Peter King on D&H: Pats should have pursued Boldin
|03.08.10 at 2:47 pm ET|
With NFL free agency underway, Peter King of SI and NBC checked in with Dale & Holley on Monday to discuss the early moves so far in the league. King said that the Patriots should have been a player in the Anquan Boldin sweepstakes and also said that signing Vince Wilfork to a long-term deal was a good move for everyone.
“Vince Wilfork’s deal, in my opinion, was a very smart combination by the Patriots of paying for a cornerstone player and paying for what he has meant to your franchise and what he still will mean to your franchise,” said King.
King also gave an overview of the good, the bad and the ugly moves so far in the offseason.
To read the transcript look below, or to listen to the interview click here.
How you doing Peter after a long first couple days of free agency?
It was an eventful week, as I wrote in Monday Morning Quarterback today that very often regardless of how eventful it is, it ends up being kind of a weekend of false hope in a lot of ways. One of the things about free agenc,y and I’m not sure how many people realize or think of, but two years ago when the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers were preparing for their Super Bowl runs in the AFC and NFC respectively, neither team signed a player from another team in the first two days of free agency. Last year the Saints and the Colts readying for their Super Bowl runs did not sign a player from another team in free agency on the first weekend. I think what happens is you got everybody in Chicago where they had no choice whatsoever, because they had a terrible year last year, and they don’t have a first or second round pick this year and they almost had no choice other than to go splurge on [Julius] Peppers, [Chester] Taylor and [Brandon] Manumaleuna. Detroit has got some specific needs. I believe Jim Schwartz is lining himself up to have a defensive line of Kyle Vanden Bosh and Cliff Avril at the ends and Corey Williams and Ndamukong Suh at the tackles. So that would be a revolutionary change to what they did on their defensive front. I still think that free agency for the most part, expensive first weekend free agency very rarely pays off as effectively as the team had hoped it would.
Free agent wide receivers may not pan out the way people though they would, according to your article on SI.com.
They guys who are employed right now, if you are a Tennessee fan are you all that excited about Nate Washington? Seattle, you should have known that T.J. Houshmandzadeh was a possession receiver, he’s not a great downfield threat or anything like that. I think it is a little bit of fool’s gold now.
Where I think it would have been smart for the Patriots to act this year is to go aggressively chase the Arizona Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin, who ended up going to Baltimore. Even though they didn’t have the third-round pick because of the failed Derrick Burgess trade last year they easily could have made something work with their lowest of the three second-round picks and getting something back from the Cardinals to sort of even it out. I just think right now you can bring in the Josh Reeds and do a lot of things to scotch tape the receiver position together, but I tell you one thing, that position would really worry me on Labor Day weekend if the Patriots don’t have an established receiver added to their stable right now.
But then you would potentially have two receivers in Randy Moss and Anquan Boldin making $9 million each on this roster if they had to sign Boldin to a long-term deal.
But Randy Moss is in the final year of his deal. The situation isn’t as much in my opinion as your making the team lopsided in favor of paying, let’s keep in mind $7 million for a receiver, a risky receiver, and you can structure the contract so if he does get hurt significantly that it’s not really going to hurt your franchise. I agree with everything that you said and it’s why I would never get into a lot of guaranteed money and $8 million or $9 million or God forbid $10 million a year, which is originally he wanted to be paid [because of] what Larry Fitzgerald was paid.
I think the Ravens did a pretty smart deal around $7 million a year over the next four years, because it’s four years, $28 million. He’s playing the last year of his contract this year. Going to your point, you are right. He missed four games in both 2007 and 2008 and one game last year, that means he’s missed nine games due to injury the last three years. Part of that was the horrible hit he took at the Meadowlands where he got the concussion, but he’s also been hamstring plagued. I understand exactly what you are saying, but if you look at the landscape and you look at entering the season with Randy Moss, Julian Edelman, Brandon Tate and maybe a draft choice this year or a receiver who gets cut by somebody this year, I just don’t think it’s good enough.
Does the current landscape with defensive lineman help explain the surprising contract given to Vince Wilfork?
