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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — New York Giants tackle Will Beatty is going to remain on the physically unable to perform list for the rest of the season.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin says Beatty was diagnosed with a rotator cuff injury during his rehabilitation from a pectoral tear and will need surgery.

Beatty has been the starting left tackle for the most part since 2011. He tore a pectoral muscle in the offseason lifting weights and was placed on PUP to start the season.

The Giants had until Thursday to make a decision on activating Beatty.

First-round draft pick Ereck Flowers has replaced Beatty at left tackle and played well.

Coughlin also said that left guard Justin Pugh did not sustain a concussion Sunday. His headaches were from dehydration.

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Bernard Pierce can’t wait to become the Baltimore Ravens’ starting running back in Sunday’s season opener against Cincinnati.

Pierce will step in for Ray Rice, who is serving a two-game suspension for domestic violence.

“I’m as excited as I can be, but at the end of the day I can’t really overthink it,” Pierce said after Wednesday’s practice. “I just have to make sure I stay mentally locked in and focused because, you know, this could possibly be my only shot. If you can’t handle the load, somebody else will.”

Pierce already has shown he can handle at least some of the load. He rushed for 532 yards in the regular season as a rookie two years ago, then ran for 202 more yards in four playoff games as the Ravens won the Super Bowl.

He also averaged 4.9 yards per carry in the regular season in 2012. His numbers slipped some last year as Pierce battled injuries (knee, shoulder) while working behind an ineffective offensive line. He finished with 436 yards and only 2.9 yards per carry.

Pierce then underwent shoulder surgery in the offseason and suffered a minor concussion in the third exhibition game versus Washington. He said he’s fine now and ready to go in his second career start.

“I guess it’s a good feeling,” Pierce said. “But we always have to prepare to be starters. So when you’re needed, you’ve got to be ready to go at all times.”

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he’s confident Pierce will be do the job while Rice sits out. The Ravens picked Pierce in the third round of the 2012 draft from Temple, and Harbaugh said there’s a reason he was selected that high.

“Bernard’s a good player,” Harbaugh said. “He’s got talent. He’s tough. He works really hard. We’ve all seen him carry the ball at his best, and we just want to see him be his best. He’s done a real good job.”

Pierce ran for 89 yards on 21 carries in the preseason and scored a touchdown.

Injuries slowed Pierce last year, but when he’s right, he’s effective.

“You’ve seen Bernard for a couple of years now. He’s a good running back, especially when he’s healthy and feeling good,” quarterback Joe Flacco said. “I think he’s ready to go.”

The Bengals know that Pierce can cause problems as the focal point of new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak’s scheme.

“Bernard is a very good downhill runner,” Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis said. “He’s a strong, strong runner; he’s a good screen runner. He does a lot of good things.”

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RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Pete Carroll called it an “amazing experience” for the Seattle Seahawks to host the football team from Marysville-Pilchuck High less than a week after a shooting at the school left three students dead, including the shooter.

The high school team practiced at the Seahawks’ facility Tuesday. Carroll was there to meet the team, along with a number of players, including cornerback Richard Sherman, safety Earl Thomas and wide receiver Doug Baldwin.

“It was an amazing experience to feel their gratitude. They were most grateful for the opportunity to be here,” Carroll said Wednesday. “Obviously, the Seahawks are a big deal to them. To see them react to Richard Sherman coming out and Earl Thomas and all the guys, and Bobby Wagner, greet them and shaking hands and taking pictures and having fun with them. It was tremendous. As always is the case, both sides receive a lot out of that kind of exchange.”

Student Jaylen Fryberg opened fire at the school’s cafeteria on Friday, killing two students and wounding three others. Fryberg killed himself. Fryberg was a popular freshman who played football and was crowned homecoming royalty days before the shooting.

The team practiced for about two hours inside the Seahawks facility.

“They were kind of shocked to see us I guess a little bit,” Sherman said. “They seemed like some excited kids. They seemed like for a moment in time they forgot about everything that happened and everything that was going on and were able to enjoy the moment and take pictures and smile and laugh and have a good time.”

