Cowboys could find ‘keeping their own’ even more problematic in 2019

The Cowboys can argue that they did not want to pay the price to keep those players, which is fine, nike nfl jersey cheap but if they don’t get ahead of the market by signing players to extensions before they reach free agency, then they won’t do anything but spin their wheels in free agency.

Speaking on the team’s luxury bus from the NFL scouting combine last month in Indianapolis, owner and general manager Jerry Jones was almost gloating about the compensatory picks the team received for losing Leary (fourth round), Church (fifth round), Carr (fifth round) and Claiborne (sixth round).

Depending on what they end up doing in free agency, they could get a fourth-rounder for Hitchens in 2019. The picks help make up for the loss of proven players, and the Cowboys could use them in trades to move up in next month’s draft.

But if the Cowboys’ plan is to “keep their own,” then they could face a difficult task in 2019.

They could have as many as 12 players set to hit unrestricted free agency, including three massive pieces to their success: Pro Bowl defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin and defensive lineman David Irving.

The Cowboys kept Lawrence on the franchise tag this year, chewing up $17.143 million of their cap space. They have until mid-July to sign Lawrence to a multi-year contract or else he will have to play this season on the tag.

Martin is set to play out the year on his fifth-year option at $9.3 million. The Cowboys have wanted to lock him up to a long-term contract since last summer, but have not been able to close the deal. An extension would free up cap space this year and lock down Martin the same way they did Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick. The Cowboys will not shy away from making Martin the highest paid guard in the NFL, which is now north of $13 million per season.

The Cowboys gave Irving, a restricted free agent, the second-round tender at $2.9 million. authentic nfl jerseys Theoretically, another team could sign Irving to a massive offer sheet, which the Cowboy won’t match in order to gain a second-round pick this year, but if not, then Irving would be scheduled to hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent in 2019. If Irving can put together a full season of work, then his price will be enormous.

Trey Burton represents new vision for Bears tight ends

Shortly after Matt Nagy was named John Fox’s successor in January, the new Bears head coach joined general manager Ryan Pace for a thorough discussion about the importance of the team’s tight ends.

In Kansas City, Nagy watched Travis Kelce emerge as one of the league’s most dangerous pass-catching tight ends. A three-time Pro Bowl selection, nfl jerseys cheap nike Kelce tallied 307 receptions for 3,900 yards and 22 touchdowns over the past four regular seasons.

In Chicago last year, the Bears struggled to find any real consistency at tight end after popular veteran Zach Miller suffered a horrific knee dislocation in Week 8. Despite missing half the season, Miller still led all Chicago tight ends with 20 catches for 236 yards.

“One of the first conversations Matt and I had once everything calmed down and we were talking football was the value of this position, the value of the U tight end position in this offense,” Pace told reporters at Halas Hall last week. “And he painted that picture very clear, which is great for a scout to hear because it makes it easier to go find that person. And so Trey Burton, he just fits a lot of the qualities we’re looking for in this offense. Obviously as a receiver his ability to separate, he’s got good hands, he’s an intelligent player, and we feel like there’s a lot of upside ahead of him, and we feel like this offense can maximize that upside.”

Burton — the third tight end in Philadelphia — quickly became one of the Bears’ top priorities in free agency. After securing a commitment from wide receiver nfl nike jerseys cheap Allen Robinson (three years, $25.2 million in guaranteed money), Chicago reached an agreement with Burton for four years and $22 million in total guarantees.

Burton’s new deal represents a significant step up for a player who caught 23 passes for 248 yards and five touchdowns for the Super Bowl champion Eagles in 2017.

‘Here we go. Don’t miss it!’ Aaron Judge plans to ‘hunt mistakes’ — and make pitchers pay

Mired in a post-All-Star Game slump many were quick to blame on his victorious appearance in the Home Run Derby, Aaron Judge searched for answers.

Was it his swing? Did his desire to showcase his power in the derby dramatically affect his launch angle in the games that followed?cheap nfl jersey shop Was he trying to live up to his home run hitting hype from the season’s first half, and muscle out every pitch he saw?

No, no and no.

As he reviewed the swings he had taken and the pitch counts he faced, the New York Yankees right fielder came to a simple conclusion: He was chasing far too many “good pitches” from opposing pitchers.

