Ready to rumble: National collegiate wrestling tournament returns to Allen Event Center – Star Local Media


Some of the finest college athletes in the nation will be on display this week at the Allen Event Center as the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA) returns to town for the national championships.

Approximately 600 wrestlers from top universities across the country including Texas A&M, Iowa State and Central Florida arrived in Allen on Wednesday for team registration and workouts in anticipation of competing Thursday and Friday.

Cambria Jones, senior marketing specialist for the Allen Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), said this is the fourth time the event center has hosted the event and that they just signed a five-year renewal contract.

A dinner between CVB Director Karen Cromwell and NCWA Executive Director Jim Guinta led to Allen hosting the tournament. Guinta is a resident of Murphy and had been hosting the tournament different places when someone asked if he had thought about Allen. Coincidentally, that was the same year the event center opened.

“Karen worked with him on the agreement, and he has been a client ever since,” Jones said.

Jones said the event brings an estimated $1.6 million economic impact each year Allen hosts it.


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WRESTLING TOURNEY

Thirty-eight-year-old Alan Clegg sits with his wife, Melissa, and six children. The BYU junior hasn’t let middle age slow him down as he’ll compete in this week’s National Collegiate Wrestling Association’s National Championships at the Allen Event Center.


Courtesy Photo/Cambria Jones

The San Diego native had a career building elevators but decided to return to BYU to become a doctor. Clegg said he’s not even sure how he found out that the university had a wrestling program, but once he knew, he showed up out of the blue, signed up and earned a spot on the fifth-ranked wrestling team in the nation.

“Why not, man? You only live once, and maybe I can show my kids that anything’s possible,” he said. “So here I am.”

Clegg had to drop about 20 pounds after a stint in the heavyweight ranks landed him in the ER. He definitely got his share of funny looks at the first tournament he went to, Clegg said.

“A couple of guys came up to me and were asking questions like, ‘Are you someone’s dad? Are you a coach?” Clegg joked.

It’s definitely no joke; juggling school, a marriage and raising six kids hasn’t stopped Clegg from qualifying for the national tournament. He downplays his skills, calling himself an “OK wrestler.”

“It’s just you and the other guy, and you can win even if the other guy’s better, right? It’s a puzzle,” Clegg said. “I’ve beaten a lot of guys that were better than me just because I wanted to win more. Sometimes you can feel the guy just quit.”

The Allen Event Center is at 200 E. Stacy Road, No. 1350.



Jets Mailbag: Is Saquon Barkley destined for Gang Green … and a look at the surprise free agent who could … – New York Daily News



The latest super-sized edition of the Jets Mailbag features a Saquon Barkley love-fest, Nick Foles lunacy, Mo Wilkerson’s delusion, the free-agent wide receiver that would transform Gang Green’s offense and much more.


Continue to tweet questions about all things Jets to @MMehtaNYDN.


Check out our expanded football coverage on Facebook with more analysis, opinions and fan engagement this offseason. “Like” our Facebook page at nydn.us/ManishMehta.


If we sign Kirk Cousins… all-in on Saquon Barkley? — @ceelow1515

Saquon Barkley will jumpstart any team's running game, but he may not fill the Jets' primary need.

Saquon Barkley will jumpstart any team’s running game, but he may not fill the Jets’ primary need.

(Joe Robbins/Getty Images)


First things first: The Jets will be doing Balki Bartokomous Dance of Joy (old “Perfect Strangers” reference) if they reel in the big-fish quarterback in free agency. Although Barkley would be a great offensive weapon, don’t hold your breath on Mike Maccagnan trading up for the Penn State running back. Barkley may be an immediate difference maker, but there’s little chance that Gang Green would part with premium draft capital to move up from No. 6 to grab a running back.


Frankly, I think it’d be lunacy for the Browns to take Barkley with the No. 1 overall pick given their massive hole at quarterback. I don’t subscribe to the notion that Cleveland can have the best of both worlds by drafting Barkley with the top pick and a quarterback at No. 4, either. If you have a strong conviction on one of these top signal callers, you take him with the No. 1 pick. You don’t leave it to chance and hope that your franchise quarterback slides to No. 4. Oh, and spare me the idea that the Browns will have multiple quarterbacks atop their wish list, too. There’s always a preference. Why risk losing your franchise quarterback to someone with the No. 2 or No. 3 pick? Remember, the Browns passed up on opportunities to draft Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson in each of the past two years. Can you imagine if it happened for a third consecutive time?


