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New England Patriots’ safety Duron Harmon is caught with marijuana trying to enter Costa Rica

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New England Patriots‘ safety Duron Harmon was denied entry into Costa Rica for trying to bring marijuana into the country.

Airport police discovered 58 grams of cannabis inside a can of ice tea, three pipes with cannabis oil, a THC candy and four glass containers of compressed marijuana weighing 4.3 grams, officials told The Costa Rica Star.

Harmon arrived from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was briefly detained and then sent back to the United States.

“This involved a professional NFL player, who tried to come into the country carrying marijuana,” Irving Malespín, director of the Fiscal Control Police said. “He has sent back to US territory. It is important to highlight the work of different police bodies, who carry out important operations in different areas of the country. We want to prevent undesirable people from entering the country.”

“We are aware of the situation involving Duron Harmon Friday night in Costa Rica,” the Patriots said in a statement. “He has since returned to the U.S. and we are seeking to gain more information. At this time, we have no further update.”

The 27-year-old Harmon had four interceptions and 23 tackles last season.

He has been with the Patriots for his entire five-year NFL career.

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Why Patrick Mahomes makes his home in Kansas City, not New York City

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Patrick Mahomes was just 5 years old in 2000 but still recalls the reaction of the fans at Shea Stadium when his father, Pat, with an ERA of over 5.00, would come in to pitch for the New York Mets.

It made an impression on the younger Mahomes that maybe the big city wouldn’t be the best place for him if he someday played sports professionally.

“He started pitching badly, and right away when he got in the game, he started getting booed,” Mahomes said. “I got to see that firsthand as a young kid.”

When Mahomes signed his 10-year contract extension over the summer, it almost guaranteed he would play most — if not all — of his career in Kansas City, one of professional football’s smallest markets, with a metropolitan population of 2.14 million people. After Green Bay, Kansas City is perhaps the closest thing the NFL has to an anti-New York, and it could be the home of one of the league’s biggest stars through the 2031 season.

In fact, Mahomes — a regular around town — has expanded his involvement in the city with his 15 and the Mahomies Foundation, which benefits Kansas City-area children, as well as becoming a part owner of Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals.

Mahomes signed such a long extension for football reasons, of course. In February, the Chiefs won their first Super Bowl in 50 years and appear set for a dynastic run. Mahomes loves playing for coach Andy Reid and with this group of teammates. He said he has faith that 42-year-old general manager Brett Veach will continue to build a championship team around him after all of his teammates have moved on and even if the 62-year-old Reid decides at some point in the next 12 years to retire.

But as part of the deal, he’s also getting Kansas City. It’s a town where he says he can still go out at times without being bothered. He’s choosing Kansas City over places such as New York, Los Angeles and even Dallas, which isn’t far from his hometown of Tyler, Texas. He said he’s fine with that part of it, too.

“People have been generous here,” Mahomes said shortly before the Chiefs started training camp. “They’ve been nice to me and my family, and so I’m excited to have my future here. You go to some sports cities and if you’re playing badly on Sundays, it’s like they hate you and your family. Then you come to Kansas City and it doesn’t even matter. They care about the person you are and how you treat other people. It’s cool to be in a city like this.”

Mahomes could be paid as much as a half of a billion dollars over the 12 years of his contract, and that still might end up being a steal for the Chiefs. Not just because of Mahomes’ talent, but because the quarterback salary market might have left his deal far behind by 2031. But Veach and the Chiefs didn’t have to talk Mahomes into staying. It was something he wanted.

“He understands that there needs to be a sense of long-term thinking,” Veach said. “[He said,] ‘I want to win a long time here in Kansas City. There are only certain ways that this can be possible, and this is what’s important to me. I know I’m going to be taken care of the rest of my life, but I want to leave behind a legacy. And Kansas City is the place I want to do it.'”

