Monthly Archives: November 2016

Falcons release Steven Jackson

The Atlanta Falcons have released veteran running back Steven Jackson, the team announced on Thursday. Jackson has been one of the most effective running backs in the NFL for about a decade, but the 31-year-old has slowed considerably in his two seasons with the Falcons.

When new Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan neglected to say whether Jackson Jamon Brown Youth Jersey would be back in 2015, it was pretty clear that his chances of returning were slim. He was set to make $3.75 million in 2015 and the Falcons will save that same amount against the cap.

Jackson put up eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons with the St. Louis Rams between 2005 and 2012, including 1,045 yards (4.1 yards per carry) and four touchdowns in 2012. That was his final year with the team that drafted him all the way back in 2004. But it wasn’t just injuries that limited Jackson with the Falcons. He also struggled when he was actually on the field, posting per carry averages of 3.5 and 3.7 yards in 2013 and 2014. In all, he ran for 1,250 yards and 12 touchdowns in two seasons with the Falcons.

It’s also far from a sure thing that Mariota will be on the board by the time the fifth overall selection rolls around. While Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is the popular pick to be the No. 1 selection of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and was the pick for King, the Sports Illustrated columnist noted that “Mariota is absolutely not out of the picture” for the first pick.

The blockbuster trade for Mariota wasn’t the only noteworthy projection by King, who also had Alabama’s Amari Cooper as the second wide receiver off the board. Instead, he slated the Oakland Raiders to take West Virginia’s Kevin White with the fourth pick and praised the Jared Goff Youth Jersey receiver as the “latter-day version of Larry Fitzgerald.” Cooper fell two more picks before getting scooped up by the New York Jets.

Florida outside linebacker Dante Fowler also fared well in King’s mock, going just behind Winston with the No. 2 overall selection to the Titans.

Sam Bradford has been relying on a lot of short passes this season.

How has Bradford performed versus expectations?

He wasn’t impressive Shon Coleman Womens Jersey on Thursday, but I think it’s fair to say Bradford has played the best football of his career or come very close this season. Take a look at the chart.

Bradford has become a further-realized version of himself. He has looked into the mirror, liked what he saw, and doubled down on Sam Bradfordness. He’s throwing shorter passes than ever before — likely called with a leaky O-line in mind — averaging a league-low 5.9 air yards per attempt, but completing those throws at an extremely high rate and avoiding interceptions almost entirely. Bradford has been a caricature of a game manager.

You can be a useful NFL quarterback with this sort of profile, with Alex Smith as the most obvious example, but the margin for error is extremely thin. Smith made one bad read and threw an interception in the end zone last week and it cost the Chiefs the game; Thursday, Bradford made his own mistake on third down in the final minute and it handed Detroit a come-from-behind victory.

These two teams have suffered through the same sort of issues on Spencer Drango Womens Jersey offense — neither team finishes drives, and neither is in the league’s top 10 in passing yards per game. That means a mistake here or a mistake there — or a four-interception day like the Broncos’ offense had last November against the Chiefs — would cost the Broncos. And this year’s Broncos have simply lost their overall concentration more than last year’s, which has shown up in their lack of a running game and lapses in their run defense. They haven’t shown the chops to win on their own bad day, so any slip in how they conduct their business will result in a painful loss in the AFC West race.

The Broncos are 4-1 at home this season, and the only loss came when rookie backup Paxton Lynch started at QB in Week 5 against the Atlanta Falcons. The Broncos are 21-6 overall coming off their bye week, including six wins in a row, and 15-3 in home games after their bye week. They’re rested and healthy and, they say, motivated to make the most of what’s left of this season. If that’s really the case, it should show up on the scoreboard. Broncos 23, Chiefs 13

Newton has completed a career-worst 56.5 percent of his passes.

Look at the evidence:

Newton has completed a career-worst 56.5 percent of his passes. His career low is 57.7 percent in 2012.

Newton has 11 touchdown passes, which Fred Biletnikoff Authentic Jersey equates to 18 for the season. He had a career-low 18 touchdown passes in 2014, but he missed two games that season.

Newton has rushed 62 times for 268 yards. That would equate to a career-low 103 attempts for a career-low 447 yards. The 103 actually would equal the 2014 total, but again Newton played in only 14 games.

As a result of this and injuries, the Panthers have gone from the league’s No. 1 scoring offense in 2015 (31.3 points per game) and second overall offense to 12th in scoring (24.4 PPG) and 15th in total offense.

