Month: March 2018

Chase Daniel: Bears’ Mitchell Trubisky up to challenge of Matt Nagy’s offense


The 23-year-old Chicago Bears starting quarterback produced only mixed results as a rookie, passing for 2,193 yards (59.4 completion percentage), 7 touchdowns and 7 interceptions over 12 starts, but better days may be on the horizon.

Part of last year’s problems stemmed from Trubisky’s inexperience. nfl jersey wholesale The second overall pick of the 2017 draft started only 13 games in college at North Carolina before he left for the NFL.

Trubisky’s supporting cast of wide receivers and tight ends also didn’t help much. Chicago’s best two skill-position players — outside of running backs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen — were Cameron Meredith and Zach Miller, both of whom suffered serious knee injuries in 2017. Kendall Wright led all Chicago wide receivers with 59 catches. The next closest, Joshua Bellamy, had only 23 receptions. Miller topped all Bears tight ends with 20 catches, and he missed the final eight games due to injury.

As far as the offense in general, the Bears ranked 29th in points scored (16.5), 30th in total yards (287.4) and dead last in passing yards (175.5).

Chicago attempted to right some of those wrongs in free agency by signing wide receivers Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel and tight end Trey Burton, all of whom are expected to create favorable mismatches for Trubisky.

The Bears also upgraded their offensive system when they hired Matt Nagy away from Kansas City.

Nagy’s offense is likely to put more stress on Trubisky, whose strengths appear to be athleticism, mobility and accuracy when rolling outside of the pocket. But Chicago — by virtue of where they drafted the quarterback — clearly feels Trubisky can handle the increased responsibility.

“[Matt Nagy’s system] puts a lot on the quarterback,” said new Bears backup quarterback Chase Daniel, nfl jersey for cheap who played under Nagy in Kansas City.

“Just barely talking to Mitch right after I signed [last week], he’s up for the task, and that’s something that, I think, when a quarterback takes accountability in any offense, especially this offense, it’s going to thrive and the players are going to gravitate toward him like they already have toward Mitch.”

How the Giants’ front seven might take shape without Jason Pierre-Paul


The New York Giants’ defense is going to have an extremely different look this season. reebok nfl jerseys The final defensive staple linked to their Super Bowl past was removed Thursday with the trade of Jason Pierre-Paul to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Giants’ longest-tenured projected defensive starter is now Landon Collins, the 24-year-old Pro Bowl safety. It feels like just yesterday that the team was trading up in the 2015 draft to select Collins out of the University of Alabama with the first pick of the second round.

In this busy offseason, already Pierre-Paul has been traded, defensive captain Jonathan Casillas is not expected to return as a free agent and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was a salary-cap casualty. The defense under new general manager Dave Gettleman and coach Pat Shurmur is in the midst of a much-needed mini-facelift, with more likely to come.

Part of the overhaul is a scheme change. The Giants are no longer running the attacking 4-3 defense of Steve Spagnuolo. Under new coordinator James Bettcher, they’re expected to employ some sort of 3-4 base defense that also will include 4-3 concepts.

Still, it was hard to imagine Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon as the outside linebacker combination given that both are every-down pass rushers. And the Giants had never approached Pierre-Paul or Vernon about playing as a 3-4 defensive end.

It now appears as if Vernon and recently signed Kareem Martin will start as the Giants’ outside authentic jerseys cheap Martin is familiar with Bettcher’s attacking defense from their time together in Arizona. He could help ease the defense’s transition. Martin is one of two former Cardinals who might slip directly into starting roles.

With these new faces, a different scheme and no Pierre-Paul, the Giants’ defense won’t look anything like the unit that finished 31st in the NFL last season.

Manchester United’s Luke Shaw being monitored by Everton – sources


Everton are considering a move for out-of-favour Manchester United defender Luke Shaw in the summer, sources close to the Merseyside club have told ESPN FC.

Shaw’s future at Old Trafford is in doubt nfl authentic jerseys after manager Jose Mourinho again criticised him following the FA Cup win over Brighton last weekend.

The left-back was substituted at half-time, with Mourinho claiming he had made the change because the defender lacked “class and personality” in his performance.

Former Southampton defender Shaw has struggled to hold down a regular spot in the last two seasons, with Ashley Young the first-choice left-back.

