With Eric Kendricks done, more Vikings in line for extensions

As the first domino to fall in a line of upcoming contract extensions, Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks set into motion a official nfl jerseys cheap tricky test for Minnesota’s front office to keep the roster together in coming years

Kendricks was the first Viking with a contract due to expire in 2019 to receive an extension. His new deal is worth $50 million over five years with $25 million guaranteed, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Pro Football Talk is reporting that Kendricks is to earn $15 million in Year 1, $22.5 million over the first two years, $31.5 million over three years, $40.5 million over four and $50 million over five.

Kendricks, who was to make $1.64 million this season, is now in an elite class of inside linebackers making $10 million or more per season, joining Luke Kuechly ($12.4 million), Bobby Wagner ($10.7 million) and Alec Ogletree ($10.5 million).190

The Vikings had $17.8 million in available cap space prior to Kendricks’ deal, according to the NFLPA’s daily report. With a handful of needs to be addressed in the draft next week, Minnesota shifts focus to the other prominent players scheduled to become free agents after this season: linebacker Anthony Barr, wide receiver Stefon Diggs and defensive end Danielle Hunter. The Vikings also have until May 3 to exercise the fifth-year option on cornerback Trae Waynes’ rookie deal.

Getting deals done for all four will be difficult given the Vikings’ restraints on future cap space. Kendricks’ cap figure in 2018 will be considerably higher than it was before the extension, and though it might not present any issues right now, available spending in 2019 is a completely different story.

General manager Rick Spielman has said the Vikings plan their cap out two years at a time, which is why the franchise felt it was able to give Kirk Cousins a three-year, nfl authentic jerseys fully-guaranteed deal worth $84 million. Getting creative with deals in the future will be critical as they work to keep their foundational pieces.

With one of those key defensive pieces in the fold, here’s a look at which Viking might be next to receive an extension.


Eagles’ Carson Wentz says watching Super Bowl LII was a ‘challenge’

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz acknowledged that it was “a challenge” to watch Super Bowl LII from the sidelines, calling it a lesson in humility and faith during a media session Tuesday to mark the start of the team’s offseason training program.

One minute Wentz was a top candidate for league MVP,wholesale nfl jerseys and the next he was out with a season-ending knee injury that shifted him into a support role while his backup, Nick Foles, helped deliver the city of Philadelphia its first Lombardi Trophy.

His relationship with Foles, though, helped ease the sting, he said, and should make for a less awkward situation as Wentz takes the reins back from the Super Bowl MVP.

“You’ve got to fight that,” said Wentz, speaking about any pangs of jealousy that came with Foles’ accomplishments in his stead. “It’s human nature to want to be on that podium and be that guy. You grow up wanting to do that as a kid, but to not be able to be up there, I would not rather have anyone else be up there than Nick.”188

Wentz has been making strides in his recovery from a torn ACL and LCL in his left knee, which he suffered against the Los Angeles Rams in December. He is in the “running progression” stage of his rehab and is “feeling good with where I’m at.” The target date for his return remains Week 1 of the regular season.

Should Wentz reach that goal, Foles will return to his role as the Eagles’ No. 2 quarterback, barring a trade. He recently expressed the desire to be a starter again during an interview with a Texas ABC affiliate while also highlighting the positives of remaining with the Eagles for another season.

“We love Philly. nfl jerseys from china I know there was some stuff going around [about] a possible trade, and I would love the opportunity to be a starter again,” Foles said. “I know my spot in Philly. I think I’ve shown what I can do. I’m signed for one more year and I love the team, I love the city. I’m excited for Carson to get back on his feet. I’ll be ready to go whenever they need me. But we’ll see; just living in the moment.”


Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin didn’t make the grade this season

It would have been a fitting photo to wrap up this dreadful Canadiens season, which saw them finish 28th in the overall NHL standings with a 29-40-13 record while ranking 29th in offence and 25th in defence.

It’s not Hemsky’s fault the Canadiens missed the playoffs, but he highlights the reason why they never really had a chance. After Marc Bergevin’s final “first-come, nfl jersey wholesale first-served” contract offers to free-agents Alexander Radulov and Andrei Markov last summer backfired and they both left, the GM was left scrambling to fill their spots and the best he could do was Hemsky and Mark Streit. The Canadiens also started the season $8 million below the NHL salary cap, a problem Bergevin never fixed.

Hemsky was pointless in seven games before suffering a season-ending concussion, while Streit played only two games before his contract was bought out.154

Bergevin has placed the blame for this season on a bad attitude in the locker room. If that’s true, the GM is the one most responsible for creating it. The answer to the Canadiens’ problems wasn’t in the room, as Bergevin suggested. It should have been in the GM’s office and the players probably knew that.

