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Eight years after he started torching NFL defenses, the retired receiver–return man addresses his mental health and how he thinks it shaped his life and reputation as he takes on an unfamiliar role at Florida: mentor.
Watch Percy Harvin’s Long Road Home, a new feature on SI TV including an exclusive, in-depth interview with Harvin in Gainesville.
Right now he’s recounting how he moved out of an Orlando mansion last year and into a modest four-bedroom house in Gainesville, where he burst onto the national scene 11 years ago with BCS-champ Florida. It is also where his son, Jaden, was living with his mother. Jaden is five, one year younger than Percy was when he began playing peewee ball in Virginia Beach, flashing an aptitude for making tacklers miss that would lead to implausible touchdowns, off-field coddling, inter-personal blowups and, as Harvin puts it, mental stresses that I can’t even put into words, Bossman.
Tim Connolly: There was a reception at the Super Bowl two weeks later in Miami. We went to the commissioner’s party, and inside was Mike Shanahan—he was coaching the Broncos in the Super Bowl. We were in the same line or something and he looks at me and just rolls his eyes like, Oooof, we so dodged a bullet. He was being nice, a gentleman. But I felt the same way. You couldn’t say it, but he was nice enough to say it. Just roll his eyes and give me that look. Like, I’m glad we’re not playing you guys, that kind of look.
Throughout her husband’s career, Marie Green used to give Dennis three days to stew after a loss. Seventy-two hours. Beyond that she would confront the lingering frustration and say OK, I need my husband back, you need to snap out of this. The community service days on Tuesdays would typically serve as a trampoline for his spirit, but this was different.
Michael Bidwill, the Arizona Cardinals and, by extension, the NFL, could not have made it any clearer. Don’t mix politics and sports. That’s what we all keep hearing.
For the record, since the league and a certain segment of its fans got all salty about Colin Kaepernick and his petty beefs about black people getting murdered by the police two years ago, not one, but two NFL executives have directly contacted U.S. senators to help a Supreme Court candidate get approved. Broncos president John Elway did it last year. Beneath the team’s logo, yet, not terribly unlike Bidwill’s eager endorsement showing up on the Cards’ Twitter account Monday night.
And it was pointed out then, quite simply, that if Elway wants to do that, fine and dandy … as long as that same right to openly engage in American democracy, as protected by the Constitution, is extended to the Broncos’ players, and every other player in the NFL.
By the end of the business day, the NFL will notify teams of who was awarded which players. The players who are selected will be added to their teams’ 90-man rosters for training camp and will have chances to make 53-man rosters for the season.
If a player is not claimed in the Supplemental Draft, he is immediately deemed an undrafted free agent and may sign with any NFL team.
To be eligible to enter the Supplemental Draft, a player must be at least three years removed from high school and entering his final year of college eligibility. The player must be unable to return for his final season in college, generally due to academic issues or indefinite suspension from his team. Each player must submit his name and request for entry into the Supplemental Draft to be eligible.
John Tavares is a Toronto Maple Leaf.
A kid who grew up a Leafs fan, in Ontario, picked Toronto. A free agent, one of the most coveted in the NHL’s unrestricted-free-agent history, chose the Leafs and coach Mike Babcock. These things aren’t supposed to happen. But here we are: John Tavares is a Toronto Maple Leaf for seven years and $11 million annually, and the power dynamic in the Eastern Conference and the league as a whole might have just shifted.
This is everything for Toronto.
First, he’d be united with Banana Boat buddy Chris Paul — and could bring Dwyane Wade along with him on a minimum salary deal should Wade decide to leave Miami again. CP3, reigning MVP James Harden and James would form a trio as formidable as any in the NBA. Though a move to Houston would force James to confront the Warriors earlier in the postseason, he’d be joining the team that came closest to beating Golden State this postseason. Plus, there’s no state income tax in Texas, which means LeBron’s max salary would be worth a little more there.
After Thursday’s games, the Yankees’ bullpen ranked third with a 2.68 ERA, and first in strikeouts (363) and strikeouts per nine innings (12.03). Boston’s bullpen ranked fifth in ERA (3.10) and strikeouts per nine innings (9.66).
New York’s relievers have been so good that they have held opponents scoreless in 17 of 23 games since June 4. In that span of 73鈪?innings, they have combined for a 0.86 ERA and 94 strikeouts; both league highs following Thursday’s action.
I’d envision the Lakers starting Ingram at point guard — a role he filled at times last season when Ball was injured — and having him share playmaking responsibilities with the newcomers. That would produce a lineup with the 6-foot-7 Leonard as its shortest player, offering tremendous defensive flexibility and the ability to switch nearly any screen. While all four players would perhaps be considered small forwards in a vacuum, all have the ability to defend any position 1-4.
Maybe it was a play, and all you would need is to channel Quicksilver and move the ball or a player juuuuust so to prevent the heartbreak you know awaits: Malcolm Butler suddenly trips or Marcus Williams doesn’t whiff. Or maybe it was a call that nothing but mind control could change: Yes, Dez did catch it, Gene Steratore. No, run the ball, Kyle Shanahan.
And let’s say you only get one chance to do this. Which one play would you change if you could?
