NFL Season Previews: Miami

-by Hugo

Miami Dolphins

In the previous edition of this series, I suggested that the 2016 Buffalo Bills were better than you thought they were. The 10-6 Dolphins were at the other end of the spectrum. At 17th in points scored, 24th in yards gained, 15th in points allowed, and 29th in yards allowed, they were average to well below-average in the key offensive and defensive categories.

Offensively, Jay Ajayi was the breakout star of the Dolphins last season. Gaining yards after contact is Ajayi’s calling card, and he turned his breakaway gear into a 1,272 yard season. However, a closer look reveals that Ajayi gained 200 yards or more in three contests, and 100 yards or more in only 4 contests. This feast-or-famine production does not bode well for his long term consistency.

In the skill corps, the Dolphins return Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker, a supremely talented wideout who should build on his 2016 campaign. But former top pick Ryan Tannehill is the player who holds the keys to the Miami passing game. Tannehill has not taken the step forward that the Dolphins are hoping for, and calling for it in 2017 would be akin to crying wolf.

On defense, they cut loose expensive veterans such as Mario Williams, Earl Mitchell, and Jason Jones. In their stead they have embraced a youth movement, drafting diminutive edge rusher Charles Harris, and trading for solid strongside DE William Hayes. Their young and unproven secondary struggled to contain opponents in 2017, and improvement will be necessary there.

Prediction: 6-10
The Dolphins had a confidence-building first year under Adam Gase, clawing their way to wins despite being outplayed with consistency. Were I a betting man, I would not take out stock on the sequel.

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DNOMN8R314
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NEW POST
—>

Calipatsfan3473
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Crap- nobody is here when I need them- that’s ok I’ll live- maybe.

Calipatsfan3473
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The beast is at “camp”- I feel lost.

Jonc77
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the night crew is no longer

cqrun
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angry? happy?

Jonc77
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neither
I dont get the question

cqrun
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The crew is no longer…… angry? happy?
I know what you were trying to say, but it also read like an incomplete thought.

Jonc77
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im not angry and im definitely not happy about it. The night crew was awesome. Sad to see it go.

I figured no one would read my post so i didnt put much effort into it.

Good to see you though

cqrun
Member
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Good to see you too.
It is sad to see what it has become. Although there is no counter to show how many are listening, I am sure there are several people who monitor the late night conversation. There just isn’t much discussed anymore.

Calipatsfan3473
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Maybe we’re just getting older?

Jonc77
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that sucks for you

Calipatsfan3473
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Good to see someone here- how are you John??

hugowasmyhomeboy
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In 2014, Nelson Cruz led baseball with 40 home runs.
In 2017, there are 24 players on pace to hit at least 40 home runs.

MasterAndCommander
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Roids!

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Michael Scotto @MikeAScotto
Jamal Crawford would consider joining the Celtics, if bought out by the Hawks, a source told Basketball Insiders. twitter.com/alexkennedynba…

hugowasmyhomeboy
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First Hayward, now Crawford. Is the plan to outscore teams 140-130?

cqrun
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That would be a win.

dp73
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So how many yards for Gillslee this year. I say 1,773 and 19 TD’s. 🙂

hugowasmyhomeboy
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I’d guess ~900 yards on ~200 carries or so.

dp73
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I was joking.

HunterCenter
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But seriously I’ll say 800 yards 9 TDs as the floor (assuming he stays healthy)

hugowasmyhomeboy
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Trying to predict TD totals seems futile to me. Too much noise in how touches at the goal line are distributed.

HunterCenter
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Sure, but this offense will move the ball, and they like running at the goal line, as Blount to total from last season proved.

Deadsmack #NotDone
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He won’t have all that yardage, i expect Pats to split the time between all 4 RB’s: Gilleslee, Burkhead, Lewis and White.
But all 4 might might get more production combined than what we had by our RB’s last season

dp73
Member
Free agent

Here is the thing for me. Going in I hope Gillslee does well but I don’t think he is a lock to do well. None of Gilleslee, Burkhead, Lewis and White have run the ball well over the course of a 16 games season. I am not saying that they can’t but it is a concern for me going in.

