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15-11: Japan, Portugal, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland

15. Japan

Japan became many supporters’ second team. They played good, fast, technical football with smiles on their faces, and Takashi Inui and Gaku Shibasaki stood out in midfield for all the right reasons.

They almost pulled off what would have been one of the shocks of the tournament but surrendered a two-goal lead to Belgium. Considering the cloudy circumstances that accompanied their arrival in Russia (they sacked their manager in April), you can’t sniff at what the Samurai Blue achieved.

14. Portugal

From a team-wide perspective, Portugal’s performances weren’t good. Cristiano Ronaldo dragged them through the thriller with Spain, and in the next three games only William Carvalho and Pepe impressed regularly.nike jersey nfl cheap

An inability to construct passing moves and poor form from the likes of Raphael Guerreiro and Bernardo Silva contributed to a round-of-16 exit.

13. Denmark

For Denmark to progress any further than they did—the round of 16—they needed Christian Eriksen to have a world-class game in every game. A solid defence can only get you so far if your offensive output is lacking; they only scored three goals in four games, not one of them coming from a striker.cheap youth nfl jerseys

12. Spain

Those suggesting Julen Lopetegui’s departure the day before the tournament began would not impact Spain, that they were simply a self-aware, footballing machine, were proved wrong. Stand-in coach Fernando Hierro looked lost on the touchline as his side passed itself to death then lost on penalties to Russia.youth nfl jerseys cheap

11. Switzerland

Switzerland emerged as a side who had the mettle and the qualities to upset good sides, but when tasked with playing against teams they were supposed to beat, to dominate, they came up short.

Their elimination at the hands of Sweden came as a surprise to many, but they displayed their limitations in possession and in attack.youth nfl jerseys

Pairing Tyreke Evans with Victor Oladipo

Tyreke Evans only has one season of pure, unadulterated excellence in recent years. Perhaps that’s why the basketball-watching world has been so hesitant to view him as a player capable of making an All-Star impact going forward,nfl nike jerseys for cheap  just as he did during his lone go-round with the Memphis Grizzlies.

But Evans really was that good on Beale Street. nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

He finished with the league’s No. 26 score in ESPN.com’s RPM. Only 34 players wound up earning superior marks in NBA Math’s TPA, though that number would’ve grown smaller still if he’d remained healthy throughout the year (or maybe not been shut down in a fit of caution by a team with no incentive to win games in the second half of 2017-18). Memphis even outscored its opponents by an additional 11.5 points per 100 possessions when he was on the floor.

Why should we expect a drop-off now that he’s teaming up with Victor Oladipo to lead the Indiana Pacers to an even loftier seed in the Eastern Conference?

The answer is simple: We shouldn’t. nike nfl cheap jerseys

Evans is only 28 years old with a game just now blossoming. Benefited by newfound consistency from beyond the rainbow (43.8 percent with the Sacramento Kings in 2016-17 and 39.9 percent with even more volume for the Grizz),nike cheap nfl jerseys  he’s keeping defenders off balance before picking them apart with pull-up jumpers and physical drives to the hoop. nike jerseys nfl cheap

Wings already had trouble against Oladipo. Now, offense can come from more directions for a team that could have spacing at all five positions with the right lineup combinations.

Remember, Evans’ breakout occurred while Mike Conley was hurt and Marc Gasol was playing like Father Time had taken hold of his career. Given the confidence he built as a primary option and the superiority of the Indiana running mates, cheap official nike nfl jerseyswe could see further improvements rather than regression back to his prior level.

American League East

Baltimore Orioles: SS Manny Machado

Do we need to say a whole lot?

The Orioles are in last place in the American League East, buried…let’s check…a billion games out of first place (give or take). Manny Machado is an impending free agent and one of the best players in baseball. The writing is scribbled on the wall.

Will Machado go to the Dodgers, Yankees, Cardinals, Chicago Cubs or some other suitor? It’ll be among July’s biggest stories.

Will he remain an Oriole as the calendar turns to August? That’s as close to a hard “no” as you’re going to get.authentic nfl jerseys

Boston Red Sox: RHP Tanner Houck

With third baseman Michael Chavis serv wholesale nfl jerseys ing an 80-game performance-enhancing drugs suspension and right-hander Jay Groome sidelined by Tommy John surgery, the Boston Red Sox’s farm system is diminished.

