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The XFL has a commissioner, and he’s a recognizable name for football fans.

Former NFL quarterback Oliver Luck will serve as commissioner and CEO of the XFL, the league announced today.

Shazier, who reportedly has regained feeling in his legs and is walking with assistance, was released last week from a Pittsburgh-area rehab center.

I’m taking it one step at a time, but I know the Lord, Shazier said, per CBS Pittsburgh. He has a plan for me, and I definitely feel like I’ll be back out there.

Most of Shazier’s time since suffering the injury has been spent in a wheelchair, but that hasn’t stopped him from making public appearances around Pittsburgh at various sporting events.

The Steelers linebacker even posted a video of himself working out during his recovery.

Both sides have incentive to do a deal with Johnson entering the final year of his contract.

Johnson, 26, led the league with 2,118 yards from scrimmage and 20 total touchdowns in 2016.

He missed practice time this week with an undisclosed injury that isn’t serious.

Freeman has some miles on the football odometer with 947 carries in four years. He had three seasons with at least 244 carries. He has shown quality vision, has potential to start and should have impact as a receiver.

Some teams have graded him deeper into Day 3 because of inconsistent play and an incident his freshman season when he fought with a teammate. He started playing football late and has room to improve. He also has the coverage skills to get on the field early.

Hosmer had a career year in 2017 by many measures, with 4.0 WAR, a.318 batting average,.882 OPS and 25 home runs — all of which were career highs. Then, in the offseason, the Padres gave him an eight-year, $144 million deal, the most money they’ve ever committed to a free agent. — Langs, ESPN Stats & Information

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Friday’s PFT Live included a visit from Randy Moss. Not that Randy Moss. The other Randy Moss.

Given all the drama stirred up from the bizarre Kawhi saga and all the tinkering with rotations to get San Antonio into the postseason for the 21st consecutive year, this season is already a success, with Popovich deserving of Coach of the Year consideration. But the real indicator of whether this season has been a success is when, if at all, Leonard returns to the lineup. The Spurs want Leonard back on the floor, but it’s not about what he can do to help them win, according to a league source.

It’s about showing the rest of the team he is committed to San Antonio for the long haul. The team needs to see Leonard in the locker room, in film sessions, on the team plane and at team dinners. Leonard is up for a supermax extension this summer, and a return in the playoffs could go a long way toward alleviating doubts about his long-term prospects in San Antonio.

Woods tried out during the Bears’ three-day minicamp this week. The Maryland product started nine games at safety last season, making 62 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and two interceptions.

Holloway played at Western Illinois after transferring from Liberty. He made 21 tackles and three interceptions last season.

Roland began his collegiate career at South Carolina before transferring at West Georgia. He caught 55 passes for 722 yards with six touchdowns in his final collegiate season.

Playoff Brow. The NBA world will be watching to see what he’ll do in his second trip to the postseason. Davis hopes to make this one last a little bit longer than his first playoff experience in 2015, in which he averaged 31.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and 1.3 steals but was swept by Golden State. Can Davis overcome a Portland defense that will spend an entire series geared toward containing him?

Davis did more than just carry the Pelicans after the Cousins injury. He went on a historic tear, leading the Pelicans on a crucial 10-game winning streak. His defining moment in that stretch came against Phoenix, when he detonated for 53 points, 18 rebounds and 5 blocks, joining Bob McAdoo as the only NBA players with 50 points, 15 rebounds and 5 blocks in a game since blocks were first tracked in 1973-74, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

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Newly signed Seahawks receiver Brandon Marshall said Wednesday the ankle injury that ended his 2017 season with the New York Giants also gave him the chance to fix an older injury that had been bothersome for the previous two seasons.

Marshall said that he also had surgery to repair a toe injury that he first sustained during a game against the Oakland Raiders when he played for the New York Jets in 2015.

My first year with the Jets, I hurt my toe in the Oakland game, Marshall said. Knew I needed surgery but it was one of those things where I was going to wait until I retire because a surgery like that it takes five, six, seven months to get back right. I didn’t want to lose my offseason so I was going to wait until I retire. When I snapped my ankle I said ‘well, I’ve got half of the season and then I’ve got the offseason so I might as well do it now.’ That’s the thing that took the longest. Right when I was released from the Giants (on April 19), probably a few days later I was able to run pain-free.

Enjoy this one. Tomorrow is a travel day for a wedding a long way away from home. Although I was tempted to be that guy and tape the podcast from my cell phone device on the plane, one specific passenger (i.e., my wife) would end up sticking the item in a place far more secure than its protective case.

