From All-Star to adieu: Why Pirates would trade Andrew McCutchen


One of the most intriguing subplots this offseason is whether the Pittsburgh Pirates will trade five-time All-Star and 2013 National League MVP Andrew McCutchen. It’s rare for a team to trade a player who has won an MVP award for that franchise, but not unprecedented. In recent years, for example, the Minnesota Twins traded Justin Morneau and the Seattle Mariners traded Ichiro Suzuki.

The bow ties take the feather statement to another level.

Newton has worn one of the feather ties after five games. The exceptions were the Atlanta game in which he didn’t have a press conference because he was in the concussion protocol, the Tampa Bay game he missed because of the concussion and Sunday’s game at Los Angeles because he wore a regular tie.

Newton likes the ties so much that there are discussions with Brackish about a custom Cam collection. Supporting a small company in the Carolinas makes it a natural fit for Newton, who likes to support the local economy.

Newton isn’t the only celebrity who has worn the feather ties. Bill Murray wore one to the 2014 Oscars and the wedding of George and Amal Clooney. Andy Samberg wore one when he hosted the 2015 Emmy Awards.

Don Cheadle, Tituss Burgess and Terrence Howard wore one to the 2016 Emmys. Craig Melvin wore one to the 2016 White House correspondents dinner.

Jack Nickelson and Ted Danson also have worn them.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has one, although he hasn’t worn it to a postgame press conference yet.

But seeing Newton in one of the ties excited Plotner more than most. He grew up a Panthers fan and went to Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where the Panthers train.

Dak Prescott is ready for whatever kind of ice cream the NFL throws at him


DELICIOUS DEFENSES: Dak Prescott is not afraid of “vanilla” or “rocky road” defenses. Dallas Cowboys backup quarterback Dak Prescott has been one of the preseason’s best stories, and the former Mississippi State star is confident he can handle anything that’s thrown at him. Even pralines?

The five most injured teams in the NFL … so far

1. Patriots — They lost two offensive linemen and Dion Lewis within a week. Worse, Rob Gronkowski has been seen limping around and hasn’t practiced for a week. And then there’s Brady’s suspension, but given the state of the AFC East, there’s no reason to panic.

2. Bills — Their woes started with first-round pick Shaq Lawson’s shoulder surgery and have continued through Manny Lawson’s suspension and Marcell Dareus’ decision to enter rehab. After winning the offseason, they’re losing training camp.

3. Colts — It’s not the length of the list, it’s who’s on it. Cornerback Vontae Davis is their best player on that side of the ball, and he’s out indefinitely.

4. Chargers — D.J. Fluker was seen with crutches and a walking boot, never a good sign. Joey Bosa still isn’t practicing, but the Spanos’ being cheap isn’t his fault.

5. Steelers — It’s not so much the injuries as it is the suspensions. Le’Veon Bell is getting an NFL-mandated three-game break to start the season. Martavis Bryant is suspended for the year. Tight end Ladarius Green could fill the void of offensive weapons, but nobody seems to know what the hell is going on with his injury status.

Mincey was a sixth-round pick by the New England Patriots in 2006, but was released later that year. He was signed to the San Francisco 49ers practice squad and didn’t really make a name for himself until 2010 when he battled his way into the starting lineup with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He tallied eight sacks in 2011 and earned a four-year, $20 million deal from the Jaguars, but managed just three sacks the following season and was released in 2013.

He caught on with the Denver Broncos that season, making an appearance in Super Bowl XLVIII. The next season, he signed on with the Dallas Cowboys. Mincey returned to form as a full-time starter in 2014, but was held without a sack in 2015 and saw limited time.

In nine seasons, Mincey appeared in 96 games and totaled 26 sacks.

Jay Cutler is day-to-day with thumb sprain


The Chicago Bears announced that quarterback Jay Cutler has a thumb sprain, and he is day-to-day as the Bears prepare to face the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. Cutler is expected to miss two to three weeks as he recovers, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The timetable will depend on how Cutler heals over the next few days.

