The Raiders to Vegas plan hit a supposed snag last week when billionaire Sheldon Adelson

Specifically, Vick said this in the Players’ Tribune:

“I’m 36 now and as my career winds down, and as my life begins to move on to its next chapter, I can’t help but feel as though I am finally coming full circle: The Falcons are back in the Super Bowl … and I’ll be there.”

The Raiders to Vegas plan hit a supposed snag last week when billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., pulled his $650 million proposed investment from the potential deal. But the fact there’s no longer a casino mogul involved in the deal now sounds like something that had to happen for the league to truly consider Vegas.

The NBA moved the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, N.C., to New Orleans because of the league’s objection to North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and it requires people to use the restroom that corresponds to their birth gender in public facilities. The NCAA relocated seven championship events from North Carolina last year in response to HB2.

The scoreless first quarter was nothing new to the Patriots, who have not scored in the first quarter of any of their seven Super Bowls under coach Bill Belichick. But the Patriots offense was even outscored by the Falcons defense in the first half.

The Falcons, with the NFL’s top scoring offense, had zero net passing yards in the first quarter. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who was named NFL MVP on Saturday, threw just two passes in the first quarter, completing both for 12 yards.

The Falcons finally got a spark early in the second quarter as rookie linebacker Deion Jones forced a LeGarrette Blount fumble. The turnover led to 5-yard touchdown run by Devonta Freeman to cap a five-play, 71-yard drive buoyed by Julio Jones’ incredible 23-yard catch over the middle. texans_046

How many people believe there’s big difference between the 32nd and 33rd picks?

How many people believe there’s big difference between the 32nd and 33rd picks? Probably not too many, but the NFL rookie contract structure results in a 20.4 percent loss in contract value (about $1.8 million), the biggest among all draft picks.

The 33rd pick likely will get about half of his third-year salary guaranteed, compared to a full guarantee for pick No. 32. While some may argue the chance for true free agency after four years is a benefit for the 33rd pick, most teams are just as bullish on extending the 32nd pick if his play warrants it.

Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas: A third-year linebacker who played in 22 games, starting 18, the 6-3, 238-pound Jefferson could be the top linebacker of next year’s draft class. Jefferson has 121 tackles, 16 for loss, and nine sacks in two seasons for the Longhorns.

Saquan Barkley, RB, Penn State: In a draft class that could include Georgia senior Nick Chubb, LSU junior Derrius Guice and bruising Alabama junior Bo Scarbrough, Barkley could be the most complete back of the bunch and first one selected next year. The 5-11, 223-pound Barkley ran for 1,496 yards with 18 touchdowns last season and caught 28 passes for 402 yards and four scores.

Da’Shawn Hand, DT, Alabama: It should be no surprise that Alabama could have multiple players taken in the first round of next year’s draft and Hand has a chance to be one of the first defensive players selected. The 6-4, 280-pound defensive lineman enters his senior season with 11 career tackles for loss and seven sacks.

Deion Harris, CB, North Dakota: Almost every year there is an FCS player or two who sneaks into the first round. Harris could be that player next year. An excellent special teams player, Harris is a 6-3, 180-pounder who had five interceptions last season and could leave North Dakota as the school’s all-time leader in pass breakups. nike_cardinals_1080

Jamaal Charles would have taken pay cut to stay with Chiefs

Jamaal Charles has been a Kansas City Chief for the entirety of his NFL career — and if he had any say, he’d still be one.

Charles, appearing on the podcast “Unmatched Sports with Cal Jones” on Thursday, said he would have taken a pay cut to remain in Kansas City. He had one year remaining on his contract worth $3.75 million, but the Chiefs cut the 30-year-old running back in February. He had been with the organization for nine years.

Impressed after learning about his methodology, the Browns, under then-CEO Joe Banner and then-GM Michael Lombardi, hired Decker in February 2014. But Banner and Lombardi parted with the team before Decker’s first day on the job. Two months later, the Browns took Johnny Manziel in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

It’s pretty clear how that turned out.

Over his next two years in the Browns personnel department, Decker worked on his methodology in an effort to predict college prospects’ character. He lost his job when the Browns named Sashi Brown GM in January 2016 but is now back in the league in Indianapolis.

Marshall, who was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and serves as an advocate for mental health awareness, was slated to earn $7.5 million with the Jets prior to his release in March. He then signed a two-year contract worth $12 million as a free agent with the Giants just five days later to join an already impressive receiving corps that features Pro Bowler Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard.

Before calling it quits, Marshall has set his sights on winning his first Super Bowl.
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Manchester United is managed by former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho

Last season, Mercedes ran the gamut, as expected. But internally, there was a battle between Lewis Hamilton and eventual champion Nico Rosberg. That battle won’t be reignited this season, as Rosberg elected to retire after winning his first title. That left an opening on the team, which then managed to secure Valtteri Bottas from Williams to fill the vacancy.

There were several other driver lineup changes, including the retirement and quick unretirement of Felipe Massa at Williams, and the Manor Racing Team folded in the offseason. On top of that, Formula 1 has a new ownership in Liberty Media, and longtime executive in charge, Bernie Ecclestone, has been ousted after several decades in the role.

You can find a season preview right here and a look at all the big and small changes that occurred this offseason right here. Below, you’ll find information on how to watch races online and on television in the United States, as well as a full schedule for the season and results, updated throughout the year.

