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Odell Beckham rumors: If Browns release OBJ, Rams make sense next

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The disgruntled receiver may want out of Cleveland and a contender would surely pick up the phone

It’s been a while since Odell Beckham, Jr. was a great wide receiver, many of the NFL’s players at the position who are under 27 are now bigger, faster, stronger, and they can also do one-handed catches. But that doesn’t stop OBJ from being one of the league’s most well-recognized and marketable stars, the type who draws headlines for positive and negative reasons, and consistently makes fans believe that a change of scenery will unlock the beast who entertained us so many times in the mid-10’s.

With Tuesday’s trade deadline now past and the Cleveland Browns unable to find a desirable return package, the franchise may be willing to let the star receiver walk so that he can pursue some of that new scenery.

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Reports coming out of Cleveland on Wednesday lead with the fact that Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski “hasn’t talked to OBJ in over 24 hours” and that Beckham’s agent is currently in the process of meeting with team GM Andrew Berry. It could be that by the conclusion of that meeting, the veteran is waived and available to the other 31 teams. If a team picks Beckham up on waivers, they would owe him $8.05 million this year and assume his current contract with the Browns.

Given how expensive that is relative to his production, it seems more likely that Beckham will clear waivers and be free to sign with any team on a small one-year contract.

If and when the Browns do release Beckham, the Los Angeles Rams will have to be one team that is mentioned in the same breath as his potential next destinations. The new scenery. The Rams waived DeSean Jackson on Tuesday and placed Tutu Atwell on season-ending injured reserve, leaving the team with Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Van Jefferson, and Ben Skowronek on the 53-man roster.

Update: Shortly after this article was posted, the Rams signed WR J.J. Koski to the 53-man roster from the practice squad

Sean McVay and Matthew Stafford should feel confident that that foursome doesn’t need much in the way of receiving help — Jackson and Atwell weren’t getting many, if any, opportunities — but that’s only the opinion of early November. The Super Bowl, which is of course McVay’s preferred next destination, is still over three months away.

And throwing the ball is something critically important to the Rams offense.

But on top of LA’s own needs, the Rams must also monitor where Beckham, Jr. lands if it’s not in SoFi Stadium. The NFC race is a tight one and you can bet that the Packers, Bucs, and Saints no less would be interested in receiving reinforcements.

However, Beckham as said in the opening, hasn’t been great in a long time.

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OBJ hasn’t caught a touchdown this year and he has just 17 catches on 34 targets for 232 yards in six games. His argument might be that he’s trying to get away from the Browns because stats like that are not his fault. However, Beckham was never a dominant number one — or even number two — during his three years in Cleveland and at times the Browns offense did seem quite potent without him.

But Beckham is also just 29 and any time “receiver change of scenery” is mentioned with a star of that caliber, Randy Moss’s age-30 transition from sucking with the Raiders to dominating with the Patriots will not soon be forgotten. Moss is a much better overall player than Beckham, but we may not remember that he was really ineffective for the three seasons prior to finding a fit with Tom Brady.

It’s the fantasy that Matthew Stafford could do wonders for Beckham — sort of like Brady also doing wonders for Antonio Brown, who has managed to carve out an important role on an offense that like LA, has two starting wideouts already — that makes a potential marriage so fascinating.

But first OBJ needs to get divorced. That could be soon.





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Kevin Durant shuts down 'comical' retirement rumors | UNDISPUTED

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According to Marc Stein, an NBA executive was hearing that Kevin Durant was more apt to retire than play for the Brooklyn Nets again. However, Durant went to Twitter to shoot down that notion, tweeting quote: ‘I know most people will believe unnamed sources over me but if it’s anyone out there that’ll listen, I don’t plan on retiring anytime soon.’ Durant would go on to say the situation as a whole is quote: ‘comical.’ Shannon Sharpe weighs in on the soap opera-like reports, including why it is not a good look on KD.



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MLB Insider Shares A Yankees Silver Lining

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(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

 

For the New York Yankees, things keep going from bad to worse.

Since the start of the second half, they have stumbled out of the gates and have lost a few very important series, the most notable ones being the series losses to the Seattle Mariners and the sweep they suffered at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals.

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That recent slide has caused them to lose their hold on the best record in baseball and in the American League.

However, there is one silver lining to all of this, as pointed out by Bob Nightengale.

The Yankees remain at the top of the AL East and lead it by 10 games.

 

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A Silver Lining

That’s one way of looking at it.

It’s better to be glass half full than glass half empty.

