The Jacksonville Jaguars built their team around their top-ranked pass defense.

But situationally, third-year linebacker Yannick Ngakoue is much better as a pass-rusher than as a run defender at this point in his career.

Over the last two years, only two players in the NFL recorded both 13 sacks and five or fewer tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage on the ground: Ngakoue and Miami’s Cameron Wake. Ngakoue’s 20 sacks and five tackles at or behind the line look like a typo next to the likes of New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan, who has 33 tackles at or behind the line to go with his 20.5 sacks since 2016.

Ngakoue is one of the NFL’s last true pass-rushing specialists. If he can round out his game by the time his second contract comes around, he may be a $50 million-plus player.

Next year, under tackle Corey Liuget is slated to cost $9.5 million against the Los Angeles Chargers’ salary cap. This year, he will begin the season with a four-game suspension for PEDs. While most third-round picks don’t get an immediate shot to start in the NFL, especially in the trenches, Justin Jones of North Carolina State may win the Week 1 starting job and run away with it.

He had X-rays this afternoon, Yankees manager Aaron Judge said in his pre-game presser. Came back clean. A little more peace of mind.

Judge hurt himself in the first inning of Friday night’s 4-1 win over the Mets sliding into second base on a doubleplay groundball hit by Greg Bird, but he played all nine innings.

After the game, Bird said, It’s sore, (but) it’s not too bad right now.

Boone was worried initially.

I was concerned when it happened just seeing his reaction, the manager said. The fact that he was able to stay in the game and go up and hit in the cage and go through it…

Prescott is the latest former Cowboy to go to bat for Bryant.

Two weeks ago, former Cowboys defensive back Deion Sanders pleaded for Dallas to re-sign Bryant.

Following Sanders was former Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware, who pleaded for someone to sign Bryant, per the Dallas Morning News :

The greatest thing about Dez is he is a fierce competitor. I think he is now more driven and more competitive than he has ever been. We wish him nothing but the best.

Tony Romo, his former quarterback, is endorsing Bryant for future employment, based on comments he made on May 1st, per ESPN :

If I was talking to any of the GMs or coaches, I would tell them he’s not going to hurt the locker room in any possible way. He’s going to come out and he’ll be a great teammate when he gets there. I think he’ll have a couple options here soon.

Jason Witten, his former tight end, tried pumping up Bryant by speculating he would be a good fit for the Green Bay Packers.

Deveney is Rutgers’ third commitment of the day, following St. John Vianney (Holmdel, N.J.) offensive lineman C.J. Hanson and Worcester (Mass.) Academy safety Zukudo Igwenagu.

Rutgers’ new offense also had something do with his pick.

It was Coach (John) McNulty’s offense, he said. He always has one tight end, two tight ends or even three tight ends on the field. He also coached Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry and those are some good tight ends. And I hope he can develop me like those guys.

Could the most iconic franchise in North American sports be joining forces with the Worldwide Leader?

It’s possible, if the proposed Disney- Fox merger goes through as outlined.

Shareholders for the two companies have started receiving literature detailing the deal.

Disney and Fox stockholders will vote on the deal at special meetings on July 10.

Vikings plan a team approach to anthem

In more than three weeks since the NFL enacted a new anthem policy that managed to cause more problems than it solved, teams and owners and league officials generally have managed to keep their heads low and their mouths shut on the topic.

For the Vikings, the subject became unavoidable on Friday, because the team publicly cut the ribbon on its swanky new training facility.

Very little on-the-field work, is Manning’s description of what Beckham did during the OTAs. Just kind of getting in the meeting rooms and he’s been there for some of the walk-throughs and stuff. It’s important to just kind of hear the plays, hear the formations, hear everything so he’ll have a good idea of what’s coming up.

It would not be a surprise if Beckham remains limited at the start of training camp in late July. The Giants are of no mind to accelerate Beckham before he is completely ready to go and, once he is given the green light in camp this summer, expect he will be eased in slowly.

The Cowboys are thin at free safety since new secondary coach Kris Richard moved Byron Jones to cornerback. Jones started all 16 games at free safety last season.

As it stands now, Xavier Woods is slated to start at free safety.

