The Saints paid Drew Brees too much and are now annoyed with him about it

Drew Brees is scheduled to become a free agent in the 2017 offseason, but not before he counts $30 million against the New Orleans Saints salary cap in 2016. His huge contract has become a burden for the talent-deficient Saints and the team is frustrated internally about the fact that the quarterback maximized his contract, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

The five-year, $100 million contract signed by Brees in 2012 has a base salary that has increased in each year, beginning with $3 million in the first season and climbing all the way to $13.55 million this season and $19.75 million in 2016. If Brees isn’t willing to take a hometown discount to lower his tremendous cap hit next season, his time with the Saints could be through.
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Elite Mens Marco Belinelli Jersey Brees is expected to start against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 16, despite suffering a torn plantar fascia in Week 15. He is No. 4 in NFL history in passing yards with 60,168 and needs just 1,194 more yards to pass Dan Marino for third all-time.

The Panthers lead the league in takeaways, with 22 interceptions and 21 forced fumbles, and that’s an area in which the Falcons have struggled this season. Atlanta has fumbled the ball 11 times this season, and Matt Ryan and backup quarterback Sean Renfree have thrown 16 interceptions. The Panthers took advantage of this in Week 14. Ryan and Renfree each threw one interception and the Falcons lost two fumbles.

This time around, the Falcons will look to clean up their mistakes in front of a friendly home crowd. If they can’t, the Panthers will be the third team in NFL history to get to 15-0.

this was Boston’s first signature win of the season

Game Mens Will Clarke Jersey This might affect free agents like Curry and Blake Griffin this coming summer and perhaps players like Paul George and DeMarcus Cousins in 2018. It’s a small group, but these are important players to their teams, and this time frame has been when most of the megastars have been leaving their teams. Also, the new rules mean superstars who meet these criteria can be offered extensions and the promise of this huge money before they even become free agents.

The life cycle of an NBA superstar will now look like this: After being drafted, he signs a four-year rookie contract. Before that contract ends he signs a four or five-year extension. Before that contract ends he signs a five-year extension. A superstar who wants to maximize his salary may not hit the open market until he’s played 14 seasons in the league.

All of this while his cupboard is stacked with dead-weight contracts in Andersen and Mo Williams that he would love to move to cut down on what is easily the highest payroll — and thus highest luxury tax bill down the line — in NBA history.

In a season that has been hampered by complacency — that’s what that three-game losing streak last month was all about — Smith’s injury also could delay what many believed would be the unofficial starting point of the season come Christmas Day. Either the Cavs would beat the Golden State Warriors and get a boost in the arm as they head toward the final two-thirds of the schedule, or the Cavs lose to the Dubs and know how much they have to work on.

Game Mens Sebastian Janikowski Jersey That he wore a shirt with the LeBron James Family Foundation’s logo emblazoned on the breast pocket for his first media remarks since skipping the road game against the Memphis Grizzlies certainly could have been taken as him trying to send a message: Want to criticize me? Look at what’s across my heart.

The Packers’ backfield is in a shambles due to injury

Shane Vereen, New York Giants, concussion, (Q): As the week progressed it appeared Vereen was making progress through the concussion protocol, participating on a limited basis each day. On Saturday he received the final clearance from the independent neurological consultant and he is expected to play Sunday.

Matt Asiata, Minnesota Vikings, ankle, (Q): Asiata’s status appears to be truly in question after he was downgraded to a nonparticipant in Friday’s practice.
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Dre Kirkpatrick Game Jersey He had been a full participant both Wednesday and Thursday and the move Friday came as a surprise. If Asiata is active, there could be three backs available for the Vikings as Adrian Peterson is expected back Sunday, just over 12 weeks removed from a lateral meniscus repair (normal recovery is in the four-to-six month window).

Matthew Stafford’s finger is definitely a concern, but he has led the Lions to fourth-quarter comeback wins in eight of their nine victories, so why can’t he come back from a finger issue? The story of this game to me is that both defenses are quietly playing better than expected. Neither team can really run the ball, so expect this to be a close, low-scoring game. I like Detroit by a field goal.

