Karen Guregian catches up with Patriots alum Jermaine Wiggins, one of the heroes of the legendary Snow Bowl game, who worries other undrafted prospects like him won't have the same opportunities he did with the lockout in place.
"Back then, all I wanted was an opportunity to prove that I could play at that level," Wiggins said last week, after an appearance at the Daley Middle School in Lowell. "That’s all I wanted. And right now, with the lockout, it’s tough. Kids that don’t get drafted can’t sign. They can’t be undrafted rookie free agents. That’s a lot of guys that could potentially be impact players down the road who won’t get the chance."
"With teams like the Patriots and the Jets, they always seem to find those diamonds in the rough," Wiggins said. "They might not be those physical specimens. But they’re smart guys who are always in the right spot. That’s what they look for."
"These kids have to be wondering if they’re going to get that opportunity," Wiggins said of the UFAs. "It’s going to be that much harder for them to prove themselves without (organized team activities). There’s no minicamp for them to show they deserve to be at this level. Look at Danny Woodhead. He was undrafted. In this climate, a (prospect) like him isn’t going to know where he stands."
"I always forget the number, I know it’s around 400 (pending free agents), maybe more, 400, 500 free agents, but there’s a lot of guys, a lot of guys sitting in limbo. Now, for guys who’ve been around for a while, it’s not as tough for me — and I’m just speaking for myself — but there’s a lot of guys who are looking at their second deal, which is usually when you really realize the best opportunity for you to earn in this profession," said Light. "And for those guys, man, this is extremely aggravating. I mean, it’s aggravating for me, to a degree, but I’m more worried about, what we do we have to do to get a deal done? Just an overall deal, because quite frankly, even if we could talk, you’re not going to be able to sign a deal. You’re not going to be able to do anything until you actually have a CBA in place so we can get back to work, right?
"It’s frustrating, it’s difficult, there’s nothing happening to this point, and I think for most of these teams, they’re focused on the draft, anything they can control, because they know all the parameters, they know everything that’s in the place to make that happen, to make that go off, and unfortunately, I think the free agents just kind of have to fit in somewhere after that fact." ...
- Paul Perillo says Drew Bledsoe was 'honored' by the Pats Hall of Fame nomination.
Drew Bledsoe Conference Call - 4/15/11. (21 min.) plus Transcript.
- The New England Patriots 2011 Hall of Fame finalists are announced. Drew Bledsoe and Bill Parcells join Houston Antwine as this year's class of nominees. Fans, vote here!
- Nominee video clips: Bill Parcells (1.32 min.) - Houson Antwine (1 min.) - Drew Bledsoe (1.40 min.)
- Patriots Roster Report (4/15/11): In this edition we review the Patriots Preseason schedule, as well as an update on current labor talks. (11.18 min. program)
- Patriots Marathon team set to run the Boston Marathon.
- Mark Farinella notes Drew Bledsoe deserves to be inducted to the Patriots Hall of Fame.
- Christopher Price highlights Drew Bledsoe talking about being a finalist for the Patriots Hall of Fame.
- Mike Reiss notes the finalists for the Patriots Hall of Fame are Drew Bledsoe, Bill Parcells and Houston Antwine.
- Christopher Price looks at who was the best first-round pick in Patriots history.
- Christopher Price gives us eleven to remember: Some mid-to-late round draft possibilities for the Patriots.
- Mike Reiss focuses on the draft picks available at the defensive back position for the Patriots, beyond the first round.
- Jeff Howe writes that if the Patriots draft NT Phil Taylor (Baylor) it would give them a massive D-line and aid Vince Wilfork.
- Nate Dow lists the league's recent top pass rushers and what round they were drafted in.
- The Providence Journal thinks the Patriots may look to add more quality corners in the Draft.
- Tom E. Curran profiles potential Patriots draftees: DE Cam Heyward (Ohio State) and DL Cam Jordan (California).
- Mike Reiss analyzes the latest mock draft from Don Banks of SI.com and who he selects for the Patriots in the first round.
- Mike Reiss offers some quick-hit thoughts from around the NFL and with the Patriots.
- Jeff Howe answers his weekly Patriots mailbag: BenJarvus Green-Ellis could develop as the lead back.
- WEEI provides links to all of its past "Potential Patriots" posts.
- AP reports Danny Woodhead will give the keynote address at next month’s fundraising dinner to benefit Boys Town athletes in Nebraska.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Parcells, Bledsoe up for Pats Hall of Fame.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Is it time to draft Tom Brady's replacement?
- Albert Breer (NFL.com) Colts, Pats can be selective in finding heir apparents at QB.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Pats didn't disclose their draft board to the media.
- Randy Sparage (Fox Sports) On the clock: Patriots. (4.32 min. video)
- Peter King (SI) MMQB: Football is carrying Sabol through tough times; more draft education.
- Don Banks (SI) 2011 Wes Welker watch list.
- the RB position. (Nat'l Football Post) Inside the film room:
- Russ Lande (Sporting News) NFL draft analysis: Outside Linebackers.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) ESPN2 listing indicates schedule release is coming Tuesday.
- Dan Pompei (Nat'l Football Post) Sunday Blitz.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Misinformation overload is coming.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Pouncey, Ingram heading to Draft, too.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Draft attendees at 11 and counting.
- Adam Rank (NFL.com) When it comes to celebrations, these guys were failures.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Mediation not expected to hit paydirt.
- Mike Freeman (CBS Sports) Second round of mediation mostly for show.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) After two days, parties are "serious" about negotiations.
- Frank Deford (SI) NFL owners run a prevent offense.
- AP (SI) Negotiators for the NFL, players wrap second day of court-ordered talks.