Jordan Matthews led the Eagles receivers last year with an average of 11 yards per catch.

Charles’ status as a future Hall of Famer is about his only source of attraction in free agency. He has suffered injuries in each of the last three seasons, and his 2015 ACL tear was bad enough to affect his 2016 season, in which he played just three games.
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As for the Raiders, Charles isn’t the type of back they need. DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard are on the roster as capable options in the passing game out of the backfield, which at this point is the most (perhaps only) valuable aspect of Charles’ game.
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Wentz got off to a hot start to his rookie season before he fell back to Earth as the Eagles lacked a big-play receiver. They potentially signed two on Thursday in former 49ers and Ravens receiver Torrey Smith and former Bears wideout Alshon Jeffery.

Jordan Matthews led the Eagles receivers last year with an average of 11 yards per catch. Matthews caught 73 passes for 804 yards and just three touchdowns.

Smith led the NFL with 20.1 yards per reception in 2015 and had a 13.4 yards-per-catch average last season with the 49ers dysfunctional quarterback situation. Smith’s career average is 17 yards per catch.

Jeffery has missed time over the last two years because of injuries, but the 6-3, 218-pound receiver could be WR1 for the Eagles. He’s caught 304 passes for 4,549 yards and 26 scores in 63 career games with an average of 15 yards per catch. If Smith and Jeffery can both stay healthy, the Eagles could return to the postseason for the first time since 2013.

how does a guy who signed a monster contract qualify as under the radar?

Limited Bill Bates Jersey Much ado was — and is — made about Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and the Cubbies capturing their first World Series championship in 108 seasons. Everyone is so focused on their young, talented core, that some forgot their everyday center fielder landed with a division rival.

Even so, how does a guy who signed a monster contract qualify as under the radar? Fowler was the heart and soul of the Cubs in 2016. You go, we go and all that.

Fowler gambled on himself before the 2016 season, signing a one-year deal to stay with the Cubs. He subsequently helped the team capture a World Series title, parlaying a solid 2016 season into a five-year, $82.5 million pact with the Cardinals.

Fowler helps round out a diverse St. Louis lineup that features both youth and experience. It’s still difficult to see how the Cardinals can compete with the Cubs in the National League Central, but Fowler definitely helps solidify a lineup that already had solid numbers coming from the lead-off position in the lineup in 2016.
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More opportunity for players: Adding 15 DH positions in the majors would allow more players to have full-time big-league jobs and, in theory, longer and more successful careers. One-tool offensive players would no longer have to pin hopes solely on the American League, with half the teams in the sport not interested because of limited defensive abilities.

Likewise, National League teams would have more comfort and flexibility in drafting and/or trading. Just as some pitchers are groomed as closers from the start — Craig Kimbrel, for example — players could be groomed as hitting specialists from Day One. If we can have specialized pitchers across the sport, we can have specialized hitters. Which means …

49ers LB Reuben Foster’s shoulder surgery ‘didn’t take,’ made him bigger NFL Draft risk

Reuben Foster’s shoulder injury appears to be more severe than initially reported, which further explains the former Alabama linebacker’s slide in the 2017 NFL Draft.

According to a source with knowledge of Foster’s injury (via ESPN.com), Foster’s surgery on his right rotator cuff in early February “didn’t take.” Another source told ESPN they felt Foster likely wouldn’t make it through his rookie season in San Francisco because his shoulder could give out on any hit.

Foster, considered a top 10 talent heading into the draft, also faced off-field issues after getting sent home from the NFL Combine and providing a diluted urine sample at the Combine’s drug testing.

ESPN reported that, because Foster was sent home from the Combine, the NFL did not have its own medical chart for him until a few days before the draft, which likely scared several teams interested in drafting him.

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan on Thursday said team doctors felt that Foster was recovering well from his shoulder injury, but did not acknowledge a potential worst-case scenario.

“The worst-case scenario is that the shoulder doesn’t heal correctly and you’ve got to do it again,” Shanahan told San Francisco radio station KNBR. “And then you have to do it again, you have to get another surgery. It would be tough to play this year, and you end up having him the next year.

“But it’s not something that would hurt him long-term,” Shanahan said. “So the worst-case scenario, he wouldn’t end up being able to play for us right away. But I still don’t think that would have changed how I personally felt about taking a guy with the 31st pick with the caliber of player that we took.”

The 49ers ended up trading with the Seahawks to get Foster with the No. 31 overall pick, its second first-round pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. Seattle got the 34th pick and the 49ers’ fourth-round pick (111th overall) in return.
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This plea could be extended to the Hall’s veteran voting process in general.

There’s a catch. Negro Leaguers are eligible again, but they and all others from baseball history who made their most significant contribution before 1950 can be considered just once every 10 years. The door to Cooperstown is open again for Negro Leaguers, but just barely.
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With Black History Month wrapping up Tuesday, here’s a plea to the Hall of Fame: Reconsider the policy toward Negro Leaguers. Negro Leaguers have not been honored in Cooperstown at anywhere close to the same level as white players and anyone who’s played in the majors since Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier 1947. A number of outstanding Negro League players and executives remain outside Cooperstown. They deserve more than one or two inductions — at best — per decade.

This plea could be extended to the Hall’s veteran voting process in general. Veterans groups don’t vote on any era of players annually. Candidates from 1988 to present and 1970 to 1987 each get voted on twice every five years. Candidates from 1950 to 1969 get voted on once every five years. But only Negro Leaguers and pre-1950 candidates get voted on once every decade.

Vincent Jackson Womens Jersey Romo, though, is worth the risk as well – especially because there isn’t a better option out there.In a worst-case scenario, the 36-year-old Romo gets hurt again. The Broncos are still covered by having Siemian and Lynch in the wings.The best-case scenario? A rejuvenated Romo plays like he did in 2013 and 2014 when throwing 65 touchdown passes and just 19 interceptions.

NFL free agency: Eddie Lacy signing means Adrian Peterson might have long wait

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Authentic Martin Maldonado Jersey Yeah, what the f— was Holbrook doing? Overreacting and not using common sense, that’s what. He made his debut as a big league ump in 1996. By now he should know the difference between a curveball that got away (which is what happened with Gausman) and the high-90s heat Sale delivered behind Machado on Tuesday and Barnes put behind Machado’s head in late April. At least Barnes was ejected; Sale got off with a warning.

Nearly a week of free agency has gone by, and the greatest running back of our era is still available. Nobody should be too shocked by that — nor by the likelihood that it will be a while before he’s signed.

Adrian Peterson has not yet found a new team. Eddie Lacy has, as of Tuesday afternoon. The Seahawks brought in Peterson but signed Lacy, which tells us something about what the Seahawks were looking for, and what they were not.

Unless there’s more going on below the surface, Peterson’s age, his health history, his salary range, his strengths and weaknesses — even his position, and please hang in there for that explanation — are working against him.

Wrap your head around all of that. Lacy measured up better in most of those categories, and Lacy’s biggest knock his entire career makes him the polar opposite of Peterson: his conditioning. Yet Lacy is five years younger, and his knees have been healthier, despite the extra poundage they’ve lugged around.

And he signed for a reported $3 million guaranteed for one year.

Elliott is mature beyond his years on the field in the NFL, but off the field, he needs to avoid taking these kinds of character hits.

The more he keeps piling on, the harder it will become for him to ever be totally in the clear.

Top Cardinals prospect Alex Reyes has partial tear in elbow, report says

The Cardinals are already sweating and spring training has yet to get rolling.

There must be a significant reason to do this, manager Mike Matheny told MLB.com.
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It turns out the reason is a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in Reyes’ elbow, according to ESPN.com. He will get a second opinion, but season-ending Tommy John surgery is possible, the report said.

Reyes, 22, is considered one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. In 46 innings last season, Reyes whiffed 52 and posted a 1.22 WHIP.

With the Braves headed to their first postseason since 1969, the story was nearly complete. There was only one way for this epic to end 鈥?with a World Series championship.

It just seemed meant to be.

We had no idea how we were going to tell the story if we lost, Ortiz-Guzman said.

But the Braves did lose, and it wasn’t even close 鈥?swept by the Cardinals in a rain-soaked National League Championship Series. The documentary, with its happy ending gone, would have to go in another direction.

Forced to adapt yet again.

We had a dilemma, Diamond said. Here’s this great program and the season ended with a thud. How do you end it?

The solution: Film a teletype machine, ala All the President’s Men, announcing the Braves’ loss in the NLCS.

Womens Scottie Upshall Jersey Understated, but effective.

And just like that, after seven months in the trenches of a baseball season, there was nothing left to document.

NFL Draft 2017: Bears GM Ryan Pace explains dubious move for Mitchell Trubisky

Bears GM Ryan Pace offered two reasons for the team’s head-scratching move to trade up in order to select Mitch Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday night: 1) the quarterback’s upside was too great to pass up, and 2) Chicago believed other teams were talking with the 49ers about trading up for the North Carolina product.

Mike Dunleavy Game Jersey While the Bears’ decision to trade four picks to San Francisco in exchange for the No. 2 overall pick, which they used on Trubisky, was not a popular one, Pace explained ( via the Chicago Tribune ), If we want to be great, you just can’t sit on your hands. There are times when you’ve got to be aggressive. And when you have conviction on a guy, you can’t sit on your hands. I just don’t want to be average around here. I want to be great and these are the moves you have to make.

Pavol Demitra Game Jersey The Bengals reportedly did more due diligence on Mixon than nearly every other team. Several of those teams reportedly never considered him at all. The Ravens, for example, have had a policy of not taking players with a history of violence against women ever since they catastrophically mishandled Ray Rice’s domestic violence incident in 2014. That included the previous most-notorious crime on tape the NFL dealt with.

