John Elway explains why Broncos are ready for Paxton Lynch to start soon

“He’s a young guy with tremendous athletic ability, he’s got the strong arm, can make all the throws, he’s smart, and he’s a guy that can fit into this offense real well,” Elway said.

The system in question was a perfect fit for a hyper-athletic talent like Elway back in the day (Kubiak was his boss’ quarterbacks coach when Mike Shanahan ran things in Denver) and it makes sense for Lynch.

Roll him out, get him on the edge, let him take shots down the field and use his athleticism to make plays where necessary … it’s a perfect fit.

The Broncos should be scary not because they have to play Lynch in 2016 but because they can play Lynch. He has weapons (Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders) and fits the offense, and they’ll run the ball and play tons of defense.

Denver already won a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning limping through the season. It’s not unreasonable to expect success with a rookie either.

Outfield options: Ryan Braun, Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto, Dexter Fowler, Carlos Gonzalez, Bryce Harper, Odubel Herrera, Matt Holliday, Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen, Marcell Ozuna, Angel Pagan, Joc Pederson, Hunter Pence, Stephen Piscotty, Gregory Polanco, Yasiel Puig,Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich

Holy crowded outfield.

Outfield picks: Bryce Harper, Nationals; Yoenis Cespedes, Mets; Dexter Fowler, Cubs

Harper is easy and doesn’t need discussing.

So, yeah, fair to say I am less than convinced this is the answer to the Texans’ lingering QB problem. Coach Bill O’Brien will have to stick with him, but after drafting more weapons on offense there won’t be any excuses here. While Houston’s defense made strides in the second half of last season, this isn’t the 2015 Broncos defense.

Playing in the AFC South would generally make things much easier for Osweiler, only that division might actually be halfway decent this year, too.

My crystal ball says: There will be some tears and disappointment here. And I have a hunch that this ends up being only a two-year, $38 million deal that leaves a fair amount of carnage in its wake.

Kirk Cousins
This can’t be all doom and gloom.

The fourth inning in Wrigley Field was pretty wild on Saturday. First up, the Pirates scored a pair of runs off Jake Arrieta, erasing a streak of 26 straight scoreless innings against the Cubs’ ace, which included a shutout in the 2015 NL Wild Card Game.

That top of the fourth Saturday ended when a hard grounder up the middle hit Arrieta’s lower leg and redirected into a double play to kill the rally.

And then Jeff Locke gave it right back. Jason Heyward singled, Kris Bryant walked and Anthony Rizzo hit a three-run homer. A Ben Zobrist walk followed, and then pitching coach Ray Searage went to the mound.

As the Pirates broadcast noted, that’s a rarity. Searage did appear to be giving home plate umpire Brian Knight an earful.

Dick’s Sporting Goods has released its latest jersey report — an “official ranking of the best-selling players jerseys nationwide” through the first three weeks of the NFL season, according to sales at their stories — and suffice it to say, there is plenty of shake-my-head data on the most popular teams in certain states.

Neither the Giants nor Jets sells the most jerseys in the state of New York; the Bills somehow hold that distinction.

The Redskins have apparently taken over Nebraska, while the Ravens own not only their own state of Maryland, where the Redskins also play home games, but DC as well.

Despite residing nearly 4,700 miles away from the stadium, football fans in Hawaii are big supporters of the Carolina Panthers.

NBA approves on-jersey advertising program

The first season of the program will be in 2017-18, which will also be the first season that Nike makes the NBA’s uniforms after taking over from Adidas. The Adidas logo is not currently on game jerseys.

“It’s my hope, independent of whatever additional revenues are generated through this patch program, that the greatest impact will be in this amplifying effect of companies choosing to associate directly with a team jersey, then going out and promoting that relationship to the largest market,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said.

Silver said the league had calculated that the program will be worth about $100 million a year. It’s a small opportunity relative to the league’s overall revenues, which Silver said are projected to be $7 billion in the 2017-18 season.

Silver said Friday that the Nike swoosh will appear on every jersey for 29 of the league’s teams, but that the Charlotte Hornets will likely have the logo of the Nike-owned subsidiary Brand Jordan because the team is owned by Michael Jordan.

The money will be counted as basketball-related income and, therefore, split with the players. What isn’t yet clear is how a team will resolve a conflict if a company buying a patch is a competitor of a company that endorses that team’s star player.

Silver said that the NBA must also have conversations with its TV partners, ESPN and Turner, as well as the league’s top sponsors, based on who the jersey ad sponsors turn out to be.

Silver said there is “enormous uncertainty” around the patch program, which is one reason the initial idea is to restrict sales to a three-year period. The plan is also facing some backlash from fans who want to see the jerseys remain commercial-free.

“There’s a reason this is a pilot program,” Silver said. “We listen very closely to our fans.”

“We didn’t think that was fair. We have revenue sharing already and we think that is fair,” Alexander said.

The NBA is moving a step closer to putting advertisements on jerseys.

Sources told ESPN.com that the league sent out a memo this week, ahead of the owners meeting Sunday at the All-Star Game in Toronto, where the topic of putting corporate logos on uniforms is expected to be discussed.

Towns routinely greeted questions about his success with a shrug. The Timberwolves still won only 29 games and finished far out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference.

“People who know me know I’m never satisfied. I’ve never felt like I’ve had a good game,” Towns said near the end of the season. “It’s hard to get me to even say I played good. That’s just in me. I’m just never satisfied. A lot of my friends get annoyed by it. I’m never happy about anything, playing-wise. I always think there’s things I messed up on, things I should’ve done differently that could’ve A) made us win or B) made the win easier.”