The Biggest Risk Every NFL Team Is Taking in 2018

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There are only so many quality football players to go around. The difference between a starting-caliber player and a backup in the NFL is considerable, which is why some veterans are paid 15 times more than others.

Even after free agency and the draft, some teams have holes in their starting lineups. We’ll look at one risk each team is taking that opponents may exploit in 2018.

As we sift through all 32 NFL teams,cheap nfl nike jerseys china  keep in mind that the new trade-heavy NFL can lead to more player movement this summer. Maybe teams will make more moves during preseason, but at the moment, these are the positions and units of exposure for every franchise.

The Arizona Cardinals have lost a lot of defensive assets over the last few years, including defensive coordinator James Bettcher. This year, their secondary will miss hybrid defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, who played 1,053 snaps on defense in 2017, and cornerback Tramon Williams, who had a bounce-back season.

Budda Baker, a second-year player who played just 48.4 percent of defensive snaps last year, will likely be on the field for every snap that he’s healthy for. At cornerback, Williams’ replacement is still a question mark.nfl nike jersey cheap

2016 third-round pick Brandon Williams or the recently traded for Jamar Taylor have to be the clubhouse leaders to fill in for Williams, but there is no must-start cornerback on the roster other than Patrick Peterson. Either way, the loss of a starting cornerback, an every-down safety-slot cheap nfl nike jersey hybrid and a defensive coordinator, with no proven replacements, is a recipe for disaster.

Up until the draft, the Atlanta Falcons had no functional body that they could plug in at nose tackle to replace Dontari Poe. Poe, a 2017 signing, spent one year with the Falcons before signing a long-term deal with the Carolina Panthers to replace Star Lotulelei.cheap nike nfl jersey

While it’s a stretch to assume that third-round picks will start immediately, Atlanta first drafted Deadrin Senat of South Florida on Day 2 to attempt to solve its problem. If nothing else, it had a body it could play at the position. Post-draft, the team signed Terrell McClain, who is now on his third team in three years.

Come September, it would be an upset if those two were not the top nose tackles on the team’s depth chart. McClain, who was released by Washington just one year into a four-year contract, may even be the team’s starter.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

There wasn’t much the Falcons could have done, considering the fact that they were pressed up against the cap before free agency began and were drafting late in the first round. It’s likely that neither will be as effective as Poe.

Chicago Bears: Getting Nagy with It

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Ha! You thought this was going to be about Mitchell Trubisky, didn’t you?

Well, it is. Sort of.where can i buy cheap nfl jerseys online

Many are predicting a big second-year jump from Trubisky in 2018, in large part because of the arrival of offensive-minded head coach Matt Nagy.

Nagy preached patience regarding the switch while speaking with JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago, saying that “in Kansas City it took us five years to get to that point that we got to.” He continued: “We’re kind of at a pace right now where we have to at times pull back and say to yourself we’re months into this thing, not years.”

But Nagy also said he’s been pleased with what he’s seen from Trubisky in OTAs.nfl apparel

“Coach (Vic) Fangio and his guys are doing a good job of mixing different coverages and disguising different looks, so for Mitchell to be able to see those looks on tape, he’s building his own library right now within this offense,” cheap nfl apparel Nagy said. “We don’t have to watch Kansas City’s offense anymore. We’re building our library now and he’s able to see how it works against our defense right now and try not to make those mistakes and make the correct adjustments.”

There’s a new offensive scheme. And new targets for Trubisky in wide receivers Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller and tight end Trey Burton.

If Trubisky takes to the changes quickly, the Bears could be a tough(er) out in 2018.nfl apparel for men

To say that John Ross had a disappointing rookie season is an understatement. In three games (including one start), Ross was targeted all of twice. He had zero receptions and one rush for 12 yards.

Not exactly what the Cincinnati Bengals hoped for when they drafted the scouting combine record-holder in the 40-yard dash ninth overall a year ago.

Ross missed much of camp after shoulder surgery. By the time the season was over, he had surgery on his other shoulder and battled a knee sprain. Head coach Marvin Lewis groused publicly that Ross had “let the team down.” As Ross told ESPN’s Katherine Terrell, everything that could go wrong in 2017 did.

