Los Angeles Angels Pitcher Matt Shoemaker Jersey

Los Angeles Angels Pitcher Matt Shoemaker Jersey

Posted by admin on September 05, 2016
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Los Angeles Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker had surgery Sunday night to stop additional bleeding in his skull after getting hit in the head by a line drive.

Shoemaker had the procedure late Sunday at Seattle’s University of Washington Medical Center, and athletic trainer Adam Nevala is staying with him until he is able to travel to Southern California.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler provided the update Monday in Oakland, saying Shoemaker had been receiving CT scans every 2/3 hours when the third image showed increased bleeding. That’s when surgery was determined the next step.

He told reporters Monday that the surgery was successful and that Shoemaker is speaking and recovering.

Shoemaker was diagnosed with a small skull fracture and a hematoma Sunday after being hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager.

“The fact of the matter is he was conscious, and at least all his reactions were what they were supposed to be on the assessment. I think we could exhale a little bit,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Just to get him up and walking off the field let you feel a little bit better about what could have been happening. It’s tough.”

Eppler told reporters that Shoemaker is expected to return to Southern California later this week.

Seager’s liner had an exit velocity of 105 mph, according to MLB Statcast. Shoemaker immediately went to the ground as trainers rushed to the field. He never lost consciousness but was down for several minutes and was bleeding from the spot where he was hit.

“That was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever seen on a baseball field,” Seager said.

Shoemaker is in his third full season with the Angels, emerging as a rookie in 2014 when he went 16-4 with a 3.04 ERA. He has struggled at times this year but went into Sunday’s game having won his three previous decisions.

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New England Patriots Rob Ninkovich Jersey

Posted by admin on September 03, 2016
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The season is off to a bad start for Rob Ninkovich.

The reliable Patriots defender acknowledged Friday that he is facing a four-game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance. The league confirmed the punishment Friday afternoon.

Ninkovich expressed regret over the ban, which will keep the defensive end/outside linebacker out until the team’s Week 5 game against the Browns.

“Few things are more important to me than my name and reputation. This might call that into question for some, which has me heartbroken,” Ninkovich told Mike Reiss of ESPN. “I don’t want to cut any corners. I want to do things the right way, with high integrity, and that’s what I have always wanted to stand for.”

Even without the suspension, the Patriots weren’t counting on Ninkovich to make an early season impact. The 32-year-old veteran tore his triceps last month during a joint practice with the Saints and wasn’t expected to return until October.

A versatile performer, Ninkovich led New England’s front seven in snaps last season while notching 6.5 sacks and a career-high seven pass deflections. He boasts the third-longest streak of consecutive games played (102) among NFL defensive ends.

That streak is about to come to an end, though, something Ninkovich isn’t happy about.

“Any supplement I’ve ever used was bought at a store. I was unaware something I bought had a substance in it that would give me a positive test because it wasn’t listed (as an ingredient),” Ninkovich told ESPN.

“One thing I have learned is that if a supplement is not NSF certified there are no regulations that ensure that what is on the label is 100 percent accurate. That is a hard lesson for me to learn at this stage in my career, but I take responsibility for it. It’s a mistake I made and it hurts that I won’t be there for my teammates.”

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San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick Elite Jersey

Posted by admin on August 29, 2016
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has weighed in on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to refuse to stand for the playing of the national anthem in protest of what he deems as racial injustice in the United States in addition to recent comments from the quarterback on Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“I have followed it and I think it’s personally not a good thing. I think it’s a terrible thing, and you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him, let him try, it’s not gonna happen,” Trump told The Dori Monson Show on Monday, per Buzzfeed.

Kaepernick has refused to stand during the national anthem during the Niners’ three preseason games this summer, telling NFL Media’s Steve Wyche that his decision is based on perceived societal wrongdoings against African-Americans and minorities in the U.S.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told Wyche Friday night. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Kaepernick reiterated his stance during an 18-minute long media session in the Niners locker room Sunday, during which he told reporters he planned to continue to sit during the playing of the national anthem. Kaepernick also was critical of both Trump and Clinton when he met with the media.

“I think the two presidential candidates that we currently have also represent the issues that we have in this country right now,” Kaepernick said. “You have Hillary who’s called black teens or black kids super predators. You have Donald Trump who is openly racist. We have a presidential candidate who deleted emails and done things illegally and is a presidential candidate. That doesn’t make sense to me. Because if that was any other person, you’d be in prison. So what is this country really standing for?”

