New York Giants: Last 2019 free agent gone with Golden Tate cut

New York Giants, Golden Tate

Free agency is the kind of thing that can build a team up. Many teams have acquired lasting players that way, and made the leaps they need to improve. But for the New York Giants, 2019 definitely wasn’t the year for them when it comes to free agents. We’re only a couple of years later in 2021 and none of the free agents from 2019 are still here.

Most of them were gone already by the time we got to this point. Antoine Bethea was one of the oldest players on the team during his time with the Giants and was never expected to serve in his safety role as more than a stopgap until the draft.

Markus Golden, on the other hand, was the leader for sacks in 2019 but would end up traded during the 2020 season after the Giants strangely underutilized him and hardly gave him playing time in the new defensive scheme.

Golden Tate being cut for cap space removes the last member of that 2019 free agent class from the current group of players. It was of course, expected that he would be out of the door as soon as last season ended.

That’s partly for cap reasons, but also because of controversy. Last season, Tate wasn’t the most popular player with the coaching staff after his outburst on the sidelines and his wife’s behavior on social media landed him in hot water.

And with Tate’s production dropping from last season, it only makes sense for the Giants to move on due to all those factors.

The 2020 free agent class was far more successful than the 2019 one, but hopefully the Giants will take a look back at 2019 this year and use it as a learning experience.

New York Rangers Sign 2020 First-Round Pick to Entry-Level Contract

The New York Rangers have signed their 19th overall pick from the 2020 NHL Draft, Braden Schneider, according to Cap Friendly.

The 19-year-old defenseman’s entry-level contract will begin with the 2021-22 season and is for three years. The base salary is $832,500 plus a signing bonus of $92,500, with a minor league salary of $80,000, and $400,000 in potential performance bonuses each season. The cap hit is $925,000 with an AAV of $1.325M.

Schneider finished his 2019–20 season for the Brandon Wheat Kings with 35 assists and 42 points. Because of Covid-19 causing the WHL to be on hold, Schneider started to play in 2021 with the Hartford Wolf Pack on an amateur tryout that would allow him to return to the Brandon Wheat Kings when their season started. He made his professional debut with the Wolf Pack, totalling two appearances for 1 assist before he was returned to the Wheat Kings on February 13, 2021. The Wheat Kings are scheduled to open their season on March 12 vs. the Moose Jaw Warriors, and they will play in 24 games between then and April 28.


New York Yankees Recap: Corey Kluber exceeds expectations in Yankees win

New York Yankees, Corey Kluber

The Yankees are back in action with their fourth game of spring training on Wednesday night, hosting the Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Before we get to any in-game action or the starting lineups, the big news this evening is manager Aaron Boone’s medical leave of absence as he undergoes surgery to get a pacemaker.

Boone was expected to get the surgery Wednesday evening and return to work in the next few days. General manager Brian Cashman spoke about the concern attached to any heart issues (Boone had open-heart surgery in 2009) but assured Boone would be in a good place after the procedure.

Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza managed the club on Wednesday night and took on Boone’s responsibilities until the skipper returns. It was Corey Kluber’s debut in pinstripes. Also making their first appearance of spring training were Brett Gardner and Giancarlo Stanton. The game against the Toronto Blue Jays was the first night game of spring training, and it was a nice night for baseball in St. Pete. The first pitch temperature was 60 degrees, and the game was played under mostly cloudy skies with a very light breeze at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Kluber started for the New York Yankees facing the Toronto Blue Jay’s Simeon Richardson. Corey Kluber was magnificent in his first inning in pinstripes. Kluber retired the first three hitters he faced in order, ending the frame with a pretty strikeout of Rowdy Tellez. At the bottom, Aaron Judge almost recorded a homer.  In the second inning, Corey Kluber looked really good, folks. He struck out two more Blue Jays to finish off two perfect frames. Check out this off-speed pitch to strike out Palacios. This performance is wonderful news for the Yankees.

Adam Warren took over for the Yankees in the third. Following Kluber, Warren put down the Jays in one-two-three fashion in his frame. On a side note, in duel 14 run games, the Red Sox put down the  Twins, and the Reds put down the New York Mets. After three innings of play, the Yankee game remained scoreless. A pitcher that almost nobody has ever heard of, Nick Goody took over for Warren at the top of the fourth.  Although he gave up a double, he too had a scoreless inning for the Yankees.

At the top of the fourth, Aaron Judge was hit by a pitch and replaced by Michael Beltre. Aaron Hicks, with his good eye, fought off nine of Alek Manoah’s pitches but eventually struck out. Giancarlo Stanton also struck out. The New York Yankees are looking to Stanton to return to the form he showed in the postseason when he hit six home runs in seven games. After four innings, the game remained scoreless, with Luis Cessa on the mound for the fifth. Josh Palacios doubled off Cessa, but Warmoth struck out, Valero singled scoring Palacios for the first run of the game. Blue Jays 1 Yankees 0.

At the bottom of the frame Gary Sanchez again showed off his power homering and tieing up the game at 1-1, Sanchez homered in his game yesterday as well against the Orioles. That was followed by Derek Dietrich’s home driving in two for the Yankees 3-1 lead. Jonathan Loaisiga took over for the Yankees in the sixth. He also pitched a scoreless sixth.  Pitcher Kyle Barraclough closed it out his half of the seventh.

This was the first 9 inning game of spring training. At the bottom of the seventh Robinson Chirinos homer to far left for the Yankee 4-1 lead. As it turned out the Yankees only played the bottom of the seventh and the game was called. Luis Cessa got the win and Nick Allgeyer took the loss, Barraclough got the save for the Yankees.

The New York Yankees play the Philadelphia Phillies tomorrow at 1:05 pm just a hop skip and a jump for the Yankees in Clearwater, Florida.






New York Mets Lose Slugfest to St. Louis Cardinals 14-9

Simeon Woods-Richardson

The pitching for the New York Mets started off strong over their first two spring training games but lose all momentum against the St. Louis Cardinals. Seven pitchers combined to allow 14 runs, 11 hits, and 6 runs in the 14-9 loss.

Jerad Eickhoff got the start for the Mets and allowed the Cardinals’ offense to get started early. Eickhoff allowed four runs, with three coming on a home run by John Nogowski. Jacob Barnes followed but was erratic in the one inning he pitched. Barnes walked two and allowed three more runs in the third inning. Marcel Renteria struggled the most out of any Mets pitcher. He allowed four runs, two home runs, including one to former Met Ali Sanchez.

The Mets offense was the polar opposite of their pitching as they had 13 hits and six for extra bases. Kevin Pillar, J.D. Davis, Luis Guillorme, and Drew Ferguson all had multiple-hit games. Brett Baty also supplied an RBI double in the ninth inning.

The Mets are back on SNY on Friday for a 1:10 p.m. start against the Washington Nationals. Kyle Finnegan (0-0, 18.00) faces David Peterson, who is making his first outing of the Spring.

The UFC releases Junior Dos Santos and Alistair Overeem

Tonight, there has been a massive shakeup in the UFC‘s heavyweight division. The promotion has moved forward with cutting two of the all time greats. This evening we learned following a report from MMA Junkie that the UFC has cut both Junior Dos Santos (21-9) as well as Alistair Overeem (47-19, 1 NC).

A couple of months ago, Dana White announced that the promotion would be letting go of some big names in 2021. However, it’s been relatively quiet for the last couple of months which made many of us think that the cuts were over.

However, the UFC has cut a former heavyweight champion and a former title challenger. Both, Dos Santos and Alistair Overeem were ranked inside the top 12 of the heavyweight division at the time of their release.

The decision to cut Overeem is an interesting one. Alistair Overeem was just in a main event a couple of weeks ago at UFC Vegas 18. Overeem was on this last leg of his career where he was searching to become a UFC heavyweight champion.

That is one of the few things that Overeem has not achieved in his career. The Demolition man had won two in a row leading into his main event against Alexander Volkov. Overeem was dominated which derailed his heavyweight title dreams. Now, it appears that the dream will never come to fruition.

Former UFC heavyweight champion and fan favorite gone

The decision to release former UFC heavyweight champion, Junior Dos Santos, made more sense than Overeem for the promotion. Despite JDS being one of the more popular fighters in the history of the division, Dos Santos has fallen on hard times.

The 37 year old has been knocked out in four consecutive fights. This four-fight losing streak followed a three-fight win streak which included a win over Derrick Lewis. After the Lewis win in 2019, it appeared that JDS had one more run towards UFC gold.

However, Francis Ngannou stopped that and then Dos Santos was knocked out three times in 2020 alone. According to reports, both heavyweights are still planning on competing. You can imagine that other promotions will be calling these two up sooner than later.

New York Giants cut Golden Tate and David Mayo to clear cap space

New York Giants, Golden Tate

The New York Giants have made their first big cuts of the offseason. With free agency just weeks away, New York has made moves to clear up cap space. According to Ian Rapoport, the Giants released wide receiver Golden Tate and linebacker David Mayo tonight.

Both of these moves were expected, but they are now official. Cutting Golden Tate freed up $6.2 million in salary-cap space for the Giants. Cutting David Mayo freed up $2.3 million in salary-cap space. With these two moves, the Giants have made $8.5 million in cap space available to themselves for free agency.

Golden Tate was the Giants’ big free-agent signing in the 2019 offseason. Tate was brought in to replace Odell Beckham Jr.’s production but never met those expectations. Golden spent two seasons with the Giants, totaling 84 receptions for 1,064 yards and 8 touchdowns. Tate’s dead cap hit in 2021 will be around $4.7 million.

The Giants cut David Mayo from a very team-friendly contract. Mayo leaves behind $0 in dead cap. He also spent only two seasons with the Giants, signing in 2019. He was a starter for most of the 2019 season, totaling 82 combined tackles and 2 sacks. But, fighting through injuries in 2020, Mayo’s impact lessened to 29 combined tackles, 2 starts, and only 11 games played.

The Giants found a gem in Tae Crowder at the end of the 2020 NFL Draft. The team is presumably comfortable moving ahead with Crowder beside Blake Martinez. At wide receiver, it is no secret that the Giants are in the market for a new offensive weapon. The writing was on the wall for Golden Tate, especially after his public, off-the-field drama with the coaching staff in the middle of the 2020 regular season.

The 2021 offseason is heating up. Expect to see plenty more cuts around the league. With the salary cap expected to drop this year, teams will be releasing veterans to free up as much space as possible. The Giants might not be done making cuts ahead of the New League Year. The Giants have a couple of impending free agents to extend this offseason in Dalvin Tomlinson and Leonard Williams. They also have some holes to fill on both sides of the ball. The New York Giants were already over the salary cap, but these moves will bring them under and prepare them for free agency.

Henry Anderson released; What it means for the New York Jets

With the veteran Anderson out and over $8 million of cap space in, ESM ponders what’s next for the New York Jets.

The New York Jets bid Henry Anderson farewell on Tuesday night, releasing the three-year veteran. With the release, the Jets now save about $8 million in cap space, bring an already robust number to just under $76 million to spend this offseason…the second-best purse in the NFL, behind only Jacksonville.

How does this change the Jets moving forward? ESM investigates…

This becomes a bigger year for Kyle Phillips

Phillips was turning into something that worked for the Jets over the past two seasons…so, of course, football misfortune befell him. This diamond in the rough emerged as an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee in 2019, and he went on to make the most of the time afforded to him. Playing 50 percent of defensive snaps, Phillips became a menacing prescience in opposing backfield, earning 39 tackles (7 for a loss, including 1.5 sacks, led the team) over 15 games (4 starts). The Jets’ defensive staff had high hopes for him entering the 2020 season.

Being an undrafted free agent, he’s just a guy who’s so mature for his age. He’s one of those players you hope can play 10 years,” then-defensive line coach Andre Carter, now holding the same position at LSU, said of Phillips to team reporter Jack Bell. “He just works hard. He’s old school. He can play in various packages. He’s smart. He’s the least of my worries. He’s one of those players you enjoy having in the room because he asks intelligent questions.”

