The reason why LeBron, Heat will travel to China

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The reason why LeBron, Heat will travel to China

From Comcast SportsNet
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The NBA champion Miami Heat will play two preseason games against the Los Angeles Clippers in China this fall. The teams will meet Oct. 11 at MasterCard Center in Beijing and Oct. 14 at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. It's the first time the reigning NBA champions will play in the NBA China Games, which will mark their sixth edition. Eight NBA teams will play in eight international games in October as part of the league's international preseason schedule. The Dallas Mavericks will play games in Barcelona and Berlin and the Boston Celtics will play games in Istanbul and Milan against top Euroleague teams. Toronto and the New York Knicks will play in Montreal and Minnesota and Detroit will play in Winnipeg. In 2004, the NBA became the first American professional sports league to play games in China, with two games between the Houston Rockets and Sacramento.

Reed deal a big item off of Redskins to-do list

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Reed deal a big item off of Redskins to-do list

The Redskins can now check a big item off of their to-do list. They have locked up another key player into the next decade.

Jordan Reed has signed a contract extension, according to the team. Per reports the deal is for five years and is worth about $50 million and has $22 million in guaranteed money. The deal is added on to the one year he had left on his rookie contract so he is under contract through 2021.

The most important immediate effect of the deal is that they may have to find some salary cap space in order to sign their draft picks. The Redskins have about $4.2 million in cap space before the Reed signing. They need about $1.8 million to sign their draft picks. They saved $8 million in cap space by releasing cornerback Chris Culliver but because they designated him a post-June 1 cut to spread out the dead cap hit the savings will not hit the cap until next month.

They could squeeze Reed’s extension into a relatively small amount of cap space if they want to. Or they could release someone like Andre Roberts, a move that could create $3 million in cap savings.

But they will be able to work that out. The important thing is that they now have one less free agent to worry about re-signing in 2017. The list still includes DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon, Chris Baker, and quarterback Kirk Cousins.

The early extension for Reed could be a key factor in the negotiations for a long-term deal for Cousins. Had Reed gone into 2017 as a free agent they may have had to choose between using the franchise tag on him or on Cousins. That situation would have made for some difficult negotiations.

Reed will turn 26 in July so he is signed through his age 31 season. That will cover the prime years of the team’s third-round pick in 2013.

Reed recently fired his agent and hired Joel Segal. It seems that the change jump-started the negotiations and things came together rather quickly.

Alex Lewis was at grocery store when Ravens tried to draft him

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Alex Lewis was at grocery store when Ravens tried to draft him

Ravens offensive tackle Alex Lewis was tough to reach when the Ravens drafted him.

Lewis was at the grocery store when the Ravens called. That became a problem. The cell phone signal was bad between Lewis and general manager Ozzie Newsome, and Newsome didn’t have much time, with another pick to make soon.

Newsome finally gave up trying to speak to Lewis, and told coach John Harbaugh to call Lewis’ house.

“So I get on the phone with his mom, and I’m going, ‘Is Alex there?’", Harbaugh told reporters when the draft ended.

“And she goes, ‘No, he’s not. May I ask who is calling?’ I’m like, ‘It’s John Harbaugh, with the Ravens.’ She goes, ‘Oh, well how I can I help you?’ I said, ‘Well, we were hoping that Alex would become a Baltimore Raven, and we’re thinking about drafting him. Is he there right now?’ (She said), ‘No, he just stepped out and he went to the store, but he’ll be back in a little while.’ I’m just going, ‘He’s at the store! What do we do now?’ She goes, ‘Now who is this team again?’

Lewis returned from his grocery run a short time later, spoke to Harbaugh, and all was well. It made for a draft experience the Ravens and Lewis won’t soon forget.

Redskins make Jordan Reed second-highest paid tight end in NFL

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Redskins make Jordan Reed second-highest paid tight end in NFL

The Redskins have locked up another key member of the team for the prime seasons of his career. The team has announced that Jordan Reed has signed a contract extension.

According to multiple media reports the deal is worth about $50 million over five years. Reed, a third-round pick in 2013, is scheduled to make $1.6 million this year on the final season of his four-year rookie contract.

His new contract will make him the second highest paid tight end in the NFL behind Jimmy Graham of the Seahawks.

Reed had a breakout season in 2015, leading the team in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns.