Dolphins players ignoring dire predictions

The latest odds for winning the Super Bowl have the Browns at 75-1. And the Dolphins at 100-1.

The lack of faith in the Fins among gamblers has spread to the media, which has marked Miami as a team destined to struggle in 2018. Dolphins players are ignoring the noise.

If they don’t, no one will be surprised. If they do, Adam Gase could be on track to be named coach of the year — especially in light of the currently dire predictions.

Using a metric called pass-rush productivity, which PFF defines as a metric that measures the pressure created on a per-snap basis, with weighting toward sacks, the site can identify players who make the most of their opportunity to rush the passer. In this particular metric, McKinley was among the standouts.

McKinley was seventh in pass-rush productivity among qualified 4-3 defensive ends with fewer than 10 sacks, and he was the second-highest rookie on the list behind Myles Garrett, who was taken with the first overall pick in last year’s draft.

The Titans ranked No. 28 in pass defense last season. With the upgraded pass rush helping this upgraded back end, their overall improvement will parallel their expected jump in passing offense.

The Titans are keeping their pleasing color scheme but taking their franchise to the future with a sleek, modern look.

The shiny new threads won’t look as good if the players don’t perform. But with its continued roster improvement, Tennessee is dressed for more success.

Winston arguably still has the highest upside of any QB in the league given his arm talent and pedigree. The Bucs’ offense is set up to give him his best weapons yet, with tight end O.J. Howard and wide receiver Chris Godwin primed for second-year breakouts and rookie Ronald Jones III in the backfield.

The Bucs’ early schedule was Winston’s chance to reach the next stage of his trajectory while dueling Drew Brees, Carson Wentz (probably) and Ben Roethlisberger, regardless of whether the defense would (likely) cost his team all three games.

Patriots’ Julian Edelman apologizes for suspension: ‘I am very sorry — I don’t know what happened’

Julian Edelman is facing the music after an ESPN report Thursday claimed the New England Patriots receiver is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. 

Edelman wrote in a post from his Instagram account: I am very sorry — I don’t know what happened. I’ve taken many, many tests obviously over the course of my career, and nothing like this has ever happened.

It’s the same form of cancer Chiefs star Eric Berry began fighting late in 2014. He underwent chemotherapy and was back in all-pro form for the 2015 season, earning comeback player of the year honors for his courageous showing.

Tanaka advanced to second on a hit by Torres, then to third on a walk by Brett Gardner. Next up was Judge to hit with the bases loaded and one out, and he hit a flyball to medium right that was toward the line.

Off the bat, it looked like Tanaka had no shot to score because the flyball wasn’t deep and Mets right fielder Jay Bruce has a strong arm. Also, Tanaka is a slow runner.

I was shallow, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to go or not, but our third base coach (Phil Nevin) kind of shouted, ‘Tag up,’ so that’s what I did, Tanaka said.

Tanaka probably would have been a dead duck if Bruce had made a good throw, but it was up the first-base line and he scored standing up.

But while running, both of his hamstrings tightened up, and very quickly Tanaka was headed to the clubhouse with trainer Steve Donohue and out of the game.

This was the second time in four seasons that Tanaka got hurt running at Citi Field. In September 2015, he suffered a Grade 1 hamstring strain bunting into a fielder’s choice while trying to move up a runner, and that time he missed a start.

the Cowboys are hoping to survive without the only two players on their roster who caught five-plus touchdown passes in 2017. 

It appears Buffalo’s top two wide receivers will be Kelvin Benjamin (who hasn’t been the same since tearing his ACL with Carolina in 2015 and is coming off an unproductive six-game run with the Bills in 2017) and Zay Jones (who caught an abysmal 36.5 percent of the passes thrown his way as a rookie last year). But there’s nobody to challenge those two, because the Bills lack depth at that position (veteran scrubs Andre Holmes and Jeremy Kerley are probably third and fourth on the depth chart).

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is lucky to have wide receiver A.J. Green, who has made the Pro Bowl in each of his seven NFL seasons. The problem is there isn’t much beyond that at the offensive skill positions.

