With several key contributors out, the New York Liberty added the North Carolina alumna. She played 11 games with Indiana last year.
The New York Liberty have confirmed the signing of free agent guard Paris Kea to their roster.
Kea, 24, was a third-round pick out of North Carolina (25th overall) of the Indiana Fever in the 2019 WNBA Draft. In three seasons with the Tar Heels (after transferring from Vanderbilt), Kea averaged 18 points per game, the second-best tally in program history. Her final two seasons saw her earn back-to-back First-Team All-ACC honors and her total point tally of 1,637 is the seventh-best in Chapel Hill history over a three-year span. Additionally, she reached 30 points in seven games over her career, also good for second-best in the blue archives.
A native of Tarboro, NC, Kea was a two-sport athlete in high school, also playing soccer. She also partook in international endeavors in 2014, representing the United States in the FIBA America U18 Championship for Women. The USA took home the gold with a team that included Kea, A’ja Wilson, Napheesa Collier, and Teaira McCowan.
Kea played 11 games with Indiana last season. Ironically, her best performance of the season came against the Liberty. In a June tilt at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Kea made her WNBA debut to the tune of 10 points (4-of-6 shooting) in a 92-77 Fever victory. She was released by Indiana in April.
New York had an open roster spot after several opt-outs and also sought depth after top overall pick Sabrina Ionescu went down with an ankle injury. Kia Nurse and Jazmine Jones have likewise missed time, albeit only one full game each, due to injury.
The Liberty (1-5) earned their first win of the season on Friday night, topping the defending champion Washington Mystics 74-66. They’ll look to start a streak on Sunday late afternoon against the Las Vegas Aces (5 p.m. ET, YES).
With the Easter season in full swing, the New York Jets have managed to find some hidden eggs after the NFL Draft’s final name.
255 names will be called during the process of the 2020 NFL Draft, which will begin on April 23 (8:00 p.m. ET, ESPN/ABC/NFL Network). After the draft, however, many more will get a long-awaited phone call. Several of these players could wind up becoming hidden Easter eggs, players that become remarkable contributors to the active roster.
The New York Jets have had a good share of these spring surprises roll in from the ranks of the undrafted. ESM is proud to immortalize those names in a commemorative starting lineup….
QB: Bill Demory (1973-74)
Jets history is extremely shallow on undrafted quarterback success. 1999’s supersub Ray Lucas nearly made the list, but his career began during Bill Parcells’ New England years. Demory is the only undrafted quarterback originally signed by the Jets to win a start for the squad, riding a 132-yard day from John Riggins while he went 1-for-7 for 11 yards in a 9-7 win over New England in 1973.
RB: Clark Gaines (1976-80)
Gaines was a man of many talents with the Jets. Not only was he known for his rushing talents, but the 17 receptions he earned during a 1980 loss to San Francisco still stands as a Jets franchise record. His 55 receptions in 1977 were good for third in the NFL. On the ground, the 724 rushing yards earned during his rookie season allowed him to reach the NFL’s All-Rookie Team alongside linebacker teammate Greg Buttle and future legends Steve Largent and Harry Carson. Gaines wound up gaining 2,552 yards over five seasons with the Jets before injuries derailed his career.
WR: Wayne Chrebet (1995-2005)
One of the renowned fan favorites in modern Jets history, Chrebet was the perfect tri-state area success story. Born in Garfield, New Jersey and graduating from Hofstra University on Long Island, Chrebet’s odds were stacked against him from the literal first moment he entered the Jets’ facility. The security guard on duty thought Chrebet was too small to partake in practice, but Chrebet defied all the odds by not only making the team but leaving a lasting impact. Currently, Chrebet ranks third in team history in receiving yardage (7,365) and touchdowns (41). He continues to be a regular prescience on Jet game days and was inducted into the team Ring of Honor in 2014.
