In return, Norwell gets the biggest deal for an interior lineman in league history.

“What they did was incredible,” producer Jed Tuminaro told Sporting News. “… If you didn’t live to see something, or you don’t really remember it first-hand, some of those things may go a little underappreciated.”

For Braves fans, the documentary is a fun look back, but doesn’t offer anything new. The usual sentiments about camaraderie, the importance of consistency and learning to just enjoy the ride are all presented again here, as is some rehashing of familiar high points and low points. But baseball fans who aren’t as familiar with the’90s Braves story are the ones who should benefit most from watching.

As for the on-field fit, Cousins might not be an enormous upgrade on what Minnesota unexpectedly got out of Case Keenum last season.

His numbers over the past three seasons are certainly in the same ballpark as Keenum’s 2017: QB (years) Cmp% INT% Y/Att Rating QBR Kirk Cousins (2015-17) 67.0% 2.1% 7.8 97.5 62.4 Case Keenum (2017) 67.6% 1.5% 7.4 98.3 69.7 The difference, of course, is that Keenum had been an anonymous backup quarterback for most of his career before breaking out in an offense that had a solid running game, rarely forced him to throw while down multiple scores, and had two of the best wide receivers in football.

There was nothing about Keenum’s performance that suggested an element of his play was a fluke, but the former Houston star was placed in a great situation to succeed and did so.

But those aren’t the only numbers that are worth investigating as we usher in the new league year.

Keenum also agreed to a new contract this week, leaving the great white north for Denver, where he will sign for two years and $36 million. That leaves the Vikings paying $10 million per season extra for the chance to upgrade from a 30-year-old passer with a checkered past to a soon-to-be 30-year-old passer who has never won a playoff game.

The Panthers made the decision to retain guard Trai Turner before the season, and while they might have thought at the time about making a move to re-sign Norwell later on, the subsequent season he produced likely priced the Panthers out of retaining the Ohio State product. ravens_143

Marcus Peters makes profanely good case that he won’t bring off-field issues to Rams

Marcus Peters has been described as mercurial and moody, and for all his talents as one of the NFL’s most gifted cornerbacks, the Chiefs felt all the other stuff made him expendable. That “stuff” included a one-game suspension last December following a bizarre episode that included Peters chucking an official’s penalty flag into the stands and then leaving the field after wrongly thinking he was ejected. There were also reports that he got into shouting matches with assistant coaches and angered team chairman Clark Hunt by?

refusing to stand for the national anthem. That the Chiefs traded for? Kendall Fuller ?and signed? David Amerson ?made Peters’ departure a little easier to stomach even though the defense was among the league’s worst a season ago.

“Everything comes with growth,” he said. “What (were) you doing at 25? Probably some stuff that your mom and pops and other people wouldn’t agree with. But all you do is take it with a grain of salt. You stand tall and have fun with it. Because at the end of the day it’s life. It’s ups and downs, man. It’s a beautiful journey. All you gotta ?do is enjoy it.” We’re guessing Peters will thoroughly enjoy playing on one of the NFL’s best defenses as part of one of the NFL’s best teams. As the old saying goes: Winning fixes everything.

“Over the past year, we have heard many reports of political attacks on career employees at the State Department, but we had not seen evidence of how extensive, blunt, and inappropriate these attacks were until now,” Reps. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) and Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.) wrote in the letter.

There is also evidence that several more career staffers beyond Nowrouzzadeh were targeted, according to a congressional aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss complaints involving personnel matters.

The aide said several such employees had been temporarily assigned to the National Security Council, where some complained to national security adviser H.R. McMaster that they were being set up for their jobs to be terminated.

Most of the targeted employees had worked on Obama administration initiatives no longer supported in the Trump administration, such as the Iran deal, or were considered insufficiently loyal to Trump and his agenda.

Cousins officially signs 3-year deal with Vikings

Kirk Cousins is officially a Minnesota Viking. The free-agent quarterback signed a three-year contract with the team, his agent, Mike McCartney, confirmed Thursday.

The landmark deal is for three years and $84 million fully guaranteed, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, who also notes Cousins can win another $6 million in bonuses that include Super Bowl-related incentives.

The 29-year-old made one visit once free agency opened. He was wined and dined in Minnesota on Wednesday and spent the following day visiting the team’s facilities. The Vikings will hold an introductory press conference at 3:30 p.m. CT.

They signed Malcolm Butler to a five-year, $61 million deal with $30 million guaranteed. Questions about whether he is worth that kind of money are legitimate, but there is no doubt that he upgrades Tennessee’s defensive backfield. He is a solid No. 1 cornerback who will now be paired with his former Patriots teammate, Logan Ryan. The Titans also signed another former Patriot in Dion Lewis. Lewis proved his true value and versatility last season for the Patriots. He rushed for 896 yards and six touchdowns — both career-high marks. He had 32 catches for 214 yards and three touchdowns. He also returned a kick for a score. He should be an excellent complement to the larger Derrick Henry.