Anquan Boldin (80) celebrates with Eric Ebron (85) after catching a touchdown pass in the first quarter.

With Stafford, the Lions believe. With Prater, the Lions have a kicker who Gabe Jackson Authentic Jersey has made all 25 game-tying or game-winning field goal attempts in the fourth quarter in his career. And in Slay, they have their shutdown, big-play cornerback.

This was huge for Detroit. It puts the Lions a game up in the NFC North over Minnesota and also gives them the tiebreaker if the teams end up with the same record. And with five games to play, this means the Lions have the inside track to their first NFC divisional title since 1993.

Considering where Detroit was at the start of October — 1-3 and in last place in the division — this has been nothing short of remarkable. These are the situations in which the Lions used to lose, used to give away the lead and be on the other end of the big comeback.

After Washington cut the Cowboys’ lead to 17-12 one play into the fourth quarter, Prescott completed passes of 19 yards (to Ezekiel Elliott), 12 (to Cole Beasley) and 13 (to Dez Bryant) before he sprinted to the corner of the end zone for a 6-yard run with 10:49 to play.

He’s in a bit of a logjam on the Patriots’ receiver depth chart

Marqise Lee, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (4.4 percent). If I had to choose a Jacksonville pass-catcher not named Allen Robinson to have in my fantasy lineup, it would be Lee over Allen Hurns. He has four catches in three straight games and at least four catches in 8-of-10 games this season. He’s a deeper-league add who can be used in PPR leagues. Lee has made significant strides in his third pro season.

Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings (49.3 percent). I Brooks Reed Womens Jersey debated whether or not to include McKinnon in this column, as he has had just two games this season with more than four fantasy points but five games this year with double-digit rushes. Just two more teams have a bye left on their schedule, which should help fill lineups out, so McKinnon is only a deeper-league add for someone in need of backfield help.

Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets (41.1 percent). I don’t have an explanation for Powell’s ownership declining this past week other than the Jets being on a bye. But he’s a steady option that has been in flex consideration for some time in PPR formats. He will continue to have a role alongside Matt Forte in New York and is a smart pickup in leagues with 12 or more team owners.

Cameron Meredith, WR, Chicago Bears (41.0 percent). For three more games, the Bears will be without wideout Alshon Jeffery, and their top tight end Zach Miller is now out for the season as well. Meredith hauled in all four of his targets in Week 11 and is the nominal No. 1 pass-catcher in Chicago until Jeffery’s return in Week 15. He should be added in any-size league and is in flex consideration in 12-team-or-larger leagues.

Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers (17.0 percent). This is a numbers-speak-for-themselves argument: In his five games as a starter, Kaepernick has averaged 18.6 fantasy points per game. The 49ers offense isn’t particularly good, but Kaepernick offers enough fantasy Chris Chester Womens Jersey value as a dual-threat quarterback (he’s already fourth among quarterbacks in rushing yards) to be considered as a streamer for an owner whose normal starter faces a stiff test in a given week. He’s a good depth option to have on the bench or use as a spot-starter.

Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott could help the Cowboys record their ninth straight win Sunday

In their illustrious history, the Dallas Cowboys have never ripped off nine straight wins in the same season.

A victory Sunday against the Ravens, who will be making their first trip to AT&T Stadium, would give the 2016 Cowboys a piece of history.

There is a lot of that going around the Cowboys these days. Elliott needs just 2 yards to break Tony Dorsett’s team rookie record for rushing yards in a season. Prescott already owns the team rookie records for wins, yards and touchdown passes and needs 24 completions to eclipse Troy Aikman’s record of 293.

But the Cowboys aren’t interested Mike Cammalleri Authentic Jersey in history just yet.

“This is not a time to reflect back on anything,” coach Jason Garrett said.

They hope to do that sometime in February.

“Sergey gets to show his abilities and talents and Main Events has the ability to know exactly how to move him perfectly. This is the kind of opportunity that I have been waiting for for a very long time, to prove myself, to prove my staff, to prove my company that we were still there and we could do this and I think we gave Sergey the opportunity to prove what he can do. It was a beautiful thing and meant to be.”

For three years and 18 fights, Klimas brought Kovalev all over the country, paying Patrik Elias Authentic Jersey to put his fights on cards, building his record and hoping to get noticed by a promoter. But they all passed as Kovalev fought on small cards in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, California, Kentucky, Georgia, Illinois, the state of Washington and once in Russia, an ill-fated 2011 bout in which his opponent, Roman Simakov, died from brain injuries suffered in a seventh-round knockout loss.