WR: Robby Anderson (2016-19)
Anderson is by far the most prolific Jets receiver since his NFL entry. He put up 3,059 yards to accompany 20 touchdowns over four New York seasons. That’s not bad at all for a guy who entered his first Jets training camp ninth on the receiver’s depth chart. A prolific preseason (13 receptions, 264 yards) was only a sign of things to come. Anderson is currently 11th amongst active receivers with 14.8 yards per reception. Alas, the receiver has left for bluer pastures, rejoining former Temple head coach Matt Rhule and quarterback P.J. Walker in Carolina.
WR: Lou Piccone (1974-76)
As a Vineland native, Piccone’s green antics wasn’t the first time he brought a New Jersey crowd to its feet. He wound up leading the NFL in kick return yards during the 1974 season. His first professional touchdown came in two seasons later on a punt return during a shutout win over Tampa Bay. Piccone’s Jets career ended shortly after, as he shifted his New York allegiance over to Buffalo.
TE: Jeff Cumberland (2010-15)
It took a while for the Jets to unlock Cumberland’s true potential, but he became a favorite target no matter who was playing quarterback for the Jets between 2012 and 2014. Cumberland was one of two players to reach four digits in yardage in that span (the other being Jeremy Kerley) and no one scored more touchdowns (10) over that three-year range. His most notable tally, a one-yard fourth quarter grab from Greg McElroy, gave the Jets a 7-6 win over Arizona in December 2012.
C: John Schmitt (1964-73)
Another Hofstra alum, Schmitt was born in Brooklyn and first graduated from Seton Hall Preparatory School in West Orange. Schmitt was named to two All-AFL teams and was the Jets’ starting center for their victory in Super Bowl III. He would finish his career with another green team during his 1974 season with the Packers.
G: Brandon Moore (2002-12)
Moore’s lasting legacy will unfairly be the titular rear end mentioned in Mark Sanchez’s infamous “Butt Fumble”. After failing to make the team at the end of 2002 training camp, Moore partook in NFL Europe (Scottish Claymores) and the Arena Football League (Carolina Cobras) before making the most out of a second opportunity with the Jets. Curtis Martin led the league in rushing during his first full year as a starter (2004) and Moore would later be invited to the 2012 Pro Bowl.
G: Kerry Jenkins (1997-2001)
Jenkins is perhaps best-known for starting on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ championship offensive line in 2002, but, prior to that, he started all 48 games over the 1999-2001 seasons.
T: Matt Willig (1993-95)
Willig wound up playing 13 years in the NFL (and was a part of the St. Louis Rams’ 1999 championship squad) but the Rose Bowl champion is perhaps better known for his film career. He most recently appeared in the Warner Bros./DC Comics collaboration Birds of Prey, four years after he had a recurring role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe television entry Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Other popular films on his filmography include The Benchwarmers,We’re the Millers, and Stretch.
T: Brent Qvale (2014-19)
Qvale recently signed with the Houston Texans, but was a serviceable depth option over five seasons. His brother Brian currently partakes in Italian basketball and is the Big South Conference’s all-time leader in blocks.
DL: Damon Harrison (2012-15)
Affectionately known as “Snacks”, Harrison was an NAIA All-American at William Penn, but the small Iowa college hadn’t sent anyone to the NFL since 1987. He wound up making the team in 2012 and then permanently took over the Jets’ starting defensive tackle spot after injuries rocked the lineup in his sophomore season. His NFL introduction came in an October 2013 win over New England, where his first NFL sack victimized Tom Brady. Harrison would then play two-plus seasons with the Giants before a 2018 trade sent him to Detroit. He remains a fan favorite amongst metropolitan green and blue fans alike.
DL: Mike DeVito (2007-12)
DeVito probably could’ve filled several slots on this list, as the Atlantic 10 legend was known for appearing on both sides of the ball. He made his first NFL squad by beating out veterans Bobby Hamilton and Kimo Von Oelhoffen. NBC recently replayed the game that featured the biggest moment of DeVito’s career, the 2011 opener against the Dallas Cowboys. DeVito’s sack of Tony Romo (the first full QB takedown of his NFL career) forced a fumble deep in Jets territory that kept Dallas off the scoreboard and allowed a comeback to continue. The Jets won the game 27-24.
DL: Kyle Phillips (2019-present)
When injuries rocked the Jets’ defense, Phillips wound up being a serviceable replacement. His first full NFL sack came in a big situation, helping New York secure a December win over playoff contenders from Pittsburgh with a sack of Devlin Hodges late in the fourth quarter. He finished the season with 39 tackles overall.
LB: Chad Cascadden (1995-99)
Cascadden was mostly used as a depth option during his five seasons in green, but contributed to the Jets’ 1998 magic in a memorable way. He helped the Jets continue a six-game winning streak to end the regular season with the 23-yard return of a Dan Marino fumble that served as the de facto game-winning touchdown in a 21-16 win in Miami. Cascadden would also tally the only multi-sack game of his career during the 1999 AFC Championship Game against Denver.
LB: Paul Crane (1966-72)
Another Super Bowl III participant, Crane’s most notable moment came in the Jets’ first game after their ultimate triumph in Miami. He intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, in the Jets’ 33-19 win over Buffalo to open up their 1969 campaign.
LB: Kevin McArthur (1986-89)
A Lamar alum, McArthur had two interceptions over a four-year Jets career. One of them came during the 1986 AFC playoffs. His 21-yard swipe of a Todd Blackledge pass went for a touchdown and was among the last of 28 unanswered points as the Jets rolled to a 35-15 win over Kansas City.
LB: Jamaal Westerman (2009-11)
A decade-plus career that spanned ten teams and two countries began collegiately at Rutgers and professionally with the Jets. Westerman immediately impressed then-head coach Rex Ryan, who predicted that Westerman would make the team in June minicamp. He immediately vindicated Ryan’s confidence with a sack in his debut, a 24-7 win over Houston to open the 2009 campaign. Another career highlight for Westerman was a two-sack output against Brady and the Patriots during a 2011 visit to Foxboro.
DB: Randy Beverly (1967-69)
One could argue that it should’ve been Beverly walking away with Super Bowl III MVP honors. The Baltimore Colts planned to pick on the inexperienced and undersized defender, but he instead haunted them with two interceptions, one of which came on the opening drive. Both interceptions also stifled Baltimore scoring chances, each occurring in the end zone. Beverly’s later career included an appearance with another New York football team, the Stars of the World Football League.
DB: Bill Baird (1963-69)
Yet another Super Bowl champ, Baird played his college ball at San Francisco State. He would go on to earn 34 interceptions over his seven NFL seasons, including eight alone during the 1964 trek. Together with Beverly and Johnny Sample, Baird would unite to allow only 181 yards between Earl Morrall and Johnny Unitas, also forcing four interceptions on the fateful evening.
DB: Dainard Paulson (1961-66)
A legacy member of the New York Titans, Paulson’s magnum opus was the 1964 season, where he put up a franchise-record 12 interceptions, which is also good for third-best in AFL/NFL history. He would follow it up with seven more a year later, reaching the AFL Pro Bowl in both years.
DB: Jerry Holmes (1980-83, 86-87)
After serving as a depth option during his rookie campaign, Holmes worked his way into the Jets’ starting lineup and wound up posting 14 interceptions over five seasons as a regular. His best season (six interceptions in 1986) came after a two-year sabbatical in the United States Football League. One of those years featured three more Jersey picks as a member of the Generals. In fact, the USFL negotiated his NFL release the year before, but that did nothing to slow Nelson down. In a de facto lame duck situation (before spending his first USFL season with the Pittsburgh Maulers), Nelson helped seal an upset win over the 49ers by taking a Joe Montana pass back for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
K: John Hall (1997-2002)
Despite a successful kicking career at Wisconsin, Hall went unclaimed until the Jets came calling. He would go on to establish himself as a clutch NFL kicker. For example, he booted the famous winner in the Monday Night Miracle against Miami). Four AFC Special Teams Player of the Week Awards also awaited him throughout his career, as did a surprising 18 tackles over six Jets seasons. In a rather obscure stat, the Jets were 3-1 in the four games where Hall had multiple tackles.
