New York Giants: Could Shane Lemieux Start At Center In 2020?

The New York Giants have a positional battle brewing at the center position. Center was one of the weakest positions on the team’s roster last season. Jon Halapio struggled the majority of the season before going down with a gruesome injury. The team seems to be moving on from Halapio, but it is still unclear what direction the Giants are heading.

There are a few players on the Giants’ roster that could compete for the starting center position. Spencer Pulley, Nick Gates, and Shane Lemieux are all viable options. Spencer Pulley has played center in the NFL for four years now. Nick Gates showed a lot of promise in some limited action at guard and tackle last season, but could make the transition to center. And Shane Lemieux, the Giants’ fifth-round pick out of Oregon, played guard in college but is also training to transition to center.

But could Shane Lemieux actually start at center as a rookie in 2020? He would have to beat out an experienced center in Pulley and an experienced, versatile OL in Nick Gates. It does not sound too likely, but Lemieux could win the starting center job as a rookie.

Why Shane Lemieux At Center Makes Sense

Shane Lemieux was voted as a Second-Team All-American as a senior in 2019. New York was lucky to land Shane as late in the draft as they did, as he was considered to be a pretty solid prospect (6.17 grade by Lance Zierlein and NFL.com).

Upon being drafted by the Giants, Lemieux instantly started training to be a center. In the video below, you can see him practicing his snaps:

Shane Lemieux is one strong hog molly. He stands in at 6 feet 4 inches and weighs 310 pounds. He was also efficient in college, posting an 83.9 overall grade according to Pro Football Focus, surrendering only 11 pressures.

Lemieux had a conference call with reporters post-draft in which he discussed the possibility of playing the center position:

“I think I’m an offensive lineman,’’ Lemieux said when asked what position he plays (via the NY Post).

“I feel like with center there’s a lot more responsibility on you to know the offense and to know more of the defense and to just be more sound with what’s going on around you,’’ Lemieux said. “And obviously you’ve got to snap the ball.’’ – Shane Lemieux via the NY Post

Shane Lemieux has made it clear that he understands how important it is to be versatile. He also explained what it means to be a center. Shane used the keyword “responsibility” when discussing the position. This is an excellent word choice because the center is responsible for knowing and calling pass protection pre-snap, one of the most important jobs on offense.

The past decade’s best moments in the New York Jets-Miami Dolphins rivalry

On World Oceans Day, we look back on the finest metropolitan moments the New York Jets-Miami Dolphins rivalry gave us during the 2010s.

As the world commemorates World Oceans Day, ESM looks back on the finest moments between the New York Jets and their most traditional aquatic opponents, the Miami Dolphins, from the past decade.

The 2010s were an interesting time for the Jets and Dolphins, a pair of star-crossed opponents trapped in the New England monopoly that was the AFC East. As such, postseason success was limited on both sides, but they did manage to provide their football-starved fans some brief moments of pride…

9/26/10: On the Mark in Miami

The last decade began with so much hope for the Jets, and the opening stanzas of the opening season did nothing to quell these feelings. New York began its season with a 5-1 mark, including a 31-23 victory in Miami in its first road game of the campaign. Mark Sanchez got things rolling with two touchdown tosses to Dustin Keller, but 17 unanswered points but the Dolphins ahead. Immediately after Brandon Marshall’s 11-yard score, however, Sanchez put the Jets ahead for good on a 67-yard hookup with Braylon Edwards. Miami was five yards away from a potential tying score in the dying stages, but Drew Coleman’s interception of Chad Henne officially set off the celebratory journey back home.

10/17/11: 100-Yard Grand

A winless Dolphins team waltzed into MetLife Stadium looking for some early momentum on Monday night. They succeeded with an early field goal deep in Jets territory and seemed poised to increase that lead as they got closer to the goal line. But, like so many other hopeful drives in the decade, Miami’s surge was put to a swift end by Darrelle Revis, who took back a Matt Moore toss the length of the field for a touchdown…literally. Revis’ 100-yard return permanently shifted momentum in what became a 24-6 Jets win, one that required only 13 New York first downs.