“Last year, I was just down, not being able to run full speed, not being able to do everything in the weight room,” Ross said. “Not to have excuses or anything, but I honestly just wasn’t physically or mentally ready for what I got myself into. There was so much going on.”discount nfl apparel

However, Ross is healthy in 2018 and participating fully in OTAs, and while the team is keeping a tight lid on news from the practice field, some positive tidbits have leaked out regarding the speedy wideout.

Terrell tweeted that Ross has looked good nfl apparel for women in the practices she had access to, adding the “biggest thing for Ross is he’s getting the reps he needs.”

Houston Texans: Watson Back at It

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If there’s one thing fans of the Houston Texans most wanted to see as OTAs got underway, it was the return of a certain player to the practice field.

That player wasn’t even J.J. Watt, as much as they all love them some No. 99.

No, the biggest storyline in OTAs for the cheap womens nfl jerseys china Texans was easily the return of quarterback Deshaun Watson, who saw his breakout rookie season cut short last year by a torn ACL.

Watson wasn’t a full participant in practice, but according to Herbie Teope of nfl womens jersey , he did take part in individual and 7-and-7 drills.

“My knee feels well,” Watson told reporters. “I’m comfortable to be able to go out there and throw and do some things on air and get the timing down with the receivers.”

Watson did go on to caution that there’s no definitive timetable for the training wheels coming off. “There’s really no timeline on ACLs,” Watson said. “It just depends on how that person feels.”

Still, any step in the right direction for Watson is a welcome sight and then some.cheap nfl jerseys for women

The good news for the Indianapolis Colts is that Andrew Luck is in much better shape from all indications than he was at this point a year ago.

The bad news is that Luck still isn’t doing what earned him a $130 million contract extension from a team—throwing a football.

As a matter of fact, as Zak Keefer reported for the Indy Star, Luck may not begin throwing a full-sized ball until after veteran minicamp concludes later in June.

However, head coach Frank Reich continues to insist he isn’t concerned about the Week 1 status of his star quarterback.

“I’m not worried at all,” he said. “I’m completely comfortable with him throwing when he’s ready, when the doctors say he’s ready. I’ve been around long enough time, he’s been around the league a little bit, he’s totally engaged in every aspect of what we’re doing mentally, the physical part for a guy like him, now you gotta work at it, but I’m not worried about that. I’m comfortable with the process in place.”

For his part, Luck said he’s trying to avoid repeating the missteps from his lost season in 2017.nfl jersey online

“I don’t want to repeat those, maybe, missteps,” Luck said. “Some things just take time, and I’ve learned that. And when I do get the urge to do something a little silly, I talk to myself and say, ‘It’s not worth it right now.'”

The Colts can parrot the “nothing to worry about nike nfl womens jerseys  line until the cows come home, but until Luck is on the field throwing passes, fans of the team are going to do just that—worry.

A lot.


New York Mets

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Record: 27-26, 4th in NL East women nfl jerseys

The New York Mets are worth watching when it’s Jacob deGrom’s turn to pitch.

The formerly long-haired righty has been one of the better pitchers in baseball for several years, but nothing he’s done in the past compares to what he’s doing right now. He’s put up a 0.45 ERA over his last seven starts, with 55 strikeouts in 40.1 innings.

Otherwise, the Mets are a sinking ship.

They’re 16-25 since getting out to an 11-1 start. The injury bug has sidelined many of their stars, including Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes. Beyond that, their pitchers have managed just a 4.65 ERA during this stretch despite all the deGrominance. The club’s characteristically inefficient defense hasn’t helped.official nike nfl jerseys

At this point, the Mets’ best hope of salvaging something from 2018 involves a sale at the trade deadline.

Grade: C

Record: 35-17, 2nd in AL East

It still feels like the New York Yankees are waiting for things to click.

Although Aaron Judge is living up to his rookie year and Gleyber Torres is having a star-making rookie campaign of his own, the Yankees need Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez to settle into grooves and for Didi Gregorius to hit more like he did in April. jersey nfl cheap

The Yankees also have issues on the mound. Luis Severino has been an ace, but the rest of the rotation has struggled to maintain consistency. And outside of Aroldis Chapman and Chad Green, nobody in the team’s vaunted bullpen is meeting expectations.

