Redskins

Longoria agrees to deal adding $100 million

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Longoria agrees to deal adding $100 million

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Evan Longoria wants to be with the Tampa Bay Rays for his entire big league career.

The slugging third baseman got his wish Monday when they Rays agreed to a $136.6 million, 10-year contract that adds six guaranteed seasons and $100 million.

``I always wanted to be kind of a benchmark player ... the guy that you could think about or associate with the organization,'' Longoria said. ``My goal from Day One was to be the first player that played their whole career here, to be the first guy that came into the organization and went out in the organization, and played all the years in between. There's no better place for me.''

The agreement with the three-time All-Star incorporates the remainder of the 27-year-old's existing contract, which called for him to earn $36.6 million over the next four seasons. The new deal includes a team option for 2023 that could make the deal worth $144.6 million over 11 years.

``It's a very exciting day for us,'' Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said. ``For Evan to have the confidence in us, and I know the confidence that we have in him, to re-up so to speak for the long haul. This is just an enormous commitment for us.''

Longoria said a no-trade provision is not included in the deal, although after the second day of the 2018 season he would have a right to block trades as a 10-year veteran who spent his last five years with the same team.

Just six games into his major league career, Longoria agreed in April 2008 to a $17.5 million, six-year contract that included club options potentially making the deal worth $44 million over nine seasons.

``The significance of this is not lost on anybody,'' Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. ``We're extending that commitment now.''

His new deal calls for a $5,000,180 signing bonus - the $180 is for good luck. Of the signing bonus, $1,000,180 is new money payable Dec. 15 and the rest is pair of $2 million payments on Feb. 15 and June 14. His 2013 salary is reduced from $6 million to $2 million.

Longoria's salaries remain $7.5 million for 2014, $11 million for 2015 and $12.1 million for 2016. The new deal adds salaries of $13 million for 2017, $13.5 million for 2018, $14.5 million for 2019, $15 million for 2020, $18.5 million for 2021 and $19.5 million for 2022.

Tampa Bay holds a $13 million option for 2023 with a $5 million buyout, and escalators could raise the option price to $18 million.

Longoria became just the seventh player with a contract guaranteed through 2020. Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun, Detroit first baseman Prince Fielder, Chicago Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler and Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki have deals covering the next eight years, with Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols' contract running through 2021 and Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto's through 2023.

Tampa Bay selected Longoria as the third overall pick in the 2006 amateur draft, making him the first player drafted under Sternberg and Friedman.

Longoria played in just 74 games in 2012 because of a partially torn left hamstring. He underwent a minor surgical cleanup procedure on the hamstring Nov. 20 and is expected to be ready for spring training.

``With the time that we had now, there's no doubt that I'd be able to recover and be at 100 percent or close to it by (the start of) spring training,'' Longoria said.

Longoria will rehab the leg during the winter and will not participate in next year's World Baseball Classic.

Tampa Bay was 41-44 during Longoria's absence, and 47-27 with him in the starting lineup.

The two-time AL Gold Glove winner and 2008 AL Rookie of the Year ranks second on the Rays career list with 130 home runs, third with 456 RBIs and fourth with 161 doubles. Longoria is one of 11 active players to average at least 25 homers and 90 RBIs during his first five seasons.

Longoria will donate more than $1 million during the contract to the Rays Baseball Foundation, the team's charitable foundation.

Sternberg said this deal does not rule out the possibility of signing other Tampa Bay players to mulityear contracts, such as AL Cy Young Award winner David Price. The Rays were at the bottom of the big leagues in home attendance this year.

``One of the challenges we'll have is figuring out how to take the next step for our organization,'' Sternberg said.

Tampa Bay and Longoria had brief, preliminary contract talks before the season began and resumed discussions after the season ended.

``We kind of tried to find a middle ground to where we would able to do some things to be able to afford some players to put ourselves in a position to win every year,'' Longoria said. ``And I told them from the beginning that I didn't want to be the one sucking up all the payroll so we can't afford anybody else.''

