|03.08.11 at 9:55 pm ET|
In the most exhaustive offseason feature on Patriots running back Danny Woodhead that’s been written thus far, the young running back tells the Omaha World-Herald that his first season in New England was a “whirlwind,” and added that it was a “crazy” year.
Woodhead, a Nebraska native who was signed by the Patriots on Sept. 18, said there wasn’t one defining moment for him that highlighted a remarkable run from Jets’ castoff to New England running back.
‘Just have the opportunity to play football for my job,” he told writer Alex Helmbrecht. “To me, there are a lot of different things and moments that are great to be part of. It’s awesome to be able to do that and you just have to take advantage of that. I’m confident in what I can do but I don’t think I’m arrogant. I have the abilities and anyone who plays in the NFL has to think that way.”
|03.08.11 at 8:56 pm ET|
According to multiple sources, Miami defensive lineman Allen Bailey has a meeting and workout with the Patriots scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday of this week.
Bailey is a 6-foot-3, 285-pounder who played defensive end and defensive tackle with the Hurricanes, and recorded 19 sacks in his college career, including seven as a senior. He recorded 31 tackles for a loss in with Miami, including 11 in 2010.
His physical measurables are off the charts ‘ he’s been timed at 4.77 in the 40, and has posted 27 reps on the bench at 285. As a result, many mock drafts have him as a possible late first-round or early second-round pick in next month’s draft, which would mean he could be available to New England with either the No. 28 or No. 33 overall pick.
In an interview at the NFL scouting combine last month, Bailey ‘ who stayed at Miami for all four years, playing 50 games, just two shy of Brandon Meriweather for most in school history ‘ talked a little but about his ability to play both defensive tackle and defensive end, as well as how the transition went as a collegian.
‘It was an adjustment. I’d played strictly outside the last three years, so it was an adjustment going inside,’ Bailey said, ‘[But] I got the swing of everything and adjusted pretty well.’
For what it’s worth, we profiled Bailey in our “Potential Patriots” series here. The fact that Bailey will be working out for New England comes on the heels of the news that Citadel defensive back Cortez Allen also has a workout scheduled with the Patriots on Wednesday.
|03.08.11 at 6:11 pm ET|
Citadel defensive back Cortez Allen has a private workout scheduled with the Patriots on Wednesday, WEEI.com has confirmed via a league source. Allen is a 6-foot-1, 197-pounder who has played both corner and safety over the course of his collegiate career, and he had five interceptions and two touchdowns during his three years at the Citadel.
The news was first reported by the site NEPatriotsdraft.com.
|03.08.11 at 4:56 pm ET|
Every year there’s at least one first-round star who falls much further than anyone could have expected in the draft. Somehow, a guy with a top 10 grade went 21st overall in 2004. His name? Vince Wilfork. Last year, it was Bryan Bulaga, who went 23rd to the Packers after Mike Mayock (count the times he’s wrong — it doesn’t happen often) said he wasn’t getting out of the top 10.
Our latest mock draft has the Patriots taking Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt, a 6-foot-5 3/8, 290-pounder who had seven sacks as a junior and excelled at the combine. Mayock has called him the best five-technique prospect he’s ever seen. How, then, could Watt be available with the draft’s 17th pick? It’s a question that’s popped up, and one that’s very fair to ask. Here’s the attempt at answering it.
This draft class is known for its defensive stars. From cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara to top linemen in Da’Quan Bowers, Marcell Dareus and Nick Fairley, the best talent in this draft is on defense.
As far as five-technique prospects go, Dareus and Cal’s Cameron Jordan are in the conversation for the first one to come off the board. Both figure to be top 10 picks.
The Panthers, Broncos, Bills and Bengals — the teams with the first four picks in this draft — all have 4-3 defenses, with Denver and Buffalo making the switch this offseason. If they opt for defensive linemen with their picks, they won’t be going for 3-4 guys, and Watt’s size and skill set translates to playing end in the 3-4. The Cardinals (No. 5), 49ers (No. 7), Cowboys (No. 9) and Redskins (No. 10) are the only teams picking in the top 10 that run a 3-4.
