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The home runs, I guess, have come in bunchesin Die Schule 17.08.2015 08:47
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NEW ORLEANS -- The Saints Jimmy Graham and the NFL Players Association were dealt a setback Wednesday when an arbitrator ruled that he can only be considered a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag designation. NFLPA had filed a grievance arguing that Graham was used as a wide receiver often enough to qualify for the more lucrative receiver tag. But arbitrator Stephen Burbank disagreed and now the NFLPA is reviewing his ruling, and will advise Graham on his options, which could include an appeal. Grahams case is being closely watched around the league because it could set a precedent for negotiations involving players who fill diverse roles in their teams offensive or defensive schemes. For example, some outside linebackers in a 3-4 defensive scheme could argue their right to receive the higher defensive end tag. NFL franchise tags, which allow each team to keep one prized player who is due to become a free agent, were set this year at $7 million for tight ends and $12.3 million for receivers. Burbank, who is also a University of Pennsylvania law professor, found that Graham could fulfil the standard duties of a tight end when he was lined up in the slot or within 4 yards of an offensive tackle, as he was for most of his snaps. Burbank further pointed out that defences usually accounted for Graham as a tight end, regardless of his alignment, by assigning a linebacker or safety to cover him. "Like tight ends, wide receivers and running backs often line up in the slot," Burbanks ruling stated. "The defence employed against any player so aligned turns on the players position, not his alignment, because of the physical attributes and skill sets of the players in those positions." Burbank indicated there could be merit to the NFLPA contention that Graham cannot be considered a tight end when he does in fact line up as a wideout. However, because both sides stipulated that Graham lined up within 4 yards of an offensive tackle for nearly 55 per cent of his snaps, Burbank said he did not need to address the minority of instances in which offensive formations employed by Saints coach Sean Payton placed Graham at a wider distance from the offensive line. The NFLs collective bargaining agreement states that franchise tags should be applied according to the position at which a player lines up for the majority of his snaps. Graham has skipped Saints off-season practices while holding out for a new, long-term contract. A favourable ruling from Burbank would have further enhanced negotiating leverage for Graham, who last season led the Saints with 86 catches for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns. Saints spokesman Greg Bensel said the club would have no comment on the ruling, and Sexton did not respond to a request for comment. In its statement, the NFLPA said: "We will also continue to assist Graham and his representation as necessary to help the player reach a fair long-term deal with the New Orleans Saints." Such disputes are not frequent, but draw lots of attention because of their potential to set a precedent. Baltimores Terrell Suggs, the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year, argued in 2008 that he should be tagged as an end, not a linebacker. The difference back then was about $800,000. That dispute ended when Suggs signed a new long-term contract with the Ravens. He later helped them win the 2012 NFL championship. July 15 is the final day a team can sign 2014 franchise players to long-term extensions. Otherwise, they must play under their franchise tag designation for one season, after which they would be set to become free agents. 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After a simple tweak, Wood cruised the rest of the way. The left-hander retired 19 of his final 21 batters and pitched two-hit ball for seven innings as the Chicago Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 on Sunday. "It was a struggle there in the first," Wood said. "We werent missing bad, but we were missing, so (there was) kind of a minor adjustment I had to make. I was kind of flying open a little bit there in the first after the first or second hitter, so we made it and were able to roll after that." Welington Castillo and Mike Olt homered for the Cubs, who took two of three from the NL Central leaders to win a series for the second time this season. Wood (4-4) allowed two runs and struck out seven. All three of his walks came in the first inning. "When he locates down into the corners, hes really, really effective," Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. The Cubs won their first series since taking two of three against the St. Louis Cardinals from May 2-4. "We had some timely hitting. Our pitching has been really good, and weve been able to close out the ballgames we lead," Renteria said. Hector Rondon earned his fifth save in five chances after allowing a leadoff double to Ryan Braun in the ninth for Milwaukees third hit. The Brewers, who began the day with the NLs best record, have scored 11 runs in five games. "He keeps the fastball away well. He throws the cutter inside to right-handers well and mixes in a curveball," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said about Wood. "He commanded the ball well, and were a little bit off offensively. Three hits, just not many guys on base to do things with." Marco Estrada (3-2) gave up four runs and seven hits -- five doubles and two homers -- in five innings.dddddddddddd. In nine games this season, Estrada has served up 12 home runs, second-most in the majors. "I was terrible, plain and simple. Terrible," Estrada said. "Ive got to figure things out. My off-speed pitches havent been there and thats whats letting me down, that and elevating the fastball when Im not trying to." Castillos two-run shot gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead in the second. Luis Valbuena scored on Castillos fifth homer after drawing a walk. The Cubs extended their lead to 3-0 in the third after Starlin Castro and Valbuena hit back-to-back doubles with two outs. Olt hit his team-leading ninth homer in the fourth to make it 4-0. He leads NL rookies in home runs. "Ive just gotten some good pitches to hit," Olt said. "As long as Im doing that, then Im happy. The home runs, I guess, have come in bunches. Hopefully I can keep it going." The Brewers got their first hit on Logan Schafers one-out double against Wood in the fifth. Two batters later, Rickie Weeks hit a two-run homer to cut the lead to 4-2. The Brewers had been scoreless for 20 straight innings, since the second inning on Friday. "The first inning or two, when you have a pitcher in trouble, you need to get to them early," Roenicke said. NOTES: Renteria said RHP Pedro Strop (groin) is expected to start rehabbing at extended spring training in Arizona soon. ... Cubs OF Nate Schierholtz was out of the lineup. He was hitting .197. "His at-bats have been better, but we havent had the results that we wanted," Renteria said. Ryan Kalish started in right field. ... Brewers RHP Wily Peralta (4-2, 2.05 ERA) will start against Atlanta on Monday. The Cubs have Monday off before beginning a two-game series at home against the New York Yankees. cheap nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys cheap nfl jerseys cheap nfl jerseys ' ' '