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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Patriots castoff Matt Flynn reportedly will sign with Jets

08.19.15 at 8:12 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Indians at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Tigers at Cubs, 8:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
WNBA: Fever at Sparks, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Club Brugge at Manchester United, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)


— Quarterback Matt Flynn‘s stay in New England was brief, but it looks like he’ll remain in the AFC East.

Flynn, released by the Patriots earlier this month after being unable to get on the field due to a hamstring injury, reportedly will sign with the Jets as insurance following Geno Smith’s surgery last week to fix his jaw that was broken by a punch from then-teammate IK Enemkpali.

A longtime backup with the Packers who made stops in Seattle, Oakland and Buffalo, the 30-year-old Flynn was released by the Patriots while on the non-football injury list.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Harvard product who has played for five teams in 10 NFL seasons, most recently starting 12 games for the Texans last year, is in line to start for the Jets in Smith’s absence. Rookie Bryce Petty struggled in his preseason debut, leaving New York with the need for a more reliable backup, something Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan acknowledged Tuesday.

“I don’t want to necessarily put a time frame on that, but it is something we’re looking to do,” Maccagnan said. “Obviously Geno will be out for a period of time. Not to read between the lines with anything of our quarterbacks, I think it’s just something we’d like to have in the mix.”

As for Smith, the team was hopeful he would be able to return to team meetings later this week, although he’s still a couple of weeks away from even light physical activity — despite what the QB might say.

“With Geno he’s always fine,” coach Todd Bowles said of his discussions with the player this week. “But you’ve got to take precaution in that. Anybody that tries to get back on the field is always fine, but you can’t listen to that.”

— The NFL’s directive to teams to stop fighting apparently didn’t have much of an impact. During the Cowboys-Rams join practices Tuesday in Oxnard, California, the teams engaged in a brawl that almost spilled over into the crowd and forced an early end to the the practice.

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Read More: Bryan Mitchell, Dez Bryant, Geno Smith, Matt Flynn

Report: Eli Manning wants to be NFL’s highest-paid player

08.18.15 at 9:06 am ET
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According to Ian Rapoport, Giants quarterback Eli Manning is vying to become the highest paid player in the NFL during his ongoing contract negotiations. Due to his demands, the Giants and Manning are believed to have a “significant gap” in their negotiations.

Quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers, who were drafted in the 2004 draft like Manning, recently scored new contracts with their respective teams, but neither reached the $22 million a year threshold held by 2014 NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers.

Manning’s agent Tom Condon says the 34-year-old is “uniquely suited” to be the Giants‘ quarterback because he’s performed so well under the media microscope.

Manning would earn $25 million in 2016 on the franchise tag if the two sides can’t come to an agreement during the season.

Last year, Manning turned in one of the best regular seasons of his career, tossing 30 touchdowns and 14 picks, as well as 4,410 yards. However, the two-time Super Bowl winner is just a year removed from his catastrophic 18 touchdown, 27 interception 2013 campaign.

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees rookie pitcher Bryan Mitchell recovering after liner to face

08.18.15 at 8:17 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Indians at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Tigers at Cubs, 8:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
WNBA: Fever at Sparks, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Club Brugge at Manchester United, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)


— Yankees rookie pitcher Bryan Mitchell is on the mend after taking a line drive to the face during Monday night’s game against the Twins at Yankee Stadium.

Mitchell, considered one of New York’s top prospects, was pitching to Eduardo Nunez in the second inning when the 103 mph liner deflected off his head and into right-center field as a run scored. He fell to his knees next to the mound and covered his face as blood dripped out until a trainer came out to assist. Holding a towel over his face, the 24-year-old right-hander walked off the field with assistance from the medical crew.

“Really, really scary,” manager Joe Girardi said.

The team announced that Mitchell suffered a small nasal fracture. He was able to return from the hospital and greet his players in the locker room after New York’s 8-7 victory in 10 innings.

“It seems like your heart just drops into your stomach and you’re scared for the kid and you see blood coming out,” Girardi said. “I was really worried. But he’s in the clubhouse and that’s good to see.”

— Organizers at the Little League Softball World Series ordered the team from Snohomish, Washington, to play a play-in game after the Washington team appeared to throw its game against North Carolina in order to avoid another game against a team from Iowa.

The Washington team, which already had clinched a spot in the playoff round, sat its starters and had its players swinging at balls in the dirt and bunting with two strikes in an 8-0 no-hit loss to North Carolina. That meant North Carolina advanced on run differential over Iowa, which earlier lost a close 4-3 game to Washington but apparently put enough of a scare into the Washington team that the coaching staff decided to do what it could to avoid a rematch by throwing Monday’s game.

