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Published: Monday, January 01, 2018 @ 3:27 PM
AJ McCarron is about six weeks away from a potentially easier exit.
The Cincinnati Bengals backup quarterback said he will find out Feb. 15 the arbitration ruling on his grievance to become an unrestricted free agent.
“We’ll have to wait and see,” McCarron said. “Hopefully I get my chance.”
A player must have accrued four seasons to become an unrestricted free agent, but there is an unresolved issue over whether McCarron accrued a season as a rookie in 2014. He began that year on the reserve/non-football injury list with a shoulder injury and was only on the 53-man roster for three games and the playoff loss to Indianapolis.
McCarron said he already presented his case last spring and is just waiting on a verdict. He would like to think he could still move on if he remains a restricted free agent, but wouldn’t count on it. A pursuant team would have to compensate the Bengals however they choose to tender him.
“It’s just hard,” he said of the wait. “As a competitor, you just see other guys playing and you want your chance to be able to showcase what you can truly do, and that’s just being a competitor. Like I’ve said before, God’s plan doesn’t work out when we want it to. It’s on His time. I’ve always truly believed that, and my wife always does an excellent job of reminding me that, and it’s just something you’ve got to buy into and trust and realize.”
On the Bengals’ exit day Monday, McCarron met with Marvin Lewis and discussed his future.
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When asked what he thinks his future holds, McCarron said that depends on what he finds out Feb. 15; however, has given up any hope of getting his opportunity to play with Cincinnati.
“Anytime you come into a place where a guy is established like A.D. (Andy Dalton), who’s led them to the playoffs however many times and they are paying him that much, it’s not going to happen,” McCarron said. “It’s just the way it goes. Like I said, I just want a chance to compete so I’m just waiting on that opportunity.”
Buffalo’s hero: Andy Dalton is getting royal treatment from Buffalo after his incredible 49-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd lifted the Bengals to victory over Baltimore on Sunday.
The Ravens’ loss meant the Bills are headed to the playoffs instead. Dalton’s pass came on fourth-and-12 with 44 seconds left.
“I think I’m the hottest guy in Buffalo right now,” Dalton said Monday. “According to my Twitter, I think everybody’s loving us right now. Obviously that’s a crazy fan base and they’re all pretty excited.”
Bills fans have been donating to Dalton’s foundation in $17 increments in honor of the 17 years they waited for a postseason appearance.
“We’re appreciative of that,” Dalton said. “Obviously they’re helping out a good cause. It’s been pretty fun to see the reaction we’ve gotten.”
Postseason awards: The Cincinnati chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America named defensive tackle Geno Atkins as the Bengals’ 2017 Most Valuable Player and defensive end Carlos Dunlap as the recipient of the organization’s annual “Good Guy” award.
Atkins, who also earned the MVP honor in 2012, finished the season with nine sacks, 10 tackles for losses and 20 quarterback hits. Dunlap, coming out of his eighth season, is the 17th recipient of the PFWA’s “Good Guy” award, given for professionalism and cooperation with media and understanding the media’s role in covering the team. He was recognized in part for his involvment in the local community, this season focusing on an anti-bullying initiative.
“This is my community so I just want to take ownership and get involved,” Dunlap said.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 4:47 PM
— The NFL has announced new ways fans can watch the draft in April, including one that could be intriguing to college football fans in particular.
NFL Network and ESPN will continue broadcasting the annual talent distribution festival, and Fox is jumping in as well via a partnership with the league’s channel.
RELATED: Cincinnati Bengals draft order
For the first time ever, the entire draft will be available on broadcast television as Fox will simulcast the NFL Network’s coverage of rounds 1-3 on its broadcast channel and ABC will simulcast ESPN’s coverage of rounds 4-7.
Here’s the most exciting part for college football fans: Along with the traditional broadcast on ESPN, the College GameDay crew will provide a “college-themed viewing option of round one” on ESPN2.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 4:53 PM
— Remember how the catch rules in the NFL have been a disaster the last few years?
Apparently that might not be the case anymore.
I hesitate to be too quick to rubberstamp the announcement made by NFL director of officiating Al Riveron, but I would say it’s OK to be optimistic things will be better next season.
After much deliberation & input from coaches, players, @NFLLegends, & club executives, the @NFL Competition Committee will recommend the following language simplifying the catch rule at the Annual Meeting next week. pic.twitter.com/hJwH5YYBRK— Al Riveron (@alriveron) March 21, 2018
If the NFL competition committee recommendation is accepted, figuring out when a catch has occurred should be much easier.
If you see a player obtain possession of the ball with two feet (or another body part) on the ground and make a football move, you will have seen a catch.
How is that last part defined?
A “football move” can include a third step, reaching or extending for the line to gain (or goal line presumably) or the ability to perform such an act.