1/1/12: Wipeout in Miami

One week after Victor Cruz and his 99 yards put a major dent in the Jets’ playoff hopes, the Dolphins official deflated them with a 19-17 victory in the 2011 season’s listless finale. A lot needed to happen for the Jets to recover their dwindling playoff hopes, but Miami rendered it fully null and void by forcing their opponent into three Sanchez interceptions (two landing in the hands of Randy Starks). The game was also a coda for Dolphins legend (and brief Jet) Jason Taylor, who retired shortly after.

9/23/12: The Sparanos

That offseason, the Jets brought in a former enemy in Miami head coach Tony Sparano, who was hired to be the offensive coordinator. Sparano didn’t have to wait too long to administer revenge, as the first matchup of the Jets’ yearly Miami pair came in September. Miami took an early 10-0 lead, but the Jets knotted things up with a Nick Folk field goal and LaRon Landry’s interception return for a touchdown in the early stages of the third quarter. Overtime was needed as the teams went back forth for the rest of regulation. Sparano got to put the finishes touches on the victory, as Folk’s game-winning field goal from 33 yards out was set up by a 38-yard hookup between Sanchez and Santonio Holmes.

12/28/14: Geno’s Perfecto

Geno Smith’s perfect game didn’t go down in New York lore like those of, say David Wells, Don Larsen, and David Cone, but it was nonetheless impressive in an otherwise meaningless game. With the Jets and Dolphins set for quiet exits once again, Smith sent New York (as well as soon-to-be-fired head coach Rex Ryan) out in style with a 158.3 passer rating, the highest mark a quarterback can earn. Smith went 20-for-25 for 358 yards and three scores in a 37-24 victory to earn the sixth perfect game in Jets history…and the only one during the 2014 NFL season.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yeTlz4TbnE

10/5/15: Cheerio, Joe!

The Jets dealt the final blow to Miami’s Joe Philbin era, indirectly paving the way for Adam Gase’s inclusion in the rivalry. Philbin’s last stand came when the rivalry went international, as the Jets beat up Miami in front their “home” crowd at Wembley Stadium in London. Chris Ivory put in a career-best 166 rushing yards in the upheaval while Muhammad Wilkerson tallied two sacks and a forced fumble. Revis Island was in effect on the island nation as well, earning an interception of Ryan Tannehill overseas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8e_sZncvnfg

12/17/16: Saturday Night Heaver

Head coach Adam Gase’s first career playoff clincher as a head coach came at MetLife Stadium. Alas for the metropolitan area, it wasn’t for the Jets, but rather the Dolphins, who more or less clinched their first playoff berth since 2008 with a 34-13 shellacking of the Jets in East Rutherford in a Saturday night prime time game (Miami officially clinched based on results from the next day). The third quarter was the dealbreaker via 21 unanswered Miami points, which consisted of two Matt Moore scoring passes and Walt Aikens returning a blocked punt for a touchdown.

9/16/18: Miami Thrice

The Jets’ 2018 home opener was one of the more hopeful ones the team had had in a long time. They were coming off a victory in Sam Darnold’s first career start in Detroit and were eager to see what he could do in the first AFC East tilt. Darnold was passable to the tune of 334 yards and a touchdown pass to Bilal Powell, but the Jets’ raucous crowd was silenced by a 20-12 Miami victory. Time was limited for Darnold, who was sacked three times and forced into two interceptions by a relentless Dolphin pass rush. It also didn’t help that Miami had jumped out to an early 20-0 lead via assistance from two Ryan Tannehill touchdown passes.

12/8/19: You’re a Lucky Fellow, Mr. Smith

Five weeks after granting the downtrodden Dolphins their first win of the season, the Jets were on the brink of a most embarrassing sweep at MetLife Stadium. They had built a lead via 16 points in the second quarter and kept Miami out of the end zone, but seven Jason Sanders field goals were enough for the visitors to hold a 21-19 lead in the penultimate minute. On the potential drive to victory, Darnold found Vyncint Smith for an immediate 37-yard gain into Miami territory before getting sacked by Andrew Van Ginkel. Darnold once again sought Smith for a big play downfield, but it appeared for naught when it fell incomplete. However, a review determined that Smith’s quest for the ball was interfered with by Nik Needham, and the Miami defender became the rare victim of a penalty view replay. The Jets subsequently moved back into Dolphins territory, where Sam Ficken booted the game-winning field goal from 44 yards out.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

UFC: Holly Holm and Irene Aldana to headline 8/1 Event

Things are fast and furious in the UFC right now. Another Fight Night is coming to the APEX on August 1st, and a former champion will be headlining the card.

