Here's the thing: With their young core and all-world ace Chris Sale, the Red Sox are built to win now. But they have an urgent need for a slugger after finishing last in the American League in home runs for the first time since 1993, getting bounced in the division series for a second straight year and seeing the power-packed New York Yankees muscle up even more by trading for Stanton. And guess who represents J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer, the two best free-agent hitters.
But Boras needs the Red Sox as much as they need him. Martinez recently hired him and ditched longtime agent Bob Garber because he believes Boras can show him the most money. Hosmer has been with Boras throughout his career in preparation for this offseason, when, at age 28, he's one of the youngest players in free agency. For more than an hour Wednesday, Boras held court with reporters at the winter meetings and hyped Martinez, Hosmer and other clients as only he can. He mentioned Martinez's .690 slugging percentage last season, continued to dub him "the King Kong of slugging" and made sure everyone knew the 30-year-old outfielder doesn't mind being a designated hitter. His sales pitch on Hosmer included the concept of "prestige value," a metric Boras invented for intangibles such as leadership in the clubhouse, instincts on the field and a reputation as a winner. Boras' job is to drum up as much interest as possible in his players, which may be why he brought Martinez, a Florida resident, to the meetings on Wednesday. But he also knows Boston is a big market and owner Frank Gore Authentic Jersey John Henry is willing to raise payroll above the $197 million competitive-balance threshold. The easiest way for Boras to get a big payday for Martinez and Hosmer is to place at least one of them with the power-deprived Red Sox. Dombrowski is known for being expeditious in identifying players he wants and closing deals, and indications are he's ready to move on a contract, most likely for Martinez. Boras has a reputation for slow-playing the offseason, allowing other agents to set the market and then extracting more money or additional years from teams that finally get tired of waiting. And the Red Sox have little choice other than to wait. After swapping most of their top prospects over the past two years to get closer Craig Kimbrel, left-hander Drew Pomeranz, reliever Tyler Thornburg and Sale, the farm system is no longer fertile enough to support another trade for, say, Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu. The Sox asked about outfielder Marcell Ozuna and were told they didn't have the upper-level pitching prospect the Miami Marlins wound up getting from the St. Louis Cardinals. Dombrowski could pivot to a second-tier free agent (Carlos Santana, for instance), but the drop-off from Martinez is considerable. And so, the Red Sox http://www.ottawasenatorsofficialonline.com/Adidas-Jean-gabriel-Pageau-Jersey face the tricky proposition of waiting for Boras to get down to business while also trying to explore alternatives and keeping as many options open as they can. "It's something that we talk about all the time," Dombrowski said. "I think it's based upon feel and pulse and where you think the market is and when you need Authentic Malik Hooker Jersey to make a decision rather than when you might have to make a decision. There's a risk-reward attached to that. Because some players are going to start signing pretty soon, and if you wait, you lose some players that you may have interest in." The Red Sox and Martinez appear to be a perfect match, and they eventually might strike a deal. For now, though, http://www.officialpredatorsteamonline.com/Roman_Josi_Jersey Dombrowski and Boras will continue to sit on opposite coasts and stare at each other like Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov over a chess board, each waiting for the other to flinch. "When you're in the bus, you don't go anywhere without a road. And I don't make those roads," Boras said. "You don't call a team and direct them. They control the labor force. They control the offers." Regardless, the time is coming for someone to make a move. The Dombrowski-Boras stalemate Authentic Carlos Martinez Jersey can't last forever. Now that executives from all 30 clubs have dispersed, everyone is waiting for the inevitable surge of activity. But when? There was once a time when the big free agents felt a sense of urgency to find homes by Christmas. Now it seems inevitable that some very good players will be looking for jobs in January and even February. Seattle's Jerry Dipoto isn't the only general manager who thinks trade first, free agency later. "As front offices become more robust, there's a lot more discussion in and around the entire landscape,'' said Toronto GM Ross Atkins. "When you have 30-man baseball operations teams who understand every single system and every single major league roster, it creates more opportunities. The landscape is just a little bit bigger on the trade side, and that might be slowing things down in free agency.''
CLEVELAND -- After LeBron James posted his 59th career triple-double and held off a pesky Los Angeles Lakers team, several players from both teams gathered near midcourt. James shook hands with several of the young Lakers one by one before searching through the crowd for Lonzo Ball. Once James found the rookie, he talked to Ball while covering his mouth with his jersey as cameras focused in on the two. Ball listened intently.
In their first game against each other, James not only got a triple-double and handed Ball and the Lakers a 121-112 loss against his Cleveland Cavaliers, but he gave Ball perhaps something even more invaluable with that moment at the end of the game. Ball grew up idolizing James, and here was the best player on the planet taking time to talk to the rookie and sharing something that Ball already was holding on to dearly. "None of y'all business," James said when asked what he said. Not even the polite Ball would reveal the conversation, saying, "He didn't tell me anything."
One thing is clear: James likes Ball. He took the time to watch Ball and the Lakers play in the summer league in Las Vegas, tweeted the rookie happy birthday http://www.footballsteelersonline.com/Justin-Gilbert-Jersey in October and has repeatedly praised Ball. And he says Ball is "someone that you want to play with." In his first game against Ball and the Lakers this season, James tied Larry Bird Brad Marchand Authentic Jersey at sixth on the all-time triple-doubles list with 25 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists. Kevin Love had a game-high 28 points and 11 rebounds. But in the loss, the Lakers may have come away with something that could be much more valuable Dwight Clark Womens Jersey than a win -- Ball and the young Lakers gave James a glimpse of the future in Los Angeles. Ball flirted with his own triple-double with 13 points, 11 assists and 8 rebounds with 6 turnovers. Brandon Ingram was impressive with 26 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds while knocking down three 3-pointers. Rookie Josh Hart, in his first start for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (not with the team due to personal reasons), Christian Dvorak Authentic Jersey posted a career-high 11 points and 10 rebounds. Kyle Kuzma had 20 points and seven rebounds. This was James' first up-close look at the young Lakers and their developing pair of No. 2 overall picks from the past two drafts in Ingram and Ball. There has been plenty of speculation over James' future, since he's expected to become a free agent this summer. The Lakers want to pursue two star free agents this summer, with James at the top of their wish list. Until James makes a decision on his future, the Lakers will be one of the potential destinations linked to the best player in the world, whose agent, Rich Paul, also represents Caldwell-Pope, who is signed to a one-year, $18-million deal. Obviously, the Lakers (10-17) want to win. But team president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka had to love what they saw on Thursday. Their young talent showcased their potential in front of James and didn't back down against a team that has won 16 of its last 17. Ingram put his developing game on display and rebounded in a big way from his worst game of the season in New York where he went 2-for-12 with five points. In Cleveland, he made nine of his first 10 shots and had 23 points in his first 25 minutes. He did his usual attacking of the rim, but also hit a couple of 3s and stop-and-pop midrange jumpers. And on one impressive play, Ball grabbed a defensive rebound and immediately flicked a rainbow bomb up the court to a streaking Ingram for a layup. Ball was even hitting some of his shots from the perimeter, knocking down 3 of 8 3-pointers. During one stretch in the third quarter, he hit a 3, Ingram knocked down a 3, and then Ball buried another trey. Kuzma wouldn't stop going at the Cavs, scoring 12 of http://www.authenticclevelandindiansshop.com/Jay-Bruce-Jersey his points in the fourth quarter even as the Cavs had Andre Smith Jersey the game under control. Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson continued to be impressive off the bench and Hart made the most of his first start. Six Lakers scored in double-figures, and they kept playing hard all the way down to the end like they surprisingly have for most of this season, something James surely can appreciate. The Lakers just seem to make enough mistakes or fail to make enough shots or secure enough rebounds in the crucial moments to lose several of these close games -- something a superstar can help correct. "They get the ball up the floor," James said. "No matter on makes and misses. I said that before we played our last game, that if you http://www.officialauthenticbroncostore.com/Nike-Matt-Paradis-Jersey.html don't get back in transition, they're going to make you pay because they look up the floor, and they've got a lot of guys, young guys too, that get up and run up and down. They exploited that at some points of the game tonight." NHL Jerseys CheapMLB Baseball JerseysCheap NFL Jerseys PaypalBasketball Jerseys For SaleWholesale Jerseys NFLMLB Baseball JerseysNFL Jerseys Authentic
Among other ways, fans could vote with the touch of a button on social media. Retweeting a verified team or player account with the hashtag #ProBowlVote counted as a vote. What follows are the 10 most retweeted posts that fit this criteria, based on ESPN research. These players will not necessarily make the Pro Bowl, but their candidacies have all received boosts from their energetic fans. The short version: The Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys, and their fans bases, are pretty good at Twitter.
