New York Giants: Daniel Jones and Eli Manning still close in 2021

New York Giants, Eli Manning, Daniel Jones

New York Giants quarterbacks Eli Manning and Daniel Jones didn’t get to spend that long on a team together. While the plan was for Manning to start during Jones’ rookie season, that was quickly thrown off as the Giants got off to a bad start and Jones took over. The Giants didn’t look back. Manning retired, and Jones continued as the starter. However, that doesn’t mean all contact between them was lost when Manning walked away from football.

He’s still been a factor in Jones’ development, and Jones himself recently spoke on that while talking to SiriusXM.

“I think we’re friends and we certainly have stayed in touch. It was a little different this year with COVID. He wasn’t around as much. But yeah, no, we’re friends and I’ve certainly learned a lot from him and he’s helped me a ton,” Jones told SiriusXM.

Manning is finally back with the Giants in an official role for the first time since his retirement. That role, however, seems to be with the business side of the front office instead of one dealing with the team directly. Despite that, it’s hard to imagine Manning’s presence with the organization won’t have any impact on the current roster.

The Giants have a very different looking offense this year, with Jones entering his third season and receiving new help in the form of additional receivers and a returning Saquon Barkley. At a time like this, the experience of someone that’s been a winning quarterback for as long as Manning could prove invaluable.

In the kind of high pressure season that’s to come, that kind of leadership can be the difference between the step forward that everyone expects from Jones and failure.

What do the New York Giants have in UDFA center Brett Heggie?

brett heggie, new york giants

The New York Giants‘ 2021 NFL Draft class was widely regarded as a slam dunk by fans and analysts alike. However, one consistent criticism with the Giants’ approach to this year’s draft was their failure to address the offensive line. Reportedly, there were linemen on New York’s radar, but the value was not there when the team was picking or the players were selected by teams picking ahead of the Giants.

Now, the Giants will enter the 2021 season with a young, inexperienced, and unproven offensive line. The Giants’ offensive line is by far their biggest question mark on the roster. The New York Giants’ pass-block win rate in 2020, according to ESPN, ranked dead-last in the NFL at 46%. Their run-block win rate ranked 18th at 70%, which is about average or slightly below.

The Giants’ offensive line was one of the worst in the league last year and the front office did not make any improvements this offseason. Walking away from the 2021 NFL Draft without any selected linemen was a questionable decision. But the Giants recognized this fault and made it a priority to sign undrafted rookie Brett Heggie to the roster. But what exactly are the Giants getting in the former Florida Gator? Does he have a shot at making the Giants’ final roster this fall?

Brett Heggie stats and highlights

The New York Giants had a very small three-man UDFA class this year. Brett Heggie out of UF stood out as the lone rookie interior offensive linemen acquired by the team this offseason. Many questions have been raised regarding the interior of the Giants’ offensive line which is set to see Shane Lemieux and Will Hernandez start at the guard positions while Nick Gates starts at center.

Brett Heggie was an interior offensive lineman during his career with the Florida Gators. He played guard from 2017 to 2019 before switching to center full-time in 2020. Heggie earned multiple SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors throughout his collegiate career. Playing in Florida’s high-octane offense feature NFL talents like Kyle Pitts, Kadarius Toney, and Kyle Trask, Heggie was a reliable pass-protector and vicious rub-blocker for the Gators. Check out this clip of Heggie mauling an Ole Miss defensive tackle, moving him like a tackling-sled ten yards downfield:

Brett Heggie won SEC Offensive Lineman of the week during the matchup with Ole Miss. In that game, the Florida offense set a school record for yards against an SEC opponent (642 yards).

New York Giants head coach Joe Judge loves versatility on the offensive line (see Nick Gates, Zack Fulton, and Matt Peart, all players that have contributed at multiple positions along the line). Heggie is another one of those versatile offensive linemen that fit Joe Judge’s mold. He has experience starting games at left guard, right guard, and center.

Brett Heggie’s career projection

Heggie projects as a solid backup at all three interior positions who can come in and allow the offense to function. – Sports Illustrated

According to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, Brett Heggie has the “desired size for an NFL center” and “displays adequate power.” However, Zierlein’s analysis also notes that Heggie has “major protection concerns as a guard” and sometimes “lazy” hand placement. Heggie seems to be a quality developmental piece as a versatile backup offensive lineman that could contribute on the Giants’ practice squad early in his career.

The long-term outlook for Heggie seems to project him as a quality backup, but most draft analysts seem to doubt his potential as a quality starter in the NFL. But given the state of the New York Giants’ offensive line, Brett Heggie seems like a young player that the coaching staff can be excited about and look forward to developing.

Ex-Knick Bobby Portis relishes first NBA Finals with Bucks after enduring losing seasons

knicks, bobby portis

Ex-New York Knicks forward Bobby Portis is in his first NBA Finals, and that feeling had only sunk in when the Milwaukee Bucks arrived in Phoenix for the first two games of the series.

“I think yesterday is when it finally hit me,” Portis said following their Tuesday morning shootaround. “After the game on Saturday, I was just so pumped up and so thrilled still that we got the victory and that the series is over, and that we’re moving on to the Finals, I didn’t get a chance to just decompress and just sit down and just think about it. When I got on the plane yesterday and got to the hotel room and I was actually by myself for a change, that’s when it hit me. Yeah, like we’re the Finals now, and it was a big accomplishment.”

“It’s a first for me — first time in the playoffs in four years too — so being able to get a chance to go about each round and compete in every series and get to this point with this amazing group of guys is great.

After the Knicks did not pick up his $15.75-milllion team option last year, Portis took a significant discount for a chance to have a deep run in the playoffs. He signed a two-year, $7.5 million deal to join the Bucks, saying he resisted larger offers from other teams.

That decision paid him huge dividends on the court.

In the last two Milwaukee wins to wrap up the series against Atlanta Hawks, Portis had a pair of big games starting with a playoff career-high 22 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals in Game 5. He almost had a double-double in the series-clinching Game 6 win (12 points, 9 rebounds).

After his epic Game 5 performance, Portis revealed that the turning point for him was when his one-year stint with the Knicks hit rock bottom.

“The pandemic really drove me to find out about myself,” Portis said.

Portis averaged 10.1 points and 5.1 rebounds as one of the ‘too many power forwards’ on a poorly constructed Knicks roster that ended up winning only 21 games.

He said he was hurt not being in the playoffs, watching the Orlando Bubble on TV at home. But he used that as a motivation. He spent the next nine months with his mother while he worked on his game with his eyes set on playing for a contender.

“I finally found peace, man,” Portis said after the Bucks led 3-2 in the series. “I’m at peace with myself and at peace in my life and at peace with everything going on around. I was just always trying to find it again, and really couldn’t find it. But having great teammates and great coaches. And the pandemic, like I said, really helped me find out more about myself more than anything.”

That prepared Portis for the highs and lows of this COVID-19 condensed season. From having DNP in the final three games against the Brooklyn Nets in the second round to emerge as the Bucks’ X-Factor in the Eastern Conference Finals, Portis stayed locked-in for this chance. 

“This moment is special,” Portis said on Tuesday. “Growing up as a kid watching KG [Kevin Garnett] versus Kobe in the Finals, LeBron all those years and things like that, so being able to be a kid from Little Rock, Arkansas, being able to represent myself, my team, this organization, my family, and my state on the biggest stage in basketball is remarkable, man! All the hard work I put in, being able to be in the NBA Finals is a dream come true, and it’s a special moment.”

Portis won’t hear chants of “Bobby! Bobby!” as he had in Milwaukee with the first two games on the road. His starting gig isn’t even guaranteed with Antetokounmpo a game-time decision. But those are the least of his worries.

Portis is ready to bring his high-octane energy that fueled the Bucks, whether he was coming off the bench or starting in place of their franchise player.

“Just stay together knowing that every possession matters, being together, staying in the moment, just trying to burn the motor out. Ain’t no tomorrow. We’ve got seven games to win four, and I’m just trying to blow the motor out and go as hard as I can and get them all,” said Portis of his mindset heading into the Finals.