Barkley is a terrific talent, but let’s not forget that new Browns general manager John Dorsey drafted last year’s NFL rushing champion Kareem Hunt with the 86th overall pick (third round). Here’s the point: You can find difference-making running backs in the middle rounds. You rarely find difference-making quarterbacks there.


So, I’d be stunned if Maccagnan made an aggressive play to jump up for Barkley. Now, if he falls to No. 6, then that’s a whole different story. (Spoiler: He won’t fall to No. 6.)


If the Jets miss out on Cousins, do they have any interest in Case Keenum or Nick Foles? — @rxmeister28


Trading for Nick Foles would be — how should I put this kindly? — pretty dumb for Gang Green. There’s no denying that Foles played at a high level during the Eagles’ Super Bowl run, but it makes absolutely no sense to give up draft capital AND dole out a long-term contract for a journeyman entering the final year of his deal. The Eagles reportedly have fielded offers, but the champs reportedly are looking for a Sam Bradford-esque hall to move their Super Bowl MVP.


The Jets aren’t giving up first- and fourth-round picks for Foles, who will require a long-term extension as well. They shouldn’t give up one of their second-rounders, either.

Nick Foles isn't worth what the Jets would have to send to Philly.

Nick Foles isn’t worth what the Jets would have to send to Philly.

(Patrick Smith/Getty Images)


Foles will be invaluable insurance for Carson Wentz next season, but I’d understand if GM Howie Roseman moved him for a second-round pick. It just doesn’t make any sense for the Jets.


Keenum is an intriguing option, but the feeling is that John Elway has an eye on him.


If one of these five is not a Jet in 2018 — Cousins, Darnold, Rosen, Allen, Mayfield — is Maccagnan done? — @DashMasterson


The cold harsh truth: the Jets will have failed in a massive way if they don’t sign Cousins or land one of the top four quarterback prospects in this draft. If Cousins signs with the Vikings, Maccagnan & Co. should re-sign Josh McCown to a one-year deal and make sure one of the Big 4 in this draft class winds up in green and white. If Maccagnan has a strong conviction in one of the signal callers, trade up for him. It’ll be painful given the necessary draft compensation, but it’s got to be done. Otherwise, the Jets can stand pat and get their quarterback at No. 6 if they have reliable intel to suggest that a trade-up won’t be necessary.


Either way, one of those five quarterbacks MUST be a Jet.


What are your thoughts about Mo Wilkerson blaming his lateness issues on being worn down by the Jets losing culture? — @JetsFanMedia


I rolled my eyes and laughed upon hearing that Wilkerson was jaded by the Jets’ losing ways. The truth is that virtually everyone on One Jets Drive was fed up with Wilkerson’s unprofessionalism (see: tardiness/lack of consistent effort) and poor production since signing his blockbuster contract two years ago that netted him $37 million.


However, it doesn’t have to be the end of the road for the 28-year-old mercurial defensive lineman. Wilkerson is working out in Baltimore … and believe it or not is actually in decent shape, according to people familiar with the situation. He’s supposedly motivated to wipe away the stench of the last two seasons (eight sacks in his last 28 games). But seeing is believing, right?


Wilkerson’s friends know that he needs to get far away from his native New Jersey, where a complicated family life (three children from three different women in the area) has affected him. Getting away is the best/only chance to resurrect his career.


Wilkerson has talent, but does he love football enough to put in the time to re-dedicate himself to his craft? Or did he forever mail it in after getting his big pay day? Does the fire still burn inside him to be the player that Jets fans thought he was destined to become?


Wilkerson is making his first free-agent visit to Green Bay, which might be the perfect spot for him. His familiarity with former Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine coupled with a location devoid of distractions could be his elixir. Time will tell.


Do you think the Jets will target a WR like Allen Robinson or Sammy Watkins? — @isaacrfranco

Not Released (NR)

Wide receiver Allen Robinson (left) would be a key addition to the Jets.

(Rob Foldy/Getty Images)


I’m not Mike Maccagnan, but I’d sure love to be for the next week or so. I’d make a strong play for Robinson, who would instantly become the best offensive player on the Jets roster. He’d be a difference maker for an offense that desperately needs difference makers.


Robinson’s season-ending ACL injury suffered in Week 1 last year wouldn’t be that big of a concern for me. He should be fully recovered from it.


The 6-3, 214-pound Robinson is a special talent that will come at a discounted rate thanks to that knee injury. Heck, he made Blake Bortles look pretty damn good once upon a time. The best part: Robinson is not even 25 yet.


