The Arizona Cardinals are right where they belong

The Arizona Cardinals are 3-0, one of only three undefeated teams in this young 2014 NFL season. Raise your hand if you’re not an Arizona fan and you predicted this.

I saw firsthand last season just how good this team was/is when they walked into Seattle in Week 16 and unrepentantly became the first team to beat the Seahawks at the CLink in the last 14 games. I still had some doubts. I wondered how they’d adapt after losing All Pro linebacker Karlos Dansby to free agency, Daryl Washington to suspension, Darnell Dockett to injury and would be short one Honey Badger for the early part of the season. After Week 1, I kind of wondered what their offense would look like after starter Carson Palmer went down with a nerve issue in his throwing shoulder. I didn’t know if their defense could afford to lose yet another major contributor in John Abraham to concussion issues.

Here’s the real reason why it worked. Scroll back up the shot before the snap and notice where Peyton is lined up. Now look at where he ends up before he throws the ball. How did this happen? The Seahawks suddenly thought it would be a GREAT idea to use one of their defensive tackles to spy instead of rushing Manning, which is what had been working all day.

On this play, the right defensive end decided to go way inside to try to account for the defensive tackle that dropped out. That allowed Peyton to drive damn near to the numbers away from pressure to deliver the ball down field.

I talked about timing before. The problem for the offense on this play is that for it to work well, it takes a looooooonnnnnnng time for those routes to cross down field. Way more time than the Seahawks pass rush would normally allow.3

Jason Peters will stay with Philadelphia Eagles in 2017

Limited Brent Grimes Jersey NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that despite speculation the Philadelphia Eagles could move on from Jason Peters, he will be back with Philly in 2017.

Peters is set to make $9.5 million in base salary, and his workout bonuses bump that number to $10.7 million. He’s set to count $11.7 million against the Eagles’ salary cap. While there was some discussion about Peters being asked to take a pay cut, it appears he’ll play this season under that number. Philly has cap issues entering the new league year, but the veteran left tackle owned almost all the leverage.
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The veteran received interest from four teams (49ers, Seahawks, Falcons and Broncos) following his release from the Dolphins last week.

San Francisco seemed like the best fit for Mitchell as the team employs a 4-3 defense — the same system he played in during his three-season stint in Miami.

The defensive tackle missed half of the 2016 campaign after being placed on injured reserve due to a lingering calf injury.

The Jets are in rebuilding mode, facing a deeper reconstruction than anyone anticipated coming off 2015’s 10-6 finish. Certain to be released by the Bears, Cutler is a patch, but he’d give Gang Green a veteran to build around while Bryce Petty learns the position and Christian Hackenberg learns how to put on shoulder pads. Even if the team is truly “all over” North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky, this isn’t a roster ready to be led by a rookie. Getting late-period Cutler to bridge the gap makes sense — as much sense as Cutler makes anywhere, if he chooses to keep playing.

Tyrod Taylor stays with the Bills: NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported last week that “it is probably a better chance they keep Tyrod now than actually cutting him.”

Leonard Williams shooting for No. 1 in the NFL Draft

INDIANAPOLIS – if there is one player who can challenge quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota to be taken with the No. 1 pick in the draft, it¡¯s Southern California defensive lineman Leonard Williams.

Jamie Meder Kids Jersey At least that¡¯s what the 302-pound junior thinks the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should do. If not them, then the Tennessee Titans at No. 2.

“I¡¯m shooting for that No. 1 spot,” Williams said at the NFL Scouting Combine. He said that after being asked about getting drafted by the Oakland Raiders at No. 4 overall. The difference between those two draft spots is about $2.5 million.

“I have high expectations for myself and so do my coaches,” Williams said. “That¡¯s just the way I¡¯ve been coached for a long time. It would mean a lot to me and my family to go as high as possible. If No. 1 is the spot, I¡¯d love to be there.”

In a draft where a quarterback is expected to be the No. 1 pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Williams may be a long shot for the top spot. Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was the first pick of last year¡¯s draft, making him the third defensive player to get picked at No. 1 since 2000.

Womens Brandon Thompson Jersey Williams, who had 80 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks last season, made a convincing argument about why he should be top pick.

“I¡¯m competing with quarterbacks at a really different position. I would say from previous years, sometimes it¡¯s taking a chance when you take a quarterback,” Williams said. “You never know what you¡¯re going to get. I¡¯m going to bring a disruption and a physicalness and get to the passer.”

Super Bowl score: Seahawks, Patriots tied after 1 quarter of play

Super Bowl 49 is officially underway, and after one quarter of play, the game is all tied up. The New England Patriots were closest to scoring, but were picked off by the Seattle Seahawks just outside of the end zone near the end of the quarter.
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The Seahawks won the coin toss, elected to defer, and managed to hold the Patriots to a single first down before the first controversial call of the game came through. The Seahawks were called for running into the kicker on New England’s punt, but the Seattle player clearly ran into the plant leg of the punter, which should draw a 15-yard roughing penalty, giving the Patriots a first down. It was called wrong and Seattle took over.

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have publicly voiced that they had no knowledge of the inflation of the game balls. Privately, they’ve maintained the same statements. Rapoport reported Brady told someone close to him that he works with the footballs all week, but has no idea what happens to them on game day.

The NFL hired Ted Wells to launch an investigation into the deflated balls. The investigation should take several more weeks.

Game Womens Salvador Perez Jersey The Kings, defending Stanley Cup champs at the time, figured adding one of the top defensive assets available would push them over the top. They figured wrong. Although the Kings were desperate for defensive help, Sekera simply wasn’t a big enough boost to get them into the playoffs — he registered only four points after the trade — and the loss of the first-round pick was a significant blow to GM Dean Lombardi, who didn’t have the cap space to re-sign the pending free-agent Sekera. You don’t hit if you don’t swing, but this was one of those deals that in hindsight would have been better left undone for the Kings.

Brandon Moss’ power comes with a drawback

The Kansas City Royals, trying to find an inexpensive way to replace the departed Kendrys Morales, signed veteran slugger Brandon Moss to a two-year, $12 million dollar deal on Sunday.

Moss, who can play in the outfield or at first base, has belted 20 or more home runs in four out of the past five seasons, including 28 home runs this past season in 464 plate appearances with the St. Louis Cardinals. That power also comes with a sizeable number of strikeouts: Moss whiffed 141 times and had an on-base percentage of just .300. Moss is a platoon player who is best suited to face right-handed pitchers, as he hit 25 of his 28 home runs in 2016 against them.

Elite Youth Nick Foles Jersey This year’s free-agent market has seen a rapid decline in value for one-dimensional power hitters, and Moss is just another example. After making $8.25 million last year for the Cardinals, he’ll take a $2.25 million cut per year the next two years, making $6 million per for the next two seasons with the Royals.

I expect Moss will split time at DH with Pete O’Brien, who the Royals also acquired this offseason in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Between the two of them, they should combine to hit 30 home runs from the bottom of the Royals’ lineup. They will also come with huge strikeout totals. Moss will also give Royals manager Ned Yost some versatility in right field on days he wants to sit right fielder Jorge Soler against some tough right-handers and a back-up for Eric Hosmer if he needs a day of rest.
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Moss will not be able to make up the offensive production the team lost with Morales’ departure, but his power could help make up for some of it. Most of that burden will be on Soler, whom the Royals acquired in the Wade Davis trade with the Cubs.

Moss signing now leaves Mike Napoli, Chris Carter, Pedro Alvarez and Ryan Howard as the next four 1B/DH-type power hitters left on the free-agent market, with the Texas Rangers being the most active and most likely landing place for Napoli if he’s willing to take a one-year deal. Tampa Bay is also emerging as a strong possibility for these free agents.

Garoppolo seems to fit the vision of finding a young player ready to grow

The Bengals have three candidates for the franchise tag, and it’s unlikely they’ll use it on any of them. The Bengals rarely use the tag, and this year’s free agents don’t seem like they would get it either. They won’t use it on guard Kevin Zeitler because he would have to be tagged and paid as if he were an offensive tackle. Tackle Andrew Whitworth, 35, is a more likely candidate to work out a one- or two-year deal rather than the bigger expense of the tag.

Garoppolo has a ton of leverage in this possible deal. No team will trade for him if he does not agree to a contract extension. Brock Osweiler’s tale could be a cautionary one. As Peyton Manning’s backup, Osweiler had some success in 2015 in Denver. Houston gave him $72 million for four years — $37 million guaranteed. For that money, Osweiler produced 15 touchdowns with 16 interceptions, an 8-6 record and a playoff appearance.

Though Tyrod Taylor and Colin Kaepernick are options, Garoppolo seems to fit the vision of finding a young player ready to grow. If the Browns really will be active in free agency, as the early chatter suggests, they need to find a quarterback who can play right away so the position does not hold the team back.

Garoppolo was a 2014 second-round pick out of Eastern Illinois. Last season he started the first two games while Brady was suspended, and he played well, throwing for 469 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in six quarters before he hurt his throwing shoulder just before halftime of the second game. The injury is a red flag for some, but Garoppolo started 37 games in his final three college seasons.

Garoppolo has one year left on his contract. The Patriots have Jacoby Brissett, who could back up Brady. If New England is going to get something for Garoppolo, this would be the time.

If New England is willing to trade Garoppolo, the competition will be significant — and maybe the 12th pick won’t be enough.

The Jags are under new management, and it remains to be seen what the new brain trust thinks of Blake Bortles

Here’s how photographers captured the unbelievable catch that propelled the Patriots’ game-tying drive in Super Bowl LI.
They have played in nearly half of the Super Bowls since then. Brady is going to the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day, and Belichick might well be remembered as the best football coach in history.

Yet their margin in the most important games of that span — the seven Super Bowls that have sealed the history of their dynasty — is incredibly thin. They have all been decided by one score, with an average point differential of 3.7. Viewed objectively, the Brady/Belichick Patriots are but a few plays away from never winning a Super Bowl — or winning all seven.