The AL East is beyond a shadow of a doubt, the toughest division in all of baseball.

The fact that four teams are above .500 and the Yankees still lead the division by a full 10 games should be somewhat reassuring for Yankees fans.

However, it does not change the fact that they have struggled to start the second half.

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Injuries have proven to be costly, most notably the right elbow fracture suffered by stalwart reliever Michael King.

Chad Green is also down for the season thanks to elbow troubles.

The Yankees are on a slide, and that’s putting it simply.

They’ve lost 10 of their last 12, including last night’s 4-0 loss at the hands of their division rivals, the Tampa Bay Rays.

It’s been hard to stomach for Yankees fans.

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At the very least though, they still have command over the AL East, but if they’re not careful, that lead could start to shrink.

The post MLB Insider Shares A Yankees Silver Lining appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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NBA Christmas Day 2022: Lakers-Mavericks, Warriors-Grizzlies among five scheduled matchups, per report

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The 2022-23 NBA schedule is expected to be released in the coming days, but there’s already been several leaks of important games on the league’s calendar. It’s already been reported the reigning champion Golden State Warriors are expected to host LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on opening night of the season, which is set for Oct. 18.

In addition to one of the opening-night games on the league’s calendar, all five Christmas Day matchups have also been reported. As one of the most important days on the NBA‘s calendar, these games are typically star-studded and sometimes feature rematches from the previous year’s playoffs or pit two of the league’s top stars against each other. Though the regular season will already be two months old by the time Christmas rolls around, the full slate of games also serves as the unofficial start of the NBA season for some casual fans.

Although nothing has been made official just yet, here are the five games expected to take place on Christmas:

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The NBA has certainly hit the mark in featuring some of the league’s top stars, both young and old, and all of these reported matchups have enticing storylines. 

The Warriors vs. Grizzlies game will be a rematch of the Western Conference semifinals last season, where both teams didn’t shy away from trash-talking, even well after the Warriors put the Grizzlies away. When the Warriors eventually won the championship, several Golden State players made sure to take some not-so-subtle jabs at the Grizzlies, including Draymond Green and Ja Morant hoping their two teams meet on Christmas Day. Well, Green and Morant got their wish, and that matchup will surely be a highly anticipated one.

Though the Lakers and Mavericks don’t have the playful trash-talking the Warriors and Grizzlies possess, it will feature the face of the league in LeBron James, and one of the future faces of the league in Luka Doncic. These two teams met on Christmas two seasons ago, which resulted in the Mavericks getting blown out in Los Angeles, but a lot has happened since that dud of a matchup in 2020. The Mavericks are coming off a run to the Western Conference finals due to Doncic’s MVP-level performance throughout the playoffs, and the Lakers will be trying to get back to the playoffs after missing the cut last season. It’s difficult to read how this game will play out given both teams could still make roster moves before this game, but it should be more entertaining than the matchup we got two seasons ago.

The third reported game on this list may be a preview of the Western Conference finals as the Nuggets play host to the Suns. Denver should be fully healthy with Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. expected to be back in the starting lineup after both players missed all of last season with injuries. Then there’s reigning two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic at the center of it all. He will have some help again as Denver hopes to prove its place in the championship-contending conversation. The Nuggets will reportedly be hosting the Suns, per the Denver Post, which is a rematch of the Western Conference semifinals from two seasons ago. The Nuggets were without Murray in that playoff series against the Suns, so now they’ll get to show Phoenix what it’s like playing against a Denver team at full strength.

The Knicks and Sixers matchup may not be the most exciting matchup on this list, but it does feature some of the league’s best players in Joel Embiid and James Harden. Though the Knicks don’t have the brightest names on their roster to match up against Embiid and Harden, it’ll be a good test for a New York team that hopes its big offseason acquisition of Jalen Brunson can lift this roster to a playoff contender. 

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The final reported matchup between the Celtics and Bucks is a rematch of the Eastern Conference semifinals from last season. In what was one of the best playoff series a season ago, the Bucks lost to the Celtics in seven games, all without their second-best player in Khris Middleton who suffered an MCL sprain in the first round of the postseason. Middleton recently underwent wrist surgery in July, but is expected back near the start of the season, so he will be ready to go by the time this rematch is set to take place. However, this matchup could look a whole lot different if the Celtics manage to pull off a trade to land Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant. We’ll have to wait and see what becomes of the Durant sweepstakes, but regardless of what happens with that, this matchup — as well as the rest on the full slate of games — won’t be short on excitement on Christmas Day. 





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