Vikings Get Fast and Furious With Signings

The Minnesota Vikings were quick when it came to signing their picks from the 2018 draft and even more so with the players that weren’t drafted.

Immediately after they finished signing all of their draft picks, they inked WR Jeff Badet (Oklahoma), RB Mike Boone (Cincinnati), DT Curtis Cothran (Penn State), LB Garret Dooley (Wisconsin), WR Armanti Foreman (Texas), G Chris Gonzalez (San Jose State), CB Holton Hill (Texas), TE Tyler Hoppes (Nebraska), LB Hercules Mata’afa (Washington State), CB Trevon Mathis (Toledo), S Tray Matthews (Auburn), FB Kamryn Pettway (Auburn), QB Peter Pujals (Holy Cross), WR Korey Robertson (Southern Mississippi), RB Roc Thomas (Jacksonville State), WR Jake Wieneke (South Dakota State), and DE Jonathan Wynn (Vanderbilt) for a total of 17 undrafted free agents.

The Vikings also signed WR Chad Beebe (Northern Illinois), CB Craig James (Southern Illinois), FB Johnny Stanton (UNLV) and LB Brett Taylor (Western Illinois) from their rookie minicamp.  With all of their draft picks, the 17 undrafted free agents, and the four players from the rookie minicamp signed, they have 89 out of the 90 players required for training camp.

 

https://www.foxsports.com/north/story/minnesota-vikings-sign-17-undrafted-free-agents-jeff-badet-mike-boone-garret-dooley-jake-wieneke-043018

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Bryant Hits 100th Home Run

Kris Bryant has officially hit a milestone, and he did it at Wrigley Field as Chicago cruised to a 13-4 victory over the Miami Marlins.

On Wednesday, the Cubs third baseman broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the first inning when he launched a 403-foot dinger for a 1-0 lead.  The hit gives him his 100th home run, his sixth of the season, and comes on the third anniversary of his first major league homer in Milwaukee.  “I guess it makes it more special,” said Bryant, “I knew it took me a while to hit my first one. It’s a pretty cool story.”

It makes him the 22nd and youngest Cub in franchise history to hit that mark.  It also makes him the fastest with respect to games played because he did it in only 487 games, which is 13 fewer than the 500 games that Ernie Banks needed to get to there.  Manager Joe Maddon has been impressed with everything that Bryant has done since he made his major league debut in 2015.  “He’s the manager’s dream,” Maddon said.

 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-cubs-kris-bryant-100th-home-run-notes-20180509-story.html

http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/news/mlb-wrap-kris-bryant-cubs-home-runs-marlins-scores-stats-highlight/1w2m123y8m6641gjatt7hmo3ep

Machado On The Move?

After finishing 75-87 last season, the Baltimore Orioles are a dismal 8-26 and with each loss it becomes more likely that Manny Machado will get traded.

His ability to play shortstop opens up a number of possible landing spots.  Among them are the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, and Chicago Cubs.  All of these teams are looking to add offense and at this point in the season it would be optimal for the Orioles to trade Machado to a team that will be able to afford to give him the money he’s going to demand in free agency.

While he might be a great fit for the Dodgers, Machado could put them over the luxury-tax threshold of $197 million.  The Mets have players, like Amed Rosario, aren’t doing very well right now and Machado could provide a spark like Cespedes did in 2015.  The Braves would be the perfect trade partner because their farm system is loaded with pitching prospects, something Baltimore is in desperate need of right now, and they could put up a great trade offer for Machado.

The Brewers and Cardinals are two more teams team that could use him at short, mainly because Milwaukee has the worst shortstops in the league and St. Louis needs a spark in offense, and he would provide their lineups with a much needed bat.  While the Cubs don’t really “need” him, a Russell/Machado trade might make some sense for both teams because the Orioles would get a replacement at shortstop and send Chicago immediate improvement.  They might want to re-sign him at the end of the season too.

Redskins Sign First Round Pick

The Washington Redskins have officially inked defensive tackle Daron Payne.

They signed him to a deal worth $14.4 million over four years, which makes him the first player of the 2018 NFL Draft’s first round to sign a rookie contract.  He is the second consecutive defensive lineman from Alabama that they have used a first round pick on.  The other one was Jonathan Allen, their first round pick in the 2017 draft.

Redskins head coach Jay Gruen looks forward to getting Payne involved at all of the position along the defensive line.  “He can play nose, three, five,” he said, “I mean, he did that at Alabama and you look at the tape when he played with Jonathan Allen, and I can remember watching Jonathan Allen, and I loved Jonathan Allen, but I don’t know who this 94 guy is. He was still an underclassman last year and it was Daron. Putting some of that tape on from a year ago and watching those two guys side-by-side working, it’s tough sledding.”

