Posts Tagged ‘contract’

Clippers Focus on The Next Piece to The Puzzle!!!

July 24th, 2010

It has been reported by Mark J. Miller from Yahoo Sports that the Los Angeles Clippers have approached the Philadelphia 76er's inquiring about Andre Iguodala.

The Clippers were amongst the teams that had a forum with the evil King James.  They headed into this offseason with a roster in need of a legit Small Forward and James, was a long shot, but the target none the less.

In the recent week LeBron and his posse moved their show to South Beach.

That left the Clippers still searching for their Small Forward to join a solid foundation.  The list of candidates ranges from the much talked about often injured Tracey McGrady and fellow injury concerned icon Grant Hill plus the under achiever Mike Miller, and even the upstart Tyrus Thomas or Rudy Gay.  Miller, Thomas and Gay have already signed with other team. For me Hill doesn't fit the puzzle and McGrady would need to be an incentive based contract in my opinion.

The Clippers may have taken steps towards finding a fit with the proven track record and toolset to complement Baron Davis, Eric Gordan, Blake Griffin and Chris Kaman.

Andre Iguodala or AI, should not be confused with his former teammate Allen Iverson.  (I refuse to call him AI 2) This AI is 26 years old and a pure Small Forward standing 6'6" tall and 207 pounds. 

Iguodala was selected ninth overall in the 2004 NBA draft.  This draft is known as the Dwight Howard draft but it should be noted Iguodala was selected behind such NBA mis-fires as our very own Shaun Livingston (injuries hurt this kid, he was looking to be on his way) and the Raptors head scratcher Rafael Araujo.

Dick Vitale was very critical of the 76er's when they selected AI but his career to date has been profitable thus far.

Six seasons into his career, which has only been with the 76er's, AI has held a 15.9 PPG average wear he has been very durable missing only 6 games total.  He's made it to the play-offs three times playing in 17 games including 2008-2009 where he put up an average of 21.5 PPG.

Considered explosive yet versatile where he is a solid defender and can get hot shooting keeping defenders on their toes with his slasher speed and ball handling. 

AI to this day is still not considered a pure 3 point threat although his role with the Clippers would be ideal for his strengths.  In the Small Forward role he fills the need for a durable, explosive pure scorer so that Baron can focus on distributing the ball, Gordon is lights out from the perimeter and the tandem inside of Griffin and Kaman seem to fit well.

Andre is set to make just over $12 million this year and is under contract until 2013-2014 however that season is a player option with a price tag of over $15 million.  That would still give the Clippers three seasons with him locked up although it is a hefty contract.

The depth we already added in Foye, Gomes, Aminu and Bledsoe joining Jordan and a few others means GM Neil Olshey has a tough decision to make. 

To get AI what will be going the other way.  McGrady is talented but we all know the baggage he carries.   It sounds like the front office in Clipperland is seeing waht they can do and working hard to put together an improved product.  I'm excited to see what comes next. 

The Clippers off season may not be the most watched in the NBA but as a fan they are making small steps towards a Clippers team that will shock more then a few teams along the way.   

Go Clippers Go!!!

Miami Dolphins Lose Phillip Merling for Season; Sign DE Marques Douglas

July 24th, 2010

Dolphins third-year defensive end Phillip Merling wrapped up a rocky offseason, which included an arrest for aggravated battery against his pregnant girlfriend, with a season-ending torn Achilles tendon.

A second-round pick by the Dolphins in 2008, Merling has been a significant reserve in the team's defensive line rotation the past two seasons, but has quietly drawn criticism from the coaching staff about his lack of development.

Expected to compete with rookie first-round pick Jared Odrick for a starting job at right defensive end with Randy Starks moving to nose tackle, Merling will now miss the entire 2010 season.

Merling, who suffered the injury away from the Dolphins' facility or staff, could miss out on his entire 2010 salary if he is placed on the reserve/non-football injury list by the team.

Amid rumors the Dolphins could have an interest in first-round disappointment Marcus Spears of the Dallas Cowboys, the team instead opted to sign veteran free agent Marques Douglas.

