The NFL docked the Ravens their final two official team activity (OTA) practices this week for an undisclosed violation.

Head coach John Harbaugh and team owner Steve Bisciotti each got served pricy fines as well — $50,000 for Harbaugh and $100,000 for Bisciotti.

Per sources, Ravens will lose final two OTAs this week as a result of an undisclosed infraction of league rules. John Harbaugh and Steve Bisciotti also facing potential fines. Not sure of nature of infraction.

Harbaugh and the Ravens blamed the infractions on the habits of young players who just can’t keep from hitting their teammates during passing drills.

So maybe Harbaugh’s forbidden drills were intended to toughen up his receiving corps. We’ll know it paid off when Baltimore rallies to a 12-4 record this fall.
Two years of Leinart is enough years of Leinart. Trading for Jason Campbell in 2010 and drafting Christian Ponder in 2011 doesn’t fix the problem for the long-term either. The Packers finally get a band-aid that sticks when they trade for Alex Smith in 2013, but it doesn’t lead to much postseason success.

Turns out Rodgers is also really good. He took the reins from Bledsoe in 2006 and is a Pro Bowler year in and year out in New England. His dry humor and distrust of the media makes him a perfect pairing with Belichick and the duo lead a perennial contender. The Patriots make the Super Bowl three times over the next decade, winning twice.

Some of T.O.’s former teammates and coaches explained to SB Nation what sets the receiver apart from his enshrined peers and whether or not he’ll find what he’s always sought in Canton.

Early in Terrell Owens’ career with the San Francisco 49ers, we often discussed his game, growth, immaturity, bluntness, friskiness, gimmicks, passion, boldness, shyness, and solitude. He always looked you in the eyes without blinking. Sometimes he knew he was wrong and other times he was certain he was right. In both instances, that stone-cold gaze was perfected — along with complex defenses to protect his heart.

Jamon Brown on suspension: This one mistake is not who I am

Jamon Brown started all 16 games at right guard last season. He will not start all 16 games this season.

The Rams announced earlier Tuesday that the league has suspended Brown for the first two regular-season games for violating the league’s policy on substances of abuse.

Brown apologized for his mistake.

Regardless, transactions don’t stop in mid-July. A Lakers team with LeBron, enticing young players and cap flexibility would instantly become one of the league’s most appealing trade and free-agency destinations over the next 12 months. A second star could come in August or anytime before next season’s trade deadline. A third star could come next summer. Sources have denied reports that LeBron texted Kevin Durant about possibly joining him in L.A., but if Durant signs a one-year deal this summer (or a one-plus-one with player option in Year 2), you can bet your life savings that every desirable team will be circling him all season. Durant’s motives remain a mystery to everyone in the league.

The Titans were the beneficiary of Allen’s insight. Allen lives in Nashville now and coach Mike Vrabel had him come in to talk to players after Allen reached out earlier this year.

Anything we can get around our players that can help us, great, Vrabel said, via the team’s website. Having an idea of things he could do to help our team and to help our players, we were able to get him out here and work with some guys in the Phase 2 program where a lot of that is individual drills and position specific development. The more he can be around here and working with one or two guys, I think that is key, trying to do things to help our players improve.

Linebacker Derrick Morgan called it a blessing to learn from Allen after telling teams at the 2010 combine that he tried to emulate the former Chiefs and Vikings star.

Mayfield considered not using an agent at all, which makes it even more important for his representation to see whether anyone in the top 10 avoids offset language, or finagles a more favorable signing-bonus cash flow. And while Mayfield has no specific reason to be concerned that he’ll flame out in Cleveland at some point before the next four seasons concluded, none of the four first-round quarterbacks taken by the Browns since the team rejoined the league in 1999 have finished their rookie deals. The last two (Brandon Weeden and Johnny Manziel) lasted only two years each.

NBA trade rumors: Celtics, Lakers can’t save Spurs from Kawhi Leonard trap

They fell into Tim Duncan in 1997, when an otherwise very good Western Conference team had a ragged season because of an injury to David Robinson, and were gifted the No. 1 pick in the draft. They pulled Avery Johnson off the hoops scrap heap and turned him into a starter, and did that repeatedly for a decade: Bruce Bowen, Stephen Jackson, Gary Neal, Danny Green.

But sources told Sporting News that the Celtics are approaching the situation with trepidation. They have no intention of trading Tatum whatsoever this offseason, even in a deal for Leonard. The Spurs would want Brown as part of any trade package, but even there, Boston is wavering.

