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Ravens’ Joe Flacco intends to hold throwing sessions to build trust

At the start of the Baltimore Ravens’ offseason workout program, quarterback Joe Flacco said he plans to hold extra throwing sessions with new receivers Michael Crabtree and John Brown this summer between the end of minicamp and the start of training camp.

This comes after coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome both publicly nfl jersey wholesale talked about the value of additional workouts and how they help a quarterback and his receivers mesh. Ravens fans have also been clamoring for Flacco to throw to his receivers beyond the team’s practices.

“There’s no doubt, that stuff is important and that we’ll do it,” Flacco said Tuesday. “I’ve already talked about it with John and Mike about it. I think sometimes those things are just as much or more about developing a relationship with those guys and developing that trust, and for those guys to see that I really like who they are as football players and for them to see hopefully they like who I am as a football player. I think when you can get that relationship going, that’s going to help your football team out a ton.”192

Flacco has only scheduled these private workouts once in his 10-year NFL career, and that was seven years ago during the NFL lockout.

There has been an increased need for the extra throwing sessions after Baltimore revamped its supporting cast around Flacco. To improve the NFL’s 29th-ranked passing game, Baltimore parted ways with its top two wide receivers (Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin) as well as its leading pass-catcher (tight end Benjamin Watson). There’s only one player currently on the roster who caught more than 30 passes last season, and that’s running back Buck Allen.

Flacco’s top targets this season will likely end up being Crabtree, Brown, another veteran free agent, and highly drafted rookies at wide receiver and tight end.

Some quarterbacks have already worked with their receivers this offseason. nfl jerseys cheap authentic New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning annually meets with teammates at Duke in early April, and new Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes II has been throwing to receivers at a high school.

Micah Hyde suggests NFL fine QBs when receivers sustain helmet-to-helmet hits

Buffalo Bills safety Micah Hyde has a creative solution to curb the number of dangerous hits that receivers take over the middle of the field: Fine the quarterback.

“Those bang-bang plays, it’s tough,” Hyde said Tuesday. “Start fining the quarterbacks. nfl authentic jerseys They’re the ones who are throwing the ball right there. It’s tough for us [defensive players] to be able to adjust last second to get our head to one side, the other side — up, down. We’re trying to make a play like the receiver is. It’s the sport of football.”

Hyde’s suggestion came as part of a discussion about a change to the NFL rulebook enacted at the league meetings last month in which a player — on offense or defense — will be penalized 15 yards and potentially ejected any time he lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent.191

“Hopefully they go back and realize it’s not going to be a functional rule that’s going to make sense,” he said Tuesday. “It’s going to be hard on the refs, because they already have enough rules to call. Now, do they call it every single play, which they can do?

“It’s definitely going to be hard [as players], because our heads are at the top of our body. You play with forward lean. Even if I’m coming in with a shoulder, if [the offensive player] drops his head a little bit, it’s slight helmet-to-helmet. It can be called every single play. I just don’t think it was well-thought-out. The intention of the rule is great, but we have to understand at some point, this is a collision, contact sport. And I think that’s some of the allure to it. Everybody is not built to play this game. You can’t legislate out every injury. Then we wouldn’t be playing football. At that point, it changes to something different. If the fans and the owners are OK with that, then we’ll have to live in that new world.”

Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams, who has played in the NFL since 2006, agreed with Alexander’s opinion of the rule change.

“I understand the old rule of targeting and launching, but this seems to incorporate all contact, nfl jersey wholesale including incidental contact, which I think is a huge problem for players,” he told ESPN. “There is a risk that comes with playing the game, generally speaking. You can legislate out the flagrant attempts to use the helmet as a weapon, but the reason we wear helmets is because of incidental contact and just the nature of the game.”

Mike Pettine’s message: Packers’ defensive players will be held accountable

It sounds so simple, but those are the things that wrecked the Green Bay Packers’ defense far too often last season.

So it’s no wonder the team’s new defensive coordinator, Mike Pettine, china nfl jersey wholesale has put that message out to his players even before they officially go to work on Monday, when the offseason workout program begins.

“He wasn’t going to let anything fly if you’re a Pro Bowler or a rookie coming in,” Martinez said. “I think that was kind of the cool stance hearing from him and talking to him about that because that was one of my things that I wanted to voice my opinion on, just making sure everyone is on the right page at the right time and nothing is confused going into Sunday or Monday or Thursday games. It’s going to be interesting to see how we implement that kind of going into this OTA process.”

It’s perhaps one reason coach Mike McCarthy reduced the number of former players on his coaching staff. The thinking could have been that former players go softer on current players when it comes to grading their performances.

The goal, of course, is to put an end to the pre-snap confusion that befell the Packers at times last season under former defensive coordinator Dom Capers.

Who could forget the first-quarter play against the Vikings in Week 16 when linebacker Jake Ryan’s back was to the ball at the snap? Ryan appeared to be out of position, and safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix looked like he tried to direct him. By that time, quarterback Case Keenum already had the ball in his hand, ready to give it to running back Latavius Murray. The play went right toward Ryan’s spot, and by the time he turned around he already was being blocked. The play went for the easiest 11 yards Murray would ever gain before Clinton-Dix ran him out of bounds.

