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Betting on a first-round rookie wideout has been a dicey gamble in recent years, but the Falcons and Panthers might be just fine.
From 2012-17, there were 25 wide receivers selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Only five of those players have been selected to even a single Pro Bowl in their budding careers. Nine have had at least one season with 800 receiving yards or more.
In 2018, two more wide receivers were drafted in the first round: D.J. Moore (No. 24) and Calvin Ridley (No. 26). So what can the Panthers and Falcons, the two teams who spent their first-round picks on the dynamic young wideouts, learn from this?
Even with that group bumping up expectations, rookie first-round picks over the past five years have roughly been as productive as Jeremy Maclin’s disappointing 2017. Those 25 receivers averaged 37 receptions, 495 yards, and three touchdowns in their first seasons as a pro. Those numbers are weighed down by zeroes from players like White, Ross, Perriman, and 2012 30th pick A.J. Jenkins, but removing the outliers from either end of the table — the top performances and the worst of the group — actually makes those averages worse: 37, 459, and two.
In other news, the Browns have been blown away by how other players are gravitating toward Mayfield.
Expectations for 2018: Hopefully Hue Jackson has learned from his mistakes and won’t rush Mayfield onto the field. Mayfield should start the year as Taylor’s backup, but it wouldn’t be surprising if that changes based on the Browns’ success, or lack thereof.
Spring report: The Jets aren’t pushing too much on Darnold. With that said, he is competing for the starting job with incumbent Josh McCown and free agent addition Teddy Bridgewater. NJ.com referred to Darnold’s minicamp performance as solid and reported he worked on pre-snap duties like calling and changing plays at the line of scrimmage. Darnold’s teammates are also raving about him and it sounds like they’re rallying around their rookie quarterback. Gang Green Nation offered more details on Darnold here.
Expectations for 2018: Darnold is competing to start for the Jets but it’s too early to tell if he’ll win the job. Regardless of whether or not he starts this year, Darnold is the future in New York.
The XFL’s made great strides to assert that it won’t be the rough-and-tumble WWE on grass that we knew and loved from the early 2000s. This will be a more buttoned-up product. To head up the day-to-day business of the league, the XFL has hired Oliver Luck away from his post as an executive with the NCAA to be the commissioner of the league.
If you push the data back to 2007, the list of first-round WRs gets more promising. That group includes 42 first-round wideouts, 13 of whom have earned Pro Bowl invitations. Only two of the players drafted between 2007 and 2011 — Craig Davis and Jonathan Baldwin — have had fewer than 1,300 career receiving yards. Given enough time, talent has trumped short-term injuries, even if recent results suggest major hurdles remain from the potential busts of the last five years.
But expectations for Calvin Ridley and D.J. Moore will be modest — especially as additions to already-solid teams
The numbers for wideouts taken between the 21st and 32nd picks as rookies are unfortunate. While that group produced Will Fuller, Kelvin Benjamin, and DeAndre Hopkins, those first-year receivers from 2012-17 averaged just 26 catches and 358 receiving yards after making the leap to the pro ranks. Fortunately for Ridley and Moore, anything they produce this fall with be a welcome bonus for already-solid teams.
I honestly believe that had we done nothing that the anthem protest would have subsided on its own, an NFL owner told SB Nation’s Thomas George. But the risk of giving Trump another football to kick was too great. A lot of his fan base is our fan base.
But Trump showed Monday that he’s still plenty capable of leveraging the opinions and social activism of NFL players into political opportunity.
Camp is all about rewiring and retooling for Belichick and the Patriots. Will it work this time?
Assaults on the New England Patriots from without – and even from within – is part of their fabric under Robert Kraft’s 24-year ownership. The outside shots help insulate and bond them. The inside ones, well, that’s required cunning to navigate.
Kraft insists that Spygate, Deflategate and any other mud slung the Patriots’ way originates from envy and jealousy. Five Super Bowl championships create his they hate us cause they ain’t us view. He and the Patriots say they ignore it all. The cheating shots. The wallops that players have no fun, no happiness and are robotic. The criticisms of their arrogance. It bolsters their spines, they insist.
The lead on the game story the next day by Tribune writer Edward Prell read, Baseball reached a daffiness ceiling in Wrigley field Tuesday. (Yes, the field was in lowercase.) He added, Not even Bill Veeck of the White Sox could have conjured up such a zany episode.
