|05.08.11 at 12:34 am ET|
Despite the labor uncertainty, WEEI.com will continue present a list of 10 possible fits for the Patriots in free agency (under the old Collective Bargaining Agreement) this offseason.
Position: Defensive end/defensive tackle
Like Matt Roth ‘ another free-agent possibility for the Patriots who was discussed in this space yesterday ‘ the little brother of defensive tackle Kris Jenkins is not a particularly overwhelming pass rusher, but is the sort of defender who is a veteran of the 3-4. He has 29 career sacks in seven seasons, including a career-best seven last season.
In addition, after seven years in Green Bay, the Central Michigan product is ready to move on ‘ he told ESPNMilwaukee.com earlier this month that he would have taken a hometown discount to return to the Packers, but that ship has sailed, saying, ‘I know how they handle business, and the thought was if we could get something reasonable worked out, I knew I would take less than what I could’ve gotten in free agency. But they never approached me with anything and never got any type of negotiations going. It’s just how the business is. They had a lot of younger guys and felt they could move forward in that direction.’
Why it might not work: He’s been slowed by some nagging injuries the last few years ‘ he missed five games last season with a bad hamstring and broken hand. In addition, he missed 12 games in 2008 with a torn pectoral muscle. (Of course, despite all of that, he had career-best numbers last year, so that might not matter a whole lot in the long run.) He is 30 years old, and going long-term for a player at that age might be something of a dicey situation. And if the old rules apply, Jenkins figures to be one of the pricier pickups in free agency. He had a career-best year this past season with the Super Bowl champs ‘ his stock will never be higher than it is right now. Probably not an ideal time to invest.
|05.07.11 at 12:31 am ET|
Despite the labor uncertainty, over the course of the offseason, WEEI.com will present a list of 10 possible fits for the Patriots in free agency under the old Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The Browns are moving to a 4-3 under new coach Dick Jauron, which means this veteran of the 3-4 will be looking to test the free agent market. Roth is not an overwhelming threat as a pass rusher ‘ he’s posted 20 career sacks in seven seasons in the NFL, including a combined 7.5 the last two years in Cleveland ‘ but is an excellent complimentary piece who could provide depth outside and provide support in the run game.
Since college, Roth has played almost exclusively for former Bill Belichick lieutenants: as a collegian, he was with Kirk Ferentz at Iowa. In the pros, he’s also had stints with in Nick Saban (Miami) and Eric Mangini (Cleveland), which would likely mean an easy transition into the New England system. He would be a relatively inexpensive sign. And he certainly fits the body type the Patriots require when it comes to finding someone who could set the edge in the run game and provide a spark to the pass rush.
Why it might not work: Roth is a bit of a wild card. He ran afoul of Bill Parcells in Miami ‘ skipping ‘voluntary’ spring practices with the Dolphins because he was unhappy with his contract ‘ which eventually got him released. While he’s generally considered a good locker room presence, he is also known as something of a glib personality, which might not play well in Foxboro. Of course, if he comes to New England and provides a spark for the pass rush, that’s the sort of thing that can be excused.
|05.06.11 at 11:45 pm ET|
Titans GM Mike Reinfeldt threw cold water on the suggestion that Tennessee would try and re-sign former Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss for the 2011 season on Friday, saying that, ‘I think at this point in his career, he will probably go elsewhere.’
According to The Tennessean, Reinfeldt, while speaking on a conference call with season-ticket holders, made it clear the Titans would be heading in a different direction.
‘I honestly don’t think we’ll try to re-sign him,’ Reinfeldt said of the 34-year-old Moss. ‘We’ve got some young guys we like, and I think at this point in his career he will probably go elsewhere.’
After starting the 2010 season with the Patriots, he was traded to Minnesota, who subsequently released him. Moss was then picked up by Tennessee, where he wasn’t much of an impact player at all, playing in eight games with the Titans and catching just five passes for 54 yards and zero touchdowns.
In March, Minnesota’s KFAN Radio asked Moss about the possibility of returning to the Vikings for the 2011 season. Instead, the occasionally controversial wide receiver said he would actually prefer to return to New England, where he played for three-plus years.
‘I would entertain coming back to Minnesota, but if you ask me where my heart is, I think just the success as a wide receiver and everything that the New England Patriots stand for ‘¦ I’m a big fan of Bill Belichick. I really am,’ said Moss, who was acquired by the Patriots prior to the 2007 season.
‘And not just on the field. I’m a fan of his off the field, because the little grouchy man you see on camera is not what you see off camera. I’ve grown and I’ve started to respect the game, first and foremost. But if you’re asking me where my heart is and I’m happiest, I love playing with Tom Brady, I love being coached by Bill Belichick.’
|05.06.11 at 6:20 pm ET|
Our friend Albert Breer of the NFL Network is reporting that as of Friday at 6 p.m., the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis had closed for the week, which means there will be no ruling regarding the stay in the case of the NFL owners and players this week.
It was initially believed that there would be some sort of decision forthcoming this week regarding whether or not the lockout would stay in place until the hearing between the two sides, which is scheduled for the same court on June 3. But no word from the court means that the doors throughout the league will stay locked to the players, at least through the weekend.
The lockout, which has been on again and off again for approximately eight weeks, is the first work stoppage in the NFL since 1987.
|05.06.11 at 12:52 pm ET|
Despite the labor uncertainty, it’s never too early to look ahead at the possible negotiation process between the Patriots and their draft picks, especially first rounder Nate Solder.
Solder lists his representation as David Dunn and Mark Humenik of Athletes First, which historically has a good working relationship with the Patriots. Known primarily as an agency that reps bigger name quarterbacks (in the past they have worked with Drew Bledsoe, Matt Cassel, Mark Sanchez, Matt Schaub and Matt Hasselbeck), they represented three members of last year’s draft class in Aaron Hernandez, Zoltan Mesko and Zac Robinson, and all three of those deals were wrapped up relatively quickly. In addition, they also serve as the agency for veteran Patriots Wes Welker and Brandon Meriweather.
By way of historical comparison, last year’s No. 17 overall pick Mike Iupati, was also an offensive lineman (a guard) that ended up going to San Francisco. Before the start of last season, Iupati signed a five-year, $18.25 million contract with $10.8 million guaranteed. No one is sure what the new labor agreement might have in store, but based on last year’s template, because tackle is probably a slightly higher value position that guard, Solder could see a slight bump from what Iupati received.
|05.06.11 at 9:46 am ET|
Jets coach Rex Ryan continues his media tour to promote his new book, “Play Like You Mean It,” and the Patriots-Jets rivalry continues to be a popular topic. The New York Post reports that during a taping of the YES Network show “CenterStage” on Thursday, Ryan talked about his off-field strategy leading up to the divisional playoff victory over the Patriots.
Ryan explained that he wanted to get the discussion away from the team’s previous regular-season meeting, a 45-3 Patriots victory, and that’s why he made comments that the game was about him and Bill Belichick.
“That whole week, I never wanted it to be about that 45-3 game,” Ryan said. “And I knew if I didn’t do something, [the media] would be talking about it with our players, and I never wanted that negative thought to creep into their minds.
“There certainly was a method behind it, and I told [Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum] after we win the game, I was going to say that I was wrong, that it had nothing to do with me and Belichick. Because if it did, Belichick would win, because he’s that kind of coach.”
As he has in previous interviews, Ryan continued to heap praise upon Belichick.
“I don’t think he is [great], I know he is,” Ryan said. “He’s the best coach that I’ve ever seen. I know the way he motivates his team, all these types of things. You don’t luck into three Super Bowls, and I don’t know how many he’s had as an assistant coach. This guy is a phenomenal coach.”
The interview is scheduled to air next Friday, following the network’s coverage of the Red Sox-Yankees game.
|05.05.11 at 7:31 pm ET|
Former Patriots wide receiver Reche Caldwell has been arrested for possession of marijuana, according to the Gainesville Sun. Caldwell, who had the best season of his career when he was with New England in 2006 (61 catches, 760 yards and four touchdowns), was arrested Thursday morning in Hillsborough County, Fla., for possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis and driving with canceled/suspended/revoked license. He was released on a $750 cash bond. Caldwell, a 2002 draft pick out of Florida, also played with San Diego and Washington.