Brandon LaFell is coming off a terrible age-31 season in which he averaged a career-low 10.5 yards per reception while catching only 58 percent of the passes thrown his way. He’s still slated to start opposite Green because first-round pick John Ross was MIA as a rookie, while 2016 second-rounder Tyler Boyd experienced a sophomore slump in 2017. 

If one of those backs can emerge, if Jackson can keep rolling, if Evans can remain healthy and if Godwin and Howard can continue on their 2017 trajectory, Winston could have one of the best supporting casts in football in 2018. Plenty of ifs there, though. 

Expectations are sky-high for new Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, who signed the most lucrative contract in NFL history in March. That could put a lot of pressure on the 29-year-old, but at least he can thank the football gods he’ll be supported by a better supporting cast than the majority of the league’s starting quarterbacks. 

The South Dakota State product went undrafted in 1996 after playing professionally for the World League of American Football’s Amsterdam Admirals.

The New England Patriots signed Vinatieri for the 1996 season, a year in which they made it to their first Super Bowl since 1985. Despite the Super Bowl XXXI loss to the Packers, it was a setting that a young Vinatieri would grow accustomed to.

The Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX in February 2002, 2004 and 2005, respectively, with Vinatieri hitting game-winning kicks as time expired in 2002 and 2004.

MLB trade rumors: Royals’ Mike Moustakas to Phillies as deadline rental?

It may be time to pause the Manny Machado to the Phillies rumors. Not end, but rather pause.

As the Phillies try to get through a difficult June,  Machado talk will naturally heat up. There’s no better and more logical fit for the team to add to a slumping offense. That, of course, ignores the reality of Machado’s impending free agency. It’s hard to imagine the Phillies paying a steep price for a player they can sign without giving up any young players for.

We’re here to play the best football players that give us a chance to win on Sunday.

It remains to be seen if Darnold will be part of that group, if he can beat out Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater this summer. In a 10-minute interview with reporters, spent mostly discussing the rookie, Bates raved about Darnold’s limitless potential, his impressive work habits, and his ability to process information quickly. Bates could have talked about the third-overall pick for hours.

Mack, one of the NFL’s elite pass rushers, enters the final year of his rookie contract and is scheduled to play the 2018 season on a fifth-year option, which pays a base salary of $13.8 million.

The two-time All-Pro seeks a new deal with guarantees in excess of $65 million, NFL Network’s Steve Wyche reported.

Keep going every day. Set little goals for yourself… and make sure you get them done. We’ve got one more day (Sunday), and we’ll see if anybody can beat me 1-on-1.

Beckham made headlines by revealing his current plan (subject to change, according to a source) is to attend Giants training camp and not hold out over his contract.

Watch the videos above and below to see Beckham interacting campers.

Saturday’s third round got away from the USGA, with CEO Mike Davis admitting that conditions got too tough during the afternoon…A number of players had some critical words about how the course was playing, but Zach Johnson’s criticism was the strongest. He said the USGA lost the golf course…Earlier in the day, Phil Mickelson purposely putted a moving ball, taking a two-stroke penalty and making a 10 on the par-4 13th hole.

Following the first of his two-day ProCamp for kids at St. Joseph High School in Metuchen, N.J., he was asked if the media should expect to see him at the start of training camp on July 25.

Sam Darnold to begin camp third on depth chart but has real chance to start

Sam Darnold will begin training camp third on the depth chart behind Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater, head coach Todd Bowles said Thursday. But the No. 3 overall pick isn’t expected to stay there long.

Wilkins said she and her teammates were under a microscope. You are required to maintain your audition weight . . . unless they tell you otherwise. If they say you have to lose five pounds, you need to do that.

But during her tenure, cheerleaders didn’t have access to a gym or fitness memberships, and were not allowed to use the NFL team’s facilities.

Cheerleaders who appeared in the squad’s swimsuit and sideline calendars weren’t even given a free copy, Wilkins said.

We had to buy them for ourselves and our friends and family, she said. [The Cowboys organization is] selling our image, our likeness — images of our bodies that we work very hard to keep in shape — and they’re the only ones making the profit.

Detroit, Tennessee, Houston, San Francisco, Breer said, via NESN.com.

There were more than that, per a league source. It’s unclear how many more there were. It is clear that a deal was never close enough to result in Gronkowski being informed about the possibility — and that would have been a key ingredient, given that Gronkowski didn’t even commit to playing in 2018 until two days before the draft.

