Eagles’ Long says he’s retiring after 11 seasons

Eagles defensive end Chris Long, the reigning Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, is calling it a career after 11 seasons.

Long made the announcement Saturday night on social media, sharing a photo of a red cup in his hand and the mountains in the distance.

The Eagles released a statement congratulating Long, saying, in part, “He will always be part of the Eagles family.”

“There aren’t many players who can say they won back-to-back Super Bowls and the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award,” the Eagles said. “There’s no question that his work ethic combined with his unique talent made him into one of the greatest of this era’s professional athletes. We’re very thankful Chris chose to play for the Philadelphia Eagles.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Long, 34, spent much of the offseason weighing whether to retire or play another season. He made it clear that his role would need to be right if he were to return for a 12th NFL season.5

Long wanted ample opportunity to get after the quarterback. With Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett slated to be the Eagles’ starters and defensive tackle Malik Jackson likely to stay on the field on third down, Long’s playing time in pass-rushing situations would have been more limited than he’d like.

“It’s kind of like at the amusement park, when they click that seat belt on, the roller coaster going — you can’t get out. There’s no quitting,” Long told ESPN earlier this offseason. “Some guys might think differently, but when you’re in, you’re in, so I want to make sure I’m in. I think most players need to do that, and I’m just honest about it. Maybe some guys just aren’t telling the truth. But it’s all about the situation for me. I know I can still play. I think I played well, especially in the second half of the year this year, once I got healthy and I got more snaps, so we’ll see.”nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Selected second overall by St. Louis in the 2008 NFL draft, he spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Rams before being released in 2016 as injuries limited his production. His 6.5 sacks this past season were his most since 2013.

The son of NFL legend Howie Long, he posted 70 career sacks and 85 tackles for loss over his career.

For all of his on-field success, Long’s legacy largely will be defined by the way he used his platform to maximize his humanitarian efforts. Through his organization, Waterboys, he has helped provide more than 200,000 people with clean water in Africa, building close to 60 water wells in Tanzania.

Dak on deal talks: ‘Want to be a Cowboy forever’

“I mean, I want to be a Cowboy forever,” Prescott said Wednesday night at Dr Pepper Ballpark, where the quarterback and his teammates were raising money for the Salvation Army through the Reliant Home Run Derby. “I think the people that are doing the deal feel the same way, so to me, it’s no rush. I know it will get done.”

Prescott is set to make $2.02 million in the final year of his four-year rookie contract that he signed after the Dallas Cowboys drafted him in the fourth round in 2016.

Last week, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said talks with the agents for Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper were “off and running,” and Jones did not rule out a deal for running back Ezekiel Elliott, either.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Owner and general manager Jerry Jones has said keeping Prescott is a priority for the future and that he knows it will come at a big price.

Russell Wilson recently signed a four-year, $140 million extension with the Seattle Seahawks. Prescott is likely to see a deal that could come in around $30 million per year.4

Last month, DeMarcus Lawrence signed a five-year, $105 million deal that is the most in Cowboys history in terms of average per year ($21 million) and guaranteed money ($65 million). Prescott figures to top those marks.

“It’s all generational money, life-changing money, so it’s just a blessing to be able to be in this position,” Prescott said. “But as far as the numbers are concerned, my focus is on the locker room, and that will all take care of itself.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Since 2016, only Tom Brady has won more games than Prescott in the NFL. Prescott was named NFL Rookie of the Year in 2016 after he took over for an injured Tony Romo and threw 23 touchdown passes with just four interceptions in leading the Cowboys to an NFC-best 13-3 record.

Prescott has started every game in his career, compiling a 32-16 record with two NFC East titles and two playoff appearances. He followed up his rookie campaign with back-to-back seasons with 22 touchdown passes. He had 13 interceptions in 2017 and just eight in 2018. He is the only quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 20 touchdown passes and run for at least five scores in each of his first three seasons.

The Cowboys picked up the fifth-year option on Elliott’s contract for 2020 at a cost of $9.09 million, and they would like to sign him to a long-term deal, as well.

Joaquin calls for patience after Real Betis suffer season of mediocrity

Spain’s penultimate league weekend of the season was so intense, unpredictable, tearful and joyous in almost equal measure that you may well have missed a legend doing something legendary.

Real Madrid were torn apart, humiliated ahead of their season finale against Real Betis. Barcelona wandered their way through the post-Anfield hangover but still managed to almost fatally pierce Getafe’s Champions League aspirations.

