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Eagles’ Long says he’s retiring after 11 seasons

Eagles defensive end Chris Long, the reigning Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, is calling it a career after 11 seasons.

Long made the announcement Saturday night on social media, sharing a photo of a red cup in his hand and the mountains in the distance.

The Eagles released a statement congratulating Long, saying, in part, “He will always be part of the Eagles family.”

“There aren’t many players who can say they won back-to-back Super Bowls and the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award,” the Eagles said. “There’s no question that his work ethic combined with his unique talent made him into one of the greatest of this era’s professional athletes. We’re very thankful Chris chose to play for the Philadelphia Eagles.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Long, 34, spent much of the offseason weighing whether to retire or play another season. He made it clear that his role would need to be right if he were to return for a 12th NFL season.5

Long wanted ample opportunity to get after the quarterback. With Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett slated to be the Eagles’ starters and defensive tackle Malik Jackson likely to stay on the field on third down, Long’s playing time in pass-rushing situations would have been more limited than he’d like.

“It’s kind of like at the amusement park, when they click that seat belt on, the roller coaster going — you can’t get out. There’s no quitting,” Long told ESPN earlier this offseason. “Some guys might think differently, but when you’re in, you’re in, so I want to make sure I’m in. I think most players need to do that, and I’m just honest about it. Maybe some guys just aren’t telling the truth. But it’s all about the situation for me. I know I can still play. I think I played well, especially in the second half of the year this year, once I got healthy and I got more snaps, so we’ll see.”nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Selected second overall by St. Louis in the 2008 NFL draft, he spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Rams before being released in 2016 as injuries limited his production. His 6.5 sacks this past season were his most since 2013.

The son of NFL legend Howie Long, he posted 70 career sacks and 85 tackles for loss over his career.

For all of his on-field success, Long’s legacy largely will be defined by the way he used his platform to maximize his humanitarian efforts. Through his organization, Waterboys, he has helped provide more than 200,000 people with clean water in Africa, building close to 60 water wells in Tanzania.

Joaquin calls for patience after Real Betis suffer season of mediocrity

Spain’s penultimate league weekend of the season was so intense, unpredictable, tearful and joyous in almost equal measure that you may well have missed a legend doing something legendary.

Real Madrid were torn apart, humiliated ahead of their season finale against Real Betis. Barcelona wandered their way through the post-Anfield hangover but still managed to almost fatally pierce Getafe’s Champions League aspirations.

Girona crumbled to almost certain relegation despite winning at Madrid this season, drawing with Barcelona at the Camp Nou and eliminating Atletico Madrid from the Copa del Rey — a message to Eusebio and his disdain for 3-5-2: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

On the weekend when Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City were winning the title in England, why on earth wouldn’t Real Valladolid’s saviour — given that they are presided over by a guy, Ronaldo, who starred with the City coach in Bobby Robson’s Barcelona of the mid-1990s — be named Guardiola? Okay, Pep is Pep and Sergi isn’t related, but there was a hint of the universe being in harmony, a kiss from kismet.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

Diego Godin’s emotional goodbye, Abdoulaye Ba being brainless again for Rayo Vallecano, Iago Aspas paying further homage to Antonin Panenka in scoring against Athletic — then sportingly consoling keeper Iago Herrerin for leaving him with egg on his face. It was all there, a cornucopia of quality, drama, relief, embarrassment, salvation — an Iberian A to Z of La Liga’s beauty and quality.6

The legendary act? Drawing 1-1 against a side who didn’t seem to have waved the white flag, despite their descent into the inferno of Spain’s second division being confirmed some time ago, Betis were about to end their wilting season to the sound of jeers, whistles, boos and potentially the sight of restless natives with pitchforks and lanterns storming the citadel of the Benito Villamarin that night to chase coach Quique Setien out of town.

There had been eight minutes of added time on the display board held up by the fourth official. In a game for which you care with all your heart and your nails are bitten down to your knuckles, you, me, indeed everybody who loves their football team would look at eight minutes as an odyssey — a universe of time in which equalisers, winners or more goals to humiliate a beaten opposition can be scored.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Oh this occasion, eight minutes seemed to the irritable, passionate, hot-headed and long-suffering Betis support as some kind of cosmic joke at their expense. “Mas basura, mas sufrimiento y mas verguenza,” (“More rubbish, more suffering and more shame”) were the kind of sentiments that were rippling around the venerable old stadium where poor old Betis and their aficionados will have to suffer either Barcelona or Valencia lifting the Copa del Rey in a couple of weeks’ time.