The Niners released the following statement this weekend regarding Kaepernick’s decision:

“The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”

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New York Giants WR Sterling Shepard Jersey

Posted by admin on August 26, 2016
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Well I suppose summer vacation is over. One intrepid tweeter told me the other day, “enough with the summer fluff pieces on Stephen Gostkowski and time to get into some really fantasy seriousness.” And he is right. I’m kind of ready to get to fantasy football too. My summer has been a haze of watching reruns of “How I Met Your Mother,” “Tangled” (which is the baby’s favorite), and the wheel of “Bachelor” shows.

That’s right. I take no great pride in watching “The Bachelorette” but I blame Petros Papadakis. (One half of the famed “Petros and Money” radio show out here in Southern California. And if you are unfamiliar, yes, that’s Money as in Matt “Money” Smith of “NFL Fantasy Live” fame. Though to people out here, PMS is like the biggest deal ever, and oh yeah, he does that fantasy show.)

And before I do get into the sleepers, you know how much I love to say that Aaron Rodgers is going to be motivated this season because his brother aired their family’s dirty laundry on “The Bachelorette” this summer. I’m still convinced this is the case, even though a lot of the football types in the building kind of bristle at the idea. But I did get a pretty good endorsement of this theory a few weeks ago. Forgive me, I did share this story with you on my Facebook page. However, it’s too good not to share in case you missed it. (ICYMI for all of you hipsters.)

So, one morning Aaron Rodgers highlights were on “Good Morning Football” and one of the trainers at my gym took notice.

(Yes, I know. This also serves as a small, not-so-humble ‘look at me’ moment that’s typically reserved for people like Chris Law. But it’s not like that, at all. Well maybe a little. I’ve never really been a morning gym guy in my life, so I’m kind of stoked on it.)

But she was watching “GMFB” and saw Rodgers’ name on the screen and literally said, “Oh look, he’s trying to soak up some of his brother’s publicity.”

“Jordan is?”

“No, Aaron is.”

“Wait, Aaron is soaking up Jordan’s publicity?”

“Yes. Nobody really knew who Aaron was until Jordan went on ‘The Bachelorette.’ He’s making Aaron famous. Because now people are talking about him again.”

Yeah. That checks out.

I mean, Jordan has one million followers on Instagram (it was 915K a few weeks ago when I shared this on Facebook, so holy [expletive]!).

Aaron doesn’t even have an account. So look at the numbers, because she nailed it.

So I will continue to insist a huge bounce-back for Rodgers. Aaron. I figure Jordan is still with JoJo; at least according to those Instagram photos from six days ago. And besides, he can’t break up with her just yet. Although, do you think that’s why they’ve delayed an announcement on the next season of “The Bachelor”? Maybe the producers want to see if he is going to be single in a few months and then go with him? What a huge coop that would be for both Rodgers brothers doing what they do best in the fall. One guy looking like a D, mugging for the camera as he tries to get famous. And the other searching for true love on a reality TV show.

But enough about that. It really is time to put away these fluff pieces (not likely) and get to the serious football.

Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Winston finished just outside QB1 territory (QB13) last season, but I like him to step up in his second-year. He had 22 touchdown passes which was the fourth-most among rookie quarterbacks. Which isn’t a surprise because it’s not like Terry Bradshaw was slinging the rock as a rookie. Hell, did he even play as a rookie? A lot of those dudes sat the bench. The one thing I kind of like about Winston is that he isn’t afraid to force the issue and go downfield. He was among the leaders in yards per attempt, so he’s not a dump-off specialist. He’ll frustrate you some with his interceptions, but then he’ll seed one to Adam Humphries to make you best friends again.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans

Mariota opened like Guns N’ Roses with a huge debut in the first couple of weeks, and everybody scrambled to get him off the waiver wire. He had some ebbs and flows like most rookies, but he had at least 30 fantasy points twice in his rookie year. Tied for most by a rookie. I love his scrambling ability. He had a number of sick runs, and that always helps to propel a quarterback’s value. He’s much more cautious than Winston, but make no mistake, he can make all of the throws that he needs to. He’s really got something cooking with tight end Delanie Walker. I like Mariota to have the safer floor than Winston because he does do a great job. Well, maybe a decent job. He did have 10 picks last year. So maybe I’m driving down narrative street.

