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NFL playoff fashion files – Best looks from Championship Sunday

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Put on your Sunday best. It’s Championship Sunday, after all. The NFL playoffs have four teams still alive for Super Bowl LIV.

Here are the best looks, fire fits and favorite cleats from this week’s entrances:

NFC Championship: Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers

The reigning MVP, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, is one win away from his first Super Bowl. He arrived Sunday sporting a Versace-embroidered Medusa bomber jacket.

If interested in the jacket as a gift for your favorite Chiefs fan, a similar version is on sale on the Versace website for $1,197.

Last week, Titans running back Derrick Henry showed up in Baltimore in an all-white ensemble. King Henry promptly rushed for 195 yards and threw for a touchdown to upset the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens.

This week, Henry arrived in Kansas City with a patterned suit in team colors. He topped it with a long navy fur coat.

For the Chiefs, rookie receiver Mecole Hardman came all the way from West Philadelphia with his look.

Here are a few more from the Titans and Chiefs.



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How much will free agency reshape Saints’ defense? – New Orleans Saints Blog

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METAIRIE, La. — The New Orleans Saints’ defense doesn’t need an overhaul.

It ranked 11th in the NFL in yards allowed in 2019 — its best finish in six years. And it had three players named to either the Pro Bowl or first-team All-Pro teams in end Cameron Jordan, linebacker Demario Davis and cornerback Marshon Lattimore.

But depending on how much the Saints choose to pony up in free agency, this unit could look significantly different in 2020.

Five of the nine guys who played the most snaps on defense last year are unrestricted free agents: safety Vonn Bell, cornerbacks Eli Apple and P.J. Williams, linebacker A.J. Klein and tackle David Onyemata.

Three other veterans are due lofty salaries in 2020 that could affect their roster status: cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Patrick Robinson and linebacker Kiko Alonso.

Here is a breakdown of their importance to the team — and how the Saints might replace them if needed:

Safety Vonn Bell

The 25-year-old should be a high priority to retain, but he might also command a high salary on the open market after he had such a strong 2019 season.

The Saints could potentially decide to let Bell go since they’re slammed against the salary cap (they have about $10.8 million in cap space) — and they have an obvious replacement available in C.J. Gardner-Johnson, who was so impressive as a rookie in 2019. But the Saints have always done a good job of featuring three safeties on defense, and Bell has emerged as one of their better disruptors.

The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Bell led the NFL with five fumble recoveries last season in just 13 games played. Then he added a sixth in the playoff loss to Minnesota. Bell also tied a career high with 89 tackles despite missing the final three games of the regular season with a knee injury. He played all but one snap in those first 13 games. And he finally reeled in his first career interception.

Bell has steadily improved each year since New Orleans drafted him in the second round out of Ohio State in 2016. He has settled in as a strong safety, though he showed the versatility to play both spots early in his career. He has had at least 83 tackles in each of his four seasons. And he has nine career sacks and seven career forced fumbles, including the playoffs.

Cornerback Eli Apple

Apple’s value is tough to peg, both in New Orleans and on the open market. The 24-year-old has shown a lot of potential, but also some inconsistency, ever since he was drafted by the New York Giants with the 10th overall pick in 2016.

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Jets GM Joe Douglas can start roster makeover with $25 million in cap cuts – New York Jets Blog

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Joe Douglas’ first offseason as the New York Jets’ general manager will begin in earnest when he begins to trim the fat from the roster. Soon he will jettison a handful of familiar names, most of them high-salaried players no longer worth their contracts.

The anticipated cuts will create at least $25.1 million in salary-cap room. Currently, they have $49.7 million in space, according to overthecap.com. It will allow the Jets to be active in free agency, although they won’t have as much flexibility as last offseason.

A breakdown of the top players on the chopping block:

Likely cuts

Trumaine Johnson, cornerback

Current cap charge: $15 million | Dead money if cut: $12 million | Savings: $3 million

The amount of the “dead” charge is borderline criminal, but this is what happens when a team acts out of desperation and throws crazy money at an overrated player — in a poorly structured contract, no less. Johnson, who signed for five years, $72.5 million, will walk away with $34 million for two mediocre and injury-plagued seasons. The Jets have to cut him by the third day of the league year (March 20) or else his $11 million salary for 2020, guaranteed for injury only, will become fully guaranteed. Adding insult to injury, they can’t use the June 1 designation because there are no June 1 cuts in the final year of the collective bargaining agreement. It would’ve allowed them to spread the cap hit over two years.

Brian Winters, guard

Current cap charge: $7.3 million | Dead money if cut: $0 | Savings: $7.3 million

Emotionally, this is a tough one because Winters is so well-respected in the organization, but his performance in recent years suffered because of injuries. He played only nine games last season because of shoulder surgery, probably nine games more than he should’ve played. Instead of succumbing to a preseason injury, he refused to sit until the pain was unbearable. The Jets need tough guys like Winters, but it’s time to say goodbye because of age (29), economics and performance. He has only one year left on his contract, which was structured in a way that allows them to wipe it completely off the books.

