•   
  •   
  •   

Sport 7 of the biggest position battles in the NFL this offseason

00:37  17 may  2018
00:37  17 may  2018 Source:   sbnation.com

Cowboys are prepared to pay Dak Prescott what “he deserves”

  Cowboys are prepared to pay Dak Prescott what “he deserves” The Cowboys have the best bargain in football this season, paying Dak Prescott only a $630,000 base salary. Prescott’s per year average of $680,000 ranks only 74th among NFL quarterbacks. Seventy-fourth?! Prescott surely makes more in his off-the-field deals. The Cowboys, though, know what is coming. As a fourth-round pick in 2016, Prescott is eligible [ more ]Prescott surely makes more in his off-the-field deals.

The 2018 NFL Draft has come and gone, and the bulk of the league ’s free agent signings are in the books, but the upcoming season ’s rosters are Here’s a look at seven of the most interesting position battles slated to shake up the preseason in 2018. Jets quarterback: Josh McCown vs

The steadiest offseason cliche from every NFL head coach is something about competition. Coaches always want more competition, as they believe it makes a team better Let's explore those questions and more while breaking down some of the most notable ongoing position battles across the NFL .

a close up of a baseball player holding a bat© Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 NFL Draft has come and gone, and the bulk of the league’s free agent signings are in the books, but the upcoming season’s rosters are anything but set. While some players will be angling just to make a 53-man roster, a handful of emerging young talents will be battling veterans for their spot in a starting lineup. Several competitions will be headlining stories come August, when needy teams will rely on rookie playmakers and low-cost veterans in hopes that offseason roster moves will pay off in December.

Here’s a look at seven of the most interesting position battles slated to shake up the preseason in 2018.

Cowboys' Maliek Collins breaks foot in offseason conditioning drills

  Cowboys' Maliek Collins breaks foot in offseason conditioning drills Collins, a third-round pick in 2016, compiled five sacks and a forced fumble as a rookie. He tallied 22 combined tackles last season.Collins will undergo surgery early next week after breaking the fifth metatarsal in his left foot, according to the Star-Telegram. It marks the second time in five months Collins would have surgery on his left foot as he had surgery in January to fix a stress reaction that bothered him throughout last season, although he was still able to start every game.

7 of the biggest position battles in the NFL this offseason . Browns TE David Njoku is waging a lonely war against Fortnite The Browns tight end is a believer in PUBG, and will battle anyone who argues otherwise.

Among the dozens of battles that will transpire throughout the NFL between now and the start of September, the following 14 are worth keeping The team traded stalwart Duane Brown to the Seattle Seahawks in the middle of the 2017 season and allowed Chris Clark to enter unrestricted free

Jets quarterback: Josh McCown vs. Teddy Bridgewater vs. Sam Darnold

There’s something for everyone on the Jets’ QB depth chart this offseason. There’s a wily veteran working on a late-career renaissance (McCown). There’s a young Pro Bowler working on a comeback from a catastrophic knee injury (Bridgewater). And then there’s a player who could have been 2018’s No. 1 overall pick (Darnold, the rookie out of USC).

Each has his merits and concerns. McCown played one of the best seasons of his career to help the Jets win a surprising five games in 2017, but he’ll be 39 years old this season and has never made more than 13 starts in a season. Bridgewater looked like Minnesota’s quarterback of the future his first two years in the league, but he’s only thrown two passes over his last two as a dislocated knee has raised serious concerns over whether or not he can still play at a high level. Darnold is built like a franchise quarterback, but he was responsible for entirely too many turnovers with the Trojans and is anything but a sure-thing draft pick.

Meet the mom behind the most successful family in women’s hoops

  Meet the mom behind the most successful family in women’s hoops Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike play in the WNBA. Their sisters are pre-med students at Rice.It's the family's way of keeping track of each other, sending inspirational pep talks and messages and a place for the daughters to marvel at their mom's tech savvy.

NFL Nation reporters grade the regular season for every team, assess what positions each should target in the 2018 draft and look ahead to looming offseason questions. They have to be considered one of the league 's biggest disappointments this season . Read more.

Roughly one month ago, I looked at the biggest position battles heading into training camp. With each of these job auditions winding down, I wanted to check Carlos Hyde vs. Nick Chubb looked like one of the best position battles in football entering the offseason , but it failed to truly materialize.

