Eagles’ visit to White House to celebrate Super Bowl 52 planned for June 5

Eagles’ visit to White House to celebrate Super Bowl 52 planned for June 5

A handful of Eagles players said in February that they do not plan to attend.



ShareEagles’ visit to White House to celebrate Super Bowl 52 planned for June 5

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The Philadelphia Eagles are expected to visit the White House on Tuesday, June 5 to celebrate their victory in Super Bowl 52.

The White House announced the news first Thursday, through deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters:

“President Trump looks forward to welcoming the Philadelphia Eagles to the White House on June 5th to celebrate their Super Bowl LII win.” – White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters

— Jonathan Tamari (@JonathanTamari) May 17, 2018

In April, the Eagles said there were ongoing discussions with the White House on the logistics of a trip and the team said it was considering the invitation.

“We have been in contact with White House representatives and are currently discussing the logistics of an upcoming visit to Washington,” the Eagles said in a statement. “We are honored to receive this invitation and view this not only as an opportunity to be recognized for our on-field accomplishments, but also as an opportunity to engage in productive dialogue with the leaders of our country.”

The Eagles made a similar statement after the invitation was extended Thursday:

“We are in the process of working through the logistics of a trip to Washington D.C., including a visit to the White House, on June 5th.”

Who will or won’t be attending?

It’s likely that several Eagles players will skip the visit. Safety Malcolm Jenkins, wide receiver Torrey Smith (now with the Panthers), and defensive end Chris Longall said they do not plan to attend. Running back LeGarrette Blount was with the Patriots for Super Bowl 51 and chose not to attend, so he’s another player that could opt against the visit.

“I personally do not anticipate attending that,” Jenkins told CNN a day after the Super Bowl. “[I’m not sending] a message [to] the president, my message has been clear all year. I’m about creating positive change in the communities that I come from, whether it be Philadelphia, New Jersey, Ohio, Louisiana, or this entire country.

“I want to see changes in our criminal justice system. I want to see us push for economic and educational advancement in communities of color and low-income communities. And I want to see our relationships between our communities and our law enforcement be advanced.”

Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles isn’t among those players, telling reporters in April he’ll “be with the organization” on whatever they decide regarding the visit.

It’ll also be interesting if Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie joins the team on the trip. During a meeting with players and owners, Lurie reportedly said Donald Trump was leading “one disastrous presidency.”

The Eagles will need to work around their OTA schedule

Another small logistics hurdle is that the visit on June 5 conflicts with a week of organized team activities (OTAs). Philadelphia has a finite amount of offseason practices and has OTAs scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of that week.

It’s unclear for now if the Eagles will scrap the Tuesday practice altogether, but the trip to Washington is a short one from Philadelphia, and the team could move the practice to another day.

The Patriots’ visit in 2017 happened in April and didn’t interfere with OTAs.

Super Bowl champions have visited the White House annually for more than three decades. Jimmy Carter first invited the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1980 and it became an annual tradition during Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

In 2017, the Golden State Warriors opted not to visit the White House after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. It appears as though the Eagles won’t follow in their footsteps.

David Tepper buys the Panthers. What you need to know, in a 2-minute read

Steelers minority owner David Tepper buys the Panthers. What you need to know, in a 2-minute read

The Panthers are now out of Jerry Richardson’s hands.



ShareSteelers minority owner David Tepper buys the Panthers. What you need to know, in a 2-minute read

Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

On Wednesday, Jerry Richardson reached an agreement to sell hisCarolina Panthers. After announcing the team was up for sale in mid-December, the Panthers will now be under hedge fund manager David Tepper’s command.

The Panthers had been owned by Richardson since their inception. He announced his bid in December 1987 for an expansion franchise in the Carolinas, and the Panthers played their first season in 1995.