Let’s put it this way. Vince Wilfork’s deal, in my opinion, was a very smart combination by the Patriots of paying for a cornerstone player and paying for what he has meant to your franchise and what he still will mean to your franchise. I would say this, that of all the guys remaining on the defense right now, I would say the two most important guys are Vince WIlfork and Jerod Mayo.
If you would acknowledge that going forward for the next couple of years and I don’t think that a sixth year nose tackle/versatitle defensive lineman, he’s not Richard Seymour but he can do other things than simply play the run, I’m not sure that a guy who is in his sixth year you ought to be thinking that he’s only got another year or two left. I think with the amount of good players he has had around him, I don’t think it’s one of those situations where he is always getting doubled or anything like that. I’m not sure that I would look at him right now as any sort of risk, at least in the next couple of years. That’s why I didn’t mind paying for him, and in my opinion, I really think the Patriots made a smart deal with him.
Do you think there is a big difference between Wilfork and a Jamal Williams, who was just cut by San Diego?
I talked to A.J. Smith the other day about Jamal Williams and I think they’d like to have him back but only at a much, much reduced rate of pay. Jamal Williams is probably going to go out and make some money somewhere. The difference [is], I think Williams is 33 years old. Vince Wilfork is, I think, 28, he’s four years younger than Casey Hampton. I kind of look at it and I say I’d much rather have Vince Wilfork right now then I would rather have Jamal Williams, because to me Williams is a declining player. I think he will get a job in the NFL if he wants one, but I don’t think right now for the forseeable future or even the next two years he’d interest me that much. He turns 34 in April.
Antonio Cromartie was fronted $500,000 for paternity issues, according to reports, that might be a first isn’t it?
I talked to Mike Tannenbaum, the Jets’ general manager last night, and I asked aren’t you worried that the guy walks in the front door, you hand him $500,000 and in essence he’s got a pretty big advance on his contract right now? He said, “Those are the things we are going to be working with him on.” He’s going to make that money this year anyway, if he’s on the roster opening day he’s making $1.7 million.
I’m sure they put some language in there that said if for some reason you do something stupid and you are not on the team you are going to owe us this money back. Tannenbaum just said, “We are trying to build a long-term relationship with this guy. This is the best thing for him. But I agree with you, it’s something that if you look at it right away, that this is a pretty shaky way to start what you hope to be a long-term relationship.”
Why were the Chargers interested in dealing Cromartie and why were the Jets interested in dealing Kerry Rhodes?
Why the Jets were interested was very, very simple. When Ozzie Newsome was talking to some people on the Jets after the Jets hired Rex Ryan, he said get ready to put a lot of money into your corners and have a lot of emphasis placed on cover corners on your team right now. He walked in the door last year and he had Darelle Revis. The other cornerback position was a situation that haunted them the whole year, they never could get great coverage and a lot of times Lito Sheppard would get picked on, so they were going to look in a different direction. They wanted a top-tier cover guy. They don’t care how physical he is, but they feel like they have him in Cromartie.
I think what’s important for the Jets to do now is to draw a line in the sand with Cromartie and basically say if you want a contract from us – and Cromartie knows he’s damaged goods now, he just had a bad year in San Diego, [and] he’s shown that he’s not even remotely a physical player – he’s got to have a great cover corner year in order to make a big contract. Let’s say the Jets only get one year out of him, I think they are going to get a terrific year out of the guy because he is basically playing, and if he doesn’t play well there is no way he gets a big contract.
In a lot of ways he’s kind of like Leigh Bodden, in that Bodden was really damaged goods when he went to the Patriots. You had Cleveland and Detroit both give up on him in a matter of two years. He played pretty well last year, so he sort of salvaged his career and he’s going to get a decent contract somewhere. I do think that Cromartie is in that posistion, he’s got to play great this year to make some money in 2011.
Are you surprised Adalius Thomas is still a member of the Patriots, and if you are why is he still here?
I don’t know, but I would hazard a guess that until the Patriots get somebody better at the position that they over the last couple of years have designed for him, that they are just not going to give him away. I can’t imagine much of a scenario that would have him on the team this year. Unless some events conspire to make that happen. If you are Bill Belichick you don’t owe anything to Adalius Thomas, nothing at all. It’s like if he was cutting any of his other veterans who are making more money than their performance merits. They’ll cut him whenever they darn well feel like, but I think they’ll cut him.
