Last time I ran this clip was in 2009 when I wanted the Pats to pay Tom Brady. I told you then, I love Rounders. Awesome movie. Yet somehow my copy is missing. Errrrr…
Anyways, I run the same clip this morning because I want the Pats to go into their wallet again and pay Wes Welker. He signed his one year $9.5 million franchise tender but that’s where the good news ends.
He said yesterday that his negotiations on a long term deal with the team have gotten worse since last year. Last year they put a two year $16 million deal on the table, now the Pats are apparently offering less than that.
Take out the dropped pass in the Super Bowl. I know it’s hard to forget but really for the sake of argument, forget that one pass. When does this guy not catch what’s thrown to him? When is he afraid to go over the middle and take licks from linebackers and safeties. He’s not.
For all that he is not afraid to go over the middle and does catch pretty much everything thrown his way, he’s a product of the system. Don’t jump down my throat, he is. When Brady was hurt in 2008, Wes had one less catch and 10 less yards than the year before. That was with Matt Cassel-face throwing him passes instead of Tom Brady.
So yes he’s a good receiver, but he’s also a product of the system. Should he be the highest paid receiver on the team? Yes. Should he be one of the top receivers in the league? No.
Wes should be the highest paid receiver on the team and should be in the six or seven million dollar range. He won’t be the same player he is here in another market and system. The Pats know this and can leverage that in their negotiations.
So I say the team pays Wes. Just don’t break the bank in doing so. He’s a good player, a product of the system, and since he’s Tom Brady’s binky, let’s keep him around.
Filed under NFL, Patriots
The last Monday night game I went to was a Monday night game at Gillette was 2005. It was a drubbing at the hands of the Colts. It was 21-7 at the half and 31-14 when we called it. The final was 40-21. The Pats played awful and although we left early we were forced to listen to the fourth quarter in the car just waiting to get out of the parking lot.
Given it was a half day Monday and a half day Tuesday at work, I vowed to never go to a Monday night game again. The only exception of course if I was on vacation that week etc.
So needless to say, I don’t like Monday night games. Sure, they’re great for people in Seattle and Oakland where the games are kicking off at 5:30 local time, but for me it’s just too late. Maybe it’s me getting old, but staying up till almost midnight to watch a game is tougher and tougher when that alarm still goes off at 6:30 the next morning.
All that said, it is what it is (thanks Belichick). So tonight the Patriots host the Cassel-less Chiefs. Cassel has a broken finger and won’t play in tonight’s game. This should worry Pats fans. Where as most teams would lick their chops with an untested backup under center (in this case Tyler Palko), I don’t like the Pats against an inexperienced quarterback.
Part of what makes the Pats so good is Belichick and company’s ability to break down film. I don’t think the college film on Palko from six years ago is going to help. He had stints in New Orleans, Arizona, and Pittsburgh in the NFL as well as some experience in the CFL. Being a practice squad player he doesn’t have much film for the Pats to break down.
It reminds me of the Green Bay game a year ago. Matt Flynn was starting for the Packers due to an injury to Aaron Rodgers. Flynn threw three touchdowns in the game and has his team poised for a win as time was winding down but had poor clock management and ended up losing the game. I understand it’s two different teams and the Packers are a way better team, but remember the Packers were playing their fourth string running back and had all sorts of injuries. Yet they still were in it until the final play.
So tonight I expect a closer game than all the experts are predicting. Most have a 35-10 or something similar as their score. I’m saying the Pats will still walk out with the victory but it will be more like 31-24. Yes the Pats defense looked much better over the past couple weeks but with no film on this guy I think that plays a factor.
Here’s to hoping I’m wrong and the Pats get a shutout at home. But don’t be surprised if the game is closer than you expect.
Back tomorrow with a recap.
Filed under NFL, Patriots
So we started with the trade of Matt Cassel. That freed up a whole bunch of money and the rumor immediately came out that the Pats were making a play for Julius Peppers. Then the rumor went away as they proceeded to sign a few free agents. Then Monday night I’m sitting in the bar and the bottom line on ESPN indicated that the Pats were rumored to be making a trade with the Panthers for Peppers.
The rumor was that the Pats would give up the #34 overall pick, the same one they got for Cassel, and in return the Pats would get Peppers. Well, lets break this down realistically. Peppers is the highest paid defensive end in football. His franchise contract is roughly $16 million, or two million more than Brady. Even if the Pats were to somehow bamboozle the Panthers into taking a second round pick for the best defensive end in football, how would they pay him?
The Pats have a free agent class next year that has Wilfork, Seymour, and Mankins. How can you justify paying a fortune for Peppers and still have cap space for these guys? If they can get Peppers to buy into the team first idea, somehow convince him to accept $8 million a year, great. Realistically I don’t see him doing that. If the Pats somehow dealt Seymour and brought in Peppers, maybe, but Peppers has already said he wants to be a Terrell Suggs/Willie McGinest hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end in a 3-4 defense.
