|Peter King on M&M: ‘I totally understand why the Patriots’ traded out of first round||04.26.13 at 12:52 pm ET|
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King broke down the first round of the NFL draft with Mut & Merloni on Friday, looking at the trade the Patriots made and who they might target in the upcoming rounds.
King said he was shocked at the way the first round went, with just one quarterback being drafted.
“I am in St. Louis, and so I was with some of the Rams people kind of in the middle of that trade they made with the Bills, and the Rams all thought, we don’t know what they’re doing, but we think they’re going for [Matt] Barkley at 16,” King said. “I even texted Barkley’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, and said, I think you’re going to be very happy tonight. Instead I talked to him at 1:30 this morning and not only was he unhappy, I have no idea now where Matt’s going to go in the second round.
“If you’re Matt Barkley or Geno Smith, this draft has turned into your worst nightmare, really. I just think it was a very strange year for quarterbacks, a ‘beauty in the eye of the beholder’ year for quarterbacks. And they don’t necessarily have a solid landing place this morning.”
Instead of taking the 29th overall pick at the end of the first round, the Patriots traded it to Minnesota for second, third, fourth and seventh-rounders. King said he thinks the Pats were hoping to take cornerback Desmond Trufant, who was selected by the Falcons, with that pick. However, he said he thinks the Patriots are perfectly comfortable with the players who will be available in the later rounds, especially since they’re in the market for a cornerback, of which there are plenty remaining.
“Whoever it was, clearly the Patriots got there and said, we don’t love what we’re seeing,” King said. “To me, one of the things I liked about that trade was, you know that the Patriots need, coming out of this draft, a corner, and you know they want to get a wide receiver. So to me, I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that, say, their fourth or fifth corner is available at 52. And maybe their fourth or fifth wide receiver is available at, say, 59.
“And now they have the ability to take guys who they probably would have attempted to take late 1 or, let’s say the traded back a few spots, high in the second round. And now they’ve replenished spots in the draft that they didn’t have because of trades like the [Chad] Ochocinco and the Aqib Talib trade. I can’t sit here and say that it was genius or it was lousy, but I totally understand why the Patriots did it.”
|Peter King on M&M: ‘That’s the way Tom Brady is’||02.26.13 at 1:28 pm ET|
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, who broke the news about Tom Brady‘s new contract Monday, joined Mut & Merloni on Tuesday to discuss the ramifications of the deal.
King said he thinks Patriots ownership initiated the discussions.
“I think it started with Bob Kraft, he and Jonathan talking, ‘It’s time to try to put a deal together to make sure that Tom Brady never leaves New England. And in addition to that, we need some cap relief.’ It was a good marriage for the Patriots, I thought,” King said.
“And Don Yee, Brady’s agent, I think deserves a lot of credit. You’ll hear a lot of agents, if you talk to them off the record, they’ll really be critical of this deal: ‘Yee got taken to the cleaners, Brady could have gotten a lot more money.’ Of course he could have. Everybody knows he could have. That’s not Brady’s goal. Brady’s goal is to walk into training camp every year — if you told Tom Brady right now that somebody would write him a check for 3 million more dollars this year or he could use that 3 million as part of a deal to go get Dwight Freeney, what would he rather have? He’ll take Freeney any day of the week, I guarantee you.
“Everybody says, ‘Oh, it isn’t really that way.’ It is that way. That’s the way Tom Brady is.”
There has been widespread speculation that part of Brady’s incentive in accepting a below-market deal was so that the team could afford to pay his friend, receiver Wes Welker.
“I don’t know if Tom has said anything to them about Welker. I wouldn’t be surprised, but I don’t know that it’s happened,” King said. “I think the Patriots are basically going to try to say to free agents, ‘Look at what Tom Brady did. If you want to be on board a team that’s going to have a chance to win the Super Bowl every year, you’re going to have to do the same.’
“I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they did it with Dwight Freeney or any of the other guys in free agency — if they want to go for a big franchise receiver, a Mike Wallace. I think that’s going to be an interesting thing to watch, whether any guys they sign take a little bit below their market value because Brady did it.”
|Peter King on M&M: ‘I just fear Colin Kaepernick a lot more than I would the San Francisco defense’||02.01.13 at 2:30 pm ET|
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King spoke with Mut & Merloni Friday about HGH testing in the NFL, commissioner Roger Goodell’s State of the League address, the 49ers offense and the Ravens defense.
King said he thinks the idea of the Ravens as a “team of destiny” that will be driven to victory by intangibles isn’t the Super Bowl’s best storyline.
“I think the emotion’s a silly angle. Maybe the emotion helps you for five minutes, but you’ve got to play football,” King said. “I think we get these comfortable storylines – great defense versus an old defense – that’s the storyline down here, and I just say, have you watched the games? I don’t see, when I watch the San Francisco, a peerless defense. They’ve got eight sacks in the last five games. That’s a great pressure defense?
