Players Aren’t Planning to Lose Culture War with NFL, Trump Without a Fight

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Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey announced this week that he will protest during the national anthem this season. It’s a brave and patriotic move that will likely become another symbolic mortar round in the culture war between the NFL and President Donald Trump.

Yet there is more to this story. Possibly a lot more.nfl jerseys for cheap

Two players told B/R they don’t expect Casey to be alone. The players, who asked not to be identified due to fear of reprisal from Trump and his supporters, believe there could be at least a half-dozen players across the league who could join Casey in protest. authentic nfl jerseys cheaphi-res-89be6e3cace7d6d54cca44fbd6508ef1_crop_north

In the end, it’s unknown if six players, a dozen or only a few will join Casey. What we do know is that Casey represents a resistance some players have to the NFL’s edict that players cease protesting on the sideline, and to Trump himself.

It can’t be emphasized enough how big a deal this is. Casey is a star, a three-time Pro Bowler who has tremendous clout throughout the NFL. If he and other players continue protesting, it illustrates that the wave started by Colin Kaepernick in kneeling for the national anthem is no mere look-at-us moment, but a new sports civil-rights movement.

It also shows that the players won’t back down no matter who puts pressure on them. That takes real courage. True patriotism.

If you want to understand just how nasty and bloody a nfl jersey cheap  fight this is going to be, look no further than what the Dolphins are allegedly proposing.

The Associated Press reported on Thursday that the Dolphins might suspend players for protesting during the anthem.cheap nfl jersey

If true, not only would such a policy lead to massive anger from players around the sport, it would also mark, quite frankly, one of the lowest points in the history of NFL labor relations. Less than a year after making a big show of standing in solidarity with players on the sidelines, the owners would be daring their own players to try it again. Don’t think those players will accept that idea happily.cheap nfl authentic jerseys

What it means in the short term is also clear: The NFL’s ban on protesting during the national anthem continues to backfire, and the brawl between the NFL and the president—started by the president—is guaranteed to continue.cheap authentic nfl jerseys

Trump has turned the NFL into a political prop, and he will probably keep doing that through the mid-term elections. With that as a backdrop, the rhetoric from the White House is likely to become even nastier than it has been.

NFL Youngsters Who Could Still Blossom into Stars

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Hurry up and wait. Nothing better describes the maturation process for the majority of young NFL players.

Most franchises pin their hopes upon their latest, supposedly greatest saviors. Teams continually sell the narrative they’re only one or two individuals from legitimate contention.

Sure, there are those like Ezekiel Elliott, nfl jersey wholesale Joey Bosa, Alvin Kamara and Marshon Lattimore who crush their rookie seasons.

The curve has been ruined for everyone else since the wait for top talent to develop can be excruciating. Some need a longer adjustment period to figure out the NFL, though. A year or two is necessary for most to establish a comfort level and have the game slow down enough to become a consistent performer.

Others never see the light and disappoint. nfl jersey for cheap

But some are too talented not to emerge. The signs are present to differentiate between those who are ready to blossom into stars and those who never will. They already flashed during the early portions of their careers, find themselves in the right situations and are ready to become something more than unfulfilled potential.

The payoff is well worth the wait.best nfl jerseys

How J.D. Martinez Rose from Division II Obscurity, MLB Reject to Elite Superstar

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MINNEAPOLIS — Descending the stairway into Hell’s Kitchen, hungry souls walk past a brick wall seared with stern warnings: “No Whining.” “No Complaining.” “No Surly Attitudes.”

When Boston slugger J.D. Martinez is in town, nfl wholesale jerseys this trendy, Goth-y Twin Cities eatery boasting “Damn Fine Food” and an edgy attitude is his go-to place. As Martinez settles into a back table for a late-morning brunch on this June day, flames from his hot bat lick the MLB leaderboards: He leads the majors in RBI (55) and ranks second in both homers (22) and total bases (167).

Martinez comes for the food—the lemon ricotta hotcakes are “the bomb” (he’s correct)—and he’s also come on this day to talk about his career, which has had its own delicious twists.