P: Ben Graham (2005-08)
In 2005, Graham, formerly of Australian Rules Football, became the oldest rookie to appear on an NFL roster at 31. He also made history in New York as the first Australian player to captain an American football team. Further football history awaited him beyond his green endeavors, as he became player to partake in both an AFL Grand Final and a Super Bowl as a member of the Arizona Cardinals.
The New York Giants will be in the market for a pass-rusher this offseason. Luckily, the 2020 free agency class is filled with talented edge rushers for the Giants to pursue. New York is expected to make a run at all of the big names, such as Yannick Ngakoue and Jadeveon Clowney. But there are more affordable options out there.
Dante Fowler Jr. will be one of those more affordable options in the 2020 free agency class. The 25-year-old edge rusher out of the University of Florida has been with the Los Angeles Rams for the past season and a half but is set to hit the open market once again this offseason.
Dante Fowler Jr. Stats And Highlights
Dante Fowler Jr. was selected third overall in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He spent his first two and a half seasons in Jacksonville before being traded to the Los Angeles Rams. Fowler signed a one-year contract extension with the Rams in the 2019 offseason.
This offseason, however, a contract extension might not come to fruition. The Rams are pressed against the salary cap and might have to let Dante Fowler Jr. walk away.
Fowler Jr. was looked at as a bust during his time with the Jaguars. He never hit that elite level that they expected him to when they drafted him third overall. However, a change of scenery worked well for Dante. He had a career-year in 2019 that should see him rewarded handsomely in free agency.
In 2019, Dante Fowler recorded a career-high 11.5 sacks, 35 pressures, and 58 combined tackles. This was far and away the best season of his career and a big step forward from his 4-sack campaign in 2018. Fowler’s inconsistency throughout his career is a major red flag. But if 2019 is any indication, it appears Fowler is starting to get the hang of the professional game. Maybe in the right defensive system, Dante Fowler Jr. will be able to reach his full potential.
Dante’s impressive performance in 2019 should see him earn a pretty expensive contract, however, he will be a cheaper option in comparison to Clowney and Ngakoue.
According to Over the Cap, Dante Fowler Jr. is projected to get a four-year deal worth about $15 million on average annually. This is $6 million less than what Jadeveon Clowney is projected to sign for and $4.5 less than Ngakoue’s projected contract.
The New York Giants possess one of the worst defenses in the NFL. In 2019, the Giants’ secondary was especially bad. New York’s pass defense ranked fifth-worst in the NFL this season, allowing 264.1 passing yards per game (ESPN). Granted, the team had multiple rookie defensive backs starting for them. But this league-ranking is unacceptable regardless and needs to improve in 2020.
Luckily for the Giants, there are plenty of options to improve their secondary this offseason. Whether it be drafting a young stud defensive back in the first round or spending big in free agency- the possibilities are limitless. In free agency, there are plenty of big-name offensive tackles and edge rushers that Giants fans will drool over. But the player they should be drooling over is in the secondary. Byron Jones, Dallas Cowboys defensive back, should be the Giants’ top free-agent target in 2020.
Free Agent Cornerbacks Pay Off
The Giants have spent big in the secondary before. Over the past five years, the Giants have signed a couple of big-name cornerbacks. Fist, New York secured Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the 2014 NFL offseason. The Giants signed DRC to a five-year deal that saw him total 11 interceptions and 46 passes defended in three seasons. Rodgers-Cromartie was also selected as a second-team All-Pro in 2016.
DRC was not the only free agent cornerback from which the Giants got high returns. More recently, the Giants parted ways with cornerback Janoris Jenkins. Jenkins was a big signing for the Giants in the 2016 offseason when the team spent heavily on impact players in free agency, such as Jenkins, Olivier Vernon, and Damon Harrison.
In that 2016 offseason, the Giants signed Janoris Jenkins to a five-year deal. The Giants got three and a half years out of Janoris. In those three and a half seasons, Janoris Jenkins racked up 12 interceptions, and 56 passes defended. Janoris Jenkins was also selected as a first-team All-Pro in 2016. The Giants’ past two cornerback free agent signings have paid off big-time with elite play and reliability in their secondary.