I’m surprised if the Jaguars didn’t place the franchise tag on him before working out a long-term deal.


TWO-MINUTE DRILL (SIX QUICK HITTERS)


Cousins has red flags. He’s not leader in the huddle. He’s not a guy who’s been getting better against winning teams. Why so much love at Jets Drive? — @sethsvillage


Cousins has been in the Top 4 in completion rate (67 percent), game-winning drives (11), passing yards and total touchdowns since becoming a full-time starter three years ago. He’s sixth in passer rating (97.5) during that span. He’s absolutely a leader. So, there’s no reason to love the guy, right?


How come everyone keeps ripping Jets talent? Saying Cousins should go to Minnesota. If they sign Cousins & draft a Denzel Ward at No. 6, Derrick Jones from USC in 2nd and then a lineman. That’s three spots filled along with perhaps the best secondary in the league. — @simmy1973


Jets roster in a nutshell: Unknowns and opportunity.


What are the chances of the Jets going defense in the 1st round again this year? — @JoelBReed


I’ll let you know after Mr. Cousins makes his decision.


If Jets miss on Cousins and team finishes under .500 next year, will it be looked at as a double loss and failed regime with new coach and GM in 2019? — @bigant099


If Baker Mayfield/Josh Rosen/Josh Allen win seven games for the Jets in 2018, nobody is getting fired.


Would it surprise you if NYJ sign Cousins & still draft QB at 6? — @joeyshadel


Uh, yeah. That isn’t happening. Either/or … not both.


Allen, Rosen, Mayfield….GO — @BMCandito176


Rosen, Allen, Mayfield … but I think there might be some folks on One Jets Drive who disagree with me.

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Jersey trio leading sled hockey team at Paralympics – Daily Record


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The New Jersey Freeze hosted a sled hockey workshop at Codey Arena in West Orange (20 July 2013)
Jane Havsy/Daily Record

Josh Pauls might’ve made a last-minute trip to Toys “R” Us before getting on a plane to the Paralympic Games. Pauls had to pick up a new Mr. Potato Head – one with the innate power to jinx the United States sled-hockey team’s opponents.

Pauls, Team USA’s captain, positions the toy so its plastic eyes are focused through the wall to the opposing locker room. And if the hidden mojo isn’t enough, the defenseman nicknamed “Spuds” might have to talk a little trash on the ice about it.

The Americans have had quite a run of Paralympic success. They’re trying to become the first team to win three straight sled-hockey gold medals.

The Paralympics open today in PyeongChang, South Korea. Team USA plays its first sled-hockey game Saturday night against Japan, followed by the Czech Republic on  Sunday and the combined Koreas on Monday.

Three guys with Jersey ties will help lead the way in South Korea.

Pauls, a Green Brook native who was born without tibias, began playing sled hockey with the Woodbridge Warriors at age 10. 

Princeton University sophomore Declan Farmer is a bilateral amputee who was introduced to sled hockey in Tampa, Florida, and is a high-scoring forward.

Rookie forward Jack Wallace, 19, played stand-up hockey as a 3-year-old, switching to a sled a year after his right leg had to be amputated after a waterskiing accident.

Pauls, who is heading to his third Paralympics, connects all three. The 25-year-old coached Farmer at a Team USA development camp and was one of Wallace’s first teammates in Woodbridge.  That was the same year Pauls was part of the American gold-medal squad at the Paralympics in Vancouver.

“I was loving it to begin with, but it was just a fun activity,” said Wallace, who grew up in Franklin Lakes and is a sophomore at The College of New Jersey studying biomedical engineering.

“When I got to see where it could take you, and the level you could get to, I said, ‘You know what? That’s where I want to be in a couple years.’ Being told you get to compete, all that work hasn’t been for nothing. Now, you kick it into sixth gear.”

Alpine skiing: ‘Blinding fast’ Randolph skier heading back to Paralympics

Wallace and fellow rookie forward Noah Grove are the two youngest sled hockey players on Team USA, growing together in development camps as they adjusted to the speed of the international game.

Sled hockey is similar to the stand-up game, but each player has two sticks. One end is spiked, and used for momentum, while the other has a traditional blade to play the puck.

After many years at forward, Pauls shifted to defense this year, throwing the puck up to his younger, faster teammates, and saying, “Go get it, and I’ll be back here if you need me.” He also joked his key responsibility as captain is “not to botch the handshake before the game. If we can get through that, we’re golden.”

The unintended pun sums up Team USA’s shared goal. Many of the sled players watched the U.S. women win Olympic gold together during a training camp in Chicago.

