Tampa Bay Buccaneers settle franchise tag grievance with Shaq Barrett for $1.372 million, source says

Not only was Buccaneers star pass-rusher Shaquil Barrett awarded a new four-year contract worth up to $72 million Monday, he also was awarded a $1.372 million franchise tag settlement stemming from a grievance filed with the NFL Players Association last year, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Barrett on Wednesday confirmed a settlement was reached but didn’t disclose the terms.

“It means a lot that we was able to go through there and not have to actually go to the grievance. That was just a sign of good faith on both sides. We didn’t want to have to go all the way through with a grievance, so we was able to end up settling on a good number,” he said Tuesday in a Zoom call.

“And they knew they wanted to bring me back, so they didn’t want to really have to go through all that type of stuff, and I didn’t want to go through it either because I wanted to be here. And even though I know it’s a business, we just took that part of it out of there. We just made it easy, made it simple to start working on a long-term contract, and we was able to do it.”

The settlement money will count against the Bucs’ salary cap in 2021. There will be no grievance hearing, which would have been the next step. The Bucs opted to settle it, and in turn, Barrett can recoup the lost earnings.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The grievance stems from the NFL not differentiating between outside and inside linebackers when calculating franchise tag amounts, nor does it take into consideration scheme. Franchise tag figures are based on the top five salaries at each position.4

Barrett is technically an outside linebacker in defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ 3-4 scheme, but his job is primarily to rush the passer, like that of a 4-3 defensive end, versus dropping into coverage in the short passing game.

In 2020, the franchise tag amount for linebackers was $15.828 million, whereas it was $17.788 million for defensive ends.

A closer look at Barrett’s snap counts supports his argument.

Over the past two seasons — including the 2020 postseason — Barrett played a total of 171 of 1,851 snaps (9.238%) in coverage and 1,086 snaps (58.67%) rushing the passer (the remaining 594 snaps came against the run). By comparison, inside linebacker Lavonte David played a total of 1,342 snaps in coverage and 207 snaps rushing the passer.

“I think it should be pretty simple if you pass rush more than half the time, but you stand up sometimes too, you should just be called ‘edge.’ If you’re an outside guy on the end pass rushing, you should be just be an ‘edge rusher.’ I understand the 4-3 defense, 3-4 defense, but you can just simplify it as much as you want to, to just — if you’re on the edge rushing on 50% of your snaps, you’re an edge rusher,” Barrett said.new nike nfl jerseys cheap

Barrett also said Wednesday he really didn’t entertain offers from other teams before agreeing to his four-year deal Monday, despite the Bucs’ less-than-favorable salary-cap situation.

“Honestly, I was just all focused on coming back here, returning back here, and we was running it to the ground trying to get something done,” he said.

“We had a great team, we had a great team and it’s like, no reason to not want to try to bring it back and try to do it again, but do it even better this time. Jason Licht — he’s a world-class GM. I applaud every move he’s been making since day one that we’ve been here. He’s been doing it the right way he’s been building steadily, and now that we have a championship team, he’s trying to bring it back and have a championship team again next year.”

Miami Dolphins add to cornerback depth with Justin Coleman, source says

The Miami Dolphins are adding former Detroit Lions cornerback Justin Coleman on a one-year deal worth up to $2.75 million, a source confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.

The Dolphins also agreed to a two-year contract with former New England Patriots defensive tackle Adam Butler, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Coleman, 27, started 16 games — mostly in the slot — in his two seasons with the Lions before he was released, breaking up 14 passes with one interception. He also had three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery, all in 2019.nfl nike jersey cheap

He is expected to compete with Noah Igbinoghene and Nik Needham for a backup spot with the Dolphins.3

Coleman signed a four-year, $36 million contract with the Lions during free agency in 2019, making him one of the league’s highest-paid slot corners at the time.

He went undrafted out of Tennessee and has played two seasons each in New England, Seattle and Detroit, appearing in 79 games (29 starts) and breaking up 41 passes with four interceptions and two returned for touchdowns. He also has forced four fumbles, recovered four fumbles and scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery.

Butler spent the first four years of his NFL career in New England, including two with Dolphins coach Brian Flores. He joins what’s become a stout Dolphins defensive tackle room with Christian Wilkins, Raekwon Davis and Zach Sieler.

