Bears acquire kicker Eddy Pineiro from Raiders

The Chicago Bears have acquired Eddy Pineiro from Oakland, adding another kicker to the mix to replace Cody Parkey.

The Bears sent a conditional seventh-round pick in 2021 to the Raiders in the deal announced Tuesday. Oakland gets the pick if Pineiro is on Chicago’s active roster for at least five regular-season games this upcoming season.cheap nfl nike jerseys china6

Pineiro set a school record for accuracy in two seasons kicking at Florida by making 38 of 43 field goals. Signed by the Raiders as an undrafted free agent last May, he was placed on injured reserve because of a groin injury prior to the season.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Parkey was let go after one rough year in Chicago that ended with a double-doink miss in the closing seconds of a playoff loss to Philadelphia at Soldier Field. The Bears have three kickers on the roster. They have not appeared in a regular-season game — Pineiro, Chris Blewitt and Elliott Fry.

Source: Patriots to sign veteran OT Veldheer

The New England Patriots plan to sign veteran offensive tackle Jared Veldheer to a one-year deal, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Mike Reiss on Tuesday.

This signing, anticipated since Veldheer’s visit with the Pats last week, is expected to come after Tuesday’s compensatory pick deadline, which means the team will be able to sign a player without it affecting the compensatory pick formula (as the Patriots are projected to receive two third-round picks and two sixth-round picks).cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The news was first reported by NFL Network.

Veldheer, who turns 32 next month, provides veteran insurance behind 2018 first-round draft pick Isaiah Wynn (who is coming off an Achilles tear) and Yodny Cajuste (who is coming off a calf injury). The Patriots lost two offensive tackles in free agency — starter Trent Brown (Oakland) and backup LaAdrian Waddle (Buffalo).5

Veldheer, who was acquired by the Denver Broncos last March in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals, was a steadying influence for a Denver offensive line beset by injuries and lineup changes during the 2018 season.

He started 12 games at right tackle for the Broncos, but he also didn’t escape the team’s rash of injuries. The 10-year veteran left one game with a concussion and missed four games with a knee injury.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

He also has started at left tackle in his career, and he had one start at center while with the Oakland Raiders earlier in his career.

The 6-foot-8 Veldheer was a bit of a late bloomer. A lightly recruited prep player in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Veldheer started for four seasons at Division II Hillsdale College before the Raiders made him a third-round pick (69th overall) in the 2010 draft.

Spurs emerge from Ajax defeat with hope — something they didn’t have after 30 minutes

So in the end a 1-0 defeat turned out to be a relatively decent result. When Donny van de Beek had the penalty area to himself in the 15th minute, sat Hugo Lloris down and passed the ball into the corner of the net, it seemed utterly implausible that it would be the only Ajax goal of the night.

Ajax had sliced through the Spurs defence with such ease, Van de Beek finding himself in so much space because the home side almost looked hypnotised by the passing and movement in front of them that it seemed to slip their mind to mark him.

“The way we conceded the goal was so painful,” Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said, genuinely looking in pain as he spoke.

Spurs looked utterly suffocated. At one stage, Victor Wanyama tried to bring ball out of defence but was immediately set upon by three Ajax players and relieved of possession before he could even think about starting an attack. It was like a trio of velociraptors jumping on a lumbering stegosaurus.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

And yet, it might turn out to be enormously costly for Erik ten Hag’s side that they didn’t score a second in this period of dominance. After that opening salvo, they almost seemed to back off, either because no mortals could keep that pace up for longer, or they perhaps loosely assumed they were so much better than Spurs that the result of both match and tie was inevitable.6

Afterward, Ten Hag conceded that his team could and should have made more of their initial superiority, also admitting that his team “did not anticipate” Tottenham’s change in approach, their more direct and physical style.

Perhaps we should give Spurs more credit for the shift in the game. Pochettino switched formations after about 20 minutes, moving Danny Rose into midfield, and then Jan Vertonghen’s horrible-looking injury — knees buckling when he was initially allowed to return to the pitch, after his nose ploughed into the back of Toby Alderweireld’s head — actually turned out to be, from a tactical perspective at least, a positive.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Moussa Sissoko changed a Champions League semifinal. For his side. For the better. Lots of strange things have happened in the world in the past few years, but that’s among the more curious. Or, more accurately, would have been curious nine months ago. Sissoko’s influence faded in the latter stages of the game, but his initial impact after replacing Vertonghen allowed Spurs to take more control of midfield, and to play in that more direct manner that Ten Hag didn’t expect.

