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Jets signing center Travis Swanson

The Jets and Lions have effectively swapped centers.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Jets are signing former Lions third-rounder Travis Swanson.

The best part: Coach Bill Belichick and New England created their own open market by making two big trades with Cleveland, one for defensive tackle Danny Shelton and another for cornerback Jason McCourty. New England also made an underrated trade with Oakland for wide receiver/special teamer Cordarrelle Patterson.

Subtracting and adding it all, here are the answers to all the key questions about the Patriots’ offseason so far.

This is the most significant hit the Patriots have taken in free agency. Although Solder did not have a great 2017 season in pass protection, he represented stability in front of Brady while excelling in run blocking. Between Matt Light and Solder, Brady has benefited from a steady presence at the most important position on the line.
Philip Rivers has a new backup quarterback.

Geno Smith has reached an agreement with the Los Angeles Chargers, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Smith, the former Jets starter, spent last season with the Giants. He started one game, when Eli Manning was controversially benched, and appeared in one other game. Smith finished the season with 212 passing yards and an 84.5 passer rating.

With Solder entering his age-30 season after some decline, New England was smart not to pay more for him than any other left tackle in the league. New York was desperate to do so given the status of its line.

Clayborn exploded with a career-high 9 1/2 sacks as a situational edge rusher for the Falcons last season, with six coming in one game against the Cowboys. The Patriots needed a savvy veteran with a variety of moves who can take better advantage of the attention Trey Flowers gets on the right side. Clayborn off the left edge has proved he can work over lesser right tackles.

In base 4-3 packages, Shelton and Clayborn bring balance to the forces of Brown and Flowers. Shelton and Clayborn are more specialized than typical Belichick defensive players, but they directly curb two weaknesses.flames_008

Interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo waited for Manning to walk off the field.

Giants fans were chanting Manning’s name late in the game and as he walked off the field, just in case this turned into his final appearance for the team he’s led to two Super Bowl triumphs. He was aware, and acknowledged the crowed as he jogged off the field.

“Yeah, I did, I heard them. And, again, I appreciate all the fans, their support this whole year,” Manning said. “It’s been overwhelming, and for them to support me, support the team the way they have, it’s been special.”

He wanted to give the Giants’ longtime quarterback a hug after they won their first game since Nov. 19.

“Well, it was for him. I did ask the camera guy, ‘Can you get a picture when I hug Eli?'” Spagnuolo said. “Because, you know, it’s a memory. It’s a memory. We’ve both been through a lot and none more than him with this season, but he never changed. I value that in people that can stay that balanced through ups and downs. He’s had the highest of highs and this was certainly very, very low, but he’s a tremendous competitor and I appreciate him greatly.”

Trubisky also took a safety in the second quarter on an intentional grounding call when Danielle Hunter and Linval Joseph closed in on a sack in the end zone and he side-armed a throw between the two pass rushers.

In what could have been the final game for coach John Fox, who’s 14-34 in three seasons, the Bears didn’t cross midfield until the fourth quarter and totaled only 30 yards rushing. They were penalized 10 times for 116 yards and went 1 for 14 on third and fourth down conversions.

Hey, when you’re as hot as the Eagles are, your coordinators are going to get interviews. Schwartz was 29-51 with just one playoff appearance in five seasons as Lions head coach, but he has performed well as a defensive coordinator with Buffalo and Philadelphia since.lions_013

Biggest in-season NFL trades of the past 10 years

There was a time — it seems so long ago — when the NFL trade deadline was a snoozer.

That changed this week, when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, left tackle Duane Brown, running back Jay Ajayi and cornerback Jeremy Lane were among the veterans to change addresses.

