Is Colin Kaepernick being blackballed by NFL teams? Prove he is not

It seemed a little early to condemn NFL teams for freezing out Colin Kaepernick. Barely a week had gone by in free agency. With one exception — albeit a grotesque, borderline-obscene one — not many quarterbacks had been coming off of the market. Bleacher Report is Friday story on how front-office types still want nothing to do with him for his protests during the national anthem shined another light on it.

A few notes about our top 100 list.

This list, as with any kind of rankings, is subjective. The SB Nation NFL staff worked together to create it. We put a great deal of thought into it, but you will inevitably disagree with it. That is fine. Save your tweets. We know. This is merely a guide to help the world keep track of which free agents are signing where.

The final salary cap for 2017 has now been set at $167 million. That is a jump of nearly $12 million over last year is $155.7 million cap. That is consistent with the annual bumps we have seen since the 2011 collective bargaining agreement went into effect.

*Yes, Tony Romo is not technically a free agent, but he kinda is in that he is available and the entire offseason sort of hinges on what he does next.

We’ll keep this list updated with players who get cut as well as for who is signing where and for how much. So keep checking back.
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Packers vs. Vikings 2017 results: Green Bay cruises to 44-31 win

The Green Bay Packers thoroughly beat the Minnesota VIkings on Sunday Night Football in Week 8, coming away with a 44-31 win to improve to 5-2.

Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson opened up the scoring with a 109-yard kick return on the game’s opening kick, but Aaron Rodgers and the Packers responded quickly. Rodgers tossed a beautiful touchdown to Jordy Nelson to tie the game. The two would hook up for another touchdown later in the half, a 76-yard touchdown that gave the Packers a 17-10 lead. Then Green Bay punt returner Micah Hyde returned a punt 93 yards to blow the game open.

According to the Miami Herald, Rackley was hit in the head during the first half of Jacksonville’s 42-10 loss against the San Francisco 49ers. Not surprisingly, Rackley did not return to the game after being hurt.

Looking forward to Week 9, the Houston Texans have to be wondering whether quarterback Matt Schaub can play after injuring his ankle in Week 6 vs. the St. Louis Rams. If he can, does Schaub start over Case Keenum? Only time will tell.

Houston would also love to see Arian Foster back and 100 percent after only playing one series against the Kansas City Chiefs in its last game. Foster was forced to leave after aggravating his hamstring injury, but should play this week opposing the Indianapolis Colts, per the team’s official site. Ben Tate is trying to overcome four broken ribs, also suffered in the Chiefs game.12

Redskins vs. Broncos 2016 picks and predictions: Denver looks to rebound against Washington

The Broncos (6-1) will host the Redskins (2-4) in Week 8. The Broncos are coming off their first loss of the season against the Colts, while the Redskins earned their second win of the year against the Bears in Week 7. The Broncos could sweep the NFC East with a win over the Redskins on Sunday.

The Broncos are a 13.5-point favorite over the Redskins in Denver. While their record certainly deserves to give them a lot of confidence from Vegas, CBS Sports’ panel is not sold on the spread. The eight-man panel split their votes 4-4 against the spread, but had an 8-0 tally for the Broncos with straight up picks. The Yahoo! Sports’ two panelists both picked the Broncos in a straight up matchup.

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Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley got a bit of good news on Wednesday with reports that he will be let out of the hospital on Thursday, Jason la Canfora from CBS Sports reported. Finley was involved in a scary collision against the Browns in Week 7 and was carted off the field with a neck injury.

He spent the night in the ICU as a precaution, but was seen walking around on Monday. Doctors diagnosed Finley with a bruised spinal cord, and speculation around the league is that the Packers will place him on the injured reserve. Finley has 25 receptions for 300 yards and three touchdowns on the year.
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Cycling race gets canceled for the 1st time ever because of high winds

Organizers of the Cape Town Cycle Tour had to cancel the event over the weekend because of high winds, the first time it’s happened in its 40-year history. According to News24, cyclists were originally going to ride a shorter route to account for road damage and protests that were to take place. Before the race, a weather advisory was put out, cautioning riders of high winds, but predicting they wouldn’t be as rough as those from a previous event in 2009.

Organizers also announced they would donate hospitality food and water to the people affected by a devastating fire in Hout Bay that destroyed homes and left thousands homeless.

Last season, the Hawks defeated UCLA and Georgetown on the road and Notre Dame and USC on a neutral floor in Orlando, and still got left out after falling to Iona in the Metro Atlantic final. This time around, Monmouth’s best non-conference wins came over Memphis (on the road) and Princeton (at home), and they lost to Siena in the MAAC semifinals. While King Rice’s team will get a look, thanks to its RPI, the results probably aren’t there to avoid a second consecutive snub and NIT trip. If only they could swap their last two sets of non-conference results.

Tatum dealt with injury problems of his own, missing the first eight games of the season after hurting his foot. After a so-so debut against Maine on Dec. 3, he broke out against Florida for 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Fast forward to the ACC Tournament, and he was a first-team all-tournament honoree. Krzyzewski said after the title game that Tatum could have shared the MVP award with winner Luke Kennard.