Alas for Phillips, he was never able to make an impact in 2020 due to lineup shuffling and an ankle injury that prematurely ended his season. But as the immediate name behind Anderson on the depth chart, this season takes on greater importance, as the transaction shows the Jets have extended a new brand of trust unto him. His development under Robert Saleh and his 4-3 tendencies will certainly be something to keep an eye on once the team reconvenes.

Nov 22, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; New York Jets defensive end Henry Anderson (96) celebrates after a fumble recovery against the Los Angeles Chargers in the first quarter at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

There are more funds to work with

The Jets’ cap situation has been discussed and sung about ad nauseam in the metropolitan postings, but the question becomes how they can wisely spend and distribute that money. New York is far removed from the proverbial “one move away” from the Super Bowl…heck, they might be several moves away from merely sniffing a wild card spot at this point. But the release of Anderson will allow them to address perhaps some under-the-radar needs they would be unable to obtain without the $8.2 million afforded to them through this transaction.

For example, the Jets could be well settled in their tight end spot, hoping that Chris Herndon has regained his rookie year form. This extra cap room, though, could perhaps give them the means to seek out some veteran help. Same with the running back spot, where they have plans for La’Michael Perine but are stretched thin with Le’Veon Bell gone and both Ty Johnson and Josh Adams up to hit the market. Now armed with nearly $75 million in cap space, they might also be able to afford multiple marquee free agents.

With the potential to add more weapons, it is in fact possible that the possibility of Sam Darnold staying has been raised ever so slightly.

Dec 27, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder (82) is tackled by Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward (21) during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The purge has begun

Obviously, there are exceptions, but the purge of almost anything relating to the Adam Gase era is officially underway with the release of Anderson. It informally began with the in-season release/trades of Le’Veon Bell, Steve McLendon, and Avery Williamson, but now a new cutdown to add even further to the salary cap surplus.

While Anderson’s time in New York was probably up…he earned only a single sack after the career-best 7.5 in 2018…the Jets might be tempted to dismiss some rare, reliable silver linings in an attempt to fatten their wallet even further. The team has a major decision to make on Jamison Crowder, who has been by far their most consistent offensive weapon over the last two seasons. But with a $10 million addition to their cap space picture due upon his release, he could be the next to go (though they could gain back the same amount in a trade). Others potentially on their way out include blockers George Fant ($7.8 million) and Alex Lewis ($5 million). The Jets’ cap picture is very healthy, but when one is cursed with as many issues as they are, every little bit helps. The mandated departure of Anderson is just the beginning.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Bucks grab Myles Powell from Knicks

The New York Knicks lost former Seton Hall star Myles Powell to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Bucks plan to sign Powell to a two-way contract after an impressive stint with the Westchester Knicks in the G League Orlando bubble.

Shams Charania of The Athletic first reported the news.

Powell averaged 17.8 points, 3.8 assists, and 1.8 steals with a 45/45/82 shooting splits in 28.1 minutes. He played 13 games for the Knicks’ G League affiliate team.

Powell is the second Westchester Knicks player to be signed by other NBA teams this season.

Last month, the Houston Rockets signed former Westchester center Justin Patton to a similar two-way contract. The Rockets recently made him their starting center after releasing DeMarcus Cousins. Patton is averaging 6.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks in 20.4 minutes for the Rockets.

As the NBA and NBPA intend to loosen the restrictions on two-way contracts this season, Powell will be eligible to play for the Bucks’ regular-season and postseason games once the board approves the revision.

After going undrafted, Powell, the former Big East Player of the Year, signed an exhibit 10 contract with the Knicks. Unfortunately, he didn’t make the regular-season roster. He was relegated to the Knicks’ G League team, where he shined as the team’s third-leading scorer behind Jared Harper and Ignas Brazdeikis.

The Knicks have already maxed out their two-way spots with Harper and Theo Pinson.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

After coming up short at UFC Vegas 20, what’s next for Jimmie Rivera?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 20, Jimmie Rivera (23-5) and Pedro Munhoz (19-5, 1 NC) went to battle for the second time. The two men had previously fought back in 2015 with Jimmie Rivera edging out a split decision victory.