Another chance to climb the ladder for Holly Holm

Holly Holm (13-5) and Irene Aldana (12-5) will be going head to head in a women’s bantamweight matchup that will headline the UFC‘s 8/1 card. Holm, the former UFC bantamweight champion, bounced back after a loss to Amanda Nunes with a win over Raquel Pennington back at UFC 246. Holm has consistently been one of the best in the world over the last five years, and has appeared in five UFC title fights. For Holm, a win in this matchup could get her closer to a sixth title fight. Holm is just 1-4 in her championship fights, but she remains confident that she could capture UFC gold again one day.

Aldana can prove she’s one of the best in the world

Aldana will be making her ninth appearance in the UFC‘s bantamweight division. Aldana got off to a rough start in her UFC career losing her first two fights, but since then, she’s gone 5-1 with her lone loss being a split decision loss to former title challenger, Raquel Pennington. Aldana won her last fight by first round knockout, and a win over Holm could mean a title shot for Aldana. If you look at the landscape of the bantamweight division, there is no clear challenger for champion, Amanda Nunes. If Aldana can come out and impressively beat the former champion, she has just as good of an argument as anyone for the next shot at Nunes.

Brunson/Shahbazyan to finally fight

In addition to announcing the Holm/Aldana main event, it was revealed that Derek Brunson (20-7) and Edmen Shahbazyan (11-0) would also be fighting on the August 1st card. This is the third time that this anticipated middleweight contest has been booked. Shahbazyan is a very exciting 22-year-old prospect who is coming off of a head kick knockout over Brad Tavares back at UFC 244. Brunson is a big test for Shahbazyan. Brunson has been in there with the best in the world from champion, Israel Adesanya, to former champion, Robert Whittaker, to the great Anderson Silva. A win over Brunson would be massive for Shahbazyan, but a win for Brunson would inch him closer to a title shot after three consecutive wins.

Joe Girardi’s lowest point as the Yankees’ skipper was saved by an amazing comeback

New York Yankees, Yankees, Joe Girardi

Joe Girardi’s tenure as the New York Yankees‘ manager can be considered a success: he was at the helm from 2008 to 2017, and won the 2009 World Series. No, it wasn’t perfect or pretty all the time, but it was far from a failure.

His lowest point as the Yankees’ manager came in the 2017 season, but not against the Houston Astros team that eliminated the Bombers in the ALCS.

The New York Yankees were in the Division Series for the first time in five years. The Cleveland Indians were up 1-0 in the series, but the Bombers were leading Game Two 8-3 in the sixth frame.

There were two outs and the count for Lonnie Chisenhall was 0-2. Chad Green was on the mound for the Yankees. The home plate umpire ruled that a Green pitch hit Chisenhall in the hand, so he was awarded first and the bases were loaded.

However, instant replay showed that the ball hit the knob of the hitter’s bat and then catcher Gary Sanchez caught it.
Girardi, the manager, had 30 seconds to challenge. He had won another challenge earlier but without a clear explanation, decided not to do it again. That was costly, as Francisco Lindor put the Indians within one with a grand slam and Cleveland later won the game 9-8, taking a 2-0 lead in the ALDS.

“There was nothing that told us that he was not hit on the pitch,” Girardi said afterward. “By the time we got the super slo-mo, we are beyond a minute. It was way too late.”

The next day, Girardi took the blame. “I screwed up,” the Yankees’ skipper back then said. “It’s a hard day for me, but I’ve got to move forward…..I feel horrible. Does it change the complexion of the game? Sure, it could have. … It’s a tough loss, a tough situation.”

The Yankees’ amazing come-from-behind series win

The Yankees, however, managed to come from behind and won the next three games to advance to the Championship Series.

“I was about as low as I could be as a baseball (person),” Girardi said after advancing to the ALCS. “I’ve been carrying this burden for five or six days. It’s hard….What those guys did for me, I’ll never forget it.”