I just block it out, Woods said of talk about Thomas, via Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News. I’ve learned this is a business at the end of the day. The job is based on yourself. You have to be irreplaceable. It’s all on you.

I just control what I can control. I’m trying every day to give them a reason not to want anybody else.

Woods, a sixth-round draft choice in 2017, played 51.5 percent of the defensive snaps last season, mostly at nickel back. He made 41 tackles, six pass breakups and an interception.

Corey Graham would like to continue playing

Among the players receiving their Super Bowl rings in Philadelphia on Thursday night was veteran defensive back Corey Graham.

Graham played 84 percent of the defensive snaps for the Eagles in their 41-33 victory over the Patriots, but has not signed with anyone since becoming a free agent at the start of the new league year in March. Graham, who turns 33 next month, told Bo Wulf of The Athletic that he’d be open to changing that.

And I want to thank you in advance for respecting my privacy and that of my family as we work our way through this. I look forward to being back at full strength and devoting all my energy to helping make this 2018 New York Giants team the best it can be.

This is generally a quieter time for NFL general managers, with roster tinkering on the docket. There is a looming decision to make on Beckham, who wants an extension to make him the highest-paid receiver in league history. That is an important football and financial consideration. What Gettleman is facing next, though, is far more real and vastly more important.

With 2 1/2 weeks remaining before the July 5 conclusion of balloting for the starting spots in the 89th All-Star Game on July 17 at Nationals Park in Washington, it’s a three-way battle both at second base in the NL among the Braves’ Ozzie Albies, the Cubs’ Javier Baez and the Reds’ Scooter Gennett.

Meanwhile, in the AL, the Rays’ Wilson Ramos has overtaken the Yankees’ Gary Sanchez for the AL’s starting spot at catcher in the latest voting.

Here are the latest AL and NL results on All-Star voting (to vote, click here ):

It’s not a Jets problem or a league problem. It’s a nationwide problem, Bowles said of drinking and driving. We deal with them on a daily basis as they come. We talk about [how] we’re against them. You know you’re against certain things. Things happen in your 20s and we treat them on an individual basis and you move by.

The Jets have been on a bad run of arrests — with wide receiver Robby Anderson and Donahue each getting arrested twice, Rashard Robinson getting arrested in December on drug charges and linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin getting arrested for assault last June.

2018 NFL Over-Under Win Totals: Jaguars look like the most loaded team in the AFC

Preconceived notions are funny things, because they can cause us to ignore reality. And the reality is the Jaguars are a loaded team with one question mark at quarterback. Replace Blake Bortles with an above-average quarterback, perhaps one who was on the open market like Kirk Cousins, and the Jaguars might very well be the favorites to win the Super Bowl. They might very well be the most talented team in the NFL, if you believe some members of the football cognoscenti.

Three of their six losses were in one-score games, so they were unlucky in some respects. Their other three losses were by an average of 14 points. They also had five (!) wins of 20 points or more. They can snuff teams out when they’re playing at their top level.

Bills general manager Brandon Beane made it clear last week that when Jones returns to form, he won’t be guaranteed a spot back in the starting lineup.

He’s not just going to necessarily go right to the top of the line, Beane said on WGR 550, via He’ll have to earn his way. Part of that will just be just getting his feel. He’s only played with Nathan Peterman. He has not got to play with Josh Allen or AJ [McCarron] yet. So that bond there will just have to form.

A 2017 second-round pick out of East Carolina, Jones was incosistent suring his first year in the pros, only rarely flashing brilliance. He tallied just 27 receptions for 316 yards and two touchdowns.

Even before undergoing knee surgery in May, the 23-year-old wideout was in the middle of an unnerving offseason. Jones underwent shoulder surgery in January, and he was arrested in March on a bizarre felony vandalism charge that was later dropped.

New Jersey betting law may stick it to certain sports owners

The state that helped open the floodgates for sports gambling by taking on the sports leagues will be adding a tweak to its sports betting law that could force some sports team owners to make a tough decision.

Lawson was able to play in all 16 games as a rookie with the Bengals in 2017, and in the process he picked up more sacks (8.5) than any other first-year player in the league. 

