American League Central

Chicago White Sox: RHP James Shields

The Chicago White Sox are clearly a year or more away from contention in the American League Central, despite their stable of young talent. They employ the 36-year-old James Shields, a useful pitcher for a contender but a disposable asset for a rebuilding squad.nfl online store

The ChiSox won’t be able to command a king’s ransom for Shields, who owns a 4.53 ERA. The veteran posted a 3.38 ERA in May and a 3.82 ERA in June, however, and has extensive postseason experience with the Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals.

Chicago won’t net any blue chips for Shields, but a contender looking for back-of-the-rotation buttressing will answer the phone.

Cleveland Indians: 3B Nolan Jones

The Cleveland Indians ought to run away with the AL Central without any additions. At the same time, they could add to a bullpen that ranks 28th in baseball with a 5.13 ERA.

Enter a move for the Padres’ Hand, the Baltimore Orioles’ Zach Britton or any number of other late-innings arms.

The Tribe should resist dealing catcher and top prospect Francisco Mejia or right-hander Triston McKenzie but could leverage Singe-A third baseman Nolan Jones to strengthen a squad that hasn’t hoisted a Commissioner’s Trophy since 1948.

Detroit Tigers: SS Jose Iglesias

The Detroit Tigers are in unambiguous rebuild mode even after a decent start. Shortstop Jose Iglesias is a pending free agent who’s hitting .272 and would be a solid role player for multiple buyers.

The 28-year-old won’t light the world on fire, but he hit .304 in June and could add depth for clubs such as the Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks and St. Louis Cardinals.

Kansas City Royals: 3B Mike Moustakas nike nfl store

The last-place Royals have already traded outfielder Jon Jay to the Diamondbacks and swapped reliever Kelvin Herrera to the Washington Nationals.

Next up could be third baseman Mike Moustakas, who has 17 home runs in 86 games and could interest contenders from the Atlanta Braves to the Cardinals with his combination of pop and postseason experience.

The 29-year-old would also be a minimal obligation with a $15 million mutual option and $1 million buyout left on his contract.wholesale nfl

Minnesota Twins: 2B Brian Dozier authentic nfl football

The Minnesota Twins lost 103 games in 2016 and won the American League’s second wild-card berth in 2017. This year, they’re stuck somewhere in the middle.

Yes, Minnesota could contend in the anything-goes AL Central, but more realistically, the small-market Twins should stock up for next season.

As such, they could move second baseman Brian Dozier, who’s hitting only .223 but boasts 18 doubles and 13 home runs and has drawn interest from the Dodgers, per Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan.

Dozier would be a rental, but his power pedigree from the middle infield will elicit a look-see from virtually every contender.nfl store online

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.

Should NFL Teams Finally Give Up on Jay Cutler?

On April 27, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported veteran quarterback Jay Cutler was likely to retire. It was an expected outcome given Cutler’s mediocre results in 2016 and 2017. But as has happened with many quarterbacks wavering between retirement and continuing their careers, it appears Cutler may not be done.

In a conversation posted July 2 with his wife, reality television personality Kristin Cavallari, Cutler said he can’t be sure he’s 100 percent done and that he wouldn’t know until September. That would imply he could return to the NFL as an injury replacement.wholesale jerseys nfl

If Cutler does come back, he’ll probably want to come back as a starter, and that’s where things get complicated. He retired after the 2016 season, his last with the Chicago Bears, to start a career in broadcasting. But when Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill was lost for the 2017 season to an August knee re-injury, the appeal of working with head coach Adam Gase—who had helped Cutler to a career year in Chicago in 2015—was too great to turn down. china jerseys nfl

Cutler was at his best when Gase kept him straight, both in a mechanical sense and by outlining how he needs to read defenses. Gase seemed to have an intrinsic sense of how best to deal with the downsides of Cutler’s skill set.cheap china nfl jerseys

Though he has one of the best arms of his generation and he’s more mobile than he’s given credit for being, Cutler has two major issues that have stood in the way of his development. First, he’s what you call a “see it and throw it” quarterback—he doesn’t throw with anticipation consistently. That means his play-designers need to adapt by focusing on route concepts that result in easy openings for receivers. Otherwise, Cutler will throw the ball into coverage in ways you’d expect a rookie quarterback to get chewed out for.real nfl jerseys for cheap

Cutler’s second issue is he has a supreme belief in his arm and his ability to make throws other quarterbacks can’t. While he’s proved to be correct occasionally, that’s also kept him from dealing with the mechanical issues he needs to fix to throw with consistent placement and velocity. Throughout his career, Cutler has thrown far too many passes flat-footed when he should have driven the ball with his lower body. He also tends to throw with touch with a motion similar to a fadeaway jumper in basketball, which increases the margin for error on such throws, especially in the red zone.