Of those four teams, only two of them have a perceived need at defensive end, as both San Francisco and Dallas could address the position. That makes two teams in the top 10 potentially going after the draft’s star five-technique ends.
For Patriots fans hoping their team can secure Watt, that’s very good news. Assuming that both Dareus and Jordan are taken in the top 10 picks, something that isn’t a certainty, Watt’s potential slide to 17 is actually quite conceivable. Here’s a look at the teams picking before the Patriots after the top 10 picks. Read the rest of this entry »
|03.08.11 at 10:02 am ET|
Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light made an appearance on The Hill-Man Morning Show on WAAF radio Tuesday morning, and the team’s union representative offered his thoughts on negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement. To hear the interview, click here.
Light said he is “hopeful” that a deal will get done soon, but he’s hesitant to sound too optimistic. “My stance has always been this: There’s so many issues that go into this,” he said. “It’s obviously never going to be a situation where I can make a comment and everybody’s going to agree with it. Or that I can even comment to my own players when they ask me how things are going. ‘¦ It’s always moving. This negotiation for the longest time didn’t go anywhere. And then as the deadline approached, I think we all kind of figured it would start to move a little bit, and then we get this extension. I think things are moving.
“That’s about all I can say, really. Because you sound like a buffoon if you say, ‘Well, I feel positive about this,’ and then nothing happens and we do end up getting locked out.”
Light said he takes issue with analysts who side with owners because players want to keep the status quo. “The system doesn’t need to go back,” he said. “We don’t need to give back a billion dollars based on what we know. I think that’s pretty simple. When I listen to the radio or I hear people on TV talk about this issue, the one thing that I have a problem with is that they want to say that the deal’s too good for the players, and that’s why if one side doesn’t want to make a move and the other one does, then the side that doesn’t want to move, obviously, it’s too good for them. Well, that’s just ludicrous in my mind. You can’t say that one side has it too good if they don’t want to change anything when the other side is asking you to give back 18 percent of your pay.”
Added Light: “At the end of the day, it just comes down to doing what’s fair and what’s equitable. Look, the league, from 2009 to 2010, they were up 7 percent. That’s pretty good. That’s a heck of a deal. They definitely haven’t lost money in a long time. Nor do I see that happening anytime soon. If it’s good now, it should be good later, and we should all take part in that.”
|03.07.11 at 7:42 pm ET|
Patriots owner Robert Kraft, on a trade mission to Israel with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, said he “personally [believes] it’s possible” for the NFL owners and players to agree on a new labor deal before Friday’s deadline, and that he “might have to leave [the trip] early” and return to the United States if an agreement between the two sides is close.
“I made a commitment here, so we’re going to finish the important things we’re doing here,” Kraft told reporters while overseas. “[We're] in daily contact by phone. It’s unfortunate. We’re supposed to be settled by now. That’s [why] we planned this trip [for this week].”
Players and owners are meeting this week in Washington D.C. in hopes of preventing the NFL’s first work stoppage since 1987.
“We’re doing everything we can to get a deal consummated,” said Kraft. “I personally believe it’s possible. … [The] good news is, it’s always good to be talking when you have differences of opinion. It’s the only way you have a chance [to reach an agreement]. So we’re talking, and I know from ownership’s side that we feel there’s a deal to be made and we’d very much like to do it.”
|03.07.11 at 6:00 pm ET|
The deal the Patriots inked with veteran defensive lineman Marcus Stroud is a two-year contract that will pay him a base salary of $1.2 million in 2011 and $1.7 million for the 2012 season. It’s a sizable step down from what he was scheduled to make with the Bills before Buffalo cut him loose last month ‘ $4.5 million for 2011 and $5.5 for 2012.
A 6-foot-6, 310-pounder, the 32-year-old Stroud was selected by Jacksonville in the first round of the 2001 draft, and made three straight Pro Bowls while a member of the Jaguars from 2003-05. Last year with the Bills, he started 14 games and finished the year with 49 tackles and three sacks.
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