Cubs inquired about Tigers’ Justin Verlander, Alex Avila

The Cubs are desperately trying to regain last season’s World Series-winning form, which may lead them to the trade market.

According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the Cubs have “inquired” about Tigers ace Justin Verlander’s availability, along with catcher Alex Avila. The report states that trade negotiations have not yet begun at this time.

Verlander signed a six-year, $162 million deal before the 2013 season. He is expected to make $28 million each of the next two seasons, and then $22 million in 2020 before becoming a free agent.

“It’s just at this point narrowing down what is the specific thing causing the symptoms and how do they correct that, and all of the doctors are very confident they will be Hockey Cheap Jerseys able to do that and figure that out in the near term.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, Francona was still undergoing testing at the Cleveland Clinic. It’s the third time in the past month he has been admitted to the facility. He was hospitalized following a June 13 game after experiencing a rapid heartbeat and dizziness, then had to leave last Monday’s game with the same symptoms. That incident kept Francona out of the following night’s game, and doctors provided him a heart monitor to track his symptoms.

Francona also missed a game last August after experiencing chest Jerseys Wholesale pains, and he was hospitalized for similar issues as far back as 2005, when he managed the Red Sox.

Bench coach Brad Mills is managing the Indians in Francona’s absence.

NFL players’ NBA payday envy begins in earnest

It turns out NFL players are a lot like the rest of us: They see the free-agent contracts being handed out to NBA players and are envious.

Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins, the No. 4 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, tweeted as much Sunday morning, a day after some basketball players agreed to nine-figure contracts.

Boston would now need a series of transactions to create cap space for Gordon Hayward. The Celtics would have to pull the qualifying offer on Kelly Olynyk, renounce free agents Jonas Jerebko, James Young, Gerald Green and waive the contracts of Jordan Mickey and Demetrius Jackson (or trade). The Celtics would be left with $27.6M in room and likely need to move the contract of Terry Rozier or Marcus Smart. Trading Rozier would have the Celtics short $1M of a max salary a lot.

In 2017, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles might as well keep that quote posted on their respective office walls. The rebuilding (tanking?) New York franchise and Real Cheap Jerseys its fans don’t have much to see in the present. They know this season is all about the future.

No, the Jets have not yet figured out what to do for the long term at quarterback, and first-year offensive coordinator John Morton might be joining a lame-duck coaching staff. But the vast majority of New York’s offseason moves signal a transition to a new era.

Granted, they also prompt the kind of pessimism that has many Super Cheap Jerseys China predicting a regression from a 5-11 season in 2016. One NFL executive even called this Jets team the worst roster he’s seen in a decade.

Nike thinks Rob Gronkowski’s new logo looks like Michael Jordan’s Jumpman

Does a logo of New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski in silhouette spiking a football look too similar to Nike’s Air Jordan Jumpman logo?

“Earlier this month, the shoe and apparel giant filed a formal opposition to the USPTO Trial & Appeal Board, saying a logo of New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski in silhouette spiking a football could be confused with its Air Jordan Jumpman logo that it has used since November 1987… Gronkowski’s team has until Aug. 5 to respond or risk abandoning the filing. If nothing is resolved, the two sides will battle over the mark.”

Not only is the Tigers’ right-handed pitcher costly, he isn’t exactly enjoying a great season. After getting shelled by the Indians for seven earned runs in just 3 1/3 innings in his last start, Verlander is just 5-5 with an abysmal 4.96 ERA.

Verlander settled for second in last year’s AL Cy Young award voting, despite walking away with the most first-place votes. But he has looked like a completely different pitcher this season.

The Cubs have struggled to get through the early innings of games this season, often spotting teams a couple runs. It’s possible Chicago believes a fresh start in the National League would do Verlander some good.

Avila, on the other hand, is enjoying a great season. He USA Cheap Jerseys Pittsburgh Steelers Cheap Jerseys is batting .310 with 11 home runs and 29 RBIs while splitting time with James McCann.

