NFL stars ready to hit home runs for a good cause


NFL stars ready to hit home runs for a good cause


This coming Saturday night, June 6th, area sports fans will have a chance to see some current and former NFL stars take their talents away from the gridiron and onto the diamond in the 2015 Comcast SportsNet Amputee Warrior Softball Classic. 

The event, which benefits charities that assist wounded veterans, will feature two teams with rosters of NFL players and members of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team. Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins and Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta will manage their own squads, while 49ers front seven members Darnell Dockett and NaVorro Bowman will be the team captains.

The Classic is sure to be a fun event and clearly supports a good cause, but it will also provide fans a unique chance to see football players try to adapt to the game of softball. We already have a decent idea of how these guys act on the field on Sundays, but what are they like when they trade in their helmets and pads for bats and gloves? Possible questions that may be answered during the game include:

-How does Kirk Cousins manage a bullpen? Sure, he can command an NFL huddle, but can he successfully navigate pressure packed end of game situations and bring in the right guys at the right times?

-Is Niles Paul as physical on the base paths as he is with a football in his hands? For instance, what will happen when he has a chance to break up a double play? Will #84 aggressively slide in to second base, or opt to tackle the infielder altogether?

-How will Tress Way, a man who's known for making punt returners track balls that are sent sky high, fare when the tables are turned and he's the one forced to get under fly balls in the outfield?

-And finally, can Brian Mitchell run and cut around the bases as easily as he did back as a special teams ace for the Redskins? (Also worth asking: Will Brian Mitchell be as talkative on the field as he is in his work with Comcast SportsNet?)

All of the players listed above are scheduled to appear in the event, as well as current Redskins Ricky Jean-Francois, Silas Redd, Will Compton, Tom Compton, Nick Sundberg, Kai Forbath, Kedric Golston, Trent Robinson, Colt McCoy, and Shawn Lauvao, plus former burgundy and gold members Shawn Springs and Doug Williams. Ravens wide receiver Mike Campanaro is also expected to participate.

First pitch is set for 7 p.m. at Prince George's Stadium in Bowie, Maryland, but the gates will open at 6. Charities that stand to benefit from the proceedings include the Yellow Ribbon Fund, Connected Warrior Foundation, Disabled Sports USA, Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team and Operation Second Chance. Tickets for the game can be found at

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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.


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

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, follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler