Wholesale Houston Texans Jerseys

The Houston Texans have signed inside linebacker Benardrick McKinney to a five-year, $50 million contract extension, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Thursday.

According to Schefter, the contract includes $21 million guaranteed.

“Benardrick [McKinney] plays a key role in our defense and has been highly productive, but more importantly he is a core player who has developed into a team leader within our program,” general manager Brian Gaine said. “We are excited to have him a part of our long term future here at the Texans.”

McKinney was the Texans’ second-round pick in 2015 and has played a major role in the Texans’ defense. The 25-year-old had his best season in 2016, when he had a career-high 129 tackles and five sacks.

Earlier this offseason, Gaine praised McKinney’s leadership and production, while noting he plays a core position. The Texans expect McKinney to have an even bigger role in 2018 after they cut veteran linebacker Brian Cushing in February.

“If you’re playing the MIKE linebacker role, you’re commanding the huddle, you’re leading the huddle,” Gaine said. “Production matters, but also the fact that we feel like he’s built to last. We feel that he meets the height, weight, speed parameters that we want in the role, but he is now the guy that leads the huddle. That’s a big hole to fill now with Brian Cushing gone. So, we are expecting big things from a leadership standpoint and perhaps now he’s ready to do that.”

Prior to signing McKinney, the Texans had more than $35 million in cap space. Gaine has also expressed optimism that Houston will be able to sign 2014 No. 1 pick Jadeveon Clowney to a long-term deal before the season starts.

Wholesale Denver Broncos Jerseys

Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller said a year ago he hoped his first “pass rush summit” would turn into an annual event for those who chase down NFL quarterbacks for a living.

And now Miller has finalized a second summit for some of the league’s marquee defensive players, this time June 27-29 at Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Missouri — just south of Branson. Miller held the first version of what was a quickly organized pass-rushers’ convention a year ago, at Stanford.

“I’ve got some guys coming already,” Miller said Tuesday after the Broncos’ on-field work in the second week of OTAs. “Some guys said they were coming, but I don’t want to say their names yet. You know how it is, got big-money guys … when they commit to something two months out.”

Von Miller said he's finalizing plans for another "pass rush summit" for the league's marquee defensive players at the end of June. Said Miller: "It's a great space where we can share knowledge."

What started as simply an attempt for Atlanta Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley and Miller to work together had sprung into the first summit, essentially out of the rather heady contact list in Miller’s ever-busy smartphone. This time, Miller said he got a head start on the planning, but the organizational principles remain the same.

“I just call guys from around the league. It’s a small fraternity of the guys,” Miller said. “… Justin Houston, I just call him and tell him to invite Dee Ford and the other guys. Andre Branch with the Miami Dolphins, I just call him and tell him to invite all the guys. Arik Armstead and Cassius Marsh with the San Francisco 49ers, they were already there last year, tell them to invite the other guys.

“You put the word out, it’s just like the Justice League,” Miller added. “They just come out of nowhere.”

Miller said he believes the idea can continue to grow as defensive players could begin to do what quarterbacks and wide receivers around the league have done for years with a variety of passing camps.

“It’s a great space where we can share knowledge — it’s the only place where you can do that,” Miller said. “It’s the only place where you can get Khalil Mack and Vic Beasley in the same spot, other than the Pro Bowl, and talk about just straight pass rushing … what it takes to be a great pass-rusher. … It’s great for everybody around.”

Among the former players Miller expects to attend are DeMarcus Ware, Miller’s former teammate and mentor with the Broncos, as well as Hall of Famer Warren Sapp.

Miller has consistently credited Ware and Elvis Dumervil, who was with the Broncos when Miller was selected in the 2011 draft, with “showing me what it takes to be great” and that he hopes to do the same with other players.

An avid outdoorsman, Miller said he had, with the help of Bass Pro Shops, planned some fishing during the players’ time in Missouri.

Wholesale Seattle Seahawks Jerseys

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll says he’s unsure when All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas will show up for the team’s offseason workouts.

