New York Giants: Saquon Barkley says we haven’t seen anything yet

New York Giants, Darius Slayton, Saquon Barkley

2021 is going to be a make or break season for Saquon Barkley and the New York Giants. Barkley obviously missed the vast majority of last season with an ACL tear, and the Giants struggled in the running game most of the year without him. Barkley is coming back this season, and the main goal will be to stay on the field the whole year and play the most snaps since his rookie season.

But in the time between now and then, where Barkley has suffered from injuries in both seasons in between, some might have forgotten just how good of an addition Barkley was to the offense.

That might be what motivated Barkley to retweet some of his old highlights, with a new message. According to him, we haven’t seen nothing yet from him.

Based on reports so far this offseason, Barkley’s recovery has been going well and we should see him on the field in time for the season opener if there’s no setbacks. This will be a big season for him not just because the Giants have improved the offense in other areas this offseason, but because it’s time for Barkley to start earning the mega-contract that he’ll be in the market for when his current deal is up.

Signing Barkley to a mega-deal would have been an obvious decision if his play had been consistent with his rookie season for his entire career, but his injuries have thrown more doubt into the mix because it’s been a couple years since we’ve seen him at his peak.

All of that should just serve as motivation during a season where Barkley has a lot on the line from both a team and personal point of view. And so far, it looks like that motivation is being taken to heart.

Kyrie Irving, 2nd chance points fuel Nets’ sweep over Knicks

new york knicks, julius randle

Julius Randle and the New York Knicks blew a golden opportunity to beat the hobbling Brooklyn Nets.

The Nets’ Big 3 was reduced to only one superstar in Kyrie Irving after James Harden joined Kevin Durant at the sidelines with a hamstring soreness four minutes into the game. Blake Griffin also took an off night in the second game of a back-to-back schedule.

No problem for the Nets.

Irving carried the offensive load with a 40-point masterpiece while his supporting cast clawed and scrapped to complete their comeback and regular-season sweep of the Knicks, 114-112, on Monday night at the Barclays Center.

It went down to the last possession again.

Unlike in their previous meeting, Randle didn’t lose the handle this time and got his shot off. But it still didn’t matter as he muffed a potential game-tying jumper at the buzzer.

Irving’s 40-point basket, a three-pointer, over Elfrid Payton with one minute left gave the Nets a five-point cushion.

The Knicks, though, refused to fold up easily.

Randle’s two free throws and an Alec Burks’ three tied the game with 26 seconds remaining.

Irving had plenty of help to get the job done.

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot tipped a Joe Harris’ miss to Jeff Green who drew a foul from Reggie Bullock.

Green calmly sank the marginal free throws, then challenged Randle’s last shot on the other end to send the Nets to their third win in as many games against the Knicks this season.

It was a hard pill to swallow for the Knicks, who blew a 14-point lead.

The undermanned Nets clawed their way back by crashing the boards. They held a 45-41 rebounding advantage and grabbed 11 in the offensive glass. The Nets parlayed that advantage to 26 second-chance points.

In contrast, the Knicks only had five offensive rebounds and just two second-chance points.

Green added 23 points, nine coming off free throws, while Harris contributed 16 and eight rebounds for the Nets.

The heartbreaking loss pushed the Knicks down to one game below .500 (25-26) and the eighth spot in the East.

The Knicks will continue their uphill climb on Wednesday with a face-off against the streaking Boston Celtics (25-25), who momentarily climbed to seventh place.

Randle finished with his fourth triple-double of the season and his third in the last 12 games. But his 19-15-12 stats line was dimmed by his inability to rise when the game was on the line. He is now 1-for-7 when the Knicks are tied or trailing by three in the final 30 seconds of a game this season, according to Daily News’ Stefan Bondy.

It was a sorry loss for the Knicks, who countered the Nets’ Big 3 talks with Randle and Bullock, boldly saying they have ‘Big 15’.

They walked the talk for three-fourths of the way until Irving and his scrappy Nets closed the third quarter with a 14-2 run to take an 89-88 lead.