In the four seasons from 2014 to ’17, Martinez ranked second in the majors in slugging percentage (.574), seventh in OPS (.936) and eighth in at-bat/home run ratio (15.1).

And yet…he attracted zero interest from any Division nfl jerseys from china  I schools out of high school, was drafted 611th overall in 2009 and was outright released by the Houston Astros in 2014.

From there, though, he has hit as well as almost anyone in the majors.

Though he played in the shadow of Miguel Cabrera official nfl jerseys cheap  in Detroit and Paul Goldschmidt in Arizona, in the first four seasons after his release, only five players in the majors recorded an OPS of at least .900 against both right-handed pitchers and lefties: Mike Trout, Joey Votto, Kris Bryant, Goldschmidt and, yes, Martinez.

And yet…when he stepped into a frigid free-agent market this past winter, Martinez, 30, was iced out until after spring training had already started, signing with the Red Sox on Feb. 26. And the $200 million that many in the industry figured he would earn melted away into a five-year, $110 million deal that places him behind, among others, Jason Heyward (Cubs), Chris Davis (Orioles) and Robinson Cano (Mariners) in average annual salary.nfl authentic jerseys

“When it was all happening, my mom said it: ‘Did you expect anything else?'” Martinez says. “I was like, ‘Nope.'”nfl authentic jerseys cheap

So she asked, what are you worried about then, J.D.? Her son took a breath, surveyed the landscape and told her, nope, not only did he not expect anything else, but he wasn’t worried, either.

NBA Free Agency Roundup: Meet the New Under-the-Radar Contenders

Don’t sweat the NBA offseason’s transition to relative inactivity. There’s a silver lining to the free-agency frenzy winding down to a slow, lifeless laze: We get to step back, take a breath, survey the landscape and properly celebrate the birth of new nfl authentic jerseys and newish might-be contenders!

Are you pumped? You should be pumped. You’re pumped aren’t you? How could you not be? The dust is gradually settling on the league’s silly season and the flurry of transactions has yielded a host of talking points that journey nfl authentic jerseys cheap beyond the Golden State Warriors sewing up the next eleventy titles.

To be clear: This space is not dedicated to teams with an exceptional shot at dethroning the reigning champs. For one, that type of threat doesn’t exist. Mostly, though, we’re nodding to afterthoughts and footnotes who have a fathomable path to winning their conference and making it to the NBA Finals.

Offseason additions are part of the allure for certain candidates, but not all of them. Some are here by default, due more to what has happened around them. Others have long been championship hopefuls in training. nfl jersey wholesale One franchise’s case boils down to moves unmade (so far).

All the usual suspects receive their due elsewhere. best nfl jerseys Get your Warriors, Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors fixes another time. This one’s for the less ballyhooed—the non-favorites who aren’t popular picks among us hoops head to make it out of their conference.

Deal or No Deal: MLB Trade Predictions 2 Weeks from the Deadline

Anything could happen in these last couple of weeks before Major League Baseball’s July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

As for what will happen, we have a few ideas.wholesale nfl jerseys

What follows is one trade-deadline prediction for each of MLB’s 30 teams. These are strictly speculative, but nonetheless based on reported rumors and the general realities of each squad.

We’ll go in alphabetical order by city.

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As they seek their first National League West title since 2011, the Arizona Diamondbacks have their sights set on Manny Machado.nfl jerseys wholesale

According to Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun, Arizona has already made the Baltimore Orioles an offer that supposedly ranks second among the ones they’ve received for the slugging shortstop.

The field is a crowded one, however, and the D-backs are disadvantaged in a bidding war. They’re short on top prospects, and the best of theirs (RHP Jon Duplantier) was recently shut down with biceps tendinitis.

The Diamondbacks will need an impact bat even if they miss out on Machado. The best pivot they could make would be to a different rental infielder: breakout Minnesota Twins star Eduardo Escobar. He’s racked up an .844 OPS and 51 extra-base hits while playing shortstop and third base.

Call it a hunch, but they’ll ultimately make that pivot.

If the Atlanta Braves want to outlast the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals to win the NL East, they must address their bullpen.nfl jerseys china

Atlanta’s pen has come undone with a 5.38 ERA over the last 30 days. Although there’s nothing it doesn’t need, a tried-and-true relief ace is the best it can shoot for.

