Former Packers receiver James Jones retires, will join NFL Network

Former Packers receiver James Jones has announced his retirement from the NFL after nine seasons.

Jones spent eight of his nine seasons with the Packers, finishing his career with 433 receptions for 5,861 yards and 51 touchdowns.

He was a key member of the 2010 Packers that won Super Bowl XLV. Jones caught 50 passes for 679 touchdowns and five touchdowns that season. He led the NFL with 14 receiving scores in 2014, a season in which he had 64 receptions for 784 yards.

“I have truly been blessed to have worked with such wonderful people throughout my career. I would personally like to thank the entire Packers organization, Packer Nation and particularly Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy and Sammy Seal,” Jones said.

Darby was carted off the field with an air cast on his lower leg in the second quarter of the Eagles’ 30-17 victory over Washington. His ankle bent awkwardly as he planted while in coverage, and he immediately went down in pain.

Surgery would have meant that Darby would miss the rest of the season.

The Eagles acquired Darby from the Buffalo Bills in August for receiver Jordan Matthews and a 2018 third-round pick.

A 2015 second-round pick out of Florida State, Darby finished second in voting for defensive rookie of the year in 2015 before taking a bit of a step back last season. Asked what he liked about Darby, Eagles executive Howie Roseman pointed to “rare speed” — Darby ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at the scouting combine — as well as his production on the ball. He has only two career interceptions but has 33 pass breakups in 29 games.nike_steelers_957

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Seahawks’ Jeremy Lane ejected for throwing punch vs. Packers, replay shows otherwise

The Seahawks had a pick-six against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers called back Sunday at Lambeau Field for a pair of penalties during the return.

Game Youth Billy Turner Jersey An illegal block in the back by Cliff Avril nullified the touchdown and, while Jeremy Lane’s unsportsmanlike penalty was declined, he was ejected from the game for throwing a punch at Packers WR Davante Adams.

It appeared Adams took Lane down by the facemask and the defensive back Lane was busted for his response, although replay never showed Lane actually hitting back.

Corey Davis was expected to be limited in his NFL debut, but the fifth-overall pick paced Tennessee with 10 targets. He was on the field for 35 of the team’s 43 pass plays, which was just behind Rishard Matthews (41) and Eric Decker (39). Davis turned the heavy usage into six catches for 69 yards and looked the part on tape. His role is only going to increase as the weeks progress and a Tennessee offense that ranked ninth in the league in touchdowns last year will score more than once most weeks. Davis is quite possibly the league’s next star wide receiver, so try to buy him while he’s still being valued below market.

Game Youth Jimmie Ward Jersey Are you stashing Josh Doctson on your bench? If so, you could not have been pleased with his Week 1 output. Doctson was on the field for 20 snaps, ran 17 routes and was not targeted. Doctson, of course, was the team’s first-round pick in 2016 but missed all but a handful of snaps during his rookie campaign due to an Achilles injury. Doctson’s role figures only to expand in the coming weeks, especially considering Washington’s offensive woes against Philadelphia. Doctson very well could emerge as the team’s top wideout this year and should thus remain on your bench.

the Bears didn’t give him very many touches over the first five games of the season.

When he signed with the Bears in 2015, I’m sure Rodgers was hoping to get more opportunities as a running back and maybe even start there. His time in Chicago didn’t go at all as planned, however.

In his first season in Chicago, the Bears didn’t give him very many touches over the first five games of the season. Then, he landed on IR after breaking his arm in that fifth game. He looked to bounce back last preseason, but then the Bears ultimately released him before the regular season started after talking him up most of last offseason.
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I’m sure his head was spinning at that point. He was two years removed from looking like he was about to really break out. Instead, here he was two years later not even on an active roster for the first week of the season. And that is important because veterans who aren’t on the active roster in Week 1 can be cut at any point after they do sign, and the team won’t owe them the balance of their salary for that season.

There’s a lot of correlation [between football and MMA] because it’s extremely physical, right? It’s physical abuse, said Tareq Azim, founder of Empower Gym. They’re both combat sports. They’re both leverage sports. They’re both speed sports. And they’re both power sports.

Azim was a linebacker at Fresno State, but brought with him a lifetime of training in martial arts. He says his understanding of leverage and hand techniques gave him advantages on the field.
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Now he’s an MMA coach who works with championship-level fighters like Jake Shields and Gilbert Melendez, as well as NFL players like Marshawn Lynch and Marcus Peters.

The NFL tweaked its rules for practice squad eligibility this year.

Welcome back to my third year of doing NFL breakout players predictions. I just wanted to go back through the criteria for selection so we can all be on the same page, even though I know half of y’all won’t read it.