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Clarifying the confusion about the Redskins' Week 16 game at the Titans

Clarifying the confusion about the Redskins' Week 16 game at the Titans

There was some confusion about the Redskins’ Week 16 game in Tennessee when the NFL schedule dropped. The schedule pushed out by the Redskins said that the game date and time are to be determined. Other versions that went out, including the one on NFL.com, says the game will be on Sunday, December 23 at 1 p.m.

So what’s the story? Well, if you’re thinking of making reservations to go to Nashville to watch the game you just might want to hold off for a while. Like, until early November. 

In an under the radar move, the NFL has established flex scheduling for its late-season Saturday games. Here are the details from the schedule press release from Redskins PR:

“Flexibility for Saturday games in Weeks 15 and 16 is also part of the 2018 schedule. In Week 15, there will be two games played on Saturday on NFL Network, with the game times of 4:30 p.m. and 8:20 p.m. to be determined. In Week 16, two of four possible matchups will be scheduled for Saturday. Start times and Saturday games for Week 15 and 16 will be announced no later than following Week 8, with the non-Saturday games to be played on Sunday.”

The way it sets up, if the Redskins and Titans are playing well in midseason there is a good chance the game will be played on Saturday, December 22 at either 4:30 or 8:20. If one or both teams are struggling, the league and networks could choose to flex two of the other four matchups to Saturday. 

This is taking flex scheduling to a different level. It’s one thing shifting a Sunday kickoff seven and a half hours from 1 p.m. to 8:30. It’s another to shift a whole day. The visiting teams can’t make travel arrangements, not knowing if they need to come into town on Friday for a Saturday game or on Saturday for Sunday. Fans who want to travel to the game are in the same boat. 

Of course, if you can afford it, you can just add a day to your Nashville excursion. There are worse things in the world than spending an extra day or two in Music City. 

If you have to wait to make your plans, as the Redskins do, you will find out no later than October 29, which is when Week 8 ends. 

Do you believe in trends? Then you should hope that the game does get flexed to Saturday. The Redskins have won three straight Saturday games, beating the Eagles in both 2014 and 2015 (the latter game clinching the division title for Washington) and the Bears in 2016. 

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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John Tortorella has no answers, walks out of postgame press conference after Game 4

John Tortorella has no answers, walks out of postgame press conference after Game 4

In each of the first three games of the series, the Columbus Blue Jackets always had an answer for the Washington Capitals.

The Caps built a two-goal lead in each game and Columbus was able to battle back and tie it each time.

In Game 4 on Thursday, however. the Blue Jackets had no answer in a 4-1 loss to Washington and that includes head coach John Tortorella.

"We weren't good," Tortorella said to the media after the game. "There's no sense asking me things about the game. I'm telling you, we laid an egg. I'm not going to break it down for you. We sucked. We sucked."

Tortorella is known for having some fiery interactions with the media. By his standard, Thursday's postgame presser was fairly tame.

The Capitals may have won Game 3, but Columbus certainly looked like the better team for most of the night. That was not the case in Game 4 as Washington dominated from start to finish. That led to the contentious postgame presser.

"We laid an egg," Tortorella said. "That's all I have to say, guys. I'm sorry, I'm not going to break it down for you. Nothing went well for us. It's on us, we have to figure it out and we will."

Reporters continued to press the head coach until he finally walked out.

Before you laugh too hard at this, it is important to consider that this may be a calculated move by Tortorella.

Sure, there have been times in which he has lost his temper in the past, but these outbursts may be more premeditated than we think.

Consider this. After their worst game of the series, a game in which the Blue Jackets only scored once and saw a 2-0 series lead evaporate in two games at home, we're talking about the head coach. We're not talking about the loss or the performance of the players. Instead, we are talking about Tortorella walking out on reporters.

Even if Tortorella was not willing to give any answers on Thursday, he will need to find some soon. The series now shifts back to Washington for Game 5 on Saturday with all the momentum on the Caps' side.

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