That alone is worth the entirety of his rookie contract, let alone the $763,154 he’s making on average each season. Of the 29 players with more than eight sacks in 2017, none make less than Lawson. 

Manziel replaced starter Jeremiah Masoli with 3:38 remaining in the second quarter. He completed 9 of 12 passes for 80 yards in five possessions.

I felt like I was able to get in there and handle the situation well, get some completions and get the guys some balls, Manziel said.

Manziel marched the Ticats to the Toronto 12 in the third quarter before an intentional grounding call backed the ball to the 34 and Hamilton ended up turning it over on downs.

That was the worst call of the century, Manziel said. My whole life I have been taught to throw it right at the stick that marks the down. I thought I got it there. He [the official] told me I was about a yard short. That’s the first time I have heard that. That’s new to me.

Without having one team to obsess over, watching hockey can be simply about watching hockey. The combination of grace and speed with violence and hatred. The unnatural bending of the stick during a slap shot. The crazy path of a puck through traffic, where the chances of the thing being intentionally redirected are roughly the same as having it unintentionally crash into a sensitive area of the male anatomy. The sound of the frozen rubber projectile hitting the hard steel tube. And the endless near-miss goals, which make the game as much about dumb luck as it it about raw skill.

How a lonely track event unites Rutgers past and present

The most accomplished athlete competing for Rutgers right now practices on a hole-covered field at the edge of the university’s track complex, and on most days, he does so completely alone.

Canceling the Philadelphia Eagles visit, well, what it does on the positive side is it does remind everybody that there is a contingent of people who are caught up in the celebutainment sports world who really don’t share a lot in common with he average American, even if they came from modest means.

It’s not about bowing down to the president. He doesn’t want you to disrespect the country, the flag, the anthem, which is what these bratty players are doing, using the excuse of Black Lives Matter or some other issue that they probably haven’t even read up on. They just repeat whatever Colin Kaepernick says on any given day.

By Monday the day Trump rescinded his invitation the Eagles told the White House that there would only be two or three playersin attendance, per Karni, plus owner Jeffrey Lurie and Swoop, the Eagles’ mascot.

1. 70-plus nameshad initially planned to attend. Of course, that doesn’t include only players, as there was only 53 on the Super Bowl roster, plus practice squad players. At least four players from the Super Bowl roster had publicly announced they would not attend the White House, including safety Malcolm Jenkins, defensive end Chris Long, defensive end Brandon Graham and wide receiver Torrey Smith, who has since been traded to the Panthers. Monday, it was reported that most (if not all) of the team’s black players did not want to attend, though it’s unclear if that’s a more recent development or not.

2. Attempted re-schedule. The June 5 date has been set for a while, and a couple days ago, the Eagles even moved practice back a couple of days so as not to interfere with the scheduled visit to D.C. If the Eagles did request to reschedule it, did they know that the new date was going to be while Trump was in Singapore? If Trump wasn’t the one honoring the team, could there have even been a ceremony anyway?

The Giants closed within 6-5 on Hundley’s one-out double in the seventh, but the Nationals got it back on Spencer Kieboom’s RBI double in the bottom half of the inning.

jets_036Gonzalez allowed four runs in 3 1/3 innings.

I feel it right now, Tanaka, speaking through a translator, said in front of his clubhouse stall a half-hour after the final out. I think we’ll probably have a clearer picture tomorrow.

The Yankees, a big league-best 41-18, already lost No. 5 starter Jordan Montgomery to Tommy John surgery on Thursday. Tanaka is 7-2 with a 4.58 ERA in 13 starts.

Tanaka allowed one hit, a home run into the second deck in right by Brandon Nimmo on his second pitch. Just 1 for 24 with a walk and a sacrifice at the plate in his big league career, he reached when his grounder bounced off the heel of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez’s glove for an error. Tanaka took second on Gleyber Torres’ single and advanced when Gardner walked.

It was shallow, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to go or not, Tanaka said of Judge’s opposite-field fly.

We’ve been playing good baseball since the end of last week, right-hander Aaron Sanchez said. To finally scratch out some wins, it’s good for us. It keeps guys a little bit loose in here. We don’t play as tight out there.

