Patriots used to post Super Bowl drama
Good grief, does anyone make news after a Super Bowl like the New England Patriots?
It’s almost as if we went back in time to 1997, when Bill Parcells bolted for the Jets after the Super Bowl loss to the Packers.
When yours truly got on a plane late Tuesday to return to New England, Josh McDaniels was signed, sealed and delivered as the Indianapolis Colts head coach.
Getting off one plane to get on another in Chicago, he was staying in New England. And Malcolm Butler refuted all the claims he did anything wrong during Super Bowl week.
And Rob Gronkowski was in line for a future Oscar. Actually, of all the crazy goings on in the last 48 hours, that probably makes the most sense. Well, the the retirmement story does. Gronkowski has probably suffered a lot more concussions than we’ve known. Of course, with Gronk, there’s always drama, including the break-in at his home while he was away at the Super Bowl. So why wouldn’t Hollywood come calling?
And then, adding to the drama, on Thursday the San Francisco 49ers gave quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo a five-year, $137.5 million deal, reportedly the largest deal in NFL history on the average per year. Yikes.
Now, let’s tackle the McDaniels situation first. There were a lot of doubts Monday about him taking the job and then they were briefly gone when the Colts made the announcement. But after he changed his mind, there were a lot of ridiculous assumptions posted on social media. Really dumb, like there were with the Butler situation.
McDaniels obviously never felt comfortable with the Colts job, probably because of the crazy owner in Jim Irsay and Andrew Luck’s health. And really, are we led to believe that just because Bill Belichick told him he’d talk to McDaniels more about salary cap and team building he decided to stay? Please. McDaniels was in charge of the operation in Denver when he was there. He got an extension to stay in New England and despite some contrary thinking, he got some type of wink-wink, nudge-nudge assurance that he’d have the inside track on succeeding Belichick when the head Hoodie is done.
But beware of verbal agreements, right Josh? All of this could have been done weeks ago. Meanwhile, there is one big thing to take from the McDaniels non-move:
The NFL needs to change the rule to allow those coaching in the playoffs a chance to actually sign a deal within a certain period of time before the Super Bowl. McDaniels was able to reneg on a verbal agreement; doubtful he would have done the same had pen been put to paper. The way it is now no one can sign who is coaching in the Super Bowl until after the game.
What that does is also add further protection for incoming assistants. Also, no press conference until after the Super Bowl; just an announcement. College football had examples this year with assistants coaching with teams in bowl games or playoffs but already inked to different jobs, head or otherwise, for next year.
The Butler decision we all know still boggles the mind. It’s clear from what took place in practice that week that he probably wasn’t ready to start last Sunday. Obviously the extremely curious thing is why he wasn’t playing in the second half, at least as a third corner as Eric Rowe did get better as the game went on. You might even say the way the Patriots dealt with Butler his entire time here remains strange.
As for Gronkowski, it may be time. Maybe he can get a role in some kind of Baywatch revival. He’s simply taken too many hits and his future health, based on what has happened in the past to other NFL players, could be approaching the danger level. If not now, you’d have to think he’d be done in a year or two.
And finally, Patriot fans are probably going crazy over the Garoppolo deal. Those numbers are why he made it known to the Patriots in the past year he wasn’t going to accept any kind of a “bridge deal”. A lightning rod for Patriot fans and the rumored soap opera surrounding Belichick, Tom Brady, and owner Robert Kraft, just became even more electric.
Like we said, no one has more news after a Super Bowl like these Patriots. And the off-season has only just begun.
But for now, this weekend will be the first official one since Labor Day without NFL football, so until further notice, we move on. But of course that notice could come at anytime knowing this franchise.
Tom King can be reached at 594-1251, email@example.com., or @Telegraph_TomK.