- Pat Forde at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
ELMONT, N.Y. — American Pharoah is the 3-5 favorite to win the Belmont Stakes Saturday. That makes perfect sense, except for the reasonable rebuttal that it makes no sense at all.
When compared to his equine competition, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner has no competition at all. He has raced all seven other horses in the field, and dominated each of them.
Only Frosted, the second betting choice at 5-1, has come within seven lengths of American Pharoah in their last meeting. (He was beaten by more than three lengths while finishing fourth in the Derby May 2.) Materiality was beaten by about 7½ lengths in the Derby, Keen Ice by 8½, Mubtaahij by nine-plus and Frammento by nearly 12. In the Preakness, Tale of Verve was a distant second to American Pharoah, seven lengths back. And the last time Madefromlucky hooked up with the Belmont favorite, in the Arkansas Derby in April, he finished nine-plus lengths in arrears.
So there isn't a single horse in this field that the oddsmakers would reasonably put ahead of the Triple Crown aspirant.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner5 hrs ago
In just about every story about Cam Newton's new deal, Russell Wilson's name appeared as well. There was good reason for that.
Now that Newton has signed a mega-deal with the Carolina Panthers, all eyes are turning to Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Wilson, who logically are the next in line for massive deals. But while Wilson's deal seemed like a slam dunk after two straight NFC championships with Seattle and one Super Bowl win, it hasn't happened yet.
There's still plenty of time for it to happen, but Wilson is ready to play for his $1.542 million base salary (according to Spotrac) if he has to. That's a big raise from the roughly $662,000 he made last season, but it's still very light for a quarterback of his stature.
- Sam Cooper at Shutdown Corner7 hrs ago
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton signed a $103 million contract extension this week, but last month, he reached a different milestone.
Newton told People Magazine that he graduated from Auburn University with a degree in sociology last month, fulfilling a promise he made to his mother.
“Everyone else has always been worried about the football side of things, but not my mother,” Newton said. “My education was my mother’s top priority. I’ve been blessed to have a family that supports me. It’s a Biblical quote: iron sharpens iron. My mother has always been there to sharpen me.”
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner9 hrs ago
The first NFL game to be globally streamed live, for free, over the Internet will be on Yahoo.com.
The Buffalo Bills-Jacksonville Jaguars game on Oct. 25 in London will be streamed for free to anyone with a device and an Internet connection on Yahoo, which has more than one billion monthly users between Yahoo, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Screen and Tumblr . The game will start at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time.
"We're thrilled that the NFL has chosen Yahoo for this historic opportunity,” said Marissa Mayer, president and CEO of Yahoo. “It marks a significant change in the way users can access this amazing content. The NFL and Yahoo have both long engaged football fans around the world. Our partnership provides the ultimate football experience – with digital availability, designed for the modern fan.”
- Sam Cooper at Shutdown Corner10 hrs ago
Two new faces had the best-selling NFL jerseys in the month of May, while an old friend found his way back into the Top 15.
According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Marcus Mariota of the Tennessee Titans and Jameis Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came in at Nos. 1 and 2 in the NFL’s official online jersey sales from May 1-31.
Despite the deflate-gate controversy, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady came in at No. 3.
Rounding out the top 10: Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.
Moving down the list, at No. 15, is a player who hasn’t played a regular-season down since 2012: Tim Tebow.
Tebow, the former Heisman winner, signed a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles and is competing with Matt Barkley to be the team’s third-string quarterback.
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner10 hrs ago
Antonio Cromartie has never been one to hide his emotions and the New York Jets cornerback was at it again on Tuesday, this time calling into question those who think Richard Sherman is the top cornerback in the league.
Which is basically everyone in the free world not named Antonio Cromartie.
Currently, Sherman is considered to be the game's best cornerback, with the Seattle Seahawk being as close to a shutdown corner as they come. In the NFL Network's Top 100 Players of 2014, in which players vote for who they consider to be the best in the league, Sherman was No. 7 on the list. No other cornerback made the top 20 on the list. Sherman is a good bet to land pretty high on this year's list too, which the NFL Network is unveiling this month.
That didn't stop the Jets cornerback from his own take, which flies in the face of conventional wisdom as well as what his fellow players voted on last year.
- Sam Cooper at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
New York Giants rookie safety Landon Collins wore No. 26 in college to honor the late Sean Taylor, who wore the number during his career at the University of Miami. Collins, who has called Taylor his idol, wants to keep honoring the former safety as he begins NFL career.
The Giants and Collins announced Tuesday on Twitter that Collins has changed his number to 21, the number Taylor wore during his NFL career with the Washington Redskins.
In honor of his role model, the late Sean Taylor, Safety Landon Collins has changed his jersey from No. 27 to No. 21 pic.twitter.com/h12yv7Awzq
To allow Collins to wear No. 21, cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie switched his jersey number from No. 21 to No. 41.
- Jay Hart at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
Here's your weekly Aaron Hernandez legal update:
Lawyers for the former New England Patriots star turned convicted murderer have filed four motions asking that their client's guilty verdict be overturned because of, essentially, "a juror's exposure to extraneous matters," according to a report from FOX25 News in Boston.
In other words, they're alleging a juror found out about something he or she shouldn't have, which isn't too farfetched given the widespread media coverage of the trial.
Jurors were not sequestered during the two-plus-month-long trial. And while Judge E. Susan Garsh asked them at the end of each day of testimony to avoid consuming coverage of the trial, 12 people adhering to that directive seems like a tall order considering one could have happened upon news simply by mistake.
Exactly what a juror may have been exposed to is unclear, as the documents filed by Hernandez's lawyers are sealed from the public.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
Cam Newton's contract is historic. Now the Carolina Panthers will hope his play jumps to historic levels.
Newton not only got a mega-deal from the Panthers, it's one of the biggest the NFL has ever seen. Newton will make $67.6 million in the first three years of his five-year, $103.8 million deal, according to multiple reports. The deal became official on Tuesday.
That would be the largest payout over the first three years of a deal in NFL history, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said. USA Today's Tom Pelissero said Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger held the record at $65 million. The deal includes $60 million in guarantees for injuries, according to reports.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
Jameis Winston's days at Florida State University are not completely behind him.
Erica Kinsman, a former FSU student who alleged in 2013 that Winston raped her, is suing Winston for false imprisonment, assault, sexual battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Recently, Winston filed a countersuit, alleging defamation and interference with business relationships arising out of Kinsman's initial lawsuit.
Now, Kinsman's attorneys have moved to dismiss Winston's defamation lawsuit and strike that lawsuit's opening statement.