What does the trade deadline usually look like? Here are 10 of the most notable, if still minor, in-season deals of the past 10 years:

Collins was a talented, if enigmatic, playmaker whom the Patriots decided to seek value for, rather than face the looming expiration of his contract. They ultimately traded the pick they received, No. 103 overall, for veteran receiver Brandin Cooks. The Browns signed Collins to a four-year, $50 million contract extension; they are hoping he will be a cornerstone of their turnaround, but to this point, the Browns are 1-12 in the games he has played with them.

He barely got the first wish and was denied the second, as Toronto overcame a 17-point deficit to beat the Lakers 101-92 on Friday.

With the Lakers playing again Saturday, head coach Luke Walton benched Ball and most of his starters with 3:42 remaining and the Lakers down 91-83. Ball gets Ricky Rubio at the Utah Jazz next.

The Sixers are not the Clippers, where players’ children flooded the locker room after home games. There is a larger age gap between Redick and Fultz (19) than what separates Fultz and Chris Paul Jr. (8). “It’s an interesting juxtaposition,” Redick says. “I never had an issue relating to people. You can always find commonalities with people, so I’m not necessarily worried that, because I’m at a different stage in my life, that it’s going to affect any relationships.”
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Vote: Weigh in on Week 9 in the ACC

After chalk ruled the country in Week 8, Week 9 was a bit less predictable. Three top-25 teams fell to unranked opponents, Ohio State clawed back to beat Penn State and Iowa State shocked another top-five foe in TCU.

The Reviews: From 10/1/2017: “Cozy little hidden gem, perfect for comic book nerds. They have some classic consoles and comfy couches if you want to battle it out in Mario kart. Such a great chill spot.”; From 7/1/2017: “Neil’s Bahr is an arcade, dive bar, and feels as such with dark lighting and aged seats. It definitely has an arcade feel, there are several board games, video games, TVs and Ping pong. It’s also dog friendly so I got to pet a corgi while I waited for my drink to be made.” From 5/7/2017: “I love this place! Great place to play some N64 and drink reasonably priced brews.”

Schalke has plenty of rival teams in and around its district, with the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Gladbach and Cologne all in neighbouring counties.

Regardless of which fans are responsible for this heinous act, it has no place in football and the relevant authorities will definitely come down hard on whoever is responsible.

Anti-semitism carries extremely harsh punishments in Germany in light of the atrocities carried out by the Nazis in World War II, with Anne Frank among those rounded up as Hitler’s army committed mass genocide of Jews in the early 1940s.

Just last week Lazio were heavily criticised after a small section of its fanbase distributed stickers at Stadio Olimpico depicting Frank in the shirt of bitter city rivals Roma.blues-008

J.J. Watt will miss the rest of the season with a fractured leg

J.J. Watt went down with an injury in the first quarter of Sunday Night Football. Watt was rushing Alex Smith and his leg twisted. He left NRG Stadium in an ambulance, where doctors confirmed Watt has a tibial plateau fracture. Watt will miss the rest of the 2017 season.

“He’ll continue to rehab. We’re just going to shut down the throwing right now to get this thing calmed back down.”

Peterson signed with the Saints after visiting several teams. New Orleans already had Mark Ingram, and they selected Alvin Kamara in the third round of the 2017 draft. Ingram and Kamara are well-rounded and function as rushers, blockers, and receivers. Peterson wasn’t an ideal fit for the scheme, and the result was a much smaller role than he had anticipated with the Saints.

He had 27 carries for just 81 yards in his four games with the Saints.

The Cardinals needed a running back after losing David Johnson to a wrist injury. Peterson wasn’t a factor in New Orleans and was happy to land with a team that needed someone to run the rock. But Johnson could return after Thanksgiving, and Peterson might once again find himself lower on the depth chart than he’d like to be. For now, though, he’s taking advantage of the opportunity to rebound in Arizona.

