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How will the Broncos handle Joe Flacco with Drew Lock as starter?

Drew Lock will be the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback in the 2020 season.

Or, as Broncos chief football decision maker John Elway put it earlier this week, it would be “unrealistic” to say Lock is not the starter next season.

But beyond that, the Broncos’ quarterback depth chart is little more than financial questions and future decisions, starting with Joe Flacco. Consider how Elway started his answer Monday about whether Lock would be the team’s starter after going 4-1 to close out the season.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

Elway then quickly followed with: “Obviously, he finished, did a heck of a job, won four out of five games and played well, but he still has a long way to go — he’s got a lot of work to do. But we’re excited about where Drew is, so, we don’t like to show our hand, but it’s unrealistic to say we’re going a different direction.”8

The 2020 Broncos will have Lock as the projected starter and Flacco as the only other quarterback under contract who has started an NFL game. Flacco’s playing future is uncertain because of a herniated disc in his neck and he’s facing the possibility of surgery. The Broncos did sign Brett Rypien, who spent his rookie season on the team’s practice squad, to a futures contract Tuesday.

The Broncos will have to consider free agency as well as the draft as they determine Flacco’s health. Flacco has two years remaining on his contract that carries a whopping $23.65 million salary-cap figure for the 2020 season and $27.65 million for 2021.

The Broncos won’t entertain paying anything near that galaxy for their No. 2 quarterback, but teams can’t release an injured player without a financial settlement. In short, the two sides are talking about Flacco’s future and his contract no matter what — even as Flacco tries to determine if he can even return to the playing field.

Flacco was quick to say this week that if he were healthy and cleared to play, he would “love” to be back with the Broncos.new nike nfl jerseys cheap

“Of course,” Flacco said. “… I’ll actually look into those things, think about those things when I have to. For now, I’m just focused on working out, getting as healthy as I can.”

Flacco, who went to injured reserve Nov. 1, is scheduled to have an MRI on his neck “around the Super Bowl,” and he said at that point a decision would be made as to whether he will, or won’t, need surgery.

Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma out with sprained ankle

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma missed Wednesday night’s 96-87 win against the Orlando Magic because of a sprained left ankle.

The three-year veteran injured his ankle nearly two weeks ago against the Washington Wizards but had continued to play on it through soreness and discomfort, the team said.

The Lakers’ medical staff stepped in to hold him out against the Magic as the Lakers begin a five-game road trip, hoping the ankle can heal fully before Kuzma plays more games. His status is considered day-to-day.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

It’s been a difficult season thus far for Kuzma, dubbed the third member of the Lakers’ big three alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, after the team was able to hold on to him during negotiations for its blockbuster deal with New Orleans in the offseason.7

A string of injuries, starting with a stress reaction in his left ankle suffered during USA Basketball training camp in the summertime — the same ankle that is currently injured — has slowed the 24-year-old’s progress as a young star on the rise.

Through 20 games, Kuzma is averaging 11.1 points on 43.3% shooting while playing 23.1 minutes per night. Last season he averaged 18.7 points on 45.6% shooting while playing a bigger role on a lesser team, logging 33.1 minutes per game.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Kuzma has repeatedly spoken to the media in recent weeks about his patience being tested this season. A team source told ESPN that he has experienced more upheaval in his role than the team anticipated; Davis is playing fewer minutes at the 5 because JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard have filled that role so well. When Davis plays the 4, it pushes Kuzma out of the ideal stretch role he provides (he has lifted his 3-point percentage from 30.3% a year ago to 36% this season) and challenges him to make the most of playing out of position.

Theo Epstein confident in imminent Kris Bryant grievance ruling

Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein is confident in the pending outcome of star third baseman Kris Bryant’s service time grievance and doesn’t believe it’s impacting any trade discussions for the team.

“We’re fairly confident in what the outcome is going to be, but the timing is a bit frustrating,” Epstein said from the winter meetings on Monday. “It would be nice to know. We’re at the winter meetings, and there hasn’t been a ruling. I understand these things take time. It’s not going to be more than a couple weeks away, but it would be nice to have that final confirmation.”new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

Bryant, whose name has surfaced in trade rumors this offseason, contends he should have started the 2015 season with the big league club, allowing him to become a free agent after the 2020 season. Instead, the team sent him to the minors out of spring training, then brought him up 10 days later due to an injury, allowing them to keep him an extra year and making him a free agent after the 2021 season. The union filed a grievance on Bryant’s behalf with the sides finally presenting their case this offseason.7

If the arbiter rules in his favor, Bryant would be granted free agency after next year — immensely affecting his trade value.

