The Best-Kept Secret on Every NFL Roster

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Superstars get most of the love, but NFL teams are stitched together by above-average players who may never get their due. This article is an active salute to every franchise’s unheralded anchor.

For some teams, that may be a young player who’s slowly working up the depth chart. For others, it could be a veteran role player. Either way, these athletes help their teams on Sundays and influence offseason decisions, even if they aren’t Aaron Rodgers or Odell Beckham Jr.

They’re the offensive linemen or defensive tackles who aren’t mentioned much by color commentators, the skill players who aren’t picked up in fantasy football leagues and the late-round picks who bloom into starters.cheap nfl authentic jerseys

In his first two seasons in the NFL, undrafted free agent Olsen Pierre was unable to get on the field. Last season, Pierre finished with 11.5 tackles at or behind the line. That number ranked behind only Chandler Jones (29) and Corey Peters (12) for Arizona in 2017.

Under defensive coordinator James Bettcher, the Cardinals had not had a full-time 3-technique role for any defensive tackle for several years. This is one reason why Pierre played just 33 percent of Arizona’s defensive snaps, despite his production.cheap authentic nfl jerseys

New Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks, formerly the Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator, will bring a 4-3 defense and a full-time penetrating defensive line role to the desert. That can only mean good things for Pierre, who is one of the brightest young players at the position.

Dan Quinn’s last season as a college defensive coordinator was 2012 with the Florida Gators. That happened to be cornerback Brian Poole’s true freshman season at Florida. When Poole went undrafted in 2016, his former defensive coordinator picked him cheap nfl jerseys from china up as a potential slot cornerback.

Since that signing, the 5’9″ defensive back has played 1,465 defensive snaps for the Atlanta Falcons. Poole’s story is a perfect example of scouting and projection into highly specific roles.

Quinn essentially found a full-time starter in college free agency. nfl cheap jerseys Only six Falcons (Robert Alford, Ricardo Allen, Keanu Neal, Deion Jones, De’Vondre Campbell and Desmond Trufant) have played more defensive snaps over the last two years than Poole.

On the Brink of Elimination, LeBron James Must Be Perfect for Cavs to Survive

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LeBron James has shouldered an unreasonably heavy burden for his Cleveland Cavaliers throughout the 2018 NBA playoffs, so what now lies ahead is nothing new.

He must be perfect. Twice in a row. authentic nfl jerseys cheap Against a Boston Celtics team that can taste its ahead-of-schedule trip to the NBA Finals.

Boston’s 96-83 win Wednesday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals puts James and the Cavs on the brink of elimination and all that’ll come with it: speculation about the franchise’s future, James’ plans for the final phase of his career and the fate of relevant basketball in Cleveland as we know it.nfl jerseys for cheap

Anything less than James’ best, and the Cavs are finished.

James wasn’t perfect Wednesday, but he was plenty good, certainly better than his teammates. Even if that isn’t saying much.

He put up 26 points on 11-of-22 shooting, 10 rebounds and five assists. His six turnovers hurt, but many of those were the result of Boston’s disruptive length and shrewd double-teams, which shuttered passing windows as soon as they opened. Considering how no other Cavalier had more than six made field goals or two assists, you can excuse James’ mistakes in light of the load he carried.

It was enough to wear anyone down.cheap nfl jerseys

George Hill and JR Smith combined for two made buckets and respective on-court plus-minus figures of minus-21 and minus-19. Head coach Tyronn Lue held Kyle Korver out for the entire first and third quarters, instead riding Smith on the theory that…well…it’s hard to say.

The Celtics have targeted Korver on defense, but the Cavs scored a pitiful 83 points in Game 5. Cleveland needed his gravity and shooting. Lue’s explanation for holding out one of his best offensive weapons was charitably curious:nfl jersey cheap

The contrast in star dynamics between Cleveland and Boston could hardly be more pronounced.

Jayson Tatum led the Celts with 24 points, but he didn’t have to play at a world-beating level for his team to win. Boston had four other scorers in double figures, great defensive effort from all parties involved and brushed off a 3-of-15 dud from Terry Rozier in the easy victory.cheap nfl jersey  These banged-up Celtics don’t have a transcendent star, but that means they don’t have to rely on one for survival. They can win in more than one way.

Le’Veon Bell to Skip Steelers OTAs After Getting Franchise Tagged Again

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Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell won’t attend the team’s organized team activities, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported Monday.

The Steelers’ OTAs are set to begin Tuesday and run through Thursday before resuming next week. Bell’s absence won’t come as a surprise, with the three-time Pro Bowler looking to sign a long-term extension. Pittsburgh placed the franchise tag on him for the second year in a row in March.

