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Jimmy Garoppolo's deal a reminder why Redskins opted for Alex Smith

If the Washington Redskins needed another reminder of why quarterback Alex Smith can help them, they received it Thursday afternoon. That’s when Jimmy Garoppolo signed a deal that averages $27.5 million per year. And that’s when they could, once more, be thankful that they traded for Smith. Or, excuse me, will trade for him March 14. Men's Andy Greene Premier White Reebok Jersey: NHL New Jersey Devils #6 AwayHe still must prove he’s a better fit in Washington than Kirk Cousins. But they’re comparable quarterbacks and Smith was more Womens Bobby Doerr Jersey affordable. Seeing Garoppolo’s deal with San Francisco hammered that home. It also reinforces what many said two years ago with Cousins when pushing the Redskins Peter Forsberg Youth jersey to strike a deal: Quarterback money always Patrick Marleau Jerseygoes up, and what looks like a lot of money now, quickly changes. The mistake was not anticipating where the contracts were headed. Neither Cousins nor Garoppolo belongs in that top-paid-quarterback spot when you look at their standing among the other passers. However, that’s not how free agency works, and both will benefit from excellent timing. Cousins played his best season right before entering free agency; Garoppolo did the same. Both served notice to every other quarterback in the future how to use the franchise tag -- or the threat of it -- to their financial advantage. Every time the Redskins tagged Cousins, that became the baseline for talks and his side parlayed that into $44 million over two years. Their proposal to Washington two years ago was a fully guaranteed three-year deal at $19.5 million per year. The Redskins had no desire to pay that much in guarantees. Garoppolo got paid for what the 49ers -- and many others -- believe he will do; Cousins will get paid because he’s a good quarterback in a league where few such players become available. But Garoppolo has started only seven games; Cousins has been a full-time starter for three seasons but started only one postseason game. That doesn’t make either one unworthy of signing, but it does point out how expensive the position has become. Before the Garoppolo deal, Derek Carr and Matthew Stafford had the two highest cap hits among quarterbacks this season and the two highest averages per year. Neither has won a playoff game. It’s a team game, so other areas matter quite a bit; Nick Foles winning the Super Bowl did not make him better than Tom Brady. However, if you’re going to pay a quarterback this much money, there is an expectation that he can lead his team somewhere. That brings us back to Smith. As of right now, he’ll have the 17th highest salary cap hit among quarterbacks this season. That’s before we know the details of Garoppolo’s deal and before Cousins has signed. Smith also will count $17.5 million less than Cousins would have had the Redskins used the franchise tag on Cousins or $11 million less than the transition tag. The Redskins' thinking for more than a year has been: If they don’t have Brady or Aaron Rodgers, they don’t want to pay a quarterback at the upper end of the pay scale. So without that sort of quarterback, pay less for a quality QB and build around him. Of course, it’s hard to do the latter, just as it’s hard to find a good starting quarterback. As has been stated often, it’s hard to truly know how beneficial Smith’s deal is because the details are unknown. But it will average $23.4 million per year. Considering the cap is expected to keep rising for the next few years, if his play remains at the same level as the past couple years, he’ll be paid accordingly. There will likely be an out after two years of the extension in case his play starts to drop. Quarterbacks up for new deals between now and 2019: Rodgers, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson, Philip Rivers, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota and Dak Prescott. Jared Goff and Carson Wentz are up in 2019, but both their teams likely would pick up their fifth-year option, pushing this to 2020. Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger are up after the 2019 season, but both could end up retiring (or already be retired). But all of this means the Redskins, if all goes right, will have a quarterback at a more desirable price. To make it work, though, Smith must continue be a solid starter. Even more so, the Redskins must finally build a complete team. And that, folks, is the hard part. It’s not as if the Redskins have been held back by the quarterback's money, so it’s time to finally get it right. nfl jerseys free shipping cheap nfl jerseys wholesale nike nfl jerseys supply wholesale jerseys china cheap jerseys free shipping

How Josh McDaniels went from Patriots to Colts and back again

As the Philadelphia Eagles were upsetting the New England Patriots on the field, social media was alive with speculation on the future of Josh McDaniels. The Patriots offensive coordinator had agreed to become the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts after a second meeting in Massachusetts during the Super Bowl bye week. Was McDaniels wavering in his decision? Youth St. Louis Blues #16 Brett Hull Reebok Blue Premier 2017 Winter Classic NHL JerseyAs Eagles coach Doug Pederson answered questions in his postgame news conference, McDaniels' agent, Bob LaMonte, was asked about his client’s future, according to a source. LaMonte was shocked there was even a question. “He’s going to Indy,” he said, unequivocally. Meanwhile, the Colts were dealing with tragedy with the death of linebacker Edwin Jackson, who along with Uber driver Jeffrey Monroe was struck and killed on the side of the road by a drunken driver early Sunday morning. “Sunday was a hard day,” Colts general manager Chris Ballard said. “I didn’t watch the Super Bowl. My mind was around Edwin Jackson and his family, Jeffrey Monroe and his family, that’s where my mind was. ... I don’t deal with [the rumors] world. I deal with what’s going on internally, where we’re going, what our internal perception is, making sure our fans understand where we’re coming from. All Authentic Roger Maris Jersey the rumors -- everybody has got an opinion or a take. Some are true, some are not.” On Monday, McDaniels returned from Super Bowl LII with the Patriots with a sense of finality. One of the last things on his agenda was to meet with owners Robert and Jonathan Kraft and coach Bill Belichick. Up to this point, they hadn’t discussed anything regarding McDaniels’ future. McDaniels began exit interviews with the Pats on Monday but seemed focused on his new beginning Tuesday morning when Ballard checked in with his coach-in-waiting. The two talked on the phone, making sure everything was on track for McDaniels' arrival in Indianapolis. They went over the agenda for a planned Wednesday news conference and the plane the Colts were sending to pick up McDaniels. McDaniels told Ballard he had his suit picked out and was ready to go. Around 11 a.m. ET, after Ballard’s call with McDaniels, the Colts tweeted the news that he would be their new coach, with a news conference set for 3:30 p.m. ET Wednesday. By Tuesday afternoon, Robert and Jonathan Kraft, as well as Belichick, met with McDaniels again and made an aggressive pitch. McDaniels' conversation with Belichick had particular influence, a source Authentic Nolan Ryan Jersey said. Belichick wasn’t trying to talk McDaniels out of going, but he knew his offensive coordinator was having second thoughts. Belichick offered to include McDaniels on more of the inner workings of the organization, from roster construction to financial/salary-cap related considerations. That was viewed as “extremely valuable” to McDaniels. Ownership also endorsed it as a way to extend Belichick’s influence on the organization in future years, although no assurances were given to McDaniels that he would succeed Belichick. McDaniels, who a source confirmed got a significant raise, has privately said in the past that he did not want to be the coach who succeeds Belichick. Although he since may have changed his mind, McDaniels knows Belichick, after five Super Bowl victories, will be a hard act to follow. Beyond financial and professional stability, McDaniels also was thinking of his family. He wanted a long-term commitment from the Patriots so his four children, ages 12 to 3, would be able to attend the same schools over the next several years. The transient life of a coach doesn’t always make that possible. After hours of meetings on Tuesday, McDaniels was swayed by the Patriots' pitch. He called Ballard, who was in a draft meeting at Colts headquarters, at 7:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday, and told him he had changed his mind and was “going in a different direction.” “He called and said he had bad news for me,” Ballard said. “I said, ‘I just need a yes or no answer. Are you in or out?’ We went around for a minute and he said he’s out and I said. ‘OK, we’re going to move forward. I wish you the best of luck.’” Ballard said he did not try to persuade McDaniels because he wanted his new coach to be “all-in.” The five-minute conversation ended, and Ballard told Colts owner Jim Irsay and then the public. A news release was sent out at 8:34 p.m. ET confirming McDaniels would not be the next Colts coach. Ballard was “pissed and angry because he was completely blindsided by the whole thing because the process was at the finish line,” according to a source. Ballard’s focus shifted from the initial shock of McDaniels’ call to going back to pool of candidates he had worked on compiling to find a coach who's “all-in on the vision” of the franchise. Ballard took the blame for scheduling a news conference without a signed deal. “I thought a lot about that but I was very confident," he said. "That’s on me; that’s not on the organization. That’s on me. I was very confident that a deal was in place and that we were going to be moving forward and having a press conference [Wednesday]. That’s on me.” McDaniels has been looking for the perfect head-coaching situation after his first stint with the Denver Broncos went sideways quickly. The Broncos wanted McDaniels to bring the Patriots' winning ways with him to the Rocky Mountains when they hired him in 2009. What they got instead was their very own videotaping scandal to go with losing and personnel blunders. McDaniels was fired less than halfway through his four-year, $8 million deal with an 11-17 record. He has been working his way back ever since, keeping an Excel file on his laptop titled “lessonslearned.xls.” McDaniels has in recent years turned down opportunities to pursue available head-coaching jobs in Cleveland, Los Angeles and Atlanta.One source said: “He’s always just insisted that everything be right, or he wasn’t going to leave.” It’s unclear what it was about the Colts' job that McDaniels ultimately decided wasn’t perfect, but he Andy Lee Jersey reached a point where he believed he was better off staying in New England.

Who does ZiPS project to be the top 100 prospects of 2018?

The ZiPS projection system is data-driven, so the names here will not necessarily match the names you see on a more scout-driven list. Which is fine, computers are great at sorting through large amounts of data, not scouting players, and what the data say provides a well-rounded look at a player in addition to the stats. You'll find a lot of agreement on a lot of players, this year's edition featuring nearly three-quarters of the same players as Keith Law's Top 100. It's the disagreements that tend to be the most interesting. Elite Women's Pat McAfee White Road Jersey: NFL Nike Indianapolis Colts #1 Vapor UntouchableOne note is that a projection system needs data, so there's one very notable omission here in Hunter Greene, drafted from high school and very little professional experience. For a player like him, I'm not sure a projection system has a lot to offer at this stage in his career. Projections are cool tools, but knowing how to use a tool also means knowing when not to use it. Hammers do what they do well, but you can't use them to fix a broken window. I think. Every year during Super Bowl week -- and especially when his New England Patriots are playing in the game -- Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer picks up the phone on his drive to spring training to talk baseball and football. Most of all, he makes a Super Bowl prediction -- usually a good one. In Super Bowl 49, he picked the Patriots to win by four over the Seattle Seahawks. They won 28-24. Last year, Hoyer was at it again when New England came from behind to beat Atlanta 34-28. Hoyer predicted 35-27. Can he be on the money a third time? And what does he think of his Kam Chancellor Womens Jersey Cubs coming off their "hangover" season? We will get to all that, but we begin with the passing of a popular executive. Kevin Towers Earl Campbell Womens Jersey was close with both Hoyer and Theo Epstein. He died earlier in the week after a battle with cancer. JH: The things that have been said about him that resonate with me are that he was one of those that was impossible not to have a good time with. He was happy all the time. You always felt like he was focused on you when talking to him. It was a gift, really. I had the unusual situation of taking over for him as GM in San Diego. He could not have been better to me. We ended up living just a few blocks from each other, and a number of times we would grab beers together before he ended up going to the Diamondbacks in 2011. We would meet for beers at his corner place and talk. I think that was pretty rare: to sit down with someone who used to have your job and talk. It shows what he was like. I always appreciated it. He will be dearly missed. Well said. Let’s get to what continues to be on everyone’s mind: the slow-moving free-agent market. Front offices, obviously, are part of that equation, along with agents and players. Lorenzo Cain said he finally signed when Milwaukee offered him a fifth year. My point is: Can’t the narrative change for any team, like it did for Milwaukee, through the team changing it themselves? In other words, couldn't they increase their offer and end the stalemate? JH: There’s a bit of a freeze right now because both sides feel good about their position and justified in their position. That’s why it has been so slow. Do you feel like you are in a position of strength in the market, considering there is so much inventory out there at this late date? In other words, you don’t feel like you have to budge? JH: I wouldn’t characterize it that way. Every team has their internal rankings. Every team has their evaluations which they will never reveal. Those rankings guide them through the market. Both sides of the market can always move or activate and free things up. To this point, we haven’t gotten there. Like everyone, as the calendar has gotten toward February, I keep thinking that there will be movement. I never expected to be driving to AZ with this much of the offseason left. Every year, I’m curious, on your long drive out to Arizona, between listening to the radio or some podcasts, when your mind wanders back to baseball, what do you think about most regarding your team and the coming season? JH: A few thoughts. We still have this excellent, young core. I think 2018 is the year where our guys are going to take a big step forward. Most of our guys are in their mid-20s, entering their prime years. I think this group is really going to come together. I’m excited for that part. On the pitching side, I like the additions, but we’re still looking to add depth. That’s an annual thing you think about. You prepare for injuries even if some years you go unscathed. And then the new coaching staff. I’m looking forward to working with them. We do have a lot of stability, but injecting some change into that can be a good thing. Follow up to that: How does the dynamic in spring change with new coaches? In this case, the front office and Joe Maddon know the players better than the new coaches -- at least right now. JH: It makes those early spring meetings that much more important. The last few years has been same players, same Authentic Matt Breida Jerseystaff. Generally, it makes those meetings a little easier. Those meetings will be more in depth this time around. More questions. Everyone talks about spring being too long. This year it’s probably a good thing to have the time for players and coaches to get to know each other. Speaking of coaches, if your team improves five-to-10 spots in the rankings regarding situational hitting -- like man on third and less than two outs -- will Chili Davis have done his job? JH: I’m not sure how you would define it, but we all saw the same thing last year. We struggled in those spots. We struggled in situational-hitting moments both in the regular season and in the postseason, and we probably did become a little home-run dependent. Chili really preaches a team focus on offense. Trust the guy behind you, pass the baton. We all want to get back to that grinding offense we had in 2016.

Cubs need familiar faces to take next step at the plate

CHICAGO -- After a winter makeover on the mound -- which still might see more changes -- the Chicago Cubs enter spring training with a very familiar group at the plate. In fact, when it comes to position players, there is not one new face outside of a backup catcher (Chris Gimenez) who might or might not make the team. The Cubs lost Jon Jay to Authentic ArDarius Stewart Jersey free agency but will go to battle this season with every other hitter who helped them to a third consecutive playoff berth last year. That might come as a surprise, as the team expected a potential trade for a pitcher this offseason, but phone calls with opposing front offices never led to anything. Men's Rajon Rondo Swingman Red Adidas Jersey: NBA New Orleans Pelicans #9 AlternateThat part should not come as a surprise, considering what other teams are looking for and how they value certain Cubs hitters. Multiple executives indicated throughout the offseason that if they were calling Chicago, they weren’t looking to "buy high" on Kyle Schwarber or Ian Happ, Reid Duke Jerseyfor example. Meanwhile, the Cubs undoubtedly view both those players in higher regard. They know them. They know their drive. Even Schwarber’s obvious body transformation wasn’t enough to sway a rival executive to give up an elite pitcher. Shortstop Addison Russell was dangled as well, according to league sources, but the match never fit there, either. So the core group gets another chance to do something special. “I think 2018 is the year where our guys are going to take a big step forward,” general manager Jed Hoyer said last week on his way to Mesa, Arizona, for spring training. “Most of our guys are in their mid-20s, entering their prime years. I think this group is really going to come together.” More than ever, the Cubs will need to rely on their offense, as their lack of pitching depth is starting to catch up with them. They drafted hitters high, which means at some point those players need to be the strength of the team as the front office figures out how to revamp the staff. Six free-agent pitchers should help, but they also bring question marks. On the other hand, there should be no questions about Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo & Co. But there are once you get to the "& Co." Sure, a healthy Willson Contreras has become someone to count on, but what about three other core guys who have shown inconsistent Charles Mann Jersey tendencies? This trio will decide if the Cubs' offense becomes a dangerous beast or continues to show its warts. Kyle Schwarber Those who have scoffed at his body transformation simply because it doesn’t mean he can hit fastballs again actually do have a point. We don’t know if he’ll return to being a fearsome hitter -- at least not yet. What we do know is that getting into great shape has never hurt anyone. If Schwarber can leg out one more hit per month, it can be meaningful. If he plays defense, say, just 25 percent better than he has in the past, it can be meaningful as well. Those things are now possible, but he’ll be judged on his contact rate more than anything. The power is there. Let’s face it: 2017 was a throwaway year for Russell. He was hurt, faced off-the-field issues and rarely looked like his old self, both in the field and at the plate. Talk about a misleading stat: Russell actually hit one point higher in 2017 than he did in 2016, but no one who watched him would think that his season last year was anything close to the season he had when the Cubs won the World Series. The big hits and big plays were few and far between in 2017. It leads to one simple question: Are Russell’s health issues behind him? If so, then his paltry .304 on-base percentage in 2017 should improve, as should his play in the field. The bar is high for him on defense. It’s not like he was bad last season, but he needs to stay healthy. The favorite of many a fan, he can frustrate even the most die-hard Baez lovers. It’s not so much how many times he strikes out as how he goes down. Usually, it’s on a breaking pitch nowhere near the plate. Having said that, Baez's OPS was .796 last year. One more leap and he will be a real difference-maker. He was having just an OK season on defense until Russell went down with an injury. Then he picked up his game. If Baez can play 162 like he did while filling in for Russell, he will finally shed the "inconsistent" label. First things first: Lay off those breaking balls and take some walks. Everything else will follow. Of course, the team isn’t reliant on just these three hitters, but they have the highest ceilings. It’s these three players -- with a nod to Albert Almora as well -- who are X factors who have shown flashes of greatness, but we don’t yet know how good they can be over the long haul. This is the year they need to bring it for a full season. One of the yearly articles I have the most fun writing is the list of the top 100 ZiPS minor league prospects. Forecasting is inherently a future-driven activity, even if it uses the past as a guide, and it is always tantalizing to peer behind the veil and try to see a bit of the future. It is also the hardest forecasting challenge; they're called prospects, after all, and not guarantees. It isn't that hard to project Clayton Kershaw to be a Cy Young favorite or Joey Votto to be the crazy genius of hitting, but it's extremely hard to find the next versions of those players. cheap jerseys paypal nfl jerseys nike nba jerseys wholesale nhl jerseys cheap nba jerseys for sale

Unquestionably, Cleveland has improved compared

to the dysfunctional group we saw lose 14 of its last 22 games. Since returning from his hip injury, Thomas has been one of the league's least effective players, and replacing him with a point guard rotation of George Hill and Jordan Clarkson will immediately improve the Cavaliers. Youth Nike Elite Niles Paul Washington Redskins Burgundy Red Jersey: NFL Vapor Untouchable 80th Anniversary #84 AlternateCleveland has also added more shooting with Rodney Hood stepping into the wing rotation in place of Jae Crowder and Dwyane Wade and more athleticism and explosiveness in the frontcourt with Larry Nance Jr. replacing Channing Frye. Perhaps more importantly, the Cavaliers have reset their chemistry after the difficulty of integrating Thomas led to finger pointing in the locker room. Something had to change in Cleveland, and many things did. Men's Reebok Edmonton Oilers #93 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Premier Orange Third NHL JerseyAll of that should concern the Celtics and the Raptors, who had to hope -- if only briefly -- that the Cavaliers might be so broken as to crash out early from the playoffs, before a possible Eastern Conference finals matchup with them. Surely, neither Boston nor Toronto wants to see even a lesser Cleveland team in the playoffs after the Cavaliers soundly defeated both en route to last year's NBA Finals. At the same time, I don't think Cleveland's moves should cause the Warriors to fear a fourth consecutive Finals matchup. Dealing Thomas ceded the possibility that the Cavs could Womens Tarik Cohen Jersey get him back to last year's All-NBA form, which would have given them a second shot creator on the perimeter. And Crowder, sent to the Utah Jazz, looked like an ideal matchup Brandon Morrow Authentic Jersey for Golden State's versatile frontcourt. Without them, Cleveland is left with a lower ceiling. Projections using the multiyear, predictive version of ESPN's real plus-minus (RPM) don't suggest this Cavaliers roster is in the same class as the Warriors. Let's take a look at a possible rotation once Kevin Love returns to the lineup. RPM projects Cleveland as nearly average defensively, which would be a huge improvement for a team that currently ranks 29th in defensive rating. However, the projection of an offense 2.9 points per 100 possessions better than league average would be slightly worse than what the Cavaliers have managed so far (3.4 points per 100 possessions better). This kind of team would typically win about 47 games in a full season, similar to Cleveland's current pace but obviously much better than the team has managed recently (and better than what the Cavaliers' negative point Authentic Lorenzo Mauldin Jerseydifferential would typically suggest). It's possible role players such as Hill, Hood and Nance will exceed their projections playing alongside James. Still, the pressing question of who the Cavaliers' third-best player is after James and Love remains up for debate, and that's a big downgrade from when Kyrie Irving was a part of's big three. I suggested last month that the Lakers should look to sell high on Clarkson in the midst of the best season of his career if they could find a taker who would send back expiring contracts in return. Little did I imagine then that the Lakers would be able to foist Clarkson on the very team whose star they hope to sign. To be clear, we should not consider this a "LeBron or bust" move for the Lakers. Whether they're planning to aggressively pursue multiple max players this summer or pivot to 2019, as ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier this week, moving Clarkson's salary was an important step. The Lakers now have two paths available. If need be, they can renounce the rights to restricted free agent Julius Randle and waive Luol Deng and stretch the $36 million-plus remaining on his contract. Those moves would likely give them enough cap space to sign a max free agent with 10-plus years of experience (like James) and one with seven to nine years of experience (like Paul George). Alternatively, they can hang on to Deng, try to re-sign Randle to a reasonable contract and wait until summer 2019, when will be additional max talent on the market. In that case, the Lakers would still have about $45 million in cap space to take on short-term salary from teams in the luxury tax or sign players to one-year contracts. They're in an enviable position either way. The same can't be said for Thomas, who has seen his market value diminish dramatically over the last nine months. The best remaining hope for Thomas to get the kind of lucrative deal he was hoping to command would have been turning things around with the Cavaliers and having James re-sign in Cleveland. That would have all but forced the Cavaliers to re-sign him using Bird rights. Now, Montee Ball Jersey Thomas finds himself with a team that's unlikely to have any interest in re-signing him to a long-term deal. Perhaps if he proves a good fit, Thomas could re-sign a one-year deal with the Lakers that gives him a chance to rebuild his value. But if Thomas continues to struggle in L.A., the Brink's truck isn't coming.,101306

MLB's best up-and-coming players for 2018

Let's get right to the point: You want to know the future. Some of you might have different reasons for wanting to know, but the ability to see a slice of the future would be empowering. That's why you're here. You want to know some baseball players who are about to improve. Men's Nike Green Bay Packers #69 David Bakhtiari Limited Olive 2017 Salute to Service NFL JerseyImagine what you could do with that knowledge! I find this all rather intoxicating. It's an annual pursuit -- the search for players on the verge of something special. You might not need me to say this, but telling the future is hard. All you can do is try in good faith. Men's Authentic Majestic Michael Taylor White Home Jersey - #3 MLB Washington Nationals Cool BaseWhat you'll find are 10 young players poised to reach the next level. Don't read too much into the order; it's alphabetical. These players are "up-and-comers" instead of "breakouts." The difference between the two is blurry. Last season, the Yankees' Aaron Judge was a breakout; the Cardinals' Tommy Pham and Dodgers' Chris Taylor were breakouts. Someone like Houston's Alex Bregman didn't exactly break out, but he could have been considered an up-and-comer who simply established himself over a full season. All young breakouts are up-and-comers, but not all up-and-comers are breakouts, if you know what I mean. These are guys I think could become quality regulars in 2018. In points leagues, when you check out the end-of-season scoring leaders, there are likely to be more starting pitchers in the top 50 than players from any other position on the field. For 2018, 40 hitters are projected to have 400-plus fantasy points in ESPN default scoring, and that's spread out all over the diamond. By comparison, 22 starting pitchers are projected for the same 400-plus total. It's for this reason that, especially terms of the elite arms, Clayton Kershaw and his fellow Cy Young candidate brethren tend to get a big bump in points league rankings, as compared to in category-based leagues, in which even the best of the best starting hurlers are destined to have a goose egg in the saves category, putting a ceiling on their maximum overall value compared to hitters. No such handicap exists in points leagues, which is why I often lean toward the No. 1 starting pitcher as the No. 1 overall selection. However, in 2018, that isn't the case. Mike Trout, even though he missed to 50 games last season with a thumb injury, was one of only nine members of 20-20 club -- and his 33 HRs were far and away the most of this group, despite his having only 507 PA on the season. Assuming a healthy 2018, there's little reason not to expect a final stat line in the neighborhood of 40 HRs, 100 runs, 100 RBIs and 20 steals. Throw into the mix that Trout has seen his BB/K rate rise for four consecutive seasons, Zach LaVine Jersey to the point that in 2017 he had more walks than strikeouts for the first time in his career, and we're looking at a points-league player to which there are few rivals. While it's true that you can never predict injuries, and I tend to shy away from trying to bake the risk of a player getting hurt into my overall rankings, it's hard to ignore the chance that Clayton Kershaw's back won't allow him to get through 2018 without his missing any starts. With that in mind, I'm going to have to take last year's No. 1 and drop Kershaw a few pegs. If I get the No. 1 overall pick in my points league draft, I'll be sure to land Trout and take it from there. -- AJ Mass Trout has been a joy to roster in a fantasy league since his breakout season of 2012, and few have questioned his place atop the fantasy rankings hierarchy. However, a funny thing has happened while the Los Angeles Angels' star has earned (mostly) unquestioned status as the No. 1 guy for most every format: The diminutive second baseman for the Houston Astros has been valuable for fantasy purposes each and every since 2014. Jose Altuve has topped Trout in value in four consecutive seasons! As a result, it seems only fair that Altuve ever so gently brushes Trout to the No. 2 spot, which by the way is still really, really good. It is not that anyone is dumping Trout to Luis Valbuena territory. Trout is Authentic Karlos Dansby Jersey awesome. Altuve has just been a bit more awesome, as he has compiled a .334 batting average -- with three AL batting titles! -- over four years with an average of 18 home runs, 76 RBIs, 39 steals and 98 runs in 156 games per season. Altuve deserves this honor, and there's no hint of pending statistical drop-off, either. In a basic roto league, one should be looking for all kinds of things, with balance chief among them, but most of the Wayne Gretzky Jersey time, it comes down to taking the best player available, at least in the early rounds. Trout does everything well. He hits for average, offers power and speed, and scores many runs. Let us not hold the 2017 injury and missed games against him. Altuve, however, hits for more average -- a lot more, really -- and steals more bases. These are important factors. It is certainly not solely about the power, and position Authentic Brandon Shell Jersey scarcity plays no role here, either, but Altuve is great. Trout is great. Just be objective and willing to think outside the proverbial roto box: One of them finishes ahead of the other on the ESPN Player Rater each season. It seems time to acknowledge this with the top spot in the rankings as well, so please, Jose Altuve, do not disappoint. -- Eric Karabell

