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But here we are near the middle of March and the Cubs are preparing like nothing is amiss. All the Bryant trade rumors seemingly disappearing is easily the biggest surprise for the Cubs in spring training so far.St. Louis Cardinals face coverings

Kingery had a solid day Thursday. In the third inning, he jumped a first-pitch, 96-mph fastball from Gerrit Cole and powered it, on a line, to the wall for a double. Two innings later, he grounded out back to the mound on an 0-1 curveball from Jonathan Loaisiga.

The 25-year-old made his major league debut in 2020 against the Texas Rangers. It was a rather forgettable outing, but he’s been impressing the A’s with his new slider -- the pitch he needs to add to his arsenal and one that added to his confidence. Houston Astros face coverings

56. Robbie Grossman (31, OF, Athletics): Useful, switch-hitting corner outfielder who produced a career-best 130 adjusted OPS this season. SIGNED: Two years, $10 million with Tigers, Jan. 5.

Longtime Angels television color analyst Mark Gubizca will return for his 15th season. Angels pre- and post-game host José Mota will also join the booth in a new second analyst role.Los Angeles Dodgers face coverings

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Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Tony Wolters had a horrific at-bat against New York Yankees relief pitcher Darren O’Day on Saturday.

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Holland also pitched the fourth inning, striking out Brett Gardner (curveball, looking), Luke Voit (curveball, swinging) and Aaron Hicks (changeup, swinging). He logged five strikeouts against six batters, boosting his spring training resume: six scoreless innings, three hits, one walk and a whopping 11 strikeouts.Detroit Tigers face coverings
After a record-setting season, #Bears have agreed to terms with K Cairo Santos on a $16M, 5-year contract with a max value of $17.5M.Final 2 years of deal are voidable so it's really a $9M, 3-year deal with max value of $11M.No more kicker carousel.New Orleans Saints Face masks

The Chicago Bears announced that they will be using the franchise tag on their star wide receiver Allen Robinson.

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Veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has reached an agreement with the Washington Football Team on a one-year deal worth $10 million that could grow to $12 million with incentives, a source told Schefter on Monday. Fitzpatrick is expected to head to camp as the starter, with competition from Taylor Heinicke, the source said.
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Tennessee Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler (21) intercepts a pass intended for Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark (17) during third quarter action. The Jacksonville Jaguars hosted the Tennessee Titans Sunday, December 13, 2020, at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jaguars trailed at the half 17 to 3. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]Las Vegas Raiders Face masks

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The Patriots have seen him up close a couple of times. His sack numbers (at least six in each of the last four years) might get him paid, but if he's one of the vets who feels the COVID-related squeeze and his market isn't incredibly strong, it would come as little surprise if the Patriots swooped in to offer him a contract.

St-Juste’s size, physicality and cerebral approach will draw some inevitable Richard Sherman comparisons. St. Juste doesn’t shy away from them. “You aren’t far from the answer. When I was growing up, Richard Sherman was THE cornerback that looked like me.Carolina Panthers Face masks

METAIRIE, La. -- If you’re handicapping the New Orleans Saints' quarterback field after Drew Brees retired on Sunday night, Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill remain the odds-on favorites to compete for the job this summer.Cincinnati Bengals Face masks
Van Noy, a team captain, figures to receive free agent interest from teams looking for a veteran, versatile linebacker. He had six sacks in 14 games last season playing both off-the-ball linebacker and edge rusher.Carolina Panthers Face masks

This is some great work by Williams’ agents. He is getting $45 million guaranteed on a three-year deal and could make up to $63 million.

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After a tweet came out saying Mulugheta told the Texans that Watson will be holding out of offseason team activities, the agent himself decided to clear the air... with a little sarcasm.NFL Design Face Masks | NFL Design Face Coverings

Bell was not much of a factor in Kansas City’s offense upon arrival. In nine regular-season games with the Chiefs, Bell rushed for 254 yards and two touchdowns on 63 carries. Come playoff time, Bell logged six rushing yards on two carries in the AFC Divisional Round against the Cleveland Browns. The veteran running back missed the AFC Championship Game due to a knee injury and did not touch the ball in Super Bowl 55, where the Chiefs fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-9.

He joins D.J. Chark, Laviska Shenault and Collin Johnson in the receiver room in Jacksonville.Kansas City Chiefs Face masks

Wolfe, 31, started eight games for the Ravens last season, playing 58 percent of the defensive snaps. He started 108 games in eight seasons for the Broncos.
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Do not try to tell a player like Smith that Green Bay is not a free-agency destination anymore.New York Jets Face masks

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Washington really pounded the Cowboys in both their divisional matchups last year, even going so far as to lay Dalton out with a dirty hit in Week 7. Dalton didn't fare much better in the Thanksgiving Day rematch five weeks later, throwing for just 215 yards on 25 of 35 passing. He kept Dallas close until things fell apart in the fourth quarter, when Washington scored 21 straight points to blow the game open. The final nail in the coffin came via a DE Montez Sweat, who turned into J.J. Watt by skying up and snatching a pass intended for Ezekiel Elliott, and returned it 15 yards for his first career touchdown. The Cowboys are 1-3 in their last four Thanksgiving Day games.Baltimore Ravens Face masks
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According to a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the 32-year-old has agreed in principle to a reworked contract with the Giants, paving the way for Solder to return to the Giants “barring any last-minute hiccups.”

Cam Newton is re-signing with the Patriots on a one-year deal, sources have confirmed to ESPN. The contract is worth close to $14 million, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Newton, who will turn 32 in May, hoped to return to New England after signing a modest one-year deal with them in 2020. On the "I Am Athlete" podcast in late February, he said he would be open to another one-year deal in New England.Dallas Cowboys Face masks

The Chicago Bears have continually botched their situation with Allen Robinson, right down to him possibly not signing the franchise tender for a long time. They’re eyeing another wide receiver move though.

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Sure, they threw everything they had at the Seattle Seahawks when it came to attempting to trade for Russell Wilson. But to be fair, that was always a long shot, even as Bears fans basked in the very idea of a franchise quarterback in Chicago.New Orleans Saints Face masks

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Mathieu is definitely in line for a contract extension from the Chiefs. General manager Brett Veach said as much a week ago. He’s in the final stretch on a three-year $42 million contact. If Kansas City doesn’t lock him in now, he’ll enter free agency next year.

Chicago has been circling on Andy Dalton for a few days, with the #49ers among the other teams to have interest. Now, it’s Chicago with a real chance to start. Broncos Face masks
Given the scarcity of bullpen openings, and how well some of the candidates have pitched, Rondon needs to improve his performance — and quickly — or he could be on the outside looking in.

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UP NEXT: Ohtani will make his second start of the spring in Saturday’s noon game against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch in Phoenix. TV: Fox Sports West. Radio: AM 830.

“He digests things and is very understanding in what he needs to work on, he evaluates himself very well,” Melvin said prior to the game. Los Angeles Dodgers face coverings

In its news release, MLB announced that in High-A this year, pitchers will be required “to disengage the rubber prior to throwing to any base, with the penalty of a balk in the event the pitcher fails to comply.”Cleveland Indians face coverings
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Molina threw out about 45 percent of potential base-stealers last year, a staggering number for someone of his advanced age. With that kind of ability behind the plate, any offensive production from the dish is merely a bonus for the Cards.Philadelphia Phillies face coverings

Local officials would be able to impose "mitigation strategies" such as reduced capacity if virus hospitalizations exceed 15% of all hospital capacity in their region over certain periods.Chicago White Sox face coverings

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The news that fans will be back in Camden Yards comes just days after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced that large outdoor venues can begin operating at 50% capacity as part of the state's reopening plan.
“This deal reflects the reality of what the media worlds looking like now. Everybody knows that cord-cutting and streaming platforms are growing dramatically. This is an opportunity for our younger fans to give them what they want on the places where they go for content,” Bettman said.Ottawa Senators

Starting goalie Linus Ullmark is still weeks away from recovering from a lower-body injury last month. And the Sabres are also missing two key defensemen, including Jake McCabe, who sustained a season-ending knee injury last month.San Jose Sharks

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To understand how to fix the Flying V, we must first understand why the Flying V is actually broken in the first place.New York Islanders

Barry Trotz became the third Islanders coach to win 100 games, joining Al Arbour and Jack Capuano. Lou Lamoriello became the fourth Long Island general manager to win 100 games, joining Bill Torrey, Mike Milbury and Garth Snow.Pittsburgh Penguins

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But that is probably not a huge shock given how strong his play has remained the past few years.

