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Sanchez, Kane, De Bruyne, Salah: Top players must have the ball to lose it

Football has always been about statistics. The concept of a top scorer, for example, has been established for decades and yet is essentially a statistical irrelevance, nfl jerseys cheap nike given it almost always has no bearing upon the destination of a league title. That example, though, proves the statistics debate is nuanced.

It’s not about whether or not you use figures, but about what you record and how you interpret the numbers. Even the now-established idea of the assist was only formally defined in the 1990s and reliable records in this area have only been available within the last decade. Advanced metrics are starting to become commonplace, but they’re increasingly misused.

An interesting case study in recent weeks has involved Alexis Sanchez. Opta figures suggest that he’s conceded possession over twice as frequently as any of his teammates — 247 times, compared to 143 by Ashley Young and 126 by Romelu Lukaku — since his switch to Manchester United, with those numbers used as an example of his failings. But while Sanchez has underperformed, these stats are largely irrelevant in terms of demonstrating why he has struggled.

The “conceded possession” concept itself is something of a hybrid, taking into account unsuccessful dribbles and passes, as well as passes played to a player in an offside position, loose touches and even foul throws. (The latter is unlikely to impact anyone’s figures significantly, with the honourable exception of Tottenham’s Serge Aurier, who managed three in one game recently!)

There’s nothing wrong with grouping these factors together but they are considerably different:nfl nike jerseys cheap Losing the ball when attempting to dribble past someone is obviously different from losing it when attempting to play a through pass. Moreover, neither necessarily implies a turnover of possession; after being tackled the ball can run to a teammate or, after an unsuccessful pass is half-intercepted, it might run to a colleague.

Trey Burton represents new vision for Bears tight ends

Shortly after Matt Nagy was named John Fox’s successor in January, the new Bears head coach joined general manager Ryan Pace for a thorough discussion about the importance of the team’s tight ends.

In Kansas City, Nagy watched Travis Kelce emerge as one of the league’s most dangerous pass-catching tight ends. A three-time Pro Bowl selection, nfl jerseys cheap nike Kelce tallied 307 receptions for 3,900 yards and 22 touchdowns over the past four regular seasons.

In Chicago last year, the Bears struggled to find any real consistency at tight end after popular veteran Zach Miller suffered a horrific knee dislocation in Week 8. Despite missing half the season, Miller still led all Chicago tight ends with 20 catches for 236 yards.

“One of the first conversations Matt and I had once everything calmed down and we were talking football was the value of this position, the value of the U tight end position in this offense,” Pace told reporters at Halas Hall last week. “And he painted that picture very clear, which is great for a scout to hear because it makes it easier to go find that person. And so Trey Burton, he just fits a lot of the qualities we’re looking for in this offense. Obviously as a receiver his ability to separate, he’s got good hands, he’s an intelligent player, and we feel like there’s a lot of upside ahead of him, and we feel like this offense can maximize that upside.”

Burton — the third tight end in Philadelphia — quickly became one of the Bears’ top priorities in free agency. After securing a commitment from wide receiver nfl nike jerseys cheap Allen Robinson (three years, $25.2 million in guaranteed money), Chicago reached an agreement with Burton for four years and $22 million in total guarantees.

Burton’s new deal represents a significant step up for a player who caught 23 passes for 248 yards and five touchdowns for the Super Bowl champion Eagles in 2017.

Tyrann Mathieu’s skill set has to intrigue Steelers

A rangy safety who can line up as a cornerback or linebacker with a mix of athleticism and physicality?

That’s the kind of hybrid weapon the modern Pittsburgh Steelers defense covets. Versatility is why they drafted Ryan Shazier and Sean Davis.cheap nike nfl jerseys china And that’s why the team should at least have a detailed conversation about free agent Tyrann Mathieu, who was released by the Arizona Cardinals on Wednesday due to a bloated salary.