Butler, who had four sacks and six tackles for loss last season, is likely to take on a rotational role adding depth and competition. He will replace Dolphins defensive tackle Davon Godchaux, who agreed to a larger deal with the Patriots on Monday.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

In another move Wednesday, the Dolphins reached agreement with veteran wide receiver Robert Foster, his agency, SportsTrust Advisors, announced. Foster has averaged 20.1 yards per catch in limited NFL opportunities with the Buffalo Bills and Washington Football Team and seems set to compete for a roster spot. Foster played his last year at Alabama with Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Buffalo Bills extend contract of safety Micah Hyde through 2023

The Buffalo Bills and safety Micah Hyde have agreed to a two-year contract extension, the team announced Friday, keeping him in Buffalo through the 2023 season.

The two-year extension is worth $19.25 million. Hyde also received a $7.5 million signing bonus.

A Pro Bowler in 2017, Hyde is among the leaders on the Bills’ defense and forms one of the league’s top safety duos alongside Jordan Poyer.

Hyde, 30, was scheduled to become a free agent after the 2021 season. Now he, Poyer and cornerback Tre’Davious White are signed through at least the 2022 season. The trio came to Buffalo during the same offseason, and Hyde said they focused on changing the culture within the organization.nfl nike jersey cheap

Having reached the AFC Championship Game four years into his tenure, Hyde said he wasn’t interesting in leaving what he’d helped build.

“We felt like when we got there in ’17, the organization obviously wasn’t where we’d want it to be, and I thought the last couple years we were able to turn the thing around,” he said. “I would’ve had a big empty pit in my stomach if I were to have ended up anywhere else, because this team is headed in the right direction.”

Drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 2013, Hyde left following the 2016 season after the Packers told him at midseason they would not re-sign him. Hyde said that experience “left a scar” and that he “can’t even put into words” what his first contract extension means to him.2

“It was a pivotal point in my career to where I really looked myself in the mirror and said, ‘We’ve got to really change this thing and get better,'” he said. “I think with the opportunity I got in Buffalo, it just came hand in hand.”

Since joining the Bills in 2017, Hyde is the team’s third-leading tackler with 282 combined tackles and ranks third with nine interceptions and 25 passes defended. He finished with 70 tackles and an interception in 2020.

In addition to his contributions on the field, Hyde often tried to play recruiter over the past few seasons to no avail. He said anyone interested in joining the Bills is more than welcome to, but he hasn’t forgotten the number of times his offers were turned down in the past.

“I would talk to some free-agent guys that I’m close with, we’d have conversations and they’re going on visits,” Hyde said. “I’d say, ‘Hey, man, come to Buffalo,’ and they’re like, ‘I’m cool, I’m gonna go somewhere else.’cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“Well at the end of the day, I bet you they’re pretty pissed off they didn’t take those visits with Buffalo because they’re probably sitting on a trash team or sitting on a couch somewhere else. That’s kind of my vent, as you can tell, I’m a little mad at being turned down so many times and guys kind of throwing us under the rug.”

Bills GM Brandon Beane foreshadowed an extension during his end-of-season news conference, proclaiming his admiration for Hyde.

“I didn’t see any drop-off from Micah this year, so I can’t say I think he’s declining or anything like that,” Beane said. “I’m a big fan of Micah Hyde, just what he brings not only on the field but in our building. You guys feel me. One of the most positive personalities to be around and just a super-competitive guy. You wouldn’t feel that when you’re just talking to him in an interview. He probably doesn’t feel competitive in a one-on-one conversation.

“But when he’s on that field, he’s one of the most competitive guys, and that’s what you love about him. I think he still definitely will play for years in this league if he wants to.”

Denver Broncos placing franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons

The Denver Broncos are placing the franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons for the second consecutive season, it was announced Friday.

Simmons, who was poised to become an unrestricted free agent, becomes the first player to be tagged this offseason. The Broncos now have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal.