Douglas, 33, will receive a two-year, $2.5 million contract from the Dolphins, although exact contract details are not yet known.


Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Baltimore Ravens out of Howard in 1999, Douglas did not appear in a game during his first pro season. He made his NFL debut with the New Orleans Saints in 2000, but did not record any statistics.

Douglas re-joined the Ravens for four seasons beginning in 2001, going on to play 39 games (32 starts) and recording 145 tackles, 12 sacks, and three forced fumbles during that span.

Douglas spent the next three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers through 2007, starting 47 of 48 possible games and totaling 190 tackles, seven sacks, three forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries.

A free agent in 2008, Douglas signed a four-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March, only to be traded back to the Ravens for 2009 seventh-round pick before the season began.

Released after one season in Baltimore during which he recorded 34 tackles, Douglas started 12 games with the New York Jets in 2009. He contributed 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble for the NFL's best defense, while his 64 tackles ranked first on the team among defensive linemen.

Once again a free agent in 2010, Douglas was rumored to be re-signed by the Jets, but the team showed no interest.

While Douglas may replace Merling in terms of his role with the team, Merling has not yet been removed from the active roster, which now stands at 77.


It's hard to really say how much the loss of Merling will impact the Dolphins, because I'm not much sure how long he would have been with the team anyway given his legal problems and their continued disappointment with his play.

Although he was solid in rotation, he failed to establish himself as a reliable starter during his first pro seasons, being outplayed by Kendall Langford, who was drafted a round later than Merling.

I don't think Merling was a bad player at all, and I'd honestly say his less significant role compared to Langford's was more a reflection of Langford than Merling.

Still, the Dolphins didn't lose a true starter here, and it's hard to see the Dolphins keeping Merling around much longer given the extremely serious nature of the charges against him. In an offseason with four Dolphins arrested, Merling's case was by far the worst of the bunch.

Rather than trade for a backup with ties to the Dolphins' staff in Marcus Spears, the Dolphins instead opted to sign a more proven, albeit older, backup with ties to the their staff.

Not only does Douglas bring with him seven years (four with Baltimore, three with San Francisco) of experience under new Dolphins defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, but he also brings seven years of experience under Rex Ryan—head coach of the division rival New York Jets.

Douglas isn't an every-down starter at this point in his carer, but he's an experienced and still productive player with vast experience in the Dolphins' scheme.

His track record is significantly better than that of Spears, and he didn't require the team to give up any compensation to add him as Spears would have.

Merling's departure from the Dolphins' 2010 defense should open the door wide open for first-rounder Jared Odrick to get plenty of playing time (though that was never really in doubt), while Douglas is more than capable of filling the rotational role Merling has served in the past—likely better than Merling himself.

As always, you can check out the updated projected depth chart reflecting these latest transactions here .

Discuss this article on the forum here !


Chris J. Nelson is a journalism major at Georgia State University. He operates his own Miami Dolphins Web site, The Miami Dolphins Spotlight , and can be followed on Twitter here .

2010 NHL Offseason: Carolina Hurricanes Position Battles to Watch For

July 24th, 2010

As a summer of surprises around the NHL rolls on, the Carolina Hurricanes have begun to quietly fill out their roster.

All of the Hurricanes' restricted free agents heading into the offseason have been signed. In addition, 15 players have been inked to one-way contracts for the upcoming season. However, with nearly $12 million left in cap space, Carolina has plenty of room to fill the remaining holes in their depth chart.

Many of the new-look Hurricanes players are also younger than those who were starting in their places last season. Carolina has moved up from the second-oldest team in summer 2009 to the seventh-youngest team in the NHL today. Additionally, only four contract holders for the 'Canes are above the age of 30 (Erik Cole, Sergei Samsanov, Tom Kostopoulos, and Joe Corvo).

This plethora of prospects translates into a number of position battles as the youngsters fight for their NHL jobs during training camp, which begins September 17th. While that date is nearly two months off, competitions like these are already objects of speculation on the teams that already have determined much of their depth chart.