“It’s clear to everyone that they basically threw the game,” Central Iowa Little League president Chris Chadd told The Des Moines Register, adding: “It’s not the girls’ fault. It’s the coaches. … They should be disqualified.”

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Oscar Pistorius reportedly will be released from prison, put on house arrest

08.17.15 at 9:42 am ET
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Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to prison for shooting his girlfriend and killing her. (Herman Verwey/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to prison for killing his girlfriend. (Herman Verwey/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

According to reports, Oscar Pistorius will be released from prison Friday after serving 10 months of his five-year sentence in the shooting death of his girlfriend.

Pistorius’ release is a product of overcrowding in South African prisons, according to CNN. The parole board can put the double amputee under correctional supervision due to a clause in the Criminal Procedure Act.

The reports indicate Pistorius will serve the rest of his sentence in house arrest at his uncle’s mansion outside of Pretoria. Upon his release from Kgosi Mampuru II prison, he will wear a monitoring device. He likely will be allowed to leave the house to work, carry out his community service requirement or attend family events.

The former Paralympic runner was convicted of killing Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013.

A Supreme Court appeal hearing is expected to take place in November to decide if Pistorius’ conviction should be elevated to murder, which would mandate 15 years of imprisonment.

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Tim Tebow scores TD for Eagles, ‘did some things decent’ in first preseason action in 2 years

08.17.15 at 7:56 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Indians at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Giants at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: Premier League, Bournemouth at Liverpool, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Spanish Super Cup, Athletic Bilbao at Barcelona, 3:55 p.m. (ESPN2)


Tim Tebow runs for a touchdown during Sunday's game. (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Tim Tebow runs for a touchdown during Sunday’s game. (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Tim Tebow is back, and he’s doing his part to earn a spot with the Eagles.

In his first action since playing in a preseason game with the Patriots two years ago, Tebow completed 6-of-12 passes for 69 yards and ran for a touchdown in the Eagles’ 36-10 victory over Colts, quickly winning over the notoriously unfriendly Philadelphia crowd.

Tebow received a standing ovation when he entered the game midway through the third quarter, and the applause was so loud that he signaled for the fans to quiet down so he could yell out instructions from a shotgun formation.

“It’s very humbling, a blessing,” he said. “I appreciated it.”

Tebow completed his first four passes, which led to the crowd chanting his name. He rushed four times for 15 yards, scoring on a 7-yard run late in the fourth quarter. He also was sacked two times.

“I liked how Timmy threw it,” Eagles coach Chip Kelly said.

Said Tebow: “Did some things decent and some things we have to work on. I have to be more consistent.”

Tebow is bidding to be the Eagles’ third-string quarterback behind Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez. His competition, Matt Barkley, went 12-for-20 for 192 yards with one interception.

— Injured Jets quarterback Geno Smith is eager to return to throwing footballs — a little eager for the Jets’ liking.

Smith, who had surgery Thursday on his jaw that was broken by a punch from then-teammate IK Enemkpali, was spotted throwing footballs outside of his house Saturday, even though he was not cleared by doctors.

“He shouldn’t be doing it right now,” Jets coach Todd Bowles told reporters after Sunday’s practice. “He just had surgery. You don’t want him getting it infected.”

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Read More: David Denson, Geno Smith, Todd Bowles,

Thinking Out Loud: NFL on power play in Tom Brady case

08.14.15 at 7:40 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering whatever happened to the two-point conversion?

— Is there any doubt that Deflategate won’t snake its way through the Federal Court system in New York? But here’s the concern you should have, Pats fans. The issue the NFL is attacking is the collective bargaining agreement with the NFLPA — that says the commish has the authority to be stupid. Or something close to that.

— The NFL is a cartel. The NFL is socialistic. The NFL is Mother Russia. Say whatever you want, but the NFL is most decidedly not democratic. It doesn’t have to be, based on the CBA. That’s what the league is arguing, and it will be up to Judge Berman to decide if the Brady-Goodell Peace Accord is about actual justice, or about injustice being forced down the throats of league denizens.

— Denizens? That’s you, me, the Patriots, the Jets, Ravens, Colts and all other creatures who live in and around Planet NFL.

— Not for nuthin’, but the players now largely feel this thing is way overblown. recently conducted a poll and had 100 players respond to the questions of cheating, guilt and innocence in Deflategate. Bottom line — 60 percent feel there’s nothing to see here, move along. They know all teams look for “advantages.” I think I said that about six months ago.

— I’ve heard the word “integrity” used so many times in the last few months by so many people who have little or no clue what the term means, I’m beginning to doubt what it really means myself.