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Darius Slay, Detroit Lions

While most shutdown cornerbacks have a short shelf life due to the demands of the position, there are exceptions to every rule.

Aqib Talib, who’s coming into his 11th NFL season,nfl jersey for kids  can still bring it against receivers who were in grade school when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took him in the first round of the 2008 draft.

It took a while for Talib to match his discipline and football acumen to his athleticism, but once he did, he became nearly impossible for any receiver to beat on a regular basis. Though he was tasked to play off the ball more last season—which goes against his physical, press-coverage style—he still allowed only 250 receiving yards, per Monson. He also hasn’t allowed a catch longer than 32 yards over the last two seasons, according to Monson.nfl kid jerseys

Talib is as aggressive as they come at the cornerback position, but he’s learned to offset the potential dangers that come with that aggression. He’s become a technician who can mirror receivers and jump routes with precision.nfl jerseys for kids on sale

After the Broncos traded him to the Rams in March, Talib now once again has a defensive coordinator in Wade Phillips who will deploy him in ways that best suit his talents. Phillips wants his cornerbacks challenging receivers physically all the way through the route, and no one in the league does that better than Talib.
Of everyone featured here, Darius Slay is likely talked about the least.

He tied with Titans safety Kevin Byard for the league lead in interceptions last season (eight), but there doesn’t seem to be much talk about his rightful status among the NFL’s best cornerbacks. He also had an incredible 26 passes defensed in 2017.nfl kids jersey

A second-round pick out of Mississippi State in 2013, Slay amassed two picks per season every year from 2014 through 2016, but that doesn’t mean he’s only coming around now. Slay was just as good in 2016 in coverage, but he didn’t have the same number of interception opportunities.

When you watch Slay’s tape—especially if you watch a reel of his interceptions—you’ll see a player with an uncanny knack for when a quarterback doesn’t have the velocity to make the throw he’s attempting, or when a receiver is about to make a turn for a catch in his route. He’s especially good at playing bail coverage, which allows him to keep his eye on the quarterback as he’s trailing a receiver down the boundary.kids jerseys nfl

It’s hard to play off the ball as much as Slay does and still be a shutdown cornerback—by definition, off-the-ball defenders are going to give up easy catches underneath. But when it counts, Slay has the timing, quickness and physicality to erase big plays on a consistent basis. kids nfl football jerseys

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Houston Texans: Watson Back at It

If there’s one thing fans of the Houston Texans most wanted to see as OTAs got underway, it was the return of a certain player to the practice field.

That player wasn’t even J.J. Watt, as much as they all love them some No. 99.nfl clothing for kids

No, the biggest storyline in OTAs for the Texans was easily the return of quarterback Deshaun Watson, who saw his breakout rookie season cut short last year by a torn ACL.

Watson wasn’t a full participant in practice, but according to Herbie Teope of NFL.com, he did take part in individual and 7-and-7 drills.

“My knee feels well,” Watson told reporters. nfl clothing for women “I’m comfortable to be able to go out there and throw and do some things on air and get the timing down with the receivers.”

Watson did go on to caution that there’s no definitive timetable for the training wheels coming off. “There’s really no timeline on ACLs,” Watson said. “It just depends on how that person feels.”

Still, any step in the right direction for Watson is a welcome sight and then some.

The good news for the Indianapolis Colts is that Andrew Luck is in much better shape from all indications than he was at this point a year ago.

The bad news is that Luck still isn’t doing what earned him a $130 million contract extension from a team—throwing a football.

As a matter of fact, as Zak Keefer reported for nfl clothing for men  the Indy Star, Luck may not begin throwing a full-sized ball until after veteran minicamp concludes later in June.

However, head coach Frank Reich continues to insist he isn’t concerned about the Week 1 status of his star quarterback.

“I’m not worried at all,” he said. “I’m completely comfortable with him throwing when he’s ready, when the doctors say he’s ready. I’ve been around long enough time, he’s been around the league a little bit, he’s totally engaged in every aspect of what we’re doing mentally, the physical part for a guy like him, now you gotta work at it, but I’m not worried about that. I’m comfortable with the process in place.”cheap nfl clothing

For his part, Luck said he’s trying to avoid repeating the missteps from his lost season in 2017.

“I don’t want to repeat those, maybe, missteps,” Luck said. “Some things just take time, and I’ve learned that. And when I do get the urge to do something a little silly, I talk to myself and say, ‘It’s not worth it right now.'”nfl clothing store

The Colts can parrot the “nothing to worry about”wholesale nfl nike jerseys  line until the cows come home, but until Luck is on the field throwing passes, fans of the team are going to do just that—worry.

