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.”

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.

Jakobi Meyers goes with a little razzle dazzle and passes for a touchdown

The New England Patriots turned to a quarterback-turned-receiver for a razzle-dazzle play late in the second quarter of their game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Trailing 10-7 with 1:10 remaining before halftime, Jakobi Meyers took a lateral from Cam Newton to the left side and lofted a high-arcing pass to running back Rex Burkhead in the end zone for a touchdown. Burkhead adjusted his route at the last moment to snare the delivery.4

Meyers’ touchdown pass had an air distance of 43.6 yards, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. That’s the second-longest air distance — and longest on a touchdown — by a Patriots player this season (54.4 yards from Newton to Julian Edelman in Week 2).

Meyers was a high school quarterback who committed to NC State but switched to receiver in his redshirt freshman season in 2016. Growing up in Georgia, he was selected to the all-star team of Newton’s charitable foundation, so Meyers and Newton have a link that goes back years.

When the Patriots call on trick plays such as that one, it is usually Edelman who does the throwing. He played quarterback at Kent State before switching to receiver with the Patriots, but he’s currently on injured reserve.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

San Francisco 49ers to be without WR Deebo Samuel, RB Jeff Wilson Jr. for multiple weeks

Just as the San Francisco 49ers’ offense seemed to be rounding into form over the past two weeks, that group has lost two more key contributors to injury.

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel and running back Jeff Wilson Jr., both of whom played major roles in Sunday’s 33-6 win against the New England Patriots, are expected to miss extended time, according to coach Kyle Shanahan.

Samuel is dealing with a left hamstring strain and will “most likely” miss this week’s game at the Seattle Seahawks and next week’s home contest against the Green Bay Packers, according to Shanahan.

It’s a big blow for an offense that had leaned heavily on Samuel since he returned from a Jones fracture in his foot in Week 4. Samuel had five catches for 65 yards against the Patriots before he departed.

“Deebo is a huge part of our offense, a huge part of our team,” Shanahan said. “When you have a threat of someone who can hurt you whether it’s blocking, whether it’s catching, whether it’s running, that always is an issue for defenses.”cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping3

Wilson is the latest 49er to suffer a high left ankle sprain and is expected to go on injured reserve this week, which means he will have to miss at least the next three games. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, linebacker Kwon Alexander and running back Raheem Mostert have dealt with or are currently dealing with high ankle sprains.

Wilson was in the midst of the best game of his career when his ankle got rolled up on at the end of his third touchdown run. He finished with 112 yards on 17 attempts and those three scores before departing.

“He was unbelievable,” Shanahan said. “I was very happy for him and how hard he played. It was extremely unfortunate he got hurt. I know he’s really disappointed in that because of how good he’s been playing. But at least he’ll be able to come back. It’ll be a month, most likely, but he’ll be back from it.”

With Wilson set to join Mostert on injured reserve, the Niners are down to Jerick McKinnon and JaMycal Hasty as the only healthy backs on the roster. Tevin Coleman, who has been on injured reserve with a sprained knee, is eligible to return, though it remains to be seen if he’ll be healthy enough to do so this week.

“I hope so,” Shanahan said of Coleman. “I’m not sure yet, though. I’ll be surprised if he gets out there fully for Wednesday, but I think that will be a late, end-of-the-week decision.”

In addition to the injuries to Samuel and Wilson, wide receiver Richie James Jr. sustained a sprained ankle against the Patriots. James will be day-to-day this week.

The 49ers also made a pair of roster tweaks on Monday, releasing defensive back Parnell Motley and defensive lineman Alex Barrett. Those moves leave the team with 50 players on the active roster. One of the three open spots will go to edge rusher Jordan Willis when his trade from the New York Jets becomes official.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

How the Niners fill those other two spots will depend on a combination of how the injuries to Samuel, Wilson and James play out as well as the status of players eligible to return from injured reserve, including cornerback K’Waun Williams (knee, hip) and Coleman.

Brett Phillips needed IV after Tampa Bay Rays’ dramatic Game 4 World Series win

A night Tampa Bay Rays hero Brett Phillips won’t soon forget ended with him getting an IV solution not long after winning Game 4 of the World Series with a bottom-of-the-ninth base hit to right field. Phillips was dehydrated and had a migraine after celebrating with his teammates.

“Almost passed out,” Phillips said Sunday afternoon. “I didn’t realize I was dehydrated. I had to get an IV. My resting heart rate was over 140 [beats per minute] just lying there.”