If he returns to the bench, Portis believes he can still impact the game. As superstars usually cancel out each other on the big stage, role players like him on the bench will be critical.

‘It’s big, man. Obviously, me, Bryn, Jeff and Pat, we’re the catalysts of the second unit. We have to come in and be ourselves and come in and bring some energy to the game, some scoring and things like that. So, I think it’s going to be very vital to help out the starting lineups and things like that,” Portis said.

“[The Suns] do a good job on their end too with Cameron Payne and Saric and those guys. Cam Johnson, as well, coming off the bench and scoring the basketball and bringing some energy to the game.”

Portis’ swing skill isn’t just his shooting that can stretch the floor or his rebounding. It’s his ball of energy that can shift the momentum to the Bucks’ side.

“I think whoever has the most energy and plays with the most effort is going to win these games. That’s what it’s really going to come down to. Obviously, it’s July. Guys have been playing since December, and it was a short offseason last year. I think whoever is the most conditioned, the most well-rounded, and the most energetic team is going to obviously come out victorious.”

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Possibly replacing Casey Cizikas will be a difficult task for the Islanders

The offseason for the Islanders is going to be a tough one no matter what. Add in having the possibility of having to replace Casey Cizikas, and it feels ten times harder.

You would think replacing a fourth-line center in today’s NHL would be considered one of the easiest things for a general manager. But, a lot of them aren’t Cizikas. And a lot of them aren’t nearly as valuable to the Islanders as he is.

“There’s no question what Casey Cizikas has brought to the team. We will do everything we possibly can to try and have him come back,” Lamoriello said last week. “Certainly, his set of circumstances is unique and also maybe positive because he’s a UFA (unrestricted free agent) and we do not have to make any decisions with (respect to the expansion draft). We will continue to talk with him.”

For a decade now, the 30-year-old Cizikas has evolved into one of the most important pieces the organization has had in the post-dynasty era. He’s been an instrumental part of the team’s success as one-third of the Isles’ “Identity Line”, along with Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck, but that run could be coming to an end.

Cizikas is set to hit the open market on July 28th, meaning there’s a chance he could be playing in another sweater for next season. It’s the second time the forward has a chance to cash in. The first came in 2016 after he had just come off a career-high 29 points and concluded a two-year bridge deal which was paying him only $1M AAV.

Back then, former g.m. Garth Snow felt that Cizikas was a critical part of the team’s future and awarded him with a five-year deal worth $16.75M. Many people thought then that deal was ludicrous, especially for a fourth-liner. Looking at it now, it turned out to be one of the best contracts the Islanders handed out.

The Islanders have said they will do everything they can to avoid Cizikas moving on. But if he does depart, trying to replicate Cizikas’ presence won’t come easy for Islanders’ g.m. Lou Lamoriello.

The Islanders are a sum of all their parts and their success derives from when their players all play to their specific roles. Cizikas is without question one of the larger ones. During his tenure, “Zeeker” has become everything for the Isles. He has widely been considered the team’s hardest-working player, as there doesn’t seem to be anything he’s not capable of doing.

You want a guy to forecheck? Throw the body? Block shots? Penalty kill? It’s Cizikas.

There aren’t many guys who are a “throwback” as Barry Trotz likes to say, but he describes Cizikas as one of them. The veteran center doesn’t have a letter on his jersey, which is still somewhat surprising based on his play and his undersold leadership. There are definitely clubs that could use both those elements. The Maple Leafs, Rangers, maybe even the Penguins all come to mind.

But from an Islander perspective, things get tricky to fill Cizikas’ spot. They can try to bring back Travis Zajac on the cheap for another year after dealing for him at this year’s deadline. Zajac is notorious for doing a lot of the things Cizikas does (faceoffs, penalty kill). Problem is he is 36 years of age. Sooner or later the Islanders have to get younger and still be able to field a championship-caliber squad. Now that youth injection could be come from Otto Koivula.

