The Insider: Bears deal Allen as he doesn’t fit in 3-4
The Chicago Bears continue to shuffle the deck defensively while looking for a winning combination, and think they're finally on to something. In fact, despite being 0-3 after a 26-0 loss to Seattle, they're so confident that they believed they c...
The Chicago Bears continue to shuffle the deck defensively while looking for a winning combination, and think they’re finally on to something.
In fact, despite being 0-3 after a 26-0 loss to Seattle, they’re so confident that they believed they could deal linebacker Jared Allen.
Allen seemed out of place at linebacker since the move to a 3-4 linebacker from defensive end, and the Bears had a surplus of linebackers converted from 4-3 end. So Allen was sent Monday to the Carolina Panthers, where he’ll be back at his old end position in the 4-3 after he was traded for a sixth-round draft pick following the Bears loss to Seattle.
Allen had minimal impact as a linebacker, making an interception on a pass he deflected, and totaling five tackles this season but no sacks. Allen was on the field for 30 plays Sunday at Seattle with half a sack.
Linebacker Sam Acho had a strong game Sunday and both Lamarr Houston and Willie Young play the position, as well. Young was officially inactive for Sunday’s game, but displayed more pass-rush ability at linebacker as his injured Achilles began to heal.
Allen had 5.5 sacks in his 18 games for Chicago.
General manager Ryan Pace pointed to depth at pass rusher as the reason for the move. If they hadn’t recorded four sacks against Seattle and still had none for the year, this might have been more difficult to sell.
“We had some depth at the linebacker position and were able to reach an agreement with the Panthers to bring a 2016 draft pick to our team in exchange for Jared Allen,” Pace said. “Whether it is acquiring additional picks or signing players, we will continue to be aggressive in finding ways to improve our football team.
“We appreciate Jared’s contributions and wish him the best in Carolina.”
Just a little over a week ago Allen was reminiscing about when he could rush out of the three-point stance rather than standing up.”
To be honest, I love the 3-point stance,” he said. “I feel at home with my hand in the grass.”
Then he started to joke about it.
“It’s nostalgic - I start misting up and I’m late off the ball,” he said. “I’ve got to work on that.”
The Bears’ 3-4 had occasionally let Allen play like a down linemen, but normally he was in the two-point stance.
Cavaliers, Thomas still at impasse on contract
The Cleveland Cavaliers and restricted free agent Tristan Thompson are still at an impasse on a new contract with training camp starting this week.
Thompson missed the team’s media day on Monday.
The Cavs did not accept Thompson’s most recent offer of a three-year maximum contract that his side proposed last week, according to ESPN.com. Thompson likely will miss the start of practice on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-10 Thompson has until Thursday to accept the Cavs’ one-year qualifying offer of $6.9 million to become an unrestricted free agent next year if no deal is reached.
The 24-year-old Thompson averaged 8.5 points and 8.0 rebounds during the 2014-15 regular season when he was the Cavs’ sixth man. After Kevin Love was injured in the first round of the playoffs, Thompson started at power forward. In the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, he averaged 11.6 points and 12.6 rebounds.
Nats suspend Papelbon for 4 games
The Washington Nationals suspended right-handed closer Jonathan Papelbon for four games on Monday after he had an altercation with outfielder teammate and MVP candidate Bryce Harper in the dugout.
Papelbon was suspended without pay by the team for his role in the fight that took place in the eighth inning of a 12-5 loss Sunday to the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park.
Harper was suspended one game with pay, Washington manager Matt Williams said Monday.
In addition, Papelbon will serve his three-game suspension which was handed down by Major League Baseball last week after he hit Baltimore Orioles star Manny Machado with a pitch in a game Wednesday at Nationals Park. That three-game suspension began Monday and Papelbon is not allowed to be around the team for the MLB suspension.
The Nationals entered Monday with seven games left on the schedule and thus the season is over for Papelbon.
Former Angels GM Dipoto hires in Seattle
-The Seattle Mariners named former Los Angeles Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto as their new executive vice president and general manager of baseball operations, the Mariners announced.
Dipoto resigned as the Angels general manager on July 1, reportedly because of a power struggle with manager Mike Scioscia. The Boston Red Sox hired Dipoto to their front office as a consultant in mid-August.
In Seattle, Dipoto fills the vacancy that was created when the Mariners fired Jack Zduriencik as their general manager on August 29. Jeff Kingston has served as the Mariners’ interim general manager since the dismissal of Zduriencik.
Cavs: Love could take load off LeBron
Cleveland Head coach David Blatt knows the Cavaliers are better if LeBron James can be convinced to rest during the regular season.
James said Monday at the team’s media day that power forward Kevin Love will make it easier to take time off, minutes and perhaps even games, in 2015-16.
Love is ready to play after missing the final three postseason series with a shoulder injury in his first season with James and in Cleveland.
Blackhawks release three players
The Chicago Blackhawks released defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky and forwards Tomas Kopecky and Daniel Paille from their professional tryout contracts on Monday.
Visnovsky, 39, spent the previous three seasons with the New York Islanders. He had five goals and 20 points in 53 regular-season games last season, and two assists in four Stanley Cup playoff games.
Kopecky, 33, has 68 goals and 106 assists in 578 NHL games. He played two seasons with the Blackhawks and won the Stanley Cup in 2010.
Paille, 31, had six goals and 13 points in 71 games with the Boston Bruins last season.
Vegas, Quebec make pitches for expansion teams
The Las Vegas and Quebec City groups will make presentations to the NHL’s executive committee on Tuesday as part of their respective bids to join the league as expansion teams.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the executive committee will then report to the NHL Board of Governors, but there is no timeline on decisions from there.