Instead, he needed to go after their mistakes. The revelation resulted in a September turnaround he’s hoping will continue this whole season.01

Recently, he has replicated it well, smacking a trio of hard base hits in consecutive games this past weekend. If he keeps doing that, 2018 could be as good — if not better — for the reigning American League Rookie of the Year.

“That was the biggest thing, just hunting the mistakes,” Judge said. “Don’t try to go out there where the good pitch is. Try to hunt those mistakes that people leave out there — because there’s a lot of mistakes over the middle.”

According to ESPN Stats & Information, cheap nfl gear for men in 55 games from July 14 (the Yankees’ first game after the All-Star break) to Sept. 12 last year, Judge hit .185 with 11 home runs and a .392 slugging percentage. In the next 16 regular-season games, he batted .385 and led baseball with 11 home runs and a 1.115 slugging percentage.

David Price looks good in spring training debut

Making his first Grapefruit League start — and first start of any kind in a competitive environment since last July 22 — Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price gave up one hit and one walk in four innings Thursday against a Toronto Blue Jays lineup that featured only three regulars.

He established his fastball and cutter early on, nfl jerseys cheap shop then incorporated his changeup and even his curveball the second time through the batting order.

And when he was finished throwing 55 pitches (34 for strikes), as the Red Sox were still in the process of a 7-5 victory, Price praised the team for intentionally taking it slower than usual with him and fellow ace Chris Sale this spring in an attempt to keep them fresher and stronger late in the season.

“This is March 15 and I’ve never been able to have a four-pitch mix on March 15,” Price said. “I’ve never been this far along in spring training, even though I’ve only thrown in one game. I’m excited about that.”

Price has always been good at first impressions.108

On Thursday morning, Red Sox manager Alex Cora recalled standing on third base for Boston in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 2008 American League Championship Series at Tropicana Field when Price, 15 months removed from getting drafted first overall by the Tampa Bay Rays, struck out J.D. Drew to hold a two-run lead. Price pitched a scoreless ninth inning, too, to clinch the pennant and send the Rays to the World Series.

“I saw him and was like, ‘What’s [then-Rays manager] Joe [Maddon] doing? It’s supposed to be [reliever Grant] Balfour,'” Cora said. “I was like, ‘What’s going on here?’ He looked that good. I saw him last year [in the playoffs] when he was really, really good.”

Price made a strong first impression again when he reported to Red Sox camp,nfl jersey shop china admitted he could’ve been better about the way he handled multiple confrontations with media members last season and vowed to be a better teammate.

When Price walked into the clubhouse Thursday, he wore a Nike sweatshirt with the slogan “We Need Leaders.” As he left, he paid no attention to NESN broadcaster Steve Lyons’ critique on the television broadcast of struggling lefty reliever Roenis Elias. It was criticism from Dennis Eckersley on a telecast last season that prompted Price to humiliate the Hall of Famer on the team plane.

Quarterback-starved Jets make the right move by trading up

Because of past failures at the quarterback position, the New York Jets — in a decades-long search for a franchise quarterback — put themselves in the unenviable position of having to trade up.

This current Jets regime whiffed on draft picks Bryce Petty and Christian cheap nike nfl jersey Hackenberg and they missed out on prized free agent Kirk Cousins even though they offered more money than the Minnesota Vikings. So general manager Mike Maccagnan had a choice:


Sit tight with the sixth pick and pray one of the top four quarterbacks falls in his lap — a quarterback he actually believes in — or be proactive and jump for one he really likes.

Wisely, Maccagnan opted for the latter, moving up three spots in the draft. To get the third pick away from the Indianapolis Colts, the Jets sent the sixth pick and two second-round picks in this year’s draft — the 37th and 49th overall picks — plus their 2019 second-rounder.

Maccagnan did well to keep his 2019 first-rounder, but make no mistake — this was a costly proposition. By trading three second-rounders, he gave up three potential starting players — a big haul for a rebuilding team with many holes.

The Jets went into the offseason knowing they’d have to pay big money for a quarterback (Cousins) or a big draft-pick package. After getting snubbed by Cousins, they opted for the latter route.

Again, they had nike nfl jerseys wholesale It was a no-brainer. In the process, they boxed out the Buffalo Bills, who surely will be angling to move up for a quarterback.