Cadet split time with the Bills and New York Jets last season. He rushed for 93 yards on 22 carries in six games with Buffalo and added 13 catches for 93 yards as well. Cadet had just one carry in three games with the Jets. Cadet has spent six years in the NFL with the Bills, Jets, Patriots, New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers.

Hue Jackson: Tyrod Taylor will start for Browns, and’there is no competition’

Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson said Thursday that Tyrod Taylor will be the team’s starting quarterback in 2018.

“There is no competition,” Jackson told reporters.

All the quarterbacks are signed, and 4 more splashes and surprises from Day 0 of NFL free agency

Speaking of Watkins, he’s not in Los Angeles with Goff anymore. The Chiefs brought him in to help out another second-year quarterback but first-time starter Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs still have a dynamic trio of Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce on the roster. Watkins gives Mahomes another threat who can regularly beat coverage.

The Chiefs paid handsomely $48 million over three years to land Watkins. But the former fourth overall pick is dangerous in space and should make the transition to starting much easier for Mahomes.

Signing an offensive lineman never makes as big of a splash as adding any skill position player. But games are won in the trenches, and Norwell was far and away the best interior line option in the free agent market. The Jaguars will sign Norwell to a five-year, $66 million deal. That per-year average of $13.2 million makes him the league’s highest-paid guard, and he’s got $30 million guaranteed.

It’s not the flashiest signing, but it is a smart one that makes the Jaguars’ offense more dangerous.

After his release from the Green Bay Packers, it didn’t take long for wide receiver Jordy Nelson to find work.

The 32-year-old receiver has signed a two-year deal with the Raiders, according to NFL Network’s James Jones.

The deal is worth $15 million, with $13 million guaranteed.

Nelson will turn 33 by the time the regular season rolls around, but he’ll do so as one of the most productive receivers currently playing.

Only four players have more receiving touchdowns than him since 2014, and that’s despite missing a full season with an ACL injury.

The soon-to-be 11-year veteran of the NFL is second in Packers’ history in receiving touchdowns (69), third in receptions (550), and fifth in receiving yards (7,858).

His signing comes shortly after the Raiders released Michael Crabtree. packers_094

Mets’ T.J. Rivera focused on fatherhood as Tommy John rehab continues

Most baseball players would have a hard time calling Tommy John surgery a blessing. Mets infielder T.J. Rivera has good reason to make an exception, though.

Rivera has yet to resume throwing since going under the knife Sept. 14, but he has taken on a new job in the meantime. The 29-year-old became a father Dec. 6. Since then, Ava Rose and Rivera’s wife, Ashton, have kept him extra busy.

“When you’re down and you can’t play baseball, you realize what means the most to you — and that’s family,” Rivera said. “I was put on the shelf and I was down with the injury, but I got to spend more time with my wife and help her through the pregnancy and then the baby came. I’m still at the field every day working and doing everything I can to get back, but it makes it a little easier knowing I’m going home to see her and my wife.”

So proud of my rock @ashtonrose14 for being so strong through such a tuff process. She was truly inspiring for these last 9 months. With many ups and downs she was so selfless, only concerned about Ava and what she can do to help her. I’m so lucky to be able to raise a child with such a loving and caring person by my side. Our baby girl is finally here and I can’t take my eyes off her.

Of course, parenting has also provided a learning curve. He admitted that being a dad is a lot harder than trying to catch up to a major league fastball.

Like a batter facing a pitcher the third time through, fatherhood comes with modifications.

“It’s honestly the best thing that’s obviously ever happened to me, but it’s adjustments you have to make,” Rivera said. “You don’t realize how much time you waste when you come home from the gym, sit down on the couch and watch a movie or something. Those little things.

“But I don’t even miss them, because I have her.”

Even if the rotation in Chicago is ordered differently and Lester gets the ball in an earlier game, this still leaves one of Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana or newcomer Darvish to take the hill in the fourth game of a postseason series.

Both the Dodgers and Nationals might be safe bets to win more regular season games this year than the Cubs, but neither is going to have an easy time besting Chicago in the postseason unlike in 2017, when the Nationals took the Cubs through five brutal games, and the Dodgers dusted them off practically without effort.

Thanks to the addition of Darvish, this postseason could have a much different outcome.

Make no mistake: Both the Dodgers and Nationals will be juggernauts in their respective divisions and in the National League, but the power has shifted significantly out of their favor. Both teams have solid rotations, but the Cubs will go into the 2018 season with a top four who, according to Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projection model, have statistical near-age comparisons to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Andy Pettitte and Tim Hudson. That’ll do.packers_010

The seventh overall pick in 2014, Evans has topped 1,000 receiving yards in each of his four seasons, including 2017 when Tampa’s offense struggled mightily.

