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What’s new in the NFC North for 2017

There’s plenty of uni-related news as we move toward the kickoff of the 2017 NFL season. Most notably, a new Nike collar that eliminates the Flywire design has been adopted by 19 of the 22 teams that were still using the old one — we’ll call them the Flyswatter Brigade! Here’s our rundown of what you can expect to see in the NFC North on the gridiron this fall.

The Flyswatting continues in Chicago, where the Bears have upgraded to the new template:

Tom Brady wants to play until he’s 45 years old, but his contract is up in 2019. Brady and the Patriots have reportedly been discussing an extension. If they work something out, Brady may forego the chance to be the league’s highest-paid player, structuring his contract in a more team-friendly way as he’s done in the past.

He’s won five Super Bowls, and even at age 40, has US Cheap Jerseys shown no signs Wholesale Jerseys China of slowing down. Last year he might have won league MVP for the third time if he hadn’t served a four-game suspension to start the season because of Deflategate. Brady finished with 3,554 yards, 28 touchdowns, and just two interceptions over 12 games. Brady, perhaps more than any other quarterback, deserves to be the top-paid player in the NFL.

As quarterback contracts continue to trend up, the disparity between the way that position is valued compared to other skill players increases. But the reality is that you can’t win games in the NFL without a competent player behind center. Every single one of these quarterbacks could end up being the league’s highest-paid player — at least until the next guy gets paid.

The Jets cut ties with Marshall and Eric Decker shortly after the 2016 season.

Then the team lost Quincy Enunwa to a season-ending injury and have seen others like Jalin Marshall and Robby Anderson get in trouble.

But the team still has all the pieces that made them a nightmare to deal with last year. The offense is mostly unchanged and the defense added Dontari Poe and Takkarist McKinley. As long as Matt Ryan doesn’t revert to a player more like his 2015 self, they’ll be a problem to deal with.

NFL teams have made 30 trades since Aug. 1, more than twice the average for the same period over the previous five years. Many trades involved minimal compensation for fringe players, but there were also moves that could push contenders such as the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks over the top.

The increased activity provides an opportunity to consider six factors that could be enabling an increase in trade activity. I spoke with some NFL executives and heard a number of explanations. Some to consider:

The Seahawks are 3-0 in the preseason heading into Thursday’s showdown with old AFC West rivals. Their running game still has a Cheap Cycling Jerseys lot of question marks — Thomas Rawls and C.J Prosise missed most of the Wholesale Cheap Jerseys China preseason with injuries, while rookie Chris Carson has outplayed Eddie Lacy. Another position battle is the backup QB position spot, with Trevone Boykin and Austin Davis competing for the right to hold Russell Wilson’s clipboard.

Jones saw 127 targets from Matt Ryan in 2016 and averaged almost 17 yards per grab

Johnson, 45, made his way into the world of wrestling in 1996 — three years after the UFC’s first event. Fourteen years later, he said he would have begun a career in mixed martial arts instead of wrestling had the sport been further along.

“My whole life I’ve been training short-area quickness, speed and explosion,” Anders said. “It all translates into mixed martial arts whether you’re throwing punches on your feet, or kicks, or wrestling. At the same time I was never training kicks or punches so I had to learn how to throw punches properly, and how to kick with proper technique. Now that I’ve got those techniques down, the power and explosion come into play.”

Those skills aren’t useful solely in football and MMA, though. Professional wrestling has also provided a path for the powerful and explosive.

Proven daily fantasy expert Al Zeidenfeld breaks down the top value plays at every position for Week 1 of the NFL season.

Jones saw 127 targets from Matt Ryan in 2016 and averaged almost 17 yards per grab (16.98). Give me Jones’ freakish talent and matchup Cheap Baseball Jerseys Kids ability versus a Bears’ secondary that is still trying to build an identity under John Fox. — Matt Bowen

For Cousins, dragging Washington back to the playoffs would be a clear indicator he’s worthy of the expensive long-term Cheap Authentic NFL Jerseys contract his franchise has refused him for so long.

How do motions play a part in determining man-to-man or zone?

First, a motion is when a skill player (so not a lineman), starts in one spot, and moves laterally and/or back to a different location. Unlike the CFL, you’re not allowed to go forward in your motion before the snap. Some teams motion a whole bunch; others not often. A WR can motion all the way across the line of scrimmage. A back and/or tight end can motion from outside to the backfield and vice versa.

The motions are a great indictor for man or zone coverage. When a motion occurs, if the defender on that player follows him for the entire motion, it’s man coverage. If the defense just shifts players a bit, it’s zone coverage. And nothing works better for this than an RB or TE motion from inside out.