Bell is set to earn a little over $14.5 million in 2018 unless he and the Steelers can agree to a new deal before July 16. He indicated during a live chat on Instagram in March he plans on sitting out the offseason without a multiyear extension.nfl jersey cheap

“Honestly, no, I’m not going to sit out,” Bell said, regarding a holdout that would include the 2018 regular season, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Joe Rutter. “I’m going to be in the facility Week 1. It’s going to be a rerun of last year. I’m not going to [training] camp. I’m not doing nothing else extra, OTAs, none of that.”

He had previously floated the idea of sitting out the 2018 season or retiring altogether if the Steelers placed the franchise tag on him.

Bell reported to the Steelers last September cheap nfl jerseys ahead of the 2017 season, missing out on the team’s preseason workouts and games.

Bell proceeded to run for 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns, though his 4.0 yards per carry were his lowest since his rookie year in 2013.nfl jerseys for cheap

Alex Ovechkin, Capitals Force Game 7 with Shutout Win vs. Lightning

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The Washington Capitals lived to fight another day by defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-0, in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final at home Monday night at Capital One Arena.

T.J. Oshie bookended the game with the Capitals’ first and third goals, while Devante Smith-Pelly provided the second midway through the third period.

The Capitals were challenging Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy throughout the first period and into the second period to no avail. Finally, Oshie broke the deadlock 15:12 into the second period.authentic nfl jerseys cheap

It was a great example of patient buildup play, as Washington waited until the perfect goalscoring opportunity presented itself. Nicklas Backstrom put the puck on a platter for Oshie to smash past Vasilevskiy. The NHL offered a second look at the opener:nfl jerseys for cheap

Vasilevskiy couldn’t do much to stop Smith-Pelly’s goal 10:02 into the third period. Chandler Stephenson helped the Capitals avoid an icing. Jay Beagle gave the puck to Stephenson behind the net, and Stephenson found an onrushing Smith-Pelly. Vasilevskiy had no time to react to the wrist shot.

After dropping three games in a row, this is exactly the kind of performance Washington needed ahead of a Game 7. It was by far the better team Monday night, and Vasilevskiy is a big reason the Capitals didn’t win by four or five goals.

The Capitals out-shot the Lightning 34-24 and had 39 hits to 19 for their opponents.

The series now shifts back to Tampa on Wednesday night. The Capitals are 3-7 in Game 7s in the last 11 seasons, so the excitement from Monday’s win will likely transform into a palpable level of anxiety over the next two days.cheap nfl jerseys

The question becomes whether Washington can repeat that performance, as well as whether Tampa Bay comes out this flat again with what is bound to be a raucous home crowd at Amalie Arena.

At the very least, the Lightning have to take some pressure off Vasilevskiy, because he alone won’t be enough to slow down what appears to be a reinvigorated Capitals attack.nfl jersey cheap

Hurt: Brandon McCoy (UNLV, C, Freshman)

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Post-combine projection: Nos. 40-60

Brandon McCoy did little in Chicago to convince NBA teams he’s worth a first-round pick.

The underwhelming athletic-test scores were to be expected. But McCoy had trouble during scrimmages, often catching in the post and holding while teammates stood and watched. His back-to-the-basket bully method didn’t work against NBA prospects the way it did at UNLV.

McCoy, who already hired an agent and can’t go back to school, does not meet the criteria for a modern-day center, unable to stretch the floor, protect the rim or switch out on the perimeter. He’ll be in jeopardy of falling into the 40s or 50s, or maybe even going undrafted.

Post-combine projection: Top five cheap authentic nfl jerseys

Mohamed Bamba simply confirmed the expected: He possesses one of the most unique physical profiles the NBA draft has ever seen.

Bamba created buzz without touching a ball or moving his feet. His 7’10” wingspan ranks as the longest in NBA.com’s database, ahead of rim protectors like Hassan Whiteside (7’7″) and Rudy Gobert (7’8 ½”).

His standing reach measured 9’7 ½”, which means he can nearly touch the rim with his heels on the floor.

Sharp and humble—previously well-known characteristics—Bamba likely impressed every team he met with during interviews.

There is a growing belief that Bamba could be in play at No. 3 once Deandre Ayton and Luka Doncic are off the board. And those chances only improved following his appearance in Chicago.

Post-combine projection: Late first round cheap nfl jerseys from china

Melvin Frazier played well Thursday and then sat out Friday, a potential sign he received positive feedback regarding his chances of going in the first round. nfl cheap jerseys

After rising for a 40 ½” max vertical and measuring 6’6″ with a 7’1 ¾” wingspan—excellent numbers for a wing—Frazier showed a little of everything during his scrimmage.