Position Battle No. 1: Third- and Fourth-Line Center

The first battle to watch for is for the third- and fourth-line center positions. Unless Carolina decides to fill their third-line gap with a free agent such as Kyle Wellwood, Eric Belanger, Dominic Moore, or Brendan Morrison, two prospects could begin the year in Raleigh.

However, the candidates for those two slots are not lacking. Newly-acquired Riley Nash (from Edmonton) and Jon Matsumoto (from Philadelphia), both of whom were traded to Carolina during the draft, will join Zac Dalpe and Patrick Dwyer to fight for those two positions.

Seventh overall draft pick Jeff Skinner may also join the mix if he decides to leave the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL this offseason, which could add yet another interesting twist.

All four current candidates have very good chances at making the team, but all four also promote radically different resumes.

Riley Nash, who was 21st overall by the Oilers in the 2007 NHL Draft, held out at Cornell University without an entry level contract for three seasons, resulting in a loss of patience by youth-lacking Edmonton. Ironically, following his trade to Carolina in late June, Nash signed a three-year deal with the 'Canes earlier this week.

The Canadian's time at the collegiate level wasn't without its benefits, though; Nash logged 102 points in 102 games with the Big Red, and is now making the jump to the NHL comfortably.

Unfortunately, Carolina's other "new kid in town" may have an even better shot at earning a roster spot. Jon Matsumoto, who signed a two-year deal with Carolina July 1st, already has three seasons under his belt with the Phantoms, the Flyer's AHL affiliate.

Matsumoto improved on his 20 goals and 24 assists in 2008-2009 with 29 goals and 34 assists last year. He added 10 of those goals on the power play and four more while shorthanded, giving Matsumoto a special teams aspect not seen in any of his "opponents."

Another great candidate to beat out the others for a roster spot is Patrick Dwyer, the only of the four to have any NHL experience.

Although Dwyer is significantly older than the other three at age 27, he has made a respectable 71 NHL appearances with the Hurricanes, including 58 last season. Dwyer put up seven goals, two of which were game winners, and five assists in those 58 games to go along with just six penalty minutes.

Dwyer made a good impression with the Hurricanes' staff last season, and may be the most confident going into training camp. Some of that poise may have to do with the fact that the fourth player in consideration, Zac Dalpe, isn't very likely to make the team.

Dalpe was recently signed to an entry-level deal, but is coming to Carolina directly from his sophomore year at Ohio State University.

While these four prospects are undoubtedly not "opponents," their fight for two bottom-six forward roster spots over the rest of the summer may be worth keeping an eye on, especially if Skinner joins them soon.

Position Battle No. 2: Fourth Line Left/Right Wing

Erik Cole, Sergei Samsanov, Tom Kostopoulos, Jussi Jokinen, Tuomo Ruutu, and Chad LaRose are all definite bets to fill out the top three lines on the left and right sides. Jiri Tlusty, who had six points in 20 games after being acquired from Toronto last Christmas, is also nearly assured due to his new one-way contract.

That still leaves one spot open, though. While prospects such as Jared Staal, Nick Dodge, and Chris Terry may hope to be included, the race for that slot could probably be narrowed down to Zach Boychuk, 20, Jerome Samson, 22, Drayson Bowman, 21, and Oskar Osala, 22.

Boychuk would seem to be the front runner. He made a significant impact at the NHL level last season with nine points and a solid plus-one rating in 31 games. The former 14th overall pick also put up 41 points in 60 combined regular and postseason games with the Albany River Rats.

Samson may be close on Boychuk's heels, though, as his 78 points were among the best in the AHL last season and earned him a seven-game NHL stint to boot.

Those two could be challenged by Drayson Bowman, who scored his first (and second, for that matter) ever NHL goals in the 'Canes second-to-last game in the same season as his first ever AHL goal (actually, his first 17 AHL goals).

Osala, who was acquired from the Washington Capitals at the trade deadline in a deal that sent Joe Corvo to the 'Caps, could very well make the team, too. An impressive 24 goals went beside his name last season at the AHL level, and Osala was deservedly recalled for his third career NHL game on March 10th.