For that reason, Bergevin is the only one who merits an F in this season-ending Canadiens report card. Coach Claude Julien gets a C because he didn’t have enough to work with.

Brendan Gallagher (A+): The team’s best player, leading in goals (31), points (54) and heart. He never, ever gave up despite playing injured at times.

Paul Byron (A): Second straight 20-goal season for a waiver-wire pickup who matches Gallagher’s work ethic and also proves you can’t measure the size of a player’s heart.

Shea Weber (A): Deserves hockey’s version of a purple heart after fracturing his left foot in the first game and then playing 25 more games before being shut down and needing surgery. nfl jerseys cheap authentic Averaged a team-high 25:20 of ice time while constantly playing in pain.

Antti Niemi (B+): After being claimed off waivers, he found his game with help from goalie coach Stéphane Waite and posted a 7-5-4 record with a 2.46 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage behind a weak defence.


Sabres’ Kyle Okposo plans hit gym hard to revamp game

Considering everything Kyle Okposo has endured over the past year, the Sabres winger said he’s “pretty happy” looking back on his season.

Exactly one year ago, nfl authentic jerseys Okposo was hospitalized in intensive care after suffering a scary concussion. Hockey was an afterthought.

But Okposo recovered, and in 2017-18, his second season with the Sabres, the former NHL All-Star played 76 games.

“I played a full season,” Okposo said Monday as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers and held exit interviews inside KeyBank Center. “I didn’t know if I was going to be able to at this time last year and I wasn’t even thinking about hockey, honestly, at this time. Then I didn’t really start until about June.”153

Starting his offseason training regimen so late hurt Okposo. He struggled early and looked a step behind, mustering just one assist in his first nine outings.

Throughout the campaign, Okposo offered critical analysis of his performance. So while he’s happy he made it through the year – he suffered another concussion in March but missed only three games – he’s not exactly thrilled with his play.

“I just need to get back to having a good summer of training,” he said.

In the modern NHL, a poor offseason of training – or, in Okposo’s case, a short one – can leave you behind.

“This summer, it’s going to be a lot more focused on my body and getting my body where it needs to be,” Okposo said. “I played through a lot of stuff this year. nfl jersey wholesale There’s reasons for that, because the training wasn’t there. I didn’t have that base, I didn’t have the mechanics.

“I felt really disjointed this year and I think it reflected in my play. So I’m just going to work, I’m going to get back to doing what I can do best. I’ll take a couple weeks here but I’m going to get right back at i


Walter Abercrombie, Barry Redden or Marcus Allen? The Raiders chose right

Not on what position the Raiders wanted in the first round of the 1982 draft; they wanted a running back. But after their top two choices were already gone in Stanford’s personalized nfl jerseys cheap Darrin Nelson and Arizona State’s Gerald Riggs, the Raiders were at a crossroads at pick No. 10.

Some in the room wanted Baylor’s Walter Abercrombie. The name of Richmond’s Barry Redden came up. The rest? They were keen on the reigning Heisman Trophy winner from USC. Guy by the name of Marcus Allen.

Thus began the most memorable draft moment in Raiders franchise history.

Especially since Al Davis was not in the Raiders’ draft room. Rather, the iconoclast owner was in court in Los Angeles, trying to finalize things for his team’s impending move to Southern California.

“He had to come out and talk to us on a payphone,” then-Raiders coach Tom Flores said of Davis with a laugh. “He said, ‘Is that who you want? Fine.'”

His 18 total TDs in 1984 remain a single-season franchise record as are his 11 straight 100-yard rushing games in 1985 and his 22 100-yard rushing games over his career. Allen’s three 1,000-yard rushing seasons are tied with Mark van Eeghen for most such seasons in Raiders history and no Raiders rookie has rushed for more yards than Allen did with his 697 in 1982.

And after playing the final five years of his career with the rival Kansas City Chiefs, Allen is one of 25 Pro Football Hall of Famers the Raiders recognize as one of their own. Allen went into Canton in 2003 in his first year of eligibility.

“I spent 25 seasons with the Raiders,” Ron Wolf, the former Raiders personnel executive and Hall of Famer, said on that NFL Network special on Allen. “Of all the people that nfl jerseys on sale ever came through during the time that I was there somebody has to be No. 1. Marcus Allen was No. 1. He’s the best player during my time with the Raiders that I’ve ever seen.”

Good thing for all involved, then, that saner heads prevailed in that split Raiders draft room in 1982.


Sebastian Janikowski agrees to contract with Seahawks

For the Seahawks, the move gives them another veteran kicker to compete with Jason Myers for the job that Blair Walsh held last season.

For the 40-year-old Janikowski,official nfl jerseys it’s a chance to continue his career in the Pacific Northwest after spending his first 18 seasons in Oakland. He didn’t play in 2017 because of a back injury and wasn’t re-signed when his contract expired at season’s end.

