The Chicago Bears signed first-round draft pick Justin Fields to a four-year contract on Friday. The Bears landed their quarterback of the future when they traded up nine spots with the Giants to take the Ohio State star with the No. 11 overall pick. They have him working with the second team behind veteran newcomer Andy Dalton, who signed a one-year contract in March, but the question is for how long.
Fan attendance still being debated
The question of allowing fans into Tokyo Olympic venues is still being debated with a decision unlikely to be announced before the end of the month. This would be just a few weeks before the Olympics are to open July 23. Fans from abroad already have been banned in what is shaping up as a largely made-for-television Olympics. Tokyo and several prefectures are under a state of emergency until June 20. Infections have slowed recently, but the spread of variants is still a concern that could put pressure on already stressed medical facilities.
Minor league baseball
Michael Chavis helps power WooSox
Michael Chavis went 2 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs as the Triple-A Worcester WooSox defeated the Mets, 5-3, at Syracuse, N.Y. The WooSox scored twice in the eighth and ninth innings . . . In Double A baseball, the Sea Dogs blew a 6-4 lead in the ninth inning, then yielded eight runs in the 10th in a 14-6 loss to New Hampshire at Portland, Maine. Left fielder Pedro Castellanos hit two home runs for the Sea Dogs.
New playoff system could triple money
A new College Football Playoff with triple the number of teams involved could bring in three times as much money to the conferences and schools that share the wealth. The television rights for a proposed 12-team playoff could be worth about $1.9 billion annually, according to projections from Navigate Research, which consults with professional sports leagues and college conferences. ESPN’s current deal with the CFP pays about $470 million per year. ESPN has separate contracts with the Rose, Sugar and Orange bowls that up the network’s total layout to more than $600 million annually to be the television home of college football’s most important postseason games. The Power Five conference’s get most of that revenue. According to the most recent figures available from 2019-20 season, the Big Ten, Big 12, Atlantic Coast Conference, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference received $67 million each from the CFP. The other five FBS conferences shared $92 million. How revenue would be distributed in a new model was not part of the detailed proposal the CFP unveiled Thursday. The 12-team model is at least three steps away from final approval from the university presidents and chancellors who oversee the CFP. And it could be six seasons away from being implemented.