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Darius Slay’s 2017 season isn’t done just yet. The Detroit Lions’ fifth-year cornerback has a few more practices to go and a Pro Bowl game left on the docket. Once the Pro Bowl concludes, Slay’s 2017 season to remember will be over.

It was a season that saw the former second-round pick tie for the NFL lead with eight interceptions. Slay had six interceptions combined in his previous four seasons with the team.

His 26 passes defended led the NFL this season. His previous high was 17 back in 2014.

Slay was thrown at the third-most times of any cornerback in the NFL this year, yet opposing passers had just a little better than a 55.0 passer rating when throwing his way.

Slay also earned first-team All-Pro honors by the Associated Press. It was his first selection to the All-Pro team.

It certainly wasn’t a bad 2017 for Slay from an individual perspective.

So, what can we expect in 2018?

“Find a way to get better,” Slay said after the season while he cleaned out his locker. “From eight (interceptions), I need to have 10 (next year). So, I’ll just go find a way (to do) little things that make me better and go out here and work and try to be the best in the game.”

The Lions haven’t had a player reach 10 interceptions in a single season since Hall of Famer Lem Barney snagged 10 in the 1967 season. In all, only Barney, Don Doll (twice) and Jack Christiansen (twice) have ever reached 10 interceptions in a single season in franchise history.

Slay is young and beaming with confidence after the season he had this year. He’s wanted to be considered among the NFL’s elite corners for some time, and now that he’s among them, he has his sights set on being the game’s best.

He’s aiming high with his personal goals for 2018. If he hits them, it will certainly be good news for Detroit’s defense next season.

The NFL salary cap is rising another $10 million for the 2018 season, jumping from $167 million last year to $177.2 million.

This marks the seventh consecutive season the cap has increased and fifth straight year it has gone up at least $10 million. Since the league implemented its current collective bargaining agreement in 2011, the salary cap has jumped 47.7 percent.

In addition to the $177.2 million, the Detroit Lions will carryover an additional $4.15 million in unused cap space from the previous year.

With the release of the cap increase, franchise tag amounts have also been calculated. The Lions announced last week the team will use the tag on defensive end Ziggy Ansah. The one-year deal will cost the Lions $17.14 million, slightly less than originally expected.

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Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett entered the season with uncontrollable hype. Injuries robbed him of a complete season but he showed his production when on the field. The Browns released his top three plays of his rookie season.

He recorded 31 tackles, seven sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 11 games. There was also the deflected pass that he intercepted and returned for a touchdown but it was recalled due to a holding penalty on defensive end Carl Nassib.

The Cleveland Browns have the No. 1 and No. 4 overall cheap jerseys selections in the 2018 NFL Draft. The possibilities for those two selections are endless.

Quarterbacks, Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick and Penn State running back Saquon Barkley have dominated the conversation but N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb will receive consideration by many teams within the top-10. Chubb addressed the possibility of pairing up with Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett at the next level.

“It could do a lot. Myles being so freakishly athletic and me being the guy I am, the player I am, learning a lot from each other, I can learn some stuff from him, he could learn some stuff from me. If the Browns decide to take us it would be very special,” Chubb said via 92.3 The Fan.

The Georgia native described his game as having a little bit of Denver Broncos pass rusher Von Miller and a little bit of Oakland Raiders pass rusher Khalil Mack.

The Browns currently have former second round selection Emmanuel Ogbah out of Oklahoma State paired with Garrett at defensive end. Cleveland had a promising look during the five games in which Garrett and Ogbah were both active. Ogbah had recorded 9.5 sacks in 26 professional games. However, he spent his rookie season transitioning between defensive end and outside linebacker.

Chubb had 72 tackles, 10 sacks and one forced fumble last season.

The Browns have invested in edge rushers in each of the last two drafts but NC State’s Bradley Chubb could inspire them to do it three years in a row.

Chubb, who racked up 25 sacks over 3 seasons for the Wolfpack, is regarded as the best rusher in the draft class by many.