There are a number of reasons for this. First, there is concern about how Leonard, an MVP candidate when healthy, would mesh with Kyrie Irving, who has looked at his spot with the Celtics given the chance to finally lead his own team and escape the shadow of LeBron James. Both players are known to be stubborn — chemistry is a concern.

Armia posted career highs of 12 goals, 17 assists and 29 points in 79 games last season and had a pair of goals in 13 playoff games. The 25-year-old has 26 goals and 58 points in 180 career NHL games.

Mason went 5-6-1 with a 3.24 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage in 13 games for the Jets last season. The 30-year-old has a career record of 205-183-64 in 476 games with Columbus, Philadelphia and Winnipeg.

Bourque, a defenseman, had three assists in 46 American Hockey League games last season in his first season of pro hockey with the Laval Rocket. The 21-year-old was drafted in the sixth round in 2015.

Vincent: I did make a mental note that I would work hard to make sure that when we got to the World Series, we’d make sure we got really good people performing. It did lead to an interesting story. After that, I was in St. Louis and a trumpet player (Susan Slaughter) from the St. Louis Symphony came out and played the national anthem before a Cardinals game. I was there. And she played it beautifully — very straight, very simply. No big affectations. I went up to her afterwards and I said, That was simply gorgeous. A beautiful rendition. Would you be willing to do it at the World Series if I invited you? Well, she was thrilled. She said yes. And I invited her to do the national anthem at a World Series game in Atlanta

Sources: Russell Westbrook hosting ‘summer hype house party’ with Paul George in town

Paul George arrived in Oklahoma City early Saturday evening, as Russell Westbrook was hosting a private party in town late Saturday night as free agency opens, sources told ESPN.

What’s the key to creating a new superteam in L.A.? Kevin Pelton explains how the team and the superstars might get it done

As OKC general manager Sam Presti noted in his draft news conference, Thunder officials have been in communication with George and his representatives since the end of the season. And the dialogue is said to be positive.

George will be an unrestricted free agent at midnight ET after declining his player option on Thursday.

George also is strongly considering the Los Angeles Lakers, as well as the Philadelphia 76ers, but the Thunder and Lakers appear to have separated in a two-horse race.

The Thunder traded for George a year ago, shocking the NBA and embarking on a gamble of a 12-month recruitment with the hope of signing George to a long-term deal.

Ariza was 0 for 12 from the field in Houston’s Game 7 loss to Golden State in the Western Conference finals, missing all nine of his 3-point tries.

Smart organizations do smart things. We’ve seen that for a couple decades with the Spurs, and the Warriors have earned that reputation this decade with excellent pickups like Jordan Bell as a second-rounder last year.

In Evans, they’re getting a player who can play all three perimeter positions. Many don’t know Evans can play point guard, but he did it occasionally last season for Cincinnati and would have had a shot at playing there full-time had he returned to the Bearcats for his senior year. Evans not only can function on offense in those three roles, but he can also defend them, as well.

What Yankees pitching coach thinks of top prospect Justus Sheffield so far

Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild watches video of the team’s premium minor-league arms whenever he gets a chance.

Sometimes he’ll pull out his iPad and squeeze in an inning on a flight. Sometimes he’ll watch when he wakes up in the morning.

Obviously, Rothschild hasn’t seen Justus Sheffield widely regarded as the team’s best pitching prospect throw in person since spring training. But he’s kept up with the 21-year-old lefty’s progress at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The younger Shanahan is building quite the résumé of his own. Before his impressive work with Garoppolo last season, he guided Matt Ryan to the 2016 MVP award, orchestrated Robert Griffin III ‘s electrifying 2012 Rookie of the Year campaign, and turned Matt Schaub into a Pro Bowl MVP.

Kyle is the best offensive coordinator. He’s the best play designer, former NFL quarterback and current NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms opined during the Falcons ‘ 2016 Super Bowl run. He’s the most creative offensive schemer in the game right now, and that’s saying a lot.

It’s saying a lot because Shanahan faces stiff competition from the likes of McVay, Saints coach Sean Payton, Eagles leader Doug Pederson, Chiefs wizard Andy Reid and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

As NFL offenses continue to grow more sophisticated with each passing year, the NFC West is fortunate to claim two of the league’s most innovative tacticians.