I’ve been a Washington fan all my life, so I have seen my fair share of heartbreaks and headaches. But, Robert Griffin III’s injury in a game against the Baltimore Ravens is one moment I will never forget. Everyone remembers Griffin’s injury in the playoffs against the Seattle Seahawks. However, it was the leg injury he suffered following the hit delivered by former Ravens’ defensive end Haloti Ngata that started it all.
2012 brought me one of my favorite seasons as a fan. Washington went 10-6, won the division, earned a spot in the playoffs and Griffin was must watch television. I sometimes think where Griffin and Washington would be if he didn’t get hurt. — Ryan McFadden
Growing up in Flint, Michigan, as a fan of the WWE and The Rock, Kuzma has developed a relationship with Johnson since his visit to the Lakers’ facility.
Johnson, who has given Kuzma nutritional advice, replied on Twitter, saying, Kuz told me he wanted his best summer ever. Boy’s puttin’ in the work.
Assistant coach Miles Simon, who has been running Kuzma through individual workouts this offseason, told Walton he no longer can push the 6-foot-9 Kuzma in the post anymore. Kuzma was clearly listening when Dwayne Johnson told the Lakers that his anchor to success is waking up at 4 a.m. daily before anybody else and grounding my thought process [that] no one will outwork me … no one.
Regardless of what happens to the Lakers’ roster this offseason, Pelinka plans to continue the Genius Series in 2018-19. He’s keeping next season’s lineup a secret, but Pulitzer Prize-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar is a possibility after the Lakers tried getting him to talk to the team this past season.
The Lakers are racing to acquire Kawhi Leonard in a trade with the Spurs before LeBron James makes a decision about his future, sources told ESPN.
Despite their 1-31 record over the past two seasons, the Browns have generated a buzz with their offseason moves. Tyrod Taylor, Baker Mayfield and Jarvis Landry are among the new faces looking to help the Browns become something other than a punch line.
He organized the league meetings into something more professional than a cocktail party on Bill Wirtz’s yacht. He supported the Sun Belt strategy as a means to enrich the league through television contracts, and the ancillary effect of having these nontraditional market teams has been new generations of players who came to hockey because they existed (like Auston Matthews). He fought to prop up struggling franchises, including Canadian teams during economic downturns. He was a driving force behind the NHL initially going to the Olympics. He hired transformative executives in John Collins and Brendan Shanahan, and played matchmaker with teams and owners like Jeff Vinik in Tampa.
Many thought Real Madrid guard Luka Doncic would be selected first when the Suns hired his former coach Igor Kokoskov to fill their head coaching vacancy, but Ayton’s size and ability won out.
Ayton averaged 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game last season with the Wildcats, and he should be an elite post scoring force for a Suns team in desperate need of physicality.
Although Phoenix has done its due diligence on prospects like Luka Doncic, Marvin Bagley III, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Mohamed Bamba, this is the one pick that appears to be a lock. The Suns have a need at the center spot, Ayton was tremendously productive at Arizona and he projects to have a high floor as an NBA player.
There are real questions about how much the 19-year-old will impact winning at the next level given his defensive struggles and likely high-usage offensive game, but he seems destined to pile up box score stats in the league.
With Ayton seemingly a lock to go No. 1 overall, this is where the draft really starts. The Kings have shrouded their likely selection in mystery, meaning few have an actual feel for what will happen here.
For the second night in a row, a young San Francisco pitcher shut down the Arizona Diamondbacks.
This time, Dereck Rodriguez blanked them into the seventh inning and the Giants made it two straight wins in Arizona with a 7-0 victory Saturday.
And so we need to surround them with role players with the rest of our roster that have a chance to win.
Williams will wear No. 44, Ainge’s old jersey number, and Ainge went out of his way to squash concerns about the rookie’s work ethic and motor, which contributed to him sliding out of the lottery and to Boston at No. 27 in last week’s draft.
It’s hard to have a low motor and be defensive player of the year for two years in a row in a tough conference, Ainge said of Williams. I’ve heard the same types of criticism, but that’s a hard thing to do.Braves set for challenge against Yankees
James would be the 12th, which means Cleveland will only be looking to fill two or three open roster spots as it is.
Teams can carry a maximum of 15 players. The Cavs, however, will likely keep at least one roster spot open so they can guarantee Kendrick Perkins’ $2.5 million contract, in the event they find a trade partner that will require Perkins’ salary to be added to the deal to make the math work.
His home run was his 14th of the season and third this week. Max Muncy and Joc Pederson each finished with 10 home runs in June. Pederson has 11 on the season.
I worked really hard in the off season to get stronger and get in better shape, said Hernandez, whose previous best was 11 home runs last season. Last year I hit a lot of doubles and this year those doubles are turning into homers. Hopefully we can keep swinging the bats in July the way we are in June.
Rockies: OF David Dahl (broken right foot) is out of a walking boot and will join the team Monday in Colorado to continue his rehab.
Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler (right rib microfracture), who made one appearance this week after returning from the DL, will likely need two starts at Class A Rancho Cucamonga before he returns to the Dodgers, according to manager Dave Roberts. … RHP Pedro Baez (right biceps tendinitis) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session, but no timetable for his return has been revealed.