For Giles, it was something he’s seen so many times before.

Allen might get the most attention from the media and Kennard might have the MVP trophy on his shelf, but with Tatum’s athleticism and Giles’ potential emergence, those two are going to be nightmares for opposing coaches to game plan against.14

Stop motion artist recreates the Villanova-UNC championship game using a ton of Lego figurines

Have you ever thought about what the final seconds of the Villanova-UNC buzzer-beating final from last season would look like portrayed by Legos?

Well:

My oldest daughter was born right at the beginning of March Madness. I remember watching non-stop basketball in the hospital and the first few days of bringing her home. Maybe that’s part of the reason her and I have shared a special bond when it comes to the NCAA Tournament. Last year she picked @novambb to win the whole thing and I picked @unc_basketball I’ll never forget watching her reaction to the final 10 seconds of that game. This year for her birthday I wanted to do something special for it. So I told her I was going to make a Lego re-enactment video dedicated to her. Happy Birthday Jovie! I hope this year is as magical as last year.

Of course, that won’t stop us from arguing about which of the four deserves it most.

In the process, that raises a whole set of external questions. Why is it called “Most Valuable Player?” Is the award criteria vague on purpose? How is it possible that an MVP “moment” (or a seven-second sequence in one game) determines the narrative so much? Are we unknowingly participating in a league conspiracy to drum up interest in the regular season? And if so, is that so bad?

Defensive end Xavier Thigpen and DE/OLB Darian Yancey combined for 17.5 TFLs, 7.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles, and while senior Derrick Dixon played in only five games and made just 5.5 tackles, 2.5 were behind the line. Three-star redshirt freshman Jacques Turner could break into the rotation.

Tackles LaDarius Harris and Draper Riley combined for 8.5 TFLs, and sophomore backup Demarrio Smith had 1.5 in minimal opportunities. They are joined by three-star, 308-pound JUCO Delmond Landry.13

Kenny Stills re-signs with Dolphins in a good deal as wide receiver market heats up

The Miami Dolphins are keeping their deep threat, re-signing wide receiver Kenny Stills, according to Rand Getlin. Earlier in the day, the Dolphins re-signed defensive end Andre Branch.

At the NFL Combine, head coach Adam Gase sounded uncertain as to whether or not they’d be able to keep him. “I don’t know. One day I feel good about it, one day I feel like crap about it. I hate free agency,” Gase said.

He continued, “Kenny, obviously, he’d love to stay here but he’s going to stay for the right price and what’s comfortable for him and I don’t think anybody would blame him for that.”

LaVar Ball responds to Charles Barkley’s criticism: “If Charles thought like me, maybe he’d win a Championship.” Mike Glennon: The free agent has started a grand total of 18 NFL games, but he is being consistently linked to the Bears. He’s reportedly set to earn around $15 million per year. What a time to be alive.

“Here’s the thing, I don’t pull anything back. Whatever I say, I say. It’s just like with Charles Barkley is saying with all these guys. If Charles thought like me, maybe he’d win a championship. Oh yeah, it hurt because he’s saying sometimes when stuff comes out of people’s mouth is just stupid. Guess what? You talking too. So, everybody has an opinion how things were. I don’t care about that I put the goals up high. I know what my boy is about. I know the work he’s put in. It’s not a one-on-one sport, but if it is one-on-one, I’m going to take the taller, faster, stronger guy.”

It will be interesting to see if LaVar’s continued comments will have anything to do with how NBA team’s view Lonzo’s future in the NBA.13

It was an unhappy homecoming of sorts for Durant

JOEL Embiid, a 22-year-old Cameroonian center for the NBA Philadelphia 76ers, will miss the remainder of the season with a left knee injury, the club announced.

Embiid averaged team highs of 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds a game for the 76ers, who at 22-37 own the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference.

Embiid underwent an MRI exam on his left knee Monday to allow doctors an update on his condition and to be certain he was unable to return this season.

“The area affected by the bone bruise has improved significantly while the previously identified meniscus tear appears more pronounced in this most recent scan,” said 76ers chief medical director Jonathan Glashow.

“He will be out of action indefinitely and will be re-evaluated in four weeks. There is no timetable for his return but it has not been ruled out that he could play again before the end of the regular season.” Durant left Tuesday’s game at the Verizon Center early in the first period after Pachulia fell backwards onto his legs after a foul by Washington’s Martin Gortat.

Durant, 28, was left in obvious discomfort following the collision and cut a dejected figure as he limped away towards the locker room.

The Warriors, who have already booked their place in the playoffs at the top of the Western Conference with a 50-10 record, eventually lost the game 112-108.

It was an unhappy homecoming of sorts for Durant, the 2014 13 who grew up near Washington in Maryland and who had been courted by the Wizards during his free agency last year before choosing to join the Warriors.