Kovalev, who routinely declines to speak of the incident, thought about quitting after the fight, but eventually made the decision to go on.

Mike Trout finally winning an MVP award without any of the usual crutches of default MVP voting will seem to mean something

In the same way that Felix Hernandez’s Cy Young was supposed to mean something, Mike Trout finally winning an MVP award without any of the usual crutches of default MVP voting will seem to mean something. Resist that conclusion. This is not about the voters, and it is not about us. It’s about Mike Trout, the greatest player you’ve ever seen, and his very good year, and a decision made by 30 men and women that is worth celebrating because it might not happen again.

Voters have been struggling with what an MVP is since just about the very beginning. The MVP award was launched in a series of fits and starts, under various aegises and rules, just over a century ago. By the mid-1920s, sports-section readers could already count on columnists making a case for some player and struggling with the ambiguity in the name of the award itself. In 1927, Bob Ray of the Los Angeles Times took a shot at defining it through the lens of one candidate:

Gehrig is a good guess, all right, but don’t entirely overlook Signor Antonio Lazzeri, who also cavorts on the Yankee infield. Lazzeri’s all-around play has been one of the features of the season and his ability to fill in at any of the infield berths is one reason why the Yankees are so far out in front.
The attributes that Ray laid out included: utility (Lazzeri played a bunch of positions after teammates went down); clutchness (“Lazzeri has rapped most of his four baggers when they meant the ball game, one of them coming with the bases full”); marketable Italianness (“Lazzeri packs in the Italian fans wherever the Yankees play”); and outstanding defense (“fielding has been so phenomenal that eastern critics are pronouncing him ‘Another Lajoie'”).

You would like to think we’ll have no fuzz on those memories, but the truth is that these awards go a long way to how we define and remember a career. Big round numbers do, too, but those numbers are affected by so many things that are hard to account for in our heads a half-century later: the run-scoring environment of the era, the ballpark he played Laquon Treadwell Authentic Womens Jersey in, for instance, but more than that. In 50 years, who even knows which stats we’ll look at, or what we’ll value in a player. There’s a pretty good chance we’ll be measuring “modern” players in the future using data that don’t even exist yet for Trout, and that we can’t go back to collect retroactively. What we will have, what will be permanent, are these annual assessments by the BBWAA. And in a just world, Mike Trout, just a couple months past his 25th birthday, would already have five MVP awards. You would care to see that.

Two, at least, is better than one. It’s a victory worth celebrating.

But I’m skeptical it’s a victory any broader than that. Late last month, the players voted on Sporting News MLB Player of the Year. Their Linval Joseph Authentic Womens Jersey winner was Jose Altuve. Mookie Betts finished second, followed by David Ortiz, Kris Bryant, Daniel Murphy and finally Mike Trout. Five players on contending teams, who all helped their team win or stay close to a division crown, ahead of Trout, whose team played for nothing. That has been one of Trout’s challenges in winning the MVP award, before this year: He hasn’t been playing on postseason teams, and some years, for some players, some voters decide that’s important. But that’s the MVP award. Notice what’s missing in the Sporting News MLB Player of the Year Award name? The word value. The voters for this award decided five other major leaguers played better than Mike Trout because they just didn’t care enough to get it right.

The Cardinals were coming off a 90-win season and a National League Central title in 2014

Mozeliak reached out to Hill immediately after Fernandez’s death, and the two have spoken several times since. Among the insights Mozeliak has shared: Work can be therapeutic.

“You want to be respectful to the parents and siblings and people in that inner circle who are going to grieve for a long time,” Mozeliak said. “But going back to business actually helps with the healing. It’s hard to get your hands around a tragedy when you’re [forcing yourself] not to think about it. When you have something to focus on — like getting Marcus Easley Authentic Jersey the club going again from an organizational standpoint — it makes it a lot easier.”

At the time of Taveras’ death, he was regarded as an elite prospect still trying to get over the hump. Taveras had just hit .239 with a .590 OPS in 80 games as a rookie, and the Cardinals knew he had some maturing to do and adjustments to make Marquise Goodwin Authentic Jersey to take his game to another level.

The Cardinals were coming off a 90-win season and a National League Central title in 2014, and Mozeliak couldn’t afford to stand pat and let things sort themselves out in the spring. So he made a bold offseason move, acquiring right fielder Jason Heyward and reliever Jordan Walden from the Atlanta Braves for pitchers Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins before Thanksgiving. Heyward logged a .293/.359/.439 slash line and won a Gold Glove to help the Cardinals win 100 games in 2015 before leaving to sign a $184 million contract with the Chicago Cubs.