The upshot: Cousins is likely to find

a historic contract on the open market, but it won't necessarily be easy for him to get there. Each potential landing spot has hurdles in front of it that he and/or his new team Dejounte Murray Authentic Jersey will have to clear. We're not likely to know the exact parameters of the Cousins market until after the combine, when the free-agency picture starts coming into focus. But when the smoke clears, expect Cousins to be at the top of the most interesting quarterback offseason in memory. Nick Vannett Women's Limited White Jersey: Nike NFL Seattle Seahawks Vapor Untouchable Road #81NFL head-coaching candidates with ties to New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick have already filled multiple openings during the Womens Tim Anderson Jersey 2018 hiring cycle. Women's Jake DeBrusk Premier Black Adidas Jersey: NHL Boston Bruins #74 HomeThe other Belichick associates -- some with strong ties to Belichick, others with weaker ones -- have combined for a 156-227 (.407) record as head coaches under varying circumstances, with only one posting a winning record so far. This poor mark has become a leading case against Belichick assistants, but the associations could be overblown. Matt Patricia and Mike Vrabel could find themselves in strong position to win. Patricia will inherit a 9-7 Detroit Lions team featuring Matthew Stafford and two 1,000-yard receivers. Vrabel will take over a 9-7 Tennessee Titans team that won a playoff game this season and features Marcus Mariota at quarterback. Here's a quick look at how former Belichick assistants fared as head coaches, ordered by winning percentage. I've revisited the quarterback situations Tony Dorsett Jersey in each case and put each tenure into perspective. The associations with Belichick are weak in some cases, especially as they pertain to whether the coaches succeeded ultimately. Josh McDaniels and Eric Mangini are two examples who spent nearly all their professional careers aligned with Belichick before becoming head coaches. Many of the others had significant careers apart from Belichick, starting with Al Groh, the only coach on the list with a winning record as a head coach. QB situation: O'Brien inherited and quickly traded Matt Schaub, who had set an NFL record the previous season by throwing pick-sixes in four straight games. He went 27-21 in his first three seasons with Brock Osweiler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, Case Keenum, T.J. Yates, Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden as his starters. How did O'Brien do it? The Texans had the NFL's second-ranked defense over that span, according to ESPN's efficiency metric. That let O'Brien survive long enough to select Deshaun Watson in the 2017 draft. Takeaway: O'Brien worked as a head coach at Penn State after leaving the Patriots and before joining the Texans, an experience that surely played a significant role in preparing him. He's won two AFC South titles and just earned a contract extension through 2022, putting him in position to become a success story among former Belichick assistants. Belichick ties: Mangini was a defensive assistant under Belichick with the Browns and Patriots, rising to defensive coordinator with New England in 2005. He also worked with Belichick on Parcells' Jets staff. QB situation: Mangini inherited Chad Pennington, who went 11-13 as a starter during Mangini's tenure, tossing 27 touchdown passes with 25 interceptions in those starts. The team acquired Brett Favre for Mangini's final season and started 8-3, only to finish 9-7 and out of the playoffs, with Favre tossing 22 touchdowns with 22 picks. Takeaway: Trading for Favre was part of an expensive push into the veteran player market that raised expectations for Mangini. Those expectations went unmet, and Mangini was fired. His tenure was ultimately disappointing, but not disastrous. In firing Mangini, the Jets' then-general manager Mike Tannenbaum thanked him for doing a "great job" in establishing a foundation. QB situation: McDaniels inherited Jay Cutler and was expected to do great things with him, but the two clashed from the beginning after Denver showed interest in former Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel, who was traded to Kansas City instead. The Broncos traded Cutler to Chicago. Kyle Orton wound up making 27 of 28 starts during the abbreviated McDaniels era, which included spending a 2010 first-round pick on Tim Tebow. Takeaway: McDaniels' turbulent, ill-fated run with the Broncos played a leading role in bolstering the narrative that former Belichick assistants could not export New England's culture simply because they enjoyed similar autonomy. McDaniels and Mangini qualify as a Belichick protégés more than the other coaches on this list. They were relatively young and had spent nearly all their careers with when hired as head coaches. baseball jerseys cheapnhl jerseys wholesale nba jerseys wholesale nike nfl jerseys 2016 cheap nfl jerseys free shipping nike nfl jerseys 2016

Resetting the 2018 NFL offseason quarterback market

Kirk Cousins is a little more than a month away from showing us what can happen when a healthy, top-level starting quarterback in his prime hits the free-agent market. This will be unprecedented. In the era of the franchise tag, only two top-level quarterbacks have become unrestricted free agents -- Peyton Manning in 2012 and Drew Brees in 2006 -- and each was coming off a major injury at the time. Youth Ted Williams Authentic Red Majestic Jersey: MLB Boston Red Sox #9 Alternate Cool BaseCousins is 29 years old, healthy and coming off his third straight 4,000-yard passing season at a time of rapid salary-cap growth. As of March 12, when agents of prospective free agents are free to talk with other teams, Cousins will be in a position to set a new standard at the top of the NFL salary structure. Men's Shawn Kemp Swingman Red Mitchell and Ness Jersey: NBA Oklahoma City Thunder #40 Throwback SuperSonicsNow, because I know some of you will ask: No, I do not think there is any chance Washington franchises Cousins for the third year in a row. It's certainly true that it has considered the idea of franchising him and trying to trade him, in an effort to avoid losing him and getting nothing in Cameron Sutton Jerseyreturn. And at this stage of the process, that's the right position for them to be taking outwardly, just in case some team wants to offer them something crazy. But I, and the sources I've spoken to on this matter, consider a third Cousins franchise tag (which would cost Washington about $34.5 million) a totally unrealistic outcome. Why? Well, any team willing to trade anything of significance for Cousins would want to know that they can sign him long term, and for how much. Washington is likely to end up with a third-round compensatory pick if it lets Cousins walk, which means a team probably would need to offer second-rounder or more in order to get him, and why would a team do that if all it is guaranteed is one year at $34.5 million? If Washington franchises Cousins, he'll surely rush to sign the tender and put the team in an impossible bind. That $34.5 million would immediately hit Washington's 2018 salary cap along with about $24 million in cap cost for Alex Smith, likely requiring undesirable roster cuts elsewhere and making it basically impossible for the team to do anything else in terms of player acquisition until they traded Cousins. In theory, Cousins could make it easy on Washington by negotiating with potential trade partners on a long-term deal before a trade is finalized, but there's no reason to believe Cousins is or will be interested in doing his current team any favors. If Washington did decide to franchise Cousins, the more likely reason would be that it got cold feet on the Smith deal and decided to back out before it became official. As of Tuesday night, we can call this "Pulling a McDaniels." Not saying this will happen, but if Tuesday taught Alex Anzalone Jersey us nothing else, it's that nothing is final until it's final. What Cousins wants -- and believes he deserves -- is a chance to hit the market unfettered, with a menu of potential new destinations from which to choose. It appears certain he will get that, and when he does, his deal could average $30 million or more per season with upward of $90 million in guarantees. The questions then will become how many teams will bid that high and how much he likes the idea of playing for those teams. The Minnesota Vikings, who are coming off a 13-3 season and with all three quarterbacks on their roster eligible for free agency, should be at the top of Cousins' wish list. They have the cap space to make it happen. They have an elite defense, top-level wide receivers, a strong running game and an offensive line that -- while it might need some maintenance work in the coming years -- did an awfully good job of keeping Case Keenum clean in 2017. The question with the Vikings is how committed they are to developing Teddy Bridgewater as their long-term solution and Kyle Van Noy Jersey rewarding Keenum for what he did in 2017. If they bring one or both of those guys back, that probably rules out Cousins. But if they see themselves a Cousins away from the Super Bowl, maybe they change the plan and go for it. The New York Jets also have the cap room and the need. Their roster needs more work than Minnesota's does, but the receiving corps showed promise this season, the coach just got extended, and Cousins has spoken highly of new offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates. Perhaps he'd enjoy a shot to make a big splash in Jarvis Landry Authentic Jersey the Big Apple. The Buffalo Bills are coming off a 9-7 season and have a No. 1 receiver in Kelvin Benjamin and an elite running back in LeSean McCoy. If Cousins likes what Sean McDermott is putting together in Buffalo, the Bills become an interesting option that might not be too far from title contention. The Jacksonville Jaguars would be interesting if they found a way to move on from Blake Bortles, but his $19 million contract option could end up being guaranteed if Bortles, who just had wrist surgery, can't pass a physical by early March. The Cleveland Browns will have all kinds of money to spend, but that situation comes with a ton of uncertainty. How long will Hue Jackson be the coach? Would Cousins expect to click immediately with offensive coordinator Todd Haley? How close, really, is a team that is 1-31 over the past two years to contention? There's long-range coaching staff uncertainty, too, with the Denver Broncos, who also have to move a bunch of money around to clear room for a Cousins pursuit. And while the Arizona Cardinals have a need and sound like a nicer place to live than some of these other options, the Cardinals feel like a start-from-scratch situation in the wake of Bruce Arians' and Carson Palmer's retirements (and possibly Larry Fitzgerald's, too).,26662

