Saints sign Sharrod Neasman, waive Mykkele Thompson

The Saints swapped one safety for another on Thursday.

Herbie Teope of NFL Media reports that the team has signed Sherrod Neasman to their 90-man roster. Neasman tried out for the team at their rookie minicamp earlier this month. Mykkele Thompson has been waived in a corresponding move.

Neasman played in 14 regular season games and five postseason contests for the Falcons over the last two seasons and made six tackles. He was not tendered a contract this offseason by Atlanta and worked out for the Chiefs in April before landing with New Orleans.

At a time when the discontent has spread to players like quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski, maybe there really is a deeper problem in the locker room, where the core of players obsessed with winning has been overcome by a critical mass of players who are sick of being constantly criticized. The tipping point quite possibly came during Super Bowl LII, when Belichick apparently departed from the win-at-all-costs mindset to instead play some sort of mind game with cornerback Malcolm Butler, leaving him on the sideline as the defense couldn’t stop Philadelphia’s offense.

Vea’s contract will be for four years with a team option for a fifth year. That option must be exercised before Vea’s fourth season and is guaranteed for injury only.

Vea had 99 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks and two forced fumbles over three years at the University of Washington. He’s part of a new look defensive line in Tampa as Jason Pierre-Paul, Vinny Curry, Beau Allen and Mitch Unrein also joined the team this offseason.

Bob Smith: My first team was the Sixers of Wilt Chamberlain, Hal Greer and Chet The Jet Walker, who couldn’t get by Bill Russell. Jumped on the Knicks bandwagon in the late ’60s and got to see Cowens and Co. get theirs. The Dean Meminger game in ’73 and the Cavs’ win in Boston are real highlights for those of us who feel the same way about anything Boston.

Vac: However much the Celtics may have been likable, I’m pretty sure what I heard when I opened my window late Sunday night was America cheering.

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Timberwolves working to sign Andrew Wiggins to $148M extension, report says

Acquiring guard Andrew Wiggins in 2014 was the first step the Timberwolves took to relevancy, jumping them to the top of the NBA’s up-and-coming teams.

By adding Karl Anthony-Towns the next year in the draft and Jimmy Butler via trade a month ago, the Timberwolves are now a force to be reckoned with. And they apparently want to remain that way for years to come by signing their talented young players for the foreseeable future.

Wiggins is the first up for an extension, and the Timberwolves have plans to get that done soon, according to ESPN.

Wiggins averaged a career-high 23.6 points in 2016-17 and added 2.3 assists per game.

While Beasley is often viewed as a draft bust considering he was taken No. 2 overall behind Rose and ahead of 2016-17 MVP Russell Westbrook and four-time All-Star Kevin Love, the former Kansas State one-and-doner has stretched out a productive career and serves as a low-risk, (somewhat) high-reward signing. Beasley averaged 9.4 points per game for the Bucks last season on 53.2 percent shooting (41.9 percent from 3-point range), finishing with the second-highest player efficiency rating (17.8) of his nine-year NBA career.

At 28 years old on a veteran’s minimum contract ($2.1 million), Beasley provides a scoring punch as a reserve for a team that finished 25th in the league in bench scoring (31.9 points per game). And that’s assuming he comes off the bench — if Carmelo Anthony does eventually get traded, Beasley might need to step into the starting lineup. As one scout told The New York Post’s Marc Berman, He can flat out score — isos along the right baseline. He could be a perfect replacement for Melo, if he’s traded.

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