans with the 20th of the 2012 draft out of Baylor, Wright had 64 receptions for 626 yards and four TDs as a rookie. The 5-10 slot receiver then had a breakout second season in 2013, catching 94 passes for 1,079 yards and two touchdowns.

Last season Wright saw a significant drop in productivity. He appeared in just 11 games with four starts, catching 29 passes for 416 yards and three touchdowns.

Wright could help new quarterback Mike Glennon as a checkdown option over the middle of the field. With Alshon Jeffery now in an Eagles uniform, Wright should see plenty of playing time.

Read the suicide note Aaron Hernandez left for fiancée Shayanna Jenkins

When Aaron Hernandez committed sucicde in prison last month he left behind three notes in his cell.

Until now the notes have remained private, but Friday afternoon Massachusetts Court officials released a note left for his fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins. There is some information that has been redacted, but most of the note can be read.

You have always been my soul-mate and I want you to love life and know I’m always with you. I told you what was coming indirectly! I love you so much and know you are an angel – literally! We split into two to come change the world! Your characteristics is that of a true angel and the definition of God’s love! Tell my story fully but never think anything besides how much I love you. This was the Supreme’s, the Almighty’s plan, not mine! I love you! Let (redacted) know how much I love her! Look after (redacted) and (redacted) for me – they are my boys (you’re rich). I knew I loved you = Savage Garden

Officials have confirmed in the past there were three notes left behind in Hernandez’s cell, although they never specified who they were addressed to. Multiple reports have claimed a second note was left for his 4-year-old daughter.

The third note, however, has been a source of speculation for weeks. Some outlets have claimed it was for a gay lover, a fellow prison inmate described as a “close friend” hired an attorney to claim it was for him and TMZ Sports reported in April the note was left for Hernandez’s attorney, Jose Baez.

The former Patriots tight end was in prison serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. A few days before his death he was found not guilty for a double murder of two men in Boston.

Aaron Hernandez left note in blood before suicide, police say

Elite Dexter McCluster Jersey Fitzpatrick has started at least eight games every year since 2008, but that streak should come to an end this season. He was terrible last year; the centerpiece of a major market team collapse, which kills his value.

Fitzpatrick sat around all spring last year with no interest, so there is no reason to think more interest would magically appear this season. If someone gets hurt in training camp, it’s possible Fitz could get a call, but it’s hard to see a fit for him.

It has been well-publicized that former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez left notes for loved ones, alleged loved ones, and attorneys, so just about every single thing leading up to, the act of, and the aftermath of his suicide have been documented.

But a report released by Massachusetts State Police on Thursday (via MassLive) included an additional fact that many have not touched on.
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It was reported before that Hernandez wrote John 3:16 on his forehead before his apparent suicide, and he had a Bible next to his bed opened to the verse, but the report also revealed Hernandez wrote the verse on the wall of his cell in his own blood.

He was found with cuts after his suicide and apparently he used the blood from those cuts to write upon the wall.

It’s a stark image, but one that tells just a little bit more about the final moments before Hernandez’s death.

Masterpiece of a story from Ethan Strauss on Steph Curry in the wake up of Kevin Durant.

Game Mens Heath Miller Jersey Lonzo is projected as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, but he has no endorsement offers from any of the three major sneaker companies in Nike, Adidas, or Under Armour. It’s the first time a top draft prospect has been shut out of the Big 3 of kicks corporations.

That’s because LaVar Ball has pushed for a co-branded partnership with whichever company intends to sign him, which would allow Big Baller Brand to operate underneath the parent umbrella. That’s like Jordan Brand, which signs athletes and has its own sneaker line as part of the Nike family.

Ball has also set the bar high, claiming he and his sons will settle for no less than a combined $1 billion deal over the life of the contract. That prompted Nike CEO Phil Knight to call Ball’s asking price a bit steep, and company consultant George Raveling to call Ball himself the worst thing to happen to basketball in the last hundred years.

Lonzo Ball is projected as the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming draft after an impressive freshman season leading the UCLA Bruins to a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA tournament.

Masterpiece of a story from Ethan Strauss on Steph Curry in the wake up of Kevin Durant. So much of chew on here. (And it’s also Ethan’s last story for ESPN.)

Is this what FIBA wanted? A couple of years ago, the international body elected to switch up World Cup and Olympic qualifying, moving games into windows that conflict with most leagues’ seasons, including the NBA. So USA Basketball will be using D-League players to qualifying for the 2019 FIBA World Cup starting next November.

Game Mens Maurkice Pouncey Jersey Brandon Roy was shot in Los Angeles this weekend. He was shielding kids at his grandmother’s house.

Tony Parker’s injury is a season-ending ruptured left quadriceps tendon

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Spurs point guard Tony Parker suffered a ruptured left quadriceps tendon during San Antonio’s Game 2 win over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. He will require season-ending surgery to repair it, according to The San Antonio Express-News’ Jeff McDonald.

It marked the first major injury of his illustrious 15-year career.

Authentic Marshall Faulk Jersey After losing twice at home to Chicago, the Celtics are countering with Green’s scoring punch in the starting five. Through two games, Boston is only scoring 101.7 points per 100 possessions, rather than the nearly 109 offensive rating it recorded in the regular season. Some of their struggles has just been the Celtics missing open shots, but the more you look at their team, the more you see the flaws of building around a single player — Isaiah Thomas — with no one else reliably being able to create offense.

Green in the starting five could help that, although the real trouble begins when Thomas leaves the floor. The 2005 Celtics draft pick has one quantifiable NBA skill, volume scoring, and he will get buckets if you give him minutes. It may not happen within the flow of the offense, or efficiently enough for Boston’s liking, but Green certainly could add a dimension that Boston lacks outside of Thomas.

Still, this season, the Celtics have played Green in 47 games, where he has scored about six points on 41 percent shooting and 35 percent on threes. Boston envisioned Green in a slightly bigger role than occasional offensive boost off the bench this season, something he wasn’t really able to provide.

The 31-year-old does have a cool story, dropping out of the league for a couple seasons before finding his way back in.

We’ll see if the coaching move from Brad Stevens works for Boston, which clearly has its back against the wall.