Cutler knows Miami’s offense from his time working with head coach Adam Gase as his offensive coordinator in Chicago. He looked comfortable and confident, especially on this 72-yard pass to DeVante Parker:

Technically the quarterback situation hasn’t been settled in Miami. Moore is still up for the job in theory. But after the Dolphins paid Cutler $13 million to delay his broadcasting career and return to football, it seemed obvious what direction the team was going to go. Cutler’s performance on Buy Cheap Jerseys Online Thursday solidified it.

It’s preseason, so it doesn’t matter that much. But there were a ton of interceptions on Thursday night. That’s fun for all of us watching, and Cheap Atlanta Braves Jerseys it’s less fun for the quarterbacks involved.

All of those things are fine for Ball on the court, but it’s an odd look off of it.

Right or wrong, people who watched him last night and people who are waking up to Ball’s performance are talking about how he did it in Nikes.

Lonzo Ball is under a microscope, thanks largely to his outspoken father. People will talk about whatever he says or does, and they’ll always talk about the Big Baller Brand. That can be a great thing — as long as he’s wearing the ZO2.

When he’s not, people will say he made the wrong decision by moving independently instead of with an established brand. And it becomes even more of an issue when he’s wears one of those rival brands. .

Ball will sport the ZO2s again. He’ll have big performances in them on a higher stage. But at least until his next big game, people are going to talk about how he should have signed with Nike.

Greg Monroe is an option there for the Knicks and he’s on an expiring deal. Rose is looking for a solid eight-figure deal at this point, and at the going rate for point guards this offseason, he’s right to do so. The only question for the Bucks is whether he’s worth the hassle in giving up some of their depth moving forward.

The basketball fit in Milwaukee makes no sense. Dellavedova struggled with his health last season, but they’re still paying him and he can be productive when he Cheap Vintage Jerseys plays. Brogdon will be their starter moving forward and is a great fit next to Giannis Antetokounmpo. Rose can’t shoot and would take possessions away from their best player.

This is about money and all parties involved Cheap USA Soccer Jerseys know it. The only question is whether Rose can play his cards right.

Blake Griffin’s first-ever Instagram story was an epic film for the ages

But Blake Griffin, in his Instagram story debut, decided he was going to push the boundaries of what a famous athlete can do with a short IG story — his first ever attempt is stunning, a provocative work of art that takes the expectations we have about the medium and turns them on their head

It starts simple enough — elegant, but still pretty predictable for a Instagram story. But that’s only to lull you into a false sense of security about what’s to come… including this next scene.

The Pacers waived Monta Ellis to free up space. The Warriors signed Nick Young. The Jazz began talking to the Celtics about perhaps turning the Hayward signing into a sign-and-trade for Jae Crowder. Wait —

Cavaliers franchise owner Dan Gilbert dismissed his respected, LeBron-approved GM David Griffin just before the draft. Gilbert’s grand plan: hire Chauncey Billups to run the front office as president of basketball operations. A perhaps weak part of that plan: lowball the holy Hades out of Billups. Shelburne and Spears reports Gilbert offered about $1.5 million per year at first, bumping it to $2 million, or 50 percent of what most folks in that position make, once Billups declined. Billups this week declined to stay Manchester United Cheap Jerseys with ESPN and play in the BIG3. “Nice work, Dan Gilbert,” he said NHL Cheap Jerseys sarcastically.

Superstar basketball players with uncommon names sparking huge adoption of said name has always been fascinating to me. As such, I’m very into this story on the generation of kids named after Shaq from Alex Prewitt.

This has been a mess for them.

First, Sanchez only has 13 home runs! He missed three weeks of in April with a strained biceps, which makes his 13-homer total all the more impressive.

That Sanchez is a Yankee surely helps his status and popularity. That is without question. But really, the only reason we all know about Sanchez IS BECAUSE HE HIT A BUNCH OF HOME RUNS.

Let’s remember last year, when Sanchez joined the Yankees on Aug. 3, and all he did was hit 20 home runs in 52 games.

From last year’s All-Star break to present, Sanchez has 34 home runs in 450 plate appearances. Morrison has 28 home runs in 416 PA.

Sanchez tied a major league record for reaching 20 career home runs faster than anybody. That mark has since been broken by Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger, who was invited to this year’s Home Run Derby.

Prospects, certainly. But, also, peace of mind. This has been a mess for them.

The A’s philosophy hearkens back to the old Branch Rickey quote, which is roughly “Better to trade a player a year too early than a year too late.” Trading their best players with years of team control is how they got Dan Haren for Mark Mulder, and it’s how they got Carlos Gonzalez and Brett Anderson for Haren.

Then they traded Anderson for Drew Pomeranz, whom they traded for Cheap Team Basketball Jerseys Yonder Alonso, who will bring back a prospect or three this deadline. This trade chain will live forever, and the point is that it’s an organizational philosophy to look the future, cheap seasons of a good player as Cheap Soccer Jerseys For Sale something that enhances the value for another team, not the A’s.

