New York Giants Have Top 22 Year Old In NFL According To ESPN

New York Giants running back, Saquon Barkley.

The opinions on the New York Giants going into this season have been cautious rather than optimistic by most parts of the media in the buildup to the 2019 season and for good reason – Hyping the team up for the past couple of seasons has only resulted in disappointment, and it would be a good idea to not repeat the mistakes of the past and set unrealistic expectations for the team at this point in the year.

However, one player with high expectations that can be considered realistic is Saquon Barkley, the NFL’s second leading rusher from last year and likely the best player on the Giants roster this year. Barkley is undoubtedly going to be one of the major leaders for the Giants this year if not the big leader on offense, and according to ESPN, Barkley is the best player of his age in the entire league.

There’s plenty of good young players in the NFL right now, but ESPN placed Barkley as the top 22 year old in the league recently. Here’s some of what they had to say:

The Giants’ decision to move on from wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and the looming quarterback transition from Eli Manning to Daniel Jones leave Barkley as the every-down anchor of their offense. He touched the ball 352 times last season. Is there any doubt he’ll surpass 400 in 2019? (To answer the inevitable question: The NFL’s post-merger record for touches in a 16-game season is 492, by the Buccaneers’ James Wilder in 1984, as a 26-year-old.)

Barkley won’t just be competing for the title of best young player this season, but will potentially compete for the title of best offensive player period. It looks like only the league’s top quarterbacks are going to compete with Barkley in the MVP race, which tends to be stacked in the favor of the quarterback position due to the fact that the NFL has very much become a passing league.

But the Giants, despite adding Golden Tate this year and having a number of receivers ready to break out, aren’t quite a passing team. We’ll see if their unconventional team building style is enough to boost their star running back to the status of MVP at the end of the year.

New York Knicks steal Marcus Morris away from San Antonio on one-year deal

New York Knicks sign Marcus Morris.

The New York Knicks have made a lowkey splash in free agency this season, stealing a solid playing in Marcus Morris away from the San Antonio Spurs.

The Knicks, who brought in a slew of free agents to supplement missing out on superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, acquire a very talented power forward in Morris.

It seems as if the Knicks are power forward happy this offseason, bringing in Bobby Portis and drafting RJ Barrett. After re-working Reggie Bullock’s contract after an injury came to surface, the Knicks opened up enough cap space to offer Morris a one-year, $15 million deal.

The Knicks offered Bullock a lesser deal than his original two-year, $21 million contract. Plantar fasciitis was the ailment that lowered the cap-hit and made Marcus a possibility.

The Knicks have been enamored by the former Celtic for quite some time according to reports. The interest in signing him on a more luxurious one-year deal pried him away from the Spurs, who rescinded their offer and signed another free agent after his hesitancy.

Morris’ toughness and ability in the paint will help a young Knicks team succeed in 2019. He averaged 13.9 points and 6.1 rebounds in 75 games (53 starts) last season. He shot a career-best 44.7 percent from the field as well. He will not only be a factor on the court but a de-facto leader for Barrett, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, and Allonzo Trier. This is a big grab for the Knicks.

Who else have the Knicks signed this offseason?

After missing out on Durant, Irving, and Kawhi Leonard, the Knicks went ahead and added Wayne Ellington, Taj Gibson, Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Elfrid Payton, and now Marcus Morris in free agency.

 

 

 

New York Yankees: JA Happ Needs A Better Second Half

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

New York Yankees left-hand pitcher JA Happ had a rather poor first half of the season, and needs to turn it around. I understand that the Yankees have won most games he’s pitched in, but he still needs to be better.

Happ has a 7-4 record, but his ERA sits at 5.02 and his WHIP is at 1.27.

The 36 year old has been far too inconsistent. He has three starts with six or more runs allowed, and five with one run or less allowed.

The thing with Happ is that he can’t pitch deep into games. He has pitched more than five innings eight times this year, but has only made it through six full innings four times.

Happ has had a few good outings this year against AL East rivals like Boston and Tampa Bay, but struggled a few times against teams like the Orioles and White Sox.

His worst outing of the year came on June 23rd against Houston, where he gave up 11 hits and eight runs in just four innings.

JA Happ needs to have more consistency on the mound. If he can go a bit deeper into games, he will help the bullpen be fresher and it gives the team a better chance to win.

Stop this New York Knicks rumor already

The New York Knicks struck out on early big name free agent this off-season. The organization put all their eggs in the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving basket this summer and it backfired.

