Monthly Archives: August 2017

Cheap J.J. Watt Net Worth Jersey Sale.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Leaguewide support to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area is getting stronger.

Tennessee Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk is donating $1 million to Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt’s drive on crowdfunding site YouCaring, which will go toward resources for those hit hard by the flooding.

“As the person collecting it, I can promise you I’m doing everything I can to make sure this money is going directly back to the people,” Watt said Tuesday from Arlington, Texas, where the Texans are working out this week. “I’m working very hard at that. I have a great group of people helping me. And I’m just going to do everything I can to make sure your money goes where it needs to go to make sure these people are getting the help they need.”

Strunk is a Houston native and still has a home just outside of the city. She spent the week in Nashville and attended Titans practice Tuesday.

“The flooding and devastation to the Houston area has been painful to watch,” Strunk said in a statement. “As a native to the area, I have been so encouraged to see how the locals and the nation as a whole have come together to help one another. The NFL, at the end of the day, is a family that helps one another in times of need.

“JJ has created a dynamic where boots will be on the ground with immediate aid to those who need it. The Titans want to be a part of his effort to help the Houston community as it rebuilds. I talked with him earlier today and he was very appreciative. We discussed his plans and I know he is determined to help as many people as he can.”

Watt said it was “hard to put it into words” his feelings about Strunk’s donation, calling the pledge “remarkable.”

“From a team in our division, one of our rivals, willing to go above and beyond football — above and beyond anything — and donate $1 million, it’s incredible. And it just speaks to humanity, it speaks to the good in people,” he said.

“So I can’t say thank you enough to the Titans organization and everybody over there and Mrs. Strunk. But also everybody that’s donating $5, $10. Everybody’s donating whatever they can. I realize money’s not easy to come by. So whatever people are donating, however generous they’re being, it’s unbelievable. We started out trying to raise $200,000 for this, and we’re over $3.25 million.”

The Titans Foundation donated $25,000 to the Red Cross over the weekend to be used in the same manner.

Just after 1 a.m ET on Wednesday, the drive had crossed the $5 million mark, and the new goal of the fundraiser was increased to $6 million.

“I’m trying to get semi-trucks full of water, food, clothing, cleaning supplies so that hopefully the goal is this weekend, once the floods are down and once we get back to Houston, we drive those semi-trucks up to a few locations around the city and we start handing it out,” he said.

“And that’s the tentative plan at the moment.”

Texans coach Bill O’Brien called Watt’s efforts “incredible.”

“There’s really not a lot of words that can describe what he’s done. And that thing that’s really pretty neat about him is he’s adamant about that money going towards the people that need it. And I think he’s got a lot of great ideas for that money and I think he’s actually putting it into action right now,” O’Brien said.

And while Watt still thinks the Houston-Dallas preseason game shouldn’t be played, he did get his wish that money generated from ticket sales to the exhibition finale will go to recovery efforts from the storm.

The New York Jets also made a $1 million donation on Tuesday to the American Red Cross.

On Monday, Texans owner Bob McNair pledged a $1 million donation to the United Way of Greater Houston Flood Relief. The NFL Foundation said it will match the $1 million donation.

In addition, the New England Patriots announced Monday that the Kraft family is offering to match all funds donated to the American Red Cross up to $1 million.

Other non-monetary help is being provided, too.

Houston officials said they’re opening a major shelter at NRG Park, the home stadium of Watt’s Texans that can accommodate up to 10,000 evacuees from Harvey.

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Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt posted a video message and donated $100,000 to an online fundraiser that he started Sunday while the city of Houston was being hit by flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey.

The Texans could not get back to Houston after Saturday night’s preseason game in New Orleans and flew to Dallas to wait out the storm.

Watt posted a message on social media, urging everyone in Houston to stay safe.

“I’m sitting here watching the news and checking the internet and seeing everything that’s going on with Hurricane Harvey and the damage it’s causing back home,” Watt said. “It’s very difficult. It’s very difficult not only because we have family and friends back there, some guys have young kids, some guys have wives and families.

“But that’s our city. It’s very tough to watch your city get hit by such a bad storm and not be there to help. Not be there to help with the recovery. Not be there to help with the process. It’s very tough.”

