1. NFL Free Agency-Well folks, it has begun. That time in the NFL offseason that garners so much attention that it’s just as important as the football season itself. Don’t you believe me? ESPN and the NFL Network has time slots dedicated to this period. I guess you can compare it to the MLB and NBA Trade Deadlines and the March Madness Selection Shows and of course the NFL Draft.
  2. Current NFL Signings-To be honest, there’s been so many, (that actually began before Thursday) but here’s some that stand out as the clock ticked 4:00: WR Desean Jackson to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, SF 49ers sign QB Brian Hoyer and WR Pierre Garcon, Philadelphia Eagles land WR Torrey Smith, WR Kenny Britt to the Cleveland Browns, CB AJ Bouye to the Jacksonville Jaguars, QB Mike Glennon to Chicago, and OT Russell Okung to San Diego..
  3. More NFL signings-QR Brandon Marshall to the NY Giants, CB Dre Kirkpatrick stays with Cincinnati (Pittsburgh was looking at him) K Phil Dawson to Arizona..and so on and so on..whew!
  4. NFL Trades-You will always get a few trades NFL Free Agency’s first day and here are the ones who stole the headlines: Houston trades QB Brock Osweiler and a 2018 2nd round pick to the Browns for a 4th round pick (Salary dump!); Dallas plans to trade QB Tony Romo, Washington QB Kirk Cousins wants to be traded and New England and New Orleans are working on a trade.
  5. More on the Osweiler trades-Apparently, the Browns, don’t want to keep Osweiler as it’s reported that they will either try to trade him or release him. I think it’s foolish for the Browns to make this decision. But then again, they are the Browns, not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
  6. The Steelers in Free Agency-Ah yes, then there’s the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team who does not participate in free agency much. Let’s face it; you won’t see them signing a player to a $67 million deal. They’re not cheap (like a certain local baseball team) they’re just not stupid and the fact that they’ve not had a losing season since 2003 proves they know what they’re doing.
  7. The Steelers Free Agent Signings-But alas, the Steelers weren’t quiet on the first day of free agency; they just didn’t They’ve announced the re-signings of FB/TE David Johnson and backup QB Landry Jones to 2-year deals. Johnson I can understand. He’s proven himself as valuable, but Jones? I don’t agree with it. He’s not the future at that position, and he makes me wish that Charlie Batch didn’t retire, no matter how old he is.
  8. Other possible Steelers signings-Hard to say. They like to fill gaps this time of year. Two years ago, they signed S Mike Mitchell to replace Ryan Clark, and last season they signed TE LaDarius Green to replace the retired Heath Miller. So what gaps do they need to fill this year? I would say at cornerback, and outside LB since former 1st round pick, Jarvis Jones is likely gone. Plus, they’ll try to wrap up more of their free agents and try to get RB Le’Veon Bell (Franchise Tag) signed to a long-term deal. We shall see.
  9. Where will Romo End? Probably the Texans, especially after they rid themselves of Osweiler and his $16 million salary. I think the Denver Broncos should be looking at him. After all, they signed another 36-year old QB a few years ago (Peyton Manning) and he led them to 2 Super Bowls, winning one.
  10. Other Free Agents-Remember, Thursday was just the first day. There are lots of other free agents who need to sign: Steelers LB Lawrence Timmons, Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson, Patriots LB Jaball Sheard, Browns WR Terrelle Pryor, NY Jets CB Darelle Revis, and so on..and they basically have until June to get these done, so don’t hang at the edge of your seat looking for an immediate deal each day.
  11. Pitt loses to Virginia in the ACC Tournament-Then there’s the Pitt Panthers, who have officially wrapped up their worst basketball season since the Ralph Willard era after falling to the Cavaliers 75-63 to end the season 16-17 (4-14 ACC) they fought a little harder than they did last Saturday vs. Virginia, but I gotta tell it like it is: Pitt just wasn’t a good team this season.
  12. What went wrong with Pitt? Starting with heart. 3 of the four seniors (Mike Young, Jamel Artis, Chris Jones) didn’t always show heart in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, when they were on their game, they were excellent, but when they weren’t Pitt had zero chance at winning. The 4th Senior, Sheldon Jeter was all heart this season. He wasn’t expected to score 20 points a game (but he did have 29 vs. Florida St.), but he made the most of his opportunities.
  13. Was it all HC Kevin Stallings fault? No, it was not. This was his first year, and of course, it’s easy to say he didn’t do it like his predecessor, Jaime Dixon did, but as I mentioned before: Folks wanted Dixon out and got their wish. Be careful what you wish for. Stallings made his mistakes(like putting his players under the bus at times), but some of the players weren’t taking heed to him. But it’s just Stallings first year. He deserves to work with his players and recruits.
  14. Other Local CBB Teams-To no surprise, Duquesne and Robert Morris and Penn State are all out, which leaves the best local team in the area: West Virginia who secures at least a 4th round seed in the NCAA Tournament, but could get a higher seed if they at least advance to the Big 12 championship.
  15. NBA News-One minute the Cleveland Cavaliers sign C Andrew Bogut, the next minute (58 seconds to be exact) he’s done for the rest of the season with a broken fibula. Wow, the dude didn’t even get a chance to make an impact. Well, the Cavs will press on with what they have and hope that F Kevin Love will return soon.
  16. Russell Westbrook keeps it going-Of course we know he’s the Human Triple-Double (next to Oscar Robinson, of course) but the OKC guard scored a career-high 58 points, but he didn’t score a triple-double (9 rebounds, three assists) and more importantly, the Thunder lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 126-121. So the 58 points weren’t that significant, though still impressive.
  17. NBA’s best records: The Warriors (52-12) still have the NBA’s best record, followed by San Antonio (50-13), Houston (44-21) and the best in the Eastern Conference, the 42-20 Cavs. But hold on a minute, the ever-improving Boston Celtics are right behind them at 41-24. The Cavs know they can’t get too comfortable.
  18. Who will be the NBA MVP? I would still say, Westbrook. He’s doing it all for a team that lost Kevin Durant a year ago. No one knew what to think would happen to the team when Durant left, but Westbrook put the team on his shoulders, and they’re getting it done. He’s still a player or two away from a championship, in my opinion.
  19. Pirates Starling Marte injures ankle-It’s no surprise that he’s a bit injury-prone, but it’s not good that the new Pirates CF suffered his latest injury in the World Baseball Classic as he’s playing for the Dominican Republic. Here’s hoping it’s not that serious or you will see former CF Andrew McCutchen back in that spot.
  20. Pirates vs. Cards will play at Williamsport-Yep, it was made official that the 2 NL Central teams will play a game at the site of the Little League World Series August 20 and the game will be dubbed “Little League Classic” I can understand the history, but they will be playing at an 89-year old renovated stadium that seats 4,200. I think they should’ve played this game at Cooperstown for a Hall of Fame game, but that’s just me.

 

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on Twitter

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.