NFL 2017 projected win totals: Patriots have highest total on board for season ahead

Tom Brady and the defending-champion New England Patriots will have a high bar set in this year’s NFL win totals as they look to repeat their regular-season success.

The New England Patriots have won at least 12 games in each of their last seven seasons. The Patriots will need to go higher than 12 to cover their posted win total in 2017.

The Patriots are going off as a -130 favorite to go OVER the total of 12.5 wins at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com for the season ahead.

Last year’s New England team went 14-2 SU and 13-3 ATS during the regular season, shaking off the absence of Tom Brady through the first four games of the season and going 10-0 SU and 9-1 ATS en route to a Super Bowl victory over its last 10 games.

Bettors brave enough to bet the UNDER can take solace in the fact that New England had landed on exactly 12 wins in each of its previous four seasons before 2016.

Over three seasons with the Jets, Pryor has 14 pass breakups, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles.

The Browns had the 21st-ranked pass defense in the league last season, and Pro Football Focus ranked the secondary 28th in the league. Cleveland drafted versatile safety Jabrill Peppers with the 25th overall pick this year, but Peppers can be used in a variety of ways. It’s a low-risk move for Cleveland Make Cheap Jerseys to trade for Pryor, and there’s still an opportunity for Pryor to make his way onto the field for the Browns this season and rekindle his career.

Rangers’ Josh Hamilton has another knee surgery, will miss opening day

If a fourth knee surgery in less than two years doesn’t officially mean the end of Josh Hamilton’s career, surely he can see it from here.

The former American League MVP underwent arthroscopic surgery Monday to repair the meniscus in his left knee, the Rangers told reporters. That’s the same knee in which Hamilton suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament last summer, though no new issues were discovered with the ACL.

Even so, it will be at least six weeks before the 35-year-old is cleared to begin running again, ensuring that he will be sidelined past opening day as his injury-wracked career winds down.

That I was slow off the ball, Garrett said Saturday of Smith’s assessment of him, per ESPN.com. … Every now and then, a couple plays. He was just like, ‘Yeah, you need to be faster.’

The film the two watched together was from Texas A&M’s game against UCLA, when Garrett had 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack in a 31-24 overtime win for the Aggies.

Garrett said this is the first time he remembers being criticized for lack of speed.

He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.57 seconds at Texas A&M’s pro day, an improvement from the 4.64 he posted at the NFL Combine. Those are excellent times for a defensive end of Garrett’s size (6-5, 272 pounds).

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Texans keeping Osweiler-O’Brien fight quiet was best move of free agency

The story that Pro Football Talk broke over the weekend about Brock Osweiler’s locker-room scuffle and/or insubordination in the Texans’ season finale is another reminder that news always gets out, especially bad news.

But it didn’t get out before Rick Smith unloaded Osweiler and his contract on the Browns. If that doesn’t give him a leg up on 2017 NFL executive of the year, nothing does.

Altering game play for the sake of expediency (MLB vice president Joe Torre, in disclosing the experiment, cited concerns about extra-inning games dragging) is always wrong. Baseball currently has it right by playing until there’s a winner. Basketball has it right by playing five-minute overtimes. The NFL doesn’t quite have it right with its 15-minute sudden-death period.

MLB, then, is needlessly wading into college football and NHL territory. College football games become red zone drills. The NHL turns regular-season games into skills competitions with its three-on-three overtime and shootouts. These setups are material departures from what transpires during the first 60 minutes. Regardless of whether fans get jacked for these innovations, they’re still wrong.

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Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter withdraws from WBC with back stiffness

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told reporters Saturday that Matt Carpenter’s lower back stiffness has forced him to withdraw from Team USA’s roster for the World Baseball Classic.

Of greater concern to the Cardinals and their fans is Carpenter’s progress going forward in recovering from the ailment that has sidelined him the past three days. Matheny said the veteran is concerned the tightness could aggravate his oblique muscle. He missed a month of the 2016 season because of a strained right oblique.