Phillips was mobbed by his teammates in the outfield after rookie Randy Arozarena crossed home plate with the winning run in a wild, 8-7, win. The excitement got the best of him when he returned to the clubhouse.cheap nfl jerseys nike china

“They had to cover my eyes with a towel because I had a pounding migraine,” Phillips stated. “I wasn’t looking at the light and had to slow down the breathing. Was just relaxing and hanging out.”

Teammate Joey Wendle was asked if he had ever seen the guy that wins the game go get an IV afterwards.4

“We were celebrating after the game, and we were at the part where we were going to give him a shoutout, and someone said he’s not here,” Wendle said. “He went to the trainer’s room. That’s a first time for me.”

After Phillips began to feel better, he eventually checked his phone only to find many, many messages from friends, family and former teammates.

“I had a little over 500 text messages,” he said. “I went to bed at 4 a.m. after replying to every single one of those text messages.”

Players from around the league like Ryan Braun, Adam Wainwright, Liam Hendriks and Whit Merrifield all reached out to congratulate Phillips.

“It was really special for me just to see people say, ‘There was no one better that deserves it. You were a good teammate,'” Phillips said. “Stuff like that means the most to me.”

Many in Phillips’ family, including his wife, left the game early, but he didn’t take it personally.cheap youth nfl jerseys

“I told them I’m glad that they left,” Phillips explained. “I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and who knows if they would have stayed if that would have happened.”

Derrick Henry carries Titans to another comeback win to climb to 5-0

The magic ride continues for the Tennessee Titans with their improbable 42-36 comeback win over the Houston Texans — in large part thanks to Derrick Henry, who fueled their final drive to get the win in overtime.

To get to overtime, they needed a clutch drive to end regulation. With less than two minutes remaining, Ryan Tannehill and the Titans’ offense took over on their own 24-yard line down by seven points. Led by Tannehill, the Titans drove 76 yards and finished it off with A.J. Brown making a contested 7-yard catch in the corner of the end zone and getting his feet down.

The Titans won the coin toss and received the ball to start overtime. Offensive coordinator Arthur Smith went back to Henry, who picked up 53 yards on a screen pass. Four plays later, Henry took the direct snap 5 yards into the end zone to end the game.nike jerseys nfl cheap

Henry finished with 212 yards rushing and 52 yards receiving, becoming the fourth player in NFL history to rush for at least 200 yards in back-to-back games against a single opponent. Henry also had a 94-yard TD run.3

Coach Mike Vrabel said he has never seen a player as big and fast as Henry with the football in his hands. But the thing that he loved the most about Henry’s 94-yard touchdown run was how he used the stiff arm.

“The stiff arm is something that we had been working on with him,” Vrabel said. “People come at his legs. He’s taking his hand down there to the helmet that’s coming at his knee. He’s able to fend them off then have the speed to pull away from DBs.”

With his career-high 264 yards from scrimmage, Henry joins Saquon Barkley (vs. Washington in Week 16 of 2019) as the only players with 250 scrimmage yards and two TDs in a game in the past three seasons.nfl cheap nike jerseys

Henry also passed Eddie George for the third-most rushing touchdowns by a Titans/Oilers player in their first five seasons. Henry is now tied with Chris Johnson with 44 rushing touchdowns over that span.

One game away from MLB playoffs elimination, Astros, Jose Altuve throwing away their opportunities

When the wheels fall off, there’s not much you can do to go anywhere you want to get to. That’s kind of where the Houston Astros find themselves after losing Game 3 of the American League Championship Series in the MLB playoffs.

The Astros have played three games of the ALCS and it’s not a wild stretch to say they could have won all three games. Instead, they’ve lost them all, and unless they prevail in Game 4, their offseason will begin Wednesday night.

Altuve is a former MVP and a key contributor to any kind of success the Astros have had — and for any chance they have to rally. What’s to be done? Catcher Mackey Sasser, pitcher Steve Blass and second basemen Chuck Knoblauch and Steve Sax are a few of the players who have suffered through the condition that makes players shiver — the yips. Sax was the only one of them able to overcome the situation, and he believes he knows what’s to blame for Altuve’s sudden downward spiral.

“I can feel for Jose,” said Sax, when reached by phone. “There’s nothing worse in the world. It’s the most lonely place to be. It’s embarrassing. It’s just awful. I hope he can grasp this as soon as possible, because this thing is very simple. It’s right in front of him. So many people are going to say, ‘Oh, Jose, you have a mental block.’ He doesn’t. He has a temporary loss of confidence. It has nothing to do with his mental state. Something triggered him to start questioning his ability, that’s why he’s doing this. When he gets his confidence, this will disappear.”nfl cheap nike jerseys4

Altuve’s first-inning error in Game 2 on Monday was followed two pitches later by a three-run home run, and the Astros never recovered.