Greg Bird hasn’t had much time to play this year while dealing with injuries

The Yankees have seen their first basemen hit .208/.295/.391 in 2017, good for a positionally adjusted OPS+ of 64. In layman’s terms: They are bad at first base. The Yankees recently cut loose Chris Carter, but Carter has led the club in playing time at first, and batted .201/.284/.370 in the process. This is probably a good time to remind you that the thing Carter usually does well is hit, and he has to, because he’s one of the worst defensive players in baseball.

Greg Bird hasn’t had much time to play this year while dealing with injuries, and now the 24-year-old first baseman will miss the rest of 2017 recovering from ankle surgery. So, with Carter out of the picture and Bird not coming back to save the day, there’s a void for Alonso to fill whether he’s the version of himself that crushes baseballs or just the one that doesn’t embarrass himself or his team at the plate or in the field.

The Yankees are giving up too much offense as a team, as they’re also struggling to produce at third base (where Chase Headley and Friends have been significantly worse than average) and in center field whenever Jacoby Ellsbury is the one patrolling it. Getting Alonso to stop the bleeding at first would go a long way toward rectifying that, and also help the Yankees move past losing Michael Pineda in their rotation for the rest of 2017.

Another option for the Red Sox’s infield woes is Giants standout Cheap Jarome Iginla Jerseys Eduardo Nu?ez, and while the reports of that possible deal might be a smoke screen for Cheap Jerseys And Snapbacks another potential trade with another team, he would still very much make sense in Boston. Cleveland reportedly has an eye on him as well.

Michael Pineda is probably leaving the Yankees the same way he joined them: Injured

News broke on Friday that Michael Pineda, the Yankees’ right-hander who has an 8-4 record with a 4.39 ERA at the halfway point, is most likely heading for Tommy John Surgery with a partially torn UCL. While it wouldn’t be impossible for Pineda to rehab without undergoing surgery — and he is getting a second opinion before making a final decision — things aren’t looking great for the 28-year old.

Calhoun was a top-100 prospect heading into 2017, on the back-end of that list. However, as a 22-year-old at Triple-A this season, Calhoun has batted .298/.357/.574, which is impressive even for the high-offense PCL. As he’s a better hitter than defender — Calhoun plays second, left, and DH — the move to both high-offense Texas and a league with a DH could be great for him and his production. That being said, his time in Triple-A, in spite of his youth, did not move him into Baseball Prospectus’ mid-season top-50 prospects list, so he wasn’t one of the very best Dodgers’ prospects.

Calhoun wasn’t the only prospect, of course. Alexy is a 19-year-old righty who has struck out 10.5 batters per nine innings in Low-A this year as a starter. He walks too many batters, but those strikeouts at that age are maybe more than a lottery ticket, especially in that role. Davis is also just 19, but in High-A the infielder has struggled to contribute much at the plate at that level. He’s projectable and has tools, though, so there is potential here even if it’s hard to see at the moment.

It’s not a package that will blow you away for Darvish, but Darvish is only a rental here. Getting Calhoun and still having the ability to sign Darvish back to the Rangers this winter is a win for Texas, and the Dodgers have themselves Cheap Goalie Jerseys Soccer another pitcher to rely on in the postseason, which is both new and Cheap Heat Jerseys exciting for them.

The Rays will continue Curtis Granderson’s ‘We Follow Lucas Duda’ tradition

For two years, the Mets’ Curtis Granderson had been running an Instagram account called “wefollowlucasduda.” As the name suggests, Granderson puts up posts where he follows Lucas Duda, whether he’s in the locker room, on TV, or in a throwback photo. On July 27, the Mets traded Duda to the Rays, which subsequently put Granderson’s Duda fan account in jeopardy of being obsolete.

And while negotiations went on, Sergio Romo — who was also traded to the Rays recently — posted what was essentially his audition video for taking the reins on Granderson’s account. He’s ready to mess around with him on the regular.

Naming a stingray and free Rays tickets for charity? That’s a sweet deal. Duda and Granderson had a sad (but also funny) farewell, but it ended on a happy note, and it was all because everyone rallied around the idea of keeping the tradition of messing with Lucas Duda on Instagram.

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Joining the players on stage for induction on Sunday will be a couple of executives in Bud Selig and John Schuerholz. The former was the longtime commissioner who has a mixed bag that includes expansion and the Wild Card on the positive side of things Custom Cheap Jerseys and that whole steroid era thing on the negative side, among others. Schuerholz China Cheap Jerseys was a longtime general manager in the league with the 90s Braves being his greatest achievement. Still, it’ll be the players who hog the spotlight today, as it should be. Coverage from Cooperstown will start at noon on MLB Network.