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New England Patriots Links 2/22/10 - Patriots Pay With Reality Checks, Not Big Contracts?

<em>Randy Moss prepares for a reality check instead of new contract.</em>
Randy Moss prepares for a reality check instead of new contract.

Karen Guregian observes Randy Moss was just speculating when he was asked his thoughts about his future with the Patriots Saturday.

"There is no bad blood. There is no animosity on my side or their side," Moss said. "I think it’s just the nature of the business of the NFL. You know the Patriots don’t really pay, so when I got my second contract from them, that was a blessing in disguise. I understand the business. I don’t think they’re going to re-sign me back. I’m not mad. I’m not bitter. It’s just the way things are in the NFL, so like I said, after this year, I’ll be looking for a new team."

Michael Felger says the Patriots organization has a perception problem and Randy Moss has no business complaining about the Patriots not paying, as Moss did get paid.

They basically gave Moss, who had accepted a pay cut when he was first traded to New England, franchise-receiver money over a three-year period, $27 million total. Over half of the contract ($15 million) was guaranteed. In terms of base salary, he'll be the highest-paid player on the team in 2010.

Ask the Patriots about spending money and they'll be quick to point out that over the past five years they've spent as much as anyone. They'll tell you they've spent $540 million in salaries and bonuses since 2005, right in step with rivals like the Jets ($542 million) and Colts ($546 million). It is no doubt an accurate stat. They'll also tell you that they always have, and always will, spend to the cap. And that, too, is technically true.

As for the Patriots’ spending habits, let’s set the record straight right here:

They aren't cheap. Regardless of what the footy-pajama crowd believes, I've never said they were.

But they are businessmen. And, in my opinion, they've let business get in the way of football a few too many times in recent years –- and it's cost them, not just in the hearts and minds of their players, but, more importantly, on the field.

I know many of you disagree with me, and we could argue this until we're blue in the face. But this isn't about your opinion, or mine. It's not about what the Patriots want us to believe. Again, it's not about Moss.

This is about how the players feel. On that front there can be no argument.

Chris Gasper gets Rodney Harrison's thoughts on the Patriots, the leadership void and Belichick's decision not to name a defensive coordinator.

"To me it's a little surprising that he wouldn't go with a defensive coordinator because he has so many responsibilities," said Harrison. "But I mean that just shows you right there that he is not very satisfied in the direction that the defense had been going. He wanted to be more involved.

"Nothing really surprises me with Bill. There is a method behind his madness we just have to wait and see."
"I think it can cause a little confusion, but Belichick he is going to nip it in the bud. He is going to tell the fellas exactly the way the structure is going to be set and they'll go with it."

"Obviously, it is when you lose over 50 years of experience on defense of course there is an impact. You have to understand championships aren't won because guys are just great players. It's because they know how to deal with certain situations. They know how to deal with adversity. They know how to deal with success and that comes through leadership.

"I would be really foolish to sit here and tell you they're not missing that type of leadership. ...You watch them, the way they play, and they're a young team and they need leadership."