To me Lewis and White are better receiving backs. I am not counting much on their running the ball.

Deadsmack #NotDone
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what i love is that they are different kinda of RB’s, but all 4 can also catch the ball, although they are also different kinda of receivers coming from the backfield

HunterCenter
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Lewis can’t run the ball?

dp73
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For 16 games?

HunterCenter
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He’s not going to be asked to be the workhorse. Hence their depth. Whether or not he can be a lead back for 16 games is moot

dp73
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I never said lead back.He has never played a16 game season.

HunterCenter
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But why does that matter? They have 4 capable RBs to share the load. Are you saying because Lewis can’t last 16 games that he is unable to run the ball competently as 1/4 of the unit?

dp73
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So no other RB could get hurt? If he can’t last 16 then how much depth does he really add?

MrLucky
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What about the second half of the season?

dp73
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“The future Hall of Famer has been vocal about his diet and training in the past — avocado ice cream and no strawberries have made plenty of headlines — but Brady’s new book promises to reveal all of the quarterback’s secrets to gaining and sustaining the success he’s had in his football career.”- NFL.com

I have had strawberries this week. They were on sale. Was that a bad move?

HunterCenter
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Do you feel inflamed?

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Patrick Beverley can’t wait to play again with Milos Teodosic.
The two were teammates in Greece with Olympiacos. And now they will play again together with the Clippers.

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Clippers lost: CP3 and Reddick

But they added Teodosic, Gallinari, Beverley, Dekker, Harrell and Lou Williams

I would take that for my Lakers

Deadsmack #NotDone
Member
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LOLLLLLLL

I think the Clippers are a better and deeper team after all the moves in the last week.

dp73
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“Given that value, it’s possible the C’s could ask for more from the Jazz if they’re parting with Crowder. That means Utah might throw players like Rodney Hood, Dante Exum and even Derrick Favors into the mix to make a trade happen, according to Brian Robb of 98.5 The Sports Hub.”

Read more at: http://nesn.com/2017/07/nba-rumors-gordon-hayward-sign-and-trade-close-jae-crowder-likely-involved/-NESN

Would Favors be a better fit the Hood or Exum?

hugowasmyhomeboy
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Favors is the best fit of those names, yes. It would be surprising to me if the Celts could swing Favors & Hayward for Crowder/stuff though.

dp73
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Isn’t Favors on the last year of his contract?

hugowasmyhomeboy
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Yes, but you’d have his bird rights so you could go over the cap to re-sign him if you like him enough.

hugowasmyhomeboy
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He’s also only 25 even though it seems like he’s been around for a while. I could see it happening.

dp73
Member
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Bradley too? Couldn’t they get more for Bradley in a separate deal.

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Why the hell would the Jazz do that?

hugowasmyhomeboy
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@RapSheet #Raiders DE Jihad Ward just had minor foot surgery, but sources say he’ll be ready for camp by mid-August on a cautious timetable. No rush.
He has declared a fatwa against quarterbacks

hugowasmyhomeboy
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@Murf56 Source says Hayward headed to Boston – press conference expected in next 2 days. Says Crowder S&T with Utah close, other details unclear.
Losing Crowder and Olynyk to add Hayward isn’t as big of a step up as people think it is. Hopefully Brown and Tatum can grow up fast.

hugowasmyhomeboy
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Free agent

Bradley and Smart were much more realistic trade options than Crowder, who is under contract for 3 more seasons. Now you have to pay some serious tax to keep an extra guy around, or lose 2 starters and a key rotation guy on a ECF team.

Kerthwap
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I’ll be pissed if we simply replace Crowder with Hayward. Massive amounts more money for nearly identical stats. Hayward takes more shots. Uhm, yay?

A lot will come down to Brown and Tatum and getting them the minutes. The only way that letting Crowder go makes sense if you want to make this a developmental year and get Brown and Tatum minutes.

Jdog Lemon Head
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Which camp battle are you most interesting in seeing?
For me, it’s RB then CB. It will be interesting to see who the 3rd, 4th, and 5th CBs are. I assume Rowe makes it as a the 3rd or 4th but I’m curious how the Joneses will do.

