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How likely are the Vikings to draft a QB? 55 percent.

Michael Bennett will officially become the newest member of the Philadelphia Eagles Wednesday, but the Eagles could add some more brotherly love for their prized offseason acquisition. Sirius XM NFL analyst and former NFL player Kirk Morrison is reporting Martellus Bennett is trying to reunite in Philadelphia with brother Michael if the Eagles don’t resign Trey Burton. The 30-year-old Bennett was claimed by the New England Patriots off waivers after the Green Bay Packers Packers released him in the middle of last season. Bennett had 30 catches for 286 yards and no touchdowns last season in just nine games. The Patriots played him in injured reserve due to a shoulder and hamstring injury.

The Jets also can play the family card. The area surrounding the team’s facility is a nice place to raise kids, with good schools. Don’t think the Jets won’t try to sell that. When they were recruiting LaDainian Tomlinson in 2010, they sent a baby basket to Tomlinson’s pregnant wife. That, he said, clinched the deal. Coincidentally, the other team bidding for Tomlinson was the Vikings, believed to be the favorite for Cousins.

Lastly, the Jets can emphasize solidarity within the organization. General manager Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles, both of whom received two-year contract extensions after the season, are philosophically aligned. That should appeal to Cousins, who is coming from a dysfunctional organization. — Rich Cimini, ESPN Jets reporter

Sherman received a three-year, $39 million contract that he negotiated himself as his own agent that includes heavy incentives for being on the roster, playing time and making the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams.

The story (published on a website for which Sherman wrote for a few years during his Seahawks career) reveals that after hammering out the basic details of the contract during a four-hour meeting on Saturday afternoon, Sherman called the Raiders and Lions — two other teams he had expected to visit after being released by the Seahawks on Friday — as well as the Seahawks.

It all depends on whom they sign in free agency. Going after someone such as Lamar Jackson at No. 30 overall could solve their long-term issue. Minnesota could sign Bridgewater or Bradford to a short-term deal and bring in a rookie to fill out the quarterback room along with Kyle Sloter. The Vikings know depth at this position is important, so drafting a QB for the sake of having options if Bridgewater or Bradford doesn’t pan out should be a priority. — Cronin

Russell Wilson to be at Yankees training camp next week

Russell Wilson is set to embark on a different offseason than virtually every other NFL player.

The Seahawks quarterback was traded to the Yankees by the Rangers earlier this month, and he announced Thursday that he plans on attending Yankees spring training starting Monday.

Ohtani was then removed in favor of pinch-runner Jack Kruger but got a hero’s welcome when he returned to the dugout.

The 23-year-old’s impressive showing at the plate Monday helped balance out his pitching debut Saturday, in which the right-hander allowed a second-inning homer to Keon Broxton in his 1 1/3 innings of work against the Brewers.

Rays right-handed pitching prospect Brent Honeywell was “clearly upset” as he left practice Thursday after being escorted off the mound with a trainer after throwing only a handful of pitches.

Of course, the eyes of the baseball world were watching Ohtani — as they will be all season — to see how he adjusts to the American game. The early consensus is that he showed good movement on his pitches, even if some ended outside the strike zone.

Former MLB All-Star pitcher Mark Gubicza, now an Angels analyst, tweeted, “Fun to watch #ShoheiOhtani on the bump!! One unearned run with 2 punch outs!! Velocity, split and curve were solid in his 1st inning pitched! Overthrew a few but wow!! He is legit!”

Cardinals: The Cardinals have been patient. The identified a need (power) and went out and traded for slugger Marcel Ozuna after Giancarlo Stanton exercised his no-trade power and vetoed a potential deal. They’ve been linked to most every player available this offseason, via free agency or trade, because they have the money and prospects to make pretty much anything happen. From that perspective, Archer makes a lot of sense in St. Louis.

Las Vegas posts odds on all 30 MLB teams making playoffs

The Astros and Dodgers, who battled through seven games in last year’s World Series, have the best chances of all 30 MLB teams to make the 2018 playoffs, according to odds released Sunday by the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas.

Crawford’s restraint is top tier: he swung at only 25.5 percent of pitches out of the zone in 2017, which would have been in the top 30 had he qualified. Taking pitches and working counts has been Crawford’s recipe for success, and there were few better: Crawford’s 4.68 pitches per plate appearance was the best figure among players with at least 70 AB in 2017. There’s a good amount of small-sample-size variance at play, but this still indicates that Crawford has a superb eye at the plate.

Despite his great plate discipline, Crawford’s lack of power means that he’s still a below-average hitter: he posted a .303 wOBA in 2017 and is only projected for roughly .308 in 2018.