DeAndre Washington, RB, Oakland Raiders

Mostly when you pick a rookie fantasy running back, you’re damning the guy who is starting ahead of him. I’m not super-stoked on Latavius Murray. Which is strange because I love to take Murray in the fourth-round because I find him a great value and really love the Raiders offensive line. That’s why I have Washington here. He’s going to have a defined third-down role at some point. And he could actually become a Danny Woodhead-type, who ranks in Top 25 each season kind of way. I also believe he could end up being the No. 1 in Oakland. And then stuff will go crazy.

Keith Marshall/Robert Kelley, RB, Washington Redskins

When you want to talk about running backs I don’t believe in, Matt Jones is probably near the top of the list. And now he’s out for the rest of the preseason with a shoulder injury. I’m a little worried about Marshall here because Robert Kelley has kind of lurked past him on the depth chart. But Marshall was drafted. Not like a first-round pick, but he was drafted. And GMs hate to be shown up in situations like this. There could be a situation where Kelley is put on the practice squad, but then the Patriots try to claim him and then he’s pulled up to the main roster. It’s very convoluted. You might also ask about Chris Thompson, but he’s a third-down back. Let’s just say one of these running backs is going to emerge. My educated guess is that it’s Marshall.

Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks

The one holdup for the Seahawks receivers is going to be volume. Will the Seahawks throw the ball enough to see a rise in productivity like we had with Doug Baldwin last year? I feel like the volume will be there. It’s why you try not to give fruits and sweets to a child too early. Because once they develop a taste for that, it’s going to be hard to convince them to eat their veggies. No matter how good it is for him or her. We could see something similar for the Seahawks in regards to the passing game. Now that Russell Wilson has a taste for the passing game, he might not be satisfied with just being a game-manager type of quarterback. Plus he’s so good at it. And then, enter Lockett. I could see him sniff 1,000 receiving yards with eight touchdowns this year.

Torrey Smith, WR, San Francisco 49ers

Here is a situation where volume shouldn’t be much of an issue. What I really love here is the 49ers could be an awful team. Well, let’s just say the defense could be really bad which means there will be a lot more opportunities for passing if the 49ers are trailing. Which I expect to happen a lot. Plus, the 49ers will run a lot more plays under Chip Kelly. The 49ers ran the third-fewest plays in the NFL last season. That will obviously change. The Eagles were at the top of that list under Kelly, so there is going to be a lot of volume. Make no mistake, you will hear a lot of Blaine Gabbert jokes when you make this pick. But don’t let it get to you. You’re going to be fine with Smith.

Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions

Another great volume play. I expect a new Matthew Stafford this year. I live in Los Angeles where I had to witness the final years of Kobe Bryant on the Lakers. The whole offense was terrible to watch because everything had to be deferred to Kobe. Even when they brought in Mike D’Antoni, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, everything had to go through Kobe. And what could have been a really fun team instead derailed. Though I would say a lot of that would have to do with Nash’s injuries. So maybe if Nash had stayed healthy things could have been different.

But I’m getting off point.

Stafford no longer has to look at Calvin Johnson every time he retreats to throw the football. That’s going to open it up for the other receivers. Jones is going to thrive as a No. 2 option opposite Golden Tate. In fact, I see him getting more yards and touchdowns than Tate. I see Golden much in the same way Randall Cobb was last year in Green Bay. A No. 2 who is expected to be a No. 1. I just can’t see Golden being golden for your fantasy team.

Alright, I’ll see myself out the door.

Kamar Aiken, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Steve Smith Sr. is the greatest player in the history of the NFL. I am in no way disrespecting him here. But Aiken was really good down the stretch last season. Aiken had 75-944-5 at the end of last year, and I don’t see him ceding this gig to any of the veteran options (looking at you, too, Mike Wallace and/or Breshad Perriman) and he’s going to end up as the top receiving option for this team.

Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants

I’m not sure how the Giants were able to land the Odell Beckham Jr. of this year’s draft. Here’s what teams should do; find out who the Giants like at receiver and then draft him. The Giants are like the kid on your block who had both Xbox and PlayStation. We all hated that kid. But don’t hate these Giants. I know some of you might be scared about him not getting enough targets and such. But Rueben Randle had like 797 yards and eight touchdowns. Dude (or ladies), Shepard > Randle. By a lot. So I could see both Giants receivers have great years. OBJ steps into another stratosphere. Shepard tags along as a 1,000-yard 8 touchdown guy.