“Designating Justin with the franchise tag is a procedural move that allows us to continue working on a long-term deal,” general manager George Paton said in a statement Friday. We are completely focused on making sure Justin remains a big part of the Denver Broncos for many years to come.”nike nfl jersey cheap

NFL teams have until Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET to place the franchise tag on their most valuable player.1

Simmons, the Broncos’ third-round pick in the 2016 draft, played on the franchise player tag in 2020, worth $11.4 million. He finished with 96 tackles and five interceptions. It was his third consecutive 90-tackle season. He has consistently been an active player in run defense along the line of scrimmage with the versatility to match up on a variety of players in coverage.

The 27-year-old has the combination of on-field performance and off-field community engagement, given that he has played every defensive snap for each of the past three seasons and was the Broncos’ nominee this past season for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

When Paton was hired in January, Broncos president of football operations John Elway said trying to re-sign Simmons was “one of the biggest things” Paton had on his to-do list.

Simmons has consistently been one of the most active players in the community and one of the team’s leading voices in social justice initiatives.nfl nike jersey cheap He has won the Darrent Williams Good Guy Award, given out by the Denver chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America each season to a Broncos player to recognize professionalism and depth in interactions with the media. Simmons is the only three-time winner of the award since it began in 2006.

Source: Boston Celtics, Jayson Tatum agree to max rookie extension worth up to $195M

Jayson Tatum has agreed to a five-year extension worth up to $195 million with the Boston Celtics, a source told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The full designated rookie max of $163 million could go up to nearly $200 million with All-NBA escalators, sources said.

Tatum’s agent, Jeff Wechsler, and the Celtics finalized details Sunday, the source said.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Tatum will receive the 30% max that would boost the contract’s value to $195 million only if he makes first-, second- or third-team All-NBA next season, per sources. Tatum was a third-team All-NBA selection this past season. He also will receive a player option in the deal, a sourced told Wojnarowski.3

The No. 3 pick in the 2017 NBA draft, Tatum made his first All-Star team this past season, as he blossomed into the face of the Celtics while leading the franchise to the Eastern Conference finals again.

Tatum, 22, averaged career highs of 23.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.4 steals this past season for Boston, and boosted his 3-point attempt rate from 3.9 per game in 2018-19 to 7.1 per game. He scored 39 points while guarding Kawhi Leonard in a win in Boston over the LA Clippers before the All-Star break, then scored 41 points at Staples Center in a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers shortly afterward.

“The kid is special,” LeBron James said after that Feb. 23 meeting. “Obviously, that’s a reason he’s a first-time All-Star, and he’s been special all year.”

Boston now has Tatum and fellow wing Jaylen Brown under contract through the 2023-24 season, giving the Celtics one of the best young foundations in the league. The star duo has already made two trips to the Eastern Conference finals together and is looking to get Boston back to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.nfl cheap jerseys nike

Tatum’s extension caps a busy opening 48 hours of free agency for Boston in which the Celtics lost Gordon Hayward to the Charlotte Hornets, traded away Enes Kanter, and signed Tristan Thompson and Jeff Teague as free agents.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers must solve prime-time problems to realize Super Bowl dreams

With the scoreboard reading 38-3 after a humiliating loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday Night Football, Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians told what he described as a “pissed off” locker room that everyone needed to “look in the mirror.”

The Buccaneers came up empty once again on national television, and this time, it meant being swept by a divisional opponent, knocking the Bucs out of first place in the NFC South.

“[It] really couldn’t have gotten much worse than the Sunday night game — that was rock bottom,” tight end Cameron Brate said. “Nothing worked. Everyone played terribly.”

But it wasn’t just Sunday night. The Bucs are 7-3 for the first time since 2010, but they’re 1-2 in prime-time games, rare commodities until this year. Those games have become both a gift and a curse, thanks to Tom Brady being the quarterback, and something the Bucs will have to overcome if they want to reach the postseason and secure a seventh championship for Brady.

“We have stunk in those games,” Arians said.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale3

On the one hand, prime-time games provide rare national exposure for players such as Lavonte David, who is arguably one of the best inside linebackers in the league the past eight seasons but has reached the Pro Bowl only once. On the other hand, the Bucs have played lousy in their prime-time games, averaging 15.67 points and giving up 27 points per game this season, compared to scoring 35.57 and giving up 20.71 in 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. ET games.

