Falcons re-sign Kemal Ishmael

The Falcons are bringing safety Kemal Ishmael back to the team for the 2018 season.

Ishmael became a free agent when the league year opened in March and a month on the open market didn’t lead him to a new home. The Falcons announced on Wednesday that Ishmael agreed to a one-year deal.

The 2018 season will be Ishmael’s sixth with the Falcons after joining the team as a 2013 seventh-round pick. He played every game last season and started once on defense while appearing on just under 80 percent of the team’s special teams snaps.

If no NFL teams express interest based on his performances in the Spring League, however, Manziel would still have time to join a CFL team before the start of the league’s training camp in May. His rights continue to be owned by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, whose season begins June 16 and whose coach — former Hawaii and SMU coach June Jones — has said Manziel would be “the best player to ever play up here.”

Now, as he tries to get back into the NFL, Manziel has embraced the media, making himself available and visible as he apparently hopes that, by being around long enough and often enough, someone will finally decide to give him his next (last) shot in the NFL. The media gladly is embracing Manziel, too. Even though he’s a guy who hasn’t been on an NFL roster (not even the 90-man offseason version) in more than two full years, the media can’t get enough of him.

Most recently, Manziel appeared on ESPN with Scott Van Pelt, sharing the story of how Manziel’s life finally turned around.

“I got so low to the point where I questioned what I was doing and if my life was probably really worth living to a point anymore and got really down and really had to sit and reflect and look on what I was doing every day,” Manziel said. “My mom came to me one day and asked me — she didn’t really ask, she was just in tears — ‘What are you doing with your life? Why do I have to go around and get this secondhand of words and conversations of the negative things you’re doing around the world that’s coming back to me?’ And I saw how bad that it broke her heart, and it sucked. And it really hit home.”buccaneers_248

In the last week, the Magic faced four winning teams and split those games.

Positive momentum for a team with the second-worst record in the NBA is hard to quantify, but the Orlando Magic are feeling better about the events of the last week.

They beat Minnesota and Boston while sustaining close losses to Washington and Cleveland.

On Tuesday, Orlando gets a crack at getting consecutive wins for the first time in over two months when it hosts the Sacramento Kings.

“Hopefully, after missing these two games, he doesn’t have to miss any more,” Kidd said.

Philadelphia was without its top two shooting guards. JJ Redick (cracked bone below his knee) is out at least a week and Jerryd Bayless (sore left wrist) didn’t dress.

Luwawu-Cabarrot, a French guard in his second NBA season, stepped into the starting lineup and made 3 of 5 3-pointers. His 3-pointer capped a 13-0 run early in the fourth as Philadelphia built a 97-82 lead.

“It’s just a great win for this young team to come into San Antonio, where they only lost two games,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “This has always been a tough place to play and to end the road trip when you’re a little fatigued and a little tired. The challenge was mentally give yourself a chance by giving the effort, staying connected, playing together, and they did.”

The Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings have clinched the NFC East and NFC North titles, with Philadelphia securing a first-round bye. The New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars have also clinched their divisions in the AFC. The Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints have the inside track to round out the top four seeds in the conferences.

In the NFC, the Carolina Panthers, at 10-4, have a firm hold on the NFC’s first wild-card spot. Using the same data that helped construct our power rankings — which highlights a team’s actual and expected win percentage for the year — we estimate Coach Ron Rivera and his squad will finish 11-5, making them a near lock (99 percent) for the postseason. Those same metrics project the Falcons to finish 10-6, giving them a 91 percent chance of making the playoffs as the second, and last, wild-card team.patriots_016_fc63cdaa4859b50d-180x180

This game was the first time a No. 1 seed came into the playoffs as an underdog.

Raiders owner Mark Davis has offered Gruden an ownership stake in the past, according to sources, and if he were willing to do so again, the contract then would have to be approved by all 32 NFL owners. The NFL’s finance committee also would have to vet Gruden, but there is no reason to think it would not approve the deal.

This past Memorial Day, Malik provided a day of fun activities for 200 military children who lost a loved one. Jackson committed to donate $5,000 to 5 Star Veterans Center, a foundation that offers safe and secure housing to end veteran homelessness.

Jackson also works with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. He participated in a ride-along with Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office patrol officer and former Jaguar Ernest Wilford. Jackson and Wilford discussed civilian and police relations and the importance of dialogue between both groups as they traveled to River City Science Academy Elementary School to engage students.

But creative play calling like this helped lock the game up for the Eagles.

The catch rule bit the Falcons with less than four minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Trailing 15-10, Ryan completed a pass to Sanu for a first down on third-and-6. Except the pass was incomplete.

Sanu didn’t control the ball all the way through the catch, and the Falcons had no choice but to go for it. Matt Ryan completed a clutch pass to Jones for a fresh set of downs.

But the Falcons couldn’t punch it into the end zone, and the Eagles will host the NFC Championship Game.