“We’ll find out. We’ve got to communicate,” Carroll said Sunday as the team wrapped up a three-day rookie minicamp.

“Phase 2 doesn’t look like it’s suiting him right now, so we’ll see, we’ll see what’s happening. Phase 3 is around the corner for us, so we’ll see. We’ve got one more week of Phase 2.”

Carroll’s comments confirmed that Thomas, who is seeking a new contract, has been absent from the voluntary portion of the Seahawks’ offseason program. They came in response to a question of whether he expects Thomas to sit out until attendance becomes mandatory. That isn’t until Seattle’s veteran minicamp, which runs from June 12-14.

Thomas is entering the final year of the four-year, $40 million extension he signed in 2014, which now ranks sixth among safeties in terms of annual average, according to Spotrac.com. He told ESPN at the Pro Bowl in January that he may hold out if he doesn’t get a new deal before the season, though general manager John Schneider has since said that Thomas’ representatives have informed him that Thomas won’t hold out.

Thomas, a six-time Pro Bowl selection and a three-time first team All-Pro, has been the subject of trade speculation this offseason, with reports citing the Dallas Cowboys as a potential trade partner. The Seahawks downplayed the possibility after the draft, and Schneider told Seattle’s Sports Radio 950 KJR last week that the team isn’t trying to trade Thomas.

Thomas would be subject to fines if he were to skip mandatory minicamp, though teams can decide to not impose them. This year, the maximum amounts are $14,070 for the first day, $28,150 for the second and $42,215 for the third day, for a total of $84,435.

“Earl had a fantastic offseason and I know he knows how to get in shape,” Carroll said. “Veterans sometimes look at those rules and they see ‘voluntary’ and they see it differently than the other guys, so we’ll see.”

Wholesale Cleveland Browns Jerseys

Many analysts see running back Saquon Barkley as the draft's top player, and with a little wheeling and dealing, the Browns could land him and the quarterback they covet.

There has been a small amount of speculation that the Cleveland Browns might trade down from the fourth overall pick in the NFL draft.

The thinking goes that the Browns could recoup the third-round pick they traded to get quarterback Tyrod Taylor and still wind up drafting a talented defensive back.

Little has been discussed about another possibility: the Browns moving up from No. 4.

For the second year in a row, the Browns have the wherewithal to explore getting the top two players in the draft, if they want to do so.

There has been little chatter or speculation that the Browns would do this. There also is little indication they want to. But the team has revealed little about its intentions or plans.

The bottom line: If the Browns covet two specific players, they have the ability to get both. The Giants have the second overall pick, and if they do not love a specific player, they might be willing to trade down to get a number of picks to rebuild a roster that badly needs it.

The Giants also might want to trade down because they could move to No. 4 and still wind up with one of the top three quarterbacks. The Browns would take a quarterback first and a position player second. The Jets would take a quarterback at No. 3. The Giants then could draft the heir apparent to Eli Manning and pick up a couple of extra picks.

At this point, that kind of discussion is merely part of the pre-draft chatter. It could or could not happen, but if the Browns want to make it happen — if they have two specific players targeted — they could.

ESPN’s draft value chart awards the second overall pick a value of 2,600 points. The fourth pick is worth 1,800.

The Browns have three second-round picks: 33rd, 35th and 64th overall.

The 35th and 64th picks are worth a combined 820 points. The Browns could go from the fourth overall pick to the second by giving the Giants the fourth pick and the latter two that they own in the third round. If the Browns wanted to keep one of those picks, they could offer a future third-round choice in addition to one of this year’s, or they could wrangle a more complicated deal.

The positive: Completing this deal would give the Browns three of the top 33 players, including the first two. They would be taking bold action to be great. The negative: The Browns would go from three picks in the second round to one and would go from No. 33 to No. 114 without a selection.

Why would the Browns do this?

For one reason: If they love a guy, they do not want to risk losing him by staying at No. 4.

That player could be Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. Many analysts call Barkley the best player in the draft. Almost as many say he is a can’t-miss prospect whose talent overrides the adage that a running back should not be taken early.

