Ben Roethlisberger: Record-Breaking Super Bowl Wins Better Than Huge Contract

Although quarterbacks around the league are getting big contracts, Pittsburgh Steelers veteran Ben Roethlisberger apparently isn’t concerned about getting a new deal.

I have two years on my contract. I’m not going to be one to sit here and worry about my contract, the quarterback said Sunday, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. That’s not my job. My job is to play football. I’ll let my representation, the Steelers worry about all that stuff. To me, it’s all about going out and playing now. 

Roethlisberger has a $23.2 million cap hit for 2018, which ranks ninth in the NFL among quarterbacks, per Spotrac.

Meanwhile, Roethlisberger might not even need another contract as a 36-year-old who has threatened retirement in the past. The Steelers drafted Mason Rudolph in the third round this offseason, and he could serve as a potential replacement under center down the line.

They’re set to rank sixth, sixth, and eighth at the position over the next three years, per Spotrac, and it’s not surprising that Jones would rather be paid like the best receiver in the NFL. So, he’s holding out. Fortunately for the Falcons, coach Dan Quinn says that the team and the star wideout have been talking dollars and cents. The good news is that there are conversations that have begun, Quinn said, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

We’ll keep those private. I have a lot of faith in the organization and also in Julio that things will get resolved with good communications. I’m sure that’ll be a part of it as well.

While former NFL agent and CBS Sports contributor Joel Corry thinks we should expect to see more minicamp holdouts like Jones’ (and that of Seahawks safety Earl Thomas ) in the future, it’s not likely that every team will be as eager to pay those players as the Falcons appear to be.

Brandon Graham not sweating contract extension

Brandon Graham wants a new deal. He has made that clear.

But the Eagles defensive end knows if he plays well, the contract will take care of itself.

Pederson, asked about the fans’ support in general, replied: We have the greatest fans in the NFL… Our true fans, they’re beside us, we’re beside them. We love everything about the people who come and watch us and support us, whether it’s in training camp or in the stadium. I can’t say enough good things about what our fans have done for us. The support, the love we felt all offseason and we continue to feel.

Nobody was talking about it, Pederson said. Nobody. It’s over. It’s behind us. We’re moving on.

The NFL’s daily transaction report brings word that Pittsburgh has signed tackle Bryce Harris and tight end Ryan Malleck. The team also placed tackle Jerald Hawkins and tight end Jake McGee on injured reserve.

Hawkins tore his quad last week, which is also when McGee tore his Achilles.

Harris has played 37 of his 38 career games with the Saints with the first 34 coming from 2012-2014 and the last three coming last season after much bouncing between teams in the intervening years. He gives the team an experienced option to take over swing tackle duties from Hawkins, although they also drafted Chukwuma Okorafor in the third round this year.

Malleck spent February-May with the Steelers last year and moved on to stints with the Ravens and Texans. He played in the final two games of the year for Houston and caught one pass for three yards.

Belichick typically doesn’t offer thick compliments about new players, especially at this early stage.

Last year in Oakland, Patterson scored twice off gadget runs (including a 47-yard jaunt). For his career, he’s tallied six rushing TDs, five kick-return TDs and seven receiving TDs — the type of versatility that you’d imagine would spin the creative wheel in Belichick’s brain.

Yet after acknowledging the importance of the learning curve for Patterson shortly after the trade in March, he seemed relatively pleased with this week’s progress.

All the players that have been here this spring have improved and worked hard to make progress, Belichick said. He’s certainly in that group. Glad we have him. He’s good to work with. He’s a talented player.

On Wednesday, we rolled out our predictions for team MVPs in the AFC. Now it’s the NFC’s turn. A reminder: Don’t @ me. Everything I’ve written here will be proven this autumn to be a 100 percent accurate and unimpeachable piece of springtime professional football analysis. To the list…

So long as Belichick, Brady, and Gronk are around, the Patriots are going to remain atop the AFC. For all of the drama that reportedly consumed their facility last season, they still journeyed all the way to the Super Bowl. Brady and Gronk will be back for mandatory minicamp, will be there for training camp and the preseason, and will proceed to tear up the rest of the NFL from September to January.

That’s just the way it works. Everything else is just offseason noise. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a very real conflict between Brady and Belichick. It just means that talent almost always finds a way to matter more once the real football begins. Brady is still the game’s best quarterback. And Belichick is still the game’s greatest coach.

One week after NFL owners stunned many by agreeing on a new policy to fine teams if their players do not stand for the national anthem, a SurveyMonkey poll conducted exclusively for Yahoo Finance finds that a slight majority of adults approve of the policy. Under the new policy, players can choose to stay in the locker room during the playing of the national anthem, but if they come out on the field they must stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem. SurveyMonkey surveyed 1,795 U.S. adults online on May 24 and May 25, and found that 54% approveof the new policy. 43% disapprove, and 3% skipped the question.

Texans safety Hal diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma

Houston Texans safety eagles_335 has been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, the team announced Friday.

Hal, 26, is undergoing further testing and evaluation at the MD Anderson Cancer Center after he was given a preliminary diagnosis from the Texans’ team physician.

Hal’s teammate, David Quessenberry, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin T-lymphoblastic lymphoma in 2014, but played in his first NFL game last season.

It was just a matter of letting it kind of heal,” said Betts, whose return was quicker than many had anticipated. We’ll see how I feel after the game today and go from there.”

Betts, who batted leadoff Monday, leads the majors in batting average (.359), on-base percentage (.437), slugging percentage (.750), and OPS (1.187).

Betts also has 17 home runs and 37 RBIs in 48 games.

