NFL’s new kickoff rule will either save it or kill it

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The NFL has a new Deacon Jones Jersey kickoff rule. Whether the NFL will still have a kickoff remains to be seen.
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After multiple attempts to make the so-called most dangerous play in the game less dangerous by using it less frequently, the NFL has made the play less dangerous by making it safer. Which is fine, but one question remains: How safe does the kickoff have to become in order to save it?

Both teams’ odds took hits over the offseason (the A’s started at 80-1, Pirates at 75-1), but neither team is hopelessly bad: The PECOTA projection system, for instance, has the A’s winning 76 games (ahead of the Rangers) and the Pirates winning 78 (same as the Rockies). Last year’s Twins and Diamondbacks were each projected to win 78 and they each made the playoffs. And both teams have at least a handful of guys who have either been stars in the recent past (Starling Marte), looked like they were maybe turning into stars in the recent past (Gregory Polanco, Jameson Taillon) or played like stars for extended periods in the recent past (Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, maybe kind of Sean Manaea and Josh Bell). You have to squint to see four great players on either of these teams, but you don’t have to squint so hard that your eyes hurt.

Prediction: It’s not going to end well.

Regardless, it’s going to end on Wednesday. Or, more accurately, the owners will craft a new anthem policy on Wednesday. Which will close one chapter and likely open another, as players, the NFL Players Association, plenty of fans, and many in the media push back against any effort by the league to taketh away that which the league previously has given. Eth.

How about this one, folks? he’ll inevitably say at a rally, somewhere. They didn’t want to make the players stand for the national anthem but you know what? We made them do it. We did it. Together. If we can do that together, what else can we do? Or should I say, ‘What can’t we do?’
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There’s simply no easy path out of this maze for the NFL, but owners who are used to getting their way whenever and wherever and however they want it seem to think they can find one. They can’t. The sooner they accept this, the better off everyone will be.

And they only have themselves to blame. By making the players props in the effort to wrap The Shield in The Flag nearly a decade ago, the league made this mess by creating a right to protest. Whatever the next step, the NFL will be putting its big toe on a land mine.

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Grading Chris Ash’s recruiting progress at Rutgers

Rutgers should get several聽more matchups with ranked opponents this fall. But will it be able to get off the schneid in one of them?
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Here’s a look at the games on the 2018 schedule that should, or could,聽be against ranked teams:

AT OHIO STATE, Sept. 8:The Buckeyes聽will likely be聽the Big Ten’s top-ranked team in the preseason somewhere in the top-5, and聽even a stunning season-opening home loss to Oregon State wouldn’t drop them out of the polls. Rutgers isn’t ready to beat Ohio State though. First it has to prevent the score from being 50-something to zero for the third straight year.

Game Kids Tyson Barrie Jersey My family and I thanks everyone who has prayed for me over the last few days. Henderson, who was selected by the Broncos in the sixth-round of the 2017 NFL Draft, as a rookie had seven carries for 13 yards, and also caught two passes for 39 yards and a touchdown. He said his plan is to be back participating in OTAs by next week. Nothing’s that’s going to keep me out a significant time, Henderson said. I’ll be ready for OTAs next week. According to 9news, four people were taken to the hospital following the incident. The woman who crashed into Henderson, 37-year-old Rainbow Sunset Espinoza, has been hit with 11 charges, including DUI-drugs vehicular assault, eluding officers, motor vehicle theft, driving a car without plates and several other offenses.
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The 25-year-old Boston spent 2017 with the Los Angeles Chargers after three seasons with the Carolina Panthers. Boston was highly productive last season, compiling 79 tackles, five interceptions and eight passes defended. Pro Football Focus graded the defensive back as Ethan Westbrooks Authentic Jersey the ninth-best coverage safety last season. The Chargers moved on after using their first-round pick on safety Derwin James.

Despite a stellar season, the Colts represent the first sniff Boston has seen on the open market.

Vaccaro, a former New Orleans Saints first-round pick, previously visited the Miami Dolphins. At 27 years old, Vaccaro has the pedigree, compiling 385 tackles, eight interceptions, 30 passes defended and 7.5 sacks in five seasons. He’s coming off an injury-plagued campaign that ended after 12 games.

