Free agent defensive end Kony Ealy left Dallas without a deal, Todd Archer of ESPN reports. The Cowboys do not appear in a rush to get something done, and with the Jets still interested in an Ealy return, he could end up back in New York.
The Panthers made Ealy a second-round pick in 2014. He spent three seasons there before Carolina traded him to New England for a second-round pick last offseason.
Thanks to their two-game interleague series in Los Angeles on Tuesday-Wednesday, the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers suffer the misfortune of the league’s only five-game weeks, in a week in which 12 other teams are scheduled to play seven times. It’s especially bad news for the Athletics, who lose their designated hitter for those two games in the National League park and are a matchups-oriented team, and it’s quite a contrast to the team’s 11-day Week 1 schedule, which was loaded with volume opportunity.
With the Dodgers starting both Alex Wood and Hyun-Jin Ryu in the team’s week-opening series, Athletics hitters will face three left-handed starters, which is awful news for Matt Olson, Matt Joyce and Boog Powell. Khris Davis and Matt Chapman are the team’s only two “automatics” on the hitting side, though Marcus Semien and perhaps Olson are worth a look.
Kaplan: I’m iffy on Keith Kinkaid of the New Jersey Devils — or, even worse, a platoon situation between Kinkaid and Cory Schneider. Typically, teams are buoyed in the playoffs by their goaltender getting hot. I’ll leave that option open for Kinkaid — who helped will the Devils into the playoffs by allowing two goals or fewer in 13 of his past 20 starts, recording a .932 save percentage in that stretch.
Kinkaid’s larger body of work (.913 save percentage for the season), however, is less impressive. He’s a solid backup who might find himself in over his head come playoff time. If the job ends up going to Schneider at any point? Well, we’d be asking him to play a lot better than he has since his return from a groin injury.
Arledge: I’m not so positive about Martin Jones or the Devils’ duo of Kinkaid and Schneider. Jones is perhaps a surprise here because he brought the San Jose Sharks to the Final a couple of seasons ago, but I’m not too bullish on the 28-year-old. Aaron Dell almost stole the starting gig from Jones at the end of January, but Jones responded with a stout February.