Good morning, here are Sunday’s Patriots news notes and what’s happening around the division:
Brady vs NFL Has More Twists and Turns: With each passing day, the case of Brady vs the NFL gets more bizarre. Now, according to the league, the independent investigation conducted by Ted Wells that wasn’t …doesn’t matter. The ideal gas law? Who cares?
Now they’re holding Brady to the same standard in a document that they do GM’s, Owners and the like. Players have never even been given the document that Goodell is referencing. They’ve never held a player to this standard before, but they’ve never cared about air pressure in a football until January 18.
Now it is all about the CBA and whether Roger Goodell has the authority to administer justice or not. More and more bizarre.
Judge Richard Berman has strongly encouraged both sides to reach a settlement, but Goodell told the Ohio local media at the Pro Football Hall of Fame that he doesn’t intend to lower Brady’s suspension.
“The integrity of the game is something we will always protect. The rules apply to everybody,” Goodell said. “He’s a great player and he’s a great young man. We issued the decision just last week. We’re in the midst of litigation to ensure that that’s enforced the way we ruled on that, after a long process that is established in our collective bargaining agreement. That’s something we’ll play through.”
The shoddy and underhanded way that the league keeps changing their story and the way they ran the appeal of Brady is bound to resonate with the judge. Wednesday when the hearing takes place ought to be an interesting day.
Brady Having Solid Camp: With the distractions around him swirling…you’d never know it by the way Brady is playing thus far. He’s been on top of his game pretty much since Day 1. His accuracy and timing seem right on target and he, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski were hooking up constantly.
With Edelman missing the past few days, Danny Amendola and Josh Boyce have been the most frequent targets and they’re getting some invaluable time to hone their chemistry with Brady.
Twice in the past week, Brady has scrambled into the end zone when the defense left holes for him to scramble. He even caught a pass from Edelman.
Injuries Mount, Opportunities Emerge: With more than a quarter of the 90 man roster not on the field Saturday morning, it is a great opportunity for bottom of the roster guys to get a much longer look by the coaches.
There’s no reason to panic…yet but the depth is being tested at many positions especially RB and WR. But the true concern here is at QB. Matt Flynn has yet to take the field, being on NFI and having only pedaled the bike in training camp. On Thursday, if things remain the same as in years past, Brady won’t play much if at all.
But if Jimmy Garoppolo were to get banged up say late in the game, the scenario of Brady having to enter is not one anyone wants to see. Most of the injuries at this time are of the not-so-serious variety. It would be nice to Flynn get some snaps during Monday and Tuesday’s practices.
The third down running back position is now James White’s; Travaris Cadet left practice early today, and Dion Lewis was out already. Expect to see Brandon Bolden and Jonas Gray to get a lot of work this week.
McGinest, Antwine Join Hall: Former Patriots greats Willie McGinest and the late Houston Antwine entered the Patriots Hall of Fame this week. Bill Belichick told the story of McGinest arranging a meeting before Super Bowl XXXVI between himself, his daughter and the rapper Snoop Dog.
McGinest visited the team’s practice on Tuesday the day prior to his induction and was swamped by media prior to going out on the field. Belichick allowed McGinest to speak to the team and break them down after practice.
McGinest’s message to the team… Just block the noise and just prepare and get ready for football.
East Bound and Down…Notes Around the AFC East:
Jets Lose Allen, Milliner to Injuries on Friday: The Jets practice session on Friday was a disastrous one for the Jets, health wise. Safety Antonio Allen tore his Achilles tendon which requires surgery and will be lost for the season. Allen was expected to backup starters Calvin Pryor and Marcus Gilchrist.
Allen was injured in a non-contact drill where he just rose from his stance and fell to the ground. “It’s a tough break for him,” head coach Todd Bowles said. “He was having a good camp. He’s a guy that comes to work, practices hard and he plays hard. Just a freak accident.”
Milliner tore a tendon in his wrist and will also require surgery but he is expected to return in 6-8 weeks. He suffered a torn Achilles last season and was expected to backup Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie at cornerback. He was having a good camp from all reports for the Jets.
Bills Still In Search of a QB, But Taylor is the favorite: The Buffalo Bills still have questions at the quarterback position. But while spring reports had Tyrod Taylor with little chance of unseating either E.J. Manuel or Matt Cassel, his play on the field is changing opinions.
The job is still up for grabs, but reports out of Buffalo have Taylor beginning to pull away from the other two veterans.
Taylor and Cassel seem destined to play it out for the starter role while Manuel lately has fallen behind both.
“This will probably play out,” head coach Rex Ryan said. “The level of play has to pick up, and we’ll see who rises to the occasion,”he added.
“So let’s see what happens. Let’s see if there becomes a little bit of separation.” This QB situation will be closely watched for the remainder of training camp and the preseason. We know Ryan isn’t shy about going against popular opinion and conventional wisdom. So the quarterback position may be won by the total underdog here.
Dolphins Far Apart Money-wise with Mathis: When guard Evan Mathis was released by the Philadelphia Eagles this spring, most people had him going to Miami, a team in need of help at the position and with money to spend.
But Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald is reporting that the Dolphins are offering Mathis…(thus far), a contract in the $2-3 million dollar range. Mathis was slated to earn more than $5 million with the Eagles and reportedly his agent Drew Rosenhaus has stated that he is looking for at least that much.
Mathis may still wind up in South Beach, but with the rookie Shaq Mason requiring some time to find his game in the pros, the Patriots may be advised to kick the tires on one of the best guards in the NFL.
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