2017 MLB All-Star voting: Bryce Harper continues to lead NL balloting

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper continues to lead all NL All-Star vote-getters in the most recent update of balloting released by MLB on Monday.

Paul Martin Elite Jersey Harper, batting .320/.428/.616 with 15 homers and 46 RBIs, became the first NL player to push past 2 million votes, having drawn 2,132,795, according to the update. Nats second baseman Daniel Murphy has the second-most votes at this point at 1,745,231, and Washington teammate Ryan Zimmerman, the NL’s top hitter at .365, leads first basemen with 1,060,532 votes.

Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward, third among outfield vote-getters, has the slimmest lead among players currently holding starting spots, some 58,000 votes ahead of teammate Ben Zobrist.

Mo Alexander Elite Jersey It’s really important. It’s realizing that, when these African-American middle schoolers, they look on TV and they look at the NBA and it’s all African-American guys, they watch football and you’ve got a lot of African-American guys playing. But they flip to a baseball game and they don’t see that many guys who look like them, he says. They don’t see that as being an option for them, just based on the fact that there aren’t a lot of guys on the field who are African-American. And it’s unfortunate that that’s the mindset. And the parents of those kids, I’m sure they see the same thing. They see that baseball is an expensive sport, and there’s not a lot of African-Americans playing, so they don’t want to jump into that. That doesn’t feel safe to them.

That’s what I’ve gotten out of this. It’s, OK, how do we come up with a solution to open this thing back up and say, 鈥楲ook, you guys can come get this sport. This is for you’? Baseball is looking for athletes.

Super Bowl 51 is a homecoming for trio of players

As special as the Super Bowl is to most players, it means even more when you can play for an NFL title in your hometown.

That is the case for a trio of players this year as New England’s Eric Rowe and Martellus Bennett and Atlanta’s Jake Matthews get to play in Super Bowl 51 just a few miles from where they grew up.

Fitzgerald makes a good point, especially after the Cardinals played in the 2012 Hall of Fame Game without a single Hall of Famer in that year’s class. The Cardinals do have former quarterback Kurt Warner in this year’s class, but the foundation for Warner’s Hall of Fame resume is winning a Super Bowl championship with the St. Louis Rams.

With the Rams in Los Angeles and former Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson headlining the class, the NFL clearly went with the safe choice by choosing the Cardinals to represent Warner while choosing the Cowboys to honor team owner Jerry Jones, who is also among this year’s enshrinees.

The Cowboys have appeared in the Hall of Fame Game a record six times while the Cardinals are making their fifth appearance. The Chargers have only been in the Hall of Fame Game twice, and not since 1994. The Rams were scheduled to play the Bears in 2011 when Marshall Faulk was enshrined, but that game was canceled because of the NFL lockout. The last time the Rams played in Canton was in 2001 when former L.A. Rams Jackie Slater and Jack Youngblood were enshrined.

The NFL chose not to embrace its return to L.A. by choosing the Chargers and Rams, clearly not wanting upset fans from San Diego and St. Louis storming into Canton. So, instead of upsetting fans, the league will upset players such as Fitzgerald by putting them into a game they don’t want to play.

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MVP Matt Ryan was the biggest winner in “Madden” ratings throughout the season.

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The best (and really only) way to get Brady uncomfortable is to get in his face without blitzing. Few defenses are capable of doing that.

Jarrett, coming off a strong second season up front as that “other” Clemson 2015 draftee after Beasley, will be critical to the game plan of getting Brady off the spot and into bad, rushed throws.

New England’s offensive line has rebounded well from last year’s mess in Denver, but Andrews is its most vulnerable blocker. The Falcons have a much better shot at pressuring Brady there than the edge against either tackle, Nate Solder or Marcus Cannon. They need to get to Brady a few times, or it will be a long night of him sitting back and picking them apart.
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MVP Matt Ryan was the biggest winner in “Madden” ratings throughout the season. He began with an 84 Overall rating in “Madden NFL 17,” which ranked him as the 13th best quarterback in the league. By the end of the campaign, he reached 95 Overall, good enough to be considered as the third-best QB in the league. He trails only Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.

From the list below, it’s the New England Patriots and San Diego (now Los Angeles) Chargers have the most players represented, with six. The Super Bowl-winning team being there is no surprise, but the 5-11 Chargers might be. They got there because of a bunch of young players who stepped into the place of injured veterans and performing admirably.

“The thing you have to do every day is to earn that trust,” Goodell said. “I don鈥檛 expect for one second for people to agree with every decision I make or we make as a league. Those are often difficult, sometimes contentious and sometimes less-than-perfect decisions, but you do them in the interest of the long-term health of the NFL.”

Goodell even praised the ratings of “Thursday Night Football” and said the league would not decrease the number of Thursday games despite long-running complaints from players.

Tom Brady’s pick-six, in frame-by-frame dejection

Before Super Bowl 51, we had rarely seen Tom Brady embarrassed in his playoff career. That changed with one throw and interception return — and something that somewhat resembled a tackle attempt from the GOAT.