He knocked down a three, had a strong lefty drive, exploded for a windmill dunk on a fast break and defended with intensity.

It appears his stock will benefit from both a solid showing at the combine and the rising value of two-way wings. nfl jerseys cheap china

Helped: Kevin Huerter (Maryland, SF, Sophomore)

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CHICAGO — Scouts and executives from all 30 teams were present for the 2018 NBA Draft Combine to interview and watch eligible prospects perform drills, athletic testing, measurements and scrimmaging. authentic nfl jerseys cheap

And every year, we see players help or hurt their stock.

Kyle Kuzma was 2017’s big winner after dominating five-on-five play.

Some of this year’s winners are prospects without agents who are testing the waters, trying to make enough of an impression to secure first-round interest. And after the week, it seems like a few will steal spots in the teens or 20s, which could shake up our post-lottery mock draft.

Post-combine projection: No. 15-30 cheap nfl jerseys

After a 31-point performance (that likely influenced his decision to test the waters) in the national title game, Donte DiVincenzo kept it going in Chicago.

With everyone in the gym locked in on the first few minutes of Thursday’s opening scrimmage, DiVincenzo knocked down a pair of catch-and-shoot three-pointers, both contested, a reflection of both his shot-making skills and confidence. nfl jerseys for cheap

He continued to make an impression with his energy and athleticism by pushing the pace, creating turnovers and rising above bigs in traffic to grab rebounds.

Exiting the combine with the highest standing leap (34.5″), tied for the top max vertical (42.0″) and the fifth-fastest lane agility time (10.72), DiVincenzo was an obvious winner.

Thursday afternoon, he hinted at wanting to be a first-round pick to keep his name in the draft. We had already had him No. 25 on lottery night.

Post-combine projection: 2018 fringe first round, 2019 top 20 cheap nfl jersey

Viewed as a shooting specialist out of Maryland, Kevin Huerter backed up his reputation, but also flashed versatility that suggests he’s more than just a spot-up marksman.

He showcased his convincing 41.7 percent three-point stroke, though it was the other skills that popped—particularly during scrimmages.

Huerter, who averaged 3.4 assists as a sophomore, demonstrated both high-IQ passing and the ability to attack closeouts and make plays. “Knows how to play” will be a cliche written on scouting reports.

The eye test may show a skinny, below-the-rim forward, but he measured 6’7 ½” and managed to record the third-fasted shuttle at the combine. And he got up for a respectable 38-inch max vertical. cheap nfl authentic jerseys

It could still make sense for Huerter to return as a junior, when he’d have a better shot to crack the lottery. Either way, he capitalized on his invite to the combine and should now be on every team’s radar, whether it’s for this draft or next.

Baltimore Ravens: Does Joe Flacco Have Another Super Bowl Run in Him?

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The Baltimore Ravens weren’t a disaster in 2017. They had the league’s sixth-ranked scoring defense (18.9 points per game allowed) and managed to win nine games. If the Ravens had a half-decent passing attack—they averaged just 189.4 passing yards per game, fourth-fewest in the NFL—they might have been a Super Bowl contender.

Baltimore took steps to improve the nfl cheap jerseys  passing game this offseason, adding John Brown, Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead. It also drafted tight end Hayden Hurst in the first round. The big remaining question is whether quarterback Joe Flacco can take full advantage of the new talent around him.

Flacco took the Ravens to the Super Bowl in the 2012 season, but he has struggled with his play and with injuries ever since. Last year, he finished with only 3,141 passing yards and 18 touchdowns while throwing 13 interceptions. nfl jerseys cheap china  Even with his new receiving options, Flacco will have to improve to take the Ravens back to the big game again before the team decides to part ways with him.

Baltimore traded up to draft former Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson in the first round, which suggests he’ll take over for Flacco at some point. If the veteran doesn’t seem to have what it takes to deliver a championship anymore nfl jerseys , Jackson may take over sooner than later.

The Ravens will start to get an idea of how much time Flacco has left in the coming weeks.nfl jersey

The Biggest Question for Every NFL Team Heading into OTAs

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We’re getting closer to the dog days of summer, and the sheen of the 2018 NFL draft is beginning to fade. For football fans, this is the perfect time of year to cast your eyes toward the ice or the hardwood.

For teams and players, though, now is the time to begin laying the foundation for the coming season.authentic nfl jerseys cheap

We’re at that point of the offseason when teams hold mandatory minicamps and organized team activities (OTAs). While things will undoubtedly change some between now and training camp, coaches can begin installing schemes and evaluating rosters.