The safety market has been as slow as any in recent memory. Even a top-level talent like Tyrann Mathieu settled for a one-year prove-it deal. If the Colts, who could use playmakers at every level of the defense, snap up one of the veterans, it could cause the dominoes to finally start falling.

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Why Andujar is struggling big time

Gray gave up five runs in five innings as the Yankees lost in consecutive games for the first time since early April.

His nine hits allowed were a season high. The A’s three-run third inning, in which Gray gave up homers in an 0-2 count to Khris Davis (solo) and a 3-1 count to Matt Chapman (a two-run blast), was Gray’s lowest point.

Only one rare occasions has Gray resembled the pitcher the Yankees thought they were getting when they sent three MLB.com top 100 prospects to Oakland for Gray last July.

Gray had a career 3.45 ERA in five seasons in Oakland, making an All-Star game and finishing third in the Cy Young in 2015.

After giving up just two runs in six innings in each of his last two starts, Boone hoped Gray was turning a corner. He hoped that Austin Romine, officially his personal catcher, was one of the catalysts.

But Romine was behind the plate Friday and it didn’t appear to make much of a difference.

Meanwhile, his father says Tuesday’s announcement ticks on box for his son.

“Ryan had two goals going into the year — a Pro Bowl and a Super Bowl,” Vernon said. “He’s been able to check one off the list. He’s hoping to check the next one off.”

Based on this year’s draft, which veterans are in grave danger? That was the subject of Tuesday’s PFT Live draft.

Check out the choices below, and then chime in with your thoughts on where we were right and where we were wrong. As if you need to be encouraged on the latter.

Rob Gronkowski ’s contract situation was in the news again this week, and I’ll reiterate something I said a couple weeks ago.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the player and team are waiting until May 24 to push something over the proverbial goal line.

That’s the one-year anniversary of Gronk’s last restructure, and after that date the rules loosen considerably on the hoops the sides have to jump through to give the All-Pro a raise.

“I can’t wait to whip up on you twice this year, and the next year and the next year and the next year after that,” Kahlil said he told Reggie, via Adam Teicher of ESPN.com. “We’re a competitive family [by] nature. We compete in everything we do. This just adds one more ripple into that. We’re all excited for it. I’m excited to get to Kansas City and just help the Chiefs . . . whoop up on the Raiders [and] whoop up on the rest of the NFL.”broncos_053_32e7ae5374957386-180x180

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Derrick Johnson: Jon Gruden was ‘big factor’ in signing

Limited Mens Derek Roy Jersey Derrick Johnson said he had offers from three or four teams Womens Vonn Bell Jersey to join their squads this offseason, but he picked the Raiders over them all mainly for one big reason: Chucky.
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He felt it’s the best he’s felt, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before Wednesday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox.

Bird likely will play a few Florida State League games for Tampa, then be assigned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to finish out his rehab assignment.
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The Yankees are optimistic that Bird will be ready to come off the disabled list later this month.

Once he starts the rehab process I would think (it’ll last) 10-to-20 days kind of depending on how it goes, Boone said. I think one of the good things for Greg is that he basically had a full spring training, so that being said we’ve obviously got to build him up to where he’s playing nine innings to where he’s playing nine innings back-to-back and bouncing back.

The 34-year-old was recently released by the Giants after hauling in just 18 passes for an anemic 154 yards (8.6 yards per reception) in five games last season.

Nearly three years removed from his last quality season, the six-time Pro Bowl selection is nearing the end of a highly productive career.

If he still has a spring in his step, however, he can help a Seattle offense that lost red-zone weapon Jimmy Graham and deep threat Paul Richardson to free agency.

In defense of Capers, who the Packers fired in January after nine seasons in charge of their defense, he hasn’t always been working with top-notch defensive talent, especially recently. That lack of talent limited what he could do.

Williams, who played with the Packers from 2007 to 2014 and signed to return this offseason, is still correct, though. Now comes the hard part for him and the rest of the Packers players. Capers is gone, and it’s on them to fix it.