CB Damarious Randall, Packers Randall is tied for sixth in the NFL with four interceptions, but the Packers' first-round draft pick in 2015 has had his share of issues this season. Most notably, he was benched during a Week 4 game against the Chicago Bears. He was not on the sideline during the second half of that game, which the team attributed to an "internal matter." Thomas is annually one of the NFL's top special-teams players and Womens George Iloka Jersey is seeking recognition for those efforts. He ranks sixth in the NFL this season with 12 special-teams tackles, per ESPN Stats & Information. Switzer, a rookie, ranks No. 3 in the NFL in kickoff returns (25.95) and is another special-teams candidate. He also averages 9.38 yards on 21 punt returns, including one for a touchdown. Adams is tied for second in the NFL with nine touchdown receptions, to go along with 69 total receptions for 828 yards. He is on pace for his first 1,000-yard season after finishing 2016 with 997 receiving yards. Adams' teammate is referencing the latest of Adams' key touchdowns: The winning score in overtime during Week 14 against the Cleveland Browns. Since the start of the 2016 season, Adams has 21 touchdown receptions -- tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers' Antonio Brown for most in the NFL over that period. Tied for the best record in the NFC (10-3), the Vikings have plenty of Pro Bowl candidates. Defensive end Everson Griffen ranks http://www.officialsanfranciscogiantsshops.com/WOMENS-JOE-PANIK-JERSEY.html third in the NFL with 13 sacks, for example, and receiver Adam Thielen is Womens Darcy Kuemper Jersey tied for third with 1,161 receiving yards. Worth noting: The Vikings did not include quarterback Case Keenum, a pending free agent, on this list. Prescott hasn't looked as sharp in his second season, but the suspension of tailback Ezekiel Elliott has eliminated a key player from the Cowboys' offense. He does rank No. 5 in the NFL in Total Quarterback Rating (67.1), but he is No. 16 in passing yards (2,752) and tied for No. 10 in touchdown passes (21). There are a lot of people who want to see Thomas get recognition. It's not difficult to understand why. Since the start of the 2014 season, he has a league-high 55 special-teams tackles. The folks at Pro Football Focus are among those who think Thomas belongs in the Pro Bowl, calling him one of the best vises in the game. (A "vise" is the defender who tries to slow a "gunner," who is trying to reach the returner, on punt plays.)Now that Arizona Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson's status for the rest of the 2017 season has been decided, it's time to look ahead at his future. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported late Thursday night that Peterson will be put on injured reserve because of the neck injury that Vincent Valentine Youth jersey has kept him sidelined since Week 12, when he hurt it against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Peterson has not practiced or played http://www.officialmontrealcanadiens.com/Adidas-Guy-Lapointe-Jersey since. Retirement: Should Peterson decide to hang up his cleats, the countdown clock for his gold-jacket fitting will begin ticking instantly. He has turned in a Hall of Fame résumé, despite missing most of the 2014 season for a child-abuse scandal and having seven injuries that have cost him valuable on-field time since he was drafted in 2007. He missed 11 games in 2016 with the Minnesota Vikings because of a knee injury and will miss the final five games of 2017 with the neck injury. A tumultuous season in which he started with the New Orleans Saints, playing four games, and finished with six games for Arizona resulted in the fewest yards -- 529 -- of his career in which he has played at least 10 games. Cheap Jerseys UsaCheap NFL Jerseys Free ShippingWholesale Jerseys From ChinaNBA Jerseys CheapMLB Jerseys Usa
INDIANAPOLIS -- In a migraine-inducing season when the biggest pain has been caused by the almost weekly uncertainty at quarterback, the Denver Marqise Lee Youth jersey Broncos had yet another reason to chase down the dump-truck-sized bottle of aspirin Thursday night.
The Broncos left Lucas Oil Stadium with a 25-13 victory over the Indianapolis Colts -- their fifth of the season and second in a row -- with two injured quarterbacks and a player in Brock Osweiler they had pulled out of the lineup last month just after they fired their offensive coordinator in Mike McCoy.
And if there is anything that sums up Denver's struggles on offense, in pass protection, with turnovers and with the Adrian Wilson Jersey continued musical quarterbacks behind center, it was another evening of the Broncos trying to do all they could to cobble something together with another change at the position where change causes the most difficulty. Trevor Siemian got the start Thursday and was only three pass attempts into his evening's work when he was intercepted for the 14th time this season and the 10th time in a road game. And by the time the Broncos had finished their next possession, Siemian had been sacked twice, the second by the Colts' Barkevious Mingo, who caught Siemian from behind as Siemian fell on his left shoulder. It was http://www.raidersnflofficialproshop.com/YOUTH+DEREK+CARR+JERSEY the same shoulder Siemian had surgically repaired this past offseason. X-rays were negative, and Logan Couture Youth jersey the Broncos (5-9) believe Siemian suffered a dislocated shoulder that will likely end his season. He will undergo an MRI on Friday to gauge the severity of the injury. But the Broncos already had Paxton Lynch recovering from an ankle injury that forced Siemian back in the lineup three weeks ago against the Oakland Raiders. Lynch, who was a game-day inactive against the Colts, did some throwing before kickoff but was still moving rather gingerly on his ankle. So in the immediate future, the Broncos really have one healthy quarterback in Osweiler, with Lynch a maybe and Siemian Paul Millsap Jersey a no-go. If they need another arm for depth after they gauge Lynch's progress through the weekend, the possibility of finding a quarterback who could run the team's offense in a game situation is not all that great. It again puts the Broncos in a quarterback quagmire where nothing is a guarantee, where all three have entered, and then exited, the lineup. For his part, Osweiler was coolly efficient against the Colts' struggling defense -- Indianapolis (3-11) entered the game ranked No. 30 in total defense, No. 31 in scoring defense -- as he led the Broncos on four scoring drives after he entered the game. He finished 12-of-17 for 194 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions; he also ran 18 yards for a score. Osweiler's 54-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Heuerman was even the Broncos' longest play on offense this season. It all means the Broncos continue to show some quality grit after they've been officially eliminated from the playoffs, with good work in the run game -- they ground out 213 yards on 45 carries Thursday -- and some teeth on defense. And first-year head coach Vance Joseph http://www.officialducksshoponline.com/authentic-18-patrick-eaves-jersey.html -- who has made no secret he will approach every game as a must-win -- has gotten two in a row now. Joseph needs a strong finish to maintain his grip on the locker room, on the job, and simply because he can't keep telling the players to "trust the process" if they don't get a reward or two down the stretch. The offense has run the ball more than passed it in Denver's five victories, playing closer to its true identity after it became too late to matter. Meanwhile, the quarterbacks -- sometimes http://www.authenticflamesjerseys.com/dennis-wideman-jersey_c-433.html seemingly miscast -- have found so much struggle, so much uncertainty. It has been the biggest question mark since a 3-1 start dissolved into that eight-game losing streak. It will be the biggest question mark in the coming days with Lynch and Siemian both injured. And Thursday night, a win aside, confirmed -- again -- it will be the biggest question mark of the offseason.Fan voting for the NFL Pro Bowl was scheduled to end Thursday, a process that once again allowed the public to provide one-third of the input for determining 2018 rosters. We'll need to wait until after coaches and players vote to find out the full results, but for now we can see who got the most traction during a fun portion of the public balloting.
A few days before the 2017-18 season began, Phil Kessel arrived at PPG Paints Arena to fulfill a few preseason obligations: filming PSAs, ticket reads and announcements for the Pittsburgh Penguins' foundation. One ask was a bit unconventional. Dressed in his jersey, Kessel stood in front of a green screen and stared into a camera. Instead of his Al MacInnis Youth jersey regular helmet, a Penguins staffer would virtually screen on a different one later -- of the black, angular Darth Vader variety. "The force is strong with the Penguins," the veteran winger said, with little inflection. "Join us and fight the dark side when we battle the Islanders on our special Star Wars theme night. Buy tickets, you must."
Welcome to one of hottest trends in NHL arenas. Twelve teams will host Star Wars-themed Sean Couturier Jersey nights this season, a practice that began surfacing over the past decade -- before the most recent sequel trilogy. The Tampa Bay Lightning held their first Star Wars night seven years ago, and by the time "The Force Awakens" opened in 2015, nine other teams had joined in. The trend has picked up significantly since then. As the reignited cult obsession sweeps the world, of course NHL teams are trying to latch on.
"When you host these nights, you get folks who are just Star Wars fans," said Aaron Teats, the Anaheim Ducks' chief marketing operator. "Maybe they wouldn't have necessarily seen the Ducks play the Carolina Hurricanes. But these Star Wars fans -- and there's a lot of them -- when they see something like this done on such a large scale, they want to be part of it." A Star Wars theme night involves a few staples. Usually the team hires a cast of "characters" in Star Wars costume to roam the concourse (fans are invited to dress up, too). The San Jose Sharks had about 75 such characters at their Star Wars night on Nov. 4; the Arizona Coyotes boasted 100 on Nov. 25. Then there's a slick promotional poster, which has become something of an arms race among marketing departments. A few years ago, the Sharks photoshopped Brent Burns http://www.authentichurricanestore.com/eric-staal-jersey_c-449.html and his fuzzy beard into a Wookie body. ("We are a fan-facing organization," said Casey Lapenen, the Sharks' director of marketing and fan development. "And we never take ourselves too seriously.") The Florida Panthers wooed everyone last season when they swapped hockey sticks for light sabers (it's better if you don't get too technical; assume the rods aren't burning through Vincent Trocheck's Bauer gloves). These things involve significant planning and prep work. Stephen Gerhard, the Panthers' senior director of group sales and development, said the team photographer dedicated an entire day to capturing players' faces at the right angles so they would fit into the poster's design. Teams buy licensed packages so they can incorporate sound effects -- such as the roaring swish of pod racers -- and Star Wars-branded infographics for the jumbotron. Although an object alone cannot make you good or evil, there are typically sweet giveaways for the fans who attend the game: the Coyotes offered Paul Bissonette Obiz-Wan Kenobi bobbleheads this year, while Dale Hawerchuk Jersey the Panthers handed out Star Wars mesh jerseys. Each night offers a signature flare. Lightning winger J.T. Brown arrived to the arena in a white suit patterned with Star Wars logos; the New Jersey Devils had a Darth Vader lurk on the Zamboni; the Penguins shot a promotional video with Anthony Daniels, the actor who plays C-3PO. (Pittsburgh's senior director of information technology happened to sit on a panel with Daniels at Carnegie Mellon, and extended the invitation personally.) We're trying to get our fans off their butts," said the Sharks' Lapenen, "and have them come to a couple more games a year." Gerhard said that the Panthers "intentionally try to find an opponent that wouldn't be a big draw." (Last year's Star Wars night in Florida fell on a Tuesday against the Atlantic Division cellar-dwelling Buffalo Sabres.) Theme nights used to be the exclusive province of Major League Baseball teams, which endure a grueling 162-game schedule and battle a host of summer distractions, and minor-league teams, which often rely on kitsch to attract http://www.falconsfootballofficialonline.com/Mohamed-Sanu-Jersey.html an audience to events with largely anonymous players. Over the past decade, NBA and NHL teams have gotten in on the action. Remember the Atlanta Hawks' Swipe Right night? Or how about the Toronto Raptors' evening honoring all things http://www.seahawksfootballauthentic.com/BRADLEY-MCDOUGALD-JERSEY-CHEAP.html Drake? Trends come and go -- while Blankenship says Tampa Bay's Pokemon Go night last season was a huge success, it didn't make the calendar in 2017-18 -- but Star Wars has staying power. "With the renewed popularity of Star Wars over the last three or four years, it's opened it up to an entire new audience," said the Panthers' Gerhard."I remember, as a child, seeing the very first 'Star Wars,' lining up around the movie theater to get there," Teats said. "What I find amazing is that this spans generational borders. It's one of those things that fathers and sons and daughters and mothers feel Jonathan Stewart Youth jersey good about. It's a sense of relevancy for everyone."