According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Braves’ focus is on relievers who are controlled beyond 2018. Among the players on that list, none suits them better than Brad Hand.

The two-time All-Star owns a 2.63 ERA and a rate of 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings since 2015. He’s also signed for cheap through 2021.nfl wholesale jerseys

Of course, the San Diego Padres will need a serious offer in order to give up Hand. The Braves, however, have plenty of prospects. It wouldn’t be shocking if they gave up a few to get a guy who would stabilize their bullpen for this year and beyond.

The Rockets’ Backup Plans Are Good

The Rockets got themselves one of the best three-and-D options left on the market in James Ennis, who agreed to a two-year deal with the team Wednesday.

This doesn’t force a re-evaluation of how much they’ll miss Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. Their departures are still borderline catastrophic for a Rockets team that built its defensive identity on switchable wings. But perhaps we can ease off Houston for its decision not to overpay role-fillers, even when those roles seemed so important.wholesale nfl jerseys

There’s a parallel here to the Rockets’ unwillingness to match the poison-pill offer sheet Chandler Parsons signed with the Dallas Mavericks in 2014. Parsons wasn’t a star, and Houston refused to pay him like one, even if it meant losing him for nothing.

The Rockets replaced Parsons with Ariza then,nfl jerseys wholesale  and it seems as though they’re doing something similar now by slotting Ennis into a key role.

Ennis projects as a starter, and he’s a decent facsimile of the guys Houston let go. A career 35.9 percent shooter from deep, Ennis can guard several positions and gets most of his offense on the catch. B/R’s Dan Favale noted that his standstill game will play well in Houston’s attack, as Ennis took over 63 percent of his shots without a dribble last season.nfl jerseys china

“Obviously, losing Trevor and losing Luc, it’s going to hurt,” head coach Mike D’Antoni told ESPN.com’s Tim McMahon. “You don’t replace that, but we’ll figure it out. … There’s different ways to go. We’re going to be good. Like Chris is saying, we’re going to run it back at Golden State. We’ll see. We’ll be ready.”nfl wholesale jerseys

It’s likely wrong to say this is how the Rockets wanted free agency to play out all along, but it’s still fair to trust general manager Daryl Morey and his contingency plans. They’ve worked out well in the past.

Predicting Where Top Remaining NFL Free Agents Will Sign

With training camp only a few weeks away, most NFL players are enjoying one last vacation before the 2018 grind begins in earnest.

Others can’t wait for vacation to be over.cheap nfl jerseys china

Though the calendar has flipped to July, a number of well-known veterans remain without a team. For some, it’s a matter of money. For others, it’s age or injury.

Whatever the reason, these players are still waiting for the phone to ring.

For the most part, these veterans will find work at some point, whether it’s with a team that loses a player to an injury in training camp or one looking to shore up an area of weakness.

Let’s play matchmaker, pairing the best available free agents with a prediction for where they will land.authentic nfl jerseys

Dez Bryant already had a chance to sign with a new team. The Baltimore Ravens made him a multiyear offer in April, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, but he declined it.

If Bryant is willing to settle for a short-term prove-it deal—which he’s what he’s going to get at this point—teams will show interest in him, even if he’s not as dominant as he once was.

On the surface, the San Francisco 49ers don’t appear to be in need of wideout help. San Francisco has 11 wide receivers on its roster, including a pair it added in this year’s draft.

But as CBS Sports’ John Breech noted, the Niners do need help in the red zone.wholesale nfl jerseys

“In 2017, the 49ers ranked second-to-last in the NFC in red-zone scoring percentage, ahead of only the Arizona Cardinals. Although Bryant has had some trouble staying healthy over the past few years, he did manage to make it through the entire 2017 season unscathed nfl jerseys china and he put up some decent numbers in the process (69 catches, 838 yards, six touchdowns).”

Five of Bryant’s six scores last season came in the red zone.nfl jerseys wholesale

With north of $45 million in cap space, the Niners have more than enough room to bring Bryant in, and they’re looking to make the jump from a rebuild to a contender. Bryant has also indicated his interest in joining them, according to Breech.

John Lynch hasn’t been shy about getting aggressive during his tenure as San Francisco’s general manager. It’s time for him to make another splash.

NBA Players Who Will Never Live Up to Their New Free-Agency Contracts

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Sometimes, the best way to avoid spending too much money is to not have any money to spend. With a number of NBA teams falling into that category during free agency, 2018 hasn’t been the worst for bad contracts.

Still, even in a year when most franchises have shown thrift by necessity, there are certain deals teams will be eager to watch expire…eventually. Not all of these deals will look rough right away, but as players fail to live up to expectations—whether because of age, health, one-dimensional play or overall production—fans will ogle their newfound cap space when these contracts are no longer on the books.

Though there are a number of eyebrow-raising contracts around official nfl jersey the league, we won’t focus on deals that aren’t for much money or are only for one year.

Here are six players who will struggle to be worth their dollar amount at some point in their contracts. They’re listed in ascending order of how likely their respective teams are to be in states of regret by the end of the deals.

In a “never thought I’d see the day” highlight of the summer, Los Angeles Lakers fans around the world celebrated as Kobe Bryant’s biggest rival agreed to save the franchise from its state of demise.

The idea LeBron James’ contract is something the Lakers will eventually regret sounds preposterous right now. Even at age 33, the King just had one of the best years of his career, finishing second in the MVP voting. And sure, he may cover the cost cheap womens nfl jerseys of the Lakers’ investment in off-court value alone, but we’re here to judge its basketball merits.

There’s a decent chance he won’t live up to his four-year, $154 million deal.

With each subsequent season, that contract will look more precipitous. To put things in perspective, James has already played 54,347 combined playoff and regular-season minutes—the most of anyone through their age-35 season, according to Basketball Reference.

What’s remarkable is James has two more seasons to go.nfl jerseys cheap collection

In fact, he’s ninth in total minutes played, and he’s just 2,931 behind Kobe Bryant for third all-time. Bryant trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (66,297) and Karl Malone (62,759). If James averaged the same number of minutes over the next three years as he played this year (3,948), he’d pass Abdul-Jabbar for the all-time lead with nearly a year to go on his contract.

Sure, he’s been superhuman his whole career and avoided injuries, but that’s part of why he’s also played so many minutes. And while he might seem more machine than man at times, he’s made of flesh and blood, and there will be a time when he’s not the same anymore.nfl jerseys authentic

It’s probably going to happen within the next four years, and the Lakers will pay $41 million on the last year of that contract.nfl womens jerseys

You can argue that if he brings a title to L.A., it won’t matter. But there’s a chance he never will. If he doesn’t and only adds dead weight the final year or two of the contract, Lakers fans’ joy could get exhausted.

LeBron Trusting the Process?

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No, this doesn’t mean LeBron James is backtracking on his four-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers and instead deciding to join the Philadelphia 76ers. Sorry!

But the four-time MVP still seems content to sit back and accept everything that’s nfl youth jerseys  happening around him as Magic Johnson endeavors to build a competitive, albeit unorthodox, roster for the Los Angeles Lakers. The signings of Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee remain questionable (even if you look at the silver linings and focus on the defensive upside and maintained cap flexibility for 2019), but they apparently represent the actual plan in Tinseltown.

As Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst reported for ESPN.com, these moves were planned from the onset of free agency: cheap nfl jerseys nike china

“Here is the answer: exactly what James and Lakers president Magic Johnson planned when they met for more than three hours on the first night of free agency. According to multiple sources within the Lakers and close to James, this is the rollout of a plan Johnson outlined for James the night of June 30 at James’ home. The subsequent deals, which sources say James has consulted on but have been executed at Johnson and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka’s direction, follow this vision.

“It may seem like an unconventional plan, considering current trends. It may be a plan that takes time to come together, especially early in the season, when new habits will be tested. It may, in fact, be a plan that ultimately fails.

“But the Lakers are indeed attempting to chart a new course for James’ Lakers future, one that is vastly different from the style of basketball he played with the Cleveland Cavaliers.”

