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New England Patriots Links 3/26/12 - Proposed Rules Changes Considered at Owners Meetings

<em>Robert Kraft is attending the Owners Meetings in Palm Beach, Florida</em>.
Robert Kraft is attending the Owners Meetings in Palm Beach, Florida.

Mike Reiss shares some quick-hit thoughts from the Patriots and around the NFL.

4. If Patriots offensive tackle Matt Light retires, as expected, it won’t be because he can’t play any more. The 2011 season was one of his best. More than anything, I think it would be because he’s always been about more than football, appreciates the run he’s had, and would like the idea of walking away when he still can.

6. Of the rule proposals and bylaws to be discussed at the NFL’s annual meeting starting Monday in Palm Beach, Florida, the most intriguing one from this perspective is a new category for injured reserve. The bylaw proposal is to allow one player who was on the roster through the first regular-season weekend to be designated on "injured reserve/return" in the event of injury. That player could begin to practice six weeks later and play in games eight weeks later. If that rule was in play in 2011, it could have helped someone like Patriots center Dan Koppen, who suffered a broken bone in his foot in the season opener.

10. One Patriots player received literature from the team that the voluntary offseason program will be held from April 16-June 15. That’s shorter than the norm and a result of the new collective bargaining agreement. That hasn’t stopped a handful of Patriots players from already gathering daily in New England and working out together, similar to last year during the lockout.

Ian Rapoport notes Donte Stallworth told his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, of his desire to be back in Foxboro:

"He said, ‘Drew, you got one thing to do for me this offseason: Get me to New England,’ " Rosenhaus said. "He loved the Redskins, but he wants to play for Bill (Belichick) and Tom (Brady) again. He’s a guy that can get down (the field)."

Ian Rapoport hears from Chad Ochocinco's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, as to why Ocho would take less money.

"He has unfinished business with the Patriots. They were very generous to him last year, and he’s interested in giving the team his best. He feels with a great offseason — the lockout hurt him, it’s a tough system — he’ll learn the system, he’ll get accustomed to it. He’ll do a lot better. So he’s excited. He’s ready to make an impact."

"With the lockout, he missed the offseason program," Rosenhaus said. "We represent a lot of guys who have played in that offseason over the years — notably (Donte) Stallworth, he’s back — and it’s a very tricky offensive system to learn. It’s very precise. Now, Chad has all offseason, he’ll be in the workouts, so we’re excited about it."

"It’s like being married," [Ochocinco] told the Herald. "If I’m married to Halle Berry for 10 years, and her and I break up, and I marry Scarlett Johansson, there are going to be some things I have to adjust to based off what I’m used to. That’s just the way life is in general."



  • Mike Reiss discusses Chad Ochocinco agreeing to restructure his contract and reduce his salary from $3 million to $1 million.
  • Tom E. Curran believes Chad Ochocinco still likely faces an uphill battle to make the Patriots opening day roster, even after restructuring his deal.
  • Mike Reiss notes Bill Belichick's and Ochocinco's strong connection paved the way for Ocho's return to the Pats.
  • Tom E. Curran thinks an extension for Wes Welker could be discussed at the NFL meetings in Palm Beach this week.
  • Steve DeOssie says Chad Ochocinco will compete with Donte Stallworth for that 3rd or 4th receiver spot. (1.36 min. video)
  • Greg A. Bedard offers his in-depth assessments of new depth players, noting these free agent pick-ups are because of poor drafting from 2006-09.
  • Christopher Price updates the status of the 17 unrestricted free agents on the Patriots roster at the start of free agency.
  • Mike Reiss posts an updated look at the Patriots' current roster by contract length.
  • Ian Rapoport notes Patriots DE Andre Carter was meeting with team doctors, but is still limping heavily and not ready to be evaluated by Bill Belichick.
  • Mike Reiss takes a closer look at OL Robert Gallery's one-year deal with the Patriots.
  • Mark Farinella profiles the Patriots' newly-signed free agents, ranked in order of their potential to contribute to the success of the team.
  • Steve DeOssie believes the running backs are becoming an afterthought on the Patriots. (1.37 min. video)
  • Tom E. Curran notes the NFL's Competition Committee will likely close a loophole in the too-many-men penalty this week.
  • Tom E. Curran reports former president Bill Clinton was due to speak at the NFL's meetings on Sunday.
  • Ian Rapoport reports Patriots LT Matt Light was elected to NFLPA’s executive committee.
  • Ron Borges reports the NFLPA is investigating the bounty case to determine if the players were coerced by Gregg Williams into participating.
  • Mike Reiss analyzes the mock draft picks of Don Banks for the Patriots.
  • Ron Borges & Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Matt Light has yet to make up his mind on whether he'll retire, but he is fully healthy and in off-season football shape; Rex Ryan insinuated Tim Tebow will be playing more than just back-up quarterback.
  • Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Brian Hoyer signed his RFA tender with the Pats, earning him $1.92 million in 2012; Rob Gronkowski said he still wears his protective boot, but he's able to "walk around a little bit" and" it's definitely getting better"; OL Robert Gallery will earn a base salary of $400K and could earn $1.8 million with bonuses and incentives; CB Will Allen was signed for $925K with $50K in bonuses.
  • WEEI profiles potential Patriots in the Draft: CB Stephon Gilmore (South Carolina).
  • Christopher Price posts the list of notable upcoming Pro Days.
  • Mark Farinella ponders the good old days of covering the Patriots with the friendly Ron Erhardt as head coach, as opposed to the disdainful, 'Zeus'-like Bill Belichick.