At the same time, the Sox are locked into a prize fight with the archrival Yankees in the AL East and may need to boost their bullpen or otherwise add reinforcements at the deadline.

If Boston wants to get bold, it could deal right-hander Tanner Houck. The 24th overall pick in the 2017 draft, Houck has the stuff to be a mid-rotation fixture or late-innings stud and could net the Red Sox a game-changing acquisition such as Britton, nfl jerseys wholesale who was linked to the Sox by Fancred’s Jon Heyman.

New York Yankees: OF Clint Frazier nfl jerseys china

The Yankees could use pitching in a starting rotation that lost Jordan Montgomery to Tommy John surgery, got Masahiro Tanaka back Tuesday from a pair of hamstring strains and is counting on Sonny Gray and his 5.85 ERA.nfl jerseys from china

New York will almost inevitably make a play for a top-shelf starter such as Hamels as it tries to keep contact with Boston and angle for a 28th world championship.

Clint Frazier could be a piece of the future in the Bronx in a crowded outfield depth chart, but he might also headline a package for an arm after posting a .958 OPS in High-A and Triple-A and tasting the big leagues for a second consecutive season in 2018.nfl authentic jerseys

Tampa Bay Rays: LHP Blake Snell

The Rays are perennially retooling and surely accept reality as they gaze up at the Yankees and Red Sox.nfl authentic jerseys cheap

They also have Blake Snell, whose 2.09 ERA leads the AL and who would immediately improve any contender with his 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

The 25-year-old isn’t eligible for free agency until 2022, so keep your eyes peeled for a gargantuan prospect payday if he’s traded.

Toronto Blue Jays: LHP J.A. Happ

As mentioned, Happ could reunite with the Mariners. He could also join the Yankees or land in any number of alternate destinations.

Happ’s 4.44 ERA through 18 starts isn’t overly impressive, but he’s struck out 115 in 105.1 innings and has logged a 3.72 ERA in 19.1 playoff innings.

He could likely be had for a package that doesn’t involve any blue chips and boasts the pedigree and recent performance to inspire a degree of confidence.

Sounds like the definition of a deadline rental.nfl jersey wholesale

Cincinnati Bengals

Key assistants: Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, offensive line coach Frank Pollack

Lewis is a respected defensive mind whose defenses have almost always been strong in Cincinnati, and he deserves credit for getting to the playoffs in seven of his 15 seasons as the Bengals’ head coach. However, he’s failed to win a playoff game in a decade-and-a-half there, and he’s won just 13 total games the last two seasons with a talented team. nike jersey nfl cheap

Among six head coaches who have been in their current roles at least 10 years, Lewis is the only one without a Super Bowl victory, let alone a playoff win.

At Head Coach Ranking, only Jackson ranked lower in terms of clock management, while only Jackson, Chuck Pagano and Steve Spagnuolo ranked lower when it came to in-game adjustments.

Lazor’s offense performed terribly last season and didn’t fare much better when he held the same title in Miami. There are high expectations for Austin, but he didn’t exactly put together championship defenses in Detroit. cheap youth nfl jerseys

They do get a little credit for recently stealing the well-reputed Pollack from the Cowboys, but that doesn’t make this a good staff.

Head coach: Adam Gase (16-16)youth nfl jerseys cheap

Key assistants: Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, defensive coordinator Matt Burke

Gase’s offenses performed exceptionally well in Denver, but that was with Peyton Manning under center.
And the Bears ranked in the bottom dozen in terms of scoring and yardage during his only season there. He does deserve some love for getting a strong run out of quarterback Ryan Tannehill before injuries cost the veteran the end of his 2016 campaign and all of 2017, but the Miami offense still ranked poorly both seasons.youth nfl jerseys

In terms of game-planning, only Joseph fared worse at Head Coach Ranking.

The 37-year-old Loggains might be considered a bit of an up-and-comer, but he didn’t deliver in two seasons as Chicago’s offensive coordinator, and the jury is still out on Burke after his first season running things on the other side of the ball.

There’s at least room for this staff to grow, but it’s hard to get too fired up about any of the primary coaches in Miami.