And yet, the team is enjoying MLB’s highest OPS and a perfectly respectable 3.83 ERA. It’s also beat up on winning teams like no other, with a 20-7 record.

Makes you wonder what the Yankees will do when things finally click.

Grade: B+

Record: 28-28, 4th in AL West

There have been times when the Oakland Athletics have looked on the verge of breaking out, but their journey to .500 has mostly been a two steps forward, two steps back affair.

The bright spots are there. Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden and Blake Treinen are having breakout years on the mound. Lineup-wise, Jed Lowrie continues to be an underrated hitter, and Matt Chapman is arguably the best defensive player in baseball today.cheap authentic nfl jerseys china

The biggest problem the A’s have, however, is that their supposedly dangerous offense has lost its way. Its ugly .308 on-base percentage is a gateway to inconsistency, so it’s no wonder it slumped to a .640 OPS in May.

Despite their surprises, nfl official jerseys the A’s don’t have enough pitching depth to carry them. And everything has gotten magnified opposite winning teams, against whom they’re just 13-24.

Grade: C

Miami Marlins

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If there’s one thing to say in the defense of the Miami Marlins, it’s that their offense isn’t as pitiful as its MLB-worst 3.4 runs per game would suggest.

Led by J.T. Realmuto and Justin Bour, Miami’s lineup has six regulars with an above average OPS+ (i.e., north of 100). Only three teams have that beat, including the Astros and New York Yankees.

Still, it’s hard to excuse how the Marlins’ lineup depth hasn’t translated to many runs on a regular basis. And when you add that to the fact that their desolate pitching staff ranks second-to-last in the NL with a 4.89 ERA, it makes a lot of sense that the team has MLB’s worst run differential at minus-95.

In short: Bad team is bad.

Grade: F

Record: 36-21, 1st in NL Central

The Milwaukee Brewers have only had one bad stretch this year. That was between April 2 and 16, when they went 5-9.

On either side of that, however, nfl womens jerseys cheap is a season-opening three-game sweep and a 28-12 run that’s catapulted them to the top of the National League.

Dormant for much of March and April, their offense finally awoke with a .779 OPS in May. Their bullpen, meanwhile, continued to dominate. Led by strikeout machine Josh Hader, it has an MLB-best 2.45 ERA.

Then there’s the overlooked aspect of Milwaukee’s rise: its defense. It quietly leads all of MLB in efficiency, which is one reason the team’s rotation has survived its strikeout deficiency.

In all, this is the most fully functional unit in the senior circuit.

Grade: A  cheap authentic nfl jerseys from china

Record: 22-29, 3rd in AL Central

In fairness to the Minnesota Twins, they haven’t yet had a fair shot to take off this season.

They’ve been without staff ace Ervin Santana the entire year. And as soon as they activated slugging third baseman Miguel Sano from the DL, speedy center fielder Byron Buxton had to go back on it. Joe Mauer is also on the shelf.nfl authentic jersey

What’s been keeping the Twins afloat is their rotation trio of Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi and Kyle Gibson (who’ve combined for a 3.53 ERA) and offensive breakouts on the part of Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario.

Alas, this hasn’t been enough to save the official cheap nfl jerseys Twins from mediocrity. Their offense ranks 14th in the AL in OPS and their Berrios-Odorizzi-Gibson trio has been undercut by a bullpen with a meltdown problem. The whole team has been especially out of its depth (11-20) against winning clubs.

Grade: C-

Orlando Magic

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Something isn’t working.

Since the Orlando Magic traded away Dwight Howard in the summer of 2012, they’ve yet to return to the playoffs. Never topping 35 victories, they’ve averaged just 26.2 wins over those half-dozen years. Four different men have called the shots from the sidelines (Jacque Vaughn, James Borrego, Scott Skiles and Frank Vogel), and that number will grow even higher this offseason when they find Vogel’s replacement. nfl jerseys cheap nike The most-used starting fives have even featured 15 different players:

2012-13: Arron Afflalo, Glen Davis, Maurice Harkless, Jameer Nelson, Nikola Vucevic
2013-14: Arron Afflalo, Glen Davis, Tobias Harris, Jameer Nelson, Nikola Vucevic
2014-15: Dewayne Dedmon, Tobias Harris, Victor Oladipo, Elfrid Payton, Nikola Vucevic
2015-16: Evan Fournier, Channing Frye, Tobias Harris, Elfrid Payton, Nikola Vucevic nfl nike jerseys cheap
2016-17: Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon, Elfrid Payton, Terrence Ross, Nikola Vucevic
2017-18: Bismack Biyombo, Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon, Elfrid Payton, Jonathon Simmons