J.D. Martinez will be the starting DH for

It's time for my second Anders Nilsson Youth jersey annual way-too-early All-Star teams. This is a tough assignment! We should turn this into a contest, that's how difficult it is. Last year I successfully named a whopping 28 of 71 All-Stars. You may think that's a lousy percentage, but only 23 players were All-Stars in both 2016 and 2017. Consider some of last year's All-Stars: Justin Smoak, Corey Dickerson, Yonder Alonso, Men's Dallas Stars #15 Bobby Smith Reebok White Away Premier NHL JerseyAvisail Garcia, Chris Devenski, Alex Wood and Corey Knebel. Nobody would have Alejandro Villanueva Jersey predicted any of those players to make it in February. And veterans like Jason Vargas, Ryan Zimmerman and Zack Cozart monster first halves to get there. I nailed Robbie Ray, but missed badly on Robert Gsellman (I did, however, predict an injury for Noah Syndergaard). Youth Mickey Mantle Replica Navy Blue Majestic Jersey: MLB New York Yankees #7 Alternate Cool BaseThis year's way-too-early All-Star selection process is made even more difficult by all the unsigned free agents, as we don't even know what teams some potential All-Stars will be playing for. On top of that, we have to account for what the fans might do -- last year, I had Cubs fans voting in Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber as starters, and none even made the team -- plus we have to have a representative from every team, including the Marlins. And remember that rosters were cut from 34 to 32 players last year. Yes, I'm predicting Hosmer to re-sign with the Royals and Martinez to sign with the Red Sox and both to become All-Star starters. ... AL first base lacks an obvious favorite to win the fan vote, especially if Miguel Cabrera doesn't bounce back. Smoak was the starter last year, but look for Royals fans to enthusiastically support Hosmer, the 2016 starter. He'll have to get off to a better start than last year, however, when he hit .225 with one home run in April. ... Salvador Perez has started the past four All-Star Games, but Sanchez unseats him thanks to his prolific offensive production. ... Jose Ramirez started at third base last year and might end up on the ballot at second, so I'm going with Donaldson being healthy out of the gate and putting up big numbers. ... Shortstop will be a fun vote with Correa, Francisco Lindor and now Manny Machado, but Correa is my preseason AL MVP favorite, so I'm predicting big things. ... Stanton might be listed as a DH, but let's put him in the outfield in a stellar starting trio. The players will vote in Perez as the backup, but Mike Zunino could be a surprise here. He was second to Sanchez in WAR among AL catchers in 2017. ... If Abreu doesn't make it, I have no idea who ends up representing the White Sox since Garcia is an obvious regression candidate. ... It's too for Yoan Moncada, plus second base is loaded with Schoop, Robinson Cano and Brian Dozier. Schoop made it last year and I'm buying a Womens Shawn Kelley Jersey repeat of his breakout season. ... As I went through the rosters, Beltre was my final selection as the lone choice from the Rangers. He last made the All-Star team in 2014, although AL third base remains loaded with up-and-coming potential All-Stars like Alex Bregman and Matt Chapman. ... A couple years ago, AL outfield was so weak that Michael Saunders, Mark Trumbo, Ian Desmond and an aging Carlos Beltran were All-Stars. There's much more depth now, with defensive whiz Buxton a good bet to make his first All-Star team. ... Davis beats out Nelson Cruz, last year's AL RBI leader, for the second DH spot. So many good choices for starting pitchers as I left out Luis Severino, Dallas Keuchel and Marcus Stroman among others. Aaron Sanchez, a 2016 All-Star and that year's AL ERA champ, is another starter to watch if he can keep the blisters from popping up. ... Verlander fixed his mechanics in the second half last year when he went 10-2, 1.95. He will be a preseason Cy Young favorite alongside Kluber and Sale. ... How good will the Cole trade look if he makes the All-Star team? ... This is the year Paxton finally stays healthy and makes 30 starts. ... Chris Archer is the more obvious pick for the Rays, but we know there has to be a surprise here, so let's go off the charts for Snell. The young lefty has top-shelf stuff and got his delivery in order in the second half, when he posted a 3.49 ERA and improved his strikeout-to-walk ratio from 1.32 in the first half to 2.96. He's a strong breakout candidate. ... I'd love to see Miggy make the team, since that means he's mashing again, but his poor 2017 performance and back issues are a concern, so Greene is my pick for the Tigers. ... We have to pick somebody from that dominant Yankees bullpen and Green is my guy. Batters swing through his high-spin four-seamer as he struck out 103 in just 69 innings. He's not the closer, but he’ll give Aaron Boone a valuable midgame option. Posey makes his fourth straight at catcher, edging out Yadier Molina in the voting. ... National League first base is the most loaded position in the majors. Zimmerman was the starter last year, Rizzo in 2016 and Paul Goldschmidt in 2015, so the fan voting could go in any direction. Joey Votto might Hayes Pullard Womens Jersey be the best, but hasn't started since 2013. How about another new starter in Freeman? He was hitting .341/.461/.748 when he was hit by a pitch and fractured his wrist on May 17. ... Second base is pretty weak, so let's give Murphy his second straight appearance there. ... Arenado won the voting last year, and I'll project him again, although it feels weird to have no Cubs starters given their rabid fan base. ... Kenley Jansen ripped Dodgers fans after Cozart beat out Seager in the voting last year, but Seager should make his third straight appearance and first as a starter ... Harper is an easy choice and Ozuna actually has started the past two All-Star Games. Pham is my surprise choice, but he had a quietly awesome all-around season, and Cardinals fans will vote well if he gets off to a good start.