Spurs decided that the way to stop Ajax was to plug the holes in midfield, which Sissoko helped with hugely, and then aim as many crosses as possible at Fernando Llorente. There’s no shame in that: You win games of football by being better than your opponent at the things you’re good at. It’s no good trying to compete with the things they’re good at, just for the sake of it.

Liverpool made Lionel Messi angry and paid the price as Barcelona take charge play

The best way to deal with Lionel Messi is to treat him like football’s version of the Incredible Hulk: Don’t make him angry and you might just be spared an ordeal of pain and humiliation.

Liverpool midfielder James Milner did not get the memo, judging by his crude first-half barge on the home side’s No. 10 during Barcelona’s 3-0 Champions League semifinal first-leg win Wednesday at the Nou Camp, and it is fair to say that the Premier League side went on to reap a whirlwind of two-goal Messi’s annoyance.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“In these moments, he is unstoppable,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said afterward of Messi. “My boys didn’t show him too much respect or treat him harshly to try to stop him, but he is a world-class player and he showed that again tonight. What else can I say?”

For Milner, perhaps there was a sense of déjà vu. Back in March 2015, while playing for Manchester City, the former England international inadvertently became a YouTube sensation when he was nutmegged by Messi during a Champions League round-of-16 tie against Barcelona.5

On that occasion, the Argentine forward played the ball through Milner’s legs and left his opponent sliding on his backside before scampering away on another of his mazy runs. Four years on, Milner saw the opportunity to exact revenge.

Gerard Pique rolled back the years with a majestic performance in defence, while Arturo Vidal was an incessant bundle of energy in midfield for Ernesto Valverde’s team. But in truth, while others deserve their honourable mentions, this game was all about one man.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Klopp joked in his pregame news conference that Messi sounded as though he was issuing a “threat” in August when he insisted Barcelona would make up for last season’s quarterfinal exit to Roma by going all the way in the Champions League this year. On Wednesday, the Liverpool manager saw at first hand that the 31-year-old had not been joking.

Messi played like a man on a mission against United, and Liverpool got the same treatment. His first goal, a tap-in after Suarez had hit the bar, came after a period of Liverpool pressure early in the second half; his second, seven minutes later, was a jaw-dropping free kick from 30 yards that is up there with the best he has ever scored.

It prompted 90,000 Catalans to bow as they chanted his name, but as ever, there was so much more to Messi’s display. Perhaps the best example of his genius was borne out in the final seconds of second-half stoppage time when, after breaking clear, he teed up Ousmane Dembele with a sumptuous reverse pass inside the penalty area.

Bellinger misses game after separating shoulder

Cody Bellinger was not in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ lineup on Saturday, one day after he separated his shoulder against the San Diego Padres.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Bellinger said his right shoulder “popped out” before immediately popping in again as he made a diving attempt to stop a ground ball at first base. He stayed in the game and said later that the same thing happened once last year.5

Manager Dave Roberts said Friday that the Dodgers would see if there was any soreness before Saturday’s game.

Bellinger leads the majors in runs, hits, RBIs, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging, OPS and total bases.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Alex Verdugo gets the start in right field for the Dodgers on Saturday while Enrique Hernandez starts in center.

Dodgers sign former Mets catcher d’Arnaud

The Los Angeles Dodgers signed catcher Travis d’Arnaud to a one-year contract Sunday.

The New York Mets had designated d’Arnaud for assignment on April 28 and released him on Friday.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

D’Arnaud missed most of last season because of an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. He had gotten off to a slow start this season, with only two hits in his first 23 at-bats.4

D’Arnaud, 30, had signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal this past offseason to stay with the Mets and serve as a backup catcher to Wilson Ramos. He had played his entire seven-year career with the Mets, batting .242 with 47 home runs in 407 games.

He becomes the third catcher on the Dodgers’ roster, joining Austin Barnes and Russell Martin.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The Dodgers optioned infielder Matt Beaty to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Sunday in a corresponding move.

Five questions that will decide Sixers-Raptors

Less than a week ago, the Toronto Raptors looked indomitable. After polishing off the Orlando Magic with four consecutive wins, the Raptors handled the Philadelphia 76ers in the opener of their conference semifinals by playing the kind of ferocious team defense that often signals championship potential. With a 45-point performance in Game 1, Kawhi Leonard added to what was shaping up to be one of the great individual postseason campaigns in NBA history.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

The 76ers, on the other hand, looked a mess — an offense stuck in the mud, no response for Leonard, and a star center in Joel Embiid who was rendered ineffective by either health issues, Marc Gasol’s resistance or a combination of both. The Sixers found some defensive answers in Game 2, as they escaped Toronto with a split, and although they maximized Jimmy Butler in the half court, a lot of offensive questions remained.

