|Pats rookie: I want to be a GM||07.23.09 at 3:30 pm ET|
An interesting interview with Patriots’ rookie defensive lineman Darryl Richard appeared on the New Orleans Times-Picayune football blog Thursday morning. Richard, a seventh-round pick out of Georgia Tech, talked about his excitement for the upcoming season, and acknowledges the long climb he has ahead of him in his attempts to make the team.
He also talked about already preparing for life after football. He left Georgia Tech after four and a half years with two degrees — he finished his undergraduate degree in three years — including a master’s in business administration. His Wonderlic score of 37 was the highest of any defensive lineman in the draft.
“I’m not one of those guys who are good with down time,” Richard told NOLA.com. “I definitely want to have a life after football, and football is, really, a business. You have to think of yourself as a small business. Thanks to my MBA, I think I am prepared for the business of football.”
For Richard, that business of football might include time in the front office.
“One of my dreams is to become a general manager,” he said.
Richard, who signed a four-year deal, is thrilled at the chance to be working with Bill Belichick.
“It’s ridiculous,” Richard said. “Any time you get an opportunity to be around someone like that, you just want to listen. I take in everything he says, soak it all in. You learn so much just from being around him.”
|Source: Ingram negotiations hit a snag||07.22.09 at 11:22 pm ET|
With rookies set to report to training camp early next week, a source indicated that the Patriots have hit a snag in their negotiations with at least one of their three unsigned rookies.
It was believed earlier this week there was cause for optimism surrounding the negotiations for sixth-round pick Jake Ingram, with one source expressing confidence to WEEI.com that a deal would be done “shortly.” But the talks between the two sides have apparently stalled over the proposed signing bonus.
A long snapper out of Hawaii taken 198th overall in the 2009 draft, a league source says Ingram — who is represented by the Morgan Advisory Group — is seeking a three- or four-year deal, a slotted contract that would give him a a signing bonus of roughly $95,500 on a four-year deal and $70,000 on a three-year contract.
However, the source indicated New England and senior football advisor Floyd Reese — who is taking the lead in contract negotiations — are attempting to take part of the signing bonus on a four-year deal and put it into a 2010 roster bonus. That doesn’t sit well with the Ingram camp.
The Patriots make it a practice not to comment on contract situations, and refused comment on the matter Wednesday afternoon.
It doesn’t appear to be a major sticking point, as the source “still expect[s]” the two sides to reach an accord relatively quickly. However, when compared to the relative quickness of the other negotiations — eight of the nine rookies agreed to contracts within a month’s time — it stands as a bit of a contrast.
Ingram is one of three members of New England’s 12-man draft class who remains unsigned. Second-round pick Patrick Chung and third-round selection Tyrone McKenzie also remain without a deal, although McKenzie reportedly suffered a season-ending knee injury in rookie minicamp, which would remove some of the urgency to get a deal done with the South Florida product.
Ingram was regarded as one of the best college long snappers in the country last year. He is expected to vie with Nathan Hodel to replace veteran Lonie Paxton, who signed a free-agent deal with the Broncos during the offseason.
|Countdown to Camp: Wide receivers||07.22.09 at 7:30 pm ET|
With training camp looming at the end of the month, WEEI.com will look at the 2009 Patriots in a position-by-position breakdown we’re calling “Countdown to Camp.” In the first installment, we take a look at New England’s wide receivers.
CURRENTLY ON THE ROSTER: Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Greg Lewis, Joey Galloway, Sam Aiken, Robert Ortiz, Tyree Barnes, Julian Edelman, Terrence Nunn.
A LOOK BACK: Even without Tom Brady for virtually the entire season, Moss and Welker enjoyed great seasons in 2008. Moss finished with 69 catches for 1,008 yards and 11 touchdowns, while Welker was a legitimate Pro Bowler, ending the year with 111 catches for 1,165 yards and three TDs. (As No. 3, Jabar Gaffney finished with 38 catches for 468 yards and two TDs — he signed as a free agent in the offseason with Denver.) Aiken had eight catches for 101 yards in spot duty.
Overall, the New England receivers were in the Top 10 in many receiving categories in 2008, including total receptions (339, 10th in the NFL), total receiving yards (3,790, 10th) and average receiving yards per game (236.9, 10th).
As for the new faces, the 29-year-old Lewis had 19 catches for 247 yards and one touchdown last year in Philadelphia, while in Tampa Bay, the 37-year-old Galloway was dogged by injuries that limited him to 13 catches for 138 yards in nine games.
A LOOK AHEAD: It’ll be the 32-year-old Moss on the outside and the 28-year-old Welker in the slot, with the other outside receiver position a battle between Lewis and Galloway. (For more on that, click here.) Aiken is a solid special teams presence who saw limited time at receiver last season — his versatility will likely be enough to win him a spot on the roster.
As for the rest, they appear to be squarely on the bubble, with the exception of Edelman. The former Kent State quarterback (taken in the seventh round of the 2009 draft) is an intriguing prospect, one who showed a lot during spring practices. He lined up at multiple spots on the field — in addition to his work at receiver, he lined up as a returner and was at quarterback in the scout team drills for the No. 1 defense — and his positional versatility could make it difficult to sneak him through to the practice squad.
|Green clarifies comments||07.22.09 at 3:37 pm ET|
Patriots defensive lineman Jarvis Green spoke with a Louisiana newspaper this week and talked about a desire to return to his home state sooner rather than later. “This is my last year with the Patriots. I’d love to come home and finish off as a Saint,” the LSU product was quoted as saying.