Only one constant exists, and I’m not talking about Vucevic. cheap nfl jerseys nike

The Magic keep trying to expedite their perpetual rebuild, betting on the wrong young talents while moving to acquire veterans who can allegedly make immediate impacts. They’ve been unwilling to truly bottom out and start with a tabula rasa, but they finally have a chance to do so this offseason.

Orlando has already traded away nike nfl jersey cheap Payton to the Phoenix Suns, receiving nothing more than a second-round pick for his services. Aaron Gordon is about to hit restricted free agency, and they can reasonably let the underachieving forward walk if his price tag rises too high (they might not, but they should). They only have $84.6 million on the books for 2018-19 and $54.7 million the following season,nfl jerseys nike cheap  though both numbers could shrink if they choose to trade away players such as Vucevic or Fournier.

For the first time in forever, it feels like the Magic may be starting over and counting on success with their most recent draft picks. Jonathan Isaac (No. 6 in 2017) provides plenty of hope, and whoever gets selected at No. 6 in this year’s prospect pageant should fall into a similar category. nike nfl jerseys for cheap

Build around those guys the right way. Please?

The Latest on the Saga of the Wandering Dez

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Despite the fact that wide receiver Dez Bryant has been without a team since the Dallas Cowboys released him in mid-April, he said online that he doesn’t regret turning down a multiyear contract offer from the Ravens.custom nfl jerseys

“Nope not one bit and very appreciative for the offer,” Bryant tweeted. “What’s crazy is how reports like this will try to tarnish someone’s character.. the slight jab saying it’s not easy to get along with. I thought the media would give up by now with betraying me as something that I’m not.”

Bryant didn’t specify the jab, but there have been rumbles that his reputation and attitude may have cooled some teams’ interest.

He has at least one person trying to find him work who isn’t his agent. Newly minted Monday Night Football analyst (and former teammate) Jason Witten told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on a podcast that the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints would be a good fits.customized nfl jerseys

“I think Dez is certainly going to have some great opportunities,” Witten said. “He’s motivated, and I think he’s going to end up going to the Green Bay Packers. I think that’s a great spot for him.”

However, after Witten’s comments surfaced, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com said that while the Packers have considered Bryant, “nothing is imminent.” The Saints’ level of interest in unknown, although at this point, it’s worth pointing out the team didn’t refute Witten’s speculation.

Both would be good landing spots. nfl custom jerseys cheap Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees are veteran quarterbacks who are capable of putting the ball in a spot where Bryant could use his physicality to go and get it.

Someone’s going to eventually take a flier on the wide receiver. There are too many teams in need at the position, and even if Bryant’s not the player he once was, an incentive-laden contract carries little risk.cheap custom nfl jerseys

But this saga doesn’t appear close to over yet.

Chicago Bears: Offensive Line (Right Side)

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There’s something brewing on the shores of Lake Michigan that hasn’t been seen in a good long while.

As quarterback Mitchell Trubisky enters his second year, he’ll do so with a revamped receiving corps that includes a No. 1 wideout in Allen Robinson and a rookie playmaker in Anthony Miller. They also drafted an impact defender eighth overall in Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith.

But despite what has to be considered a successful offseason, problems remain for the Bears—chief among them the offensive line’s right side.

Right tackle Bobby Massie is an average (at best) starter who’s heading into a contract year with precious little depth behind him. Right guard Kyle Long is attempting to regain his Pro Bowl form after a litany of injuries wrecked each of his cheap custom nfl jerseys last two seasons.

It would take less time to rattle off Long’s parts that haven’t been injured over that span.

Both Long and Massie are being counted on to play big roles in Chicago’s attempt to leave the NFC North basement behind them.

It’s a gamble.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has a bit of Jekyll and Hyde to his game. Afford the 30-year-old a clean pocket, and Dalton can pick apart a defense with the best of them. Get in Dalton’s face though, and things can get ugly.cheap customized nfl jerseys

Thanks to the awful play of tackles Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher last year, defenders were in Dalton’s face a lot—and the Bengals missed the playoffs for a second straight season as a result.