Young has said Shaw can be “one of the best in the world” if he works hard and keeps his head down.

Sources have told ESPN FC that Everton are closely monitoring Shaw’s situation and sent scouts to him against Brighton.

The Toffees are in the market for a new left-back as they seek a long-term replacement for Leighton Baines.

Baines, 33, has missed a chunk of this season through injury, with manager Sam Allardyce using nfl jersey wholesale Cuco Martina as a makeshift left-back.

Everton are expected to be busy in the summer following a disappointing season and could be willing to offer Shaw a route out of Old Trafford.

Man United discuss song sheets to boost Old Trafford atmosphere at fan forum


Manchester United are consulting supporters about how to improve the atmosphere at Old Trafford, with song sheets handed out to supporters one suggestion to be tabled.

United plan to canvass the views of fans in a survey following criticism from manager official nfl jerseys cheap Jose Mourinho about a lack of noise during home matches.

Speaking at a fans’ forum last month, the minutes of which have been published on the club website, head of venue operations Dan Schofield addressed the issue of atmosphere.

“As you will most likely be aware, the atmosphere at Old Trafford is something which has been frequently commented on of late, both in the media and across social networks, and is a subject the club takes very seriously,” he said.

“To this end, senior management plans to further discuss this topic with fan groups and other interested parties and stakeholders to listen to concerns, ideas, and then to put forward recommendations to help facilitate positive change.

“However, our view is that, ideally, initiatives should be fan-driven.”

During the FA Cup quarterfinal against Brighton last weekend, a section usually used to seat away supporters was reserved for fans who wanted to create a “loud and vibrant atmosphere,” with the move deemed to have been a big success.

A fan representative at the forum also suggested song sheets could be handed out to supporters to encourage more to join in, which Schofield said would be looked into.

Meanwhile, United’s corporate media relations manager Andrew Lisgo said the prospect of launching a reebok nfl jerseys women’s team remained “under review” and that a full update would be provided at the next meeting in May.

United are the only one of the big six Premier League clubs who do not have a Women’s Super League side.

Should the Seahawks trade Earl Thomas? A look at the pros and cons


It’s all about the draft picks they might be able to get for Thomas,nfl authentic jerseys cheap the money they wouldn’t have to pay him and the potential for the situation to go south if, hypothetically, they were to hang onto Thomas but weren’t able to reach an agreement on a new deal this offseason.

The Seahawks are without picks in the second and third rounds, having given them up in their trades for Sheldon Richardson and Duane Brown, respectively. After their first-round pick, No. 18 overall, they aren’t scheduled to choose again until No. 120, and of their eight selections in all, six are between the fifth and seventh rounds.

The Seahawks are especially low on draft capital at a time when their roster needs an infusion of young talent as badly as it has since the early years of the Pete Carroll-John Schneider regime. There’s still a very solid core of players to build around, but consider all of the recently created holes.

Cornerback is a big one following Sherman’s release. Defensive line is another. Seattle traded one starter (Bennett), lost another in free agency (Sheldon Richardson) and a third (Cliff Avril) might never play again because of a neck/spine injury. The career of strong safety Kam Chancellor also is in jeopardy because of a neck/spine injury.

And that’s just on defense. The Seahawks also have lost two offensive starters in free agency — tight end Jimmy Graham and No. 2 receiver Paul Richardson. They’ve made moves aimed at replacing those players, but their offensive line is still in need of an upgrade or two.

Though trading Thomas would create another void and even further diminish the talent on Seattle’s defense, it could bring back valuable picks that would help the Seahawks as they try to reshape their roster.

Thomas’ contract is a main part of this equation. He’s entering the final year of a four-year, $40 million extension signed in 2014 and has threatened to hold out if he doesn’t get an extension. It’s presumed that Thomas, who turns 29 in May, wants a deal that either matches or tops that of Kansas City’s Eric Berry,nfl jersey wholesale the NFL’s highest-paid safety at $13 million per year.

There’s no question Thomas is every bit as good if not better than Berry. But giving big-money extensions to players approaching or over 30, with injuries starting to mount, is a risky proposition. The Seahawks have two fresh reminders of that with Bennett and Chancellor, and Thomas’ next deal could be the most expensive of the three.