The Chiefs don’t score a lot, but their defense is strong, even with Derrick Johnson lost for the season. Kansas City will be motivated by a shot to still be the top seed in the AFC. It’s time for the Chiefs to make Harry Houdini inactive for this one and just claim a normal win. The front seven will be the difference here.

Manning has struggled in recent weeks and the Giants’ offense has evolved into a Beckham-or-bust proposition

Now, several weekends a year, the family packs up and heads to the airport on Friday, flies to Cleveland — usually with a layover in Dallas, Houston or Atlanta and a trip through customs — and spends Friday night and Saturday seeing the sights. They’ll go to an Indians or Cavs game, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the zoo or other attractions and find new restaurants and return to favorites. Sunday is game day, with everyone wearing Browns jerseys and hats, and the flight home is Monday.

Valantina, 8, and Juan Pablo, 12, paid homage to Jim Brown at the legendary running back’s statue outside FirstEnergy Stadium. Courtesy Jim Brown
Serrano has his own accounting firm in Mexico City (he commutes there from Le¨®n, too, at least once a week), so he can control his schedule.

In potentially inclement weather, it should be a defensive game. And with defensive tackle Damon Harrison, defensive end Olivier Vernon, cornerback Janoris Jenkins and safety Landon Collins all playing possibly the best football of their careers, the Giants take advantage, especially at home.
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Their offense continues to sputter. The Giants haven’t been able to run the ball, whether it has been Rashad Jennings, Paul Perkins or someone else in the backfield.

They’re 31st in the NFL in rushing offense. That might be manageable if the passing game was clicking. But it isn’t. Manning has struggled in recent weeks and the Giants’ offense has evolved into a Beckham-or-bust proposition. They will fall short against a good Lions team if they can’t string together first downs and move the ball consistently.
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Both the Giants and Lions are used to playing tight games. They’ve had 12 games combined decided by three points or less. The Giants are 4-1 and the Lions are 5-2. The deciding factor in this one is that the Giants are at home, have the better defense and Stafford is dealing with a hand injury that could affect how he throws the football on a rainy December afternoon. The Giants improve to 5-1 in games decided by three points or less.

Calvin Johnson stirs speculation that he might want to retire

Calvin Johnson’s NFL career may be coming to a close. The Detroit Lions wide receiver is reportedly mulling over retirement, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, and potentially ending a prolific career after nine seasons.

Jakub Kindl Womens Jersey Johnson released a joint statement with the Lions on Wednesday saying, “Like many players at this stage of their career, I am currently evaluating options for my future” and pledging to make a decision about his career soon. The Lions reiterated their respect for Johnson and whatever his decision may be.

Jack Lambert Elite Jersey They’ve been losing the battle of attrition, Tom Brady now has a high-ankle sprain, and there are still quite a few question marks along the offensive line. The good news is that they will have a couple of weeks to get healthy and back into their early-season form. If any team can do it, it’s the Patriots.

It’s a similar situation for the Bengals, who will have to do the unlikely and win in the postseason with a backup quarterback at the helm. They’re balanced, though, with a strong run game featuring Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard, an elite No. 1 receiver in A.J. Green, and a tough defense, so once the tournament starts, anything is possible.

Their not-so-secret weapon is of course Hue Jackson, whose playcalling and offensive design brilliance has been on full display this season and hasn’t ended with Andy Dalton’s thumb injury. A.J. McCarron is young and inexperienced, but Jackson’s surely going to put together a smart gameplan to get the most out of him.

Prescott will be the starter again this week against the hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But if he has another bad showing, I would be surprised if Romo doesn’t start to get at least a few snaps.

Robert Griffin III warms up before the season opener as coach Hue Jackson looks on.

“It’s important, but we want to make sure it’s in the right context,” Jackson said. “I think it’s important that he’s able to go out there and play well. Not just play. Play well. What I’ve seen in practice is that he’s up to the challenge.”