“We know people are coming for us, and if we slack off, we’re going to regret it,” said Farmer, who practiced alone for an hour at Princeton’s rink between classes.

“Coach (Jeff) Sauer always said, ‘It’s hard to get on top, but it’s harder to stay on top.’ He really drove that message into us. We’re prepared to go, and really excited for the chance to defend our gold medal. We hope we’ve done enough work to get it done.”

Team USA already has played a test event at Gangneung Ice Arena during the World Championships. Though the players shared positive thoughts about the facilities, they’d rather not discuss the results. The loss to Canada in the final was just more inspiration for the Paralympics.

Said Pauls, “There’s still a little bit of a sting, but there’s nothing we can’t rectify when it really counts.”

Staff Writer Jane Havsy: 973-428-6682; jhavsy@gannettnj.com; www.dailyrecord.com/writerjane/

 



Stuart Olding tells rugby rape trial: 'I didn't force her in any way' – Independent.ie



Ireland and Ulster rugby player Stuart Olding arrives at Belfast Crown Court on Thursday. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Ireland and Ulster rugby player Stuart Olding arrives at Belfast Crown Court on Thursday. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

IRELAND and Ulster rugby player Stuart Olding took the stand in Belfast this morning and denied that he forced a student to perform a sex act on him on his teammate’s Paddy Jackson’s bed.

Mr Olding (24) said nothing happened in Mr Jackson’s bedroom that made him think the alleged victim had not consented to what had taken place.

“If I thought that [she had not consented], nothing would have happened. Nothing would have started and nothing would have continued”, he said.

The Ulster centre is alleged, alongside Paddy Jackson (26), to have raped a then 19-year-old student in a bedroom during a house party at Mr Jackson’s home after a night out in Belfast in June 2016.

Both men have denied the charge.

The trial at Laganside Crown Court in Belfast is now in its sixth week.



Ireland and Ulster rugby player Paddy Jackson arrives at Belfast Crown Court on Thursday. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire


Ireland and Ulster rugby player Paddy Jackson arrives at Belfast Crown Court on Thursday. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Mr Olding gave evidence in his evidence this morning.

Asked by his lawyer Frank O’Donoghue QC, if he had forced the alleged victim to perform a sex act on him, either by what he did or said, Mr Olding replied: “I didn’t force her in any way”.

Mr Olding said that when he walked into Mr Jackson’s bedroom he saw Paddy and the woman “kissing on the bed”. Mr Jackson was on his back and the woman was on top of him.

He stood at the door and turned to leave.

He claimed the young woman turned around and held out her hand, as an invitation to stay.

“I did stay”, he told the jury.

The court heard that Mr Olding closed the door and walked to the far side of the bed, and stared kissing the alleged victim, who was on the bed.

He said she was on her back, he was leaning over her and they were kissing “open mouths, with tongue”.

Mr Olding said he then lay down on the bed, and the woman was kneeling over him.

He said he wasn’t sure how his jeans became undone, but that “oral sex started happening”.

He said the act lasted “five or 10 minutes” and ended when he told the woman he was going to ejaculate.

Her hand was at the base of his penis at the time, she said.

He said there were two interruptions to the young woman performing a sex act on him, first when she stopped and asked for a condom which they couldn’t find, and on a second occasion when he asked her if she would remove her top, which she did.

The Ulster centre denied thrusting his hips during the sex act, and said his hands were by his side. “I touched the side of her face, maybe to move her hair back.”

He denied using his hands to pull the woman’s head towards his penis, or that he ordered her to take off her top, which she has claimed.

Asked by Mr O’Donoghue if he believed the woman had shown any reluctance to perform the sex act, Mr Olding replied: “Not at all”.

Mr O’Donoghue said the complainant told police that she was unsure if Mr Olding had had penetrative sex with her from behind. He denied this.

“I didn’t go near her bottom half at all”.

Mr Olding said he met Mr Harrison, Mr Jackson and Mr McIlroy for lunch later that day and “nothing was said to suggest the sex was not consensual”.

Asked by Mr O’Donoghue about a series of messages in a Whatsapp group sent later that day, which spoke of a “bit of a spit roast going on last night” and “top shaggers” and that it was “like a merry go round”, Mr Olding said the texts did not mean anything, that it was “nonsense”.

“I’m very embarrassed sitting here reading the messages. I’m certainly not proud about talking like that, but I did it, I have done it and I shouldn’t have done it.”

Earlier, Mr Olding said that he had just returned from the Ireland tour to South Africa, where he played in the second and third tests, “the ones we managed to lose”.