That’s…interesting. And it’s important to note that successful execution of a plan does not mean the plan was logical in and of itself. But here we are, and there’s no going back as the Lakers attempt to maximize the next year of James’ extended prime.  nike jersey nfl cheap

Also worth noting? The league’s best player doesn’t seem intent on forcing the title window open with the acquisition of a celestial sidekick. Cue cheap youth nfl jerseys  Zach Lowe:

“LeBron is a Laker, and he is not pressuring L.A. to acquire a second star now, per sources familiar with his thinking. His decision to come alone for three guaranteed seasons speaks for itself. He knows Ingram has at least borderline All-Star potential, and that the 2019 free-agency class is loaded beyond Leonard. He has faith in the combined powers of his supernova talent and the Lakers brand.youth nfl jerseys cheap

“His patience will have limits. But reading between the lines, the Lakers probably have the next calendar year before LeBron applies urgent pressure.”

If you’ve been hoping against hope that the current Los Angeles depth chart was only a placeholder before the Lakers acquire more established talents and avoid wasting a year of peak James, it’s time to start accepting reality.youth nfl jerseys

Yes, it’s probably a painful process.

Warriors Redefine the Superteam Again with DeMarcus Cousins Signing

Apparently, the Golden State Warriors weren’t already good enough.

After using four All-Stars to win a third title in the last four years by sweeping LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, they made yet another power play in free agency to steal the spotlight away from a certain four-time MVP and his new fit with the Los Angeles Lakers. DeMarcus Cousins is now aboard on a one-year deal worth $5.3 million, as first reported by Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania, to give the team an All-Star at every one of the five traditional positions.

Yes, that means the Warriors essentially upgraded from JaVale McGee to Cousins. Yes, that means they used the mid-level exception to add Cousins shortly after the Lakers built around James by using the MLE on Lance Stephenson. Yes, that means the league’s pre-eminent superteam is getting even more super.

From a skill perspective, this is obviously great news for the Warriors. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green already made for an unfair collection of talent capable of storming past anyone and everything thrown at them by the NBA. But Cousins, when healthy, is one of the game’s premier bigs, and he plays a style that should fit nicely with the system deployed by head coach Steve Kerr. authentic nfl jerseys cheap

As Marcus Thompson of The Athletic tweeted, the Warriors had been coveting a scoring big:

Well, they found one. nfl jerseys for cheap

Cousins is a four-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA representative coming off a season with the New Orleans Pelicans in which he averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.6 blocks. That was the fewest points per game he’s posted since his 2014-15 efforts for the Sacramento Kings, but he made up for the slightly diminished volume by slashing 47.0/35.4/74.6—the middle number coming on a whopping 6.1 three-point attempts per contest.

Oh, and Cousins was also playing some of the best defense of his professional tenure before suffering the Achilles injury that allowed him to come aboard on a one-year deal. His effort levels sometimes lapsed, but he was figuring out how to leverage his physicality and surprising quickness alongside Anthony Davis en route to posting a career-best 3.6 defensive box plus/minus.

Cousins likely won’t make his debut in the Bay Area until late December or early January, given the typical recovery length of an Achilles rupture, though he told The Undefeated Marc J. Spears that he’s targeting a training camp return. It’s not like the Warriors need to rush him, either; they’re not exactly lacking for talent in his absence. But when he returns, he’ll still be attempting to fight his way past a malady that has severely affected the careers of many before him—a far more difficult task than returning from an ACL tear. cheap nfl jerseys

Still, if he’s able to serve as a convincing simulacrum of his pre-injury self, he’ll turn the Warriors juggernaut into a superuberjuggernaut. You almost have to send doubles to help against Cousins when he’s playing bully-ball from the post…except you can’t do that against a Golden State lineup featuring three of the deadliest shooters in NBA history on the perimeter. And if he’s hitting threes, it’s game over.

That’s still not the best news, because the risks here are so ridiculously minimal. nfl jersey cheap

What if Cousins doesn’t return to form? Well, it’s not like he needs to occupy a role bigger than the one McGee filled during the last title run. What if he gets disgruntled and starts demanding more touches? Just ship him off for a second-round pick, since he’s only coming aboard on a one-year deal.cheap nfl jersey