Rams’ male cheerleaders set to make NFL history

The Rams’ cheerleading squad this season will be unlike any other in NFL history as two men will take the field to perform dance routines each week.

Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies, both classically trained dancers, were named to the team this week and spoke with Good Morning America on Wednesday.

My main message is we’ve got to defend, Kerr told reporters before Sunday’s win over the Suns. We’ve got to get back to being a top-five defensive team. I probably chose my words poorly in Indianapolis. When I said they didn’t care, that didn’t mean that they didn’t ‘care.’ What that meant to me was they didn’t box out. They didn’t get in the passing lanes. They didn’t compete at a high level.

Defense has been questionable in Golden State’s last two losses against Utah.

In January’s loss to the Jazz, for example, Utah shot 50 percent from 3-point range and 58 percent from the field overall. All five Jazz starters have averaged double figures in their last two games against the Warriors — with Mitchell leading the way at 20.5 points to go with 5.0 assists and 3.0 steals.

The parents of Smith’s alleged victim persuaded him to enter an unidentified rehabilitation facility the following day, and Smith then turned himself in to San Francisco police March 6 and was held on $30,000 bond..

He hasn’t played in an NFL game since November 2015 and is suspended indefinitely for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He was released by the Raiders in the wake of his most recent off-field incident in a career filled with them.

Cavaliers: Cleveland nearly had its whole roster available, but Rodney Hood was ruled out with a sore left Achilles tendon. Guards George Hill (sprained left ankle) and Jose Calderon (sore left hamstring) both returned. … James can play in 82 games for the first time in his career if he plays Wednesday instead of resting for the playoffs, and that’s the way he’s leaning. I’m healthy, so I’m playing, he said.

Knicks: Hornacek said Hardaway and Kanter most likely wouldn’t play Wednesday, but didn’t rule it out. … Hardaway was called for a technical foul at the end of the first half.

Flyers and Panthers could play tiebreaker for final playoff spot

If the Philadelphia Flyers and Florida Panthers are even in points, regulation and overtime wins, and goal differential at the end of the season, they will play a one-game tiebreaker to determine who goes to the playoffs.

The NHL announced the unlikely but possible tiebreaker Friday as Philadelphia had one game and Florida two remaining. For the tiebreaker to happen on Tuesday, the Flyers would need to lose their regular-season finale Saturday against the New York Rangers by exactly two goals and the Panthers would need to beat the Buffalo Sabres and the Boston Bruins in a shootout Saturday and Sunday.

The league contacted the teams and the NHL Players’ Association before announcing the plan. Although a coin flip was the mechanism used in 2000, a lottery machine like the one that determines the top three draft picks would be used this time to decide which team gets home-ice advantage.

Panthers general manager Dale Tallon declined comment and a Flyers spokesman said GM Ron Hextall was not speaking about the tiebreaker.

Given the tightness of the standings in the East and West, it’s likely this situation spawns a longer list of tiebreakers beginning next season. Records against common opponents and within the conference could be used, as they are in the NFL.

Pereira wasn’t surprised there was a change made given the number of injuries this past season, but he compared the new rule to how players and officials reacted when the crown of the helmet rule was introduced in 2013.

Two were called the very first year and they were both wrong, and there were none called in the two years after that, Pereira said of the crown of the helmet rule. I see these things happen, I see these rule changes, and I don’t want to call it hysteria, but there is to me a bit of overreaction.

The new rule, which replaces the crown of the helmet rule, was approved unanimously by league owners in Orlando earlier this week in hopes of improving player safety.

For us this is a pretty significant change, NFL Competition Committee Chairman Rich McKay said in Orlando. This is not situational protection. … In this, we’re basically getting to a technique that is just too dangerous for both the player doing it and the player that’s getting hit.

Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton chalks poor start up to ‘a bad week’

Giancarlo Stanton’s first homestand as a member of the New York Yankees went far differently than he or anyone who visited Yankee Stadium this past week envisioned when he was traded to the club in the offseason.

Most pictured a lot of cheering. Instead, Stanton got his share of jeering.

En route to claiming last year’s National League MVP award, Stanton smacked a major league-leading 59 home runs. Judge led the American League with 52.

Stanton’s work with the Miami Marlins (he batted .268 with 267 home runs in eight seasons) made him a coveted player this past winter. But after his first 10 games with the Yankees, Stanton has some questioning whether they are witnessing the same player.

Along with his 0-for-7, five-strikeout performance in Sunday’s loss, Stanton went hitless and posted five strikeouts in his Yankees home debut on Tuesday.

That marks the first time in the live-ball era that a player has gone hitless with five strikeouts in two games in the same season, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Stanton also became the third player in the past 100 seasons to post multiple five-strikeout games in a season.

