May 31

Eli Apple ’embarrassed’ by 2017 antics, ready to ‘move forward’

That’s what some scouts and executives had him pegged as coming out of the 2014 draft, anyway. And if things go really well — meaning he’s indeed grown up, and his game has grown along with it — maybe he can be more than that. You never really know in football. In the meantime, teams will keep tabs on him from afar, knowing that until they see prolonged, tangible growth and results, they’ll likely be wise to remain skeptical. “He just needs to go all in and start from ground zero,” one decision-maker said.

The league’s operations department released a video breakdown after the changes were approved:

League studies showed that concussions are five times more likely to occur on a kickoff than an offensive or defensive snap. Such an increased risk on a single play has forced the league to question whether the kickoff can survive in a sport that’s under increasing pressure to eliminate unnecessary dangers.

It would be stunning if the offense wasn’t good — New Orleans has finished outside the top five in yards/game ONCE since Payton arrived in 2006 and has only finished outside the top 10 in points per game three times in that span (and never lower than 12th). That is an incredible streak of offensive success. But we’ve seen the Saints be good on offense and not dominate in the win-loss column. If the defense is average, they should flirt with nine wins; the brutal stretch of the schedule could undo their chance at the division.

Russell wasn’t tendered as a restricted free agent, so he’s been available for some time.

The 26-year-old Russell had three sacks the previous two seasons with the Buccaneers. He entered the league in 2015 with the Cowboys, as a fifth-rounder from Purdue.

Fantasy football. It has been the exception to federal laws for decades. The league, its broadcast partners and everyone else has found a path to not only accommodate it, but use it to expand their viewership. The fight was over long ago, if it ever really started.cowboys_099

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