Giants’ Joe Judge ready to attack regular season, schedule release provides ‘surge of energy’, more qoutes

New York Giants, Joe Judge

Taking a look at New York Giants’ head coach Joe Judge’s quotes regarding the 2020 regular season schedule:

Giants’ head coach Joe judge will make his debut against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 14 at 7:15 PM on a Monday. While that is quite some time away, the team has already begun adapting to his style and mentality behind the scenes.

With big blue drafting left tackle Andrew Thomas and securing top-rated safety Xavier in McKinney in the second round, both sides of the ball have undergone tremendous changes this off-season. Judge will build a much different team than 2019, considering the experience the former rookies gained and the free agents/draft picks they were added to the roster.

Judge was excited to see the schedule, stating, per Giants.com:

“I’ll tell you what, when you get the schedule, it definitely does give you a little surge of energy,” Judge said. “It stimulates a lot of conversation between all areas of the organization – support staff, coaching staff — and you start preparing immediately for it.”

“The number one positive is we’re getting ready to play football, so that’s the biggest thing. Once you get the schedule, it starts moving a little bit faster in your mind in terms of preparing for what’s in front of you. The thing we were waiting to see a little bit on was how some of the cross-country games played out. That ties in a little bit to how you plan out a lot of your travel for the year, which is tied to how you practice those weeks. You start mapping out how you’re going to go about each week by week through the season.”

Judge mentioned that they might travel to west-coast games a day earlier to allow players more time to become acclimated. He went on to say that nothing is set in stone.
When asked about the significance of his first game with Big Blue:

“For me, any game is going to have the same amount of juice,” he said. “I think everyone is going to have a lot of energy for the opener, us and Pittsburgh. It’s going to be a situation where look, you get to play under the lights, you get to play at home. But it’s the opening game for both teams. Both teams will be coming out of training camp sick of beating up on each other and ready to see an opponent.”

The Giants will endure five divisional matchups in a six-game span, something that Judge isn’t phased by:

“It doesn’t matter if they’re in a row or spaced out, division games are obviously big for you,” Judge said. “Those are key opponents. It definitely jumps out at you that you have five of those in six weeks and only having a couple of weeks in between each of the opponents with the Redskins and Philly. That’s sometimes a different flavor in terms of how much change can happen within those couple of weeks. How much the opponent’s done differently, how much have you adjusted. That plays more into it than just having a string of division opponents.”

First off — here’s a complete look at the schedule!

Week 1: Pittsburgh Steelers (HOME) Monday, Sept. 14 – 7:15 PM

Week 2: Chicago Bears (AWAY) Sunday, Sept. 20 – 1 PM

Week 3: San Francisco 49ers (HOME) Sunday, Sept. 27 – 1 PM

Week 4: Los Angeles Rams (AWAY) Sunday, Oct. 4 – 1 PM

Week 5: Dallas Cowboys (AWAY) Sunday, Oct. 11 – 4:25 PM

Week 6: Washington Redskins (HOME) Sunday, Oct. 18 – 1 PM

Week 7: Philadelphia Eagles (AWAY) Thursday, Oct. 22 – 8:20 PM

Week 8: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (HOME) Monday, Nov. 2 – 8:15 PM

Week 9: Washington Redskins (AWAY) Sunday, Nov. 8 – 1 PM

Week 10: Philadelphia Eagles (HOME) Sunday, Nov. 15 – 1 PM

Week 11: BYE

Week 12: Cincinnati Bengals (AWAY) Sunday, Nov. 29 – 1 PM

Week 13: Seattle Seahawks (AWAY) Sunday, Dec. 6 – 4:05 PM

Week 14: Arizona Cardinals(HOME) Sunday, Dec. 13 – 1 PM

Week 15: Cleveland Browns (HOME) Sunday, Dec. 20 – 1 PM

Week 16: Baltimore Ravens (AWAY) Sunday, Dec. 27 – 1 PM

Week 17: Dallas Cowboys (HOMES) Sunday, Jan. 3 – 1 PM

 

A-Rod and J-Lo won’t be buying the New York Mets

A few weeks ago, it was reported by several outlets that former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and singer, actress and performer Jennifer Lopez, his fiancée, were interested in acquiring the New York Mets from the Wilpons. They were reportedly looking for investors to realize their plan.

However, that doesn’t appear to be the case as things currently stand. According to Thornton McEnery of the New York Post, Rodriguez and Lopez are no longer interested in buying the Mets.

The reason for the decision was because negotiations with potential partners didn’t come to fruition. Also, according to the writer, it became evident that the Wilpons’ unwillingness to part with SNY made any deal impossible for people without very, very deep pockets.

The interest in acquiring the Mets hit a bump in the road

Rodriguez and Lopez’s intentions hit a bump in the road in recent days, when “their chosen money partner, Long Island biotech billionaire Wayne Rothbaum, made it clear he was only interested in scooping up the MLB franchise at an Amazin’ discount. Rothbaum also wanted to exert more control over the team than J-Rod was comfortable surrendering,” according to McEnery.

“The Rothbaum thing soured fast,” a source familiar with the J-Rod/Rothbaum relationship told The Post. “He was not their first choice, but he was the first to agree to next steps.”

Two challenges remain for any person or group looking to acquire the New York Mets: the difficulty to establish the franchise value in the times of coronavirus, and the Mets’ owners reluctance to part with SNY.

“They really think they can sell the team and keep SNY,” one Mets insider said. “But the only person to agree to that was Steve Cohen, and we all know how that ended.”

Some have even speculated that Cohen will eventually resurface as the primary candidate to buy the New York Mets, although he has said that he is out of the hunt.

“Cohen was going to do it, sure,” one banker close to the situation said. “But there is no way this team trades now without SNY. The Wilpons can play hardball as much as they want but no one can afford to own this team without the TV revenue. It literally doesn’t add up.”

New York Giants full schedule 2020: Dates, Times, Strength of Schedule

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

Looking at the New York Giants full season schedule and more:

FULL SCHEDULE:

Week 1: Pittsburgh Steelers (HOME) Monday, Sept. 14 – 7:15 PM

Week 2: Chicago Bears (AWAY) Sunday, Sept. 20 – 1 PM

Week 3: San Francisco 49ers (HOME) Sunday, Sept. 27 – 1 PM

Week 4: Los Angeles Rams (AWAY) Sunday, Oct. 4 – 1 PM

Week 5: Dallas Cowboys (AWAY) Sunday, Oct. 11 – 4:25 PM

Week 6: Washington Redskins (HOME) Sunday, Oct. 18 – 1 PM

Week 7: Philadelphia Eagles (AWAY) Thursday, Oct. 22 – 8:20 PM

Week 8: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (HOME) Monday, Nov. 2 – 8:15 PM

Week 9: Washington Redskins (AWAY) Sunday, Nov. 8 – 1 PM

Week 10: Philadelphia Eagles (HOME) Sunday, Nov. 15 – 1 PM

Week 11: BYE

Week 12: Cincinnati Bengals (AWAY) Sunday, Nov. 29 – 1 PM

Week 13: Seattle Seahawks (AWAY) Sunday, Dec. 6 – 4:05 PM

Week 14: Arizona Cardinals(HOME) Sunday, Dec. 13 – 1 PM

Week 15: Cleveland Browns (HOME) Sunday, Dec. 20 – 1 PM

Week 16: Baltimore Ravens (AWAY) Sunday, Dec. 27 – 1 PM

Week 17: Dallas Cowboys (HOMES) Sunday, Jan. 3 – 1 PM

HOME:

Arizona Cardinals

San Francisco 49ers

Cleveland Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

Dallas Cowboys

AWAY: 

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Los Angeles Rams

Seattle Seahawks

Chicago Bears

Washington Redskins

Philadelphia Eagles

The Giants have a relatively easy schedule in 2020 based on combine 2019 winning percentages. The Giants’ 2020 opponents finish the year 123-132-1 with a .482 winning percentage last year. Despite the ease of schedule, the Giants still have to play the 49ers, who reached the Super Bowl last year, a rising Cardinals team, and offensively plush Browns squad, an always tough Steelers team, a Tom Brady lead Buccaneers unit, Dwayne Haskins and the always disappointing Redskins (twice), and Jerry Jones and his band of misfit toys.