Allegations against Richardson surfaced in 2017. In December, Sports Illustrated published a report on an early Sunday afternoon as NFL games were kicking off. Among the allegations were sexually inappropriate comments directed at female employees:

Among those in heaviest rotation: Show me how you wiggle to get those jeans up. I bet you had to lay down on your bed to fit into those jeans. Did you step into those jeans or did you have to jump into them?

There was also allegedly a racial slur directed at a former team scout:

Perceptions of casual racism hardened recently when, multiple sources told SI, Richardson directed a racial slur at an African-American scout for the Panthers. The scout left the team this year — but not, according to sources, before he sought the counsel of a Charlotte attorney who negotiated a confidential settlement on his behalf. Contacted by SI and asked if he wished to comment, the scout responded, “I’m not in a position to talk.”

The NFL is still conducting an investigation.

That led to Richardson putting the team up for sale. After the Sports Illustrated report, Richardson released a statement that evening announcing his intent to sell the team:

Players were reportedly not previously made aware Richardson would be selling the team.

Tina Becker was named the COO.This came after the announcement of the team being up for sale. Becker has been with the Panthers for over 20 years, and has had full control of the team’s day-to-day operations since.

The Panthers are the first NFL franchise to be sold since 2014. The Buffalo Bills were purchased in 2014 for $1.1 billion by Terry and Kim Pegula. In 2012, the Browns were sold to Jimmy Haslam for $1 billion, and the Jaguars went to Shad Khan for $770 million in 2011. So there’s no question the value of NFL franchises has gone up.

The Panthers’ sale is a record $2.275 billion, more than the $2.2 billion the NBA’s Houston Rockets fetched a year ago:

The official sale price of the Carolina #Panthers is $2.275 billion, source said. $2.2 billion of that sum will be paid in cash by new owner David Tepper. This is a new record price for the purchase of a US sports franchise.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 16, 2018

Tepper was the frontrunner. Tepper is a hedge fund manager whose net worth comes in around $11 billion. He has been a minority owner of Pittsburgh Steelers since 2009, and now he’ll have to sell his 5 percent stake in the team. He had been one of the top candidates to buy the Panthers since the sale was first announced. Billionaire Ben Navarro, who reportedly wanted Peyton Manning to join his bid, was also in the running. However, it became clear to Navarro last week that Tepper had emerged as the favorite.

The NFL owners will put it up for vote next week. The spring league meeting will be held in Atlanta on May 21-23. There, the NFL owners are expected to vote on, and approve, the sale. The official closing will be in July, per the Panthers.

7 things we want to see on the Browns’ season of ‘Hard Knocks’

The Browns will be on ‘Hard Knocks’ in 2018. Here’s what we want to see

Welcome to the NFL, Baker Mayfield.



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Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The NFL announced Thursday that the Cleveland Browns will be featured on the next season of HBO’s Hard Knocks. They were one of six teams that couldn’t decline being the subject of this upcoming season, as per the NFL’s rules.

Those rules were simple: teams don’t have to be on the show if they have a first-year head coach, have been in a playoff game in the past two seasons, or have appeared on Hard Knocks in the past 10 years. That left the Browns, 49ers, Broncos, Chargers, Ravens, and Washington.

We’re hopeful the Browns can provide more excitement than recent seasons of the show. Last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneershad its moments, but was so-so overall. The year before, starring the Los Angeles Rams, was perhaps, the dullest season of Hard Knocks yet.

The Browns, coming off an 0-16 season, have been so bad for so long and have several potentially interesting storylines entering 2018. Here’s what we want to see when the new season of Hard Knocks debuts on Tuesday, Aug. 7:

1. Behind the scenes for one of the NFL’s most dysfunctional franchises

The Browns are one of the most unstable franchises in the league. They have churned through head coaches, general managers, starting quarterbacks, and have an owner who has his share of non-football problems.

Head coach Hue Jackson is their attempt to establish something even remotely along the lines of stability and synergy — and he’s posted a 1-31 record over the past two seasons. Many thought he would be fired this past offseason, but the Browns are taking one last grasp at keeping this crew together before they hit the big red button, which presumably is prominently featured on Jimmy Haslam’s desk with the words “FIRE COACH” on it.

