Monthly Archives: May 2017

Mike Glennon, EJ Manuel contracts prove it pays to be unproven

A trend is developing in the NFL. Teams are paying big money to free-agent quarterbacks who essentially have never played meaningful snaps in the league. At the same time, those teams are penalizing quarterbacks who have been designated failures because, as starters, they did not improve bad teams.

If this trend continues, it might change the way certain quarterbacks approach opportunities to start in the NFL. It might not be worth the risk.

The amount paid to the unproven QBs is massive. Houston in 2016 gave Brock Osweiler, who had started just seven NFL games, one of the worst modern quarterback contracts when it signed him to a deal worth $18 million per season. This year the Bears signed Mike Glennon, who started 13 games in 2013 and ’14 before he was benched, to a $15 million-per-year contract.

Game Youth Wendel Clark Jersey Neither QB was considered a can’t-miss prospect in the draft Osweiler was selected in the second round in 2012, and Glennon in the third round in 2013 and neither has played enough to change those pre-draft opinions. Osweiler sat behind Peyton Manning until (and after) the starter was injured. Glennon was replaced by Josh McCown and, eventually, Jameis Winston.

EJ Manuel recently signed a one-year contract worth $800,000 with no money guaranteed. Geno Smith signed a contract worth $1.2 million with an additional $800,000 in potential incentives. He received just $300,000 in guaranteed salary. Colin Kaepernick remains unemployed.
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Manuel and Smith generally were higher-regarded prospects than Glennon and Osweiler. Manuel was drafted in the first round in 2013, and Smith in the same class was given a first-round grade but dropped to the second round. Both started as rookies and for a portion of their second seasons.

By actually playing, all three became damaged goods and now are picking up the table scraps in free agency.

NFL Draft 2017: 49ers go defense with Stanford’s Solomon Thomas at No. 3

The 49ers moved back a spot and still got their guy.

San Francisco chose Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas with the third overall pick Thursday in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia.

The Niners swapped picks with the Bears, who went from the third spot to No. 2 in order to select North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. The Browns took Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett with the No. 1 overall pick.

The 6-3, 273-pound Thomas gives the 49ers the edge rusher they also desperately need and he fits the team’s new 4-3 system perfectly. Thomas recorded 11 1/2 sacks and 25 1/2 tackles for loss over the last two years.

“What jumps off tape is his interior twitch,” NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said of Thomas. “By that I mean when you look at a guy like Aaron Donald and what he does inside in sub-pass rush situations, that’s a best-case scenario. I’m not saying he’s Aaron Donald. He’s 12 pounds lighter than Donald. I think he’s a base defensive end on first down that kicks inside in your sub-packages. But it’s that interior twitch and ability to push the pocket from the inside out that makes him special.”

The Niners do need a quarterback and will probably take one later in the draft, but they could not pass up the generous offer from the Bears. The Bears gave up a third- and fourth-round pick this year (Nos. 67 and 111 overall) and a third-round pick in next year’s draft to move up one spot.

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It sounded like Cleveland just offered the best deal.

Luke Easter, MLB segregation ending when it did: Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947, leaving aging Negro League standouts such as Luke Easter to make the best of abbreviated major league careers. Easter debuted with the Cleveland Indians in 1949, a week past his 34th birthday and proceeded to swat 86 home runs in his only three full seasons. Thereafter, he became a star in the minors, hitting 38 home runs at 42 in 1958 for Buffalo of the International League. By the sum of all its parts, Easter’s career was Hall of Fame worthy, if only Cooperstown worked that way.
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There’s no guarantee Cleveland can get any of those guys, but they can make a strong play. The Browns now have 22 picks for the 2017 and 2018 NFL Drafts, with eight of those coming in the first two rounds. They can package and repackage those to move up and down draft boards as needed. That’s a huge advantage.

Youth Justin Houston Jersey In the meantime, the Browns – for once – should keep doing what they are doing. The best moves on Thursday were adding Green Bay center J.C. Tretter and Cincinnati guard Kevin Zeitler. Cleveland also extended Joel Bitonio to a five-year, $51.2 extension.

It sounded like Cleveland just offered the best deal. My agent suggested I go with it, Zeitler told SN’s Alex Marvez.

Imagine that—Cleveland a destination site. More importantly, the offensive line is no longer Joe Thomas and other bodies. That’s a legitimate front that can open things up for the running game and prevent a quarterback from taking a league-high 44 sacks. The Browns addressed one of their biggest needs before the draft.

Whoa! Yankees GM Brian Cashman is limited by tight budget?

Brian Cashman has a dilemma.

Kevin Pamphile Authentic Jersey The Yankees general manager is looking to add bullpen depth. But after signing big-ticket free agents Aroldis Chapman and Matt Holliday this offseason, the team’s budget is almost maxed out.

