Category Archives: NFL JERSEYS

Vikings’ Mike Zimmer ‘proud, happy’ to face former QB Teddy Bridgewater

Before Bridgewater lines up under center in the Saints’ preseason opener, he’ll exchange customary hugs and high fives with the people who saw him through one of the worst times of his life. On the sideline opposite the New Orleans bench will be his former coaches and teammates from Minnesota; the ones he has kept in touch with this summer, such as Adam Thielen, Xavier Rhodes and Dalvin Cook, and others who routinely gushed about his presence as a leader in the locker room during his four seasons with the Vikings. The defenders once used to steering clear of the red No. 5 jersey in practice will now have free rein to get after the quarterback.

Perhaps the most emotional moment of the night will be the embrace Bridgewater inevitably shares with his former coach. Few outside of Mike Zimmer know the full extent of Bridgewater’s painstaking journey and all that it took for the quarterback to get back on the field.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Football may be a grown man’s game, but it is rarely sans emotion. All the what-ifs Zimmer has contemplated over the years of what their journey together could have been will never dissipate. While the coach’s main objective Friday is to test the strength of his team in its first live action of the season, seeing Bridgewater’s perseverance pay off is a feeling he is sure not to forget.6

“I’m so happy for him,” Zimmer said. “He texted me the day after the Super Bowl this year. I wish him all the best in the world. I want to hit him like any other quarterback, but I don’t want to hurt him. He’s a great kid. I’m proud of him that he’s been able to overcome that injury and I’ve heard that he’s been doing pretty good down there. So I’m proud of him to overcome that injury because when we got the statistics back when his knee got hurt, it was not really a very positive outlook for him to make it back.”

During training camp ahead of the 2017 season, just a year removed from when Bridgewater dislocated his left knee and tore his ACL when he planted his foot wrong in practice, Zimmer wasn’t sure whether the quarterback would ever be the same player the Vikings drafted with the 32nd overall pick in 2014.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

After more than a year of extensive rehab, Bridgewater made his way back to the active roster but saw action only in the waning minutes of a fourth-quarter win over the Bengals in December 2017. The news the Vikings got from their medical staff at the end of the 2017 season wasn’t as positive as Zimmer had hoped for the player who had, for a while, put an end to the revolving door the franchise had at quarterback for more than a decade.

The two parties eventually moved on, with the Vikings turning the chapter towards the Kirk Cousins era and Bridgewater ending up with the Saints last August via a trade with the Jets.

As the Vikings got ready to play the Saints in Week 8 last season, Zimmer asked New Orleans coach Sean Payton about the strides his former quarterback was making. The Saints signed Bridgewater to back up Drew Brees, but Payton noted the promise he saw in Bridgewater from the start.

Bears bound? Ravens’ Kaare Vedvik kicks up trade value another notch

Baltimore Ravens kicker Kaare Vedvik connected on four field goals, including a 55-yarder, in Thursday’s preseason opener, which should increase his chances of landing an NFL job.

Not in Baltimore, of course. The Ravens have Justin Tucker, the most accurate kicker in league history.

Vedvick is playing for the Ravens, but he’s auditioning for the other 31 teams in the NFL. Baltimore is hoping to trade Vedvik for a draft pick, if he continues to show promise in the remainder of the preseason.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“I don’t really ever think about that,” Vedvik said when asked about the speculation that another team will acquire him. “I’m focused on playing the game. That’s it. Teams that are interested, they talk to coach, the head honcho. I’m just going to play the game.”5

The Chicago Bears have been linked to Vedvik, and for good reason. Unproven kickers Eddy Pineiro and Elliott Fry are battling for the Bears job, which became open after Cody Parkey’s infamous double doink in the playoffs.

The Arizona Cardinals could be another interested team with Zane Gonzalez struggling in training camp, and the New York Jets might inquire after Chandler Catanzaro missed a couple of extra points in the first preseason game.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

The Ravens have a history of being a special-teams pipeline. Three current kickers — New Orleans’ Wil Lutz, Carolina’s Graham Gano and Buffalo’s Stephen Hauschka — all got their starts in Baltimore. Former special-teams coach Jerry Rosburg, who retired in June, had an eye for discovering kickers, and assistant Randy Brown has an expertise for developing talent.