In Game 3, the Sixers assembled an exhibition of their best-case basketball. In 95 possessions, they were able to find quality shot opportunities in a variety of ways — a pick-and-roll attack led by Butler, clever off-ball actions to free up the likes of JJ Redick, Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons, a dash of mismatch basketball and a handful of timely transition buckets.6

Meanwhile, the Raptors were unrecognizable in Game 3. One of the smartest units in basketball looked befuddled in the half court, unable to capitalize on its multifaceted skill sets to find creative solutions to the problems posed by the Sixers’ long, versatile defense. Leonard managed an efficient 32 points, but as Kyle Lowry said after the game, “We have to help him.”

For the Raptors, there might be fewer hands to provide that help. Pascal Siakam is listed as doubtful as he nurses as right calf contusion suffered during the loss on Thursday night.

With OG Anunoby still recovering from an appendectomy, no comfortable options exist for Toronto should Siakam be unable to dress in Game 4. Anunoby is the ideal understudy at the power forward spot, with size, athleticism and range to keep defenses honest.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The Raptors like the pace and ball movement they’ve traditionally gotten from lineups featuring Lowry alongside backup guard Fred VanVleet. But that would be a painfully small backcourt for a Raptors team already at a size disadvantage. Guard Norman Powell has a few inches on VanVleet, yet that would still necessitate upsizing Leonard to the 4 spot.

The Raptors could start Serge Ibaka, although the backup center has struggled during this series, looking downright detached at crucial moments. Alternatively, Raptors coach Nick Nurse could plug in Patrick McCaw into the starting lineup, which would maintain the rotation — although it’s worth asking, given the poor performance of the backup units, whether that rotation is worth preserving.

Siakam’s emergence has been one of the dominant themes for the Raptors this season, giving them another potent attacker who presents matchup nightmares. Siakam’s scoring output has also alleviated pressure on Lowry, allowing Lowry to facilitate, manage and keep mouths fed.

Vegas bullish on Knicks’ summer, ’20 title odds

The New York Knicks are back in the championship mix heading into a summer that could shake up the NBA.

The SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas on Saturday opened the Knicks at 16-1 to win the 2020 NBA championship. New York is behind only the Milwaukee Bucks (9-2), Boston Celtics (7-1) and Philadelphia 76ers (10-1) in the Eastern Conference. Kevin Durant’s pending free agency is the reason why.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Jeff Sherman, who oversees NBA odds at the SuperBook, believes the Knicks are the favorites to land Durant this summer and created their title odds accordingly. Sherman said the Knicks would be somewhere in the range of 300-1 if they aren’t able to land Durant or another of the high-profile stars who could be on the move this offseason. If New York does land Durant and Kyrie Irving, Sherman said he would still have the Bucks with better odds than the Knicks.5

The Golden State Warriors enter the summer as the early favorites for the fourth consecutive season, but their odds have been tempered with the uncertainty surrounding Durant. The Warriors are listed at 7-4 at the SuperBook to win next season’s title. Since signing Durant in 2016, the Warriors have started the past three seasons as odds-on favorites to win the NBA title.

“Before Durant, [the Warriors] were still the best team,” Sherman, vice president of risk at the SuperBook, told ESPN. “Even if Durant comes back, we’ll make an adjustment downwards, but they won’t be [odds-on] favorites like we’ve seen in the past couple years. We’ll obviously bump them up if he leaves, but it’s kind of a middle ground now dealing with this team.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

In addition to Durant, Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard and Irving are pending free agents, and New Orleans star Anthony Davis is expected to be on the move as well. The Knicks, with nearly $73 million in salary-cap space, the most of any team, have enough cap room to grab two max players. Durant and Irving have been rumored as a potential tandem to join the Knicks, but even that would not make New York the clear-cut favorite, Sherman said.

“I could see them at 12-1 [with Durant and Irving],” Sherman said. “All we’re doing is making these odds based on today’s perception on where people think these guys might have a legitimate chance of going.”

The LA Clippers, who also have cap room for two max contracts, are 16-1, followed by the Raptors and Los Angeles Lakers, each at 20-1. The Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder are next at 25-1.

Dwayne Haskins must create own legacy, no matter what number he wears

The Washington Redskins’ two biggest additions this offseason led to celebrations, high-fives and hope. These additions also led to a big debate about the numbers they would wear for a simple reason: Both wore jersey numbers that have been taken out of circulation by the organization.

