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Manziel says he's trying to avoid 'same mistakes'

Manziel says he's trying to avoid 'same mistakes'

Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M says he's learning every day about life as a celebrity.

The first freshman to win college football's top award said Thursday he was trying to avoid making ``the same mistakes again'' after a picture of him holding cash at a casino was posted to his Twitter account Saturday, a day after the Aggies beat Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. The picture was later removed.

Manziel responded to apparent criticism by tweeting, ``Nothing illegal about being 18+ in a casino and winning money.KEEP HATING!'' Speaking on a conference call to accept the Manning Award that goes to a top college quarterback after bowl season, Manziel said he wasn't growing weary of the scrutiny.

``I don't really pay attention to that stuff as much as some people do,'' said Manziel, who set SEC and Cotton Bowl records for total yards and helped the Aggies (11-2) to their best record since 1998. ``I've got to learn from it and move on and make sure I don't make some of the same mistakes again as far as the stuff I've been doing.''

Manziel was right about gambling being legal for anyone 18 or older at the WinStar casino, about an hour north of Dallas just across the state line in Oklahoma. It was a little murkier when the celebrity website TMZ posted a photo of the 20-year-old football sensation holding a champagne bottle at a Dallas club on Saturday night.

According to reports, Manziel showed up at the club hours after the Aggies' win in the Cotton Bowl on Friday and went back the next night. However, TMZ also reported that Manziel was accompanied by his mother, making it legal for him to drink. A club manager said nobody saw Manziel drinking.

Last summer - several months before the Johnny Football phenomenon took over college football - Manziel was arrested after police say he was involved in a fight and produced a fake ID. He started every game for the Aggies and ended up breaking Cam Newton's SEC record with 4,600 total yards before producing 516 more in a 41-13 victory over the Sooners at Cowboys Stadium.

``It's weird for me because life is changing,'' said Manziel, whose 5,116 total yards were the most for a Heisman winner. ``I'm still the same person I have been. I'm just learning something new every day and kind of trying to figure out stuff more and more as the days go on.''

Manziel, also the Davey O'Brien winner and the AP player of the year, was the first freshman to win the Manning Award, in its ninth year as a Sugar Bowl-sponsored tribute to the Manning family of quarterbacks.

Archie Manning, father of Super Bowl winners Peyton and Eli Manning, said he was surprised to learn from Manziel that he attended the Manning passing camp when he was in high school in the Central Texas town of Kerrville. He was quick to tell Manziel he had an open invitation to be a camp counselor.

``I can't say I know what he's going through, but he's handling everything extremely well,'' Manning said. ``If I could have any advice for him on this, he will continue to have it. He's a special young man and it's a special time in his life and he needs to enjoy it.''

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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