Importance of Vikings backup QB Trevor Siemian? Think Case Keenum

The Minnesota Vikings know firsthand how having a skilled, reliable backup quarterback can be a game-changer for a franchise. Finding someone to step in at a moment’s notice and do more than just move the ball efficiently downfield was a test Minnesota aced last year — and one the Vikings hoped to repeat this free agency.

Case Keenum proved to be the most important offseason acquisition nfl jersey for cheap in the NFL in 2017 after he was thrown into the fire for an injured Sam Bradford in Week 2 and led the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game.

Aside from signing a potential franchise quarterback in Kirk Cousins, viewed as the missing piece for a team in search of its first Super Bowl victory, Minnesota emphasized adding an element it had relied on heavily last season: quality depth.

The former Broncos quarterback came to the Vikings via a trade, a move that was made official Monday. Minnesota sent its fifth-round pick in the 2019 draft in exchange for the fourth-year quarterback and a seventh-rounder this April.

Siemian embarks on the next chapter of his career in a similar position to Keenum’s ahead of last year: a former starter who heads to Minnesota for a fresh start, a redefined role and an opportunity to take his career in a different direction.

It panned out as the opportunity of a lifetime for Keenum, who posted career numbers in completion percentage, passer rating, TD-INT ratio and Total QBR in Minnesota, which earned him a big payday with Denver in free agency. Siemian could be the next beneficiary of such an immense turnaround.

The former Northwestern standout took over for Peyton Manning the season after the future Hall nfl jerseys cheap authentic of Famer led the Broncos to a win in Super Bowl 50. Siemian started 24 games in Denver, where he left with a 13-11 record despite struggling throughout 2017, getting benched in favor of Paxton Lynch and then being called upon to start again last December before his second shoulder injury in just more than a year ended his season.

Olney: Why some young players may increasingly jump at long-term offers

The smallest adjustment can make an enormous difference for a Major League Baseball player, which is part of the game’s allure.

Trevor Hoffman frantically searched for a solution in the spring of 1995 after hurting his shoulder diving on the beach at 26 years old, and when he tried a changeup grip showed to him by teammate Donnie Elliott,throwback nfl jerseys cheap he discovered the off-speed pitch that will propel him into the Hall of Fame later this year.106

Jamie Moyer was within a few months of his 33rd birthday when the Orioles cut him in 1995, just as he felt he had started to make progress in the art of working inside. Moyer was 49 when he finally threw his last pitch in the majors.

That uncertainty about when a player’s breakthrough might occur is why some agents are reluctant to advise their clients to jump at a long-term offer of guaranteed money. Under certain circumstances, taking a team-friendly deal might feel a little like burning Powerball tickets before the numbers are drawn.

But after the brutally harsh conditions for free agents this winter, more players might reflexively grab guaranteed dollars when they are offered, because there have been too many examples of peers who left money behind. Mike Moustakas rejected a qualifying offer of $17.4 million last fall and then settled for $6.5 million this spring. Neil Walker turned down a $42 million, three-year proposal in the winter of 2016-17, and after making $17.2 million last summer, he took a one-year, $4 million deal with the Yankees.

Cautionary tales are swirling throughout baseball right now, and one agent said the other day he assumes that the spawn of “Moneyball” nfl throwback jerseys front offices will use the desperation against free agents next fall. “Those m—–f—ers just can’t wait to get into talks next fall, because they know there will be some players scared to wait and will jump at bad deals early,” the agent said.

Trade with Jets more proof Colts are confident in Andrew Luck’s shoulder

One of the things that the Indianapolis Colts’ trade with the New York Jets proved on Saturday is that they remain confident that quarterback Andrew Luck will be healthy next season.

Why else nike nfl jerseys for cheap would they have traded back from No. 3 to No. 6 in next month’s draft, which features as many as four quarterbacks who could be selected in the top five? The Colts likely would have stayed put at No. 3 if there were legitimate concerns about Luck’s health.94

Colts general manager Chris Ballard was as adamant as he’s been about Luck’s health at the NFL combine last month, when he said he believes his franchise quarterback will be ready for the 2018 season.

