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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.

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.

From Dad’s speech to Drake’s embrace: Inside Vlad Jr.’s Toronto welcome

Less than 48 hours earlier, Guerrero was sitting at breakfast with his grandparents, Altagracia and Damián, imagining what his much-anticipated major league debut would be like. While he ate his breakfast, he pictured making contact with the ball in his first at-bat. He thought about his heroics in Montreal in exhibition games and how fans would be expecting more of the same, but making contact was all he wanted. “Just wait for a good pitch, make contact and don’t strike out,” he said to himself.

Major League Baseball had reached out to present him with his father’s Montreal Expos jersey to wear to the ballpark on Friday. Guerrero had the option of wearing the classic powder blue jersey, but opted for the pinstripes everyone had come to know from a legendary picture of Junior, then 5 years old, standing next to his father.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

The first person he saw in the clubhouse, which was larger and brighter than he remembered, was outfielder Billy McKinney, whose first words were, “You look really good; have you lost weight?” Guerrero gave the outfielder a bear hug as McKinney congratulated him on his promotion.5

As Guerrero headed to his locker, in between those of pitcher Clay Buchholz and catcher Luke Maile, he thought about whether there would be questions about his weight. He was very proud of losing 22 pounds, but at the same time, he didn’t care. This day, his first day in the majors, was about so much more than that.

Dozens of cameras followed his every step. When he walked out to the field for stretch, Justin Smoak and Teoscar Hernandez razzed him about the attention. He laughed and took it in stride, as throngs of media captured his every move.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Guerrero spoke to his dad briefly before the game. As Senior addressed the media, Junior picked up his bat, which is the same size and weight as his father’s, 34 inches and 32 ounces, and headed to the cage. He yelled in Spanish, asking his father if he had seen Smoak, who wanted to say hello; Senior said he had.

After one of the most documented and photographed batting practices in Rogers Centre history, “Vladdy” (as he has been nicknamed by the media) made sure to stop in front of the dugout to give a hug to his grandma and introduce her to teammate Rowdy Tellez, who thanked her in his limited Spanish for all the food she cooked for them in the minors and during the spring. Doña Altagracia smiled and hugged them both goodbye.

Guerrero looked forward to some quiet time with his teammates. Inside the clubhouse, they made fun of him because of all the media attention, but there was no rookie hazing. He was ready; he knew he belonged, and always had. He felt right at home.

Eovaldi has surgery, likely to return in 6 weeks

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi had elbow surgery Tuesday to remove a loose body in his right elbow, the team said.

Manager Alex Cora said the surgery went well, and the Red Sox said in a statement that Eovaldi “is expected to make a full return to pitching within six weeks.”nike nfl jerseys cheap china5

Cora said Hector Velazquez, who is starting Tuesday’s second game against the Detroit Tigers, will take Eovaldi’s spot in the rotation for now.

When Eovaldi had similar surgery last season while with the Tampa Bay Rays, he missed two months.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

The Red Sox placed Eovaldi, 29, on the injured list Saturday. He said he didn’t experience any symptoms after his start against the New York Yankees last Wednesday, when he pitched six innings while allowing one unearned run, walking one and striking out six.

Eovaldi knew something was wrong when he could not straighten out his arm during the team’s off day in Tampa Bay.

Eovaldi signed a four-year, $68 million deal in December. He is 3-3 with a 4.08 ERA in parts of two seasons in Boston. So far this year, the hard-throwing righty has a 6.00 ERA in four starts, allowing 14 runs in 21 innings pitched, striking out 16 and walking 11.

Blazers ignore trash talk, refs to beat Thunder

With their starters heading to the bench with 40 seconds left, Game 4 in hand and a 3-1 series lead in their pocket on the way back home, the Portland Trail Blazers had an opportunity to bask in their 111-98 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder a little. But there was no celebrating, no trash talking, no taunting, no dunks at the buzzer. It was, as Damian Lillard said, all business from start to finish.

“After Game 3, we were in the locker room saying they lived at the free throw line and all this stuff, but Game 4, we’re not talking to nobody but ourselves,” Lillard said. “Referees can call it how they want to call, we’re just going to worry about ourselves.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

“After last game, it was a big deal being made out of the back-and-forth and we weren’t emotional about it — we were just competing,” Lillard continued. “We were just passionate about the game as well. But like I said earlier, we didn’t really engage in it because our focus was our team. Like I told you guys, we’re not gonna come out here and go crazy on the referees, we’re not gonna go out here and get in any shouting matches and back-and-forths and all that stuff. We’re gonna focus on the stuff we need to focus on that’s gonna give us a chance to win the game. I was proud of how our team stuck to that.”6

