(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Time for todays links, as we wait for the NFL Draft to get here.
Arizona Cardinals eye another strong NFL draft class for success
It's early, but by all accounts the Cardinals' 2011 draft class was an impressive one. The challenge for the team now is to make sure it wasn't in a class all its own. The NFL's best organizations string impressive drafts together like pearls. The less successful ones occasionally come up with jewels, but not enough to make anyone take notice.
How to add talent without draft, free agency - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Justin from Phoenix understands criticism over the Arizona Cardinals' relative inactivity in free agency. However, he notes that running back Ryan Williams and cornerback Greg Toler will be returning after missing the 2011 season with injuries. In his view, the team will be adding a couple of impact players.
Arizona Sports News:
Phoenix Coyotes blow another lead, lose Game 5 to Chicago Blackhawks in overtime
The sequence of events has become a pattern for the Coyotes. Squeak out a slim lead, attempt to hold on to it, and then watch it disappear in the third period. For the fourth time in their first-round series, the Chicago Blackhawks rallied to secure a late tie. And for the second time, the Blackhawks finished the comeback in overtime, rebounding for a 2-1 victory in Game 5 on Saturday night in front of 17,746 at Jobing.com Arena to cut the Coyotes' lead in the best-of-seven series to 3-2. The series will move back to Chicago for Game 6 on Monday night.
Phoenix Coyotes' Raffi Torres suspended 25 games for hit on Chicago Blackhawks' Marian Hossa
Not only will the Coyotes be without winger Raffi Torres for the remainder of the playoffs, but Torres could miss part of next season.
Arizona Diamondbacks fall to Atlanta Braves, drop 5th straight game
On Friday, Kirk Gibson vowed that the Diamondbacks' lifeless bats would awaken. On Saturday, despite news of yet another key injury, he promised it wouldn't sink his ballclub. What's he going to say Sunday if the Atlanta Braves complete a four-game series sweep at Chase Field and extend Arizona's losing streak to six games, which would match the team's longest skid from 2011? Listen, watch or be here in person, because it ought to be pretty interesting. Arizona's ace, Ian Kennedy, is on the mound, and if he can't put an end to the misery, who can? Things are, however, getting a little precarious as the losing continued Saturday with a 3-2 defeat in front of 30,188. It came hours after the Diamondbacks announced they were placing starting pitcher Daniel Hudson on the 15-day disabled list because of an impingement in his throwing shoulder.
Phoenix Suns can't run with Denver Nuggets
The Suns picked a heck of a time to revert to being the team they spent the past two months escaping. Denver has a way of doing that to them. For all of the Suns' progress to becoming a playoff contender, they simply surrender to the Nuggets. Now the Suns must surrender what they have been against Denver and embrace what they have been against Utah. The Nuggets shredded the Suns' defense in Saturday's 118-107 victory at US Airways Center, but the Suns can turn to Tuesday's game at Utah for hope against a Jazz team they have defeated twice.
ASU football quarterbacks show 'great promise' in spring game
Arizona State's quarterback competition officially has moved into summer. The Sun Devils went through 15 practices, including Saturday's spring game, with three players aiming to become the program's fifth quarterback in five seasons. Sophomores Mike Bercovici and Taylor Kelly and redshirt freshman Michael Eubank were up and down this spring, splitting first-team repetitions until the final snap. Don't expect the Sun Devils to enter the fall this way.
Arizona Diamondbacks place Daniel Hudson on 15-day disabled list; recall Jonathan Albaladejo
As if the Diamondbacks needed more bad news on the injury front, that's exactly what they got Saturday when starting pitcher Daniel Hudson was placed on the disabled list because of an impingement in his right (throwing) shoulder. He was scheduled to pitch Monday's series opener against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies. A new starter might not be named until today.
Phoenix Suns' Channing Frye exits game vs. Denver Nuggets with shoulder injury
Last season, a Suns team that was three games above .500 lost Channing Frye to a right-shoulder injury against Oklahoma City and went on to lose that game and four out of the next five games he missed. From there, it spiraled out of the playoff picture. On Saturday, a Suns team that was three games above .500 lost Frye to a right-shoulder injury against Denver and went on to lose the game and now must worry about what would happen to its playoff hopes without him again.
Pat's Run trying to deal with its success
Interest in Pat's Run, the annual fundraiser of the Pat Tillman Foundation, is growing so large that organizers are looking at ways to keep pace. On Saturday, the foundation hosted its eighth annual Pat's Run, a 4.2-mile race that started and ended at Arizona State University's Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. The main race sold out for the first time this year, forcing the foundation to close registration weeks before the event. About 28,000 people registered for the event before officials closed registration.
If Vikings left Minnesota for Los Angeles - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Max from Washington, D.C. thinks the Vikings will be leaving Minnesota and, most likely, landing in Los Angeles following the 2012 NFL season. "Assuming the NFL wishes to keep the Vikings in the NFC," he writes, "could we see a realignment with the NFC West?"
As pay cuts go, Jason Smith's not so bad - NFC West Blog - ESPN
A reduction in pay generally wouldn't qualify as a vote of confidence. The one Jason Smith accepted from the St. Louis Rams might be an exception.
Minnesota Senate Committee Gives Vikings Stadium Bill New Life - SBNation.com
Roger Goodell's last-minute lobbying trip to Minnesota paid some immediate dividends on Friday night, less than 12 hours after the NFL commissioner's meeting with Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders. A version of the Vikings stadium bill was approved by the Senate Local Government and Elections Committee with a narrow 8-6 vote.
Rookie wage scale shouldn’t lead to more trades, in theory | ProFootballTalk
Several reports have emerged in recent days regarding the belief that the new rookie wage scale will result in more trades at the top of the draft. Perhaps those reports are originating with the various teams that desperately want to trade down.
NFL frustrated by NFLPA’s tactics in bounty investigation | ProFootballTalk
On Friday, NFL general counsel Jeff Pash tried to drive a wedge within the NFLPA rank-and-file, calling out the union for defending Saints players believed to have been involved in the bounty program at the expense of the players who were targeted by the bounties.
Lions fans think their team will go 15-1 | ProFootballTalk
There was a time, not too long ago, when Detroit Lions fans were a pessimistic bunch — and the team often performed even worse than their fans’ low expectations. But the new regime in Detroit has changed the attitude of the fans significantly. In fact, a DetroitLions.com survey asking Lions fans to predict the result of each game on the schedule yielded an extremely optimistic result: Lions fans think their team will go 15-1.