Star defenseman signs huge offer sheet with Flyers

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Star defenseman signs huge offer sheet with Flyers

From Comcast SportsNet
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A person with knowledge of the decision says the Philadelphia Flyers have signed Nashville star defenseman Shea Weber to a 14-year offer sheet worth more than 100 million. The Sports Network in Canada first reported the offer. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because the Flyers hadn't announced the offer. Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren confirmed early Thursday that the Flyers did sign Weber to an offer sheet. He gave no further details. Predators part owner W. Brett Wilson posted on Twitter, "Am aware of Philly offer." Weber, 26, is the Predators' captain and played on a 7.5 million arbitrator's award last season. He had 19 goals and 49 points along the way. The team has seven days to match the offer. Nashville already lost free-agent defenseman Ryan Suter to Minnesota this summer, and losing Weber would be an unexpected blow to a defense-first team that had 104 points last season, took the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. Meanwhile, Weber would fill the void left by Philadelphia defenseman Chris Pronger's absence. Pronger -- a key cog in the Flyers' run to the 2010 Stanley Cup finals -- has been battling concussion problems and missed most of last season. He finished with one goal in 13 games as the Flyers bowed out in the second round to New Jersey after a promising, 103-point regular season. The Flyers were exposed on defense in a five-game, Round 2 loss to New Jersey, and since have lost defenseman Matt Carle, who snared a six-year, 33 million deal with Tampa Bay. Weber would fix a lot of those problems.

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Wizards vs. Warriors: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Wizards vs. Warriors: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards host Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night as they aim to continue rising the ranks of the NBA's Eastern Conference.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…

WASHINGTON WIZARDS vs. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

Where: Verizon Center
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: CSN (coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Seeking a turnaround

The Wizards welcome the 49-9 Golden State Warriors to town at a time they probably wish they were playing somebody else. That's not to say they will be intimidated whatsoever by the Dubs. It's just they are in a bit of a slump right now and in order to break out soon, they will have to correct their course against the NBA's best team.

That is not ideal, but the Wizards have to play their way out of this one way or the other. After entering the All-Star break winners of 18 of 21 games, the Wizards have lost two straight. The second was understandable, against the Utah Jazz, the fourth-seed in the West. The Wizards just couldn't score against arguably the best defensive team in the game. Their first loss, however, was a big disappointment, a road loss to the Sixers who were without Joel Embiid, their best player. Defense was the problem against Philly, while offense was the issue vs. Utah. Can they put it all together against Golden State?

[RELATED: NBA Power Rankings: Post trade deadline outlook]

Dealing with Durant and crew

Improving on defense will not be easy against Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, three All-Stars who rank among the most talented offensive players in the game. All three score at least 22 points per game and shoot at least 47 percent from the field. They are a nightmare for any opponent and as a team the Warriors rank second in basketball at 118.1 points per game.

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks discussed the challenge of stopping them, specifically on the three-point line where they not only shoot at high percentage (38.9% as a team) but with unbelievable quickness on their release:

"I don't know, I really don't. I don't know how to guard this team. They've got so many weapons, but we're going to challenge ourselves to do it. We're not going to concede because they're the best team. They've got some of the best shooters and they take a lot of tough shots that go in... It's beautiful to watch; all of these threes and the passing."

As for Durant, whom Brooks coached for seven years with the Oklahoma City Thunder, he had this to say:

"It's not going to be easy. He has the length. He has the shooting and the ball-handling. He has every part of the game that he can score at. He can go either way. We're going to make it hard on him, make his shots and his catches very difficult."

[RELATED: Beal on Durant: 'I didn't think he was going to come here... from the very beginning']

Can Otto get going?

The Wizards could use an improved performance by forward Otto Porter to give them a chance against the Warriors. Porter charged into the break, averaging 16.3 points on 53.8 percent shooting and 7.8 rebounds per game in his last 10 outings. But in his two games since the All-Star break, Porter has scored just 13 total points, shooting 6-for-18 (33.3%) from the field. 

When asked about this mini-slump, Porter said he needs to "just keep playing." He's right, there is no need to worry. He probably just needs to shoot more. Against Utah he only took two three-pointers. That is nowhere near enough for the most accurate three-point shooter in basketball.

[RELATED: Brooks on competing vs. Durant for first time]

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Redskins entering uncharted waters in Cousins contract situations

Redskins entering uncharted waters in Cousins contract situations

Last year, the Redskins gave Kirk Cousins the franchise tag on the last possible day. It looks like that is what will happen this year, with the deadline coming at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

However, Cousins getting tagged and then signing the offer shortly after that was the end of the process. This year it looks like it could be the beginning of it. And when it starts, the Redskins will be going into territory where no NFL team has gone before.

It appears that the Redskins and Cousins will have difficulty coming to terms on a new contract. The gap between the team’s valuation of Cousins’ worth in a long-term contract and what Cousins believes he can get on the open market appears to be vast, perhaps several million dollars a year or more. And since Cousins likely will be on the open market in 2018 if he plays out this year on the tag there is no incentive for Cousins to compromise.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 4.0

This leaves the Redskins in a box. They can either pay Cousins a significant amount more than they think he is worth, a move that would hamper their ability to pay other players what they are worth. Or they can let another team pay him and move on at the quarterback position.

When faced with such choices in the past, NFL teams have just paid the quarterback whatever it took to get the deal done. The Redskins don’t appear to be inclined to do that.

Since it doesn’t look like they are willing to bite the bullet and pay Cousins they must figure out the end game. Their options are limited. Just letting him go into free agency does not appear to be a realistic way to go. They can franchise tag him, pay him $23.94 million in installments of $1.41 million due each of the 17 weeks of the regular season, and then figure out how to handle 2018 when it comes around. Next year they could let him walk, franchise tag him a third for whopping $34.5 million (unlikely) or give him the transition tag. That tag would be less expensive at $28.7 million and it would give the Redskins the right to match any offer sheet.

None of those 2018 options seems to be particularly attractive. The franchise tag is prohibitively expensive, the transition tag is only slightly less so but it gives the Redskins only the chance to match an offer made to Cousins without the option of taking draft pick compensation. And with either tag, Cousins could simply sign the tag, play out the year on it and become a free agent in 2019 with all tag options off the table.

Their other option is the tag and trade this year. This would entail Cousins getting tagged and then working out a trade that may bring less than the two first-round draft picks as compensation. In fact, it could bring a lot less.

No matter how they proceed, the Redskins will be in uncharted waters. No quarterback has played a second season on the franchise tag. And no quarterback who has thrown for over 4,000 yards in back-to-back seasons has played the next season for another team. So, either way the Redskins are doing something that never has been done before.

MORE REDSKINS: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?

If the Redskins move on from Cousins, whether it’s this year or next, they will be saying no to the NFL conventional wisdom that says you pay whatever it takes to hold on to your quarterback. When, say, the Patriots do something unconventional or when the Seahawks don’t follow the NFL orthodoxy the assumption is that they know what they are doing and that everything will turn out fine.

However, the Redskins do not enjoy a sterling reputation for being smart operators. Their last major quarterback decision, trading three first-round picks and a second for Robert Griffin III, quickly turned into a disaster. They will get no benefit of the doubt no matter how they proceed here.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.