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New England Patriots: Have They Improved on Defense?

The New England Patriots struggled on defense for stretches of the 2017 regular season and again in Super Bowl LII. During the regular season, New England ranked 29th in total defense, allowing an average of 366.0 yards per game.

Heading into OTAs, defense is thus the Patriots’ biggest question.

While the Patriots parted with offensive pieces like Dion Lewis, Nate Solder, Danny Amendola and Brandin Cooks this offseason, that side of the ball should be OK so long as Tom Brady is healthy and playing at his usual level. Things are less certain on defense, as the Pats lost starting corner Malcolm Butler to the Tennessee Titans.

New England spent a second-round pick on cornerback Duke Dawson and added linebackers Ja’Whaun Bentley and Christian Sam on Day 3. It also traded for cornerback Jason McCourty, added pass-rusher Adrian Clayborne and should have 2017 draft pick Derek Rivers back from injury.

To get back to the Super Bowl and have a shot at winning it, the Patriots need their new-look defense to be better than last year’s group. They’ll begin forging that unit in OTAs.

The New Orleans Saints have one of the most complete rosters in the NFL.

They have a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Drew Brees and a rushing attack that ranked fifth in the NFL last season (129.4 yards per game). The Saints also have a defense that allowed only 20.4 points per game (10th in the NFL) last season and features the reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year, Marshon Lattimore.

By trading up for former Texas-San Antonio edge-rusher Marcus Davenport, the Saints hope they now feature one of the league’s best pass-rushing duos, too.

New Orleans has a premier sack-artist in Cameron Jordan, who amassed 13.0 sacks in 2017. However, they didn’t have a high-end complement for him before Davenport. No one else on the defense logged more than 4.5 sacks last season.

If Davenport can rack up sacks as a rookie, the Saints should have one of the NFL’s best edge-rushing combos. That would improve their already rising defense and help prevent big plays like the one that ended New Orleans’ playoff hopes.

Is Davenport the missing piece of the Saints’ championship puzzle? New Orleans will start to find out in OTAs.

Miami Dophins: Can Ryan Tannehill Do Enough to Renew Their Faith?

At one point, there was no question that the Miami Dolphins considered Ryan Tannehill their franchise quarterback.

Miami gave the 2012 first-round pick a four-year, $77 million extension back in 2015, and it brought in an offensive-minded head coach in Adam Gase a year later. However, Tannehill’s inconsistent play and injury history led the Dolphins to consider selecting his replacement in this year’s draft.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

“At the end of the day, if one of those guys was there, we would have talked about it, but we just didn’t think anybody would be there,” general manager Chris Grier said, per Chris Perkins of the Sun-Sentinel.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the Dolphins did consider trading up for a quarterback, but they also told Tannehill that they were sold on him as the starter for 2018.

Tannehill missed all of 2017 with an ACL injury that dated back to December 2016. He’s going to have a long road back after the injury and after a full year away from the game.

Heading into the season, the Dolphins have to wonder whether Tannehill can perform well enough to renew their faith in him. If he doesn’t, there’s a strong chance he and Gase will both be gone after the season.

While the Vikings got a lot out of Case Keenum last season, they believed they could do better at quarterback. As a result, they inked Kirk Cousins to a three-year, $84 million deal that was fully guaranteed.

It’s now up to Cousins to prove he’s worth that kind of money, as the Vikings likely could have re-signed Keenum for around half of it.

Cousins has a bevy of weapons at his disposal, including Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph and Dalvin Cook. It’s more than what Cousins had in Washington last year, and he racked up 4,093 yards and 27 touchdowns with that group.nfl cheap jerseys nike

Integrating Cousins into the Minnesota offense won’t be a cakewalk, though. Not only is he a new member of the team, but the Vikings will be working with a new offensive coordinator in John DeFilippo.

Will Cousins be a significant upgrade over Keenum? The Vikings will start finding out during OTAs.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Los Angeles Rams: What Will the Linebacker Corps Look Like?

The Los Angeles Rams made headlines early in the offseason by adding big names in free agency and through trades. Additions such as Ndamukong Suh, Peters and Aqib Talib could boost the defense.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Here’s the problem with that assumption: Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips runs a lot of 3-4 looks, and three of last year’s four starting linebackers—Alec Ogletree, Connor Barwin and Robert Quinn—are gone. Mark Barron remains, but the Rams have to figure out who their other three starters will be.

Los Angeles added four linebackers—Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Micah Kiser, Trevon Young and Travin Howard—in the draft. It also has veterans like Cory Littleton, Ramik Wilson and Bryce Hager on the roster.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Head coach Sean McVay recently praised some of the veteran linebackers, but he also cautioned that veteran status would not guarantee a starting job.