The Knicks built a 10-point halftime lead behind Reggie Bullock and Derrick Rose’s hot hands and Randle’s superb playmaking.

Randle already had a near triple-double (11 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists) in the first half, while Bullock fired 16 of his 21 points and Rose had 15.

Irving and Green sparked the Nets’ comeback in the third with 21 combined points.

RJ Barrett finished with 22, including big baskets in the fourth quarter.

Before the game, Barrett said he couldn’t wait for his next chance to take a last-second shot. His remarks were in response to Minnesota rookie Anthony Edwards mocking him for missing at the end of their narrow loss against the Timberwolves last week.

While Barrett had the hot hands in the fourth quarter for the Knicks with seven points, he didn’t earn the last shot.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

May, Loup and Mets Defense Implode During Five Run Eighth in 5-3 Loss

It truly would not be a Jacob deGrom start without the New York Mets bullpen and defense sticking a huge middle finger to him once he leaves the game. deGrom cruised through six shutout innings but was pulled after just 77 pitches, even though Manager Luis Rojas said he could get to the 100 pitch plateau. Miguel Castro gave the Mets a scoreless seventh, but all hell broke loose in the eighth.

The debuting Mets relievers had an ugly night. Trevor May was the first and ran into loads of trouble after striking out the first batter he faced. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Bryce Harper, and May turned the ball to Aaron Loup. He hit Harper with the second pitch he threw to make it a 2-1 game, then J.T. Realmuto singled to knot the game up 2-2. Alec Bohm followed with a dribbler to defensive replacement, Luis Guillorme, but a combination of a poor throw and horrible footwork from catcher James McCann resulted in two runs scoring on the error. A sacrifice fly from Didi Gregorious was the final blow in the five-run inning.

The Mets offense showed the rust of a team that spent the last handful of days on the sidelines. Matt Moore looked like Steve Carlton for the first two innings, striking out four in a row at one point. Once the Mets turned the lineup over, their patience grew and forced Moore into four walks. Moore only lasted 3.1 innings and needed 74 pitches to make it through.

After making the first two outs against Jose Alvarado in the ninth, the Mets started a comeback. Kevin Pillar and Francisco Lindor singles gave the Mets first and third. Michael Conforto came to the plate as the tying run and hit a bloop single just off Harper’s glove, making it a 5-3 game. Pete Alonso came three feet from either tying the game with his shot to right field, but Harper had enough room to reeled it in on the warning track.

Questions To Answer

Rojas’s decision to pull deGrom after 77 pitches is a glaring blunder. deGrom retired the last nine batters he faced, which further pushes the idea of Rojas overmanaging the situation. A more in-depth question comes with his use of the bench in the ninth. Rojas used Jonathan Villar instead of Albert Almora to bat for the pitcher. Villar struck out, but the issue is what could have happened after Villar’s at-bat.

When Conforto reached on his single, he was the tying run, and Villar’s speed is always a threat. Regardless of whether Alvarado remained game, Villar is a runner any pitcher has to pay close attention to. If Alonso split the gap, Villar would have given the Mets a better chance of tying the game than Conforto. The erratic Alvarado might have lost the strike zone with his mind occupied on the tying run.

Overall, the Mets have to be happy with their fight in the ninth. They could have easily rolled over and conceded a 1-2-3 finish. On Tuesday, Marcus Stroman makes his first start against Chase Anderson for the Phillies. The first pitch is another 7:05 p.m. start from Citizens Bank Park.

 

New York Yankees Recap: Jordan Montgomery shined, Stanton Grand Slams in Yankees win over the O’s

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton

The New York Yankees met the Baltimore Orioles tonight in the first game of a three-game set at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees were 1-2 on the young season, and the Orioles were 3-0. Jordan Mongomery made his regular-season debut for the Yankees, and Jorge Lopez was on the mound for the O’s.