A lot.

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Winnipeg Jets vs. Vegas Golden Knights: Game 4 Odds, Analysis, NHL Betting Pick

The Vegas Golden Knights will look to take a commanding 3-1 lead and move to one win away from making it to the Stanley Cup Final on Friday, when they host the Winnipeg Jets in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final as small home favorites at the sportsbooks.

The Golden Knights are coming off a 4-2 victory in Game 3 on Wednesday behind 33 saves from goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

NHL betting line: The Golden Knights opened as -121 favorites (wager $121 to win $100); the total is at 5.5 goals, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. Line updates and matchup report.

NHL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 3.3-2.3, Golden Knights. NHL picks on every game.

Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes nike jerseys nfl cheap or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news.

Why the Jets Can Pay on the NHL Lines

The Jets surrendered a goal to Jonathan Marchessault in the first minute of Game 3 but otherwise outplayed their opponent before giving up an empty-netter to him with three seconds remaining. Marchessault now has four goals in the past two games, cheap nike nfl jerseys from china and holding him in check would definitely help turn the tables and even the series.

Winnipeg outshot Vegas 32-20 in the last two periods Wednesday, with Mark Scheifele scoring two goals himself and getting a couple more quality chances late that could have tied the game had one of them gotten past Fleury. Scheifele leads all players in the postseason with 14 goals, with an NHL playoff-record 11 coming on the road.

Why the Golden Knights Can Pay on the NHL Lines cheap official nike nfl jerseys

As long as Fleury can continue his stellar play, the Golden Knights will remain a serious threat to hoist the Stanley Cup in their inaugural season. The netminder was simply outstanding again in Game 3 and has bounced back nicely from a shaky first period in Game 1 to begin the Western Conference Final.

Baltimore Ravens

When center Ryan Jensen signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last month, the Baltimore Ravens lost a solid offensive lineman in free agency for the third time in as many years. That’ll take a toll on a team that still lacks weapons and support for veteran quarterback Joe Flacco. nfl cheap jerseys nike

Of course, Flacco has his own problems. The 33-year-old has posted a sub-85 passer rating in three consecutive seasons, and he averaged an NFL-low 5.7 yards per attempt in 2017. The Ravens offense produced fewer 20-yard plays (37) than anyone else in football,nfl nike jerseys for cheap and March acquisitions Michael Crabtree and John Brown won’t change that.

Baltimore keeps hanging around because a strong defense led by C.J. Mosley, Eric Weddle and Terrell Suggs remains one of the best in football, but Weddle (33) and Suggs (35) are getting pretty old. The Ravens are probably going to get worse before they get better. 81cad0a7cf5d4005e29053ad73e61998_crop_exact
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The Detroit Lions approached free agency like a team that would be satisfied with a third consecutive 9-7 season in 2018. In with DeShawn Shead, out with D.J. Hayden. In with Devon Kennard, out with Tahir Whitehead. In with Luke Willson, out with Eric Ebron.

Meh.

In the Lions’ defense, they didn’t have much money to spend on the open market. They essentially put all of their eggs in Matthew Stafford’s basket years ago, but they’re too reliant on their hot-and-cold 30-year-old quarterback.
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Stafford is coming off the best season of his career and could be even better in 2018, while a defense led by stars Ezekiel Ansah and Darius Slay has a high ceiling if youngsters Jarrad Davis and Teez Tabor can improve as sophomores. But the Lions still lack the weapons nike cheap nfl jerseys  and depth required to keep up with Minnesota in the NFC North.

The Dynasty That Never Was? NBA Rivals See Cracks in Warriors’ Armor

Remember when the Golden State Warriors were destined to rule the NBA for the foreseeable future and win, to borrow a phrase, “not five, not six, not seven…” championships?

Ahh, such good times.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Forgive the past tense on that, uh, golden visage, but the injury machete that has lopped off the Warriors’ four All-Stars—Steph Curry (sprained knee), Kevin Durant (cracked ribs), Klay Thompson (fractured thumb) and Draymond Green (sore shoulder, china nike nfl jerseys cheap contused pelvis)—has opposing coaches and executives revising their projections for just how long the franchise’s current run of three NBA Finals’ appearances will go. While the majority still consider them the favorite to repeat as champions and win their third title in four years this year, they all included a big if—as in if they’re healthy, including their two-time league MVP, Curry.hi-res-d21a62f6fb7a4198fdadbe78cbcc52a1_crop_north

“This may be the edge Houston needs,” one Western Conference scout said. “If [Curry] is not 100 percent, I mean.”cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

While Durant and Green returned Thursday night, and Thompson is expected back sometime in the next week or so, the length of Curry’s absence has yet to be determined—and considering how he wasn’t quite the same two years ago when he resumed playing after a less severely sprained knee ligament, it’s fair to question if he can come anywhere close to that 100 percent mark this spring.

