|04.12.13 at 11:39 am ET|
In the latest edition of the “It Is What It Is” podcast, Chris Price and Kirk Minihane talk about the nominating process for the Patriots Hall of Fame, as well as the chances of first-time nominees like Tedy Bruschi and Rodney Harrison, if Bill Parcells and Willie McGinest have a shot and whether or not some members of the current team could make it. To listen or download, click here.
|04.12.13 at 7:14 am ET|
WEEI.com 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: Michigan State
Weight: 281 pounds
Achievements: 2012 All-Big Ten second team (media), 2012 All-Big Ten honorable mention (coaches), 2012 All-Big Ten second team (media, coaches)
What he brings: Gholston has the height, length, and strong overall build of an NFL starter. He is able to get leverage on players with his strong hands and long arms. For his size, Gholston is very quick and agile. His detractors point to his inconsistency and lack of production for someone with his size, strength and ability, something Gholston acknowledged teams were asking about in pre-draft interviews.
“I respect what they say because some plays it does look like I took plays off,” Gholston said in a recent story on MLive.com. “But, I can say I was playing in the scheme of the defense, and I had to be in that position at that time, and that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to be fundamentally sound this season.
“I don’t believe I took any plays off. If you take a play off in football, you can break your neck.”
Where the Patriots could get him: Round 3 or later
Notes: Gholston was suspended for a game during his sophomore season for violating the Big Ten sportslike conduct agreement. In the rivalry game vs. Michigan, Gholston punched Wolverines left tackle Taylor Lewan and twisted quarterback Denard Robinson‘s helmet in separate incidents. … Gholston’s cousin, Vernon Gholston, was drafted by the Jets in the first round (sixth overall) in 2008 out of Ohio State but never lived up to his draft status and was released after three seasons.
Related Articles: Mlive.com: William Gholston’s subpar performance at NFL Combine
|04.12.13 at 1:51 am ET|
With the draft less than two weeks away, things are beginning to take shape as team needs are solidified and prospects work closer to cementing their stock.
The biggest difference from our last mock draft is that two teams picking in the top 10 with needs at quarterback addressed those needs, as the Raiders picked up Matt Flynn in a trade with the Seahawks before shipping Carson Palmer to the Cardinals. The Raiders and Cardinals were potential suitors for Geno Smith, though the Raiders probably wouldn’t have gone after the West Virginia quarterback unless they could have gotten rid of Palmer.
1. Chiefs (2-14) — Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
With all the moving parts that comes with each draft, this just continues to be the logical pick at the top for the Chiefs. They addressed the quarterback position by trading for Alex Smith, and the future of the offensive line is unclear given that the team franchised Branden Albert and cut Eric Winston.
2. Jaguars (2-14) — Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
Assuming nobody trades into the top spot to select him, this is the earliest possible destination for Smith. The guess here is that it’s still too early. Yes, quarterbacks often go higher than you’d expect, but Smith still doesn’t scream ‘top-five prospect.’ Blaine Gabbert isn’t the answer for the Jaguars, but should they really roll the dice with such a high pick if there’s a chance Smith isn’t either? Jacksonville was last in the league with 20 sacks last season, so Jordan would be a logical fit.
3. Raiders (4-12) — Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Reggie McKenzie inherited quite a mess, but the new general manager clearly is doing something about it. Despite the draft picks the team had given up for Palmer less than two seasons ago, McKenzie was right to move on from the shaky veteran when Palmer wouldn’t restructure his contract. The Raiders have strengthened their line a bit in free agency with Vance Walker, Pat Sims and Jason Hunter, but Floyd would become the star of a line that lost Richard Seymour when the team voided his contract.
4. Eagles (4-12) — Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Chip Kelly’s first big decision in the draft likely will come down to offensive line or cornerback. Does he grab Eric Fisher and stick him at right tackle for now or does he grab Milliner and add a top young player to the secondary after its big names went bust? The Eagles released Nnamdi Asomugha and let Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie leave before signing Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher.
5. Lions (4-12) — Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Yes, this pick means that the top five picks remain the same as they did in the previous mock draft. That’s a sign of the draft starting to take shape, and if the Eagles opt for Fisher, Milliner would make sense here. The offensive line should be the priority for Detroit though, as Jeff Backus retired and Gosder Cherilus signed with the Colts.
|04.11.13 at 4:23 pm ET|
The father of Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola has filed a $1 million lawsuit against Cowboys Stadium in the wake of an incident after a 2011 high school game.
Willie Amendola, the father of one of New England’s newest receivers, is a coach at Spring Dekaney High School, and was on the field when a runaway golf cart careened into a group of people on the field at Cowboys Stadium. As you can see from the above video, the unmanned cart took off after an end zone pylon accidentally became wedged against the accelerator and went shooting downfield. The cart collided with a group of people — including Amendola — at midfield, then carried the coach roughly 30 yards. Amendola was saved when someone was able to jump on the cart, remove the pylon and apply the brakes.
