With all the NFL training camps open you may have already seen a video of two players fighting in practice. Most of the time it’s two big lineman battling it out and no one is getting hurt except for maybe the guy who lands a punch to the other guys helmet. The New York Jets had one of these incidents except it was in their locker room and it will cost them starting quarterback Geno Smith 6-10 weeks. Smith was punched by teammate Ikemefuna Enemkpali in the locker room Tuesday morning and will require surgery to repair the injuries. He hadn’t yet undergone the procedure as of late Tuesday afternoon. Enemkpali an outside linebacker in his second season, was immediately released by the Jets. Smith will be sidelined for the rest of the summer and likely for the first few games of the season. Enemkpali apologized to the team and fans, but really what else was he going to do. It’s an interesting start to Todd Bowles 1st season as Jets head coach. Don’t forget that he already had to deal with defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson being suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy and then was charged with resisting arrest after a high-speed road race in Missouri 12 days later. Richardson could face additional discipline by the league for violation of the personal conduct policy when the legal process plays out. With Smith out it looks like the Jets starting quarterback job will go to veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. Rookie Bryce Petty would be the best bet to back up Fitzpatrick until Smith returns, but rookie Jake Heaps is also on the Jets roster. Smith hasn’t been the answer at quarterback like the Jets thought he might be when they selected him in the 2nd round with the 39th overall pick of the 2013 NFL draft. Smith started all 16 games as a rookie, but threw 21 interceptions to just 12 touchdowns. Last season Smith started 13 games and played in 14 games. He had 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last season. In his first two seasons Smith has completed 57.5% of his passes.
So your looking for a front office job in Major League Baseball; well get your resume updated and send it to the Milwaukee Brewers. It was announced yesterday that Doug Melvin will step down after 13 years as Milwaukee’s general manager. Melvin will continue to fill the general manager duties until the team hires a replacement, with Melvin then serving as adviser to the team The Brewers officially launched a search for a new general manager Tuesday with the hiring of executive search firm Korn Ferry. The Brewers are 48-66 and currently in last place in the National League Central. It will be an interesting situation for a new general manager to walk into. The Brewers have 7 players under contract for the 2016; this isn’t counting the players that are still under team control. Sadly though 2 of those 7 players are starting pitchers Matt Garza and Kyle Loshe. The Brewers are a pretty young team as Ryan Braun and Adam Lind are the only two regulars over 30 and they’re both just 31 years old. If the double play combination of Scooter Gennett and Jean Segura can hit major league pitching the Brewers could be set at those two positions for years to come as they are both just 25 years old. If Lohse and Garza could stabilize the back end of the Brewers rotation Milwaukee has 3 young starters in Taylor Jungman, Jimmy Nelson and Wily Peralta who could fill out the top of their rotation. Francisco Rodriquez (K-Rod) can’t close forever, but the Brewers might have their closer in waiting with Michael Blazek. Blazek is 5-2 with an E.R.A. of 2.26 appearing in 44 games covering 55 2/3rd innings. Will Smith and Jeremy Jeffress have been solid out of the bullpen and could become set up men for Blazek. Smith has been more of a situational lefty pitching 41 2/3rd innings in 53 appearances. Smith does have 59 strikeouts and a strikeout per 9 innings rate of 12.7; so he can come in with runners in scoring position and get that big strikeout. The big plus for the Brewers with these pitchers is that Jeffress is the oldest of the group and he’s 27. While it looks like the Brewers have some pieces to work with they still have a long way to go to compete in the NL Central which may actually be the toughest division in baseball. Milwaukee is calling it a reboot not a rebuild; that seems to be the new term as the Detroit Tigers used it when they dealt David Price and Yoenis Cespedes at the trade deadline. How far away are the Brewers from contending in the NL Central?
Is Tristan Thompson threatening the Cleveland Cavaliers or is he trying to hold them hostage? Thompson’s agent Rich Paul has said that his client will leave the Cavaliers following next season if he does not receive the long-term contract offer he desires. Thompson has the option of signing a one-year qualifying offer for $6.8 million; should he do so, he will sign elsewhere next summer. Thompson is seeking a five-year max contract worth around $94 million. Thompson was a sixth man for much of last season, but emerged in the postseason once Kevin Love suffered a season-ending injury. Thompson averaged 8.5 points and and 8.0 rebounds in 26.5 minutes per game in the regular season, but upped his points (9.6), rebounds (10.8) and blocks (1.2) in the playoffs while pulling down incredible 4.4 offensive rebounds per game. He is also Cleveland’s best defensive big man. Signing the qualifying offer as an exit strategy is necessary because Thompson is a restricted free agent and the Cavaliers can match any offer another team sends. Thompson could not be traded this year without his consent if he does sign the qualifying offer. Cleveland has been unwilling to sign Thompson to a long term deal because it will put them well over the salary cap and the team will be looking at a large luxury tax bill. On the other side of this is the fact that Thompson shares and agent with another Cavaliers player by the name of LeBron James. James has came out and said that he’d like the Cavaliers to pay Thompson and get him back into the fold, but James has spent quite a bit of Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s money this off season and you have to wonder how much is left for Thompson. Will we see James try and say that he’d consider leaving if the Cavaliers don’t sign Thompson to that 5-year max deal. Maybe if James would pitch in and pay some of the luxury tax for Gilbert he’d be more willing to give Thompson the long term max deal he’s looking for. Is Thompson a must have for the Cavaliers or does the resigning of Kevin Love make Thompson’s threat less veiled.
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