Absent is language about players “surviving the ground,” which is an area from which much of the confusion has come in recent years because for some reason rulesmakers thought the process should be different if a player is going to the ground than if he was not.
A controversial non-catch by Steelers tight end Jesse James was among plays included in a video Riveron tweeted as an example of plays being reviewed as changes to the rules are considered.
.@NFL Competition Committee proposal noted in the previous tweet simplifies the catch process & allows for plays such as the @DezBryant (2014 post-season) and @JJames18_ (2017 season) to become catches. pic.twitter.com/K2caIndpGZ— Al Riveron (@alriveron) March 21, 2018
James brought the ball in with two feet down but lost it as he turned to try to stretch across the goal line. It was initially ruled a touchdown but overturned upon review because James had not maintained control of the ball after hitting the ground.
This play, in a crucial late-season game between the Steelers and Patriots, was one of several high-profile examples of the current rules making sense to few people outside the league offices because extending the ball seems like “a football play,” but it was not being ruled as such.
That is set to change.
The same ruling on a similar play cost Tyler Eifert a touchdown for the Bengals in a game at Baltimore in 2015.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 1:59 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 4:59 PM
— Springfield High School teammates RaHeim Moss and Leonard Taylor have been named to the All-Ohio Division I boys high school basketball teams.
The Division I and II teams were announced on Tuesday by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association. The Division III and IV teams were released on Monday.
»RELATED: Springfield coach, “we’ll be back”
Moss, a 6-foot-3 junior guard, was named to the second team. He led the Wildcats (21-5) in scoring at 16.2 points. Also a football standout at linebacker, he remains verbally uncommitted but continues to receive offers in both sports. The University of Cincinnati and Kentucky are among the programs to offer him in football.
Taylor, a 6-5 senior and three-year starter, averaged 12.9 points and led the Wildcats in rebounding (8.9). He signed to play football at UC.
Springfield handed Wayne its only regular-season loss. Both teams were knocked out of the playoffs in a D-I regional by Cincinnati Moeller.
Wayne senior Darius Quisenberry and Myles Belyeu, a senior at Trotwood-Madison, were first-team picks.
A 6-1 guard, Quisenberry averaged a team-high 18.5 points for Wayne (25-2). He played his final two seasons at Wayne after transferring from Tecumseh and has signed with Youngstown State.
»RELATED: Trotwood-Madison back to final four
»RELATED: Boys state final four pairings
Belyeu, a 6-4 guard, leads the Rams in scoring (25.2). A three-year starter, he has scored more than 1,500 career points. He will announce which team he’s signing with after this weekend’s D-II state final four in which the Rams will participate in for the second straight season.
Another junior, Samari Curtis of Xenia, was a D-I third-team pick. He was among the state’s leading scorers (30.4) and is verbally committed to Xavier.
»RELATED: Boys regional results
»RELATED: Girls state final four results
Landing on the D-II third team were Trotwood junior Amari Davis (21.2 points) and Meadowdale senior Jabali Leonard (23.0).
The players of the year were Dave Goodwin of Upper Arlington (D-I) and Pete Nance of Richfield Revere (D-II). Coaches of the year were Hilliard Bradley’s Brett Norris (D-I) and Chad Burt of Wauseon (D-II).
»RELATED: Moeller bumps Wayne off tourney trail
The Ohio Mr. Basketball is scheduled to be announced on Wednesday. Teams were chosen by statewide media panels and based on coaches’ nominations.
Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 12:29 PM
— After 25 years, the Beast is back.
The Milwaukee Brewers are known for churning out entertaining videos -- remember their bullpen dance-off against the Chicago Cubs? -- and spring training was no exception last week as several players contributed to a shot-by-shot reenactment of a famous scene from the 1993 movie, “The Sandlot.”
The 1993 comedy was about a group of friends who loved playing the game but only had one ball. So when one player hits the ball over the fence, where a snarling, mean dog lives, the game is apparently over.
In the 2½-minute video, several players reprise the roles from the film, WTMJ reported. Stephen Vogt played Hamilton “Ham” Porter, who hits the home run. Brett Phillips plays Scotty Smalls, a newcomer who volunteers to retrieve the ball, while Eric Sogard has a memorable cameo as Squints.
Other players in the video include Christian Yelich as Benny, Hernan Perez as Yeah-Yeah, Jeremy Jeffress as Kenny, Josh Hader as Bertram, Chase Anderson (Tommy Timmons) and Jett Bandy (Timmy Timmons).
Plus, Hank the dog plays “the Beast.”
The scene is faithfully done, although Vogt bats left-handed. Ham bats right-handed in the 1993 film. And the Beast steals the scene.
There's heroes and there's legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die. pic.twitter.com/z7mKroaOQ1— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) March 19, 2018
Here is the original clip from the 1993 movie:
And here is what the Brewers do when they get bored in the bullpen: