Shane Victorino Wont Make Cubs Roster Mulling Rehab Offer - RealGM Wiretap
Joe Maddon announced on Thursday that Shane Victorino won't be on the Chicago Cubs' Opening Day roster.

The Cubs have offered Victorino an alternative arrangement that would involve him rehabbing his ailing calf before reporting to Triple-A in hopes of earning a Major League spot.

Victorino http://www.dolphinsapparelsshop.com/isaiah-pead-dolphins-jersey-c-35/ , 35, signed a Minor League deal with the Cubs in February.

Could Nationals Target Rollins - RealGM Wiretap The Nationals could try to make another big splash this winter by targeting Prince Fielder, but Ken Rosenthal writes that perhaps they should set their sights lower by going after shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Rollins, who will turn 33 later this year, figures to remain with the Phillies, but the Nationals would benefit from his defense and leadership. Jays Option Aaron Sanchez To Class A To Limit Innings - RealGM Wiretap

Aaron Sanchez is being sent to the minor leagues as Toronto skips a start to limit his innings.

Toronto optioned the 24-year-old right-hander to Class A Dunedin on Sunday. The Blue Jays plan to recall him to start against the Baltimore Orioles on Aug. 31.

Sanchez is 12-2 with a 2.99 ERA, fifth-best in the American League. He has made 24 starts and thrown a career-high 156⅓ innings. He likely will not pitch in the minors.

"We've talked a lot about this over the year http://www.dolphinsapparelsshop.com/isa-abdul-quddus-dolphins-jersey-c-29/ ," Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins said. "Not just over the last month, but as good as Aaron has become, we all along thought at some point we'll have to manage his workload. That's what this is about. He'll come right back in the rotation."

Carlos Gomez OK After Collision With Braun - RealGM Wiretap

Carlos Gomez says his neck is OK after he had to leave Saturday night's game against the Colorado Rockies following a collision in the outfield with Ryan Braun.

Gomez suffered a neck strain. He was scared initially after feeling a tingling sensation throughout his body. He had a headache and sore neck, but passed a concussion test.

He was not in the starting lineup for the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

Gomez also hurt his head Friday night after sliding headfirst into second and glancing off second baseman Josh Rutledge's leg.

"We have extra players, so we decided to have a day after I [got] hit twice in the head," Gomez said. "Everything is fine. The neck is OK."

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  • It's official: Rams won't pick up Greg Robinson's fifth-year option

    The Los Angeles Rams will not pick up the fifth-year option on Greg Robinson’s rookie contract,Authentic Walter Payton Jersey, a long-expected decision that became official during Tuesday’s deadline.

    bringing even more uncertainty to his future with the Rams., but has struggled at left tackle,Robinson was the second overall pick out of Auburn in 2014, enough so that the Rams guaranteed 35-year-old Andrew Whitworth $15 million over the offseason to replace him. The Whitworth addition will prompt Robinson to transition to right tackle

    Robinson committed an NFL-leading 31 total penalties. Last year,Over the last two years, was a freakish athlete coming out of college, Robinson finished tied for 71st among 78 qualified tackles, according to Pro Football Focus' grading system. Robinson, which saw him get benched for two separate games,Authentic Greg Olsen Jersey, 332 pounds,Authentic Thomas Davis Sr Jersey,Authentic Jordan Howard Jersey, listed at 6-foot-5,Authentic Andy Dalton Jersey, but has had a hard time adjusting to NFL protection schemes at the offensive line's most demanding position.

    but never got the consistent production., who has been replaced by Aaron Kromer,Former offensive line coach Paul Boudreau, saw intermittent flashes from Robinson

    it’s just a matter of his technique. He’s all over the place with his feet,"It’s been a learning curve for him from the beginning, he’s all over the place with his hands. And when he gets in trouble," Boudreau said towards the end of the 2016 season." Recently, he grabs, when he stops his feet,Greg Olsen Jersey,Thomas Davis Sr Jersey,Walter Payton Jersey,Jordan Howard Jersey,Andy Dalton Jersey, and he gets those holding penalties that you really don’t need. So he’s got to concentrate on focusing on the little things."
  • FLORHAM PARK — The consensus is that Bryce Petty will not be the Jets' starting quarterback this fall.

    the 2016 second-round pick,Veteran Josh McCown is the sensible option. Christian Hackenberg, would be the bold move.

    Sure,Jack Conklin Jersey, it's an open competition. But we've already seen what Petty can do: He threw three touchdowns and seven interceptions in four unremarkable starts last season.

    a 2015 fourth-round pick,Kevin Dodd Jersey, doesn't look at it that way. He views those four starts last season as a springboard,Austin Johnson Jersey,But Petty,Derrick Henry Jersey, not a scar on his résumé.

    'Hey, I can play this game,Kevin Byard Jersey,"I have the confidence now that,'" Petty said. "So that's a big thing."

    That confidence did not come without some pain, both mentally and physically.

    Last season was frustrating for Petty. When he played, he didn't play well. But coach Todd Bowles said that was to be expected.

    he had a lot to learn," Bowles said. "You put a guy in there the last four games of the year and it's his first four games after being in the league a year and not having played,"Well, it's going to be tough on him."

    the chance to start the last four games of the season -- an audition. But in his second start, he took a brutal sandwich hit from Cam Wake and Ndamukong Suh, knocking him out for the fourth quarter. Then,He finally got his big shot, in his third start of that audition in New England, Petty's season came to an end in the first half when he suffered a torn shoulder labrum while trying to make a tackle after a lost fumble.

    Of this four-game audition, Petty played lasted only about half of it.

    you've got to be out there and I wanted to be out there,Authentic Jack Conklin Jersey," Petty said. "So it was tough. It was an opportunity for me to show [the Jets] kind of what they have and what I can do. And it just didn't work out that way,Authentic Kevin Dodd Jersey,"As a quarterback,Authentic Austin Johnson Jersey, which is -- God's got a plan with all that stuff."

    the torn labrum on a tackle was a total fluke. The Suh/Wake collision came on a busted play. But Petty had been taking big hit after big hit before then,Authentic Derrick Henry Jersey,Petty said he did his best to learn from the injuries. Sure,Authentic Kevin Byard Jersey, surely reducing his durability.

    whether that's mastering protections or getting the ball out better. I'm trying to speed my drops up that way I know exactly where to go and things time up." Petty said. "That way I stay on the field and then we don't' have to worry about getting hurt and the woulda, shoulda,"I've got to stay healthy, couldas."

    Petty has completely recovered from his shoulder injury. He did struggle during Tuesday's practice, throwing a short pass directly into the arms of a linebacker for an interception in seven-on-seven drills. But it's far too early to judge too harshly as the Jets install a completely new playbook.

    the game should slow down for him [now], having played as far as anxiety thing and being a young player,"Obviously," Bowles said. "Mentally he's going to have a lot to learn and it's going to be different every week. But I think he saw a lot of things [last year] you normally wouldn't see just standing on the sideline."

    And as for the quarterback competition, Petty said he doesn't spend a lot of time thinking or worrying about where he stands in regards to Hackenberg and McCown.

    'OK, he made a good throw, I'm going to make a better throw,"It's more of a competition mind-set of,'" Petty said. "So it's a positive competition. That's what you want. There's nothing negative about it. If anything, at the end of this process I'm going to get better than I was in the first year or second year. So I like it. It's good."
  • Kyle Rudolph on Michael Floyd: 'We're all going to make mistakes'

    EDEN PRAIRIE, and serving the remainder of his 96-day house arrest sentence following his DUI last year, Minn. -- While he is reacclimatizing himself to Minnesota, Michael Floyd is bunking up with his old college roommate -- and the new roomies Kyle Rudolph has found since he was at Notre Dame.

    The Vikings tight end became a father last October when his wife Jordan gave birth to twin girls, Floyd has said in no uncertain terms he will not be helping with diaper duty. "We're working on that, and to this point," Rudolph joked on Wednesday.

    There was never much question in Rudolph's mind,Authentic Greg Olsen Jersey, though,Authentic Thomas Davis Sr Jersey, about whether he'd take Floyd in after the wide receiver's sentence was transferred from Arizona to Minnesota.

    "We're all going to make mistakes,Walter Payton Jersey,” Rudolph said. “I'm not perfect. He's not perfect. No one is. It's just a matter of what you do; you have to learn your lesson and understand that we're so fortunate to have these opportunities. It's called the Not For Long league for a reason. There are only so many opportunities, and I think he realizes that.”

    Here are some other notes and observations from the Vikings' second open organized team activity on Wednesday:

    Receiver Adam Thielen was on the field for practice,Authentic Andy Dalton Jersey, but was mostly a bystander, watching the session with his left knee wrapped. Cornerback Xavier Rhodes was also not in attendance, though his absence was neither related to an injury nor his contract, which expires after this season.

    With Thielen out, Jarius Wright joined the Vikings' top three-receiver grouping, getting some time with Stefon Diggs and Laquon Treadwell.

    The Vikings have planned their future at tackle around Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers, and T.J. Clemmings might be learning a new position. The third-year lineman worked at guard on Wednesday with the Vikings' second-team offense, while Rashod Hill and Jeremiah Sirles were at tackle with the second unit.

    Edmond Robinson was at weak-side linebacker in the Vikings' first-team defense, with Emmanuel Lamur sitting out because of injury.

    Some locker room pairings are incidental,Greg Olsen Jersey,Thomas Davis Sr Jersey, and some are not. The fact that rookie running back Dalvin Cook's locker is situated next to 38-year-old Terence Newman's,Authentic Walter Payton Jersey,Authentic Jordan Howard Jersey, one may gather,Jordan Howard Jersey,Andy Dalton Jersey, everything. He's been in the league 15 years now," Cook said. "I passed by the weight room and I see him in there squatting and lifting like he's still 25. He just says have fun and enjoy it, is not a coincidence. "He has conversations with me every day about ball, 'cause it goes by real fast. He just remembers when he was coming in the league so just have fun with it, enjoy every day. It's going to go by fast once you're having fun with it."
  • Matt Jones is buried so far down the Washington Redskins' depth chart he doesn't see the point in participating in organized
    team activities.

    NFL Network's Michael Silver reported Thursday that Jones has been told by coach Jay Gruden he is the team's No. 5 running
    motivating at least part of his decision to stay away from OTAs.,back

    Jones and Keith Marshall.,The Redskins' roster lists six running backs: Rob Kelley, Samaje Perine, Mack Brown, Chris Thompson

    Perine, a fourth-round rookie, will battle Kelley for first- and second-down snaps while Thompson takes the third-down duties.
    If the Redskins keep a fourth back,Kevin Dodd Jersey, Brown makes the most sense at this stage, given his special teams ability.

    At this point, Jones has no reason to attend workouts before a trade or release,Jack Conklin Jersey,Austin Johnson Jersey, but Gruden said Wednesday he expected the 6-
    232-pound runner to show up to workouts.,foot-2

    he's eating up a spot. We
    ,Authentic Kevin Byard Jersey,"I hope so. I expect him to be, via the team's official website. "He's on our roster," Gruden said

    all know that this is voluntary, so there's really nothing that we can do. We'd like everybody to be here without a doubt, but
    Matt Jones chose not
    ,at the end of the day, Trent [Williams] is working out in Oklahoma, Jordan Reed is in Miami working out

    to be here, so we obviously want people to work together and learn together, but it is voluntary at the end of the day."

    Jones isn't in the Redskins' plans. Gruden can expect anything he wants. Jones isn't showing up.,Authentic Jack Conklin Jersey,Authentic Kevin Dodd Jersey,Authentic Austin Johnson Jersey,Authentic Derrick Henry Jersey,Unlike Reed and Williams

    The Redskins can hold out hope that someone will give them a low-level,Derrick Henry Jersey,Kevin Byard Jersey, conditional trade offer for a young, bruising back with
    Washington likely will cut Jones at some point. The question is how far into the summer
    ,a fumbling problem. Realistically

    it'll wait before pulling the trigger.

    Bryce Petty is in the middle of a three-way quarterback competition that many believe is truly just a two-man race.

    And, he's the odd-man out.

    "I mean, it's OTAs," Petty said Tuesday after the New York Jets' fourth practice of organized team activities. "How do you have an underdog?"

    Well, there's Josh McCown, the veteran mentor who appears to be the front-runner to start in the season opener at Buffalo on Sept. 10.

    There's also Christian Hackenberg, the second-round draft pick from a year ago who has never played in a regular-season game and may or may not be the future of the franchise.

    Patrick Mahomes II Jersey
    , there's Petty,
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    , who barely made the roster last year and could face a similar uncertainty this summer.

    "I don't feel like No. 3," Petty said of the Jets' quarterback depth chart. "I don't think Hack feels like he's No. 3. I don't think Josh feels like he's No. 3,
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    , or any of the above."

    The reality,Authentic Forrest Lamp Jersey, however, is that it would be a surprise if Petty wins the job.

    "I don't read headlines," Petty said. "I don't do things like that. I'm just focused on coming in here and being better every day."

    Petty, a fourth-round pick out of Baylor in 2015, played in six games last season and started four. He hardly solidified himself as part of the Jets' future plans while throwing three touchdown passes and seven interceptions with a 60.0 quarterback rating.

    Still, he would have finished as the starter in place of Ryan Fitzpatrick if an injury to his left (non-throwing) shoulder hadn't ended his season before the finale.

    'Hey,"I have the confidence now that, 'Hey, I can play this game, I can see the rush, I can see the defense, I can make throws, sometimes you kind of make it bigger than it is. Some guys need experience to build that confidence. I think that's kind of what I needed to see that,'" Petty said. "I think that's a big thing. ... I think just kind of going through that process,Authentic Patrick Mahomes II Jersey, I can throw touchdowns,Authentic Tanoh Kpassagnon Jersey,' and things like that.

    "That's part of growing up and maturing,Authentic Kareem Hunt Jersey,Authentic Mike Williams Jersey, and maturing in this league, as well."

    Both coach Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator John Morton have said that all three quarterbacks will get chances to work with the starting offense throughout organized team activities and perhaps through minicamp. Bowles acknowledged last week that a final decision might not come until training camp in August.

    "He's learning the offense just like everybody else — him and Hack,Mike Williams Jersey," Bowles said Tuesday. "McCown has been in it before somewhat so he knows it a little more than the other guys. In the fourth practice,
    Forrest Lamp Jersey
    , it's slowing down for them and they're starting not to turn the ball over as much. They turned it over some last week and haven't turned it over as much this week. It's a process. As OTAs go, obviously, we'll look for them to improve even more."

    For Petty, from seeing the field better to reading defenses more confidently, there was a lengthy list of things he needed to work on in the offseason, to basic mechanics and footwork.

    Another key is staying healthy. Petty hurt his right shoulder in the preseason last summer, then was injured twice in his limited action during the regular season, with the second ending his stint as the starter.

    "Whether that's mastering.
  • Even though the Lions mustered just six points against Seattle in their wild-card loss, the preceding month of football had shown Detroit’s biggest need was on defense.

    Things seemed like they finally clicked for quarterback Matt Stafford,000-yard season in his first without Calvin Johnson. But the defense began failing Detroit in Week 15 and never recovered., and heading into mid-December he was a dark horse in the MVP race for posting another 4

    That’s why Lions GM Bob Quinn was so aggressive this off-season in strengthening the D. He had to spend good money to replace offensive linemen Larry Warford and Riley Reiff with T.J. Lang and Rick Wagner,Authentic James White Jersey, but that had to be done to protect their franchise quarterback. Almost everything else this off-season in Detroit has been geared toward building a defense that will give the Lions a chance in the winter months.

    The Lions closed out last season with games against the Giants,
    Dont'a Hightower Jersey
    , the defense allowed 377.5 yards and 29 points per game. The Lions had zero interceptions and zero fumble recoveries. They finished the season winless in their last four contests.,
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    , Cowboys and Packers before drawing Seattle in the playoffs. In those four games

    Quinn started free agency by getting young pass-rusher Cornelius Washington,Authentic Antonio Garcia Jersey, who thrived in his limited snaps in Chicago and appeared to be getting the hang of his position by 2016. The Lions also nabbed former Bucs defensive tackle Akeem Spence to add depth behind 11-year vet Haloti Ngata.

    Detroit also signed outside linebacker Paul Worrilow, who had gotten edged out in Atlanta by younger players. Former Oakland cornerback D.J. Hayden also signed with Detroit to play opposite Darius Slay.

    But there still remained a glaring hole in Detroit’s defense. Long-time linebacker DeAndre Levy got his walking papers this offseason after struggling to stay healthy and perform on his 2015 contract extension. Levy appeared in just four games for the Lions in his final two seasons.

    So with the 21st pick in the draft, and Quinn said immediately that Davis would be the team’s middle linebacker. Then Detroit doubled down on Gators and got cornerback Teez Tabor to compete with Hayden in training camp., Detroit took the second-best inside linebacker (behind medical- and red-flag stud Reuben Foster) in Florida’s Jarrad Davis

    Quinn told media before the draft that he saw needs on both sides of the ball, including three of the first four selections., but that’s not how his draft played out. Six of the nine picks are on the defensive side

    “Some of the moves we made on the offensive line may take one position off the board early in the draft. Other than the offensive line,” Quinn said. “Ideally once you get the team exactly how you want—we’re not exactly how we want it right now—we’re working toward that.”, we’re open to adding prospects and adding players to help us

    A convincing argument could be made that 2016 was Stafford’s greatest year as a pro,
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    , besting his 2011 season when he eclipsed 5,Authentic Dont'a Hightower Jersey,Authentic Donald Trump Jersey,Authentic Derek Rivers Jersey , tied for the most in a season all-time.,Derek Rivers Jersey,000 yards and threw 41 touchdowns in the 10-win season. Stafford got the Lions into the playoffs without Johnson and engineered eight fourth-quarter,
    Antonio Garcia Jersey
    , game-winning drives

    If Stafford can repeat that magic in 2017, the Lions have added to a defense that failed them down the stretch and are building the same type of strong, Denver and Seattle)., young and fast defense that has made an appearance in recent Super Bowls (Carolina, Atlanta

    The upgrades on defense should allow Detroit to get over the hump of ordinary team hanging on in the playoffs to one that can actually get its first postseason victory in more than a quarter-century.
  • Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson had scant seconds to scan the field, reading the situation on the fly Wednesday as he diagnosed defenses during a red-zone drill.

    Watson spotted an open wide receiver in the back corner of the end zone,Authentic Julién Davenport Jersey, but his pass arrived too late and was slightly overthrown as a potential touchdown opportunity was lost.

    A first-round draft pick who was a Heisman Trophy finalist and national champion at Clemson,
    Malik Hooker Jersey
    , Watson is making steady progress in his knowledge of the Texans' complex playbook. The Texans are seeing incremental growth from Watson as he learns to read NFL defenses to hit his receivers in stride.

    "He's gotten better,
    Quincy Wilson Jersey
    ," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said. "He's gotten better every day. I think the hard part about this week is there's more snaps in the red zone where things happen a lot faster down there. That's always something that takes a rookie quarterback probably the longest to learn how fast things happen down there.

    "But he works hard. He's in here all the time studying. I think he was coached really well at Clemson,Authentic Marlon Mack Jersey , so he has a good basic fundamental knowledge of football. He's got instincts and he's getting better every day."

    At Clemson, Watson piled up 9,744 yards and 21 scores.,201 career passing yards,Julién Davenport Jersey, 83 touchdowns and just 29 interceptions. He rushed for 1

    "He's a great guy,Authentic Malik Hooker Jersey,Authentic Quincy Wilson Jersey,Authentic Tarell Basham Jersey, great quarterback,
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    ,Marlon Mack Jersey, doing something that he loves at a high level. I'm excited to see what he can do.," said Texans nose tackle D.J. Reader, a former Clemson teammate. "He's a hard worker. It's great to see him out here having fun

    "I've seen him grow a lot. I was there when he came as a freshman. He came in and put his head down, went to work. That's him all the way. That's what Deshaun does. He's a worker."
  • The Jacksonville Jaguars running back position looks quite crowded heading into OTAs and training camp. After the team selected Leonard Fournette with the fourth pick in last month's NFL draft, the first thing that came to my mind was how would head coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett keep everybody happy.

    It's a fair question, Chris Ivory and Corey Grant all had their moments. But at the end of the day, given the fact that nobody on the roster last year gained 500 yards on the ground. TJ Yeldon, one or more of this trio could be looking for another job before the start of the NFL season.

    Tom Coughlin and David Caldwell will have to decide who stays and who goes. While there is a distinct possibility that all three are on the roster at the end of preseason,Eric Kendricks Jersey,The Jacksonville Jaguars brain trust of Marrone,Danielle Hunter Jersey, I still say things will change.

    Ivory could be the odd man out.

    Two years ago,Authentic Jacoby Brissett Jersey, didn't yield the kind of results the Jacksonville Jaguars expected. Ivory was injured during the season,Authentic Joe Thuney Jersey, and had an issue with fumbling the football. His season total of 439 yards is nothing to get excited about. While he is one of the more bruising runners in the league, although inexpensive by league standards, Ivory led the AFC in rushing as a member of the New York Jets. After the season he signed a free-agent contract with the Jaguars. The investment, everyone from the coaching staff to the fan base expected more.

    Yeldon is in the third year of his rookie deal. He figures to still be a big part of the running game. The former Alabama star is a second round pick from 2015 and should be the team’s second option behind Fournette. At 6-foot-1 and 223 pounds, he could be the perfect complement to the rookie out of LSU.

    If Fournette is going to be the lead dog in this pack of thoroughbreds, who would appear to be a Tom Coughlin-like running back,Authentic Eric Kendricks Jersey,Authentic Danielle Hunter Jersey,Authentic Cyrus Jones Jersey, cannot make the same mistakes he made last year. And he must stay healthy and he must hold onto the football. If not,Cyrus Jones Jersey, then someone is going to have to step up and remain a close second. Ivory,Jacoby Brissett Jersey, training camp maybe the last time fans see him in teal and black.

    the Jacksonville Jaguars have a "good" problem when it comes to the team's running game. Grant figures to remain with the team because of his return abilities. Yeldon isn't somebody this team will give up on. If he isn't cut,Joe Thuney Jersey,For the first time in sometime, Ivory is going to have to work extra hard to prove last year wasn't indicative of what he can do running between the tackles.

    He should be up to the task.

    When he signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars last year, Ivory said he came here to start. He proved in camp to be the better back between him and Yeldon. Now he must prove that he is good enough to remain on the roster and backup the guy who is coming in to take his spot as a starter of this football team.
  • Former Michigan State lineman Cassius Peat says he felt "blindsided" earlier this week when coaches told him he didn't have a spot on the team less
    than a week from when he was supposed to report to East Lansing.

    Peat told the Detroit Free Press that Michigan State coaches informed him Wednesday that he shouldn't return to campus for summer workouts.

    and I understand it's a business," Peat told the Free Press. "But morally,Authentic LeSean McCoy Jersey, man,Sammy Watkins Jersey,"I have respect for them,Authentic Luke Kuechly Jersey, as a 20-year-old kid with a family, for them
    to do that is -- I can't even put it into words, to be honest."

    Peat originally enrolled at Michigan State in 2015 and took a redshirt year during the Spartans' run to the College Football Playoff in 2015. He did
    not practice the following summer and was officially released from the program in August,LeSean McCoy Jersey, a little more than a week before the team's 2016 season
    opener. Head coach Mark Dantonio said at the time that Peat wasn't suspended from the team when he missed practices in August.

    In March,Authentic Sammy Watkins Jersey,Authentic Cam Newton Jersey, Peat said he planned to re-enroll at Michigan State this summer and rejoin his teammates on the football team. The former three-star
    prospect told the Arizona Republic that he had spent several months this winter training with his brother Andrus,Cam Newton Jersey,Luke Kuechly Jersey, a New Orleans Saints lineman.

    Michigan State has lost several bodies on both the offensive and defensive lines this offseason. Three defensive linemen and one offensive linemen
    Demetrius Cooper,Authentic Kawann Short Jersey,have left the program since the end of last season for various reasons. Another defensive lineman,Kawann Short Jersey, remains suspended due to an
    altercation with a police officer last fall.

    Michigan State did not respond to a request for comment or clarification about why Peat's status with the program has changed. Peat told the Free
    Press he was qualified academically to return to school and has not been in any trouble.
  • Ereck Flowers and the New York Giants offensive line are already showing key signs of improvement.

    Giants offensive line coach Mike Solari spoke with reporters on Wednesday and confirmed that he has high expectations for his unit in 2017.

    " Solari said of the offensive line to Giants reporters.,"There's no doubt in my mind we will be better

    Solari is most excited about the extra work that his younger linemen put in during the offseason before the Giants kicked off their OTAs. He spoke
    specifically of the extra time spent by incumbent starting left tackle Ereck Flowers and starting right tackle Bobby Hart.

    "They were both around," Solari said. "They were committed. Bobby and Ereck were here together and that developed some
    , working out in the weight room

    competition and camaraderie."

    stronger,Solari added that Flowers is "leaner, and better.", quicker

    " Solari added. "It has improved their conditioning,"You see a difference in their conditioning and where they're at right now, and
    , strength

    flexibility. All of those things add up."

    Both Flowers and Hart remain committed to the process.

    "What we're excited about is that they're committed. Physically, you can tell the difference. Their body types and where
    , the conditioning aspect

    they're at physically.

    "They do a nice job in the classroom. They're into it and learning. They're into the film study and techniques. They know what they're trying to work
    on and achieve."

    Still,Zach Banner Jersey, they will need to wait for
    ,Authentic Cam Robinson Jersey, Solari did offer the caveat that for the Giants to truly evaluate how much progress their younger tackles have made

    training camp when the pads come on.

    you have to have your pads on,
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    ,"For an offensive lineman to improve technique,Authentic Dede Westbrook Jersey, at
    ," Solari said. "That's when you ascend as an offensive lineman.But

    the aiming points,this point, footwork, and hand placement -- you can develop that aspect. When the pads come on, you can pick up the intensity."

    The 2017 NFL Draft is over and now the New York Giants have started OTA practices that will carry on through June, take
    , don't miss any of the action

    a second to sign up for our FREE Giants newsletter!

