Finding Solutions for Biggest Remaining Hole on Every NFL Playoff Contender

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Just because the major free-agent rush is done and the draft has now passed doesn’t mean that teams aren’t still looking to beef up their rosters. After they make their last pick and place frantic phone calls to the undrafted free agents they’d like to sign, coaches and general managers get right back to work on the remaining class of unsigned veterans who could still help them win, despite their “last at the dance” status.

There’s no reason to assume that just because players weren’t coveted right when free agency began, they’re not still potentially valuable. Sometimes, players are released from their former teams after the prime free-agency period. Other times, there’s a mass of players at a certain position, and the market softens accordingly. A player could come with red flags, or he might be holding out for more money than the market will bear.nfl jersey sales

Whatever the reason, there’s a late free-agent fit for every potential NFL playoff contender in 2018.

The Denver Broncos tried to trade running back C.J. Anderson to the Miami Dolphins before cutting him in April, saving $4.5 million against the salary cap and selecting Oregon running back Royce Freeman in the third round of the 2018 draft to try to match Anderson’s production.

That Anderson is still on the market is interesting. Last season, behind an offensive line very much in flux, he gained 1,007 yards on the ground and caught 28 passes for 224 yards from a series of questionable quarterbacks.nike jerseys nfl

Anderson isn’t a franchise back, but he has talent and would perform well in a system with an above-average offensive line and credible signal-callers. The Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles have a need at the position, and they seem to prefer running back by committee. Right now, they have Jay Ajayi as the front-line power back and Corey Clement as the third-down specialist, while Wendell Smallwood and Donnel Pumphrey have provided few answers at the position.china nfl jersey

The Eagles did not address the running back position at all in the draft, which leaves them a bit short. Of course, they ran the table with a relatively limited running back rotation, so head coach Doug Pederson and general manager Howie Roseman could credibly argue the positional need is overstated.

But should Ajayi go down for any length of time, the Eagles might have to avail themselves of the best talent available in-season or make a trade. Or, they could sign Anderson now and save the trouble.nfl official jerseys cheap

Because Anderson does fit what the Eagles do. He’s a quick first-cut runner with a gliding style and some power after contact. He’s a decent blocker and can catch the ball on screens and quick swing passes. He’d be the ideal addition for an offense that doesn’t need much to set things up for a potential repeat.  nfl jerseys online

Kawhi Is Not Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan set the standard for what became known as “The Spurs Way,” which is understood to mean selfless sacrifice on and off the floor. The thinking went: if Duncan, arguably the best power forward of all time, set the bar high, everyone else would be held accountable. It worked—Duncan and the Spurs’ five NBA titles will attest.
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That extended to contract talks and taking less money than the max, or trusting the singular word of team doctors. The Spurs Way wasn’t challenged.

Leonard is the best Spur since Duncan was drafted in 1997. Though his stoic outward demeanor is similar to Duncan’s, the comparisons might end there.

The Spurs doctors have cleared Leonard, but he has sought second opinions from medical personnel outside the organization and hasn’t been cleared from the independent doctors.

“The ‘totally cleared’ part? The doctors are saying they feel you can’t harm the injury anymore if you play. Outside of a freak accident,” the executive said. “But if you don’t feel you are, it’s a mental part for these guys. That’s big.”5d9739c62748398af146d25311a379a4_crop_exactcheap nfl jerseys first

Leonard can be offered a “supermax” contract this summer, a five-year deal worth up to $219 million. But rival executives feel neither the Spurs’ offer nor Leonard’s accepting the offer is a certainty—thus the trickiness of the Spurs’ old-school ways and Leonard’s modern sensibilities.
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“As a player, potential free agent, that sticks a little to him,” the executive said. “If you rush him, you end up with Grant Hill in Orlando.”

Hill was one of the game’s five best players as a Detroit Piston, but he played on an ankle injury at the end of the 2000 season that should’ve sidelined him. It was the start of a cycle that robbed Hill of his prime years as he left Detroit for Orlando that summer. It took five years before he found his health again, and he turned into just a valuable role player as his career wound down.

One can assume Leonard doesn’t want to put himself in such a vulnerable position. Injuries to Stephen Curry, Jimmy Butler and Irving are all leg issues—perhaps a byproduct of a changing game that requires more torque and cutting as offenses grow more sophisticated. It’s not a stretch to say Leonard, possibly the NBA’s best two-way player, needs his body at optimal condition to be the player he expects to be. nfl women jerseys

‘That’s Your Leverage’: Don’t Blame Kawhi Leonard for Taking Control

Perennial All-Star Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs have arrived at an unlnfl  jerseys cheap from china ikely impasse, with questions surrounding loyalty, trust, money and control.

Leonard’s absence from the Spurs bench became a topic of discussion yet again during Saturday’s nationally televised broadcast. Their relationship with their franchise player looks murkier by the day, with a report surfacing from The Vertical’s Shams Charania that Leonard will continue rehab on an injured quad in New York as opposed to emerging from the shadows of ambiguity to join his team against the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has issued statements that appear to be coded, as team doctors have apparently cleared Leonard to play. Leonard’s consultation with independent doctors produced a different prognosis, as the second opinion he’s sought has confi cheap nfl jerseys first rmed his feeling that he’s not quite ready to return.hi-res-9e14ab41e1282bb4df1b5d412dabc717_crop_north

It’s not the first time a star player and team have differing opinions, where a player has relied on outside opinions to determine the best course of action—and Leonard’s future free agency comes into play, as he could exercise a player option in the 2019-20 season or hit the open market.2012 nfl cheap jerseys

Leonard is taking control of his future, while the Spurs move through the present with trepidation.

Leonard need look no further than the events of last spring when Isaiah Thomas fought through a deteriorating hip and the emotional strain caused by his sister’s unexpected death to perform for the Boston Celtics.cheap authentic nfl jersey

His dream of a max contract and being the unquestioned leader of a contender was in his grasp—until his hip finally gave out and he missed the final games of the conference finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Then the second-guessing began and hasn’t stopped since. The max contract he craved now seems as unlikely as his rise to stardom from the last pick in the 2011 draft.