DENVER (AP) — With his league-rattling trade from the Oakland Raiders to the Chicago Bears D.K. Metcalf Jersey , Khalil Mack cashed in with a new six-year, $141 million extension that makes him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.He’s still second fiddle to Von Miller, though.Miller was voted the league’s best edge rusher in the latest Associated Press position rankings, earning seven first-place votes in balloting of 10 AP football writers. The three other first-place votes went to Mack.The star Broncos linebacker “is simply the best, as the Seahawks were reminded in the season opener,” said AP’s Dave Campbell, based in Minneapolis.Miller, who had four quarterback hits, three sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in wrecking Seattle’s game plan in Denver’s 27-24 season-opening win, scored 97 points in the 10-points-to-one system. That’s four more than Mack and one point better than Tom Brady, who edged out Aaron Rodgers 96-93 in the quarterback rankings last week.“The NFL’s sack master finds a way to get to the quarterback, even when he’s double-teamed,” said New York-based Dennis Waszak Jr., who also ranked Miller No. 1. “He’s quick, strong, versatile and sometimes unstoppable.”Added New York-based Barry Wilner, “Yes, he might also get the nod as the best outside linebacker in the game. That’s how versatile and talented Miller is. He makes the Orange Crush go.”The AP ranks linebackers in Week 8. Next week, it’s running backs.Although “no one can match the former Super Bowl MVP when it comes to rushing off the edge with speed,” Bay Area-based Josh Dubow said, “Mack is the highest-paid defensive player for a reason,” so he ranked Mack ahead of Miller.“Just look at his dominant stats from his four years in Oakland http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/authentic-cody-barton-jersey ,” Dubow said, “Or his first game in Chicago.”Mack made an immediate impact in his Bears debut, dominating the Packers last Sunday night until a gimpy Rodgers, who was carted off with a knee injury in the first half, returned after halftime to rally Green Bay from a 20-point deficit for a 24-23 win.“Mack is the type of game-wrecking talent that teams only dream of having. Unless you’re the Oakland Raiders, who decided they needed to part ways with him,” Waszak said. “Mack paid off immediately for the Bears by forcing two turnovers in the span of six plays in Chicago’s opener at Green Bay.”Mack had a 27-yard pick-6 and strip-sacked backup QB DeShone Kizer in the red zone.“Hugely questionable decision for the Raiders to get rid of him in his prime,” said Washington-based Howard Fendrich, who ranked Mack the best pass rusher in the game. “The Bears got themselves a superstar.”“His tour de force in the season opener at Green Bay, without any training camp or preseason, shows why Mack could be worth every penny Chicago is paying him,” Wilner said.Philadelphia-based Rob Maaddi said that what separates Miller is “his Super Bowl MVP award” for strip-sacking Cam Newton twice in Denver’s win over Carolina in Super Bowl 50.What Mack has that Miller doesn’t is a Defensive Player of the Year award, something Teresa Walker of Nashville thinks could change this year if last week was any indication of the year Miller could have playing alongside rookie Bradley Chubb, the fifth overall pick in the draft.“Miller gets the nod over Khalil Mack thanks to a season opener that was simply amazing,” Walker said. “If Miller keeps this up, he should join Mack as a Defensive Player of the Year.”Last year, Miller was the hands-down winner in outside linebacker rankings and Mack the runaway winner in defensive end balloting. This year, the AP put pass rushers together in the edge rusher category.The Los Angeles Chargers‘ Joey Bosa was a distant third, followed by Arizona’s Chandler Jones, who led the league with 17 sacks last season and whom Dallas-based Schuyler Dixon calls “one of the most consistent threats in the game.”“Bosa’s absence was felt in a Week 1 loss to K.C.,” said New York-based Simmi Buttar, noting Bosa has 23 sacks in 28 career games. Bosa also will miss Sunday’s game at Buffalo because of a bone bruise in his left foot.Houston’s J.J. Watt at No. 5 and the Jaguars‘ Calais Campbell at No. 6 usually rush more from the interior. The Vikings’ Everson Griffen was seventh, followed by the Saints’ Cameron Jordan Gary Jennings Jr. Jersey , the Chargers’ Melvin Ingram, and the Browns’ Myles Garrett, the top overall pick in last year’s draft.Also receiving votes: DeMarcus Lawrence of the Cowboys, Justin Houston of the Chiefs, Terrell Suggs of the Ravens, Vic Beasley of the Falcons, Cameron Wake of the Dolphins, Ryan Kerrigan of Washington and Carlos Dunlap of the Bengals. T.J. Watt of the Steelers and Yannick Ngakoue of the Jaguars each received one vote. DeMaurice Smith dismissed with one word a question about his union’s labor deal with the NFL being extended.