“I fully expect that he’ll kick well enough for us to trade him,” coach John Harbaugh said at the NFL owners meetings in March. “That’s kind of the goal. He’s capable of kicking in the NFL. We probably could have traded him last year.”

Vedvik was one of the bigger surprises of last year’s training camp. Booming kicks with an effortless style, he was 8 of 9 (89%) on field goals during the preseason after being signed as an undrafted rookie. He hit a 56-yarder in the finale, which seemed to put the finishing touches on his exit from Baltimore.

But Vedvik was assaulted in East Baltimore before the Ravens could deal him to another team. He was hospitalized last September after being found alone with multiple facial injuries. Vedvik, who had originally gone out with teammates that night, told the Ravens that he didn’t remember how he ended up at the location where he was found.

Undrafted Elijah Holyfield has a fighter’s chance to make Panthers

Carolina Panthers running back Elijah Holyfield was 14 when he stepped into the boxing ring against a highly ranked 16-year-old. It was a chance to make a name for himself in a world where his father achieved greatness, maybe even carve a path to his own career in the sport.

Evander Holyfield, a four-time heavyweight champion and the only boxer to hold undisputed titles in two weight classes, was confident that his son was up to the challenge.

“I remember saying, ‘He can handle that guy. Just don’t tell his momma, because I know she’s going to think about all the fight this guy has,'” the elder Holyfield recalled last week during quarterback Cam Newton’s celebrity kickball tournament, which was held while Elijah participated in a Panthers rookie minicamp.

“He was rugged and hit real hard.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale8

Elijah hit real hard, too. He was holding his own in the match, but unlike his father he had a habit of holding his head up and exposing his face to punches instead of his forehead. That led to a nosebleed and a disqualification.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Elijah never stepped back into the ring competitively.

“I was, ‘I don’t want to get hit that much,'” Elijah recalled. “So I just kept with football, and it’s worked out for me.”

Whether Elijah becomes the real deal in the NFL the way his father was in boxing remains to be seen. The Panthers signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia after a slow 40-yard-dash time of 4.78 seconds at the NFL combine hurt his draft stock.

His undrafted status means he has a lot to prove in the hotly contested battle to back up Christian McCaffrey, who last season fell just shy of becoming the third back in NFL history to have 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season.

Among Holyfield’s competition is fifth-round pick Jordan Scarlett out of Florida and 2015 fifth-round pick Cameron Artis-Payne, along with Elijah Hood and Reggie Bonnafon.

Again, Evander believes his son is up to the challenge.

“It’s kind of disappointing he wasn’t drafted,” he said. “The fact of the matter is, it’s part of life. If you’re fast enough and score touchdowns, what difference does it make [what your 40 time was]? If it just had to do with how fast you are then they would have all the track stars go in the NFL.”

Expect these fantasy players to gain — or lose — the most targets in 2019

Opportunity is king in fantasy football. Or, to put it another way, you catch none of the targets you don’t see.

While player skill plays a critical part in analysis, the extent of a receiver’s opportunity is something with which to familiarize yourself. Ability and preseason player performance will help a lot of that fall into place, but there are ways to measure the extent of the opportunity a player could potentially receive.

One of those is to examine each team’s target totals from the previous season to see which of the players who accumulated them might’ve left the team during the offseason and therefore freed some up for others, as well as which players might’ve been brought in to soak up some of those left behind. This isn’t a new concept; it has often been discussed in the fantasy football industry as “vacated targets.”cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal7

This isn’t an exact science. Injuries have a bearing on the past season’s statistics. For example, Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Marqise Lee missed the entire 2018 season and therefore contributed nothing in the category after earning 103 and 96 targets the two previous seasons, but he will surely rejoin the team this season and absorb a significant amount.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

Regression to the mean of a team’s target total can also have an impact, such as with the Indianapolis Colts, who saw a 157-pass-attempt increase from 2017 to ’18, which, while understandable to a degree with Andrew Luck back healthy and under center, still gave the team its largest total in the category in four years and second largest in any of Luck’s six healthy seasons.

What can Patrick Mahomes do for an encore in 2019?

Patrick Mahomes may not throw 50 touchdown passes and for more than 5,000 yards in 2019, one year after he became the second quarterback in NFL history to accomplish both feats in the same season.