Despite the Yankees losing 4-3 against the Astros, that 2017 season was magical in many ways. Yes, Girardi made a mistake, but his team rescued him and not only overcame the gritty Indians, but gifted us an amazing series with Houston.

New York Yankees release statement on George Floyd’s death

New York Yankees

As a result of the death of George Floyd in the hands of a police officer, the United States of America have been in turmoil ever since, with different protests around the country that range from peaceful to, well, violent. The New York Yankees had uploaded a short message a few days ago, but it was criticized for not being a strong enough public condemnation of racism.

Today, the Yankees published a much longer statement on the matter, after several players and ex players including Giancarlo Stanton, Derek Jeter, James Paxton, CC Sabathia and Reggie Jackson spoke about the incidents.

“Black lives matter. The New York Yankees condemn racism, prejudice and injustice in all forms,” the club said, also noting that it is “deeply affected by the senseless tragedies that have befallen our nation, including the killing of George Floyd. We feel strongly that the most sincere approach to processing our thoughts should begin with creating space within our own organization that allows for meaningful dialogue to flow.”

The Yankees will keep being “advocates for diversity”

The Yankees said they will keep their commitment to be “an advocate for diversity and inclusion” by helping those in their communities. The team’ influence is worldwide, which is why the franchise knows any reaction to the incidents would be massive.

“As an organization, we promise to consistently evolve our own practices, be attentive and open to dialogue, and exemplify the change we want to see,” the Yankees wrote.

A Minneapolis police officer named Derek Chauvin was charged with second degree murder and second degree manslaughter for Floyd’s death after having him several minutes on the floor with his knee on the victim’s neck.

“Those who wear the Yankees uniform spam the world with their diversity, and their achievements are a result of a common vision. Their goal is shared success, and their willingness to embrace each other is a light we can draw from,” the team noted.

UFC: Jiri Prochazka set for debut; fights Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 251

UFC

UFC 251 just added a big-time light heavyweight matchup to it’s impressive and growing fight card. Former UFC light heavyweight title challenger, Volkan Oezdemir (17-4), will be welcoming a big-time fighter to the UFC that not a lot of people know about.

Prochazka’s Debut

Jiri Prochazka (26-3-1) was signed by the UFC back in January to a new exclusive deal. Prochazka comes into this first UFC fight riding a ten fight winning streak, where only one fight went the distance. He has only seen the second round in two of those ten fights. Prochazka is coming off wins over UFC vets, C.B. Dollaway and Fabio Maldonado. Prochazka was the Rizin light heavyweight champion prior to signing with the UFC. 23 of Prochazka’s 26 career wins have come via KO or TKO.

Volkan looks to keep it going

Oezdemir is coming off back to back wins which have helped his career get back on track. Oezdemir lost three consecutive fights starting with his world title loss to Daniel Cormier back at UFC 220. The light heavyweight division is in a state of limbo, but this is a really good fight for the division. If Oezdemir is able to win this fight, it would be his third in a row, and it would put him right back at the top of the division.

This is a great matchup to introduce a new fighter to the division. Prochazka is not getting a layup here in his first fight. We will know right away what kind of fighter this guy is. A win for either man will put them squarely in the conversation for a future title shot. If you’re not familiar with Prochazka, you can check out his highlights below.

How close are the New York Jets to having a solid offensive line?

New York Jets, Sam Darnold

One of the priorities leading up to the 2020 off-season for the New York Jets was to solve the problems on their offensive line. With Sam Darnold being sacked 33 times in 2019 and lacking time in the pocket, general manager Joe Douglas made it an essential allocation of assets.

It is only right that we start off with 11th overall pick Mekhi Becton at left tackle. Becton has a unique blend of size and speed, standing at 6-foot-7 and 369 pounds.

Becton’s goal is essentially to start as a rookie and make the playoffs, which sounds about right for a player picked in the top half of the first round. For a player of his size, it will take some development and time to adjust to the NFL level. The increase in physicality and speed is far different than playing for Louisville at the collegiate level, but Becton has the tangible traits to adapt quickly.