PITTSBURGH -- Tom Brady doesn't defeat the Steelers with his arm. After five meetings with the Patriots quarterback, defensive end Cam Heyward knows that Brady wins plays as he stands over center. "He breaks you down before the play’s even snapped," Heyward said.
Brady has had a special kind of success against Pittsburgh. His passer rating of 114.2 against the Steelers is his highest among NFL opponents he has played more than five times. In his past seven games against Pittsburgh, Brady has 22 touchdowns, zero interceptions and six wins. A catalyst for Kasperi Kapanen Authentic Jersey that success is Brady's ability to play the chess game at the line of scrimmage, placing the onus on Mike Tomlin, the Steelers defensive staff and the team's veteran players to set their best game plan of the season. Traditionally, Brady has been ready for most anything Pittsburgh throws his way. Pittsburgh caused Brady problems in a 2011 win with a variation of man coverage, which the Steelers say they are equipped to run in 2017. But generally, Brady knows that he can find completions based on the defense's look, and he can step through the pass rush, Heyward said. He makes the appropriate checks at the line of scrimmage and knows what plays work well against Pittsburgh. The Steelers' ability to adapt, both in game prep and in real time, could decide which team gets home-field advantage for the playoffs. "You have to be willing to play the game with him, have some checks for him," Heyward said. "But at the same time, you want to be able to not be dictated to but dictate to him." Mike Tomlin has delivered that message to his defense, which believes it has emerged from last year's AFC title game loss to New England bigger -- and stronger. Pittsburgh ranks in the NFL's top six in scoring defense, passing defense and sacks. The loss of Ryan Shazier to a spinal injury has left Pittsburgh scrambling for help at inside linebacker, but the potential return of corner Joe Haden would bolster the secondary. To validate that newfound strength, the Steelers must combat Brady's ability to change the pace of the offense. Tomlin considers that an "awesome" part of Brady's game, especially when fully stocked with an arsenal of running backs who can take handoffs or line up wide. The Steelers struggled with Brady's no-huddle offense last year in Foxboro, something defensive end Tyson Alualu, a former Jacksonville Jaguar, understands. The first-year Steeler remembers Brady once breaking off a frenzied, 14-play scoring drive against Jacksonville that left him uneasy. Alualu knows the best way to combat such an attack is to follow the Miami Dolphins' blueprint from Monday's 27-20 win: Hit him and hit him often. “You want to affect him, whether that’s getting quarterback sacks so that he can’t just sit there and make the throw and make it easy for him," Alualu said. "Especially for Brady, that’s even more of an emphasis.” When Brady Alex Galchenyuk Jersey has a clean pocket, he likes to capitalize with quick starts. Cornerback Artie Burns learned that last year in Foxboro by glancing at the scoreboard and seeing a 10-0 deficit in the first quarter. The Steelers set out to eliminate big plays and control the pace with Le'Veon Bell, but they did neither after Bell got injured. "Once you get behind Tom, most times guys don’t ever come back from that," Burns said. "You have to make an effort to start early on him, settle down on him early." The Steelers praise Brady without hesitation. Heyward called him "the benchmark of what we go off of ... the guy every QB measures themselves [against]." Safety Mike Mitchell called him "the GOAT." Tomlin gets all that, http://www.lionsshopnfl.com/Authentic-Teez-Tabor-Jersey but he doesn't sound eager to feed into the storyline. He'd rather limit Womens T.J. McDonald Jersey his team's mistakes than worry about Brady's greatness. “They are really good. They’ve got great continuity. Tom http://www.vegasgoldenknightsofficialonline.com/Adidas-James-Neal-Jersey Brady’s Tom Brady. You can talk all day about that,” Tomlin said. “What are we going to do at the line of scrimmage prior to the ball snapping. What are we going to do to improve our overall readiness and detail in our play? I think therein lies the discussion. You can waste a lot of man hours and not getting a lot accomplished worried about what he’s going to do prior to the snap.” With quarterback Tyrod Taylor (knee) a full participant in Wednesday's practice and on track to play against Miami, the focus shifts to the status of running back LeSean McCoy (knee) and wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (knee), who were both limited in practice. On Thursday, coach Sean McDermott is expected to address whether either injury puts the two at risk of not playing Sunday. -- Mike Rodak Wholesale NBA JerseysBasketball Jerseys For SaleHockey JerseysCheap Jerseys OnlineNHL Jerseys Cheap
We all know who dominates the football Bronson Kaufusi Authentic Jersey galaxy right now: the likes of Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Paul Pogba. But who's leading the next generation? Drawing inspiration from the upcoming "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," we used the Force to select the best young players primed to rule the sport in a few years' time, if not sooner. We give you: the ESPN FC / Star Wars under-21 starting XI.
At 20, you'd expect Gabriel Jesus to be a lightweight nuisance at Manchester City. Instead, the striker is a fearless, aggressive bundle of energy similar to Kylo Ren. And the parallels don't end there: Jesus plays football at a club much like the First Order, given their deep coffers and ambitious plans to dominate the galaxy.
You'd have expected Jesus to leave Brazil and find a traditional halfway house of, say, Portugal or the Eredivisie, but he went straight to City, slotting seamlessly into Pep Guardiola's high-energy, multipurpose think tank of an attacking unit. With the ball, Jesus has been efficient and ruthless. Without it, he's much the same. The U.S. are the biggest footballing nation never to have produced an era-defining individual talent in the men's game. But the search for a galaxy-inspiring Jedi Knight in the mold of Luke Skywalker might be over. Christian Pulisic's complicated move to Borussia Dortmund at 16 was, in his words, to experience an "intensity and humility" that he felt the U.S. developmental system could Joe Gilliam Youth jersey not provide. It was a perfect marriage: an intelligent, gifted, http://www.officialangelsprostore.com/Reggie_Jackson_Jersey driven teenager taken under the http://www.officiallaramsauthentic.com/Robert-Quinn-Jersey.html wing of a club who know how to treat their young talent. Now, much like Skywalker's journey, Pulisic faces a hard road of pressure and potentially crushing expectations -- at a time when U.S. soccer's need for a talisman has never been more urgent, no less. Can Pulisic help the Americans get back to the World Cup in 2022? This much we know: the Force is strong with him. The emphasis with young forwards is often about pace, dribbling and trickery. Marco Asensio has all of those skills, but that's not why he's caught our eye. The Real Madrid player has all the makings to become football's equivalent of Captain Phasma, commander of the First Order stormtroopers who is all http://www.officialvancouvercanucks.com/Adidas-Kirk-Mclean-Jersey about taking a direct route to problem-solving. Asensio's season so far has been peppered with some of the crispest connections a young boot has ever made with a ball. Real Madrid's emphatic Spanish Super Cup win over Barcelona was crowned, home and away, by two thunderous Asensio strikes: the first a bullet into the top corner at the Nou Camp, and the second a 30-yard Exocet missile that Josh Ferguson Womens Jersey Marc-Andre ter Stegen thought better about trying to stop. Dele Alli is the type of player who could rule the galaxy one day. But will his cockiness send him down a path to becoming football's version of Supreme Leader Snoke? It takes some serious self-belief to make the jump from League One to the Premier League, let alone at 19, but that's one of the things that immediately strikes you about Alli: he's more about poise than power, ghosting in at the back post rather than hammering in from 30 yards. Even his on-field misdemeanours have a snide stealthiness about them. Such is Alli's innate capacity for Dark Side-style showmanship that, despite a recent dip in form, he still had it in him to nutmeg the referee in the north London derby. "Fearless" is a word brandished all too easily with young players, but there hasn't been a moment -- from MK Dons to becoming a first choice for England -- when it seemed that self-doubt had begun to creep into Alli's game. If there's one young player who looks capable of mastering the Force, just as Rey is trying to do in http://www.officialsfalconsauthenticshop.com/Robert_Alford_Jersey_Cheap "The Last Jedi," it's Kylian Mbappe. Even in the accelerated reality of modern football, there might never again be a more transformative 18 months John Sullivan Womens Jersey in the career of a teenager. That's all it took for Mbappe, from Monaco debut to Paris Saint-Germain committing €180 million for his services, to become the talk of the footballing galaxy. He'll still be just 19 at the 2018 World Cup, by which time there is a danger for taking his awesome repertoire for granted. Plenty of young attackers could match him for pace, but few if any others seem to be able to make time stand still when they see the whites of the goalkeeper's eyes.
INDIANAPOLIS -- After coming up with a steal and hitting two free throws to ice the game in his first outing back in Indiana since being traded in June, Paul George walked off the floor Wednesday night and handed his shoes to the son of former teammate Monta Ellis.
"I'm glad the circus is over with; now everybody can move on," George said. "I understood what the environment was going to be coming into to tonight. My teammates did a great job of helping me battle this one tonight."