In Game 3, Altuve fielded a sharply hit ball that seemed primed for starting a 4-6-3 double play that would have emptied the bases and given Houston two outs in the sixth inning while still holding a 1-0 lead. Instead, his latest errant throw helped break open the floodgates for the Rays to score all five of their runs in the inning.

“We really have our backs up against the wall,” Baker said. “It’s a steep mountain to climb, but it’s not impossible. We have to tighten our belts and put our big boy pants on and come out. Runs are very difficult to come by, especially when you’re not getting the big hit. It hurts to know that you’ve come so close to winning all three games. The breaks are certainly not going our way.”

The Astros will now have to turn to their remaining ace, Zack Greinke, who has been nursing an arm issue during the postseason. He will try to keep Houston’s season alive at least one more day. Greinke has failed to finish five innings in his two postseason starts this season and has a 5.20 ERA in those games.cheap nike jerseys nfl

Underscoring how close the Astros have been in this series, they have had the potential tying or go-ahead run either on base or at the plate in the ninth inning of each game.

Bills’ Josh Allen evoking MVP seasons by Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson

It would appear that after two decades of futility at the position, the Buffalo Bills have their franchise quarterback in Josh Allen. If he can keep up his start to the 2020 season, they might also have their first NFL MVP since Thurman Thomas in 1991.

Through his first four games, Allen has put up numbers comparable to those of the league’s previous two MVPs — quarterbacks Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens (2019) and Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs (2018). That’s the good news for Bills fans ready to coronate Allen. His 1,326 passing yards are ahead of Jackson’s and Mahomes’ totals during the first four games of their MVP seasons, as is Allen’s 71% completion percentage. His 12 touchdown passes rank second among the trio.

As the Bills (4-0) prepare to face the Tennessee Titans (3-0) on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS), Allen is on pace for 5,304 yards and 48 passing touchdowns, both of which would have led the league in 2019. It’s reasonable to doubt Allen will hit those figures; he threw for 5,163 yards and 30 touchdowns in 27 starts prior to the 2020 season. But the third-year quarterback has left no doubt as to how much he has developed since entering the league as the No. 7 overall pick in 2018.

“I had numerous talks with [offensive coordinator Brian] Daboll, [coach Sean] McDermott and [general manager Brandon] Beane. I made a vow to them … that I’d be a better quarterback and do things the right way,” Allen said. “This isn’t just me doing it, though — it’s been a small army between Daboll and [quarterbacks coach Ken] Dorsey and the front office bringing in the guys that they’ve brought in, and in the offseason, working with [offseason QB coach] Jordan Palmer. … Tt’s been a long process.cheap nike nfl jersey

“I’ve got a long way to go. In no way am I saying that I’ve arrived or I’m there.”3

Palmer said Allen has refined several aspects of his game, from tightening his base to throwing with anticipation and control. He also has been far more hesitant to scramble when plays start to break down this season.

Over the previous two seasons, only Deshaun Watson scrambled more often than Allen, but no quarterback recorded more yards or touchdowns while doing so than Allen’s 820 and eight, respectively. Factoring in designed quarterback runs, Allen ranked second in yards and attempts over that span, and he led QBs with 17 rushing touchdowns.

This season, however, Allen’s four scrambles are tied for 19th most in the NFL, and his 32 yards rank 20th. He is fourth among QBs in rushing attempts with 25 — but 14 of those came during the Bills’ season opener against the Jets and five occurred with goal-to-go. While Allen’s running and improvisational abilities allowed him to make plays with his legs entering this season, he has matured enough as a passer to allow his receivers’ routes to develop.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Allen’s 14-yard completion to John Brown during Buffalo’s win against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 4 is evidence.

On first-and-10 from the Las Vegas 15-yard line, Allen faked a handoff to Devin Singletary before observing the short field. At the time Allen decided to throw the ball, his primary receivers — Brown and Stefon Diggs — had 1.4 yards and 1.8 yards of separation, respectively. Allen didn’t have the cleanest running lane, but he did have Bills left guard Cody Ford standing between Raiders linebacker Cory Littleton and enough open field to pick up a first down with his legs.

England’s Jadon Sancho, Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell to miss Wales match while awaiting coronavirus results

Gareth Southgate has warned his players that off-field issues could “derail” England at major tournaments.

England will be without Jadon Sancho, Tammy Abraham and Ben Chilwell for Thursday’s friendly against Wales at Wembley after the trio breached government guidelines relating to COVID-19.