Asked about his mood at the time, Mr Olding said he was “in a good place in my life” and was “very, very pleased to be back in the Ireland squad”.

He arrived at Blaine McIlroy’s house around 4pm and watched a football match. He spent three or three and a half hours in Mr Ilroy’s home, drank eight cans of beer and ate pizza.

The group moved to Cutter’s Wharf, where Mr Olding had a few pints of Guinness, two gin and tonics and a burger and chips.

Later he and his friends moved to Ollie’s where he had five vodka and lemonades and a few shots.

He said that by 2.15am, when he left the nightclub, he was “pretty drunk” but was “still coherent” and “knew my whereabouts”.

He described his mood as “happy, I was enjoying myself, having a good time”.

Shown a picture of himself and Mr McIlroy, which was taken at 3.42am, Mr Olding said his eyes were puffy due to “drunkenness, tiredness and happiness”.

Mr Olding will continue to give his evidence this afternoon.

Mr Jackson (26), of Oakleigh Park, Belfast has pleaded not guilty to rape and sexual assault at a party in his house in the early hours of June 28, 2016.

Mr Olding (24), of Ardenlee Street, Belfast, denies one count of rape on the same occasion. Both men contend the activity was consensual.

Blane McIlroy (26), of Royal Lodge Road, Ballydollaghan, Belfast, has pleaded not guilty to one count of exposure while Rory Harrison (25), from Manse Road, Belfast, pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice and withholding information relating to the incident.

The trial continues before Judge Patricia Smyth and a jury of eight men and three women.

More to follow

Online Editors



Mega-guide to NFL free agency: Players to know in every category – ESPN


We’re days away from the 2018 edition of NFL free-agency frenzy.

With contract negotiations starting Monday and the signing period officially opening Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET, national NFL writers Kevin Seifert and Dan Graziano break down everything you need to know about the market — including players primed for big paydays, others looking for prove-it deals and more.

Note: Age is listed as how old each player will be at the start of the 2018 season.

Jump to: Top free agents by category | Salary cap highlights | Team needs


Salary cap highlights

Here are some notable cap numbers, according to ESPN’s Roster Management System (as of March 7).

Kirk Cousins. Jimmy Graham. Andrew Norwell. This class could get wild. Here’s everything to know heading into free agency, which begins March 14.

Mega guide to 2018 free agency »
• Latest news, players to watch »
• Barnwell’s free agency & trade grades »
Insider Ranking top 100 NFL free agents »
Insider Predicting contracts for top 25 »
• Teams that used the franchise tag »
• Destination Cousins: Landing spots »
• 2018 QB carousel: Test for yourself »

Teams with the most space

1. Cleveland Browns: $106,204,891
2. New York Jets: $90,455,706
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $75,223,155
4. Houston Texans: $66,312,494
5. Indianapolis Colts: $65,124,359

Teams over the cap

1. Pittsburgh Steelers: minus-$12,355,114
2. Philadelphia Eagles: minus-$9,800,978
3. Miami Dolphins: minus-$9,482,304
4. Kansas City Chiefs: minus-$8,831,248
5. Dallas Cowboys: minus-$3,241,359

Top overall free agents

1. Kirk Cousins, QB
2. Drew Brees, QB
3. Case Keenum, QB
4. Andrew Norwell, G
5. Jimmy Graham, TE
6. Sheldon Richardson, DT
7. Nate Solder, OT
8. Trumaine Johnson, CB
9. Star Lotulelei, DT
10. Allen Robinson, WR

See the full ranking of the top 100 free agents.


Free agents most likely to break the bank

2017 team: Redskins | Age: 30

We don’t have much precedent for this situation: An upper-level quarterback available on the open market in the prime of his career. Cousins will get at least one offer that would make him the NFL’s highest-paid player, at least for now, and could approach an average of $30 million annually. — Seifert

2017 team: Saints | Age: 39

Brees has the Saints in a tough spot. They couldn’t use the franchise tag, per the terms of his expiring contract, and would have an $18 million salary-cap acceleration if they don’t sign him by March 14. If he wants, Brees could push for a deal that at least matches his current $24.3 million annual average, a nice sum for a player coming up on 40. — Seifert

2017 team: Panthers | Age: 26

If you’re skeptical about what a guard can get on the open market, recall the deal Kevin Zeitler received last year from the Browns: five years, $60 million with $31.5 million guaranteed. And Norwell, unlike Zeitler, was a first-team All-Pro in his contract year. — Seifert

