Free Agency Game Thread

Free Agency Game Thread

Update: Buck no longer an Eagle after (rumored) agreement with Denver.

At 12:01 a.m., the NFL's annual shake-up of aging veterans and overrated system players will be officially underway, though if you've caught wind of those Hayneswoth to Washington rumors, you might think it already began.

The Eagles prepped for the event by tendering contracts to restricted free agents Hank Baskett and Nick Cole.  Unless there is a team out there willing to give up a second round pick for either player, both will be back next season as expected.  Unfortunately, the Eagles have failed to lock up two veterans thought to be very important heading into next season.

Both Dawkins and Thomas have yet to reach deals with the club mere hours before they can shop their services around the league.  In Dawk's case, it's hard to imagine him playing elsewhere, so it's still more than likely they'll come to terms.  Thomas, on the other hand, seems optimistic about his chances in a free agent market featuring very few (none?) quality left tackles.  It's very possible for some team to come along and offer Tra a deal the Eagles simply can't/won't match.  Also of note, Sean Considine seems to be headed elsewhere.

It's not all sour grapes for the Birds as they figure to be shoppers as well.  On the heels of Donovan's supposed demands, the front office should be taking a long look at T.J. Houshmandzadeh.  He's not a big time playmaker, not even a #1 receiver, but maybe he's exactly the kind of safety net McNabb needs.  Don't be surprised if he's on a plane to Philly tomorrow morning.

Another name that's gained a lot of attention in just the past couple of days is Ravens center Jason Brown.  Brown can also play guard, so he could either take over for the lackluster Jamaal Jackson, or he could play somewhere inside if one of the guards moves out to tackle.  Brown is thought to be one of the most sought after players hitting free agency, so the team will have to move fast if they're interested.

There are several others the Eagles could target.  RB Derrick Ward is popular, but if the Eagles wanted an older runner, they probably would have made an effort with Buckhalter.  Bengals RT Stacy Andrews could be a solution at right tackle, but his health is a concern.  Seahawks FB Leonard Weaver would add another dimension to the offense, though he's not thought of as a prototypical blocking back.  There are some enticing linebackers and safeties, however it's unclear if there are any great upgrades that also meet the team's needs.

In years past, teams like the Eagles would strike deals with free agents at 12:01 on the dot, but since that's kind of (extremely) shady, that practiced has wained somewhat the past few years, so don't expect a huge whirlwind of action tonight or even first thing in the morning, but it's resfreshing to see the offseason move into the next phase and out of fantasy-wishlist-land.

Best of NHL: Last-place Islanders take down rival Rangers

Best of NHL: Last-place Islanders take down rival Rangers

NEW YORK -- Andrew Ladd scored in the second period and Jaroslav Halak stopped 36 shots to lead the New York Islanders to a 4-2 victory over the crosstown-rival Rangers on Tuesday night.

John Tavares, Jason Chimera and Scott Mayfield also scored at the Barclays Center to help the last-place Islanders improve to 4-0-1 in their last five games.

Jimmy Vesey and Marc Staal scored for the Metropolitan Division-leading Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 28 saves. The Rangers have alternated wins and losses in regulation in their last eight games.

Halak beat Lundqvist for the ninth time in their last 10 matchups. Halak had won eight straight -- including the last five after joining the Islanders before the 2014-15 season -- before Lundqvist ended the streak in the Rangers' 5-3 win in the season opener Oct. 13 at Madison Square Garden. Lundqvist is now 1-6-1 in his last eight against the Islanders (see full recap).

Schwartz lifts Blues over Canadiens in OT
ST. LOUIS -- Jaden Schwartz got his second goal of the game in overtime, leading the St. Louis Blues to a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.

Paul Stastny also scored for St. Louis, which has won four of five. The Blues rallied from a 2-0 deficit and have a point in their last 13 home games.

Tomas Plekanec and Paul Byron scored for Montreal, which completed a five-game trip 2-3.

Goalie Jake Allen made 28 saves to improve to 13-3-3.

Schwartz lifted a backhander past goalie Al Montoya with 1:22 left in overtime.

Stastny and Schwartz scored in a 2:51 span in the third period to tie it at 2 (see full recap).

Blackhawks blank Coyotes to snap modest skid
CHICAGO -- Marian Hossa had two goals, Scott Darling made 22 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-0 on Tuesday night to snap a two-game slide.

Artem Anisimov and Dennis Rasmussen also scored to help Chicago maintain a three-point lead over St. Louis in the Central Division.

Darling made a handful of tough stops but wasn't heavily tested in his first shutout this season and third of his career. He started his third straight game in place of No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford, who had an appendectomy in Philadelphia on Saturday.

The 37-year-old Hossa scored his team-leading 13th and 14th goals in his 27th game -- surpassing his total of 13 last season in 64 contests (see full recap).

Best of NBA: Magic overcome Wall's 52 points to beat Wizards

Best of NBA: Magic overcome Wall's 52 points to beat Wizards

WASHINGTON -- Elfrid Payton scored 22 of his season-high 25 points in the first half and the Orlando Magic overcame John Wall's 52-point performance to beat the Washington Wizards, 124-116 on Tuesday night.

Wall had the highest-scoring game of his career and kept Washington in it with 33 points in the second half as the Wizards cut the lead below 10 in the fourth quarter. The guard made 18 of 31 from the field and added eight assists.

Payton went 8 for 8 from the field and 3 for 3 from the line off the bench in that first half, nearly matching his previous season best of 23 points in the first two quarters alone. Payton finished 9 for 12 and handed out nine assists.

Orlando won its third straight game and its 124 points were a season high (see full recap).

Spurs trounce Timberwolves to reach 13-0 on the road
MINNEAPOLIS -- Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and the San Antonio Spurs improved to 13-0 on the road this season with a 105-91 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.

Leonard hit 11 of 15 shots after not scoring at all in the first quarter and Patty Mills scored 15 points off the bench for the Spurs (18-4), who played without Tony Parker after he bruised his left knee against Milwaukee on Wednesday night. San Antonio overcame a slow start to shoot 52.7 percent.

The Spurs moved past the 1969-70 New York Knicks to take sole possession of the second-best road start to begin a season in NBA history. The Golden State Warriors started 14-0 last year.

Zach LaVine scored 25 points for the Timberwolves. Karl-Anthony Towns had 11 points and 14 rebounds, but shot just 3 of 16 (see full recap).

Anthony, Knicks blow past depleted Heat
MIAMI -- Carmelo Anthony matched a season high with 35 points, and the New York Knicks beat the injury-ravaged Miami Heat 114-103 on Tuesday night.

Kristaps Porzingis had 14 points and 12 rebounds for New York, which is three games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2012-13 season. The Knicks lost Derrick Rose to back spasms in the third quarter.

Goran Dragic scored 29 points and Hassan Whiteside finished with 23 points and 14 rebounds for the Heat, who fell to 2-8 at home.

The teams were tied at 68 late in the third quarter, when the Knicks went on a 27-13 run over the next eight minutes to take control. Anthony finished 13 for 27 from the field, and Porzingis and Joakim Noah combined for 22 rebounds (see full recap).