But the Kansas City Chiefs still believe whatever they get from Mahomes will be considerable. What they saw from him last season, his first as a starter, convinced them of that.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

The Chiefs, hoping this season to reach the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years, overhauled their defense during the offseason. They hired a mostly new defensive coaching staff, led by coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, and installed a 4-3 base defense. They acquired as many as seven new defensive starters, most notably end Frank Clark and safety Tyrann Mathieu.

But it’s the offense, led by the league MVP in Mahomes, that will again have to lead the way if the Chiefs are going to win the championship. Can the third-year quarterback repeat last season’s gaudy numbers? It has never been done in back-to-back seasons. Plus, the Chiefs are without star running back Kareem Hunt, who they released late last season after video surfaced showing him shoving and kicking a woman. They also may be without top wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who is suspended as the NFL investigates his possible involvement in a child abuse case.7

Even without Hunt and possibly Hill, the Chiefs are expecting the product to be as good or better than it was last season, when they lost to the New England Patriots in overtime of the AFC Championship Game.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

“We know that we are close and we have a pretty good team,” Veach said. “We aren’t trying to build for the future. We are trying to win now. We are going to stay aggressive.”

They’ll need growth from Mahomes, as good as he was last season, to get where they want to go. And he knows it.

“You have to improve yourself every single year,” Mahomes said. “… As I go into this season, I know that I need to even step it up even more, how I take care of body, nutrition, but even the prehab and the rehab and all the different stuff that you have to do in order to keep yourself at that top-notch level when the end of the season comes.”

Mahomes said he has started working on an offseason checklist to make himself better. He’s looking at his mistakes from last season and trying to improve his footwork, especially in the pocket.

“I feel like at times last year I would get, I don’t want to say lazy but basically lazy with how I was handling my feet in the pocket,” Mahomes said. “It would disrupt timing on throws, so keep working on those things so they can be more and more consistent as I go on.”

Ex-Saints FB Jed Collins realizes new dream as financial educator

Before he began his second career as a financial adviser, Collins spent seven years bouncing around the NFL with nine different teams as a journeyman fullback. His most prominent stretch came with the New Orleans Saints from 2011 through 2013, when he started 26 games and scored seven touchdowns.

So how does a fellow pro like Collins get his message across?

With turkey dinner, ice cream and Starbursts, of course.

Those were just some of Collins’ props as he explained the principles of gross and net income, the progressive income tax code and compound interest to rookies and first-year players with the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions this spring as part of the NFL’s orientation programs.nike nfl jerseys cheap china7

“I try to be an entertaining educator,” said Collins, who’s a director of financial education for wealth-management firm Brighton Jones in the Seattle area.

During his presentation on insurance, Collins also flashed pictures of various celebrities, asking players to guess which body parts they had insured for millions of dollars.

“When you speak over someone’s head, they immediately tune out,” said Collins, who was an accounting major at Washington State and first dreamed of coming back to the NFL one day to teach players about money when he realized his brothers, who studied law and engineering at Harvard and Berkeley, didn’t know much about managing money.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“It’s all of us,” Collins said. “Football player, journalist, astronaut, engineer, dance — nobody is learning this. And I looked at it as, ‘I am interested in this field, I am passionate about helping people, and what I’m finding is kind of my secret to success at the moment is I like people, I can talk to people and I’m a good storyteller.’

“When you’ve had the pressure of being in the Superdome in front of 70,000, 80,000, it’s not as intimidating to be in a room with 30 or 40 people there asking you questions about a 401(k).

The case for Joe Mixon as a top-5 running back in 2019

At only 22 years old, preparing for his third season in the league, Mixon looks poised to have a breakout season — again. Mixon already broke out last season, improving from 913 total yards and four touchdowns with three fumbles (two lost) in 14 games as a rookie to 1,464 yards and nine touchdowns with zero fumbles in 14 games as a second-year pro. Mixon led the AFC in rushing last season, despite playing for a Bengals team that lost nine of its final 11 games to finish last in its division after getting wrecked by a team-record number of injuries. There are several reasons to expect Mixon’s production to continue to improve in leaps and bounds this season.