Baldwin said the experience made him think of his 12-year-old brother.

“The thing I think about a lot is that you can’t take for granted the time you can spend with him or the time you can take to talk to him,” Baldwin said. “Just appreciating the people you have around you, loved ones, family members, friends, because anything can happen.”

The shooting came on the day Marysville-Pilchuck was scheduled to play Oak Harbor High for a division championship. Instead of attempting to reschedule the game, Oak Harbor forfeited the game to Marysville-Pilchuck, agreeing to finish second in the division.

Carroll made a point Wednesday to highlight the generosity of Oak Harbor’s decision and said the Seahawks hope to host Oak Harbor next week. Marysville-Pilchuck is scheduled to play its first game since the shooting this Friday night.

“It does speak to the power of sport and how it is such a unifying element in our culture and you could just see it in this local community,” Carroll said.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers go into their bye with Le’Veon Bell showing he can help Ben Roethlisberger with the balance coach Mike Tomlin has been wanting all season.

Bell turned in the best rushing performance in the NFL this season Monday night with 204 yards, and the Steelers finally beat a struggling team as they rallied for a 27-24 win over the Tennessee Titans.

“We want to be a group that’s capable of stepping in a stadium and throwing with anybody in the NFL,” Tomlin said. “We want to be a group that’s capable of stepping into a stadium and running with anybody in the NFL. I think we are rounding into form in that regard and then we can just do what the game presents to us and I think that’s a recipe for real, long term success.”

The Steelers (7-4) moved into second in the so very competitive AFC North, getting the win they so needed to avoid going into their bye on a two-game skid.

“We definitely could be sitting prettier, but we won the game going into our bye week, so now we can take a week and look back and see what happens in the rest of the division and go from there,” Bell said. “We can only control what we can control right now.”

The Titans (2-8) now must hit the road for a two-game swing in a month filled with winning opponents. But they showed signs of improvement with rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger shaking off an interception returned for a touchdown on his first pass to help Tennessee take a 24-13 lead.

“We’re close,” Mettenberger said. “We’ve just got to keep working.”

Here are some things we learned about the Steelers and Titans:

RED ZONE WOES: Bell scored the Steelers’ first rushing touchdown since Week 3 against Carolina and only Pittsburgh’s fourth this season. The Steelers jumped out to a 10-0 lead that could have been bigger if they hadn’t settled for one of Shaun Suisham’s two field goals after having first-and-goal at the Titans 6. Roethlisberger also was intercepted in the end zone inside the final minute of the first half by Titans cornerback Jason McCourty.

“We still got to get better in the red area,” Tomlin said.

MUNCH’S PAYBACK: Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak coached his first game against the franchise he spent 32 seasons with as a player, assistant coach and later head coach. He was let go in January after going 22-26, and Munchak helped the Steelers hold the ball for nearly 40 minutes with a line opening big holes all night long for Bell. The Steelers held the ball for the final 6 minutes, 58 seconds.

GOOD LOOKING ROOKIE: Mettenberger showed plenty of poise for a rookie in his third NFL start. He left his first pass a little inside, and William Gay picked it off for a 28-yard interception return for a TD. But Mettenberger bounced right back, and his best throw came after McCourty’s interception. He hit Nate Washington in stride for an 80-yard catch and run TD that gave the Titans a 17-13 lead at halftime. Whisenhunt said he was impressed at how Mettenberger responded.

The Steelers were impressed too.

“You can see why they like him, he is a fighter,” Pittsburgh linebacker Lawrence Timmons said. “He sat in the pocket and took some hard hits and delivered some balls. For a rookie going against our defense, you have guys like James Harrison chasing you and he was just sitting in there and showing his heart.”

PROTECTING BIG BEN: For all the holes the Steelers opened for Bell, they still gave up five sacks to the Titans, including two to rookie linebacker Avery Williamson. Roethlisberger escaped another would-be sack when he broke loose on his lone run of the night.