It was apparent from the opening bell that this fight would go a little differently. Like the first fight, this fight was very competitive. However, from the first round at UFC Vegas 20, Pedro Munhoz had the advantage.

Rivera was able to land some big punches early on, but Munhoz was doing serious damage with calf kicks. By the end of the first round, Rivera was walking with a limp and was trying to disguise how badly he was hurt.

From that moment on, Rivera couldn’t get any momentum going. Munhoz seemed to be getting the better of the exchanges due to the fact that Rivera couldn’t plant down on his shots.

In the final round at UFC Vegas 20, Jimmie Rivera did go for it. He was swinging with everything he had trying to get the finish he needed, but it wasn’t enough. In the end, Pedro Munhoz walked away with a unanimous decision victory.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 20?

Jimmie Rivera started his UFC career at 5-0. At that point in his career, he was 21-1 heading into a matchup against Marlon Moraes. Since that matchup, Jimmie Rivera is just 2-4 in six matchups.

However, it is worth noting that all four of the losses came against guys who are inside the UFC’s top eight at bantamweight. Rivera has only lost to some of the elites in the division so it’s not time to write off El Terror just yet.

With the loss, I think you need to look down in the divisional rankings for his next matchup. One fight I would be interested in is seeing Rivera take on Chito Vera (16-7-1). Vera has looked great over the last couple of years and he’s 15th in the division.

He’s coming off of a loss as well so the timing makes sense. Another potential matchup could be Rivera against Merab Dvalishvili (12-4). Merab has won five in a row and he’s currently ranked 12th. From a rankings perspective, this could be the angle the UFC goes with.

New York Yankees: Aaron Boone, what are the implications of his surgery?

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

The New York Yankee manager, Aaron Boone, learned today that he had to have a pacemaker installed for his heart. Boone took immediate emergency leave from the team. Many know that Boone had open heart surgery back in 2009 and has kept close tabs on his condition since then. Recently he has felt some lightheadedness and seemed to be zapped of his strength. He consulted with doctors, and they informed him that his heart was beating slower than optimal. The heart pumps blood to the body; it also pumps oxygen; if the body doesn’t get enough oxygen, then the body often responses with Boone’s symptoms.

Many of you who have heard this news or are reading about it will be wondering what effect this will have on the New York Yankees. The answer is probably not much. Boone has a staff of competent coaches. If Boone has surgery, actually, it’s more of a procedure; today, he will likely go home tomorrow night or the next morning as long as there are no complications. He could be back with the team as early as next week.

I speak with a little authority as I have had the same procedure. The pacemaker is an electrical device inserted under the skin, usually in the left upper chest area. The device has wires that are attached to the heart and regulate the heartbeats. Newer models even detail motion and demands as your activity increases and decreases and automatically speeds up the heart to meet demand. There are three types of pacemakers, and all three have different recovery times. It is unknown what type Boone will have inserted.

Simply put, all three devices have insulated wires that are attached to your heart. The unit is run by batteries that usually last about seven years. The patient will normally have an echocardiogram for the surgeon to determine how your heart pumps and the best places to attach the wires; it will also determine the type of pacemaker to be installed. The procedure is relatively fast, and the incision will be glued shut.

As I said, Boone could very well be back at the job of leading the Yankees as early as next week. He will not have many limitations as he is not playing a body contact sport, playing golf, tennis, or swimming. He will have some restrictions for up to six weeks. He will not be allowed to lift heavy objects and will be asked to avoid pushing or pulling motions. The only long-term annoyance associated with the pacemaker is that he most likely will not make it through metal detectors at airports.

As far as the team is concerned, Boone will be able to carry out all his normal activities, although he probably will avoid pitching demonstrations. Just a couple of weeks into the regular season, Boone should resume his life as normal. Also of interest is that his pacemaker will be attached to the Internet. The pacemaker “talks” to a monitor in his home, and that monitor transmits any abnormalities in his heart function to his doctor’s office or monitoring station.