Why The Giants Should Sign Byron Jones
If the Giants make a third big purchase in the secondary, signing Byron Jones in the 2020 offseason would be a home run. Undoubtedly, Byron Jones is the best cornerback set to be available in free agency in 2020.
The Giants’ secondary is filled with youthful talent. DeAndre Baker, Sam Beal, Corey Ballentine, Julian Love, and Grant Haley are all second and third-year players. Having a talented veteran presence in the secondary should be a top priority for the Gmen. Byron Jones fits the bill at 27-years-old with 5 years of experience.
The Cowboys are in a bit of trouble regarding their salary cap. They just paid Ezekiel Elliot and Demarcus Lawrence, and they still have not paid Dak Prescott. New head coach Mike McCarthy will have some tough decisions to make regarding the team’s impending free agents, and he might have to let some big names walk out the door. Byron Jones could be one of those big names to depart.
Byron Jones is a versatile cornerback that makes a significant impact in pass coverage. He has experience playing both safety and cornerback at the professional level and has done both exceptionally well. Jones is 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. He’s a large-bodied cornerback with peak physicality to cover larger receivers and tight ends. Finally, the Giants could get a coverage-man to shut down opposing tight ends.
Beautiful Back-Shoulder Fade Defense from Cowboys CB Byron Jones
⬆️ In-Phase = Hips Even with the WR
🔒 Get “Chest to Chest” when the WR Opens to the Back Shoulder
These are all three big names in the Major Leagues who are most likely looking for lengthy and expensive contracts. Even though the Yankees can pretty much afford anyone, that doesn’t mean they’ll definitely sign with the Yanks.
Here are other available pitchers on the free-agent market that the Yankees should consider if they don’t land one of those three guys.
Known for his high-heat, Zack Wheeler is someone who can give the Yankees exactly what they need. Behind the Yankee offense, this duo could be something special. After posting a 3.96 ERA in 31 starts, the Yankees could grab him for a contract in their favor.
Wheeler has an arsenal of pitches, throwing a four-seam fastball, slider, curve, chance, and splitter. Something else attractive about Wheeler is he consistently goes the distance, usually leaving the game after giving seven innings. With how to dominate the Yankee bullpen is, this is something the New York Yankees need in their starting rotation.
Someone who sorta flew under the radar this past season, Wade Miley had a great year with the Houston Astros. In 33 games started, Miley posted a 14-6 record with the World Series runner-ups.
Miley is an enticing player because he’s one of the few MLB starters who doesn’t rely on the fastball. He uses a cutter and a changeup as his primary pitches while working in a fastball with a curve and slider.
We have all seen the headlines “cold stove”, “when will they sign?”, “will there be a labor stoppage?” etc. The gist of most of the articles is that it’s some type of outrage that there haven’t been 10 year/400 million dollar contracts for Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, or that Craig “the greatest closer in history” Kimbrel remains unsigned. The reality is it’s THEIR Fault, not the owners. A “cheap” New York Yankees team has emerged as the biggest spenders.
Where are the issues stemming from?
I know when it comes to labor issues we all become part of the proletariat and unite, but at what point does banking on others stupidity as the baseline for your contract become your fault? The pendulum for the power in contracts is swinging back towards equilibrium in baseball and it’s freaking the MLBPA and agents out.
Is anyone enjoying watching Albert Pujols decompose in Anaheim while eating up a huge chunk of the team’s payroll, and that Josh Hamilton deal worked out great too right? Are the Red Sox still paying Carl Crawford and Pablo Sandoval? How’d the last few years of Arod’s deal work out? Finally, there’s the ghost of Jacoby Ellsbury, may he rest in trainers tape. With those and countless other terrible contracts, I’m confused as to why there’s a mystery as to why teams aren’t interested in long-term big money deals.
Money is earned through consistency:
I know what you want to say “but Manny and Bryce are in their mid-twenties, they’ll produce for the life of their deals” Harper hasn’t consistently had great years the first seven years of his career, do you want to bet 30 million a year on his age 35-37 seasons? Do you want your team paying that much to anyone at that age? As analytics have swept through front offices they’ve finally realized “oh we don’t have to pay superstar salaries to watch these guys circle the drain.” This isn’t collusion, it’s a market correction.
