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 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.

GM: Cubs recalling Happ before Brewers series

The Chicago Cubs are recalling former first-round pick Ian Happ in advance of their weekend series in Milwaukee, general manager Jed Hoyer told 670 The Score on Thursday.

Happ, whose strikeout percentage ballooned to 36 percent in 2018, was demoted at the end of spring training. He hit 24 home runs during his rookie season in 2017, but he has 296 strikeouts in 257 big league nfl jerseys for cheap

“It’s a small, small step backward for a big step forward,” Cubs president Theo Epstein said after the demotion.

Happ, 24, showed slow improvement at Triple-A Iowa but has been hot in July, hitting .324 with a .451 on-base percentage. Overall, he has compiled a .795 OPS in 99 games this season, including 16 home runs, 65 walks and 113 strikeouts.

Epstein recently indicated Happ had fixed some issues with his swing and simply needed to “put it all together” in order to advance to the next step.1

“I give him a lot of credit for staying patient and true to what we talked about,” Hoyer said, according to 670 The Score.

The Cubs are likely to option a pitcher to the minors to make room for Happ, but the team hasn’t made the move official yet. They currently have nine relievers on the nike nfl jerseys china

Hoyer told the radio station that Happ will play mostly in the outfield but could see time at second base. The Cubs recently demoted middle infielder Addison Russell, giving the job at second to Robel Garcia and David Bote. The switch-hitting Happ looks to also be in the mix.

The Des Moines Register was first to report Happ’s call-up.

The Cubs start the series against the Brewers on Friday night. The Cubs are tied with the Cardinals for first place in the National League Central, with the Brewers two games out.

This is a pivotal stretch in the division. After three games against Milwaukee, the Cubs go to St. Louis for three games and then return to Wrigley Field to host the Brewers for a three-game set.

Manuel Pellegrini on Man City penalty: ‘Soft is being a little generous’

Manuel Pellegrini accused Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva of throwing himself to the floor to win the decisive penalty in West Ham’s 1-0 defeat to the title challengers.

The Portuguese forward went down under a challenge from Felipe Anderson in the second half and Sergio Aguero converted the spot-kick as City kept the pressure on leaders Liverpool.

“Soft is being a little generous — it wasn’t a penalty,” the former City boss told a news conference. “It was a play that happens a lot of times inside the nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“In the other box Manuel Lanzini had exactly the same and he didn’t throw [himself] to the floor. If we had lost this game with another action then maybe we could accept it, but not that penalty.2

“They didn’t score another goal and we defended very well. The first save of [West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski] was in minute 61. After that, they had a couple of chances. If you lose the game with those options maybe you can accept it more.

“We played very well in defending and not so well in attacking because we didn’t have the possession we wanted to have — especially when we played this game with eight players injured and four players we rested for the game on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola said before the game that he would be able to tell if his side had what was required to maintain their title challenge and he was happy with his side’s display.

“We played so well,” he said. “When you see the result it looks like it could be better but we created an incredible amount of chances — after five minutes it could be 2-0.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

“Of course we didn’t score as many goals as we needed but the performance in terms of how we won second balls … we did everything.

“We conceded one shot on target — it was an important chance for them. After 120 minutes and all the tension, the performance was amazing and I’m so delighted with the way we played today.”

Matt Harvey keeping options open in free agency, with one exception: His old team

Harvey made the comment when he was asked by reporters if he’d be open to re-signing with the Reds, a question he answered “absolutely.”cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

“They brought me here, and they gave me the ball every fifth day. So it was something I’m very happy about and taking into consideration, and we’ll see what happens moving forward,” he said.

Dick Williams, the Reds’ president of baseball operations, told reporters Tuesday that Cincinnati would be open to re-signing Harvey as well.3

“We definitely will stack Matt up against the available options,” he said. “The fact that he’s been here and we’ve seen how he interacts with our coaches and our players will certainly work in his favor. Everybody’s been favorably impressed. And we know that pitching is a priority going forward.”