“Aldon Smith, Justin Smith – no sacks in the last five games. Aldon Smith had a good game in the championship game, but I don’t know, I think we lapse into storylines too easy, and I pick the Ravens, too. I just fear Colin Kaepernick a lot more than I would fear the San Francisco defense.”
Following are some highlights from the conversation. To hear the entire interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
On whether Ray Lewis’ legacy will be affected by the SI story: ”Not making any accusations, just stating a fact, but there is not currently a test in the NFL for HGH. So if there’s not a test, how do we know that 800 players don’t use HGH? So I’m not charging anybody with anything, but there’s a lot of things right now the NFL can’t test for, and so there are people who are going to believe what they want to believe and that’s it.”
|Peter King on M&M: Trading Darrelle Revis would be ‘more Jets idiocy’||01.25.13 at 2:05 pm ET|
Sports Illustrated football writer Peter King spoke with Mut & Merloni Friday about the legacies of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, the “idiocy” of a potential Darrelle Revis trade, and Terry Francona‘s book.
King, a lifelong Red Sox fan, said he’d gone to a New York bookstore where Francona was signing copies of the book with the intention of meeting the manager and thanking him for everything he’d done for the team. When he found there would be a 75-minute wait, though, he decided against it.
“I just started to think to myself, this is behind enemy lines and you’ve got an hour-and-15- minute wait in the dead of winter to get Terry Francona’s signature on his book,” King said. “I thought that spoke volumes about Red Sox fans and about their feelings about Terry Francona.”
King also sided with Francona on the issue of Red Sox management trying to bring in players who would draw ratings, regardless of how they fit with the team.
“I’ve been a sportswriter since 1980, and if people’s ratings are down, people always start talking about, let’s get [Tim] Tebow, let’s get that guy, let’s market to the women, let’s do this,” King said. “The bottom line in all of this is the only thing that gets people to watch your games and gets people to sit in the stands is winning. If you want to have great ratings in April, go get Mr. America. but as soon as you go 6-12 and it’s May 1, people say, ‘I have other things to do tonight, I’m not going to watch a game.’ The only way to appeal to a fan base is to win, and then they won’t care if you’ve got 11 schnauzers out there.”
On the topic of the upcoming Super Bowl, King said he thinks the most interesting storyline is the comparison between the styles of Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick.
“Even though they play a lot of no-huddle now in Baltimore, Joe Flacco is not running around very much,” King said. “He’s not the mobile guy. And Colin Kaepernick, he can do anything. He can sit there in the pocket and study you and beat you with a great arm. … Everybody’s talking about his running. Can you see this guy throw, what an incredible arm he has? So I think if you underestimate his arm he’ll kill you throwing it, and everybody’s seen that he can beat you running it, too.”
|Peter King on M&M: Joe Flacco ‘fearless about throwing the ball deep’||01.18.13 at 2:00 pm ET|
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King made his weekly appearance on Mut & Merloni on Friday morning to preview the NFL’s conference championship weekend.
King, who predicts a 31-26 Patriots victory over the Ravens, is leaving open the possibility of an upset.
“The Patriots have been so good in these championship games, so consistent,” King said. “It’s not going to be their mistake that’s going to beat them, if history is a judge. It’s going to be the Ravens playing well if they win.”
Joe Flacco‘s ability to test the Patriots secondary with the long ball is one of the keys to this game.
“I just think he’s a very good deep-ball thrower,” King said. “Throwing the deep ball twice to Torrey Smith and once to Jacoby Jones six days ago is why the Ravens won that game. If he doesn’t take chances downfield, they’re sitting home right now and it’s New England going to play at Denver on Sunday.
“We talk about players, who’s elite, who’s not elite — I don’t know who’s elite and who isn’t. All I know is that in this game — I don’t think Joe Flacco’s ever going to have the kind of great completion percentage or anything like that that’s going to make him one of the top-rated quarterbacks, but I believe that his team is always going to have a chance for a very simple reason: He’s fearless about throwing the ball deep and he’s the best deep-ball thrower both on percentage and in yardage in the NFL this year.
“I think the Patriots secondary is really going to have a lot to do with whether they move on.”
On the other side of the ball, the aging Baltimore defense will attempt to contain New England’s uptempo offense.
“They better have a lot left in their tank,” King said of the Ravens. “After having a much tougher road in the playoffs, obviously, than New England has had, they better have a pass rush on [Tom] Brady left, particularly when it comes to Paul Kruger. I think he’s the guy that — because right now Terrell Suggs just really isn’t himself, and I don’t know that he is going to be himself in this postseason at all — I think they have to rely on Paul Kruger to get to Tom Brady and do some damage. … In my opinion, that’s going to have a lot to do with who wins and loses this game — how much the Ravens have left in their tank.”
|Peter King on M&M: Texans need to limit Patriots’ possessions||01.11.13 at 12:07 pm ET|
Sports Illustrated NFL insider Peter King made his weekly appearance on Mut & Merloni on Friday morning to talk about Sunday’s Patriots-Texans AFC playoff game and other news from around the league.