Could the Browns, who own two of the top 4 picks in the draft, take another defensive end high for a second straight year after drafting Myles Garrett No. 1 overall a year ago?

Chubb likes the thought of being paired with Garrett, who had 7 sacks in 11 games as a rookie last season for Cleveland.

“It could do a lot,” Chubb said Saturday of the impact he could have with Garrett. “Myles being so freakishly athletic and me being the guy I am, the player I am, learning a lot from each other, I can learn some stuff from him, he could learn some stuff from me. If the Browns decide to take us it would be very special.”

The Browns also selected Emmanuel Ogbah, who has 9 sacks in 26 games, in the second round of the 2016 draft.

Like Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, Chubb hopes he’ll be able to give the Browns something to think about and make their decision of what to do with their first round picks even more difficult.

“Saquon is a great player, a great athlete,” Chubb said. “I’m just going to go out there and show what I can do. I’m competing with everybody in this building of course but at the end of the day I can only control what I do.”

It is expected that the Browns will pick a quarterback with No. 1 selection, which Chubb understands.

“If a team doesn’t have a quarterback, they don’t really have anything,” Chubb said. “My job is to get after one of the best players on the field, one of the highest-paid players on the field. It changes the dynamics of the game. You see in the Super Bowl, sack-caused fumble ends the game. Take it back to when the Broncos won, Von Miller just going crazy in that game. Super Bowl MVP of that game.”

The question that always gets asked about defensive ends coming out of college is do they have enough moves as to not become predictable when going against the top offensive tackles in the game?

“I feel like I do but it’s definitely going to have to get fine-tuned because these guys, there’s no weak offensive linemen in the NFL,” Chubb said. “I understand whenever I start training to do the fundamentals and get into rookie minicamp and all that stuff I’ve got to completely understand…if I want to get a sack I’ve got to be on my 100 percent ‘A’ game.”

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Here’s a rundown of the Week 14 Power Rankings, as voted on by our power panel — a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities — with a look at the rookies who matter most for all 32 teams.

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This has the look of a situation that, if not handled carefully, could get contentious. The pressure now is on Reese, who isn’t exactly known around the league as a master communicator. He allows assistant general manager Kevin nfl-jerseys.bz Abrams to do most of the talking and negotiating with agents. Many agents have never even heard from Reese about their clients.

In his past two healthy seasons (2014 and 2016), Nelson caught 98 and 97 passes, respectively. And last year, Nelson didn’t even hit his stride until the second half of the season after coming back from his 2015 knee injury. — Rob Demovsky

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The Lions’ defense did a good custom toddler football jerseys job everywhere other than against Freeman. They picked off Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan three times (twice on tipped passes). wholesale nfl jerseys China They did a good job keeping star receiver Julio Jones in check. And authentic Philadelphia Eagles jerseys they kept the Lions in the game as cheap china nfl jerseys paypal the offense struggled throughout the first half.

Longtime NFL front office decision-maker, when asked to assess Cousins’ prospectsHe’ll never be special, says one longtime NFL front office decision-maker when asked to assess Cousins’ prospects. Great guy, will never embarrass you off authentic nfl jerseys nike cheap the field, and if you were ranking guys, he’s probably above average. But he’s not special. And that’s not nfl replica jersey wholesale New Orleans Saints jerseys men’s exercise pants going to change. What you see is what you get.

Aaron Rodgers hasn’t missed a game since 2013, when he broke his left collarbone and missed seven games.?Photo by Dan Powers/Appleton Post nfl cheap stitched jerseys Crescent via USA TODAY SportsYou don’t need me to tell you that Green Bay’s chances of making a Super Bowl run are drastically different with Hundley in the lineup. Even after the Week wholesale authentic jerseys 6 loss cheap nfl jerseys uk to the Vikings, who now lead the NFC North, ESPN’s Football Power Index projected that the Packers would nfl jerseys cheap china free shipping win the division 53.0 percent of Falcons Nike jersey the time and make the New Orleans Saints Reebok jerseys playoffs 79.6 percent of the time if Rodgers stuck around for the rest of the season. With Hundley starting every game, those odds drop to 20.3 percent and Fletcher replica jersey 44.9 percent, respectively. FPI knows essentially squat about Hundley, but the Packers are already in good shape by virtue of starting 4-2.

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Kyle Long is rarely one to mix words. The Chicago Bears guard typically has something to say about everything. Whether it is in a press conference or on social media, Long is a man of the people who is always willing to open up when asked a question. On Wednesday night he was asked by a Twitter use what is his favorite thing about quarterback Mitch Trubisky and his answer did not disappoint.

“His level of confidence without being cocky,” Long tweeted. “And he understands he’s young in the locker room and knows what it takes to earn the respect from offensive and defensive players. Class act.”

It has appeared from the get-go that Trubisky was someone who immediately earned respect from those in the Bears locker room. Leonard Floyd admitted last year that the defensive side of the ball calls him Pretty Boy Assassin, while others call him Mr. Biscuit or The Biscuit.

Respect is sometimes hard to earn in the NFL, particularly when a player does not light up the scoreboard or put up huge numbers, yet Trubisky already appears to have a good handle on the locker room and others respect the hard work and dedication he puts in.

The return of Harry Hiestand in 2018 to coach the offensive line of the Chicago Bears should be a massive benefit for guard Kyle Long.

Long has been hampered by injuries the last two seasons but has three Pro Bowl nods to his name in five years in the league. Long underwent neck surgery in December and recently said he still has a few minor things he needs to get worked on before the start of next season.

While on Twitter on Tuesday he took note of how impressive the prospects have been from Notre Dame in recent years:

The talented offensive linemen he is referring to were all coached by Hiestand at Notre Dame.

During Hiestand’s run with the Irish between 2012 and 2017 he has helped produce some of the NFL’s top offensive linemen. Zack Martin, Ronnie Stanley and Nick Martin have all already found success in the NFL, while Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey are both pegged to be first-round picks later this April in the NFL Draft.

Hiestand also had a lot of success earlier in his career while coaching with the Bears between 2005 and 2009. During that time he helped oversee the development of key linemen such as Olin Kreutz and Roberto Garza.

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But I think if wholesale football jerseys you ask any guys on this team, the fun we have comes from hanging with each other, the relationships between the guys. A lot wholesale authentic jerseys of wholesale jerseys from China our Orleans jersey men fun happens right in the locker room even before we come out here and have fun winning football games. Obviously, we work for a living, so in this business, you have to win. When you lose, that’s not fun. People get fired. Atlanta Falcons home jersey That’s not fun.

Cleveland BrownsThere might be no more sure thing in this draft. The Browns will take a quarterback, most likely with their first overall pick. (More than likely Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen.) The drafted player will join a to-be-named veteran the team adds to compete and work with DeShone Kizer, making the Browns’ quarterback group much more credible than it was when 2017 started. cheap nfl jerseys shops — Pat McManamon

Reiff injured his ankle in the third quarter at Carolina and was replaced by reserve tackle Rashod Hill, who started the game at right tackle. Hill prepared throughout the week at left tackle in the likely event nfl jersey wholesalers in the united states he’s called upon to start over Reiff.

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Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Selectors since 1999Follow on MessengerEmailprintcommentLANDOVER, Md. — cheap nike nfl elite jerseys Unless there is a late change of heart, the Denver Broncos are expected to start Brock Osweiler at quarterback Sunday against fake nfl jerseys reddit 50 50 movie the Washington Redskins, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeff Legwold.

In fact, Mayfield’s?131 touchdown passes are tied for the fourth most Beasley jersey Discount in FBS cheap nfl official jerseys history. He owns the FBS single-season passing efficiency rating record with a 198.9 mark, up from his record-breaking 196.4 clip cheap nfl jerseys wholesale authentic nike foamposites in 2016. He is also the first quarterback to finish in the top four in the Heisman balloting three straight years.

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Unfortunately for the Dolphins, their second game against New England is another prime-time contest on Monday Night Football on Dec. 11. It’s difficult to expect a good result based on Miami’s previous three performances in night games.

None of that will matter when Garoppolo finally takes his much-anticipated first snap as a 49ers starter, has to stand tall in the pocket and deliver accurate passes on a team that realistically still needs at least one offseason to give Garoppolo a proper supporting cast. Because of that, expectations should be tempered, but Garoppolo will still offer at least a first glance at what he could become.

As for the Eagles, Wednesday’s trade is another reminder that executive VP of football operations Howie Roseman will not rest on last year’s success, adding nfl jersey supply seized Bennett to a ferocious front seven that includes Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett.

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The Carolina Panthers changed the offensive coaching staff this season, handing the reins to the Turner family, with the focus on raising the play of Cam Newton.

Coach Ron Rivera said upon hiring offensive coordinator Norv Turner that he wanted to see Newton get to “another level.” That level, however, won’t necessarily include making Cam a statuesque pocket passer.

Panthers new QB coach Scott Turner — who was a quality control coach in Carolina during Newton’s rookie season — told Max Henson of the team’s official website that Cam’s unique talent won’t go to waste.

“What he has done has really refined his game, really become a pro, but he’s going to play his way,” Turner said. “He’s going to run — that’s what makes him the dynamic player he is — but also making the throws in the pocket, going through his reads. All of those things come from experience, and he’s played seven seasons now.”

Turner’s job is to help Newton sand down the rough edges. The QB’s biggest trouble during his first seven seasons were fits of inaccuracy, often sailing passes high. For his career, he has a 58.5 completion percentage. The past two seasons he averaged a 56 percent completion rate on 1,002 pass attempts.

“A lot of things go into that — your eyes, your feet and ultimately your decision making. If you can get those three things down in regards to your completion percentage, a lot of times instead of trying to make the high-degree-of-difficulty throw, you can get the ball to the back or tight end,” Turner said. “He doesn’t need changing; he just needs to be the best version of Cam Newton.”

The best version of Newton is a dual-threat monster with a cannon arm who can fit the ball into any window. When Cam’s swag is on, he can be as deadly as any QB in the NFL. The goal of Scott and Norv Turner is to push the right buttons to keep Newton hot for longer stretches next season.

Clay-Chalkville will open the 2018 football season against Griffin, Ga., in an invitation tripleheader sponsored by former Auburn great and NFL Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

The C1N High School Showcase will take place Aug. 25 at Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta.

It will be an Alabama vs. Georgia showdown. Westlake of Atlanta will face Sidney Lanier of Montgomery in the opener at 2 p.m. EDT. Clay will follow against Griffin High at 5 p.m. and Central of Phenix City will close out with a game against Mays of Atlanta at 8 p.m.

Coach Drew Gilmer’s team will also host Niceville, Fla., on Sept. 7. The Eagles went 6-4 last season, falling in the first round of the Florida state playoffs. The Cougars played Niceville at Hoover in 2014, beating the Eagles 44-23 before the ESPNU cameras in Ty Pigrome’s national coming out party. That is a one-year engagement.

But the Cougars’ trip to Atlanta is a two-year deal.

“It’s going to be fun,” Gilmer said. “It’s going to be exciting for our kids. Anything with Cam Newton’s name on it is big for the kids. It helps us being a two-year deal, and they’ll cover the travel expenses and that kind of stuff and it’s fun to do something a little bit different.”

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Here’s a look at the Super Bowl prospects of the Atlanta Falcons, who finished the season 10-6. The tiers consist of: Realistic Super Bowl expectations; Should contend, but there are question marks; Middle of the pack; Lots of work to do; and Nowhere close.