Cedric Mullins led off against Montgomery; he flew out to left. Mancini flew out to Gleyber Torres. Ryan Mountcastle flew out to left for an easy inning for “Monty.” At the bottom of the first, DJ LeMahieu against Lopez, and he ground out to the second base. Aaron Judge hit sharply up the middle for a single. Aaron Hicks flew out to far left. Giancarlo Stanton struck out swinging to end the inning. No score.

Facing Montgomery in the second inning was Maikal Franco, who ground out to Urshela. Pedro Severino struck out. Pat Valaika ground out to end the half for another easy inning for Montgomery. Gleyber Torres was first up against Lopez in the second; he struck out. Gary Sanchez struck out for Lopez’s third strikeout. Jay Bruce ground out to first. The Yankees went down in order. No score.

Freddie Galvis led off the third inning by lining into center for the O’s first runner of the game. Ramon Urais went down on strikes, and it went seven up and seven down for Monty. Ryan McKenna struck out. Mullins led the majors last year in bunts with 9. Galvis stole second base. Mullins struck out, leaving a guy on base. At the bottom against Lopez, Urshela flew out to right field. Clint Frazier, who was batting .444, lined to second. LeMahieu struck out to end the inning in was what turned out to be a pitching duel. No score.

Trey Mancini led off the fourth inning by striking out for Monty’s 5th strikeout. Mountcastle popped right back to Monty for the second out. Franco had a high popout to Urshela to end the half. Aaron Judge led off the bottom with his first home run of the season. Hicks stuck out. Stanton hit back to Lopez for the second out of the half. Gleyber Torres singled to short. Gary Sanchez stuck out, but the Yankees took the lead with Aaron Judge’s 340′ home run over the right-field wall. Yankees 1 O’s 0.

Severino led off against Monty in the fifth with a base hit. Valaika ground out. At this point in the fifth inning, Monty only had 58 pitches in the game. Galvis flew out to Frazier on the warning track. Urias singled past Judge, and Valaika went to third. With men on the corner and two outs, McKenna ground out to Torres to leave two Orioles on the bases. At the bottom of the fifth, Jay Bruce led off by walking. Gio Urshela had a roller to short; they got the force out at second. Clint Frazier ground out, Urshela to second. LeMahieu walked, with Aaron Judge coming up. Judge with two outs walked to load the bases with Yankees. That walk knocked Lopez out of the game in favor of Shawn Armstong.  Aaron Hicks went full count and then walked, bringing Urshela home for the two-run lead. Giancarlo Stanton got the Yankee’s first grand slam of the season; a 471′ shot putting the Yankees 6 runs up. Torres ended the inning by striking out. New York Yankees 6 O’s 0.

Mullins led off the sixth against Montgomery. He singled. Mancini went down on strikes. Mountcastle struck out, and Franco flew out to Hicks in center. Monty was great through 6 innings. At the bottom, Sanchez faced O’s reliever Fry and ground out to second. Bruce worked his second walk of the night. Urshela singled. With a man on first and second and one out, Frazier singled to load the bases again for the Yankees. LeMahieu singled with an RBI, putting the Yankees up 7 runs. That run knocked Fry out of the game in favor of Mac Sceroler in his major league debut facing Aaron Judge, who went down looking. Aaron Hicks flew out to end the inning, but the Yankees picked up another run. Yankees 7 O’s 0.

After an excellent start, by Montgomery, a shut out over 6 innings for the New York Yankees, Luis Cessa took over the mound for the Yankees in the seventh. Severino went down swinging. Valaika flew out to Judge. Galvis ground out for a perfect inning for Cessa. At the bottom, Giancarlo Stanton led off; he flew out sharply. Torres flew out to right field. Sanchez went down on strikes for his 0 for 4 night. Yankees 7 O’s 0.

At the top of the eighth, Mike Tauchman took over of Frazier in left, and Frazier moved to right field to take over for Aaron Judge. With Cessa out for a second inning, Urias struck out. McKenna walked. Mullins hit into the force out. Mancini stuck out for another good inning for Cessa. Jay Bruce led off the bottom by striking out. Urshela had a long fly out to the center field. Frazier walked. LeMahieu got a wild pitch moving Frazier to second base. DJ walked to put two on base. Mike Tauchman got his first at-bat went down on strikes. Yankees 7 O’s 0.

