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.

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

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

Ben Zobrist Rips MLB in IG Post After Being Threatened with Fine for Cleats

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Chicago Cubs utility man Ben Zobrist spoke out Saturday after he received an “authentic nfl jerseys cheap official warning” letter from Major League Baseball for wearing black cleats.

Zobrist posted a picture of the letter on Instagram alongside a photo of his cleats. He said he’s worn black spikes for day games at Wrigley Field in Chicago for two years and was “curious” as to why MLB has started to enforce the uniform regulation requiring shoes to feature 51 percent of the team’s main color:

“For the last two years, I have worn black spikes exclusively at Wrigley Field for day games to pay homage to the history of our great game, and now I am being told I will be fined and disciplined if I continue to wear them. When I was a kid, I was inspired by highlights of the greats such as Ernie Banks and Stan Musial in the 1950s-60s and was captured by the old uniforms and all black cleats with flaps.”nfl jerseys for cheap

Zobrist added he’s “heard nothing but compliments” about the cleats and believes wearing them could help inspire younger fans to research the history of the sport.

The 36-year-old three-time All-Star didn’t say whether he’d continue wearing the shoes. It won’t take long to find out, however, as the Cubs’ next three games are at Wrigley Field with afternoon start times against the Chicago White Sox this nfl jersey cheap weekend and Atlanta Braves on Monday.

A Look Ahead at NBA’s Toughest Contract Decisions in 2018 Free Agency

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Signing NBA players to contracts worth tens of millions of dollars isn’t always easy. Go figure.authentic nfl jerseys cheap

Some free-agency decisions are cakewalks. LeBron James deserves a max salary because he’s an honorary Avenger. The Golden State Warriors should have no issue paying Kevin Durant top dollar if he doesn’t feel like honoring coupons from billionaires because he’s almost as important to them as Stephen Curry.

Other high-profile instances aren’t as cut and dried. Some induce migraines and squandered sleep. A few seem genuinely unsolvable.nfl jerseys for cheap

Household names coming off their rookie-scale deals with undefined values are usually the most difficult. Teams are trying to reward them for what they’ve yet to do, which often entails paying them more than they’re worth. This offseason has plenty of those.

Impact role players ready for more responsibility and high-end talent working their way back from major injuries also fall under this umbrella. Some find themselves on teams grappling with depth-chart logjams and taxing salary obligations, and their futures are left hanging in the balance as a result.cheap nfl jerseys

These impending paydays represent the toughest to project. Never mind minor hiccups. We don’t care whether the Houston Rockets are keen on maxing out a then-33-year-old Chris Paul. The Orlando Magic won’t want to overpay Aaron Gordon (restricted), but he’s the closest they come to a viable cornerstone. nfl jersey cheap Matching an above-market offer is the least of their problems. Those decisions aren’t nearly difficult enough to make the cut.

Look instead to the more precarious situations. These players aren’t all hopeless flight risks, but their next deal is bound to be the subject of excruciating internal debates.

Boston Celtics: Aron Baynes

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This one’s easy, mostly because the Boston Celtics have a ready replacement for Aron Baynes, who started 67 times in 2017-18.

Baynes banged around just fine (and got banged on) in his 67 starts this past season, but Gordon Hayward is the man cheap nfl jersey Boston needs back in its first unit. Rather than bump rookie standout Jayson Tatum or breakthrough sophomore Jaylen Brown from the starting crew, why not slide Al Horford to the 5 full-time and trot out three interchangeable and ridiculously talented wings in between him and Kyrie Irving?
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“Twenty-eighteen will be my year. I will be back on the court,” Hayward told Lisa Pierpoint of Boston Common magazine.

And in one of the easiest corresponding developments, Baynes will be back on the bench.

This isn’t a knock on Spencer Dinwiddie, who emerged from nowhere to become one of the Brooklyn Nets’ most effective players in 2017-18. Instead, think of it as an endorsement of DeMarre Carroll, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Jarrett Allen, Allen Crabbe and D’Angelo Russell. Those five should be the Nets’ first unit next year, which means Dinwiddie ought to wind up coming off the bench as a second-string spark.

As a point guard who can generate his own looks from deep and attack the basket,cheap authentic nfl jerseys  Dinwiddie (58 starts in 2017-18) could thrive against reserves. And though most remember his hot streak of game-winners and clutch play in January, he still only shot 38.7 percent from the field overall. If Russell is healthy, he should be the one running the show with the starters. Softer competition could help Dinwiddie boost his substandard scoring efficiency.