Mahomes, whose face can be seen during commercial breaks on Sunday almost as often as during Chiefs games, wouldn’t be the first top NFL quarterback to play most or all of his career in a smaller city and still enjoy plenty of national attention. Brett Favre played 16 seasons in Green Bay. Peyton Manning spent much of his career in Indianapolis. Aaron Rodgers plays for the Packers. In terms of national popularity or endorsement opportunities, those players were not hurt by playing in a smaller market. It didn’t harm the league, either. At Super Bowl LIV, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was asked what he thought of Mahomes’ playing in Kansas City.

“Patrick Mahomes anywhere in the NFL is good for me,” Goodell said. “Not only is he an incredible player, but he is an incredible young man. Wherever he plays in the NFL, he’s going to have an impact. I’m proud to have him as a Kansas City Chief. I guess there are 31 other teams that wouldn’t mind having him, either.”

Mahomes has been such a success during his two full seasons as an NFL starter that it’s easy to conclude he could thrive playing anywhere, including New York. In 2018, his first season as a starter, he made the transition with ease. He became only the second player in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns, and was named the league’s MVP.

Last year, his stats were more modest, but he was spectacular in the playoffs and in Super Bowl LIV, where he was named the game’s MVP.

Playing in Kansas City could give Mahomes a better chance to succeed long term. Dick Vermeil, who coached the Philadelphia Eagles and later the Chiefs, recently said the fan bases of the teams are similar with regard to their passion and loyalty. The difference, he said, is that Chiefs fans are far more forgiving when the local team loses and the star players don’t fare well.

Reid coached in both cities, as well. He was with the Eagles for 14 seasons and is now in his eighth season with the Chiefs.

“I know he loves it here,” Reid said. “He understands the benefits of community. We saw that when he came here and how he reached out and put himself out there with the community. It’s a great place for him to live. I think the fans respect him, and when he needs a little space, he can get the space, but at the same time, he can still be the quarterback of this franchise.

“He could survive anywhere. He’s wired that way. But this is a good place for him. I think he’ll thrive here.”

Mahomes began to take over Kansas City not long after he replaced Alex Smith as the starting quarterback in 2018. He appeared in local television commercials and on cereal boxes. Before the pandemic, Mahomes could be seen around town at baseball or soccer games, NASCAR races or concerts. This summer, he got engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Brittany, in one of the suites at Arrowhead Stadium.

Mahomes further planted a flag in Kansas City over the summer by purchasing a piece of the Royals. And it’s not like the Royals and owner John Sherman, who took over the team in 2019, went looking for Mahomes. It was Mahomes who contacted Sherman.

“He saw this as a way to double-down on Kansas City,” Sherman said. “When we acquired the team last November, we put together a great ownership group here … all people who loved baseball and loved Kansas City. Patrick kind of met that criteria. He did it for the right reasons. I felt like it was good for Kansas City, good for the Royals and also good for him. He’s got an interest in the game, and I think he also sees this also as a way to learn a little bit about the business of the game.

“He comes from a baseball background. He clearly loves the game. He chose football for his profession, but he’s certainly embracing Kansas City in a big way. That means a lot to us.”

Mahomes could have asked to join the ownership group of 29 other baseball teams. But he said he wasn’t interested in owning a team anywhere besides Kansas City.

“One hundred percent,” he said. “I’m going to be here a long time. I want to keep doing what I can to put roots down and trying to make the franchises, the Chiefs and the Royals, the best they can be. I wanted to be a part of the Royals baseball team. Being at the games, knowing the atmosphere in Kansas City, how much everybody loves the Royals and the Chiefs. I thought it was a good fit.

“I’m going to be in Kansas City for a long, long time, and I want to make sure that people know that as much as they’re passionate about the Chiefs and how we play, I’m passionate about being a part of Kansas City. If that’s through my foundation, trying to help the kids in Kansas City, playing game days here at Arrowhead Stadium or just being a part of things like the Royals, I want to find ways I can ingrain myself into the city that has shown me so much loyalty and passion every Sunday.”



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Allen Lazard shows he can catch, Packers show they can’t tackle in win over Saints – Green Bay Packers Blog

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This is why the Green Bay Packers didn’t draft a receiver this year.

More specifically, Allen Lazard is the reason.