Jackson is an interesting character himself, and seeing him either rise to the occasion in what is a make-or-break year or completely fall apart would make for good viewing.

We don’t want him to fail for our amusement, though it should be fascinating to see if any of that dysfunction will appear on the show. Surely, there will be plenty of it to film, but whether or not it makes it past editing is the real question.

2. Building the Browns should be fun, even when it’s bad

It’s not like we’re rooting for chaos. The Browns coming off well and gaining some support from the general NFL fan base would be great to see! They’re underdogs (even if it’s mostly their fault), and presenting a likable team would be a win for the Browns.

They’re trying to build an actual team, too. They traded for several notable players this offseason, including quarterback Tyrod Taylor, wide receiver Jarvis Landry, and safety Damarious Randall. Then they added potential immediate contributors like Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward, and Nick Chubb in the draft. Now Jackson has to sell the locker room on believing in what he’s trying to do.

3. Jackson will jump into Lake Erie, and that might make the broadcast

At the end of the the 2016 season, Jackson promised that the team would not be 1-15 again.

“No. I’ll be swimming in that lake [Erie] over there somewhere. That’s not happening,” Jackson said.

The Browns went 0-16, worse than the season prior, and Jackson has said he still plans to keep his promise and jump into Lake Erie. He said he was waiting for the weather to get a bit warmer. Last week, the club announced Jackson would take the plunge on June 1 — and donate $100 to charity for each team staffer who joined him.

Razzing the coach could be for a good team-building exercise. Especially punctuated by Jackson promising the Browns will improve so he doesn’t have to do it again.

4. Welcome to the NFL, Baker Mayfield

The Browns shocked quite a few people when they selected Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick in the draft. Love him or hate him, Mayfield has all the confidence and personality to make for good viewing.

Mayfield could turn a lot of people around on him, and those that are already sold should enjoy seeing what the Browns have in store for their first-year quarterback. Mayfield isn’t lacking confidence, and whether you want to see him humbled with a “welcome to the NFL” moment or you want to see him prove his doubters wrong from the get-go, he should be fun to watch.

While Mayfield isn’t guaranteed the starting job by any means, we’ll still get to see his competition with Taylor, a quarterback who always seemed to get the raw end of the deal with the Buffalo Bills. Sign me up.

5. John Dorsey failing to hide his disdain for being on Hard Knocks

Not many teams actually want to be on Hard Knocks. New Browns general manager John Dorsey made it clear earlier in May that he was no exception.

“I don’t think there’s anything good that comes out of Hard Knocks, but we’ll see,” he said on ESPN Cleveland 850.

When the announcement was made, Dorsey tried his best to play nice.

“Like many, I was reluctant about being the featured team on Hard Knocks but once we sat down and talked about it as an organization, I feel a lot better and understand why the time is right,” Dorsey said in a release. “Hue and I both feel like this team is in a good place and that we are in the process of building something that will lead to success. Being a part of Hard Knocks will give our fans the opportunity to see how passionate the people in our building are about winning and how excited we are about getting to work and preparing for the 2018 season.”

Dorsey deserves credit for helping the Browns make moves this offseason, but, likely to his chagrin, he couldn’t keep the team off the show. He’ll probably have to be on the series at some point, and when he does, maybe he’ll play ball. Or even better, maybe he’ll roll his eyes throughout.

6. A Joe Thomas cameo

This March, Browns stalwart left tackle Joe Thomas decided to call it a career. Thomas is a funny guy and he hosts a weekly podcast with another former Brown, Andrew Hawkins. So we hope he’ll make an appearance — even if all he does is make a silly face.