That is not to mention Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, number one overall pick Joe Burrow lead Bengals, Jared Goff and the Todd Gurley-less Rams, a tough Seattle Seahawks team, an unpredictable Bears squad, and those pesky Philadelphia Eagles.

Overall, While the NFL might state that this schedule ranked seventh in ease, they will be difficult games with each team improving this off-season significantly. Hopefully, the Giants got just a bit better than the rest of them.

According to Geoff Schwartz, the three things players look for when the schedule is released are Bye Week, Thursday Night Football, Prime Time Games, Cold Weather Games, Rivalries.

The top five international free agents of the New York Yankees

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees sure have received some top performances and careers from international free agents. They often spread the wealth and sign several players, but last time around, they spent over $5 million in one player they deemed special: Jasson Dominguez.

Whatever the approach, the Yankees know what is like to sign and develop an amateur free agent to later see him turned into a star.

Here are the top international free agents in New York Yankees’ history:

1) Mariano Rivera

The first and only player to enter the National Baseball Hall of Fame in a unanimous vote, Rivera made it as a reliever, on top of all things. He was simply the most dominant bullpen arm in the history of the game.

Bryan Hoch of MLB.com wrote Mariano’s snippet: “The son of a Panamanian fisherman, Rivera’s first love was soccer, a sport that he abandoned following a series of ankle and knee injuries. At age 18, Rivera joined a local amateur baseball team and was invited to a tryout camp run by Yankees scout Chico Heron. Rivera had no formal pitching training and was only said to be clocked between 85-87 mph, but the Yanks’ Herb Raybourn was impressed by Rivera’s athleticism and smooth mechanics. On Feb. 17, 1990, Rivera agreed to a contract that included a signing bonus of $2,500. It turned out to be money well spent for the eventual all-time saves leader and baseball’s first unanimous Hall of Famer.”

2) Bernie Williams

Bernie was a scout’s dream: an athletic freak and a switch-hitter with lots of projectability. He starred in the Yankees’ dynasty years and had a long, successful career.

Hoch’s take: “Hailing from Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, Williams arrived on the Yankees’ radar in the mid-1980s, having played Little League and Babe Ruth League baseball against opponents like future Major Leaguers Juan Gonzalez and Ivan Rodriguez. A gold-medal track athlete, Williams was noticed by Yankees scout Roberto Rivera and signed a pro contract on his 17th birthday, dispatched to a baseball camp in Connecticut. So began a career that would see the switch-hitter tally 2,336 Major League hits and compile a .297/.381/.477 slash line with a 125 OPS+, winning four World Series rings.”

3) Robinson Canó

Cano’s swing is a thing of beauty. That’s what scouts that signed him saw, and that swing took him over a long, fruitful MLB career and an extremely lucrative free agent contract with the Seattle Mariners.

Hoch’s take: “Canó attended three years of school in Newark, N.J., before returning to his hometown of San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic, where he drew the attention of Yankees scout Victor Mata. The son of Jose Canó — who pitched briefly in the Astros, Braves and Yankees organizations — Canó merited a signing bonus in the $100,000 range and was viewed as a solid but unspectacular prospect as he began his rise through the farm system. Four years later, Canó made his Major League debut in 2005 and would bat .309/.355/.504 with a 126 OPS+ through his nine seasons in New York, earning five All-Star selections and two Gold Glove Awards.”

4) Orlando Hernandez

“El Duque” Hernandez was another member of the dynasty years. His unorthodox pitching style and windup, not to mention the excellent results he got on the mound, made him a widely recognized figure in the late nineties and early 2000s for the New York Yankees.

“If you ask Brian Cashman who was the best signing of his tenure, the Yankees general manager does not hesitate to identify “El Duque,” who agreed to a four-year, $5.6 million contract after defecting from Cuba prior to the 1998 season. Hernández’s arsenal, polished over a decade of service for Industriales of Havana and the Cuban National team, helped produce a 61-40 record and 3.96 ERA (116 ERA+) over 139 games with the Yankees from ‘98-2004,” Hoch wrote.

5) Hideki Matsui

If it weren’t for an odd voters’ decision to give Angel Berroa the award, Hideki Matsui would have been the American League Rookie of the Year in 2003. After years of dominating in Japan, he mashed in the bigs and capped his career with the 2009 World Series.

“Matsui was already an established star when he arrived in New York at age 29 for the 2003 season, having slugged 332 homers over a decade with the Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese Central League. Initially signed to a three-year, $21 million deal, Matsui’s production translated to the Majors, as he compiled a .292/.370/.482 slash line with a 123 OPS+ over seven seasons with the Yankees from 2003-09. “Godzilla” had a remarkable final game in pinstripes, driving in six runs in the clinching Game 6 of the 2009 World Series and earning Most Valuable Player honors,” Hoch said.

Let’s remember Bartolo Colon’s homer with the New York Mets with a smile

Simeon Woods-Richardson

Bartolo Colon is, without a doubt, one of the most successful Latin players of his generation. “Big Sexy,” as he is often called, amassed a fantastic career, with 247 wins and over $120 million in earnings spread over 21 seasons and 11 major league organizations. The New York Mets were one of them.

However, one of the most famous moments of his career occurred exactly four years ago, when he was playing with the New York Mets, and it happened on the batters’ box.

It was on Saturday, May 7 2016 that Colon belted his first and only home run of his career, when he was 43 years old.
The video of Colon’s home run with the Mets has over 1.5 million views on Youtube, just on MLB official account.

Imagine how unlikely was the homer: Colon, a career .084 hitter (25-299) with 166 Ks and only one walk, managed to hit a James Shields’ 90 mph fastball on the sweet spot for the four-bagger.

It happened in the second inning of a Mets – Padres game at Petco Park. The connection helped the Mets come out on top 6-3 in a game that had a 41,028 attendance.

Big Sexy wasn’t too hot with the bat, but he got Shields

Over that last season with the Mets, Colon hit .083 with two doubles and the homer.

Even though it was an away game, the public in attendance cheered Colon in what was an amazing, unforgettable moment in his career, one that included a 4.12 ERA and a Cy Young award in 2005.

Mets’ fans and Colon sure will remember that home run for a long time.

For now, Colon tried to come back to the major leagues but couldn’t find a deal of his liking in the last two years. He was getting ready to pitch in the Mexican League with Acereros de Monclova before the coronavirus pandemic postponed the season.

You can see the video of the home run here:

New York Yankees Legends: David Cone just wanted to be perfect (video)

The Story of New York Yankees legend David Cone. It’s 1995; it’s the ALDS I’ve pitched 147 pitches, something unheard of today, even with a Justin Verlander or Gerrit Cole. I just walked the tying run in the eleventh inning that would cause us to lose the ALDS. My name is David Cone. Little did I know the best and worst challenges were yet to come in a historic career. Cone is not the atypical pitcher, he wasn’t imposing, doesn’t look athletic, and had the face of a choirboy, but he attained a place in sports history that few ever attain or even dream about.

The early years

Born David Brian Cone on January 2, 1963, in Kansas City, Missouri, he was last of four children born to hard-nosed, blue-collar parents, Ed and Sylvia Cone. His Dad, Ed, had dreams of being a pitcher himself but was a mechanic working 60 hour weeks. Ed felt sports was a way to get a better education and a better life for their children. He may have thought that, but in David’s case, he didn’t attend college and instead pursued a career as a baseball player, which was also improbable, as he came from a high school that had no baseball team. He attended Rockhurst High School and played football as a quarterback, leading them to a district championship. He was also a point guard for the basketball team.

Cone played baseball as a child locally, frequently playing alongside boys his older brothers’ ages, David got used to fighting for what was his. He was cut from his first little league team at age seven because he was too small. He made it the next year, with Ed Cone as the new coach. In high school, he would play ball summers in a college league in Kansas City. He was noticed by scouts and was invited to an invitation-only try out at the Royals stadium for the St. Louis Cardinals.

David joins the minor leagues

He was also recruited to play football at the University of Missouri, where he enrolled, but the MLB draft would cut that short when he was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1981.