Zany, indeed. There’s more, but it’s not so zany.
After the season, Delmore didn’t see his contract renewed by the National League, so he was out of a job. Some say it was because of the Wrigley Field debacle. Others say it was because of a conflict of interest: He had married a secretary who worked in the office of NL president Warren Giles, where umpiring assignments were doled out.
Let’s take a look at every team in the NFL.
Note: All futures odds courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook as of June 25. All game line references from Weeks 2-16 courtesy of CG Technology.
The most notable attribute of the Fortune LP is the internal sock or second-skin flight suit as the company refers to it. The upper an the internal aren’t fully-attached It doesn’t necessarily adversely impact the fit, but it it getting them on is a bit more laborious than most shoes and takes some getting used. Once they’re on foot, you’ll be welcomed with a comfy fit aided by technologically-advanced LP cushioning that only gets better with time.
The Fortune LP are a snug fit, especially initially, but I like that in a performance shoe. If you want a little more space, I’d suggest going up a half size, but I didn’t have to.
I have written this column for 13 years now. Often imitated, never duplicated, it’s always the first column I write and I do so for a few very specific reasons. One, it’s among my most favorite columns to write. Always good to start the season off with a fave. And two, because it’s CRUCIAL to read first so you understand what you are looking at once you start your research and prep for the 2018 fantasy football season. Because your fantasy football success this year is not going to be based on how much you research, but rather how you interpret what you research. Consider these two quarterbacks.
San Antonio reportedly shut down trade talks with the Lakers last week as they were adamant they did not want to trade Leonard in the Western Conference, but the team seems to have backed off on that front and are talking again with Los Angeles.
According to ESPN, it would take a massive deal to land Leonard, especially considering the Lakers are in the Western Conference, and it would appear Los Angeles is doing all they can to incentivize a move to southern California.
The Lakers are reportedly trying to find a way to acquire a future first-round pick to include in a trade for Leonard, and also are holding off on signing the 25th-overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft Mo Wagner, so they could trade his draft rights as part of the deal as well.
The aftershocks of Roseanne’s anthem scattered strangely. The Oval Office commented, while the MLB office stayed silent. Media attention reached such heights that Barr had to convene a July 27 press conference. Yet most of the players, umpires and coaches that bore witness to the Banner never had to speak about it again. But one thing was clear: Roseanne’s minute and a half at the mic had captivated a country. The story was going to last much longer.
Going for a known commodity in Ward makes sense for the Blackhawks, who were burned by the shaky trio of Anton Forsberg, Jean-Francois Berube and Jeff Glass this past season. Forsberg still has time to grow into a reliable starter, but the 25-year-old — acquired as part of the trade that sent Artemi Panarin to Columbus — clearly needs seasoning, and was thrust into action too early. He has the chance for regular action in the AHL, or could get some action behind Ward if Crawford remains out.
Berube is trending toward journeyman status. After a rough start to his career with the Islanders, he found himself jettisoned yet again after last season (he was traded to the Blue Jackets). Glass was a feel-good story — after toiling in the KHL for the better part of a decade, he finally got a shot at redemption — but turned out to be nothing more than that. And of course, you can’t actually turn to a beer-league accountant … though the Blackhawks tried, eh?
Ward feels like he’s been around forever, and though Carolina was ready to finally move on, he’s still a serviceable starter who can win you some games. While at first glance his stats are OK (while splitting time with Scott Darling last season, he was 23-14-4 with a .906 save percentage) a closer look isn’t as encouraging (Ward’s 91.79 5-on-5 save percentage ranked 36th in the league).
Logan Couture agreed to an eight-year, $64 million contract extension with the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, according to a person familiar with the deal.
The person told The that the deal will become official as soon as Sunday, when Couture is eligible to sign the extension. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t been announced.
Couture is entering the final year of a five-year, $30 million deal and now will be under contract through the 2026-27 season.
Couture has 34 goals and 47 assists in 96 career playoff games, ranking in the top 10 in the NHL in playoff goals and points since making his postseason debut in 2010.
Locking up Couture was the first move made by general manager Doug Wilson this offseason. San Jose still is looking to re-sign center Joe Thornton and is making a run at New York Islanders center John Tavares.
He was helpful during the Capitals’ postseason run to their first title, getting two goals and three assists while averaging more than 17-plus minutes per game as a top-four defenseman.
