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.

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.

Ahead of the team’s veteran minicamp in April, Colts general manager Chris Ballard said Kelly was “good to go,” according to Andrew Walker of the team’s official website. The Colts will find out whether that’s the case when they take the field next week.

After standing out as a 16-game starter during his rookie season, the second-round Alabama product will be making a major transition as new defensive coordinator James Bettcher installs a 3-4-based D.

Tomlinson’s modus operandi might not change dramatically as he moves into a 3-4 defensive end role, but he’ll have to deal with that technical adjustment while he also tries to avoid a sophomore slump in 2018.

Initial reviews will be notable, especially with his space-eating partner Damon Harrison now working as a pure nose tackle.

After using a first-round pick on defensive end Takkarist McKinley last year, the Atlanta Falcons brought him along slowly as a rookie. But the UCLA product saw his role increase late in the year, and he delivered with six sacks in his final nine games (including two in the playoffs). cowboys_054

Ben Roethlisberger helps rookie Mason Rudolph at OTAs

Ben Roethlisberger seems to be coming around to rookie Mason Rudolph.

The veteran Steelers quarterback was proactive in helping Rudolph at the first day of organized team activities on Tuesday, giving him advice on the playbook and critiquing his throws.

Roethlisberger wasn’t thrilled when the Steelers picked Rudolph in the third round of last month’s draft and later said he thought the team could “get some really good football players” that could help. Despite his disappointment in the decision, Roethlisberger says hel plans on showing Rudolph the ropes.

“I think people took some things I said into a context that I was going to be mean or rude or whatever. That’s not it at all,” Roethlisberger said, via ESPN. “If you listen to the whole conversation, it was said in jest and laughing. I’ve never been the type to be rude or mean to other quarterbacks. I’ve had a lot of quarterbacks come through here that are younger than me that I’ve tried to help any way that I can. So I’ll continue to do that.”

It is unclear whether prosecutors will still attempt to pursue charges against Foster. He faces three felony charges, one for domestic violence, one for attempting to prevent Ennis from reporting a crime, and one for possessing an assault weapon. He could still face legal jeopardy for the assault weapon, even if prosecutors do not move forward on the two other charges.

Meanwhile, Ennis could face charges for lying to police, although a legal analyst contacted by the Sacramento Bee said prosecutors are unlikely to pursue such charges.

Part of it was LeBron being a genius — fooling Boston defenders by twitching toward picks before bolting the other way, crossing fools over, throwing haymaker passes precisely zero other NBA players can pull off.

Cleveland also selectively pushed the pace, even after Boston makes. Catch a defense backpedaling, and you don’t have to do anything fancy to beat it. Moving fast also made it harder for Horford to find Love on defense, since Love is rarely guarding Horford on the other end. For the first time, Love got a few easy looks because Boston couldn’t get to its optimal defensive assignments.ravens_013

Lions rework Akeem Spence’s contract

The Lions created a little cap space after the draft, and gave a player some incentive to perform.

According to Field Yates of ESPN, the Lions agreed to restructure the contract of defensive tackle Akeem Spence.

Prosecutor Jim Dermertzis has said the district attorney’s office will continue to prosecute the case against Foster even if Ennis does not cooperate with the investigation.

If convicted of all charges, Foster could face up to 11 years in prison. Foster remains a member of the 49ers although the team hasn’t allowed him to participate in the offseason program while his case is ongoing.

“This is the first time in two or three years that I’m not standing up here talking about a quarterback debate,” Sanders told reporters on Wednesday. “I remember when I got out here, I went out to the team store and I saw Case Keenum jerseys. I was like, ‘Thank God, I don’t have to deal with that again.’ Case is our guy. We can go from there. We can work our butts off, try to gain chemistry and try to put up points.”

Sanders already has given Keenum the seal of approval.

“He’s a leader,” Sanders said. “Every single pass that he’s thrown so far — I wouldn’t say every single — but a majority of the passes, 95 percent or 98 percent, have been there. He’s confident in himself. He’s one of those guys that when he steps into the huddle, he’s that leader. You don’t have to second guess what his thought process is. We’re going to complete this ball. We’re going to keep the ball moving. I’m liking what I’m seeing from him so far.”

The situation allows Keenum to establish the right type of chemistry with the starter now, without having to wait until late August to find out who it is.broncos_049_28f4f53a99d08143-180x180

Dolphins take RB Kalen Ballage with pick acquired for Jay Ajayi

The pick that the Dolphins acquired in exchange for running back Jay Ajayi turned out to be the No. 131 in this year’s draft and the Dolphins used it on a running back Saturday.