Elite Womens Tarell Basham Jersey With the Patriots down 14-0 and trying to rally late in the second half, Brady threw an interception to Robert Alford, who scampered for an 82-yard pick-six.

That not only put the Patriots down in a three-touchdown hole, but it was also the first pick-6 of Brady’s postseason career, a total of 34 games.

Game Jordan Reed Jersey Let’s be clear: This Brady retirement speculation only applies because Patriots beat the Falcons on Sunday. There’s no way the competitive fire that continues to fuel Brady in Year 17 would have allowed him to quit on the heels of another title-game loss. Those two missed opportunities against the Giants still haunt Brady, one of those guys who remembers more about the devastating losses than the career-defining wins.

In pre-draft meetings with our scouts and coaches, I would always emphasize the necessity of focusing on how players performed on the field in games during their college careers as opposed to putting too much stock in Combine and Pro Day performances. Instincts and football savvy don’t always show up in drills.

While it’s nice that a player can run a 4.3 40-yard dash, I would talk about players such as Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Cris Carter, who were 4.5 guys but ran impeccable routes and had great hands. Anthony Carter was a receiver for us with the Vikings who was timed around 4.5, but when he caught a slant in stride, it sure looked like he was running 4.3.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer to miss part of OTAs after eye surgery

Mike Zimmer revealed that he recently underwent his eighth eye surgery and will need some time off.
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The Vikings coach will be absent during part of the team’s upcoming OTAs so he can recover from his latest procedure, the team announced Monday.

Given that no publicity is bad publicity, the more cursed the video game, the more it sells.

The rule became a point of contention last fall when the Patriots were forced to put tight end Rob Gronkowski on injured reserve after he suffered a back injury late in the season. Since the team had already recalled third-string passer Jacoby Brissett from the IR a week prior, the designation ended his season, negating any chance of a return should he exceed expectations and heal quickly enough to play during New England’s final march to a Super Bowl title.

San Francisco, somehow, was even worse. Kaepernick and Gabbert were sacked on 8.74 percent of dropbacks — good for 30th in the league. Like Wilson, Kaepernick is a mobile quarterback who understands when to pull down the ball and charge upfield. While Wilson’s rushing numbers dropped to career lows last season, Kaepernick remains a dangerous weapon who can mitigate a collapsing pocket after gaining nearly seven yards per carry in 2016.

Womens Bryan Anger Jersey After his protests of the national anthem gained international press, Kaepernick may be the league’s most recognizable activist. Bennett, however, is not far behind. The All-Pro defensive lineman has been outspoken on issues ranging from the Israel-Palestine conflict to women’s rights to childhood obesity. He’s never shied from issues he deems important nor backed down from an argument.

NFL is all set to ease up on celebration penalties, but still no twerking

The NFL is going to ease up on celebration penalties … finally. Roger Goodell released a letter that announced group celebrations, going to the ground, using the ball as a prop, etc., will now be allowed.

But they’re not going to completely surrender their reputation as the No Fun League. Anything with a little too much sexiness is still going to be verboten, stuff like twerking, hip thrusting, crotch grabbing, etc. Also banned still is anything involving a player mimicking a weapon (no bow-and-arrow shoots) or “prolonged” celebrations (gotta keep that clock moving). According to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, dunking on the goal post is still a penalty as well.

Gronkowski is also known for his bro personality off the field: He has his own party cruise, he chugged beers “for the fans” at the Patriots’ victory parade, and he loves the number 69.

But on the field, he’s different. Last September, head coach Bill Belichick told MMQB that his tight end “is a versatile athlete, but he’s also a versatile guy mentally.

“He can handle a lot of different assignments. Some guys can’t. Either they mentally can’t do it, or it’s just too much and their game slows down. They don’t play to the same skill set you see athletically because they’re thinking too much. That’s not the case with Rob.”

He already registered 405 catches for 6,095 yards and 69 touchdowns in his career and has proved to be one of the best tight ends in the league. The only question surrounding him is if he can stay healthy.yankees_1262_259d48285ca0447b-180x180

the team tried to insert Severino back into the rotation

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The lively right-hander broke into the league as a young 21-year-old back in 2015 as a mid-season callup for the Yankees. After posting lights out numbers in Double-A and Triple-A, he showed that he could keep up in the big leaguers. In 62 1/3 innings with the Yankees, Severino posted a 5-3 record and a 2.89 ERA, along with an 8.09 K/9, 4.37 FIP and a 3.72 xFIP, across 11 starts.

