San Antonio Raiders?

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Are the Oakland Raiders bound for Texas?

Team owner Mark Davis and a pair of executives recently met with officials from San Antonio to discuss moving the franchise there, according to the San Antonio Express News.

“I was asked to meet two weeks ago with the owner of the Oakland Raiders, Mark Davis, and members of his staff,” said San Antonio city manager Sheryl Sculley. “Mr. Davis has expressed interest in a possible relocation of his NFL team to San Antonio, and we are engaged in preliminary due diligence.”

Should this come as a shock? Probably not, since the Raiders are angling for a new stadium in Oakland and it’s seemingly common practice these days for teams to openly flirt with different cities as a way to get what they want.

In any case, David and his cohorts reportedly enjoyed a “tour of the Alamodome and meetings with local business leaders.” And while most people will roll their eyes over this alleged visit, sources have said that Davis’ interest in San Antonio is somewhat substantial. The Raiders’ lease in Oakland expires after the 2014-15 season.

“So we spent the weekend and took advantage of the opportunity to show him San Antonio in the event if it ever became necessary to consider a site other than Oakland,” san former mayor Henry Cisneros, who led the charge to build the Alamodome during his tenure in the 1980s. If necessary upgrades are made (including adding more luxury suits), the stadium could be ready to host an NFL team as early as the 2015 season.

But apparently that wouldn’t be the Raiders’ permanent home. According to the Express, David would likely seek a new stadium within a few years. He informed city leaders that he wouldn’t look to add a behemoth like the one Jerry Jones built for the Cowboys, but rather a “small, intimate” facility that he can place “a statue of his father in front of,” according to a source.

But hold everything. Even if the Raiders make a deal with San Antonio, there still would be several hurdles to climb. Davis would need the approval of at least 24 of the team’s 32 owners and would need to justify why it would be beneficial to the league to move from the No. 6 media market to the 36th.

The NFL doesn’t have much to say about the topic at the moment.

Peterson Highest paid Cornerback

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Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson just a few days ago again called himself the NFL’s best cornerback. Now, he is going to get paid like it.

Peterson on Tuesday night announced his own five-year contract extension via Twitter, reporting the deal to be worth $70 million, with $48 million guaranteed. The team announced the agreement shortly after Peterson’s tweet but did not confirm the terms, per club policy.

Peterson, 24, said on Sunday talks were ongoing between his agent and Cardinals management but that he was focused on football. Reports earlier Tuesday suggested the sides were close to a deal.

Peterson, the fifth overall pick in 2011 out of LSU, becomes the first player from his draft class to sign an extension. His rookie deal had two years remaining on it, and the extension will keep him in Arizona through the 2020 season.

Peterson was selected to the Pro Bowl as a cornerback the past two seasons and as a kick returner in 2011. He was just the second player in team history to be selected to the Pro Bowl in his first three seasons.

This year, Peterson will play cornerback almost exclusively, shedding punt return duties as well as the situational offensive work he participated in to give the Cardinals more speed last season.

“I think that’s just going to take my game to another level because now I don’t have to focus on punt returns and I don’t have to focus on trying to remember offensive plays,” Peterson said Sunday. “Now I can just hone in on playing defensive back and being the best player I can be.”

Peterson has recently been part on an ongoing discussion over who is the NFL’s best cornerback. The debate has primarily been between Peterson and Seattle’s Richard Sherman. After Sherman signed a four-year, $57 million extension in May, Peterson said he believed he deserved an even bigger deal.

Also in the debate, according to Peterson, are Cleveland’s Joe Haden and New England’s Darrelle Revis. Haden, a member of the 2010 draft calss, signed a five-year, $68 million extension in May. Revis signed a $12 million free-agent deal with the Patriots this offseason, with a $20 million option for the next season.

Whatever the numbers, Peterson believes he’s the league’s best, and his contract now reflects that belief. The argument, though, will surely continue.

“Do I feel I’m the best cornerback? Absolutely,” Peterson said. “That answer is never going to change, but at the end of the day that conversation is always going to come up.”

Barkley to Help Philly Family after Tragedy

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Former 76er Charles Barkley has offered to pay for the funerals of three children killed during a carjacking hit-and-run in Philadelphia last weekend.