— Ego is the reason we are where we are. Not Brady’s, but Roger Goodell’s. Had the commish simply imposed a fine on TB12, this would be over with. But because the commish insists upon holding a heavy-handed hammer, he’s pounding his own head (and respectability, integrity, etc.) into the turf, again. One poor decision after another. Precisely WHY he shouldn’t be commish. But he is, and he will be for a while, unless somehow he’s shamed out of it.

— Shoot, if anything, Goodell should be gone because he’s nothing more than a lemming, doing the dirty work for a few greedy, jealous and not-very-smart-or-savvy owners. I mean, here’s a guy that would probably jump off a bridge if Woody Johnson asked him to do it.

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Read More: Deflategate, Roger Goodell, Tom Brady,

Colts WR T.Y. Hilton after agreeing to 5-year extension: ‘No place I’d rather be’

08.14.15 at 11:56 am ET
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T.Y. Hilton

T.Y. Hilton

Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton received the big payday he wanted. The Pro Bowler agreed to terms with the Colts on Thursday to a five-year, $65 million contract extension with $39 million guaranteed.

“It takes two, you know,” Hilton said following the Colts’ morning workout. “They showed interest in me and I wanted to be here. There’s no place I’d rather be.”

According to Hilton’s agent Drew Rosenhaus, the deal makes Hilton the fourth-highest-paid receiver in the league. Only Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas have more lucrative deals.

The Colts have positioned themselves to maintain a high-powered offense for years to come. With Hilton and quarterback Andrew Luck, both just 25, the team has a pair of young stars. Receiver Andre Johnson was signed this offseason to a contract that runs through 2017.

“We’re extremely happy as an organization to ensure that T.Y. will continue to be a part of our journey for many years to come,” Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said in a statement. “His daily excellence on and off the field is a shining example of an individual striving for greatness and what it truly means to be a Colt.”

Hilton was scheduled to become a free agent after the 2015 season with the end of his rookie contract. Had a deal not been reached, Hilton would have made only $1.5 million this season, according to Rosenhaus.

“What made sense for us was $39 million guaranteed and not $1.5 million,” Rosenhaus said. “He might get more in free agency, but he might get a lot less, too. Guys get hurt in this league and I’ve had that happen before.”

In his first three seasons, Hilton has 214 receptions for 3,289 yards and 19 scores. Last year, he became the third Colts player to top 1,300 receiving yards in a season, joining Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. Hilton seems poised to become the next great Colts receiver, following in the footsteps of those two.

“My wife started crying with all the stuff we’ve gone through this weekend. It’s been a very emotional weekend,” Hilton said without elaborating on what happened in his personal life. “It means a lot.”

Read More: T.Y. Hilton,

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Harlem Globetrotters drop Washington Generals as opponent

08.14.15 at 8:09 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Mariners at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Nationals at Giants, 10:15 p.m. (MLB Network)
NFL preseason: Broncos at Seahawks, 10 p.m. (NFL Network)
WNBA: Lynx at Dream, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA: Sky at Storm, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
Soccer: Premier League, Manchester United at Aston Villa, 2:45 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Spanish Super Cup, Barcelona at Bilbao, 4 p.m. (ESPNews)
Golf: PGA Championship, 2 p.m. (TNT)


Corey "Thunder" Law and the Globetrotters will find another foil after parting ways with the Washington Generals.  (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Corey “Thunder” Law and the Globetrotters will find another foil after parting ways with the Washington Generals. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

— The Harlem Globetrotters won’t be beating up on the Washington Generals anymore. That’s because the Globetrotters dropped the team as their regular opponent after 63 years and thousands of Generals losses (vs. one win).

“All great rivalries come to an end, and as we get set to celebrate our 90th anniversary, we are excited to take on a new opponent,” Globetrotters coach and former player Sweet Lou Dunbar said in a statement. “We are looking forward to building a new great rivalry as we entertain families worldwide for years.”

Generals general manager John Ferrari, who took over in 1987 from his father-in-law, Generals founder Red Klotz, said he was surprised to learn of the Globetrotters’ plans to find new opponents. The Globetrotters have had a number of ownership changes in the past two decades — most recently being purchased in 2013 by Herschend Enterprises — and the move appears to be designed to save money.

“I got a call about a month ago, and they just told me that that was it,” Ferrari told “I turned to my wife and just said to her, in disbelief, ‘It’s over.’ ”

The franchise’s lone win came in 1971, when Klotz (who died last year at the age of 93) hit the game-winner in the closing seconds.

“Beating the Globetrotters is like shooting Santa Claus,” Klotz said later.

— A contrite Ikemefuna Enemkpali spoke the media Thursday after arriving at Bills camp and said he’s thankful for a second chance after being released by the Jets following his incident with Jets quarterback Geno Smith earlier in the week.