Aroldis Chapman came out in the ninth inning to close it out for New York Yankees. Mountcastle struck out. Franco struck out, and Severino walked. Valaika struck out to end the game. The final score was 7-0; the winning pitcher was Jordan Montgomery and the loser Jorge Lopez. The Yankees are 8-0 in games that Judge and Stanton both hit home runs. Montgomery allowed no runs walking none while striking out 7 O’s.

 

 

 

Sayonara Sam: Darnold’s best plays with the New York Jets

The New York Jets have finally answered the question on many people’s minds: what are they going to do with Sam Darnold? For them, the answer was to trade him to the Carolina Panthers.

Darnold’s time in New York was riddled with losses, criticism and mono. However, it wasn’t all bad. There were some times of excitement, hope and celebration.

So, as a farewell, I highlighted some of Sam Darnold’s best plays as a New York Jet.

Behind-the-line scramble vs Buffalo

For the first play, we’re going all the way back to 2018. The Jets were 3-9 and the Bills were 4-8. The game had no playoff implications but it was a game against a division rival – so it mattered. Darnold and the offense needed a touchdown to tie the game and, well, this happened:

That play is still amazing today and shows some of Darnold’s unique abilities. The only problem is that these theatrics weren’t an all-the-time thing on the field.

Oh, and, by the way. Who caught that pass? Darnold’s new teammate Robby Anderson.

Cross-body throw vs San Francisco

Sam Darnold had arguably his best career throw this past season against the San Francisco 49ers. After breaking a sack, he rolled out left and threw across his body to Braxton Berrios for the touchdown.

Here’s the play:

If this play has started to bring out any emotions about Darnold being traded away, don’t fret. Zach Wilson can make that throw as well.

46-yard TD run vs Denver

The last play that’s going to be highlighted happened about two weeks after the previous one. Darnold once again showed his scrambling ability, but in a different way:

Jets fans and the NFL were all raving about this play because, well, he turned on the jets. This play showed that he can do more than run around behind the line and either throw a dart or an interception.

Despite Darnold showing in these three instances that he has talent and potential, the Jets only went on to win one of those three games. That’s the issue. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t win, it doesn’t matter.

Fans and the organization are hoping the next chapter of Jets football brings along some wins. That next chapter begins on April 29 when the Jets are on the clock with the second overall pick.

Colin Blackwell: Player on the Rise for the New York Rangers?

Nothing separates the New York Rangers fan base, as well as all of New York sports, like questioning the decisions Big Apple coaches make in their lineups. Today, the Rangers raised a few eyebrows when head coach David Quinn shuffled his lineups in practice, as posted by lohud.com’s Vince Mercogliano:

Of course one of the first things that everyone noticed was the “demotions” of Kappo Kakko to the third line and newcomer Vitali Kravtsov to the fourth line.

It was not like either player deserved to be demoted and Quinn explained after practice in his Zoom conference that neither player should look at the line shuffles in this manner. “We like Kakko, it is certainly nothing with the way he has played,” Quinn said. “I am anxious to see how they (Kakko, Alexis Lafreniere, and Filip Chytil) play together.”

As far as Kravtsov going to the fourth line, Quinn said “That doesn’t mean that Kravstov will be down there forever, or even during the whole game, you can move people around. Right now we feel that it is the best lineup we have at our disposal.”

The New York Rangers shift Blackwell to the second line.

The other move was to put Colin Blackwell to the second line with Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome. Blackwell also received some time with the second power-play unit during Tuesday’s practice.

As for Blackwell skating on the second line, Quinn said: “One of the things that we thought were getting Blackwell on that line with Strome and Bread, it gives that line a little bit of a different look. This is the best lineup we feel we have for tomorrow night.”

With the move up from the fourth line to the second, Blackwell will bring a little more of a defensive presence to that line. He has also been a little more opportunistic than some other players and is not afraid to shoot the puck, something that Quinn has stressed with the team in recent games.

