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KANSAS CITY http://www.bengalscheapshop.com/cheap-au...ple-jersey , Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs are already planning their future around signing quarterback Patrick Mahomes to a long-term contract, even though the NFL MVP won’t be eligible to sign an extension until after next season.Chiefs general manager Bret Veach said during a wide-ranging interview Thursday that some of the financial decisions made dating back to last offseason were done with Mahomes in mind, such as the way the franchise structured contracts and how they approached free agency and the draft.“We were prepared for Pat to have success and be a franchise quarterback,” Veach said, “so this process of structuring ourselves for the next three, four, five years started about a year ago.”In the ensuing 12 months, the Chiefs traded incumbent quarterback Alex Smith to Washington and handed the job to Mahomes, who threw for more than 5,000 yards along with 50 touchdown passes while leading the club to its third straight AFC West title and the conference championship game.The Chiefs lost in overtime to the Patriots, a defeat made even more frustrating by the fact that Kansas City lost the coin flip and Mahomes never had a chance with the ball in the extra session.Off the field, Mahomes has become one of the NFL’s biggest stars.With his moppy Mohawk, earnest attitude and game-changing ability Germaine Pratt Jersey , Mahomes became must-watch TV by the end of the season. He had the eighth-best selling jersey in the NFL, has been courted by a wave of sponsors and has led Las Vegas odds-makers to peg the Chiefs as Super Bowl favorites next season.Some suggest Mahomes could ultimately sign the first $200 million contract in NFL history when he is eligible for an extension after next season.“Even last year, we were putting a plan together,” Veach said. “I think we have a good plan, and everything we do structure-wise will allow for necessary room moving forward.”Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers set the market with a $134 million, four-year extension last offseason, while Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan signed a $150 million, five-year deal. Rodgers has the average highest salary while Ryan had the highest signing guarantee of $94.5 million.Whatever it takes, Veach is intent on making sure the Chiefs have flexibility to do it.“Obviously there’s tremendous talent, and we had seen obviously a chance to see a lot of his work in college, and we saw all last year,” Veach said. “You knew it was inevitable it was coming. But what surprised me was the ease at which he did it. Even great players when they’re young, you anticipate a wall at some point after seven http://www.bengalscheapshop.com/cheap-au...ley-jersey , eight weeks, but there was never really a time.”BASKETBALL CAUTIONVideo of Mahomes making a slick spin move during a pickup basketball game went viral this week, and Veach said he’s already spoken to his quarterback about being careful off the field.“It was obviously a light-hearted discussion,” he said. “The problem with Pat is he does everything 100 mph and so dang competitive. I was like, ‘Hey man, you’re breaking a lot of ankles out there. Don’t break your own.’ And he was like, ‘No, no, we got that.'”STAR SAFETYEric Berry hardly played last season because of a mysterious heel injury, though he was on the field for the AFC title game. Veach said the highly-paid safety would discuss with doctors and the training staff whether to have surgery this offseason.“There’s so much medical information they are working through,” he said. “They’re going through all the postseason evals and exams and then sit down and put together a plan.”THE LINEBACKERSThe Chiefs are expected to switch from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 under new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, and that could cause big personnel decisions. Veteran linebacker Justin Houston has the Chiefs’ biggest salary cap number at $21.1 million next season, while top pass rusher Dee Ford could be a candidate for the franchise tag as he hits free agency.“We are running a different scheme now and we started the process Monday of going through the roster Renell Wren Jersey , giving you a pure feel of strengths, weaknesses, where we can get better,” Veach said. “Dee is a player that has done so much for us. We’re excited about bringing him back.”OTHER CONTRACTSDefensive tackle Chris Jones and wide receiver Tyreek Hill are eligible for contract extensions this offseason, and Veach said those discussions could begin at the NFL combine.“We’ll have a lot of dialogue with their agents,” he said. “We want them to be here. I’m sure they want to be here and we want to keep this rolling.”HUNT’S FUTUREVeach danced around the question of whether the Chiefs would ever sign running back Kareem Hunt, whom they cut midway through the season after video surfaced of him kicking a woman in a Cleveland hotel. Hunt remains on the commissioner’s exempt list, but other teams have expressed an interest in the former NFL rushing champion.“Our focus and our hopes with Kareem is he’s able to take the steps necessary to get his life in order, and do the right things,” Veach said. “Everything else after that is not as important.”
MIAMI — The New York Mets have their staff ace, at least for the next few weeks. The Miami Marlins hope they begin finding their next ace Friday night.
Rookie Sandy Alcantara is scheduled to make his season debut and his first major league start Friday night when the Marlins host the Mets in the opener of a three-game series between the two teams battling to stay out of the National League East basement at Marlins Park.
Both teams are coming off losses in their most recent games. The host Marlins fell Thursday afternoon to the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-0. The Mets were off Thursday after suffering a 5-3 loss Wednesday night to the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.
The present is pretty bleak for the Mets (32-46) and the Marlins (32-50), who have the two worst records in the NL.
But both teams may get a glimpse at things to come when the 22-year-old Alcantara steps to the mound against perhaps the best pitcher in baseball, New York ace Jacob deGrom (5-3 http://www.bengalscheapshop.com/cheap-au...dan-jersey , 1.69 ERA).
For the Marlins, who acquired Alcantara from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Marcell Ozuna last Dec. 14 as part of the organization’s latest teardown, Friday marks the latest step in the development of a pitcher believed to have upper-rotation potential.
Alcantara, who entered the season as Baseball America’s 70th-ranked prospect, throws in the high 90s and also offers an above-average curveball, slider and changeup. He was 5-3 with a 3.71 ERA in 14 starts with Triple-A New Orleans, for whom he exceeded 95 pitches in each of his final six appearances.
“He’s got all the weapons, so for him it’s just being able to sequence (pitches), stay ahead in counts and then the other part is managing the game holding runners, things like that,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly told reporters Thursday.
Alcantara didn’t get a decision and posted a 4.32 ERA in eight relief appearances last season with the Cardinals.
As for deGrom, the next month should determine whether or not he becomes the Mets’ building block for the future, or the player whose trade sparks the organization’s rebuilding efforts.
John Ricco T.J. Hockenson Jersey , who became one of the three men filling the general manager’s role with the announcement Tuesday that Sandy Alderson is taking an indefinite leave of absence to focus on his cancer treatments, said Wednesday that moving deGrom and/or Opening Day starter Noah Syndergaard is not something the club is necessarily looking to do. But he also admitted that he, Omar Minaya and J.P. Ricciardi need to entertain all possibilities as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaches.
The Mets have a bottom-five minor league system and deGrom, who turned 30 earlier this month, has a 2.81 ERA in 123 career starts and does not become a free agent until after the 2020 season, would likely bring back the biggest haul of any pitcher on the market over the next month.
“For me, everything has to be on the table,” Ricco told reporters. “But you have to look long and hard before you move a game-changing, top-of-the-rotation pitcher.”
Alcantara has never faced the Mets. DeGrom is 4-4 with a 3.62 ERA in 14 career starts against the Marlins.
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