Girona crumbled to almost certain relegation despite winning at Madrid this season, drawing with Barcelona at the Camp Nou and eliminating Atletico Madrid from the Copa del Rey — a message to Eusebio and his disdain for 3-5-2: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

On the weekend when Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City were winning the title in England, why on earth wouldn’t Real Valladolid’s saviour — given that they are presided over by a guy, Ronaldo, who starred with the City coach in Bobby Robson’s Barcelona of the mid-1990s — be named Guardiola? Okay, Pep is Pep and Sergi isn’t related, but there was a hint of the universe being in harmony, a kiss from kismet.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

Diego Godin’s emotional goodbye, Abdoulaye Ba being brainless again for Rayo Vallecano, Iago Aspas paying further homage to Antonin Panenka in scoring against Athletic — then sportingly consoling keeper Iago Herrerin for leaving him with egg on his face. It was all there, a cornucopia of quality, drama, relief, embarrassment, salvation — an Iberian A to Z of La Liga’s beauty and quality.6

The legendary act? Drawing 1-1 against a side who didn’t seem to have waved the white flag, despite their descent into the inferno of Spain’s second division being confirmed some time ago, Betis were about to end their wilting season to the sound of jeers, whistles, boos and potentially the sight of restless natives with pitchforks and lanterns storming the citadel of the Benito Villamarin that night to chase coach Quique Setien out of town.

There had been eight minutes of added time on the display board held up by the fourth official. In a game for which you care with all your heart and your nails are bitten down to your knuckles, you, me, indeed everybody who loves their football team would look at eight minutes as an odyssey — a universe of time in which equalisers, winners or more goals to humiliate a beaten opposition can be scored.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Oh this occasion, eight minutes seemed to the irritable, passionate, hot-headed and long-suffering Betis support as some kind of cosmic joke at their expense. “Mas basura, mas sufrimiento y mas verguenza,” (“More rubbish, more suffering and more shame”) were the kind of sentiments that were rippling around the venerable old stadium where poor old Betis and their aficionados will have to suffer either Barcelona or Valencia lifting the Copa del Rey in a couple of weeks’ time.

Joaquin had already put Los Verdiblancos 1-0 up early in the match with the kind of header that had Marco Van Basten scored it, would have merited anthologies of poetry, portraits hung in art galleries and perhaps a statue or two created in its honour. In doing so, he’d reached 100 professional goals, and 49 for Betis — becoming the 12th-oldest scorer in La Liga history.

Ex-Chelsea midfielder Mikel considering Premier League offers – source

John Obi Mikel is closing in on a return to the Premier League with a source telling ESPN FC that the former Chelsea star is considering multiple offers from around the league and could make a decision before heading off to the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria.

With Boro’s season over and no promotion, a source close to the Nigeria international said he has received multiple offers to return to the Premier League, including newly promoted Norwich and Sheffield United.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china4

“There are some options right now, and a few more we expect to see over the coming days,” the source told ESPN FC. “Once all the options are on the table, he will make a decision.”

That decision is likely to be made before the Africa Cup of Nations Finals.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

Mikel has just been recalled to the Nigeria squad after nearly one year out, and is expected to lead his country to the Africa Cup of Nations finals.

“He will most likely make the decision before the finals, although that will depend on what is on the table,” the source added.

Jackson takes mound for 14th team, sets record

Edwin Jackson set a major league record by pitching for his 14th team when he made his debut for the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday.

The 35-year-old right-hander allowed three runs — two earned — and six hits in five innings against San Francisco. He struck out two, walked one, hit a batter and left after 77 pitches with the score 3-3.

Jackson, who was acquired from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for cash last week, broke a tie for most teams (13) that he had shared with Octavio Dotel.nike nfl jerseys cheap china6

He signed a minor league contract with Oakland last month and was 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA in three games — two at Triple-A and one at Class A. He gets paid at the rate of a $2 million salary while in the majors and can earn $500,000 in performance bonuses based on starts: $150,000 each for 15 and 18, and $200,000 for 20.

Jackson has gone 104-123 with a 4.60 ERA in 394 career games. He made his big league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2003 and also pitched for Tampa Bay, Detroit, the Chicago White Sox, Arizona, St. Louis, Washington, the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta, San Diego, Miami, Baltimore and Oakland.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

He was 6-3 with a 3.33 ERA in 17 starts for the Athletics last season.

Left-hander Thomas Pannone was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo after going 1/3 with a 6.85 ERA in 14 games for the Blue Jays. Right-hander Matt Shoemaker was transferred to the 60-day injured list to open a spot on the 40-man roster.