In his first two years in the minors, he would go 22-7 with an ERA of 2.21. The next year would see him sit out the season with an injury. When he returned, he never really returned to form. In 1986 he converted to a relief pitcher. On June 8th, he would make his major league debut in relief of Cy Young winner Brett Saberhagen. He made a few more games in relief but returned to the Omaha minor league team as a starter where he went 8-4 with a 2.79 ERA.

Prior to the 1987 season, David would see himself traded to the New York Mets, where he did not fare well in his first season. In 1988 he would pitch in relief again, but in May, they put him out to start a game and answered by pitching a complete-game shutout of the Atlanta Braves.

Cone spent over five seasons in his first stint with the New York Mets, most of the time serving as the team’s co-ace alongside Dwight Gooden while leading the National League in strikeouts in 1990 and 1991. He was successful with his fastball, curveball, and newly learned sidearm slider. Injuries worked in Cone’s favor, first when Dwight Gooden checked into rehab and again when Rick Aguilera’s elbow went, rocketing Cone into the starting rotation permanently. In that year, he won all of his games in May and eight in a row at the end of the season, going 20-3 with an ERA of 2.22.

Fans of David were starting to be called “Coneheads”. Cone really appealed to the New York media, as he was talkative, open, and honest. In 1992 the Mets were 14 games behind the first-place Pittsburgh Pirates, and Cone would be traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. In Toronto, Cone would have a short stay going 4 and 3 in the regular season. The Jays would go to the World Series that year and be the first Canadian team to win a World Series.

Cone in the postseason would be 1-1 with an ERA of 3.22. After the season, David would be a free agent and would return to his home town Kansas City Royals. He wouldn’t have his most impressive season going 11-14 despite his 3.33 ERA. 1994 would see him 16-5 in the shortened season, but Cone would receive the Cy Young Award. Four days after the strike ended, Cone would be traded back to the Jays. He was 9–6 with a 3.38 ERA for Toronto, but with Toronto in fifth place at the All-Star break, they again would trade Cone, this time to the New York Yankees.

Cone is traded to the New York Yankees

At the half with the Yankees trailing the Red Sox for the 1995 AL East, Cone instantly became the team’s ace and would post a 9-2 record as the Yankees won the wild card in the first season of the new three division, wild card format. The Yankees would take the Wild Card and go on to the ALDS against Seattle. Cone would famously blow game five and the series but still talked openly with reporters.

1996 would be a challenging season for Cone in many ways. First he resigned with the New York Yankees with a three-year contract. Early in the season he would be 4-1 with a 2.02 ERA. Then Cone was diagnosed with a life-threatening aneurysm. He was on the DL for over 3 months. In his comeback start that September against the Oakland Athletics, Cone pitched a no-hitter through seven innings before he had to leave due to pitch count restrictions. The Yankees would go onto the ALDS, in which Cone lost his game. In the ALCS, he had a no-decision. In game 3 of the World Series he would give up only one run in six innings against the Braves Tom Glavine. The Yankees would go on to win it’s first World Series in eighteen years.

David Cone’s perfect game

In 1998 Cone would go 20-7, his second 20 game season, and the longest span between 20 game wins (11). Cone would win his ALDS game, His ALCS game, and his game 3 of the World Series against the Padres as the Yankees would repeat in the World Championship.  Setting the scene, it’s a beautiful sunny day at Yankee Stadium. Forty-three years earlier, New York Yankee legend Yogi Berra caught Don Larsen’s first ever in a World Series perfect game.  That day on July 18, 1999, both Larsen and Yogi were in the stands to take in the game.  The starting pitcher would be David Cone. On that date, the Yankees had won 13 of his 17 starts. In the game against the Montreal Expos, David would go 27 up, 27 down for the third perfect game in New York Yankee history.

The Yankees would three-peat and win the World Series. Strangely after the perfect game, Cone would not return to form and would have his worst year in 2000, going 4-14. In an exciting move, the Yankees would bring Cone in to face one batter, Mike Piazza in Game 4 of the 2000 World Series. Cone induced a pop-up to end the inning and give Jeff Nelson the win and the Yankees another World Series win.

