Capitals

Giants WR Hakeem Nicks practices on limited basis

Giants WR Hakeem Nicks practices on limited basis

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has practiced for the first time in two weeks.

Nicks worked out on a limited basis on Thursday. After the practice, he was uncertain whether he would be able to play against the 49ers (4-1) in San Francisco on Sunday.

``I'm not really trying to talk about injuries too much,'' Nicks said. ``My mentality is that I'm playing all right. We'll see (Friday). (Friday) will be a deciding factor. Hopefully that answers all the questions I've been asking. Right now, I'm just going through the course and stuff like that.

``It's still a matter of me just getting back out there.''

The fourth-year receiver broke his right foot in minicamp in May and it has bothered him since the start of training camp. He developed swelling in his left knee after a win over Tampa Bay in the second game of the season and has missed the last three games.

While he wants to play, Nicks does not want to aggravate the injuries and possibly be sidelined much longer for the Giants (3-2).

``I'm ready to see,'' he said. ``It's been three games and I'm ready to get back out there. I have to be patient, and patience is a virtue. I've been down this road before, it's not anything new. I need to get back right.''

Nicks had 10 catches for 199 yards and a touchdown against the Buccaneers on Sept. 16 and was named the NFC offensive player of the week. He has 14 catches for 237 yards and a TD in two games this season.

Defensive tackle Rocky Bernard (quadriceps), safety Kenny Phillips (knee) and running back Andre Brown (concussion) did not practice on Thursday and will likely miss their second straight game. Tight end Martellus Bennett (knee), linebacker Chase Blackburn (hip), cornerback Corey Webster (hand-hamstring) and tackle David Diehl were also limited on Thursday.

Linebacker Keith Rivers and cornerback Jayron Hosley both practiced for the second straight day and should return to the lineup after missing the last two games with hamstring injuries.

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Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

The Stanley Cup is not the only trophy that will be awarded at the end of the Stanley Cup Final series between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights. The Conn Smythe will also be given to the player deemed the most valuable to his team during the playoffs.

Who will that player be?

It's not hard to figure out who the frontrunner is right now. Marc-Andre Fleury hasn't just been the best goalie in the playoffs, he's been the best player with a dominant postseason in which he has posted a .947 save percentage and four shutouts. He has been so dominant, he could win it even if Vegas loses the series.

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

The last player from the losing team to win the Conn Smythe was Jean-Sebastian Giguere from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 2003.

But what about the Caps?

Alex Ovechkin is the leader of Washington and has been absolutely dominant throughout the postseason. He even scored the series-clinching goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Surprisingly, however, Ovechkin does not lead the team in points through the playoffs. Evgeny Kuznetsov holds that edge with 24 points to Ovechkin's 22.

Will their offensive dominance propel them to win the Cup and the Conn Smythe? Will a different player emerge as the hero of the series?

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

MORE CAPITALS PLAYOFF NEWS:

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Need to Know: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

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Associated Press

Need to Know: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 26, 17 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.  

Note: I am vacationing in the Outer Banks this week. In this space, I’ll be presenting some of the most popular posts of the last few months. I hope you enjoy these “best of” presentations and I’ll see you folks when I get back. 

Contract makes Alex Smith a Redskins for at least three seasons

This post was originally published on March 19. 

When the Redskins traded for Alex Smith on January 30, news also broke that he had agreed to a four-year extension with Washington in addition to the one year left on his contract with the Chiefs. While we got some top-line numbers on the deal, we have gone since then without any details. 

Until now. 

The details show a deal that has a slightly higher cap hit in 2018 than was on his original Chiefs contract and the numbers rise gradually over the life of the deal, which runs through 2022. 

Smith got a $27 million signing bonus and his salaries for 2018 ($13 million) and 2019 ($15 million) also are fully guaranteed at signing making the total $55 million (information via Over the Cap, which got data from a report by Albert Breer). 

But there I another $16 million that is guaranteed for all practical purposes. On the fifth day of the 2019 league year, his 2020 salary of $16 million becomes fully guaranteed. He almost assuredly will get to the point where that money will become guaranteed since the Redskins are not going to cut him after one year having invested $55 million in him. So the total guarantees come to $71 million. 

His 2021 salary is $19 million and it goes up to $21 million in 2022. There have been reports of some incentives available to Smith but since we have no details we’ll set those aside for now. 

The cap hits on the contract are as follows: 

2018: $18.4 million
2019: $20.0 million
2020: $21.4 million
2021: $24.4 million
2022: $26.4 million

The Redskins can realistically move on from Smith after 2020. There would be net cap savings of $13 million in 2021 and $21 million in 2022. 

The first impression of the deal is that the Redskins did not move on from Kirk Cousins because they didn’t want to guarantee a lot of money to a quarterback. The total practical guarantee of $71 million is second only to Cousins’ $82.5 million. It should be noted that Cousins’ deal runs for three years and Smith’s contract is for five. 

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  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler