Redskins

Professional leagues plan to play after superstorm

Professional leagues plan to play after superstorm

With much of the Northeast immersed in the recovery from Superstorm Sandy's devastating blow, the NFL and NBA plan to carry on with their schedules.

The New York City Marathon is still hoping that the course will be clear by Sunday and runners will be able to get to the starting line in Staten Island.

NBA spokesman Tim Frank on Tuesday said through his Twitter account the season-opening games Tuesday night in Miami, Los Angeles and Cleveland - the Wizards flew out of Washington Monday 7 a.m. - are set to tip off on time.

``For the many asking: Tonight's NBA games will be played. We are still assessing the situation with regards to the rest of the week,'' he tweeted.

Of concern: Philadelphia is supposed to host its opener on Wednesday.

However, the NBA's communications staff announced on Twitter that the Nets' first game at their new Brooklyn home against the crosstown-rival Knicks on Thursday will go as scheduled at 7 p.m.

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin believes Sunday's game in Jersey against the New York Giants to go on as scheduled and plans to prepare that way. Tomlin said he understands the league will be looking at any logistical issues caused by the storm's aftermath may present but added the Steelers will stick to their weekly routine unless they hear from NFL officials.

Tomlin might have to wait a day for the final word. All 32 teams were notified Monday that the league's offices would be closed through Tuesday.

The NFL had already moved its trade deadline back two days to Thursday because of potential complications from the storm. The deadline now is 4 p.m. EDT Thursday, when waivers for vested veterans also begin.

Around the league, the Giants, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles reported no damage at their practice facilities. The Baltimore Ravens, though, were running a generator at their complex. Players were off but the hope is electricity will be restored for regular practice Wednesday.

Five days before 50,000 runners take to the course that meanders through the streets of New York City's five boroughs, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he expects the marathon to go on scheduled. Race organizers were moving forward with their plans - leaving open the possibility of changes from past years.

``The marathon has always been a special day for New Yorkers as a symbol of the vitality and resiliency of this city,'' New York Road Runners President Mary Wittenberg said in a statement.

``NYRR continues to move ahead with its planning and preparation. We will keep all options open with regard to making any accommodations and adjustments necessary to race day and race weekend events.''

Lower Manhattan was especially hit hard and many runners need to take the ferry to the start on Staten Island. Also, Bloomberg said it could be four or five days before the subways were running again. That could mean no trains on race day.

Record-setting Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was in Rio de Janeiro, the site of the 2016 Summer Games, but his thoughts were back in Maryland.

``I'm kind of nervous to go back home because I don't know if my house is going to be under water or not. It will be an interesting trip,'' Phelps said. ``I know that we will all sort of bounce back from everything that is going on. It's kind of wild seeing all the pictures and all the coverage - it's all I have been watching really since I have been here. It's sad. it's part of life.''

The St. Cloud State women's hockey team was stranded Tuesday in Rhode Island. The Huskies were supposed to catch a flight out of Boston on Monday after playing a weekend series against Providence College.

They hope to fly back to Minnesota on Thursday. Their home opener is Friday.

In response to the storm, Indiana State is giving fans several opportunities to make donations in the days leading up to their football game against Illinois State on Saturday.

Terre Haute Catholic Charities will give a free ticket to each fan that donates at least five pounds of items. Donors to the American Red Cross will also get a free ticket to the game.

Looking ahead on the sports calendar to August, Oak Hill Country Club, the site of 2013 PGA championship in upstate New York, lost several trees in the storm. But still standing is the famed Leaning Oak - supported by a steel beam since 1956 - on the right side of the 12th hole.

``The Leaning Oak, that tree weathered the storm and is unscathed, which is remarkable considering how long it's been supported by that steel beam for decades now,'' tournament director Ryan Cannon said, ``and the trees that did come down were not all that far from the leaning oak. pretty amazing.''

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AP Sports Writers Barry Wilner and John Wawrow contributed to this report.

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10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

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USA Today Sports

10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

The Redskins report to training camp on July 24th, and for the next 10 days, JP Finlay will count down the 10 biggest questions the Redskins face going into the 2019 season.

10) Will the Redskins develop depth on the D-line?

9) Can the Redskins count on Montae Nicholson?

8) Want better offense? Get more out of the tight ends 

7) Will Jimmy Moreland actually win the slot CB job from Fabian Moreau?

6) After losing Reuben Foster, how's the Redskins LB situation?

5) Will potential match production for Redskins WRs?