Watt upped his goal of $500,000 in funds for flood relief after raising $200,000 in two hours. Watt personally gave $100,000 to the fundraiser, tweeting the message, “Your support is phenomenal!”

The Texans will remain in Dallas on Monday and will hold practice at The Star, the Cowboys’ training facility in Frisco.

The team said no decision has been made on plans for the rest of the week or Thursday’s preseason game against the Cowboys, which is scheduled to be played at NRG Stadium. The Cowboys have offered to host the game, and the league will make the final decision on where the game will be played.

“Everybody in Houston stay safe,” Watt said. “We’re thinking about you. We’re going to come back. We’re going to help you out.”

Detroit Lions safety Glover Quin, who played for the Texans for four seasons, lives just outside Houston in the offseason, and his wife, Gladys, and their children are still there. The 31-year-old said Sunday afternoon that his family is safe and their home is all right, but the streets and property around them have been flooded.

That has led to some tense nights for Quin, who said he has been up until 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. watching coverage on The Weather Channel and staying in touch with his wife to keep her calm.

“You’re watching the news and seeing the city flooded and places that you’ve been and areas that you know, like, ‘Wow, oh wow, that water’s really high,’ because you can recognize the area and spots and just seeing overpasses where the water is just up,” Quin said. “It’s sad, you know what I mean. Behind our home, we have this big field, and somebody owns some land, and they’ve got some animals, some wildlife as well. My wife walked out to the fence to take some pictures of the water behind our home and said she was hearing stuff.

“She didn’t really know what it was. Just, like, hearing and then she paid more attention to it, and she said, ‘Man, I’ve never heard animals cry like that.’ Just nowhere to go.”

As of now, Quin said he is scheduled to go home Friday if he can fly into either of Houston’s airports, but he said he would leave the Lions to go home earlier if he is able to get back to the city. He is not expected to play in Thursday’s preseason finale in Buffalo and said he has had conversations with Lions coach Jim Caldwell about what has been going on.

“Yeah,” Quin said. “I’ll go back right now if I could.”

Caldwell said earlier Sunday that special-teams coach Joe Marciano, who has a home in the city, said his house is OK, but a lot of homes around his have had damage.

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Penn

Penn

ALAMEDA, Calif. — Pro Bowl left tackle Donald Penn ended his 26-day holdout and reported to the Oakland Raiders on Wednesday. And while it was immediately unclear whether Penn had received a new contract, he took the practice field to cheers and handshakes from his teammates.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but he did say at the start of training camp that Penn already had a contract and he would not negotiate with a player who was not with the team.

To make room for Penn on the active roster, the Raiders waived defensive end Jimmy Bean.

Penn, 34, was reportedly upset that his salary — he was scheduled to make $5.8 million in base in 2017 — did not rank in the top 10 of left tackles. Rather, according to ESPN Stats & Information research, Penn ranked 11th among pure left tackles, behind the Washington Redskins’s Trent Williams ($11.25 million), the Houston Texans’ Duane Brown ($9.65 million), the Buffalo Bills’ Cordy Glenn ($9 million), the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Branden Albert ($8.875 million), the Cleveland Browns’ Joe Thomas ($8.8 million), the San Francisco 49ers’ Joe Staley ($8.25 million), the Los Angeles Rams’ Andrew Whitworth ($7.50 million), the Kansas City Chiefs’ Eric Fisher ($6.85 million), the New England Patriots’ Nate Solder ($6.5 million) and the Minnesota Vikings’ Riley Reiff ($6.2 million).

Penn, who re-signed with Oakland on a two-year, $11.9 million deal in March 2016, was not scheduled to speak to the media Wednesday, according to a team spokesman.

Donald Penn splits to double team of pads in practice Wednesday. The Pro Bowl left tackle ended his 26-day holdout and reported to the team’s facility for practice.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was asked Tuesday how much Penn’s return would mean to the team.

“It would obviously mean a lot, if that’s what he decides to do,” Carr said. “He’s our teammate. We want all of our teammates here. We want to work hard together, we want to be together, we want to joke together. It’s more than just football. We want to be there in his life with him, those kind of things. It would mean a lot, and obviously I would love it.”

Since Penn was on the Reserve/Did Not Report List, the Raiders will have to make a corresponding roster move to make room for him on their 90-man roster.