“We leaned on our bullpen a lot last year because it was a strength for us, and our starting pitching on the whole wasn’t as strong,” Hill said. “To build that way is another route we can take. Get versatile, multi-inning pieces in the bullpen and try to shorten a game. We’ve seen the trends of late with Kansas City and [Cleveland] in the postseason. We have the pieces in place already, so that might be a way to ease the blow.”

If Hill is looking for a current road map on how to move past Fernandez on and off the field, none exist. The closest comparable came two years ago in St. Louis, when star outfield prospect Oscar Taveras died in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic at age 22.

Taveras’ death marked the third encounter with tragedy for St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak in 20 years with the organization. Mozeliak was assistant GM under Walt Jocketty when veteran starter Darryl Kile died of a heart ailment in 2002, and was in the same role when pitcher Josh Hancock was killed in a car accident in 2007.

“You felt Jose every fifth day on the mound, and the energy he brought. But this was also a young man who loved life and lived it to the fullest. He had a pure energy and passion for the game that was infectious. I don’t think you can separate the two.”
Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill

Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. fastest to 3,500 receiving yards

New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. continues to rewrite the record book.

“Just not being accountable,” he said of what went wrong in his rookie year. “Not making the right calls, not being in the right position, being out-leveraged. I knew the defense by the end of the year, but it’s night and day now as far Javorius Allen Youth Jersey as knowing the defense, being sound, being in the right position. It’s so much better now.”

“I didn’t know that it was gonna happen,” McGowan said. “The first day of spring practice last year, they were kind of like, ‘Oh, hey, you’re with the tight ends now, so good luck.'”

McGowan didn’t say anything. “Is this really happening right now?” he thought.

It was.

He had two more catches in his senior season, both for touchdowns. His cameos earned him an All-Big 12 honorable mention and a bona fide Piesman Trophy candidacy.

Nowadays, McGowan is steeped Jeremy Zuttah Youth Jersey in preparation for this month’s NFL Draft. There’s a lot of uncertainty in his world. He thinks he can be a starting guard and said he’ll line up at fullback or defensive tackle if a team wants him there.

McGowan spent five years in Baylor’s outrageously productive offense, the last couple as a role player. The Bears run a sort of pro-style spread, and McGowan feels prepared for what’s next.

“A lot of the things that we do, you see in the NFL,” he told SB Nation. “Well, maybe not using a 400-pound tight end. But a lot of the things that we do stem from the NFL, the style of play, I believe, that the NFL uses. You’ve got workout training and stuff like that, that’s like the NFL. Offseason, it would be just like the NFL. Everything that we do stems around how things are done at the next level.”

But he hasn’t been able to gauge interest yet from any specific teams. He’s going into the draft somewhat blind.

If Rockies want to win, trading Carlos Gonzalez doesn’t add up

Carlos Gonzalez has been a member of the Colorado Rockies since 2009 and the subject of trade rumors for at least the past three seasons. He’s still in town, however, and is now entering the final year of a contract extension he signed in January 2011. He’ll earn $20 million in 2017 for his age-31 season, coming off a year in which he hit .298/.350/.505 with 25 home runs. Baseball-Reference valued him at 2.2 WAR, the value of an average major leaguer as opposed to his All-Star-caliber reputation.

Anyway, I just don’t think the Rockies would get much in return. Given his $20 million salary and the current cost per WAR on the Shaun Hill Authentic Jersey free-agent market, his contract is probably a little above market value. The Rockies aren’t going to be able to trade away his salary and get a good return in player value as well. You also have to factor in that opposing GMs are always going to be wary of how a Rockies player will perform outside of Colorado (although it’s worth noting that Dexter Fowler has put up similar numbers after leaving the Rockies). Finally, Gonzalez has turned into a player with significant platoon splits, hitting just .237/.257/.400 the past three seasons against lefties. All of that cuts his value.

So they may as well keep him. Plus, the Teddy Bridgewater Authentic Jersey Rockies should consider adding offense, not subtracting it. In the park-adjusted wRC+ at FanGraphs, their offense ranked just 16th in the majors and ninth in the NL (that’s not including pitchers). In fact, with a big hole at first base, the Rockies have discussed signing Gonzalez to an extension and possibly moving him to first base. That’s an interesting idea given the team’s problems there for a long time now. As I wrote in our offseason questions piece for the Rockies, they’ve basically been faking the position for a decade. Here’s the Rockies’ annual ranking among the 30 teams in Wins Above Average at first base.