Nonetheless, there are concerns that balance will be an issue against bigger and faster pass rushers. Luckily, his mobility and lateral movement are what made him such an intriguing prospect at left tackle. The Jets struggled to solidify the position in free agency last year, so finding a young rookie to fill the void was essential. Mekhi has the highest ceiling of any left tackle prospect entering the NFL, but he also has one of the lowest floors of the top five group.

At right tackle, the Jets went out and signed former Seattle Seahawk, George Fant. Fant might be the weakest link of the entire line, as he earned a three-year, $27.3 million contract. Gaining $13.7 million guaranteed despite obtaining limited reps as a starter over four years with the Seahawks is a bit optimistic. Fant only played in 1,146 snap since 2016, and while he did tear his ACL and missed the entire 2017 season, it took him years to establish himself as a first option player. Luckily for running back Le’Veon Bell, Fant is known as a run-blocker, but his pass-protecting skills remain suspect. He graded out as the 86th ranked tackle among 99 qualifying players, according to PFF.

The Jets situated his contract in a good way, though, leaving only to $2 million in dead cap after his first year in green. This will allow them to cut him with virtually no leftover money if he fails to lock down the position at an adequate level. The primary issue might be the alternatives that Douglas had at his disposal. The free-agent market included Jack Conklin and Bryan Bulaga. Fant was the lesser of the three, and shouldn’t be considered a sure-fire starter in 2020.

On a brighter note, the Jets signed Center, Connor McGovern. McGovern was easily the best lineman signing for the Jets, given his consistent health and dominant style of play. Over the past two seasons, the former Denver Bronco has started in 31 of 32 games. He played all of the Broncos 1,113 snaps and is a transfer from the guard position.

McGovern’s first season at center saw him rank among the 10 best players at the position with a 71.9 PFF grade. His pass blocking was phenomenal, ranking fifth out of all qualifying centers. He allowed just one sack and less than one pressure per game in 2019. He also wasn’t penalized a single time.

McGovern offers the Jets consistency at the center position and immediately becomes their best offensive lineman, given his grades.

The next on the list is Kyle Van Roten, who is a fringe-starter for the Jets at left guard. He allowed one sack in 2019 and earned a 65.6 grade over 704 snaps. Van Roten actually had a decent season in 2019, but he has been inconsistent in the past and shouldn’t be considered a locked-in starter for the long term. He could just be a holdover until the Jets have more capital to spend.

The Jets gave him a three year, $10.5 million deal with a potential out after the 2020 season. This could be a one and done style contract, but if he impresses, they have him on an incredibly cheap deal for the next two years until 2023.

Lastly, Brian Winters is the man at right guard. Winters posted a 62.4 grade in 2019, allowing just one sack and two penalties over 526 offensive snaps played. He is in the final year of his rookie deal and will earn $7.28 million. He has dealt with injuries in the past, but he has proven he can hold his own at the guard position.

Overall, I would say that the tackles are a bit suspect, and the interior of the line is much more reliable with Winters, Van Roten, and McGovern. Sam Darnold will need to rely on Becton to hold down his blindside for the most part, and Fant isn’t as reliable as we’d hoped for in a free agent signing. The running game should be much improved given the size Becton brings and the run blocking grades Fant carries over from the Seattle Seahawks. If anyone is going to benefit from the reinforcing of the line, it will be Le’Veon Bell.

What Should the New York Knicks’ Offseason Look Like?

New York Knicks, Julius Randle

When looking at the New York Knicks, their obvious issues pertain to having no reliable sharpshooters from deep and defensively being a trainwreck. They have struggled to nail picks in the draft and free agents, as when they do, they usually end up trading them away, (Marcus Morris or Kristaps Porzingas).

While Julius Randle may seem like a solid signing, he is usually ball-dominant and has, in my opinion, stunted the growth of RJ Barrett as he cannot shoot threes adequately. He is also a slouch defensively, which puts an even more significant burden on a kid like Barrett, who needs someone to help him either offensively with sharpshooting or can be lockdown defensively to relieve him from tough matchups.

With their offseason starting now in terms of no basketball, the Knicks need to ponder what to do for their team’s improvements and what direction to go.

Who Comes Back?