2017 team: Patriots | Age: 30

Reasonable people can debate whether Solder is an upper-tier player, but no one can argue the value of even a competent left tackle in free agency. In 2017, the Rams gave Andrew Whitworth — at age 35 — a deal that averaged $11.25 million per year. Solder could cash in if he decides to leave the Patriots. — Seifert

2017 team: Rams | Age: 28

After two years on the Rams’ franchise tag, Johnson finally has the opportunity to hit the market. He’ll be arguably the best cover corner available, which means a big payday, even if he has never made a Pro Bowl. — Seifert


Potential value signings

2017 team: Vikings | Age: 25

A two-season layoff following an August 2016 knee injury naturally depresses Bridgewater’s value. But in a best-case scenario, a team could acquire a quarterback who — after knocking the rust off — could start for 10 seasons or more. At the very least, Bridgewater will bring supreme professionalism and attitude to any role he receives. — Seifert

2017 team: Bills | Age: 25

Teams don’t step out much for linebackers unless they are also pass-rushers, but Brown can make a big difference relative to what he is likely to be paid. He’s a tackling machine (512 in four seasons) who hasn’t missed a game in the NFL. — Seifert

2017 team: Vikings | Age: 26

Veteran running backs are usually bargains on the open market, considering their short shelf life. But whoever signs McKinnon will get a player who fits well into today’s incarnation of NFL running backs. He is equally fluent in the running and passing games, and offers value as a returner as well. — Seifert

2017 team: Chiefs | Age: 26

At 5-foot-9, Wilson isn’t the classic big receiver who typically finds big paydays. But in today’s spread-oriented schemes, he can eat up a lot of yards between the 20s. — Seifert

2017 team: Cowboys | Age: 26

The Cowboys love Hitchens, even if you’ve never heard of him. He could be of value elsewhere too. He can play inside or outside, at least in a 4-3 base scheme, and has missed only four games in his four-year career. — Seifert


Most likely to get one-year, prove-it deals

2017 team: Patriots | Age: 28

Butler entered free agency in a weird spot following his mysterious Super Bowl benching, and the buzz in Indy was that he wouldn’t find the deal of his dreams in free agency. Could see him taking a one-year deal for $9 million or so plus incentives, then hitting the market again in a year, perhaps under better circumstances. — Graziano

2017 team: Jaguars | Age: 25

His résumé makes him one of the top two wideouts on the market, but he’s coming off a season lost to a Week 1 torn ACL. Robinson could find himself following the 2017 Alshon Jeffery model. Remember, Jeffery couldn’t get the long-term deal he wanted on the market, so he signed with the Eagles for one year and $9 million plus incentives that could push the deal to $14 million. He got his extension from Philly late in the season, and obviously things worked out well there for everyone. — Graziano

2017 team: Rams | Age: 25

Same case as Robinson, but probably at a higher number. Watkins didn’t put up big numbers in the Rams’ offense but is still viewed by many as a top talent. — Graziano

2017 team: Vikings | Age: 30

The leaguewide demand at quarterback could obviously lead to a long-term deal, but Bradford’s knee is enough of a concern at this point that he might have to pick a spot (Arizona?) where he can prove himself healthy for a year before hitting the market again for one more big payday. — Graziano

2017 team: Bengals | Age: 28

Injuries have defined his career so far, but when he has been on the field, he has shown himself to be a strong option in the red zone. The tight end market should be interesting, and a lot of teams are looking, but Eifert has a lot to prove before he can get his long-term deal. — Graziano


Might not sign until after initial surge

2017 team: Seahawks | Age: 26

Richardson will hold some appeal as a speed threat who is still young, and teams can talk themselves into the notion that he didn’t reach his potential in a Seattle offense where protection issues prevented receivers from getting deep. Look for him to sign something similar to the five-year, $34 million contract Robert Woods got from the Rams last year — and for the signing team to hope they get anything like the deal L.A. got on Woods. — Graziano

2 Related

2017 team: Eagles | Age: 30

The Eagles are still working on trying to re-sign Robinson, but he might want to parlay his surprise big season into a trip to the free-agent market. If he does, he’ll wait for the bigger names to sign their eight-figure-a-year deals, then pitch himself as a solid nickel option for a team looking to spend $5 million or $6 million per season. — Graziano

2017 team: Jets | Age: 39

After a surprisingly strong season with the Jets, McCown should find work as a veteran bridge quarterback for a team looking to draft a guy and groom him. So McCown’s market will be the teams that lose out on Cousins, Case Keenum et al. — Graziano