Blackwell discussed his new role in his post-practice Zoom conference. “I was just kind of waiting for my chance,” Blackwell said. “I have done it in the American Hockey League on many different occasions. That chance doesn’t always come, and a lot of good players do get their chance but then they don’t necessarily make the most out of it.”

The Rangers signed Blackwell as a free agent on a two-year contract worth $725,000 annually.

Blackwell had one of his best games in the NHL on March 28, which also happened to be his birthday. On that night, he scored a career-high 2 goals against the Washington Capitals.

The Rangers will start Igor Shesterkin in goal as they begin a two-game set at MSG against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

 

New York Yankees Top 10’s: Best first baseman throughout history (videos)

This is another New York Yankees Top 10’s. This one looks back through history to reveal my top 10 Yankee first baseman. This is course subjective. In selecting my top ten, I valued time with the club, performance as per Baseball-Reference.com.  Peak career performance and performance in postseason play was also a factor.  Special situations like changing career positions were also a consideration. This is one of 15 Top 10’s I will be publishing in the next weeks. Some are reprints, some updated, and some brand new as this one is.

#10: Nick Etten (1943-1946)

Anchoring this list of best first basemen is Nick Etten. There are several similar players, but I choose Etten. The rest of the Yankee first baseman are relatively unremarkable. I picked Etten even though he only played 4 years for the Yankees because he had a huge impact in his first year with the Yankees. He was a champion in the 1943 World Series; although he didn’t hit well, he was a formidable hitter for the Yankees during the mid-’40s. He had a .275 batting average and was an MVP candidate three of his four years with the Yankees.

#9: Joe Pepitone (1962-1969)

Joe Pepitone was a bit of a character but was an excellent defender at first base for the Yankees for seven years. The Yankees signed him in 1958 at age 17. In four years, he was called up to the majors. He was the three-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glover. During 1963 he hit 27 homers with 89 RBIs. The following year he hit 28 homers with 100 RBIs. Pepitone was very aware of his appearance and was a bit of a lady’s man. He was the first every Yankee to bring a hairdryer into the clubhouse.

#8: Wally Pipp (1915-1925)

For almost a decade, Wally Pipp manned first base for the New York Yankees; the famous Lou Gehrig replaced him. When he started on first base, he was just 22 years old. Back during a time that the game was not known for home runs, he led the league in home runs with 12 in 1916 and nine in 1917. But the best was yet to come. Pipp amassed 833 RBI and 1,577 hits in 11 seasons in the Bronx. He was an important part of the Yankee’s first World Championship in 1923.

#7: Chris Chambliss (1974-1979) (1988)

In his time with the Yankees, Chambliss had an All-star and Gold Glove Award to his name. From 1975-1979, Chambliss turned into an important part of two Yankee World Series championship teams. In 1975, he hit .304 with 38 doubles. The following three years, he had a cumulative AVG of .285 and averaged 15 HR and 92 RBI per season, earning an All-Star selection in 1976 and a Gold Glove award in 1978. Chambliss is most known for his walk-off homer in the 1976 ALCS, causing the Yankees to win the pennant. In a famous video, the Yankees fans poured onto the field.

#6: Jason Giambi (2002-2008)

Jason Giambi could have been higher on this list if he had stayed longer with the Yankees. He had a .404 on-base percentage with the Yankees, fourth all-time. He had 209 homers over six years with 604 RBIs. In his first season as a Yankee, he won a Silver Slugger Award, batting .314 with 41 homers and 122 RBIs. Giambi could have been an even better player for the Yankees, but he had several injuries from a tumor to parasites. In game 7 of the Boston 2003 ALCS, he set up Aaron Boone’s pennant-winning homer.