His return to the arena that he called home for his first seven NBA seasons didn't go Joe Hawley Youth jersey entirely as planned for George (he finished with 12 points on 3 of 14 shooting), except for the winning part, as the Oklahoma City Thunder held on for a 100-95 decision over the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. "Wish we could do it again," George said with a smile. "It sucks being in the West, because it's over with. Yeah, I'm happy the circus is over with. Everybody can move on." In terms of fan reaction, the night for George went just as he expected, with boos showering him during introductions and then every time he touched the ball. George said the emotions of the game didn't affect how he played, though he had four turnovers in the first half and didn't make his first bucket until three minutes left in the second quarter. "Like I said earlier, I understood what the environment was gonna be coming into it, so it wasn't a surprise," George said. "I played over 300-something games Michael Wacha Youth jersey here. I was comfortable. It had nothing to do with the boos. I http://www.authenticfloridapanthers.com/authentic-roberto-luongo-jersey just missed shots." George wasn't the only one to struggle making shots for the Thunder, as Carmelo Anthony hit only 4-of-14, Russell Westbrook went 3-of-17 and the big three combined for 34 points on 10 of 45 shooting. It has been a theme throughout the season for the three stars, with contests featuring low efficiency shooting stacking on top of each other. The Thunder were able to find a way against the Pacers behind some stingy defense and big games from role players, particularly Steven Adams (23 points and 13 rebounds), Alex Abrines (14 points) and Patrick Patterson J.R. Richard Womens Jersey (8 points). The shooting issues have been confounding, and if the Thunder are going to find their potential, it's something that has to improve. "I think we're http://www.officialmarlinshop.com/authentic-36-edinson-volquez-jersey.html not used to [open shots], maybe?" Anthony said. "The way we get the shots, the way we get the ball, none of us are used to having it in that position, having it in certain spots on the court. Maybe being that wide open sometimes. But I don't know, we still gotta make shots. If we miss open shots, we miss open shot; can't really do nothing about that but keep shooting." But the Thunder made enough plays to hold off a late charge from the Pacers, as Indiana came back from 11 points down with five minutes remaining to cut it to a single point with 40 seconds left. Abrines tipped in a miss with 15.3 http://www.newyorkjets.us.com/WOMENS-BRYCE-PETTY-JERSEY.html seconds left, and George stole the inbounds pass as the Pacers tried to get the ball to Victor Oladipo. "Vic is their guy here, right? Right?" George said. "Don't let him get the ball. Simple. Ballgame." Oladipo finished with 19 points on 9 of 26 shooting, with George serving primarily as his defender. "It was the first time I've had a defender like that guard me since I've been on this team," Oladipo said of George. "They were Womens Roy Halladay Jersey just trying to deny me, and he can move his feet. It was something new for me. I'll be ready if there's anybody else like that out there, so I just have to continue to learn from that and continue to get better." George's two regular-season matchups with the Pacers are now in the books, and he went 2-0. He mentioned multiple times about "moving on" and stressed to Pacers fans to embrace Oladipo as the new face of their franchise. "Vic is the face of Indiana. Vic is the future of Indiana," George said. "I'm along with Indiana on this Victor wave. He's gonna be great here. He's blessed and he's talented. He's what you want in a guy for a franchise.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The smell of stale salsa becomes familiar by the end of the winter meetings, one executive here said Monday. Over the four days of baseball’s annual summit, club officials gather in each suite, order room service, and pick at appetizers while they mull over conversations with other teams and agents.
If evaluators with the Orioles, Rays and Jays have time between nachos over the next 48 hours, they should go around the room and take turns offering opinions on this question: Do they believe they can contend against the newly Giancarlo'd Yankees or the defending division-champion Red Sox? And if the consensus in those rooms is that their respective teams don’t have a legit shot at the playoffs, then they should sell -- every veteran player of any value.
The Orioles should have traded Manny Machado and Zach Britton before last season, and they’re willing to listen to offers for Machado and Britton now. The Rays should continue to talk to other teams about Chris Archer, Evan Longoria and Alex Colome, and follow through with the best prospect-driven deals they can find. The Jays should http://www.officialchicagoblackhawks.com/Adidas-Richard-Panik-Jersey take Josh Donaldson and Marcus Stroman and seriously consider moving them -- maybe even to the Yankees. Because the Yankees and the Red Sox are that good, that much better than the other teams in the division. As Andrew Friedman and Joe Maddon and Buck Showalter and former Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi can all attest, inhabiting the same division as the Yankees and Red Sox is perhaps the greatest challenge in baseball, because even if Boston and New York are mismanaged to some degree, the disparity in resources can cover those mistakes. But if the Yankees and Red Sox make sound decisions, well, the margin for error for the Jays, Orioles and Rays is minuscule and the chances of those three teams competing is remote. Right now, the Yankees are better positioned and probably more stocked than they have been since the dynasty of 1996-2001. The Yankees’ payroll is under control, they are loaded with young talent like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez and Luis Severino, and they have tons of talent in their farm system, headlined by Gleyber Torres. The Red Sox have a strong core Womens Stephen Anderson Jersey of young position players, ace Chris Sale and the cash flow to blow past the luxury-tax threshold in a way the Rays or Orioles cannot. Tanking is an ugly word and executives only utter it on background or off the record, but the overwhelming perception in the industry is that the http://www.authenticpittsburghpiratesshop.com/Willie-Stargell-Jersey Cubs and Astros tanked to better Anthony Barr Jersey position themselves for access to the best talent, and Chicago won the World Series in 2016 and Houston in 2017 -- and both teams will be good for a few more years as well. The rules have not been altered to combat tanking, and now that it’s a strategy proven to work, it's the best way for the Orioles, Rays and Jays to set themselves http://www.officialredwingsauthentic.com/authentic-1-terry-sawchuk-jersey.html up for success down the road. Machado is a free agent next fall and the most rational minds in the Orioles organization understand there's no chance he will re-sign, so Baltimore should prop open its suite door here and welcome other teams. What Vlade Divac Youth jersey has been written here repeatedly in the past still stands: Trading Machado would give the Orioles their best chance at swapping for young pitching. Womens Paul Posluszny Jersey The O’s should trade Britton and anybody else who has value as well. It still remains to be seen whether Baltimore actually can push big sell-off deals across the finish line, because it's something owner Peter Angelos has been loath to do in the past, out of a sense of obligation to ticket-buying fans. The Orioles would be more interesting to watch in 2018 if they keep Machado http://www.footballcowboysproshop.com/Tyron-Smith-Jersey -- but clearly worse off for 2018 and beyond. If the Orioles do trade Machado, then the Cardinals, Cubs and Rangers might all make sense as trade partners. St. Louis has young pitching to offer. The Cubs could deal Addison Russell as part of any package, to give the Orioles the young shortstop they need, and Machado, a cousin to outfielder Albert Almora Jr.), would undoubtedly be welcomed by a group of players hungry to build on their 2016 title. Heck, the Orioles should even keep an open mind about trading Machado to the Yankees -- New York needs a third baseman, after trading Chase Headley to San Diego -- and Baltimore could draw from New York’s robust farm system, while knowing Machado might sign out of the division after 2018. Cheap Jerseys From ChinaCheap Jerseys NFLJerseys ChinaNBA Jerseys WholesaleCheap NFL Jerseys UsaNike NFL Jerseys CheapBaseball Jerseys For SaleBaseball Jerseys Custom
NEW YORK -- On one end of Madison Square Garden's celebrity row, Magic Johnson and Odell Beckham Jr. sat next to each other, chatting and laughing it up. On the other end, where the famous sit in The World's Most Famous Arena, LaVar Ball, his wife Tina and sons LiAngelo and LaMelo were seated a few seats away from Spike Lee.
There was enough personality on celebrity row to light up Broadway for Lonzo Ball's New York debut. And Ball, the Lakers and Knicks gave everyone in the building their money's worth by going to overtime before http://www.authenticcapitalstore.com/alex-ovechkin-jersey_c-450.html Kristaps Porzingis lifted the Knicks to a 113-109 victory Tuesday night.
Ball wasn't nearly as prolific, though he flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 17 points, eight rebounds, six assists and only one turnover. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led six Lakers in double figures with 24 points, but Los Angeles (10-16) had its two-game winning streak snapped as leading scorer Brandon Ingram cooled off and missed his first 10 shots. He finished by shooting 2-for-12 with five points, seven rebounds and five assists. Also playing in his first game at the Garden, Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, including burying a clutch 3-pointer with 24 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime. "For being http://www.officialsfalconsauthenticshop.com/Deion_Jones_Jersey_Cheap a rookie, he's got a lot of confidence," Lakers coach Luke Walton said. "He is not afraid of the moment." The Grady Jarrett Womens Jersey Garden crowd got to see one of Ball's best moments of his rookie season, especially during one head-turning stretch in the third quarter when Ball went toe to toe with New York's Porzingis and Enes Kanter, sending a buzz through the Garden. With the score tied 61-61, Ball threw down an instant highlight one-handed alley-oop dunk from Caldwell-Pope in transition. Porzingis responded with a 28-foot 3-pointer. Ball then drilled a 3 of his own. After a Kanter dunk, Ball drove and scored past Kanter, who came back with another basket before Ball assisted Brook Lopez for a 3. Porzingis then came back with another 3, capping the furious two-minute sequence. Johnson, the Lakers' team president of basketball operations, stood up from his courtside seat and applauded his rookie point guard. Not bad for a 20-year-old who was visiting New York City for only the second time in his life -- the other time being for the NBA draft earlier this year. "I think everyone knows when Magic is in the building," Ball said of Johnson, who drew a huge ovation when shown on the big screen. "Just his presence alone." The other larger-than-life personality on celebrity row rooting on the Lakers, LaVar Ball, also Authentic A.J. Bouye Jersey was up on his feet loving everything he was seeing. "Regardless, he is always going to be 'turnt' up," Ball said of his dad. "I like his energy. Some people don't." Even though Ball, a Southern Californian who doesn't like the cold, said he didn't leave his hotel room apart from his team's game, the morning shootaround and to sign autographs at the Big Baller Brand pop-up shop Sunday, the Lakers' point guard was looking forward to Tuesday's matchup.In fact, it's a big week for Ball, who faces LeBron James and the Cavs for the first time Thursday. Ball's favorite player growing up was James and http://www.officialathleticsproshop.com/Glenn_Hubbard_Jersey he not only had posters of James, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant up on his bedroom wall but James' Cavaliers and Heat jerseys as well. Ball has been humbled and inspired by James, who has been complimentary of Ball and even wished the rookie happy birthday earlier this year. "Every kid dreams about playing [at the Garden], just because of all the history and all the battles," Ball said. "It's going to be a lot of fun [this week]. The Garden, all the history there and then LeBron, best player in the world. Definitely two challenges, and I look forward to it." The rookie, who came in shooting 24.6 percent from 3-point range, hit three of six 3-point attempts. While this wasn't anywhere close to Kobe or Jordan Ken Griffey Authentic Jersey playing the Garden, there still was an air of curiosity from the crowd about what Ball could do. This was New York's first time seeing Ball play Kyle Van Noy Jersey live, and at one point in the fourth quarter, Ball drew loud boos from the Garden crowd as he dribbled the ball up court. Just a few days earlier, Ball and his family were feeling the love from New York City. Thousands of fans stood in frigid temperatures to visit the Big Baller Brand pop-up store."Everybody was calling my dad a legend," Ball said. "That was probably the funniest. Just yelling out the brand, saying LaVar's my hero. ... [Big Baller Brand] was just the idea that started in the house in Chino Hills. The fact that it's reached all the way out here and people are going crazy about, I didn't see it. But I assume my dad did." Wholesale NBA JerseysNHL Jerseys WholesaleNike NFL Jerseys From ChinaBasketball JerseysWholesale Jerseys NFLCheap Jerseys WholesaleNike NFL Jerseys Wholesale
32 teams from a fantasy Thomas Vanek Authentic Jersey perspective. Use these tidbits to make the best waiver-wire, trade and lineup decisions for Week 15. Be sure to check back each week of the season for a new version of the Fantasy 32.