    Olivier Vernon will and already has paid dividends for both Flowers and Hart.,Going up in practice every day against Jason Pierre-Paul and eventually

    "Even at OTAs," Solari said. "There's no wasted movement.",Authentic Zach Banner Jersey,Authentic Leonard Fournette Jersey, it's beneficial because of that quickness and explosion they have in their first step

    Solari added that the biggest benefit of voluntary OTA practices for the offensive line is the repetition.

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    ,"You work different drills,Authentic Dawuane Smoot Jersey,
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    ," Solari said., and you make it so you don't have to think about it

    The Giants are hoping that the same group of five offensive linemen who entered the 2016 regular season opener will do the same in 2017. Continuity is
    king when it comes to offensive line play and Solari is confident that this will hold true for the Giants in 2017.
  • Leonard Williams is taking a page out of Sam Hinkie’s playbook.

    A day after Jets owner Woody Johnson asked fans to not judge the team by wins and losses this coming season,
    James White Jersey
    , perhaps pre-empting some of their criticism,Authentic Donald Trump Jersey, the defensive end sounded a note of optimism for the team’s plans.

    “I’m trusting the process,” Williams said on a conference call recently.

    That was Hinkie’s famous motto during his short-lived rebuilding project with the Philadelphia 76ers.

    Of course, Hinkie is now out of a job as a result of that process. But Williams is more hopeful.

    “We have a new GM and a new head coach,Authentic James White Jersey,Authentic Dont'a Hightower Jersey,” he said. “They want their specific guys here. There were a lot of guys here before they got here and they didn’t necessarily draft or you didn’t know if they wanted them here or not. I think I’m just kind of moving on.”

    The Jets are still looking for answers at quarterback and in their secondary as they engineer a major roster turnover,
    Dont'a Hightower Jersey
    Donald Trump Jersey
    , and have had trouble finding trading partners for Sheldon Richardson.

    Williams led the team with seven sacks last season while qualifying for his first Pro Bowl.

    “I’m going to try to make it back again,Authentic Derek Rivers Jersey, but not be an alternate,Derek Rivers Jersey,” Williams said. “I’m trying to get at least 10-plus [sacks] and try to keep elevating my game more and more.

    “Outside of that,Authentic Antonio Garcia Jersey, I just want to step up more into my leadership role. We have a lot of younger guys on the team now. We kind of lost some of our older guys. Now I’m stepping into my role and trying to be more of a leader now.”
  • Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn said he has talked to seven-time Pro Bowl defensive end Dwight Freeney,LOWERY BRANCH, just not about re-signing with the team.

    During a recent interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio,Authentic Vernon Hargreaves III Jersey, the 37-year-old Freeney said he was in talks with the Falcons regarding a return. He said the line communication was open and the Falcons were "very interested" in bringing him back.

    Quinn didn’t rule out re-signing the veteran,Authentic Noah Spence Jersey, the defensive end from UCLA,Roberto Aguayo Jersey, but he put more context behind the story. Quinn confirmed the team encouraged first-round draft pick Takkarist McKinley,Donovan Smith Jersey, to reach out to Freeney for advice, which already occurred. But Quinn did not talk to Freeney about a role on roster.

    "I know he was pretty committed to golf,Ali Marpet Jersey," Quinn said of Freeney, "but our conversations haven’t been about playing. When we drafted [McKinley], he’s such a competitor, that was someone I wanted [Freeney] to connect with. But we haven’t talked about playing. If he does [want to return], he knows I’m going down the line of looking at our team here.’’

    Quinn obviously wants to see what he has in his current pass-rush group first, a group led by 2016 NFL sacks leader Vic Beasley Jr. The Falcons drafted McKinley to rush off the opposite edge of Beasley. McKinley currently is rehabbing from shoulder surgery but is expected to be ready by the start of the season.

    The Falcons also get Adrian Clayborn back from biceps surgery to rush off the edge, newcomer Jack Crawford, Derrick Shelby, plus another player in Brooks Reed capable of lining up outside. Then the Falcons have some versatile defensive linemen capable of moving around in Grady Jarrett,Vernon Hargreaves III Jersey, and Courtney Upshaw -- not to mention the addition of two-time Pro Bowler Dontari Poe,Noah Spence Jersey, a guy Quinn believes has untapped potential as an interior rusher.

    Freeney appears to be more of an emergency backup plan. McKinley’s status off the shoulder surgery remains somewhat unclear,Authentic Roberto Aguayo Jersey,At this juncture,Authentic Donovan Smith Jersey, which could be reason to keep Freeney’s number handy.

    Quinn said he is likely to have another conversation with Freeney soon.

    "I don’t know where he’s at on [playing],Authentic Ali Marpet Jersey, it would still be," Quinn said. "If we get down to that spot where we talk about it, 'I’m really focused on the guys here.'"

    Quinn was asked if a final decision on Freeney could be made by the start of training camp in late July.

    " he said. "I’ll probably talk to him first and see where his mind's at. I don’t want to answer yet,"I don't know, but it’s somehow becoming a story. So I’ll reach out to him and see where it’s at."

    $2 million contract with the Falcons last August and was instrumental in mentoring Beasley. He played in 15 regular-season games and finished with three sacks in 399 defensive snaps played. Freeney played in all three postseason games,Freeney signed a one-year, starting the Super Bowl and the NFC Championship Game. He was hampered by a quadriceps tear suffered in a Week 7 loss to San Diego.
  • Word on Monday was that Texans left tackle Duane Brown would not be joining the team for this week’s mandatory minicamp and it was proven correct when the session opened Tuesday without Brown in attendance.

    Brown is reportedly unhappy with his contract, if the Texans were amenable to discussing alterations to the deal or anything of great substance about Brown’s absence.,Authentic Greg Olsen Jersey, which runs through 2018 with non-guaranteed base salaries of $9.65 million in 2017 and $9.75 million next year. Coach Bill O’Brien didn’t say if that was the case

    “I don’t have much to say on that. Obviously,Authentic Thomas Davis Sr Jersey, via ESPN.com. “We’d love to have him here,Walter Payton Jersey, Duane knows how I feel about him,” O’Brien said, the guys who are here,Greg Olsen Jersey,Thomas Davis Sr Jersey, but at the end of the day,Authentic Walter Payton Jersey,Authentic Jordan Howard Jersey, that’s who we’re coaching.”

    405 if he skips all three days of minicamp and the tackle would be at risk of incurring more fines if he extends his absence into training camp. They’d also be without both of their starting tackles from last year — right tackle Derek Newton is recovering from two torn patellar tendons — if that’s the case and Brown likely knows that’s the best leverage he has to push for something more on the contract front.,Jordan Howard Jersey,The Texans can fine Brown a total of $80
  • Kyle Larson’s blistering lap earned him the pole Friday in qualifying for Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

    The Chip Ganassi Racing driver (202.156 mph) unseated Martin Truex Jr. (202.117 mph) and jumped to the top of the board in the final minute of the three-round knockout qualifying session. Larson won his first Monster Energy Cup Series race last August at Michigan, which is similarly sized (2 miles) to Michigan and shares many characteristics., and earlier this season he won the pole and race at Auto Club Speedway

    “I could tell by the rpm and the engine it was going to be a pretty good lap so I was happy about that to get the pole after winning here last year, hopefully we can keep it going.”,Authentic Jarran Reed Jersey,” Larson said. “So

    Truex will start second,Authentic C.J. Prosise Jersey, and Denny Hamlin. It marks the for the third straight race Truex,Nick Vannett Jersey, followed by Clint Bowyer,Rees Odhiambo Jersey, qualified second and had the pole snatched away from him in the final minute., Kyle Busch, who leads the Cup points standings

    “Little bit disappointed there,” Truex said. “Love racing here at Michigan and hopefully have a good weekend.”, but Kyle went out late and got us

    Ryan Blaney, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano,Jarran Reed Jersey,C.J. Prosise Jersey, while Logano is the defending race winner.,Authentic Nick Vannett Jersey,Authentic Rees Odhiambo Jersey,Authentic Frank Clark Jersey, Jamie McMurray,Frank Clark Jersey, and Chase Elliott completed the top 10. Blaney recorded his first series win last week at Pocono Raceway

    Michigan native Erik Jones (14th) was the fastest rookie qualifier. Another rookie, had qualified 24th but NASCAR disallowed his time after determinig Germain Racing made unapproved body modifications to the No. 13 Chevrolet., Ty Dillon

    All 37 drivers entered will start the FireKeepers Casino 400, the 15th race of the 2017 season. Front Row Motorsports’ Landon Cassill did not post a qualifying time after crashing in practice earlier Friday. He will switch to a backup for Sunday’s race.
  • New York Giants left tackle Ereck Flowers,Authentic Montravius Adams Jersey, who has been the subject of relentless criticism over the previous two years, altered his approach this offseason and he expects it to pay off in a big way.

