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2 months 4 days ago #404 by panxing18
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The Baltimore Ravens provided quarterback Joe Flacco with two new potential targets Wednesday Demetrius Harris Jersey , agreeing to terms with wide receivers Ryan Grant and John Brown on the first day of free agency.

Addressing a position that is a top priority this offseason, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome added a pair of 27-year-olds he hopes can improve a passing attack that last year ranked 27th in the NFL.

To help make room for the newcomers, Newsome freed an estimated $5 million in salary cap space by cutting receiver Jeremy Maclin.

Grant has played in 64 games, including 15 starts, with the Washington Redskins. The 2014 fifth-round draft pick out of Tulane set career highs in 2017 with 45 catches for 573 yards and four touchdowns.

Brown has played four NFL seasons, all with Arizona. Selected in the third round of the 2014 draft, Brown has 173 career catches for 2,515 yards and 17 TDs.

The contracts are pending the passing of physicals. Grant reportedly received a four-year contract and Brown agreed to a one-year pact.

The Ravens are counting on Grant to continue the improvement he showed last season. Though he has never had a 100-yard receiving game and has scored only six career touchdowns, he ranked second on the Redskins in 2017 in catches and TD receptions.

Brown's best season was in 2015, when he had 65 catches for 1,003 yards and seven scores.

After a season in which Baltimore's wideouts totaled 11 touchdown receptions, the team made no secret of its desire to bolster the receiving corps.

"We will be exploring all options in free agency and in the draft for targets for Joe (Flacco)," owner Steve Bisciotti said.

That was a focus last season, too Anthony Hitchens Jersey , but Maclin did not live up to expectations.

Baltimore signed Maclin as a free agent in June, hopeful the accomplished pass catcher would regain the form he showed in 2015 with Kansas City, when he had 87 catches for 1,088 yards and eight touchdowns.

But Maclin missed two games with a shoulder injury, two more with knee issues, and finished with only 40 catches for 440 yards and three touchdowns.

That, along with the poor performance of 2015 first-round pick Breshad Perriman (10 catches, 77 yards, no TDs), left the Ravens looking for speed outside after finishing 9-7 and missing the playoffs for a third straight season.

Mike Wallace, who had 52 catches for a team-high 748 yards in 2017, became a free agent Wednesday. It is unclear whether the Ravens will attempt to bring him back the 31-year-old, nine-year pro.

Newsome's pursuit of top-tier free agent receivers has been hindered by a tight salary cap, which likely contributed to Allen Robinson and Sammy Watkins signing with other teams.

In an effort to free up salary-cap space Dean Lowry Jersey , Newsome earlier this week cut running back Danny Woodhead and did not pick up the option on right tackle Austin Howard.

Maclin, Woodhead and Howard were all acquired before the 2017 season.

Also on Wednesday, the Ravens extended tenders to seven exclusive-rights free agents, the most notable running back Alex Collins, the team's leading rusher last year. The players still have to sign their tenders, but cannot negotiate with any other teams.
The Dallas Mavericks are going Euro with their rebuild, the same way they did 20 years ago with Dirk Nowitzki.

Dallas moved up two spots in the NBA draft Thursday night to get Slovenian guard Luka Doncic, who was selected by Atlanta at No. 3 while the Mavericks picked former Oklahoma scoring sensation Trae Young for the Hawks at No. 5 as part of the deal. The Mavericks are also sending a protected first-round pick to Atlanta.

The Mavericks are coming off consecutive losing seasons for the first time in nearly 20 years, back when Nowitzki ended up being the centerpiece of a rebuilding project that led to 12 straight trips to the playoffs and the franchise’s only championship in 2011.

The big German is the highest-scoring foreign-born player in NBA history and one of seven overall with at least 30,000 points. The Mavericks acquired Nowitzki during the 1998 draft, trading down to get the 7-footer who was taken ninth overall by Milwaukee.

The 19-year-old Doncic will be his teammate, with Nowitzki expected to become the first player in league history to spend all 21 seasons with the same franchise.

Nowitzki, who was in the draft room with the Mavericks two nights after celebrating his 40th birthday, quickly greeted his fellow European on Twitter Brett Favre Jersey , and Doncic replied in kind.

”He’s a great leader, a great person,” Doncic said of the 2007 MVP and 2011 NBA Finals MVP. ”I’m just really happy to be part of his career. I just want to learn so much about him.”

Doncic arrived in New York on Wednesday after helping Spain’s Real Madrid win its league championship after he won Euroleague MVP and Final Four MVP honors when they won that title this year. His lengthy European season kept him from working out for teams but he knew the Mavericks were interested.

”I’ve been talking to Dallas a lot,” Doncic said. ”They were very nice to me, and I think we had a very good relationship.”

At 6-foot-7 and 220 pounds, Doncic averaged about 15 points, five rebounds and five assists during Real Madrid’s championship season. As with Nowitzki 20 years ago, the question is how his game will translate to the NBA.

”This kid has won everything there is to win in European and international basketball and he’s done it at an age that’s unprecedented,” coach Rick Carlisle said. ”I’m not sure what position he is. I think his position is on the floor, making plays and making people better.”

Doncic signed with Real Madrid at age 13 and made his debut as a 16-year-old. He teamed with Miami’s Goran Dragic to lead Slovenia to a surprising gold medal at FIBA EuroBasket 2017. His father, Sasa Doncic, played professionally for 15 years.

The Mavericks made the move for Doncic a year after drafting point guard Dennis Smith Jr. with the ninth overall pick, giving Dallas a chance to have one of the NBA’s youngest backcourts depending on where Doncic lands in the rotation. Carlisle said he sees Doncic as a starter.

”He’s the kind of player that is going to be able to play with virtually anybody,” Carlisle said. ”He just has the skill set and an understanding and a feel for the game. He’s a great shooter Eddie Vanderdoes Jersey , so he creates space for other players, which is really going to help Dennis.”

President of basketball operations Donnie Nelson played a big role in Nowitzki coming to Dallas, and remembers a rough first couple of seasons for the 13-time All-Star. So he’s taking a guarded approach with Doncic for now.

”Luka is his own guy,” Nelson said. ”He’s got his own challenges. It’s not going to be quick. He’s got a very unique skill set. Anyone who can make his teammates better, shoot the long ball, get to the paint, he’s going to be a pretty darn good asset for the Mavericks for years to come.”

The Mavericks took another guard with the 33rd overall pick in the second round, getting Jalen Brunson, who won two NCAA titles in his three years at Villanova. The reigning Associated Press player of the year averaged 18.9 points and 4.6 assists in his final season.

Dallas swapped picks late in the second round with Philadelphia and got Dayton’s Kostas Antetokounmpo, the younger brother of Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo. He was the 60th and final pick of the draft.

The 76ers got former SMU guard Shake Milton, who was the 55th choice. Dallas also got Ray Spalding of Louisville at No. 56, another pick originally belonging to Philadelphia.



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