NFL wraps up Richardson investigation, fines former owner $2.75 million

It’s not even Friday, and the NFL crime and punishment machine is up and running with a predictable outcome.

The league has concluded its investigation of former Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, and fined him $2.75 million after charges of workplace misconduct.

The fines will support organizations addressing race and gender-based issues and fund league-wide workplace training.

You won’t find guys who just scraped by in multiple sports here, Lisk writes.

For the past two offseasons, Hooper has spent time working privately with Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan to improve their chemistry and gain a better understanding of his teammate’s expectations. Unlike in 2017, when Ryan came to Hooper’s home state of California, the Falcons tight end stayed in Atlanta this year to continue their work together.

McMillan’s injury came at a time when he was about to make that move into the starting lineup, according to defensive coordinator Matt Burke. That made the injury bad news for McMillan and the Dolphins, but Burke said the good news is that McMillan’s back on track after rehabbing the injury.

We had high hopes for him last year, Burke said, via the Palm Beach Post. Nothing he’s done since then has discouraged that. … He’s been really in-tune, been really sharp. He’s got all the leadership skills and things that we look for, especially at that position. He’s worked his ass off to get better. He’s rehabbed. He’s in here every day. He hasn’t shown any limitations so far, which has been encouraging. Hopefully he’s a big piece for us.

If all continues to go well, McMillan should be at middle linebacker and making up for lost time when the Dolphins season starts in September.

I recently learned that I’ve joined my husband Pat and the millions of others who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease,” she said. Since Pat’s diagnosis, I have gained a vivid understanding of this disease’s progression and its effect on those living with it as well as their families. My family and I have been—and will remain—dedicated supporters of Alzheimer’s awareness, treatment and research funding. . . .

Zach Britton trade rumors will likely be a whirlwind this summer.

After missing the bulk of the season with an Achilles injury, Britton is now back and trying to re-establish himself as one of baseball’s best closers after battling injuries for the better part of two years.

If he does, expect contenders to quickly try to swing a deal with Baltimore before July 31.

Hand to Phillies?

Britton is owed the remainder of a $12M salary for 2018 before hitting free agency after the season.

Shohei Ohtani, the Angels’ ace and powerful designated hitter, hit the disabled list with a right UCL sprain. Ohtani has a Grade 2 strain. Angels general manager Billy Eppler didn’t rule out Tommy John surgery for Ohtani. The procedure would sideline him for 12 to 18 months.

If Ohtani doesn’t make it back, the Rookie of the Year crown could be Torres’ for the taking.

Rougned Odor (L), 28 percent, Texas Rangers at Minnesota Twins (RHP Jake Odorizzi): Odor has been a mess at the plate this season, but he’s hitting better in June and popped his first homer of the month on Wednesday. Despite his struggles, Odor still has big-time power from the middle infield, and he matches up well with Odorizzi, who’s vulnerable to left-handed power (.281 ISO this season).

Carlos Gonzalez (L), 27 percent, Colorado Rockies vs. Miami Marlins (RHP Trevor Richards): Gonzalez may not be the All-Star slugger he was a few years ago. Then again, he still does a pretty good impression of the old Cargo when he’s at Coors Field, where he’s batting.329/.370/.632 this season. Gonzalez is a good bet to tee off against Richard on Saturday. The right-hander sports a 7.40 road ERA this season, and Coors doesn’t figure to help matters.

Can new quarterback Case Keenum get Thomas and Sanders back into the Pro Bowl mix?

Starting Denver Broncos wide receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are both on the wrong side of 30 now, and it’s possible they aren’t the players they once were. But the statistical dip they both experienced in 2017 might be related to the fact that the team stunk across the board. 

They both received that honor in 2016 and still should be considered one of the best 1-2 wide receiver punches in the league

T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle were Pro Bowlers despite Luck’s absence in 2017, and they were even better with Luck under center in 2016. The former is one of the league’s top big-play threats, while the latter is a pass-catching machine who will have added support this year with the addition of free-agent tight end Eric Ebron.

But Luck and the Colts don’t fare particularly well on this list because they don’t have a lot of talent beyond Hilton, Doyle and Ebron, especially with Donte Moncrief and Frank Gore gone. 

Chester Rogers (42 catches and one touchdown the last two years) and Ryan Grant (84 catches and six touchdowns during his first four seasons with the Redskins) will probably compete for a starting job next to Hilton. Second-year running back Marlon Mack just might be a default starter despite averaging just 3.8 yards per carry as a rookie fourth-round pick in 2017. 