Head coach: Jon Gruden (95-81)

Key assistants: Offensive coordinator Greg Olson, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, offensive line coach Tom Cable

This is a tricky one because Gruden has been out of football so long. He still deserves some credit for winning a Super Bowl 16 years ago, but let’s keep in mind that he went 45-51 while failing to win another playoff game during the six seasons that followed that championship campaign.

Has the game passed him by? It’s a fair question to ask, especially considering some of the odd moves he’s made this offseason.

Olson is a retread who hasn’t run a high-ranking offense since he was in St. Louis in 2006, and Cable didn’t do much to fix the Seahawks’ offensive line, but at least Guenther joins the fray with a strong resume from his time in Cincinnati.

There’s a lot of hype surrounding this staff, but it might be tremendously overrated.

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Jabari Parker, Milwaukee Bucks

Age: 23

2017-18 Per-Game Stats: 12.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.8 steals, 48.2 percent shooting, 38.3 percent shooting

Advanced Stats: 17.1 PER, s-26.83 TPA, minus-2.89 RPM

Contract Details: $4.3 million qualifying offer (restricted free agent)

Giannis Antetokounmpo definitely disagrees with this Jabari Parker drop.

“Jabari ain’t going nowhere,” he said, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Matt Velazquez. “He’s going to be here and he’s going to be ready for next season.”

Will he really, though?where can i buy nfl jerseys cheap

Almost half of Parker’s career thus far has been lost to two ACL injuries. Signing him to a long-term deal would be a huge risk—particularly when he’s such an iffy fit beside Antetokounmpo. Check out the Milwaukee Bucks’ net rating with both players on the court these past few years:

2014-15 (417 minutes): -5.7
2015-16 (1,785 minutes): -1.0
2016-17 (1,207 minutes): -1.7
2017-18 (335 minutes): -6.3

Milwaukee should eventually survive on offense during Antetokounmpo-Parker minutes. But the defense is only going to get worse. Antetokounmpo is best served at the 4—aka Parker’s only position. Slotting him at the 3 is pleading for disaster, and he’ll get destroyed at the 5 unless he improves his roving rim protection.

Funneling money into a player who doesn’t complement your top star is franchise malpractice. Especially when your cap sheet is so complicated. The Bucks don’t have to worry about the luxury tax this season, but it becomes a major concern next summer when Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon (restricted) and Khris Middleton (player option) hit the open market.

Signing and trading Parker has to be on the table. It should save the Bucks money and ensures they’re not losing him for nothing. Yes, these transactions are rare. But they’re due for a comeback. At least two-thirds of the league won’t have money to spend this summer. Sign-and-trades expand that list of landing spots to include teams without space.

Would the Utah Jazz consider a dual sign-and-trade for Derrick Favors? What about the Clippers with DeAndre Jordan? Might the Miami Heat consider a package built around Justise Winslow and Hassan Whiteside?

Whatever’s out there, the Bucks should take it upon themselves to find out.

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Trent Brown, OT, New England Patriots

Less than a year ago, Denver Broncos pass-rusher extraordinaire Von Miller told ESPN.com’s Nick Wagoner that Trent Brown was the best right tackle in the NFL:

“I’ve said it before, he’s a great tackle. discount nfl jerseys He is the best right tackle in the National Football League, if not a top-five offensive tackle, period. So going against Trent Brown and Joe Staley, they have two of the best tackles. Trent Brown is one of the best in the National Football League, and Joe Staley has been one of the best for a long time.”

The San Francisco 49ers apparently did not share this assessment. During April’s draft, they shipped Brown (along with a fifth-round pick) to the New England Patriots for a third-rounder.

It wasn’t much of a haul for a player who started 26 games over the last two years. But a shoulder injury cut short Brown’s 2017 season, and weight has long been an issue for the 6’8″, 355-pounder.nfl discount jerseys

Now Brown is heading into the last year of his rookie deal on a new team and potentially about to switch positions. With Marcus Cannon seemingly entrenched at right tackle, Brown will compete with LaAdrian Waddle (and perhaps first-round rookie Isaiah Wynn) for one of the most important line spots—protecting the blind side of Tom Brady.

