Monday, June 17, 2024
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49ers’ Christian McCaffrey resets the running back market … again; introducing the Golazo 100

49ers' Christian McCaffrey resets the running back market ... again; introducing the Golazo 100

McCaffrey won Offensive Player of the Year in his first full season with the 49ers

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🏈 Good morning to everyone, but especially to …

CHRISTIAN McCAFFREY

One day after we got a new highest-paid wide receiver, we have a new highest-paid running back. Christian McCaffrey and the 49ers agreed to a two-year, $38 million extension that ties the do-it-all running back to San Francisco through 2027.

  • At $19 million per year, McCaffrey resets the running back market … again. His current deal was worth $16 million per year, which was also atop the position. Alvin Kamara is second at $15 million per year.
  • In his first full season with the 49ers, McCaffrey won Offensive Player of the Year and set career highs in yards rushing (1,459) and touchdowns scored (21). He led the league in yards rushing, yards from scrimmage (2,023) and total touches (339) and tied for the lead in touchdowns scored. At 27, he’s only getting better, basically.
  • Over the past two seasons, the 49ers averaged 6.8 yards per play with McCaffrey on the field and 5.4 yards per play with him off the field. Their passer rating jumps from 95.3 to 111.7 when he’s on the field. Basically, he impacts the game unlike any other running back, and unlike most players, period.

😊 Honorable mentions

🎾 And not such a good morning for …

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NOVAK DJOKOVIC

Novak Djokovic‘s historic win came with disappointing consequences. The world No. 1 withdrew from the French Open on Tuesday, one day after tweaking his bothersome right knee in a stirring, 6-1, 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, comeback Round of 16 win over Francisco Cerundolo.

  • Things looked bad in the second set, when Djokovic received treatment and medication, and things looked even worse after the third set, when a laboring Djokovic struggled to keep up.
  • Things then looked downright dire in the fourth set when Djokovic went down a break.
  • But Djokovic did what Djokovic does — and has now done more than any other man in tennis history. He found a way to win. It was his 370th career win at a major, passing Roger Federer for most ever.
  • But there was immediate concern after the match, and an MRI revealed the full extent of the injury.

Djokovic was set to play Casper Ruud, who now advances to the semifinals via walkover. He’ll face either Alexander Zverev or Alex de Minaur.

On the other side of the bracket, we’ll get a great one between Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner, who will officially take over No. 1 in the world regardless of the result. Both have lost just one set at Roland Garros so far, and Alcaraz, 21, spoke with our Isabel Gonzalez about his burgeoning confidence.

  • Gonzalez: “Alcaraz admitted he is a little bit superstitious and will do things such as visit the same restaurants that bring him ‘luck’ during a tournament. However, the massive success in his young career has come from simple and consistent habits. ‘Practicing, practicing,’ Alcaraz said. ‘I normally practice in the morning and I finish everything in the morning. Then I have my afternoon to rest, to do my things, hang out with my friends a little bit. But in general, it’s practicing and resting.'”

Alcaraz also had high praise for Iga Swiatek, who is into the women’s semifinals.

😒 Not so honorable mentions

🏀 NBA Finals preview: Kristaps Porzingis to return, ranking top 15 players

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The Celtics are getting a big boost for their biggest series yet. Kristaps Porzingis will return for Game 1 of the NBA Finals after going down with a calf strain five weeks ago.

Porzingis can score from all over the court and is a true rim protector on defense, a vital piece going against Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving and lob threats Daniel Gafford, Dereck Lively II and Derrick Jones Jr. Porzingis — who spent two-plus seasons with the Mavericks — can show Dallas what it’s missing, James Herbert writes.

  • Herbert: “Porzingis has both simplified and expanded his offensive game in the last two-plus seasons. Being a more capable one-on-one scorer has made him a more dangerous handoff hub and roll man. And when defenses double him in the center of the court, he usually makes the right pass, since he can see over everybody and Boston’s spacing is pristine.”

Porzingis is fifth on Jasmyn Wimbish’s top 15 players in the NBA Finals. Here are the four in front of him.

  1. Luka Doncic — “Boston has perhaps the best arsenal of versatile defenders equipped to make life difficult for Doncic, but we’ve already seen twice now how easily he can still find his spots, or at the very least get his teammates good looks.”
  2. Jayson Tatum — “He can pick apart a defense to get to the rim, work a defender and elevate for a mid-range jumper, or walk into a 3-pointer with ease.”
  3. Kyrie Irving — “He’s shooting the ball absurdly well with .485/421/.828 splits, and he turns things up a level in the fourth quarter, where he’s averaging 7.5 points, which ranks fifth in the playoffs.”
  4. Jaylen Brown — “His offensive game has reached new heights, and it literally just feels like he’s been in attack mode throughout the playoffs.”

I also loved Sam Quinn exploring how both teams built their rosters.

Here’s more:

⚽ Introducing the CBS Sports Golazo 100

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CBS Sports design

James Benge says it best: “For much of the last decade plus, an exercise such as this would have seemed utterly redundant.”

But with Lionel Messi, 36, now plying his craft in MLS and Cristiano Ronaldo, 39, in Saudi Arabia, there’s a legitimate debate for who the top men’s soccer player in the world is. More than 30 voters from across the CBS Sports soccer departments and the Golazo Network made their voices heard, and we got eight different players voted No. 1.

And we’re not just discussing the top player, but rather the top 100 players. That’s right. We’re introducing the CBS Sports Golazo 100, starting on the men’s side and then moving to the women’s side ahead of this summer’s Olympics. Exactly 297 players got at least one point in the voting.

For now, we’re unveiling those who just missed the top 100:

  • 110. Iñaki Williams, forward, Athletic Bilbao
  • 109. Romelu Lukaku, forward, AS Roma (loan from Chelsea)
  • 108. Jules Koundé, defender, Barcelona
  • 107. Leandro Trossard, forward, Arsenal
  • 106. Éder Militão, defender, Real Madrid
  • 105. Warren Zaïre-Emery, midfielder, PSG
  • 104. Julian Brandt, midfielder, Borussia Dortmund
  • 103. Lucas Paquetá, midfielder, West Ham
  • 102. Cristian Romero, defender, Tottenham Hotspur
  • 101. Gregor Kobel, goalkeeper, Borussia Dortmund

Be sure to tune into the CBS Sports Golazo Network as we reveal 100-81 today and continue on every weekday for the next week.

📺 What we’re watching Wednesday

🏀 Aces at Wings, 8 p.m. on NBA TV
Padres at Angels, 9:38 p.m. on FS1

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