Last week culminated with Super Bowl LII, in which the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots, 41-33, to claim their first Super Bowl title in franchise history. Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins joined GEICO SportsNite to discuss the big game.
Most of the Jets-related talk last week centered on Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. Washington's acquisition of Alex Smith from the Chiefs opened the door for the Jets to pursue Cousins, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent March 14. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano writes that Mike Maccagnan owes it to Jets fans to open his wallet for Cousins, but Gang Green will undoubtedly have fierce competition. Luckily, Cousins isn't the only quarterback who may be available to the Jets; free agents Sam Bradford and Case Keenum and draft options Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen are just a few of the possibilities.
Speaking of the draft, Dave Gettleman and the Giants are continuing to plan for how to use their No. 2 overall pick. Mayfield said playing for the Giants would be "ideal," while Sam Darnold described such a prospect as "amazing." Eli Manning has an understandably less enthusiastic outlook about the draft. Archie Manning says Eli understands the situation while the quarterback himself says he would be "fine" with the Giants drafting his replacement, noting that "I know how old I am." In other Giants news, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is moving on after failing to win the heading coaching job, while Pat Shurmur expressed optimism about Odell Beckham Jr. and is aiming to finalize his coaching staff this week.
The Mets made a minor move Wednesday, trading reliever Josh Smoker to the Pirates for a pitching prospect and cash. Otherwise, it was another cold week for the Hot Stove despite persistent rumors linking the Mets to infielders Josh Harrison, Todd Frazier and Eduardo Nunez. Asdrubal Cabrera's desire to play second rather than third base could broaden the Mets' infield options, Sandy Alderson said.
On the pitching front, the Mets are reportedly beginning to target second-tier, innings-eating starters like Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Jason Vargas. They could sign Lynn or Cobb if the price was right; like other Major League teams, the Mets seem to be waiting for free agents' prices to fall. With under two weeks to go until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training, dozens of free agents -- including high-performing players like J.D. Martinez and Jake Arrieta -- remain unsigned. The stagnant market prompted prominent agent Brodie Van Wagenen, whose clients include Yoenis Cespedes and Jacob deGrom, to suggest that there may be collusion among team owners to deprive players of money.
The Yankees made a pair of small moves last week, signing infielder Danny Espinosa and right-handed pitcher David Hale to Minor League deals and inviting both to Spring Training. But is Brian Cashman willing to make another big splash before the offseason is over? The front office reportedly "discussed" free-agent third baseman Mike Moustakas, while Yu Darvish is holding out hope that the Yankees or Dodgers will clear enough salary space to sign him.
The Knicks beat the Nets on Tuesday but dropped the following three games to Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta. Frustration is palpable in the locker room, with Kristaps Porzingis saying that his team "doesn't know how to finish games" after its most recent loss. Despite increasingly logical arguments that the Knicks should be sellers at the trade deadline and aim for an advantageous position in the NBA Draft, Enes Kanter thinks the front office shouldn't give up hope.
Behind Spencer Dinwiddie's 27 points, the Nets defeated the 76ers on Wednesday night, but the rest of the week was less rosy -- Brooklyn lost to New York, Los Angeles and Milwaukee. Friday night's game against the Lakers saw Brook Lopez return to Brooklyn for the first time since being traded. The Nets honored their franchise points leader with a pregame video tribute.
The Rangers, Islanders and Devils were back in action after the NHL's All-Star weekend. The Rangers fell to the Maple Leafs and the Predators, with Jimmy Vesey and Marc Staal both injured in Saturday's game. The Islanders lost to the Panthers and Maple Leafs, prompting coach Doug Weight to administer an honest video session, in which he forced his players to watch "shameful" clips from the team's shutout loss to Toronto. The tactic seemed to work; the Isles responded with a hard practice and a comeback win over the Blue Jackets. The team remains on the fringes of the playoff race, and Garth Snow insists he won't trade John Tavares. Finally, the Devils won all three of their games last week, defeating the Sabres, Flyers and Penguins.
The UConn women's basketball team is so good it's boring. The Huskies beat the defending national champions, South Carolina, before downing Cincinnati by a hefty margin. The men's team lost to Cincinnati by single digits. Rutgers lost to Illinois and Purdue. Syracuse's winning streak ended with a close loss to Georgia Tech, and then the Orange scored a season-low 44 points in a loss to Virginia. St. John's upset No. 4 Duke with an 81-77 victory and Seton Hall fell to No. 1 Villanova.