The Denver Broncos declined to exercise outside linebacker Shane Ray's $9.23 million fifth-year option for 2019 on Thursday Daryl Williams Jersey , a week after selecting North Carolina State pass rusher Bradley Chubb in the NFL draft.
Ray, the team's top pick in 2015, promised a big bounce-back season after the Broncos selected Chubb with the fifth overall draft pick, something he'll need if he's going to cash in as an unrestricted free agent next March.
Ray's fifth-year option would have been worth more than his four-year, $9,118,894 rookie contract he signed after the Broncos selected him with the 23rd overall pick in 2015 after his outstanding final season at Missouri in which he won SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Ray, who turns 25 in two weeks, has started just 15 games in three NFL seasons, collecting 84 tackles Graham Gano Jersey , 13 sacks and two fumble recoveries.
That production is similar to that of Shaq Barrett, an undrafted free agent from Colorado State who has 108 tackles, 11 sacks and seven forced fumbles over the past three seasons in Denver, where he started out as a practice squad player in 2014.
Barrett will make $2.914 million this season after the Broncos placed a second-round tender on him this offseason. By contrast, Ray's 2018 salary is $1.678 million.
Playing behind DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller, Ray had a solid rookie season, one that culminated in a pair of tackles and a forced fumble in the Broncos' win over Carolina in Super Bowl 50.
In 2016, he posted eight sacks and 48 tackles and became the first player since Jacksonville's John Henderson in 2002 to collect three sacks in his first career start.
He looked primed for a breakout season last year following Ware's retirement, but he broke his left wrist in July, which required a series of surgeries and forced him to miss half the season. Unable to hit the weights Phillip Gaines Jersey , he dropped 17 pounds to 225 and essentially played with just one arm before electing for another surgery with two weeks left in the season. He finished with just one sack and 15 tackles.
Ray took to social media during the draft, promising to rebound from his injury-marred season. After a series of exchanges with his Twitter followers over the weekend, he posted, "No more social media. I'm going dark" with a peace sign emoji.
HOUSTON — One obvious benefit of a club-record-tying 12-game winning streak and 13 victories in 14 games is the positive impact it has on the standings, something the Houston Astros could attest to before dropping the opener of a three-game set with the Kansas City Royals on Friday.
On June 5, the Astros (50-27) were the scuffling team, falling two games behind the Seattle Mariners in the American League West with a 7-1 loss, their seventh setback over 10 games. The entered this weekend 3 1/2 games ahead of the Mariners and maintained that lead Friday when Seattle lost at Boston 14-10.
Midseason standings are fluid, and it’s far too early to get enthralled by scoreboard watching.
“I think I pay attention to our team,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “I appreciate the stress that comes with whether you’re a game up or a game back or five games up or five games back. I really think we’re chasing ourselves. I think we need to play our best baseball and we’ll sort out the standings as it gets towards the later end of the season.
“I’m aware of it because I’m a baseball enthusiast; I watch the scores all the time. It’s what I do. I’m not emotionally drained when other teams go on win streaks and I’m not emotionally charged by a couple losses. I just want our team to play well.”
Right-hander Lance McCullers (8-3 Julien Davenport Jersey , 3.77 ERA) gets the start in the middle game of the series for Houston. He is 1-0 with a 2.33 ERA over four career starts against the Royals, and he recorded a no-decision in his previous outing against them after allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over six innings in a 7-4 Astros victory on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals will hand the ball to right-hander Ian Kennedy (1-7, 5.31 ERA) on Saturday. Kennedy is winless over his last 13 starts, one behind Athletics right-hander Chris Bassitt for the longest active streak in the majors. He is 0-7 with a 6.12 ERA since his only win on April 7.
Kennedy is 4-1 with a 1.99 ERA over five career starts against the Astros, including 3-0 with a 0.92 ERA over three starts at Minute Maid Park.
The Royals (23-52) on Friday began transitioning veteran Alcides Escobar off shortstop, ending his string of 407 consecutive starts there by moving him to center field for the opener of their series with the Astros. Escobar finished 2-for-2 with two walks, marking the first time since Sept. 6, 2017, against the Detroit Tigers that he reached base in all four plate appearances.
Escobar, a free agent following the season Pharoh Cooper Jersey , has been a mainstay at short for the Royals since 2011. Before making his first career start in center on Friday, Escobar last played that position on Aug. 2, 2010, while with the Milwaukee Brewers, shifting in the eighth inning after starting at shortstop.
“We know that he’s athletic enough to play it and we want Mondi (22-year-old infielder Adalberto Mondesi) playing short,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of Escobar. “We just think that the time is right. We talked to the coaches about it and they feel like he’ll be fine.
“He’s really excited about the opportunity at playing multiple positions, not only center but some third and some second. He knows that his next career move is probably going to be a utility-type player on the field and he’s anxious to start showing people that he can handle it.”
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