Todd Olszewski / Stringer There might be other NFL teams interested in Jimmy Smith , but he's not interested in them. The veteran cornerback tested the free agent market in 2020 and ultimately decided to remain with the Baltimore Ravens on a one-year deal worth $6 million, effectively putting him in a contract year for the second season in a row. He's now entering a third, having inked another one-year deal in 2021 that's worth $5 million. The lack of a long-term deal isn't necessarily bothering Smith, however, because of who continues to offer them. His love is so deep for the Ravens that if they didn't re-sign him on either occasion, he'd hang up his cleats for good. "I absolutely will not play for another team," Smith said, via The Athletic . "If the Ravens didn't re-sign me last year and I felt like I could still play, I probably would have still retired." Craving even more NFL coverage focusing on previews, recaps, news and analysis? Listen below and follow . . .
Powell (Ohio) Olentangy Liberty 2022 offensive tackle Carter Smith announced his commitment to Indiana on Wednesday. The Midwest road-grader shared the moment with his teammates going public with his plans at a cookout. The 6-foot-6, 275-pound Smith chose to play for the Hoosiers over his other finalists Tennessee, Northwestern and Virginia. He is commit No. 7 for head coach Tom Allen and his staff. “It’s been one of the most phenomenal coaching staffs in the country,” Smith said. “Coach Allen has won so many awards. I talked with IU alum Hunter Littlejohn . I’m so riled up right now. They have one of the greatest strength coaches in the country right now, he came from the New York Giants to work with them. They have the No. 1 business school in the country, that gets me excited. “I also love the team there. I got to hang out with them on my official visit. They were so kind to me and they were so honest about the coaches and I know when I get there that’s exactly . . .
Ron Rivera has yet to coach his first game atop the staff of the NFL's Washington franchise, but he's had no shortage of responsibility ahead of the 2020 season. Tasked with helping team owner Daniel Snyder completely rebrand the club after the sudden retirement of the franchise's longtime "Redskins" nickname , Rivera is now drawing praise from within the locker room for his efforts to "change the culture and climate" of the team in the wake of a bombshell report regarding an alleged organizational culture of sexual harassment . James Smith-Williams , a seventh-round draft pick of the team this April, spoke out via Twitter on Friday to both advocate for continued culture change in Washington and around the NFL , as well as praise Rivera's role in guiding Snyder's franchise. "There are too many good men in sports to allow those who commit these acts to continue to do so," Smith-Williams wrote, referencing the Washington Post report that cited 15 women who accused former . . .
USA Today The Falcons traded away one of the best receivers in the NFL this month, but coach Arthur Smith doesn’t think that was a loss for his team. Smith said on Cris Collinsworth’s podcast that he knew as soon as he took the Falcons head coaching job that Atlanta was going to have to make some difficult moves to address its difficult salary cap situation, and that in the end he’s satisfied with how it went down. “We knew the issue with the cap and then obviously the cap went down this year, coming off the bizarre year with the pandemic, the cap actually shrunk. So we knew there were going to be some big decisions we would have to make coming up. The way everything worked out, we feel pretty good,” Smith said. “We feel like it was a win-win. With the salary cap, and Julio going to Tennessee and us right now being able to solve our short-term issue with the cap.” The Falcons got a 2022 second-round draft pick in the trade, as well as a swap of third-day picks in 2023. . . .
Getty Images The All-Star break is less than a month away and the chaos of the trade deadline is only five weeks away. I know it feels like the 2021 MLB season is just getting started, but we're in the thick of it now. Teams are coming up on their 81st game and soon the postseason races will intensify. I can't wait. Our weekly series examining various trends across the league continues with a look at a pitcher with a new pitch, a great hitter's under-the-radar improvement, and a historic losing streak. Last week we examined Matt Olson's declining strikeout rate, Andrew Benintendi's burgeoning power, and Tarik Skubal's new old changeup . Stroman's new pitch Marcus Stroman NYM • SP • 0 View Profile Steve Cohen's Mets occupy first place in the NL East and not because of their offense. The Mets are averaging only 3.62 runs per game, second fewest in baseball, and they've scored five or more runs only 20 times in 68 games. That is easily the . . .