The analytics-driven outlet featured Cole, Rutgers ‘ left tackle, as an early offensive line name to know ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft due to his pass blocking efficiency. Cole had a PBE rating of 97.7 last fall, which was tied for 13th nationally.

PFF has had high praise for Cole in the past, naming him the Big Ten’s most underrated player in 2016. Now Cole is a senior, and he will be leaned on as the Scarlet Knights’ anchor up front as they attempt to qualify for a bowl game for the first time since 2014.

Cole considered leaving early for the NFL after last season, but opted to return to Rutgers for his final season. NFL.com rated him its No. 100 player to watch for next year’s draft, which would put Cole in range to potentially be picked in the first three rounds. His draft stock will go up or down, of course, based on how he plays this fall and then handles the pre-draft process next year.

If there is a technical error on how a former racetrack is defined we would need to do some housing keeping, Burzichelli said this week. The intention was to protect the lower backdoor of the state and the former Garden State site is intended for that. It’s an outpost to guard against an outflow of economy.

The final version of the legislation sought to redefine exactly where sports betting can take place.

Bryce Harper shaves glorious beard, conspiracy theories ensue

Bryce Harper shaved his beard and looks like a new man.

The Nationals slugger revealed his fresh face before facing the Yankees Monday night, which got mixed reactions.

Brady was not made available to the media following practice. Coach Bill Belichick said he wasn’t bothered by either player’s decision to miss OTAs, saying, It’s a voluntary program. So that’s what it is.

I don’t care what he did … how he used to act, that’s over with, the seventh-year pro said. I keep telling him he can be just as good as he wants to be, if not great.

Though Eli Manning had three of his passes tipped at the line of scrimmage Wednesday during team drills, first-year offensive coordinator Mike Shula said he has been impressed by the 37-year-old.

Whatever he lacks maybe because he is a little bit older, he makes up because of his mind being so fast, Shula said.

Shula also said Davis Webb has taken some big strides, while noting a nice calmness from rookie Kyle Lauletta.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle) and safety Landon Collins (forearm) continued to take individual reps, but did not participate in team drills.

Ian Happ opened the scoring for Chicago with a solo home run in the third and Cubs star Kris Bryant snapped a long homerless drought with a deep drive to left-center field three batters later. Chicago led the rest of the way.

Cardinals starter Michael Wacha surrendered nine runs, eight earned, in four innings on the mound. Jon Lester threw six innings and allowed two runs for Chicago.

The win moved the Cubs to 39-27 on the year while the Cardinals fall to 36-31.

Phillies starter Jake Arrieta allowed eight runs, four earned, in just 3 1/3 innings on the mound in a 13-2 loss to the Brewers.

The Reds lineup went 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position in their 3-2 loss to the Pirates. Cincinnati left 10 runners on base in the game.

Nationals (37-29) at Blue Jays (31-38) Washington starter Max Scherzer will look to continue building his Cy Young resume Saturday against Toronto. Scherzer has registered a 10-2 record and a 2.00 ERA in a NL-high 94 2/3 innings pitched this season. Scherzer has thrown at least six innings in his last 12 starts. Marco Estrada (3-6, 5.09 ERA) will take the mound for the Blue Jays. Toronto won the series opener Friday 6-5.

No season ticket waiting list in Washington

There once was a time when Washington boasted a season ticket waiting list of more than 200,000 fans. That was a time when the team was much more popular than it is today.

Today Washington acknowledged that there’s no wait for season tickets at all, and anyone who wants to buy season tickets is free to do so. Good seats are available.

In March, Villanova University hoops star Donte DiVincenzo, 21 and also white, was celebrating his team’s national championship when insensitive tweets — including rap lyrics with the N-word — from 2011 began circulating online.

Your past is not your past. It’s alive on the Internet, said Derrick Mayes, vice president of talent-management megacompany IMG.

Mayes co-founded 5.0 Communications, which works with companies to conduct forensic examinations of employees’ online footprints and single out potentially damaging posts.

Greg Robinson, the second overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, has signed with the Browns. To make room for Robinson on the 90-player roster, the Browns cut offensive tackle Rod Johnson, a 2017 fifth-round pick who spent his rookie year on injured reserve.

An offensive tackle from Auburn, Robinson was viewed as a big-time prospect when the Rams chose him in 2014. But although he was a starter for three years with the Rams, he never developed into the kind of player they hoped he would be.

A year ago the Rams traded Robinson to the Lions, who started him for six games early in the year but waived him midway through the season. He cleared waivers and hasn’t been with an NFL team since.