CLEANER TITANS: Penalties have been such an issue for Tennessee that Whisenhunt has had officials at practice the past two weeks. Well, the Titans showed they’re learning as they were flagged only once for 10 yards when right guard Chance Warmack was penalized for holding. It was only the fourth time since the start of the 1999 season the Titans had one or fewer penalties.

“Maybe what we’re doing in practice is helping,” Whisenhunt said.

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CLEVELAND — Trevor Bauer felt the rules beat him before the Royals did.

Bauer allowed Lucas Duda’s homer on his first pitch in the seventh inning for the game’s only run and Ian Kennedy pitched six shutout innings, leading Kansas City to a 1-0 win over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday in frigid, football-like weather conditions.

Duda’s shot off Bauer (0-1) was one of only three hits by Kansas City and a rare highlight as the two teams survived nine innings with the temperature hovering around freezing.

But afterward, Bauer complained that he didn’t have enough time to warm up following the sixth inning. In an attempt to speed up play this season, Major League Baseball has cut the time between innings from 2 minutes, 25 seconds to 2:05.

“First pitch of the inning, coming out, I tried to get loose, but with the new [commissioner] Rob Manfred time [nonsense], we have only a certain amount of time between innings, it’s hard to get loose sometimes, especially in conditions like that. It’s not safe, but, whatever.”

Bauer said at one point plate umpire Will Little told him to speed up and he refused.

“I was like, ‘Look, I’ll take the fine if I need to, but I’m not going to put myself at risk and I’m not going to put the team at risk of me having exactly what happened happen,’” Bauer said. “Throw a pitch that you’re not ready to compete on because you’re still trying to get loose and it gets hit over the fence, and we lose because of it — not because of it, but it was a contributing factor.”

Bauer said the elements — temperatures were in the low 30s — made everything difficult.

“Since I don’t cheat like a lot of guys and put stuff on my hand, just grab the ball and throw it, my pitches were somewhat inconsistent,” said Bauer, who allowed only three hits in eight innings. “It’s like a cue ball. It slips out of your hand. But, it is what it is. It’s worse for the hitters. I was looking forward to it. I thought I pitched pretty well overall.”

So did Kennedy (1-0), who allowed four hits, walked none and struck out eight. The right-hander was only in trouble once but worked out of the sixth-inning jam. Blaine Boyer and Justin Grimm pitched an inning apiece before closer Kelvin Herrera worked a perfect ninth for his second save.

The temperature for the first pitch was 34, one degree above the coldest start to a game in the 25-year history of Progressive Field. Players on both teams bundled up, with several wearing hoods under their caps to try to stay warm.

“The ball feels like it’s an ice cube when it gets thrown to you,” Kennedy said. “For me it was probably my body, trying to keep it warm. You start to get a little cold at the end of the game. Your flexibility starts to die down a little bit. That was the main thing, heat packs, anything to stay warm.”

The Indians came in with an AL-low .157 batting average and stayed as chilly at the plate as the unseasonably cold April. Cleveland hasn’t scored in 17 innings.

Limited to one hit through six innings by Bauer, the Royals got the one run they needed on Duda’s second homer, a rocket into the seats in right field.

Duda jumped on Bauer’s 90 mph fastball and drove it over the wall for Kansas City’s first run since the Royals scored two in the first inning Friday. Duda has both of Kansas City’s homers this season.


Indians right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall is likely headed to the disabled list with a right calf injury. He got hurt while making a running catch in the first and was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the second.

Chisenhall missed nearly two months last season with a strained right calf.

Manager Terry Francona indicated Tyler Naquin will be recalled from Triple-A Columbus. He was optioned to the minors Friday when Michael Brantley was activated.

Kennedy has struck at least one batter in each of his 271 career appearances. He’s tied with Boston’s David Price for the longest such streak among active pitchers.