Lillard, who started 0-of-6 and didn’t make his first shot until 1:15 left in the first half, cooked once again in the third quarter, finishing with 24 points on 7-of-19 shooting plus 8 assists. Guard CJ McCollum was essential in putting the Thunder away, scoring 27 on 10-of-20 shooting. A number of times, Lillard and McCollum were vocal with teammates, once pulling forward Zach Collins aside for an animated conversation after the second-year player was called for defensive three seconds.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

“We’re a lot more mature than we were in past years,” McCollum said. “We can handle adversity. We understood what we wanted to accomplish tonight and we didn’t want anything to get in the way. Multiple times we had discussions about not saying anything to anyone. If they don’t have a black-and-gray jersey on, don’t talk to him. Talk to our team. Don’t talk to the refs, don’t talk to the other team. Execute our game plan and let’s get out of here with the win.”

Once again, Lillard and McCollum outplayed the Thunder’s two stars, with Paul George finishing with 32 points on 8-of-21 shooting, while Russell Westbrook had only 14 points on 5-of-21 shooting. Westbrook started hot, hitting a couple of 3-pointers early, and a pull-up jumper over Lillard in the first quarter. After he hit it, Westbrook stuck out his tongue and shot a look at the Portland bench. He was more restrained as well, but that might have had more to do with the fact he didn’t have many more opportunities to talk.

Leonard Williams faces uncertain future as Jets mull defensive-line pick

The last time the Jets had a high-profile defensive lineman entering the final year of his contract (Sheldon Richardson, 2017), they traded him. The time before that (Muhammad Wilkerson, 2015), they drafted another defensive lineman in the first round (Leonard Williams), sending a message to Wilkerson.

Now, four years later, Williams finds himself in the Wilkerson position, preparing for the last year of his contract and wondering about his long-term future. The questions will intensify if the Jets select a defensive lineman with the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL draft, perhaps Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams or Ed Oliver.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

Round and round, we go. The Jets have a way of repeating history.5

Unlike 2015, when Wilkerson, 24, was the subject of pre-draft trade speculation, it’s all eerily quiet on the Williams front. The Jets are intent to ride it out with him, waiting to see if he can deliver a blockbuster season that would warrant a massive, long-term extension (or, failing that, a franchise tag). It could backfire, of course, if he doesn’t rise to that level. In that case, they could lose him next year for nothing.

Unlike Wilkerson, who skipped voluntary workouts because he was unhappy with his contract, Williams is participating in the offseason program. What does that mean? Not a whole lot. In the end, it’s all about production. Wilkerson moped for months, but he enjoyed a career year and landed a five-year, $86 million deal (a bad investment, as it turned out). If Williams plays lights out, he’ll get paid, too.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Everything is aligned for Williams to have that kind of season. He’s all-in, which is what you’d expect from a player in a contract year. (By the way, he’s making a handsome wage in 2019 at $14.2 million.) Before team workouts in New Jersey, he trained at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California. Instead of a normal routine, he changed up his workouts, sprinting up beach dunes and taking jujitsu classes to improve his body control and balance. He also believes he will thrive under fiery new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

“One of my favorite coaches of all-time was Coach [Ed] Orgeron, and he was an intense coach,” Williams said of the current LSU head coach, his position coach at Southern California. “I feel like that type of energy brings the best out of people.”

Still, Williams is only human. If the Jets invest a $30 million-plus guarantee in a hot-shot rookie, he’ll have to be thinking about what it means for his future.

No more belly jokes from Aaron Rodgers to Aaron Jones

Rodgers ID’d the duo as among the players who looked much improved in the physique department since he last saw his teammates more than three months ago.

“I’m excited about them,” Rodgers said. “I like to tease Aaron Jones from time to time. He’s the most athletic, fast guy with a little bit of a belly. He’s pretty lean this year. It’s fun being back with all the guys. I especially like those two guys.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Neither Jones nor Williams has been available yet to talk about their offseasons, so everyone will have to take Rodgers’ word for it. But it would have been wise on the part of the two third-year running backs to come back ready to impress the new coaching staff.

In one of LaFleur’s first interviews after he was hired in January, he made it known how important the run game will be in his plan — and his plan to restore Rodgers’ greatness.4

“I think anytime you can take as much off the quarterback as possible that only helps them out in the long run,” LaFleur said.

As Tennessee’s playcalling offensive coordinator last season, LaFleur fielded the NFL’s seventh-most prolific running game while utilizing a pair of backs: Derrick Henry (1,059 yards) and Dion Lewis (517).

While Jones led the NFL with a 5.47-yard average per rush, he missed the final two games because of a knee injury — the third MCL sprain in his two NFL seasons. The Packers were anything but committed to the run last season, when they dropped back an NFL-high 71.5 percent of their offensive snaps.