Obviously, prior to free agency, the owners had all the power. Thanks to the reserve clause players were treated, as the great Coop Cooper of the Milwaukee Beers put it, like indentured servants. Then Marvin Miller flipped the script, owners lost their minds and George Steinbrenner of the 1980s happened.
Eventually, though the contracts got out of control and created a small market vs large market issue that threatened competitive balance and the viability of some franchises. Gradually teams started to look for ways to compete on tighter budgets (money ball era A’s, Ray’s earlier in the 2000s etc.) and after seeing their success the smart large market teams began to follow their blueprints. It quickly dried up inefficiencies for teams to exploit but has brought us where we are now.
Why the players are frustrated:
So while I see why players are upset, their arguments sound pretty stupid to me. “Guys that have put up the numbers and produced the way that they have should get long-term deals. I think that’s the way the game always has been. I’m not an analyst; I’m a player. I want players to succeed and get what they deserve.” That’s a quote from Walker Buehler (who hasn’t even had one full good season). Essentially in the past players would expect a long-term deal based on prior performance, long past when they would still be at that level. I don’t see how anyone could abide that logic. If you went into your boss and said you wanted a raise, that would be in effect for 10 years but you’d only work at your current level for 3 or 4 they’d think you were insane, but that’s what the MLBPA thinks is right.
I’m sure these players could get the money they want on a 5-year deal, but right now they’re refusing to accept that reality. If they really want to be paid based on the prior season they could sign a one year deal every year but none would do that for fear of injury. That’s what the trade-off has always been, you sacrifice dollars for security. Now the players want both and teams aren’t biting. Do you blame them?
I’m curious to see what deals these players get, and what shape free agency continues to take in the future. I know there are threats from the union about striking over this, it’s hard to see how the public would side with “give us millions while we atrophy over the next decade”. Until then I heard Manny Machado and the Padres had a second meeting, so clearly it’s about winning and not the most money for the longest amount of time.
The NFL regular season is over. The New York Giants played their final game of the season on Sunday. Their week 17 matchup was a home loss against the Dallas Cowboys. The final score was 35-36. The Giants’ offense played a great game, scoring 35 points. However, the defense was lousy, letting up 36 points.
The Giants defense played so poorly that head coach Pat Shurmur had to bench a player. The player that was benched was free safety Curtis Riley. Riley has received heavy criticism from fans all season. The Giants’ coaching staff benched Riley for a lack of effort.
The Play That Benched Riley
The Cowboys had the ball on 3rd and 3 from the 39 yard line with 5:12 remaining in the third quarter. Dallas was ahead 14-10 at this point in the game. Quarterback Dak Prescott rolled right and found tight end Blake Jarwin for a completion well beyond the first down marker. Jarwin caught the pass with four Giants players surrounding him, but no one was able to bring him down.
Free safety Curtis Riley was directly in front of Jarwin and had a chance to make a head on touchdown-saving tackle. Instead, Riley completely whiffed on the play and allowed Jarwin to walk into the end zone for the touchdown. Riley demonstrated a complete lack of effort on this play.
Curtis Riley was benched after this embarrassing play. His mid-game replacement was safety Sean Chandler. Chandler had a decent outing, finishing the game with four tackles. However, nothing from this game would indicate that Chandler is the long-term solution at free safety.
It is now officially the offseason for the Giants so they can begin to look for an upgrade at free safety. The Giants could draft a rookie free safety or sign a free agent safety.
In free agency, there are a lot of options. The Giants should definitely look at players such as Adrian Amos, Tre Boston, and Lamarcus Joyner. These are players that would likely fall into the Giants’ price range. If the Giants decide to invest heavily into the position this offseason, there are elite options set to hit the market. More expensive players include Tyrann Mathieu, Earl Thomas, and HaHa Clinton-Dix.
The Giants have may options to choose from. It is likely they will sign a free safety in free agency, but it is unknown how much the Giants will be looking to spend this offseason. Giants fans should be looking forward to an exciting and important offseason for Big Blue