#5: Mark Teixeira (2009-2019)

During his time with the Yankees, he hit 206 home runs over the nine-year span. Yankees fans were amazed at some of the plays he made at first base. His best years with the Yankees were his first three years. He won World Championship in 2009. In 2009 he was also an MVP candidate, an All-Star, Gold Glover, and Silver Slugger. In 2010 and 2011, he was again a Gold Glove and MVP candidate. After 2012 his production was sapped with several injuries, but his defense at first remained first class.

#4: Tino Martinez (1996-2001) (2205)

Tino Martinez could easily be number 3 on this list had he played a bit longer for the Yankees.  He is fourth all-time in RBIs (739) among Yankee first baseman. He appeared in four Yankees World Series. During his Yankee career, he had 192 home runs batting .276. His most productive season was 1997 when he batted .296 with 44 home runs and 141 RBIs, better stats than he had with his other four teams. That year he also was a Silver Slugger and won the home run derby.

#3: Bill “Moose” Skowron (1954-1962)

The “Moose” was a seven-time All-Star and a four-time World Champion while with the New York Yankees. His World Series performances during his career resulted in seven home and 26 RBIs. Skowron became the starting first baseman in 1958 and remained there for the next four years. Besides being an excellent defender, his muscular physique appearance at the plate made opposing pitchers tremble.

#2: Don Mattingly (1982-1995)

You can argue with any of my placements, but my number 2 and number 1 first baseman leave little room for argument. “Donnie Baseball” is one of the all-time great baseball players in any position. He manned first base for the New York Yankees for 14 years. To this day, he remains one of the most popular Yankees of the modern era. He won nine Gold Gloves and would be in the Hall of Fame if it wasn’t for his back injury at age 29 that held back his power at the plate.

#1: Lou Gehrig (1923-1939)

Lou Gehrig is undeniably the best New York Yankee first baseman of all time, possibly the best first baseman to ever play the game. From 1925 to 1939, he played in 2,130 consecutive games, a Yankee record. Lou Gehrig may have been the Yankee’s most durable player ever. The great defensive first baseman drove in at least 100 runs a season for 13 straight seasons.

In 1931 he recorded an American League record of 185 RBI’s. His lifetime batting average of .340. He had two MVPs and the Triple Crown in 1934. The power hitters career was cut short in 1939 when he came down with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which later became known as Lou Gehrig disease. In a matter of just months, Gehrig could play no more. On July 4, 1939, he made one of the most famous speeches in baseball history, telling the jam-packed Yankee Stadium fan that he was “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” It would be the last time Yankee fans would see their favorite first baseman.

The “Iron Horse’ as he was known, died just eighteen days before his 38th birthday on June 2, 1941. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. The hall set aside the waiting rules to immediately induct him. Derek Jeter in 2009 passed his record hits of 2,721, but Gehrig still holds the record for most consecutive games played and the most triples in franchise history with 163 over his career.

BREAKING NEWS: New York Jets trade QB Sam Darnold to Carolina (Report)

Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the New York Jets are trading quarterback Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers for three picks.

According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the New York Jets are trading quarterback Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers. In exchange, the Jets get three picks from Charlotte: two 2022 choices (second and fourth) as well as a sixth-round pick in the upcoming draft in April.

[UPDATE: 4:50 p.m. ET]: The Jets have confirmed the trade in a team statement.

“I want to publicly acknowledge the commitment, dedication, and professionalism Sam displayed while with the Jets. He is a tough-minded, talented football player whose NFL story has not been written yet,” Jets general manager Joe Douglas said in the team-issued declaration. “While all these things are true, this move is in the short and long-term best interests for both this team and him. We thank Sam for all of his work on behalf of this organization and wish him well as he continues his career.”

The 2021 pick sent over from Carolina will be the 227th overall pick (226th if accounting for the forfeited 77th choice from New England).

Thus ends Darnold’s tenure as the New York Jets’ franchise quarterback, a stretch that began as the third overall choice out of USC in the 2018 draft. Darnold was part of a highly publicized quarterback draft class that also included Baker Mayfield (1st overall), Josh Allen (7th), Josh Rosen (10th), and Lamar Jackson (32nd). While his New York career featured flashes of brilliance, he was never able to establish any consistency. His Jets career ends with a 13-25 record as a starter, going along with 8,097 yards and 45 touchdown passes, those marks both good for eighth in team history.