Brooklyn will have to reintegrate Jeremy Lin and find minutes for Caris LeVert, whose length, playmaking and versatility continue to make him a tantalizing prospect. That could mean Dinwiddie slips further down the depth chart than might seem fair for a player who contributed so much this season.cheap nfl jerseys from china

Look at it from a team perspective, though: If Dinwiddie isn’t starting anymore, it’ll probably signal that the Nets are getting better.

Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles Reportedly Restructures Contract with Eagles

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Nick Foles may not get a chance to start in 2018 after leading the Philadelphia Eagles to their first championship and winning Super Bowl MVP, but the team is reportedly taking care of him as a reward for his efforts.

According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Foles and the Eagles have agreed on a restructured contract that includes a mutual option for the 2019 season.cheap nfl authentic jerseys

Despite his unbelievable Super Bowl run, Foles has acknowledged that he understands the Eagles are still Wentz’s team. After all, the organization gave up a haul of picks to draft Wentz in 2016, and the former No. 2 was the favorite for NFL MVP before going down in Week 14 last season.

That said, Foles went into this offseason hoping for an opportunity to start somewhere in 2018. However, knowing the value he brings to the team as a backup, Philadelphia reportedly set a high price for the 29-year-old signal-caller on the trade block, and no team has been willing to meet the asking price, at least not yet. cheap authentic nfl jerseys

Teams in need of a quarterback this offseason have addressed those holes in free agency and will continue to do so. Barring an injury around the league, Foles appears to be locked in to remain on the Eagles roster next season. And while the franchise wasn’t able to help him get a starting job, it apparently has taken care of him from a contract standpoint.

Wentz is still aiming to be back on the field when Philadelphia hosts the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1 on Sept. 6. cheap nfl jerseys from china However, given the mobile quarterback suffered a serious knee injury, there’s still a long way to go before he is ready for full contact on the field. That means the backup could once again nfl cheap jerseys  be called upon if Wentz suffers a setback on the road to recovery.

Foles will have to be ready to play if/when needed in 2018. Regardless of how next season plays out, he will have a chance to test the open market if he so desires.

2018 NFL Schedule: League Releases Official Regular-Season Slate

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Clear your schedules now, NFL fans: The Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons will open the 2018 NFL regular season on Sept. 6 at Lincoln Financial Field as the reigning Super Bowl champions prepare to raise their first championship banner fresh off a dramatic authentic nfl jerseys cheap Super Bowl 52 win over the New England Patriots.

And that’s just the start.

Following Thursday’s schedule release, all 256 games are now set in stone as the league’s 32 teams prepare for a fresh slate of football.

Below, you’ll find links to each club’s schedule as well as a preview of a few storylines to watch for when the 2018 campaign kicks off.

The AFC South has gained a reputation as the least compelling division in football, but the 2018 season could help reverse that narrative. nfl jerseys for cheap

For starters, the Jacksonville Jaguars are coming off a revelatory 10-6 finish in 2017 that paved the way for the franchise’s third AFC Championship Game appearance.

Needless to say, they’ll be the favorites to take home the division crown again. They wield the NFL’s nastiest defense—one that allowed a paltry 16.8 points per game last season—and the offense appears primed for a boost following the arrivals of pass-catchers Donte Moncrief and Austin Seferian-Jenkins.nfl jersey cheap

However, the Jaguars won’t be in for a cakewalk.

The Houston Texans—who were ravaged by injuries last season—have a chance to reclaim their throne atop the AFC South with quarterback Deshaun Watson and edge-rushers J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus all on the mend following abbreviated 2017 campaigns.

Speaking of big free-agent signings, the Tennessee Titans could make some serious noise if their flurry of offseason activity pays off. cheap nfl jersey

The 2017 AFC wild-card qualifiers started by firing Mike Mularkey and replacing him with Mike Vrabel—who figures to implement a more dynamic, less predictable offense after hiring former Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur to oversee play-calling duties.

To help LaFleur, the Titans brought former New England Patriots running back Dion Lewis aboard to cheap nfl authentic jerseys serve in a thunder-and-lightning timeshare with bruiser Derrick Henry.

“Derrick can get it downhill, press the hole, hit the hole, and really turn it over and outrun people,” general manager Jon Robinson said, per Jim Wyatt of the team’s official website. “He can stick it up there and run over people. Dion can make people miss. He can kind of get lost in the wash up in there and squirt out, and be good out of the backfield.”

The Titans also shored up their secondary by signing Malcolm Butler to a whopping five-year, $61 million deal that includes $30 million guaranteed.