The Giants are believed to have interest in Barkley, so if the Browns want him, they might have to be aggressive. At the fourth spot, they might or might not wind up with Barkley.

Pass-rusher Bradley Chubb and defensive backs Minkah Fitzpatrick and Denzel Ward have also been included on the list of Browns possibilities. The only one of those players who could also interest the Giants would be Chubb, as New York needs a pass-rusher to replace Jason Pierre-Paul.

If the Browns want Barkley or Chubb, they could ensure that they get their guy with a trade up. The Browns would take a quarterback first and wind up ensuring themselves of their dream draft: the top quarterback and the top non-QB.

It’s possible the Browns could stay at No. 4 and still see their dream scenario play out. If the Giants took a quarterback or traded to a team that drafts one, the Jets will follow at No. 3 by taking another quarterback. That scenario leaves the Browns with a quarterback first overall and the player of their choosing at No. 4.

But if the Browns truly want Barkley or Chubb — if they must have one of those players — they would have to move to ensure they can get him.

The good news: They have the wherewithal to get it done — if they really want it to happen.

Wholesale Dallas Cowboys Jerseys

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Randy Gregory is preparing to apply for reinstatement to the NFL and Jones is hopeful the defensive end can return to the field in 2018.

“I’m not confident but I do see where his heart is,” Jones said. “He’s one of the smartest people that have played this game. By documentation he is. So he’s smart. That’s a tremendous step. Of course he’s had that same IQ since he’s had these issues. That’s the issues. This is definitely a medical issue. There’s no doubt in my mind (it’s) medical. That’s another campaign right there.”

Jones has said he believes the NFL needs to adjust its substance-abuse policy when it comes to marijuana. Gregory has had multiple violations of the policy for failed tests and missed tests that caused his season-long suspension in 2017. He played in only two games in 2016 and has not been around the Cowboys’ facility since the end of the 2016 season.

“He’s one of the smartest people that have played this game. By documentation he is. … Of course he’s had that same IQ since he’s had these issues. … This is definitely a medical issue. There’s no doubt in my mind (it’s) medical. That’s another campaign right there.””

–Jerry Jones on Randy Gregory

He is eligible to apply for reinstatement and has been meeting what Jones called “subjective,” and “factual” standards in the process. Jones said a lot of the process is confidential and did not go into the part the team plays in Gregory’s reinstatement.

“My point is he’s doing very well and he’s got a lot to play for,” Jones said. “He’s got a new baby. He’s got a lot going for him. He’s very astute about knowing that he’s just got to hopefully do what every one of us has to do: is do better when you’re 24 and 25 than you did when you were 20.”

The Cowboys selected Gregory in the second round of the 2015 draft, No. 60 overall. Jones said Gregory would have been a top-five pick without the off-field issues coming out of Nebraska. A foot injury limited Gregory to 12 games as a rookie and he did not record a sack. A suspension kept him out of the first 14 games in 2016 but he had a sack in one of his two games.

The team was aware of Gregory’s issues before selecting him and hoped it could structure a program around him to help keep him on the field. Despite the suspensions that have caused him to miss 30 of the past 32 games, Jones remains in Gregory’s corner.

“He’s really a good person,” Jones said. “That goes a long way … He’s smart. That’s redeeming. In other words is there a chance that he could get this figured out and be accountable and responsible? There is. Oh, there’s one other little thing: he’s one helluva football player, OK?”

Wholesale Carolina Panthers Jerseys

Add saving lives to the list of talents for Carolina Panthers multifaceted running back Christian McCaffrey.

The eighth pick of the 2017 draft was hiking with family and friends in Castle Rock, Colorado, on Saturday when they witnessed 72-year-old Dan Smoker Sr., who was hiking with his grandson Eli, fall about 20 feet onto a rock.

McCaffrey immediately called 911 and then rushed with others in his group to help Smoker, who at the hospital was determined to have suffered a broken femur, pelvis and neck, fractured ribs and internal bleeding on the brain.

Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey was hiking with his brothers and friends in Castle Rock, Colorado, when they walked up on a man fall 20 feet as it occurred.

“I credit them with saving my dad’s life,” Smoker’s son, Dan Smoker, told Panthers.com on Tuesday.

McCaffrey was hiking with his brothers, Dylan and Max, and friends Michael Mann and Brooke Pettet when they walked up on the fall as it occurred.

“It felt like he was in the air for 10 seconds,” McCaffrey told the team website. “I had never seen anything quite like that in my life as far as the trauma and the sound. We were in shock.”

But not so much that they didn’t respond quickly. A fellow onlooker identified as Chris held Smoker’s head to keep him still. Mann performed chest compressions when Smoker stopped breathing.

“Everybody stepped up,” McCaffrey said. “I called 911, and it felt like an eternity. It felt like we were up there waiting for four hours. But I looked back at my call log and it took 11 minutes before the paramedics came. Amazing what those guys did.”

That McCaffrey & Co. were at Castle Rock was random. They were on the way to lunch when a member of the group suggested they go hike.

The next day McCaffrey, along with his mom, Lisa, and brothers went to the hospital to check on Smoker, who remains in critical but stable condition.

When they introduced themselves, Eli and his dad hadn’t figured out that McCaffrey was the star football player for the Panthers and the son of former Denver Broncos receiver Ed McCaffrey.

“I can’t say I’d recognize Christian without his football gear on,” Dan Smoker told the website. “Around here, Valor Christian is a popular high school, and I knew that Ed McCaffrey had just taken over as head coach there. We were talking and they had mentioned that they went to Valor, and we were looking there because our son loves football as well.

“At that point, Lisa chimed in and said, ‘Well, we may have a contact.'”

McCaffrey, who led the Panthers with 80 catches this past season, has kept in touch with the Smokers since via text.

“Eli was such a trooper, man,” McCaffrey said. “I was traumatized, and I had no relation.”

Now they’re bonded by a moment none will forget.

“Truly a blessing that we turned the corner at that exact moment and we could be there for him,” McCaffrey said. “I don’t know what would have happened … We were lucky to be at the right place at the right time.”

Wholesale Buffalo Bills Jerseys

The Bills have avoided labeling Tyrod Taylor, their starter since 2015, as their franchise quarterback.

Many NFL general managers would argue it is prudent to fill most holes in the roster before the NFL draft, using trades and free-agent signings to prevent having to find a rookie to fill a pressing need.

That strategy is harder to execute when it comes to quarterbacks because of the high cost involved.

Trades by the Buffalo Bills last year, giving them extra first- and second-round picks, have put the team in position to take a swing at drafting a potential franchise quarterback.

With an ample supply of likely top 10 picks at quarterback — Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen — and several potential trade partners with settled quarterback situations, there is justified buzz about Buffalo making a big move from its current positions at Nos. 21 and 22. Any trade would would likely require both of the Bills’ first-round picks and more.

But unless the Bills can execute a rare (if not unprecedented) trade up into one of the draft’s top five selections before free agency starts in March, they must make important and probably expensive decisions at quarterback in the coming weeks before the draft unfolds.

Plugging a hole at quarterback through free agency could cost tens of millions, and making a trade for a quarterback would mean giving up valuable draft capital. In either case, it could be a waste of resources if the Bills eventually do a deal to draft a big-name quarterback prospect.

It is a difficult situation for Bills general manager Brandon Beane to navigate in his first full offseason on the job, complicated by the contractual situation of incumbent starter Tyrod Taylor as well as an overall uncertain quarterback market that will largely be dictated by big-ticket free agent Kirk Cousins.

Beane has not been subtle about the Bills’ need for a franchise quarterback since being hired last May. He has avoided labeling Taylor, the Bills’ starter since 2015, as that player. Beane’s history in the front office of the Carolina Panthers, who drafted Cam Newton first overall in 2011, is one sign he might look to acquire a quarterback high in the draft this spring.