Now Robinson will try to make the Browns’ roster. If he doesn’t, his NFL career may be over.

She recalled how one, when retiring from the squad, told the organization: It’s embarrassing that I have a college degree and I work two jobs, this being one of them, and I still have to ask my parents for help.

Did Dustin win’ Paulina Gretzky’s accidental awkward celebration

Lauletta, a fourth-round pick who likely will be the No. 3 quarterback for the Giants in 2018, posted the photo above to his social media account. Allen (far left), Lauletta (third from left) and Darnold (far right) are joined by former Richmond quarterback Adam Sahd (second from left).

Giants quarterbacks Davis Webb, Alex Tanney and Lauletta are frequent golf partners, sometimes joined by Manning or teammates Calvin Munson and Shane Smith.

On the bright side, the weekend push seemed to endear the notoriously unpopular Reed  to New York fans.

After one fan near the 8th green blurted out, Nobody likes you, dude! the response was tenfold, with a chorus of Everyone loves you, Pat! and I love you Patrick! drowning out the naysayer.

In a nutshell: a little negative, but plenty of positive. And that’s how Reed is trying to take this weekend, even with the late implosion.

Of course it’s disappointing, but at the same time – you know, I mean, finish second, tied for second at (the PGA Championship) last year, won Augusta, then I think I’ll finish in the top five here, Reed said…. To finish in the top 10 three of the last – my last three majors, and to have a chance to really win all three of them and to close one off, it means a lot.

He struck out six and gave up three hits while walking four. The Rays didn’t get their first hit off him until Wilson Ramo’s line-drive single to start the fourth.

That inning, Loaisiga worked out of a loaded the bases with two outs before striking out Christian Arroyo to end the threat. The final pitch was an 84-mph slider, Loaisiga’s 91st of the night more than any pitch total he had in the minors this year.

Loaisiga hit 98 mph several times. According to researcher Katie Sharp, Loaisiga is the second Yankee to make his big-league debut as a starter at home and allow no runs. The other was Sam Milltello on Aug. 9, 1992, against the Red Sox. The last Yankees pitcher to debut with less pro experience than Loaisiga was Ian Kennedy in 2009.

Loaisiga got the start in place of the injured Masahiro Tanaka (two strained hamstrings). It’s likely Loaisiga will continue in Tanaka’s rotation spot until he’s healthy. Cashman on Friday said Tanaka might not return for a few weeks.

In the eighth, the Yankees loaded the bases against ex-Yankee starter Nathan Eovaldi, who went seven innings. After lefty reliever Jonny Venters struck out Greg Bird, Gary Sanchez smoked a bases-clearing double to put the Yankees ahead, 5-0.

Dolphins coaches and players raving about Robert Quinn

Defensive end Robert Quinn was a two-time Pro Bowl selection and racked up 62.5 sacks in his seven seasons playing for the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams. While players are limited in what they can accomplish in offseason workouts, Quinn is already making a strong impressions on his new coaches and teammates with the Miami Dolphins.

It’s incredible how he bends the corner and his hips are two feet off the ground, but he’s running full speed around the corner, quarterback Ryan Tannehill said of Quinn.

Then, when the President first attacked the NFL and its players last September over what was at the time a tiny handful of protesting players, the NFL spent a lot of time talking to players but doing nothing to actually fix the problem.

The Dolphins continue to wait on Parker to break out. He has never had more than 57 catches, 744 yards and four touchdowns in a season.

I’ve been really impressed since I’ve got here with his work ethic, offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. The guy has spent a ton of time here in the offseason…. He seems like a very professional guy that is trying to get better every day.

Ware is following in Charles Haley’s cleat marks. Haley worked with Ware when Ware played for the Cowboys from 2005-13, and Ware now is working with DeMarcus Lawrence.

As a pass rusher, you always think about consistency, Ware said. When you think about DeMarcus Lawrence, first, second, third year, now he had that big push last year. Now, it’s what have you done for me lately? It’s a new year. He has to look at it that way. What can you put in your toolbox this year to make yourself a little bit more consistent, because now you’re going to have that bull’s eye on you. But also how can you make the other guys better with your leadership? That’s going to make you a lot better inside the room, on the team, but also out there on the football field.

How Yankees reacted to Giancarlo Stanton’s 119.3-mph homer

Everyone in the Yankees dugout still was giddy about Aaron Judge breaking a 13th inning scoreless tie with a two-run homer when the most amazing part of a 3-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays went down.

Judge was.

Oh yeah, but I’m not surprised by that, Judge said. He’s been taking a lot of good swings and whenever he connects like that, you know it’s going to be hit hard.