Martinez could play a key role in correcting those issues.

The studious Martinez, a fourth-round pick from Stanford in 2016, might be just the player to take over the communication helmet full-time from departed safety Morgan Burnett, who signed with the Steelers in free agency. nfl gear for women Burnett was often the one who received the defensive call from Capers and then relayed it in the huddle. Only one player is allowed to have the speaker helmet at a time, but Martinez was usually the backup.

Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes loom over Bills’ quarterback chase

The Buffalo Bills have two potentially franchise-altering decisions to make in the coming weeks.

First, general manager Brandon Beane must decide whether the Bills can and should trade up from No. 12 in the first round of the draft. Second, nfl wholesale jerseys depending on what pick Buffalo acquires and who is available, Beane must choose which top quarterback prospect is most likely to bring his team a championship — Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen or Baker Mayfield.

If the Bills trade up for one of those quarterbacks, or if one falls to No. 12, their pick will be judged against the others in the group who might have been available. That choice will eventually become a large part of the evaluation by Beane, who is entering his first draft as Bills general manager after being hired last May.

But for the organization as a whole, there is more to the story.

The Bills’ potential selection at quarterback later this month must also stack up against Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes, two of the quarterbacks Buffalo passed on taking when they traded the No. 10 overall pick in the 2017 draft to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs took Mahomes, who will get his chance as Kansas City’s starter this season. Watson went No. 12 to the Houston Texans and posted the NFL’s highest Total QBR (81.3) and fifth-highest passer rating (103.0) through Week 8 before suffering a season-ending knee injury in practice.

In that case, Buffalo’s decision to pass on Watson and Mahomes in 2017 — made when Beane was still with the Carolina Panthers — would do little to help the overall cause of Beane and coach Sean McDermott going forward if either Watson or Mahomes proves a superior quarterback to a 2018 selection.

It is also possible that Beane does not land one of the top quarterback prospects in the upcoming draft, opting or being forced to stay put at No. 12 and look to another position. That could leave Buffalo with AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman as its top two quarterbacks.

Such an outcome would not only invite questions about whether Beane’s extensive maneuvering to acquire 2018 draft selections was for naught,nfl jerseys from china but it would add to the discussion about McDermott and former general manager Doug Whaley’s decision in 2017 to trade the No. 10 pick instead of selecting Mahomes or Watson.

Sidney Crosby bats own rebound out of air for walk-off winner

It was a fitting move on the opening day of baseball season.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby batted his own rebound out of the air and into the net nfl cheap jerseys19 seconds into overtime on Thursday night to clinch a 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

Crosby’s initial shot ricocheted off the crossbar, but he pulled his hands in and swatted the puck out of the air for his 28th goal of the season. A walk-off, no less.

It was the second time in a little more than a week that Crosby showed off his batting skills.

On March 21, in a 5-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens, Crosby took a pass from Jake Guentzel that bounced up off the ice. Crosby swatted it backhanded past a stunned Carey Price.

Crosby knows his way around the baseball diamond. Growing up in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, he was an all-star third baseman and pitcher on a youth team that won two Atlantic championships.

During a special batting practice for Penguins players at PNC Park in 2010, Crosby — nfl jerseys cheap china batting left-handed — hit one over the right-field wall, a homer estimated at 370 feet.

“I grew up playing [baseball],” he said then. “I stopped when I was like 13. I liked it, though. It was a lot of fun.”

Mike Tomlin’s spring dinner schedule tips off Steelers’ draft strategy

When dining with a draft prospect around a pro day, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike cheap nfl jerseys chinaTomlin often lets the player pick the place. He figures the selection might reveal a little something about the person he’s considering in the draft.

He’s been everywhere from local barbecue spots to Red Lobster, but the food is an afterthought.

“I love getting out and meeting a young player in his environment,” said Tomlin from the NFL owners meetings at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes.

The Steelers are leaving a crumb trail spanning thousands of miles, and it just might affect the Steelers’ first-round pick for the third straight year.

Two years ago, Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert buttoned up with cornerback Artie Burns at Joe’s Stone Crab in South Beach. They drafted him 25th overall.

Last spring, they dug in at The Great Dane Pub and Brewing Co. in Madison, Wisconsin, with linebacker T.J. Watt and Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst. Watt went 30th overall to Pittsburgh.

Joining them at the table next week is LSU running back Derrius Guice, who will dine with Colbert and Tomlin in Baton Rouge before the Tigers’ pro day.

To be sure, sharing a meal is not a prerequisite to get drafted by the Steelers. But it can definitely help, especially because of Tomlin’s affinity for the process.
Tomlin will eat with any prospect even if they aren’t expected to be on the board when the Steelers draft — like running back Saquon Barkley, a projected top-five pick.authentic nfl jerseys Tomlin proves this by revealing he dined with cornerback Jalen Ramsey, the No. 4 pick in 2016, the week of that year’s draft. The Steelers had no chance of getting Ramsey but that’s not the point for Tomlin, who’s building a file on a player for now and for years down the road.