Cameron Fleming Youth Jersey To even be considered a guy has to be at least two years removed from playing in college. I won’t pick a rookie before he has played a snap in the NFL, and even if a guy had a strong rookie season that usually just isn’t enough to go on unless he played so well that he already broke out as a rookie.

Justin Blackmon Youth Jersey We all know guys who start slow then come on strong around their third season, and we also know a lot of cats who balled out as a rookie and then fell off. Predicting how a guy will play is hard enough as it is, but I want it to at least be an informed prediction if possible and that usually takes time and (hopefully) game film.

The NFL tweaked its rules for practice squad eligibility this year. In 2014, the NFL and NFLPA agreed to a rule that expanded the practice squad roster limits from eight to 10 players. The rule expired prior to the 2016 league year, but it has been renewed. In addition, last year teams could have two of the 10 practice squad spots filled by players who had two or more years of experience on an NFL roster. This year, that number has been increased to four players.

While many players who spent the preseason with NFL teams are being cut today, the hope remains that they may get signed by another team off of waivers. If players clear waivers, the next best thing is the practice squad, which allows them to continue to develop as players and keep their NFL hopes alive.

It’s still a long shot for these players to carve out successful NFL careers, but landing on a practice squad gives them a shot. Several players have graduated from practice squads to active rosters and made an impact for their teams, including Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola and Steelers linebacker James Harrison.

Some players spend a lifetime trying to make it to college, much less the NFL.

“We’ll see,” Jackson said. “I don’t want to make medical decisions. I’m not very good at them. We’ll see where we are as we move through the week.”

Garrett had a foot issue in minicamp, but Jackson said he did not believe the ankle injury was related. Garrett was the first overall pick in this year’s draft.

“He was out there at practice; obviously he didn’t finish practice,” Jackson said. “Let’s just leave it at that. He didn’t finish today, so we’ll see where we are.”

There’s one bit of Pack-related uni news, however: Last season, wide receiver Ty Montgomery spent most of his time lining up in the backfield. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it looked a little weird, because he was wearing No. 88. This year, he’s officially listed as a running back, but he’s keeping No. 88, a move permitted by NFL rules.
There’s also a solid-gray Color Rush design. At first it seemed the Lions wouldn’t be wearing it in 2017 (which would be just as well — it’s a stinker) because they aren’t scheduled for a Thursday night game this season. But it turns out that they’ll wear it for a Saturday afternoon game Dec. 16 against the Bears.

Five years ago, Edwards picked up an American football for the first time at a park at Ballarat University near Melbourne; smaller and less round than an Australian Rules Football ball, Edwards said, “it did feel a little foreign.”

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Preseason Week 3: Jaguars quarterback situation still not settled

We had the opportunity with the right coverage and perfect play call, Smith said during the Eagles broadcast. I feel great. The chemistry with Carson has been awesome.

Second-year Dolphins receiver Jakeem Grant bounced off two would-be tacklers and then turned on the jets for a 69-yard touchdown in the third quarter of Thursday’s game.

The choice to do so for the latter last year backfired, as kicker Roberto Aguayo had such a poor rookie season and awful training camp that he was recently cut despite the Buccaneers having spent a second-round pick on him.

The biggest head-scratcher with Madden NFL 18 when it comes to clutch players is once again a rookie for Tampa Bay.

Limited Kids George Johnson Jersey Tight end O.J. Howard, taken 19th in the draft, is the only rookie to have received the trait. Howard had big games in the last two college foortball national championships, but again, he has never taken a regular-season snap in the NFL and is being grouped in with the league’s most proven performers.

All the other clutch players have firmly established themselves in the league.

Imagine that. Kaepernick was the one labeled a coward in so many places for so many reasons last season 鈥?including, implausibly, for making it known that he would no longer do the same protest at games next season.

Limited Kids Jonathan Cooper Jersey That marked Kaepernick a coward, yet teams are scared of a hot take from the president, and let that guide their football decisions.

Meanwhile, those who said the rich, entitled jock really wasn’t sacrificing anything with his kneeling must be aware by now exactly what he sacrificed.

Madden NFL 18 review: New story mode injects drama into game

For Madden NFL 18, a great deal is riding on the game’s first story mode, titled Longshot. Story modes are ambitious efforts for sports games, yet the major licensed titles are now expected to have them every year thanks to the likes of NBA 2K and FIFA which have developed narrative-driven experiences that compliment their other more traditional ways to play.

Some of the SN staff pushed back on this, but come on: This guy has gotten more negative publicity than any player in history who’s never seen the field. It might be different if he weren’t with a New York team, or if he hadn’t been (surprisingly) a second-round draft choice. But he is, and he was, and so the stories continue about how much he resembles Ebby Calvin (Nuke) LaLoosh, plucking off mascots (actually reporters) whenever he cuts loose a pass. Last year, an NFL coach told ESPN that Hackenberg couldn’t throw a ball into the ocean. Jets owner Woody Johnson maybe was trying to laugh it off, but responding, I guess it depends upon which ocean, wasn’t much of a defense.