Indians DH Yonder Alonso got an early birthday present as his family and a few teammates arranged for a mariachi band to play in the clubhouse before the game. Alonso, who turns 31 on Sunday, even busted out some dance moves while being serenaded.

“They didn’t make me dance, but I just can’t help it,” Alonso said. “I’m from Miami. I’m a Cuban guy. So, it’s just kind of in the blood.”


Cleveland’s Mike Clevinger is 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA in four career starts against the Royals, who will go with right-hander Jason Hammel in the series finale. Hammel went 3-2 in five starts against the Indians last season.

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DENVER — Although Paul Millsap took his lumps — courtesy of teammate Nikola Jokic’s chin — his team only delivered them.

“Long overdue for a blowout like that,” Millsap said.

Jokic had 20 points , 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his seventh triple-double of the season, Gary Harris added 21 points and the Denver Nuggets cruised to a 130-104 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.

Denver led by as many as 36 points while staying in the thick of the playoff chase. The Nuggets now enter a difficult stretch in their schedule — eight of their next nine games are on the road.

Led by Harris and Will Barton, the Nuggets turned up the tempo in the second quarter to pull away. Denver was in such control that most of its starters — all but Harris — got the fourth quarter off.

“It’s great when you can build the lead and sustain that lead,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “We were able to do that tonight and obviously for what we have in mind, what our goals are, to be a playoff team, you need to do that.”

Jokic made his presence felt. Then again, that’s been the case since Malone had a talk with him after Jokic’s clunker of a game at Dallas last week. Malone’s message was straight to the point: Be more aggressive.

It’s sinking in. Jokic has scored 36, 21 and now 20 since that conversation.

“I don’t want to be there doing nothing,” Jokic said. “I want to hit the boards, get an assist, score, just to be aggressive and be in the game.”

Sacramento big man Zach Randolph had high praise for Jokic.

“Jokic, man, he’s special,” Randolph said. “He’s a future All-Star.”

Everything went smoothly for the Nuggets before Millsap and Jokic were dinged up in a collision midway through the third quarter. Millsap’s head banged into the chin of Jokic when they were covering Randolph. They remained in the game.

“You can’t tell by my hair, but I have a nice lump under there,” Millsap said. “I thought (Jokic) was going to bleed after that. He’s got a strong chin. He can take a punch.”

Buddy Hield scored 18 points, while former Nuggets player Kosta Koufos chipped in 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings.

“Either you’re going to hit people or you’re going to be hit,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said. “We got hit and they just kept going.”


Kings: F Skal Labissiere missed the game with a bruised left hip. … C Willie Cauley-Stein and G De’Aaron Fox returned to the lineup after missing time with back ailments. Both Cauley-Stein and Fox scored 12 points.

Nuggets: F Juancho Hernangomez was inactive with F Wilson Chandler back on the court after missing a game with hip soreness. Chandler had 16 points. … The Nuggets had a season-high 26 turnovers in a loss at Sacramento on Jan. 6. This time, Denver turned the ball over just eight times. … G Jamal Murray added 20 points.


Malone spoke with Murray after the guard got under the skin of Los Angeles coach Luke Walton and the Lakers with his late-game trash talk in a 125-116 win Friday.

“Jamal plays with emotion,” Malone said. “I didn’t have any issues with Jamal’s play or antics out there.”

Murray was surprised that Jokic has just seven triple-doubles this season.

“It seems like he has like 20 at this point,” Murray said.


Passing by Murray’s interview, veteran Richard Jefferson couldn’t help but comment on a well-dressed Murray.

“This is a prime example of what Deion Sanders once said: `When you dress good, you feel good. When you feel good, you play good. When you play good, they pay good,” Jefferson said, laughing, as he exited the locker room.

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How would the 2017 NFL draft have looked if teams knew then what they know now? How long would Deshaun Watson last? Would the Bears still pick Mitchell Trubisky to be their quarterback of the future? How early would Marshon Lattimore go?