If I’m the Knicks, I don’t resign any of their players with expiring contracts, and I let Bobby Portis go as well, meaning the Knicks would have nine roster spots and six available for the draft or any signings.

Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves though, let’s start off with who the Knicks should acquire in the NBA draft.

Shooting and Guards Galore For Knicks Draft Night

If the Knicks end up with a top 5 pick, I think they can land either LaMelo Ball or Killian Hayes, who are rated as two of the best point guards in the upcoming draft. Ball has issues with his percentages, but with NBA coaching, he can be able to drain threes, and on top of that, he’s a solid defender. His best attribute, in my opinion, is his unbelievable playmaking, and with RJ Barrett, he could easily see himself with 8-9, assists a game. For Killian, Hayes has talent and can be solid in the NBA, but his playmaking ability can be inconsistent.

Is Hayes a bad prospect? Not at all, and if the Knicks get him, I think they’ll be fine as he is promising, but again he shouldn’t be picked by the Knicks if LaMelo is on the board.

For their second 1st round pick, I see the Knicks getting Killian Tille as he’s a big man shooting 40% from three this season. The Knicks could get an upgrade at their Forward position and have a really solid 3 and D player for their future. He isn’t the most talented player in college basketball, but the Knicks would be getting better if they were able to snag him.

With their 2nd rounder, I see the Knicks going for Mason Jones who’s a reliable scorer and shooter at the guard position as the Knicks look to add depth at that position and try to get better offensively from deep, with the kid averaging 22 points on 35% from 3 and 45% overall, which aren’t great but could improve in the NBA.

These picks would make the Knicks a lot better for the future and would give the Knicks only 3 more spots to fill out as I see the Knicks moving one player in their active roster like an Ignas Brazdeikis down to the G-League. These guys aren’t superstars, but they will make the Knicks a whole lot better.

Rounding Out A Roster In Free Agency

The Knicks active roster in these hypothetical looks like this currently:

RJ Barrett G/F
Julius Randle F
Mitchell Robinson F/C
LaMelo Ball G
Killian Tille F
Mason Jones G
Taj Gibson F/C
Kevin Knox F
Dennis Smith Jr. G
Frank Ntilikina G
Reggie Bullock G
Wayne Ellington G
Elfrid Peyton G

Now let us try to make some cuts, with Dennis Smith Jr, Wayne Ellington, and Elfrid Peyton being part of my waives. In return, the Knicks now can add three free agents, and since my cuts were guards, I think adding one guard, and two forwards would be ideal here.

My first addition to the roster would be the Wizards’ sharpshooter Dāvis Bertāns who’s known as the Latvian Laser, as he’s a 27-year-old 41.1% shooter from deep. While he’s a below-average defender, he is 6-10 and can be the Knicks 6th man and play Forward or play for Julius Randle and have Randle fill in for Barrett one the second team.

The second addition to this team for me would be Orlando Magic’s guard Evan Fournier, who is shooting 40.6% from 3 this season and is a career 37.6% shooter from three. He is averaging 18.8 points per game with 3.2 assists and 2.6 rebounds. He’s 6-7 and can play shooting guard, which could be an excellent addition for the Knicks as a perimeter threat. I know his defense isn’t great, but with the next guy, there’s defensive upside.

The final addition to this team would be Serge Ibaka, who is a 7-foot monster who can play center or forward, and on 3.3 attempts per game is shooting 39.8% from three. With a 104 Defensive Rating, he’s okay defensively at Center, but as a forward, it’s at 103 with a positive defensive box plus-minus. If playing Forward, he can be a lockdown defender that the Knicks need right now. On top of all of this, he’s giving the Raptors 16 and 8 on 27.5 minutes and could be a force for the Knicks in the paint with Mitchell Robinson.

What Would the Lineup Look Like?