Neil X
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RB will be very interesting. I’m also interested to see how the second and third year interior D-linemen shake out this year. Does Valentine take a second year leap? Does Malcom Brown improve?

Jdog Lemon Head
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I also want to see how Lawrence Guy does too. Oh and how David Harris fits in

HunterCenter
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I’m guessing Harris is mostly Hightower insurance, which was a shrewd move by BB either way. I’m thinking we see Harmon on the field (and therefore Chung down in the box) or Van Noy more than we see Harris.

HunterCenter
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Valentine and Brown definitely both need to step up. Branch is getting long in the tooth and Guy is just a short term rental.

JLStokes
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How much more does Brown need to step up?! He’s pretty much been a rock in the middle.

HunterCenter
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Not sure he’s lived up to his draft status. Certainly has not dominated. Does not consistently swallow up double teams like a prototypical Belichick DT should. And a case could be made that he played better his rookie year than in his second year. I’d say there is room for improvement. I like the player, I think he has tons of potential. He’s obviously a great athlete for his size. If anyone has been the “rock in the middle” over the last two seasons, though, it’s been Branch.

JLStokes
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That’s not quite fair to Brown. Branch hasn’t been run-stopping on his own. The two make a great pair of DTs. My point is Brown has and is stepping up. There’s always room for improvement, but Brown has been starter-caliber almost from day one.

HunterCenter
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I’m mainly reacting to the fact that there didn’t seem to be clear improvement from Rookie to Year 2. I’m not sure I’d say he regressed, that would be harsh, but maybe he plateaued. I’m hoping for the “3rd Year Leap” in his case.

hugowasmyhomeboy
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More consistency from VV would be a big development, no pun intended. I honestly think he would lead the team in snaps at DT if that happens.

HunterCenter
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he flashes the most pure talent, in my opinion.

hugowasmyhomeboy
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Yeah, his best snaps are better than everyone else’s. He can two gap and push the pocket. Like prime Alan Branch. Just a matter of reducing the number of ineffective snaps he has.

HunterCenter
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as you succinctly said, “consistency”

HunterCenter
Member
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Lots of possible answers for me here, but since LT is the second most important position on the team, and Solder’s future is uncertain, I’m going to say OT, to see if Garcia can steal the Swing T position from Fleming as a rookie. And to see if draft pick McDermott can even make the team. Surely the Waddle Era has come to an end? Can Max Rich shock the world and become the 2017 version of Karras?

Jdog Lemon Head
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Good choice.

hugowasmyhomeboy
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Agreed, OT is the most significant camp battle this offseason. The other ones are interesting but have less gravity in terms of future implications.

Kerthwap
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Belichick has finally trained me not to get too excited about RBs. At least not the traditional, every down, every situation back. Jonas Gray had the game of his life one week, and shortly after that he was released. I feel like depending on the game plan, it will be a White game, a Lewis game, or whoever they feel like plugging in as a traditional big back game.

dp73
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I would say that a RB last year with 1161 yards and 18 TD’s made an impact on the team last year. So IMO the Patriots are going to need a RB to step up.

PatriotPrideBoy
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RIP Hunter’s dog

HunterCenter
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thanks buddy. she had a great run.

Deadsmack #NotDone
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it is always tough when we lose a pet, they just become part of the family

dp73
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Training camp starting soon.

Neil X
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Well, July 27, still 3 full weeks.

HunterCenter
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plenty of time to be bored by baseball!

dp73
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You don’t think that is soon?

Saturn III
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Keep your distance, walk away, don’t take his bait.
Don’t you stray, don’t fade away.
Watch your step, he’s out to get you, come what may.
Don’t you stray, from the narrow way.

Kerthwap
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You kids with your newfangled rock and roll music.

hugowasmyhomeboy
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13 DAYS

Saturn III
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It’ll be a great show I am certain.

hugowasmyhomeboy
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Should be awesome. Only bummer is that Hallowed be thy Name isn’t on the setlists from this tour’s shows.

