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Calvin Johnson was unsure how to tell Detroit Lions he was retiring

Calvin Johnson was a ball of nerves in the weeks before he played his final NFL game, not because he was retiring — he had to be talked into playing the 2015 season by his father — but he said Saturday he spent his final few weeks as a Lion worried about how he was going to tell then-coach Jim Caldwell the news he was that he was calling it a career.

I was so stressed out,Johnson said. I was thinking about that more in the last three games than anything else. I was like, ‘Dang, man. How the hell am I going to tell Coach?’

He and his wife, Brittney, are expecting their first child in August. He’s a doting father to his 4-year-old son, Caleb. He has a new consulting business he runs with ex-Lions teammate Rob Sims and former Michigan State standout Jason Strayhorn. And he’s heavily involved in philanthropic efforts in the Detroit and Atlanta areas.

Smith received rousing cheers from the home fans during pregame introductions and M-V-P!chants greeted him when he went to the foul line.

Thompson played after bruising his lower left leg when Smith slid into him in the first quarter Thursday. The Warriors All-Star has never missed a postseason game.

Kerr went with 7-foot big man McGee to start in place of Kevon Looney McGee’s 10th career start in the postseason.

McGee scored the first four points of the game as Golden State made its initial seven shots and 10 of 11. That included Thompson’s steal from James at the 3-point line leading to Green’s dunk moments later and a Cleveland timeout down 15-6 at the 8:14 mark.

In addition to starting a new chapter in his football career, Manziel also announced his partnership with Barstool Sports.

Big day for me, two new partnerships, a chance to get back on the football field and the chance to partner with a brand like Barstool Sports that I’ve been friends with for a long time, Manziel said in a video posted on Barstool’s Instagram.

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Rutgers wrestling adds upper weight transfer commit from Ohio

Rutgers has added more depth up top.

Max Wright, a two-time Ohio Division 1 state qualifier, committed to the Scarlet Knights on Saturday morning on Twitter. He is expected to arrive on campus this fall and should have five years to wrestle four.

Wright received a commission from the U.S. Air Force Academy after graduating from Delaware Hayes High outside Columbus. He went 10-4 wrestling at 184 and 197 pounds last season for Air Force Prep, according to WrestleStat, but announced in April he was leaving the academy and re-opening his recruitment.

He’ll go from the NFL’s elite to cellar in Cleveland, though the Browns figure to make a significant improvement based on their flurry of personnel moves this offseason. Linebacker was the last position group left untouched by Dorsey when it came to free agency or trades.

Wright is the second transfer Rutgers has brought in this offseason. Former St. Peter’s Prep state champion Christian Colucci is expected to step in as the team’s heavyweight this fall after two years at Lehigh.

In response, an anonymous source told NFL Network that Beckham wouldn’t take the field in 2018 without a new contract. He only has done individual drills in practices thus far because of medical restrictions on his ankle.

It’s been mostly quiet and playing nice on both sides for the last eight weeks Beckham has done a limited number of interviews since before his broken ankle in Week 5 of the season but it will create loud noise in the vacuum if Beckham stays away from East Rutherford for all of June.

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Boston won that game 124-121 in overtime and ultimately took the series in seven games.

Even legends make mistakes. During Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Magic Johnson lost track of time. His Lakers and the Celtics were tied with 13 seconds left in regulation. Johnson got the ball. For some reason, he ran out the clock, not passing it until it was too late for his teammate to put up a shot.

There are no shortcuts in steeplechase. And during the World Championships, Beatrice Chepkoech accidently tried to make one.

Just two laps into the 3,000-meter event, Chepkoech completely missed a water jump . The bypass forced her to backtrack and trail her competitors. She ultimately made up a lot of ground and finished fourth.

A common take on the Knights’ success is that the 2017 expansion draft had far less lenient protections for existing NHL teams. The last expansion draft, in 2000, allowed teams to protect nine forwards, five defensemen and a goalie, with an option to protect a second goalie with fewer position players. In 2017? Seven forwards, three defensemen and a goalie — with no option for a second.

There were miscues aplenty, most notably J.R. Smith’s offensive rebound in the final seconds of regulation that he dribbled back toward half-court in a tie game rather than shooting for a chance to win it later insisting he knew the score, though that remains a huge mystery. The decision baffled a frustrated and stunned LeBron, who signaled at his teammate with arms pointed toward the basket.