That’s a lot of intrigue packed into one depth chart. And, if you’re a fan of reporters getting hit by errant passes on the sidelines, Christian Hackenberg is still on the roster ... for now.

Browns quarterback: Tyrod Taylor vs. Baker Mayfield

Taylor, acquired this past offseason for a third-round draft pick, may be the best quarterback the Browns have had since their reboot in 1999. With just one year left on his contract, the Pro Bowler isn’t long for Cleveland, however. Enter Mayfield, the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.

The starting job would have been Mayfield’s by default if Taylor weren’t in town, and the turnover-averse veteran will give the rookie gunslinger a serious roadblock on his path to the starting lineup. The former Bills signal caller is an efficient, if unexciting option who can bring stability to the NFL’s most embattled position group. Mayfield, on the other hand, is an explosive playmaker who threw for 119 touchdowns in his three seasons at Oklahoma. He’s got the bigger upside, but he’ll have to prove he can handle the learning curve playing in the NFL — and playing for the Browns — will place in his path.

Jason Witten believes Dez Bryant will end up with Packers

  Jason Witten believes Dez Bryant will end up with Packers If the first bold prediction Jason Witten has made since he retired from football becomes a reality, Aaron Rodgers is going to have another new weapon to throw to this upcoming season. If the first bold prediction Jason Witten has made since he retired from football becomes a reality, Aaron Rodgers is going to have another new weapon to throw to this upcoming season.

Eric Berry's offseason contract far surpasses anything the NFL has ever seen for a safety. Those numbers are buoyed by several big plays: Ajayi was the only back in football with four carries of 40 yards FO expresses this metric in terms of points of field position , and the range is quite enormous.

This slideshow highlights some of the biggest position battles developing so far this offseason . According to NFL Media’s Albert Breer, there is a belief within the organization that Carr can push Schaub for the starting job and make an appearance in the offense much earlier than initially expected.

Patriots running back: Sony Michel vs. Rex Burkhead vs. Mike Gillislee vs. James White vs. Jeremy Hill vs. Brandon Bolden vs. Ralph Webb

New England is well-stocked in the backfield, which fits into Bill Belichick’s platoon-heavy philosophy when it comes to running backs. The Patriots have eschewed a traditional lead-back system in the past decade, giving fantasy owners fits by spreading carries between unheralded players like Jonas Gray, Shane Vereen, and Bolden over the course of a season.

A roster filled with versatile backs could continue that trend in 2018, but the team’s decision to draft Michel with the 31st pick may signal a change. The Georgia product is a hard-charging all-purpose back who can handle duties as the team’s lead ballcarrier and provide the kind of receiving support out of the backfield with which Tom Brady thrives. Plus, he’s already got experience standing out in a crowded rotation — he split carries with fellow standouts Nick Chubb and D’Andre Swift in Athens the past two seasons.

Burkhead and White will provide pass-first targets who can move the chains, but will also be given the chance to earn carries. Gillislee, who can be cut this season with no salary cap ramifications, was a healthy scratch late in the season. His short-yardage role could be usurped by Michel, who weighs in at just seven pounds lighter. Hill came to New England from Cincinnati in free agency, but he’ll have to prove his waning production with the Bengals is a trend that can be reversed.

See stunning photos of group golfing in front of erupting Kilauea volcano

  See stunning photos of group golfing in front of erupting Kilauea volcano The eruption began early Tuesday morning and continued through the day. Huge Kilauea ash cloud is seen by golfers on the course at the nearby Volcano Golf Club as officials warn of "continuous explosive activity." https://t.co/1MJytqu0Ejpic.twitter.com/8sMMnbEyx9- ABC News (@ABC) May 16, 2018Read more about the volcano at USA TODAY.

Will Peyton Manning come back for another season ? Will Washington re-sign Kirk Cousins? Those are just a few of the storylines brewing in advance of the offseason . The futures of Peyton Manning and Kirk Cousins are both up in the air this offseason . USA TODAY Sports.

Here's the latest on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback position heading into the 2018 NFL season . The Tampa Bay Buccaneers added a plethora of weapons to both sides of the ball through free agency and the draft which means the Bucs are now strolling into the upcoming season with

And don’t sleep on Webb. Vanderbilt’s all-time rushing leader was a priority undrafted free agent add for the Patriots. His ability to contribute on special teams will give him a very real shot to break into the team’s tailback rotation in 2018. He could take Bolden’s spot on the roster this fall.