He added that the Allen incident moved the needle in a way that brought him new business.

Meanwhile, Mark Cuban — the Shark Tank entrepreneur and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks — co-founded Xpire, an app which allows users to set expiration dates for their Twitter and Facebook posts.

I literally go back through old tweets and delete anything that may be misconstrued, Cuban told The Post. We all make mistakes with digital media. In a lot of respects, it’s like fashion. What seemed relevant and smart one day may seem ridiculous or even malicious a couple of years later.

One football agent who asked to be anonymous, said that, while Allen’s tweets were unsavory, the fault lies with his agents at powerhouse firm Creative Artists Agency: It was malpractice by CAA.

Torrey Smith refers to President Trump’s statement as so many lies

Torrey Smith has become the first player from the Eagles’ Super Bowl championship team to react publicly to President Trump calling off the team’s visit to the White House. Smith now plays for the Panthers.

So many lies smh, Smith tweeted. Here are some facts: 1. Not many people were going to go. 2. No one refused to go simply because Trump insists folks stand for the anthem. 3. The President continues to spread the false narrative that players are anti military.

The President cited the national anthem as the reason for canceling the visit, with the Eagles expected to send only a small contingent. It is not yet known how many players intended to make the trip..

Trump’s comments could be a way to rile up a GOP base in advance of a midterm election seen as a referendum on the president. Trump’s job approval rating remained in negative territory, with 51 percent disapproving of his performance in office and 40 percent approving. Among Republicans, however, his job approval rating was 86 percent.

The poll was released two days after Trump canceled a planned visit by the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles and replaced it with what he called a ceremony to celebrate America. Many players had decided to skip the traditional White House gathering with the president.

Lackluster running game? They drafted the best running back college football has produced in years in Saquon Barkley.

The conduct of sports wagering-related activities by persons or entities prior to the final passage of this legislation may bear upon their suitability for licensure under the anticipated law, it continued.

Zanzuccki added: It should be fully understood that any improprieties or adverse conduct related to any unregulated activities would have the potential to jeopardize their ability to be licensed for sports wagering under the new law.

Glover Quin back with Lions for minicamp

Safety Glover Quin is one of several Lions players with contract incentives tied to the offseason workout program, but the Fords won’t have to hand the veteran an extra $250,000 this year.

Quin opted not to take part in the voluntary portions of Detroit’s program, which led to questions about whether he considered retiring when he did report for Tuesday’s start of a mandatory three-day minicamp. Quin said players at his age, he turned 32 in January, have to gauge how much I have left, but that uncertainty about playing wasn’t the reason for his absence.

We are fighting for racial and social equality.

Unfortunately for Howard, he might have to wait for a big payday. The 2016 fifth-round pick has crushed expectations, but his rookie contract is only half complete, and the Bears probably aren’t feeling a lot of pressure to spend big at a position with a short shelf life.

The amount of money that will eventually come Williams’ way will likely be heavily influenced by what happens during the 2018 season. Williams has talked about a desire to kick his game up a level this year and the upside that would come with putting together a disruptive season provides plenty of reason to keep the contract on the back burner for the time being.

They’re both very passionate coaches, Fitzpatrick told reporters on Tuesday. They’re both really hands-on. The only difference is Coach Saban yells a little bit more. But that’s about it. Coach Gase is a great coach. He’s a real energetic coach. All of the players love playing for him. I love playing for him and I’m happy that he’s my head coach.

Fitzpatrick laughed when he said Saban yells a little bit more, and Saban gave Fitzpatrick high praise before the draft, suggesting that Fitzpatrick should be a top-five pick.

And Fitzpatrick definitely feels prepared to play in the NFL after playing college football for Saban.

NBA Rumors: Cavaliers’ LeBron James to Los Angeles Lakers?

Now that the Cleveland Cavaliers are in a 3-0 hole vs. the Golden State Warriors, the rumors about where LeBron James will play next season are about to heat up.

The latest report, published on Monday by The Big Lead, has James heading out west — to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Here is a breakdown of the rumor, per Bobby Burack of The Big Lead:

I’m a big fan of whatever’s working. Keep going with it until they make you change.

