It Is What It Is
Follow football writer Christopher Price at In addition, get the latest updates at
A Patriots Blog Blog Network

Yahoo! Sports’ Jason Cole on M&M: Wes Welker ‘realizes this is the best place for him to be’

03.05.13 at 1:47 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Yahoo! Sports writer Jason Cole, who posted a story Tuesday morning indicating that Wes Welker has “mild disdain” for the Patriots because of how the team limited his role in the offense in the early part of last season, joined Mut & Merloni on Tuesday afternoon to talk about the situation.

Although Cole’s article suggests that a new contract for Welker will not be as easy as some thought after Tom Brady renegotiated his deal and freed up some money for the team, he said ultimately he expects Welker will be a Patriot when the 2013 season begins.

“He’s probably going to stay, because he realizes this is the best place for him to be,” Cole said. “Even if that costs him a little bit of money vs. what he can make somewhere else, you’d make the good choice and stay with a team that knows you well, is going to pay you decently and is going to give you every opportunity.

“Is he a little bit concerned about how things could go here in the future? A little bit. But I think that that’s going to get outweighed by the fact that playing with Tom Brady is the best option for him.”

Cole said the Patriots learned early last year how difficult it is to replace Welker, a rare case of Bill Belichick failing to prove a point.

“With the Patriots it’s always about who’s in charge, who’s the boss here. And that’s OK. That’s how Bill does things,” Cole said. “And I know that another part of this was they wanted to get [Aaron] Hernandez to take over more of that role so that they were ready to move on from Wes.

“And they also had a belief that Brandon Lloyd could be that guy. Because remember, Brandon Lloyd is Josh McDaniels‘ guy. That was the guy he ‘discovered’ when he was in Denver and turned him into a legitimate receiver. And it took an entire season for everybody to realize that Brandon Lloyd is just a guy. Pretty good, but he’s not a game-breaker, he’s not a game-changer. He’s not that consistent. You need to have Welker over there for the consistency. And as much as you might want to funnel the ball more to a guy like Hernandez and [Rob] Gronkowski, they get hurt.

“So, what do you want to do here? You need to have Welker, you need to have him over there catching a hundred, 110 balls a season and moving the chains along and doing that job.”

Added Cole: “I think that at the beginning of last year there was a distinct feeling within the coaching staff, ‘OK, we can set it up to move along, to move to somebody else.’ And then they discovered no, they really can’t, Welker’s still the guy.”

To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at

Read More: Brandon Lloyd, Jason Cole, Tom Brady, Wes Welker

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Auburn DE Corey Lemonier

03.05.13 at 11:30 am ET
By   |   Comments will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that might be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2013 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.


Position: Defensive end

School: Auburn

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 255 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-SEC second team (coaches), 2011 All-SEC first team (coaches), 2011 All-SEC second team (AP)

What he brings: The scouting report on Lemonier indicates he has a strong overall build and still has room to grow. He plays on both sides of the formation and has a good, quick, first step. He showcases the ability to drop into a zone and attack ball-carriers in his zone. He displays very good strength and long arms to strip the ball from a ball-carrier. He shows great effort and determination, has good field vision and makes stops. He has been compared to Jaguars defensive end Andre Branch.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 3

Notes: As a sophomore in 2011, Lemonier recorded career highs in tackles (47), tackles for loss (13.5), and sacks (9.5). He got off to terrific start to his junior season, making five sacks in the first four games, but had only half of a sack in the last eight games.

Related Articles: Corey Lemonier impresses in NFL Combine workouts

War Eagle Extra: Corey Lemonier declares for NFL Draft

Video: Here is a package of Lemonier highlights.

Read More: 2013 NFL draft, 2013 Potential Patriots, Corey Lemonier,

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: South Carolina FS/CB D.J. Swearinger

03.05.13 at 8:46 am ET
By   |   Comments will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that might be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2013 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’€™s time for the Patriots to make a selection.


Position: Free safety/cornerback

School: South Carolina

Height: 5-foot-10

Weight: 208 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-SEC second team (coaches, AP)

What he brings: Swearinger became known as an aggressive, hard-hitting safety for South Carolina over the last four years. His speed and acceleration have been noted as strong points for him. Swearinger is on the shorter side for a safety, but scouts agree that his overall strong build mostly makes up for that. Though he moved back and forth between cornerback and safety this past year, he projects more as a safety, and Rob Rang of CBS Sports notes concerns about his ability to change directions fluidly enough to play cornerback well. Swearinger has played both free and strong safety.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 2

Notes: Swearinger had 79 tackles, second most on the Gamecocks, last season, and a team-leading seven pass breakups. He was suspended for a hit on a defenseless receiver and has also drawn penalties for hits to the upper chest and head during his time at South Carolina. His physical play is a positive for him if he keeps it under control, but it could be a negative if it draws penalties or results in injuries to himself.

Related articles: The Charleston Post and Courier: Free safety D.J. Swearinger’s boldness an important part of South Carolina’s success

USA Today: South Carolina’s D.J. Swearinger suspended for Missouri

The Times and Democrat: Swearinger, Auguste, class of 2009 ready to put topper on USC legacy

Video: Here’s a collection of plays by Swearinger.

Read More: 2013 NFL draft, 2013 Potential Patriots, D.J. Swearinger,

Report: Wes Welker has ‘somewhat mild disdain’ for Patriots after last season’s treatment

03.05.13 at 7:56 am ET
By   |   Comments

While Tom Brady‘s restructured contract appeared to clear the way for the Patriots to re-sign Wes Welker, the negotiations are not expected to be easy — and not just for monetary reasons.

According to a report from Yahoo! SportsJason Cole, Welker has a “somewhat mild disdain for the Patriots right now,” apparently due to his treatment at the start of last season. In a season-opening victory over the Titans, Welker was targeted just five times (three receptions), and “that bit of tweaking stuck in Welker’s craw all season,” Cole writes, adding that “there’s a little paranoia in the Welker camp these days about his role with the Pats.”

Welker ended up with 118 receptions for 1,354 yards and six touchdowns in 2012. It was the fifth time in his six seasons in New England he topped 100 receptions and 1,000 yards.

Welker, 31, made $9.4 million last season as the team’s franchise player. The team did not franchise him before Monday’s deadline, setting him up to become a free agent.

Read More: Wes Welker,

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Florida State DE Cornellius Carradine

03.04.13 at 5:53 pm ET
By   |   Comments will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that might be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2013 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’€™s time for the Patriots to make a selection.


Position: Defensive end

School: Florida State

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 276 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-America honorable mention (Sports Illustrated), 2012 All-ACC first team (media, coaches), 2012 Ted Hendricks Award finalist, Rated top junior college prospect in the country at Butler Community College before transferring to Florida State in 2011

What he brings: Nicknamed “Tank,” Carradine is described as explosive off the snap, and his strength and hustle have drawn praise from many observers. He didn’t start at Florida State in 2011 (although he still had 38 tackles on the year) and he tore his ACL in November 2012, so he doesn’t have the same amount of experience against elite competition that many of his contemporaries do. Scouts mostly agree that his athleticism, quick hands and strength can overcome that issue. However, lingering concerns about his knee, which held him out of the Senior Bowl, could hurt his status on draft day.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 1-3

Notes: The status of Carradine’s knee could determine whether he winds up being selected in the first or second round of the draft. He had 11 sacks and 13 tackles for a loss through the first 12 games of 2012. Carradine originally signed with Illinois out of high school, but had to start out at Butler Community College instead for academic reasons.

Related articles: ESPN: Florida State Seminoles’ Tank Carradine out with torn ACL

ESPN: Cornellius Carradine forces fumble on big FSU play

Palm Beach Post: FSU defense rolls along thanks to ‘Tank’ Carradine’s powerful play at end

Video: Here’s a look at Carradine vs. Miami last season.

Read More: 2013 NFL draft, 2013 Potential Patriots, Cornellius Carradine,

Patriots opt not to hit anyone with franchise tag

03.04.13 at 4:35 pm ET
By   |   Comments

The deadline for the franchise tag came and went Monday afternoon without the Patriots using it on any one of their available players, which means wide receiver Wes Welker, right tackle Sebastian Vollmer and cornerback Aqib Talib — New England’s top three possibilities to be tagged — have between now and March 12 (the start of free agency) to work out a new deal with the Patriots or hit the open market.

For more Patriots news, check out

Ed Reed: Bill Belichick a ‘good’ coach, but I plan on being a Raven

03.04.13 at 12:37 pm ET
By   |   Comments

On “NFL AM” Monday morning on the NFL Network, Ravens cornerback Ed Reed — who is set to hit free agency later this month — was asked if the Patriots would have won a Super Bowl with Reed on their roster.

‘€œThey’d win two [Super Bowls]. At the Super Bowl, I was asked if I would play for Coach Belichick and my answer was: ‘€˜What player wouldn’€™t play for Coach Belichick?’€™ He is a good football coach, has a great mind for football. I met Coach Belichick at a Pro Bowl. He is a great guy, great competitor and seems to understand his players.  I was just asked the question at the time [but] I am a Raven, plan on being a Raven. I couldn’€™t see myself anywhere else, but if it happens, I am a football player, I can adapt to any situation.’€

For more Patriots news, check out

Read More: Bill Belichick, Ed Reed,
Latest on Twitter
Draft Kings
Patriots Box Score
Patriots Schedule
Player News
Patriots Headlines
NFL Headlines
Tips & Feedback