John Paschall

Chris Simms’ full 2019 Top 40 NFL quarterback rankings

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NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms released his 2019 quarterback rankings on his podcast ‘Chris Simms Unbuttoned‘ before training camp arrived.

Check out his full rankings here from 1-40:

  1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
  2. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
  3. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
  4. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
  5. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
  6. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
  7. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
  8. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
  9. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
  10. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
  11. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
  12. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
  13. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
  14. Matt Stafford, Detroit Lions
  15. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
  16. Nick Foles, Jacksonville Jaguars
  17. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
  18. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
  19. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
  20. Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears
  21. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
  22. Sam Darnold, New York Jets
  23. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
  24. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
  25. Joe Flacco, Denver Broncos
  26. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
  27. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  28. Case Keenum, Washington Redskins
  29. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
  30. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
  31. Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts
  32. Josh Rosen, Miami Dolphins
  33. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
  34. Eli Manning, New York Giants
  35. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins
  36. Robert Griffin III, Baltimore Ravens
  37. Drew Lock, Denver Broncos
  38. Dwayne Haskins, Washington Redskins
  39. Colt McCoy, Washington Redskins
  40. Tyrod Taylor, Los Angeles Chargers

Jockey Mike Smith picks up new mount for Kentucky Derby

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Triple Crown-winning jockey Mike Smith will ride in the Kentucky Derby after all.

Race officials said Friday that Smith has picked up the mount on 30-1 shot Cutting Humor, trained by Todd Pletcher.

The 53-year-old rider had been on the early 4-1 favorite, Omaha Beach, until that colt was scratched because of a breathing problem.

[READ MORE ON 145TH KENTUCKY DERBY]

Smith originally chose to ride Omaha Beach over Roadster, one of three Derby horses trained by Bob Baffert. Once Omaha Beach was out of Saturday’s race, Baffert said he wouldn’t change any of his riders.

Smith won last year’s Derby with Justify, trained by Baffert. They went on to sweep the Preakness and Belmont to capture the Triple Crown. Smith won his first Derby with 50-1 shot Giacomo in 2005.

Cutting Humor was the last Derby horse to have a rider named Monday when Corey Lanerie got the mount. He would have been aboard the colt for the first time. But once Smith became available, owner Starlight Racing decided to go with the jockey nicknamed Big Money Mike for his ability to win some of the sport’s richest races.

Lanerie recently won his 1,000th career race at Churchill Downs. He has ridden in the Derby four times, with his best finish being second aboard Lookin At Lee in 2017. His 42-year-old wife died of breast cancer last June.

The Derby lost another horse Friday when Haikal was scratched because of an infection in his left front foot. That leaves the field at 19.

Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Haikal was being treated for an abscess and didn’t train Thursday or Friday. That left McLaughlin no choice but to scratch the Gotham Stakes winner before the deadline Friday morning.

Haikal, a 30-1 shot, had his infected foot soaked in Epsom salts to reduce the accumulation of pus. The problem should clear shortly, but the colt ran out of time to prepare for the 1\-mile Derby.

As a result, the rail will remain empty and Derby horses will break from posts 2 through 20.

Bertens beats Vekic to win St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy

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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Kiki Bertens won her third title in six months on Sunday, beating Donna Vekic 7-6 (2), 6-4 in the final of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy.

Second-seeded Bertens came back from 5-2 down in the first set to win four straight games and force a tiebreaker. Eighth-seeded Vekic saved three match points in the second set before Bertens closed out the match for her eighth career title.

The win continued Bertens’ emergence as a more versatile player. Until she beat Simona Halep to win the Cincinnati Open in August, Bertens had never reached a WTA final on any surface other than clay, but she has now won three straight hard-court finals.

Bertens’ current ranking of eighth is the best for a Dutch woman since Betty Stove, who reached No. 5 in 1977.