The first words out of my mouth to him upon finding out the John Wooden jersey would be made available to the public was, ‘We have to get this for Purdue University. This jersey belongs in Mackey Arena back at Purdue,’ Brees said.

Brees has given millions of dollars to Purdue during his NFL career, so it’s not a big surprise that he was willing to spend that kind of money on a memorabilia that celebrates Purdue’s athletic history.

Wooden, best known for winning 10 national championships as head coach at UCLA, was an All-American basketball player at Purdue from 1930 to 1932.

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President Trump has weighed in on the NFL’s new national anthem policy, saying the owners took a step in the right direction — but warning that the rule allowing players to remain in the locker room could be problematic.

Marshall will now be catching passes from Russell Wilson and joining a wide receiver corps that includes Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett after Paul Richardson left to sign with the Redskins.

Over a 12-year career with the Broncos, Dolphins, Bears, Jets and Giants, Marshall has hauled in 959 receptions for 12,215 yards and 82 touchdowns.

The NFL’s new and controversial national anthem directive is suddenly an issue this offseason, and while he has not yet broached the subject with his players, first-year Giants head coach Pat Shurmur says he knows exactly what he will be doing when he hears The Star-Spangled Banner playing before a game.

I know certainly for me it’s very easy, Shurmur said Tuesday after organized team activity practice No. 4 for the Giants.

That’s what he played in college and what he’s been playing in the NFL, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. He starts there, but he plays a lot of things for us, so he’ll be in all the rooms at some point.

When the Cowboys traded for Austin on the final day of the draft, executive vice president Stephen Jones tabbed Austin a web back. Whatever a web back is.

It’s something similar to the role Lance Dunbar played for the Cowboys, only more.

I don’t care what I’m being called as long as I’m playing, Austin said. That’s all that matters. You can call me anything you want as long as I’m playing.

Austin also likely becomes the team’s punt returner, and the Cowboys could try him as a kick returner, too, although he has only 25 kickoff returns in his career.

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Damarious Randall now has the most retweeted tweet of any NFL player, ever. It’s not really a record he wanted.

The Browns new safety’s tweet saying if the Cavaliers win the NBA Finals he’ll buy a jersey for anyone who retweets him has now more than 800,000 retweets.

What Damarious found out is that there’s a lot of passionate Cleveland fans here, and you’ve got to be careful about what you say, Jackson said. I don’t think he meant [to do] any harm. I think he has a love and a respect for [Steph] Curry, obviously. But I think he found out that, hey, look, in this city, it’s about the Cavaliers and LeBron James, and that’s the way we all talk about it.

This is Damarious’ first year with us, and I’m sure there’s a lot of lessons learned. I’ve tried to take our team through those lessons because I think it’s important. So I don’t think we’ll have any more of those [problems] the rest of the way. But sometimes those things do have to happen, so we can remind ourselves exactly what social media can do, and it can put you in a tough spot.

Phillips led Stanford and all FBS defensive linemen in tackles last season with 103. Phillips made 17 of those tackles for losses and added 7.5 sacks on his way to a spot on the All Pac-12 first-team and All-American third team.

The Bills also signed Star Lotulelei and Tenny Palepoi at defensive tackle and re-signed Kyle Williams for a 13th season in Buffalo. Adolphus Washington rounds out the group that will vie with Phillips for playing time during his rookie season.

Will the Rays and Royals seize this moment to significantly stock their system? I will let you know in five years.

I have never been a Roseanne Barr fan — she reinforced my instincts on July 15, 1990, when she stood in the center of Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego and decided it would be funny to stick her fingers in her ears and grab her crotch while shrieking the national anthem before spitting to her right and exiting.

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The Cowboys saw tight ends Jason Witten and James Hanna retire this offseason. It leaves a hole at the position even with their selection of Dalton Schultz in the fourth round.

Rico Gathers, who did not play a regular-season game in his first two seasons, acknowledges the opportunity.

He spent his rookie season on the practice squad after playing college basketball, and a concussion kept Gathers on injured reserve last season.

The biggest thing for me this year is just making it to the regular season, Gathers said. I have to make sure I’m healthy and make sure I’m able to be on somebody’s 53-man roster.

The Cowboys took a flyer on Gathers in 2016, using a sixth-round pick on him. He showed signs of development during the 2017 preseason by catching seven passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns in the first two preseason games.