The defensive backfield has changed more drastically. Rookie corner Marshon Lattimore has been promising and locked down one starting spot, although he missed the Panthers game because of a concussion. Ken Crawley stepped in and excelled, and when starting corner P.J. Williams was benched against the Dolphins for disciplinary reasons, Crawley kept his job alongside Lattimore in the lineup. Crawley had some iffy moments against Golden Tate last week, but he’s now an every-down cornerback. When Breaux comes back, the Saints could finally have a trio of promising young cornerbacks to build around.falcons_013

This is what we show up to spring training for.

“It’s what we work all offseason for. Ups and downs, all around the country,” Sale said. “This is what we live for.”

With that said, James’ 17 points still led the Cavs and he shot 8-for-13 from the floor with 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block.

“He hasn’t played in I don’t know how long,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “Of course his rhythm is going to be off. His passing, timing. That’s just part of the game. But I’m not worried about Bron. He’ll be OK. Tonight is his first night playing in a long time. He’ll get his rhythm. I’m not too worried about that.”

Cleveland had little continuity as a group, however, and the Cavaliers could often be seen pointing and gesturing to one another in the middle of plays to direct people where to go.

“I had to do something,” said Judge, who is 0 for 10 with eight strikeouts in the series. “I wasn’t obviously making any contact at the plate, so you’ve got to make an impact on the game somehow and luckily I was able to do it on defense.”

On the night they raised their Western Conference championship banner, the Predators blew a 3-0 lead as the Flyers scored five straight goals.

But then Forsberg scored his first of the game 50 seconds after the Flyers took a 5-3 lead, and Scott Hartnell jammed in his second goal tying it with 1:17 left on a 5-on-3 that was actually 6-on-3 with Rinne pulled. When Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol challenged for offside and lost, the Predators had the man advantage, and Forsberg scored the winning goal top shelf.

Hakstol was surprised he lost the replay review.
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Kansas City picks up back-to-back first downs for the first time in the game.

The Chiefs currently have it on their own 37 with 1:30 to play in the quarter.

Pittsburgh’s drive is stalled after a holding penalty and the Steelers punt it back to Kansas City. Le’Veon Bell is up to 117 rushing yards for the Steelers, while Kansas City has recorded just 25 yards of total offense.

Kansas City moves the chains once, but Tyreek Hill drops a third down pass and the Chiefs punt again. The Steelers will start their drive at their own 10 with 8:28 to play in the third quarter.

Chiefs running back Charcandrick West is currently being evaluated for a concussion.

Peterson admitted last week that he was frustrated with his ever-shrinking role in New Orleans because of “the type of player that I am, knowing I have so much left in the tank.”

But he also continued to insist there was no animosity between him and Payton — and that the infamous sideline glare that was captured on video in Week 1 was overblown and not what it looked like.

The players seem to have some built-in advantages in such a dispute. Unlike the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, the NFL CBA does not specifically require players to stand for the anthem. There is, however, a section in the NFL Game Operations Manual that mentions that players “should stand at attention, hold helmets in their left hand and refrain from talking.” And commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to teams on Tuesday reiterating the language.

But Dombrowski also has hired only two managers over the last 12 seasons. Jim Leyland has insisted he isn’t coming out of retirement, while Brad Ausmus was recently fired after a last-place finish with the Detroit Tigers. It’s unclear whether former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek could be a candidate. Varitek works for the team in an advisory capacity but has never managed.tigers_050

Hearing on Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension set for next month

An appeals court next month will hear arguments on a stay that has kept Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott on the field while his suspension makes its way through the court system.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed Friday to hold oral arguments between the NFL and NFL Players Association. The session is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET on Oct. 2 in New Orleans.

Now the question is this: Who else is primed for a huge game this week?

Our weekly ESPN Insider cheat sheet provides a rundown of the greatest hits from all of our Insider fantasy football content. You’ll find answers to the top questions of the week, along with injury updates, matchup advantages and wild-card plays from Eric Karabell, Tristan H. Cockcroft, Mike Clay, Al Zeidenfeld, Matt Bowen, KC Joyner and Scott Kacsmar. It’s all the best tips, distilled into one handy file.