That got out in a hurry. We didn’t really have time to celebrate (my homer). By the time he swung… that thing was already gone. It was impressive.

Boone said that he was taken back a little bit by how hard Stanton hit the ball.

I turned to (infield coordinator Carlos Mendoza and said, ‘If you hit that same ball in your prime, it’s bouncing in front of the left fielder,’ Boone said. It was killed.

That Brady has some catching up to do, at least in terms of developing chemistry with new teammates, provides a new twist. He’s rolled with the task of breaking in new supporting cast members throughout his career but hasn’t started this late in getting into the flow.

And some introductions are in order. There’s a first-round rookie running back in the mix, Sony Michel. There’s a former Cincinnati Bengals running back in tow, Jeremy Hill. And there are more veteran receivers trying to stick in Cordarrelle Patterson, Jordan Matthews and Kenny Britt. 

The journey of another superhorse to the Belmont makes the horse racing world plenty happy, even if there isn’t the same buzz about ending the Triple Crown drought that followed American Pharoah’s run. Justify also wasn’t primed for this kind of run he didn’t even race as a 2-year-old.

Baffert didn’t realize until Justify’s first race that he might be training this kind of champion. As soon as he won to break his maiden, Justify looked the part to Baffert, and he’s followed that by winning the Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

Seahawks hope they’ve solved their running back durability problem

Since Marshawn Lynch left Seattle after the 2015 season, the Seahawks have tried to find a replacement. Nearly every time it seems like they have one, the player has gotten injured.

Last year, the number one guy in both categories of rushing yards and rushing attempts for the Seahawks was the quarterback, whose 586 yards on 95 carries more than doubled the 240 yards generated by Mike Davis. Chris Carson added 208. J.D. MicKissic had 187. Eddie Lacy churned up a mere 179. Thomas Rawls (now a Jet) added 157. C.J. Prosise contributed 23.

The prior year, it was Rawls (349), Wilson (259), Prosise (172), Alex Collins (125), and Troymaine Pope (43).

So, yes, the Seahawks needed help in the running game. Their willingness to invest a first-round pick underscores their belief that it’s a major area of need.

With that thought in mind, Wentz understands that he needs to do everything he can to ensure he remains healthy. The trick is walking that line while still playing with the aggressive edge that has made him the player he is.

“We’ve talked about it quite a bit,” Wentz said, via Sal Paolantonio of ESPN.com. “I think we’re all on the same page.

“I think there is always things I can learn from, ‘OK, maybe I shouldn’t have been so aggressive there.’ There is a time and a place for it. Injuries happen. I believe this one was kind of a freak incident and that is just part of the game. There is always a learning curve. But overall, as an aggressive player, I am not going to change in that sense, I am just going to keep learning. I’m going to be learning how to preserve myself, how to be smart, when to take those chances, when it’s worthwhile, it’s a constant learning throughout my career, but it’s definitely something I am taking seriously at the same time.”

Former NFL agent: New Cam Newton contract likely coming in 2020

The Panthers’ contract with Cam Newton is looking like more of a bargain with each passing quarterback deal that’s signed, but sooner or later, that’s going to change.

NFL denies Mike James’ request to use marijuana as a painkiller More Free agent running back Mike James has tried and failed to persuade the NFL to allow him to use marijuana as a painkiller. James told NJ.com that he developed a dependence on prescription painkillers that he took to cope with the aches and pains associated with playing football. His doctor told him that marijuana would be a safer alternative, and he found that it was. Now he’s an advocate for medical marijuana — even as the NFL tells him he’s not allowed to use it and play in the league. I am hopeful that I’ll be able to keep playing football, James said. It is a game that I love very dearly.

However, former Giants defensive end Justin Tuck couldn’t hide his excitement over the upside of his former team’s offense with Barkley being added to a mix that includes dynamic wide receivers Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard, tight end Evan Engram, and quarterback Eli Manning.

I love the pick, Tuck said Tuesday at the BTIG Charity Day in New York City. He was the best overall player in this NFL Draft, to begin with. It’s hard to get any more value out of a pick at No. 2. But, he should have been the No. 1 pick. I feel good about that selection. It’s definitely a need for [the Giants]. He’s a dynamic player. He’s from this area. The Giants fan base is going to love him. I expect big things from him.

Ex-Rutgers footballer, who got a break once, accused of fracturing woman’s skull

A former Rutgers player who had been given another chance at wiping his record clean after a street brawl three years ago is now facing an attempted homicide charge after an alleged drunken assault on a woman in Nashville.