After being named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year as a junior at Boston College, Mark was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Mark regularly visits hospitals and sends get-well messages to fans battling cancer.

Doug Marrone, head coach, Jacksonville. The Jaguars clinched the AFC South title with a 45-7 rout of the formerly good Texans. So much of these Jaguars is simply unrecognizable, and so much of that is Marrone’s doing. Since he came into the job as interim coach last December, he’s been blunt and clear and unmistakable in his direction. “Everything with him is black and white,” veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis told me. “No French pastry. That’s the kind of guy I like to play for.”blues_1061

Yankees raise available money for Shohei Ohtani to $3.5 million

The New York Yankees raised their available signing bonus money for Japanese star Shohei Ohtani to $3.5 million, acquiring $250,000 in pool money from the Miami Marlins on Monday for left-hander Caleb Smith and first baseman Garrett Cooper.

Booker has 28 rushes and 10 targets on 92 snaps during that span. C.J. Anderson sits at 32 carries and five targets on 69 plays. Jamaal Charles, who played a season-low four snaps against Cincinnati, has 15 carries and five targets on 39 plays during the three games. Booker appears to have emerged as Denver’s lead back, though it’s possible that changes following the firing of offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and promotion of Bill Musgrave. Until Musgrave’s plan is unveiled, Booker and Anderson are no more than uninspiring flex options. Charles should remain on waivers.

Ausmus managed the Tigers from 2014-17; the Tigers announced in September that the team would not extend his contract.

Also Tuesday, the Angels named Josh Paul their new bench coach.

Paul spent the past three seasons as the Yankees’ catching coordinator. Before that, he was a scout and minor league manager for New York, where Eppler spent over a decade in the front office.

The 42-year-old Paul was a catcher for the Angels from 2004-05. He played in 321 career big league games with four franchises from 1999-2007.

Paul replaces Dino Ebel, who will return to his previous job as the Angels’ third-base coach after four seasons as manager Mike Scioscia’s bench coach.

Ebel replaces Ron Roenicke, who left the Angels to become new Red Sox manager Alex Cora’s bench coach.broncos_057

The crowd wanted the feel-good story for Elliott and felt Hamlin did him wrong.

If the 49ers want to turn things around, it’s going to take a quarterback other than Brian Hoyer or C.J. Beathard. Hoyer was benched for Beathard after completing 58 percent of his passes and throwing as many interceptions as touchdowns. Beathard hasn’t been much better, with five turnovers and a quarterback rating of 65.2 through three games, a number that’s even worse than Hoyer’s.

So we can make the shoes to exactly what we want. It’s a shoe similar to a Chuck Taylor, which is one of the most durable shoes of all time. There’s a guy on the ground. We gave him all the specifics we want. It’s the best way for us to get the kids on the shoes as soon as possible. We gave the money straight to the source, and the shoes are being made right away. What we say is what we’re going to do, and it’s getting done.

“That was our opportunity to punch our ticket to go to Homestead.”

As Busch celebrated, Elliott fumed and rammed into Hamlin on the cool-down lap. The two drivers got out of their cars and exchanged words before driving to pit road.

Derek Carr (11:50 a.m.): Weather will have some impact on Carr’s effectiveness in today’s game in Buffalo, but what could more than compensate for any windy or wet conditions is the absence of two Buffalo starters in the secondary — S Jordan Poyer and CB E.J. Gaines.

Dontrelle Inman (11:45 a.m.): The wide receiver, acquired by the Bears from the Chargers earlier this week, is not active for Chicago today. Give him a little more time to learn the team’s playbook, and perhaps he’ll produce going forward.

NFL draft prospect Caleb Brantley charged after allegedly knocking out woman

Former Florida Gators defensive tackle Caleb Brantley is facing a misdemeanor battery charge. The charge stems from an altercation with a woman on April 13 that ended with Brantley allegedly knocking the woman unconscious.

According to the police report, Brantley argued with the victim after he reportedly made crude comments to her. The woman pushed Brantley, and he reacted by punching the 56, 120-pound woman in the face. The woman lost consciousness and suffered dental injuries that will require a root canal to repair.
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Washington drafted Griffin with the second pick, and he went on to win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. After Griffin injured his knee in the late stages of rookie campaign, his production sharply declined, which led to Washington letting him walk in free agency in 2016. In retrospect, Washington made a bad move by giving the Rams four picks for a quarterback who ended up as a one-hit wonder. Washington also drafted quarterback Kirk Cousins in the fourth round that year, and he is now the teams franchise quarterback.

But this draft consisted of many questionable picks. The Cleveland Browns whiffed on both their first-round picks: running back Trent Richardson and quarterback Brandon Weeden. The following year, Cleveland ended up shipping Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2014 first-round pick. The 26-year-old running back battled weight and production issues over his career and hasnt played a regular season game since 2014.
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