“I want to apologize to the Jets organization, the fans, my teammates and the coaches. I apologize for what happened,” he said, without mentioning Smith’s name. “It should’ve never happened. I should’ve walked away from the situation. It was never my intention to hurt anybody.”

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Read More: Geno Smith, Ikemefuna Enemkpali, Rex Ryan,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Jets castoff IK Enemkpali lands with Bills

08.13.15 at 8:18 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Yankees at Indians, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Nationals at Giants, 10:15 p.m. (MLB Network)


Ikemefuna Enemkpali

Ikemefuna Enemkpali

— Ikemefuna “IK” Enemkpali, released by the Jets after punching Geno Smith in the locker room and breaking the quarterback’s jaw, has found a new home, reuniting with former Jets coach Rex Ryan in Buffalo.

The Bills claimed Enemkpali off waivers , with Ryan saying he believes the young players is a “good teammate.”

“I think it’s clear it was a mistake,” Ryan said Wednesday. “Nothing justifies hitting somebody and all that stuff. And I’m not trying to say that it wasn’t a mistake. But I also believe that he’s going to learn from this. And we’ll give him a chance to compete.”

Added Ryan: “Look at every person in that locker room, not anybody’s perfect. But they know that I feel in my heart that this young man will be successful for us.”

Enemkpali released a statement Tuesday apologizing for the incident, which reportedly stemmed from Enemkpali getting impatient with Smith for failing to pay $600 to cover transportation costs after the QB failed to show up for Enemkpali’s charity event in Texas — which Smith apparently skipped because of a family issue. There also were reports that Smith was “up in [Enemkpali’s] face and pointed/touched his face” before the punch.

Either way, Bills players said their new teammates doesn’t need to explain himself to them.

“When he gets here, he’s got a clean slate with us,” running back Fred Jackson said. “We’ll see how everything works out, but I’m excited to have him. What happened in New York happened there. It’s not something we have to worry about here in Buffalo.”

— Blackhawks star Patrick Kane has yet to be charged with anything related to an alleged incident involving a woman at his Buffalo-area home earlier this month, but EA Sports decided it wasn’t worth the risk to put him on the cover of the company’s NHL video game.

“In light of the ongoing investigation involving Patrick Kane, he will no longer be a spokesperson for the launch of EA Sports NHL 16,” the company said in a statement Wednesday. “He will not appear on the EA Sports NHL 16 cover, nor participate in other … promotional activities.”

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Read More: Ikemefuna Enemkpali, Patrick Kane, Rex Ryan,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Geno Smith isn’t first fight for ex-Jets linebacker IK Enemkpali

08.12.15 at 8:10 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Marlins, 4:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Orioles at Mariners, 3:40 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Pirates at Cardinals, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
WNBA: Storm at Mercury, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)


NYDN cover 8-12-15— The now-former Jets linebacker who punched teammate Geno Smith in the team’s locker room Tuesday — leaving the QB with a broken jaw and an expected two-month recovery time — not surprisingly has a history of violent behavior.

As a 19-year-old freshman at Louisiana Tech in April 2011, IK Enemkpali was charged with punching an off-duty policeman who was working as a bouncer at a restaurant in Ruston, Louisiana.

Despite being hit with pepper spray, Enemkpali continued his attack until being subdued by a Taser gun. He was arrested and charged with battery on a police officer and disturbing the peace. After pleading no contest to simple battery, he was given probation. He also was suspended from his team, but reinstated before the next season.

“If I knew what I know now, I would’ve gotten myself out of that situation,” Enemkpali told ESPN last year. “I lost my cool.”

Enemkpali, who stands 6-foot-1, 261 pounds, was drafted in the sixth round last year and signed to a four-year contract worth $2.31 million. He played in six games last season.

He reportedly hit Smith after a dispute over money.

“It had nothing to do with football,” coach Todd Bowles said. “It was something very childish, and [Smith] got cold-cocked, sucker-punched — whatever you want to call it — in the jaw.”

Said Enemkpali in a statement from his agent: “Geno and I let our frustration get the best of us, but I should have just walked away from the situation. I deeply regret and apologize for my actions. It was never my intention to harm anyone. I appreciate the opportunity I had with the Jets.”

Timberwolves coach/president Flip Saunders announced Tuesday that he has been undergoing chemotherapy for a treatable form of cancer since being diagnosed two months ago, and he plans to remain in his position while fighting the disease. Saunders has Hodgkins lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.

“I’m attacking this with the same passion I do everything in my life, knowing this is a serious issue,” Saunders said in a team statement. “I also know that God has prepared me to fight this battle.”

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