A surprise choice as the 17th overall pick in 2000, Janikowski left Oakland as the Raiders’ all-time leading scorer with 1,799 points, which ranks 11th in NFL history. He’s 10th all time in converted field goals with 414 and 12th in attempts with 515, according to Pro Football Reference. Janikowski’s powerful left leg has booted an NFL-record 55 field goals of 50 yards or longer. That includes a 63-yarder in 2011 against the Broncos in Denver, which tied what at the time was an NFL record.

He became one of the most well-known kickers in NFL history because of his on-field success as well as his atypical build (6-foot-1, 260 pounds) and his history of run-ins with the law while at Florida State and in Oakland. The most recent came in 2011, when Janikowski was charged with misdemeanor battery and false imprisonment stemming from a 2010 incident involving an alleged victim who was a female. Among his other legal scrapes was a 2002 DUI charge.

The Seahawks were in the market for a new kicker after Walsh’s lone season with the team did not go as planned. It started off well, with Walsh making 12 of his first 13 field goals, but ended disastrously when he missed seven of his final 16 kicks. Of those seven misses, six came during four losses that were decided by a touchdown or less.

Walsh’s 72.4 percent field goal rate (21 of 29) ranked 29th among qualified kickers. He’s an unrestricted free agent after playing out a one-year, $1.1 million deal with Seattle.

Coach Pete Carroll said at the scouting combine that the Seahawks would likely bring in another kicker to compete with Myers, whom they had signed to a futures contract after the season. personalized nfl jerseys cheap The 26-year-old Myers spent parts of three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who released him last October.


Colts TE Eric Ebron sees ‘perfect fit’ with a healthy Andrew Luck

That’s the same reason running back Frank Gore came aboard back in the spring of 2015. Gore and Luck played a total of 22 games together in three seasons because of Luck’s injury problems.

The Colts, and Ebron, hope Luck won’t be spending the 2018 season on the sideline. nfl jerseys from china They need him back on the field after dealing with a shoulder injury for nearly the past three years.

“The reason why I came here is because of Andrew Luck, to keep it honest,” Ebron said. “It doesn’t really matter where I played or where I went, I just wanted a quarterback and someone that I knew could get me the ball and pretty much work with me the way that I knew that I needed to be worked with. And I think Andrew Luck was the perfect fit. Doing my research and my time upon him, I just felt like that was the perfect move for me was to come to Indianapolis and be a weapon for him.”

Ebron spent four seasons with the Detroit Lions, where he failed to live up to the expectations of being the No. 10 pick in the 2014 draft. It didn’t help that receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and defensive lineman Aaron Donald were selected two and three spots, respectively, after him. Ebron was released by the Lions last month after 186 receptions for 2,070 yards and 11 touchdowns. The Colts signed Ebron a week later.

“I’m here. I’m here,” Ebron said. “Frank Reich did a damn good job if I’m here. He knows how to sell you now. … He’s very, very strategic and very, very offensive-minded, which helps people like me in situations of where you want to create the mismatches and you want to do the things that help you evolve and be great. That’s what I like with what Frank said.”

Reich’s offense is predicated on exploiting mismatches. The Colts’ new head coach often did that with the tight ends while serving as Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator the past two seasons. Ebron will have the inside track on being the No. 2 tight end behind Pro Bowler Jack Doyle, to go with receiver T.Y. Hilton on the outside.

“I’ve done a lot of things at a very young age and I do have that as a positive,” Ebron said. “My deal is to just take it to the next level. At this place here,official nfl jerseys cheap I have a new start, I have a new finish. I have a new rep, and that alone means a lot. I look forward to making that rep a good one.”


ESPN draft analysts link Quenton Nelson, Roquan Smith to Bears

The Chicago Bears have yet to win many games in the Ryan Pace era, but there’s no disputing the fact that the Bears’ 41-year-old GM has some of the best general-manager hair — wholesale nfl jerseys next to the Los Angeles Rams’ Les Snead — in the league.

It’s also true that Mel Kiper’s fashionable and ever-evolving hairstyle has been the envy of draft analysts from coast to coast for decades.

So it’s only fitting that Kiper played the role of the Bears general manager in place of Pace in ESPN’s 2018 ‘Grade: A’ three-round mock draft, released this week.

To be clear, Kiper is not making these picks based on the scuttlebutt he hears around the league as the draft approaches. Rather, the draft guru is making what he considers the best choices for each team at each given slot.

Because the Bears currently do not have a third-round pick — by virtue of last year’s trade with San Francisco to move up one spot for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky — Kiper only made a pair of choices for the Bears.

At No. 8 overall, Kiper is standing firm with Chicago drafting Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson.