“By no means are they ahead of anybody else,” McVay told Myles Simmons of the team’s official website. “Those guys have kind of earned the right to be the ones that are taking those first few reps and then we’ll see based on how they accelerate or how they perform.”cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

The linebacker competition in Los Angeles will go a long way toward determining whether or not the Rams improve their 28th-ranked run defense (122.4 yards per game allowed).

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Spurs can say goodbye to Wembley with Champions League mission accomplished

Mauricio Pochettino stood on the edge of his technical area, arms folded, waiting, as the clock ticked down. Just get over the line, Tottenham. That had been the order of the night. Securing Champions League football, a precious housewarming present to take back to N17 for next season, was at the forefront of everybody’s mind.

The outpouring of elation at the final whistle was all about that, all about a marker to help Tottenham in this period of seismic change for the club. Champions League qualification is always a boon, but it was especially appreciated when the news was confirmed at Wembley thanks to Chelsea hitting the brakes at Stamford Bridge because it feels like it’s about something bigger than one campaign in everybody’s favourite European competition.
Harry Kane purges Spurs of Champions League nerves with win over Newcastle
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The idea that an elite club’s ambitions live or die by the Champions League is a bit hysterical at a time when the old top four have turned into a high-ambition six who rightly enter each season thinking they ought to be a contender for a Champions League position. But Tottenham’s prospects seem tangled up in the chase more intensely than the others because of their stadium rebuild.

The what-ifs can go away for a while. What if Tottenham didn’t make the Champions League and missed out on both revenue and pull as they begin a new era in a new home? What if Daniel Levy had to consider bids for the most coveted talent mindful of the costs of debt repayment? What if Pochettino found his head could be turned now he is used to an environment where his team can make high-impact memories like beating Real Madrid or drawing at Juventus? Those what-ifs evaporated when Harry Kane found one of his accomplished finishes to decide a tensely fought game where a high-energy Newcastle caused umpteen scares.
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For some perspective, in the pre-Pochettino era Tottenham had only ever made it to the Champions League once, and at the end of the night they assured themselves a third successive season in the competition. They were desperate not to cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping  lose status that had been a long time coming.

Spurs’s form had been fluffy going into this final week of the season, with points frittered away, allowing doubts to gnaw away. Having been in a comfortable top-four position all season, the fear began to take hold. Don’t mess it up. Now is not the time. The noise of crackling urgency shuddered through the home crowd early on as Jonjo Shelvey’s thumping free-kick clipped the outside of a post. The Newcastle midfielder thrust his head in his hands. He knew it was fractions from perfection. Tottenham’s stress began to show.

Some of the twitchiness stemmed from a reorganised midfield, with Moussa Sissoko and Victor Wanyama paired to compensate for the absence of Eric Dier and Mousa Dembélé. Newcastle were boxing clever, a performance with sufficient focus to suggest nfl cheap jerseys nike this team were playing to impress for next season rather than minds wandering to the beach.

Tottenham needed to find some rhythm but it didn’t come easily. Half an hour gone a sign that they were off key came when Ben Davies received the ball, looked up to build some kind of a move and just lumped the ball forward to nobody. That was not the style Tottenham aspire to. Kane’s sureness of touch eluded him when he was in for a one-v-one. It was nervy.

Kane rediscovered his touch to unshackle Tottenham from their anxiety in the second half with one of those unerring moments of striking clarity. He sidefooted the ball with crisp curl. The team’s body language changed in that instant. nfl nike jerseys for cheap uddenly they were all calling for the ball, pointing for it, wanting it.

Tottenham will finish as the top London club for the first time in 23 years. The last time they had the capital’s bragging rights dates back to 1994‑95, when they finished seventh (just above QPR and Wimbledon), since the season Blackburn won the title. Modern Tottenham want to continue to look up. Levy has not historically used Champions League qualification as essential to the sums for the season, but there is no doubting how easy it is to get used to all this.nike nfl cheap jerseys

It was hardly a great performance but the result meant so much. Now Chelsea and Liverpool go into the final weekend of the season with fourth place on the line – Antonio Conte’s team hoping that they can up their game and that Liverpool might just be put off theirs with the Champions League final over the horizon. Tottenham can turn up on Sunday, turn out the lights and hand the keys back to Wembley without looking back.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap
Since you’re here …

… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help nike jerseys nfl cheap . The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.

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OT Ereck Flowers to Arizona Cardinals

Eli Apple isn’t the only former first-round pick who hasn’t panned out recently for the Giants.