Fast forward one year to 2016, when he came into the season with much higher expectations than before. Severino stumbled hard right out of the gate in his first seven starts, managing an 0-6 record and a horrific 7.46 ERA in 35 innings pitched. He was forced into a trip to the disabled list and later returned to the team in August as a reliever.
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After three magnificent relief outings, the team tried to insert Severino back into the rotation, but he faltered in back-to-back outing, leading to him going back to the bullpen. The bullpen wasn’t a bad thing for him and he thrived there. In 42 1/3 innings as a starter in 2016, Severino struggled to an 8.50 ERA, but as a reliever, he was unhittable, posting a 0.39 ERA in 23 1/3 innings. Hitters only had a .105/.209/.158 slash line against him as a reliever, compared with a gaudy .337/.389/.587 slash line against him when starting.

Why he could move soon: For starters, he’ producing better numbers than almost any hitter who could potentially be moved before this year’ trade deadline; he has eight homers and 17 RBIs in 18 games so far in 2017. He’ a free agent after the season, which separates him from most other Tigers who could potentially get moved if the team decides to go full sell-off. They aren likely to extend him, what with all the other burdensome contracts on the books, and even extending a qualifying offer would represent a big raise for Martinez. So if they going to deal him, deal him now.

Joe Thomas on Browns picture day is one of our favorite things

One of the concerns raised about the new rule change is the possibility that the receiving team could get the opening possession of overtime and milk the majority of the clock before kicking a go-ahead field goal. While the other team would be entitled to a possession of their own, that team could be left with little clock left to work with.

People are worried about 10-minute drives, Arians said. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a 10-minute drive. I guess there have been a couple. If you get the ball ran on you for 10 minutes, you deserve to lose anyway.

Matt Forte Limited Jersey Had the overtime rule been in effect in 2016, Arians may not have had to tinker with his playcalling much. After the Arizona and Seattle traded field goals, Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer connected with J.J. Nelson on a 40-yard pass play that left the team 5 yards from the end zone with just over five minutes left in overtime.

The league won’t be limited to former pros, though.

We’ll try to find a 60-year-old guy with a beer gut who can stand in and be a quarterback of one of our teams, Lewis said.

Finally, a chance for the Monday morning quarterback you know to get his shot.

The games will be in a 7-on-7 format and will be played on a regulation field for a full 60 minutes.

Devin Smith Elite Jersey Vick isn’t just committed to playing quarterback for one of the teams in the inaugural game. He joins former NFL players Isaiah Kacyvenski, Rob Konrad, and Donovin Darius as advisers for the league.

Flag football is fun, no matter who’s playing it. Mixing in elite athletes like Vick and Forsett just means that we can’t wait until the American Flag Football League is up and running.

Glennon did start five games in 2014

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Glennon was thrust into Tampa Bay’s starting lineup as a 2013 third-round draft pick after Josh Freeman’s off-field implosion. Despite throwing 19 touchdowns with nine interceptions, Glennon went 4-9, and coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik were fired.

Schiano’s replacement Lovie Smith wasn’t particularly impressed with Glennon, even though the Bucs proceeded to decline trade offers for him. Smith and new GM Jason Licht signed journeyman Josh McCown and immediately designated him as Tampa Bay’s starting quarterback without even staging an open competition for the job.

Glennon did start five games in 2014, but was benched after the Bucs posted a 1-4 record. Nothing that Glennon showed Smith or Licht during Tampa Bay’s 2-14 campaign deterred the Bucs from making Jameis Winston the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft. Glennon then sat behind Winston for two full seasons, with the lone exception of mop-up duty in a 2016 blowout loss to Atlanta.
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For this, ESPN reports that Glennon is set to ink a three-year, $43.5 million contract that includes $19 million guaranteed.

The Broncos simply don’t have that quarterback right now in Siemian or Lynch. In his first year as Denver’s starter, Siemian displayed the earmarks of a middle-of-the-road quarterback who can get your team into the playoffs and not much further. Lynch may have more upside, but as evidenced by his two rookie starts last season, remains the proverbial work-in-progress.

The clock is ticking on their contracts before the ink has dried.

Like he did throughout the free-agent signing period, Ballard relied heavily on input from Colts coordinators in evaluating prospects and how well they would fit into the systems being run. Based on recent Colts drafts, this approach stands in stark contrast to what sometimes transpired during Grigson’s tenure.

The Colts’ disastrous 2013 class — none of the seven players remain on their roster — and the 2015 first-round selection of wide receiver Phillip Dorsett when Indianapolis desperately needed defensive help are among the decisions that set the franchise back.

“If you’re not communicating on a daily basis — and you can never over-communicate — the rest of the building feels it,” Ballard told co-host Gil Brandt and me on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “When there’s tension, everybody feels it.

The past six first rounds have produced 17 quarterbacks since a rookie salary cap was instituted in 2011 as part of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement with its players union. Sixteen of them started at least one game as rookies with the lone exception being Tennessee’s Jake Locker.

No accident there. The clock is ticking on their contracts before the ink has dried. Teams have three seasons to determine whether it’s worth picking up the fifth-year option on those deals or move onto another passer.

Why? He’s a winner. Watson left Clemson with a 32-3 record as a starter, and it’s clear to anybody who watched the last two College Football Playoff championship games who the best football player on the field was.
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