Throughout this piece, I'll be referencing "OTD," which stands for opportunity-adjusted touchdowns. It is a statistic that weighs every carry/target and converts the data into one number that indicates a player's scoring opportunity. For example, if a player has an OTD of 3.0, it means that a league-average player who saw the same number of carries/targets in the same area of the field would have scored three touchdowns.
his shouldn't be much of a surprise, but Ricky Seals-Jones crashed back to earth in Week 14. The intriguing converted wide receiver was limited to one catch for 20 yards on three targets. Seals-Jones entered the week having seen Ryan O'Reilly Jersey at least five targets in three straight games and scored three touchdowns during the span. John Miller Womens Jersey Of course, the undrafted rookie played a grand total of 40 snaps during the three games. He played 16 snaps against Tennessee on Sunday. Seals-Jones has yet to be on the field for more than 30 percent of the Cardinals' pass plays in a single game. He's nowhere near the TE1 conversation in this role, but certainly belongs on benches in dynasty leagues. A year after finishing second to only Aaron Rodgers in fantasy points, Matt Ryan has been a major bust this season. Ryan isn't playing poor football, but his efficiency is down Chuck Bednarik Authentic Jersey from his career year and his fantasy production has plummeted. Ryan sits 16th at the position overall and hasn't managed a single weekly finish better than 10th (Week 1). He threw 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions last year, but sits at 17 scores and 11 picks in 2017. Ryan has a good matchup http://www.nygiantsofficialstore.com/phil-simms-jersey-for-sale-c-2.html against Tampa Bay's struggling and injury-plagued defense this week, but he obviously http://www.saintsofficialonlineshop.com/SUPER-BOWL-KEN-CRAWLEY-JERSEY can't be trusted as a fantasy starter in 10- and 12-team leagues. Alex Collins lit up Pittsburgh's defense for 166 yards and one http://www.officialsbuccaneersprostore.com/Jacquies_Smith_Jersey_Cheap touchdown on 20 touches on Sunday night. Collins is averaging a healthy 5.1 yards per carry on the year and now sits 22nd at the position in fantasy points. He has finished as a top-15 back each of the past four weeks and is fifth overall during the span. The 23-year-old has reached double-digit carries in http://www.officialoriolesshop.com/authentic-20-frank-robinson-jersey.html nine straight games. Collins has only 13 receptions on the season, which limits his fantasy upside, but with Baltimore playing well and game script likely to continue in his favor -- Baltimore faces arguably the league's easiest schedule over the final three weeks with Cleveland, Indianapolis and Kelvin Benjamin caught three of eight targets for 38 yards and one touchdown against the Colts on Sunday. The eight targets are even more impressive when you consider that the team attempted only 16 passes in snowy conditions. Benjamin aggravated his knee injury and left the game early, but it's clear that he's going to play a Jonathan Stewart put up 103 yards and scored three touchdowns on 16 carries against Minnesota on Sunday. Stewart entered the game with four touchdowns and his season-best fantasy performance marks his first top-10 finish of the year. In fact, Stewart has finished as a top-30 back only four times this season, though three have come over his past four outings. Stewart's recent uptick in production is nice, but his minimal passing-down role (he has six receptions) and poor rushing efficiency (3.5 yards per carry) isn't enough to allow consistent RB2 production. Stewart is still left on benches, though he's a more-appealing flex option in non-PPR.
This time, Dec. 12 was again celebratory for the Green Bay Packers quarterback -- and most of the state for that matter -- even if it took http://www.officialraysshop.com/authentic-26-brad-boxberger-jersey.html until the day's final hours for that to be official. No. 12 himself announced late Tuesday night that he has been medically cleared to return from his broken collarbone. Who knows how much lobbying Rodgers had to do to get cleared by Dr. Pat McKenzie, the Packers' team physician? Regardless, however, the Packers now have legitimate hopes for the playoffs.
Yes, they probably have to run the table (where have you heard that before?) but that seems far more likely with Rodgers at the controls than with Brett Hundley. In seven starts, Hundley won three times. He beat the Bears, Buccaneers and Browns. Those three teams have a combined record of 8-31. The Packers' next three opponents -- the Panthers, Vikings and Lions -- have a combined 26-13 record and all three of them are over .500.
Hundley did his job, keeping the Packers alive in the playoff race. But it would have been a monumental ask for him to win three more games to get the Packers to 10-6, which is where they'll need to be in order to have any chance for a postseason. Despite some rough patches, Hundley managed to even his touchdown-to-interception numbers at eight apiece thanks to his three-touchdown game Sunday against the Browns. But that wouldn't have cut it down the stretch. Rodgers was playing some of the best football of his career in the first five weeks of the season, throwing 13 touchdowns and just three interceptions before Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr's hit early in the Week 6 game at Minnesota caused him to http://www.baseballcardinalsonline.com/WOMENS-BOB-GIBSON-JERSEY.html break his right clavicle. It's the second time in his career that Rodgers has returned during the season from a broken collarbone. In 2013, he returned after a seven-game absence (he did not have surgery for his broken left clavicle) for the regular-season finale at Chicago. He won that game to give the Packers the NFC North title at 8-7-1, but the Packers lost in the playoff opener to 49ers at home. This time, Rodgers underwent surgery to stabilize his broken right clavicle and will be asked to win three straight just to get into playoff consideration. ESPN's Football Power Index says the Packers have an 89 percent chance to make the playoffs if they win out. Yet FPI gave the Packers just a 6.6 percent chance of making it. NEW YORK -- A David Andrews Authentic Jersey visit by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to New York's Rikers Island jail facility has drawn criticism from the union representing city correction officers. Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem last season to raise awareness to issues affecting minorities in the United States, leading to similar actions by other NFL players and repeated criticism from President Donald Trump. The head of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association said in a statement that Kaepernick's presence at Rikers on Tuesday will encourage inmates to attack jail guards. The statement also noted that Kaepernick once wore socks depicting police as cartoon pigs. The union was critical of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Cynthia Brann Authentic Eric Dickerson Jersey for extending an invitation to Kaepernick. Department of Brandon Moss Authentic Jersey Correction spokesman Peter Thorne said in a statement that the purpose of Kaepernick's visit was to "share a message of hope and inspiration." At the prison, Kaepernick held two 45-minute sessions with small groups of inmates at the jail's George Motchan Detention Center. He spoke about social justice issues and talked about his decision to kneel during the national anthem. "No cameras. No promotion. He's just Brent Celek Jersey helping turn around lives many http://www.texansofficialauthentic.com/TEXANS-ANDRE-JOHNSON-JERSEY people have given up on," a spokesperson for the mayor said. "He's the real deal." Hester's signature moment, however, was returning the opening kickoff of Super Bowl XLI for a touchdown. That play is the greatest sequence in Bears history since the revered 1985 team hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The city of Chicago stopped when teams dared kick to Hester. Heck, the entire football world stopped when Hester went back for a return. Fourteen career punt-return touchdowns. Five kickoffs returned for touchdowns. The missed field goal score in the old Meadowlands. That’s a Hall of Fame career in itself. But Hester also contributed on offense at wide receiver, posting back-to-back 50-catch seasons for the Bears.
