|Tom Brady on new contract: ‘We all make way more than our fair share’||02.27.13 at 8:27 am ET|
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, while passing on a request to appear on Dennis & Callahan to talk about his restructured contract, offered an explanation for his decision to lay low.
“I don’t want to talk about this on the radio or anywhere else for that matter,” Brady wrote in an e-mail to John Dennis. “Athletes are always talking about money at a time when everyone else is struggling so badly to make it. We all make way more than our fair share. And I just think it reflects poorly on myself and my teammates. I really do just want to win, and that has and will continue to be the reason that motivates me and is the biggest factor in my decision-making process.”
Brady agreed to a three-year, $27 million contract that is well below his market value. It gives the team more flexibility to sign other key players, including Brady’s close friend, receiver Wes Welker. Reports emerged Tuesday that Welker and the team have started negotiations.
|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.”
|Tavon Austin is obsessed with Wes Welker||02.22.13 at 11:58 am ET|
INDIANAPOLIS — West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin is one of the names you’re join to hear thrown around as a potential replacement for Wes Welker. As it turns out, Austin really, really likes Welker.
The two have both played under coach Dana Holgorsen, Welker’s receivers coach at Texas Tech and Austin’s head coach at West Virginia. Austin, who grew up a fan of the Ravens and the Patriots, said Welker is the slot receiver he most looks up to.
“Wes Welker, that’s the No. 1 guy,” he said. “I see how Wes does it, I watch a lot of tape of him, and I think I move a little quicker and faster than Wes, so if he can do it, I know I can do it too.”
He was also asked a question about Percy Harvin, to which he gave an answer about how much he wants to play like Welker thanks to the teachings of Holgorsen.
Austin figures to be a first-round pick. The 5-foot-8, 174-pounder hopes to run somewhere in the 4.2 range in the 40-yard dash and said he’s been timed as low as 4.29. As a senior, Austin had 114 receptions (tied with Stedman Bailey for the team lead) for 1,289 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Welker is set to be a free agent, and it’s unknown whether the Pats will bring him back or look for his replacement in the draft. Should it be the latter, Austin is an option, but keep an eye on Bailey as well.
|Vikings GM Rick Spielman: ‘We have no intent to trade Percy Harvin’||02.21.13 at 1:09 pm ET|
INDIANAPOLIS — Vikings GM Rick Spielman said Thursday that despite recent rumors, Minnesota has “no intent” of trading wide receiver Percy Harvin.
Harvin, entering the final year of a five-year deal he signed as a rookie, has apparently made noise about a new deal, one in the neighborhood of roughly $10 million annually.
“As I stated earlier, we have no intent to trade Percy Harvin,” Spielman said Thursday afternoon. “Anything related to his contract or any discussions, will all be kept internally. I think everybody understands what type of player Percy Harvin is. He’s a dynamic playmaker; not only on offense, but the things he can do at different positions. But also what he brings us as a kickoff returner.”
When healthy, Harvin has been one of the best young slot receivers in the game. The all-purpose threat has managed 280 catches in his first four years in the league while working mostly in the slot. He also has a tremendous impact on the ground (he has 107 carries for 683 yards in four years), as well as on special teams.
Locally, his name has been floated as a possible replacement for Wes Welker in New England if the Patriots fail to reach an accord with Welker on a new deal. There is some history between Harvin and the Patriots — it’s believed New England was interested in the Florida product in the days before the 2009 draft.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Jason Cole on M&M: Wes Welker is ‘only one I would even think about’ franchising||02.19.13 at 1:51 pm ET|
Yahoo! Sports writer Jason Cole talked with Mut & Merloni on Tuesday to discuss Aqib Talib and other free agent defensive backs, and potential wide receiver options for the Patriots. The Patriots have three players on whom they could place the franchise tag: Talib, Wes Welker and Sebastian Vollmer. Vollmer has had a lingering back issue, while Talib has a history of behavioral problems.
“Well the only one that I would even think about [franchising] would be Welker,” Cole said. “That’s if I want to pay him the $11.4 million. That’s the only guy I would think about.