Speaking of Rivero, Feliz shares a striking similarity: His follow through is similar to the lefty’s before he came to Pittsburgh. In Washington, Rivero’s momentum made him take a step toward third base rather than home. In Houston, Feliz’s motion made him take a step toward first.

Now, Rivero takes a step towards home plate to finish his follow through.

The Pirates may be employing the same strategy for Feliz. In video from Locked On Pirates’ Jason Rollison, we can see Feliz’s step toward first base is less exaggerated as it was in Houston.

This fix cured Rivero of his walk problem, added some extra heat to his fastball and made him an all around dominant reliever. If Feliz can do the same, the Pirates could have two dangerous fireballers in the back of their bullpen.

That locker room is led by a young coach in Sean McVay, with young stars in Jared Goff and Todd Gurley .

“I’m not trying to make him better,” Talib said of Peters. “He had eight interceptions — he’s already cold. I’m just going to just be me. … He was one of the first guys to Facetime me. So he already a friend of mine. I already talked to him.

“It’s going to be good, man. It’s going to be good. I can’t wait to get in the same locker room with him.”

The Rams were upstart in 2017; they won’t be a surprise in 2018, especially after the flurry of recent moves made by general manager Les Snead. Those expectations are going to require some veteran leadership provided by a player with experience. Talib fits the bill.

Whether new manager Gabe Kapler will propel his team or prove a stumbling block remains to be seen, but he’s inheriting a young and talented roster. Across the infield, only first baseman Carlos Santana is older than 27, and he’s hardly a grizzled veteran at just 31. And the outfield is just as young. How it will do in 2018 is admittedly a question mark because this is an offense that did few things well last season, ranking near the bottom of the league in runs scored, home runs, batting average, strikeout percentage and walk rate. Such are the perils of youth.

But don’t expect the Phillies to repeat this in 2018; they have several players on their offense who will contribute to a turnaround. Take Hoskins, for example. The 2014 fifth-rounder popped up in mid-August to hit 18 home runs and rock a near-.400 on-base percentage in 50 games. Despite playing in just a fraction of the season, he was worth 2.2 WAR. A prime candidate to take the bulk of the starts in left field, Hoskins will be a difference-maker for the Phillies offense.

“What better place to do it than L.A., man,” Talib told NFL Network’s James Palmer on Saturday. “With that market. With (defensive coordinator) Wade Phillips. With a young energetic corner on the other side, man, to bring back that youth to me. A great quarterback and Todd Gurley , it’s just a great situation in my opinion.”

A great situation, no doubt. Talib joins a team that ranked in the top half against the pass and owned the league’s best scoring offense (29.9 points per game). A productive offense always makes a defender’s life a little easier, but what’s really enticing for the veteran is playing opposite Peters, a young, hungry, up-and-coming corner with an outspoken mean streak similar to Talib’s.

We’ve already had this conversation.

NBA wrap: Celtics break 4-game losing streak with win over Clippers

Brad Stevens went so far as to say the Celtics were not very good in the midst of their four-game losing streak, but Wednesday they were more than good enough to lock up a win.

Boston knocked off the Clippers 113-102 to move to 34-14 on the season behind 20 points from Kyrie Irving and 15 points from four different players.

For the Celtics it was a matter of putting a complete game together. During the four-game losing skid, Boston had bad quarters seemingly every night. Sometimes they wouldn’t come out of the half well, others they didn’t finish.

After being fired by the Grizzlies earlier this season, Fizdale is an obvious choice. He carried the “Grit’N’Grind” style of the old Grizzlies forward and helped push them toward the future with changes to their offensive style. There might be some hesitation with Fizdale given how his relationship with star center Marc Gasol went south, as the Bucks don’t want to give Giannis Antetokounmpo any reason to think about leaving down the road. But Fizdale also has plenty of big-name guys in his corner, so this could be a nice fit.

Is Bennett finally ready to make the jump from college to pro? Virginia is once again near the top of the college polls, and Bennett’s stock may never be higher with multiple NBA teams making changes this season. He also has a Wisconsin connection — Bennett played at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay for his father, Dick, who championed the pack-line defense. Let’s see if he wants to go home.

With four Golden State Warriors players making the All-Star game and Kyrie Irving getting selected from the Eastern Conference, there was a significant amount of drama coming into the draft which was held during the afternoon Thursday.

In 2014, Atlanta shortstop Andrelton Simmons led the majors with plus-28 defensive runs saved. Cozart, then with Cincinnati, ranked second at the position with plus-19. Now, they’re teammates, with a shared goal of tormenting opponents on anything hit to the left side in Anaheim. Cozart, who ranked second to Carlos Correa among MLB shortstops with a .933 OPS and made his first All-Star team in 2017, had the misfortune of coming out in a tough winter for free agents. He landed a three-year, $38 million deal with the Angels, while Todd Frazier took less to sign with the Mets and Mike Moustakas remains unemployed.