Toronto has four starting pitchers on the injured list, including right-handers Clay Buchholz (shoulder) and Shoemaker (out for the season after knee surgery), and left-handers Ryan Borucki (elbow) and Clayton Richard (right knee).

Boone: Andujar’s decision on surgery likely soon

New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar will make a decision on whether to undergo shoulder surgery that would likely end his season in the next 24 hours, according to manager Aaron Boone.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Andujar, 24, missed more than a month because of a labrum tear in his right shoulder. He returned from the injured list last week but managed only three hits in 34 at-bats, prompting the Yankees to send him for more tests on his shoulder.4

Andujar returned to the 10-day injured list on Monday, one day before an MRI showed no change in his shoulder from the MRI in April that revealed the tear, Boone said Tuesday.

Boone said Andujar will talk the situation over with his family and the team and make a determination on what’s next, either a return to rehab or surgery.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Apparently The Regular Season Is Irrelevant In The NHL

While the opening round of the NBA playoffs so far could have been blindly simulated, chaos is governing the ice.

Ranked dead last in early January, the St. Louis Blues completed arguably the greatest midseason U-turn in NHL history by advancing to the conference semifinals. And that’s probably just the third-most-surprising storyline of this young postseason. Tampa Bay and Calgary, the top seeds in each conference, survived less than two weeks, combining to win a single game. Never before had the President’s Trophy-winning team been swept. Never before had the top seeds both been eliminated in the opening round.

It has already seemed like “the year of the underdog” in the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs. But unlike its hardcourt brethren, the NHL is accustomed to things not going to plan in the “second season.” So how does this postseason stack up against years past? Using the archived money lines at SportsOddsHistory.com, we can decipher a team’s implied probability of advancing and use that to rank the wildest opening rounds in Stanley Cup history.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

After marauding the league during the regular season, the Tampa Bay Lightning were installed as 1-to-4 favorites going into their series with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jon Cooper’s outfit won the President’s Trophy behind 128 points and 62 regular-season wins, which tied for the most ever. Tampa was the league’s highest-scoring team by a generous margin, spearheaded by three 40-goal snipers — a feat that hadn’t been accomplished in nearly a quarter-century. Not since 2009-10 had there been a bigger favorite in a series.1 Columbus checked in at +325, which translates to a 23 percent implied probability of winning after adjusting for the cut of the bookmaker, or the vigorish.2 Tampa Bay fell apart against the new-kids-on-the-block Blue Jackets in what could be argued was the single biggest collapse in modern sport. What’s more, it was the first series win in Columbus franchise history.

CALGARY, AB - APRIL 19: Colin Wilson #22 of the Colorado Avalanche scores on the net of Mike Smith #41 of the Calgary Flames in Game Five of the Western Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome on April 19, 2019 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
CALGARY, AB – APRIL 19: Colin Wilson #22 of the Colorado Avalanche scores on the net of Mike Smith #41 of the Calgary Flames in Game Five of the Western Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome on April 19, 2019 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

“In today’s game with the parity, it’s not unusual that an eight [seed] beats a one anymore,” Cooper said after the loss. “Everybody’s that close.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

North of the border, the Calgary Flames were given a 67 percent implied probability of winning their series against the Colorado Avalanche. Bill Peters’s squad included the league’s second-best offense3 and a triumvirate of 30-goal scorers. After taking the series opener, Calgary got buried in four straight games by the Avalanche, a wild-card club with the 17th-best record in the NHL.

“Obviously we were the big underdogs,” Avs center Nathan MacKinnon said. “And no one picked us to win.”

But the pandemonium didn’t stop there. Despite not having home ice, the Pittsburgh Penguins had a 59 percent implied probability of winning their series against the New York Islanders. They were promptly swept. The Nashville Predators, which had reached at least the second round in three consecutive seasons, had a 61 percent implied probability against the Dallas Stars, but the Preds fell in just six games.

The Vegas Golden Knights, last season’s expansion surprise, were slight favorites over the San Jose Sharks despite not having home ice. But the Sharks came back from down 3-1 in the series to force a Game 7, in which they found the net four times on one power play and edged Vegas in an all-time classic. “That’s a once in a lifetime game,” Sharks center Logan Couture told The Athletic. “I don’t think my heart can take another one like that.”