Martellus Bennett, TE, New England Patriots

The Patriots have longed to reemploy the two-tight end strategy they had a few years ago. Now they have the guy who can get it done. I don’t see Bennett taking away anything from Gronk. He plays a different game. Bennett stretches the field. Both can work in tandem to be effective. And the trend says anytime the Bears trade away a tight end, he does pretty well. (I know I’ve bashed Mike Martz for this previously, but it warrants mentioning again for anybody who missed it. Nice move, guy.)

Bonus nugget for Bennett is the early reports have him working really well with Jimmy Garoppolo. So he could be in store for a monster opening to the season. His ADP is ridiculously low, too. Which makes no sense to me. I get Coby Fleener, yeah. He’s going to be great. But don’t sleep on Bennett.

Jacksonville Jaguars D/ST

If you’re looking for a streaming option who could end up being a pretty good value, I love the Duval D. This team is going to get busy on the defensive end this season. I’m a little worried because too many people are starting to get hip to Jacksonville. Don’t let that deter you.

While we are here, the clutch streaming option might just be any team going up against the Ravens. The Bills are on the road in Baltimore to open the season. And I don’t have any reason to feel this way, but I’d prefer a home D/ST stream in the majority of cases.

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Ryan Tannehill Miami Dolphins QB Jersey

Posted by admin on August 23, 2016
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Steve Keim was far from alone in dismissing Russell Wilson as a draft prospect, but that doesn’t mean the Arizona Cardinals general manager, who was the club’s vice president of player personnel at the time, lets himself off the hook for it.

In fact, he’s pretty hard on himself.

“Look, I’m from North Carolina State. I study all the guys out of there hard,” Keim told The MMQB. “But I just didn’t think there was a good comp for Russell Wilson, and I was wrong. When I think back now, it was a chickens— call by me. I didn’t have the balls to take Russell Wilson.”

A quick refresher on the circumstances: Arizona had traded away its 2012 second-round choice, and had the No. 80 overall pick in the third round. Seattle chose Wilson with the No. 75 overall pick, but Keim made it relatively clear that Wilson wasn’t on the Cardinals’ radar anyway. Wilson, of course, has gone on to become one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks, leaving a lot more NFL personnel executives than just Keim wishing they had taken a closer look at the former N.C. State quarterback who transferred to Wisconsin for his senior year. Of course, it was then-GM Rod Graves who would have had more of a role than Keim in passing on Wilson, but it doesn’t sound as though the Cardinals would have looked at Wilson any differently had Keim been the GM at the time.

“There’s this thing scouts talk about — comps,’” Keim said. “It’s comparables (to similar NFL players), and for Wilson, who were they? Who at quarterback has had success in the NFL under 6-feet tall? Fran Tarkenton? Maybe Doug Flutie. But like (Seahawks GM) John Schneider said to Pete Carroll before the draft, ‘Aside from his height, what’s wrong with him?’ Nothing.”

Quarterbacks drafted ahead of Wilson in 2012 include Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill, Brock Osweiler and — (oops) — Brandon Weeden.

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Running Back Zac Brooks Jersey

Posted by admin on August 20, 2016
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Russell Wilson joined the upper echelon of quarterbacks cashing game checks just over a year ago. Now he’s being handed some highest-paid criticism from his own coach.

The Seahawks gave up four first-half sacks in an 18-11 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday in Seattle. Head coach Pete Carroll got ahead of the storm — if such things exist in preseason football — by addressing the glaring statistic in his opening postgame comments.

“I know that you are looking at the sack numbers and thinking ‘oh geez, what’s that mean?’” he said, per the Seattle Times. “We really, we need to get the ball out. We need to throw the ball away and get rid of it so we don’t take the big plays (losses). … Russ can do a better job to help us there when we get stuck.

“Sometimes we try really hard to get out to try to make a bigger play when the pressure eventually gets there. But on rhythm, we were fine a few times. We need to get the ball out and stay quick with it like we want to and not let the rush get to us. When you don’t, then you suffer negative stuff that makes it hard to get going.”

We took a look at the film and determined that Carroll has a point. But Wilson also has a gripe on at least one play.

The first sack, coming on first-and-10 from the Seattle 39, is a case of Wilson holding onto the ball too long, being brought down after close to four seconds (and a few ball pats) in the pocket. Sack No. 2 happened just over five minutes later, when Wilson could have fired a pass in the direction of any of his four receivers, who each ran a variation of five-yard curl routes.