Cowboys starting wideouts: Terrance Williams vs. Cole Beasley vs. Allen Hurns vs. Tavon Austin vs. Deonte Thompson vs. Noah Brown vs. Michael Gallup vs. Cedrick Wilson

Dez Bryant’s untenable contract led to his departure from Dallas, and Jason Witten’s move from the field to the broadcasting booth leaves a lot of targets for the remaining receivers in Dak Prescott’s arsenal. The question now is who will rise to the occasion and take the Cowboys’ two starting wideout spots. Fortunately, head coach Jason Garrett has plenty of options to which he can turn.

Williams and Beasley are the team’s frontrunners for elevated roles after combining for 87 receptions last season. However, Williams’ receiving output has declined in each of the past two seasons and Beasley, whose forte is in the slot, had the worst season in his past four last year. That leaves some big opportunities for Hurns and Austin, who will be searching for fresh starts in Texas. Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones has already gone on record saying Austin could get up to two dozen touches per game — one year after getting just 72 total touches with the Rams.

44-year-old Terrell Owens is still working out for an NFL comeback

  44-year-old Terrell Owens is still working out for an NFL comeback Could Terrell Owens still play in the NFL?Owens last played in the NFL in 2010, though he spent 20 days with the Seahawks in 2012. Owens has remained adamant that he could still perform at a high level if a team gave him the chance, however, claiming that he could still deliver "800 to 1,000 yards" a season in the right system back in 2016. Last year, Owens said it was a "joke" that he wasn't on the field.

Broncos quarterback competition is the biggest position battle in the NFL this offseason . Either one will be a bargain in the budget-based NFL . Siemian is due 5,000 this season and Lynch 0,000. That's less than a game's work for superstar Von Miller, who will make million in 2017.

Around the NFL . NFL offseason : Ten (actually interesting!) subplots. A bona fide No. 1 receiver, Jeffery has battled injuries and endured a four-game suspension, but that Aaron Donald just got the biggest defensive deal in the NFL . See where he ranks among the league 's highest-paid players.

Hurns is capable of being a Bryant-lite deep threat for Prescott, even if he’s failed to follow up on his breakout 2015 in the years that followed. Austin is an enigma of athleticism whose inability to find a stable role with the Rams has left him struggling to live up to the promise he showed as the eighth pick of the 2013 NFL Draft. Fellow free agent Thompson is coming off the best season of his six-year career, but he’s never been more than filler before last year’s 15.9 yards-per-catch showing with the Bills.

This leaves room for young contributors to step up, but more question marks abound. Brown only has 37 receptions in his last four years of organized football. Gallup and Wilson were uber-productive college receivers ... but in the Mountain West. Still, Dallas is a soft landing spot for two rookies looking to prove they can translate their college football skills to the NFC East.

Colts starting tailback: Marlon Mack vs. Nyheim Hines vs. Jordan Wilkins

Frank Gore is gone, and now a trio of young backs will have the opportunity to take the pressure off Andrew Luck’s embattled shoulders this fall. Mack is the favorite in his second season with the club, but he averaged just 3.8 yards per carry behind an overwhelmed offensive line in 2017.

Indianapolis didn’t exactly place a premium on upgrading from him this spring, though. With holes across the roster to fill, the Colts waited until Day 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft to select Hines and Wilkins, two useful but flawed prospects. Hines is one of the fastest young players in the league and should be an asset in the passing game, but he hasn’t proven himself as an every-down back and was inconsistent at NC State. Wilkins ran for more than six yards per carry at Ole Miss, yet he struggled to churn out big yards-after-contact numbers and was an ineffective blocker on passing downs.

Pistons will consider Becky Hammon for their head coaching vacancy

  Pistons will consider Becky Hammon for their head coaching vacancy The Detroit Pistons were recently linked to San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon to replace Stan Van Gundy as head coach. 'She's interesting, qualified': Becky Hammon could end up on #Pistons' radar as candidate for head coach. pic.twitter.com/4iSAHuAhRl- Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) May 18, 2018Rod Beard reported that as the organization continues its search for a new head coach, they are likely to consider the San Antonio assistant (via The Detroit News):"Hammon, 41, is on the Pistons' radar as they look to fill their coaching vacancy after parting ways with Stan Van Gundy last week.