The Knicks appeared to feed the fans all of this ‘fake news’ of their confidence that they land one or two superstars.  As we all know, that was not the case.  Their biggest free agent signing was Julius Randle.  It was a very good signing of a player coming off this best season as a pro.

The Knicks then signed several forwards for 2-year-deals with the second year being a team option, another small win.

With that being said, everyone believes by the Knicks doing all these team options contracts that they are again going to put their eggs in another superstars basket.

The new hot name is Giannis Antetokounmpo.  Allegedly, he will be the Knicks number one target.

This needs to stop already.  The amount of stress this summer has put on Knicks fans was a lot.  The Knicks did the same thing with LeBron James, twice, and now this summer.  Fans will not be able to go through the stress, constant speculation creating the awful feeling of being left in the dust again.  It has happened more then we wanted.

The Knicks need to take the traditional route and build a winning team through the draft.  Landing big name free agents are not in the cards for the Knicks anymore.  Giannis is not happening either.

Is Kenny Wooten The Latest New York Knicks Gem?

New York Knicks, Kenny Wooten

While the New York Knicks (particularly RJ Barrett) have struggled in Summer League thus far, there have been several bright spots. One of those standouts is a big who catches lobs and blocks shots at a high level. No, I’m not talking about Mitchell Robinson…

I’m referring to Kenny Wooten, the 6’8 forward out of Oregon who went undrafted. Though he’s played just 15 minutes per game and has averaged just 2.5 points per game, Wooten has impressed on the defensive side of the ball.

With 4.5 rebounds per game and two blocks per game in those limited minutes, Wooten has been an incredibly active rim protector, swatting shots left and right. This backs up what we saw from him in the NCAA Tournament when he averaged three blocks per game. 

Each year in Summer League, teams find a breakout player who was previously under-the-radar. Wooten may be that this year for the Knicks. While he has an extremely raw offensive game, his defensive skills are already solid, and he has plenty of room to grow, on both sides. 

Is it possible for Kenny Wooten to earn a spot on the New York Knicks?

Since the Knicks have just one roster spot remaining (and it may be filled by Marcus Morris), Wooten likely can’t earn a spot on the team. However, New York would be well-served to send him down to Westchester, where he could learn under the tutelage of Mike Miller, who is known for developing projects.

Wooten is just the latest in terms of players Scott Perry and Steve Mills have pulled off the scrap heap, so to speak. Guys like Kadeem Allen, Allonzo Trier, and to some extent Mitchell Robinson and Iggy Brazdeikis, were all overlooked by other teams. Here’s hoping that trend will continue.

 

New York Jets Training Camp 2019 6 Players to Watch

New York Jets, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold

New York Jets Training camp is right around the corner, and there is finally some hope for Jets fans this upcoming season. After a very successful offseason acquiring top tier talent, an offensive-minded head coach, and rebranding the organization, Gang Green is ready to take the next step into becoming contenders and it all starts in training camp.

In order for the Jets to reach their full potential and reach the playoffs for the first time since 2010, they need certain players to step their game up and take the team to the next level.

Here are 6 players to watch in New York Jets training camp this summer:

Robby Anderson

Robby Anderson has been one of the most underrated wide receivers in the NFL for the past two seasons. With his blazing fast speed, steady hands, and his tall athletic frame he’s quickly become one of the top deep threats in the NFL but is that enough? Anderson is arguably the best receiver on the team, but he hasn’t shown any promise into becoming a number one receiver due to the previous coaching staff.

New head coach Adam Gase has raved about Anderson’s ability to stretch the field and add an element of speed on a team that doesn’t have any other deep threats.

Gase has had a good track record with wide receivers who have game-breaking speed like Robby Anderson, usually turning them into an X factor every Sunday. If Gase’s infatuation with Anderson is real don’t be surprised to see him finally get his first thousand-yard year.

Sam Darnold

Sam Darnold is entering his second year in the league and has an enormous amount of pressure to take the New York Jets to the next level. The recent trend for successful young quarterback’s in the league has been that in their second year they have breakout years and turn their team to legitimate contenders (e.g. Carson Wentz, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Mitch Trubisky, etc.).

Darnold had an up and down rookie year battling injuries and turnovers but had an amazing final four weeks of the season having the highest grade for a QB on PFF over that span. In order for Darnold to take that next step, the New York Jets must let him air it out downfield and take more chances.