It’s worth noting that Hart was general manager in Cleveland when the Indians signed Colon as a 20-year-old amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 1993. Hart was gone by the time the Cleveland Indians traded Colon to Montreal for a package that included Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore and Brandon Phillips in 2002, but now the two are reunited as the Braves prepare to make the move from Turner Field to SunTrust Park.

Dickey’s 2016 season ended in disappointment when he was left off the Toronto Blue Jays’ postseason rotation, but he handled the situation with class and never caused a ripple of discord in the clubhouse. From 2011 to 2015, Dickey ranked fourth in the majors behind James Shields, Clayton Kershaw and Felix Hernandez with 1,097 innings pitched. Dickey should benefit from a return to the National League, where he won 2012 Cy Young honors with the Mets.

If the Braves can pick up where they left off in September, opportunity awaits in the NL East. The Washington Nationals are a formidable team. But the Philadelphia Phillies are rebuilding, the Miami Marlins are reeling from the loss of Jose Fernandez, and Noah Syndergaard is the only member of the Mets’ young rotation who’ll show up at spring training without some sort of medical issue.

While other teams with starting pitching issues debate whether to pursue Chris Sale or Sonny Gray in trades or invest in multiyear deals for Rich Hill and Ivan Nova, the Braves settled on a strategy and pounced. They’re committed to $20.5 million guaranteed for Colon and Dickey next season, and nothing more.

Maybe the plan works out, maybe it doesn’t. But it’s certainly defensible. And if you have a soft spot for aging guys who practice their craft with imagination and flair, it should be a heck of a lot of fun to watch.

Astros president said Monday the Exhibit at Community College be moved to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame Waco

Astros president said Monday the Exhibit at Community College be moved to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame Waco, Texas, at some point soon. The Foundation built the museum the 1990s to commemorate the career of the Hall of Fame pitcher who grew up, just south of. said a couple of employees at the museum are retiring and attendance has gone down over Doug Baldwin Authentic Jersey the years. He said the college be able to utilize the building, which includes a classroom and a community center. As we get farther away from dad’s playing days, attendance has gone down over the years and we thought about it and decided it could be a better use of space for the college, he said. We feel blessed the Texas Sports Hall of Fame agreed to take the exhibit and to have it there where thousands of sports fans can come. ‘s popularity, of course, extends well beyond and even from his time as a player and ownership partner with the Texas Rangers and his ownership of the Triple-A Round Rock Express and -A Corpus Christi Hooks. In the fall of 1996, the Earl Thomas III Authentic Jersey $1 million Center was completed and donated to Community College with space leased within the building for the Exhibit, which opened early 1999. who played with the Astros from 1980, is executive advisor with the Astros.

The Texas Sports Hall of Fame opened 1993 and also houses the Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame and Texas High School Football Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame expanded 2010 to include a banquet hall, a health, fitness and education center and a Southwest Conference exhibit. The Hall is 35 square feet.
You wouldn’t be blamed for not knowing a whole lot about Lowry before this year. He’s a 28-year-old point guard who’s averaged 11 points and five assists per game throughout his career, and who has toiled away relative obscurity Memphis, Houston, and now Toronto. This year, he became the you knew was really good, but you weren’t quite sure why. that play above? That’s why.

Lowry scored 36 points last night’s win over the Nets, and it was the play above, combined with the deep, pull-up three he hit on the previous possession, that slammed the brakes on a furious fourth-quarter comeback by the Nets. After being somewhat bottled up by the Nets’ defense throughout the series, Lowry finally broke out and grabbed a win for his team along with our attention. The stats from last night say Lowry pretty much did what he’s been doing all, but the image of Deron Williams getting dropped into a feeble three-point stance by one of the nastiest behind-the-back dribbles you’ve ever seen says that this was a for Lowry. It’s this play that is going to be featured video montages before every future Raptors playoff game; it’s this play that’s to be the top result for a YouTube search of Lowry; it’s this play that’s going to be the one that will always get mentioned anytime Lowry becomes a topic of conversation among basketball fans. That’s all true for now, at least. The Raps have a chance to close out the Nets on Friday, and if they advance, we might end up with entire reel of Lowry playoff highlights on our hands.