According to the suit, Amendola suffered “great personal anguish and embarrassment” to him and his family following the incident.
|04.11.13 at 1:16 pm ET|
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will delay surgery on his left forearm for several more weeks in order to make sure that the infection in his arm is cleared out, according to a report from Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald.
Gronkowski is dealing with an infection that was discovered during the second surgery to repair the second break of his arm, suffered in the Patriots’ playoff victory over the Texans in January. The initial break occurred during a Week 11 win over the Colts.
According to the report, doctors went in at the end of February in an attempt to clear out the infection, and Gornkowski was placed on a six-week course of antibiotics afterward. Surgeons need to insert a new plate to hold the bone together, after which time Gronkowski will need about 10 weeks to heal.
|04.11.13 at 10:12 am ET|
Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was sentenced on Thursday to serve 30 days in jail next spring by a judge in Lincoln, Neb., for his behavior during an incident outside a bar last April. Dennard also was put on probation for two years and ordered to perform 100 hours of law enforcement-related community service, and he is barred from travel other than between Massachusetts and Nebraska or related to work with the Patriots (unless he gets approval from the court).
Dennard won’t serve his jail time until next March, and Lancaster County Judge Stephanie Stacy indicated there is the possibility that the term will be reduced or even suspended entirely. Either way, the sentence means Dennard will not miss any part of the season — or even training camp — with the Patriots.
Dennard faced a maximum of six years after being found guilty of three charges, including assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest, following a February trial.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Nebraska coach Bo Pelini wrote letters on Dennard’s behalf that were submitted to the court. Pelini accompanied Dennard to the sentencing.
“That wasn’t me at all,” Dennard said, according to the Lincoln Journal Star. Dennard apologized to coaches, fans and family.
Dennard, who was projected to be an early round pick, was selected by the Patriots in the seventh round last year, just days after the incident caused his stock to plummet. The University of Nebraska product had a solid rookie season, playing 10 games (starting seven) and recording 35 tackles and three interceptions.
|04.11.13 at 9:19 am ET|
Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning to discuss the Patriots’ contract offer to restricted free agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, which Cole said appears to be a case of the Patriots working the system to their benefit.
The Pats presented Sanders with a reported one-year, $2.5 million deal, which on the surface appears curious as they would have to surrender a third-round pick to the Steelers if Pittsburgh declines to match the offer, then Sanders would become a free agent after the season. However, Cole said it’s become clear that New England has a plan in place to keep Sanders for more than one year.
“We don’t have proof yet. But certainly in talking to three or four executives around the league yesterday and a couple of agents who kind of are aware of the process, all of them said there’s no way this is a one-year deal,” Cole said. “In other words, what the Patriots have done is they have signed him to a one-year deal to make it difficult for the Steelers to want to match this offer, and will then turn around at some later date and give Sanders a long-term deal, a four- or five-year deal. Because they don’t want to put a deal out there for the Steelers that looks attractive for the Steelers to want to match right now.
“So, this is a smart move. Is it a little bit deceitful and not within the intent of the rules? You could make that argument. But there’s no direct rule against it, there’s no prohibition against it.”
Added Cole: “There has to be a trust between the agent and the Patriots that we’re going to do business this way on this contract. You just have to trust that the agent’s going to go along with it and going to follow through on his word — which I assume he’s going to do because he’s probably going to get a long-term deal for his wide receiver.”
Now the ball is in the Steelers’ hands, as they decide whether or not to match the offer. Cole said he thinks Pittsburgh is leaning toward letting Sanders leave.
“Yeah, I think there’s a little too much doubt,” Cole said. “I talked to somebody from the Steelers yesterday, and I get the feeling that they like him as a player, and they don’t like the idea of losing two of their top three receivers — because they’ve already lost [Mike] Wallace. If they lose Sanders, all they’ve got left over is Antonio Brown.
“But I think there’s a little too much doubt about whether they can do a long-term deal. This is where it gets a little bit dicey for the Steelers. If you match the deal — OK, it’s not that excessive at $2.5 million, and you can make enough room to fit him on the roster and it’s all fine — but if you lose him after one year, you don’t get a compensatory pick for another year after that. You’ve got a for-sure third-round pick right now. And that third-round pick to them is probably worth more in the long run than Emmanuel Sanders is possibly over one year.
“Emmanuel Sanders, he’s not a star. ‘¦ But he has some ability, too. The Patriots are taking a little bit of a bet on the come on this one, that he’s going to finally fulfill his talent. And the Steelers are probably tired of waiting on it.”