“Vollmer. you just mentioned the back issue. … I think you can get him back at a fairly reasonable price if you want to get him back. Aqib, I would just never throw $10 million at Aqib Talib, guaranteed for one year. I would want to keep him, but I think he’s one of those guys who’s only going to get 7 or 8 million dollars out on the open market. … When’s the next blowup going to happen?”
If the Patriots do not retain Talib, they’ll probably look toward the free agent market.
“The market is not great,” Cole said, adding: “But you’re going to have some guys like Eric Wright out there. You’re going to have Aqib, Sean Smith, some guys who are not quite worth that franchise tag. I’ve just got to say that if I’m guaranteeing $10 million to a guy who has had behavioral issues in the past and doesn’t have the greatest amount of self-control. Aqib’s former teammates in Tampa, they’d say, ‘Look, he’s great to be around 95 percent of the time, but when that switch in his head flips, and he loses control, he’s very difficult to manage and it gets really out of control.’ ”
While Talib’s talent is undeniable, his work ethic and behavior issues have to be a red flag.
“People in Tampa said that didn’t always grind it out,” Cole said. “But there’s a certain point where if he’s playing well, how much does that really make a difference? … [Work ethic] doesn’t concern me as much as giving guaranteed money to a guy who has only shown me a short period of time that he’s turned his life around.”
Likewise, if the Patriots do not keep Welker, they might look to replace him through free agency.
“[Greg] Jennings I really like because I think he would fit exactly what [the Patriots] are trying to do. He’s really smart, he’d pick it up really quickly. Their biggest problem is they don’t have an over-the-top threat. They don’t have anybody to stretch in the field vertically. Even with [Rob] Gronkowski healthy, he’s not the kind of burner who scares any big defense. … Maybe that’s Mike Wallace, maybe it’s [Dwayne] Bowe. More likely it’s Wallace, but Bowe is also another guy; he’s had his own behavioral issues, too. But you take a chance on some of these guys.”
|Robert Kraft worries lawyers, agents could ‘mess up’ any new deal for Wes Welker||02.02.13 at 12:33 pm ET|
Patriots owner Robert Kraft took a veiled shot at Wes Welker‘s representation on Friday, saying that lawyers and agents could “mess up” any new potential deal for the wide receiver.
Speaking with CSNNE in New Orleans, Kraft praised Welker — who is set to become an unrestricted free agent — but also offered a note of caution.
“I’d love him to be around, he’s a great guy,” Kraft said of Welker. “Like I said all along, it takes two sides to make a transaction and then we have to manage the lawyers and the agents that they don’t mess it up. I think Wes wants to be with us and we want him here so it’s just a matter of whether both sides can be intelligent.”
Welker, who played under the franchise tag last season, finished the year with 118 catches, 1,354 yards and six touchdowns. The 31-year-old has spent his last six seasons with the Patriots.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Poll: Who and what should be the biggest priorities for the Patriots this offseason?||01.22.13 at 5:13 pm ET|
With season over and the Patriots watching Super Bowl XLVII on TV, the focus has already turned to the 2013 NFL draft and building the roster for the 2013 season.
The Patriots have several decisions facing them. What to do with Aqib Talib? Should they franchise Wes Welker again for $11 million? What should they do with Kyle Arrington, Julian Edelman, Danny Woodhead and Sebastian Vollmer?
As Bill Belichick pointed out in detail on Monday, there are many factors to consider before starting to make decisions that will shape the roster for 2013.
The Patriots must decide how to go about getting more pressure on the quarterback. They must decide how they will upgrade a secondary that was mediocre without Talib. They must decide if less is more in the running game as they split carries between Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Danny Woodhead and Brandon Bolden.
They must decide how to upgrade a return game that was again in the bottom third of the NFL and inconsistent at best, even though Welker and Devin McCourty showed occasional flashes this season.
Imagine yourself in the shoes of Belichick and top personnel executive Nick Caserio. What would you do to improve upon a team that was just 30 minutes from its sixth Super Bowl in 12 seasons. We want your opinion.
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