The on-field fate of the Panthers has to be put aside now.

Now there’s another connection between Kuechly and Watt — Watt’s former Wisconsin teammate Chris Borland. As a 49ers rookie in 2014, Borland looked like he would succeed Patrick Willis in San Francisco as a premier inside linebacker and was often mentioned in the same breath as Kuechly.

Borland then famously walked away from the game after only one NFL season, before the accolades, before the millions. Kuechly, like Watt, has been well-compensated, and well-honored. Given how repeated concussions have felled many great players in a most brutal sport, Kuechly has given — and received — enough to ease the difficulty of walking away.

As much as that hurts for Kuechly, the difficult decision may end up being the only decision.

With their much-talked about trip to the White House out of the way, the Pittsburgh Penguins will turn their focus back to hockey Wednesday night when they visit the Washington Capitals.

The Stanley Cup winners visited President Donald Trump on Tuesday, but beyond the White House, the Penguins are not very welcome in Washington. The last time they came to town, in May, they ended Washington’s season in the Eastern Conference semifinals for the second straight year, both coming after the Capitals had won the Presidents’ Trophy.

Jones said he understands the social concerns surrounding the issue, adding that he has “always had our players’ backs on issues I’ve been criticized for.” But he said he won’t compromise when it comes to the anthem
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