Thank You, Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder

Thank You, Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder

Hot on the heels of sending
multiple first-round and other picks to the Rams for the second overall
selection in April's draft
-- or essentially the rights to Robert
Griffin III -- the Redskins were preparing to go on a shopping spree
when free agency opened at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Among the items believed to
be on the list: Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks, and Cortland Finnegan.

They'll have to cross some of those names out.

The
NFL imposed salary-cap penalties on both the Skins and the Dallas
Cowboys for front-loading contracts during the 2010 uncapped season, a
maneuver the league may have specifically warned teams not to use. As a
result of their disobedience, the Cowboys will have $10 million less to work with, while the Redskins were tagged with a shocking $36
million sanction, a figure that represents roughly one-third of the estimated $120 million cap for
this season.

The
cap space will be redistributed across the league, handing the Eagles
and another 27 clubs an additional $1.6 million in spending money.

The
penalties reflect the front-loaded amounts in the bad contracts,
primarily Miles Austin's extension with Dallas, and Albert Haynesworth's
mega-deal with Washington.

Basically,
the act of "front-loading" a contract means a front office positioned a
bonus or an abnormally large portion of a player's salary during the
uncapped year in exchange for lower figures in future years once the cap
returned. It wasn't expressly against the rules, but apparently the
league informed teams not to do this.

The only bit of good news for the offenders is they can spread the penalty over the next two seasons however they see fit.

While
$10 mil certainly squeezes the Cowboys, $36 puts the Redskins in a
serious bind. Their roster was thin enough as it stands, and the
franchise mortgaged the future to land the two pick so they could start
building around Griffin. Their front office will have to get creative to
land even one top-tier free agent this year, let alone sign multiple
impact players.

As for the Eagles, $1.6 mil probably doesn't make
an overwhelming difference, but it's still more than they had, and
could help create some breathing room. More importantly, it weakens a
division rival, and potentially cripples another -- especially if
Griffin doesn't pan out in that dysfunctional franchise.

Report: Jahlil Okafor 'will get moved by Thursday'

Report: Jahlil Okafor 'will get moved by Thursday'

Will or will not Jahlil Okafor be traded?

That is the big question surrounding the Sixers as Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline inches closer.

According to one report, there’s already an answer.

Appearing on NBA TV Tuesday night, NBA.com’s David Aldridge said Okafor “will get moved by Thursday.”

Aldridge, who said the Sixers have “a lot of offers to sift through,” mentioned the Pacers and Kings as potential landing spots. Following the DeMarcus Cousins trade, Sacramento is left with Kosta Koufos and Willie Cauley-Stein, who aren't offensive bigs. Koufos is averaging 6.1 points in 57 games this season, while Cauley-Stein is scoring 5.8 per game in his second NBA season.

“[The Kings] can offer more minutes and more opportunities for [Okafor] now,” Aldridge said.

According to multiple reports earlier on Tuesday, the Pacers have emerged as a suitor in the Okafor trade talks. Indiana is 29-28 and in sixth place of the Eastern Conference, but only a game ahead of Chicago — also a reported Okafor suitor — and two in front of Detroit.

Through a trying season, the Sixers’ second-year big man is averaging 11.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in 23 minutes per game. He’s played in 38 contests, 22 of which he has started after playing 53 games (48 starts) as a rookie and averaging 17.5 points and seven rebounds.

Penn State succumbs to No. 14 Purdue in overtime

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USA Today Images

Penn State succumbs to No. 14 Purdue in overtime

BOX SCORE

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Accustomed to dominating in stretches lately, the 14th-ranked Purdue Boilermakers found themselves on the other end of a big score and needed a savior against a gritty Penn State team on Tuesday night.

Enter Ryan Cline.

The guard scored six of his 11 points in overtime to lift Purdue to a 74-70 victory over the Nittany Lions in a game the Boilermakers led for just 9:16.

"It rarely happens where a team outplays another one, plays harder and they lose the game especially on their home court," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "Thank the Lord Cline knocked those two shots down."

Cline's consecutive 3-pointers secured his team's sixth straight win and snapped the Nittany Lions' four-game winning streak against Top 25 teams visiting the Bryce Jordan Center.

Vincent Edwards added 14 points, Isaac Haas chipped in 13 and Dakota Mathias scored 12 for the Boilermakers (23-5, 12-3 Big Ten) who trailed 33-29 at halftime.

Tony Carr scored 21 points, Lamar Stevens added 18 and Mike Watkins finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds for Penn State (14-14, 6-9). The Nittany Lions owned the paint, even against Purdue's towering bigs -- 6-foot-8 Caleb Swanigan and the 7-2 Haas -- where Penn State owned a 46-12 edge.

But the Nittany Lions couldn't get deep shots to fall. They finished just 2 for 18 from 3-point range.

"That was as hard as we've played all year," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "Proud of my team. However, there's no more moral victories here. We've got to get some things done. We've got to close out games."

Penn State led for all but 7:35 of regulation and by as many as 10 points midway through the first half. But they surrendered the lead on a dunk by Haas with 10:13 left. The Nittany Lions used a 10-2 run and four straight baskets from Carr to send the game into overtime where Cline found his shot.

Big picture
Purdue: The Boilermakers cooled off after a recent hot streak saw them dominate for large stretches of games. Purdue's five-game winning streak entering the night included wins over Michigan State, Rutgers and Northwestern, all by at least 17 points.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions are still looking to eclipse their combined win total in January and February under Chambers. Penn State won six games for their best stretch in the two-month span a year ago and will have two more tries to surpass last year's mark.

Loose guards
Painter wasn't happy with his guard play for much of the game. He sensed confusion from his backcourt and it cost them in the form of turnovers. Ten of Purdue's 17 giveaways were committed by guards.

"Our guard play and overall ball control, there's no question, there were times they were hesitant," Painter said.

Big man battle
As Chambers spoke with reporters, he guessed Watkins was sitting in the locker room with nothing left in the tank.

"He's exhausted in that locker room," Chambers said. "He battled. He went toe-to-toe with a potential lottery pick and a potential first-rounder some day in Haas because I think Haas is a pro."

Watkins was outmuscled in his first game against Purdue's sizable forwards when he scored just six points and grabbed only three rebounds earlier this season. He had 12 rebounds in the first half -- including three straight offensive midway through the first half -- that brought the crowd to a roar when he finally drew a foul and made two free throws.

Shot clock issue
A shot clock mishap cost the Nittany Lions a possession in overtime. With 13 seconds left and Purdue up 72-70, Haas took a jumper and missed close to the rim with the shot clock waning. It would have run out had Shep Garner not fouled P.J. Thompson immediately afterward, however.

Chambers said he thought Garner might have believed Haas' shot hit the rim. Instead, Thompson made both free throws to put the game out of reach.

Poll implications
Purdue survived a scare and its place in the poll should remain safe.

Up next
Purdue plays at Michigan on Friday.

Penn State travels to Minnesota on Friday.