Avery Williamson, linebacker

Current cap charge: $8.5 million | Dead money if cut: $2 million | Savings: $6.5 million

You could make an argument to keep Williamson (assuming he has recovered from ACL surgery), but the Jets are looking at the cap implications. Because they overpaid last year for C.J. Mosley ($17.5 million cap charge), the Jets would have $26 million of the cap devoted to two inside linebackers — way too much. They shopped Williamson last preseason, but that plan was aborted when he suffered a season-ending knee injury.

They expect Mosley (groin surgery) to be healthy for training camp, which reduces Williamson’s value. They can save money by replacing him with Neville Hewitt (free agent) or James Burgess Jr. Williamson has only one year left on his deal, but his signing-bonus proration will remain on the cap. There’s no sense of urgency because there are no hard deadlines contained in his contract.

Darryl Roberts, cornerback

Current cap charge: $6 million | Dead money if cut: $0 | Savings: $6 million

Roberts logged more snaps (defense and special teams) than any corner on the team, but he didn’t play at a high enough level to justify the $6 million. The clock is ticking. They must make a decision by the fifth day of the league year (March 22), when $2 million of his $5 million salary becomes fully guaranteed.

Josh Bellamy, wide receiver

Current cap charge: $2.3 million | Dead money if cut: $0 | Savings: $2.3 million

He’ll be a 31-year-old special-teamer coming off shoulder surgery. They can get a minimum-salaried player to fill that role.

On the bubble

Nate Hairston, cornerback

Current cap charge: $2.1 million | Dead money if cut: $0 | Savings: $2.1 million

Hairston received an automatic $1.4 million salary bump because he qualified for a proven performance escalator, based on playing time. Ironically, it could work against him. Hairston, acquired in a preseason trade, never clicked with defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. As a result, he was leapfrogged by pretty much every corner on the depth chart.

Jonotthan Harrison, center

Current cap charge: $2.25 million | Dead money if cut: $0 | Savings: $2.25 million

They’d be nuts to cut Harrison, but stranger things have happened. While he might not be the long-term answer at center, he has value because of his position flexibility and modest cap charge.

It’s complicated

Quincy Enunwa, wide receiver

Current cap charge: $7.8 million | Dead money if cut: TBD | Savings: TBD

Enunwa’s career-threatening neck injury creates major uncertainty. Because of potential cap ramifications, the Jets might have to carry him for 2020 even if he can’t play. Here’s why:

Enunwa’s $6 million salary, which becomes fully guaranteed on March 22, already is guaranteed for injury. So is $4.1 million of his $7.8 million salary in 2021. If he’s released with a failed physical, he will be entitled to $10.1 million in injury guarantees, which would count against the 2020 cap (an $11.9 million hit). If he’s deemed healthy by the Jets and cut for “skill,” he could file an injury grievance if he disagrees with the team’s medical evaluation. The Jets are no stranger to injury grievances (see: Kelechi Osemele and Luke Falk).

Some believe this could play out like the Kam Chancellor situation with the Seattle Seahawks. He suffered a severe neck injury in 2017, but remained on the physically-unable-to-perform list for the 2018 season because the cost of releasing him would’ve been a cap killer. The Seahawks waited until 2019 to cut him. Bottom line for the Jets: Whether they keep Enunwa or cut him, they probably won’t realize any immediate cap savings. One source predicted the Jets-Enunwa matter will get messy.

Won’t be cut, but …

Le’Veon Bell, running back

Current cap charge: $15.5 million | Dead money if cut: $19 million | Savings: -$3.5 million

They won’t cut Bell; the cap hit is prohibitive. The better question is, will they trade him? The organization has come to the realization that, because of his massive salary, the chances of a trade are remote. To create a market, they’d have to be willing to pay a chunk of his 2020 salary ($13.5 million in total guarantees). Even then, the return would be minimal, probably a Day 3 draft pick. The Jets, who felt Bell gained weight and lost explosiveness as the season went on, have to make it work for another year.

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Finding where the Titans could make cuts to get more cap space – Tennessee Titans Blog

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans face some critical decisions as the free-agency period draws closer. Titans GM Jon Robinson will have about $55 million to work with as he figures out a way to re-sign quarterback Ryan Tannehill, running back Derrick Henry and right tackle Jack Conklin, among others.

The Titans could also be in the market for a pass-rusher in free agency. The process of prioritizing which free agents to sign is heavily influenced by what players the team can cut in order to free up cap space. Sometimes that means parting ways with a player who has sentimental value to the team.

“I think you have to always try to take the emotion out of critical decisions,” coach Mike Vrabel said in his postseason news conference last month. “It’s a two-way street. The player has to want to be here, and the team has to try to do its job to make sure that fits with its plans, with the plans that Jon [Robinson] and I have.”

Here’s a look at four players in danger of becoming a cap casualty and a prediction on how the Titans will handle each.

2019 stats: 54 carries, 209 yards | 25 receptions for 164 yards and a touchdown

2020 salary: $5.1 million | Dead cap money if released: $1.1 million | Cap savings: $4 million

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