Six catches for 146 yards and a touchdown is the reason.

Without Pro Bowl receiver Davante Adams (held out because of a hamstring injury), quarterback Aaron Rodgers went to his No. 2. And yes, Lazard proved in Sunday night’s 37-30 win at the New Orleans Saints that he’s worthy of No. 2 status.

While his Hall of Fame counterpart Drew Brees dinked and dunked his way down the field, Rodgers aired it out.

Lazard caught a 48-yarder that traveled 52.2 yards in the air. He topped that with a 72-yarder in the third quarter on a pass that carried 52.3 yards in the air. Lazard is the only player this season with a pair of catches of air-distance throws of 50-plus yards in the same game, according to ESPN Stats & Information research and NFL Next Gen Stats.

Rodgers’ success deep through three games has matched his total from all of last season. He improved to 5-of-7 on throws this year with an air distance of 50-plus yards. He was 5-of-22 on such passes all of last season.

Coach Matt LaFleur’s offense has become so dynamic that Adams seemingly hasn’t been missed when he’s been out. The Packers, 3-0 this season and 16-3 in LaFleur’s first 19 regular-season games as a head coach, went 4-0 last season while Adams sat because of turf toe.

Those who pined for more help for Rodgers perhaps should have wished for help on the other side of the ball. Had they found someone who could tackle Saints running back Alvin Kamara, it wouldn’t have been as close as it was Sunday night. Exhibit A was Kamara’s 52-yard touchdown catch-and-run — with the emphasis on run. Brees, like he did most of the game, dinked a short throw to Kamara in the flat. Five missed tackles later — including one by Will Redmond that could have stuffed it for little or no gain — Kamara tied the score at 27-27.

The Packers’ defense forced just three punts. Their biggest play came from Za’Darius Smith, who forced and recovered a fourth-quarter fumble by gadget quarterback Taysom Hill.

Breakout performance: Kingsley Keke showed flashes of an improved pass rush during the abbreviated training camp when he posted the fifth-best winning percentage among Packers defensive players in the one-on-one pass-rushing drill, winning nine of 19 reps (47.4%) in a drill that favors the offensive player. With Kenny Clark (groin) inactive for a second straight game, the second-year defensive tackle saw his playing time spike. So did his production. He recorded the first two sacks of his career — both in the first half, and one came on third down. Last year, Keke played 108 snaps all season.

Promising trend: Even when he doesn’t put up massive yardage totals — like he did last week with 236 total yards from scrimmage — running back Aaron Jones manages to find the end zone. He showed off the power aspect of his game when he barreled into the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line on the opening drive of the third quarter. It was his fifth touchdown of the season and his 24th since the start of last season, most in the NFL. The Saints ran their streak of consecutive games without allowing a 100-yard rusher to 46 games, but Jones still made an impact with 86 total yards and a touchdown.

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Judging Week 3 NFL overreactions

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It felt as if Bears coach Matt Nagy overreacted Sunday when he yanked starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky from the game and put in Nick Foles. Sure, Trubisky hadn’t been great against the Falcons. And he’d just thrown a drive-killing interception. But we’ve certainly seen him look worse, and besides, the Bears were off to a 2-0 start with Trubisky under center.

By the time Foles went into the game, I’d begun thinking about the weekly overreactions column and all I could think was that Nagy was trying to bigfoot me. Here he was overreacting before I even opened my Word document!

But then I looked again, realized whom the Bears were playing, and decided this had a chance to look real good for Nagy. Which, in the end, it did.

It didn’t start out great, as Foles’ first drive ended with his own interception. But the accommodating Falcons kept giving him the ball back quickly and Foles took advantage. He led the Bears back from a 26-10 fourth-quarter deficit with three touchdown passes against Atlanta, which blew a 15-point fourth-quarter lead to the Cowboys a week earlier. Trubisky watched from the sideline, probably excited that the Bears won the game but also having to wonder whether he’d just lost his job.