This week, Arians overhauled the team’s practice schedule in preparation for Monday night’s game against the Los Angeles Rams (8:15 p.m. ET, Monday Night Football on ESPN). First, he gave his players Wednesday off to rest after treating it as a bonus practice before the team’s first Monday night game. Then the Bucs had their normal 11:25 a.m. practice Thursday, followed by a 7:30 p.m. practice Friday at Raymond James Stadium and a Saturday night practice at the facility.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

“We’ve got to try something because we’ve had really, really poor starts in night ballgames,” said Arians, who will also have the Bucs do some work Monday morning in hopes of getting off to a better start. “What we’re trying to do now is practice at night so that we know when to rev it up.”

Brate added, “Obviously, we have a night game coming up this week, and if things go the way that we think, where we’re playing playoff games, then we’re gonna be on that stage definitely more often toward the end of the year as well, so it’s something that we’ve gotta kind of figure out.”

Chicago Cubs’ Ryan Tepera lands MVP vote thanks to misclick

Baseball fans love to argue over who should win big awards. But there likely was no debate Thursday about the most surprising name on the list of players getting National League MVP votes.

That was Tepera, the Chicago Cubs reliever who was 0-1 with a 3.92 ERA during the coronavirus-shortened season.cheap nfl nike jersey

The 33-year-old right-hander received a single 10th-place vote for one point, leaving him tied for 18th in the NL balloting, far behind winner Freddie Freeman. Still, that’s more support than the likes of Bryce Harper, Jacob deGrom and Nolan Arenado drew as they got shut out.4

Tepera struck out 31 in 20⅔ innings over 21 games and pitched in the playoffs for Chicago.

Turns out there was a simple explanation for the vote. It was a mix-up — one that didn’t affect the results in any way.

“I meant to hit Trea Turner and thought I had,” longtime St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Rick Hummel said. Fondly called “The Commish” by his peers, Hummel in 2006 won the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s award for excellence that is presented during the Hall of Fame’s induction ceremonies.

Hummel said he intended to click on Turner’s name on a drop-down list, but figures he accidentally clicked Tepera. Turner, the Washington Nationals shortstop, finished all alone in seventh place.

“I should have double-checked it,” Hummel said.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds leading candidates on Hall of Fame ballot

Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are the leading candidates returning to baseball’s Hall of Fame ballot in a year without any favorites among the new names.

Schilling was third behind Derek Jeter and Larry Walker with 278 of 397 votes last year, finishing at 70% and 20 votes shy in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

All three will be making their ninth appearance on the BBWAA ballot this year, one short of the limit. Omar Vizquel was next in last year’s voting with 209 ballots for 52.6%.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Pitchers Barry Zito, Tim Hudson, Mark Buehrle and A.J. Burnett and outfielder Torii Hunter are among the top newcomers on the ballot announced Monday.3

Zito was 165-143 with a 4.04 ERA for Oakland and San Francisco, including 23-5 in 2002. Hudson was 222-133 with a 3.49 ERA for Oakland, Atlanta and San Francisco.

Buehrle was 214-160 with a 3.81 ERA, throwing a perfect game for the Chicago White Sox against Tampa Bay on July 23, 2009, and a no-hitter for the White Sox against Texas on April 18, 2007. Burnett was 164-157 and pitched a no-hitter for the Marlins against San Diego on May 12, 2001.

Hunter, a nine-time Gold Glove center fielder, had a .277 average, 2,452 hits, 353 home runs and 1,391 RBIs.

Voting will be announced Jan. 26 and anyone elected will be inducted July 25 along with Jeter and Walker, whose inductions were postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Other holdovers on the ballot include Andy Pettitte, Billy Wagner, Todd Helton, Jeff Kent, Scott Rolen, Bobby Abreu, Andruw Jones, Manny Ramirez, Gary Sheffield and Sammy Sosa.cheap nfl nike jersey

Newcomers also include Dan Haren, LaTroy Hawkins, Aramis Ramirez, Michael Cuddyer, Nick Swisher and Shane Victorino.

Ballots by members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years or more must be postmarked by Dec. 31.