Those four youngsters could make Carolina's second positional battle even more competitive than their first. But the options don't stop with the offense; Carolina's defense is not quite set yet, either. 

Position Battle No. 3: Third Defense Pairing

Albeit having added Joe Corvo and Anton Babchuk to their core of Tim Gleason and Joni Pitkanen on the blue line, the third defensive pairing still has a few questions surrounding it. One-way contract holder Jay Harrison may have the inside track, but prospect standout Jamie McBain, recently re-signed Brett Carson, and former Ranger Bobby Sanguinetti have their reasons to believe as well.

With injury troubles striking Carolina's defense last season, 28-year-old Jay Harrison transformed from an injury replacement to a regular. He improved his career high for games played in a single season from eight to 38. Harrison wasn't particularly impressive in those 38 starts, however, posting just one goal, 50 painful penalty minutes, and a minus-eight rating.

Jamie McBain, 21, didn't see NHL ice until March, but made the most of his opportunity. I rated him the Hurricanes' best rookie at the end of the season, and he deserved it. McBain had three goals, including a last-second overtime winner in Pittsburgh, seven assists, and a team-best plus-six rating in just 14 games!

Brett Carson didn't receive a qualifying offer back on June 30th, but he was re-signed as a UFA just days ago by the Hurricanes to a two-way contract. The 24-year-old was fairly consistent in his 54 games played last season, recording 12 points, a plus-five rating, and some clutch defensive plays.

Last but not least (excuse the cliché) is 22-year-old Bobby Sanguinetti. After coming from the Rangers for a 2010 seventh-round choice and Washington's 2011 second-round pick, Sanguinetti could be ready to make the starting lineup.

The defenseman had 38 points in 61 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL in '09-'10, and played well enough to earn his first NHL stint with New York.

In the end, it will come down to how each player performs in training camp before anyone will know which players we'll see in red and white on opening night in Finland, and which players will be staying for a while with the Hurricanes' new AHL affiliate, Charlotte.

One thing we do know now is that all three positional battles are certainly going to be worth watching. While I personally would bet, albeit hesitantly, on seeing Dwyer, Matsumoto, Boychuk, Harrison, and McBain beat out the competition and leave Nash, Dalpe, Samson, Bowman, and Sanguinetti in the minor leagues, it's almost impossible to know who will fill out the bottom lines of the Hurricanes' roster for the moment.

We'll just have to wait until the long-awaited NHL preseason comes around before anything is on paper. In the meantime, there are quite a few situations to speculate about.


Mark Jones is currently Bleacher Report's featured columnist and community leader for the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes . In his 21 months so far with the site, he has written over 215 articles and received over 175,000 total reads.

Visit his profile to read more, or follow him on Twitter .

Steelers extend Tomlin through 2012 (AP)

July 24th, 2010
The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed coach Mike Tomlin to a two-year contract extension through the 2012 season, with an option year in 2013. The extension was expected because the Steelers' policy has been to sign a coach before he begins the final season of a contract. Tomlin is only the Steelers' third coach since 1969, following Chuck Noll (1969-91) and Bill Cowher (1992-2006).

Los Angeles Lakers Sign Free Agent Matt Barnes to Deal

July 24th, 2010

Orlando Magic reserve Matt Barnes has ended his free agency roller coaster ride as he has decided to sign a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. 

The terms of the deal are undisclosed but Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the contract is for two years and is worth $3.6 million.

Barnes provides more depth at the small forward position as he should be backing up Ron Artest and Lamar Odom. He can produce when called upon, evidenced by his 6.4 PPG and 4.7 RPG during the 2010 NBA Playoffs.

He will make a good role player for the Lakers as he has the potential to be a decent replacement for Shannon Brown, assuming Brown decides to leave this offseason.

This was definitely a good acquisition by Los Angeles as Barnes could provide a spark to possibly help the Lakers win the NBA Finals a third straight season.


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