With the regular season in the rearview mirror, our panel of NFL Insiders took a crack at re-drafting the first five picks of last year’s draft class. The panel included Matt Bowen, Mike Sando, Aaron Schatz, Kevin Seifert and Field Yates.

As a reminder, the actual top five of last year’s draft went as follows:

1. Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
2. Bears: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
3. 49ers: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
4. Jaguars: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
5. Titans: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

Note: For the purpose of this re-draft, we reverted to the original 2017 draft order, before Chicago traded up to take Trubisky at No. 2. Cleveland held the first pick, followed by San Francisco, Chicago, Jacksonville and Tennessee.
1. Cleveland Browns: QB Deshaun Watson

When: April 26-28
Where: Arlington, Texas
NFL draft home page » | Draft order »

•Insider Mel Kiper’s Mock Draft 1.0 »
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Bowen: Defensive end Myles Garrett has the traits to become a star pass-rusher in the league, but Cleveland’s inability to hit on the quarterback position has consistently hindered the development of the entire franchise. That’s why I’m going with Watson here. From the high-level intangibles he brings onto the field to the dual-threat talent with which he attacks opposing defenses, Watson is a perfect fit for today’s NFL game and an answer to Cleveland’s long search for a leader at the position.

If we look back at Watson’s tape from 2017, and his 19 touchdowns in seven games before injuring his knee in practice, his ability to run a modern offense pairs with Hue Jackson’s philosophy. It’s the movement passes, the quick game, the shot throws off play-action and the RPOs (run-pass option) — with some QB runs sprinkled in. Play fast, open up throwing windows and use movement to dictate tempo from an offensive perspective.

With Watson in the mix, the Browns would most likely not be picking No. 1 overall again in the 2018 draft, and they also wouldn’t have added the No. 4 overall pick, which the Texans gave up last year in trading up for Watson. But if Cleveland had solidified its QB position last April, the Browns could have focused on building a winning culture around Watson, Josh Gordon and a solid offensive front this offseason. Instead, they’re still looking for their quarterback of the future.
2. San Francisco 49ers: DE Myles Garrett

Sando: Knowing the 49ers were able to land Jimmy Garoppolo from New England for a second-round choice made it easier — more defensible, at least — to bypass a quarterback in this re-draft. It’s not just me saying they might be able to find a QB another way. We all know they did exactly that, even though they could not have known how things would shake out when they traded back from the second overall spot on Day 1 of the 2017 draft.

Garrett was one of the most talented players in the class. Selecting him did not require much justification. He was there; I took him. Alvin Kamara and Marshon Lattimore were the other players from the draft who stood out in my mind as alternatives. The 49ers already have a good running back, and they’re running a system that has succeeded in the past with quite a few backs with varied pedigrees. Lattimore’s injury history was still a slight concern in my mind, even though he played more games than Garrett did this past season.
The Bears traded up a spot to draft Mitchell Trubisky in 2017. Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

3. Chicago Bears: QB Mitchell Trubisky

Yates: Quarterback play is the function of player ability, coaching and circumstances. Immediate success is not entirely uncommon — Dak Prescott was an MVP candidate as a rookie in 2016 — but it should also not be the barometer to measure a quarterback after just one season in the NFL.

After all, Chicago drafted Trubisky with the intention of redshirting him, a plan that went awry because of the performance of Mike Glennon.

When reviewing Trubisky’s rookie campaign, particularly when bypassing other players such as Lattimore with this pick, it’s important to analyze beyond what the numbers — 2,193 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions with a 59.4 percent completion percentage — tell us about him. Trubisky played within an offense whose top wide receiver for much of his time as the starter was either Dontrelle Inman, cast off by the Chargers for a late conditional draft pick, or Kendall Wright, who signed a one-year deal after not fully meeting expectations in Tennessee.

When the Bears hired Matt Nagy as their new head coach this offseason, a prevailing narrative was that the team aspires to recreate a Sean McVay-Jared Goff dynamic with Nagy and Trubisky. That isn’t a certainty to happen given how expediently McVay and Goff found success, but if the Bears passed on Trubisky in this spot, the team would have had — and still have — a massive quarterback quandary.

