Robson’s weekly pro sports roundup: 2/24-3/2

More mad money in the MLB meets NFL draft news, NBA game-winners and a downward spiral in Boston.

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Robson’s weekly pro sports roundup: 2/24-3/2

(Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

(Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

(Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Jacob Robson, Sports columnist

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NFL Combine Arrives in Indianapolis

NFL scouts and draft prospects gathered at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for the annual scouting combine this past weekend. The class of 2019 include highly-touted prospects Nick Bosa of Ohio State and the Heisman trophy winner, Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray.

Murray’s greatly anticipated measurements came in with the quarterback coming in at 5-foot-10 ⅛ and 207 pounds. Many regard Murray as the best prospect at the quarterback position, but questions have been asked about whether his smaller frame will be durable in the NFL.

UMass’ own Andy Isabella impressed the scouts in Indy, logging Saturday’s fastest 40-yard dash time at 4.31 seconds. The Minutemen’s all-time leader in receiving yards looks bookmarked for one Bill Belichick; standing at 5-foot-9, has already drawn comparisons to Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. The ex-UMass wideout may not be drafted on opening night, yet he surely will be an attractive prospect in the later rounds.

 

Jason Witten Returns to Dallas

After spending the 2018 season as an television analyst, Jason Witten has agreed to come out of retirement and return to the Dallas Cowboys.

On Thursday, Witten signed a one-year contract that will see him earn $3.5 million through the season. A potential $5 million is also available for Witten if he reaches goals for roster bonuses and other incentives.

Witten returns to the Cowboys where he still holds franchise records for receptions (1,152)  and receiving yards (12,448). Without a stand-out player at the tight end position last season, bringing in Witten seems like a solid decision to give quarterback Dak Prescott another weapon in his armory.

 

Phillies Seal Huge Harper Deal

Bryce Harper finalized a 13-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday. The deal is worth $330 million for Harper, and is understood to have a no-trade clause and no contractual opt-outs.

Harper, who is still only 26 years old, looks to have committed to the Phillies for the majority of his career. As expected, the deal also exceeds Manny Machado’s $300 million deal with the Padres.

The ex-Washington National will receive a $20 million signing bonus along with a $10 million salary for the forthcoming season. His season salary will increase to $26 million for the seasons between 2020 to 2028 and then decrease to $22 million per season for 2029 to 2031.

Harper’s agent Scott Boras told the New York Post that there were “average values of $45 million offered on shorter-term deals.” It has been rumored that the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers were the teams that offered such deals for Harper’s services.

The Phillies, who have made other notable acquisitions in the forms of J.T. Realmuto, Jean Segura, Andrew McCutchen and reliever David Robertson to join young stars Aaron Nola and Rhys Hoskins, are shaping up to become a solid contender in the National League

 

Celtics Losing Streak At Four, Wade Sinks Remarkable Game Winner

The Boston Celtics have entered a downward spiral after a 97-92 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers at the TD Garden.

A healthier Kyrie Irving finished with 31 points on 14-of-24 shooting, but it wasn’t enough. The Celtics as a whole looked disbanded and irrational in their play. Notably during time outs, Kyrie looked visually upset as he voiced his displeasure with the situation. On the other side of the ball, Damian Lillard looked dominant as he lead his team with 33 points and seven rebounds.

The Celtics now have twenty games left in the run up to the post-season. Wanting to be on the better side of the playoff bracket with home-court advantage in the first round may be unlikely if the bad run and atmosphere surrounding the Celtics locker room continues.

Further south, Dwyane Wade sunk a last second buzzer beater winner against the Golden State Warriors at American Airlines Arena.

The Miami Heat put in a strong performance against the Warriors throughout the game on Wednesday night. Despite a shaky fourth quarter, the team remained resilient and set themselves up for a close end to the game.

Enter stage right: 37-year-old Dwyane Wade, who put in a solid performance with 27 points and seven rebounds. With the final seconds ticking by, Wade’s first attempt was blocked by Jordan Bell but recovered in time for the future Hall of Famer to hop behind the arc on one leg and sink the go-ahead three pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining.

Follow Jacob on Twitter @jacoborobson and on Instagram @jacoboliverrobson.

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