Sack No. 3 wasn’t on Wilson, though. Or at least it didn’t appear as such.

Minnesota overloaded the right side of Seattle’s offensive line, blitzing safety Harrison Smith and linebacker Anthony Barr and forcing right tackle Garry Gilliam to make a decision between the two. He chose the edge (Smith) and attempted to pass Barr off inside to no one in particular, and the free-rushing Barr got to Wilson — running a play action fake — before the quarterback could fully turn to face the defense.

“It didn’t have anything to do with the offensive line,” Carroll said of the sacks. “We all missed a blitz one time that we had a huge play on. Russ saw it, he pointed it out. He cleared it up for the guys and we didn’t execute it. That was one time we got in trouble. And then two other times he just held on to the football because they covered us up. He hung in there and and just waited and tried to make it happen and then he took off and he got caught against a really good rushing front.”

Sack No. 4 looked much like the third: another overload blitz and with running back Zac Brooks getting swallowed up in the wash by trying to block one of three free rushers, Wilson again didn’t have a chance. It’s not certain which blitz Carroll was describing as the one Wilson saw, pointed out and the line didn’t execute.

What is clear is that the Seahawks’ retooled line is still trying to jell, which isn’t unexpected. Wilson could help his guys out by not trying to be a shotgun superhero. That means another ball or two he chooses to throw away, instead of trying to improvise with his feet, which has helped Seattle succeed plenty in the past. How he adjusts in tandem with his line will be an interesting point to keep an eye on as we get closer to Week 1.

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Former Seahawks Safety Kenny Easley Jersey

Posted by admin on August 16, 2016
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Former Seahawks safety Kenny Easley is receiving long overdue interest for the game’s highest honor.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Monday that Easley has been selected as a senior finalist.

As Seattle’s first defensive superstar, Easley was a shooting star in the 1980s. After earning AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in 1981, the former UCLA star won AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 1983 and NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1984.

The rare defensive back to combine intimidation, sure tackling and elite ball-hawking skills, Easley’s career arc was every bit as promising as that of 49ers Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott before a severely damaged kidney forced him to retire at age 28.

Just how dynamic was Easley? Seahawks blogger Bob Kaupang recently invoked the best traits of the current Legion of Boom stars to describe the five-time Pro Bowler.

“If younger fans want to fully comprehend what Easley was like,” Kaupang wrote, “all they have to do is think of a super-safety who possesses the physical intimidation skills of Kam Chancellor combined with the ability of Earl Thomas to roam the back end of a secondary.”

Easley is one of the great “what ifs” in NFL history. Had he played as long as Lott, we might be debating which 1980s legend was the most brilliant safety to ever stalk the gridiron.

“Kenny could do what Jack Tatum could do, but he also could do what Mike Haynes could do,” Lott told ESPN.com’s Mike Sando back in 2002. “He was not only a great hitter and great intimidator on the field, but he was a great athlete.

“Kenny, Lawrence Taylor and those guys changed the game of football on the defensive side because they were not just big hitters. Now, all of the sudden, you were seeing guys who were big hitters, but also as athletic as anyone on offense.”

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Wide Receiver Bennie Fowler Jersey

Posted by admin on August 12, 2016
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After sifting through the good, the not-quite-as-good and the need-work items from the Denver Broncos’ preseason opener, here are some takeaways:

QB job is still open, as in wide open. Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian each acquitted himself nicely as coach Gary Kubiak continues to crank the heat up on the two in an attempt to make a decision about a starter. The two quarterbacks certainly got their opportunities in the 22-0 win over the Chicago Bears as Kubiak turned them loose. Sanchez threw 13 times in the first quarter, and Siemian threw 12 times in the second quarter. Siemian likely lost a touchdown pass when wide receiver Bennie Fowler had a nice back-shoulder throw knocked out of his hands before he could complete the catch for the score. After a review of all the throws, as well as all of the notes from practices, Sanchez’s turnovers — he threw an interception in Thursday night’s game — more often than not come when he is moving to one side of the field and running out of real estate.

Lynch a work in progress. Rookie Paxton Lynch did what prized rookies do — he flashed the talent that made him a coveted pick and confirmed how much work he has to do. He showed arm strength and kept his composure, but he also took three sacks in 10 dropbacks — or as Kubiak put it, “obviously he got sacked a few times.” Over the long haul, that’s far too many hits to take, and it will be a big part of his development.