Banking on player development via a strong coaching staff that would be in place for Trubisky’s second year plus the undeniable talent he brings to the table, he remains the pick at No. 3 overall.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Patrick Mahomes II

Schatz: After a 10-6 playoff season, I’m sure the Jaguars still feel good about their selection of Leonard Fournette. But I’m a strong believer that you don’t take a running back this high in the draft — especially one who won’t even average 4 yards per carry as a rookie. Kamara was the best rookie running back, but he doesn’t really fit the power style the Jaguars want from their lead back, so he wouldn’t make sense here either.


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Insiders predict: Jaguars QB in 2018, where Blake Bortles will play
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The Jaguars are so imbalanced that it seems absurd to suggest they needed a defensive player with the No. 4 pick. Lattimore or Tre’Davious White would be fantastic additions to most teams, but Jacksonville already has two outstanding outside corners (Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye) and a reasonable nickelback (Aaron Colvin).

No, the Jaguars need to be honest with themselves about their need at the most important position in the game: quarterback. Yes, Blake Bortles ranked 12th in ESPN’s Total QBR metric this season, but that was his best career finish by far, and the positive performance was grouped into a handful of games. Overall, Bortles was the least consistent quarterback in the league.

He has four years of experience now. It’s probably never going to get better than this. The Jaguars need to find a quarterback who can carry the team even on days the defense doesn’t have a stellar performance. And a team that wants to build on defense and running the ball needs a quarterback with a big arm who can take advantage of the play-action opportunities deep. So, say hello to Mahomes, who in our re-draft world is now the heir apparent to Bortles in Jacksonville instead of Alex Smith in Kansas City. Mahomes was the highest-rated quarterback last year in Football Outsiders’ QBASE projections, and the success of Goff and Case Keenum in 2017 means less reticence about drafting a quarterback out of an Air Raid college system.


5. Tennessee Titans: CB Marshon Lattimore

Seifert: The Titans entered the draft with two first-round picks, along with clear needs at receiver and defensive back. They chose receiver Corey Davis at No. 5 and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson at No. 18.

Davis proved to be a promising — if late-developing — prospect. Jackson had a solid rookie year. But it’s now clear that Lattimore is a special player, one who earned Pro Bowl honors and was one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks by the end of the season.

In this version, the Titans get the best cover man in the draft at No. 5 and then sift through the remaining receivers at No. 18 or beyond — such as JuJu Smith-Schuster or Cooper Kupp, who weren’t drafted until the second and third rounds, respectively.

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J.J. Watt, Greg Olsen and Benjamin Watson are finalists for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

The recipient of the award that recognizes a player’s contribution in his community and to society in general will be revealed on Feb. 3 at NFL Honors, when The Associated Press announces its individual NFL awards.

Humbled & honored to even be mentioned in the same breath as Walter Payton. Also happy to share the nomination with @BenjaminSWatson and @gregolsen88 who are both extremely deserving. This is so much bigger than just one man. It’s about the good in all of humanity.

— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) January 21, 2018
Houston defensive end Watt, in his seventh NFL season and a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, had the goal of raising $200,000 for Hurricane Harvey relief in Houston.

His fundraising did a whole lot more, bringing in an incredible $37 million in 19 days. Watt has dedicated himself to finding organizations that will apply the funds in a way he has promised both donors and victims of the storm.

“For me, this nomination is about so much more than one man,” Watt tells The Associated Press. “It’s about the hundreds of thousands of people who helped donate to those who went through an extremely difficult time and rose above it all.

“I also know this is about honoring the city and its people.”

Watt says he noticed something special evolving from his involvement in the fundraising efforts.

“I learned how much good there is in the world, how humanity steps up to the plate when they see fellow humans going through difficult times,” he says. “From my high school and from kids with their lemonade stands … to seeing people putting aside any differences and rivalries and helping out … and how they wanted to donate to be good people and help their fellow humans. It shows how much good light there is in the world.”