Offensive tackle Ereck Flowers may be an even bigger disappointment. The ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft, Flowers has made 46 starts over three seasons in New York. But as Jordan Raanan reported for ESPN.com, Flowers’ effort level drew criticism last year cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale . The Giants have already passed on Flowers’ option for 2019, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and after they signed Nate Solder in the offseason, Flowers is expected to flip to right tackle this year.

That didn’t sit well with Flowers, who is skipping offseason workouts.

“It’s not that he doesn’t want to be here. … He’s just unhappy that they picked up [Solder],” teammate Landon Collins told WFAN.cheap nfl nike jersey

Like several of the players on this list, Flowers was shopped by the Giants during the 2018 draft (per Raanan) with no success.

If at first you don’t succeed…cheap nfl jerseys china nike

There are more than a few NFL teams who could use help at tackle, and the Arizona Cardinals are near the top of the list. Arizona picked up the fifth-year option on youngster D.J. Humphries, but Humphries played in just five games last year thanks to two knee injuries and has missed 30 of a possible 48 games in the NFL.

The Cardinals have more than a little cheese invested in quarterback Sam Bradford and just as much draft capital invested in rookie Josh Rosen.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Keeping them upright is probably a good idea. At this point, a Day 3 pick in 2019 is likely all it would take to make a deal happen.

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CB Eli Apple to San Francisco 49ers

New York Giants safety Landon Collins insists his public feud with young cornerback Eli Apple is a thing of the past.buy nike nfl jerseys cheap

“We talked. Definitely we talked. We’ve definitely buried the hatchet a while ago,” Collins told reporters in April. “That’s my guy, my brother. I’m always going to have his back. We knew what kind of caliber player he is. He knows what kind of caliber player I am. We’re just trying to get to work and make this season go.”

General manager Dave Gettleman made a similar comment in January when he told the New York Post’s Steve Serby the former first-round pick has a “clean slate” with the team after two disappointing years.

But if those first two NFL seasons have been any indication, the best thing for both him and the Giants might be a change of scenery.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

The San Francisco 49ers have a hole at cornerback after Dontae Johnson signed with the Seahawks. While Ahkello Witherspoon is a possibility there, the second-year pro is far from a proven commodity.nfl nike jersey cheap

Not that Apple is either, mind you. But he is a Round 1 talent. John Lynch has shown to be one of the more aggressive GMs in the NFL when it comes to improving the roster.

The biggest sticking points here? Compensation for a team that invested the 10th overall pick in Apple in 2016 and the void it would leave the Giants in the secondary.

But at some point, smart GMs know when to cut to bait on players they didn’t draft, and there are some veteran corners still available in free agency—including Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who started five games for the G-Men in 2017.cheap nike nfl jersey

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NFL Declines Cheerleaders’ Mistreatment Settlement Offer, Will Meet with Lawyers

The National Football League opted not to accept $1 settlement proposals from two former cheerleaders who filed gender-discrimination complaints against the league before Friday’s deadline.

John Branch of the New York Times reported the NFL did reach out to Sara Blackwell, an attorney for Bailey Davis and Kristan Ware, cheerleaders who previously worked for the New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins, respectively, nfl jersey factory about a potential discussion focused on improving workplace conditions.

“I’m grateful for this letter, and I do believe that this is a good-faith effort by the NFL,” Blackwell said. “There could be good things that come from it.”

League spokesperson Brian McCarthy confirmed to Branch it’s been in contact with Blackwell.

“As we said before, our office is working with the clubs in sharing best practices and employment-related processes that will support club cheerleading squads within an appropriate and supportive workplace,” he said. “The letter expressed that a conversation would be welcome regarding information or recommendations related to the teams’ policies.”nfl jersey wholesale authentic

On Wednesday, the New York Times’ Juliet Macur spotlighted alleged mistreatment of Washington Redskins cheerleaders. It included a 2013 trip to Costa Rica, where some posed for a topless photoshoot with male suite holders present. Squad members were also “picked” by male sponsors without consent to serve as escorts at a nightclub.jerseys nfl wholesale

“They weren’t putting a gun to our heads, but it was mandatory for us to go,” a cheerleader said. “We weren’t asked, we were told. Other girls were devastated because we knew exactly what [the team director] was doing.”cheap womens nfl jerseys china

Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA;  New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) warms up before playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady Floats Interesting Theory For Drop In NFL TV Ratings