With Penn out, newcomer Marshall Newhouse, who was signed to compete for the starting right tackle position, was at left tackle, while second-year player Vadal Alexander was at right tackle. Rookie David Sharpe was also getting first-team reps at left tackle.

Penn has not missed a regular-season game since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Utah State with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2007. He did, however, sit out Oakland’s playoff loss at Houston in January with a left knee injury.

Pro Football Focus had Penn with an overall grade of 86.3 last season, which ranked 12th among tackles, with a run block grade of 88.7 (fifth) and a pass blocking efficiency grade of 96.9 (sixth).

Penn was charged with allowing only one sack in 621 pass snaps last season, but it was a big one — the hit that broke Carr’s right fibula.

“That play sticks with me,” Penn said in May during OTAs. “I’m going to try to do what I can do better and make sure it never happens again. I’ve never gotten a quarterback hurt in my life since I’ve been playing. That was a first. That’s something I take pride in. I’m going to try my hardest to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

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The Washington Redskins’ offense, which has struggled this summer, received a dose of good news: Tight end Jordan Reed was activated off the physically unable to perform list on Sunday.

Reed was placed on the list at the start of training camp thanks to a sprained left big toe. He also had sprained his left ankle, compensating for the toe issue. But all along, Reed maintained optimism that he would return soon and was eyeing this week. On Aug. 13, Reed started wearing a wider cleat and using orthotics to better cushion his toe. After doing so, he said he did not feel the toe when making hard plant-and-cuts.Reed and coach Jay Gruden both have been optimistic from the start of camp that he would be back in time for the Sept. 10 season opener vs. Philadelphia. The offense needs him. In two preseason games, the Redskins’ starting offense has yet to gain a first down in four series against the opposition’s No. 1 defense. It hasn’t helped that Reed couldn’t play and that receivers Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson played for the first time Saturday night in a 21-17 loss to Green Bay. Considering that the Redskins lost receivers Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson in the offseason, they know Reed and Crowder in particular are key to their success.

Reed has been the top target in the Redskins’ passing offense for most of the past three seasons. In the past two seasons, quarterback Kirk Cousins owns a 121.4 passer rating when targeting Reed. During that time, he has caught a combined 153 passes with 17 touchdowns. He has also missed a combined six games because of injuries in those seasons — and 20 for his four-year career. The Redskins like using two-tight-end sets, knowing that with Reed and Vernon Davis, the defense must honor both the run and the pass.

The new ram WR Sammy Watkins in practice “sharp”, Jared Goff said.

Sammy Watkins

Sammy Watkins

IRVINE, Calif. — Sammy Watkins has been on the field with the Los Angeles Rams for three days and has been an active participant in only two practices. But he has already impressed starting quarterback Jared Goff with his grasp of the offense.

“He’s been sharper than I’ve expected,” Goff said Wednesday. “That’s not saying anything negatively about him, but it’s a new system for anybody. He’s been on it. He’s been sharp. It’s been a really pleasant surprise.”

The Rams officially acquired Watkins from the Buffalo Bills on Friday morning in exchange for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a second-round pick in next year’s draft. Watkins didn’t join his new teammates until Saturday afternoon, three hours before their preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys. He had no idea how he would fit then, saying, “I don’t even know the offensive plays yet.”

But Watkins has been a quick study. He’s rooming with fellow receiver Robert Woods, his teammate in Buffalo the past three years. And assistant receivers coach Zac Taylor has been guiding him through the scheme.

Rams coach Sean McVay said he felt confident Watkins could learn the plays relatively quickly because there’s some carryover with what Bills offensive coordinator Rick Dennison implemented. Watkins estimated Monday that it would take him “a week and a half” to get fully up to speed with the way McVay attacks defenses.

Rams coach Sean McVay is learning a little bit more about Sammy Watkins every day. “You can feel his speed and his juice down the field.” Watkins caught several intermediate throws from Jared Goff today and was constantly matched up with Trumaine Johnson.

By Wednesday, Watkins found himself constantly matched up with Trumaine Johnson, the Rams’ long, big-bodied primary cornerback. They faced one another in red zone drills and Watkins juggled Goff’s throw out of bounds. Watkins then caught a couple of Goff passes deep toward the middle of the field during 11-on-11 work, and the two connected on what was about a 20-yard gain on the far side of the field.