“Do I have any doubt that he’s going to be ready? No, I don’t,” Ballard said at the time.

Through all the front-office, coaching and roster changes the Colts have made in the past 14 months, the key for the organization continues to be Luck’s ability to be healthy.

The desire to cut corners caught up to the Colts when Luck’s body started breaking down in 2015. nfl jerseys nike cheap He has missed 26 games in the past three seasons and it’s likely no coincidence that the Colts missed the playoffs in all three of those seasons.

The Colts — and Luck — have had their sights on the quarterback playing in 2018. It started when they shut him down after continued soreness following a cortisone shot last October. It continued when he spent six weeks rehabbing in the Netherlands. Then there were the comments by Ballard and Luck, saying he won’t need a second shoulder surgery. Luck spent several weeks in Southern California working with throwing coaches to regain the form in his surgically repaired right shoulder.

Jets’ trade could mean Bradley Chubb, other top picks available to Bucs at No. 7

With the New York Jets trading into the third spot of the 2018 NFL draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in better shape to land a top-five caliber prospect at No. 7. That’s assuming that the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants and the Jets all select quarterbacks,nfl jerseys cheap nike which could cause a few of the elite prospects to fall into the Bucs’ lap. Here’s a look at who may be available:

Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State93

A dream scenario would be selecting Bradley Chubb, arguably the top defender in the draft. The Bucs have focused heavily on improving their defensive line play this offseason, signing defensive tackles Beau Allen and Mitch Unrein and defensive end Vinny Curry in free agency. But Chubb is a true edge rusher who can play every snap from Day 1. This would also be a big help for 2016 second-round pick Noah Spence, who is recovering from his second shoulder surgery in two years.

The Browns, who also select at No. 4, don’t need a pass-rusher after drafting Myles Garrett in 2017 and Emmanuel Ogbah in 2016. The Denver Broncos no longer need a quarterback with a top pick after trading for Case Keenum, but do have needs with their pass rush,cheap nfl jerseys nike which is where Chubb could come in. But they also have to account for the loss of Aqib Talib, which could bring a cornerback into play. With the Bucs signing center Ryan Jensen (the Colts were looking at him as a guard), general manager Jason Licht may have effectively forced the Colts to draft offensive guard Quenton Nelson.

Julius Randle is changing the narrative of his future

Julius Randle has heard more times than he cares to count how Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers will put on a full-court press this summer for two superstar free agents at his expense.

The Lakers’ big man is fully aware that his future is tied solidly to the team’s master plan to woo the likes of LeBron James and Paul George this summer and that he will more than likely have to go to help clear up to $70 million in cap space.reebok nfl jerseys


“Oh, man, it came to a certain point where I was just numb to it,” Randle said.

But Randle is not sitting idly by and accepting whatever his fate may be. Instead, he’s doing all he can to show the Lakers, and the rest of the league, what he can do.

With James in Staples Center for perhaps the last time as a Cleveland Cavalier on Sunday, Randle turned in a superstar performance, posting a career-high 36 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and two blocks before a nationally televised audience.nfl jersey wholesale He made his final nine shots and scored 19 points in the last 18 minutes to turn a close game into a Lakers rout.

Randle is trying to alter the narrative about him having to go in order to land James and George by playing the best basketball of his career, and in the process, he’s doing his best to make the Lakers think twice about what to do with him.

“I haven’t talked to a lot of other coaches about him, but what he’s doing right now, he has to be on everyone’s radar,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “He’s playing unbelievable basketball. He’s a matchup nightmare for teams; he’s versatile. This is just me guessing, but I would imagine most teams are pretty impressed with what he’s doing.”

Fantasy baseball ‘do not draft’ list

Los Angeles Angels pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani is clearly quite adept at both throwing and hitting a baseball, though to what degree among the highest competition remains somewhat of a mystery. Because he is so new to the major leagues, he has created unique, and unfortunately unreasonable, expectations. The result in the fantasy baseball world is this: As exciting and intriguing as this new situation is, Ohtani is more likely to nfl cheap nike jerseys disappoint than to earn the excessive value expected of him in ESPN average live drafts. Hey, this works for me, as I will be able to watch Ohtani perform sans the added pressure of being desperate for groundbreaking statistics on a fantasy roster.


Context is always critical when calling any player worth more or less than perceived value, and that is important in an annual article like this with such an oft-misunderstood and grand proclamation of avoidance. This is about numbers and value. ESPN Fantasy projects Ohtani to win 10 games and strike out 148 hitters over his 140 innings, with a modest 3.41 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. At the plate, Ohtani projects for eight home runs and a .236 batting average. Not quite the numbers so many expect, but ultimately there is a value to them. The problem is I perceive those projections to be realistic, and they would not result in warranting close to an eighth-round choice this season, which is his current ADP.

Welcome to the latest edition of the “Do Not Draft” list,new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap which aims to take into account proper value in comparison with expectations in order to provide a list of players I will be avoiding. Ohtani, 23, dominated in Japan on the mound, at the plate and obviously in the hearts of so many, and it is not the least bit surprising that so many fantasy managers are eager to secure someone with so much promise to their rosters. However, a 3.41 ERA is not what many deem ultimate promise, and that goes for eight home runs as well. There is major upside for Ohtani to be a transcendent star in the United States … but we are probably not at that point yet in 2018, and that is really the point of his inclusion on this list.


Wenger gets boost as Arsenal end Premier League losing run

LONDON — Three thoughts on Arsenal’s 3-0 win vs. Watford in the Premier League.

1. Finally, a comfortable day for Arsenal

In the broader scheme of things, this game could not possibly have meant less to Arsenal. The three points gained by beating Watford 3-0 merely moved them to within 10 of fourth place; with just eight games remaining, it’s still a gap too wide.

But victory was important to continue what goodwill and confidence the Gunners gained by winning in Milan last week, ahead of Thursday’s Europa League last-16 second leg. The competition is king, and it’s the only thing that should carry any importance for the remainder of the season. Indeed, if Arsenal’s remaining league games serve any purpose, it is to ensure they are in good shape for Europe.

Goals from Shkodran Mustafi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were enough to secure the win on Sunday, while Petr Cech saving a Troy Deeney penalty put the cap on a very pleasant afternoon for the home side.

Arsenal took the lead with just seven minutes on the clock, Mustafi finding room from a Mesut Ozil free kick to head brilliantly into the far corner. The atmosphere, which already seemed much lighter than in previous weeks, lifted even further.

But the remainder of the half didn’t provide much by way of quality football. Both teams had chances, but neither took them and traded glaring misses: Ozil shot against Watford keeper Orestis Karnezis’s legs with the goal gaping, while Ricardo Pereyra missed a chance to make it 1-1 when he shanked over from close range.

Cech made a couple of fine saves — particularly from a Richarlison header just before the break — as the Arsenal defence showed only a passing interest in defending. The players, perhaps understandably, were giving a sense that they had more important things on their minds.

The second half started slowly, to say the least, but Arsenal doubled their lead just before the hour mark. Mkhitaryan slipped a neat pass through to Aubameyang, who stepped around Karnezis and side-footed home.

Watford had a chance to pull one back immediately when Pererya was fouled in the area. Deeney stepped up, but his kick was weak and poorly directed. Cech saved and the home fans, recalling the Watford striker’s assertion that Arsenal lacked “cojones” earlier in the season, enjoyed the moment enormously. It was Cech’s first penalty save for Arsenal and preserved his 200th Premier League clean sheet.

The scoring was completed with 13 minutes remaining, as Mkhitaryan swept in after a penalty-area scramble. “Deeney, what’s the score?” sang an admittedly sparse home crowd. For once in recent weeks,cheap nfl jerseys china they could go home with a feeling of contentment rather than frustration.

2. Much-needed win for Wenger

While the Premier League might have little meaning for Arsenal from now until May, things are perhaps slightly different for Arsene Wenger,

You still doubt that there is anyone strong enough at the club to send him on his way this summer, but things have certainly been put things in place for a post-Wenger world, in which the old-style “manager” is replaced by a coach-led group to share the load.