 

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000932275/article/washington-redskins-sign-firstrounder-daron-payne

 

Witten to Retire, Join ESPN

 

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Phot courtesy of Google Images

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten has officially retired, but he isn’t leaving the wonder world of football behind.

In his 15 years of service he has become one of the most dominant tight ends with the fourth most receptions in NFL history behind Larry Fitzgerald, Tony Gonzalez, and Jerry Rice, and is the Cowboys’ franchise leader in receptions (1,152), receiving yards (12,448), games played (239), consecutive games played (235), games started (229), consecutive games started (179), and catches in a game (18).  He is also tied with Bob Lilly for the most Pro Bowl appearances (11).

Witten did not refrain from getting emotional as, during his retirement speech on Friday,  he turned to owner Jerry Jones and said that he was “sad that he would never get the chance to hand him the Lombardi Trophy”.  Head coach Jason Garrett said that Witten was one of the best players he’s ever coached.  “He’s simply the best example I know of, of what you want a football player and a person to be on and off the field,” he said, “the depth of the appreciation and the admiration and the love and respect, makes it hard to convey in your words. There’s nobody I respect more as a person, as a football player than Jason Witten. I can’t imagine ever respecting someone more as a football player and as a person than Jason Witten.”

Immediately after he retired it was announced that he would join ESPN’s Monday Night Football as the lead analyst, a chair that was held by John Gruden and the great John Madden respectively.

 

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/23392211/dallas-cowboys-tight-end-jason-witten-retires-join-monday-night-football-analyst

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Patrick Simpson is an avid baseball fan and he happens to really like the St. Louis Cardinals.  He didn’t always root for them though.  As he was growing up, he temporarily aligned himself with their division rivals, the Chicago Cubs.

It was fairly easy for him to align with St. Louis in the early 2000’s, as they were close to home.  He wanted to be different from the rest of his family who are mostly Cubs fans, except for his dad who is a Yankees fan.  Ever since he became a Cardinals fan he has gotten to several great players, such as Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds, Albert Pujols, Matt Holiday, and Chris Carpenter, come and go.

He also mentioned that he was absolutely ecstatic when the Cardinals landed Matt Holiday after he helped the Colorado Rockies win the World Series the year before.  “I though that he would be a really good addition to the Cardinals roster,” he said, grinning ear-to-ear, “When I saw that they made the Rockies an offer for him and got him, the rest was going to be history”.

Patrick is also really intrigued by the Cardinals’ farm system.  “I have really taken a liking to Tyler O’Neill,” he said with a smile, “he’s a great power hitter, he absolutely kills the ball, and I think that he is going to be huge in the future for St. Louis”.

The one player he has deemed his favorite doesn’t set up shop in the outfield, infield, or even on the mound.  He is the man behind the plate that wears a mask, has a cannon for an arm, and a bat of steel.  He is Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.

“I feel that he is the best catcher is baseball,” says Patrick, “He’s been my favorite player since about 2014, which was after my previous favorite player, pitcher Chris Carpenter retired, and he’s someone that you just want to watch because he has a great personality and he’s become a great ambassador for baseball”.

Patrick’s love for the sport drew him to the MLB video games such as 2K and The Show and he has played every MLB: The Show game from 2006-2015.  “They give me the ability to play as my favorite team in all of my favorite stadiums,” he says admiringly, “I can also create a character that looks like me and play a season on my favorite team as well as participate in all of the events that happen during the all-star break, such as the ever popular Home Run Derby”.

When asked which MLB The Show game was his favorite, he didn’t take too long to respond.  “Hands down it’s MLB 18: The Show because there are a lot of new features, the game has incorporated MLB Network as well as ESPN’s home run tracker, and the graphics are amazing because they make it look like it’s a real game”.

Whether it’s playing MLB: The Show or watching a game on TV, Patrick is a baseball fan and a Cardinals fan for life.

 

 

 

Newman Set To Retire After 2018 Season

Terence Newman has decided to play the sixteenth and final season of his NFL career as a member of the Minnesota Vikings.

He doesn’t necessarily have anything special planned for his final season, but he does plan to announce his retirement after it’s over. “After 15 years, I’ve soaked about as much as I can in. I’ve been on a heck of a ride,” he said. “I understand when it is time for me, and it is time for me. I am not going to put anything on this or do anything special. I am just going to go out and do the same things I’ve always done. That is go out and try to get better and try to help this team get better”.

The Vikings re-signed the veteran cornerback on Monday.

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/23376679/terence-newman-minnesota-vikings-retire-2018-season