The game’s over. There’s nothing we can do about it, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. We’ve got to move on, move forward.

James has done so all postseason with an edge, intensity and ability to all-out carry the Cavs will them to win after win, if you wish.

Yes, with King James on the other side in this familiar June rivalry, Golden State knows much better than to fall into such a trap that the Cavs might be down and out, even if the defending champions have some momentum going into Game 2 on Sunday night back home at Oracle Arena.

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Bears Signing Matt Forte & Devin Hester To One-Day Contracts To Retire With Chicago

The Chicago Bears announced Wednesday that they’re signing RB Matt Forte and WR/KR Devin Hester to one-day contracts next week to retire as members of the franchise.

This explains why the Jets recently released Forte.

Forte, 32, is a former second-round pick of the Bears back in 2008. He spent eight years in Chicago before signing a three-year, $12 million contract that contained $8 million guaranteed with the Jets in 2016.

We have been in this same situation a year [ago], playing in Boston, being down 2-0 early and then winning the next two and making it into a seven-game series, Beal said.

We got to go back to the drawing board, he added. Get two at home, take care of our house and keep our hopes alive.

The Bengals let safety Eric Reid leave without a contract offer after Mike Brown asked him about his stance (though Reid had said previously he wasn’t sure he was going to continue).

If the Seahawks hesitated because of concerns about his political stance, it does nothing to lessen Kaepernick’s collusion case, since there’s no reason for a team to ask such a question during a job interview.

There’s no doubt about the Seahawks need for a quarterback, just as there hasn’t been for some time. But the fact they were willing to make compliance a precondition for employment crystallizes the reality that teams are definitely afraid of angering whatever percentage of their fan base prefers their version of patriotism to civil liberties.

New York went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position.

Tanaka threw only 17 fastballs on 83 pitches and was charged with seven runs, six earned, and eight hits in five innings.

I’m very disappointed in myself, he said through a translator.

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It’s worth noting that Thomas has missed voluntary workouts in the past.

Is there more to his absence this time around?

Astros: LHP Tony Sipp (right oblique soreness) played catch again, manager A.J. Hinch said.

Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (1-1, 11.88 ERA) will make his third start of the season Monday against the Rays. Perez is coming off the shortest start by any Texas starter, lasting just three innings and giving up eight runs.

Astros: LHP Dallas Keuchel (0-2, 4.20) starts a four-game series Monday at Seattle. Keuchel has never opened 0-3. In his last start, he lasted just four innings.

Have it in the works now, Jackson said Wednesday, via the Buffalo News. That’s the plan, to come back and show Buffalo that my career in Buffalo was the most important thing to me in my football career and I would love to retire as a Buffalo Bill.

We’re in the works of talking and trying to work something out that will benefit both myself and Buffalo in making it happen.

Jackson, an undrafted free agent out of Division III Coe College, became a fan favorite during his eight seasons in Buffalo. He rushed for 5,646 yards with the Bills.

Houston kept All-Star big man Towns in check, limiting him to just eight points after he’d averaged 21.3 in leading the Wolves to their first playoff appearance since 2004. Andrew Wiggins scored 18 points to lead Minnesota.

Thibodeau said the Rockets did a good job of switching on Towns and using double-teams to slow him down, but admitted he has to do more.

He’s got to be more active, Thibodeau said.

Said Towns: I’ve got to be better all-around.

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Last-minute private workouts can still happen, but should they?

After Wednesday, pre-draft visits to team facilities can’t happen. Pre-draft private workouts can, and will, continue after today.

According to the league office, the window for traveling to work out a player doesn’t close until next Wednesday, April 25. Through that day — one day before the draft starts — a player can be interviewed and worked out by the team on the player’s collegiate turf. (Workouts are never permitted at a team’s facility, with the exception of the one day during the process when prospects with local college/high school ties visit the team.)

In the boom-or-bust world, Pierre-Paul must be considered a boom pick. He was a roster survivor — the third longest-tenured Giants player, behind just Eli Manning and long-snapper Zak DeOssie. He arrived as the Giants’ 2010 first-round draft pick, taken 15th overall out of South Florida as a raw, athletic marvel. As a rookie, he learned from Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora and was unleashed the following season, with 16.5 sacks and 88 total tackles — both still stand as his career highs — as the Giants rode a defensive surge to another upset victory of the Patriots, this time in Super Bowl XLVI.