Avila’s father, Al Avila, is currently the general manager of the Tigers, so it could be hard for the Cubs to acquire the veteran catcher. However, if the Cubs really want both players, they do have the young talent to entice the Tigers.

Gordon Hayward to sign with Celtics, maybe

Gordon Hayward will end his time on the free agent market and sign with the Boston Celtics, ESPN reported Tuesday … and then unreported, sort of.

ESPN NBA reporter Chris Haynes was the first to report Hayward’s Wholesale Cheap Jerseys China intentions with the following tweet:

Free-agent Gordon Hayward plans to sign with the Boston Celtics, league sources tell ESPN.

Turner, who has never been selected to an All-Star Game, isn’t even in this year’s game. He is one of five players who could fill the final National League roster spot by winning the final fan vote.

The Dodgers, who lost 5-3 to the Padres on Sunday, have the NL’s best record, and rookie Cody Bellinger leads the league with 24 home runs. Clayton Kershaw, who leads the NL with 12 wins, could be the NL starting pitcher, but that will be determined by Cubs manager Joe Maddon, not fans. Of course, Kershaw is scheduled to start for the Dodgers next Sunday, meaning he might not even be eligible to play in the Midsummer Classic.

Jansen’s biggest issue was with the omission of Turner, who is Wholesale Jerseys Paypal hitting .382 in 58 games and has been an All-Star caliber player each of the last three seasons.

“JT deserved to be in there,” Jansen said. “He deserves it. JT has deserved to be an All-Star the last three years.”

Basketball brought me here 6 years ago. I didn’t know much about Minnesota, and now I’m proud to call it home. You never know what this journey will bring you, and I wouldn’t change a bit of mine over the last 6 years. I remember arriving here like it was yesterday. I stepped out of the airport and was overwhelmed with your support. It’s something I’ll never forget. What we have in Minnesota is special and you don’t know that until you live there.

‘Steel Curtain’ returns as Steelers boot Chiefs from playoffs

Is the Steel Curtain back?

While the Steelers’ offense never found the end zone Sunday, Pittsburgh defenders limited the Chiefs to 227 yards of total offense in a 18-16 victory at Arrowhead Stadium.

The victory sends the Steelers to next Sunday’s AFC championship game at Cheap Jerseys In USA New England.

Doing all of the scoring for the Steelers was kicker Chris Boswell, who set an NFL single-game playoff record with six field goals.

It sounds even better coming off of a win, Boswell told NBC Sports. Record or no record, as long as we got the win, that’s all that matters to me.

Boswell isn’t quite ready to include himself among Pittsburgh’s great Killer Bs with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown.

Jaguars: Doug Marrone. We’re in favor of Marrone getting his third chance at a Cheap Jerseys Mastercard head-coaching gig after short stints with Syracuse and the Bills. But the circumstances Cheap Jerseys MLB of this promoting from within from interim status are bit weird, because it doesn’t feel like much of a change from Bradley.

Marrone’s work as the offensive line coach didn’t really produce great results, either. Jacksonville seems to be betting that the continuity will be a big boon for Blake Bortles, but then again, this whole Chip Kelly offensive coordinator development is an even stranger twist.

Keep in mind the Pittsburgh running back broke the franchise record for rushing yards in a single game against the Bills in Week 14, when Buffalo was being pounded by a snow storm. The Steelers followed the age-old formula for success in snowy, winter football weather: run the ball, again and again.

The results for Bell were 38 carries for 236 yards and three touchdowns, an absurd average of 6.2 yards per carry. In the passing game, Bell added four catches for 62 yards, a cool 15.5 yards per reception. Nobody in NFL history had ever posted at least 220 rushing yards, 60 receiving yards and three touchdowns in a single game.

Lighten up, Detroit: Give Jim Caldwell credit for results with over-achieving Lions

Three straight losses to end the regular season and a likely fourth coming in the playoffs are enough to get some head coaches fired.

In Detroit, you still have job security.