    Flowers remained hard at work in East Rutherford.,Rather than going on vacation or returning home during the downtime

    quicker and stronger when the team reported for the offseason workout program.,The physical results of Flowers’ dedication were immediately obvious. He appeared leaner

    “I’ll probably say this might have been the smartest I’ve worked than any other offseason,” Flowers told reporters on Thursday. “Just from diet, to the specific things I’ve targeted in the weight room.

    ran. Practice doing sets. I’ve been watching what I eat [and] I dropped a few pounds.”,“I just worked out

    he sounded far more mature and mellow when speaking to reporters. And that was never more evident than when asked what he intends to do during his six weeks off.,
    Michael Roberts Jersey
    ,Flowers didn’t just look healthier

    “Continue working out. Continue to try to get better and get ready for camp this season,Authentic Josh Jones Jersey,Authentic Jamaal Williams Jersey,” Flowers said, adding that he wants to keep pushing himself. “You got to be critical of yourself. You got to look at it and try to improve.”

    the 23-year-old Flowers believes this latest offseason approach will not only change his ability on the field but the perception of his work ethic and attitude.,Ultimately

    we’re not in pads so it’s not real. When it’s in the game,“I have gotten better, but then again, that’s when you really see the difference,Authentic Michael Roberts Jersey,Authentic Kevin King Jersey,” Flowers said. “I think I’ve been getting better at hand placement. . . [And my footwork] feels better. It feels a little lighter.”

    and so far they’ve been very complimentary of what they’ve seen. Perhaps the faith in their young tackles will end up benefiting them after all.,
    Kevin King Jersey
    Josh Jones Jersey
    ,Montravius Adams Jersey,
    Jamaal Williams Jersey
    ,The Giants certainly hope all of this extra work and dedication pay off.
  • The primary criticism that has surrounded Christian Hackenberg has been accuracy.

    Since his decision to leave Penn State and after being drafted by the New York Jets last spring, the quarterback has been the subject of numerous
    including from one anonymous Jets employee, claiming he cannot connect with receivers,reports,Authentic Julién Davenport Jersey, while analysts have pored over game film,Authentic Malik Hooker Jersey,
    deconstructing his every throw.

    After watching him in OTAs and minicamp,
    Quincy Wilson Jersey
    , quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates disagrees with the naysayers.

    “I think he’s real accurate,
    Tarell Basham Jersey
    ,” Bates said as the Jets ended their minicamp.

    and each day,“I think he’s throwing the ball well. He’s throwing it on time. Part of his accuracy is knowing where to go with the ball, he plays
    faster. He gets in a rhythm, and I think everyone in the building is excited to see where he’s going. I think he’s accurate.”

    Hackenberg has steadily improved in each of his showings this offseason, rotating with Bryce Petty on the team’s second- and third-team reps behind
    starter Josh McCown.

    and he made some impressive throws in tight windows,Most onlookers judge Hackenberg completed around 60 percent of his passes,Julién Davenport Jersey,
    Malik Hooker Jersey
    , but the real test will
    come in the preseason,Authentic Quincy Wilson Jersey,Authentic Tarell Basham Jersey,Authentic Marlon Mack Jersey, when head coach Todd Bowles says the quarterback will get his most thorough examination.

    but wasn’t declared active until the regular season finale,Marlon Mack Jersey,Hackenberg was good on just 36 percent of his attempts last preseason, so the Jets want to
    get as close a look at him before they embark on the quarterback-rich 2018 draft.

  • Almost exactly one month ago,Authentic Malcom Brown Jersey, Wendell Smallwood was set to become the No. 1 running back on the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Smallwood knew his role as the featured back in the Eagles running back-by-committee. He even had the vote of confidence from head coach Doug Pederson,Authentic Jordan Richards Jersey, as the Eagles were fully prepared to give him the bulk load of carries heading into the 2017 season.

    That all changed the moment Philadelphia signed LeGarrette Blount...and suddenly Smallwood's role was uncertain.

    "I definitely think Blount adds diversity to our offense,Authentic Geneo Grissom Jersey," Smallwood said. "I think our room is going to be the best room on the field. That competition we're up against and that we'll get better is going to make this team lean on us and be those dogs on offense that are going to push this team forward.

    "I've been doing it all. There's nothing that I don't do in practice. I run routes, I run the ball. There's nothing that I don't think I can do."

    Training camp is almost here Eagles fans! Make sure to stay in the loop for all Eagles news this offseason -- take five seconds to sign up for our FREE Eagles newsletter now!

    but he isn't the No. 1 running back anymore either. That role has been passed over to Blount,Smallwood isn't buried on the depth chart, who has become a mentor for Smallwood heading into his second season.

    " Smallwood said. "He's that kind of guy that can run you over,"LeGarrette just brings the boom, that can make you miss. He adds that load and gives us that power. He drives us good to be as good as him."

    but is also getting more involved in the passing game. The Eagles need more from Smallwood in that department,How have the Eagles used Smallwood in minicamp now that he's no longer the No. 1 option? Smallwood relieves Blount in the "PONY" offense, who had just six catches for 55 yards in his rookie season.

    that doesn't seem likely. His carries may be limited with Blount as the No. 1 back,Malcom Brown Jersey,Jordan Richards Jersey,Geneo Grissom Jersey,While Smallwood could be the odd-man out in the Eagles crowded running back stable,Authentic Sheldon Rankins Jersey, but he'll still get the opportunity to run the ball...especially with Darren Sproles turning 34 this week and Donnel Pumphrey seemingly limited to passing downs at this time.

    everyone can do different things," Smallwood said. "We're not going to be that one-guy team where they can game plan for one back. They're going to have to prepare for Sproles, Pump, me,Sheldon Rankins Jersey,"With all the guys we have,Authentic Vonn Bell Jersey, everyone who's here, so I don't think it's going to be easy for anyone."

    Smallwood is part of the mix,Vonn Bell Jersey, but his role in the offense still remains a mystery.

  • When the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Senior Committee meets in August, it’s expected that they will consider the name of Joe
    Klecko for membership.

    As current Jets linebacker Darron Lee thinks should have been done long ago.

    “Joe Klecko, he should be in the Hall,” Lee said. “It’s borderline disrespectful.”

    Klecko enjoyed a 10-year career with the Jets, who tagged him out of Temple in the sixth round of the 1977 NFL Draft. Alongside the
    likes of Mark Gastineau and Marty Lyons, Klecko helped form one of the league’s more dominant defensive fronts, heralded as the
    “New York Sack Exchange” during their heights.

    an eventual four-time Pro Bowl selection,Greg Olsen Jersey,In 1981,Thomas Davis Sr Jersey, Klecko,Walter Payton Jersey, led the NFL with 20.5 sacks.

    has slowly come to learn the history of the Jets,Lee,Authentic Andy Dalton Jersey, a first-round pick by the Jets last spring, an interest that was piqued by
    his just walking through the hallways at team headquarters.

    “Every time you see those guys up there, their pictures on the wall, I had no idea what that was, the New York Sack Exchange,” Lee
    said of his learning about Jets history.

    “So I’m just the kind of guy that does my research. Klecko, Gastineau, Salaam. Just seeing them, Lyons, you’ve got to know who
    I want to pave the way for that,Authentic Greg Olsen Jersey,you’re paying homage to,Authentic Thomas Davis Sr Jersey, you’ve got to know where you’re at. And at the same time,Authentic Walter Payton Jersey, too.”

    Former Miami Dolphins head coach,Authentic Jordan Howard Jersey, and 1997 Hall of Fame inductee,Jordan Howard Jersey,Andy Dalton Jersey, Don Shula once said “that Klecko and Gastineau are two of the
    best to ever play their positions.”

    ” Lee said. “What’s it been,“For Joe, the Hall of Fame is really long overdue, 30-plus years? That’s too long. He should be in.
    If anybody from the committee hears this, let him in. The guy deserves it.”
  • When the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Senior Committee meets in August, it’s expected that they will consider the name of Joe
    Klecko for membership.

    As current Jets linebacker Darron Lee thinks should have been done long ago.

    “Joe Klecko, he should be in the Hall,” Lee said. “It’s borderline disrespectful.”

    Klecko enjoyed a 10-year career with the Jets, who tagged him out of Temple in the sixth round of the 1977 NFL Draft. Alongside the
    likes of Mark Gastineau and Marty Lyons, Klecko helped form one of the league’s more dominant defensive fronts, heralded as the
    “New York Sack Exchange” during their heights.

    an eventual four-time Pro Bowl selection,Greg Olsen Jersey,In 1981,Thomas Davis Sr Jersey, Klecko,Walter Payton Jersey, led the NFL with 20.5 sacks.

    has slowly come to learn the history of the Jets,Lee,Authentic Andy Dalton Jersey, a first-round pick by the Jets last spring, an interest that was piqued by
    his just walking through the hallways at team headquarters.

    “Every time you see those guys up there, their pictures on the wall, I had no idea what that was, the New York Sack Exchange,” Lee
    said of his learning about Jets history.