What has been the smartest signing so far and the dumbest signing?
I like the more reasonable singings. I like Tony Pashos going to San Francisco to Cleveland for $3.5 milliion to play right tackle. He’s not a great tackle but he’s still young enough at 30 to be a good bookend so they won’t have to go out and make that a priority. They have Joe Thomas on the left, now Pashos on the right. Alex Mack, who had an exemplary year for a rookie center in the middle. Eric Steinbach at one of the guards. They have a very good offensive line compared to other teams. Other than Baltimore, they’ve got the best offensive line in that division.
I don’t think it’s any secret that the Chicago Bears are the only team that would have paid Julius Peppers what they paid him. You are paying a guy who basically was going to have the impact of a Reggie White, but instead has been an above-average to very good NFL player. To be voted, All-Decade I almost puked. I thought it was utterly ridiculous for him to be voted All-Decade. I didn’t love that one, but I understand if you are the Bears you have to do it. You’ve go no first or second round pick, you have to do it. The other thing that I thought was really interesting, when you look at moves that teams made early on. I found a little bit of fault [with] what the Giants did with Antrel Rolle.
It’s outrageous isn’t it?
This is a guy who was not the best safety on his team and now he and Bob Sanders are now the two highest paid safeties in NFL history. A lot of that is going to happen. As you progress in this game, new guys are going to be the highest paid or whatever. Think back and think of a game or games when you say, ‘What a dominant performance by Antrel Rolle.’ I haven’t seen it. I’ve seen some dominant performances from Adrian Wilson. I thought, and again I think Jerry Reese has done a very good job with that team, but last year he bought three front-7 players in Rocky Bernard, Michael Boley and Chris Canty who had next to zero impact on that defense. Now Canty because he was hurt, but there is a lot of pressure on Jerry Reese on those players, the guys he’s spent huge money on. There’s a lot of pressure on him for these guys to play well this year.
Why did Miami pay Karlos Dansby so much money?
I like Karlos Dansby. I think he’s a really good sideline-to-sideline, big player. If you look at the kind of players that Bill Parcells like and by proxy his general manager Jeff Ireland and coach Tony Sparano like, what you are going to see is they like guys who can play sideline to sideline and who are big. Dansby is a legitmate 248 to 252 pound guy. He’s big. He’s rangy, he’s got the height like 6-foot-4 and half. He’s going to be the type of guy where its going to be hard for you to throw over him and he’s going to be a punishing tackler. He’s never been the kind of guy who week in and week out will stand out, but I think Parcells wanted new blood in a guy that has four or five good years left. I think he’s 28 years old, 27 maybe. He’s got four or five good years left and he’s a good player. You can’t be Gary Brackett and play for Bill Parcells. What you have to be is big and rangy and I think that’s what he is.
Will the two sides come to an agreement or will they march further away in regards to the CBA?
My guess is that there is going to be some sort of job action in 2011. The players who I have talked to and [DeMaurice] Smith believe that it is preposterous to take financial responsibility for the building of stadiums that the owners have taken on. Since the mid-‘90s I think 21 teams have new stadiums going back to the Redskins in 1993. The players say in no sport in the history of sports have players been responsible for any of the infrastructure in the game itself, and they aren’t going to start there now. It would be a horrible precedent to set. The owners will say the world has changed. They do not have support of the local government, who once paid 75 percent of all the costs of stadiums now they are paying less than half in almost every new stadium that is built. So they are saying we need help and you guys are benefiting from us growing the game with luxury boxes. Until there is some recognition on the part of the players that they bear some responsibility for the infrastructure of this game, I think there is going to be trouble. The other thing that I think I’ve not heard a good idea other than the one that I’ve had, to solve this thing about how to take care of retired players. My idea is to take one-half or 1 percent of the income of the designated gross revenue every year from each side. One-half of 1 percent of the owners take and one-half of 1 percent of the players take and put that what I would put a John Mackey fund and take that $50-$55 million a year at least and take that money and start solving all the problems they have. People like Leroy Kelly the Hall of Famer who has a $176 a month pension, which really is the unnoticed, unknown and unwritten about shame of the NFL.
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