Without Betts in the lineup, the Red Sox have averaged 4.5 runs a game, down almost a run from their average with him in the lineup.

We talked about it yesterday, me and Mook,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. He feels comfortable that he can compete at this level, the way he is right now. He’s healthy and we agreed to it.”

Shortstop Manny Machado was not in the Orioles lineup Monday.

Will Khalil Mack show up for mandatory minicamp?

eagles_334As the mandatory minicamp guessing game continues, one major player whose potential attendance remains in doubt serves as the centerpiece of the Raiders defense.

Defensive end Khalil Mack doesn’t have a new contract. And he has skipped the entirety of the offseason program.

So will he show up on Tuesday? Skipping out will cost $84,435, but he’s already due to make $13.846 million this year, so the fine becomes a drop in the bucket.

Yonder Alonso (L), 42 percent, Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox (RHP James Shields): Alonso hasn’t been able to replicate his 2017 power surge, but even this lesser version is better than anything we’d seen prior to 2017. His 11 homers are already the second-highest total of his career and he’s been solid against righties at .801 OPS and eight of the homers. One thing Shields has done well at least relative to his 2015-17 work is limit homers a bit with a 1.1 mark (1.8 in ’15-17), but six of the 10 have come against lefties.

Ehire Adrianza (B), under 1 percent, Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers (LHP Blaine Hardy): Our Hail Mary play is Adrianza, who’s riding an obscene .480 BABIP against lefties to post a .343/.410/.543 line in 39 PA. Of course that BABIP will come down, but we’re not betting on the long term, we just need one more great game!

And so it may continue, with the critics believing that every comment from Owens proves them right — and Owens believing that every comment from the critics proves him right.

Thomas is set to make $8.5 million in the final year of his current contract. There were talks about a possible trade involving Thomas earlier in the offseason with the Cowboys seen as a possible landing spot. Those could be revisited if the Seahawks and Thomas continue to have different views on his contract in the coming weeks.

Colin Moran (L), 10 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs (RHP Kyle Hendricks): Hendricks is a very good pitcher but not dominant enough to avoid, especially if the hitter in question is a contact hitter with a bit of power. Moran is carrying a solid 15 percent strikeout rate into Wrigley Field, so he’s likely to put the ball in play. A .145 ISO isn’t overwhelming, but it’s sufficient to take advantage of Hendricks’ uncharacteristically high 1.5 HR/9.

Ketel Marte (B), 9 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies (LHP Kyle Freeland): The Diamondbacks are using an infield rotation, so be sure to check the lineup. That said, Marte sat on Saturday and usually plays against righty pitching. He has hit well lately, posting a 1.417 OPS the past week.

Ravens’ Harbaugh: Safe tackling norm for most

eagles_333 coach John Harbaugh fully supports the the NFL’s new rule against using the helmet to tackle, but he believes it will only be an adjustment for a small number of teams. We already coach that way to get it out of the game,Harbaugh said. I think 95 percent of the coaches in this league coach that way, and the other 5 percent have to get on board.Under the new rule, a player will be penalized 15 yards and potentially ejected any time he lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent.

Keep moving.

The steroid he’s taking to shrink the polyps, Prednisone, still hasn’t kicked in. His sense of smell is completely gone. And breathing…yeah, Lewis can’t breathe worth a s–t.

The good news? Next month, Lewis will undergo surgery to remove the polyps. He hopes they stay away. The bad news? Even if they do, this is only one small battle of a much bigger war.

Coach Mike McCarthy, who said that procedure is likely to occur midweek, joked Monday that Matthews needs to work on his off-hand, mitt-side. That’s what the tape showed me.

The mood was light Monday, but on Saturday Matthews acknowledged that the injury, suffered on the drive by offensive lineman Lucas Patrick, could have been much more serious, as video clearly showed.

Matthews and Davante Adams were each coaching a side, with Adams taking over the game formerly organized by Jordy Nelson, who now is with the Raiders. The game continued after Matthews’s departure, with a batting practice pitcher’s net placed between the mound and the batter’s box.

It was scary, Adams said (via the Wisconsin State Journal). You hear a little crack, and I didn’t know what it was. You never want to watch something like that unfold. He didn’t seem like he was doing too bad, but I know it definitely didn’t feel good.

Can he become Baltimore’s franchise back going forward?

That’s my main focus, the 23-year-old told Ryan Mink of the team’s official website last month. “I know I’m capable of it. It’s more so just me trying to show everyone else that capability as well.”

Cam Newton hasn’t been able to replicate what he accomplished during his 2015 MVP season, and it’s not a coincidence that his Carolina Panthers went to the Super Bowl that year but haven’t won a playoff game since.

It’s also not a coincidence that Newton received better support from his surrounding cast that year (Jonathan Stewart and Greg Olsen were both Pro Bowlers) than he has since (Stewart faded, Kelvin Benjamin flashed but then was traded, Olsen missed the majority of the 2017 season due to a foot injury).

The Saints also signed former Marshall tight end Ryan Yurachek, although a position switch appears to be in the cards as they list him as a fullback in the release about the signing. He caught 143 passes for 1,354 yards and 26 touchdowns and tied a school record by catching at least one pass in 42 straight games.

To make room for the new players, the Saints waived linebacker Adam Bighill, offensive lineman Daronte Bouldin, defensive backs Rickey Jefferson and Bradley Sylve. Bighill played three games for the Saints last season and is the only one of the four with regular season experience.

Arguably, given the extent to which the Personal Conduct Policy and other league policies premised on the integrity of and public confidence in the professional football are applied to other players, the NFL should have.bucks_241