The 27-year-old from the Czech Republic is the latest in a series of players to remain with Washington this offseason, instead of joining a new team. That includes top defenseman John Carlson and winger Devante Smith-Pelly.
A tackle seen around the world propelled Christian Scotland-Williamson from rugby towards the Pittsburgh Steelers, and a challenge that even a 6-foot-9 master’s graduate is struggling with an NFL playbook.
For young players, summers can put them on track for success or derail their careers. OTA and minicamp practices will help them develop their skills and put them head-to-head with the teammates who they’ll be competing against for playing time.
Every NFL roster has at least one key young player who could drastically improve his career by improving in a particular area this offseason, be it durability concerns or refinement of technique.
Seals-Jones can’t just come into the game as a pass-catching option, as that would tip off defenses. To move past Jermaine Gresham for the top spot on Arizona’s depth chart, he’ll need to improve as a blocker.
Deadrin Senat can’t fix this between now and September, but his making the jump from AAC defensive tackle to the Atlanta Falcons’ starting nose tackle in a few months’ time is cause for concern.
I love the communication I have with horses, he said. To make it work, there’s nothing like it, there’s nothing like crossing the wire first. You make a 1,200-pound horse do things that some people couldn’t do. You can move them with just your hands, you know, and you get them to win.
On Saturday, he didn’t have to work hard at all.
Together, the jockey and the horse worked in synch to make it easier than anyone expected. At the quarter pole, when Smith asked for a little more, Justify responded. He shifted off the rail and to next lane on his right and now he could call on the kind of speed he didn’t even need earlier. He won it by a widening length and three-quarters.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young urged former Niners teammate Terrell Owens to reconsider his decision to skip the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony in August.
Rutgers has hired Toledo’s Kristen Butler, a former SEC player of the year at Florida, as its new head softball coach.
Butler replaces Jay Nelson, whose contract was not renewed by athletics director Pat Hobbs at the end of this past season after 12 years at the helm. She takes over a program that has struggled mightily since joining the Big Ten. Rutgers has a 28-61 (.315) record in conference games and is 86-121 (.415) overall since entering the league.
Butler went 104-122 in her four years at Toledo and she leaves as the second-winningest coach in program history. She was the 2018 MAC coach of the year.
The Orlando, Florida, native was a four-year starter at Florida, primarily as a catcher. She was SEC player of the year in 2006 after setting a program record for home runs in a season. Butler also played professionally in the National Professional Fastpitch League and overseas in the Japanese league. She remains the NPFL’s all-time home runs and RBI leader.
Butler was also an assistant at Charleston Southern, Mississippi Valley State and Florida before taking over Toledo’s program.
You just keep riding that wave.
The Yankees are hoping they’re still on that wave come October because that’s when we’ll find out if they’re truly a great team. That’s when we’ll find out for sure if they’re better than the 2017 Yankees because no amount of regular-season wins can match playoff success.
But so far, the Yankees are doing everything they can. They’ve won five of seven from the Astros, who beat them in last year’s ALCS on their way to winning the 2017 World Series. They’ve also sweep a three-game series from the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians and they split their first six with the Boston Red Sox, who are just two games back in the AL East.
We’ve obviously played well and racked up a lot of wins, but you also realize every night how precious those wins are and how hard they are to come by, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. I don’t care who we’re playing, but when you look at it, it is gratifying to know that we’ve played pretty well against some of the elite teams and some of the hot teams.
Editor’s note: This is another in a series of exclusive columns by Mets prospect Peter Alonso, chronicling his journey to the major leagues.
On paper, my baseball career started in June 2016 when I signed with the New York Mets at Citi Field. I want to inform you readers that this is incorrect.
The cornerback competition is one to watch entering training camp. While Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple are atop the depth chart, Shurmur is still looking to find out who can fill in best at the nickel and beyond that.
Donte Deayon, William Gay and Curtis Riley are all in the mix.
While Jon Halapio spent minicamp lining up at center with the first-team unit, Shurmur said it’s still a competition for the starting spot. … Shurmur said rookie defensive tackle RJ McIntosh, the Giants’ fifth-round pick out of Miami, is going to have a procedure for an undisclosed injury, but is hopeful he’ll be ready for training camp. … Outside linebacker Avery Moss spent minicamp running off to the side of drills as he continues to work back from an injury he sustained last season, Shurmur said.