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The Bengals parted ways with longtime head coach Marvin Lewis this offseason, and replaced him with Zac Taylor. Taylor joined the Bengals after spending the last two seasons as an assistant coach under Sean McVay with the Los Angeles Rams. Taylor is on record that he is using the Rams offense as “the starting point” for the Bengals’ new playbook. The Rams operated the majority of the time in 11 personnel (three receivers, one running back, one tight end) so that everything looks the same pre-snap, but the route combinations and alignments offer a lot of variability in what the offense can run. This is designed to open up options in both the run and the pass game that put the defense off-balance and give the offense mismatches to work with.5

These types of differences in scheme are key to setting Mixon’s expectations this season, especially in comparison to what we’ve seen from Rams running back Todd Gurley II for the last two seasons. Gurley has been by far the top fantasy back during that stretch, and finished third among running backs in fantasy points in PPR leagues last season despite missing the final two games of the season and playing limited minutes in the two games before that due to a knee injury. Last season, both Gurley and Mixon averaged an identical 4.9 yards per carry, but a closer look at their advanced numbers (utilizing NFL.com’s NextGenStats and playerprofiler.com metrics) indicates that Gurley typically faced more advantageous situations, while Mixon tended to do a bit more with his opportunities in 2018.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Mixon faced at least eight defenders in the box 16.0% of the time, almost twice as often as Gurley (8.2%). Both Gurley and Mixon spent 2.8 seconds behind the line of scrimmage on average, but Mixon created 1.6 yards per carry after evading the first tackle while Gurley created only 1.2 yards per carry. Mixon also produced carries of 15 or more yards 42.4% more frequently per carry last season than did Gurley, displaying more explosiveness while creating more breakaway runs.

Early observations from Bengals camp indicate that the Bengals are displaying more pre-snap movements and practicing plays like the jet sweep, both of which are identifiable hallmarks of the Rams offense. Scheming to give Mixon more advantageous matchups and running lanes should really improve his outlook this season as he’s already proven the ability to create consistently on his own.

Hunt questioned by police after incident at bar

An online video shows Browns running back Kareem Hunt being questioned by police after an apparent incident Saturday night at a Cleveland bar.

The video, published Monday by TMZ Sports, shows Hunt speaking with multiple officers. Hunt was not arrested and officers did not make a police report about the incident, a police spokesperson told Cleveland.com.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

A Browns spokesman said the team is aware of the incident and has spoken to Hunt but had nothing further to say at this point.

The incident took place outside the Barley House in downtown Cleveland. The owner of the bar, Bobby George, told Cleveland.com that Hunt got into a minor altercation with a friend.6

Hunt is already suspended for the first eight games of this upcoming season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

The NFL declined comment about Saturday’s incident.

Two sources with the Browns told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that the team was not concerned at this time, saying based on what they had read, it didn’t seem like a big deal, especially because Hunt was not arrested.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Another source characterized the incident to ESPN as “just an argument.”

The suspension stems from a February 2018 incident in which he shoved and kicked a woman during an early-morning altercation outside his downtown Cleveland residence, and an incident in June 2018 that involved a physical altercation with other men at Put-in-Bay, Ohio.

Release of the video from the February incident, and the fact that Hunt had lied about it, prompted the Kansas City Chiefs to release him on Nov. 30. The NFL investigated a third incident in Kansas City, but said there would be no discipline stemming from that.

Hunt signed with the Browns on Feb. 11 to a one-year deal worth up to $1.1 million with no money guaranteed.

Rypien enters not guilty plea on domestic charge

Former Super Bowl hero Mark Rypien pleaded not guilty on Monday to a charge of domestic violence against his wife.

Rypien was taken to the Spokane County Jail on Sunday afternoon after his arrest near a bank on the north side of the city. A witness who saw the couple called police and said Rypien’s wife alleged he had struck her. Danielle Rypien was evaluated and did not need medical treatment, police said.

Rypien, 56, was released without bail; his next court appearance was scheduled for July 31. Prosecutors initially asked for a no-contact order between Rypien and his wife at the brief hearing, but she argued against that.

In a joint statement from Mark and Danielle Rypien released Monday night, the couple said: “In response to Mark being arrested for domestic violence, we want you to know that he did not commit any crime. … Occurrences like this one are often chaotic scenes which are not conducive to revealing full clarity about what actually transpires.