The Orioles have lost three straight and 10 of 12. Baltimore is 9-26 on the road and 19-44 overall, both worst in the majors.

Smoak drew a one-out walk in the 10th and went to second on Kendrys Morales’ single. One out later, Givens hit Grichuk to load the bases.

Grichuk broke a 2-2 tie when he homered on Kevin Gausman’s first pitch of the seventh inning. It was Grichuk’s fifth homer of the season and his second in two games.

Toronto’s lead was short-lived. Baltimore tied it 3-3 without a base hit in the eighth, using a hit batter, an error, and a walk to load the bases before Jonathan Schoop scored from third on Tyler Clippard’s wild pitch.

The Red Sox received a further boost this series when right fielder Mookie Betts was back in the lineup Monday for the first time since May 26 from a left abdominal strain.

jets_037He’s good physically; mentally, no hesitation, Boston manager Alex Cora said. The last few days have been great.

The Orioles (19-46) have the worst record in the majors and are the only team without at least 20 wins. The team must decide whether to completely rebuild over the coming weeks.

Rodriguez (7-1, 3.68 ERA) has been one of Boston’s most dominant pitchers and will pitch the second game of the series. He has four of his last six starts with a 2.14 ERA. In his last outing June 6 against Detroit, Rodriguez allowed one run and five hits with five strikeouts and one walk over 5 2/3 innings. He lamented not pitching into the latter part of the game.

Rodriguez is 5-5 with a 3.97 ERA in 12 starts against the Orioles, who originally signed him as an international free agent in January 2010 and traded him to the Red Sox at the non-waiver trade deadline four years later for Andrew Miller.

Struggling first baseman Chris Davis was back in the lineup for the second straight game Monday and went 0-for-5. He is batting just .150 on the season.Lugo, Frazier help Mets stop skid with 2-0 win over Yankees

Via Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer, the Panthers pass-catchers who are left from last season can tell things are different this offseason.

I’ve really enjoyed being around him, enjoyed hearing his philosophies on offense, tight end Greg Olsen said. There’s always a little transition. . . .

He wants things done a certain way, and it’s my job to kind of alter what I’ve done. There are some things that I’ve done for a long time that are different from how he wants them done. Certain routes, certain adjustments, things like that. That’s on me, to adjust to the way he wants his offense run.

Turner’s stylistic changes are one thing, but the Panthers effectively revamped Newton’s weapons this offseason. Olsen and wide receiver Devin Funchess and running back/pass target Christian McCaffrey are back, but they invested in improving the surrounding cast.

What Yankees see from Gleyber Torres when it matters most

jets_038Watching Yankees rookie Gleyber Torres hit in the 10th inning with the game on the line Tuesday night, manager Aaron Boone noticed a couple of traits that a lot of the greats have.

Hitting after fellow Baby Bomber Miguel Andujar ripped a two-out, nobody-on double into the left-field corner off Houston Astros reliever Brad Peacock, Torres didn’t like plate umpire Tripp Gibson III calling a strike on a 1-0 pitch that was borderline low.

It’s just a really, really mature at-bat from a good player. There’s no question he got a little emotional there and reacted, but he snapped right out of it and controlled the moment. You’ve got to be able to do that because sometimes you’re going to react and you’ve got to be able to reign it in in a hurry if you’re going to be an elite player.

Torres was the biggest hero of the night after he committed two of the Yankees’ season-high five errors, one on his second bad throw in two days and the other on a boot of an easy grounder that should have been an inning-ending double play.

Marsh doubled down on his negative comments about the Patriots in a video post on Reddit.

If you think Marsh is wrong, he isn’t. Patriots players have privately made similar comments for years. They don’t care because they win, and winning is the ultimate fun to a lot of players. The not-fun stuff isn’t as relevant.

But to players like Marsh and some others who have played for Bill Belichick, the winning isn’t worth the misery they feel.

If we can save one life and keep one family together, it’s all worth it, Peter told The Post.

On June 24, he will celebrate his 11th year of sobriety, 4,015 days since he stumbled home after a three-day drug-and-alcohol binge and saw the look of disgust on the faces of his wife, Monica, and their two daughters.