King said the key for the Texans to avoid a repeat of the Dec. 10 shellacking at the hands of the Patriots is to limit Tom Brady‘s opportunities.
“The only way I see it being close is if Houston really limits the number of possessions by the Patriots, which I think is going to be hard anyway,” King said. “And even if they do that, part of me thinks that Brady with eight possessions is still going to be able to put up enough points on the board. If I’m Houston, I’m playing the four-corners offense that Dean Smith used to play at North Carolina. You’ve got to slow the game down. You’ve got to play the way the Giants played the Bills in the Super Bowl 21 years ago.
“I would also make this point, that I think one of the things during the course of the year that has really become noticeable: No matter who’s on the field for New England — whether they have [Rob] Gronkowski, whether they don’t; whether [Aaron] Hernandez is healthy or not — they’re still running fast and running a lot of plays. I was amazed when I looked this up this week: The New England Patriots ran 13 more plays a game in 2012 than in 2010. They ran 205 more plays this year than they did just two years ago.
“It’s just another instance of Bill Belichick learning as he gets older as a coach. You’re never finished learning in this business, because once you think you are, some new Chip Kelly or some new defensive guy comes in there and makes your job a lot more difficult. Hats off to the Patriots for basically advancing the ball down the field really in a schematic sense.”
King said he expects Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, known for being reliant on the blitz, to avoid being as predictable as he has in the past.
“I think he’ll change up from the first game they played,” King said. “One of the things I think they’ll emphasize, a change in this game I think is going to be a healthy Brooks Reed, assuming that he is. And Connor Barwin coming as well as J.J. Watt and occasionally Whitney Mercilus.
“I think that one of the things you have to look at if you are the Houston Texans is you’ve got to make sure that your linebackers are going to be cognizant of the intermediate stuff. And they’ve just got to clog the field. To me, when you play Tom Brady, I couldn’t agree more: I think blitzes — I’m not saying they’re fruitless, because you have to do everything. But I think you’ve got to clog the middle of the field against him because he loves doing so many things with a guy like Gronkowski. I’m not sure about this, but I heard Connor Barwin on the radio saying yesterday he’s never played Gronkowski before. So, there’s a newness to this. There’s going to be a feeling-out early that’s going to be an interesting thing in an X’s and O’s sense to watch.”
|Peter King on M&M: Texans DE Mario Williams should consider Patriots||03.05.12 at 1:13 pm ET|
Sports Illustrated football writer Peter King, known for his Monday Morning Quarterback column, appeared on the Mut & Merloni show Monday morning to talk about the Saints’ bounty scandal, and he also touched on a free agent signing that could affect the Patriots.
With news breaking that running back Arian Foster agreed to a new contract with the Texans, King noted that the chances of defensive end Mario Williams becoming a Patriot just increased.
“I was surprised by Houston signing Arian Foster for five years and $43 million because they could’ve tagged him as a restricted free agent this year and an unrestricted free agent next year. They could’ve tagged him both times and kept him for a lot less money for what they in essence have guaranteed him. They’ve guaranteed him 20 million bucks in this contract.
“I think that is a tremendously positive sign for sort of team cohesion and treating your players the right way. This is a guy who basically has averaged 95 yards rushing a game in his 29 starts and really has performed tremendously. He’s clearly one of the top two, three, four backs in the league and the Texans took care of him.
“Now, what that means to me is they clearly — unless Mario Williams takes a fraction of what everyone thinks he’s going to get — that means that Mario Williams is going to be out on the market for somebody. And I wrote this morning, in my opinion I think the Patriots ought to be at the absolute very least kicking the financial tires on Mario Williams, because he can play so many different places on a defense. I just think he’d fit in very well with the Patriots.”
Williams likely could earn more money signing elsewhere, but King said Williams would be wise to consider less money to play in New England.
“If you’re Mario Williams and the Patriots offer you, say, $13 million a year in a long-term deal with good guarantees, you’ve got to think of that. If you’re a defensive player, who the heck wouldn’t want to play for Bill Belichick? … I’ve not talked to Mario Williams, so I don’t know what he’s thinking. Maybe he’s thinking, ‘This is the last contract I’ll ever sign and I’m going to make every last dime.’ If he is, he’s not going to the Patriots. But my feeling is, if you’re a really good defensive player and you want to be deep in the playoffs every year, where’s your best chance right now? My feeling is your best chance right now is go to play for Bill Belichick.”
2013 PATRIOTS DRAFT PICKS
2013 NFL DRAFT
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