Cleveland Indians’ Shane Bieber unanimously wins American League Cy Young Award

Cleveland Indians ace Shane Bieber was the unanimous winner of the AL Cy Young Award on Wednesday, capping an impressive rise by the right-hander to his status as one of the game’s best pitchers.

Using a versatile repertoire that includes a looping curveball and a wipeout slider, Bieber went 8-1 with a 1.63 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 77⅓ innings during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, leading the majors in ERA and strikeouts and tying Yu Darvish for the most wins.

Bieber became the second player in franchise history to win the AL pitching Triple Crown, joining Hall of Famer Bob Feller in 1940. He was the first pitcher to lead the majors in all three categories since Johan Santana for Minnesota in 2006.cheap nfl nike jersey

Twins right-hander Kenta Maeda finished second in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, followed by Toronto Blue Jays left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu.4

Bieber was the first unanimous American League winner since Justin Verlander for the Detroit Tigers in 2011. It was the 10th time that an AL pitcher was listed first on every ballot.

“Today’s a good day regardless,” Bieber said. “It just makes it that much better that we were able to take this thing home and that it was unanimous.”

The 25-year-old Bieber, a former walk-on at UC Santa Barbara, was selected by Cleveland in the fourth round of the 2016 amateur draft. He made his major league debut in 2018 and went 11-5 with a 4.55 ERA. He really started to show off his potential last year, winning the MVP award at the All-Star Game and finishing with 15 wins and a 3.28 ERA.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Before this season started, Bieber got a text from former Indians teammate Trevor Bauer, who was traded to the Cincinnati Reds last year. The right-handers had the same Las Vegas odds for the Cy Young Award.

“I said … why don’t we go 2-for-2, or something like that?” Bieber said.

Bauer on Wednesday became the first pitcher to take home the NL honor for the Reds, the majors’ oldest franchise.

Bieber and Bauer, two California natives, made it an Ohio sweep on the mound in 2020. They are the third pair of former teammates to win Cy Young Awards in the same season, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau. Greg Maddux and Dennis Eckersley in 1992 and Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello in 2016 also accomplished the feat.

Bieber gives Cleveland its fifth Cy Young Award since CC Sabathia won in 2007. Cliff Lee won in 2008, and Corey Kluber took home the honor in 2014 and 2017. Gaylord Perry in 1972 is the only other Cy Young winner for the Indians.

Detroit Pistons intrigued by LaMelo Ball, moving up in draft

Currently holding the No. 7 pick in the upcoming 2020 NBA draft, Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver says that “moving up is definitely an option.”

One possible target has been training in the team’s backyard throughout the coronavirus pandemic: top prospect LaMelo Ball — whose mentor and manager, Jermaine Jackson Sr., is a former Piston and a Motown native.cheap nfl jerseys from china nike

In October, Ball hosted a free basketball camp at Oakland Fieldhouse in Rochester Hills, Michigan, for kids ages 8 to 13. Weaver says the Pistons plan on scheduling an interview with Ball soon to get to know him.

“I’m always happy to hear players embrace our organization, our city. That never goes unnoticed. I know people around him. His trainer is a Detroit native, so I’m sure he’s been here for a while working out,” Weaver said during Thursday’s pre-draft media availability. “I’m sure he’s well versed in the city from traveling around, being with his trainer and hearing different things, so no, that doesn’t go unnoticed and that’s always a positive when prospects speak highly of the city and the organization.”4

Sources told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony that Ball has already met with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who hold the No. 1 pick. Their meeting happened in Southern California with Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas and head coach Ryan Saunders.

ESPN has Ball listed as the top available prospect.

Weaver says “everything’s on the table” to bring the Pistons back to relevance, including an attempt to shuffle around in the draft, currently set for Nov. 18. The No. 7 pick is Detroit’s highest since Greg Monroe’s seventh overall selection in 2010.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

“I love the draft. I love it every year. I always look at the draft with a glass half full. Yeah, you may not have a Zion Williamson or a Ja [Morant], but there’s guys in the draft that we really like,” Weaver said. “The draft is always great because you have a chance to bring these young men in your program and help shape your culture from day one. So we really like the draft. Yeah, moving up is definitely an option as well, but I’m excited about the draft.”