Fifteen-year-old Keiearra Williams, 10-year-old Thomas Reed, and 7-year-old Terrence Moore were struck and killed on Friday when a carjacked SUV swerved onto a North Philadelphia sidewallk where the family was selling fruit for a church fundraiser. Their mother remains in critical condition and a neighbor sustained a broken ankle. 

“Like most Philadelphians, many Americans, and people across the world that heard about this and were moved, [Barkley] wanted me to know that he wanted to pay for the funeral for these three children, and I put him in touch with the family so he can do that,” Philadelphia district attorney Seth Williams said via Philly.com

Barkley confirmed the news to NBC10.com on Tuesday, but declined further comment so as to not take attention away from the victims. The funeral is slated for next Monday. 

NBA Hall of Famer Barkley played for the Philadelphia 76ers from 1984 to 1992

Oppurtunities for Back-Ups

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The absence of Marshawn Lynch from Seattle Seahawks training camp means opportunity for Robert Turbin and Christine Michael.

Turbin and Michael were already going to get the bulk of the work during the preseason with Lynch being prepped for the grind of the regular season.

But with Lynch holding out, Turbin and Michael are getting a greater opportunity to show they can handle the load.

Seattle has a pretty good idea what Turbin can provide. He’s entering his third year and has proven a capable spot backup for Lynch. Michael is the curiosity.

Entering his second season, Michael is a mix of power and speed that barely saw the field last season as a rookie as he struggled with the transition from college to the pros. But coaches can’t stop raving about Michael’s offseason work.

Tiger & Chuck

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Charles Barkley always says exactly what’s on his mind, speaking with great candor whenever given the chance. And when given the opportunity to speak about Tiger Woods on the “Mike Missanelli Show” on WPEN-FM in Philadelphia, Barkley was very frank.

“We’re not friends anymore,” Barkley said of Woods on Friday, via GolfChannel.com. Barkley went on, responding to Missanelli’s claim that Woods has “too far removed himself from the rest of society.”

“Well, I think that when you’re as great as he has been, and this probably is a negative at some point, like he was so consumed with being the greatest golfer ever, he wasn’t a very sociable guy,” Barkley said. “Even when he was a friend of mine, he wasn’t a very sociable guy.

“He just had a one-track mind. He just wanted to break Jack Nicklaus’ record.”

Barkley believes it’s possible that Woods has engrossed himself into golf too much, alienating the people around him and developing a “negative attitude” in the process.

“Golf is just a game. Your life don’t suck,” Barkley said. “But I think when you put yourself in that situation where your whole life revolves around how you’re doing on a golf course, you’re gonna develop a negative attitude to a certain degree, instead of saying, ‘I’ve actually got it pretty good.'”

Barkley told ESPN New York’s Mike Lupica back in 2011 that he and Woods spoke “once a week for 15 years,” but then the conversations suddenly stopped. “I haven’t talked to him in two years and I’m wondering what the hell is going on,” Barkley said.

Apparently they haven’t made amends since that time.

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Steve Sarkisian Speaks

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The competitive juices inside Steve Sarkisian — the quarterback — have not dissipated.

The current USC head coach is a long way from his days as a signal caller at El Camino College and Brigham Young University, where in two seasons with the Cougars he threw 53 touchdowns and 7,464 yards while earning WAC Offensive Player of the Year honors in 1996.

After having success both playing and coaching the position, it’s safe to say Sarkisian knows what it takes to be a quarterback.

There will come a time during his inaugural season as USC’s head coach when his team will go up against the likes of Stanford’s Kevin Hogan, Oregon State’s Sean Mannion and Arizona State’s Taylor Kelly in three consecutive conference games.

That’s before facing the likes of Washington State’s Connor Halliday and UCLA’s Brett Hundley later in November.

Depending on how things shake out, the Trojans may have to face some guy from Oregon named Marcus Mariota. But that’s looking much, much further down the road.   

When it comes to quarterbacks, there is not a conference in America deeper at the position than the Pac-12 is in 2014.

10 of the 12 teams return starters at the position, with Arizona and Washington being the exceptions.

Sarkisian looks at all the talent at quarterback throughout the league and it’s the QB in him who gets most excited.