When a team picks in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft, folks around the NFL expect that player to become a Pro Bowler. For Washington, that exact scenario unfolded with right guard Brandon Scherff. 

Mostly. 

Selected fifth overall in 2015, the Redskins took Scherff to play right tackle and anchor the offensive line opposite Trent Williams. That idea quickly faded, helped by the emergence of Morgan Moses, and Scherff moved inside to play guard. For four years, it's worked out great, with Pro Bowl selections in 2016 and 2017. 

Scherff is a mauler in the best sense of the word. He has great footwork and Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has called the former Iowa Hawkeye the best pulling guard in the NFL. Scherff is strong and nasty, words that won't win beauty pageants but absolutely win in the trenches of the NFL. 

Considering all of that, a contract extension for Scherff should be easy. Right?

Wrong. 

Currently in the final year of his rookie deal, multiple reports stretching over the last six weeks indicate that the organization is way off in their extension offers to Scherff. He might not command the biggest contract in the league, but he will get paid like a top three guard. In 2019, that means a lot of money.

Cowboys guard Zach Martin makes $14 million a year. Jaguars guard Andrew Norwell makes $13.3 million a year. Scherff might not get to Martin's salary, but he will probably get to Norwell, whether Washington pays it or not.

That means the Redskins need to pony up the cash now because as each day passes, the team is approaching an ugly set of options. Scherff and his representatives might continue to negotiate during the season, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. Once free agency becomes in view, players tend to wait for it. Just ask Kirk Cousins. 

In fact, the situation between Scherff and the Redskins has some resemblance to the Cousins saga from a few years ago. 

In that case, Washington low-balled their homegrown quarterback in their first set of negotiations. From there, things went sideways, and the team used consecutive franchise tags on Cousins before he finally left via free agency. 

If the Redskins can't get a deal done with Scherff, the team could use a franchise tag in 2020. But that's a dangerous game of roulette. 

The time to get a deal done with Scherff is now, if not last month. Redskins team president has said in the past that deadlines drive deals, but with Scherff, there is no exact deadline. He can decide to stop working on a contract extension at any moment, particularly once the pads come on at training camp. 

The Trent Williams holdout might be complicating things a bit, if Williams only wants more cash and the issue isn't about much more than that. The truth is a Scherff extension would actually free up cap space in the short term, as his signing bonus would be spread out over the life of the contract, and some of that salary cap relief could go to Williams right away. 

Williams' status isn't the hold up between Scherff and the Redskins. Whatever is the actual holdup best be resolved soon. or the Redskins are beginning down an all too familiar franchise path.

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Sánchez and Adams lead Nationals in crucial win over Braves

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USA Today

Sánchez and Adams lead Nationals in crucial win over Braves

ATLANTA—Anibal Sanchez outpitched Mike Soroka and scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning, Matt Adams homered and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 5-3 on Saturday night.

Second-place Washington pulled within 5 games of the NL East-leading Braves, improving to 33-14 since May 24, best in the majors over that span. Atlanta has dropped four of five.

Sanchez (6-6) got a big assist in the bottom of the fifth when shortstop Trea Turner turned a bases-loaded double play, leaping to nab Nick Markakis' liner and throwing to first to beat Josh Donaldson back to the bag.

Soroka (10-2) allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings. He had won 10 straight decisions, best by an Atlanta pitcher since Hall of Famer Greg Maddux had a 10-decision streak in 2001.

Sean Doolittle got the last five outs, facing the minimum, for his 21st save in 25 chances. He struck out Ronald Acuna Jr. with a runner at second to end the eighth and breezed through the ninth.

Washington went up 4-1 in the fifth when Sanchez reached on an infield single to third, took second on Donaldson's throwing error and scored on Turner's double. Turner took third on Adam Eaton's single and scored on Anthony Rendon's single. Eaton scored on Juan Soto's single.

The Nationals took a 5-3 lead in the eighth off A.J. Minter as Turner singled, stole second and scored on Eaton's single.

Adams went deep for the 15th time, an opposite-field homer that bounced off the top of the wall in left-center and into the stands to tie it at 1-all in the fourth.

Sanchez, who pitched for the Braves last year and helped them win the division, allowed three runs and six hits and has a 2.70 ERA in his last nine starts.

Atlanta led 1-0 in the first when Acuna reached on an infield single, stole second base, advanced on a flyout and scored on Freddie Freeman's single.

Brian McCann's ninth homer, a two-run shot in the sixth, chased Sanchez and cut the lead to 4-3.

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NBC Sports Washington's Michael Stearman contributed to this Associated Press story.