Danielle Hunter happy to get five-year, $72 million extension out of the way

Danielle Hunter’s five-year extension will pay him $72 million, with $40 million in guarantees, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports. The defensive end gets a $15 million signing bonus.

Danielle has done an outstanding job ever since we’ve drafted him, Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said, via quotes distributed by the team. A young, talented football player that works extremely hard, shows the passion for the game, comes to work every day to improve and get better, and has so much more upside to grow into. Just looking forward to getting him locked in and what he’s going to continue to bring not only to this defense and this football team, but also the type of character that he brings to the Minnesota Vikings.

We build a bond together on defense, Hunter said. We go out there, and we know we’re brothers. We fight together. We do our assignments. On and off the field, we’re really, really close, so it really means a lot [to get so many defenders signed long term].

From a learning standpoint, I’m new, Jones said Wednesday after addressing young athletes about proper hydration and heat safety in the 14th annual Gatorade Beat the Heat program, via Mark Lane of WFAA. I’m asking Jourdan and Cheeto some corner questions, and I get it right. I have no shame in going to a younger guy who has played corner longer than I have and asking some questions. That’s one of the things that I’ve learned is ask people some questions, and you get a good answer.

As a rookie, Jones started seven games at safety and four games at corner. He spent all of 2016 and ’17 at safety.

My responsibility as a corner now is make sure I get a good jam for the safety, Jones said. I’ve been in that position where you have to spread out to the sideline and make a play, and it ain’t easy.

Why signs point to Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka going on DL

The facial expression that Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka had talking about his Friday night double-hamstring injury was telling.

He looked worried.

He also admitted still feeling sore after a Yankees’ 4-1 win over the Mets in which he was forced to leave after getting hurt scoring from third base on a game-tying, sixth-inning sacrifice fly.

Yairo Munoz (R), 4 percent, St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers (RHP Chase Anderson): Munoz doesn’t have the platoon advantage here, but that’s not a bad thing. While the rookie is batting just.160 against southpaws, he’s hitting.305 versus righties. He heads to the hitter-friendly Miller Park, where he’ll square off against Anderson and his 5.91 ERA since May 1.

Greg Bird (L), 35 percent, New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays (RHP Wilmer Font): You’re looking for upside when streaming batters, and Bird certainly brings that to the table. While he’s yet to really get going this season, he’s whacked 23 homers in 382 career at-bats, showcasing his high-end power potential. He may get only an at-bat or two against Font on Saturday, but that could be enough (.446 wOBA allowed to lefty batters).

Despite his recent struggles, Harper will no doubt find plenty of suitors when he hits the open market, including deep-pocketed teams such as the Yankees and Phillies.

Harper, for his part, is doing his best to prevent his impending free agency from getting inside his head, per the Washington Post:

I’m like, ‘I don’t think about it,’ Harper said of the conversation. I really don’t. Me, personally, it doesn’t really bother me.

As for his hitting problems this season, Harper feels like he has a beat on what’s wrong and what he needs to change:

The past couple weeks, I’ve just chased out of the zone a little too much, Harper said. The biggest thing I see in myself is really just swinging at pitcher’s pitches. There’s times where I’m on the corner and a strike is called, and then I chase something else and dig my own hole. I’ve got to work to get my pitches to hit.

Harper still leads the National League with 19 home runs this season.

Ranking Every NFL QB’s Supporting Cast for 2018

Every extra-large NFL roster will change significantly between now and early September, but most of those changes will pertain to the bowels of the depth chart. With free agency and the draft out of the way, most cores are pretty much set for the fall. 

Thus we already have an initial feel for which projected starting quarterbacks will have a high amount of support and those who might have to do the lion’s share of the heavy lifting.

They also have an experienced trio at running back in Isaiah Crowell, Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire, but Crowell and Powell both might have already peaked. The former lacked consistency during his four years with the Browns, while the latter has never been a strong feature back as he enters his age-30 season. McGuire averaged just 3.6 yards per carry as a rookie sixth-round pick in 2017. 

With the tight end position watered down following the loss of Austin Seferian-Jenkins, this is a supporting cast that is void of sure-things. That could be problematic.

Regardless of who starts at quarterback this year for the Buffalo Bills—AJ McCarron probably has an edge over Nathan Peterman and Josh Allen for now—it looks as though they’ll have to work with a supporting cast that leaves a lot to be desired.

And because Stanton had so many struggles at Yankees Stadium and had been booed loudly on several nights, his first walk-off in pinstripes is one to remember.

But according to Stanton, that wasn’t the reason or even a reason this moment felt so good.

I’m not worried about me personally, said Stanton, who is hitting.255 with 18 homers and 42 RBIs in 70 games.. For the way our team battled back, it’s huge that I could step up in that moment. Me? I’ll be fine.

Stanton has looked fine of late – he’s hitting.400 with three homers and eight RBI in his last eight games – and he definitely enjoyed this moment, especially the tail end of his home run jog when he moved toward a sea of awaiting happy teammates at home plate.

After excitedly jumping a couple times just before rounding third, Stanton grabbed his batting helmet with his right hand, then he windmilled his arm backwards three times plotting his next move.

NFL-only field going in at London soccer stadium

In the most tangible piece of evidence yet that the NFL wants to keep playing games in London, the league has paid for an NFL-only field to be on the grounds of the new soccer stadium for Tottenham Hotspur.

New pictures of the stadium, which is still being built, show the FieldTurf field that the NFL will play on. The stadium will be able to switch between that field for NFL games and a grass field for soccer games.

The Knicks were on Irving’s wish list when he sought a trade from the Cavaliers, and at the All-Star break, when asked his reaction to Kristaps Porzingis’ ACL tear, he gave another revealing response.

I told him I would love to play with a big like you, man, when we played them in the beginning of the season when he came to Boston [in November], Irving said. He’s so versatile. So I wish him nothing but the best and hope he comes back even stronger.

While the Knicks may not be in the running for LeBron James’ 2018 free agency, they are expected to have maximum cap space in 2019.

The winners of each regional advanced to the super regionals for a single, best-of-three series hosted by the higher seed of each matchup (June 8-11). The eight winners of the super regionals advanced to the College World Series in Omaha (June 16-27).

The order of first-round games for the College World Series were announced June 11. The 72nd College World Series will begin play Saturday, June 16, at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.

Defending national champion Florida entered the tournament as the top seed after a 42-17 regular-season record. Below are the top 16 seeds, along with the bracket and schedule for the 2018 NCAA baseball tournament.

A doting father he may be, but Fallon has lost none of the energetic showmanship that’s defined his vaudevillian career, hosting Late Night with Jimmy Fallon from 2009 to 2013 and then taking over Tonight in 2014 (with both shows accompanied by The Roots).

Terrelle Pryor declares himself healthy after ankle surgery

Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor didn’t practice during the Jets’ minicamp this week, but he did take one step in the right direction after having ankle surgery earlier in the offseason.

Pryor’s recovery from that operation has reached a point where he no longer has to wear a boot on his right foot. That wasn’t enough for head coach Todd Bowles to say that Pryor will be on the practice field when training camp opens late next month, but Pryor was willing to declare himself ready to both practice and do big things on the field.

Right now I’m healthy and I’m ready to get back to form and have a dominant year, Pryor said, via the New York Post.

Seattle Mariners have jumped Houston in the race for the AL West. They have won the last five times Mike Leake has pitched and he takes his turn Thursday in St. Pete. Playing 20 units on the Mariners.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman put some of those trade rumors to rest Friday when he told reporters that the second baseman won’t be going anywhere. Cashman said Torres will be untouchable in trade talks this summer.

Come on now, Cashman said, per ESPN.com. I’ve got to walk around this city.

It makes sense why the Yankees do not want to lose Torres as he has hit 13 homers in his first 46 MLB games. The New York Daily News notes since Torres’ promotion to the majors on May 4, he has hit the second-most home runs in all of baseball (behind the Red Sox’s J.D. Martinez) entering Friday’s play.

This team has really earned the right to get reinforced if we can possibly find a way, Cashman said. We really like the team we’ve got, and we’d certainly love to make it better if it’s possible.

Torres is hitting .289 with 33 RBIs. The Yankees are 45-20, having won seven of their last nine games.

A few weeks later, he was contacted about being in a movie with the code name Caribbean Blue. When he went to a costume fitting, he saw the concept art and figured out what the movie actually was.

