Archive for April, 2015

NFL Mock Draft 3.0

April 30th, 2015 by Ryan Waterman | Comments Off on NFL Mock Draft 3.0 | Filed in Football, General, NFL

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Just over twenty-four hours remain until the spolight shines bright on the Windy City.  Starting this Thursday night, the NFL’s most exciting period will take center stage.  Two-hundred fifty-six youngsters will have their name called over the span of this three-day event. A number of others will find their ways on to NFL rosters as UDFAs (UnDrafted Free Agents). In my previous mock draft, I stated that it would be my final mock.  However, after long consideration and research, I have decided to go against what was said and created a third mock draft.  I can assure everyone that this will be final one. There are some new faces to this mock, as things have significantly changed in this version.

#1- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston (QB/Florida State)

I still believe that Winston is the best option for the Bucs here. His athleticism is extraordinary, and if he can overcome his off-field immaturity, Winston will be a force in the NFL. Although, there is a ton of risk that goes into this pick. When most people look at Jameis, they see Michael Vick.  Unfortunately, when I look at Winston, I see Jamarcus Russell.  

#2- Philadelphia Eagles (via Tennesee Titans)- Marcus Mariota (QB/Oregon)

This is about as obvious, as one pick can get.  However, it’s also the most difficult one to predict.  There are a number of teams that are looking to trade up for Mariota, as many consider him to be a “QB of the future”.  The New York Jets, San Diego Chargers, and Cleveland Browns are all teams that join the Eagles in the Mariota chase.  The lone difference between the Birds and the other three?  Only Chip Kelly will be crazy enough to pay the asking price.  The Titans are able to squeeze the Eagles for Sam Bradford, Mychael Kendricks, #20 Overall, their 2016 1sr round pick, and Fletcher Cox.

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Report: Eagles shopping Mychal Kendricks

April 30th, 2015 by Sam Shipley | Comments Off on Report: Eagles shopping Mychal Kendricks | Filed in Eagles, Football, NFL

For weeks the Eagles have been rumored for weeks to be shopping Mychal Kendricks. It is believed that the Eagles would include Kendricks in a trade to trade up for Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Jason La Canfora of CBSSports is now reporting that the Eagles are indeed shopping Kendricks:

The tweet of course is a bit odd because trading Kendricks for a second round pick takes Kendricks out of a potential deal for Mariota. However, La Confora brings answers that question with his next tweet:

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Four Teams Now Interested In Cole Hamels

April 28th, 2015 by Joe Buscemi | Comments Off on Four Teams Now Interested In Cole Hamels | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies, TalkSportsPhilly

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There is no secret the Phillies are in the midst of a very painful rebuilding process. No one is more aware of this situation than Phils ace, Cole Hamels. Headlining the trade rumor mill since the start of spring training, the Phillies front office now finds themselves scrambling to make a decision on “Kid Cole”, especially one that is in best interest for the future of the organization.

The Phillies inadvertently dug themselves into quite a deep hole, due to the poor decisions made by upper management the past few years. After winning the World Series in 2008, the team was all in on winning again and turned into heavy spenders.

At the time it seemed to make the most sense, however some moves and contract extensions were not in the best interest of the team’s long-term success and are now heavily suffering the ramifications for it. They pretty much have decimated their farm system and have been stuck with Ryan Howard’s abominable $125 million dollar contract since given the extension in 2010. The Phillies still owe him $60 million over the next two years and if they want to try and move him anywhere they would have to eat at least $40 million of it, with no guarantees of anything great in return.

Thanks to this and other moves (Hunter Pence trade comes to mind, amongst others), upper management has pretty much depleted the farm system in its entirety, making it incredibly difficult to turn the corner in the upcoming seasons.

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Source: Papelbon-Red Sox Reunion In The Works

April 28th, 2015 by Ryan Waterman | Comments Off on Source: Papelbon-Red Sox Reunion In The Works | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies, Sports

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It’s been the worst-kept secret in baseball, that the Phillies are in a rebuild mode. Through trading veterans like Jimmy Rollins and Marlon Byrd, to making guys like Chase Utley and Jonathan Papelbon available, Ruben Amaro is trying to make a last-ditch effort to save his job. The season has gotten off to a rocky start both on and off the field, as the trade market for the Phillies have fallen flat. Well, the Phillies luck may be changing.

On Monday afternoon, Nick Cafardo made mention in his article on www.bostonglobe.com, that the Phillies were attempting to get Boston back on the hook for their former brother Jonathan Papelbon.  Cafardo was quoted as saying “Right now, and it may change, we’re not sure the Red Sox have a closer they can depend on. Koji Uehara’s velocity is down about 3 miles per hour across the board with his splitter and fastball. The Phillies are trying to hook the Red Sox on bringing back Jonathan Papelbon.”

This makes sense for both squads on many levels.  Starting with Boston, it helps makes the Red Sox a better team.  First off , Papelbon is not only better than Uehara (even if it’s by a slight margin), but he also solidifies the position better than Uehara would. Secondly, Pap had his best seasons up in “Beantown”. In six seasons as a Red Sox, Papelbon tallied 219 total saves, and averaged a 2.33 ERA over that span.  His strikeout/per-9 inning rate was 10.7 , which is over 1 point higher than his average over three seasons in Philly.