Joaquin had already put Los Verdiblancos 1-0 up early in the match with the kind of header that had Marco Van Basten scored it, would have merited anthologies of poetry, portraits hung in art galleries and perhaps a statue or two created in its honour. In doing so, he’d reached 100 professional goals, and 49 for Betis — becoming the 12th-oldest scorer in La Liga history.

Boone: Andujar’s decision on surgery likely soon

New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar will make a decision on whether to undergo shoulder surgery that would likely end his season in the next 24 hours, according to manager Aaron Boone.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Andujar, 24, missed more than a month because of a labrum tear in his right shoulder. He returned from the injured list last week but managed only three hits in 34 at-bats, prompting the Yankees to send him for more tests on his shoulder.4

Andujar returned to the 10-day injured list on Monday, one day before an MRI showed no change in his shoulder from the MRI in April that revealed the tear, Boone said Tuesday.

Boone said Andujar will talk the situation over with his family and the team and make a determination on what’s next, either a return to rehab or surgery.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Apparently The Regular Season Is Irrelevant In The NHL

While the opening round of the NBA playoffs so far could have been blindly simulated, chaos is governing the ice.

Ranked dead last in early January, the St. Louis Blues completed arguably the greatest midseason U-turn in NHL history by advancing to the conference semifinals. And that’s probably just the third-most-surprising storyline of this young postseason. Tampa Bay and Calgary, the top seeds in each conference, survived less than two weeks, combining to win a single game. Never before had the President’s Trophy-winning team been swept. Never before had the top seeds both been eliminated in the opening round.

It has already seemed like “the year of the underdog” in the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs. But unlike its hardcourt brethren, the NHL is accustomed to things not going to plan in the “second season.” So how does this postseason stack up against years past? Using the archived money lines at SportsOddsHistory.com, we can decipher a team’s implied probability of advancing and use that to rank the wildest opening rounds in Stanley Cup history.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

After marauding the league during the regular season, the Tampa Bay Lightning were installed as 1-to-4 favorites going into their series with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jon Cooper’s outfit won the President’s Trophy behind 128 points and 62 regular-season wins, which tied for the most ever. Tampa was the league’s highest-scoring team by a generous margin, spearheaded by three 40-goal snipers — a feat that hadn’t been accomplished in nearly a quarter-century. Not since 2009-10 had there been a bigger favorite in a series.1 Columbus checked in at +325, which translates to a 23 percent implied probability of winning after adjusting for the cut of the bookmaker, or the vigorish.2 Tampa Bay fell apart against the new-kids-on-the-block Blue Jackets in what could be argued was the single biggest collapse in modern sport. What’s more, it was the first series win in Columbus franchise history.

CALGARY, AB - APRIL 19: Colin Wilson #22 of the Colorado Avalanche scores on the net of Mike Smith #41 of the Calgary Flames in Game Five of the Western Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome on April 19, 2019 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
CALGARY, AB – APRIL 19: Colin Wilson #22 of the Colorado Avalanche scores on the net of Mike Smith #41 of the Calgary Flames in Game Five of the Western Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome on April 19, 2019 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

“In today’s game with the parity, it’s not unusual that an eight [seed] beats a one anymore,” Cooper said after the loss. “Everybody’s that close.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

North of the border, the Calgary Flames were given a 67 percent implied probability of winning their series against the Colorado Avalanche. Bill Peters’s squad included the league’s second-best offense3 and a triumvirate of 30-goal scorers. After taking the series opener, Calgary got buried in four straight games by the Avalanche, a wild-card club with the 17th-best record in the NHL.

“Obviously we were the big underdogs,” Avs center Nathan MacKinnon said. “And no one picked us to win.”

But the pandemonium didn’t stop there. Despite not having home ice, the Pittsburgh Penguins had a 59 percent implied probability of winning their series against the New York Islanders. They were promptly swept. The Nashville Predators, which had reached at least the second round in three consecutive seasons, had a 61 percent implied probability against the Dallas Stars, but the Preds fell in just six games.