association board, says the board learned about the Adidas deal "after it was announced publicly. That was the first I heard about it." James Ramsey, who was president of both the university and the foundation, resigned last year amid allegations that he mismanaged endowment funds. Ramsey and Jurich had a close working relationship: Ramsey, in secret, approved additional compensation
that earned Jurich an average of $2.77 million annually over the past seven years and approved several real estate transactions that benefited the athletic department. The Louisville Courier-Journal reported that Jurich's perks included tax "gross-ups" -- meaning the university paid some of his taxes -- membership in three country clubs and premium seats at the Kentucky Derby. "I don't think Tom Jurich gets this, and I don't think Jim Ramsey got it," says state Rep. Jim Wayne, whose district includes parts of Louisville. "The University of Louisville is Joe Pavelski Authentic Jersey a state facility ... and it is not their kingdom. They are not the kings, and the princes, and the nobility in the kingdom. They're Luke Joeckel Jersey temporary stewards of these programs. And instead of seeing this as something that they should be responsible for and hold high ethical standards as they execute their jobs, they're doing just the opposite." Out of 125 FBS schools required to report financial data to the U.S. Department of Education, Louisville is the only one that derives more than half of its men's sports revenue from basketball, says Jonathan Jensen, a sports marketing professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Much of that revenue comes from a $238 million taxpayer-funded arena, the KFC Yum Center, which opened downtown in 2010 and has become a heavy burden on taxpayers. The lease was negotiated by Jurich and the arena authority. Under the terms, taxpayer contributions make up 75 percent of the arena's operating income while Louisville gets to keep most of the revenue -- an arrangement that "blew our mind," says state auditor Mike Harmon, whose office examined the arena's finances. "It was like, 'This is ridiculous.' It's like co-signing the loan for a friend's home and then having to pay three-fourths of the mortgage." Denis Frankenberger, a local businessman who has dissected the lease in minute detail, calls it "the biggest taxpayer scandal in the history of Louisville." In the arena's first year, men's basketball revenue jumped 58 percent, from $25.9 million to $40.9 million, a trend that continued Forrest Lamp Jersey as the program became the richest in the country. Under the lease, Louisville keeps 88 percent of premium seat licensing, 97 percent of suite sales, all program revenue and half of concessions. As Louisville was growing richer, the arena was failing -- partly due to the lopsided lease, partly due to tax estimates based on "flawed data," Harmon says. By early this year, the arena required a bailout to keep it from defaulting on more than $300 million in bond debt. Jurich's athletic department agreed to pay an additional $2.4 million a year. The http://www.texansfootballsprostore.com/WOMENS_YOUTH_BRIAN_CUSHING_JERSEY.html public, meanwhile, was saddled with another 25 years of arena-related taxes totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. In the http://www.officialauthenticchiefsstore.com/Nike-Albert-Wilson-Jersey.html end, the arena will cost more than $1 billion, with taxpayers funding most of it. Despite the bailout, some experts fear the FBI probe's effect on the arena's primary tenant could be catastrophic. "We took all the risk" on the arena, Jurich insists, pointing out that the athletic budget is heavily dependent on arena funds. When told that the city and taxpayers primarily support the arena, Jurich says he wanted to build it on campus, but city officials persuaded him to move it downtown. "Nobody twisted their arm," he says. "They brought this offer to us. I didn't go to them and say I got to have this, this and this and this." Told of Jurich's comments, Wayne, the state representative, responds: "That's pure hogwash. They didn't take any risk. When you're getting over 90 percent of all the suite revenue and 90 percent of that revenue goes to the University of Louisville's athletic facilities, and their funds, where's the risk?" F. Chris Gorman, a former Kentucky attorney general, says: "I think that the tragedy here is this is probably the only community that uses public money to fund a Division I athletic program. That's what led to all this corruption: They had all this money -- money from the foundation, money from the arena, money from the students. You add all that up, and then they have a budget to compete with the Ohio States of the world. But they haven't done it in an honest way. They've done it by fleecing the taxpayers and by taking money from the foundation, men and women that worked all their lives and thought they were giving money to education."
The story involved a different blockbuster deal between Adidas and Louisville -- one that had played out in the shadows but was now being revealed by the U.S. Department of Justice, in http://www.footballredskinsofficialstore.com/Dustin_Hopkins_Jersey New York City. That morning, the FBI had announced a sweeping corruption investigation into college basketball. In one of the most explosive allegations, Adidas employees -- colleagues of the same people who were gathered in the gym -- had paid a $100,000 bribe to a blue-chip recruit's family.
Nothing has been the same in Louisville since. While other schools have avoided taking drastic action in response to the ongoing probe, Louisville has blown up its athletic department. The morning after the FBI's announcement, Dr. Gregory Postel, the interim president, removed not only Hall of Fame basketball coach Rick Pitino but also athletic director Tom Jurich, one of the state's most powerful http://www.redskinsofficialonlineshop.com/Doug_Williams_Jersey_Cheap people. Over the past 20 years, Jurich had built a sports empire on top of a midlevel commuter school near the Ohio River, transforming the campus and infusing a genteel Southern city that lacked a professional team with the excitement of big-time sports. Jurich was so successful generating money that "I wished I could turn them upside down and shake out http://www.officialredsstore.com/authentic-34-homer-bailey-jersey.html their pocket change for the academic side," says Thomas B. Byers, a professor emeritus in the English department. Perhaps more than any other place in America, Louisville came to embody the contradictions of college athletics -- a multibillion-dollar industry built on amateur athletes. The Adidas partnership was supposed to be a crowning achievement that validated the university as a national power. The agreement represented an undeniable windfall, with potential opportunities for the entire university, but to some it also exploited the athletes it purported to benefit while encouraging the criminal behavior later alleged by the FBI. Ultimately, the scandal -- on top of two earlier ones involving Louisville basketball, the financial engine of the athletic department -- cost Jurich his job. And it did so while underscoring the moral compromises and questionable priorities at the heart of his success, according to interviews by Outside the Lines with more than three dozen current and former Louisville administrators, athletic department staffers, government officials, state regulators, faculty and Carlton Fisk Authentic Jersey local media, as well as independent audits and documents obtained under Kentucky's Open Records Act. According to the FBI timeline, Adidas and Jurich were nailing down the sponsorship agreement while company representatives were allegedly working to bring 6-foot-7 small forward Brian Bowen to the university. Whether those two deals -- one announced at a news conference, the other negotiated illicitly in the presence of an undercover agent -- were somehow related is one of the major unanswered questions of the spiraling scandal. Jurich, who conceived of the partnership with the shoe company during Adidas-sponsored retreats in Santa Barbara, California, and Banff, Alberta, says he knew nothing about the Bowen deal, but he acknowledged that Adidas, which was to pay Louisville cash incentives for Final Four appearances and NCAA championships, had a financial interest in Louisville's success. "We all agree with that," Jurich says. "But I didn't think they would have to do it at this cost." An Adidas spokeswoman said the company is conducting an investigation of its college basketball programs, and due to the FBI investigation, "we cannot provide more details." When the Adidas contract was Boyd Gordon Authentic Jersey announced, it marked the ultimate realization of Jurich's dream to build a national power. Now, to many, it symbolizes something entirely different: the corruption of a public university. "It's a hustle. I mean, that's what it is," says professor Ricky Jones, chairman of Louisville's Pan-African studies department. "It's about making money. It's about, you know, folks from shoe companies and all the people in their orbit setting up a system that is pimping kids out." After the FBI bombshell, Louisville and Adidas quietly shut down the workshop one day David Pastrnak Authentic Jersey early. Waldron, who'd spent 18 months on the partnership, was crushed. Early in her career, she had been deputy director of radio during the Clinton presidency, only to see her work life taken over by the White House sex scandal. NBA Jerseys WholesaleNFL Jerseys CheapBasketball JerseysWholesale NFL JerseysMLB Jerseys CheapNBA Basketball Jerseys
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- There was a time in the 1970s and '80s when the Miami Dolphins were a consistently great franchise. Hall of Famers such as quarterback Dan Marino and tailback Larry Csonka were among the most recognizable players and Miami http://www.footballravensofficialauthentic.com/Alex_Collins_Jersey was one of the league's marquee teams.
On a night when Miami donned its throwback uniforms and honored many of its great players from the past, the Dolphins produced a throwback performance in a 27-20 upset victory over Womens Tyrell Williams Jersey the New England Patriots. This was by far the Dolphins' most impressive win of the season, which has otherwise been filled with distractions and inconsistency.
One has to wonder if the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots (10-3) were thinking ahead to next week's matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2) that could determine home-field advantage for the AFC http://www.footballredskinsofficialstore.com/Kendall_Reyes_Jersey playoffs. It Adam Wainwright Jersey also http://www.officialsstlouisblues.com/Adidas-Al-Macinnis-Jersey did not help New England that All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski served his one-game suspension for a late hit last week against the Buffalo Bills. New England looked lethargic for three quarters against Miami (6-7), which in contrast was energized and treated Monday's contest like its personal Super Bowl. The Dolphins improved to 1-3 in prime-time Jonathan Ogden Womens Jersey games this season after being outscored 112-45 in the three prior night games. "We gave them a taste of their own medicine," Dolphins Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry said. "We found ways to make plays. We found ways [to show] our will is stronger than yours." In an unexpected occurrence, Miami quarterback Jay Cutler significantly outperformed Patriots counterpart and future Hall of Famer Tom Brady. Cutler was the cooler, more effective quarterback and handled a Patriots defense that's played Josh Robinson Youth jersey well in recent weeks. He threw for 263 yards, three touchdowns and had a 112.1 passer rating. Meanwhile, the Dolphins’ defense rattled Brady early and often. He did not complete his first pass until the second quarter and threw a pair of interceptions to Miami cornerback Xavien Howard, who now has four interceptions in the past two games. Brady, who has had rough games in South Florida in the http://www.coltsonlinesofficialstore.com/Al-Woods-Jersey past, finished with 233 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He had a 59.5 passer rating. With two straight wins, the Dolphins quietly placed themselves back in the playoff hunt. Miami, which is one game below .500, has an important road game next week against the Bills (7-6), who currently hold the final wild-card spot in the AFC. The Dolphins will play the Bills twice in the final three weeks of the season. "That's what this team is: resilient," said Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake, who rushed for a game-high 114 yards. "Just because everybody else probably counted us out, we as a unit, as a team, as an organization, we always stick together and we're going to continue to stick together." ON THE MORNING of Sept. 26, more than two dozen Adidas employees gathered inside a gym at the University of Louisville. They had flown in from as far away as Europe -- marketers and athletic performance specialists, top designers from Adidas' secretive Brooklyn Creator Farm. They were participating in a weeklong workshop to imagine gear, products and advertising built around Louisville's most valuable commodity: the men's basketball team. The exercise was meant to simulate the vision behind a $160 million partnership between Adidas and Louisville, which had been announced the previous month. One of the largest all-school sponsorship agreements in Adidas' history, it was much more than a shoe deal. In internal strategy documents, Louisville vowed to "write the next chapter for college athletics, for streetwear and fashion." Adidas, a $7.9 billion corporation, would have access not only to the university's amateur athletes but also to the business, law and music schools to help create and market new products. As the participants prepared for Day 2, Julianne Waldron, Louisville's associate athletic director of marketing and an architect of the deal, received a call. "Julianne, there's a story that just broke. You need to read it," said a public relations official. "It has to do with Adidas."
This had been a slow cooker of a month since the World Series ended, with little happening outside the purview of Jerry Dipoto. Then Shohei Ohtani announced he's going to the Angels! Then the Marlins and Yankees agreed to terms on a Giancarlo Stanton trade! Game on.