He never ascended that high again, and this upcoming season he will return to MetLife Stadium wearing red, bay orange and pewter, lining up and taking aim at Manning, blocked by Nate Solder, the new Giants’ left tackle. Things change quickly, especially with Gettleman leaving the baggage behind.

Rutgers had arguably the league’s toughest conference schedule last year and finished last in the regular season before its run to the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal round at Madison Square Garden. If this coming season is the year Rutgers escapes from the basement, it will have earned it.

The Big Ten revealed conference matchups for all 14 members on Thursday. Dates will be announced in August, the league office said, with times and television information to come after Labor Day in September. 

It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever felt in my life, said Maria Serrano, Lindor’s mother.

Our goal was to win, but it was pretty cool to see Frankie come through like that, Indians manager Terry Francona said. To see the way the fans responded, and then to see how genuinely excited he was about it, it was pretty cool.

Lindor and Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario, like Lindor a native Puerto Rican, will have more compatriots on the field with them in Wednesday’s series finale, with the Twins sending right-hander Jose Berrios to the mound and the Indians set to start Roberto Perez at catcher.

I wish [Berrios] good luck, but I hope we win. I think he bought about 700 tickets and will have half a stadium with him, Lindor said with a laugh.

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Richard Sherman under fire for acting as own agent

Richard Sherman’s departure from Seattle hasn’t been without fireworks.

After Sherman signed with NFC West rival San Francisco over the weekend, inking a three-year, incentive-laden deal allegedly worth over $39 million, the actual numbers of the contract have surfaced. The 49ers appear to have come out the winners of the agreement, which Sherman negotiated himself.

Browns tackle Joe Thomas offered his thoughts on the team-friendly contract Monday on Twitter, responding to the Boston Globe item, Richard Sherman’s five missteps in negotiating his contract with the 49ers.

Achilles injuries to skill players usually take 1 year to rehab until your ready to return to play and a full 2 years to regain full explosiveness. I’m guessing he won’t pass his physical in time for camp, Thomas tweeted.

As Thomas continued his unfiltered conversation with followers, Sherman soon chimed in.

It’s actually a case of believing in who I am as a player while also coming of [sic] a major injury. But I appreciate ya input, Sherman shared.

Cousins took the historic fully guaranteed three-year, $84 million deal from the Vikings to become the highest-paid player in the NFL. Never even visited beautiful Florham Park, N.J.

And Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan was left at the altar, holding that $90 million bag. With that everlasting gaping hole at the most important position on the field: franchise quarterback.

Plan B was two-fold: bringing back 39-year-old godsend Josh McCown on a one year, $10 million deal as the mid-March starter and signing Teddy Bridgewater to a one-year deal as well, those terms were not immediately available. Bridgewater hasn’t played for two years after wrecking his knee.

McCown is a Band-Aid, and even if you consider Bridgewater low risk/high reward, he is still a risk. Otherwise, Mike Zimmer and the Vikings would have kept him.

Plan B must not preclude Maccagnan from getting his quarterback of the future with the sixth pick of the draft, and gift him with a redshirt year.

Maccagnan did manage to get back up off the deck by signing cornerback Trumaine Johnson ($15 million per), a great get, and running back Isaiah Crowell.

A good comeback. Money well spent at areas of need.

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Clock keeps ticking on a Drew Brees deal

At this point, each passing day of silence from Brees, who lasted posted a message on his Twitter page more than two weeks ago, will become slightly more deafening.

Which undoubtedly means that reports will emerge at some point today that a deal with the Saints has been finalized.

A first-round pick of the 49ers in 2011, Smith has been suspended since November 15, 2015. He has had a string of substance-abuse policy violations and other issues since entering the league as one of the best pass rushers of the past generation. Through his first three seasons, Smith had 42 sacks in 43 regular-season games.

When NFL owners gather in Orlando next week, they’ll get an update on the pending sale of the Panthers.

They won’t be hearing from the for-now owner of the Panthers, however.

Stewart has coached in the NFL for more than 30 years. He currently serves as the special teams coordinator and assistant head coach for the Chargers.