The problem is the Bills will be hard pressed to execute a trade into the top five picks until late April, and even if they do, there is no guarantee the quarterback they covet — if one emerges during the pre-draft process — will be available.

It is not the first time in recent NFL history general managers have had to fly blindly in March before knowing in April if they could execute a plan to acquire a blue-chip quarterback.

There have been two distinct strategies employed by teams during the past 10 offseasons that have either held original picks from Nos. 2 through 5 and used it on a quarterback, or have eventually traded into those slots to take a quarterback. Teams holding the first overall pick, such as the Panthers in 2011, are in a different category because they fully controlled which quarterback they could select in the draft.

The first approach has been to spend in free agency at quarterback and create a layer of insurance. The Philadelphia Eagles did that in 2016, when they re-signed Sam Bradford to a two-year, $36 million deal with $26 million guaranteed and signed Chase Daniel to a three-year, $21 millions deal with $7 million guaranteed. The next month, general manager Howie Roseman traded up to No. 2 to select Carson Wentz. Last year, Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace signed Mike Glennon to a three-year, $45 million deal with $19 million guaranteed before selecting Mitchell Trubisky second overall.

Other teams sat tight in March. After Brett Favre’s retirement, the New York Jets were content in 2009 with Kellen Clemens before trading up for Mark Sanchez in the draft. The Redskins sat on Rex Grossman and John Beck in 2012 before moving up for Robert Griffin III, and the Los Angeles Rams stuck with Nick Foles, Sean Mannion and Case Keenum in 2016 before swinging a deal for Jared Goff at the top of the draft.

Teams that owned original picks between Nos. 2 and 5 also had quiet months of March. The Falcons kept Joey Harrington and Chris Redmond before taking Matt Ryan third overall in 2008; the Jacksonville Jaguars traded Blaine Gabbert and held onto Chad Henne before selecting Blake Bortles third overall in 2014, and the Tennessee Titans did not upgrade from Zach Mettenberger or Charlie Whitehurst before snagging Marcus Mariota with the second pick in 2015.

The Bills don’t have the luxury of holding a top-five selection, and keeping Taylor on their roster until at least the draft would be costly.

Taylor is due a $6 million roster bonus on the third day of the 2018 league year, which begins at 4 p.m. ET March 14. That means if Taylor is on the roster at midnight on March 16, he is due the bonus. That amount would count against the Bills’ salary cap in 2018 even if Taylor was later released or traded.

That gives Buffalo a 32-hour window to either release Taylor or trade him in order to avoid having the $6 million charge against their salary cap. That extra cost would be another blow to the Bills’ finances after Eric Wood’s career-ending neck injury could cost Buffalo about $10 million against the 2018 cap if he officially retires or released. Without salary-cap flexibility, the Bills would have a more difficult time filling holes on a roster that has needs almost across the board.

Trading Taylor could mean finding a team that is willing to add $16 million (his $10 million base salary and the $6 million bonus) to its 2018 salary cap, or renegotiate his deal. In either case, Taylor’s most likely landing spot would be a team in need of a starting quarterback, but that club could be waiting on Cousins to make a decision on where to sign after free agency opens March 14. The Bills would not have the luxury of waiting for Cousins’ choice if they want to trade Taylor before March 16.

If the Bills are able to trade Taylor, or if they cannot find a partner and release him, then Nathan Peterman will be the only quarterback on their roster. That puts Buffalo in a more desperate situation than even teams noted above that kept the status quo at quarterback before adding one in the draft. Peterman was a fifth-round pick in 2017 who compiled a 38.4 passer rating in four appearances.

With Taylor gone and only Peterman on the roster, the Bills would probably have to turn to the free-agent and trade market. Cousins’ astronomical price — in the range of $30 million per season — would make it unlikely that the Bills would spend significant draft resources on a quarterback.

AJ McCarron, ruled last week to be an unrestricted free agent, is another option but will also not come cheap. Nor would Keenum if he is not retained by the Minnesota Vikings. In either case, the resources required for Buffalo to sign McCarron or Keenum might make it impractical to also devote draft capital to moving up for a quarterback.