“I’d love it (to be a quarterback in this conference today),” Sarkisian said. “I’d try to beat them all. I think I would, too.”

Three of the aforementioned quarterbacks — Hundley, Mannion, and Mariota — “were semifinalists for the 2013 Davey O’Brien Award, given to the nation’s top quarterback.

Heading into this season, the Pac-12 has eight players on the award’s watch list. The Big 10, Big 12 and SEC are next with five quarterbacks each.

Mariners Make a Move

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The Seattle Mariners have reacquired first baseman Kendrys Morales in a trade with the Minnesota Twins for minor-league pitcher Stephen Pryor.

The deal was done Thursday.

Morales spent under seven weeks with the Twins, who signed him to boost their lineup as a designated hitter but have used him often at first base with Joe Mauer injured. Morales hit .234 in 39 games with 11 doubles, one home run and 18 RBIs.

Morales had 23 home runs and 80 RBIs last year for the Mariners, both the second-highest season totals of his career.

The 25-year-old Prior has appeared in 34 games for the Mariners since 2012, posting a 2.81 ERA. He will report to Triple-A Rochester.

The Twins also recalled infielder Jorge Polanco from Class A Fort Myers

Lynch Holding Out

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NFL running backs need to get their money when they can get it, which isn’t often and doesn’t last very long.

For Marshawn Lynch, that time is now, even if the Seattle Seahawks don’t seem very willing to accommodate him.

The Seahawks’ running back, who likes to let his play do the talking, will let his absence from training camp speak volumes. Lynch will hold out of camp as he attempts to have his current contract sweetened, sources told FOX Sports.

Lynch, 28, is due $5 million in base salary this season and another $500,000 in the form of a per-game roster bonus. He recently watched as the Kansas City Chiefs gave Jamaal Charles an added $5.1 million total over the next two seasons, with Charles now scheduled to make $8.3 million this season.

A source informed of Lynch’s reasoning for holding out said he would like to have his compensation brought in line with what Charles is now owed. Charles, who is eight months younger than Lynch, had 1,980 total yards and 19 touchdowns last season; Lynch had 1,573 total yards and 14 touchdowns. The source said Lynch believes his tone-setting, physical style of play and the fact the Seahawks are a run-oriented offense (their 420 passing attempts were the second-fewest in the league last year, while their 509 rushes were second-most) should translate into some added dollars this year.

The Super Bowl champs gave extensions to cornerback Richard Sherman, safety Earl Thomas and wide receiver Doug Baldwin but resisted Lynch’s attempts to get a new contract in the spring. He eventually showed up for minicamp after hinting he might not participate. But this time around, he seems set to make a statement until he gets his wish. This could be a long standoff between sides that appear unwilling to budge.

Appearing on NFL Network, former teammate Michael Robinson said he spoke with Lynch and confirmed his plans.

”I really think he just wants his position in the organization and how they view him, he just wants that recalibrated a little bit,” Robinson said on NFL Network. ”He’s been the face of the franchise, he’s been the face of the organization.”

Seattle’s plan is to make sure Lynch is healthy for the season opener against Green Bay on Sept. 4, which would mean a very light load of carries during training camp and the preseason.

Even though the Seahawks staff expressed during the offseason getting more carries for reserves Robert Turbin and Christine Michael, coach Pete Carroll reiterated during minicamp that Seattle’s run game begins with Lynch.

”We have rested him a lot in the offseason. He takes a big pounding during the year. It takes him a long time to get his body back to where he doesn’t feel the rigors of the season that’s past,” Carroll said in June. ”In this case it’s unique but he is a unique player and he has a unique role on our football team, so we have to do what we have to do to take care of him.”

Robinson said he believes that Lynch eventually will play this season.

”I think Marshawn will be playing football this year. I don’t know how they’re going to get it done, I don’t know how they’re going to make it work, but that team is not the championship team that they can be without Beast Mode,” Robinson said.

Lynch can be fined for missing training camp and he’s shown in the past being adverse to losing money via fines. Last season Lynch begrudgingly began speaking to the media during the playoffs in an effort to avoid hefty financial penalties from the league. That included memorable sessions during Super Bowl week where he answered questions for about 20 combined minutes during three days of league-mandated media availability.