Saturn III
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Ah that is too bad. I was enjoying the 7th son album this morning on my drive in – may do Somewhere in Time on the way home.

hugowasmyhomeboy
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Somewhere in time hasn’t aged well for me. One of their worst albums. The only track on it that I really consider a classic is Alexander The Great. Production isn’t great.
Seventh Son is a much more graceful foray into the synth textures and such. Infinite Dreams, Moonchild, The Clairvoyant, etc. Infinite Dreams is EPIC.

MasterAndCommander
Editor
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WAKE UP!!! It’s the July of 6th!

DinoScapelli
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Well, I have fired all of my guns at once, and I shall now explode into space. Kinda like Kim Jong Un, but less crazy, and without the stylish haircut.

Good night, you intercontinental ballistic miscreants!!!

MrScratch
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Free agent

Trading Marcus Smart would be good for Marcus Smart. There aren’t going to be many minutes.

jdlboot14
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what’s going on below??
I was just showing up to ask what the chances were if Revis is unemployed mid-season and Pats have an emergency need at CB…

DinoScapelli
Editor
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That’s ridiculous! Crazy eights is the best game.

hugowasmyhomeboy
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Crazy eights, hockey, basketball, and football – these are merely affairs of men.
Not to be confused with the divinity of 27 outs on a cool summer afternoon.

MasterAndCommander
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child….please…

Neil X
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MAC, when you get older, time becomes more important.

DinoScapelli
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I used to think baseball was the best game, too. It is like opera in its long history, great stories, and glorious moments. It is also like opera in that it takes too damn long for anything to happen.

Association football is all action, and thus, the greatest game of all.

DinoScapelli
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Are we still independent?

Calipatsfan3473
Member
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It depends 🙂

MasterAndCommander
Editor
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independent of what?

DinoScapelli
Editor
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Whattaya got?

dp73
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http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/4155/darrelle-revis

His name will continue to pop up, but it will not be a surprise if Revis sits out all season.-Jason Cole

Jason, I will take that bet. If he is truly in shape he will be signed.

dp73
Member
Free agent

http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nba/2126/marcus-smart

I’ll be honest. I don’t understand the NBA salary cap and all it’s cap and max rules and such. I just hope that they can keep as many good players as they can because I think the advantage of being a deep team is the one thing that will help them against Cleveland.

I don’t think Brown in his second year and Tatum in his first can play up to Crowder’s level in the coming season.

hugowasmyhomeboy
Member
Free agent

Yeah, people under-appreciate Bradley, Crowder, Olynyk, and Smart. The Celtics didn’t get to the ECF for no reason. You’re losing Olynyk already, and losing two of the group means there is a lot of production to make up.

dp73
Member
Free agent

I agree. I am not an Olynyk fan but he even had some good games.
Bill Belichick : The strength of the wolf is in the pack.

Calipatsfan3473
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Happy 5th of July!!

Jdog Lemon Head
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Happy Cinco de Julio

Calipatsfan3473
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Thank you!!

MrLucky
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Baseball update: The Red Sox are good. Sale is must-see every time he pitches. Mookie and Benny are taking off as we hoped. The Yankees are bad. Aaron Judge is not human.

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Nick Young going to the Warriors

Jdog Lemon Head
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How are the warriors affording all these people?

MrLucky
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Because the NBA cap is a joke. They probably used some mid-level exception or vet minimum type deal. Of course these veterans are going to want to win an easy ring in GS.

hugowasmyhomeboy
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Free agent

They have Curry’s bird rights, so if Durant takes a pay cut (which he is), they can spend over the cap and pay tax to re-sign Curry.

JLStokes
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Free agent

Sam Darnold might be staying in school next season instead of going in the Draft.

Time to start counting Jets’ fans’ tears.

hugowasmyhomeboy
Member
Free agent

It’s only July. I wouldn’t pay too much attention to which NFL prospects are leaving or staying in 9 months.

Saturn III
Member
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Kind of what Peyton did and avoided the Jets by staying for his senior season. That would be hilarious if he did.