Former Arizona State running back Kalen Ballage was the choice and he joins a backfield that also added Frank Gore as a free agent earlier this offseason.

One of the indicted men was 21-year-old Matt Patricia, who was hired as the head coach of the National Football League’s Detroit Lions in February. The other, his friend and captain of RPI’s football team, Greg Dietrich, 22.

Although both men have gone on to successful careers, the relevance of even old and untried charges raises questions for the Lions at the height of theMe Too movement, which has brought new scrutiny to sexual misconduct allegations.

Thomas and another man were reportedly kidnapped on Tuesday morning following Gray’s death Monday night. The second man managed to escape custody and report the event to police claiming the two were kidnapped at gunpoint by several men.

Officers found weapons, digital scales and marijuana inside the residence. Gray had pleaded guilty to a marijuana possession charge last year and authorities suspected his death was drug-related.

Jerry Jones already promised anextraordinary contract for Prescott, and the record five-year, $150 million deal Matt Ryan signed last week only ups the ante.

The New Orleans Saints have a hole at the running back position with Mark Ingram facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.broncos_095_3aa1363d05d5ee2f-180x180

Ben Roethlisberger is a Total Hypocrite for Not Wanting to Help Mason Rudolph

Listen, no one wants to feel like they’re wasting away at work training their eventual replacement. In the NFL, it happens frequently in an environment where the age of 30 is considered past one’s prime in many cases.

The Lions made an addition to their scouting staff this week, hiring Brian Hudspeth as a national scout.

Hudspeth, an 18-year scouting veteran, spent the past nine years working for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including the past eight as the team’s area scout for the Southeastern region.

Prior to his stint in Tampa, Hudspeth spent five seasons in Houston and four in Atlanta.

…The Lions waived linebacker Brandon Chubb on Tuesday.

The standard rookie contract runs for four years, but the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement has only three years remaining. The gap left this year’s draft picks in limbo with regards to their contracts, but the league and the union have worked out a bridge agreement to give cost certainty to this year’s rookies and the teams that drafted them, as Ben Volin of The Boston Globe writes.

The NFL and the union have set the minimum salary for fourth-year players in 2021 (meaning this year’s rookie class) at $750K.

As usual, this led to some brief but friendly chitchatting between a few Yankees and Red Sox players.

There is no League rule that prohibits players from demonstrating during the national anthem.sharks-018

MLB upholds Joe Kelly’s six-game suspension; Tyler Austin’s cut to 4

Major League Baseball has denied Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly’s appeal of a six-game suspension stemming from the team’s benches-clearing brawl against the Yankees earlier this month.

Tyler Austin of the Yankees was suspended five games, but after appeal, MLB on Thursday trimmed that ban to four games. He will begin serving it Friday after playing in the Yankees’ 4-3 win against the Twins on Thursday.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora said he had expected a reduction in Kelly’s suspension.

“If I was a gambling man, I would have bet a dollar that they would have at least reduced it to five, but it didn’t happen,” Cora said.

Kelly has a 3.09 ERA in 11 games this season. After allowing four runs in one-third of an inning in an opening-day loss to Tampa Bay, the right-hander has not allowed a run in 11 1/3 innings. Boston will have to play with 24 active players during the suspension.

“It’s a tough time,” Kelly said. “We’re playing good baseball and, especially for myself, I felt like I was getting into a little bit of a rhythm.”

Kelly said he expects to throw a bullpen session to stay sharp during his suspension. He is eligible to return Wednesday against Kansas City.

Bryant hasn’t been available for reporters as he continues to be “under evaluation,” according to the team. He has taken swings in the cage the past few days with the training staff monitoring and was to see the Cubs team doctor Thursday as well.

“It happened early in the season and we have a lot of baseball left to be played,” right fielder Jason Heyward said on ESPN 1000 on Wednesday.

“He’s going to have to put that behind him here pretty quickly.”

“It’s a good feeling to know that we’re having success,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “It’s a byproduct of us doing what we are supposed to do.”

The Diamondbacks improved to 17-7, matching the best 24-game start in franchise history. Arizona also went 17-7 in 2008.

“We’re just taking it one game at a time,” said Dyson, who hit his second homer of the series in the first inning.

“We’re not looking too far ahead. We’re worried about who we are facing right here and now and not looking behind us.”

Philadelphia missed a chance to win its fourth consecutive home series to start the season.dolphins_026

Warriors could get Curry back for opener vs. Pelicans

The Golden State Warriors hope to have Stephen Curry back in the lineup Saturday night when the defending NBA champions open their Western Conference semifinal playoff series against the surprising New Orleans Pelicans.