Between Alabama and LSU, there’s at least five without blinking. Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett and Tennessee DE Derek Barnett are the other first-round locks. Include Robinson and White, and there’s nine. Then you need three more from the group of Humphrey, Williams, Missouri DE Charles Harris and Florida’s defense. Right now, it looks frustratingly short.

From our soccer editor Kevin McCauley: “Manchester United is managed by former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, and they got absolutely stomped in London earlier this year. Mourinho was pretty mad about new Chelsea manager Antonio Conte celebrating all of the goals like a madman, so Man United will be motivated to get some revenge.”
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Harbaugh said any team willing to take the time to develop Kaepernick and maximize his skill set will reap the benefits.

It was in that year that the Big East, discussed all season long in greatest conference of all time terms, set the still-standing record for most teams in an NCAA tournament from a single conference. After the tournament is opening weekend, nine of the Big East is 11 representatives had been eliminated, and schadenfreude from the rest of the country was at an all-time high. The only problem was that one of those remaining representatives, Connecticut, went on to win the national championship. The Huskies’ run also salvaged (at least partially) the legacy of the 2010-11 Big East, and is the reason why the conference is performance that year still gets brought up in a mostly positive light.

The following season, the 49ers made it back to the NFC title game but lost to the Seattle Seahawks. After the 2014 season, Harbaugh mutually agreed to void his contract with the team following an 8-8 finish. Kaepernick is decline began the following season, and he started just eight games before being benched by head coach Jim Tomsula.

Kaepernick eventually won the starting job back under last year is head coach, Chip Kelly, and finished the season with 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions over 11 starts. Now he is looking for a new NFL home after voiding his contract with the 49ers this spring.

Harbaugh said any team willing to take the time to develop Kaepernick and maximize his skill set will reap the benefits. It just remains to be seen which team — if any — that will be.

We’ve already seen this weirdness in reverse with a Hall of Fame QB in the NFC North, Brett Favre. The Packers don’t typically go for aging free agents, but when they do, it has a Canton-like flair.

As the Vikings try to catch up in the division, you can bet the Packers also wouldn’t mind using Peterson effectively against them.21

Patriots parade live stream: How to watch Super Bowl 2017 celebration online

Congratulations to the Patriots for pulling off one of the greatest sports comebacks of all time in Super Bowl LI. Only New England could make a 25-point deficit feel so small, as Tom Brady rallied his team to beat the Atlanta Falcons, 34-28, in overtime.

Whether you’re a New England fan looking to celebrate, or a Patriots hater looking to revel in your sorrows, there’s good news for you. The victory parade, which starts at 11 a.m. ET, will live stream on NFL Network and locally on CBS Boston, NBC Boston, and WCVB.

Though he hasn’t made an NFL start — let alone played a game — in over a year, Vick’s desire to make his NFL return is completely understandable. After all, Brady is 39 years old, while Vick, who served a one-and-a-half-year jail sentence, is three years younger than the Patriots’ superstar QB, with a lot more tread left on his tires than the five-time Super Bowl champ.

Vick, still a diehard Falcons fan, had been training four days a week in preparation for a potential 2016 comeback, but the opportunity never presented itself.

“I think it’s time. I think going through the 2016 season without playing and being able to be a spectator and watch the game and enjoy it from afar and root for a lot of the players and coaches I once played for, I think kind of summed it all up for me,” Vick told ESPN’s Josina Anderson upon announcing his retirement.

Vick most recently spent time in Pittsburgh, backing up Ben Roethlisberger and making three starts in the 2015 season which spawned from injuries at the position. The Steelers compiled a 3-1 record in the games Vick played before the quarterback’s season was ended by a hamstring injury and Big Ben’s return soon after.

The quarterback has yet to make his return official, but it will be interesting to see if teams change their minds about the 36-year-old quarterback in the upcoming offseason.

Smart’s proficiency on the block gives Brad Stevens another tool

In the playoffs, teams bust out matchup-specific strategies they might not bother with in the regular season. They aim to surprise. They go to greater lengths to shut down one weapon, and dare you to find a counter.

One such gambit for which Boston must prepare: teams slotting bigger wings onto Isaiah Thomas, and hiding their point guards on Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, or even Jae Crowder. This doesn’t scare Boston, and it shouldn’t. Nothing scares Isaiah Thomas. Put Leonard on him, and Thomas still thinks he can rain step-back fire.

Bradley can shoot over some little point guards, and Smart is developing a bruising post-up game — one he broke out this week, when Atlanta assigned Thabo Sefolosha to Thomas and stashed its point guards on Smart:

Versatility is everything the playoffs. It is adapt-or-die territory. Smart’s proficiency on the block gives Brad Stevens another tool.

The Heat, of course, already have a well-compensated starting center in Hassan Whiteside and, sources say, had no interest in Orlando’s pitch. The South Beachers continue to leave the impression that they’re resistant to surrendering Dragic before the Feb. 23 trade deadline.

A player who is sure to move between now and the trade deadline?

Denver’s Jusuf Nurkic. Judging those decisions — even though we directly see how they play out on the field — is also tough. It’s too easy to criticize a coach who goes for it on fourth-and-short and fails, even if the play he calls manages to scheme somebody open.

Sources say that the Nuggets, having acknowledged that Nikola Jokic and Nurkic didn’t click as a pairing, are actively working to find Nurkic a new home that would give him the chance he deserves to be a front-line center.