“It’s team building,” Tomlin said. “If you’re in our business, team building is exciting. The position is exciting. We’re all undefeated and scored upon. There’s optimism associated with that. I love getting out and meeting a young player in his environment.”

Cowboys feel mission accomplished but still looking for improvements

In the first week of free agency, the Dallas Cowboys were the only team not to have signed a player.

Since then, the Cowboys have added eight players, trading for fullback Jamize Olawale, re-signing offensive lineman Joe Looney and long snapper L.P. Ladouceur,nfl cheap jerseys and signing free-agent linebacker Joe Thomas, wide receivers Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson, and offensive linemen Cameron Fleming and Marcus Martin.

“I think we’ve done a good job,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “I think we’ve accomplished what we needed to accomplish for the most part.”

For all that the Cowboys have done, it’s what they did not do that continues to raise eyebrows. The Cowboys were in the final chase for wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who signed a three-year, $48 million deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Cowboys were ready to sink significant dollars into Watkins, which would have been a dramatic shift from their free-agent philosophy since 2012, when they signed cornerback Brandon Carr to a five-year, $50 million contract.

Since then, the Cowboys have enjoyed shopping in free agency’s shallow waters but not wanting to get burned by the high prices for average talent.

On Monday, Jones was asked if it was difficult to sit out the early part of free agency.

“I don’t know that we were sitting out. We were looking at some options. Those didn’t work out,” Jones jerseys cheap china “We are convicted where we feel like we should be on certain players and what their values are and we will stick with that.”

The biggest addition so far has been Hurns, who signed a two-year deal worth up to $12 million that included a $2.5 million signing bonus. Jones said the move does not impact Dez Bryant’s spot, but he acknowledged that the team still needs to have a conversation with the wide receiver about his $12.5 million base salary.

Eric DeCosta won’t rule out Ravens taking quarterback in first round

Would the Baltimore Ravens really draft a quarterback in the first round this year?

Assistant general manager Eric DeCosta didn’t make it sound like the Ravens are primed to select a nike nfl jerseys cheap china quarterback with the No. 16 overall pick, but he also doesn’t rule it out.

“I feel like if there is a guy there that we think is really too good to pass up, we’re going to take him,” DeCosta told the Ravens’ team website.

The chances of Baltimore selecting a quarterback in the first round have never been considered great, based on previous comments by Ravens officials.

Last month, owner Steve Bisciotti shot down the notion that the Ravens were beginning to think about life after quarterback Joe Flacco, saying, “We’ve got bigger fish to fry.” In January, coach John Harbaugh was the first to indicate the team could draft a quarterback this year but said the Ravens would be “looking for a young backup.”

The future of the Ravens’ quarterback position has become an increasingly hot topic. Baltimore is only financially committed to Flacco through this season, which means the Ravens can move on from the struggling former Super Bowl MVP in 2019.

Asked how soon is too soon to draft a quarterback, DeCosta said, “If we really like the guy and he’s there, it’s not soon enough.”

DeCosta predicted four or five quarterbacks will get drafted in the first round this year, cheap nfl authentic jerseys especially after the impact made by Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz and Houston’s Deshaun Watson. USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Wyoming’s Josh Allen, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson are considered the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft, and it’s possible none will be available when Baltimore is on the clock.

Pierre-Paul trade sets stage for more Giants moves

There is an overhaul in progress at 1925 Giants Drive. New general manager Dave Gettleman is cutting, trading and allowing pieces to walk with regularity these days. cheap nfl nike jersey It’s a necessary course of action after a 3-13 collapse that resulted in coach Ben McAdoo and former general manager Jerry Reese being fired.

The latest exile from Gettleman and coach Pat Shurmur’s new regime is defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. He was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday.

This move surprised even Pierre-Paul himself, according to a source. It comes just one year after he signed a four-year deal worth $62 million with $40 million guaranteed.

Those numbers are at the core of the move. Gettleman is clearing money for the future and shedding a player who didn’t really fit the team’s new 3-4 defensive scheme with Olivier Vernon also on the roster.

The Giants will have $15 million in dead money against the salary cap this year. They save only $2.5 against the cap for 2018 by sending Pierre-Paul elsewhere. It’s in the future that this move will offer its biggest benefit.

The Giants are free of Pierre-Paul’s $19.5 million cap hit next year and $17.5 million the following year. If quarterback Eli Manning comes off the books as well, the Giants will enter next offseason with financial flexibility they haven’t seen in years.

This will allow Gettleman and Shurmur to really put their stamp on the team and build a roster that fits their vision. It’s not a one-year process. Not after 3-13 with five missed playoff appearances in six years. They’re going to need two to three years to rectify some of the mistakes of the past.

The Giants don’t have a single player remaining from their 2010-13 draft nfl jerseys cheap china  They are one of five teams, along with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills without anyone remaining from those four drafts. The Giants have only one player, Odell Beckham, remaining from the 2014 draft.

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.