Early returns good on defense. Preseason or not, struggling Bears offense or not, the Broncos kept four Pro Bowl players out of uniform Thursday night and still pitched a shutout. The Bears gained 18 yards in their first four possessions combined, punted eight times, surrendered the ball on downs once, had a punt blocked to go with an interception and a safety. The preseason is annually chock full of the sunshine-and-rainbows reports around the league, but this was evidence the Broncos are deep on the defensive depth chart, as all three groups of their players dominated, and they have an abundance of team speed. If the group plays with the selfless passion and big-play moxie it did last season and avoids injuries, it should be in a position to power the Broncos once again.

Tough calls. The choices at running back will be difficult because all of the productive players the Broncos have at the position won’t make it. Ronnie Hillman or Kapri Bibbs or both could be on the outside looking in if the Broncos keep just three backs (C.J. Anderson, Devontae Booker and Juwan Thompson) to go with fullback Andy Janovich. And it would behoove Bibbs and Hillman to do what they can to show they have special-teams value in the coming days. It’s also crowded on the defensive line, and the decision to keep five or six receivers will take plenty of discussion, as well.

The question marks. The Broncos still need to find two starting guards in the offensive line even as Michael Schofield — yes, the Broncos coaches like his effort, resiliency and potential at guard far more than most fans who only remember Schofield’s confidence-crushing day against Khalil Mack last season — and Darrion Weems are pushing hard to be those two guards. Both players have played more at tackle, and the Broncos are moving down inside in search of the right combination. Also, the return jobs remain unsettled — rookie Kalif Raymond and Bralon Addison showed some speed with the ball, especially on punt returns, but the Broncos want to see some consistent pop.

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Houston Texans Wide Receiver DeAndre Hopkins Jersey

Posted by admin on August 09, 2016
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Brandon Marshall harbors no illusions about the cut-throat world of NFL labor negotiations, but that won’t ever stop him from seeking change. The league’s player-contract landscape has never appeared more unfair given the heightened awareness of the dangers of the game.

This multi-billion dollar industry has an imperfect system for doling out money to players. NFL contracts have more trap-doors than a Copperfield show, mirages filled with plenty of zeroes that typically aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. The league’s current CBA doesn’t expire until after the 2020 season, which isn’t good news for players looking for fully guaranteed contracts like the ones in the NBA or Major League Baseball.

“I think it would be the biggest fight we’ve ever had to get that done,” Marshall told the Daily News in a candid discussion about the inherent flaws of NFL player contracts.

Texans Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins’ 24-hour holdout at the start of training camp highlighted the latest need for change. Hopkins finished third last season in receptions (111) and yards (1,521) catching passes from Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett, prompting the pay-the-man police to sound their sirens.

The Texans are unwilling to negotiate with two years remaining on Hopkins’ deal even though they ponied up a monster extension for Pro Bowler J.J. Watt with two years left on his rookie deal in 2014.

“They did it for J.J. Watt,” Marshall said. “They can do it for him (Hopkins). That’s their team. It’s J.J. Watt and it’s Hopkins. That’s their team. They drafted those guys. Take care of them. It resonates in the locker room when you take care of your guys.”

There’s little debate that Hopkins, who has 187 receptions for 2,731 yards and 17 touchdowns in the past two seasons, is worth more than the $1.45 million he’ll make in 2016 (55 receivers will have a higher base salary). What recourse did Hopkins have other than his overnight protest?

“I just think that from a player’s perspective, if you’re going to hold out, you got to hold out,” Marshall said. “It can’t be any gray. You got to go into it saying, ‘Listen, I’m willing to sit out the entire year.’ Because sitting out a day or two, I don’t know if that really…”

Marshall, an 11-year veteran, paused for a moment before finding redeeming value in Hopkins’ decision to stay away for one day.

“It starts the conversation, I will say that,” the Jets receiver said. “Because behind the scenes, you never know. The team could be calling and panicking, freaking out, saying, ‘Okay, we’ll sit at the table.’ Sometimes it sets the table.… To be honest with you, there shouldn’t be any holdouts — and the reason there shouldn’t is because both sides should be respected as businessmen and they should be able to sit at the table and negotiate.”

