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Lions’ Eli Harold has endured far more than backlash

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What used to be enjoyable wasn’t anymore. His personality — once gregarious and fun — disappeared into a solitary sadness. He would go out occasionally. It masked his feelings — what he didn’t want to talk about with anyone, what he still hasn’t shared all that often, even now as a linebacker in the NFL, first with the San Francisco 49ers and now with the Detroit Lions.

He has been open about his past. When Harold was a junior in high school, his nephew Forrest Harold died of an enlarged heart while playing rec basketball at Old Dominion. Then less than two months later, his mother, Sheila Korvette Harold, died of pancreatic cancer. What he hasn’t been as open about is that he didn’t have the capability to cope. Throughout the rest of high school, he didn’t understand what he was going through. Then he got to college. And he sank.

“My freshman year in college, I had hit a point so low, it was like every day was just dark,” Harold says now. “I hated football. I hated friends. I hated everything. It was just — I was being a follower. I was drinking, and I never really liked drinking. I was a follower, doing things that I know weren’t me and — I don’t know, man.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

“I really had to find myself.”9

When, years later, Harold became one of the 49ers who knelt along with Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid to raise awareness about social injustice and protest for change, he received hate mail in which hundreds of people called him racial slurs. He handled all of it — because after what he had been through, that was nothing. Words slid off of him. He built his shell. He knew real loss, real pain.nfl cheap jerseys nike

While not clinically diagnosed, Harold said he dealt with depression throughout his freshman year and part of his sophomore year due to the two deaths that he never really understood how to mourn. By sharing the story of his battle with mental health for the first time, he is hoping it might help others open up with what they might be going through.

“Of course, and just like men, we’re taught to be alpha males, you know what I’m saying. I feel like it helps,” Harold said. “When [the NBA’s] DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love had spoken out about it, I felt like a lot of guys, a lot of professional athletes, took a deep breath and a sigh of relief, because they didn’t want to be that first guy to open up about it.

“And no one really ever wants to be the first to do something. Not saying that you are a follower but that it opened up a gate for other grown men to express their feelings about the situation.”

Ravens rookie Mark Andrews refuses to be defined by diabetes

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The story that gets told again and again about Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews is his near-death experience three years ago.

As a freshman at Oklahoma, Andrews he was unresponsive due to hypoglycemia, a condition caused by very low blood sugar. His roommate had to shove fruit snacks in his mouth, and paramedics rushed to the scene where he finally regained consciousness.

Andrews, a Type 1 diabetic since childhood, knows more than anyone how it’s a minute-by-minute battle with this disease. He understands how every bite of food he takes affects his body. He realizes the precautions he must take before any form of exercise.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

But Andrews has never been hospitalized for diabetes. He never has had to miss a game or practice because of low blood sugar.

Diabetes has changed Andrews’ life forever. It just hasn’t stopped him from pursuing any of his goals.20

Instead of focusing on a scary incident in his college dorm room, Andrews wants to talk about how he continually sidestepped defenders in the open field and raced to the end zone, becoming the nation’s top tight end in college last season and a third-round pick in this year’s draft by his commitment to control diabetes.

“My thing is living your best dream and don’t let this disease define you,” Andrews said. “It’s definitely a part of who you are, but it shouldn’t be 100 percent who you are. That’s something I live by and I think strongly of.”

Andrews’ aspirations are to become the most complete tight end in the NFL and a role model for fellow diabetics. He’s just beginning his journey in the league, but he already has made great strides in helping children cope with this disease.

Andrews has mentored countless boys and girls on eating right and staying active. Parents contact him through direct messages or track him down on the Internet after reading an article on him (there are 516,000 results when you Google tight end Mark Andrews and diabetes).cheap nfl nike jerseys china

A few years ago, a mother contacted Andrews about her son, who had become depressed after being diagnosed with diabetes. After a talk at the high school with Andrews, the boy got in the car and told his mother “he just changed my life.”

Redskins’ Derrius Guice fast becoming man of the people

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As the line of players dwindled Wednesday, one slowly worked his way down the autograph line until nobody was left. He signed; he chatted with some and laughed with others. Running back Derrius Guice already has become a man of the people, it seems, in only one month of being a Washington Redskin.