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• Why rental deals should be all the rage at next month’s NHL trade deadline. [Zone Coverage]
Patrick Mahomes is just the coolest guy ever. He’s cool even when he’s losing Super Bowls. When he wins them? The guy oozes awesome.Pittsburgh Penguins

David Krejci scored his first goal of the season and Brad Marchand had two assists — one of them after sliding the puck through his own skates to set up Patrice Bergeron’s short-handed goal that gave Boston a 2-0 lead after one. David Pastrnak also scored for Boston, and Jaroslav Halak stopped 28 shots for his second shutout of the year.

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"You can't force fans to buy the future tickets and the rainy Tuesday games anymore," said Derek Palmer of Qcue, a software company that works with teams on their pricing strategies. "They need to be able to tailor packages for fans."

But like with many players, you get more attention when you produce points. Ek is already breaking out this season, leaving “bust” talk in the dust.Florida Panthers

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Lowson expects the government to bring actions against more companies, prompting brokers to turn to an army of "pullers," actual human beings buying the allowed limit of tickets.Philadelphia Flyers

Keep in mind, this is an organization that has only had 12 30-goal seasons (from only six different players) in 20 years of existence. Gaborik reached that mark five times, Brian Rolston hit it three times, and Jason Pominville, Jason Zucker, Zach Parise and Eric Staal each hit it one time. Excluding expansion Vegas, the only teams that have had fewer 30-goal seasons during that stretch are Arizona, Nashville, Florida, and Edmonton.

With that in mind, here's a quick tour of what's moving and shaking between the pipes for teams around the NHL, and how craftier fantasy managers might take advantage. Steering clear of the Scott Wedgwood rollercoaster is probably a good start.Vancouver Canucks
1. Head coach Jeremy Colliton made a few lineup changes after Sunday's 6-3 loss to Tampa Bay, going back to the traditional 12 forwards and six defensemen. Calvin de Haan returned after missing one game with an injury and Reese Johnson drew in for the first time since Feb. 15. Ian Mitchell was a healthy scratch for the first time in his NHL career and Wyatt Kalynuk also did not play.

So, should the Bruins pay two prospects and a first-rounder (or a similar package) for Ekholm?

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"They were good and we didn’t have it tonight," head coach Jeremy Colliton said. "Right from the start, they were sharper, they were skating better."Montreal Canadiens

"I started making phone calls, and it wasn't looking very positive for our next game," Nill said.New York Islanders

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McDavid collected a goal and two assists, pushing his multi-point streak to three games (2G, 6A). After this stretch, McDavid now sits at 48 points in 28 games, about the only player who can actually create some distance in front of Draisaitl. For now.Florida Panthers

The Buzzer: Bellows helps Islanders extend winning streak; Barkov shines for Panthers originally appeared on

The Buzzer: Robertson’s four assist game; Vrana bails out Capitals originally appeared on NBCSports.comBuffalo Sabres
Smith-Schuster is always active on social media, so it’s not surprising that his free agency decisions are playing out on instagram. Pittsburgh fans have grown frustrated with some of Smith-Schuster’s antics, while a younger generation fully appreciates the 23-year-old growing his brand. It’s a dichotomy that doesn’t always work together in the Steel City.