2017 team: Washington | Age: 26

Breeland’s name wasn’t generating all that much buzz at the combine in Indianapolis, and it’s still possible he ends up back in Washington if no team is willing to pay him $10 million or more per season. — Graziano

2017 team: 49ers | Age: 26

The safety market is a little bit flooded, and while Reid will be one of the better players on it, there’s a fear — which he shares, by the way — that his role in the 2017 national anthem controversy could steer some teams away. — Graziano


Free agents who need the right situation

2017 team: Vikings | Age: 30

There is no coincidence that Keenum had by far his best season with by far the best team he has ever played for. His 69.7 Total QBR was the NFL’s second best, but it’s worth noting that after five years of inconsistency, Keenum broke through with help from an elite defense, one of the league’s best playcallers (Pat Shurmur) and a diverse group of pass-catchers. — Seifert

2017 team: Patriots | Age: 27

Lewis is at his best when used in multiple roles. More and more teams have the capacity to roll their backs through the backfield, into the slot and even to outside receiver positions. Some do not. Lewis needs a team that would use his complete skill set rather than box him in as a classic tailback. — Seifert

2017 team: Jets | Age: 28

Wilkerson’s talent is undeniable, as are the disciplinary issues he had in recent years under coach Todd Bowles. Wilkerson needs a franchise that can give him the right proportions of breathing room and structure. — Seifert

2017 team: Saints | Age: 27

Is he a safety? A linebacker? A hybrid? Vaccaro’s next team would be best advised to have a specific, unique role in mind for his talents and limitations. — Seifert

2017 team: Falcons | Age: 27

At 5-foot-8, there are some things Gabriel can’t do. But we’ve seen at various points in his career — especially in 2016 with the Falcons — how his unique open-field skills can be utilized. The less conventional his role, the better. — Seifert


Most likely to make a big immediate impact

2017 team: Seahawks | Age: 31

Although he might not be as explosive as he once was, Graham is still exceptionally difficult to defend in the red zone. Last season, his 10 touchdown receptions (on only 95 targets) were tied for No. 2 in the league. Graham would at once enhance a team’s scoring efficiency. — Seifert

2017 team: Ravens | Age: 27

The most efficient way to improve an offensive line is to upgrade at left tackle and/or center. At the moment, Jensen is the best center available on the market. — Seifert

2017 team: Raiders | Age: 30

Injuries have been an issue over the past three seasons, but when he got healthy last season, Bowman made an immediate impact on the Raiders’ run defense. — Seifert

2017 team: Colts | Age: 25

Moncrief was an explosive weapon when Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was healthy. Pair him with a good downfield thrower and look out. — Seifert

2017 team: Colts | Age: 28

A 6-foot-2 cornerback can help shift a defense’s schemes — assuming Melvin covers the way he did last season for the Colts. — Seifert


More top guys likely to sign with new teams

2017 team: Seahawks | Age: 27

The defensive overhaul is in full swing in Seattle, and it’s hard to believe it will break the bank for Richardson after just one year. Expect him to do quite well on the market as a defensive lineman who has shown disruptive ability in 3-4 and 4-3 defensive fronts. — Graziano

2017 team: Falcons | Age: 28

The Falcons would like Poe back, but they got him on a bargain deal last year and he did well enough there that he should be able to spin it into a two-or three-year deal worth $10 million or $11 million per season. — Graziano

2017 team: Eagles | Age: 26

A tight end who threw a memorable touchdown pass in the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory, Burton is a versatile talent who isn’t likely to fit under Philadelphia’s salary cap. He’ll be a bigger part of the offense in his next stop. — Graziano

2017 team: Bengals | Age: 27

As soon as McCarron won the grievance that made him an unrestricted free agent, he was gone from Cincinnati. McCarron will look for a place he can be the starter after years as Andy Dalton’s backup. Watch Cleveland and Arizona as potential landing spots. — Graziano

2017 team: Washington | Age: 29

Yeah, no, that didn’t work. Washington was Pryor’s landing spot last year when he couldn’t get the long-term deal he sought. He took a one-year deal with incentives and didn’t do much to hit them, and Washington will surely move on. Expect Pryor to need another one-year job in the hopes of rekindling what he had in Cleveland two years ago. Heck, maybe he does it in Cleveland. — Graziano


Bonus: Sneaky trade candidates

Current team: Dolphins | Age: 25

Not sure how “sneaky” this is, since at this point it seems everyone knows the Dolphins are trying to trade their franchise player. Chicago, Baltimore, San Francisco and Tennessee are teams to watch. — Graziano