    “So I’m just the kind of guy that does my research. Klecko, Gastineau, Salaam. Just seeing them, Lyons, you’ve got to know who
    I want to pave the way for that,Authentic Greg Olsen Jersey,you’re paying homage to,Authentic Thomas Davis Sr Jersey, you’ve got to know where you’re at. And at the same time,Authentic Walter Payton Jersey, too.”

    Former Miami Dolphins head coach,Authentic Jordan Howard Jersey, and 1997 Hall of Fame inductee,Jordan Howard Jersey,Andy Dalton Jersey, Don Shula once said “that Klecko and Gastineau are two of the
    best to ever play their positions.”

    ” Lee said. “What’s it been,“For Joe, the Hall of Fame is really long overdue, 30-plus years? That’s too long. He should be in.
    If anybody from the committee hears this, let him in. The guy deserves it.”
  • When the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Senior Committee meets in August, it’s expected that they will consider the name of Joe Klecko for membership.

    As current Jets linebacker Darron Lee thinks should have been done long ago.

    he should be in the Hall,“Joe Klecko,” Lee said. “It’s borderline disrespectful.”

    Klecko enjoyed a 10-year career with the Jets, Klecko helped form one of the league’s more dominant defensive fronts, who tagged him out of Temple in the sixth round of the 1977 NFL Draft. Alongside the likes of Mark Gastineau and Marty Lyons, heralded as the “New York Sack Exchange” during their heights.

    In 1981, an eventual four-time Pro Bowl selection,Authentic A.J. Green Jersey, Klecko,Authentic Tyler Eifert Jersey, led the NFL with 20.5 sacks.

    Lee,Vontaze Burfict Jersey, has slowly come to learn the history of the Jets,Authentic Gary Barnidge Jersey, a first-round pick by the Jets last spring, an interest that was piqued by his just walking through the hallways at team headquarters.

    “Every time you see those guys up there, the New York Sack Exchange, their pictures on the wall, I had no idea what that was,” Lee said of his learning about Jets history.

    “So I’m just the kind of guy that does my research. Klecko, Salaam. Just seeing them, Gastineau, you’ve got to know who you’re paying homage to, you’ve got to know where you’re at. And at the same time, Lyons, I want to pave the way for that,A.J. Green Jersey,Tyler Eifert Jersey, too.”

    and 1997 Hall of Fame inductee,Authentic Vontaze Burfict Jersey,Authentic Jim Brown Jersey,Former Miami Dolphins head coach,Jim Brown Jersey,Gary Barnidge Jersey, Don Shula once said “that Klecko and Gastineau are two of the best to ever play their positions.”

    “For Joe,” Lee said. “What’s it been, the Hall of Fame is really long overdue, 30-plus years? That’s too long. He should be in. If anybody from the committee hears this, let him in. The guy deserves it.”
  • Our look at the 49ers by position continues on today with a glance at the defensive line, which on paper is shaping up to be one of the

    strengths of the team. It could also wind up being an area where a tough roster decision or two will need to be made.

    Players: Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner,Authentic Patrick Mahomes II Jersey, Solomon Thomas,Authentic Tanoh Kpassagnon Jersey, Tank Carradine,Authentic Kareem Hunt Jersey, Elvis Dumervil,Authentic Mike Williams Jersey, Chris Jones, D.J. Jones,
    Forrest Lamp Jersey
    , Aaron Lynch, Ronald Blair, Quinton Dial, Earl Mitchell, Noble Nwachukwu, Pita Taumoepenu

    Buckner, Mitchell,Safe: Armstead, Thomas

    Carradine, Dial, Dumervil, Chris Jones,Competing for a roster spot/depth chart position: Blair, D.J. Jones, Lynch

    Practice squad candidate: Nwachukwu, Taumoepenu

    bringing in Mitchell, Thomas,
    Patrick Mahomes II Jersey
    ,The 49ers did a fine job upgrading this position in

    the offseason,
    Tanoh Kpassagnon Jersey
    , and Dumervil along with late-round picks D.J. Jones and Taumoepenu.

    Combine that with what was already in place and there's suddenly a good amount of talent and promise to work with up front.

    it seems like the key question is who will get the bulk of the reps at the LEO spot. The early frontrunner is Armstead,

    Hunt Jersey
    ,Authentic Forrest Lamp Jersey, but the addition of Dumervil late in offseason workouts

    will throw a twist into things. Lynch is also in the mix; he made headlines this spring due to being overweight,Heading into camp,Mike Williams Jersey, but 49ers coaches were complimentary about his efforts to get back to where

    he needed to be. Still, he's viewed as a player who will need to prove himself come camp.

    DeForest Buckner and Earl Mitchell are certainly locks to make the roster, as is first-round pick Solomon Thomas,Elsewhere on the

    line, who missed OTAs and mandatory minicamp while he was finishing up school at Stanford. Where and how Thomas fits in and how he

    looks once he's finally out on the field will be one of the storylines to follow come training camp.

    there will be some mixing, and the sixth-round picks D.J. Jones and Taumoepenu. The latter two as well as undrafted rookie Nwachukwu

    will be practice squad candidates if they are unable to make the roster., matching and battling as the 49ers determine who will remain

    on the roster. If Dumervil is past the injury issue that plagued him last season and is back to his old self, as general manager John

    Lynch has declared, he'll grab one spot. Ronald Blair and Quinton Dial seem to be a good bet to grab spots of their own, and we'll bet

    on Lynch making the cut as well. From there,Past those four, the 49ers could face some tough decisions between Tank Carradine, Chris


    this is a position that definitely looks to be in better shape than it was last season. It'll be an area to keep an eye on in

    August,While not everyone may fit perfectly into what the 49ers will be doing under new defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, both to see

    how the roster battles turn out as well as how to see the progression of the team's promising young players.
  • Datone Jones loved his time with the Green Bay Packers,Authentic Gary Barnidge Jersey, but it looks like he's very happy being a member of the Minnesota Vikings.

    Jones talked about his time with the Packers to Viking Update (via Wisconsin State Journal) and he said he didn't know he was going to make
    the switch to outside linebacker until he heard it on the NFL Network.

    “They didn’t tell me. I found out on NFL Network that they had moved me to outside linebacker,” Jones told Viking Update. “I kind of
    knew that I would have to make the adjustment or I wasn’t going to be there anymore. I wanted to come into a place where I felt most
    where I could really showcase my ability,natural, what I could really do. I’m excited the Vikings took a chance on me.”

    Jones was not mad about the move. In fact, he did everything he could to be a standout edge rusher for the Packers.

    I looked at it as a challenge,Womens A.J. Green Jersey,“Mike McCarthy and the rest of the staff wanted me to play outside linebacker. Instead of being selfish,Authentic Vontaze Burfict Jersey,”
    ‘OK,Authentic Jim Brown Jersey,Jones said. “I came back into camp the appropriate weight with the appropriate conditioning. I made sure that, you guys gave me the
    challenge’ and I made sure I was going to pass it. That’s the type of guy I am. You guys give me a challenge and I’m going to challenge
    myself to be the best at that challenge and I’m going to come ready.”

    The Packer idea was to have a big-bodied run defender who can pass rush on the edge. However, things did not go according to plan as Jones
    recorded only one sack in 15 games last year.

    “I never really got comfortable (in Green Bay) at one position and then I thought it was strange because I was second on the defensive line
    ‘Wow!’?” said Jones,in sacks over the last four years and out of nowhere my position changes. I was just like, who left the Packers
    having recorded 9.5 sacks in 66 career games (including playoffs) in four years.

    The Packers are now in the offseason and there’s a lot of work to be done to get ready for next season. Make sure you’re in the loop –
    take five seconds to Sign up for our FREE Packers newsletter now!

    “But I was very thankful for what the coaches did for me there. They gave me a chance to play in the NFL and to showcase my abilities. I
    could never be upset,Authentic A.J. Green Jersey,Authentic Tyler Eifert Jersey, but now I’m happy to have a coach like Andre Patterson to come in and teach me.”

    Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer wants Jones to learn the defensive tackle position during camp and they may move him over the defensive end
    Tom Johnson,Womens Tyler Eifert Jersey,Womens Vontaze Burfict Jersey,Womens Jim Brown Jersey,Womens Gary Barnidge Jersey,later in the season. Jones will likely see a lot of action on defensive line that features Everson Griffen, Linval Joseph and
    Danielle Hunter.
  • MILWAUKEE (AP) — Matt Garza knew his fellow starting pitchers had set the bar high during the first two games of Milwaukee's three-game series with Baltimore.

    The veteran right-hander continued the trend of strong starts by pitching into the seventh inning to lift the Brewers to a sweep of the Orioles with a 4-0 victory Wednesday night.

    Garza scattered five hits with two walks and four strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings for his first scoreless outing of the season.