Sounds simple, but there’s a lot of prep work that goes into figuring out how to read pitchers and work hitters.

I’ll watch guys during the game whether I’m playing or not and I’m watching guys at home on video to see what’s working, what’s not working, Romine said. It’s my job. I’ve got to be ready to go in at any time. I don’t want to disrupt anything.

It may have been even more significant that Gronkowski, maybe the most difficult physical matchup in the NFL, was in a good space. Like Brady, he skipped OTAs. Unlike Brady, the all-world tight end spent part of the offseason contemplating whether he wanted to retire, given the wear and tear of so many injuries.

Gronk, admitting he needed time to allow his body to recover, seemed even fresher than Brady — complete with a couple of spectacular catches on deep routes, demonstrative swaggering and a lot of whooping that suggested just how much fun it was to be back in, well, Belichick’s camp.

The other significant noise came from Brady himself. He may have been with the group that took it on the chin from Belichick. But he could dish it out, too, wasting no time to exert his leadership.

It’s always loud out there with him,noted slot receiver Julian Edelman, back in the flow after a torn ACL wiped out his 2017 season. He’s an intimidating S.O.B.

He’s incredibly athletic. I believe that he’s incredibly talented, Zayat said. I do believe that he has the ability, speed, stamina.

This is where it made the man. You’re on your own, really.

Most metropolitan cities in America have hidden abysses like this, Lewis points out, where football can serve as a beacon of light out of such hell. Or can steer you into a different kind of hell. The sport that can save you can also kill you later in life.

Lewis absolutely knows the symptoms will only get worse. Walking beagles_030ack to his Jeep, he turns pale and quiet and concerned.

You have to keep it moving.

So Lewis climbs back in his Jeep and, again, says to follow him. He has to pick up Jazz from school at 3. We stop briefly at his childhood home, redirect north to Buckhead, lose each other in traffic, find each other and pull into another bar at 2:45 p.m.

Lewis steps out and slaps his hands together.

Somebody needs to hit him, he says. Get him right!

And, given that choiceagain that he mentioned, what would he decide? He’d eyeball that Vikings safety taking a 45-degree angle, lower his shoulder and deliver a blow. No stepping out of bounds. No mercy.

Past the Falcons stadium, onto the highway, toward his old neighborhood, the white Jeep accelerates out of vision. Lane to lane, Lewis knifes through heavy traffic and I lose him.

Maybe he forgot where we’re going? Maybe he’s waiting for his brain to recalibrate?

Hard to say. All Lewis said was to follow him.

Giants GM Dave Gettleman has lymphoma, though ‘the prognosis is positive’

Dave Gettleman, who rejoined the New York Giants as their general manager in December, announced Tuesday that he has lymphoma, a cancer of the white blood cells. He said he is weighing his treatment options but that doctors have told him the prognosis is positive.

Ertz and his Eagles teammates were shown kneeling in several photos during the Fox News segment, but Ertz said the players were kneeling in prayer, not to raise awareness of social injustice and police brutality issues, as other players have done. Trump has used the pregame demonstrations as a rallying point, and Vice President Pence departed early from an Indianapolis Colts game last fall when members of the San Francisco 49ers took a knee.

Ertz spotted the photos in the Fox report, tweeting Tuesday morning, This can’t be serious. … Praying before games with my teammates, well before the anthem, is being used for your propaganda?! Just sad. I feel like you guys should have to be better than this. Ertz’s tweet quickly was shared on social media, gathering more than 83,000 likes and 33,000 retweets within six hours. And by midmorning, the network had apologized for the report on Fox News at Night with Shannon Bream.

Luck has considerable sports-executive experience, in other words, and his hiring shows that XFL founder Vince McMahon is taking things a little more seriously this time around. The pro-wrestling overlord’s first attempt at an alternative to the NFL, in 2001, was marked by slapdash preparation and terrible football, dooming it to a lone year of existence.

In announcing the new XFL earlier this year — the league is scheduled to launch in January 2020 — McMahon promised shorter, faster-paced games than the NFL. He also said players with any sort of criminal record would be prohibited from joining the league and that players would be required to stand for the national anthem.

Luck reiterated that last part Tuesday.

We respect individual freedoms, Luck told Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman. But we will require players to stand for the national anthem.