Goff said he found himself in awe at times.

“You try not to,” he said, “but then you kind of turn around and look at everyone like, ‘Everyone see that?’”

“Big, physical, fast — a complete receiver,” Johnson said when asked his impressions of Watkins. “I can’t wait for him to settle down, after a week or two, getting the offense in. I’m trying to work him out as much as I can, trying to match up every time.”

On Wednesday, Johnson intercepted Goff for the second time in three days. He was the underneath corner in zone coverage and Goff threw it right into his chest while attempting to hit Watkins in stride. Johnson also intercepted Goff on Monday while in the red zone during 11-on-11 work when he jumped a curl route from Robert Woods.

Cody Davis, John Johnson, Kevin Peterson and Troy Hill also intercepted Goff on Monday and Tuesday, and Lamarcus Joyner and Mike Jordan missed some easy ones, too.

“I was being a little aggressive the past couple days,” said Goff, who looked a lot better and was more accurate Wednesday. “Some plays I can’t make. And just learning. I’m still learning, still growing. You should test your limits a little bit, I think, but at the same time I have to be smarter than that. I have to take care of the ball better than that, and I will.”The Rams are already getting excited for what Watkins’ presence can do for Goff and the dynamic of their entire offense. Watkins’ health has been a big question in his career, including two recent foot surgeries. But if healthy, he gives the Rams the vertical outside threat they were missing, someone who can take the top off coverages and open things up for the likes of Woods, Cooper Kupp and Tavon Austin.

Watkins is expected to play with the first-team offense against the Raiders on Saturday in Oakland, a homecoming of sorts for Goff. McVay hopes to get all his starters in the game for at least the entire first quarter, though Watkins’ workload may be a little lighter than that of the other receivers.

“He’s looked really good,” McVay said. “He’s got great hands, an ability to run through the football. You can feel his speed and his juice down the field.”

Michael Bennett why he will continue to sit in the national anthem.

CARSON, Calif. — Seahawks Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett started what he said will be his season-long refusal to stand for the national anthem on Sunday before his team’s preseason victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Bennett, like free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick last season, said his gesture is to raise awareness to racism and intolerance. Bennett did not single out law enforcement or any particular group as someone or something he disagreed with but instead said Americans need to try and bridge prejudices and stop acts of hatred.

“I hope that I can activate everybody to get off their hands and feet and go out into the communities and push helping each other,” he told reporters after Sunday’s game. “Sit down with somebody that’s the opposite sex, sit down with somebody that’s the opposite race, different religion and understand that people are different and go out and join the community and try to change the society, change what you’re a part of. If you don’t like it, keep changing it.”

The racial protests Saturday in Charlottesville, Va., which led to death and injuries, helped foster his decision to sit for the anthem, Bennett said. Yet, this move was clearly not a knee-jerk reaction.

“Charlottesville had a lot to do with it but I think it’s just the journey of who I am as a person. I think everybody has a time where they feel like they need to be who they are and stand up for what they believe in,” Bennett explained.

Bennett has spoken on racial, religious and other political issues for more than a year. He also has held camps, given time and money and supported some of the causes which he has addressed.

Those actions didn’t drive enough attention, which is why Bennett said that he decided to not stand for the playing of the national anthem before games — a gesture that has evoked emotions, supportive and not.

Bennett and several of his Seahawks teammates addressed racial turmoil and other issues throughout last season. Players typically locked arms in solidarity before games during the national anthem, something many did Sunday.

Kaepernick’s decision to not stand for the national anthem before a preseason game last season drew ire and praise but also made him a lightning rod for controversy, which still resounds loudly. Kaepernick has drawn the wrath of politicians, some military, supporters of the armed forces and in particular members of law enforcement — the main target of his protest.

Kaepernick remains unemployed, in part because of the stance he took — a stance that has made him one of the most recognizable athletes in our era. The Seahawks are the only team to bring Kaepernick in for a face-to-face interview this summer but they opted not to sign him.