“We’re operating with what our understanding of what the likely outcome will be and moving forward that way,” Epstein said. “I don’t think we look for the whole service time structure to be upended in any one ruling.”nfl cheap nike jerseys

The Cubs have vowed to make changes to their team, which features four key players up for free agency at the same time, after the 2021 season. Epstein said he won’t force anything but admitted some turnover might be in order after missing the playoffs in 2019 and losing out on the division the year before.

“We can benefit from some change in certain areas,” Epstein said. “There are a lot of promising leads [potential trades] out there.”

A decision on the grievance isn’t expected until the New Year, a source told ESPN.

Southampton see off Norwich in relegation battle

Southampton boosted their hopes of staying in the Premier League after a fine first-half performance garnished by goals from Danny Ings and Ryan Bertrand helped them to a nervy 2-1 home win over struggling Norwich on Wednesday.

The Saints dominated the opening exchanges of the relegation dogfight and Ings fired them ahead in the 22nd minute when he headed home a James Ward-Prowse free kick.

Moussa Djenepo drove a shot over the bar for the home side before left-back Bertrand made it 2-0 in the 43rd minute, capitalising on another fine set piece by Ward-Prowse as he slotted in the midfielder’s corner at the far post.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl was pleased with the outcome although he acknowledged the battle to stay up would be a long one.6
Southampton almost netted the third on the stroke of half-time when Norwich keeper Tim Krul only just managed to tip Pierre Hojberg’s deflected shot over the bar.

The tide turned after the break as Teemu Pukki’s fierce shot was parried by Alex McCarthy and the Finland striker pulled one back for Norwich in the 65th minute when he beat the Saints keeper with a clinical finish from inside the penalty area.

Norwich launched a fierce onslaught in the closing stages and substitute Emiliano Buendia missed a gilt-edged chance to salvage a point for the visitors when he headed wide of the far post in stoppage time.nfl nike jersey cheap

Daniel Farke rued his Norwich team’s poor start to the game but believed they deserved more from an improved second-half display.

“I’m a bit annoyed in the first half we weren’t brave enough,” said Farke.

“It was a really good reaction in the second half but it is important to play this way for 90 minutes. We showed a great reaction and in the end we deserved at least a draw.”

Jose Abreu agrees to 3-year, $50 million contract with White Sox

The Chicago White Sox have agreed to a three-year, $50 million contract with Jose Abreu, the team announced Friday.

Abreu, who made his third All-Star team in six seasons with the White Sox, led the American League with 123 RBIs in 2019 while batting .284 with 33 home runs.

“This is a dream come true for me and my family,” Abreu said in a release by the team. “To the fans, I told you I would come back. I never doubted it. Everybody knows the group of talented players that we have, and I want to help guide them and together make the Chicago White Sox a championship team.”

The first baseman/designated hitter, who will turn 33 in January, showed he can still catch up to fastballs as he ranked among the leaders in overall exit velocity, but he struggled with breaking pitches and rarely walks.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Under the new deal, Abreu will receive a $5 million signing bonus, $11 million in 2020, $16 million in 2021 and $18 million in 2022. Abreu also has a full no-trade clause in 2020 and a limited one in 2021, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by ESPN.6

Chicago is deferring $4 million of his 2022 salary, payable in equal installments each July 1 from 2023 through 2026.

“From the moment he stepped into the major leagues, Jose Abreu has been a leader on the field and in the clubhouse,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement. “He has consistently delivered run production at a historic pace, and with each passing season, his leadership role within our clubhouse — with both American-born and Latin-American players — has repeatedly grown. It’s certainly no surprise that both Jose and the White Sox were comfortable with a multiyear commitment moving forward.”

Abreu’s signing is the second big move of the offseason for the White Sox, who announced Thursday that they had agreed to terms on a four-year, $73 million contract with All-Star catcher Yasmani Grandal.nfl cheap jerseys nike

Both Abreu and Grandal have a rewards package that would earn them a $100,000 bonus if they are voted AL MVP. They also could get $90,000 for finishing second, $80,000 for third, $70,000 for fourth and $60,000 for fifth. They would get $100,000 for World Series MVP, $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $50,000 if selected an All-Star by The Sporting News, $25,000 each for starting an All-Star Game or winning a Gold Glove, and $15,000 apiece if named an All-Star reserve or winning a Silver Slugger.