Carolina tight end Olsen, who just finished his 11th pro season, has put together two initiatives, one to fight breast cancer, the other to help youngsters with a congenital heart defect.

Olsen’s mother is a breast cancer survivor, and in 2009 he founded Receptions for Research: The Greg Olsen Foundation. The Foundation’s “Receiving Hope” focuses on cancer research and education programming.

In honor of being 1 of 3 finalists for Man of the Year, we are launching the “Man of the Year Match”. Today thrU Feb 4th, my wife and I will MATCH the first $100,000 raised to support the families @LevineChildrens thru our HEARTest Yard program! Visit now

— Greg Olsen (@gregolsen88) January 21, 2018
In early 2013, Greg and his wife, Kara, founded the HEARTest Yard Fund after a routine examination of their unborn son, T.J., revealed the infant had hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). It’s a family service program administered in conjunction with Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte.

“We meet with the hospital staff and the nurses and doctors and go into these homes,” Olsen explains. “Just to see and hear the families and have them relay the stories about this program and … what the lives of these families would be like without our program. To hear how it is helping their family life and family dynamic is something far beyond what we imagined.

“It’s been fun watching it grow and have such an impact.”

Baltimore tight end Watson, a 14-year pro, assists countless people through his charitable arm, the One More Foundation.

Most recently, One More partnered with the International Justice Mission (IJM), the world’s largest international anti-slavery organization working to combat human trafficking, modern day slavery and other forms of violence against the poor. Benjamin and his wife, Kirsten, joined the global fight to end the scourge of sex trafficking.

“There are 2 million children worldwide involved in sex traffic and exploitation,” he says. “This slavery issue is really a big deal that kind of goes on unnoticed and unheralded.

We are a brotherhood filled with men of great character integrity and charity. I’m honored to represent all of them, my family and my Savior in joining @gregolsen88 and @JJWatt as a finalist for Walter Payton Man of the Year.

— Benjamin Watson (@BenjaminSWatson) January 21, 2018
“People want to help, a lot of times people don’t know how. The problems of the world seem so overwhelming that they do not know where to start. We provide people the opportunity to do something for someone.

“Whenever you help somebody, they end up helping you and you learn as much from them as they do from you.”

Olsen broke into the NFL with the Bears. So the Payton legacy is more than a familiar one for him.
“Playing in Chicago for four years, I saw firsthand what the Payton family has meant to the city and the community,” he says. “I was a teammate with Walter’s son, Jarrett, at the University of Miami for a year, kept in contact with him. It’s interesting how many parallels there are. They have a great foundation that does a lot of great work.”

The three finalists emphasize that hundreds of their peers are doing similar work, selflessly and without fanfare.

“A lot of guys are doing those things, more than what people know,” Watson notes. “One thing I always wanted to do is take advantage of the opportunities as long as I play and after I play.

“We obviously have some influence. Yes, as NFL players … we have the ability to be more visible. Everybody has a sphere of influence they can affect positively, whether it is 10 people or 10,000 people. I want to use it to help people and advocate for people whenever I can, to be someone who stands for what is just and kind and right.”

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Adrian Gonzalez has agreed to a deal with the New York Mets pending a physical, according to ESPN and multiple reports.

It’s the second significant move this past week for the Mets, who brought back free-agent outfielder Jay Bruce on a three-year, $39 million contract Wednesday.

Syndergaard, Harvey, deGrom get Mets deals
The New York Mets have reached one-year deals with starters Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey and settled with five other players.
Gonzalez gives the Mets a veteran presence at first base, where Lucas Duda and Dominic Smith mainly played for them last season. Duda was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays during the season, and Smith, 22, struggled offensively, batting just .198.

Gonzalez spent the past six seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers but was limited to 71 games in 2017 because of a herniated disk in his back that put him on the disabled list for a long stretch. When he returned, National League Rookie of the Year Cody Bellinger had taken over for the NL champion Dodgers.