It was tough for Darnold to establish his mark as a Jets starter due to the numerous turnover in the Jets’ starting lineups. Only one receiver (tight end Chris Herndon) remained on the Jets’ roster from his rookie campaign. He was nonetheless able to display fleeting flashes of brilliance in green, his best showing being a December 2018 battle with Aaron Rodgers during his rookie season. Darnold earned personal bests in passer rating (128.4) and yardage (341) in a 44-38 overtime defeat at the hands of Green Bay. Another classic Darnold moment came in October 2019, when he returned from a bout with mononucleosis to tally 338 yards and two scores in a win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Darnold also had trouble staying healthy during his time with the Jets, failing to start a full season through injuries and illness.

Carolina should present a stable situation for Darnold, who reunites with Robby Anderson, his former favorite target in green. The Panthers also have a strong rushing situation (headlined by Christian McCaffrey) and strong offensive minds like head coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady. Darnold will likely compete for the starting job with Teddy Bridgewater, the Panthers’ incumbent starter who worked with him during the 2018 preseason.

With the trade of Darnold, the Jets will more than likely use the second overall choice in April’s draft on a quarterback, namely BYU’s Zach Wilson or Ohio State’s Justin Fields.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Knicks sign big-man John Henson to 10-day contract, here’s what to know

john henson, new york knicks

The New York Knicks signed Center Norvel Pelle last week to a 10-day contract but dislocated his finger in his first appearance. Now, New York went out and found another veteran big man who can fill a depth role, and this time around, it’s John Henson, formally of the Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Having missed this season up to the present day, Henson brings 5.5 points per game from his 2019-20 season with 40 appearances and eight starts. He averaged just 5.5 points with Cleveland and Detroit, connecting on .556 percent of his shots from the field and sporadically even attempted a three-pointer. Averaging 4.1 rebounds per game and 1.1 blocks, he is a defensive presence at 6’9″ and can help mitigate fatigue for Taj Gibson and Nerlens Noel.

Ultimately, Henson is another depth signing that shouldn’t take any minutes away from the regular starters. As a former first-round pick back in 2012, he undoubtedly has some talent and upside, but at 30 years old, this is more of a test to see if he can fit their mold and style before extending him for the remainder of the season.

With Mitchell Robinson expected to miss the rest of the season with a fractured right foot, the Knicks have been running through centers trying to find a decent fit on the backend. Currently, Noel is their primary starter as Gibson, who is 35 years old, is coming off the bench. At 27, Noel has been stellar for New York this season, averaging 4.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game, a career high.

Mets, Steve Cohen excited for tonight’s season opener

Days after the team was supposed to open their season in Washington, the New York Mets are finally set to hit the field against the Phillies. The series in Philidephia will mark the beginning of a season in which the team has some fairly high expectations.

Newly acquired shortstop Francisco Lindor recently signed a 10-year, $341 million contract extension with the team, keeping him in town for the next decade. The Mets’ owner, Steve Cohen, spoke Monday during a video conference about the possible extension of Michael Conforto as well, among other players.

Cohen was more focused on the team’s goals and expectations for this season, however.

“I’m not going to predict a World Series out of the gate,” Cohen said. “But what I do think is we’re going to be really competitive. I do believe we’re going to make the playoffs, and then once you get into the playoffs, anything can happen, right?”

Fans are excited about this season, and Cohen’s choice of words certainly added to that.

“Everyone’s excited about the Mets this year,” he said. “The outpouring of people – friends, acquaintances and fans – has been extraordinary and they’re all excited. So, that gets me excited too.”

Along with being the first game of the season, the game will also mark Steve Cohen’s first as the owner of the Mets. He acknowledged that he, along with the players, is ready to go.

“I know the players are probably raring to go,” Cohen said. “I’m sure they’re pretty excited to get going… so, let’s get going already. I’m looking forward to tonight.”