The 22-year-old has played a few games with the big club the past few seasons but hasn’t been able to secure a regular role. Koivula is a center and does have size — he stands at 6’5, 223 pounds — but is he ready to play the demanding, physical style that Cizikas does and that Trotz employs?

Beyond them, it’s hard to see a Cole Bardreau or Felix Bibeau making the leap to starter.

Because of the Isles’ cap situation is such a tight squeeze, going the free agent route might be hard to navigate as well. The list of possible names in this year’s class might ask for more than Lamoriello is willing to pay. Also something to take of note, Lamoriello goes for players he feel would fit both the Isles’ style of play and their locker room.

“I think I know where his heart is and I think the team would love to have him back as well,” Martin said of Cizikas during the team’s exit interviews. “These things get tricky. There’s a salary cap, a bunch of things going on… at the end of the day, I hope we have another opportunity with this group of guys.”

The Isles can take a thing or two from Martin when it comes to the Cizikas situation. When Martin left for Toronto in free agency five years ago, they felt his absence in several ways the following season, physically and from a character standpoint. Does the name Jason Chimera ring a bell? He was brought in to replace Martin and it failed miserably. The Isles ended up missing the postseason for the first time in two years. So, if there’s anything to be taken from that situation, the Islanders this will hopefully not make the same mistake this time around.

The situation with Cizikas has its own uniqueness to it.

Who he is and what he brings to the table won’t be easy to substitute in any fashion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mets’ general manager Zack Scott discusses trade plans

Simeon Woods-Richardson

At 44-37, the New York Mets are the only team in the National League East division with a positive record, as of Tuesday morning. They have a four-game lead over the Washington Nationals, but they know they can’t afford to relax in what is shaping up to be a very tight race from this point to the end of the regular season.

As currently constructed, the Mets have the best roster in the division, but injuries to their starting rotation have decimated their depth. Carlos Carrasco, Noah Syndergaard, Joey Lucchesi, and David Peterson are out of action.

Mets’ acting general manager Zack Scott have stated the organization will be active in the trade market. He told Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News that he doesn’t consider anyone untouchable.

However, Thosar rightly speculates that there is a group of prospects that the Mets clearly don’t want to trade. It will take a lot for the team to get rid of these five young players: catcher Francisco Alvarez, shortstop Ronny Mauricio, pitcher Matt Allan, infielder Brett Baty and outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong.

The Mets don’t want to trade their top prospects

The Mets could theoretically deal one or more of them, but if they leave the organization, it likely means a high-impact player is coming to New York.

Scott said teams have already asked him for some of them, and others, in a rebuilding Mets farm system. “I’ve said no,” he stated. “Just don’t think the price was reasonable for what we’d be getting in return.”

For now, trade talks are preliminary, but this month should be a hot one on the trade news front. The Mets do have some areas in which they can improve, and while the most glaring need is starting pitching depth, they could also use an impact reliever and an infielder, among other things.

“I want to get down to a place where we know what’s real and what’s just kind of kicking around things,” Scott said. “And then we’ll talk seriously about what we want to do.”

 

New York Yankees Analysis: Hal Steinbrenner blames the players, I blame management too

hal steinbrenner, brian cashman

New York Yankees general managing partner Hal Steinbrenner came out of hiding and finally made a statement on the Yankees’ poor performance and put the blame on the Yankees players. Although there may be some truth to that, for the most part, it’s bull crap. If you own a business and your employees are not performing as they should, you can blame them, but the better course would be to look in the mirror, boss, you’re not leading.

You can pick at all the little problems, but the underlying major problem is that this team has no fire in their blood, no urgency. I have said it during many games that the opposition seems to be playing like they are in the seventh game of the world series, and the Yankees appear lifeless.

Look at the Boston Red Sox series when the Sox steamrolled the Yankees in all three games. The contrasts between the teams were stunning. The Red Sox outscored the Yankees 18-7. The Red Sox took advantage at every turn the Yankees didn’t. The Red Sox used baserunning to capitalize; the Yankees lost those opportunities. It’s tough to know where to start in determining what’s wrong with the Yankees.