“Well, I know we want to run the ball,” Rodgers said this week. “That’s important. Everything comes off of a positive run game. They ran the ball really well last year with their guys. But the action comes off of that, the boot comes off of that, so we’re going to have to run the ball. And we have those two guys and some guys behind them who can really play as well.”cheap nfl nike jerseys china

While the Titans’ offense, which ranked 25th in the NFL overall last season, might not be the model, LaFleur’s time with Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan is. Both coaches find ways to set up the pass with the run game.

Warriors get delay of game after Young gets ring

Nick Young smiled from ear to ear when he received his championship ring for the Golden State Warriors’ 2017-18 title run in his return to Oracle Arena on Friday. But after the pregame presentation, it was his former teammates and coaches who got a chuckle.

Referee Ken Mauer assessed the Warriors a delay of game warning before tipoff for taking too long with the ceremony. Young spent extra time laughing and joking with teammates and waving to the crowd.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

“The last two years, we’ve had probably five or six of those celebrations, and it usually spills over,” Curry said. “I wish he would have just given it to Nick Young because he was taking his sweet time, for sure, as he should have. But probably more just entertainment for everybody, [Mauer] trying to get the game started. But we did take a long time, for sure.”6

Young seemed to be enjoying the moment, telling reporters before the game that he was happy to be spending time with his kids in his year away from the game. He said he would be interested in coming back to the NBA if a team on the West Coast called and he could stay close to his family.

In the meantime, Young said he has a TV show coming out soon called “Swaggy’s World.”nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Young also said he was hopeful that LeBron James would give him a call to play a role in the upcoming movie “Space Jam 2.”

“You’ve got to have Swaggy in Space Jam,” Young said. “If you want to sell tickets, you got to have me. I could give them swag once they get their powers taken. They could come to me, I could be, like, a sorcerer of swag, and I could, like, hand it out to them, give them hope”

Magic closer to ending playoff drought

The Magic are on the brink of ending the longest playoff drought in the Eastern Conference.

Orlando’s 149-113 win over Atlanta on Friday night came in the home regular-season finale for the Magic. In every year since 2012, the home finale has been the last chance for Magic fans to see their club until the following fall. This time, the Magic might be coming home for Game 3 of the East first round. With the win, they jumped from the eighth to sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Magic have won nine consecutive home games, the longest active streak in the league.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china5

“I think the fans are a big part of it, but we’re definitely playing with a lot more purpose and a lot more balance here in this last, whatever it’s been, five or six weeks,” Magic coach Steve Clifford said.

Detroit fell from sixth to eighth after losing to Oklahoma City 123-110. Brooklyn stayed in seventh (the Nets were idle). Miami stayed ninth after a 111-109 loss in Minnesota, its third straight defeat. Charlotte remained 10th with a 113-111 win over Toronto.

There are still five teams alive for the last three spots, and oddly, four of them actually control their destiny. Miami will be assured of getting in by winning its final three games. Orlando, Detroit and Brooklyn would also be in if they all win out — Orlando plays Brooklyn on Sunday, and Brooklyn plays Miami on Wednesday, the final night of the regular season.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Chris Harris Jr. could get a new deal, but it won’t be without a bumpy ride

Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. is now in territory where Von Miller, Peyton Manning and a long list of Denver Broncos players have been before: facing John Elway over money.

And Elway, the Broncos’ president of football operations/general manager, has developed a reputation as an ice-water-filled supervisor of the team’s checkbook.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

But if the negotiations with the high-profile players who came before him are any indication, it most certainly will be far from a smooth ride. So, Harris has not reported for the Broncos’ voluntary offseason program because he’d like a contract extension, and Elway has said he won’t address it until after the draft.5

“Once we get through the draft, we’ll see where we are, we’ll see where we are budget-wise,” Elway said. “Obviously, Chris has been a good football player for us for a long time. We’ll have to see where that goes. It’s something that we’d like to look at.”

And there you have the themes that have been in every major negotiation the team has had on Elway’s watch — with Broncos director of football administration Mike Sullivan — that Elway routinely says the new deal “has to make sense” and that he always says he needs to “see where we are budget-wide.”

One of the most familiar missives has been “we want to keep everybody, but there’s only so much money.”

That’s the situation as the Broncos have moved through their big-ticket business in free agency, including the trade for quarterback Joe Flacco, with his $18.5 million salary for 2019, to go with $105 million worth of contracts to tackle Ja’Wuan James and cornerbacks Kareem Jackson and Bryce Callahan.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

The Broncos, with family ownership, have always had to time their spending to when the cash came in and then when the cash went out. Even in the free-agency pursuits of Mike Shanahan to Manning’s arrival to Miller’s $114.5 million deal in the summer of 2016.