Harvey, 29, made 28 starts for the Reds and went 7-7 with a 4.50 ERA. He was 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA for the Mets, who traded him to Cincinnati in May for catcher Devin Mesoraco. Before the trade, the Mets had designated him for assignment after he refused a minor league assignment to work out his problems.

Drafted No. 7 by the Mets in 2010, Harvey was an All-Star in 2013, starting the game for the National League at Citi Field, and helped the Mets to the World Series in 2015 after missing the 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John nike jerseys cheap china

Arm and shoulder injuries derailed his 2016 and ’17 seasons, and the Mets also suspended him last season for violating team rules.

Sergio Ramos is Real Madrid’s ultimate big-game player in Europe

I’m not being cheeky or doubting you, but you do know Sergio Ramos’ red-card record, don’t you? The infamous story about Real Madrid’s captain and how many times he gets sent off, yes?

No. Wait! Not the one about how another expulsion would land him squarely on a quarter-century of orderings-off for Los Blancos. That’s an entirely different side to Madrid’s belligerent captain. I mean, instead, the one where this combative, all-or-nothing, hell-for-leather centre-half/hero/hooligan has actually scored twice as many goals in European club semifinals and finals as he has seen red cards in his entire UEFA career?cheap nfl authentic jerseys

That’s right. This bull of a man, who some people probably believe has a hyphenated surname (Sergio Ramos-SentOff) has only been red-carded three times in over 120 UEFA matches for Sevilla and Real Madrid. It’s almost angelic and sits in truly stark comparison to his all-time record for Los Blancos, which shows that nobody in the history of top-level Spanish club football has been sent off more often.

Twenty-four dismissals (and counting) is his slightly embarrassing “landmark.” But the massive disparity between Ramos the “restrained European” and Ramos “Spain is my fiefdom and I’ll act exactly as I wish” is still greater once you examine more closely.277

Of his three Champions League red cards, one was simply for following Jose Mourinho’s streetwise instructions. Ramos and Xabi Alonso deliberately got themselves sent off for time-wasting second bookings in the final moments of a win against Ajax in 2010, so that they’d have a lesser chance of suspension in the knockout rounds. Subtract that ordering off, which admittedly caused one heck of a row at the time, and Ramos actually has three times more goals in UEFA semis and finals than he has European red cards.

These are remarkable stats in so many ways. The most obvious, of course, is that Saturday’s Champions League final will be Ramos’ fourth and he has yet to taste defeat. Yet it presents Real Madrid’s captain with not just a test of football, but the ultimate test of judgement and restraint.

Let’s not beat about the bush here: The prospect of Marcelo suddenly deciding to prioritise defending or positional discipline is as likely as Cristiano Ronaldo voting for Lionel Messi in the Ballon d’Or. And while Liverpool’s strengths do not begin and end with Mohamed Salah — the Egyptian is far from the only the principal Red menace — he plays down their right. Right where Marcelo should be, but won’ nfl jerseys from china

Now, it’s a nuance missed by many that although Ramos is firmly right-footed (he won Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010 at right back) he prefers to play left-sided centre-back for Madrid. This puts him right in the danger zone that will be clearly marked on the Kiev pitch with the words, “Oh bloody hell, where’s Marcelo? Wait… here comes Salah at a hundred miles per hour!”

Even at 32 years old, this athlete from Andalusia, may well be able to match the brilliant Egyptian partly because Ramos is a terrific footballer, partly via his encyclopedia of experience and partly because Madrid’s captain is notably streetwise. However the last thing he wants to see is Salah with the ball at his feet, careering towards him at pace. Because this is the split-second moment when a defender has to commit. The position in which Ramos will undoubtedly find himself, whether to “jockey” the player and try to herd him into a space where he doesn’t want to go, or lunge into a tackle and risk yellow or red — this is the nightmare scenario for most defenders.

