April 11, 2009
Patriots Week In Review
BY: Ian Logue/PatsFans.com
Another offseason week is in the books, and it's been another week of preparation for the Patriots as they prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft on April 25th - 26th. Here's a look back at some of the events and reports from last week, and we will recap each week going forward in a new feature called, "The Week in Review".
Several Players Visit, More Upcoming for This Week
According to the Boston Globe the visits to Foxboro this week included University of North Carolina receivers Brooks Foster (Tuesday) and Brandon Tate (Wednesday) at Gillette Stadium. Coming up next week is West Virginia quarterback Pat White, who is reportedly scheduled to meet with team officials Monday and Tuesday.
After recently dealing with shortages at the wide receiver position in 2006, the Patriots obviously addressed that need in 2007 by adding Randy Moss and Wes Welker, and added a couple more this offseason (free agent Joey Galloway and Greg Lewis - who was acquired via trade from the Eagles). Needless to say they are well-stocked heading into the 2009 campaign as they look to welcome Tom Brady back to the roster. However, no fan would be surprised to see talent added at that position should Belichick deem that player to be the best talent available at that pick in the draft.
The Globe also reported that New England hosted Illinois cornerback Vontae Davis this past week, and will also take a look at another defensive player, with Ohio State cornerback/safety Malcolm Jenkins visting Monday, and San Jose State defensive end Jarron Gilbert also scheduled to visit Foxboro this week.
Meanwhile Bill Belichick visited the University of Maryland last Thursday, and according to the Globe the Patriots held a private workout with linebacker Moise Fokou and cornerback Kevin Barnes.
DL Warren Recovering
As one of two members on the Patriots' regular defensive line rotation signed past this season, New England is hoping that defensive lineman Ty Warren will return to form in 2009 after battling through injuries that sidelined him for the first time during his NFL career.
The good news is that according to the Boston Globe Warren, who suffered a torn groin muscle which sidelined him for three games, is on schedule with his recovery from double groin surgery and should be ready by the time training camp comes.
"I'm approaching it like I'm going to be ready, and I think I will be," Warren told the newspaper. "I can't really tell you anything outside of what's going to happen today, but I would say so."
"That's just how I feel, my thoughts from my mouth. You heard it from the horse's mouth."
Light Steps In
According to the Boston Globe, after former Patriot Mike Vabrel was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs, offensive tackle Matt Light will replace Vrabel as the team's player representative.
According to Light this is a crucial time for the players and owners as they look to reach a labor agreement over the next 10-months.
"It wasn't until my third or fourth year that I really started thinking about the union and how the business of the NFL operates," Light told the newspaper. "I think it's like that for a lot of guys - you come into the league and I think you're pretty bogged down with being a rookie, and you're probably still trying to figure it out in your second year. Once you get past that, for me, I wanted to start learning more and try to help out in any way I could."
Jason Taylor Update
According to the Boston Herald, free agent defensive end Jason Taylor acknowledged he's been in contact with his former team, the Miami Dolphins, about making a return there. According to the report, while Taylor has been rumored as a possible fit in New England, the Patriots appear to be taking a backseat to the Dolphins. Many factors will likely be involved, with Taylor possibly looking to work something out with the Dolphins in an effort to not have to move his family. Good news for Patriots fans, one team Taylor did rule out was the New York Jets.
Contract Year Coming Up
Interesting note mentioned by the Globe this week is the fact that four of the Patriots seven defensive linemen are entering the final year of their contracts. On the offensive side starting guards Logan Mankins and Stephen Neal are in the final year of theirs, with tight ends Benjamin Watson and David Thomas also playing for a new deal after this season.
More NFL News from this week
Former Falcons quarterback Michael Vick is finishing up the final few months of his jail sentence for bankrolling a dogfighting ring, and is now battling creditors and bankruptcy court who are looking to recoup debts after Vick squandered the nearly $130 million he made during his time as an NFL quarterback.
He's scheduled to be confined to his home on May 21st, and according to several published reports is under some strange inclination that his return to the league will include a salary in the vicinity of $10-million per season. The bankruptcy judge overseeing Vick's case reportedly rejected Vick's "exit strategy" after Vick claimed that the salary he'll make when he returns will allow him to pay back his debts, which are reportedly in excess of $20-million. The judge rejected Vick's plan because there is no guarantee that he'll be allowed to resume his career. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said he won't review Vick's case until his sentence is over.
Vick's plan would have allowed reportedly him to keep the first $750,000 of his projected annual salary, with creditors receiving any amount he receives beyond that. The fact that Vick isn't prepared to suck it up and live humbly for a few years while he even tries to earn the respect and forgiveness from football fans, only tells me that he hasn't learned a thing. This will continue to be an interesting story that I hope doesn't end favorably for him.
The Schedule Is Now A Prime Time Event?
A big announcement came at the end of the week after Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe reported on Friday that the complete NFL schedule will be released Tuesday at 7 p.m. According to Reiss the NFL will be releasing this year's entire NFL weekly schedule on the NFL Network and NFL.com, turning the annual "schedule release" into a prime-time television event. Apparently the league knows how much we anticipate how the schedule will unfold, and how much we'll spend the next few weeks over-analyzing it. Obviously we already know about two games, with the team opening the season at home against the Bills on Sept 14th (7pm), and a contest in London against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 25th (1pm). Now it appears we'll all be tuned in Tuesday night to find out the rest.
Come on man, get a cab.
Meanwhile the number of professional athletes who are cited for DUI just leaves me shaking my head. This week saw Cincinnati Bengals CB Leon Hall cited for a violation after he reportedly had a blood alcohol level of 0.149 percent (the legal limit in Ohio - where he was cited - is .08). I'll never understand why these athletes don't opt to pay for a driver or a cab if they're going to go out and party for the night. When it comes down to it most of them are very lucky. Most are simply arrested, pay a fine, and lose their license. They're fortunate enough to simply face a legal penalty and were caught before they caused harm to anyone else. Former Patriot Dante Stallworth is learning the price of drinking and driving the hard way, after he killed a pedestrian back on March 14th.
We all saw the tragedy of what drunk driving can do to the lives of a family again this week, after the Los Angeles Angels saw Nick Adenhart killed by a drunk driver who was three times over the legal limit. The 22-year old probably had no idea that he would be middle aged at 11-years old. It's just sad.
For Stallworth, he's facing prison. For the family of the pedestrian he killed, their price is much larger. They're trying to move on without a husband and a father who was lost in a tragedy that could have been avoided. We hear stories all the time of how their money is wasted on so many things. Count me in as one who wishes going forward it's spent on a limo or a cab.
Ian Logue is the owner of PatsFans.com and a regular contributor to PatsFans.com. Please visit our messageboard to comment on this story or to contact him, as well as his Online Blog. You can also click "Talkback to the Author" below.
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