7. Myles Garrett talking about dinosaurs

One of the only highlights of the Rams’ season on Hard Knocks was when Will Hayes discussed dinosaurs — specifically, how he doesn’t believe they ever existed. Myles Garrett, the Browns’ 2017 No. 1 pick, has also been known to talk about dinosaurs. Unlike Hayes, though, Garrett is a huge fan of them.

Even if the topic of dinosaurs doesn’t come up, the show should make it a point to spotlight Garrett. He’s a unique dude with a lot of interests and he has the potential to be a breakout star this season — both on the field and on Hard Knocks.

The Cowboys offensive line coach only wants players who know the secret to pouring ketchup

The Cowboys offensive line coach only wants players who know the secret to pouring ketchup

If you don’t know the secrets of a Heinz ketchup bottle, you’re not smart enough to play for Cowboys offensive line coach Paul Alexander.



ShareThe Cowboys offensive line coach only wants players who know the secret to pouring ketchup

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have one of the most formidable offensive lines in the NFL, and hired Paul Alexander in January to be the team’s new offensive line coach in January.

Prior to joining the Cowboys, Alexander spent 23 seasons coaching the offensive line with the Cincinnati Bengals. In 2011, Alexander published a book, Perform: A Journey for Athletes, Musicians, Coaches and Teachers, and in it, gave some insight into how he decides who can and can’t be a successful offensive lineman.

Cowboys OL coach Paul Alexander wrote in his book “Perform” about how he can rule out certain offensive lineman playing for him by the way they dispense ketchup from a bottle. pic.twitter.com/zXDGT057jm

— Bobby Belt (@BobbyBeltTX) May 17, 2018

The full excerpt reads:

Are you the type of person who knows why the number “57” is etched on the neck of a bottle of Heinz ketchup? I’ve asked this question at seminars for years and typically about five percent of the people in the audiences know the answer. Perhaps the “57” represents the number of ingredients in the recipe, but why the location? It’s placed at the precise spot where if one taps gently on the tipped bottle, the ketchup flows freely from the bottle. Even the new plastic squeeze bottles have a perfectly placed “57” at its optimal squeezing position. The person who figured that out was a genius.

When I see a large football player turn a bottle of ketchup upside down and pound at its heel with tremendous force yet with limited success, I immediately make the mental note:

He must either play defensive line, or if he plays offensive line, he can’t play for me.

I’m an Offensive Line Coach. I coach the big, fat guys, and I love them. Offensive linemen need to be the smartest, most cohesive group on the football field because they are responsible for the combinations of problems that eleven coordinated defenders can cause. In football, there are eleven defenders and eight gaps that they can charge. Assuming each man can choose one gap, there are 437,514 possible defensive alignments that the offensive line must deal with. Football strategy can be complicated much like an advanced level math problem. Offensive linemen and their coaches seek to solve complex problems with simple solutions.

I’ll be the first to admit I had no idea the “57” on the ketchup bottle was the secret to free flowing ketchup. That may also be because I don’t use ketchup, because it’s obvious that mustard and so, so, so many other things are way better condiments and dipping sauces. GTFO, ketchup.

But it may also be because I’m too dumb to be an offensive lineman.

I don’t doubt that it takes smart people to play offensive line, just … is a ketchup bottle really the best test? Maybe the logic is that these are large men who eat a whole lot, so they should be well-versed in efficient dining? I think I’d rather just see them draw up plays on a whiteboard, personally.

It’s possible this isn’t to be taken literally. Alexander is an experienced coach who wants smart players who find simple solutions, and the ketchup bottle is an example. But offensive line prospects who want to play for the Cowboys should probably figure out that “57” trick, just in case.

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NFL Week 10 Salary Exploitation: FanDuel, DraftKings, and FantasyDraft

https://www.dailyfantasycafe.com/video-podcasts/football – @RussellJClay takes a look at some FantasyDraft, FanDuel, and DraftKings salaries that caught his eye for week 10. He looks to give you the upper hand on where they standout to be the best values, or are overpriced. Follow Cafe experts on Twitter @dfcafe

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