The three players in question attended a party organised to celebrate Abraham’s 23rd birthday where around 20 people gathered, breaking the “rule of six” which states the maximum number of people allowed to congregate together at one time.

It follows another coronavirus breach last month when Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood were sent home in disgrace after leaving the bubble in the team hotel in Reykjavik to meet two women just hours after making their debuts against Iceland.

The chances of Sancho, Abraham and Chilwell returning to the squad for subsequent matches against Belgium and Denmark depend on the outcome of subsequent testing.

Southgate, who recalled Harry Maguire last week after dropping him in September following an incident in Mykonos while on holiday which led to a 21-month suspended sentence for a series of offences including aggravated assault, said: “I don’t think we can attribute what happens with players when they are with their clubs as the responsibility of England.

“But what we did earlier this week, we had a really good meeting with all of the players where we talked about the responsibility of being an England player and how the spotlight is different.nike nfl jerseys cheap china3

“When the story broke earlier in the week there was no mention of the clubs they play for, they were England players and the players need to be aware of that.

“When these incidents happen they take a lot of energy and focus away from the game and we can’t afford that. If you’re going into major tournaments and you have major incidents they can derail you, and I’ve seen that.

“We’ve worked very hard over the past three or four years to get a connection with the fans back and some of the younger ones don’t have the credit in the bank some of the more senior players, who have played in tournaments, have.

“Everyone from footballers to politicians has erred in terms of dealing with the virus and we all need to get back on track a little bit. There’s a lot of disharmony now and we’re all in this together, we need to work together.

“We do have an issue in terms of the COVID guidelines and making sure any player coming in is as low-risk as possible. So we’re having to monitor the players — they will have been tested today and tomorrow. They will miss the Wales game and if they’re not with us by Friday then they will miss the Belgium game too.”

Meanwhile, Southgate also confirmed regular first-choice goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who has been criticised after a shaky displays for Everton this season, will not start tomorrow with either Manchester United’s Dean Henderson or Burnley’s Nick Pope getting the nod.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

“We know Jordan has made errors,” he said. “Nick made errors at the weekend. There is a very close contest. We will make a change tomorrow.”

Atlanta Braves sweep Miami Marlins on strength of lights-out pitching

There was a point in September when the Atlanta Braves barely had a starting rotation. They certainly have one now, and by channeling the performance of great Braves staffs from the past, those pitchers have propelled Atlanta back to the National League Championship Series for the first time in 19 years.

“We flipped the script,” Braves star Freddie Freeman said. “Everybody was talking about offense. Now everybody’s going to be talking about our pitching, which is great, because they deserve it.”

The Braves move on to face the Los Angeles Dodgers, who advanced after completing a three-game sweep of the San Diego Padres on Thursday night. The NLCS begins Monday at Global Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

It will be the Braves’ first NLCS appearance since 2001, when the club’s top hurlers were future Hall of Famers Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz. The current Braves starters have a long way to go to match that trio, but they’ve done a fair imitation of them since the regular season ended.nike nfl jerseys cheap china2

Atlanta has given up only five runs over 49 innings for a 0.92 ERA while dispatching Cincinnati and Miami in back-to-back sweeps. Three starters — Max Fried, Ian Anderson and Wright — have started all five of the contests. Of the three, Fried, 26, is the graybeard of the bunch.

“It’s been fun,” catcher Travis d’Arnaud said. “They’ve just been executing. They’ve been doing their homework, trusting the game plan. It’s really amazing to see and amazing to be a part of.”

Early this season, it would have been impossible to envision a run like this for the Braves’ pitching staff, even though the veteran bullpen has been solid throughout. First, 2019 Cy Young contender Mike Soroka was lost for the season after making three starts. Veteran lefty Cole Hamels made one start. Another veteran, Felix Hernandez, opted out because of the coronavirus pandemic.nfl cheap jerseys nike

Through the end of August, the Atlanta rotation’s 5.46 ERA ranked 25th in the majors. By the second week of September, when Fried was laid up because of back spasms and Wright was trying to overcome early struggles at the club’s alternate site camp, Atlanta’s preseason rotation plan had vanished.

But with Anderson leading the way, the Braves look like a complete team now that they are waiting on the winner of the Padres-Dodgers series, with the battle for the NL pennant looming ahead.

“I think the guys over the course of this year, they started believing,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “We put the whole thing together really. I guess we fought that starting pitching bug to have a couple of these young guys step in and all of a sudden start making strides. [It] is really, really good and really encouraging for our season and our organization going forward.”