Cincinnati tried to improve Dalton’s protection in the offseason, trading down in Round 1 in a deal that brought veteran Cordy Glenn to the Queen City. Any move that sends Ogbuehi to the bench has to be considered a positive.

But the Bengals are counting on Glen cheap nfl custom jerseys n’s ability to do something he hasn’t the past couple of years: stay healthy. Over that span, Glenn has missed 15 games—including 10 a year ago thanks to foot and ankle troubles.

There’s a reason the Bills were willing to part with him.nike nfl jerseys cheap

Fisher’s had injury issues of his own. The 25-year-old has yet to make it through a full 16-game season, and he missed half of the 2017 campaign with an irregular heartbeat.

There’s a good chance the Bengals will be forced to turn back to Ogbuehi at some point in 2018.nfl jerseys cheap nike

And Dalton’s will have guys in his face again.

RB Mike James’ Request to Take Marijuana as a Painkiller Denied by NFL

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The NFL denied a request by free-agent running back Mike James to use marijuana, rather than prescription opioids, as a painkiller.

“I am hopeful that I’ll be able to keep playing football,”custom nfl jerseys  James told Steve Politi of NJ.com. “It is a game that I love very dearly. I know right now I’m doing something that makes some people uncomfortable, and that I’m going against the establishment to push for a change in the way they look at this medicine. I know there’s a greater purpose here for a lot of guys in this league who I consider family members.”

James, 27, spent the entire 2017 season on injured reserve with a concussion. He was on the Detroit Lions’ roster but did not play after August.

Marijuana is on the NFL’s banned substances list. Repeated positive tests can lead to suspensions or expulsions from the league. James has never been suspended for a positive test.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been pessimistic about the use of marijuana.customized nfl jerseys

“I think you still have to look at a lot of aspects of marijuana use,” Goodell said on Mike and Mike in 2017 (h/t Los Angeles Times). “Is it something that can be negative to the health of our players? Listen, you’re ingesting smoke, so that’s not usually a very positive thing that people would say. It does have an addictive nature. There are a lot of compounds in marijuana that may not be healthy for the players long term. All of those things have to be considered.”

James said he wants to be known as a pioneer for marijuana use in the NFL as a painkiller.nfl custom jerseys cheap

“I hear it all the time from retired players who say, ‘I was so scared to say something when I was playing,'” James said. “We are the engine that drives this league. If we can’t get onto the field with a less harmful medicine and we can’t live our life after football, how are we going to tell our kids to play this game?”cheap custom nfl jerseys

San Francisco 49ers: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

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Having hoisted the Lombardi Trophy last year, the 49ers…oh wait, that didn’t happen.

Having won 11 games and established themselves as…buy nike nfl jerseys cheap hmm, that didn’t happen either.

Wait, the 49ers still kinda stink? Wow. It turns out winning a trade with the Patriots isn’t the same as winning a Super Bowl. The Jimmy Garoppolo hype last season overshadowed just how weak the roster around him still was and how much work the Niners must do in this draft. It starts with making sure Garoppolo has the protection he needs to achieve his preternatural potential.

Now, this year’s tackle class is…unspectacular. nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal To help you get a sense of what you are in for, Bleacher Report proudly presents a Good, Bad and Terrifying breakdown of this year’s tackles.

Good: Mike McGlinchey is Matt Ryan’s cousin. He has a winning, likable personality, like Jason Kelce without the “unhinged Batman villain” vibe. He’s also a punishing run-blocker with fine technique who did a swell job cleaning up the devastation left in teammate Quenton Nelson’s wake. And unlike tackles who played in wide-open offenses, he can line up in a three-point stance without looking like a middle-aged fat guy at his first yoga class.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Bad: McGlinchey doesn’t fit the left tackle prototype. Top edge-rushers are going to win against him.

Terrifying: There is nothing terrifying about McGlinchey, which may make him the best tackle prospect in this class. He won’t make unexpected mistakes, and coaches know he’ll need help against Von Miller types.

So the 49ers get a sturdy pass protector. It’s not a bad pick. But there is still a ton of work to be done.nfl nike jersey cheap

Grade: B-plus