Capitals

Cincy's Newman set for reunion weekend with Dallas

201212071151427012703-p2.jpeg

Cincy's Newman set for reunion weekend with Dallas

IRVING, Texas (AP) The enduring image of cornerback Terence Newman's nine seasons as a starter in Dallas was getting hurdled by a fullback in a season-ending loss to the New York Giants that kept the Cowboys out of the playoffs.

His release didn't come until two months after the Cowboys finished one of the worst seasons of pass defense in franchise history. It might as well have been that cold night in New Jersey last January.

``I pretty much figured it was coming,'' said Newman, who was dumped to avoid an $8 million hit against the Dallas salary cap.

Nine months later, Newman is having a much better season with the Cincinnati Bengals and gets a chance Sunday to play the team that drafted him fifth overall in 2003. He will also see one of his replacements - rookie Morris Claiborne, who was taken at No. 6, the highest pick for the Cowboys since getting Newman.

``A person can be bitter all they want, but it's not going to change anything,'' Newman said. ``I mean, I'm happy, playing pretty well, winning football games, so that's my No. 1 focus. There's no reason for me to be bitter. It's months and months after the fact.''

Still, the ending wasn't pretty for a player who started 131 of his 133 games and had 32 interceptions in Dallas, tied with linebacker Lee Roy Jordan for seventh in franchise history.

There were several moments last season with Newman at the center of an ugly moment for a secondary that needed an overhaul. The worst was Giants fullback Henry Hynoski looking like an Olympic hurdler when he took a short pass in the open field and jumped over a flailing Newman, who had ducked to try to make the tackle. The Giants threw for 331 yards without an interception in a 31-14 win that started a Super Bowl-winning run.

Dallas went home with a defense that allowed 3,903 passing yards, just 25 shy of the record from 1983. The Cowboys had a new coordinator in Rob Ryan, but the lockout gave him little time to install his complicated, attacking style. Newman, meanwhile, battled hamstring, neck and toe problems and became the target of opposing offenses.

``You think it was tough on Terence Newman? It was worse on me,'' Ryan said. ``But Terence gave me everything he had. He played hurt. I think he needed a change of scenery. I think we needed change of scenery.''

The Cowboys released Newman the day before they signed Brandon Carr from Kansas City when free agency opened. Carr got a five-year deal for $50 million, about half of it guaranteed. Moving up eight spots to take Claiborne completed the overhaul, but statistically the Cowboys aren't significantly better in the secondary. They're on pace to allow more than 3,500 yards, and they have just five interceptions, well off last year's pace.

Dallas is the only team in the league without a player who has at least two interceptions.

``I've got guys I know in that secondary that I have a lot of respect for, so it's not funny at all,'' Newman said. ``You never want to see your guys get criticized or not perform well or lose games. From that standpoint, I'd love to see my guys do well.''

Except for this week, of course. Newman leads the Bengals in pass breakups and intercepted Peyton Manning twice in the same game, bringing his career total to 34. He's fifth on the team with 58 tackles and is right on the pace of his career high of 77 with the Cowboys in 2010.

``Terence was a really, really good player for this team for a long time,'' Dallas coach Jason Garrett said. ``I told him when I talked to him, `You're going to be playing for a long time and just keep doing what you're doing.' I have so much respect for him as a guy, what he did for the organization. He's playing very well right now.''

Newman said he's in Cincinnati in large part because the defensive coordinator is Mike Zimmer, who was in charge of the Dallas defense when Newman was drafted. Because Zimmer grabbed him so quickly, Newman didn't really have a chance to lament the end of his Dallas days.

Besides, the Kansas native and former Kansas State star still calls Texas home. He knows what he'll be doing this coming offseason - playing golf with Cowboys defensive end Jason Hatcher.

``I think when my career is done, I will look back and say, of course a lot of people say `I wish I would've done this better or done that better,''' Newman said. ``But at the end of the day, I'm where I'm supposed to be obviously, and I'm content with it.''

---

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

---

Follow Schuyler Dixon on Twitter athttps://twitter.com/lschuylerd

Quick Links

Capitals deal Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik ahead of the draft

grubauertrade16x9done62218.png
NBC Sports Washington

Capitals deal Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik ahead of the draft

DALLAS—The Capitals have dealt backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer and veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik to Colorado for a second round pick, the team announced shortly before the NHL Draft kicked off Friday at American Airlines Center.

After the moves, the Caps had more than $21 million in space under the salary cap ceiling, according to www.capfriendly.com, and potentially enough room to accommodate new contracts for John Carlson and other key free agents.

GM Brian MacLellan was widely expected to deal Grubauer, a 26-year-old who wanted the opportunity to be a No. 1. As a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who was also coming off a strong season, Grubauer was due a significant raise.

“We would like to thank Brooks and Philipp for all of their contributions to our organization,” MacLellan said in a statement. “Philipp has been a consummate professional and a great teammate and we wish him all the best.”

Trading Orpik, on the other hand, was a bit unexpected, particularly considering how much the 37-year-old’s rugged play and leadership meant to the Caps during their run to the Stanley Cup.

By dealing Orpik, MacLellan shed his $5.5 million cap hit for next season—an important development given the Caps’ tight salary cap situation and the number of key players who need new contracts. Carlson, Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek are unrestricted free agents, while Tom Wilson, Devante Smith-Pelly, Travis Boyd and Madison Bowey are restricted free agents.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Avalanche are expected to help Orpik land a preferred spot, whether via trade or buyout. By taking on Orpik in the deal, Friedman reported, the Avs only had to give up one pick.

“Brooks,” MacLellan continued, “was a great leader and a tremendous role model for our young players in his four years with our organization. This was a difficult move, but the one we felt we needed to make in order to give some flexibility moving forward.”

Will moving out Grubauer and eliminating Orpik’s cap charge allow MacLellan to ink Carlson, who's set to become the top defenseman on the free agent market? That’s unclear, but it will sure help the Caps’ cause. Carlson is expected to command an extension in the eight-year, $8 million per neighborhood. 

Dealing Orpik also opens up a spot for a young and inexpensive defenseman such as Christian Djoos or Madison Bowey to take on a bigger role in 2018-19.

Without Grubauer, the Caps are likely to turn to Pheonix Copley, who is due to earn the NHL minimum of $650,000 next season, as their backup next season. And if Copley starts the year in Washington, that allows 2015 first round pick Ilya Samsonov to take the reins in Hershey.

The second round pick the Caps received in exchange for Grubauer and Orpik is the 47th overall selection.

MacLellan is expected to speak to reporters following the first round later Friday night. The Caps currently hold the 31st overall pick.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Bryce Harper will compete in Home Run Derby, but only on one condition

bryce-harper-usat.jpg
USA Today Sports

Bryce Harper will compete in Home Run Derby, but only on one condition

It’s happening.

When the 2018 All-Star Weekend comes to Washington, D.C. in the middle of July, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper will compete in the 2018 Home Run Derby, but only on one condition: He has to be a member of the 2018 National League All-Star Team.

Though Harper is having a down year, only hitting .213 thus far, he leads the NL in home runs with 19.

In the June 18 update of All-Star game voting, Harper sat second among all outfielders with just north of 1,000,000 votes.

That means he’s not only going to make the All-Star team, but he’ll likely start in the outfield.

Harper, a five-time All-Star, competed in the Home Run Derby once before. He was the runner-up to Yoenis Cespedes in 2013, losing by just one long ball, 9-8.

The 2018 Home Run Derby will take place on July 16 at Nationals Park.

MORE NATS NEWS: