If they’d realized that he wasn’t going to show

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If they’d realized that he wasn’t going to show

Messagede zhangzk » 08 Jan 2020, 04:22

It’s like old times in the AFC West.Jon Gruden glowering on the sideline. Philip Rivers surrounded by co-stars. An air-it-out quarterback in Kansas City. Von Miller sauntering around Denver again thanks to the arrival of a new pass rush partner in Bradley Chubb.Widely regarded as the best defender in the draft Womens Antonio Brown Jersey , Chubb, the No. 5 pick overall, teams with Miller, Shane Ray and Shaq Barrett to form a fearsome front ready to rankle the likes of Rivers, Patrick Mahomes II and Derek Carr, and reclaim the division crown they used to own when Peyton Manning was around.The Broncos have a bona fide QB again themselves with the free agent signing of Case Keenum, who’s out to prove his breakout 2017 season in Minnesota was no fluke.He’ll have to navigate a new division that features some of the league’s best pass-rushing duos ready to wreck game plans and quarterbacks alike.The Chargers feature Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram as bookends to an ever-improving defense. The Chiefs have Dee Ford and Justin Houston to cover warts on their defense. Oakland has Bruce Irvin and — maybe — Khalil Mack, who wants a long-term contract.Here’s a quick tour around the AFC West:RECHARGED CHARGERS : The Chargers ranked third in the league last year in yielding 17 points a game, but their run defense was their soft underbelly and kept them from an even bigger bounce-back season (9-7) in coach Anthony Lynn’s first year.Enter versatile rookie safety Derwin James, who was selected at No. 17 overall in the first round of the NFL draft out of Florida State. James played in the box effectively as a strong safety for the Seminoles, and he’s learning to play deep as a free safety. He’s also getting chances to rush the passer from multiple spots in the formation, adding more experiences to his skill set.The addition of James and a year of familiarity in defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s system have the Chargers expecting big things in 2018.“It’s looking like we are going to have a great defense,” Bosa said.And that would take pressure off Rivers in the Chargers’ quest for their first division title since 2009.RESUSCITATED SANDERS : Emmanuel Sanders proclaimed Denver as “wide receiver heaven” upon his arrival in 2014, and with Manning, Sanders indeed found paradise, setting career highs with 101 catches for 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns his first season in the Rocky Mountains.Nirvana gave way to wide receiver purgatory after Manning’s retirement, however.Sanders caught just 47 passes for 555 yards and two touchdowns last year when he was stifled by a nagging ankle injury and the Broncos’ QB turnstile that churned through Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch.Energized by a return to health and Keenum’s arrival, Sanders is ready for a comeback, sporting a rookie’s enthusiasm to go with his veteran moxie while building chemistry with his new quarterback.“I’m just loving football these days,” Sanders said.MAHOMES’ MOMENT: After trading away ball-protecting Alex Smith to Washington, Andy Reid is turning over the reins to Mahomes Antonio Brown Jersey White , the athletic Texas Tech QB who’s a perfect fit for the Chiefs’ steady diet of misdirection and multi-option reads.Eric Bieniemy takes over as offensive coordinator following Matt Nagy’s hiring as Bears head coach, and he’ll have plenty of firepower at his disposal with reigning rushing champ Kareem Hunt, speedy Tyreek Hill, star tight end Travis Kelce and new wide receiver Sammy Watkins.Mahomes gave the NFL a tantalizing glimpse of what he could do in the preseason when he ducked through a collapsing pocket and threw a 69-yard touchdown pass to Hill, who burned three Falcons D-backs to catch the pass in stride.“I underthrew it, to be honest,” Mahomes said with a wry smile.The Chiefs might need to pile up the points to compensate for a depleted defense that was atrocious in the preseason after cutting loose veterans Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali and trading Marcus Peters to the Rams.LACK OF MACK: When Gruden gave up his TV gig to return to the sideline for the first time in a decade, he quickly jettisoned punter Marquette King in a surprising move. King wasted no time in signing with Denver, fueled in part by the revenge factor.King said he never had a chance to speak with Gruden before getting jettisoned in Oakland.“I just saw him on car commercials and stuff,” King said. “I get to see him two times a year.”Gruden didn’t just give the silent treatment to King but also to his star pass rusher as Mack held out for a long-term contract.Mack skipped the Raiders‘ offseason program, all of training camp and the entire exhibition season. Whether he reports before the start of the regular season remains to be seen.“I don’t want to put any timetable on it,” Gruden said. “This has obviously been a long a process that has been grueling for both parties and fans and me personally. We’re just hoping we can get him in here.”PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: Chargers, Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders.___AP Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow and Sports Writers Dave Skretta and Greg Beacham contributed.___ Few believe the Raiders did the right thing by trading Khalil Mack last September. The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference nevertheless recognized the trade as being the best of the year in all professional sports.“I think it was the only award we got last year,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden tells Peter King of .It remains a hollow prize, with most non-MIT-types realizing that the purpose of the draft is to turn lottery tickets into rare jackpots, and then to keep the rare jackpots in place without succumbing to the allure of trading them for more lottery tickets. Gruden now justifies the decision not to pay Mack by pointing to this year’s rash of acquisitions.“If we did come up with the money to make the [Mack] contract happen last year, we wouldn’t have any of these men we’re talking about now,” Gruden tells King. “We would not have [tackle] Trent Brown. We would not have [receiver] Antonio Brown. We wouldn’t have [safety] Lamarcus Joyner. We wouldn’t have [linebacker] Vontaze Burfict and we wouldn’t have [receiver] Tyrell Williams. And we wouldn’t have the three first-rounders that we’re talking about.”But that’s not accurate. First, teams can do a lot more with the cap than they claim that they can do. While it’s possible that the Raiders were limited more by cash concerns, it’s not as hard as it used to be to create cap space to permit moves that a team wants to make — especially with the cap going by up more than $10 million every year.Second, as it relates to Mack Bo Jackson Jersey White , the Raiders ended up backed against a financial wall because they incorrectly assumed that Mack would play out his fifth-year option in 2018, and they stubbornly refused to give him a new deal. up without that new deal, and if they’d paid him before Aaron Donald broke the bank on the Friday of Labor Day weekend, the Raiders surely could have gotten Mack for less than what the Bears paid.And let’s consider what the Bears paid. At $23.5 million per year, they set a new high-water mark for defensive players even while giving up multiple draft picks to get him. If they could have gotten Mack on the open market, they would have paid somewhere between $25 million and $30 million per year for Mack.The Raiders, if they’d properly handled Mack a year ago at this time, likely could have had him for $20 million per year, and maybe even a little less than that. (Before Donald got to $22.5 million annually, the highest-paid defensive player was Von Miller, at just over $19 million per year.) That extra $3.5 million per year would have helped pay for their 2019 free agents.Would they have signed all of them? Probably not. But with Antonio Brown essentially replacing receiver Amari Cooper‘s current and future cap and cash burden, the question becomes whether it makes more sense to have Khalil Mack or Trent Brown, Lamarcus Joyner, Vontaze Burfict, and Tyrell Williams. Even if one or more of those guys could have been signed if Mack hadn’t been traded, it doesn’t take a degree from MIT to conclude that Mack can do far more to impact games and deliver victories than those other four players combined.The goal when drafting players continues to be finding potential Hall of Famers. When a team finds those potential Hall of Famers, the challenge becomes finding a way to keep them around, for a second contract, a third, and maybe a fourth.To truly justify the trade, the Raiders need to get a future Hall of Famer with one of the first-rounders acquired for Mack. If they do, they need to figure out how to keep him.
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