Still, the top 21 free agents on Keith Law's top-50 list remained unsigned. At this point, however, it's clear many of these deals aren't going to come down until late January or even the early days of spring training. I think three issues have Authentic Kevin Huber Jersey slowed the market: 1. Ohtani and Stanton. This was only a minor effect on what's happened, because Ohtani's initial contract -- the major league minimum -- shouldn't have influenced a team's other offseason moves. He'd merely have been considered a bonus acquisition. The exhausting Stanton dispatches impacted only a few teams, although maybe the Cardinals and Giants held off on other moves. It's a risky free-agent class. There isn't a free agent out there without an obvious flaw or two. J.D. Martinez is the best hitter available and he's a 30-year-old corner outfielder with below-average defense who probably has to move to DH in a couple seasons (if not immediately). Yu Darvish is the best pitcher, but he has a Tommy John surgery in his past and concerns about his durability and postseason performance. Eric Hosmer had a terrific 2017 but has been wildly inconsistent throughout his career. And so on. Does J.D. Martinez sound like a $200 million ballplayer to you? Of course not. Front offices are simply waiting for the Authentic Colby Rasmus Jersey agents to drop their asking prices. 3. Teams are saving money for 2018-19, a much deeper class of free agents that includes Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, Charlie Blackmon, probably Clayton Kershaw, and a whole slew of dominant relievers. Marcell Ozuna, OF, Marlins. The Marlins have said they want to keep Ozuna (and Christian Yelich), but if the Astros-like teardown is happening, then you might as well strip everything to the bones. Ozuna is coming off a monster .312/.376/.548 year and has two seasons left until free agency. Is there value to keeping him around if Stanton is gone and you're rebuilding? Jose Abreu, 1B, White Sox. We've heard the Red Sox rumors, and http://www.officialcardinalsbaseball.com/authentic-18-carlos-martinez-jersey.html it makes some sense for them to trade for Abreu and about $40 million in arbitration salaries the next two seasons rather than spend $100 million-plus on Hosmer. Even though the White Sox are unlikely contenders the next http://www.officialauthenticravenstore.com/womens_danny_woodhead_jersey two seasons and cashing in Abreu for more young talent sounds logical, they might just keep him. The front office values his leadership in the clubhouse and views him as a mentor to all the young players, especially fellow Cuban Yoan Moncada. They'll have to be blown away to make a deal. Chris Archer, P, Rays. Yes, another winter meetings with Archer trade rumors. He's attractive not just because he's good and a workhorse -- three straight seasons with 200 innings, one of just five pitchers who can make that claim -- but because his contract is so team-friendly. He's owed just $34 million and change over the next four seasons. The Rays also have a nice group of young starters in Blake Snell, Jake Faria, Brent Honeywell and Jose De Leon. They have to be realistic: Can they contend right now with the Red Sox and Yankees? If they can get a couple of impact prospects for Archer, maybe it's time to finally deal him. Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates. He's no longer an MVP candidate and shouldn't be considered a center fielder at this point in his career, but the bat still plays. He has one season remaining until free agency. The Pirates could also look to deal Gerrit Cole, who has two years left of team control. Victor Robles, OF, Nationals. OK, he's a future star. While he seems like the heir apparent to replace Bryce Harper, the Yankees' trade for Stanton also means it's more likely Harper remains in Washington after 2018. If the Nationals decide they want another starting pitcher, maybe Robles is the bait.
were nailing down the sponsorship agreement while company representatives were allegedly working to bring 6-foot-7 small forward Brian Bowen to the university. Whether those two deals -- one announced at a news conference, the other negotiated illicitly in the presence of an undercover agent -- were somehow related is one of the major unanswered questions of the spiraling scandal.
Jurich, who conceived of the partnership with the shoe company during Adidas-sponsored retreats in Santa Barbara, California, and Banff, Alberta, says he knew http://www.baseballcardinalsonline.com/WOMENS-TREVOR-ROSENTHAL-JERSEY.html nothing about the Bowen deal, but he acknowledged that Adidas, which was to pay Louisville cash incentives for Final Four appearances and NCAA championships, had a financial interest in Louisville's success.
"We all agree with that," Jurich says. "But I didn't think they would have to do it at this cost." An Adidas spokeswoman said the company is conducting an investigation of its college basketball programs, and due to the FBI investigation, "we cannot provide more details." When the Adidas contract was announced, it marked the ultimate realization of Jurich's dream to build a national power. Now, to many, it symbolizes something entirely different: the corruption of Joe Hawley Womens Jersey a public university.
"It's a hustle. I mean, that's what it is," says professor Ricky Jones, chairman of Louisville's Pan-African studies department. "It's about making money. It's about, you know, folks from shoe companies and all the people in their orbit setting up a system that is pimping kids out." After the FBI bombshell, Louisville and Adidas quietly shut down the workshop one day early. Waldron, who'd spent 18 months on the partnership, was crushed. Early in her career, she had been deputy director of radio during the Clinton presidency, only to see her work life taken over by the White House sex scandal. ON A BRIGHT Saturday afternoon in November, Jurich sits inside the Palm Pavilion Beachside Bar & Grill in Clearwater Beach, Florida, having lunch with his wife, Terrilynn, and two of their close friends. Back in Louisville, it's 45 degrees; the football team is set to take on Virginia at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. In Clearwater, Jurich is planning Ryan Kelly Jersey to watch the game at his condo down the street. He wears shorts and a white Louisville baseball T-shirt, one of four times he arrives for interviews wearing Cardinals gear. "That's my school," he says. "I poured every ounce of myself into that place for 20 years." Jurich is a man of average height, but even at 61, he carries himself with a pugnacious, intimidating intensity. Charming and warm one minute, he is sometimes defensive and suspicious. As athletic director, Jurich rarely texted or used email, fearful it could be used against him. "Why have more fodder for people?" he says. "You know how I communicated with Alex Bregman Jersey people? I picked up the phone, and I went to their face." Since the university began digging into his records, he says, "That's the question I Jason Kidd Womens Jersey get most: 'How do http://www.officialpelicansstore.com/Hollis_Thompson_Jersey you conduct business?' Well, I think we conducted it pretty damn good." When Jurich came to Louisville from Colorado State in 1997, boosters took him and Terrilynn through campus. "She won't tell you this, but she started crying," Jurich says. Terrilynn had grown up in Wyoming, Jurich in Southern California. At Colorado State, where Jurich had been athletic director, the football stadium looked out on the Rockies. In Louisville, the Juriches found an industrial wasteland. The defining landmarks were a pair of silos, which stood between the campus and Interstate 65. Louisville had won NCAA titles in men's basketball under Denny Crum in 1980 and 1986, but most other sports were underfunded and neglected. Jurich says he spoke with Lamar Daniel, a former investigator in the U.S. Office for Civil Rights, who told him Louisville was facing a potential lawsuit over its failure to comply with Title IX. "He said, 'This is the worst school in the United States,'" Jurich says. Louisville's athletics budget then was $16.5 http://www.officialraysshop.com/authentic-20-steven-souza-jersey.html million. Jurich embarked on an ambitious growth strategy that would solve Louisville's Title IX problems and build up nonrevenue sports such as swimming and soccer while ensuring that the basketball and football teams were successful enough to support the enterprise. The strategy required prodigious cash; by this year, Louisville's athletics budget was up to $104.5 million. "He treated his donors like investors," says Jurich's friend Larry Benz, a member of the Louisville Athletic Association, which oversees the department. Jurich built $280 million in arenas, playing fields and athletic offices by convincing rich people of the facilities' vital importance. "I can give $5 million to stem cell research and it's gonna help stem cell research," says Dr. Mark Lynn, an optometry-chain owner whose name adorns the soccer complex. "I give $5 million to a soccer stadium and it's gonna help everything." Lynn says sports bring the school visibility. Cheap NFL Jerseys NikeNike NFL Jerseys WholesaleHockey JerseysNike NFL Jerseys WholesaleNew Nike NFL JerseysWholesale Jerseys AllCheap Jerseys 90
Minnesota Vikings. The Saints would become the new best team in the NFC, but they aren't the favorite to reach the Super Bowl. That would be the Vikings, out of circumstance. Even with Foles at quarterback, the Eagles have enough of a lead that they ought to squeak out a first-round bye -- and maybe even the No. 1 seed. The Vikings have both the Bengals and Bears left
on their schedule and should secure a bye. Likely needing one fewer postseason win than the Saints, Rams or Seahawks to reach the Super Bowl, the Vikings are the favorite to represent the Authentic Oscar Robertson Jersey NFC. And though they might be a hair worse than New Orleans, let's not overlook the Vikings' ability after Sunday's road loss. Entering Week 14, Case Keenum was the Total QBR leader among healthy quarterbacks, and Minnesota had the fifth-best defense in the league, per FPI. Field Yates, NFL Insider: Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota has shown a resilience -- despite the Week 14 result -- throughout the season that is difficult to ignore. The Vikings' offensive line has been dramatically improved this year and if it gets back to full health down the stretch should further fortify the running game. I also still believe Philadelphia has a strong enough roster to make a deep postseason run. This story appears in ESPN The Magazine's Dec. 25 'Tis The Season Issue. Subscribe today! ON THE MORNING of Sept. 26, more than two dozen Adidas employees gathered inside a gym at the University of Louisville. They had flown in from as far away as Europe -- marketers and athletic performance specialists, top designers from Adidas' secretive Brooklyn Creator Farm. They Authentic Nolan Ryan Jersey were participating in a weeklong workshop to imagine gear, products and advertising built around Louisville's most valuable commodity: the men's basketball team. The exercise was meant to simulate the vision behind a $160 million partnership between http://www.officialshopknights.com/authentic-adidas-84-mikhail-grabovski-jersey Adidas and Louisville, which had been announced the previous month. One of the largest all-school sponsorship agreements in Adidas' history, it was much more than a shoe deal. In internal strategy documents, Louisville vowed to "write the next chapter for college athletics, for streetwear and fashion." Adidas, a $7.9 billion corporation, would have access not only to the university's amateur athletes but also to the business, law and music schools to help create and market new products. As the participants prepared for Day 2, Julianne Waldron, Louisville's associate athletic director of marketing and an architect of the