Catcher James McCann stays with White Sox on one-year deal

All-Star catcher James McCann agreed to a $5.4 million, one-year contract with the Chicago White Sox on Monday, more than doubling his salary.

The 29-year-old McCann was eligible for arbitration. He signed a $2.5 million, one-year deal with Chicago last December after Detroit didn’t offer him a contract for the 2019 season.

McCann set career highs with a .273 batting average, 18 homers and 60 RBI in his first year with the White Sox. He also was an All-Star selection for the first time.nfl nike jerseys for cheap5

The White Sox signed free-agent catcher Yasmani Grandal to a $73 million, four-year contract last month. But McCann played a pivotal role in the development of Lucas Giolito into a front-line starter, likely cementing his return to Chicago.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

McCann was selected by the White Sox in the 31st round of the 2008 amateur draft, but he decided to go to the University of Arkansas instead. He then was drafted by the Tigers in the second round in 2011.

McCann made his major league debut in September 2014 and spent his first five seasons with Detroit, batting .240 with 40 homers and 177 RBI in 452 games.

In other moves Monday, Chicago declined to offer 2020 contracts to Gold Glove second baseman Yolmer Sanchez and relievers Ryan Burr and Caleb Frare, making the trio free agents. Right-hander Thyago Vieira was released to pursue an opportunity to play in Japan.

Left-hander Carlos Rodon, closer Alex Colome, reliever Evan Marshall and utlityman Leury Garcia were tendered contracts, making them eligible for arbitration.

Warriors’ Draymond Green returns from 3-game absence

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green returned for Wednesday night’s game against the Chicago Bulls after missing the past three games because of a right heel injury.

Green scored seven points and added eight assists and five rebounds in 24 minutes in the 104-90 win over the Bulls.

“Having Draymond back was a big deal. He settled us down,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Having nine instead of eight, it matters. You just have more to work with and more options.”

After Monday morning’s shootaround, Green said he was hopeful he would be able to play.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

“It’s getting better,” he said. “Not great, but it’s getting better.”6

Green said he had some inflammation in the heel but believed the injury was due in part to “wear and tear problems.”

Green, who missed a week earlier this season because of a torn ligament in his finger, said these injuries were not out of the ordinary after all the minutes he has played year after year.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

“It’s pretty standard,” Green said. “Always something going on. I think as you get older, you start to pay more attention to those bumps and bruises because you understand the body more. … It’s not that I couldn’t have played, but is it the smart thing to do?”

He added: “I leave every game with bumps and bruises no matter what, but I think in certain situations with certain things, you realize what’s next. Like, if I don’t take care of this, I’m going to go out there, I’m going to overcompensate, and then the left knee’s going to start hurting. You just kind of start to figure all that out as you get older and just becoming more in tune with yourself.”

Giants’ Jabrill Peppers has transverse process fracture; Golden Tate concussed

New York Giants safety Jabrill Peppers is likely to miss time after the team announced he suffered a transverse process fracture in his back on Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

Wide receiver Golden Tate also was injured in the game, suffering a concussion because of the way he landed on his 23-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter of the 19-14 loss at Chicago.

There was no timetable set on Peppers’ return, although the Giants believe it should be this season. It will depend on his pain tolerance.

“My understanding, his too, in terms of the evaluation of it, as I knew [Sunday] he had a sore back. I guess he can return; it’s kind of relative to pain tolerance,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “So, I would say no [to season-ending].”

Peppers was in severe pain after the game Sunday. He said the injury occurred when he was hit on a kickoff return with no time remaining in the first half.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The starting safety and returner did not return to the field in the second half.6

“I’m tough. I’m hoping it’s something I can tough through,” Peppers said after barely being able to sit and dress himself in the locker room.

Peppers, 24, acquired in the offseason in the trade that sent Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns, leads the Giants with 78 tackles this season and also has an interception, which he returned for a touchdown.

Tate, 31, has 36 receptions for 450 yards and four touchdowns in his first season with the Giants after signing with the team in free agency. He already missed four games this season serving a four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

With Tate now in doubt for Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, the Giants face the prospects of another week without their full arsenal. They have not played a game this season with Tate, wide receiver Sterling Shepard, running back Saquon Barkley and tight end Evan Engram working alongside rookie quarterback Daniel Jones.

Engram (foot) missed Sunday’s seventh straight loss, which dropped the Giants’ record to 2-9.