It’s too early to have a foregone conclusion on what any rookie might do in his first season. Most players should look good in the spring; they’re at their healthiest and no one is in pads.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

But it’s clear via social media Guice has become a player Redskins fans can’t wait to see in action. When it comes to Redskins rookies, the list of those who have generated a lot of buzz with their talent and personality isn’t long. In the past 20 years, LaVar Arrington and Robert Griffin III would be on that list. The late Sean Taylor was a buzzworthy player, mainly because of how much people liked his game. He was a big presence, but did not need the sort of spotlight others craved. Griffin just needed to smile and fans would swoon; he was charismatic, too. When camp was at Redskins Park, Arrington would pit groups of fans against one another, asking them to loudly cheer to decide where he’d go sign. He enjoyed it; fans ate it up.

Fans light up around Guice, mainly because he lights up around them. Whether it’s treating fans to a movie (and refreshments) on a whim or greeting them behind the ropes as players exit the field. Stories on the running back generate more action on Twitter and Facebook than almost any other. Just a Twitter mention of how no one seemed to be enjoying themselves more on the field than Guice warranted more than 275 likes. And counting.9

Guice also has quickly embraced his new city, tweeting about the Washington Capitals and even attending the watch party at the Capital One Arena for the Stanley Cup-clinching Game 5.

It’s impossible to speculate how Guice will develop as a player. Thus far he looks patient, but decisive when he cuts. Rob Kelley looks good, too. But what happens when the defenders are in full pads and going a lot harder than they are in the spring? We won’t get a taste of that until the preseason games begin in two months. In college, Guice ran with violence; more of the same is expected with the Redskins, but who knows to what degree.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Guice also showed Wednesday he can catch. He doesn’t let the ball get into his chest, grabbing it with his hands. He’s able to gather his feet quickly and turn in stride. Protection, not his hands, will dictate how well he does when the Redskins have him in passing sets.

Why the 49ers passed on edge rushers in the draft

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Arguably, the San Francisco 49ers entered the 2018 NFL draft with no greater need than a dynamic edge rusher.

And yet, when the three days were over, the Niners spent none of their nine picks on the position despite pre-draft time studying this year’s crop.

So, general manager John Lynch, what gives?nfl jerseys wholesale

“Those guys are difficult to find, first and foremost,” Lynch said. “We felt like there were a couple guys who had an opportunity to be special there. You know, just where we were, we didn’t have an opportunity or chose not to take them.”78

That decision came as a bit of a surprise given the Niners’ struggles to consistently generate an outside pass rush. Sure, defensive tackle DeForest Buckner has been able to push the pocket, but without a dominant edge rusher at the “Leo” position, quarterbacks often have been able to sidestep Buckner and get rid of the ball.

In 2017, the 49ers finished tied for 26th in the NFL in sacks (30), and they have not had a player post more than 8.5 sacks in a season since 2012. In the past three seasons, the Niners have combined for 91 sacks, which is 29th in the NFL in that span.

Of course, identifying that as a problem hasn’t been an issue. Lynch, coach Kyle Shanahan and defensive coordinator Robert Saleh have all pointed out the need to improve at edge rusher. It’s fixing the problem that has been an issue.

Because of the value of the position, teams simply don’t let top edge rushers hit the free-agent market. Which means teams must look to the draft to find their man.

Last year, the Niners had the second pick, official nfl jerseys cheap but only Myles Garrett profiled as a true edge rusher worthy of that selection. He was the No. 1 pick in the draft to the Cleveland Browns.

This year, the 49ers didn’t have a pick until No. 9 and once again found themselves in pass-rusher no man’s land. North Carolina State’s Bradley Chubb was the consensus best pass-rusher in the draft, and he went No. 5 to the Denver Broncos. The Niners could have drafted Texas San Antonio’s Marcus Davenport or Boston College’s Harold Landry, but both would have been considered a reach at No. 9.

Report: Brice Butler, Cardinals Agree to Contract After 3 Seasons with Cowboys

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Free-agent wide receiver nfl jerseys cheap china Brice Butler has agreed to a two-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals, NFL Network’s James Jones reported Monday.

Butler appeared in 13 games for the Dallas Cowboys in 2017, catching 15 passes for 317 yards and three touchdowns.

Butler’s biggest performance last season came in Dallas’ 28-17 Week 3 victory over the Cardinals. He had two receptions for 90 yards, and his 37-yard touchdown grab helped give the Cowboys a 21-14 lead in the fourth quarter.

Butler’s arrival gives Arizona some much-needed depth at receiver after John Brown and Jaron Brown signed elsewhere in free agency. The Cardinals have few proven options at the position outside of Larry Fitzgerald and J.J. Nelson.