The former two-time Most Valuable Player practiced with his teammates Thursday and Friday but noted afterward a final decision on whether he plays for the first time since March 23 rests in the hands of Golden State’s medical staff after the Game 1 warmups.

Mirotic hit six 3-pointers on a 28-point night, Jrue Holiday chipped in with 25 points, and both Anthony Davis (34 points, 12 rebounds) and Rajon Rondo (12 points, 17 assists) posted double-doubles in the offensive explosion.

The sixth-seeded Pelicans stunned Portland with similar balance in the first round, with Davis (33.0 points, 12.0 rebounds) and Rondo (11.3 points, 13.3 assists) both averaging double-doubles, and Holiday (27.8 points) and Mirotic (18.3) combined for 46.1 points.

Quintana (2-1, 7.78 ERA) has given up at least four earned runs in three of his four starts this season but is coming off a seven-strikeout effort last weekend in Colorado when he allowed four runs and scattered eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.

But if he can follow the lead of Darvish, who turned things around in his fifth start of the year Friday against the Brewers, Quintana could be the latest Cubs starter to turn things around. Quintana has been strong against the Brewers in five career starts in which he has registered a 3-1 record with a remarkable 0.75 ERA.

If he can continue his mastery of Milwaukee on Saturday, it might be a sign that Maddon’s faith in his starters has been warranted.

“I think we push each other,” Hendricks said. “When we see the other guys start to get into rhythm in that routine, it seems to bring us all together almost. We kind of all get on that same rhythm.

“Hopefully, we can carry this team for a while.”

Carroll and general manager John Schneider also gave brief updates on injuries to safety Kam Chancellor and defensive tackle Malik McDowell.

Chancellor suffered a neck injury midway through last season that put his career in doubt. Schneider said Chancellor will have a “scan” in late June or early July to determine his status going forward. It could be as much a contract issue as anything else with Chancellor, who signed a three-year extension with $25 million guaranteed before the start of last season.dolphins_123

Erik Spoelstra: Heat ‘here 100 percent’ to facilitate Hassan Whiteside’s dreams

The arc of Hassan Whiteside’s season did not match the ultimate needs of the Miami Heat, whose playoffs ended with a first-round ouster this week to the Philadelphia 76ers.

That much is certain.

“Unfortunately, we ran out of time and that’s the story line right now,” Spoelstra said, according to local reports. “But once we get into the summer, the relationship and the commitment won’t change. I love working with Hassan. I love the journey. I love all of it. I want all of our players, including Hassan, to reach their fullest potential to be able to help the team accomplish this ultimate goal.

“All of us that have been through it know how uneven that road is and how uncomfortable that road can be and all the ups and downs.”

Whiteside kicked off the regular season on fire, scoring 26 points and grabbing 22 rebounds. But the Heat lost that game to the Orlando Magic, and Whiteside was injured when he bumped knees with Magic center Nikola Vucevic, an ailment that cost him 18 games before he was lost to a hip injury for another nine.

So who is the man tasked with fixing all of this? That’s Tom Dundon, the new owner who bought a majority stake in the franchise from Peter Karmanos Jr. in January. Dundon has been a front-facing figure in his first three-plus months on the job — and has been hands-on, as well. To wit, Dundon sat in on player exit interviews after the season, which is quite uncommon for NHL owners.

Dundon joined Greg Wyshynski and Emily Kaplan on the latest episode of ESPN on Ice for a wide-ranging interview. Here are a few highlights. Be sure to subscribe to ESPN on Ice for more:

On being a vocal owner: “I’ve heard that new owners don’t say much initially — and not sure that’s going to work for me.”

On rumors that the Hurricanes have been lowballing GM and coaching candidates: “If I thought that the money and the talent are one-to-one correlated, then I would spend the money. But I believe we can fit really talented people within our budget, and me looking at other people’s determination of the market, in paying people — it’s not something I would ever do.sl_cardinals_021

Terrell and Tremaine Edmunds are first brothers drafted in first round

Safety Terrell Edmunds and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds of Virginia Tech were drafted Thursday night, marking the first time brothers have been taken in the first round of the same draft.

The feat, confirmed by Elias Sports Bureau, came to fruition with Terrell’s selection by the Pittsburgh Steelers as the 28th pick. He was taken 12 picks after the Buffalo Bills chose his younger brother with the 16th selection.

