Aroldis Chapman will be on innings limit in Reds’ rotation

Aroldis Chapman will be on innings limit in Reds’ rotation

Aroldis Chapman is going to enter spring training next February as a starter. Should he also emerge as one, there will have to be a limit on the amount of innings that he throws in 2013 because he topped out at 71 2/3 frames as the Reds’ closer in 2012. But that innings limit won’t…

Report: Under Armour inks UCLA to biggest apparel deal ever

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USA TODAY Sports

Report: Under Armour inks UCLA to biggest apparel deal ever

Under Armour has signed UCLA to the biggest-ever apparel deal in college sports history, locking the Bruins in across all sports for 15 years and $280 million, according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com.

The move expands the company's westward expansion, which includes the massively successful investment in Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and a newly signed deal with California-Berkeley athletics.

From Rovell:

In January, Ohio State said its 15-year deal with Nike was worth $252 million. Texas signed a 15-year deal with Nike worth $250 million in October, and Michigan signed an 11-year deal, with a four-year option, that could be worth up to $173.8 million.

Maryland has been the flagship for Under Armour and is the alma mater of CEO Kevin Plank. Notre Dame is also among the schools recently signed to the brand.

AFC North: Veteran pass rusher Freeney reportedly to work out for Bengals

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AFC North: Veteran pass rusher Freeney reportedly to work out for Bengals

Veteran pass rusher Dwight Freeney has been looking for a landing spot, and the Cincinnati Bengals could be it. The Bengals plan to work out Freeney this week, according to Coley Harvey of ESPN.com

Freeney turned 36 years old in February, but looked like he still had gas in his tank last season with the Cardinals. An October pickup, Freeney produced eight sacks and forced three fumbles in just 245 snaps, and helped the Cardinals reach the NFC championship game.

Consider that Freeney’s eight sacks last season were more than anyone on the Ravens had. Elvis Dumervil led the Ravens in 2015 with six sacks.

How well Freeney would fit with the Bengals, who play primarily a 4-3, could be an issue. But Freeney’s veteran leadership might be an asset to a Bengals team trying to end years of playoff frustration. The Bengals have made the playoffs five straight seasons, but have lost their playoff opener each of those times. Freeney won a Super Bowl with the Colts, and would like to play in another before he calls it quits.

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OTAs to-do list: How much work remains at safety?

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OTAs to-do list: How much work remains at safety?

Free agency is done. The draft is history. Rookie minicamp is in the rearview and the 90-man offseason roster has been filled out. Now comes the difficult part for Jay Gruden and his staff: putting it all together. With OTAs set to begin today, Redskins Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will examine top priorities on Gruden’s to-do list as he prepares the team for training camp in Richmond later this summer.

Up today …

Safeties to-do list

Tandler: In many areas what needs to be accomplished during OTAs is somewhat subtle, a tweak here and there. But at safety there are two glaringly obvious things that need to be done at safety this spring.

One is to get DeAngelo Hall fully acclimated at free safety. Last year veteran made an in-season change from cornerback, the position he played for his first 11 NFL seasons, to safety. Now he is starting the offseason program at the still somewhat unfamiliar position. It’s no longer an experiment and he needs to master the nuances of safety starting today.

The other item here is to figure out who will start at strong safety and what roles the reserves will play. Duke Ihenacho won the job last year but he lasted only a few snaps into the season before a wrist injury ended his season. David Bruton was mostly a reserve in seven seasons in Denver but he signed here with assurances that he would get to compete for the starting job. And while rookie Su’a Cravens is starting out as an inside linebacker it’s only a few steps back from there to an in-the-box strong safety spot. It will be interesting to watch who gets how much action at the position as they begin to sort it out.

El-Bashir: One of the more scrutinized positions in the coming weeks figures to be the safety spot next to DeAngelo Hall, whom I suspect can be safely penciled in as one starter.

As for everyone else? We’ll get our first look at the pecking order tomorrow, when the Redskins open practice to reporters for the first time this spring.

Here’s what I’ll be looking for:

  • Is there a rotation opposite Hall? Or is someone (David Bruton, Duke Ihenacho or 'other') clearly working as a first-teamer?
  • How is Will Blackmon deployed? Listed as a corner last season, the veteran was signed to a two-year contract extension and is now listed as a safety.
  • Su’a Cravens worked with the inside linebackers during rookie minicamp. But he’s listed as a safety. Does he get some work as a defensive back?
  • And what about special teams standout Deshazor Everett? Like Blackmon, he's also moved from corner to safety. Where, and with whom, does he work?

My sense is that there’s a lot of work to be done at this position. We’ll get our first glimpse of exactly how much work remains tomorrow afternoon.