That snub clearly still rankled with some Washington fans on Tuesday, who subjected Durant to boos during the introduction and whenever he touched the ball during his fleeting appearance.

Alfred Morris reportedly on the trading block after 1 season with the Cowboys

Ezekiel Elliott lived up to his hype as a rookie and it made the acquisition of Alfred Morris seem pointless for the Dallas Cowboys. One year after signing the former Washington running back, the Cowboys may be ready to send Morris elsewhere.

According to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Cowboys don’t see Morris as a good fit as a change-of-pace back for Elliott and will seek to trade him this offseason.

The notice for the shareholders meeting was also rescinded by the Buss brothers, and the meeting for next week was canceled.

“This is about Dr. Buss’ intention, Dr. Buss’ directive that it’s to be Jeanie and Jeanie alone is the controlling owner of the Lakers,” Streisand said. “We’re going to ask the court to uphold his wishes. It couldn’t be clearer, in black and white, that this was his intent.”

Lakers coach Luke Walton said he didn’t understand the situation well enough to comment, adding that he plans to just focus on basketball.

Asked about the family turmoil, Walton said, “Stuff that’s not in my control I don’t spend much time thinking about.”

I don’t think I’ve done recommendations since reading Michael Lewis’ book on the relationship between (and research done by) Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, “The Undoing Project.” It was predictably terrific and inspired me to revisit Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” which is essential for anyone who wants to make better decisions. (Hopefully, that’s all of us.)

Lewis’ book does have a basketball tie: The first chapter (excerpted on Slate) is all about how the Houston Rockets have evaluated draft prospects under general manager Daryl Morey, including how they learned from some early mistakes.

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Berry tied his career high with four interceptions and returned two for touchdowns to tie for the NFL lead in that category

Utah was limited to offering Hill – who is making $8 million in the final season of his contract – the rest of its cap space this season and an extension of three years with annual raises of 7.5 percent. Therefore, the best offer Utah could make Hill was for $88.3 million to be committed to the Jazz through the 2019-20 season, which computes to a three-year, $74.7 million extension plus the $13.6 million of available cap space this season.

Hill would be eligible to sign a five-year deal with the Jazz or a four-year deal with another team as a free agent.

Hill has previously indicated a strong interest in remaining in Utah.

“It’s a dream come true!” Barnes told The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears. “I feel like I helped start something in ’07 and now I’m coming back to help finish it.”

In an Instagram post late Tuesday night, Barnes called this “the happiest day of my life” after the birth of his children.

Berry tied his career high with four interceptions and returned two for touchdowns to tie for the NFL lead in that category. He earned the fifth Pro Bowl selection of his career.

Off the field, Berry was a positive voice in Kansas City’s locker room and an inspiration to many of his teammates. Berry was diagnosed with lymphoma in November 2014 but returned to play by the start of the 2015 season and was named the AP Comeback Player of the Year.

When a player like Michael Pineda is ejected for having pine tar on his hands, that’s an extreme situation, because every other lesser offense completely slides. Pitchers typically use a mixture that they feel helps them grip and control the ball better, and hitters usually agree. But Manfred has apparently grown tired of the players’ detente on this issue. A tackier baseball would mean that players would no longer need to use any foreign substance to help them with grip.13

Lions vs. Jets 2014 picks and predictions: Detroit aims for road win

The Detroit Lions (2-1) are hitting this road this Sunday, taking on the New York Jets (1-2) at MetLife Stadium in a contest many believe they will win. Detroit is 2-1 and coming off an impressive 19-7 beating of the Green Bay Packers, while New York is 1-2 after consecutive defeats to the Packers and Chicago Bears.

The matchup to watch will be the Jets’ young secondary against the experience of Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. Johnson is in the midst of another monster campaign, already with 329 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Stafford has thrown for 883 yards, the fourth-best total in football. Stafford will be challenged by Rex Ryan’s defense, which ranks ninth against the pass.

Over at CBS Sports, the eight experts are split evenly on this contest with Jason La Canfora, Will Brinson, John Breech and Ryan Wilson all picking the Jets. USA Today’s people see things a tad differently, with five of the seven analysts siding with the Lions. Only Tom Pelissero and Lorenzo Reyes believe in New York to get the victory.

Undaunted in Week 3, patriots of Scotland, starving and outnumbered, charged the fields of Bannockburn, fought like warrior poets, fought like Scotsmen, and won their freedom, Arizona, injury depleted and underdogs, mounted a spirited comeback, outscoring the Niners 17-0 after the half, and walked away atop the mighty NFC West all by their lonesome.

Cutler is more than a gambler as a 6’3, 220-pound quarterback with possibly the NFL’s strongest arm. He knows his teammates’ personalities, and, in studying them and in acting accordingly, he has set an atmosphere where they readily accept his own. He also knows their specific skills.

“I recognized early that Jay is very intelligent. Very observant and perceptive. He loves football and is stimulated by the game. It is a developing relationship. It is still an early relationship. Every day is an exchange of knowledge.

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