The bottom line is that there is plenty of blame to be spread around. Yes, the players are the ones on the field, the coaches, Boone, Cashman, and Steinbrenner, can’t pitch or hit the ball for them, but they must find a way to inspire, and that they have obviously not done.

Let’s not talk about what the late George Steinbrenner would do, that was then, and this is now, and it’s a different time. The “boss” would have already fired hitting coach Marcus Thames and most likely Aaron Boone; he wouldn’t stand for this play that is the worst since 1972. They score only 3.7 runs a game on the season average and are 27th among major league teams. Hal is a different person, the same businessman, but his approach is entirely different; you won’t see him at every game, you won’t see him down in the clubhouse, ranting and raving.  Maybe he should.

Let’s look at the different areas of concern. The New York Yankee pitching has been mostly satisfactory up until recently. The same goes for the bullpen until recently. With the collapse of starting ace Gerrit Cole and closer Aroldis Chapman, the Yankees are in big trouble, regardless of the reasons for those deficiencies.

The hitting has been the biggest concern all season long. Other than slugger Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, the rest of the team has been locked on their heels. However, recently Gary Sanchez has woke up and is again contributing. Gio Urshela has been one of the most dependable players, but perennial favorite Brett Gardner and Gleyber Torres have been horrible, combining for only 6 home runs and 16 extra-base hits. LeMahieu and Torres combined in 2019 for 64 home runs, this year just 10. This is a team that basically can’t/doesn’t play small ball, they are built on the home run, and they are not hitting them at a pace to bring them to the postseason.

To give the New York Yankees some reprieve, the deadened ball this year probably hurts the home run hitting teams more than other teams. Although it probably doesn’t have a big effect on Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 450′ home runs, others like LeMahieu, Torres, Urshela, Gardner, Andujar, and Voit, many of their attempts are only reaching the warning track. I don’t know the answers, but here are a few suggestions that could help.

  • Carlos Mendoza et al. have got to work with players on the basics. They can’t make blunders, baserunning, and other basic baseball that you don’t even see in Little League.
  • Marcus Thames must work harder to help players lift the ball and stop getting so many ground ball outs and hitting into so many double-plays.
  • The Yankees have to find an adequate left-hitting centerfielder to man the position every day.
  • Andujar in left field just isn’t cutting it. Frazier is the better outfielder but can’t hit. So if they can get a centerfielder, move Gardner, who is great in left, and platoon him with Stanton, it’s time.
  • Please find a way to get Chris Gittens into more games; I believe he can be great. Then, with Stanton in left, you can insert Voit as DH.
  • Aaron Boone has failed to get to the World Series in consecutive 100 game winning seasons, and with basically the same lineup, he needs to find a way to inspire this team and put some fire in them. But, he also needs to know when to throw the analytics out the window and manage from the gut and what’s happening at the moment.
  • Hal Steinbrenner needs to take a more active interest in the day-by-day games. But, with the highest revenue team in baseball, he also can acquire what the team needs to succeed.

 

 

 

 

Mets’ GM about Carrasco and Syndergaard: ‘If we get those guys back, it’s a bonus’

The New York Mets’ bats are starting to come around as the team gets healthier and the returning players get into a rhythm. Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman and Taijuan Walker are doing an admirable job in the rotation, and Tylor Megill has been impressing as well. But the unit is short at least one or two names, and that’s why the organization is monitoring the trade market.

However, the Mets also know that, depending on their respective recoveries, Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Carrasco can provide a boost to the rotation and give it some depth and length, something that it desperately needs after Joey Lucchesi was lost for the year and David Peterson will be out for a while.

Mets’ acting general manager Zack Scott is scanning the league and waiting for teams to call their shots and identify themselves as buyers or sellers. The trade deadline is on July 30, so there are still three weeks of rumors and rumblings.

The first-place Mets are on the lookout for talent

The Mets are first in their division and will likely be trying to acquire talent, namely starting pitching.

“Our goal is to win the division, so there’s a lot of focus on that,” Scott said to Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News on Monday at Citi Field. “I think we’ve had kind of an uneven season; part of it is performance but part of it is just the number of injuries that we’ve had and the adversity that we’ve faced.

