Female official to work NFL game for 1st time

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Female official to work NFL game for 1st time

From Comcast SportsNet
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Shannon Eastin will become the first female to officiate an NFL game when she works as a line judge for the Green Bay at San Diego preseason match Thursday night. The regular NFL officials have been locked out by the league. Eastin is a college referee who has worked in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (FCS division). She is one of the replacement officials hired by the NFL and has 16 years of experience. A resident of Tempe, Ariz., Eastin also has won six national judo championships. She was the youngest judo athlete ever to train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, doing so when she was 11. The officiating team for the Hall of Fame game Sunday night included officials who have worked college games and some professional games, such as in the Arena Footbal League.

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Aaron White jumps to Russian team on 2-year deal, bypasses Wizards’ training camp

Aaron White jumps to Russian team on 2-year deal, bypasses Wizards’ training camp

For the second year in a row, Wizards second-round draft pick Aaron White will play overseas, league sources tell CSNmidatlantic.com on Friday, but this time it’ll be in Russia.

White, who was drafted 49th overall in 2015, signed a two-year deal –- the second is a team option and there is an NBA buyout clause –- with Zenit St. Petersburg.

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White played for the Wizards at Las Vegas summer league and started all five games. Projected to be a stretch option as a 6-8 forward, he averaged 7.2 points and only shot 29.4% from three-point range.

He bypassed competing for a roster spot with the Wizards last season when there weren’t any roster spots up for grabs and went to Germany to begin his pro career. The Wizards have two spots open as they remake the roster this year, but Jarell Eddie (non-guaranteed) and Danuel House (undrafted free agent) are in a better position entering camp to gain those spots.

If White decided to attend camp with the Wizards he could force them to cut him which would make him a free agent and he could try to play in on another NBA team. But if he did that, those international offers would be off the table since camp doesn’t open until Sept. 27.

By taking the offer with St. Petersburg, White will earn more than he would even if he made the Wizards playing for the rookie minimum ($543,471).

"I'm really excited to continue my career in Europe and play at this high level for St. Petersburg," White told CSN via text.

"Zenit is a very successful team and I look forward to contributing to them."

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Grading the Caps' offseason moves: Re-signing Marcus Johansson

Grading the Caps' offseason moves: Re-signing Marcus Johansson

The quest for the Stanley Cup doesn't begin on the ice, but during the offseason as general managers build their teams for the upcoming campaign.

The Caps have made a number of moves this summer to try to make their team better and get over the playoff hump.

Let's break down and grade each move the team made this offseason to help figure out whether it was the right move for the team.

Today's move: Re-signing Marcus Johansson

Just one year after going all the way through the arbitration process, the Caps and Marcus Johansson looked poised to do it all over again this summer.

Johansson tallied 46 points in 2015-16, just one point shy of the 47 he posted the season before. No doubt he sees himself as a top-six player, but he will likely find himself playing wing on the third line. So for the second year, the Caps had a different value of Johansson than what he could find on the open market.

Both sides began talking seriously on the day of the hearing, howver, and Johansson agreed to a three-year deal worth $13.75 million which carries a yearly cap hit of $4.583 million.

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“I'm just happy we could figure it out in the end,” Johansson said after narrowly avoiding arbitration. “To be able to be part of this team for three more years, that's important to me. I think both parties are happy with it. There's obviously the cap in the NHL and you have to find a way to stay under it and we finally came to the agreement that made both parties happy.”

Johansson is one of the most polarizing figures in the organization when it comes to the fans. There are two main reasons for this. First, when he first came into the NHL, he was touted as the solution to the Caps’ hole at center on the second line.

Did he live up to that billing? No. Johansson was not able to cement himself in that position—proving to be more effective as a winger than a center—and joined a long line of failed “solutions” for the position including Brooks Laich, Mikhail Grabovski, Mike Ribeiro, Jason Arnott, Brendan Morrison, Eric Belanger and Michael Nylander.

The second reason Johansson is so heavily criticized is his perceived lack of physicality. While it would be fair to say that the physical aspect of the game has never been his strong suit, it would also be fair to say Johansson was noticeably more physical in 2015-16 than we had previously seen. No one is going to mistake him for Tom Wilson, but he at least showed improvement.