The Jets re-signed Josh McCown and added Teddy Bridgewater at the start of free agency, but no one in the NFL actually believed they’d stand pat with that tandem. They were the Band-Aids, the quick fix. This franchise, in a perpetual search for the next Joe Namath, needed something long term.

It took 92 years, but Devin and Jason McCourty on cusp of rare football feat

1. What is Gene and Tom Golsen, with the 1926 Louisville Colonels?

If you guessed the answer for that question is the last and only time the Pro Football Hall of Fame has record of twin brothers playing regular-season games on the same professional football team,cheap nike nfl jerseys china take a bow. It also means Patriots defensive backs Devin and Jason McCourty have a chance to do something in 2018 that hasn’t been done in 92 years.

That’s one of the fun storylines as a result of the Patriots’ acquiring cornerback Jason McCourty — who is expected to compete for a starting role opposite of Stephon Gilmore — in a trade Thursday. Tom Golsen played in one game for the Cardinals in that ’26 season, while Gene played in three.95

And while it faces some longer odds, this bit of “twin Patriots history” actually has two chances to happen in 2018 because Jacob and Cody Hollister are also on the roster.

Jacob played 15 regular-season games last season as an undrafted free agent out of Wyoming and shows promise as a developmental tight end/special-teamer, while Cody spent 2017 on the practice squad after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Arkansas and hopes to carve out a niche as a reserve receiver/core special-teamer.

2. When newly signed defensive end Adrian Clayborn was with the Falcons over the past three seasons, he played mostly on the right side, which traces to how he suffered from Erb’s palsy at birth (he had lost some movement and had some weakness in his right arm). That Clayborn has overcome that to have a productive college and pro career has been inspiring to many, nfl nike jersey cheap and was one thing that stood out to me when communicating with those who have coached Clayborn. “Tough-minded competitor, resilient, quiet in the locker room but a respected teammate,” one said. The Falcons drafted Takk McKinley in the first round last year, which made Clayborn expendable in Atlanta.

Tyrann Mathieu’s skill set has to intrigue Steelers

A rangy safety who can line up as a cornerback or linebacker with a mix of athleticism and physicality?

That’s the kind of hybrid weapon the modern Pittsburgh Steelers defense covets. Versatility is why they drafted Ryan Shazier and Sean nike nfl jerseys china And that’s why the team should at least have a detailed conversation about free agent Tyrann Mathieu, who was released by the Arizona Cardinals on Wednesday due to a bloated salary.


The reasons for not signing him are clear — money and injuries. Despite turning 26 in May, Mathieu has battled through two significant knee injuries and a shoulder issue. The Steelers sit at $6.512 million in cap space as of Thursday, the third-lowest clip in the league, so meeting Mathieu’s demands would be a challenge. Mathieu is used to making $10 million per year, which should be his market. The Steelers barely have enough cushion to sign a rookie class.

But since signing a former Pro Bowl defensive back fresh off a release worked out well last summer with Joe Haden, maybe the Steelers employ a similar strategy. Haden carries a $11.916 million cap number and the Steelers don’t seem to care much because he’s their best player in the secondary. Haden is one of five Steelers with a cap hit of more than $10 million, which has them in cost-cutting mode this time of year, but no move is impossible. The Steelers did just make $26 million of space disappear with four contract restructures since February.

Point is, if the Steelers really wanted to make a run at a wrecking-ball safety in free agency,nfl nike jersey cheap they can make it happen. They passed on the top inside linebackers at $5-9 million per year, but only the elite linebackers can swiftly cover the pass as well as the run, which is crucial in today’s NFL. Mathieu can do both.

Steelers teammates have nudged Mathieu on social media, with Haden teasing a phone call to the Honey Badger. Recruiting won’t be enough to move the Steelers into a deal. And all signs point to bargain-shopping once again.

How will the Rams replace Sammy Watkins? It’s complicated

It’s 797 snaps. That’s the amount Sammy Watkins was projected to play in 2017 before he, like most starters, sat out the regular-season finale. The Los Angeles Rams now have to replace those snaps. But it isn’t really about the raw number;cheap nfl jerseys nike it’s about the type of receiver who must make the most of those snaps — a respected, explosive, playmaking vertical threat who can take the top off coverages and open the middle of the field for others.83

Watkins provided that for a Rams team that became the first in the Super Bowl era to go from last to first in scoring from one season to the next. He made only 39 catches for 593 yards, but he caught eight touchdown passes, seven of them on plays inside the red zone, and he consistently created separation that helped free fellow receivers such as Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp.