Watson’s knee injury was serious, full stop. However, since Watson has experienced a torn ACL and recovery previously while in college, and he returned even better than before, in this case there is reason for measured optimism. Seven months after the surgery, Watson is already going full speed without a knee brace in minicamp. Considering that a good chunk of returning from injury is psychological, Watson’s history should help him have the confidence he’ll need to come back at full speed.

Now the ultimate question: What would regression to the mean look like for Watson? For those who believe luck impacted his numbers last season, let’s suppose that he regresses quite a bit in touchdown rate and number of receiver drops. Let’s say that, overall, his production across the board drops a full 20 percent as a sophomore compared to those five games as a rookie. Even in that scenario, Watson would still average more fantasy points per game than any quarterback did last season.

Will the Falcons make history?

Last season, the Minnesota Vikings lost the NFC Championship Game, falling a win shy of becoming the first team to play a Super Bowl on its home field.

Now the Falcons have that opportunity, with Super Bowl LIII set to be staged in Atlanta’s sparkling Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The Bengals made the postseason for five consecutive years from 2011 to 2015, and there is a sense of urgency from ownership on down to not just get back to the playoffs but break the longest winless playoff drought in the NFL.

The team believes Andy Dalton can return to the MVP-caliber form he showed in 2015. Since that season, which was cut short because of a broken thumb, the 30-year-old has seen a regression in passer rating, yards per attempt, completion percentage and touchdown and interception percentages.

Demand for Barkley’s jersey started immediately after his name was called in the NFL Draft and hasn’t slowed down: More Barkley jerseys sold on draft night than any other player since Fanatics began tracking the information for the NFL’s official online shop, per an ESPN report.

In New York, you walk around and people know you, Barkley said recently. It is not like, ‘Wow they know me, I have fame,’ but it is like people notice you and what you are doing.

I have not played a down of football yet so I am just handling myself. That is credit to my mother and father and my family and how they raised me. Hopefully I could continue to do the right things.

Barkley is wearing No. 26 with the Giants, just as he did at Penn State.

NBA draft rumors: Knicks, Sixers angling for Jayson Tatum 2.0?

Dolphins players are amazed by new DE Robert Quinn’s bend.

Bills WR Austin Proehl, a former Panthers ball boy, didn’t think anyone could match Cam Newton’s arm strength, until Proehl saw Bills QB Josh Allen.

Jets K Cairo Santos has weighed in on the World Cup.

The Patriots Alumni Association recently hosted more than 200 local kids for a Football for You clinic.

Harrison knows catching Barkley will be the hardest part.

The guy’s explosive, Harrison said. You can see how they’ll use him in the offense, which will be to our benefit.

A two-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowl selection, the 25-year-old Beckham has made nice with new coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Dave Gettleman, attending some optional organized team activities in the spring. He also took part in positional drills at this past week’s mandatory minicamp, though he was held out of 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 team drills. He was cleared to practice fully.

It’s like any relationship, we constantly communicate, Shurmur said previously. We’ve spoken on the phone, we text. It’s like any relationship, we’re very honest and open with one another and we communicate frequently.

Beckham is entering the final year of his five-year rookie contract, and is scheduled to make $8.45 million this season. He is seeking a long-term extension that would make him the highest-paid receiver in the league. Steelers wideout Antonio Brown owns that title now, making $17 million per year.

Beckham was in good spirits on Saturday, arriving shortly after the camp began, and addressed the 550 or so campers twice — after he arrived and at the day’s conclusion. He engaged the kids in drills and one-on-one competition, posing for photos and making a few of his trademark one-handed catches.

Henry played 40 percent as Murray’s backup. Henry likely gets more this season, with Lewis staying close to what he had last season, per Wolfe. The Titans expect them to work together, sharing the load, not competing for playing time. Both will play. Both will get touches. They’ll work together fine, Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. I think they both have shown they don’t have to be the guy to get 30 carries. Those 30-carry-a-game guys, I don’t think they exist anymore.

It was nice to sneak one out of there. I could walk away and say I got another one under my belt, Boone said. I was kinda digging that a little bit. Then Marcus (Thames) jumps in behind me and hits one 20 feet further.

Billy Price fully cleared from pec injury ahead of Bengals training camp

Bengals first-round pick Billy Price‘s workload was limited during the team’s offseason program, but it looks like it is all systems go for the center at training camp.

Price partially tore his pectoral muscle while doing the bench press at the NFL Scouting Combine in March, which led to surgery a few days later and questions about whether it would impact his landing spot in the draft. Word that Price should be ready for camp all but put an end to those and the Bengals made him the 21st overall pick in April in hopes of hearing exactly what Price tweeted on Monday.