“I would still favor Golden State, but their depth will be challenged,”cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping  said an Eastern Conference executive with a championship on his resume. “I don’t care what era you’re talking about, it requires a certain amount of luck when it comes to health. They’ve had that over the last few years. The law of averages has reared its head a little right now.”

As for how long they will remain the team to beat moving forward, the same executive believes what we’ve seen this season—stretches of indifferent effort along with the injuries—indicates they are beginning their inexorable slide, at least as presently constituted.nfl cheap jerseys nike If they manage to snare another championship this season, he sees them capturing, at most, one more beyond that.

Teams are lining up for Odell Beckham Jr., the contract that could nfl cheap jerseys nike change everything and the NFL’s next great rivalry. All of this and more in this week’s 10-Point Stance.

1. The market for OBJ

The Giants probably won’t trade receiver Odell Beckham Jr., but if they did, there would be a massive market for him. Teams would line up to pay both the high-round draft picks to get him and a huge new contract once they did.hi-res-77d46a5a3a473d78e2f46ee64dbd694d_crop_north

That’s according to sources from several teams, who say the league views Beckham far differently than the Giants do. Other teams see him as nfl nike jerseys for cheap  worth the trouble. In fact, they don’t see Beckham as much trouble at all.

The Giants say they intend to keep Beckham, which is likely the case. However, two sources whose teams have been in contact with the Giants told B/R that they weren’t as definitive about keeping Beckham as they have been in public. Without question, the sources say the Giants are open to business when it comes to Beckham.

Editor’s Note: Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday, nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap the Giants are reportedly asking for at least two first round picks in any potential trade.

Few receivers in the past 10 years—perhaps ever—have possessed Beckham’s raw abilities. The NFL’s best receivers today are Antonio Brown, Julio Jones and Beckham. His numbers speak for themselves:On the field, the Giants would be far worse witho cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal ut Beckham. His loss would cripple the offense. The Giants are a four- or a five-win team sans Beckham. That’s the biggest reason they probably won’t trade him. Emphasis on probably.

Off the field, Beckham has been a petulant baby. He was suspended for a bad hit and a brawl with Josh Norman. He was fined for pretending to urinate like a dog while celebrating a touchdown. He’s been called a “prima donna.” He punched a net nike cheap nfl jerseys . He punched a wall. He was recently caught in a compromising video.

Cleveland Browns: Punt at Quarterback—Again

When a team is coming off of an 0-16 season and a 1-31 mark over the last two years, we’ve seen its worst-case scenario play out in real time.

But by eschewing a quarterback atop the draft this year, the Browns will ensure they remain firmly in the AFC North basement.

Despite having a quarterback situation that’s become a tragic comedy, the Browns haven’t spent a top-15 draft pick on a quarterback since selecting Tim Couch first overall in 1999. And even when they have taken a QB in Round 1, the pick has been a disaster (see: cheap nfl nike jerseys from china Weeden, Brandon and Manziel, Johnny).

Rather than draft Carson Wentz in 2016, the Browns traded that No. 2 pick to the Philadelphia Eagles. The same happened at No. 12 in 2017 with Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans.

None of this year’s top quarterbacks are can’t-miss prospects, largely because there is no such thing. But one of them needs to be atop cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping Cleveland’s draft board, and the Browns need to take him at No. 1.17fd1be79b177e108b29d7fd2c561428_crop_exact

Whoever they pick there won’t be guaranteed to succeed, but for the first time in a long time, the Browns will be able to say they tried.

Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley thinks the team asked Prescott to do too much last season, per Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News.nfl cheap jerseys nike

“He was still making plays all the time,” Beasley said. “Last year, we asked him to be Superman and relied on him so much. When things broke down he was making plays scrambling. A lot comes with filling some spots maybe where we were weaker and stuff like that.”

The factors that led to Prescott having to don a proverbial cape in 2017 are still there.

While Ezekiel Elliott won’t have a six-game suspension looming over his head this season, Dallas’ pass-catchers remain a mess. Dez Bryant isn’t the receiver he once was. Jason Witten will turn 36 in May. And the team’s biggest free-agent addition at wideout was Allen Hurns, who is a 50/50 bet to get injured signing his contract.

The Cowboys could add a receiver in the 2018 draft, and Calvin Ridley of Alabama—nfl nike jerseys for cheap the top prospect at the position this season—may still be there at No. 19. But Ridley isn’t exactly an instant-impact player.

Dallas’ opponents are going to stack the line, try to stop Elliott and dare Prescott to beat them using this motley crew.