The Colts traded a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional 2022 second-round pick to acquire Wentz from the Philadelphia Eagles.San Francisco 49ers Face masks

Former Patriots' S Terrence Brooks reached agreement on a one-year deal with the Texans for $2 million, per @DrewJRosenhaus.Green Bay Packers Face masks

Former Chicago Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long plans to unretire and play in the NFL in 2021, ESPN confirmed. Long announced in January 2020 that he would retire after seven NFL seasons, all in Chicago.Chicago Bears Face masks

Says he’s open to being used anywhere on the field and thinks he can make an impact the first year, whether that be on special teams or as a defensive starter.Indianapolis Colts Face masks

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Tartt played in only seven games last season before a bout with turf toe landed him on injured reserve. He finished with 30 tackles, an interception and four passes defended. At 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, Tartt established himself as a physical player who can have a presence in the box against the run. That would come in handy after the Titans lost a tone-setter in Vaccaro.

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Bill Belichick has wasted little time procuring weapons for quarterback Cam Newton's second season in Foxborough, Mass. In addition to Henry and Smith, the Pats are also adding wideouts Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne while making several transactions to bolster the defense.
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Bettman considers himself fortunate for having had the ear of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on a number of occasions during the NHL's shutdown. He knew what was happening in the pandemic, and he knew what metrics to track if the NHL's pause was to be temporary.Columbus Blue Jackets

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The Canadiens bounced back from a 2-1 shootout loss to the Canucks on Monday. The team’s six-game road trip continues in Calgary on Thursday night.Philadelphia Flyers
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It's been a fantastic start for Joel Farabee. Among players who have suited up in at least 20 games, only Mark Stone has a higher points-per-60-minute at even strength rate than Farabee's 3.97. James van Riemsdyk is right behind Farabee, ranking third in the league at 3.82.

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Maurice wasn't clued into the news at that point. He hadn't seen the cases rising in North America after the coronavirus pandemic swept through Europe. He hadn't heard about the cities in the U.S. that were shutting down mass gatherings of people, and in the process shutting down local sporting events. The idea that the 2019-20 NHL season could be interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic one month before the Stanley Cup playoffs was far from his mind. At least it was until the first intermission that night.

Sharks coach Bob Boughner was impressed by how well Hertl and Meier played considering the time they had missed.Washington Capitals

Drake Batherson scored twice and Joey Daccord picked up his first NHL win as Ottawa beat the slumping Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 Sunday. It was the Leafs fourth loss in the last five games as Winnipeg and Edmonton are now right on their tail in the North Division standings.Winnipeg Jets

Tyler Johnson and Mathieu Joseph got the party started against Pekka Rinne in the first period, and Alex Killorn added a power-play goal early in the second. Erik Cernak helped out on both of the first-period markers.
However, he did start seven games during the 2021 season, including the playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

He is the second receiver to join the Patriots and the seventh player to sign with New England on Monday. Bourne and receiver Nelson Agholor will join the Patriots, along with tight end Jonnu Smith, defensive linemen Davon Godchaux, Carl Davis and Deatrich Wise and linebacker Matt Judon.New Orleans Saints Face masks

"I have totally bought into being a Coloradoan for life, let alone a Denver Bronco," he wrote. "I want to be here forever through the thick, the thin, the Super Bowl seasons, the losing seasons. I want to be here forever."Tennessee Titans Face masks

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There are two problems, however. One is that neither the Seattle Seahawks nor the Houston Texans are openly shopping Wilson and Watson at this point, so it seems highly unlikely a deal could come together before the start of free agency. The bigger hurdle is the Saints can’t offer a premium draft choice or a young developmental QB in return.New England Patriots Face masks

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Source says Lane Johnson was willing to restructure his contract to help Eagles with the cap but now will not be restructuring because Eagles don’t need him toAnd a source close to Lane says Lane is totally cool and fine with Howie Roseman

Hill was better than most outsiders expected as a passer, completing 71.9% of his throws for 834 yards, four TDs and two interceptions in those four starts. But he needs to improve his anticipation and decision-making once he gets past his first or second read. And he definitely needs to improve his ball security after fumbling 10 times and losing five of them in 2020. Most of his trouble came when he held onto the ball too long in the pocket -- a surprise, considering his outstanding rushing ability.New York Jets Face masks

The fifth-round selections went to the Packers (No. 177), Cowboys (No. 178), Falcons (No. 179), 49ers (No. 180), Chiefs (No. 181), Falcons (No. 182), and Ravens (No. 183).