How Belichick assistants have fared as NFL head coaches

Matt Patricia and Mike Vrabel could find themselves in strong position to win. Patricia will inherit a 9-7 Detroit Lions team featuring Matthew Stafford and two 1,000-yard receivers. Vrabel will take over a 9-7 Tennessee Titans team that won a playoff game this season and features Marcus Mariota at quarterback. ere's a quick look at how former Belichick assistants fared as head coaches, ordered by winning percentage. I've revisited the quarterback situations in each case and put each tenure into perspective. Nike Kayvon Webster Women's Pink Limited Jersey: #21 NFL Los Angeles Rams Rush FashionThe associations with Belichick are weak in some cases, especially as they pertain to whether the coaches succeeded ultimately. Lawrence Timmons Youth jersey Josh McDaniels and Eric Mangini are two examples who spent nearly all their professional careers aligned with Belichick before becoming head coaches. Many of the others had significant careers apart from Belichick, starting with Al Groh, the only coach on the list with a winning record as a head coach. QB situation: O'Brien inherited and quickly traded Matt Schaub, who had set an NFL record the previous season by throwing pick-sixes in four straight games. He went 27-21 in his first three seasons with Brock Osweiler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, Case Keenum, T.J. Yates, Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden as his starters. How did O'Brien do it? The Texans had the NFL's second-ranked defense over that span, according to ESPN's efficiency metric. That let O'Brien survive long enough to select Deshaun Watson in the 2017 draft. Takeaway: O'Brien worked as a head coach at Penn State after leaving the Patriots and before joining the Texans, an experience that surely played a significant role in preparing him. He's won two AFC South titles and just earned a contract extension through 2022, putting him in position to become a success story among former Belichick assistants. QB situation: A.J. Feeley and Jay Fiedler were the Dolphins' notable quarterbacks before Saban arrived. The team signed Gus Frerotte in free agency before Saban's first season, then acquired Joey Harrington via trade a year later. Frerotte went 9-6 as a starter under Saban, who wound up using five starters during his tenure.Takeaway: Saban worked as a head coach at Michigan State and LSU between leaving Belichick's Browns staff and joining the Dolphins. He was also a head coach at Toledo before joining Belichick's staff in Cleveland. Is Saban a former Belichick assistant? Yes. Did his association with Belichick define him when the Dolphins hired him? No. QB situation: McDaniels inherited Jay Cutler and was expected to do great things with him, but the two clashed from the beginning after Denver showed interest in former Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel, who was traded to Kansas City instead. The Broncos traded Cutler to Chicago. Kyle Orton wound up making 27 of 28 starts during the John Wall Authentic Jersey abbreviated McDaniels era, which included spending a 2010 first-round pick on Tim Tebow. Takeaway: McDaniels' turbulent, ill-fated run with the Broncos played a leading role in bolstering the narrative that former Belichick assistants could not export New England's culture simply because they enjoyed similar autonomy. McDaniels and Mangini qualify as a Kenny Golladay Jersey Belichick protégés more than the other coaches on this list. They were relatively young and had spent nearly all their careers with Belichick when hired as head coaches. QB situation: Schwartz inherited Dan Orlovsky, Jon Kitna and Daunte Culpepper from a team that had gone 0-16 the previous season. The Lions traded Kitna and drafted Matthew Stafford first overall. Stafford started 61-of-80 games under Schwartz and peaked with a 10-6 season in 2011, when Stafford ranked third in touchdown passes (41) and 13th in Total QBR (60.5). Takeaway: A three-year scouting association with Belichick does not exactly make Schwartz a disciple, especially when we consider that Schwartz coached with Baltimore and Tennessee for more than a decade between leaving Cleveland and joining Detroit. Schwartz helped make the Lions competitive after they were historically uncompetitive. However, the team did not consistently exhibit the discipline that has long been a Belichick hallmark.QB situation: Crennel inherited Matt Cassel and then signed one of his former Browns quarterbacks, Brady Quinn, as a free agent before the 2012 season. Cassel and Quinn were each 1-7 as Chiefs starters under Crennel, while Kyle Orton won two of his three starts. Takeaway: Crennel operated under dire circumstances. He took over as interim coach after Todd Haley's firing and then endured a tragic ending to his only full season in 2012 when linebacker Jovan Belcher committed suicide in the parking lot at team headquarters. Crennel's association with Belichick would not seem to rank high on a list of why his Chiefs tenure did not succeed. wholesale nba jerseys cheap jerseys elite jerseys for cheapwholesale nfl jerseys nike nba jerseys for sale wholesale jerseys

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