The Bears have to be the weirdest team in the league right now. They’re 3-0 and have no idea who their quarterback is. They came back from a 23-6 fourth-quarter deficit against the Lions in Week 1. They nearly blew a 17-0 lead to a horrendous-looking Giants team in Week 2. And then this.

So where better to start this week’s overreactions than in Chicago, where Nagy looked like he was trying to get the jump on us but in fact was just making the right gut call at the right time:

Mitchell Trubisky has started his last game for the Bears

If Trubisky’s performance was the reason for Sunday’s benching, it’s hard to see how what followed would change Nagy’s mind. After the interception, Foles looked like his old Eagles Super Bowl MVP self. He finished 16-for-29 passing for 188 yards and three touchdowns. He figured out how to find Allen Robinson, his best receiver, pretty much every time he needed to. He was, for one brilliant quarter, everything the Bears want and need their quarterback to be if they’re going to contend for an NFC playoff spot. If you were sick of Trubisky in the third quarter, you were all-in on Foles in the fourth.

The verdict: OVERREACTION. Surely, Foles will start next week against the Colts. But he’s a career backup who hasn’t always been the picture of health and has lost starting quarterback competitions on four different teams — including his current team less than a month ago. The Bears’ coaching staff thought enough of Trubisky’s progress by the end of August that they gave him the job over Foles.

And here’s the big thing: Foles didn’t do anything Sunday that Trubisky didn’t do against the Lions in Week 1! Who’s to say that full-game Foles is going to look like fourth-quarter Foles did Sunday. Yes, the Bears will try it. But his history indicates that at some point they’ll have to at least consider going back to the No. 2 pick in the 2017 draft.

I stand by my preseason prediction that each of these guys starts at least six games for the Bears this season. Trubisky is halfway there. How close will Foles get before they switch back? And better question: If they keep winning all of their games, does it matter?


The NFC East is worse than ever

When all the divisions are on the playground, the NFC East is the one everyone else makes fun of. “Your division’s so bad, the team that had the best day Sunday tied the Bengals!” Sick burn, other divisions, but the truth hurts.

The Eagles called and executed plays in the final moments of overtime against the Bengals without trying to win — content to tie one of the league’s worst teams even after a last-minute regulation comeback from their embattled quarterback — and still gained a half-game on every other team in the division. Washington and Dallas are tied for first place at 1-2. The only two wins the NFC East has through three weeks are (1) against another NFC East team and (2) against the Falcons, who basically use only nine guys on defense in the fourth quarter.

The NFC East is a combined 2-9-1 through three weeks. That’s a .208 winning percentage — the second worst by any division after three weeks since the league went to eight divisions in 2002. The 2002 AFC North was 2-8 after three weeks.

The verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. I’m not ready to say the NFC East champion won’t have a winning record — the 2002 AFC North ended up with two teams over .500, and one of them was the Browns — but it’s not impossible.

The Cowboys have allowed 78 points over the past two weeks, and their only win was a historic miracle. The Washington Fumble Team came back to beat the Eagles in Week 1 but has turned the ball over seven times in the two games since. Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has three touchdown passes, six interceptions and hasn’t hit 50.0 in Total QBR in any of his three games. And the Giants just lost 36-9 to a team composed almost entirely of 49ers backups. Not sure if the math works this way, but it’s possible that if you can’t beat a team’s backups, you can’t be considered one of the top 32 teams in the league.

It’s ugly out here in these NFC East streets, and none of these teams has even had to play the Ravens yet. (And they all will.)


Adam Gase will be fired if the Jets lose to Denver on Thursday night

Again, the Giants lost by four touchdowns to a team missing at least nine starters, and there’s a legitimate debate in New York about which team is worse. Gase made the playoffs in 2016, his first year as Dolphins coach, but he’s 20-31 since, and it’s safe to say his reputation as an offensive mastermind has taken some hits.

No team gained fewer yards last season than the Jets, and only Washington scored fewer points. The Jets entered Sunday last in the league in yards and added only 260 in the blowout loss to the Colts. Their 37 points through three games so far is the lowest total in the league — one point behind those aforementioned Giants. And perhaps the most damning case against Gase is the way guys like Ryan Tannehill, Kenyan Drake, DeVante Parker and Robby Anderson have played since they parted company with him.

The verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. The Broncos team the Jets play Thursday is also 0-3 and has scored just 40 points. But Denver had to play Sunday without its injured starting quarterback and its best wide receiver. The Jets, yes, are extremely banged up at receiver, but even so, the third year of Sam Darnold was supposed to be one in which he showed real progress. Sunday, he was 17-for-29 passing for 168 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions, two of which were returned for Colts touchdowns.

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Kalen Ballage tries to leap over a Colts defender, but he takes two big hits instead and is stopped in his tracks.

The Jets traded up and took Darnold No. 3 overall in the 2018 draft, and they have a fifth-year option decision to make on him this spring. He needs to show growth if they’re going to commit to him beyond 2021, and if they end up with the first pick in the draft their fans will want them to take Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and start over again at the position. This is not a good spot for a coach to occupy.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Sunday morning that ownership was growing restless and Gase’s seat was getting hotter. If the Jets are 0-4 after Thursday night, they have 10 days before their next game and time to make a change if they want to. Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams went 5-3 as interim coach of the Browns after they fired Hue Jackson two years ago — just sayin’.


Deshaun Watson‘s crew made a game of it Sunday but couldn’t hold on against Pittsburgh, and the Texans are 0-3 for the second time in three years. Tennessee leads the AFC South at 3-0, followed closely by 2-1 Indianapolis, and both look like legitimate contenders. After an offseason in which coach/general manager Bill O’Brien caught a lot of heat for trading away top wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins over a contract dispute, the slow start isn’t helping anyone give him the benefit of the doubt.

The verdict: OVERREACTION. Remember a couple of seconds ago when I said the Texans were 0-3 for the second time in three years? Yeah, well, they recovered and won the division in 2018. And they’ve won it four of the past five years. You can bang on O’Brien’s GM decisions if you want, but as a coach he has shown an ability to make the playoffs.

The Texans still have the best quarterback in the division, Ryan Tannehill‘s sizzling start notwithstanding. And it’s entirely possible that the three teams they’ve played so far — Kansas City, Baltimore and Pittsburgh — are the three best teams in the entire league. What did they do to get the schedule-makers so mad at them? Swear, when I checked their schedule while writing this, I half-expected their next two games to be against Buffalo and Seattle. They are not.

The Texans, though, are unquestionably through the toughest part of their schedule. They have two head-to-head games against each of their division opponents. There are seven playoff spots in each conference this season. And they’ve been here before. It’s too early to panic in Houston.


Drew Brees is part of the problem in New Orleans

The Saints lost to the Packers on Sunday night to fall to 1-2, six days after they lost to the Raiders in Las Vegas. Their 41-year-old quarterback looked sharper than he did in Week 2, but he still seemed reluctant to take shots downfield, and running back Alvin Kamara did the bulk of his yardage work for him after the catch. Kamara had 57 yards after the catch on his 52-yard touchdown catch. Think about that. Brees came into the game averaging 4.81 air yards per attempt, and Sunday night he averaged 4.61. Those are really low numbers, and they’re moving in the wrong direction.

The verdict: OVERREACTION. This was a close one, but I’m giving the future Hall of Famer the benefit of the doubt. Brees isn’t going to win games on arm strength at this point. No shame in that. But if he can be accurate and smart and operate the offense in rhythm, he has enough brilliant players around him to make it work. Michael Thomas, who set an NFL record with 149 catches in a season a year ago, has missed the last two games due to injury and should be back soon. Tight end Jared Cook left Sunday’s game in the first half with an injury.

The Saints’ 25 penalties for 336 yards this season. feel like a bigger reason for their current predicament. Once the rest of the Saints’ offense is whole, we should see a better and more consistently sharp Brees, and a New Orleans team that recovers from its 1-2 start and contends for the NFC South title as we all expected. I could be wrong, but I think, given the circumstances, that it’s too soon to give up on Brees in 2020.



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