The Vegas Golden Knights, last season’s expansion surprise, were slight favorites over the San Jose Sharks despite not having home ice. But the Sharks came back from down 3-1 in the series to force a Game 7, in which they found the net four times on one power play and edged Vegas in an all-time classic. “That’s a once in a lifetime game,” Sharks center Logan Couture told The Athletic. “I don’t think my heart can take another one like that.”

‘It felt like home’: Steelers’ Al Villanueva returns to army base in Germany

Alejandro Villanueva knows how to maximize an offseason. He takes business classes at Carnegie Mellon University and spends time fishing in Florida and Canada.

Last month was all about savoring nostalgia from the fields of Kaiserslautern High School in Germany.

As an honorary football coach to military members as part of the USAA’s Salute to Service NFL Boot Camp, Villanueva returned to the place where his career as a U.S. Army Ranger began.

“As soon as I landed in Germany, it felt like it was home,” said Villanueva, who served in Afghanistan before working his way into the NFL. “Last time here (at Kaiserslautern) was with my dad getting my physical for the U.S. military.”nike nfl jerseys cheap china

The boot camp — combining communities from Kaiserslautern military and the Ramstein Air Base — gives military the chance to train like NFL players. True to Steelers form, they trained in a light coat of April snowfall.4

Villanueva wasn’t exactly a hard-charging coach, bragging over the phone that he just threw a ball 45 yards. He oversaw the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, three-cone shuttle, receiving gauntlet and quarterback arm challenge.

But this was USAA’s first boot-camp session held on an overseas U.S. military base, which made Villanueva proud.

“It’s bridging the past and present with what I’ve experienced,” Villanueva said of his trip. “To be received by the military community here is something special.“cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Villanueva is one of the most recognizable figures in the league’s relationship with the armed forces. Every season, Villanueva honors teammates with helmet decals from various Army divisions. He pairs decals with players whose personalities match the spirit of a specific division.

He hoped to teach football in Germany while converting a few Steelers fans along the way. But that was already done for him.

“People follow sports differently, but there’s a huge massive Steelers following, which is rally cool,” Villanueva said. “I’ve seen terrible towels around here.”

Bellinger misses game after separating shoulder

Cody Bellinger was not in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ lineup on Saturday, one day after he separated his shoulder against the San Diego Padres.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Bellinger said his right shoulder “popped out” before immediately popping in again as he made a diving attempt to stop a ground ball at first base. He stayed in the game and said later that the same thing happened once last year.5

Manager Dave Roberts said Friday that the Dodgers would see if there was any soreness before Saturday’s game.

Bellinger leads the majors in runs, hits, RBIs, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging, OPS and total bases.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Alex Verdugo gets the start in right field for the Dodgers on Saturday while Enrique Hernandez starts in center.

Dwayne Haskins must create own legacy, no matter what number he wears

The Washington Redskins’ two biggest additions this offseason led to celebrations, high-fives and hope. These additions also led to a big debate about the numbers they would wear for a simple reason: Both wore jersey numbers that have been taken out of circulation by the organization.

The latest flap was resolved thanks to quarterback Joe Theismann, who granted first-round pick Dwayne Haskins permission to wear the No. 7 he made famous during the early 1980s. After all, Theismann was the Redskins’ first Super Bowl-winning quarterback. He’s the all-time winningest quarterback in Washington, too. In fact, he’s the only Redskin to ever wear the number.
Earlier this offseason, the talk was about safety Landon Collins and the No. 21. It’s what Collins wore with the New York Giants — and he did so to honor someone who once played for the Redskins: Sean Taylor. But Collins won’t be wearing the No. 21 this season; instead, he’ll wear No. 20, and that’s probably a good thing. Taylor still evokes strong emotions even 11-plus years after his death.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Theismann’s number was taken out of commission by former Redskins equipment manager Jay Brunetti, now with the San Francisco 49ers. Brunetti spent 26 years with the Redskins and worked for the team during the Super Bowl runs before leaving after the 2000 season.6

There are two schools of thought: The young guys should prove themselves first rather than worrying about any brand; earn your standing. The flip side: At what point does a player’s “right” to a number end? How many do you keep out of circulation and why?