Redskins keep looking for help along defensive line


The Washington Redskins’ quest to improve their defensive line continues. Now they just need to find pieces to make it work, something they have yet to do less than a week into free agency.

The Redskins already have hosted Muhammad Wilkerson (signed with Green Bay instead) and Johnathan Hankins (left without a deal).official nfl jerseys cheap They will host nose tackle Sylvester Williams on Tuesday. There’s still interest in free agent Bennie Logan, though no visit is planned.

It’s been no surprise that Washington wants to improve its defensive line, as much to generate more consistent push from the interior as to stop the run. They’re telling those who are visiting how much they want help up front. But stopping the run also must be done with other spots so just signing one good defensive lineman won’t matter if the corners don’t support it the right way or if the linebackers fill the wrong gaps.

The Miami Dolphins were never a top-10 run defense even after adding Ndamukong Suh, the top free agent in 2015. The Dolphins went from 24th in rushing yards per game before his arrival to 28th; and from 21st to 14th in yards per carry. It takes more than adding one player.

However, it’s a necessary part and if they can sign a guy like Hankins, it affords them flexibility. If they added Williams, I’d still look at drafting another lineman — Vita Vea (who belongs in the top 10) or Da’Ron Payne.

They could then cut Terrell McClain, thanks to a recent move that makes it affordable. His base salary of $3.25 million was set to become guaranteed on the fifth day of the league year. It had only been guaranteed for injury only. But the language of the contract was changed to keep it as guaranteed for injury only.

That means Washington could release McClain and, thanks to the prorated signing bonus, reebok nfl jerseys be on the hook for “only” $3.75 million in dead cap space. Releasing him after June 1 would spread that out over two years. Otherwise, if he’s kept, he’ll have a cap hit of $4.67 million this season and $5.75 million next season. His play needs to improve in order to justify those numbers.

Jose Altuve finalizes 7-year, $163.5M deal with Astros

The 27-year-old second baseman had been among baseball’s best bargains. He agreed in 2013 to a deal that originally guaranteed $12.5 million from 2014 to 2017 and included club options for 2018 at $6 million and 2019 at $6.5 million.

His new deal keeps those salaries and adds a $21 million signing bonus,cheap nfl football jersey of which $1 million is payable upon the deal’s approval by the commissioner’s office and $10 million each on July 1 in 2018 and 2019. He gets annual salaries of $26 million from 2020 to 2024.105

“This a very important day for me,” he said. “It was a priority because that way it doesn’t take attention from the season.”

Altuve would have been eligible for free agency after the 2019 season. The 5-foot-6 Altuve hit .346 last season to win his second straight AL batting title and third in four seasons. He had 24 homers, 82 RBIs and 32 stolen bases.

“There’s some stability that comes with writing Jose’s name in the lineup every single day,” manager A.J. Hinch said, “and to think that he’s going to be the franchise player for years to come is good for him, it’s good for the organization, it’s obviously good for me as a manager and most importantly is good for his teammates because he’s the most reliable player I’ve ever been around.”

After winning its first World Series title, Houston also hopes to reach more long-term football nfl jerseys Pitcher Dallas Keuchel and designated hitter Evan Gattis are eligible for free agency after this season.

Houston added pitcher Justin Verlander for its stretch run last fall and Gerrit Cole in a trade during the offseason.

“We’d love to keep all the guys I’m looking at here for their entire careers,” general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “Jim is committed to keeping the best team on the field for as long as possible and giving us a chance to win multiple championships, and part of that is developing our own players and keeping our own players and bringing in the right types of players. And we’ve done that. We’ll see what the future holds but we certainly have a desire and an intention to keep our core together as long as possible.”

Braves reassign top prospect Ronald Acuna to minor league camp

The Atlanta Braves have reassigned top prospect Ronald Acuna to minor league camp in a move that likely allows the organization to gain an extra year of contractual control over the outfield phenom.

The Braves will have to keep Acuna, 20, in the minors until April 13 in order to limit his service time for 2018 and prevent him from becoming a free agent until 2024. Acuna, who has been Atlanta’s best player this spring,nfl football jerseys cheap would have hit free agency a year earlier had he made the Braves’ Opening Day roster.

Acuna was one of six players reassigned to the Braves’ minor league camp and likely will start the season at Triple-A Gwinnett, where he batted .344 with nine home runs in 54 games last year.