In a move, the NY media would call “traitor,” and Cone would call a divorce; Cone would sign with the Red Sox for a one year deal. He would go 9-7 in 2001 and his contract would not be renewed. He did not pitch in 2002. In 2003 he attempted a comeback with the Mets, but, in May, he realized his pitching style that was hard on his hips had taken its toll, and he retired from baseball. Cone during his baseball career would be in five All-Star games, would be nominated twice for the MVP award, and would be nominated five times for the Cy Young award, he won the Cy Young in 1994.

In 2008, he became a part-time color commentator for the YES Network, among a rotating team of announcers providing in-game, and studio analysis. Cone has won praise as a perceptive student of sabermetrics, with observations ranging from complicated statistics to technical analysis of how the ball spins across the plate. In one interview he would say “Every year it’s become a little easier, knowing what the job entails, when to use sabermetrics and when not to,” said Cone. “I try to be an easy listen. I try to tell you something you don’t know.”

Pitching six years for the New York Yankees, David, to this day, is one of the most popular living New York Yankees and still pitches in Old Timer’s Day games.

What are the New York Jets getting in UDFA cornerback Lamar Jackson?

New York Jets, Lamar Jackson

With the Tremaine Johnson experiment over, the New York Jets are looking to supplement his loss with other quality cornerbacks. Currently, on the roster, the Jets have Bless Austin, Pierre Desir, Nate Hairston, Arthur Maulet, Brian Poole, and Quincy Wilson.

None of these options seem to have elite status or are capable of holding down and opposing number one receiver week-in and week-out. Austin showed the most potential in 2019 —  Desire had an up and down tenure with the Indianapolis Colts over the last four seasons. In 2019, he posted a 64.9 completion percentage against and allowed five touchdowns. He also had a 13.8 percent missed tackle rate. I would not count on Desire being a quality corner for the Jets moving forward, but rather a depth piece.

Adding talent to the back-end of the position is essential, as you never know who can emerge as a quality player. That is why the Jets signed Lamar Jackson, cornerback out of Nebraska. Jackson was a second-team All-Big Ten player last season after recording 40 tackles, four tackles for loss, and three interceptions.

Going into the draft, Jackson has excellent physical size at 6-foot-2and 208 pounds. His 4.58 40-yard dash was solid and seems to appeal to teams running specific cover styles. His ball skills are a bit shaky and is poor against the run, but his athletic upside gives him the ability to develop into a decent player. He has the perfect frame for the position with long arms that can disrupt wide receiver’s on contested balls.

One of his significant deficiencies is his lack of straightaway speed matching up with receivers running vertical routes. He’s more of a zone corner who can flow into routes rather than stick in man coverage. He has good instincts creating five turnovers over the last two seasons and flashes the ability to predict routes. I believe if the New York Jets run a more zone heavy coverage scheme, Jackson can fit in quite well.

Focusing on developing his press coverage skill set should be a priority for the Jets, as rounding out his talents gives him a better shot of earning starting wraps at some point in the future.

The New York Giants can still grab their elite pass rusher, but it’s boils down to timing

New York Giants, Yannick Ngakoue

When should the New York Giants invest in an elite pass rusher to bolster their defensive front?

Some claim that the New York Giants pass rush unit is extremely thin, but the counter-argument would be that Patrick Graham, new defensive coordinator, utilizes a variety of schemes to generate a pass rush.

The current outside linebackers on the team consist of Oshane Ximines, Lorenzo Carter, and Kyler Fackrell. They placed a free agent tender on Marcus Golden, which would guarantee his return in 2020 for 110% of his 2019 contract. Getting him on a one year deal worth about $5 million would be an absolute steal, and it would give the Giants a double-digit sack producer from last season.

Overall, the unit is a bit better than most believe, factoring in Graham’s high blitz rate from the safety and linebacker positions, and unpredictable scheme focused on confusing opposing quarterbacks and offensive coordinators.

However, that doesn’t negate the fact that having an elite pass rusher and run stopper on the edge would be beneficial. With Jadeveon Clowney still available in free agency, the Giants could still have their hand dipped into that market, but it is unlikely considering their current cap situation.

They would have to cut Nate Solder and utilize the available cash space to make a bed on Clowney, which seems unrealistic at this point. It all boils down to timing, and the New York Giants simply aren’t in a position to win just yet.