With Stewart as his position coach, Owens earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors for the first time in 2000. In fact, Owens received both honors all three seasons Stewart coached the 49ers receivers.

The Miami Dolphins reportedly bolstered their quarterback depth Friday when they signed Brock Osweiler.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the news.

The Arizona State product spent the 2017 season with the Denver Broncos and made six appearances, throwing for 1,088 passing yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions.

The Dolphins needed a backup quarterback behind Ryan Tannehill since Matt Moore and Jay Cutler are no longer on the roster. Osweiler makes sense in?Miami,?considering head coach Adam Gase was the offensive coordinator with the Broncos for part of the signal-caller’s first stint in Denver.

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Giants turn focus toward Patriots mainstay after losing top target

Spending big to land a free-agent prize is not difficult, as long as there is money within the salary cap to do so. Finding value and uncovering gems is the great challenge, and that is the journey awaiting general manager Dave Gettleman and the Giants.

Just because the Giants want to fix their offensive line does not mean it will be easy to do so. And so, after missing out on the top target (Andrew Norwell) they moved onto the next priority (Nate Solder) while also tending to some secondary needs (signing running back Jonathan Stewart to a two-year deal worth $6.9 million, with $2.95 million guaranteed, according to NFL Network).

Wynn, who received a one-year deal, is a roster survivor, entering his fifth season with the Giants after arriving undrafted in 2014 out of Richmond. Although he has 10 career NFL starts, Wynn is a backup, playing in 44 of a possible 48 games the past three years, filling a role on defense and on special teams. He is, first and foremost, a run-stopper, with limited pass-rush contributions.

Thomas spoke to a full house of Browns employees, coaches and front office officials. Owner Jimmy Haslam joined Thomas’ wife, Annie, in the front row with the couple’s three children, and employees wore T-shirts that read No Ordinary Joe.

Thomas started his remarks with several barbs that featured a rundown of his 11 years of struggle with the Browns.

He said Ray Farmer tried to text him, but he didn’t get it because it was during a game and Farmer had been suspended — a reference to the former general manager being suspended for texting the sideline during his tenure with the Browns.

Thomas said Kyle Shanahan put together a 32-page PowerPoint presentation trying to convince him not to retire, a reference to Shanahan putting together a detailed explanation why the Browns should let him out of his contract as offensive coordinator after the 2014 season.

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Three reasons why LeBron James joining Warriors is more pipe dream than plausibility

There is also the clash of styles. James has always been the focal point of the offense throughout his career, and this season has been no different. He’s a top-10 player in terms of usage percentage (30.9) and touches per game (88.0). James enjoys surveying the floor and operating in isolation. He’s second in the league behind only James Harden in isolation possessions per game (6.4). The Cavs make the fourth-lowest number of passes per game (282.2), while the Warriors’ offense, predicated on movement to force defenders into undesirable switches, move the ball at a top-five rate (324.8). Either James or the Warriors would have to adjust.

Then again, there is this tweet from 2015. What does it all mean?! James to the Warriors confirmed!

Bender’s block highlights another one of Ball’s limitations: He can finish above the rim when given space to gather, but he’s not as explosive of a leaper in traffic. It explains why Ball has had his shot blocked 28 times in the restricted area this season, an incredibly high number considering he’s only attempted 134 shots at the rim. It doesn’t help that Ball avoids contact on drives to the basket. To go along with getting his shot blocked frequently in the restricted area, he’s averaging only 1.4 free throw attempts per game this season, and he’s made 48.0 percent of those opportunities.

We have different players in this locker room with different styles of leadership, Curry said. We have just about every element covered between our vets so it’s easy for me to be myself and lead my way. I don’t have to be demonstrative; we have someone like that. I’ve always been a lead by example person. I think your teammates respect you when you’re being true to yourself.

In particular, Curry has tried to emulate the leadership he learned from his coach at Davidson.

Coach Bob McKillop is the best example of how I always wanted to lead a team, he said. He wasn’t loud, but his message and tone was consistent enough that you knew what he stood for and guys followed. He knew when and how to get his point across and that’s what I try to do here.

Solder showed signs of slowing down as Tom Brady’s athletic blindside pass protector this past season, and there were some thoughts that he might retire. If he plays, he can still be a solid starter at a tough position to find a worthy veteran.

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