“We feel like it would probably be best overall, from a philosophical standpoint, to give him more development time,” Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. “There’s no manual on how to handle a player’s development. They’re not all the same.”104

Although the move was expected, Acuna entered Monday leading the Grapefruit League with a .432 batting average and also had four home runs, 11 RBIs and four stolen bases in 16 spring training games. He also had 19 hits, a .519 on-base percentage and a .727 slugging percentage in spring training.

“Our No. 1 priority is going to be the development of each player because you want them, when they’re up here, to stay up here for long, productive careers and hopefully not have the yo-yo of going up and down,” Anthopoulos nfl football jerseys

A native of Venezuela, Acuna batted .325 with 21 homers, 82 RBIs and 44 stolen bases across three minor league levels in the Braves’ system last year.

“We said we would keep an open mind, but what we did talk a lot about was he ran through the minor leagues last year,” Anthopoulos said. “Having more development time, no one’s ever been hurt by that.”

Acuna also was named the MVP of the Arizona Fall League last year, becoming the youngest player in league history to receive the award. He recently was rated as baseball’s No. 1 overall prospect by ESPN’s Keith Law, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus.

Big $5 million payday keeps Eli Manning, Giants bound together

This is the day that the marriage between Eli Manning and the New York Giants officially gets renewed. The two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback earns his $5 million roster bonus Sunday just for being on the 90-man roster.

The bonus was guaranteed as long as Manning was on the roster Sunday,nfl jerseys cheap authentic the fifth day of the new league year, a source familiar with his contract said. The Giants’ starting quarterback would’ve had to be cleared off the roster by 4 p.m. ET Saturday not to earn the bonus. That did not happen, and was not expected to.

The $5 million will be paid out to Manning on Wednesday, according to the terms of his current contract.92

The Giants and their new regime committed to Manning immediately after new coach Pat Shurmur was hired. Shurmur said the 37-year-old quarterback has several good “years” remaining.

The veteran is looking to have a bounce-back season under Shurmur, who is known for his work with quarterbacks and worked magic with Nick Foles, Sam Bradford and Case Keenum in recent years. Keenum threw 22 touchdown passes and seven interceptions in a career year with the Minnesota Vikings in 2017.

The Giants’ renewed commitment to Manning began with the hiring of general manager Dave Gettleman before the end of the season. nike nfl jerseys cheap Gettleman has a previous relationship with the quarterback, and was impressed by his performance in a late-season game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

That helped convince the Giants that Manning still had something left in his arm and body.

Manning should benefit from the Giants’ focus this offseason on the offensive line. They spent $62 million on left tackle Nate Solder to protect his blind side. The Giants also signed guard Patrick Omameh from the Jacksonville Jaguars and tendered center Brett Jones in an effort to solidify their line for the upcoming season.

Cowboys to meet with free-agent tackle Cameron Fleming

As the second wave of free agency approaches, the Dallas Cowboys are scheduled to visit with New England Patriots right tackle Cameron Fleming on Monday and Tuesday, according to multiple sources.

Fleming started the final five games of the regular season for the Patriots,nfl authentic jerseys as well as the AFC Championship Game and Super Bowl XLII. A fourth-round pick in 2014, Fleming has started 20 of 47 games in his career.91

The interest in Fleming could be an indication that the Cowboys are considering moving La’el Collins back to left guard. Collins started every game at right tackle in 2017 after spending his first two seasons with the Cowboys at left guard.

The Cowboys were pleased with Collins’ adjustment to tackle but might believe they are stronger as a unit with him, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin protecting the middle of the pocket for Dak Prescott. The Cowboys signed Collins to a two-year extension through 2019 worth $15.4 million last season.

The Cowboys had Chaz Green and Byron Bell serve as their swing tackles last year,nfl jersey for cheap  but both struggled when asked to replace Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith, who battled through a number of injuries.

Fleming is not the only offensive lineman under consideration. The Cowboys are also scheduled to meet with center Marcus Martin, who started 24 games in parts of three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, according to a source. He was with the Cleveland Browns last season but did not play in a game.

Joe Looney had served as the Cowboys’ backup to Frederick at center in 2016-17 but he is an unrestricted free agent.