Le’Veon Bell

First things first, Le’Veon Bell doesn’t need to step up his game whatsoever he’s a top 5 running back in the league and in my opinion the most versatile offensive weapon in the league. That being said, Le’Veon does have a chip on his shoulder after taking one year off due to contractual reasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Many people have written off Le’Veon Bell as just a product of his offensive line in Pittsburgh. Le’Veon Bell has constantly played in the shadow of other great players such as Antonio Brown, but now the offense will revolve around him and he will make people remember why he is the most dangerous player whenever he steps on the field.

Darryl Roberts

The Jets defense on paper is one of the best in the league and is mostly complete, but their biggest hole is at the second cornerback slot. Darryl Roberts has made quite the career for himself considering that he was a seventh-round pick in 2015 by the New England Patriots and this year he will be battling for the chance to start opposite of Trumaine Johnson.

Darryl Roberts is the most accomplished corner on the team after Trumaine Johnson and signed a three-year extension with the team worth $18 million dollars. The expectations are high for Roberts especially if Trumaine Johnson continues to deal with injuries. Roberts will maximize his potential in Gregg Williams scheme which is infamous for elevating defensive backs games.

Quinnen Williams

This year’s first-round pick Quinnen Williams has some big expectations coming into his rookie year after dominating the SEC for Alabama. The draft hype surrounding Quinnen Williams was unreal, he was even rated higher analytically than his Heisman trophy finalist QB Tua Tagovailoa.

Quinnen was often compared to the reigning Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald. Quinnen’s best traits coming out of college were his hands and ability to process what was going to happen before the play even finished. Quinnen Williams could be the star pass rusher that the Jets desperately need and can completely change the outlook of the Jets season by himself.

Jonotthan Harrison

After Sam Darnold, all eyes on the offensive side of the ball will be set on this year’s starting center Jonotthan Harrison. No one really knows what to expect from Harrison, but after a nice job filling in for Spencer Long the final few weeks of the year there is hope that he can be a solid center. Harrison has shown flashes of being a suitable starter, but the question is can he be consistent with it.

If Harrison can duplicate his play from last year the New York Jets will have a decent offensive line for Sam Darnold and Le’Veon Bell to work with this year.

 

 

 

New York Giants Offensive Line Ranked Near The Middle By PFF

The offensive line will be one of the primary points of interest for New York Giants fans going into training camp – The line is going to look different than it did last year, with multiple new additions, most notably Mike Remmers at right tackle and Kevin Zeitler at offensive guard. It looks like the line is going to be an improvement from the lineup that featured Ereck Flowers as a starter, but with the group of players untested together, there’s no telling just how the Giants will perform.

Last season, after all, also had some buzz around that are early and the actual results couldn’t hold up to the hype. It’s reasonable to be cautious going into this season when it comes to estimating the team’s play on the offensive line, and so far, it looks like that’s how the experts in the media are approaching the subject.

Pro Football Focus ranked the Giants 18th out of the 32 NFL teams in their offensive line rankings, which definitely isn’t the best in the league but also isn’t one of the worst, either. A step up considering the Giants arguably had the worst offensive line in the league at the start of last year, before small improvements could be made as the season progressed. Here’s what they had to say:

It wasn’t necessarily cheap, but the Giants acquired the best pass-protecting guard in the NFL from a season ago. Kevin Zeitler allowed all of 11 pressures in 2018 and will pair nicely with second-year guard Will Hernandez, who finished his rookie year with a very respectable pass-blocking grade of 73.1. Left tackle Nate Solder is coming off an above-average year as a pass-blocker, while center Jon Halapio could be a surprise candidate for a breakout season in 2019 — he began last year as the Giants’ starter before going down with an injury, but in his 116 snaps, he didn’t allow a single pressure, despite playing almost 50 pass-blocking snaps against the Jaguars and their array of pass-rushing weapons in Week 1.

The offensive line will have to block well for both Eli Manning and Saquon Barkley for the Giants to have much of a chance of being a winning team this year, but so far, most players around the team have been confident in their ability. We’ll see during training camp and the preseason in the coming weeks whether or not that confidence was well placed.

Would Marcus Morris make the New York Knicks a playoff caliber team?

New York Knicks, Marcus Morris

It seems as if the New York Knicks actually do have some pull in free agency, as they’re nearing a deal to pull Marcus Morris away from the San Antonio Spurs after already having an agreement in place.

While Morris is no Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving, he’s an extremely physical player in the paint and can make an influence for the Knicks in 2019. After restructuring Reggie Bullock’s deal, the team is in a position to offer $15 million-per-year to Morris, a bit more than the Spurs were offering.

While there is optimism that Morris will stick to his original plan of signing with San Antonio, it’s not off the table that he will elect to take his talents to New York.