Cutler initially sustained ligament damage in his right thumb in Week 1 against the Texans, according to Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times, and he aggravated the injury during the third quarter of the Bears’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2.

He returned to the field after having medical personnel examine the injury on the sideline, but was removed from the game late in the third quarter and did not return.

The Bears had six players leave the game against the Eagles with injuries, and none were able to return.

If Cutler is unable to play this week, he Bears will need to either bring in another quarterback to serve as Hoyer’s backup or activate former Eagles quarterback Matt Barkley, who is currently on the team’s practice squad.

Look at what he wrote about Kaepernick back in August:

But Kaepernick has benefited from our miserable, rotten society — the one he says fails so many people. Who has benefited more than Kaepernick?

He is a biracial young man who was adopted by white parents and grew up middle class in Turlock. He has been famous a long time. He is earning about $12 million this season and his skills hardly warrant that. He lives a privileged life.

It’s hypocritical to dump on a society that made you a prince, especially when you happily accepted that. It’s strange to fight for the downtrodden while you live like that prince. Kaepernick has not thought out the obvious contradictions in his position.
His notion that Kaepernick is out of line to speak out about this issue because he was adopted by a white family and is making millions to play football is flat out wrong. Anyone can, and should, speak out when there’s injustice. Folks who have a voice can use it to speak up for the voiceless. As Chip Kelly said in response to Cohn: “That’s the great thing about this country, isn’t it?”

Good on the 49ers coach for shutting this guy down so effectively.

Given Packers’ losses, maybe Brett Favre’s next visit should be in offseason


Wis. Brett Favre said Sunday that hes not sure when hell be back to Lambeau Field. The way the Green Bay Packers seem to play when hes in the building, perhaps itd be best if he stayed away for a bit, even if he and the organization are on good terms these days.

Sundays game marked the second straight year Favre has been honored at halftime of a regular-season game. And it was the second straight time the Packers lost, as they followed up last years Thanksgiving night loss to the Chicago Bears with a 30-16 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

Favre, who played 16 of his 20 NFL seasons in Green Bay, came to Sundays game to receive his Pro Football Hall of Fame ring and see his name unveiled as part of the Packers ring of honor. Unlike many other NFL stadiums, the Packers reserve their ring of honor at Lambeau Field for Hall of Famers. Favres name is next to his former teammate and defensive end Reggie White, in the southeast corner of the stadium.

Adams left the game in the third quarter after a hit from Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee. The team announced he was being evaluated for a concussion. On his way out of the locker room Sunday night, Adams said he did not have one, but that changed Monday, when the Packers issued their first injury report in advance of Thursday night’s game against the Chicago Bears.

The quick turnaround might make it difficult for Adams to get cleared in time. He was one of three receivers to show up on the Packers’ injury report. The others — Randall Cobb (back) and Jared Abbrederis (quad) — also were new injuries. Cobb was on the report last week because of a neck injury but played 53 snaps and caught seven passes for 53 yards, including a touchdown against the Cowboys.

The Packers also have issues at running back, where James Starks won’t play this week after undergoing surgery Sunday to repair a torn meniscus and Eddie Lacy remains hobbled by a sprained left ankle; and cornerback, where they could be without their top three — Sam Shields (concussion), Damarious Randall (groin) and Quinten Rollins (groin).

Coach Mike McCarthy seemed more concerned about those two spots than receiver.

“I think obviously the stress points of our game-day roster for Thursday will be the running back position and the corner position,” McCarthy said Monday. “Any time you’re dealing with your 53-man roster, how you’re going to forecast how you’re going to line up with the 46, you’ve got two positions that need attention and, frankly, these injuries that we have, they’re not of long-term IR nature. That’s all part of a normal season. You’ve just got to work through it.

“It’s Monday. We’re still gathering information. I don’t know if we’ll have it sorted out until Tuesday, maybe Wednesday.”

The Packers will promote rookie running back Don Jackson from the practice squad, according to a source. They will need to clear a spot on the active roster Tuesday before they can make that move. The plan is for Jackson to be active Thursday night against the Bears so they’re not left with just one natural halfback, as they were against the Cowboys.

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