A hip problem in 2016 — the first year of a three-year, $48 million contract — triggered a back injury and then inflammation in his neck, landing him on the disabled list for a month. Kazmir finished the season 10-6 in 26 starts with a 4.56 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and 0.2 WAR.

Asked how often he was at his best last year, Kazmir said: Maybe one start. It’s definitely frustrating. I’m not able to show everyone, show the fans, show my teammates, what I’m capable of doing.

At 33, he is a group of pitchers — along with Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Julio Urias — vying to fill the fourth and fifth spots in the Dodgers rotation behind Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda.

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Derek Jeter reportedly ‘beside himself angry’ over joint Alex Rodriguez interview

Even though it’s been awhile since Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez have played together on the Yankees, things aren’t smooth sailing between the pair.

Jeter and Rodriguez appeared together during a joint CNBC interview with Bob Pisani to discuss their charities on May 2. However, the questioning turned to their personal relationship, and the tension was palpable.

Although the Steelers’ front office didn’t necessarily believe him, Roethlisberger caused quite a stir when he revealed earlier this year he was mulling retirement.

I’m going to take this offseason to evaluate, to consider all options, Roethlisberger said in January. To consider health, and family and things like that and just kind of take some time away to evaluate next season, if there’s going to be a next season.

Still, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert remained confident that Pittsburgh’s trio of Killer Bs would stay intact for at least one more season. Now that wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell are locked up with new contracts, the team’s priority will shift to under center. The Steelers have already secured Landry Jones after re-signing the backup to a two-year deal on March 9.

Roethlisberger, who turned 35 on March 2, has two years remaining on his five-year contract worth $99 million.

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Josh Hamilton expects to make Rangers’ opening day roster

Josh Hamilton has had a pair of knee surgeries since last appearing in a major league game and doesn’t seem to have a position with the Rangers, but he still believes he’ll open the season with Texas.

Sure, the former American League MVP said Thursday, via MLB.com. If I’m healthy, I know I’ll get out there and perform.

Hamilton admitted considering retirement, acknowledging how difficult it would be for him to approach the levels he performed at during his first stint with Texas, but ultimately decided to take one last shot.

I have a lot left, he said. A whole lot. I’ve got a good feeling.

During the trial, prosecutors argued DeCinces used non-public information passed along by a Laguna Beach neighbor to make a windfall in a corporate merger while helping friends and family members do the same.

DeCinces reportedly cleared about $1.3 million when Advanced Medical Optics was bought out by Abbott Laboratories in 2008 for about four times the price at which the former company’s stock was being traded.

David Parker, a friend of DeCinces’ who also profited from the deal, was convicted on three counts Friday. The jury was deadlocked on charges against the man who provided DeCinces with the information, James Mazzo, prompting the judge to declare a mistrial.

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Mariachi band hilariously follows Mariners player on his birthday

To celebrate the special occasion, Seattle Mariners teammates hired a Mariachi band to follow him around all day.

It’s Leonys Martin’s 29th birthday, so the #Mariners have lined up a mariachi band to follow him around this morning at practice.

Based on the latest ballot tracking, the Baseball Hall of Fame’s class of 2017 could include as many as five players, which would be only the second five-member class in history.

To earn a plaque in Cooperstown, former major league players must be retired at least five years and receive votes on at least 75 percent of ballots cast by voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

There was nothing wrong with MLB’s on-field hats when they featured only a team’s logo, even in the All-Star Game and World Series. This worked for decades. Nobody complained. Nobody thought, You know what would make me buy that hat? A giant patch on the side.

But the annual ridiculousness has been an evolution a long time coming. The changes started innocently enough. For the 1992 season, MLB added its official logo to the back of all on-field caps, which was a fine and appropriate (but still unnecessary) use of a patch. That appeased the Patch Powers for a few years, but then they got antsy again, and disaster followed in 1996.