Bennett said he has nothing against the military and that his stance is to encourage bridge building, not further separation or hate. He said he expects negative backlash but that he feels he must stand up for his beliefs by not standing for the anthem.

“Of course I’m going to face backlash. This is bigger than me. This is bigger than football. This is bigger than anything that we have any different. This is about people. This is about bringing opportunities to people, giving people equality. This is bigger than a sport,” said Bennett.

Coach Pete Carroll said he did not see Bennett sit and he did not know that he would. Bennett said he did not discuss his plan with anyone because he doesn’t want to bring someone into a potential cauldron of controversy. Based on what happened with Kaepernick, that likely will be unavoidable.

Bennett said he did not speak to his former teammate, Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, who did not stand for the playing of the national anthem during Saturday’s loss against the Cardinals. Several Seahawks players did not know if Lynch’s gesture was any type of protest. Some added that he usually did not stand or wasn’t on the field during the national anthem when he played for the team.

Seahawks officials said it was never brought to their attention when Lynch didn’t stand for the national anthem that it was any type of protest.

Donavin Newsom suffered an impact in the practice of 49 people

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Donavin Newsom was taken off the field by paramedics after a collision with a teammate Tuesday afternoon.

The undrafted rookie out of Missouri had his eyes open, had feelings in his hands and had movement in his lower body after the collision, coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters after practice. Newsom was taken to the hospital.

The team announced in a statement the rookie linebacker suffered a concussion in the collision but no cervical spine fractures.

“San Francisco 49ers linebacker Donavin Newsom was transported to Stanford Medical Center following an injury sustained during practice earlier today,” the statement read. “After evaluation, doctors determined Newsom has no cervical spine fractures, but did suffer a concussion. Newsom remains at Stanford Medical Center under observation.”

Per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the incident was “scary” and players left the field in silence.

“It always puts things in perspective when you see that happen,” Shanahan said. “You know, it’s scary down there any time you’ve got a guy on the ground that long. We’ve still got a lot of information we need to find out.”

Newsom, a 6-foot-2, 240-pound linebacker, appeared in 48 games during his five years at Missouri. He logged 165 tackles, 18.0 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, seven pass deflections, five forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in his college career.

When the jet was released, David Harris was blind and blunt

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — In his most extensive comments about his feelings regarding the New York Jets surprisingly releasing him June 7, veteran linebacker David Harris used the words “blindsided” and “disrespect” in an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday.

Harris, who spent the first 10 years of his career with the Jets and is now in his first year with the New England Patriots, said on SiriusXM NFL Radio: “They kind of blindsided me with the whole thing, being so late in the offseason, a week before minicamp. It came out of left field. It was more about the disrespect of the whole situation than anything else.

“But the Jets made their decision. I had to sit back and be patient and evaluate some things. A couple teams were inquiring about me, but then once the Patriots came into the picture, it was pretty much a done deal as soon as I found out they were interested in me.”

Harris’ agent had expressed similar thoughts at the time Harris was released, but the 33-year-old took the high road in a statement.

On June 25, the Patriots, one of the Jets’ top rivals, signed Harris to a two-year contract with a maximum value of $6.75 million. Harris said on SiriusXM NFL Radio’s “Movin’ The Chains” program that a late-night conversation with head coach Bill Belichick was the catalyst. Harris said Belichick asked if he would be interested in joining the Patriots, which he described as a feeling-out process because Harris had always been on the other side of the Patriots-Jets rivalry.

Initially, Harris acknowledged that putting on a Patriots uniform took some getting used to.

“I grew up a Michigan fan, so wearing blue isn’t strange to me. It’s the red part,” he said with a laugh on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “But it was strange at first because I’ve always been on the other side of the field.

“It feels good. I couldn’t expect anything more. Everybody just works hard every day, with that winning attitude, and the culture is like no other than I’ve been a part of. I’m glad to be here, this late in my career and be around a bunch of great individuals. They are better people off the field.”

Harris also told SiriusXM NFL Radio that his wife Jiali and their daughters Ayla Sui and Jozi Ai have relocated to New England, with the family settling not far from where the Patriots play at Gillette Stadium.

“We found schools for the kids, everything is set up,” Harris said, before referring to himself as a transfer student because he joined the Patriots so late and sometimes has trouble finding his way around the team’s facility.