Christopher Price shares five thoughts on an absolutely crazy afternoon in the NFL:
1. From a football perspective, the Jets’ decision to acquire Tim Tebow makes very little sense. (In truth, it’s one borne out of a desperate front office, hoping to retake the back pages of the New York tabloids after seeing the crosstown Giants win two Super Bowls in five years.) The Jets recently gave starting quarterback Mark Sanchez a three-year extension after losing out on Peyton Manning, a move designed to provide Sanchez with some sort of comfort — a confidence booster designed to tell the world that come hell or high water, No. 6 was their man. And they follow it up by creating an absolutely no-win situation for him — the first time Sanchez stumbles, the cries for Tebow will start. The Jets have guaranteed themselves a quarterback controversy even before training camp starts.
2. So you have Tim Tebow — what exactly do you do with him? New Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano was the man who helped bring the Wildcat to South Florida when he was head coach of the Dolphins, and you have to figure that’s what he has in store with the acquisition of Tebow. It’s also not like the Jets and Rex Ryan aren’t familiar with the Wildcat package, as they used it extensively in 2010 with Brad Smith. According to Pro Football Focus, Smith was the best Wildcat quarterback in the NFL that year, as Smith ran the ball from the wildcat 30 times for 212 yards and a touchdown, an average of 7.1 yards per run. (Half the time he handed the ball off, and the Jets other rushers had 4.0 yards per carry and a touchdown.) Per PFF, in Week 17 of the 2010 season against the Bills, when the Jets had their playoff spot secured, they used him at QB 13 times, and in those plays he managed runs of 20 and 40 yards.
3. What does this mean for the Patriots? Wildcat package or not, with the exception of one quarter — the first quarter of the regular-season game where Tebow and the Broncos ran up 224 yards and 16 points the first three times they had the ball — the Patriots have done a very good job of defending Tebow over the course of his relatively brief professional career. In two games against New England (one regular-season start and one playoff start, both last year), Tebow is 20-for-48 for 338 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions. In addition, he has 17 carries for 106 yards and two touchdowns. As for big picture analysis on what this might mean for the Jets’ offense as a whole, while they will still throw the ball with regularity, expect New York to use more gadget plays on the ground, and that includes the Wildcat. (One think to remember — the Patriots were occasionally vulnerable to gadget plays last season, as both the Broncos and Redskins used them against New England, with varied levels of success.)
- The New England Patriots are deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Ron Erhardt, who served as Patriots head coach for three seasons from 1979 through 1981.
- The New England Patriots announced today the signing of free agents CB Will Allen and OL Robert Gallery. Terms of the contracts were not announced.
- Patriots Today - Draft Preview: Running Back. (3.16 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Tebow, free agency and more. (3.19 min. video)
- Christopher Price reports Tom Brady restructures his contract, freeing up 7.2 million in cap space for the Patriots.
- Jeremy Lundblad explains how the numbers show the Pats' WR signings make sense and will fill holes in the NE offense.
- Greg A. Bedard offers his initial reaction to the unprecedented penalties handed down for the bounty scandal.
- Kirk Minihane says this was Roger Goodell's finest hour as commissioner of the NFL.
- Bob Ryan gets the message hammered to the Saints yesterday, 'Don't mess with Roger Goodell. Ever.'
- Ron Borges agrees with the punishment handed down to Sean Payton and the Saints.
- Karen Guregian describes the bungled-then-fixed, Tim Tebow to the NY Jets trade that took place for most of the afternoon yesterday.
- Mike Reiss doesn't see much downside for the Jets, with their trade for Tim Tebow.
- Christopher Price shares five thoughts on the Jets, Tim Tebow, Sean Payton and the Saints.
- Mike Reiss believes Bill Belichick knows to fold when the pot's too big, so they let BJGE & Anderson walk.
- Obnoxious Boston Fan thinks the Tim Tebow trade to the Jets is just heavenly. It's John 3:16 meets Rex 350 (give or take a few pounds).
- Mike Reiss believes BenJarvus Green-Ellis' departure highlights the importance of the development of Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen.
- Karen Guregian notes that the departure of BenJarvus Green-Ellis means the Patriots will no longer have his kind of dependability in the backfield.
- Christopher Price talks about the Patriots' ground attack without BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
- Karen Guregian says Mark Anderson wanted to return to the Patriots, but the money — and a defense featuring Mario Williams — directed him to Buffalo.
- Christopher Price comments on the Patriots' loss of DE Mark Anderson and the addition of CB Will Allen.
- Mike Reiss shares some thoughts on Mark Anderson.
- Christopher Price highlights Mark Anderson's media session in Buffalo after agreeing to a new deal with the Bills.
- Jimmy Toscano sees Josh McDaniels already putting his mark on the offense.
- Mike Reiss reports the Patriots have hosted Broncos fullback Spencer Larsen on a free-agent visit at Gillette Stadium.
- Mary Paoletti reports there were 34 scouts from 27 NFL teams on hand at the Boston College Pro Day to watch workouts.
- Greg A. Bedard talks about BC's Pro Day, and says LB Luke Kuechly impressed scouts.
- Mike Reiss breaks down the main elements of contracts for WR Brandon Lloyd, OL Dan Connolly, DL Jonathan Fanene and TE Daniel Fells.
- WEEI profiles potential Patriots in this year's Draft: S Harrison Smith (Notre Dame) and OLB Courtney Upshaw (Alabama).
- Omar Kelly (Sun-Sentinel) Former Dolphins CB Will Allen signs with Patriots.
- James Walker (ESPN) Patriots are still fine at running back.
- Michael Silver (Yahoo! Sports) Roger Goodell sends a message to the Saints, NFL: Lying and disrespect won't be tolerated.
- Don Banks (SI) Suspensions have Saints feeling the pain instead of dishing it out.
- Jeff Duncan (Times-Picayune) Don't blame the NFL commissioner for today's punishment, it all belongs with the New Orleans Saints.
- Andrew Brandt (Nat'l Football Post) Stinging the Saints: And explanation of Tebow trade snag.
- Manish Mehta (NY Daily News) NY Jets finally agree to trade for QB Tim Tebow, iron out contract snag with Denver Broncos.
- Brian Costello (NY Post) Plan to use in Wildcat, vow no QB controversy with Tebow signing.
- Damon Hack (SI) Tebow trade a positive for Jets.
- Matt Barrows (Sacramento Bee) The 49ers inquired about Mike Wallace but... Wallace wants more than Larry Fitzgerald.
- MJD (Yahoo! Sports) Tim Tebow's positivity meets the black hole of negativity that is the New York Jets.
- Jack Bechta (Nat'l Football Post) The limited GM: Free agency may tell you how badly your owner wants to win, or not.