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49ers sign a trio of draft picks

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The 2011 labor deal dramatically streamlined the process for getting rookie draft picks signed and sealed. As a result, plenty of teams that previously didn’t even start negotiating until after the Fourth of July are now getting these deals done before Memorial Day.
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The 49ers are on the front end of the draft-pick signing parade by getting three of their selections under contract. The team announced the transactions on Saturday.

Officially members of the team are third-round defensive back Tarvarius Moore, seventh-round receiver Richie James Jr., and seventh-round defensive tackle Jullian Taylor.

More teams should get rookies signed before they ever take the field, and more rookies (and their agents) should insist on it. While unsigned rookies enter into letters of protection Authentic T.J. Oshie Jersey that promise them the money they’d get if they suffer a serious injury before signing their contracts, the best protection comes from signing the contract.

The Steelers have Sean Davis strong safety and Morgan Burnett at free safety, so this is a bit of reach in the first round with the future of their defense in mind rather than their bigger need at inside linebacker. Edmunds in time can become the hard-hitting leader Troy Polamalu once was, but he’s not the same kind of freelancer against the pass.

I know him to be of the character and the kind of individual that is very capable of not only competing and overcoming the fact that he hadn’t played this past year. I think he’s capable of that. But I don’t want to be presumptuous in any way whether or not he’s going to qualify to be reinstated.

Gregory has 20 tackles and a sack in 14 games since the Cowboys made him a second-round pick.

Elite Mens Stephen Curry Jersey THOU SHALT PLAY music. It’s less like one of baseball’s infinite unwritten rules and more like a commandment. For eight months straight, a group of grown men spends upward of 10 hours a day together in close quarters. Half that time is spent out on the field, stretching, preparing and, of course, playing the actual game. The other half is spent in the locker room.

Getting dressed, getting ready, getting focused. Playing cards, checking phones, killing time. Talking to reporters, talking to teammates, talking to themselves. Through it all, songs — and the guys who play them — are the clubhouse constant.

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Cardinals cut two to make room for rookies

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The Cardinals cut a pair of players Wednesday to make room for the new class of rookies.
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The reasonable response to the Leafs losing in seven games to the Boston Bruins is that they’re in the absolute final year of their education process as a playoff team; that they’re two or three defensemen away from being a serious contender, lest one believes they can win a Stanley Cup by allowing that tonnage of shots from opponents; that it was remarkable there even was a Game 7, considering the Leafs played three games minus Nazem Kadri due to his hair-trigger idiocy; and that an injured Auston Authentic Luke Schenn Jersey Matthews saw roughly 37 minutes more of Zdeno Chara than did Mitch Marner, and had one goal and one assist to show for it.

That was a result of a bet with the Philadelphia Zoo, which would have had to name something Brady if the Eagles had lost (though Ichiro Suzuki has probably never heard of a goat either).
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I’ve been practicing law for about five years, but I’ve lived football my whole life by virtue of my dad. He had me and my little sister after he retired, so my experience was as a daughter of a former athlete. That meant seeing what life looks like after football — physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, really just every part of it. When he passed away, I was very angry, upset — just a lot of emotions.

It was a very rough period, and I was kind of in a funk, just kind of going through the motions of life. I realized I needed to do something; I’ve got to make some kind of changes. I thought, OK, I’m a lawyer, and I love football, been around football my entire life. Maybe I should try to help guys like my dad. I don’t think football caused my dad to pass away. I know that it caused him a lot of pain physically, mentally, emotionally. But it also gave him a wonderful career and opportunity he certainly otherwise never would’ve had.

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What It Means For the Cowboys

Dallas is moving to a more Dak Friendly offense, but it’s going to be interesting to see how it actually unfolds. With Dez Bryant and Witten gone from Dallas, the top options for the Cowboys are Allen Hurns, Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley. Dallas also drafted Michael Gallup in the third round; it’s a lot to ask of him just to slide in year one and replace Dez.

Several all-time great athletes are expected to join in the council alongside Belichick, including Mariano Rivera, Herschel Walker, golfer Natalie Gulbis and three-time Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist Misty May-Treanor. Dr. Oz will part of the committee, too, despite his long history of promoting junk science, such as when he dedicated an entire show to reparative therapy for homosexuals.