Saquon Barkley: ‘Willing to do whatever’ for Giants

The roster for the New York Giants’ rookie minicamp lists “RB” next to Saquon Barkley’s name. Maybe it should say more.

Barkley views himself as “more than a running back.” The No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft was hoping to prove that Friday, when he took the field for the first time in a Giants uniform.

“Completely more than a running back,” Barkley said after Friday morning’s walk-through. “… If you look at the past three years and you look at the history of the running back position — of what [Ezekiel Elliott] and [Le’Veon Bell] are able to do — nfl authentic jerseys cheap when you look at those guys, they are more than running backs. I view myself as more than a running back.”

This is the argument Bell, a three-time Pro Bowl running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, has made as he lobbies for a long-term contract. Bell rushed for 1,291 yards and had 85 receptions last season.

Barkley rushed for 1,271 yards last year at Penn State. He caught 54 passes for 632 yards and added two kickoff returns for touchdowns.134

It’s this skill set that prompted the Giants to declare Barkley the best player in the draft. General manager Dave Gettleman gave Barkley only his second perfect grade for a prospect; the other went to Peyton Manning in 1998.

“I’m not a guy that you just line up in the backfield and is just going bang his head, bang his head, bang his head,” Barkley said. “I’m a guy that is willing to do whatever it is for the team, whether it is a kick returner, whether it be a punt returner, whether it be running down on kickoffs, whether it’s line up in the slot, whether it’s run a dummy play, fake play.

“Whatever it takes. I want to be an athlete. I’m not just a running back. I play the running back position. I want to be an all-around back and all-around player.”

Gettleman said after making the pick two weeks ago that Barkley’s presence alone should improve the running game, offensive line, passing game and even the defense by keeping that unit off the field.customized nfl jerseys cheap

Rookie minicamp, which runs through Sunday, will provide the Giants their first up-close glimpse of Barkley’s ability.

“I think what we’re looking to see is how well he picks up this system,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “We’re very confident he’ll be able to do everything well. And just see how he works in like everybody else — how he runs the ball, how he catches the ball, his awareness in pass protection — all the things we’re going to ask him to do moving forward.”

Russell Westbrook and the siren song of the 3

Russell Westbrook finishes every pregame routine the same way, standing out of bounds deep in the left corner, slightly behind the backboard. He holds the ball under an arm, taking in bets from team staffers. One try? Two tries? Four tries?

Whenever it goes down — most often after one or two attempts — cheap nfl jerseys Westbrook will hold his pose for a split second, then sprint through the tunnel and to the locker room.

It seems he has spent his career set on proving to no one in particular he’s a good shooter. This is just one example. Westbrook is confident he needs only one try to make that pregame shot. And if he doesn’t make it, the next one’s for sure going down.

Westbrook’s relationship with the 3-pointer is a complicated one. It’s a shot he loves to take, but one that doesn’t always love him back. Each one is released with an unflinching, unwavering resolve, albeit from the hand of a career 31 percent shooter from behind the arc. It’s been an ongoing struggle.

“I need to stop taking as many as I’m taking, to tell you the truth,” Westbrook said in 2014. “I’m going to take those down as the season goes along.

“It’s not always a great shot for myself or my team. So I’ve got to do a better job of taking those out. My advantage is attacking, regardless of who’s in front of me. That’s my advantage. And I’ve got to use my advantage to help my team and help myself.”

After he said that, he went 0-of-5 from 3 the next nfl authentic jerseys It was classic Westbrook, with self-awareness and self-belief at war with each other. Like Tiger with his driver, or Fergie with the national anthem. It’s the battle Westbrook has waged with himself for much of his career.

This season, out of 159 qualified 3-point shooters, Westbrook ranks 158th in percentage. During last season’s MVP campaign, Westbrook was free to fire unfettered. He attempted a career-high 7.2 3-pointers per game, hitting a career-best 34.3 percent. Some of his most memorable moments came from behind the arc, like the shot against Orlando, or the shot against Memphis, or the shots against Boston, or the shot against Denver.