But Gathers took a helmet-to-helmet hit from defensive back Kavon Frazier during an August 15 practice, and the concussion ended Gathers’ season before it began.

He was cleared from concussion protocol before Week 7, but the Cowboys elected not to use one of their short-term injured reserve designations on Gathers.

Gutekunst’s old job will now be filled by two people. Jon-Eric Sullivan and John Wojciechowksi have been promoted to co-directors of player personnel. Sullivan was the director of college scouting the last two years and Wojciechowski is making the move from director of pro personnel.

Matt Malaspina will take over Sullivan’s former job and the Packers made several other promotions in the department. They also announced the hiring of former Browns scout Pat Moore and former NFL defensive back Brandian Ross as college scouts.

That’s the worst call of the century, Manziel said. My whole life I’ve been taught to throw it right at the stick that’s marking the down. … I thought I got it there, he (official) told me I was about a yard short. That’s the first time I’ve heard of that, that’s new to me.

So too was running to the locker room at halftime and being told there still was a final play to run despite the clock having run out.

I’m still learning some things up here, he said. There’s going to be some of those growing pains.

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Allen Park — Ziggy Ansah signed his franchise tag on Tuesday, ending any concerns about the Detroit Lions defensive end holding out this summer.

The tag, a one-year deal, will pay Ansah a guaranteed $17.1 million next season.

A first-round draft pick out of BYU in 2013, Ansah quickly developed into one of the league’s best defensive ends. After recording 15.5 sacks in his first two seasons, he fell just short of the franchise record with 14.5 sacks in 2015.

Ansah has battled a number of injuries the past two seasons, but he managed to finish last season strong, with six sacks the final two games.

With Ansah set to be a free agent this offseason, general manager Bob Quinn wasted little time selling the edge rusher to new coach Matt Patricia.

Ultimately, I’m leaning toward a no as far as Lucchesi’s sustainability and think he’s a player to trade away rather than acquire, because he’s probably going to face an innings cap after throwing just 139 frames in the minors in only his second pro campaign in 2017, and the league probably will have a better book on how to hit him after he makes a few more starts.

That said, I’m not racing to deal him, because his wide range of outcomes probably includes a ceiling within the top 40 fantasy starters, even if his true rank is probably closer to a top-80 starter.

I think it’s been really good and I think it’s going to continue. I think it’s opened an entirely new dialogue and new sets of things that are being said in a place that guys are having some meaningful and powerful conversations that weren’t happening necessarily in the past. One of the newest Texans, safety Tyrann Mathieu, made it clear that his decision to join the team wasn’t affected in any way by things McNair said last year. I’ve had a chance to sit down with him and talk with him and I think he’s a great man, Mathieu told reporters.

He signed me here to play football. So, that’s my focus. I haven’t really thought much about that. Regardless of how the players privately feel about the situation, they’ve opted for now to say nothing publicly that would distract them from the early stages of a broader goal to reclaim the AFC South from the Jaguars — and to potentially advance farther than they ever have before in the 16-year history of the franchise.

Wall didn’t have much trouble creating for his teammates in the first three quarters of Game 1, dishing 14 assists for 31 points heading into the fourth on Saturday. But the Raptors’ defense came up big at certain points. OG Anunoby helped hold Wall to 1-for-6 shooting early and Beal to 1-for-3 shooting in the first three quarters. Kyle Lowry then helped limit Wall and Beal to a combined 1-for-4 shooting in the fourth, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

And while Lowry (11 points, nine assists, five turnovers) and DeMar DeRozan (17 points, zero in 4:52 fourth-quarter minutes) had their own offensive struggles at times, Toronto got major contributions from its role players. Serge Ibaka had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Anunoby scored 12 points and off the bench, CJ Miles hit four 3-pointers and Delon Wright scored 18 points. The Raptors bench outscored the Wizards subs 42-21. Toronto also hit 16 3-pointers.

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Khalil Mack didn’t report to work with other Raiders players for the start of the team’s offseason work this week, but General Manager Reggie McKenzie says all is well between team and player.

Mack is looking for a new contract as he enters the final year of the deal he signed as a rookie and McKenzie said the defensive force has communicated that desire to the team. McKenzie said the Raiders share Mack’s desire to extend the working relationship for the long term and that no bad feelings have been generated as they work toward that result.