Westgate odds to win the Super Bowl LIII: 18-1

Should contend, but there are question marks: The Falcons and owner Arthur Blank would love nothing more than to become the first team to play a Super Bowl in its own stadium. In order to make that a reality, the Falcons have to rediscover the offensive success they enjoyed during their 2016 Super Bowl run, when they averaged a league-best 33.8 points per game. The missing element from that team is offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, now the head of the San Francisco 49ers. New coordinator Steve Sarkisian wasn’t able to uphold the standard in his first season, but coach Dan Quinn expressed full confidence in Sarkisian heading into the 2018 season.

The Falcons have a franchise quarterback in Matt Ryan, a game-changing receiver in Julio Jones, and a potent, 1-2 running back combo in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, provided they remain together. But the Falcons need to upgrade the interior of the offensive line next to Pro Bowl center Alex Mack, and could use another serious deep threat to pair with Jones. Last season’s 11.7 points per game slide proved to be detrimental.

The Falcons have all the elements of a top-tier defense, as Quinn has assembled one of the fastest units around. But to actually win a Super Bowl, they need to continue to upgrade the defensive line so pressure on opposing quarterbacks, particularly up the middle, is consistent. Deion Jones, Keanu Neal, Vic Beasley Jr., and Takk McKinley are young stars who could make the Falcons a feared group for years to come. But the Falcons should always be on the hunt for more playmakers, particularly in the secondary.

And the Falcons won’t enjoy as much success as they desire without making the necessary improvements on special teams. The first matter of business is re-signing reliable kicker Matt Bryant, who turns 43 in May.

Welcome to Straight form the ‘Beek! The Falcons are well into offseason mode preparing for 2018. You’ve got plenty of questions – and I’ve got answers. Just remember, all opinions you see in this space are mine, unless otherwise noted.

And we’re off.

Chris from Villa Rica, GA

Hello, Beek! I’m excited about the move with switching Vic Beasley to full time defensive end. Also, not to mention Takkarist McKinley had six sacks with minimal playing time. Damn that guy has a hell of a motor. My question is, with Beasley a full-time defensive end, do you think that move is deciding to part ways with Adrian Clayborn (and let Duke Riley become our spy linebacker)? Your thoughts? And once again, thanks for what you do FOR THE FALCONS FANS. RISE UP.

Matt: Hey, Chris. Something tells me you’re not the only one who is excited to see Vic Beasley moving to defensive end full time. After registering a league-best 15.5 sacks in 2016, Beasley tallied just 5.0 sacks last season. Keep in mind, too, that he also missed a couple of games with a hamstring injury early in the season. Regardless, the Falcons’ overall sack number actually increased from 34 in 2016 to 39 in 2017. Some people tend to forget or overlook that number I’ve noticed. And you’re correct about McKinley, who managed to get six sacks during his rookie season. His continuing development is definitely one of the bright spots on this unit moving forward. What happens moving forward is all speculation at this point, Chris. No one knows at this point what the Falcons will do with their own soon-to-be free agents. Right now, the team is focusing on getting Matt Ryan a new deal, which will allow the Falcons to be more flexible and creative in signing players this year and years to come. You mentioned Vic Beasley, who registered six sacks in one game alone and finished with 9.5 for the season. It’ll be interesting to what happens there – along with Dontari Poe, too. But I’d tap the brakes and try not to speculate too much. A lot of decisions will be made in the coming weeks … so try to be patient! I know, it’s not easy. Just have faith in general manager Thomas Dimitroff and the Falcons personnel department. They do a great job year in and year out.

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No tight end is more familiar with the Philadelphia Eagles than Jason Witten. The Cowboys veteran, on Radio Row promoting Schwan’s and their food donation program for the underprivileged (a program Witten has been involved with in Dallas and, this week, in Minneapolis), took a few minutes to break down film on the Eagles’ looming matchup with Rob Gronkowski.

“One of the things that makes Philadelphia so interesting up front is they play these wide-9 techniques, they’re tilted in, with all their weight in their hands. [Notice left DE Brandon Graham.] All they’re thinking is up field. What makes Brandon Graham so good is, these ends really cheap jerseys play 9-techniques. Very rarely do they [align tighter] inside and play 6-techniques, 7-techniques on the tight end. When they do, it’s when the defensive end anticipates a run to the weak side, because he knows he can’t make the play from so far out, so he’ll tighten it up and shoot the gap. Graham times it up well. Literally, I have about 50 plays I could show you where the tight end has no chance to even block Graham. It’s just ‘down, down, set, hut!’ and Graham’s hitting it hard inside.

“On this play, he does that. I don’t think he knows it’s a bootleg, I think he’s just timing it up. He thinks it’s a run to the weak side. He’s playing the run there, which is good [for the offense] and now we’re able to [bootleg] outside of it and throw.”

The Patriots do not run bootlegs, so Graham’s inside-attacking aggression might be without consequence on Sunday. But there was another important aspect to this play: the awareness of safety Malcolm Jenkins (No. 27, on the left).

“They’re in man to man here. Jenkins has me, but he converts it to zone because he sees that run and because he sees me blocking, so he leaves me. You see his eyes right here, he’s looking to see if [WR Terrance Williams] is gonna block. As soon as Jenkins sees Williams go out in a route, he knows it’s a pass. If he thought it was a run he would have definitely attacked the backfield from this position.

“Malcolm just plays it really well, he gets down in the box, he’s a good man coverage player and he tackles well. His background really was as a corner—and corners aren’t known for tackling. He’s made this transition really well.

On another play, the Cowboys throw to the outside on a high-low route concept against Philly’s staple Cover 3 zone. But before releasing into his low route, Witten delivers a quick chip-block on defensive end Derek Barnett. Chip-blocks are a way to slow down aggressive, dynamic edge rushers like Philly’s, and you might see the Patriots employ them in third-and-long situations.

“We’re just trying to get a pass off and we know they’re going to be rushing up field, so it’s a way for us to get two helps on these guys. You have to chip these guys, slow them down and then get into your routes behind it.

“Really all we’re trying to do is deviate Barnett’s rush; you want to affect him. He goes inside on his own here and runs right into my left tackle, we’ve done our job.

“When you have a great rush, you say, ‘Well, you have to max protect.’ The problem with max protection is, the defense is only rushing four, so do we really need six or seven guys in protection when they’re only rushing four? So one of the counters to that is, let’s chip and get those chippers out in routes. In theory it’s a five-man protection but at some point it looks like a six-, seven- or eight-man protection. So, just slow them down, stop their initial rush and then get out in the route. I think you’ll see New England do that on Sunday because they’ve done it for a long time and they think the Eagles have a good rush.”

The question is, will the Eagles sacrifice one of their edge rushers by jamming Gronkowski off the line on Sunday? Just like chips can slow a pass rusher, a quick jam by a defensive end can slow a tight end.

“I often wonder: Would the Eagles ever adjust and tighten their defensive end alignments? Really, they believe so strongly in their system, it’s straight get off the ball and rush. So I would be surprised if they pushed or hit Gronkowski. But I’ll tell you, tight ends, when D-linemen jam like that, it can really slow you down in your route because the clock in your head goes off. It’s a nice formula, but I don’t see Philadelphia doing it, I think they have a lot of confidence in their back end and their coverage ability.”

So what would Witten say if Gronk called him for advice on Philly’s defense?

“They really play aggressive, they hunker down and they’re daring you to beat them. Their corners have been beat on double moves maybe as high as anyone in the league. The thing is, those defensive backs have so much confidence in that rush that they hover around that first down marker. They really get on their heels and hunker down because they’re almost daring you to run by them. So for a tight end who’s running a lot of intermediate routes—and Gronk’s inventory is a little more vertical than most—with that, you have to expect the defenders will be hanging around those first down markers. So you have to use deception in your route concepts with your leverage and how you attack to get separation.”