Theismann was an excellent player and continues to be a good ambassador. He was tough and respected and remains the only Redskins quarterback to play in two Super Bowls. But he wasn’t a Hall of Famer. Yet one of his blockers did make the Hall of Fame — Russ Grimm. And his number, 68, has subsequently been worn by seven players. Another ex-Hog, Joe Jacoby, has been a Hall of Fame finalist. Eight others have worn his No. 66.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Brian Mitchell, considered one of the best return men in history, won a Super Bowl and played 10 seasons with Washington. His No. 30 has been worn by eight others. Maybe the Redskins could put a patch somewhere on the jersey and include the names of the famous players who wore it in the past. Create a legacy.

Sonny Jurgensen is the only Redskin to wear the No. 9 and no one has worn No. 44 since John Riggins retired. Darrell Green’s No. 28 and Art Monk’s No. 81 also remain unused. All four are in the Hall of Fame.

The only retired Redskins number belongs to Sammy Baugh (33). Hall of Famer Charley Taylor’s 42 hasn’t been worn since he stopped playing in 1977. But, shockingly, Bobby Mitchell’s 49 was worn by one other player — a tight end named Leonard Stephens who lasted one season with Washington. If a number worn by Mitchell, the first African-American in franchise history and a Hall of Famer, can be worn, then it’s hard to keep others out of circulation.

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.

Griffin has knee surgery, will be ready for camp

Detroit Pistons star forward Blake Griffin has undergone arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

The Pistons said the procedure Wednesday was successful and addressed the issue that caused soreness in the knee across the last two weeks of the regular season and the postseason. They said Griffin is expected to be fully recovered before the start of training camp in September.cheap nfl jerseys china nike6

The 30-year-old forward mostly avoided injury this season, playing in 72 games, but he missed four of the final six regular-season games and the first two of the Pistons’ first-round playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks because of the troublesome left knee injury.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

He averaged a career-high 24.5 points per game, along with 7.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists. He also made a career-high 189 3-pointers, shooting 36 percent from beyond the arc. This is the most games he has played since he appeared in 80 in 2013-14 with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Jerry Jones knows Cowboys can’t take a second-round risk in 2019 NFL draft

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones loves winning the deal. And over the years, Jones has viewed the second round of the NFL draft as the best chance to win a deal.

Jones can point to second-round gambles — just with the players currently on the Cowboys’ roster — that have paid off perhaps more than most thought despite some issues that remain.

In 2010, the Cowboys had linebacker Sean Lee rated as a first-round pick on their draft board. They knew he had a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee that might fully tear and require surgery. With the No. 55 overall pick, the Cowboys drafted Lee, who missed his third season at Penn State with a torn ACL in his right knee. While he battled through injuries throughout his career, the left ACL did not tear until 2014.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

In 2015, the Cowboys viewed Randy Gregory as one of the best pass-rushers available in the draft. Off-field issues and a failed drug test at the NFL scouting combine kept Gregory from being selected in the first round, but the Cowboys took a chance on the defensive end with the No. 60 overall pick.5

In 2016, outside linebacker Jaylon Smith was off a number of teams’ draft boards because of a serious knee injury he suffered in the Fiesta Bowl while playing for Notre Dame. There was a risk of permanent nerve damage that could have ended Smith’s career before it even began. But one of the Cowboys’ team physicians, Dr. Daniel Cooper, performed Smith’s surgery and was confident Smith could return at his top level some day. With the No. 34 overall pick, the Cowboys chose Smith, knowing he would not play his rookie season.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Smith finished second on the Cowboys in tackles in 2018, played in 32 straight regular-season games and has the potential to be a yearly Pro Bowl pick. When healthy, Lee has been one of the Cowboys’ best defenders since the Cowboys picked him. He made the Pro Bowl in 2015 and ’16. Gregory’s issues remain and he is suspended indefinitely, but he showed he still has a chance to deliver on his pass-rush promise with six sacks last season.

If there was one commonality between those three drafts (2010, 2015 and 2016), it’s that the Cowboys had a first-round pick in each of those years, taking Dez Bryant before Lee, Byron Jones before Gregory and Ezekiel Elliott before Smith.

The Cowboys did not make a pick in Thursday’s first round because of their trade for Amari Cooper last October with the Oakland Raiders.

“I think you’re operating without a net a little bit,” Jones said when asked about making a risky second-round selection in 2019. “By not being able to have [drafted in the] first round someone you hope gives you a contribution in the first year, if you start going into the second pick with a real question mark as to this coming year’s contribution, I think logic would dictate for me slowing down a little bit there.”