    Oliver Drake, Jared Hughes and Corey Knebel completed the shutout with 2 2/3 innings.

    Brewers starters Brent Suter, Jimmy Nelson and Garza did not allow an earned run and combined for 20 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings in the sweep.

    "Certainly,Authentic Charles Harris Jersey," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Our starters did an outstanding job. We basically pitched with a lead the entire series. They did a heck of a job.",Authentic Raekwon McMillan Jersey, that was the key to the series

    Garza (4-4) ran into trouble in the second inning after the Orioles loaded the bases with no outs. The veteran right-hander escaped by striking out Ruben Tejada and pitcher Jayson Aquino (1-2) before getting Seth Smith to fly out to right field.

    "It was a big momentum shift for us,Womens Cordrea Tankersley Jersey," Garza said. "It was awesome. I was able to sneak out of it. I really took off from there. I got my mechanics back in order in the third and I felt like I was in control from there on out."

    An error by Orioles third baseman Manny Machado allowed Travis Shaw to score to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead in the second.

    Ryan Braun doubled to start the fourth inning and came in to score on a single by Domingo Santana. Two batters later,Womens Dalvin Cook Jersey, Keon Broxton connected to the deepest part of the ballpark in left-center field.

    Called up from Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday to make a spot start in place of Chris Tillman,
    Womens Pat Elflein Jersey
    , Aquino allowed four runs (three earned) and five hits with seven strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings in his second career start.

    The Orioles scored just three runs in the series, two of which were aided by errors by the Brewers.

    "I tend to give credit to their pitching, that is why they are in first place. We are not doing many things well."," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "They are playing well


    Knebel struck out the side in the ninth to extend his streak of consecutive games with a strikeout to 41.


    Orioles closer Zach Britton was greeted rudely in his first appearance after missing 56 games with a left forearm strain.

    Activated from the DL on Wednesday, Britton pitched a scoreless but eventful seventh inning.

    Orlando Arcia led off the inning with a shot up the middle that hit off Britton's glove and caromed to shortstop Tejada.

    "It hit the glove, just kind of jammed me a little bit," Britton said. "Figures that is how it would go,
    Womens Charles Harris Jersey
    ,Womens Raekwon McMillans Jersey, the first one (back) right?"


    Orioles: 1B Chris Davis (right oblique strain) is likely to begin a rehab assignment over the All-Star break with the intention of returning when the Orioles resume play on July 14. Tillman was placed on the paternity list Wednesday. Tillman and his wife,Authentic Cordrea Tankersley Jersey, Christina,Authentic Dalvin Cook Jersey, welcomed their first child,Authentic Pat Elflein Jersey, on Tuesday evening. ... To clear room for Britton, Charlotte, RHP Tyler Wilson was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk and INF Ryan Flaherty was transferred to the 60-day DL.

    Brewers: INF Eric Sogard was out of the lineup again Wednesday due to foot soreness. Counsell said the club would give Sogard another few days before considering a stint on the DL. ... RHP Wily Peralta (strained right calf) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Colorado Springs on Wednesday.


    Orioles: RHP Dylan Bundy (8-7, lasting just four innings and allowing five earned runs in a 10-3 loss to the Rays on July 1., 4.02 ERA) will start Baltimore's series opener at Minnesota on Thursday. He is coming off his shortest start of the season

    Brewers: RHP Zach Davies (9-4, 5.03) pitches against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Thursday. It is a makeup game from a cancellation due to the threat of rain on May 20. Davies was hit for five runs in five innings by the Cubs on April 9.
  • When the Buffalo Bills traded up to the No. 4 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft to select Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins, a true No. 1 weapon that would provide a spark to their offense., they believed they were getting a bonafide superstar

    When healthy, Watkins has proven to be an electric playmaker but a foot injury suffered at the end of the 2015 season that lingered into 2016 now seems to be an issue. Nonetheless,Authentic Justin Tucker Jersey,Womens Eric Weddle Jersey,Authentic LeSean McCoy Jersey,Womens Sammy Watkins Jersey, over the course of his three years with the team, on and off of the field., he’s been quite the enigma

    Here are eight of the most memorable moments of Watkins’ tenure with the Bills.

    It didn’t take long for Watkins to show the world what he was capable of. Although he only recorded three catches in his NFL debut against the Chicago Bears, before cutting inside and making a nice grab.,Womens Justin Tucker Jersey,Authentic Eric Weddle Jersey,Authentic Jim Kelly Jersey,Womens LeSean McCoy Jersey,Authentic Sammy Watkins Jersey,Womens Jim Kelly Jersey, he showed the ability to press the cornerback while gaining inside leverage without selling his route

    hauling in eight receptions for 117 yards and one touchdown in a Week Two contest against the Miami Dolphins.,It took just two weeks for Watkins to register his first career 100-yard outing

    Watkins ran a drag route from the Dolphins’ 12-yard line and showcased his acceleration and ability to gain yards after the catch to find the endzone for the first time in his professional career.

  • Time seems to be moving so slowly as the Bengals still have three weeks to go before opening training camp on July 28,Womens Donovan Smith Jersey, several players -- especially quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green -- will be in position to move quickly up franchise charts in several statistical categories.,Womens Ali Marpet Jersey, but soon after they crank it up

    a master at filling the dead time between the end of spring mini-camp and training camp with all kinds of interesting prose about the team,Fan-friendly bengals.com writer Geoff Hobson, its players and history,Authentic Vernon Hargreaves III Jersey, the team’s director of media relations.,Womens Noah Spence Jersey, did it again with the help of P.J. Combs

    He notes that the Dalton-Green connection has been good for 44 combined touchdown passes,Womens Roberto Aguayo Jersey, drawing within range the club record of 53 set by Ken Anderson and Isaac Curtis (1983).

    That No. 44 -- which was the jersey number worn by former Atlanta Brave Henry “Hank” Aaron when he tied Babe Ruth’s career home run record with No. 714 in Cincinnati’s old Riverfront Stadium on April 4, 1974 -- ranks Dalton/Green No. 6 among active tandems in the NFL.

    San Diego’s Phillip Rivers and tight end Antonio Gates -- who played basketball at Kent State before turning to football -- have connected for 84 scores to lead, according to the Elias Bureau.

    Green also needs just four 100-yard receiving games to pass Chad Johnson (32) for the franchise mark.

    ” on the web site. A glance might just scratch your football itch,Womens Vernon Hargreaves III Jersey,There are plenty more goodies in Hobson’s “Tracking Milestones,Authentic Noah Spence Jersey,Authentic Roberto Aguayo Jersey,Authentic Donovan Smith Jersey,Authentic Ali Marpet Jersey, at least for a few minutes.

  • The Detroit Lions have a few rookies mature beyond their years in Teez Tabor and Jarrad Davis.

    Both Tabor and Davis have wasted no time getting involved in the community,Womens Patrick Peterson Jersey, as both were key participants at a recent Lions event for the Detroit PAL this offseason involving youth football in the Motor City.

    The Detroit Lions are currently enjoying summer, but the news never stops. Stay up to date with everything --take five seconds to sign up for our FREE Lions newsletter now!

    Each player showed maturity beyond their years in talking about the event with reporters.

    I was just like these kids not too long ago, five or six years ago just looking for a way out. Football was my way out. Every time I get to get out here and give back to these kids I love it,"I love being out here in the community,Authentic Preston Smith Jersey," Tabor said.

    Tabor went at the kids as if he was competing in college or the pros,Authentic Matt Jones Jersey,On the field,Womens Pat Tillman Jersey, all part of what he said was a learning process.

    there's only one way to play football. You gotta instill that in them if they want to go somewhere,Womens Larry Fitzgerald Jersey,"You gotta compete," Tabor said with a grin.

    Davis said he enjoyed giving back thanks to the fact that he never got to have experiences like working with top players when he was growing up.

    " Davis said. "I knew I wanted to meet NFL guys. For me to put the work in I put in, knowing exactly what I wanted as a kid,"That's what makes this so much fun. My home town was a little small town. I wasn't fortunate enough to have NFL players come out and run a camp with me, to come out here and give this to these kids is the least I can do."

    The rookie linebacker said that it's hard not to lose sight of what makes youth football and kids in general so special to him.

    "It's funny because you remember lacing up your little cleats out there and having fun and running around and cutting loose,Womens Preston Smith Jersey,Womens Matt Jones Jersey," he said with a smile. "This is the root of the game. These guys out here play because they love it and enjoy it. I got the same stuff flowing through my veins right now."

    Clearly,Authentic Pat Tillman Jersey,Authentic Larry Fitzgerald Jersey,Authentic Patrick Peterson Jersey, bet on both Tabor and Davis continuing to get involved in the community in the future.

  • NEW YORK (AP) — Tim Hardaway Jr. thought that with Phil Jackson gone, maybe there was a chance someday he could come back to New York.