Sens call up Brannstrom, 19; was in Stone deal

Ottawa Senators fans will get an early look at the key player the team received in the Mark Stone trade because the team is calling up 19-year-old defenseman Erik Brannstrom for the home game against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

The Senators traded all three of their top goal scorers at the deadline in Stone, Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel.5

While the return for Duchene and Dzingel from Columbus centered on draft picks, Ottawa received a potential star in Brannstrom from Vegas. He was selected 15th overall in 2017 by the Golden Knights and is considered an elite puck-moving defensive prospect. The Knights also sent forward Oscar Lindberg and a second-round pick.

Brannstrom played 41 games with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL before the trade, scoring seven goals and adding 21 assists. In five games with Belleville since the deal, he has an assist.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

The Sweden native also played for his country in the world junior championships this year and had four goals in five games.

Drew Lock, Broncos will need to be patient

Drew Lock has worked with all kinds of coaches, plenty of throwing gurus and a host of other specialists.

Now perhaps he’ll need a patience coach. Because in between all of the throws, touchdowns and big moments, he has never really had to wait to play.

“It will definitely be a different transition,” Lock said Friday after his first on-field practice with the Denver Broncos. “… If I’m going through this transition, I’m glad to be behind Joe [Flacco] and hear what he has to say, learn from him, I’m excited to meet him, excited to get in the room with him and learn from a guy who’s won a Super Bowl.”

Lock knows, and has been told by the Broncos, that he will be the team’s backup quarterback, at best, if things go according to plan. Lock — taken in the second round with the No. 42 overall selection last month — was among the 47 players on the field and in the meeting rooms Friday. It was a mix of draft picks, undrafted rookies, tryout players and players who had been on a practice squad last season, who will go through the team’s rookie minicamp this weekend.nfl cheap jerseys nike

Broncos coach Vic Fangio made it clear that Friday was essentially the first day of football school for Lock and everybody else in a Broncos uniform. Asked about Lock’s performance, Fangio pumped the brakes on social media blasts lauding Lock’s arm strength.6

“Nothing great one way or the other,” Fangio said. “He’s learning out here, I try not to make any value judgments here early.”

Lock said Friday he’ll have the patience to back up Flacco. And the Broncos, including Fangio and general manager John Elway, said they’ll also exercise patience as Lock transitions from a largely spread look at Missouri to the Broncos’ updated version of the West Coast offense.

Former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer said simply calling the play is one of the biggest transitions for a young quarterback. Plummer said one of the longer playcalls from his time in Mike Shanahan’s version of the West Coast offense would have been something like “shift to double wing right, Z fly, 76, U shallow cross.” Lock said he’s already getting a dose of that with calls that are “10-, 12-word plays.”cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

“Language is a little different,” Lock said. “You have to spit the play out and it’s tougher to spit the play out than it is to actually go out and knowing what the play is. [But] nothing a little saying the plays in the mirror won’t fix. I’ll have to dive into that a little bit.”

Lock said he already has a comfort level with quarterbacks coach T.C. McCartney and offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello, the latter of whom

‘It felt like home’: Steelers’ Al Villanueva returns to army base in Germany

Alejandro Villanueva knows how to maximize an offseason. He takes business classes at Carnegie Mellon University and spends time fishing in Florida and Canada.

Last month was all about savoring nostalgia from the fields of Kaiserslautern High School in Germany.

As an honorary football coach to military members as part of the USAA’s Salute to Service NFL Boot Camp, Villanueva returned to the place where his career as a U.S. Army Ranger began.

“As soon as I landed in Germany, it felt like it was home,” said Villanueva, who served in Afghanistan before working his way into the NFL. “Last time here (at Kaiserslautern) was with my dad getting my physical for the U.S. military.”nike nfl jerseys cheap china

The boot camp — combining communities from Kaiserslautern military and the Ramstein Air Base — gives military the chance to train like NFL players. True to Steelers form, they trained in a light coat of April snowfall.4

Villanueva wasn’t exactly a hard-charging coach, bragging over the phone that he just threw a ball 45 yards. He oversaw the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, three-cone shuttle, receiving gauntlet and quarterback arm challenge.

But this was USAA’s first boot-camp session held on an overseas U.S. military base, which made Villanueva proud.

“It’s bridging the past and present with what I’ve experienced,” Villanueva said of his trip. “To be received by the military community here is something special.“cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Villanueva is one of the most recognizable figures in the league’s relationship with the armed forces. Every season, Villanueva honors teammates with helmet decals from various Army divisions. He pairs decals with players whose personalities match the spirit of a specific division.

He hoped to teach football in Germany while converting a few Steelers fans along the way. But that was already done for him.

“People follow sports differently, but there’s a huge massive Steelers following, which is rally cool,” Villanueva said. “I’ve seen terrible towels around here.”