I was like, no way, this is ‘Deadpool,’ Shepley said.

Loaisiga reacts to ‘young Mariano Rivera’ comparison

Pitching on extra rest following his shortest outing of the season, Severino blew away the Tampa Bay Rays with fastballs that were coming in at 98-to-100 mph all day long.

It was a same old, same old Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, which was packed again for the steamrolling Yankees’ 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Severino (10-2) pitched a three-hitter over eight shutout innings with nine strikeouts and two walks, and the 46-20 Yankees won their third in a row and improved to 13-3 in their last 16.

I thought his stuff, even by Sevy’s standards, was great, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. The fastball seemed to me to have every more life.

He was pitching on the sixth day after a shorter outing and stuff wise it seemed to be really coming out well.

Wayne Gretzky is here at the U.S. Open, and in hockey parlance, they call what Mickelson did a one timer. In the golf word, they were using slightly different terminology. The media tent, a place that is typically filled with hot air, was practically bursting with sanctimony in the aftermath

The league has no clear procedures or deadlines for concluding situations like this, and the league rarely if ever provides substantive updates, citing confidentiality concerns. Basically, the investigation lasts until it ends, and there’s no way to know how much longer an investigation will last, or what the outcome will be. Presumably, the league will close the books on this one before the start of the regular season, giving Winston enough time to pursue his appeal rights.

Of course, litigation remains a possibility if Winston ultimately is suspended, but the Tom Brady and Ezekiel Elliott cases have proven that it’s virtually impossible for a player to beat a league-imposed suspension in court.

They were just feet apart: Paulina Gretzky, fiancee of Dustin Johnson, on the left; Bob Koepka, father of Brooks, on the right.

One was there cheering on the soon-to-be U.S. Open champion. The other was there to console a disappointed competitor.

By their body language, you wouldn’t know who was who. Turned out, neither did they.

Mike Freeman’s 10-Point Stance: Meet the Man Who Could Make the XFL a Competitor

Andrew Luck’s dad becomes commissioner of the XFL. Former Patriots argue over Bill Belichick’s fun factor. What records will be broken this season, and who’s going to win the Super Bowl. All that and more in this week’s 10-Point Stance.

Among all the moves made by the various football leagues this offseason, including the NFL and CFL, the hiring of Oliver Luck as head of the XFL was perhaps the smartest.

He was also a Rhodes Scholar finalist, the athletic director at West Virginia, the president of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo, an Academic All-American quarterback at West Virginia and a second-round pick in the NFL draft, playing five years with the Houston Oilers.

According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, the Patriots quarterback and tight end are at Gillette Stadium today, in advance of the team’s mandatory minicamp.

This was apparently the plan all along, but they’ve stayed away from the voluntary workouts for whatever reasons, whether contractual or otherwise.

Whatever the issues, there was never a sense either wanted to miss the mandatory work and endure the fines that come with such an absence.

All of this comes as Sweeney and Murphy, both Democrats, hold contentious talks about the state budget. If they don’t agree on a budget by June 30, the state government will shut down for the second straight year. Sources have said Murphy may be holding up sports betting as a bargaining chip.

New Jersey has pushed for legal sports betting since 2011, when the state’s voters approved it in a referendum. The goal has been to boost the state’s struggling casino and horse-racing industries.

Giants defense works to boost interceptions

Hernandez was one of more than 30 Giants — mostly rookie and second-year players — in attendance Wednesday night at Lucky Strike for the David Tyree Charity Bowl benefiting Children of the City.

If you’re a football player you should be referred to a nasty, on-the-edge player, Hernandez said last month. I think that’s how everyone should play. I think that’s the reason why this sport is so popular. Yeah, I definitely consider myself that, and I think that everybody should be exactly that.

Flacco’s move simplifies Rutgers’ quarterback outlook heading into the fall. The former Eastern High star flashed this spring in the Scarlet-White Game, but it became clear his odds of getting on the field would be long. True freshman Artur Sitkowski, the expected starter, redshirt senior Giovanni Rescigno and sophomore Johnathan Lewis all appeared to be ahead of Flacco on the depth chart following spring practice.

