Capitals

Payton could be a coaching free agent in 2013

Payton could be a coaching free agent in 2013

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Dismissing speculation that Sean Payton may leave New Orleans because of a glitch in his contract, Drew Brees has no doubt he'll be reunited with the suspended Saints coach in 2013.

``I absolutely believe he'll be back,'' Brees said Monday night after guiding the Saints to a 28-13 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Payton was suspended for the season by the NFL for his role in the bounty scandal. The league has taken issue with a clause in the contract extension he agreed to more than a year ago, which was to have kept him in New Orleans through 2015.

``I haven't seen the report or heard the report,'' Saints interim coach Joe Vitt said. ``I don't want to have any comment, but let me say this: This team loves Sean, and Sean loves this team. This city loves Sean, and Sean loves this city. I think that's a tough combination to beat.''

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Sunday he does not know if Payton might become a coaching free agent after the season.

``The one contract that they sent in to us ... we told them what the issue was,'' Goodell said. ``Now it's up to the team and Sean Payton. So until I get something back, it's up to them.''

Payton's agent, Don Yee, did not return a message seeking comment.

According to ESPN, the league objected to Payton being allowed to nix the deal if general manager Mickey Loomis was fired, suspended or left the organization for any reason. Loomis received an eight-game suspension for his involvement in the bounty case and is eligible to return after the Saints (3-5) beat the Eagles.

Payton can return next season, but some wonder if he might be interested in moving to the struggling Dallas Cowboys if he has that option.

The Cowboys (3-5) have been a major disappointment, with a 19-13 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday only turning up the heat on third-year coach Jason Garrett.

Payton was an assistant head coach with the Cowboys before he took over the Saints in 2006. He has a 67-37 record, including four playoff appearances and New Orleans' first Super Bowl championship, but he kept alive speculation that he might someday return to Dallas by keeping a home in that city.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was asked about the possibility of Payton coaching the Cowboys if he's available.

``I have no idea,'' he said. ``I have no understanding about anything to do with his or the Saints' business or their contracts. I don't have any - that was news to me.''

Jones insisted that he hasn't given up on Garrett, who has a record of 16-16 over three seasons and has yet to lead the Cowboys to the playoffs.

``I have a lot of faith in Jason,'' Jones said. ``Jason's future is ahead of him. I know how hard he works. I like his philosophy, so I've got a lot of confidence, a lot of faith. One of the brightest spots I see is our head coaching and our coaching in the future.''

New Orleans safety Roman Harper sees no reason for Payton to leave New Orleans, especially after being linked to the bounty case.

``Why would he not come back? He's got something to prove,'' Harper said. ``There's nothing like having a man with a chip on his shoulder. This is just another way the NFL is trying to get at us. We just have to keep our minds on things we can control, and that's playing football.''

But linebacker Scott Shanle sounded more concerned.

``We'd be crazy if we said we weren't worried about it, but at the same time that's out of our control,'' he said. ``We can't do anything about it. We can't let that story and that development sidetrack us from what we're trying to do.''

It certainly was a topic before the game, but the Saints quickly brushed it aside. For now, they're worried about saving this season.

``Some of us guys talked about it a little bit, but nothing too serious because we didn't understand what the language is in the contract,'' Shanle said. ``It seemed like it was changing minute by minute. Honestly, there wasn't a whole lot of discussion about it within the team.''

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Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Associated Press writer George Henry in Atlanta and Associated Press freelance writer Guerry Smith in New Orleans contributed to this report.

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Game 60: Capitals vs. Lightning Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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Game 60: Capitals vs. Lightning Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Lightning will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Lightning game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

You can also stream the game online with no cable TV subscription on fuboTV (try for free!).

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

The Capitals (34-18-7) take on the Lightning (39-17-3) Tuesday, February 20 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Washington.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME ON?

The Capitals-Lightning game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Lightning
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Lightning game:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Defensemen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Taylor Chorney

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

The Capitals-Lightning game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

The game is also available to stream, along with all the pregame and postgame shows, on fuboTV (try for free).

CAPITALS-LIGHTNING OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 20, 22 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

Galette to be a valued free agent

Originally published 12/13/17

Like the Redskins, the Broncos are no longer relevant in 2017. Both teams’ fan bases have started to look towards the coming offseason.

To give their readers what they want, the Denver Post published an article by Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus that discussed some of the top pending free agents who have done the most to increase their values in the past year. There were two Redskins named, one you would expect to see on such a list and one that might surprise some people.

Kirk Cousins is at the top of the list. “The Washington signal-caller is grading as a top-10 quarterback (82.8), and soon he’ll have the long-term contract of one,” Renner wrote. “Only this time its value will be exponentially higher than any one he would have signed back when he first became a free agent in 2016.”

But the surprising name is that of Junior Galette. After missing the last two seasons with two torn Achilles tendons, he played this year on a one-year, $800,000 deal. And while he hasn’t been on fire in the sack department with just two on the year, he has been getting pressure on the passer.

“He’s accumulated the 27th-highest pass-rushing grade of any edge defender this season, but in only 264 snaps,” wrote Renner. “At 29 years of age, it’s doubtful he ever gets back to the level of the contract that he once had on the table with New Orleans. With how he’s played this season though, some pass-rush-needy team will pay handsomely for his services.”

One team that could be considered to be pass rush needy is the Redskins. Preston Smith is the starter and supposedly one of the Redskins’ top pass rushers. But in 100 fewer pass rush snaps this year, Galette has only three fewer quarterback hits than Smith and six more hurries.

And after missing those two seasons, Galette has remained healthy. Although he was limited with a hamstring during much of the preseason, he has not missed a practice or appeared on an injury report this year.

But would the Redskins be willing to pay him “handsomely”? Perhaps a good comp would be Connor Barwin, who moved from the Eagles to the Rams this past offseason at the age of 31. He had five sacks in Philly in 2016. That got him a one-year deal worth $3.5 million.

Barwin likely will have more sacks on his ledger going into free agency so let’s say Galette could command around $3 million. Perhaps he could offer Washington a bit of a hometown discount and agree to something in the $2.75 million range. If that is the case, the Redskins would be smart to keep him around for another year.

Plenty of things could alter the equation. If Galette gets hot in the last three games and posts a few more sacks his price could rise. With Smith and Ryan Kerrigan both back next year, perhaps Galette will want to go somewhere that he might get more playing time.

The details need to be sorted out but don’t be surprised if Galette gets a lot of attention in free agency, as much as teams need pass rush, and if the Redskins have to make a very tough decision about how much he is worth.

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

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 9
—NFL Draft (4/26) 65
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 201