Griffin has not played since he broke the coracoid process in his left collarbone in a season-opening 29-10 loss to the Eagles. In that game, Griffin completed 12-of-26 for 190 yards with an interception and no touchdowns.

“I thought it was like I thought it would be, the first game,” Jackson said. “Hadn’t played a lot of football. Here he was, the first game in Philadelphia, on the road and it didn’t happen as well as we would have liked. But the good part about that game that day is he was out there and played.”

Mangold also could opt to retire. His close friend, former left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson, retired last spring at the age of 31. They were drafted the same year.

Mangold, a first-round pick in 2006, has played in seven Pro Bowls. Twice he was named to the All-Pro team. Prior to this season, he was one of the most durable players in the league, having missed only four games in his first 10 seasons.

Everything changed on a fluke play on Oct. 23 against the Baltimore Ravens. Early in the game, left tackle Ryan Clady rolled up the back of Mangold’s right leg, causing ligament damage.

“It’s been frustrating and disappointing, not being out there and not contributing,” Mangold said recently.
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Wesley Johnson will return to the starting role, replacing Mangold. To fill his roster spot, they signed rookie safety Doug Middleton from the practice squad.

Griffin did not play a down in 2015 in Washington, which means that heading into Sunday he has played in one of his team’s past 28 games.

Limited Cam Neely Jersey “There was a lot of time that needed to be made up,” Jackson said. “Hopefully we’re past that. I can’t tell you that we are. I can’t tell you that we’re not.”

Pro Bowl 2016 preview: Team Irvin, Team Rice ready to light up scoreboard in Hawaii

Just in case you couldn’t fathom an entire Sunday without football, the NFL has you covered this weekend. The 2016 Pro Bowl is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday night at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii, and will be televised live on ESPN.

For the third straight year, the NFL’s version of an All-Star game will be played with mixed rosters, eschewing the traditional AFC vs. NFC battle. Instead, the league now picks two honorary captains, who then choose their teams and round out the rosters in a fantasy draft. This year’s captains are two Hall of Famers, Michael Irvin and Jerry Rice.

The first overall pick of the draft was Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, selected by Irvin to headline his squad. Wilson, named to his third Pro Bowl in four seasons, is certainly deserving of the honor. He put up career-best numbers across the board and led the league in passer rating.

He’ll be surrounded by a bevy of talented playmakers, including a wide receiver corps that features four of the top eight guys on the receiving yardage leaderboard: Julio Jones (first), DeAndre Hopkins (third), Allen Robinson (sixth) and A.J. Green (eighth).

The first pick by Team Rice was another quarterback, Eli Manning, who was selected to his fourth Pro Bowl after throwing a career-best 35 touchdowns in 2015. He should be thrilled to be paired up with his teammate Odell Beckham Jr., as the two players formed one of the most dynamic receiver-quarterback duos in the league.

While Manning doesn’t have the same depth of talent at receiver as Wilson does, he arguably has the more balanced offensive roster. Team Rice is stacked at running back with the league’s first- and second-ranked rushers, Adrian Peterson and Doug Martin, who combined to run for more than 2,800 yards this season.

The running joke of this year’s Pro Bowl is that it should be renamed the Replacement Bowl because so many guys declined to participate in the game. Players often choose not to attend for different reasons, including injuries and if they are playing in the Super Bowl next week. The final tally was 133 players that were either voted in or added as alternates, the most in NFL history and easily surpassing the previous record of 119 set in the 2010 game.

Jay Cutler is day-to-day with thumb sprain

The Chicago Bears announced that quarterback Jay Cutler has a thumb sprain, and he is day-to-day as the Bears prepare to face the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. Cutler is expected to miss two to three weeks as he recovers, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The timetable will depend on how Cutler heals over the next few days.

Cutler initially sustained ligament damage in his right thumb in Week 1 against the Texans, according to Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times, and he aggravated the injury during the third quarter of the Bears’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2.

