Ravens now playing catch-up at wide receiver with everyone in AFC North

The Pittsburgh Steelers have Antonio Brown, the first player in NFL history to catch over 100 passes in five consecutive seasons. The Cincinnati Bengals have A.J. Green, the first wide receiver to be named to the Pro Bowl in his first seven seasons in the league.

Now, after agreeing to a trade with the Miami Dolphins, the Cleveland Browns will have Jarvis Landry, the first player to compile 400 receptions through his first four seasons.

What do the Baltimore Ravens have? A lot of catching up to do in the AFC North as far as wide receivers.

The Ravens’ five wide receivers under contract are: Jeremy Maclin, Breshad Perriman, Chris Moore, DeVier Posey and Tim White. They combined for 765 receiving yards last season, which is less than what Brown, Green and JuJu Smith-Schuster produced individually.cheap nfl jerseys from china

Wide receiver is easily the weakest position for the Ravens. Maclin could get cut after totaling career lows with 40 catches and 440 yards receiving. Perriman was a healthy scratch for three of the final six games because he struggled to make 10 catches for 77 yards. Moore ranked second in drop rate (10.8 percent) with four drops on 22 catchable throws. Posey played in the CFL last season, and White suffered a season-ending thumb injury in the preseason.

The Ravens understand changes need to be made. General manager Ozzie Newsome made the point last month that Baltimore will look to revamp the position. There’s a sense of urgency within the organization even though the team has yet to make a move to address the offense.3

Baltimore was among a handful of teams in trade talks with the Dolphins for Landry, according to ESPN. But the Ravens ultimately didn’t acquire him despite the fact that Miami looks to have been seeking reasonable compensation (the Dolphins received a fourth-round pick this year and a seventh-rounder next year from Cleveland). The bigger sticking point might have been Landry’s reported desire to be paid $14 million per season.

If Baltimore wants to make over its receiving corps, it could require signing multiple free-agent wide receivers and selecting a couple more in the draft. The Ravens’ free-agent options range from the top tier in Allen Robinson and Sammy Watkins to the lower level in Donte Moncrief and Danny Amendola.

Remember, this is a division that now has last season’s NFL leaders in receiving yards (Brown) and receptions (Landry). The standards at wide receiver are clearly high in the AFC North, where the identity used to be running the ball and playing dominant defense.nfl jerseys cheap china

Baltimore’s challenge is to upgrade the targets for quarterback Joe Flacco while ranking near the bottom in salary-cap room. The other teams that are desperate at wide receiver — the Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers — can offer more because of sizable cap space. The 49ers have the added advantage of being able to lure receivers with Jimmy Garoppolo, one of the rising quarterbacks in the NFL.

The Ravens’ top three receivers could eventually be Robinson,nfl jerseys Amendola and Calvin Ridley. Or Moncrief, Paul Richardson and D.J. Moore. Or Jordy Nelson (if he’s cut by the Packers), Marqise Lee and Courtland Sutton. Or maybe it’s a combination no one has even considered yet.

When free agency officially begins Wednesday, Baltimore can still take a lot of different routes to improve at wide receiver. There won’t be as much upheaval for the other AFC North teams. The Steelers bring back Brown, Smith-Schuster, Martavis Bryant and Eli Rogers. The Bengals return Green, Brandon LaFell, Tyler Boyd and John Ross. Even the Browns now boast Landry, Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman.

The Ravens have a vision of what they want with their new receivers. Coach John Harbaugh emphasized that it starts with catching the ball. Assistant general manager Eric DeCosta pointed out the need for Baltimore’s receivers to break tackles and gain yards after the catch.

There’s no question the Ravens want to change their look at wide receiver. The uncertainty lies in whom Baltimore will bring in to affect the offense.


Lakers leave an impression on LeBron in punishing rout of Cavaliers

When LeBron James’ name was called when the Cleveland Cavaliers’ starting lineup was introduced, Los Angeles Lakers fans greeted the superstar with a warm applause.