deal, received a call. "Julianne, there's a story that just broke. You need to read it," said a public relations official. "It has to do with Adidas." "They're with me right now," she replied, confused. The story involved a different blockbuster deal between Adidas and Louisville -- one that had played out in the shadows but was now being revealed by the U.S. Department of Justice, in New York City. That morning, the FBI had announced a sweeping corruption investigation into college basketball. In one of the most explosive allegations, Adidas employees -- colleagues of the same people who were gathered in the gym -- had paid a $100,000 bribe to a blue-chip recruit's family. Nothing has been the same in Louisville since. While other schools have avoided taking drastic action in response to the ongoing probe, Louisville has blown up its athletic department. The morning after the Earnest Byner Womens Jersey FBI's announcement, Dr. Gregory Postel, the interim president, removed not only Hall of Fame basketball coach Rick Pitino but also athletic director Tom Jurich, one of the state's most powerful people. Over the past 20 years, http://www.officialindianstore.com/Lonnie_Chisenhall_Jersey Jurich had built a sports empire on top of a midlevel commuter school near the Ohio River, transforming the campus and infusing a genteel Southern city that lacked a professional team with the excitement of big-time sports. Jurich was so successful generating money that "I wished I could turn them upside down and shake out their pocket change for the academic side," says Thomas B. Byers, a professor emeritus in the English department. Perhaps more than any other place in America, Louisville came to embody the contradictions of college athletics -- a multibillion-dollar industry built on amateur athletes. The Adidas partnership was supposed to be a crowning achievement that validated the university as a national power. The agreement represented an undeniable windfall, with potential opportunities for the entire university, but to some it also exploited the athletes it purported to benefit while encouraging the criminal behavior later alleged by the FBI. Ultimately, the scandal -- on top
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz left the Eagles' 43-35 win at the Los Angeles Rams late in the third quarter Sunday, and the team is concerned that he tore his left ACL, sources tell ESPN's Adam Schefter. Wentz was an MVP candidate and a huge part of the Eagles' turnaround from 7-9 a year ago, and now backup Nick Foles could be forced to play down the stretch and into the playoffs. So how does the NFC playoff picture change now? We asked our panel of ESPN NFL insiders to weigh in:
Matt Bowen, NFL writer: New Orleans Saints. Yes, the offense needs a healthy Alvin Kamara on the field. His versatile skill set and explosive big-play ability stands out, and he changes the Saints' game plan. But I'm also looking at the balanced offense this season under Sean Payton and the proven ability of Drew Brees to make plays in critical moments. Plus, with an aggressive defense under Dennis Allen, the Saints can bring pressure and challenge routes at the cornerback position. This is a physical team with the leadership to make a run in January. Mike Clay, NFL writer: Minnesota Vikings. They have taught us this season that a quarterback who struggled during the Jeff Fisher Rams' era (Case Keenum) can guide a well-built team to Super Bowl contention. That said, I'm not going to completely throw in the towel on an Eagles' team that was stacked on paper even before Carson Wentz took a big step forward this season. Wentz hasn't been the Eagles' only big loss of the season. Injuries to Jason Peters, Jordan Hicks and Darren Sproles have also taken their toll. It's hard to imagine this team beating two quality NFC teams in the playoffs. The Saints, Rams and Seahawks are in the conversation, but I'm hard-pressed to go against a Vikings squad with many impressive statement wins, including against the Falcons, Ravens, Rams and Saints. Minnesota has a terrific defense, a productive offense and a December schedule (Bengals, Packers, Bears) that should put them at least at 12-4 and with a first-round bye. That will be the edge the Vikings need in order to becoming the first team ever to play in the Super Bowl in its home stadium. Dan Graziano, NFL writer: Philadelphia Eagles. I'm going to say it's still the Eagles, just not by as much. Their pass rush will help them finish games, and while they'll obviously lose a lot if Foles can't replicate Wentz's third-down success, Foles knows the offense and I think we can trust Doug Pederson and Frank Reich to put their players in positions to be successful. I thought the Eagles were clear favorites to win the NFC as Week 14 dawned, and now I would rate them as one of several roughly equivalent possibilities. But since it looks likely they'll get a bye and maybe even the No. 1 seed even without Wentz, I'll give Philly the narrow edge. Mike Sando, senior NFL writer: Minnesota Vikings. I'm not sure Keenum will play well enough for the rest of the season and playoffs, http://www.authenticnikeredskinshop.com/fabian-moreau-jersey-for-sale-c-74.html but the Vikings are strong enough across the board to be the top team. That might have been true even if Wentz had stayed healthy. Aaron Schatz, Football Outsiders editor-in-chief: Philadelphia Eagles. Believe it or not, it's Authentic Corey Crawford Jersey the Eagles. They are no longer the best team in the NFL, but the results of Sunday's games make it likely that the Eagles will have the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. They now have a head-to-head win against the Rams and clinched the common-opponents tiebreaker against Minnesota and New Orleans. Other than perhaps Teddy Bridgewater, Foles is probably the best backup quarterback among the top contenders, and the one most likely to follow in Jeff http://www.officialbengalsfootballproshop.com/WOMENS_YOUTH_DARQUEZE_DENNARD_JERSEY.html Hostetler's footsteps. Games against the Raiders and Giants should get him up to speed. The Cowboys in Week 17 (with Ezekiel Elliott) will be tougher, but the Eagles should have the No. 1 seed even if they finish 2-1. In fact, with Aaron Rodgers coming back to face the Vikings in two weeks, they could have the No. 1 seed even if they finish 1-2. And the Eagles would be likely to host warm-weather teams (Rams, Panthers) or dome teams (Vikings, Saints) in cold Philadelphia in January. Kevin Seifert, national NFL writer: Minnesota Vikings. This is a team that won eight consecutive games before losing Sunday by one Authentic Josh Smith Jersey score on the road to the Panthers, themselves a likely playoff team. The Vikings suffered a few injuries Patrick Robinson Authentic Jersey to keep an eye on, most notably to tight end Kyle Rudolph (ankle) and along their offensive line, but most of their key pieces remain intact. And, in terms of playoff positioning, keep in mind that they'll play two of their final three games at home against the Bengals (5-8) and Bears (4-9). MLB Authentic JerseysNFL Jerseys CheapNFL Jerseys PaypalNHL Jerseys ChinaWholesale Jerseys All
The top two picks in a draft are rarely quarterbacks. They also seldom lead playoff-bound teams in only their second season. And they definitely don't come with origin stories like Jared Goff and Carson Wentz have, who shared an agent and trained together before the 2016 NFL draft. Goff's Los Angeles Rams host Wentz's Philadelphia Eagles at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sunday (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox).
The Eagles are 10-2, rank first in point differential and are averaging an NFL-leading 30.08 points per game. The Rams are 9-3, rank second in point differential and are averaging an NFL-leading 30.08 points per game. Goff and Wentz represent the seventh quarterback pair to be selected first and second overall since 1967 and will soon become only the fifth of those to meet head-to-head. Goff, a gifted downfield passer, went to a Rams team that had just moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles and traded up from No. 15 to No. 1 to have the chance to draft him. He rode the bench early, struggled late and then got a new head coach in Sean McVay who helped launch his career. Goff now sports a 98.4 passer rating and is averaging 8.1 yards per attempt. Wentz, a wizard outside the pocket, went to an Eagles team that looked primed for contention and traded up twice, from No. 13 to 8 to 2 to get him. He thrived immediately, then took his Dennis Rodman Jersey lumps in the back half of his rookie season and now looks like an MVP candidate while throwing for an NFL-leading 29 touchdowns and sporting a 72.5 Total QBR. Leading up to their first meeting as pros, we took a look back at the pre-draft process and told that story from the accounts of those who experienced it. The Charles Clay Jersey four executives directly involved -- for the Rams, Eagles, Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns -- declined interviews. But several others shared their memories of the 2016 draft. Goff and Wentz worked side-by-side in their competition to become the No. 1 pick. They not only became the first 1-2 quarterback combo to share an agent -- Ryan Tollner -- but they trained together in the lead-up to the draft. Three days a week, they would take the field, alternating snaps and http://www.starsofficialauthentic.com/Valeri_Nichushkin_Jersey_Adidas matching throws. With North Dakota State advancing to the FCS championship game, Wentz arrived in California to begin training a week later than Goff and was itching to catch up. Ryan Lindley, former NFL quarterback who trained Wentz and Goff: "I want to say [Wentz] took a red-eye right after they played their championship game and came right out to Orange County from Texas and wanted to get going. I was like, 'Hey, man, you're coming off wrist surgery not even eight weeks earlier, came off playing a football game the day before. We can take a couple days off.' But he wanted to get right to work. And I think it irked him a little bit that Jared already had a week up." Wentz: "We had just Tyler Johnson Jersey finished winning our fifth national championship there, and I knew I was already a couple weeks behind, kind of that pre-draft prep and everything, so I was ready to get it going. I just got out there as quickly as I could." Goff: "I met him. Immediately, right away, you can tell what type of worker he is." Wentz: "Jared and I, we threw on the field together a couple times a week. But we had our own private film sessions with our quarterbacks coach and everything and kind of did our own thing. It was just good to be around him." Lindley: "I mean, obviously Jared took it seriously and knew it was a big deal and was excited to work with us. But once Carson got there, you knew there was a bar being set, and each one wanted to jump the other each day and raise it even higher. ... You put two alphas in a cage, they're going to put their hair up and be a little bit on edge, go after it a little bit." Wentz: "He can throw the ball well. He had a lot of arm talent. And he's a great dude. We got along great." Weather -- and even the simulation of weather -- played a role in how the draft process unfolded. A North Dakota blizzard on March 24 kept 14 teams from attending Wentz's pro day. Only http://www.officialbengalsfootballproshop.com/WOMENS_YOUTH_CEDRIC_OGBUEHI_JERSEY.html one head coach, the Cleveland Browns' Hue Jackson, was in attendance. "Divine intervention," Eagles coach Doug Pederson said, looking up to the heavens. California rain proved to be a key ingredient in the Rams' courtship of Goff. The skies opened over Berkeley prior to their private workout with the Cal quarterback, setting precisely the scene they needed. Wholesale Jerseys Free ShippingCheap NHL JerseysNFL Jerseys WholesaleNHL Jerseys CheapBaseball Jerseys Custom