DETROIT – Soft. Scared. Cupcake . Kevin Durant can’t help but hear his detractors. “They’re trying psychoanalyze me when they don’t know me,” Durant said. “So, it’s like you have more information about the game of basketball than you do me as a person. So, ‘you’re soft,’ ‘cupcake,’ all that stuff comes from trying figure me out as a person, not worrying about my basketball skills. But if you watch me on the basketball court, then you come up with your own observation.” That on-court observation no longer jibes with the unflattering perception of his mindset. Durant’s height has long been a fascination. He’s listed at 6-foot-9, but he’s almost certainly taller. Durant once said he’s 7-foot when he talks to women . “He’s 7 feet,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr says plainly. Durant just didn’t play like it. He entered the NBA as a finesse player. He couldn’t bench press 185 pounds a single time his pre-draft combine, and he spent his rookie year in Seattle playing shooting . . .
Getty Images With the fifth overall pick in the 2001 draft, the Chargers selected a somewhat obscure running back from TCU by the name of LaDainian Tomlinson. While not everyone knew his name then, Tomlinson quickly became a household name after a breakout rookie season with the Chargers. Over the next decade, the running back known as L.T. would carve out one of the greatest careers in league history. A three-time All-Pro, five-time Pro Bowler and the league's MVP in 2006, Tomlinson retired after the 2011 season as the fifth-leading rusher in NFL history. His 162 total touchdowns are the third-highest total in league history, behind only Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith. Along with his running and scoring prowess, Tomlinson also caught 624 passes for nearly 5,000 yards during his Hall of Fame career. In celebration of his 42nd birthday, here are five facts about Tomlinson's sparkling career with the Chargers and Jets . Pro Bowl snub Tomlinson was a Pro Bowler five times . . .
Harrison Burton will start from the pole in Sunday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Pocono Raceway (Noon ET, NBCSN). Burton will be joined on the front row by Justin Allgaier . A.J. Allmendinger and Brandon Jones make up the second row. Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race (Noon ET, FS1) at Pocono will have Todd Gilliland on pole. Zane Smith will also be on the front row. Ben Rhodes and Austin Hill make up the second row. MORE: Pocono Xfinity starting lineup MORE: Pocono Truck starting lineup The Pocono Xfinity and Truck starting lineups are set by using a formula based on four statistical categories: owner points position, owner final race position, the finish and fastest lap from the most recently completed race. Performance Metrics Qualifying is a formula based on the previous race. The formula is 15% of a fastest lap time position, 25% of the driver’s final race finish position, 25% of the owner’s final race position and 35% of the . . .
The Warriors don’t necessarily need Kevin Durant . That’s how good they are. Golden State is better with him, of course. He might be the NBA’s best player. He’s an elite scorer and very good defender when engaged. He provides so much margin for error. But the Warriors might still might beat Toronto in the NBA Finals without Durant. They swept the Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals without Durant, and many called him a necessity to beating Portland. The level of competition increases significantly to the Raptors, but Golden State might still be superior. The Warriors are still loaded with talent – Stephen Curry , Draymond Green , Klay Thompson , Andre Iguodala . That was the core of a team that won the 2015 title then won 73 games and reached the Finals the following year. Golden State’s remaining players are also so smart and versatile. They’ve shown a malleability that allows them to match up with opponents of varying styles, which is highly important . . .
The Bucks obviously want to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo , who can become an unrestricted free agent in 2021. The Heat are in hot pursuit (and just made a strong case during these playoffs). The Raptors and Warriors covet Antetokounmpo. The Clippers and Lakers have also been linked to the MVP. And then there are the Mavericks. Brian Windhorst of ESPN : The Miami Heat are a team that a lot of people look at as trying to get Giannis Antetokounmpo out of Milwaukee. The Dallas Mavericks, to me, are going to be really at the front of that line. Of course, every team wants Antetokounmpo. But many teams believe they have no chance of getting him and therefore won’t pursue him. The Mavericks merely chasing Antetokounmpo hard would be a significant development. Dallas had a breakthrough season behind Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis , winning 57% of their games and challenging the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. But it’ll be tougher to build on . . .