The San Francisco 49ers got a jump on their offensive-minded offseason when they acquired franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo at midseason. That brings them full circle to keep focusing on defense with their team needs in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Since Witten took a week to mull things over, that gave Jerry Jones some extra time to come up with the perfect retirement gift, and let’s just say the Cowboys owner didn’t disappoint. At the end of Witten’s press conference, Jones presented his star tight end with a diamond football. I repeat, Jones gave Witten a football made of diamonds. That is way better than a gold watch.

Witten probably won’t be playing catch with that. The football was so blinged-out, it didn’t even look real, which I’m guessing is why Jones let Witten’s wife, Michele, know that the football was real and spectacular. Michele, Jones said as he was lining up for a photo. These are all real. Here’s a closer look at Witten’s retirement gift. Jason Witten got a nice retirement gift from Jerry Jones.

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Akeem Spence has taken a pay cut, according to an ESPN report.

Spence’s base salary was trimmed from $3.15 million to $2.575 million in 2018. But according to the report, he’ll have an opportunity to earn more than the difference back in bonuses. It’s unclear whether those are based on performance or playing time.tigers_023-115x115

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The Earl Thomas dream might not be over yet for the Cowboys

Elsewhere, a Lamar Miller-D’Onta Foreman running back tandem should give defenses problems. Receiver Will Fuller scored seven touchdowns in 10 games a year ago and should be back strong. Star wideout DeAndre Hopkins, owner of 174 targets and 13 scores last year, should keep forcing all the coverage his way.聽
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The Texans are a force and look poised to remind anyone who might have forgotten that, with the added bonus being a J.J. Watt-led defense鈥攚hich now boasts Tyrann Mathieu鈥攚ill consistently put the offense in great field position.聽
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The two teams have reportedly been in trade discussions since the NFL Combine but when it came down to the moment of truth on draft night, neither team blinked on their respective positions. While the Seahawks felt they were owed picks galore to relinquish Thomas’ services; the Cowboys felt their need to pay him a long-term contract should afford them a discount. After it all played out, the Cowboys Authentic Julius Peppers Jersey decided they’ll make do with their current secondary options and would hope to pursue Thomas in free agency in 2019.

Seahawks general manager John Schneider was already meeting the Cowboys halfway by coming down from the reported original asking price of a first and third-round pick and wouldn’t budge any further.

Appearing on Wednesday’s edition of The Rich Eisen Show, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan confirmed that No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold will compete with veteran incumbent Josh McCown for the starting job.

We’re going to basically expose him to everything, Maccagnan said. We’re going to give him the opportunity to go out there [and learn] the position. But of course our focus is not necessarily to throw him into the fire until he’s earned it.

But we’re very excited about him and his upside potential…. He’s going to have every opportunity to go out there and hopefully fulfill every potential we see in him.

Not satisfied with that equivocal answer, Eisen asked point-blank if Darnold will have the opportunity to earn the Week 1 nod.

Limited Kids Ahkello Witherspoon Jersey A round later, the Chiefs grabbed聽Derrick Nnadi, a defensive tackle who could work his way into the rotation in the heart of the defense, at times even pairing with Speaks.聽

The rest of the class (all six picks were defensive, by the way, a year removed from landing Patrick Mahomes) falls under the help on special teams for now category, including third-round pick聽Dorian O’Daniel, who checks in at 6’1 and 223 pounds with good measureables but needs some development.聽

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Jones’ production in 2016 would’ve made him an early Day 3 selection and potential sleeper candidate for a cornerback-needy team.

Unfortunately, a summer injury prevented him from putting out another good year of tape and instead only enhanced the apparent limitations to his game. He’s got a great frame with raw technique to build on and should find work in an NFL training camp.
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Thomas simply doesn’t meet many of the thresholds when discussing NFL size and athleticism. Add in that he has some off-field concerns, and it’s hard to envision a scenario where he’s drafted. Thomas’ best bet is to land in camp with a team and hope for some patience that puts him on a practice squad for a year or two.