Next, we move to how it would benefit the Phillies.  For starters, they would be clearing an insane amount of money off of their payroll, by removing Papelbon’s $13 Million salary. This would give the Phils more payroll flexibility, and further establish their rebuild.  It would also help pave a clear path for young stud Ken Giles to rise to stardom. Giles has proven many times last season, that he has the stuff of a future elite closer.  Giles would’ve likely served as the Phils closer from opening day, had it not been for Papelbon blocking his path.  A trade would be hugely beneficial to the career of Giles.

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Eagles pick up fifth-year option on Fletcher Cox

April 28th, 2015 by Sam Shipley | Comments Off on Eagles pick up fifth-year option on Fletcher Cox | Filed in Eagles, Football, NFL

The Eagles have announced that the team has picked up the fifth-year option on defensive end Fletcher Cox.

Cox, the 12th pick in the 2012 draft, will earn $7.8 million in 2016, which is not guaranteed. Despite the recent trade rumorsthere is no denying that Cox is arguably the best player on the Eagles defense. Totaling seven tackles for loss, 14 hurries, three fumble recoveries, and 7o tackles, Cox was an outstanding player last season.

Even though the Eagles picked up the option that does not mean that they can’t trade Cox, a possible trade candidate come this weekend’s NFL Draft. On the flip-side, it also does not mean that the Eagles and Cox can’t work out a long-term contract extension either.

 

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Will the Eagles land Marcus Mariota?

April 27th, 2015 by Sam Shipley | Comments Off on Will the Eagles land Marcus Mariota? | Filed in Eagles, Football, NFL

We are sitting one day away from the NFL Draft, and the Marcus Mariota talk is more fluent and intriguing as ever. There have been countless trade rumors, including a recent rumor that would trade away two young defensive players.

However, while the Eagles have been at the center of the rumors, they are far from the only team in the mix to land the former Oregon quarterback. Over the last few weeks there is a consensus around the NFL that teams are starting to become more sold on Mariota, and that he may be able to be a good quarterback in any offense, not just Chip Kelly’s.

Teams like the Chargers, Browns, Jets, and Redskins are all teams that have been rumored to land Mariota either via trade or if we would be there at their selection. Not included in that list is the team who holds the second pick in the draft, the Tennessee Titans, who could very easily put all the months of speculation to bed for good by taking the quarterback all for themselves.

What makes Tennessee so intriguing at that spot is we know that they like Marcus Mariota, but the question is do they like him more than Zach Mettenberger? After being drafted in the sixth round last year Mettenberger started six games for the Titans, however, he failed to win a game and threw for 8 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, and 1,412 passing yards.

Another way to look at that question is, does Tennessee feel like keeping Mettenberger while gaining multiple assets in a trade is more valuable than Mariota?

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Chase’s Fall From Grace?

April 26th, 2015 by AmyMac | Comments Off on Chase’s Fall From Grace? | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies, Sports

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The Phillies are now 18 games into the 2015 season, and here’s something I never thought I’d ever have to write: Chase Utley is batting an abysmal .125. That’s right – for every eight at-bats, Uts is getting just one hit. As you can probably guess, his OPS (.420 for those of you keeping track) is also depressingly low. To be fair, his 9 RBIs thus far (which put him on pace for 81 on the season) do resemble the Chase Utley we all know and love: the player who does that it takes to advance baserunners.

It’s painful enough to watch a 6-12 team that’s trailing the Mets (the Mets!) by a full 8.0 games. Most of us are accustomed to having to wait while some players (looking at you, Howard and Hamels) find their strides. Utley, though, is generally someone we can count on to be consistent, both offensively and defensively, right out of the gate. Watching him struggle at the plate like this is nothing short of depressing.

What’s going on with Chase? Ryne Sandberg has shuffled his lineup around a bit, but Utley’s batting woes won’t be solved by adjusting the order. His stance and timing are off enough to make me wonder if there’s pain about which Utley is remaining silent. It’s certainly within the realm of possibility that Uts could have a nagging issue (knee, hip etc.) and he’s just not saying anything about it. My concern is that Chase, as a 36-year-old second baseman, can’t possibly bounce back the way he might have been able to ten years ago. I don’t want to see Utley’s career unravel.

I love Utley as much as the next baseball nerd, but I can’t help but wonder why he always seems to get a pass from a fanbase that is arguably the toughest and most demanding. We don’t stand for it when Papelbon runs his mouth to the media, we let our disapproval known when Ruiz is hitting below .200, and we’re not shy about our anger when Howard repeatedly strikes out. Why, then, does fellow veteran Utley seem to be above such criticism? Is turning down trade offers really enough to win over the city of Philadelphia? We’re not really a town that issues lifetime passes to players, yet it seems that fan favorite Chase Utley has one.

Now what? Do we wait until Utley’s performance worsens before we admit there’s a major problem? Or worse – do we wait until he’s legitimately hurt? Hopefully, Chase is able to find an adjustment in his stance and swing soon, and all of this speculation will have been for nothing.

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