“If we look at ourselves in the whole picture of the National League, the goal is to win your division, get to the postseason and, given especially the top of the rotation and our bullpen, I think we’ve got as good a chance as anyone once we get there.”

Carrasco is expected to join the Mets in late July or early August, while Syndergaard’s target date is September 1. Relying on them to save the rotation without bringing any alternatives in July may be risky.

“If we get those guys back, it’s a bonus,” Scott said of Carrasco and Syndergaard. “And if we have more guys, then we’ll figure it out. … The reality is the game is designed to limit the impact of a single player, whether that’s a starting pitcher or hitter. So we have to be smart.”

Both Carrasco and Syndergaard have performed at an ace-like level recently, and could take the Mets’ rotation to the next level if they are both healthy.

Knicks News, 7/6: CJ McCollum a trade target? Stat-stuffing big man in the 1st round

cj McCollum, knicks

The New York Knicks are approaching the upcoming off-season with optimism regarding talent acquisition and the upgrading of the roster. The team has the ammo to engage in trade talks for a few big-name players. Alternatively, they can sit still and deploy their draft selections appropriately and allocate the funds to pick up free agents.

One big name that has been floating around the media lately is Damian Lillard, and with the Portland Trailblazers preparing to hire a new head coach and make a few big decisions for the future, one player who could be on the chopping block is CJ McCollum. McCollum recently signed a three-year, $100 million extension, averaging $33 million per season until the 2023-24 campaign.

McCollum is currently 29 years old and had one of his best seasons to date this past year. As a primary shooting guard, McCollum averaged 23.1 points, 4.7 access, and shot nearly 46% from the field. He also connected on 40% of his shots from range over 8.9 times per game. He was a catalyst for Portland, and if the Knicks want to inject a high-profile shooter into the lineup, McCollum could easily fit the bill.

Alternatively, $33 million is a lot to spend on a complementary player — the Knicks could potentially lure Chris Paul in for a similar amount to feature as the star point guard.

Nonetheless, if big names are flying off the market and the Knicks are left scratching their heads in contempt, trading for McCollum could make sense. He would give Randle the appropriate shooting option to pair with, demanding some attention and opening up the floor for options like RJ Barrett.

An interesting option for New York, especially if Lillard isn’t dealt and Portland is looking to part ways with above average and expensive talent.

Do you think the Knicks should consider a CJ McCollum trade if other options are off the board? Comment below!

Taking a look at one stat-stuffing big man the Knicks could target in the draft:

The 2021 NBA draft is thin at the center position, but one young option who could develop into a fantastic traditional big man is Alperen Sengun of Turkey.

The 6’9”, 235-pound 19-year-old has the potential to be an elite scoring big man, as he’s ranked as the 2nd best center in the draft class. Not only is Sengun capable of dominating in the paint with natural instincts and facilitator vision, but he also has an adequate short-range jump shot. At such a young age, he has plenty of room to grow in multiple categories.

While his offense is above average, Sengun’s defense could use a bit of refinement. He still has time to grow and add more mass to his frame, and if he can turn into a solid defender, the Turkey native could end up being a star at the NBA level. Of course, head coach Tom Thibodeau would have to deal with the lack of defense on his end during his rookie season, but he offers instant offense in the paint and a potential long-term solution in the frontcourt. There is a chance he is available with a 19th overall pick for the Knicks this year.

Any interest in Sengun as a prospect rather for the Knicks? Comment below!

Dear Ryan Pace: Please, bring back Allen Robinson

Allen Robinson, New York Giants

At the beginning of the off-season, many wondered if Chicago Bears superstar wide receiver Allen Robinson would be suiting up for the team again in the 2021 season. Ultimately, Allen Robinson signed a franchise tag tender worth $18m, keeping him in Chicago for one more year to many fans’ surprises. So the question was no longer will Robinson stay in 2021, but will a contract be negotiated for the 2022 season?

The deadline to negotiate a contract from a franchise tender is July 15th. As of writing, it is July 5th. That means the Chicago Bears only have 10 days to negotiate new terms with the best wide receiver and offensive talent on their roster.