“In this case, you look at DeAndre Hopkins,” Marshall continued. “The team could say, ‘You have two years left. You’ve only done it for two years. You have to play another year. And I just don’t think that’s right.”

There’s little debate that management typically has the leverage thanks, in part, to the collectively bargained funding rule that requires NFL owners to place all future fully guaranteed money in contracts into escrow, ostensibly to protect players in case of team cash flow problems.

The reality, however, is that management limits the amount of guaranteed money in deals precisely because of the rule — a convenient crutch — resulting in this lop-sided system. Thus, players and agents seek to maximize the fully guaranteed money at signing.

Management’s contention that fully guaranteed contracts for a sport with such a high rate of injury is bad business shouldn’t be completely dismissed. A fully guaranteed system would almost certainly result in shorter contracts for significantly less money for players. Another reality of fully guaranteed contracts: The NBA routinely deals with players, who simply lose their edge once they’ve lined their pockets with all that guaranteed loot.

“I just believe in value and security,” said Marshall, who highlighted how easy it is for NFL teams to ask players to take pay cuts – or hit the road — if they under-perform.

He also “absolutely” believes that the franchise tag should be eradicated once and for all, and that his former Bears teammate Alshon Jeffery, who will play under the one-year pact in 2016, deserves a multi-year commitment.

“It’s one of those things that I’m going to stand on the table for when it’s time to get back at the table,” Marshall said of getting rid of the franchise tag provision. “I think it’s bad business. There should never be a time — whether it’s sports or it’s business — where one side has all the risk. We know the risks that come with playing football. So if a guy has no guaranteed money, he holds all the risk…. We’re talking about longevity. We’re talking about security. (Jeffery) has all the risk. If he injures himself now, that’s it. That’s not fair. That’s not right.”

That’s the NFL’s unfortunate reality for now.

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Buffalo Bills Quarterback Cardale Jones Jersey

Posted by admin on August 05, 2016
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Cardale Jones has experienced some of the best college football has to offer. He went undefeated as the starting quarterback at Ohio State, upsetting No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Oregon in 2014 to win the school’s first national championship since 2002.

Practice with the third-team offense at Buffalo Bills training camp might not be as glamorous, but Jones says he doesn’t mind the change. It’s another opportunity to prove himself and, most importantly, learn.

Most rookies have to spend countless hours with the playbook by their side or watching film, but for Jones, that may be even more vital to his success. Although he left college with a decorated resume, Jones never started a complete year in college. He only has 270 pass attempts under his belt.

Bills head coach Rex Ryan said he’s been very impressed with Jones’ progress learning the book, which starts with his commitment to improve.

“I think he studies extremely well,” Ryan said. “He’s got a pretty good grasp of what he’s doing out there, and it’s not like we hold back a whole lot on him.”

You notice the progress watching Jones’ throws during practice, even though he still is far from perfect. At the start of camp he had severe trouble with his accuracy, frequently overthrowing his targets. Nearly a week later, he’s started cleaning things up. Although Jones described Friday’s outing as “up and down,” he had his best day of camp Thursday. His most notable throw went to wide receiver Greg Little on a route over the middle.

Part of that is learning the playbook, understanding the routes in offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s system. But that’s not the only new aspect Jones has to deal with. He has new teammates too.

“More so learning my guys, getting reps with them, being more consistent with them and learning how to apply each different footwork to each different route.” Jones said. “I’ve still got a couple overthrows and things like that. That will come with time. Keep practicing, keep getting to know guys.”

He’s not all alone through this process, as fellow quarterbacks Tyrod Taylor and E.J. Manuel have helped him with advice on the sidelines.

“Those guys are comforting and understanding,” Jones said. “They know some of the growing pains I’m going through right now. They’re kind of keeping me motivated. I kind of had a rough day today as far as getting on the right page with guys. They coming back to me, saying ‘Hey, that will happen. It’ll come in time.’”

“He’s definitely taking steps in the right direction since spring,” Taylor said. “We’re all striving to get better and trying to correct our mistakes each and every day.”

Jones said things will be easier going forward if he can get the mental side of the game under wraps early. If things do click, it’s easy to see why the Bills took a chance on him in the fourth round of the draft. He’s got immense size at 6-foot-5, and few have doubted his arm strength.

“Obviously we know he’s got the tools that you look for,” Ryan said. “He’s got that confidence about him, and he can throw it, man. There’s no question about that.”

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