Wednesday, February 5
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There's a new sheriff in town, and his name is Bill O'Brien. O'Brien brings fresh blood and ideas to a team that had become stale and predictable. While many point to injuries as the reason for the Texans drop-off, the reality is that every team suffers injuries. ... While the Texans have only $6,100,000 in cap space, cutting Matt Schaub is no done deal: they will wait until they feel 100-percent confident in one of the quarterbacks available with the first overall pick. According to trusted sources, the Texans are initially leaning towards taking either Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel with the top pick. Although Manziel would obviously be the choice of owner Bob McNair, O'Brien is not sold that Manziel possesses the work ethic and intangibles necessary to be the face of a franchise. (USA Today) Comment
To be sure, Tuesday was a good day for the near future of Braves baseball. The team announced an eight-year contract extension for first baseman Freddie Freeman, valued at $135 million, hours after reaching a two-year, $13.3 million deal with right fielder Jason Heyward. You could have described this as the Braves committing multiyear contracts to a pair of 24-year-old stars who already have earned their first All-Star selections. But the chasm of more than $120 million tells you what this really was: a choice between the two. The Braves probably can't afford Freeman and Heyward for the long term, unless Liberty Media authorizes a higher payroll. That's unlikely. ... And so the Braves are betting on Freeman, who has been healthier and more productive than Heyward over the past three seasons. (FOX Sports) Comment
Pau Gasol finds himself in familiar territory these days: In the midst of trade talks. The Phoenix Suns have stopped talks to acquire [Gasol] because they feel the Lakers want too much for the veteran post player, according to a person familiar with the situation. Phoenix could own four picks in the June draft, and the Lakers coveted one of the more valuable two -- the pick the Suns could potentially get from Minnesota or the one they might receive from Washington. Both of those picks are protected and will revert back to Washington and Minnesota if they stumble. The Wizards' pick is top-12 protected, so the Suns technically own it at this point (17th overall before Tuesday's games), while the Timberwolves' pick is top-13 protected, meaning Minnesota holds it right now (12th overall before Tuesday). (Los Angeles Times) Comment
The Winter Olympics kick off Thursday in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Blake Bortles might be the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. The former UCF quarterback talks with SI Now about his pro football hopes.
Heat at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
- SI Vault: Bob Knight
- 1977 -- Sugar Ray Leonard beats Luis Vega in a unanimous decision to win his first professional fight.
- 1990 -- Notre Dame signs a five-year contract with NBC to televise all of the school's home football games.
- 2003 -- Bob Knight wins his 800th career game. He won 102 at Army, 659 at Indiana and 138 - including No. 800 - at Texas Tech.
- 2006 -- In Jerome Bettis' final game, the Steelers beat the Seahawks 21-10 to win Super Bowl XL.