The regime of Jerry Reese and Ben McAdoo handpicked Webb in the third round of the 2017 draft and they are both gone. It might be overstating things to insist the new regime of Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur is completely bullish on Webb, but there is no doubt there is intrigue, just as there is no doubt Webb is doing everything he possibly can to show he is next in line.

Miami made Gesicki the 42nd overall choice.

He was a four-year letterman and three-year starter at Penn State, where he caught 129 passes for 1,481 yards and 15 touchdowns. Gesicki finished his collegiate career with at least one reception in 27 consecutive games.

His 129 receptions, 15 receiving touchdowns and 1,481 receiving yards were the most in school history for a tight end and ranked ninth, ninth and 17th, respectively, in those statistical categories by any player in school history. As a senior in 2017, Gesicki was a second-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten honoree.

Winfrey also touched on the controversy surrounding Brady’s relationship with Patriots coach Bill Belichick, a firestorm ignited by a lightning-rod ESPN article that came out during the 2017 season and suggested the two men were on the outs. As he did at the time, Brady denied there were any ill feelings between him and his coach.

I mean, I love him, Brady said. I love that he’s an incredible coach, mentor for me, and he’s pushed me in a lot of ways. Like everything, we don’t agree on absolutely everything, but that’s relationships.

The Borgata casino also plans to launch sports betting Thursday

There will likely be two places in New Jersey — not just one — accepting legal sports bets starting Thursday, NJ Advance Media has learned.

The Borgata, Atlantic City’s top-performing casino, is planning to open its sports wagering parlor Thursday morning, pending approval from the state, a spokeswoman for the gambling hall told NJ Advance Media on Wednesday.

The casino would launch at about 11 a.m., spokeswoman Liza Constandino said.

Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia threw out an interesting idea this week: Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas.

This is not to say the Phillies won’t look to upgrade their offensive output at third base in July if they can manage to right their ship this month and stay relevant in the playoff chase. They have an obligation to improve if they think they can make the postseason now. But Mike Moustakas, a rental player without Machado’s price tag of prospects, might fit the team’s plan better.

Moustakas, 29, entered play on June 12 with 13 HR and 42 RBI. The veteran slugger signed a one-year, $6.5M deal with the Royals before the season. The deal comes with a $15M mutual option for 2019. If  Machado arrives in the offseason, the Phillies could decline the option for the cost of $1M.

Since the start of 2012, Moustakas has averaged 26 HR per 162 games played.

You know, their bodies are obviously the biggest thing for them, but there is a mental part of this that they need to keep up with and stay on top of, Patricia said. Review the material, hopefully have some questions when we get back to training camp that they’re asking and we can answer for them and keeping the process rolling.
]
The Lions wrap up their OTAs this week and will be back on the practice field the final week of July, with the rookies returning a week earlier. The team opens its preseason slate Aug. 10 against the Oakland Raiders, and are holding a pair of joint practices with the Raiders in the days leading up to the matchup.

The team also has joint practices lined up with the New York Giants the following week, at the Lions’ practice facility in Allen Park.

After making The Catch over Everson Walls, Dwight Clark helped him get paid

Dwight Clark, the 49ers receiver who died on Monday at age 61, will always be remembered for making The Catch, a leaping grab over Cowboys cornerback Everson Walls that propelled San Francisco to the Super Bowl. And even though Walls was beaten on the play, he remembers Clark fondly.

While Earl Thomas and Frank Clark have stayed away from voluntary practices as they get set to enter the final years of their contracts, Brown has been at OTAs working with new offensive line coach Mike Solari. The Seahawks are trying to revitalize a running game that was abysmal in 2017 and the success of the offensive line will be a vitally important part of that pursuit.

That’s been the big gamble for most Bill Belichick lieutenants who strike out on their own. Belichick’s ways work only because they work. If pushing players too hard doesn’t translate to victories, the person doing the pushing quickly will be pushed out.

Still, if Monarrez was looking for an edgy opinion during the slow months, he should have at least added the caveat that, no matter his methods, Patricia will never lose his players if he wins games.

The first players to take a knee during the national anthem did so to bring attention to two issues — police misconduct and social inequality, McCaskey said, via J.J. Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago. There are legitimate issues that deserve discussion and action. As a country, we can do better. It’s part of the founding fathers’ charge to us to form a more perfect union. Commissioner [Roger] Goodell said it very well, and it bears repeating — it was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic. This is not and was never the case.