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The reasons for not signing him are clear — money and injuries. Despite turning 26 in May, Mathieu has battled through two significant knee injuries and a shoulder issue. The Steelers sit at $6.512 million in cap space as of Thursday, the third-lowest clip in the league, so meeting Mathieu’s demands would be a challenge. Mathieu is used to making $10 million per year, which should be his market. The Steelers barely have enough cushion to sign a rookie class.

But since signing a former Pro Bowl defensive back fresh off a release worked out well last summer with Joe Haden, maybe the Steelers employ a similar strategy. Haden carries a $11.916 million cap number and the Steelers don’t seem to care much because he’s their best player in the secondary. Haden is one of five Steelers with a cap hit of more than $10 million, which has them in cost-cutting mode this time of year, but no move is impossible. The Steelers did just make $26 million of space disappear with four contract restructures since February.

Point is, if the Steelers really wanted to make a run at a wrecking-ball safety in free agency,nfl nike jersey cheap they can make it happen. They passed on the top inside linebackers at $5-9 million per year, but only the elite linebackers can swiftly cover the pass as well as the run, which is crucial in today’s NFL. Mathieu can do both.

Steelers teammates have nudged Mathieu on social media, with Haden teasing a phone call to the Honey Badger. Recruiting won’t be enough to move the Steelers into a deal. And all signs point to bargain-shopping once again.

Why AJ McCarron should not be compared to Tyrod Taylor

The Buffalo Bills swapped quarterbacks Wednesday, officially trading Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns and signing AJ McCarron to a two-year contract.

Comparing the two quarterbacks’ performances this season would not give a complete picture of what the deals mean to Buffalo. The question is not whether the Bills upgraded from Taylor to McCarron in 2018. cheap nfl jerseys china nike The more appropriate comparison is whether Taylor would have been a better long-term option for the Bills than whomever the franchise drafts in April and whether Buffalo would have been better off keeping the No. 10 pick in the 2017 draft and selecting Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes.

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The Buffalo Bills swapped quarterbacks Wednesday, officially trading Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns and signing AJ McCarron to a two-year contract.

Comparing the two quarterbacks’ performances this season would not give a complete picture of what the deals mean to Buffalo. The question is not whether the Bills upgraded from Taylor to McCarron in 2018.nfl cheap jerseys nike The more appropriate comparison is whether Taylor would have been a better long-term option for the Bills than whomever the franchise drafts in April and whether Buffalo would have been better off keeping the No. 10 pick in the 2017 draft and selecting Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes.

49ers wanted to trade for Talib, he said he wouldn’t go to San Francisco

The Broncos agreed to trade cornerback Aqib Talib nfl authentic jerseys to the Rams last week, but not before trying to trade him to the 49ers.

Denver had agreed to ship Talib to San Francisco but it was called off when he rejected the trade, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Talib really couldn’t have rejected the trade —nfl jersey for cheap  he doesn’t have a no-trade clause in his contract — but he could have made it difficult for the 49ers by threatening to refuse to show up to work, 879748244-e1511901085423

perhaps holding out all the way through the preseason only to show up to start collecting paychecks when the nfl jerseys cheap authentic  regular season began. The 49ers may have sought an assurance from Talib that he would be a happy camper in San Francisco, and when he wasn’t inclined to give that assurance, the 49ers decided to move on.

For the 49ers, moving on meant signing cornerback Richard Sherman instead. Sherman’s contract with the 49ers is actually a more team-friendly deal than Talib’s because much of Sherman’s pay is wrapped up in playing and playing well, with per-game roster bonuses and a Pro Bowl incentive bonus. Talib gets an $11 million base salary this year even if he plays poorly custom nfl jerseys cheap  or gets hurt and doesn’t play at all. So the 49ers are probably happy in hindsight to have Sherman for a better price,custom nfl jerseys  and not have to give up any draft picks to acquire him.

The Rams ended up agreeing with the Broncos on the Talib trade, and he apparently said he’s willing to go to Los Angeles.