Raul Sanllehi was brought in as head of football relations and, more significantly Sven Mislintat arrived as head of recruitment. Meanwhile, a series of other appointments were made to spread the work that Wenger has traditionally done.

When this new era will begin is another matter, despite such things now being in place. Wenger certainly wants to stay; otherwise, he would surely have left by his own accord. So the attention turns to these past few weeks of the season.

There are some similarities to Jose Mourinho and Manchester United last season, in that progress in the Europa League will determine the success of the season as a whole.

The difference is that Mourinho’s position was reasonably secure, and a league finish outside the top four could be just about ignored. Wenger’s is not, and he still needs a strong domestic finish in order to present as good a case as possible for his retention.authentic nfl jerseys

3. Watford’s away-day woes continue

The chances are that Watford are safe — they might even stay up without winning another point — which means the January decision to replace Marco Silva with Javi Gracia has certainly been justified. Still, they would like a few more points to settle some nerves and there remain issues to work through.

Their theoretical safety has been broadly down to home form: Since the managerial change, they have beaten Chelsea 4-1 and collected valuable victories against West Brom and Everton at Vicarage Road. In three games, they’ve scored six and only conceded once.official nfl jerseys cheap

Away form has been more of a problem. Watford haven’t scored on the road since the start of January and haven’t won since beating Newcastle 3-0 in November. Next week they visit Liverpool; should they lose, which form suggests they will, a nervier finish to the season is possible.

An upturn in away form will be handy for the team as a whole, but might be more important to Gracia. He signed an 18-month contract when he arrived but will know as well as anyone that when it comes to Watford, the dates on managerial contracts are little more than a very rough guide.

The report of three years, $39 million for Richard Sherman may be “a mirage”

You know the drill by now. Player agrees to terms. Numbers get leaked to reporter who passes them along without scrutiny, analysis, or caveat. Real numbers come out later,cheap nfl nike jerseys china  exposing that the initial number was a lie.

Multiple league sources, based on history and some of the details already emerging about the deal signed Saturday night by cornerback Richard Sherman in San Francisco, predict that the three-year, $39 million package first reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Media) is “a mirage.”

Already, signs are emerging that the deal may not be what it seems. Josina Anderson of ESPN tweeted on Saturday night that Sherman told her the deal is worth “up to $39.15 million.” cheap nike nfl jersey The key words there are “up to,” because it implies a ceiling based on incentives and other payments tied to playing time or performance. Which means that Sherman’s base deal is lower than $39.15 million.gettyimages-459771512-e1520776077386

Tom Pelissero of NFL Media has since posted the breakdown for the first year: $5 million signing bonus, $2 million base salary (there’s no mention as to whether it’s guaranteed, but as a practical matter it most likely is), $2 million in 46-man per-game roster bonuses, $1 million playing-time incentives, and a $3 million Pro Bowl incentive. (One source cautions that the “Pro Bowl” incentive may be an “All-Pro” incentive, which is harder to achieve since only two are selected for the entire league.)

Per Pelissero, if Sherman makes it to the Pro Bowl (or, possibly, All-Pro), $16 million of the deal becomes fully guaranteed over 2019 and 2020.

While those details aren’t nearly enough to show that the “three-year, $39 million” figure is a “mirage” (Pelissero may be trying to avoid committing NFL Media-on-NFL Media crime), it’s a strong clue that the contract isn’t what Rapoport reported it to be. Pelissero’s breakdown shows a maximum package of $13 million for 2018 (one third of $39 million), if Sherman dresses for all 16 regular-season games, achieves the total playing-time threshold, nfl nike jersey cheap and make it to the NFC Pro Bowl team (or, possibly, the AP All-Pro team.)

Soon enough, the real numbers will emerge. And it could be the first example of what perhaps will be multiple instances of a common dynamic in the reporting of NFL contracts: In order to be first, reporters often will willingly be not entirely accurate.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale
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