For the most part, the money allocation on Holliday and Chapman brought us close to our limits, Cashman told the New York Post.
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Long gone are the days when an affluent, big-market team like the Yankees could spend what they wanted on free agents. Major League Baseball’s current salary ceiling is $195 million, and if the Yankees exceed that they’ll pay a 50 percent Luxury Tax for every dollar above the cap.

Some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him. They think there might be protests or [President Donald] Trump will tweet about the team, the GM said. I’d say that number is around 10 percent. Then there’s another 10 percent that has a mix of those feelings.

President Trump’s Twitter wars have been well-documented before and after he took office. In fact, just this week he started a beef with rapper Snoop Dogg.

Can you imagine what the outcry would be if @SnoopDogg, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama? Jail time!

Having the president engaging in 140-character spats isn’t good for anyone, and especially not a professional football team trying to avoid distractions.

But ignoring Kaepernick’s talent probably will end up being difficult for at least one team. After all, the 29-year-old QB didn’t play too poorly last season with the 49ers. He threw for 18 touchdowns with just four interceptions and had a 59.2 completion percentage. He also ran for 468 yards in 12 games, proving his mobility is still a weapon.

Huston Street to undergo MRI for right triceps irritation

Huston Street has one of the most extensive injury histories in baseball right now, and he just added to it.

The Angels closer left Friday’s Cactus League game due to irritation in his right triceps.

The team announced Street will undergo an MRI to determine the extent of his injury. Judging by his history, he will miss some time.

Street’s potential absence toward the end of spring training and into the regular season leaves the door open for Cam Bedrosian, who is dealing with a groin injury himself, or Andrew Bailey taking control of the closer’s role.

There should be further updates by the team once Street completes his tests.
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I felt that if we were respectful to the protocol and used good judgment and common sense, then we could gain better access to get behind the scenes, Diamond said.

Hanson offered his own advice: Befriend Bill Acree, the team’s traveling secretary and the man who truly kept everything functioning from a logistics standpoint. Other than Torre, Acree would be the crew’s biggest ally.

He’s our inside man, Hanson told Diamond. Keep him happy and play by his rules.
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Both strategies paid off.

As the season went on, the comfort and trust grew 鈥?and the access got better, allowing the crew to chip away at the kind of behind-the-scenes showcase Hanson had envisioned.

The crew recorded players goofing around in the clubhouse. It shadowed players on road trips. Diamond and Co. followed Torre and his coaches to dinner in New York. They even got to attend and shoot a private team awards banquet in Montreal.

They were like part of the family, Torre said. They were part of the clubhouse, no matter where you looked. You gave them access to everything.

NFL Draft 2017: Patriots trade back then up for two third-round picks

The Patriots had already upgraded their roster before the 2017 NFL Draft by signing free-agent cornerback Stephen Gilmore and trading for defensive end Kony Ealy, tight end Dwayne Allen and wide receiver Brandin Cooks.

Because of those trades, the Patriots did not have a first- or second-round pick. But the savvy Bill Belichick did not reach for a player he really liked in the draft. Instead the Patriots coach and general manager actually moved down 11 spots before finally selecting Youngstown State defensive end Derek Rivers.
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The Patriots traded down from 72 to 83, and sent a sixth-round pick (200th overall) to the Titans while getting a fourth-round pick (124).

Rivers was extremely productive at the FCS level as a three-time first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference selection. He closed his career with a school-record 37 1/2 career sacks, adding 56 1/2 career tackles for loss. He’s a quick 6-4, 250-pound edge rusher who put forth a dominant showing at the Senior Bowl.

Rivers helped the Penguins reach the FCS national championship game and provides versaility at end or linebacker.

Riveron, Yurk and Mackie will work from the league’s operations center in New York on game days and will have final say on all replays under the new centralized system to be implemented for the 2017 season.

Limited Youth Julian Edelman Jersey Riveron is a native of Cuba who moved to Miami at age 5 and worked his way up the officiating ranks beginning in local youth leagues. He was a college official for 14 years before moving to the NFL in 2004 and being promoted to referee in 2008.

Former Packers TE trolls Jay Cutler on his way out of NFL

Veteran players are released every year after replacements are found in the draft. This is exactly what happened to Barnidge, who was whacked the day after Cleveland used a first-round pick on Miami tight end David Njoku. The timing for Barnidge was horrible, as most of the other teams with tight-end deficiencies have already filled the void. Barnidge also loses out on the $2.75 million salary he was slated to earn in 2017 while the Browns saved $2.2 million in salary-cap space. On the bright side, Barnidge is now free to pursue a pro grappling career if so desired. He made a recent guest appearance with running back DeAngelo Williams on Impact Wrestling.

The rivalry between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers goes back to when Curly Lambeau had to solicit funds from his employers so his team could buy jerseys.

The “rivalry” between Jay Cutler and the Packers may be a little bit shorter, but the insults are just as pointed.

Take, for example, Tom Crabtree, who expertly trolled the former Bears quarterback on his way out of the NFL.

wIsh jay cutler NoThINg buT the best IN his broadcasTing career

— Tom Crabtree (@itsCrab) May 5, 2017
It’s subtle, but if you take the time to read each and every capital letter you’ll see that the former Green Bay Packer tight end spelled out, INT, INT, INT.