The Jags are under new management, and it remains to be seen what the new brain trust thinks of Blake Bortles. He absolutely took a step backward in 2016 and will have to show progress quickly if the team is going to commit to him long term.

The social media producer said Garrett’s comments were in the spirit of an upbeat event. All players in attendance went through a series of interviews before the event.

“He was definitely having fun and was in a playful mood,” the producer said. “One of the questions right before that was about his interest in dinosaurs. That’s what we do. We get fun little nuggets.

“It was 100 percent supposed to be fun. He was just having fun. He knew I worked for ESPN and that I was videoing him.”

In a separate video for KRIV-TV in Houston that was posted on Twitter on Thursday, Garrett said he would “definitely” like to play for the Browns.

Earl Thomas expected to be back for Week 1

Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas underwent left shoulder surgery on Tuesday, but is expected to recover in time for the 2015 season opener, according to NFL Network Ian Rapoport.

Thomas, 25, tore his labrum — a ring of fibrocartilage around the edge of the joint surface — in the NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers, which caused his shoulder to dislocate. He played the rest of the game with a shoulder harness and did the same in the Super Bowl, finishing with eight tackles against the New England Patriots.

The Cardinals cleared some serious cap room with Fitzgerald’s restructure and didn’t necessarily need the cap room, but Dockett will be 34 when the 2015 season gets underway, and he’s coming off an ACL injury that forced him out of last season. Frostee Rucker, Tommy Kelly and other players filled in well along the defensive line, and the defense was definitely the strength of the Cardinals last season.

Dockett has been with the Cardinals since 2004, when he was drafted the same year as Fitzgerald. He’s been a leader and a force on that defense for a long time, and will certainly be able to find a new team for 2015. That said, the Cardinals team website says that “the veteran defensive lineman could still come back, however.” In other words, the Cardinals want Dockett back — and have been adamant that they want him to retire in Arizona — but only after he finds the market isn’t as strong for him as he might think.

The team will have to assess what they have in their backfield, and then decide if they need to continue investing in running back or rely on C.J. Anderson and Montee Ball.

“I think it fits great,” for C.J. Anderson, said Elway. “I think we saw what C.J. could do last year, especially halfway on through the end of the year. He came in and had a tremendous year for us. He’s a one-cut guy and he’s a north and south runner. That’s what style of an offense this is. I think C.J. will be a perfect fit for it so I’m thrilled we still have him.”

Tom Brady excited his mom will attend the Super Bowl after recent health issues

Tom Brady’s mother, Galynn, has been dealing with health issues for the past 18 months, and it has been a big source of concern and stress for Brady, according to CSNNE.

His mother’s health might also explain why Brady was emotional at Super Bowl Opening Night when asked who his hero was, and he responded with his dad.

Tom Brady nearly brought to tears at Super Bowl media event after answering 7-year-old boy’s question asking who his hero was: “My dad.”

When asked about his heartfelt response, Brady said via NESN, “You just have different things that your family goes through throughout the course of your life. It has been a challenging year for my family for some personal reasons.” That turned out to be telling about his mother’s health.

Wilson continued, “Now you kind of recognize that people’s feelings are getting hurt, people’s lives getting changed, people are getting sent back or not let in back home to see their families for reasons that may not be worthy. Just because you believe in something or you’re from a certain place doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person.”

He also questioned whether or not Trump would last his entire term.

“I don’t know if [Trump’s] even going to be able to last four years, in my opinion. You don’t want to wish bad upon anybody, because if he doesn’t last four years, that means that something went wrong. So hopefully nothing goes wrong any more than what it’s already doing.”

Donald Trump once called Roger Goodell a stupid ‘dope’

The New England Patriots have a Donald Trump problem. We already knew that. But, it turns out Trump’s friendships with Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft also mean Roger Goodell has a Donald Trump problem. Well, he does if he wants to be liked by him.

Mark Leibovich of the New York Times interviewed Trump in the fall of 2015 — right at the peak of DeflateGate — and Trump was quick to criticize Goodell.

“I approached them in December, and they were very enthusiastic about wanting to participate, “ Goodell said at his Super Bowl press conference. “We’re honored to have them. Obviously, you all know that both of them have had a little bit a setback health-wise recently, but I’ve heard from both of them and they’re excited and anxious to be here.”

President Bush moved to Houston in 1959 and was the first Republican to serve Houston in the United States House of Representatives. His election win in 1966 set the stage for an ambitious career that peaked at the White House. He served two terms as Ronald Reagan’s vice president before riding Reagan’s unparalleled popularity to a victory over Michael Dukakis in the 1988 U.S. Presidential election. He served just a single term in office and is the only President to lose an election while running as an incumbent since 1981.

Bush has been involved in the world of sports since his college days. He played first base at Yale, where he participated in the first two College World Series, and was a member of the university’s cheerleading squad and soccer team. In the intervening years, he’s been a hunter, tennis player, golfer, and jogger.

This won’t be the first time he’s been present for an important pregame ceremony in Houston. Bush threw out the first pitch of the Astros’ season in 2015. In October, he handled coin flip duties before a game between the Lions and Texans.