Well, the amount of new pieces means the lineup needs to be restructured and here’s how I’d do so:

LaMelo Ball G
Evan Fournier G
RJ Barrett F
Dāvis Bertāns F
Serge Ibaka F

This starting lineup provides at least 3 high-level shooters from 3 and Serge Ibaka being a solid shooter. This means RJ Barrett also has a chance to show off his slashing abilities and develop as a shooter and also have options to pass to when he’s doubled. For the second team, this is where, in my opinion, the Knicks show their real improvement:

Frank Ntilikina G
Mason Jones G
Julius Randle F
Killian Tille F
Mitchell Robinson F

This second team is more flourished and has a better chance of competing against a good team’s second squad as well. The depth of the Knicks is improved, and they get a really young and good second team with decent shooting from their two draft picks and a good scorer in Randle.

Does this offseason make them a Finals contender? No, not at all, but it gives them the chance to develop stars in LaMelo Ball and RJ Barrett.

MLB submits 76 game proposal to players union

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

On Monday, the MLB submitted yet another proposal to the players union about the status of the 2020 season. This proposal called for a 76 game season with 75% prorated salaries, as reported by Karl Ravech. The regular season would start around July 10th and end on September 27th. Included would be playoff pool money and no draft compensation picks for signed players this offseason.

Compared to a 50 game season with prorated salaries, players would be getting around 19% more money in this proposal. However, players seem to be pretty set on full prorated salaries. As Jon Heyman reported, “Players are not thrilled with it. Not at all,”.

But, if the players see any potential in it, they can choose to send a counter-proposal. If they don’t feel like doing anything with it, we may have no choice but to have the commissioner mandate a 50 game season. As much as players would like to see a schedule as close to 81 games as possible, the prorated salaries seem to be a priority to them. Players believe this new proposal is a step backward.

Another thing that the MLB is set in stone about is ending the regular season before October. Players are fully willing to play the regular season through October, but the owners fear losing more money. Having the postseason in November could interfere with other sports, and increases the chances of it being canceled from a second coronavirus wave. But, even if the postseason is in October, you still interfere with the rescheduled NBA Finals.

The situation with the players union and the MLB is getting messier and messier by the day. But hopefully, the players will submit a counter-proposal, and it will be something that interests the league. Time is ticking away.

 

Ex-Giants QB Kerry Collins salivates over Daniel Jones-Jason Garrett connection

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

When a former two-time Pr-Bowler quarterback speaks out on the connection between a young signal collar and an offensive coordinator, it is best to take their opinion seriously. Former New York Giants quarterback Kerry Collins is excited about the connection between Jones and new OC Jason Garrett.

Collins spent five seasons with the Giants from 1999 to 2003, setting Eli Manning up for his Iron Man-like tenure. However, Jones is the next quarterback in a long lineage of success-infused passers (the exception being Dave Brown).

Jones showed exciting potential in his rookie season last year, posting 3027 yards, 24 touchdown passes, 279 rushing yards, and two rushing touchdowns. However, the Duke product fumbled 18 times and threw 12 interceptions, leading the league in lost fumbles at the position. Nonetheless, his productive numbers or something to work off of, and they represent a much better player in year 2.

Collins believes Garrett will help Jones tremendously in his development and progression of the NFL level. He has the ability but just needs an experienced mentor to guide him through the challenges and physical/mental tests.

“For a young guy like Jones, who has obviously shown a lot of ability, Jason is gonna help him immensely, with everything,” said Collins. “He’s not just gonna be an X’s and O’s guy, he’s gonna talk about that position and what it means to be successful. I’m really excited to see that combination.

“I’m sure Jason is gonna be heavily involved with Daniel’s development,” Collins added. “I just could not think of a better guy to have with Jones right now. His brains, the kind of guy he is, I think that match will be just absolutely phenomenal.”

Garrett has spent over a decade refining his play-calling abilities and learning from some of the best offensive coordinators in the game. While he served as head coach for the Cowboys from 2010 to 2019, Garrett featured as the Cowboys’ OC back in 2007, guiding them to the second-best offense in the NFL and immediately begin interviewing for head-coaching spots. Evidently, he stuck with the Cowboys and fell below a .500 winning percentage just over 10 years.

His knowledge of the game and quarterback position should serve a greater purpose with Jones. Garrett helped develop Dak Prescott and Tony Romo, and the Giants also brought in New England quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski to help aid in his quest to establishing Jones as a franchise quarterback. Big Blue finally has the right coaching pieces in place, but can they put it together? That is the question we will be asking come the regular season.