Report: Browns to consider extension for LB Sione Takitaki
Browns linebacker Sione Takitaki is entering the final year of his rookie contract and it sounds like the team will consider an extension.Cleveland’s most frequent alignment is a 4-2-5 look, with Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Anthony Walker entrenched as the primary linebackers in the middle of the unit. But when the team deploys a strong-side ‘backer, it calls upon Takitaki, a hard-hitting run-stopper whose 67.5 grade from Pro Football Focus in 2021 would have been a top-20 mark if he had enough snaps to qualify.
We’ve reached the survive-and-advance portion of the PGA Tour calendar: the FedExCup Playoffs.
The Tour’s postseason begins Thursday at TPC Southwind in Memphis as 122 players (minus three injured top-125 players in points) tee it up in the FedEx St. Jude Championship. After this week, the playoff field will be whittled down to 70 players for next week’s BMW Championship.
Only the top 30 players in points after the BMW qualify for the playoff finale, the Tour Championship, at East Lake in Atlanta. Full list of the 125 players headed to the FedExCup Playoffs
While the likes of Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Smith are guaranteed to make it to East Lake, other players at the opposite end of the standings are fighting just to get past the first week – names such as Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Webb Simpson and Rickie Fowler, the last player into the playoffs.
Agent: There have been 'expressions of interest' in P.K. Subban
Subban is coming off a 22-point campaign with the Devils in 77 games. Notably, his average playing time dipped under 20 minutes a night for the first time in his career. He averaged 18:18, which put him fifth among New Jersey’s blueliners. That was a drop of more than four minutes a game compared to 2020-21, hardly ideal for someone heading into free agency. A year ago, Subban had a case that he could still be a top-four defender, but it will be harder for his camp to make that argument now.
So, who outside the current top 70 could get hot and make a payoff rally?
Here are five names to watch:
76. Adam Long
Amazingly, Long is just a handful of spots outside the top 70 despite not posting a top-10 finish all season. He did, however, notch 10 top-25 finishes in 27 starts, including four straight top-25s before withdrawing from Wyndham with an illness. Assuming he’s healthy, he’s been solid enough of late that he could easily make up the 63 or so points he currently trails No. 70 by. He was T-24 (another top-25!) in his only previous trip to Southwind, in 2019.
77. Adam Scott
The veteran Aussie has teed it up just 15 times this year, a career low if you throw out 2020, which in turn has provided him the least number of opportunities to earn points. However, he’s shown up in big events this summer with top-15s at The Open and U.S. Open. If he’s motivated to make a run to East Lake, he’s got the ability. However, one knock is he didn’t finish better than T-36 in his two WGC starts in Memphis.
Falcons name Marcus Mariota starting QB
This will not qualify as particularly surprising news, but the Falcons have named Marcus Mariota their starting quarterback. On the first day of training camp earlier this week, quarterbacks coach Charles London confirmed that Mariota will serve as Atlanta’s QB1, while third-round rookie Desmond Ridder will begin his pro career as Mariota’s backup. © Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota. “Obviously, we’ve got a plan for each of them,” London said. “Marcus is the starter. That’s how we’re going into this thing,” via Josh Kendall of The Athletic. Mariota, the No.
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80. Joel Dahmen
After Dahmen’s buddy Harry Higgs didn’t qualify for the playoffs, the Tour’s social channel could take another blow if Dahmen doesn’t play well in Memphis. Dahmen has cooled off mightily since his T-10 at the U.S. Open (two MCs, best finish of 69th in four starts), but he did tie for 20th here at the WGC event in 2020.
94. Justin Rose
The Englishman finished solo 11th at TPC Southwind in 2019 and his T-54 here last year would’ve been much better if not for a closing 75 that erased three straight 69s to start the tournament. He hasn’t played much, teeing it up just six times since the Masters, but he’s got top-15s at the PGA and RBC Canadian Open (T-4) during that span, and he’s the only player other than Adam Scott who is ranked outside the top 70 in points who is also ranked inside the top 50 (44th to be exact; Scott is 21st) in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, which is the best indicator of more recent form.
110. Ryan Palmer
This is the home-run pick as Palmer, at No. 110 in points, needs something special to advance another week. He’s got the credentials at Southwind, however, to do just that. In 11 starts in Memphis when the event was a non-WGC, Palmer posted three top-10s, including a T-3 in 2012 and solo fourth in 2013. He also made his last seven cuts. And then when this event became a WGC, Palmer teed it up twice, with finishes of T-15 and T-26 in 2020 and 2021, respectively. The negative: he’s got just one top-10 finish individually this year.
One-time Pro Bowl LB K.J. Wright retires after 11 seasons .
The Seahawks signed Wright to a one-day contract, allowing the veteran linebacker to retire with the team. Wright will walk away from football after 10 seasons with the Seahawks and one with the Raiders. He ends his career having signed four contracts, including two Seattle extensions. Wright, who turned 33 last week, is one of the longest-tenured defenders in Seahawks history.Playing alongside Bobby Wagner for most of his career, Wright also became one of the better off-ball linebackers of this era. He started 148 games; his 140 starts as a Seahawk are the eighth-most by a defender in franchise annals.