While this wasn’t anything close to erecting billboards around the Los Angeles area trying to lure James as one longtime Lakers season-ticket holder did last week, the Staples Center crowd clearly wanted James to know that they’d love to see him here again next season and preferably in a purple and gold No. 23 jersey.i

If this was James’ last trip to Los Angeles as a Cleveland Cavalier with a potential NBA-altering free-agency decision to make this summer, the Lakers took the opportunity to leave James with one final impression. The Lakers used a 22-3 run at the end of the third quarter to run away with a 127-113 victory over the Cavaliers.

With the win, the Lakers have now gone 7-2 after the All-Star break. Meanwhile, the Cavs (38-28) have dropped down to No. 4 in the Eastern Conference standings, with the Indiana Pacers (39-28) moving a half-game ahead of them.authentic nfl jerseys cheap

James wowed the crowd with some flashy passing and scoring drives in the paint before finishing with 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in 31 minutes. But James didn’t have much help and he displayed some frustration after he had a pass deflected by former teammate Isaiah Thomas for a turnover that later resulted in a Julius Randle dunk for the Lakers. As the Cavaliers called timeout while down 115-94, James palmed the ball and motioned as if he wanted to throw it in frustration before cocking back. That was the last thing James did on the court before exiting for good with 6 minutes, 24 seconds left in the final frame.

Larry Nance Jr. — playing against his former team for the first time since he and Jordan Clarkson were traded to Cleveland for Thomas, Channing Frye and a protected first-round pick — had 16 points. He was the only Cleveland starter outside James to score in double-figures.

“I have never played LeBron in L.A.,” said Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, who finished with five points and seven assists. “Never played against JC and Larry, other than practice. It is going to be a lot of fun.”

The Lakers did have a lot of fun on Sunday night at James’ expense. Thomas, who shared hugs with several of his former Cavs teammates including J.R. Smith at half court before the game, got a little revenge against the Cavs who traded him away after he played only 15 games for the them following his hip surgery.

Thomas — who shot a few glares at good friend Floyd Mayweather Jr., seated near the Cavs’ bench, after making a couple of baskets — had what might have been his best all-around game for the Lakers with 20 points, nine assists and five rebounds. Thomas had six points and two assists during the Lakers’ game-changing run.

Thomas said afterward that he had nothing to prove and that this was not a revenge game for him.

“No, I don’t need to show anybody,” Thomas said. “They know what I can do. I only played 15 games for them, so it’s really not about showing them what I can do. The world knows what I can do and what I bring to the table. I took it as another game and I just wanted to win and we did a helluva job as a team, beating that really good team over there.”

Randle, who had been slowed by an illness in the previous two games, had a career-high 36 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists. Randle is a key piece for the Lakers because they can clear up to $70 million in cap space this summer to pursue two max free agents by parting ways with Randle and stretching Luol Deng’s contract.

But Randle played on Sunday like a player who was determined to remind the Lakers what they have in the 23-year-old forward and show James at the same time how his game is blossoming. Randle has been on a tear since being inserted into the starting lineup at the beginning of the season, but this was the best performance of his career.54

“It was something I always knew I could do,” Randle said “Just take time to continue to learn the game, continue to grow and develop as a player. As a person. Something I knew I could do. I’m not surprised, but it feels good I guess.”nfl jerseys for cheap

Clarkson, who finished 1-for-8 from the field with just four points and four assists, and Nance stopped by the Lakers’ locker room before the game to say hello to their old friends.

“Yeah, they stopped by [the locker room] on their way in — uninvited,” Lakers coach Luke Walton deadpanned before the game. “It was good to see them. It will be fun. It is going to be a great energy, great environment for tonight.”

Celebrities such as Mayweather, Adam Levine, Jason Sudeikis and Marlon Wayans joined Lakers fixture Jack Nicholson to get their glimpse of James’ only trip to Los Angeles to play the Lakers this season.

They might’ve come to see James but instead watched the Lakers make one big final impression on the free-agent-to-be.