As we’ve detailed on numerous occasions, the idea of Chicago’s selecting Nelson makes sense on several levels — even though the value attached to a guard that early in the draft is relatively low.

The Bears have a clear need at guard after the team declined veteran Josh Sitton’s teamoption, and Nelson is widely considered the best offensive line prospect in the draft, nfl jerseys from china and he played for new Bears offensive line coach Harry Hiestand at Notre Dame. Nelson is built like an offensive tackle, so the possibility of moving him to right tackle — Bobby Massie’s contract expires after the 2018 season — sounds plausible.

Plus, three-time Pro Bowler Kyle Long is battling back from three separate surgical procedures. Long said emphatically last week that he’ll be cleared by the beginning of the regular season, he’s missed 14 games over the past two years.


Giants still unsure of running scheme with OTAs and draft looming

The New York Giants running game has been lost at sea. It has been floating there for several years. And they’re still not sure exactly how they’re going to find it and fix it under new coach Pat Shurmur.

The Giants running attack lacked commitment and identity the past few years, when they consistently finished in the bottom half of the league. china wholesale nfl jerseys The last time the Giants had a Top 10 rushing attack was the 2010 season. They were 26th in the NFL in rushing offense last season after finishing 29th the previous year.

With a new coach bringing fresh schemes, there is hope that the running game will improve. The Giants just aren’t sure at this point what form their rushing attack will take by the time the 2018 season rolls around.

“We’re going to see what our guys do best,” offensive line coach Hal Hunter said last week. “If you got guards that can really pull and trap and run power plays, then that is what you want to do. If that is not their strength, then maybe you’re more of a zone team or zone-lead team.

“I’m saying we probably won’t know that until we know what we’re going to hang our hat on until we come out of camp, had a chance to put the pads on and do those types of things.”

They might have a better idea after the draft. By then the Giants will have spent some time on the field and likely added to their roster. There is a very real possibility they add Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick, or they could add a running back on Day 2 capable of contributing immediately.

Both the NFL’s leading rusher (Kansas City’s Kareem Hunt) and Offensive Rookie of the Year (Alvin Kamara) were third-round picks last year.

The Giants were a directionless bunch the past few years. They tried to regularly run power plays out of the shotgun. They played primarily without a fullback and didn’t have a blocking tight end for most of the past few years.

At times they tried to run inside zone, but didn’t have the elusive backs or line to make it a successful staple. In the end, they didn’t commit to much of anything. They were a pass-first team that occasionally ran.

It seems that the Giants are leaning toward a power running attack this season as currently assembled. Hunter called new guard Patrick Omameh a hard-nosed, gritty, nfl jersey china wholesale get-in-your-face tough guy. He raved about how newly-signed left tackle Nate Solder was one of the few left tackles who could run block.


When it comes to drafting QBs, Cowboys have mostly window shopped

The Dallas Cowboys began their draft meetings this week at The Star. They have needs all over their roster and there have been clues as to the direction they might go when the draft starts April 26.

The Cowboys have hosted some of the top wholesale nfl jerseys china wide receivers, linebackers, defensive tackles, offensive linemen and defensive ends on their top-30 visits. Quarterbacks were noticeably missing from their list of visitors.

It’s not that the Cowboys haven’t met with or had private workouts with quarterbacks. They have. But on their list of needs, quarterback isn’t viewed as an early priority.

With Dak Prescott, the Cowboys believe they are set with their starting quarterback. They also like the potential of their backup, Cooper Rush, who won the No. 2 job after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Central Michigan.

The Indianapolis Colts selected four, mostly because they had Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck, the No. 1 overall picks in 1998 and 2012. The Denver Broncos, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers have selected the most at 11. The Washington Redskins have picked 10.

On average, teams have picked seven quarterbacks (6.97) in the first 18 drafts this century.

The Cowboys, New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks are the only teams not to take a quarterback in the first round since 2000. The Patriots have had Tom Brady as their starter since early in the 2001 season.

Go back to when Jerry Jones purchased the team, the Cowboys have selected only five quarterbacks: Troy Aikman with the first overall pick in 1989 and Bill Musgrave in the fourth round of the 1991 draft.

At the very least, the Cowboys need another quarterback simply because they don’t have enough arms on campus. While they are sold on Prescott as the starter, would they be wise to select a future starter if things don’t pan out the way they expect? While they like Rush as a backup, he has thrown only three passes in a regular-season game.

Early in Jason Garrett’s tenure as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator, the Cowboys valued the backup position by rostering high-priced veterans in Brad Johnson, china wholesale nfl jerseys Jon Kitna and Kyle Orton. Aside from the 2015 trade for Matt Cassel after Tony Romo broke his collarbone, the Cowboys have gone cheap at backup quarterback with Brandon Weeden, Kellen Moore, who is now the Cowboys’ quarterbacks coach, and Rush.