The positive signs are beginning to increase. Here’s hoping it’ll be over soon.
I don’t usually buy the “give the player what he asks for” approach taken by anti-Patriot morons like Borges, Felger, and Massarotti, but I think this time the Pats do need to extend themselves and keep Wilfork.
The main reason I say this is because Brady’s not getting any younger and there’s a good chance he’s going to lose another prime career year to a 2011 lockout. Thus we need the team to be as good as possible this year.
I’m just worried Kraft is going to allow the team to get hurt because it’ll look bad for him to be both handing out huge contracts and being in the owners’ leadership group saying that costs have to be kept under control.
To think that despite all the adversity (i.e. injuries) this year that (a) they have a good chance at going 11-5 and (b) they have a good chance at being the first 11-5 team in 23 years to miss the playoffs. Grrr.
It’s hardly original, but it’s hard to escape — the parallels to Superbowl XXXVI.
On the other hand, isn’t it just wild that in only six years we’ve gone from being the (seemingly) hopeless outclassed underdog to the Evil Empire? (Fear the Hoodie! :). These truly are the best of times for Pats fans.
Man…this is going to be a loooooong week.
I’m not sure what to think about this. Moss’s history shows him to be the antithesis of the so-called “Patriots’ player”. He gets in trouble off the field and worse from a football point of view, dogs it on the field. When he has a decoy route he doesn’t run it out. He complains about not getting the ball all the time. And so on.
On the other hand, he apparently really wanted to come to New England. He forced the trade by refusing to restructure his contract for the Raiders or the Packers. I have to believe he’s going to be making a lot less here than he’d have gotten if he stayed in Oakland. I have to believe Belichick laid it on the line to him up front that Brady throws to whoever is open, that BB doesn’t tolerate players dogging it, and that if Moss starts up his primadonna act he’ll be on the street. So maybe Moss really is motivated and will actually play hard?
If — a big if — Moss does play hard, he’s definitely worth a 4th round pick. And looking at it another way — even with a terrible QB and the league’s worst offense by far last year, Moss had better numbers than most Patriots’ receivers. So maybe he will have a big year?
So what receivers will be on the outside looking in as the season starts? Assuming he doesn’t screw up, Moss will be on the roster. So will Welker and Stallworth. And if the knee really does recover, you have to think they’ll have Chad Jackson on the roster as well. What then of Caldwell, Gaffney, Washington, and Troy Brown? I don’t think it’s looking good for Troy, even if he does recover from his knee injury.
Bledsoe is calling it quits.
The Bledsoe years here were bittersweet. He was tall. He had an arm. But he didn’t want to put in the year-round time improving his game, he couldn’t do progressions, and had terrible pocket feel. It’s too bad for him he didn’t come out of college in the 1970s. Behind the kind of offensive line you could put together in those pre-free agency days, and with some wideout burners, he may well have been known as the greatest QB of all time. Unfortunately for him, he came into the NFL in the 1990s and would not or could not adapt to what defenses did to him once Belichick had a shot at him.
And lets not hear about how he was amazing in the 2001 AFC title game in Pittsburgh. Brady had led the Pats most of the way down the field before one of Cowher’s thugs cheap-shotted him. Bledsoe then made a couple of good plays to finish the drive. After that, with the exception of one crucial 3rd down completion, that was a hide-your-head-behind-your-hands-and-pray-nothing-bad-happens game. Don’t forget the ball Bledsoe threw backwards over his head while facing away from the defense. Still, it was nice to see him get one last moment in the spotlight.
And then, after those first 8 games in Buffalo, it all turned to ashes. Pats fans would nod in quasi-sympathy as Buffalo and then Dallas fans would complain about all the faults Pats fans knew too well. Can anyone forget the patented Bledsoe backpedal toward the sideline and throw the game-losing INT?
But he was tall. And strong. And had a rocket arm…
Eugene Wilson and Ellis Hobbs are listed as questionable for Sunday.
Looks like the DB carousel has started up this year, too…
Randall Gay has been placed on IR, and Hank Poteat has been signed to replace him.
ESPN and the Globe report Branch has been traded to the Seahawks for a 2007 first-rounder.
The standard line in the media is that if Branch reports by Week 10, he gets credit for an Accrued Season and becomes a free agent. However, a commenter at FootballOutsiders found the following text in the 1998 CBA. Yes, it’s the 1998 CBA, but the 2006 Extension Terms Sheet (also available via the NFLPA) doesn’t address the calculation of Accrued Seasons, so presumably the rules haven’t changed. Section (a) is the one the media (and Branch and his agent) talk about. But everyone seems to ignore (b), even though (b) seems to directly apply to Branch.
Here’s hoping that (b) really does apply and that Branch has almost no leverage at all.
Section 1. Accrued Seasons Calculation:
(a) For the purposes of calculating Accrued Seasons under this Agreement, a player shall receive one Accrued Season for each season during which he was on, or should have been on, full pay status for a total of six or more regular season games, but which, irrespective of the player’s pay status, shall not include games for which the player was on: (i) the Exempt Commissioner Permission List, (ii) the Reserve PUP List as a result of a nonfootball injury, or (iii) a Club’s Practice or Development Squad.
(b) For the purposes of calculating Accrued Seasons under this Agreement, for any League Year during the term of this Agreement beginning with the 1993 League Year, a player shall not receive an Accrued Season for any League Year in which the player is under contract to a Club and in which he failed to report to such Club at least thirty days prior to the first regular season game of that season, or in which the player thereafter failed to perform his contract services for the Club for a material period of time, unless he demonstrates to the Impartial Arbitrator extreme personal hardship causing such failure to report or perform, such as severe illness or death in the family. The determination of the Impartial Arbitrator shall be made within thirty days of the application by the player, and shall be based upon all information relating to such hardship submitted by such date. The determination of the Impartial Arbitrator shall be final and binding upon all parties.