Los Angeles traded Gonzalez to the Atlanta Braves last month as part of the Matt Kemp deal. Atlanta, in turn, quickly released him, making him a free agent.

Gonzalez, 35, is owed $21.5 million in the final year of his contract. The Mets would owe him just $545,000, with Atlanta paying the rest.

USA Today first reported the agreement between Gonzalez and the Mets.

Authentic Cheap NBA Nike Phoenix Suns Womens Jerseys China 2018

PHOENIX — Dragan Bender and Josh Jackson were fourth overall picks in the draft: Bender in 2016, Jackson in 2017.

Both are just 20 years old, and the jury is out on whether they deserved to go that high.

They sure looked good Sunday night, though.

Bender scored 17 of his career-high 20 points in the second half, Jackson had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the first double-double of his rookie season, and the Phoenix reserves played a big role in the Suns’ 114-100 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“We’re trying to develop young players here and they both stepped up big-time today,” Suns interim coach Jay Triano said. “I thought they played really well together. Josh would drive and kick and find Dragan on the perimeter and I think there’s a comfort level really developing with those two.”

Bender made a career-best six 3-pointers, going 5 of 6 in the second half. The Suns beat the Thunder for the third straight time dating to last season, with all three wins coming in Phoenix.

Russell Westbrook had his 14th triple-double of the season and second in a row with 26 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, but Oklahoma City never led after the first quarter. Paul George added 19 points and Steven Adams 18 for the Thunder.

Devin Booker scored 26 and T.J. Warren 23 for Phoenix.

The Suns made a season-high 17 3s in 39 attempts while Oklahoma City was 8 of 27.

“We like the way we played,” Triano said. “We shot a lot of 3s, which is what we want to do. We got into our drive-and-kick game. I thought we were solid defensively. I think they missed a bunch of shots as well. This is a game that we feel really good about and it’s a step for us. It’s a step for us for sure.”

Booker’s 3-pointer gave Phoenix a 74-60 lead with 7:56 left in the third, but the Thunder responded with a 15-2 run. Westbrook made one of two free throws to cap the outburst and cut the lead to 76-75 with 5:03 left in the period.

Bender’s 3 ignited a 14-4 Suns surge, Jackson’s 3-pointer boosting the lead to 90-79 with 32 seconds left in the quarter. Carmelo Anthony’s three-point play cut the lead to 90-82 entering the fourth.

Bender sank two more 3s to start a 14-2 outburst that put Phoenix up 107-89 after Tyler Ulis’ 3-pointer with 6:42 remaining.

“All my 3s in the second half were wide-open 3s,” Bender said. “We moved the ball really well. They gave us some open shots.”

Bender also had six rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots.

The Thunder had beaten the Lakers and Clippers on the three-game road trip before losing Sunday.

“In the first half we did not play like we had played the last couple of games,” Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan said. “Then we tried to get back to that level. We got back to it for a little bit but we couldn’t get all the way there.”


Thunder: Westbrook moved past Larry Bird into 40th on the NBA career assist list. … Westbrook missed four of seven free throws. The Thunder were 12 of 21 at the line. … Terrance Ferguson fouled out with 7:42 to play. … George and Westbrook are 1-2 in the NBA in steals. George had one, Westbrook two in the game. … Westbrook has 93 career triple-doubles.
Suns: The 14-point winning margin matched Phoenix’s biggest of season. … Suns committed season-low seven turnovers. … Marquese Chriss left the game with a right hip strain in the second quarter and did not return. He had scored in double figures the previous five games. … Warren was back after missing a game due to illness. … Tyson Chandler had 13 rebounds and needs 22 to become 40th player in NBA history with 10,000.


The Suns reserves outscored their Oklahoma City counterparts 48-21, 28-11 in the second half.

Jackson made a career-high three 3s in six tries. Bender was 6 for 9.

Jackson became the first Suns rookie to have at least 10 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a game since Joe Johnson on Feb. 22, 2002.