He returned to the field after having medical personnel examine the injury on the sideline, but was removed from the game late in the third quarter and did not return.

The Bears had six players leave the game against the Eagles with injuries, and none were able to return.

If Cutler is unable to play this week, he Bears will need to either bring in another quarterback to serve as Hoyer’s backup or activate former Eagles quarterback Matt Barkley, who is currently on the team’s practice squad.

Look at what he wrote about Kaepernick back in August:

But Kaepernick has benefited from our miserable, rotten society — the one he says fails so many people. Who has benefited more than Kaepernick?

He is a biracial young man who was adopted by white parents and grew up middle class in Turlock. He has been famous a long time. He is earning about $12 million this season and his skills hardly warrant that. He lives a privileged life.

It’s hypocritical to dump on a society that made you a prince, especially when you happily accepted that. It’s strange to fight for the downtrodden while you live like that prince. Kaepernick has not thought out the obvious contradictions in his position.
His notion that Kaepernick is out of line to speak out about this issue because he was adopted by a white family and is making millions to play football is flat out wrong. Anyone can, and should, speak out when there’s injustice. Folks who have a voice can use it to speak up for the voiceless. As Chip Kelly said in response to Cohn: “That’s the great thing about this country, isn’t it?”

Good on the 49ers coach for shutting this guy down so effectively.

Given Packers’ losses, maybe Brett Favre’s next visit should be in offseason

Wis. Brett Favre said Sunday that hes not sure when hell be back to Lambeau Field. The way the Green Bay Packers seem to play when hes in the building, perhaps itd be best if he stayed away for a bit, even if he and the organization are on good terms these days.

Sundays game marked the second straight year Favre has been honored at halftime of a regular-season game. And it was the second straight time the Packers lost, as they followed up last years Thanksgiving night loss to the Chicago Bears with a 30-16 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

Favre, who played 16 of his 20 NFL seasons in Green Bay, came to Sundays game to receive his Pro Football Hall of Fame ring and see his name unveiled as part of the Packers ring of honor. Unlike many other NFL stadiums, the Packers reserve their ring of honor at Lambeau Field for Hall of Famers. Favres name is next to his former teammate and defensive end Reggie White, in the southeast corner of the stadium.

Adams left the game in the third quarter after a hit from Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee. The team announced he was being evaluated for a concussion. On his way out of the locker room Sunday night, Adams said he did not have one, but that changed Monday, when the Packers issued their first injury report in advance of Thursday night’s game against the Chicago Bears.

The quick turnaround might make it difficult for Adams to get cleared in time. He was one of three receivers to show up on the Packers’ injury report. The others — Randall Cobb (back) and Jared Abbrederis (quad) — also were new injuries. Cobb was on the report last week because of a neck injury but played 53 snaps and caught seven passes for 53 yards, including a touchdown against the Cowboys.

The Packers also have issues at running back, where James Starks won’t play this week after undergoing surgery Sunday to repair a torn meniscus and Eddie Lacy remains hobbled by a sprained left ankle; and cornerback, where they could be without their top three — Sam Shields (concussion), Damarious Randall (groin) and Quinten Rollins (groin).

Coach Mike McCarthy seemed more concerned about those two spots than receiver.

“I think obviously the stress points of our game-day roster for Thursday will be the running back position and the corner position,” McCarthy said Monday. “Any time you’re dealing with your 53-man roster, how you’re going to forecast how you’re going to line up with the 46, you’ve got two positions that need attention and, frankly, these injuries that we have, they’re not of long-term IR nature. That’s all part of a normal season. You’ve just got to work through it.

“It’s Monday. We’re still gathering information. I don’t know if we’ll have it sorted out until Tuesday, maybe Wednesday.”

The Packers will promote rookie running back Don Jackson from the practice squad, according to a source. They will need to clear a spot on the active roster Tuesday before they can make that move. The plan is for Jackson to be active Thursday night against the Bears so they’re not left with just one natural halfback, as they were against the Cowboys.

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