MrLucky
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I’d be pretty shocked if he stayed in school. Even if the Jets do get #1, they’re still a big market. I’m sure most players would rather to go NY/NJ than Cleveland. What would be really interesting is if the Rams are terrible and wind up with the first pick. Would they move on from Goff that quick to get a USC guy?

hugowasmyhomeboy
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Free agent

Now that he’s officially gone, how about some True Patriot Love for Kelly Olynyk, the BAMF from Banff

Deadsmack #NotDone
Member
Free agent

Lakers free agency: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

bring
Member
Free agent

pretty sure it’s killing Magic that Ainge has his #1 next year

hugowasmyhomeboy
Member
Free agent

Not a bad thing for the Lakers though.
1. If you win the lottery next year, you keep the 1st overall pick. Signing a vet hurts the odds of that.
2. If Paul George really wants to come to LA, why would you want to have money tied up next year because you signed a vet?

bring
Member
Free agent

actually landing #1 is luck – besides, lavar ball said his son is leading the lakers to the playoffs

MrLucky
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Don’t the 76ers get their pick if it’s #1?

evaldes101993
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Jdog Lemon Head
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We didn’t want him anyway!

Jdog Lemon Head
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So I just found out that the Pats fan club in ATL was started 10 years ago by a childhood classmate of mine from Mass. I actually saw him about 8-9 years ago in ATL and he mentioned that he started a little Pats fan club but was moving back to Mass. I didn’t realize this was the same one because I didn’t find this place until 2-3 years ago.. Pretty small world but this ATL Pats fan club is pretty big now.

Neil X
Member
Free agent

I had a yearlong consulting gig in San Francisco back in 2004. There was an awesome Patriots bar there called the Connecticut Yankee. They had the Pats game on every week. It was a total blast. Though I gotta admit it’s a bit odd to be sitting in a bar drinking and watching football at 10 AM.

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

yeah, when I lived in CO, we’d catch the “early” game and then go skiing. It was weird but fun.

hugowasmyhomeboy
Member
Free agent

Now that the Celtics have officially added Hayward, they don’t really have cap space. But they do have a taxpayer exception (unless they’re using it on the german forward)
One candidate they could use it on, if he doesn’t get a good offer elsewhere, is center Aron Baynes. He’s a 30 year old Australian who was on the Pistons last year. They were better with him on the court than Andre Drummond. He has a midrange shot and he came to the USA with the Spurs so you know he’s got game.

Jdog Lemon Head
Member
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It’s fun watching the Celts summer league. Got a lot of good young guys. Stoked we got Hayward. Will be interesting to see what else Danny does. Should be a fun upcoming season.

JLStokes
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Jaylen Brown’s game just gets better and better. If he can continue to improve at this rate on this curve, he could, at best, be a poor man’s Paul George.

bring
Member
Free agent

Brown might be in the starting lineup if Crowder gets traded, and I’m perfectly fine with that

hugowasmyhomeboy
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Jerry Remy out of the hospital!

Jdog Lemon Head
Member
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He coming back? Who is taking his place at the moment? Eck?

hugowasmyhomeboy
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Free agent

Ya, they need to dump the play by play guy and just put Remy and Eck together in the booth. It would be beautiful madness.

Jdog Lemon Head
Member
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Flew to Pitt on Friday to catch a Pirates game so my wife could check that stadium off her list (#15). I repped the Pats that day but the only heckle I got was at the Atlanta airport by the sky cab guy who said the Pats are the only team in history to get caught cheating. I just had to laugh because he obviously doesn’t know much about football…weren’t the Falcons caught pumping crowd noise?

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

they were indeed.

Jdog Lemon Head
Member
Free agent

It was a rhetorical question.

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

but was it?

Jdog Lemon Head
Member
Free agent

Wouldn’t you like to know?

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

wait, is that a rhetorical question too?

NewEnglandBlight
Member
Free agent

Alright Edelman, that’s more than enough gay for the remainder of your career.. Put a shirt on Liberacci

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

I’m surprised Brady isn’t in the pics with him.

Jdog Lemon Head
Member
Free agent

Jim is going to try to recruit Jules for the Round Drum Gang now…

bring
Member
Free agent

more than enough gay? what the hell is wrong with you?

JLStokes
Member
Free agent

http://www.nfl.com/photoessays/0ap3000000815951/gil-brandts-greatest-nfl-cornerbacks-of-all-time

Even I wouldn’t say Malcolm Butler is an “All-Timer” yet. Plus, Richard Sherman over Champ Bailey?!! Blasphemy.