Then he attacked.
The executive director of the NFL Players Association quickly said ”no” Thursday when asked about the current 10-year collective bargaining agreement getting extended beyond the 2020 season.
Then Smith, re-elected last year, went on the offensive about the next CBA.
”We prepare for war,” he said. ”If we are able to get a collective bargaining agreement done, great. All of these men went through a unilateral war declared on players in 2010-11.”
NFLPA President Eric Winston stressed there are many portions of the current contract they believe need changing, from health care issues to the union’s role in overall league decisions to, naturally, revenue splits.
”We want 99 percent of the revenues,” Winston joked before adding the structure of rookies’ contracts, health care and technical field issues as key elements for negotiations.
Ryan Wendell said workplace player safety would be an important topic, along with ”more unfettered union access to the players.”
Wendell also wants the players to have a ”seat at the table in how revenues are raised.”
There remain three full seasons of NFL play before any potential work stoppages, be it a lockout or strike. On many issues, the union and owners have fought bitterly through the seven years of this agreement.
It isn’t likely to change, either.
”We have been preparing with the idea this will be another arduous process,” Winston said.
One area the union is adamant about wanting to change is Commissioner Roger Goodell’s role in handing out player discipline. The players gave up any alteration in that area in 2011 in exchange for other concessions from the league.
They’ve regretted it ever since, and also take issue with the system of fines handed out by the NFL.
”The fine system and guys are labeled as repeat offenders http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/authentic-phil-haynes-jersey ,” annoys Thomas Davis, the 2014 Walter Payton Award winner as NFL Man of the Year.
The Carolina linebacker was suspended for one game this season for what was determined an egregious hit on Packers receiver Davante Adams late this season.
”They group and categorize everyone in the same box. It shouldn’t be that way.”
Winston insisted an 18-game schedule, which the league pushed for before the current CBA, remains as nonsensical as it did in 2011.
Smith virtually ducked answering queries about Colin Kaepernick, the former 49ers quarterback whose kneeling during the national anthem beginning in 2016 sparked the 2017 player protests about social injustice. Kaepernick was not on any roster this season and has filed a grievance against the NFL that the union is supporting.
But Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich, who missed the season while injured, said Kaepernick had an effect on his peers.
”I don’t think that made people more fearful” of repercussions from management, Herzlich said of the demonstrations during the anthem.
”It empowered more people to join a movement they really felt was right. I think the bravery of these men to really show what they feel and say, this is about unity. We’re not going against the country or the flag, but we’re about wanting equality.”
Winston praised the players for their willingness to speak up when a teammate or opponent appeared to be hurt, particularly concussed.
”I’ve seen many guys say something to a coach or the medical staff: `Get this guy checked out,”’ Winston said. ”It’s a great thing to see.
”There a big education piece to this, but there’s always an undercurrent of, `I’ve got to stick it out for my team.’ To which I say, `You’re not that good a player when you are concussed. You could cost your team a win.”’
Eagles defensive end Chris Long was awarded the Whizzer White Community MVP by the union. The NFLPA gives the award to a player ”for his profound dedication to positively impacting his team city, and communities across the country, in the spirit of the former Supreme Court justice.”
Long donated six of his game checks this season to funding a scholarship program at St. Anne’s-Belfield School, where he attended high school in Charlottesville, Virginia.
He then donated his last 10 game checks to programs that support educational equality in the three cities where he’s played so far: Philadelphia, Boston and St. Louis. Through the ”Pledge 10 for Tomorrow” campaign, he was able to match his own charitable contribution by raising another $1.3 million in donations.
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