This is also the time of year when teams hope to nfl jerseys for cheap  get their first tangible answers to their biggest offseason questions. Do early draft picks appear ready to contribute right away? Which aging veterans need to be replaced in the starting lineup? Could an available free agent strengthen the roster? The more answers teams can get to these types of questions now, the better off they’ll be in August.

Take a look at each NFL team’s biggest question heading into 2018 OTAs. cheap nfl jerseys

The Arizona Cardinals traded up to No. 10 to grab former UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen. By making the move up, the Cardinals made it clear Rosen is their quarterback of the future. However, they also added Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon in the offseason, so there’s no reason to rush Rosen into action early.

The question for the Cardinals is whether Week 1 will be too early for Rosen. If the rookie performs well and doesn’t  nfl jersey cheap appear overwhelmed during OTAs, Arizona should be inclined to give him a shot at the starting gig.

Bradford is the current starter, according to head coach Steve Wilks said, but Rosen won’t be held back.

“We gotta go out there with 11 guys, and Sam’s going to be the first guy out there,” Wilks said on NFL Network. “But everybody’s fighting for a position, so I’m not going to hold him back at all.”

Cardinals fans would love nothing more than for Rosen to take over the reins of the offense immediately. This is the point in the offseason when the Cardinals need to find out if he can.

By the end of OTAs, Arizona should know how to tailor a plan for Rosen in cheap nfl jersey  training camp—and whether that plan involves prepping him to be a backup or the potential starter.

DeMar DeRozan and the SGs Most Likely to Be Traded During 2018 NBA Offseason

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Our look at the NBA’s next crop of offseason trade candidates is raging onward.

Since point guards were the focus last time around, it only seems right that we zoom in on the other half of the backcourt now. Position breakdowns get dicey when moving into swingman and wing territory, so we’ll be using Cleaning china nike nfl jerseys cheap The Glass’ exhaustive possession data as a guide to determining which players qualify as shooting guards.

The rules haven’t changed since the floor-general installment. These trade candidates have not all been linked to specific reports. They’re here because an overwhelming amount of evidence suggests they may not be long for their current digs.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Many find themselves in the mix due to a stale status quo. Others are because of expected free-agency pursuits and luxury-tax allergies. A certain special someone is just straight-out unfit for the roster around him. cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

Not all of these players will be dealt before next season. Heck, all of them could stay put. But they won’t survive the summer without at least frequenting the rumor mill for weeks, maybe months, on end.

Does Robinson Cano’s 80-Game Suspension Put Surefire-HOFer Resume Up in Smoke?

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Robinson Cano’s path may still lead him to Cooperstown in the end, but it just got a lot less direct.

With eight All-Star appearances and a laundry list of statistical feats under his proverbial belt, the Seattle Mariners’ veteran second baseman entered Tuesday as a fairly surefire future Hall of Famer. But he’s exiting the day with a black mark that promises to throw that into question for years to come.

Major League Baseball announced that Cano has been suspended for 80 games after testing positive for Furosemide, a banned substance. In a statement posted to social media, the 35-year-old acknowledged the suspension and offered his side of the story:cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The key passage reads: “This substance was given to me by a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic to treat a medical ailment. While I did not realize at the time that I was given a medication that was banned, I obviously now wish that I had been more careful.”

Anyone with access to WebMD can look up that Furosemide does indeed have benefits as a medical treatment. Among the ailments it’s used to treat is high blood pressure. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com heard from a source that it was exactly that which necessitated Cano’s using it.

Even still, this is one for the file labeled “That’s Not Gonna Fly.”cheap nfl nike jersey

Furosemide is banned by both MLB (and the World Anti-Doping Agency) because it’s a diuretic that can be used as a masking agent for performance-enhancing drugs. Per stipulations in the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the league only needed to prove that this is why Cano was using it.

The timing was right for Cano to give up the fight. He was already due to be sidelined for a while with a broken hand that he suffered Sunday. He’s going to kill two birds with one stone by serving his suspension while he’s also recovering from his injury.

The Mariners will miss him, though. Cano had been hitting .287 with an .825 OPS. In light of the team’s starting pitching issues, that offense was extremely valuable. Not having it for 80 games could end up costing the Mariners their first trip to the postseason since 2001.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Even if they get there, Cano won’t be joining them. The rules state he has to sit October out, too.

At least the Mariners will save about $12 million out of Cano’s $24 nike nfl jerseys cheap china million salary. Alas, they’re only going to be halfway through his 10-year, $240 million deal when this season is over. That second half now looks even more iffy than it already did relative to Cano’s age and up-and-down production.