In terms of production, Johansson has proven himself to be a 40+ point player with 44, 47 and 46 points in his last three seasons. With Jason Chimera’s departure, Johansson is now most likely the fastest player on the team. As speed is so important in today’s NHL, that certainly ups Johansson’s value.

Johansson was also one of the few players willing to screen and crash the net this season, one of the few noticeable weaknesses of the Presidents’ Trophy winning Caps team. Again, that is not his strongest suit, but it should be noted that he was at least willing to fight for the dirty goals.

Grade: B+

Yes, I know this one is going to spark some disagreement.

Johansson may not be Washington’s favorite player, but he does clearly provide the Caps with speed and offensive production. The fact that he can also play wing and center is also a valuable asset. When Jay Beagle was out with injury last season, Johansson played well in his place at third line center. That kind of flexibility brings value that most NHL players do not.

Let’s also consider where the team stands and what Johansson’s role will be next season. The Caps are in it to win it. With several contracts expiring and several prospects nearly ready to become full-time NHL players, this team may look very different next year meaning this may be the last year that championship window is open for Washington.

With that in mind, the Caps need players who provide value now. Johansson most likely will play wing on the third line next season. Even his staunchest critics have to admit that having talent like that on the third line is an asset.

Does it come with a hefty price tag? Perhaps. When comparing his contract to other players with a comparable cap hit, Johansson’s production is a bit underwhelming. Mats Zuccarello of the New York Rangers is signed through 2019 with a $4.5 million cap hit and tallied 59, 49 and 61 points over the last three seasons. Clearly Johansson does not stack up to that comparable.

The Caps were not going to walk away from Johansson in the offseason, however, because there is zero benefit to walking away from a player of his caliber for nothing in return. Of course they were going to re-sign him because it would have been foolish not to.

Is his cap hit a bit high? Yes, but Brian MacLellan was able to sign him and still add Lars Eller and Brett Connolly while keeping the rest of the roster largely intact.

Plus, his contract is not immovable if they decide to move on after this season. Johansson has a modified no-trade clause after the first season of the deal, but he can only name five teams in which he does not wish to be traded. It also does not offer him automatic protection in next year’s expansion draft.

With the Caps still gunning for the Stanley Cup, this team is better for having a player like Johansson on the third line. If after this season the team decides his value is greater as a trade asset, then moving him becomes an option thanks to his multi-year deal. For now, however, it makes all the sense in the world to have a player like Johansson back for at least one more run at a championship.

MORE CAPITALS: GRADING THE MOVES: CAPS FIND OFFENSIVE DEPTH WITH ELLER

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Former Wizards' draft pick arrested on assault and drug charges; AK-47 found

Former Wizards' draft pick arrested on assault and drug charges; AK-47 found

Former Wizards' draft pick Glen Rice Jr. was arrested in in Georgia on July 25 on charges of felony robbery, aggravated battery and marijuana possession.

On Friday, new details were released on what took place and it does not look good for the oft-troubled son of former NBA star Glen Rice.

According to the police report obtained by TMZ.com, Rice Jr. got into a an altercation with former Tulane basketball player Jordan Callahan in the parking lot of a Kroger grocery store.  A fight between the two broke out, with Callahan reportedly suffering a broken jaw and being left in a pool of his own blood.  

A witness told police they saw Rice Jr. flee the scene on foot with two bags. Police found the two bags — containing an AK-47 assault rifle and a Taurus .38 special — hidden underneath nearby leaves. When the cops arrested Rice, they found him in possession of roughly $2,700 in cash and six cell phones.

Rice Jr., who was drafted by the Wizards with the No. 35 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, was suspended three times during his short career at Georgia Tech before being dismissed from the program following a DUI arrest in 2012. He then spent a season in the NBA D-League with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers before being drafted by the Wizards. 

He appeared in just 16 games in two seasons before being released by the team in January 2015, two months after he was shot in the leg at an Atlanta-area restaurant. Rice Jr. was charged with reckless conduct and possession of marijuana.

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