The NFL barred Mixon from its combine in February via its recent policy of not allowing prospects with histories of violence against women. There were team executives, though, who openly disagreed with that policy and called it unfair to Mixon.

That activity was his modus operandi throughout Golden State’s four-game sweep.

The Thunder used Alex Abrines to screen Westbrook’s man, then had Steven Adams hold off his own defender to give Westbrook more room. Westbrook was initially cut off, but because Abrines kept moving, Westbrook was able to toss the ball back to him and get it back to attack an Eric Gordon closeout. That eventually led to a spot-up three.

More of this please, Thunder, while you still can.

Green began the play on Evan Turner, slid under the hoop to help on Maurice Harkless and Jusuf Nurkic, closed out on C.J. McCollum, and got his hand in Damian Lillard’s face on the three-pointer. For his efforts, he received no credit in the traditional box score. Yet without his roaming, no fewer than three Trail Blazers would have received high-quality open shots.

That activity was his modus operandi throughout Golden State’s four-game sweep. He tortured Portland with a devastating display of Easter Egg 25: The ability to put out any defensive fire, wherever it is. He was the enforcer roaming outside the usual defensive chain of command, a Darth Vader to Ron Adams’ Emperor Palpatine. (Though it’s hard to imagine the Warriors’ defensive guru as an evil tyrant.)

Good things came to both player and team who waited. Rodgers improved in his time as a backup, putting his rocket arm and athleticism together into the complete package when he finally got his chance.

He snuck into the No. 25 pick of the first round, but the Redskins chose to roll with Mark Brunell and Patrick Ramsey ahead of him as a rookie. In Year 2, Washington went with Brunell until it decided to promote Campbell in November.

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The Celtics aren’t seen as an untouchable No. 1 seed or anything even close to it

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The Bulls died a thousand deaths this year, and they certainly didn’t think they would need until the final day of the season to earn their playoff berth. Yet there they were, squeaking by on Wednesday to find themselves here. As it turned out, the combination of Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade, and Jimmy Butler all together doesn’t bring out the best qualities in each one. But with a few key role players emerging late in the season, Chicago won seven of its final nine games and are at least playing solid basketball right about now.

The Celtics aren’t seen as an untouchable No. 1 seed or anything even close to it, but they will probably be just fine against Chicago. Probably!

This list doesn’t indicate how highly these players were picked (more on that soon to come at this website), but it does show who rang up the most raw numbers in the 2017 NFL draft.
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The Michigan Wolverines lead the way, headlined by first-rounders Jabrill Peppers, a safety for the Browns, and Taco Charlton, a DE for the Cowboys. The fun fact: how many of these dudes were recruited by failed coach Brady Hoke before Jim Harbaugh took over. As in, basically all of them.

Alabama’s next. Yep. Fine. Great. Alabama’s always up there. More to come next year, too.

Miami made a late surge, throwing up a bunch of numbers after being pretty quiet for most of the draft.

Most of the other big numbers are the usuals, but check out Utah! Good job, Utah!

On the comedy side of things, hold your sides while pointing at Oregon having zero picks, Division II West Georgia having more than Georgia or Georgia Tech, Nebraska being outdrafted by former coach Bo Pelini’s Youngstown State, as many long snappers being drafted as Longhorns, and Penn State tying for fourth in the state of Pennsylvania. There’s plenty of context to each of those that could be explained, but right now, I just want you to dwell on chuckling. Thank you.

NHL playoff schedule 2017: Ducks look to flip the script in Edmonton while Predators host Blues

Game 3 brings a change of venue to both Western Conference series.
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The Predators were undefeated at home against Chicago last series — and were undefeated in the playoffs until their 3-2 loss to the Blues on Friday — but will have a bigger challenge welcoming St. Louis into their barn. Vladimir Tarasenko made his presence known in Game 2, scoring twice to even the series for the Blues.

Zach Parise Kids Jersey Now, Griffin says, Irving comes alive in the playoffs, but it took some transitioning from a me-first approach to a team-first approach, including the idea to speed up the game even though he can get a shot whenever he wants.

He doesn’t like to push the ball, it’s just not his nature. He’s gotten by in the halfcourt his whole life because his handle is so good, he never felt the urgency to press the ball, whereas most guys develop their game as to what they need to do to succeed. Ky never had to do that. So when you’re explaining to him why it’s important to push the pace and I think he was reluctant to do that, because, well, because I can get mine regardless’. Well, it’s not necessarily about you. So I think where he’s grown and evolved is he’s starting to figure that out.

There’s days where he’s as good as any player in the league at his position. And there’s days where he’s the 198th-some best player adjusted plus/minus player. And there’s days where the defensive quintile that [our analytics department] has him in looks real. There’s days where, when he’s highly motivated to do it, you realize he’s special. His hands are lightning quick, his feet are lightning quick. When he wants to, he can do whatever he wants. Fortunately for us, we’re found that in the playoffs we tend to get the best of him.