The latest flap was resolved thanks to quarterback Joe Theismann, who granted first-round pick Dwayne Haskins permission to wear the No. 7 he made famous during the early 1980s. After all, Theismann was the Redskins’ first Super Bowl-winning quarterback. He’s the all-time winningest quarterback in Washington, too. In fact, he’s the only Redskin to ever wear the number.
Earlier this offseason, the talk was about safety Landon Collins and the No. 21. It’s what Collins wore with the New York Giants — and he did so to honor someone who once played for the Redskins: Sean Taylor. But Collins won’t be wearing the No. 21 this season; instead, he’ll wear No. 20, and that’s probably a good thing. Taylor still evokes strong emotions even 11-plus years after his death.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Theismann’s number was taken out of commission by former Redskins equipment manager Jay Brunetti, now with the San Francisco 49ers. Brunetti spent 26 years with the Redskins and worked for the team during the Super Bowl runs before leaving after the 2000 season.6

There are two schools of thought: The young guys should prove themselves first rather than worrying about any brand; earn your standing. The flip side: At what point does a player’s “right” to a number end? How many do you keep out of circulation and why?

Theismann was an excellent player and continues to be a good ambassador. He was tough and respected and remains the only Redskins quarterback to play in two Super Bowls. But he wasn’t a Hall of Famer. Yet one of his blockers did make the Hall of Fame — Russ Grimm. And his number, 68, has subsequently been worn by seven players. Another ex-Hog, Joe Jacoby, has been a Hall of Fame finalist. Eight others have worn his No. 66.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Brian Mitchell, considered one of the best return men in history, won a Super Bowl and played 10 seasons with Washington. His No. 30 has been worn by eight others. Maybe the Redskins could put a patch somewhere on the jersey and include the names of the famous players who wore it in the past. Create a legacy.

Sonny Jurgensen is the only Redskin to wear the No. 9 and no one has worn No. 44 since John Riggins retired. Darrell Green’s No. 28 and Art Monk’s No. 81 also remain unused. All four are in the Hall of Fame.

The only retired Redskins number belongs to Sammy Baugh (33). Hall of Famer Charley Taylor’s 42 hasn’t been worn since he stopped playing in 1977. But, shockingly, Bobby Mitchell’s 49 was worn by one other player — a tight end named Leonard Stephens who lasted one season with Washington. If a number worn by Mitchell, the first African-American in franchise history and a Hall of Famer, can be worn, then it’s hard to keep others out of circulation.

Broncos have focused free agency and the draft on fixing the offense

The Denver Broncos have wandered the we-didn’t-make-the-playoffs wilderness for three seasons now, and it has turned one of the league’s throw-deep executives into a one-day-at-a-time guy.

“I’m really at the point that we’re going to take this thing one day at a time,” Broncos president of football operations/general manager John Elway said. “Obviously, it’s been disappointing the last couple years, and I’m excited about the new staff and the new players we do have, but it’s one step at a time. I’m just kind of — I don’t want to get too far ahead, but I’m excited with the guys that we have. But again, as I said, this thing is one step at a time, so we’ll keep it that way.”

That’s a long way from his “there’s no Plan B” statement after he signed Peyton Manning, but that’s what 5-11 and 6-10 the past two seasons will do to you.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Elway’s solution to the losing? Fix the offense this offseason. While he has said that the team needed more “continuity” in its offense to be better, the Broncos also simply faced a talent deficit. For the first time in his tenure, Elway has combined the most money spent in free agency with the team’s premium draft picks on offense.4

They traded for quarterback Joe Flacco, made Ja’Wuan James the highest-paid right tackle in the league and used the first three picks of their draft on offense, taking tight end Noah Fant, guard/center Dalton Risner and quarterback Drew Lock.

Fant and Risner figure to be starters by September. Elway has promised patience with Lock, but he called him the Broncos’ “quarterback of the future” after the team traded up in the second round to select him.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“I think that, first of all, we improved in the offseason with the addition of Joe Flacco and bringing him in, and Ja’Wuan James at the right tackle,” Elway said after the draft. “… Then going with Noah and Dalton with the first two picks, we feel like they can come in and help us also. … Obviously, Noah can stretch the field. Joe’s going to — to me, we still believe he has tremendous upside in his career — so we feel a lot better about that. … We feel much better sitting here now today than we did coming out of last season with where we are and the additions that we’ve made.”

Elway added coach Vic Fangio’s staff to those changes, including offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello and offensive line coach Mike Munchak. The Broncos have hitched their hopes to an updated version of the West Coast offense that Scangarello brings with him after being on Kyle Shanahan’s staff in San Francisco and to Flacco having some miles left on his career odometer.

But the Broncos have approached the past few months with a focus on a talent upgrade on offense. In three consecutive playoff misses, they haven’t finished higher than 22nd in points scored or higher than 17th in yards per game, and they finished 28th and 31st on third down the past two seasons.