Few if any believed the bizarrely specific report that: (1) the trade offers were on the table from San Francisco and Nashville; (2) coach Bill Belichick wanted to proceed; (3) quarterback Tom Brady responded to the news by threatening to retire; and (4) Kraft stepped in and put the kibosh on the transaction. To the extent anyone did, they now shouldn’t.
Three weeks to the day after the Jets traded the former second-round pick for a conditional seventh-round choice, he was cut, failing even to get to training camp.
Because Hackenberg won’t be on the Raiders’ roster for any games, the Jets won’t get the draft choice, meaning they essentially traded Hackenberg for nothing. He never appeared in a regular-season game for them, and only was active for five games. Oakland opted to go with EJ Manuel and Connor Cook as Derek Carr’s backups.
General manager Mike Maccagnan took Hackenberg with the 51st-overall pick in the 2016 draft, which so far has turned out to be the worst move of his tenure. Hackenberg was a goner once the Jets traded up in April’s draft and landed Sam Darnold with the third-overall pick. Following the team’s first OTAs, Hackenberg positively talked up the revamped throwing motion he had worked on with personal quarterback coach Jeff Christensen.
But it didn’t impress the Raiders enough to keep him around.
The Cardinals officially announced the signing of wide receiver Greg Little on Friday and they are likely to add another player to the roster in the near future.
As reported along with the Little news on Thursday, the Cardinals waived wide receiver Cobi Hamilton. On Friday they also announced that they have waived linebacker Frank Ginda.
The father of four spent his Father’s Day stirring up political controversy by tweeting a link to a blatantly heavily edited Barack Obama video. Leach asked his followers to listen in and share their thoughts about a video that had taken Obama out of context, quoting him as saying that progress can only come when individuals surrender their rights to an all-powerful sovereign — which he had said to represent the danger of such thinking.
So I think that an open discussion is always in order, Leach tweeted Sunday along with the video, until he deleted Monday. Tweet your thoughts. Maybe we can all learn something.
He has played in every game for the Patriots since being drafted. Thursday’s extension provides him with a chance to keep that streak alive for many years to come.
I think he has improved every day, Shurmur said last week as the Giants finished up their spring work. I think he’s got an outstanding skill set. I mean, big, strong, can throw. He can run around and he’s gotten more and more comfortable with what we’re doing.
This is not merely a big (6-foot-5) guy who follows around Manning like an oversized puppy. Webb does not merely pay lip service to observing and learning from Manning, the 14-year veteran. Amid a carefree exterior, there is a seriousness to the way Webb goes about his business. As the Giants separated for a near six-week break prior to training camp, Webb did not sound like a young guy looking forward to an extended vacation.
This isn’t time off, this is time away, Webb said, echoing Shumur’s message to the team. I don’t want to be away. I’m 23 years old, hopefully retirement’s a long way from now. Whenever I’m done coaching or playing, then I’ll take my vacation time.
The Baltimore Orioles bring a league-worst 19-48 record into Friday’s game against the Miami Marlins.
Which means we are one day closer to the Orioles deciding if they will move shortstop Manny Machado before the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline.
The Sox’s top prospect is third baseman Michael Chavis, who is serving an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance, dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (DHMCT). Like Chris Colabello, Daniel Stumpf and others suspended for DHMCT, Chavis denied purposely taking any prohibited substance and reacted with shock to his penalty. The Sox, if they traded Devers and lost Machado as a free agent, could turn to Chavis at third, or sign another free agent.
Andrew Norwell previously had the richest contract at the position after signing a five-year, $66.5 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars in March.
Martin’s deal also includes $40 million guaranteed, per Schefter.
Martin, 27, has not missed a start since being selected No. 16 overall in 2014.
Every year, NFL teams take cornerbacks at the top of the draft and pray they turn into what Ramsey has become for the Jaguars. In two seasons, Ramsey has established himself as one of the very best cornerbacks in the NFL. You could argue Ramsey earned superstar status on the back of his rookie year alone, but there’s no doubt about it after a dominant second year in which the first-team All-Pro allowed a 52.1 passer rating on throws his way. He’s also a fun and charismatic personality who talks splendid trash and will undoubtedly spice things up in The Superstar Club. This is especially important considering the man he’s set to replace…