If the 25-year-old big man can show the versatility to play both tackle spots and prove that he’s healthy? Quality free-agent tackles get paid.nfl jerseys discount

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Terrelle Pryor, WR, New York Jets

It wasn’t long ago that Terrelle Pryor Sr. appeared to be headed for a big payday. The 28-year-old converted quarterback hit free agency in 2017 fresh off a 77-catch, 1,007-yard season with the Cleveland Browns.where to buy nfl jerseys cheap

Even after Pryor settled for a one-year, $6 million prove-it deal with the Washington Redskins, his career seemed like it was trending up. He just had to back up that breakout season, and some team would fill up the Brink’s truck.

Instead, the truck ran over Pryor.where to buy cheap nfl jerseys

Everything that could go wrong in Washington, D.C., did. Pryor didn’t fit well into the Washington offense, and he battled injuries and fell out of favor with coaches. By season’s end, he had caught all of 20 passes for 240 yards.

That miserable season “earned” Pryor another one-year deal for significantly less money ($4.5 million)—this time with the Jets. At this point, Pryor is in make-or-break mode. The upcoming campaign could be his last, best chance to demonstrate that 2016 wasn’t a fluke.buy cheap nfl jerseys

Unfortunately, things aren’t off to the best start. Per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Pryor sat out the first part of OTAs while recovering from another ankle injury.

He’s not going to create any separation on the sidelines as part of a crowded depth chart.where can i buy nfl jerseys cheap

At least none in the direction he wants.

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Chris Long Rips NFL’s New Anthem Rules: ‘This Is Not Patriotism’

The NFL announced a new policy for the national anthem Wednesday, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, and Eagles defensive end Chris Long is among those who disagree with the rule changes.

The veteran discussed his thoughts on Twitter Wednesday:

The measure was unanimously adopted, cheap nike nfl jerseys from china according to Rapoport, although San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York said he abstained from the vote, per Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times.cheap official nike nfl jerseys

As Long mentioned, the decision seems designed to appease President Donald Trump, who railed against the NFL last season for not forcing players to stand for the anthem.

Long has been an outspoken opponent of the president over the past few years. After winning Super Bowl 51 with the New England Patriots, he refused to visit the White House. He is likewise preparing not to go to the White House again this year despite winning the Super Bowl with the Eagles.

Last season, Long donated his entire base salary to various educational charities.

While NFL owners are seemingly nfl cheap nike jerseys pleased with the changes regarding the anthem, Long is clearly among the players who don’t think the new policy is fair.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

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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.

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Jay Ajayi, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

After being traded from the Miami Dolphins midseason, Jay Ajayi led the Philadelphia Eagles with 128 touches from November through the playoffs. And he did not play the team’s final regular season game.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

Ajayi’s touches over that span dwarfed Corey Clement’s 62 and Wendell Smallwood’s 12, the other top returning backs on the team. After months of running backs like LSU’s Derrius Guice being mocked to Philadelphia with the 32nd overall pick, the team eventually traded out of the final pick in the first round with the help of the Baltimore Ravens and secured tight end Dallas Goedert of South Dakota State in the second round.nike jerseys nfl cheap

Ajayi has the second-highest yards per carry on positive attempts among rushers with at least 200 carries over the last two years, and he is finally in a high-volume situation where his breakaway style of running can overwhelm teams behind a strong offensive line. After LeGarrette Blount signed with the Detroit Lions, the Eagles backfield should revolve around Ajayi moving forward.

Last September, Alex Collins was a waived former fifth-round pick. While he did post over 1,000 yards from scrimmage in 2017, running backs with his background come and go often. There’s a reason why only two running backs cheap nike nfl jerseys from china (LeSean McCoy and Devonta Freeman) are playing under significant veteran contracts in the NFL: Turnover is massive in the league at the position.

There’s no doubt that Collins met or surpassed everyone’s expectations last season, but history is littered with backs who were able to do it for one year and then were immediately replaced by a top-100 pick. After the Baltimore Ravens chose to not select one of the running backs in this class, the only significant backs on Baltimore’s roster behind Collins are Javorius “Buck” Allen and Kenneth Dixon.cheap official nike nfl jerseys

Allen started six games in 2015 but hasn’t started a single game in the last two seasons. Dixon has just 544 total yards over his two NFL seasons. Collins may have to prove himself and re-earn a starting role every offseason for the rest of his career, but his path to playing time on the 2018 Ravens should be a brisk walk.