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NFL free agency: Kevin Zeitler honest about going where the money is: Cleveland

Few free agents say the biggest reason they signed with a new team was the money even if that was the case.

Kevin Zeitler deserves credit for honesty after inking the largest free-agent contract for a guard in NFL history.

Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Zeitler told co-host Bill Polian and me the five-year, $60 million deal tendered by the Browns was why he spurned an offer from the Saints to leave the Bengals.

On April 6, Mazza was the pitcher for Tebow’s first professional dinger, a shot that just cleared the left-center field wall in Columbia, S.C. Mazza had a tough night in general, allowing seven runs (all earned) in 2 2/3 innings.

The 22-year-old left-hander responded with a pair of decent outings on April 12 and 18, but he threw just a combined nine innings in those starts. In fact, he threw 81 pitches his last time out, when he lasted just five. Now he has gone nine on just 85.

That’s a high-class Maddux, no matter the level of ball.

If the baseball thing doesn’t work out for Mazza, he might have a future in golf. The (San Jose) Mercury News noted Mazza finished second in the World Long Drive Championship main event in 2010 as a high school junior. He crushed a drive a reported 436 yards.

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Photo appears to show Royals’ Yordano Ventura wasn’t robbed at accident scene

A graphic photo tweeted out by a longtime sports writer in the Dominican Republic appears to quash any claim that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was robbed after the car wreck that killed him.

The previously undistributed photo tweeted Wednesday by Bienvenido Rojas of Santo Domingo appears to show a bloodied Ventura with a watch on one wrist and a bracelet on another while a man wearing hospital gloves takes a camera phone picture of the watch. Omnisport deemed the photo too graphic Cheap Authentic Jerseys From China to show.

Still, winning 13 games is a tall order for any team. The Patriots went 14-2 last season, but have won 12 games or less in six of the last nine years.

Another factor in the Westgate’s decision to open the Pats so high is bookmakers’ anticipation that most people will bet ‘over’.

“We know there’s going to be a lot of public support for the Patriots, there always is,” Westgate manager John Murray told ESPN. “We should see some wiseguy bets on the ‘under’, but we know we’re going to get overwhelmed with Patriots ‘over’ money, so we figure we might as well start them with a high total.”

After the Patriots, the Westgate opened the Packers, Steelers and Seahawks at 10.5 wins apiece. The Browns (4.5) were assigned the lowest win total of all 32 teams.

Based on the Westgate’s numbers, here’s a projected playoff field for the upcoming season, in order of seeding.

Twins offer to help clothe Beyonce’s growing family

The Minnesota Twins aren’t expected to get many wins on the field in 2017, but they’ve already scored one on social media.

A day after Beyonce announced that she’s pregnant with her own set of twins, the Minnesota version offered to help clothe the mega-star’s growing family with a set of personalized jerseys.

The team isn’t waiting for an answer, asking simply, “Where should be send these?”

“Until I had surgery on both my knees in August, 2014.”

Swisher’s MLB career began in 2004 with the A’s. He left Oakland to Cheap Braves Jerseys join the Yankees in 2009, the last time the Pinstripers won the World Series, and he stayed in New York through the 2012 season. He spent the 2013, 2014 and part of the 2015 season with the Cleveland Indians and played his last major league games with the Braves in 2015.

In July 2016, he opted out of a minor-league deal with the Yankees after the birth of his second daughter.

Swisher, an outfielder and first baseman, hit .249 for his career, belting 245 home runs and 803 RBIs.

Chris Correa, the Cardinals’ former director of amateur scouting, pleaded guilty in January 2016 to five criminal charges involving unauthorized access to the Astros database.

The Cardinals fired Correa in 2015, and he currently is serving a 46-month sentence in federal prison.

St. Louis Cardinals Chairman and CEO William O. DeWitt Jr. said in a statement the club supports the commissioner’s decision.