This offseason, Falcons players and coaches have often discussed their point-of-attack tapes, which are areas of emphasis for each member of the team to work to improve.
Coaches are there to help point out flaws in a player’s game and help them develop in those areas, but part of the reason Quinn has been so impressed with his team’s attitude this offseason is that the players, themselves, have taken that job as their own.
When the players had come back, a number of them already had some ideas and begun work on the things that they wanted to address and wanted to improve upon. And over those nine or ten weeks, they really put work in on one to two things in their game that they wanted to address. All of us have many things [we want to address] but there was a couple that would be really specific. And then over those nine weeks, how did we keep track of them, how did we go and stay with it? So, those were a few of the things, when you’re already a good player and you’re trying to take it to a new spot, it can be really challenging.
You’ve got to dig hard as hell to find the answers and get to the truth and what is good and what you need to improve on, Quinn said. There’s a number of players on our team that went for it in the biggest way, and coaches as well. That’s why I’m so excited about this group.
Today’s Early Bird Report includes a pair of Falcons who landed on a recent ranking of the top players over 30 as well as Bucs defensive end William Gholston’s thoughts on his poor play last season.
A lot of attention is paid to the youthful talent the Falcons boast, especially on defense, but they have some of the game’s top veterans as well. In a recent piece for CBS Sports, Sean Wagner-McGough ranked his 30 best NFL players over 30 years old. The Falcons had two players land right in the middle of this list.
Will Giants Olivier Vernon continue to kneel during national anthem after NFL passes rule to appease Donald Trump?
I can’t play basketball for s—. My ability to not play basketball is way more crazy than someone’s ability to play basketball. I can dribble, but that’s just about it. Sometimes people call me out just to see me shoot the basketball and play around because they know how terrible I am.
I wish I had hair, man. I wish I had hair going down my back! But, hey, you can’t have it all; you know God is very fair.
I can’t just go to a gym by myself. I can’t say I’m going to do this and do that. I would do a couple reps and then just leave. I need to be pushed.
Every single day, every play, knowing that people are depending on me to make my play that helps me elevate my game to another level.
Leadership and production. No. 2, he plays a core position. If you’re playing the Mike linebacker role, you’re commanding the huddle, you’re leading the huddle. Production matters, but also the fact that we feel like he’s built to last. We feel that he meets the height, weight, speed parameters that we want in the role, but he is now the guy that leads the huddle.
That’s a big hole to fill now with Brian Cushing gone. So, we are expecting big things from a leadership standpoint and perhaps now he’s ready to do that.
Now that the business side of things is taken care of, McKinney can focus on football and helping his team get back to the postseason after it endured a 4-12 campaign in 2017.
T.J. Ward ‘s name has been cleared.
Despite winning their last two games, the New York Mets sit at 30-38, 10.5 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the National League East.
The Mets’ goal is to get younger, more athletic. Reliever Jeurys Familia, a potential free agent, is a strong candidate to be dealt if he proves he is sufficiently recovered from a sore right shoulder, which sidelined him from June 8 until Sunday, when he allowed one run in one inning in his return against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Quality relievers always are in demand at the deadline, and the Mets will be motivated to move Familia — they almost certainly would not make him a qualifying offer.
So obviously another difficult (roster) decision, but one we felt like covers us and makes the most sense for us right now.
Boone said Torreyes took the news well. Torreyes rejoined the Yankees on June 9 after being optioned on May 26 with a.339 average, but appeared in just two games during his second big-league stint and was 0 for 3.
We were trying to work out something to where we didn’t have to do it, Boone said. He took the news like a pro and he wanted to know where Scranton was right away so he could get going.
As for Gardner, he was encouraged after waking up Monday morning feeling much better.
I woke up in the middle of the night Saturday night and Sunday morning (sore), he said. I never had any leg issues or knee issues before, so it was kind of alarming for me. So I went to get an MRI to get a good look at it to see what we’re dealing with.
Former Pro Bowl tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. has been arrested for the second time in eight days.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports Winslow was taken into custody Thursday on suspicion of multiple sex-related crimes, including two counts of forcible rape.
According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Winslow also will be charged with kidnapping with the intent to commit rape, residential burglary and indecent exposure when he is scheduled to be arraigned Friday.
The state legislature overwhelmingly passed a bill that authorizes New Jersey casinos and racetracks to offer betting on sports games and the governor signed it after a U.S. Supreme Court decision cleared the way.
They don’t need a vacation right now; they need a little break from the push we’ve been in right here, but like our guys shared with our other guys, a few days and let’s get back at it, Carroll said. It’s too important that we stay on task. They’ve worked so hard to get where they are, you don’t want to have to go back down conditioning-wise then work it back up. They’ve just invested too much at this point.
Plenty of coaches have suggested this offseason that they wish they had more control over their players in the offseason. But Carroll will just have to accept that the players are on their own until training camp opens.
I take us over anybody, Adams told The Post on Tuesday at the start of the three-day mandatory minicamp. I believe in us, man, simple as that. I believe in us in that room. We work hard.