“There’s definitely some stress that goes with it and a learning curve,” Cozart said. “If I was on a different team where I felt I should be the starting shortstop, then I’d be like, ‘Man, what am I doing playing third?’ But I feel like Sim is the only guy in the league that is probably better than me, so it’s an easy decision for me to move over and have a good attitude about it. Being the competitive person that I am, you want to perfect that spot and prove people wrong — or, if they’re saying you’re going to be good, to prove them right.”

Rangers starter Cole Hamels doesn’t believe in six-man rotation

Cole Hamels does not agree with the Texas Rangers’ proposed plan of using a six-man rotation this season, saying “it’s not part of baseball” and “you might as well be in college.”

Hamels, a four-time All-Star entering his 13th season in the majors, cited his conditioning and his own personal goals among the reasons why he is opposed to a six-man rotation.

Banister also said he doesn’t have a problem with Hamels publicly criticizing the idea and said he encourages players to voice their opinions.

“I love the fact that Cole continues to talk about it, explore it, and we’ll continue to explore anything that’s going to help these guys get better in this organization,” Banister said. “I love the fact that these guys have opinions on it — they should. It’s investment in themselves and in this team.”

The Rangers are expected to finalize the signing of right-hander Tim Lincecum, but in addition to Hamels, Texas already has starters Martin Perez, Doug Fister, Matt Moore, Mike Minor and Matt Bush on the roster.

Gregerson signed an $11 million, two-year contract. The 33-year-old right-hander has appeared in one exhibition game, striking out two in a hitless inning on Saturday.

Not a traditional high-velocity closer, Gregerson relies on motion and sink.

“Some of the ugliest swings we’ve seen all spring,” Matheny said after Saturday’s outing. “Gregerson walked out there and just had a different look to it. The break was different. His movement, his location. They were different at-bats. You see guys taking pitches, they are jumping out of the way and it’s called a strike. That’s just telling you it’s not like everybody else.”

Gregerson first began feeling the tightness in the days that followed that appearance. He originally was scheduled to throw again on Monday but instead met with the trainers.

“I think he’s going to be held back a little bit,” Matheny said. “From what I heard, it wasn’t one of those ones that were like, whoa!” Matheny said.

Gregerson is 35-36 with a 3.02 ERA in nine big league seasons. He saved 31 games for the Houston Astros in 2015 and 15 more the following season, before Ken Giles took over as closer last season for a team that ended up winning its first World Series title.

NFL free agency: Browns’ big decisions start with Kirk Cousins, AJ McCarron

How aggressive will the Browns be in NFL free agency? Before they’re on the clock for 12 draft picks (for now) in April, their 2018 offseason will be set in motion by how much of their league-high $110 million under the salary cap they spend in March.

An example? In the wake of Dion Phaneuf being dealt to the Los Angeles Kings, rookie Thomas Chabot jumped from the Ottawa Senators’ third pairing to the second with Cody Ceci. He then promptly turned in his first multi-point game since Dec. 1 on Saturday with a goal and assist.

His ice time didn’t take a huge spike, but being relied on with the second pairing is a big jump in responsibility that also comes with secondary power-play time. Chabot probably won’t make his way into fantasy relevance this season, but he has skill and an increase in opportunity, so the possibility is there.

With that in mind, let’s have a look at the power vacuums being left behind if some of the most popular speculated trades bear fruit.

There was a chance Philadelphia would join the throngs of fans who have taken these steps in coping with a Super Bowl loss, but instead the underdogs prevailed. We don’t have a model for how people deal with success, because frankly there isn’t a need for one — but Philly gave us its own version of the slow descent into jubilant madness as streets burned, grease failed, and fans risked their lives to out-fan everyone else.

The Eagles were always going to win their own way, odds be damned — and by extension Philadelphia was going to do its own thing in victory, because Philly will never be compared to anyone else. The city will go bigger, and harder, and with more bravado than other places could manage.

Shock is a common side effect of Stage 1. Fans — frozen in the reality they’ve just witnessed something for the first time — are often lost for words. It’s a rare sight for someone from Philadelphia.

Arvidsson lifts Predators to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Viktor Arvidsson is playing some of his best hockey of the season and helping the Nashville Predators get some big wins.

Arvidsson scored his third goal in two games and the Predators ended their seven-game losing skid against Detroit with a 3-2 victory over the Red Wings on Tuesday.

Scott Hartnell and Kyle Turris also scored, and Juuse Saros stopped 34 shots for the Predators, who improved to 7-2-2 in their last nine games. Nashville also ended a three-game losing streak in Detroit since a win on Nov. 19, 2013.