With other big decisions looming across the league , NFL Nation reporters assess every team's top priority. NFL Nation reporters grade the regular season for every team, assess what positions each should target in the 2018 draft and look ahead to looming offseason questions.

One of the biggest free-agent busts of the offseason was the signing of Markus Wheaton for the The worst tight end in the NFL this season is none other than rookie Jonnu Smith from the Hart carries his hands way too low, and he is consistently late in hand- positioning battles as a result.

Indianapolis will be better in 2018 than it was in 2017, but there’s no clear building block for the future in the team’s backfield. It’ll be up to Mack, Hines, and Wilkins to stake their claims this preseason.

Chiefs starting cornerbacks: Steven Nelson vs. David Amerson vs. Kendall Fuller vs. Eric Murray vs. Tremon Smith

The Chiefs lost four cornerbacks this offseason, including All-Pro Marcus Peters after a trade with the Rams and nine-game starter Terrance Mitchell in free agency. That’s going to mean an overhaul alongside Eric Berry in the secondary, but Kansas City is well positioned to move forward in 2018.

The franchise brought in a pair of guys with Washington roots to compete with Nelson (seven starts last season) and Murray (two starts, though he was more useful as a safety than a corner). Fuller was a big component of the team’s Alex Smith trade, and he’s ascending after knocking down 10 passes in his second year as a pro. Amerson went from Washington to Oakland before signing with the Chiefs. Smith is a sixth-round pick who will have the chance to contribute.

All four bring value to the table, even if no single player can replace what Peters did in his three seasons in Kansas City.

Rams outside linebackers: Matt Longacre vs. Samson Ebukam vs. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo vs. Ejuan Price vs. Trevon Young vs. Garrett Sickels

Robert Quinn was traded to the Dolphins this offseason. Connor Barwin is a free agent. Together, that pair combined for 27 of a possible 32 starts in Los Angeles last season. The Rams’ offseason defensive priority has been a continued focus on their defensive line (signing Ndamukong Suh, re-signing Dominique Easley) and they didn’t draft a true outside linebacker until Round 7 when it picked up TCU’s Travin Howard.

The good news for this year’s field of OLB candidates is they won’t be counted on to provide as much of a pass-rushing presence as players in similar schemes thanks to LA’s pressure creators up front. The bad news is there aren’t a lot of recognizable names on the team’s list of subs. Longacre brings the biggest pass-rushing chops of the group after tallying 5.5 sacks last season, but he’s only started one game in his three-year career. Ebukam is ascending after being drafted as a 2017 fourth-round developmental prospect from Eastern Washington, and his progress could be a big reason why the team could justify trading away Quinn.

Get ready for the Vegas Golden Knights to make even more noise this offseason

  Get ready for the Vegas Golden Knights to make even more noise this offseason The Vegas Golden Knights have already done the unthinkable by reaching the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season. In fact, it’s apparently something that only happens once every 50 years.

Position battles define the summer leading up to a season for most NFL teams. When it comes to positional battles this summer, none other will have the impact of those in the secondary. Pace entered the offseason aiming to overhaul the units as he had others such as linebacker in the past.

Things get less clear behind that pair. Okoronkwo was the Big 12’s co-defensive player of the year in 2017, but concerns about his size dropped him to the fifth round of the draft. Young was even less heralded coming out of Louisville, and will have to make a similar shift from DE to OLB as a pro. Price was a ferocious, but undersized, college star who played just one game as a rookie. Sickels played in just one game last season as an undrafted free agent and spent most of the year on practice squads.

There’s a lot of young talent there — but not many players who fit the mold Quinn set in seven seasons with the team.

Related slideshow: The top picks of the 2018 NFL draft (Provided by USA Today Sports)

#1: Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns: Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield was selected number 1 overall by the Cleveland Browns. Mayfield did not attend the draft. 2018 NFL Draft: The Top Picks

Get ready for the Vegas Golden Knights to make even more noise this offseason .
The Vegas Golden Knights have already done the unthinkable by reaching the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season. In fact, it’s apparently something that only happens once every 50 years.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!