Current team: Seahawks | Age: 29

Seattle won’t give Thomas away, and I still think the team is more likely to extend him than to let him go. But if someone is willing to pay a high enough price, Thomas might not get to stick around for the defensive rebuild. — Graziano

Current team: Bills | Age: 28

Glenn has been on the market since last October, when Buffalo couldn’t find a taker at its price. There aren’t many top tackles on the market, and it’s not a great draft for tackles. Expect the Bills to find a match for Glenn this offseason. — Graziano

Current team: Steelers | Age: 26

The Steelers can say all they want about not wanting to trade Bryant, but he still wants to go to a place where he can be the No. 1 wide receiver. Once the free-agent market shakes out, some team will offer more than they have so far. — Graziano

2017 team: Giants | Age: 24

The Giants need a major shake-up on the offensive line, and they’re going to get one. Likely to lose guard Justin Pugh and center Weston Richburg in free agency, they also could look to move on from former first-round pick Flowers. As is the case with Glenn in Buffalo, the potential return could improve as teams confront the scarcity of options on the market. — Graziano

Offseason needs for all 32 teams

Here are the areas of need for all 32 teams as compiled by ESPN Stats & Information.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills: WR, DT, DE
Miami Dolphins: OL, LB/S, impact players
New England Patriots: DL, DE/LB, CB, OT
New York Jets: QB, DL, G/C

When: April 26-28
Where: Arlington, Texas
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AFC North

Baltimore Ravens: WR, TE, LB/S
Cincinnati Bengals: OL, LB, TE
Cleveland Browns: QB, WR, DL
Pittsburgh Steelers: LB, S, DT

AFC South

Houston Texans: OL/OT, TE, DB
Indianapolis Colts: Pass rush, DB, OL, RB
Jacksonville Jaguars: WR, TE, OL, slot CB
Tennessee Titans: ILB, CB, G

AFC West

Denver Broncos: QB, OL, LB/S
Kansas City Chiefs: CB/slot CB, ILB, WR
Los Angeles Chargers: LB, DT, G
Oakland Raiders: CB, S, OL

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys: DL, TE, WR
New York Giants: OL, RB, LB
Philadelphia Eagles: LB, OL, DB
Washington Redskins: DL/LB, OL, CB

NFC North

Chicago Bears: WR, CB, OL
Detroit Lions: Defense, RB, TE
Green Bay Packers: TE, CB, OLB
Minnesota Vikings: QB, OL, DL

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons: DT, DE, TE, G
Carolina Panthers: WR, Slot CB, DE, G/C
New Orleans Saints: TE, DE, CB
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DB, pass rush, RB, OL

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals: QB, WR, OL
Los Angeles Rams: Rush D, OL, DB
San Francisco 49ers: CB, WR, OL
Seattle Seahawks: RB, OL, DB, TE



'Mario Tennis Aces' Release Date, Characters Leak Ahead of Nintendo Direct – Newsweek


Mario Tennis Aces is the one game confirmed to appear in the March 8 Nintendo Direct but it seems a leak has revealed the release date and the inclusion of some characters before the presentation goes live.

According to a thread on Resetera, a listing on the Japanese site Rakuten leaked screenshots and the box art for Mario Tennis Aces . The listing has since been deleted but the thread was able to capture the box art for the upcoming Mario sports game as well as the screenshots.

If you don’t want to know any information on Mario Tennis Aces before the March 8 Nintendo Direct goes live, turn away now.

mario-tennis-aces-nintendo-switch Mario Tennis Aces is coming to Nintendo Switch. Nintendo

The screenshots from Rakuten confirm the inclusion of Yoshi and Rosalina, with the box art confirming Peach will be added to the Mario Tennis Aces roster. The listing also confirms that the game is expected to release for Nintendo Switch on June 22.

Mario Tennis Aces was revealed during the Jan. 11 Nintendo Direct Mini. The presentation showed footage that mirrored some classic Mario Tennis gameplay but includes a story mode. There will be boss battles and challenges to complete as you make your way through the game’s story.

The first footage for Mario Tennis Aces confirmed only four characters, Mario, Luigi, Wario and Waluigi but with this recent leak, the roster is now up to seven. The March 8 Nintendo Direct will go live at 5 p.m. EST so expect even more details on Mario Tennis Aces .

So what do you think of the new additions to Mario Tennis Aces ? Who do you hope makes the roster before its release in June? Let us know in the comments section below.