BOSTON Teams

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Sean Payton said Brandin Cooks trade wasn't a situation where "we felt like we've gotta make this trade or else. It was the opposite actually." Payton said at one point the Saints told Cooks a deal might not happen. But Payton said a few clubs reached out to the Saints and they eventually liked the Patriots deal. Payton again blamed Cooks' agent for last year's complaints about Cooks' role in the Saints' offense and pointed out that Cooks switched agents after the season.

Mike Rodak ESPN Staff Writer 

Why were the Panthers willing to part with Kony Ealy in a trade to New England? Ron Rivera says re-signing Mario Addison played into the decision, as well as a looming contract negotiation with Ealy.

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Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints coach Sean Payton on the decision not to sign Malcolm Butler to an offer sheet.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Sean Payton said he knows the Saints won't give up the 11th pick in the draft by signing an offer sheet with CB Malcolm Butler. Perhaps a trade with the Patriots could emerge, but Payton said that would just be "speculation" since they can't talk trade until Butler signs his restricted free agent tender with New England. (Photo of Payton at NFL meetings coaches' breakfast courtesy of ESPN's Mike Reiss)

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

With Josh Rutledge (hamstring) bound for DL, manager John Farrell mentioned Marco Hernandez and Steve Selsky as options for final Red Sox roster spot. Hernandez, a left-handed hitter who hits lefties well, has had a strong camp. Selsky has experience at first base, important with Mitch Moreland (flu) and Hanley Ramirez (shoulder) compromised.

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Mitch Moreland has the flu and will be sent directly to Boston rather than accompanying Red Sox to DC-Annapolis for exhibition games Friday and Saturday. Team is hopeful Moreland will be fully recovered by Opening Day on Monday.

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Patriots' zero-tolerance policy applies to Mixon (0:49)
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Bergeron scores early as Bruins cruise past Preds (0:26)
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Goodell says he'll be in Foxboro for opening night (1:00)

ESPN Stats and Information  

With only two weeks remaining in the regular season, the NBA scoring race is a dead heat between Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Harden was last season's runner-up to Stephen Curry.

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says he plans to attend the league's 2017 kickoff game at Gillette Stadium. It will mark his first game at Gillette since Deflategate.

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Josh Rutledge's strained left hamstring might open roster spot for infielder Marco Hernandez, but it would also leave Red Sox without a righty-hitting platoon partner for first baseman Mitch Moreland. Hanley Ramirez, by the way, played light catch from 90 feet again today.

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Everyone's different, of course, but to get idea of Tyler Thornburg's timetable in return from shoulder impingement, consider reliever Junichi Tazawa, who missed 18 days with similar issue last season. Joe Kelly, a starter when he dealt with impinged shoulder last April, missed a month.

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Where Pablo Sandoval should appear on draft boards (0:59)

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Celtics forward Jae Crowder is the latest NBA player to receive a Potato Parcel and posted it to his Instagram. The potato takes a jab at the Mavericks for trading Crowder away. Dallas owner Mark Cuban (politely) declined to invest in the company during its appearance on Shark Tank.

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Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Avery Bradley on Celtics being No. 1 seed for moment: "Every team in the NBA should want to be the best team in the NBA. We're showing that we can be if we're playing the right way, if we're playing the right kind of basketball. That's an accomplishment to be the first team in the East. We understand that. But at the same time we understand we could lose it tomorrow."