Considering last year’s Titans logged nine wins despite lacking flash, the retooled version has a real chance to propel the franchise back to double-digit wins for the first time since 2008.

Is LeBron James, Spot-Picker, Enough?

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LeBron James took his first shot 16 seconds into Game 2, roughly nine-and-a-half minutes earlier than Game 1. That was a sign, a clear indication that the Indiana Pacers’ series-opening blowout victory got his attention.

As a general rule, opponents should try to avoid getting James’ attention.authentic nfl jerseys cheap

Following that opening bucket, James assumed custody of the early proceedings, scoring 16 straight to open the game for Cleveland and finishing the opening period with 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting. On the night, he put up 46 points on 17-of-24 shooting, 12 rebounds and five assists, carrying the Cavs to a 100-97 victory.

It was enough to make you wonder why James doesn’t do this all the time.

That’s how James and this season’s Cavs have operated, though. Nothing is ever easy…until it looks incredibly easy. And then right around the time you ask yourself how Cleveland ever loses when it can play the James card, something flips.
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And you’re left wondering how it ever won.

The Pacers fought gamely, pushing the pace and forcing the Cavs to defend in transition, something they’ve stunk at all season. Indiana doubled up Cleveland in paint scoring, 62-30, and nearly did the same in fast-break points, 15-8.

Even with Victor Oladipo fighting foul trouble early, Indy spent most of the second half within single digits. If not for James’ early blitz, Cleveland could easily have lost Wednesday.

Heading to Indiana with a 1-1 split, the Cavaliers should feel both encouraged and vulnerable.cheap nfl jerseys

As great as James was, Cleveland never solved Oladipo. He attacked downhill whenever the Cavs’ roll-man defender dropped, just like he did against switches, traps and any other defensive scheme he saw. And the look he missed, a wide-open three with under 30 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter that would have tied the game, could have changed everything.

“We got lucky,” James said on the TNT broadcast afterward. “We gave up a wide-open three to Oladipo, and he missed it. … cheap nfl authentic jerseys That’s easily something he can make.”

Imagine if that triple had gone down. Imagine if head coach Nate McMillan, in an overabunance of caution, hadn’t sat Oladipo with two fouls a mere 62 seconds into the game. Imagine if, somehow, the Cavs had lost a contest in which James was a demi-god stalking the earth in search of mortals to punish.cheap authentic nfl jerseys

LeBron James’ 21-Game Win Streak in Round 1 Snapped in Cavaliers’ Loss to Pacers

Victor Oladipo posted 32 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals as the Indiana Pacers beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-80 in Game 1 of their first-round NBA playoff series on Sunday.

LeBron James, who won 21 straight games in the first round of the NBA playoffs leading into this series, had a triple-double for the Cavaliers thanks to 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
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The Pacers set the tone for the entire game with a dominant first half, which included a 33-14 Pacers lead after one quarter. Oladipo led the Pacers’ charge, posting 16 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals before halftime. The front-runner for Most Improved Player also hit four of five three-pointers, including this shot that put the Pacers up 50-34:
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Oladipo received help from his supporting cast, as Myles Turner (12 points), Bojan Bogdonavic (10 points) and Lance Stephenson (nine points) helped the team to a 55-38 halftime lead. The Pacers shot 47.6 percent from the field and made half of their 14 f cheap nfl jerseys irst-half threes.hi-res-bd1d88a5db0c19e1f5b2fffc2d23a1c5_crop_north

On the other side, it was a one-man show as James had 14 points, six assists and five rebounds. He showcased his excellent ball-handling skills with this nifty move through the paint to bring the Cavs within 40-25 early in the second quarter:

No other Cavalier scored more than six points in the first half, and the team minus James shot just 10-of-31 from the field. Kevin Love led the team on the glass with eight rebounds.

The Pacers picked up where they left off in the third quarter as they took a 63-41 nfl jersey cheap  lead following a Thaddeus Young layup. Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports credited the Pacers’ energy:

However, the Cavaliers stormed back and ended the quarter on a 24-10 run. The key bucket was a Kevin Love 30-foot three-pointer to cut the deficit to 70-63:

Love was fouled on the play and missed the ensuing free throw, but the Cavs trailed by just eight heading into the fourth.

Once there, however, Oladipo continued his fantastic performance, scoring 10 points en route to helping the Pacers end the game on a 22-11 run.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer summed up Oladipo’s afternoon:
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For the Pacers, Turner finished with 16 points, while Bogdanovic and Stephenson added 15 and 12, respectively. Oladipo, Bogdanovic, Darren Collison and Cory Joseph also combined for 12 steals.