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Now that JaMarcus Russell has lost 50 pounds and is down to 265, will NFL teams take him seriously as a roster candidate? Apparently, the answer is yes. According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, there is now "significant" interest from more than one team, according to a source. Rapoport said on "NFL Total Access" that Russell -- who has hired high-powered agent Eugene Parker -- would like to sign with a team where he can sit on the bench and learn behind a respected leader at quarterback. Translation: JaMarcus Russell wants NFL teams to know that if you sign him, you'll get an eager student with excellent dietary habits. Not the schlub who used to fall asleep during team meetings. (NFL.com) Comment
Welcome back to the spotlight, Nick Saban. [Saban] has Big Ten country talking Tuesday after the first day of the SEC spring meetings in Destin when he questioned Ohio State's ability to get through an SEC schedule. Saban was giving his thoughts on a nine-game SEC schedule when it was mentioned to him that Alabama likely would not have made the BCS Championship last season if undefeated Ohio State weren't on probation. "How well would they have done if they had played the six teams that were ranked in the top 10? Would they have beat them all? Would they beat three of them?" Saban asked. "And I think they have a really good team and I think Urban (Meyer) is a great coach. I'm not questioning any of that." (AL.com) Comment
Jonathan Papelbon reminded Red Sox Nation, to the tune of boos, just how valuable he could be on Tuesday. According to a major league source, [Papelbon] has the Red Sox as one of the eight teams on his no-trade list. The fact Papelbon has included the Red Sox on his eight-team list shouldn't come as a surprise considering most players pick big market clubs when identifying which teams they would need to give permission to be traded to. ... While Papelbon wouldn't comment on his no-trade clause, the Philadelphia closer wouldn't rule out one day pitching in Boston again. (Although it should be noted, he remains currently perfectly content with the Phillies.) "Yeah, I could see myself in Boston," he told WEEI.com. "I could see myself pitching in New York. You know me." (WEEI.com) Comment
A fan sign at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday night. (Twitter.com/danielaud)
Boston Marathon bombing victims throw out first pitches at Fenway Park.