Second-year cornerback Jalen Collins had perhaps his best game of the season against the Packers. He forced a fumble and recovered it to squelch a potential scoring drive in the second quarter. He nearly had an interception in the second half and finished with three tackles and a pass breakup.

I’m so excited. I’ve never been to the Super Bowl, Collins said. I ain’t got no words. I was just giving it up for my brothers. One more game, we’ve got to give it all.

Freeney, who was also part of the 2009 Colts team that lost to the Saints in Cheap Jerseys From China Free Shipping Super Bowl XLIV, said Falcons coach Dan Quinn has done ‘an amazing job’ to keep his team focused.

When the Packers won, 23-16, in Lambeau in prime time in Week 5, the notions were that the Packers and Aaron Rodgers were just cruising along, and the Giants were hurtling back to earth, torn to shreds internally by the mentally-unstable Odell Beckham Jr. NFL seasons are long and never consistent or predictable. With all the attention on the Packers running the table, the Giants come into this game just as dangerous, especially on defense. Over the final four weeks (excluding that inexplicable Thursday loss in Philadelphia), they beat Dak Prescott, Matthew Stafford and Kirk Cousins and held them to a combined 23 points.

I want to be with the Falcons forever, Freeman said. I don’t want to be anywhere Cheap Jerseys In Canada else. I don’t want to jump from team to team. I want to be like a Ray Lewis or a Tom Brady and spend my whole career with one team.

I would love to get it done, cause I’m comfortable here. It’s family. I love the fans, the atmosphere, the organization, the community, the place where I stay, Lenox Mall … it feels like home.

Steelers vs. Patriots: Picks, predictions, odds for AFC championship game

The Steelers are on the list, that long list of AFC championship game opponents for the New England Patriots. Theyre now one of the NFL-record six in a row, and out of the 11 Patriots title games in the 16 years of the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era, theyre facing them for the third time.

Its the second time for Ben Roethlisberger and the first for Mike Tomlin, though. The history is there but its not. Its new territory for Tomlin and Roethlisberger as a duo against their AFC nemeses, even as it continues a trend that has the Steelers and Patriots occupying 17 of the 32 AFC championship game berths since that first meeting after the 2001 season.

The Patriots won both previous face-offsand went on to the win the Super Bowl each time the second time coming over a rookie Roethlisberger in 2004. New England, of course, has won four Super Bowls in that span, the Steelers two but since that 2004 meeting, the Steelers lead in Lombardis, 2-1.

David Steele: Spend as little time as possible extracting intel from their Cheap Jerseys China Vip October meeting at Heinz Field, which the Patriots won comfortably. The Steelers didnt have Roethlisberger, and the Patriots did have Rob Gronkowski.

But the Senior Bowl, and the whole NFL draft process, is one big job interview. NFL teams are interviewing hundreds of players and deciding which five to 10 players they want to add to their organizations via draft picks.

Despite possessing some of the most impressive talent compared to his tight end Cheap Jerseys Direct Coupon Code peers, Howard will get a chance to work as more than just an inline blocker and occasional seam threat. So far, he’s done just that. He’s getting the opportunity to separate from linebackers in one-on-one coverage, work in the seam against multiple defensive fronts in seven-on-seven drills and use his development as a polished tight end to wow in team drills.

The world will be gravely disappointed if the final score doesnt resemble a college basketball game.

Its taken on extra intensity this week because of the concern in some corners that after an entire season of handling every rookie obstacle as if he were not a rookie, Prescott will suddenly crack under the postseason pressure.

Hence, the pressure is on Garrett to do whatever the right thing would be, in the heat of the moment, no matter how much it will be second-guessed in hindsight if the Cowboys lose. Oddly enough, Garrett and Prescott are in roughly the same situation.

Again, it doesnt help that hes still the relatively new coach on the block. McCarthy Cheap Game Jerseys has a Super Bowl win and nine playoff wins. Pete Carroll, whom he could face in the NFC championship game, has a Super Bowl win, a last-minute loss, and 10 playoff wins. In the AFC are Bill Belichick, Mike Tomlin and Andy Reid, with a combined five Super Bowl wins, nine appearances and 41 postseason wins.