Moore uses his stout frame to disrupt receivers any opportunity he gets. The rest of his game is underwhelming and shows a limited athlete that will struggle to compete consistently with NFL-caliber receivers with good footwork. He’s a Authentic Mark Sanchez Jersey training-camp body and special teams player who should hope to land on a practice squad.

Moseley is a good athlete, but there are lapses in his play that undo any solid technique until that point. He appears to sit too deep in his hips and struggles to fire out of his pedal and transition downhill, creating easy separation. He should land in camp but will have to overcome size concerns as well to earn a practice squad spot.

Instead, the Broncos passed and chose Chubb, whom Klis notes the team had tied with Saquon Barkley as being the top player in the draft. But the Bills were also willing to part with one of their second-rounders 鈥?either No. 53 or No. 56 鈥?in a deal that was going to involve Denver sending Buffalo one of its third-round choices (either No. 71 or No. 99).

So, the Broncos valued the N.C. State-honed pass rusher immensely, passing on additional first- and second-round picks in order to stay put.

After a lot of talk about the Denver Broncos potentially selecting a developmental quarterback, either in the first round or later on, nothing came of it during the NFL Draft.
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The Broncos went the entire draft without selecting a quarterback, and general manager John Elway confirmed that Denver wouldn’t be adding anyone after the draft either, ensuring a battle between Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly to be Case Keenum’s backup.

Limited Mens Mark Melancon Jersey McNair came under fire after an account of a follow-up meeting of owners only, published by聽Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr.聽of ESPN.com, quoted him as saying the league couldn’t have the inmates running the prison.

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Steelers trade Martavis Bryant to Raiders for 3rd-rounder

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Clark Griswold Authentic Jersey The Pittsburgh Steelers sent wide receiver Martavis Bryant to the Oakland Raiders for the No. 79 overall pick (third round) in the 2018 NFL Draft, the team announced Thursday. The Steelers originally said the trade was for the No. 75 pick.
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The troubled receiver attempted to force his way out of Pittsburgh during the 2017 season after his role diminished following a return from a yearlong suspension for multiple violations of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

Colts (from Jets) 鈥?Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa: He’s a different type of corner than departed Vontae Davis, but still addresses a major problem area for an evolving defense. Jackson and S Malik Hooker, Blaine Gabbert Jersey last year’s first rounder, would give Indianapolis a pair of accomplished ball hawks.

Buccaneers 鈥?Derrius Guice, RB, LSU: He’s a thumper who will force even NFL defensive backs to make business decisions when he breaks into opposing secondaries. Like ex-teammate Leonard Fournette,聽Guice should display more effectiveness as a receiver than he could in college.

Bears 鈥?Harrison Phillips, DL, Stanford: His 42 reps on the bench made him the 2018 combine champ for all positions. At 6-4, 307 pounds, he should be fine to play five-technique on a three-man Chicago front that needs to give Akiem Hicks more help. Harrison’s wrestling background 鈥?he was a three-time Nebraska state champion in high school 鈥?and non-stop effort (103 tackles last year!) will serve him well.聽

The Jets have a crowded quarterback room that now includes incumbent starter Josh McCown, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg in addition to Bridgewater and Darnold. There’s no way they will keep all five.

Among the group, Petty and Hackenberg could very well be cut, while McCown would be most likely to stay (Darnold being on the roster is a no-brainer).

Jaguars 鈥斅燭aven Bryan, DT, Florida:聽This sure seems like a case of the Jags sticking to their board, because they certainly don’t need defensive line help. Bryan isn’t highly experienced, but his motor’s always revving, and he can play inside or out like new teammates Malik Jackson and Calais Campbell.聽But good teams don’t steer away from talent, and Tom Coughlin’s Giants won two Super Bowls with a deep fleet of pass rushers.

Vikings 鈥斅燤ike Hughes, CB, Central Florida:聽GM Rick Spielman must have let Mike Zimmer make this pick given the coach’s endless desire to collect talented corners. Hughes may replace unsigned聽Terence Newman聽as the Vikes’ new nickelback between Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes, both first rounders themselves. However, Hughes’ real impact as a rookie may be as a returner after he averaged nearly 32 yards a聽kickoff in college and almost 17 per punt return.

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