Butler only played a limited role in the Cowboys offense in his three years with the team, though, and the same could be said of his two seasons with the Oakland Raiders.

Perhaps Butler will flourish in new surroundings, cheap nfl jerseys china but the Cardinals may still target a receiver early in the 2018 draft as they continue reshaping their offense.

Josh McDaniels: Gaining clarity on Pats future led to Colts about-face

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New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels publicly addressed his nfl authentic jerseys decision to back out of the Indianapolis Colts head-coaching job for the first time on Monday, telling The Boston Globe that everything changed two days after the Super Bowl when owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick clarified his situation with the team.

That included an adjustment to his contract, which had one year remaining, according to The Globe.

“I wasn’t 100 percent sure what the future was,” McDaniels told the newspaper. “So, where did I fit in? Were there any plans? I just didn’t have much clarity on what my role was here moving forward. … Once I heard from Robert and Bill on that Tuesday, it just gave me reason to pause and consider this whole situation. …

“When they kind of crystallized that — ‘Hey, here’s what we see going forward and here’s how we would like you to fit into it’ — it gave me a reason to stop and say, ‘All right, what’s the best decision for me?’ And certainly it was difficult. But I made the decision on my own, nobody pushed me into it.”

At the same time, McDaniels was given no assurances for the future, according to The Globe. McDaniels told the newspaper it “was as difficult a decision as I’ve ever made professionally.” He also said he spoke with the three assistant coaches who had been hired to be part of his Colts staff, all of whom are staying in Indianapolis.

“It was never my intention to go into this and put anybody in an awkward position or do any harm to anybody or do anything to hurt anybody’s career,” he told The Globe. “I just felt like once I knew the whole picture and I had the opportunity to make a decision, it was tough but I feel like I made the right one.”

McDaniels praised Colts general manager Chris Ballard, calling him an “incredible human being” and added, customized nfl jerseys cheap“Indianapolis did a tremendous job. They have a tremendous organization and I was lucky to be considered. I just think once I found out [the Patriots’ plans for me], I made the right decision for me and my family at this time.”

Ravens could draft QB in first round, or simply want others to think that

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If the Ravens don’t plan to take a quarterback with their first pick, it would be advantageous for them to make other teams believe they might do so. Baltimore would want as many quarterback-needy teams to jump in the top half of the first round because that will push other top prospects down.

Under the assumption that the Ravens don’t have any quarterbacks among their top 10 prospects, it would be beneficial for them if five quarterbacks — Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson — all went in the first 15 picks. cheap nfl jerseys china nike That could require a team looking for a quarterback of the future like the Los Angeles Chargers (No. 17), New Orleans Saints (No. 27) or Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 29) to jump in front of Baltimore.

If any of those teams feel the Ravens will grab a quarterback, they might trade up into the top half of the first round, which would cause another non-quarterback prospect to slide. In this scenario, Baltimore would have one of its top 11 prospects fall to No. 16.

The buzz about Baltimore drafting a quarterback in the first round increased when NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah (a former Ravens scout) linked the team with Mayfield in a mock draft. Given that and the fact Baltimore can financially part ways with Flacco in 2019, there has been increasing talk that the Ravens will select a quarterback in the first round for the first time in a decade.

But the prevailing sentiment coming from the Ravens this offseason has been they’re not in the market for the next franchise quarterback in this draft. Last month, owner Steve Bisciotti shot down the notion that the Ravens were beginning to think about life after Flacco, saying, “We’ve got bigger fish to fry.” In January, coach John Harbaugh was the first to indicate the team could draft a quarterback this year but said the Ravens would be “looking for a young backup.”

This makes it sound like Baltimore is more apt to go with a developmental quarterback in the third to fifth rounds. Quarterbacks expected to be taken in the middle rounds include Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta, Washington State’s Luke Falk and Marshall’s Chase Litton.
Even if the Ravens are truly open to drafting a quarterback in the first round if he is the right one, nfl jerseys cheap china the odds of that happening aren’t great unless Baltimore is going to trade up. Darnold and Rosen are considered locks to go in the first four picks, and Allen and Mayfield are projected to go in the top 15. Barring any surprises, the only quarterback among the top five who could be available when the Ravens are on the clock is Jackson, and some draft analysts believe the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner should go later in the first round.

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

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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

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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 linebackers.nfl 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.

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.