Marcus Smart’s big game wasted, shorthanded Boston Celtics fall to Indiana Pacers, 99-97

BOSTON — By the end, the Boston Celtics were bruised, sick, concussed, and beaten up. They were missing three regular starters — four if you want

to include Gordon Hayward, who has been sidelined since opening night.

So they had plenty of excuses for dropping a double-digit halftime lead, failing to finish a fourth-quarter comeback,cheap nfl authentic jerseys  and wasting a mighty two-way

performance from Marcus Smart.

During what became a 99-97 defeat to the Indiana Pacers, the Celtics were missing Jaylen Brown (concussion) and Al Horford (illness) from the start,

then lost Kyrie Irving to more left knee soreness after halftime. The issue held him out of Tuesday night’s loss to the Chicago Bulls and could be

something Irving needs to deal with for a long time. Is that concerning? Yes. How much so we will find out over time. terry-rozierdarren-collison-df736b4d909bef8e

The Celtics entered Sunday night as one of the NBA’s hottest teams, with a 6-1 record since the All-Star break and the top-ranked offense during

that span. Even the lone loss in that stretch, a close one against the cheap authentic nfl jerseys great Houston Rockets, showed real promise.

But over a four-day span, the Celtics have now lost three starters. They still almost overcame the Pacers, but didn’t quite have enough. A mad final

sequence gave Terry Rozier a chance to force overtime at the final buzzer, but his fadeaway jumper fell short.

Where it went wrong

After Boston took a 50-40 halftime lead, Irving did not come out with his teammates to start the second half. Without Irving, the Celtics quickly

surrendered a double-digit lead, committed seven turnovers in the third quarter, and fell behind by nine points early in the fourth.

Victor Oladipo (27 points) got untracked after an uncharacteristically slow first half, and the Pacers, who shot just 37.8 cheap nfl jerseys from china  percent before halftime,

scored 34 points on 13-for-21 shooting in the third. Almost half their points during that stretch came from the paint, another 15 points came from

behind the 3-point arc (where they shot 5 for 7),nfl cheap jerseys  and the rest came from the free throw line. In other words, they were chewing up the Celtics



Tyrod Taylor Traded from Bills to Browns on Heels of Jarvis Landry Swap

The Cleveland Browns have their new quarterback.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Browns agreed to acquire quarterback Tyrod Taylor from the Buffalo Bills on Friday in exchange for a third-round pick (No. 65 overall) in April’s draft.

The Bills now own two picks in each of the first three rounds. authentic nfl jerseys cheap They’re currently slated to select at Nos. 21 and 22 in the first round, Nos. 53 and 56 in the second round and will now bookend the third round with the first and last selections at No. 65 and No. 96, respectively.hi-res-2a83375b486fc3fb9ff40a0195e80a47_crop_north

The Browns, meanwhile, remain flush with early-round choices, including the first and fourth picks in Round 1 and two of the first three picks (No. 33 and No. 35) in Round 2. They will also close out Round 2 at No. 64 overall.
And at this point, all indications are that the Browns will still pursue a young franchise quarterback with nfl jerseys for cheap one of their top selections.

According to ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano, Cleveland’s plan is to use Taylor as a “bridge” to the signal-caller the front office selects at No. 1.

As things stand, Taylor is due a $10 million base salary and $6 million roster bonus next season. He will become an unrestricted free agent in 2019 barring an extension.

The move comes amid a flurry of other high-profile additions. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter,cheap nfl jerseys the Browns struck a separate deal with the Miami Dolphins to acquire wide receiver Jarvis Landry for a pair of picks that will fall between Rounds 3 and 7.

Schefter also reported the Browns moved to fortify their secondary by acquiring cornerback Damarious Randall from the Green Bay Packers.

On the flip side, the Bills are now without a starting quarterback—although they likely won’t be for long considering they’ve stockpiled five picks inside the top 65 and can easily formulate a robust package to trade up and select a young gunslinger.