Garrett is 1-1.

His low trust level as the Cowboys begin the playoffs is rooted so much in perception. Its just a hard perception to dismiss until he wins again. Probably a few more times, in fact.

David Steele: The world will be gravely disappointed if Cheap Google Jerseys the final score doesnt resemble a college basketball game. Theres no real reason to believe these two defenses can really shut down Rodgers or Ryan, respectively.

Ryan has better weapons, by far, especially if they get Julio Jones at full strength and similar to last week against the Seahawks, the Falcons nipped the Packers in Atlanta in October without a 100-percent Jones.

But Rodgers clearly doesnt need Hall of Famers to which to throw. Plus, Rodgers has the postseason receipts; for all his brilliance in this MVP-caliber season, Ryan doesnt have his yet. Its nothing to be ashamed of. But when the confetti falls, it wont help him or the Falcons feel better.

Ten wacky Super Bowl 51 prop bets

Guard Ramon Foster said Brown’s social media snafu didn’t bother him.

It wasn’t anything malicious, Foster said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. It just happened his iPhone was really good.

ESPN reports Brown could be fined for violating the NFL’s social media policy, which prohibits players from posting messages on social media from 90 minutes before kickoff until after post-game interviews are completed. Past penalties for violating the policy include a $25,000 fine against Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson in 2010.

As the menu of Super Bowl prop bets expands each year, the wagering options are getting nuttier.

As an example of the breadth of selections available to gamblers, there are over 800 ways to bet on Super Bowl 51 offered at William Hill U.S., a company that operates 108 sports books in the state of Nevada.

While more traditional props include which player will score the first touchdown when the Falcons and Patriots meet in Houston, who will be named MVP and whether there will be a safety in Cheap Epl Jerseys the game, there are reams of less conventional bets offered in Las Vegas and by offshore sports books.

Some of these tie the Super Bowl to sports other than football, while others touch on politics, Fox’s broadcast of the game, the halftime show featuring Lady Gaga and so much more.

But while Brown reportedly now faces a fine for violating the NFL’s social media policy, some teammates voiced their support for the star wide receiver Monday. And then they circled the wagons to back coach Mike Tomlin’s profane comments about the Patriots, saying the incident will not Cheap Football Jerseys From China be a distraction as Pittsburgh prepares to face New England in the AFC championship game Sunday.

Ex-Raider Charles Woodson disappointed by play of team’s marquee signing

KISSIMMEE, Fla. Oakland’s first season on defense in three years without Charles Woodson was a mess.

Nobody is more aware of that than Woodson himself.

There were a lot of people in that building, including Chip Kelly, that liked Dak Prescott going into the draft, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Monday. So the fact that Prescott was tearing it up for the Cowboys while the 49ers are sitting there saying, ‘We have an extremely unsettled quarterback situation. We liked this guy before the draft. Why is he not on our team?’ That was part of the downfall for Baalke.

There was plenty more to Baalke’s downfall, of course, including a lack of communication between the general manager and coaches for years.

There was a bunch of frustration from some of the coaches just on why they had no idea what the front office was looking for, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported. Many of them just didn’t understand why Trent Baalke didn’t talk to them. Why didn’t he communicate with them and say, ‘What kind of players to you Cheap DUKe Jerseys like How can I help you by finding the right players?’

Both the Cowboys and the 49ers will be watching, not playing in, the wild-card Cheap Dodgers Jerseys round of the playoffs this season. But Dallas with Prescott will be watching from its perch as the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC playoffs and awaiting its opponent for the divisional round.

San Francisco, which finished 2-14 this season, will be watching from home. And the GM-coach combo the 49ers hire will be scouting quarterbacks for the 2017 NFL Draft.

They likely wouldn’t have to had Baalke listened to Kelly and Co. last year.