Mike Evans’ new contract with Tampa Bay makes him among the highest-paid receivers in the history of the game, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, and vaults him with the likes of Calvin Johnson and Julio Jones in terms of compensation. The five-year, $82.5 million contract extension runs through the 2023 season and is worth a maximum of a little less than $96 million.

Evans had one year remaining on his entry-level contract but is now secured by the Buccaneers throughout his prime, with the former first-round pick emerging as one of the elite playmakers in the NFL and the prime target for young quarterback Jameis Winston.

His cap numbers are manageable through most of the contract (the bulk of his guaranteed money would be paid out before Winston would be on a second contract), and the cap numbers in the final three years of the deal work in the favor of both Evans and the team.

He has become a fixture in the Tampa community and back home in Texas through his outreach work, partnering with Amanda White of Day 1 Sports to run his foundation. Evans was a second-team All-Pro in 2016, and has twice reached 12 receiving touchdowns in a season.

That sort of role is exactly what the Cowboys have available, because Alfred Morris played himself into a bigger one when Elliott was out. Morris looked like a starting NFL running back during Elliott’s suspension, and someone is going to give him a chance to play as one. That leaves Elliott and Rod Smith in the Cowboys back field. They need one more running back, one who better approximates Elliott’s skill set than Smith does. That would be Peterson.

He doesn’t have close to the physical talent that Elliott has in the prime of his career, but Peterson can still contribute as a first- and second-down runner. He had games of 134 and 159 rushing yards on an Arizona offense without nearly the offensive line that the Cowboys could provide. With Tyron Smith, Zack Martin and Travis Frederick in front of him, Peterson could be a very valuable runner, and one who carries a bigger load than most would expect.

The Broncos could do a three-year deal to make it more enticing for Cousins, who would then find himself back in the open market for another enormous payday if things go as well as he and the Broncos think they would. But a four-year deal does much the same thing, and the Broncos would have one more year to prorate some of the cap charges in the deal. The Broncos kept wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas on the roster — there were rumblings that both could be salary-cap casualties — as part of the presentation.

MLB free agent news: Twins sign Logan Morrison after 38-home run season

The Twins signed Logan Morrison to a one-year contract Sunday, with a vesting option for a second year, according to Fox Sports.

Morrison will make $6 million in 2018, with a possible vesting option driving it to $16.5 million over two years, the report says. Morrison hit 38 home runs last season with the Rays, and he has 69 home runs during the last three seasons.

Adding Morrison provides Minnesota with depth should designated hitter Miguel Sano get handed a suspension for sexual assault allegations. Sano will make his spring debut Wednesday, but he’s also been recovering from a leg injury.

Morrison can play first base, left field or serve as the Twins’ designated hitter. While he’s only a career .245 hitter, he’s developed more consistently lately.

He is exceptionally patient at the plate, walking just over 12 percent of the time in 2017. Last year, he attacked opposing pitchers’ fastballs, hitting .283 and slugging .613 against them. Cozart was even better against the sinker (.404 and .681), and he also did well against changeups and cutters. Though he will be playing third base for the first time in his career, Cozart’s mature approach at the plate and recent increase in power will slot into the Angels’ lineup nicely.

During his time with the Indians in 2016, Napoli was a crucial member of the team hitting .239/.335/.465 with 34 homers and 101 RBIs.

With Carlos Santana’s departure, Napoli boosts the Indians’ depth at first base in particular and their roster in general. Free-agent signee Yonder Alonso is slated to be the starter at first base.

Napoli is the second veteran to return from the 2016 team, joining outfielder Rajai Davis.

The Angels were one of seven finalists for Ohtani’s services — the Giants, Dodgers, Cubs, Rangers, Mariners and Padres also made bids.

“This morning, after a thorough, detailed process, Shohei Ohtani has decided to sign with the Los Angeles Angels,” Balelo said in a statement. “Shohei is humbled and flattered by all the time and effort that so many teams put into their presentations and sincerely thanks them for their professionalism. In the end, he felt a strong connection with the Angels and believes they can best help him reach his goals in Major League Baseball.”

Astros slugger Yuli Gurriel undergoes hand surgery

Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel underwent surgery on his left hand Wednesday to remove a hook of hamate bone.

Yuli Gurriel having surgery to remove he hook of hamate bone in his left hand. Timetable unknown.

Just New York offers a lot options in terms of Japanese food, there’s a Japanese community here, people who speak Japanese. So it wasn’t an isolated environment. There was a lot of options, so I was able to express myself in that sense, which made the transition a lot easier.