The Steelers were drawn to Edmunds’ ability to move around the field. Colbert pointed out there were times during Edmunds’ career at Virginia Tech that he would flip from strong safety to free safety on the same play.

Indians manager Terry Francona knows he’ll have to use more of a matchup strategy in the late innings without Miller, who hasn’t allowed a run this season.

“Otero came in, did a great job,” he said. “Beliveau came in and got Cano, which was good. Nick, the pitch to Cruz wasn’t a bad pitch. He was trying to get it down out of the zone and it didn’t get out of the zone, and he left a ball up to Seager.”

Seager is batting .378 (34 for 90) with five homers and 13 RBI in 23 games at Progressive Field.

“It hurt my feelings a little bit because it didn’t get out,” he joked of his winning hit. “That was the best I’ve hit a ball in a while and it stayed in the park.”

Dan Altavilla (2-2) got the last two outs in the seventh, and Juan Nicasio pitched a perfect eighth. Edwin Diaz, the Mariners’ fifth reliever, walked Francisco Lindor with one out in the ninth, then retired Jason Kipnis on a flyout and struck out Jose Ramirez. Diaz leads the major leagues with 11 saves and has not blown any chances.

“It’s pretty exciting to sit back and watch us put runs on the board, especially when we were quiet for the earlier part of the year,” Cash said. “I am really impressed with the guys.”

Adam Jones had three hits, including his fourth home run of the season for the Orioles, who have lost 11 of 12 and are 1-5 on the current nine-game homestand. Manny Machado had two hits and earned his team-leading 18th RBI.

Danny Valencia cut the margin to 8-5 with a homer in the eighth. Baltimore tied a season-high with 16 hits.

“We were right there. We kept creating opportunities,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “You’d like to think you could have a night where you put up eight or nine runs. We just couldn’t get that big blow.”

Chris Archer (2-1) allowed four runs and 11 hits with seven strikeouts and one walk over 5 1/3 innings. Archer has yielded at least one home run in each of his six starts.

“You definitely want to compete and throw high-quality pitches,” Archer said.

The Rays got off to a fast start against Dylan Bundy (1-3) when Denard Span led off the game with a walk and Cron followed with a homer. Ramos provided a 4-0 lead an inning later with another two-run shot.jets_020

Hendricks, Cubs win 1-0, stop Brewers’ 8-game win streak

Kyle Hendricks figured he was in great shape when he started throwing his fastball exactly where he wanted it to go.

Hendricks outpitched Chase Anderson with seven crisp innings, and the Chicago Cubs stopped Milwaukee’s eight-game win streak with a 1-0 victory over the Brewers on Thursday night.

“When my fastball command was good from the start, I knew everything would work off that,” Hendricks said. “So I was able to throw more curveballs. The action on that was good, even got a few strikes over with it. Everything just fell in line from there.”

Hendricks (2-1) allowed four hits, struck out five and walked none in his best outing this season. Anderson (2-2) stayed with him until Kyle Schwarber drove a 0-1 pitch over the wall in right for his seventh homer with one out in the sixth.

The right-hander got some help from Braun, who made his first start at first base since Eric Thames tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb during Tuesday night’s 5-2 victory at Kansas City. Braun and Jesus Aguilar are expected to fill in at first while Thames is sidelined.

With two outs and runners on first and second in the second, Braun made a great diving stop behind the bag and flipped to Anderson to retire Jason Heyward. Braun held out his right arm and pointed as Anderson stepped on the base, and then hustled into the dugout with his mouth open and his tongue out.

“That play against Heyward was nice,” Braun said. “That guy has probably taken away a solid 10 to 12 extra-base hits from me over the years. There are very few guys I would want to take an extra-base hit away from more, because of all the ones he’s taken from me.”

After only a few seconds of playing time in Milwaukee’s first two games against the Boston Celtics, Maker has responded with 22 points, 10 blocks and 7 rebounds combined over the past two games. Those performances helped the Bucks tie the series at 2-2 heading into Tuesday’s Game 5 in Boston.

Maker mentioned the video, which Garnett made as part of his “Area 21” show on TNT, as one of the reasons behind his turnaround. Garnett’s video shows various clips of the future Hall of Famer getting pumped up during moments in his career.

“He posted it on his Instagram, and somebody showed it to me,” Maker said after Tuesday’s shootaround. “And then I watched it and I sent it back to him and told him how motivational it was and said I liked it. So then we started talking.”

Garnett has spent the past two seasons working out with Maker and the Bucks at various points throughout the season, and the video served as another reminder for Maker of just how much intensity is needed on the postseason stage.jets_056