Time will tell if it happens, but I’m banking on the pipedream at this point.
Happy March everyone. And what a pleasant start to the month it is. For those of you that are new to the column, that’s called sarcasm. Here’s what I caught on the news this morning.
Onto the sports.
Now I don’t typically carry my cell phone at work. I view it just as something “professionals” don’t do. Sure once you reach a certain level of management you need to carry your cell/Blackberry all the time for those calls that management types get, but peons don’t need their cells on the floor. I bring this up because I happened to have my cell on me Friday because I put it in my pocket when we went out to lunch. So I was surprised when my pocket started vibrating around 2:30 on Friday.
That was JC checking in with me to let me know that Mike Vrabel was a Chief. Mike Vrabel who is the guy that the experts point to every time they talk about the Patriots model. A backup defensive end in Pittsburgh who the Patriots brought in as a free agent and converted to linebacker he was a fixture on all three Super Bowl winning teams. This guy was the consummate professional, a great interview, a great leader in the locker room, a great fullback or tight end in a goal line situation, and a pretty decent linebacker. But after a Pro Bowl 2007 he seemed to be on the decline in 2008. A little slower than the year before and you sensed that either him or Bruschi may not be back in 2009. Given the fact that Bruschi was a Patriot since he’s been in the league, it made sense that Vrabel was the odd man out.
I get in the car a little after five and start listening to sports radio. Almost immediately I was hearing that this was part of a bigger deal and that Cassel would be involved somehow. So I’m thinking that the Pats somehow were pulling a big deal with the Chiefs, possibly a player coming back in addition to picks. Well, as we found out Saturday morning it was only a pick. Initial reports said that it was conditional picks with an “s” but that wasn’t the case. The Patriots walked away with a second round pick, #34 overall. This is good news for the aging Patriots defense. They’re picking at #23 and then get to pick again 11 picks later. They have four of the first 57 picks in the draft in their first draft without Pioli.
Could the Patriots have done better than a second round pick for Cassel and Vrabel? Maybe, but from all accounts this was the best offer out there. I did get a kick out of the news from Denver that McDaniels was in the hunt for Cassel and was willing to trade Jay Cutler. No offense Josh, but I’d take Cutler over Cassel every time.
More importantly the Pats freed up that much needed cap space I talked about on Friday. Rumor has it that they are looking at Julius Peppers from Carolina, but I would much rather a serious run at Ray Lewis (who may be a Jet by the time you’re reading this). Imagine Ray Lewis, Mayo, Thomas, and a rookie like Laurinaitis? That would be incredible. The team did sign Shawn Springs who was released by the Redskins. I like that. Sure he’s a little older, but he’s a good corner. Not great, but serviceable. Let’s hope these moves are the Pats getting their ducks in a row and they’re building a monster defense.
I wake up this morning and turn on the news and find out the Tom Brady got married. Awesome. So if he’s caught out to dinner with his wife, will people finally let it be?
Now onto the real ring that we want Tom to get. The next Super Bowl ring. There’s been a lot of surprising free agents hitting the market and with Cassel on the cap it’s going to be tough for the Pats to be players for the marquee free agents but let’s check out some of the names.
Fred Taylor RB
This is the most likely signing by the Patriots. This guy has quietly been an awesome back for all his 11 years in the league. At this point in his career he’s certainly not a feature back, but would be a great tandem back with Sammy Morris, or Sandyvagititus Maroney. He actually is rumored to have visited the Pats on Wednesday or Thursday. I’m on board with this signing especially since Maroney is such a puss.
Cato June LB
You remember him. He was the linebacker on the Colts that used to reek havoc on the Patriots. Well, he went to the Bucs as a free agent and hasn’t been heard from since, but this guy would be a great addition to an aging linebacker corps. He’s only 29 and would be a much better addition than bringing back Colvin or Seau. I’d like to see him in a Pats uniform but I’d rather.
Derrick Brooks LB
This guy would be a Seau-esque signing, but a little younger. Imagine having him and Bruschi/Vrabel in the middle with Mayo and Thomas on the outside. This guy will be 36 when he starts the season, but he’s an All Pro that has anchored the Bucs defense for years including their Super Bowl win. I’d love to see him in a Pats uniform.
The only reason I put him on here is because I’d really like to see him lining up opposite of Randy Moss. Coles and Moss on the outside with Welker in the slot. What a great wedding present for Tom Brady. This guy would be 100% better than Jabar “Drops” Gaffney.
If anything the free agent period will be interesting. The sooner the team can dump Cassel the more money the team will free up for free agents. Get the Vikings on the phone and get this guy a Greyhound ticket. The other option is Philly. McNabb won’t sign an extension, dump his ass and bring in Cassel. Time will tell.