Tom E. Curran notes Bart Scott's public lobbying for Adalius Thomas to join him is less than shrewd, but the Patriots can make it difficult for AD to reunite with Rex Ryan.
[M]ost (myself included) have theorized the Patriots will release Thomas ASAP. Soon thereafter, he'll sign with the Jets and join his old defensive coordinator Rex Ryan and former teammate Bart Scott where he can torment the Patriots like Mr. Spacely used to get to George Jetson.
In fact, Scott talked about this very possibility on ESPN Radio, saying, "I was hanging with Adalius Thomas for Super Bowl weekend . . . He made it public that he's expressed interest in joining [Ryan]. I think some of his better years of his career have been a part of the Ravens defense and under Rex Ryan's tutelage. It'll be exciting."
But the Patriots can hang on to AD for a good long while. Without a salary cap, the Patriots are in no rush to unload his deal because of finances. They don't have to pay him until the games start. They can merely wait through free agency, the draft, hell, right into training camp. And then, when all the outside linebacker chairs are filled up around the league, they can release AD.
Ian Rapoport thinks Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski may receive the lowest RFA tender.
Gostkowski is solid, very good even, and the Patriots want to keep him. But a two-year guaranteed contract worth a total of $5 million — which is what it would be with two consecutive years of first-round RFA tenders — is a ton for a kicker. It’s almost the average of the top 5 kickers (franchise tag), which is now at $2.8 million.
Instead, the Patriots may tender him at the lowest level, then allow other teams to essentially work out the contract for them. He can shop himself around, see what he’s worth, then watch teams work up a deal. Perhaps he finds a four-year, $10-million deal with a nice signing bonus and a bunch guaranteed. That’s the same as what the Pats would pay per-year for a two-year deal, but it also offers Gostkowski the up-front money and security he’d like. By year three for the Patriots, it’s a bargain.
Or maybe, the deal comes in at four years and $8 million, the Pats match it, and save money. The only risk — and it’s a decent risk — is that someone tries to pay him Sebastian Janikowski money of four years and $16 million. Then the Pats don’t match, lose their kicker, and are on the market.
But it seems like a risk worth taking.
- Patriots Today - Mayo assists the United Way. (2.13 min. video)
Patriots Today - The search for pass rushers. (4.26 min. video)
- Mike Reiss reports Jerod Mayo has been working out full-time in Foxboro this off-season.
- Karen Guregian reports Adalius Thomas wants to be a Jet.
- Ian Rapoport watches and learns as Jerod Mayo shoots a PSA for United Way.
- Albert Breer notes the Patriots offense scored nearly 6 points fewer per contest in the four games Stephen Neal missed (22.3) than in the 12 games he played in (28.2). Pro Football Focus grades him with the league's best.
- Evan Brunell reports the uncapped year is unlikely to impact Bill Belichick's draft strategy.
- Mike Reiss expected more production from Richard Seymour in the Raiders' 4-3 scheme; double digit sacks instead of the four (in two games) he had in 2009.
- Albert Breer points out a good-fit-for-the-Patriots player to watch, CB Javier Arenas (Alabama), straight from the Nick Saban pipeline.
- Albert Breer notes there are plenty of legitimate nuggets, draft-related and otherwise, to take from Indianapolis.
- Monique Walker details the information gained from the poking, prodding, drilling and grilling of the Combine invitees.
- Boston Globe Combine Notebook: Raiders leaders of Seymour fan club; Mike Mayock isn't so sure Brandon Graham is on Patriots' radar (at 6'1" he doesn't fit what the Patriots do); BC lineman Mike McLaughlin is inspired by teammate Mark Herzlich, who battled bone cancer, putting McLaughlin's Achilles injury in perspective.
- Albert Breer explains why the Patriots didn't use either of their transition tags.
- Mike Reiss projects free-agent possibilites for the Patriots: Linebacker.
- Tom E. Curran thinks the Patriots should take a look at Thomas Jones when he is released from the Jets on Friday.
- Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag. Good info here as usual.
- Albert Breer thinks LaDainian Tomlinson might just be a fit for the New York Jets, with the release of Thomas Jones Friday and Leon Washington's recovery still uncertain.
- Albert Breer shares some quick-hit tweets from around the league.
- Tom E. Curran offers his Patriots free agent outlook: Wide recievers and tight ends.
- Jeff Howe revisits the Patriots 2002 Draft class, noting the success of the David Givens and Deion Branch picks.
- Mike Reiss notes Leigh Bodden was considered a "hidden gem" by Scouts Inc.
- Pro Football Focus lauds the play of Stephen Neal, and rookie surprise Sebastian Vollmer.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) AFC East (almost) loaded at left tackle.
- Paul Kuharsky (ESPN) Jeff Saturday unhappy with Polian's O-Line critique and Week 16 decision.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) AFC East: Where Tim Tebow might land.
- Tony Pauline (SI) Risers and sliders from Day 6 of the Combine.