With the expected 2020 schedule being tough, the focus should be to continue rebuilding and developing the defense/offensive line. It will take at least one year for all of the units to gel and adapt to their individual coordinators. The idea of signing an elite pass rusher during the 2021 off-season makes a lot more sense, which is where a player like Yannick Ngakoue could enter the fold. Ngakoue is still scheduled to play on the franchise tag with the Jacksonville Jaguars the season, but he will likely be traded prior to the start of the regular season.

If he’s on a one year deal, the Giants can simply wait and attack him in free agency next season. They will be in a better place to win and contend for a playoff spot. Also, they will likely cut Solder and remove his monetary hit off the books. If the Giants kept Solder in 2021, he would count $20.5 million against the salary cap, and if they cut him, he will count $6.5 million in dead cap. That is a $14 million saving in the final year of his contract, allowing the Giants to pursue other players with more of an immediate impact.

Report: New York Jets to face off against Buffalo Bills in week 1

New York Jets, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

As the NFL prepares to release the official schedule this evening, Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News has now leaked the New York Jets‘ first opponents. The betting favorites to win the AFC East, the Buffalo Bills will be hosting the Green & White in week 1.

The Jets will visit Orchard Park after facing the Bills in Week 1 & 17 of last season. They’re reportedly slated to play at 1 PM to kick off the season. Although there were initial reports that the NFL would structure the season with AFC vs NFC games for the first four weeks to kick off the season, they’ve now shown that’s not the case, at least for two AFC East teams.

Breaking Down The Matchup

A brief look at the Bills roster shows you how talented they are. Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane have built an excellent squad of high character guys in Buffalo. They’ve used lots of resources to build through the trenches, just like Joe Douglas has done for the Jets. The difference between the teams to me is in the coaching staff(s). The Jets are still looking to build an identity under second-year coach Adam Gase. The Bills have constructed that identity under McDermott and now been to the playoffs twice under his guidance. As Josh Allen continues to develop and the team added pieces like Stefon Diggs, Josh Norman, and AJ Epenesa to an already talented team, they look primed to contend for the AFC East title.

As for the Jets, although they’ve had a great offseason, the team has one of the hardest schedules in football and is facing a lot of pressure. There’s real skepticism about Adam Gase, and if he’s the right guy to lead this team, if he wins this year and shows he can win with this team, he’ll keep his job, but if he does not prove that he can lead this team to wins, the Jets will be looking for another coach. The Jets QB 1 also faces pressure. As his third year approaches, Darnold has shown flashes of brilliance. When he’s not hurt, the Jets have also been a productive offensive team. If he can stay healthy and produce, he will prove he’s the true franchise QB, but another average or slightly above average season could lead fans to question his ability to lead this team.

Both teams are young with loads of potential, and with pressure to win on both sides of the ball, week 1 can’t get here soon enough.

NFL Schedule Release: The Latest Rumors

NFL, Football

The NFL will be releasing its 2020 regular and preseason schedule on their network on primetime tonight and, as one would guess, there’s a few leaks already.

One rumor that is circulating is that the league will play all of it’s interconference games in Weeks 1-4 so if the season is shortened, those games – which figure the least when it comes to division and conference tiebreakers – would be the easiest to sacrifice.

The New York Giants, if that rumor holds true, would play the AFC North – Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland and Cincinnati in the first four weeks.

The Giants play Pittsburgh and Cleveland at MetLife Stadium and Baltimore and Cincinnati on the road.

That would mean that their six division games (versus Dallas, Philadelphia and Washington) would be played in the final 13 weeks. Also on the Giants schedule: Arizona, San Francisco and Tampa Bay at home with the L.A. Rams, Seattle and Chicago on the road.

The Giants have the seventh-easiest schedule based on their opponents’ combined 2019 win-loss percentages. The Giants’ 2020 opponents were a collective 123-132-1 (.482) in 2019. By contrast, the Baltimore Ravens (.438) have the “easiest” schedule, while the New England Patriots (.537) have the most difficult path in the league.

Earlier this week, the NFL announced they would not be playing any games outside of the United States this year due to the travel restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.