The Rams valued the skill set so much that they were strongly considering utilizing the franchise tag on Watkins before giving it to safety Lamarcus Joyner. Now Watkins is gone, joining the Kansas City Chiefs with a three-year,nfl jerseys nike cheap $48 million contract that was representative of his robust market — and the Rams are scrambling for ways to replace what he provided.

“It’s going to be hard,” Rams coach Sean McVay said, “and that’s something that we’re trying to figure out now. I don’t necessarily think you do that with one player; I think it’ll be kind of by committee.”

With an eye toward the future, Katelynn Flaherty running the show for Michigan

Not long after Michigan won the Women’s NIT championship last April, shooting guard Katelynn Flaherty strolled into coach Kim Barnes Arico’s office for the standard player/coach postseason meeting, looking ahead to next season.

The Wolverines were losing team captain and four-year starting point guard Siera Thompson to graduation, and Arico debated whether to entrust the job to incoming freshman Deja Church or someone jerseys cheap nike In that meeting, Flaherty, a 2,000-point scorer heading into her senior year, surprised Arico by volunteering to replace Thompson.


Arico was skeptical. Flaherty had been a point guard in high school in New Jersey, but this was the Big Ten — faster, more physical, with more on the line. Michigan needed Flaherty to score big to complement junior Hallie Thome inside, and asking Flaherty to do that while running the offense seemed too much. Arico knew this from personal experience as a guard at Montclair (New Jersey) State University in the early 1990s.

“Usually every time Katelynn sets her mind to something and has a plan,” Arico said, “she’s been able to reach that goal.”

It hasn’t been easy. Five times this season Flaherty committed eight or more turnovers in a game, with a season-high 10 in a Feb. 4 loss at Rutgers. Her assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.07 isn’t the greatest. But for the most part, cheap nike nfl jersey Flaherty found ways to score, distribute the ball and help the Wolverines win.

Shuttling between the point and the wing, she averaged 23.2 points per game, fifth-best nationally, while shooting 41.8 percent on 3-pointers. Earlier this season Flaherty surpassed Glen Rice as Michigan’s career scoring leader for men and women; she since pushed her total to 2,673 points. A three-time first-team All-Big Ten selection, Flaherty needs seven 3-pointers to join Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell as the only Division I women with 400 treys in a career.

UConn is favored in NCAA tournament, but BPI likes field

The world knows UConn is the favorite. But the Huskies’ edge is less than most might think.

ESPN’s brand-new Basketball Power Index (BPI) for women’s college basketball gives Geno Auriemma’s team a 37 percent chance to win this year’s NCAA tournament,nfl jerseys cheap authentic one year after the Huskies came up short in the Final Four. (You can read a little bit about the methodology behind our model here).

That would be overwhelmingly favorable odds for virtually any other team in any sport but for UConn? In women’s basketball? It’s … just 37 percent?

That’s more than double the next team’s chance to win — Notre Dame at 16 percent — but it probably doesn’t dull the shock value for the many who figure the Huskies hanging another banner this year is essentially a foregone conclusion.

So why is our model, relatively, down on the Huskies?71

Mainly: their draw. Though the top overall seed in this year’s field after a thus-far undefeated season earned the Huskies the top rank in Strength of Record, Auriemma’s team somehow managed to land reigning national champion and BPI’s sixth-ranked team South Carolina in its region. While UConn has virtually no chance of losing its first couple of games, its road gets considerably tougher at the Elite Eight stage. The Huskies have “only” a 78 percent chance of beating the Gamecocks, and waiting for them in the Final Four is likely Notre Dame,nike nfl jerseys cheap the second-best team in Division I, per BPI.

Though there’s a solid chance that the Irish and Huskies would have squared off no matter where they were located in the bracket, being on the same side of the Final Four puts the likelihood of them meeting at 42 percent. It would be the fifth time they have met in the national semifinals, with Notre Dame winning three of the previous four meetings.