Fitting considering that in his career Cutler threw 146 interceptions in total, 22 against the Packers. Fittingly, he also ended his NFL career by throwing an interception.

Well played, Mr. Crabtree. Well played.
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Celtics will start Gerald Green in Game 3 in all-time panic move

Markus Wheaton Game Jersey The Boston Celtics have become the second top seed to ever fall down 2-0 in the first round, and they have countered with an all-time panic move: inserting Gerald Green into the starting lineup. Green hasn’t started a game for the Celtics since April 13.

That would mean April 13, 2007.

Justin Williams Game Jersey Only four teams who came into the playoffs ranked No. 1 have lost in the first round: the 1999 Miami Heat, the 2007 Dallas Mavericks, the 2011 San Antonio Spurs, and the 2012 Chicago Bulls. Before 1984, teams had first-round byes during the opening rounds of the playoffs.

Parker went down with a non-contact injury when he landed awkwardly on his left foot after a floater in the third quarter of the Spurs’ 121-93 victory over the Rockets. He immediately went to the ground and held his left knee while the AT&T Center fell silent. Parker was unable to put any weight on his injured leg and was carried to the locker room by two teammates.

Parker’s injury is a devastating blow to a Spurs team already light at the point guard spot. In his absence, Patty Mills will likely get the nod to start at the one, with rookie Dejounte Murray being tossed into the fray. Jonathon Simmons may also be an option at point guard.

The 34-year-old had been a linchpin in the Spurs’ string of sustained success for over a decade. He started at point guard nearly every season since he was drafted in 2001, helping guide San Antonio to each of its four championships in 2003, 05, 07, and 14.

The veteran leader signed a three-year deal in 2014 and has one more season left on his contract worth $15.4 million.

Andre Roberson’s awful free-throw shooting had the Rockets’ bench hysterically laughing

During a stretch in the fourth quarter of Game 4, the Rockets decided to intentionally foul Andre Roberson. It was extremely effective. Roberson went 2-of-8 from the line during that stretch.

Limited Kids Hines Ward Jersey In fact, Roberson was so terrible at shooting these free throws that the Rockets’ bench couldn’t contain themselves.

As someone who has seen a lot of disrespectful stuff happen on a basketball court, this is incredibly hilarious.

You can argue whether or not you want to see the Hack-A rule changed, but you have to admit this is funny.

Roberson finished the game 2-of-12 from the charity stripe. It just doesn’t look like Rielly is the problem. Maybe it’s a question of QoC, but there is a sizeable difference here to make up for.

Finally, Zaitsev’s new contract, and why it isn’t a great idea

I think by now that we have safely established that Zaitsev is not a first pairing defender (as one or two people seemed to think yesterday), but also that he struggled to have the impact on possession of a second pairing defenceman. Zaitsev could be a decent second pairing defenceman next season if he got some shelter… but he didn’t prove that this season. It’s like calling a forward a 20-goal scorer because you think he has the potential to do it. Until he does, he’s not a 20-goal scorer. So already, I’m iffy. If Zaitsev did not have the possession impact of a solid second-pairing guy, then $4.5M is quite a bit of money.

Limited Kids Chandler Catanzaro Jersey And then there’s the age thing. Zaitsev is 25. And by the end of his contract he’ll be 32.

Production tends to fall off after the age of 24, but players do retain about 90% of their scoring through the age of 29, which would cover most of Zaitsev’s contract. It would of course leave three years where things drop off a bit more, but for most of Zaitsev’s contract though, his production would be adequate for a 3-4 defender.

NFL mock draft 2017: Where will the quarterbacks go?

After months of preparation, interview, work out and, of course, mock drafts, it is finally the week of the 2017 NFL draft.

If you’ve been following these mock draft since December, you’ve seen the first round meld into shape. In recent weeks the draft position for running backs, cornerback, and pass rusher has particularly become apparent.

The issue in this draft has always been and continues to be at quarterback. The top four players at the position — DeShone Kizer, Patrick Mahomes, Mitch Trubisky, and Deshaun Watson — could go at any point or wait longer than we expect. The uncertainty at that position is what makes this year’s draft unique and where they go will ultimately alter ever other team’s plan.

With Lynch on the roster, the Raiders will now need to make the decision of whether they’ll create a power-run-oriented offense tailored to Lynch’s strengths, or a shotgun-oriented passing attack to accentuate the strengths of the personnel previously on the team.

It’s not a question of whether the Raiders can successfully run a power-run-oriented offense — they did so successfully in 2015. But in 2016, when the offense began to truly focus on Carr and Cooper, Oakland’s offense soared to new heights.

Hooker can slide right in at a starting safety spot for the Colts, whose secondary was a huge liability. He should instantly bring some youth and energy to a defense that’s been stagnant for years now.

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