Clay Helton: No issues with Sam Darnold’s competitive fire

Former USC quarterback Sam Darnold chose not to throw at the Scouting Combine. NFL Network chose to criticize Darnold for his decision, suggesting that he’s not a true competitor because he was unwilling to compete in something that, frankly, isn’t even a competition.

Darnold’s coach at USC takes issue with that characterization.

In my 24 years of experience all in college I have never been around a man that is more competitive than Sam Darnold, Helton told PFT Live. He loves to compete and loves to be able to show what he can do. When the timing is right he will.

Don’t be fooled by James Daniels’ positional designation. Pat Elflein is the Vikings’ starting center. But the offense needs help at both guard spots, as Nick Easton is still available in free agency and Joe Berger is pondering retirement, per Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press.

Daniels began his collegiate career by playing guard and offensive tackle before making the switch to center as a sophomore. The 6’3, 306-pound lineman is an outstanding athlete, and he excels with his reach blocks, getting to the second level and working in space. He shouldn’t have any problem moving back to guard, either.

James is a hell of a developmental prospect, if you will, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said, per Land of 10’s Scott Dochterman. In my mind, he could go and play guard for anybody next year, just about anybody in the league.

They’d have become unrestricted free agents on March 14 had the team not picked up the extra years.

Dotson’s been one of the steadiest players on their roster, lending a physical presence to their offensive line. But he’s coming off a knee injury which cost him the final five games of the year. Conte’s a regular starter, and Robinson’s a core special teamer.

The full guarantee at signing is $3 million, and only $3 million. Another $4 million should be earned in 2018, if he passes the preseason physical. After that, it’s up to the 49ers as to whether the deal continues into 2019.

The full base value of the deal is $21.15 million, with another $18 million tied to per-game roster bonuses, annual 90-percent playing-time incentives, an annual Pro Bowl incentive, and an annual All-Pro incentive.

To get the full $39.15 million, Sherman will need to play all 48 regular-season games over the next three years, be on the field for at least 90 percent of the snaps, make it to the Pro Bowl every year, and qualify for the All-Pro team every year.

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Mets LF Yoenis Cespedis to have MRI exam on injured left hamstring

Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes will undergo an MRI exam Friday to determine the severity of the left hamstring injury that forced him out of Thursday night’s 6-4 loss to the Phillies, MLB.com reported on the team’s website.

Cespedes, who left in the fifth inning after pulling up while running the bases, said doctors told him he likely will be out two to three days.

Juan Lagares replaced Cespedes in the lineup Thursday, taking over in center with Michael Conforto shifting to left.

Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia told Newsday Sports’ Erik Boland he has experienced similar harassment from fans in Boston. Sabathia, one of 62 African-American players on MLB opening day rosters this season, didn’t sound all that surprised to hear Jones’ story.

What they need to do is that instead of kicking them out of the stadium, they need to fine them 10 grand, 20 grand, 30 grand, Jones said after the game. Something that really hurts somebody. Make them pay in full. And if they don’t, take it out of their check.

The Red Sox released a statement Tuesday publicly apologizing to Jones, saying the organization has zero tolerance for such inexcusable behavior and a review of the events is ongoing. Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts also voiced his support for Jones from his personal Twitter account.

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