It was 2-0 Predators at 9:35 of the first. Josi’s wrist shot squeezed through the legs of Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall and landed right in front of Nashville center Kyle Turris, who tucked the puck past Howard. It was the first goal by Turris since Jan. 30, ending a nine-game drought.

“We got off to a good start, but the second period wasn’t good at all,” Arvidsson said. “The third period was a lot better, but we still made too many bad decisions.”

The Red Wings got on the board at 10:12 of the second as Athanasiou slipped behind the Nashville defense, took a pass from Dylan Larkin and beat Saros with a stick-side deke move. It was Athanasiou’s first goal in 12 games.

“I think we needed something to kind of get the momentum going, so it was definitely good to help out,” Athanasiou said.

After Arvidsson restored Nashville’s two-goal lead, Detroit pulled back within one at 7:54 of the third. From a goalmouth scramble, Tatar jammed a loose puck past Saros.

”I am watching all the other guys doing what I want to be doing and I am sitting on a couch being a loser,” Manziel said.

Manziel was released by the Browns in March of 2016 after just two seasons with the team. He went 2-6 in his eight career starts, completing 57 percent of his passes for 1,675 yards, seven touchdowns, and seven interceptions.

Golden State fell behind Oklahoma City in the first quarter in both of their previous matchups.

“A step in the right direction. We did a lot of good things,” Kerr analyzed after the win. “You aren’t just going to wave a magic wand and be on top of our game again, but I liked our start.”

Westbrook got the better of former teammate Kevin Durant in both earlier wins against Golden State with nearly identical outings.

He had 34 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in the home win, and 34 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in the road victory.

Durant, meanwhile, countered with 21 points in his Oklahoma City homecoming before pouring in 33 points in the rematch.

“I think players never play to lose in this league. It might happen, but we don’t play for it. I still love to compete. That’s one big reason why I’m still out here — because I enjoy being out there and playing against some of these guys that are half my age and trying to be out there and help the guys win or help the guys get better or improve and use my experience.”

His versatility in the passing game was the perfect match with future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees. He also caught 81 passes for 826 yards and five touchdowns. He had the second-most catches among all running backs, and the 826 yards he compiled were the most among his positional peers.

Beyond the stats and the life he injected into the Saints’ offense, Kamara was just downright fun to watch.

If a defense gave Kamara an inch of daylight, he made them pay for it. Just ask the Rams, who gave up this 74-yard touchdown run in Week 12.

Background on the contracts: Brady is currently under contract with the Patriots through the 2019 season. He’s set to haul in $22 million — a combination of $14 million base salary, $7 million prorated signing bonus, and a $1 million roster bonus — over each of the next two years. But the 49ers, who acquired Garoppolo from the Patriots before the 2017 trade deadline, just signed the quarterback to a five-year, $137.5 million deal. That averages out to $27.5 million per year, and it makes Brady’s former backup the highest-paid player in league history.

Souza batted just .239 last season but hit 30 homers, drove in 78 runs and walked 84 times, all three career highs.

He will wear the same No. 28 that J.D. Martinez wore in his torrid half-season in the desert a year ago. Martinez signed a five-year, $110 million deal with the Boston Red Sox this week.

Nobody expects Souza to approach the numbers Martinez put up with Arizona — 29 homers and 65 RBIs in 62 games.

That’s ridiculous, Souza said. I don’t know that anybody’s really done those types of things that he did in the second half. So to expect me to come in and say I’m going to fulfill those shoes would be a little far-fetched. But I’ll tell you I’m going to come in and play my game, and I’m going to play as hard as I can every single game, and I’m going to help this team win a ballgame.

Similar to Louisville, the Bears’ lack of bad losses keeps them afloat, but the presence of a trio of sub-300 RPI wins (and a non-D1 foe) deflates their profile. This is why Baylor ranks below Texas despite sweeping them. Scott Drew’s club is a poor 3-8 in Group 1 games, but thanks to the strength of the Big 12, all five of their remaining contests currently qualify. With three of those set for Waco, the Bears have plenty to play for.

Of the prospects involved in the trade, the left-handed Banda was ranked seventh on the Diamondbacks by ESPN’s Keith Law. Widener was ranked 15th and Solak 18th in the Yanks’ farm system, according to Law.

To make room for Drury on the 40-man roster, the Yankees designated outfielder Jabari Blash for assignment.

Two major skiing events will have medals awarded on Saturday evening at the 2018 Winter Olympics. The men’s freestyle skiing slopestyle competition and men’s Alpine skiing giant slalom will both begin at 8 p.m. ET.

Both will be broadcast on NBC in primetime, with live streaming available via NBC Olympics and FuboTV. The qualifying slopestyle runs and first giant slalom runs begin at 8 p.m., with the finals projected to begin closer to 10:15 p.m.