However, Green now insists that his comments were misrepresented.
“I don’t think I said it like that,” Green told The Boston Globe Wednesday afternoon. “Me being from Louisiana and playing at LSU and all that you say it would be a dream to play for the Saints. But I’d love to stay a Patriot, if that happens. I’ve been there seven years, won a lot of games, two Super Bowls, if I could retire as a Patriot that would be a dream.
“It came out in print the wrong way. I didn’t say it that way. It’s like anybody who lives in Texas talking about playing for Dallas or Houston. I’m a Patriot. I have been for seven years.”
The 30-year-old Green is entering the final year of a five-year contract he signed in 2005.
|Jarvis Green: ‘This is my last year with the Patriots’||07.22.09 at 1:30 pm ET|
Patriots’ defensive lineman and Louisiana native Jarvis Green spoke with a Louisiana newspaper recently, and had some interesting comments. He talked about a wide variety of topics, including New England’s near-miss in Super Bowl XLII and the success he and the Patriots’ had early in his career.
He’s looking forward to the 2009 season: “This season will be a special season because I know everybody is watching to see what we’re going to do,” he said. “Who we are on paper doesn’t mean anything. It’s a great year to go back and see how we put things together after the way last year ended.”
He also talked about missing his home state of Louisiana — especially in the winter — and tacked on an interesting footnote: “This is my last year with the Patriots. I’d love to come home and finish off as a Saint.” The 30-year-old Green is entering the final year of a five-year contract he signed in 2005.
|Pats and Brace finalize deal||07.17.09 at 9:23 am ET|
WEEI.com learned moments ago that the Patriots and second-round pick Ron Brace have come to terms on a four-year deal that includes roughly $2.82 million in guaranteed money.
Brace’s agent Nate Haber made the announcement this morning via his Twitter page:
“Brace and the Patriots have agreed to terms on a 4 year deal, with roughly $2.82 million in guarantees.”
Brace, a defensive tackle out of Boston College, was the 40th player taken in the 2009 draft. New England now has eight of its 12 draft picks signed — Brace joins Darius Butler, Seabastian Vollmer, Brandon Tate, Rich Ohrnberger, Myron Pryor, Darryl Richard and Julian Edelman in the fold. With rookies set to report for training camp on July 26, only four players remain without deals: Patrick Chung, Tyrone McKenzie, George Bussey and Jake Ingram. However, sources continue to indicate to WEEI.com that at least two of those four players are close to deals, and could agree to contracts within the next couple of days.
At 6-foot-3 and 330 pounds, Brace is a native of Springfield who starred as a high schooler at Worcester Burncoat. At Boston College, he lined up alongside defensive lineman B.J. Raji (a first-round pick of the Packers), and was a second-team All-ACC selection in 2008 after earning honorable mention in 2007. In his last two seasons at The Heights, Brace combined for 54 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks
With the uncertainty surrounding the future of Pro Bowl nose tackle Vince Wilfork — he is entering the final year of a six-year contract — Brace could be seen a possible replacement for Wilfork down the road. He has shown some positional versatility in the past, with an ability to play defensive tackle in the 4-3 or nose in the 3-4.
The Patriots certainly seem him as a space-eater.
“He’s huge. This guy’s big. He’s big and he’s wide,” said Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio in the spring when he was asked about Brace. “It’s hard to find these kinds of guys.”
“[Ron] Brace is a bigger player, very powerful and explosive, [with a] different playing style,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said when asked to compare Brace to the other two defensive linemen New England selected this past April, Darryl Richard and Myron Pryor.
“[He’s] a little bit taller, so I think there is some degree of flexibility between playing on the center, playing on the guard, and playing between the tackle and the guard, or on the tackle in varying degrees with all three players. How that actually manifests itself, we’ll see.”
|Report: Pats sign Edelman||07.16.09 at 7:58 pm ET|
Reports indicate the Patriots have come to an agreement with seventh-round pick Julian Edelman on a four-year contract.
The news was first reported by Chris Gasper of The Boston Globe.
That brings the total number of draft picks New England has signed to seven — Edelman joins Darius Butler, Rich Ohrnberger, Brandon Tate, Myron Pryor, Darryl Richard and Sebastian Vollmer as having deals done. In addition, the Patriots are expected to announce they have reached a deal with Ron Brace by the end of the week.
Edelman was the 232nd player taken in the 2009 draft, and the 6-foot, 198-pounder is an intriguing prospect. As quarterback at Kent State, he passed for 1,820 yards as a senior and rushed for 1,370. However, he saw most of his time during rookie minicamp, the organized team activities and full squad workouts as a wide receiver and return specialist.
“This little guy was an exciting player in college,” said Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio said of Edelman when he was asked about the 23-year-old back in the spring. “He has a long way to go, but he’s very receptive from a coaching standpoint.
“He’s football smart — he loves football.”
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