Last season, he averaged 13.9 points and 6.1 rebounds for the Celtics and his defensive rebound totals per game have been increasing consistently over the past three years.

Adding Morris to a free agent class including Julius Randle, Elfrid Payton, Bobby Portis, and Wayne Ellington, surely helps sooth the minds of Knicks fans still feeling the hangover from the Brooklyn Nets superstar festival.

My question is — will Marcus steal playing time away from the Knicks youth?

I believe that head coach David Fizdale is keen on keeping his youngsters on the court and providing them with ample opportunity to succeed and progress. Of course, RJ Barrett will be a starter along with Mitchell Robinson, Dennis Smith Jr., and Damyean Dotson, but where will Marcus fit in?

The Knicks have gone on a power forward signing spree, but Marcus will likely take playing time away from Bobby Portis down low, which is acceptable. While the forward is efficient in the paint, he’s also a proficient shooter, connecting on 37.5 percent of shots from three-point land.

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It’s likely he could pass on the Spurs’ deal of two-years, $20 million in a favor of a one-year, $15 million deal with the Knicks. In fact, if he’s confident in his abilities, there should be no question in coming to the Big Apple.

His skill-set would be a big boost for the team, but I don’t believe it would be enough to help the Knicks to a playoff appearance. They’re simply still too young and don’t have a consistent point guard to lead the offense. There are still too many question marks that need answers and unproven talent. Morris will help, but not that much.

New York Giants offensive is about to take a major step forward

New York Giants, Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley

After New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman traded away star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. it immediately changed the entire dynamic of the offense led by head coach Pat Shurmur.

Beckham was no longer considered the best player on the unit and his influence against opposing defenses instantly disappeared. However, the Giants have played an entire season without Beckham over the past two seasons, which only attests to their ability to succeed without him.

Running back Saquon Barkley will now be the leader and featured playmaker on the team, and that is a good thing. Focusing on a running back over a wideout allows the offense to not only be more diverse, but more efficient.

Utilizing the run game, play action, and screens will all be a part of the plan for the Giants as they look to succeed post-OBJ era. There’s no question they can achieve even more after his departure, as the offensive line has received reinforcements and they have several capable pass-catchers in Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate.

The New York Giants can trust their star player:

Barkley’s ability to make the right decision on the field and off it instantly makes him the best player and most significant threat. He will draw more defenders to the box which will open up the field for Tate and Shep – both are great in open space and create separation.

It will take constant efforts to stop the three options. Add in Evan Engram running up the seam and you have a very unpredictable offense that’s capable of dominating in all facets of the game. Again, though, it comes down to Eli Manning and if he’s capable of performing at a high level.

This will be his final opportunity to show he can be the player he once was. The offensive line receiving help should give him more time in the pocket, allowing him to move through his progressions. It will be interesting to see how the offense changes and progresses in its second year under Shurmur.

 

New York Yankees: Noah Syndergaard is a very realistic trade option

New York Mets, Noah Syndergaard

The New York Yankees aren’t necessarily in a position of need when it comes to the starting pitching rotation. They have the run-support and talent to compensate for struggling pitchers or injuries, but it’s not out of the question that they could look to find a trade partner in a potential deal.

Who could the New York Yankees target for a trade?

The Mets could be a solid partner, as hard-throwing righty Noah Syndergaard is being reported as available. The Yanks wouldn’t have to give up too much due to Noah’s lack of control in his contract. He would theoretically be a rental for 2019 with the potential of an extension moving forward.

He currently has the worst ERA of his career at 4.68, failing to be effective on the mound. This is a primary reason why he’s being shopped, and the Bombers could steal him and turn his season around for minimal cost.

Andy Martino of SNY reported that Noah Syndergaard “isn’t a lock to stay” with the Mets.

However, while Syndergaard’s ERA has been atrocious, his 3.98 FIP indicates that he might not be performing as bad as one might think. In addition, the Mets have registered the most blown saves this year with 21. A lack of confidence in his team could be a primary cause for Noah’s down year, but moving to a great organization with a World Series-caliber roster could be the ultimate fix.

It’s becoming more likely that the Yanks will certainly add a pitcher before the trade deadline on July 31st, and they would be ill-advised not to take a long, hard look at the 26-year-old. Having the best record in baseball is impressive for the Bombers when considering the adversity they’ve faced — injuries and such.

Not having ace Luis Severino or quality relief option Dellin Betances has hurt them significantly at times, but they’ve managed to compensate well. Adding Syndergaard to the rotation would help preserve the team’s success when fatigue sets in, and it’s bound to.