Rutgers will now head into the summer with five quarterbacks on the roster. Lewis, Rescigno and Sitkowski are joined by freshman Jalen Chatman, who is expected to redshirt this fall, as well as redshirt senior Robert Nittolo, a walk-on.

Every NFL Team’s Player with the Most to Prove in Minicamp More Sam Bradford’s career hasn’t gone according to plan. The No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft couldn’t stay healthy in St. Louis. He stayed in Philadelphia just long enough for the team to draft Carson Wentz. And just when it appeared he might have found a home in Minnesota, his balky knees betrayed him…again. The player the Rams thought was a sure bet is now a 30-year-old journeyman.

President Donald Trump won’t invite NBA champion to White House

eagles_036President Donald Trump told reporters on Friday morning that we’re not going to invite either team, referring to the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, for a visit to the White House.

On Tuesday, LeBron James said neither his Cavaliers nor the Warriors would accept a visit as a winner of the NBA Finals.

Trump also addressed NFL players and the national anthem. You shouldn’t go in a locker room when our national anthem is playing, he said.

Trump said he would consider pardon applications submitted by players who have participated in protests during the anthem.

I’m going to ask them to recommend to me people that were unfairly treated — friends of theirs or people that they know about — and I’m going to take a look at those applications, he said. And if I find, and my committee finds, that they’re unfairly treated, then we will pardon them or at least let them out.

This is the first time in his 10-season career that Andrus has been on the disabled list. Monday was the first day he was eligible to be reinstated from the 60-day DL, but he is expected to play several rehab games. He is scheduled to be the designated hitter when the RoughRiders play a mid-day game Tuesday.

We’re here to help our teams out, so my goal is always to say yes, says Shulz. But it’s a baseball uniform, not a costume, so we have some limits. We try to stick with the normal pants, for example. If a team has SpongeBob jerseys, we’re not going to approve yellow pants to go with that. And if a team wants to use a city nickname the Iron City, or the Brotherly City, or whatever that’s fine, but let’s get your cap logo on the jersey somewhere, so people can still tell which team this is.

Shulz had no problem with the Brannock jersey. We had some initial questions, of course, but it’s not an ad, and the Brannock Device Company isn’t paying the team to be on the uniform, says Shulz. It’s a tribute the company’s in Syracuse, they’ve been around forever. We’re fine with that.

The entire process, from when the team decided to go ahead with the one-day rebranding to getting the designs finalized and lining up all the approvals, took less than a month. Now it was up to New Era and OT Sports to manufacture the caps and jerseys in time for the event.

Terrell Owens, Michael Irvin have a brewing feud

eagles_037If John Madden is right about the Hall of Fame busts talking to each other at night, the conversation may soon get much more interesting.

In a subsequent tweet, it became obvious that T.O. isn’t happy about Irvin’s decision to read text messages from Owens on the air. Irvin has yet to respond to any of it.

Along the way, new Hall of Famer Randy Moss got involved, telling Owens, u are a mess and I LUV IT!!#Donuts. But Owens stopped short of engaging the man with whom T.O. is most often compared when determining the second-best receiver in NFL history.

If he doesn’t show up for mandatory minicamp, the next question becomes whether he’d gladly incur $40,000 in daily fines to take a stand — and to get the contract he wants and arguably deserves.

By all appearances, the Mack situation will be the first financial test of Jon Gruden’s return to the NFL. And the entire locker room surely will be watching closely at how the team treats one of its most important and accomplished players.

Derek Dietrich (L), 20 percent, Miami Marlins vs. San Francisco Giants (RHP Chris Stratton): Dietrich earned some deep league credibility coming into the season as he appeared to have a full-time role after some impressive work from 2015-17. A slow start in April (.647 OPS) put him on tons of waiver wires only to see him turn it around with a .976 OPS and five homers in 111 plate appearances since May 1. He does his best against righties but has shown enough power against lefties to stay in the lineup even as the opposition brings in southpaw relievers.

Daniel Descalso (L), 5 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Trevor Williams): He’s been a regular entrant in our Tuesday lineups thanks to an offensive surge and multi-positional eligibility. He’s smashing righties at a .922 OPS clip, with five of his seven homers, while Williams is worse against lefties with a .758 OPS and just a 1-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.