Is there any hope?

Honestly, not a whole lot. The Bear’s front office has been tranquil when asked about negotiations, and Allen Robinson hasn’t indicated that things are going over smoothly. When asked on an episode of NFL Total Access on Wednesday, Robinson stated, “We’ll see.” Not exactly what Bears fans had hoped to hear.

It’s not all bad

Robinson has numerously reiterated his commitment to the team and this season. Continuing in his talk with NFL Total Access, Robinson reaffirmed his commitment to the 2021 season, “How can I help put this team, how can I help put this offense in a better situation than we were in last year?”

Robinson will certainly assist the offense in reaching new heights. His talent is noteworthy. PFF ranked Robinson the 4th best receiver in the NFL heading into the 2021 season. However, it is crucial to note he has achieved this level of play with inconsistent and bottom-tier quarterback play. Insert Justin Fields.

The Bears must retain Allen Robinson.

With Fields in town, the Bears need to find a way to keep Robinson. The cap situation is unforgiving, and the organization was forced to release their pro-bowl cornerback Kyle Fuller in March. Regardless of how painful it may be, successful teams in today’s league have a dynamic duo between mobile big arm quarterbacks and incredibly athletic wideouts. I commented on this earlier last month. It would be a waste to bring in Justin Fields, pair him with Allen Robinson for a year, and then toss Robinson to the curb.

So please, Ryan Pace. Bring A-Rob back. We need him. Justin Fields needs him.

Yankees News, 7/6: Roster is falling apart at the seams, Cashman must push past luxury tax

New York Yankees, Brian Cashman

The Yankees‘ roster is currently bursting at the seams with inadequacy and failure. Having extracted just a singular win over three games against the New York Mets, the Yankees are now preparing to take on the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday evening.

The Mariners are five games above .500 and will feature a familiar face on the mound, Justus Sheffield, against the Yankees in the first game of the series. Sheffield has a 5.88 ERA this season, allowing 91 hits and 13 homers over 72 innings pitched. Considering how poor Jameson Taillon has performed, the Yankees’ starter for the matchup, he has allowed 17 fewer hits over a very similar sample size.

With contempt and confusion beginning to overwhelm the Bombers, general manager Brian Cashman must devise a plan of action. With ownership wanting to stay below the $210 million luxury tax threshold, they may have no choice but to push past if they want to have any chance at making the postseason. Currently, the Yankees are 10.5 games out of first place in the AL East and 5.5 back from the Tampa Bay Rays in the Wild Card race.

There’s no question the team has plenty of time to turn things around, but a shift in momentum would require a major surge in starting pitching efficiency and run production with RISP.

As of late, fans have indicated their frustration, raining down boo’s on skipper Aaron Boone and Cashman. However, the vision of the team is built through Cashman’s eyes, and the question is, should they move on from him after the 2021 season?

Buster Olney of ESPN gave a fantastic justification for the retention of Brian Cashman from the perspective of Hal Steinbrenner:

A reason to keep Cashman: He has never had a losing season. Ever. Twenty-four seasons as GM and the Yankees have always won — not as much in the postseason since the 1996-2001 dynasty, but the organization’s last losing record was in 1992. Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner basically grew up in the business together, have known each other for decades, and Hal knows about Cashman the same thing that his father knew about Gene Michael: Cashman’s decisions are always about what he thinks is best for the franchise. Some of the choices might turn out badly, but there is a simple motivating factor behind them. And if Hal fires Cashman, he would have to find somebody else who could handle the incendiary New York market as deftly as Cashman, who draws raves from his peers for this particular skill.

Based on this logic, Hal will likely refrain from letting Cashman walk, considering their close relationship. It is true, Cashman has built a squad that hasn’t had a losing record in over a decade, and making a significant change could be far worse than the reality fans are experiencing right now.

If anything, they need to focus more on contact hitters and adding more diversity to the batting order with lefty options. In addition, taking considerable risks with the starting pitching rotation should not be a strategy any longer. Focusing on health history might be a good move in the future.