    Even he was surprised it was this soon.

    the Knicks reached back to their past to sign Hardaway,adidas Carey Price jersey,With Jackson and his triangle offense gone, a former first-round pick who didn’t fit under Jackson but they hope can flourish without him.

    so you’ve got to make the most of that,adidas Andrew Shaw jersey,“I definitely left with a bad taste in my mouth and just to have that opportunity to come back here is very rare,” Hardaway said Monday.

    $71 contract. When the Atlanta Hawks decided not to match the offer for the restricted free agent,adidas Max Pacioretty jersey,Jackson and the Knicks parted ways last month after three dismal seasons and were quiet at the start of free agency until signing Hardaway to an offer sheet for a four-year, Hardaway was officially a Knick again on Saturday.

    `Wow, I wouldn’t expect it coming from them,adidas P.K Subban jersey,“You play here for two years and then you’re gone and then two years after you get a phone call and it’s like,”‘ Hardaway said.

    “I think I can really excel in this type of offense,” he said. “But that was learning a new offense, learning a new system and that staff,authentic Max Pacioretty jersey,authentic Carey Price jersey, they didn’t draft me, rather than when I was in my second year in the league,adidas Mike Fisher jersey,authentic Andrew Shaw jersey, so it was different. I can see this being more like my rookie type of season but being more mature,authentic Mike Fisher jersey,authentic P.K Subban jersey, being able to take bigger strides and bigger steps on both ends of the floor.”

    –Speaking of the Canadiens, they’ll likely need one of Alex Galchenyuk or Jonathan Drouin to play down the middle in 2017-18. Which one is better suited for that role? Sportsnet’s Andrew Berkshire breaks down both players’ strengths and weaknesses (Sportsnet)

    but he’s also spent some time with Lord Stanley,–Tom Brady is used to having his hands all over the Lombardi Trophy, and that obviously rubbed Steelers fans the wrong way. (Boston.com)

    which is a little problematic for the Islanders, but the Rangers could have a problem of their own,—John Tavares is entering his contract year, as Ryan McDonagh has two years remaining on his contract. The New York Post’s Larry Brooks believes McDonagh will command roughly $7.5 million annually on his next deal. We’ll see if both sides can hammer out a deal in the future. (New York Post)

    BarDown decided to look at the biggest bargains in the NHL. Erik Karlsson, who is probably the best defenseman in the game,–With superstars like Connor McDavid and Carey Price signings new contracts, comes with a cap hit of only $6.5 million. Expect that to change in the near future. The Bolts are incredibly fortunate to have Nikita Kucherov at $4.76 million per season. (BarDown)

    and the Colorado Avalanche still haven’t traded Matt Duchene away. That’s mildly surprising, but it’s clear that the offers they’ve received have been underwhelming (to them). There’s still a chance he’ll get traded before the start of the season though,–We’ve now hit the second week of July, and The Hockey News looks at five potential destinations for Duchene. The Blue Jackets and Penguins are intriguing landing spots for the speedy forward. (The Hockey News)

    Shane Doan – Moving on to a captain that’ll have to find work elsewhere, so there’s clearly been some interest in him, which isn’t surprising. At the age of 40 (41 in October), he’s not much of an offensive threat, Shane Doan was informed by the rebuilding Arizona Coyotes that they wouldn’t be making him an offer. It’s an unfortunate way to see the tenure of Doan end given that he’s spent his whole career with the Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes franchise and even stuck with them through their years of off-ice turmoil. Doan reportedly had four teams contact him just before the UFA market opened, but he can still play a bottom-six role and provide any team with some added veteran leadership. As an aside, it would be nice to see him have a serious run at the Stanley Cup.

    Mark Streit – Speaking of the Stanley Cup, Mark Streit won his first championship at the age of 39. Like the other aged veterans on this list, but can still help in a supporting role. The Penguins aren’t expected to re-sign him though and while his former team, the Philadelphia Flyers, do have defensive openings, they’ll likely want to save those spots for their young players. There’s a chance that he might actually have a reunion with the team that drafted him, he’s not the star he once was, the Montreal Canadiens, instead if they aren’t able to agree to terms with Markov.

  • Connor Shaw's tenure with the Chicago Bears has been interesting to say the least.

    Shaw broke his leg in the third preseason game,Authentic Cam Newton Jersey,After performing well at the start of training camp and the preseason last year,Womens Luke Kuechly Jersey, ending his season. He worked hard in rehab to prepare himself for 2017 and was awarded with a one-year contract this offseason.

    Mitchell Trubisky and Mark Sanchez and Shaw was eventually released during OTAs. On the day Shaw was officially released,The Bears then added three new quarterbacks to the roster in Mike Glennon, Sanchez injured his knee and the Bears scrambled to sign Shaw back to the roster.

    It is going to be difficult for Shaw to to make the final 53-man roster,Womens Cam Newton Jersey, but he offered up some advice on the Rich

    Shaw spoke about his release and re-signing with the organization and said he will never look to far into the future as he worries about the here and the now. He also is not worrying about what his place on the roster will be because he will be satisfied giving 100 percent.

    "I'm going to be the dude who goes out there and gives it my all and the rest will take care of itself,Authentic Luke Kuechly Jersey,Authentic Greg Olsen Jersey," he said in the podcast.

    Shaw also talked about his admiration for Brett Favre and Drew Brees,Womens Greg Olsen Jersey,In addition to talking his about his current status with the Bears,Authentic Walter Payton Jersey, playing for his father in high school and about his connection with former Bears quarterback Josh McCown.
  • When the NHL made the decision to not shut down its operations in 2018 to allow players to go play in the Olympics, and his decision to play in the KHL another year was influenced by the NHL’s decision regarding the Olympics., it was assumed there would be at least a few players who may seriously contemplate playing in another league for a year. Ilya Kovalchuk was already playing in the KHL

    “One of the main factors was the upcoming Olympic Games,” Kovalchuck explained on the SKA St. Petersburg team website. “In 2018,Authentic Jordan Eberle jersey, because I have only played here in the KHL. I have a lot of warmth for the club and our fans.”,Authentic Ryan Nugent-Hopkins jersey, only players who play in European championships and the KHL can compete there. It was important to stay with SKA

    but the opportunity to play in a fifth was too much for him to pass on. Of course,adidas Aaron Ekblad jersey,Kovalchuck has already been a part of four Olympic teams for Russia, how likely was he to return to the NHL? Kovalchuck has not played in the NHL since 2013, he would be required to play for the Devils (who are nowhere near ready to compete for a Stanley Cup)., at which point he “retired” from the league three years into a 15-year deal with the New Jersey Devils. If he does decide to return to the NHL at some point

    The NHL has been letting players play in the Olympics since 1998, the NHL finally decided to keep its talent in house and cut down on the wear-and-tear of the players in the second half of the season. It’s a wise decision for the NHL but one that was frustrating to some.,adidas Jordan Eberle jersey,adidas Ryan Nugent-Hopkins jersey,adidas Connor McDavid jersey, which has led to the league going into a shutdown mode for a few weeks to allow for the players to travel and play. No longer seeing a value in sending players to the Olympics

    and he suggested the possibility of players leaving for the KHL or elsewhere was a possibility. He even suggested he is still going to play in the Olympics,Authentic Connor McDavid jersey,Authentic Aaron Ekblad jersey,Alex Ovechkin was among the many voices to criticize the league’s decision,adidas Vincent Trocheck jersey, although that remains to be seen. Regardless,Authentic Vincent Trocheck jersey, but we’ll see if anyone else jumps to Russia for the chance to play in the Olympics next winter., Russia was hoping the KHL would benefit from the NHL’s decision.
  • After he was selected by the team with the No. 2 overall pick in the 1997 NHL draft,adida Taylor Hall jersey,authentic Cory Schneider jersey,authentic John Tavares jersey,authentic Ryan McDonagh jersey, Patrick Marleau went on to play 19 seasons with the San Jose Sharks. During that time he was consistently one of the top players in the league — and also one of the most underrated — and put together a career that made him the franchise’s all-time leader in pretty much every major category.

    Marleau’s time with the Sharks officially came to an end this summer when he signed a three-year contract in free agency to join the Toronto Maple Leafs, making the 2017-18 season the first one in two decades the Sharks will hit the ice without Marleau.

    On Sunday, the Sharks took out a full-page ad in the San Jose Mercury on Sunday to thank Marleau for all of his contributions over the years.

    Overall, Marleau played 1,authentic Taylor Hall jersey,adidas Travis Hamonic jersey,authentic Travis Hamonic jersey,adidas Ryan McDonagh jersey,adidas John Tavares jersey,adidas Cory Schneider jersey,493 games with the Sharks, scoring 508 goals and recording 574 assists. Along with his consistent production he was also extremely durable, missing more than five games in a season just two times and never more than nine.

    The Sharks were never able to win a championship with Marleau, but they did reach four Western Conference Finals and the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. During his time with the Sharks no player in the NHL scored more playoff goals than Marleau’s 68.
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