The same logic holds true for Foles, whom the Bills would probably need to sign to a lucrative extension in order to justify his cost on the trade market. In any trade involving Foles, the Eagles would negotiate from a position of strength because of his low cost next season and his performance in the Super Bowl.

It is possible Bradford or Teddy Bridgewater, if neither are retained by the Vikings, present more cost-effective options as free agents for Buffalo because of their injury histories. The Bills could also dip deeper into the free-agent pool for a career backup such as Derek Anderson if they want to add a layer of security at quarterback while saving financial resources for other parts of the roster and draft capital to move up and select a quarterback.

Of course, there are no guarantees in the draft. Missing on a top quarterback could leave Buffalo with Peterman, a bargain-bin veteran and a mid-round rookie entering 2018 at quarterback — probably a losing combination.

Like last offseason, the Bills’ safest play would be to keep Taylor and his $18 million cap number in 2018. He would give Buffalo a level of certainty at quarterback entering April’s draft without the cost and long-term commitment of signing another veteran to replace him.

Wholesale Baltimore Ravens Jerseys

Can the Baltimore Ravens sign Ryan Jensen? What price is too much? These questions are explored here:

Many Ravens’ fans want the team to re-sign starting center Ryan Jensen, including me. I want the Ravens to build the best offensive line in football and I think re-signing Jensen helps in that regard. However, Baltimore has shown their willingness to let offensive lineman walk. They let Kelechi Osemele walk for a huge contract in Oakland after the 2015 season.. Then, last season they let Rick Wagner walk for a wealthy contract in Detroit.

Ryan Jensen was a revelation last season. I honestly don’t think he got the credit he deserved all the time. Baltimore lost their whole offensive line outside of Ronnie Stanley. They lost Alex Lewis and Marshal Yanda to injury, Jeremy Zuttah was traded, and Wagner left in free agency. Jensen stepped in and won the center job and was magnificent all year. He made the guards look better than they actually were, and he brought an attitude on the offensive line the Ravens needed.

Other needs could dictate what the Ravens do:

Unfortunately, Jensen is a free agent, and he will demand a good amount of money. It is possible he gets around $10 million per year, and Baltimore doesn’t have a lot of cap space. We also know that the team desperately needs play-makers on offense. The front office hasn’t shown they are good at drafting them, so free agency might be the best answer.

If Baltimore is to go after guys like Jarvis Landry, Allen Robinson, or Paul Richardson, they will need cap space. That is when they will need to make a decision: do they want to rely on the draft for wide receivers and keep Jensen to ensure a great offensive line for next season, or do they gamble and let him move on while we go after some of the bigger receivers?

Jensen didn’t exactly ensure he wanted to stay with the Ravens. He is quoted in an article by Ryan Mink of the Baltimore Ravens website:

“It’s been an awesome five years and I hope to be back here, but I’m going to see where life takes me. I’m going to go with the ebbs and flows of life.”

Jensen is going to get paid, and it doesn’t seem like he’s too willing to take a “hometown discount”. He deserves it, after being selected in the sixth round, he worked hard and stayed with the Ravens for 4 years before getting his chance, and he shined.

The organization had a similar decision to make last year with defensive tackle Brandon Williams. They definitely made the right decision then, as the defense proved to be much weaker with Williams out. Williams was paid with among the best at his position, and it seems as though Jensen will be too.

Here’s my take:

If you ask me, I wouldn’t go over $8 million per year for Jensen. Something like 4 year, $32 million dollars would be the highest I would go. If he isn’t willing to do that, I would move on and put my focus on wide receivers. Matt Skura played really well at right guard, and I think he would be a capable replacement. It will help that he would be surrounded by two of the better guards in football.

Whatever happens, it will be a tough decision for the team. Jensen has proven he is a good center, but is he worth the money that he will demand? Do the Ravens have enough cap flexibility to make it work? Is he more important that finding receivers? All of these questions will be answered in about a month and a half.