Paul’s final blunder — an unnecessary airmailed pass out of bounds with 8.7 seconds left — could have really bitten the Rockets. But Jimmy Butler, playing with a black wrap on his sore right wrist, airballed a tightly contested 3 that could have tied the score, completing his 4-of-11 shooting night.

I looked like I was with the ‘Bad News Bears,’ Paul said, shaking his head at the uncharacteristic turnovers. But at the end of the day, it’s all about getting the win.

I thought Mitch handled it great, former Bears coach John Fox said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. He’s respected in that locker room. The Bears have gone out and done a good job in free agency, surrounding him with some weapons. I don’t care who you are, it’s not one guy. You need some help around you.

Now with some help, Trubisky should take a step forward this season.

Across the hall, Morrissey adamantly defended his action as accidental.

He’s a big guy, and my stick ended up getting up a little bit on him, Morrissey said. I would never try to do that to anybody. I’m not a dirty player.

Morrissey apologized to Staal later in the game, but that wasn’t any consolation for him or the Wild.

I’m the tallest guy on the ice. He cross-checked me in the neck. There’s not much more you can say. Everyone saw it. I don’t know how no one with stripes saw it, Staal said.

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It was a Throwback Thursday game at Citizens Bank Park  on Thursday night and  Jake Arrieta turned back the clock to his Cy Young season of 2015.

Arrieta, signed by the  Phillies in mid-March to be a veteran presence and a top-of-the-rotation starter, threw seven innings of one-hit ball as the Phillies pounded the Pirates, 7-0, in the opening game of a 10-game homestand that could give an indication of whether the Phillies could be a contender this year.

More starts like Arrieta provided on Thursday could certainly stamp the Phillies as a team capable of competing for a playoff spot.

I knew I’d be pretty crisp in the bullpen when I had my sinker glove-side going early, said Arrieta, who was making his third start of the season. To be able to do that three starts in was a good sign. Combined with spring training it was only five or six starts, I was a little behind. Now I’m caught up.

Other than being able to locate the changeup a little better, that was as good as I’ve been.

The Phillies provided Arrieta with all the runs he would need in a five-run second inning where they sent 10 men to the plate. Rhys Hoskins started the inning with a home run and Cesar Hernandez added a rare 3-run single as J.P. Crawford – running on the pitch – scored on a hit into the right-center field gap.

The Phillies went ahead 5-0 and never looked back.

As part of the Throwback Thursday promotion, the Phillies wore the powder blue uniforms from the 1970s when they won the National League East three straight years and four out of five.

Arrieta provided encouragement the Phillies could be headed back to the postseason.

The potential ownership group expects conditional approval of an expansion team to be handed down in June and final approval to follow in September following NHL league meetings. The group is targeting the 2020-21 season as their opening season.

Are the Browns leaning toward Josh Allen?

The Browns are expected to take a quarterback with the first overall pick in the draft. It’s still not clear which one they’ll take.

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Stoneman Douglas will have a significant presence for the Miami Dolphins during the upcoming NFL Draft.

The family of Parkland shooting victim and Eagles assistant coach Aaron Feis, along with 18 graduating seniors on the Douglas football team, will announce the Dolphins’ draft picks during Rounds 4-7 on Saturday, April 28. The group will read the picks from the team’s training facility in Davie.

That’s sort of background noise, he said. Something I’m not paying much attention to, I didn’t look at it. Maybe I didn’t have those seven seconds in my life to pay attention to it. I’m not concerned about that.

It’s a challenging situation, Garrett said, via SportsDay. A lot of different factors go into these kinds of decisions. The guidepost for all of this is what’s in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys. That’s why we made this decision.

We wish Dez nothing but the best going forward. He’s a special guy. I love him. I will always love him. The impact he has made on this franchise has been significant.

Additional quotes from Garrett on Bryant, as culled by The Dallas News’ Jon Machota, indicate the Cowboys head coach has been in contact with the longtime Cowboys receiver. Garrett also addressed why the Cowboys waited so long to cut Bryant loose.

Miles made three 3-pointers and scored 11 points in the second and DeRozan added seven as Toronto broke its playoff record for points in a half by taking a 76-58 lead at halftime.

Wall scored 14 points in the third while Toronto shot 0 for 7 from 3-point range, allowing the Wizards to cut it to 100-90 heading to the fourth.

Wizards: Wall went 11 for 11 at the free throw line. … Ian Mahinmi was called for a flagrant foul on a driving Ibaka in the second. … Lawson made his Wizards debut in the first, replacing Wall.

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