Here’s what our experts are saying about Week 3:

If you’re new to fantasy football, we recommend just sticking with the default PPR fractional scoring setup. You’ll see big scores and have lots of ways to field competitive players.

If you want to get more adventurous with your scoring settings, you can tighten them up by making higher yardage thresholds (say, one point per 15 rushing yards, instead of 10) or giving 0.5 points per reception (instead of 1.0). Or you can go the other direction, and look to boost your scoring ability even more by granting bonuses for 100-yard rushing/receiving performances or 300-yard passing games.

You can also include quarterback sacks as a negative, increase or decrease the impact of turnovers, safeties and kickoff and punt return yardage and scores.

If you choose individual defensive players, you can choose how much you want to weigh each interception, sack, stuff, tackle, etc.

The same goes for head coach positions, choosing the weight of team scoring, win, loss and margin of win/loss.
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The Chargers’ new home at StubHub Center will be best place to watch an NFL game

The Stubhub Center, the Chargers’ home for three seasons, seats 27,000 fans, fewest in the league.

From 1961 to 1966, the San Diego Chargers played at Balboa Stadium, a relic built in 1914 that had a seating capacity of 34,000 for football. The now-Los Angeles Chargers will play for the next three seasons in a stadium even smaller in an era of 80,000-seat megaplexes.

Some people wonder if he’s pulling a LeGarrette Blount, forcing his team to cut him with designs on returning to his former team and a legitimate shot at a Super Bowl. Before the suspension, Gase mentioned he doesn’t know what the future holds for Timmons in Miami. He did say that his team is moving on with or without him. To me, it sounds like they are trying to move on without him

It would be hard simply to cut Timmons. He’s a salary cap hit of $11M and the Dolphins are still anorexically thin with healthy linebackers even with the addition of Anthony. Trading him is tough, because nobody is going to want to or be able to afford that cap it at this time. Plus, his Dolphins teammates have been very supportive of him during this ordeal.

They rightfully suspended Timmons and even though Dolphin players are speaking highly of him, he’s probably going to lose his job. I’ve ticked off my bosses before and when they want you gone, you’re going to end up gone. Gase also doesn’t want to lose control of his team, so he’s probably going to send a message and punish Timmons further because of his insubordination.

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Rams expect Aaron Donald to make season debut Sunday vs. Redskins

Aaron Donald finally rejoined his Los Angeles Rams teammates on Monday, one day after their 46-9, season-opening drubbing of the Indianapolis Colts. Donald, who officially ended his 44-day holdout by taking his physical on Saturday, took part in conditioning drills and sat in on meetings, just like everybody else.

“Some of the close losses last season, we were terrible,” he said after the game, chuckling. “We were just — it was kind of just bad football, some of those close losses. We’re there, we’re there, we’re there, and there was some critical error.”

Oh, and Adrian Peterson returns to Minnesota after being released by the only NFL team he’d ever known last spring.

Matthews doesn’t know whether he will pursue an acting career once his playing days are over. But as he enters his ninth season, the 31-year-old realizes he must avoid injury and perform at a high level to mitigate the possibility of being cut in the 2018 offseason — such a move would clear $10.8 million in salary-cap space — and have a chance at finalizing his NFL film reel playing for just one team.

“This is a conversation I’ve had with numerous people … especially getting up there to Year Nine now when most people can retire and say they’ve had a great career,” Matthews said.

“To do it in Green Bay would be tremendous because you have one team you are always associated with. To stay with one team and have a level of success that we’ve had would be amazing. I’m hoping to have a good year and get re-upped.”

“It’s just what you love to do and, you know, nobody ever wants that taken away from them, especially with the amount of work we’ve been putting in. The chemistry and everything, we were just rolling. We were in a good place. That’s life, though. Life happens. You get set back. It’s really how you come back from that, how you handle adversity. This is nothing that I won’t overcome.”
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