Now, you also had your own press contingent following you around, too. Other Japanese stars like Ichiro, Yu Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka are in the same boat. Ohtani is, as well, now. How did you handle that constant media attention?

For me it was a normal thing to have a following like that. The amount of media was much larger when I was in Japan. The difference was that that media following focused not just on me, but the team when I was in Japan.

“I’m not opposed to any of that, personally,” Cashman said, via the New York Daily News.

While the Seahawks may not be enthusiastic about the idea of their star signal caller participating in activities beyond batting and fielding, Cashman is eager to discuss his intentions with the team.

“Pete Carroll hasn’t reached out to me just yet, but after he sees that I’m open to it, he might make a call,” Cashman said. “I respect the hell out of Pete Carroll, so I’d look forward to hearing from him.”

Wilson, on the other hand, is ready to play should the teams reach an agreement on his participation level.

“I’m ready to go up there if they want me to,” Wilson said upon his arrival on Monday. “I’ll be ready to swing…hack away and turn some double plays.”

The Rangers traded Wilson to the Yankees for future considerations earlier this month. The Super Bowl champion and four-time Pro Bowler will remain in Yankees spring training for six days, leaving March 3, the day the Yankees play the Red Sox.

The Cowboys keep loading up on speed and quickness for Rod Marinelli’s defense.

While Taylor will likely earn the starting role in Cleveland in 2018, he’s probably a stopgap solution as a mentor for a young quarterback. The Browns own the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the first round and will likely use one to draft the team’s presumptive quarterback of the future.

It’s a cheap way to get a veteran in the fold, but perhaps what’s most interesting is that it probably means the Browns won’t go after quartberack AJ McCarron in free agency as was expected.

Although they have a dominant edge player in DeMarcus Lawrence and a dangerous swing man in David Irving, they need another big body who can blow up plays in the backfield. Bringing in Payne would give Dallas?quite a pile up front after taking end Taco Charlton in the first round last year.

Rodgers-Cromartie has played for four organizations ( Cardinals , Eagles , Broncos , Giants) over 10 seasons in the league. He spent the last four years of his career in New York and was released Sunday with one season remaining on a five-year, $35 million deal signed in 2014.

A two-time Pro Bowler and 2016 second-team All-Pro, DRC saw his production take a hit during New York’s tumultuous 2017 season. The corner failed to record an interception for the first time since 2011 and recorded just one pass defensed in 15 games played. Rodgers-Cromartie also incurred a team-issued suspension early in the season after getting into a heated argument with then- Giants coach Ben McAdoo in practice.

It remains to be seen what DRC’s market will be, considering the dearth of younger free-agent options at corner this offseason, or whether the veteran footballer will be willing, with another organization, to switch positions.

NBA wrap: LeBron James’ triple-double leads Cavaliers past Pacers

Amid controversy surrounding the Cavaliers’ reported discord in the locker room, LeBron James led them to a 115-108 win over the Pacers Friday by recording his eighth triple-double of the season.

James scored 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting, while also dishing out 11 assists and hauling in 10 rebounds. James also had 11 turnovers, a shocking amount for the star forward, but he was vindicated by his strong overall performance.

Clippers guard Lou Williams added fire to the trade rumors swirling around his name by scoring 40 points with 10 assists and four steals off the bench in a 109-100 road win over the Grizzlies.

The Raptors lost 97-93 at home to the Jazz, but center Jonas Valanciunas scored 28 points on 12-of-16 shooting with 14 rebounds. Valanciunas now has four double-doubles in his last five games.

The Nets starting lineup produced just 45 points in a 116-91 loss to the Bucks. DeMarre Carroll scored 14 points, and Allen Crabbe added 13, but the rest of the starting lineup struggled to get anything going. Breakout star Spencer Dinwiddie scored just nine points on 1-of-6 shooting.
According to multiple reports, the Cavaliers and Kings are in active discussions to send Hill to Cleveland. Channing Frye and Iman Shumpert appear to be the players being talked about as a return for the guard.

Sacramento and Cleveland continue to discuss a deal for guard George Hill, league sources tell ESPN. Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye are primary players in ongoing conversations.

The Cavaliers have fallen into third place in the Eastern Conference, just one game in front of the Heat, and have been in trade talks for multiple players during their losing skid (10 losses in past 14 games entering Tuesday). Hill was mentioned as a possibility Saturday and it appears those talks are heating up for the 31-year-old, who is averaging 10.3 points and 2.8 assists per game. However, according to Opta, those are the lowest averages he has had since 2010-11 with the Pacers.

Cleveland’s guards though have not been much better. Jose Calderon is averaging 4.1 points and 2.1 assists per game, while Derrick Rose is putting up 13.4 points and 1.8 assists, but he has only played in nine games. Isaiah Thomas is averaging 16.1 points and 3.6 assists, but he has only played in seven games.lions_019