Liverpool’s confidence and persistence yields another dramatic win but title race has far to go

When Trent Alexander-Arnold readied to take a corner as the clock ticked down at Villa Park, with seconds left in his 100th appearance for Liverpool, there was apprehension among the home supporters and expectation in the away end.

It was the 95th minute, seven after Andy Robertson cancelled out Trezeguet’s first-half opener for Aston Villa and there were just 60 seconds remaining for the league leaders to rescue three points. Liverpool were several levels below their best, without rhythm or surety in their play, all afternoon and the fixture was ready to be filed under “just one of those days.”cheap nike nfl jersey

“We made it difficult for ourselves,” Jurgen Klopp admitted post-match. “We started playing football good but not exactly like we should have done. Aston Villa were ready today for a proper fight, a proper battle, defend with all they have, try to find spaces for counter-attacks and be there and have good set pieces.4

“We played good football, but didn’t finish the situations and then we conceded a goal, then it is not so easy to change these wrong decisions, this wrong path, immediately. We needed a bit of time.”

Liverpool’s poor decision-making aligned with marginal calls — Villa’s goal was ruled just onside by VAR, but Roberto Firmino’s armpit (yes, you read that correctly) was deemed to be offside when he had the ball in the back of the net — compounded the sense that it may not quite be their afternoon. But in those dying moments, the emotions of both fan bases were understandable. Dean Smith’s men have ceded 11 points in games in which they have gone ahead this season, more than any other Premier League side. Liverpool, by contrast, are the champions of division in winning points from losing positions.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

It turns out that Villa supporters were justified for feeling the way they did: Sadio Mane’s deft header from Alexander-Arnold’s corner dissected Conor Hourihane and Jonathan Kodjia before nestling into the far corner to make it 2-1 to the league leaders.

Prior to that moment, Liverpool did not need to dig that deep or look too far to believe they could conjure another rescue act. They were decisive at the death during a ridiculous 5-5 draw with Arsenal in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night, in which they triumphed on penalties. Their winner against Leicester City at Anfield last month arrived after 95 minutes. Their equaliser against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the next fixture materialised in the 85th minute. The “Fergie Time” concept, coined when Sir Alex Ferguson’s sides had a habit of producing late goals, has been replaced by “Klopp o’clock.”

Since the start of last season, no other Premier League team has scored more goals in the division during the last 10 minutes than Liverpool’s 23. In September 2017, after his side had conceded 13 goals from seven matches, Klopp admitted that lapses in defence had become “a self-fulfilling prophecy” for them as players got sucked into the narrative around them. That has since been positively replaced by Liverpool’s powers of recovery: since the German labelled his squad “f—ing mentality monsters” in April after Mohamed Salah and Jordan Henderson scored late goals in a 3-1 victory at Southampton, they have continually found ways to win even with time running out.

Raptors’ Masai Ujiri won’t be charged for shoving deputy

California prosecutors announced Tuesday that they won’t charge Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri for shoving a sheriff’s deputy after the deciding game of the NBA Finals in Oakland in June.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office announced the decision Tuesday afternoon, when the Raptors were in Toronto receiving their championship rings for defeating the Golden State Warriors.

The DA’s office said it met with Ujiri and his attorneys on Monday and decided the matter was better handled “outside of the courtroom.”nike nfl jerseys for cheap

“I am extremely pleased with the decision,” Ujiri said in a statement issued through the team from Toronto, where the Raptors opened their regular season against the New Orleans Pelicans.

“While these past months have been difficult waiting for a determination on this matter, I understand the nature of the process and am appreciative of the efforts of all involved,” Ujiri said. “I am happy that this is now behind me and I look forward to the task of bringing another Championship to the City of Toronto.”6

The Raptors had just won their first title after taking Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena on June 13 when Ujiri went onto the court to join his celebrating team.

A sheriff’s deputy stopped him because Ujiri didn’t provide the proper on-court credential, leading to a shoving match that was partially captured on video.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

Several bystanders intervened, and Ujiri got onto the court without displaying any credentials.

An attorney for the deputy contended that the deputy suffered a concussion. The sheriff’s office said only that he was placed on medical leave. The office filed a report of misdemeanor battery with the district attorney’s office.

An effort Tuesday to contact a spokesman for the sheriff’s office was unsuccessful. Messages to the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of Alameda County seeking comment from the deputy weren’t immediately returned.

Ujiri attorney Robert Beles said his client is gratified and said the DA’s office conducted a thorough investigation.

“It was definitely the right conclusion,” he said, calling Ujiri “a decent human being and a good man.”