New England Patriots Schedule Standings Stats Roster Live Blog Odds Tickets Tom Brady Floats Interesting Theory For Drop In NFL TV Ratings by Joshua Schrock on Sun, May 6, 2018 at 2:39PM 5,222 Share this: Share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window) Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window) Click to email (Opens in new window) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady Photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images The NFL’s TV ratings have been declining over the past two seasons, nfl china jerseys nike with many equating the drop in viewers to the decision by some NFL players to protest racial and social injustice by taking a knee during the national anthem. But don’t count Tom Brady in that crowd. The New England Patriots quarterback spoke on a variety of topics during a 60-minute interview with Jim Gray at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles this week. When the 40-year-old star was asked about the NFL’s viewership issues, he pointed the finger at the oversaturation of media in society as a problem the league faces. “There’s so much for us to consume, I mean, as we all know, there’s so much happening,” Brady said, via CBS Sports. The 2017 NFL MVP even admitted that he isn’t as locked into the league as he used to be. “nfl teams jerseys I hate to say it: I don’t follow it like I used to, because, so many other things to follow,” Brady said. “And it’s just what can grab your attention, there’s a lot more competition today than there’s ever been, I think, especially with social media, for people to consume information or to consume content.

 

The NFL has had a great product, people love watching the game and I think it’s still doing better than every other program out there, but compared to a time when there was less things to do, it doesn’t live up to those standards.” Brady also made waves during the conference with his comments about his overall happiness and when he pled the fifth when asked about Bill Belichick and cheap women nfl jerseysRobert Kraft appreciating him. It has been a drama-filled offseason for the Patriots, but Brady put some of that to rest when he told Gray he wants to play for at least two more seasons.

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Buffalo Bills: Sign OG Jahri Evans

Now that Buffalo Bills left guard Richie Incognito has apparently retired, new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll will have to replace the guy who—interesting personality aside—was an estimable power blocker and pass protector.cheap nfl jersey from china

Right now, Daboll has John Miller and Vladimir Ducasse as his starting guards. With new center Russell Bodine’s liabilities in both of those departments, the Bills will have to find a way to upgrade—especially if rookie quarterback Josh Allen is going to get serious reps.jersey nfl

Jahri Evans played well for the Green Bay Packers last season, and while he’s not the same player who used to head upfield to safety depth when he was with the Saints, he’s still a really good run-blocker who can keep defensive tackles from the quarterback.where can i get cheap nfl jerseys

Evans will be 35 years old when the 2018 season starts, but he’s said that he still wants to play, per Ryan Wood of Packers News, and he’s good enough to do it. As a player and leader for a young offense, Evans would be a fine addition.

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Chicago Bears

2018 Offensive Coordinator: Mark Helfrich

Surprised? Don’t be. It was fun to see certain rookies explode onto the scene last year, but the Chicago Bears’ Trubisky was lost in the shuffle. nfl nike jerseys cheap china

2017’s No. 2 pick looked solid over 12 games, dishing seven touchdowns and seven interceptions—while throwing to Kendall Wright, Joshua Bellamy and Dontrelle Inman.

“Who?” is the right reaction. Trubisky is franchise-quarterback material and now gets to throw to Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and second-round wideout Anthony Miller, one of the 2018 draft’s steals. Jordan Howard not only returns as the primary runner and is coming off two 1,100-plus-yard seasons, but Tarik Cohen is also one of football’s most explosive weapons and should see a bigger role. cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

Don’t forget the offensive line. Left tackle isn’t a concern thanks to Charles Leno Jr., and the Bears were stunned to see lineman James Daniels fall to them in the second round. Daniels, Cody Whitehair and Kyle Long form one of the league’s nastier interior groups.

Mark Helfrich’s arrival tops it all off. The former Chip Kelly understudy and Oregon head coach will know how to squeeze the most out of mismatch nightmares like Cohen.

2018 Offensive Coordinator: Joe Philbin

Joe Philbin returns after stints in Miami and Indianapolis and should have a huge say in how the Green Bay Packers perform offensively, even if head coach Mike McCarthy ends up calling the plays.

Aaron Rodgers is still Aaron Rodgers, health provided. He only offered a snapshot of his talent in seven games last year, throwing 16 touchdowns, six picks and snapping three consecutive seasons of 30-plus touchdown passes. nike cheap nfl jerseys

The Packers drafted defenders in the first three rounds then added a barrage of receivers with size to fill Jordy Nelson’s void. That will mesh well with new tight end Jimmy Graham, who caught 10 touchdowns a year ago.

In the backfield, the Packers seem content to roll with a committee, which features Jamaal Williams, Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones. All involved should have it easier than last year with Rodgers back.

While the Packers will have a Rodgers extension floating over their heads and face a bit of friction over quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt’s departure, Rodgers will still have them high in the offensive rankings by year’s end if he plays most of the games.  nike nfl cheap jerseys