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

Butler has potential, but as DP would say, “we need to see more”

And count me in the camp that thinks Sherman is completely overrated.

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

Happy 5th of July, everyone. Hope no one “pulled a Pierre-Paul.”

My bad news: had to put my 16 year old dog to sleep last night. She had a good run.

My good news: I met Matthew Stafford yesterday at a holiday event, so that was cool.

NewEnglandBlight
Member
Free agent

Man, sorry to hear about your dog… Taking care of another creature for 16 years is something you should be proud of.

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

Thanks. She didn’t suffer. Was active and alert right up until the end. Very little pain. I’m counting my blessings. I just wish I had given her more attention these last couple days.

hugowasmyhomeboy
Member
Free agent

My condolences HC. Losing a loyal companion sucks.

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

thanks.

dp73
Member
Free agent
HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

I know you need to see more, but I really think this guy is gonna shine in this offense.

dp73
Member
Free agent

I hope he does shine but we to see it on the field over the course of 16 games.

bring
Member
Free agent

Blount did his job here, but like all aging/slowing players, it was time to move on

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

I’ve seen enough film on him from UF and the Bills. Now he’s playing in the best offense of his life. I’ll bet he shines.

dp73
Member
Free agent

100 carries is enough?
I hope he plays well. He has talent but just because he is wearing a Patriots uniform now doesn’t me he is a lock at playing well.

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

those 100 plus his SEC film. Yes, I’m projecting he will be very good in this offense. Better than Blount.

dp73
Member
Free agent

IMO.
I know the NBA finances are complicated but if they is anyway they can keep Bradley,Crowder and Smart they should.IMO, the key to competing with the Cavs next year is being deep. Cleveland would have problems keeping up with a deep Boston bench.

bring
Member
Free agent
Worrying about the Cavs is short-sighted. LeBron is going to LA after this season. The Warriors are the target. Speaking of which, did I hear correctly that they will have a $200m luxury tax? My guess is that Crowder will be dealt because he has three years left on a very team-friendly contract. Crowder got all pissy after Cs fans cheered for Hayward when Utah visited last season, so he’s already made his stance clear. I’m guessing Smart could go in a trade also, because he will only be a RFA after next season. There were whispers of unhappy management… Read more »
memokerobi
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Free agent

I don’t think Bron’s going to LA

MasterAndCommander
Editor
Free agent

WAKE UP!!!!. It’s July of the 5th!

Calipatsfan3473
Member
Free agent

A lot of fireworks around- glad the beast is at “camp”.

memokerobi
Member
Free agent

I’d still look for a rebounding big man like Thomas Robinson. Rebounding is still a problem

bring
Member
Free agent

Stevens won’t play him if he can’t shoot

dp73
Member
Free agent

Thomas Robinson. His rebounding avg isn’t even as good as Heyward’s.

memokerobi
Member
Free agent

Because he plays 1/5th the minutes?

hugowasmyhomeboy
Member
Free agent

He’s a very good rebounder, but he’s a terrible basketball player.

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Free agent

With Gordon Hayward now agreeing to a four-year $127M max contract, Celtics management now has a series of transactions to do in order to create cap space. The Celtics would have to pull the qualifying offer on Kelly Olynyk, renounce free agents Jonas Jerebko, James Young, Gerald Green and waive the contracts of Jordan Mickey and Demetrius Jackson (or trade). The Celtics would be left with $27.6M in room and likely need to move the contract of Jae Crowder, Terry Rozier or Marcus Smart. Trading Rozier would have the Celtics short $1M of a max salary a lot.

MrLucky
Member
Free agent

NO! Waive the contracts of Mickey and Jackson?? Screw it don’t sign him. 🙂

Pauly
Guest
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Hayward is a Celt. It is now official.

MasterAndCommander
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PAULY!!!

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn
Free agent forward Omri Casspi has agreed to a one-year deal with Golden State, league sources tell ESPN.

bring
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The first “Hayward to Boston” tweet came from a Warriors reporter who works for ESPN.