Thon Maker Mens Jersey It is sad to think this will be the final season in front of fans in the The Black Hole, when this season has such high expectations. But you can bet Oakland native Marshawn Lynch will be unrelenting in powering them to an AFC West title.

The Falcons showed resolve just by playing well and making the playoffs last season 鈥?the NFC title was a bonus, regardless of how things ended in Houston. The more the talk of a potential massive Super Bowl hangover gets overblown, the easier it is to believe Matt Ryan and Dan Quinn will make sure they don’t succumb to it.

Authentic Womens T.J. Green Jersey There’s been great patience for the Packers in the Mike McCarthy era the result of a ring in hand. But they’ve got to find a bigger sense of NFC title urgency with Aaron Rodgers in the second half of his career.

Antetokounmpo was an All-Star for the first time last season and led his team in every major stat category.

Game Mens Ryan Fitzpatrick Jersey Bosh becomes an unrestricted free agent and can ultimately sign with one of 29 NBA teams, not named the Heat. But he will first have to prove he is healthy to the same panel of NBA doctors that ruled his illness career-ending.

Elite James Harrison Jersey The two-year, $52 million balance of Bosh’s contract immediately comes off the Heat payroll. Miami now projects to have around $37 million in cap space, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, which the team could use to re-sign free agents Dion Waiters and James Johnson — assuming Gordon Hayward isn’t coming.

Ball filled up the stat sheet with 36 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds against Philadelphia. But the dominant storyline one day later is how well he played in Kobe A.D’s instead of his signature ZO2 Big Baller Brand sneaker.

The Ball brothers are the only athletes signed on the Big Baller Brand roster at this moment. Lonzo Ball wore the ZO2’s in the previous two games he played, but missed the third game after an apparent groin injury.

Rose obviously isn’t at the same MVP level he was years ago, but he’s still a decent NBA player. He averaged 18 points and 4.4 assists per game on 47 percent shooting from the field last season.

Rose has never been much of a shooter, so floor spacing could become a challenge in Milwaukee. It isn’t the greatest basketball fit, but if the money is there for Rose he’ll take it.

NFLPA to vote on whether director DeMaurice Smith will face opponents

The NFLPA could be making a huge change to how it elects its director.

According to The Washington Post, the NFLPA has decided that if the 14 selection committee representatives unanimously approve of a current director, he or she won’t have to face any challengers. If less than half the committee reps approve, the job would be declared “open.”

The total number of people who watched any regular-season game grew by 5 million in 2016, SportsBusiness Journal reported Monday, and a Fox Sports executive pointed to those numbers as evidence that Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest had no negative impact on viewership.

“That is in conflict with the idea of a boycott (by fans upset about Kaepernick’s actions),” Fox Sports executive vice president of research, league operations and strategy Mike Mulvihill told SBJ. “If there was really a meaningful boycott going on, you’d see reach go down. And we didn’t.”

That’s not to say the NFL’s overall ratings dip had nothing to do with politics — it just wasn’t Kaepernick’s politics. Mulvihill cited coverage of the presidential election as the top factor in fewer people choosing to tune into football on a regular basis than in previous years.

The SBJ report notes that the trend could continue into 2017 due to continued strong ratings for cable news networks covering President Donald Trump’s administration.

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Celtics trade Avery Bradley to Pistons

The Boston Celtics are finalizing a trade to send perimeter defender Avery Bradley to the Detroit Pistons, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Celtics will also send a 2019 second-round pick in exchange for forward Marcus Morris, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania.

The trade is one that will help create cap space for Boston’s pending free agency acquisition of Gordon Hayward, who agreed on July 4 to a four-year, $128 million max contract to join the Celtics. Boston must now create the room to fit his contract into its payroll.

In mid-July, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski spoke on The Jump about the deal that almost was, stating that Indiana was about to give permission to Paul George to get on the phone with Dan Gilbert.
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Indiana pulled out of the deal, though, according to Wojnarowski, and later said yes to the Thunder’s offer.

Howie Long Womens Jersey Had Paul George gone to Cleveland, maybe David Griffin keeps his job with the Cavs, Russell Westbrook is out preparing for another one-man show season, and Kevin Love is living in a new home. Maybe LeBron James isn’t concerned about this Cavaliers offseason, either.

But that’s some alternate reality, and here on Earth we have George joining Westbrook in Oklahoma City and Victor Oladipo and Damontas Sabonis in Indiana. We’re also left wondering if this Cavs team will do anything to shake this lineup up ahead of the season.

For now it looks like no team is ready to challenge the reigning champion Warriors.