He signed with the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent after three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons at Richmond. As a senior, he made 81 catches for 1,485 yards and 11 touchdowns in 14 games.

Damian Lillard led Portland with 25 points.

Jokic secured his 16th career triple-double when he fed Devin Harris for a 3-pointer that put the Nuggets ahead 73-71 with eight minutes left, their first lead of the second half.

They didn’t trail again.

The Nuggets’ big win came exactly one year after Russell Westbrook’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer gave Oklahoma City a 106-105 win at Denver that eliminated the Nuggets from last year’s playoff party.

This time, it was Denver that came up big in the end.

Thomas Davis announces he tested positive for banned substance

Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis‘ 2018 season is going to start with a suspension.

The NFL has not announced a ban yet, but Davis has announced that he has tested positive for a banned substance in a video posted to Twitter on Friday afternoon. Davis said in the video that he will serve a four-game suspension after being “completely caught off guard” by the league telling him that he tested positive.

In the big picture, maybe it’s best Dallas doesn’t have the means to dip into free agency sans cap concerns. That’s because the Cowboys have a poor track record of signings in recent seasons. The list includes defensive end Greg Hardy, defensive tackle Cedric Thornton and cornerback Nolan Carroll, who counts $2 million against the 2018 cap after being released less than one season into a three-year, $10 million deal signed during the 2017 offseason.

The best way for the Cowboys to remain a viable Super Bowl contender — and Dallas is just that despite its cap situation — is through the same formula that keeps Bryant, Frederick, Martin, left tackle Tyron Smith and linebacker Sean Lee as the team’s cornerstones. That’s drafting wisely and ultimately signing those picks to contract extensions.

Avoiding the mistakes that put the Cowboys in this pickle would help, too.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Rosen’s week will begin with a trip to Buffalo to visit with the Bills. The Bills currently hold the 12th, 22nd, 53rd, 56th and 65th picks in this year’s draft, leaving them with capital to spend on the kind of trade up the board they’ll likely need to make if they want to draft Rosen.

The Giants, Jets and Cardinals will follow the Bills on Rosen’s itinerary this week.

Still, it’s obvious the Vikings felt they could do better by pursuing Cousins. That means Elway better be seeing something in the 30-year-old Keenum that Minnesota didn’t.

Elway’s failure to adequately address the position put the Broncos in position where this sort of risk was necessary. The two high draft choices Elway used at quarterback during his previous seven years running the team, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch, failed to pan out and forced Denver into going the free agent route this offseason. The Broncos still have to evaluate whether to use the No. 5 pick in April on a quarterback.

Cubs postpone home opener a day because of snow

The Chicago Cubs tried to play their home opener on Monday. It was just a snow-go.

The Cubs’ game against the Pittsburgh Pirates was postponed a day because of snow that covered much of Wrigley Field, creating a scene more reminiscent of January than April.

On the way out I had no idea if I was going to Cubs Convention or opening day, Chicago manager Joe Maddon cracked.

We’ve got a lot of guys with a lot of good stuff, Morrow said. When we’re going to continue to be in the strike zone like we have been, I mean you see the results. Guys are getting quick outs and strikeouts when they need to. Been limiting the free passes for the most part, and just really going in with a lot of confidence.

Pittsburgh is off to a surprising 7-2 start. It took three of four against Cincinnati in its previous series.

Pirates right-hander Ivan Nova is expected to move back one day to start the series opener, and Maddon said Tyler Chatwood would go for the Cubs.

Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo was out of the starting lineup when it was announced Monday. He has been sidelined by back tightness, but he might be able to play in the rescheduled home opener.

About 10 miles to the south, the White Sox were hosting the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday in a game delayed briefly by the wintry weather. This is Tampa’s only trip to Chicago this season.

Roger Bossard, the head groundskeeper for the White Sox, said the Cubs had to deal with more than 3 inches of snow.

They had more snow, so I get it, Bossard said. When you are at the 3, 3 1/2 level … they made the right call.

The Cubs tried pushing back first pitch by an hour, and workers used hand-held blowers to melt the snow on the tarp. But the accumulation and cold temperatures were just too much.

The game was rescheduled for Tuesday afternoon, which was previously an off day for the first series between the NL Central rivals.

It’s rough out there, reliever Steve Cishek said. We’re disappointed. We wanted to get this home opener underway. But at the same time, I know some guys in the bullpen probably, like myself, could use an extra day off just to heal up a little bit and be ready for tomorrow.

Projecting the starting defense for the 49ers.

C Justin Britt will remain with the Seahawks.