“In Washington State, officers are mandated by law to make an arrest in a possible domestic violence case even where there is very little proof that a crime occurred. We will continue to cooperate with authorities to ensure that the truth of Mark’s innocence comes out. … We are confident that a complete investigation will result in the dismissal of all charges.”

Rypien announced last year he believes he has Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, caused by repeated concussions while playing in the NFL. But the statement said that suspected CTE did not play any part in the incident.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

“Mark suffers from what we suspect is CTE and that does leave us with some challenging situations to navigate with the assistance of a team of fantastic professionals,” the statement said. “This, however, was not one such situation and we are confident that in the coming weeks, clarity about this unfortunate situation will be provided.”5

Rypien was a lead plaintiff among 4,500 former players who won a settlement related to CTE in 2013. He has said that in the past he has attempted suicide and suffers from persistent depression and anxiety.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

“I’ve been down the darkest path,” he said last year. “I’ve made some horrible, horrible mistakes.”

Rypien was the most valuable player of Super Bowl XXVI after the 1991 season, as the Washington Redskins beat the Buffalo Bills.

In a lengthy interview with The Spokesman-Review newspaper last year, Rypien acknowledged that he was also involved in a domestic violence incident with his wife in 2017.

“I got angry and I threw her on the bed a couple of times,” Rypien said. He and his wife blamed a medication change for his behavior.

A high school quarterback in Spokane who went on to star at nearby Washington State University, Rypien was drafted by the Redskins in 1986. He played in four games during his last season in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts, in 2001, although he did not play between 1998 and 2000.

Numerous NFL players have reported a wide variety of problems related to CTE, including homelessness, erratic behavior, suicide and other early deaths.

Marshal Yanda can rank among all-time best guards with strong finish

Marshal Yanda made certain that he will finish his career with the Baltimore Ravens.

Yanda can put himself in the conversation as one of the NFL’s all-time great guards if he adds an exclamation point over the next two seasons.

If Yanda reaches the Pro Bowl in 2019 and 2020, he will total nine trips to the all-star event. Randall McDaniel, Will Shields and Larry Allen would be the only players with more Pro Bowl selections as a guard, according to the Elias Sports Bureau (Bruce Matthews’ 14 Pro Bowls included five as a center).

But it’s uncertain whether Yanda will play next season and strengthen a potential Hall of Fame resume.

“You just take it one day at a time,” he said. “I’m healthy, I’m feeling really good about playing this fall, and I don’t look any further down the road. I’m worried about playing this fall and playing good football.”

Yanda, who will turn 35 in Week 2 of the regular season, has been among the most dominant linemen of his generation. He is the second-best guard in Pro Football Focus’ grading history (since 2006).
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Known for his toughness and technique, Yanda was a key member of the Ravens’ run-heavy offense with quarterback Lamar Jackson. Last season, he led an offensive line that has helped the Ravens produce the NFL’s No. 2 rushing attack (141.9 yards per game).

There was concern among Ravens officials that Yanda wasn’t returning this year.6

Asked recently about the state of the offensive line, owner Steve Bisciotti said, “I’d be much more concerned if our All-Pro decided that he was going to call it a career. I kind of looked at that as our upgrade. I really thought that Marshal was pretty close to maybe deciding that it was a career.”

Yanda was entering the final year of his four-year, $32 million contract before agreeing to a one-year contract extension on April 11.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

He received an $8 million signing bonus after reducing his 2019 base salary by $5 million (from $7 million to $2 million). His base salary for 2020 is $7 million.

“Whatever happens, we just wanted to make sure I could finish it here, and that’s important to me, just being able to play my entire career here and just taking care of me,” Yanda said of the reasoning for the extension. “That was the whole deal there.”

A third-round pick in 2007, Yanda has gone from being the 10th offensive lineman drafted in 2007 to becoming one of the best in the league. Known for his powerful run blocking, Yanda has shoved three defenders to single-handedly open a hole. A top-notch pass protector, he regularly allows the fewest sacks at his position.

In 2014, then-offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak said Yanda is as good as any offensive lineman he’s been around. In 2015, coach John Harbaugh offered a prediction.