We all understood different aspects, we helped each other.Which now that he has retired, never occur again.Coming from it means a lot because knows baseball.They can play.But he’s also approachable, friendly and nice.Of course it’s a dirty play.

late and early 1996, and Zarb met informally to discuss the possibility of a business transaction between A & A and Aon.While this has become expected from the 30-year-old, he drastically improved his at the plate.I hate when people say, ‘Oh, he’s running hard,’ like I’ve been a lazy player, McGee said.And the smallest kid on the court wasn’t done.was added to the roster ahead of the team’s four-game road trip.

This does make some sense. Darnold needs a year or two before he’ll be ready to really make a positive impact in the NFL, and Cleveland has Tyrod Taylor as a very serviceable bridge.

The Browns have already dined with Darnold, showing there’s a ton of interest.

LB NaVorro Bowman: Unless his market really heats up, Bowman looks destined to land back in Oakland with the Raiders.

S Tyvon Branch: After a strong year in Arizona, Branch could follow former Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher to the New York Giants.

RB Adrian Peterson: He might want a chance to play for the Houston Texans, but Peterson’s best bet might be to wait out the market and find an opportunity later in the summer. A return to Arizona isn’t off the table, either.

Jordy Nelson signs with Raiders

The meeting between former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson and the Oakland Raiders began on Wednesday and apparently rolled right into Thursday. As you can imagine, that was a sign that things went pretty well.

So well, in fact, that Nelson decided against leaving Oakland for his other visits with the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints and instead has signed on as the newest offensive weapon for the Jon Gruden-led Raiders.

As former Packer James Jones reported, Nelson and the Raiders have agreed on a two-year deal worth $15 million, with $13 million

In the letter, they asked for additional documents and communications about staffing decisions and for interviews with a number of senior White House and State Department officials appointed by Trump.

The list of officials they want to speak with includes the department’s chief and deputy chief of staff, director and deputy director of policy planning, and White House adviser and liaison. The committee also wants to interview the president’s deputy assistant for presidential personnel, Sean Doocey, and deputy White House counsel Makan Delrahim.

The whistleblower’s evidence appears to confirm a report from last year in Politico that Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, a State Department staffer who worked on the Iran deal, was reassigned after critical stories about her appeared in conservative media.

Lynch has been the better back recently, as he ran 207 times for 891 yards (4.3 per carry) and seven touchdowns last year.

D.J. Hayden will become Jacksonville’s new nickel corner.

Despite a disappointing career riddled with injuries, the former Raiders first rounder nets a reported $21 million over three years to bolster what’s probably the best secondary in the NFL. He becomes the Jags’ new No. 3 corner behind stars Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. The rich get richer.?

QB Chase Daniel is leaving New Orleans for Chicago.

The journeyman backup will sit behind Mitchell Trubisky for the next two years as a much more affordable insurance policy than Mike Glennon, who will officially be released Wednesday.?

Lewis is a versatile runner and receiver who thrived in Belichick’s often unpredictable running back rotations.

His ability to contribute in the running and passing games as well as on special teams what was brought him to New England, but his 180 carries last fall — 161 of which came in the final 11 games of the season — were proof he can be a No. 1 running back for a winning team.

The veteran is an efficient contributor, as proven by his 4.8 career yards per carry mark (5.0 in 2017). He’s also been an important asset as a receiver, making 85 receptions the past three seasons (30 games) while catching nearly 92 percent of his targets from Tom Brady last fall.

Though he’ll turn 28 late next season, Lewis has relatively few miles on his odometer. That’s good — but it’s also a product of the injuries that have followed him throughout his career. Signing Lewis presents a major injury risk, and he’ll have to be flanked by other runners who can step up in case of catastrophe, as the Patriots did with their Mike Gillislee-Rex Burkhead-James White-Brandon Bolden lineup last fall.

While losing a step is a concern with any back, his ability to run through contact and gain yards after breaking tackles suggests he’ll be more effective than his 195-pound frame suggests should he begin to slow down.

The Rams signed Ogletree to a four-year, $42.8 million extension last October, and the Giants will essentially have Ogletree on a four-year, $38 million deal with $10 million guaranteed, all coming this season.

That’s not in line with what better players have gotten in free agency; Dont’a Hightower, for one, got four years and $35.5 million to stay with the Patriots last offseason.

Useful players such as Zach Brown, who is back in the market this year, had to settle for a one-year pact.

It’s difficult to believe Ogletree would have received this much if he were a free agent.

The Rams free up cap space as part of this deal, which marks the second expensive defender they’ve dealt away in a week after trading Robert Quinn to the Dolphins.

It now seems more likely that they’ll hang on to fellow linebacker Mark Barron, who seemed like a plausible cap casualty.